Beginner Tips For Astrea: Six-Sided Oracles

Astrea: Six-Sided Oracles isn’t the first roguelite deckbuilder to replace its cards with dice, but it does put other new spins on the formula that can make it challenging to master even coming out of other genre entries such as Slay The Spire and Monster Train.


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The game’s corruption and purity system make health a more flexible resource in the game and each character has their own way of utilising the game’s unique mechanics to pull off interesting combos that provide new ways of enjoying an admittedly crowded genre. Here are a few beginning tips for mastering the game’s core mechanics.


Spend Your Hitpoints As A Resource

Two Astrea: Six-Sided Oracles characters engaged in battle

Moreso than most other roguelikes, Astrea builds in powerful benefits to letting yourself take damage (or even hitting yourself). Virtues are reusable special moves that can only be activated if you have a certain amount of corruption.

The starter character Moonie is able to deal an extra four points of purification as long as she’s at taken at least three points of corruption. This is easily double the output of her starter dice and can get you through fights a lot faster.

Every time you meet the condition for a virtue, it can be activated, including multiple times in one turn. Cellarius has the ability to inflict two points of purity on any target if he’s received more than two corruption.

You can target this on himself to heal him over the threshold, and then one of his self-damaging abilities to go back under it repeatedly, letting you use his risky self-damaging abilities without taking any long lasting harm.

Letting yourself take corruption to activate virtues also saves you from having to heal as often: Use those dice to go on the offensive instead!

Your Hearts are the measure of permanent damage that carries over between combat, but even these will be replenished when you defeat the boss of an area. If you’re going into a boss fight on full hearts, you can use the shrine before it to convert a spare heart into a permanent upgrade.

Most Dice Have Unconventional Secondary Uses

Instead of hitpoints, Astrea uses a sliding scale of purification and corruption. Both can serve as healing or damage depending on the target.

The Purification and Corruption system are more than just a renaming of hitpoints but can fundamentally change the way many dice are played. A single target purification die can both be an attack or a heal depending on whether you target yourself or an enemy. Almost all effects in the game have similar versatility in how they function.

  • Area purifies are both offensive and defensive tools, since they heal you and harm enemies at the same time. Area corruption attacks from the enemy work the same way.
  • A Corruption Dice can be used to inflict damage on yourself and activate virtues, or used to heal an enemy if you can’t afford to take the damage.
  • Light Shield reduces the corruption received by a target. The most intuitive use is to to block damage you would take from corruption, however placing it on enemies prevents them from both healing or overcharging with corruption. Several enemies only attack you indirectly by filling their own overcharge meter, disarming them completely if you shield them.

Other dice gain secondary uses when paired with the right combinations of passive bonuses. The fifth character, Sothis, inflicts a debuff that deals corruption over time.

This is unhelpful to place on enemies and detrimental to inflict on yourself, but when activates his other abilities and the downsides can be negated with Light Shields.

Control Risk When Building Your Deck

The Bright Enhancement die can either grant permanent bonuses or damage each time you use it

Like many roguelike deckbuilders, success in Astrea relies on being able to control randomness by weighing the risks of different upgrades.

A good example of a Risky die is Bright Enhancement++, a dice available for Moonie. The dice has a two in six chance of giving you a permanent boost for the run every time you roll it, but a one in six chance of taking permanent damage.

Picking this up early means you’ll get a lot of chances to stack those upgrades but also that you’ll eventually roll that permanent damage option enough times that the enemies won’t need to do any work themselves.

Astrea: Six-Sided Oracles rerolling a die with a harmful outcome

There are ways you can play around this type of risk.

  • Reroll dice and virtues means that you can dodge those harmful outcomes with some drawbacks: You can still reroll into the same outcome or worse, and reroll dice can take up valuable deck space or clutter your hand if drawn at the wrong time.
  • Discard effects are a more versatile way of negating harmful rolls that can also prevent you from having to cast a corruption card. The advantage over rerolling is that you can’t reroll into the same outcome, but discard effects are normally weaker as a result.
  • Convert lets you translate most corruption effects into purify effects. This won’t work against certain negative effects that lack the corruption keyword but let you turn your negative rolls into positive ones. Moonie can cast this once per turn as a free virtue.
  • Forge effects can be found in the shop and on some rare dice: These can permanently rewrite a die one face at a time, although some especially nasty effects (like permanent damage) cannot be reforged.

If your deck contains a lot of Risky Dice the Armillary Sphere sentinel is a must: Dice with reroll effects you can’t guarantee will be in your hand at the right time, but as long as your sentinel is alive it will be able to reroll at least once per turn.

Sentinels in Astrea are companions that will roll the same die every turn

Virtues have the strength of reliability. As long as you meet their conditions you will always be able to activate them, giving you a way of controlling the randomness of both drawing your hand and rolling your dice.

Certain upgrades will replace or add new virtues to your meter giving you even more actions that you can reliably slot anywhere into a turn.

Sentinels are another source of reliability. They are companion characters with one die each, meaning they have a much greater consistency in the actions they can take compared to your entire deck.

You can Sentinels in shops or random events and one will always be available in loot from the first boss fight. They can also mitigate the risk from your more volatile dice, as you will be able to target them with corruption effects that would otherwise need to damage yourself or heal an enemy.

Most Sentinels have paltry amounts of HP and can only be revived at the end of battle or by using special dice as Hevelius. Spending too much upgrading them will leave you powerless against any enemy that deals Area Corruption.

Make Use of Star Blessings Whenever Possible

Star blessings are passive treasures that provide consistent buffs with no downside

Your first level up reward for each character gives you the choice of a Black Hole or Star blessing at the start of each new game.

With only your starter deck to consider, Star blessings are almost always the better selection: Even if you don’t find a strong option to build around, they will never have drawbacks.

Most Star blessings either give small passive bonuses or provide large payoffs if you manage to pull off a specific type of combo. The most common type gives you a reward for taking a simple action several times:

  • The Cosmic Sandals gives you an extra draw every eight times you deal damage. Characters or decks with multi-hit attacks can activate this reliably.
  • The Karmic Brooch purifies you every four times you purify an enemy.

Star Blessing

Effect

Use

Apprentice’s Card

Deals an Area Purification on both yourself and enemies, every eight times you play a die from your starter deck.

Picking this up early enables a playstyle where instead of destroying your starter deck you upgrade and reforge them. A die that has been fully reforged will still count as its original type for these effects.

Multiverse Cube

Lets you reroll each reward set once

Picking this up early allows you to search for specific cards and treasures twice as quickly, or lets you choose risky options more reliably.

Bottled Aurora

At the start of each turn you can reroll all the dice in your hand

You can safely take the more powerful risky dice and be less reliant on sentinels or virtues to activate rerolls.

Cosmic Sandals

Every eight times you purify an enemy you gain an additional draw next turn

Characters and decks with multi-hit attacks will be able to reliable activate the sandals to increase their hand size. Slower characters will still eventually stack up the eight hits required to activate it.

Black Hole Blessings are more difficult to make use of. They offer powerful bonuses but also come with severe drawbacks. You will always be offered a selection from three at the end of the first act.

If the black hole blessings you are offered don’t fit into your current game plan, you’re normally better off skipping them entirely.

Once you’ve committed to playstyle, (typically after the act two boss) it becomes safer to take Black Hole Blessings since the options they close off you have already decided not to pursue.

Spend Your Shards Carefully But Often

Duplicated dice in Astrea will retain all the forging and upgrades applied to the original

Shards are the currency used to buy upgrades but can be hard to use efficiently. Some events will give you unique uses for shards, but typically they have three outlets:

  • The Sentinel Shop is the only way of upgrading your sentinels, increasing their hitpoints or strengthening their die. Upgrading sentinels gives only small boosts but is prohibitively expensive, so these can be avoided unless you have a sentinel slot open to purchase a new one.
  • Epic shops sell star blessings and powerful dice with no downsides, but these dice cannot be duplicated in events or through forging. A strong epic die can have an effect strong enough to build your entire deck around. Typically, the only other way of getting similar effects is by rolling well on a risky die.
  • The Forge Shop lets you change your existing dice, destroy unwanted ones and duplicate your strongest die. This is the most versatile shop and the one most useful in the average playthrough.

A strong method for crafting winning decks is to use repeated forge effects to upgrade one of your non-epic dice to be as strong as an epic die and then duplicating it repeatedly.

A risky die will normally have two or three excellent faces and the others all be harmful consequences. You can use the forge shop to stamp over the bad faces and end up with a very powerful singular die for copying two or even three times.

In the forge shop, the cost of duplicating increases both every time you use it and at the start of each act. When possible, aim to visit a store at the end of an act before your shards become less valuable.

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