Izublog #9: Dominic 3

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. For a write-up of what each weapon does, go here.

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I found this Izu fairly straightforward. Mystic Whisks are our best blue center weapon, and Brutal Axes are our best red. Dwindling Torches are the best corner weapon in the game, and sadly eclipse Brainspoons in power. Ancient Shields are an excellent tech weapon, and fill in the remaining two red squares we need. For the remaining blue squares, I used Forged Sigils. Dominic’s ability is powerful enough that the extra Runes end up being pretty decent; the fact that it costs two makes it not as impressive as Ixxthl, but it still seems good enough to round out the board. I pretty quickly made this board, which currently holds the top score:

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An open question is whether it was correct to leave the Jagged Saws out this time, given that they were good enough to feature in the last two Dominic Izus. I decided that the Mystic Whisks and Dwindling Braziers would be good enough to keep the Serpents at bay until I leveled up a Brutal Axe to 2. This ended up working fairly well, but it’s still possible that the extra early game efficiency could make the Saws worth a slot or two.

Since this is the first time I’ve featured Whisks in the center, it’s worth going over a fairly common situation:

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Here, I have the option of hitting the Serpent, relocating it to a random spot. Unfortunately, I am one hit away from death, so there’s a chance the Snake will be moved to a spot next to me, and kill me. What should I do? Should I roll the dice? Or should I play it safe and stun the Serpent before I hit it?

Calculating things out, there are 14 spots the Serpent could be relocated. 7 spots will teleport it to a spot where I have “parity advantage” on it, letting me finish it off before it can hit me. And 4 spots are “neutral”. I won’t die, but the Serpent will spawn off parity, and I might have to end up stunning it anyway. 3 of those spots kill me. In other words, my odds of living are pretty good, and my odds of “getting paid” are high.

However, the payoffs are also lopsided. Death is much worse than potentially saving 2 coins and an action. As such, I think choosing whether to “hit” or “stay” depends on your current score. It’s ok to take this risk a lot in the early rounds, but the higher your star count, the more time you risk losing. 80 stars is right around the time when I start caring about the run, making this instance a fairly tricky decision.

In my run, I ultimately decided to freeze the Serpent here and in a few spots later on (where it was more clear that I wanted to play it safe). The run ended up scoring 215, but I can’t help but wonder if I could have gotten a few stars higher if I had pushed my luck.

Perhaps, before the end of tomorrow, I’ll be overtaken by someone willing to live a little. In the long, long run, the high score will be the person who took every possible risk, and had it pay off. But this isn’t the long run. You only have until the end of tomorrow. Better get cracking!

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