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- AZURE BODY: +25% to starting Physical resist, Death Gaze Immune
- SAPPHIRE LOCKS: Natural Poisonous strike, petrifies enemies, starts with ENDISWAL glyph, -50% attack bonus
- AMETHYST GAZE: Deathgaze effect deals unresistable damage upon attacking enemies with low health, starts with 10% Deathgaze
The Gorgon is a very bizarre class. Gorgons play sort of like monks, in that they both rely on the "regen fight" strategy, and they both have naturally bad damage. Gorgons don't have reduced base damage, but unfortunately raising bonus damage is harder to accomplish. However, with the right items the Gorgon should negate their bonus damage penalty and then some.
The most powerful part about Gorgons are their intrinsic poison attacks. Combined with their natural physical resistance, Gorgons are able to tackle higher level enemies, using poison to come out ahead in trades. Combining this with their death gaze immunity means enemy Gorgons are easy prey (as ironic as that might be for a mirror match).
Confusingly, the Gorgon class's Deathgaze skill differs from the one that enemy monsters have. Both versions trigger when the enemy is below the Deathgaze% threshold at the start of the attack, but the player's Deathgaze does not instantly kill. Instead, the player's Deathgaze is a free attack that inflicts damage equal to the player's base attack before the enemy strikes. This often finishes them off, preventing retaliation. This is NOT affected by Platemail, making it a great item buy or even preparation candidate that has great synergy with poison and stoneskin.
The Deathgaze skill doesn't scale quite as well as the other monster class's CP bonuses do, but the CP investment can make a difference all the same - it's just one option, where a Vampire or Rat Monarch would be crazy not to go conversion-heavy. At 10% Deathgaze, the skill is strictly a finishing attack for edge cases. With some CP investment, Deathgaze becomes a much more reliable First Strike alternative. It takes a moderate-to-large CP investment to be able to use Deathgaze two or more times in a single fight, and the scaling pays off especially well against Super Meat Man, who can be brought into Deathgaze range with Can of Whupaz and other potions before you continue, regen-fighting for the rest.
The biggest handicap that Gorgons have to face is that they petrify enemies on kill. This includes kills with BURNDAYRAZ, but not bosses. The Gorgon does begin with ENDISWAL, but the net effect is that the Gorgon often has to spend 6 mana to progress further. This means the Gorgon needs to conserve mana and/or blackspace when playing in cramped areas, which is sometimes easier said than done. The glyph makes it easier to reach hidden subdungeons, and the Gorgon does well with Binlor Ironshield on levels such as Shifting Passages, Rock Garden, and The Labyrinth where you would want to destroy a large number of walls regardless. Petrified enemies do leave blood pools, but they're only accessible after the statue is destroyed, so this means Gorgons have poor synergy with The Earthmother and Dracul. Gorgons also fare poorly against maps with lots of undead enemies, because poison doesn't work against them. Depending on your worship plans, you may wish to break statues for blood pools mid-game. Barring that, you should break walls that either make additional blackspace accessible in the late game, or that help you get past blockages.
Gorgons are a bit complicated. Several considerations need to be made when sorting out monster difficulty. Very few monsters are at one extreme or the other.
Enemies should be non-undead (so that poison works), deal physical damage, and have irrelevant perks compensating for lowered stats. Magic resist is a minor consideration, while physical resistance is often a larger concern. Status ailments are to be avoided. Some of the most common foes are listed below in roughly increasing order of difficulty by paragraph.
Gorgon is the easiest monster to kill for bonus experience. Deathgaze immunity and your own Deathgaze negates their Deathgaze and First Strike skills. Meat Man is about equally attractive as a target, as well as Goat, whose moderate magic resistance keeps it from being even easier. Whenever you have HALPMEH to clear out poison, Serpent joins this tier.
Goblin's First Strike is bypassed by Deathgaze, so they are also decent regen-fighting targets, but not quite top-tier due to their good damage. Similarly, Golem has enough magic resistance to be of a similar tier, unless you have PISORF or HALPMEH to make the fight easier.
A high-level Bandit is weak enough to regen-fight easily, but requires a large amount of popcorn to remove the curses. This can be done once or maybe twice in a run with proper planning after better targets are gone. A high-level Goo Blob is doable, but will cost a ton of blackspace, and BURNDAYRAZ is needed to leverage the poison strike into a winning damage trade - don't forget to leave a stack of Burning on while you explore.
No single enemy is a perfect storm of troubling traits, but several are mostly bad targets. Dragon Spawn does magic damage and is tanky, but can be poisoned. Zombie is a powerful brawler and undead, but deals physical damage. These two are probably the worst threats. Wraiths are undead and magical, but are susceptible to fireballs+Deathgaze at a certain point, making Mana Burn irrelevant. Warlocks are slightly harder - poison susceptibility doesn't make up for their increased damage and higher health compared to a Wraith, but they still die to fireballs more easily than a Dragon Spawn.
Certain glyphs are a blessing to Gorgons. IMAWAL synergizes with the Gorgon very well because of their playstyle depending on facing higher level enemies - popping an IMAWAL before killing a high-level Goblin or Gorgon will be well worth the 5 mana. An early BURNDAYRAZ is an important tool for Gorgons, since it maximizes their damage and varies the damage type, and also gives her something to do with mana when fighting against magic enemies (though you are still not making any use of your base 25% physical resistance and should prioritize something else for high-level kills regardless). Adding a few fireballs after poisoning will take down high-level enemies faster and stretch the poison duration a bit longer with burn stacks. BLUDTUPOWA can be useful for Gorgons if it costs less life than the damage prevented by ENDISWAL, or if it enables a BURNDAYRAZ/Deathgaze finishing combo. HALPMEH tends to be more combat-efficient than ENDISWAL, and it can negate poison, turning Serpents into easy experience similar to Gorgons. It is more efficient than BURNDAYRAZ for fighting low-damage physical enemies like Meat Man or magic-resistant enemies like Golems.
Some glyphs come out a bit flat. GETINDARE is somewhat eclipsed by Deathgaze, so first strike only occasionally makes a difference - the dodge chance is of some benefit, but has to be weighed against glyph's inventory space and CP value. Similarly, PISORF is semi-redundant with ENDISWAL, functioning only as a physical damage source when you would typically prefer to regen fight using mana for fireballs and stoneskin anyway - only 2-for-1 PISORF billiards enthusiasts need apply here. APHEELSIK isn't useless, but is probably outclassed by HALPMEH or BURNDAYRAZ; it can occasionally optimize your resources mid-fight if you have the extra inventory for it. CYDSTEPP's ability to buy a single attack with low bonus damage isn't much of a winning proposition, either, unless you have a high enough CP total to chain two Deategazes back-to-back. The glyph itself holds much of the CP that you need to accomplish this in the first place, though. Cast-and-convert is a strong option here.
Binlor Ironshield is one of the best gods for a Gorgon to worship. Since you'll be casting ENDISWAL many, many times as a Gorgon, Stone Form is the best boon a Gorgon could ever ask for. There is never a shortage of ways to break walls as a Gorgon, so gaining piety is no sweat. You can even pop tons of statues with Stone Heart to aid a late conversion to Dracul or Earthmother.
Mystera Annur has useful boons and can easily be fueled by the always-spamable ENDISWAL. Whether you rely on stoneskin, fireballs, or a combination, Mystic Balance and Refreshment are welcome aid (but Flames is niche at best and Weakening is only occasionally worth the piety).
Taurog helps with the Gorgon's low damage and his armor synergizes well with the Gorgon's innate physical resistance. Constant casting of ENDISWAL means you'll be losing a lot of piety for long-term worship, so consider converting out after acquiring one or two items. Alternatively, a late-game death protection spike is possible if you spend your mana, convert to Taurog, clear out the popcorn, convert glyphs for piety and CP, and then proceed to land multiple Deathgaze attacks on the last boss.
The Earthmother can work well, despite the smaller numbers of blood pools for Plantation, as the Gorgon's starting ENDISWAL ensures she won't find herself stuck, and Greenblood and Vine Form are strong with the Gorgon's slant towards fireballs and regen fighting, and her end-game piety and mana spike can be significant if you've been prioritizing statue-breaking mid-game.
Similarly, Dracul can be worth it for Blood Shield alone, making even one stack of Stone Skin go the extra mile, and Sanguine is useful to the extent that you can access the pools. Lifesteal is a mixed bag, since you deal low damage, but apply poison to your blood cows.
Gorgons need bonus damage badly, so that means that the Perseverance Badge and Dwarven Gauntlets are excellent items for Gorgons. The Battlemage Ring is a good option for a caster strategy. Whurrgarbl synergizes with poison strike, and Platemail synergizes with the entire regen fighting scheme while not interfering at all with Deathgaze in its function as a first-strike finishing move. Witchalok Pendant lets you regen-fight non-magical monsters much more efficiently. Martyr Wraps are also decent, even if the Monk uses them better.