Tikki Tooki is the trickster serpent god. He has a particular soft spot for gold, accepting it as tribute and granting it to faithful followers. This makes him quite versatile both for purist runs (where gold is in short supply) and with heavy preparations (where you often have more than you can spend). He can also be of help to those seeking to fuel items which comsume gold for activationg their abilities, such as Crystal Ball or Alchemist Scroll.
Tikki Tooki is uncovered in the south in a small subdungeon where you must defeat a form-changing imp without getting hit by it in return several times.
Depends on how much you want to rely on him. Also depends on when in the course of the run you begin worshipping him or convert into his religion. Early worship can require planning before a run, as can heavy dedication. He is relatively easy to gain piety with, but his few restrictions will severely alter your gameplay, and punish some strategies. He promotes top notch play and rewards it, but there is a chance of locking yourself into a downward spiral if you aren't careful. His preparation penalty can be really difficult to get around, and is widely considered to be the most taxing one.
Likes and Dislikes
TT gives piety for killing monsters that are lower level than yourself (+5 piety). He awards successful dodges (+3 piety) and use of the WHEYTWUT and WONNAFYT glyphs (+1 Piety). He also awards you +1 piety every time you poison a monster for the first time. You can also gain piety from him by using his "Tribute" boon which gives you +10 piety for 15 gold.
A very easy way to gain some piety with TT is to attack plants if you take his Dodge boon. While plants hit for 0 damage, their attack can still be dodged, and they all die in one hit. This makes joining him in plant filled maps very beneficial, and it makes converting into his religion after you've used Earthmoter to fill a level up with plants a strong move.
TT punishes you for getting hit by monsters too much, so you get -3 piety every time you get hit by a monster after the first. This dislike can be avoided even if you join him early, by fighting higher level monsters with the help of damage dealing glyphs and first strike or slow.
He also dislikes using death protections which he punishes with -10 piety. He won't punish the act of acquiring a death protection, but he will punish using it up. This can lead to a rare situation where you get hit by a monster for the second time and expend a death protection which causes you to lose 13 piety "at once". Since you can usually predict when you will lose piety with him, this can mess up even an advanced player's calculations.
His preparation penalty makes him punish you with -3 piety every time you get hit, which means plant cleaning antics are out of the question in that case, and requires you to be even more careful about fighting tough opponents.
Punishment/Desecration Penalty - If your piety drops below zero, or if you desecrate his altar, he will give every monster first strike and weakening blow, which is a severe punishment. Considering that he actually has very few ways to lose piety with, it is easier to avoid than it seems. If you are left with no exploration or lower level monsters, you can lock yourself into a downward spiral of piety loss which can be rally hard to get out of. In the situation where this would cost you a win, the solutions are his Tribute boon, desecration of another altar and the Pactmaker's Consensus boon.
Desecrating TT's altar should be avoided unless really necessary, or in case you are a heavily focused spellcaster. Even then, it's preferable not to do it until you are well into a bossfight and are certain that you won't be relying on first strike (or even physical attacks) to finish the boss off.
If you join the Glowing Guardian after picking up Tikki's Poison boon Glowing Guardian will punish you every time you attack something that isn't undead. The only way to get rid of the poison is to desecrate Tikki's altar.
Tribute - Lets you gain 10 piety for 15 gold, repeatable. Investing too heavily is not recommended without forward planning, but an early worshiper will want to invest in at least one hit, and make up the loss of gold with grabbing an early level of Tikki's Edge and Dodge.
Tikki's Edge - For 25 piety you get +1XP on every monster kill and 10 gold. It can be taken repeatedly, and the piety cost incereases by 25 each time you do. In most situations only one hit is required, but it is an important boon because it lets you get more out of killing low level monsters, especially if paired with slow or the Fighter's innate XP bonus.
Dodge - For 25 piety you get 10% dodge chance and 10 gold. Easy to pick up and the random dodges provide random piety gain. This allows you to gain piety in plant infested levels by dodging hits from plants with non-lethal and non-corrosive attacks. It also synergizes with his dodge based piety spike. For advanced users, it can greatly benefit heavy resistance stackers like the monk if they can grab it and safely convert out of the religion.
Poison - Gives a point of poison strike for every helping. The first one costs 15 gold, and each subsequent helping increases the piety cost by 10. More on this once it stabilizes, as it's been changed recently.
Reflexes - For 35 piety and a healing potion provides you with one Quicksilver and one Reflex potion. With proper setup the Quicksilver potion can get you a certain dodge, and the Reflex potion lets you hit something twice in one attack. When used correctly together they allow for two simultaneous free hits on a monster, explained under "Piety Spike".
What's TT good for?
TT worship allows you to get a decent amount of piety for killing defenseless monsters. If done early it makes a nice setup for joining another deity with a comfortable 25 piety, a guaranteed GETINDARE glyph, a few utility boons, some gold and the map cleared of monsters which you wouldn't want to have around later anyway (Magic users in case of Mystera, Undead in case of Drac..). For a more dedicated worshiper, his potions based "piety spike" also provides the best generic solution to bosses with high damage but low hit points. If you run into such a boss and TT is on the board, he is often the best, if not the only, solution to this kind of challenge, and can be joined at a later point for this specific purpose.
The most experienced users can attest to the power of TT when used as the key element in outrageous combinations which can lead to boss kills at lvl 1. On a less outrageous note, the fact that he lets you turn gold directly into piety enables some of the most advanced resource management antics in the game.
Early Worship - without forward planning, with the only intention of preparing to join another deity, is straightforward. Join early, use Tribute and slow or poison monsters while you explore. Carefully kill a few higher level monsters with heavily the use of glyphs and prepared potions, then clean up low level monsters which you wouldn't want around later (or mop up as much as you want). Use the level-ups to help you kill even higher level monsters by refilling your health and mana, and pick a good moment to convert out into another religion. It's moderately easy if done at lvl 2, but doable at lvl 1, especially with dedicated spellcasters.
Early worship with intention of using TT to win requires some forward planning. Using WHEYTWUT, WONAFYT and APHEELSIK to gain piety while you explore is mandatory, and slow will prepare lvl 1 monsters to be harvested later for added benefits. Collecting the piety sparkles around other alters will also help, and investing some gold into tribute will get you closer to your first boon. Preping or finding items which provide you enough XP to level up at least once in order to "start" at lvl 2 is also an option (False Beard, Cracked Amulet of Yendor, Amulet of Yendor, even Poisoned Dagger). Using the Goblin conversion bonus for an early level up is a strong option as well. Playing a Fighter (easier to reach lvl 2) or an Assassin (starts with APHEELSIK) is beneficial to this approach, as is using dedicated spellcasters. Bloodmage in particular, with his innate benefits that come with killing low level monsters and ways to turn his health into damage without being hit back makes for a strong early TT worshiper.
If you are joining TT early you will be looking to kill specific monsters before you convert to someone else, such as getting rid of magic users if you plan on joining Mystera or getting rid of undead if you're planning to join Dracul. If you intend to convert, slowing everything you can is fine, but if you plan on using TT's potions to kill the boss, slowing monsters with first strike is not the best move.
Mid-run Worship - Provides you with an ease in early leveling with none of Tikki's dislikes affecting you, while leaving many low level monsters to be harvested later with more ease. The principles are the same, except there is much less pressure, and if you convert to his religion with extra piety or join him with extra gold picked up, you can grab Tikki's Edge more easily. The principles are the same, except exploration will already be done, as will the leveling. It is the strongest and easiest approach to worshipping TT.
This is also a good move if you simply want to mop up low-level monsters for specific benefits, like getting rid of curse, getting gold from Gloves of Midas, mana out of the blue bead, or get more bloodpools for your Bloodmage. Finding certain bonus subdungeons can also make joining TT a great move on any run. The ability to gain large amounts of piety out of a mostly explored map, makes TT a great "finishing move" deity, if you are meticulous about taking as few kills as possible to level up or explore.
Dedicated Worship - provides three specific benefits:
1) Tikki's edge - if focused provides more XP for "cleaning popcorn", and helps spellcasters level-up while fighting the boss. It also provides gold which helps buy cheap items for conversion, expensive items for use, potions from the alchemy shop or simply fuel a Crystal Ball. Just one level ot Tikki's Edge is enough, but some situations can make second helpings worthwhile. It is effective with Fighters and Assassins, but also works with regular spellcasters.
2) Poison - acquiring several levels of the Poison boon can help regen-fighting strategies greatly, and the first level can sometimes "pay for itself". It's one of the strongest game features to combine with the Monks, but also the one which is the most difficult to acquire for monks, due to their natural playstyle not meshing well with TT worship at all. The boon was recently reworked so the exact strategies still have to be determined.
3) Reflexes - Focusing all your efforts on gaining large amounts of piety with Tikki Tooki can lead to an overwhelming chain of free hits on a boss using the Quicksilver and Reflex potions. It is effective with any physical damage dealer, particularly Rogues and Berserkers, but can be made to work with most classes provided enough practice. It is also the best way of dealing with certain bosses, namely Bleaty.
Concentrated TT worship and channeling many resources into repeated uses of the Reflexes boon is TT's piety spike. It requires a moderate ammount of health potions, 35 piety per helping, and decent damage to work, but provides a string of free hits on the boss. That amount of concentrated damage is sometimes difficult to imagine until you try it, but it works spectacularly well against bosses with high health and low hit points like Aequitas, Bleaty and even Namtar.
It is doable with both early and late worship depending on the situation and experience of the player. It is also advisable to save popcorn with first strike (Goblins, Gorgons), to help setting up dodges with the Quicksilver potion. Hits you take move the dodge prediction counter, and monsters who are lower level than you generaly can't hit you unless they have first strike.
Stuff that makes it work better are damage items, the Dodge boon and Rogue's Dodging, and knockback. If you have a knockback attack, you will knock the enemy back twice when using a reflex potion, causing extra damage. Halflings have a distinct advantage in being able to convert for extra healing potions, because the number of potion sets that can be acquired is limited by the total amount of healing potions at your disposal. Subdungeons which provide healing potions can also help in this regard. Rogue's starting 20% Dodge coupled with the Dodge boon means setting up certified dodges will take less effort. Subdungeons which provide help with leveling, or a large batch of low level-monsters to harvest for piety and use to set up dodges make it work really good, as does any way to acquire knocback.
Fuel Health potions, Tikki Tooki piety, popcorn monsters with first strike. Gold to a degree, if you mean to use Tribute to gain more piety with TT.
Rewards Big damage strategies and race/class/item combinations.
Lets you ignore Your health in general, and your spellcasting except as supplemental source of damage, or leveling tool.
Default solution to "Glass Cannon" bosses, ones with magic protection in particular. Bosses with low hit points but problematic abilities like death gaze, mana burn, curse, weakening blow and such.
Pro Tip If you want to plan ahead, avoid slowing popcorn with first strike. You will need their weak hits to set up confirmed dodges.
Pro Tip II The approach meshes well with Death Protections, which TT severly punishes. If you wan't to offset this you can either start a boss fight by using up your death protections first, and then join TT, mop up popcorn for piety and tribute for more, or you can desecrate other altars for piety and indulgences. If you intend on killing a boss without getting hit at all (dodges from the potions, death protections, first strike), you can safely desecrate any altar which doesn't affect you damage. Binlor, Earthmother, and Dracul in particular, and very advanced users can even manage a GG desecration although it's not recommended. Mystera is a borderline viable choice, and Taurog and JJ are to be desecrated only in desperate situations.
Tips and Tricks
1) If you want earn a little bit more gold from a run you have already won, and want to experiment with TT a bit, you can worship him or convert into his religion after you've already killed the boss or bosses. You can then pick up Tikki's Edge and Dodging for gold, and mop up the remaining lower level monsters and desecrate the remaining altars (except the Glowing Guardian's one) to get one more Tikki's Edge. Turning your leftover health potions into Quicksilver and Reflex potions also increases the value of loot you take out of the dungeon, and can help you get familiar with them. Be careful not to rush and lose a run you already won!
2) Southern regions often provide plants which come with the level and that can mean quite a bit of TT piety for anyone, but Rogues in particular. If you don't fear curse, the plants in Cursed Oasis can work to your benefit as well, and filling the level with plants using Earthmother will often work to your benefit as well provided you can reach TT's altar to convert to him. Be careful about the slow on everything, though, it can be a double edged sword.
3) Since TT gives you piety every time you poison something, you can use APHEELSIK and Venom Blade to get some early piety with him.
4) Also, don't be afraid of one or two extra hits which would punish you if it would provide a large enough advantage.
Overall, Tikki Tooki is one of the best "last hour" deities, offering enormous amounts of piety for slaughtering defenseless monsters and superb boons which can improve your odds. He can also be used to set-up worship of another deity, or gain and manipulate gold. His piety spike is also the go-to solution to several bosses and PQI scenarios for several game veterans.