Class selection strategy
In KoL, not all character classes are created equal. While a dedicated ascender will eventually play as all six classes, certain ones will almost always have advantages or disadvantages.
Early in their KoL careers, players will usually choose their class based on what skills they want to perm for their next ascension. When you've got enough skills under your belt, this is no longer a factor, and other things are taken into account.
This page is aimed at players who are selecting a class based on its ascension utility, and not its skills. If you're picking a class based on the skills you'd like to perm, check out Hardcore Skill Analysis. Remember that you can "bank" Karma by doing multiple runs of your favorite class, then do a single run of another class and buy several of its skills at once.
Each class has certain intrinsic bonuses granted by their mainstat or specific class; these bonuses are only available while you are currently a member of that class. In VERY rough order from most useful to least useful:
- Seal Clubber: Infernal Seals provide a non-trivial number of free stats, but Batter Up! is the real draw. Being able to banish one monster per zone (with proper Fury management) is incredibly powerful, especially in paths or situations where losing that monster's stats is a negligible penalty.
- Accordion Thief: AT enjoys a number of ascension-relevant advantages. Accordion Appreciation can double several relevant enchantments, especially on Shakespeare's Sister's Accordion; in Hardcore they are the only class that can access both ingredients for advanced sauce potions, which is especially useful for gaining more stats from scaling monsters; they can Pickpocket for more items; and they can get MMJ at level 9 if necessary.
- Disco Bandit: Disco Momentum can be challenging to afford, especially if you're going for the full three Momentum, but it directly results in extra items, stats, and Meat. Pickpocketing is also a valuable source of item drops, though it can be challenging to get the jump on monsters at extremely high levels of +ML. With no other considerations, the AT vs. DB decision may come down to the +item from Momentum vs. the potential +stats from advanced sauce potions (and personal preference, of course).
- Pastamancer: Pastamancers (and Saucerors) with Saucemaven gain a ridiculous number of adventures from reagent pastas and hi meins, making them a good turn generation class for both hardcore and softcore. The Spice Ghost is effectively a passive 10-20% item boost, which is very useful. MMJ makes life easier, too.
- Sauceror: A fully kitted-out Sauceror will have more MP than he or she knows what to do with, but unfortunately, the only ascension-relevant impacts of near-infinite MP are more Libram summons and a much easier time with tower killing and Inigo's. Soulsauce provides next to no turn-reduing bonuses, and more potions / longer potion duration generally don't either. The Saucemaven bonus that it shares with Pastamancer is still good, though. An excellent class for "lazy" runs.
- Turtle Tamer: Unfortunately, TTs have literally no turncount-relevant powers. Turtle Taming is almost entirely useless for high-end gameplay, and the various Blessings only help with combat.
The bonuses provided by each of the three guilds are very different. In rough order from most useful to least useful:
- Myst (P, S): Saucemaven grants a ridiculous number of bonus adventures to hi mein, which makes this guild ideal for very low daycount attempts. MMJ means a lot less fiddling with familiars to restore your MP in a pinch. Hardcore players usually won't be able to make any chefstaffs in-run, but the cost of unlocking this guild is very low, since you'll be in the necessary zone anyway.
- Moxie (DB, AT): It's all about Nash Crosby's Still. You probably won't use The Shadowy Store in a high-end ascension. Having to spend unnecessary turns (or free runaways) in The Sleazy Back Alley is a non-trivial cost, but the advent of dirty hobo gloves farming for the Hand in Glove has offset this somewhat.
- Muscle (SC, TT): The Malus of Forethought might get you some wads before you're otherwise able to get them, but that's about it. The store's only useful bonuses are the +Muscle from blood of the Wereseal for scaling monsters, and +30% init from the cheap wind-up clock (which is useful, but kind of expensive).
The two categories above are the most obvious differences between the classes, but not always the most impactful. In rough order from most impactful to least impactful:
- Hardcore Powerleveling: While Muscle classes get the best per-turn yields from their Spookyraven zone, it has the high overhead cost of unlocking it. In general, powerleveling returns from best to worst are Moxie > Myst > Muscle.
- Hardcore Equipment: The spangly sombrero, frequently obtained via faxing, is only relevant to Moxie classes.
- Equipment Requirements: In softcore, Muscle classes can equip +ML shirts the earliest, and Myst classes can equip +ML accessories the earliest. Only Moxie and Myst are needed to equip the Frat Warrior Fatigues, so Muscle classes may need to level both offstats.
- The Florist Friar: You spend the most turns in outdoor zones and the least in underground zones, ranking the Florist's +exp plants as Moxie > Muscle > Myst.
- Palindome synergy: The unskippable noncombat Sun at Noon, Tan Us only helps Moxie classes.
- Barrr synergy: That Explains All The Eyepatches is best for Moxie and Muscle classes (it can't be converted into a combat if you're a Myst class).
- Moxie classes had an edge when fighting scaling monsters before September 18, 2013, due to how stat gains from those monsters were calculated.
|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 - DD|
|Additional Paths:||DG - 2CRS - KoE - PotP - LKS - GG - Y,Robot - QT - WF|
|IotMs:||Tomes - Faxing - Copying - YR - Garden - Correspondent - Workshed - Tea party - Florist|