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Prior to the 1.3 update, I had never been able to make it to wave 15 of either the Pumpkin Moon or the Frost Moon. Now that 1.3 has arrived, and after obtaining the new Solar Eruption weapon, I was able to beat the Pumpkin Moon event fairly easily. However, the Frost Moon is still proving too challenging.

What strategies can I employ to reach wave 15 of the Frost Moon event? I'm playing as a melee character with the following gear:

I also have a set of Vampire Knives (which I occasionally use to leech life), and The Eye of Cthulhu yoyo, which does impressive damage when paired with the Yoyo Bag. Are their particular items I'm missing out on? What general strategies can I use to improve my chances at this event?

Update: I should probably point out that the Ice Queen seems to be the problem with this event. She generally stays away from the player, making it much harder (as a melee class, at least) to hit her. Killing the Ice Queen as quickly as possible seems to me to be the key to advancing to wave 15. How can she be killed quickly and effectively?

  • The Eater of Worlds scarf could be useful, I see you're using a melee character, but have you consider a summoner setup? The Cell Staff is quite powerful, and most importantly, quick. I was actually thinking on doing a a Frost Moon with it tonight. – Zerjack Jul 18 '15 at 0:45
  • You could set up a big arena with all the traps from the temple containing the Golem. Or if you don't want to mine all those traps, just a normal arena. terrariaonline.com/threads/frost-moon-arenas.125828 This should help. – CrabtasticGoat Jul 20 '15 at 1:17
  • @CrabtasticGoat Nah I tried with the arena. About a hundred spiky balls, 20 flames and 50 darts, Mined from 3 Lihzahrd Temples. It's just not enough damage. You need a lot of traps for that to be a viable strategy. – Zerjack Jul 20 '15 at 21:05
  • Btw I did went through the frost moon with a summoner setup. It worked. Barely though. I was using Tiki armor and all accessories to maximize damage, except for the scarf. And helping the cells with a Phantasm. Yesterday I tried another one with Moon Lord gear and it worked better. Of course heart statues help tremendously. – Zerjack Jul 20 '15 at 21:10
  • It worked with me but only because I was using a mage setup. Mainly Heat Ray and Magnet Sphere. Otherwise I had more traps, I had campfires, heart lanterns and honey also. Just a heap of grinding. It will take a while but it takes ages to complete it. Good Luck! -Forgot to add Rainbow Gun- – CrabtasticGoat Jul 21 '15 at 3:55
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I finally managed to reach wave 15 (and only just!), but it took a bunch of end-game gear for me to do it. Here's the specific end-game stuff I used:

  • Meowmere: I got this the third time I successfully fought the Moon Lord. The damage this sword does is well worth the (oh-so-difficult) grinding to get it.
  • Solar Eruption: A great all-around weapon, and terrific for thinning mobs.
  • Stardust Dragon Staff: This was the game changer for me personally (it makes a real difference when fighting the Moon Lord as well). The nearly constant damage this thing does, especially when multiple segments are in use, is a big help. Its enemy tracking helps thin the herds when I focus on the Ice Queen, and it can track the Ice Queen when I'm not able to.
  • Same accessories as before
  • Same armor as before

As I mentioned in my question, the lynch-pin for this fight is the Ice Queen. At only 150 points, you have to take her down pretty quickly to advance in the later rounds. It seems imperative to blast through the first few rounds of the event as quickly as possible. I believe I reached wave 8 or 9 in just two in-game hours (two minutes real time), and spent the rest of the 7 or so minutes clawing my way through the final waves. I'm sure there are better strategies than this (I'd be interested to try a pure-summoner build using a maxed-out Stardust Dragon), but this is what worked for me.

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Bear in mind that the Frost Moon event is considered end-game - they are supposed to be difficult for very well geared players. If you're not a very well geared player, don't expect to get to wave 15. Also, I'm not going to list any items that drop from the Frost Moon event - if you were able to get those items then you likely don't need to be reading this answer in the first place.

In terms of gear, you may want to consider investing some time aquiring the following:

Weapons

  • Vampire Knives. Multi-shot, lifestealing, very fast speed, reasonable damage. Only obtainable from worlds naturally containing Crimson biomes. Does melee damage.

  • Golden Shower. Piercing damage (up to 5 enemies), inflicts the Ichor Debuff which reduces enemy defence by 20 for 10 seconds. Relatively cheap to cast, makes your Vampire Knives do more damage = more healing. Again, you'll need a Crimson world to get the ingredients to craft this.

  • Scourge of the Corruptor. No mana cost, high damage, fast attack speed and homing projectiles. Not as useful in later waves due to the lack of self-healing, but is excellent for clearing out weak enemies quickly early on in the event. Only obtainable from worlds naturally containing Corruption biomes. Does melee damage. For some insane damage, combine with the Fire Gauntlet.

  • Paladin's Hammer. Ridiculously high damage, pierces infinitely, but has a short(ish) range. You can certainly manage without this, but later on you might find it useful to get it out for a few seconds to dish out some monster damage. Vampire Knives.

  • Terra Blade. Best sword in the game. Fires a freebie projectile that hits up to 3 enemies. autoswings on all versions.

  • Nimbus Rod. Fire-and-forget piercing damage. Nice when you have lots of enemies clustering above/below you as it will hurt all of them. You can miss out on this, but it's nice to have and relatively easy to acquire (certainly when compared with some of the items in this list!). Vampire Knives. Seriously.

you also want to consider:

  • Tempest Staff. Permanent minion as long as you stay alive, high damage (only the Staff of the Frost Hydra is higher, but that requires frequent resummoning). Drops from Duke Fishron.

  • Optic Staff. If specialised in minions, you can have up to eighteen minions with this staff (nine pairs of eyes). I can't stress enough how important the Vampire Knives are. They will keep you alive.

Armour

Assume the melee bonus for these sets.

  • Turtle Armour is actually pretty good for this event due to the massive thorns bonus when taking melee damage (which Pumpking does do).

  • Beetle Armour 'upgraded' version of the Turtle Armour, but forces you to choose between attack and defence. Also lacks the thorns damage of the Turtle Armour, but you can reach over 100 defence with this armour equipped.

  • Chlorophyte Armour buffs your damage and critical strike rate (nice for the Vampire Knives that you really should have. Also provides some free damage in the form of the leaf crystal, and has decent defence to boot. You probably shouldn't try with anything less than this though.

Accessories

In terms of reforging, you would want either Warding, Violent or Menacing (or some combination thereof) depending how good the rest of your equipment is. Personally I go for 3 Warding and 2 Menacing.

Ankh Shield. This is a complete pain in the backside to craft. However, it provides all of the following (and this is without even reforging it): 4 defence

  1. Immunity to Knockback

  2. Immunity to On Fire!

  3. Immunity to Weakness

  4. Immunity to Broken Armour

  5. Immunity to Poison

  6. Immunity to Bleeding

  7. Immunity to Slow

  8. Immunity to Confusion

  9. Immunity to Silence

  10. Immunity to Curse

  11. Immunity to Darkness

Wings.

  • Very useful for dodging attacks from both the Santa NK-1 and Ice Queen. Bear in mind that some wings are better than others. PC players should aim for the Fishron Wings due to the increased ascent speed, but really any type of wings will suffice.

  • Bundle of Balloons. Again a pain to craft, but allows you to quadruple jump.

  • Celestial Stone. Provides a bunch of nice buffs, including a 2 HP per second health regeneration buff. If you don't want to farm for the Sun Stone in order to craft this, a Moon Stone will suffice as the Pumpkin Moon event only happens at night anyway.

  • Fire Gauntlet. Increases knockback slightly, gives you 9% additional melee damage and melee attack speed (so it buffs Vampire Knives and Scourge), and also sets things on fire. Nice to have, but don't fret too much if you don't have one. Also consider the Mechanical Glove.

  • Star Veil. Increases the length of invulnerability after taking damage, and causes stars to fall when you take damage. Will pierce through all mobs until they hit the ground, so can be some nice free damage.

  • Frozen Turtle Shell. Rare drop from Ice Tortoises that increases your defence by 30 while you're below 25% health. You shouldn't really need this if you got the Vampire Knives.

Obviously with only 5 accessory slots you won't be able to equip all of the above. Pick the ones that work best for you. Also don't forget that there's nothing stopping you using some of the other accessories that are ingredients for the ones listed above.

As with all events like this, the area you fight in is almost as important as the equipment that you wear. The first thing to do in this regard is ensure that you have a suitable arena in which to fight (read: big hole in the ground).

  • For this, you may want to spend some time acquiring the following: Heart Statue(s). When powered, they will spit out a Heart every 10 seconds.

  • Star Statue(s). When powered, they will spit out a Mana Star every 10 seconds.

  • 5 Second Timer. Use this to power the Heart and Star Statues.

  • Wire. For wiring the timer to the statues.

  • Wooden Platforms. You'll be standing on these a lot of the time. Mourning Wood projectiles will fall through platforms, giving you one less thing to dodge in the heat of battle.

  • Assorted Lihzahrd traps. You can wire these up to timers if you really want, but that might cause some nasty lag if you have lots of traps spawning projectiles constantly. The flame traps are pretty nice, but have limited range, so mix them up with some Spiky Ball Traps and Super Dart Traps. Can also be wired to Yellow Pressure Plates so that players don't trigger them while collecting loot.

  • A few buckets of lava. Creating a very shallow pond of lava at the base of the area will help nicely in thinning out the packs of enemies, while not destroying the loot (it needs to be very shallow - a pixel or two deep at most. Test it by throwing a Copper Coin into it, if it's destroyed it's too deep). The above is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should give you something to aim for at least.

  • Excellent first post! Welcome to Arqade. – Virusbomb May 10 '18 at 14:50
  • This is a very well written answer! I have a handful of minor nitpicks - 1) Meowmere is the best sword in the game atm, not Terra Blade. 2) Optic Staff is okay but it's kind of a midgame summoning item. I prefer the Xeno Staff or, even better, Stardust Dragon Staff. 3) You start talking about Pumpking and Mourning Wood halfway through your answer, but the question is about the Frost Moon. – Mage Xy May 10 '18 at 16:36
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Setup

I would recommend killing the moon lord before you attempt to complete all of the waves. These are the items I would use:

  • Cosmic Car Keys - Obtained from Martian Invasion
  • Star Wrath - Drop from Moon Lord
  • Full Solar Flame Armour - Crafted at Ancient manipulator with Luminite and Solar Fragments

Other Optional items include:

  • Stardust Dragon Staff - Crated at Ancient Manipulator from Stardust Fragments
  • Meowmere - Drop from Moon Lord
  • Vampire Knives - Gotten from crimson chests

Strategy

Blast through the early waves with the Star Wrath (or preferably Meowmere). Once the Mourning Wood and Santa MK9 mobs arrive, float above their heads in the UFO and aim Star Wrath straight down so that all the stars land on the bosses.

As for the Ice Queens, attack her she she hovers above you and when she rolls into a ball, because chasing her while she runs away usually yields poor results, even with the Star Wrath. While she flies from side to side, focus on the ground monsters and wait for her two other attacks before you start focusing damage back on her.

Vampire knives are good if you get low on health and the Stardust Dragon can help deal some extra damage.

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