The Last Stand: Aftermath is a great comeback for one of the mid-2000s most popular flash games. There’s a whole bunch of new systems in the game, including a mutation system that rewards you for taking risks, but leaves you with a harder time the further you get into the game. It can be a bit tough to get your head around this system, so we’ve put together this The Last Stand: Aftermath mutation guide to help you survive the zombie apocalypse.
The Last Stand: Aftermath Mutation Guide - What Are Mutations?
The mutation system in The Last Stand: Aftermath is pretty simple to understand. In the game, you control volunteers, survivors who are infected with a new virus and have limited time left to live. This is why you’re so willing to go out into incredibly dangerous areas, but it also means that you’re playing against the clock. As you journey across the map and explore new areas, you’re also going to notice that your maximum health is constantly running down, even if you’re not being hurt. If you’re attacked by infectious enemies, your max health will go down even faster. You can use antiviral medicine to stop it temporarily, but you may not want to.
As you lose segments of your health, you unlock mutations, powerful upgrades that can give you an edge as you explore. Of course, you will have to decide how much you want those upgrades since each one you unlock will mean another segment of health loss that you can never get back again. This also means that you need to be very careful about which choice you’re making since it needs to offset the loss of health.
The Last Stand: Aftermath Mutation Guide - List of Mutations
Here’s a list of the mutations that we’ve come across in the game so far, as well as recommendations for when you should choose them.
Deal +10% damage when at 30% health or less.
Cornered is useful if you like to live dangerously, and it could potentially help you out if you’re in a tough scrape. However, the chances are that you're not going to feel like staying at 30% too often, so only choose this if there's not much else you can choose.
Taking Damage restores 20% stamina
Best taken by people who can’t use the dodge function all that well, but often find themselves running away from enemies. Probably only worth taking if you've already got high damage resistance.
+50% Aimed Damage
Great for if you like taking shots from a distance. Especially helpful if your run started with a class that has the hunting rifle or if you’ve found a long-range weapon or upgrade since you started.
+40% Melee Resistance
This is a great pick early on, as melee damage is the primary damage that you’ll deal with for the first several hours of the game outside of the occasional infective enemy.
Enemies that attack you might receive the ‘bleed’ status effect.
This one is a great pick if you’ve already got some damage resistance built up. In most cases though, you want to be avoiding taking damage completely if possible.
-99% Flinch Damage
Again, it’s alright for characters with high resistance, but you should really focus more on abilities that help you to avoid damage completely. Might be a good choice if you’ve picked up an assault weapon and have plenty of ammo available to you.
+25% unarmed damage
+25% melee damage
An all-around great mutation that can help you to survive the early game much easier. Not only reduced incoming damage but allows you to output more damage with only your fists, saving both ammo and durability on good melee weapons when you’re taking out zombies one at a time.
+25% XP Gain
Synapse is a great mutation to take as early as possible in your runs, especially if you’re on a ‘death run’ to gain knowledge. As far as we can tell, this increases your knowledge intake from every source, including objects that you find around the world.
+10% damage against undamaged enemies
This mutation is best taken if you’re using a weapon that deals high damage in a single blow. With automatic weapons, this is nearly useless. Perfect if you’re struggling to one-shot enemies with silenced pistols or the like.
+50% melee damage
-25% movement speed
This one is a tricky one to figure out. While the increase in damage is substantial, the decrease in your movement speed can be fatal if you’ve got a horde on your tail. Could be worth taking if you’ve got a melee weapon with a wide arc, or if you’re already offsetting the movement speed decrease somehow.
Replaces your dodge with a charge move that damages enemies
This one is just fun. If you don’t use the dodge move all that often anyway, it can be worth taking this one for the sheer joy alone.
Prey on the Weak
Deal +10 damage to enemies with less than 30% health remaining.
Not one of the top-tier choices. If you’re getting enemies down to less than 30% health consistently, chances are you can finish them off without issue. Only really worth it for the niche case that you’re loaded with explosives and not much else, as the damage boost can help you to weaken enemies with bombs first, then finish them off with melee or pistols afterward. Avoid if there are better damage buffs in your mutation pool.
Restores you to maximum health.
This is a mutation that is worth taking only when you’re on the verge of death and have no healing items. It does not make your maximum health go back up again, just restores what you have, so late-game it’s worth even less. As it doesn’t add any buff to you, it’s only worth taking in an emergency.
Chance to cause bleed when you attack
Basically, a strictly better version of thorns, as it gives you the same chance at a damage-dealing status effect, but without the need to take damage in return. Worth taking if you’re a melee heavy character.
Taste for Blood
Deal additional damage against bleeding enemies
If you already have Jagged (or thorns for some reason) then this can be worth taking, though it doesn’t mention how much extra damage you deal, this can be better than other pick-ups as the damage bonus applies to both melee and ranged attacks.
Enemies that attack you might receive the ‘stunned’ status effect.
Much like thorns, only worth taking if you have a high damage resistance already.
Gain 1% health back witch each melee weapon hit
If you’re a melee heavy character or have a melee weapon with fast attack speeds, this can be worth taking.
+50% carry capacity
This is a great pick, especially a little bit into a run. It means you can carry much more stuff with you, meaning you have more chance of having supplies you’ll need on hand when you need them, and don’t have to stop to throw stuff out so much.
We will continue to add new mutations as we come across them. Check back in the future for more updates.