Varatha, the Eternal Spear in Supergiant games’ Hades, is the most personal to hero Zagreus as it was previously owned and used by his own father when fighting the Titans. With a different move set from the other weapons and its own strengths and weaknesses, we decided to take a look at how best to harness some of that power.
Hades Eternal Spear Builds - Aspect of Zagreus
The first unlocked aspect of Varatha is also one of its most useful, once you’ve mastered the technique. With more range than Stygius, the Spear can be used for jabbing attacks and long-range throws. However, its most useful feature is the fact that you can throw and then recall it for additional damage.
Ideally, the Aspect of Zagreus of the spear pairs best with the Black Shawl keepsake that you get from Nyx, which deals additional damage striking undamaged foes—and when striking them behind, which the spear does after every throw. When it’s fully powered up, the shawl adds an additional 20% damage.
Several of the Daedalus Hammer upgrades also help take advantage of the spear’s unique features, but we’ll focus on the most advantageous of these. The best two are Breaching Skewer and Vicious Skewer, which deal 400% damage to armor with the Special and deals 50% additional damage with 50% chance of critical on recovery, respectively. Charged Skewer also lets you charge up your Special for 200% additional base damage.
While none of the gods’ boons assist with damage inflicted on enemies from behind, Artemis’ Deadly Flourish strengthens your Special and increases your chance of critical damage. Pair it with Poseidon’s Tempest Strike, which knocks foes away and better positions Zagreus for his Special attack.
Aspect - Aspect of Zagreus
Best Boons – Deadly Flourish (Artemis), Tempest Strike (Poseidon)
Best Daedalus Upgrades – Breaching Skewer, Vicious Skewer, Charged Skewer
Best Keepsake – Black Shawl (Nyx)
Hades Eternal Spear Builds - Aspect of Guan Yu
Unlike the build for the Aspect of Zagreus, Guan Yu requires compensating for the Aspect’s natural shortcomings, rather than enhancing the strengths it has. The Frost Fair Blade reduces your life total and healing effects by 70% when first unlocked, weakening to 50% when fully upgraded.
Our first recommendation seems like an obvious one – fully upgrade the blade before trying to take it out for a spin. Yes, this will eat up Titan’s Blood, but traipsing around at 70% health is probably not going to get you close to the surface without gobs of frustration and plenty of restarts. And, if you’re just looking to fulfill the prophecy and not thirsting for a challenge, best to ignore the Pact of Punishment and push on through without conditions.
Secondly – choose either the Spiked Collar or the Harpy Feather Duster as your keepsake, and make sure they’re both fully upgraded. Spiked Collar adds to your health total, and Harpy Feather Duster allows you to occasionally find healing items in broken pots. While these are both limited by the effects of the blade, it’s still a decent boost.
Several of the Olympian Gods have boons that can also ease the effects of the Frost Fair Blade, specifically Dionysus and Demeter. Dionysus has After Party, which restores your health to a certain threshold after encounters, and Positive Outlook, which has you take less damage at 40% health or below. Also useful are Premium Vintage, which gives you bonus max health when you collect Nectar, and Strong Drink, which allows you to restore all of your health at fountains and gives you a bonus attack boost. Demeter on the other hand, offers Nourished Soul, which makes healing effects more potent, directly counteracting Guan Yu’s effects. Her Duo boon with Athena, Stubborn Roots, also allows you to recover health when you have no Death Defiance left.
The aspect of Guan Yu itself also has built-in healing effects that you can use to your advantage if you know how. Serpent Slash, the Attack for the move set, heals Zagreus one point per hit, and can be charged up. This isn’t a foolproof way to keep your health up, and is downright detrimental when attempting to do this in some of the battles. Some of the Daedalus upgrades work well in augmenting this; Quick Spin charges your spin attack faster, and Flaring Spin makes you sturdy while charging and gives you a damage pulse.
Aspect - Aspect of Guan Yu
Best Boons – After Party (Dionysus), Positive Outlook (Dionysus), Premium Vintage (Dionysus), Strong Drink (Dionysus), Nourished Soul (Demeter)
Best Daedalus Upgrades – Quick Spin, Flaring Spin
Best Keepsake – Spiked Collar (Cerberus), Harpy Feather Duster (Dusa)
More Hades Guides
- A Hades Beginner’s Guide: How to Run Away From Home
- Hades: Best Boons, Weapons, and Items For Clearing Tartarus
- Hades: Best Weapon Aspect and Boss Guide To Clear Asphodel
- Hades Twin Fists Build Guide
- Hades Heart-Seeking Bow Build Guide
- Hades Aegis Shield Build Guide
- Hades Stygian Blade Build Guide
- How to Unlock Infernal Arms Hidden Aspects
What are your best builds for Varatha, The Eternal Spear? Let us know in the comments below!