Solarus Class Guide
- See also: Solarus class profile
A hybrid class with a knack for magic that exceeds that of the Paladin (but lacks the Paldin's early game armour and late game physical stats), the Solarus is an interesting class to play that changes the dynamic of it's combat mechanics as the game progresses. Overview of relative Solarus strength and ease to play:
- High stats (INT, WIL, VIT, STR)
- Sun Scorch is useful for most of the game
- Good HP
- Good melee damage
- Good H2H
- Decent DOD/PAR
- Extremely versatile between melee and spellcasting
- Great end-game gear
- Incredible early game, strong late game
- Sudden drop of power in the midgame
- Cannot compete with other classes late game in some instances (KA monsters, Thallis Rats, TGs, Nomad Champion)
- Versatility comes at a cost when extreme specialization in either physical damage or spellcasting is needed (you can still beat every encounter that you would need to, though)
- Requires knowledge of what to expect before fight
- Requires frequent switching between gear setups to win fights in areas with mixed encounters
Early game (levels 1-15) This is when the Solarus shines and few classes can match her ultimate versatility. She starts the game with statistics that are comparable with all melee heroes bar the WoD, but can wear any armour from leather to Elven Chain Mail (and the class-specific Solarii Chain Mail). She packs a mean punch with her melee attack as Maces are amongst the most damaging mundane weapons in the game, and her natural spellcasting ability allows for easy acquisition of Flame Shield, and later for domination over weak enemies with Fire Hammer, Sun Scorch and even PowerShock.
When starting a new Solarus you would do well to re-roll your hero until you get max stats for INT, VIT and STR and above average WIL. This costs you nothing but time and will both make your adventuring days easier. It also saves you the frustration later on when you learn that heroes have a range of random starting values for their statistics and that +4 INT actually matters. Once you do that, purchase the cheapest leather armour and the cheapest mace and a few health grubs, go to the temple of Dauros, pray for 2-3 turns so you stock up on some Stoneskin and go to the sewers. Complete the Rat Catcher quests until you acquire sufficient gold for Flame Shield, then better armor, then PowerShock (in that order). Once you have +3 weapons and armor and a good amount of healing potions (about 50), you may head to either Venn's Spire or the lower parts of the sewers. The sewers are slower but you don't really have to rush towards anywhere, and they provide an excellent gold and XP source for your hero, superior to most anything else you can get without dying or using Potion of Monster Detection (POMD).
Once you get out head towards Lormidia, to the Timekeeper's Basement and obtain a Green and Blue charm. Wear the green versus anything but Gorgons, Vampires and Black Phantoms. Now, secure a Medusa Mail (Fertile Plains is a good location for that) and continue leveling up. You need levels for the increased stats (especially HP). The Catacombs, Fertile Plains and the BC Vaults (with the Tholarian Signet Ring, Medusa Mail, Blue Charm and AMGs) are all good locations to obtain XP and gold. The FP Caravan encounters provide the invaluable Rumble Mitts and great Dwarven Beard Ring drops, so they are preferable if you can do them with healing aid efficiently and not dying to anything but mass Gorgons. Somewhere around here, make sure to get a Battered Crown and a Rustward.
Mid game (levels 15-30)
This is when you will need to learn how to switch gear for a Solarus - this is perhaps the most micro-management intensive class (as far as a turn-based RPG game is concerned) you can find in HoA. You should have a main setup which uses Sun Scorch and Stoneshredder (and later Exploding Aura and Fireball) plus your melee attacks, a pure melee setup with boosted MGR to beat Oculi, BPs and the likes, a pure melee setup where your stuff will be resisted but you expect to fight tough physical damage dealers (this is mostly valid pre-Thallis gear. After that, most enemies won't resist your high level spells)
This takes practice and tabs. Make use of consumables, especially AMGs and later Invis Gems.
Back to the midgame - your main priorities here are to secure the Amulet of Destruction (Firewood! encounter in the DF), Bandanna of Frost (HFM: South large cave after you have the AoD) and optionally the Elven Chain Mail also found in the HFM: South caves. I was able to complete the Blazing Mace, Flail of Subjection and the Apprentice Spellbook with just a +4 Medusa Mail, and soon enough you will get the awesome Solarii Chain Mail, so the Elven Chain Mail is up to you.
Once you have acquired your Amulet of Destruction you must stock up on Medusa Potions. Stoneshredder + Sun Scorch will let you clear anything that is not horribly magic resistant, such as Oculi, BPs and Medusae. For those, unequip the AoD (you cannot disable spells from equipped items) and disable your Sun Scorch when you know you will be going against heavily magic resistant foes.
With the AoD and the Bandanna you can obtain the ingredients necessary for a Blazing Mace. I chose to start with the BM prior to the FoS because the hybrid nature of the Solarus shines here, where as the Flail is mainly used in the later areas of the game. Your key goals for this period of the game:
- Obtain spellcasting items (Amulet of Destruction, Bandanna of Frost).
- Craft Gate Key (do this as soon as you can handle it! It saves you turns!).
- Obtain the following schematics: Blazing Mace, Gate Key, Ring of Mighty Devastation, Ring Amulet, Belt of Brawling, Improved Belt of Brawling, War Gauntlets, Socketing Manual, Flail of Subjection; Optional: War Chargers, Apprentice Spellbook.
- Complete Blazing Mace.
- Complete War Gauntlets (War Chargers are optional since you will get the Eclipse. If you can't get a second set of Rumble Mitts in 300-400 turns, just give them up).
- Obtain Aura from the Paladin's Keep quest. I chose Health because of the nasty poison the SC monsters and most KA monsters have. Aura of Victory is a solid choice as well).
- Embed H2H Beard Rings (Hammer DBRs) into some Bracers (+5 MGR is preferable), embed H2H in War Gauntlets if you wish.
- Enter the outpost and obtain the Ring Amulet.
- Complete the Flail of Subjection.
Late Game: Level 30 and beyond
Now that you have your two schematic maces, socketed armbands, armwear and footwear, a good supply of consumables and the necessary items bar a Dark Band to complete the ROMD you can go to the Sunken City. Manage your healing potions adequately and know that the Temple encounter generally doesn't have anything interesting for a Solarus beyond an Ancient Belt of Godly Strength (ABOGS) (which you can get from the Bog Golems encounter) and a Ring of Devastation which you can get from the BC Vaults. If you do want to tango with the lizards, abandon all desires for Spellcasting, ramp up your H2H and use the FoS, and stock up with AMGs and drink a Medusa Potion. Attempting both encounters will double your chance for an ABOGS, but after you find one (necessary for the Belt of Brawling) immediately dismiss the Temple encounter. Absolutely use POMDs and skip anything but the Bog Golem encounters, the Temple (optional) and the Poison Brewery. Don't take wands (they are useless post consumable nerf)* and don't free prisoners. You can leave the Sunken City once you have obtained at least one Dark Band, one Spellkiller and one ABOGS, but a second and even third Dark Band would also be of use. One to embed in your Ring Amulet (at least currently there is nothing better to put there) and one to wear in KA.
* Edit from Sun Hands: I don't see why you should not pick up wands as you lose nothing from doing so (maybe it adds a bit of weight on your load but it's pretty much negligible). I did this and while the majority of wands are pretty useless, you can at least sell them for a decent amount of money. There is also a chance of getting the Wand of Lightning Storm which may be handy, and if not, again is always good money.
Now remember: YOU MUST HAVE THE RING OF MIGHTY DEVASTATION BEFORE PROCEEDING TO THE DESOLATE WASTELAND
Why? Well certainly you can make due without it, but it will not be cost efficient. You will have to trudge back and forth to resupply on potions and you will probably have to farm the HFM: South, BC or DF to make money since you will be losing money there. With a ROMD and Medusa Potions, and the Blazing Mace of course, you can stomp Reavers in the DW for a good XP/Gold ratio but more importantly, you can do the Temple of Helia encounter. Around level 33-34 you can enter the Temple of Helia in Thallis (but cure the Plague first if you have it!). Go in with Elixirs set to heal at 300 hp or TRTs set to heal at 100. Drink Medusa, Dirgo, Regeneration, equip your main healing items, one stack of poison and 3 stacks of AMGs. This way you can win your fight provided you have obtained your gear (I did it with the whole shebang, Elven Chain Mail, Charges, and the likes, but if you have a ROMD, Rumble Mitts, socketed Bracers, Improved Belt of Brawling with Holster, and an extra Holster of Might, you can do it). Obtain all your Solarus-specific items. With those and Medusa Potions, you will have enough INT to use the Exploding Aura and the Fireball with great success versus most things. Gauge the MGR levels of your foes and enable/disable Sun Scorch at your discretion, but with so much INT and the Blazing Mace it actually is viable even at this stage. From here on, you are free to upgrade your items with the Imp, complete Gar-Uta and Thallis quests or go to the KA to try your luck in obtaining the Dwarven Locket and Belt of Reflection (they will allow you to do Thallis Mausoleums, not that you much need to).
* Edit from Solarus: I suggest going to Thallis FIRST before using Enchantments (you can pray for them, just don't use them!) and do the Plague quest (no fighting required). By doing this, your Hero gets the Plague quest out of the way so he (or she) doesn't use Enchantments just to explore. Also during this exploration period, your Hero can get links to other locations (Gar Uta and Krolm's Anvil) needed later to obtain Optimal Items at the Remains of Temple to Helia. -
Below are the optimal items for each category, as well as other notable items important to this class. See also: items usable by Solarus.
- Weapon: Blazing Mace (Abandoned Library Schematic) → Blasting Mace (Damage: 25, STR +24, INT +16, DMG +3; upgrade at the Imp Workshop).
- Should also have the Flail of Subjection (item) when fighting primary H2H with spells disabled.
- Armor: Solarii Chain Mail (Armor: 14, MGR +15, INT +6, H2H +15; Thallis item).
- Elven Chain Mail (Armor: 12, MGR +5).
- Headgear: Helm of the Sun (Armor: 2, INT +8, PAR +10, H2H +10; Thallis item).
- Shield: Flames Shield (Armor: 1; INT +4); no other shield is available to this class.
- Belt: Belt of Brawling; embed a Holster of Might.
- Belt of Rage is useful early on.
- Footwear: Eclipse (Armor: 3, PAR +10, DOD +10, H2H +15, INT +4; Thallis item); embed with a Solarus Beard Ring.
- War Chargers (Armor: 3, STR +4, H2H +10; Wizard Tower schematic) (no socket).
- Glove: War Gauntlets; embed 2x Hammer DBRs (H2H) as the Solarus cannot obtain enough Parry to make a difference lategame.
- Armband: Solar Bracers (INT +4, STR +8); embed 2x Hammer DBRs.
- Ring: Ring of Mighty Devastation (item) (Wizard Tower Schematic) → Ring of Mightier Devastation (upgrade at Imp Workshop).
- Early on, should use Ring of Protection. The Ring of Mighty Devastation should not be used if not using spells for combat.
- Accessory: Choice among standard accessories. Holster of Might is good.
To be continued...