The Defect is one of Slay the Spire's four playable characters, and it is arguably the game's most unique, possessing a special mechanic not present in the other three. The Orbs mechanic allows for some pretty interesting builds with The Defect, but this makes it the hardest class in the game to get your head around.

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There are four Orb types, with each having a different effect or ability that is activated either by another card, using another Orb, or a turn ending. This unique mechanic means that the builds possible with the Defect are completely different from the other three characters. It's definitely a character for more experienced players who are more familiar with the game's numerous systems and enemy encounters. Here are some of the best builds you can use to try and conquer Slay the Spire using The Defect.

Lightning Build

Slay the spire defect lightning build

Recommended Cards: Electrodynamics, Loop, Fission+, and Biased Cognition

This build primarily works by increasing your volume of Lightning Orbs, raising Focus, and then building up Block in order to some up enemy damage whilst your Orbs do their work. Electrodynamics is an important part of this build, it makes lightning attacks hit all enemies and also lets you channel multiple orbs into one use. Loop and Loop+ accelerate the cycle by triggering the passive ability of your next Orb at the beginning of a new turn.


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Fission is a great option when upgraded, it evokes all of your Orbs which is incredibly effective at dealing critical damage to weaker enemies. As far as raising Block levels, cards such as Auto-Shields, Boot Sequence, and Equilibrium are all great options at providing some much-needed defensive balance to this build.

Evoke Build

Slay the spire defect evoke build

Recommended Cards: Electrodynamics, Zap+, Static Discharge, and Thunder Strike

This option is similar to the Lightning build, except you'll be aiming to rapidly deal damage rather than slowly taking enemy health down. Electrodynamics is useful in this build too, it's great for damaging multiple enemies at once and when combined with the Bottled Tornado relic can be very powerful by channeling multiple Orbs at once. Zap+ is a low-cost way to channel an Orb too, costing zero energy.

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Ball Lightning deals seven damage (ten when upgraded) and also channels a Lightning Orb. If you have a low amount of Orb slots, you can use Ball Lightning to quickly evoke numerous Orbs at once for a large damage-dealing attack.

Static Discharge is a decent pick too, with its ability to channel Lightning every time you take damage. The big damage dealers in this build are cards such as Tempest and Bullseye which deal significant damage to enemies if you set them up properly.

Freeze Build

Slay the spire Defect Freeze build

Recommended Cards: Barrage, Blizzard, Capacitor, Glacier, and Defragment

This build is interesting but quite tricky to pull off so make sure you're familiar with the Defect before attempting to use it. The idea of the Freeze build is to build up a high amount of Block and then using the Defect's energy to deal large volumes of damage.

Glacier and Blizzard are key to this build; Glacier provides Block and also channels two Frost, whereas Blizzard deals damage worth X times the number of Frost channeled to all enemies. Barrage is also a great choice for this build as it deals damage based on the number of channeled Orbs you have.

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Defragment is worth carrying too since it provides two Focus when upgraded and is cheap to use so you'll have lots of energy left to use other cards. Capacitator acts in a similar support role, generating three Orb slots when upgraded, together these two cards allow you to continuously increase your Block meaning you'll absorb even more incoming damage. Some of the relics that help this build are

  • Runic Capacitator – Provides an extra 3 Orb slots at the start of a combat encounter
  • Frozen Core – Grants you one Frost Orb at the end of a turn
  • Inserter – You gain an Orb slot every two turns.

Power Build

Slay the spire defect power build

Recommended Cards: Force Field, Creative AI, Amplify, Static Discharge, and Storm

Powers can be an incredibly effective tool in the hands of the Defect, and this build takes advantage of that by allowing you to deal huge chunks of devastating damage to enemies. Force Field is a brilliant card if you're using lots of Power cards, as it provides 12 Block (16 when upgraded) every time you use it and costs less energy depending on how many Power cards you use.

Force Field combined with a card like Amplify or even Echo Form will allow you to build up a lot of Block whilst setting up other attacks. Creative AI costs just two energy when upgraded and puts a random power card into your hand, if you use this and have cards such as Defragment and Capacitator in your deck you're on to a winner.

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Capacitator and Defragment work well alongside Amplify as well; Defragment+ gives you two Focus and Capacitor+ provides you with three Orbs, so doubling up on these with an Amplify can unlock a lot of damage potential. Static Discharge and Storm are also good at dealing lots of damage, especially when mixed with the synergy of this build. The Power build can be quite flexible as long as you Focus on acquiring Power cards, especially if you implement Relics such as the Mummified Hand which gives you a free zero energy card every time you play a Power card.

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