Top 20 Slay the Spire Tips and Strategies
Slay the Spire is a great roguelike game from Mega Crit Games, with a lot of details, factors, and features to consider while playing through. Moreover, the game can bring a lot of difficulties, especially to an unprepared player, or who tries these genres of the game for the first time. If you want to learn more about the game, you can check out our Slay the Spire review.
It is important to note that Slay the Spire is a game in which every detail is important. If you have difficulties with the passing of this game – it is absolutely normal. I have gone through almost all the levels of Ascension and I can definitely say that even the smallest details can affect the outcome.
After playing over 80 hours of the game, I decided to put together a list of the most important Slay the Spire tips and created this guide to help you get through the game as any character, improve and speed up your walkthrough, and complete the Ascension levels.
- Check the Map and Plan the Path
- Fight the Elite Enemies
- Combine Different Cards and Synergies
- Do Not Add Extra Cards to the Deck
- Don’t Get Hung Up on Certain Synergies
- Know When to Attack and When to Defend
- Learn How to Balance a Deck
- Learn and Know Your Enemies
- Don’t Forget the Artifacts You Received
- Use Potions in Time
- Spend Your Gold Wisely
- Assess and Manage Risks
- Explore Your Character
- Learn from the Mistakes
- Don’t Keep the Fight Too Long
- Check the Final Boss in Advance
- Enemies Attack in Strict Order
- Attack Enemies Who Reinforce Themselves
- Observe the Priority of Killing Enemies
- Cards with Certain Conditions
1. Check the Map and Plan the Path
One of the most important skills in Slay The Spire is planning, without which you won’t get far. This includes planning your path on the map ahead of time. Look at the location of campfires on the map, stores, elite enemies, and question marks. One good option at the start will be to think through the route across the rooms with campfires to restore health and improve cards. Whenever possible, you should go into the stores.
Moreover, don’t be afraid to experiment. During the passage you can get certain artifacts that can make you prioritize rooms with elite enemies or with question marks. This is also worth considering when planning your route.
2. Fight the Elite Enemies
During your first playthrough of Slay The Spire, you’ll probably think you should avoid battles with elite enemies, but that’s a mistake. It took me a couple dozen hours of playing to realize this.
One of the best strategies of Slay the Spire is to balance your route and enter elite enemies in the first act, because in these rooms you will be rewarded with good artifacts, lots of gold, and strong cards. Without this, you’ll have a harder time on the next, more difficult floors.
Also, by fighting against strong opponents you will learn how to better manage your resources and think through your combat tactics. However, don’t go after elite enemies too often in one go, because you won’t always be able to recover your health.
3. Combine Different Cards and Synergies
Slay the Spire has very interesting deck-building mechanics, as you can create many of the most incredible combinations. Sometimes some cards may seem useless or even negative to you, although in fact, they are not. Often these cards will synergize well with certain artifacts or other cards.
It’s important to spend a few runs testing different mechanics to see not only the obvious combinations, but also more complex and strong builds.
4. Do Not Add Extra Cards to the Deck
After every battle you are asked to add cards to your deck, and sometimes that decision can lead to negative consequences. One common mistake players make is when they are given a choice of 3 irrelevant cards, and they choose one of them and add it to the deck.
This can lead to having 35-40 cards in your deck at the end, and during a boss battle, one of the key cards will be one of the last cards, and you simply won’t have time to get it before your opponent beats you. In short, the more cards you have in your hand, the less likely you are to get the right card the next turn.
Don’t be afraid to skip adding cards to your deck if none of the cards fit your combination. Also, use the card removal service so that strong and needed cards come into your hand more often. Often a 10-card deck can be many times stronger than a 40-card deck.
5. Don't Get Hung Up on Certain Synergies
One of the most enjoyable things about Slay the Spire is the creation of strong synergies and combos. However, many, even experienced players, make one mistake. During the first act, you can get some cards from one combo, get hung up on it, and miss out on other strong cards, which can lead to bad results.
It’s much better to take most of the strong cards at the start to effectively defeat bosses and elite enemies. As you progress, you can finish one of the synergies by the end of the game and remove the other cards. That way, you’ll have a great, strong deck by the final boss. Don’t be afraid to experiment and don’t skip any strong cards.
6. Know When to Attack and When to Defend
Defending in combat is important in Slay the Spire, but not always the right thing to do. You need to choose the right moment to defend, depending on the cards in your hand, on the cards you can get, and on the actions of the opponent. In combat, it is very important to roughly estimate the future actions of the opponent, the damage from his attacks, and from this to build your defense and attack.
There are situations when you can defend and get 5-10 damage, but after a few rounds you are missing a couple of attack points to finish the enemy, and he will do 15-20 damage points to you. Because of this, sometimes it’s important to calculate a couple of moves and miss a few damage points now so that you can finish off the enemy faster in the future and not take 3 times as much damage.
Moreover, there are some enemies that you can’t slow down at all, as they build up their power with the duration of the battle. In such cases, the best solution is often to attack.
7. Learn How to Balance a Deck
It often happens that you can’t build a full combination of cards, or you don’t find strong synergies. In such cases, you need to be careful when adding new cards.
Before adding new cards, look at what you’re missing in your deck: Defense or Attack cards. The main emphasis should be on defense, as missing an extra 10-15 damage can be critical. Moreover, if you don’t need to heal yourself, you can improve your cards.
Also, pay special attention to cards with damage on several characters at once, as they can be extremely useful when killing several squishy enemies or minions that total a lot of damage.
Furthermore, pay attention to your character enhancement or enemy weakening cards. These can also become critical, especially during boss battles.
8. Learn and Know Your Enemies
As I mentioned earlier, it is very important to know all the characteristics and attacks of your enemies, so you can roughly calculate the course of the battle.
As you pass the Slay the Spire, try to remember which enemies you encounter and when, so you’ll know what to expect. Moreover, try to remember the mechanics of enemy behavior and combat strategy, so that you can allocate your resources and play the right cards as effectively as possible.
Moreover, different enemies require different combat strategies from you. Try different combat tactics to find the most effective ones.
9. Don't Forget the Artifacts You Received
There are many useful artifacts in Slay the Spire. Some of them give your hero passive bonuses, in which case the artifact can be taken and forgotten. But some relics give you strong bonuses in certain rooms or when the necessary conditions are met.
Very often I forgot about it, and found myself in situations where my own artifacts hurt me and interfere with the passage. For this reason, before the battle and when planning the route, I advise you to look at the available artifacts once again, so that you can think about your strategy as properly as possible.
10. Use Potions in Time
The same situation is often repeated with potions as with artifacts (described above). I also sometimes encounter this when I get stuck on cards and completely forget about the presence of potions.
It is very important to remember about them and learn how to use them in time, because even one, insignificant enhancement can turn the course of the battle and affect the result of the whole race.
Moreover, you can buy potions in the store, which is not insignificant, and sometimes it’s even necessary. There are situations where it is much more profitable to buy a couple of potions than some artifact or card.
Moreover, over time I realized that it’s not always a good idea to save your potions for the boss fight. Sometimes it can be a big mistake because you might not even get to the boss. Think about how you can use your potions most effectively to maximize the effect and minimize health loss.
11. Spend Your Gold Wisely
Another very important resource in Slay the Spire is gold. As you go through the game you will receive a limited amount of it, which can be spent in the store, or in special rooms. Here also need to approach the decision wisely and think carefully before making a choice.
For example, sometimes you might be given a choice of bad artifacts in a store, and instead of buying the best of the worst, it makes sense to buy a couple of cards (or nothing at all) and hold on to the rest until the next store. There might be a few strong artifacts there at once.
Important. Do not leave the gold at the very end, because at the end of the game it just disappears. If you understand that you won’t meet any more stores – it’s better to spend all the gold as effectively as possible.
12. Assess and Manage Risks
Another important skill for the player in Slay the Spire is quality risk management. This is influenced by many factors: your resources, the amount of health, the cards, the stage of the game.
Often you are faced with a choice: improve the card and go on with incomplete health, or fully recover, but do not reinforce the character. You can also choose: to go to an elite enemy, get more damage and artifact, or it is better to bypass him and keep your health. Such situations will occur all the time, and you need to decide how to act correctly.
In random rooms there are different situations where you can take a risk and get a special artifact with a certain probability, or just leave it and go further.
At the start and in the middle of the game (first and second act) try to maximize your strength and health to maximize your character by the end of the game.
13. Explore Your Character
There are currently 4 characters in Slay the Spire, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. You have to understand how best to realize your character’s strengths and how to counterbalance their weaknesses as effectively as possible.
Each of the characters is effective against certain enemies, and at the same time, it can be difficult for them to fight the others. You should always consider this and learn to feel for your character.
Go through each character’s cards, look for possible combinations, and test new strategies.
14. Learn from the Mistakes
Slay the Spire is a difficult game in which you can’t always win. Moreover, on higher difficulty you will have more defeats than victories. Always try to analyze your last run and understand why you failed.
It can have a variety of reasons. You were relying on luck, but didn’t get the right card at the last moment. Spent half the game looking for cards for synergy, but didn’t get them. You made a few mistakes, took a lot of damage, and couldn’t finish the boss. Or you got a lot of curses in your deck, and just couldn’t fight properly.
Analyze defeats, learn from mistakes, and improve your game. At one time it helped me a lot and allowed me to improve my game.
15. Don't Keep the Fight Too Long
In Slay the Spire, it’s still important to finish battles as soon as possible, otherwise you can get into trouble. Most bosses and elite enemies get stronger and stronger during combat, or they weaken you. In this case, the longer the battle lasts, the harder it will be for you to win.
There are also examples of enemies that take a few turns to prepare, after which they will do enormous damage to you. Or bandits who run away after 3-4 hits, stealing your gold. You have to keep such factors in mind during the battle.
It’s important to mention that there are situations where you can drag out the fight and get more gold or health (depending on your cards).
16. Check the Final Boss in Advance
A simple but not obvious thing. At least it was for me for a long time. By starting a new act you can already see which bosses you will have to fight at the end. This is also worth taking into account when planning your strategy, because it can affect the choice of your cards, the purchase of artifacts or potions.
Sometimes you realize that your character can easily handle the boss, so in these situations it’s better not to replenish health, and to strengthen. Or go to another elite enemy and get more artifacts.
17. Enemies Attack in Strict Order
In Slay the Spire, all enemies (if there are several at once) always attack in the same order, starting from the leftmost and ending with the rightmost.
Thanks to this you can already understand which character and how much protection you will get, who will inflict the debuff first, and how it will affect the further attacks of the other enemies in the round. This is worth taking into account when planning your actions.
18. Attack Enemies Who Reinforce Themselves
Many enemies strengthen themselves over time during combat. If there is only one enemy, nothing changes in your strategy. If there’s more than one, it’s important to prioritize them correctly.
The main catch is that monsters that reinforce themselves one turn will attack you the next turn with increased damage. If you start attacking an enemy in a turn when it’s boosting itself, you’re more likely to finish it off the next turn, and prevent it from dealing a lot of damage to you the next turn.
That’s why most of the time it’s worth attacking monsters that we can kill. The urge to kill is always the best defense in Slay the Spire. Enemies that are going to damage you (and especially enemies that are going to kill you) have maximum priority. But boosted enemies will only become more dangerous in subsequent turns.
Because of this, sometimes it’s better to skip a few points of damage from a monster that’s attacking you this turn with a weak attack to deal damage to a second one, which will strengthen itself and deal you a lot more damage the next turn.
19. Observe the Priority of Killing Enemies
In the time I’ve been playing, I’ve learned that the most effective strategy for prioritizing enemy kills in Slay the Spire is as follows:
- Attack monsters that can be killed quickly
- Monsters with special effects (escape, burst)
- Monsters that boost themselves this turn
- Monsters that have a little attack but lots of health
- Monsters that cause debuffs.
By following this order, you can often make the most of the round and take the least amount of damage.
However, it’s important to remember that situations are different, and sometimes you need to deviate from this order to increase your chances of winning.
20. Cards with Certain Conditions
Slay the Spire has special cards that can be strengthened during combat by fulfilling special conditions (written on the card). Often such cards weaken enemies. They can also give you extra energy points and deal extra damage.
Take them only if you’re sure you can fulfill the conditions in battle. Otherwise, such cards are not very effective and they will not be of much use.
Such cards will glow orange around themselves if the condition is met. That means it’s safe to play.