One must learn to overcome all manner of threats in Inscryption: from armies of unkillable cockroaches and breeding rabbits to rampaging bears. To do this, the player will need all the help they can get. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many squirrel cards the player throws at a problem; it just isn’t enough.
Fortunately, in addition to creature cards and Boons, the player also comes equipped with a number of consumable items. Not all are created equal, and some will merely stall the enemy a little while others can win a match outright. Here are the best consumables in Inscryption.
Updated on September 7, 2022, by Patrick Armstrong: Whereas the player’s creatures are relatively static, remaining match after match and growing stronger and more complex as the player progresses through the game, Consumable Items are one-and-done items. This makes calculating the optimal time to use them difficult, especially for beginners, since there’s no guarantee that the player will receive the item they need in a timely fashion once their stockpile has been depleted. This is yet another feature that makes Inscryption such an exciting deck-building game, however.
12 Boulder In A Bottle
Boulder in a Bottle creates a Boulder in the player’s hand. A Boulder is 0 Power, 5 Health. While being able to spawn a 5 Health defender for free can be useful for tanking a few hits, the utility of this card is generally limited.
The lack of Power hampers Boulder in a Bottle because it can’t help injure the opponent or destroy any of their creatures. Worse still, the Boulder can’t be sacrificed. The only real advantage that Boulder in a Bottle has over the Squirrel version of this card is the greatly increased Health. Boulder in a Bottle is a cheap wall in tough times, but that’s about it.
It’s possible to set up a combo using the Trinket Bearer Sigil to create a loop of item-generating creatures, and receiving multiple Boulder in a Bottle items using this technique can greatly extend the longevity of the player’s wall for tanking. Unfortunately, that strategy can be hard to set up and plan around, and in practice is likely to be outshined by other item-generation combos.
11 Squirrel In A Bottle
Squirrel in a Bottle creates a Squirrel in the player’s hand. A Squirrel is 0 Power, 1 Health. As a cheap meat shield to tank an unexpected hit, the Squirrel is a quick and easy defender, even if it’s going to perish after a single hit.
The major advantage of the Squirrel over the Boulder is the former’s ability to be sacrificed, letting the player dig themselves out of a hole by playing a better, more expensive creature. Having one extra copy of the most common card in the game isn’t exactly life-changing, but it beats just having a rock.
Though the Squirrel in a Bottle is a weaker replication tank than the Boulder in a Bottle when used with Trinket Bearer combos, this item retains its distinct advantage over that item. In this scenario, the Squirrel in a Bottle can be farmed for even more sacrificial blood, greatly expanding the creature-playing possibilities.
10 Frozen Opossum In A Bottle
The third of the four Bottle cards, Frozen Opossum in a Bottle, is a strange one. The Frozen Opossum card it creates is 0 Power, 5 Health, and has the Frozen Away Sigil, which creates a new card (in this case, Opossum) when the original card perishes.
Compared to the previous Bottle cards, Frozen Opossum in a Bottle offers the best of both worlds, providing a solid wall early on and then a cheap sacrificial creature once the Opossum is unfrozen. The Opossum might only have 1 Power and 1 Health, but at least it can attack.
Though the Frozen Opossum in a Bottle has the utility of both a shield and sacrifice, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t have these utilities simultaneously. It acts as a shield but not a sacrifice when it is frozen, and it acts as a sacrifice but not a shield when it is thawed. This can make strategic timing difficult, especially given that many battles will end before it has the chance to thaw.
Failure is an unusual item even by the standards of the other consumables in the game. When the player attempts to use Failure in a match, Leshy takes it away and sets it on a shelf in the cabin. Later, when the player stands up from the table and interacts with Failure on the shelf, this pathetic ooze in a bottle gives the player advice.
It doesn’t help in the middle of a tense match, but Failure’s ability to provide indispensable advice when the player is floundering is quite the advantage. Failure isn’t an item that the player wants taking up one of their precious few item slots, but it’s definitely an item the player wants in the cabin.
It’s hard to rate the usefulness of Failure against the other Consumables Items, in part because Failure is the only Consumable that becomes objectively less useful to veteran players. Hints are only useful when the player lacks information, after all, so the Failure’s helplessness wears off with repeated playthroughs.
The Pliers are one of the game’s simplest items, allowing the player to rip out a tooth and drop it on the scales, dealing a single point of damage to the opponent. One point of damage might not seem like much when there are Grizzlys and rare Mantis Gods running around wrecking the field, but difficult matches are often settled by a single point of damage.
Whether using the Pliers to preserve a candle flame early on or to beat a boss phase at the last second, this item is fantastic for last-minute saves.
One great thing about Pliers is their strategic flexibility. The player can use them as soon as a match begins to provide a shield buffer against an anticipated attack or they can use the Pliers to finish off an enemy who is teetering on the brink, thus preventing a possibly lethal counterattack.
7 Black Goat In A Bottle
The fourth and final of Bottle cards is Black Goat in a Bottle. The Black Goat which it creates in the player’s hand has 0 Power, 3 Health, and the Worthy Sacrifice Sigil which grants the player 3 blood instead of 1 upon sacrificing the Black Goat.
An emergency infusion of sacrificial blood can affect the player in numerous ways, allowing for a variety of game-changing creatures to be played. If nothing else, the Black Goat could also just act as a disposable shield with its 3 Health, though the far better option most of the time is to let it pave the way for something stronger.
The main limitation of the Black Goat in a Bottle compared to Black Goat cards that the player acquires through normal play is that the Black Goat in a Bottle cannot be buffed by the Campfire, Bone Lord, or other events. This means that the card’s usefulness is even more dependent upon the player’s strategic timing than it would otherwise be.
6 Hoggy Bank
The Hoggy Bank gives the player 4 bones. Bones, like blood, are spent to play certain creatures, but can normally only be obtained upon the death of a creature or through certain Boons. Because of this, bones are typically harder to come by than blood, and getting 4 bones for free can greatly accelerate creature placement.
The only thing holding Hoggy Bank back is its somewhat niche utility. Depending on how the player builds their deck, bone-cost creatures might be used very little or not at all, making Hoggy Bank far less useful.
5 Harpie’s Birdleg Fan
When the player uses Harpie’s Birdleg Fan, their creatures will act as though they had the Airborne Sigil for the remainder of the turn, striking the opponent directly and bypassing any defending creature without the Mighty Leap Sigil.
Depending on the layout of defenders, striking the opponent at all can sometimes be very difficult. Harpie’s Birdleg Fan fixes that. This item’s only real downsides are that the effect only lasts until the end of the turn and that creatures played after its use are not affected.
Harpie’s Birdleg Fan pairs well with Bifurcated Strike and Trifurcated Strike when up against an opponent with multiple defenders with the Mighty Leap Sigil, since this item will allow the player to bypass all of them for multiple, likely fatal, attacks.
4 Special Dagger
Acting like an upgraded form of Pliers, the Special Dagger allows the player to cut out their own eye and drop it on the scales, dealing 4 damage to the opponent. As gruesome as it is effective, the Special Dagger can be enough to win matches almost by itself.
In addition to its utility during a match, the Special Dagger is the key to advancing one of the game’s many difficult puzzles and eventually completing Act 1. Since it has tremendous value both in and out of the card game, the Special Dagger must be considered one of the best consumable items in Inscryption.
It’s worth noting that because the scales require five points to win by default, the player can win some matches simply by playing the Special Dagger and the Pliers back-to-back. Though doing so would spend two items, the trade-off for bypassing a potentially difficult match with zero risk can at times be worth it.
Scissors allow the player to cut one of the opponent’s cards, destroying it. There are very few cards (such as the Packmule and the Moon) that are Uncuttable, making the Scissors a major threat to almost every card in the game.
The potential strategic uses of the Scissors are many: they can remove a blocker, neutralize a powerful attacker before it can strike, or destroy a creature with a Sigil too dangerous to remain. The Scissors allow the player to kill an opposing creature at a whim, which is a power not to be underestimated.
The Scissors can be used to end matches in a single turn if used in conjunction with other powerful cards. The simplest method is by using Scissors to remove a powerful blocker, thus opening up that space for an onslaught of damage.
The Hourglass causes the opponent to entirely skip their turn. No creatures on the opponent’s side of the board will attack, and no new cards will be played. Given how much the player can accomplish in a single turn with a proper sacrificial combo or chain of Sigils, it’s hard to overstate how good the Hourglass is.
Played at the right time, this item is enough to win most battles single-handedly. With the opponent unable to deal damage or replace their slain creatures, the player can quickly destroy them.
Several of the best Consumable Item strategies in the game revolve around using multiple cards with the Trinket Bearer Sigil to farm new items in the middle of a match, thus greatly increasing one’s power and strategic possibilities. Though item generation with Trinket Bearer is RNG, the player can potentially stall the enemy repeatedly by farming Hourglasses in this way, preventing them from ever taking a turn.
1 Fish Hook
The Fish Hook only becomes available on subsequent runs after defeating the Angler, and its function mimics that of the boss’ special ability. The Fish Hook snags an opposing creature and brings it to the player’s side of the board to fight for them for the rest of the match.
Far better than merely destroying the creature as the Scissors would, the Fish Hook can instantly turn the tide of battle in the player’s favor. Taking instant control of a Grizzly, Urayuli, or a similarly deadly foe can bring even a powerful boss to their knees in seconds. In Inscryption, there really is nothing better.
Perhaps the single largest downside of the Fish Hook is that it’s a unique item, and the player therefore can’t farm multiple copies of it. Though this feature is clearly important for balance purposes, it does mean the player must be very selective about when they deploy their Fish Hook.
Inscryption is available on PC.
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