User:Ryo Sangnoir/Bad Moon Strategy
The Bad Moon Ascension path, introduced with NS13, provides a level playing field for all players by locking away permed skills, familiars, and Ascension rewards. This article collects wisdom to help players hoping to complete BM runs.
Management of Semi-Rare Adventures is crucial to cutting turns from a BM run. In particular, the lower-level SR counters should be spent on consumables, because their adventure-to-fullness ratio is much higher than anything that drops naturally in the early game.
Irradiated pet snacks give +10 Familiar Weight, useful against the Sorceress' familiars if other ways of buffing weight would take too much effort (e.g., Knob Goblin pet-buffing spray from the Lab or Optimist Primal from the Hippy Arena side-quest).
Mick's IcyVapoHotness Inhaler increases Meat drops by 200%. This item is used mainly for speedy completion of the level 12 nunnery side-quest. Cyclops eyedrops can be used to add +100% items for crucial drops, the filthworm side-quest being a prime example.
Scented massage oil heals all HP. This can be useful when engaging the tougher bosses, especially the Shadow Class. Shrinking powder can be used against The Man or The Big Wisniewski at the end of the Mysterious Island Quest; both these bosses have high HP, which could make it difficult to defeat them within the combat turn limit for players with low damage output. Both these items are also useful against the NS after her blocking ability has been weakened.
Bad Moon Adventure Management
Many one-time non-combat adventures occur only in a Bad Moon run; some have conditions that must be satisfied before they occur. Of obvious interest are adventures that yield Meat (see a list at Bad Moon).
Non-Meat BM adventures can be synergized with game situations to help optimize the BM run. For example, the Daily Dungeon has to be delved at least once (and preferably twice) over the Ascension. If the stat tests of the dungeon are such that +20 or +40 in a stat would enable breezing through to room 10, it would make sense to target those BM non-combats and get through the dungeon as early as possible. Relatedly, if one of the adventure stat buffs is triggered on a bad dungeon day, the buff could be used to adventure in a more difficult quest area than would otherwise be possible: quest progress could be made while getting better fight stats than in areas accessible at the debuffed stat level. The boosts can also be used to pass the Guild Hall tests.
The greater Meat and Item buffs are most effectively used in the war; players should remember to not apply costly buffs before adventuring in these lower-level areas. If, for example, Your #1 Problem is wanted to more safely complete the Orchard, avoiding the Bathroom until the buff is wanted is a good idea.
Non-combats yielding negative effects can be burned off in the standard ways: backfarming items likely to be required (e.g., gate items from South of The Border, opening the Dungeons of Doom), cooking/cocktailcrafting/meatsmithing, taking vacations, and the like.
Non-permable Bad Moon-only passive skills throw an interesting twist into skill strategy choices. The BM skills are balanced against each other such that the bonus from one skill will be 50% counteracted by a penalty from a different skill. Fortunately, the skills fall into three "sets" where the penalty from each skill is offset by the bonus from another skill in the set, so that if you buy all skills in a set, you suffer no net negative effects.
When choosing BM skills to purchase, keep in mind that some benefits can be mimicked using familiars available in BM.
- Set 1
- Pride supplements Stat Gains from Fights while (generally) lowering adventures from food. The extremely low stat gains at early levels of the game, coupled with the lack of initial familiars and Meat, make this a very good first choice for all classes. Note that the use of a 16-pound Blood-Faced Volleyball effectively replicates Pride.
- Gluttony increases adventure gains from food while lowering stats from fights. It is somewhat useful for increasing adventures from food once monsters give worthwhile experience and food quality is high.
- Set 2
- Wrath gives Bonus Melee Damage and Bonus Spell Damage, but decreases Damage Reduction. Moxie characters covet this skill because they are naturally good at dodging (the DR penalty does not hurt so much, and at high Damage Absorption, the negative DR is negligible), and bonus melee damage is not absorbed. Saucerors wanting to burst their attack spell damage caps on purpose may also want to be wrathful.
- Sloth increases Damage Reduction while reducing initiative. Since DR is negligible for high DA and initiative is rather handy, slothfulness is only useful at lower levels; monsters would essentially hit for a maximum of one point of damage.
- Lust gives bonus Combat Initiative at the cost of melee/spell damage penalties. Increased initiative will help with Moxie classes' Pickpocket skill, but Moxie classes are usually forced to plink, and decreasing the damage from already low attack strength could make for tiresome combats. For all classes, initiative is helpful for getting the first attack in, and therefore decreasing healing costs.
- Set 3
- Greed boosts Meat from Monsters to the detriment of item drops. Players having problems with Meat management may wish to invest in this skill. However, the decrease in item drops is troubling. Meat drops can also be increased using a Leprechaun familiar.
- Envy loots more Items from Monsters, but lowers the Meat gains. With any given Ascension requiring many items to drop, this is a good skill choice. A Baby Gravy Fairy also boosts item drops.
While technically not "skills," the Styx Pixie's once-a-day buffs can be of assistance. In addition to the 10-turn stat bonus of these buffs, remember that Hella Smooth gives extra Meat drops, while Hella Smart regenerates MP, as well as increasing spell damage. Should one be in need of 20 consecutive turns of a buff (e.g., to cover the entire span of Harold's bell), the day's Styx buff can be used just prior to rollover and combined with the next day's.
The familiars attainable in BM have extremely basic functions. That being said, each fills an important niche in BM Ascension. Useful familiars commonly usable in a BM run are analyzed here.
- Two of the Mosquito, Levitating Potato, Angry Goat, Sabre-Toothed Lime, and Barrrnacle are always required in the Sorceress' Tower. Of these, the most prone to RNG-spanking is the goat, which requires anticheese that drops only in Muscle vacations at The Shore, Inc. and The Arid, Extra-Dry Desert while not Ultrahydrated. In a pinch, The Placebo Defect BM adventure can be used to farm a potato hatchling. Some people recommend a potato's blocking ability in the fight against the Naughty Sorceress.
- The Star Starfish is required in the NS' cavern. In the late game, the Star Starfish Trick can be used to replenish MP.
- The Baby Gravy Fairy increases item drops. Thanks to the multitude of drop items required over the course of a run, a fairy is recommended despite the possible difficulty in obtaining its constituent parts. While looking for the required fairy gravy boat input for this familiar, half of the Bugbear Costume (enabling shopping for baking supplies at the Bugbear Bakery) can be found as well.
- The Blood-Faced Volleyball grants extra stats. It is very useful in the early levels, when stat gains are low.
Other familiars are not as obviously useful as those above, but deserve mention:
- The Leprechaun is useful for Meat farming interludes during the run, for example, against the beefy bodyguard bats or the dirty thieving brigands. Its hatchling might be picked up while beer lens farming in the Typical Tavern, for those players wanting a bartender-in-the-box.
- The Cocoabo can be used like a starfish. Its attack, delevel, and restore capabilities make it somewhat useful in boss fights, including her Naughtiness.
- A Ghuol Whelp restores HP and MP quite often, but getting one would require delaying the opening of the Hidden Temple, as well as spending combat turns to gain familiar experience. Note that the whelp is the only early familiar capable of reliably restoring large amounts of HP and MP, so depending on play style, it may be an appropriate familiar to use.
- A Howling Balloon Monkey can restore MP in combat, but does not act at all until it is at least 11 pounds.
With pork elf gems and other goodies from the lead-in locked away in a smoldering box at the beginning of a BM Ascension, early Meat management is a unique challenge. In fact, if class and Meansucker skills are to be bought throughout the run, Meat will be a constant issue.
The Meat Bad Moon adventures have already been mentioned. Additionally, several quests give sizable Meat grants upon completion (see Meat Sources). Much of the Basic Farming page is also applicable to the BM experience.
- Those gunning for Baron von Ratsworth might find the Pretentious Artist Quest beneficial.
- Harold's bell can be used against the Boss Bat to enqueue 20 beefy bodyguard bats, which drop a decent amount of Meat. When doing this, remember that Hella Smooth provides a +40% bonus to Meat drops.
- If autoselling is good general advice in normal hardcore runs, it is even more valid in BM. For example, autoselling the three spleen item rewards for the first Guild Hall test reaps 375 Meat, which is very close to the 400 required for the initial learning of Pride. The loss in spleen item stats is almost immediately recouped by Pride.
Food and Booze
Those used to gorging on dinners produced using cross-class skills will hear their stomachs (and livers) growling on Bad Moon diets. While semi-rare consumables make for good treats, their rarity makes it difficult to make a main course of them. Some austere alternatives to "regular" foods are listed here.
- Remember that fortune cookies are invaluable for keeping track of the semi-rare counter.
- Learn which Bad Moon adventures drop meat; grab the meat early and spend it in Hell's Kitchen for good food plus a large mainstat boost. Moxie and Muscle classes can do this for the first three or four days of their run, which will save them the trouble of building a chef-in-the-box. Mysticality classes don't like it as much, because Lord of the Flies-sized fries decreases the player's Moxie stat. (Also, Mysticality classes have other uses for a chef-in-the-box: Pastamancers can make noodle dishes and Saucerors make potions.) Muscle classes can drink Imp Ale as well for a huge mainstat boost on their first day: drink them early, let your moxie drop to zero, then carefully build it back.
- The Haunted Kitchen and the Sleazy Back Alley are the backbone of the early food and booze farming locations.
- Opening and patronizing the White Citadel is a good option for the middle levels of an Ascension. While opening the Citadel, several important diet-related items can also be picked up, including white lightning and boxed wine from Whitey's Grove, and the Filthy Hippy Disguise from the Road to the White Citadel.
- Those with the Bugbear Costume (and access to the Bugbear Bakery) might opt for enchanted bean burritos, as enchanted beans have a high drop rate. Later on, those wads of dough will probably be better used in making pies filled with either Hippy ingredients or the even superior Key Lime Pies, now that those return the key upon eating.
- Jumbo Dr. Lucifers are not a particularly bad alternative for characters with healing skills or MP ceiling. They have a mean of two adventures per fullness (which can potentially be boosted via Gluttony), with no need to cook. Price may remain restrictive for the early game.
- If by happenstance a bounty can be collected efficiently, a bowl of Bounty-Os or a snifter of Oreille Divisée brandy would taste really nice.
- The Barrel full of Barrels can be a good source for mixed basic drinks.
- Drinks can be farmed at Barrrney's Barrr. Drunkenness can also be traded for stats in some non-combats there, in much the same way as the Typical Tavern.
- In later levels, some of the dusty bottles are good choices.
- The Hippy fruit schnapps (e.g., shot of peach schnapps) give good adventure gains for their drunkenness.
- It would be a good idea to get Boris's key, Jarlsberg's key, and Sneaky Pete's key at the start of Bad Moon. If you are doing The Lighthouse quest for the Level 12 Quest, it would be a good idea to get limes. If you have a Bugbear Costume, you can go to the Bakery and purchase Gnollish Pie tins and Wads of dough. Once done that, you will be able to make Key Lime Pies. This is available to those who are doing the quest, and don't have plenty food with them.
- Once Lord Spookyraven has been defeated during the Quest for the Holy MacGuffin, you can summon Ak'gyxoth for 3 Advanced Cocktailcrafting drinks once each day.
Getting a bartender-in-the-box is advisable for DBs because they will often garnish drinks, whereas the other classes would mainly barrel for early booze. A chef-in-the-box could be recommended based on how much cooking is expected over the Ascension -- keep in mind that cooking without one cuts into adventure gains from food, and that finding enough disembodied brains can be turnsinks.
Although Bad Moon is a level playing field, it is more level for some classes than others. While especially true of combat situations (seasoned Loathers used to playing with several dozen cross-class skills permed may wish to consult Combat Style as a general refresher), other matters are affected too.
It is not the intention of this article to rehash skill analysis done elsewhere (e.g., Hardcore Class Strategy, which details skills to perm), but to point out where BM skill strategies might differ from normal hardcore thinking. Skills are restricted to those of level 13 and below -- why would anyone spend any more time than necessary under a Bad Moon?
Clubbers have it pretty easy in the early game. Low-level combat is a cinch for Muscle classes, and Medicinal Herb's medicinal herbs can quickly and cheaply restore HP, using up spleen that would likely remain wasted in a BM run. However, as monsters become more powerful, learning SC skills become more important. Seal Clubbers with excess adventures on their hands might find themselves grinding stats by Louvring in the Haunted Gallery.
- Excess MP can be used with Tongue of the Otter or Tongue of the Walrus if other healing methods become too onerous.
- Thrust-Smack, Lunging Thrust-Smack, and Eye of the Stoat become important for increasing Hit Chance and Weapon Damage.
- Rage of the Reindeer is handy for similar reasons.
- Dual-wielding a secondary weapon with a good enchantment is often better than equipping an off-hand item.
Like their SC cousins, TTs can use medicinal herbs to cheaply restore HP. Several of their skills are also valuable under BM. Again, the Louvre is a good place to level if TTs find themselves bored.
- Amphibian Sympathy and Empathy of the Newt boost Familiar Weight. They are incontrovertibly useful over the entire run, as well as against the NS' familiars.
- Armorcraftiness can create equipment. In particular the yak anorak is an early source of MP regeneration, and the nasty rat mask is an excellent hat which unfortunately decreases stat gains slightly since it decreases ML.
- Shieldbutt, Kneebutt, and Headbutt can be chained together in a deadly combination. Any combination including Shieldbutt never misses and can delevel; one including Kneebutt can stun.
- Ghostly Shell is one of the less expensive TT skills, and confers 80 Damage Absorption -- this is nearly 20% DA by itself.
- If the play style preferred is MP-heavy, it may be beneficial to gain the Wisdom of the Elder Tortoises to maximize MP returns from familiar and regenerative sources.
If Muscle/Moxie can't be raised high enough to do weapon combat, Pastamancers have to be played as spellslingers, boosting Bonus Spell Damage as much as possible. This can run into problems with Meat/MP management even with easy access to magical mystery juice.
- Springy Fusilli (which can largely be replaced by Lust) and Entangling Noodles can be used in tandem to get free hits on enemies.
- Lasagna Bandages/Cannelloni Cocoon can be more cost-effective at healing than store-bought items.
- Pastamastery provides alternative foods, but is not strictly "necessary" given reagent pastas will be unavailable.
- Spirit of Ravioli boosts HP ceiling. This is good for general adventuring, as well as against your Shadow.
- Leash of Linguini boosts familiar weight.
- Fearful Fettucini is a "free" spell that can replace Weapon of the Pastalord as the Pastamancer's big gun.
Saucerors, with their knowledge of Advanced Saucecrafting, can cook up to nine reagent potions per day (three per reagent). If the Hippy Store is unlocked, Saucerors from level 5 onward have considerable flexibility on how to play the rest of the run (e.g., as a sarcastic Moxie plinker). However, due to the Sorceress' debuffing ability, potions are not a viable strategy to complete the final quest.
A Sauceror can also spellsling, but learning a complete suite of Sauceror spells can be very costly.
- Jalapeño Saucesphere returns some of the MP costs of sauce spells as a healing effect in combat.
- Jabañero Saucesphere refunds some of the MP costs of sauce spells as MP restoration in combat.
- Intrinsic Spiciness increases spell damage, to help burst spell damage caps and trigger beneficial effects.
- Wave of Sauce, with a burst cap, creates a Burning Soul or Soul Freeze effect, which can return MP as a proportion of damage done by a sauce spell of like element. Another shot of Wave of Sauce or Saucegeyser is generally used in this situation, and with saucespheres active, this strategy can come quite close to taking care of all HP and MP restoration needs.
Disco Bandits will wish to craft their Epic Weapon at the very least, as it gives a good early Moxie boost, and enables bartenders-in-the-box for free cocktailcrafting. Moxie classes often find themselves grinding stats in the Haunted Ballroom, the Haunted Gallery, or the Palindome.
- Overdeveloped Sense of Self Preservation is an inexpensive skill that increases Combat Initiative, which helps with Pickpocket.
- Skills comprising the Disco Combos can be useful, especially those giving Meat or item drops. The deleveling skills are also helpful if monsters in stat-churning areas are slightly too difficult.
- Advanced Cocktailcrafting to improve booze is practically a requirement.
- Mad Looting Skillz increases item drops.
- Disco Fever may be helpful if Wrath is not selected.
- Ambidextrous Funkslinging is especially nice against her Naughtiness if damage output is too low to defeat her within the turn limit.
Like their moxious disco neighbors, ATs will wish to craft their Epic Weapon, since it increases buff durations. They may want to upgrade to a Squeezebox of the Ages for even longer buffs and ranged bonus damage. ATs grind stats in much the same places as DBs.
- The Moxious Madrigal, The Magical Mojomuscular Melody, and The Power Ballad of the Arrowsmith all have their uses. Arrowsmith is the least valuable (and the most expensive...) of the trio, given the AT's plink/dodge modus operandi. Mojo at least raises MP ceiling.
- The Polka of Plenty is useful for Meat farming, in particular the Harold's bell-beefy bodyguard bat trick and the Nunnery side-quest. If neither of these situations are planned for the run, it may be a better idea to save the Meat for some other purpose.
- Fat Leon's Phat Loot Lyric increases item drops for when Pickpocket and the Baby Gravy Fairy is not enough insurance.
- Stevedave's Shanty of Superiority boosts all stats. The expensive casting cost is somewhat counterbalanced with the AT's ability to sneak into Gouda's Grimoire and Grocery for MMJ.
- If several days are expected before the NS quest can be completed, The Ode to Booze might be considered a good investment.
The advice in this section does not fit nicely into any of the parts above.
There is no shame in resting. With Meat in short supply, cost-effective HP/MP restorers will be hard to find. Cost Analysis of Restoring HP and MP details how store-bought items can best be used to keep HP and MP at healthy levels.
HP/MP regeneration (i.e., per adventure, and more importantly, "free") is fairly rare in early BM. By level 11, though, Blessing of Squirtlcthulli and Fit To Be Tide become available. Using communications windchimes or PADL Phones on the level 12 battlefield are also "free" restores.
Any class waiting for a stat-granting non-combat to show up might want to use CLEESH instead of buffing or using combat skills, which is likely more expensive MP-wise.
If Mysterious Island Arena is going to be done as a Hippy, priming the Guy Made Of Bees is helpful. The Haunted Bathroom has some good stat adventures, while the area also drops MP restorers and fancy bath salts, which could be required for the Sorceress' Tower.
The Paw swap effect, received from The Palindome after defeating Dr. Awkward, grants cold resistance (useful for completing the Level 8 quest). A Titanium assault umbrella works too if you can get one.
Those having difficulties with the NS may wish to consult Defeating The Naughty Sorceress. While the advice concerning cross-class and permed skills is not applicable, the article gives a general idea of how to go about beating her down.
- The original draft of this article is courtesy of the HCO forum.
- There is also an official forum thread.
- Salticid's guide
|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|
|IotMs:||Tomes - Faxing - Copying - YR - Garden - Correspondent - Workshed - Tea party - Florist|