The Watcher's starting Relic is Pure Water, which adds a Miracle to your hand at the start of each combat.
The Watcher is one of four playable characters in Slay the Spire. She is a monk that utilizes the effects of her different stances to her advantage, boasts an arsenal oriented around deck control via scrying and/or retaining, and possesses the unique strategy of cards generation. She starts with 72 HP.
The Retain Deck
- This build is primarily defensive, and wants to utilize Establishment to lower the cost of your cards and build up to one incredibly powerful turn once costs are reduced and cards are powered up. This deck is going to be lower on attacks and heavy on skills.
- Establishment - This is your best card. If you find it early, grab it and upgrade it the first chance you can get. Upgrading gives it Innate, meaning you will always draw it and only need one.
- Windmill Strike - Your best attack card. This can sit in your hand and have its cost reduced thanks to Establishment, followed by a Stance change to Wrath, likely killing your target.
- Sands of Time - Your other attack card. With Establishment, it will be free in two turns.
- Meditate - This card combos with Establishment as well, since the two cards will be reduced as soon you pick them up. This will reduce the cost of any card you pick up, even if they don't have Retain. As well, going into Calm can help end a big turn.
- Crescendo/Tranquility - It is preferable to have at least one of each in your deck. No need to upgrade them if you have Establishment, since they will cost 0 one turn later.
- Spirit Shield - It's rare, but the best defensive card for this build, especially because you will have many cards in your hand. Upgrade this if you can, though it is optional to do so.
- Scrawl - This allows you to fill up your hand, picking up several Retain cards.
- Cut Through Fate - This is a good card regardless of your build. It is preferable to have one to help smooth out card draws.
- Perseverance/Protect/Flying Sleeves - Your most simple cards. You'll likely want at least one of each defensive card, hopefully two Protects if you can find them.
- Of note, a couple of Scry cards can be useful. This helps filter out curses, and Third Eye can still be useful even if it isn't a Retain card. Just Lucky alone isn't enough for this purpose.
The Ragnarok Deck
- A Ragnarok deck focuses on keeping a thin deck with a way to defend yourself until you get the perfect turn to unleash a buffed attack hopefully killing anything in your way. It helps to get the card fairly early, but a lot of Wrath-based decks can include it efficiently.
- Ragnarok - The namesake of this deck, this card scales extremely well with the Wrath stance as well as several other cards. Upgrading it is a must.
- Wreath of Flame - On an unupgraded Ragnarok, a single Wreath of Flame will add an additional 25 damage to the attack. Stacking this card is very important for the burst attack.
- Deus Ex Machina - Saving the Miracles given by this card will allow you to buff your Ragnarok even more by allowing you to play more Wreath of Flame.
- Third Eye - Gives you survivability while also allowing you to prune your draws just the way you like them.
- Scrawl - Upgraded, this card lets you fill up your hand with potentially more Wreath of Flames without losing any Energy.
- Fasting - Gives your Ragnarok more damage, however sacrifices some energy. Good if you get an early energy relic and can reliably draw Deus Ex Machina.
The Flurry Stance Deck
- The Flurry Stance deck relies on Flurry of Blows to add value to changing Stance, and Mental Fortress to keep yourself alive. It can be advantageous to not keep the deck ultra-thin to maximize the number of turns before your deck cycles.
- Flurry of Blows - the key to this deck, and you want as many as possible. Your goal is to play as many as you can, and switch stances 2+ times in a turn to play all of them repeatedly. This pairs well with Fasting for extra damage, and Talk to the Hand for stacking up block. Make sure to play all of them before changing stances, not holding onto them for Wrath. Upgrading them helps although it's less valuable than upgrading the supporting cards.
- Mental Fortress - if you upgrade these and/or obtain multiple, you can easily not have to worry about allowing enemies to attack you while in Wrath. This is your first priority when upgrading.
- Talk to the Hand - you will be attacking in numerous small hits, and this allows borderline immortality when you get that ball rolling. Pairs well with Tantrum, which hits multiple times as well as changing your stance. Secondary upgrade priority.
- Crescendo/Tranquility - In order for this deck to work, you need as many ways of changing stances as possible. These cards are valuable due to their Retain and, when upgraded, changing stance for free. Gather as many cards as you can that allow you to change stance, particularly on the cheap end. If you can switch in and out of Calm for a cost of 2 or less, it's essentially free, meanwhile allowing you to play every Flurry of Blows you have twice, half of them in Wrath. Meditate can also be worthwhile due to the cheap cost and ability to return a Wrath card to your hand. You do not however get to utilise the Flurry of Blows from Meditate.
- Eruption/Vigilance - Do not remove these starting cards! They are great within this deck, especially when Eruption is upgraded to 1 cost.
- Empty Mind/Empty Fist/Empty Body - allows you to change out of your stance, which counts as a stance change for Flurry of Blows and Mental Fortress.
- Rushdown - can aid with card draw if you enter Wrath frequently.
The Mantra Deck
- Focuses on gaining Mantra and entering Divinity frequently without risking using Blasphemy.
- Devotion - One of the key cards of the deck, Devotion stacks incredibly well with itself and other supporting cards. 3 of them upgraded will consistently allow you to enter Divinity every turn with ease. Should likely be the first thing to upgrade.
- Brilliance - The damage values skyrocket with this card. Entering Divinity for the first time requires a minimum of 10 Mantra, giving it 20 damage, which Divinity triples for 60. The sky is the limit.
- Prostrate - A free 2 Mantra goes a long way when you have multiple of this card, or others that support it. A valuable addition to any Mantra deck.
- Pray/Worship - While alone fairly poor, do not pass up these cards if you have the workings of a Mantra deck. The card draw from Pray is useful when you enter Divinity and resources cease becoming a problem. Welcome cards that aid in draw such as Cut Through Fate, Study, and Scrawl.
- Damaru - If you're lucky enough to find it, this relic assists Devotion greatly.
The Scry Deck
- Scry enables you to refine what you draw, and cards such as Weave and Nirvana can turn Scrying into a powerful action. Similar in play-style to the Flurry Stance deck, doesn't need to be kept thin at all due to the Scrying, which can go through large decks quickly.
- Weave - Similar to Flurry of Blows, you will want as many of these as possible, as you can return them all to your hand multiple times per turn. When Scrying, these can be discarded to draw your powerful cards more quickly, since they can easily be retrieved from the discard pile.
- Nirvana - Rewards you with Block upon scrying. Serves a similar function to Mental Fortress but for a Scry deck; if you have many of them, you can chain up large amounts of block effortlessly. Upgrade priority.
- Foresight - The best card to have at least 1 of for this deck. Every turn you trigger Nirvana and get to play every Weave again. Upgrading it/obtaining additional copies won't trigger this more than once, however it will allow you to fine tune your draw more carefully, and throw more Weaves into the discard pile.
- Cut Through Fate - A distinctly powerful card that not only grants you a Scry, but draws a card. The card draw is valuable for getting those Scry-curated cards from the top of your deck into your hand.
- Just Lucky - Brilliant utility card for this deck, since the scry amount matters far less than the act of scrying itself. Returning every Weave to your hand for free is the primary use of this coin.
- Third Eye - Solid card with a scry effect. In case it isn't obvious, you want as many cards that scry as possible.
- Talk to the Hand - Just as with the Flurry Stance deck, attacking with numerous small attacks makes this card a fantastic addition to the deck, and can even enable you to safely remain in Wrath if you so desire.
The Pressure Points Deck
- Relying on Pressure Points and not much else, the strategy is to limit your deck size to be as small as possible, while having as many Pressure Points as possible. Potent against single enemies but falters against groups.
- Pressure Points - the focal point of the deck, get as many as possible and upgrade where possible.
- Inner Peace/Like Water - Due to Pressure Points not gaining a buff from being in Wrath, there's not much motivation to exit Calm. Cards such as Inner Peace and Like Water can help capitalize on remaining Calm. Inner Peace helps you draw more Pressure Points and cycle your deck faster.
- Deus Ex Machina - Due to Pressure Points costing 1, resources will continuously be your limiting factor. Anything that allows you to gain extra resources is a blessing. Exiting Calm may also be used to gain resources in a pinch, although beware of doubling enemy attack damage.
The Creation Deck
- The Watcher has more cards that create other cards than any other character. This strategy aims to make the most of flooding your hand with powerful, mostly one-use cards.
- Master Reality - The cornerstone of this deck, Master Reality makes every created card much more useful. Once upgraded, it costs zero energy to use.
- Battle Hymn / Study - Aggro powers that create useful cards every turn that crucially retain, enabling you to keep them until the perfect moment.
- Deceive Reality / Evaluate - Defensive skills that create useful, self-retaining cards.
- Spirit Shield - Insight and retain cards can quickly and reliably max out your hand, greatly augmenting the potential of this block.
- Conjure Blade - This is a potential game winner, if connected to enough energy. This entire deck can be focused down to defending until you can produce a powerful enough Expunger, and then wiping the floor with that.
- Deus Ex Machina / Vault / Blasphemy - Aside from Deva Form and various relics, these cards are your best bets for generating the energy necessary to make the most of this deck.
- Establishment - Since most created cards retain, this card give you much more value from them.
The Combo Deck
- The Watcher has a lot of cards that rely on the card before it, or the stance you are in, for extra effects. This can effectively create a "combo", in which, if played well, can lead to a card fulfilling the requirements of the next.
- Crush Joints - This card is particularly useful as the start of a long string of combos, as it requires a Skill first to activate its secondary effect of adding vulnerability. Not only that, but it is also useful as a start of a combo because of the vulnerability that affects the enemy.
- Follow-Up - This is effectively a 0 cost card for a reasonable amount of damage. Although it is only 1 damage than a simple "strike", it can still be used as a filler card between combo cards. Upgrade it would be very useful.
- Sash Whip - The weakness inflicted by this card is not going to be useful if the enemy is not intending to attack, which it probably shouldn't be if you are stringing up for an attack combo. Which is why upgrading this is very important so that the weakness can carry on to the second turn.
The Watcher is unlocked by completing a run with any character (defeating Act 3 boss) while having the Defect unlocked.
|Unlock Number||Prizes Unlocked|
|1st||Prostrate, Blasphemy, Devotion|
|2nd||Foreign Influence, Alpha, Mental Fortress|
|3rd||Spirit Shield, Wish, Foresight|
|4th||Akabeko, Duality, Ceramic Fish|
|5th||Strike Dummy, Teardrop Locket, Cloak Clasp|