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Eli

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Eli
Bestiary eli
Character Information
Starting Health 3 Hearts
Starting Weapon None
Starting Item(s) Infinite Bombs
Nazar Charm
Unlocking Complete Zone 1
Music Virt

Eli is the one who digs forever just to find his brother, Dorian. Eli is Cadence's uncle, Dorian's brother. He is Cadence's caretaker while her father is away. Cadence, despite Eli's recommendations, goes to the crypt to search for her father anyways.

To unlock him, you must complete zone 1.

Rules and Restrictions

Eli starts with a Shovel, Nazar Charm, and infinite Bombs. 

Eli has no starting weapon and cannot equip one - attempting to do so results in a death to "Cowardice." To compensate, he is granted infinite bombs and a unique ability to kick them, moving it 3 tiles away. Kicked bombs will pass through enemies, but not through walls or chests. 

Due to those mechanics, Eli cannot find any Weapons or Shovels. Additionally, Eli does not have access to Ring of Might, Ring of Courage, Ring of War, Boots of Pain, Boots of Strength, Glass Jaw, Sunglasses, and Blast Helm. Shrines of Blood and No Return do not spawn for him.

Shops only offer two items for Eli, and their walls will not provide gold upon destruction.

Moles will not spawn for Eli. Leprechauns are modified to have 5 HP (compared to the usual 4).

Strategy

Items

Since Eli can normally only damage enemies through bombs with a somewhat lengthy fuse delay, items that offer alternative forms of damage are extremely helpful for him. Holy Water, Fireball, and Boots of Lunging are all very strong in this regard. Boots of Leaping will help Eli get away from faster moving enemies tailing him and avoid damaging himself with his own bombs. Ring of Peace and Miner's Cap are also good options to help prevent enemy swarms from trapping Eli near his bombs. During score runs, the Ring of Gold is absolutely irreplaceable, as collecting gold without accidentally destroying it is extremely challenging for Eli. Arguably the strongest option for Eli in non-score contexts, however, is the Ring of Phasing, as Eli is able to place bombs inside walls to attack enemies from nearly complete safety.

Combat

Bomb kicking allows Eli to attack almost every enemy at a safe distance with very little risk. His strength is in clearing out large swarms of enemies very quickly. His boss fights are typically very trivial, with each one going down within a couple of well placed bombs. Eli is fairly weak if trying to push aggressively in a speedrunning context, however, as allowing too many enemies to live can restrict his movement and interfere with ability to avoid his own bombs. Eli also needs to be very careful with digging and opening doors, as a fast moving enemy on the other side (such as an active Ghost or Skeleton Rider) can cause significant problems for him if he fails to place a bomb in advance.

Since Eli requires a beat in order to place a bomb, enemies which move every beat are the most deadly to him. The main things to watch out for in this respect are Zone 1 Ghosts, Zone 2 Wall Mimics, Zone 3 Skeleton Riders, and Banshees. Placing a bomb before activating them or allowing them to get to close is important to handling them. If one of these enemies gets too close, Eli should use spells or items to handle them (if available), but can also sometimes use the environment to allow him to gain breathing room. This can be in the form of bounce traps, bomb traps, or ice tiles (which allow him to plant a bomb while sliding). Unlike most other characters, Zone 4 is arguably the easiest part of the game for Eli. Enemies that act every beat are almost non-existent and nearly all special combat properties of enemies become irrelevant, since these effects do not trigger or affect bombs (Warlock teleportation and Blademaster parries do not occur, Ooze Golem shrink tiles do not affect the ability to place bombs).

Trivia

  • Eli's shovel is permanently grafted to his arm, possibly after losing his hand to an explosives accident. This trait is reflected in-game by his inability to pick up shovels, even if he finds one through the Glass Shop or a Shrine of Space.

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