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Slay The Spire adds new relics and free faces

Put on your game face

Nearly every night, I do the 'should I play more Slay The Spire' dance. The cons: I wind up feeling guilty about not spending my free time trying something new, such as any of the half-dozen games I bought in the Steam Sale. The pros: it's always satisfying, and there's nearly always something that makes each run uniquely interesting.

That's largely thanks to the devs adding something new to their roguelike deckbuilder nearly every Friday. Today's early access update is a little beefier than usual, chucking in ten new relics and a special event where a six-armed entity offers you a new face.

Here are the patch notes, which also detail some bug fixes and balance tweaks.

Most of the update revolves around those relics though, so let's have a look at 'em. Five of them are unique to the Face Trader event, who'll offer you a choice of three if you bump into them.

Reddit user "Sonserf369" has handily rounded up the details. See if you can spot the glaring error in the first entry:

  • "Cultist Headpiece: No effect (makes you make the Cultist "CAW" sound at the start of each combat)
  • Face of Cleric: Increase your max HP by 1 at the end of each combat.
  • Gremlin Visage: Gain 1 Weak at the start of each combat.
  • N'loth's Hungry Face: Each non-boss chest you open will be empty
  • Sssserpent Head: Whenever you enter an Event, gain 50 gold."

The update has also tweaked shops so that "the third relic sold by the merchant is now always a shop rarity relic". Those are relics that can't be found anywhere else, and the other five new relics are all shop exclusive. Back to you, Sonserf369:

  • "Clockwork Souvenir: Gain 1 Artifact at the start of each combat.
  • Dolly's Mirror: Upon pick up, duplicate a card in your deck.
  • Meal Ticket: Whenever you enter a Shop, heal 7 HP.
  • Abacus: Gain 6 block each time you shuffle your discard pile into your draw pile.
  • Twisted Funnel: At the start of each combat, apply 4 Poison to all enemies."

All of those could be a big deal when slotted into the right deck, with the possible exception of that merchant healing one. Once of my favourite strategies is to trim my deck down as much as possible and grab every card-drawing card I see, so I'm particularly interested in Abacus. Like Tom Francis, I'm also a big fan of poisoning folks, so Funnel looks like a fun time too.

Speaking of Tom Francis and poison, it turns out that devs Mega Crit Games have (deliberately, I'm sure) made it so his article yesterday was only accurate for about eight hours. Today's update also reworks the 'Corpse Explosion' card, making it now apply six poison then deal damage equal to its target's max health to every other enemy after they die. It's changed it from a card that was only useful to specific decks to one that should work in any situation.

Interestingly, that's actually a small step towards fixing a problem Tom mentions in that piece, where picking situationally useful cards early on feels like too much of a crapshoot.

I can see where he's coming from, though nowadays I usually just don't pick those cards until I know they'll be useful. I actually quite like the temptation those powerful situational cards present: I can feel rewarded for playing conservatively, but roll the dice on landing a stupidly powerful early deck if I want to.

And now I can do that while going CAW at the start of every fight, so I know what I'm playing tonight. Why not?


Slay The Spire is available on Steam Early Access for £12/$16/€16. The plan has been for a full launch to come this summer.

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