Slay the Spire is an insanely addictive deck building game with roguelike elements, one that will keep you glued to the screen for ages. And we’re here to help make that experience a bit more pleasant by sharing some Slay the Spire tips and tricks in our complete strategy guide.
The funny thing about this game is that when you look at it, you think that it’s nothing but a mobile game wrongly released on PC. That was my first thought and I almost didn’t buy it. But then I looked at all those Overwhelmingly Positive reviews on Steam and decided to give it a try. Best decision of the year so far!
Slay the Spire offers a ton of depth and insane complexity, you have variety, you have character, you have everything you could wish for from a game. And now you’re about to get better at it from checking out our Slay the Spire tips and tricks below!
Small decks can still bring happiness
(Say that with an Australian accent for extra fun points!)
Now, jokes aside, the truth is that especially early on, smaller decks are better than larger ones. Smaller decks are more predictable and easier to score on the synergy points. A larger deck, especially if you’re not particularly knowledgeable about the cards you’re using, will most likely have no synergy and it will be a lot weaker.
Also remember that you are not actually forced to pick up cards or any type of loot from the one shown after a battle: you can simply move on without getting anything. This is important to know, as you can still control the deck that you have and make sure that the synergies stand and you have cards you know how to use and how to put to work.
Finally, especially early on, if you don’t have a winning deck in mind, just add cards that make sense, focusing on the offensive aspect and instant benefits. In the end, you will indeed need linking cards and more advanced tactics, but first go for instant gratification until you get the hang of things.
How many cards should you aim for? I personally believe that a deck of around 20 cards at the end is perfect, while working with up to 25 is also doable, although I wouldn’t recommend going that far. To make things more complicated, though, this changes during the Ascensions, but take everything one step at a time.
Relics are great (but which are the best?)
Well, truth be said now, not all relics are great – some are actually pretty useless. The nice thing about deck building games, though, is that there’s not really a “great relic to rule them all”. Instead, things depend a lot on the type of game you’re playing and the deck you’re building.
Either way, one thing you should focus on is fighting those Elites to grab their relics. Elite battles will always have a relic and unless you lose all or most of your health fighting them, it’s worth going for.
Finally, remember that you can also get Relics without fighting Elites! You can do so from the Merchant. You don’t have a lot of options and they are insanely expensive, but have that in mind in case you want to (and afford to) boost your stats a bit. Most relics are great, so at least check out the offer!
Back to the question of this subtitle – which are the best relics in Slay the Spire?
Apart from those that directly help your current deck setup (which vary from build to build), I would like to mention a few really important ones that are generally useful no matter what. Probably the best – even though with limited effect – is the Juzu Bracelet. If you get it, you will have no monsters in ? rooms, which makes the whole game a lot easier (and makes choosing a path easier too).
If you’re just starting and you are defeated a lot, the Lizard’s Tail is also great since it revives you with 50% HP. This is extremely useful when it comes to running longer than you might otherwise.
Finally, a great card (but useful only if you have enough attack cards in your deck) is the Shuriken: this gives you a really useful +1 strength if you play 3 attack cards in a turn.
Apart from these, all the other cards come with benefits but also penalties so it’s up to you to decide which penalty is best for your custom deck type. I personally recommend focusing on the ones that give you energy since that’s always useful.
What are the best cards in Slay the Spire?
Again, this is something to write tens of pages about, since it all depends on the path you want to choose, how well you know the game and how do you want to play it.
As I have originally mentioned, if you’re just starting the game and trying to get the hangs of it, I think it would be easier for you to stick with smaller decks and go for cards with an instant effect. These will deal damage and make their presence felt as soon as you start playing as opposed to the ones that require other cards to work well. The latter are actually better for the long term run and late game stages, but first you need to get as far as possible, so focus on the instant effect cards.
Great overall cards to mention here are Whirlwind (awesome card since it deals damage to all enemies), Rampage, but also Shrug it Off (extra defense and 1 card draw), or Warcry which gives you the option to draw 2 cards and decide which card from your hand you’ll draw next turn.
Of course, when deciding upon a deck you’re building, the class you’re playing matters a lot. The top cards that I would recommend based on who you play are Limit Break for the Ironclad, Echo Form for the Defect and Noxious Fumes for the Silent. These go a bit more on the advanced planning stage, though.
Try to focus on these types of cards, based on your character, in order to get the most out of what makes them unique:
Ironclad: Strength, Block and Exhaust cards (Flame Barrier, Shockwave, Demon Form, Shrug it Off, Offering, Battle Trance)
Silent: Poison, Shivs and Discard cards (Footwork, Leg Sweep, After Image, Cloak and Dagger, Adrenaline, Backstab)
The Defect: Orbs, Power and 0-Cost cards (Glacier, Defragment, Echo Form, Cold Snap, Chill, FTL, Seek)
Choose your path wisely
Choosing your path is also extremely important. We’ve already decided that paths with Elites are great to follow – but up to a point. That point is that if you can’t beat the Elites, it’s not really worth going that way.
Also, depending on the relics you have, you might want to go more (or less) after ? – these are truly amazing, but again it all depends on the deck that you have (or relics, since we know already that the Juzu Bracelet makes monsters disappear).
However, when things are not obvious, I would recommend going the safe way: Elites in Act 1 to prepare yourself for the later stages and afterwards the path with more campfires. Campfires are awesome because you get to restore some much-needed health, but also get the chance to upgrade your cards.
Remember: you can only upgrade your cards once! There are exceptions to this rule, but unless it’s noted, have this important thing in mind.
Your health fills up after boss fights
Another thing that you should know is that you health refills after a successful boss fight. So give it your best and don’t play to conserve health when you reach a boss stage!
These would be all the strategies that we have to share with fellow Slay the Spire players. Do you have additional tips to add to the list? Don’t shy away and let us know by commenting below!