Hades - How to Complete a 32 Heat Run (Chaos Shield and Aspect)
Setup, strategy, and pointers to complete a 32 heat run with the Chaos Shield's Chaos Aspect.
32 Heat Guide
Introduction / Basics
This guide is here for you with tips and pointers to unlock the final Skelly statue with a 32 heat run, with the Chaos Shield, Chaos aspect. Be sure you have the Chaos Shield, Shady companion, Broken Spearpoint, Lucky Tooth and/or Old Spiked Collar, and optionally Chaos Egg fully upgraded before attempting. If you're regularly dying before Elysium, try turning the heat down a bit to around 20 and practicing a bit more with the Chaos Shield before attempting again.
If you don't mind "Cheating", once you get a good starter boon (and especially if there's a first room chaos gate), Give Up to end a run instead of dying and you'll keep the same starting boon and room on subsequent runs, leaving a lot less to chance. Get Chaos Egg, rinse repeat on subsequent runs until you get a good Chaos Boon, and then take any other chaos gates you get in Tartarus. On my winning run I got +62 max life and +52% special from Chaos Gates in Tartarus which makes a world of difference especially early game. Chaos negative effects can suck but for the most part if you got a good starting boon it won't be a problem in Tartarus.
Setup - Pact of Punishment Conditions, Keepsake, Companion
Companion: Shady all the way for the heals. Use only when really low on health to avoid using up Death Defiances.
KeepsakeEither coin purse or Chaos Egg (see notes about Chaos Gate in intro) to start with, spearpoint until Temple of Styx. Then, either go with Lucky Tooth or Old Spiked Collar depending on how many Death Defiance you have left - Since Spiked Collar gives you +50 max HP, it's essentially worth 50 + 25 per Death Defiance remaining, so if you've got 2 then it's a wash with Lucky Tooth, if 3 (or 4 if you got a rare chaos boon for that) then you're better off with Old Spiked Collar. I didn't find the spearpoint that helpful in Styx, and Hades can't really hit you multiple times.
Pact Conditions: Maxed out Convenience fee, Jury Summons, Extreme Measures, Calisthenics Program, Benefits Package, Middle Management, Heightened Security, and Damage Control. Lasting Consequences on -25%, Hard Labor on +40%, Forced Overtime on +20%, and -6 on Routine Inspection.
Extreme Measures kinda sucks for the Hydra but frankly in a lot of runs I find Thesius to be easier with Extreme Measures - plus by the time you get to him either you've got a proper boss-killing boon setup or you don't.
You could swap in Approval Process and Underworld Customs to reduce some combination of hard labor, calisthenics program, forced overtime, and routine inspection but this build focuses on getting quality boons in combinations that will carry you, and being forced out of choosing a quality boon or having to ditch a useful boon just isn't worth it IMO.
Boons, boons, boons. A few good boons can completely make or break this run.
Most useful Dadelous Hammer boons are in order, Sudden Rush, Breaching Rush (really good against armored baddies which can cause serious problems), Dread Flight. If you have Sudden Rush, I typically suggest forgoing more hammers if there's a Hermes door available.
Hermes boons for dashes, evasion, attack, and special speed are all huge. Movement is pretty nice too but with the mobility of Bull Rush especially with extra dashes, it's not worth forgoing something else potentially more useful.
As far as other boon types go:
- Attack: Pretty much anything - Zeus, Ares, Demeter, Athena, Ares, Poseidon all have their usefulness.
- Special: Zeus, Zeus, Zeus. Ares is nice too but he ain't Zeus. it almost negates the Damage Control as nearby baddies will be taking extra hits from the lightning damage plus there's multiple shields flying around. Definitely take the Jolted perk to compliment it for extra damage. Any boons or duo boons that work with Jolted is fantastic and will probably end in a successful run if you don't screw up.
- Dash: Athena. You'll be doing a lot of dashing after bull rushes, being able to reflect attacks is pretty huge.
Doors - Focus on boons where possible. Don't be afraid to go into Erebus if the rewards are better (Centaur Heart +50 is huge for example) in Tartarus, just bull rush around the perimeter keeping distance from baddies and using your special to take them out. You'll obviously need some health but don't overestimate how much you'll need and get too many Centaur Hearts instead of boons - I won handily with about 260 health.
Purchasing - Keep extra cash around for death defiance restores if you need it but don't be afraid to buy boons - especially Hermes, D-Hammer, or a god that you really need more of.
Written by Porforis.
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For the past several months, I’ve dedicated an embarrassingly large percentage of my life to working my way through Hades—an amazing video game—using all the available weapons to beat the game on the rather difficult “32 Heat” setting.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about with this whole Hades thing, check out Polygon’s Game of the Year recap for a typical glowing review.
If you also play it and want a challenge, I hope I can help. I’ll be covering general tips, how to go faster for the Tight Deadline pact, helpful boons and keepsakes, and a list of all the successful builds I used.
Many, many spoilers for Hades follow. You’ve been warned!
Why 32 Heat?
Setting the Pact of Punishment to 32 Heat is the thoroughly unnecessary difficulty level that unlocks the last of Skelly’s equally unnecessary gift statues. Because 32 heat is quite hard and the statues are the final unlockable reward in the game (outside of badges and trinkets that only require grinding through lots of runs), being able to beat the game at 32 Heat is the Generally Accepted Marker™ that you are not terrible.
This came about because I was grinding up the heat ladder and had a particularly good build with the Fists where I cruised easily through 10 heat.
So I thought, “huh let’s jump right to 16 Heat for the next Skelly statue” and notched another easy win.
So I thought, “ok boyo let’s try 32 Heat” and died. Quickly and violently.
To reach 32 Heat you have to take lots of pacts, alterations that make Hades an entirely new game. 32 Heat is rough.
And now I’ve beaten it with every weapon aspect.
All the Weapons?
Yes all of them. It’s good to have an arbitrary stupid goal sometimes.
Going into this, I thought some weapons wouldn’t work at all. I actively hated several aspects. But Hades is balanced so well that any of them are viable in a variety of ways. Although I was tempted to throw out the weapon and go for Hunting Blades sometimes, I now have a greater appreciation for many of these.
Here’s every 32+ heat clear I’ve done so far:
(I am extremely upset I forgot to capture the victory screen for some of these.)
How do I get good at “Hades”?
I’ll let you in on a secret: I am not actually that great at this game! Nothing replaces practice, but here are some helpful resources I leaned on:
Got any general tips for 32 Heat?
Get ready to die
My average clear rate at 32 Heat is about 1 out of every 6 or 7 runs. Starting out it was more like 1 in 20, but I got better as I went along. If you’ve gotten used to relatively easy clears on lower heat, this is pretty tough to swallow. It’s hard! But it’s supposed to be hard! That’s OK!
Switch to Stubborn Defiance
My experience is that you’ll ping-pong between hardly dying on a particularly good run or dying err, a lot, on most runs. The Lasting Consequences pact does not affect how much life you get back from Defiances, so curing via Stubborn Defiance is the source of most of your healing. I was never above clearing a room close to death and then jumping in the lava to recover more health for the next room.
Especially if you get Patroclus and his Touch of Styx Dark that takes your life recovery from 30% to an outlandish 80%. Depending on how late in Elysium you see Patty and how many tunnels you get in Styx, you can still have it active at the final boss. I have several clears without Touch of Styx Dark, but many leaned on this.
Although with Stubborn Defiance you’re always on the knife’s edge of losing, there’s so much more potential healing on offer that I think it’s worth it.
You can also put coins toward getting stronger instead of restoring lost Death Defiances, which are outrageously expensive with Convenience Fee.
Finally, it’s also a little more relaxed, if you want to call it that, in the early game. You can take some hits in Tartarus or die to Alecto (goddamn spinny things) and it’s not a big deal. You’ll probably be taking a lava bath real soon anyway.
Lean on simpler builds
To win at higher heat or to go fast enough for Tight Deadline, you don’t need to be flashy. My very first 32 Heat clear was a Merciful End build where I, err, never got Merciful End, but a lightly-Pommed Ares attack with some support boons was enough. I just finished up some 40 Heat wins that are very nearly boring: Artemis attack and Zeus cast on Achilles spear or Zeus attack and Athena special on Demeter Fists or Shattered Shackle on Hestia Rail.
If you can work out reliable combos using the basics of the weapon and a handful of common boons, you’ll be in much better position than barely scraping by and praying for an extremely necessary Duo or supplementary boon that might never show up.
Do not give up
But those extremely necessary duos might show up! Or you might get some epic Hermes or Chaos boon that upends things! You never know what will happen, so stick in there even if you’re convinced the run is doomed to failure. One example: one run with the Nemesis blade I was using Death Defiance and had a stupid death in Tartarus and two more stupid deaths in Asphodel, but in Elysium I got Double Edge and Heart Rend and 2 more dashes from Hermes and Patroclus and turned everything around.
I still barely won but I did it!
Hang in there. Just like when first starting out with Hades, if nothing else you’ll probably learn something.
Know the mechanics of gods and boons
Three things that are helpful here for controlling your builds: first, each run will try to keep you to 4 gods (not counting Chaos and Hermes). You can force more with keepsakes, but then you’ve got even more gods in the pool and you’ll be less likely to get any particular god later on. The takeaway here is if you’re planning on forcing another god in Asphodel, take a maximum of 3 different gods in Tartarus.
Second, selling a boon does not remove the god from your pool, so that’s not an escape hatch.
Third, the game tries real hard to fill your Attack-Special-Cast-Dash-Call slots, so if you’re fishing for tier 2 boons, duos, or legendaries you might want to fill those so you stop getting offered a cast you don’t care about every time.
Beat up Skelly
Take your time in the courtyard and understand every shortcut or combo that’s available to you. Here’s a few things that weren’t immediately obvious to me:
- On the Rail and Fists you can hold down Attack and tap Dash to continuously attack, dash-strike, and immediately resume attacking to float like a butterfly around enemy attacks while continuing to sting like a bee.
- With the Gilgamesh Fists you can hold down dash to continuously dash and dash-strike.
- The game-altering trick for the Arthur blade is that you can dash in between and during the windup of the powerful swing attacks to reposition yourself or change direction. It isn’t that slow once you know this!
In my opinion, the easiest aspect to clear with is Hestia Rail. You can blow through Tartarus and Asphodel in a hurry, and all the front-loaded damage minimizes the time for baddies to counterattack. Hestia can make up for a lot of sloppy play.
How did you set up your Pact of Punishment?
Here’s my rough baseline:
Given the choice, I opted for harder normal encounters with the less horrible final boss.
- Hard Labor (0–2 🔥): I usually kept this around 20%, because with Forced Overtime you’re gonna get hit.
- Lasting Consequences (2 🔥): 50% was my sweet spot where you’ll still get some healing at fountains and 2HP recovery per room with Cthonic Vitality. I have a few clears where I maxed this, but it makes a run extremely dependent on getting Patroclus.
- Convenience Fee (0–2 🔥): It hurts to make boons cost 270, but you can typically pull that together before the final shop on each level for Underworld Customs. That said, if I could swing more Hard Labor or Jury Summons or Damage Control, I was always thrilled to lower this.
- Jury Summons (0–2 🔥): I tried to keep this at zero to help with Tight Deadline, but sometimes I had to go higher to account for other things or if I was really confident in the weapon. 20% you’ll barely notice; 40% and up you’ll definitely feel, especially for Troves and Trials of the Gods.
- Extreme Measures (6 🔥): The first two ticks make the Furies and Lernie trickier, but EM3 truly hurts. Asterius on EM3 is a beast, and, worse, is juiced up for mid-Elysium miniboss fights. At least EM3 Theseus is easier, I think: he doesn’t have his shield at first, his joyriding follows a predictable pattern, he’s wide open to backstab or Rupture damage, and you have lots of time to avoid his bombs. Hell, he even sits still throwing confetti around sometimes. You should try the EM4 fight because it’s metal as hell but pass on high heat given that you’ll probably be on a timer, have a less-than-ideal build, and he’ll probably be moving faster and hitting harder from the other pacts.
- Calisthenics Program (0–1 🔥): Even 1 tick will add thousands of HP to the bosses, not to mention giving more armor to armored baddies, who are soon to be your worst nightmare. That said, I’ve been playing on Hell Mode where 1 tick of this is mandatory and I barely notice anymore.
- Benefits Package (2–5 🔥): Two perks in some combinations are a nightmare. Get ready to lose big chunks of health if you run into Cloner + Savior Numbskulls, Speeder + Seeker Witches, or Speeder + Slugger Slamdancers (oh sorry you blinked and lost 28hp). Still, 5 Heat is a lot and it doesn’t make bosses or minibosses any harder.
- Middle Management (2 🔥): The enhanced minibosses aren’t much harder with some practice. The most troublesome change for me was the Megagorgon in Asphodel, because the Skull-Crusher hits hard, your build might not yet be in a good place to handle it, it’s tricky to hit both with a summon, and you might still be roughed up from the Furies. At least the Witches Circle is mostly unchanged ie still horrible.
- Underworld Customs (2 🔥): You can spare 3 boons per run. That said, many runs had me scrambling to get enough coin to buy a potential throwaway boon at the shop before each boss. You can re-roll the choices with Fated Persuasion if the initial choices are all important to you; all the more reason to not take Routine Inspection. Pro tip: if a room reward is 3 boons that don’t care about, take the highest rarity one so you can hopefully sell it later for more money. Unwanted Duos and Legendaries (it happens!) are 400 coins, which opens up a ton of other options.
- Forced Overtime (3–6 🔥): These are brutal, so it’s good they’re 3 Heat each tick. Every time you up this, throw away at least 10–20 runs adjusting to the faster enemies. Both ticks is borderline unfair, especially with Speeder armored baddies moving even faster. The first time Asterius charges at you will be eye-opening. Give FO2 a try for a bunch of runs. Even if you can’t make it work, when you go down to FO1, the game will feel easy in comparison.
- Heightened Security (fuck right off with this): Me: “Sure, I’ll take this. I never hit traps!” Also me: [Hits traps constantly, turns out]. This will ruin your run probably half the time. So will Tight Deadline 3, but that’s 6 heat, not 1. Take this once for the prophecy and then never again.
- Routine Inspection (0 🔥): The first tick you give up re-rolls, greater odds of epic or legendary or duo boons, and much greater odds of Gold Laurel rooms (read: boons and health, both of which you need desperately at high heat) from Dark Foresight. No thanks.
- Damage Control (0–2 🔥): I see this frequently called “free heat”, but I loathed it. Sure, it hardly affects boss fights, but even with one tick, you’re kneecapping your ability to drop charged attacks, rail bombs, casts, and summons on spawning or unaware baddies. Nothing worse than seeing Battie’s 2500hp explosion wasted on a blue heart. Rooms with large spawns of Numbskulls and Pests and Flame Wheels and Vermin that should be 1-shot by most aspects are now horrid timesinks. I only took this in 3 specific circumstances: Lightning Strike builds, Hangover-centric builds, and the Rama bow where you have to hit everyone with your special before bringing the real pain with the shared attack damage.
- Approval Process (0–2 🔥, rarely): Horrid. I swear this one always knows exactly which boon you want. If you don’t need many specific boons or a particular Hammer, 1 tick can be workable. The Arthur blade comes to mind here, because that can go a long way with any percentage-based attack boon. The Rama bow is kind of a beast by itself, too. Fated Persuasion re-rolls can help in a pinch, so, again, never take Routine Inspection.
- Tight Deadline (3–6 🔥): It took some adjustments (see below), but any aspect should be able to clear TD2 with 7 minutes per biome. Five minutes for TD3 is a gamble, especially if you’re not used to really hustling, but I did this with most aspects.
- Personal Liability (0–1 🔥): This is mandatory on Hell Mode. In practice, it makes packs of fast-attacking enemies incredibly dangerous and lets armored Splitters and Spreaders one-shot you. The Broken Spearpoint or Holy Shield can counter this.
Sure, but how should I set up my Pacts?
According to the smart folks that hang around Supergiant’s Discord, particularly power user Nyaanyaa Mewmew, the broad consensus “easiest” (it is still hard) way for an average player to tackle 32 heat is:
- Max Hard Labor (5 heat)
- Max Lasting Consequences (4 heat) and use Stubborn Defiance
- Max Convenience Fee (2 heat)
- Extreme Measures 3 (6 heat)
- Benefits Package 2 (5 heat)
- Middle Management (2 heat)
- Underworld Customs (2 heat)
- Max Tight Deadline (6 heat)
I see the appeal. If you get hit, it’ll hurt, but with no Forced Overtime you have the best chance of not getting hit. A really bad Benefits Package combo can be rough, but at least there’s no Jury Summons or Calisthenics Program making them tougher or more numerous.
The other thing most likely to kill you here is the Tight Deadline timer.
How can I go faster for Tight Deadline?
My first clear took 58 minutes (wooo Stubborn Roots!), so the idea of beating a run in less than 20 seemed impossible, but now I’ve done it with every weapon. And so can you!
You might argue that 6 heat from Tight Deadline 3 rules out 3 heat from Jury Summons, 2 heat from Calisthenics Program, 4 heat from Extreme Measures 4, and 2 heat from Damage Control to make the deadline manageable. And you probably have to take Chaos or a shop instead of a different room reward you might really want. And, yeah, no friend rooms, a 4–5 tunnel Styx, or rooms filled with Bruiser Greatshields can ruin a run. That seems a bit off-kilter!
On the other hand, Tight Deadline itself doesn’t inherently make you any weaker or baddies any stronger. And it turns out unceasing aggression is a pretty viable and fun way to play.
Try a few runs with the Lambent Plume
The timer per room for the speed bonus is roughly what you’ll have to shoot for in terms of basic murdering.
Work rooms entrance to exit
Clear everything near the entrance and move back towards the exit. Later spawns will generally be close to your position, and you want to be near the exit (or Well or Chaos Gate) when the last baddie dies.
Take some or all of Forced Overtime
Baddies close the distance faster and spawn in faster. It helps! Assuming you can survive it!
Take every enemy-free room offered
The friend rooms, which you would probably take anyway, stop the clock. But you should also take every mid-biome shop, hop into every Chaos portal, and check every well for Lights of Ixion for even more Chaos. Taking Chaos is risky, but he counts as a room and he’s fast. Go for the least-horrible bane, not necessarily the best boon.
If Chaos appears in the last room before the pre-boss shop (chambers 12, 22, and 34), don’t take him, because that’ll be an extra room.
Yes, even health ones. 😢 Also skip Erebus Gates: you have to play extra careful (read: slow) and the initial spawn takes forever. (I would still attempt them for double Centaur Hearts sometimes.)
Pray for Death
You can’t control this, but the clock doesn’t run when Thanatos shows up.
Pause the game
You’ll get into a rhythm eventually where you’ll clear a room and quickly place yourself in a position to see all the exits, then immediately pause when the rewards are revealed. You can take your time deciding; just do so with the game paused. Do the same thing in shops. The in-game timer doesn’t run when choosing boons or poms or from the Well, so don’t be in a hurry then either.
Damage is king
This sounds fairly obvious, but killing things faster is always better not only for meeting deadlines, but also survival in general. Nothing in this game attacks fast enough to kill you if you can kill them first or kill them quickly.
Dash strike all the things
Almost without exception, dash-strikes are the ideal balance of speed and damage. Even when you wouldn’t expect it! The bow’s dash-strike doesn’t hit quite as hard as the regular attack can, but it charges twice as fast, so you do damage faster.
Burn your summons on bosses and minibosses
You can strip off armor or skip entire phases. I typically save them for Asphodel and later, but extra summons from the Well are relatively cheap if you burn them early. You can slam out Battie the instant the Theseus & Asterius fight starts and it’ll hit ’em both for 2,500, lopping off a huge chunk of their health and saving a ton of time.
I personally waffle between Battie and Antos. Battie can do more damage overall if you’ve got multiple targets, but she can miss. (Here’s a guide for aiming and timing Battie that I found very helpful.) Antos will do more damage to a single target and can’t miss, so that’s handy for later boss phases.
Don’t neglect casts and calls
I sometimes get tunnel vision and ignore these. Casts hit hard and sticking casts give you a damage boost with Boiling Blood, all the better to take down Bruiser armored baddies. It can be quicker in Tartarus to fire your casts at a semi-distant Pest or Witch instead of chasing them down. If you don’t have a call you don’t have that potential source of damage or support. I really like calls that are impactful with one bar like Zeus or Dio so you chuck those out more often and clear regular rooms faster.
Consider the Shattered Shackle to start
Tartarus has the steepest increase in difficulty on high heat and it’s the longest biome. If you’re flexible with your build and it’s attack-heavy, an instant 100% bonus attack damage from the Shackle is tough to top. Use it to punch through Tartarus quickly and see what gods are on offer, then adjust keepsakes before Asphodel.
Don’t be so precious with health
Obviously don’t, like, try to die but you can give up a little health against bosses to hit them a few more times if given the opportunity. For example, when Theseus does his call he’s totally open to attack. So you can dodge every explosion or you can dash around wailing on him, taking a few hits but possibly taking him out before he puts his shield back up. If you’ve got the health or extra defiances against the final boss, go to town instead of dodging. A clear with barely any health left is still a clear.
Got any advice for doing Extreme Measures 4?
I’ve done EM4 with 32 heat with several aspects. For those runs I made the following adjustments:
- dropped a tick of Forced Overtime;
- dropped a tick Tight Deadline (it’s a long final fight);
- added ticks of Jury Summons or (ugh) Damage Control to make up the heat;
- switched back to Death Defiance;
- used Bouldy to try and stay topped up and avoid blowing a life.
You’re looking to make Daddy minimally extra-horrible and go in with as many Defiances as you can manage. For melee weapons, Athena was near-mandatory for Divine Dash and hopefully also Sure Footing for the ubiquitous green pots.
After that, it takes practice to learn the changed attack patterns. I also strongly recommend ignoring the summoned minibosses during the first phase; they take way too long to kill.
Boons of note
I’m not gonna list every good boon, but these were some broadly useful additions to murder things quickly or stay alive at high heat, in no particular order:
- Lightning Rod (Zeus ⚡️ and Artemis 🏹 duo): I’m never actively going for this duo, but it’s unlocked with Zeus and Artemis in any of the primary boon slots so I see this all the time. It’s not the quickest or most noble way to kill things, but you can chuck out your stones and let the passive bolts wear baddies down or pick off Exalted souls while you attend to other matters.
- Heartbreak Strike or Flourish (Aphrodite 💝): The combo of highest percentage damage boost and conferring Weak status for automatic damage reduction is real strong. You can technically get higher damage output with Artemis and all her support boons, but Aphrodite is almost as strong, consistent, gets you halfway to Privileged Status, gets you halfway to Smoldering Air, and effectively extends your life.
- Life Affirmation (Aphrodite 💝): Snagging this in Tartarus can turn into a gigantic HP boost, which you definitely want.
- Electric Shot (Zeus ⚡️): Other casts can hit more things or hit harder, but Electric Shot is a good balance between damage, projectile speed, and the ability to hit multiple baddies without perfect aim or enemy grouping.
- Divine Dash (Athena 🛡): No shocker here.
- Holy Shield (Athena 🛡): I ignored this on lower heat, but it gives you effectively the same benefits of the Broken Spearpoint. By making you briefly invulnerable after taking any damage, you avoid chunky combo damage from swarms of fast-striking enemies or Witch projectiles or Daddy lasers.
- Last Stand and Defiant Stand (Athena 🛡): Athena’s secret weapon are these 2 boons that restore lost defiances. I learned this from Reddit user Piyamakarro: if you’re running Stubborn Defiance and die in a room where an Athena boon is the reward, then take one of her defiance boons, you get an extra defiance that sticks around until you die twice in a later room, which can be a real run-saver.
- Hyper Sprint (Hermes 🕊): This or Greatest Reflex (more dashes) are close to mandatory with Forced Overtime 2, especially to get away from over-caffeinated Asterius and Hades. I typically go for Hyper Sprint because it happens automatically and gives you Sturdy to make up for mistakes.
- Merciful End (Athena 🛡 and Ares 🗡 duo) or Deadly Reversal (Athena 🛡 and Artemis 🏹 duo): A solid build strategy I found for high heat is “get Athena first and see what happens.” Merciful End and Deadly Reversal turn that security blanket into, uhh, a ferocious security blanket. Both are hugely enhanced with Divine Dash which you’re probably going for with Athena in your god pool. If you get both Merciful End and Deadly Reversal, that’s some truly beautiful carnage.
- Aphrodite’s Aid (Aphrodite 💝): Many runs were saved by insta-nuking Theseus or Lernie or Daddy for 3000 HP to immediately end their final phases as the Tight Deadline timer ticked down. Just make sure not to fire it when a boss is near a phase change.
- Dionysus’s Aid (Dionysus 🍷): Probably my favorite call to take as it’s best at 1 bar instead of needing the full charge to really shine. Zeus is great for this also. Though, really, any call is worth taking to unlock the amazing post-call boons like Billowing Strength and Second Wind.
- Second Wind (Hermes 🕊): At high heat, 30% dodge chance after using a call is possibly more valuable than whatever the call is doing. Especially if you get Rush Delivery so the movement speed boost is also a beefy damage boost.
- Smoldering Air (Aphrodite 💝 and Zeus ⚡️ duo): Being able to spam calls and keep any post-call boons active can carry a run.
Most runs for me were:
- Tartarus: God keepsake of choice for the planned build. At 32 heat I’m not here to try to run the super-slow Arthur blade with a Zeus attack. I want my primary damage boon in place ASAP.
- Asphodel: Different God keepsake. Maybe the Coin Purse if I already had the gods and major boons I wanted. Maybe the Sigil if I hadn’t picked up a call and I was fishing for other boons or duos with my existing god pool; if you have the Sigil equipped, you can’t get offered call boons at all and therefore increase the odds that you’ll get other boons you might want more.
- Elysium: Usually a defensive keepsake (more on those below). Sometimes if the Well had a particularly useful item, I’d take the Bone Hourglass to make Jerkies or Hydralites or Prometheus Stones last through all of Elysium and a good a chunk of Styx. If my build was a little low on damage and time was a concern, the Skull Earing did some work.
- Styx: Defensive keepsake
The consensus smart takes for God keepsakes are Aphrodite, then Athena. You want Weak on your attack, an early Life Affirmation, and a chance at bonus Defiances from Athena.
For the defensive keepsakes, it depends!
The Tooth is another chance. If your build is not quite there in Elysium and you’re worried about miniboss Asterius (you should be), it’s a reasonable take. And if you blow it in Elysium, you can still switch to something else for Styx.
The Acorn can nullify huge amounts of damage especially if you went big on Hard Labor. But sometimes you’ll lose it to a pack of summoned skulls and be filled with regret. And it’s no help in regular encounters.
The Spearpoint saves you from nasty combos like getting stuck in a green pot or stacks of poison or if you get caught in Daddy lasers. I lean towards this over the Acorn for EM4 because the fight is so much longer.
The Sigil is nice if you’ve been ignoring your call slot. At full call, five seconds of invulnerability with a ton of bonus damage slaps. And it insta-poofs Daddy’s skulls and clears poison if those are overwhelming you.
Fun builds I ran during all this
And we’ve finally made it to the fireworks factory!
(I made the horrible mistake of watching some speedrun videos before this and now my videos look horrible and I’m horrible please forgive me.)
The Drunken Lover
This is a favorite recipe of mine for melee weapons: Dionysus attack and Aphrodite dash. Baddies just melt with hangover and Privileged Status.
Is it flashy? Nope! Does it work? Yup!
From there, there are helpful duos galore:
- Low Tolerance so you can lay on 8 hangover stacks? More damage!
- Curse of Nausea for faster hangover ticks? Free damage!
- Splitting Headache for increased crit chance with each stack of hangover? If you add Pressure Points, everything can crit, so Splitting Headache can make that particularly vicious.
- Heart Rend can beef up the Nemesis Blade or an Artemis special on the Demeter Fists.
One fun variation is the Chaos Shield—the perfect Hangover weapon—with Aphrodite on attack and Dionysus on special to immediately apply 5 stacks after a Bull Rush.
A particularly spicy twist is the Achilles Spear with Aphrodite on the special. Rush right through a baddie. Boom, Weak. Stab ’em once in the back. Blam, Privileged Status. Hey you have 3 more boosted things to do after Rushing and 3 bloodstones. Enjoy how hard casts hit with 190% bonus damage. True Shot doing crits for like 1200 feels pretty good. Probably most things are dead now, but if not, charge and stab away until they puke up the bloodstones.
Happy 100th Clear
Speaking of the Achilles Spear, how very nice of the game to give me Ice Wine and Scintillating Feast and Smoldering Air and Flurry Cast on my 100th clear.
I normally run Achilles with a mix of melee and cast, but I ignored the stabby thing when I could nuke for 3,000 every few seconds.
Yo Theseus I Heard You Like Zeus…
While I don’t love the Zeus aspect of the Shield (Chaos is my jam), I do love finding new ways to kill Theseus. My favorite new way to kill Theseus is wrecking his chariot and then sliding my spinning lightning death disk on top of him:
That figure-eight I was running wasn’t strategic. That was just for me.
Together Until The End
My other new favorite way to kill Theseus is kill him first, letting the Shared Suffering on the Rama Bow also kill Asterius.
By the way, this is the ultra-slow Rama bow with the agonizingly slow Explosive Shot and it’s still workable with Forced Overtime 2.
Also the Rama bow just owns.
I was unaware that you could combine Cluster Bomb with Rocket Bomb to shoot 5 rockets at once. That shouldn’t be a thing! I was also unaware that standing in any rocket’s blast would trigger the Eris aspect’s damage buff.
Throw any percentage-boosting special boon on there (this has Athena) and end Daddy’s entire 2nd round in under 20 seconds.
If you were wondering if I was saying “Kablooooom!” every couple of seconds, I absolutely was.
Double-barreled Crit Cannon Bow
I didn’t use the Bow’s Aspect of Zagreus at all after I unlocked Chiron, which was responsible for my first win and therefore holds a special place in my heart, and Hera, which is almost easy mode.
I’ve been missing out! Built-in critical chance on a weapon that hits this hard owns. And it crushes stuff with combinations of attack hammers that I generally ignored while running Chiron.
Here’s Twin Shot and Flurry Shot together making life difficult for the denizens of Styx.
Being able to stun-lock with this kind of damage is, like, not fair.
Water Balloon Launcher
I died many times trying to crack Guan Yu. The built-in 50% life reduction is awful. Even though you can heal with the charged attack, that proved too slow, unreliable, and dangerous with Forced Overtime. I’m probably missing something.
Someone on Reddit pointed me towards the Charged Skewer hammer and things clicked. I threw Poseidon on because the knockback gave me more time to charge the next shot in regular encounters. 400 a pop even at low levels’ll do.
Here that is ruining Tisiphone’s day (or night).
Like with the Bow, I ignored the Zagreus Rail after unlocking the other aspects. So I think I might be the last person alive to realize how well its bonus ammo pairs with the Spread Fire hammer.
Add Artemis attack, mash down attack, and dash at and around things until they die, which will happen very, very quickly. Here that is ruining Meg’s day (or night).
Lord Have Merciful End
This was just one of those runs. I had Merciful End halfway through Asphodel, then I started piling on the usual goodies like Blinding Flash for Privileged Status and Impending Doom. Then I got an Epic Greatest Reflex for 5 dashes. Then Deadly Reversal. Then Demeter showed up and an Epic Rare Crop took Impending Doom and Curse of Agony to Heroic during Styx.
Not even a 5-tunnel Styx filled with Bruiser rats is gonna stop you when your Doom drops crit for around 1,500.
I’m not sure how this build could be improved… maybe Zeus instead of Demeter for Billowing Strength might be more damage? Maybe the Sigil? Use Gilgamesh for 1 fewer total dashes but go for Hyper Sprint with Rush Delivery? There’s always something…
…like maybe Merciful End but with lasers!
So this isn’t actually better but it is hilarious-looking.
If you’re trying to get that last Skelly statue, I hope this helped or at least gave you some ideas for things to try out. Good luck!
One more thing: let’s geek out about assorted things I love about “Hades”
I’m over 400 runs in—blame the pandemic—and I’m still discovering little gems in the game.
The art style
This is a beautiful game
Here’s your first interaction with your father after you die once and return to the House of Hades:
Sold immediately. The tone of this really butters my buns.
The way each level’s baddies train you for the boss
In Tartarus, Louts rear up and then charge, just like Meg does; she’s just faster. Pests create little circles of destruction that you have to dodge out of, just like Meg does; she just lays down more of them.
In Elysium, Asterius charges at you just like the giant Chariots you fought in earlier rooms. If you try to run away, they move faster than you do and you’ll get hit. You might have figured out that the counter for the chariots is to dash through them, not away from them. Same trick works for Asterius.
The bosses are by far the most dangerous parts of the game, but even when you’re not fighting them, you’re getting a little practice in. What a brilliant bit of game design.
This fuckin’ guy.
I sooooo look forward to slaughtering this dude repeatedly.
Surprise parenting advice from the personification of Primordial Chaos
The arena for Theseus and Asterius
I was 217 runs in before I noticed that the seal on the floor was an homage to the “Dillon, you sonofabitch” handshake from Predator.
This game is an endless parade of tiny delights and I just loved it a lot.
How To Beat Hades With 32 Heat
Borut Udovic at Caffeinated Gamersuggests going into a 32 Heat run with the shield, equipped with the Chaos Aspect, along with Athena's Divine Dash aid boon, which allows players to deflect while dashing. It's important to remember that players can switch out boons between levels of the underworld, as certain abilities are more useful depending on what level Zagreus is tackling at the moment. Udovic also suggests choosing to pursue paths with Centaur hearts when available, as building up HP is vital to a successful 32 Heat run.
YouTuber Haelian agrees that at 32 Heat, weapon choice is the most important thing, especially because melee weapons become difficult to manage with so many aspects of the Pact of Punishment activated. Haelian also suggests avoiding enemy-filled rooms whenever possible, as they take up more time. Each Hades player has a different playstyle, with varied strengths and weaknesses. Beating Hades with 32 Heat takes trial and error, as well as several failed attempts in order to find the right fit for players.
After receiving several nominations at The Game Awards 2020, Hades proved its worth as one of the most popular indie games of 2020. Even so, not every player will want to pursue the 32 Heat reward, and may instead want to simply unlock the true ending of Hades.
How to beat 32 Heat in Hades! One of the most sacred and praiseworthy achievements in-game!
There is a lot of talk going around. It’s all about which strategies are the best, which weapons are the best, and much more.
Only the strongest of players get to beat the game at a Heat 32 level. It is truly a hard act. For those who don’t know, you get a Heat Gauge on the Pact of Punishment Screen.
Here you can tweak the conditions and make your run either miserable or fun. Usually, high Heat levels bring in the most rewarding loot.
So, what’s the best strategy to beat Heat level 32?
- Your best weapon of choice is probably a shield. On the shield put a chaos aspect. It is one of the most potent weapons in the game these days.
- Next, look to get Athena’s trinket. You can use it to get deflect dash. Furthermore, pick hearts always when it’s available.
You can follow with a coin trinket. Later on, you can switch to broken spearpoint.
- Be careful when choosing a special boon. It is probably the most important thing when you are doing these kinds of runs.
You can choose either doom, crits, and poison based on your preference.
- Take: Poseidon’s Call, Zeus After Call, and Faster God Gauge. Other similar offensive boosts like the ones from Hades can work too. It is up to you.
- Sysyphus trinket, to keep you alive on the first floors.
This is by far the most straightforward strategy to beat 32 Heat in Hades. However, that is not to say that other builds might work as well. It is all up to preference. This is just one of the easier ways to achieve this.
You can tweak this build to suit your playstyle, but make sure to keep the shield on! Good luck, Zagreus!
READ NEXT: Hades Heart Of Artemis: How To Unlock 7th Heart For Artemis
Heat hades 32
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The reason is very simple: 32 heat forces you to stack several disadvantages that strongly enhance one another, resulting in a slot-machine experience at every turn. The whole game comes apart at this point and a once fun game becomes a huge frustration.
First of all you can't really take the +40% movement speed/attack speed pact for it reduces the attack windows by 40%, and further makes some enemies absolutely insanely difficult to get rid of (Elysium heroes). This is, from my experience, by far the hardest pact of them all, including the third phase Hades pact.
Taking away boon options is straightforward: it does nothing but make the RNG worse. Instead of actually offering a challenge this is a downright "here have some no-fun!" modifier. This stacks with the fact that you will lose re-rolls from the mirror also. Boons turn into slot machines with bad odds in an already difficult game.
The timer, oh boy the timer. This pact becomes literally impossible when the other pacts decide it's time for your daily dose of bad RNG. Stack it with additional health, armored perks or god forbid additional speed and the game becomes unironically literally impossible to beat.
Additional health and armored perks turn the game in a chore. I recall getting a +60% enemies chaos boon on the first layer, then the next room it spawned armorered wretches. It took me 6! minutes to clear this room with max additional health, max enemy armored perks and max additional spawns. That's 66% of the time you get for the lowest rank of the death timer. Is there anyone who enjoys playing "sit in a corner and hold left mouse button for 10 minutes"?
I know this post is partially just venting but ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ 32 heat is absolutely zero fun.
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Hades - 32 Heat Guide (Shattered Shackle)
This requires the aspect of Arthur holy excalibur. Disclaimer: This is not for new players or beginner players. This guide requires the players to have played the game well enough to unlock the hidden aspect of the Stygian Blade: Holy Excalibur. If you have unlocked Holy Excalibur or completed the Epilogue, that's a sign that you are not new or a beginner.
Guide to 32 Heat: Shattered Shackle
Proof of 32 Heat
I'm not a good player, but I really wanted to unlock Skelly's last statue. I managed to get 32 heat on like the second attempt with this build, and since then, the build has even been buffed.
Disc: I'm not saying you will get it necessarily in 2 tries, and I had considerable luck aiding me. Luck will always play a part in 32 Heat so that's something we cannot control.
As you can see, I was very lucky to get it. Since then, I have 32 heated a few times with less luck... But i believe this is still the most reliable method to 32 heat.
TLDR; Core Build + Boons + Mirror + Heat
Weapon + Keepsake
- Holy Excalibur
- Owl Pendant(First Area), then Shattered Shackle (Second Area onwards)
Hammer + Boon
- Hammer: Cursed Slash
- Boons: Divine Dash + Athena Call.
- Do not pick an attack and special boon.
- Do not pick a Cast Boon unless you have no choice.
Mirror + Heat (Ignore the numbers for Mirror, just focus on the names)
Carrying on reading for more information and details.
How to Beat 32 Heat and What Weapon to Use?
How to beat 32 heat
The key elements in clearing 32 Heat in my opinion are to a) Clear enemies fast and b) Make sure you don't lose too much health for the next battle as healing is sparse.. The aim of the guide is to showcase a build that helps deal with the difficulties of 32 Heat, with as little fuss and thought needed in choosing your build. Basically as brain-deads possible.
Holy Excalibur helps mitigate these elements with its properties:
- Holy Excalibur gives you additional 50 on your Life Total
- Holy Excalibur's special gives a defense boost, slows enemy projectiles and disable floor and wall traps.
- Holy Excalibur deals a lot of damage and its swings are wide, so you can clear enemies fast.
If possible try to upgrade this weapon to the maximum.
How to unlock
Here's a random video I found that can help you with that:
What Keepsakes to Use
This is the Owl Pendant keepsake you get from Athena. It allows your first boon to be an Athena boon. Start of with this keepsake!
Why owl pendant?
Two words: Divine Dash.
The absolute must have for every run. The best boon to get for any run. Equipping the keepsake guarantees a Athena boon on your first boon. Try to roll or restart for at least an epic rarity.
This is the Shattered Shackle keepsake you get from Sisyphus. Your attack, special and cast each deal a bonus of 100% damage when not powered by a boon. The effect runs out if you switch Keepsakes. Use it from the second dungeon onwards and dont switch it out!
Why shattered shackle?
- Relying on boons can be quite unreliable. There's a lot of luck/RNG involved and trying to mix and match boons for the best combination can be confusing and distracting.
- With Shackle + Excalibur, all you have to do is just mindlessly spam your basic attack and you're good to go, so you will spend way less time deciding on what boons to pick.
- Since you are selecting less boons, your upgrades (like Poms of Power) will focus on only your important boons.
So make sure you don't pick up any Attack or Special boons from any Gods, or else your bonus damage will be gone! Since we are mainly using basic attacks, you can use a boon for Cast, it doesn't matter as much as Attack or Special.
What Are the Hammers and Boons to Pick
Cursed Slash reduces your Health by 60% but each attack restores 2 Health. This is the core hammer to get for our brain dead strategy. The earlier you get this the better. In fact if you don't get this early, its not too far fetch to restart your run. This hammer upgrade really pairs well with Excalibur as the bonus health and defense helps mitigate the total health reduction. Regaining health also allows you to make more mistakes, as healing is sparse at 32 heat.
Double Edge makes your Dash-Strike hit twice and deal +20% damage. Dash-Strikes help make your attacks go faster since you are wielding a slow weapon. Anything that boosts your dash strikes are good, since your dash boon is saved for Divine Dash.
Greater Consecration makes your aura +45% larger, and makes foes +10% slower. This is an Arthur exclusive hammer. It is pretty good, but I believe Double Edge is better. Still not too bad.
The rest of the boons are all decent to meh. The only one to really avoid is Dash Nova, as it lunges the player forward and you don't have much control of the character. As long as you have Cursed Slash, nothing else matters as much.
- Attack: Dont pick any boon for this. If you pick any, you won't receive the boost from the keepsake.
- Special: Dont pick any boon for this. If you pick any, you won't receive the boost from the keepsake.
- Cast: Dont pick any boon for this unless you have no choice (i.e. The only options for boons are attack, special and cast.) Priorities attack and special. If you have to pick a Cast, I will list a few cast that I think is good to pick below.
Divine Dash. The only Olympian boon that matters. No matter what build you are using, Divine Dash is the best boon. Seriously, if there's one thing to learn from this guide, it is the importance of this dash. Try to roll for a EPIC rarity in the beginning and upgrade it as fast as you can early game.
Athena's Call. Basically another Divine Dash. You don't have to wait for the God's Gauge to be filled. You can just spam it like a Divine Dash if you want. This adds another layer of protection for you where you can spam your attack and gain health with Cursed Slash.
- Swift Strike: You have slow attack speeds, so increasing attack speed is good!
- Quick Recovery: Increasing health is always good especially when you are dashing. This means you are gaining HP when you dodge AND attack. Lastly,
- Greatest Reflex: Having more dashes is good, but if you have more than 1 dash already that is not priority.
- Anything that increases Crit chance or damage is good. The third swing of the Excalibur does Crit Damage, so having any bonuses from that Crit will be good!
- Support Fire: Support Fire does not affect your actual attack so Shackle will give you bonus. Having extra attack is also good to break the blue hearts.
- Strong Drink: Restores all your Health and gives bonus damage. Since restoration will be weakened, this will be super useful. Also gives bonus damage which is great! The earlier you get this, the better! Isn't as good to get when it's late.
- If you have to pick a Cast, pick a cast that can lodge into the enemy. These 3 are the only that lodges into the enemy. The best one is Artemis as it homes to the enemy and does crit damage.
- If you have to pick another Call other than Athena, having ones that deal massive damage can help clear bosses and mini bosses fast. Using an Epic Artemis Aid, Hydra becomes a 1 shot once you reach the third phase and lodge it with 3 Casts.
What Mirror Upgrade and Heat Pact to Choose?
My mirror and heat pact:
Mirror Upgrade: (using an old image. Just look at the names, ignore the numbers and adjust accordingly)
- Thick Skin gives more Health for no reason but since we are using Cursed Slash hammer Upgrade, we need more Health.
- Family Favourite > Privilleged Status. We are not using any attack or special boons so there won't be much statuses to proc them.
- Fated Persuasion is more consistent for getting a specific god rather than getting a specific boon. Since this build only uses like 3 Olympian Gods, its better the mull the Gods then the Boons IMO.
- Learn to experiment with whatever Heat that you are comfortable with.
- If you practice hard enough you could increase Tight Deadline to 5:00. But because the Holy Excalibur is slow, it is not advisable if you are not used to it.
- Most people would pick Underworld Customs as their heat and with good reason. It is an easy heat to gain. However, because we are not using a lot of Boons, it's better to not pick it.
Written by chillwaffles.
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