Black Reliquary – Party Compositions and DPS Guide

Think the combat is too difficult? No, your parties are just weak. Learn the proper ones and crush the game as you’re meant to.


If you would care to browse the negative reviews (which you honestly shouldn’t – they’re cancer; like, you have to be some heartless stupid to leave a negative review for a huge and free mod), you’d see that the main complain would be that Reliquary is way too difficult and over the top.

Well, here’s a hot take – it’s no more difficult than the basic DD. It may seem so because HP and damage got a 2x multiplier, but no, not really. It just features a wildly different meta. People try to follow the old meta because that’s what they know, it doesn’t work so they complain. If they used the proper meta builds and approaches, they’d see the difficulty for what it really is.

And, through reading this guide, you’ll gain a nigh-perfect understanding of meta and what’s good.


Let’s start from important strategic changes.

Specializing in some region was already profitable in DD, but not mandatory. You could have a team shifting between two different regions, though probably no more than that. BR is different – specialization is a must.

As long as a party goes into the same area over and over again, everyone in it will become “Region” Adventurer (that’s -25% stress gained; you need to use archeology kits on Primeval Tablets for this one) and “local tribe” Skirmisher/Challenger (-15% stress gained and another bonus). This means that a specialized team will be receiving freaking 40% less stress than a specialized one – that’s colossal! Couple this with the greatly increased curio stress regeneration and you’ll see that, as long as you’re specialized, you won’t even need a dedicated stress healer in most squads.

Overall, positive Quirks are more important than trinkets in BR. Now that positive ones are no longer overwritten, it’s much easier to stack five killer ones on a character. And the quirks themselves have gotten stronger while the trinkets have gotten weaker. Seriously, I won’t go for the meme “95%” and I’m too lazy to calculate the exact number, but easily 80% of non-common trinkets in BR are useless. Which is the weakest aspect of the mod because you find all the good common ones relatively fast and then it’s nothing but disappointment after disappointment after disappointment.

This means that the starting eugenics are very important – you seriously want to get heroes with awesome and fitting Quirks so they get into full power without excessive grind. Also, don’t be too greedy and remove the weak quirks early on – otherwise you’ll bottleneck your clinic later on. This also means that fast Ferry upgrades are a must for this purpose.

And what doubles the Ferry emphasis is the religious affinity. This isn’t a minor part of a gameplay – ideally, each of your parties should have the same affinity and every improper one is either a loss of power or huge liability. Most good strategies just don’t work unless you have this full party alignment. Which is kinda annoying because this means it takes 2x-3x more weeks to assemble a proper squad. And that’s with the average RNG which is never average – the game trolled me hard with something like 7 faithless crusaders in a row before I got my final religious one.

As there are no time limits in the current build, don’t be afraid to skip early weeks – like, get some random party without resources, explore a room or two, get out just to pass time. Caverns are ideal for this due to their nature, especially after you get the specialized “Skipper” team. You just have to skip weeks swiftly because non-aligned teams are a waste of time.

Good Quirks

In no particular order.

  • Evasive (+8 Dodge), Daredevil (+15 Dodge at <25% HP) – for Dodge squads only.
  • Quick Reflexes (+4 SPD), Night Owl (+6 SPD at <50 Torch) – for characters that must always go first and for reinforcing the proper party sequence.
  • Clear Head (-20% Stress while at <60% Stress), Steady (-15% Stress), Noctomania (-20% stress while at <50 Torch) – good for everyone but especially for no stress healer teams, Plague Doctors and Abominations. Frequent critters may also want one of these.
  • Lethal (15% enemy Protection ignored, arithmetically) – any physical damage dealer without in-built armor bypass (aka almost all of them) needs this one.
  • Giant Slayer (+20% Dmg and +5 ACC vs size 2 or bigget) – mostly for Kvarotz hunters.
  • Hot to Trot (+15% accuracy on preparation round) – characters with strong DoTs and/or AOE damage. Plague Doctors, Shieldbreakers and Houndmasters first and foremost – the sooner you land those DoTs, the faster the enemies melt.
  • Sneaky (-20% party surprised) – supports only.
  • Area Adventurer (-25% stress in the area), Tribal Skirmisher (+8 Dodge and -15% Stress vs tribe), Tribal Nemesis (+15% DMG and +5 ACC vs tribe), Tribal Challenget (+15% Damage and -15% Stress vs tribe) – that’s why specialized team are so good.
  • Area Tactician (+10% Damage, +3% Crit on interaction with trap or obstacle for 2 battles; -15% being ambushed), Area Explorer (+4 Dodge, +2 SPD on interaction with trap or obstacle for 2 battles; +20% Trap Disarm) – one party member can go for this duo. Just remember that he personally has to disarm those traps / dig out those obstacles, meaning he must be selected when you interact with them. Might even be abused for the bosses as entering/exiting rooms may generate new traps to disarm. Tactician is tricky to get, btw – you’ll need to read a curio guide to semi-reliably get that one.
  • Fairweather Fighter (+20% DMG while at 100% health) – mostly for burst-oriented teams.
  • Lurker (+15% damage at torch <50) – for dark squads only, obv. I’m not a fan of various +10% damage quirks, btw. 15 is worth it, 10 is not.
  • Hard Skinned (+10% Prot), Brave (+10% Prot and -10% Stress while Marked) – it’s easy to stack Protection in this one and the more of it you have, the more efficient it does become.
  • Enlightened, Natural Swing, Natural Eye (+8 ACC for mystic/melee/ranged) – most character builds specialized in one manner of combat only so it’s just a universal +8 ACC. And that’s real good.
  • Superstitious, Precise Striker, Eagle Eye (+5% mystical/melee/ranged crit) – this one is more specialized than the previous one. You need this on non-DoT, non-AoE damage dealers.
  • Hippocratic (+20% Healing Given) – every healbot’s dream.
  • Gifted (+20% Healing Received) – great on tanks.
  • Hunter (+15% DMG vs marked, +5 ACC vs marked) – mark squads only, obv.
  • Trophy Hunter (+8 ACC and +5% Crit vs Bosses) – that might be difficult to understand as not every farming party is good vs bosses.
  • Eraser (+5% Crit and +5 ACC vs 75%+ Health targets) – for characters that have high one-shot potential.
  • Clotter (+20% Bleed Resist) – Flagellant healbots.
  • Technical (+10% Bleed/Blight/Debuff chance) – characters with major skills with this stuff. But not Occultists (unless you like to bleed).
  • Accurate (+5 ACC) – low accuracy characters.
  • Fencer (+10% DMG, +5 ACC for riposte) – Highwaymen, Men-at-Arms, Grave Robbers. Maybe Dredge or Hellion if they lead an overbuff team.
  • Bold Bleeder (+10 ACC while bleeding) – any team that uses Jester’s Battle Ballad loves this. It’s all about Grim Tambourine – it adds +15% DMG and Bleed 2/3 to Ballad. Naturally bleeding is a malus, but with this it’s just another huge buff for the team. Not so good otherwise.

0. Skippers

Biome: medium and long Caverns.

Affinity: doesn’t matter.

  • 4 – Antiquarian
  • 3 – Antiquarian
  • 2 – Antiquarian
  • 1 – any character with a campfire skill that prevents Night Time ambush.

Skills don’t matter as this team never fights.

Key campfire skill – Trinket Scrounge.

Trinkets – mass Survival Guides and Seer Stones for potential 100% Scouting. Before that: -Stress stuff. Cavern Scroungers quirks help too.

Once you have the “Eclipse”, you ditch the first character for a fourth Antiquarian.

Trinket Scrounge is very strong in BR as there’s one more campfire per location. So what this team wants to do – go into Long Caverns with minimal resources and scout a safe passage so you can visit a room or two. Due to the nature of Caverns, it’s really easy there. Then just camp 2 or 3 times in a row there, pressing 3x Scrounge and night time ambush prevention each time. Then just escape the dungeon with 6-9 fresh trinkets in a pocket. Since you’ve scouted enough, a week will pass, thus refreshing both Ferry and Clinic.

Trinkets can be sold but, ideally, you accumulate them. You see, you can only have 4x of each trinket (or 1 for special classes like flagellant or dredge). Once you have 4x of each common trinket, you begin to find uncommon+ trinkets only. Once you run out of uncommons – rares only.

So, ideally, you use this strategy to breeze through the trash trinkets and then, once you get 6-9 very rares from each go, then you can begin to sell those very rares. But, if you need money here and now, ofc it’s fine to sell some commons too.

This team should never level up as there’s no point in that

1. Leafblower

Biome: Exterior, Treasury.

Affinity: Religous

  • 4 – Veiled: Give to the Living, Withering Chant, Grave Grasp, Death Wish.
  • 3 – Highwayman: Grapeshot Blast, Point Blank Shot, Tracking Shot, Pistol Shot.
  • 2 – Highwayman: Grapeshot Blast, Point Blank Shot, Tracking Shot, Pistol Shot.
  • 1 – Flagellant: Reclaim, Endure, Punish, Exsanguinate.

Don’t forget that Veiled has to be manually enabled in the campaign options. If you positively don’t want him, you can go with Musketeer: Smokescreen, Bombard, Change Ammo, Patch Up. But I like Veiled better – he’s faster and that matters for the AoE team. He’s also much sturdier and suffers no death door penalty which is important in the Exterior – your back row will spend a lot of turns on zero life, that’s just how that location works. And he can debuff enemy regen in the Treasury. But the choice is always yours.

I’ll explain combat efficiency with DPA (predicted average damage per action, accuracy and crit being taken into account) – Hellion’s Wicked Hack, a totally average move, is 14.75 – 25.44, depending on the level.

Grapeshot Blast is 5.9×3 – 9.82 x 3, and that’s without accounting for potent debuffs.

Grave Grasp is slightly weaker: 4.81 x 3 – 8.89 x 3.

Now the difference in damage is not that huge but both of these can be used on Prep Round. Grasp is 100% efficient there (which is amazing – this skill alone makes this class worth it), Grapeshot Has a -50% damage penalty but that’s an arithmetical one. By stacking enough +% damage, you can overcome it easily.

Best trinkets of H-men is Berserk Charm and Gunslinger’s Buckle – grapeshots get almost nothing from crit chance (that’s this mod’s specific) so losing it doesn’t matter. Lots of damage and speed does.

Veiled wants a Chirurgeon’s Charm and any +% Damage item.

Flag is a healbot here – you may even consider swapping Punish for Redeem. It’s just that this team wants a secondary healer and he’s the best pos-1 one. Crusader is not even half as good. So he’ll just pre-fire Reclaims and Endures. Trinkets for such flag are always one +% Max HP and one +Bleed Resist.

This team farms very efficiently and is one of the few teams which, on a good roll, can end combat on turn 2.

2. Butlerian Crusaders

Biome: torchless catacombs

Affinity: Religious

  • 4 – Vestal: Judgment, Dazzling Light, Divine Grace, Divine Comfort.
  • 3 – Crusader: Smite, Bulwark, Holy Lance, Inspiring Cry.
  • 2 – Crusader: Smite, Bulwark, Holy Lance, Inspiring Cry.
  • 1 – Crusader: Smite, Bulwark, Holy Lance, Inspiring Cry.

Kvarotz hunting is the most profitable activity (outside of exploits). And Crusaders are anti-kvarotz specialists in this one. Their basic attack is totally meh: 13.9 – 24.14. Expiation makes it better, but not fantastic (given that they’re slow as hell): 15.99 – 27.76.

And it’s only versus Expiated Unholy where they begin to shine: 19,46 – 33.79.

Kvarotz also apply a unique combat modifier: Torch cannot rise above 50. This means that Crusaders can safely use all the good dark stuff (Noctomania, Lurker, Night Owl, Shady Eyepatch, Cursed Golem Scraps) and their torch-boosting skills without being afraid that that stuff will cease working. And, well, they wander at torch 0 so they encounter most Kvarotz, but they fight at torch 50 so they don’t get as much stress, thus getting best of two worlds.

Holy Lance is also really important in the dark – you’ll be surprised often and Lance makes them immune to shuffling. Heck, Lance makes them want to be shuffled.

You begin combat with 2x Bulwark and Inspiring/Lance from the pos-3 Crusader. Vestal will Judgment the first priority target – she’s mostly a Judgment bot in this squad. Then, with Lances and Smites you’ll focus that target and move to the next expiated, and so forth. Once one enemy remains you can try to slow roll a bit, recovering stress with Inspiring crys. Judgment is great here as it does no immediate damage but counts as an aggressive action. You can even consider replacing Inspiring for stunning blow or zealous accusation for pos 1 crusader – just to have an aggressive action that doesn’t do much damage. Game doesn’t considered it stalling as long as you do 2 aggressive actions per round.

Ideal trinket combo for crusaders – Snake Vial and Cursed Golem Scraps. Shady Eyepatches before you have those. I won’t spoil the Scraps but they’re amazing and you’ll actually love their downside.

Vestal is fine with Chirurgeon’s Charm + whatever.

Keep in mind that crusaders are very narrow specialists – they’re seriously useless vs anyone but kvarotz.

Accuracy is the main bane of this party so Crusaders absolutely adore all the +ACC quirks.

3. Clusterfume

Biome: Exterior, torchless catacombs.

Affinity: doesn’t matter.

  • 4 – Musketeer: Smokescreen, Bombard, Patch Up, Stock Strike.
  • 3 – Shieldbreaker: Adder’s Kiss, Impale, Puncture, Serpent’s Sway.
  • 2 – Musketeer: Smokescreen, Bombard, Patch Up, Stock Strike.
  • 1 – Shieldbreaker: Adder’s Kiss, Impale, Puncture, Serpent’s Sway.

Keep in mind that these are the starting positions – on prep round both Shieldbreakers will Sway, putting the party into its combat position. It’s imperative that the first shieldbreaker is much faster than the pos-3 one – you really want a +SPD trinket/quirk combo on her. You won’t be able to use 2x Impale otherwise, at least not reliably so.

This squad is another AoE sweeper. Impale is the most efficient action in the game: 5.55 + 3.36 x4 – 8.987 + 6.72 x4.

Shrapnel Smokescreen isn’t that bad either, especially as it can be used on the opening round: 4 x 4 – 8 x 4.

After the first round, musketeers either keep screening or fire shrapnel Bombard: 6.56 x 4 – 10.92 x 4. Bombard looks to be much better than Smokescreen but it depends on the target’s Protection – don’t forget that the latter ignores that.

Another important trick: Musketeers start with Change Ammo instead of Stock Strike. In the first combat they change to Shrapnel ammo (as it’s the best one for both of their skills) and then they go for the Stock Strike as the anti-reposition safeguard. Once you change the ammo it stays that way until the end of the dungeon.

So this party plays real easy – first turn Sways set you in the position. Theoretically, you can try to gather Hot to Trot Shieldbreakers and try to Impale from turn 1, but I like that option less as this party is kinda squishy. In the ideal case, both Shieldbreakers have Legendary Bracer – Sway enables it and being marked enables their Sandstorm camping ability neatly and draws more attention from musketeers.

Musketeers need defensive trinkets – Smokescreen is not affected by +DMG trinkets, Bombard is only slightly so affected. And Musketeers are slow, scrappy healers who have the lowest health in the game so, especially in the Exterior, they’ll kill enemies fast but they will also go down fast. Medic’s Boots are a must have there – the healing is the same but it’s anti-bleed that matters the most. Same goes for the quirks – they’re probably the only character where even tough (+10% HP) is not that bad.

Once weak targets run out (that’s mostly in the catacombs), adder’s kiss comes into play: 12.76 + 6.72 – 25.58 + 13.44. It’s not as amazing as the impale but still serviceable.

Keep in mind that, despite their looks, shieldbreakers aren’t really a blight class and don’t need more support than their in-built Adder’s Embrace. The bigger part of their damage is physical so it’s better to boost that. Likewise, Living Ammo on one of the musketeers won’t be that helpful – it’s for a totally different build.

4. Launcher

Biome: any.

Affinity: Religious.

  • 4 – Flagellant: Redeem, Endure, Punish, Exsanguinate.
  • 3 – Grave Robber: Lunge, Shovel Bash, Flashing Daggers, Shadow Fade.
  • 2 – Grave Robber: Lunge, Shovel Bash, Flashing Daggers, Shadow Fade
  • 1 – Grave Robber: Lunge, Shovel Bash, Flashing Daggers, Shadow Fade

This is how Lunge squad looks like in BR. Lunge is a weird skill – it starts a bit meh: 16.28 / 21.65 vs mark. But it progresses real nicely: 30.48 / 40.5 vs mark. And max Lunge under max Shadow Fade is 56.08 (that’s two actions compressed into one, though).

When it comes to prep round, Shadow Fade is generally the best action. One fade is 25.59 points of damage with Lunge. That’s 2.5 attacks under Flashing Daggers – mark is only worth it vs mega-fat targets like wurms.

There’s also the option of a triple Blight Dart on the first turn, focusing down the squishiest enemy: 6.39 + 4.7 – 11.97 + 7.14.

But, once again, the numbers here are lower. And don’t forget that Fade adds +15 Dodge that is not removed with the stealth. Also, now that lots of enemies counter the stealth, it’s much better to cash it in swiftly before it’s taken away.

Darts can be considered when fighting Kvarotz, though – in Catacombs (where they are most frequent) one or two GR’s need to exchange their Flashing for Darts. It’s more about using it as a finisher – Blight leaves no corpses and Kvarotz hate that. So you almost kill one with Lunge and then finish it with the Dart, that can be the play.

And Kvarotz preparations matter as Robbers’ Night Moves really incentivizes them to fight at torch <50 – the buffs are too good, especially the speed. They also really like Shady Eyepatches and all the quirks with similar torch Requirement. The second trinket for them is either Snake Vial or Strange Hatchet to bypass Protection – theoretically, they have Pick for that, but non-stealthy, non-amberlight pick is kinda meh: 10.8 – 20.286. It’s more efficient to boost Lunge’s anti-protection in most cases.

Flagellant is just a healbot here. His most redeeming part (outside of the actual Redeem) is the Move Forward 3 – it means he can always put 2 GR into Lunge position. It’s very important if their turn order becomes muddled, which it will often be.

5. Green Power

Biome: torchless Catacombs.

Affinity: religious

  • 4 – Plague Doctor: Noxious Blast, Plague Grenade, Blinding Gas, Battlefield Medicine.
  • 3 – Plague Doctor: Noxious Blast, Plague Grenade, Blinding Gas, Battlefield Medicine.
  • 2 – Crusader: Stunning Blow, Bulwark of Faith, Holy Lance, Inspiring Cry.
  • 1 – Flagellant: Punish, Exsanguinate, Reclaim, Endure.

This is another anti-kvarotz team. Blight is just too efficient versus them.

On the prep round, PD’s will be using double Blinding Gas – you see, the most efficient trinket combo for them is Blight Stone + Poisoned Herb. Blight Amulet isn’t worth it – it’s only 10% most efficient and SPD is a key stat for the DoT character, you always want to apply blight before they move and not after. Poisoned Herb’s -5% crit might sound scary, but actually crit doesn’t matter for DoTs – c’mon, which kind of enemy is living 5 turns? And even if it’s a boss, +30% Blight applied is still better.

So you have no slots for the +ACC trinket and Blinding Gas covers for that. After prep round, PD’s first Plague Grenade the enemy backrow, then Noxious Blast the frontline. Battlefield Medicine is mostly about end-combat stalling and recuperation.

And the numbers on her blights are real good. Plague is : (0.95+10.71) x 2 – (1.785 + 21.42) x 2

It also has insane scaling from her trinkets. Boosted max Plague is (1.785 + 35.8) x 2.

Sure, most skills get nice scaling from trinkets, but not by 2/3rds of extra value.

Noxious is a bit humbler: 2 + 12.49 – 5.1 + 24.99.

Somehow it starts really weak, but then progresses into quite an ok skill.

Crusader is used as a stun bot with 2x Stun Chance trinkets – stuns were seriously nerfed in BR so you really need 2. Ideally he has a Dazzling Mirror (he’s slow so it fits perfectly) and Paralyzer’s Crest (so PD can hit the frontline easier). Lance is against shuffling and he has a nice anti-stress too.

Flag is once again a healbot. And once again his move 3 matters as it allows to restore the ranks swiftly – that matters a lot in the torchless play.

6. Karen

Biome: Treasury

Affinity: Religious

  • 4 – Man-at-Arms: Bellow, Defender, Command, Bolster.
  • 3 – Vestal: Judgment, Divine Grace, Divine Comfort, Illuminate.
  • 2 – Leper: Chop, Hew, Withstand, Solemnity.
  • 1 – Leper: Chop, Intimidate, Withstand, Solemnity.

The logic of this team unravels at the higher levels – early on, your maam-at-arms will be mostly Commanding your lepers. You may even shift it to pos-3 without much losses and do some Retribution play. See, Leper’s base damage might be mighty, but his ripostes are awful. Let’s do some comparisons.

Chop: 14.19 / 16.32 vs expiated – 25.48 / 29.302 vs expiated.

Leper Riposte: 4.78 / 5.51 at >70% HP – 8.6 / 9.92 at >70% HP.

MaA Riposte: 8.13 – 13.78.

So yeah, Command might seem appealing, but the classic Retribution / Defender play is just better.

But that’s at low levels. What changes at the higher ones is the enemy progression. You see, on low levels Chop has 75 accuracy so that’s why it misses. Max Chop has 95 accuracy but it still misses because now all enemies have 20-30 dodge. And that’s the role of MaA in this team on higher levels – each Bellow generates 9.46 x 3 roughly worth of damage due to extra accuracy. It’s not that much, but it also utterly destroys the enemy SPD, meaning your slowpoke party is not so slowpoke anymore.

Bellow also counts as an aggressive action without doing any damage, meaning that you can Bellow, Judgment, 2x Solemnity without incurring stall penalties. Or Bellow, Divine skill, Solemnity, Intimidate, depending on whether you need HP or Stress regen.

Trinket-wise, MaA goes for the Debuff Charm + Debuff Stone combo so his Bellow sticks 100%. Vestal wants healing boosters. And Lepers want Snake Vials – they have no Protection penetration so they need it. MaA opens their trinket slots so the second one can be anything related to +DMG or Crit.

I prefer this team in the Treasury because you’re eating unholy amount of DoT there. But once Lepers are under Withstand/Bloody Shroud, they don’t care much about that. And it’s just a rather fatty team meaning you get full Expiate value from each Judgment (which you want to throw for heals, DoTs and Leper boosting).

BTW, Hew is kinda bad and is used only to finish foes and clean corpses. In BR the more targets your skill has – the less crits it receives. So, whereas the Chop under Reflection can have 20% crit, Hew under the same conditions will have 12% while offering no more pure damage in return.

7. Clay Shooters

Biome: torchless catacombs or caverns.

Affinity: Religious.

  • 4 – Musketeer: Standard Shot, Smokescreen, Patch Up, Stock Strike.
  • 3 – Musketeer: Standard Shot, Buck Shot, Patch Up, Stock Strike.
  • 2 – Man-at-Arms: Rampart, Retribution, Defender, Bolster.
  • 1 – Flagellant: Exsanguinate, Reclaim, Redeem, Endure.

Versus basic enemies, Standard Shot is not too amazing: 14.15 – 24.27.

Extremely mediocre, really. But it has 50% armor piercing which, in most cases, is the same is simply ignoring armor. So let’s compare it with skills that ignore armor:

GR’s Pick to the Face: 10.8/13.5 vs amber – 19.32/24.15 vs amber.

So Musketeer does the same without needing amber (which is not really free to apply).

Shieldbreaker Pierce: 11 – 20.468.

And that’s without taking Clean Musket into account – one of the best campfire buffs (as long as you take some Blessed Salts to cure the hangover).

Ignoring protection is real valuable, btw. 24.27 piercing dmg vs prot 30% is the same as 34.67 damage versus that. And versus prot 50% it’s literal doubling – 48.54. Good luck seeing such base damage anywhere.

So we have double Musketeers and a very sturdy frontline to support them. MaA applies his Bolster first (quite necessary as you’re going torchless – that’s where all the kvarotz dwell) and then mainains Defender/Retribution cycle, thus compensating for Musketeer’s glass cannon status. Flag de-stresses everyone and Reclaims the Musketeer that’s not defended by the gramps. Musks don’t have the best prep round so they either Standard Shot someone or Stock Strike someone for extra SPD.

Trinket-wise, Musketeers want damage and crit without any penalties. MaA goes for either better protection or stuns – Musketeers don’t do much vs position 1 so Rampart is here to make those things position 2. Flag goes for +max HP and +Bleed resistance, as always.

Musketeers may also consider Skirmisher’s Hat – that’ll give them better options vs pos 1 and/or non-Protected targets.

8. Bandit Revolver

Biome: Catacombs, Exterior, Caverns.

Affinity: Pagan.

  • 4 – Occultist: Wyrd Reconstruction, Amber Curse, Daemon’s Pull, Abyssal Artillery.
  • 3 – Plague Doctor: Incision, Battlefield Medicine, Emboldening Vapours, Amber Blast.
  • 2 – Highwayman: Point Blank Shot, Tracking Shot, Pistol Shot, Duelist’s Advance.
  • 1 – Highwayman: Point Blank Shot, Tracking Shot, Pistol Shot, Duelist’s Advance.

One of the few classical combos that is extant in this mod. PBS is ridiculous: 21.2 – 36.5. And max PBS under max Tracking shot is 52.28 each turn. Prep round did a lot for the tracking shot – whereas previously you had to sacrifice damage for it, now you get it basically for free.

As usual, you want your frontline He-man to be faster than Pos-2 so they rotate pristinely. It’s absolutely fine to have double +SPD trinkets on him for the sake of this (you’ll want to switch to armor piercing + SPD later on, though) – you loose too much damage by not rotating properly. Cutting down pos-2 He-man for the sake of this is not advised, though – your nuke potential is too good to be wasted in such a fashion. Your party doesn’t have much staying power so it needs to nuke down enemies ASAP.

The ideal turn sequence is pos-1 He-man, PD, Occultist, pos-2 He-man. Both PD and Occultist have corpse cleaning skills and that’s really vital to ensure your cannons going. PD also applies her Vapours at the start of the combat – now that they don’t cost a full turn and last through the battle, they’re an entire different kind of a skill. Max PBS under tracking is 52.28, add vapours into mix and you get 76.35. That’s 24 extra damage on each following turn.

And once you find a Bloody Herb, PD can also do some real physical damage.

Incision: (8.82 + 7.875) – (17.25 + 15.75).

Herbed-up Incision: (11.77 + 12) – (23 + 24).

That’s some bloody fine value from one trinket. Half of that damage is slow bleeding DoT, though, so it’s less amazing in this squad, but even the physical part is good enough.

Occultist here serves as a healbot with corpse cleaning function. Once you find a Demon’s Cauldron (that’s an incredibly high priority trinket, btw), he adds another 15% DMG, 5% crit to your he-men per heal.

9. Dead Inside

Biome: Catacombs or Exterior.

Affinity: Faithless.

  • 4 – Houndmaster: Cry Havoc, Guard Dog, Lick Wounds, Hound’s Rush.
  • 3 – Vestal: Dazzling Light, Illumination, Divine Grace, Divine Comfort.
  • 2 – Man-at-Arms: Crush, Command, Retribution, Bolster.
  • 1 – Man-at-Arms: Crush, Command, Retribution, Bolster.

This is a Dodge party that requires some amber to get started. Now, unfortunately, most amber trinkets are awful. But among the few good ones there is the Dissonant Relic and Ghoulserum Injection. Those add extra buffs to any friendly actions you apply to your team. And Cry Havoc is the only skill that can buff your entire squad each and every turn. So the idea here is to get those two trinkets for your Houndmaster and Cry Havoc every turn, regardless of your need for stress healing. Your squad being faithless means they’ll be under constant +24 Dodge, +31 ACC, +30% Damage buff. Then we add double Bolsters into the mix, simply so the team is even dodgier. And then everybody else in the squad has double Dodge trinkets, with one of them ideally being Mantra of Fasting – ghouls consume lots of food so you’ll need that one to manage better. This is also the reason for biome restriction here – you can find extra food in catacombs and exterior.

So Hounmaster cries havoc relentlessly. Gramps, after bolstering, slowly whittle enemy party with retributions and crushes. Their damage is awful.

Crush: 11.23 – 18.97.

Retribution: 2.5 + 8.13 per riposte – 4.66 + 13.78 per riposte.

Honestly, Crush scales so badly that mb just commanding your back lines is the better choice:

Vestal riposte max – 8.35.

Houndmaster riposte max – 9.9.

Well, it’s not much better but it depends on the foe.

Anyhow, the staying power of this squad is insane so slow damage doesn’t matter as much – you don’t have the 100% evasion but you have more than enough to not worry about HP and you’re also stress immune.

The only issue of this squad is that it’s slow to play – mb not slow enough that being dead inside is required, but definitely slower than average. It’s a team for securing objectives, not for farming.

10. Card Markers

Biome: caverns.

Affinity: religious.

  • 4 – Arbalest: Sniper Shot, Sniper’s Mark, Battlefield Bandage, Rallying Flare.
  • 3 – Arbalest: Sniper Shot, Sniper’s Mark, Battlefield Bandage, Rallying Flare.
  • 2 – Vestal: Judgement, Divine Comfort, Illumination, Hands of Light.
  • 1 – Bounty Hunter: Collect Bounty, Mark for Death, Uppercut, Finish Him.

You’d think that with the Prep round being added, mark squads would be the kings of meta. But no, they mostly suck. Let’s look at the numbers.

Sniper Shot: 11.32 / 23.25 vs mark – 21.24 / 44.76 vs mark.

Collect Bounty: 12.48 / 23.72 vs mark – 21.42 / 40.67 vs mark.

So the unmarked numbers are obviously meh, the marked ones seem good, right? But the catch is, Marks can now be resisted. In champion dungeons they get only 50-75% chance to stick, depending on the ememy. So that second number is easily 2-3 actions clumped together – that’s less good.

Also, plenty of other buffs are able to provide 20 dmg per turn – we’ve already reviewed teams like that. But whereas those buffs can be applied to any skill and used vs any enemy, marks buffs are for specific skills only, vs specific foes only.

Mark squads are also no longer the bane of the bosses – marks last 3 actions only and bosses take 2-3 actions per turn, and also have high debuff resist. Meaning good luck keeping them marked.

Bounty hunter, at the very least, has Review Contract camping skill to make his mark reliable (and especially good versus protected targets). But arbalests? Their marks are so-o-o bad, it’s a joke. But you don’t really want to amass BH’s as arbalests have better damage.

So the solution is to play this party less of a burst-damage style and more of regenerator-style. Arbalests are now able to heal both Health and Stress. Vestal, once you get her a Sacred Scroll, becomes the second-best marker in the game. Her debuff chance is average, but the idea that now you can heal your party with Judgment or buff it with Hands of Light while still applying a mark. Like, you get an actual action + 50%-75% mark chance versus nothing but 50%-75% mark chance. Vestal’s Divine Comfort and expiation also synergizes greatly with Battlefield Bandage’s +40% healing received.

The name of the party comes from the Gambler’s Charm trinket. Under average condition it’s nothing impressive – 1.6 less damage from every enemy strike, basically. So even if you’re hit 6 times per combat, you get 9.6 extra hp. Whatever.

But with duo arbalests everybody under focus will be having 40-80% healing received applied to them constantly. And every stack of such bonus applies 1.92 damage “absorption” to that charm. So we go from 1.6 to 3.52-5.44 zone.

Also, Charm counts its owner as both healer and heal receiver. So if used on an Arbalest, it will gain extra 20% from Medic’s Greaves. Which is a must in the caverns – too much bleeding going on. And it’ll also gain bonuses from Hippocratic and Gifted quirks. Finally, Charm’s heals can crit. That’s hardly relevant on the basic value but can become lulzy with all the modifiers applied.

So yeah, this party is somewhat biome-limited and trinket-reliant, but that’s how you make marks work.

11. Doo-doo-dune

Biome: any.

Affinity: Faithless.

  • 4 – Houndmaster: Cry Havoc, Guard Dog, Lick Wounds, Hound’s Rush.
  • 3 – Occultist: Wyrd Reconstruction, Amber Curse, Hands from the Abyss, Daemon’s Pull.
  • 2 – Grave Robber: Lunge, Pick to the Face, Flashing Daggers, Shadow Fade
  • 1 – Grave Robber: Lunge, Pick to the Face , Flashing Daggers, Shadow Fade

This is a later game team – you’ll need to get a Duneshaper trinket out of local collector to assemble it. That item is real mighty but most compos can use it. This one can. The idea is that You combine Duneshaper with Dissonant Relic on Houndmaster and, just like in Dead Inside compo you Cry Havoc each turn, applying eventual +40 Dodge to the entire squad. Now, Duneshaper will inevitably push the Houndmaster out of Havoc position, but that’s where the Lunge GR’s come in – two Lunges per turn means he’ll be forced to stay. And Occu is there for the occasional healing. This is a dark party (so you get the most out of Night Moves) so he can even use his Hands from the Abyss (whenever he finds himself at the front, that is).

Shadow Fade also works extremely well here because it’s not only bonus damage for the lunge – it’s +15 Dodge for 3 turns. With Dodge trinkets (ideally – Mantra of Fasting + Moon Cloak; you want the cloaks so GR’s move before the Houndmaster does) you will at times be reaching 100 Dodge.

If Houndmaster is not in pos 3-4 (it’ll occasionally happen), he used Guard Dog, mostly on Occultist. That still triggers the Duneshaper so you don’t get the full dodge value out of his turn, but you still get something.

12. Sharp Wits

Biome: caverns, treasury.

Affinity: Religious.

  • 4 – Vestal: Judgement, Divine Grace, Divine Comfort, Dazzling Light.
  • 3 – Flagellant: Punish, Rain of Sorrows, Exsanguinate, Endure.
  • 2 – Jester: Slice off, Prelude, Inspiring Tune, Finale.
  • 1 – Jester: Slice off, Prelude, Dirk Stab, Finale.

Bleeding parties are kinda difficult in this mod. First, torchless is wholly verboten for them as robots don’t bleed. This also means you must always have some nighttime ambush prevention skill and always use it. Second, trinket support is mostly meh. Basic bleed stones are weak, uncommon Bleed Amulets have -3 SPD and SPD is crucial for DoTs. No rare and higher support at all.

Because of this, only jesters have it good, mostly when working in duos. Prelude has a 60-85% chance to land in Champion dungeons and once it lands it’s like everybody in your team getting a trinket slot. With two preludes it’s only 16%. And, ideally, your Jesters are Technical, pushing the failure chance into 9% zone.

And even if debuff part of prelude fails, Jesters still get the associated buffs.

Max Slice off without Prelude 5 is 13.668 + 17.85 bleeding damage.

Max Slice off with Prelude 5 is 16.4 + 32.22 bleeding damage.

And something that rhymes with 322 can’t be bad, right? Even as a slow damage, that’s still a lot.

So yeah, prelude enables the jester way too good so that’s why we have two. And that flag, btw, is not a position 3 flag. The plan is that on prep round both jesters give their preludes and then the Flag moves to pos 1 and fights.

His Rain of sorrow is rather mighty: (2.97 + 7.87) x2 – (4.19 + 15.75) x 2

But add Prelude 5 and it’ll be: (4.19 + 21.37) x 2.

That’s 11.25 bonus damage per action.

If you feel greedy, you can even try swapping 4-Vestal (which is mostly a healbot) for a 4-Musketeer.

Her shrapnel Standard shot 5 is (15.78 + 17.85).

Under prelude this’ll be (15.78 + 24.22)

You’ll have less healing, though, so your flag will have to swap Endure for Reclaim.

You can also notice I’m not using Suffer on my Flag – well, the biggest effect that Suffer causes on DPS is a Bleed Chance one. But since Jesters give that for free, you don’t really need the other stuff here. Going suffer-less means you need 1 less skill slot (and flag is incredibly starved for those) and you have much safer death doors.

Trinket-wise, since nothing really supports bleeding and jesters have high accuracy, I go full evasion on them. Sun Cloaks + whatever Dodge stuff you have. The loss of critical is kinda fine here as it doesn’t give as much to the DoT. And extra speed is important so Flagellant doesn’t start his turn before Jesters. Flagellant has the usual max HP item + something for his accuracy. And Vestal is just a healbot.

In caverns this team will nicely shred through troglodyte’s protections. In treasury some insects and lost legion have that too, and DoTs also allow you to kill damage reflecting enemies without taking much damage in return.

13. Tentaclove

Biome: Treasury.

Affinity: Pagan.

  • 4 – Occultist: Abyssal Artillery, Daemon’s Pull, Amber Curse, Wyrd Reconstruction.
  • 3 – Occultist: Abyssal Artillery, Daemon’s Pull, Amber Curse, Sacrificial Stab.
  • 2 – Abomination.
  • 1 – Abomination.

The thing to understand with aboms is that now that Adventurer + Skirmisher quirk combo is ever-present, they don’t really have much stress issues. So when it comes to their eugenics, don’t bother with fixing that part – focus on their damage instead. The faster they kill the enemy, the less destressing they’ll need anyways.

Their damage is solid:

  • Rake: 8×2, +1.13×2 dmg per future rake – 16.66×2, + 3.565×2 per rake.
  • Rage: 15.4 – 34.28.
  • Slam: 10.83 ( 5.91 on prep) – 24.19 (14.51 on prep)

These are solid numbers. Well, slam doesn’t look too slammy on prep but it gets better with trinkets – that -50% penalty is an arithmetical one so it gets much better once you stack some bonuses on that. Fully buffed pair of aboms can easily push 60-70 damage onto something during prep round. You probably want to spread that damage, though, because Occultist’s best damage dealing skill is…

Abyssal Artillery: 7.01/8.06 x 2 vs eldritch – 13.67/17.085 vs edlritch x2

That’s why Treasury is the biome of choice here – Occu doesn’t have much damage anywhere else.

So you want their back row to live a bit longer so you get the best value out of Occultists, and Slam may help here a lot. Best occultists for this party are Hot to Trot occultists, btw, just so you can finish stuff faster. And once their back row is dead, Occu switch to repairing damage while Aboms Rage at their frontline.

Trinket-wise, Occultists want either accuracy and Reckless charm for alpha striking or their traditional Chirurgeon’s Charm + Sacrificial Cauldron to better support the aboms. Aboms want accuracy and protection bypass. They also like % DMG but their camping buffs will provide it aplenty – just Psych Up your aboms and put some Dark Strength on them too. That’s +55% DMG for both aboms and +20% for Occultists.

14. Big Bang

Biome: catacombs, caverns

Affinity: Pagan

  • 4 – Occultist: Wyrd Reconstruction, Amber Curse, Vulnerability Hex, Daemon’s Pull.
  • 3 – Plague Doctor: Emboldening Vapours, Battlefield Medicine, Incision, Amber Blast.
  • 2 – Judicator: Glassworks, Indictment Brand, Ambernail, Fury of the Ancients.
  • 1 – Hellion: Bleed Out, Wicked Hack, Breakthrough, Reckless Rage.

Ok, this begins the “overbuff” cycle of parties so let’s understand how this works. You see, the beauty of +Crit and +% DMG buffs is that they multiply each other. So the more you stack them on each other, the better they get. Here’s an example. We have 2 identical characters which deal 100% DMG, and we give +25% DMG and +25% Crit each. The resulting dmg will be (100 x 1.25 x 1.25) = 156.25% dmg two times. So the overall profit is 112.5% dmg.

But what if we give one person 50% dmg and 50% crit? This means that the unbuffed character deals basic 100% damage, but overbuffed one deals: (100 x 1.5 x 1.5) = 225% dmg. Suddenly, the profit is higher – 125% dmg, that’s a 12.5% difference. And the more you stack, the bigger does this advantage gets.

So, to do stacking, you needs two things. First is a skill with innate damage modifier.

Bleed Out: 18.73 + 2.625×3 – 36.6 + 5.95×3

Mind you that the bleeding part here is somewhat irrelewant – want matters is the solid core with +25% dmg mod.

Then hellion herself can some buffs to it – Reckless Rage, Sharpen Spear, Battle Trance.

Then Plague Doctor adds her Emboldening Vapors 5 with 40% more damage and 12% more crit. And she can also Incision – your Hellion will crit often, getting that innate +33% dmg vs bleeding buff. And so Incision can enable this buff – don’t forget your Bloody Herbs home.

Then we have Judicator. Her role is extremely simple – Glassworks Hellion each turn. First, being protected by Judy means Hellion isn’t paying the price of +17% Incoming criticals which are now stacked on her. Second, as long as she’s Pagan, each application gives Hellion 25% more damage and +10% Crit, culminating in constant +75% DMG, +30% Crit. Add Ghoulserum Injection into mix and that’s another +16 Accuracy, +30% DMG. During camptime, Judy can produce Amber Residue (that’s 20% DMG, 10% crit for Hellion for one combat) or give Hellion +10 ACC, +7% Crit.

Last but not the least, Occultist with Sacrificial Cauldron can apply Wyrd Reconstruciton to the Hellion, giving her +15% DMG and +5% Crit each time. And his Dark Strength provides Hellion with another +20% DMG.

Honestly, this all sounds too scary to even try and calculate. In practice this results in hellion causing 150-250 damage hits every turn. This means that in 3 turns hellion will kill 3 toughest foes and, meanwhile, PD will shank one weaker one. Or you can try some Blinding Gas PD play, but that’s more of a 4-PD, 3-Occu with Sacrificial Stab. Or maybe even 2-Occu with Hands From the Abyss.

  • Trinket-wise, Hellion wants speed, ideally Berserk Charm + Bag of Marbles combo.
  • Judy carries Ghoulserum Injection + some anti-stress as she’ll be getting two doses of that.
  • Occu is Sacrificial Cauldron + Chirurgeon’s Charm combo.
  • PD is Bloody Herb + some melee accuracy.

If you have a very stress-resistant PD (60%+ stress resist from quirks) and a Blasphemous Vial, you can go for 4-Plague Doctor, 3-Plague Doctor. This way 4-PD will concentrate on Blinding Gas and 3-PD will be giving Incisions.

This kind of Hellion hates Protection so don’t forget to buy full stack of Honing Oil. You’ll appreciate it.

You can also replace Hellion with Highwayman. He’ll be using Tracking Shot on turn 1 and then cycling Point Blank Shot & Duelist’s Advance.

15. Gang Bang

Biome: Exterior

Affinity: any.

  • 4 – Plague Doctor: Emboldening Vapours, Battlefield Medicine, Plague Grenade, Noxious Blast.
  • 3 – Hellion: Breakthrough, If It Bleeds, Wicked Hack, Reckless Rage.
  • 2 – Plague Doctor: Emboldening Vapours, Battlefield Medicine, Incision, Amber Blast.
  • 1 – Plague Doctor: Emboldening Vapours, Battlefield Medicine, Incision, Amber Blast

This team is more difficult to assemble, but at least it doesn’t care about affinity. This is a specialized development of a previous one – however cool that one was, it doesn’t fare well in Exterior. The burst damage is way too great and you can’t really kill 1 enemy per turn here.

So we try to kill them ASAP instead – that’s how Exterior plays. Judicator may have higher buff value and no risk attached, but PD gives all her damage here and now.

So we take Breakthrough – quite a valuable skill.

Breakthrough: 7.08 x 3 / 11.65 x 3

Then we add 120% damage and 14.4% crit to its final form – unfortunately, triple AoE strikes get only 40% Crit Value.

Vaporwave Breakthrough: 29.23 x 3

And then we fix the accuracy until it reaches 95%.

Vaporwave Breakthrough+: 37.03 x 3.

That’s enough to kill most exterior enemies in 2 strikes. And we truly want this to be a Hot to Tro Hellion, just so she performs those 2 strikes starting from turn 1.

Even if enemies survive, Incisions and Noxious blasts will be good enough to finish them up.

Trinket-wise, you need a Ghoulserum Injection + Blasphemous Vial for position 4 PD, Blasphemous Vial + Bloody Herb for Position 2 PD, Bloody Herb + some durability item for Position 1 PD. Hellion wants Reckless Charm + a bit of Accuracy.

You can also do this build with position-1 Shieldbreaker. You’ll need to accelerate PD’s for this one and slow down the Shieldbreaker a little in this case – you need the PD trio to move before the Shieldbreaker does, at least on the first turn. Or find a Shieldbreaker with, IIRC, slowdraw quirk: -8 Speed on the first round. That quirk will be mega-useful in case of this party.

16. Shatterdome

Biome: Catacombs

Affinity: Pagan

  • 4 – Occultist: Wyrd Reconstruction, Amber Curse, Vulnerability Hex, Daemon’s Pull.
  • 3 – Plague Doctor: Emboldening Vapours, Battlefield Medicine, Incision, Amber Blast.
  • 2 – Judicator: Glassworks, Indictment Brand, Ambernail, Fury of the Ancients.
  • 1 – Dredge.

This is just a variation of big bang, but it gets its section because there are few Dredge uses atm.

Under normal conditions Dredge is useless. Her human form doesn’t do anything well, and her mech is pretty meh (this lame pun never gets old):

Pillar of steel:17.44 + 1.74 per hit – 34.63 +6.92 per hit

Prismatic Doom is quite the same, Conflagrate max is 12.43 x 3. Well, tbh, I haven’t considered it much after the buff – the numbers are decent and so, should you find a Hot to Trot Dredge, you can do her Gang Bang style. But outside of that extreme case, she’s not much better than Hellion but she gets all that overheat stuff attached. Mind you, 100 heat per 4 rests is definitely not enough and you can’t really play around overheating.

So the only way to play her is Amber Core – as long as she kills one enemy every two turns, heat is not an issue for her. Thankfully, under all the buffs she’ll be obliterating a target each turn, that’s the whole point of this setup.

Gleaming Drill max: 16.01 /24.02

The numbers are kinda low but first, they totally ignore Protection (which, as we’ve discussed, is a huge modifier) and second, Amber Core is less accurate than the leper. Your Judicator should be sporting both Ghoulserum Injection and either Articles of Amberlight or Dissonant Relic to rectify that. Once you increase her accuracy to 95%, she’ll get a 1.58x modifier to that base damage.

Amber Fumigation is used during prep round, Amberlight Annihilation is used when there’s no target that’s Amberlit. All three other party members can apply amberlight, though, so this won’t be too often.

In addition to Pure Amber Core, you want a Legendary Bracer. It’s not about the bonuses – you want Judicator to buff your Dredge, but you don’t really want to guard her. Her mech form with Ghoul Plague added gives +55% Protection and other buffs – why would you want her not to get hit? It’s all about Legendary Bracer preventing the Guard.

VS bosses that summon, you fight as is. VS bosses that don’t summon, you take off the Pure Amber Core in a room before them, rest and fight them with Pillar of Steel. 100 Heat is not enough for 4 battles but it’ll be ok for one boss.

17. Kekser

Biome: Treasury or Caverns.

Affinity: Faithless or Pagan.

  • 4 – Hexer: Excruciating Pain, Malform, Eroded Mind, Ichor Incantation.
  • 3 – Occultist: Sacrificial Stab, Abyssal Artillery, Amber Curse, Wyrd Reconstruction.
  • 2 – Hellion: Breakthrough, Barbaric YAWP!, Wicked Hack, Iron Swan.
  • 1 – Hellion: Breakthrough, Barbaric YAWP!, Wicked Hack, Iron Swan.

Hexer gets a lot of flak but he’s usable enough. His biggest weakness is his top-heavy scaling. He’s very weak at Rank 1 and progresses greatly through his path to Rank 5. And, in practice, he’s similar to Karen-type MaA – his biggest skill is Excruciating Pain. Erase the enemy’s Dodge while giving the party more damage versus them, usable from prep round? Don’t mind if I do.

But, once again, enemies don’t even get that much dodge until green dungeons so yeah. Were we in basic Darkest Dungeon realm, Putrefied Flesh would’ve been amazing, but there really isn’t much to combo with it in BR and the combo is a bit too intense.

Eroded Mind is great in Treasury – too much pesky regen here so why not steal it all? And Ichor Incantation scales greatly – 20% max HP healing at the final level is no joke. In addition to that, it removes all debuffs which combos nicely with hellions. First, you can use their Revel to safely regen stress – no hangovers with this guy. Second, one of your Hellions can use contraband Horn of Fervor. She’ll give +15% DMG, +3% Crit to the Party and Incantation will clean the debuff on round 2.

Party-wide bleed/blight cure might also be amazing in Treasury as there’s just too much of that crap in that place. It’s all about proper vial management, really, so you always start the second round of the combat with 3 Vials and have this option handy.

Malform is the most questionable skill here – it does great damage but it’s difficult to support, vial-wise. You might consider swapping it out for Malicious.

Trinket-wise, Hexer needs a Debuff stone (so his stuff sticks) and a Sun Cloak (mostly for Speed).

Outside of Hexer – Occu is your major healbot and rank 3-4 crusher. Chirurgeon’s charm and something protective for him.

Hellions both YAWP at the first turn. One buffs the party with the horn, another just shreds the dodge of pos 1-2. All the debuffs are greatly supported by Hexer’s Enthroned – 10% may not sound like much but it’s a big deal, really.

2-Pos Hellion must be much faster than 1-Pos one so they can do the old scissoring tactics – 2x breakthroughs every turn. This, coupled with Abyssal Artillery, puts as much stress on enemy positions 2-3-4 as possible, thus getting max value out of Excruciating Pain.

One lulzy item to give to 1-Pos Hellion is Thieving Gloves. Stealing 3 regen stacks simultaneously? Don’t mind if I do. You give it to 1-Pos because 2-Pos probably has SPD trinkets. Just don’t Malform in this case – you’ll steal that too.

You probably don’t want to use Hexer’s Contraband Item, Parasite Zero, here. It gives party-wide +6% crit at the cost of some stress but crit is just weak with AoE.

18. Dismachine

Biome: Treasury

Affinity: Pagan

  • 4 – Antiquarian: Nervous Stab, Mending Vapours, Fortifying Vapours, Protect Me.
  • 3 – Highwayman: Duelist’s Advance, Tracking Shot, Grapeshot Blast, Point Blank Shot.
  • 2 – Occultist: Wyrd Reconstruction, Sacrificial Stab, Amber Curse, Daemon’s Pull.
  • 1 – Occultist: Wyrd Reconstruction, Sacrificial Stab, Amber Curse, Daemon’s Pull.

This is a late game luxury fun compo. Real fun, but it requires 3x very rare Vial of Ashes and 2x very rare Demon’s Cauldron. The point is real simple: Occultists Wyrd our Dismas each turn, stacking up to +45% dmg and +15% Crit Each. Antiquarian holds Ghoulserum Injection so she stacks up to 60% Prot, -30% Crits Received, +16 Accuracy and +30% DMG on him.

Dismas begins from dueling advance. Everyone but Dismas is stealthed so most enemies are forced to hit the big guy, getting totally screwed in the process. Mind you, I’ve tested this past stealth nerf – it was utterly ridiculous before but it’s still playable atm.

This is also the only legit battle for Antiquarian. Outside of this, she’s kinda pointless. She’s incredibly weak and no party can really afford a deadbeat member in BR. Furthermore, it’s much easier to farm money with kvarotz-killer squad or treasury-looter squad than trying to duke it out with Antiqua. Here, however, she’s mandatory. Initially I tried this with 3x Occu for even greater buffs, but while this worked on grey and green dungeons, champ ones just evaporated my Dismas. Even Antiquarian doesn’t fully cut it – he also needs Heavy Boots to survive, just so he gets into well-protected zone faster. His second trinket is probably something anti-protection one.

Duelist’s Advance: 10.8 + 8.92 per riposte – 18.5 + 14.36 per riposte.

Let’s also do the numbers. Dismas simply has the best riposte in the game, the most efficient one. So while you can give other characters riposte in this or that-a-way, he can’t really be challenged here.

If you want to trade power for memes, you can swap pos-1 Occu for Faithless Crusader with Commander’s Order. That’s the only semi-efficient way of having Dismas and Reynauld in the same squad that I can see here. It’s too bad it requires so much rare trinkets but, well, see the solution in chapter 0.

19. Loving Ammo

Biome: torchless catacombs

Affinity: any

  • 4 – Musketeer: Smokescreen, Bombard, Patch Up, Standard Shot.
  • 3 – Shieldbreaker: Adder’s Kiss, Impale, Captivate, Serpent’s Sway.
  • 2 – Plague Doctor: Plague Grenade, Noxious Blast, Blinding Gas, Battlefield Medicine.
  • 1 – Shieldbreaker: Adder’s Kiss, Impale, Captivate, Serpent’s Sway.

This build is based around Living Ammo contraband trinket. Your Musketeer will have to do some skill maneuvering – in first fight of the dungeon, swap out Bombard for Change Ammo. Then she must kill someone, that’s a must, and switch to living ammo. After that fight, put your Bombard back.

Once you have the ammo enabled, one application of Smokescreen gives enemies a “+70% Blight Received” debuff. Which is bonkers. Mind you, the value doesn’t get multiplied with something like Plague Doctor’s +30% Blight trinket – it gets added arithmetically. So you don’t care much about those – your PD here needs a Blasphemous Vial (as you need a healer) and a Blight Stone. Shieldbreakers also want a Blight Stone and also something to control their speed, so Pos-1 goes before pos-3. They both open with Sway, similarly to Clusterfume squad.

In addition to living ammo, Musk wants Debuff stone. She’ll also be using her Amber Infused Powder camp skill – all to guarantee the Smokescreen landing. Then she either applies Smokescreens or Bombards or Heals – depends on the scenario. Shieldbreakers scissor, PD grenades, everything drowns in Blight. Beautiful.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13580 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.


  1. so i have 2 builds that are early/mid game, one to fight the janissary with a medium to high success rate, and one for pure DOT damage,
    1) Janissary Hunters – janissary fight – any affinity
    musketeer – living ammo and pilebunker – 4th pos
    -skills- standard shot, change ammo, patch up, stock strike
    houndmaster – any dodge trinket, spiked collar – 3rd pos
    -skills- hounds rush, cry havoc, guard dog, lick wounds
    occultist – sacrificial cauldron, dodge trinket – 2nd pos
    -skills- sacrificial stab, amber curse, wyrd reconstruction, vulnerability hex
    flagellant – resurrection’s collar, tenacity ring – 1st pos
    -skills- punish, rain of sorrows, redeem, suffer
    The Musketeer is here for the insane amount of single target damage she can bring to the table, and since she has the pilebunker she has 20% more dmg while not being hit by the janissary’s riposte, though she will take quite a bit of self dmg, the living ammo is there to back her up to a nice fighting chance. Change ammo is here to allow the flexibility of the musketeer shine, if she isnt fighting the janissary, you can change ammo to standard or shrapnel to take out the goons of the janissary. patch up is to make sure no one dies in a few turns with the heal per turn, although its only for one turn. and stock strike is there so she can not only get back to the 4th pos but also hit the janissary when she cant standard shoot him.
    houndmaster is here for the stress relief , but also to bleed the janissary, allowing multiple turns of dmg due to bleeding, that is if your lucky, spiked collar decreases his bleed chance by 30%, but the main reason you use spiked collar in this fight is due to the debuff you will give the janissary, +20% dmg received, it will allow anybody on this team to hit insane amounts of dmg on the high hp pool the janissary has, and if you use the mantra of fasting on the houndmaster, you will get a +10 dodge +3% Crt chance, so it’ll be hard for the janissary to hit you. If you need more dodge, just guard dog the lowest hp ally you have, for a nice increase of dodge. Lick wounds is there to allow the healers (everyone but the houndmaster) to focus on healing everyone else, unless the houndmaster is about to die.
    The occultist is here to be a main healer. But on the off chance the janissary targets him, you’ll want to hit him with the amber curse then use vulnerability curse for the next few turns, it will allow the musketeer to hit the janissary EVEN though, she isnt being targeted by him, if the occultist isnt being attacked by the janissary, use your sacrificial stab on the goons, and then use your wyrd reconstruction on anyone that is under 20% hp, if you get enough melee hits in, you’ll be able to full heal anyone on your team. Though once you heal, all of the stacks of extra healing will vanish, but due try to heal anyone when you can.
    The Flagellant is here to be a side healer, he is mainly here to get rid of any goons that will cause massive stress dmg on your team, punish will allow you to bleed anyone but if you think you would rather have him not take so much dmg from his self bleed, and yes it will kill him eventually, you can exchange it for his exsanguinate/reclaim skills, though you are giving up an increase of dmg, crt chance, extra bleed chance, and death blow res if you do it. He is given redeem to heal anyone from dying while also healing himself. Punish and rain of sorrows is so that he has the ability to hit anywhere on the enemy team, and due to this, he will always be able to hit the janissary if possible. Resurrection’s collar is on him so that he will always be able to heal himself out of danger, and if timed well, able to prevent not only himself, but someone else out of death’s door. and tenacity ring will built up stacks of death blow resists whenever he is attacked, giving you a bit of time before you need to heal him, but i would say he needs to get out of deaths door sooner than later, especially if you use suffer, because of the bleed he puts on himself, even if its only one dmg, he still can die to it.
    2)DOT Doggy – any region – religious
    houndmaster – spiked collar and any dodge trinket – 4th pos
    -skills- hound’s rush, hound’s harry, target whistle/cry havoc, lick wounds/guard dog
    leper – any acc/dmg trinket and immunity mask – 3rd pos
    -skills- chop, revenge, withstand, solemnity
    Flagellant – any trinket to boost healing skills, and any trinket – 2nd pos
    -skills- punish, exsanguinate/reclaim, redeem, suffer
    Jester – any dodge trinket, overgrown setar – 1st pos
    -skills- prelude, finale, battle ballad, inspiring tune
    This team allows you to slowly whittle down your enemies while you recover both health and stress you might lose/gain. The jester is there for the -bleed res prelude gives to the enemy to then finale the lowest health enemy. The dodge trinket would allow them to still have some dodge chance. and since he is now in the 4th pos, he is then able to give his allies a battle ballad to not only buff them with speed, acc, and crit, but also a 100% blight chance, even if the allies dont do blight damage, and inspiring tune has the ability to do that too, so you are not only reducing stress and giving your allies – stress gain, but also giving that ally the blight chance
    The Houndmaster is what makes this DOT team shine, if you are doing ok in the health and stress department, give him target whistle and guard dog, and keep buffing him with your jester, as he will be able to target whistle and hounds rush targets that are giving you trouble, or just hounds harry the enemies to spread the love of dot, yes you get -50% blight amount to aoe skills, but you are still giving the enemies bleed as well, and if you have the spiked collar on him you’re reducing their prot. you have guard dog to reduce the damage the jester might get and to increase the hounds dodge as well. If needs be you can change the houndmaster into a stress healer or a sell healer to prevent him from dying.
    The leper is there to take out the frontline while tanking damage, yes he has reduced health with the mask, but with it, he cant be stunned, most of the time, and if you give hem the legendary bracer, he will be buffed when receiving dmg and will have a +8 acc buff since he will always be marked. Chop is there so he can just deal a huge chunk of dmg, but if you want to spread more DOT you can use hew, but I dont think you need to due to the role of the houndmaster. Withstand is there to reduce the dmg taken that revenge gives you, while also making it so that the leper wont be moved/DOT’ed/stunned/debuffed as often. and solemnity is there to prevent lepper form hitting deaths door, while making everyone reduce their stress, since this team is all religious.
    The flagellant is here to be the baby-sitter of the group, if you have trouble keeping him alive, change reclaim to exsanguinate so that he heals himself easier while also bleeding and blighting the target, that is if he is buffed by the jester, but he is mainly there to reclaim any dmged allies or if both him and a ally is heavily dmged, redeem them to have a nice heal, suffer is there to increase bleed chance and dmg that punish is able to do. and if you have trouble keeping him out of deaths door, change the (any) trinket with the tenacity ring, so that he wont have that much of a chance of him dying due to him bleeding himself to death

  2. Good guide and example teams although some of them require items that most newbies won’t have.
    You have some typos here and there like “ememy”, some proof reading required.

    Still, very nice guide and I hope newbies check this out and try the characters instead of complain.

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