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Chest Mimic: Overview

2024-01-03 // IOTM Overview

With the backup camera leaving standard, many speedsters were wondering if we'd get a new copy source at some point in the coming year; we have one source (sort of) through the Recall Habitats skill from the Book of Facts, but that often left you with extra copies (i.e., copy one NSA, get the two more you need, you have 3 more stupid ones floating around you didn't need). Well! We can safely say that we have ample access to copies now. Let's talk about the reason for our change in fortune -- January's Chest Mimic.

General Summary

In a nice newbie-friendly boost, the Chest Mimic is a fairychaun -- that is, a combination of a Baby Gravy Fairy (which helps item drop) and a Leprechaun (which helps meat drop). These are, broadly speaking, the two most desirable familiar enchantments; funnily enough, there's already a slightly better base-fam-value fairychaun available in standard with the Jill-of-all-Trades, but the Chest Mimic being a second one should help folks who missed out on the Jill save their meat for more important IOTMs. (See the end of this article for a small footnote on this.)

Anyway. That's not the main part of the Chest Mimic's power. The -real- value of the Chest Mimic is localized to its mimic eggs. Whenever you have 50 familiar experience, you can cast a skill in combat (at a cost of 50 familiar XP) where you can ask your familiar to "lay an egg." This will give you a quest item. These are usable to generate a copy of whatever you used the skill on, allowing you to fight it again. You can fight 11 copies a day through this usage. That's cool! What's even cooler is that the familiar also opens a new zone on the Right Side of the Tracks -- the DNA Bank. There, you can do one of two things:

  • "Donate" an egg for science (three times per day)
  • "Extract" an egg into any monster that science can generate (essentially a fax-like summon; can be done eleven times per day, on a shared counter with simply using the eggs, for 100 total familiar XP)

What does that mean, exactly? Well. Any monster that hits (globally) 100 eggs donated gets added to the pool of monsters that can be extracted at the DNA bank. You can see the current progress on monster donations here. That means you can summon that monster at any time for 100 familiar experience.

So, to summarize: as long as you're already encountering the monster, you can copy the monster you're fighting for just 50 XP -- but if you want to summon up a brand new friend you can't naturally access, you need to spend 100. While that's a lot of XP (550 for 11 copies, 1100 for 11 faxes), it isn't actually as wild as it might sound at first glance; as I'll note in the synergies section, there are a few ways you can really decrease the time to accumulate all that experience, and this familiar will LOVE using freekills and freefights.

Speedrun Applicability

Summons and copies are super important parts of speedrunning. They're so important that this section of this post became its own strategy guide; summons are complicated, folks! We've taken the liberty of compiling a list of powerful faxes and monster summons. You can find our primer on summon value and the top in-run options here.

Suffice to say, the Chest Mimic is going to be a massive part of runs over the next 3 years; although familiar experience can be hard to stack up at a scale that will let casual players stack up all 11 copies, high-end speedruns will spend a ton of time piecing together an optimal route that allows for the best possible combination of summons-out-of-nowhere and general-use copies. Efficient generation, routing, and usage of Mimic copies is going to be a big differentiator between silvers and golds in the next few years. I for one am very glad this guy is a January item; that should give us the most time possible to work with it and benefit from its unique powers.

2024 In-Standard Synergies

  • This familiar has enormous synergy with every source of familiar experience available in your run. On an IOTM side, that means that there is significant synergy with:
    • The Cookbookbat (2022), as Roasted Vegetable Foccacia gives you an effect for 50 turns of +10 familiar XP.
    • The Tiny Stillsuit (2022), as a familiar equip IOTM that can be equipped for +1 familiar XP.
    • The June Cleaver (2022), as the derived Teacher's Pen accessory gives you +2 familiar XP.
    • The Autumn-aton (2022), as the derived autumn leaf pendant accessory gives you +1 familiar XP.
    • The cursed monkey's paw (2023) or the Book of Facts (2023), as you can wish for Warm Shoulders for +5 familiar XP. (That's a resource, though.)
    • The Wardrobe-o-Matic (2023) produces a familiar equipment worth anywhere from +4 to +5 familiar XP, but only on certain days, and only if you level past 15. (Yeesh.)
  • Before moving on to other synergies -- I noted earlier that stacking all these sources of familiar experience can make the daunting amount of familiar experience you need to get your 11 copies per day significantly easier to swallow. Not including a Warm Shoulders wish or the Wardrobe-o-Matic familiar equipment, and adding the base-game familiar experience from natural adventures (1.1, due to testitudinal teachings) alongside the +2 Corsican Friars buff from finishing the Deep Fat Friars quest, you can semi-trivially generate 17 familiar XP per fight. That means you'd hit 550 experience in 32 turns and 1100 experience in 64 turns.
  • There's massive free fight synergy in the above math, too -- assuming you stack free fights into your focaccia buff (meaning, say, 5 free habitat recalls, 11 free shadow fights, 5 free leaf fights, 3 free Oliver's tavern fights, etc), that becomes 24 free fights and 8 turn-taking fights to achieve the 550 XP you need, and a few more to snag the 1100 XP you need for 11 faxes. That's pretty dang good! Careful runners should have little issue generating this much XP, even without devoting wishes or doing grotesque leveling strategies to hit 15 in-run as early as possible.
  • To save familiar experience, the Combat Lover's Locket (2022) or pocket wishes from the Book of Facts (2023) can be used to generate the "initial" summon for some intended-to-be-copied summons, basically giving you half-priced faxes for 3 to 6 important mobs. Hooray!

Overall Rating

We'd rate the Chest Mimic as a tier 1 IOTM. It isn't quite as good as the backup camera, as the copies are zoneless and not placed within a delay zone; that is a rather significant nerf to its power versus the backup camera, as the power comes entirely from the inherent value of the things you summon, and that will regularly be around 1 turn. But this is a truly excellent IOTM, and one I would highly recommend to basically everyone -- as we talk about in our primer on summons, there's no shortage of options for powerful speedgame summons that a Chest Mimic can generate for the clever adventurer.

An Appeal to the Masses

Having said all that, I have one major request for everyone reading this. Please use the familiar, generate eggs, and donate them! At time of writing, we're in very early days, but only three monsters are available in the DNA bank -- spooky vampires, Crimbuccaneer mudlarks, and Knob Goblin Embezzlers. Eventually, it would be lovely to have every ascension-relevant monster in the DNA bank for enterprising speedsters to access throughout future challenge paths. We're making decent progress, with Ninja Snowman Assassins at 72% coverage, but we need more help.

Please keep a close eye on Semenar's great Eggternet tool to monitor which monsters are nearing completion and to get eyes on what would be good monsters to get into the Eggternet. Once we get all the ascension and farming relevant monsters, it would be lovely to have every monster in the Kingdom in the DNA bank, but (as I always tell myself, due to my vegetarianism) you have to eat your vegetables first. And the vegetables are making the Kingdom a better place for speedsters everywhere.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day, folks.

TANGENTIAL FOOTNOTE: This is a bit of a tangent, so I put it on the bottom. As I discussed in our Jill-of-all-Trades article, the availability of base fairychauns in the IOTM familiar suite is both a neat boost to newbies and a funny example of how powercreep has gradually impacted the game. Up until 2015, the only "true" fairychauns available were through a yearly Familiar of the Year that cost two Mr. Accessories; since then, we've gotten a handful of fairychauns that cost just one, starting with 2018's Cat Burglar (a familiar that was markedly better than any of the fairychauns that came before it), continuing with 2023's Jill-of-All-Trades (discussed previously), and continuing less than 4 months later with the Chest Mimic. As noted in the Jill article, the funniest part about this is that this really does almost solely help newbies -- in high-end speedplay, familiars are used much more for their core turnsaving effects than any focus whatsoever on their core familiar function. Just kind of funny. Being a fairychaun is barely worth a footnote anymore! That's wild, man!

Article contributed by Captain Scotch