This is part of a series of posts that covers Imbroglio’s Izu mode. It will go up on either the 2nd or 3rd day of the Izu.
This Izu is more straightforward than the last one; there are no RNG-type effects besides the unplayable Chalice, so Molly’s ability is irrelevant here. Furthermore, Dwindling Brazier, Vampiric Spear and Rimeclaws are obvious “always good” tiles to fill the board with.
My first board looked like this:
I had some decent scores, but made a few adjustments later.
Fairly early on, I swapped out the Drums for Warclubs. Their level 4 is somewhat better than Warclub, but on the edges it just takes too long to fully level them. Furthermore, the blue cost is too prohibitive, given that I’m also running Hourglasses and Rimeclaws.
Later on, I swapped out an Hourglass for a Forbidden Scroll. I initially rejected Scroll due to Molly’s drawback (there’s a 3/8 chance for a corner to spawn a different monster), but changed my mind after playing with the board and seeing that JackMule had used it. By my calculation, a single level 1 scroll usually reduces the number of monsters you see in a corner from 25% to 20%, not counting Minotaurs. On Molly, it reduces the number from 25% to 22.5% (see bottom for calculations if you want to check my math). That’s much less effective (half, in fact!).
However, two factors make this worth a slot. First, the other blue options are extremely poor. We’re already running 4 Rimeclaws, Poisoned Chalice is mostly unplayable, and Arcane Hourglass is fairly weak (but still has some unreliable utility if you can set up a telefrag). Second, the Vampiric Spears are so strong against red damage that we effectively don’t have to worry about it. We are almost certain to die to blue damage, so it’s worth it to take even a small decrease in Serpents.
Last Izu, I learned that it could be acceptable to put Forbidden Scrolls in the corners. However, this time, I put it in my old spot, because of how strong Dwindling Braziers are in the corners. They’re a top tier weapon, but are only really amazing in the corners.
After some grinding, I was able to temporarily take the top score (we’ll see if it lasts!). Here’s the board I used:
If you want to try out the board, I have the following tips:
- With full health in the early game, it’s better to kill a 4 diamond Hawk with Rimeclaws (2 moves) than moving backward a space, killing it with a red weapon, and moving forward again (3 moves). As the game progresses, these speed for health tradeoffs become worse and worse. By the end of the game, you should be in pure survival mode, willing to waste many moves if it saves damage.
- Because of the Vampiric Spears, you are much more concerned with blue damage than red damage. This will often require you to take counter-intuitive plays to minimize this. Here’s an example:
- The natural reaction here is to kill the Cube in one hit with a blue weapon. However, planning ahead, we can see leads to eventually taking a hit from the incoming Serpent. It also causes us to waste a move, since we’ll need to move backwards from the drum to the Rimeclaws in order to kill the Serpent. This kind of subtle turn control can avoid potential zugzwang situations, which is especially important for Molly, who has no other way to avoid them.
That’s it for this Izu. See you next time!
Calculations: There’s probably a more straightforward way to think about this, but this is how I calculated it:
Imagine you have 100 spawns with a non-Molly character. You can expect 25 Serpents. Let’s say you put a Forbidden Scroll on the Serpent corner. Now, every Serpent spawn is followed by a non-serpent spawn. In other words, the 25 Serpent spawns will cause 25 more “non-serpent Spawns” to appear, in addition to the 100 spawns we started with. This gives 25/125, or 20%.
Now let’s look at Molly. You still expect 25 Serpents, and 25 spawns in the non-serpent corner (the fact that these are different doesn’t actually matter). Of the 25 “non-serpent spawns”, you’ll actually get some amount of serpents due to Molly’s drawback. In fact, you can expect 12.5% of these “non-serpent spawns” to actually be serpents. 12.5% of 25 is 3.125, so now we take 28.125/125 to get 22.5%.