Slay the Spire Beginner's Guide to Getting Your First Victory
Slay the Spire is one of the indie scene’s crowning achievements. As a game, it takes the randomness and replayability of roguelikes and combines them with the strategic gameplay of a deckbuilding card game. This genius combination turned out to be a recipe for a challenging yet addictive title that has gotten many hooked since its release. Challenging is definitely a word that describes Slay the Spire to a T. Especially if you’re a beginner to deck-builders, getting your first victory in this title can be a daunting task.
In this guide, we outline some of the general tips and skills you need to as a beginner seeking out their first victory.
First Things First
We’re not going to sugarcoat this first point; you’re very likely not going to beat the game on your first run. In fact, you’re going to lose quite regularly until you get to grips with Slay the Spire. Don’t feel bad. One of the aspects that make this a rewarding title is the learning curve. Remember, that you’re dealing with a game that puts random on top of random and adds a sprinkling of even more random for good measure. What you need to be making sure of is that you’re taking stock of everything as you go. Which cards worked well, what bosses do, which Elites seem to be the peskiest…noting things like these down in your mind is what will push you forward towards getting your first W.
Plan Your Route
New players overlook the fact that the map can actually be seen in its entirety right off the bat. You can very clearly see where each route takes you. There are a few things to pay attention to here. For starters, an ideal route will have at least a couple of Rest nodes (without counting the final one). You’ll also want to avoid chaining Question Marks as they could lead to very bad situations if you’re unlucky. It’s also important to remember that Elites guarantee Relic drops but can also end a run if you’re HP is low. Naturally, you’ll want to have some Chest and Shop nodes to pick up some goodies.
Bigger Isn’t Better
It isn’t immediately obvious but you can actually forego taking a card reward in Slay the Spire. This might sound counterintuitive but think about it. The larger your deck is, the less likely you are to get key cards when you need them. There’s no real rule of thumb when it comes to deck size. Ideally, having around 30 cards should give you enough rotations to keep your strategy going. Outside of not taking every single card reward, you’ll also want to use the Shop’s removal service to take out basic attack cards as quickly as possible.
Take It Real Slow
This one’s for the card game newbie because it’s a common mistake among the uninitiated. Contrary to the classic anime Yugioh’s teachings, the “heart of the cards” is a fickle mistress. She’ll rip your heart out with bad draws the moment you decide to get complacent. This is why in Slay the Spire it’s important to play slow. You might think that unleashing all of your damage may be the best way to guarantee a kill in the next turn, but have you considered the odds of drawing the cards you need? Sometimes you may also miss the fact that you have lethal damage and play defense when you could have ended things. No matter the case, taking a step back and evaluating the situation can mean the difference between winning and losing.
Be A Relic Hoarder
The importance of Relics in Slay the Spire can’t be overstated. They’re items you gather along the way that can amplify your gameplan to whole new levels. From enhancing your damage potential to giving you additional energy reserves, these little trinkets are a vital part of getting a victory. So, don’t skip out on reasonable opportunities at picking some up. Remember what we said about Elites dropping Relics? That means you shouldn’t avoid them. A lot of Question mark nodes and Chests may contain Relics as well. It’s also never bad to save up gold to buy a Relic or two from the shop but they can be pricey.
If The Class Fits
New players often wonder which of Slay the Spire’s three classes is the best for beginners. Honestly, there is no straightforward answer to that. The Silent, for instance, is considered a hard class to play but it was the first one I cleared the game with. On the contrary, I found Ironclad to be the hardest to take to victory. And it only took me three runs before I cleared with The Defect. It all very much depends on your playstyle and what you enjoy doing in the game. Naturally, you’ll want to know which cards work the best so check out our individual guides for each of Slay the Spire’s three base classes.
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.