Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X


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Blades Runner

Posts: 536

Joined: Friday, 1st April 2016, 18:15

Post Monday, 22nd August 2016, 19:00

Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X

I'm an okay player. I've won a MiBe, I've figured out the Golden [s]Rune[/s] Rule of DCSS: If you think you'll be beated, you should have retreated - a hundred turns ago! (rap-off incoming)

I'm fairly good at keeping casters alive through Lair, but I've never gotten off the ground with a caster. After Lair, they start to lose their power. What caster background is good after Lair, and paired with what strategy? (i.e., hybridize? [I'm guessing not.] Which god? [Probably Veh.] Etc.)

Also, what's a not-super-easy-mode-but-still-easy background for a fighter-type? (Say, not Mi and not Be. I'm guessing HOXX.)
twelwe wrote:It's like Blink, but you end up drowning.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 22nd August 2016, 19:05

Re: Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X

I like GhMo of Makhleb as fighter. Immunity to poison, claws, healing with chunks, easy choice with body armour since you don't want spells for a long time, divine healing (you can even summon hostile Neqoxec and be fine because you cannot mutate).

It is optimal to hybridize with casters, meaning get some weapon to min delay, equip ring mail/MDA and start training Armour (Dodging and Fighting should be at decent level even before hybridization).

Cocytus Succeeder

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Joined: Saturday, 2nd February 2013, 09:52

Post Monday, 22nd August 2016, 19:16

Re: Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X

The binary thinking of "caster" vs "fighter" is not useful in Crawl. Every character should use a weapon and every non-Trog character should use some spells (eventually). Playing a "pure caster" is a challenge, and it is extremely annoying as well.

jwoodward48ss wrote: hybridize? [I'm guessing not.]

Yes. Plus, the strongest mage backgrounds (FE and IE) both are best played as "hybrids".

jwoodward48ss wrote:Which god? [Probably Veh.]

Veh is not considered to be a strong god.

jwoodward48ss wrote:Also, what's a not-super-easy-mode-but-still-easy background for a fighter-type? (Say, not Mi and not Be. I'm guessing HOXX.)

Try troll, either as a hunter, or with a book of good utility spells. For gods, try Fedhas or Makhleb or Ru or Oka.

Blades Runner

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Post Monday, 22nd August 2016, 19:21

Re: Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X

Damnit, wiki! You said Veh was good!

So how about a caster background. I want to win with one of those. How about a GrEE, worshipping...

who?
twelwe wrote:It's like Blink, but you end up drowning.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Joined: Friday, 8th February 2013, 12:00

Post Monday, 22nd August 2016, 19:24

Re: Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X

Veh is the best god for pure caster indeed. It's just pure caster being inferior to hybrid.

I would pick Veh for GrEE.

Cocytus Succeeder

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Post Monday, 22nd August 2016, 19:35

Re: Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X

I would say that these are way better:
Fedhas (mushroom allies at * piety, they kick ass)
Kiku (necro spells for undead allies, plus at full piety a pain weapon which is amazing)
Makhleb (demon allies, free healing).

Ru is also very strong, but sacrificing can be tricky.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 22nd August 2016, 19:57

Re: Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X

I don't like Fedhas for casters. They don't have problems with early game, they have problems in Lair branches, where mushrooms don't help much. Also having permanent stationary allies makes retreating to restore MP a bad idea.

Kiku is fine but it means you must train Necromancy which is boring when you were going to play as elementalist.

I don't see synergy with Makhleb, I am usually close to 100% HP when I start running away as pure caster. Also allies get in the way of my spells (people were complaining about Hep in a similar way though its ancestor has recall, respects orders and is always friendly).

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Monday, 22nd August 2016, 20:20

Re: Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X

Try a Deep elf fire elementalist or conjurer and get vehumet.

For fire elementalist a good post lair spell set includes fireball and delayed fireball. Two fballs in 1 turn can help you 1v1 a lot of stuff you encounter. Bolt of magma for fire resistant threats. Add rings of fire or staff of fire if you find them - max spellpower on many on book of fire's spells is crazy.

For conjurer - get either ice cloud or spellforged servitor to carry you through post lair. OoD if you can find. Air and ice mage can also transition into this if you find the right books in time. EE is pretty much good to go post lair too if you can find iron shot. Requires more kiting and positioning than the other elemental starts though.

Dont neglect evocations - staff of channeling is a great item, so are any rods or elemental evokers to frontload a lot of damage in each fight.

I dunno about "hybridize" but dont neglect training fighting and dodging. The exp investment to get each up to like 10 is not huge. You eventually want to wear one of the lighter dragon armors. And have at least one weapon skill so youre not helpless at 0 mp.

Tomb Titivator

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Post Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 07:57

Re: Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X

MfIE and GrEE are my favorite elementalist starts. For the former, you'll have an easy time picking up polearms and poking things over your summoned ice beasts after you've softened them up with icicles. For the latter, you'll basically spam stone arrow (later magma or iron shot) at single targets and use petrify/LRD to shred groups. You can even LRD yourself if you get surrounded! (This is usually a BAD IDEA, but it's fun.) You'll generally want to be training defensive skills around the time you're in Lair -- and I'm counting a weapon as a "defensive" skill for these characters because its main function is to protect your MP from being used against popcorn so it's available to blast big threats and finish fights.

I like Veh for either of these because it gives simple and effective boosts that you don't have to think too much about (you can safely ignore most spell gifts). But my MfIE wins are with Dith and Ash, and these are probably stronger choices overall.
Wins (Does not include my GrEE^Veh 15-runer...stupid experimental branch)

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 08:58

Re: Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X

If you're looking for easy book combos, stay away from DE. The fragility is quite a big drawback. Basically, pick an otherwise strong race with decent aptitude in the book you want, like: GrCj, HOFE, MfIE,DD/GrEE, DD/DsNe. Note that for some books there isn't a great easy species / aptitude combo. These are also OK: HE/HaAE, MfVM, Mf/HuSu.
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Blades Runner

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Post Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 11:45

Re: Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X

The best species for generic book backgrounds is Dr. Good hp and reasonable AC throughout the game without armor penalties. [edit: Best for generic book backgrounds with the intention of following a "caster" game plan.]

If you really want to win book combos, especially middling-to-bad ones, you gotta stop thinking that backgrounds come with a conduct or natural strategy. They don't. If you just want a win, take a god that's going to carry you through the game. The best choices here, in my opinion, are Fedhas, of course, Yredelemnul, Hepliaklqana, and Nemelex. These gods will make the player character irrelevant for a huge chunk of a 3 rune game. You just have to understand some basic ally tactics and with Nemelex you have to have a general idea of what the cards do. Once you're riding the wave of god ability goodness, take stock of what items you've got and build your guy around that. Maybe it comes out a "caster," maybe not.

Now if you're having a hard time winning the good book combos (the MfIE, GrFE type stuff people are talking about) with the usual Vehumet level 9 silliness, then I suggest you fall back to the more generic picture above. Vehumet is a god for funsies, not for winsies. I would kind of caution you on Makhleb too. This is a god that develops slowly compared to the ones mentioned above, though it's generally a fine choice.

Another fine option is going Kiku. This makes good use of your starting stats and gives you a clear path to a spellcasting heavy game most of the time. It also works fine with a more melee-with-allies kind of style. Once you can do Kiku and Fed/Yred/Hep/Nem styles you'll be able to win book combos pretty comfortably and reliably.

For the really bad book combos, it's pretty much the same story except you also consider Trog.
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Halls Hopper

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Joined: Tuesday, 16th September 2014, 15:52

Post Wednesday, 24th August 2016, 22:19

Re: Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X

Seconding goodcoolguy's suggestion. I've had a lot of fun with DrCj where I wait to lvl 7 before deciding into which elemental schools to branch.

Cocytus Succeeder

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Post Thursday, 25th August 2016, 14:16

Re: Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X

The thing with casters is that it's easy to mis-spend your EXP 'teching' the wrong skill (or the right skill to the wrong level). You'll splat quite a few characters while you figure this out. Unlike with melee styles where you're reasonably assured you'll get good-enough weapons to 'tech to', being a caster requires some flexibility if RNG happens to have shafted you in books... or altars. For example, if my starting book has Conjure Flames in it, I'll be happy to pick up a bow off my first Centaur kill and use that to 'poke' big things to death while they watch the fire in a corridor.

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stoneychips

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Thursday, 25th August 2016, 15:18

Re: Good backgrounds, strategy for Type X

I'd recommend looking at a few morgues of very good players to see how the train and what the memorise.

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