Advanced gameplay

If you’re new to Diceheart, you won’t have to worry too much about the advanced mechanics in this article. For those of you who understand the basics and want a bit more insight on advanced gameplay topics, read on. If you’re not quite a beginner but not quite an expert, check out the tricks and elements articles.

Enemy difficulty #

There are 3 tiers of enemy group difficulty: easy, medium, and hard. The harder the group, the more gems you’ll get as a reward. The key system here is that enemies you encounter will get harder the further into the level you go. In particular, the hard ones can be really hard – in some cases, even harder than the level’s boss. As such, completely clearing a level may not be in your best interest unless you have a strong build.

The difficulty sequence #

The odds for each battle being of a particular difficulty are outlined in the table below.

BattleCave of the DiceheartsBlockdown City/Capsitoa ArchipelagoRefrigerated Frontier/Effervert ForestThe Holy Sea/Nuclear Nile Nation
1Easy (100%)Easy (100%)Easy (100%)Easy (100%)
2Easy (100%)Easy (100%)Easy (100%)Easy (100%)
3Easy (100%)Easy (100%)Easy (100%)Medium (100%)
4Medium (100%)Medium (100%)Medium (100%)Medium (100%)
5Easy (5%) / Medium (95%)Medium (100%)Medium (100%)Medium (90%) / Hard (10%)
6Easy (5%) / Medium (95%)Medium (90%) / Hard (10%)Medium (90%) / Hard (10%)Medium (90%) / Hard (10%)
7Hard (100%)Medium (90%) / Hard (10%)Medium (90%) / Hard (10%)Medium (80%) / Hard (20%)
8Hard (100%)Hard (100%)Medium (90%) / Hard (10%)Medium (80%) / Hard (20%)
9Hard (100%)Hard (100%)Hard (100%)
10Hard (100%)Hard (100%)

A battle’s difficulty is generated upon entering it for the first time, not upon winning the previous one. For example, say you were to flee your 3rd battle, which would be from the easy pool. Entering a new one would count as your 4th, and be medium difficulty, and the one you fled would stay the same if you returned to it later.

It’s worth considering the difficulty cycle in tandem with the trick reward cycle; you’ll most commonly get offered tricks for the first time from the 4th battle, and you’re guaranteed to get a minimum of 2 trick offers in the Cave and 3 elsewhere.

The most important thing to bear in mind with enemy difficulties is you really don’t want hard battles blocking important rooms. The tried-and-true strategy to exploring a level is to clear a path to the boss room while revealing non-hostile rooms along the way. Once that’s done, try and find all the beneficial rooms before the hard groups start appearing. If the last couple of battles are restricted to dead ends, you’ve done an efficient job of exploring.

Going through corridors is risky, but could allow you to skip battles entirely while still making progress – or it could dump you straight into a battle, which, as a kicker, will also incur a flee chance penalty. Corridors are sometimes unavoidable, and you should always approach them with caution.

Blood enemies, elites, and bounties #

If you’re confident in your build, you can always drink at the blood fountain to enhance the remaining enemies further. Blood enemies will use the same enemy groups as the easy/medium/hard ones you’d normally encounter, but the enemies themselves will have higher health, better dice, and even different abilities or movesets. In exchange for increased difficulty, you’ll be awarded 10% more gems by defeating them.

Blood enemies in all levels except the Cave will also have an ability called Blood Rage. Each time you defeat an enemy in the group, all the remaining ones’ dice will gain a positive modifier, which will stack as you defeat more and more of them. The modifier is based on the level: +1 in Blockdown City/Capsitoa Archipelago, +2 in Refrigerated Frontier/Effervert Forest, and +3 in the Holy Sea/Nuclear Nile Nation. This means you’ll potentially be facing an enemy with +9s on all its dice in those last two, in addition to all the other nasty upgrades it got, so watch out!

If you don’t want to deal with all that, and you’ve got a path to the boss and just need to get out of the level while grabbing some healing, you can drink from the blood fountain and skedaddle without actually fighting any enhanced enemies.

Elite enemies guard the key to the locked treasure of the level, and will have identical health, dice, and abilities as their blood fountain variants – minus blood rage. What makes them challenging is that they come in combinations that are significantly more difficult than the regular ones you’ll run into throughout the level. Even without blood rage, these groups may be the toughest fights you’ll face in a run.

Bounties will use the same combinations you’ll find in elite battles, but the enemies themselves will just be their base variants. Still tougher than your regular hard fight, but nothing too crazy.

Trick rewards #

Battles always have a chance of offering you tricks, with 2 exceptions: the very first battle in a level, and the next battle after a trick offer. The chance starts at 0%, then will increase by 10% every time you win a battle. You can modestly increase this increment with the Treasure Badge trick.

If you don’t receive a trick offer in 3 battles, your next fight is guaranteed to award one. Once you receive a trick offer, your chance will go back down to 0%, and the cycle begins anew. Additionally, if you manage to defeat every single enemy in the level, the final battle will always offer tricks, even if you got an offer from the second-to-last fight.

These rules only apply to regular and blood fountain battles, which are interchangeable as far trick probability is concerned. Elites will never offer you tricks, and bounties will only do so occasionally. On the off chance bounties do, however, you’ll find their selection much more lucrative than others; it’s comparable to the boss pool, except one of the slots won’t be taken up by the boss trick.

When you’re offered a trick from a battle, the base gem reward for that battle will be reduced. You can reclaim the deduction, plus an extra bonus, by choosing to refuse the tricks.

Refusing tricks #

Trick offers always consist of a choice of two tricks, of which you can only take one. Any trick you don’t pick is considered refused, meaning it won’t be offered to you again this run. Refused tricks can become available again if you somehow exhaust every single available trick in the offer’s pool AND every other pool, which should be impossible in a normal run.

Quantum Reroller, a legendary trick that Mixigilly starts with, won’t add rerolled tricks to the refused list, meaning they can show up again later in the run. You won’t, however, get offered the tricks you just rerolled in the same offer.

You can also refuse both tricks on offer to receive extra gems in exchange. The amount of gems you’ll be offered is dependent on the rarity of the tricks you’re refusing; the rarer the tricks, the more gems you get. Additionally, if you refuse tricks from a battle, your trick probability chance drop to 10% instead of 0%, meaning you may get your next trick reward slightly sooner than had you taken the offer.

Certain tricks are mutually exclusive from one another. If one of these appears in a shop, and you then you take a trick that excludes it from a battle or chest, the trick in the shop will change to a different one. You’ll encounter this most often with Blessing/Curse tricks, as you can’t get Blessings if you have a Curse, and vice versa.

Prerequisites #

Many tricks have prerequisites: that is to say, you may need certain tricks or dice before they can be offered to you. Also, picking up certain tricks may exclude other tricks from being offered in the future. There’s no in-game way of seeing these at the moment, but we’ll be making these details more visible in future versions of the game.

Prereqs are designed so that tricks will tend towards your current build. For example, if you have a lot of poison dice, you’re much more likely to be offered poison-affecting tricks vs. tricks that work with other elements. Prereqs will also generally exclude tricks you have no use for or would be straight-up unable to use with your current build, though there are some exceptions to this to help entice you with some variety.

You can check the prereqs of every trick you’ve discovered in the encyclopedia.

Trick groups #

To ensure you get a steady flow of different tricks, we introduced a system called trick groups. These are ways to categorise tricks into different thematic or gameplay types to ensure you’re always offered a good variety of tricks without becoming over-specialised. These groups can be as simple as the ‘Fire’ element, or as specific as ‘Blessing/Curse’ tricks. Picking up tricks of a certain group may make that group more or less likely to appear in the future, or even exclude its own group or another group entirely. Moreover, you’ll never be offered two tricks from the same group in a single shop or reward – unless you’ve somehow exhausted all other possibilities.

Trick rarity weights #

The trick rarity tier (i.e. the colour of their names) doesn’t accurately reflect their actual rarity; instead, this is determined by their rarity weight. Generally speaking, the average weight for each tier is as follows:

Rarity tierRarity weight

To visualise how this works, imagine every available trick have their rarity weights added together. The range a single trick’s weight adds to that number is the number needed for it to be offered. Say there were just 2 tricks left in the pool: 1-36 represents the first trick, 37-72 represents the second. Whenever you’re offered a trick, a random number will be generated between 1 and 72, and whichever range it falls on will be the trick made available to you.

There are some notable outliers with specific tricks in some of these rarity tiers. For instance, Punch is a common trick with a weight of only 20. Maybe Punch is hiding something behind its meagre effect…

Additionally, as tricks are always awarded 2 at a time, the way the second one is chosen is by looking at the rarity tier of the top trick in a chest or battle reward; you’ll only be offered tricks of the same tier or one tier lower/higher than the first (boss curios are an exception, however). This means, to a large extent, tricks like Punch are even rarer than rare/epic tricks with the same weight, as they’re competing with much heavier common and uncommon tricks to take the second spot.

Gambit combos #

As mentioned in the gambits article, of the 400+ gambits available in the game, 66 are considered ‘base’ gambits. That 66 can be further categorised into 22 unique gambits, meaning the remaining 44 are higher-quality versions of those gambits. The 3rd tier of quality of these, Perfected, also cannot be combined further. The 22 base gambits are as follows:

GambitEffect (Basic quality)Group
SpreadDeal X damage to all enemiesDamage
SupernovaInflict 1 Complete Burn Stack to all enemiesFire
MacrocosmInflict 1 Complete Wither Stack to all enemiesNature
BlizzardInflict 1 Complete Freeze Stack to all enemiesFrost
ContagionInflict 1 Complete Poison Stack to all enemiesPoison
EruptionInflict X Complete Burn Stack(s) to an enemyFire
EntangleInflict X Complete Wither Stack(s) to an enemyNature
GlaciateInflict X Complete Freeze Stack(s) to an enemyFrost
FesterInflict X Complete Poison Stack(s) to an enemyPoison
GambleReroll all your and enemies’ remaining diceUtility
ScintillateClear your Burn StackFire, Utility
EdenClear your Wither StackNature, Utility
NiflheimClear your Freeze StackFrost, Utility
InnoculateClear your Poison StackPoison, Utility
PierceDeal X Unblockable damage to a random enemyDamage
EnrageReallocate an enemy’s die to attackUtility
BideGain X Block next roundUtility
SliceDeal 0.5X damage to the Leftmost enemy, then 0.75X, 1.25X, 1.5X sequentiallyDamage
SlashDeal 0.5X damage to the Rightmost enemy, then 0.75X, 1.25X, 1.5X sequentiallyDamage
AbsorbDeal X damage to an enemy’s Block and gain it for yourselfDamage, Utility
Jackpot*Gain 100 GemsUtility
Bezoar*You and all enemies recover 10% of your HealthUtility

The 2 gambits marked with an asterisk, Jackpot and Bezoar, are special and can’t be combined with any other card. Additionally, the highest quality version you can find of Jackpot and Bezoar in battles or the shop is only Basic, i.e. Jackpot I and Bezoar I. You can find both the Basic and Refined qualities of every other base gambit in shops or battles. Perfected gambits of any kind are exclusively craft-only.

Any other combination of these cards is possible, and the resultant card will generally perform both functions of its constituents (either literally or in a more thematic sense). Of these base gambits, only their Basic and Refined versions can be combined. Combining a Basic with a Refined will net you a Refined combo, as opposed to the Perfected version you’d get from combining 2 Refined ones.

Combo cards cannot be of Basic quality – only Refined or Perfected.