Ring of War increases weapon damage by 1, adds a knockback effect to the player's attacks, and transforms mini-bosses into their most powerful version. Knockback causes an enemy to be pushed back in the direction of the attack without moving forward in their action cycle, effectively delaying movement and attacks by a beat.
Although the help text implies that Ring of War causes more enemies to spawn, this is not true.
While available normally through chests and shops, Ring of War can also be obtained by bombing an inactive Shrine of War.
Notable Interactions Edit
Ring of War can make combat a lot easier, but care needs to be taken with the knockback effect. While knockback can be used to pin an enemy to a wall, rendering it helpless and easy to defeat, it can also unexpectedly push away enemies, leading to either slow kills, unintended damage intake, or both. Weapons with long forward reach can avoid these situations easily. Rapiers are especially strong with Ring of War, as the knockback effect allows the player to chain together lunges continuously against a single target, leaving the victim no chance to react. Alternatively, Ring of War acts as a simple direct damage upgrade with flails, as the two knockback effects do not stack.
Ring of War also has an unexpected bonus in speedruns during Zone 3 by converting Blue Dragons into the much more aggressive Red Dragons. While Blue Dragons won't approach the player until directly seen by them, Red Dragons will attempt to reach the player earlier on, making the exit much easier to locate.
Ring of war is also a good alternative to ring of gold in score runs as more powerful versions of monsters drop more gold.