Slay the Spire is a “player-versus-enemy” roguelike card game. In it, a player is tasked with assembling a deck that can slay the titular spire. Along the way, the player can also receive items called relics that give the player further power. I’ll be honest: these relics are weird, and I have no idea how some of them actually give the various classes in Slay the Spire any power. That’s why I will go down the list of… gah, there’s 179 relics? Man. I really shouldn’t have been as inspired by Brian David Gilbert’s Unraveled when I started doing video game thinkpieces.
Slay the Spire has the player choose one of four characters at the start of their runs. Each character has their own unique set of cards and relics they have access to. Let’s start with the relics of the first character you unlock, the Ironclad. For each relic, I’ll give the name, then its effect, and then try to explain how that effect makes sense. I will not be looking at the Slay the Spire Wiki’s explanation of why it works, but I may have to look up some cultural stuff just to get my bearings.
Burning Blood (Heal 6 HP at the end of combat): When fighting, the Ironclad’s blood turns into fire, and fire being inside your internal organs is pretty bad. That’s why he feels so much better when combat ends, and he heals.
Black Blood (Heal 12 HP at the end of combat): This replaces burning blood, so the extra healing that the Ironclad receives from it is mostly due to relief that there is no longer any fire in his internal organs.
Mark of Pain (Gain 1 energy at the start of your turn. Shuffle 2 wounds into your deck): “I hurt myself today/to see if I could still feel”.
Charon’s Ashes (Whenever you exhaust a card, deal 3 damage to all enemies): Charon is the dude that ferried souls to the other side of the river Styx in Greek mythology. In Slay the Spire, that dude really existed, and he ferries cards over to the other side once they’ve died (exhausted). Doing so sprinkles his ashes over the battlefield, and your opponents inhale it and start coughing, taking 3 damage.
Magic Flower (Healing is 50% more effective during combat): Flowers are healing. This flower only blooms during combat, like the red poppies of World War I, so that’s why this only works in combat.
Champion Belt (Whenever you apply Vulnerable, also apply 1 Weak): The enemies in Slay the Spire are usually inhuman monsters and cultists. It makes sense they’d believe that a championship belt from professional wrestling would be a scary thing to see. Or they want the Ironclad’s autograph and that’s why they’re going to do less damage when it flashes.
Brimstone (At the start of your turn, gain 2 strength, and all enemies gain 1 strength): Fire and brimstone is some Bible thing about God’s wrath. Brimstone is symbolic of everyone’s wrath in Slay the Spire, but mostly my wrath that I see Byrds right after picking this treasure. Get excited to see this joke again in a few years.
Paper Phrog (Enemies with vulnerable take 75% more damage instead of 50%): Ironclad inserts this origami frog into whatever open wound the enemy has. Enough said.
Red Skull (While your HP is below 50%, gain 3 strength): There’s a lot of half-explanations for this one. Mine is that the Ironclad is a big fan of Yorick, and does some Shakespeare roleplay with the skull whenever he feels like he’s in a tight spot to get a boost.
Runic Cube (Whenever you lose HP, draw 1 card): This cube has runes on it that are indecipherable until some blood spills on it. The runes translate directly into cards. Somehow. Look, no one said my rationalizations had to make sense.
Self-Forming Clay (Whenever you lose HP in combat, gain 3 block next turn): Clay becomes hard when wet, so having a bunch of clay on your body as armor doesn’t really work out until that clay is wet. Which is why bleeding on said clay armor works, since blood is mostly water.
So those are the Ironclad’s unique relics. Onto the Silent’s!
Ring of the Snake (At the start of combat, draw 2 extra cards): Slay the Spire is a card game. You hold cards in your hands. What else is in your hands? That’s right: a ring. This ring fetches and holds two cards for you, but it takes alone time to set up, which is why it only works at the start of a fight.
Ring of the Serpent (At the start of your turn, draw 1 extra card): Haven’t these devs ever played Pokemon? Snakes evolve into cobras–sigh, whatever. This is an upgraded ring that is better at fetching at the cost of storage capacity, and the Silent gets too lazy to set it up to fetch more than one card.
Snecko Skull (Whenever you apply poison, apply 1 more): Poison is stored in the skull of most snakes. The Silent uses the skull to magnify any and all poisons she launches. The real question this raises is that there are simultaneously snakes, serpents, and “Sneckos” living at the same time in the Slay the Spire universe, and that’s unnerving.
Ninja Scroll (Start each combat with 3 Shivs): I’ll be real, I don’t think of ‘shivs’ when I think of ninjas. I like to think that this scroll is just wrapped around three shivs while having some stupid wisdom written on it like ‘the sharpest tool at your disposal is your intelligence’.
Paper Krane (Enemies with weak deal 40% less damage rather than 25%): Fly like paper/get high like kranes. This adorable looking, copyright-friendly “krane” makes it hard for any would-be attacker. What if they crush your krane? Can’t have that.
The Specimen (Whenever an enemy dies, transfer any Poison it has to another enemy): The head in the specimen’s jar doesn’t actually do anything. When an enemy dies, the Silent transfers the dead enemy’s blood, which contains poison, into the jar, then forces another enemy to drink the poisoned blood from the jar. Simple!
Tingsha (Whenever you discard a card, deal 3 damage to a random enemy for each card discarded): A tingsha is a bell that makes the classic “ting” chime. Some people use the sounds to start meditation, to clear the mind. Monsters already have a clear mind, so it’s more likely the sound annoys them to the point of being damaged.
Tough Bandages (Whenever you discard a card, gain 3 block for each card discarded): The bandages are shown to come in a long thread. This thread must be too tough to actually cut without using the sharp corner of a card, so that’s why it requires discarding the cards for use since the Silent flings any cards she discards straight at the thread.
Hovering Kite (When you first discard a card during your turn, gain 1 energy): First of all, just want to point out that they have to be specific and say this kite is hovering. You’re bad at using kites if yours doesn’t hover! Similar to tough bandages, Silent discarding a card cuts the string attached to the kite, thus propelling it in the air, and inspiring her with the majesty of a kite in flight. It only works once because Silent has to retrieve the kite from the ceiling every turn.
Wrist Blade (Attacks that cost 0 do 4 more damage): This is a simple one. Most attacks that cost 0 are small knives like shivs and small knives. The wrist blade lets Silent “double dip” her small stabs by literally stabbing the enemy with the tiny wrist blade while stabbing with her other blade. She just forgets that it’s there when she’s not attacking or using anything stronger.
Twisted Funnel (At the start of combat, each enemy receives 4 Poison): Silent convinces every enemy to chug from her keg via this twisted funnel. The keg is, of course, full of poison, so the enemies don’t get fooled by it again.
The Defect is a robot attempting to Slay the Spire. It has some interesting relics, to say the least.
Cracked Core (At the start of combat, channel 1 lightning): I interpret the Defect as innately having a cracked core, as it is a defective robot. This cracked core allows the inner lightning energy to spill out after the Defect has enough time to recharge between fights.
Data Disc (Start each combat with 1 Focus): The Defect must be a relic itself with its ability to read CDs!!! Am I right?!?!?!? Anyway, the CD just tells the Defect how to better use orbs by telling him to focus, which is something the original programmers ran out of room when programming him.
Emotion Chip (If you lost HP your previous turn, activate your orbs’ passive abilities at the start of your turn): You’d think the emotion chip would boost the emotions of the Defect, but this apparently boosts the sympathetic capabilities of the orbs around the Defect instead. Bizarre!
Frozen Core (If you end a turn with empty orb slots, channel 1 Frost): The Defect puts his heart in a refrigerator for this one. Which is bad for most creatures, but is perfectly reasonable for a robot. It transforms his electric discharges into ice blocks. Don’t ask me how the robot still runs.
Gold-Plated Cables (Your rightmost orb’s passive abilities trigger an additional time at the end of your turn): The Defect and its orbs are connected strangely. The way the Slay the Spire UI shows it, the Defect just has orbs floating around it with no specific connection to itself. Yet something like gold-plated cables imply that they are connected to it via cable. These gold-plated cables screw up and accidentally send two signals to the frontmost orb when used.
Inserter (Every two turns, gain an empty orb slot): This is just weird. The relic is called the inserter, but it’s closer to a hole puncher. It makes a new hole in the UI for an additional orb slot, how cute.
Nuclear Battery (At the start of combat, channel 1 Plasma): Self-explanatory. Nuclear power works by creating reactions that produce energy via plasma. Don’t ask me anything specific about that process.
Runic Capacitator (Start each combat with an additional 3 orb slots): Capacitators store energy. Orbs take energy. Bing bong. The real weird part of this is the runes imply that this thing was some sort of old-world, ancient piece of technology, when we all know that stuff like the pyramids were built by aliens, not with electricity.
Symbiotic Virus (At the start of combat, channel 1 Dark): If u think about it every piece of code is a virus and thus every line of code is a symbiotic virus. If you think about this relic, the virus symbiotically brings out the darkness in the Defect’s core and makes it manifest. Just like my symbiotic virus of my ex!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Watcher is a blind ascetic that has come to inspect the Spire while being blind. Just like me when I play this game.
Pure Water (Add 1 Miracle to your hand at the start of combat): Miracle is a card that gives you one energy. Milennials can relate to this since it’s a dang miracle they have the energy to ever get out of their mother’s basement with their avocado toast!!!
Damaru (At the start of your turn, gain 1 Mantra): A damaru is a drum that the goddess Shiva created in order to produce sounds that govern the universe. Mantra, in Slay the Spire, lets the Watcher enter Divinity stance after gaining 10 Mantra. This is very straightforward and I have no jokes other than I’d play the drum part from Life in Technicolor ii by Coldplay on one of these things because that is a divine drum part.
Duality (When you play an attack, gain 1 temporary dexterity): Attacking and defending are truly 2 sides of the same coin if u think about it. Really makes u think. If u think about it.
Teardrop Locket (Start each combat in Calm): See, I’d start each combat in Sad if I had a teardrop locket. Well, I’d start any combat in sad, even without it, because fighting makes me sad. I can only assume the Watcher feels very calm grasping this keepsake. Probably was a gift from her mom that she’s never let go.
Cloak Clasp (At the end of your turn, gain 1 Block for every card in your hand): Regardless of everything else, if the Watcher does not have this relic, she has to hold onto her cloak herself or it’ll fall off. I can only imagine that having this clasp helps her defend from attacks because she no longer has to hold onto her cloak with both hands to avoid a wardrobe malfunction.
Golden Eye (Whenever you scry, scry an additional 2 cards): A reference to 007 Goldeneye for the N64, a very popular FPS that led to a lot of kids scrying.
Holy Water (At the start of combat, add 3 Miracles to your hand): Holy water is assumed to cause miracles, of which every goddanged millenial needs 3 of: 1. a miracle to land a job 2. a miracle to buy a house instead of avocado toast 3. a miracle in order to save those poor ol’ mom and pop spires
Violet Lotus (Whenever you exit calm, gain 1 additional energy): The Watcher is British, and “seeing” any sort of reddish flower reminds her of the poppies of WWI, which energizes her to Keep a Stiff Upper Lip and Keep Up the Good Fight during The Blitz.
Melange (Whenever you shuffle your deck, scry 3): Melange is a verb meaning “to mix” so the shuffle part makes sense. Immediately getting to decide whether you want three cards from your deck after melanging doesn’t make that much sense. The art for this relic looks like a toupee so I choose to believe that every time the Watcher shuffles she just throws any and all of the three cards she didn’t like at the top of her deck inside this hairpiece.
Phew! That’s all 40 character-unique relics done. We’ve gotta be getting close to the end. Oh. There’s still 139 left. Well, let’s just go down in the same order the Slay the Spire Wiki page puts the relics, and begin with the common relics.
Akabeko (Your first attack does an additional 8 damage): Akabeko is a legendary cow from 807 CE Fukushima, Japan. This sacred cow gave its soul to the Buddha and immediately turned to stone, according to the legend. Some 700 years later, the leader of Japan heard the tale of this cow and told his artisans to make a toy based off it to indoctrinate kids towards loving Buddha or w/e. Anyway, there was a smallpox outbreak that same year, and people believed the toys protected them from smallpox. All of this is to say that this story of the still-traditional red cow toy in Japan is more interesting than any joke I have.
Anchor (Start each combat with 10 block): Ships use anchors to stop them from moving. Your character throws down this heavy thing at the start of a fight to make sure they don’t run past their enemy, and it provides a small bit of cover before doing its job.
Ancient Tea Set (After you enter a rest site, start your next combat with 2 extra energy): Drinking tea by a campfire/smithy/dig site/ruby key is relaxing, nothing mindblowing here. Just trying to think of the implications of this being an “ancient” tea set versus your store-bought brand.
Art of War (If you do not attack during your turn, start next turn with one extra energy): Instead of hitting your enemy with a sword or even this book, you decided to read and gained energy out of it? Man, the Slay the Spire heroes are nerds. Nothing like a random Sun Tzu quote to get hyped. “Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.” Oh heck yeah!!
Bag of Marbles (At the start of combat, apply 1 Vulnerable on all enemies): Oh, come on. How does something like a slime even trip on marbles? They don’t have legs! I think all monsters just get distracted by marbles when they see them and decide to pick them up instead of blocking themselves.
Bag of Preparation (At the start of combat, draw two additional cards): Self-explanatory, your character stores two cards in the bag between fights, but does raise questions about how big each card is if this knapsack can only carry two of them.
Blood Vial (At the start of combat, heal 2 HP): Gross. But, eh, worked for Soda Popinski to heal via drinks. Just would choose soda rather than blood.
Bronze Scales (Whenever you take damage, deal 3 damage back): You get three bronze scales, so each one does 1 HP of damage. I’m just impressed by your character’s ability to always make sure the enemy hits the scales, no matter what kind of attack they do. Like, how does the heart “touch” the scales during its 15 hit combo?
Centennial Puzzle (The first time you lose HP during a combat, draw 3 cards): Whenever your character has the relic, they purposely mess up the puzzle before a fight. Then, once in a fight, their opponent notices, and immediately tries to re-solve the puzzle, which has a reward of three cards. Very shrewd of your character. Too bad they still have to be hurt by well-meaning monsters to make it work.
Ceramic Fish (Whenever you add a card to your deck, gain 9 gold): The fish eats your card and poops out the card with nine gold as well, just like civet coffee.
Dream Catcher (Whenever you rest, you may add a card to your deck): Your Slay the Spire character is mid-climbing a giant tower filled with monsters when they take a nap, and they dream about cards? God they must be extremely boring people.
Happy Flower (Every three turns, gain 1 energy): Obvious Plants vs. Zombies reference aside, most plantowners go through a cycle of looking at a houseplant they own and feeling energized by it, then not so much the next few weeks, and then feel energized by it again soon after. If the plant lives that long, of course.
Juzu Bracelet (Regular enemy combats do not occur in ? rooms): Juzu bracelets or necklaces are standard Buddhist equipment for prayer, similar to rosary necklaces. In Slay the Spire, your character uses their bracelet to pray they never encounter that godawful pair of the Centurion and the Mystic.
Lantern (Gain 1 extra energy at the start of combat): The Spire is shown to be relatively well-lit, especially in fights, but who knows how well-lit the staircases are. Your character tries to keep it lit the entire fight, but rude monsters aim immediately at the lantern to put it out after the first turn, and knowing that energizes your character.
Maw Bank (Gain 12 gold each floor you climb until you spend gold at a shop): The premise of this relic makes no sense in a capitalistic real world. You only get more money to afford to buy things by… not buying things. I know interest is kind of like that, but, uh, come on. Anyway, the Maw Bank works by essentially making counterfeit coins that only work the first time a merchant sees them. After that, the merchant sends out a call to all the other merchants to be on the lookout for your fake money, and it stops working.
Meal Ticket (Help 15 HP whenever you enter a shop): Directly on the heels of merchants being “smart enough” to detect counterfeit money, we have a meal ticket that works at every shop. These guys don’t have a hole puncher to indicate that the ticket’s been used? Or take the ticket? What kind of bizarre ticket system are these morons using?
Nunchucks (Every time you play 10 attacks, gain 1 Energy): None of the characters are inherently proficient with nunchucks, and only have a 10% chance of using them correctly. When they do so, they get very hyped, and then immediately hit themselves in the genitals to reset their energy.
Oddly Smooth Stone (Start each combat with 1 dexterity): Dexterity is what helps you block attacks. Your character holds this tiny stone to block a tiny part of the attack. : )
Omamori (Negate the next 2 curses you obtain): An omamori is a Japanese amulet that fights off curses/vengeful spirits. Self-explanatory. Though this is a special charm that can fend off two separate curses–all the omamori I buy only work once and then I have to get another.
Orichalcum (If you end the turn with no block, gain 6 block): A legendary ore from Atlantis that literally every single game that even mentions the word “armor” is required by law to put in. The orichalcum in Slay the Spire is extremely possessive and doesn’t help if your character puts up any defense without it. How rude.
Pen Nib (Every 10th attack you play deals double damage): Your character is a cheapskate and refuses to buy a new pen because every once in a while this pen nib lets them write one character even though it is disconnected from any inkwell or ANYTHING that would let it write. Just pay the $2 for a 12 pack, man.
Potion Belt (Gain 2 empty potion slots): Self-explanatory. Makes me think of Batman rebranding and carrying a belt of potions instead of a belt of utility boomerangs. Maybe then the Joker would stop letting us know we live in a soceity.
Preserved Insect (Elites have 25% less HP): Out of every relic, I choose this for the most baffling. I can only think that a Slay the Spire developer is really scared of bugs and transferred that fear into their game-creating process. Cause, like, why is a Book of Stabbing afraid of a beetle trapped in goo? I also like the frame–makes the insect feel like its a painting.
Regal Pillow (Heal an extra 15 HP every time you rest): Though your character may attribute their better sleep due to the pillow, it’s actually due to the pea underneath the regal pillow that they are revitalized.
Smiling Mask (The merchants’ card removal service costs 50 gold): I really wonder what the deal is with the merchants. Why are they in the spire? Is it the same guy? Who else do they sell to? And why does he sell a bomb? Whatever. The Smiling Mask obviously makes him trust that you’re a part of his network so he gives you a discount on removing stuff from your deck. Personally, I would think that you would gain money for giving a dude who sells cards your cards, but I clearly don’t understand the wack society of Slay the Spire.
Strawberry (Raise your max HP by 7): Powerful antioxidants for just one strawberry to give you 7 HP. If this worked in real life, I would’ve been stronger than ever after eating 30 strawberries in one sitting, rather than throwing up.
The Boot (Whenever you deal 4 or less unblocked attack damage, deal 5 instead): And to my drunken brother, the Sentry, I bequeath a boot to the head. The boot always does 5 damage, and is always thrown when your character feels their attack wasn’t up to par.
Tiny Chest (Every 4th ? room you enter will be a treasure room): Miniature versions of things attract the larger-sized thing. That’s why you use mini fish as lures when fishing, or carry around waifu figures when you’re trying to get a girlfriend. It just works.
Toy Ornithopter (Drinking a potion heals 5 HP): An ornithopter is a machine that flies by flapping wings. As it is like a bird in form, your character forces the ornithopter to feed potions to your character like how a mother bird feeds her chicks. This has healing properties.
Vajra (At the start of combat, gain 1 strength): A vajra is a ritual weapon. As such, it offers mild use as a thing to hit people with, but isn’t actually that good as a weapon because it is meant for ceremonial use. That’s why you only get one strength.
War Paint (Upon pickup, upgrade 2 random skills): As soon as your character picks up the war paint, they immediately spill it by accident on their deck, and it seeps into the two random skills. Since Slay the Spire works on Paper Mario: Color Splash rules, the added color upgrades those skills.
Whetstone (Upon pickup, upgrade 2 random attacks): Most attacks in Slay the Spire involve your character hitting the monster with a sharp object, so the whetstone randomly upgrading one of those makes sense. It does not make sense when the whetstone upgrades an attack your character tried to sharpen with the whetstone on a lark, like the book used for Lesson Learned or the bolts from god used in Ragnarok.
Phew. That’s all the common relics over and rationalized! Let’s mansplain the uncommons.
Blue Candle (You can now play curse cards. When you play one, lose 1 HP, and exhaust the curse): I knew that color theory existed, and that there’s a flower language, but I did not expect that candles had their own language as well when I casually typed “blue candle meaning”. I suppose I’m not the brightest candle in the shed. A blue candle is lit to strengthen a candelers (no idea what candle people call themselves; candaliers? candleheads? can-dulls? gottem) confidence. Curses, in Slay the Spire, are cards that bring negative effects, so it definitely instills confidence to get rid of them. All that said, your character uses the character to literally burn the curse card but takes damage from the smoke released.
Bottled Flame (Choose an attack card from your deck. Always start combat with it in your hand): The flame doesn’t do anything–your character immediately puts it out and just puts the card in the empty jar. I promise to not recycle this joke like how your character recycles the bottle.
Bottled Lightning (Choose a skill card from your deck. Always start combat with it in your hand): Athletes get the nickname “bottled lightning” for being really explosive in their abilities. Most skills in Slay the Spire involve some sort of athleticism, like the Silent’s skill of “Acrobatics”. Therefore, your character literally uses metaphorical athleticism from this jar to consistently perform a skill.
Bottled Tornado (Choose a power card from your deck. Always start combat with it in your hand): Oh, come on. One of my favorite “science experiments” as a youth was where we stacked two large soda bottles on top of each other, put some liquid in it, and then shook the thing to make a cyclone. I’m not sure what the heck it proved, but kid-me certainly felt like I had power so uh there you go.
Darkstone Periapt (Whenever you obtain a curse, increase your max HP by 6): Alright, I didn’t expect “periapt” to be the word that passed spellcheck. A periapt is just another word for amulet which makes me think the Slay the Spire devs just used a thesaurus on this one. The fact that this charm is made of darkstone is what allows it to take a curse like “normality” (which is my mother’s least favorite curse) and converts it into vitality. Of course, the curse card still stays in your deck, but, details.
Frozen Egg (Whenever you add a power to your deck, upgrade it): Fridges have a lot more power in the Slay the Spire universe than in real life. Or maybe powers are dishes better served cold. Or maybe every power you take is “hatched” by this frozen egg. There’s a lot of half-baked ideas on what the heck this dumb thing does and none of them are satisfactory. Just like my ex!!!!
Gremlin Horn (Whenever an enemy dies, gain 1 energy and draw 1 card): The gremlin horn is part of a monster that has been cut off. Therefore, whenever your character cuts down another monster, this horn empathizes with that dead monster, and transmits its empathy as energy and as a card to your character. Kind of like the bridge babies in Death Stranding. Don’t ask.
Horn Cleat (Start your 2nd turn of each combat with 14 block): A cleat is a nautical device for securing a rope. It’s those things you see on docks that jut out of the ground that you’ve never been sure what they’re there for. A boat latches onto your cleat during the 2nd turn of every combat and is used to partially block anything coming at you.
Ink Bottle (Whenever you play 10 cards, draw 1 card): Every time you play a card, a little bit of ink rubs off, and is collected in this ink bottle. Enough ink is collected after ten cards to “draw” a new card, as in the act of producing a picture of a card. Yeah, this one’s a stretch.
Kunai (Whenever you play 3 attacks in a turn, gain 1 dexterity): People who watched Naruto think of kunai as weapons, but they’re actually multi-purpose farming tools similar to trowels in origin. Now, clearly, the Slay the Spire devs watched Naruto because you get a buff from the kunai when you attack, but I believe that your character tries to hold the kunai while attacking and doing so takes a lot of dexterity.
Letter Opener (Whenever you play 3 skills in a turn, deal 5 damage to all enemies): I’d be really annoyed if I had to fulfill a condition like this to use a letter opener. Not that I get much mail, but think about the effort that’s required to use something that you can replace with your dang fingers. Of course, I am literally the worst mail opener so, maybe it’d still be worth it. Uh, I hope I distracted you long enough. No? Alright, well, enemies get really curious about what you’re up to whenever you use three skills instead of directly attacking them and thus crowd around you, so your character ends up using the letter opener to stab them all.
Matryoshka (The next two non-boss chests you open will contain 2 relics): Matryoshka dolls are those dolls that contain dolls within dolls. I can only assume the game hardcodes that one of the relics you get from a chest after getting the Matryoshka relic is the Tiny Chest.
Meat on the Bone (Whenever you finish a fight below 50% HP, heal 12 HP): It’s your meat on the bone, so if you have above 50% HP, there isn’t enough meat there to satisfy your character.
Mercury Hourglass (At the start of your turn, deal 3 damage to all enemies): Mercury is extremely toxic, but enemies don’t know that. So your character opens up the hourglass right by them before the fight starts, and the mercury fumes slowly poison them over time.
Molten Egg (Whenever you add an attack to your deck, upgrade it): As said earlier, most attacks in this game involve some sort of sharp object. When you forge sharp objects, you need to melt metal down to re-smith it into something sharper. This molten egg contains hot enough heat for your character to forge the stabby equipment into something better as soon as they get it.
Mummified Hand (Whenever you play a power card, a random card in your hand will cost 0 this turn): Slay the Spire’s fights look like simple “fight until one side dies” affairs, but the mummified hand indicates that there is a neutral judge that oversees the fight. Ya see, your character has a lot of restrictions, such as energy and stuff, that prevent them from immediately wiping out the enemies. The judge’s job is to determine if the character has the energy to play cards among other things. Your character uses this mummified hand to play the power cards, and the judge, not really paying attention, deems that the energy penalty for playing a card shouldn’t have been enforced, so he gives you a free card to make up for it. This happens multiple times a combat/run.
Ornamental Fan (Every time you play 3 attacks in a turn, gain 4 block): Every three attacks, your character unfolds one, uh, “row” of said fan, which provides the slightest bit of protection. The enemies quickly refurl the fan lest they get too distracted.
Phantograph (Heal 25 HP at the start of boss combats): A phantograph is not a band. It is a tool that links two writing utensils together and thus makes each writing utensil mirror the other. I’m going to be real. This is the second-most baffling relic in the game as far as connection between what it is and what it does goes. Like, I guess your character draws something using the Phantograph in front of the boss, and they’re so impressed they give you 25 HP.
Pear (Raise your max HP by 10): The Slay the Spire devs have put fruit into tiers of nutrition, and pears trump strawberries in their minds. Which makes sense. I would hope one pear has more nutrition than one strawberry. Pears are far larger. Get into a debate about the best fruits in the comments, thanks.
Question Card (Future card rewards will contain 1 extra choice): At the end of every fight, you can add a card to your deck. I assume that the thing that’s giving you the choice is a magician asking your character to “pick a card, any card”. Having the question card means that your character gives this wild card to the magician before every “trick”. The magician probably gets fed up having you pick the cards and then never giving them back, but it doesn’t happen on screen, at least.
Shuriken (Every time you play 3 attacks in one turn, gain 1 strength): Unlike kunai, shuriken have always been used for fighting. That’s why it makes sense that your character gets better at fighting when using the shuriken. It takes three in a turn to prove your worth to the shuriken and gain its strength.
Singing Bowl (Whenever you have the choice to add a card to your deck, you may gain 2 max HP instead): As terrifying as a sentient bowl that sings sounds, this is yet another item used by monks to meditate. Meditation makes one “healthier” so deciding to meditate after battle rather than deal with the magician grants vitality.
Strike Dummy (Cards containing Strike deal 3 additional damage): It’s called Strike Dummy because you’re a dummy to have Strike cards in your deck!!!!! Boxers can tell you that the “fist dummies” they beat up make their fists stronger, so the strike dummy fulfills its role the same way.
Sundial (Every 3 times you shuffle your deck, gain 2 energy): Outside of this relic, there is no indication the sun exists in the Slay the Spire mythos. I choose to interpret the gaining of energy to be akin to sleeping. So if sleeping is an 8 hour activity, and it takes 3 shuffles to get a full rest cycle, one day in Slay the Spire is equal to 9 shuffles of the deck. Make of that what you will.
The Courier (The merchant restocks all items once bought. All items cost 20% less): Did you know there were two separate films both titled “The Courier” released last decade? Man, we sold out in the 2010s. And no longer will the Merchant sell out thanks to this weirdo, plague-ridden rat that you’ve decided to take into a shop that I assume fetches all the items for restocking. The Merchant gives you the discount because he wants you to spread the black plague.
Toxic Egg (Whenever you add a skill to your deck, upgrade it): The other eggs, I can understand. This one? Not really. Putting something toxic on your skills, which are usually things that help you defend, sounds far more harmful than helpful! My best guess is that the devs really like Britney Spears and thought “toxic” was a pure love romantic kind of song because the taste of the poison helps her feel alright.
White Beast Statue (All combat rewards will contain a potion): Looks like a wooly mammoth, which are old and extinct things. Witches brew potions, and witches are old and extinct things. Thus I deem that this makes sense, as the white beast statue itself brews the potion during your fight. It’s a weird-looking coffee maker, basically.
And those are all the uncommons. Onto the rare relics! Fortunately, there are no super rares, ghost rares, holofoil rares, ultimate rares, secret rares, ultra secret rares, secret ultra rares, prismatic secret rares, or parallel rares.
Bird-Faced Urn (Whenever you play a Power, heal 2 HP): Birds have mystical healing properties. And, of course, so do urns. But they can only have their powers unlocked if you use a power yourself… Thus you heal 2 HP, one from the bird, one from the urn.
Calipers (At the start of your turn, lose 15 block rather than all your block): A caliper is a device that measures the dimension of an object. With it, your character is able to measure out exactly 15 block from their block, which is a literal block. See, at the end of every turn, the block goes away because it is the “toll” to start the next turn for your character. This toll is either all your block, or your block in a weird shape, and using the calipers allows your character to cut the block into that weird shape.
Captain’s Wheel (At the start of your 3rd turn, gain 18 block): The moron driving a ship in a tower manages to survive three turns before crashing in front of the enemies, thus saving your character from damage.
Dead Branch (Whenever you exhaust a card, add a random card to your hand): I believe this is actually a mis-identified nursery log. A nursery log is a dead log that allows other plants to grow on it as it decomposes and is vital to ecosystems. Exhausting a card is the same as decomposing, so as a card decomposes another card sprouts from the dead branch as the circle of life continues.
Du-Vu Doll (For each curse in your deck, gain 1 strength): I assume Voodoo was copyrighted by the ska band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Alternatively, voodoo dolls are usually used to inflict curses on other people, so a Du-Vu Doll may instead take curses inflicted upon you and grant you power. That makes sense.
Fossilized Helix (Prevent the first time you’d lose HP in a fight): You can either use this relic as-is or trade it on Cinnabar Island for an Omanyte. Personally, I like the utility this relic offers more than Omanyte. Each time you start a fight, your character uses this as a shield, but it immediately falls into pieces. Your character starts crying over it breaking and it stops the enemy from continuing to hurt you for a short time. Your character then patches it up for the next fight.
Gambling Chip (At the start of combat, discard any number of cards, then draw that many): “King me, I just hit blackjack” – Your character, after using the gambling chip to discard five strikes. I like to think your character just claims that this chip gives him the ability to do this once per fight like they’re a ten year old kid “fighting” at recess.
Ginger (You can no longer be weakened): Ginger is an invigorating herb that tastes great. It brings the heat that lets your character stay warm even when enemies try to weaken you with bad spices like, idk, cloves? Most spices are good.
Girya (You can now gain strength at rest sites): AKA a kettlebell, but that’s trademarked, like kleenex or google, so girya is what we got instead. I don’t actually think kettlebells do anything for strength–I haven’t gotten stronger since leaving mine in a corner, collecting dust, for the past seven months.
Ice Cream (Energy is now conserved between turns): Energy manifests in Slay the Spire as balls. The ice cream relic is shown to be a bunch of balls of ice cream stacked on one another. Your character takes inspiration from ice cream and stacks the balls of energy on top of each other on a cone, and then eats the cone in order to get that energy.
Incense Burner (Every 6 turns, gain 1 Intangible): Incense is an aromatic, uh, thing that you, uh, burn to release, uh, nice smells. While your character is hanging around during fights, nice mellow smells permeate the air and eventually get your character high enough to feel literally intangible. It is such a strong feeling that it works.
Lizard Tail (The first time you lose all HP, heal 50% of your HP): Lizards cut off their own tail if they need to run away from a fight and think they’ll die. Your character understands the second part of that, but not the first, since they refuse to run, even if they use the lizard tail. I assume they throw it like a bone to a dog, distract the enemy for a bit, recover, and then the enemy comes back frustrated that it got tricked.
Mango (Raise your max HP by 14): As you can see, the Slay the Spire devs think that mangoes are the healthiest fruit. You decide in the comments if that’s true. Twice as healthy as a strawberry? Maybe.
Old Coin (Gain 300 coins): Yeah, yeah, yeah, your character sells the old coin to a merchant to get those 300 coins, but I like to think that your character chips off fractions of the old coin to let them pay exact change to the merchant. Like if a card costs 89 gold, your character cuts off 89/300 or 29.67% of the coin and gives it to them for payment.
Peace Pipe (You can now remove a card at rest sites): Slay the Spire is rated E10+ for this relic, which glorifies smoking as a weight-loss utensil. It’s up to you to decide what your character is smoking, and how much the robot gets out of doing so in terms of experience.
Pocketwatch (Whenever you play 3 or fewer cards in a turn, draw 3 additional cards next turn): This watch thinks you’re running late if you only play three cards or fewer, so it hustles in order to get you back on track. If you do play four or more, the watch is pleased, and weirdly enough doesn’t help you out. The world would be a better place if people helped people even when people were doing good.
Prayer Wheel (Enemies drop an additional card reward): A prayer wheel is a wheel of cotton or other material that wraps around a “life tree”. On this cotton/material is written a mantra. In Slay the Spire, there is instead cards written on the material for your character to choose between. Because your character prays to the heart of the cards, the wheel answers.
Shovel (You can now dig for relics at rest sites): Man, the tower your character climbs would be an archaeologists’ dream if every single spot a campfire was made could contain a relic. Of course, all four characters are actually archaeologists, so they all love this treasure. I do wonder about the logistics of this tower in that: 1. who would bury relics in these spots? And 2. how is there enough dirt/soil/whatever to actually bury anything in?
Stone Calendar (At the end of turn 7, deal 52 damage to all enemies): 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year in the Gregorian calendar. No, this isn’t an oblique Mayan calendar reference. It’s a reference to real life. But it does imply that Slay the Spire is set long enough after early human civilization since this calendar is carved onto stone, which is something only old masons and hipsters would do. Gah. I bet it was a hipster. I hate hipsters almost as much as millenials which calendars also remind me of!!!!
Thread and Needle (At the start of combat, gain 4 plated armor): Your character knits a small scarf in between each fight with the thread and needle that offers moderate defense. Very cute.
Torii (Whenever you would receive 5 or less attack damage, reduce it to 1): A torii is the gateway to a Shinto shrine. It marks the transition from the mundane to the sacred, which, thanks Wikipedia–I know how sacred you are. If an attacker notices they’re only doing 5 or less damage to your character, they understand that they are mundane, and, out of respect for the sacred torii, choose to soften their blow. How kind.
Tungsten Rod (Whenever you lose HP, lose 1 less): Tungsten rods are usually used during welding to protect the thing that’s getting welded from atmospheric contamination. Your character uses this rod to protect itself in a completely different way, though. Your character simply holds the rod next to their heart and pledges “in rod we trust”.
Turnip (You can no longer become frail): The Slay the Spire world’s range of fruit and vegetables are weird. What kind of messed up ecosystem can only produce strawberries, pears, mangoes, turnips, and ginger? Climate change truly did a number on it. Anyway, turnips have calcium in them, which prevents brittle bone disease AKA weak.
Unceasing Top (Whenever your hand is empty, draw 1 card): A reference to Inception, a movie I’ve never seen but assume it was about some dudes playing card games in dreams. And I expect Yu-Gi-Oh’s next anime to be about that as well. The top spins in response to your character’s hand picking up a card, so your character says that they have to keep the top spinning or the room will explode and then “accidentally” draws a card while doing that. The enemy never catches on.
Wing Boots (You may ignore paths up to three times): The paths in the spire are mutually-exclusive stairways that lead characters up the tower. Using the wing boots lets you literally jump from one staircase to another out of a window. And also gets you a Red Bull sponsorship.
And those are the rares. The shopkeeper also sells relics in addition to the cards and potions, and they’re as weird as he is.
Cauldron (When obtained, brew 5 random potions): Witches be brewin’. Potions. In cauldrons. Not really sure what use cauldrons have other than for potions. It is kind of a shame that chemists use a bunch of tubes instead of this menacing piece of medieval cookware.
Chemical X (When using an X cost card, its effects are increased by 2): The Slay the Spire devs have done their algebra, and X is equal to 2. Finally, one piece of y = mx+b can be put to rest. This chemical reacts with the letter “x” which only shows up on X cost cards and creates a very consistent product in that reaction. Very dependable.
Clockwork Souvenir (Start combat with 1 artifact): I assume this is from the Big Ben museum gift shop since what other clockwork would have souvenirs? Anyway, like a lot of other things, when the enemy tries to weaken your character, they use this souvenir to block it and it makes the enemy feel too bad to follow through. But only once! They’re unconscionable monsters afterwards.
Dolly’s Mirror (Choose a card in your deck. Gain an additional copy of it): This is Dolly Parton’s mirror and it’s frankly disturbing that the merchant has it. But it is comforting that she exists even in Slay the Spire’s nightmarish world. Do you really need me to explain how a mirror can create an additional copy of something?
Frozen Eye (Your draw pile now shows what you’ll draw in order): The Frozen Egg was impossible to explain, but at least this frozen eye isn’t too difficult. The eye itself does nothing. Your character just looks at their draw pile through the ice crystal and it makes things crystal clear : ).
Hand Drill (Whenever you break an enemy’s block, inflict 2 vulnerable): Whenever your enemy is blocking while you have this relic, your character uses the relic to attack instead of their normal weapon. It very specifically only can drill through an enemy’s armor rather than anything useful, like drywall or plaster. Once it makes it through the defense, the enemy says “ow”, and they’re vulnerable.
Lee’s Waffle (Gain 7 max HP and heal to full HP): The existence of this relic suggests one of two things: Lee is a famous chef that makes world-famous waffles, or Lee is the merchant’s grandfather that left the merchant this sacred waffle in his will, which the merchant promptly sold to you. I know which theory I’m in on. The Slay the Spire devs are making the claim that waffles are healthier than strawberries with this one.
Medical Kit (You can now play status cards. They will exhaust when played): Status cards are usually things like “wounds” or “injuries” or “slime” which is my least favorite status (outside of AFK). You use a medical kit to patch up things like that. I still remember the first time I put a band-aid on a slime.
Membership Card (All items cost 50% less): Self-explanatory scam. At least this dude doesn’t sell gift cards.
Orange Pellets (Whenever you play an attack, skill and power on the same turn, remove all debuffs): The orange pellets are 100% effective cure-alls, but the box they come in is a notoriously tricky thing to open. It requires that very specific combination of cards played to open. The game claims the pellets are made out of fungi which might mean your character simply gets too high to feel the debuffs.
Orrery (Choose and add 5 cards to your deck): An orrery is a mechanical model of the solar system. For some reason, the merchant replaced all of the planets with a bunch of cards that your character can add to their deck if they want to, or they can leave them there to keep the look of the orrery fresh. I know what I’d do.
Prismatic Shard (You may now choose cards from other classes and colorless cards): The cards in Slay the Spire are all color-coded in the literal sense. If another color gets on them, they’ll absorb the color, and change into a card that suits that color. If multiple colors get on a card, it becomes colorless. This prismatic shard is very leaky and spills on every card your character sees, causing all sorts of chaos.
Sling of Courage (Start combat vs. elites with 2 strength): You’d think this thing would give your character courage the entire climb rather than specific fights. In conjunction with the Preserved Insect, your character starts a fight versus elites by using the sling to fling a beetle at monsters, and it scares them and makes you more courageous. Alright, I’m into this dumb combination. Without the insect? Well, uh, your character thinks of the great times it had slinging insects at elites, so the effect remains.
Strange Spoon (Cards that exhaust may not 50% of the time): I said earlier that “exhaust” is a card’s way of saying “death” but, in this case, I’m choosing to interpret it as “lost”. As in, your character loses access to the card for the rest of the fight when it exhausts because it fell out of their hands and down the stairs or something. Well, the Strange Spoon convinces your character they have telekinesis, and they start trying to use that power to pick those cards back up. Telekinesis only works half the time, sadly.
The Abacus (Gain 6 block each time you shuffle your deck): An abacus is used to count things, and it is very hard to count stuff when things keep getting shuffled. Out of frustration, your character uses the abacus to keep track of how many times they’ve shuffled the deck in a turn, and the beads on the abacus block attacks. Hmm. That explanation really ran out of steam.
Toolbox (At the start of combat, choose between 3 colorless cards to add to your hand): It’s pretty good advice to keep a bunch of maybe-useful things with a broad set of potential applications in a toolbox, and that’s exactly what this does! However, I wouldn’t want a toolbox like this in real life–a toolbox that can only grant access to three random tools when opened isn’t very useful.
Those are the shopkeeper’s relics done, and I no longer have to think about that weirdo. Bosses also drop relics, and these are important and powerful! But what are they? And how do they work?
Astrolabe (Upon pickup, choose and transform 3 cards, then upgrade them): An astrolabe is a now-obsolete instrument that was used to make universal calculations. Somehow, in Slay the Spire, it actually upgrades things rather than making them obsolete!!! I guess it just recalculates the values of cards, which we’ve already seen can make a fine orrery. So it just makes sense.
Black Star (Enemies drop 2 relics upon defeat): I have no idea what this is in reference to. Could be a reference to David Bowie, could be a “theoretical star built using semiclassical gravity as an alternative to a black hole”, could be the Ghana national football team. Anyway, stars used to symbolize a sheriff’s authority, so I guess relics respect your authority and give you twice the bounty when they die.
Busted Crown (Gain 1 energy at the start of turn. Future card rewards have 2 fewer choices): This makes me think that all the card choices come on a crown, and that breaking that crown gives you energy at the cost of space for placing the cards. Kind of like breaking a plate that food comes on. Very rude of your character to do this, imo, even if it gives them energy.
Calling Bell (Gain 3 random relics and a special curse): I hear slay the spire bells a-ringin/giving me three relics I’m a-keeping/letting me strike with swords and shields/all the evildoers in this foreign field/for some reason I can’t explain/once you had chosen this there was never/never an honest curse/but that was when I slayed the spire.
Coffee Dripper (Gain 1 energy at the start of turn. You can no longer rest at rest sites): Obviously, coffee gives you energy at the cost of sleep. This was very much inspired by the development cycle and I have nothing to say.
Cursed Key (Gain 1 energy at the start of turn. Any non-Boss chests opened will inflict a curse upon you): Your character can already open chests without the key. Why on earth do they start using the cursed key after picking it up? They have to know that it’s cursed! It’s in the name! Just use the regular key to open the chests! It’s probably like normal cursed equipment that you can’t get rid of once equipped, though.
Ectoplasm (Gain 1 energy at the start of turn. You can no longer gain gold): God, imagine a real ectoplasm being able to turn gold into energy. We might solve our energy problems and our capitalism problems simultaneously!
Empty Cage (Remove 2 cards from your deck): if u truly love someone, let tehm three. i love strikes and defends and always let them free. The bird that was in the empty cage comes back to eat the cards you want to remove.
Fusion Hammer (Gain 1 energy at the start of turn. You can no longer upgrade cards at rest sites): Just like the cursed key, I really got to wonder what the deal with your character is here. You have a normal hammer that you know can upgrade your cards! Just keep using that at the rest sites while holding onto this hammer for the energy! Unless the name “fusion hammer” implies that the energy you gained from the hammer had fused with your regular hammer, rendering it unusable.
Pandora’s Box (Transform all strikes and defends): Pandora’s Box didn’t transform all the neutral in the world into good and evil, it simply released all the good and evil. So this mythical box is wrongly named!! But the main throughline is that Pandora opening her box was, on the whole, a good thing, despite the evils she released. So you should be fine taking this box since it is usually gonna be positive.
Philosopher’s Stone (Gain 1 energy at the start of turn. All enemies start combat with 1 strength): The philosopher’s stone is also being misused!! The stone was used to create the elixir of life that made people immortal and also turned all metals into gold, and here it’s explicitly making you more vulnerable to enemies and also not giving you money! Come onnnnnnnnn.
Runic Dome (Gain 1 energy at the start of turn. You can no longer see enemy intent): Your character puts this dome over their head and it works like a tinfoil hat. Jams up the signals. On the one hand, this makes it impossible for the enemies to know what you’re doing, but, on the other, it makes it impossible for you to know what they’re doing, and it’s a lot more important to know that. So, as always, tinfoil hats are a double-edged sword.
Runic Pyramid (At the end of your turn, you no longer discard your hand): Your character hides all the cards they’re supposed to discard in this pyramid, and it fools the judge that tells you to discard your hand. Simple.
Sacred Bark (Double the effectiveness of potions): This is actually a reference to Cascara Sagrada, a real-world sacred bark that Native Americans used for healing purposes. It is nowadays used as a laxative but has been classified as a controlled substance, despite being literal bark of a tree. I’m sure Hamilton’s Pharmacopia will be doing an episode on it and reiterate the point that making plants illegal is ludicrous. I don’t think I need to explain much further about how this relic works.
Slaver’s Collar (Gain 1 energy at the start of your turn during bosses and elite fights): This one just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Could they have tried to call this anything else? Or are your Slay the Spire characters so poor in taste that they would choose to try and make a fashion statement by wearing a literal collar that slaves wore and somehow gain energy from it? Disturbing.
Snecko Eye (Draw 2 additional cards at the start of your turn. Start combat confused): I would be confused to if I looked at my possessions while climbing a tower on the way to kill a heart and saw a snake’s eye, so I don’t blame your character. Confusion also makes it so that you draw more cards than you’re allowed, and the insanity defense works!
Sozu (Gain 1 energy at the start of your turn. You can no longer obtain potions): The sozu is a noise-making fountain that drives away animals that might try to otherwise prey on a peaceful garden. The zen-like nature of it gives your character strength, but, for some reason, it also gives your character the idea to filter all their potions through it. This does not actually work, and waters the potions down to 0% effectiveness.
Tiny House (Gain 1 potion. Gain 50 gold. Raise HP by 5. Obtain a random card. Upgrade a random card): This treasure is really accurate. Whenever you gain a house, you earn more money, gain more vitality, and obtain random crap that you hoard. I assume so, anyway, since I’m a goddanged millenial who eats avocado toast!!!
Velvet Choker (Gain 1 energy at the start of your turn. You can no longer play more than 6 cards a turn): This is more tasteful than the slaver’s collar. I can at least think of your character being a middle schooler, buying this from Hot Topic, and wearing it to show they aren’t a sheeple. Only problem is that such a defiant attitude prevents them from reaching their full potential, like me in middle school.
And finally, the last set of relics are the ones that you can only get from ? events during your climb up the spire. I’m so grateful to be done with this ? event of writing an article about Slay the Spire.
Bloody Idol (Whenever you gain gold, heal 5 HP): “Oi, mate, you knicked my bloody idol. Give it back or I swear on yur mum”. Capitalism is saved by this relic since it turns money into vitality without doing anything to the money. It’s just a cynical representation of how much longer rich people live compared to poor people. Anyway, the idol literally converts your money to blood and vice-versa.
Cultist Headpiece (Your character yells “Caw” at the start of fights): Your character loves to cosplay, but felt embarrassed about it before seeing other cultists do the same thing. A heartwarming example of how you should be proud of what you love. But not me. I’m not proud of this.
Enchiridion (At the start of combat, add a random power card to your hand that costs 0 this turn): Short for “Enchiridion of Epictetus” (pronounced epic-tee-tus), which was an ancient Greek manual for how to be a good stoic. Looks like it was one of the first New York Times bestselling self-help books, and I can see why if it makes you more powerful at no cost to yourself! Your character flips to a random page at the start of combat, and it always has a helpful bookmark of a card that someone else kindly left over.
Face of Cleric (At the end of combat, raise max HP by 1): Before you ask, this is just a mask. Not actually a face. Would be a lot weirder otherwise to just have the face of a cleric. The mask raises vitality because Slay the Spire is secretly a Jesus game and Jesus grants eternal life to his shepherds aka clerics.
Golden Idol (Enemies drop 25% more gold): Your character uses gold dropped by enemies to chip at the golden idol and collect more gold from the small pieces that they’re able to scrape off.
Gremlin Visage (At the start of combat, gain 1 weak): Just like all of the harmful relics, why doesn’t your character simply take this thing off their body? Just throw it away! I don’t care if you litter when your goal is saving the world by tearing out its heart or whatever the plot of Slay the Spire is. Your character loves to cosplay but anyone that sees them in the gremlin visage makes fun of them, and they take it very personally and thus lose strength. But then they get over it.
Mark of the Bloom (You can no longer heal): Sounds like the name of a bad Alt-J song, which is ALL OF THEM!!! As we all know, bloomed flowers cannot heal, because they have already peaked, and immediately start to whither. So too does your character.
Mutagenic Strength (Start each combat with 3 strength. Then lose that strength next turn.): If this is how steroids worked, Barry Bonds would’ve been caught way earlier than he was. He’d have to juice up before every at-bat. Anyway, your character is able to juice between fights, but, as always, the enemies distract them between turns from being able to shoot themselves full of drugs. Smart choice–wouldn’t want to miss a vein.
N’loth’s Gift (Triples the chance of receiving rare cards as a reward): N’Loth’s Gift is an unopened present that your character never ends up opening throughout the run–at least, that’s how it looks in the UI. Your character actually opens it after every fight, and, every once in a while, a rare card is in the gift box. It’s Schrodinger’s card box.
N’loth’s Hungry Face (The next non-boss chest you open will be empty): MFW u open a non-boss chest and it’s empty: 😦 .
Necronomicon (Your first attack in combat that costs 2 or more will happen twice; also, add an inescapable curse to your deck): The Book of the Dead brings a curse that’ll cause anyone that comes into contact with your character to remind you that HP Lovecraft was really racist and to not look up his cat’s name and you should remember that the next time you read his works. In response, your character takes their rage out by attacking twice. Simple.
Neow’s Lament (Your first three combat encounters will have enemies at 1 HP): Neow is the whale god that brings your character back at the start of every run. They lament that they have to do this job, and enemies at the start of the spire sympathize so hard that they lay down their life for you. Very kind of them.
Nilry’s Codex (At the end of your turn, you may add one of three random cards to your deck for this combat): The game never answers who Nilry is. But a codex is a book of laws. Cards are the laws of the Slay the Spire universe, so it makes sense that this codex would contain a billion cards in there.
Odd Mushroom (Take 25% more damage while vulnerable rather than 50% more): Once again, Slay the Spire is CHAMPIONING DRUGS by saying mushrooms cure vulnerability. Not completely, at least, otherwise this would put this at odds with the Jesus game sort of thing. But clearly a dev got through a tough time with DRUGS.
Red Mask (Inflict 1 weak on each enemy at the start of combat): The opposite of the gremlin visage. Even though they look very similar, the Slay the Spire society respects the red mask, and respect your character’s cosplay. Until they realize it was a cosplay and regain their strength.
Spirit Poop (Reduces your run’s score by 1): If I offended spirits enough that they’d deliberately leave me their excrement, I would add 1 point to my life’s score. But this game disagrees and claims that “angering the spirits is bad karma”. But not that bad.
Ssserpent Head (Entering a ? will earn you 50 gold): The head is an effective dowsing rod that searches for and collects random gold in rooms like a souped-up metal detector. Snakes are known for their intrinsic gold-searching abilities. That’s why there were a bunch of snakes around the gold mines during the gold rushes. It’s how they naturally evolved. So, remember, if you see a snake, follow it to gold.
Warped Tongs (At the start of your turn, upgrade a random card in your hand for the rest of combat): Tongs are used to hold things that are dangerous. Most cards depict dangerous things. As such, it only makes sense to use these warped tongs (which lengthen their reach) to pick up the dangerous equipment and then hit people over the head with the combined power of tongs and the weapon. It. Just. Makes. Sense.
WOW, I made it through. Oh, but of course there’s one super special super awesome relic that only is granted to those that have literally every other relic in one of those specific relic pools, and that is:
Circlet (Collect as many as you can!): A circlet in our world is a neat necklace for your wrist that offers no benefit to the wearer, just like this circlet. Self-explanatory.
Well, next time, I really hope to choose a shorter topic. I chose this one because it seemed fun and breezy until I realized how many there were. Thanks for reading or ctrl+fing to whatever relic you wanted explained. Let me know if there was a better explanation or anything I missed. Keep on slayin’.