If you’re having trouble getting the Dragon Sweat completion achievement I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the game that hopefully will help you conquer dragon sweat difficulty. It’s a guide-ish but more of a collection of what works for me in the game and what I’ve been most successful with. With 2 or 3 attempts I think anyone could succeed with it as a strategy.
Let me just start by saying that you won’t win every game when you play Dragon Sweat. Unfortunate events, unlucky card draw, poor zapmart, or a number of other obstacles can made the early to mid game very difficult. However, by consistently making good choices, knowing your overall game plan, and with at least average luck the three deliveries should be possible often.
To summarize the strategy in one word would be: Chef!. He’s going to be the one who keeps our decks thin and trim. Allows people to draw the cards they need to have effective turns. By focusing on unlocking his flambes early we’ve been able to play the strongest early / mid game card twice every chef turn once we’ve unlocked it. He’ll also buy and trade strong cards early to prop up the Engineer. He may hog a lot of the card draw cards but played right he can orchestrate the game so the others can shine in their roles.
I’ll divide the guide into three main parts: early, middle and endgame (plus a little on game start) . In each stage I’ll jam on what I think each character’s priorities should be in gameplay and card purchases.
A couple things that are important to note at the start of the game:
– do a quick look to see which cards each character starts with. Ideally, each character has a balance between their job cards and power. An ideal start would involve the captain having an engage w/ Ask Around, Chef w/ at least one or both of his Taste Tests, Scientist with research and two power, and Eng w/ a wrench and at least two power. Of course, you can’t always get a balanced start but noting where things might be difficult (for example if Eng draws both wrenches first turn or if scientist has 3 research and little power) is good to note so you know where problems are likely to arise later — restarting if it is really unbalanced is always an option but it’s also fun to try and overcome the challenge of a tricky start.
– do a quick scan of where the starting damage is. Ideally neither the Chef’s research and either of the doors from the Eng to Chef’s area are broken. If either are broken its going to be a high priority to get both of those fixed early so that we can allow the Chef and Eng to play the early game the way we want them to.
– map layout, starting position, and delivery locations can make a map more or less difficult but if you have a fully upgraded ship and solid decks for each character any layout should be able to be overcome
Early Game 1/2
Each character’s main priorities during the first two to three rounds are as follows:
– moving as safe as possible to keep the zapmart stocked.
As captain an A+ event (handyman, rousing speech, Eureka) can be a huge help if you are lucky but as a general rule you want to move the minimum just to restock. Although an A+ or good event can help, any number of bad events can make your life much difficult (breaky bounce ahhh) and it isn’t worth the risk at this point. Even with neutral events and good Zapmart card choice you should be able to set yourself up for a good mid game. That being said if you scout any of those A+ events head for them as soon as you can!
As for Zapmart choices a general value order early is:
1. glove and remote (as many as it gives you– gloves will be bread and butter for chef and remotes are good on anyone but try to get them on pilot and then scientist priority wise, especially early)
2. diplomabot (won’t be able to afford early but NEED one for the chef by start of mid-game or earlier),
3. exchangitron (again for chef as soon as he can afford – one or two of these early can be super helpful in getting through his deck and limiting turns where you draw poorly)
4. spun silk (costs 5 so once you fix draw pods anyone should be able to afford or might get lucky and hit a draw an extra card scientist or eng and buy one first turn) — will almost always choose these to put in the shop over the more expensive refined silk until mid game
5. Gamma toaster (will aim for at least one, ideally 2, of this card on both the scientist and eng in order to supercharge some turns and keep their deck size smaller)
**Don’t overfill the store with too many expensive items if you can avoid it but if you get a lot of strong ones either scientist or eng can take leftovers in favor of setting up the Chef.
Other than those cards I usually fill the mart with low cost ingredients that will be useful later. Other cards to add if you don’t hit any of the above cards include burnilizer (want 2 eventually on the captain so she can keep her deck thin while chef focuses elsewhere), or claw and claw of duty (usually aim for 1 of each on the captain and scientist eventually but not a top priority right away)
Cards to focus on getting to the captain in the early game include ingredients (she is usually the one with the most ingredients on the ship allowing her to buy quality cards for herself and keep the chefs deck lean of ingredients as he’ll draw lots to hit 8 or more money without ingredients) and the 2 burnilizers (these help keep her deck lean-ish while chef focuses elsewhere).
One last thing about captain’s first turn is that it is smart to check the layout of the map and where you might need to go. An ideal path usually follows a ring around the map as you search with multiple options to change course if you scout ahead and don’t like what you see. Realizing you will eventually need to branch off to some distant place to deliver something can be helpful to have in the back of your mind. Don’t sweat it though as once your ship is fully upgraded late game you should be able to zip wherever you need to.
As mentioned, he is going to be our most important character during our game. Although the Eng repairing the ship is important, the chef is the one who facilitates everything and allows the other characters to shine. To properly facilitate he is going to need the proper cards though. Hopefully, you’ve drawn at least one taste test and can use it to start eating up the unnecessary cards in your deck. Getting rid any Taste of the Futures, one of your two cooks, and your hall pa*s will be necessary. We want his deck to be light and for him to be drawing all his cards every turn after he buys some card draw.
Buying priority involves gloves, exchangatrons, one diplomabot, gamma toaster (to help eat up cards and can be traded later). If on turn one or two he needs to take an ingredient as a buy no sweat. Try to choose whatever one he can eventually cook as part of the first recipe. Hopefully he’ll be drawing so many cards after round 3 or 4 that he’ll never have to worry about cost of things again.
The other cards we really need are his flambes (top priority for scientist—we’ll get to that in his section).
If for some reason we can’t get the flambes early (maybe that research dock was broken at start or you hit an unlucky breaky bounce or something) then consider getting him a couple unomas or Aegis Battery so at least chef can do something when drawing all those cards as you wait to unlock his flambes through research.
Also, although some games I need to buy an early ingredient for the chef, rarely will I get any actual cooking done until late mid or endgame even sometimes. You want to make him lean with card draw and be able to facilitate the other character’s decks first. An early delivery of the first recipe doesn’t really matter when you can zip around the galaxy later in the game and cook 4 or 5 items easily in a turn if you need to.
Early Game 2/2
For our scientist we want to do two things early: mutate the Eng’s upgrades and find /unlock the Chef’s flambes.
How the Eng’s starting hand is usually dictates which one I’ll aim for first. If he needs the mutate to get to 2 power and has an upgrade and wrench then I’ll go that way. If not I’ll usually grab one scientist upgrade card early. If you play with reloading feel free to pick Chef cards until you get a flambe but without I’d rather wait until I can scout it and keep the cost down rather than risk getting a discard dive and raising the cost of the flambes (but this part is up to how you like to play).
The scientist should be scraping together enough random power and job cards with his draws in the first 4-5 rounds to get both of the goals done. Leave buying the A+ cards like glove or exchange for chef or eng but if he can afford a random spun silk or a claw (of either type) that will be useful. Even buying straight leftovers wouldn’t be the worst as long as you can get those flambes in the hands of the chef (and upgrades mutated).
As an aside, I rarely ever research eng’s extra cards (until getting the ingredient if you need it). I find putting any extra research you have early into scientist cards most useful as all his cards are helpful. By researching eng you might add a helpful card but you’ll make drawing a wrench that much more unlikely. In order to make sure you get the wrench the you have to spend a lot of foresight power that could otherwise find flambes and overdrives (unless you play with reloading then disregard). We want our eng to be drawing one his wrenches every turn and chef is going to help keep his deck trim and trade him any cards he needs (silks + gamma toasters) so there is no real need to research any eng cards.
Oh, and if you get unlucky and don’t have 2 power and research on any of your early turns, no sweat, just buy what you can and remember your priorities of flambe’s + mutate and get them done ASAP when you can. If chef research is broken then eng will prioritize fixing it but try to mutate upgrades first in the meantime (or research yourself). When you draw foresight use as much power to focus on finding those flambes.
The first couple turns can be feast or famine for the eng usually. If you draw both wrenches in a turn and little power it will be quite hard but if you draw two or three power with a wrench both turns you’ll be ballin’. Hopefully, you have at least one wrench and two power so you can fix your draw pod first turn (or second if unlucky).
Next priority after that is to get him to the chef’s room. The plan is to have him chill here, funneling a card a turn to the chef and still being able to use his wrenches to fix, use his (hopefully) mutated upgrades as power right now, until near the end of the early game. If you can’t make it right away to the chef’s room because of damage no worries. Repair what you can, upgrade if you can’t fix anything and wait until you can move. Rare is the game that you can’t get the eng to visit the chef fairly quick if it’s your focus. Risk a couple damage even if you need to because we need to get him there to thin his deck and get cards from the chef. Ideally once the chef uses the first 3 or 4 rounds for himself he can then start to funnel you cards like refined silks and gamma toasters. The engs bread and butter. If you can pick up a spun silk or glove in the meantime that’s good but like the scientist, even eating leftovers for the first 4 or 5 turns shouldn’t matter as long as you get to the chef. By getting to the chef and letting him funnel you cards while giving a less useful card a turn to him you should be in a good place entering the mid game.
If you find yourself with the luxury of extra repairs after getting to chef, repairing your own draw pod, and keeping chef research open, next priority is to get other people’s repair pods fixed. I usually focus chef, then captain, then scientist with repair pods but it seems flexible based on situation. If chef did get a glove early I might do Captain’s first for example.
Early game summary
– Move slow and safe, fill mart with card draw and key cards for Chef if possible
– Research Chef’s flambe ASAP along with mutating Eng’s upgrades
– Get Eng to Chef to receive good cards and get rid of bad; everyone else can stay put (unless able to move and finish crisis easily and get back same turn – not worth risk of missing turn if wrong door breaks on you and you can’t get back)
– Taking a little damage or having no shields not a big deal as long as you can get priorities done
– Unlucky events (a wrench randomly discarded or a breaky bounce event can really hurt early
– Drawing all or no job cards for most characters (will happen at some point to your people – hopefully with unomas and flambe you can start to stabilize everyone’s turns to be useful)
– Not getting a diplomabot on your chef by end of early game– probably the biggest killer of my games – I don’t like to move people around and a lean chef with a diplomabot should solve all your crisis problems. Without it though things get much trickier fast trying to stay alive.
Starts somewhere after round 5-8 depending on how things go. For midgame we want to get eng back to his workshop so he can start to upgrade the ship everytime he draws an upgrade. His gamma toasters plus the chef’s flambe’s should allow him to get quite lean and be repairing the ship fully every turn. Pilot will continue to explore safely but on turns where she has 4 or more power she can explore further. Hopefully we can get her those two overdrives soon. Scientist can focus on overdrives for captain, free sample for chef, and scouting the necessary ingredients to unlock near end of mid-game.
Hopefully you got those 2 burnilizers by now and your deck has grown it isn’t out of control. Getting that claw and/or claw of duty around now is usually quite helpful. Both to potentially play the burnilizers more or grab an engage if you need it. You will also want to start buying silk after the eng and scientist have a couple in order to travel safe. Be aware of your ingredients (what you have picked up and what you still need). Some games you tend to find them all right away and for others it’s a struggle. Don’t panic if you can’t find them and keep moving safe. On turns you have 4+ power you can start to move more than just what is necessary to restock. With your scout card you can use it to scout ahead at potentially bottle neck or outlier delivery positions instead of immediately around you. Wormholes can be important to know if you must enter one to get to a delivery world. Otherwise hopefully it is relatively smooth sailing. Even if you hit one or two spacetime flies in exploring everything should still be looking up. You can flambe or use the burnilizer on the other one once your deck is mainly cleaned up as you prepare for endgame where you need to focus on moving.
Our Chef should be looking good. Sure he’s hogging most of the good draw cards (gloves) but he’s able to play out his 2 flambe’s every turn along with free samples once they’re unlocked for him. After the eng leaves to go back to his workshop you might want to pick up a hall pa*s so you can go visit the scientist if you need to. Try to work from afar and allow everyone to have quality turns with their job cards and power though if you can though. Since everyone will be using their unomas remotes on you (unless eng has no wrench) life is good as the chef. Starting to pull ingredients or buying ingredients you need right now or very soon can start to be good. Just make sure not to clog your deck with too many of them too fast. You should still be able to fully draw your deck every turn. If not you have too much baggage. I like to have one gamma toaster added to the exchange-a-trons, gloves, and diplomabot that the chef uses to help me eat up cards. Taste test should still be doing this for you but gamma toaster can be quite helpful too, especially once you get both free samples, if you have the card draw to maintain it. If you are not getting much cooking done yet no sweat. Although you should start to transition to being able get some cooking done here and there so that you should have them most of the first 2 recipes cooked by end of mid game. Prioritize helping the eng clean up his deck whenever possible by burning or sampling cards from him. Careful not to get him to draw both wrenches on the same turn if he already has one in his hand. Can use the turns the eng draws good naturally to help others if they need it. A second diplomabot can help and as more crises start to pop up but one is usually enough if you’re still drawing all of your deck every turn.
While the chef is living the good life, you might not be depending on how things have gone. The scientist deck is the one that receives the least cleanup attention from the chef usually. If you got a gamma toaster earlier by yourself you might not be in too bad shape. Thankfully research past flambes and mutating upgrades aren’t as high a priority right now. Eventually you should be able to scout Captain and find her the overdrives. Getting the chef his free samples and later a discard dive will be priorities eventually too. Extra mutations on eng wrench can be helpful or throwing some points on chefs cook or discard dive can be good. This time is flexible for the scientist depending on what the crew and the ship really need. Deliveries far apart? Focus Captain cards. Already randomly stumbled upon a bunch of the ingredients? Help the Chef out first with free samples. Once the chef has the eng fully under control he will help you clean up your turns and you can start to search and find the necessary research ingredients. A big foresight turn can be all you need to set yourself up for the rest of the game. Getting the research ingredient required in the second recipe near the end of the mid game is a good check-point for if research is on track (plus both flambes, free samples and overdrives)
Once you have some high-power silk and a gamma toaster or two from chef it’s time to head back to your workshop. With the help of the chef hopefully you will be drawing enough power along with your wrench to heal the ship to full health every turn. This leaves you free to play your upgrades whenever you draw them to improve the ship. I usually go 4 or 5 shield first then a FTL or 2 before maxing shields. If you unlocked flambe early you can max ship upgrades by end of mid game since you’ll be playing them so often if Chef focuses you. Even if you only have 5 or 6 FTL the overdrives will really start to shine when unlocked. Big thing is to keep ship fully healthy and not get tempted to start bogging down deck with cards you do not need. Keep it simple with silk and toasters. Everything else can go or be bought by others. If you have thinned your deck a lot and ship is in good shape but scientist is hurting you can get a hallpa*s and be a gofer between chef and scientist. Trading him extra silks or toasters from chef. But focus on keeping ship healthy and deck lean first. It can be good to gamma toast a high power silk to kickstart your repair if you had a rough earlier game. If you can avoid that and focus on using gamme on less useful cards do that though. Hovering around 8-12 cards is a pretty good goal deck wise for the engineer.
Mid game summary:
– Eng focus on upgrading ship, chef on thinning eng’s deck and then others, scientist unlock overdrive, free sample, discard dive and then research ingredients (can spend other research on himself or mutate), Captain starts to be able to more fully explore but only when safe with 4+ power
– Bloating decks—either chef may take on too many cards through free samples or you accidently start to ignore eng in favour or scientist or captain too early
– Not having power when exploring (some events can hurt bad—its all relative (3 power) and pirates (4 power) can hurt, spacetime flies hurts too but you’ll usually run into 2 or 3 of these exploring
– Getting fancy with research — you don’t really need any of the eng cards, scientist cards, or captain cards (besides overdrive). You don’t have to research something just cause you have the power to – focus your research on what is necessary to win — other cards can sometimes just bog decks down
So by now hopefully you have a fully upgraded-ish ship, everyone’s decks are in order, and you’re ready to make your final push to unlock the rest of the ingredients required to get things cooked and delivered. If things have gone well you might have plenty of time 40+ turns to get the endgame done. If things have not gone poorly you might have as little as 12 or so (tricky but still doable if your ship is upgraded and decks powerful).
Hopefully you’ve stumbled across most of the ingredients you need from your random exploring when safe in midgame. If you haven’t already visited the planet at least you hopefully know where they are. If not you need to get a move on that pronto depending on how many turns you have left. If you’re really pressed for time some risks might now need to be taken when moving but only if you are really pressed. Now (or a little sooner near end of midgame) is when captain should try to pick up a couple gloves if they’re found. Chef can flambe burnilizers and basically anything that isn’t refined silks, job cards, card draw, or a claw of each type. If you need to get from one side of the galaxy to the other quick or as insurance against an unlucky wormhole, a backtrack can be a good addition. Finding the power should be no problem for it with your deck as it is. Big moves when you need it with the power to protect yourself should be able to be pulled off every turn.
Captain will be moving big and you’ll be cooking big. Hopefully you have both a cook and a discard dive by now. Between these you should be able to cook ingredients as they are unlocked and those that have been sitting around since earlier. Grab a refined silk if you really need to supercharge your cooking but if you’ve been chipping away at it throughout the game when you had nothing else to do you should only have the 3rd recipe to go. All your card draw should still allow you to play your whole deck. Don’t forget to keep the engineer shipshape. A couple round with no wrenches can quickly turn sour. But focus on the others if everything is under control there. If your turn comes down to a hand that has only exchange-a-tron and other cards try to reset by playing it over and over until it can be left as one of only a few cards in your draw pile so you’re able to draw the exchange-a-tron for sure at the start of next turn. Also don’t forget to prioritize discard cooking or free sampling when you need to. Having a research ingredient disappear for a couple turns in a draw pile can be devastating based on how much time you have left. You’ve been a power house all game and will help oversee the team to victory while you get those ingredients all cooked.
Hopefully you’ve had a big scout turn and managed to find out or research all the research ingredients by the start of the end game. Getting those to their appropriate discard piles (or hands if you’re using breakthrough) at the right time for the Chef to cook them is your main job. If you have time this can be more lax but if you’re short on round take care not to research an ingredient only to have it lost to the draw pile before the chef can cook it. If you have got everything you need researched, you can funnel some of your power cards to the Captain by moving there and trading them to her. Mutating the cook’s cook or discard dive can be especially useful now too.
Keeping the ship safe to the end. Hopefully its both fully upgraded and fully repaired every turn you get. If things are pressed for time you can funnel power cards to the Captain or Scientist if you still need last minute research done. Be wary of doing this too soon though as a round or two in endgame without full repairs can be deadly sometimes. More for style points than anything you can toast your upgrades once the ship is maxed out.
End game summary
– Pilot and chef focused generally. Pilot can move big and safe across the galaxy while chef can cook ingredients that get unlocked and maintain decks for everyone too.
– Eng maintains ship still but should have a very small deck making it easy to pump in a lot of power every turn to repairs
– Scientist finishes up any ingredients to be researched and can then funnel power cards away
– If any areas are lagging behind (Captain hasn’t found map ingredients yet, scientist hasn’t foresighted where research ingredients are) be sure to prop up that area through unomas draws, chef job card use, and potentially trading cards to them
– Be prepared for dangerous event that loses all shields (magnetic field) if you don’t spend 4 power
End game dangers
– Space time flies or wormhole (both set you back time if you’re getting pressed for it)
– Getting lax on engineer repairs as its near end of game (sometimes a random life support breaking with one health has finished me off when I thought I was clear)
– Not having necessary ingredients found or researched
– The clock! Be aware but not intimidated. Lots can get done in 2 or 3 rounds if that’s all the time you have left.
– Event that makes you lose all shields if you don’t discard four power (everyone should have 4 power at all times just to avoid this one event)
And that’s pretty much it. Hope this guide / strategy dump was helpful for anyone looking to complete it on Dragon Sweat. If you’re new to deck builders or haven’t put a lot of time into the game to learn all the events and cards it can be quite a difficult achievement. Just by making smart decisions, knowing which cards to value, and playing a patient and smart game, conquering dragon sweat should be…err… no sweat? Enjoy the games and best of luck!
Edit: will update with comments, suggestions, etc. and will get to do some formatting at some point
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