Rank Required: Duke
Map Piece Required: Purchasable in the Muridae Market cartographer for 230,000 gold (as of right now).
New Cheese: Glowing Gruyere, Mineral, Gemstone, and Diamond
New Traps: Crystal Crucible Forgotten Trap – 7,800 Power, 10% Power Bonus, & 8 Luck. Also takes a healthy mixture of other loot items to buy it.
New Crafting Elements: Cavern Fungus, Nightshade, Minerals, Gemstones, Diamonds, Crystal Crucibles
New Mice: 32 breeds
Here is a screenshot of the new HUD once you enter the first time.
The Cavern Mouth – Tier 1
This is the first “location” in the Fungal Cavern. Operating similarly to how the King’s Gauntlet operates, the opening of the Cavern is where you’ll find the Fungal Fodder mice. When hunting here, you’ll need a strong HYDRO trap to maximize your catch rate. Which trap should you use?
Ideally, you’d tackle this area with the Swarm of Sharks. If you don’t have that trap yet, the Phantasmic Oasis Trap (and it’s Chrome version of course) or the Rune Shark will work, though not as well as SoS. A Forgotten trap will work in the first tier, though with less effectiveness than a Hydro trap. For your base, just use your luckiest base you have. That might be the Fissure Base. It might be some random LE base that I rarely ever mention in the walkthroughs anyway. Regardless, use your best and luckiest base. For cheese, I have found that simple brie is just fine for attracting the Fungal Fodder mice, though you can use gouda as well. Super Brie is necessary to attract the Nightshade Masquerade Mouse (the only mouse that drops both sets of loot).
Your goal is three-fold:
- Collect Cavern Fungus
- Collect Nightshade
- Craft Glowing Gruyere Cheese
How much you collect and how much you need might be two different stories. If you’re playing on a browser, you can mouse-over the hud and look at the recipe for Glowing Gruyere Cheese. You need a 3:1 fungus compared to nightshade ratio, as well as three living shards and handfuls of curds and salt. Magic Essence increases the yield, as expected.
Some people began moving on with 100 pieces of Glowing Gruyere, while others stockpiled considerably more before moving on. The answer is never easy. I personally waited until I silver crowned 8 of the first 12 mice before moving on. I had over 1300 pieces of GG cheese when I finally moved on. This was before we had an substantial analytics on the area.
Having more solid data, it’s important to understand where you want to end up. One piece of Diamond Cheese in the 5th stage is risky, even with an ultimate charm (because you still may not attract the mouse you need). 2 is better, 3 even better than 2! 🙂
I built a calculator based on Horntracker data. It is in a very early Alpha stage and not ready for mass consumption yet (only my team has access at the moment). Needless to say, we’ll talk more in the next section of the details, but if your goal is to buy the Crystal Crucible trap after one run, you should shoot for 3 pieces of Diamond Cheese to give yourself a good and decent shot at getting the loot you need.
I will break down all the numbers in the next section.
Hollow Halls – Tier 2
This section isn’t more complicated than the first, but the mice are tougher to catch. You won’t be getting the same loot as tier 1, this time you’ll be collecting minerals. And you’ll need a lot of them, because minerals are used in all three cheeses you’ll craft for tiers 3 – 5.
First, let’s talk about your trap options. Hydro will still work to some degree, but it’s not the best option. You’ll want to use your best FORGOTTEN trap now.
“But Matt! My only Forgotten trap is the Ancient Box Trap! Whatever shall I do?”
Ah yes, I do realize that if you’re at this part of the game and have not had the opportunity to obtain an event-specific forgotten trap, your time here will be much more complicated (read: longer). The good news is, most people reading this now have some sort of LE or event-related Forgotten trap. And the better news: the Forgotten Art of Dancing trap is NOT a limited edition trap and was purchasable in March of 2015 at the birthday event after being the reward in March of 2014 (and it was cheap, less than 200,000 gold). It’s a safe assumption to conclude it will return again in March of 2016 and beyond.
But that doesn’t help you if you don’t have it, and if you’re reading this for the first time, you may not have it. And that’s okay, we’ll get through this together, you and me, together…..we’re going to find our way…..(oh stop it!)
All that being said, it’s best to use a Forgotten Trap now with your Glowing Gruyere cheese. And collect those minerals.
Wait, what? Don’t craft too much? That’s right, don’t get carried away with using all your minerals crafting mineral cheese. You still need it to craft both Gemstone and Diamond cheese, and of course, set aside 800 for the new trap.
Let’s do some preparing.
- 12 minerals are needed for Mineral Cheese (3 or 6 pieces, the latter of course combines magic essence)
- 28 minerals are needed for Gemstone Cheese (3 pieces)
- 100 minerals are needed for Diamond Cheese (1 piece)
As you can see, you’re going to need a lot of minerals to turn into a fairly paltry amount of future cheeses. When in tier 2, you’re only focused on collecting minerals and thus crafting mineral cheese, but create too much and you’ll have none left over for the other two.
From what I have experienced in hunting here, each piece of Glowing Gruyere cheese will yield about 4.2 minerals. Not literally, of course, this is an average over time. So, what do you actually need in terms of minerals?
- 800 for the trap
- 300 for 3 pieces of diamond cheese
- At a 0.3 diamonds dropped per gemstone cheese usage, you need 100 gemstones (or 102, which is an even “3” number).
- Mineral cost? 933!
- To get those 100 gemstones, again at a 0.3 gemstone drop rate per mineral cheese usage, you’re going to need 333 pieces of mineral cheese.
- That’s 667 minerals if using Magic Essence…
- …or 1333 without.
- [Clears throat] 3,367 minerals needed without magic essence, 2,700 with it.
- 3,367 minerals = 801 GG cheese
- 2,700 minerals = 643 GG cheese
So let’s back up. Are you hunting with this much cheese to start with? If not, move back to Tier 1 and get some more.
Glittering Grotto – Tier 3
Now you need to craft your mineral cheese. You’re probably not at the exact formula above, but please use it as a guide. If you are following it, you’re going to use 1333 of your minerals to craft cheese now (with no magic essence).
Your job is tougher now, but the process is the same. You may want to think about using some powerful charms at this point, like ancient or super cactus. They will give you a much-welcomed bonus and make some of these mice not as tough. Remember that only Forgotten setups will capture mice here.
Now you’re looting gemstones. You can buy gemstone boost charms off the market (or in the shop for minerals), and they add an additional gemstone to your inventory when you loot one, and the charm is only used up when you actually loot a gemstone. It’s a nice bonus but the charms can be pricy.
Following the info above, you will probably end up with around 100 or so pieces of gemstone cheese. Regardless, make sure you keep 800 for your trap and 300 for Diamond cheese.
Flowstone Falls – Tier 4
Mice are getting tougher now, but keep plugging away with your best Forgotten trap (luckiest). You’re now after diamonds. Again, following the information from above, you should be able to loot upwards of 30 Diamonds. Not much to add here honestly, same advice for Tier 4 as I had for Tier 3.
Subterra Silence – Tier 5
The final section, hopefully you have several pieces of Diamond cheese by the time you get here. You’re after the Crystal Behemoth mouse who drops 10 crystal crucibles as loot. You need these for the new trap. If you don’t get him, yes, you need to start over. 😦
This entire area is similar to the King’s Gauntlet, with the added “bonus” that you could fail. Fun times!