| The Guardian|
| Holy Grail |
Spear of Destiny
|: no : yes|
|Defeat Mom for the 1st time|
The Guardian is a new challenge added in The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth. Isaac starts Blindfolded, with Punching Bag, Isaac's Heart, Holy Grail, and Spear of Destiny. Your goal is to defeat Mom's Heart or It Lives. Isaac's Heart will follow the Punching Bag instead of Isaac.
Difficulty[edit | edit source]
The main difficulty of this challenge stems from the fact that Isaac's health is damaged when the Punching Bag is hit for any reason (a la Isaac's Heart), and that the Punching Bag will move of its own unpredictable accord, severely hindering the player's agency in avoiding damage. This makes The Guardian one of the tougher challenges in the game.
Note since it's the Punching Bag who takes damage, and it doesn't have flight, the Punching Bag is not immune to spikes and creep as Isaac's Heart would be. The lack of Treasure Rooms and tears only further compounds to the difficulty, to the point where certain rooms and bosses, which can be normally completed without taking damage, may now guarantee substantial amount of unavoidable damage. For example, Red Champion Mom is almost impossible to clear as she will always target Punching Bag.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
You should follow a general priority in which enemies to kill: enemies that run towards you, followed by exploding enemies, followed by enemies with piercing shots (i.e. Enemies that fire Brimstone shots), followed by enemies that fire regular shots. Remember that Isaac himself is invincible, allowing you to "body-block" shots flying towards the heart.
Rooms containing Mom's Hand are almost impossible to clear (because the Punching Bag is incapable of dodging them), and should be skipped whenever possible. Bombs can be used to skip these rooms by bombing doors open.
Spend as little time as possible in rooms with spikes, because there's a high chance the Punching Bag will walk into them stupidly.
Orbitals are extremely useful for this challenge, since most of them deal a good amount of damage on direct contact. Items such as Sacrificial Dagger are your best source of damage. Health is also important to make up for unnecessary damage, as is Speed to protect your Heart more effectively. Also, pick up the Humbling Bundle for its double Red Hearts.
You can use the spear's fear effect to your advantage and force bosses and mini-bosses away from Punching Bag. This is especially effective against bosses that chase Punching Bag, such as Gemini or Lust.
If you are not too concerned with time or score and just want the unlock, Placenta is a good item to get as well since it can regenerate your health. A much, much slower way can be done by obtaining Mysterious Candy, which randomly spawns Poops. By destroying the Poops, you can eventually spawn a lot of Half Red Hearts and Soul Hearts.
The Breath of Life can be extremely helpful in completing this challenge. As you technically have Isaac's Heart, you will not take damage for holding spacebar indefinitely, while doing so will make you completely immune to damage. You still can be hurt while the charge bar is still depleting after you enter the room, but it does make things easier, especially with bosses, and allows you to explore rooms with hazards such as spikes without having to worry that the Punching Bag will wander into them.
It should be noted that you can transform into Guppy during this challenge, however you do not get the visual change that accompanies the transformation. All of the effects, including the generation of flies, are active. The Spear of Destiny does not seem to generate flies, however familiars and items that generate tears, such as Tammy's Head and Incubus, will generate flies.
Obtaining Blood Rights basically wins the challenge as you can run into a room and repeatedly use the item without you taking any damage while annihilating everything inside.
Having a second player join in makes the game significantly easier. A co-op baby has it's own Spear of Destiny and is not blindfolded so is able to shoot tears as normal. The co-op baby doesn't take damage because of Isaac's Heart.
One Makes You Small pills can make the challenge much more difficult, as the decreased hitbox makes it harder to block the Punching Bag from attacks.
Because of Isaac's Heart, you can enter Curse Rooms without taking damage.
Reward[edit | edit source]
- Blank Rune - Beat challenge #30 (The unlock is bugged and actually unlocks Kidney Stone in Afterbirth. Fixed in Afterbirth Plus.).
|1.||Pitch Black||2.||High Brow||3.||Head Trauma||4.||Darkness Falls||5.||The Tank||6.||Solar System||7.||Suicide King||8.||Cat Got Your Tongue|
|9.||Demo Man||10.||Cursed!||11.||Glass Cannon||12.||When Life Gives You Lemons||13.||Beans!||14.||It's in the Cards||15.||Slow Roll||16.||Computer Savvy|
|17.||Waka Waka||18.||The Host||19.||The Family Man||20.||Purist|
|21.||XXXXXXXXL||22.||SPEED!||23.||Blue Bomber||24.||PAY TO PLAY||25.||Have a Heart||26.||I RULE!||27.||BRAINS!||28.||PRIDE DAY!|
|29.||Onan's Streak||30.||The Guardian|
|31.||Backasswards||32.||Aprils Fool||33.||Pokey Mans||34.||Ultra Hard||35.||Pong|
|Achievements||Attributes||Bosses||Cards and Runes||Challenges||Chapters|