This guide is written to help you understand when to ascend, not what to buy, or what ascension is. For the best information about which skills to purchase in the Ascension Tree, consult the Ascension Tree Tier List. It's regularly updated. For basic information on ascension and a list of all Ascension Tree Upgrades, visit the Ascension page.
In general and as priorities in the Ascension Tree, you'll want to get the Legendary Belt, followed by the White Knight Minion, followed by the Bow Upgrades, Crafting, and then the Factory, Divinities and Ultra Ascension.
This strategy guide will not interact with Ultra Ascension or Stones of Time; check out this page if you want to learn more about when to Ultra Ascend.
Ascending, The Basic Idea[edit | edit source]
Ascending resets some game progress, such as equipment and coins. It also converts "unearned" Slayer Points (those listed in the Slayer Points bar) to "earned" Slayer Points, allowing them to be spent and also factored into your Lifetime CpS bonus and your Soul Reaper bonus.
There is no ‘penalty’ for ascending, and it will always make it easier to progress in the game. The simple idea is that if you feel the game is slowing down, or if you feel you’ve hit a wall, or if you can buy something you want, or if you’re bored - ascend! Most people who find the game grinding or slowing simply need to ascend a few more times. Ascension is never a step back - it is always game progression.
Understanding Ascension[edit | edit source]
It’s important to understand two components: First, that the primary gains to your Coins per Second (CpS) earning is through the Ascension CPS bonus, which is based on your lifetime earned Slayer Points. Every time you ascend, your lifetime Ascension CPS bonus will increase and you’ll progressively make more coins, quicker. You earn 1% bonus CpS for every slayer point you’ve acquired, and the Ascension unlockables Ancient Slayer and Soul Amulet boost that total by 350% (4.5x).
Secondly, primarily because of the Soul Reaper upgrade in the Ascension Tree, the number of souls you earn from slaying an enemy will increase based on your ‘earned’ Slayer Points. The Soul Reaper upgrade only takes into account Slayer Points that have been earned by ascension.
Because the number of souls necessary for 1 Slayer Point goes up with each SP collected - whether 'unearned' or 'earned' - but your Soul Reaper bonus only goes up based only on 'earned' Slayer Points, the effort it takes to earn one SP increases the farther you get from your most recent ascension.
This is most noticeable in early gameplay, and so the best early game strategy is to ascend quickly and often.
For instance, let’s say you are currently in Hills:
|Lifetime Earned SP||SP to be earned at next ascension||Souls per SP
|Soul’s gained from 1 worm (base 2 soul)||Worms needed per SP||Difference|
There are many other factors that will affect the number of souls gained per enemy, and thus Slayer Points earned (ultimately, earning slayer points becomes much easier than in early game). But, this helps to show that ascending often will make game progression easier; it doesn't simply earn you points to spend - ascension is quite literally the mechanic of Idle Slayer game progression.
This concept is the primary driver behind what we’ll call “Slayer Point Ascension,” which is where the primary reason to ascend is to earn Slayer Points. This is an Early, Mid, Late and End Game Strategy. Contrary to Slayer Point Ascension is CpS Ascension, which is no longer concerned with earning Slayer Points but rather maximizing CpS gain for Endgame gameplay. We’ll take a look at both strategies below.
SP Ascension[edit | edit source]
For most of the game, you’ll be ascending with the primary purpose of earning Slayer Points. These tips can help make that process move more quickly:
- There is no penalty for ascending. Each time you ascend, it’ll make it easier to progress in the game. For that reason, ascend often.
- The earlier the game, the more frequently you should ascend - for reasons listed above.
- Assigning arbitrary goals before ascension is often unhelpful; for instance, there is no reason to wait till you have 10% of your lifetime SP before ascending.
- That said, if in early gameplay you ever reach 1:1 earned:unearned SP ration; ascend! If in Mid gameplay you're at 20% - ascend! Late game might be closer to 10% - but ascend!
- In general, ascend whenever gameplay slows. If you’ve worked hard to earn enough coins to purchase a major equipment upgrade and worry about the time it’ll take to re-earn that upgrade, remember: ascending increases your bonus CpS gain and makes the game easier. By continuing with a long ascension in early game, you actually make gameplay slower by decreasing your SP gain.
- It’s more than reasonable to ascend as soon as you can afford the next (or next few) ascension tree upgrades. No need to wait.
- Unless you have Minions. After unlocking minions, make sure you have enough SP to reasonably re-quest your minions for a while. However, a short ascension to earn additional SP isn’t unreasonable. For instance, maybe you're in Mystic Valley and have just earned enough to unlock enchanted arrows, but not enough to also feed your White Knight for a while. It’s probably better to ascend immediately, start killing Wildfires, and then ascend 20 minutes later for SP for your Knight.
- The period of gameplay between first unlocking minions and finally unlocking divinities will likely include more frequent, quick ascensions. Don't be surprised.
- In the ascension tree, prioritize things that will increase the souls you earn per enemy. This also includes bow upgrades.
Don't neglect ascension.
CpS Ascension[edit | edit source]
In Endgame Gameplay - especially post cape - you’ll no longer be ascending to maximize Slayer Point earning, simply because you’ll have all the Slayer Points you need to purchase things on the tree. Instead, you'll be involved in long, single ascension grinds where you're strategically playing to reach a particular coin goal. Of course, more SP will always mean more CpS, which will help dramatically for achievement gains. But when should you ascend, resetting your current money and gaining the CpS bonus?
Say, for example, you're attempting the level 300 Gloves upgrade, and you'll need to earn 539 Td coin to purchase those 50 levels to go from 250 to 300. Because there is a linear relationship between your lifetime earned SP and your CpS earning, we can create a simple ratio to determine if you should ascend in CpS Ascension strategy.
- Compare your earned to unearned Slayer Points. If you currently have 20 million earned SP, and would earn an additional 5 million SP upon ascension, you'll gain a 25% CpS base increase.
- Consider how far into your current grind you've gone. If you're attempting to grind 539 Td and you have currently earned 200 Td, you're over 37% of the way to quest completion.
- In this example, you would not ascend - ascension is setting you back further than your current grind.
Special thanks to @Jerf for this concept.
That said, there are things to keep in mind:
- Under these criteria, it's helpful to think of equipment level grinds in terms of groups of 50 levels. Pay attention to the cost of 50 levels, and, even if you're incrementally upgrading the equipment as time goes on, continue to consider your total grind cost as the 50 level cost (and your total earned coin as on hand+spent on that equipement item).
- If you're chasing a cape level achievement, certainly incrementally upgrade that equipement every level you can buy.
- If you purchase additional upgrades along the way, it will dramatically affect your ratio. If in the example above, you decide to spend 100 Td on the Nigiri food from the Japanese box, you'll gain 2% CpS but your coin percentage will drop to about 19%. It would then make sense to ascend and claim the large Cps boost as well.
- This is rough back of the napkin math figuration. Use your gut - you're already far in the game!
If you have questions about whether you should ascend, you should ascend.