A guide to the spiritual world of Shop Titans
Update in progress, bear with us please
Last updated: 2nd February 2023
One the most widely asked questions around gear and enchants is, “What spirit is best for X?”. Simple enough question, but the correct answer is potentially complicated with many variables.
Let’s explore all the options available to use, their potential uses and where they fit best, plus some of the math behind their effectiveness!
Tier 4 Spirits
Ability: +2% Evasion
Cat had its moment in the spotlight after Dancers released. However, recently with the T9 spirits launch, it took a swift backseat to Lion. Sure, Cat is double the evasion boost over Lion, but the lack of a secondary stat still puts a damper on its potential. That said, pre-Lion this is an excellent stepping stone! It also has some potential if you’re using Cat Burglar gear due to the affinity bonus.
Mechanics: Every Cat spirit adds a direct 2% increase to the hero’s Evasion stat.
- EVA boost: 30% EVA + 2% for every Cat = 42% EVA
Use cases: Every Dancer and Ninja (with innate) who is not already above 50% Evasion would benefit heavily from a set of Cat spirits. However Lion is the better option if funds or progression allow.
When to avoid: If a hero’s evasion is already above 50%, there is more benefit in using other spirits, such as Lion, Shark, or Bear.
Ability: +5% Attack
The Wolf spirit has been the anchoring basis for +% ATK spirits since the game launched. On the surface it seems ideal enough, as giving a 5% boost to a crucial stat is always welcome. However, with recent spirit additions carrying this exact bonus and more, it has fallen to the wayside as unnecessary in the late game.
Mechanics: Every wolf spirit adds to the overall final ATK modifier to a hero’s ATK stat.
- Attack boost: 1000 ATK * (1 + .05 for every Wolf) = 1300 ATK
Use cases: You are not progressed enough to be able to afford or craft the higher +%ATK spirits.
When to avoid: Wolf does not perform as well as other options on your Green type heroes, avoid using it there. Also, because wolf adds to the final ATK multiplier, it does not perform well unless your base stats and gear stats are initially high. What this means is that adding a set of Wolf spirits to your heroes will not do as much to help low ATK values as it would to higher ATK values.
Ability: +5% Defense
Ram is sadly outdone by literally every other spirit out there. Comparable spirits give a bigger boost to defence, and even then the boosts do not do much to alter the damage taken from enemies due to the shallow damage slopes.
Mechanics: Every Ram spirit adds to the final DEF bonus modifier to a hero’s DEF stat.
- Defense boost: 1000 DEF * (1 + .05 for every Ram) = 1300 DEF
Use cases: None
When to avoid: Always
Ability: +2% Critical Hit Chance
Eagle is a great late game spirit choice for critical based heroes – and its value exponentially increases as heroes become stronger. The introduction of Carbuncle has dethroned it as the go-to option for crit builds but it still offers a cheap boost for monks, musketeers and the like.
Mechanics: Eagle will directly add to your crit rate chance, a full set will grant +12% crit rate
- CR boost: 5% CR + 2% for every Eagle = 17% CR
Use cases: Your hero is geared extremely well and a spirit choice adding more attack would not increase attack enough to lower the amount of hits to win (and Carbuncle is not available to you.)
When to avoid: Eagle is not as effective if you are not already completely over-gearing the content. In short, if you have to ask “should I use Eagle?” you probably shouldn’t.
Ability: +3% Health
Ox sadly suffers the same fate as Ram. Its bonus is duplicated and improved on a higher tier spirit. To add insult to injury, its bonus is pretty small, and most heroes will not see even 20+ more health from its addition before its bigger brothers Walrus comes into the picture.
Mechanics: Every Ox spirit will add to the final HP modifier to a hero’s HP stat.
- Health boost: 300 HP * (1 + .03 for every Ox) = 354 HP
Use cases: None
When to avoid: Always
Ability: +15% Critical Hit Damage
Viper fell from grace with its nerf from 20% to 15% CD bonus, which was a 30% hit from its total when all 6 pieces of gear were enchanted. What happens now is the CD boost Viper gives, no longer lowers the hits to kill as effectively as its other spirit counterparts. Viper simply does not quite get the chance to shine as our quests end far too soon and easily with the other options.
The introduction of Chimera was very much was the final nail in the coffin for Viper – it is now completely outclassed.
Mechanics: Every Viper spirit adds a direct 15% increase to the critical damage modifier.
- CD boost: 200% CD + 15% for every Viper = 290% CD
Use cases: None.
When to avoid: Always.
Tier 7 Spirits
Ability: +5% XP
Owl is a very specific boost. It shines on low level gear to assist in leveling a hero up to the next tier of gear. A full set is a substantial boost to XP at +30%, and in the lower hero levels where XP needed is minimal, it adds up fairly quick. Sadly, in later levels it just does not hold up to comparison when laid out against the boosts other spirits provide.
Mechanics: Every Owl Spirit adds to the overall XP multiplier applied to the base XP value reward from a quest, for the specific hero Owl is enchanted to.
Use cases: Generally an early game spirit to accelerate hero growth, or potentially enchanted to a specific set of gear you use in the mid/late game to quickly level up new heroes.
When to avoid: Once heroes reach level 26+ Owl’s value add drops significantly and you should instead focus on spirits which add to functional stats.
Ability: +5 Threat Rating
Influencing threat enough to tip the probability of 1 hero taking more hits is a sharp uphill battle. Couple that with the fact that Mammoth has a bigger threat boost in tandem with a defense boost, and you get a spirit that has no possible redemption.
Mechanics: Every Rhino Spirit adds to a hero’s overall threat value.
- Threat boost: 90 Threat + 5 for every Rhino = 120 Threat
Use cases: None
When to avoid: Always
Ability: +15% Chance to survive one fatal blow
Armadillo fills such a small niche requirement that it’s hard to make work. To consider its use, you will need to assume your hero will be stuck with a fatal blow, as any other scenario puts Armadillo’s bonus into the useless category. Having the fallback of a possibility (not even 100% with a full set!) to survive simply does not out weigh the benefit of using a spirit that gives actual stat and potency boosts.
Mechanics: Every Armadillo Spirit adds directly to a chance that the first fatal blow delivered to the hero will leave them instead with 1 HP.
- +15% for every Armadillo = 90% chance to survive 1 fatal blow
Use cases: You’ve decided that your hero doesn’t need any of this spiritual nonsense and will spit in the face of Death.
When to avoid: Always
Ability: -20% Break Chance
If the strategy you want to employ involves lowering break chance, invest in Walrus or Tarrasque. The idea of lowering break chance via spirits is edge case enough that if you want to head down that road, use the right tool for the job (Walrus/Tarrasque).
Mechanics: Horse only affects the item it is enchanted to, it will lower the existing break chance value by 20%
- 2.2% break chance – (2.2 * .2) = 1.76% break chance
Use cases: As stated in the blurb, Walrus and Tarrasque are simply better if this is the approach you are looking to take. Don’t use Horse.
When to avoid: Always
Ability: +3 HP Regen per turn
Lizard is awesome. The HP regen stacks additively per spirit, making a full set give you 18 HP a turn! Its application can apply to literally any hero, even the evasion reliant ones. It gives cushion to stat requirements that might be slightly out of reach, as you can lower HP thresholds and replace them with more ATK. Its biggest downfall is lack of need in the late game, when heroes are plowing through content so quickly that the regen from Lizard does not have enough rounds to be utilized.
Mechanics: Every Lizard Spirit enchanted to a hero gives that hero +3 HP regen per turn, up to a total of +18.
Use cases: Lizard will shine best when enchanted to any hero who has a high evasion stat – whilst this will largely be Rogues, it can have use on Fighters (such as Rangers) and Spellcasters (when using an evasion build.) Lizard is also an excellent default fallback for when you are not ready to take the huge price tag plunge that T9/T12 spirits bring.
Lizard also plays a major role for heroes that wish to solo content -although slightly diminished with the introduction of Phoenix, Lizard is a cheap viable alternative.
When to avoid: You’re not using an evasion-based hero (putting this on a knight for example would achieve nothing compared to their other options.)
Ability: -1% Resting Time
Absolute garbage. Rest time already has diminishing returns, and you functionally cap it just by mastering the quest zone and Emerald Inn. At best a full set of Hippo gives you -6% more, which results in 10-20 minutes being shaved off your time, at best.
Mechanics: Every Hippo Spirit enchanted to a hero gives a direct 1% decrease to the rest time of the hero.
Use cases: Maybe if you have a very specific team for Boss cooldowns they could benefit from Hippo since the rest time is extremely large.
When to avoid: Generally stay away from it. Every other spirit gives a far more actual improvement to hero potential or functionality.
Tier 9 Spirits
Ability: +5% Attack and +15 Health
Objectivity aside for a second, I love this spirit! It combines my two favorite things ever, doing more damage and staying alive. The benefits this spirit provides to dang near every hero is astonishing and it can turn any set of gear into a great set of gear!
(Objectivity back on) Bear is a fantastic spirit that encapsulates firepower and staying power. The quest system is designed as pass/fail, with hero metrics really defined around how quickly they can kill the enemy before it kills them. Bear allows heroes to stay in the fight longer with the health boost, as well as dish out more damage. Its a 2 for 1 special that just keeps on giving!
Mechanics: Every Bear Spirit adds a flat 15 health to the base health of the hero. This means the bonus applies before skill modifiers. It also adds 5% attack boost to the final attack modifier to a hero’s ATK stat.
- Health boost: 300HP + 15 for every Bear = 390 HP
- ATK boost: 1000 ATK * (1 + .05 for every Bear) = 1300 ATK
Use cases: Every single hero class benefits heavily from this spirit. It is easily the best default recommendation. Specifically on “red” and “blue” types because they have no reliance on evasion. If you are unsure which spirit is best for your hero, then go with Bear.
When to avoid: “Green” type heroes play heavily on evasion, and simply gain more from Lion’s boost. Bear is also not ideal if your hero would not make use of the added HP, for example if your berserker is already sporting 800+ HP, an additional 90 is most likely not going to change his performance much.
Ability: +5% Health and -30% Break Chance
The super Horse. The health boost is admirable, but unfortunately coupled with a niche bonus making its use cases slim to none. Leveraging break chance reduction to its fullest is a strategy used by some, however the bonuses are still applied to already very low percentages normally, bringing focus to the law of diminishing returns.
Mechanics: Every Walrus Spirit adds 5% to the final health modifier of a hero’s HP stat, and also adds a 30% reduction to break chance on the specific piece of gear that Walrus is enchanted.
- Health boost: 300HP * (1 + .05 for every Walrus) = 390 HP
- Break chance: 2.2% break chance – (2.2 * .3) = 1.54% break chance
Use cases: Specific focus on super high HP values or aiming for low break chance gear. Both cases require a conscious decision to pursue, and if you have access to Tarrasque you have a better option for break chance reduction.
When to avoid: Unless you are going for the use cases above, avoid this spirit in favor of Bear
Ability: +10% Defense and +10 Threat Rating
The Rhino poacher. Mammoth takes what Rhino does and doubles it, and then also adds in a defence boost! Granted, these two stats are last on the list of stats players normally look to buff, but if you are mid game and your tanks are not quite as beefy as you would like, Mammoth could fill that void.
Mechanics: Every Mammoth Spirit adds a flat 10 threat to the hero’s existing threat. It also adds 10% to the final defense modifier applied to the hero’s DEF stat.
- Threat boost: 90 threat + 10 for every Mammoth = 150 Threat
- Defense boost: 1000 DEF * (1 + .1 for every Mammoth) = 1600 DEF
Use cases: Whilst he best defence is a good offense you might find yourself with “red” type heroes who if they have the DEF and threat boost provided could assist in breaking into endgame quests. The extra threat also pairs well with Chieftains who get a damage boost from having more threat.
When to avoid: Due to the nature of its use cases revolving around hitting specific breakpoints at specific progression levels, its best to avoid this spirit if you are not prepared to number crunch its effectiveness for your roster.
Ability: Bonus Attack VS injured enemies
Shark is the gamblers spirit. On the surface it appears quirky, and hard to decipher. What the heck is “Bonus Attack” and “Injured Enemies”? To start, the bonus is 20% per spirit, and an ‘injured’ enemy is one whose HP value is currently at <50%. When directly compared to the other offensive offerings it is essentially the same in effectiveness, but as your crit rate improves, so does the potential of Shark. If your hero scores a crit during Sharks active period, the returns become exponentially higher than Bear or Lion. This RNG element leads to exciting opportunities, and a very high potential ceiling on damage values.
Mechanics: Every Shark Spirit adds 20% to the final attack modifier applied to a hero’s ATK value, but only while in combat, and only when the enemies HP value is < 50%. This triggers at the start of the turn, so you do not gain this bonus on the hit that puts the enemy into the threshold.
- 1000 ATK * (1 + .2 for every Shark) = 2200 ATK
NOTE – Shark’s bonus will never appear on a hero’s stat sheet, it is an in combat bonus exclusively.
Use cases: If your crit rate is exceptionally high 75%+, or the hero’s effectiveness is directly related to relying on crits (Ninja), then Shark can pull ahead in potential over the alternatives. Other than Ninja, its rare that Shark will average better than the other damage boosting spirits.
When to avoid: Shark is not effective on “red” heroes when compared to the alternatives, avoid its use on them. “Blue” hero types can potentially make stunning use of Shark, but again it comes down to crit rate and how much you want to rely on RNG for quick victories. Avoid in those situations if the hero’s crit rate is below 75%.
Ability: +5% Attack and +1% Evasion
Lion is a Dancer’s best friend. This spirit was very clearly created with Dancer in mind, and plays to boost its biggest strength and improve on its greatest weakness. Every point in evasion on a Dancer is effectively 1% crit rate as well, because of how their innate ability functions. Lion’s boost to attack also bumps Dancers usual biggest hurdle which is acquiring enough boosts to attack! This is not exclusive to Dancers either, as every “green” type class benefits just as fruitfully in their potential as well.
Mechanics: Every Lion Spirit adds a flat 1% to the total evasion of the hero. It also adds 5% to the final attack modifier applied to the hero’s ATK stat.
- Evasion boost: 50% EVA + 1 for every Lion = 56% EVA
- Attack boost: 1000 ATK * (1 + .05 for every Lion) = 1300 ATK
Use cases: Dancer is the definite primary benefactor here. You should consider Lion on all your Dancers, and all of your other “green” type heroes you may have.
When to avoid: If your hero does not rely on evasion to be effective, pass on Lion in favor of Bear. Additionally, if your evasion heavy hero is already above 50% EVA, you can consider Shark as an alternative to potentially end fights a round or two sooner if your hero crits. You may also want to consider using a more survival-based spirit such as Lizard if you find your green-types dying.
Ability: +25% Attack on the first round
Samurai’s redemption! Dinosaur gives a massive bonus to the first hit from the hero it is enchanted on. In most cases, this does not improve a hero’s performance over the smaller, but longer lasting, attack boosts from other choices. However, if you can obtain a critical hit under its conditions, the results can be outstanding! Samurai’s innate ability allows it to crit 100% of the time on the first hit, which can directly utilize the boost from Dinosaur.
That being said, with the introduction of new content this potency has started to drop in usefulness.
Mechanics: Every Dinosaur Spirit adds 25% to the final attack modifier applied to a hero’s ATK stat. This is only active for the first round of battle.
- 1st Attack: 1000 ATK * (1 + .25 for every Dinosaur) = 2500 ATK
- Every attack after: 1000 ATK
NOTE – Dinosaur’s bonus will never appear on a hero’s stat sheet, it is an in combat bonus exclusively.
Use cases: The obvious (and pretty much the only) use is on Samurais, as it is fully taken advantage of and spectacularly improves their damage output. There is some potential use cases where if your hero (or heroes) have high ATK and CR values, and when paired with Rudo’s leader skill, would result in a first round clear.
When to avoid: If your hero is not a Samurai, is not fighting alongside Rudo, and does not have a base CR of 40% or higher, avoid using Dinosaur.
Tier 12 Spirits
Ability: +10% Attack. +10% Critical Hit Damage.
Ability: +2% Evasion. +2% Critical Hit Chance
Ability: +100 Defense. +25 Health
Use Cases: Use on heroes when you’re initially levelling them – it will keep them alive and allows them to enter high xp quests very early (such as Sun God’s Tomb.)
When to avoid: moment you’ve stopped levelling them/can start wearing higher tier items.
Ability: +10% Attack. +100 Attack
Ability: +4% Health. +3 HP Regen per turn
Ability: +20% Defense. -50% Break Chance
Ability: +4% Health. +20 Health