The Ironclad is one of three class types the player can choose at the beginning of Slay The Spire. He favors strength, defense, and sometimes self-sacrifice to further augment his powers. The core strategy is to hit hard, negate damage, and cut into his HP to ensure the enemy loses all of theirs faster.
It can be a tough deck to build with lots of different strategies that are possible to implement, but it’s possible to become a pro if you understand the nature of the cards and which ones are the strongest for each strategy. To help you build your Ironclad deck, here are a listing of the best cards you can have for Ironclad.
Impervious is a simple card that provides the player with 30 block and is discarded after use. It’s one of the best defensive cards in the Ironclad deck and can negate a lot of damage which is handy for blocking heavy hitting foes or for buying time to take out the enemy’s health first.
This card is also useful in conjunction with cards like Body Slam which deals damage based on the amount of block the player has. With two energy for Impervious and one energy for Body slam you could give yourself 30 block and deal at least 30 damage in the same turn.
9 Fiend Fire
Admittedly Fiend Fire is a situational card, but when that situation arises it’s incredibly useful. Fiend Fire has you exhaust every card in your hand and deal seven damage for each card. With hands typically having five cards you could deal at least 28 damage with the other four cards and use up cards you probably wouldn’t have or couldn’t play that round.
This is especially powerful if used in conjunction with cards that draw further cards from your deck. Offering for instance has you draw three cards without using energy, this would bring your total hand up to six cards and let you burn them with Fiend Fire for a total of 42 damage.
8 Battle Trance
Speaking of a card that allows you to draw additional cards Battle Trance consumes no energy and allows you to draw three additional cards. This is definitely something you could use in conjunction with Fiend Fire or at the very least give you a chance of drawing and using a useful card if your current hand is lousy.
The only caveat with this card is that once you play it you cannot draw additional cards that turn. Make sure to use any other cards that allow you to draw before using this one, but as far as downsides go this is pretty minimal.
Given Ironclad is geared around offense having a card like Shockwave is incredibly helpful, especially if you're facing multiple opponents. It applies three rounds of Weak and three rounds of Vulnerable to all enemies.
Weak causes enemies to deal 25% less damage and Vulnerable causes them to receive 50% more damage. This card can be used to negate part of what would normally be a killing blow and allow you to shred the enemy much faster. Combine this with a multi-attack card like Reaper and you can burn through enemies quickly.
Speaking of which, Reaper is actually the next card and for good reason. It’s an attack card that deals four damage to all enemies and heals the player based on the damage that wasn’t blocked. This is a fantastic card for whittling down opponents and giving yourself some much needed HP.
The key is to soften up opponents first to ensure as much damage breaches their block as possible so you do the most damage and get the most healing. Doing a little damage first or applying a card like Shockwave mentioned above can give you the most benefit from this card.
For raw damage to all enemies the Immolate card can’t be beat. It’s an attack card that deals a whopping 21 damage to all enemies. If they’re already softened by another attack or weakened in some way this can quickly clear the field and make your job a lot easier.
The only reason this card doesn’t rank higher is that it comes with a downside, playing this card will introduce a Burn card into the discard pile that can be drawn later when the cards are reshuffled. Burn is a status card that deals two damage, it can be blocked but it’s still annoying.
4 Demon Form
Demon form is a fantastic card to get early in a round. Once played this card will start earning the player two strength every turn. Given enough turns the odds of the player winning with this card still in play becomes more of a question of when they’ll win rather than if.
Still it does require three energy to use which effectively means it’ll be the only card you play save for a few cards that don’t require energy. This can pose a problem if you have an opportunity to attack and finish the fight or need a few points in block that turn.
This is easily the strongest power card in the entire Ironclad deck. When played Corruption will cause all skills to have zero energy cost. This means powerful cards like Shockwave, Impervious, and more can be played while still leaving your three energy intact to play other cards.
This makes your job a whole lot easier as now any skill can be played without a second thought and you can still follow up with attack or defense cards. The one downside is that those skills cards will be exhausted and wont resurface that round
Offering is strong because it gives you options when you’re desperate. Upon playing you sacrifice four HP so you can gain two energy and draw three cards. This essentially gives you five energy and extra cards to use it on.
The HP loss can be problematic, but the odds of you drawing and being able to use a card to recoup that loss is high so it’s almost always worth the trade off. At the very least it’s great when you’re backed into a corner and don’t have a lot of options.
Arguably the best card in the deck is Feed. It’s an attack card that deals 10 damage when used and if it kills the enemy it’s targeting it provides the player with a permanent gain of three to their max health.
Granted it’s a one-time use card as it exhausts afterward, and it requires a situation where you can kill an enemy. But that permanent gain to max HP can make the rest of the match a lot easier and give you that slight edge you need. Not to mention, it’s easier to sacrifice a bit of health to use certain cards, like Offering, when you know you have a little extra in the bank.