Altars are a means of harnessing the positive or negative aspects of the elemental cosmology, expressing themselves in one-round power ups you can unleash to turn the tides of battle.

An altar, where ascendant powers will be bestowed upon you

Each level has 1 altar, and it’s always worth seeking out as there are no real downsides to the powers they grant, which oftentimes will play a pivotal role in your runs. When you enter, you can offer up one of your dice and make a choice between 3 alignments, described in detail below.

Neutral #

The least glamorous but by no means the weakest option is the neutral alignment. This simply gives your slotted die a permanent, stackable +1 modifier. While less exciting than the other 2 paths, the extra consistency you’ll get is nothing to be sniffed at. Also, unlike holy and necro dice, whichever die gets this modifier can still be upgraded at the forge.

You’re able to choose this option after committing to holy or necro at other altars, though you can’t apply it to dice aligned to either of those elements.

Aligned dice #

The other 2 options will grant you an aligned die of one of two special elements. These are distinct from the other, regular elements, as there’s no debuff attached to them and you can’t upgrade them at the forge. You can attack and block with them as normal, but you also have the option to use them to build up your power for a unique effect (described below).

As these dice can’t be upgraded normally, you’ll instead have to find another altar and continue along the same alignment, which will upgrade that die to the next quality. You can’t gain more than one aligned die from altars; you can only upgrade or convert an existing one. You also can’t get the neutral modifier on an aligned die, though you can pick that option after choosing holy or necro in a previous altar.

Note that aligning an unaligned die will convert it to a D4. It will, however, retain any permanent modifiers that you have on it. Converting between holy and necro won’t upgrade the die, and will instead keep it at whatever quality it was when you realigned it.

Power gauge #

Aligning with holy or necro will unlock the power gauge, a bar that appears above your dice tray that represents the amount of positive or negative energy you’ve stored up.

Whichever alignment you take, you’ll be able to drag dice of its matching element into the bar, adding the die’s value to its stored power. Once it’s full (20), you can unleash a special power for one round that’s certain to turn the tides of battle. Allocating dice to the gauge means you can’t attack or block with it, so be careful!

Between rounds, the bar will degrade by 1, meaning you’ll need to keep it topped up. This degradation won’t occur if the bar is completely full. Between battles, the degradation is more pronounced, being reduced by 5 regardless of whether it’s full or not.

Holy #

Holy element icon

Holy dice represent the positive aspects of the elemental cosmology, and are adopted by those who seek to carve order from chaos. Its power significantly improves your defensive capabilities, even allowing you to heal yourself while smiting your enemies in the process.

This is your dice tray on holy…

When powered up, attacking with holy dice will heal you an amount equal to the die’s value. Normal dice also do this, though only for half of their value.

The block value from any dice will be increased by 50%, which also applies to resistances provided by elemental dice. This can make your defences utterly impregnable.

To top it off, when you end your turn, every enemy will take damage equal to the amount you healed while the power up was active. This will usually come from your holy and normal attacks, but if you have tricks or gambits that heal you, these also get counted. You can keep track of this value with the number to the left of your holy gauge, above your health.

This heal damage only counts if your healing actually recovers health. For example, if you attack with a holy die with a value of 6, but you’re only missing 4 health, your healing total will only increase by 4, despite the die being able to provide more than that. As such, holy power harbours more damage potential when you’re low on health.

Necro #

Necro dice represent the negative aspects of the elemental cosmology, adopted by those who embrace the chaos of the multiverse or reject the holy doctrine. Its power significantly improves your offensive capabilities, allowing you to deal increased damage, bypass enemy block, and decimate elemental resistances.

… and this is your dice tray on necro.

When powered up, attacking with necro dice will deal double damage, and their damage cannot be blocked. Your normal dice will also be unblockable, but deal their regular damage value.

Additionally, every time you hit an enemy with a debuff-inflicting elemental die, their resistance to that element will halve, to a minimum of 1. This allows you to build up an insane amount of complete stacks, causing every debuff you inflict to bring maximum devastation.

Each round after you activate your necro powers, enemies with reduced resistances will start to return to normal, their resistances doubling each round until back to their base amounts.