Elites are stronger monster encounters that are marked separately from normal ones on the map. Defeating an elite will grant you a random relic, 25-35 gold, a card reward and add a score bonus. Depending on the strength of one's deck, fighting elites may not always be a good idea, but the relics they grant can be very powerful.
Playing in Ascension Mode will make elites more common, as the Ascension 1 modifier makes them more common. In addition, higher ascension levels will make elites stronger and tougher.
Relics that affect elite encounters:
- Black Star: Instead of dropping 1 random relic, defeated elites will instead drop 2 random relics.
- Sling of Courage: The player will start each elite combat with 2 Strength.
- Preserved Insect: All enemies found in elite rooms will start combat with 25% less HP.
- Slaver's Collar: During Boss and Elite combats, gain Energy at the start of your turn.
After unlocking Act 4, until the Emerald Key is obtained, one of the elites in each Act will appear as a burning elite icon. This 'super elite' will receive one of the following buffs, and it will drop the Emerald Key when defeated.