Tome strategy

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Your Mystical Bookshelf

Some of the most powerful things on Your Mystical Bookshelf are Tomes, spellbooks that allow you to summon up to three powerful items per day from any combination of your Tomes. This page documents the relative power of all Tome summons in an ascension context.

Best Summons (Turn Efficiency)

These items usually save the most turns per summon. See the end of this page for turngen summons.

Tome Item Effect Notes
Smith's A Light that Never Goes Out +30-80% items Kind of like a Jekyllin hide belt for your offhand that you can use in Hardcore. A simply ridiculous amount of +item for one slot. Also provides Smithereens.
Smith's Hand in Glove +30-80 ML Very much like a Hardcore-usable hockey stick, but with more ML. More statgains on one slot than any other Hardcore resource, including your familiar, and definitely worth farming the dirty hobo gloves for. Also provides Smithereens.
Smith's handful of Smithereens +10-30 Smithsness, turn-free banisher, yellow ray This is listed as its own entry because a Smith summon just for a Louder Than Bomb or +Smithsness consumable is often worth it, but also because all Smithsness equipment can be smashed into more Smithereens, giving you two per summon. The non-epic Smithereens consumables each give 50 or 100 turns of +10 Smithsness (i.e. 10 ML and +10% item) via spleen, stomach, and liver. Golden Light is usually not as resource-effective as the He-Boulder or Nanorhino, but is very valuable if you lack a YR familiar.

Useful Summons

These summons are good, but usually not as critical as the ones in the previous tier.

Tome Item Effect Notes
Sugar sugar shield +10 lbs. familiar weight Provides a large item drop boost on Fairy-type familiars (especially the Steam-Powered Cheerleader or Jumpsuited Hound Dog), two more free runaways per day on a runaway familiar, and lots of +meat drop on a Hobo Monkey.
Smith's Smithsness weapons +5 Smithsness, useful class-specific bonuses Meat Tenderizer is Murder and Work is a Four Letter Sword helps SC and TT (respectively) kill things trivially, Hand that Rocks the Ladle improves spell damage and can save MP via Utensil Twist for P, Saucepanic gives +2 myst/fight for S, Frankly Mr. Shank makes DBs even harder to hit, and Shakespeare's Sister's Accordion is just silly for AT. All of them give +5 Smithsness, which means more +item and +ML, and this summon also provides Smithereens.
Smith's Hairpiece On Fire +5 Smithsness, +30-80 max MP, +2 cold res, +4 adv/day Increases your ML and +item, makes it trivial for any path to hit The Icy Peak with the ninja gear, makes it much easier to fuel Inigo's or Bind Spice Ghost, AND gives turngen, AND comes with a Smithereens!
Smith's Vicar's Tutu +5 Smithsness, +60-160 max HP, +1 all res, +3 PvP/day Increases your ML and +item, increases survivability with max HP and elemental resistance, gives PvP fites, and also comes with a Smithereens. An excellent way to fill the often-lackluster pants slot in HC.
Smith's Half a Purse +60-160% meat Like a 30-lb. Leprechaun in your offhand for the Nuns! Only super useful for that quest, but exceptionally good at what it does. Also provides +1 stats per combat, a Smithereens with the summon, and the Purse can be pulverized into additional Smithereens when you're done with it.
Clip Art box of Familiar Jacks Free familiar equipment Most useful for quadroculars (100-turn YR cooldown), but also good for the quake of arrows (if you have an Angel but not a Reanimator) and possibly a microwave stogie or undissolvable contact lenses.
Rad Libs papier-mâché toothpicks +50% meat, +25% items (40 turns) Requires two Tome summons, but the buff lasts for a really long time. Excellent for the nuns, tomb ratchets, and misc. +item stuff on the final day.
Stickers (all) (various) Very powerful bonuses, but the randomness means it can take many (3+) summons to get enough unicorn and UPC stickers. Papier-mâché toothpicks are more consistent, but less flexible.
Clip Art furry halo +5 lbs. familiar weight Provides one extra runaway from runaway familiars. If you can't use A Light that Never Goes Out, also helps with +item by buffing your familiar.

Niche Summons

These summons usually aren't worth it, but may still have their uses.

Tome Item Effect Notes
Snowcones (all) (various) Some effects are helpful, but the randomness limits their usefulness. Blue is the real prize, along with a single red for the Nuns. Purple is only quality-of-life, green is an extra runaway and other small bonuses, and orange is just a less effective sugar shirt.
Sugar sugar shirt +3 stats/fight Extra stats are always useful, but the shirt provides just 45 mainstat before it breaks.
Sugar sugar chapeau Spell Damage +50%, +spell crits An excellent quality-of-life summon, and helps with towerkilling, but it's usually possible to towerkill without one.
Clip Art (jelly donuts) Spell Damage +100% (30 turns) Also used for towerkilling, but also generally not required.
Clip Art cold-filtered water +100% to all stats (10 turns) Also used for towerkilling, but also generally not required.
Clip Art ultrafondue +15 ML (30 turns) 15 ML isn't that big of a boost, and the turngen utility of this has largely been superseded by Smiths consumables. Might help fill a gap in your diet.
Clip Art potion of the litterbox +15% item drops (20 turns) Can help you cap an item drop if you're already maxed out on sources of Smithsness or can't equip A Light that Never Goes Out.
Clip Art graveyard snowglobe +40 Spooky/Cold damage Used to skip noncombats in the Tavern Cellar.
Clip Art frosty halo +25% item drops Good for Way of the Surprising Fist or other situations where A Light that Never Goes Out is inaccessible.
Clip Art crystal skull 20-turn banish Completely obsoleted by Louder Than Bomb, but worth using if you don't have Summon Smithsness.
Clip Art unbearable light Yellow ray Completely obsoleted by Golden Light (and a He-Boulder or Nanorhino will save you the Tome summon), but worth using if you don't have those.
Rad Libs papier-mochi +5 Prismatic Damage Used to skip noncombats in the Tavern Cellar.

Best Summons (Turn Generation)

These summons are difficult to rank against efficiency summons, since they create turns instead of saving them.

Tome Item Effect Notes
Clip Art borrowed time +20 turns (final day) Not quite going to make it? Now you will!
Smith's 2x epic consumables +0-15ish turns With smashing the equipment. Yields depend on the quality of food/booze it's replacing. If making This Charming Flan, a warbear induction oven can yield another one for free.
Clip Art bucket of wine +6-15ish turns The best Hardcore nightcap when you need turngen. Turn figure varies based on Ode availability and what you'd be drinking otherwise.
Clip Art time halo +5 turns/day If you don't have a chrome weapon or an alarm accordion.
Smith's Hairpiece On Fire +4 turns/day
Clip Art potion of the field gar +5 or more turns Rarely applicable in-run, but when it is, it can be a lot of turns.


  • Other summons may be speed-relevant in special challenge paths. See your path's particular strategy page for suggestions.

Ascension Strategy
Rankings: HC Skills - HC Familiars - HC IotMs
General: Class selection - Familiar usage - Lucky adventures
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