Strategy for boss fights, battle conditions, general tips and tricks.
GENERAL GAMEPLAY TIPS
Always check the City Map before setting up a Show to make sure you have the stronger classes available for the upcoming fight/condition.
Set all buildings to ‘Remove performer(s) at the end of the day’, so they don’t eat up more resources than intended.
Don’t use the Sleeping Cart for healing. Avoid it as much as possible all through the game. Only heal the most crucial performers if they are badly injured and far from level up. Use healing nodes on the City Map whenever possible, or heal in combat with clowns. Night maps give a bonus on the heal. An optimal clown is the most important performer to have. Popcorn Cannon (heals all allies, slot 2) and Clap-O-Matic (increases Devotion, slot 1) Superskills can be used to quickly bring low health/devotion performers up to speed during combat. Once you can afford other upgrades, swap Popcorn Cannon for Vitaliser (Workshop Level 5).
The priories for building upgrades are Sleeping Cart (performer slots) and Train (class unlocks). Especially on Normal/Hard, resources are scarce, so don’t waste them on things you don’t need (Oracle, Artisan beyond the ability to craft Time Capsules/Level 6, Workshop beyond having the third Superskill).
Don’t upgrade skills you never use (again, resource conservation for the important upgrades). If you can get a Bag (gadget that reduces upgrade costs), equip it every time you upgrade skills on a performer. It’s annoying, but it makes a big difference in the long run.
On Circus Enthusiasts spots, the lowest reward (XP) is the most valuable early on. It is possible to reach Train 10 by the end of District 5 (100 % completion except District 6 with Time Capsules), but you need to go for every chance to get XP (map, performance stars, extra fights). Event nodes (the green ones with ?) often offer a combat option to earn extra XP and advance days to run more shows, so prepare for these nodes as if they were fights by default. Use your most versatile party since the fight can have a condition.
Drafts/Shows. Chemistry is more important than preferred slots for performers. Ideally, you only have few performers with a slot preference anyway. In doubt, it pays out more to slot someone in the wrong act for another chemistry star instead of using everyone in the perferred slot for the hell of it. Experience stars are not worth it.
Training Ground (unlocked after beating District 2) only gives minimal XP and does not remove Boredom. It restores 5 Devotion which is only useful in extreme situations. It’s not great for trying out new party synergies either because many are underwhelming without conditions/against generic dummies. The one thing Training Ground is good for is the chance to get a Time Capsule later on since some show boosters use the same materials and you might want to save them for that.
With the starter characters, the ideal order in combat is (from back to front): Fire Blower/Illusionist – Strongman – Clown – Escape Artist. This is not how the game automatically arranges them.
Unlocks Illusionist Class
Needs at least 1 AoE to deal with the illusions he summons. Escape Artist’s Release, Strongman’s Boomerang, Fire Blower’s Fire Blow.
Recommend Lineup (from back to front): Fire Blower, Strongman (Boomerang/Weight Throw), Clown, Escape Artist (Chain Wall)
A 4-piece enemy. Defeated parts stay in place, so you need skills that can hit all positions. Has an annoying Taunt, buffs, and heals. Taking out the parts in slots 3 and 4 first shuts off the healing and AoE. Once they are dead, swap the Strongman and Clown, so the Strongman can hit slots 1 and 2 with Spinebreaker. A backline Illusionist can steal the buffs with ‘That’s my card’. A Clown with ‘Mock Throw’ can break the charge of the slot 3 part. Escape Artist’s ‘Handcuffs’ can make parts unable to act.
Recommended Lineup: Illusionist (That’s my card/Apparition/Saw), Strongman (Boomerang/Spinebreaker), Clown, Escape Artist (Chain Wall).
A giant robot that only takes up one slot (4), accompanied by 3 small robots. One of them (3) heals the others, so this one should be taken out first. The other two really love their ability ‘Mirror Shield’ which reflects damage. It is useful to move them behind Steam-Man, so the Illusionist can steal their buffs. Only Steam-Man counts as boss, meaning the small ones can flee from low Devotion. Steam-Man can and probably will use ‘Little One’ which summons a new small robot. Again, move it to the back and steal the buffs. Steam-Man has high defense, so some skills won’t damage him at all. He also buffs himself and the small robots. Again, useful to steal. Once all small robots are gone, Strongman can be moved from 3 to 2 to use Spinebreaker instead of Weight Throw.
Recommended Lineup: Illusionist (buff theft; at level 5 he reliably hits Steam-Man with The Saw/The Apparition), Strongman (Weight Throw/Spinebreaker), Clown (Ball Throw), Escape Artist (Chain Wall)
Unlocks Stilt Boxer Class
He is the most annoying boss with high dodge, Devotion attacks, Hypnotise, 3 allies of classes you don’t have access to yet (Stilt Boxer, Robot Bear, Balancer, Human Cannonball) – and not only one set of them. He can use ‘Turn Around’ any time – and more than once. There are two groups, and if you don’t kill the first off, Eli can turn back to them later in the fight. However, he will stay in the slot he was in, so you don’t need to change the order of your characters to hit him. The most dangerous of Eli’s cronies is Balancer with the AoE stun. He will most likely have higher Initiative than your characters, so that sucks. There’s not much you can do about it. Even with rare Sand Glass, your Escape Artist likely won’t get the Chain Wall up before the Balancer hits. It’s mostly about luck. If either of the following happens on turn 1, just restart the fight: Balancer successfully stuns, Eli successfully hypnotizes, Balancer one-shots a character. Other than that, the strategy isn’t that different from other bosses. Eli has a strong Devotion attack, so it is recommended to bring as many Colas as you can and go into the fight with all Superskills available.
Recommended Lineup: Illusionist (stancebreaker is helpful to deal with Stilt Boxer and Human Cannonball; The Apparition is the main attack since Robot Bear’s Taunt becomes irrelevant for hard hitting AoE; switch to The Saw once Eli is alone), Strongman (Boomerang/Weight Throw; unlike most other slot 3 options, he can survive even if he has to absorb Illusionist’s damage), Clown (heal and stancebreaker, but realistically mostly heal on Hard), Escape Artist (Chain Wall as always).
Alternatives: a second Escape Artist in slot 3 to disable/stun Eli’s allies (relies solely on Illusionist’s damage against Eli – it works against the District 6 end boss, but he’s more predictable than Eli), double Clown tank (both need Taunt and Clown Care to swap places and heal each other; Vambraces gadgets are recommended for this since Clown’s damage reduction isn’t as good as Escape Artist with high Dodge & Defense).
Arachnus has the same gimmick as Thane. It’s a scorpion instead of a lion, but also has 4 parts and dead ones won’t be removed. Slot 1 attacks (single target and AoE), Slot 2 taunts/debuffs/attacks, Slot 3 buffs, Slot 4 does AoE poison damage. The one real difference is that Slot 2 taunts, meaning Illusionist can steal it.
Recommended Lineup: Same old, same old. Yeah, it’s the same as the other bosses.
A 3 level boss. Floor has the feet (they kick/move) and 2 minions in the front slots. For this, Escape Artist and Strongman are helpful since they can’t be moved. Chain Wall and Clown in slot 3 help the Illusionist survive the Stomps. One the minions are dead, move Clown to slot 2, so Strongman can use Weight Throw and Boomerang. Middle has the arms, again the back slots, both with high damage attacks. There are also 2 small robots that have buffs (the annoying Mirror Shield) and attacks. Top has Dr. Ohm in a 4 slots machine: Slot 1/Physical Damage (single target), Slot 2/Heal/Buff/Electric Damage (single target), Slot 3/Debuff, Slot 4/Electric & Fire Damage (single target & AoE). Buffs can be stolen from Slot 2 again. Clown and Strongman swap back and forth between slots 2 and 3 again. Because yes, you guessed it. The lineup is the same as for the other bosses: Illusionist, Clown, Strongman, Escape Artist.
The most annoying condition, mainly because it nerfs the backliner. The early game solution is a backline clown that serves only as buffer/healer (Clown Care, Trumpet Boost). Once Snake Charmer is unlocked at Circus Level 4, she becomes the ideal smog backliner. Important to note: Some skills have the icon that indicates the damage is reduced due to the condition. This only applies to the primary damage. The Devotion damage is unchanged. This applies to Clown’s Ball Throw and Fire Blower’s Fire Throw. Skills that have both up/down arrows have decreased ranged damage, increased DoT.
Strong Performers: Snake Charmer, Ventriloquist, Fire Blower
- Fire Breather – Fire Ring, Fire Whip
- Clown – Knockback
- Snake Charmer – Snake Spit, Snake Charm, Snake Sneak
- Ventriloquist – You are nothing, Evil Laugh
- Illusionist – Poof!
- Acrobat – Wheelkick
- Robot Bear – Bear Trap
- Balancer – Stand Up Slap
- anything ranged
Rain isn’t much of an issue. Increased Move chance can be negated with Escape Artist/Strongman, so the backliners can’t be shuffled around much. Going for Devotion kills is often a good idea since the enemies also lose 3 % every turn.
Strong Performers: Clown, Escape Artist, Strongman, Snake Charmer, Acrobat, Juggler, Balancer
- Clown – Ball Throw
- Strongman – Boomerang, Weight Throw
- Escape Artist – Lock Throw, Release
- Illusionist – The Saw, That’s my card, Electric Hands
- Acrobat – Pirouette, Hula Blast, Blackflip Kick, Electric Ring
- Robot Bear – Bite
- Stilt Boxer: Dive, Windmill Punch
- Juggler: Pin Throw, 3 Pin Throw, Freezbiee
- Knife Thrower: Bullseye, Double Shot. Counterknife
- Ventriloquist – Hit yourself
- Balancer – Sonic Boom, Spin Kick, Raining Arrows
- Ventriloquist – You are nothing
- any Fire damage
Has the risk of triggering the Bobbery Meter, but it’s frankly not that hard to avoid. Escape Artist frontliner (Chain Wall and nothing else), Clown in slot 2 (heal/boost focus), then 2 Fire Blowers with Fire Whirl and Fire Throw usually do the trick. Another strangely effective strategy that keeps the Bobbery Meter even lower: Snake Charmer with Fear as backliner instead of a second Fire Blower. ‘Fear’ can only attack the 2 back slots, but since it is a single attack, it’s only half the meter increase. Acrobat with Electric Ring trap can serve a similar function, especially with a high precision clown who can shuffle enemies through the Devotion trap with Ball Throw.
Strong Performers: Fire Blower, Snake Charmer, Acrobat, Human Cannonball, Balancer
- Fire Breather – Fire Whip, Fire Whirl, Fire Blow, Fire Throw, Fire Ring, Purging Fire
- Clown – Hammer Hit, Ball Throw, Clown Care, Knockback, Mock Throw
- Escape Artist – Chain Hit, Lock Throw, Release
- Strongman – Front Blow. Spinebreaker, Boomerang, Weight Throw
- Stil Boxer – Jab, Dive, K.O.
- Fakir – Blow Pipe, Sword Swallow, Restoration
- Human Cannonball – Cannon Shot, Big Shot, Artillery, Human Cannonball
- Robot Bear – Claws, Hibernation, Bite, Charge
- Balancer – Kick, Sonic Boom, Spin Kick, Stand Up Slap, Raining Arrows, Glue, Energy Beam
Basically just an opportunity to Devotion heal in battle. Tavern fights are especially good for this because some are stupid easy even on Hard (all the squishy support classes).
Strong Performers: Snake Charmer (with Belly Dance) or Human Cannonball (with Parade) and whoever needs Devotion.
- Clown – Ball Throw, Taunt, Trumpet Boost
- Strongman – Ground Shatter, Show-Off
- Fire Breather – Fire Throw, Purging Fire
- Escape Artist – Chain Grab, Handcuffs
- Snake Charmer – Fear, Belly Dance
- Ventroquilist – You are nothing, Evil Laugh, Feel Invincible
- Stilt Boxer – Don’t move, Champion, Logistics
- Acrobat – Electric Ring
- Robot Bear – Bear Trap, Roar
- Human Cannonball – Parade, Artillery
- Knife Thrower – I don’t miss
- Fakir – Blow Pipe, Meditation
- Balancer – Raining Arrows
- Snake Charmer – Hypnotise
- Ventriloquist – Betray, Dance
- Fakir – Sword Swallow