Avatar of Jarlsberg/Strategy

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This page describes strategies for the Avatar of Jarlsberg special challenge path.

Mr. Store Items

Very useful (HC)

Slightly useful (HC)

Very useful (SC)

Slightly useful (SC)

Moon Sign

This challenge path is a bit more flexible with its choice of moon sign:

  • The Wallaby (Knoll): Most paths gain the most benefits from a Knoll sign, and Jarlsberg is only a little different. While you won't use the mushroom field, free meatsmithing, or have as much use for the free meatcar, a 0-turn frilly skirt is still useful for The Infiltrationist and a meat maid, the detuned radio is available from the get-go, and you can complete the Untinker Quest in zero turns as well. The path's actual bonus, +20% spell damage, is marginal, but more useful than the +5 turns/day signs if you are comfortably making your target daycount.
  • The Blender (Gnomads): Especially useful for Normal (softcore) players, who can purchase a bus pass right away and equip the astral shirt, a hairshirt, or a Grimacite guayabera. This path also lets you skip the South of the Border items (saving a valuable clover), unlocks an additional +10% items from Powers of Observatiogn, and can help you eke out a little more initiative and ML via marzipan skulls (Hombre Muerto Caminando) and handsomeness potions (Mysteriously Handsome). Blender's +5 turns per day is also useful for hitting daycount targets.
  • The Opossum (Canadia): This sign may appeal to Hardcore players (who can't pull keepsake boxes) for the logging hatchet to speed up the level 9 quest a bit, and +5 turns per day from Opossum's effect is nothing to sneeze at. Otherwise, though, the path provides nothing of value; Jewelrymaking's yields are eclipsed by your chefstaffs.
  • Also worth mentioning is The Marmot, due to the exceptional usefulness of clovers in this path, but the lost Mysticality stat gains are difficult to recuperate.

Astral Consumables

Jarlsberg won't eat or drink anything he didn't make, even if they're astral. However, astral energy drinks were exempt from this and thus the only option, until they were retired.

Astral Gear

  • Avatars of Jarlsberg can't use their weapons to attack, so anything that improves Weapon Damage is largely useless.
  • astral pet sweater also has no use, since you can only use companions.
  • astral statuette improves your damage output considerably and provides extra adventures per day. Highly recommended if you don't have a Jarlsberg's pan.
  • astral ring is an all-around strong item, providing three important stats for AoJ. Recommended if you have trouble maintaining MP.
  • astral bracer reduces your MP usage per adventure, but it reduces your damage output due to how AoJ spells' damage cap scales with MP used. While not good for low-MP spells, it can be more useful for high-MP spells, in cases where you don't need to deal as much damage. However, this utility is largely overshadowed by the astral statuette.
  • If you have trouble maintaining HP, an astral shield may help with this issue. While your magical prowess is diminished, it gives extra HP, HP regen and damage reduction, making you near-invincible early game.
  • astral belt is probably the best choice for speed, once you have the skill points to handle combat with it.
  • astral mask is never a bad choice. You can always use more item drops.
  • astral shirt cannot be worn unless you learn Torso Awaregness in run, either from a Moxie sign or Melvign's quest. If you're doing this in softcore, you'd be better off pulling a cane-mail shirt (or similar) instead. Melvign's quest might be worth it in Hardcore, though the belt is probably better if you can handle the ML.

Skills

The following is an analysis of all of the skills available in Avatar of Jarlsberg. Some skills will be more desirable after you bank skill points.

Intrinsic

  • Curdle: Your most basic spell. Other than being the primary source of damage on first few levels, costing no MP and opening up half the basic boozes, there's not much to say.

The Path of Breakfast

  • Boil: A great early-game spell for AoJ. It's the first skill in the tree, so you can pick it up immediately after Curdle starts becoming weak. It is normally capped at 50 points of damage, so it may weaken without boosting your bonus spell damage multiplier. It is hot-aligned, which means another spell may be required for the Friars.
  • The Most Important Meal: An important skill for increasing adventure gains, providing 3-21 adventures per day. Once your food options open up as you bank skill points, you can use it more effectively to maximize adventure gains. It also gives a large number of substats, as much as 60 to 100+ Mysticality substats. Essential for speeding up runs.
  • Conjure Eggs: Eggs do a bit of everything. They're a building block in 4, 5, and 7 fullness foods. Staff of the Healthy Breakfast is also great for maintaining HP early game.
  • Egg Man: +50% item drops (+75% with Working Lunch). Probably the most useful of all the familiars. It is also Jarlsberg's second biggest item drop booster.
  • Conjure Dough: Allows you to summon dough, as well as the Staff of the Staff of Life, which gives good HP and MP regen, max HP and spell damage, as well as a Jiggle effect that restores your HP to full. Since Avatars of Jarlsberg lack a healing skill, this chefstaff is a strong, but limited source of healing.
  • Early Riser: You can conjure 1 extra food item per cast. Its importance increases as you gain Stomach/Liver capacity and need more consumables to fill them, particularly if you're planning to eat Omega Sundaes.
  • Fry: Once your 5-MP spell doesn't deal enough damage, Fry is an excellent mid-to-late game spell to use, dealing high elemental damage for a reasonable cost. It is also sleaze-aligned which makes it perfect for dealing with hippies in the level 12 quest.
  • Coffeesphere: Increases +Combat%. Lets your complete the Sonofa Beach sub-quest in reasonable time, and may save a few turns elsewhere. Good for optimizing speedruns, but not essential.

The Path of Lunch

  • Conjure Vegetables: The Staff of the Light Lunch is an early +init staff, making it the top choice for most of the early game. Vegetables are also used to make Das Sauerlagers. While they're only "decent" booze, they're superior to "crappy" mediocre lagers.
  • Radish Horse: Increases combat initiative. Probably the weakest of the 4 familiars, but may be useful in aiding survival.
  • Chop: 5 MP physical damage spell. It may be useful in place of Boil or Freeze if you're dealing with an elementally-aligned enemy. It is also required in a 4-fullness, 5-fullness, and 6-fullness food, and is needed to make Vodka Dogs.
  • Conjure Cheese: Cheese is required in 2 of the 3 7-fullness foods. Also needed for the Staff of the Standalone Cheese, which allows players to banish 5 monsters per day.
  • Slice: A high-level physical damage spell, a non-elemental counterpart to Fry. It also weakens monsters as a bonus. It's also required for two of the three 7-fullness foods.
  • Working Lunch: Boosts companion effects by 50%, equivalent to +25% item drops with the Egg Man or +10 ML with the Cream Puff.
  • Lunch Like a King: +5 Stomach Capacity. Extra stomach capacity is always a good thing, but investing points to obtain this skill won't give much returns unless you can make good foods. Hard to use effectively with low skill points, but is a powerful skill to have once your food options open up.
  • Oilsphere: Gives serious (+3 levels) resistance to all elements. Helpful in passing various elemental tests; a bit more is still required to make it to the Icy Peak without the eXtreme Cold-Weather Gear, or to investigate Room 237 in Twin Peak.

The Path of Dinner

  • Bake: Deals damage over time; damage increases with successive casts, and with your Hot resistance. Typically useless during most of the run, but can be used in tower killing.
  • Food Coma: Gives 10 free rests, and rests fully restore MP. With resting now removing Beaten Up, it's also good for weaker players who find themselves getting Beaten Up a few times. You shouldn't need this skill for MP restoration, as you have a great deal of MP restoring equipment. Speed players will want to skip this until they have absolutely everything else.
  • Conjure Potato: 4 of the 7 good quality drinks require you to be able to conjure potatoes. Also used in sublime stew, the first food goal for low-skill Avatars.
  • Hippotatomous: Gives +3 substats, like a (9 lb.) Volleyball-type familiar. A good companion to have in the early game. As an added bonus, it also blocks attacks occasionally.
  • Conjure Meat Product: Conjures meat, which you can use to craft the Staff of the All-Steak, which has a Jiggle effect that greatly increases item drops (5 times per day). Very useful if you're trying to get an important item to drop ASAP.
  • Never Late for Dinner: Gives 10 adventures per day, as well as +50% Combat Initiative. The bonus initiative almost guarantees you the first move, saving you HP and allowing you to handle large ML boosts. A fantastic skill overall.
  • Grill: The most expensive combat spell. While its steep MP cost can be a pain to maintain, it is good in situations where you need to deal a lot of damage, particularly against the bosses. Also used to cook sublime stew.
  • Gristlesphere: Increases ML. Gives as much ML as the Cream Puff without Working Lunch, but does not take up a companion slot. Largely a skill used for speed runs.

The Path of Dessert

  • Conjure Fruit: Fruits have minimal uses in foods (the only noteworthy food you can craft from it being the Omega Sundae), but they are used to make adequate rum, a component for half the higher-level boozes.
  • Best Served Cold: Gives +100% Spell Damage. A very strong damage booster, allowing you to take out even the toughest of monsters, plus you can get it early in the tree. Helpful, especially against bosses, but not essential. Speed players should skip it until they have most other skills.
  • Freeze: The cold-aligned counterpart to Boil, although it's a tier 2 skill in the path. It's slightly more useful than Boil as a combat skill since you can use it for the Friars and the lack of cold-aligned monsters in general. Freeze also does double damage to both sides of the Hippy/Frat war, making it virtually unstoppable when combined with Blend or Best Served Cold
  • Nightcap: Gives an additional 5 Liver capacity. While a strong skill to have, filling up on good boozes combined with Liver of Steel will be difficult without a surplus of ingredients and a high number of skill points.
  • Conjure Cream: Conjures cream, which is a component for Disappointed Russian and Omega Sundae, as well as the Consummate sour cream, one of two 1-fullness foods. It's also used for crafting the Staff of the Cream of the Cream, which has a jiggle effect similar to Transcendent Olfaction.
  • Blend: Stuns monsters for a few rounds. Combined with a high-MP spell, it makes most fights trivial.
  • Cream Puff: A companion that gives 20 ML. While it takes up a Companion slot, if you can handle the ML, it can speed up runs considerably, especially with Working Lunch.
  • Chocolatesphere: Boosts -Combat%. While -Combat% is great at speeding up runs, make sure you can create good foods/drinks before you pick this up.

Skill Progression

The most intriguing aspect of Avatar of Jarlsberg (for many of us) is the complexity of the skill trees. However, this complexity can be overwhelming at first, and the best choice is not always clear. A skill that looks really useful may turn out to be a poor choice if it does not lead to better food, as this cripples your turn generation.

Strategies that focus on a synergy of skills for producing good food as quickly as possible tend to produce dramatically faster runs than strategies that merely focus on "quality of life" skills. While this is true in all runs, the difference is really astonishing in Jarlsberg, because you can't just pull or farm better food by spending a few turns. Poor skill selection will trap you into a situation where you cannot improve your turn generation at all, adding several days to the run.

So, it is helpful to identify your overall skill goals, and plan a progression that will get you to those goals in a timely fashion. There are several good skill goals you can aim for (and many more bad choices, unfortunately). Some of them are interchangeable, and some of them have overlapping skill prerequisites that make them work well together.

Skill Progression Goals

  • The Most Important Meal: Gives 3x the stats, and (3x Fullness) extra turns, from the first food consumed each day. This means +18 or +21 turns per day, and possibly over 100 extra Mysticality stats, depending on the food.
  • Never Late for Dinner: Gives +10 turns per day, and gives +50% initiative, making it a critical survival skill.
  • sublime stew: The easiest awesome-or-better food you can make. This should be the staple of your diet for the first several runs. This requires 6 skills: Conjure Vegetables, Boil, Bake, Conjure Potato, Conjure Meat Product and Grill. Grill is the most powerful direct damage spell in the entire tree, and Meat Product is a prerequisite for Never Late for Dinner as well, so this goal plays well with others.
  • Chocolatesphere: A powerful combat rate modifier skill, which will easily save 100 or more turns over the course of a run. Getting here requires going through Conjure Fruit, Freeze, Conjure Cream and Cream Puff, so you get the +ML companion "for free" along the way. Conjure Cream is also a prerequisite for:
  • Blend: A powerful combat stunning skill, as well as a skill needed to make Chunky Marys, the most potent booze available in the path.
  • Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich: One of the EPIC foods. This requires 11 skills, 5 of which are the same skills required for sublime stew (all but Grill). This is a reachable late-game goal in some runs that begin with sublime stew.
  • Omega Sundae: Another EPIC food. This requires 11 skills, but very different ones than Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich. Since Blend is one of the skills needed here, this synergizes well with runs that are aiming for Blend and/or Chocolatesphere. The downside of Omega Sundae is that if you want to eat 2 of them, you need 4 Cream -- which means you also need either Early Riser or Jarlsberg's pan.
  • Egg Man: +50% items. Enough said. Well, almost: you also get Eggs along the way, which gets you a +10% item chefstaff. Synergizes well with Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich or Omega Sundae, as you only need to spend 1 extra point.
  • Lunch Like a King: +5 stomach lets you eat 2 awesome or EPIC foods instead of just 1. This is a very powerful turn generation skill.

Chefstaves

Avatars of Jarlsberg can wield chefstaves like a Pastamancer or Sauceror (albeit without any prerequisites). While they tend to be weaker than the best standard chefstaves in terms of pure spell damage boost, they come with other helpful effects and come with powerful Jiggle effects that can speed up a run considerably.

Chefstaves are grouped in two tiers: the no-requirement tier and the 50 Mysticality tier.

Tier 1 Chefstaves

  • Staff of the Healthy Breakfast (Egg): The most useful chefstaff of the tier overall. The Max HP bonus can help survive a blow from stronger monsters, and provides an always-useful item drop bonus. The Jiggle effect heals you while stunning monsters, effectively turning it into a 10-15 HP Regen per (combat) adventure. Very useful considering AoJ lacks a healing spell.
  • Staff of Fruit Salad (Fruit): Gives a +10 Moxie boost, which can come in handy early-game if you can use it to reach the Safe Adventuring threshold (and is otherwise equivalent to 10 points of damage reduction). The Jiggle effect is outclassed by Boil or Freeze in damage (i.e. useless).
  • Staff of the Light Lunch (Vegetable): Provides a Combat Initiative bonus, which you could take advantage of early game. If you're focusing on initiative, it could potentially save more HP than the Staff of the Healthy Breakfast. Its Jiggle effect is outdone by Freeze in damage (i.e. useless).
  • Staff of the Hearty Dinner (Potato): Provides a small Damage Reduction bonus, and the Jiggle effect weakens and stuns monsters. While not a bad effect, it's typically outdone by the Staff of the Healthy Breakfast.

Tier 2 Chefstaves

  • Staff of the Staff of Life (Dough): Provides massive convenience in a run, and a nice staff to have overall. It comes with a boost of Max HP and provides HP Regen, and with some Initiative you won't be desperate for healing any more. In addition, its Jiggle effect fully restores all HP and stuns monsters, which makes the Level 12 and 13 bosses very doable without Blend. While maintaining HP becomes a non-issue with this staff, it does not provide anything that actually speeds up a run.
  • Staff of the Standalone Cheese (Cheese): Provides a Combat Initiative boost, making it the de facto staff for Avatars who are focusing on +init. Its Jiggle effect banishes monsters. Banishment can speed up certain portions of a run greatly, but remember you can only banish 5 monsters per day. They stay banished until rollover, so banishing early can save you a Jiggle for tomorrow.
  • Staff of the All-Steak (Meat Product): Provides a decent Damage Reduction bonus, and has Jiggle effect that greatly boosts item drops (+300%) for one combat, up to 5 times per day. Very useful if you're looking for an important item to drop. This bonus is more than enough to guarantee 30% base drops, like the quest items in The F'c'le.
  • Staff of the Cream of the Cream (Cream): Provides a large Moxie boost, which can be used for Safe Adventuring in some areas, and damage reduction in the rest. It also has a Jiggle effect similar to Transcendent Olfaction (up to 5/day).

Companions

General Tips/Tricks

Combat

  • Jarlsberg truly embodies the traditional "glass cannon" wizard. Your HP and Moxie are low, and Jarlsberg's hat (which you want equipped as often as possible in Hardcore) provides little DA. As you advance through Avatar of Jarlsberg skill points, you'll be fighting in one of two ways:
  • Know your Elements. Exploiting elemental weaknesses will save you MP and possibly turns of Beaten Up.

Quests

Consumption

  • Maximize your yield by knowing your average adventure gains. Generally, you should focus on eating an EPIC/awesome food while avoiding consummate foods. This holds especially true if you have The Most Important Meal. To demonstrate, at 10 fullness:
Food combo Without TMIM With TMIM Math
Size 7 EPIC
size 3 consummate
39.5 60.5 (7 * 5) (+ (7 * 3)) + (3 * 1.5) = 35 (+ 21) + 4.5
Size 6 awesome
size 4 decent
32 50 (6 * 4) (+ (6 * 3)) + (4 * 2) = 24 (+ 18) + 8
Size 6 awesome
size 4 consummate
30 48 (6 * 4) (+ (6 * 3)) + (4 * 1.5) = 24 (+ 18) + 6
2x size 5 good 30 45 2(5 * 3) (+ (5 * 3)) = 2(15) (+ 15)

With Lunch Like a King, 2 EPIC foods yield the highest adventure gain, but for those who may lack that option, here's a list of food combinations by expected adventure gains:

Food combo Without TMIM With TMIM Math
2x size 7 EPIC
size 1 consummate
71 92 2(7 * 5) (+ (7 * 3)) + (1 * 1) = 2(35) (+ 21) + 1
Size 7 EPIC
size 6 awesome
size 2 consummate
62 83 (7 * 5) (+ (7 * 3)) + (6 * 4) + (2 * 1.5) = 35 (+ 21) + 24 + 3
Size 7 EPIC
size 5 good
size 3 consummate
54.5 75.5 (7 * 5) (+ (7 * 3)) + (5 * 3) + (3 * 1.5) = 35 (+ 21) + 15 + 4.5
Size 7 EPIC
2x size 4 decent
51 72 (7 * 5) (+ (7 * 3)) + 2(4 * 2) = 35 (+ 21) + 2(8)
2x size 6 awesome
size 3 consummate
52.5 70.5 2(6 * 4) (+ (6 * 3)) + (3 * 1.5) = 2(24) (+ 18) + 4.5
Size 6 awesome
size 5 good
size 4 decent
47 65 (6 * 4) (+ (6 * 3)) + (5 * 3) + (4 * 2) = 24 (+ 18) + 15 + 8
3x size 5 good 45 60 3(5 * 3) (+ (5 * 3)) = 3(15) (+ 15)

Quests

  • Ballroom song: Once you can survive combat in the Haunted Bedroom, it's a great idea to beeline for the Haunted Ballroom to set the noncombat song as soon as possible, or at least before you start the level 6 quest.
  • Level 7: It's highly desirable to postpone the Cyrpt zones until you've got the high-tier chefstaves (All-Steak for the evil eyes, Cheese or Cream for the dirty old lihcs, Cheese's initiative bonus for the modern zmobies). This may mean doing some early power leveling, as you won't hit the 50 Mysticality requirement until close to level 8. The makeshift skirt from power leveling helps with more +init, but it also has a frustrating Moxie requirement, which you may not hit for quite a while if you're not running much +ML.
  • Level 8: Lack of Unaccompanied Miner means you may save a lot of turns by clovering ores. Three clovers will guarantee a full set; however, this is a steep price. A common strategy is to clover one set as early as possible, and then zap a "bad" ore once a day, hoping to get the "good" ones. On the final day, spend an additional 0-2 clovers for however many you didn't successfully zap.
  • Level 9: Softcore Avatars should strongly consider pulling the smut orc keepsake boxes. If you chose a Little Canadia sign, you can cream-jiggle a fastener-dropping orc, and then equip the logging hatchet to boost lumber drops. Clovers will also speed up this zone, granting 3 fasteners + 3 lumber apiece. All spare clovers should be used here (after setting aside the ones you may need for ores, gum, banjo and/or blessed large box).

    Jarlsberg's pan gives enough +food% to search the pantry in Twin Peak. Never Late for Dinner gives enough +init to catch your double. Getting the stench resistance is tough in runs before Oilsphere; you can use can of black paint for half of it, and pray for other drops to get the rest.
  • Level 10: A mohawk wig (for the Top Floor of the castle) is a great yellow ray target. An amulet of extreme plot significance is also good, although some players prefer to olfact the Quiet Healer instead and pray for luck. The Staff of the All-Steak jiggle is not enough to guarantee either one.
  • Level 12: Yellow ray the Frat Warrior Fatigues (having yellow rayed the Filthy Hippy Disguise earlier). Once you have the skills, fight the war as a Frat, doing all side quests except The Themthar Hills and Defowl the Farm.
  • Level 13: Tower killing is limited primarily by the number of multi-round stunning items you've accumulated (oversized snowflake is a good tome summon when you've used all the unbearable lights you need). The Staff of the Staff of Life does work on the shadow.
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