Basic Combat Strategy

The damage enemies deal to you increases with the difference between their attack and your Moxie(your Muscle stat is used instead if it’s and have a shield equiqued while having the TT skill Hero of the Half-Shell). You will always dodge if the difference is 10 or more in your favour, and the monsters will always hit if have an advantage of 9 or more. They have a 6% to crit you, which is basic attack that is guaranteed to hit, and a 6% chance to fumble, which is a guaranteed to miss.

Your attack damage increases with the difference between the monster’s defence and your muscle (for barehanded/melee attacks) or your Moxie (for ranged attacks). If the difference is 5 or more in your favour you will always hit, and if it’s 6 or more in the monster’s favour you will always miss. You have a 9% chance (can be increased) to crit the monster, which guaranteed to hit and does double damage. You also have a 1/22 chance of fumbling (can be decreased) which deals no damage to the monster and deal damage to you ranging between 1 and 10% of your combined power of you weapons.

You can also damage enemies with spells, which are guaranteed to hit. Their damage increases with your Mysticality and +bonus Spell damage up to their damage cap (some high-level spells have none), and damage can be increased beyond this only by +%bonus spell damage. Spells have a 9% to crit (can be increased), which doubles the base damage, the additional damage from mysticality, and the damage cap, but does not double bonus spell damage.

In general, Muscle classes use melee attacks, moxie character use ranged attacks and mysticality characters use spells.

Your chance to get the jump on the monster increases with your unbuffed mainstat and your +Combat Initiative, and decreases with monster attack, monster initiative and +Monster Level.

Offensive Strategies

The aim is to get the jump on monsters and to kill them in one hit before they can damage you.

Defensive Strategies

In general, defensive strategies are used by moxie classes, because moxie reduces incoming damage, and turtle tamers, thanks to their tough shields, while offensive strategies are used by almost everyone else. However, certain monsters force a particular strategy: Gremlins force a defensive strategy and monsters with a high chance to block skills (Bonerdagon, Naughty Sorceress) or deal damage depending on your max hp (Wall of meat) are best deal with using offensive strategies.

Stat buffing

Classes tend to have good buffing skills available at higher levels, and buffing items available at their guild. Setting your Monster Aggravation Device to certain levels can drop helpful items, and your classes’ epic weapon usually has enough +mainstat to handle monsters if you are not running +ML. Before facing a boss, you can usually buff yourself with enough non-quest item drops from the monsters you’ve faced to win. If you really need huge +stat, semi rares at the The Mysterious Island of Mystery can help, taking a lot of some pills followed by Soft green echo eyedrop antidote is a cheap way of doing it.

Sources of Stats Buffs

Advanced Saucecrafting

Players with Advanced Saucecrafting can cook sauce potions using scrumptious reagents. The skill itself allows you to summon reagents 3 times per day, and more can be farmed by fighting Knob Goblin Very Mad Scientists in the Cobb's Knob Laboratories. Note that cooking potions takes an adventure unless you have a chef in the boxInigo’s, or some other source of free crafting.

  1. Lemon: Philter of phorce (muscle +100%)
  2. Grapefruit: Ointment of the occult (mysticality +100%)
  3. Olive: Serum of sarcasm (moxie + 100%)
  4. Tomato: Tomato juice of powerful power (all stats +50%)

Equalizers are potions that make your base offstats equal to your mainstat for the time that they are active. They are quite helpful defensively, but are usually more difficult to craft than other sauce potions.

  1. Lime: Oil of stability (equalizes all stats to muscle)
  2. Cherry: Oil of expertise (equalizes all stats to mysticality)
  3. Jumbo olive: Oil of slipperiness (equalizes all stats to moxie)

Buffs from Stores

Buffs from skills:

Abusing the Elements

Elemental monsters take double damage from two other elements and only 1 at a time from their own. Stench Damage damage is helpful for demons and ghosts, Cold Damage damage for hippies and frat boys. Having +20 of any element except sleaze helps in the Tavern Cellar noncombats. As ghosts are completely immune to physical damage, you need to hurt them with elements beside spooky. The skill Bend Hell will help meet the +100 elemental damage threshold to get second place at the registration desk.

Reusable combat items

The beehive staggers in its first use, so it is a free 24-30 physical damage in any fight. If you have ambidextrous funkslinging, the electric boning knife is helpful for its 8-10 passive damage. The only other reusable combat items that doesn’t come from a class dungeon and isn’t an IOTM are the tin snips (can be used multiple times per fight) and the Gnomitronic Hyperspatial Demodulizer (can only be used once per fight, gives stat boost if you kill a monster with it).

Special Combat Styles


With no skills or equipment, fighting barehanded is a pure disadvantage; not only do barehanded attacks deal one-fourth the damage an attack with a melee weapon would do, you lose out on any enchantments on equipment in that slot. Barehanded combat is generally only done out of necessity, like in Way of the Surprising Fist or the PVP minigame With Your Bare Hands, or to take advantage of skills/enchantments that only apply to barehanded characters. Chief among these is Kung-Fu Hustler and the halos from Summon Clip Art. As unarmed attacks count as melee attacks, and ‘being unarmed’ prevents having a shield, muscle classes will have a hard time absorbing damage and moxie classes will have a hard time landing a hit. It is therefore recommended that muscle classes buff their Combat initiative to use an offensive and strategy, while moxie classes use a defensive strategy, deleving the enemies before killing them with critical hits. See Kung Fu for more details.

Crit Synergy

Crits deal double the damage of regular attacks (triple with Audacity of the Otter), but getting them from regular attacks is relying on landing that 6% in the first few turns of combat. The SC-exclusive Furious Wallop is a guaranteed crit, and other classes can up their critical hit chance with Black Body™ spray and other items (see: Critical Hit Chance). Many pieces of equipment (such as the vampire cape) offer bonuses to critical hits: see Critical hit.


Another commonly used combat strategy is to use a starfish type familiar for an adventure or two, in order to replenish MP. This combat style is usually done only intermittently, as there are better familiars to use in most areas, such as stat-giving familiars or item-drop boosting familiars. Combat is elongated (using a seal tooth, or spices, or some other infinite-use item that does 0-1 damage), and then the starfish kills the monster, and gives you MP in the process. Certain elemental starfish types are useful for this purpose.

If the player does little or no damage to the monster themselves and lets the starfish-type familiar kill the monster, then the player can receive about as many MP from one combat as the monster had HP (limited by the player's MP pool size). Later in the game and at higher +ML, this can equate to hundreds if not thousands of meat saved, which can be an excellent trade-off at the expense of using a different familiar for a turn.

Versus Hot or Stench-aligned monsters, a Midget Clownfish shines, as it does double damage to those monsters. A Rock Lobster is extremely effective versus Spooky or Cold-aligned monsters. A Snow Angel is strong versus Sleaze or Stench-aligned monsters. Useful skills for this style of combat include Amphibian SympathyLeash of Linguini, and Empathy of the Newt for increased starfish damage, which equates to increased MP for you. Other skills of note are those which help with Damage Absorption, such as Tao of the TerrapinAstral Shell, and Ghostly Shell. Another potentially useful skill here is Jingle Bells, which increases the starfish's actions by 10%, causing it to give MP on about 43% of combat rounds, rather than 33%.

Slimeling is another starfish-like familiar, though it has a different rate of MP-recharging actions (50%), which is unaffected by Jingle Jangle Jingle. This is, however, an extremely popular choice among ascenders, as it is a Fairy-type familiar that is also a Starfish when it has been fed equipment, making it a very effective Combat familiar, as well as an item-drop familiar, which is very desirable. Other starfish hybrids that require feeding are the Gluttonous Green Ghost, which eats and steals food and gives stats like a Blood-faced volleyball, and the Spirit Hobo, which drinks booze and also gives stats like a volleyball.

If you have adventures to spare or just really need the MP, I recommend adventuring in the Haunted Bathroom. Bottles of Monsieur Bubble help with the MP problem, gobs of wet hair are useful with funksliging, and the non-combat allows you to flyer the Guy Made Of Bees.

Special Monsters

Scaling Monsters

Scaling monsters scale to your stats, having defence based on your mainstat and attack based on your moxie. The only scaling monsters you typically encounter on ascension are in The Thinknerd Warehouse, and only then if you do not have Torso Awaregness. However, scaling monsters show up regularly in a Crimbo events and zones unlocked by IOTMs.

Monsters that block spells

Monsters immune to physical damage

Monsters with small damage caps/immune to everything

See Frosty for more details

Big monsters

Monsters in some aftercore areas, such as the basement or Uncle Gator's Country Fun-Time Liquid Waste Sluice, may be significantly larger than you can buff your stats to.

See Basement Diving


See Tower killing

Monsters that damage based on Max HP

Helpful items