((As much as I won't want to reset again, given that a huge overhaul is coming, I'm going to have to play from the start to figure out what changes and what stays the same))
So, you bought the game. And you're finding it hard. It's okay, we've all been there. Some days, luck just won't be on your side, and your "Binding Arms" has been clashed with by a "Light Defence."
But bad luck can be mitigated by strategy, and that's what this guide is. I've replayed the game from scratch, using my knowledge to mitigated the luck and have a relatively easy time of the early receptions and abnormality battles. And more importantly, I wrote down all my impressions of good pages to grab and ways to deal with the fight at large. I'm not the ultimate expert on the game, and there's things that I know I don't know, but I can certainly give a hand to people that are totally stuck.
First of all, we need to talk about some basics that are easily missed due to the game not explaining them properly.
When you burn a book, it drops either combat pages or key pages, based on the person you got it from. There's a hard cap to how many of a key page you have, so there's a specific number of books you'd have to burn before you can have a guaranteed drop of that key page... but that doesn't always match the loot rolls. Always hit reset reward when you've run out of key pages, and sometimes, you'll get a chance for a few more.
Equipping a key page will change: Maximum Health. Maximum Stagger Resist. The speed of your battle die Damage Resistances And natural passives.
Each Key Page has its own "Combat Bookshelf". These are the nine cards you can draw in battle to use to fight. The enemy will sometimes strategically understock their combat pages for more control over their hand, but this does not work for you. If you leave any empty spaces, then it'll refill with the garbage infinite combat pages, so... don't.
Equipping a page to a page
The passive system right now is where all the min-maxing comes into play. You can equip one key page to another, to allow the latter page to equip the former's passives. Each passive has a cost, and you can't add up to more than 10 with additional passives... but you also have a hard cap of 7 passives, both natural and equipped. So experiment, and see what you like!
It took me even longer to understand how this works, and I can't say I fully do understand it, but here goes.
When you successfully clash, roll the maximum value, or get one sided attacks after a clash, you get positive Emotion Coins. When you fail a clash, roll the minimum value, or get hit by one-sided attacks, you get negative Emotion Coins. If the guest or librarian does not have the max emotion level, then they will add those coins to their gauge, and when the gauge maxes out, their emotion level rises.
This does a few things. (1) raise their maximum light by 1. (2) restore all light. (3) For guests, it increases the odds of getting a good book from defeating them (provided they get defeated properly, and not escape like certain fights will do) For Librarians, it raises the odds of all opposing guests to drop good books.
Now, when the average emotion level reaches certain points, it'll apply Abnormality pages. For enemies, they can get a generic buff page that raises their endurance or strength. But for Librarians, if you have any abnormality pages, you can apply those to the fight, to swing the battle in your favour. I'm told that you can influence which pages you get based on what type of emotion coins you get. I have no idea how that works, or how you'd build to influence it.
1st few floors: not worth equipping pages
Finn's Page: May be useful for "Struggle"
1st Abnormality (Bloodbath): Keep in mind, reduced slash damage taken. Increased block strength. Uses blunt attacks. Equip "Struggle". Use Finn's or Mang-Chi's page for reduced blunt damage taken. Save focused strikes for after staggering Bloodbath, and use struggle when it goes for triple dice.
Yun's Office round 3: If they outspeed you, and dogpile one librarian, counter by dogpiling one of their characters. Do NOT try to clash offensively with "You're Too Slow", he's very good at evading attacks.
Brotherhood of Iron: These guys specialise in paralyse, making life very difficult for you when you've only got two people to use. Keep in mind that the likes of Dodge goes down under this new ailment, but also that they can get strength buffs to raise the power of their offensive die. If they use "E-e-endure", pick another target: better to take one paralyse than two from clashing with their second dice. If they do get up to 3 light, then you might see "You only live once!", which can roll between 1 and 12, which outrolls any of Yun's cards.
2nd Abnormality (Scorched Girl): Unlocked by Brotherhood of Iron book. The dangerous thing here is if the girl reaches 4 light, she'll instantly kill you. But you win if you kill her two friends (nobody realistically expects you to deal 500 damage this early in the game). To keep the scorched girl from gaining full light, be sure to attack her every now and then (keep in mind she's fatally weak to all types of stagger, so you just need to accumulate 3 damage in total to stagger her in one turn). The matches use evasion dice, so build a combat bookshelf that can get around that with a 1st move defensive die. Matches use Pierce, inflict burn, and are weak to blunt: pick your key page and combat bookshelf appropriately.
Hook Office: Hook Office fixers will slightly heal themselves a bit over time. The real threat is the three man second act, where each character has a different weakness. Hook Office enjoys inflicting bleeds, so be wary with multiple offensive die builds. Taein is the biggest threat, with a potent "dodge into 2 bleed attacks" page, you might want to consider taking him out before he can get his emotion level high enough to use them.
Urban Myth Receptions
Pierre's Bistro: If you've tried out the random invitations, then you've seen easier versions of these two. They're all about inflicting ailments, and exploiting bleed. Jack has very powerful dodge cards, giving him plenty of time to evade and slowly heal up his HP, while Pierre will roll good block die to hold you back. This is also going to be your first repeatable battle where the opponent can roll a 2-5 die, so be prepared for them to outspeed you. Sadly, the versions of their key pages you get doesn't move that fast.
3rd Abnormality (Forsaken Murderer): Blunt damage is what this abnormality brings to the table. His die become far less potent under status ailments, so make sure to inflict something on turns he has full light. While Jack and Pierre's key pages aren't good for this fight, the battle bookshelf pages they bring are, with good, high rolling status ailments. "Gut Harvesting" and "E-e-endure" also help out. The abnormality is highly resistant to blunt damage, but that doesn't matter, you just need to keep the ailments on him so that he can't overwhelm you at 2 light.
Streetlight Office 1: This is a three man party with some flexibility. The biggest threat is Lulu: keep an eye out for when she uses "Taste my flaming bat!" You do NOT want to clash a multi offence die against this, as each dodge she gets enhances the actual damage of the attack. The group as a whole likes using multiple defensive die cards to try and wear you out. Watch for who's the most vulnerable, and then beat them down. If you don't fancy your odds, try to focus Mars. He's the only one that drops a book, the other two will retreat. And while burning his book has a very low chance of actually yielding his page, it'll be the first Obj'd'art key page you can get, and comes with a very special bonus for reaching level 20... a second battle dice.
Streetlight Office 2: This won't be as bad as part 1, but keep an eye on Lulu in act 2. Her "Taste my Flaming Bat" page is now far stronger with a 4-8 evade die instead of 1-8, so you REALLY can't clash offensively with her. Keep in mind that both her and Sans book will be needed for the next tier.
4th Abnormality (Today's Shy Look): If you've played Lobotomy Corp, you know the gimmick here. If you don't, it's that the die power will be based on the expression you engage on. Left side good, right side bad. Consider building a deck with defensive die at the front: both block and evade. Taste My Flaming Bat is good for when they use a block die at the start, as the evasion will kick in when they use very low offence die (that boost in power when you get staggered is quite concerning, though). If you use the Mars page, think about your strategy in advance. Either to save the cards for when you get a stagger, or use them to stagger early by getting unopposed attacks in.
Urban Legend Receptions part 1
5th Abnormality (Heart of Aspiration: Do not expect to stagger the lungs. They have very high stagger resist, and moderately high HP resist. Rather, look into building decks capable of winning clashes, as if they can't land hits, they slowly wither away. The heart itself will spend time using defensive pages while waiting for its light to build up, but when it goes on the offensive, it HURTS. If it lands the 4-6 attack, then the enemy side gets buffed, and it gets far harder to keep their attacks under control. Look into having a strength or endurance buff when that turn comes around, so you can safely clash it and keep them from being buffed. The lungs use Pierce damage, the heart uses slash. There's no element with a particular advantage in this fight, so just use what cards work well for the strategy.
Zwei Corp 1: A lot their cards rely on a 1st evade die, so plan your deck accordingly. But to be fair, just having Keter do the heavy lifting will make this simple, as a 3v3 match will probably go in your favour. Keep the Retaliate card in mind: each successful dodge clash will enhance their next attack. Consider "Taste My Flaming Bat" as your go-to counter.
6th Abnormality (Fragment of the Universe: Be EXTREMELY careful with this one. Fragment of the Universe uses the Enlightenment card to reduce your max stagger resist by 50%, and it's very hard to outroll. The enlightenment card also reduces the damage it deals with its 2 light page, so it's a bit of a balancing act. The Mars page is good for letting you burn off excess copies of the card, so you never get to two pages and insta-stagger, but really, just ensure you never have too many, and you should be fine. Fragment's attacks are pierce damage.
Zwei Corp 2: This is a multi-act fight. The first round is just like the Zwei Corp you remember, but the second consists of one fixer, San, and Julia. As Keter is the only 3 man floor by this point, you have to strategise on when to deploy them: Remember, that a warmed up group can fight harder than one that's been sitting out the action.
San will now have some new pages making him a greater threat. "Silent Night" gives him an endurance buff next turn, which is deadly when followed with "Retaliate". Julia can buff the group with her "Fence" page, so consider taking her down first if you want to focus fire. But a lot of her pages tend to be on the defensive side, so you could leave her for last instead.
7th Abnormality (Happy Teddy Bear): This fight may have been slightly glitchy when I tried it. But I can say that you do not want weakness to blunt or slash.
There are two ways to go about this. First treat it like a countdown fight. You can't outspeed teddy, don't even consider it. Each clash will reduce the light cost of its 30-30 damage attack that is guaranteed to stagger. Retaliate, in theory will work to keep his earlier attacks from landing. But that's counting on the dice rolls being in your favour. Silent Night can be used to swing the die more in your favour, as can status ailments afflicted by whoever it doesn't target.
The alternate strategy is to have whoever he targets do nothing. If he only uses offensive die, then there won't be clashes, and he'll have to rely on his weaker attacks. It's not "pretty", and you may have to grind to get Mars' page, but it's efficient. If you do pick this route, keep in mind slash is his standard attack type, and he only uses Blunt for his super attack.
Zwei Corp 3: Like last time, you have a Zwei fixer first act. Also like last time, the second round involves two unique cards and another Zwei fixer.
Unlike last time, you have a double die unit on the enemy's side. Walter is dangerous, because he has a skills that give bonuses to defensive die, so keep in mind he always rolls 1 higher than the page says for his blue die, potentially 2 if his ability percentages kick in.
Fortunately, if you've been using Mars, you already know his weakness. Double Die cards don't fill their hand back up twice as fast, so once he burns through his hand, he's locked to one attack per turn, and you can get unopposed attacks on him just by aiming for the unused dice. Both him and Isadora are fond of "grant all allies endurance" pages, so it's best to try and brute force with focus fire, to get around their blue die shutting you out.
8th Abnormality (All Around Helper): Since two double dice pages are available, it might be worth grinding for and equipping both to your librarians. The All-Around Helper will be able to attack faster if it deals 10 or more damage. On off turns, it'll use Rest (2 block die) or Charge (3 block die, and +4 strength next turn). Of course, this reveals a major flaw: if you use Mars and Walter, both of them resist slash, the only damage type AAH has. Meaning the only way All Around Helper can get its momentum against them, is when they're staggered. You'll kill all three far sooner than the time it could take for them to stagger you.
Look for the one using rest, and dogpile them. Use of "Guardian" or "Combat Preparations" to prepare for the upcoming turn, and then block heavy pages to intercept the damage, followed by attack heavy pages to tear one of them apart.
At this point, the plot begins to branch out into several fights. Because the next abnormality is unlocked by the Book of Olga, we want to go to the right first.
Urban Legend Receptions part 2
The Molar Office (Right): The Molar Office has a very interesting theme. Their decks are based around discarding pages from their hand, and their characters get bonuses from doing so. Rain gets stronger when at 3 or less pages, Mika heals a little for each page discarded, but the big threat is Olga, who is the first double die character to have a workaround for running out of cards and light.. If she ends her turn with no pages in her hand, then she draws an extra page and recovers an extra light next turn, meaning she will almost always be able to use both die.
Bleeds are the effect you want to inflict. Most of their attacks involve 3 weak strikes, meaning bleeds will rack up damage very quickly on them. Initial dodge pages also work, but keep in mind that Daring Decision is very hard to outroll. If you don't think you can pull off a win, at least aim to take down Olga for her book, as you're going to want to burn a lot of these for her Objet d'art page.
9th Abnormality (Red Shoes: This battle is a very simple combination. The Left Shoe always rolls 6, and inflicts Bleed. The Right Shoe exploits that bleed to heal. Bring slash resistance, try not to use multi-attack pages (ironically, this means Olga's not going to be much help), and exploit their blunt weakness. On the upside, this adds "Obsession" to Hod's floor. People love to use bleed decks with Hod and her assistants, which is unfortunate, because it recently got nerfed into the ground. Obsession is very unlikely to be pulled (you have to score mostly negative coins at emotion level 3 or 4), and bleeds now don't maintain their stacks: they round down with each damage effect.
Stray Dogs (Left): The Stray dogs consist of two acts, a warmup round followed by a boss round. Stray dogs in general like blunt damage, but don't focus on it.
The big risk is Gyeong-mi, due to his "Brawl" page. "Brawl" will copy the battle die of one page in his hand, which means how he attacks is random, and impossible to predict in advance. The cards he has in his deck that are most dangerous for "Brawl" to pull from are "Brawl" (ironically), and "Scratch That!". "Brawl" itself has 4 combat die in it, while "Scratch That!" has three (5-10) die (that are weaker when used as a direct attack).
He's worth burning the books for, though. His key page will be another Limited page with two die. I don't quite get why he doesn't have the second die as an enemy, but I'm not complaining.
His partners consist of Dino, who specialises in 2-hit status ailments, and Zulu, who enjoys using single die that roll really high (think "You Only Live Once" from the brotherhood of iron)
10th Abnormality (Child of the Galaxy): This fight's gimmick is being impossible to fully tunnel-vision. When the "friend" should be killed, they're instead staggered. Only by getting both friend's HP to 1 can you win the fight.
The friend's use Blunt attacks, and are most vulnerable to pierce damage. They heal off 20% of taken damage at the start of each scene, unless at 1HP, so focus fire is still a good strategy, just not a miracle win. They either use 3 blunt die pages, a dodge+blunt key page, or a 1 block die page (which restores light)
Urban Plague Lower Receptions
Full Stop Office (Near Left): This is legitimately nasty. The Full Stop Office is your first case of seeing Ranged cards. Ranged work differently to melee cards. When a ranged card loses (not ties), the opponent keeps the evade/attack dice. Their cards are also "exhausted" on use, meaning it can't be drawn again for the rest of the act.
But to make up for it, ranged cards hit very hard, and if you don't aim back directly, they have initiative at the start of each act. Also, they don't take stagger damage from deflects. Liwei is the only one able to use melee and ranged cards, so if you can kill him, then the rest of the fight is surviving until they can't act anymore (specifically, with no staggers act 9 will be the last one they can attack on). Tamaki is more about singular strong shots, while Stephan has a lot of multi-shot attacks (often ending with defensive die). Keep in mind that an offensive die successfully blocking a ranged attack will trigger bleed.
Whether or not you want to integrate ranged die into your library is up to you, but Liwei does have melee cards you can make use of.
Gaze Office (Far Right): If you wanted to see what the Brotherhood of Iron would have been capable of with better tech, well, you're getting your wish. The Gaze Office focus on exploiting paralyse, but each one of them actually has their own deck strategy, making each a legitimate threat.
Bono is the nastiest, and I recommend him going down first. He has an illegally small deck, to exploit his opportunity to use "Binding Arms". This attack hits for a whopping 5-15 damage, and while it costs 3 light, the price goes down with each use. Add to that his deck is small, and he'll be redrawing it every time he uses it, meaning he ramps up very quickly. This strategy can't be copied by you, as when you use an undersized bookshelf, it simply fills itself with junk cards to ensure you can't game the draw system (and the light discount only applies to the specific card: if you have multiple "Binding Arms", then it only applies to one of those three you can draw)
Alloc should be next on your list. His strategy is to use "Observe" to boost his own strength, and then "Opportunity Spotted" to hit very hard next turn. The latter will be even more powerful if used on a paralysed target, and that's what Observe can inflict on its second dice. The usual "Retaliate" strategy can't keep you safe, as most of his cards start off with a defensive die, so now more than ever, do you want "Taste my Flaming Bat". Take him down second.
Dalloc "can" gain a damage boost when hitting a paralysed target, and all her attacks are capable of inflicting it. Which also helps out Alloc with having targets to demolish with Opportunity spotted. The nastiest page in her hand is "Zzzzzap", two block die with high range, and inflict paralyse when they win a clash.
Because of Alloc's ability, you WILL start with paralyse already applied to your librarians, so just hope you can KO them before they get in gear.
Carnival (Far Left): This is a lot more simple than other fights. But simple doesn't mean easy.
Gamma, Alpha and Beta are all the same battle-wise, so you only need to get used to one to get used to them all. When a Carnival loses an ally, they gain +2 strength to that scene. "Will Produce Fine Silk" will add "Fascinating Fabric" to both their and your hands, and then deal damaged based on the cards in their hand, which can scale quite nastily. Thankfully, there's a hard cap of three "Fascinating Fabric" cards, so it can't become as broken as you'll be able to make it later. "Tailoring" is likely to be your first encounter with a 4 light card. They won't be able to use it immediately, but it is 2 very powerful pierce attacks with bleed. Difficult to outroll without the right setup, consider bringing in Struggle just for this.
11th Abnormality (Fairy Festival): These guys looked so much nicer back in Lobotomy Corp.
You can't kill the Fairy Masses. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't hit them. The Fairy Queen is needed to die in order to kill them by your hands. The Fairy Queen will mark one of them as "Prepared Meat", and if they reach 1 HP, they die, and the Queen will be debuffed heavily for one turn. If the Fairy Mass isn't the Prepared Meat, then they'll refuse to die, and heal by 10 HP each turn. If the queen herself gets to low HP, she'll instantly consume all the Fairy Mass.
Given that the Fairy Queen gets an obscene strength and haste buff when out of allies, you want to try and force her HP down as much as possible during her debuff phases.
Now that you have a fourth Librarian, it should be pointed out that the majority of the game will only allow three in a reception. Eventually, you'll get to harder fights that let you deploy four, but they're later in the game, and until then, you'll have a lot of "3-man" receptions.
12th Abnormality (Singing Machine: The Machine itself is not targetable, or damageable. It will yield when you kill all its "Addicted Employees", so the target is taking them out.
Easier said than done. The employees take very little stagger damage, and not much more physical damage. The way to beat them is, ironically, the greatest risk. When "I CRAVE that Melody!" is active (every two scenes), they have two attacks. The first attack will be "Hear This Beautiful Song", and will self-stagger if it does not deal damage. The other will punt one of your teammates into the machine for a whopping 30% of their max HP (can be prevented, as it's an "on hit" effect). Fortunately, if all three self-stagger, then they get punted instead. So the trick is to have high defence pages to ensure you take no damage.
When the music isn't required, they'll use either "Shaking Blow" to bind their target (one hit, one dodge), or "Trembling Motion", which will debuff them when they lose the clash (two hits). There's no rhyme or reason to when they use these, just that they won't use them during the Melody Craving. "Struggle", "Zzzzzap", "Retaliate", "E-endure"... there's plenty of good defensive cards you can play. Zwei Corp and the Gaze Office can provide you with what you need, especially Walter with his "+1 to all defensive die" passive.
Keep in mind that "Hear This Beautiful Song" is a three strike attack. You need either three die, or a very good evade die to fully avoid taking damage. What's worse, is that if binds are active (and even when there aren't), they can all target the same die, and move fast enough that you can't intercept all of them, no matter what you try. If your first round of the melody is impossible to counter, just go to the title, and try again, because the next round will give +5 strength to everyone. This *should* be your opportunity to knock their health bars down, and not being able to take advantage of it to kill one of the brainwashed just means the fight is going to swing wildly out of your favour.
Urban Plague Near Right Reception (plus Resulting Abnormality Battles)
Dawn Office (Near Right):
I'm going to be honest. This branch is significantly harder than any of the others. In fact, it's totally understandable to want to skip over it and do the some of the others instead.
Each of your opponents have reasons you'd want to burn them out first. Philip gains power based on his emotion level, and will retreat, rather than yield a book. Yuna gains a lot of strength when she's the last one standing, and her signature card reduces the power of opposing die. Meanwhile, Salvador is a double die character capable of boosting his side's Protect, with increased stagger damage against burned targets. Guess what ailment this office focuses on?
13th Abnormality (Spider Bud): Two abnormalities are unlocked by the Book of Salvador. To keep previous orders, I'm tackling Hod's first, and it is quite nasty.
The spiderlings will use bind and disarm (reduce defensive die) ailments, with a focus on pierce damage. The Spider Bud itself won't do anything (and cannot be targeted) until one of its allies dies. Once it does, though...
10 speed die, and a 10-10 Blunt damage roll. What's worse is that the spiderlings will target anyone hit by Cocoon, so managing who gets killing blows on spiderlings is very important. Believe it or not, the Full Stop Office's high damage cards can be very handy for this fight, as it lets you hit the SpiderBud quite hard while it's active.
I do not know what happens if all four spiderlings die and the Spiderbud isn't killed in two turns. Presumably it just stays active, but I can't test due to no retries on successful abnormalities.
14th Abnormality (Porccubus): The 1st, very important thing to know before you start. Ranged pages deal zero damage, so don't even try the Full Stop Office (unless you really like those ailments, but I can't see it being any help at all).
Procubus is all about adding cards to your hand. You desperately need ways to empty your hand of the 3-cost "Pleasure" page in your hand, as when you get three in your hand, you take damage. Double Die characters are good at getting rid of the extra pages, and theoretically, Molar Office characters can also do a good job of emptying their hand (but these focus on discarding cheap cards, not these expensive ones). Also remember Olga only gets the extra card/light if her hand is empty, so that'll slightly hamper her ability to shuffle her hand rapidly (on the upside, each page of "pleasure" is going to restore extra light.
The "Pleasure" card is basically a gamble. You get three 1-10 offensive die, which match up fairly well against its love of low-high roll dodges. Just keep in mind that the 3 hit page produces Two copies of pleasure on the first hit, not just one, meaning any follow up hit will trigger the damage.
New missions: It should be noted that the two receptions on the right are both very challenging. It's entirely possible (and I'd say encouraged) to tackle the left hand receptions first, as they have pretty good Limited cards up for acquisition, and a lot of well built decks. Alternatively, farm the Dawn office for Salvador key pages: even though it's very hard to get him in particular, his "Rise of Sunup" is very handy for double die pages, due to being a low cost page draw card. Maybe not the cheapest, but we'll get there.
Also for consideration: The right hand receptions use four librarians instead of the usual three. That should be a tipoff that these are not nice.
Urban Plague Upper Left Receptions
The Kurokumo Clan (Far Left): This group has a lot of favourite pages of mine. Offensively, they focus on slash cards and bleed effects, but their deck is built around "full hands". The first round is against a bunch of henchmen, to help you get used to what you can expect. Remember that bleeds kick in for every use of an offensive dice, so if you have characters based around many light hits, use healing abnormality pages on them.
The second round is versus proper unique pages. Yang is capable of inflicting very deep bleeds effects when he can manage to get them in. "Cumulus Wall" is a series of block die to remove any possible dodge die you have, followed by a slash with bleed, while "Sky-Clearing Cut" is a weak, easily outrolled die that buffs his second die by quite a lot to ensure it hits. Gin inflicts bleed effects whenever he wins an offensive dice clash. But he's also an obnoxious tank, with his unique cards giving him protection either this scene or the next. He does have an initial evade die page, so keep that in mind when using multihit pages.
Sayo has a double dice, so she's very handy to burn the books for. At the start of the act, she gets extra cards, and her signature attack of "Ink Over" exploits that. It costs 4 light, but increases in initial hit damage based on the number of cards she has, meaning that Rule of the Backstreets is even deadlier in her hands (and that "Will Make Fine Silk" is actually very bad to use on her). It's not her only trick, Sharpened Blade will grant her increased slash die power for this scene, and it applies in advance (if she uses two Sharpened Blades, then both will have a 5-7 die range, as opposed to one or both of them only having 3-5). On top of that, her passives give her a guaranteed +1 to slash die power.
The common weakness of the Kurokumo clan is blunt damage. Don't feel too bad if you get overwhelmed by their second round, this can be very nasty stuff. You have two floors for reception, so you do have backup. Just soften them up for someone else to clean up on.
Musicians of Bremen(Near Left): The musicians have a very simple strategy. Overwhelming force.
Whenever they land a blunt damage hit, it'll result in fragile the next scene, increasing damage taken. They hit very, very hard at the start of the fight, and can buff random allies on their side with Red Notes, so often, you'll see them roll attack die much higher than predicted.
MuMu doesn't have much else going for him other than "Heavy Peaks", which inflicts feeble (weaken offensive die). Oink has "Hard Rehearsal", which frustratingly costs 3 light, but refunds it in full on use, so if he's lucky, he can spam it constantly for overwhelming damage. Meow is a double die character, and constantly throwing out damage buffs with her pages.
This is basically a storm to weather: they deal high damage with their initial few scenes, and tend to screw with your damage predictions with their pages throwing out random buffs and debuffs, but if you can survive it long enough, they grind to a halt.
15th Abnormality (The Queen of Hatred): If there's an abnormality I would want to on hold, and come back with Urban Nightmare level cards for, it's this one.
Keep in mind that Magical Girl is a mix of Melee and Ranged pages, so priorities are in effect. But of more concern is her hysteria effect. If she loses clashes, and the marked target hits her, she gains hysteria. If she wins clashes, and hits the marked target, then it goes down. If the hysteria maxes out (and there's no indication of how much this is, just that the more red the screen turns, the closer it is to happening), she transforms into a monster snake dragon. This fully restores her HP, and gravely increases the power of her attacks, but it does make her more vulnerable. More on that in a bit.
"Arcana Beats" will mark one of your characters as "The Villain." She'll prioritise hitting them, and they'll be hit for more damage than usual. You can use priority to change who's the "Villain", but this won't prevent a target from being marked, as the effect applies on "Use". This is used every two turns, but starting on the 1st turn. "In the name of love and justice" is also used every two turns. It's two moderately strong attacks, followed by an extremely strong attack with a strong bind ailment. But for each failed roll, the final blow gets weaker, so regardless of which way you want the fight to go, it's good to keep the final hit from landing.
"Arcana Slave" is nasty, almost definitely your first encounter with a Summation Mass Attack. It rolls 13-13 base against all characters, against all of the targetted die at once. If their summed up power is equal to or greater, then the attack is negated versus them. If it fails, they lose that combat page for this round of battle, and on the villain, that's probably lethal. It occurs every 4 turns, which means it will happen just after she marks a new villain.
Staggering Queen of Hatred is very difficult, as all types of stagger are ineffective against her. Salvador might be able to do the job, but you're far more likely to burn her to death before it happens... unless she transforms. Like I said, all her attacks will become more powerful, but she also self-staggers after using "Arcana Slave"... which becomes 13-20 power.
Sayo makes a strong case for this fight, as her ability to inflict lots of bleeds gravely punishes the QoH for her multiple ludicrously high number of attacks per turn. If you feel lucky, you could use Meow to buff your party so they can win die rolls but you'd need a way to keep her hand full of cards. Consider stacking a large number of Red Notes, Unforgetable Melody combined with Olga's passive if you can't risk Rule of the Backstreet.
Urban Plague Upper Right Receptions
Love Town (Far Right): We don't talk about Love Town.
More seriously, this is a test at how flexible your floors are. Each townsperson will be of a certain element: all their pages will be off that element, and they take very little damage from it, but increased damage from all other elements.
They also have two different attacks: "X Pommelin", which goes up in power if used in a one-sided attack, and "X Ram" that increases the power of their second attack if they lose the clash (both end with a defensive die, with Pommelin as a block and Ram as an evade) It's not pleasant, but not too bad. The trouble is, that this is a 2 act battle, and the second act will bring in Tomerry, the first true boss.
Tomerry does have a second battle dice, which isn't something new. But what is new is Shimmering, which removes all pages from their hand, and adds free 0 cost pages, based on what "phase" they're in. Also, revives dead allies each act. So it's best to focus them down (you should still clash with the "Pommelin" cards, but it's potentially better to leave them alive at low HP if you expect a second act). Staggering Tomerry is NOT easy, as there's only one chance to do so, and after that... well, their HP is going to hit zero before their stagger gauge will.
Tomerry's first phase consists of some somewhat stronger cards than you've been dealing with. "Ruckus" is two 3-7 hits. "Let's Play" is an attack, an evade, another attack, and another evade. "Love Town Welcomes All" is an evade, and then a (1-3) attack. Which will buff strength if it hits, so plan ahead on how to ensure it doesn't.
If you do not burn their HP down past half for a few acts, then they'll stagger all their allies and only use one page, but it is paramount that you focus fire when this page comes into play. "Would a Square Look Nice?" is a Block (2-7), a slash (2-7), and a blunt (2-7). It will grant +5 strength next turn, but increases stagger damage taken, and this is the only chance you'll have to get that stagger.
If you haven't staggered them, then the next turn is two uses of "Triangle sounds better!" This will be a (5-10) slash, a (8-13) pierce, and a (11-16) blunt attack. Under the effects of strength plus 5. If you did not kill Tomerry at this point, then you are going to lose whoever clashes with Tomerry. Get them down past 50% health, and one head will explode. This means that the fight is about to get much harder, and you want to kill them ASAP.
When only one head remains, they use "Whip of Love", "Wrath of Torment", and "Faint Memories". The "Whip of Love" deals a whopping 8-20 slash damage, as well as inflict 3 bleed. "Wrath of Torment", on the other hand, is an interesting attack. It will deal 7 damage to Tomerry on use, but increases the power of their die. So you look at it and see two 2-8 die and a 2-7 die, but they get a +2 damage bonus. "Faint Memories" gets a power boost at low HP. Which is very nasty, as it's a dodge followed by two strikes, and already hitting pretty hard.
Tomerry is the only enemy here to drop books, and you don't get a key page from burning it. Instead, burning their book will yield "Faint Memories" or "Wrath of Torment", which can certainly be useful in certain builds.
Wedge Office (Near Right): It's up to interpretation on whether this is harder or easier than Tomerry. On one hand, the second act is just the boss on their own. But on the other hand, you only get one floor for reception, and it involves your first 5 battle dice enemy.
Like before, Philip will leave if focus fired, and not drop a book. It probably makes him the best target, as leaving him to his own devices just lets him win more clashes (as "Stigmatize" will earn him emotion coins regardless of whether he clashes or not).
Pameli and Pamela are... weird. I don't know if their discussion indicates that they weren't originally identical, I honestly can't tell. But their battle decks certainly are. "High-speed Stabbing" gives them a dodge followed by pierce effects. It's not strong, but a zero cost card rarely is. "Speared Sweep" (2 cost) will deal damage if they clash successfully on the first hit, and "Collision" (3 cost) will restore light for a successful clash for either of its two, very strong hits.
Because they rely so much on winning clashes, it can be a good strategy to just not clash with them at all, and instead focus on hitting them after they use "High-Speed Stabbing". But remember: the Wedge office members all enhance their pierce dice and pierce damage, so the damage they deal isn't insignificant.
Oscar is the double die member of the group. Aside from the same 0-cost the girls have, "Sparking Spear" will give him an extra page, increasing the time before he runs out, while "Transpierce" deals a heckton of damage on hit. On top of having increased damage AND stagger for pierce attacks, he also has a last chance ability: when he takes a lethal blow, he gets 25 protect for the rest of the act, including against what would have killed him. That is not a typo. There is very little that can kill him when Unrelenting kicks in, even if he's staggered. So keep in mind that focus fire can be squandered.
Of course, the real problem is act 2. EGO Philip is extremely nasty. Similar to Tomerry, he has Shimmering, which I assume is what changes the background. What I do know is that it gives him cards for each of his 3 die, and removes their costs. Unless staggered, he'll inflict a burn on all enemies (read: your librarians), and will swap between feather shield and searing sword.
Feather Shield is what he starts out in, with it active for two turns. When he takes damage, he inflicts a burn on the attacker, and damage dealt is reduced by 5. Given that he'll only attack three times in total, it's entirely plausible a strategy to just wait it out. But it could also be smart to use your buffing pages on the second turn, so you'll be ready for Searing Sword phase (Especially bleed effects). The cards he'll use consist mostly of blocks, with one attack at the end. Either "Feather Shield", Two 3-6 blocks followed by a 2-4 slash, or Rueful Eventide, a 2-5 dodge, 4-6 block, and 2-5 slash.
Searing Sword phase is your best time to stagger. One page will be "Fierce Charge", a single 4-10 slash. The others will be "Searing Sword", which is two strong hits of 3-7 damage (slash then pierce). During this time, his attacks will burn, but not taking damage, meaning you can probably known him down a bit. Indeed, I strongly recommend you stagger him on the first turn of searing sword, because you REALLY don't want him to get his second turn of Searing Sword.
Did you notice the ticking down fire sword buff? That is "Blazing Strike". When it hits zero, he'll get 5 battle die, and absolutely destroy you. Aside from his usual Searing Sword attacks, he'll also get a colossal single attack that is most likely going to kill whoever he hits with it (unless they have a lot of health and slash resist, but I wouldn't bet on it). Keep in mind that applied bleeds do NOT damage when the target dies prematurely, so if you have to rely on bleeds in this phase, make sure that the majority of his attacks aren't aimed at the person being obliterated this turn.
Urban Nightmare Unlocked: I am going to do something I have not yet this run; skip over the abnormality that's available. The abnormality is extremely nasty, and to properly stand a chance, you need reliably high power die. Burn the books to try and get Oscar, but I'm also going to aim for one of the Urban Nightmare fights, specifically for two of their best cards, one Limited, one Obj D'art.
Urban Nightmare Near Left
Shi Corporation (Near Left): The Kurokumo clan has a good deck, that fills up with pages for flexibility. This group I'd say have a similar pattern. They're based around a very bizarre mechanic: they have obscenely higher max HP, but they start out with only 25% of that HP. It balances out to them being roughly the same, but being able to always exploit low health effects. So keep that in mind when looking at their cards. Additionally, on the death of an ally, all their rolls will gain power for the rest of the act up to 3 points, which is their true "passive ability".
Incidentally, this was the group that got a lot of %hp cards nerfed with hard caps to how much they can restore or damage. Malkuth and Netzach could make blatantly unfair use of the high HP caps with their abnormality pages, but they've been balanced a lot since. Keep in mind that you'll also be playing with slightly weaker versions: even at level 30, they won't have as much HP as the enemy variant, so they're a bit more fragile than other key pages you could equip.
"To Overcome Crisis" is similar to Rule of the Backstreets, but it's a bit more potent. In exchange for lower power, they draw a new card on use, rather than on hit. On hit, it restores life for people under 25% hp. "Desperate Struggle" is a stronger than average 1 cost card, where it gains 2 power in exchange for 5 damage to self. "Endless battle" is a 4-7 block die followed by a 2-4 hit and a 3-7 hit. The die grow in one power if under 25% hp.
These are all cards that the rank and file fixers will use in Act 1. Act 2 consists of their three elites, and another section 2 fixer, ensuring that both sides are equal. They are all obscenely powerful, and worth burning the books for.
Valentin and Tenma are both double die pages. Valentin gains +2 power when using a page with only one die in it, meaning his signature page "Extreme Edge" is definitely going to outroll you. Tenma will restore one light if she has none at the end of the turn. Her signature pages are "Flying Sword", a two slash hit which grants 2 haste next scene, and "Flashing Strike", which is 2 slash attacks followed by a dodge die. And it gains two power if her speed is 7 or higher. Tenma's natural speed is 2-6, so you "might" want some sort of bind effect to shut her strongest attack down.
Yujin is hyped up to be super strong, and by no means was that an exaggeration. They have THREE battle die, but one is permanently disabled. You'd think this would make it easy to get one-sided attacks off, and technically it is, but the Deflect Assault passive will grant one 2-6 block die per turn, so a one-sided attack will have to get past that. Yujin will naturally roll +1 die than listed, as they have "Eye of Death", which raises the power of all die by 4, but also Enervation, which reduces the power of all die by 3. The only passive that isn't immediately countered by a negative is Overbreathing, which restores 2 light when using a 4 cost page (or higher. I really hope light costs aren't going to go higher than 4, 4 is already pretty high)
Yujin has an illegally small deck, making it very easy for her to draw her signature card, "Boundary of Death". The numbers behind it are weird, but when the die rolls a four or higher, and it is considered the "Max Damage" (That is, ignoring things like strength buffs, it was originally going to be four damage), it adds 45 power to the blow, making it a 49 damage pierce attack (50 with Eye of Death). These people roll very high numbers. Perfect for the upcoming abnormality battle, save for one problem...
16th Abnormality (The Knight of Despair(): The major element in play here, is a callback to Lobotomy Corporation. Back there, when the Knight breached containment, she was a source of pale damage, which dealt damage based on the maximum health of the target. This means that despite the Shi Corp being your best chance of winning rolls here, they also suffer grave amounts of damage if they get hit.
You don't fight the knight directly. Instead, you fight her three swords. One will be marked with her blessing, gaining hefty resistance to all damage except Pierce, an extra battle die, and stronger (read: pale damage) attacks. "Sword Sharpened With Tears" is 5-9 pierce damage (+ dieX2% damage) then two 3-5 blocks , while "Sword Laced with Grief" is a 2-9 dodge followed by two 3-6 slash attacks (+ dieX2% damage). Her other two blades aren't as resistant to damage. They can just deal regular damage with "Faded Faith", 3 regular attacks of 2-5 damage, or they can inflict Fragile with "Weather Pride", two 3-7 damage attacks that both can inflict 2 fragile per hit.
When a normal blade dies, it'll revive in two turns. The blessing doesn't last forever, and might be assigned to a different blade. Or not, it's not really important whether the normal blades die. Killing the Blessed blade is important, because it causes Grief against all blades.
When Grief is in effect, all blades revive, heal to full and roll a 1-1 battle die. Their attacks will change, with each playing a different card. All attacks have the pale damage effect (bonus damage of 2% of the target's HP times the number rolled on the die) and are now considered Ranged attacks. One will be "Heart Breaking Sword", dealing 3-5 blunt, 4-6 blunt, and then 4-7 blunt. One will be "Heart Tearing Sword", dealing 4-6 slash then 5-7 slash. And the remaining sword will be "Heart Piercing Sword", dealing one 7-11 attack.
If a sword does not finish its attack, it will impale the Knight for 50 damage. If all three swords impale her, it will result in her becoming available to attack as well. This is why Shi Corp are the best for the job: they can roll very strong die on their first hit, preventing the blades from getting to attack. Valentin gets a +2 bonus to all pages with only one battle die, along with "Extreme Edge" being one of the better Pierce attacks around. When it's an attack die, it'll recycle itself for each ranged hit (save in a tie). Yujin gets a +1 to all die, meaning the likes of "Endless Battle" or "Faint Memories" will get a serious power boost ("Extreme Edge" is still good, just one less than Valentin could do). You might also need the "Boundary of Death" proc to end the battle sooner. The catch is, you need someone not of the Shi Corp to tank the pale damage. Oscar is probably the best option, as he focuses in Pierce damage, which is the only element you can use to break through the blessed blade.
Even with all these tips, this is a hard fight. It can entirely come down to some lucky rolls where you managed to outroll the despairing blades. Any sane person would get some Urban Nightmare Key Pages first. But I can confirm it is "possible" to do this without leaving the Urban Plague difficulty fights. Yuna's Lone Fixer and the Carnival's Remembrance can give the high strength rolls you need to win here, provided someone dies early. But even then, these are hard pages to outroll.
Urban Nightmare Far Right
Puppets (Far Right): This is going to be a long and involved slog. It's been a while since you've had to face a 3 act reception, let alone one with 4 librarians available versus the five enemies presented. But this is also going to be your first case of "Counter" die, which is basically when key pages create the same effect that Yujin has by default: an attack only used in a reply to a one-sided attack.
The overall element to deal with is Blunt. All types of puppet rely on Blunt damage, gain a +1 to any blunt attacks, and are stagger weak to slash attacks. The 1st type of puppets only have two attacks: "Gigigig" gives them 2 light (block(2-6)+blunt(3-6)), and Creak, which is just a basic two blunt attacks (3-7)+(3-6)and a block (2-5).
The second act has only 3 puppets, instead filling the remaining two slots with Nimble Puppets. These will deal extra stagger damage at 5 or higher speed, and naturally roll 2-6. In additional to the Puppet pages, they also have "Marionette", which is a block (2-7), a blunt (3-8) attack that can inflict 1 disarm next scene, and ending with a 2-8 dodge. Their biggest problem is the 3 cost page "Automated Movement", which is a dodge (2-8), two blunt attacks(3-8) (4-7), and then a counter evade(2-7), rounded out with them getting a 2 haste buff next turn.
The final act... is trouble. By this point, your main team will be sorely exhausted, and up is 4 Nimble Puppets, led by a Weighty Puppet. The Weighty Puppet is a double die character, dealing 2 bonus stagger damage just for landing a blunt hit (you know, the element they already only use). Its attacks consist of a zero cost "Puppet Blockade", to refill its light, and then "Repressed Flesh" and "Forceful Gesture" to draw new pages to fill its hand. "Repressed Flesh" is a block (4-6) die, two blunt (3-6) (4-9)die, and then a blunt counter die. Of important note is that the first blunt die will reduce the power of a defensive die that clashes with it, while the second will deal 3 extra stagger damage. "Forceful Gesture" is a 4-8 block, followed by a 5-13 blunt attack that on hit, inflicts 1 feeble, 1 disarm, and 1 bind next scene.
The advantage you have is that you have 3 floors for reception. Switching your floors up between each may need a lot more prepared floors, but it can keep you from losing too much to "win" an act, so when it comes to the final act, you make them have to work for a win.
17th Abnormality (Pinocchio): I do not remember this one from actual Lobotomy Corp. But they certainly make for a gimmicky (and glitchy) fight.
Pinocchio the Liar is the boss, with a double die. He will copy Roland, and get full light each turn. Pinocchio the Curious will copy the 1st assistant librarian, and while he's alive, all your light costs will be randomised (excluding the 4 cost pages). Pinocchio the Copycat will copy the 2nd assistant librarian, and buff the strength or endurance of his side by 2 (which is random).
His two mooks will sometimes use Learn, which mimics your card's die. It's best to burn The Copycat out ASAP, so it stops buffing it's side, but leaving The Curious alive for a while can make for an interesting fight.
Lying is the mechanic of note in this fight, and I really don't like how glitchy it is. Every few turns, The Liar will play a card with a lie in it. Someone on your side gets the "Lying is Bad" card, which is used to hard counter this false card. If you get it right, they lose 4 power in their die, his side gains stagger weaknesses, along with 2 disarm and 2 feeble. If you DON'T clash the lie, it gains 4 power, and next turn gives 4 strength and 4 endurance. The "Lying is Bad" card can be put in the hand of a staggered librarian. Which is dumb. What's worse, is that while it makes it very clear "when" The Liar is lying, it doesn't always play the cards in a way you can tell which is the lie. I've seen them identical before.
You can neuter this mechanic simply by equipping Olga to Roland, and removing all copies of "Stay Calm" from the combat bookshelf. When The Liar uses Daring Decision, they'll have no way of restocking cards, and only be able to play one card per turn. This greatly hampers their ability to fight... But it does not remove the lying mechanic completely. So if you see a page that doesn't look right, then counter it.
Urban Nightmare Near Right
The 8 o'Clock Circus(Near Right): We haven't had a case of a boss and minions in a one act reception, but these guys will do so. I really don't like that they buffed it shortly after release to be a single act reception, because it feels too hard for a single act, but it also feels too easy to be even a double act reception.
The animals are reminiscent of Love Town's reception, where each deals and is resistant to an element, but weak to another. There's only one page they can use, so there's nothing complicated there.
Lion is weak to pierce, and has "Lion's Claws". 3 slash attacks of varying power, with the last hit granting 1 strength up to the highest HP ally on hit. Monkey is weak to blunt and has "Unicycle Act". 4 weak pierce attacks, with the second granting 2 protect to the highest HP ally on hit. Elephant is weak to slash and has "Bulky Charge". 3 moderate blunt attacks, with the second dealing 5 extra stagger damage on hit.
Now, Emma & Noah are the problem here. Lion's Fist grants bonus to blunt damage, and that's the least unpleasant part about this. With 275 HP, all of the animal buffs are very likely to go to Emma. 1 of the battle die will use Noah's ranged attacks, while the other two will use Emma's melee attacks.
Noah's attacks: "Juggling" deals 5-7 blunt damage, and inflicts a bleed. "Wild Card" is a 3-6 pierce attack that heals 2 HP on hit, followed by a 3-6 blunt attack.
Emma's attacks: "Circus Knives" deals 2-6 blunt damage with a bleed, and then 2-6 slash damage. "Let the Show Begin" will be a (3-5) dodge, followed by two Blunt (2-4) hits, which will give their side a strength buff for each hit. "Sharp Nails" is a 4-8 block, a 4-8 pierce attack that reduces the opponent's die, a 4-8 pierce attack that recovers stagger resist, and then a 4-8 slash counter.
Here's the gimmick with the boss. They do not get staggered. So do not plan on "Yeah, don't worry, I'll knock them out and the rest of these attacks will get free strikes in". I have done that before.
Instead, Noah & Emma become two separate entities. You could kill Noah in order to shut down Emma's 3rd battle die, but it can be hard to save that all up. Keep in mind that Noah is still a ranged character, and now heals off their first hit.
Noah and Emma are the two enemies that drop books. While you can get Noah's page, for some reason you can't equip it, it just being a source of Noah's attacks for you to collect. Emma's can be equipped. It is a double die key page, but instead of Shimmering, you get the High Level Acrobatics ability, which increases the power of 3 cost pages.
Urban Nightmare Far Left
Sweepers (Far Left): Another Lobotomy Corp cameo, this time not just a Noon timed Nuisance.
They aren't an overly destructive force on the battlefield. What they *are* is an endurance test. Upon the death of anyone on the battlefield, they regain 20% of their max HP. They also have an increase to defensive die power. Important to note this doesn't carry over to YOU. As Shi Corp dictates, any HP% abilities are heavily nerfed in your hands.
"Trash Disposal" is nasty. It is a four die attack, consisting of a block(2-7), blunt attack (3-7), block(1-3), but then the pierce attack at the end is where the problem is. It only rolls between 2 and 3, but if it rolls the three, they can use it again. Up to six times. And when this page is used, they heal 2HP on every successful attack.
"Extract Fuel" is a simple light restore page. 3-6 pierce attack that heals 2HP on hit, followed by a (2-5) block. "Night in the Backstreets" reduces all die power by 2 for this scene, consisting of a (5-7) blunt attack and a (408) pierce attack, both healing 2 HP on hit.
"333--- 1973" is the most frustrating mechanic yet. It doesn't do much damagewise, just a (2-7) pierce attack followed by a (2-6) block. But on use, it grants persistence. This effect has an 80% chance to prevent them from dying, instead restoring them to a percentage of their original HP. They illegally cram as many of these pages as they can into their deck, so they'll always be able to play this card after the effect expires. The odds are reduced by half with each revival, but it still kicks in too often for my liking.
By the time you reach Act 3, you'll probably be well and truly exhausted, so swap to a fresh floor to tackle them. This act will have two regular sweepers, but also Anton, Lyla and Valerie. Valerie and Anton both have Mind Hauler in addition to the regular Sweeper passives, which restores Stagger gauge on a successful attack. Lyla has regular Sweeper passives and Health Hauler, which restores HP on a successful attack. These passives make "Trash Disposal" even nastier, but also keep in mind they do have personal cards.
Lyla has "For the Family", one (4-7) pierce that inflicts 1 bleed, one (1-7) dodge, and one (3-7) blunt which gives 1 protection to 2 random allies at the start of the scene. Anton has "Sweep the Backstreets", which is one (4-7) pierce inflicting 2 paralysis, one (2-6) block, and one (3-6) slash healing HP. Valerie has no special cards, and is just a tougher sweeper.
Bleed Decks are your best bet. With how Trash Disposal works, inflicting a heavy bleed can cause them to self-destruct if the die rolls in their favour. Pierce is the common weakness of sweepers, so Oscar should make an appearance at least once.
It should be noted that because the Persistence effect is applied "On Use", you can kill one on the first round with some die manipulation. Have everyone dogpile the slowest sweeper, and ensure that the last person to reach them is the one that they clash with. They'll be staggered and killed before they can get the Persistence Buff.
Also. Trash Disposal is only allowed to be equipped to Sweepers. So if you want it on a character with a double die, you have to donate a speed die to one of these pages.
Urban Nightmare Upper Far Left
Index Prescript (Far Left): Oh good gravy, the kid gloves are off when a single act with common blue pages can be an extreme trial.
Index Proselytes draw an extra page at the start of the act. But more concerning, is that they unfairly have 3 Stunner passives (one for each element), and gain a +2 boost to a random damage type at the start of each round.
Now this becomes far more heinous, when you look close and see that the majority of their decks get die power bonuses for having a combat bookshelf with no duplicates in it. I've heard it's possible to neuter them with "Will Make Fine Silk", as this counts as having a duplicate if you use it twice, but there's four opponents, it'd take too long to neutralise them all.
"Will of the Prescript" is expensive, but fills their hand up with 3 more pages to use. "To Where the Prescript Points", "Undertake Prescript", and "Execute" will gain power to their page if they are Singleton, which is having no duplicates in their bookshelf. "Execute" is especially deadly, the other two have a +1 power boost to all die, but it gets a +4 boost to the first die.
"Proselyte's Blade" reduces all die by three power. "Sense Quarry" gains +1 power to die when they have seven or more cards (which "Will of the Prescript" is going to give them fairly easily), and "Faith" gives one light.
All of this is rounded out by them having no weaknesses, but additionally, they will focus fire. So one character is going to get annihilated at a time. They're much better at it than you can hope to be, so the best option is to mix it up between "spread the damage out" and "break them before they break you."
18th Abnormality (Queen Bee): Queen Bee: This was the final abnormality in the game at the time of me starting this guide. And then my file glitched out for a while, and now we've reached the current patch.
The Queen Bee is the main target. But the fact that bees will refill their ranks with your dead librarians makes this fight quite difficult. You can't play high offence, you just can't sustain that sort of assault with casualties.
The Queen will stand there and tank with a large number of defensive die. Because they're ranged cards, she can get this immediately, no speed manipulations can be used to get around them. Every third round, her "tanking" reduces in power, but she's going to give her allies a deadly buff if she remains unstaggered. So... focus on staggering her by this round.
The worker bees will focus fire whoever struck the queen last. Try to organise your final hit to be on someone that can tank those hits. They use a mix of Slash and Pierce attacks, which have a variety of effects, ranging from inflicting Spores to recovering the health of the Queen.
Speaking of which. Spores. Spores are a mix of Bleed and Burn, as they deal damage equal to the stack, and then add together and halve (rolling down) each turn. But they also deal 2 damage for each offensive die used. And just to add insult to injury, the Queen Bee will inflict them automatically should she be low on worker bees. Rounding everything out is that a sufferer will be replaced with a worker bee if they die while suffering it.
All of this, combined with the death of the Queen being the only requirement for completion of the suppression? Build your deck to destroy her. Disarm (reduces defensive die power) is very handy, along with anything that increases stagger damage dealt. Persistence could be a helpful page to add, as throwing an extra 30 HP upon a lethal blow is appreciated. But really, just look into what you can do to decimate her without leaving your librarians open to an onslaught.
And now, we have this...
Malkuth's Final Showdown
Well, now it's time for a Rematch.
You are now facing much harder versions of abnormality battles, and all in one go, so don't burn out too much on the early rounds. Of important note is that your cards will NOT refill, and forcing to 1 HP will not keep the rest of the team from using their attacks, so having ways to keep your deck in order is very important.
First round is the Fourth Match Flame (Scorched Girl). There are four matches, plus the Fourth Match Flame. You've seen this song and dance before: the Fourth Match Flame will KO everyone if they reach full light, but staggering them will remove 1 light, and they auto-stagger on the death of one of their allies. Unlike before, one match will gain a second battle die and bonus damage at the cost of their HP when rolling a die. This can be exploited to burn through it faster, but honestly? A good team should be able to kill the matches way too early for this to be a problem.
The second battle is The Forgotten (Happy Teddy). 3 Battle Die, and the Happy Teddy effect. When they use a page, if their opponent also used a page, it inflicts 1 stack of affection. Like before, powerful pages come into play when any librarian has 4 or more stacks of affection... Make sure everyone is receiving equal punishment to keep those pages off the field, and this round won't last long.
The third battle is Wingbeat (Fairy Festival). This is... troublesome. If 40 total damage is taken, then it kills one of its Fairy mass allies (the one with the lowest HP), and recovers HP. This means that all damage dealt is effectively undone, but it also grants a PERMANENT 2 strength buff. If an ally is reduced to 20 HP or less, then Wingbeat will simply add 20 HP back to its healthbar, and gain a temporary 2 strength buff.
Of course, nothing's stopping you from killing those adds outright and not letting any buffs happen. Just keep in mind that once Wingbeat falls below 90 HP, they gain 3 copies of "Ravening Hunger". This is a nastier version of the HP recycle that the Sweepers had. It starts with a 2-5 slash attack, the die is recycled unless the MINIMUM value was rolled, and it has a second slash die of 5-5 (inflicts 3 bleed).
It would be nice to stagger Wingbeat on this turn to ensure they can't use it, but the problem is... Wingbeat is highly resistant to stagger.
What is absolutely the worst is that the next round is Hornet (Queen Bee). By this point, attrition is going to start causing grievances, because the "dies while under spores" is still active, and someone is likely close to death. This also isn't the stone wall that Queen Bee was: Hornet attacks, and the Worker Bees will now target whoever it was that was targeted by them last. You also don't get the "enemies turn to your side at below 20% hp" out that Queen Bee had.
Note the "For the Kingdom" page Hornet wields. This will only result in spores inflicted on Clash Win. You can either not clash, and take the pain, or you can try to outroll them if you think you've got the right target. Unfortunately, Hornet rolls very fast die, so you can't control who they target... "Boost Loyalty" is unfriendly, because it raises the endurance of the entire enemy team, making it even harder to get past the large number of dodges Hornet has... and make sure that you do NOT let the remaining worker bee get off "Procure Nutrients" before a phase change. Because that will simply heal Hornet back from 1 HP, and so the phase change will be cancelled.
And it STILL isn't DONE! Green Stem (Snow White's Apple) is a bit like Queen of Hatred, in that they have a mass attack that you need to outroll to survive. But unlike QoH, you have to hammer through a bunch of adds to even had a chance at attacking them. Meanwhile, they'll be hammering whoever they want with low damage attacks, and your targets are trying to stone wall you.
The Mass Attack will target anyone in its "range". This means that the two people on the front row (Malkuth and the #3 librarian) will always be targetted by "Green Stems", a 4-7 pierce attack. Second turn, this also targets your #2 assistant, and by turn three, it targets everyone. This coverage is reset when Green Stem becomes available to attack.
"Vines Fraught With Spite" is an unimpressive two uses of 3-5 pierce die. But the second one inflicts fragile, and as this is a ranged attack from an untargetable foe... it really hurts to have this completely unmitigatable damage that also inflicts Fragile.
Once you kill the fifth vine, you're able to attack... but it's a very small window of opportunity, and Green Stem is still fighting back. If you do somehow miraculously manage to have a full team by this 2 turn window of opportunity, then you can probably stagger them, and follow up with a winning blow, but this is very difficult. Not because this round is difficult, but because you're likely incredibly worn out by this point.
It can entirely come down to being lucky with abnormality pages you get, and how your team is targetted. This is not easy.
New Missions: Due to updates, new abnormalities are available for the midfloors. I can't say my strategies will work for the immediate moment you can access them, but I can at least give what feedback I can.
New Urban Nightmare Abnormality Battles
19th Abnormality (Little Red Riding Hood Mercenary):
Now this is interesting. Red is initially on your side, and seeks to kill the wolf. You win if she kills the wolf, but she if she doesn't, she becomes the new target, and a far more brutal fight. She's also fond of throwing out Mass Attacks that hit both you AND the Wolf.
On the Mercenary: She's a double battle die with a lot of stagger resist, so you don't have to worry about her being open for attack. But her Rage mechanic involves hurting the wolf to lower it, and getting hurt by it to raise it.
Her pages aren't the best, but they can win some fights. "Catch Breath" is a decent evade(4-8), double slash(3-7) page that will boost its power for each clash win on the first die, so if she lines it up right, she can severely punish the wolf. "Beast Hunt" is another evade -> attack page, but on the second die winning, it inflicts 5 disarm. Which is very nice. "Strike Without Hesitation" is trouble. It's a mass attack, so it hits the Wolf AND your Librarians, giving her bonus strength for each hit. Maybe you could consider letting her have a hit so she can outmatch the wolf, maybe not. It does only roll a 4-8.
On the Wolf: What makes the wolf frustrating to fight is that it has a lot of block counter die, along with "gain strength on clash win" or "recover hp". Every 3-4 scenes, it's going to use Howl (unless health drops below 50%, then it's every turn). This is a Mass Attack that also can gravely raise the rage meter of Red. It deals 7-11 damage, but thankfully, it's a summation negated die, so it's not too likely people will be hurt by it. Even so, low rolls do happen.
20th Abnormality (Scarecrow Searching for Wisdom): This fight is about two things: filling your deck, and ruining any Singleton builds.
There are three scarecrows. In turn, one will gain an extra battle die, and use "Searching for Wisdom", four (1-1) blunt attacks. Clashing it with Wisdom cards will reduce the power of the attack, but if it isn't clashed to them, it gains 3+power.
This is a problem, because each successful hit with "Searching for Wisdom" will steal cards from your hand (Prioritising the "Wisdom" page). And if there aren't any cards, they'll deal extra damage instead.
The ones that aren't "searching for wisdom" will use cards that can fill your hand with "wisdom" pages, provided that they're evaded or blocked (I didn't check names, but there's an evade followed by 2 attacks, and then 2 attacks followed by an evade). Due to this, Singleton can absolutely be screwed over due to multiple copies of "Wisdom."
Keep this in mind when building your combat bookshelf. You need to fill your hands up fast, while still keeping ready to block or evade crucial cards to keep the "Wisdom" pages flowing. Running out isn't the end of the world, but remember that cards they steal have 0 cost to use against you, and end up costing you your chance to restock on "Wisdom".
I cleared on my first attempt, so I can't give more details on this fight, but it isn't as bad as the others of this tier. I did realise in post that "Wisdom" isn't supposed to beat "Searching for Wisdom", it's just that Yujin, Puppet Mk 2 and Emma all get a +1 to their blunt die rolls, so it was naturally stronger.
Upper Far Right Urban Nightmare
W Corp (Far Right): After the nightmares that were Love Town and The Puppets, this was a far less awful time.
All W Corp Cleaners have the ability Dimensional Sections, which has a 10% chance to increase damage dealt by 10. Ouch.
But the main gimmick of these pages is "Charge". If they aren't building up charge with "Energy Cycle", "Rewind", "Dimensional Rift" or "Overcharge", they're spending it to supercharge their other pages.
"Overcharge" is definitely the most interesting charge granter. 3 cost to totally fill up their charge stacks, and then a (5-13) pierce, (4-12) slash, and (5-11) pierce. With a (2-6) block counter die, just to add insult to injury. The upside to this heavy onslaught is that it immobilizes them next turn, but this is not a stagger. You do not get bonus damage.
"Leap" will grant haste, and if it can consume 3 charges, another 2 pages. "Ripple" will gain 3 power in exchange for 3 charges, being a low roll evade die (boosts power of the follow up if it loses the clash) followed by a 4-17 blunt attack.
"Rip Space" is a card exclusive to their purple and orange grade key pages, and thank goodness for that. In exchange for consuming all charge, they have a 9.9% chance (multiplied by lost charge) to gain 8 power. Failure will inflict 20 damage to them, but that's not much when the minimum fail chance is 1%.
Their unique key pages are Rose, Sen and Lesti. Sen has an additional "Refraction" passive, where any successful hit inflicts an additional 13 stagger damage. Lesti's passive grants +1 to strength and endurance next scene if they did nothing that scene (working well with Overcharge). Rose is a double battle die with Sen's "Refraction" passive, but also possessing the "Quantum Leap" passive, which gives a 10% chance of ANOTHER 13 bonus damage if her speed is 4 or higher.
21st Abnormality (Warm Hearted Woodsman): This... is weird. This fight is all about the "Warm Heart" buff the main threat has. The trees will use "Help Me!" each turn, which is a ranged three (3-6) block die. If the woodsman does not have a heart, it will kill a tree.
The Woodsman is a 3 battle die opponent. He will grant you max light if it has Warm Heart, and automatically targets the highest light character. He also gains power based on the light they have. If he does kill something, he gains three stacks of Warm heart (and 20% of his HP). Warm Heart stacks also increases the maximum range of his die.
"Empty Chest" is a (5-5) block die that will KILL if the target of the page is staggered. Be extremely careful about what your stagger level is when clashing with it. This is what he uses at zero hearts.
When he has hearts, his attacks are a bit more varied. "Do Not Take My Heart" is two (4-5) blocks, followed by a (3-4) slash that grants 1 heart on hit. "Boisterous Ringing" is a (4-6) block followed by a (6-8) slash, with the second removing a heart when it loses a clash. "Warm Pulse" does similar, a single (6-8) slash that loses a heart on clash lost. "Strike of the Axe" is a basic double (3-6) slash, no special effects here.
"Lumber" is nasty. It is three slash die in a row, where each loss will reduce the power of the fourth blunt die.
You are going to need to completely rebuild your deck for this. Any sort of Light restoration pages need to be removed from your deck, and key pages that refill on light should not attend (unless you can arrange for their effects to not apply). You do not want to keep filling your light back up, as that gives him far more power.
My strategy was to ensure that light can be emptied as fast as it can be filled, and while balancing the Woodsman's attacks so he doesn't get his hearts too filled, cut down the trees. If they're all down, then all he can do is fish for someone to be staggered and killed by "Empty Chest".
Post Battle thoughts: Yujin is actually really bad for this, as you can't remove that one counter Dice (so Empty Chest will always have something to clash with), and 4 cost pages will refund half their cost, giving The Woodsman a power boost midfight.
Funeral of Dead Butterflies
I have ever so slight concerns about how this fight can go.
The Unknown will target whoever has the least HP. The Funeral itself will target people with the lowest HP, but prioritises those with sealed die. Which is a pain, because it moves quite fast, and if all their die are sealed, it staggers them. A Stagger is followed up by a mass attack.
The Unknown will alternate attacks based on their available light. When light is full, they use "Liberation from Pain", (3-6) evade followed by (2-5) blunt, which inflicts 5 disarm on hit, or "Liberation from Obsession", (2-6) blunt, (1-5) evade, and (1-5) blunt that inflicts 5 bind on hit.
The Funeral of Butterflies has abilities that WILL disable battle die you have on hit. But on the flipside, they seal the Funeral's die if they lose the clash, so if you can outspeed and outclash him, you'll be halfway to winning. Remember that block die are the only ones that aren't recycled on use, and try to have pages that roll high on the first initial hit (for example, Forceful Gesture on Puppet Mk 2 isn't going to get much help out of a strength buff, because the high power is on the second hit, but the die sealing is on the first).
His attacks consist of a single shot that removes a die, a single die removing shot followed by two shots that inflict nasty amounts of stagger damage, or a shot that is followed up by two blocks.
Here we go again.
Regret (Abandoned Murderer) phase: Like always, any ailment inflicted on the boss reduces their die power by 4. But they also possess the Metallic Ringing and Violence abilities that match your abnormality pages, along with a second battle die.
"Chained Wrath" is the only page they have in this phase, a whopping (6-12) blunt attack. "Metallic Ringing" is two (7-11) blunt attacks, followed by a 7-10 blunt attack. If the fight goes too long, then "Ends, Begins, Ends" will be played on both die, purging all negative effects and granting immunity to them for that scene.
If you have a Musician of Bremen page in your deck that can debuff instantly, then it shouldn't be too hard to enfeeble that first roll. But even with the Fear effect, these rolls are still strong. Blunt damage is infeffective here, with slash being endured and pierce being the only thing to really hurt.
Grinder Mk4 (All-Around Helper) Phase: If three scenes go by without a mass attack, or the Grinder has 4 or more light, then it will use a mass attack. And it restores light after dealing 10 or more damage.
Aside from having a 3rd battle die, it also has 3 All Around Helpers to join in the fight. They resist most damage except blunt, but are weak to all stagger damage, and extra stagger weak to blunt. They can use "Charge" to gain 1 strength and Endurance, which gives just enough damage on "Clean" to get an extra light.
"Clean Mk 2" is a single 8-11 attack, that deals 3-5 extra damage on slow targets. "Rest Mk 2" grants 1 Strength and 1 Endurance on use, and consists of three (2-5) evade die. "Charge Mk 2" is two (3-6) slash die followed by one (3-5) slash die, all of which restore light on hit.
For some reason, I see "Rest Mk 2" glitch out and not work properly, but that's just that. What's exceptionally nasty is that every element deals virtually nothing to Grinder. Even Slash is endured on both ends, while blunt and pierce are ineffective. You probably don't need to kill the helpers, but might as well to save yourself some offside grief.
The Mass Attack is "Disable Limiter". This is three Individual attacks of (6-6) slash damage, each inflicting 2 Bleed. But it also staggers Grinder the next turn, so if you can survive it without too many ailments, you can shut them down next turn. Of course, if you have too many bleeds for comfort, can just wait out the downtime, because the fight has only just begun.
Harmony (Singing Machine) Phase: Thankfully, this isn't a copy and paste of the earlier version of the fight, but it still isn't pleasant. Harmony will have 2 battle die, but will grant protection to themself and heal the ally with the lowest HP if they have allies alive.
The Addicted Employees during downtime will use "Shaking Blow", which is a blunt and a dodge that can inflict bind in a one-sided attack, or "Trembling Motion", a dodge followed by two blunt attacks that will penalise them with feeble and disarm if they fail to land. During "I crave that Melody", the employees, like before, are under 5 bind. "Hear This Beautiful Song" is a (2-5) blunt followed by a (2-4) blunt. If neither land, there will be a stagger. "I pine for the song" will be their second battle die, a 1-4 pierce attack that punts the target into the machine, but only on hit. Because the second die is the one with the machine punting, you might want to consider skipping over the new "Coffin" abnormality page, unless you feel lucky enough to get two stacks. Harmony during downtime uses: "Grind" is a two (2-6) block die that increase the last die's power, and a (3-4) slash die that inflicts bleed. "Tiny Performance" is a (6-10) slash attack that grants 1 strength and disarm to one of their allies, but at the cost of 6 stagger damage. Harmony during "I Crave That Melody" plays ranged ally buffing cards, which is slightly problematic. "Let's Create a Song!" is a (3-6) Blunt Die that On Hit grants two strength to all allies this scene, followed by two (3-7) block die. And Harmony will use it twice, and does not suffer the bind. So you can see your enemy employees get a hefty damage buff right before they engage. Keep in mind that whoever is in the machine loses 30% of HP, so if you have to bite the bullet, above else do not let Shi Corporation employees enter the machine. "Harmony of Despair" is played on the turn there should be music playing, even if there isn't music playing. It will inflict bleed on hit, and give the "Tiny Performance" effect. What makes it dangerously potent is that while it only has two die, a (3-6) pierce followed by a (2-5) pierce, both of them will recycle upon hit (up to three times), so make absolutely sure to outroll both of them. Solemn Lament (Funeral of Dead Butterflies) phase: Considering you just did this, it's probably fresh in your mind. 4 butterflies, one boss, the butterflies go down if the boss does. The boss will self-stagger if fully self-sealed, but use a special combat page if there are any staggered librarians, and Mass Attacks every 3 scenes. "Guiding Hand" is a (5-11) pierce die, sealing a battle die on hit, but self-sealing a battle die on clash lose. "Into Comfort" is two (4-8) pierce die, both sealing battle die on hit and self-sealing on loss. "Lament" is the special combat page for staggered targets, dealing 50% of their max HP on hit. Ugh. And to make matters worse, they get a boost to battle die power based on the target's HP, so Yujin can't do her usual power rolling to counter the ranged attacks. The Unknown start with 2 light, and the Kaleidoscope of Butterflies start with 1. I don't know if this is a bug or intentional. The Unknown will use "Liberation from Anger", a (3-5) blunt attack that inflicts 5 Feeble on hit, or "Liberation from Obsession", a (2-6) blunt die, a (2-6) evade die, and a (1-5) blunt die that inflicts bind. The Mass Attack of "Eternal Rest" is absolutely despicable. The die will repeat their attacks 5 times over, and while they're only 1-3 damage, they inflict a lot of stagger, and gain damage bonuses to staggered targets. If you don't come into this phase prepared to stagger and destroy Solemn Lament, then you will come to a crashing halt here. Magic Bullet Phase (Like I remember how to spell the name of this abnormality): I did not have any time to test this out. Magic Bullet cannot be staggered, but upon meeting the requirements to do so, they take 50 damage, recover all stagger next scene and change behaviour. Considering all damage types are ineffective, but stagger resistances are neutral, that's the only way you're going to win (the 700 health bar is kind of rude, though). This phase desperately needs you to have ways to keep your hand stocked and your light high, because you cannot underestimate how much light you'll burn trying to consistently clash with her. "Magic Bullet" is also the name of their page. (5-7) pierce ranged attack, prioritising the centre librarian. "Inevitable Bullet" is used after the first stagger reset. It is a mass attack of relatively poor potency considering that it's a summation shot. "Captivating Bullet" is used after the third reset. When Magic Bullet is in this phase, it only has one battle die. It consists of two (4-8) pierce attacks that inflict feeble this turn and burns next turn if they hit. After the fourth reset, it's back to three battle die, now with "Ruthless Bullets", which is a (11-11) Summation Attack, inflicting 10 stagger damage and 5 fragile. The other two die are "Magic Bullet". Next Reset, "Silent Bullet." Another single die Summation (13-13) attack inflict 10 burn, 3 feeble, and three disarm. "Flooding Bullets" follows that phase. Individual mass attack, (4-8), (4-7), (4-6) pierce attacks, all dealing 6 stagger on hit. Get this far, and you get the "Bullet of Despair". This is a 50-50 damage attack on herself, with all her vulnerabilities set to fatal, knocking a huge 100 chunk out of her own healthpool. If you have the light to burn, this is
Upper Near Left Urban Nightmare
This is... mildly frustrating. The Smiling Faces, similarly to the W Corp, have pages based around charges. But these pages aren't particularly good unless you're building specifically for a "Smoke" deck. And have double die pages on everyone. And even then, have to get lucky with what you draw.
And this leads to feeling like the AI is cheating with its page draws. Smoke is either built up or exploited from any of the Smiling Faces cards. Each stack of smoke increases damage taken, and 9 or 10 stacks will increase the power of offensive die by 1. But all of the Smiling Face pages inherently have the passive "Puffy Brume", which instead increases their outgoing damage. Smoke goes down by 1 every turn, but unlike most statuses, applies immediately, not adding up at the start of the next scene.
"Smoking Pipe" is a zero cost page that only has defensive die, restoring light and giving 2 smoke. "Inhale Smoke" is a (2-8) block then a (3-8) blunt attack, giving 3 smoke on use and 2 more if the attack connects. "Trace of Fumes" is two blunt attacks (3-7), the first inflicting 2 smoke on hit and the second inflicting 3, followed by a (1-4) block. And "Deep Drag" is a (5-18) blunt attack, followed by a (1-9) dodge, with the attack inflicting seven smoke on hit.
That's how they apply smoke. Exploiting it, they have "Hidden Blade", which is a (2-9) evade followed by a (1-9) slash. The attack consumes two smoke to power up both die by 2, and an additional 2 smoke to inflict 3 bleed on hit. "Flesh Fillet" is two (2-7) slash die, but also consumes 2 smoke to power up the die by 2. If the second hit connects, it inflicts 1 bleed for every two stacks of smoke on the target. Finally, "Loss of Senses" is a (3-8) block, (4-9) blunt, and (4-9) slash attack. The blunt die, on hit, inflicts 2 paralysis and one feeble if the target has 8 or more smoke. The slash die, on hit, gives 2 more pages to their hand if the target has 3 or more smoke.
This is a "2 act, 1 floor" reception. The first is against green grade Smiling Face pages. The second act is 3 double die pages and another average Smiling Face. Wang has "Sooty Thwack", which boosts his stagger damage dealt by the stacks of Smoke he has. Jin has "Smoke Addiction", inflicting 2 paralysis next scene if the target has 8 or more stacks of smoke. Thankfully, it only applies once to a target, so he doesn't inflict obnoxious amounts of paralysis for multi-hit attacks. Mi is the interesting one, possessing an ability similar to Yujin's passive. "Stimulating Fumes" gives a block die for one-sided attacks, which rolls 1 to the amount of smoke stacks possessed (and only if there are any stacks).
There's not really any rhyme or reason to the order they play their cards. But they do focus on using smoke charge exploiting pages on characters with high smoke, so if you fail your first try but got some of their key pages, feel free to mix them to your key pages to get "Puffy Brume" on your own side. Smiling Face cards don't have any weaknesses, Mi and Jin are resistant to slash damage, while Wang is resistant to Blunt.
Offhand Abnormality Thoughts
Due to the massive changes that happened, I will need to reset my playthrough and start from scratch. But at least I'll give what little I can recall about the current abnormality and receptions I've tackled.
Gebura 2nd Reception: A Wolf Abnormality: A Wolf Huh. I was not expecting to actually fight him after seeing him cameo for Red. Keep in mind that Blunt is the only damage that can really work on A Wolf, because Pierce is doubly endured, while Slash damage is ineffective. The wolf has 2 speed die. Every two scenes, it'll use a librarian consuming combat page. It only functions on hit, thankfully. If it does swallow someone, then it gains fatal stagger resistance. Stagger it next scene, or else the librarian will die. Even if they don't die, they'll lose 25% of their max HP (so... hard on Yujin). If the Librarian dies, then he changes forms. He'll also change forms on reaching 30% HP (and can't be pre-emptively killed). His normal combat pages consist of "Grrr..."which is a (3-6) block, a (2-4) slash that heals slightly on hit, and a (3-6) block, along with "Pointy Claws", a (3-8) slash followed by a (3-7) slash, both of which have bleed. "I'll gobble you up!" Is his swallow attack, a (7-7) pierce attack. If he does get it to land (7-7 isn't impossible to outroll, but it's not easy to consistently outroll), he recovers all stagger gauge, and all his combat pages change to "Wolf! Wolf!", a (3-6) slash counter die that inflicts three bleed. This means whoever hits him first, will take three hits of slash, so think carefully about who you want taking that first hit. When the librarian returns, they'll be staggered, so at best, you can exploit his vulnerability for 2 librarians.
Transforming will result in Big and Will be Bad Wolf. Now slash AND pierce damage do almost nothing to him, and only Blunt damage can do the trick. He also has his stagger gauge increase, His "Into the Dark" ability will trigger after losing 25% of the HP he had when he transformed. It simply activates his "Skulking in the Shadows" status for the next 2 turns. "Skulking in Shadows" makes him impossible to be targeted by librarians, save whoever he targets. But after it wears off, his stagger resistances drop to fatal, so you can probably force a stagger at this part if you have everyone around. Combat Pages: "Howl" is a (15-15) mass summation blunt attack that deals 10 stagger damage on hit. "Bloodstained Hunt" is a (5-9) slash followed by a (4-8) slash, both inflicting 3 bleed. "Ferocious Fangs" is a (3-7) block that enhances the following die on clash win, followed by a (3-7) pierce that recovers on hit, and a (3-7) block counter die that grants 1 strength on clash win. "Unsparing Ungues" is two (4-8) slash attacks that inflict 2 bleed, and a (3-7) block counter die that grants 1 strength on clash win. The darkness only allows two uses of combat die, and both are the same page. "Ambush", a (3-8) pierce that restores 6 HP on a hit. You literally cannot use anyone other than who he targets, so everyone needs to be able to hold their own.
Abnormality: King of Greed. I am finding Yujin's card to be increasingly unreliable, as Mass Attacks are being added to the game more and more. Due to them always targeting the leftmost die (because I have really bad luck with it), and the response die being unable to react, Yujin is becoming a burden for anything involving mass attacks. Still a good high roller, but in this fight, I would actually rather use a different Shi Corp page (Valentin is a really good pick).
King of Greed, similar to Wolf, will transform at 50% health, but could transform earlier. What triggers that is the first turn of battle: if you don't get through the 80 HP bar of the Aurum Amber's healthbar, it starts up as King of Greed. Get through it, and you have the easier Magical Girl to deal with. Also, I do not remember it dealing anything except Blunt damage.
On Magical Girl:
She's very fond of Block Counter die. And debuffs. And strength buffs. But most concerningly, is that a lot of die will either weaken your next die, destroy your next combat die (think the Happy Teddy EGO page), or seal one of your battle die outright. The strength buffs aren't too bad, as what's dangerous takes a turn to set up, but debuffs during the setup are absolutely the worst.
Every 3 scenes, she becomes untargetable and unable to act. 4 "Brilliant Bliss" are created, and you want one librarian each to kill one of them. They have 20 HP and take double damage from everything, so you just need to roll a total of 10 damage in one turn. Don't overexert yourself, but at the same time, don't leave things to chance.
Any you don't kill will vanish the following turn, and she prepares a very potent Mass Attack (12-12, if memory serves). However, each person that killed a "Brilliant Bliss" will have a new combat page, that rolls a (15-15) block die, perfect for protecting you from the mass attack. If she hurts anyone with the mass attack, she will stagger the unsuccessful librarians, and gain a big boost to strength next scene. However, if everyone successfully blocks the mass attack, she'll be staggered next scene. The mass attack won't be her only attack, which is why I recommend you play it "safe, but not all in" to kill the Brilliant Bliss.
On King of Greed:
She now uses a lot of different pages, but the most concerning addition to the repertoire is a lot of bleed effects, and being able to heal off from them.
Similar to before, her 3rd scene will have her become untargetable, and brilliant bliss. Unlike before, this will be focused on a single target. She will use two special combat pages consisting of 3 powerful die, and the third die will kill the target on hit. Fortunately, the Brilliant Bliss will give an upgraded version of their page, consisting of three even stronger blocks, so the trick there is to game the system so that her target will get two kills.
You can tell who will be targeted, by looking at who has the "Golden Gate" in front of them (it's a golden wormhole looking thing, veterans of Lobotomy Corp will recognise it). If she fails to damage at all with her two special attacks, then she staggers. But if even one hit is successful, not just the lethal one, she regains 25 HP and deals 15 damage to all librarians.
In both phases, she will always roll 10 with her special combat pages, so you can't redirect them, only respond to them.
Upper Near Right Urban Nightmare 2
Has anyone ever played Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door? I stand by that game being way too fond of "Tedium Humour", where the joke is that they make you do the same thing over and over again, like listen to someone say "I love you" one hundred times over, or making you backtrack across the entire game for one quest point.
That is this fight: the battle Just. Won't. End.
The first phase is against the Unseeing Child, the Unhearing Child, and the Unspeaking Child. Unlike everything else in the game, they do not change their resistances when staggered. When one of them is staggered, another will gain an "on clash lose" effect on one of their die. This applies on the turn that staggers them, so it's entirely possible to win a clash, get the effect, and THEN stagger them. When that happens, all their damage resistances become fatal, making it far easier to burn through that 125 HP.
Unfortunately, they're all very tedious about this. Each has an ability that makes your life harder, which is removed when staggered. The "Unseeing Child" hides information on their combat pages, so you can't identify who has the die you need to successfully clash with. The "Unhearing Child" prevents you from seeing their attack targets, or redirecting them, so unused block die are very handy here. The "Unspeaking Child" should be priority #1, however. His ability will disable a librarian at the start of each scene, in a method similar to the "Overcharge" effect. So "Stimulating Fumes" and "Deflect Assault" still protect the Librarian targetted.
All of them carry the "Murmur" combat page. A (2-5) Block, a (4-7) Slash, and a (2-4) Blunt, with the Slash inflicting 1 bind on hit.
When all are defeated, the next phase begins, and all stored emotion is lost. The Crying Children is a triple die enemy, packed to the brim with counter die. "Distorted Illusion" is three (3-8, 4-8 ,2-4)pierce attacks that all inflict burn, and then one (2-5) block counter die. "Bygone Illusion" is roughly the same power, but only the final attack(2-5) burns, instead the first two hits will reduce the power of die it clashes with.
When his HP hits zero, we start another phase with the Childs. But this time, there's five of them. Two Unhearing Children, Two Unseeing Children, and one Unspeaking Children. And you will be kicking yourself if you don't check which is the Unspeaking before going on the offensive. Kill all of them, and we enter the single target phase again, this time with 4 die. This phase has 2 new combat pages: "Restrain" is a (3-8) evade die, then a (8-12) pierce attack that inflicts two feeble, disarm and bind on contact. The page also grants two (2-5) counter block die. "Wound of Sorrow" is, importantly, a ranged attack. Three (3-7, 4-8, 6-10) pierce attacks, one (2-5) counter block die.
End that phase, and we go back to the phase with all the Unpleasable Children. Only three, but they're all using a different combat page. "Wing Stroke" is (3-5) pierce, (2-4) evade, (3-6) slash that inflicts one feeble, and (2-4) slash that inflicts 2 bleed.
And once more, they fuse into a stronger foe. 5 battle die, one dedicated to "Inconsolable Grief". This is an individual mass attack, (4-7, 8-9, 8-12) and it staggers The Crying Children next scene.
Kill once more, and we get a single Unspeaking Child, but this time with double die. And this, thankfully, is the final phase. No need for stagger gaming or misdirection, just pray that you have more than one person left by this point.
It does have a new combat page, at least. Victimize, a (3-6) blunt die inflicting 1 Disarm on hit, (4-7) evade, and then two blunt die (5-9, 4-6), both inflicting 1 Feeble on hit.
Star of the City
... is unlocked. But we also have a bunch of Urban Nightmare abnormalities to tackle, so let's drag our heels a bit first.
Well, this is designed to destroy people.
You have 4 "Gift-wrapped Friend" to deal with, and Laetitia herself. Laetitia has 180 hp and no weaknesses, but those change to fatal upon her losing all allies. Her friends have 40 HP, and will explode on the third turn, dealing significant damage and giving three "Gift" pages. If they die from any cause, they spawn a "Wee Witch's Friend", but spawn with less HP if it's not from exploding. Gift-wrapped Friends are weak to blunt damage and have two attacks. "G..i..f..t" is a (2-6) blunt attack that grants a "Gift" page on hit. "T.ak..e..i.t.." Is a (3-7), (3-5), (2-5) series of blunt attacks, all able to give out a "Gift" page. Luckily, the latter costs actual light, so can't be spammed. They prioritise hitting characters with the most "Gift" pages.
Laetitia (double die), meanwhile, prioritises who has the least. She has "Here's a gift~", which is a (2-7) pierce, and then two (8-8) blocks. The attack adds a "Gift" page on hit, the blocks will inflict 1 feeble on clash win. "Let's Have Fun!" will grant strength and protection to her allies, and consists of three more of the block die from "Here's a gift~". These are considered ranged attacks, so be careful.
"Gift" is slightly troublesome. It costs 2 light, and deals 4-10 damage. But if it's in your hand for more than two turns, the librarian takes 15 damage, and gains a stack of Pit-a-pat. 3 stacks are instadeath. The number in the middle of the page shows how close it is to exploding.
The Wee Witch's Friend is a 80 (60 if prematurely killed) hp enemy, that also prioritises librarian's with the most "Gift" pages. But unlike the gift wrapped ones, they increase their offensive die power based on possessed gifts, which is not nice. "Recieve Gift" is (4-10) pierce. It's other attacks are combinations of symbols that mean virtually nothing to anyone reading them, but the problems to keep an eye out for is that the 2 light page "!?$%@!?!!" has three (4-7, 2-4, 2-4) pierce die and inflicts 3 fragile THIS turn, not next turn like most status ailments. The other two die inflict 1 bleed next scene. The zero light page "#[email protected]!#*#[email protected] rolls two (3-8, 3-7) pierce die, inflicting 2 bleed, then 2 disarm next turn.
Laetitia's block die will drop in power by 4 when clashing against someone already with her "Gift" pages.
This is not how it's supposed to work. We're supposed to see the new abnormality at the end of the battle, not the start.
Black Swan will revive one add each turn, unless there are already five alive. If four are alive, or four have died, then a Mass Attack page is used. Each Brother grants a speed die to Black Swan, and has two speed die of their own. Brothers are weak to slash stagger, Black Swan is ineffective versus almost everything, but merely endured versus slash and pierce.
The brothers have "Specious Attack", which is a melee (4-8) pierce that can grant 1 strength to Black Swan on hit, or "Green Waste", which is a ranged (3-7) (2-6) pierce attack, with the latter hit inflicting 1 feeble.
Black Swan has "Writhe", two (4-7) blunt attacks, or "Curl Up", two (3-6) block die followed by a (2-5) blunt attack, on the first turn. Also in her repertoire is "Well-worn Parasol". Two (8-8) block die, that return blocked damage to the attacker.
Bleed damage is about the only way you can kill reliably fast. The mass attack is "Shriek of Broken Dreams", a (12-12) blunt mass attack, and her speed die will all roll 10-10 this scene. Not fun. But killing the sixth brother will stagger Black Swan, so if you don't bleed her to death, then this is your way through.
Next up is Laetitia again. The friends are still the same, but now the boss has 3 battle die, and a new passive. "Gift" is added to the hands of all librarians every two scenes, but killing two of the "Wee Witch's Friends" will now add an additional gift.
"Huuuuuge~ Gift!" means you can expect a Mass Attack when the Gift-wrapped Friend phase is over, and it'll be used every three scenes after that. Also included in her combat pages is "Don't get hurt!", healing 10 HP to whoever on her side has the lowest HP.
The Wee Witch's Friends now have "Snatch Gift", which does exhaust one of the "Gift" pages in their target's hand.
And now the Red Eyes phase. Like before, you can only target the actual boss when a Spiderling dies. 4 stacks of protection are given out every 2 turns, making it hard to kill them consecutively. Red Eyes herself is rolling three (10-10) speed die, so... unless you got the Alertness on someone with haste pages, you are not outspeeding them. "Cry Out" is their first die, a (12-12) blunt die guaranteed to stagger, and then a (5-5) blunt just to follow up painfully. "Gleaming Eyes" is the follow up, where three (4-9, 4-8, 4-8) slash counter die are played. The first and third inflict 2 feeble on clash win, the second will inflict disarm.
Pointing out now that she will hit the same person TWICE unless a spiderling is killed the same turn Red Eyes is active. So that is 22 damage on the first turn if the first hit isn't at least tied, then 34 damage on the second. 76 damage is not something a lot of people can handle (but these numbers are just barely in range for Oscar to handle).
The spiderlings have "Thin Webbing", two (4-6) block die and then a (3-8) pierce. Clash win for either block die inflicts 1 bind, the attack inflicts 3. "Stingy Fangs" is two (4-8) pierce die, both inflicting disarm.
Sanguine Desire is the following phase. Three Left Shoes, each with "Speedy" to grant an extra die slot. First phase, "Concealed Desire" is on the first battle die, a (4-9) slash die that inflicts 4 bleed stacks, and two (2-5) block die. "Whispering Desire" will be on the second battle die, two (3-8) slash attacks that inflict 2 bleed stacks next turn.
Desire herself is where things are bad. Each successful attack inflicts a stack of Profound Wound, and if it reaches 5 stacks, then 25% of their health is removed. She only rolls two 1-1 speed die, but prioritises targetting bleeds, and if anyone gets 3 or more bleed stacks, then "I CAN'T RESIST IT!!!" is played on both die. This attack inflicts 2 bleed stacks THIS turn on the first three attack die (3-8, 3-8, 3-7) and then exploits it on the final hit, gaining 3 times power per bleed stack, and removing the bleed. After use, the page can't be used again for the next two scenes.
Of course, when those stacks aren't available, she'll use different attacks. "Bursting Desire" is three (3-6, 3-5, 3-5) slash attacks that recover based on bleed stacks. "Tenacity" is an obnoxious (6-6) dodge, followed by a (5-10) slash attack that will seal a speed die if it connects. It also gains 6 power versus bleeding targets, so for the love of all that is good, don't clash it with bleeding people. Also possesses counter (2-8, 2-8) evade die, making it much harder to hit her. "Obsession" is a (4-8) slash, a (3-7) evade, and a (2-8) slash, the attacks gaining 3 power versus bleeding targets and inflicting 2 fragile stacks on hit.
And the final phase is "Today's Expression." When you hit the button, it gives you an indication of what expression to end on. Or else. These combat pages roll between two and twenty, so you'd better be paying attention. The visual expression shown when you hit to roll the die is what you SHOULD end on. Getting it right means that the die will roll minimum, and often end badly for her, so it's really more a victory lap for those with good timing. For those that don't... well, pray that you can exploit that she has 5 battle die as opposed to your 15, so you might be able to get one-sided bleed attacks off.
Star of the City: Near Right 1.1
These guys are exceptionally dangerous. Similar to the Index Prescripts, they will out DPS you and win all clashes, but what makes it really nasty is their passives.
All Liu fixers have the Fervour passive, giving a bonus to all offensive die at emotion level 3 and above. They also have double die even on their weakest pages, which is going to be a nasty shock to the system...
Frankly, this stuff is terrifying to me. From what I can tell, the only advantage you can get is intelligent tunnel visioning. Pick an enemy, beat them into the ground, clash with the deadliest attacks, but otherwise, try to keep their clashing to a minimum. The longer it takes for them to reach high emotion, the better, because their pages will get exponentially nastier as their emotion level rises.
"Frontal Assault" is their basic 0-cost light restore page, consisting of two (2-6, 1-3) pierce die. "Rush Down" is a 1-cost (3-7) blunt die that reduces the power of clashing defensive die by two, and a (2-7) pierce die that inflicts 1 burn. It also has a combat start effect to boost the power of offensive die, which is surprisingly nasty.
"Inner Ardor" is a 2 cost page that grants one positive emotion coin on use. This means that even avoiding clashes can't shut them out from getting emotion levels completely. It consists of a (3-9) block, and a (4-10) slash die. "Flow of the Sword" is interesting. It's a 2-cost card, two (3-8, 3-7) slash die inflicting burn stacks. BUT, at emotion level 3, it becomes a 1-cost card. This makes it kind of trashy for a 2-cost card, but very powerful for a 1-cost when they hit that golden Fervor e-level.
"Fleet Edge", 2 cost, a (2-6) evade die, followed by two (4-7, 3-7) pierce die. Each hit landed grants 1 haste. "Sturdy Defense" is a 3-cost page draw. Starts with a (3-9) evade die, goes on to an obscene (6-17) block die that gives a page on clash win, and then a (3-6) pierce attack that inflicts burn. It also gives a page on use, so that's potentially two pages drawn with that one attack.
"Emotional Turbulence" is a 3 cost page, and it's got a very unique effect: a +1 power boost for every two emotion levels they have. At zero, it's (3-8) block, (5-9) pierce inflicting 2 burn, and (4-9) slash inflicting 1 burn, and finally a (3-8) counter block die. But at emotion level 4 or 5, you get 5-10, 8-12, 7-12, and 5-10. Pretty unpleasant considering there's nothing capable of standing up to that.
This reception consists of two acts, five fixers each time. And you only have one floor for reception. Don't worry about a first attempt failure too much, as even if you lose a book of the crying children, you'll have gotten some Liu fixer pages for your own forces.
Star of the City: Near Right 1.2
For our next round, it's another 2 act reception, but this time with a backup floor.
There is a reason we have this backup floor. It is that we now have 3 unique pages in our second round, and they're even more terrifying than the usual Liu Fixer. All of them possess the "All-out War" page, a 1-cost page that grants a positive emotion coin on use. It's a (3-8) block followed by a (3-7) slash. It's weaker than Inner Ardor, but the simple fact that it's a cheaper way to get emotion coins makes it far easier for them to reach the high emotion levels.
Cecil gains 15% of his max HP back after raising emotion level. He has two unique pages: "Gale Kick", a 2-cost (5-12) pierce attack that draws a card on hit. But it's also the first case of a counter die that isn't 3-cost, even if it's just a minor (2-7) pierce die. "Iron Wall" is kind of interesting, it grants 1 endurance next turn on use, but if his emotion level is 3+, then it becomes 2 endurance next turn. It's two (3-8) block die, followed by a (2-6) pierce attack.
Mei gains 25% stagger resist after raising emotion level, unless she's already staggered. She also has two unique pages: "High Kick" is a 1-cost single (4-8) blunt damage that draws a new page on hit. Tieshankan is a 3-cost page that doesn't look too impressive: a (3-6) pierce, a (6-18) blunt, and a (3-6) pierce counter. But the second hit will inflict a burn stack, plus burn stacks equal to personal emotion level. That can add up a bit.
Lowell is practically a boss in his own right. He has the recovery passives his subordinates possess (These are bonuses to the enemy version, does not apply to the key page). But he also has Speed III, which is an additional speed die... but also adds yet another one at emotion level 3. So basically, when he ramps up, he'll get Yujin's number of die, but without any of them disabled. On top of that, he'll get +1 strength and endurance upon an emotion level up.
He only has one unique page: the 4 cost "Forming Storm". It does nothing on its own, in fact, it discards its die upon use, leaving him free to one-sided attacks on that die. BUT. Next turn, he gets a mass-attack page, for that turn only. "Raging Storm" is a (8-20) slash attack, individual hits. So if you don't outroll the first hit, you lose that combat page for that round.
My best thought is to go for endurance decks. Self-Supporting decks that increase the endurance of the whole group, allowing you to consistently guard against their increasingly powerful attacks and strike back with powerful EGO pages. Focus Fire methods are probably viable, but reduce the odds of yielding multiple books.
I personally hated having escape-happy abnormalities in my facility in Lobotomy Corp, and I can't say I like them much more here.
Alriune has Queen Bee's mechanics of "dead librarians become new enemies to fight". But unlike Queen Bee, your librarians will die from being staggered (inflicted by the opponent. I can't think of a way to stagger from not being hit by the enemy, but it must exist if they're being so specific). Bring high rolling Evade die to get a handle on that.
Neither Burn nor Bleed can damage any opponents. But the "One Who Emerged from the Earth" adds will die from being staggered, so look into having decks built for stagger.
Alriune herself will commit a mass attack at 3 "petals", gaining one petal per scene. But should she lose her stacks, she loses all petals, 40 HP, and recovers 50% of the librarian's sides stagger resist. She also only takes damage from THE Librarian with "Laurel Wreath", which she inflicts like Queen of Hatred: inflicted by a combat page.
The adds have several combat pages. "Entangling Despair" is a (5-8) blunt followed by a (2-9) evade, that will inflict Immobilise next scene if the first hits. "A Crack In The Heart" is a (2-9) evade, and a (3-6) pierce, with the latter causing all stagger resist to change to fatal next turn. "Mound of Flowers" is a (3-6) pierce, (2-7) evade, and (2-5) pierce, with the hits inflicting Aroma.
Alriune has ranged attacks, so that's the first thing to keep in mind. Her first turn has a broken battle die, as she needs to inflict Laurel Wreath status first. "Winter's Inception" is how she does it, a (1-1) pierce die, followed by two (6-6) block die. This page's use inflicts the status, not landing a hit, so feel free to intercept it to ensure the person you want is hitting her. Just keep in mind that they'll also be the target of every enemy, not just Alriune.
"Full Bloom" will inflict 1 stack of Aroma on any of its 4 pierce die hits, (4-8, 4-7, 3-8, 3-7), "Spring's Genesis" has a (6-8) pierce die that grants all of her side +2 strength on hit, followed by two (3-6) block die that inflict feeble on clash win. "Autumn's Passing" is two (3-6, 3-5) block die, both of which deal 6 extra stagger damage and heal the boss for 6 HP if they win the clash. "Magnificent End" is a Summation mass attack. Three (8-8, 10-10, 12-12) blunt attacks. No special effects, but when it hits that hard, it kind of doesn't need to. When this attack occurs, Laurel Wreath is removed.
All the adds are endured versus all damage types, but stagger weak to Blunt. Alriune is endured to slash stagger, ineffective to all damage types, and stagger weak to pierce. NOTABLY! She is immune to damage from attacks or statuses from other people... but not from passives. Light of Daybreak will still kick in from Salvador, so look into stagger damage passives to use for this fight, along with Endurance buffs and Evade die to keep your stagger resist high.
Phase 1: Silent Orchestra
So, this first phase is precisely 5 scenes long, with unique combat pages played for each. She gains power for each ally that can act. She is COMPLETELY immune to all damage, so aside from winning clashes to minimise damage taken, you want to look into beating everything else into the ground. The Performer cannot use any combat pages, and becomes completely immobilised for the rest of the phase if staggered. They are IMMUNE to damage, but normal towards types of stagger damage, meaning they can be killed if you stacked up enough. Mind you, just staggering them is enough, as they'll be permanently disabled from being staggered. The danger is that this phase doesn't give much time to build up emotion levels, so the light you spend is unlikely to be recovered. Just as well this is the start of the fight, and not the end of it. Da Capo's first attack is "The First Movement", a 6-6 summation pierce mass attack that targets specifically the foremost librarians (that is, Netzach, the 1st assistant, and the 2nd assistant). "The Second Movement" is a (3-6), (2-6) individual mass attack. No fancy targeting this time, but it has an odd little byline of "If two or more attacks connect, targets with Fervent Adoration will not attack this scene". "The Third Movement" is an (8-8) blunt summation mass attack, and they are starting to get really wordy with their descriptions. It excludes librarians suffering Fervent Adoration, and grants +3 power to everybody except the user (IE: Da Capo). So quite easy to outroll. "The Fourth Movement". Three pierce die, (2-5, 2-4, 2-4), an individual mass attack. If two or more attacks connect, target's light is set to zero. Ouch. "Finale" ends the phase. A blunt (12-12) Summation attack, where if the target has Fervent Adoration, it staggers them immediately.
Phase 2: Fragment of the Universe
FIVE battle die, so it can engage you on even ground. Each successful pierce attack reduces max stagger resist by 5%. It deals double stagger damage, and starting with the third scene, it starts using "Echoes from the Beyond" every two scenes. All damage is Ineffective, Slash stagger is endured, while the rest is normal. "The Dim Sound of Singing" is a (3-8, 3-7, 2-7) attack, each hit will inflict one stack of a different status ailment. Feeble, Disarm, then Fragile. "Penetrate" is a (6-8) pierce attack, while "Penetration of the Boundary" is a (6-8) block followed by a (6-8) pierce. Both of these attacks add "Enlightenment" to your hand if they hit, which is a zero cost triple (6-8) block die page, that reduces max stagger by 50%. "Echoes from the Beyond" is an interesting reminder of the original fight. Anyone with "Enlightenment" in their hand takes zero damage, and loses that page. Three (8-8) blunt die, but it doesn't say whether it's summation or individual, which is weird.
Phase 3: Child of the Galaxy
Untargetable single battle die, and 4 Friend to the Galaxy. Only after all other allies have died, can she be targeted. You cannot kill the allies, just get them to 1 HP. Two turns later, they will wake up again with 70% of their original HP (49 health), but if all go down to one, then they die. Our Galaxy will restore allies by 10% hp and take no action, provided nobody is in jeopardy. When someone enters that 1HP range, instead of healing, expect a Mass Attack. Specifically, expect a (15-15) summation blunt attack that inflicts 3 fragile. ...alternatively, you can get "An Eternal Farewell", which is a mass attack that hits everyone, allies and enemies. (4-8, 3-8, 3-7) individual blunt hits. All the Friends have "Glimmer", which is a 2 cost page consisting of a (3-11) evade and a (2-7) blunt that inflicts 2 fragile next scene. "Waiting" is a 0 cost page with just a (4-7) block die that restores one light. "Star Shower" is a 1 cost page consisting of three (3-6) blunt die.
Phase 4: Porcubus
Not that there's been any reason to bring them so far, but ranged cards do NOT work on Pleasure. Like usual, a hit on someone with 3 "Pleasure" is going to exhaust their three pages and deal damage (20 damage, to be precise). Unlike before, there's a mass attack whenever a Librarian has 2 or more copies of the page, but it cannot happen two scenes in a row. Hits grant 2 emotion coins, so if you haven't reached V emotion level by this point, you probably will here. "Wide Grin" is a (1-10) evade, (6-10) blunt that grants 2 Pleasure, and (1-6) evade. "Game of Trust" is a (6-10) Pierce granting 2 Pleasure, followed by two (1-10) evade die. "Sting Ecstasy" is a triple (4-8, 3-8, 3-6) Blunt, granting 2 Pleasure on the first hit, and 1 on the others. "Time for the Head to Burst!" is a special attack page that... for some reason is not a mass attack. Maybe it's a typo? It is a (6-10) blunt attack followed by a (2-5) pierce. The first hit gains power equal to the number of Pleasure cards you have, and grants 2 Pleasure. The second hit is a recycling die until the minimum is rolled (up to 7 times!) and ALSO grant 2 pleasure pages.
Phase 5: Alriune
This should be fairly fresh in your mind, since you just beat it to unlock the fight. Interestingly, these attacks don't deal damage at all, so regardless of how close Porcubus came to killing you, you'll be starting this phase fresh. As before, only Laurel Wreath can damage Alirune, Burn and Bleed don't do any damage (but don't prevent bonus effects from kicking in). The adds: "Entangling Despair" is the same as the original fight, down to the (5-8, 2-9) blunt and evade die being the same stats. Immobilises on the first hit. "Mound of Flowers" is likewise identical. "A Crack in the Heart" is slightly stronger, (2-9) evade being the same, but the (3-7) pierce die is rolling slightly higher. Faint Aroma: Now uses melee attacks instead of ranged. "Autumn's Passing" and "Spring's Genesis" are identical to before (save Autumn's Passing now being stagger instead of health), but "Full Bloom" is now three offensive die instead of four, being (3-8, 3-7, 3-6) a slash, pierce, then slash. Inflicting the Laurel Wreath is still a ranged page, though. "Magnificent End" is an interesting change. The mass attack is now two individual blunt die, (4-8) inflicting 5 extra stagger damage on hit, and then (8-8) inflicting 10 extra stagger.
Phase 6: Da Capo. Again.
Well, I guess we never actually finished this one off. The adds WILL attack this time, but not during the fifth and sixth measures of the cycle. Da Capo herself has a unique pattern that cycles every 6 scenes, with the resistances and speed die varying as she goes. Now we get to see the Fervent Adoration status: applied to those who have been staggered. And, of course, the boss increases in strength based on surviving Choir members. VERY nastily, is what Fervent Adoration does. Librarians become uncontrollable, and all play the Madness Within page. Against anyone (If you're lucky, it'll be the enemy). Three blunt attacks (3-7, 3-6, 2-5), all inflicting 10 stagger damage to themself. When actually staggered, they thankfully snap out of it instantly next scene without being staggered... but they deal physical damage to crazed librarians, and only take stagger damage from sane ones. Also, Finale will still damage them. And still super stagger them. Removing the small window of opportunity you have to go ham. I don't know as of yet whether the choir has attacks based on which one they are, or they just throw them out randomly. All of them are ranged attackers. So: All of them have "Pianissimo". 0 cost (2-5) Blunt attack that on hit, increases Angela's power by 2 when she clashes against the target, followed by (2-5) Block. 1st Chair: "Melody of Silence" is a 2-cost double blunt (3-6, 2-4), where the latter hit will immobilise if it connects. 2nd Chair: "Reverbation of Souls" 2-cost (3-5) Blunt that destroys all remaining die on hit, followed by (2-4) Blunt that destroys a speed die. 3rd Chair: "Vibration of Boundaries" NEVER let this get off
Star of the City: Far Right 1
I'll be fair. I did not expect to go back to the roots of 3v3 battles. The Cane Office shared passives are Charged Shield and Energy Discharge. Charged Shield, at emotion level 2 or higher, will grant 1 endurance if the previous turn built Charge stacks. Energy Discharge, at emotion level 2 or higher, will grant 1 strength if the previous turn spent charge stacks. These are interesting gimmicks. The unique passives: Martina's Heavy-hearted Forte deals 1-2 bonus stagger damage for winning a clash. Bada gains 1 protection for spending Charge. Nemo has a very interesting survival gimmick: his passive Emergency Resuscitation Protocol activates once per act: if he would take lethal damage, he ignores it, loses all stacks of Charge, and instantly heals himself for 5 per stack lost.
Shared pages: "Energy Shield" is a 1 cost page that rolls a low (2-4) block die, but grants 1 charge on clash lose. Followed by a (3-7) block die and a (3-5) pierce die. Just using the page grants 3 charge. "Energy Conversion is their light restore: 1 cost, but spends 4 charge to restore 3 light. It also functions as their page draw, as the (2-7) blunt die will restore a page on hit. The following (2-4) slash die does nothing.
"Absorb Impact" is a 2-cost (6-9) block die followed by a (4-8) slash die. The page grants 6 charge just from being used. "Ready Up!" is another 2-cost page, it spends 2 charge to grant 1 protection immediately and 1 protection next scene. This can make them surprisingly hard to kill.
Martina has no unique pages. Nemo and Bada share the "A Golden Opportunity!" page, another 2 coster. (2-9) evade, (3-6) block, (3-6) blunt. On use, it grants 5 charge, but every successful dodge will add another 2 charge.
Bada has a 3-cost "Devastating Thrash", a (3-7) pierce, (3-8) slash, and (5-9) blunt attack, that consumes 3 charge to power down the opponent's die by 2.
Nemo has a surprisingly diabolical "Energy Beam", which is considered a Ranged attack. A 4-cost, singular (13-19) pierce attack that spends 2 charge to destroy all offensive die on the page on clash win.
My thoughts are that if you have a floor that tanks well, then they'll probably be your best shot for this. These decks are pretty stable, but nothing a buff-heavy floor can't handle.
Star of the City: Far Left 1.1
I see a mix of ranged and melee pages in their bookshelves, so watch those page icons. I also don't see the "Exhausts page on use" effect.
This is just a 2 act reception of 4 Thumb Soldato (8 overall). They all have double speed die, with their actual passive being Ammo Supply, after three successful attacks with Melee Combat Pages, they add a random ammunition to their hand. They're all endured to blunt.
"Class and Respect" is a 1-cost, 2 light restore melee page. A single (3-8) slash die that inflicts 1 bleed. "Reload" is a 1-cost page, (3-6) pierce followed by (2-5) blunt. Add a random ammunition to hand, and draw 1 page. "Bayonet Combat" adds two ammunition to their hand, being a (5-7) blunt, (3-5) pierce, and (2-6) block.
Their ranged pages consist of the following. "Suppressing Shot" is a 1-cost (3-7) pierce that inflicts 1 bleed, followed by a (2-7) blunt. "Shock Round" is a 2-cost (4-9) blunt followed by a (3-6) pierce with the first hit having 3 bonus stagger. "Focus Fire" is a 3-cost page with some caveats: it discards the two cheapest pages and draws a new one. The first attack is a (5-15) pierce that inflicts 1 fragile, followed by a (3-7) pierce attack.
Oddly, only "Class and Respect" can be given to other characters, all the other pages are unique to the Thumb.
Ammunition are 0-cost ranged pages that buff other ranged pages they use that scene. I haven't seen the AI ever use them, but they do exist. "Frost Ammunition" adds 1 paralysis and 1 disarm to each successful ranged hit, "Flame Ammunition" adds 2 burn to each successful ranged hit, while "Armour Piercing Ammunition" adds a power-1 effect to all clashes with ranged die. Flame is a (2-6) blunt, the others are (2-6) slash. No pierce, for some reason.
Star of the City: Far Left 1.2
The Thumb only plays by their own rules. Three acts, two floors for reception. And this time, 4v4, not the 5v4 advantage you had last time.
First act is Denis and three Thumb Solados. Denis has one unique page: "Summary Judgement" is a (3-7) evade, (3-6) slash, and (4-9) pierce. Denis' unique passive is Additional Supplies, being able to add a random ammunition to his hand after exhausting 3 Ammunition.
Second act is Boris and three Thumb Soldatos. Boris has the Grit passive, which is a blanket -1 to all damage and stagger damage taken, including damage taken from non-attacks. He actually has 3 unique combat pages.
"Guarding Stance" is a 1-cost (2-6) block, a (3-7) evade, and a (2-5) slash. "Steel Knuckles" is a double (3-7) blunt attack with a (3-7) slash counter, that draws one page on use. "Punishment" isn't just unique to Boris, it's exclusive to him, and ignores all power gain or loss on BOTH sides. It consists of (2-6) block, (4-8) block, (2-4) slash, and then (3-7) blunt... but the die is recycled 3 times.
Boris is nasty. And endured to blunt and slash stagger. But notably, he's not in the list of people that can use ammo-related pages like the rest of the Thumb's key pages. He's only included in Summary Judgement.
Final act is Kalo, Katriel, and two Thumb Soldatos. Katriel has Empowered First Shot as her unique passive, which raises the power of the first offensive die in Ranged pages. She doesn't have any unique pages.
Kalos has two unique passives: The Boss's Orders gives out 1 protection to 2 random allies every scene(so it's like an upgraded Salvador passive), while Threefold Tenacity increases the power of every 3rd offensive die.
His unique combat page is "Le Regole", granting 3 random allies a +1 to damage dealt next scene. It consists of a (4-9) pierce, (4-8) slash, with a (3-8) counter block. Kalo is double endured to Blunt, while Katriel is just endured to Pierce.
Star of the City: Near Left 1.1
Similar to how the Cane Office is a stronger Charge deck, this is a stronger Smoke deck. Five Church of Gears Worshippers make up the first act. They have Puffy Brume, but also 3 more passives. Internal Combustion Engine grants +1 smoke when gaining smoke from combat pages. Meat Gear gives 2-3 additional damage to the first offensive die of each combat page. While Thought Gear gives evade die +1 power.
In terms of pages... "Guidance of the Gears" is a 1-cost (3-7) block (2-5) pierce combo, that restores 2 light and grants 2 smoke. "Defence Order" is a 2-cost page of a (5-8) block and (4-8) slash. Oddly, it has a mention to Smoke, so I think it has another effect you can't see from just checking the page. "Autonomous Rush" is a (4-8) slash and (3-7) pierce. It grants 2 smoke on use, and inflicts 2 smoke on the Slash die landing a hit.
"Assault Order" is a (2-6) evade, (3-8) pierce, and (3-7) slash, with the offensive die gaining power if the target has smoke. Finally, "Vapour" is a hefty (8-15) single slash die, granting 3 smoke to self on use.
This raises a rather interesting question. Do you want your own smoke exploiting decks to pair up against them, knowing that "Assault Order" is going to get buffed versus your own librarians, but never having to worry about the smoke stacks increasing damage taken? Or just stick Puffy Brume on everyone and hope for the best?
Either way, Act 2 is where things get nasty, because we now have Argalia in their forces. His passives are Shimmering, making him a boss level threat, and "The Blue Reverberation", making him immune to ranged damage. I feel this also applies to Ego pages, but I am certain it does not apply to mass attacks.
"Scout" is a (5-8) evade die, followed by a (3-5) pierce die that inflicts 4 bleed. It possesses two (4-8, 4-7) counter block die. I see him use this on turn 1, but that might just be a deck coincidence.
"Preludio" is a (3-5) slash die, and a (2-4) blunt die, both of them granting all allies +1 strength and endurance if they hit. Followed by two (4-7) block counter die. "Trails of Blue" is weird: (7-11) slash die, three (4-7) counter block die, but the whole thing has an on use effect of preventing his target's die power from being altered at all next scene.
"Tempestuous Danza" is a Mass Attack, a 4 die page that doesn't call itself Individual or Summation, so I can't tell from a glance how to handle it. It isn't too devastating, at least, being a (7-7) slash, (6-6) blunt, (5-5) slash, (2-4) blunt attack.
Rudest of all is that he runs at 250 HP. Most of these skills seem built to make direct clashing somewhat easy to succeed at, but one-sided attacks a lot harder to punish.
My #1 absolutely most important recommendation: Think very carefully about what page you assign to Roland, and do not bring Shi Corp. If you do have to bring a Shi Corp page, do not equip it to Roland.
The Snow Queen starts out with all Librarians except Roland encased in a Prison of Ice. Dropping them to 0 HP releases the Librarian inside, and the Snow Queen can't be hurt while these are active. She takes no damage for Burn or Bleed, and gains more light and speed die based on the number of broken prisons. She's ineffective versus slash, endured versus pierce, neutral to blunt damage and stagger weak to blunt.
After 2 or more prisons break, she gains a mass attack in her deck. When the third one is broken, everyone regains 50% health, and she is guaranteed to play a mass attack page. She burns through 5% of HP of all Librarians each turn. She also has a unique status ailment called Chill, which inflicts bind and disarm if you have 4 or more stacks, and disable if you have 6 or more (thankfully cleansing those stacks)
Each prison will alternate between two combat pages, "Biting Cold", a single (2-4) Block die that grants itself the effect of "deal 5 damage to the attacker on taking a hit" for two turns, and "Crystalise", a triple (4-6, 4-6, 3-5) block die that deals 4 damage to self upon losing clashes. Slash damage is ineffective, pierce is normal, blunt is weak, and all stagger types are ineffective. Snow Queen herself has quite the mix of combat pages. "First Kiss" is a (5-10) ranged pierce attack that inflicts 3 chill on hit, followed by two (3-6) block die. "Ice Splinters" is two (3-8, 3-7) ranged pierce die. These are her attacks favoured while there are only ice prisons.
When more allies are out of their cell, you can see more pages played. "Second Kiss" is a melee attack, two (3-8, 3-7) slash die, both inflicting 1 chill on hit. "Frigid Gaze" is another melee, (6-10) blunt damage that grants +2 strength on clash win, followed by (4-10) block. Because it's clash win and not hit... don't use multi-die ranged pages against it.
"Blizzard" is the mass attack she plays the scene after all prisons break. Two (5-8) blunt die, both inflicting 3 chill on hit. This is also around the time I start seeing "Third Kiss" played, which is a (3-7) slash that inflicts 1 chill on hit, a (6-8) block die that inflicts 2 chill on clash win, and then a (2-5) blunt attack that gains bonus damage based on chill stacks on hit.
This is a mix between endurance and offence. Your characters will die purely to attrition damage if the fight drags on for too long, there's nothing that can be done to stop that. It's a question of "Do I build to heal up so I can reduce the amount of HP I lose to her passive", or going all in to shatter her ASAP.
Well, they finally got the eyeball birds into the lore. Big Bird's attacks cannot be redirected. Every 3 scenes, he uses Dazzle, which enchants one librarian. An enchanted librarian cannot be targeted by the adds, and all non-enchanted librarians get a copy of the "Birdcage" combat page.
Defeating the Eyeball Chicks gives a combat page capable of staggering Big Bird. Big Bird is ineffective to all damage types, chicks are doubled endured to blunt, and stagger weak to pierce. Big Bird's attacks: "Dazzle" is a ranged attack, (1-1) blunt damage followed by two (15-15) block die. "Patrol" is three (15-15) block die that lose power when clashing against "Lullaby".
Eyeball Chicks attacks: "Peck" is a triple (3-6, 3-5, 3-5) pierce attack, which gains 3 power against targets with slower speed. Annoying, considering they both roll 3-5 speed die. "Intense Stare" is a (3-7) dodge followed by a (4-9) pierce, the latter forcing you to target that chick next turn if it hits. "Occular Stab" is a (6-10) pierce that inflicts 4 bind, followed by a (2-7) pierce. "Clumsy Jog" is a double (2-8, 2-7) evade die where clash lose inflicts 2 bind next scene.
Now, it's rather important that you do not let them get off "Intense Stare". Or if they do, make sure it's on whoever is going to be Enchanted next turn. Enchantment will make the victim uncontrollable, using "Dazzled" on Big Bird. It's a (1-1) blunt die, which is pathetic. But it's also when Big Bird uses "Salvation", a devastating (30-30) slash counter die that will instakill employees suffering enchantment. "Birdcage" is a (2-2) blunt attack that can be targetted onto allies to prevent them from triggering it, as (against librarians only) it breaks a speed die of the target and inflicts immobilise next scene. But because you should be using double speed die characters, they're likely to trigger that counter if you can't hit them twice over.
Honestly, this fight is hell. You can't control who the Big Bird targets, and the small birds are 100% capable of screwing over your ability to stop the enchanted ally from reaching Big Bird. If you have any counter die or block die unused by the end of the scene, Big Bird can deal a lot of stagger damage with his (15-15) block die. Make sure to clash Lullaby AGAINST Patrol, any other die won't prevent lullaby from working... but it won't get the power debuff, so you'll take stagger damage. Also keep in mind that Lullaby will add itself back to your bookshelf after its use, so... as easy as it is, try not to get it on Thumb pages whose hands fill quickly with garbage ammunition cards.
This is one of those times where I look at the fight, and think "How could I hope to handle this nonsense?"
Block Die are very useful this fight. All of your enemies have "In Your Sight" passive, which doubles the stagger damage taken. Three Heaven's Thorns, and one Burrowing Heaven. Most damage types are endured, but pierce is doubly ineffective.
The Heaven's Thorn adds have a very nasty debuff called "Don't Look Away." If a librarian engages in combat against another character, all other librarians take damage equal to 40% HP. But they also have "Invisible String of Connection", which inflicts feeble next scene, based on the number of combat pages used against them during the battle (encouraging you not to get 1-sided attacks off). The Burrowing Heaven itself only becomes active if no thorns are awake, and uses a mass attack the scene it does become active. It also inflicts 10 feeble while active, making those deflect pages far more tempting. When it does become active, it will start spawning new heaven's thorn adds every 3 scenes. This means you want one dead in three turns or less, otherwise damage is going to very quickly spiral out of control with their "Don't Look Away" passives (they delay awakening by 1 turn if the current active enemy is staggered)
On the Thorns: Notably, they all use purely Counter Die pages. "Scarlet Spikes" consists of two (3-6) counter pierce die, which inflict 3 bleed on hit, and one (3-6) counter block die. "Outstretching Thorns" is a (4-8) counter pierce die that inflicts 3 fragile on hit, and a (4-6) counter block die that heals by damage dealt. "Bony Barbs" is a (3-6) counter block followed by a (3-7) pierce that inflicts 3 bleed on hit.
Just getting through these bloody thorns is already a challenge. Do not misread the status like I did, and think that staggering a thorn will delay "Dormant" from activating. It won't, it's specifically the boss itself being staggered that delays a new thorn from appearing.
On the Burrower: "Your Own Heaven" is the Mass Attack. (3-8) pierce, followed by (5-9) pierce that heals by damage dealt."Lean Pinions" is a (3-8) counter pierce, (3-8) counter block, and (2-6) counter pierce, with both pierce inflicting 3 bleed on hit. "Bloody Wings" is a (6-10) counter pierce inflicting 6 bleed on hit.
When 1 thorn reappears, it thankfully leaves combat, so it's back to trying to kill those thorns in 3 turns or less. But honestly? Try to stagger it and then one-shot it before that happens.
This battle is quite capable of needing you to restructure your library from the ground up. Endurance buffs are paramount, you need to win clashes with block die as often as possible, so Combat Preparations and Iron Wall will make for handy cards to play. If you have Boris and Punishment, you can use that to bypass the feeble debuffs (if you're expecting them to be staggered this turn).
As the only attack that isn't a counter die is the mass attack, you should focus on manipulating which counter die you clash with by carefully selecting your speed die. Counter Die all on one page have this frustrating tendency to act differently to counter die from multiple pages, I'm giving this as a heads up. Expect them to get off one-sided attacks with theirs.
Extra note: Apparently, Sturdy Defence from the Liu reception is a good page to use here. The extreme range on the block die makes staggering the opponent very likely to happen... I just didn't think about it, due to how much trouble in the past I've had getting that Clash Win bonus.
Mountain of Smiling Bodies
Well, if they wanted to make sure you're unsettled by the new monstrosity, they succeeded.
Four Melted Corpses, and one actual Mountain of Smiling Bodies (has three die, locked to 2-3 speed). Corpses are Stagger-ineffective, but neutral to all damage. Mountain is ineffective to slash, endured to pierce, and normal to blunt. All the adds have Rot, which deals 8 damage to anyone that hits them, and inflict 1 fragile. But... the boss has 3 passives, and the first determines how you'll approach the fight.
In Search of Corpses means it'll prioritise using "Devour" on allies (Specifically, if it has a devour card, it will be used against an ally. So if it uses other pages, they go against your team). If it defeats an ally, it recovers 30% of current HP. Since it also has healing on its combat pages, it's rather tricky to determine which kills it shouldn't be allowed to have.
The second ability is Divisible Yet Addable. If it reaches zero HP, it transforms to stage 1. It transforms to Stage 3 upon getting full HP (350 HP). Back in LC, you'd have to defeat it multiple times, once for every form upgrade, and that applies here. If it eats any corpses, then it's going straight to phase 3... And I can't really tell if that's the absolute worst thing that could happen, or just very bad, as it does instantly remove all the adds, so you could use this to warm up your emotion levels so you can go in strong... but I don't know if Phase 3 is safe to "warm up" in. The third ability is Terrifying Laughter, granting 1 strength every scene, and using "Horrid Screech" every 2 scenes. This includes the first scene. It's a mass attack page (thankfully, only on your side, so no worry about it getting a faster chance to kill one of the corpses) consisting of two (4-8) individual blunt attacks. The first deals 4 stagger damage on hit, the second deals 8 stagger damage on hit.
Of course, this ability changes should it reach stage 3. Then it gets Putrid Vomit, which grants +2 strength each scene, and uses the "Vomit" page every two turns. A (10-12) blunt summation mass attack, inflicting 5 fragile, 3 bleed, and 3 disarm THIS scene. And you might as well up that to 12-14 power range, because of the strength boost.
The corpses all have a single attack: a 2-cost "Pained Wail", two (2-6, 2-4) blunt die that both inflict 2 stagger damage on hit. This is ranged, so plan accordingly (and be grateful it can't be spammed) On the monster itself:
"Devour" is what it targets onto its allies. Two (5-8) pierce attacks that restore 7 HP on hit. This makes keeping its health from reaching the cap quite tricky. Because it consistently rolls low speed die, you can appropriately judge when you need to go all in and when you need to hold back, so it doesn't get those massive heals from killing an ally.
When there are no bodies to devour, it'll use "Devour" against your forces, but it also will use "Flop Down", a (5-9) blunt attack with a very devastating "on hit" effect. 10 stagger damage, inflicts stagger resistance down, and heals 20 HP. Just as well it won't use this on its allies, because that would make the fight altogether too much.
When it goes down to its first phase, you can finally finish it off. No strength buffs, only two speed die, but it has higher speed. When you finish it off, you'll still have to kill the corpses, but that's more a side note than a problem.
The ABSOLUTE trick to this fight, is to ignore the adds. They're too punishing to attack. Instead, try to get one-sided attacks off on the boss as much as possible. Heavy debuffs are nice, but the main point is to that if you pile enough punishment on the boss, he won't be outhealing the damage you deal.
My recommendations, if you're struggling, is to equip Grit, Health Hauler and Mind Hauler passives so you're outpacing the incoming damage from the adds. If you worry about them getting one-sided attacks off, equip Puffy Brume passives and use "Smoking Pipe" pages.
Scaredy Cat and The Road Home
So we have three things to deal with. Home, which does nothing (and is immune to all damage), The Road Home, who instantly fails you if it hits Home with the "Friends, let's go together!" page, and Scaredy Cat, who is immune to damage while The Road Home is alive.
The Road Home will use a mass attack if her attack towards home gets cancelled three times. Hitting any librarian will spawn a Home. But if nobody is hit, then it suffers stagger, and the Home is spawned the scene after. She has 3 battle die.
Scaredy Cat will gain strength proportional to the number of times Road Home was attacked THIS scene. It has four battle die.
On the Girl
"Let's Go, Together!" Is a mass attack. Three (3-6) blunt die, with the effect of adding "Yellow Brick Road" to two librarians. "Play Tag" is a ranged card, three (3-8) evade die that make hitting her very tricky.
Importantly: Whoever she targets for her mass attack is going to need to roll three times, yes. But next turn, they will have a very important role to play. She will use "Friends! Let's Go Home!" On those two librarians, and then Home. The pages cannot be redirected, but the final attack (always on Home) will be negated if both the early two pages fail to hit. This is a basic (4-4) blunt die page that staggers the target on hit.
On Scaredy Cat
It focuses on Evade and Slash die. "Grrr..." is a one-cost page: (3-11) evade die, followed by two (3-5, 3-4) slash die. "Rawr!" is a three cost page: (3-6) evade, followed by (6-10) slash. "Growl!" is a double (3-8, 3-7) slash die, for zero cost.
Scaredy Cat will roll (1-1) speed die on turn one, but on the next turn, it's Road Home that gets these super slow die, and he'll instead be rolling the normal speeds. His attacks will also gain +5 power versus people with the Yellow Brick Road status, so try to intercept as many as you can.
"You Wicked Wizard!" Is her mass attack. (12-12) Summation blunt attack.
"Alertness" is a ranged page used by Scaredy Cat the turn after Road Home's mass attack (for me, she was staggered, but this could also be what it uses regardless). Four (3-4, 3-5, 3-6, 4-6) blunt die. The first three die all have On Hit, inflict Fragile this scene (but inflict varying amounts, 2, 3, and 4).
The final page played is "Nervous as a cat". Three (1-1) block die, inflicts 10 stagger damage to self upon losing... If you get past Road Home, then this second part means nothing.
Star of the City: Far Left 2
Oh, goody. The Proselytes again. They now have the Respiration passive, to ensure they'll always be able to play something. (save their "Will of the Prescript" page.)
They've mixed up their deck a bit with new pages. "Multislash" is a 1-cost page, (3-6) slash followed by (1-4) blunt. Draws a new page, and if singleton, restores 2 light.
"Binding Chains" is what you need to beware. It's a 2-cost page, (3-8) blunt and (2-7) pierce. If the second die wins the clash, it reduces the power of your next die by 2. Nastily, at the start of a clash, if Singleton, all die power is reduced 1, so... it's going to be hell in a handbasket to handle.
Like before, they will focus fire your people down. You probably won't get through without losing someone, but you probably won't lose as much as you would back in the original proxy fight. There's only 1 floor, but two acts, and the second is going to cause some problems. Two Proselytes, but now with three Obj D'Art pages making life miserable.
Esther, Hubert and Gloria all have the Shimmering and Locked Potential passives, along with "Grace of the Prescript." Esther's unique passive is "Raging Torrent", which draws a new page every time they use 4 unique combat pages. Gloria and Hubert have "Breaking Pressure", causing all defensive die to lose 1 power in a clash. Esther is double blunt endured, Hubert is double pierce endured, and Gloria is double slash endured.
Now, on their combat pages. Each of them possess "Unlock-1", a basic zero cost (2-6) slash attack. But using it, the page will exhaust and grant them the "Unlock-2" page, which is a (2-6) slash followed by (1-3) pierce. Using that page exhausts it, and grants "Unlock-3". (3-7) slash, (2-4) pierce, while also restoring light and drawing a page.
That's all a mouthful. And it's also unrelated to the "Blade Unlocked" state, which lets them use exceptionally dangerous unique key pages. This stage just happens from using enough unique combat pages in battle. Esther gets "Castigation", which is a four cost page that reduces the power of die clashing against it by 8. A (6-10) pierce attack, that on hit will inflict from 0-40 damage and stagger damage. This attack also has a (3-7) pierce counter die.
Hubert's Blade Unlocked page is "Decapitation". A four cost singular (10-25) slash die, that on hit inflicts 1 feeble and 8 bleed next scene. But Gloria has the nastiest... a five cost mass attack page called "Eradication. (12-24) summation attack, inflicts 2 feeble this scene on hit. Other combat pages they have: "Swift Trace", and "Heavy Trace", both of which ignore power loss and gain on their own page, and the page they clash with. Given that these are obscene rolling numbers, with "Heavy Trace" being two (5-8, 4-8) blunt die, and "Swift Trace" being (3-9) evade, (3-7) slash and (3-7) pierce. The attacks for the latter page both inflict 5 damage on hit, but thankfully, only Esther has this attack. "Heavy Trace" is in Esther and Hubert's deck, but not Gloria's.
"Somber Procuration" is a two-cost page, being a (2-6) block, a (2-5) pierce that gains 4 power if singleton, and a (3-6) pierce. "Eliminate" is a 3-cost page, and if it kills the target, it grants +1 strength to all allies. Two (5-9, 4-9) slash attacks, both of them gaining 1 power if the target has health below 50%.
For some reason, they don't have any Speed passives, but they'll have multiple battle die in the actual fight. Esther has 3 battle die, all others have 2.
Honestly? This fight is an extreme drag. Fighting Proxies is frustrating. Following up with some legit powerhouses. It might take Star of the City key pages, with appropriately potent passives assigned to them. My successful team used a lot of "Health Hauler", "Mind Hauler", and "Firm as a Mountain" passives, but they were also using the boss pages, who I managed to kill in the past, but not all at once.
Netzach's floor is probably best for the job. The usual team-Endurance stacking strategy doesn't work due to them having a lot of "ignores power gain/loss when using this page" effects, so you might want to use his floor for the teamwide recovery pages. Grit, Health Hauler, Mind Hauler, Firm Like the Mountain and Vigilant in Peace to aid in survival... it's not fun. But it can be done.
Star of the City: Near Right 2
Liu Section 1
Well, the first point of extreme note is that these common fixers have new combat pages. "Single-Point Stab" is a 0-cost page consisting of a single (3-8) pierce attack, inflicts 1 burn on hit, that has a very interesting card draw effect. On use, it guarantees all copies of the page that they possess will be drawn next scene. Since each fixer has 3 of these pages, they're never going to run out of these free attacks to chain together. "Burning Flash" is a 2-cost page consisting of a single (4-9) slash attack, inflicting 1 burn on hit. But on use, if they have another copy of the page in their hand, they discard that page, draw a new page, and add the combat die to their current attack. These two pages have a nasty synergy: "Single-Point Stab" ensures that their weak pages are constantly in their hand, so "Burning Flash" becomes very likely to draw itself, have a rare chance to draw "Frontal Assault" for low damage, and a rare chance to draw "Emotional Turbulence" for a lot of high-rolling die. All these fixers possess the usual Liu fixer passives of Speed and Fervor, but as a bonus have the Singular Strike passive as well, making their many single strike attacks far more vicious.
Act 2 is where things get REALLY nasty. Xiao has Speed II. You know, the thing that Yujin has, but is balanced by the broken battle die from Exhaustion? Yeah, she just has three battle die flat out. Her other passives are "Force of a Wildfire", which inflicts 1 burn and the titular status ailment for 2 scenes. If someone suffering that ailment is defeated or staggered, then their burn stacks will be applied to everyone on that side. Very nasty stuff. She also has Miris and Chun's personal passives. Miris' passive is "Hugging Fire, Sitting on Brushwood". When someone hit by this him take burn damage at the end of a scene he attacked them on, they also take stagger damage equal to half of that burn damage. Chun's passive is "Furious Fire Rending the Skies", which grants double burn infliction via combat pages to two random combat pages at the start of each scene.
Miris and the Fixers have Singular Strike, and Chun has Blunt Mastery (+1 to blunt die). The unique pages all carry nasty, highly expensive new pages. Chun and Xiao have "Violent Flame", a relatively tame looking 1-cost page, a (3-8) slash and a (2-6) pierce, with the first hit inflicting 1 burn on hit. But like Sharpened Blade in the past, this has a nasty combat start effect: all burn stacks inflicted by combat pages from this character this scene inflict 1 extra stack. All of them have "Fiery Waltz" and "Fervid Emotions". "Fiery Waltz" is a 3-cost page, consisting of a (4-8) evade, a (5-9) slash, and a (5-9) blunt attack. When the offensive die land a hit on a target with 4 or more burn, they inflict 1 burn to all enemies. "Fervid Emotions" is a 4-cost page, consisting of a (7-11) slash, a (6-11) blunt, and a (3-8) slash counter die. It gains 1 power for every two emotion levels they have, but what makes it a nasty combo with their passives is that on hit, rather than just inflicting 2 burn and being done with it, they inflicting 1 burn twice. So that means it stacks nastily with "Violent Flame" and the Furious Fire passive. Chun and Miris have "Flaming Dragon Fist", another 4-cost page that consist of (3-8) block, and a devastating (13-28) blunt attack that inflicts 6 burn. But most devastating of all is Xiao's personal page. "Raging Storm: Love" cannot be used on the first turn, but it is a 5-cost mass attack, a double (3-8, 8-20) individual slash attack, where each hit inflicts 2 burn.
Also. Xiao is practically a boss save for lack of Shimmering, as she has 400 HP. Your best bet is to use EGO mass attacks to take everyone else down, and then hammer Xiao once she's alone. Only Chun drops a book, Miris and Xiao will leave upon reaching HP thresholds.
Servant of Wrath
Well, no more falling back on old strats of how to handle a magical girl. Similar to good old Red Hood, Servant of Wrath appears on your side, but still as a hostile target. She HAS to finish off the Hermit of the Azure Forest to win the fight: If a librarian gets the killing blow, or the Servant dies, then you lose. She'll prioritise hitting Hermit's Staves over the hermit, unfortunately. The servants will resort to Mass Attack pages after taking 30 total damage while staves are active. But this page is also used when hitting the Hermit, and used every 2 scenes after. The staves themselves will prioritise hitting the Servant of Wrath. The hermit gains +5 power from clashing against the servant, and takes zero damage from Bleed, Burn, and Erosion. He plays a mass attack every 2 scenes while staves are present... changing behaviour after all the staves are defeated. The first scene of the new cycle, it attacks the servant. The second scene, he plays a mass attack to summon more Hermit's Staves. The Servant is critically weak to pierce, endured to slash, and neutral to blunt. Staves are endured to pierce and slash, and normal to blunt damage, pierce stagger and slash stagger. They're fatal to blunt stagger. The Hermit is ineffective to both blunt damage types, endured to pierce stagger, and normal to the rest.
All that, and we haven't even seen their attacks. The hermit plays Ranged pages. "Kindly Make Way" is two (3-7) pierce attacks, and a (2-5) evade die. "Huhuhu..." is two (2-8, 2-5) evade die, with the effect of granting 2 strength and endurance two Staves next turn. "Hold Still" is the mass attack: two (4-8, 4-7) individual blunt attacks, with the second dealing 8 stagger damage on hit. It also heals all staves by 8 on use.
The Staves have "Crackle", two (2-6) blunt attacks, and "Crunch", a (2-7) evade, a (2-5) blunt attack, and another (2-7) evade. The Servant relies an awful lot on Blunt attacks. "Aaah!" is a double (3-8, 3-7) blunt counter, where both hits inflict 1 erosion. "AAACK!" is an actual attack, being three (3-9, 3-7, 3-7) blunt attacks, inflicting 2 erosion on hit for the first two hits, and 1 erosion on the second. It deals 10 damage to the Servant, but grants +2 strength next scene. "Grrhrr!" is a double (4-8) blunt attack, inflicting 1 stack of Erosion on hit each. Erosion is a rather interesting ailment. At the end of each scene, they take damage equal to stacks, and lose 1 stack. But they also take damage and stagger damage equal to erosion stacks whenever they take hits. Servant's Mass Attack is "Embodiments of Evil", an individual triple (3-7, 3-6, 3-5) blunt attack, each inflicting 2 erosion on their target. Hermit's new attacks when out of allies are "Dear Companion!" A nasty (6-10) pierce attack that staggers the target on hit and applies 1 stack of "Cane". Luckily, it'll be at (1-1) speed, so you can easily redirect those. "You Shall Fall!" is the next attack. Three uses of this (7-11) ranged attack, where it gains power times 3 the stacks of "Cane" they possess. Not nice. The final die is "Rise, Minions!", which is a (15-15) summation attack, that summons 3 canes next scene. Regardless of whether he's staggered or not, so try to have him staggered before this, so the Servant of Wrath can exploit it.
If you can get the Hermit down to 1HP on the same turn that he's under attack by the Servant of Hatred, then you win, even though it kills all your librarians. I'm pretty sure that's a bug that'll be patched out.
Uh... Hm. That's new.
In the Name of Love and Hate is the first phase. Like the Queen of Hate, transforms upon full hysteria. Lost by winning clashes or attacking marked characters, gained from losing clashes or being attacked by marked characters. Mass Attack every 4 scenes, marks a single target to be vulnerable to all attacks and prioritised by the boss. (It says Fatally Weak, but I just see Weak) Pre-transformed: "Arcana Beats" is the melee page that inflicts the mark, being a single (6-10) blunt die. "With Love" is a ranged (6-10) pierce attack, followed by two (6-8) block die. "In The Name of Justice!" is a ranged double (5-8, 4-8) pierce attack, gaining +5 power if one-sided. "In the Name of Love and Justice~" is a ranged attack consisting of two (3-7, 4-8) pierce die, who upon clash lose weaken the final (5-14) die, that's capable of inflicting 3 bind on hit, and grants 2 strength next scene. The big issue with this part is that due to lack of battle die and counter effects, emotion gains are very low. So your usual early rushes aren't going to be too effective. It's endured to all damage and slash stagger, normal versus everything else. Might actually need to trigger the transformation due to get some proper damage in, as that reverses the elemental resistances: normal to all damage, but endured to all stagger. Post-transformed: "Arcana Slave" is a (16-20) blunt summation attack. "In The Name of Love and Hate" is a ranged double (5-9) pierce attack followed by a (7-10) block. The first attack inflicts 2 fragile, the second inflicts 2 disarm. "Light of Hatred" is a ranged double (4-8, 7-13) pierce attack that heals on the second hit, amount based on how it rolled. And "Hatred" is a (8-14) blunt attack that marks the target.
Phase 2 is Blind Rage, and you can't cheese it this time. Blind Rage itself has no new passives. But what's problematic is that all the enemies have the passive "The Exploited". You lose if they go to 1 HP from anyone other than Blind Rage's attacks. The nastiest thing is that you could entirely end up in a position where attacking will cost you the fight, but not attacking leaves you vulnerable to a mass attack. I think the worst thing is that this can 100% get you staggered the same turn that the phase changes over. My recommendation is to keep hammering the hermit while still letting Blind Rage get the kills on the dolls. Debuff ailments like feeble will definitely help with when they go head to head. Judge whether the stagger from the mass attack will be enough to stagger the Hermit. If so, leave it all to your friend and don't even fight back against the mass attacks. But if it will, ensure none of those attacks can get off one-sided.
PS: Apparently, the passives on the dolls are an error, and it's still only the hermit that needs to die by SoW's hand.
Sword Sharpened by Tears is phase 3. The boss can't be targetted unless despair swords fail to deal damage. Killing a sword with a blessing causes them all to despair. It's not that different to the original, the problem is that it's now mixed in with everything else. Normal swords have "Faded Faith", a 2-cost triple (3-7, 3-6, 3-5) pierce attack. "Weathered Pride" is their 1-cost attack, two (3-8, 3-7) pierce attacks. Blessed Swords have "Sword Sharpened with Tears", a (5-10) pierce die with the %hp effect, and then two (4-6, 4-6) block die. "Sword laced with Grief" is a (3-10) evade followed by two (4-8, 4-9) pierce attacks with the %hp effect. Like before, only pierce damage works on them. Despair swords have three different pages to play: "Heart Piercing Sword" is a (5-10) pierce attack, "Heart Tearing Sword" is a double (4-7, 4-6) slash attack, and "Heart Breaking Sword" is a triple (3-7, 3-6, 2-5) blunt attack. All are ranged pages, with the usual "deal percentage damage based on the target's max HP and my die roll" effect.
Phase 4 is Gold Rush. Brilliant Bliss will appear every 3 scenes and give you pages for negating the 4th scenes special combat page. If you don't negate the majority of them, then it gives strength and haste. If enough people negate it, it staggers Gold Rush. All damage is endured, all stagger is ineffective. "For Happiness" is a double (3-9, 4-8) blunt attack with a (3-5) counter die. "Sparkling Strike" is a (6-10) blunt attack that on hit, destroys all die on the page and inflicts 2 disarm and bind next scene. It's followed by two (3-5, 3-5) block die. "Ecstasy of Triumph" is a three blunt die attack: the first die rolls (3-9) and reduces next die power on clash win. The second die rolls (4-8) and destroys the next die on clash win. The final die rolls (4-7) and grants 2 strength next scene on hit. Finally, it has a (3-5) block die. "Overwhelming Luster" is a (3-7) die that boosts the next die by 2 on clash win, and then a staggering (6-12) blunt that breaks a speed die next scene while inflicting 2 feeble on hit. And counter block die, like usual.
You cannot reduce Gold Rush below 50% HP until it changes forms, and this form also gets bonus damage equal to bleed stacks on the target on hit. It also heals to full upon transforming... for some reason. "Fixation" is a (3-7) blunt attack, clash LOSE gives the next die 2 power, and that die is (7-13) power, inflicting 7 bleed and granting two strength. (3-5) block counter die. "Consuming Desire" is a triple (4-8, 5-9, 4-7) blunt attack, with a (3-5) block counter. On the first two die losing clashes, the third die gains 2 power. The third die on hit recovers 12 HP, and inflicts 5 bleed. "Hunger" is the most basic attack KoG has, two (3-8, 4-8) blunt die inflicting bleeds, and a (3-6) counter block. "Edacity" is an extremely dirty page. The initial (5-9) die will inflict 5 fragile this scene and destroy all other die on your page on hit, leaving the two followup (3-8, 3-7) hits able to easily get off one-sided attacks for their on hit bonus of inflicting 3 bleed and healing 7 HP. The brilliant bliss are a harder match this time: they aren't vulnerable to damage, so you need that full 20 damage to get their pages. Becomes quite awkward if the portal targets onto Kalos, due to the priority of ranged attacks. "Road of the King" is the special combat page. A triple (6-10, 7-11, 8-12) blunt attack that kills and heals 25HP on the third die's hit. What makes this A grade obnoxious is that if your hand has too many pages, you DON'T get the block pages. So make 100% that whoever is targeted by the portal gets the killing blow, but they also aren't using page draw pages (remember, at high emotion, using more than one combat page also draws a new page).
Tiphereth Finale Part 2
And now we have Nihil phase. So, we have four statues, each of them representing a magical girl. If one is broken by a librarian, they will stand in for the librarian that broke them. If broken by a magical girl, then they replace the lowest HP librarian. Each has special key pages, stats, passives, and combat pages. Nihil's Passives: All Returns to Nil: It cycles between Nihil, Greed, Hate, Despair, and Wrath, with different passives and combat pages for each. Pointless Endeavour: Takes no stagger damage outside of Wrath mode, and takes no damage from bleed or Burn. Speed Dice cannot be sealed Worthless Greed: Combat pages used against Nihil lose 5 power, unless the user is Magical Girl of Happiness. Losing a clash gives a "Fragment of Bliss" to an ally. Use's a Mass Attack on the second Scene. Negating the attack costs 50 HP and shifts it to Hate mode. But if it does hit an ally, it deals 10 damage to all librarians and restores 20 HP. Also deals bonus damage equal to stacks of bleed on the target. Pointless Hate: Combat pages used against the character lose 5 power unless the Magical Girl of Love is the user. After winning 10 clashes in total, uses the mass attack Arcana Slave" on the next scene. But if the Magical Girl of Love uses "Arcana Slave", Nihil loses 50 HP and shifts to "Despair" mode. Meaningless Despair: Combat pages used against it lose 5 power unless it's the "Magical Girl of Justice". If all die on a Combat page used are a loss or a draw in a clash, the page is locked out next scene. When all three pages are locked out, it loses 50 HP and moves to Wrath phase. Senseless Wrath: Combat pages used against it lose 5 power unless it's the Magical Girl of "Courage". It uses a mass attack every 2 scenes, and loses 50 HP and shifts to Nihil mode upon being staggered. That is an OBSCENE amount of details to keep in mind. Ossified Despair becomes the Girl of Justice, Petrified Hate becomes the Girl of Love, Lapidified Wrath becomes the Girl of Courage, and Fossilized Greed becomes the Girl of Happiness (so it goes Greed/Happiness, Hate/Love, Despair/Justice, and Wrath/Courage). So if you don't have four people by this point, then you're kind of screwed. His very first attack is a mass attack (15-15) summation, the problem being that everyone it targets is inflicted with 7 Feeble, 7 Disarm and 7 Fragile, ensuring that only Magical Girls can do anything of use.
All your new units are "A real magical girl". This passive gives them 3 pages each turn, and restores all light. Note that they lose any abnormality pages upon arriving, and have a light cap of 6. All magical girls possess "Hope", which grants 2 strength and endurance to whoever Nihil targets (IE: this phase's magical girl). So that can be 6-8 bonuses to your combat pages, depending on if you use Hope on the girl herself or not. Magical Girl of Happiness: Has 250 HP, and 102 Stagger resist. Endured to damage, ineffective to all stagger. Her pages are "Overwhelming Luster", "For Happiness", "Sparkling Strike" and "Road of Gold". Road of Gold is the mass attack with the stagger effect, but since he can't be staggered, that's more flavour text. "Sparkling Strike" will destroy all opponents die, so clash that to one of his triple die attacks. "Overwhelming Luster" gains power on its final hit, making it a good counter to "Fixation". You'll find yourself struggling to match his die numbers, but thankfully, most pages have counter die on them, letting you easily strike back against his one-sided attacks (for the numbers, if everyone including Happiness uses hope, all her counter die will roll 11 minimum). His "Road of Gold" will be rolled the second scene. But thankfully, "Fragment of Bliss" will bypass the 8 card limit, so you don't have to worry about getting one-sided shots in to get that page to everyone. It rolls (20-20), which means even with that 7 disarm, a fifth librarian will be able to block that attack. Magical Girl of Love: Endured to all damage and slash stagger, neutral to the rest. 200 HP, 60 stagger rest. Her pages are "With Love!", "In the Name of Love and Justice~", "In the Name of Justice", and "Arcana Beats~!". "Arcana Slave!" is in her hand, but you won't afford it until you win 10 clashes. Remember that aside from Hope, neither side has counter die, so you may want to think about whether to use this on the Love magical girl. "Light of Hatred" is the enemy attack to watch for, as it rolls a (7-12) on the second hit. But there's nothing stopping you from having the Girl of Happiness help out with one-sided "Sparkling Strike" and "Overwhelming Luster" attacks to keep him debuffed. "In the Name of Justice!" is one of the few attacks to roll normal numbers versus Nihil when it's not his turn (since the one-sided attack gains 5 power, and his "not your turn" passive will reduce it by five power)) Magical Girl of Justice: Doubly Endured to all types of damage, 200 HP, 50 Stagger Resist. Her pages are "Sword Tending the Heart", "Sword Embracing the Heart", and "Sword Protecting the Heart." This phase has 3 sword adds that will only target people that aren't the Girl of Justice. A good opportunity to use Mass Attacks to keep them off your back. Match her attacks to have the same number of die as Nihil does. If you got a bind out previous turn, all the better. Her attacks may be underpowered, but they deal %hp damage, so they'll get through eventually. This point needs you to be a lot more clever on how you use the other girls, because those sword adds are all in the "blessing" stance. Magical Girl of Courage: Ineffective to all damage types except blunt, which is damage endured, and neutral to stagger. 220 HP, 100 stagger resist. Her pages are "If I Can be of Help!", "I'll Protect My Friends!" and "I can't Lose Here", with a mass attack I forget the name of. All her attacks inflict Corrosion, which notably is not in the bosses list of ailments its immune to. I kind of killed the boss by this part, so I think it bugged out a bit... Corrosion really stacks up fast.
Technically, in Lobotomy Corp, Little Bird was lower rank than Big Bird. But I made sure to never suppress it, because I'd heard it had a devastating retaliation attack if you did.
We have three Keeper of the Black Forest adds, and the Punishing Bird itself. Forest Keepers will prioritise staggered characters, and gain +2 power with offensive die against slower targets. The Punishing Bird gains +50 power versus offensive die... and will use "Punishment" page against anyone that damaged it the previous scene. This attack cannot be redirected.
The objective is to clash Punishment! versus "Forest Keeper's Lock", as it breaks a chain on the birdcage. Breaking all the chains cages the bird.
Keeper pages: "Cuckoo" is two (3-6, 3-5) block die, followed by a (2-5) blunt die. "Ring" is a rather brutal triple (3-7, 3-7, 3-6) blunt die, where each hit inflicts 1 paralysis and bind next scene. But nastiest of all is "Smack". A single (4-8) blunt die, that on hit will insta-stagger and break all die. Honestly feels like the latter is highly redundant, since you've got the target stagger already. The Little Bird's pages are "Peck", Three (2-4) blunt die. Nothing special, but you need a strong evade die if you want to actually... hurt the bird. One-sided attacks from a slower die can also do the job.
"Punishment" is a single die page... of 90 power. That's not even getting into how much damage that'd be if you were crazy enough to clash against it with an offensive die. Fortunately, "Forest Keeper's Lock" is a 99 power evade die, so once you have it, it's an easy solution.
All enemies use blunt damage, so build your key pages accordingly. You also want to look into strong evade die (and making them stronger) to handle "Ring"... but also strong initial die to handle "Smack".
Star of the City: Near Left 2
They now have a superboss page. You get three floors to receive her. And she has extremely high stats to compensate. Important to note is that you cannot use Patron Librarians of most floors, hard-capping them at four librarians. The exceptions are Roland and Gebura... but you can also use Binah for this reception, letting her unleash some superboss potential of her own. Plan your floors accordingly.
Binah is locked into the Patron Librarian of Philosophy page, and cannot swap out her pages. She has Speed III, and Incomplete Arbiter. The latter takes care of all her page draw needs, as she will draw pages until she gets four (the number of die she has at maximum). Her attacks are all ranged, inflicting the Fairy ailment (deal X damage for every die roll, and deal that damage at the scene end when it halves the current stacks), or other nasty things. She can seal speed die, increase page costs, or prevent die recycling... she also possesses a mass attack. All things considered, her floor is definitely worth using here, since she has the same number of librarians as other floors due to the patron librarian limit.
Of course, that's going into our side's singular advantage. The opponent is a devastating 700HP, 270 stagger juggernaut, double endured to blunt. Each scene , she draws 1 extra page, and restores 1 more light. When her HP hits 350, she fully regains stagger resist and manifests her EGO. Her HP cannot drop below 350 beforehand. And regains "EGO manifested" in 3 scenes after losing it. She gets it on her second scene in a new act, should she change acts after manifesting EGO. The Retaliate passive gives her a singular (4-8) slash die at combat start. The Strongest passive rerolls her slowest speed die to 7 every turn... which means one attack is just impossible to redirect if you don't have a lot of Haste.
Her combat pages are expensive, but built to reduce in cost over time. "Upstanding Slash" is a double (6-9, 5-9) slash die, where dealing 10 or more damage with that page will reduce its cost and draw a new page. "Spear" is a triple (3-7, 3-7, 3-7) pierce die, and dealing 8 or more damage with that page will draw a new page and reduce its cost. "Level Slash" is a double (5-8, 5-8) blunt attack, inflicting 3 bleed on each hit, and if it deals 8 or more damage with this page, then it restores 2 light and reduces the cost. Should say now before I forget to check; for these three pages, it specifies "Other pages of this name", so it's possible that it doesn't apply to Red Mist due to her being singleton. Turns out she adds a bunch more of them to her hand at the start of the act, so she does actually get to benefit these pages. "Focus Spirit" is a (8-12) block and a (5-8) blunt attack, increasing her strength by 3 on the latter's hit. "Great Split: Vertical" is a devastating single (20-39) slash die, that destroys a combat page on another battle die you have on hit. "Great Split: Horizontal" is a summation mass attack. One (28-42) slash die, inflicting 5 bleed.
It can only be used, thankfully, when she's in EGO manifested. So no need to worry about it until you enrage her. Once that happens, though... She gains +2 power to all die. She gains another +1 to all die with every enemy defeated. Only one element is normal, everything else is endured (and which it is will randomise each turn). If she does not deal 40+ damage every scene, then she loses 40% stagger resist, and the whole thing is lost upon being staggered. But small comfort when she's obliterating everything in her path.
My secondary thoughts: What makes her devastating is that EGO phase. She's fine enough in the initial phase. So, the trick is to minimise her ability to capitalise on it. Do what you can to get her to Emotion Level V as soon as possible. Preferably before she can go berserk. That way, her light restores will be gotten out of the way early, and she'll need to start winning heavy clashes with "Level Slash" in order to start playing her heavy cards again. Binah is able to keep her properly chained in a follow up act, and you can have potent pages played against her attempts to get back in gear.
Kalo's protection sharing passive, along with others of that nature, can be used to hamper her combat pages "damage" effects. And as for her Summation attack... Honestly, I've yet to see anyone outroll that. It tends to swing on the heavy side of things. Most combat pages are NOT able to roll a 48 even with heavy buffs.
Price of Silence
It's amazing how every time I think "These abnormalities can't get any worse", they go and do something that makes them worse. Read the entire thing before starting this battle, because the absolutely most important note to make, is that "Price of Silence will start the scene automatically in thirty seconds". Each scene, the combat page silence will be given out. This page will consume 25% of all allies HP, to nullify the forced speedup.
The Price is untargetable. You can only target it if you defeat 12 adds in 12 scenes. If you fail to, then it uses a mass attack on the 13th scene. It adds one new add every scene. The adds have 80 HP and 60 stagger. They will copy the speed die and combat pages of what you used the scene before. They do have pages of their own that they play on their first turn, but I don't ever get to see them, because of the whole-speed up thing. They have no elemental resistance or weaknesses, but they do have one minor problem... the Red buff will increase their die power in one-sided attacks. The yellow buff will increase their power in a clash.
It might just need to be hell-focused on blunt exploitations and emotion boosts. They don't copy your passives, just your decks, so in theory, loading up on Puppet combat pages would do the job. But the rush that this fight forces you into is pretty awful. There's no time to consider how to target the opponent, you just have to go all in and pray that the dice are kind to you.
It's not my build. But I did succeed at this by using someone else's combo. Take the three Index Obj d'Art pages. Attach the "Sooty Thwack" and "Puffy Brume" passives from Wang, the Remembrance passive from the Carnival, and "Kizuna/Extreme Fatigue" from the Shi Corp. Give them a lot of smoke pages, pages from the Church of Gears and Smiling Faces (along with "Unlock-1" and "Multislash"). Leave the final librarian without any key page. Give them the Extreme Fatigue passive, and all the "damage self" pages possible, so they'll die shortly into the fight. and trigger Kizuna.
This sort of power stacking feels extremely dirty. But once you make it past the early rounds, you can one-shot the adds the minute they spawn. I also don't feel like it's going to work when realisation comes around.
The mass attack is three (13-13) slash attacks, that deal pale damage equal to 2xDie power. So that's 78% damage, in addition to 39 HP raw slash damage... chances are you're going to die.
Star of the City Far Right 2
I was kind of hoping that Myo wouldn't be on the chopping block, as we'd talked with her in the past. Oh well. This reception is one of 3 acts versus 2 floors, with each focusing on one of three branches of R Corp. First up is the Reindeer Team. They possess the Triple-R Suit, letting them stockpile 20 charges, rather than the initial 10. They also have Reindeer Treatment, which grants 1 strength for every 30% of max HP lost (caps at 2). Rudolph has these, but also has "Brainwave Charge-focusing Antlers", which adds 2 stagger damage to his attacks if he has 11 or more Charge, and Survivor, which grants 1 strength and endurance for each time he recovers from Stagger (caps at 5). Reindeer troops are stagger resistant to pierce, Rudolph is doubly resistant to blunt, has 4 max light at the start instead of three, and rolls 2-7 speed die. Their combat pages: "Graze the Grass", a 0-cost page consisting of a (3-7) block and a (2-3) pierce. It grants 3 charge and restores 1 light. "Concentration" is a 3-cost page, being an (8-13) block, a (4-8) pierce, and a (4-6) slash attack, granting 10 charge on use with no drawbacks like Overcharge did. "Energy Strike" is a 2-cost page that deals 4 stagger to self on use. It consists of a (3-7) block, a (4-7) blunt, and a (4-8) slash attack... but the third hit will consume 3 charge to inflict 8 extra stagger damage. "Mind Whip" is a 3-cost single (9-20) blunt attack, that consumes 3 charge for 8 extra stagger damage. IT IS A RANGED ATTACK. It cannot be explained, how frustrating it is to deal with them index-targetting your units. And it's not intentional, it's just a thing that'll happen every now and then, where they roll high speed die all on the same character, ignoring low emotion characters to beat specific people into the ground with Stagger. And it's only phase 1. The second act is against the Rhino team. Rhino Team Soldiers have Triple R-Suit as well, but trade out Reindeer Treatment for Rhino Procedure, which increases endurance instead of Strength. Maxim additionally has the passives "Bionic Charge-synchronized Hull", which gives 2 protection for possessing more than 11 charge, and Maximum Crash. This passive increases his damage and stagger damage by 50%, and reduces damage and stagger damage taken by 30%, all if he starts the turn with 20 or more charge. They have the "Graze the Grass" and "Concentration" combat pages, but trade out "Mind Whip" and "Energy Strike" for their own pages. "Bulky Impact" gains 6 charge on use, being a (5-8) block and a (6-14) blunt attack. "Rhino Ram" is a 4-cost page, (12-25) blunt damage followed by a (4-8) block. Did you notice the lack of charge spenders? Maxim's only deck different to his underlings is a second copy of Concentration. Once his charge caps out, he is going to hit consistently hard with his attacks, and be a devil to take down. So while I don't like Index-targetting strats, I'd strongly recommend blitzing him in as few turns as possible. Rhinos are endured to blunt damage, Maxim is doubly endured to blunt and rolls 2-7 speed die with 4 light. They don't really have any gimmicks, they just roll frustratingly high offensive die. Final act is Rabbit Team. Their shared passive is Rabbit Augmentation, which grants 1 haste at the end of the scene for every 30% max HP lost. And this stacks up to three instead of two. Myo gets another 1 haste if she possesses 11 or more charge. Rabbits (and Myo) only share "Graze the Grass" with the other teams. Their other pages are "Concentrated Fire", "Quick Suppression" and "Pinpoint Shot". "Quick Suppression" is a 2-cost page that gains 5 charge on use. (3-8) Evade, (4-8) Blunt, (3-7) Slash. The attacks will respectively inflict 2 and 1 bleed on hit. "Concentrated Fire" is a ranged 2-cost page that exhausts on use, being a double (5-8, 4-7) pierce attack. "Pinpoint Shot" is a ranged 3-cost page exhausting on use, also consuming 3 charge to add 3 power to the die. That being a single (6-19) blunt attack. The soldiers have three "Concentrated Fire" pages and one "Pinpoint Shot", Myo trades out one of the former for the latter. Soldiers are slash damage endured, Myo is doubly slash endured. But we ALSO have Nikolai. Nikolai has two unique passives: "Finishing Touch" will mark a target to take 50% additional damage and stagger damage from attacks. "The Commander" will grant 1 strength and endurance to all allies if he has 11 or more charge. Instead of the Ranged attacks, he possesses the "Battle Command" page, a Nikolai-exclusive 3-cost page that gives 1 strength to two allies at combat start. It consists of a (5-10) block die, a (5-9) slash die, and a (5-8) blunt die. So sadly, despite the rabbits being the weakest team, they're also buffed up by his super strong pages. If you've got a mostly intact team by this point, you can probably handle this part easily, since the Rabbits rely on exhaustable pages. But... the first two rounds are highly devastating, so chances are your two floors won't be in good condition. If you have Mass Attacks to fall back on, you can make pretty decent headway into culling the opposition, as the Rabbits aren't that dangerous once they burn out their ranged pages.
Binah must have been really jealous of Hokma's difficulty, because this is an extreme amplification of challenge. Judgement Bird, and three Runaway Birds. Everyone excluding the Judgement Bird will gain 1 sin at the start of the scene. His die gain power based on Sin stacks.
The Runaway Birds have a passive that shoves their sin stacks onto other people, which is... mildly frustrating, given their combat pages. "Terrified Flutter" is a triple (2-7, 2-6, 2-5) slash die, and "Piercing Shriek" is a ranged double (3-8) pierce die that inflicts bonus stagger damage.
I cannot stress how much these birds need to die, and also how you need to ensure that they do NOT get these Sin stacks onto you. High power evade die followed by strong hits is the way to go, and I think the R Corp pages do nicely for this.
The important part is to ensure that the group does not gain too many stacks of Sin as a whole. 3 people with 3 or more stacks will have him use a mass attack that instakills anyone with over three stacks. You can use weak attacks to pass these stacks all onto one librarian... but keep in mind that he also uses a single target instakill move should someone have 5 or more stacks. So there's a lot of beating on your own people in order to game the system... but it's all trigger by needing to KILL THOSE DAMN RUNAWAY BIRDS.
You need those adds killed ASAP without giving Judement Bird any reason to use his mass attack ever. That includes outrolling them enough time that they get up to three stacks, because it's *any* 3 characters getting three stacks that triggers the mass attack (and you've got no way to get the stacks back onto the birds).
This does not mean the fight is a hard 3 turn time limit, though. Sin can be passed between allies by landing attacks on each other. The idea is to have one designated "sin" librarian to unload the sin stacks onto with light, low power attacks, and have "Judgement" never played against them. They aren't going to win any clashes against JB, but they're going to keep him from instantly ending the fight. When he does use the "Judgement" attack, he rolls 1 speed die, so he's easy to redirect. I would recommend against making Binah your Sin Stack character. Her Fairy stacks and Die sealing is too potent to waste, bring a character with Grit and all the good self-restoring passives so they can take as much one-sided poking as you can manage. If you goof and end up triggering the "Ceaseless Judgement", you have one final chance to stop him by using Binah's mass attack to stagger him before he can act.
Note that the circumstances for triggering his special moves are also his instakills. "Judgement" instakills on use versus a 5 sin target, and "Ceaseless Judgement" instakills on use versus 3 sin targets. If the target is not viable for an instakill, it deals percentage damage anyway, so it's still not fun to be hit by.
"Ceaseless Judgement" is a (15-15) blunt summation mass attack, and "Judgement" is a (4-6) blunt attack. His remaining page is "Stare", which is a triple (3-6) counter block die. I'm recalling these numbers from memory, so they may be wrong, but after the second time killing him when the first was invalidated... I'm just done.
Star of the City Far Right 3
Anyone else think this situation is strangely familiar?
The difference is that R Corp bosses will retreat at 70 HP, and that Nikolai is replaced with one Rabbit. That's because there's now a fourth act, where all of them get together to clean house. Their decks now have new cards in them, only useable at 20 charge.
Nikolai has "Disposal". This staggeringly powerful attack has double slash die (15-30, 10-20), and it exhausts itself after use. Unfortunately, if it's a killing blow, then it adds a new copy that's 1 light cheaper. If the first hit successfully wins a clash, it destroys ALL die on your page. If it fails, it destroys the NEXT die on your page. The second hit deals increased damage and stagger by the unmodified die roll.
Myo has "Feral Knives". This is an individual mass attack, where each hit inflicts 3 bleed next scene. One (4-9) pierce, one (4-9) slash, and one (6-10) slash, with the final hit dealing 15 extra damage to the manually selected target. Shame you can't tell that on the enemies side so you can plan around it.
Maxim has "Ground Smash", and it is deceptively brutal. It's a (13-22) blunt summation mass attack... but it also consumes 20 charge on use, to gain +10 power. Since it can only be used AT 20 charge, you can bet it's going to be rolling that 23-32 range. And because Maximum Crash is also kicking in at 20 charge, it's going to be hitting for 50% more damage (34 damage at minimum roll, 48 at maximum)
And Rudolph's new page is "Mind Crush". An individual mass attack, rolling (4-8) pierce, (4-8) blunt, and (5-10) blunt, each hit dealing 6 extra stagger damage.
Keep in mind: this reception's version drops "Complete" books, which have access to better pages.
The Key Pages are shared with the lower tier books, but they now all have their special attacks as available drops, along with the "Clone" Key Page. This looks like a pitiful (2-7) block and (2-5) slash attack, but it has the very special treat of copying the most expensive page in hand, and adding it to their hand. (and exhausting the page in the process).
This goes well with "Rapid Gashes", which is a page that Nikolai didn't use, but is dropped by his book (both regular and complete). It is a double (4-10, 4-9) slash, followed by a (4-9) pierce, and a (6-10) block. A ridiculously expensive 5-cost, but the cost goes down by 1 for each copy of the page in hand. Ominously potent on Malkuth's Floor with Happy Memories.
I liked the look of this abnormality in the concept art section of their artbook. All enemies start with zero stacks of their blood status. This means that their Fear of Water passive will give the Sanguine Bats +2 strength, and Nosferatu +3, on turn 1. The less stacks they have compared with 5, the more strength they'll have. The combat pages used will change, based on the stacks they have. In particular, Nosferatu will use his special combat page Thirst if 2 or less Blood (2 scene cooldown), and his mass attack "Banquet of Blood" if he has 5 or more Blood. He also locks his HP at 50% before transforming, and transforms by reaching it (175 HP, to be precise) The bats are double endured to blunt, Nosferatu is double endured to slash and blunt. Bat attacks: "Digging Teeth" gains +2 power if they roll a speed die of 5 or higher. It consists of a double (3-5) pierce attack, inflicting 2 bleed on hit for both hits. "Bloodsucking" also gains +2 power from a speed die of 5 or higher. It's a double (3-7) evade die, followed by a (3-5) pierce attack, inflicting 2 bleed on hit. Nosferatu has RANGED attacks. "Elegant Supper" grants +1 blood next scene on use. A double (5-8, 4-7) pierce die, and a (3-7) counter block die. Notable, each successful hit will grant 1 extra blood next scene. "Scarlet Meal" has the On Use effect of two allies gaining 3 protection and 2 haste next scene. It consists of a double (4-6, 6-10) block die, with the second die reducing your next die power by one on Clash Win, and then a (3-7) pierce attack that on hit, grants 1 blood next scene. "Noble Response" is his zero cost page, a double (3-6) block die that recovers 5 HP if he remains unattacked, and spawns a Sanguine Bat next scene if none are present. "Thirst" is mean. A (6-8) slash attack that destroys all other die, followed by two (5-9, 4-8) pierce attacks, both granting 2 blood on hit, and recovering 10 HP. "Banquet of Blood" is a summation mass attack. It will charge him five blood to use it. (12-16) slash attack, inflicts "Fear of Water" on hit, and restores HP of allies by number of people hit + 7. Which sadly, isn't the same as what they have. this ailment lasts 2 scenes, and consumes 5% of max HP at the start of the scene, while granting 5 bleed, and +1 haste and strength. If at 50% or less HP, then there's a 25% chance of going uncontrollable and attacking allies. After transforming, lack of blood is going to be the cause to use special attacks AND mass attacks. It also starts losing 1 blood stack every scene. "Merciless Gesture" is a double (3-9) slash attack. On use, he loses 1 blood next scene, but gains 1 blood for each hit. "Looming Presence" is a double (3-9) evade, inflicting 1 feeble on clash win. "Violent Gesture" is a triple (3-8) slash attack, where the first two hits will reduce next die power by 1 on clash win, and the third will On Hit, recover 5HP, grant 3 blood, and inflict 8 fragile. Yikes. "Lust for Blood" is a (17-22) slash summation mass attack, used when at 0 blood, with a 3 scene cooldown. (I forgot to look at the special stats).
Unfortunately, it is very easy to break this fight by playing sacrifice stats for Gebura with Kali's page. Give her the Role of Wolf and Absorption pages, and then Mountain of Corpses. Stuff her with enough strength passives, and literally the only drawback is going to be your page draws.
Oh boy oh boy. Crimson Scar needs to kill the Wolf who Lost Everything to progress to the next phase. If the wolf kills Crimson, you lose, and if you kill the wolf, it goes into Ashtray Rage. Gains +1 strength when under 50% HP, but not during rage modes. "Strike Without Hesitation" will target all characters, and is used every 2 scenes. Taking hits from the wolf will increase the rage meter, and dealing damage will decrease it. At capped rage, gains +2 strength and uses mass attacks. If a Librarian gets the killing blow, then Crimson gains 50% HP, full stagger resist, and a permanent +4 strength and mass attacks. The wolf is slightly despicable, as it inflicts scars to the target on hit, and gains 2 die powerpower versus those with 4 or more scars. Above 50% HP, it uses "Howl" every 4 scenes... but under 50% HP, it gains 2 speed die, and uses "Howl" every 2 scenes. And it already has 4 speed die, so that just makes it ridiculous. Crimson is ineffective to blunt damage, and endured to all stagger types. The Wolf is flat out ineffective to all stagger types. Crimson's Combat Pages: "Spot the Prey" is a double (4-8) slash attack, with the first hit marking the target. "Catch Breath" is a double (3-7) evade, where succeeding clashes with the first die restores 6HP, and succeeding clashes with the second restores 6 stagger gauge. "Hollow Point Shell" is a ranged attack, (5-9) pierce and (4-8) slash attack, the first clash win inflicts 2 fragile and 10 stagger damage while also destroying all other battle die on the target page, the second clash win inflicts 1 mark of the hunt. "Strike Without Hesitation" is the 2 turns mass attack, a basic (4-8) summation slash that grants +1 strength next scene for each target hit. Wolf's Combat Pages: "Bloodstained Hunt" is a double (5-8) slash attack, followed by a (4-8) pierce. All hits inflict 4 bleed next scene. "Cruel Claws" consists of a (5-9) slash, a (6-10) slash that inflicts 3 bind on hit, and a (4-8) block die. It also has a (6-10) counter block die that increases strength next scene on clash win. "Ferocious Fangs" is a (6-12) block followed by a (5-8) pierce that recovers 10 HP on hit. It also has the counter die from "Cruel Claws". Do NOT underestimate how much strength can be gotten from the counter die. Unless you're using disarm effects, only clash directly. A (6-10) counter block is very hard to break, and since counter die recycle, it can rack up a very heavy hit. And do not underestimate how much bleed damage can be racked up if you get hit by all three "Bloodstained Hunt" die. And if you fail to let Crimson get the kill, save yourself the trouble and reset. Not just because it's going to be very difficult to break through the brutally strong mass attacks, but because they're hiding behind your side's info bar, so targeting their die is going to be tediously tricky to do. Be sure to save up heavy hits when you expect a scene change.
The Sharp Claws passive does everything the previous phase's Wolf who Lost Everything. Inflicts 1 scar on hit, and deals bonus damage equal to those stacks. The Role of the Wolf means that he auto-devours at the start of combat, and will do so again in two scenes after his previous meal is dealt with. I guess this is to punish you if you tried to use phase 1 to grind up for the capstone breakdown page. Max stagger resist is doubled while a librarian is swallowed, restored, and resistances are set to fatal. You have to stagger Scar to save the nugget, which is easier said than done. A saved librarian will be staggered next turn with 25% less HP. If you don't get through it, then, you lose them. Getting through 350 stagger gauge in one turn is surprisingly hard to do, hence why I said to save up. Two digestions, or reaching 50% HP will cause a transformation. Can't reduce below 50% before transformation. "A Wolf is about!" is the combat page played when a Librarian is in his stomach. Two (3-8, 3-7) counter slash die, with the first granting +1 strength next scene on clash win. After transformation... The new special combat page is "Uncontrollable Instincts". This attack is... weird. A single (5-11) blunt attack that rolls itself 5 times, not dealing damage until it counts up how many successful hits it gets. "Ferocious Fangs" is a (6-10) block die that reduces opponent die power by 2 on clash win, and then a (4-8) pierce attack that recovers 10 HP. "Bloodstained Hunt" is a double (4-8, 7-12) slash die that inflicts 1 scar on the first hit, but 3 scars on the second hit, also destroying a speed die. "Unsparing Ungues" is a triple (4-8, 4-8, 3-7) slash die, the first two attacks inflicting 1 bleed on hit. Frustratingly, this phase seems to be here to bait out and waste Manifest EGO, if you bring Kali's page. He gains a lot of damage resistances, making it very difficult for her to meet that 40 damage requirement... but then, he also has his "skulking in shadows" phase that prevents her from acting. "Ambush" will be the only page played, so everyone needs to be able to hold their ground. A single (6-10) pierce die that recovers 10 HP on hit. Also note that he doesn't have to target his die in a way that you can respond to, so counter die, or conserving defensive die, is probably going to be neccesary. So if you're playing the Kali page (and if you do, I recommend the "Myo's Prowess" passive, because it makes the infinity die necessarily strong), hold off on this until you NEED it.
Well, he's starting in phase 3, which isn't fun. Still has that double ineffective slash damage, double resited pierce, and normal to blunt. Uses Combat Pages other than Horrid Screech and Vomit indiscriminately, recovering 30% of HP when defeating an ally. In Putrid Vomit phase, gains 2 strength and uses the "Vomit" page every 2 scenes. "Vomit" is a (15-15) blunt summation attack, inflicting 5 fragile, and 3 feeble and disarm THIS scene. "Flop Down" is a double (5-8) blunt attack, with both hits inflicting 8 stagger damage AND destroying a speed die. But "Absorb" is the really nasty one. A (5-10) blunt attack that deals 8 stagger damage... but also bypasses counter die. Specifically, the first target die cannot be recycled. It has a follow up (3-7) pierce attack that on hit, recovers 10 HP and immobilises the target next scene. In Terrifying Laughter phase, gains 1 strength, and uses "Horrid Screech" every 2 scenes. That's an individual mass attack, two (6-8) blunt die that deal 4 and then 8 stagger damage on hit. Stage 1 loses more die, but now has a caveat (It might be that this applies to the original abnormality battle, and I just didn't know). Upon being killed, you will now have to kill the melted corpses in 3 scenes, or he revives at HP = to the sum of HP all the remaining corpses had. They also fully heal after defeat, so you can't wear them down in advance. Mind you, I obliterated all of them in one go with Maxim's summation attack, so... entirely possible that this final stage can mean nothing.
This should be fresh in your mind. The only difference is that upon reaching the transformation threshold, Thirst will instakill all bats and gain 5 blood. "Noble Response" has changed from block die into evasion die, but other than that, I think the pages are roughly the same. I see a counter evade die on one of the attacks I don't have noted earlier, but can't be sure if I just forgot to note it. "Lust for Blood" is the 0 blood transformed mass attack, (17-22) slash summation that recovers HP equal to damage dealt, inflicts "Fear of Water" status on anyone hit, and grants 1 strength for each target hit. "Unbearable Drought" is the transformed special combat page, for 2 or less blood. One (7-11) slash die that breaks all other die, and then three (5-9, 4-8, 4-8) pierce die. The second and third die have "Gain 2 blood next scene, recover 10 HP" on hit effects.
Gebura Finale pt2
Problems. Many, many problems. Ineffective to most damage, save for being endured to Pierce and Blunt. And zero HP isn't the end, it's just moving onto the next form. Every 2 scenes, it uses "Wear Shell" on a random assistant Librarian. This is an (8-12) instakill on hit, so be absolutely certain you'll outroll it. If it succeeds in the kill, next scene it copies the resistances and combat pages of the target, so... maybe problematic. "Eye Contact" is a double (4-5, 5-10) blunt attack, where the second hit adds 2 copies of "Terror" to your hand. "Dense Flesh" is a triple (6-10) blunt attack, each hit inflicting 1 disarm. "Reaching Hand" is a double (6-10, 3-7) blunt attack, the first hit adds 2 copies of terror, the second inflicts 2 feeble. Second Phase is still evolving. It recovers 50% of max HP at the start of the scene. After 2 scenes pass, it evolves into the third form, and the HP of the third form depends on the amount of HP the current form has left (min. 70% of Max HP). Doubly ineffective to slash, doubly endured to blunt. With 100 initial HP and 200 stagger gauge, it is *possible* to kill it. But it's not easy. It uses three ranged pages: all of them Cocoon. Three (3-6) block counter die, all with the same effect: recovers 10 HP and deals 10 stagger damage on clash win. The trick to culling it, is to get it nice and staggered. Because it's getting 90HP in total back from clashing those die, and 100HP just from ticking over a scene, it's going to be hard work to break through. But it can be done. From killing the second phase, it starts at 280 HP. And the passives make it surprisingly hard to break through. It has slash ineffective, pierce and blunt endured... but all staggers are immune. Exceptionally frustrating. The combat pages are painfully reminiscent of its Lobotomy Corp incarnation. "Mimic" is a (4-8, 4-8, 3-7) slash, pierce, slash combo. On clash lose for each of them, it grants 1 imitation. It also has a counter block die that grants +1 strength on clash lose. "Follow" is a double (5-8) blunt attack that grants 1 imitation on clash win for both. "Flail Skin" is a double (6-10) pierce that deal 8 additional stagger damage. Also possesses a (4-8) counter block die that grants 1 strength on clash lose. It can also spend 3 imitation to boost the die power by 1. "hello" is a RANGED ATTACK. Spends 5 imitation to increase die power by 2. A single (10-15) pierce attack, and a (4-8) counter block die. The counter die does nothing special, but the attack staggers the target on hit, and inflicts 5 fragile next scene. "goodbye" is a devastating (20-40) slash attack that inflicts 10 bleed next scene, and has the usual (4-8) counter block die. It also uses 10 imitation to power the die up by 10... which I think is overkill, but oh well.
My recommendation is very clever Gebura building. Use Myo's page to give the infinity die +5 power, remove all slash die, and play her Manifest EGO right after the Wolf phase. If you assign the right abnormality pages and space out your uses of her strength buff, you can have enough strength to keep her EGO going even after Mimicry reaches phase 3.
Star of the City Near Left 3
Darn, I wanted to kick Argalia's face in. So, unlike other colour fixers, Iori doesn't use a lot of counter die. Her abilities are the usual Shimmering, but also "Manipulator of Odds", "Dimension-walker", and "Changing Stances". Manipulator of Odds will reroll a die that rolled a minimum value, activating once per die. Dimension Walker will forcefully end the act when she reaches 350HP, and travel to a new floor. Her HP cannot drop below 350 before this occurs, and thankfully, it's only once per reception. But you do NOT get to select which floor she attacks. You have three floors open for reception, which is a lot more than I was expecting. Changing Stances will regularly change her stance to slash, blunt, pierce, or guard. When she changes stances, die of that type gain +1 power. Because of this, I'm going to list each combat page based on which stance she used them in. She's resistant to Slash and Blunt Stagger.
"Strike Down" is an (8-13) blunt attack that recovers 3 stagger resist on hit, followed by a (5-6) block die. "Great Serpent's Impact" is a (2-6) block die, followed by a (5-7) blunt that recovers 3 stagger resist on hit, and then a (3-6) blunt. On combat start, it grants 2 bonus stagger damage to blunt hits this scene, so she can easily destroy your stagger gauge. "Duel" is where her counter die are hiding. An (8-17) blunt attack, followed by a double (5-9, 4-8) block die. All die have "reduce power of opponent's next die by 2" effect, save for the counter die, which is just a basic (3-7).
"Serpent Sword Technique" is an on-use page draw. So nice to you, useless to her. A double (3-6, 2-4) slash attack. "Snake Slit" is a rather weak looking double (2-4) slash followed by an (4-8) evade. But the combat start effect is +2 power to all slash die, which is devastating on her. Because also in her repertoire is "Violet Blade." This is a (5-15) slash die that receives double the effect of power boosts. So a +1 strength from abno pages, +2 from "Snake Slit", +2 from being in slashing stance, and +1 from the stance change, adds 12 power to the attack. Honestly, with all that, the (3-7) slash counter die it also has feels like a letdown in comparison.
"Venomous Fangs" is a double (4-8, 3-7) pierce attack, and a (3-8) block. The first hit will inflict 3 bleed, the second hit inflicts a fragile next scene, and the scene after. "Snake's Prey" is a double (3-5, 3-7) pierce. The second hit inflicts 1 bleed, but the page grants all combat page bleeds an extra stack on combat start. "Laceration" is her heavy hitting pierce skill. Two (5-9, 5-8) pierce, one (6-8) block, and a (3-6) counter pierce. The first hit inflicts 3 bleed next scene and the scene after. The second hit inflicts 1 feeble. The counter will inflict 2 bleed on each hit.
It's a shame she didn't use this, otherwise I could have talked about it. I will say that this will give power to defensive die, purge all current status ailments and prevent her from being inflicted with them. Her goal here is to punish you for attacking her at all, so if you aren't using VERY strong die, it might be better to wait for the next turn. As far as I know, she only stays in this phase for one turn.
She has a mass attack, but I was too focused on the battle and didn't check the details on it when I had a chance. It doesn't roll nasty numbers like some attacks I've seen, but it rolls all three damage types, so something is going to roll a lot higher range than advertised. This fight is NASTY. Jumping to an unprepared floor at will is not easy to deal with, as you won't have the light and emotion level to deal with her onslaught... and while you can send her back to the floor she escaped from, they won't necessarily be any better prepared to deal with her.
Hooray. More adds.
Our goal here is to find the real "Jack" add. The first scene has the boss awaken all Jacks, and inflict "Oblivion" on a librarian. Ozma will follow a unique pattern of behaviour that cycles every 4 scenes.
If a Librarian is restored from Oblivion, resistances change to fatal, and after 2 cycles pass, stagger resistances change to fatal. Both are accompanied by mass attacks, unfortunately. The latter is supposed to be nastier, as that means you've gone and messed up by letting two librarians become pumpkins.
The Jacks are mostly fake. Only one awakened Jack is real, and this is the one you want to hit. It gives back a stolen combat page when struck, and you need 9 hits from the oblivion librarian. Do this, and all Jacks die. If not, the Librarian turns into a Pumpkin, and the Jack gets to permanently use that librarian's pages. Quite rude.
All damage on Ozma is inefective, otherwise. Damage on the adds are totally ineffective as well, so you kind of need to weed out the fake immediately, and then focus taking away all its attacks so your oblivion librarian can get one-sided hits in to get their pages back.
Should you have Violet Tear, then do NOT swap decks. The game won't count you as retrieving pages, so you're guaranteed to lose. (They do stick to pages stolen from your original deck, at least)
Ozma's pages: "Powder of Life" is a (15-15) summation blunt attack that is played on the first turn, and revives all Jack's. "Fading Memories" is a (5-5) pierce, and a triple (3-7) counter block die. This inflicts Oblivion on the target, regardless of whether it hits, so try to redirect this to a target you don't want Jacks copying.
Once he brings everyone back, he'll use mostly the same sorts of pages. "Squash" is a double (4-8, 6-9) blunt, double (3-7) counter block. Hinder is a double (3-6, 3-5) blunt with a single (3-7) counter block. I think they forgot to add the "inflicts X ailment on hit", because I see people get really paralysed and bound by his attacks.
Because the Jacks copy the target's die, you'd be better knowing what combat pages they use. But I will point out that the victim of Oblivion will have all their combat pages replaced with "Not Found", a triple (3-5) blunt attack. If they turn into a pumpkin, it goes even worse, as their combat pages all turn into a triple (1-1) evade die
For this fight, turn OFF quick mode. That way, when you find the correct Jack in the middle of battle, you have time to mouse over and identify which one you want to go all in with the Oblivion librarian. Even though they're all Jack, they each have a different status that can be used to differentiate them.
"Jack of the North" gains 1 haste each turn. "Jack of the West" gains 2 endurance each turn. "Jack of the South" gains 2 strength each turn. And "Jack of the East" deals +3 stagger damage. When you hit the "true" jack that you need to focus fire, the screen will react. Hence, find the offender and beat him into the ground with Oblivion, while using your other librarians to keep them safe. If you really want to metagame, focus your combat pages and key pages on a single damage type (for example, everyone having blunt resistance and blunt die) so that you can reduce incoming pain. But we already know we want to practice now what the realisation will bring in later...
So, let's just recap this. The scarecrow with two die needs to have its "Searching for Wisdom" clashed with "Wisdom". "Wisdom" pages exhaust on use, but can be acquired by winning clashes versus other scarecrows specific combat pages (they don't purely use those reward pages, though). Harvest itself is where the problem is. It prioritises characters with "Wisdom" pages, and gains power based on how many copies they have. And a lot of its pages will also exhaust your precious "Wisdom" pages. So try to redirect it to hit people that are using their Wisdom pages this turn. If you can't properly block their "Searching for Wisdom", then they steal pages from your hand, and use them against you, gaining strength and endurance equal to the number of stolen pages (that aren't wisdom). And stagger librarians that have no pages. Not nice. Scarecrow Pages: "Rake Seeking Wisdom" is a (5-9) slash attack, and a (6-10) evade. The former will grant a "Wisdom" page on clash lose. "Till the Soil" is a (3-6) slash attack, (2-5) evade, and a (2-5) pierce attack that inflicts 2 disarm and 2 bind. "Searching for Wisdom" is a quadruple (1-1) blunt die that gains 4 power if it isn't clashing versus wisdom, stealing a page and restoring 5 HP on hit for every hit. "Wisdom" is a single (6-6) evade die that's exhausted on use. The scarecrows are all weak to Slash damage, ineffective to blunt stagger and pierce stagger, and neutral to all else. Harvest Pages: "Bumper Crop" is a (2-5) evade, and then two (3-6) slash die that exhaust a "Wisdom" page on hit. "Squirrel Crop" is identical, just one less attack die. "Reap the Rice" is a double (3-6) slash die and a (2-5) evade counter die. No special effects here. "Squeak Creak" on the other hand, is a highly buffing attack. Two endurance next scene on use, and then for each of its two (3-6) slash die landing a hit, grants 1 haste next scene. Do NOT let him get these speed buffs on turn 2, as next turn, he uses his special Combat Page "Harvest". Being unable to redirect that is bad. "Harvest" is a RANGED attack, rolling a single (7-7) slash die, and a (2-7) evade counter die. But on Hit, it exhausts the most expensive page, recovers his HP, and inflicts bleed. It's not nice, and remember, he gets a power bonus for all the "Wisdom" pages you currently have. Harvest is neutral to slash damage, and endured to all other types.
Before you even get to react, one of the four Trees will be culled, to give 3 heart stacks to Lumber. Each stack grants 1 light regen. Each tree has a mass of Counter Die. On clash lose, this gives a Heart Fragment to their opponent. This is actually bad, because these stacks will increase the power of certain combat pages Lumber plays. So make sure that these trees go down to focus fire and mass attacks, rather than clashing. Lumber's Pages: "Cozy Beatings" is a (8-10) blunt die with a (3-7) slash counter die. The latter inflicts 1 paralysis on clash win. This is the only Light Cost page Lumber has, so the less it can regenerate, the less you have to deal with the stupidly high roll. "Strike of the Axe" is a double (4-7) slash die that grants 1 piece of mind each hit. At 4 pieces, gains 1 heart. This attack gains a power increase per stacks of Heart Fragments. "Don't Take My Heart" is a (6-10) slash followed by a (5-7) block, and a (3-7) counter block. The blocks both have "lose 1 piece of mind this scene" tied to their clash lose effect, while the page itself gains power per stack of heart fragment. At zero heart stacks, it can only play "Empty Chest". This page is a triple (3-7) block counter die that inflicts 1 feeble per clash win, and gains power equal to heart fragments. Two turns of this, if no trees are alive, Lumber is staggered. You might actually want to just use mass attacks to deal with the trees, and focus on Lumber. It'd take longer, but better that than deal with Heart Fragments throwing off your damage rollls.
This phase isn't that different. But still. The first step, Scaredy Cat rolls 1-1 speed die. The second step, Road Home rolls 1-1 speed die. Road Home rolls 10-10 on "Friend's, let's go home!", which have to be countered. Thankfully, you're going to have "A Road Walked Together" in the hands of Road Home's targets, and can easily counter it... provided they don't get clobbered by Scaredy Cat and staggered. Because those targeted on the odd turns give a power boost to Scaredy Cat targeting them on even turns. "You Wicked Wizard" is a 20-20 summation attack, which is a lot nastier to outroll than you'd think. But you can at least hope to cull Road Home the same turn it uses the attack, so you don't see what awaits if anyone fails to outroll it.
What hurts is that this is coming after the nonsense of trying to beat Road Home into the ground ASAP, so you might be a little light-starved. But the mechanics are the same: find the real jack and beat them down with the oblivion librarian. Ozma's pages are different, however, when not using the oblivion/mass attack pages, it plays "Earnest Mind", an (8-8) pierce attack, and with a triple (3-8) block counter die. "Begone Silently" is a double (4-8, 4-7) blunt attack with a single (3-8) block counter. This glitched out for me, and didn't play the turn of weakness... And even though there were no Jacks to revive, still had the turn of "you lose all your pages". But because it was Violet Tear and my damage was high enough, it didn't 100% cripple me for the fight, and could push through before the librarian was Pumpkin'd.
Chesed Finale part 2
Huh. I thought this was the previous phase, but I guess not. The Wizard's Trial passive immunises all damage. You have to get past five phases to even start dealing damage... and cannot inflict stagger until the Road Home phase. Thankfully, "The Trial Commences" passive revives all fallen librarians with full HP, recovers the HP and stagger of all current librarians, and gives them special combat pages to upgrade them into the ally of choice. The downside is that these pages will force other pages out of your hand, so you might have a bit of a page draw issue again after playing them. Adult who Tells Lies Pages: "Welcoming Salutations!" is a (10-10) blunt summation attack. Nothing special. "How Noisy!" is a (5-7) ranged pierce attack that inflicts 3 bind next scene, while "Please Be Gentle" is a double (3-5, 4-7) ranged pierce attack, with both hits inflicting 2 feeble (doesn't say if it's now or later). "Brimming Light" is a double (3-6) pierce that inflicts 3 bleed next scene on the second hit. "Behave Yourself, Will You?" is a triple (4-8) blunt that inflicts 8 stagger damage on hit. Ally special pages: Road Home is able to heal one ally by 20HP with "Friends, don't be Hurt", and buff allies with "We're stronger when we're together!", granting 5 protection and recovering all stagger resist. These are "On Play" pages. "Help Me, Jack!" is a zero cost (8-8) block page that boosts all other ally offensive die by 2. "Pumpkify" is a 9-cost page, but in the Anger phase it goes down to zero cost. (50-50) block, and basically wins the fight if everyone outrolls the mass attack. Because these are duplicate cards, try not to use them in Singleton decks.
First Phase is Warmhearted Woodsman's status. All allies save the Woodsman have limited light. If they deal 30 or more damage in a single scene, both they and all allies will full restore light. Which is important, because the Jade crystal adds need to be shattered quickly. If all 3 of them die in 2 scenes, then the phase shifts. If not, then a Mass Attack is used, and the next phase begins after. The crystals have 50 HP and 20 stagger... and are fatal to all stagger types, meaning it's very easy to cull them, even with reduced light. The Woodsman phase doesn't end if you do manage a 1-turn kill on the Jade. Scarecrow Phase turns everyone into Shining Statues, save the Scarecrow, who then gets special combat pages, and 5 speed die. Make absolutely sure you remember which character got which specialty buff, because you then have to restore them with a specific page. "Wisdom" needs to be used immediately, so you can see who is who. "Find your warmth!" is to be used on the Woodsman, "Get Back on your Path" is for Road Home, "Here Kitty Kitty" is for Scaredy Cat, and "This Isn't You" is for Ozma. Getting it correct frees them, getting it wrong deals 80% max HP damage. Scaredy Cat phase is actually quite terrifying. The boss does nothing, but everyone gets 10 disarm, feeble and fragile, and new adds appear. These adds will instakill anyone without Courage, using their "Burn Up" combat page (on-use effect). A single or double (6-6) blunt die, has the same name either way. Using the Courage page will purge these ailments from Scaredy Cat, and grant +5 strength and speed, meaning guaranteed redirects, and fantastic attack power. If all the adds die, then we move on a phase. If the adds kill anyone, then Scaredy Cat gets a 5 feeble, disarm and Fragile debuff until the end of the battle... If you want to really mess with the boss, give "Rake" to Scaredy Cat. You can instantly win the battle by using "Burn Up" next turn. I did this, wondering if it would let me do that, and it did, meaning I have no advice for the final phase... Road Home phase is a bit less interesting: you need to stagger the boss, and that gives you the next phase. Unless you're like me, and used "Burn Up".
Star of the City Near Right 3
Just a heads up, I haven't been able to get as good information as usual on the combat pages of these fights. This one took a lot of patience out of me.
Iron Lotus ... Has she been in the library for all this time, and only now picked another fight with us? This is a two-man fight, but you bring 5 librarians. That should indicate this will be trouble. Both Miris and Xiao have Shimmering, and 3 starting speed die. Their combat pages are similar, but now include a few new pages. "Concentrated Assault" is a 3-cost (4-8) blunt, (4-8) block, and (4-7) pierce, but it grants one ally 1 strength, 2 protection, and 2 stagger protection. Xiao now has a new page called "Fiery Dragon Slash" is a (4-8) slash that inflicts 1 burn on hit, a (4-7) pierce, and a (3-5) block, also containing a (3-7) slash counter die that also burns on hit. From what I've seen, the best strategy is to focus fire Miris, as turn 4 is when the mass attack is played, and you don't want Concentrated Assault played on that turn. At 150 HP, Xiao loses all remaining combat pages and die, and becomes immune to damage. Even so, keep hitting her for emotion coins, as the next phase will become, where she goes full EGO, and the real challenge of the fight begins.
Every two turns, starting with the first, she applies a nullification to all power gain/loss effects. This is in conjunction to her "Reversed Scale" ability. One of her combat pages will have this effect tied to it. If it loses a clash, then she gains immense endurance/strength next scene, but takes 70 stagger damage. Because of this, you want it to apply on her turns of "no power effects". Her stagger gauge will not be restored by shifting floors, so getting these clashes in is pretty handy. But be extremely careful she isn't lining up her reversed scale die with a librarian with counter or unused defensive die.
Even then, she has attacks that will just give her the power boosts on use, which in conjunction with her already powerful die, makes damaging her at all quite difficult. Burns deal no damage to her at all.
Her Obj d'Art page is extremely good, possessing a lot of mass attack ego pages at emotion level IV.
Huh. We kind of skipped Binah's fourth abnormality fight.
Alright, so a random assistant librarian is going to be "Enchanted" every 3 scenes, starting with the first. But the longer the fight drags on, the more assistants will be enchanted. Starting with the third scene, the combat page "Darkness" will be inflicted every 3 scenes. Fortunately, rather than needing to steal "Lullaby" pages from the adds, you just need to defeat them. Each ally that falls inflicts 5 Feeble and Disarm, and when all allies die, all stagger damage resistances change to fatal, letting you easily pound Lamp into the ground. The adds have no passives. Keep in mind, this isn't a "you get a turn of free movement, and then deal with the mechanics". Before you even get to move, Enchanted is applied. Different to the original version, your characters take zero physical damage from being hit by allies, only stagger damage, and remove the effect when staggered. It also wears off in 2 turns, so you don't have to 100% get that stagger. Eyeball Chick pages: "Peck" is a triple (4-5, 4-5, 3-5) pierce attack that gains +3 power versus slower targets. "Clumsy Jog" is a double (3-8, 3-7) evade that inflicts 2 bind on clash lose for each. "Intense Stare" is a (7-7) pierce that on hit will force the character to target the offending bird, followed by a (3-8) evade. ... Incredibly rude, is that if the "Forced to target" effect is applied on a character by a bird/s that die, then they cannot target ANYONE next scene. Lamp's pages: "Salvation" is going to demolish any enchanted librarians that reach him. The first (25-25) slash counter will kill enchanted librarians on hit... but it's also going to really hurt people that try to break it prematurely. It also has a (20-20) counter block die, just to make things unpleasant. You COULD use Binah to break it with Degraded Pillar. But be careful, as the block die on her own page means she's going to take some severe stagger damage from doing so. This page is only played once, and only if an enchanted ally exists. "Brood" is what Lamp plays otherwise: a triple (22-22) counter block die. Needless to say, it makes attacking Lamp an incredibly bad idea. "Darkness" is a (15-15) summation mass attack. It inflicts all characters with the Darkness status (including Lamp itself), and given the damage involved... you want to have your ally staggered on turn 1, so they can be up and ready by turn 2. "Bite Off" is the other page played on the turn "Darkness" is played. A double (25-25) slash counter die with no special effects... but it won't be nerfed by his dead ally debuffs, so do not target him for countering the summation. The darkness effect negates all power boost/decrease effects for 2 scenes, including this one. This makes it mildly frustrating to get the "Darkness" turn right as you killed all his friends. Equally frustrating is when the adds all decide to play "Intense Stare" on different targets, preventing you from interfering with Salvation. Because he plays 1 per enchanted ally, so it's going to be hard to prevent them all unless Binah gets lucky.
This again, is a bit different. The adds are a consistent nuisance: being impossible to kill. If their HP reaches zero, then they'll simply go inactive for a few turns, then return at full HP. That's what the page says. In practice, I find they're going to just sit at 1 HP indefinitely, so only staggers can put them out of commission. An initial mass attack and heavy enough hits can absolutely shut them down immediately. Just keep in mind that'll also trigger Beak's "Punishment!" phase. The passive says that Beak will have fatal stagger resistances, but I've only seen them go to weak. Beak's Pages: Alternates between "Preen" and "Rapid Flutters". "Preen" is a triple () blunt die page with a blunt counter die. Keep in mind that +50 power effect when using counter die, as you *really* don't want to take those hits. "Rapid Flutters" is a double (3-8, 3-7) evade die that grants +1 power to the next die on clash win. During punishment, the 5 speed die will have "Rapid Flutters", but also have "Punishment!" and "PUNISHMENT!" played. Which it uses is random, but you can expect at least one of each, and "Rapid Flutters" to be played on the fastest speed die. "Punishment" is a single (9-9) blunt die that staggers on hit. "PUNISHMENT!" is a double (8-8, 10-10) blunt die that inflicts 3 bleed and fragile on hit. Naturally, try to dogpile and stagger Beak before any of their Punishment pages can be played.
Like before, you do not want to get 3 sin stacks on too many people, or you're going to lose lives. Unlike before, the boss is going to start at 10 sin stacks, and try and unload them onto other characters. Sins can be transferred by hitting anyone EXCEPT Justitia, as opposed to before where the birds would just unload all your problems on you forcing you to cull them early. I tried getting 3 sin stacks onto all the enemy birds, but one of them died. So I can't say whether that's a good way to get them out early. Boss has the passive "Tattered Bandages", which makes the boss immune to burn, bleed AND fairy damage. Runaway Bird pages: "Terrified Flutter" is used on turn one. A triple (4-6) slash attack, each inflicting fragile on hit. "Terrified Shriek" is used on turn two, and is a double () ranged pierce attack. Justitia Pages: "Judgement" is a (4-6) blunt attack that will instakill a target with 5 sin stacks, regardless of if it hits. If it does hit, all other characters take 20% of max HP in damage, so redirect it and outclash it. "Stare" is a triple (3-6) block die ranged attack. Since it isn't a counter die, you can eventually break through them for one-sided attacks, but if you have a few too many sin stacks, it can get messy.
Binah Finale Part 2
Heaven help you to win this. The nastiest thing about this fight, is the obnoxious spam of mass attacks. They aren't "powerful", but because you can't redirect them, you can end up burning a lot of light to play potent defensive cards twice over. This isn't *guaranteed*, but it does occur too often for my liking. There are 8 different phases, and the boss cycles randomly between three of them, so I can't list down everything. But the rule of thumb is: Big Bird phases will nullify all power gain/loss. Punishing Bird phases will increase the cost of two of each librarian's combat pages. Judgement Bird phases will purge and nullify all status ailments on the boss.
He has a mix of %hp attacks, light drain, self-healing, and a ranged attack that will replay itself upon a kill (like Onslaught from Kali's fight). Observation is a two-target mass attack that inflicts horrified on targets, which reduces the target's resistances to fatal for this scene only. As a mass attack, it's going to come into play VERY quickly. Luckily, 8-8 is very easy to outroll. Less easy to outroll is the 3 die individual mass attack that follows it, which drains 1 light on hit for the first two die. And yet, the thing that stood out the most to me is the (18-18) summation attack "Peace for All". Because it tends to be played twice in a row. If you have no hope of outrolling both, have your better odds on the one with the leftmost battle die, so if it staggers, you can minimise the hits you take.
The active "egg" is cycled through one every two turns. Starting with Big Bird, then going Punishing Bird, then repeating. This will alter the boss' stagger resists, with each being endured to 2 damage types, and weak to the third. Staggering the boss has the advantage of permanently destroying that egg, reducing the HP minimum of the boss, dealing a significant amount of damage to the boss, and breaking one battle die. When all three are destroyed, the fourth stagger wins the fight.
Overall: The simple fact is, the last phase is the major roadblock of the fight. You can get through the majority unscathed, but then get hammered down by the harsh power requirements of that final phase. The winning build I've seen is a Singleton/Charge deck combo. While I hate Energy Conversion's "On hit" for the draw effect, it restores 4 light for 4 charge, which allows you to consistently play high light cards when you have handlock, while the Will of the Prescript and Multislash handle the card draws. Health/Mind Hauler passives also help out a lot, as the other healing passives are too conditional. These are the ones you need for a long drawn out fight where every hit is important. Rudolph can make for a good pick for once, as Survivor is going to kick in sooner or later. You can't make it through without being staggered at least once or twice, the failed die rolls are going to add up sooner or later.
Star of the City Far Left 3
Well. This plot development broke him quite thoroughly.
Yan consists of three parts: a name I can't read, the Left Hand, and the Right Hand. The two hands both have the Shimmering and Manus passives. Manus means that it cannot be staggered or defeated, and only perishes when Yan does. When at or under 30HP, it cannot act that scene.
Yan himself is weird. If his HP is over 301 when the Hands are below 30, then he merges with them. If his HP drops below 300 while merged, he separates again, purging status ailments and recovering all stagger resist.
His passive of Distorted Blade will grant a mass attack at regular intervals when merged or below 300 HP. It also gets used if the act goes on for a large number of scenes.
Hand combat pages: "Giant Fist" is a (9-17) pierce, a (5-8) block, and a (4-7) pierce counter die. The initial attack deals 5 damage on hit. "Compress" is a (6-9) block, (6-10) blunt, (4-8) blunt, and (3-7) blunt counter. The first hit inflicts 2 paralysis, the second inflicts 1 feeble. "Flurry of Fists" is a triple (4-8, 4-7, 3-7) pierce attack, all of them possessing Deal 3 damage on hit. The left hand has "Baleful Brand", a (4-8) slash, a (6-10) pierce, and (5-9) block. The pierce die inflicts 2 Erosion on hit. The right hand has "Lock". A (7-9) block, followed by a (12-19) blunt attack, that destroys the next die on Clash Win (so ranged die aren't safe from it).
Yan's combat pages: These are a lot of support skills for ensuring the hands are in good condition. "Attack", "Protect", and "Vigil" all have the same caveats: used when there's a hand at 31 or more HP, and consist of three (20-30) counter evade die. What differs is their effects. "Attack" will grant 3 strength to a hand if the target. "Protect" will grant three protection if a hand is the target. "Vigil" will cause the target and all die they clash with to ignore power gain and loss (not just hands). "Repair" will recover the target's HP by 5, or by 40 if the target is a hand. "Endure" is four (4-7) counter block die. "Repair All" recovers the HP of all allies by 80. And "Distorted Blade" is the Mass Attack, an (18-33) summation slash attack that inflicts 2 erosion on hit.
There's only one floor available for reception, so choose wisely. While merged, "Endure" is the only page he uses (aside from the Mass Attack). "Repair" might be used when a hand is too low to function... but "Repair all" is definitely used when both are too low to function. That, along with "Repair", will be spammed, so that's your only chance to get the attacks in. The hands are immune to all stagger. Left is endured to pierce damage, right is endured to slash damage.
Tips: Since there's power nullification in play, you won't be able to bring a single-character build to this fight. But that doesn't mean power stacking is useless: you can use swift allies to redirect Yan's "Vigil" from the people you're boosting (and since all his counter die are Evade, you don't need to worry about them being punished for playing weak pages). Another option would be going blunt heavy with Yesod, or pierce heavy with Tiphereth, and hope the die sealing works. The less die the targets can play, the better. Also keep in mind mass attacks. They'll hit Yan easily, as he only plays empty and counter die pages, but individual mass attacks can destroy the initial block die of pages like "Giant Fist", letting you set block die (or "Rhino Ram") against their heavier hit. The Yan book is full of weird battle pages, only of which "Distorted Blade" is from the battle. But, as always for Obj d'Art, worth burning for.
At first, I thought this was La Luna. But then I realised that it's the Plague Doctor (Prophet) phase.
It is paramount to note immediately that Hokma has "True Salvation". If he goes down, so does everyone else. Prophet is untargetable, and cannot be reduced below 1 HP or stagger gauge. Uses a Combat page "Baptism" for the number of dead apostles, and the phase ends after 12 have been defeated.
Prophet will use the "Baptism" page on allies as you kill apostles. This is a meagre (1-1) pierce that grants 1 strength, endurance, and haste next scene, as well as recovering 10 HP and stagger resist. But it never uses them on Hokma. Since it's an On Use effect, no need to worry about not getting the benefits if you play counter die (it's just going to eat them up, is all)
(Scythe) Apostles have Undying, preventing them from falling below 1 HP, and I Will Follow Thee, granting +2 power against a librarian with "Revelation". The Scythe version will prioritise the lowest HP librarian, are ineffective to most damage, and endured to most stagger. But they are weak to Slash, and fatal to slash stagger. Scythe Pages: "Teach Us" and "I Shall Preserve Thee" are the 0-cost pages. "I Shall Preserve Thee" is a double (3-8, 3-7) slash page, while "Teach Us" is a double (3-7) block die, followed by a (3-6) slash. "Thy Will Be Done" is unfriendly. A one cost triple (4-7, 3-7, 3-6) slash attack, each hit inflicting 2 bleed... and those die are nasty for their cost. But the real kicker is the two cost "I Will Follow Thee", which is a (3-8) block, followed by a (6-10) slash that inflicts 4 fragile. It is very hard to get them to cease index targetting one person, when they keep throwing heavy fragile stacks out there.
Second round, two more Scythe apostles, but now with two Spear apostles in their mix. Spear Apostles trade out their slash weaknesses for pierce weaknesses, and will instead prioritise librarians with Status ailments. Spear Pages: "That We should be with Him" is a zero cost (3-8) block followed by two (3-7, 3-6) pierce attacks. "Thy Light Lead Me" is a one cost page, a double (4-7) pierce that deals +2 damage if the target has a status ailment. "For He is Holy" is a (6-9) pierce attack that destroys ALL die on the target on hit, with a (3-7) counter block die. If anybody has bleed ailments, then they use "The Will of The Lord be Done", which is a double (6-10) pierce attack that increases damage dealt by bleeds inflicted on the target.
Third round, two spear apostles, and two wand apostles. Wand apostles do not have any specific targeting, shift their weaknesses to blunt, and use ranged pages. Wand pages: "You hath not Left Me Alone" is a zero cost (3-8) blunt attack inflicting 2 fragile and granting 1 strength to a random ally next scene, with a (5-8) block counter die. "Give Us Rest" is a double (4-8) blunt attack that inflicts 2 stagger damage on both hits. "Thou wilt Light My Candle" is a two cost triple (5-9, 3-9, 3-7) blunt die, with the first two attacks inflicting 2 disarm on hit.
White Knight phase. And now things get difficult. The very first turn, Paradise Lost will use two combat pages that instakill your librarians. This page cannot be destroyed by mass attacks, or redirected by Hokma, so consider which Librarians you'd like to keep, and use the others as bait. 5 stacks of "Reverence" are inflicted at the start of the phase. It deals stagger equal to the stacks, and reduces the stack by 1 each scene.
Paradise Lost pages: The Instakill page is "Rise and Serve Me". A basic (7-7) blunt attack, but it kills the targeted Librarian at the end of the scene. You can't be clever and redirect both of them to one librarian, you have to beat the remained of the fight with only three. "Fear Thou Not" is a triple (6, 6, 6) counter block die. Very funny. It grants one of their allies 1 strength, 1 endurance, and 1 haste next scene. Any unused die will be spent on this. "I Am Thy Saviour" is the Mass Attack. A double (7, 7) blunt attack. It randomly picks someone that failed to outroll it, and marks them with Revelation. It also "revives" one ally that is fallen.
Paradise Lost will additionally turn the its instakilled librarians into Guardian Apostles. These will copy the resistances that their targets had, and grant the boss +5 Protect and Stagger Protect each turn they're active. Thankfully, it won't copy the pages they have, instead using its own.
Guardian Pages: "Rise and Serve" is a zero cost double (4-8) block followed by a (3-7) slash. "Lord, Shew Us" is a one cost page, a double (3-8) slash that grants 3 endurance to Paradise Lost next turn on use. And they can spam it, giving those counter die stupidly high numbers. "Wilt Thou that We Command Fire?" is a nasty three cost page, a (7-10) blunt attack that destroys the next die on hit, and a (6-9) slash attack that seals a speed die next scene.
One Sin and Hundreds of Good Deeds phase: So, the first thing Paradise Lost does is stagger everyone remaining, and revive her two guardian apostles. The only attack used will be "Do Not Deny Me", a (66-66) summation attack that will kill anyone but Hokma. She then turns the dead librarians into two more Guardian Apostles. You are still staggered, and she now uses "Behold My Power", an individual mass attack consisting of a triple (6,6,6) pierce attacks, and then a (66-66) blunt. The turn after that, all the Guardian Apostles will go active, with triple speed die all using "Wilt Thou that We Command Fire?" Fortunately, this phase also gives Hokma a new combat page. A (666) mass attack is not going to be outrolled.
Impuritas Civitatis 1.1
Two acts to recieve, one floor for reception. Round 1 is versus five Hana Fixers. These guys look like the common grunts, and yet are purple grade pages. That should be a warning on what to expect. They have Speed+1, and are endured versus Pierce and Blunt stagger, normal to all else. Their special passive is Four Trigrams: giving four special combat pages that benefit the user. They can only play one per turn, and all four have to be used before they can be used again. Hana Fixer pages: "Forward March" and "Brace Up" are their zero cost pages. "Forward March" is a (3-6) blunt, (2-4) slash, and restores one light. "Brace Up" is a single (3-8) pierce attack, discarding a page and drawing two pages next scene. I need to test if this is basically one of the draw page effects, or if it alters how you draw a page next scene. "Godspeed" is their only 1 cost page. A (3-8) slash, and a (3-7) pierce. It grants 1 haste next turn, and gains 1 power if at 7 speed or faster.
"Confrontation" is a two-cost (3-6) block, a (5-8) pierce and a (3-7) slash, with the pierce die recovering 3 stagger resist on hit. "Celestial Spear" is a (9-20) pierce die, and a () counter die. Draws a page on use, and deals 5 damage on hit. "Unyielding Strike" is another three cost: (5-9) slash, (4-8) blunt, and a (4-8) block, restoring 1 light on use. But staggeringly, is their 5-cost page. "Divinatory Impact" is a () slash, a () block, a () blunt, a () pierce, and an () evade. That's FIVE battle die. This is the first attack I've seen that has a good chance of outrolling summation attacks, be it Yan's Distorted Blade, or the EGO of your choice.. They look a lot nastier than they are, should you deploy a full floor of Speed III Obj d'art. Round two isn't so nice, because you have two boss pages in Mirinae and Harold to deal with.
Harold has the "All for Hana" passive. If he took damage, it changes his resistances towards that type to Endured for the scene (apparently, it applies separately for physical and stagger damages. What that means, I don't know.) Mirinae has the "Hana for All" passive, which grants a random ally positive status effects that she received from Combat Pages. It applies to Strength, Endurance, Protection and Stagger Protection. Both bosses have the combat page "True Trigram Formation", a four cost (7-10) pierce, (8-11) slash, and (6-9) block die. The second die has On Hit, deal 5 damage. But it also gains a bonus effect based on what Trigram page was played. "Geon" grants +1 die power. "Gon" grants +1 stagger and stagger protection at combat start. "Gan" restores 1 light on use, and "Ri" draws two pages on use. This page can ONLY be used in the decks of the Hana Association elites. Mirinae also has her own personal combat page, "Augury Kick". It's a three cost page, one (7-12) blunt, (6-8) block. It grants 1 strength next scene on use, and another 2 strength next scene if the first attack hits.
Impuritas Civitatis 1.2
Well. You have precisely one librarian to play, with a fixed new key page. You can't control the combat pages in it, so all you can use are the pages incuded. Black Silence is double endured to blunt damage., draws 2 additional pages at the start of the act, and gains +2 power to all die on every third combat page played. "Ranga Workshop" is a double (3-7) pierce followed by a (3-7) slash that inflicts 2 bleed, and restores 1 light on use. "Zelkova Workshop" is a (4-8) slash, a (4-8) blunt, and a (4-8) slash counter die, that draws a page on use. "Old Boys Workshop" is a (5-9) block, and a (4-8) blunt, with the attack restoring 5 stagger resist and On Use restoring 3 light and drawing a page. "Atlas Workshop" is a double (5-9, 5-8) pierce reduces all target's die power by two at the start of the clash. "Mook Workshop" has the same on use effect as "Old Boys Workshop", but being a more expensive page, and different battle die. A single (8-15) slash die, that deals 3 damage on hit. "Crystal Atelier" is an (7-10) evade die, followed by a double (6-9) slash attack. "Atelier Logic" is a ranged double (4-8, 5-8) pierce followed by a (7-12) blunt. "Durandal" is a double (5-9) slash attack that grants 1 strength for each hit. And "Wheels Industry" is a (14-24) blunt that destroys the next die on clash win, followed by a (5-8) block.
Olivier meanwhile, has a lot of potent passives. He has All for Hana from the previous fight, but also "The Twelve Fixers", boosting the minimum roll value of all die by +2. And at emotion level 3, that turns into a boost to the maximum roll value by 1. "Duel" prevents immobilisation (which the General Works floor specialises in, unfortunately) but grants bonus HP and Stagger Resist. Outside of Hana Association pages, he has two new ones. "Double-Edged Rencounter" is a three cost (7-10) block, (6-8) blunt, and (5-8) slash. The first two die will grant the next die a +3 to max roll range on clash win. Meanwhile, "Impugnatio Ultima" is a four cost (5-9) slash, (5-9) pierce, (5-8) blunt, and (4-7) blunt counter die. On use, this page discards all other pages from hand, but it gains +2 power.
The trick is to pick out the strongest pages, and use "Wheels Industry" to cut them down. After using all 9 of Black Silence's combat pages, you can use his EGO page attack, and hopefully, that'll be ready when "Impugnatio Ultima" is played.
Impuritas Civitatis 2.0
I only managed to beat this once, and I feel no rush to go back and take painstaking notes on each combat page they use, so have some emergency notes.
Once you enter, you can't leave without forfeiting the whole reception But you can retry a floor as many times as you want.
Malkuth's floor is Philip, and he needs to be inflicted with high stacks of burn in order to start taking proper stagger damage. The first time he's staggered, he spawns adds. Want to kill those ASAP, because the next time he's staggered, he gets an obscene number of speed die, but no longer recovers from stagger the next scene. The power of his pages just goes out the roof by this point, and at best, I've been able to rely on Xiao + Unrelenting to last long enough to get a killing blow. I've noticed a tendency to target the weakest character, so if you're going to use Shi Corp passives for your own strength boosts, you might need to give it to everyone, not just the person you're feeding power to.
Yesod's floor is Eileen. She has a bunch of pet disciples to get in your way. When one dies, she uses a double summation attack, the second of which rolls higher and will immobilise next scene. But when a disciple dies, her stagger resist falls, meaning the fourth one to die will stagger her. She has HP caps, though. You can't reduce her HP beyond a certain threshold each time, and she'll summon more adds once that scene ends. I've been told that it's possible to kill them on the turn they spawn with mass attacks, but it's rather finicky.
Netzach's floor is Bremen. Plus friends from other floors. It uses super powerful versions of all the Musician's of Bremen cards did. One "Head" will be in charge for each scene, and when staggered, they recover next scene (but that head is considered "disabled", and one of the speed die will become unusable until all three heads go down). Their only real weakness is pierce stagger. When all three heads are staggered, they change to using a mass attack every few turns, and becoming vulnerable to all damage the turn after. Unfortunately, Bremen also becomes impossible to stagger when that happens, meaning that all of Netzach's "stagger focus" abnormalities become utterly useless. If you have mind hauler, it's just a matter of holding on until you get "Spring's Genesis" and ensuring you keep hitting at least 4 times a turn, but I think "Tagged" is the ailment to take advantage of if you don't want to cheese it. Tagged will grant you the opponent's page if you can successfully clash at least once next scene, and some of the opponent's pages are quite powerful.
Hod's floor is Greta. She focuses on bleeds: you cannot inflict status ailments on her until her resilience status is emptied (it goes down by winning clashes with certain die, or by inflicting ailments). She'll occasionally focus on beating down the tabled meat. Try not to let her end these things: it's impossible to stop her completely, but when she runs out, she starts using her "Bag" attack to trap a librarian to beat down next turn. It can only be blocked by a mass attack destroying the die, but the captured librarian can be rescued by attacking the meatbag (librarians deal stagger damage to the bag: if the bag is staggered, they're free. If the bag is killed by Greta, then so is the captive). Funnily enough, this also heals the captive to the HP of the bag, so if abused as such, you can actually heal a bit of attrition damage taken.
Tiphereth's floor is Oswald, and his two friends, Ms Mermaid and Mr Knife. The Mermaid is a mass attacker and throws around stagger frustratingly often. Mr Knife is less stagger oriented, but has a 4 die attack that gets dangerously powerful if it wins the majority of its clashes (this attack inflicts bleed on clash win). Oswald is where the problems are: every 2nd turn onward on not having one, he brainwashes a single ally into attacking your side. Overcharge will lock them down, but staggering them won't, as they recover from stagger next scene. However, if no allies remain to target, they focus on enemies, meaning if you can get Nihil going, you've won. Note that everyone uses purely ranged attacks, except Oswald, whose only ranged attack is the brainwash.
Gebura's floor is Tatyana. She's all about brute force. When you get her down to 1 HP, she'll revive and gain a permanent +3 to strength and endurance. One of her pages has "null power gain/loss", and another will roll against all librarians simultaneously (but not as a mass attack, so any extra die will still hit her after she gets the hit down).
Chesed's floor is the Puppeteer. He has several puppets, and will prevent them from dying as long as they have "strings" keeping them alive. Successful clashes against his counter die will reduce the strings (and reducing the string counts will reduce their health), but his mass attack will increase their strings. I've heard that it might be possible to kill the adds before he can give them strings, but I don't know how much power stacking it'd take to do it, and they do hit quite hard.
Binah's floor is Vermillion Cross and Eileen. Eileen will use an ally-targeted counter die page to buff Vermillion, so redirect that one if you can. She also has several pages with "restore HP on hit" effects, and a potent mass attack that bleeds and heals. Keep an eye out for the page with the evade die, as that'll give Cross a nasty end/str buff. Cross is more of a brute: if his triple counter die page remains unused, it makes Eileen untargetable. He also has a stagerringly strong page that reuses itself if it lands a hit (but can only re-aim at a librarian once: so that's once each, except twice on the initial target). Try to have Binah intercept this with her "no recycling this die" attack if you can.
Hokma faces "Yesterday's Promise". Frustratingly, the first thing he does is issue contracts that you can't ever get rid of to your group, and then clone all the non-Hokma librarians. One contract will gain power only if using pages of a specific cost, or lose power otherwise. One contract will randomise all page costs, and deal heavy damage if they use pages of a specific cost (this number is indicated by stacks, and changes each scene. One contract will give a massive haste boost, but inflict debuffs for every one-sided attack made. One contract restores all light each scene, but damage for each unspent light (and light counts as unspent if pages that restore light are used). And the final contract will grant +2 strength, but stagger the librarian at the end of the scene if a combat page with more than one offensive die is used (this does not include counter die).
Keter is a 1v1 duel with Argalia to Roland. Again. Argalia will boost your hp and stagger with his passive, as well as give you some extra battle die, so you can always match him in number of attacks. His passives and combat pages are all about resonance: if he hits you with a speed die of equal speed to your resonance stacks, then he gets a bonus based on the attack. He cannot be disabled (so Blizzard is exceptionally useless), and at lowest health, will play a nearly unbeatable page on a single, 99 speed battle die. Counter this with Roland's EGO attack (although I've seen people use Learn or ranged attacks with the W Corp passive to also get a victory, that's more for showing off).
Impuritas Civitatis 2.1
Reception of Black Silence
So... I didn't take advanced notes on it, so a lot of this is from memory... and I can't guarantee that I'm remembering the phases in the right order. You get to use any floor but Keter, and several of them. I'd recommend a steamrolling build for long fights, though, as if you fail near the end, another floor won't be able to build momentum fast enough to stand a chance.
Your first phase is against the Black Silence key page you're already familiar with, with all the workshop pages as expected. His final speed die will always be untargetable, but that doesn't mean you can't fight back with unused defensive die or counters.
Next phase is where he starts playing "memory" pages, beefed up versions of the reception he recalls. He also gets passives based on one of the Keter abnormalities each turn, which will boost certain die types, but at the cost of if they're outrolled, then stagger damage is taken.
Third phase is distorted phase. There are four adds, and the boss itself, all packing some nasty combat pages that will destroy opposing die on clash win, or their own die on clash lose. The boss will consistently respawn its adds unless it reaches a certain HP threshold. Mind you, it also costs the boss HP to do that, so by all means, abuse mass attacks to force its HP down faster. Keep in mind that some of the combat pages are ranged, and choose turn order accordingly.
Fourth phase is the soulink phase. This gets messy quite quickly, as you have two targets, but have to cleverly intercept and redirect their attacks. Several of Roland's pages will remove all their die and add it to one of Angelica's combat pages, if she is targetting the target of that page. You also have counter die that you need to redirect, in order to gain a status that lets your reduce their soul link.
And after that, is the abnormality adds phase. The main black silence will be untargetable, while all the adds represent a specific Keter abnormality. Oddly enough, while I remember these being varied and strange, I don't recall this part posing much of a challenge, nor the unique mechanics of each add. But it might be possible that he glitched out for me.
And it's still not done. The final phase involves three weapon adds being spawned, with roughly 50 HP each, each turn. Each one you don't kill, will power up his impending mass attack, by letting the offensive die recycle. If you remember the Yesod battle, with how the Funeral of Dead Butterflies mass attack worked, then you know why you want that ended ASAP. I don't know if it's intended, but I saw him always focus firing the person with the lowest health.
Impuritas Civitas 2.2
Realisation of General Works
So. We have Angela as our patron librarian. If she dies, you lose. She draws extra pages and recovers extra light each turn, has access to EGO pages for every phase you beat, there are checkpoints between each phase, and doubles emotion coin gains. You cannot change her bookshelf, or give her passives.
I feel like I need to at least gloss over her unique, unremovable pages. Shyness is a zero cost double block die with a counter block die. It deals stagger damage on clash win, but the real prize is that it restores 3 light and draws a page, a very good benefit. Token of Friendship is a dodge, blunt 1 cost page that will slightly heal (and recover stagger for) the weakest ally, but it is on use, so keep in mind when you use it. Lean, Bloody Wings is a triple pierce die, which isn't impressive for a two cost, but it at least restores one light, so it doesn't starve you. Embrace of Affection is a double slash die with a slash counter. The first die will destroy the opponents next die on clash win, so it's very strong for eliminating problematic die (and because clash win, that works even on ranged attacks). Finally, Coffin is a powerful four cost page: one strong pierce die followed by two weak evades. But the real prize is that it seals a speed die next turn if it lands that first hit.
Wrist Cutter Phase (Bloodbath)
Wrist Cutter takes less damage from slash attacks, and gains +3 to ALL block die. So keep that in mind with your clashes. She also has ineffective versus slash damage outright, so try not to rely on that damage type.
Turn 1, she'll use Numbness on both combat pages. This is a double (4-8) block die with a (4-8) counter block. The non-counter die will inflict 1 paralysis on clash win, so for this turn, don't even do anything. Not worth the trouble. Turn 2, one of the die will be Profound Sorrow. It is a (7-12) blunt attack, inflicting 2 bind and paralysis on hit, and then a (6-8) block die inflicting paralysis on clash win. And a counter block die. Use Embrace on that page. You'll almost definitely take 1 paralysis from the second Numbness page triggering your counter die, but you want to shut down that first hit. Turn 3, she uses Pale Hands on three separate die, and still has more battle die to spend on other things. This attack is a triple (7-10), (6-8), (3-8) blunt die, with the first die destroying your next die if it wins the clash. But the danger is that if all three hit, you will instantly be staggered. This is why I recommended holding back until now. You want to play die in such a way that you can reasonably block most of the damage, so you won't be staggered. But worst case scenario, at least try to make your best pages engage first, to lessen the odds of being struck by Pale Hands while staggered. Turn 4, all your assistant librarians show up. Now the fight actually begins, but the previous tactics are going to at least help to make Angela not half dead when they arrive.
Now Wrist Cutter will follow a three turn cycle. Indelible Stains of Blood will be used on the 1st act, Pale Hands on the second, and Sinking on the Third. Generally going in a cycle of "weaken with Indelible, Stagger with Pale Hands, Destroy with Sinking".
"Indelible Stains of Blood" is a (4-8) blunt, (4-7) block, and (4-6) blunt. It is unaffected by Power gain or loss, and on use, adds "Depression" to the target's hand. Each hit will also add a copy of this page to your hand, and it's a nasty one. A 3 cost page with a single evade die, but while in your hand, it adds a stack of paralyse and bind per page, while also reducing max stagger resist by 34%. I haven't seen it stagger someone outright by 3 copies of it, but it might as well have. It's also supposed to exhaust itself when the user is staggered, but I haven't seen that happen.
You already know what Pale Hands does, so let's talk about Sinking. It is a 25-25 blunt summation mass attack, on hit, it purges strength, endurance, protection, and stagger protection from the target (and adds another copy of that Depression page to your hand). On the turn Wrist Cutter uses this, her remaining speed die are spent on "Self Loathing" pages. Oddly, she has two variants with the same name. One is a triple (6-8, 6-8, 5-8) counter block die that deals 5 stagger damage to herself on clash lose... but remember, +3 block die power. That's hard to do. The other is a triple (5-8, 5-8, 5-7) blunt counter die that each deal 5 stagger damage on hit. Both of these pages MUST be redirected from Angela. If Angela is the target, then they deal 10 damage to her at combat start, and recover 20 HP to Wrist Cutter. So... people being bound or staggered at this part is bad.
Aspiration Phase (Heart of Aspiration)
THIS is the hardest part. Nobody does this the way that's intended, but let's talk it out. Aspiration herself goes on the offensive every 4 scenes. After going on the offensive, she will sacrifice HP until she returns to having 4 allies (unless staggered). If 8 allies die, then she'll be staggered. She is weak to all damage types, but ineffective to all stagger types. Being staggered supposedly resets stacks of "Hankering", but I've never staggered her, so I don't know.
The adds will all receive a different buff type, and that determines which pages they play. One will be "The Wait", and have a buff that grants 3 stacks of Hankering per turn. It plays two "Retracting Beats" pages each turn, a triple (4-8) block die that inflicts 1 feeble on clash win for the first die. One will grant 4 stacks of "Hankering" on the death of an ally. This one will play one "Retracting Beat" page, and one "Heartbeat" page, a (5-8) pierce, a (5-8) block, and a (4-7) pierce, both attacks inflicting 2 bleed. One will grant a stack of Hankering for each successful attack it lands. I don't have the exact die numbers, but I know that it has Power Null on the page, ignoring both sides power boosts/reductions. And plays it on both die. The final add will gain strength and endurance equal to half of Hankering stacks. This one will play one "Heartbeat" page, and one "Inclination" page, which grants 1 Hankering for each hit of its triple (4-7, 4-6, 4-5) blunt die. If two Lungs die, then the remaining two will switch over to "Fervent Beats" mode, gaining 4 strength, endurance, haste and protection each scene. Supposedly, it'll die in three turns after getting it, but if Aspiration goes on the offensive, then the effect is removed, and that always happened instead for me. They'll play two "Inclination" pages each.
All this adds up to it being very hard to keep Hankering buffs from stacking up, as the lungs are all damage neutral, and stagger resistant. When Aspiration goes on the offensive, she gains strength equal to the stacks she has, and I struggle to keep those stacks under 9. Keep that in mind when reading these pages.
One use of "Beats of Aspiration", a (15-15) blunt summation mass attack. On hit, it grants 1 strength and haste to her allies next scene. Damages self by 40, but fully recovers the HP of her allies. "Crave" is a (6-8) pierce attack with two (3-6) block counter die. On Hit, it recovers 30 HP and inflicts 10 bleed. "Stumbling Steps" is a triple (3-5) slash attack where each hit recovers 20 HP.
It is very hard to rack up damage during this brief window of weakness. At all other times, she's using very strong block counter die, discouraging attacks against her. When on the offensive, her allies will use these strong block counter pages instead. My best recommendation is to go for a decks that have built in Power Null (like Punishment). But the best key page with this is gotten from this whole mess of a reception of uninvited guests, so I don't know if you'll have it. Keep in mind that Angela will now have two EGO pages to use, the Fourth Match Flame from Malkuth, and Regret from Yesod. You need to ensure you use every EGO page at least once before the end of the realisation.
Impuritas Civitas 2.2 (continued)
Marionette Phase (Pinocchio)
All of your librarians will have their decks copied perfectly, like before. One add will grant +2 strength or endurance each turn, one will scramble your page costs, one will forcibly discard your hand and force you to draw 3 new pages each scene, and the final one has this weird effect of "All allies will also copy the status effects of the librarians they copy decks from". I'm not sure what that's supposed to do, but it sounds annoying.
All of this is a bit of a tactics game, with the added wrinkle of Angela's die-sealing page being quite easy to be used against you, making life difficult. But I do want to add that there's a good trick to use, should you bring Olivier. Make sure to draw an abnormality page each turn via emotion levels, while not sacrificing too much.
Like before, every three scenes, Marionette will play a page with "lies" and inflict 10 bind to self. I didn't see two pages with this due to die sealing, but apparently it will happen. Two of your librarians will get pages that can hard counter the pages with "Lies". Pull it off, and next turn, vulnerabilities will change, making it easy to stagger and therefore damage them. Marionette will use a new page, "Eliminate Error", on one of her allies. If it hits a puppet, then it will kill them, but recover her allies next turn. If it hits a librarian, it destroys that page for the rest of the phase. It ignores power loss/gain effects... but if you use the Learning combat page, then it'll match in power, and the attack won't get any benefits. And if Olivier uses this page, then his natural die roll boost will kick in, and he should theoretically hit for a 50 power attack on Marionette. The idea here is to build decks that can handle themselves, while still being safe from Marionette. Keep in mind that Angela also has two new EGO pages: Hod's Red Eyes page, which will heavily debuff on the first hit (making it great for picking a target to beat on), and Netzach's Da Capo page, which will debuff everyone *this* turn if the final die hits. Both can be useful for this fight.
Frost Splinter phase (Snow Queen)
So. Everyone's on ice, and Angela is alone. Time to pound a prison into the dust, right? Actually, not quite. This is the one phase where Angela will get three new EGO pages instead of two, and her recovery by this point is better spent on tanking, with Mass Attacks whittling down the HP of the prisons instead. Tiphereth's Gold Rush EGO, Gebura's Bloodthirst EGO, and Chesed's Ozma EGO have been added. But the important one is Gebura's, because that gives HP and strength, important when Frost Splinter is depleting 5% of max HP per turn.
Frost Splinter takes no damage until all prisons are destroyed, and no damage from bleed or burn. Her pages are nasty, but some of them inflict chill, which will bind and paralyse at 4 stacks, and immobilise at 6. My thoughts are to use EGO pages to hammer the prisons while still using your attacks to protect from the boss (Netzach and Tiphereth for doing the damage, Gebura for self-healing and strength buffs). This is a bit luck based, and when all prisons are destroyed, she uses "Blizzard", a double (10-12, 12-15) blunt individual mass attack. Each hit inflicts 4 chill, so this can immobilise in a single turn if you can't outroll it at least once. Other than that, this phase doesn't really need counterbuilding, just think about how you're going to do this: either have Angela destroy all simultaneously, or pick out a prison to die seal on turn 1, and then hopefully destroy before damage accrues too much.
Impuritas Civitas 2.2 (still continued)
Remorse Phase (Silent Girl)
This part is divided into two phases, and there isn't a checkpoint for it. This is going to need you to restructure your decks, quite possibly reattribute passives from other parts of the library as well. Also, Angela's final two EGO pages are Appocalypse from Binah, and Penitence from Hokma.
Part 1, you can't target Remorse. There are two "Hammer" adds, and two "Nail" adds. The hammers are immune to blunt, doubly endured to pierce, and endured to slash stagger. The nails are immune to pierce, doubly endured to blunt, and endured to slash stagger.
When a hammer lands a hit, they inflict one stack of "Cost Up" on the most expensive page in your hand. They restore all light on every odd turn. When a nail lands a hit, they inflict "Cost Down" on the most expensive page in your hand. They fully restore light every scene, and gain power based on the cost of the page.
And here's where things get crazy. Every even turn, the hammers will use pages that gain power based on their remaining light: either a power boost based on light, or REUSING THE PAGE based on remaining light stacks. This creates a strange meta: you want the hammers to use expensive pages, and the nails to use cheap pages. How does this work?
All the pages the Nails use will become cheaper if they lose a clash to a more expensive page. All the pages the Hammers use will become more expensive if they lose a clash to a cheaper page. So you need strong expensive pages that can beat the nails, but also strong cheap page that can beat the hammers.
Hammer Pages: "Slam". 1 cost. A (6-8) Block die that lowers the next die max value by 3 if it wins, and a (6-8) Blunt die that lowers the cost of a page in the user's hand (that costs 3 or higher). (4-8) counter block die. "Break". 2 cost. (8-15) blunt die that destroy's the target's next die on hit, and a (4-8) block die. "Rend". 2 cost. A triple (4-8, 4-7, 3-8) blunt attack that has the following effects on each: boosts next die max value by 3, destroy opponent's next die, and deals 3 stagger damage. "Collapsing Heart". 0 cost. (8-8) Blunt die that deals 3 stagger damage on hit, but it's reused for every remaining point of light. (4-8) counter Block die. I didn't screenshot the final attack, but I believe it was (12-12) blunt die that deals extra stagger damage based on the nail stacks the target had, and then a (4-8) counter block die. The whole page gaining in power based on remaining light.
Nail Pages: "Digging Nail". 3-cost. A triple (4-8, 3-7, 3-6) pierce attack, each hit inflicting 1 Nail next scene. "Nails In". 3-cost. A double (5-9, 4-8) pierce attack, each hit inflicting 2 Nails next scene. "A Cracked Heart". 3-cost. A (6-8) evade die, which boosts next die's max value by +2 on clash win, followed by a double (4-7, 4-7) pierce attack. The first pierce also boosts the next die's value by +2 on clash win, while the second pierce will raise the cost of a page in their hand (if it costs 2 or less). "Stout Spike". 3-cost. A (5-8) evade die, followed by a (6-10) pierce that on hit, will inflict 2 nails, and raise the cost of a random page in the user's hand. So if this lands, you'll see a 4-cost page next scene.
Now, all that said, I should also point this out. Cost Up and Cost Down aren't cost changes like the Lies abno-page inflicts. These are status effects applied to the pages. It will alter the cost and die power of the page, which remains in effect until the page is discarded or used. Lies will then overwrite the changed costs (and seems to apply based on the original cost of the page rather than these altered costs).
My recommendation is to look at builds that can reliably win with both its cheap and expensive pages. Singular Strike Purple Tear was a favourite of mine: using "Tailoring" to beat the Nails and "Single-Point Stab" to beat the Hammers, with "Refine" to boost all the pierce die power. Likewise, Shyness can be used to hopefully beat the Hammers (as a zero cost, it can trigger the price increase. But it's not good at winning the clash, I should point out) while Angela's EGO pages can be used to beat the Nails (Yesod and Hod's EGO in particular can are very likely to win at least one clash win against any page the nails have).
Impuritas Civitas 2.2 (STILL continued)
After all the adds are down... they're going to revive again, and now the hard part of this phase starts. Each librarian gets a 9-cost "Guilt" page. This page is a (1-1) evade die that exhausts on use, and you need to use it. Every 9 turns, anyone whose guilt is not used will be targetted by Remorse for an instakill.
The hands are now, once again, two types. Whispering Instincts will only use Counter die pages, and gain power equal to the cost of your "Guilt" page (no guilt page, no power gain). Residual Desire will use specific pages normally, but if they are hit, next turn their die gain +10 power, and they use different combat pages (the status effect indicating this, is a pale white eye). The Residual Desire will only ever use three battle die, even when they gain a fourth from being in rage mode. This is so Angela can't use her die seals to weaken them.
Remorse herself uses combat pages that will inflict a specific type of Power Null on targets (as an On Use effect). This is how you keep up with the massive power gains: by use of Remorse's statuses. Also keep in mind the Faint Glimmer status. If you don't use 9 unique EGO pages until the end of this phase......
Remorse takes no damage from statuses, cannot be immobilised, and reduces incoming damage by the cost of "Guilt". The hands take half damage from status ailments.
Whispering Instinct pages: "Let's Be Free" is a pure counter page: two (7-12, 5-7) slash counter , and a (4-8) block counter. Their effects are "boost next die max value by three on clash win", "lower cost of Guilt by 1 on clash lose", and "inflict 1 paralysis on clash win", respectively. "It's Too Good to Give Up, No?" is a triple (6-8, 5-7, 5-8) block counter page. The effects are "lower opponent's next die max value by 3 on clash win", "lower cost of opponent's Guilt by 1 on clash lose", and "gain 2 protection on clash win", respectively.
Passive Desire pages: "Listen to Your Heart" is a (8-8) blunt attack, and a (9-9) slash attack, with a (4-8) counter block die inflicting paralysis. The first attack destroys the next die on a clash win, but the second attack will lower the cost of Guilt by 1 if it also wins a clash. So you need either a page with three die, ensuring that whatever meets the second die will lose, or a strong first die with a weak second die. "Just Be Honest" is a triple (5-8) blunt attack, each hit dealing 6 stagger damage.
Aggressive Desire pages: "Feel your Grief, Your Anger". (6-8) block die, (7-13) blunt die that raises cost of Guilt by 2 on hit. Be sure to have some combat pages that can reliably outroll that second die, otherwise they'll undo your hard work. Pretty sure they also use "Just Be Honest". I have a feeling there's a third page as well, but I didn't seem to note it.
Remorse has three power null pages, and I don't have notes for all of them. "Leer of Reproach" is a (5-9) pierce, (3-8) evade, and (4-8) pierce, with a (3-7) evade counter. It inflicts Nullify Power and Self-Reproach next scene, with its die effects being "Inflict 1 fragile", "recover 3 stagger resist of a random ally", "inflict 1 fragile", and "recover 3 stagger resist of a random ally". "Leer of Anxiety" is a double (6-8) pierce attack with a (4-8) stagger counter and (3-8) evade counter. It inflicts Nullify Power and Anxiety next scene, the die effects are "inflict 1 paralysis", "inflict 1 paralysis", "deal 3 stagger damage" and "inflict 1 fragile to a random enemy".
The reason I know I'm missing a page is because I know there's a status I didn't include up there. Self-Reproach, Anxiety, and a third ailment. All three of them have 2 similar effects: any die played in engagements involving the character ignore power gain or loss. But they also have an extra element. One will require you to take damage this scene. One will require you to Deflect this scene. And one will require you to inflict damage this scene. They give bonuses to their respective effects, but if the condition isn't fulfilled, the character takes 15 stagger damage.
This is very rough, and I can't really give "good" strategies for it. When all four enemies can be getting +10 power boosts, and only 2 or 3 characters can have power null effects, what can I say? You need a lot of light regeneration here, because reducing the cost of Guilt to anything decent is very difficult, you're going to have to play it at 8 or 9 cost, and then deal with only having access to 0 cost pages next scene. Also keep in mind that the hands are endured to damage, and take even less from stagger, so killing them is not going to be easy. But that's the way you move onto the scripted part of the end of the realisation, so... yeah. Angela can play the healer a bit by using "Penitence" and "Gift of Friendship", with "Appocalypse" being a good finisher, but there's only so much you can do when there's huge power boosts going out each turn. I should also point out that once the 9 turn limit is up, anyone still with guilt is instastaggered, and Remorse gets 1 speed die per librarian with guilt. Her page cannot be redirected, and kills a target with guilt. I unfortunately did have someone with guilt, so I don't know what happens if there is nobody remaining with guilt.
Impuritas Civitas 2.3
I really. REALLY. Do not like this fight. When it's a struggle for me to clear it the first time, and it glitched out at the end so it doesn't count as a clear. And struggle to clear it a second time and it still doesn't count as a clear. And then have to go through it a THIRD time in order to get the rewards for clearing Keter.
It really makes the struggling to not get credit frustrating beyond belief.
3 acts, five floors for reception.
First act is the lower floor bosses.
Philip inflicts 3 burn on all characters every time his emotion level rises, and gains power by half his emotion level. No damage taken from burn, everybody on his team inflict 1 burn on hit on their first offensive die each engagement. But when he's dead, his side takes 1 burn each time they're hit. If he gets 10 or more burn, he deals more damage. Hitting someone with 3 or more stacks of restraint immobilises them, and he uses a mass attack every 3 scenes.
Eileen has puffy brume, and grants that passive to all her allies (along with smoke equal to the amount of smoke she has). When she dies, they all are inflicted with 10 smoke, and lose Puffy Brume. Every 5 scenes, she uses a mass attack.
Greta gains 3 protection each scene, but takes 3 additional damage while bleeding. She gives all her allies 1 protect/stagger protect while alive, but inflicts them with 5 fragile upon death. If her target has 5+ bleed, her first die will inflict 1 fragile on hit. If nobody hits her, she recovers 10 HP and gains 1 strength.
The Musicians of Bremen start out with minimum light. While alive, they give an ally a random positive status effect equal to light they have. Loses all light when staggered, and upon death, grants +3 strength, haste and endurance.
This fight is a mess and a half. All their pages are on the power scale of 3 cost or 4 cost pages. But because of shimmering, they can use them freely. Philip is ramping up gradual burn damage, Eileen is ramping up their attack power, Greta is tanking, and the Musicians are buffing everyone. No matter how you focus fire to take down first, the others will still make you suffer in the meantime.
All of Philip's attacks save the ranged one will give him negative emotion coins per hit, meaning you can't stop his emotion gains no matter how hard you try. Eileen has the usual ranged smoke pages, but "Thought Gear: Combust" has a caveat. If the target has burn, it inflicts an equal amount of Smoke on them. Greta has just a mess of ailment inflicting die on her pages, and a few block/evade die thrown in for good measure. "Tackle Mount" is the dangerous one: if the first die wins, it destroys all of your die. If it loses, it destroys the rest of her attack. (11-15) is not easy to outroll.
The musicians are the only ones with any counter die. But these are the annoying "I can target my allies and give them buffs" sort of counter die that force you to engage them.
You can't really break up your damage here, you NEED to kill somebody early on or they scale out of control. Philip is the one I do first usually, the burns get out of hand too quickly otherwise. Keep in mind that they all have endured to most damage types, so check before you commit.
Round 2 is a bit more gimmicky, being the midfloor bosses. While I'd like to explain each in turn, honestly, they work off each other so finely, that I have to describe it as a whole.
Oswald will vanish after one turn, and summon his circus adds. They have different damage resistances to usual, and will get Puppet Strings from Jae-Hon. Jae-Hon has a page that cannot be redirected, which will inflict Red Strings on the target, regardless of how the clashes go. He uses this twice.
Red Strings will kill the target if it isn't removed, and gives you an impossible to remove 2-cost single block die. It has to lose a clash to be removed, and at 28-28, that's hard to do... but since Tanya is going to use Beatdown while Red Strings are active, and the effect also gives a lot of haste, it's a pretty simple number game. Use Red Strings versus beatdown.
The adds need to have their own block die page (10-10) beaten in order to remove it. After a few turns, they'll suicide bomb on your forces. But if killed on your terms, they deal pretty significant stagger damage to Oswald.
One slight problem is that if you get endurance or block die power, you might not lose to Tanya. There are paralyze and disarm sources from the enemies, which might be useful for getting that block.
I haven't seen what they're like, but I know that Oswald has one more circus troupe member, only played when things go really badly for you.
Tanya has a slightly weaker Lone Fixer. She shouldn't be too problematic if you can get the other two down, but it's good to keep in mind.
Final act is the top layer.
Important to note is that they do not gain die from emotion level bonuses. Instead, they base their extra die on "your" emotion level. And since Blue is giving you +2 emotion levels per turn, it's going to get messy very quickly. This is also the hardest fight in the game to get specific abnormality pages on, since you're going to get them automatically, rather than from clashes.
Pluto is throwing out contracts like usual, but they aren't like the full ensemble battle earlier. Instead, they're 1 cost on-play pages that have a variety of effects on the wielder. Play them to remove them. He also summons a shade of the Patron Librarian. When Pluto dies, so does his shade, so I like to target him first. His attacks only give out the contract if they hit.
Elena is back to being a pain. Like usual, she heals on hit a lot. They're mostly the same, but there's two new ones. One that ignores power effects, and on hit, will inflict Anti-Recovery (very nasty if healing is what you're relying on). The other is one of the cruelest mass attacks I've seen: a double (6-9, 8-19) slash individual mass attack. Unless you use serious power stacking, the only combat page I can think of with a chance of blocking both hits is "Sturdy Defence".
Important! You cannot finish off Argalia until both his allies are dead. He's going to be using the usual reverberation pages he did before, but now throwing in some new ones. "Controlled Resonance" will cause anyone at 4 stacks of vibration or over to trigger resonance anyway. And even without it, they're triggered just by having a speed difference of 1 instead of being equal. "Tempestuous Danza" is a single individual mass attack that sets vibration to 4 on hit. Which is not good, because nothing he does will reduce vibration, so being hit by that means "Controlled Resonance" is going to have a field day with them.
All of them will alternate their mass attacks, but once Argalia is alone, he will spam his. "Crescendo" is a individual pierce & slash mass attack, where the second die rolls much higher than the first. And if the first attack hit, then the second will increase in damage by 50%. The die rolls are even nastier than Elena's did. (This attack may show up at other times in the fight, but I only recall seeing it the turn after "Crescendo" during his last stand) "Grand Finale" is very simple. A (30-40) summation blunt mass attack. There's nothing "special" about it, it just makes it very difficult to keep up with him once he starts throwing out MAs relentlessly.
You have 5 floors. I don't have a design that can handle the final act, but generally, you can whittle them down enough that the other "warmed up" floors can finish it.
Impuritas Civitas 3
Was this fight really necessary?
Turn 1, you get hit by a (30-30) slash attack. You have NOTHING that can fend this off. Not helped by the fact Roland starts at 25% less hp. Maybe if you're lucky, you can pull Old Boys Workshop to slightly reduce that damage..
Baral and Zena don't have any interesting passives. But Baral has a status that protects him from die with 30 power or greater. Which is very rude.
Turn 2, Gebura shows up. Now they both fight. Notably, Baral uses a lot of die that can't be destroyed, while Zena will prevent your die from being recycled against her ranged pages. Gebura herself is carrying her personal deck, but they all start at cost 1 instead of 2.
Turn 3, Binah shows up. Notably, her pages are now a little stronger... but not by much. They just now have slight bonuses. An extra die, reduced cost, or things like that.
Turn 4 is a mass attack from Zena. This is a 27-30 summation mass attack. It would be nice if Binah could counter it with her own mass attack's protection buffs, but if you do, then she might not be able to protect herself from it (her best page can still be outrolled by it).
You need to deal a specific amount of damage to the opponents in order to end the fight. I usually have it ended by around turn 5, but it could take longer.