Huggz's Spriggan Enchanter guide
Spriggan Enchanters use stealth and stabbing to ninja their way to victory. A very popular choice among Crawl players, Spriggan Enchanters are also known for being used in both time- and turn-count speedruns.
This guide has been updated for 0.10 and is largely based on the guide by hyperbolic. For the latest guide by hyperbolic, see this link.
Approximate goals are as follows:
- 8 Stabbing (and 6 Spellcasting if you want to eliminate the EH hunger cost).
- 10 Dodging and Stealth. Hexes to 13 or until you get Invisibility to 6% fail. Turn off Hexes after this.
- 12 Stabbing, 15 Dodging/Stealth, 6 Fighting, and enough Short Blades for min delay.
- 27 Stealth, 10 Fighting, and whatever spell skills you want.
- Other skills you will need at some point: Traps & Doors between 7-10 by the time you get to the vaults, Spellcasting to reduce hunger, some Evocations, and 9 Shields to remove the shield penalty once you get a buckler.
Train Strength to about 8 for carry capacity, then train Int (spellcasting).
- From the starting book: EH, Confuse, Invisibility (and Sure Blade to train Charms or if you want better melee).
- When you find them: other generally good spells like Haste, Repel Missiles, Regeneration, Dispel Undead, Apportation, Blink, Control Teleport, Phase Shift, Controlled Blink, etc.
- Weapons: Any short blade will work for stabbing, but switch to a dagger when possible. Short blades, compared to other weapon schools, gain a large bonus to damage when stabbing, and daggers get an especially large bonus. For regular melee, early on look for electricity and venom weapons. Later look for a quick blade and/or pain brand a weapon with Kiku. Distortion is nice also.
- Buckler: Train shields to 9 to avoid penalties. If possible, one of rF+, rC+, resistance, protection, poison resistance - but rN+ and reflection are better than nothing.
- Rings of slaying for melee, rings of protection (or evasion), rF+ or rC+ rings if you don't have the resist, or rF++ if you go into Zot. Swaps include teleport control, protection from magic, poison resistance, life protection; anything that you may want to swap to if <situation> presented itself.
Quick guide: Ash, Jiyva, Kiku, Lugonu, Makhleb, and Nemelex are all great choices.
- Okawaru offers two abilities: Heroism, which slightly improves your melee combat performance, and Finesse, which greatly increases your attack speed. Also, you will eventually gain god gifts of branded / artifact short blades and various kinds of spriggan-suitable armour, which can really help fill your missing resistances.
- Makhleb offers two abilities that allow you to ignore magic skills entirely: elemental direct damage blasts and powerful demon summoning for when things get out of hand. If you use Makhleb, train Invocations to 10 before using his summons to greatly reduce their chance of arriving hostile, and always have an escape route lined up. Never use his summons as a last-ditch attempt to escape, but rather as soon as you see that a monster that is likely to be nasty. These abilities cost HP rather than MP, which spriggans unfortunately do not have huge amounts of, but he also restores your HP with each kill.
- Vehumet can work well for an SpEn that wants to become an offensive spellcaster by the time most monsters start resisting hexes. Vehumet will gift books with Conjurations and Summoning spells, guaranteeing you actually find them; he also makes offensive spells easier, cheaper, and more powerful, all of which a Spriggan will need to overcome low aptitudes. You can train piety while still stabbing monsters.
- Nemelex Xobeh, as his decks provide an answer to situations not covered by stealthy backstabbing. Evocations will be a major part of a SpEn of Nemelex's skillset.
- Kikubaaqudgha adds Necromancy, gives one of the best books in the game and brands your sabre with pain, so your spriggan can take most living things in direct melee. Keep Necromancy trained and learn Pain, Vampiric Draining, Regeneration, Dispel Undead, Agony, and Borgnjor's Revivification. You'll need to come up with some other means of killing demons, however.
- Ashenzari allows SpEns to radically alter their skillset once Hexes-resistant monsters become more common, by redirecting their existing Hexes, Stabbing, Short Blades etc. skills into offensive spell schools (melee SpEn are most likely better off with another god, as it is impossible to reskill into Fighting and Ashenzari provides no melee damage bonus). Possible choices are Poison/Conjurations, for Poison Arrow, or Air for Airstrike and Tornado, depending of course on luck with spellbook finds.
- Jiyva is an interesting option; although you can only access it in the late game, Jiyva's mutations can fill in a lot of your missing resistances, and the slime allies it creates can at the very least provide useful distractions for more substantial opponents. A spriggan with high dexterity and several natural weapon mutations could conceivably become a decent Unarmed Combat fighter, but that requires a lot of training outside of your strengths. Just be careful establishing your food stash; the last thing you want is for a jelly to eat all your honeycombs and bread rations. Prior to serving Jiyva, you could also serve one of the other gods with survivable wrath. Spending the early game serving Okawaru can provide you with some nice artifacts, for instance, or Kiku could pain brand your saber.
- Even more than other character builds, use your stealth and do not immediately engage monsters when you first see them. Evaluate whether or not to leave the monster(s) alone for the time being. You may also explore alternatives routes to particular sleeping monsters, to minimize the number of turns that you are exposed while going in for the kill.
- Ensorcelled Hibernation: At level 2, get Ensorcelled Hibernation (EH) and use it on monsters when they are adjacent to you. Note that EH at low power will often take several casts to succeed. If the monster is potentially dangerous, use EH with one space between you and the monster and move in for the stab when they fall asleep. Cast EH from too far and they will wake up before you get to them. Since you are faster than most monsters you can also easily kite them until EH works.
- Confuse: EH does not work on cold resistant monsters and undead, as well as monsters who have recently been ensorcelled. Wou can tell that EH does not work at the time because you will get the message "<foo> is unaffected" instead of "<foo> resists" In this case, you can also confuse them and stab them while they are not looking.
- Confuse can also be combined with EH; cast Confuse on them from outside melee range and then Ensorcelled Hibernation, and wait for them to walk next to you while sleeping.
- Invisibility: Once you get Invisibility, use it against any monster that is hard to put back to sleep or in a group. Slime creatures and packs of orcs are perfect targets for this, as are ugly things. The orc mines and blade can be trivialised with Invisibility.
- In the late game, enemies with with high MR and see invisibility become more common. It will be near impossible to fight your way to some runes of Zot or the Orb of Zot relying only on the Hexes/Stabbing combo. Your choice of god may provide you with alternatives means of offense. Alternatively, the high EV and movement speed bonus of spriggans makes them excellent at stealing runes/the Orb without killing the branch end guardians.
- 78291: SpEn best realtime speedrun in the 0.10 tournament (01:28:55, 19956 turns)
- jeanjacques: SpEn best turn-count speedrun in the 0.10 tournament (03:01:45, 18437 turns)