Edit: forgot to say; this is my 2nd time winning 15 runes ever!
This was an incredibly fun game. The mechanics of Wu Jian Council completely change one’s melee tactics, and make each fight more of a puzzle–for me this means more fun!! Combine this with a troll’s raw unarmed combat power and the durability of Granite Form and you get fun squared.
Trolls are great at the early game, though hydras are pretty scary when you first encounter them. The RepoGuide has good advice on dealing with them, and also on how to use WJC’s martial abilities. I cleared Lair, Orc, and Dungeon without finding a granite talisman, so I started to steel myself for a more challenging late game, but then the Snake Pit provided a shop with granite AND death form. Honestly this felt like a great time to transition to training Shapeshifting, because my base skills were already super solid and I could focus 100% of my XP on Shapes for a while. The difficulty curve noticeably eased up as soon as I had Statue online.
I didn’t have much trouble through the Mid-to-Late game, though a couple scares in the first couple floors of Zot reminded me to slow down and be more methodical. Because I had death form online, I toyed around with the idea of Tomb as my 6th rune–until the first pack of mummy priests in Tomb:1 nearly killed me, forcing me to use up 75% of my blink scrolls (I had forgotten how harsh --Potion is). Instead I cleared Zot:5, then dove into Pan. Each Pan rune was so much easier than I expected, and nabbing the Abyssal rune as my exit from Pandemonium was just a cakewalk. Now it was time for Hell.
I did Hell branches in the order they’re presented in the RepoGuide. It has been a LONG time since I’ve nabbed any runes from Hell so I was very nervous through all of it. Dis and Tartarus were okay, but I wasn’t feeling OP. The closest I came to dying in the extended game was in Tartarus:7, when I dug into a treasure room and 3 profane servitors jumped me. Cocytus and Gehenna actually felt a bit easier, because the open-floor layouts attracted monsters to my heavenly storm and helped me clear the floors in one go.
The HIGHLIGHT of the whole game was clearing Cocytus from bottom to top in one single Heavenly Storm. Well okay, I actually activated it on C:2 or C:3, but then, I kid you not, I stormed through each floor, descended, and kept storming, all the way into Antaeus’ fortress, where I lashed and whirlwinded the King of Ice Giants himself. There were one or two floors where I descended with 2 or 3 turns left in my Heavenly Storm, and baaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrely made it to the next enemy to build my bonus back. Great fun
On the second attempt, after fighting through the first 14 runes, Tomb didn’t give me much trouble. As a matter of fact, Tomb:3 also went down in one single Heavenly Storm, and it felt like I never took even a point of damage. I used Death Form, obviously, and before descending I unevoked my form, quaffed resistance, might, & haste, then evoked Death, then descended. Read Revelation, rampaged over to the upstairs doorway, activated Heavenly Storm, then just held my own at that doorway until the crowd stopped coming. They didn’t try to come at me from the other side of the chamber, so never felt the least bit in danger. All of this is to say, the Repo Troll really is a good build.
If you made it through this wall of text, thanks for reading! If you haven’t yet, I highly suggest rolling a 0.31 RepoTroll – follow the guide to a T and pray to the Stone Gods for a granite talisman