Slay the Spire Wiki
"The remaining soldier of the Ironclads. Sold his soul to harness demonic energies."


The Ironclad is one of four playable characters in Slay the Spire. He wields an arsenal of powerful strikes, boasts formidable defensive options, and draws fiendish strength from his demonic benefactors to empower himself in various ways. He starts with 80 hp, highest of the playable characters, and can manipulate Exhaust.

The Ironclad's starting Relic is BurningBlood.png Burning Blood, which heals 6 HP after combat.


Starting Deck[]

RedEnergy.png Ironclad Cards RedEnergy.png


Starting Relic: BurningBlood.png Burning Blood

Common Relic: RedSkull.png Red Skull

Uncommon Relics: PaperFrog.png Paper Phrog, SelfFormingClay.png Self-Forming Clay

Rare Relics: ChampionBelt.png Champion Belt, CharonsAshes.png Charon's Ashes, MagicFlower.png Magic Flower

Boss Relics: BlackBlood.png Black Blood (replaces BurningBlood.png Burning Blood), MarkofPain.png Mark of Pain, RunicCube.png Runic Cube

Shop Relic: Brimstone.png Brimstone


General Build Archetypes[]

These are the standard types of decks that may give you an idea of direction for your deck, or what you want to go for. Keep in mind that none of these builds are mutually exclusive. Many of them are more of a general strategy, which can be adapted or combined into multiple builds in a single deck.

  • This strategy focuses on building up Icon Block.png Block over multiple turns, potentially eliminating incoming damage. Icon PlatedArmor.png Plated Armor is an excellent fit in this build.
  • Essential cards include Body Slam, Entrench, and Barricade.
    • Barricade may be substituted by Calipers.png Calipers, provided that you have a consistent Icon Block.png Block per turn.
    • Keep in mind that Barricade costs 2 energy and won't instantly boost your damage/block, so playing it may weaken you on the turn played.
  • Body Slam and Juggernaut are excellent sources of damage, which is still important to win.
  • Though not an intuitive choice, Second Wind can can be used to thin out extraneous Icon Block.png Block cards once enough Icon Block.png Block is built up, letting the player more reliably draw attacks and rely on Entrench to maintain their Icon Block.png Block.
  • Icon Strength.png Strength reduction from Disarm, and Icon Weak.png Weak from Intimidate, Clothesline, and Uppercut can help reduce enemy's attack damage to maintain your Icon Block.png Block.
  • Upgrade Searing Blow every opportunity you can. Its damage increases more with each upgrade, reaching 100+ damage after ten upgrades.
  • Icon Vulnerable.png Vulnerable is extremely good in a Searing Blow deck, as when upgraded a lot the extra damage can easily reach 40-50+
  • The deck should be kept small to cycle back to Searing Blow as often as possible.
  • If you decide to go for a Searing Blow deck, you should always take the path that gives you the most campfires
  • Most must-upgrade cards become less valuable, as their upgrade is taking away from Searing Blow's power.
  • You generally only want to aim for a Searing Blow deck if you meet the following criteria:
    • You get it early in Act I (preferably before your first campfire)
    • You have a path that can take you through at least 3+ campfires in Act I
  • Card synergies:
    • Headbutt let you play it an extra time each deck cycle
    • Dual Wield gives you additional copies if you manage to get it in the same hand as Searing Blow.
      • If you get Dual Wield in a Searing Blow deck, you should prioritize cards that help you find the combo:
      • Secret Weapon+ is probably the best one in bringing Searing Blow to your hand.
      • Violence is also good if your deck is small and you don't have many Attacks remaining.
      • RunicPyramid.png Runic Pyramid will ensure that you get the combo at some point.
    • All exhaust cards can be very good at thinning your deck during combat.
    • Double Tap let your Searing Blow deal double damage
    • Armaments- can continually ramp up your Searing Blow damage during combat
  • Relic synergies:
    • WarpedTongs.png Warped Tongs will continually upgrade your Searing Blow over time during combat.
    • WingedGreaves.png Wing Boots allows you to take additional campfires that you normally won't be able to get to.
    • Necronomicon.png Necronomicon doubles the damage of Searing Blow every time you play it.
    • PenNib.png Pen Nib - double damage of Searing Blow but requires some planning to execute.
    • PaperFrog.png Paper Phrog has a minor synergy but at higher Searing Blow levels the increase of damage from this relic is significant.
    • DollysMirror.png Dolly's Mirror - if you get this after you have upgraded your Searing Blow a few times, it will effectively double the strength of the deck.
  • Corruption makes all Skills cost 0 in exchange for exhausting them upon use, but DeadBranch.png Dead Branch would generate a replacement for used skill. If DeadBranch.png Dead Branch generates another Skill, then you can use another Skill again for free.
    • Most of Ironclad Skills grant high Icon Block.png Block, allow you to easily tank damage once you use multiple of them. If possible, use Barricade beforehand to allow Icon Block.png Block you've gained not to be wasted between turns.
    • Some of Ironclad Skills grant Energy. Special notes goes to Seeing Red which normally cost 1 un-upgraded. With Corruption, it becomes a free 2 Energy generation. Spend Energy gained on other crucial cards on your hand, such as Power card or Attacks.
    • Fiend Fire can generate a lot of random cards with DeadBranch.png Dead Branch, which gives more chance to generate random 0-cost Skills cards
  • Unlike the normal exhaustion and defense strategies above (which focus on building up power over time), your goal here is to try and make your deck almost entirely out of skills, get out Corruption and Dark Embrace together, then burn through your entire deck in one turn to raise your defense, with doubling effects from Entrench played last, finally followed by one or more Body Slams to kill the enemy in one hit.
  • The essential cards are Corruption, Dark Embrace, Entrench, and Body Slam, plus cards like Impervious,Shrug It Off, and Sentinel to build defense before you double it with Entrench. Provided you keep your deck overwhelmingly tilted towards skills and fill it with lots of card draw, you should only need to draw Corruption and Dark Embrace before you start comboing off; the rest of the combo will be found as you draw your deck. Multiple copies of Entrench or Body Slam (or things that duplicate them) are still extremely valuable; you also want to upgrade Corruption, Dark Embrace, and Body Slam to reduce the cost of the combo so you can deploy it faster.
  • It's also important to have cards that let you dig for your combo, such as Shrug It Off, Burning Pact, and Offering. Beyond just letting you dig for your combo, these let you draw past attack cards when comboing off.
  • Hitting your hand maximum is a serious problem, especially if you obtain multiple copies of Dark Embrace or large numbers of card-drawing skill cards.Bloodletting can help you play other cards to get them out of your hand and can provide the energy you need to play Corruption and Dark Embrace as soon as possible. Burning Pact allows you to get unwanted cards out of your hands while drawing a large amount. Once the combo is deployed, Sentinel will both provide additional Icon Block.png Block and a large amount of free energy to play out the rest of your hand. True Grit can be used to avoid cards getting clogged in your hand, but it's extremely important to upgrade it to avoid the risk of having it hit your combo pieces. Offering both draws you cards and gives you energy to play your non-skills.
  • Double Tap and Dual Wield can amplify the final blow by doubling your Body Slam, while Secret Weapon can dig for your Body Slam. Do not upgrade your Secret Weapon, since you want it to be exhausted so Dark Embrace will let you draw a card off it.
  • Powers that provide persistent benefits to your defense or exhaustion intended to help you over multiple turns or which give you minor benefits for exhausts and Icon Block.png blocks are somewhat less useful to you, since your goal is to combo off in a single turn for overwhelming damage rather than slowly accumulating benefits; but they're still worth collecting, since they give you a backup strategy in case you can't get all your combo pieces or something else goes wrong.Barricade is particularly useful because it allows you to, if necessary, split your combo over multiple turns, or to accumulate Icon Block.png Block slowly before you finally get everything you need to go off.
  • An alternative but similar strategy is to use Juggernaut, Corruption, and Feel No Pain. Each defensive skill played is worth an additional 10-14 damage.Iron Waves are good fallbacks.
  • Removals should focus on getting rid of your Strikes rather than your Defends; while your Defends aren't as good as your other Icon Block.png Block cards, they can still be cycled through for free once you have Corruption and Dark Embrace out.
Status + Evolve Deck
  • Uses powerful cards with drawbacks that inflict Status cards, such as Wild Strike, Power Through, Reckless Charge and Immolate, with Evolve to negate the loss of draws.
  • Exhaust cards like True Grit, Sever Soul, Second Wind, and Fiend Fire can keep you from becoming overwhelmed in long term fights. Shrug It Off can give Icon Block.png Block even with Dazed from Reckless Charge.
    • True Grit and Evolve are your high-priority targets for upgrades, as True Grit+ lets you decide which card to Exhaust, and Evolve+ increases your draws instead of replacing them, greatly speeding up your deck.
  • MarkofPain.png Mark of Pain effectively loses its downside.
  • With an upgraded Evolve, a 9 card Fiend Fire happens easily.
  • Top it off with Fire Breathing for a nice passive AoE damage. A normal draw full of Status can easily turns into 30-50 damage to ALL enemies. With multiple copies this can easily be your main source of damage.
    • Only run multiple copies of Fire Breathing if you're quickly and consistently getting out Evolve, or you'll only slow your deck down.
  • This build mitigates the power of most Status inflicting enemies, and synergizes well with many other deck types.
  • MedicalKit.png Medical Kit greatly improves your ability to manage your Status cards, improving your performance in long-term fights. It also negates the self-damage from Immolate.
  • Card draw like Battle Trance and Pommel Strike+ is important for digging through your deck and getting Evolve set up as soon as possible.
Masochist Deck
  • Utilizes Rupture and cards that deal damage to you, aiming to finish fights quickly.
    • Each use of Rupture increases Icon Strength.png Strength gained per trigger. You may stack it 2 or 3 times to quicken your Icon Strength.png Strength growth.
    • After applying Rupture, use Brutality or Combust. Their health cost per turn means you would gain 1 Icon Strength.png Strength every turn.
      • Unless you want additional card draw or AoE damage, you would not need more than 1 copy of these two, as stacking them increases health loss but not Rupture's Icon Strength.png Strength gain.
    • Icon Strength.png Strength gain from Rupture is consistent if built for, but it can be slow. Limit Break+ can help multiplying your Icon Strength.png Strength to finish fights before you lose too much health.
  • Hemokinesis, Offering, and Bloodletting are the other cards that self harm.
  • TheBlueCandle.png Blue Candle allows you to hurt yourself by exhausting curse cards.
  • Reaper benefits from the Icon Strength.png Strength gain and provides some much needed healing.
  • J.A.X. is a chance encounter, but grants you both health loss to trigger Rupture while also grants you Icon Strength.png Strength on its own.
  • Any cards that benefit from gain are good here.
  • Draw to get your combo together is very helpful. Make sure to get some Icon Block.png defense to keep outside damage taken low.
  • Blood for Blood does significant damage and will quickly become cheap or free with Brutality or Combust. Having a solid 0-cost attack lets you take advantage of the extra cards drawn from Brutality, and can tide you over if you don't find Rupture early on (or draw it early in the fight).
Dropkick Infinite Deck
  • Get Dropkick and remove as many other cards as possible. Once you have 2 Dropkicks or 1 Dropkick + Dual Wield, you can play Bash + lnfinite Dropkick. Upgraded Offering is very useful in this build because it can draw 5 cards, which means that you can infinite kicks with a 10 card deck.
  • This is an easy to assemble but strong build. It can be done with restarting short games to get Dropkick early.
  • If you manage to get SneckoEye.png Snecko Eye during first Boss fight, you can go for cards with high energy costs as main damage dealer: Bludgeon, Carnage and Immolate are the best, while Sever Soul and Fiend Fire can help with clutter.
  • Dual Wield is what makes this build shine: getting two zero cost Bludgeons is usually enough to finish a fight.
  • Defensively it's possible to focus exclusively on Flame Barrier.
  • Going for Perfected Strike build is a sound strategy prior to getting SneckoEye.png Snecko Eye, since Boss rewards are rather random.
Rampage Deck
  • Keep the deck small with cards to support your Rampage, preferably upgraded one, and use it repeatedly.
  • A balance between draw power like Battle Trance, Warcry, etc. and defense is good as Rampage can scale up quickly as main damage source with appropriate support cards, Shrug It Off is a great card as it provide both.
  • Best support card for Rampage is Double Tap, which ram up the power twice, and Headbutt can allow you to search for Rampage to be used more frequently.
  • If possible, Icon Vulnerable.png Vulnerable relics and cards can be devastated for enemy if combine with well scaled Rampage.
  • Avoid cards that give Status like Wild Strike, Reckless Charge, or Immolate. It can make Rampage become inaccessible or less likely to be drawn later in fight, which defeat the purpose of the card
  • Do not use Havoc unless you have FrozenEye.png Frozen Eye.
  • Unlike Claw deck, only 1 Rampage should be taken.


Unlock Number Prizes Unlocked
1st Heavy Blade, Spot Weakness, Limit Break
2nd Omamori.png Omamori, PrayerWheel.png Prayer Wheel, Shovel.png Shovel
3rd Wild Strike, Evolve, Immolate
4th Havoc, Sentinel, Exhume
5th BlueCandle.png Blue Candle, DeadBranch.png Dead Branch, SingingBowl.png Singing Bowl