Yellow ray strategy

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What are good aftercore targets these days?

Introduction

Yellow rays (YR) refer to a family of skills and combat items that share a similar mechanic:

You cannot use any yellow ray ability while Everything Looks Yellow is active. It effectively acts as a shared cooldown for all yellow rays. This effect can be worn off normally by spending adventures, and is removed during rollover. However, it cannot be removed by any other means; A Relaxing Hot Tub or soft green echo eyedrop antidote does not remove it.

Some monsters, including bosses, cannot be yellow-rayed. Most yellow rays (except for the pulled yellow taffy) also cannot force drops while underwater, since all underwater items are conditional drops.

Yellow rays are named after the disintegration ray of the He-Boulder, which is the first of its kind introduced to the game.

Sources

Sources of yellow rays include:

Limited-time content
2018 or older content No longer available in in-season challenge paths.
2019 content Will not be available in in-season challenge paths in 2022 or later.
2020 content Will not be available in in-season challenge paths in 2023 or later.
2021 content Will not be available in in-season challenge paths in 2024 or later.
Yellow Ray Source Eyes.gif Duration Notes
Lips.gif
Unleash the Devil's Kiss
(skill)
Retrocape1.gif
unwrapped knock-off retro superhero cape
(back item)
100
  • Must be configured to Heck General with the washing instructions "Kiss Me".
Flame.gif
flame orb
(combat item)
Cultistshorts.gif
Cargo Cultist Shorts
(pants)
100
Micronova.gif
micronova
(combat item)
Redsnapper2.gif
Red-Nosed Snapper
(familiar)
150
  • Dropped by the Red-Nosed Snapper after tracking and defeating 11 constellations
Pillminder.gif
Eight Days a Week Pill Keeper
(accessory)
30
  • Is primed by selecting Monday - Explodinall when choosing to Take your Pills
  • After priming, the yellow ray effect is fired when defeating the next monster you fight. It will not insta-kill the monster for you; you must kill it normally for the effect to occur.
  • First use of each day is free, but subsequent uses require 3 spleen
Clobber.gif
Disintegrate
(skill)
Sgdisintegrator.gif
Spacegate emergency disintegrator
(usable item)
100
Viralvideo.gif
viral video
(combat item)
Intergnat.gif
Intergnat
(familiar)
150
  • Can be acquired by trading 20 BACON, which are dropped by the Intergnat after combat
Mayolance.gif
mayo lance
(combat item)
The Mayo Clinic
(workshed)
150 - Mayo
  • Can be purchased at The Mayo Clinic for 2,500 meat, once per day
  • Upon use, consumes all remaining units of blood mayo
  • ELY duration is 150 - 5 × (consumed unit of blood-mayo)
Pressie.gif
Open a Big Yellow Present
(skill)
Crimboshrub.gif
Crimbo Shrub
(familiar)
150
  • Your Crimbo Shrub must be decorated with Big Yellow-Wrapped Presents
Goldenlight.gif
Golden Light
(combat item)
Book4.gif
Summon Smithsness
(tome)
150
Taffy1.gif
pulled yellow taffy
(combat item)
Book4.gif
Summon Taffy
(libram)
75
  • Yellow ray effect works only underwater
  • Unlike other yellow rays, this will force almost all underwater items to drop
  • Standard restrictions are practically meaningless, since most underwater zones are either inaccessible or impractical during a run
Unleashnanites.gif
Unleash Nanites
(skill)
Nanorhino.gif
Nanorhino
(familiar)
150
  • Must be used while you have 40 or more turns of the Nanoballsy effect, gained by using a Moxie class's combat skill with the Nanorhino out
Light.gif
unbearable light
(combat item)
Book3.gif
Summon Clip Art
(tome)
150
Pumpkinbomb.gif
pumpkin bomb
(combat item)
A Pumpkin Patch
(garden)
150
Foamfinger.gif
Point at your opponent
(skill)
Heboulder.gif
He-Boulder
(familiar)
150 / 100
(see notes)
  • Must be used while your He-Boulder's eyes are yellow
  • ELY duration becomes 100 turns if the He-Boulder has quadroculars equipped
Clusterbomb.gif
yellowcake bomb
(combat item)
Chemistry Class (After School) 75
  • Can be acquired and used only within the KOLHS challenge path
Headlight.gif
Flash Headlight
(skill)
Sneaky Pete's Gate
(as Avatar of Sneaky Pete)
100
Balllightning.gif
Ball Lightning
(skill)
Milkcarton.gif
lightning milk
(usable item)
100
  • Can be acquired and used only within the Heavy Rains challenge path
Sun2.gif
Wrath of Ra
(skill)
The Book of the Undying 100
Darkcow.gif
Unleash Cowrruption
(skill)
Book3.gif
Tales of the West: Cow Punching
(usable item)
150
  • Can be acquired only within the Avatar of West of Loathing challenge path, if you are the Cow Puncher class or have skill points for Cow Puncher
Level 3 Mario barrage.gif
Fireball Barrage
(skill)
Mushroom District Badge Shop 50
  • Can be acquired and used only within the Path of the Plumber challenge path
  • Acts as a Level 2 Fireball Barrage with ELY already active

Similar disintegration actions

The following actions cause all non-conditional items to drop, but do not inflict Everything Looks Yellow.

Action Source Notes
Tonguewalrus.gif
Shocking Lick
(skill)
Ppbattery4.gif battery (9-Volt)
Ppbattery5.gif battery (lantern)
Ppbattery6.gif battery (car)
Emochip12.gif
Feel Envy
(skill)
Emochip clean.gif Emotionally Chipped
(passive skill)
  • Does not Insta-kill; you must still win the fight after casting the skill for the effect to occur
  • Usable 3 times per day
May4sword.gif
Use the Force, %playername!
(skill)
May4sword.gif
Fourth of May Cosplay Saber
(weapon)
  • Takes you to Using the Force, where you can choose to force all non-conditional items to drop and end the combat without spending an adventure
  • This works like a free runaway, not a combat victory, so conditional items will never drop
Missile.gif
Asdon Martin: Missile Launcher
(skill)
Asdon Martin
(workshed)
  • Costs 100 fuel and can be used once per day
  • Is a Free Kill
Skull.gif
Spooky Jellied
(effect)
Jellyglob.gif spooky jelly
Jamtoast.gif toast with spooky jelly

Strategy

Planning out your run's YRs in advance can save you a lot of hassle and heartache later on. If you have the resources to generate two YRs per day, one plan is to YR something at the start of each day and at the end of each day, letting rollover clear Everything Looks Yellow for you. Depending on your path, it may be difficult to generate 150 turns on day 1, so be wary.

If you haven't planned a YR "route", ask yourself this question before each YR: "Am I going to hit any YR targets in the next 150 turns that are more valuable than this one?"

Most Effective

Disintegrating these monsters will usually provide the most bang for your YR buck. Monsters are very roughly listed in the order you'd encounter them during a run.

Monster Purpose Notes
beanbat sonar-in-a-biscuit (10% drop), enchanted bean Better than YRing in Guano Junction because you a the bean as well. Often used following a Guano Junction clover.
Knob Goblin Harem Girl Knob Goblin Harem Girl Disguise (20% drop each) If you're not taking the KGE semirare route.
banshee librarian killing jar (10% drop) Gives +15% exploration for the Desert/Oasis part of the level 11 quest.
hippies Filthy Hippy Disguise (5% drop each) For drink mixers and makes it easier to get an outfit for the war. If you intend to farm it without a YR, wait until the level 9 noncombats if possible.
mountain man 2 each of asbestos ore, chrome ore, linoleum ore (10% drop) For level 8. A good target that lets you use wishes and yellow rays to save clovers and headaches.
bearpig topiary animal, elephant (meatcar?) topiary animal or spider (duck?) topiary animal rusty hedge trimmers (15% drop) To advance the Twin Peak portion of the level 9 quest.
Burly Sidekick Mohawk wig (10% drop) For use in the Top Floor to complete the level 10 quest.
Quiet Healer amulet of extreme plot significance (10% drop) For use in the Castle Basement to continue in the level 10 quest. You probably won't be able to YR both the Healer and the Sidekick on the same day, so consider sniffing the Healer instead (since she also drops SGEEAs), or do the Airship over two days to get two YRs.
Blackberry bush blackberry (20% drop) Makes blackberry galoshes in the non-combat. Saves a couple of turns if you have nothing better to YR.
War Frat or War Hippy or War Frat 151st Infantryman Frat Warrior Fatigues or War Hippy Fatigues (10% drop or lower) For starting the war. The 151st Infantryman is accessible through Numberology, accessible on day 1 if you have the tools, which makes this option significantly more valuable.
filthworms hatchling gland, drone gland, royal gland (10% drop each) Can also be forced with Pickpocketing (especially peppermint crooks and "hugpocketing") or burglarizing.

Honorable Mentions

Might not save as many turns as the monsters above, but still worth a mention.

Monster Purpose Notes
blur drum machine (30% drop) For the Desert/Oasis part of the level 11 quest. Wormriding is not always required, and 234% item drop is often achievable by An Oasis.
swarm of scarab beatles mojo filter (10% drop) In case your strategy requires additional spleen usage in a given day.
Bob Racecar/Racecar Bob stunt nuts (30% drop) For level 11. Listed as an honorable mention because 234% item drop is often achievable by The Palindome.

Aftercore

This page is tailored for ascension, but forcing all of a monster's item to drop is useful outside of ascension as well. Note that some items held by tempting aftercore targets, like the giant sandworm (spice melange) or the scary pirate, are conditional, and thus will not be forced by a yellow ray.

Monster Purpose Notes
Mer-kin researcher Mer-kin darkbook Drops an untradeable skill-granting item that provides one of the words for the Mer-kin dreadscroll, as well as two more word-providing items.

Note: As an underwater target, these drops can only be forced with pulled yellow taffy.
unholy diver rusty broken diving helmet, rusty porthole, rusty rivet All relatively low-rate drops. Over half the items necessary to construct a rusty diving helmet.

Note: As an underwater target, these drops can only be forced with pulled yellow taffy.

Notes

  • If you just need to kill a tough non-boss monster and don't necessarily need its drops, consider an insta-kill effect (such as Handsome Devil), or a large plus damage effect (such as Song of Sauce or Pisces in the Skyces from tobiko marble soda) to avoid Everything Looks Yellow.
  • The pulled yellow taffy is believed to operate differently from other YR sources, because it can force some item drops that other YR sources do not force.
    • There is an unproven theory that the pulled yellow taffy acts as an infinitely large +item modifier instead of a traditional YR. This needs more spading.
    • For certain drops from certain monsters, if a traditional YR does not work on them, the taffy still might. This can be achieved by copying the monster with either an Obtuse Angel or Reanimated Reanimator, starting the countdown, then adventuring underwater when the copy window is active and using the taffy when the wandering copy shows up.
    • Conditional Drops with unsatisfied conditions will still not drop, even for taffy.
Ascension Strategy
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