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Monster Train - Covenant 25 Challenge Guide

Written by dacarnix   /   Jul 16, 2020    

Fifteen unique, new challenges were introduced to Monster Train with the Wild Mutations DLC. This guide introduces players to each of those challenges and attempts to place them into three tiers of difficulty. Completing all fifteen of these challenges grants a player a new mastery card frame!


The “Wild Mutations” free DLC introduced 15 new endgame challenges to Monster Train.

This guide gives players the details of each of those 15 challenges as well as three general “tiers” of difficulty for tackling them. It will prove most beneficial for players who just barely squeaked by their Covenant 25 win and/or players who are not overly familiar with mutations. Expert players who have every mutation down pat should feel free to click that ‘Back’ button as fast as their mouse can carry them.

I should also note that the categories I’ve created below are based on my experiences and my play style. I love to experiment. I love the amazing journey of discovery that Monster Train takes us on. If you have a distinct play style that you use each game and/or you only ever use certain clans, you are likely to find some of these challenges more difficult than listed while you’ll find others easier. The tier system is just a rough organization of the challenges based on my own experiences that I hope some players will find helpful.

If you are looking at this guide for some reason before you’ve reached Covenant Level 25, every one of these modifiers is available for your use, too, thanks to the new option to add mutators to any standard run. You can even put them in the same combinations shown here if you’d like to practice up for ones that sound particularly fun or particularly challenging.

Tier 1 Challenges

The following challenges require players to consider additional effects but are typically a little easier than a standard run at Covenant Level 25.

  • True Champion includes Dante’s Comedy (start with Dante the Deceptive and 3 Dante’s Candle) and Fallen Champion (remove the champion from your starting deck). It’s certainly no cakewalk but a well-upgraded Dante can be quite powerful, especially if you copy him multiple times. With the right artifacts and/or Cavern events, True Champion can grant you an incredibly powerful run.

  • Corrosive Cash includes Acid Rain (deal 2 damage to all units after combat), Bleeding Cash (lose 1 gold whenever a friendly unit takes damage), and Strike Hard (all units get Multistrike 1). The trick here is taking advantage of the symmetrical effects better than the AI can. Multistrike plus Quick is awesome, and Acid Rain is no sweat for many of your units while it wipes out many early enemies before you even lift a finger.

  • No Champion No Problem includes Fallen Champion (remove the champion from your starting deck), Luxury in Limbo (additional unit banners appear in Limbo), and Highly Reactive (triggered abilities on friendly units trigger an additional time). Highly Reactive is a great new mutator in the Wild Mutations DLC, and No Champion No Problem is a great place to take advantage of it. Choose cards and artifacts with lots of triggered abilities and ride that force multiplier to victory.

  • Dangerous Minds includes Hivemind (friendly units count as all subtypes), Levity (enemy units get haste), and Two for One (each time you draft a card, gain a second copy). Speaking of great new mutators, Hivemind is the pinnacle of Wild Mutations’ insanity. You’ll want to find cards and artifacts that reference unit subtype and then find ways to maximize that advantage. Seven champions thanks to Shroud Mitosis? Yes, please!

  • Fragile Collection includes Sacrificial (apply fragile to the first friendly unit summoned each turn), Return on Investment (spawn an additional collector in battles that already have a collector), and Zoom, Enhance (all cards have 1 additional upgrade slot). If you’ve got Morsels or Dregs or Imp-cicle, Fragile Collection really isn’t so bad. Use the extra gold and upgrade slots to make some amazing cards, and don’t accidentally fragile-ify a key unit!

Tier 2 Challenges

The following challenges have some twists and turns to consider but are typically about the same difficulty as a standard run at Covenant Level 25.

  • Controlled Chaos includes Come Prepared (add 12 additional random cards to your starting deck) and Buying Power (merchants provide a card duplication service). Depending on the random cards, Controlled Chaos could be a little easier or a little harder than normal, but its ups and downs average out to about the same as a standard Covenant 25 run.

  • Stewardship includes At your Service (start with 2 additional Train Stewards and Advanced Prototype) and Tithe (halve gold earned). The first few levels tend to be significantly easier than normal, but the limited gold means that later battles will be far more difficult to overcome. Be sure to spend every gold coin as wisely as possible!

  • Spellcraft includes Small Hands (–2 cards per turn), Magic Hand (cards are not discarded at the end of turn), and Cheap Trick (spells cost –1). That’s only one negative mutator and two positive ones, but the negative one can be huge. In the first few battles and in battles with Scourge cards, that decreased hand size has a truly massive impact on strategic decisions. Units, spells, and artifacts that increase card draw are highly recommended to overcome this challenge’s restricted draw stat.

  • Overcharged includes Final Shard (your pyre starts the run with fragile and damage shield 2), Burn Bright (+2 ember per turn), and Mansions (+2 capacity on each floor). That’s the equivalent of two Fel’s Remorse crystals for ember and two Light of Seraph crystals for capacity, giving you a lot of options that aren’t normally available. You’ll need to be extra protective of your pyre, though, and avoid getting greedy on trials.

  • Pure Chance includes Broken Valve (start with volatile gauge), One Track Mind (the path you take on the map is chosen automatically), and A New Challenger (your champion is randomly replaced by one that is not form your primary or allied clan). In Pure Chance, you’ll need to embrace the madness and go with the flow, but if you don’t get rattled and you know how to take advantage of Volatile Gauge, a little persistence will carry you through.

Tier 3 Challenges

The following challenges are rough, in some cases, really rough. They will typically require numerous attempts and are quite a bit more difficult than a standard run at Covenant Level 25.

  • Evil Eyes includes Permadeath (any non-champion unit which dies is purged from your deck), Hollow (friendly units get Heartless), and Googly Eyes (all units have googly eyes in battle). Permadeath can help you thin out unwanted Train Stewards and other early units, but your lean deck is going to need to be awfully efficient at dishing out damage. Even fairly early in the run, you can find yourself lacking the damage output necessary to keep the winged away from your pyre.

  • Arcane Focus includes Tithe (halve gold earned), Arcane Allergy (enemy units enter with spell weakness 1), and Starry Suffering (friendly units enter with dazed 2). If you think dazed 1 is bad on the top floor of the train (a penalty for Covenant 10 and above), try dazed 2 on the bottom and middle floor and dazed 3 on the top. You’ll need to rely super heavily on spells and be extra frugal with your upgrades on top of it. You’ll need some primo spell power to win this one, ideally with an exceptional artifact or two along the way.

  • Pre-Loaded includes No Fluff (all cards have 1 fewer upgrade slot) and Upgraded Drafts (cards in reward packs and unit banners come with a random upgrade). That doesn’t sound too bad, but there’s a high chance that you won’t get to choose any upgrades you actually want on a given card. You’re sure to save a lot of gold on upgrades, though, so use that gold to purge the cards you don’t need and create a lean deck with the best upgraded cards you find along the way.

  • Round and Round includes Volatile Spells (the targets of spells are chosen randomly) and Musical Chairs (shuffle the position of all units in the train after combat). Be sure to read the targeting verbiage of every spell very carefully for this one, because spells can target any unit on that floor of the train they could legally target. That makes this challenge extra tricky, because so few spells work the way they normally do, and then your units won’t stay put to boot!

  • Extra Pain Train includes Ninja Training (minor bosses enter with stealth 5), Pain Train (enemy units enter with spikes 1), and Heavy (add 5 Deadweights to your starting deck). Ouch. There’s really not much to take advantage of here unless you luck into Dante in a Cavern. The only debatable upside is that this trial doesn’t require particularly divergent strategies. It’s a normal Covenant 25 run that happens to be harder in three different ways.

Written by dacarnix.

Game:   Monster Train