The purpose of this guide is to offer advice on trying for the 250 gold achievement.
Before you dive in, please be warned - even if you really like the game, you might not enjoy trying for this achievement.
On top of a solid plan and knowledge of game mechanics, you'll need a very lucky draw where everything lines up perfectly. This could take dozens if not hundreds of attempts. So please do not consider this a guide to guaranteed success!
If you're still interested, read on - and good luck!
Making Your Plan
In this section I'll discuss things I wish I had known or thought about when designing my deck. If you want to figure out your own Ability loadout, read this section but don't continue on to the next.
In Constructed mode, your Ability card draws come at fixed points.
- Turn count: 3, 7, 10, 13, 17
- Card count (number shown above the dealer): 44, 32, 23, 14, 2
So if the cards you've chosen have any positioning or timing tricks, plan ahead to set up the board as best you can when your next Ability draw is coming. For example if you're hoping to draw Equalize, you'll want to make sure you leave a high value card in slot 2 or slot 3.
Note that if you use an Ability that changes around cards in the deck, like say Worship or Stab, in my experience the turn count number stayed the same, but the card count would be changed by however many cards you'd added or removed from the deck.
You'll need a lot of luck and careful hand management in order to draw everything you need in a decent order without still dying at the end. You might want to define scenarios where you give up a game early and restart, to avoid spending time in doomed runs.
If you're holding Ability cards for your combo and you have to throw stuff away, try to throw away coin cards. You'll need every heart/shield/sword to not die.
With shields it's best to take a couple of points of damage to fully destroy the shield ASAP. You don't want a shield you can't get rid of clogging up a hand slot.
One final piece of advice is to think about how you can chain Ability cards to make them multiply values, or give you an extra swing at cards you've already used.
That's it for the generic advice, if you want to make your own plan this is your exit point. If you want to see what I used specifically, read on.
My Plan - The Basics
There might be other approaches that are better, this is just what worked for me.
These are the Ability cards I used:
- Feast (add adjacent card values to card)
- Bounty (3 gold per 10+ monster slain)
- Fortify (+5 to one card)
- Mirror (add a copy of a card back into deck)
- Faith (double value on next 3 cards)
And here's the way the plan works:
Feast either the Bounty or the Fortify while they have big neighbors. Then Mirror the Feasted card back into the deck and double it with Faith. Use the buffed Bounty on the last turn - and don't die!
Easy peasy right? Well sorta. Your Ability cards have to come out in near perfect order (Feast, Bounty/Fortify, Mirror, Faith is optimal). And then you have to survive, which ain't easy when you're monkeying around with positioning and using slots to store Ability cards for multiple rounds.
Read on for a more detailed description of the strategy I used.
My Plan - Strategy
There's a few key strategy points that can greatly improve your odds. If I'd gone in knowing these things, maybe I could have cut my attempts in half. Then again, when there's so much luck involved, who knows!
As a reminder, Ability cards are drawn at fixed points.
- Turn number: 3, 7, 10, 13, 17
- Card count (by the dealer's head): 44, 32, 23, 14, 2
Remember to add 1 to the card count numbers after you use Mirror.
If you pull Bounty or Fortify before you pull Feast, you need to leave them on the board. One of those two has to be boosted for this to work.
If you draw Feast, you need to stall until Fortify or Bounty has high value neighboring cards.
Save Mirror until you have something Feasted.
If you have Bounty on the board and you draw Fortify (or vice versa), you can Fortify the Bounty. Feast still works the same on the Fortified Bounty.
If you have Feast + Fortify, and Bounty is on the table, if there's a non-monster next to the Bounty use Fortify on that. The value will get rolled into the Bounty via the Feast.
Only play Faith when your next draw will contain an Ability card. If you use it early and see Fortify/Bounty, make sure it will land in slot 2 or 3. Late game, hold it to try to double a Mirrored + Feasted card.
You can get away with Feasting + Mirroring a solo Fortify or Bounty. Makes it harder to catch with Faith though, so it's better to combine them before Mirroring.
My Plan - Bailing
I found that there were several failure cases, where I might as well bail on my run (pause + restart) because a particular draw had doomed me. This isn't mandatory, but in the name of time you probably should consider it.
- 1) Mirror shows up as your first Ability. You're stuck with a dead slot for at least 6 more turns, more if the other Ability cards don't show up in the right order.
- 2) You draw Faith and Mirror before you've Feasted anything. Too many Ability cards to hold to make this work.
- 3) A Bounty or Fortify lands in either Slot 1 or Slot 4. On the edges you only get a one card boost via Feast, which really limits the boost potential. An exception is if you land a lucky Faith that gives you a 14+ single neighbor.
- 4) If you're forced into wasting any more than 3 heart/sword/shield value. If you have to throw out or overheal/oversword more than that, it's almost certain that the deck will kill you.
You could also consider bailing any time you see anything outside of the optimal order (Feast, Bounty/Fortify, Mirror, Faith) but I think some of the different orders have a decent chance.
Next section is just some final opinions and such, no need to keep reading if all you care about is the guide.
So I guess I'll wrap up with some thoughts about this achievement and the game in general.
Through all the luck and unavoidable failures, trying to reach 250 gold was a lot of fun. It really made me think more about my choices of Ability cards, and about card timing and placement choices.
I found some of the other achievements and quests less fun than this one because they required 10 repeats. Having to keep going after I'd already achieved the goal once made the repetition less enjoyable. Still it was good having something interesting to do beyond the base game modes.
Now that I've hit 250, I'll probably mess around in Delve mode a bit (although I dunno about reaching level 15!), and then move on. It's been fun, Card Crawl.