Here's what is happening in this insane Slay the Spire world record speed run

What’s this? Oh it’s Anti Flame listening to Travis while he beats the crap out of Slay the Spire in five minutes and six seconds. Hitting 15(!) relics en route helps but you have to credit the speed of the decision-making, and speed of the clicking. In a great Slay the Spire run the RNG has to fall your way, but it’s still easy to mess up, especially if you’re trying to go really fast.

Here is what is going on in this video. 

The whale: If you beat a boss in Slay the Spire at the start of your next run a whale turns up and offers you some powerups. Anti Flame picks “Enemies in your next three combats have 1HP” which is obviously great for quickly getting through the first tier of the tower.

Flex: Flex costs nothing and gives you a strength buff that increases the power of your attack cards. Anti Flame upgrades this at the one minute mark to get a nice +4 strength buff which combos with Whirlwind.

Whirlwind: This deals 5 damage X times to all enemies, where X is the amount of energy left in your pool. Just before Anti Flame buys this at 1:20 he picks up the Lantern, which gives you one energy extra at the start of combat. That means with the right opening hand you can deal 20 damage to everything, even more if you’ve flexed up. A couple of nodes along the route Anti Flame upgrades Whirlwind to deal 8 damage X times. You can see where this is going. 


Thunderclap: This deals damage to everything on screen, but importantly it also applies vulnerability to everything, which means Whirlwind does even more damage.

Energy potion: Fighting the first boss Anti Flame uses an energy potion when he draws Whirlwind. Seven energy means Whirlwind attacks seven times. The big slime is vulnerable from an earlier thunderclap, so the attack does 84 damage and kills the boss outright.

Offering: Okay this is getting silly now. Offering hurts you but gives you two energy and draws three cards. It's perfect for getting Whirlwind and Flex to draw consistently. A few seconds later in the boss chest Anti Flame gets a free upgrade to Offering which makes it draw five cards.

Let's check in on where the combo is at. At 2:07 Anti Flame gets a five energy start thanks to relics, then plays Flex+ to boost damage, Offering+ to draw the rest of the combo, Thunderclap+ to damage and apply vulnerability to everything, then Whirlwind to wreck everything on screen.


"FUCK!" Anti Flame goes left instead of right at 3:05 missing out on two ? nodes. These can give you upgrades and relics, and are faster to click through than a fight. If Anti Flame had gone right here the run could have come in under five minutes.

However, one of the fights drops a second Whirlwind. Swings and roundabouts.

Pen nib tip: This relic causes every tenth attack card to do double damage, which is why Whirlwind does ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-EIGHT damage to a boss at 3:41.

Alanis Morissette: The soundtrack changes at the four minute mark and the damage output leaps considerably. Coincidence? I think not.

Overkill: Fighting a boss on the third tier Anti Flame uses double offering and double flex to stack insane damage. One Whirlwind does 456 damage. The run is a formality at this point. 

Endgame: The final boss falls to Flex, Offering, Thunderclap, Offering, Offering, Flex, Thunderclap, and an 11-energy Whirlwind that does 176 damage killing both enemies outright.

Good job. Slay the Spire is currently in Early Access but it's already great. Check out our beginner's guide (opens in new tab) if you're just getting started. You never know, you might be the one to crack five minutes.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.