"Combat automaton which became self-aware. Ancient technology allows manipulation of Orbs."


The Defect is one of four playable characters in Slay the Spire. Once was among the like of Orb Walkers and Bronze Automaton as one of many ancient automatons, it has since gained sentience and seeks its way out of the Spire. It attacks foes with a high-tech arsenal, array of Powers, and elemental evocations. The Defect has a unique mechanic, the Orbs. Using cards and Relics, The Defect Channels these elemental spheres into a set of Orb slots, activating their passive effects each turn or Evoking them for a one-time burst. The Defect starts with three Orb slots, though cards and relics can add or consume them. It starts with 75 hp.

The Defect's starting Relic is CrackedCore Cracked Core, which Channels 1 Lightning at the start of each combat.

It was added to the beta build in Weekly Patch 22: Testing the Third Character during the early access. It is released to the public, along with the game and other two characters on January 23rd, 2019.


Starting DeckEdit

BlueEnergy Defect Cards BlueEnergy

Orbs Edit

The Defect begins with three Orb slots and considers the rightmost Orb to be the 'next' Orb to Evoke. Channeling an Orb inserts it into the rightmost empty slot. If every slot is full, each Orb will be shifted one slot to the right, popping the right-most Orb out of its slot and Evoking it. If The Defect loses every Orb slot, it can't channel Orbs at all!

Lightning, Frost and Dark orbs have a passive effect that activates at the end of the Defect's turn, right to left, or oldest to newest. The passive effect of Plasma activates at the start of the Defect's turn. While these effects are initially weak, The Defect can increase Focus and channel additional copies to sharply increase their potency.

Evoking Edit

Evoking an Orb shatters it and unleashes a high-powered effect. Unlike the passive effects that activate at a preset time, Evoking an Orb activates instantly. Orbs can be Evoked by Channeling too many Orbs or by cards that specify Evoking them. After Evoking an Orb, each orb to its left shifts to fill its slot.

Focus Edit

Main article: Focus

Focus is a stat unique to The Defect that affects Orbs the same way Strength affects Attacks and Dexterity affects Block. Increasing Focus increases the magnitude of both the passive and Evoke effects of each Orb, and decreasing Focus reduces them. It is possible to reduce an Orb's effect to 0 by decreasing Focus - the Orb will still activate, but will have no effect. Plasma is not affected by Focus.

Orb Types Edit

Main article: Orb Types

The Defect can currently Channel four types of Orbs - Lightning, Frost, Dark, and Plasma. The X in each description refers to The Defect's Focus.

Strategy Edit

The Defect's game plan almost always involves implementing a long-term plan each battle. By developing Orbs, Powers, and cards with escalating effects, The Defect sets up an insurmountable late-game position and then destroys its enemies. This is a radically different style from The Silent and The Ironclad, which tend to apply bursts of damage to take enemies out opportunistically.

As a consequence, The Defect struggles to win with a deck full of "good stuff". While it does have access to some individually strong cards, they don't present the sheer power that The Ironclad and The Silent enjoy.

  • The Defect also has some chance-based RNG effects, like Lightning Orbs and Creative AI
    . These can salvage a weak deck by generating stronger cards, but clog up synergistic builds.

The class' strongly synergistic cards encourage some powerful and well-supported archetypes. Identifying and focusing on one is a key aspect of Defect strategy.


Zero CostEdit

The Defect has a high number of strong 0-cost cards, as well as unique supporting cards like Scrape
and All for One
and efficient card-draw Skills. Drown an enemy under FTLs
, Streamlines
, and Beam Cells
. It's sort of like The Silent's Shiv
builds, but way more back-loaded and visually impressive.

Damage comes from 0-cost cards that do damage:

The Deck then also needs a lot of recycle/card-draw effects to get as many of the 0-cost cards in play per turn. The Defect has a lot of great support cards for this type of deck:

  • All for One
    - the best one for this deck as it allows you to re-play all of your 0-cost cards you've played in your deck up until that point
  • Rebound
    - allows you to double-play cards like Streamline
    and Claw
    to more quickly ramp up their effects.
  • Hologram
    - replay a 0-cost card you recently played
  • Scrape
    - good card draw that let's you immediately play any 0-cost cards it finds.
  • White Noise
    + - when upgraded it becomes a free power.
  • Reboot
    - very good if you already have the core engine of your deck in place.
  • Seek
    - great for finding Claw
    , or even better, All for One

There are also some extremely useful neutral cards that either help get 0-cost cards, or are 0-cost cards themselves (or both):

  • Madness
    - can be difficult to get, but if you are able to acquire it, it will greatly speed up your deck by turning your strongest cards into 0-cost cards
    • 2 Madness
      + with All for One
      and Hologram
      + is an infinite. Use both madness to reduce All for One
      and Hologram
      + to 0-cost, and use each one to put the other back into your hand.
    • Seek
      + makes this easier to pull off. Double Seek+ is even easier, as it allows for 3 of the 4 cards to be put into your hand immediately.
    • BottledLightning Bottled Lightning also makes this easier to pull off
  • Swift Strike
  • Secret Technique
    +/Secret Weapon
    + - both of these when upgraded will allow you to get your key cards faster
  • Panache
    - as you will almost certainly be playing more than 5 cards every turn, this will be a guaranteed 10 damage to all enemies every turn
  • Thinking Ahead
    - upgrade this ASAP so that you can re-use it
  • Violence
  • Metamorphosis
  • Purity
    - can get rid of strikes/defends in-combat, which, depending on the state of your deck, may allow you to go infinite
  • J.A.X.
    - a rare card as it only comes from the Augmenter event, but any source of strength is a huge benefit for a deck that aims to play many 0-cost attacks every turn. As an added bonus, the card itself costs 0 and so, if you have the health for it, can quickly ramp up your damage to high levels in this deck.

Key relics that will help the deck:

  • Kunai Kunai / Shuriken Shuriken - Both of these are mandatory if you have already established the deck
  • FrozenEgg2 Frozen Egg / ToxicEgg2 Toxic Egg / MoltenEgg2 Molten Egg - if you are able to get these early on, look to buy some of the strong neutral cards that don't exhaust when upgraded
  • OrnamentalFan Ornamental Fan
  • GamblingChip Gambling Chip - can help speed up the deck
  • IceCream Ice Cream - getting this will allow you to stack energy to play your high-cost cards, such as Sunder
    or Meteor Strike
    ,or allow you to save up for a huge finisher, such as Tempest
    or Multi-Cast
  • PrayerWheel Prayer Wheel / QuestionCard Question Card - Either of these can help you get the right cards for the deck if you acquire them early on
  • UnceasingTop Unceasing Top - hugely beneficial relic for this deck, can allow you to go infinite
  • DollysMirror Dolly's Mirror - can duplicate your key cards such as Claw
    or All for One
  • MedicalKit Medical Kit - one of the biggest weaknesses for the deck are status cards, and this relic can get rid of them
  • PrismaticShard Prismatic Shard - very risky if you haven't already stabilized the deck, but if you have, this can give access to some amazing 0-cost cards from other classes
  • TheAbacus The Abacus - as you will be cycling through your deck much faster compared to other archetypes, this can give some much needed block every turn.
  • Vajra Vajra - strength is great as you will be playing many 0-cost attacks every turn.

Lastly, card-removal is disproportionately good in a 0-cost deck, and if you are able to remove all of your strikes/defends, you have the high possibility of "going infinite", which means you are able to continually play your entire deck until the combat is over.

  • Merchant's card removal can get rid of some cards. The SmilingMask Smiling Mask can help with this as well.
  • PeacePipe Peace Pipe is amazing here as it will let you remove an additional card at every rest.
  • There are many events that remove cards for you

Lightning DoTEdit

The Lightning Orb damage-over-time build tries to channel many Lightning Orbs, boost Focus, and hold the fort with block-granting skills, while the Lightning Orbs' passive wears down the opponents.

Lightning EvokeEdit

This build tries to Evoke as many Lightning Orbs as possible, beating enemies down eight damage at a time. Unlike other Orb builds, smaller is better - one Orb slot is optimal to facilitate Evoking.

  • Electrodynamics
    greatly helps you when encountering multiple enemies. It also Channel multiple Lightning Orbs in a single use. It becomes specially powerful with BottledTornado Bottled Tornado
  • Zap
    + Channels a Lightning Orb for free.
  • Ball Lightning
    is an attack that Channels a Lightning Orb. With fewer orb Slot and multiple copies of this card, it can rapidly Evokes multiple Lightning orb for a large amount of damage.
  • Thunder Strike
    , Tempest
    , and Bullseye
    are this deck's premier finishers, dumping huge volumes of damage onto the enemy.
  • Static Discharge
    can also be effective against enemy with multiple hits.
  • Use Consume
    to reduce the number of Orb slot and boost Focus.

Frost TurtleEdit

The Frost deck Channels as many of the eponymous Orbs as possible to into an unbreakable wall of free Block. Once the shields are up, The Defect can devote every Energy to damage.

  • This archetype is supported by Blizzard
    and Glacier
    , and relies heavily on Focus and Orb slot buffs.
    • Barrage
      excels in this slot-oriented deck.
  • Capacitor
    generates Orb slots. 2 copies should suffice, but you can take more if you want.
  • Take as many Defragment
    as possible, and upgrade as many of it as you can. Focus is even more crucial for this deck as 1 Focus means 1 additional Block per channeled Frost orb.
  • RunicCapacitor Runic Capacitor grants 3 additional Orb slots.
  • If you have the FrozenCore Frozen Core relic, it would fill your orb slots with Frost orbs. This would help you quicken the weak early game.
  • Inserter Inserter rapidly generates Orb slots for free.
    • If you have Inserter Inserter, consider taking Consume
      to help boost Focus, as it can be repeatedly used and generate a rather large Focus per use. Once you have an adequate Focus, you can forego using it or Recycle
      it away.


The Defect can make the most of the tricky Dark Orb by defending for a few turns while it charges, then using Multi-Cast
, Dualcast
, or Recursion
to Evoke it multiple times. This archetype isn't as well-supported as the others, but the satisfaction of Evoking a 54-damage Dark Orb three times (or more!) makes it worthwhile. Keep in mind that the Dark orb will target the lowest health enemy.
  • This deck works well with Frost Turtle, as Frost Orbs help generate Block and allow you to stall the fight until you are ready to Evoke a Dark Orb.

Energy GreedEdit

The Defect has better access to Energy sources than other classes, and there's no better way to leverage them than a Meteor Strike
, Aggregate
, and stockpile with Charge Battery
. Dump your Energy into expensive bombs like Meteor Strike
, Sunder
and Tempest
, draw cards with Skim
and fling them at enemies, or make a good old-fashioned UnceasingTop Unceasing Top wombo-combo. When you have 7 Energy, anything is possible.

Powers MatterEdit

The Ironclad likes Attacks, The Silent loves Skills, and The Defect completes the cycle with its affinity for Powers. Grab some Force Fields
, drop an Amplify
or Echo Form
, stack up some powerful effects, and bury the opposition under your cumulative advantage. The BirdFacedUrn Bird-Faced Urn is the perfect Relic to recover HP lost while setting up.
  • Creative AI
    is probably the best card for this deck. It scales amazing with itself and with all of the other power-synergy cards that The Defect can get.
  • Amplify
    - doubling any of your powers can be a huge spike depending on what the power is. Good targets for Amplify are cards like Defragment
    and Capacitor
  • Refine the deck by using Powers to fill the roles of Attacks and Skills. Consider Static Discharge
    and Storm
    your damage-dealers, Buffer
    and Self Repair
    your Blockers. The Powers deck's win condition depends on the particular Powers you acquire. Most builds will stack up Orbs, but some use Attacks and others simply lean on Creative AI
    and let the Powers do the work. The MummifiedHand Mummified Hand can become really useful with a power deck.


randomly Channels an orb for one cost, including Plasma, normally a two cost. Upgrade Chaos
and pair it with Defragment
and draw cards and hope to Evoke enough Plasma and Frost orbs to survive the next round.


This aggressive archetype deploys efficient cards with debilitating drawbacks, and attempts to end the battle before the consequences arrive. TURBO
and Steam Barrier
provide cheap resources, and Hyperbeam
or Biased Cognition
bring big damage, and each incurs a significant long-term cost. If The Defect can slam the door before the Statuses overwhelm it, the player enjoys a quick, decisive victory that doesn't give enemies much time to deal damage.


This deck centres around the three major cards: Barrage
, Capacitor
, and Defragment
. If you want to get more value off of your orbs. The point of this deck is to acquire as many orbs as possible using cards such as Glacier
and Chaos
and then unloading a ton of damage using Barrage

Snecko EyeEdit

  • The defect has several extremely powerful but expensive cards like Fusion
    , Echo Form
    , Sunder
    and Meteor Strike
    . By taking SneckoEye Snecko Eye early enough, you can focus on these cards for absurdly high-value turns. Many of these effects will generate more energy than they spend.
  • All for One
    and Hologram
    can fetch cards which had their cost set to 0 the last time you saw them, even if they would normally be quite expensive.
  • Most of the Defect's 0-cost cards are dead weight in this archetype, so it is important to home in on it as early as possible. If you don't get Snecko Eye from Neow or the first boss, pick a different strategy.

10 Card Infinite Edit

  • Getting the deck down to 10 cards allows for setting up 4 card infinite cycles with Skim and negative cost cards
  • Fusion, Meteor Strike, Turbo (with Recycle), Recursion, Dual Cast can combine in various ways to get negative cost
  • Hologram or a second Skim can be used to restart the cycle
  • Example set: Skim+, Hologram+, Fusion+, Dual Cast+. Skim draws Hologram, Fusion and Dual Cast, Fusion and Dual Cast make 4 energy, Hologram retrieves Skim. Nets 1 energy and 5 block, can substitute any attacks in for Fusion and Dual Cast after energy is built up.
  • 2 Cool Headed+ and Fusion+ can make infinite block, and channel an arbitrary number of Frost orbs for Blizzard
  • It is important to only take cards that are either Powers, Exhaust, or are directly part of the combo while building the deck, since the goal is to get the total number of cards down under 10. Recycle can handle junk put in the deck and help thin it out if its not quite down to 10 cards.
  • Boot Sequence is very helpful as a free method of preventing damage during the first turn while the infinite combo is being set up while exhausting itself out of the deck to help enable the combo.


The Defect itself is unlocked by completing a run with The Silent.

Unlock Number Prizes Unlocked
1st Rebound
, Equilibrium
, Echo Form
, Sunder
, Meteor Strike
3rd Hyperbeam
, Recycle
, Core Surge
4th Cables Gold-Plated Cables, Turnip Turnip, RunicCapacitor Runic Capacitor
5th DataDisk Data Disk, SymbioticVirus Symbiotic Virus, EmotionChip Emotion Chip


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