[Top 5] Hades Best Builds For First Clear

Best Hades Builds for First Clear
Ah, the sweet air of freedom

Hades is a roguelike dungeon crawler game where you play as Zagreus, an immortal deity trying to escape from the Underworld against his father’s will. To leave, you need to clear three levels – Tartarus, Asphodel, and Elysium – each consisting of a series of rooms ending with a boss fight. If you die along the way, you return to Hades’ house and have to start over.

You have probably seen build guides for beating Hades. While offering some solid advice, those usually require you to equip Abilities, Aspects and Keepsakes that you simply can’t afford when you first start playing. This article is your go-to guide for beefing up Zagreus with limited funds so you can get that first clear and enjoy the game’s well-crafted replayability aspect.

For the purpose of easy builds, I have omitted the Twin Fists of Malphon and the Adamant Rail weapons since each of them costs eight Chthonic Keys to unlock. Each remaining weapon in this build uses the most basic Aspect of Hades and only Tiers 1 and 2 Olympian Boons that are available without bending over backwards. It also features the most basic Mirror of Night Abilities and contains no Companions at all since they take time and hard-earned Ambrosia to unlock.

And now, finally, here are the five best builds for the first clear:


5. The Backstabber

Uh-oh, you backstabbed your dad! Awkward.

This build is all about stabbing foes in the back for extra damage. If you are nimble enough, you can sneak up on enemies and kill them before they even know what happened.

Weapon: Stygius, or the Stygian Blade

Best Boons

Athena Divine Strike Your Attack is 40% stronger and can Deflect.
  • Deflect ability causes enemy attacks to bounce back to hit them.
  • Deflecting is a great ability to stay defended and damage foes in the process.
  • In addition, you deal even more damage for your Attack.
Athena Blinding Flash Your abilities that can Deflect also make foes Exposed.
  • Exposed effect causes the foes to take 50% more damage when struck from behind for five seconds.
  • It is yet another backstabbing ability to add to this build.
  • Stab a foe to Deflect, then circle them to stab them in the back for increased damage.
Zeus Thunder Flourish Your Special causes a lightning bolt to strike nearby foes.
  • This build is very Attack-oriented, but that’s no reason to leave your Special unattended.
  • When using your Nova Smash on a group of enemies, you can add some lightning damage on top of your Special.

Best Daedalus Upgrades

Breaching Slash Your Attack deals +300% damage to Armor.
  • Armored foes can be a real bummer since you need to break their Armor before you can actually damage, stun, knock away, or kill them.
  • With this upgrade, you will be able to quickly get rid of enemy defenses and get down to business.
Flurry Slash Hold Attack to strike rapidly, dealing 25 base damage per hit.
  • Stygius’ base Attack damage is 20, so you get a little damage increase and a chance to keep stabbing foes until they fall.
Shadow Slash Your Attack deals +200% damage when striking foes from behind.
  • As long as you can sneak up on a foe, this upgrade will practically do the killing for you. 

Best Mirror of Night Ability: Shadow Presence

Each rank gives you 10% more damage when you strike foes from behind for up to 50% bonus damage.

  • To finish off your backstabbing build, this ability will make your Attack even more powerful, especially when combined with Athena’s Exposed ability.

What The Backstabber Excels In:

  • Dealing extra damage when striking foes from the back.
  • Dealing increased damage to Armored foes.
  • Adding lightning damage on top of your normal attacks.


4. Critical Thinking

That's one hell of a crit, no pun intended

This build is crit-oriented, increasing your chances of landing Critical hits with a 300% damage increase.

Weapon: Coronacht, or the Heart-Seeking Bow

Best Boons

Artermis Deadly Strike Your Attack is 20% stronger, with a 15% chance to deal Critical damage.
  • Time for those sweet, sweet Crits!
  • A Critical hit deals 300% damage, which is a hefty increase, especially on top of the powered-up Attack.
Artemis Deadly Flourish Your Special is stronger, with a 20% chance to deal Critical damage.
  • Now both your Attack and your Special are stronger and can deal Critical damage, so you are guaranteed to one-hit some of those pesky Tartarus dwellers.
Artemis Hunter's Mark After you deal Critical damage to a foe, a foe near it is Marked.
  • Marked effect causes the victim to have a 30% higher chance of taking Critical damage from any attack.
  • Can I get a Critical damage with a side of Critical damage? 

Best Daedalus Upgrades

Sniper Shot Your Attack deals 200% more damage to distant foes (over 675 units away).
  • With this upgrade, you can stay safely out of range while dealing increased damage to the foes far away from you.
Charged Volley Hold Special for up to 250% base damage; the minimum range is reduced.
  • You can shoot several arrows in a spread pattern with increased damage per hit.
Point-Blank Shot Your Attack deals 150% more damage to nearby foes (closer than 330 units away).
  • Your Attack now deals increased damage to both distant and nearby foes!

Best Mirror of Night Ability: Fiery Presence

Each rank makes you deal 15% damage when you strike undamaged foes, up to 75% damage at the highest level.

  • With this ability on top of increased Attack and Special damage and those Critical chances, you can now truly one-hit your enemies.

What Critical Thinking Excels In:

  • One-hitting foes with increased damage and a high chance of Critical attacks.
  • Dealing increased damage with Attack or Special, especially to the undamaged foes.


3. Long-Distance Destruction

Swipe right to match your foe with certain death

This build focuses on increasing your reach, allowing you to get the most out of your spear, which has both melee and ranged combat capabilities.

Weapon: Varatha, or the Eternal Spear

Best Boons

Poseidon Tidal Dash Your Dash damages foes in an area for 35 damage and knocks them away.
  • With this Boon, you can damage your foes by simply Dashing next to them.
  • The Dash will also knock your enemies away, so you can get that 40% damage increase from the Extending Jab.
Poseidon Wave Pounding Your boons with Knock-Away effects deal bonus damage to bosses.
  • Just what it says on the cover: more damage to bosses with your Dash!
Demeter Frost Flourish Your Special is 60% stronger and inflicts Chill.
  • Chill is a stackable status curse that slows the victim down by 4% for eight seconds.
  • By slowing your foes down, you can keep them away for longer after knocking them away so you can use your Daedalus upgrades more comfortably.

Best Daedalus Upgrades

Extending Jab Your Attack has 40% more range and deals 40% more damage to distant foes.
  • Your spear already has a pretty decent reach, but you can make it even better by extending your Attack range.
Chain Skewer Your Special bounces to up to seven foes, dealing 30% more damage for each.
  • Usually, when throwing your spear, you hit a single foe, but with this upgrade, you can deal increased damage to seven enemies at once. 
Massive Spin Your Spin Attack deals 125% more damage and hits a 30% larger area.
  • When you hold Attack while using your spear, you can Spin Attack for up to 100 damage at the highest charge point.
  • With this upgrade, it can deal even more damage in a larger area.

Best Mirror of Night Ability: High Confidence

Each rank gives you 5% more damage while you have 80% Health or greater, up to 25% bonus damage at the highest level.

  • By keeping your foes away, you can maintain your Life Total, and this ability will let you deal extra damage for staying healthy.

What Long-Distance Destruction Excels In:

  • Increasing your spear’s Attack and Special range.
  • Knocking foes away to keep them out of range.
  • Stacking Chill status curse to slow enemies down.


2. The Pincushion

Zag, that's some cool moves, but your aim is horrible

This build is all about stacking status effects on your foes to slow them down and force them to take more damage.

Weapon: Coronacht, or the Heart-Seeking Bow

Best Boons

Dionysus Drunken Strike Your Attack inflicts Hangover.
  • Hangiver  is a stackable status curse that causes the victim to take four points of damage every 0.5 seconds for four seconds.
  • Why not add some passive damage on top of your Attack?
  • Stack those bubbles and watch your foes run around and take damage without lifting a finger.
Demeter Frost Flourish Your Special is 60% stronger and inflicts Chill.
  • Chill is a stackable status curse that slows the victim down by 4% for eight seconds.
  • Now that your volley has more arrows and power, you can add Chill to it so your foes move slower.
Dionysus Peer Pressure Hangover-afflicted foes contaminate other nearby foes every four seconds.
  • Make it spread! This Boon will let you inflict the Hangover damage even to the foes you didn’t directly hit with your Attack.

Best Daedalus Upgrades

Piercing Volley Your Special pierces foes, deals 400% more damage to Armor, and becomes unblockable.
  • By piercing enemies, you can hit the foes behind them, too, and the Armored enemies are no longer a concern for you with the 400% damage increase.
  • What’s especially cool is that your Special is now unblockable, meaning it will hit shield-wielding enemies unlike most other attacks.
Chain Shot Your Attack bounces to up to three foes, dealing 15% more damage for each.
  • Instead of hitting just one foe with your Attack, you can now damage three enemies with increased damage.
Relentless Volley Your Special shoots four extra shots.
  • This upgrade will help you cover more ground with your Special.

Best Mirror of Night Ability: Privileged Status

Each rank gives you 20% more damage against foes afflicted by at least two Status Curse effects, up to 40% bonus damage at the highest level.

  • This build lets you stack two status curses, so you might as well get some extra damage out of it.

What The Pincushion Excels In:

  • Stacking status curses for increased damage.
  • Increased number of arrows shot at once while using Special.
  • Dealing more damage to Armor and bypassing shields.


1. The Foe-Mower

Blocked and reported for being too mean to Zagreus

This build turns you into an unbreachable tank, letting you mow down your foes while staying defended.

Weapon: Aegis, or the Shield of Chaos

Best Boons

Athena Divine Strike Your Attack is 40% stronger and can Deflect.
  • Deflecting causes enemy attacks to bounce back to hit them.
  • While your Attack is charging, you can stay protected and deal some damage back to the foes while you are at it.
Hermes Swift Strike Your Attack is 10% faster.
  • With this Boon, you can deal more damage per unit of time.
Ares Battle Rage After slaying a foe, your next Attack or Special deals 100% more damage.
  • Now that you can one-hit foes with your Rush, you can build up your killing power by dealing increased damage every time you slay a foe.

Best Daedalus Upgrades

Sudden Rush Your Bull Rush charges much faster.
  • Time is everything, and this upgrade lets you Rush at your enemies faster and more frequently.
Minotaur Rush Your Bull Rush gains a Power Rush that does 500% more damage.
  • 500% is a lot of damage, so make sure to grab this upgrade as soon as you have a chance.
Breaching Rush Your Bull Rush deals 400% more damage to Armor.
  • Armored foes are no longer an issue when you can just obliterate their Armor in one or two strikes.

Best Mirror of Night Ability: Fiery Presence

Each rank makes you deal 15% damage when you strike undamaged foes, up to 75% damage at the highest level.

  • With this ability paired increased with Rush damage and damage to Armor, you become an unstoppable force against almost any foe.

What The Foe-Mower Excels In:

  • One-hitting foes by using Rush.
  • Attacking and Rushing faster.
  • Staying defended and Deflecting damage while charging your Rush.


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A big fan of story-driven games with a special place in my heart for good horror titles.
Gamer Since: 2009
Favorite Genre: RPG
Top 3 Favorite Games:Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD, Outlast, Undertale

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