Rare Items: S Tier
If the direct 60% damage increase to everything you do wasn’t good enough already, now you also have AOE on everything. Although it stacks poorly (only +1.5m range per stack), it makes S Tier because just having a single copy of this item is enough to make a run a lot smoother. Plus, it’s not likely that you’ll get many duplicates of a rare item in a run.
By itself the bonus damage from Ceremonial Dagger is quite impressive, but Ceremonial Dagger is one of those rares that you want as many stacks as possible of. Because each stack provides an additional three daggers (150% damage each), a stack of Ceremonial Daggers is many times stronger than a single one. This occurs because every enemy that dies (including ones that die to daggers) now release more daggers. Combined with the effects of Will o’ the Wisp and Gasoline, it is possible to start completely unstoppable chains that will wipe the map in an instant. If it has no other targets to seek out, it can easily chunk bosses too.
Unstable Tesla Coil
The damage from this bad boy is just crazy. 400% base damage onto three nearby enemies is no joke at all. Having an Unstable Tesla Coil will make your life significantly easier as it can take out nearby enemies without your help. This item is especially powerful on Engineer (his turrets inherit the ability to make it three times as powerful) as it is a solid option for clearing out the small monsters that walk under his bubble shield.
57 Leaf Clover
Many people underestimate the power of the 57 Leaf Clover. Because it can reroll almost all random effects (shrine of chance, proc chance, crit), it does a lot for you in the background. The equation to calculate the new proc chance with x amount of clovers and p proc chance is:
- y = 1 – (1 – p)^(x + 1)
As someone who enjoys utilizing on-hit items to their maximum potential, this mechanic is simply crazy to me.
- Don’t have enough crit with only 70%? Now you have 91%
- Ukelele proc chance too low at 25%? Now you have 43.75%
- Kjaro’s Band needs a boost in occurrence? Now you have 15.36% proc chance
- Need Sticky Bomb to get even more devastating? You get the point
This is a rare item that scales in effectiveness as you get more items. The bonus DPS that this item grants you across all rolls is invaluable. Sadly the 57 Leaf Clover cannot reroll some of the most important dice rolls in the game (Chests, Block, etc), but this is good for balance. Even without these rerolls, I believe the 57 Leaf Clover is easily S Tier due to its significant DPS boost. Or maybe I’m just unlucky as hell.
Alien Head is an all around powerful rare that will enable you to play more aggressively whilst being safer than ever before. For what you get, there are no downsides. Pick up one if you have the opportunity. You’ll definitely notice the cooldown reduction.
This is nice item to have on any character. It doubles the healing from all sources and makes it so that you can keep your health high more consistently. Additional stacks will increase the bonus additively: increasing doubled healing to tripled, quadrupled, and so on. Healing items appear frequently in Risk of Rain 2 and in many cases a single Rejuvenation Rack is all it takes to significantly improve your survivability.
Rare Items: A Tier
Sentient Meat Hook
The Sentient Meat Hook can be used to setup combo kills against groups of enemies without the help of a Primordial Cube. Although the damage is relatively low (100% per hook), the effect can be devastating. The bunched up group of enemies will get shredded by the burn from Gasoline and Will o’ the Wisp. Sometimes hooking enemies can pull them into a unfavorable position, but this result is uncommon. For the most part, the Sentient Meat Hook is an excellent rare for setting up combo kills which can be especially potent if done near a boss.
When stacking Sentient Meat Hooks, their hook-able targets increases by five and proc chance increases by this equation:
- y = 1-1/(0.20x + 1)
Because of the low base damage that doesn’t increase with stacks and the poor proc chance scaling, Sentient Meat Hook only gets an A Tier.
Soulbound Catalyst is a powerful rare that will quickly reset the cooldowns of your equipment items in battle. I wouldn’t underestimate how much this item can help you in a pinch, but it is quite reliant on other items in order to live up to its fullest potential. You’ll need sufficient AOE from Gasoline and Will o’ Wisp to get big bursts of cooldown reduction and you’ll need Fuel Cells in order to store the charges you get back. Therefore I’d rank Soulbound Catalyst as A Tier.
In most cases, due to good cooldown management, I don’t find myself needing extra charges on my utility skill. But even if so, the Hardlight Afterburner is always welcome. Having an extra two charges of my utility skill means that I can have a backup in case something goes haywire. The 33% cooldown reduction is also quite significant and is very noticeable ingame.
Rare Items: B Tier
Frost Relic, while cool looking, is not strong at all. To begin with, the damage you get from it isn’t very good. Doing only a total of 99% damage per second total, it fails to do any serious damage against enemies within its range. Which leads me to the second point, the range is tiny. Because the range is so small and the damage is so low, it has a hard time being properly utilized by anything other than Engineer’s turrets and Mercenary. Finally, the biggest issue with Frost Relic is the need to kill an enemy to proc. The enemies that you’ll end up killing quickly are the ones which the Frost Relic might actually have an effect on, which actually reduces the overall effectiveness of the item. This item could be used to supplement damage and has no downsides, but its lackluster effect lands it in B Tier.
Rare Items: C Tier
While I do like the ghosts that are spawned from the Happiest Mask (and it can make copies of bosses too), I find that the main purpose ghosts serve is as meatshields to distribute aggro from many enemies. Because of its low proc rate (10% on kill), the only way to summon enough ghosts to make an impact is to kill a massive amount of enemies. Unfortunately, if you can do that then you won’t even need the Happiest Mask at all.
Wake of Vultures
Wake of Vultures is terrible and I would only ever pick it up if it’s my first/second rare in order to trade it away at a 3D printer. Although the buffs that you get from killing elites are mediocre at best, the biggest issue occurs when killing shielded elites. Upon receiving the shielded buff, half of your max health is converted into shields. If you take any chip damage a second after the conversion, you’re simply left with half health as the shield doesn’t have any time to regenerate. Unfortunately, the second after the shield “buff” ends you’re also once again left with half health. This sudden loss of health can easily cause you to die. Don’t underestimate the malignity of this item.
Rare Items: Situational
This item is one of Mercenary’s favorites. First of all, it completely cancels out fall damage. This means that an accidental eviscerate into the ground will no longer consume your entire health bar (hopefully this bug is fixed later). Mercenary also tends to spend a lot of time in the air over the enemies so he can actually utilize the stomp effect for bonus damage during his combos. This stomp is also a great tool to engage with as it will put the Mercenary right over his target in perfect range of a Whirlwind or Eviscerate. I’d consider this item a B Tier item on most other classes as the increased mobility is nice to have, but a lot of other Rares can provide much more impactful bonuses.
N’kuhana’s Opinion is a strange item. Because it needs to store your healing in order to deal damage, it’s only good on builds that have an insane amount of healing. This means that Engineer is the only class that can truly utilize this item to its fullest potential as he has the constant healing from Bustling Fungus. Additionally, Engineer turrets will also have a copy of N’kuhana’s Opinion and will be able to fire their own skulls as well. The damage from the skulls are based on max HP, so taking Shaped Glass with this item is not recommended. As for other classes, I’d rate it a C Tier simply because they often don’t achieve enough healing for it to be worth it over other rares.
Dio’s Best Friend
What else can you do when you come across a blazing boss?
This item is actually amazing on all classes, but it’s effectiveness really depends on how good the player is. I’ve seen some players die with this thing on the most preventable deaths.
Also I would like to note that Dio’s Best Friend is crazy on engineer as it means that every turret he places (while he has the item unused) will resurrect (once for every copy of Dio). This occurs because each turret, when placed, takes a snapshot of the Engineer’s current item inventory and copies it. Thus a turret’s resurrection will not consume the Engineer’s Dio’s Best Friend, but it will consume the copy currently in the turret’s item inventory.
Just like Bandolier, Brainstalks is bonkers on classes that rely on their abilities for damage. No cooldowns is the enabler for Mercenary’s perma eviscerate and Huntress’ glaive spam. This often results in another elite kill which can easily snowball into an insane amount of damage overall. Brainstalks scales amazingly into the late game where elites are crawling around everywhere, but it’s only good on the few classes that can make the most out of having no cooldowns. This rare can range from S Tier on cooldown dependent classes like Huntress and Mercenary to C Tier on primary attack focused classes like MUL-T.