Intro / What does it do?
Clothesline is an excellent Ironclad card in Slay the Spire. It can be used to easily deal with smaller enemies and can even take down bigger ones if it’s used correctly.
This article will explore how good Clothesline is in Slay the Spire, and whether it is a good card to include in your deck.
Before we continue, it is good to keep in mind that no build is perfect and you cannot get your desired build each run in Slay the Spire. Card mastery and familiarity will be the key ingredient as you Ascend.
Ironclad’s have a lot of high damaging cards in their Attack arsenal. As a 2-energy cost card that deals 12 damage and applies 2 Weak, it is a solid consistent pick for damage and debuffs considering its common rarity. Giving it an upgrade will buff it up to 14 damage and 3 Weak with the same cost.
The extra damage and duration for Weak give it good consideration for an upgrade along with its plug and play versatility to any build. However, because of the nature of its energy cost, it would be better to upgrade the core cards of your build first before using it on this card.
Whatever the build, grabbing this early is not a must, but a good pick nonetheless if you are in need for some stable damage.
How good is Clothesline?
Compared to other debuffs, Weak may be overlooked because of its damage reduction function. Being an Ironclad card, added damage dealing or amplifying will always be the better option. However, damage reduction and survivability will also have its value depending on your deck build.
Versus high damaging monsters and bosses, Weak can significantly reduce incoming damage by 25 percent. You may not feel the reduction with weaker damage, but when you get to a Gremlin Nob or The Guardian it really comes in handy.
Which cards does it work well with?
Ironclad Skill Double Tap (This turn, your next Attack is played twice.) will give it an extra punch with more damage and extra Weak durations, while Colorless Power Sadistic Nature (Whenever you apply a debuff to an enemy, they take 5 damage.) welcomes debuffs with extra damage inflicted whenever they are applied. While a more RNG pick, getting a Madness (Reduce the cost of a random card in your hand to 0 this combat. Exhaust.) on Clothesline can really turn things around when it is zero cost.
When not to pick Clothesline?
It will never be a bad pick for the earlier acts and it can even fit into most builds seamlessly, the only time it will make sense passing on it if you are offered something better aside from Clothesline.
Its overall energy cost is its main downfall as you climb. Even with +Energy relics and cards at your disposal, you would rather have a Demon Form (At the start of your turn, gain 2 Strength.) at 3-energy or an Immolate (Deal 21 damage to ALL enemies. Add a Burn into your discard pile.) at 2-energy in comparison to the value that Clothesline, a 2-cost card, brings in higher levels.
When you are already stacked with better offensive and defensive cards as you Ascend, it will be easy to overlook Clothesline.
When to Use Clothesline?
Clothesline will be the bane of single monsters, Elites, and Bosses. Not because of its high damage output, but of the damage reduction it can do to high values. It shines the most in those 1v1 situations.
In relation, it is a good card to have for a mix of Weak and Vulnerable debuffs available on your deck. It is not going to be the ace up your sleeve, but knowing when those vicious attacks are coming, sneaking a Weak before a strong damage dealer acts will be the thin line between life and death on certain floors.
Which relics does it work well with?
A Sneako Eye (Draw 2 additional cards each turn. Start each combat Confused) is a wild random pick that can either make or break Clothesline with a random card cost value once it is drawn.
While Pen Nib (Every 10th Attack you play deals double damage), and Necronomicon (The first Attack played each turn that costs 2 or more is played twice. When you take this relic, become Cursed) adds some welcome firepower with twice the damage.
Which relics does it work poorly with?
Aside from the obvious relics that need triggers (shop, rest, exhaust, etc), these are some of the worst relics to have with Clothesline:
- Kunai (Every time you play 3 Attacks in a single turn, gain 1 Dexterity)
Dexterity has its value, but Clotheline will not feel the difference.
- Runic Dome (Gain 1 Energy at the start of each turn. You can no longer see enemy Intents)
While the intent trade off for energy might be good at first glance, it takes away the value from applying Weak if you do not know when monsters attack.
- Nunchaku (Every time you play 10 Attacks, gain 1 Energy)
The energy gain from Nunchaku is more a flash in the pan utility than a combat value addition for Clothesline.
Conclusion: Is Clothesline a good card?
Clothesline is one of the better starter cards you can build your deck on. A card you can rely on from the beginning, as it slowly slides off in higher levels becoming a more complementary piece than a focal one.
Versatility is the key aspect that this card offers. Whether is a primary damage dealer or just an incoming damage reducer, the unconditional damage and debuff make it pretty reliable.
Although the high energy cost will always be an issue, it can surely carry you through the early stages, as it transitions into a more supplementary and utility role as you climb.
Despite better cards in the Ironclad’s armory, Clothesline should get consideration for a lock in one of your deck builds.