King Bible, Cross | Empty Tome, Duplicator
King bible and cross’ upgraded forms are some of the highest damage in the game and the upgraded book makes it very difficult for enemies to ever get close. Coupled with a bracer and a magic wand, the keep out zone becomes impenetrable.
Empty tome and Duplicator are the strongest sources of combined offense and defense among the passive items.
Runetracer, Magic Wand, Both Birds, Bone, Garlic (Forest) | Crown, Bracer, Clover, Spinach
Runetracer is good screen wide damage all game long. The magic wand is the best source of single target keep-away power and pairs well with either garlic or holy book to really seal up your space. The birds do good softening up damage at midrange and when combined simply win the game. The bone is similar to runetracer but focuses more on the space around you as it doesn’t pierce. The garlic is A tier on forest due to its ability to kill all basic bats on contact. The first 5-10 minutes are a breeze with this and you can get an early headstart on your levels to get ready for the beefier green zombies and to chew through the skeletons at 11 min.
The crown can push you ahead on the level curve which is always good. Bracer makes your book wall impenetrable and lets runetracer touch more baddies. Clover grants you more 4 choice level ups which can help you from being forced into bad level up choices. Spinach is a 50% damage up when maxed which is nothing to sneeze at.
Axe, Fire Wand, Santa Water, Lightning Ring, Laurel | Wings, Attractor, Stone Mask, Spell Binder
Axe and Fire wand are good damage, especially when maxed, But axe needs a terrible passive item and the fire wand is inconsistent damage targeting even if it is very high damage. Santa water is a worse version of the birds but can help soften targets up. Lightning ring targets randomly but the damage is not bad. Laurel is a defensive item but is the best one as it can let you push through a dangerous surround without getting toasted.
Wings, attactor, and stone mask all provide decent bonuses but just aren’t usually worth the slots they take up and don’t contribute to any weapon evolutions. Spell binder contributes to the best evolution, and mildly boosts some weapons like runetracer and the birds, but is otherwise unremarkable.
Whip, Knife, Pentagram, Clock Lancet, Garlic (Library) | Armor, Hollow Heart, Pummarola, Candelabra
The whip, knife, and clock lancet all require proper positioning/facing in order to use correctly meaning any time you out of position or fleeing, the contribution of these items is nil. The lancet itself is also a positioning dependent defensive item. Only useful if you are trying to push past 30 min by freezing death. The pentagram requires the passive luck upgrades, maxed out clover, and at least level 4 on itself for it to not just delete all the pickups at an annoying rate. It’s an item you use to flex on the game but doesn’t serve a real purpose. On the library, the garlic is just a worse king bible and not worth a slot.
Armor, hollow heart, and pummarola are all defense items you don’t need. The Candelabra actively makes your book wall worse by making the gaps between the books wider and putting them further from you. It doesn’t provide a meaningful bonus to much else.