Strike Order

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The strike order defines the sequence in which the player and its opponent will hit each other. That order is mainly important for the final blow (the blow that will kill the monster), to determine whether he will have the chance to hit the player before dying. It might also be of some importance with life steal.

Normal strike order

The basic rules are:

  • Anyone with first strike will hit first. If both have first strike, the monster hits first.
  • Anyone with slow strike will hit last. If both have slow strike, the monster hits first.
  • If neither have first or slow strike, the higher level strikes first. If both are at equal level, the monster hits first.

Knockback, burning stack pop, or Class: Sorcerer Sorcerer's Class trait: MANA SHIELD MANA SHIELD effect all happen after the combat. (Though it's not actually true, it's convenient to think so. Keep reading for the detailed explanation. )

Detailed order

Many parameters affect the strike order. Here is the sequence from the highest priority to the lowest:

  1. The special first strike of Item: Reflex Potion Reflex Potion and Class: Assassin Assassin's Class trait: SWIFT HAND SWIFT HAND class trait
  2. Monster with Trait: First Strike First Strike
  3. Player with Trait: First Strike First Strike
  4. Monster (higher or equal level as player)
  5. Player
  6. Monster (lower level as player)
  7. Monster Trait: Slowed Slowed
  8. Player with Trait: Slow Strike Slow Strike

Important: A player can counter Trait: Slow Strike Slow Strike with Trait: First Strike First Strike, counting as neither slowed nor first striking.

As a result:

  • If one combatant has a higher attack speed than the other, that combatant strikes first. A player with both a bonus and a penalty to attack speed has a normal attack speed; a monster with both has the newer attack speed. (Unless you are punished by Tikki Tooki, the monster would have slowed later on, thus having slow strike)
  • If both combatants have a fast attack speed or both have a slow attack speed, the monster attacks first.
  • If both combatants have a normal strike speed, then the combatant with the higher level attacks first, or in the case of a tie, the monster attacks first.

Event orders and Special cases

Because the game handles the events (damage and such) with event handlers and event queue, the actual order of the events and the results are quite complicated. Long story short, the descriptions below will show only the result.

Reflex potion

The Reflexes trait (obtained as a temporary buff from a Reflexes potion) guarantees a first strike no matter what. If the monster survives the player's initial blow it will attack the player, afterwards the player takes a second swing.

Buff, debuffs, and strike order

If you strike the monster first and kill it, it won't be able to give you the Trait: Mana Burned Mana Burned, Trait: Poisoned Poisoned, Trait: Weakened Weakened, Trait: Corrosion Corrosion debuffs. However, you will still get Trait: Cursed Cursed, but only once and not twice (as it triggers when you kill or get damaged by a Trait: Curse Bearer Curse Bearer).

Almost all new buffs and debuffs are applied after both combatants strike.

  • So if you strike a weakening monster after he strikes you, your blow will be at normal strength, not a weakened strength.
  • If you strike first and remove a death protection from an Monster: Animated Armour Animated Armour, when the animated armor strikes you, its blow will be at normal strength, not a weakened strength.

However, Trait: Life steal Life steal and Trait: Curse Bearer Curse Bearer apply directly after the strike, meaning the strike order matters here. Also Class: Warlord Warlord's Class trait: Determined Determined trait also applies right at the moment of attack, so strike order matters. Burning stack pop also happens right after the strike, which is described below.

Trait: Life steal Life steal

The health you gain from life steal occurs directly after your hit, this means strike order matters. In rare cases first strike may allow you to strike a monster for which your current health would not suffice, as due to first strike and life steal, you may heal enough to survive the hit. In contrast, if you have almost 150% health, since you can't heal above 150% health, striking slower is actually more benefical.

Trait: Curse Bearer Curse Bearer and Trait: Cursed Cursed

A monster with Trait: Curse Bearer Curse Bearer applies one stack of curse directly after it damages the player. Similarly, one curse stack is removed directly after a monster without curse bearer trait is killed. Though the effect of curse doesn't matter at attack damages, in some rare edge cases this matters to curse stacks left.

Burning stack pop

Attacking a burning monster directly adds a magical damage with player's attack, so no confusion here. The problem is when you have burning on the other monster. In that case, burning stack will pop right after player's attack. While this may not affect the fight, when the target monster has Trait: Curse Bearer Curse Bearer trait, it becomes a problem as the curse applies directly after it is killed. So here's the result:

If the player strikes first,

  • Player's attack
  • Burning pop, which kills the 'other' monster
  • Monster's attack with Trait: Curse Bearer Curse Bearer

1 curse stack left.

If the monster strikes first,

  • Monster's attack with Trait: Curse Bearer Curse Bearer
  • Player's attack
  • Burning pop, which kills the 'other' monster → 1 curse stack removed

0 curse stack left.

Knockback and Burning

Actually, when the player strikes first, the monster's attack is fated to be applied after the player attacks him. However, the knockback event could apply after the player's attack, and it makes a confusion.

If the player strikes first,

  • Player's attack
  • Knockback
  • Burning stack pop
  • Monster's attack when he survived the player's attack (even if it is dead from knockback damage!)

Whilst it may seems like the knockback occurs after the two attack events (because in intuition dead monster can't attack back), knockback is actually happening before the monster's attack.

If the monster strikes first,

  • Monster's attack
  • Player's attack
  • Knockback
  • Burning stack pop

Also it is notable that the knockback occurs before the burning stack pop; this is why the "doublekill" is pratically doable with knockback + burning. Knockback damage can't kill the second target, but it can reduce its health to 1 so that the burning pop could kill it.

Class: Warlord Warlord's Class trait: DETERMINED DETERMINED

From the class trait, Warlord gets 30% attack bonus whenever below 50% health. Unlike any other buff or debuff effects which is calculated based on the stats before the combat, Warlord only gets 30% attack bonus if you are below 50% health at that precise moment, making the strike order matters. If your health is above 50% health and you are going to finish off your opponent with first strike or having monster be slowed, you should calculate your damage output carefully if you can win the battle without the attack bonus.

Class: Gorgon Gorgon's Trait: Death-gaze Death-gaze

Gorgon's deathgaze ability deals unresistable 100% of your base damage to the monster before the combat if the monster's health is below deathgaze%. This special attack has interaction with some effects, but not with others. Precisely, the deathgaze event does not trigger knockback or burning stack pop, but it's otherwise same with the normal attack. For example, it will trigger Trait: Cowardly Cowardly or Trait: Blinks Blinks. For example, let's say the Gorgon with knockback is striking the blinking monster, and the monster strikes first.

  • Deathgaze
  • Blink: blink away
  • Monster's attack (even if it is far from the player character)
  • Player's attack (even if it is far from the player character)
  • Blink (however, it only blinks when it is right next to the player. So, it wouldn't blink)
  • Knockback (again, even if it is far from the player character!)
  • Blink, if it gets damage from the knockback (but again, it would probably be far from the player character, so no blink)

There is a known bug that deathgaze + Trait: Life steal Life steal can absorb health from the monster over the monster's remaining health limit.

Class: Sorcerer Sorcerer's Class trait: MANA SHIELD MANA SHIELD

Mana shield occur right after monster's attack. That's why in the normal circumstances (monster attacking first) mana shield is dealing the damage before the normal attack. Like Gorgon's deathgaze, mana shield also has no interaction with knockback or burning.

Class: Assassin Assassin's Class trait: SWIFT HAND SWIFT HAND

As described in the class trait, this effect overwhelms all other effects in the game. Assassin will insta-kill any lower level monster with no harm at all at any circumstances. Trait: Curse Bearer Curse Bearer still applies, though.

Attack Speed Cancellation

The slow strike and first strike effects can be combined, altering the strike order. The platemail, which slows the player is good example: a player wearing it should in theory always strike last. However :

  • First strike ability (either from the Glyph: GETINDARE GETINDARE glyph or Class: Rogue Rogue class feature [NOT the assassin's exploration first strike]) cancels out player's slow, resulting in normal striking speed. As such a slowed player with first strike can get a first hit against slowed enemies regardless of their level.

But for monster, the effect does not cancel out. Trait: slowed slowed debuff will temporarily overwhelm the Trait: first strike first strike. However, with punishment of God: Tikki Tokki Tikki Tokki a monster could have both at the same time. In this case the first strike overwhelms slowed debuff.

Trait: Retaliate: Fireball Retaliate: Fireball

Using Glyph: BURNDAYRAZ BURNDAYRAZ on the retaliating monster is similar to striking first, but the order of the events is slightly different. It might be a bug.

  • BURNDAYRAZ attack
  • Retaliate
  • Burning stack pop

Compare this to the melee case with the player's first strike.

  • Player's attack
  • Burning stack pop
  • Monster's attack