Skul: The Hero Slayer traits are the game’s rogue-lite element, allowing you to upgrade your character’s strength and resilience, decrease cooldowns, and add life-saving abilities. Each Trait upgrade costs Dark Quartz, a currency dropped by every enemy in the game. The further you go, the more quartz drops, and the more Traits you acquire. That also means they become more expensive.
This Skul: The Hero Slayer guide will go over all the game’s best Traits — the ones you’ll want as soon as you can get your hands on them. Some are straightforward and will unlock in short order. Others will cost you a king’s ransom. All of them are worth every piece of quartz.
There are three Traits you can access as soon as you can talk to the Witch in Human form. These are your base damage abilities:
- Marrow Transplant, which increases Magic damage
- Thick Bone, which increases Physical damage
- Fatal Mind, which increases critical damage chance
You’ll want to put at least a few points into each of these quickly, as their initial costs are very, very low: 30-40 quartz for the first upgrade, 60-80 for the next, 120 or so for the third. Even the last few upgrades are only a few hundred quartz each.
All told, you’ll spend a little more than 1,500 Quartz, bringing the three damage Traits to Level 10, their maximum.
However, don’t take them to maximum immediately. Decide which damage type you prefer on your skulls, then pump that to Level 6 or Level 7. Bring the other two up to Level 3 or Level 4 if you must have as much damage as possible while still leaving room for the second tier of Traits.
The second Traits column is all about increasing your health and the usability of the two main ability types: Swap and Quintessence. Fracture Prevention, the middle option, is a flat and permanent increase to your health, giving you more wiggle room to make mistakes.
Quick Dislocation and Ancestral Fortitude improve your Swap and Quintessence cooldown by up to 40%, respectively. Which you upgrade first depends on how you want to play.
Swap mechanics are quicker but have a shorter cooldown compared to Quintessence. On the flip side, the best Swap abilities don’t deal nearly the damage of a good Quintessence, and switching skulls could put you in an awkward position if you’ve focused on improving one over the other.
Additionally, Quintessence is a “fire and forget” power. Click the button once, and the ability works. Some of them can carry even late-game builds. Their cooldown is heavily dependent on the potential damage output, so while you can get an incredibly powerful Quintessence, if you use it at the wrong time, you’ll be without a potential safety net.
The best choice to improve first is therefore up to you. Upgrading Swap will get you more incremental damage and more frequent add clear, while upgrading Quintessence will get you bigger damage less often.
Fracture Prevention offers extra health, and is definitely nice, as well.
Unlike the last two columns, the choice here is clear. Nutrition Supply decreases the cooldown of balance-type skulls. This is valuable for two reasons.
Legendary Balance skulls are probably the best in the game. Rocker, Grim Reaper, Dark Paladin, Great Warlock — all of them are powerful balance skulls. The Legendary-versions of balance common skulls, such as Skeleton-Sword and Carleon Recruit, are also quite powerful.
Beyond that, balance skulls rely a little more on their abilities than other skull types, so you want these ready as quickly as possible.
The other two Traits are good, Heavy Frame for damage reduction on Power skulls or Spirit Acceleration for attack and movement speed on Speed skulls. They are not, however, as consistently useful.
Power skulls are all quite slow and put you in constant danger by virtue of their physical attacks, so while damage reduction is good, you want to be learning, not taking hits and dying, early on.
Speed Skulls suffer a similar fate, but without the damage reduction. Even if you can kill bosses faster, spending more time dying to the masses of mobs before getting to said bosses is just wasting time.
As with the third column, the final set of Traits has a single clear winner: Reassemble. It grants a single resurrection per run with up to 60% of our maximum health. It’s essentially a get out of jail free card. Make a mistake and get killed? You’re still in the fight.
Exoskeleton Reinforcement does something similar, granting a health barrier up to 20 HP every time you swap and reducing the swap cooldown if the barrier doesn’t break (reduced to zero HP). It’s powerful, but again, if you’re prioritizing a single skull to conserve resources, being stuck in a moveset you haven’t upgraded can be tricky.
You’re likely to have all Skul: The Hero Slayer Traits fully upgraded if you put in enough time. At that point, even without any upgrades, you’ll be incredibly powerful. However, the above Traits and considerations will make the early and mid-game far more bearable. If you’re looking for more tips and tricks on this wonderful rogue-lite, consider heading over to our guides hub here!