How to Make Builds in Hades

Written by Allen

December 21, 2020

Supergiant has pulled it off yet again. This indie developer has somehow managed to top itself through the years. Making titles that, time after time, captures the interest of fans and anyone looking for a good game to play.
After a few weeks of being nudged to pick up the game, I finally gave it a try. So far, the game can be finished under 30 minutes, but I’ve been playing it for more than 60 hours. Why is this? Because the game’s story literally progresses as you complete each playthrough, for one. The other is the fact that the game’s so well designed. Tweaked to be interesting to play at every turn while keeping the game on your terms. I don’t think I’ll bother to cover how it’s such a beautifully designed game on both aesthetic terms and game direction, but I’ll tell you how to enjoy it a bit more.
Everyone I know who picks up this game seems to have trouble deciding on how to make a build, at least if they’re not looking to go online. Even so, getting the build reliably seems to be a challenge. So let me help you out by teaching you how to create a build so you can play around with some ideas like I did.

Setting Up

First of all, you’ll want to actually be able to get boons and handle equipment you want to use. Get the keepsakes from each Olympian God. Grinding them to level up is a plus but the fact that you have them should be good enough. Handing them one Nectar each when you see them is all you need to do. Holding on to a keepsake allows you to meet the god who gave it to you more often, and improves what you can get out of them.

Next you’ll want to have equipment available to you. So unlock them all. After clearing the game once you should be able to uncover their alternate versions, like a bow that has homing arrows or a sword that turns you into a tank. (more on this later)

Finally, if you want to get really good or the best possible Boons, you’ll want to unlock this section of the Nyx’s Mirror. Yep, that’ll take some grinding. Think of this as optional if you just want to have the best ones as consistently as possible. Re-rolling is a big deal for this.

How to Make a Build

Okay, so now that we have things ready to get things going, pick a weapon you want to try building around. Think about what you want to take advantage of that weapon with. Normally, you want to capitalize on just one or two aspects of a weapon. For example, I’ll want to build around the alternate bow form, Chiron. The bow that can make its arrows homing. I want to make those homing arrows crit. So I equip Artemis’ keepsake so I can reliably get boon at the start, then pick her to enhance the special so that all the homing arrows can crit. Proceed to finish the stage with the best stuff I can get away with.

On the next stage I’ll be swapping my keepsake to Aphrodite’s, and get her boon on my attack. This inflicts a weak status on the enemy, so they can’t deal much damage while I’m spraying arrows at their face. I can pick any other attack boon, but I chose this because when your active boons come from certain gods, it’s possible to get a passive boon that can only be attained with Aphrodite and Artemis together.

So I can choose to either swap out to another keepsake for the third stage or just hold on to Aphrodite’s if I haven’t gotten the Duo Boon, Heart Rend. This boon will make crit damage substantially stronger so long as the target on the receiving is afflicted by Aphrodite’s debuff.
The rest that I will build around it are more of extras, but that’s the core of the build. I would want to get a Daedalus upgrade that improves the special attack in general. If I’m an absolute madman, I’d try to obtain a second duo-boon with Dionysus, which boosts critical chance. Hermes can potentially speed up the attack speed of the Special as well. But the chances of me netting all of these in one game and clearing it is another story.
So that’s it, decide what the major component of each build should be, which shouldn’t be more than 2. Then strategize how you’ll be able to actually complete it before facing of with Hades, though it’s much better to have it completed before leaving stage 3, Elysium. Mostly this is done by managing what you decide to equip on the first two stages of each run, but well, no two playthroughs are exactly the same, so you’ll never know if you’ll run into a bonus challenge or a freebie here and there.
To help guide you in knowing which has what boons, here’s a quick rundown.

Build Examples

Hestia (Rail) – Zeus and Poseidon – Ghost Buster Build

Zeus and Poseidon have a Duo Boon that procs lightning damage whenever you knockback a foe. Therefore, if put this on a gun’s fast attack speed, not only are you constantly keeping foes away, but you’re zapping them at an incredible pace. Simply use Poseidon’s boon on your attack and get any boon that produces lightning from Zeus, from there it’s possible to get the Duo-Boon.

Arthur (Sword) – Zeus, Ares, and Aphrodite – Revenge Tank Build

When the sword takes on the aspect of Arthur, the special casts a ground buff wherein your you take much less damage and enemies and their projectiles move slower. This makes up for the weapon’s slow and heavy-hitting nature. So instead of focusing on being an agile dodger, I opted to stack all sorts of revenge effects and just avoid big damage attacks. If you can attain the Duo Boon between Zeus and Ares, you won’t even need to get hit to slam enemies with revenge. Simply have a revenge boon as well as lightning and doom available to you, and you might luck out for the Duo Boon. It’s also notable that Aphrodite’s weak status goes a long way for this build as well.

Zagreus (Spear) – Athena and Ares – Merciful Backstabber

The base spear build has the fastest and strongest acting special of the game. It makes it easy to backstab enemies and seamlessly switch between regular attacks and special. When you get the Duo Boon between Ares and Athena, you can immediately trigger the Doom damage from Ares’ attack. You’ll need Athena’s deflect (preferrably on attack) and Ares’ Doom (which I usually put on special), then you’ll have to keep getting their boons and hopefully catch the Duo Boon between them. Give you’re mostly doing backstab and regular attacks, gaining Athena’s ‘Exposed’ boon will help boost damage as that strengthens backstab attacks.

Here’s an alternate version:

And there we have it, a few of the favorite builds I made up from the many hours I’ve spent wreaking havoc all over Hades’ domains. Hopefully this has opened your eyes to the possibilities that this amazingly well-put together game has laid in front of us.

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