- Dodging Is Great – Don’t Use It
- Deflect, Deflect, Deflect
- Never Stop Attacking
- Sabre And Claw Combat
- Plague Weapons
- Beware Critical Attacks
- Health, Wounds. And Executions
- Avoid Ultimate Attacks
- Plan Your Heals
- Learn New Talents
- Kill Every General You Can Find
- Multi-Phase Bosses
Thymesia is a brutal Soulslike from the lads and ladies over at Team17 and OverBorder Studio. It’s fast, deadly, unforgiving, and satisfying all lumped together into one, plague-ridden experience. Being part of the genre it is in, combat is the main focus, and getting to grips with it all is essential.
Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. Thymesia – as is often the case – is devastatingly difficult in all the right (and some of the wrong…) ways. You will get slapped around by basic enemies, mini-bosses, and full-blown bosses on the regular. Knowing is half the battle, of course, so we’ve compiled a few tips to help you on your way.
Dodging Is Great – Don’t Use It
Dodging in Thymesia is great. You move quickly in a chosen direction, you gain some I-Frames, and theoretically, it will get you to safety. However, dodging is not effective enough in Thymesia to warrant relying on it. If dodging is your primary form of defence, you will die. Constantly.
This is for several reasons. At base, dodging has noticeable recovery frames. You can’t spam it, and if you try, you will get clipped by enemies who have long combos. This is a death sentence against stronger enemies. Dodging should instead be used at key moments to get a bit of breathing room. It is not a “get out of jail free” card.
Deflect, Deflect, Deflect
If dodging is underwhelming, then how do you defend yourself? Well, you deflect your enemies instead. Deflecting requires honed reflexes and knowledge of an enemy's attack patterns and wind ups to pull off, but landing a deflect will result in massive gains that you need to take advantage of if you want to succeed.
Successfully deflecting negates all damage you would otherwise take, it instantly resets its recovery timer, it deals damage to your enemy, and when upgraded, you can reap even more rewards. Instead of dodging away and failing to be elusive, Thymesia wants you to plant your feet and get stuck in.
Never Stop Attacking
The above may seem like a ludicrous piece of advice, but, for the most part, it is the best way to play. Enemies are surprisingly tanky in Thymesia, and if they are given any breathing room, they will start to heal. This healing even applies to bosses, lengthening any encounter substantially.
So the ideal combat scenario would be to get stuck in, attack relentlessly, and then react to your enemy's attacks mid-combo, and land those deflects. Once it is safe to attack again, get back to slashing away. This relentless aggression will not only set you up for success later on, but it will let you melt tough enemies much faster.
Sabre And Claw Combat
Combat in Thymesia boils down to two weapons – your Sabre and your Claw. Your Sabre is what you will typically use to chip away at an enemies Wounds (more on that in a bit). It is fast, effective at what it is designed for, and will be your primary form of attack. The downsides of the Sabre is that this thing is a wet noodle at actually killing things. Once you have burned though an enemies wounds, the Sabre becomes very ineffective at dealing with their remaining Health.
This is where the Claw comes into play. The claw is the complete opposite. The Claw does next to nothing against an opponentes Wounds, but it will devastate their Health once their Wounds have been exhausted via repeated Sabre strikes. The downside to the Claw is that, whilst it's damage is incredibly high, its damage is tied to different stats and it is incredibly slow without upgrades. You will need to use them both if you want to effectively cut through your enemies.
Plague Weapons are your final form of attack, and they come in two forms – Reaved, and Equipped. Reaved Plague Weapons are temporary, one-use special attacks that you can take from enemies by unleashing a fully charged Claw attack. Equipped Plague Weapons are unlocked by investing Skill Shards at a Beacon and are substantially more powerful – they can also be used at will. The trade off is the Equipped Plague Weapons cost Energy, whilst their Reaved variants are free.
Think of Plague Weapons like utility options. There are a bunch to find, collect, steal, and upgrade, and they all have a purpose. Experiment with which ones you like, or learn which ones work in what scenario. Plague Weapons gain bonus effects based on your Stats too, so bear than in mind. The Scythe is stellar if you have high Plague, but maybe the Axe is more suited to a Strength-focused build.
Beware Critical Attacks
Some of the stronger enemies in Thymesia have access to powerful Critical Attacks. These are much more powerful than an enemy's standard attack, and they can’t be deflected. Critical Attacks are telegraphed with a bright green flash. If you see one coming, you either have to dodge out of the way, take the hit (not advised), or use Feathers.
Feathers act as a ‘super deflect’ that only really works against Critical Attacks. If you time your Feather just as the attack is going to hit, you will stagger the enemy and end the attack. You can also unlock new abilities that let you deal with Critical Attacks in new and interesting ways, so keep an eye out for them too.
Health, Wounds. And Executions
Thymesia’s roster of enemies all have two HP bars. One represents their Health, and the other represents their Wounds. As you attack, you will deal damage to their Wounds, before chipping away at their Health. If you wait too long, then an enemy's Wounds will begin to heal over time, lengthening the combat.
Once you reduce an enemy to zero Health and Zero wounds, they become susceptible to an Execution, which is a fancy attack that instantly kills them and grants some I-Frames. To be successful in Thymesia, you need to deal enough damage to drain the Wounds, and then continue to damage them to inflict permanent Health damage. If you can’t keep their Wounds down, you won’t be able to kill anything. So again, you need to be aggressive.
Avoid Ultimate Attacks
If regular attacks can be deflected, and Critical Attacks can be feathered, how does one deal with Ultimate Attacks? You don’t is the simple answer. An Ultimate Attack is reserved for bosses, and they are signified by a brief red flash. If you see a boss windup for one of these attacks, you are in trouble.
This is because Ultimate Attacks cannot be interrupted, dodged, deflected, or feathered. Instead, your only recourse is to run away and pray you are out of range. These attacks are monstrously powerful, and if you don’t have a full HP bar and stack Vitality, you will likely straight up die.
Thankfully, Ultimate Attacks are used during specific points in fights – they nearly always have a telegraph before the flash, giving you plenty of time to recognise your impending death. The downside, of course, is that you will probably die from this attack at least once whilst you desperately try to figure out the ‘tell’.
Plan Your Heals
Healing in Thymesia is mostly relegated to Potions. These are powerful healing vials that are replenished when you rest at a Beacon and provide a burst of health when things get a bit hairy. There is a catch, of course, and that is the time it takes to drink a Potion is fairly long.
You can’t move whilst you drink, and you are functionally defenceless. If you drink at the wrong time, you will probably die – or at the very least get heavily punished. This makes drinking a tactical decision. You need to know when it’s safe to drink, or even when it’s safe to fall back to take a drink. Enemies are relentless in Thymesia, but most of them have a clear moment of recovery that you can exploit for a cheeky heal.
Learn New Talents
The combat system in Thymesia is satisfying in its base form, and not too hard to grasp. The difficulty often comes from the situations you are in, and not from the complexity of the mechanics themselves. That is until you start factoring in Talents, of course.
Talents are unlocked as you level up, and split into six trees. Talents grant access to powerful passive effects, new attacks, new ways to defend, and even additional ways to heal. Your “build” in Thymesia will be directly tied to your Talents, and your Talents can radically change how you interact in combat.
Kill Every General You Can Find
Generals in Thymesia are super powerful enemies that take on the role of mini-boss. They are substantially more powerful than regular enemies, and, in some cases, can be more difficult than actual bosses. Killing Generals, however, is a fast track to power, so you should be seeking them out whenever possible.
Generals drop two important things. Firstly, Alchemy Enhancers. These things will allow you to upgrade your Potions, which simply makes you more survivable. Secondly, they tend to drop unique/early Plague Weapons you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Both of these things can make playing Thymesia much easier.
Bosses are the finale of any given area, and they are the strongest enemies in the game. They have the most attacks, the hardest combos to read, and the most health. Fighting a boss is a stressful time, and defeat is likely on your first few attempts. One thing to bear in mind, however, is that bosses have multiple phases, with each phase having its own health bar.
The first phase tends to be a warm-up that introduces you to the general flow of the upcoming battle. Later phases (marked by how many pips are next to the boss's HP) ramp up the difficulty by adding in new attacks, changing up deflect timings, and expanding combos in old attacks. Boss fights will take a lot of practice to overcome as a result.
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