Camp Dauncy is the proving grounds for the Brusher’s Pike.
This challenge has you navigate a maze of Pincushions to press six buttons. Each of the foes fire a continuous stream of spikes down a specific direction. You must weave through this spikestorm or poke a Pincushion out of the way to get to the buttons.
However, you can actually cheese through half of the challenge.
This is one of the few proving grounds where you can take advantage of your equipped spirits. With them, getting 1st rank will be easy.
|1st||60 seconds or less||“Brusher Sweep” Secret Skill|
|2nd||90 seconds or less||“Something Nasty” Upgrade Material|
|3rd||First clear||“Something Pointy” Upgrade Material|
You only need the tier 2 critical damage upgrade. This guarantees that you’ll always kill a Pincushion in one crit.
Aside from that, you may also get the tier 3 faster thrust upgrade.
It isn’t necessary, but it does help save time in killing the Pincushions.
|Brusher’s Pike Upgrades|
|1||Reinforced Shaft||+15% Critical hit chance|
|2||Hunting Grip||+50% Critical hit damage|
|3||Brusher Bindings||+20% Faster thrusts|
The rest of your preparations involve the Distillery’s spirits. The main one that you’ll need is the Werewhiskey. It turns your normal attacks into guaranteed criticals when you’re below 33% health.
This pairs well with the above weapon upgrade.
You should also equip the Hearty Punch. It gives you an extra life. You’ll also deal damage to any surrounding enemies every time you die.
It’s useful for the last stretch of this test, where you can brute-force your way to the final buttons.
If you have any spirit slots left, then you can equip ones that boost your survivability. The idea is to bulk up so you can tank the Pincushions’ spikes.
Here are the recommended ones, including the spirits previously mentioned:
|Werewhiskey||Free with the Distillery||+100% Critical hit chance when below 33% health|
|Hearty Punch||325 fragments from the Lost-and-Found||+1 Chance to carry on if defeated
Damage surrounding foes if defeated
|Bull Brandy||500 fragments from the True Lost-and-Found||+15% Damage resistance|
|Lifewine||Free with the True Distillery||Survive an attack that would’ve brought defeat|
|Squirt Cider||Free with the Distillery||+10 Max health|
The buttons can be pressed in any order, and the Camp itself is one big open field.
But the Pincushion hazards are the ones that’ll restrict your movements. In this guide, you’ll follow a horseshoe-shaped course around the grounds. Use this to find the best route through the test.
Note: Evasive rolls are disabled in this proving ground. You can only run as you make your way through the challenge.
Step 1: After picking up the Pike, head up the path to the right. Run through the hail of spikes as you move into the center of the east block. The damage you take will activate the Werewhiskey.
Once it’s in effect, kill the Pincushions marked in the image above.
This lets you press the first button in safety.
The leftmost mark controls the path leading north, which is why you also must kill it. After this, go north along the edge of the cliff. Another Pincushion will be blocking that route, but it’s facing away from you. Poke it out of your way.
Step 2: At the next block, get rid of the two Pincushions to the right of the second button.
They’ve already been dealt with in the image above, but you can refer to the X marks to know where they were.
Once you’ve killed them, press the button then dispose of the other two marks. Continue north after that.
Step 3: There are no Pincushions around the third button. It’s supposed to be the last by design, but it’s easier to deal with it now.
Go ahead and press the button. After that, head west.
Step 4: There’ll be lots of Pincushions on the fourth button’s block. As with Step 2, refer to the Xs to learn which ones to kill.
Once you’ve pressed the button, head into the central block. You can avoid some of the spikes by going along the east edges of this block.
Step 5: In the central block, you can squeeze through the Pincushions to reach the fifth button. Getting rid of the marked one is optional, but only if the Werewhiskey is still active.
You may have died and revived like in the example screenshot. In that case, it’s faster to step through them than poking them.
Step 6: The last button is within sight from the previous step. But it’s protected by a mass of Pincushions.
Here’s where the Hearty Punch comes to play.
Remember that you’ll explode and take down any surrounding enemies when you die. So with that in mind, make a beeline to the button.
You’ll get killed . . . but then you’ll live! Your enemies won’t.
You’ll then have a clear path to the button. Press it to end the test.
Note: You’ll still have to make your way to the northernmost block for your prizes. Be careful not to die from the remaining Pincushions. Take your time in avoiding or killing them. There’s no reason to rush at this point since the test is over.
Your rewards are based on the time spent to press the six buttons.
- You’ll get a Something Pointy for the Pike after your first attempt.
- If done in under 90 seconds, you’ll also receive a Something Nasty for the Fang Repeater.
- If done in under 60 seconds, you’ll learn the second Secret Skill of the Pike — Brusher Sweep.
You do a single spin with your Pike fully extended. It damages any surrounding enemies in theory. However, its hit box seems unreliable, as it often misses foes that are within its range.
Also, even though the Pike’s one of the best weapons, this Skill’s on the opposite end of the spectrum. Its damage and utility aren’t as good as those of the other Skills. This is considering that all Skills consume one black tonic.