Slay the Spire Getting Started Guide

I discovered Slay the Spire completely by accident a few years ago whilst browsing Xbox Game Pass, and decided to check it out on a whim. And I have to say, that was one of the best random decisions of my life because I was hooked from the get-go.

I eagerly played my first couple of games, and without even noticing the time going by, I realized it was past midnight! And despite the many hours I’ve put in since then, it’s still just as riveting as it was the first time I played.

Slay the Spire was my first real introduction to roguelites; it’s certainly the first one I remember playing. It was like a gateway drug in many ways, as roguelites have since become one of my absolute favorite genres.

But although I have a wide catalog of titles to play, Slay the Spire will always be my number one. It’s the game that captured my heart, and so I’ll keep coming back to slay the Spire’s Heart!

What’s the Deal with the Spire?

  • Number of playable characters – 4. The Ironclad,
  • , The Defect, The Watcher.
  • Number of acts – 3 acts as standard, plus Act 4 when challenging the Heart.
  • Number of card types – 5. Attack, Skill, Power, Status, Curse.
  • The developer – Megacrit Games.
  • Release date – It was first released on 14th November 2017.

What is Slay the Spire

slay the spire card list
Each character has access to a wide range of cards.

Slay the Spire is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to roguelite deck-builders. Although there are other similar games out there, none of them come close to having the prestige that Slay the Spire does. It has an almost cult following amongst its players, and for good reason.

The game’s purpose is to defeat the mystical enemies that inhabit the Spire and eventually beat the ultimate boss – the beating Heart of the Spire. To get there, you have to work your way through three acts, all increasing in difficulty.

Of course, as this is a game, your duty is never over, but every time you beat the Heart, it will count as a victory. You won’t always play against the Heart, so it still counts for a victory in your stats as long as you beat Act 3.

Cards are the main way you interact in Slay the Spire, and there are three main types – Skill, Power, and Attack. Skills can allow you to defend yourself by applying Block or other perks that don’t necessarily damage the enemy. Power cards offer ongoing effects to help you during combat.

Attack cards deal damage to the enemy, as you’d expect. There are also Status and Curse cards, which I’ll explain in more detail later on.

Before You Begin

Slay the Spire is played one run at a time, so there’s only so much you can do ahead of time. In fact, the only choices you can make are related to the character you choose and the starting reward that you pick.

Each run is randomly generated, so most of your decisions will be made on the fly. Still, below is what you’ll want to consider before you begin your run.

Characters in Slay the Spire

One of the really cool things about Slay the Spire is that the experience is completely different depending on which character you decide to play. There are four playable characters, each with their own unique style. Let’s run through the specialties of each of them!

The Ironclad

slay the spire the ironclad
The combination of gold and red looks so powerful and epic.

The Ironclad is a warrior who wears a fearsome mask and wields a giant sword. He also happens to be my favorite to play as simply because of how much casual fun you can have with his combos. This is the first character available to you, and you will have to play as him at least once to unlock The Silent.

He has the highest starting Max HP of any of them, beginning at 80/80. His starting Relic is Burning Blood, which means he restores 6 HP after every combat. There are also several ways to raise Max HP throughout your run as The Ironclad.

His specialties are primarily Strength and Exhaust. When playing as The Ironclad, you’ll encounter plenty of ways to raise your Strength, which will ensure you do maximum damage.

You’ll also want to utilize well-placed Skill cards to give you enough Block to tank enemy hits until your Strength is high enough to destroy them. Exhaust is a mechanic whereby your cards will be removed from your deck after you play them, and there are plenty of cards and Relics which take advantage of this mechanic.

The Silent

slay the spire the silent
I can’t lie, her mask terrifies me!

Contrary to The Ironclad, The Silent has the lowest starting Max HP at only 70/70. However, she makes up for this by cleverly utilizing Skills to ensure she’s defended. She’s a huntress, and her design was meant to emulate a Rogue class from role-playing games such as D&D.

Her entire body is shrouded in a robe, except for her head, which is concealed by a disturbing skull mask. In her hand, she wields a compact, wavy dagger.

Her starting Relic is the Ring of the Snake, which allows her to draw two extra cards on the first turn of combat. There’s a Boss Relic that can replace this one, called Ring of the Serpent, which lets her draw one extra card at the start of every single turn. As you can tell, drawing power is one of her specialties.

Where The Ironclad is focused on big hits, The Silent is more about maximizing her turn. Several of her Powers and Skills are related to gaining extra energy or drawing more cards.

This allows her to pull off impressive combos that will hurt the enemy over time, while also giving her access to more Block to defend against their Attacks.

Her main mechanic involves applying Poison. This deals damage at the end of every turn, and it stacks, meaning that after a few turns, the enemies can find themselves in serious trouble.

The Defect

slay the spire the defect
I know it’s basically a robot, but I think The Defect is adorable.

This is the most peculiar design, rather than being a humanoid figure; The Defect is an automaton from the Spire itself. The name ‘Defect’ has a dual meaning, referring to the fact that it’s broken from its original purpose (defending the spire) and changed to the opposite side.

Now, instead of fighting those that come to beat the Spire, The Defect is the one doing the slaying. It has an awkwardly shaped body made up of parts of the Spire, and its torso is wrapped in a vibrant blue poncho.

It has the second-highest starting Max HP after The Ironclad, with 75/75. The Defect also has a unique mechanic, whereby it uses Orbs to do most of its damage and Block. The cards merely serve as means for channeling those Orbs.

Its starting Relic is Cracked Core, and this channels 1 Lightning at the start of each combat. This can be replaced with a Boss Relic, Frosted Core, which channels 1 Frost at the end of every turn, provided there’s an empty slot.

The Defect is more about long-term plays, as it can take a while to channel enough Orbs to take down your opponents. That’s why it’s important to also channel Frost to earn enough Block that you don’t take too much damage while accumulating other Orbs.

The cards in its deck are pretty exciting, and cards such as Creative AI allow you to get random cards into your hand. Each run with The Defect feels totally different from the previous one.

The Watcher

slay the spire the watcher
Look how coooool she is!

This was the final playable character added to Slay the Spire, and personally, I find her the most interesting. She does intimidate me slightly, hence why I tend to play as The Ironclad for the most part, but she’s definitely the one I want to become the best with.

She has a sleek, elegant design, standing tall and poised, dressed in purple. The bottom half of her face is obscured by a red mask, and she wields a long staff.

She starts with a relatively low Max HP of 72/72, but don’t mistake this for her being weak. Her starting Relic is Pure Water, which adds a Miracle to her hand at the start of each combat. Miracle is a 0-cost card that is Retained and allows you to gain one free energy.

The Boss Relic that replaces this is Holy Water, giving her 3 Miracle cards at the start of combat, instead of just 1.

She utilizes several different mechanics, and I consider her the most complex of the four characters (although an argument could be made for The Defect). A lot of her usefulness comes from drawing power, and finetuning her deck during combat using abilities like Scry and Retain.

One thing to pay close attention to is her Stances. These can be changed using cards, and affect how much damage she gives and takes, as well as generating energy for her.

Neow

slay the spire neow
Win or lose, Neow is a familiar constant each run.

Neow isn’t a playable character, but I’m including her here as she’s important to the story. Neow is a mystical whale, and she seems to hate the Spire with a burning passion.

She’s the one who resurrects the characters, and she’ll greet you at the start of each new run. She also offers boons at the start, and you can select which one you want.

The rewards she offers are based on the success of the previous run. If you make it past Act 1, then you’ll have four options to choose between.

However, if you die before beating the Act 1 Boss, then you’ll only have two options. One of those will be Neow’s Lament, which reduces the HP of all enemies to 1 for the first three combats.

Assuming you make it past Act 1, there are a wide number of different rewards you can get. These can involve adding in powerful new cards, receiving gold, upgrading cards, earning a Relic, and more. Choosing wisely from Neow can help make the run easier right from the start.

Your First Few Runs

There’s only so much planning ahead that you can do with Slay the Spire. As each run is a randomly generated standalone experience, you don’t need to consider long-term tactics. Instead, each run should be taken at face value, and you should adjust your strategies depending on what you find in the Spire.

However, knowing the basics will help you adapt much quicker, and from there, you’ll be able to learn as you go. Below are all the facets of the game that you should take into consideration for your first few runs.

Basic Gameplay

slay the spire relic list
Having a decent balance of cards and Relics is essential to a successful run.

So, as I mentioned at the start, you play Slay the Spire primarily by using cards. Each character has their own unique cards, and there are also Colorless cards that can be used by any of them. Throughout your run, you’ll have the opportunity to add cards to your deck, as well as to remove them.

Refining your deck into only the most useful cards is a skill in and of itself. You’ll draw five cards at the start of each turn (unless you have extra drawing power), and any unused cards will be discarded at the end of the turn.

The cards are used in combat as you make your way through the Spire. Most of the rooms you encounter will either be normal enemies, or Elites. Both of these involve fighting enemies, although the strength of the enemies will vary.

Each card will have a cost associated with it, and that’s how much energy it will cost you to play it. Typically, you’ll start at three energy each turn, but some Relics and cards can raise this amount. Still, deciding which cards from your hand to play can be a tricky challenge.

Cards aren’t your only means of winning combat, and you’ll also acquire several Relics throughout your journey. These offer powerful passive effects and will activate automatically without you needing to remember to use them.

Usually, these are totally random, but you do get a choice between 3 after you beat a Boss (the enemy at the end of each act). Synergizing Relics with the cards in your deck is a huge part of getting a good run in Slay the Spire.

There are two types of successful runs in Slay the Spire. The first is ‘Victory?’ and this triggers after you beat the Act 3 boss in any run. You’ll see the Heart, but won’t enter combat with it; you just hit it once, and then the end screen will appear.

However, it is possible to defeat the Heart. The option to do this will be unlocked after you beat Act 3 for the first time. From then on, each run will present you with three keys – red, green, and blue. You need to collect all three before defeating the Act 3 Boss, and then you’ll move on to Act 4, where you face the Heart.

As it’s a roguelite, each run starts anew whenever you die, without carrying over any of your accumulated cards or Relics. However, you do still get progression to make future runs easier. This works by unlocking new, more powerful cards and Relics for each character.

Whenever you end a run, you earn a certain amount of points depending on how successful it was. Hitting a point milestone unlocks the next batch of items.

Types of Rooms

Unless you’re using a particular Mod, you can choose your own route through the Spire. There will be several rooms marked on the map, and you can pick your starting position and which room you journey to next. Some paths will be fixed; others have forks where you can go one way or the other.

Below are all the rooms that may appear in the Spire. At the end of each act, you’ll face a Boss fight, and all paths will lead to this.

Enemy

The majority of rooms you’re likely to face will just be your regular bog standard enemy. There’s a wide range of enemy designs in Slay the Spire, and you can never guarantee which enemy you will face. They all have different attack/ defense strategies, so be prepared to face anything.

A well-balanced deck is essential to avoid getting tripped up by an enemy with a unique move set. The enemies will increase in difficulty the further you progress through the tower, and regular rooms in Act 3 can be almost as difficult as an Elite room in Act 1.

Elite

slay the spire elite room map
The map comes with a handy key so you know which symbol is which.

These are like regular enemies but on Steroids. They will have higher HP, more powerful attacks, and probably some annoying passive buff, such as gaining strength or negating debuffs. You’re not always facing just one powerful enemy either, and you may find yourself up against multiple tough enemies.

Whilst they are difficult to defeat, they also grant impressive rewards. You can earn rare cards, Potions, and Relics.

If you’re a beginner player, you may want to try and find a route around the Elites, but experienced players tend to seek them out so they can reap better rewards and get a higher number of Relics. One of the Elite symbols on the map will be surrounded by a flame, which means you will get the Emerald Key if you defeat it.

Merchant

He always greets you with a friendly “aha!” whenever you encounter him, and I’m always happy to hear it. His shop offers a welcome respite from the trials of the Spire, and he stocks an assortment of goodies to help you on your quest.

His standard stock carries a selection of cards (including a Colorless card), some potions, and even some Relics. Some Relics are shop exclusives, so keep an eye out for those.

He also offers a card removal service which is great for getting rid of Curses or weaker cards. However, be aware that you can only use that service once per Merchant visit, and the price increases the more you purchase it, so use it well.

Treasure

It’s hard to decide whether I prefer Treasure rooms or Rest Sites. I guess it depends on what exactly is in the treasure chest. Usually, it’s a single Relic of random rarity (excluding Boss Relics, Starter Relics, or Shop Relics). Occasionally you’ll also be offered gold or a Potion.

If you’ve unlocked Act 4, then at some point, you’ll need to take the Sapphire Key if you wish to take on the Heart. By taking the key, you’ll forfeit the Relic, as you can only claim one or the other.

Rest Site

A much-needed opportunity to take stock and prepare for the rest of your journey. Naturally, you can rest at these sites, which will recover some HP (30% rounded down unless you have a modifier). However, if you have a decent amount of HP, then you can choose to Smith instead.

This allows you to upgrade a single card of your choice from your deck. You can also Recall here as a one-time use to get the Ruby Key. A few Relics allow you to take other actions at Rest Sites.

Unknown

slay the spire bonfire spirits
Each event will come with a picture accompanied by some text, and usually some options for you to choose between.

These are a lot of fun, and I always prioritize Unknown rooms, even though that’s not necessarily the best strategy. You know that Family Guy meme of “A boat’s a boat, but the mystery box could be anything… Could it even be a boat’?

Well, that’s how I feel whenever I see that enticing question mark symbol on the map. These can be any of the above rooms, but often you’ll encounter some kind of event.

There are many possible events, some of which offer positive benefits, some which give you negative outcomes, and others that are more neutral. Still, the excitement is always worth it to me.

Card Types

As cards are the main method through which you’ll be engaging in combat, it’s important to understand the different types and how to use them. You’ll want to craft a deck that has a good balance of Attacks, Skills, and Powers, and this will depend on your deck strategy.

For example, an Exhaust deck for the Ironclad would utilize more Powers and Skills than a Strength deck would. Learning the core cards for your strategy will help you get successful runs more frequently.

Except for Status and Curse cards, all card types can be upgraded. This is a mechanic that transforms the card into a more powerful variant of itself.

Attack

slay the spire attack card
Attacks allow you to choose a target, with a clear arrow pointing to the enemy you’ve selected. Some attacks deal damage to multiple enemies.

These cards are all about damaging your opponents, although they may also have secondary effects. Ultimately, damaging your opponents is how you win, so you shouldn’t neglect Attack cards when building your deck.

Powers and Skills can sometimes be more tempting due to the powerful effects they offer, but they’re essentially useless if you don’t have some consistent ways of dealing damage.

Try and figure out your optimal plays when picking Attack cards. For example, an Attack card that costs two energy and deals 15 damage might seem promising at first, but it’s less efficient per energy than a card that costs one energy and deals eight damage. 

Slay the Spire gives you very little base energy to play with, so unless you have cards and Relics which mitigate that, higher-cost cards can end up as deck clutter.

Also, consider the secondary effects of cards, as they’ll work better in some decks than others. This is especially true when playing as The Watcher, as her shtick is that she changes Stances throughout combat.

You’ll want to make sure that you have a card that can revert her to Calm at the end of the turn if you decide to play an Attack card that puts her in Wrath. Finding perfect combos of both damage and effects is the key to a useful Attack card in any deck.

Claw

slay the spire claw card
Claw is Law!

This is a unique Attack card for The Defect, and it has become a meme amongst Slay the Spire fans, who use the phrase ‘Claw is Law.’ The idea is that you should always take it when offered, as the effects become compounded the more of them that you have in your deck.

They start off dealing really low damage but increase exponentially the more Claw cards you play each combat. Cards that stack like that can make for really enjoyable and powerful runs.

Skill

slay the spire skill card
Read Skill cards carefully to see their effects and create a balanced deck.

These cards don’t typically deal damage (although some of them do as a secondary effect), but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Skills offer you a multitude of opportunities that Attack cards do not.

Firstly, they can provide you with Block, which is necessary when facing enemies that deal serious damage. You may have Relics such as Orichalcum which give you some Block, but you’ll need more if you want to survive long enough to beat Act 3.

They may also give you extra energy or drawing power. Base energy is 3/3 for all the characters, and this seriously limits how many cards you can play each turn, so extra energy is an incredible perk.

Drawing extra cards can give you a serious edge, too, as it may allow you to find the perfect card to synergize with the rest of your hand.

However, Block, energy, and drawing power aren’t the only thing that they provide, and the list of Skill types is incredibly long.

Each character will have unique Skills that are tailored perfectly to their specialties. For example, when playing as The Defect, some Skills that allow you to channel extra Orbs, which is their main mechanic for both Block and damage.

Power

slay the spire power cards
Stacking powers can be really useful during long combats.

I adore Power cards. They’re a beautifully cost-effective way to make the most of the cards in your deck. Powers are essentially like Continuous cards in YuGiOh. You play them once, and then they remain until the end of combat, their powers activating whenever relevant.

The fact that you only have to pay the energy cost upfront and can then reap the rewards for an entire encounter is what really sets them apart. They can be rather pointless against weak enemies that will be defeated in just a couple of turns but are absolute game-changers in longer combat sessions.

However, just because they’re brilliant, doesn’t mean you should pick up every power card you find. The fact is, just like any other card type, Power cards have their time and place. You need to make sure that you’re only choosing cards that work well for the deck that you’re crafting.

For example, a Power card that allows you to draw every time you Exhaust a card is wonderful, but it becomes pointless if you’re playing a deck that doesn’t utilize the Exhaust mechanic.

Finding your favorite Power cards will be a matter of preference, and varies wildly depending on your manner of play. You can look on Slay the Spire forums for deck recommendations for each character, but whoever you choose, some well-placed Power cards can be the difference between beating the Heart or dying in Act 1.

Status and Curse

slay the spire status and curse cards
Having too many Status/ Curse cards in your deck can seriously affect the efficacy of your draws.

These are cards that you seldom want to have in your deck (unless you’re running certain deck strategies), but will inevitably end up with anyway. Being aware of them is an essential part of Slay the Spire, as you don’t want them to derail your run.

Status cards don’t tend to be too bad most of the time, other than just serving as deck-clutter. These are cards that get added to your deck during combat. This can either be due to an enemy’s move or as a side effect of a card you’ve played yourself.

If you have cards in your deck which produce Status cards, think very carefully about whether it’s worth it. They’ll all be removed at the end of combat, but except for Slimed (which you can pay one energy to remove from your deck), they’ll be stuck in your deck until you’ve defeated the enemy.

The worst Status cards are Burn (which deals you damage) and Void (which removes energy). The others are more annoying than anything else.

Curses are added to your deck outside of combat, often as a result of a negative effect from an Event. You should endeavor to remove them from the deck as soon as you get the chance, either using the Merchant or by other means if the opportunity presents itself.

Some of them are relatively innocuous and just bloat your deck, but others are pretty damaging, depending on your deck. Pain and Normality can both be particularly problematic if playing a deck that relies on drawing power.

Relics

slay the spire relics
When you defeat a Boss, you’ll get to choose which Relic you want.

Relics are special items that offer passive buffs throughout your run. You’ll never have to remember to use them, as they activate automatically whenever their conditions are met.

There are a few one-time-use Relics, such as Potion Belts or Tiny House, but most offer recurring effects throughout your run. Collecting Relics is a huge part of the game, but be aware that occasionally it can be better to skip a Relic if it doesn’t synergize well with the cards in your deck.

There are 179 Relics in Slay the Spire, so I’m not going to go through every single one of them. Instead, I’ll talk more broadly about how they’ll serve you in gameplay. Ultimately, they’re there to work alongside your deck to give you the best chance of defeating all the enemies and making your way to the Heart.

Some of them activate during combat. They may give you extra Block, or deal extra damage. Sometimes they may work to enhance your card plays, such as Pen Nib, which lets you play an Attack twice every 10th Attack.

Others, such as Happy Flower, give you extra energy to play more cards. Some are definitely better than others, but pretty much any of them can be ideal for the right deck.

Other Relics are designed to help you outside of combat. One such example is Shovel, which allows you to dig for Relics at Rest Sites, instead of just upgrading or resting. This can lead to you getting a higher number of Relics than you otherwise would have done.

There’s also Membership Card, which is one of my favorites. It gives you a discount in the Merchant shop, and buying the right potions, cards, and Relics makes a monumental difference to your run’s success.

Once You’re More Experienced

After playing a fair few runs as each character (or a lot of runs with the same character) you should be feeling more confident.

Slay the Spire has so much to offer, and while you may be content just repeatedly playing the Standard mode, there are adjustments that you can make to up the challenge. Here are some areas of the game that you may wish to try out once you’ve got some more experience under your belt.

Game Types

There are three modes that you can choose when playing Slay the Spire, and the game gives you this choice as soon as you load it up.

During your first few runs, you’ll want to stick to Standard. This will allow you to get used to the basic mechanics. However, when you have more experience, you may want to check out Daily Climb, or try making a custom game.

Standard

Pretty self-explanatory; this is the regular game type. If you choose this, you’ll be able to pick a character to play as, and then go on to face the Spire as usual.

If you’ve unlocked Act 4, you’ll have the opportunity to take on the Heart as long as you collect all three keys. You can also earn achievements for your progress when in this game mode, which you can’t during the others.

Daily Climb

This game mode resets every 24 hours, and offers a unique challenge every time. You’ll be given a specific character and a few Mods. Every player will face an identical Spire, and the only thing differentiating them will be the choices they make.

The idea is to get as far as possible whilst earning the best score you can. There’s a leaderboard displayed that shows the highest scores for each day, and your goal is to get on that leaderboard. Beating the Heart is not an option in this game mode.

Custom

slay the spire game types
You’ll be able to select your preferred game mode when you load up the game.

This mode is unlocked once you complete your first Daily Climb. You can choose any number of Mods, and tailor your game experience however you like. This mode is the most fun for those of you who wish to try out new techniques/ different cards and Relics.

Ascensions

Ascensions are special runs that you unlock after you beat the Spire for the first time. You only unlock Ascension when you beat the Spire with a particular character. So, for example, if you complete Act 3 with The Ironclad, you wouldn’t be able to do an Ascension run with The Silent until you also beat Act 3 with The Silent.

There are 20 Ascensions in total, each one progressively harder. You need to unlock them all in turn, again, only for the character you’re playing. So if you wanted to unlock A20 (the Ascension modes are referred to by the letter ‘A’ and a number by the player base) for all four characters, you’d have to play a minimum of 80 runs.

Each Ascension mode will add a new element of difficulty. So, for example, A1 adds in 60% more Elites, so you’re likely to encounter much tougher combats throughout your run. On A5, you only heal for 75% of your health after beating an act rather than 100% like usual.

On A14, you start with lower Max HP. As you can see, these are pretty tricky negative effects to contend with, and the worst thing is that they’re cumulative. So for each Ascension, you have to deal with all the previous challenges as well as the new one.

Beating A20 is considered an impressive feat and will earn you a lot of respect from other players. It’s a demonstration of your skill at Slay the Spire, and it’s what marks a veteran player from a casual or semi-experienced player.

It will take a lot of grinding and finesse to earn this accomplishment, but it’s so rewarding when you finally do.

Tips to Try and Mistakes to Avoid

Slay the Spire is a complex game, and you’re not going to be perfect when you first start. However, you can get a head start on most players by trying out the tips below.

Choose a Tactic and Stick to it

You know how the saying goes, ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. The same applies here. You want your deck to have decent synergy, and just because a card looks good, doesn’t mean it will fit well with your existing cards. Try to choose cards that all utilize similar mechanics so that you can stack them with each other.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in one Basket

A caveat to the previous tip. Although you should definitely have a core mechanic in play for each run, you should have a backup strategy. Each Boss has unique abilities, and some may counter your main deck strategy.

In that scenario, you’ll want to have other cards and Relics that will work will with each other, even if it wasn’t your initial plan.

Don’t Take Every Card or Relic that’s Offered to You

A common rookie error. It can be very tempting to grab everything that Slay the Spire puts in your path. After all, it’s called a ‘Reward’ screen, so you should accept the rewards, right? Wrong. Keeping your deck small means you’re more likely to draw the cards you really love.

Only take a card or Relic if it works for the tactic that you’ve chosen for that run. Exceptions can be made for certain strategies, such as ones using Exhaust or with lots of drawing power, but for the most part you should be picky.

Play for Achievements

There are 47 achievements in Slay the Spire, and trying to earn all of them can prove to be a fun challenge. This is a long-term goal as the average time to complete all of them is around 200 hours.

However, you can shorten this time by doing runs specifically to try and get certain achievements, even if it means failing that particular run.

An example would be to use Fiend Fire to Exhaust entire hands to get the achievement for having less than 3 cards in your deck. Reading the achievement list and planning ahead will prove more efficient than just hoping you earn the achievements organically.

Master a Particular Character

When you get started, it can be tempting to alternate between the different characters to make the runs feel as varied as possible. However, if you want to really learn the ins and outs of building powerful decks, you’re best off sticking to just one character to begin with.

I’d personally recommend The Ironclad just because he’s the easiest, but any of them will work. Play multiple runs, and attempt different deck strategies. It’ll help you get a much better idea of your preferred play style, and you can then adjust that to work for the other characters too.

FAQs

Question: How many hours of gameplay is Slay the Spire?

Answer: There isn’t really an answer to this, as it depends entirely upon you! Being a roguelite, it’s essentially an endless game, and so it’s up to you to define what constitutes the measure for gameplay.

However, it takes players roughly 12.5 hours to beat the Heart for the first time (closer to 30 when playing casually rather than aiming to win). This increases to over 200 hours when trying to get all the achievements.

Question: Will Slay the Spire be adding any new characters?

Answer: Megacrit has confirmed that they will not be adding any new characters to Slay the Spire as they’re now working on their next project. However, a fan expansion called Downfall has been created by the community, which adds new characters to the game.

Question: Is Slay the Spire a difficult game?

Answer: It does get easier the more you play it, as you’ll become more used to the mechanics, but essentially, yes. It’s designed to be difficult, much like most other roguelites.

It’s a hazard of the genre, and Slay the Spire certainly isn’t the type of game you’re likely to beat on your first run. However, the challenge is what keeps it interesting!

Conclusion

slay the spire wheel of change
Rng is a big part of the game, so enjoy each run for what it is!

Phew, we made it! Honestly, this article barely scratches the surface of all that Slay the Spire has to offer, but the idea here is to get you started.

Hopefully, you’ll have a much better idea of how to begin, and what to look out for. There’s so much fun and complexity in this game, so if you enjoy roguelites or deck-builders (or both!) then you should definitely give it a try.

I would recommend picking one character and sticking with them for a few runs to start with.

It will be easier to learn the game when only having to account for one set of cards and Relics, rather than having to remember a myriad of opposing techniques. The Ironclad is definitely best for beginners, but feel free to branch out to the others if you fancy a challenge.

Most of all, remember to have fun! Whilst there are technically ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cards and Relics, that doesn’t mean you have to abide by them!

If you really enjoy playing a strategy that everyone else, Slay the Spire Getting Started Guide thinks is weak, then go ahead! Don’t let other people dictate how you play; it’s important to find your own path in Slay the Spire.

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