Yellow ray strategy

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What are good aftercore targets these days?

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Introduction

Named for the He-Boulder familiar's disintegration ray, which marked the introduction of this mechanic, yellow rays (YR) destroy the current enemy and force all of its non-conditional items to drop. (It is important to note that conditional drops (like The F'c'le items) can still drop following a yellow ray, but with the usual odds.)

All YRs give many turns of the Everything Looks Yellow effect, which prevents you from using any yellow ray until it wears off. Everything Looks Yellow goes away at rollover, and spending enough adventures will remove it like any other debuff, but it cannot be removed by A Relaxing Hot Tub or SGEEAs.

Sources of yellow rays include:

Similar disintegration actions

The following actions cause all non-conditional items to drop, but do not inflict Everything Looks Yellow.

Strategy

Planning out your run's YRs in advance can save you a lot of hassle and heartache later on. If you have the resources to generate two YRs per day, one plan is to YR something at the start of each day and at the end of each day, letting rollover clear Everything Looks Yellow for you. Depending on your path, it may be difficult to generate 150 turns on day 1, so be wary.

If you haven't planned a YR "route", ask yourself this question before each YR: "Am I going to hit any YR targets in the next 150 turns that are more valuable than this one?"

Most Effective

Disintegrating these monsters will usually provide the most bang for your YR buck. Monsters are very roughly listed in the order you'd encounter them during a run.

Monster Purpose Notes
beanbat sonar-in-a-biscuit, enchanted bean Better than YRing in Guano Junction because you a the bean as well. Often used following a Guano Junction clover.
Knob Goblin Harem Girl Knob Goblin Harem Girl Disguise If you're not taking the KGE route.
cowskeleton rusted-out shootin' iron For non-Mysticality classes, grants a club that gives +non-combat%. Very useful as a mainhanded item throughout most of the game, and has a small meat boost, which can never hurt.
banshee librarian killing jar Gives +15% exploration for the Desert/Oasis part of the level 11 quest.
hippies Filthy Hippy Disguise For drinks and makes it easier to get an outfit for the war. If you intend to farm it without a YR, wait until level 9 if possible.
mountain man 2 each of asbestos ore, chrome ore, linoleum ore For level 8. A good target that lets you use wishes and yellow rays to save clovers and headaches.
Burly Sidekick Mohawk wig For use in the Top Floor to complete the level 10 quest.
Quiet Healer amulet of extreme plot significance For use in the Castle Basement to continue in the level 10 quest. You probably won't be able to YR both the Healer and the Sidekick on the same day, so consider sniffing the Healer instead (since she also drops SGEEAs), or do the Airship over two days to get two YRs.
Blackberry bush blackberry Makes blackberry galoshes in the non-combat. Saves a couple of turns if you have nothing better to YR.
War Frat or War Hippy or War Frat 151st Infantryman Frat Warrior Fatigues or War Hippy Fatigues For starting the war. If you're doing the Nuns trick, you will need both of these outfits. The 151st Infantryman is accessible through Numberology, accessible on day 1 if you have the tools.
filthworms hatchling gland, drone gland, royal gland Can also be forced with Pickpocketing (especially peppermint crooks and "hugpocketing").

Honorable Mentions

Might not save as many turns as the monsters above, but still worth a mention.

Monster Purpose Notes
blur drum machine For the Desert/Oasis part of the level 11 quest. Wormriding is not always required, and 234% item drop is often achievable by An Oasis.
swarm of scarab beatles mojo filter If your turngen strategy involves two astral energy drinks on one day, or otherwise needs 16 spleen for some reason.
Bob Racecar/Racecar Bob stunt nuts For level 11. Listed as an honorable mention because 234% item drop is often achievable by The Palindome.

Aftercore

This page is tailored for ascension, but forcing all of a monster's item to drop is useful outside of ascension as well. Note that some items held by tempting aftercore targets, like the giant sandworm (spice melange) or the scary pirate, are conditional, and thus will not be forced by a yellow ray.

Monster Purpose Notes
Mer-kin researcher Mer-kin darkbook Drops an untradeable skill-granting item that provides one of the words for the Mer-kin dreadscroll, as well as two more word-providing items.

Note: As an underwater target, these drops can only be forced with pulled yellow taffy.
unholy diver rusty broken diving helmet, rusty porthole, rusty rivet All relatively low-rate drops. Over half the items necessary to construct a rusty diving helmet.

Note: As an underwater target, these drops can only be forced with pulled yellow taffy.

Notes

  • If you just need to kill a tough non-boss monster and don't necessarily need its drops, consider an insta-kill effect (such as Handsome Devil), or a large plus damage effect (such as Song of Sauce or Pisces in the Skyces from tobiko marble soda) to avoid Everything Looks Yellow.
  • The pulled yellow taffy is believed to operate differently from other YR sources, because it can force some item drops that other YR sources do not force.
    • There is an unproven theory that the pulled yellow taffy acts as an infinitely large +item modifier instead of a traditional YR. This needs more spading.
    • For certain drops from certain monsters, if a traditional YR does not work on them, the taffy still might. This can be achieved by copying the monster with either an Obtuse Angel or Reanimated Reanimator, starting the countdown, then adventuring underwater when the copy window is active and using the taffy when the wandering copy shows up.
    • Conditional Drops with unsatisfied conditions will still not drop, even for taffy.
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