Like many roguelikes, Curse of the Dead Gods starts you off with the basics and slowly lets you accrue some upgrades within its hub area. Some of these upgrades are permanent additions to your character or the hub itself, whilst others, like the blessings, can be changed to allow for experimentation with different builds.
However, when starting out, it can be tricky to know which the best upgrades to take first are. It may be tempting to save up and purchase the more expensive upgrades, but some of the cheaper ones are just as viable (and perhaps just as essential) to your success.
10 Divine Favor
Divine Favors allow you to reroll an offering from a fountain for another reward, which is useful if the current offerings aren't quite suitable for your build. You can have up to ten in total and can reroll multiple times at the same fountain, although subsequent ones quickly become expensive, so you won't have many at the beginning.
Also, bear in mind that the item you receive in exchange for using a Divine Favor is chosen randomly, so you should make sure you're certain before using one.
9 Weapon Altars
You're more likely to have a successful run in Curse of the Dead Gods if you're armed with good weapons, and this is where the weapon altars come in. They exist in the main hub and allow you to swap out your basic sword and pistol for something more powerful.
You can restore up to four altars and upgrade them further to have better weapons, with each one being more expensive to restore than the last, but even just having one at the beginning can be a useful boon.
8 Clever Kills
This is the cheapest blessing in the whole game at just five Crystal Skulls, and it causes traps to deal 100 percent more damage to enemies. Given how easy it is to coax an enemy into the path of a trap, this makes Clever Kills a surprisingly useful ability.
This is especially true when you're fighting the stronger enemies because they can take a fair amount of punishment, so you might as well let the environment do the hard work. Plus, you'll feel like a strategic genius each time.
7 T'amok's Bones
This blessing gives you a +5 bonus to constitution at the beginning of a run, but the real benefit is the +1 to constitution you gain if you enter a room with less than half of your maximum health. This makes it essential for new players because having a larger health pool will be needed against stronger enemies, and especially the bosses.
The only real drawback to T'amok's Bones is that it ironically becomes less useful as your combat skills improve, since you won't be taking as much damage.
6 Furious Skin
Furious Skin causes you to gain Fury for six seconds after taking damage, which means you deal extra damage to opponents. This blessing is ideal to buy when you're a new player because you're bound to take damage as you get used to the game.
Therefore, it works more in your favor to have an ability that allows you to deal out as much damage as you'll likely be receiving. In fact, you may be able to use this extra damage to kill enemies before they can even attack you.
5 Unquenchable Thirst
With Unquenchable Thirst equipped, you regain an extra point of stamina from greed kills. This is essential to purchase if you've not quite got the hang of perfect dodges because it's all too easy to run out of stamina during combat, so this blessing should reduce that risk.
It's also very cheap, costing only 15 Crystal Skulls which you can easily gain in the span of a couple of runs, especially if you do the bonus events which are awash with Skulls for you to collect.
4 Favor Of Sich'al
Favor of Sich'al allows you to start a run with 1000 gold and a +5 bonus to your perception. The perception bonus is indeed useful, but the gold is far more important if you want to be able to purchase the more powerful items at fountains during a run without a blood offering.
This is especially prominent if the run you're taking doesn't have many treasure rooms along the way, meaning this blessing may be your only source of funds. And best of all, it only costs 10 Crystal Skulls.
3 T'amok's Protection
This blessing of the jaguar gives you an even bigger damage reduction from attacks when you're in the light, and it also causes fire to burn with a brighter radius. It's very cheap too, costing only 10 Crystal Skulls.
There's a risk that T'amok's Protection can become useless if you gain the Torch of Sorrow curse, which causes your torch to burn with a dark light and thus nullifies any benefits you gain from standing in the light. That being said, it's also not a common curse.
2 Storm's Focus
It always pays well in Curse of the Dead Gods to have a reliable source of stamina regeneration, and Storm's Focus causes successful parries to completely restore stamina. It costs 35 Crystal Skulls, which is a tad costly at the beginning of the game, but if you've got the hang of parrying, then that's a small price to pay for effectively unlimited stamina.
Additionally, Storm's Focus will be of great benefit if you gain the Dark Swiftness curse, which negates full stamina regeneration from perfect dodges.
1 Gust Of Agility
This is perhaps the best upgrade to purchase at the beginning of the game, and certainly one of the best blessings overall. It costs 20 Crystal Skulls, which is an easy amount to quickly gain even in the early hours, and the reward is easily worth the cost.
Gust of Agility gives you a +5 bonus to dexterity at the start of a run, but more importantly, it gives you Haste each time you pull off a perfect dodge, which increases your speed for a short period.
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