Combat Style

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Basic Combat Strategy

The damage enemies deal to you increases with the difference between their attack and your Moxie (your Muscle stat is used instead if it’s and have a shield equiqued while having the TT skill Hero of the Half-Shell). You will always dodge if the difference is 10 or more in your favour, and the monsters will always hit if have an advantage of 9 or more. They have a 6% to crit you, which is basic attack that is guaranteed to hit, and a 6% chance to fumble, which is a guaranteed to miss.

Your attack damage increases with the difference between the monster’s defence and your muscle (for barehanded/melee attacks) or your Moxie (for ranged attacks). If the difference is 5 or more in your favour you will always hit, and if it’s 6 or more in the monster’s favour you will always miss. You have a 9% chance (can be increased) to crit the monster, which guaranteed to hit and does double damage. You also have a 1/22 chance of fumbling (can be decreased) which deals no damage to the monster and deal damage to you ranging between 1 and 10% of your combined power of you weapons.

You can also damage enemies with spells, which are guaranteed to hit. Their damage increases with your Mysticality and +bonus Spell damage up to their damage cap (some high-level spells have none), and damage can be increased beyond this only by +%bonus spell damage. Spells have a 9% to crit (can be increased), which doubles the base damage, the additional damage from mysticality, and the damage cap, but does not double bonus spell damage.

In general, Muscle classes use melee attacks, moxie character use ranged attacks and mysticality characters use spells.

Your chance to get the jump on the monster increases with your unbuffed mainstat and your +Combat Initiative, and decreases with monster attack, monster initiative and +Monster Level.

Offensive Strategies

The aim is to get the jump on monsters and to kill them in one hit before they can damage you.

  • Seal Clubbers with Smacks, Turtle Tamers with -butt skills and mysticality classes with spells have access to guaranteed hits.
  • Bonus spell or weapon damage helps to ensure a kill
  • Combat Initiative is important, as characters with low moxie will take a lot of damage from monster hits
  • Make sure you do not increase ML to the point where you start taking damage, as losing a fight more than negates any of the stat bonuses ML provides
  • Using MP to use a higher level skill (e.g. Lunging Thrust-Smack) is usually worth it, as healing damage taken often costs more HP

Defensive Strategies

  • Moxie characters will dodge attacks reliably and muscle classes with Hero of the Half-shell with a shield will only take 1 damage from blocking attacks with their shield. Mysticality classes must get the jump on and then continually stun/stagger monsters in order not to take possibly fatal damage
  • Healing items/skills or HP regeneration is necessary as you are guaranteed to take damage while chipping away at your opponent. + Max HP| is helpful to ensure you do not die during tough fights
  • Deleveling monsters both decreases the damage you take and increases the damage you deal. Weapons with delevel-on hit effects (such as the giant safety pin, shooting morning star , curdflinger, and Duskwalker fangs) are especially helpful as cheap sources of deleveling.
  • If a fight is going badly, you can use items that heal (homeopathy, red pixel potions, scented massage oil) or delevel (Junk-Bond, handfuls of crayon shavings)
  • Passive damage from items or equipment is more helpful, as it can deal damage over multiple turns.
  • You automatically lose a fight if it goes on for more than 30 turns, which can easily happen if you are only dealing glancing blows to the monster due to insufficient muscle or moxie.

In general, defensive strategies are used by moxie classes, because moxie reduces incoming damage, and turtle tamers, thanks to their tough shields, while offensive strategies are used by almost everyone else. However, certain monsters force a particular strategy: Gremlins force a defensive strategy and monsters with a high chance to block skills (Bonerdagon, Naughty Sorceress) or deal damage depending on your max hp (Wall of meat) are best deal with using offensive strategies.

Stat buffing

Classes tend to have good buffing skills available at higher levels, and buffing items available at their guild. Setting your Monster Aggravation Device to certain levels can drop helpful items, and your classes’ epic weapon usually has enough +mainstat to handle monsters if you are not running +ML. Before facing a boss, you can usually buff yourself with enough non-quest item drops from the monsters you’ve faced to win. If you really need huge +stat, semi rares at the The Mysterious Island of Mystery can help, taking a lot of some pills followed by Soft green echo eyedrop antidote is a cheap way of doing it.

Sources of Stats Buffs

Advanced Saucecrafting

Players with Advanced Saucecrafting can cook sauce potions using scrumptious reagents. The skill itself allows you to summon reagents 3 times per day, and more can be farmed by fighting Knob Goblin Very Mad Scientists in the Cobb's Knob Laboratories. Note that cooking potions takes an adventure unless you have a chef in the box, Inigo’s, or some other source of free crafting.

  1. Lemon: Philter of phorce (muscle +100%)
  2. Grapefruit: Ointment of the occult (mysticality +100%)
  3. Olive: Serum of sarcasm (moxie + 100%)
  4. Tomato: Tomato juice of powerful power (all stats +50%)

Equalizers are potions that make your base offstats equal to your mainstat for the time that they are active. They are quite helpful defensively, but are usually more difficult to craft than other sauce potions.

  1. Lime: Oil of stability (equalizes all stats to muscle)
  2. Cherry: Oil of expertise (equalizes all stats to mysticality)
  3. Jumbo olive: Oil of slipperiness (equalizes all stats to moxie)

Buffs from Stores

Buffs from skills:

Abusing the Elements

Elemental monsters take double damage from two other elements and only 1 at a time from their own. Stench Damage damage is helpful for demons and ghosts, Cold Damage damage for hippies and frat boys. Having +20 of any element except sleaze helps in the Tavern Cellar noncombats. As ghosts are completely immune to physical damage, you need to hurt them with elements beside spooky. The skill Bend Hell will help meet the +100 elemental damage threshold to get second place at the registration desk.

Reusable combat items

The beehive staggers in its first use, so it is a free 24-30 physical damage in any fight. If you have ambidextrous funkslinging, the electric boning knife is helpful for its 8-10 passive damage. The only other reusable combat items that doesn’t come from a class dungeon and isn’t an IOTM are the tin snips (can be used multiple times per fight) and the Gnomitronic Hyperspatial Demodulizer (can only be used once per fight, gives stat boost if you kill a monster with it).

Special Combat Styles


With no skills or equipment, fighting barehanded is a pure disadvantage; not only do barehanded attacks deal one-fourth the damage an attack with a melee weapon would do, you lose out on any enchantments on equipment in that slot. Barehanded combat is generally only done out of necessity, like in Way of the Surprising Fist or the PVP minigame With Your Bare Hands, or to take advantage of skills/enchantments that only apply to barehanded characters. Chief among these is Kung-Fu Hustler and the halos from Summon Clip Art. As unarmed attacks count as melee attacks, and ‘being unarmed’ prevents having a shield, muscle classes will have a hard time absorbing damage and moxie classes will have a hard time landing a hit. It is therefore recommended that muscle classes buff their Combat initiative to use an offensive and strategy, while moxie classes use a defensive strategy, deleving the enemies before killing them with critical hits. See Kung Fu for more details.

Crit Synergy

Crits deal double the damage of regular attacks (triple with Audacity of the Otter), but getting them from regular attacks is relying on landing that 6% in the first few turns of combat. The SC-exclusive Furious Wallop is a guaranteed crit, and other classes can up their critical hit chance with Black Body™ spray and other items (see: Critical Hit Chance). Many pieces of equipment (such as the vampire cape) offer bonuses to critical hits: see Critical hit.


Another commonly used combat strategy is to use a starfish type familiar for an adventure or two, in order to replenish MP. This combat style is usually done only intermittently, as there are better familiars to use in most areas, such as stat-giving familiars or item-drop boosting familiars. Combat is elongated (using a seal tooth, or spices, or some other infinite-use item that does 0-1 damage), and then the starfish kills the monster, and gives you MP in the process. Certain elemental starfish types are useful for this purpose.

If the player does little or no damage to the monster themselves and lets the starfish-type familiar kill the monster, then the player can receive about as many MP from one combat as the monster had HP (limited by the player's MP pool size). Later in the game and at higher +ML, this can equate to hundreds if not thousands of meat saved, which can be an excellent trade-off at the expense of using a different familiar for a turn.

Versus Hot or Stench-aligned monsters, a Midget Clownfish shines, as it does double damage to those monsters. A Rock Lobster is extremely effective versus Spooky or Cold-aligned monsters. A Snow Angel is strong versus Sleaze or Stench-aligned monsters. Useful skills for this style of combat include Amphibian Sympathy, Leash of Linguini, and Empathy of the Newt for increased starfish damage, which equates to increased MP for you. Other skills of note are those which help with Damage Absorption, such as Tao of the Terrapin, Astral Shell, and Ghostly Shell. Another potentially useful skill here is Jingle Bells, which increases the starfish's actions by 10%, causing it to give MP on about 43% of combat rounds, rather than 33%.

A Slimeling is another starfish-like familiar, though it has a different rate of MP-recharging actions (50%), which is unaffected by Jingle Jangle Jingle. This is, however, an extremely popular choice among ascenders, as it is a Fairy-type familiar that is also a Starfish when it has been fed equipment, making it a very effective Combat familiar, as well as an item-drop familiar, which is very desirable. Other starfish hybrids that require feeding are the Gluttonous Green Ghost, which eats and steals food and gives stats like a Blood-faced volleyball, and the Spirit Hobo, which drinks booze and also gives stats like a volleyball.

If you have adventures to spare or just really need the MP, I recommend adventuring in the Haunted Bathroom. Bottles of Monsieur Bubble help with the MP problem, gobs of wet hair are useful with funksliging, and the non-combat allows you to flyer the Guy Made Of Bees.

Special Monsters

Scaling Monsters

Scaling monsters scale to your stats, having defence based on your mainstat and attack based on your moxie. The only scaling monsters you typically encounter on ascension are in The Thinknerd Warehouse, and only then if you do not have Torso Awaregness. However, scaling monsters show up regularly in a Crimbo events and zones unlocked by IOTMs.

  • Buffing your stats increases the stats you gain from them, but does not actually help to fight them.
  • As their defence scales to your mainstat, so characters not using spells may have trouble landing hitting the monsters. Using auto-hit skills or deleveling might help.
  • While buffing muscle or moxie does not increase the damage you deal, buffing weapon/ spell damage does.

Monsters that block spells

  • Monsters that block spells do not block skills unlocked from items, so chefstaff jiggling or firing sewage-clogged pistols/ shoveling hot coals. You can also buff muscle and use skills such as LTS or spectral snap them, or just hit them with regular attacks.

Monsters immune to physical damage

  • Doing elemental damage is an easy way to deal with this. These can come from effects, combat items or equipment.
  • Most monsters completely immune to physical damage are ghosts. Ghosts are spooky-aligned, meaning they take double damage from stench and hot, although only 1 damage from spooky. As ghosts tend to have less hp to compensate for physical immunity, only a few sources of elemental damage is enough to kill them. Putting on equipment with +elemental damage and then throwing bottles of alcohol and molten scrap metal is usually enough to handle protector spirits, for example.
  • Spectral axe, claybender glasses and the glass pie plate do extra damage against ghosts
  • Ghosts can be instakilled by scrolls of ancient forbidden unspeakable evil.
  • The skill pinch Ghost will do 40-60 damage to ghosts and can be learned from ghost pinching quarterly, which is available fairly cheaply in the mall, although it cannot be used in Standard
  • Consider leaving some room in your liver if you are about to fight physically-resistant monsters. Green Manalishis and Sockdollagers are great sources elemental damage.
  • Moxie characters can use Space Tourist Phasers although it is best to up defence beforehand it case you get unlucky and deal only one damage to an elementally-aligned monster

Monsters with small damage caps/immune to everything

See Frosty for more details

Big monsters

Monsters in some aftercore areas, such as the basement or Uncle Gator's Country Fun-Time Liquid Waste Sluice, may be significantly larger than you can buff your stats to.

See Basement Diving


  • A stun item (e.g. soggy used band-aid), followed by items with exponential damage (pufferfish spine, candycaine powder), and then staggering items (gobs of wet hair) is an expensive but simple way to do this
  • As percentage-based delevelers use the monster’s original stats instead of its deleveled stats, it is possible to send the monster defence far into the negatives, essentially giving yourself a huge +weapon damage bonus, enough to whittle down its huge HP pool in 30 turns.
  • Teddy bears and Origami Towel Crane(s) (?) will always absorb attacks at the expense of weight if buffed beyond 26 pounds. As taking damage causes them to lose experience, they might only absorb a the first few hits per combat.
  • Shard of double-ice, Ingot turtle and Grody jug all change the elemental alignment of the monsters they’re used against, which can double the damage of subsequent elemental spells
  • slime stacks are, again, great

See Tower killing

Monsters that damage based on Max HP

Helpful items

  • Dinsey's radar dish is the only piece of equipment that does increasing passive damage. The pizza cutter allows to to halve a monster’s HP and the glove adds 30 damage to AT skills.
  • Bezoar ring protects the owner from getting poisoned in combat
  • Hand that Rocks the Ladle and Shakespeare's Sister's Accordion are great at dealing with early enemies and can be made by buying lumps of Brituminous coal from the mall. The other pieces of Smithsness equipment are also great and have great synergy with each other.
  • Glass pie plate allows you to easily deal Aboo-Peak, both by damaging the enemies and halving the damage taken from A-Boo clues. The Gravy boat has a similar function in the Crypt, and the Mini-marshmallow dispenser is just helpful all-round.
  • Staff of the Soupbone is the best chefstaff all players can make in hardcore.
  • Staff of Frozen Lard is the best non-IOTM cheffstaff, though the components require faxing monsters from a limited-time event.
  • Staff of Kitchen Royalty is the best chefstaff period. It requires quite buying quite a few FantasyRealm guest passes though.
  • Dark rings: The three dark rings can be made with black gold, in Hardcore with access to Little Canadia, and have great enchantments. The +15 to a stat is best you can get from an accessory in a non-IOTM ascension, and the other enchantments help with crit synergy and deleving. Note that having all three is necessary to use the Sunday Black Sunday adventure, which is helpful in Twin Peak.
  • Battered hubcap requires helping Yossarian as a hippy and fighting on the battlefield as a Frat. It’s worth doing this once to be able to use this shield in Softcore and aftercore, as its +100 Max HP bonus and +2 elemental resistance make it one of the best shields in the game.
  • Mercenary pistol/ rifle: As well as being great ranged weapons for their low moxie requirement, they also allow the use of special clips in combat. Funkslinging special slips is the easiest way to handle the bosses in the Sea and pretty much everywhere else. Muscle characters may want to use the coal shovel with its hot coals instead.
  • Your guild quest and the Pretty Good Escape both give items with nice HP regeneration to pull in Softcore. Those Basement Diving might pick up an Ancient hot dog wrapper, which is a good off-hand HP/MP-regeneration item for Mysticality classes. If you’re able to go dungeon diving, the Slime-covered lantern is another source of MP regen in the same slot.
  • The Cannonball charrrm bracelet offers 100-119 passive hot damage once per combat at the expense of 10-18 HP, which is helpful in taking down bosses.
  • Ultracolor shirt provides +X prismatic damage, with X being the number of active effects. As timers count (even though the effect is not shown in the item description), this always gives at least +10 prismatic damage. Using a lot a lot of potions at once will help defeat ghosts, compete with other adventurers and destroy crates in the Tavern Cellar.
  • Brimstone Bunker is a great +50% muscle for muscle classes, with the -20% moxie being irrelevant if you have Hero of the Half-shell. It requires you to do a Bad Moon Ascension though.
  • The Xiblaxian equipment gives +20% to a particular stat, and comes with a nice -combat frequency modifier. The easiest way to get it is to buy Xiblaxian cache locator simcode, Xiblaxian holo-schematic: xeno-goggles and 4 chunks of Xiblaxian polymer. Then buy the holo-schematics for the equipment you want, and equip the goggles to get the materials.
  • World's Best Adventurer sash: Gets better the more you ascend, up to +100 to all stats at your 100th ascension.
  • Meteorb: Does additional hot damage equal to the highest elemental damage done by a spell. Great for Mysticality classes
  • Double-ice cap: The extra mp regeneration and cold damage is nice, but stunning the enemy the first time it hits you makes this a really helpful item for defensive strategies.
  • Ticksilver ring: For offensive strategies, you want to get the jump, and if you fail, minimise the damage of the first hit. This item reduces the damage of the first hit by 50, which is quite sizable. If you have an off-hand slot available, the portable damage gives another 100 damage reduction. Higher level characters will be able to equip Drunkula's ring of haze or Mesmereyes™ contact lenses, which negates the first hit entirely.