Sanity, How We’ll Abuse It
In Iratus, the vast majority of enemies (save for roughly 5 out of all of them), have two health bars, a Red bar (physical health) and a purple bar (their mental health). When an enemy is reduced to 0% of their Red health, they die (who’da thunk?) but when their purple health hits 0% they have a chance of having a heart attack and dying should they incur any further stress damage. Most of your minions have some method of doing stress damage, but some, as expected, do more than others.
In this guide, I’m going to show you how we are going to 1 shot anything that isn’t a boss by abusing the stress system and my favorite characters in the game: The Shade and The Wraith.
You see, we aren’t going to kill them via heart attack. We’re going to go right for the Red Health bar and filling up our mana and wrath at the same time.
Here’s the rundown:
In the first slot, we have our friend the Dark Knight. our goal is to dump as many attribute points into armor and resistance. Our skill choices will be to grab anything to give us bonus stats in Despair and Attack over anything else. But the FIRST skill upgrade we grab is in the fourth row: No Tomorrow. What the skill does is place the DK in a stance, and anytime an enemy is afflicted with a debuff of ANY kind, the DK will attack them with a magical stress attack. He can hit multiple people at the same time this way, which is important for later. The rest of the skills are mostly up to you, but my preference is Edge of the Abyss, Face the Faceless, Dark Cleaning, We are Nothing, then Dark Greed for the ultimate. For items, as long as you have leg cuffs on him, its up to you.
In the second Slot, we have the the Skeleton which we will specc out to be our Primary tank. For this purpose, you need to upgrade his initiative first (its cheap and quick) then his armor and resistance. Ignore everything else, it doesn’t matter and you don’t care. For skills, again, only one skill is truly important, the rest you just grab for the bonus defense stats or despair buffs, with defense stats having priority. The one skill you absolutely do need is Unnerving Fortitude on the third row. This will cause your Skele boi to do anyone who attacks him a big spook. For items, again, you want a leg cuff.
In the third slot, you have the Wraith. This will be your debuffer and your source of stress damage. For skills you want to grab Ghostly Inferno (so you can hit three enemies at once) and Necrotic wind (for a hefty stress attack on demand). For the rest, whatever gives you more despair, grab. As for your magic attack, I went with death grasp for the resistance shred as you never have enough debuffs. For items, it doesnt actually matter. I personally like putting crows leg and witches ashes on him for extra debuffs, but its 100% personal preference. A good item is the one that allows you to bypass wards and blocks, but the build will deal with blocks on its own pretty well.
In our last slot, we have the Shade. This is your primary source of damage, and our build on him will be rather specific. Early on you want to buff up his armor and resistance to 4 each, then dump everything you can into evasion. For skills, you will grab Pain Mirror (to reduce ally damage and reposition ourselves), Grand Deception (more repositioning as well as a massive 40% evasion boost), Dark Gate (the HP boost is nice, but we NEED that spell power), Glimpse the Dark Void (-20% crit chance? Yes please. This is your stance cancel. If you are already in position, dont be afraid to use this every turn, ESPECIALLY if the enemy drops into a stance.), and MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL YOUR SKILLS you will grab Void Claw. This is the first ability upgrade you get, as this is how you will one shot anything that isn’t a boss (you’ll two shot those). For your ultimate upgrade, I went for Shadow within shadows for the Crit chance, but Hungry shadows gives you 4% evasion, which is nice. For items, You Must Get The Shades Unique Item From The Cultists. The second item is up to you, but I grabbed unholy water for the spellpower boost.
How It Works
Now you have your party, lets get down to business.
Every single round, you want to drop your Skeleton into Unnerving Fortitude. We want them to hit your skeleton as often as possible for that free stress riposte.
Your Dark knight will be dropping into No tomorrow as soon as you can, putting a few points into his initiative goes a long way.
Your Wraith will be abusing Ghostly inferno for a few rounds, until all their block is gone, or until you need to burst down their Sanity. ONLY have your wraith act after your Dark Knight has dropped into his stance. Remember, Curse is a Debuff, which triggers your DK’s stance attack.
Your Shade, for a little while, at least, will be sitting pretty, and debuffing people’s luck to throw the enemy positioning off, or to deal with a problem child. But once an enemy’s sanity hits 0%, you voidclaw them for an instant kill. Almost all enemies have as much, if not more, Sanity than they do health.
That’s it for the Minions, now let’s talk Spells. As iratus levels up, he can get access to some pretty crazy spells. Thanks to the Shades unique item, we have, effectively, unlimited mana and wrath. I went almost full Ire tree in my playthroughs to take advantage of having so much wrath. 36 spell power is nothing to sneeze at. But after i grabbed that, i snagged Infectious Lunacy. This gives our minions at minimum, 19% bonus damage on all our minions for 3 turns. Best part? It stacks. But if our Shade uses dark gate, its a minimum of 25% bonus damage! Late game, i’m seeing an easy 60% (minion items and void pendant) with the potential of going higher.
Artifact time, the most RNG part of this build, and thus, the least emphasized part of it. Void Pendant is our biggest goal here, for a nice 16 spellpower, but what makes this build go above and beyond is the Spirit Spear. Every time a minion gets a kill, it gets a 3% bonus to all damage it deals Forever. This means in the current fight, in the next fight, on the next stage, etc. Even if you remove the Artifact, the bonuses stay. It isnt a buff either, so don’t worry about losing it to enemy abilities. Only death removes it. The other slots are up to you, but I’m a fan of robes of Potence and the Powerfist.
That’s it. It’s a simple build, and an easy one to put together at that. Getting the items can seem like its up to RNG, but the big ticket item is damn near 100% if you go to the Cultists with a Shade in the party. How it plays is simple, and its effectiveness is easy to see. Your Shade will be one tapping enemies left and right due to his ability to ignore wards and never miss. If he crits, you can see some truly insane numbers (i saw him hit for 1300+ with some buffs on a crit). Thanks to the Dark Knights self sustain, and the shades mana sustain, you can spam out Battle Eternal (Ire tier 4 spell to heal ALL characters in battle to 100). Thanks to how the build works, you dont care about their red health, only their Sanity. Once they run out, just have your shade one tap them for a full heal, as well as all your mana back. This Build works throughout the entire game, and only sees some trouble on stage 4. But even then, your wraith, skeleton, and dark knight can eventually kill the nonliving enemies. For the enemies that are immune to debuffs, you can just burst them down with the Wraith’s Necrotic Squall, as you can get his damage up pretty high (base of 80+ at lvl 26).
With your spells, every single fight will eventually see you win, save for boss fights, which require their own strategies to beat.