Tainted Cain

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Tainted   Cain
Character image

Full red heartFull red heart
Table dividing line 1.png
Damage Stat Icon.png Damage
3.5 (*1.00)
Tears Stat Icon.png Tears
Shot Speed Stat Icon.png Shot Speed
Range Stat Icon.png Range
Speed Stat Icon.png Speed
Luck Stat Icon.png Luck
Table dividing line 2.png
Starting Items
Starting Item Icon.png Pickups1 key
Added in Repentance15►Bag of Crafting Bag of Crafting
Starting Item Icon.png ItemsNone
Unlock Method
The Hoarder Use the Red Key or Cracked Key in Home as Cain Cain
Added in Repentance

Tainted Cain is a character added in The Binding of Isaac: Repentance. He is the alternate version of Cain Cain. Tainted Cain is unlocked by reaching Home Home and using either the Red Key or the Cracked Key to access a special room in one of the walls while playing as Cain.

Tainted Cain starts with 2 heart containers, 1 key, and the 15►Bag of Crafting Bag of Crafting. Tainted Cain's Bag of Crafting is stored in the pill/card slot, meaning it is used with the pill/card key, is not dropped when picking up other active items, and cannot be discarded through any means. Tainted Cain is still able to hold one pill/card, in addition to the item.

Tainted Cain can't get items (except story items) through any means other than the Bag of Crafting, and attempting to do so will transform the item into an assortment of consumables. If this is done in a room with a special loot pool, one of the dropped consumables will be guaranteed to be the one which biases crafting recipes towards that pool.

Crafting an active item when already holding one will also transform the old active item into consumables instead of dropping it, following the same above rules.

Notes[edit | edit source]

Item & Strategy Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Many alternate ways of getting pedestal items, such as Shops or Devil Rooms, become irrelevant or outright detrimental when playing as Tainted Cain. Taking a Devil Deal only has the immediate benefit of dropping Black Hearts, which can be accomplished without spending Heart Containers through replacing Tainted Cain's Active Item while present in the Devil Room. As such, it is often more beneficial to skip the first Devil Room and instead potentially get free materials from a later Angel Room.
    • Shops do, however, have the use of purchasing Cards or Pills, which can then be dropped on the ground and used as ingredients.
  • Cards should be checked for there effects before being put in the bag of crafting, senice a few may be more beneficial to use then part of a recipe.
  • It may be beneficial to leave room rewards and pedestal item drops for a later time, then returning to craft items out of the more expensive materials once more are gathered.
  • Players should be careful about crafting range-increasing items, as these will offset the hitbox of the Bag of Crafting's swing. This can, with a high enough range stat, make it very difficult to grab crafting materials precisely.
  • However, keep in mind the base range of the Bag of Crafting's swing is usually enough to get pickups behind rocks.
  • Tainted Cain starting with 15►Bag of Crafting Bag of Crafting but not occupying his Activated Item slot makes it very powerful for reaching Achievements, as long as you know the recipes including, because you don't need to depend on random number generation to get these items.
    • Achievements that require collecting all items.
    • Achievements that require collecting a certain number of items of a certain category.
    • Tainted Cain's completion marks can be achieved by crafting powerful combinations of items, such as 15►Gnawed Leaf Gnawed Leaf (which can be created with the most common items so can usually be crafted in the first floor) and familiars that attack on their own like 15►Daddy Longlegs Daddy Longlegs. Selective crafting may make it hard to beat the time limits for Boss Rush and ???, but you can craft the alternate items to unlock those levels, as well as the alternate items to unlock the golden door in The Chest or The Dark Room. You can also craft these item combos and then switch characters using items like 15►Lazarus' Rags Lazarus' Rags or 15►Clicker Clicker to handle a completion mark that you were finding particularly difficult.

Good Items[edit | edit source]

Of course it isn't expected for the player to learn every individual crafting recipe, though it may be beneficial to memorize or have a few noteworthy cheap recipes at the ready.

  • 15►Portable Slot Portable Slot is arguably the cheapest item that can be crafted, able to be crafted with 8 pennies. Not only can it be used as a way to mill off coins in exchange for other materials and generate a large number of pickups in one room, a second one can easily be crafted on top of the first in any special room to create the pickup that corresponds to its item pool. For example, replacing your active item with a slot machine in a Secret Room will always generate a bone heart.
  • 15►D20 D20 can be crafted from common pickups, and is a great Active Item to hold onto, allowing Tainted Cain to reroll massive amounts of pickups anytime a pedestal item is broken, potentially into chests which can give even more.
  • 15►Mitre Mitre, while somewhat expensive, can be useful in the long term, as Soul Hearts are a common requirement for recipes.
  • 15►Contract From Below Contract From Below can give you access to significantly larger amounts of pickups throughout a run if crafted early.
  • 15►Glitter Bombs Glitter Bombs can allow for additional pickup generation, especially if combined with 15►Dr. Fetus Dr. Fetus, 15►Epic Fetus Epic Fetus, or 15►No. 2 No. 2. Of these three, No. 2 is the cheapest to craft and typically the most convenient to utilize in this fashion, though it is also quite slow.
  • 15►Diplopia Diplopia may be useful to generate large amounts of pickups in one room, especially special rooms.
  • 15►Eden's Blessing Eden's Blessing can be crafted repeatedly to make any character start with excessive amounts of items. (Stacks up to 10 items).
  • 15►Goat Head Goat Head / 15►Eucharist Eucharist are expensive to craft, but can give you consistent access to black hearts and/or eternal hearts, making it easier to craft Devil and/or Angel pool items.
  • 15►Duality Duality allows much more freedom to utilize black hearts and eternal hearts as you see fit, especially when combined with Goat Head or Eucharist.
  • 15►Mama Mega! Mama Mega! is very expensive, but can be used to force entry into Boss Rush and Hush. Due to how slow and methodical Tainted Cain typically is, this item can be incredibly useful for getting completion marks.
  • 15►Schoolbag Schoolbag can be a useful investment to make, as it allows for the player to carry an Active Item they intend to use, as well as an Active Item to be turned into materials in special rooms.
  • 15►Dad's Lost Coin Dad's Lost Coin can be crafted to generate Lucky Pennies for more expensive recipes.
  • 15►Moving Box Moving Box allows you to more easily control what kinds of pickups you get. By putting a pedestal item in the box and placing it back down inside of a special room, you can guarantee the pickup associated with that room. This eliminates the need to constantly be spending resources crafting new active items, but requires a 4-room recharge between uses, making it a tradeoff.
  • 15►Void Void and 15►Abyss Abyss can be used as a way to boost Tainted Cain's stats or damage output in rooms with multiple pedestals, due to direct stat up items being a bit hard to come by.
  • 15►Birthright Birthright has some relatively cheap recipes, and is one of the most important items for Tainted Cain, doubling the amount of pickups each pedestal item turns into.
  • 15►Rock Bottom Rock Bottom is very cheap to craft, requiring only 4 pennies, 3 keys, and a bone heart. Because you can guarantee this is one of the first items encountered in a run, it can be the backbone of an extremely powerful synergy of only a handful of items, such as Red Stew and Soy Milk.
  • 15►Options? Options? will give you a much larger variety of ingredients throughout a run. It should be noted that you cannot put both pickups generated by Options? into the Bag of Crafting. You will only take the closest one to you, and the further pickup will disappear.
  • 15►Red Stew Red Stew is a great panic craft, able to be made out of one key, one bomb, and six pennies. If a run is struggling, this can be a good item to extend it.
  • 15►Tooth and Nail Tooth and Nail is a very easy way to access Curse Rooms for free, allowing consistent generation of rotten hearts.
  • 15►R Key R Key takes quite a bit of thought to craft, though allows for Tainted Cain to continue a run almost indefinitely if crafted repeatedly, potentially earning every Completion Mark outside of Greed Mode in a single run.
  • Myosotis Myosotis, while not craftable, can be a good trinket to keep an eye out for, as it allows the transport of 4 pickups to the next floor.
  • 15►Alabaster Box Alabaster Box is dirt cheap, requiring only one soul heart and seven pennies. It is fully charged upon crafting and can be used to generate infinite pickups.

Bad Items[edit | edit source]

  • 15►The D6 The D6, 15►Eternal D6 Eternal D6, and 15►Spindown Dice Spindown Dice serve no purpose due to Tainted Cain being unable to pickup anything they reroll.
  • 15►There's Options There's Options and 15►More Options More Options are pointless for the most part, though can potentially be combined with Moving Box to gain double pickups.
  • 15►Humbling Bundle Humbling Bundle and 15►Bogo Bombs Bogo Bombs may sound good for Tainted Cain in theory, but in practice these will make it much harder to craft items precisely. Double pickups will yield 2 of the associated crafting ingredient, which can lead to frustrating situations if a recipe specifically calls for 1 of a particular pickup.

Unlockable Items[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The achievement for unlocking Tainted Cain is "The Hoarder", a possible title for the character.

Birthright effect[edit | edit source]

Item pedestals drop more pickups.

Bugs[edit | edit source]

Bug Bug! In Co-Op mode, if Tainted Cain takes an item from the boss pedestal, he will take every other unclaimed item at once.


Isaac CharNav New.png Maggy CharNav New.png Cain CharNav New.png Judas CharNav New.png BB CharNav New.png Eve CharNav New.png Samson CharNav New.png Azazel CharNav New.png Lazarus CharNav New.png Eden CharNav New.png Lost CharNav New.png


Tainted Isaac CharNav New.png Tainted Maggy CharNav New.png Tainted Cain CharNav New.png Tainted Judas CharNav New.png Tainted BB CharNav New.png Tainted Eve CharNav New.png Tainted Samson CharNav New.png Tainted Azazel CharNav New.png Tainted Lazarus CharNav New.png Tainted Eden CharNav New.png Tainted Lost CharNav New.png Tainted Lilith CharNav New.png Tainted Keeper CharNav New.png Tainted Apollyon CharNav New.png Tainted Forgotten CharNav New.png Tainted Bethany CharNav New.png Tainted Jacob CharNav New.png

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