Even after devoting dozens of hours into Slay the Spire, learning The Watcher threw me for a loop. What makes her unique is the abilities she gains when changing stances. However, if you mismanage her stances, you can die in a blink.
Despite the complexity of the character, she’s the only one I’ve beaten the game with before hitting level 5. Is it because she’s that good? Or is it because I’ve just improved overall? Or did I just happen to get really lucky during one run? Whatever the case, here are some of my favourite cards in her arsenal!
[NOTE: I’m far from a top-tier Slay the Spire player. If you’re looking for that level of analysis, you may be better suited elsewhere. However, if you’re curious about my approach during this early stage of my career, carry on!]
Follow-Up not only works as an attack, but also as a turn-extender. If you play an attack first, Follow-Up pretty much gives you a free hit. Proved to be incredibly handy, especially when I needed extra energy to change stances!
Especially potent when drawn early, Battle Hymn grants you with one Smite card at the start of each turn going forward. Always having one hard-hitting card in your hand was always a plus, especially when in the supercharged Wraith state!
Being able to change stances at the right time will make or break your Watcher runs. Get stuck in Wraith form, and your opponent’s double damage will shatter you! The Watcher has many cards that can either switch stances or get you out of your current stance, but I particularly like empty mind for being a cheap way of exiting your stance and gaining extra cards. This one is especially helpful when exiting Calm, as it basically gives you one extra energy.
Reaching Divinity state grants The Watcher with 3 extra energy while tripling your damage output for a turn. Madness! However, reaching Divinity requires you to charge up your Mantra. Prostrate is a free way of gaining 4 block while also getting you a bit closer to Divinity. Get a few of these in your deck for extra defense and a quicker route to her most devastating stance!
As far as defensive cards go, Swivel is very expensive for the 8 block it provides. In exchange, it makes her next attack for free. Paired with expensive attacks like Ragnarok, this card really opens up your offensive possibilities while giving you a bit of cover against incoming attacks.
Judgment sentences every enemy with 30 or less HP to death. A number of enemies have less than 30 health, while most of the rogue gallery isn’t that far off from 30. I found that many times, it was an incredibly efficient way to delete an enemy. Even armored foes are wiped out if their HP is below 30 (glares at the Spheric Guardian).
This might be my single favourite card in the game. Using this card then shuffles a 2 energy Beta card into your deck. Cash that in for a 3 energy Omega card. Cash the Omega card in and you will then deal 50 DAMAGE AT THE END OF EVERY TURN! Yes, it’s a pain to set up. Yes, it’s not practical against lower-level enemies. But if you’re in a big battle and you’ve got cards that allow you to create extra Miracles, the climb to Omega can be attainable and absolutely devastating for your enemies.
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