Kung Fu is a combat and ascension strategy. It is used predominantly in Hardcore ascensions, but sometimes in Normal (softcore) as well.
The December 2013 Item-of-the-Month The Smith's Tome was designed to provide an alternative to Kung Fu strategy and in many ways supersedes it in an ascension context.
Kung Fu has many benefits, as well as some drawbacks which must be worked around. The core of the strategy is the synergy of three skills:
|Kung Fu Hustler|| The Autobiography Of Dynamite Superman Jones
(The Traveling Trader, 2011-01-11)
| Confers intrinsics when fighting empty-handed|
+20% items, +50% initiative, +L*3 weapon damage, +L*3 Spooky Damage. L = your current level
|Summon Clip Art|| Tome of Clip Art
(Mr. Store, Sep. 2011)
|Allows summoning frosty halo, shining halo, furry halo|
|Master of the Surprising Fist|| Way of the Surprising Fist
(special challenge path)
|+20 to hit empty-handed, +10 DR, +10 damage|
The Kung Fu Hustler intrinsics are acquired at fixed points over the course of 30 empty-handed combats.
Many players use this strategy without Master of the Surprising Fist, but it is quite rare to use it in Hardcore without the Clip Art halos. (Some softcore players may use it for the initiative bonus in The Defiled Alcove, or with a Mr. Accessory Jr. or a Jekyllin hide belt in place of a frosty halo.)
- Your weapon and offhand slots must remain empty during combats, or you will lose the Kung Fu Hustler intrinsics, and have to build them up again. (You may equip weapons or offhand items during noncombats, or while spending turns crafting, and so on.)
- There are times during an ascension when you are required (or very strongly encouraged) to equip a weapon during a combat. It is a good idea to save some of these zones/fights and do as many as possible together, so that the KFH intrinsics only need to be rebuilt a small number of times. (Ideally, this rebuilding should be done in zones where item drops are not critically important.)
Places where it is necessary or advisable to equip weapons include:
- Equipping the Knob Goblin Elite Guard Uniform (specifically its polearm) to fight the Goblin King. (It is advisable to wear the Harem Disguise instead.)
- Equipping an antique machete (or other machete) to defeat the dense lianas in the Hidden City.
- Equipping a UV-resistant compass while exploring the The Arid, Extra-Dry Desert.
- As an Accordion Thief you can't use Accordion Bash without an accordion equipped, and therefore lose your main method of stunning. Where stuns are required this can be worked around with other stunning skills such as Shadow Noodles.
It is necessary to have some means of defeating monsters while you are empty-handed. There are many ways to do this:
- Empty-handed attacks use Muscle to hit. With the +20 bonus from Master of the Surprising Fist, Muscle classes can frequently hit things with ordinary attacks. With the bonus damage from the KFH intrinsics and MotSF, these attacks are very powerful, often exceeding the damage one would get from weapons.
- If ordinary attacks won't hit, sometimes boosting Muscle with skills and potions, or using Kneebutt, may be enough to tip the balance. See the Additional Skills section for tips.
- Deleveling the monster may also help you hit it; Disco Bandits are particularly good at this.
- Moxie classes may often have high enough Moxie to dodge monster attacks, but not high enough Muscle to hit the monsters. In these situations, they may choose to attack repeatedly, hoping for critical hits. Each "miss" will do only 1 point of physical damage, so this can be frustrating. Black Body™ spray may be used to increase the chance of critical hits.
- Skills that automatically hit the target (spells, Toss, Clobber, and various class starting skills) are frequently used.
- Combat Items may be used as necessary.
While the strategy can be used effectively with only the core skill set in many situations, there are some additional skills that extend the range of the strategy, making it far more flexible (particularly in Mysticality class runs).
|The Power Ballad of the Arrowsmith||Accordion Thief guild||+10 Muscle, +20 Maximum HP|
|Rage of the Reindeer||Seal Clubber guild||+10% Muscle, +10 damage|
|Stevedave's Shanty of Superiority||Accordion Thief guild||+10% all stats|
|Song of Bravado||Dreadsylvania||+15% all stats|
|Kneebutt||Turtle Tamer guild||variable bonus to hit (up to +20), extra damage source, 50% chance of stagger|
|Lunging Thrust-Smack||Seal Clubber guild||+30(?) (or more) bonus to hit|
|Toss||Turtle Tamer guild||auto-hit skill (1 MP or 0 MP)|
|Clobber||Seal Clubber guild||auto-hit skill (1 MP or 0 MP)|
|Stringozzi Serpent|| A Beginner's Guide to Charming Snakes
(The Traveling Trader, 2010-04-30)
|spell, physical damage over time|
|Flavour of Magic||Pastamancer guild||+10 spell damage, tunes Pastamancer spells|
|Cannelloni Cannon||Pastamancer guild||spell, tunable with Flavour|
|Entangling Noodles||Pastamancer guild|
|other spells||Pastamancer/Sauceror guild||damage (varying)|
|Stealth Mistletoe|| A Crimbo Carol, Ch. 5
|Doubles subsequent Disco Bandit delevels|
|Tango of Terror||Spookyraven as a Disco Bandit||
|other deleveling skills||Disco Bandit guild mostly||Deleveling|
The choice of how to kill a given monster is highly situational. The focus is typically on how to do so most efficiently (lowest cost in terms of MP, meat, or nonreplenishable items).
|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|
|IotMs:||Tomes - Faxing - Copying - YR - Garden - Correspondent - Workshed - Tea party - Florist|