Despot’s Game: Dystopian Army Builder – Max Mutagens ASAP

The goal is to maximize the mutations you can earn by selecting the Mutagen start and getting More Altars asap. This strat is a very reliable kick off point for beating PvE and is the base for a good PvP run.


  • You need to save 130 tokens by end of level 2.
  • You should earn around 70 tokens from level 1.
  • You should earn around 120 tokens from level 2 (not including Quest/Dialog bonuses).

So in the worst case you can only spend 60 tokens on surviving:

  • 30 on Shop upgrades and rerolls
  • 30 on Melee

Your Melee can be a few different options – and you should try and suit your end game PvP comp if you can:

  • Trickster-2 (paddleball) AND Trickster-3 (pitchfork) are good (if you’re getting Tricksters, you want two)
  • Fighter-5 (yellowsuit) OR Fighter-4 (tutu) are good
  • Tank-4 (panzer-poo) OR Tank-3 (sanuzzi fridge) are decent
  • Mage-4 (shaman club) is ok
  • Fencer-4 (laser sword) is ok

Note: My ratings here are not for PvP, but specifically for getting max Mutations ASAP.

Note: You can make these options work better if you get lucky with early Mutations.

Main Menu

  • Pick the Mutagens start.
  • Pick the Special Magic team.

Floor #1

Sacrifice the 3 Newbies for food and move Mage to bottom left corner.

If you get the daleks instead of the spinny blade enemies, just restart.

You can solo everything but the boss with the single Mage.

Prefer Mutation rooms first, and save 1 Shop room for just before boss fight (by getting mutations first, you have a better chance of picking up a decisive mutation that might influence what Melee you pickup later).

Pick Summon Drone mutation if it appears, because then the Mage can solo the boss fight.

If you have Summon Drone, then you don’t need to buy anything, just skip “Buying your first Melee”.

If you don’t have Summon Drone, then you need to pickup your first Melee to tank the boss:

Buying your first Melee

Right now you can’t afford a Level 5 Melee, so upgrade the Shop two times to try and get a Level 4 Melee.

If you see a Level 4 Melee you want then get it, otherwise you will need to buy Thrill Addiction and reroll.

Getting a Level 3 Melee is also fine (especially if you need a full set of that Melee for your PvP comp anyway).

Place the Melee 1 square above your Mage.

Go beat the floor 1 boss.

(Very very rarely you will walk into a room with 4 spinny blade enemies, unfortunately that will probably break this strategy as your Mage will likely die).

Floor #2

If you have a Level 4 Melee (that’s not a Trickster or Mage or Fencer), then you don’t need to buy anything at the Shop at all.

If you have a Level 3 Melee (or lower) or a single Trickster or a Level 4 Mage or Fencer then you will want to buy something to support:

  • A Healer-1 (first aid kit) or Healer-2 (crash cart)
  • The second Trickster

If you had good luck and got Summon Drone, then you should have a few extra Tokens to upgrade the shop a third time, and try and pickup a Level 5 Melee.

(Warning; if you do pickup a Level 5 Melee you will need the extra tokens from an Event or Dialog).

If you need to reroll, buy Thrill Addiction first.

Don’t buy Sale (1) and Wide Selection until you need a reroll in a Mutation room.

Save every other token to complete the track to More Altars (which at worst you will buy after Level 2 boss fight, before going down the tubes).

Floor #3+

Good stuff, you should be getting max Mutations now, which i think is more or less necessary to have a fighting chance for PvP.

Some further tips:

The total Token budget for the game (without Events/Dialogs) is around 1850.

A ~20 member team is roughly 650 Tokens to purchase, so depending on team size, you can expect to be able to spend at least 1000 on upgrades. Events/Dialogs will give you extra, which will probably be another few upgrades.

Keep your team as small as possible as long as possible; for example, if you are running Fighters as part of your PvP comp, then you really can just finish 90% of the game with 4x Fighter-5 (yellowsuit) – because you will be picking up stacks of Mutations to make them very powerful, Valor is particularly useful for this strategy. Other comps are similar.

Healers are fairly mediocre; for 30 Tokens you can get 3% regen upgrade that scales with your HP upgrades and compounds with defensive effects. The cheapest Healer costs 6 Tokens and will probably fail to keep up with attrition across your whole team, plus it will probably get itself killed. If you invest more in Healing you are getting closer to that 30 Tokens upgrade in comparative cost, and really unless your PvP comp somehow needs Healers it will cost you more in Food and Deaths to keep those mediocre Healers going than just getting 3% regen and focusing on Level 5 team members. A Healer can get you to Floor 5, but after that I don’t see the value.

For food; Pickup the Hungering Fury Mutation early and just buy Burgers when your team has Red Hunger – path around the Floors thinking about this optimization, you can keep your total aggregate Food cost under 50 for most of the game if you plan well and have good luck with layouts. Also favor using teleporters as it cost 0 food to use them.

Think about your PvP comp as you progress, and if you see something relevant on Sale in the Shop, then pickup the item, but don’t equip it yet.

Somewhere on Floor 10 you will want to start building out and equipping your team, specifically because this gives your team enough Rooms to levelup each member from 1 to 5 (if you have relevant Mutations for XP gain then you can maybe wait until Floor 11). It takes around 8 Rooms to levelup 10 humans from 1 to 5 (i havent checked if this scales linearly with teamsize).

The last Floor is Floor 11, it’s still useful to build out your team a bit more in early Shops, but be aware you may not levelup each member to 5.

The final boss fights your team before you enter PvP and whatever health is on your team at the end of the boss fight is the health your team enters PvP matches with. So give consideration to vampiric effects and team placement when fighting the boss to ensure you dont end up with a weak team. Alternatively, having a ton of DPS makes the fight quick enough it doesnt matter.

You get Tokens and can still Shop and upgrade after the final boss fight, so it generally makes sense to build your troops before the fight (for XP gain) and use any leftover tokens after the boss fight to buy upgrades.

There are a few “gates” throughout the game that test your team’s powerlevel and utility:

  • Level 4 can have hard hitting Juggernauts – this requires good DPS or defence to get past
  • Level 5 has those Octo walker dudes, good DPS needed here
  • Level 6 has anti healing Brain on stilts guys that basically make healing hurt, if you have vampiric effects you can lose team members, just upgrade your HP to outlast the debuff
  • Level 7 has zombie swarms, Valor makes this easy, otherwise AoE/Splash damage will do
  • Level 8 has taunting Tanks with Octos, need even better DPS now
  • Level 9-10 you can see Thorny, which reflects damage, essentially you either need lots of HP or a vampiric effect or a lifegain effect
  • Level 9-10 you start seeing Cabbages, which consume a team member (eventually killing them), DPS or Stun or Fear or Resurrect will work
  • Level 11 you see Brain turret things that spawn enemies in your backline, good backline DPS works

Good luck and have fun coming up with competitive PvP comps.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13338 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.

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