User:Ryo Sangnoir/Bad Moon Strategy

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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.

Semi-Rare Management

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.

Also important is fighting the Knob Goblin Elite Guard Captain to enable shopping at the Laboratory, which provides useful buffing items.

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).

Additionally, fighting Bad ASCII Art can shorten the Orc Chasm 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.

For those players wishing to duel with Baron von Ratsworth for his monocle, a jarred poltergeist simplifies the encounter.

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.

Meansucker Skills

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.

Familiar Choices

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.

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.

Meat Management

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.

Also consider:

  • 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.

Two classes, of course, have more options when planning their meals. Pastamancers have basic pastas, while Disco Bandits have Advanced Cocktailcrafting drinks.

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.

Class Strategy

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?

Seal Clubber

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.

Turtle Tamer

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.


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.


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 Bandit

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.

Accordion Thief

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.

Miscellaneous Hints

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.

Zapping may end up saving turns gathering the Daily Dungeon keys and required outfits.

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.

External Links

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