Strategies for Astral Flower farming.
Note: This is a work in progress. I will try to keep it updated as new content is added to the game. Last Updated: December 10, 2022.
Note: this guide was tested on map 1. Results will vary if using other maps.
TL;DR: Skip to the end of the next section to see estimated results. Strategy #4 gives ~432 flowers every hour.
Number of Astral Flowers needed
Unbound Auras: 2182
Total: 2997 astral flowers (as of December 7, 2022)
There are three ways to acquire flowers: picking up a chest; gambling in the illegal merchant and completing an astral flower shrine. Chests come from defeating elites and this will be our primary objective when farming flowers. You can also gain more flowers by increasing the astral flower gain stat. This stat applies to all flower gain, however the UI doesn’t show decimals and rounds to the nearest integer. (ie. if you have +50% flower gain, you will get 1.5 flowers when you pick up a chest) The flower gain stat can be increased with malice, illegal upgrades and the synthesis aura.
What Spellbook To Use
For maximum flower gain, we will be using Sly and its second passive Smuggler. Sly can be unlocked by doing ??? and the second passive is unlocked by reaching level 50 with Sly. Sly starts with a totem-like spell which is decent in usefulness but you will want several other spells to make your runs easier. Builds and spells are covered in the next section.
When first starting out, Speare is very powerful because of both the book’s passives and starting spell (ghost bullet). Ghost bullet, when leveled quickly to 10, will carry you through the first half of the map. I suggest using this book until you unlock Sly and/or are comfortable running with Sly at higher malice and game speed.
What To Upgrade First
You should focus on only upgrades first, ignoring unbound aura and mutations. Upgrades which offer survivability should be picked first to make higher malice easier to run. Then focus on upgrades to damage stats. I suggest not touching unbound auras until you max out all your upgrades.
This is the order I suggest to upgrade / focus on:
1. Second Chance
2. Damage Control: buy both upgrades
3. Regen: buy at least a few, max when possible
4. Damage Reduction: buy both upgrades
5. Dodge: buy both upgrades
6. Cast Speed: max when possible
7. Damage: max when possible
8. Crit Chance / Crit Damage: useful but not until others are maxed
9. Brain Power Mutation: it is very good (+1 spell slot; +30% damage) but costs 13 flowers, so save until others are maxed
10. Unbound Auras: Synthesis, Brain Power, Reverb, Shotgun, Fracture, all these are good to upgrade, start with only a few points invested and add as needed. I don’t include skewer because I don’t think it is as useful as the others for having a high aura level.
Always gamble when possible. Gamble on average will return +2.4 flowers over many runs. You should do this until you’ve purchased several upgrades as well as increased your malice. Remember not to spend all your flowers so you have enough to gamble with. +% flower gain does not affect gambling.
This is an illegal upgrade that spawns one more elite which means one more chest / astral flower. However the merchant has random inventory, so you’ll need to reroll his inventory until you find this upgrade which will cost you 1 flower each reroll. I suggest you avoid this upgrade until you have a moderate investment in both upgrades and malice.
Sly is a book you can unlock by doing ???. After you reach level 50 with Sly, you will unlock the second passive which spawns extra illegal merchants. This is a very useful passive that makes an illegal merchant appear quickly when starting a run (useful for Grim Row runs), but it also lets us gamble 4 more times each run.
Malice is useful for two reasons: increasing clock speed to make runs faster and increasing bonus astral flower gain (each malice gives +1% astral flowers gained).
When you are first starting out with low or no investment in upgrades, you will want to do some test runs at various malice levels to get a feel for the difficulty and find a malice level that works for you. As you upgrade your stats/auras, you will find higher malice levels easier. Below is how you might approach raising your malice level.
1. Raise clock speed first. It will make difficulty scale faster, but this shouldn’t be a problem on the first map so long as you focus on certain spells when leveling (see next section). We want this to fight elites quickly.
2. Knockback and shrine kill requirements are essentially free malice as it won’t affect difficulty that much.
3. Amount and spawn speed both increase enemy density, which make things harder, but so long as you don’t make them harder to kill, then you shouldn’t have a problem surviving.
4. Enemy speed, empowered elites and invulnerability penetration all make the game more challenging. I suggest only doing these options if you are comfortable with the speed of the game or have a decent investment of astral flowers in upgrades.
5. Enemy health and enemy damage makes things a lot more challenging. I suggest not picking these options until you have all your stat upgrades purchased.
Note: only spawn speed and enemy speed cost 0 astral flowers to raise. Everything else costs 1 astral flower per malice increased. Each mod has 7 upgrades, so it will cost you 7 flowers to max out a mod.
Once you have invested in all the survivability and damage upgrades, and have high malice, then start stockpiling flowers (ie. 20+) to use at the illegal merchant to reroll for Grim Row. Ultimately you want all upgrades bought, a few unbound auras (see next section) and a surplus of flowers to gamble with.
1. Set game speed to 170%.
2. Set malice clock speed to max.
3. Add other malice options to increase astral flower gain bonus (based on what you are comfortable handling).
A few strategies:
On map 1, there are 10 elite spawns and 2 merchants (4 with sly’s second passive) before the counter ends. You gain 2 more merchants (4 with sly’s second passive) until ~13 minutes in overtime. From elites alone, you will earn 10 flowers (18 with grim row; 20 with grim row and sly’s 2nd passive).
1. Don’t take Grim Row and only gamble until all merchants have appeared. When starting out, this should be your strategy. You will earn +9.6 flowers on average (19.2 with sly’s second passive) from gambling. Estimated return (not sly): 19.6 flowers / ~26 minutes = 0.75 flowers per minute. Estimate return (sly): 29.2 flowers / ~26 minutes = 1.12 flowers per minute.
2. Take Grim Row and then only gamble until all merchants have appeared. This is intended to maximize chest drops and gambling opportunities. Aim for a high flower gain stat to earn even more flowers. Reset after the last merchant. You will earn +7.2 (16.8) through gambling. Return (no sly): 25.2 flowers, 0.97 per minute. Return (sly): 36.8 flowers, 1.42 per minute.
3. Take Grim Row and then only gamble until the timer runs out. This is more efficient than #2 because elites only have a 10% chance to drop chests in overtime, thus your main source of flowers will be gambling. Reset when the timer reaches 0. You will earn +2.4 (7.2) through gambling. Return (no sly): 20.4 flowers, 1.57 per minute. Return (sly): 27.2 flowers, 2.09 per minute.
4. Pick Sly, pick 2nd perk (extra merchants), gamble at first merchant, then restart and repeat. This option isn’t very fun but it is the quickest way to earn flowers. Malice doesn’t affect gambling so you can set it to 0 to make it slightly faster. On map 1 the first merchant appears 10 seconds into the round and you’ll finish quickly. Return (sly): 2.4 flowers, 9.6 per minute (~15 seconds per gamble). Return (no sly, for comparison): first merchant spawns at ~8:50 on timer, so ~4:10 into the game, thus ~0.58 per minute.
Remember you will have both game speed and clock speed set to max (170% and 91% respectively), so “per minute” is actually ~23 seconds real time. Thus, 13 minutes in game would take 5 minutes in real time.
Note: these values are based on no chests dropping from elites in overtime and +0% additional flowers gained. The actual per hour (multiple runs) values will be lower because of the time needed to pick upgrades when leveling, using the merchant / rerolling, and to navigate the ui to restart the map.
# | No Sly | Sly
1 | 0.75 | 1.12
2 | 0.97 | 1.42
3 | 1.57 | 2.09
4 | 0.58 | 2.40
Example run: if you take Sly with the 2nd passive and do strategy 3: each map takes ~5 minutes to run and returns ~27.17 flowers on average. If your +flower gain stat was 56% from malice, then you’d get ~38.4 flowers on average. Every hour in real life you would be earning ~326.04 (~460.80 with 56% flower gain) on average. As noted above, this value will be lower because of leveling / gambling / map restarting times.
Max Return: Sly, strategy 4: each map takes ~20 seconds real time to run (including time to level, gamble and restart map) and returns 2.40 flowers on average. Every hour in real life you would be earning ~432 flowers on average.
Builds and Strategy
These strategies are specific for farming. They might not be viable for long term overtime gameplay.
1. Save the 1st shrine (doesn’t expire) until the 2-3 minute mark when enemy density is the highest.
2. Turn on auto aim if using Sly since the sentinel fires towards your cursor and auto aim makes things easier for this spell.
3. Try to max your starting spell or a desirable spell (see below) as soon as possible to make leveling easier. Eventually you want to max all spells, even before getting auras.
4. Select demonic rage for the overtime mode.
5. Clairvoyance isn’t as important for farming since you won’t be progressing far into overtime or reaching a high level.
6. Cast speed (“reverb”) is a good aura to try and level first. Sly’s starting weapon also benefits from a high cast speed.
7. Banish is very useful early on to remove all spells you don’t want to use.
A few spells/auras/upgrades that the community considers useful to acquire.
Desirable Spells: double tap, ghost bullet, dynamo, incinerate (manual aim), icicle (manual aim), blood harvest (4th or 5th spell choice)
Desirable Auras: cast speed, damage, projectile count, chain, freeze (at least 1 level), pierce, projectile range/speed (if below 50%)
Useful Illegal Spells: eye popper
Useful Illegal Upgrades: speed demon (cast speed, brain damage (damage), chain breaker (requires at least 1 chain aura level; chains from you)
Useful Mutations: brain damage (+1 spell slot; +30% damage)
Due to randomness, these are more like guidelines towards a winning build.
Sly / 2nd Passive “Smuggler”
Focus on getting desirable spells that are projectile based (ie. double tap, ghost bullet, dynamo) and maxing their levels. Useful auras are cast speed, projectile count, chain, and freeze. Consider blood harvest for regen but not until your 4th or 5th slot as its damage isn’t that good.
You may find it easier early on by taking a good illegal spell at the first merchant to replace your starting spell and pick grim row at the second merchant.
Speare / Either Passive
Maximize ghost bullet asap, then get other projectile based spells. Max Spectre Shot will carry you pretty far by itself. Add in some damage auras/upgrades to make things die in one hit. Get at least 1 level in freeze aura.