How To Play Silent In Slay the Spire

Master the Silent, Slay the Spire's stealthy assassin, and conquer the tower with this guide covering the basics as well as powerful builds and cards.

Unlike the brute force of the Ironclad or the inevitability of the Defect, Slay the Spire's Silent is a tricky class that will need precise planning to master. There are a bevy of strategies available with the class, but things can fall apart quickly if they don't come together.

This is due to the fact that the Silent requires card synergies to work, meaning careful deck management is of the utmost importance. Keeping your deck free of bloat is priority number one, as this approach will minimize the randomness of the game and reduce the frequency at which your combos simply fail to materialize. 

The fact that it is possible for things to just fall apart means that the Silent can be a frustrating class to play, but, when everything clicks, it can be extraordinarily powerful and fun. You can devastate your enemies with poison, draw your deck perfectly and play Grand Finale, or whittle a foe's health down in a single turn with zero cost cards. It's all a blast, which means that the risk-reward for the Silent is totally worth it.

Think you're ready to tackle Slay the Spire as this tricky class? Here're some of the best ways to do it.

Silent Basics

Starting Relic

The Silent's starting relic is called the Ring of the Snake, and it allows you to draw two extra cards in the first round of every combat. This can help you set up combos, build a defense, or take out a weak foe early by giving you better options from the beginning.

Poison, Discards, and Shivs

There are a lot of offensive options you can take with the Silent, and there are three central themes within these options:

  • Poison: Many of the Silent's cards will add poison to an enemy. Poison is a status effect that will cause the enemy to lose an amount of life, equal to its poison count, each turn.

    After dealing poison damage, the count will be reduced by one, and the enemy will be hit for this new amount the following turn. Poison can add up in a hurry, and can cause massive damage, with a small investment, if you can find multiple copies of cards like Catalyst.

  • Discard Only Cards: Another tactic available to the Silent is using cards that are unplayable but offer benefits when they are discarded. Gaining extra energy or drawing new cards, all while filtering through your deck, means that you will have a huge toolbox to play with in each fight. However, without proper discard outlets, these are dead cards in your hand.

  • Shivs: Finally, many cards in the Silent's deck create or effect Shivs. Shivs are zero cost attacks, and the general goal is to buff them and play as many per turn as possible, making use of the Silent's massive amount of card draw in the process.
Dexterity

The Ironclad has strength as a core stat, the Defect has Focus, and the Silent has Dexterity. Dexterity increases the effectiveness of all of your block cards, just as Strength affects your attacks. One Dexterity corresponds to one extra Block per card, so extra Dexterity can add up in a hurry.

Silent Builds

Shivs

Most mechanics that are unique to a specific class make for obvious builds, and the same is true with the Silent's Shivs. There are plenty of cards, like Accuracy, and relics, like Wrist Blades, that will amplify your Shivs. There are also a number of not so obvious cards, like After Image, Envenom, or A Thousand Cuts, that will take advantage of being able to play a ton of zero cost cards every turn.

Finisher is also a great choice in this deck. It can deal a ton of damage if you've played several Shivs in a turn.

Burst-Blur

It isn't entirely intuitive, but playing more than one copy of Blur in a single turn will allow your Block to stay on for consecutive turns. If you can increase your Dexterity, packing multiple Bursts and Blurs in your deck will give you insane durability. This will allow you to setup any manner of finisher you choose — be it strong powers, slow poison, or rapid attacks.

Poison

There are really two types of poison builds, but we'll group them together for simplicity's sake. The first relies on slow build cards and lots of defense. Things like Noxious Fumes take a few turns to really put out much damage, but nothing is going to stop them once they are rolling — just turtle up and wait for your enemies to die.

The other popular poison build relies on multiple copies of Catalyst. Upgrading Catalyst causes it to triple the current poison on an enemy, thus increasing poison to extremely high levels very quickly. This approach can defeat even end-of-run bosses in only a turn or two, and, if you can get your hands on a Snecko Skull, poison should be the natural route to take.

Draw-Discard

The Silent has a massive amount of card draw at their disposal, though it often has a discard drawback tacked on. However, you can make that drawback work for you by picking up cards that generate advantage by being discarded. With these cards, you can cycle through your deck, discarding your way to more energy, more card draw, and, if you can swing it, relics that add even more effects when you discard.

This build tends to be really swingy, but it can be extremely powerful with the right cards. It also doesn't take too many discard effects to make it go infinite.

Cards To Look Out For

The cards you need are very build-dependent with the Silent, as certain cards are amazing in one build but are complete garbage in another. Here are a few cards that are almost always good, but, again, keep an eye out on your ultimate goal for a deck.

Footwork

Despite what I've just said, I can't imagine a deck where you wouldn't want to play this card. Without healing options, the Silent needs to play defense, and even one copy of Footwork in play gives you much better durability. A few at a time can make you simply unstoppable.

A Thousand Cuts

Another terrific card, no matter what you are building, A Thousand Cuts will punish your enemies. The fact that it hits all your foes is amazing, and the damage numbers can add up extremely quickly, especially if you can get multiple copies in play.

Noxious Fumes

Even in non-poison decks, Noxious Fumes is a heavy hitter. Again, per turn damage adds up in a hurry, and the Silent loves to sit back and play defense while powers do the dirty work. Just like most of the Silent's power cards, it's even better with multiple copies.

Well-Laid Plans

There's nothing worse than ditching one of your "essential" cards because you have too many of them. A zero-cost power that allows you to carry something over is extremely useful.

Backstab

Backstab is super useful for taking out early enemies — its damage is high, it partners well with many powers and strategies, and it will help you save damage to make combat math easier as you move forward. Yes, please.

Blur + Backflip

These are the two Block cards that you want to look out for. There are situations where one will be better than the other, but neither of them are ever bad. In a vacuum, Blur is almost always my pick, but both are excellent.

Adrenaline

This is another card that is almost never unwelcome, and it makes every single build better. It is an absolute monster once upgraded, and multiple copies will make any wacky combo you dream up that much more likely to materialize.

Summary

The Silent has a ton of options that can work, which also means there are a lot of ways it can go wrong. Since it relies on playing so many cards per turn with most of its builds, certain bosses (Time Eater!) can be a complete nightmare. That said, there's nothing you can't overcome once you start backflipping and poisoning your foes.

Contributor

Jordan has been gaming and geeking since he was a wee lad. He is a freelance writer and content creator, contributing to SVG and The Nerd Stash. Check out his stuff on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/dollybearproductions and Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/jojotheninjagaming.

Published Mar. 8th 2019

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