I am the master of having a win within my grasp and then choking it all away. This is especially the case in dungeon crawlers. A mistake I make time and time again is that I get overconfident whenever I get a good run. Now there are times when I can manage to recover. However, sometimes there isn’t a lot of room for error. This is the case for one of the new characters in the Repentance DLC for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. Now truth be told this is something that only fans of this game might understand, but feel free to continue regardless if you want to hear my pain. Now I spent a lot of time playing through this just so I could beat Hush. The reason was I didn’t want to have to do any more time based boss fights. So I tried to strategize the best way to maximize the likelihood of me getting to Hush without dying. It didn’t go so well. There are multiple reasons I could give as an excuse, but the truth is that I can choke under pressure. It especially doesn’t help being in a rush and so you make dumb choices. For instance, I had tears that were decently high and had the added effect of knockback to enemies. Naturally the run went alright until I decided to pick up Spirit Sword and then immediately remembered that the whole game has changed and Tainted Lost is terrible at close quarters. I died shortly after that. It’s things like that that usually get me. However, I can’t give in that easily. I am pretty stubborn after all. So I tried to focus on a better strategy by trying to find defensive items and the results were… lackluster to put it mildly. Let me elaborate a bit.
Now for the record, I do enjoy playing as Tainted Lost. My win streak might cry every time I select him, but I already got the necessary achievements for that so I don’t really care. The biggest problem is obviously his lack of defensive properties. In return he has access to more offensive items. That’s part of the challenge. However, that isn’t to say he doesn’t have any way of defending himself. Now, maybe one day I will find some of them, but for now I will make use of the ones that I can access. Truth be told, the most valuable items for these runs are not even the Devil or Angel Deals. Those are a pretty mixed bag. Ideally, the best you can ask for is stuff in the shops. Not only does the shop have things like Blank Card and Glowing Hour Glass which can help give you second chances. They also have good battery items like 9 Volt and 4.5 Volt to help with keeping charges. There are even a few miscellaneous items that can help shake things up. In one run I used Mystery Gift in a Treasure Room and managed to get Cricket’s Head out of it. Mystery Gift is practically a free item with Tainted Lost after getting the Perfection trinket. So typically it is always a good idea to visit shops and see what you if there is anything good. One other thing to note is that typically Angel Rooms do not give as much benefit as Devil Rooms. However, Devil Rooms are not super amazing since due to the more cautious playstyle, certain items aren’t as useful. It is also a lot harder to get Guppy as a transformation so it would be best not to aim for that. The one transformation you are most likely to get is the Spun transformation. After that would be the Conjoined transformation. Anything else is essentially irrelevant. I haven’t gotten more than two Guppy items in a run so far so I can only assume my luck is garbage despite Perfection saying otherwise. Sometimes you just have to hope you get lucky with the RNG and I rarely do. However, rarely doesn’t mean never, I do occasionally get good items. I just have to work myself to the bone to keep the run going. Especially since it is pretty easy to get wiped in one room, usually due to lasers. The only thing that might save you is luck based items.
Since Perfection is pretty much guaranteed during any run as him, luck based items are some of the most useful for Tainted Lost. Some notable examples are Bird’s Eye and Ghost Pepper which shoot out flames that can block projectiles and do high damage. I had one good run with one of these. The rest I died. Those times it was basically my only effective means of damage. Also I should mention that while 9 Volt and Blank Card can be a good combo, but it is dependent on enemy spawns so it is only consistently effective in Greed Mode. I learned that lesson the hard way. Truth be told, without getting Spindown Dice there is no way to guarantee any solid defense. The best thing you can hope for is to not get hit. That is why whenever I go for another run I reset if I can’t make it past a certain point without using my shield. If I can’t get through to where I get Perfection without getting hit, then the run wasn’t meant to be in the first place. However, if your starting item has enough potential, it is fine to try and power through. One last thing to note is that broken hearts don’t really affect Tainted Lost so feel free to use that to your advantage. It might not matter in the end though. I can’t count how many times I have died playing with this character. It is downright embarrassing how many times I have lost a run just due to fire. I don’t want to give the exact number but it is definitely in the double digits. You know how sad it is to have your run ruined by an obstacle that is easy to deal with normally? Do you? I hope you don’t experience any of the pain I have suffered. However, if you do try using him remember that patience is a virtue for a reason. Make use of it, or else you might smash your keyboard. Yes, I play this game on a keyboard. I rarely use controllers for PC games. It’s just more comfortable to use in my opinion. Anyway, I should probably stop there. See you next time where I hopefully don’t spend more time on this again. Now it’s back to the grind for me. Yay.