This is in stark contrast to most other weapons which have a handful of boons that work well on them and, if they don’t happen to appear, you’re going to have a bad time. That alone makes swords worth of a spot in A-Tier, but when you combine that with how fun Agrees, Nemesis and Arthur are, the deal is clenched.
Later aspects have a little more focus on dash attacks, like Gilgamesh and Demeter, but at least when you’re first using fists, spamming specials is probably the way to go. What I think puts fists a little behind the weapons higher on this tier lists is its lack of build versatility.
There are only a handful of special flourishes that really feel strong on fists, like Poseidon and, potentially, Artemis. The amount of in-game knowledge and skill required for fists to perform on par with bows is pretty significant.
To really make Gilgamesh or Demeter sing, you’re going to have specific duo boons in mind and have the tools to manipulate the RNG via Fated Authority/Persuasion to achieve those builds reliably. Talks is a little more user-friendly and is essentially a straight upgrade of the base fist (which only has an almost useless dodge bonus), and even that will require some extra skill and knowledge about casting boons, duo boons and enemy attack patterns, whereas with the bow you can pretty much just go ham from start to finish.
Rails are great, but the reloading mechanic takes from getting used to, and they lack some of the mobility that other weapons have. For that reason, Adamant Rail might be difficult for inexperienced players, even though you’d think the long range would make them one of the safer weapon options.
At a high heat level, that also means you have to equip Zeus’s keepsake all the time instead of the Pom Blossom or the Distant Memory. Like spears, shields have multiple different attack options, so you can generally make a good build out of whatever boons you find.
The real problem with the shield is that even if you get great boons, its damage output tends to be lower than what you can achieve with most of the other weapon types. Now, at a high level of play with a variety of maxed out weapon aspects change the story a little.
The Aspect of Chaos with Dionysus special/Ares attack can melt rooms and bosses easily, Beowulf with Trippe Shot and the Zeus duo can wreck bosses, and Aspect of Zeus can also be built to be pretty strong. The problem then changes: each of these aspects has basically one very specific build that’s incredibly good, and if you don’t get it, you’re going to feel weak.
There’s also the problem that it takes a lot of blood to get to the point where shields start feeling powerful. Aspects of Chaos and Beowulf, probably generally considered to be the best shields, aren’t good almost at all until they’re at least level 4 or 5.
Compare that to bows which don’t require any blood investment at all to turn the game into easy mode. I don’t want you to think the shield is bad, because it’s certainly not and, like I said at the beginning of the post, personal preference is a big part of weapon selection and Hades is pretty balanced overall, so the difference between C Tier and A Tier is not huge, but even if you love shields, they’re not going to feel terribly strong until at the very least you’ve maxed out one of the aspects completely.
Be sure to check out more Hades Game Guides, check out the Main Page for everything the site has to offer and click here to subscribe to my new Bright Rock Media YouTube channel where I’m posting game reviews, site updates and occasionally some other types of content. With multiple different options to choose from, picking the Bioweapon for you can be confusing in Hades but with this guide, it will no longer be a problem.
For Ranged DPS, the Heart Seeking bow is a very good choice as it can do large amounts of damage. Using Boiling Blood and Internal Soul perks will increase your cast ammo and damage done to enemies respectively.
If you choose to use the Aspect of Agrees weapon, combine the Boiling Blood and Internal Soul perks with Artemis’ Deadly Strike, True Shot, and Pressure Points boons to further boost your Critical damage. The Aspect of Nemesis perk on the Stygian Blade can rack up huge amounts of damage.
Combining Artemis boons with Mirror of Night perks results in critical bonuses and deals even more damage with Doom and Blade Rifts. The Bombard special attack launches a large grenade which deals deadly damage.
The Aspect of Lucifer gives the weapon a new move set that includes Hellfire bombs. Combined with Aspect of Gun You is best for dealing AOE damage because of the Serpent Slash charged attack.
The best weapon choice for high combo builds is the Twin Fists of Malfoy. The basic attack of the Twin Fists is a combo of fast strikes that does low damage.
The Aspect of Talks changes the special into a magnetic attack that pulls in enemies that are out of your reach. Athena's boons are also key as they either grant you the Deflect ability to send opponents attacks back at them or lower the amount of damage you take from enemies and the environment.
This build obviously relies on Zeus, so grab the Thunder Signet Keepsake on your way out the gate. You need to focus on dashing for this build, so you'll be firing less charge shots on your attack and many more specials for wide but weaker arrow coverage.
Grab the Eternal Rose Keepsake for Tartarus and take whichever weakness boons you can, particularly Heartbreak Strike for your attack and Crush Shot for your cast. Remember with the Aspect of Hera, your cast loads into an arrow and releases the effects in a radius around yourself before firing.
Take the Adamant Arrowhead Keepsake with you into Asphodel (you don't need too much from Aphrodite, so one world should suffice) and max out your critical hits going forward. This is disastrous if you're fighting a shielded boss who is on guard at the time, and I'm all about low-risk low-reward gameplay.
I'd hold on to the Owl Pendant Keepsake for both Asphodel and Elysium, and grab her Call as well. The basic idea here is to inflict Doom slowly on your enemies (which will hurt them through their shields over time).
I usually take the Lucky Tooth Keepsake with me to fight Hades personally, but I'd recommend focusing on coins while in the Temple. Any Darkness upgrades that increase coin collecting are helpful on this run, because in the Temple you'll need to spend all your cash on pomegranates for your cast and Daedalus Hammers.
In the case of Hades, it combines stellar characters and world-building with satisfying combat and a progression system that keeps you hooked. Not to pile on the praise too early but the characters and world of Hades are easily one of the strongest I’ve seen in the genre.
Hypos will react to whatever killed you, Hades will continue to chastise your escape attempts and Achilles will offer you advice on what to do next. It’s almost tempting to let enemies take you down just so you can try and coax a secret out of Kelly or build a relationship with Thanos.
Much has been made on the internet of how attractive all the characters are and whilst that’s totally true it’s also indicative of how great the visuals are here, both inside and outside the core conceit of trying to escape the underworld. Just as surprising is the soundtrack that combines light metal riffs and somber piano tracks for a really well-realised atmosphere.
The experience of playing Hades deserves practically equal praise to its narrative, something which is remarkable considering the quality of its story. The real fun twist and the thing that really makes this a roguelike comes from all the ways you can modify Agrees’ move set in an escape attempt.
Sometimes it’s as simple as imbuing your attack with an element, while other times it offers a whole new move to add to your arsenal. Even better is the fact that each of these boons has Agrees interacting with whichever God offered up the upgrade, which feels like another perfect melding of roguelike reward and well-written story content.
Sometimes two Gods will show up and make you choose between them, and sometimes they’ll offer a combined boon that does extra damage. The illusion of these boons being exciting events never faded for me, and they managed to keep the gameplay fresh even dozens of runs in.
There are temporary ones that only exist in each run that come from the boons you pick and the stats you can boost as well as the more permanent upgrades that you can apply to Agrees and his weapons. Being able to permanently improve stats after each run feels really rewarding and ultimately makes the difference between perishing mid-run and actually beating the game.
Even the social and story elements I mentioned earlier are their own progression system as each conversation adds to a codex and each character has their own unique items to give you. There are a lot of different variations for every run and the seemingly-unlimited number of boons definitely help keep things interesting but there are times when I wished there were a few more distinct areas to throw into the mix.
Hades is a roguelike isometric dungeon crawler by Super giant Games that just recently came out of early access. Set knee-deep in some pretty thick Greek mythology and lore, you take control of Hades son Agrees who wants to climb his way out of the Underworld.
If you’re on the fence about picking up Hades or wondering if it’s worth your time, long story short: it is. The difficulty ramps up the further and further up you climb through areas, and you’ll quickly find your screen filling up with a bunch of enemies, projectiles, or a varied combination of the two.
There are no traditional health potions or ways to heal so if you get knocked down to 3 HP early in your run, it’s very likely you’ll be stuck at that amount for a good chunk of the journey. Your dash ability will easily become your best friend because it helps you dodge attacks, cross gaps, and close the distance between you and an enemy.
However, Hades softens the difficulty a bit with the fact that death isn’t exactly a punishment. You can also upgrade weapons, unlock abilities, and mess around with your build before you dive back into the Underworld.
There’s also something ridiculously satisfying and fulfilling about managing to beat the area boss when you’re only hanging onto 20 HP and a dream. There’s also an option to crank down the difficulty if you’re in it mostly for the story, so Hades doesn’t lock you into its harder gameplay if it’s not your cup of tea.
Dionysus is draped in grapes and wine, Hades is presented in a way that intimidates, Aphrodite is literally naked, and Poseidon looks like he came right out of the water. It’s hard to describe music in words but Hades OST will hype up every enemy encounter, pump you up for a tough boss fight, and help you chill out when you’re relaxing in Agrees’ room.
Hades OST adds a level of immersion to your dungeon crawling that makes it easier to feel like you’re a long-forgotten Greek God fighting your way through numerous enemies to escape the Underworld. However, different parts of the story actually progress with each death and every time you return to the House of Hades there are new dialogue options and sometimes new characters to talk to.
You also have the option to upgrade your character, change weapons, and pick different trinkets, so you’re not entirely starting from level zero. The death mechanic is admittedly brutal, but Hades softens the blow with a bit of lore and customization.
The only constants are the number of rooms and the fact that you’ll need to fight a set boss to reach the next area. Cerberus may be the intimidating, monstrous, and brutal watchdog of the Underworld, but he likes some good old pats just as much as any other dog.