6. Slushy Shoreline & Iceberg
Power Type: Hydro
Minimum Rank: Lord/Lady
Minimum Trap: Ancient Spear Gun
Minimum Recommended Trap: Oasis Water Node Trap
Objective: Get the Steam Laser Mk. I (if you don’t already have a stronger Hydro trap)
Recommended Area Progression Plan: Where Should I Go Next?
This area is part of the Gnawnia region. All you have to do to go there is to rank up to Lord/Lady, have at least 25 million points and buy an Icebreaker license from the Cartographer in the Harbour or on the Ship. It costs 145,000 gold and takes an hour to be processed. Don‘t forget to pick it up after it‘s completed.
In the Slushy Shoreline you hunt mice for loot drops. You can get War Scraps and certain crafting materials. To loot the crafting materials, you will have to buy and use Softserve charms. There‘s an SB+ only mouse there, the Living Ice mouse, which also provides you with crafting materials. If you‘re in a hurry, that‘s the way to go.
If your strongest Hydro trap is the Ancient Spear Gun (or something comparable), you may want to put in comparatively little work to loot a few items that will enable you to acquire the Steam Laser Mk. I. Not only is it an improvement, but it also receives bonus stats at the Shoreline and in the Iceberg (if you’re planning on going there soon).
Before you travel to the Iceberg, you should be ready for it. It‘s a complex area and the mice are not weak. Also, the traps and bases acquired here are either region-specific or easily outclassed by upcoming gear. This makes the Iceberg a rather low priority sidequest in terms of story progression.
You may want to think about tackling the Iceberg later, once you’ve gone through the Warpath and crafted the Oasis Water Node Trap. (In this case, you can of course disregard everything that has to do with the upgrading of the Steam Laser Trap.)
The Iceberg is divided into different regions. You‘ll have to go ever deeper into it by catching the proper mice. Most mice make you advance a few feet if caught, almost all mice will knock you back if FTC’d. There are some exceptions though, to both rules.
The first 300 feet of depth is the Treacherous Tunnels. In here, catching Tunnel Rats (Chipper and Icebreaker) will be the fastest way to progress. Then comes the Brutal Bulwark stage, 300ft–600ft. This one is pretty brutal, since the Brute mice (Snow Bowler, Yeti and Mammoth) will knock you back a long way if FTC’d, and will actually knock you back some even if caught. I hope you‘re lucky and don‘t encounter them too often!Stretching across the longest distance by far is the Bombing Run, 600 ft to 1600 ft. The mice of the Bombing Squad will be helpful to you in the future, but on your first run you‘ll just have to inch your way forward.
In the end you‘ll get to the Mad Depths, 1600 to 1800 ft. Only 200 feet, you might think, no problem after this! But you haven‘t encountered the Zealot mice (Water Wielder and Iceblade) yet. They are pretty tough, knock you back when FTC’d, but don‘t give any progress when caught. The Mad Depths can really drive you mad, progress is very slow there.Between every region inside the Iceberg a General waits for you. They‘ll stop your progress until you have caught one. A General, once attracted, will be present for three hunts if not caught, then might switch randomly to a different General. Only after catching one will you pass to the next stage of the Iceberg.
After defeating the General at the end of the Mad Depths, you‘ll enter Icewing‘s Lair for a showdown. On your first run through the Iceberg, you won‘t encounter Icewing herself, though. Catch her second in command, however, and you‘ll be able to upgrade your Steam Laser to Mk. II.
Then go through all the trouble that is the Iceberg again from the beginning, and this time you‘ll encounter Icewing herself. Catch her and she‘ll be so outraged that she‘ll smash your trap! But don‘t worry, now you can upgrade it to the Mk. III. Icewing also drops Zugzwang‘s Scarf if you never caught a Dragon.
There are a few features to help you with progress in the Iceberg. First of all, the War Scraps you have gathered in the Shoreline can be exchanged for either Sticky Charms or Wax Charms. Those give you a slight power bonus, but also have an effect on Bergling mice. Berglings are all those mice that are not Tunnel Rats, Brutes, members of the Bombing Squad, Zealots or Generals. They are pretty abundant in each section of the Iceberg. Catch one with a Wax Charm armed, and you‘ll advance an additional foot down the Iceberg. Use Sticky Charms and you won‘t get knocked back if you FTC a Bergling.But don‘t give away all your War Scraps just now, there‘s more! In the General Store, you can buy an Ice Drill. It‘ll come with a few Drill Charges. You can also upgrade that Drill three times. For the first two upgrades you will need to catch Icewing and craft the Mk. II and Mk. III. For the last upgrade you‘ll need Diamond Drill Bits. We‘ll get to them later. All these Drill upgrades cost War Scraps. A lot of War Scraps!
The Drill is quite useful. You can only use your Drill so often before it overheats and will need to cool down until you start your next run. You start out with 5 times, working your way up to 8, one for each upgrade. Of course you‘ll need the Drill Charges to be able to drill. We‘ll get to them. Anyway, you‘ll advance 20 feet per drilling action. Be careful though! Drilling past Generals will skip them and their loot!
So why is it important to catch Generals and not drill past them? Because Generals carry a special piece of loot with them: Bottled Cold Fusion. This can be used to craft Drill Charges, but in the beginning you‘ll want to save it for upgrading your Steam Laser and crafting special Bases.
Once you have caught a General, you cannot be pushed back to the previous section. Not even failing to catch a General will push you back, except if you fail to catch the rare and elusive General Drheller. If that happens you have to first get back to the General stage (he pushes you back 6 feet) before you can try for him again.
- The Magnet Base is specifically designed for the Treacherous Tunnels, although it works in the other regions as well. What it does is attract more Tunnel Rats to your trap. Since they make you advance further down the Iceberg than other mice do, the Magnet Base is indeed very helpful.
- There are no Tunnel Rats in the Bulwark though, so you might want to craft the Spiked Base to use there. It‘ll keep you from getting knocked back if you catch or FTC a Brute.
- The Remote Detonator Base is used in the Bombing Run. Catch a member of the Bombing Squad with it and it‘ll give you a bonus on progression that even outclasses the progression you make when catching a Tunnel Rat.
- The Hearthstone Base is used in the Mad Depths. It helps repel Zealot mice.
Not only is the progression of depth in the Iceberg shown to you, but also the hunts you’ve taken are counted. That‘s why you should use Gouda or SB+ here, not Brie or anything else, if you want to try for the bonus loot anyway.
You see, there are bonus Chests floating around the Iceberg in the ocean. Stopping the invasion gets you the Chest(s). If you take too long, the Iceberg will smash the Chests. There are three, and it is unlikely that without the Steam Laser upgrades, the Drill upgrades and the special Bases, you‘ll get them all on your first run.
They are not necessary (except for one single thing), but they contain a lot of helpful stuff. And sooner or later you‘ll have to get through the Iceberg in under 275 hunts so you can get all three Chests. The first Chest, which is smashed at hunt #275, contains the Diamond Drill Bits you‘ll need for the last Drill upgrade.
Don‘t worry though, you can get through the Iceberg even if all three Chests are smashed. The only thing you can‘t do at that point is catch Icewing, but since she‘s not even there on your first run, it doesn’t matter. And once all the Chests have been destroyed, a usually rather rare mouse will appear in large quantities, the Living Salt mouse, helping you to progress through the Iceberg even faster.
Leaving the Iceberg will NOT reset your progress. Once the first Chest is smashed, you can retreat and start from the top if the run isn’t going according to plan. There‘s a button for that.Deep Run
Once you crafted all the Iceberg equipment, you might want to try for the Deep Mouse. First you will have to craft the Deep Freeze Base and use it to catch Icewing in under 250 hunts. Using this base keeps you from being ejected from the Iceberg after Icewing is caught. Afterwards you can switch bases again. The remaining hunts up until hunt #250 is the time you’ve got to get through the now open Hidden Depths, which take up another 200 feet of the Iceberg. At the end, the Deep Mouse is waiting for you if you make it in time. If you’ve made it to the Deep Mouse in under 250 hunts but can’t seem to catch it, don’t worry. Upon hunt #250, it is a guaranteed catch. (Use SB+ though, because if you fail to attract it on that final hunt, all your work was for nothing!)
There are certain strategies that may help in catching the Deep Mouse. One of them is to use a Cold Fusion Bomb to terminate your run if it‘s not going according to plan. That way you don‘t have to wait until you can retreat, which, as you may remember, can only be done after hunt #275.
Using SB+ is obviously tremendously important to avoid FTAs. Drilling past Generals may save a lot of time. Most hunters actually use their drills to get through most of the Mad Depths, and drilling past the final General, will drill straight into Icewing’s Lair! This has proven to be the best use of the drills during a Deep run.
However you try to handle it, catching the Deep Mouse needs a certain amount of real life luck and/or a huge amount of expensive resources. Only go for it once you feel you are prepared, otherwise you might get heavily frustrated.
* Get the Icebreaker License, gather loot at the Shoreline and craft Steam Laser Mk. I.
* Fight your way through the Iceberg. Catch Icewing.
* Upgrade your Laser and your Drill. Craft the Bases.
* Go for the Deep Mouse once you have all the equipment.