Tainted Judas starts with 2 black hearts and 3 coins. He does not start with The Book of Belial like Judas does, but instead starts with Dark Arts in his pill/card slot. When used, Dark Arts gives Tainted Judas +1.0 speed and makes him invulnerable to damage for a short period of time. Any enemies touched while Dark Arts is active will be frozen until the effect ends, at which point they will take damage. Any enemy projectiles touched while Dark Arts is active will be destroyed. The amount of damage dealt to them is proportional to the number of enemies touched, and each enemy killed or projectile destroyed grants Tainted Judas a temporary damage boost. The damage boost scales and lasts longer depending on the number of enemies killed and projectiles destroyed.
Tainted Judas is unable to gain Red Hearts. Health Ups will give him black hearts instead. Should he pick up a Bone Heart, he will be unable to fill it with red health.
Tainted Judas is best suited to a highly aggressive playstyle; making effective use of Dark Arts by rushing into the fray and striking as many enemies as possible, then clearing up stragglers with buffed damage. However, it shouldn't be mistaken as a purely offensive tool, as the ability to destroy projectiles gives it great defensive utility when used properly. For example, timing its activation to cross through the origin point of a nova of bullets as they spawn simultaneously removes the need to dodge and grants a massive damage boost.
It is vital to get a feel for how long Dark Arts remains active, as being inside an enemy or hazard when it ends will typically result in damage taken.
Dark Arts can nullify a lot of the harder puzzle rooms, as one can walk straight through spikes and shots while it's active. In addition, being able to enter Curse Rooms grants a risk-free opportunity to build up soul/black hearts or find powerful items every floor.
Tainted Judas is extremely effective in Greed Mode, due to the ability to wholly ignore damage from Curse Rooms / spikes inside the store and the quick transitions between waves allowing for repeated use of Dark Arts to continue stacking damage.
Dark Arts can also be used to ignore the damage from the button and pause the timer for free.
Due to his similar health system, many of the benefits that apply to ??? in regards to health can be applied to Tainted Judas as well.
Items that rely on being in close proximity to enemies can be extremely beneficial, due to how often you will need to sprint through them to build Dark Arts effects.
Ipecac is extraordinarily effective with Dark Arts, as the damage of the Dark Arts hits scales off of the Damage stat, which is increased significantly by Ipecac - It becomes possible to easily shred bosses in a single hit, especially if multiple projectiles are tagged beforehand.
As Dark Arts encourages a risky playstyle of throwing oneself into swarms of bullets, items that can block the rare instances of damage (Host Hat, Infamy, Holy Mantle) are very effective.
The decision to use projectile destroying items (Halo of Flies, Psy Fly, etc.) is one that will need to be judged from playthrough to playthrough. For newer players or during a poor run where damage to oneself needs to be minimized, they are very useful during the downtime between Dark Arts activations. However, for more experienced players or during runs where soul/black hearts are plentiful, they can prove to be quite detrimental as they will block projectiles before Tainted Judas touches them, lowering the Dark Arts damage buff.
Orbitals that deal high contact damage (such as Cube of Meat or Sacrificial Dagger) work well with Dark Arts, as they deal substantial damage while passing through enemy hitboxes, often enough to negate the damage lost from nullified projectiles.
Depending on a player's skill level, items that reduce the size of the character's hitbox (Such as Binky, Mini Mush, and the "One makes you small" pill) may start to become less desirable picks, as they can sometimes make bullets and enemies harder to hit.
Shade will increase your damage output with Dark Arts, whether it’s been absorbed or not. When it hasn’t been absorbed, it may cause some confusion as to which character you are controlling, as it looks quite similar to Tainted Judas at a glance.
PC As a likely unintended result of Health Up effects granting black hearts, Converter can be used to activate The Necronomicon's effect endlessly with no health loss, allowing you to quickly deal large amounts of damage by using it repeatedly. (Soul hearts in the last slot will turn into black hearts.)
This page was last edited on 21 April 2021, at 22:46.
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