inscryption kaycees mod guide

Inscryption Kaycees Mod Guide

Inscryption is a spooky card game where you play your deck of mystical creatures against a weird glowing pair of eyes in the shadows.

Still, if you fell in love with the gameplay the first time, you should be glad to know there’s a mode where you can keep replaying Act 1 under different conditions without the story taking you to other gameplay styles.

This isn’t just a one-to-one replayable version of the regular game. Many exploits and funny things you could do have been patched in canon and in-game, making it a much more balanced and challenging experience to get to the end.

You’ll also have to stack on more and more difficult modifiers before getting to the end, and this guide will show you how to beat it.

Enter the Dark Puzzle of Inscryption | GOG

Inscryption delivers a mind-bending blend of card-based strategy, psychological horror, and puzzle-solving in a sinister digital world. With its unique narrative twists and strategic depth, immerse yourself in a gripping tale where every move could lead to either victory or doom.

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Bottom Line Up-front

Like in the main game, the way to beat Kaycee’s Mod is by coming up with loops to gain tons of damage or exploits to make cards that can win battles almost immediately.

Unlocking Kaycee’s Mod

kaycees-mod-title-screen

Kaycee’s mod is not unlocked from the very start of the game, and while it only covers Act 1, you’ll have to progress through the entire main game to unlock it (Or press Shift + K + M on PC). You’ll have to go through all 3 acts, finish the finale, watch the credits, boot the game back up, and get to the title screen, where you’ll see a new red skull icon to select.

You’ll only have access to the vanilla deck and minimal challenges at the start.

To unlock more, you need to play more (and keep hitting the challenge meter requirement at the top of the challenges screen), and you’ll be earning something new every time you get to Leshy’s cabin and win against him.

Starting Kaycee’s Mod

inscryption starting kaycee's mod

First, I’d recommend selecting the vanilla deck, then any of the available challenges.

Your first run will be similar to a regular run of Act 1, but you’ll probably have randomized areas that go in a different order from the base game, and the areas will indicate which boss you’ll fight. Most bosses are more challenging earlier than later.

There are a few things you’ll notice off the bat. Ouroboros only gets its stats each run; they don’t carry over in-between deaths like the main game. You also can’t interact with the environment outside the primary card game much; the most you can do is change your player model or swap between the OST for acts 1, 2, and 3.

There is one puzzle you can do when you get out of your chair, though. The painting will change to a different board setup with varying cards in specific places each time, and if you do this puzzle, you’ll get some optional rewards to help out with future runs.

I’d recommend looking at it each run until you’ve finished it after three successful images are completed.

defeat-screen-kaycees-mod

Your first run will more than likely end in failure. This is essentially like playing through Act 1 on your first try, which, if you managed to beat Act 1 in less than five tries, you’re insane. Kaycee’s mod usually takes far more practice and tactics that are thought through than Act 1, so it won’t be precisely what you’re used to.

Some Quick Strategies

mantis-on-god-golddigger-inscryption

Before I go into detail on everything you can optionally add to your Kaycee’s mod runs, I wanted to go over some general strategies that are pretty much applicable in almost every run I’ve done—these range from generally good advice to things that have been genuine lifesavers before.

While I can’t cover everything, I’ll do my best to help.

  • Don’t Hoard Cards. Unless you’re doing a strategy that explicitly requires a huge deck, it’s usually better to focus on just a few super-powerful cards and ensure you get them every match by not having that many cards.
  • Don’t be afraid of sacrifices. Both in matches and on the board, you shouldn’t be scared to sacrifice a card dealing one damage to get a three-damage card on the board, nor should you be afraid of sacrificing a bad card with an excellent sigil to a card that could utilize it better.
  • Prioritize good sigils. If you go for every card with good damage and health, you might miss out on some seriously great sigils from cards like the Cockroach, Cat, or Mantis. These sigils can always be given to better cards.
  • Visit the Painter and Mycologist. The Painter can replicate a card with about a 90% success rate, and the Mycologist will combine two cards of the same type. You can combine these two by duplicating a powerful card, then fusing the copy with the original and getting a fantastic card.
  • Don’t be afraid to cheat. This might seem odd, but if you’re on a great run and just died to a mistake you could’ve prevented by playing better, you can exit the game in the pause menu, continue the run, and start back. This won’t reset any random elements, so it only helps if it is a Skill Issue.

Starting Decks

At the start of Kaycee’s mod, you’ll only have the starting vanilla deck, but over time, you’ll unlock seven more decks you can start with. While these are usually designed to be roughly equal in terms of power and viability, each has its pros and cons, and I’ll go over each so you can choose which aligns with your play style.

You can also choose the randomize option in the top right of the card deck selection menu to let the game decide which deck you’ll use. I can’t say I recommend this unless you want to change it up since there’s no reward for winning with every deck besides a checkmark on the deck itself.

One thing that should be noted is every deck comes with 2-3 pelts by default, giving you a pelt trade at the very start of each run. This provides you with extra options and essentially allows you to customize your deck by choosing between 8 random options. I’d recommend going for good sigils and things like rabbit burrows or beehives.

Vanilla Deck

inscryption vanilla deck

This is the deck you’d usually start within the main game, and it’s about as balanced a start as you could get.

It contains a Stoat that does one attack and has two health for one blood, a Bullfrog with the same stats but with Air Guard, allowing you to block flying enemies, and a Wolf with three attack and has two health for two blood.

Nothing particularly stands out about it, but it’ll get you through most runs of the game without encouraging you to stick to any particular gimmick or strategy, which usually makes it a worse option if you’re going for something specific.

Pros

  • Balanced, not great, but not bad.
  • Easy to use as a jumping-off point for any strategy.
  • Mitigates random elements by being flexible.

Cons

  • Most specific strategies have a deck that is best for them, and this is rarely one of them.
  • There are no standout or rare cards in this deck, so you’d have to start building a deck around one of those later.
  • The Stoat and Bullfrog are incredibly similar, meaning you don’t have that diverse of a deck.

Blood Deck

inscryption blood deck

This deck is a bit more specialized, giving you a more focused deck on cards using blood rather than generally useful ones.

It contains a Goat with 0 attack and health but gives three blood when sacrificed, a Moose Buck that deals three damage and has seven health but takes three blood to summon, and a mole that blocks attacks and has four health.

This deck can be incredibly consistent and occasionally challenging to get off the ground with.

You’re expected to use the goat to summon the Moose Buck, but that falls apart as soon as you get more cards in your deck, meaning you pretty much always have to have a small deck, which is even more challenging to do during bosses.

Pros

  • A powerful card in the starting hand.
  • Blood Goat makes it easier to play using higher-cost cards.
  • If you have a small deck, you can win most fights immediately.

Cons

  • Only one card can deal damage in the hand, meaning you’ll likely have to rely on random cards for damage.
  • The mole can block shots, but it isn’t instrumental.
  • If you want a larger deck, this hand gets harder and harder to play.

Ant Deck

inscryption ant deck

The Ant Deck is based around, well, ants. Ants get stronger the more ants are on the board, making this hand of a Winged Ant that does ant damage and has one health. Also, it’s flying. An Ant Queen, which does ant damage and gives you a worker ant when it’s played for two blood and a… Skunk? that does 0 damage, is stinky, and has one health, played for one blood.

This deck asks you to pull ants, use those ants to get more ants, and ideally, have four cards on the board, all doing four damage.

The outlier here is the skunk; it doesn’t mesh with the rest of the deck and could’ve been a worker ant. Otherwise, getting sigils or totems that make you get more ants and play them easier is the name of the game.

Pros

  • Ants can be incredibly powerful when used right.
  • Ant Queen gives another ant for free when played.
  • Winged Ant is uncommon and pretty valuable.

Cons

  • Skunk is out of place here, doesn’t synergize with the rest of the deck, and is only somewhat valid on its own or as a sacrifice.
  • Ant Queen is expensive, meaning you’ll have to set up more at the start of each turn.
  • This entire strategy will take around five turns to set up optimally, which may be too long in some scenarios.

Mantis God Deck

inscryption mantis god deck

This deck has a single good card, but trust me; it’s a really good card. On this hand, you’ll be given a Mantis God with Triple Strike, dealing one damage, having one health, and costing one blood.

Your other two cards are Ring Worms, which deal no damage, have one health, and cost one blood, but they aren’t useless.

Ringworms have the (somewhat hidden) function of being able to be sacrificed at a campfire, the survivors will eat it, but the next time you hit up a campfire, you’ll find they’ve all died.

This means you can boost your Mantis God’s health and attack twice without fear of losing the card. This deck requires good luck, but a run that starts successfully will be excellent.

Pros

  • Extremely powerful deck if played right.
  • Relying on just one perfect card means it can be duplicated, allowing for a more oversized deck with the strategy still holding.
  • With an added Dual-Strike sigil, Mantis God hits the board five times, allowing for games to be won instantly most of the time.

Cons

  • There is only one card. While ringworms are useful for campfires, they aren’t good for anything else.
  • Extremely RNG-heavy strategy; if you haven’t gotten a mantis with at least three attack or quintuple hit by the first boss, it’s a reset.
  • The Mantis God only has one health, so if it gets hit once before getting health upgraded, it’s dead.

Aquadect (Waterborne Deck)

inscryption aquadect (waterborne deck)

All of these cards are, you guessed it, underwater cards, meaning they take cover at the end of their turn. There are two Kingfishers in this deck, flying cards that deal one damage and have one health, costing one blood.

Kraken is the rare card with the same stats as the Kingfishers, but it becomes a random tentacle card when it pops up from the water.

The Kingfishers in this deck cannot damage (most) other cards since they’re flying.

The Kraken is highly random, choosing from one of three cards that all have a damage value correlating to something that is almost always out of your control, be it damage based on Bell Rings, the damage of the card in front of it, or the number of cards in your hand.

Pros

  • The Kingfishers are nice because they almost always hit the board, regardless of obstacles.
  • Rare cards are shiny.
  • I genuinely cannot think of anything else. Maybe you’ll get great luck with the Kraken?

Cons

  • The Kraken is highly random, and very rarely is it helpful.
  • You cannot block hits using any of these cards.
  • None of these cards do decent damage or have much potential to be made into high-damage cards.

Bone Deck

inscryption bone deck

You might be shocked that this deck made for using bones has two blood cards, but it makes sense if you think about it for a second.

You get a Racoon that gives double bones when it’s out, a Dire Wolf Pup that digs up bones and grows up, both having one health and damage, and a Coyote that costs four bones, doing two damage and having one health.

If you had more fun with Bone cards than Blood cards in your playthrough of Inscryption, then you’ll probably have fun with this deck.

This one will set you up to get bones often, occasionally better than blood cards, since you can earn a ton of bones in a single turn if you play your cards right. (Pun intended. Intend your puns, cowards.)

Pros

  • You will naturally get bones by playing the game regardless, so focusing on them isn’t a bad idea.
  • Most high-cost bone cards do decent damage, essentially for free.
  • Raccoon and Dire Wolf Pup are both relatively uncommon cards.

Cons

  • Bone Cards aren’t the easiest to get a lot of.
  • The deck only has one bone card by default, so you must build the rest of your deck yourself.
  • Most bone cards do less damage than blood cards.

None Deck

inscryption none deck

This deck has three cards in your real, non-squirrelly deck, meaning they can be given sigils and upgraded.

You get a bunny with the same stats as a squirrel, a tadpole that goes underwater and upgrades after a turn, and a Geck that does one damage and has one health; all great to use for sigils.

Of course, the biggest flaw of this deck is that all of these, on their own, are extremely weak cards.

There’s no equivalent to the Wolf as the Vanilla deck has, and the only guaranteed source of damage is the Geck, and one damage is not enough, especially if you immediately sacrifice one of your Pelt cards for its sigil in the early game.

Pros

  • All of these cards are free; sacrifices mustn’t be made.
  • Geck is a rare card I’d often choose regardless, potent with the Unkillable sigil.
  • Tadpole both helps on its own and has pretty great sigils for sacrifices.

Cons

  • Only one of these cards does damage from the start.
  • The Bunny doesn’t do much for you except maybe a second squirrel at the start of a game.
  • You’ll likely have a bunch of heavy early-game RNG, making it similar to the Mantis deck, just a bit worse.

Egg Deck

inscryption egg deck

This one’s a bit complicated. The egg deck consists entirely of three curious egg cards, which only hatch when cards with 1-5 health, 1-5 attack, and five different species are in your hand.

You need one card with one attack, one with two, etc. The egg always hatches into a Hydra card, which hits the board five times for one damage each, and has five health, one of the best cards.

Hatching the eggs is extremely difficult and requires learning stalling strategies and hoarding many cards.

You’ll struggle extremely hard early game with this deck (you only have two cards), but once you get a consistent stalling strategy and a deck that can quickly fulfill all of the eggs’ conditions, this becomes one of the best decks in the game.

Pros

  • Eggs become one of the best cards in the game when fulfilled.
  • If you hoard cards, you’ll likely fulfill all conditions with some planning.
  • Since you have three, you’ll likely get your win condition every match once set up.

Cons

  • Higher risk-reward than every other deck.
  • Your usable deck is limited to your two pelt picks in the early game.
  • If you don’t have the conditions, the only way to use eggs is to stall or upgrade them at campfires instead of already good cards.

Challenges

Challenges are the things you choose at the start of every run to make it more difficult. You only start with four at the beginning of Kaycee’s Mod, but you’ll unlock 15 by the end of the game.

These are all worth specific points, and to clear each level (and get some juicy lore bits), you’ll need to heighten the challenge every time.

The game has different values for each challenge, ranging from 5 points to 50, though occasionally, I and the game disagree on which challenges deserve higher points.

I’ve organized each challenge from – in my opinion – least difficult to most difficult, so you can take it from someone who plays this game way too much, which ones to choose.

Final Boss – 20 Points

inscryption final boss - 20 points

This optional bonus is unlocked at the end of Kaycee’s mod when you have no more levels.

It changes the final boss from Leshy to something else, and for the sake of not spoiling the surprise, I won’t go into detail, but it’s an entertaining boss. I find this boss easier than Leshy, but you also don’t need points.

No Hook – 5 Points

inscryption no hook - 5 points

This one is debatably easier than usual. You usually start with three different items, including the hook, and if you have a full pack and run into an item spot on the board, you’ll be given a Pack Rat.

Most people agree the Pack Rat sucks, it has a decent sigil, but it’s just not a great card, and you can’t choose whether or not you take it.

This one is a personal choice. Do you want to take the hook and risk getting a Pack Rat forced into your deck, or do you wish not to take the hook and potentially get something you might want more, such as a pair of Scissors or a Clock? It’s a personal choice, but I usually turn this one on every run.

Cloverless – 5 Points

inscryption cloverless - 5 points

This is technically a downgrade, but I usually play the game like this anyways. It removes the clover from Card Draws, so you cannot re-roll the three cards you got.

Pretty self-explanatory, with less ability to mitigate RNG, but I end up doing this most of the time anyways since 90% of the time, I feel like I’d regret re-rolling.

Pricey Pelts – 5 Points

inscryption pricey pelts - 5 points

Pricey pelts increase the price of pelts, which is simple enough. It grows most by double, so rabbits usually around two teeth go to four.

Unlike the regular game, this makes all the Pelt Prices 100% consistent, so now the Wolf and Golden pelts ranging from 2-6 or 3-11 are always 8 and 20 each. This makes pelts harder to get.

More Difficult – 15 Points

inscryption more difficult - 15 points

This isn’t lying; it is more difficultish. The title isn’t inaccurate, but it’s not as complicated as you think. You can stack 2 of these, and all this will do is add +1 or +2 to the random stats of enemy cards. Once you get into strategies where you don’t even let enemies get on the board, this matters less and less; they’re just slightly more oppressive.

Smaller Backpack – 5 Points

inscryption smaller backpack - 5 points

This reduces your total item count from 3 to just 2. If you remove the hook, you’ll start with just the squirrel and pliers, but if you keep the hook, you start with the hook and the squirrel. This one can hinder strategies that hinge on items or just be potentially run-ending if you could’ve used items to save yourself at some point.

No Boss Rares – 15 Points

inscryption no boss rares - 15 points

This one guarantees you can’t get a rare card from the end of a boss fight; instead, you’ll get some (usually pretty decent) standard cards. I’d say this one won’t usually be incredibly impactful unless you find you rely on those three rare cards, but if you need rares, you can always buy Golden Pelts and trade for some.

Tipped Scales – 20 Points

inscryption tipped scales - 20 points

Now we’re getting into the things that will significantly impact most runs. Tipped scales add a single tooth on the enemy’s side of the scale at the start of every match, starting you with four hits from death and six hits from winning.

This disadvantage is enough to break specific strategies, but if you’re already overkilling every round, you’re fine.

Totem Bosses – 15 Points

inscryption totem bosses - 15 points

This one gives every boss a Totem with a random sigil. Canine for the prospector, Avian for the Angler, and Reptile for the Trapper (which works for Strange Frogs). This will make boss fights a bit more random in their difficulty, sometimes, the Totems can help you out if they’re something like flying, but most can easily heighten the difficulty.

All Totem Battles – 20 Points

inscryption all totem battles - 20 points

Apply what I said in Totem Bosses, but for every enemy and not just bosses, you’ve got this one. It’s random whether it’ll make any fight significantly more difficult, but not having the option between a totem battle or a regular one and ending up in a totem battle that can mess up your entire strategy is very sad.

Squirrel Fish – 20 Points

inscryption squirrel fish - 20 points

This makes all your squirrels waterborne, meaning they hide underwater at every turn. This shuts down any opportunity to block hits using your squirrels, meaning you’ll have to tank damage with regular cards or just take the hit. This completely breaks some strategies and, namely, the entire Egg deck.

Annoying Starters – 10 Points

inscryption annoying starters - 10 points

This challenge makes every single card you start with get the Annoying sigil. This sigil causes the card in front of it to gain one attack, which can turn unmoving obstacles into genuine threats, and low-damage cards that you could usually stall against into killer cards that can easily tear a hole in plenty of strategies relying on starting cards.

Single Candle – 30 Points

inscryption single candle - 30 points

High risk, high reward. You’ll usually get two candles in runs of Kaycee’s mod (I think it should default to three like the regular game, then have two challenges that remove candles, but whatever), representing your lives.

This challenge means you can’t make a deadly mistake, and you’ll never get The Smoke in Bosses. Good luck.

Grizzly Bosses – 50 Points

inscryption grizzly bosses - 50 points

If you’ve ever played the game too quickly at the start of your Act 1 playthrough, you might have come across a screen where Leshy’s eyes glow red, summoning 8 Grizzly Bears on a boss you’re not supposed to reach yet.

They block air strikes, are extremely powerful, and are essentially unbeatable if you don’t have a potent card.

FAQs

Question: How do I Unlock the Skull Icon in Inscryption?

Answer: Beating the game will unlock Kaycee’s mod, a proper roguelike mode for experienced players. It can also be unlocked by pressing Shift + K + M on PC.

Question: Does Beating Kaycee’s Mod with Every Challenge Unlock Anything?

Answer: No, content is only unlocked when you clear a challenge point barrier.

Question: What does Kaycee’s Mod Unlock in Inscryption?

Answer: The only thing unlocked while clearing Kaycee’s Mod is some non-essential lore entries written by Kaycee, with no crucial plot details or endings locked behind the mode.

Inscryption Kaycees Mod Guide: Conclusion

i-think-bugs-could-kill-god-inscryption

I love Inscryption; it was so incredibly unexpected and absolutely my game of the year for 2021.

That being said, Kaycee’s mod made one of my favorite titles even better since getting to be far more strategic with my plays and seeing cards or items, and even some characters from future acts in the Act 1 style is fantastic.

I’d recommend clearing this mode and getting to the very end.

Especially if you reached the end of the main game and got a little bit disappointed by some of the gag characters or items, since Kaycee’s mod adds most of them back in but takes them far more seriously, allowing you to experience this content as it was always meant to be.

Enter the Dark Puzzle of Inscryption | GOG

Inscryption delivers a mind-bending blend of card-based strategy, psychological horror, and puzzle-solving in a sinister digital world. With its unique narrative twists and strategic depth, immerse yourself in a gripping tale where every move could lead to either victory or doom.

Check Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
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