Slay the Spire Beginner's Guide to Defect - Basics and Builds
Alright, you’ve managed to absorb the basics of getting a win in Slay the Spire, got your feet wet and messed around with The Ironclad and The Silent, and now you’re ready for more. Enter The Defect, the class I personally consider the most fun in the game. For one, I feel it’s quite easy to make fun builds with them by simply playing around on your own. Because of its unique faux resources, your skills in juggling several elements of your deck will be tested and, ultimately, be taken to new heights. Finally, just simply building Frost orbs and watching mobs bash their heads to death is just pure satisfaction.
In this guide, we’ll give you a quick overview of the class along with top cards to look out for and which are the best builds to try out.
Fun Incarnate – The Defect Basics
In terms of HP, The Defect is sandwiched between their other two counterparts at 75 HP. Personally, I think they could have had lower health than the Silent and still do fine. The Defect can build effective defense-based decks that make them almost invincible. This is because of its unique Orb mechanic which allows them to sort of automating certain aspects of their gameplan. After channeling these orbs, at the end of your turn, Frost orbs will grant you Block, Lightning will strike targets at random and Dark increases your damage output. There’s also Plasma which grants Energy at the start of your next turn. From there on, some cards can Evoke orbs for an empowered version of their effect and there’s also Focus which is another resource that empowers Orb passive effects.
It may sound like a lot to take in but once you’ve played a few runs with The Defect you’ll surely get how it all works. The main trap you can fall into here is trying to build a deck that uses all of these Orbs. By focusing on one or two Orbs in your build, you’ll see how the rest of The Defect’s cards can fit in with the mechanic.
As with our other two class guides, I’d like to emphasize that Slay the Spire isn’t the type of game where you must seek out the best cards or it’s a wash. You’ll have runs where you’ll be getting terrible options a lot but the key skill you need to develop is adaptability. The Defect has a good variety of potential deck archetypes you can make but some are more viable than others.
11 Block for 1 energy is quite massive and the requirement is a non-issue in most cases. Every Defect deck should have a few of these.
Having an Energy booster is always good for most Defect decks. The Void card may sound bad on paper but your orbs will typically make up for the reduced energy.
It’s 10 Block for 0 Energy that you’ll always get at the start of combat. You can’t go wrong by picking up a few of these.
A great alternative or complement to TURBO. Use it for the same purposes or to even give yourself an added boost to finish off foes.
One of the best card draws in the game. You’ll want at least 2 of these in any deck.
All For One
Unless you don’t have any 0-cost cards (which you should!), this card is phenomenal. It means you can play your free cards, strike for 10 damage and play them again.
The Defect has plenty of other good cards that can fit into most archetypes. I’m just highlighting the very best that should help with your decision making early on. Now that we’ve got our Defect fundamentals down, let’s take a look at what we’re here for.
Most Consistent – Frost Block
Many will debate that other archetypes, such as a 0-cost one, are more consistent and they wouldn’t be wrong. However, taking cards that help you build up a wall of frost means, you can go through enemies unscathed more often. Your aim with this build is to make sure your orbs are granting you over 20 Blocks per turn. Upgraded Defragment and Capacitor should help keep those orbs built up fast.
All Face – 0-Cost
You might have noticed the Defect has a sub-mechanic through a series of cards with Claw in their name. These, along with other 0-cost cards like FTL, All for One as the core, and some energy-boosting make for an insanely fun deck that can cycle damage multiple times in a single turn. Make sure you’re keeping it thin, though, because added bloat can make this build inconsistent.
Credit: Yannis Vatis
Yannis is a veteran gamer with over 25 years of experience across the spectrum of genres. He enjoys spending time with his family, livestreaming on Twitch and occasionally dishing out unsolicited dad advice.