This short tutorial/guide was originally posted on reddit on 21st of October, 2018, under the same title - you can find it here. By the time of me writing this, it has already been over 6 months, and so the post is archived and cannot be edited anymore, and so is sliiiightly outdated. Despite that, I still believe it's worth reading, as I believe Wand of Corrosion can be easily overlooked as harmful to the player and not too effective in combat, which I still believe is wrong. I took a moment and decided to update parts of my guide (they'll be uhhh hard to miss), the results lie before you. So, without further ado...
Wand of Corrosion, formerly Venom is my favorite wand. That's why when I saw ""recent"" poll results and heard some voices of the community on PD discord, I decided to act.
This tutorial is going to explain how to become a Corrosion pro, and should guarantee* an easy and fun win with it, if you're careful enough.
*Win guarantee is not guaranteed on runs with otherwise bad RNG. No refunds.
Disclaimer: This post goes into extreme depths of a single item's mechanics. Also, it's an absolute lad. Some tactics involve new additions in release 0.7.0.
I doubt many people would want to read all of this (though I still highly recommend that if you didn't like this wand so far), that's why I will separate the sections of the post with a line break, in some of which I will go into more details and specifics. In some places I linked screenshots to help visualise an example situation. If you're a mobile user, I compiled all of these pictures into a separate album for easier browsing, which can be found here.
General gas tips in PD: Gases do not take effect the first turn gas VFX appears on hero's tile. You can use this as a general rule of thumb that will tell you to reposition yourself in your next turn, otherwise you'll start taking damage or receive debuffs (such as paralysis or vertigo). Also, due to the gas spreading mechanics, escaping diagonally is faster than in cardinal directions.
I'll quickly list the pros and cons of the Corrosion wand:
• Great early game. Single charge is pretty much guaranteed to kill regular enemies if used correctly.
• Doesn't require a lot of upgrades. A +0 wand is still helpful even in late prison, especially if you don't have other projectiles. A single charge out of a +2 wand is able to nearly kill a gnoll brute.
• No enemy is in the slightest bit resistant to it. The damage is reliable, at any depth, for any enemy, everywhere. Disint, Lightning and Fireblast can go hide, yo.
WOOOSH WHOA WHAT IS HAPPENING, IS THIS THE POWER OF HINDSIGHT AND TIME TRAVEL!? Yes it is, I came from the future just to tell y'all that this is actually not true! The Goo, Acidic Scorpio and Rotting Fist have the Acidic property and as a result they do have a resistance towards Corrosion, and take less damage because of that. Check your sources guys!
• It's one of the only wands with an Area of Effect attack pattern. You can damage potentially even huge groups of enemies at once. And that still costs just 1 charge.
• It has a synergy with an obscene amount of items out of all categories. 'nuff said.
• Fucking none lmaooo
• If you use it like any other wand, it will be ridiculously weak. So you gotta spend more time tapping in a different spot I guess; wasting life amirite?
• Prone to punishing misclicks and bad decisions. Good thing the game stops you on first turn of taking damage then! But seriously, if you don't know what you're doing when it's at high levels, you will be absolutely obliterated. Corrosion picks no friends, and you're just its tool channeling the destructive power.
• Damage isn't instant, and it's cumulative. Killing a ranged enemy using WoC exclusively can expose you for its damage for quite a while. That's why timing is important - don't just blindly shoot the moment you see anything move, plan ahead.
Alright, wanna know my biggest secret to unlocking the true power of Corrosion?
Don't use autoaim. Seriously, that's it. If you stop shooting at where they are, and start aiming at where they are going to be, you'll already notice a huge damage output increase. That's because you give the gas a chance to spread further before it starts damaging enemies. It can involve a bit of guesswork, but enemies tend to follow your steps or quite simple paths if they can. In practice, that means it's perfectly safe to shoot enemies at melee range, as long as you run away from the gas. Preferred direction would be cardinal, since it assures the most damage dealt and none taken. But it's all about timing, and acting in the best moments you can to get the best results.
Hey, did someone say "time"? Watch out boys, the time travel vehicle strikes again! I didn't somehow talk about it in the original post cuz I figured that's too obvious, but it actually may be worth mentioning. Corrosion (and Blast Wave (and Warding)) bolts won't travel endlessly like most other wand bolts, but will actually try to hit precisely the selected tile, which lets you do all sorts of cool stuff.
Handling ranged enemies: If you enter a room with a sleeping ranged enemy that just happens to be in your range and standing next to a wall - perfect! You've conveniently found yourself in the best case scenario. Just aim on the diagonal of the enemy as close as possible, hide behind the doors and wait for the enemy to run for his life in panic. If he escapes through doors next to you - perfect, one mob down. If he escapes through a different doorway, be ready to stumble upon him sometime later and always have an escape route, though in most cases I'd recommend chasing after it.
However the perfect case scenario rarely happens. To take ranged enemies down safely, assuming the absence of any tools, is to aim next to it (or spam wait button in the doorway if the enemy is sleeping. Because, as you may know, waking up enemy with damage causes them to attack back the very next turn).
As the title implies, fighting with a Wand of Corrosion is all about timing your next shot and spacing between you and the enemy.
For the uninitiated, synergy is a term meant to describe a situation where 2 or more items (skills, characters, perks - whatever) complement each other, and become much stronger because of that. I will sort them very roughly by decreasing usefulness.
• A honourable mention goes to Dried Rose with its god-tier synergy. One thing you need to know is that the ghost takes no damage from corrosive gas. It can act as a really effective enemy block or meat spirit(?) shield while the gas does its job. Prismatic Guard, an exotic version of the Scroll of Mirror Image can do a similar job, though it's more troublesome.
• Any source of distance. Potions of Haste/Stamina, Ring of Haste, Freerunner's Momentum for direct speed, Cloak, Hourglass, Chains, anything.
• Hindering enemies can be just as beneficial. That can be achieved with Wand of Blast wave, Wand of Corruption (paralysis, cripple, terror, slowness, blindness, sometimes amok (p much the whole set lol)), Wand of Frost, Wand of Prismatic Light, Bolas, some seeds, potions and scrolls.
• Glyphs: swiftness, flow, affection. Minor synergies with obfuscation, repulsion, camouflage. EDIT: DON'T stay out from entanglement as far as you can. Remember that this glyph never actually rooted you, it has always just added a dmg reduction boost. Right?
• Your favorite enchantment: eldritch. Other synergies include chilling, dazzling (especially on ranged weapons) and stunning. That means rarity of uncommon and up.
• Weapons - not really an important feat here imo, but if you can choose, get something either with high reach or high accuracy. That's useful for finishing enemies off if they manage to survive. Preferrably no slow weapons.
• Hey funfact, Corrosion actually synergises with Scrolls of Upgrade, who would've thought. Remember - starting damage formula is `level + 1` increasing by 1 each turn, and the cloud size is calculated with this -> `50 + 10 * level`. In theory that means higher upgrades = bigger cloud size and its longer duration, but also a heckload of other factors affect that so in practice nobody even knows how it works.
• Remember when I said "whatever" while listing examples of things that could synergise? Because the weirdest synergy of this evening is probably Swarm Intelligence challenge. Mostly because it groups enemies together and makes them easier to defeat with AoE (that's cool gamer slang for Area of Effect). It's still a challenge, mind you, but can make you make the most of your wand, or rather - having it on is not exclusively a downside. Just don't forget to actually find the wand.
I'll describe a random encounter.
Fig. 1:. Here we can see a calcium-rich skeleton in its natural habitat. It's Spooktober; all specimen raise themselves from their graves for the mating season. The skeleton noticed a potential rival under layers of muscles and skin of a Rogue, and rushed to defend its territory. (Ok enough of that).
Fig. 2:. Next, I retreated to a better position; when an enemy sticks to a wall, it's much easier to predict its movements. You probably could get away with aiming at a tile in the open area as well, though.
Fig. 3:. Releasing the first charge on the empty tile right before us. Can also be done by shooting at that decorative wall with a torch in the room we just left.
Fig. 4:. Moving. A step diagonally to the left could also work here, but there wouldn't be a guarantee that the skeleton would stay as long in the cloud then.
Fig. 5:. Reposition, shooting at our footsteps yet again... which turned into a wrong decision
Fig. 6:. Confrontation. To be honest, I screwed up: Instead of using a second charge of the WoC, I should've used a shuriken and/or magic missile charge. Combined with the last turn of gas damage it would've been enough to kill the skeleton without taking damage myself.
Fig. 7:. As I said above, I didn't manage to complete my original plan and cloak away, so I remained in range of the bone explosion - took like 3 damage in total.
Now, it all may seem confusing, long or wordy, but once you try it out it becomes intuitive and can be done without really thinking about it.
That's all I prepared! If you noticed any errors on my side, don't hesitate to tell me in comments, if you have more questions or need some help when handling a specific enemy or boss, ask away. Good luck, have fun melting the heck out of everything on your way.
That's where the original ends - and the footnote I mentioned earlier begins.
Even despite all of this text, there's still much more you can do in terms of your strategy. Suffice to say, I barely scratched the surface here. I can recommend a largerly underappreciated tutorial by u/Supernewb52 - Using the dungeon to your advantage. This way you can get all the sweet S p a c i n g in the world. I hope I can actually edit blog posts in case I ever need to tbh.
I can't believe literally copy-pasting most of the tutorial over from reddit kept so much of the original formatting, like goddamn I'm impressed.