Rune Gate – Helpful Hints Guide

Basics of Rune Gate, including easily overlooked depth of gameplay hints.

Tips and Hints

The Guide

A few things to help you understand Rune Gate.

  1. This game is roguelite. Expect to make a certain amount of progress, then fail, and start over with new unlocks.
  2. The secret to progression is in where you spend your elemental currency. Unlocking shop upgrades and starter-gear is hugely powerful.
  3. If there are multiple events in a single row in an incursion, you can only pick one of them! Use this to your advantage. You can recruit a new hero and avoid a fight, or visit a shop and avoid an event. You lose the game when a yellow-bordered aggressive incursion makes it past the bottom row of your field (which glows red when occupied), but other events don’t count!
  4. You’ll do more damage by focusing on specific elements. Keep your team to one side or the other of each exchange; Fire or Ice; Light or Dark; Earth or Lightning. If you make lightning attacks against an enemy, it reduces their Earth Illness, and vice versa!
  5. Your main character’s power is in their versatility. Use them to create combos with your other characters, and use off-elements like electrical stuns and burns when you’re playing an earth or ice run.
  6. Don’t be confused by effects that target you, vs effects that target your enemies. For example, both stick and infect go on you, where as poison goes on your enemy. Mostly. More on this later.
  7. Gear has grades! Blue is better than green, red/gold is better than blue, green is clearly better than grey. This influences the power of what upgrades pop, as well as what starts on the item. Also A is better than B is better than C. You suffer a short, sharp dip in power when you drop an item for a new one, but ditching your old starter Grey C sword for a shiny new Blue B sword is a major upgrade! Equip the new blue, then destroy the old grey to get a boost in shards that will help you level your gear, and also frees all your old runes from the old grey weapon so you can set them into the new one.
  8. Armor has durability. Armor reduces damage by a specific amount (say 3) for the entire time the durability remains. Armor repair runes let you refresh that durability, which drops by one per hit against your armor.
  9. As long as your armor has durability, it makes you immune to spikes and wounds. The damage you take from spikes and wounds doesn’t count as a hit, and so doesn’t reduce your durability because it can’t punch through the armor level. Once the spikes and wounds are high enough to trump your armor’s damage resistance though, you’re in for a rough time.
  10. You probably don’t need to heal for the first two weeks of play or so. Each turn is listed as a day, and certain utilities are time locked in each run. Once you DO have enough damage to start needing to heal, be aware of your potions in the lower left hand corner. You can only use them in battle, but using them will save you a lot of cash! Upgrade the power and number of your potions in the elemental gates, and then look for a Heart Event on the Incursions or Gates.
  11. There are some very advanced strategies that start to become viable as the game progresses. Using clever targeting you can poison and nurture your own characters, giving them huge amounts of armor. With the right Augments your characters can have blocks that never break and spikes that never degrade. You can put shields on your enemies and then use Divert to smash all the enemies around them! The way you use your runes is only limited by your imagination, so don’t forget that you can do things like targeting your enemy lineup with a force-field (which targets two rows) and for the low price of giving them all 5 block, you can drop piles of wounds and poisons on them, and even multipliers for those levels of wounds and poisons!
  12. You can attack your own guys to level up your skill cards. Got an un-spiked tank with loads of armor and only one remaining healer enemy that you’re creaming? Target all your allies attacks against the shields instead of the enemy for tasty Skill Points…

Skill Cards

I sort of felt like this needed its own section.

  1. Be aware that SKILLS have grades, too. You’ll see upgrades for Strike+ I, and Strike I. That little plus seems to be about a 30% upgrade in overall power.
  2. Certain skills are simply better than others. A basic strike is going to hit your main target for 5, while a left slash is going to hit your target for 4, and also the target next to him. Puncture hits two men deep, but for the same cost Pierce strikes through all three columns. You’ll see colors on level 1 abilities: grey, green, blue, orange; these are defined in the mouse-over for the individual weapon, telling you how many of each grade of power you have. Higher grade/rarity powers will tend to start higher up the ladder, then become closer to orange as you upgrade them.
  3. Click one of your skills inside your weapon upgrade. Look at the top of the screen. There’s an upgrade button! Upgrading your Skills (using Shards) can get very costly, but as you use your skills they fill an aura around the rune locks. When that aura fills up, a small arrow appears at the bottom of the skill card, letting you know you can now upgrade the skill at a sharply reduced cost!
  4. Upgrading skills isn’t always worth the cost. Sometimes its best to just wait till you have free upgrades from use, and upgrade the very most basic ability, which might only be a point or two of damage or shields. For your starter Grey C weapons, this seems like a good way to slowly increase the salvage value of your weapon without costing you any Shards to start.
  5. As you use your weapon in battle, the weapon levels up, too. Usually about once per fight. This weapon level gives you a chance to upgrade the weapon, adding a new Skill Card. Be aware this is a NEW skill card, so if you have 12 cards on your weapon, a 13th card means you have less chance of pulling your highly upgraded multi-strike skill. It is often a good idea to trim a few basic abilities off of a good weapon, such as a Gold B grade Shield, dipping off a few Blocks and Knocks in favor of Smashes and Shields. Just think! If you had only 5 cards on a weapon, you would draw those 5 cards every round!
  6. Minions have skill cards too. You can even (with a bit of fiddly clicking) select the minion itself and upgrade him as well. This gives you a chance to reduce the cost of casting the minion, or giving a flat increase to the minion’s resistances and health. You can heal minions from the same menu, but this costs shards!

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