The Silent is the second character you unlock in the famous roguelike deckbuilder Slay the Spire. Much like the Ironclad is the classic warrior archetype, the Silent is your quintessential rogue. She specializes in drawing cards, spamming attacks, and fighting dirty with poison, making every one of her turns a whirlwind. In this Slay the Spire Silent guide, we’ll go into her stats and starting deck, as well as the two most viable Silent builds in the game.
Let’s get started!
Slay the Spire Silent Overview
We’ll start our Slay the Spire Defect guide with a quick overview of the character and mechanics.
The Silent starts out with 70 HP, which is the lowest of the four classes in the game. However, as everyone is relatively squishy (at least compared to most video games), this isn’t much of a downside. And with smart play, you can minimize this weakness.
Starting Relic: Ring of the Snake
Your starting relic is Ring of the Snake. This relic draws you two cards at the start of combat (i.e. on your first turn) and is the weakest of the four starting relics. In most cases, you’ll want to trade out Ring of the Snake for a boss relic at the start of your run. That said, it’s designed to work well with Silent’s starting deck.
Silent Starting Deck
The Silent gets the biggest starting deck at twelve cards:
- (5) Strike: A 1-cost attack to deal 6 damage.
- (5) Defend: A 1-cost skill that grants 5 block.
- (1) Survivor: A 1-cost skill that grants 8 block and discards a card from your hand.
- (1) Neutralize: A 0-cost attack that deals 3 damage and applies one stack of Weak.
As you can see, the Silent’s starting deck is designed with more defensive options to balance out having the lowest health. The Weak debuff is especially helpful, as it reduces incoming damage from Weakened enemies by 25%.
Basic Silent Strategy
While the Silent plays differently depending on what build you go for, she still has some basic fundamentals. The Silent wants to use her defensive options and debuffs to take as little damage as possible. You want to throw out mostly attacks once you’ve shored up your defenses, meaning fights can take a bit longer. But if you get into the right build, you can have explosive, high-damage turns.
Of course, you won’t be able to get there if you die after the first few fights. Let’s get into our builds to help you out with that.
Best Deck Builds for the Silent
As anyone who plays Slay the Spire knows, your starting deck sucks and won’t do you much good past the first few floors. You’ll want to zero in on a deck build early and start refining your deck so that you can take on the tougher challenges down the road. But as our Slay the Spire beginner’s guide cautions, you don’t want to be so rigid that you try to force a build that isn’t there.
These are our recommendations for strong builds that are relatively easy to put together for the Silent, but be sure to be flexible in the moments where RNG isn’t in your favor!
The Poison build can be really nasty, and it plays a bit differently than most other builds. It doesn’t actually deal damage on its own, instead relying on the Poison status to kill your opponents.
The Poison status is a near-unique mechanic to the Slient, with the Watcher’s Pressure Point ability being the only mechanic that gets close. Whenever a card or relic applies Poison to an enemy, that enemy will gain a certain number of stacks of Poison. At the end of your turn, they lose HP equal to the stacks of Poison they have, and remove one stack going into the next turn.
We use the wording “they lose HP” intentionally — Poison really doesn’t deal damage the same way attacks do. This is a blessing and a curse, depending on the rest of your build. Damage-boosting effects, like Strength or the Akebeko relic, won’t help Poison at all. The reverse is also true, though — being Weakened won’t affect your Poison stacks, and the effect ignores enemy block completely. This makes certain fights trivially easy.
Slightly contrary to what we said before, the best card in our build actually does deal damage. Corpse Explosion is a 2-cost skill that places 6 stacks of Poison on an enemy (9 stacks when upgraded). When that enemy dies, it deals damage equal to its max HP to all other enemies. This means we can focus down one enemy and essentially kill the rest for free.
Next up is Catalyst, a 1-cost skill that doubles an enemy’s Poison stacks (triples when upgraded) and Exhausts. This is our best source of “burst” damage and can end fights quickly.
Crippling Cloud is one of this build’s only defense options. It’s a 2-cost skill that applies 4 stacks of Poison to all enemies, as well as 2 stacks of Weak. The reduced damage from Weak can be very helpful, as we’re playing an aggressive build designed to end fights quickly, leaving us with little defense. When upgraded, it applies 7 stacks of Poison, nearly doubling the amount.
The rest of the cards in this build are all about adding Poison stacks to enemies. Bouncing Flask is a 2-cost skill that applies 3 stacks of Poison to a random enemy three times. If we upgrade it, we apply 3 stacks of Poison to a random enemy four times. Noxious Fumes is a 1-cost power that applies 2 stacks of Poison to all enemies at the start of our turn (3 stacks when upgraded). Finally, we have Deadly Poison, a 1-cost skill that gives an enemy 5 stacks of poison (7 if upgraded). Simple, yet effective.
This build does have a few cards that can deal damage (and there are always the Strikes from your starting deck), but I would largely avoid them if you have better options. They aren’t the primary focus of the build, anyway!
There is a common theme among our relics for this build — they all pretty help with Poison, or are defensive/recovery relics to make up for what we lack in defensive cards.
For the common relics, there are five that I specifically would look for:
- Anchor gives 10 block on turn one
- Blood Vial heals for 2 at the start of each fight.
- Meal Ticket heals for 15 upon entering a shop.
- Orichalcum grants 6 block at the end of your turn (if you don’t already have block).
- Snecko Skull gives our enemies an additional stack of Poison every time we apply it.
There are only three uncommon relics that we really care about:
- Bottled Lightning lets us start each combat with a specific skill in hand, which is nice in our skill heavy deck.
- Horn Cleat gives us 14 block on Turn 2, which is nice for defense.
- Toxic Egg automatically upgrades all future skills we are offered, which is phenomenal for our build.
There are five rare relics we specifically care about:
- Captain’s Wheel grants 18 block on Turn 3.
- Fossilized Helix negates the first instance of damage we take each fight.
- Incense Burner gives us 1 stack of Intangible every six turns, meaning you only take 1 damage at a time.
- Lizard’s Tail revives us at 50% health the first time we die.
- The Specimen transfers any Poison an enemy has when it dies to another random enemy. Obviously, this is insane in our build.
For boss relics, it’s always nice to get extra energy, but there aren’t any boss relics that specifically stand out for our build. If you still have Ring of the Snake, you can upgrade to Ring of the Serpent, which allows you to draw one card at the start of each turn.
The only event relic that really stands out is the Red Mask, which gives all enemies 1 stack of Weak at the start of each turn. And as for shop relics, we want the Twisted Funnel, which applies 4 stacks of Poison to all enemies at the start of each battle.
This is one of my personal favorite builds in the game. The build centers around attacking your enemies a bajillion times using the special card Shiv. This is a 0-cost power that deals 4 damage then Exhausts itself (6 damage when upgraded).
I mention this up front because Shiv is not a card that you can add to your deck — it can only be added to your hand by other cards or relics. It may sound like a weak card, but this build can be deceptively strong. Interestingly, it is also a much more defensive build than the Poison build.
The best card in the deck by far is Accuracy. Accuracy is a 1-cost power that increases the damage of our Shivs by 4 (6 if upgraded). This makes Shivs worth 8–12 damage, depending on your upgrades. If doubling our primary source of damage isn’t amazing, then I don’t know what is.
Thousand Cuts is almost as good at boosting our damage as Accuracy. This is a 2-cost power that deals 1 damage to all enemies whenever we play a card (2 damage if upgraded). This works well because we’ll be playing a lot of cards.
To round out the damage-boosting train, we have Envenom. Envenom is another 2-cost power that gives an enemy a stack of Poison every time they take unblocked damage. When upgraded, Envenom only costs 1 energy.
In a similar vein, but on the defense side, we have After Image. After Image is a 1-cost power that gives us 1 block each time we play a card. Upgrading After Image makes it Innate, meaning it will always be in our opening hand. This is great for the build in general, but is absolutely essential for the Heart, as (spoiler alert!) one of its passive abilities deals 1 damage to you every time you play a card.
Choak is a great source of damage for this build. Choak is a 2-cost attack that deals 12 damage to an enemy, but (and here’s the crucial bit) they also take 3 damage each time we play a card for the rest of the turn (5 if upgraded). This means we are essentially doubling the number of Shivs we play.
Now to actually start generating all those Shivs. Infinite Blades is a 1-cost power that gives us a Shiv at the start of each turn, and upgrades to become Innate. Blade Dance is a 1-cost skill that adds three Shivs to our hand (4 if upgraded). Cloak and Dagger is a 1-cost skill that give us 6 block and adds a Shiv to our hand (2 if upgraded).
The final card I want to highlight for this build is Finisher. Finisher is a 1-cost attack that deals 6 damage to an enemy for each attack card we’ve already played this turn. I don’t have to tell you why this card can be nuts in our build.
There are two specific common relics that standout for this Build. The first is Red Skull, which gives us 3 stacks of Strength as long as we’re at 50% or less health. The Second is Vajra, which gives us 1 stack of Strength.
As far as uncommon relics go, there are six we care about. Ideally, we want all three Bottled relics (Flame, Lightning, and Tornado), as they let us start each combat with a specific attack, skill, and power, respectively. If we get up to 4 energy and have all three relics, we can start each combat by playing Infinite Blades, followed by Choak and Blade Dance to just pile on the damage. But this is magical Christmas land, of course.
We also want Kunai, which gives us one stack of Dexterity every time we play three attacks in a turn, Ninja Scroll, which gives us three Shivs at the start of combat, and Shuriken, which is the same as Kunai, but for Strength.
For rare relics, we first want Charan’s Ashes, which deals 3 damage to all enemies every time we exhaust a card. Remember, our Shivs have Exhaust, so this is insane. We also want Girya, which lets us gain a permanent stack of Strength at rest sites up to three times.
For boss relics, we have only one specific standout, but it is an exceptional one. Wrist Blade increases the damage of all our 0-cost cards by 4. It is another redundancy with Accuracy and I love it.
Mutagenic Strength is the one event relic I would look out for. It gives us 3 Strength for the first round of combat. The shop relics we care about are Brimstone and Sling of Courage. Brimstone gives us 2 stacks of Strength every turn, but gives enemies one as well. Sling of Courage gives us 2 stacks of Strength during Elite combats without the monkey’s paw.
Join the High Ground
And there you have our Slay the Spire Silent guide — thanks for reading! Enjoy poisoning your enemies and shivving ’em in the back! Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more content like this.