Slay the Spire Beginners Guide to Ironclad - Basics and Builds
So, you’ve picked up Slay the Spire, played around a bit, saw how fun it was and now you want a win. You’ve probably read that The Ironclad is the best class for beginners to achieve Victory. As we’ve said in our guide to getting your first win, it’s not the class that matters as it all depends on what you enjoy playing. If it’s big attacks and high durability that you crave, then The Ironclad is for you.
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.
Strong and Durable – The Ironclad
When playing The Ironclad in Slay the Spire, you’ll notice that a lot of cards interact with the Strength stat. Although all classes in the game can benefit from it, The Ironclad can base entire builds around building high Strength. It’s, therefore, not a bad idea to hold onto consumables and relics that add to your Strength.
The Ironclad’s starting relic is Burning Blood which heals you for 6 HP at the end of combat. It’s important to factor this into your math because it’s like having extra health. Bearing this in mind, you can play a riskier game compared to the other classes. Managing your HP while factoring in this effect will also give you more opportunities to upgrade at Rest nodes.
At this point, 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 Ironclad is perfect for working on this due to the class’s versatility. This also, however, means that not many cards will work in multiple builds.
If you see this card early on, take it and aim to go for the Body Slam build. Even if you can’t go in that direction, Barricade will help you survive the high damage that later bosses deal.
Whether you’re building a high Strength deck or not, this card is insane. An instant doubling of your damage potential can help you take out problematic enemies faster and even finish off combat sooner. Don’t skip this card.
Without question, this is an Ironclad card that’ll fit pretty much any deck. I’ll go as far as to say that it can even take a terrible deck and make it decent. As you can imagine, it’s crazy when you also have Limit Break.
Shrug It Off
8 Block AND card draw for just 1 Energy? Yes, please! The value this card offers is unquestionable, especially after you upgrade it to 11 Block.
Same as above. 9 Damage plus a card for a single point of Energy is nothing to scoff at. It’s debatable if this would fit in a Body Slam build but for most offense and card draw-based decks, it’s a near must.
The granddaddy of AOE damage, Whirlwind in my opinion is one of the best cards in Slay the Spire. Having at least one of them even in a non-damage based deck can help you manage adds and clean out-group fights.
Now that we’ve got our Ironclad fundamentals down, let’s take a look at what we’re here for: the builds.
Most Consistent – Barricade + Body Slam
This is arguably the most consistent build in the entire game. Its main aim is to build up large amounts of Block and then unleash it all as damage with Body Slam. As you can guess, having a lot of Blocks means you can survive bigger hits. The other upside is that you have more leeway to develop your decision making in Slay the Spire, which is what makes this a great build for beginners. If you can pick up an Entrench or two, then you’re golden.
High Risk – Infinite Dropkick
I always like to shoot for this deck if I get a Dropkick early on as it can be a lot of fun. Your goal is to end up with a thin deck that enables you to build up Vulnerable on enemies and continuously draw Dropkicks until their dead. It’s a bit of a risky deck, however, as it doesn’t leave much room for defense so you might end up getting obliterated by Act 2 and 3 bosses. Pulling it off, however, feels very satisfying. In Shops, you should prioritize card removal as your basic attack card will be the death of you.
Kill Them With Fire – Fiend Fire + Card Draw
This is the deck most Slay the Spire players like to share highlights from on social media and for good reason. Your win condition is to stack up Strength, draw a big hand and then watch your enemies burn to cinders by unleashing Fiend Fire. Players using this deck are known to develop a permanent evil smirk on their face, just a disclaimer.
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.