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A bomber is a person specializing in a play-style involving the primary use of a bomb. A bomber's responsibilities vary between crowd control, spreading status effects, or dealing damage over a large area. This may seem to be a tedious line of work to some, but bombs are very powerful tools and can significantly ease the difficultly of content for a party. There are two key points to being a successful bomber:
- Knowing which bombs are best for each situation, either to maximize damage or survivability.
- Placing bombs strategically, as to have to the greatest positive effect.
- Big Angry Bomb
- Irontech Destroyer
- Heavy Deconstructor
- Dark Briar Barrage
- Video Demonstration
A go-to mainstay of almost any bomber's arsenal, the Blast Bombs are a line of explosive weaponry that deal pure Normal damage and have a large amount of knockback on them, making these bombs exceptionally useful for tactics like "shielding" and "boxing". The Blast Bombs are some of the most generally all-around useful bombs available, they're extremely effective in any stratum in the game and they're also easy to attain as players provided with a free Blast Bomb along with all the recipes to upgrade it through to the Nitronome just by progressing through the Ranked Missions. Despite their all purpose utility bombers do have to be careful when using this group of bombs, due to their knockback and very bright visual effect upon detonating, they can be extremely disruptive in uncoordinated parties. For this reason bombers planning to use Blast Bomb-line weapons should always be sure to inform their party beforehand and try to plan out strategies before major battles.
The Nitronome is arguably the best damage bomb available to bombers. It is a large-radius bomb that deals damage to everything inside of its blast radius as well as pushing everything outward from the center of the bomb. Of the Blast Bomb alchemy line bombs, it has the shortest fuse, fastest walk speed, and a short charge time. Want to deal damage to a large area? The Nitronome is the obvious choice.
The Nitronome has less knockback and less damage than the alternate blast bomb alchemy lines but it makes up for it with the fastest bomb-charging walk speed and a faster fuse than the other two. These attributes combine to create a weapon that leaves the bomber feeling nimble and agile, allowing them to avoid attacks while charging bombs and using the Nitronome's moderate amount of knockback as a "shield."
- The explosion (and accompanying screen shake) obscures the view of surroundings for you and your teammates.
- Poorly placed bombs can push enemies into teammates.
- Over-kiting enemies past bombs will push enemies towards you.
Big Angry Bomb
The next best blast bomb after the Nitronome is the Big Angry Bomb, and is a unique option for those who want everything wiped from the screen. Offering an incredible amount of knockback and the highest damage per explosion of any bomb in the game, the BAB is a tool for players whom want to feel powerful, to control an area and sure as hell make sure nothing can get to you. A common misconception many people have is that the Nitronome is always the superior weapon, in actuality the mechanics of the two are different enough that they actually fill different niches; whilst chaining the BAB is significantly slower and less aggressive than Nitro-chaining, the greater knockback and stun effect it offers make it a much more effective "shielding weapon" when against certain kinds of enemies, making it a great choice in the Unknown Passage. Additionally the BAB is also a viable alternative in Lockdown despite what you might assume; many Strikers will find themselves taken off-guard by the slower-fuse and the potential stun on its explosion can leave anyone you hit easy pickings for your own Strikers.
- Huge knockback alongside the long fuse means you need to be more pro-active in leading enemies into correct positioning than with the Nitronome
- Slow walking speed when charging leaves you vulnerable
The Irontech Destroyer deals a bit more damage than Nitronome and does more knockback while having a fair chance of minor stun. The fuse time is as long as that of Big Angry Bomb and the walk speed reduction is also the same, making the bomb riskier to use than Nitronome. As the charge time is somewhere between that of Nitronome and BAB, DPS is not necessarily higher. Instead, Irontech sits somewhere right between its cousins: Hitting stronger than Nitro but being more spammable than BAB.
Some bombers find that the knockback and rapid exploding of Irontech negates the threat posed by the slowed walk speed and fuse time once you can get a chain going.
For the bomber on the cheap, the 4* Irontech Bomb is still stronger than Nitronome per blast (and, frankly, 5* Destroyer is barely any stronger) while still having the full radius of 5* bombs. As a bonus, the fuse time is faster than Destroyer's, too.
- Slow walk speed will make dodging harder.
- Long fuse time makes it trickier to get the second bomb going than with Nitronome.
One of the least known bombs is the Heavy Deconstructor. This bomb gives the appearance of a gremlin-demo style 'ticker' bomb, as well as showing what appears to be the Darkfang symbol in the blast effect. The Heavy Decon is one of the least used because, in all honesty, Master Blast Bomb is better. The two are the same in fuse, radius and charge time... so what's the problem? The construct damage bonus isn't really that noticeable and the Master Blast bomb's extra damage overall is a nicer option. The worst aspect is that the Heavy Deconstructor stops at 4* so the Nitronome greatly outclasses it. In end game bomber mode, its probably just a better option to look for a UV Construct bonus than going to the effort of making a Heavy Decon.
During the preview, the Heavy Decon was even more disappointing with an incredibly small radius (that of today's regular Blast/Super Blast Bomb). However, back then it seemed to have an actual use due to the reduced radius after getting a UV on bombs. (Obviously this feature has been removed.) This made the Heavy Decon an actual option inside the bombing community, eliminating gun puppies in a matter of 3 hits in a party of 4. Now though, there is no real use in favoring a Heavy Deconstructor over the Master Blast and for now it is only a novelty; perhaps it will be balanced in the future.
Dark Briar Barrage
The Dark Briar Barrage (DBB) is a piercing damage bomb with characteristics similar to the Nitronome. Despite this the Dark Briar Barrage is not technically a "Blast Bomb" as it is neither part of the same alchemy tree, nor does it have the characteristic knockback of the other Blast Bombs, instead being capable of knocking down soft-bodied enemies such as gremlins and wolvers.
The absence of knockback makes the DBB a great choice for bombers less adept at nitronome placement. The non-disruptive nature of the bomb means that teammates will not have to make adjustments to their gameplay and also means that several DBBs can be comboed together effectively without interfering with each other. The DBB is an excellent choice against fiends, beasts, undead, and gremlins. However because it deals piercing damage, it is ineffective against slimes and construct.
Because the DBB has no knockback, it offers less protection and must be used differently than a typical blast bomb. Bombers can take advantage of the DBB's non-disruptive behavior by running away from enemies while placing down DBBs and essentially kiting them into the blast zone. Another strategy is to take advantage of the lack of knockback by overlapping multiple bombs' blast areas on an enemy's position (like a Venn diagram) while dodging attacks normally. This will allow bombers to easily hit a target multiple times without having to predict where enemies will be pushed.
- The lack of knockback needs you to be far more careful than with other Blast Bombs.
- The knockdown effect will cease to work on various enemies in larger parties.
- The DBB line recipes can only be acquired via Basil
Amongst all weapons in the game that are capable of inflicting status conditions upon the inhabitants of the Clockworks, one group reigns supreme and that is the "Vaporizer Bombs" line. Vaporizer Bombs are characterized by a small initial explosions that inflict an okay amount of elemental damage, but then spreads a large cloud of "haze" that deals a particular status effect on everything within it that's vulnerable, making these weapons exceptionally effective at applying status effects to large groups of enemies. Naturally this also makes them effective tools in Lockdown where they can act as an exceptional tool for area denial.
The weakness to these bombs however is that it's impossible to target single foes, which means there are certain unique considerations one must make depending on the status in question, as will be outlined below.
Ash of Agni
The final upgrade of the Fiery Vaporizer line, the Ash of Agni, creates a fiery mist that inflicts a fire status on mobs that were foolish enough to not run away. Still, the fire line may be considered a support bomb. These bombs help by softening up monsters or by simply killing them slowly over time.
This bomb can be combined with a blast bomb by setting the monsters on fire and then blasting them away. Also, kiting is very easy with the bomb by simply running in a large circle setting monsters on fire. This strategy can out DPS menders, trivializing arenas or danger rooms, especially if used in conjunction with Venom Veiler. It takes some time, but the damage to yourself will be minimal if done right. Since the bomb only causes damage it should not disrupt other party members.
All in all, this bomb is one of the better ones and can be recommended.
Looking for crowd control? You have found everything you need! The Shivermist Buster, will freeze mobs in place. Frozen mobs cannot turn or move, but are still able to attack. Freeze most of the mobs, finish the leftovers. Alternatively, you can freeze single mobs and leave the rest. Every mob in the game is easier to deal with when stuck in place so this bomb is useful almost everywhere.
The downside to a pure crowd control bomb is that the damage output is quite low. A mob that is frozen takes no damage from the status effect until it wears off, referred to as "thawing." Breaking the freeze early with another attack (from either a friend or foe) or refreezing results in no damage at all. Continuous freezing can be used to keep a mob alive to allow players to prepare themselves between waves in Arenas for example.
However, there is a significant downside that should be considered. If a knight is completely surrounded by mobs then freezing the enemies results in an effective death trap; the trapped knight is unable to escape their predicament by shield bumping or dashing and will likely be killed as a result. Always be weary of the situation when using shivermist.
- Enemies can still attack from the front; approach enemies from behind to melee
- Can refreeze melted Ice Cubes
- Can create an impenetrable wall of enemies which Knights cannot shield bump through
Perhaps the most interesting of all status effects, poison acts as a debuff to your enemies; reducing their attack power considerably, as well as a minor debuff to their defenses. The Venom Veiler is perhaps the epitome of a true support bomb, providing little to no direct damage whilst instead increasing the survivability and damage of your teammates. At that's the way it looks on paper, however whilst there's no denying the usefulness of these properties, simply using veiler on it's own to provide support will often fail to result in a comparable damage output than if you had just been using a damaging weapon yourself, even with three teammates! As a result of this the most effective way to use veiler is not to use it repeatedly like most bombs, but rather to inflict poison and then switch to an offensive weapon to take advantage of the situation, the poison lasts long enough that you can deal more than enough damage between bomb placements without needing to keep the mist up all the time.
Now although this may sound only mildly decent thus far, there is one situation in which poison becomes exceptionally powerful; while there are healers are in the room. The reason for this is that poisoned mobs actually take damage when they're healed, rather than regain health. So in Tier 3 for example, if a room of poisoned mobs walk onto the circle of healing cast by gremlin menders, a great amount of damage will be inflicted upon the damaged mobs - so the room can be completed in less time than with a lot of other bombs. The kiting ability of this bomb also means you are less likely to get hit so you are pretty safe in a room full of menders, in fact stacking the fire and poison effects of Ash of Agni & Venom Veiler can easily carry you through the final waves of even the most challenging Arenas, at least those that aren't fire or poison themed themselves. With all this in mind, Venom Veiler can actually be a great bomb in the right situations, especially in shadow lairs, which have a lot of healers about.
The Voltaic Tempest is an AoE shock bomb which delivers damage while interrupting the movements and attacks of your enemies. Now whilst this may be somewhat helpful against a single enemy, it's true potential shines against groups of tightly clustered foes, any enemy that spasms from Shock will also damage nearby monsters, and trigger more spasms of any other shocked enemies. This makes Voltaic Tempest extremely powerful when used in conjunction with a vortex line-bomb, or just generally against areas with large groups of foes such as Compounds. Ash of Agni and Voltaic Tempest are a popular combination for damaging enemies that aren't immune or resistant to Fire or Shock. Keep in mind that Shock deals elemental damage, and thus is not nearly as effective against Gremlins or Beasts.
What really distinguishes tempest from most other bombs however is its incredible utility in LockDown. In Tier 2, spamming Lightning Capacitors (the 3* version in this line of alchemy) is an effective way to defend capture points. This is because the majority of players tend to wear the Wolver or Cobalt line of armor (both of which provides no elemental or shock protection). The mist keeps Recons off of the capture point as well exposing those caught in the initial blast (and keeping them from re-shielding/disappearing). Strikers, on the other hand, might be able to fly over the capture point without getting shocked, though many times fly right into the mist and are unable to fly off as easily. However Guardians can shield themselves from your shock, and the repeated 'hits' of the bomb will basically make Guardians invincible whilst in the mist, although this will usually only result in a stalemate since they're unable to drop their shield to engage you for long.
Although be weary, in Tier 3 LockDown, more players will have shock protection, or elemental resistance, mostly due to UVs, but the Voltaic Tempest is still a very viable defensive tool as most players will still not be protected against its effects, especially due to the popularity of the Chaos set & Black Kat Cowls.
- Can supercharge quicksilvers
- Enemies can break ghost blocks, activate switches, and blow up explosive crates with shock spasms
- Enemies have reduced knock back while shocked
- The Voltaic Tempest line recipes can only be acquired via Basil
The Stagger Storm is a status bomb that stuns enemies that enter its mist. While stunning enemies, slowing down their attacks and movement, can be a useful crowd control tool, the stun duration does not last long after the mist dissipates. Bombers wishing to use Stagger Storm should attempt to keep the status rings deployed at all times to avoid having enemies go in and out of stun since adjusting to constant speed changes can be difficult for teammates.
Despite the risks presented by using Stagger Storm alone, it works extremely well in conjunction with certain other status bombs, namely Volatic Tempest where a dual stun/shock stack will completely prevent most enemies from being able to maneuver or attack.
- Spike attacks and thrown projectiles are unaffected by stun and will continue through the air at regular speeds.
- Quicksilvers, Oilers and Toxoils are immune to minor Stun.
- The Stagger Storm line recipes can only be acquired via Sullivan
- Deadly Shard Bomb
- Deadly Crystal Bomb
- Deadly Splinter Bomb
- Scintillating Sun Shards
- Deadly Dark Matter Bomb
- Shocking Salt Bomb
- Video Demonstration
The Shard Bomb-line consists of six lines of cluster-like bombs which create an initial explosion on detonation that then fire a series of non-damaging shards in multiple directions. These shards will then stick into the ground and explode shortly thereafter causing a series a of explosions that form a kind of ‘ring’ around the initial placement point of the bomb. The initial shard does less damage than the ring of shards. These bombs are quite difficult to use effectively, due to their unusual mechanics and somewhat unpredictable nature, however they can deal high damage with correct placement.
If you want this bomb to hit more than a blast bomb then you need to get enemies to get hit by multiple shards. For example, if you get a slime between two shards then you hit the slime twice (three times if it gets hit by the primary explosion), but if you place a blast bomb you have a maximum chance of hitting the slime once. Unfortunately, there is a hit limit in place where no one shard bomb can inflict damage to the same enemy with more than 3 shards at once. If you don't use the bomb right then you're better off with a different kind of dps bomb.
- Shard Bombs knock back enemies multiple times, making it hard to predict the end positions.
- Placing near a wall will result in some shards disappearing
- Sometimes hit limit will bug out, letting enemies take no damage or interruption from the shard bombs at all.
- The Roarmulus Twins are currently completely immune to these weapons
Starting their alchemy lines at three stars, the Vortex line are a few exceptionally powerful bombs that are in nearly every bomber's arsenal and for very good reason. Upon explosion the vortexes with pull all the nearby enemies toward them, enable a bomber to control the positioning of monsters in the immediate area and gather them into a particularly point to then be dealt with using another weapon for a lethal combo.
If a large amount of monsters are pulled into the hole, then the knockback from the explosion will not occur. These bombs combo exceptionally well with powerful charge attacks, particularly the Brandish and Autogun line weapons. The fact that these bombs enable you to gather up enemies for your teammates to then unleashed powerful attacks upon make them arguably the absolute best bombs for use in a team, with proper team work they are extremely lethal.
The four vortex bombs are mostly identical, the Electron, Celestial, and Obsidian do the same amount of damage but deal Elemental, Elemental, and Shadow damage along with Shock, Fire, and Poison status respectively, meanwhile the Graviton has a higher damage output than either but no chance of status infliction. Because of their ability to spread status, the Electron, Celestial, and Obsidian are all considered to be superior to the Graviton; the meager amount of additional damage the Graviton inflicts simply isn't worth the trade off. Additionally the Electron Vortex will be less likely to fling enemies at the conclusion of the vortex due to the Shock, and by being able to pull enemies into close proximity of each other and shocking them this also maximizes the potential damage output of shock. Additionally, if you manage to shock a group of enemies, they can be daisy-chained into another Electron with ease.
That being said whist the Graviton Vortex may seem like the worst of these lines by far, there is still legitimate reason to own one; the difficulty involved in acquiring an Obsidian Crusher means that for most bombers the Graviton Vortex will be a far easier acquisition for use against shadow weak enemies. In addition, the Celestial Vortex is exclusive to Equinox Prize Boxes as a rare drop, making them prohibitively expensive to obtain for most players.
- Standing on top of the bomb when the fuse goes off can often trap you in the center of vortexed enemies
- Enemies can still attack while inside the vortex
- Enemies that are alive when the vortex expires are flung randomly away from the bomb
- While charging you move at a significantly slower speed, leaving you open to fast moving enemies and projectiles.
- Kats are unaffected by the suction during their dash
- The Electron line recipes can only be acquired via Sullivan
- The Graviton line recipes can only be acquired via Basil
- The Obsidian Crusher can only be crafted during the Shroud of the Apocrea event
- The Celestial Vortex can only be obtained as a rare drop from Equinox Prize Boxes
The Dark Retribution (DR) is a shadow damage bomb with a unique damage pattern. After a small initial explosion, four orbs will begin rotating inside the blast area (2 clockwise, 2 counterclockwise). These orbs are the primary source of damage that the DR deals.
DR has the highest damage-per-second of any bomb in the game, especially if used against immobile, or large enemies where multiple orbs will hit the target(s) repeatedly in quick succession. Against enemies such as the Royal Jelly or a Battlepod a few well placed bombs will lead to an extremely quick kill. The DR is undoubtedly one of the best bombs to use against slimes and constructs due to the abundance of monsters in their families that have movement patterns that make them very vulnerable to DR.
- Mini Jellies are immune to the orbs
- Can be extremely disruptive if used near switches
- This bomb can only be acquired through the expansion mission Operation Crimson Hammer
Trinkets can be used to increase the innate abilities of your bombs without, or in addition to, bomber specific armor. They provide a more accessible means to reaching maximum CTR or damage without having to target specific unique variants.
- Bomb Focus Module (Charge Time Reduction)
The Bomb Focus Module is a trinket more suited for status and hybrid bombers. The four-star variant will allow users of full Volcanic Demo Armor to reach maximum charge time reduction on all heat level 10 bombs. Hybrid bombers wearing either a Volcanic Demo Helm or one piece of Mad Bomber can reach maximum CTR with the five-star focus module.
- Elite Boom Module (Bomb Damage Bonus)
The Elite Boom Module gives bombers a medium bonus to bomb damage. This trinket is best suited for bombers wearing full or partial (with medium bomb damage UVs) mad bomber armor wishing to maximize their damage potential. Coupling this trinket with both full mad bomber or a Volcanic Demo Helm + Mad Bomber Suit mix allows users to achieve maximum charge time reduction and maximum damage with bombs against all targets without the need of any unique variants.
- Penta-Heart Pendant (+6 Health)
In the instance that you're primarily using your bombs to support a team, via status or crowd control, or you've simply managed to attain Max CTR and Max Damage without the need of your trinket slots, Penta-Hearts are a useful supplementary trinket that will increase you health, enabling you to better tank hits.
There are several important things to consider while playing the role of the bomber. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, is to avoid the common mistake of simply running about randomly while dropping bombs erratically. This will cause the positioning of monsters to become very difficult to predict, and the explosions may randomly push monsters into places where they may be able to attack a vulnerable ally. Instead, focus on what would be the most efficient strategy to ensure that monsters are persistently lured into your bombs (and preferably blown away from your allies). An easy tactic is to place a bomb, begin charging a second bomb, run into the crowd of enemies in front of you to lure them into the blast radius of your bomb, and then after the explosion, place the second bomb in the same place as the first, repeating for as long as necessary.
Second, a bomber must be aware of their party as well as their enemies. Remember that the Blast Bombs are great for soloing, but in a party, your group will begin to tire of not being able to see enemies due to the large blue cloud produced after the detonation, which is very dangerous. (This is known as the blue screen of death.) Though you may well be safe standing at the epicenter of your bomb, your fellow knights will likely be blinded, unable to see the foes that are around them. The only real way to effectively blast bomb in a party is to follow members closely if they have a gun, or to simply herd enemies into a corner for your swordsmen. To a lesser extent, be aware of the interactions of your bombs with certain monsters. Using the Ash of Agni on Oilers is a poor idea due to their healing when set ablaze, as well as using the Ionized Salt Bomb on Quicksilvers as they become extremely fast when affected with shock.
Third, memorize the spawn patterns that appear after a party button has been pressed. Though the spawns are somewhat random, they are collected from a pool of possible locations, and a bomber can capitalize on this by placing a Haze Bomb-series bomb on one of those locations before the monsters spawn, which will apply the respective status effect on the monsters that appear there. Even if no monsters spawn in that location, other monsters may be lured into the resulting cloud of mist, ensuring that the bomb is not wasted.
Lastly, a bomber must know how to deal with monsters that attack at range. though a knight with a sword or handgun will be able to combat them as normal usually, sometimes "pure" bombers will not have either of those things (instead having an equipment set of four bombs), or the duties of a bomber may take precedence over defeating those monsters personally.
Specific Enemy Strategies
Wolvers are extremely easy for even a bad bomber do deal with, they're 'soft-bodied' enemies which means they're easily knocked down by bombs in smaller parties, and being weak to piercing alongside this fact means the Dark Briar Barrage completely tears through them like a hot knife through butter. Even if you lack DBB, any other blast bomb-line weapon can achieve the same sort of effect (albeit, at a cost of killing them slower) and even putting aside blast bombs you can slaughter them with shard bombs or Dark Retribution. The only thing you really may wish to avoid when fighting Wolvers is the use of status bombs, although it is still extremely easy to gradual wear them down like with nigh on any other enemy, the status triggers will cause them to rapidly teleport around the area, which makes killing this way far slower than necessary. One thing to keep in mind about Wolvers is that when they teleport, they will always appear behind the person that has their attention, thus backing up near a wall can easily allow you to exploit this fact by trapping them in a corner with a blast bomb.
Jelly Cubes, Blast Cubes & Ice Cubes
There are a large variety of enemies within the Gremlin family, however they're almost all the same when it comes to how you deal with them. They're soft-bodied enemies which means you can easily make short work of them using a blast bomb, repeatedly knocking them over and quickly chaining them to death. They're all also quite easy to lead into shard bombs, or drag through status (Although due to their shields, certain gremlins can be a bit finicky). However the whole family can start to get more dangerous in larger parties at lower depths, they eventually pass a threshold where you can no longer knock them down with DBB, forcing you to be far more aware of your surroundings if bombing aggressively, or just switching over to a blast bomb and using the knockback to shield yourself instead.
Thwackers, Demos, Scorchers & Knockers
A fairly large variety of foes are listed above, but for the most part you'll find the differences mean little when you're dropping howling spiked bombs of doom upon them. Thwackers are shielded from the back and can for this reason sometimes be a bit of a pain to inflict status on, but given how they will avidly chase you until their health is low, leading them into a bomb and chaining them to death couldn't be easier. Demos are you explosive rivals in the Gremlin world, they quickly spread bombs of their own and go out of their way to block your movements but your bombs have a far larger radius than theirs, making them relatively harmless unless in tight spaces, or there's a lot of them. Scorchers can set you on fire from a fair distance and are immune to fire themselves, but otherwise are extremely easy to kite and provide little threat if not accompanied by oilers. There really is nothing to say for Knockers, they're weak and basically harmless if you have even the slightest amount of spatial awareness.
MendersOf the most irritating enemies in the game, menders are pretty high up on a lot of players' lists. They aren't actually anything to worry about by themselves but they have the ability to very quickly heal up whole rooms of enemies and even revive other gremlins, which makes taking them out a priority. This is only exemplified in arenas, where things are hectic enough without their contributions. However although for most players menders are a curse, for bombers they are a blessing. Venom Veiler can easily spread poison to entire groups of foes, turning your medical adversaries into devastating allies as their healing rings became destructive death zones, which makes VV a staple in any non-poison level where you expect to be seeing menders around.
The Construct family contains a wide variety of enemies with very different attack patterns, but the majority of them are quite slow and rely either on ranged attacks, or on close-range melee with long wind-up animations, making them easily avoided. For the most part Constructs are extremely easy to dispatch, larger groups are easily drawn into vortexes, against the slower kinds you can easily annihilate them with Dark Retribution and, well it'd be easier to list the things you can't kill them with honestly. As long as you aren't relying on Piercing weapons, they're little threat. That being said a few kinds do stand out for causing bombers a bit of trouble, and hopefully this guide will assist you in learning to take them out.
Gun Puppies can, depending on circumstance, be a complete non-factor, a mild annoyance, or a downright nightmare. In most levels, even when other enemies are around, it's not too difficult to simply kite around their bullets and wear them down with basically any damaging bomb. But in areas where they surround you, such as in Arenas and certain Danger Rooms you can very quickly get overwhelmed. The key to defeating them is movement, think of them as a bullet hell; you victory depends entirely on how effectively you can dodge their attacks. For this reason it's extremely important to avoid drawing the aggro of too many at once, if all twelve in an arena want you dead you'll no doubt find it nigh on impossible to escape, not without flawless use of your dash and shield at least. Your bomb choice is of surprisingly little consequence for the most part, as long as it can interrupt them everything else will depend on your kiting ability. That being said as you can probably imagine, Dark Retribution easily destroys a stationary target like a Gun Puppy, and another effective strategy is chaining a blast bomb if you can get multiple turrets within the radius as long as you're in a smaller party since the blast will interrupt them.
That being said all of the above applies double, or maybe even triple for Rocket Puppies. Their high speed attack that homes in can be annoying enough alone, the moment you have more than one aiming at you things can get hectic fast. Thankfully it's quite rare for you to encounter more than two, in fact you never will outside of an Arena. It is important to remember though that unlike regular puppies, rocket projectiles can actually be attacked and destroyed, making it actually possible to shield yourself from their attacks entirely with certain bombs, and appropriate timing.
Now although they're seemingly just slow, meandering trees at a first glance, you should never let your guard down around lumbers. They may be slow, but they hit extremely hard and status variants have an incredible talent for breaking through anything but the best of shields. This is only made worse if they're either shock of freeze themed, in which case they can actually end up comboing you to death if you're out of remedy pills. There are a variety of options available for bombers to deal with lumbers, using small damage radius bombs like haze-style bombs will mean approaching lumbers from their weak side and placing a bomb right next to them. When doing this, care should be taken NOT to shield after you drop the bomb so that Lumbers aren't pushed away. You can also very easily obliterate them with Dark Retribution because of how extremely slow they are. When playing solo it's easy enough to dispatch them using bombs with knockback as well, however in any party you must be extremely cautious not to knock an attacking lumber into an ally, which could easily get them killed.
Mechaknights are one of the few constructs that tend to give players trouble. They're quicker than the rest of their family, the hit hard and they also have deceptively large hitboxes, being easily capable of hitting you at angles and ranges they actually shouldn't be able to, requiring you to give yourself more space when fighting them than you do most foes. If this wasn't enough they're never seen alone, almost always spawning in groups in various Arena waves or in certain boss stratums. The real trick to dispatching them lies in the fact they're extremely easy to lead around due to the way the follow you, making it a breeze to wear them down by simply kiting with Ash of Agni. Failing that though you can still defeat them by leading them into almost any effective damage bomb, or by relying on the knockback of a Nitronome to keep you safe from their blades.
The Undead family is an undoubtedly interesting one. Whilst Zombies are more or less among the easiest enemies to deal with as a bomber, Kats can cause quite a lot of distress for an inexperienced player. On top of this they are also one of the most common families of enemies, as the majority of notable end-game stratums contain them, whether you be running shadow lairs or traversing danger missions, you'll no doubt find some.
Slow and simple are the two words that best describe zombies. They'd more or less be entirely non-threatening altogether if it weren't for the fact they almost always appear in large groups, which can cause players a bit of trouble if they aren't careful. Although despite this it will only take you a little bit of practice before you can murder these guys by the dozen with basically any bomb in your arsenal, in fact their slow and predictable attack patterns make them one of the best enemy types to learn bombing against.
- Dark Briar Barrage vs Graveyard
- Undead spin cycle
- D27 Firestorm Citadel: 4 Button Room
- Deadly Crystal Bomb vs Zombies in Firestorm Citadel (duo)
- Dark Briar Barrage vs Zombies in Firestorm Citadel (solo)
Be wary young bomber, for these mewling ghosties may well prove to be your end. Kats are one of the most difficult enemies for newer players to handle, although they only have two very simple attacks, learning how to properly evade multiple of them at the same time can be an exercise in frustration. Despite this it is possible to deal with them very easily, the shock status partially immobilizes kats as well as interrupting many of their attacks allowing bombers to finish them off with relative ease, thus making Voltatic Tempest a go-to choice for dealing with non-shock variants. However if you don't fear their mobility, it is possible to lead them, and dispatch them with damaging bomb, just like most other similarly mobile enemies.
In tier 3, Devilites tend to be a bomber's worst nightmare. Especially in the deeper depths, bombers end up lying on the ground, thinking a way out from the hordes of fiends. It is actually quite possible to solo through these stages (devilish drudgery) with limited damage taken. Here are two good examples.
Bombers often find themselves at odds against greavers. Just a single greaver can sometimes spell doom and has massive wipe potential. The main issue is that greavers are fast, enter bomber personal space quickly withing giving bombers enough time to charge and drop a bomb. Unlike using swords, it's just not possible to cancel a greaver's attack without pre-dropping bombs. The best strategy for greavers is to always be prepared; have a bomb charged before greavers spawn, and then drop them a bit after they do. If a bomb goes off during the "idle time" right after their spawn, greavers will attack prematurely, and you'll be left without a deployed bomb to stop them.
Greavers are vulnerable to Dark Briar Barrage, but it may be desirable to pack Nitronome to prevent you from being locked in place until the greavers have been dispatched.
Trojans are one of the easiest fiends to deal with mostly because they can be predictably baited into doing certain attacks. The most efficient and safest trojan killers are definitely the DBB and nitronome using a back and forth bombing pattern where you drop a bomb in front of the trojan then spin them around and drop one on the other side while the first bomb explodes into their back.
The Gloaming Wildwoods is the first boss stratum a player will encounter as they progress through the game, at Mission Rank 3-2 'Shadow of the Beast'. Surprisingly wildwoods may be considered one of the hardest places in the game for a player to bomb with level-appropriate gear due to the limited selection of gear you have available to you at this point, and the difficult involved in bombing the boss of the depth, Snarbolax. Luckily you receive both a Firecracker and Cold Snap with CTR Medium UVs simply by progressing through missions prior to this point, and it is entirely possible for you to bomb through the wildwoods itself without the need of a sidearm, as illustrated below. However we still highly recommend you bring a sword or gun if you intend to solo the level, since the boss is not bomb-friendly at all.
The Snarbolax boss fight itself is the major reason these depths are so unfriendly to bombing, you can only make the Snarbolax vulnerable to damage for short periods of time by hitting a bell in the centre of the arena whenever the boss draws close, which naturally isn't a system that lends itself well to bombs due to them requiring time to both charge and detonate. Below are some videos of the boss being bombed, although they all feature vastly overpowered gear for this point in the game.
The Royal Jelly Palace may well be the single most bomb friendly of all the boss stratums in Spiral Knights. Filled with a plethora or slow enemies that spawn together in tight groups, it's as viable to spam Vaporizer bombs as it is to use Vortexes here, you can even get by using Shard Bombs with great proficiency. Everything about RJP almost seems put together with bombers in mind, every single room is just waiting to be leveled with explosives.
Perhaps more importantly since RJP is a tier 2 boss stratum, it's really the first boss stratum you can viably bomb during your progression throughout the game, it's at this point that bombs are finally coming into their own as legitimate weaponary rather than amusing distractions and the Royal Jelly itself can actually be bombed unlike the Snarbolax.
Why the Slimes have a monarchy is beyond me, but this ruler of the gelatinous kingdom will probably end up being a favourite of any aspiring bomber. The Royal Jelly is by far the single easiest boss to use bombs against, in fact it is undoubtedly the one boss you can easily complete with basically any line of bombs with the right balance of skill and persistence, which is a lot more than can be said of any of the others. A simple test of your bombing skill; can you decimate this big blob of pain before it can restore its health devouring its own children? Well, have at it.
When the Gremlins realized the battle against the Spiral Knights was a losing one, they devised a new tactic. Rather than engage us in honourable warfare on fair battlefields, they would instead build a facility designed to generate as much lag as they possibly could, and then to boot they filled it with environmental hazards instead of actual enemies. Even so we persevered, and every bomber is going to want to know to conquer this dastardly zone.
Simply put IMF requires an understanding of how switches work. It may seem simple, but you'll need to have both timing and spatial awareness to win out in the arenas that have them, let alone the boss battle built around the mechanic. This simply advice aside, just take it slow and steady, IMF isn't a gauntlet like RJP but instead an obstacle course, and as long you pay attention and tread carefully you need little specific advice.
Firstorm citadel is a bomber's paradise and can make even mediocre bombs look good. The most important thing to learn is where and when enemies will spawn and take advantage of that with CC bombs (i.e. vortexing spawns, freezing groups, pushing into walls/corners, etc)
LoA is very similar to FSC in terms of what loadouts you'll want to bring. One thing to note is that all enemies in this mission are affected by vortexes so it can be a very powerful CC tool if used correctly. Shivermist and Stagger are great CC bombs for this stage as Shivermist can lock down shielded enemies for teammates. Stunned Almirian Knights are unable to attack while stunned so stagger storm is a decent choice for parties.
Compound 42 is one of the most gear-dependent levels in the entire game when concerning its overall difficulty. If you have enough resistance to Fire and Poison it's a complete cakewalk, whilst lacking them makes the level an exercise in frustration as you carefully navigate a minefield of dangerous dual-status oil and fight to get bombs off against constant frame-rate drops. Shivermist Buster is an incredibly useful bomb here, it keeps Toxoils from lighting on fire and spreading carnage and just generally makes things much easier to manager. Dark Retribution is unarguably your best offensive tool as it shreds the abudant and extremely dangerous Polyps whilst also dispatching literally everything else with relative ease.
Very few places in all of Spiral Knights feature an overlap of both Undead and Construct enemies, so most players will find Ghost in the Machine to be an experience quite unlike any other. Luckily nearly all the enemies you'll encounter whilst exploring it's perilous depths can be managed with liberal Stagger Storm spam and careful abuse of blast bombs, most enemies you'll see throughout are actually quite slow, it's the abundance of them that's difficult to manage but bombers excel at this. A word from the wise however, if you viably run Mercurial Demo while you're down here I highly recommend it, Ghost in the Machine is one of the few stratums in the game where sacrificing more beneficial bonuses in favour of status protection is arguably a worthwhile trade-off.
The Big IronStrangely enough Ghost in the Machine has a clear-cut boss fight, which involves you going up against an enlarged Battlepod that has tentacles and shoots lasers. Luckily it doesn't regenerate health but it does have various quirks relating to the way certain bombs interact with it so don't be surprised if you find yourself having difficult getting your hits off.
Ice Queen Palace is by far the most bomb-friendly of the Shadow Lairs, due to the large clusters of slower moving enemies that really favor the crowd control of bombs over both swords and guns, and the fact the majority of the enemies in the palace are Ice Cubes, whom are easily made toothless thanks to Ash of Agni. A large variety, if not almost every non-Piercing bomb are viable here, making it an excellent place for higher level bombers to practice their skills before moving on to the harder lairs.
There are a few questions that have been answered repeatedly, yet players still get confused. So here are some answers to the questions that haven't specifically been talked about in this guide.
It would work much better if there were none, and the only reason to charge a bomb would be to give it more power/radius!Answer: In early previews, this is exactly how bombs worked: A player could repeatedly place (spam) bombs everywhere, and because charging up bombs only provided a small damage bonus (less than placing three uncharged bombs in a few seconds), the charge was rarely used. Bombing in the previews was abused, with shard bombs granting the best deployment to damage rate. Thus, Three Rings downgraded bombs before the last preview. However, this resulted in bombs being underused, and only being made effective by a select group. Bombing hasn't changed much since the last preview. The main reason for a wider use of bombs today is because players like discovering these less used weapons for themselves, or it has been highlighted to them by other players the usefulness of bombs.
Bomb Alchemy Paths
This is a list of the alchemy paths of all the bombs currently in game. Click the bomb you want to view the materials needed to craft it.
|Bombing Guide's alchemy path|
|Bombing Guide's alchemy path|
|Bombing Guide's alchemy path|
|Bombing Guide's alchemy path|
|Bombing Guide's alchemy path|
|Bombing Guide's alchemy path|