Admittedly, it had been a while since I have played Don’t Starve Together as I have taken a few months off of playing the game, but with the latest addition of Wanda, I have gone back to streaming Don’t Starve Together.
Wanda has rekindled my love for Don’t Starve Together, simply because she provides one of the most unique gameplays.
It was very clear that as soon as Wanda was released I would heavily vibe with her as she provided a new challenge in the game, but also came with such unique buffs that amplified the amount of damage players were able to deal as well as a new way to survive and heal.
In this guide, I’m going to cover everything you need to know about Wanda, including what kinds of players will want to make sure that they get their hands on her as Wanda is a bit specific in comparison to many of the other characters in DST.
HOW TO UNLOCK WANDA
Unlike many other DST specific characters, Wanda must be unlocked costing players either 2,700 Spools, which players can obtain either by unraveling skins or by obtaining promotional codes which give players a good amount of Spools.
If players are not patient they can make a purchase of Wanda in the in-game shop, essentially having two options to purchase Wanda, the Wanda Chest (which provides players with only Wanda) or the better valued Wanda Deluxe Chest (which provides players with Wanda and a few skins). Players can also purchase Wanda with the 2021 Starter Pack, which provides them with some extra bonuses aside from Wanda, though in many cases this will provide players with duplicates to things they already have, especially if they have been playing DST for a while.
Wanda cannot be dropped in a daily drop or for playing the game over time.
WHAT ARE WANDA’S STATS?
Wanda comes with a fairly standard amount of stats to adult characters in Don’t Starve Together, however, unlike all other characters she doesn’t actually have Health, instead having Age to deal with.
The following are her stats:
Wanda can be as young as 20 years old or as old as 80 before she dies, and unlike Health, players will only be able to use Wanda specific items to roll back her age.
Admittedly, Age can be a tricky thing to get used to, however, in my opinion Age is a lot easier to manage than Health, simply because Wanda’s specific items can be crafted once and reused as often as a player needs them (as long as they are off cooldown. Though I will cover more on this later.)
Wanda’s Age relates not only to Health and it will actually affect how much damage Wanda deals and which Weapons Wanda players will want to use when playing with her.
Due to the way the Age mechanic works, Klei has stated that the odds of Survival with Wanda are actually “Slim” though this can be severely remedied if players are wise and understand the Age mechanic.
Wanda has a fairly normal amount of Hunger, sitting at 175 Hunger.
Wanda has a good amount of Sanity, being one of the characters who doesn’t struggle as much as others. Wanda’s Sanity sits at 200.
Shockingly, Wanda has a big sweet tooth, which isn’t the most advised thing at her Age, but her favourite food is Taffy.
Taffy will provide Wanda with 40 Hunger instead of 25 and will continue giving her 15 Sanity. The best thing about Taffy is the fact that it won’t affect Wanda’s age, as it would normally take 3 Health from all other characters.
Due to the way Wanda works, Taffy has no negative effects on her, and instead will just provide her with positive effects.
HOW DOES WANDA’S AGE WORK?
Age is going to be the first mechanic that Wanda players get a hold of as this will essentially be the way that a player stays alive as Wanda.
As mentioned earlier, players have control over Wanda when she sits between the ages of 20-80. If players try to reverse time at age 20, they will essentially waste a use of their Ageless Watch, placing it on cooldown and not affecting sweet Wanda.
This isn’t actually the worst thing to happen as the Ageless Watch does not break, but does go on cooldown anytime it is used.
As Wanda has Age instead of Health players are ready to suspect that she has different life stages, being Young, Middle Aged and Elderly.
Wanda’s age can be told by the notches on her Age Badge, or understood more easily using the Combined Status mod. If players are not using the mod, they can quickly tell Wanda’s age by counting the notches they have surpassed. Each notch depicts 5 years and the three stages of Age are depicted by the three different colours.
Young is the lightest of the three, middle aged is purple and elderly is dark purple.
Upon entering a new world, Wanda will be 38 and will age 1 year every 40 seconds, meaning that she can gain a total of 12 years before each day ends. Due to the fact that Wanda essentially dies simply from being logged into the game, players are always going to want to have an Ageless watch or two on them so they can rewind time, but more on that later.
It would be overpowered if Wanda only aged overtime, but it’s not as simple as that. Instead Wanda will also age whenever she takes damage, gaining Age that equals to 0.4x the incoming damage.
Luckily for players, this means that Wanda actually has more survivability when in combat than other characters, though this still depends heavily on kiting capabilities and ensuring that Wanda isn’t just twatted around.
Players will want to ensure that they rewind before Wanda nears the age of 80 and if they are struggling with keeping her alive, they should stay in her Middle Age until they get used to the mechanic.
The following are the Age Stages and what they provide players:
Young Wanda exists between the ages of 20-35. Young Wanda players like all regular characters, having no damage buffs and being the age that players will want to avoid as much as possible, unless they are simply just practicing Wanda’s mechanics and don’t trust themselves to be put into difficult situations.
Young Wanda does have the best Teleport capability, allowing themselves to zoom 8 steps backwards when using the Backstep Watch, though this isn’t the most useful when players are trying to catch up to mobs to try to kill them immediately after.
As I said, you’re going to want to avoid Young Wanda as much as possible.
MIDDLE AGED WANDA
Middle Aged Wanda exists between the ages of 36-64 and will gain a 1.2 damage modifier when she is wielding a Shadow Weapon.
Middle Aged Wanda deals around the same damage as Wigfrid, making her very suitable in this stage.
Not only that, but Middle Aged Wanda will be able to use Magic Items for half their Sanity Drain, meaning that players should hand off items like the Star Caller’s Staff, Fire Staff, Ice Staff or The Lazy Explorer to her so there is less of a chance of a team member becoming Insane at the wrong time.
As for Weapons or Armour like the Shadow Sword and Night Armour, Wanda will only take a third of the Sanity drain, meaning that these tend to be the better choice in Weapons for Wanda, unless players already have access to her character specific gear, which I will cover shortly.
It should be noted that players will still deal with the Sanity struggle from Mobs, Night Light, Nightmare Ramparts or the One-man Band similar to other players, making sure that Wanda is not severely overpowered.
Elderly Wanda is going to be the state that you are in the majority of the time and to be honest, she’s going to be the hardest state to remain in as Elderly Wanda is always at risk of dying.
Elderly Wanda exists between the ages of 65-79, when Wanda players hit age 80 they will immediately die.
Players will have a good amount of time in Elderly Wanda’s stage, even when in battle, however, players will want to make sure that they have a few Ageless Clocks during this time to make sure that anytime they are being overwhelmed with damage they can reverse time to stay alive.
Elderly Wanda comes with the biggest benefits of all the life stages, dealing almost as much damage as Wolfgang in his mighty state. It should be noted that Wanda will only deal this extra damage if she is wielding a Shadow Magic Weapon, thus allowing her to attack bosses for longer before Shadow Monsters begin appearing.
While players may not see the point in taking a character that’s technically weaker than Wolfgang, the most powerful character in the game, players will be extremely happy to note that they have a great deal of benefits from using Shadow Magic Weapons. Similar to Wanda’s Middle Aged stage, Wanda will not suffer from the negatives of Shadow Magic as much, now only taking a fourth of the Sanity drain, meaning that if players are about to use Magic items that benefit the whole team, try to get into the Elderly stage to ensure that you take as little Sanity loss as you can.
Using the Elder version of Wanda may be tricky, but if players learn to kite and rewind time or use other of Wanda’s specific items to avoid damage they will not find it difficult to remain in this state for a while.
While costly, I strongly recommend that players invest in a couple duplicates of Wanda’s items as they will really help carry a group and ensure that players have a good amount of survivability playing Wanda. I will say, the only issue with having multiple items from Wanda’s kit is that they take a good portion of your inventory space, so expect to struggle with inventory until you are able to get yourself a Krampus Sack.
WHAT ARE WANDA’S SPECIAL POWERS & ITEMS?
Unlike many of the mentioned characters, Wanda will only have access to items instead of structures. Many of the items that Wanda can use can only be used by her, though there are some that are exclusive to only uses for Wanda.
The following are all of the Time Pieces Wanda can craft using her Clocksmithy tab, their uses and which are the best to have multiples of.
The Clockmaker’s Tool is the base item for some of Wanda’s other Clocksmithy items, though the Clockmaker’s Tools also has the ability to deconstruct any Pocket Watches for 100% of the resources back, though it should be noted that players will not be able to receive any of the Nightmare Fuel from the Alarming Clock if a player chooses to deconstruct it.
Luckily for players, Nightmare Fuel is not the hardest thing to obtain as players will always want to have Nightmare Fuel on them for the stronger weapons and Magic Items.
Clockmaker’s Tools are only used to craft the Time Pieces for players, though players should note that this doesn’t actually consume the Clockmaker’s Tools, meaning that players will only need one of these at a time in order to make the most use of it.
The Clock Maker’s Tools do not have any durability, and thus can be used over and over again.
If players would like to craft Clockmaker’s Tools they will need 3 Sticks, 1 Flint and 1 Gold Nugget.
In many cases players will not be required to deconstruct any of the Clocksmithy items, though if players are struggling with resources it can be helpful so players are not stuck in a situation where they need a Gem or Walrus Tusk.
Time Pieces are one of the most important resources players will have to craft as Wanda as they will be required to craft all forms of Pocket Watches that Wanda has access to.
Unfortunately, Time Pieces are one of the most expensive items players will have to craft as the Time Pieces will require players to head into the Caves/Ruins in order to acquire Thulecite Fragments.
Luckily for players, they will not be required to hand over full pieces of Thulecite, so it’s going to be very important that players do not convert all of their Thulecite Fragments into full pieces of Thulecite, especially if they expect themselves to craft more Pocket Watches in the future.
Players will need to be holding Clockmarker’s Tools while they craft Time Pieces, however, as mentioned earlier, players will not consume the Clockmaker’s Tool.
In order to craft Time Pieces players will need 8 Thulecite Fragments, 2 Nightmare Fuel and have Clockmaker’s Tools in their inventory.
In short, Time Pieces are used to craft the Ageless Watch, Second Chance Watch, Backstep Watch, Backtrek Watch, and Alarming Clock, but more on this shortly.
The Ageless Watch is going to be the first item that a player will want to craft multiples of as it’s going to be the only way a player “heals” for Wanda.
Essentially with an Ageless Watch can be used every 2 minutes to restore 8 years on Wanda’s life. Players will have to use the Ageless Watch at least twice per day to ensure that Wanda is kept young enough to not fear death, though players will want to have at least 3 Ageless Watches to ensure that they are young enough to sustain themselves in battle.
It should be noted that the Ageless Watch can be used midway through battle when a player has just been attacked as players will gradually age once attacked, essentially being able to use the Ageless Watch as a way to stop the progression of damage that is currently happening.
Luckily for players, each Ageless Watch has it’s own cool down so there is absolutely nothing stopping a player from having a full inventory of Ageless Watches (alongside Armour and Weapons to ensure that a player can make it through a battle without having to craft more.
Admittedly, I wouldn’t recommend filling your whole inventory with Ageless Watches as this would be a waste of resources, however, realistically this can be helpful for players who are still getting used to Wanda’s mechanics, especially when up against harder Bosses. I, personally, like to travel with 3 Ageless Watches at a time.
To craft an Ageless Watch players will need 2 Marble, 1 Red Gem and 1 Time Piece. All of these items will be consumed once the Ageless Watch is crafted, however, players can use Clockmaker’s Tools if they want to deconstruct them, especially if they are not in need of them in the future.
It should be noted that no other characters can use the Ageless Watch, so don’t be thinking you’ve just found some OP healing.
SECOND CHANCE WATCH
The Second Chance Watch is essentially a different form of the Telltale Heart or Life Giving Amulet. With the Second Chance Watch, Wanda can resurrect any player by interacting with them or if Wanda herself dies she will be able to Haunt the Second Chance Watch to respawn.
It should be noted that if Wanda uses the Second Chance Watch on another player it will simply put it on a 4 minute cool down, essentially becoming an overpowered way of resurrecting multiple players, however if Wanda haunts the Second Chance Watch it will break and provide players with half of the resources required to craft it.
Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of the Second Chance Watch as in many cases it can lead a player to death again. Reason being? Resurrecting a player using the Second Chance Watch will teleport them back to the place they died. Players will want to be careful with resurrecting other players as they will want to make sure that the area a player died in is clear as if a player is sent back to a hostile situation they will immediately die.
The only time this isn’t as bad of a factor is when players are up against a Boss and are able to force the Boss to aggro another player to ensure that the resurrected player has time to heal.
Unfortunately for players, they will need to expect the same penalties on their Health, Hunger and Sanity as they would expect with a Life Giving Amulet, so in no way is this actually more powerful other than it’s ability to be reused every 4 minutes.
To craft a Second Chance Watch players will need 4 Bone Shards, 2 Living Logs and 1 Time Piece.
In my opinion, I find the Second Chance Watch to be unnecessary, though this comes down to my play style and how often my DST team dies. Instead we always tend to use Tell Tale Hearts, especially because of the cost of Thulecite.
The Backstep Watch is by far the most useful tool for players to use when trying to kite enemies.
Once activated, players will Teleport a number of steps backwards, which is shown via an indicator on the floor. As mentioned earlier, each age phase available for Wanda players will provide players with a different amount of distance from where they are.
Young Wanda moves 16 units, Middle-Aged Wanda moves 8 units, and Old Wanda moves 4 Units. Admittedly, players will not need the amount of teleportation that Young Wanda provides, however, players may want to practice in Wanda’s Middle-Aged state so they are not at risk of dying. That being said, the Backstep Watch by far is the best way to ensure that players can stay alive in this age state.
Players can use the Backstep Watch to ensure that a player has invulnerability for a short period, essentially allowing players to dodge a bit after a half a second. It will take a bit of time to get used to the Backstep Watch, but when used correctly it will make staying in the Old Wanda age extremely easy to acquire.
To craft the Backstep Watch players will only need 2 Gold Nuggets and 1 Time Piece.
I would recommend only having a single Backstep Watch and at maximum have two, simply because the Backstep Watch has a very short cool down sitting at 2 seconds. Players, in most cases won’t have to teleport more than once within two seconds, making crafting more of them a bit useless unless they expect one to be destroyed in a fire or something equivalent.
Similar to the other tools that Wanda crafts, players will have unlimited durability on the Backstep Watch.
The Backtrek Watch is by far my absolute favourite tool that players can use when playing Wanda as they will essentially act as portals for players to teleport anywhere on the map. Shockingly, Backtrek Watch is even to teleport from the Surface to the Caves, meaning that players can ultimately use the Backtrek Watch to quickly get to the ruins or major bosses to ensure that they don’t have to waste time walking.
It should be noted that a player can only set a single location to the Backtrek Watch but can essentially craft as many Backtrek Watches as they want. I would strongly recommend keeping these in a Chest or on the Floor to ensure that they are not just taking up your inventory space, but I will say if it is possible for you to label where the Backtrek Watch leads you will be grateful.
Unfortunately, there is no way to name a Backtrek Watch so there will definitely be moments where you’re confused whether or not you’ve picked up the right Backtrek Watch if you haven’t found a good way to label them.
The Backtrek Watch can only be used by Wanda, but can be upgraded further in order to provide all players with the ability to teleport.
It should be noted that the Backtrek Watch requires players to use the Prestihatitator to craft and will require 2 Time Pieces, 2 Gold Nuggets and 1 Walrus Tusk.
Once a Backtrek Watch is set on a location it cannot be reset and thus must be deconstructed using Clockmaker’s Tools. This will come in very useful for players who do not have enough Walrus Tusks to make multiple Backtrek Watches.
Players will only be able to use the selected Backtrek Watch once per day, so it might be a good idea (in some circumstances) to have two Backtrek Watches pinned to your base.
The Rift Watch is the upgraded version of the Backtrek Watch and undeniably is going to be the endgame item that players craft a great deal of.
Essentially with the Backtrek Watch is going to be the way that a Wanda player takes all of her team members all over the map, similarly being able to take players from the Surface to the Caves.
Wanda players will be able to place a Portal on the ground that leads to the Waypoint area for 10 seconds, allowing all players in the area to interact with it as if it was a Wormhole. Every player that jumps in will lose 20 Sanity.
The one bad thing about the Rift Watch, which isn’t actually the worst, is the fact that it will revert back to a Backtrek Watch after using, though the Waypoint will be saved. Essentially players will be able to keep transforming it back to a Rift Watch if they have an unlimited source of Purple Gems.
I’ve admittedly been waiting for more Weapons in Don’t Starve Together, particularly one that has extremely high damage stats.
If you’re someone who has played the single-player Hamlet (HAM) or Shipwrecked (SW), then you already know that Don’t Starve has stronger weapons that Don’t Starve Together players would be more than happy to have. While Don’t Starve Together players don’t necessarily have to have the highest damage dealing Weapons, simply because of how many players are able to join a server, it does come in very handy for those of you who are playing solo or for when other players are not on a sever.
For those of you in that boat, look no further than the Alarming Clock, which Currently sits at the highest damage in the game, especially when Wanda is in her Old State.
As a base the Alarming Clock deals 81.6 Damage and also works as a “long-range” Weapon, having the range of a Tail o’ Three Cats or Bull Kelp Stalk, allowing Wanda players to more easily kite enemies.
Unlike many other Weapons, when players have used all 96 uses of the Alarming Clock it will not break and will instead simply deal 27.2 damage, though players can easily refuel the Alarming Clock by putting Nightmare Fuel into it.
Players will always want to keep the Alarming Clock fueled with Nightmare Fuel as Wanda can deal as little as 13.6 damage with it if they are in the Old Wanda age stage. This can immensely negatively affect a player, when realistically she could be dealing over 100+ damage using a fueled Alarming Clock.
Young Wanda deals 81.6 Damage using an Alarming Clock.
Middle Aged Wanda deals 97.92 Damage using an Alarming Clock.
Old Wanda deals a great 142.8 Damage using an Alarming Clock.
This increase in damage is nothing to laugh at, especially when characters like Wolfgang are the only ones who output nearly as much damage.
In my opinion, this plus the additional benefits of playing Wanda place her in first place as the best character to play in Don’t Starve Together, as long as you have a good handle on her.
Each time players fuel the Alarming Clock they will provide it with 25% durability, making it extremely easy to recharge.
To craft the Alarming Clock players will need to stand by a Shadow Manipulator and will need 8 Nightmare Fuel, 4 Marble and 3 Time Pieces. Due to this you might want to switch into Wanda when you have enough resources as without it players will not be able to use Wanda to her full capabilities, though a Shadow Sword is also a good option for Wanda.
WHAT ARE WANDA’S DISADVANTAGES?
Players should note that they will receive a number of disadvantages when playing Wanda which will vary based on their age state.
Luckily for players, many of these disadvantages can be managed by having a good hold on Wanda’s age.
The following are all of Wanda’s disadvantages.
When Wanda is in her oldest state she will not be as effective when doing physical labour. This means for players who are hoping to summon the Shadow Pieces, you’re going to either be as young as you can be while carrying them or you’re going to want another player to deal with them. Though, that being said, the best way to move pieces around is still by taming a Beefalo. Even if Wanda is in her oldest state, a Beefalo will be able to do the labour she requires. Well, this isn’t completely true, you’re still going to need to be in a younger state to be able to pick up a Chess Piece in the first place as old Wanda won’t even be able to pick one up.
It should be noted that physical labour also has to do with destroying things with Hammers, so don’t start trying to fix up your base when you are in the oldest age state, because you’re going to take more of the Hammer’s durability before you’re actually able to destroy things. While this isn’t the biggest problem, it will consume more of your time which could be better spent killing enemies for resources.
Shockingly, her Old state will also make it more difficult to craft items, taking a significant amount longer to actually finish crafting an item meaning that if Wanda needs to craft another piece of Armour in this phase she’s a bit out of luck, so always have extra pieces of gear if you’re going to end up in a boss battle.
When in the Oldest age state, Wanda will deal significantly less damage while using regular Weapons, only gaining a boost on Shadow Magic items. For this reason you’re going to want to avoid using Spears, Ham Bats or any other physical damage Weapons as this will simply be a waste of resource. Essentially, as soon as you have access to an Alarming Clock, only use the Alarming Clock to attack and make sure that it is always fueled as as soon as it is depleted, you will also damage significantly less.
WHAT ARE SOME TIPS FOR PLAYING WANDA?
When playing Wanda it’s going to be important that players always use Shadow Magic as their main source of Damage and if in her Old age state they always use Night Armour. Reason being? Shadow Magic is going to deal the most damage and Wanda players will actually not experience much if not any Sanity Loss when wearing Night Armour.
Honestly, this is going to be the best way you survive in the game as both have great stats for players.
I would strongly recommend against Weapons like the Ham Bat or other high damage yielding Weapons as they are a bit of a waste simply due to the damage modifier given to Shadow Magic items.
Players should try getting a Backstep Watch as soon as possible. Even though by the point players have Wanda unlocked they should have a great deal of understanding when it comes to kiting, there’s nothing wrong with abusing a Backstep Watch to ensure that you hardly ever take damage.
Using the Backstep Watch is going to be tricky at first, so players will want to have as much practice as they can with it before things get very tough in the Old age state.
For players who are willing to “cheat” a bit, players can actually speed up the process of getting Time Pieces as they can essentially trade one Moon Rock Idol to keep respawning as Wanda to get 3 Ageless Watches and 1 Clockmaker’s Tools. Quite frankly, I’m a bit of a stickler who doesn’t like this method, however, with a good amount of Purple Gems this can be useful for players trying to speed up their process.
The weirdest use for Wanda is providing Sanity for other players. While admittedly, I don’t care for the idea it’s honestly not the worst idea. Players can essentially die as Wanda and have another player resurrect her using a Telltale Heart to receive 80 Sanity. As Wanda does not have Health and instead has Age, Wanda will not receive any negative impact for being resurrected with a Telltale Heart, unlike other players who will require a Booster Shot to be returned to having maximum Health. Use this to your advantage if everyone is being attacked by Shadow Creatures, though otherwise you’re pretty set.
A bit of an odd tip, but players should note that eating food that takes away a player’s Health can be useful for aging Wanda. If you’re wanting to get Wanda into her old or middle age state after rewinding her time.
HOW GOOD IS WANDA?
Wanda is truthfully my second favourite character while playing Don’t Starve Together in group settings, but is my favourite when playing alone.
Truthfully, Wanda has the most unique gameplay for me and while it can feel quite challenging at points, when you get a decent hang of her, you’re going to be blitzing through enemies faster than you could imagine with other players.
Admittedly, Wanda is one of the most useful characters to play when trying to move teammates around the world. Truthfully, this mechanic alone was what I really wanted in DST because even with the Antlion’s Lazy Deserter, moving around easily around the Constant was pretty difficult, especially if players were looking for quick ways to get between the Surface and the Caves.
I strongly recommend avoiding Wanda if you are new to the game as Wanda does not help a newer player understand the main mechanics of Don’t Starve Together, however, I do recommend that players try her out if they are already comfortable with the game.
I would also recommend that players start off with another character in their world before selecting Wanda. My main reason for feeling this is due to the amount of resources players will need in order to get Wanda up to the stage where she can craft everything. This is in no means necessary, however, there are a number of other characters that are great from the moment you start off with, so I personally switch into Wanda between my second and third year, because by then I have enough Gems, Thulecite and other expensive resources to go absolutely wild with her.
Admittedly, I’m also a person who gets bored of playing the same character for too long, so switching characters is already something I do without the addition of Wanda.
For newer players to the game, this also makes it easier to get used to Wanda’s mechanics as they will have the ability to craft as many defensive Clocks as they need. Admittedly, early game Wanda is going to be the hardest to maintain and take care of, so if you need a nerf this is bound to be the way you go.
WHO DOES WANDA WORK WELL WITH?
Wanda doesn’t really share any synergy with other characters to be honest as she doesn’t really provide other characters with perks other than teleportation.
If you’re looking for characters that are useful for Wanda you’re going to want someone like a Wortox who can easily farm Nightmare Fuel or any character who has a good handle of their Sanity to bring it up and down.
Wanda is a bit of a lone wolf, offering a good amount of damage where necessary, but not being as focused on her group.
As much as I would be wary about naming a new character as the all time best character, I feel very safe doing so with Wanda simply because of the amount of perks she gets especially due to her outstanding mobility when it comes to moving groups of players.
I strongly recommend that players buy her quickly if they’re looking for a massive amount of change in their gameplay as Wanda has really breathed new life into Don’t Starve Together for me.
But I’m curious, what do you think of Wanda? Have you given her a try? What do you think she is best and worst at? Let me know in the comments below!