Actually Ed the Undying/Strategy

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This page describes strategies for the Actually Ed the Undying challenge path.

Mr. Store Items

These are the relevant available choices:

  • Folder Holder (SC): Configurable. Enchantments like the HP regeneration may not work for Ed, but the MP regen and bonus Damage Reduction can be valuable.
  • Jarlsberg's pan (SC): Although this item was made for Avatars of Jarlsberg, it happens to help Ed out since he's also a spellcaster. Everything about the pan except extra food conjuration benefits Ed well. Due to Ed's low metabolic capacity, he can turn food/booze he can barely fit into his gullet into Cosmic Calories for powerful +resist, +item, and +com or -com potions.
  • Pantsgiving (SC): The 5 daily banishes are the main benefit, but it also gives +item, elemental resistance, extra turn generation, a few stats, and an elemental damage combat skill. Extremely handy.
  • Sneaky Pete's leather jacket (SC): Only useful if you ascend in a Gnome sign so you can buy Torso Awaregness. You can pop the collar for +ML and +init.
  • Thor's Pliers (SC): Gives stats and MP regeneration, and lets you perform physical attacks. Low priority.

Astral Consumables

Despite the warnings at The Bureau of Reincarnation, the astral pilsners and astral hot dogs are the viable options. As always, the astral pilsners give superior turngen to pretty much anything accessible in the game, and are the obvious choice for an ascension faster than 3 days, as only one astral hot dog can be consumed per day. The astral hot dogs help with gaining stats, and free up liver space for drinks from the Speakeasy or the the Conspiracy Island Canteen.

Ed gets mummified beef haunches which are much better than the astral energy drinks. The only benefit of the energy drinks is that they might save you a few Ka coins early in the run. But this only matters if you consume an energy drink early in the run, which reduces its turn generation, and leaves you with 2 points of unused Spleen. (You could buy 2 mummified figs to fill those 2 points, but that costs you 10 Ka coins -- not exactly a good trade-off.) Just pick one of the other options and stick to haunches.

Astral Gear

For low-skill runs:

  • The astral ring improves Ed's spellcasting power and grants enough MP regen to get you through the early game. With the Staff of Ed equipped, Fist of the Mummy alone can get you through most of the run until the last third or so of the quests.
  • The astral shield increases Ed's durability significantly, allowing Ed to whittle down his enemy over a few fights.
  • As usual, the astral mask is viable for its item drop and Moxie bonuses.

For high-skill runs, you probably need the astral belt for the +ML. Ed has very few +ML sources (just the aggravation device, Blessing of Serqet, Florist Friar plants, and his crown, plus drops like the badge of authority, serpentine sword + snake shield), so you'll need every source you can get.

Moon Sign

Ed can't use Smithsness, gains little benefit from Innabox, and doesn't need a bitchin' meatcar. So for once, the main benefits of Knoll signs are completely moot. It does still save a few turns when you need to retrieve the Untinker's screwdriver and get a frilly skirt for infiltrating the frat orc house. The bonus adventures from The Opossum and The Blender add up to the same amount whichever you pick, so choosing between those two is a matter of whether you want access to Little Canadia or The Gnomish Gnomads' Camp.

Skills

In each of the three "trees", there are 7 skills. The last 3 skills in each tree are powerful utility skills (+ML, -combat, +item, +servant level, Rave Steal-analogue, Yellow Ray, +meat, banish, Olfaction lite), while the first 4 assist with other areas.

The Invocation tree contains buffs of various kinds, culminating with +ML, -combat and +item buffs. Speed-wise, of the early skills, Prayer of Seshat gives +3 Myst stats per combat, and Wisdom of Thoth gives +50% Myst buff which may speed power leveling against scaling monsters. Power of Heka allows you to hit much harder than otherwise possible, while Hide of Sobek aids survival.

The Evocation tree contains mostly direct-damage combat spells, but culminates in the +servant level buff, Rave Steal-analogue and Yellow Ray. Though lower priority than other skills, the stronger Evocation spells are necessary for battling tougher monsters, or when the Love Bugs start to lose effectiveness at the end of the day.

The Curse tree grants various types of skills to weaken monsters, culminating with the +meat buff, and the banishing and Olfaction skills. The second skill is a multi-round stun, but it doesn't last very long and is probably not worth 2 skill points if you aren't going for the final skills in this tree. You can skip this tree in your early runs.

You get 8 skill points in your first run, at levels 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11. That's enough for one full tree + one more skill. You may choose either of the first two trees, and take the top skill from the other tree, and do well enough. Spreading points across all 3 trees is not recommended until you have more starting points.

Select your servants to compensate for missing skills. For example, if you do not get Lash of the Cobra from the second tree, you can use a Belly-Dancer to substitute (and talisman of Renenutets are also helpful for the task of encouraging stubborn item drops).

Body Upgrades

Ed starts with an extra-small spleen and inability to eat or drink, therefore the first several Ka coins should be used to fix these issues. Upgrades that help Ed become self-sufficient or indirectly save turns are also valuable.

Upgrading Spleen before buying a Stomach/Liver is more cost-efficient until the third Spleen upgrade, but the sooner you can get your Stomach/Liver, the more turngen resources are available to you. The more Spleen you buy, the more Ka coins you'll have to farm to fill it up.

The Replacement Liver should be taken before the Replacement Stomach, because it allows you to nightcap.

An early Elemental Wards upgrade lets you forego trying to farm a bum cheek for the Bat Hole quest, though it too can be put off if using Hide of Sobek. Later on, further Elemental Wards upgrades can be used for other resistance tests like The Haunted Kitchen, A-boo Peak, and Twin Peak.

Because Ed is very fragile early, Upgraded Legs are a viable upgrade even before your Stomach/Liver because it prevents monsters from killing you 3 times in a row and being penalized for continuing, not to mention it's useful for modern zmobie hunting and it's an easy way to pass the Initiative test in Twin Peak.

Servants

Every 3 levels, Ed can release a Servant for use. Servants can gain experience and levels like a regular familiar. They don't benefit from +familiar experience or +weight buffs, but Ed has one skill to boost their effective level (Purr of the Feline), and you can eventually start ascensions with "imbue points" that let you level up your servants for free. The Crown of Ed the Undying will double the speed at which servants gain experience.

  • Priest gives you 1 extra Ka coin per fight (except against enemies with no souls) starting at level 14. This is the most desirable early-game bonus, once you have the starting skill points and imbue points to pull it off. The rest of its abilities seem far less relevant for speed ascending.
  • Cat gives +item (starting at level 7), and delevels monsters (starting at level 14). At level 21, it gives you a passive +item skill. You can use this as your main familiar, as +item is almost always useful, and the deleveling allows physical combat. Put the Cat away if you want to undie during a fight -- unless you bought Bone Spikes and are worried the enemy will kill itself before it "kills" you. Hitting round limit does send you to the Underworld, so spamming the dictionary is all it'll take in this case. The deleveling can be a huge boon when hunting for Gremlin tools.
  • Belly-Dancer gives massive MP regeneration (every round of combat) starting at level 7, and pseudo-pickpockets enemies starting at level 14. If you don't learn Lash of the Cobra, you want this, at least for the filthworms and the warehouse clerks/guards. Her pickpocket has a daily limit, so only use her in strategically chosen combats after you've leveled her up.
  • Scribe gives +stats (presumably like a volleyball?). May be useful if you don't have good power-leveling choices. Spell crit is nice but as swingy as anything to do with crits ever is, and bonus spell damage sounds good but will probably never be needed with Ed's powerful Evocations. Low-skill runs skipping 6/7 of the Evocations tree might find it useful, though. However, at higher skill counts, imbuing the Scribe 5 times and learning Gift of the Scribe gives a huge amount of Mysticality substats over the course of the run.
  • Maid gives +meat, which is only relevant if you are going to do the nuns/brigands side quest. (You will need much more +meat than what the Maid gives to break even on that side quest, so you may be better off skipping it until you can add on other +meat sources.)
  • Bodyguard blocks attacks, which is pretty much only relevant if you really need to avoid getting one-shotted, and is redundant with a sufficiently high-level Maid anyhow. It eventually learns to attack enemies, another function duplicated by the Maid.
  • Assassin attacks enemies, which is rarely helpful. It later learns to delevel (which the Belly Dancer and Cat can also do) and stagger (which the Bodyguard can do faster if you really need it, and the Maid can do with the same amount of servant experience and it has better other benefits). It and the Bodyguard are both about as good as pure combat familiar-likes can get, which is to say, not very.

General strategy

Never go to The Underworld from the gate in your pyramid. Purposefully lose a fight to get there. Then use whichever services you require.

Quests

  • While veterans usually hold off doing the Typical Tavern Quest until late as possible, remember that it's not necessary to wait in this run since you don't even have to open up the Bottom of the Pyramid in this run. This also means that the only reason to hunt drunken rat kings is for PvP.
  • It should be noted that for the Pirates Quest, reviving lets you use The Big Book of Pirate Insults again, allowing you to finish the quest faster than usual. As long as you can both use the book then deal damage before losing all your HP, you can triple the rate of insult acquisition.
  • Similarly, you can use the rock band flyers and jam band flyers again after reviving, speeding up the Mysterious Island Arena sidequest.
  • Reviving allows you to get cursed multiple times from pygmy shaman in the Hidden Temple side quest. This means being able to get Thrice-Cursed by a single shaman, and then potentially banish it in order to prevent further turns of the debuff.
  • A-boo Peak is a pain, because if The Horror... reduces you to 0 HP and you haven't bought any bandages, you're forced to waste an adventure taking the portal to the Underworld. Buy bandages before you buff up. Even if you just buy 3 of the 1-ka bandages, you can spend a turn advancing some other quest and intentionally get beaten up to gain the rest of your HP.
  • Sonofa Beach has the same problem; if you're beaten up by Zerg Rush, you'll need to heal before you can return to hunting lobsterfrogmen. In this case, the 1-ka bandages are definitely the best choice, since you only need the smallest amount of healing to let you continue the quest. However, unlike A-boo Peak where the noncombat is forced, multiple bandages may need to be kept in order to prevent getting hit by consecutive zerg rushes.
  • Lash of the Cobra will speed up the acquisition of filthworm glands and warehouse inventory pages and warehouse map pages in the Epilogue quest (4 of each combined with the total 8 combats allow you to progress through the quest).

Ka coin farming

Zones with a high concentration of Dudes, Hippies, Hobos or Pirates allow farming much more Ka than typical zones. In order of difficulty/accessibility:

  • The Sleazy Back Alley has 4 monsters, 2 of which drop 2 Ka, and 2 of which drop 1 Ka. It can be survived easily. It does have a few one-time unskippable noncombats.
  • Camp Logging Camp is 100% 2-Ka Dudes, but has some unskippable noncombats. If you ascend under a Canadian sign, this zone can be useful since it's fairly easy to survive in.
  • The Hippy Camp is 100% 2-Ka Hippies, and is 100% combat prior to level 9. You have to sink 9 turns unlocking the Island to get here, and you have to be able to survive, but since you have to spend the 9 turns at the Shore eventually, you might as well put the two together.
  • All of the pirate zones are 100% 2-Ka Pirates. The Cove, Barrr and F'c'le all have unskippable noncombats. Unlike the other zones listed above, the pirate zones are ascension-relevant. They also have far stronger opponents than the zones listed above, so be prepared.
  • The Secret Government Laboratory, accessible to players who've purchased and used an airplane charter: Conspiracy Island, has 4 monsters, 3 of which are 2-Ka Dudes, and one of which is a 1-Ka Beast. The only noncombats in the zone are the introductory one and one that occurs after 40 turns. The monsters are very tough, but since they have 0 initiative they are simple to defeat even at very low levels. With Storm of the Scarab or Roar of the Lion they are very easy to defeat, even with bonus 150 Attack and Defense from the Omega Device.
  • Pirates of the Garbage Barges, available to players who've use an airplane charter: Dinseylandfill, is stocked entirely by 150-ML pirates who never win initiative. This makes it a decent alternative to the Laboratory if you need Ka (or the perfume-soaked bandana) more than substats, or if Conspiracy Island is outside your budget. Do not activate the flashy pirate in the maintenance tunnels, since it gives 0 Ka due to being a construct. Fortunately, unlocking the option takes long enough that you'll probably have already finished your business at the Barges, so don't bother.

The early-ascension-relevant zones in The Mysterious Island of Mystery are populated exclusively by 2-Ka Hippies and Pirates, making them great farming zones. Therefore, tackle the Pirates Quest as soon as possible. The Filthy Hippy Disguise is much less useful when you have no access to Advanced Cocktailcrafting, but getting it early means you won't spend turns at the noncombats.

The Hidden Temple should be avoided if you need to do some early-level powerleveling because there are no monsters that drop Ka coins. Fortunately, The Haunted Gallery is a lot better in this regard, since only one monster out of 3 (or 5, if you want to fight the Knights) doesn't drop Ka coins.

Using an ice house before starting your ascension can improve Ka farming in several zones by removing a monster with lower Ka drops.

Ascension Strategy
Rankings: HC Skills - HC Familiars - HC IotMs
General: Class selection - Familiar usage - Semi-rares - Clovers
Paths: BHY - Fist - AoB - BI - ZS - AoJ - BIG! - KOLHS - CA2 - AoSP - SS - HR - Picky - Ed - Random - AoWoL - Source - NA - GN - LtA - L.A.R. - PF - G-Lover
IotMs: Tomes - Faxing - Copying - YR - Garden - Correspondent - Workshed - Tea party - Florist