• The Ironclad's deck becomes more complex later in the game
  • The class is great for beginners and players who prefer warrior-type playstyles
  • The Ironclad is excellent in long fights

The Ironclad is the first out of the four playable classes available in “Slay the Spire.” Overall, he is a simple character to use in the beginning, but unlocking the rest of his cards unlocks tons of potential card decks involving the Exhaust mechanic and self-damage.

Though players might be tempted to gravitate toward the Silent or the Defect, the Ironclad offers a solid platform to learn the game’s ropes through a decent balance of offense, defense and utility. Here’s a quick overview of the Ironclad’s general playstyle to help new players slay the spire for the first time.

Ironclad tips and tricks

The Ironclad’s simplicity is his greatest strength. Unlike the other classes, he has access to hard-hitting physical attacks with low energy costs and no other strings attached. Cards like Heavy Blade, Twin Strike, Wild Strike and Bludgeon are all great for dealing upfront damage.

As for defense, Ironclad has some solid options that grant Block while also dealing damage. Impervious grants a large amount of Block for one turn while Entrench can double the Ironclad’s current Block count. Cards like Barricade, Ghostly Armor and Metallicize are great for withstanding enemy attacks as well.

The Ironclad has cards that can inflict damage on himself
The Ironclad has cards that can inflict damage on himself Slay the Spire

New players are advised to refrain from adding any of the Exhaust-oriented cards until they become more comfortable with the game’s mechanics. Exhaust completely renders cards unplayable until the end of combat, and while the Ironclad can be equipped with a deck that takes advantage of this, it may be too confusing to use for beginners.

Ironclad build archetypes

Here are a few sample builds that players can use while climbing the spire:

Strength-focus – Ironclad has access to a number of cards that can increase his raw damage output like Inflame and Demon Form. Use these to gain stacking Strength buffs along with cards like Bludgeon and Heavy Strike to deal massive damage.

Block-focus – Get Metallicize, Flame Barrier, Barricade and Ghostly Armor to serve as an impenetrable defense that can shrug off the biggest blows. Flame Barrier is especially useful against enemies with multi-hit attacks.

Masochist – Combust and Rupture can be combined to create a looping source of Strength. Pair this with other self-harm cards like Hemokinesis to gain even more Strength per turn.