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All you need to know about Cryptic

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12/21/2013 5:22:04   

-Skills and Explanations
-Skill Builds


Cryptics are the Atelean version of the base class rogue. Thus, you have to be a rogue (or pay DCs to the Black Market Moglin in order to change your base class) to obtain this class. Note that a Dragon Amulet is also required to obtain the class and use its skills. So, if you have a DA and you are a rogue, you're now set to become a Cryptic!

To meet your trainer and start training to become a Cryptic, you need to go a particular room in The Spire. First, go to The Anomaly, go one screen to the right, speak to a Sentinel and enter The Spire. In The Spire, take the staircase on the right of the screen, then go one more screen to the right. You will see an entrance to another room. Go through the entrance to meet the most accurate Cryptic in Atelea, Etaos A'ravi, who will be your Cryptic trainer.

Now, what is the niche of a Cryptic? No one puts it better than Etaos himself:


Etaos: The mind is the most powerful weapon. That's our credo. Cryptics do not need any weapons, we use our minds to cause pain. Or pleasure. We do not have to be "one with the shadows", we can simply fool our enemy to see what we want him to see. Etaos: Cryptics may seem weak and fragile, but we still are hardly ever wounded, thanks to our decoy illusions. Etaos: The most powerful techniques, created long time ago by unaels, affect not only mind, but also the brain structure and neurons. Etaos: The only limit to your power.......is your imagination!

Having now learnt about the general tenets of the Cryptic class, it is time to get into some detail about the skills of a Cryptic.


In this section, the skills of the Cryptic are listed, with detailed explanation about each individual skill and general ideas on how they can be used. In the next section on Strategy, the information about all these different individual skills will come together and we’ll move on from these general concepts to form more concrete move sequences.

Steal a Potion!

Effect: 50% chance of getting a potion; potion is immediately consumed on that turn itself – the amount this potion heals is equal to the amount his standard potion heals
Cooldown: 2

In the Rogue armour, this potion-stealing skill had too little chance of success for it to be a regular in the defensive set-up – it would be more of a desperate last throw of the dice to salvage a battle. With a 50% chance of using a potion, however, now this skill is far more potent. If one trains his alchemy to the highest level, this means that he will, on average, be able to heal 625 HP every 6 turns. This is defensively amazing, especially for set-ups with low HP; even if you have about 3000 HP, this heals an average of 4.1% a turn, which means that this class is the bested by only enTropy and Chronomancer (which can potentially heal about 5% per turn). The drawbacks, though, are that

i) You have to train your alchemy to a high level (preferably the maximum level where potions heal 625 HP) to reap the benefits of this skill.

ii) You have to cast it every 3 turns to heal this amount of HP, while some other classes need not use their healing skill(s) as often to achieve their maximum rate of healing. Dragonlord, for example, has to cast its healing skill only once every 9 turns to achieve its maximum rate of healing - thus, it compromises on one turn of damage every 9 turns in order to heal as much as possible. However, Cryptic compromises on one turn of damage every three turns if it is to get to its maximum healing potential.

iii) It’s still a throw of the dice – there’s a 50% chance it will work, and a 50% chance it won’t. You’ll often find yourself having to use the skill twice or maybe even more times for the Heal to take effect. This again follows on from ii), and wastes turns where damage could be dealt instead.

Thus, while a 50% chance of healing is a fantastic upgrade from rogue and also theoretically makes it one of the best classes for healing, practically speaking, you’ll have to compromise on a lot of attack-power to achieve this rate of healing. The enemy would survive longer and also do more damage to you in the long-term. Keep this in mind and use the skill at the appropriate times. I suggest using it as a filler move when your HP is in the low to mid ranges, while waiting for one of the main attacking moves to cool down; however, don’t rely on it too much.

Effect: 1 hit of 175% damage and applies 30% Bonus for 5 turns – Bonus affects the accuracy of your hits, meaning that fewer attacks will miss for the next 5 turns.
Cooldown: 4

This skill can be a handy filler move while you’re waiting for the cooldown of other major attacks to end as it does 175% damage in the mean-time and increases your accuracy as well. The only other real use for this skill is, perhaps, when you have an opponent who has the ability to cast a shield; using this skill gives you a better chance of hitting through the shield.
Psychic Kick

Effect: Does 100% damage and applies -100 Flee for 20 turns.
Cooldown: 4

Frankly, this is useless unless you are on the brink of a victory and don’t want the enemy to run away (and deny you a little bit of EXP) before you finish him off. It has one of the coolest skill names but is almost wholly un-necessary and will definitely be your least used skill.

Effect: Does 275% Pierce damage
Cooldown: 2

This will be one of 2 important attacking skills which you’ll be using extremely frequently. As this skill always deals “Pierce” damage, make sure you have a high DEX stat (which you should, since your base class is Rogue) to get the most out of this skill.
Psychic Cage

Effect: Does 1 hit of 180% damage and stuns the opponent for 3 turns
Cooldown: 14

This is the average stun skill. As it only does 1 hit every time it’s used, it has only one chance of stunning per use (unlike classes like Riftwalker, enTropy and Pyromancer – these classes’ stun skills involve more than one hit, giving them many chances of stunning on the same turn). At the same time, this has a slight edge over other average one-hit stun skills – it does 180% damage. Even if the opponent has a high immobility resistance, it can be used as a filler move when waiting for other skills to cool down as it does a fair amount of damage. Even if you don’t get lucky with the stun, a good amount of damage would still have been dealt. Thus, it is not completely useless against opponents with high resistance to immobility.

Effect: Adds 180 to Dodge, Parry and Block for 4 turns (1 turn refers to 1 turn of the opponent doing damage to you)
Cooldown: 9

This is one of many defensive skills in the Cryptic’s arsenal. There’ll be more about this in the section on strategy.
Rapid Attack

Effect: 2 hits of 175% damage for 350% damage in total
Cooldown: 2

This is the best attacking skill in the whole class as it does good damage and has a low cooldown. This can be used in tandem with “Throw” and a filler skill to good effect. There’ll be more on this in the section on strategy.

Effect: 2 hits of 75% damage for 150% damage in total
Cooldown: 0

The “Attack!” button which every class has, except that it does 150% damage. Use this to finish off opponents with little HP left, without wasting MP.
Illusionary Veil

Effect: Applies the effects “Stealth”, which adds 30% crit for 3 turns, and “Stealth Block”, which adds 140 Dodge, Parry and Block for 4 turns. It also enables the skill, “Backstab” after use.
Cooldown: 9

This skill is useful in both attack and defence. For pure attack, this skill does not help when your character already has a high crit rate (it wastes one turn doing no damage, which it cannot compensate for, as you will see in the “Strategy” section). At the same time, its defensive perks mean that you can sacrifice a little bit of damage in important battles to, perhaps, save some HP. It enables temporary use of Backstab as well. It is important to know when to use this skill and it will be elaborated upon in the “Strategy” section.


Effect: 1 hit of 250% damage, can only be used when “Stealth” is in effect (within 3 turns of casting Illusionary Veil)
Cooldown: 1

This is a handy skill that does the fourth-most damage out of all Cryptic skills. However, since this skill can only be used within 4 turns of casting “Illusionary Veil” and the skills which do the most damage have only 2 turns of cooldown, you won’t be using this too frequently in battles. At the same time, it is a good move to fill in the one-turn gap while “Rapid” and “Throw” are cooling down if you want to deal even more damage (and can’t use Mindcrush).


Effect: 4 hits of 45% damage for 180% total, applies Neuron Discharge DoT for 5 turns (30% damage each turn)
Cooldown: 4

If we are to factor in the entire DoT, this skill beats Backstab in terms of damage (even if both crit) and does the third-most damage out of all skills. I recommend using it often, especially if your opponent has a weakness to that particular element of your weapon (because each DoT would then do twice the amount of damage it normally does).

Mind Pierce

Effect: 3 hits of 50% damage for 150% total, attacks the target's MP.
Cooldown: 0

Mainly for use against Minx fairies and the like, who can use their MP to cast effects that are troublesome; you wouldn’t normally be using this very often

Wild Daggers

Effect: 1 hit of 140% damage to all opponents
Cooldown: 2

This is a multi-skill for use when you’re battling more than one opponent. The sequences and combinations in which it can be used efficiently will be discussed in the “Strategy” section.

Mental Torture

Effect: 3 hits of 50% damage for 150% total, applies -60 to Hit for 5 turns
Cooldown: 9

First, it is important to note that the 5 turns of -60 to hit are in actuality, 4 turns. This is because a turn is relative to the opponent; thus, the moment you use the “Mental Torture” and your turn is over (including the turn of any guests/pets of yours), 1 turn is over. The opponent will then be affected by this skill effect on each of his next 4 turns. Having said this, a blind skill is very useful and an important addition to the Cryptic’s excellent defensive skillset. While it will usually serve as the most reliable and effective defensive ability, the opponent’s Bonus to hit must also be taken into account. Some opponents (like Dr When for example) have such a high Bonus that a “Blind” skill is of little use and most of their attacks will hit as per normal.

Mental Assassination

Effect: 1 critical hit which does damage based on the amount of Paranoia charges you had before using it, resets Paranoia's charges to 0 (0% Critical Boost) afterwards

0 charges: 250%
1 charge: 265%
2 charges: 280%
3 charges: 295%
4 charges: 310%
5 charges: 325%
The damage listed above is the base damage, which does not take into consideration the auto crit effect of the skill. With the confirmed crit, you’ll be doing twice the amount of damage.
Cooldown: 14

This skill is never going to be used at higher levels when your crit is around 70. This is because it resets Paranoia’s crit boost back to 0 and it takes 5 turns to get it back to 25. However, at extremely high crits and somewhat low crits, this is a skill which can add to the average damage output. There’ll be more on this in the strategy section.

Paranoia Critical Boost

This isn’t a visible skill which you use, but a passive skill that is automatically activated every turn when you use one of Cryptic’s skills (it is not activated when you use a trinket skill).

Effect: You start every battle with 0% Critical Boost that increases by 5 for every attack/spell cast capping at 25% bonus critical damage (from this source only, Paranoia doesn't affect other damage boosts). Using Mental Assassination resets the passive.

This is a handy effect that can play a pivotal role in battle. Note that the crit boost is applied after the end of every turn and not during the turn itself.



The strategy which shall be discussed in this section comprises three parts – aggressive strategy, defensive strategy and balancing both to achieve the optimum strategy. Aggressive strategy will include strategy against regular mobs, strategy against multiple opponents and the best possible damage rotations against bosses. Defensive strategy will deal with the appropriate use of defensive skills while the final section will focus on how to balance both in various scenarios.

Aggressive Strategy

Cryptic’s best rotation for long-term damage is relatively hard to calculate (when compared with Ascendant, Riftwalker and most other classes) due to its passive increasing the player’s crit chance by 5 each turn to a limit of 25. While Riftwalker and Ascendant have their passives increasing or decreasing damage boosts, which are concrete and not based upon chance, crit is not so. Furthermore once you hit 100 crit (and above) with all boosts factored in, any more wouldn’t count towards damage. The formula for calculating damage increase through crit would be (100 + Initial Crit* + Paranoia Critical Boost + Critical Boost from Skills) / 100 X Damage , where the limit of (100 + Initial Crit* + Paranoia Critical Boost + Critical Boost from Skills) is 200.
Thus, even if (Initial Crit + Paranoia’s Boost + Crit Boost from Skills) > 100, it will only add 100 to the formula, unlike damage boosts, which will keep on adding. This complicates and narrows down the possible damage rotations at each level of crit, resulting in three different rotations for maximum damage depending on how much crit you have.
* Initial Crit refers to the amount of crit that you get when you add the crit given by your equipment with the 5 base crit of the armour. This is the crit that you will see on the Character Details page that pops up when you click on your HP/MP bar.

Let us now go through the process of selecting the best damage rotation(s) for each amount of crit. There are three possible rotations at the outset (before we start calculating):

1. Stealth -> Rapid -> Throw -> Backstab -> Rapid -> Throw -> Mindcrush -> Rapid -> Throw -> Psychic Cage -> Rapid -> Throw -> Mindcrush -> Rapid -> Mental Assassination and repeat from the beginning
2. Aimed -> Rapid -> Throw -> Mindcrush -> Rapid -> Throw -> Aimed -> Rapid -> Throw -> Mindcrush -> Rapid -> Throw -> Psychic Cage -> Rapid -> Mental Assassination and repeat from the beginning
3. Throw -> Rapid -> Mindcrush -> Throw -> Rapid -> Aimed -> Throw -> Rapid -> Mindcrush -> Throw -> Rapid -> Aimed -> Throw -> Rapid -> Psychic Cage and repeat from the beginning

Note 1: “Backstab” is used instead of “Mindcrush” on turn 4 of the first rotation despite “Mindcrush” by itself having superiority in damage over “Backstab”. This is because if “Mindcrush” were used instead, then “Mindcrush” would have been used twice and “Aimed” and “Psychic Cage” would each have been used once by the end of the 14 turn rotation. If “Backstab” were used on that turn instead, all else would be same except that instead of “Aimed”, “Backstab” would have been used once and “Psychic Cage" would have been used once, which ultimately leads to more damage than the former.
Note 2: A Paranoia Crit Boost of 25 has been factored into all the calculations, unless Mental Assassination is used, which resets this crit boost.

The calculations that went into calculating the final results comprise some pages of a notebook; thus, it would not be efficient (and, perhaps, not helpful either) to include these calculations within the guide itself. However, I will briefly be running through the calculating process.

x was taken to be the (Initial Crit+100)/100. This includes the five crit from the armour. The critical boost from Paranoia and stealth were added to it (as fractions too) and multiplied to the base damage done by each skill. However, it was noted that x<=1.55 for rotation number 1 and x<=1.75 for rotations number 2 and 3 since there is a limit of 100 maximum crit. Algebraically, the numbers for each (not having taken into amount the limit of crit yet) are as follows:

Rotation 1: 3640x+1968.75
Rotation 2: 3740x+1694.5
Rotation 3: 4015x+1303.75

Now, a working knowledge of inequalities would say that Rotation 1 is the best for any initial crit below 77 while rotation 3 is the best afterwards. However, note that this has not factored in the limit of crit as 100. Factoring that in as well, we get the final result:
Having calculated, it seems that for crit of 65 and below, rotation number 1 is best. For anything upward of 65 crit, the best rotation is rotation number 3. Note that the crit mentioned here is the amount of crit you have when you have equipped all your equipment and has factored in the base 5 crit of the armour.

Against a Single Opponent:

The strategy here would normally focus on:

1) Finishing the opponent off in the least number of turns. (first priority)
2) Finishing the opponent off while consuming the least MP. (second priority)

If the amount of damage your opponent does on your HP is a concern, add a "Smoke", "Stun", "Potion" or "Blind" where necessary.

When the opponent's HP is within 0 to 500% HP of your normal attack: Use Mental Assassination to finish him off in one turn. If you can use "Throw" to do the job in one turn, then do so because the animation for "Throw" is much shorter.
When the opponent's HP is within 500 to 1000% HP of your normal attack: Use Mental Assassination and Rapid Attack to kill the opponent. If you have rather low crit, this still may not finish the job often enough so use the next strategy instead
When the opponent's HP is within 1000% to 1500% HP of your normal attack: Use Throw-> Rapid -> Mental Assassination. If he's still not dead, add in another "Throw and Rapid"

Anything beyond that, simply use Throw and Rapid as much as possible. Use Mental Assassination to finish opponents off or reduce their HP greatly when they don't have too much left.

Against Multiple Opponents:

Against multiple opponents, whether 2 or 3 of them, one should lower the HP of one particular opponent significantly (usually the opponent who does the most damage and/or has the least HP) and then use Wild Daggers to kill him and also damage the other opponent(s). Transfer the strategy used against single opponents here, except that Wild Daggers plays a significant role in this strategy. You may also want to immobilise one opponent (use Psychic Cage) on the first turn to reduce the damage you take from him or use "Illusion" to reduce damage from all your opponents.

That's about it for aggressive strategy. At the same time, we all know that aggressive strategy is not complete without another crucial element of the game - defensive strategy.

Defensive Strategy
Cryptic has many defensive skills but whether they work together and work well depends on how well the player uses them. There are a variety of defensive skills for many different situations and we'll be talking about each of them and their uses in these various situations. The main defensive skills are: "Steal a Potion!", "Psychic Cage", "Illusion", "Illusionary Veil" (which also helps with attack) and "Mental Torture". First of all, we'll have to note that every single one of these skills is based on chance. There is no one skill that can guarantee a concrete, definite reduction in damage or a definite amount that will be healed. The opponent may or may not hit through the various layers of defence and you may or may not heal. Thus, it is all the more crucial to use and manipulate these defensive skills to work together to give you the best possible shot at defending yourself sufficiently while having enough opportunities to attack your opponent.

Steal a Potion!
This skill is a little tricky to time and execute correctly. There is always the chance of great success or great failure. For optimal use of this skill, one has to train his alchemy (HP potion healing) to the very maximum. If that is done, then this skill will more often than not be an integral part of the defensive set-up, considering that most other skills have at least 3 times as much cooldown. I recommend using this in the turn after Throw -> Rapid if you have low to mid amount of HP and don't need immediate healing but would like to heal if possible. For example, if your total HP is around 2000 and you have about 900 left and the boss deals approximately 150 per turn. While the situation isn't a do-or-die, some healing would really be helpful.You could now use this skill. If it suceeds, then fantastic - you're back to 1525 HP and can concentrate on your attack for the next few turns. If it fails, then the battle still isn't lost - you can use another defensive skill (or heal yourself with one of your own potions) and continue fighting.

Psychic Cage
This would just be your average stun skill except for one perk - that it does 180% damage. Thus, it can also be used as a filler move in between two sequences of Throw->Rapid. Against opponents with a high resistance to immobility, it is fine if you fail to stun them because you still did pretty good damage; if you get lucky, then even better.

180 to Dodge, Parry and Block is a very solid amount of defence against most opponents. This is also the only skill other than "Illusionary Veil" (which is weaker) that can defend against multiple opponents at the same time. Note, however, that this skill has little to no use against opponents with a high amount of "Bonus" like Dr When.

Illusionary Veil
This skill gives 140 to Dodge, Parry and Block, which is the same amount of defence given by the skill "Smoke" in rogue. This is a good amount of defence and, unlike the skill "Stealth" in the rogue armour, this skill can be used for purely its defence (of course, it could aide in attack as well depending on how much crit you have, as mentioned in the previous part of this section). Like "Illusion", this skill has little to no use against opponents with a high amount of "Bonus".

Mental Torture
This is an upgraded version of the Rogue blind skill which provides an extra "-10 to Hit" and is in effect for 1 more turn, with the same cooldown. Again, this is useless against certain opponents who have a great amount of Bonus to hit but it is usually a very useful skill. The cooldown of 9 (as compared to Ascendant, which has the same skill with only 6 turns of cooldown) is rather long but, with proper management of the various skills, will not be that great a problem.

Before we look at specific scenarios and how to defend in these scenarios using the above-mentioned skills, let's first understand how the defence mechanisms behind all these skills work:

I shall be using a formula that Frostburn derived and which seems to hold true for all scenarios that I've tested it in.

Average chance to avoid enemy attack = [( block + parry + dodge ) / 280] / 3 * 100 + z - y

Assume 100% evasion = 280
y = enemy bonus; z = your defense (melee/pierce/magic)

Now, 280 of all stats theoretically would make it impossible for an opponent with 0 bonus to hit you. It seems that one of the stats out of Dodge/Parry/Block are chosen at random every turn. Assume that the system chooses the stat "Block" randomly and you have 70 Block. Assuming the opponent has 0 Bonus and ignoring any existing Melee/Pierce/Magic Defense, the opponent has a (70 / 280) x 100% = 25% chance of his attack being blocked on that turn. Every point of bonus your opponent has, this chance of him missing decreases by 1% and every amount of Melee/Pierce/Magic Defence you have, this figure increases by 1%.

While the amount of Dodge/Parry/Block most players have would be at maximum around 12 to 16 (and, thus, prove rather insignificant to the opponent's miss rate), Cryptic has 2 skills which provide tremendous amounts of Dodge/Parry/Block defence - "Illusion" and "Illusionary Veil". They respectively provide 64.3% and 50% chance of the opponent missing. When used together, unless the opponent has 15 or more Bonus, he will definitely miss. And this is without taking into account pre-existing amounts of "Melee/Pierce/Magic Defence" and "Dodge/Parry/Block" defence. Thus, we see that "Illusion" and "Illusionary Veil" can be potent individually and completely block out most opponents when used together. And I haven't even got started on "Bonus to Hit" and "Immobility".

Bonus to Hit
"Bonus to Hit" works on a system of percentages. Like you saw in the formula above where y is the enemy bonus, 1 point of bonus for the opponent increases his chance of hitting by 1. -1 point would thus, decrease his chance of hitting by 1. "Mental Torture" gives -60 Bonus to Hit to the opponent. This reduces his chance of hitting by 60%. If we were to go once step ahead from the previous example (of Dodge/Parry/Block) and combine it with the other two, the opponent needs a minimum of 75 Bonus to deliver a hit. If we further hypothetically combined this with a trinket skill such as "Bubbles" (from the Not-so-Tiny-Bubbles trinket), the opponent needs at least 125 Bonus to even stand a chance of hitting.

Now, however, it is time to insert an important disclaimer: you should try not to combine these skills as far as possible. It will leave you undefended for the rest of the turns (while these skills are cooling down) and the large clump of defensive skills used together would mean that you have not dealt any damage whatsoever. Furthermore, the hypothetical "impossible to hit" scenario lasts only one or two turns (as you use up one turn of the previous defensive skill you cast whenever you cast the next one). The reason why I even brought up these scenarios was to emphasise the magnitude and sheer potential of Cryptic's various defensive skills as well as how they work.

Immobility is rather different from the previous two defensive strategies we have been examining. Each hit of the stun gives one chance of stunning the opponent. The chance of a hit stunning the opponent is equivalent to (100-Opponent's Immobility Resistance). Classes like enTropy and Pyromancer have more than 1 hit and, thus, more than 1 chance of stunning with their respective stun skills. In fact, enTropy has the single best stun skill with 9 chances to stun - this means that you will stun more often than not, even when the opponent has 92 Immobility Resist! However, Cryptic is not similar to enTropy in this respect. It has 1 chance of stunning - therefore, for any opponent with more than 50 Immobility Resist, it is more probable that the opponent will resist the stun than that it will be successful. Since there is only one hit, the way to calculate the probability of stunning is particularly simple and intuitive even without mathematical reasoning. It is just (100-Opponent's Immobility Resist)%.

We shall now move onto particular scenarios and the specific details regarding defences to set up in these scenarios.

i) Defending against a Single Opponent with Low Bonus, Low Immobility Resist
When you're defending against one opponent who has low bonus and low immobility resist, you should be able to use all of your defensive skills effectively. Other than "Psychic Cage", which you would use once every 14 turns (whenever it's available), your defence would take place in rotations of 9. Illusionary Veil can cover the first 3 turns, Stealth the next 3 and Blind can cover 4. Besides these, there is also "Steal a Potion!" which can be used whenever required. Such battles should normally be rather comfortable, unless an opponent does consistent high damage, in which stunning as well as finishing him off quickly becomes a priority. In such a scenario, combining defence skills such that they overlap can help reduce short-term damage while you wait for your major attacks or defences to cooldown. At the same time, make sure you aren't left defenceless at the latter part of the battle and if you are, that you can kill your opponent before he kills you. Some opponents charge up their attacks over long periods and then deliver one or two devastating attacks. There is a relatively simple way to counteract against this. Overlap the defensive skills using the method mentioned earlier such that it is impossible for the enemy to hit on the turn(s) when he is set to deal the killer blow(s). Also, if the skill has cooled down, you could try using "Psychic Cage" on your opponent in such a scenario. Once your defence is as secure as possible, eliminate the opponent swiftly.

ii) Defending against a Single Opponent with High Bonus, Low Immobility Resist
When it comes to Cryptic's defence, one of the weak links is dealing with opponents who have a high amount of bonus. The defensive skills may be minimally effective and, depending on how high the opponent's Bonus is, perhaps, you could try combining 2 defensive skills to try and make a dent in the opponent's attack. To know whether you should do so, first calculate based on the formula that was given earlier and then take a call on how you would want to use the limited defensive resources every 9 turns to achieve optimal levels of defence. Sometimes, there is little to no point attempting to use these skills as the opponent's Bonus to Hit is so high that he still hardly misses. How to proceed is largely dependent on the situation, factoring in your own HP and how much damage you deal, as well as how much damage the opponent deals. A general rule of thumb would be to use "Psychic Cage" whenever possible. Also, you would want to use "Steal a Potion!" as a filler move once in a while to maintain a healthy amount of HP throughout the battle. In especially difficult battles, you may want to considering bringing along your dragon as a guest, both as a HP shield and, perhaps, with useful skills to help you defend. Also, consider weapons with defensive specials. More about using the dragon, healing weapons and other mechanisms to defend later on in the section...

iii) Defending against a Single Opponent with Low Bonus, High Immobility Resist
This situation should still be rather comfortable. Follow the principles mentioned in part i) and you will be fine. Even in this scenario, you should perhaps use "Psychic Cage" in between sequences of Throw->Rapid as it does do good enough damage to be a filler move and you may just get lucky.

iv) Defending against a Single Opponent with High Bonus, High Immobility Resist
Things get very difficult in this scenario. While "Steal a Potion!" is the only skill that can still be used very effectively in this scenario, do not be over-reliant and gamble on its success. It is highly recommended that you bring along a dragon as a guest (unless you do otherwise for a challenge or a sense of personal achievement, in which case it is perfectly fine to do otherwise). Also, perhaps, you should consider a weapon with a defensive special and use equipment with high resistance to the element your opponent is wielding in order to reduce the damage upfront as much as you can. What was mentioned in ii) still applies, except that now even the stun skill cannot work optimally.

v) Defending against Multiple Opponents with Low Bonus, Low Immobility Resist
Cryptic does extremely well compared to most other classes when it comes to defending against multiple opponents with low bonus. Even classes like Entropy, which stand up exceedingly well against most single opponents including those with high bonus and immobility resist, fail at defending against multiple opponents, simply because their defensive skills only apply to one opponent at a time. However, Cryptic has two excellent shield skills which can defend against all opponents at the same time - "Illusion" and "Illusionary Veil". These are the two skills you should be using rather often in such a scenario since the skill "Blind" only affects one opponent and so does "Psychic Cage" (and, thus, wouldn't usually be as effective against multiple opponents).

vi) Defending against Multiple Opponents with High Bonus, Low Immobility Resist
This scenario becomes a bit of a problem for Cryptic's defence; none of the skills except for "Steal a Potion" can work optimally. "Psychic Cage" is the only skill which can still work semi-optimally, stunning one of the opponents. Also, perhaps, if one of the opponents has low bonus, then "Blind", "Illusion" and "Illusionary Veil" would come into use just against that opponent. Ultimately though, this isn't in Cryptic's forte and you may need help from special healing weapons, your dragon etc.

vii) Defending against Multiple Opponents with Low Bonus, High Immobility Resist
This is pretty much similar to scenario v) - the stun isn't very effective against many opponents anyway (unless there's only one left and the battle is very tight).

viii) Defending against Multiple Opponents with High Bonus, High Immobility Resist
This is the most dire scenario of all - it's like scenario vi), except a little worse.

Other External Sources of Defence

Weapon Specials
As of now, there are only a few sets of weapons that have significant specials which help in terms of defence/healing and those all appear only during Frostvale. The complete details about all weapon specials, including these, can be found in the following guide: A Guide to Weapon Specials. After a certain level, these weapons do far too little damage to compensate for the healing they provide - therefore, do not bank on them for there are currently no high level versions of these weapons.

The only trinket that provides a solid amount of defence would be the Not-So-Tiny-Bubbles trinket, which gives one the Bubbles skill. However, this skill would only be of use against opponents whose Bonus isn't too high for it to be extremely inefficient.
At this point, it must be repeated that combining many defensive skills together to bring down the opponent's bonus over a series of turns just so that he misses on one or two turns is NOT worth it - in these turns, you could have at least dealt some damage to him and have killed him sooner, rather than giving him more turns and opportunities to attack you.
But against opponents whose bonus is low, Cryptic is usually pretty well-covered and wouldn't really need much more defence, though more is always better in this case.

Out of all these extra modes of defence, the dragon is probably the best aide in your defence for a Cryptic. Depending on what aspect of defence you want to concentrate on, you can train your dragon to heal you, lower your opponent's boost and do a lot of things. It is also a very useful HP shield for you as some of the opponent's damage is directed at the dragon (this is only if you equip your dragon as a guest, not as a pet). It is unique because, unlike other guests, it does not raise the opponents' HP when it is fighting alongside you, making it a very good companion to have.

Resistances are very, very useful, perhaps, more useful than a dragon. There are many equipment which can provide freakishly high amounts of resistance - each point of resistance results in your opponent's net damage each turn being lowered by 1%. Against opponents who use Darkness, for example, I believe that it is possible to achieve 90+ resistance - that means you take less than 10% of the damage you would normally have otherwise! Even if one doesn't have that much resistance, there are many simple quests that drop weaponry which give enough resistance to nullify a significant portion of your opponent's damage. One example would be the quest chain in Sunbreeze Grove about dragons setting up a food catering; each dragon occasionally drops a necklace with 10 resistance to its element, which is a tremendous amount for one single piece of equipment.
You can find and work out what suits you most in this department by referring to this comprehensive guide.

Besides this, there's also Melee/Pierce/Magic Defence and Dodge/Block/Parry Defence - both of these stats are relatively trivial and there are very few equipment which provide nice amounts of each. Note that 1 point of M/P/M defence is worth about 2.8 points of Dodge/Block/Parry Defence. Since I've already mentioned the formula to calculate, I shall not elaborate further, especially since these don't affect the outcome of a battle significantly in small amounts.

Assigning your Stats Efficiently

A basic facet of every single class in Dragonfable is the assigning of Stat Points - every level, you get 5 of them and can assign them into STR, DEX, INT, END, WIS, LUK or CHA. If you use a sword or a mace, STR will boost your damage, if you use staves and wands, INT will and if you use daggers or knives, DEX will do so. Thus, the stats STR/DEX/INT are to be allotted according to the type of weapon you use. i'd recommend putting your points into DEX because the skill "Throw" does Pierce damage no matter what type of weapon you are using (even if you're using a sword or a staff and not a pair of daggers) and Pierce damage is affected by DEX. I'd also recommend using daggers or scythes along with this high amount of DEX so that you reap its benefits (swords and staves wouldn't benefit from high DEX).

END gives you HP while WIS gives you MP. LUK increases your crit and your dodge rate by a bit while CHA increases pet and guest damage; these two also affect rolls. You can read up more about them here in this guide.

Just one thing to note though, that LUK isn't more useful for damage than STR/DEX/INT at any point in time, even after 150 so don't start assign too many points into that. Mathematically speaking, a crit point increases your damage by 1% because you've a chance of doing 100% more damage 1 in every 100 turns. You get a crit point from LUK every 20 skill points; at the same time, you get a 1% boost every 15 skillpoints even after 150 in STR/DEX/INT. Especially when you're a Cryptic, LUK's crit boost doesn't help much as all those extra crit additions by itself often make you deal crits extremely often (at higher levels especially); a little bit more crit won't do much.

OK, now on to the major stat builds. As a Cryptic, there are four ways to approach skill points; patch up the few holes in your defence by dumping a lot of skillpoints in END or deal more damage by dumping points into DEX. Besides these, you also have to consider whether you want a low MP or high MP build (which depends on the number of points you allocate to WIS).

1. Aggressive, High MP, Low HP
At Level 80,
DEX: 200
END: 120 - 145
WIS: 50 - 75

2. Aggressive, Low MP, Mid-High HP
At Level 80,
DEX: 200
END: 170-195
WIS: 0 - 25

3. Defensive, High MP, High HP
At Level 80,
DEX: 125 - 150
END: 200
WIS: 50 - 75

4. 1/2-Aggressive, 1/2-Defensive, Low MP, High HP
At Level 80,
DEX: 170 - 195
END: 200
WIS: 0 - 25

Out of these, I'd personally recommend 1 or 4; 3 sacrifices too much damage for my liking while 2 is missing a large chunk of END and, thus, HP. Note that none of this is precise calculation; all of these are general guidelines. This refers to the values at the ends of the various ranges as well. For example, 50 to 75 of a stat doesn't mean strictly capping at 25; if you feel you need a little bit more, you could put a few more points in until you're satisfied. Same applies vice versa. If you want a rough indicator of how much WIS you'll need, take note of your battle style and see how much MP the skills you use most often (or plan to use more often) cost; based on your own calculations, adjust and fine-tune to suit your needs.


You've now come to the end of this guide. Time to acknowledge those whose efforts went into making it happen:

Ash and Gingkage, for giving me the guide
The many people who answered my questions about Maximum Crit Possible, Paranoia Crit Boost, Block/Dodge/Parry, Melee/Pierce/Magic Defence and Bonus to Hit in the Q&A Forum. Special thanks to Frostburn and Dracojan especially.
Frostburn, who made the guide's current banner

< Message edited by RamDF -- 1/26/2014 0:23:28 >
DF  Post #: 1
1/16/2014 6:36:55   

-End of Guide-

< Message edited by RamDF -- 1/25/2014 0:09:42 >
DF  Post #: 2
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