Supergiant Games’ smash hit Hades is popular for a reason. It’s a hell of a lot of fun (pun intended). One of it’s biggest drawcards is the sheer volume of buil variations that you can try out by combining different weapon aspects, trinkets and boons. When you’re just starting out or have recently unlocked a new weapon aspect, those myriad choices can be overwhelming. Sometimes it’s helpful to have a little guidance. That’s where this article steps in, with some example builds to try out with each of the four Heart-Seeking Bow aspects. Each of the builds below also includes a short video showing Hades being defeated with the build in question, so you can see how it performs at the end of the run.
- General Hades Build Creation Tips
- Aspect of Zagreus Build
- Aspect of Chiron Build
- Aspect of Hera Build
- Aspect of Rama Build
- How to Unlock Aspect of Rama
How Do You Get The Boons You Need in Hades – Build Creation Tips
It’s all well and good to have a boon selection list for a powerful build, but what about actually getting those boons, how do you manage to put it all together. While there’s definitely a component of luck involved, there are also a number of things that you can do help shape the boon selection process as you play.
- Use keepsakes: Each of the builds below will be predominantly built around two olympic gods and their boons. So an easy way to make sure you start off on the right foot is to use these gods’ keepsakes in the first two regions. For your first choice, use the keepsake for the god that is likely to be the most useful right away – e.g. the one that you’ll be using to buff your main attack (whether that’s your Attack, Special or Cast). Then in Asphodel swap this out for the second god in your build.
- Only choose relevant gods: Something that took me a long time of playing to figure out – and one of the most important aspects of managing your boon collecting – is this: You will only get boons from four gods per run (not including gods that you trigger after this point with keepsakes). What this means is that if you pick doors at the end of a room with gods that aren’t the ones you need, you’ll just keep seeing those wrong gods and the right ones that you’re waiting for won’t come up. So the answer here? If while picking doors you have the choice of a god that’s not in your build or anything else, choose anything else. If you only have one door and it’s an irrelevant god, refresh it by using a key. That brings us to our next point.
- Chthonic Keys: These are your best friend for setting up builds. As mentioned above, if you’re in Tartarus and you only have a single door option, and that door option is a god who isn’t in your build, your best bet is to refresh it with a key. I’ve found the best method is not to keep refreshing to try and get the god that you want. Rather, refresh until you have anything available except for a wrong god. This is because there will be other chances to get the god you need using keepsakes or in other doors. You want to make sure you have enough keys to always escape avoiding irrelevant gods when you can. Once you’ve accepted boons from all gods in your build, then you can accept whatever other gods you want.
Aspect of Zagreus Build
This is a fun build, and if you get lucky with the Daedalus Hammer like I did in the run below, you’ll end up with unstoppable power. The crux of this build is boosting your crits. This works with the the bonus ability of the Zagrues Aspect, which at full upgrade gives you +15% chance to crit. Of course the primary god when you’re looking to boost crits is Artemis. So we want to get the highest rarity version of her ‘Deadly Strike’ boon which increases your attack power and adds more chance of a crit. If you happen to get any of her boons that increase the power of crits or do any other crit related boosting then all the better. But the main thing is to have your attack crit chance boosted.
The next key to the build is Aphrodite, as we want to trigger her duo boon with Artemis, called ‘Heart Rend’ which deals 150% bonus damage to weak effected foes. You can trigger this in a number of ways but I would recommend either getting Aphrodites dash or special for the easiest application of Weak before shooting them with your Artemis enhanced attack for big crits.
The first few times I tried this build it didn’t really end up doing as much damage as I was hoping, which I think could be partly down to my skill as a player. To really get the most out of it you would want to be delivering perfect shots every time to get the full boosted damage. But when I ended up at Hades I would often miss some of those perfect shots, hence delivering much lower damage.
What really helped in the run below was to get two Daedalus Hammer upgrades: Flurry Shot which cancels the power shot but means you no longer have to worry about perfect timing. And Twin Shot which fires two shots at once, with a shorter range. The loss of range doesn’t matter because I mostly found myself shooting things up close and personal anyway, and the lack of power shots was more than compensated for by the consitsency and speed of high crit chance arrows with 150% extra crit damage against Weak inflicted foes. See for yourself how easily it cuts through hades in the video below.
Aspect of Zagreus – Aphrodite/Artemis Boons + Daedalus Hammer Upgrades
These are the key boons/upgrades in this build:
- Flurry Shot: Hold Attack to shoot rapidly, but you cannot power shot.
- Twin Shot: Your attack fires 2 shots side-by-side, but has reduced range.
- Deadly Strike: Your Attack is stronger, with 15% chance to deal Critical damage.
- Heartbreak Flourish: Your Special deals more damage and inflicts Weak.
- Heart Rend (Aphrodite/Artemis Duo Boon): Your Critical effects deal even more damage to Weak foes.
Aspect of Chiron Build
This build uses the Heart-Seeking Bow’s Chiron Aspect, which makes all the bow’s Special arrows seek out and hit the last enemy you struck with your Attack. So the playstyle is to hit an enemy with Attack and then hit it twice with Special (the seeking behaviour resets after two special attacks).
You can use Daedalus Hammer upgrades to increase the number of Special arrows and the damage they deal. You can then make use of boons that increase damage or add elemental damage or other status effects to the Special, and these will be applied for every arrow in your Special.
In this build we’re using boons from Ares, the God of War, which add Doom damage to the Special and then increase the impact of this added damage.
Aspect of Chiron – Ares Boons
These are the key boons in the build:
- Curse Of Pain: Your Special inflicts doom
- Impending Doom: Your doom effects deal more damage but take 0.5 sec to activate.
- Dire Misfortune: Your doom effects deal more damage when applied multiple times.
That last boon is especially powerful for the Chiron Bow’s Special as each Special attack includes multiple applications of the doom effect.
Aspect of Hera Build
While this build benefits from both Dionysus‘ and Zeus‘ boons, it’s really the god of wine’s Festive Fog related cast boons that do the heavy lifting. The damage generated by lightning strikes in the fog, thanks to the Scintillating Feast duo boon is boosted by Dionysus’ legendary Black Out boon, which gives all damage a 60% buff to hungover foes in the fog.
Aspect of Hera – Dionysus/Zeus Boons
These are the key Boons in the build:
- Heartbreak Flourish: “Your Special deals more damage and inflicts Weak.”
This was used to spray enemies and inflict the Weak effect, setting up for Privileged Status (40% damage bonus against foes with 2 status effects) when they were then hit with Drunken Strike, causing Hangover as well.
- Trippy Flare: “Your Cast damages foes around you, leaving behind Festive Fog.”
This was loaded into the attack by the Aspect of Hera.
- Drunken Strike: “Your Attack inflicts Hangover.”
- Numbing Sensation: “Your Hangover effects also make foes move slower.”
- Blackout [Legendary]: “Hangover-afflicted foes take bonus damage in Festive Fog.”
- Scintillating Feast [Duo Dionysus/Zeus]: “Your Festive Fog effects also deal lightning damage periodically.”
- Thunder Dash: “Your Dash causes a lightning bolt to strike nearby foes.”
Aspect of Rama Build
Weirdly, I’ve found the most useful way to play this build is to completely ignore it’s main feature power – namely the ‘Celestial Sharanga’ which can spread damage over a number of foes in certain circumstances. While I’m sure there are some great builds out there that make use of it. I personally found it difficult to get working well for me. That could be because I haven’t upgraded the Aspect of Rama yet, or maybe it comes down to the wrong tactics or a lack of skill. Either way, I found a much easier alternative in the form of the Aspects overpowered special shot.
The special for Aspect of Rama is insane and in my opinion, easily it’s biggest strength. It’s kind of like the normal special, in that it shoots a number of arrows at the same time. But instead of shooting them in a spraying arc, it shoots them one after the other in a straight line, all hitting the same target that you’re pointing at. Not only that but it’s very easy to use as you can just hold your finger on the special button and the flurry of shots will continue to auto fire.
There are a number of viable builds based around this special, but my special so far is the power of Zeus and his lightning bolt special booster ‘Thunder Flourish’. It causes each of your arrows to trigger a lightning bolt on the thing you’re shooting at or something nearby. When you then add to this a number of other lightning buffing boons like ‘High Voltage’ to make your lightning bolts hit a large area and ‘Double Strike’ to give them a chance to hit twice, you’ll quickly see the damage start to stack up.
The secondary god in this build is Poseidon, with the goal being to trigger the Duo Boon ‘Sea Storm’, hopefull after getting ‘Tidal Dash’. If you do this you’ll not only be hitting enemies with multiple lighting bolt arrows that have enhanced powers but as you dash around and knock into them you’ll trigger more enhanced lightning strikes thanks to Sea Storm. The run in the video below is actually pretty weak. It took me a while to take down Hades and I didnt have any pacts of punishment in place. But I also didn’t manage to get the Sea Storm Duo Boon, and also missed out on a lot of other useful lightning enhancing boons that I would have liked. I’ve included Sea Storm in the list of boons below anyway, as regardless of it not being in the video, it’s really a good boon to aim for. What this shows is that even with just relying on the lightning special and not much else, you can make a viable build with the Rama bow.
How to unlock Aspect of Rama
If you haven’t yet unlocked the Aspect of Rama, follow the following instructions from the Hades Wiki on how to reveal the hidden aspect:
Reveal the Aspect of Rama by meeting the following requirements:
- Reveal the Aspect of Guan Yu (does not need to be unlocked with Titan Blood).
- Have a total of 5 or more invested into Bow aspects.
- If you have not previously received the following dialogue from Artemis, talk to her with the Bow equipped until you do: “Hey, how’d you get your hands on a nice bow like that? You take good care of Coronacht for me, so I can try it too once you’re up here.”
- Talk to Artemis (with any weapon equipped) until she gives you the waking-phrase (“I see you drawn in the arms of the seventh avatar”).
- Equip the Bow at the House and then interact with its placeholder to reveal the Aspect of Rama.
Aspect of Rama – Zeus/Poseidon Boons
These are the key Boons in the build:
- Thunder Flourish: Your Special causes a lightning bolt to strike nearby foes.
- Tidal Dash: Your Dash damages foes in an area and knocks them away.
- Sea Storm (Zeus/Poseidon Duo Boon): Your knock-away effects also cause foes to be struck by lightning.
- Double Strike: Your lightning bolt effects have a chance to strike twice.
- High Voltage: Your lightning bolt effects deal damage in a larger area.
- Feel like trying a different rogue-like and want something… darker? Why not give Darkest Dungeon a go with the first instalment of our torchless bloodmoon guide.