I've advanced relatively far in Desktop Dungeons, unlocking all Expert classes and the Transmuter class. I've already cleared the Library and Snake Pit with an Elf Wizard, but my strategy is failing in the Crypt.

Basically what I do is find BURNDAYRAS, consume other glyphs for boosted mana, then destroy everything with 6 consecutive fireball casts. Unfortunately this strategy fails miserably in the Crypt because all monsters there have extremely high health values. I usually get far by seeking out wraiths (who have little health and die quickly to BURNDAYRAS) but then I die horribly to Frank the Zombie and other zombies.

I realize I might be losing because there are deeper strategies I don't know about. I understand mid-battle leveling but I find it difficult to do. The most complex thing I do is kill monsters at least 3 levels higher than me if I can for the bonus experience. Between those two strategies I don't see a way to win with the Wizard.

Instead of having advanced strategies explained to me, I'd like to know if I can beat the Crypt using my experience as-is. I'm looking for race/class choice that fits the following:

  1. Capable on consistently winning using only bonus experience and some mid-battle leveling
  2. Not entirely dependent on the dungeon's contents (for example, Wizard gets smoked without BURNDAYRAS near spawn)
  3. Is any of the Basic, Advanced, or Expert classes.
  • 2
    To be more clear on what I mean by consistent, this strategy isn't what I'm looking for. It relies having Mystera Annur and APHEELSIK, which I've never seen together in the Crypt. Sorry @bwarner :P
    – Sadly Not
    Apr 26, 2011 at 15:05
  • Actually APHEELSIK is worthless in the Crypt. That question is about how to win with an assassin who normally relies on APHEELSIK.
    – bwarner
    Apr 26, 2011 at 15:52
  • @bwarner - Whoops I misread your answer. Thanks for clearing that up, I was a little confused :)
    – Sadly Not
    Apr 26, 2011 at 17:06
  • I wasn't sure whose answer to accept, but both of you have provided great tips. I used a Human Paladin and managing to beat both bosses with little trouble. Thanks guys :)
    – Sadly Not
    Apr 29, 2011 at 15:39

2 Answers 2


The great thing about Desktop Dungeons is that no single strategy works in all cases. I agree that the strategy you are trying is probably not going to work for the crypt. If you're just looking to beat it with any class, try a Paladin. Since he has a significant bonus against undead, you should easily trounce the level.

As far as beating it with a wizard, it sounds to me like you are relying too much on magic. Wizards are quite powerful in melee combat as well. You should be using BURNDARAYS to soften up monsters so you can finish them with melee attacks when possible.

Wraiths have very low health. Obviously you have to watch out for their mana burn. Look for high level ones that you can soften up with your spells, then finish with a melee attack to level up.

Vampires have fairly low base health. They can get high from the life drain, but you can fight them to remove that and then go heal and come back to finish them off (since they can't life drain again or heal above their base value).

Zombies are tough for a wizard, ignore them until you're higher level so that you get the free first strike.

  • Very good points, especially about the wizard. It's very interesting how many wizard strategies actually work very well as just a physical attacker. It's one of the things I always liked about DD.
    – Grace Note
    Apr 26, 2011 at 15:55
  • Oh so I should damage vampires that life drain because they won't overheal again? Good stuff to know. Vampires were actually a big problem for their high health.
    – Sadly Not
    Apr 26, 2011 at 17:08

I will point out this less specific Frank the Zombie post for some general thoughts on him specifically.

If you would like a strategy not for any particular class but just clearing the Crypt, start with a Paladin or Cleric. Human works amazingly with them both, but you can also opt for the likes of Halflings or Dwarves as a Cleric.

Paladins heal when they strike down Undead foes, while Clerics deal double damage with their attacks against Undead. Their other abilities (physical resistance and HALPMEH compared to full heal potions) complement a very basic strategy of beat up everything in sight. Getting a Fine Sword is nice but the main thing really boils down a lot to getting high attack power. Both of these can get by without needing a whole lot of divine intervention or item luck. I usually end up just converting every glyph.

It's a very basic, hit-first strategy of just beating your way through everything. Very unsophisticated, but it'll get the job done. It'll be a good way to try and understand the complexities of handling the bosses with the more difficult classes.

For the Paladin specifically, you really want to maximize on the number of remaining foes, even if they're at low levels. They will be your source of healing when facing The Tormented One, whilst allowing you to preserve any remaining foes, as well as potions for both health and mana → HALPMEH, to take on Frank. Just get a lot of good momentum going. Cleric is less dependent on surviving foes, so you mainly want to just setup what's necessary for mid battle leveling.

Other classes that specifically tend to have some pretty consistent success in this dungeon: Halfling/Gnome Thieves can cure Mana Burn with healing potions, so they work very well as spellcasting. Human Berserkers don't suffer so much penalty with Mana Burn and can setup mid-battle levels very easily.

  • I'll try Paladin first then the Berserker. I tried Berserker in the Library and Snake Pit and it was far easier than the Wizard. The bonus damage from level difference makes a huge impact, especially with BYSSEPS.
    – Sadly Not
    Apr 26, 2011 at 17:47
  • @Sadly Warlord also makes a pretty good choice (though to that point, I say Warlord makes a great option for every dungeon), but I figure that I'll save adding that for a much more detailed answer covering general strategy on Tormented One as well as handling two bosses. That said, bwarner's answer covers general strategy on the monsters fairly well.
    – Grace Note
    Apr 26, 2011 at 18:03

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