Monster Train... a contender to Slay the Spire's throne?

As a big StS fan, I'm loving Monster Train so far. The main appeal for me is the increased meta-game aspects surrounding the game. StS had just enough metagame is keep me interested...but only just. Monster Train has all kinds of stuff going on, and to unlock, and I love it.

A Bestest Best award from Rock Paper Shotgun.

This game has completely replaced StS for me. I'm just loving the interactions.

This has been very good so far but I don't know if it will have the staying power of StS for me.

Made it up to Covenant 10 so far and the runs have a way of feeling a little same-y regardless of who my starting pairs are. I think my most distinct feeling win so far was with Stygian using two of the Sap totems to neuter every boss.

It does work well enough on my phone through the steam link app though and that's been lovely.

rabbit wrote:

This game has completely replaced StS for me. I'm just loving the interactions.

Same. I love the extra layer of interactivity and the general speed of the runs. It feels a lot quicker than a full run of StS. It also rewards...more? better? At least that's how it feels to me. And some truly unique card mechanics with some of the unlockable factions.

I was just on a pretty long run of 8 or 9 games without a win, struggling to beat covenant 4, when I came across another delightful combo that had not occurred to me before. I was fairly sure I had the win in the bag as nothing was getting past the first floor from about battle 4 onwards... but even then overconfidence was almost my undoing, as Seraph made it to the floor below the pyre after a minor misplay. Phew. Good to get the win.

Nice!

I just had my first win with candles/umbra. They seem like a very well fitted combo. Kept giving my beefcake champion endless morsels, he reforms morsels for more morsels (better, beefier morsels) and he's hitting for like 150 a pop with trample by the end. I even had that one space candle that gets more powerful with each unit that dies on the floor and explodes on death. He didn't even get to go off but he'd do over 1k damage by the end.

I love the silly over the top combos this game encourages.

What a beautiful sight.
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/p7EazRl.jpg)

Spoiler:

Take 1 Alpha Fiend.
Apply 1 Largestone.
Apply 1 Multistrike.
Apply minor refraction via caverns event (reduces capacity cost from 4 to 1).
Use artefact randomising card cost between 0 and 3.
Duplicate miniature Alpha Fiend twice....
....
....
profit?

Trying out a challenge for you all... Not sure how it works, but here it is.

monstertrain://challenge/EstatesWorstComposed

kergguz wrote:

What a beautiful sight.
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/p7EazRl.jpg)

Spoiler:

Take 1 Alpha Fiend.
Apply 1 Largestone.
Apply 1 Multistrike.
Apply minor refraction via caverns event (reduces capacity cost from 4 to 1).
Use artefact randomising card cost between 0 and 3.
Duplicate miniature Alpha Fiend twice....
....
....
profit?

Sick! That's the kind of fortune that wins games. Who was your ally clan?

Minotaar wrote:
kergguz wrote:

What a beautiful sight.
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/p7EazRl.jpg)

Spoiler:

Take 1 Alpha Fiend.
Apply 1 Largestone.
Apply 1 Multistrike.
Apply minor refraction via caverns event (reduces capacity cost from 4 to 1).
Use artefact randomising card cost between 0 and 3.
Duplicate miniature Alpha Fiend twice....
....
....
profit?

Sick! That's the kind of fortune that wins games. Who was your ally clan?

Despite the spikes you can see on the front fiend, it was actually Melting Remnant. They played a minor, but important role in the win. The card wicklash (upgraded with Holdover) is the reason my champion was doing 97 x 5 per turn by the end.

I like this a lot, playing for 60 hours (only covenant 5). I actually feel like I had more control in my StS runs and I'm having a much more difficult time with Monster Train. I believe I was up to ascension 16 for the ironclad in StS, 5+ in a couple more and had a couple in the last one.

My typical run in Monster Train has be cruising through the early and mid part of the game and then getting slammed in the last battle.

kergguz wrote:

What a beautiful sight.
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/p7EazRl.jpg)

Spoiler:

Take 1 Alpha Fiend.
Apply 1 Largestone.
Apply 1 Multistrike.
Apply minor refraction via caverns event (reduces capacity cost from 4 to 1).
Use artefact randomising card cost between 0 and 3.
Duplicate miniature Alpha Fiend twice....
....
....
profit?

I managed my own version of this, but with the 10 cost hellhorned brute (gets cheaper with imps in play)

I'd gotten the artifact that puts 4 random units from your deck into the middle floor at the start of combat. I got the caverns event that allowed me to dupe the brute 5 times. I got rid of everything else in the deck and just upgraded my brutes. Win.

Consumer of Crowns isn't it? Yeah I haven't managed to make him work yet. Every time I've been offered him it's been late in a run and I had nothing to synergise with it.

kergguz wrote:

Consumer of Crowns isn't it? Yeah I haven't managed to make him work yet. Every time I've been offered him it's been late in a run and I had nothing to synergise with it.

Yup that's the lad. Did a run once where I got a boat load of imps, he worked then (I think I paid 4 to have him out)

Got a frostbite themed win with Stygian/Candles last night. Finished with 3 health left on the pyre and Seraph on the third floor. Close one!

Had a really fun run with the Hornbreaker Prince. My first two upgrades were giving him multistrike. My last one gave him 10 armor and gave him +10 attack on a kill. I had 2 double stack rage cards and a couple single stack. Then I upgraded the card that gives +3 attack and +3 health so it was holdover. Also got a spell that gave multistrike, which I upgraded to reduce the cost 2X to bring it down to 3, then duplicated that card.

I was a little worried because the seraph halfed my buffs, but that was why I went with the +10 attack on slay since that wouldn’t be affected. When I had him fully upgraded he had 5 attacks, got up to 300 damage per attack and also had quick so he could act before the enemy could attack. They melted before him. I did have a close call when my cards didn’t come out expediently but I kept him alive.

I keep meaning to play something else, but I don’t know when I’ll get interrupted so I figure Monster Train is pretty quick and I already know how to play so I’ll fire that up. My main issue with the game is that there feels like there are many games that no matter what choices I make I’d have no chance of winning. Still, most of the games are plenty fun, but it does feel a bit cheap sometimes.

I picked this up a couple of days ago and have played two games. Died to the angel boss on level 6 (I think?) both times. Definitely heavy Slay the Spire influences.

Unlocking stuff seems like it will take a lot longer than StS, is that accurate?

LeapingGnome wrote:

I picked this up a couple of days ago and have played two games. Died to the angel boss on level 6 (I think?) both times. Definitely heavy Slay the Spire influences.

Unlocking stuff seems like it will take a lot longer than StS, is that accurate?

I don't think so. I believe it's progression goes quite quickly. Within the first 5 games you'll likely have a combo that can go the distance, and then it's climbing the covenant ladder from there. Keep going!

LeapingGnome wrote:

I picked this up a couple of days ago and have played two games. Died to the angel boss on level 6 (I think?) both times. Definitely heavy Slay the Spire influences.

Unlocking stuff seems like it will take a lot longer than StS, is that accurate?

I've unlocked everything, and seen most artifacts at 42 hours played, which I think is probably a bit quicker than in slay the spire?

So this is on game pass now. Is your first run through might to be a walk in the park? Or did I just get very lucky? Smashed it with loads of armour on my champion (in the last battle he had 9999 at the end) Not a great first impression.

onewild wrote:

So this is on game pass now. Is your first run through might to be a walk in the park? Or did I just get very lucky? Smashed it with loads of armour on my champion (in the last battle he had 9999 at the end) Not a great first impression.

It's not a direct clone of StS. One of those ways is difficulty. It gets progressive harder, and there's plenty to unlock to keep things fresh. See if you can do it again, and unlock more!

I think you'd have heard from us if the game was that simple.

onewild wrote:

So this is on game pass now. Is your first run through might to be a walk in the park? Or did I just get very lucky? Smashed it with loads of armour on my champion (in the last battle he had 9999 at the end) Not a great first impression.

For me, I'm in the same boat as you. I get the point isn't to just "beat" the game once, but I prefer my roguelikes a little more challenging even for the first run. I beat it on my 3rd try without really knowing what I did and had no interest in doing it again with tougher enemies. I was glad it was on sale when I picked it up.

It's definitely more about climbing the ranks more than single victories. I was initially disappointed that my first victory came after 3-5 runs. But I absolutely fell in love after I started playing the harder difficulties. It gets a LOT harder, you'd be doing yourself a massive disservice by quitting after the first win.

They add some very interesting modifiers as you ascend the ranks, and unlocking all the extra cards is great fun! Not only that, but each clan has a second hero to use. They drastically change how you play.

I honestly feel that this game is at least as good as STS, but in very different ways. STS is slow and methodical, Monster Train is crazy over-the-top fun, that manages to remain balanced (somehow). They fit different moods for me.

It's my personal GOTY and I still can't stop playing.

I did play a second run and did get beat tbf. I can see it been fun, just Slay the Spire is my most played game of all time for a reason.
I did find that some of the mechincs aren't really explained that well while playing it. I will still give it a few more goes and see how it plays out.

Found my new one more run game.

Does the game get harder after your first completion? I completed my second run, but haven't completed one since.

EverythingsTentative wrote:

Found my new one more run game.

Does the game get harder after your first completion? I completed my second run, but haven't completed one since.

Yeah each covenant level you add increases the difficulty slightly. For example, one covenant level might increase shop prices by 20%, another will give you more trash cards in your starter deck. It's a very subtle increase in difficulty.

It's starting to grow on me abit more, I mean it's not going to replace Slay but it's a fun more causal distraction. I think the main issues I have is that the first champion you get is just so much better than any of the others I have come across so far. I was abit annoyed that when I unlocked the other "upgrade" option for him, it took away the multistrike upgrade, which seems to be the best skill.

edit - ok I unlocked the umbra - jesus they are brutal based on the first run. Damage shield when eating basically made me untouchable. This is was on con 4.

onewild wrote:

It's starting to grow on me abit more, I mean it's not going to replace Slay but it's a fun more causal distraction. I think the main issues I have is that the first champion you get is just so much better than any of the others I have come across so far. I was abit annoyed that when I unlocked the other "upgrade" option for him, it took away the multistrike upgrade, which seems to be the best skill.

edit - ok I unlocked the umbra - jesus they are brutal based on the first run. Damage shield when eating basically made me untouchable. This is was on con 4.

My easiest runs have been with the very last champion you get. Little Fade with the Melting Remnant clan. She is endless and her AP and HP go up after every extinguish. Once you get her OP, you can drop stealth units in front of her and she never gets hit. I beat the final boss without it moving to the 2nd floor.