Strategy Guide for Tragic

I beta tested this game, but its size and depth were overwhelming and I didn’t finish it at the time. Even when I replayed it to write a review, I didn’t beat it.

But now I’ve beat it, and I want to share my results! I’ll probably update this as I play through as more classes.

I would highly recommend playing story mode or casual (in the newest versions, this is the only option). You will likely die a lot in this game. Dying resets you back to the last check point and gives you ten extra max health (you can also occasionally get health through other means). I started with 100 health and ended up with almost 300, which means I died A LOT.

There is no healing between rounds except for special encounters, and very few cards heal you. So I strongly suggest embracing death until you’re familiar enough with the game to find a way to live.


(only one for now in this guide)

The mage is 500 times easier than the berserker. As the mage, you can get very powerful cards and items. For me, the best card was Reinforcements, which gives you access to random attacks, including the most powerful.

For mages, if you can find a way to increase Intensity, you’ll be golden. Intensity adds a fixed amount of damage to each of your attacks. I found a staff that adds 1 intensity per attack, and a card that doubles intensity, so using a multi-attack spell (like Ice Storm which does 2 damage 4 times) I’ve done close to 100 damage. These kinds of combos are very powerful in the endgame.

General tips
Removing cards is the best thing you can do in the game. You have a limited draw pile, so getting rid of the bad cards gives you access to much better attacks. I usually got rid of plain ‘defend’ cards or ‘reverse polarity’.

Some builds are much better for certain encounters than others. If you’ve been building on defense against status effects and penetrating armor, then a fight against a swarm of armor-free normal monsters will probably overwhelm you. Just go back to an earlier checkpoint and choose a different door!

Finally, watch out for one certain type of monster that removes your soul essence (essentially like XP). If you get drained, it’s not the end of the world, as many encounters give you extra XP.

If anyone has any other suggestions to add to this guide, feel free to post below!

Hint: Weapons and Armor
  • Winning an encounter always gives you a card choice.
  • In addition, beating a mini-boss in the several story events will also grant you the choice of an accessory item (but not a weapon or armor)
  • Beating the final boss of dungeon 1 and 2 will additionally give you the chance to either upgrade your armor or your weapon. So you can choose balance, or upgrade weapons both times, or upgrade armor both times. If you take the double weapon route, you will be upgrading half your starting deck - maybe when you have a chance to remove cards you should remove the starting armor cards, and vice-versa.
Hint Hint: Mage

I tried to build in at least two powerful combo builds for each class. A focus on Intensity is one of the builds I designed for the Mage.


@crisostimo Thanks, that’s very helpful!

I think I just discovered the combo for Rogues. Rogues focus on Wounds, which do damage every turn. I was very lucky to get the Crown of Daggers early on which made wounds never decay.

But the combo that I found is a card that doubles wounds. So if you hit the enemy several times and get some doubling cards, you can do around 60 damage a turn or more!

I find rogues much better at quickly killing small enemies but they struggle with the larger enemies as its kind of a DPS race.

Rogues also have a lot of EVEN/ODD cards where they have a 50/50 chance of either effect.

One quick thing to point out is that there’s a card called Cheap Trick that has a powerful action that only happens on discard. I racked my brain trying to decide if Discard meant after you play it or if you don’t play it, but I realized it only triggers when you use other cards that say ‘discard 1 card’.

An example of that is a card (I think it’s ‘quick’ something) that does damage, draws a card and discards a card. That makes for a pretty powerful combination.

Rogues also have the ability to draw a ton of cards and play them all in one turn if you get the right ones.

Edit: It looks like the equipment options at the beginning for each class are static, and I’m starting to like the one that applies wounds each turn better.

1 Like

Strategy guide? More like a Tragedy guide!

Stragity guide?

Trategy guide? Help!


I just finished a run-through as Berserker, and I definitely think it is the hardest of the three.

It’s basically the opposite of fighters in most games, more like a glass cannon with status effects and area attacks.

A good strategy for the Berserker can include gaining ferocity or applying unprepared to all enemies, then using cost-reducing and drawing cards to apply many attacks at once. Berserkers seem to accumulate a lot more curses than other classes, but there are legendary items that compensate for that.

Berserkers struggle the most against single big bosses.

(Note: The ‘sword’ carving is always a straight-up fight. If you just want combat and nothing else, always pick sword. If you’re interested in the other encounters, pick the other carvings.)

1 Like

I just got my first win, also as a Mage, with 180 health by the end so I guess not awful though not great. I definitely found the second dungeon the hardest – most of my deaths were either to the hydra boss, or the dragon-egg fight (I’d hit a progress-stopping bug on that one in my playthrough of the earlier version of the game, so really wanted to beat that one). By the third dungeon, I had many more ways to ramp up my Intensity, but just as importantly I found more tools to manage and increase my energy (I have some thoughts about this but will wait until I get some more playthroughs, including with other classes, under my belt).

Things that were effective:

  • Stacking intensity doublers, especially in combination with the card that lets you pull a previously-burned card back into your hand. It’s pretty easy to get Intensity 15-20 by doing this, at which point you’ve basically won.

  • I underused Faze cards, but once I got a couple they were also game-changers.

  • This is true for any deckbuilder, but just to say out loud, you should be skipping card rewards fairly often if you want to have a chance of succeeding – otherwise you’re just diluting your deck.

  • The double-weapon upgrade path seems like it’s quite strong, since it makes some of your worst cards suddenly really helpful since they nudge up intensity; not sure what the double-armor path gets you, and of course there’s an interplay between card selection and equipment, but double-weapon plus a reasonably aggressive deck seems like it’d be significantly superior to a single-weapon and single-armor build for the same deck.

  • Relatedly, in general I found offense a better tack than defense – both because of the sorta-cheaty “get fully healed when you die”, but also because there are a LOT of monsters who summon help, and keeping up with the influx of new monsters is very challenging with a defense-focused build. There are some cards that help get around this – notably, the ones that do damage based on your defenses – but I didn’t see too many of those come up so seems like these would be risky builds to try to go for.

  • The choice of which symbols to choose matters a whole bunch – some are much harder than others, and have much more significant rewards than others. Until you play enough to know what you’re getting into, you’re at a pretty significant disadvantage since you risk missing out on most of the opportunities to shape your build – taking notes as you go, or just looking at the included guide, helps out quite a lot!


Post comp I’ll have to write something about tuning a game like this. I’m perfectly willing to accept that the tuning could be improved, but I don’t think it’s something I would change while the competition is running.

I really appreciate these strategy guides coming out from people other than me though!


Yeah, I think that’s the right call – and I should also say, I think it’s perfectly fine, and in fact good, if some strategies are better or riskier than others! There’s also substantially different context for your typical deckbuilder, where there’s an expectation that you’ll see all the content and work out builds over 50+ hours of playing and replaying, and an IFComp game, where folks are usually expecting to get to the end in two hours or less. So in some ways the right approach for a post-Comp release might be to ignore the people (like me!) who’ve been saying it’s hard, and make sure it’s tuned for folks who’ll be more likely to be playing it without an externally-imposed deadline.

1 Like