When the worlds of procedural generation spawn every kind of crazed, menacing creature eager to send you to your demise, a typical strategy is to hoard as many powerful relics as theoretically conceivable. However, this is not the case for Slay the Spire, the roguelike deckbuilder that has you scrambling up floor after floor only to find out how many ways your body can be smashed to bits by all manner of monstrosities.
The game’s objective is to simply survive. To do so, you’ll need to become stronger by amassing all sorts of abilities and mystical relics to keep your skeletal structure intact from, say, the next boss’ charged beam attack that will fry you in milliseconds. Contrary to popular belief, what you “do not have” in your inventory can actually become your saving grace. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the six worst relics in Slay the Spire.
Description: Whenever you would deal 4 or less unblocked Attack damage, increase it to 5.
Why it’s not worth it: The Boot is what most players would refer to as the “chocolate teapot.” It provides little to nothing beneficial. The only time it shines is perhaps when you’ve been Weakened. If you don’t have any Strength, it can work well with low-damage burst attacks or against enemies who have Malleable and Intangible. However, this refers to “unblocked” damage only, so the Boot renders itself useless against enemies equipped with Block.
Description: Upon pickup, brews 5 random potions.
Why it’s not worth it: As a shop-exclusive relic, the best comparison for the Cauldron would be a Gucci bag — an expensive item that boasts your wealth to the world. Unfortunately, in the world of Slay the Spire, flaunting your luxurious relic won’t prevent enemies from tearing your limbs off. Every run starts you off with only three potion slots, so there’s no justification for obtaining the Cauldron anyhow. Even if you manage to get the Masked Merchant to give you a discount, consider spending your gold elsewhere.
Description: Whenever you climb a floor, gain 12 Gold. No longer works when you spend any Gold at the shop.
Why it’s not worth it: When choosing the Maw Bank, you must consider the opportunity cost. Waiting for 10 to 15 rooms to make a profit can put you at a considerable disadvantage. The cost of getting a Maw Bank is generally going to be one random relic selection. However, a random relic selection will often be worth more in its value. As a result, choosing the Maw Bank is generally considered not worth the overall price. Shops are one of the most beneficial rooms in the Slay the Spire. Restricting yourself from interacting with them to make a profit potentially creates a massive drawback.
Description: Upon pickup, obtain a unique Curse and 3 relics.
Why it’s not worth it: Three free relics for one Curse may sound tempting, but the RNG deities aren’t always so gracious. A Curse that you can’t remove from your deck would probably work for “Curse builds,” but there’s a very low probability you’ll ever want to use one. What honestly makes the Calling Bell so unfavorable is how underwhelming the benefit is — skipping a potentially stronger boss relic for three uncertain ones and a Curse glued to your deck. This negative effect can be negated with the Omamori, but bear in mind that you can’t know if you’ll have an Omamori on hand at the time the cursed Bell chimes.
Description: Every 4th Mystery room is a Treasure room.
Why it’s not worth it: The Tiny Chest essentially prompts you to change your pathing just for the chance at an average relic. Not only does Tiny Chest not activate until you pass through several mystery rooms, but it could make those rooms worse at the same time. For instance, if you were looking for a specific event like Apparitions, Bites, or Mind Bloom, the Tiny Chest makes them much harder to find. Perhaps you need to spend your cash at a Shop, but the Tiny Chest can make it less likely to find one in a mystery room. Needless to say, if you obtain it early on, it can net you an extra relic or two throughout the run. Still, you’d be better off just having a relic that can give you more direct advantages, especially on higher ascension levels.
Description: Gain 1 Energy at the start of each turn. You can no longer see enemy Intents.
Why it’s not worth it: Unless you’re a keen Dark Souls fan, you probably won’t enjoy what the Runic Dome has to offer. It punishes players who haven’t memorized all the enemies’ battle patterns and behaviors. You could have the Slay the Spire wiki open at all times, but most will find doing that sucks the fun out of the gameplay. Not to mention, some enemy intents rely on RNG, especially in late-game fights where you don’t know if your adversary is buffing itself to hell or about to land a triple-whopper combo on your skull. The only situations you could use a Runic Dome is if you’ve spent triple-digit hours in the Slay the Spire or if your deck executes the same strategy regardless of what your opponents are doing.
Unceasing Top: Whenever you have no cards in hand during your turn, draw a card.
- Why it’s inferior: This relic can potentially discard a vital card from your deck the moment you’re out of Energy.
Art of War: If you do not play any Attacks during your turn, gain an extra Energy next turn.
- Why it’s inferior: Except for the orb-armed Defect class, the Energy pay-off for being passive usually doesn’t match the value of taking the proactive offensive.
Runic Pyramid: At the end of your turn, you no longer discard your hand.
- Why it’s inferior: Non-expiring unplayable status cards and Curses demand that you preemptively possess the ability to either exhaust or discard cards at will, which isn’t possible for every run.
Pandora’s Box: Transform all Strikes and Defends.
- Why it’s inferior: Unless you already hold alternative defense methods, gambling all your essential Defends could render you, well, defenseless.
Frozen Eye: When viewing your Draw Pile, the cards are now shown in order.
- Why it’s inferior: This relic’s utility extends only to strategists; otherwise, it’s a waste of gold at the Shop.
(Note that the relics listed only refer to those which the player has an ‘active’ choice in acquiring. Relics that are event-related or exclusive to a specific class weren’t mentioned.)
In a winding fortress so unforgiving a misstep could end your existence, acquiring the best tools is key to raising your chances of survival. Relics that don’t make the cut must be avoided if we are to last in Slay the Spire. May this list assist you in making wiser choices to increase your success in runs to come. What are your thoughts about the least valuable relics in Slay the Spire? Let us know in the comments!
The following resources were used in creating this list: