In Stardew Valley, the mines provide countless valuable resources. After 5 days in the valley, you will get a letter that the Joja Corporation has cleared out the landslide that was blocking the entrance to the mines. Once inside the mines, you will be able to have access to many valuable resources. Many of these resources do not come from the rocks but through combat with the monsters in the mines.
When it comes to fighting monsters in the mines (or on your wilderness farm), there are three main stats that you will need to focus on. These stats are damage, crit, and hp.
Damage is how strong your hits are against your enemy. Crit, or critical damage, is a special move that will occasionally deal more overall damage. HP, or health points, reflect how much damage you can take from monster attacks when you are in the mines.
As with all skills in the game, you will be able to select one of the combat professions at both combat level 5 and level 10. All of the profession options provide boosts for you in the mines. They all are great options, but it depends on your play and combat style in order to determine which of the options will be best for you. For combat, the two professions that you can start with at level 5 are fighter and scout.
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With the fighter profession, all attacks will deal 10% more damage. The fighter profession is better for more consistent attacks. If you are a player that is not a fan of special attacks, this is a great choice because it will give you a stronger hit every time. You will also gain 15 HP with this profession. The only other way to permanently gain HP (outside of leveling up the combat skill) in the game is by reaching level 100 in the Skull Cavern.
If you chose the fighter profession, there will be two profession options that you are able to select at level 10 combat. These professions are brute and defender. With the brute profession, you will be able to deal a 15% damage boost per hit. This does stack with the flat +10 gained with the level 5 profession. You will not gain any more HP with this profession.
If you are confident in your attacks, but you are looking to gain more overall health, the defender profession adds a bonus 25 HP to your overall health. If you would rather tank more hits before dealing damage, this is the best choice for increasing your defense. While a large amount of HP is always helpful, if you have access to a lot of food to replenish this, it may be better to go for more damage over more health.
If you are a player that likes to take more of a gamble, the scout profession focuses on your critical damage and having a higher crit chance instead of your overall damage. With the scout profession, your critical strike chance is increased by 50%. You will not gain any HP with this selection.
If you chose the scout profession at level 5, you will be able to choose from either acrobat or desperado at level 10. With the acrobat profession, the cooldown on special moves will be cut in half, which will allow you to use your weapon to deal critical hits more frequently.
With the desperado profession, your critical strikes will be deadlier. This perk will give you a better chance of getting a one-shot kill on higher-level monsters. You might be able to use your sword to cut through purple slimes in one hit with this profession. Make sure that you are utilizing your special attacks in order to get the most out of this profession.
Crafting is an important component in combat as there are added buffs that can make up for what you do not gain by choosing one profession over another.
The life elixir is unlocked at level two combat. This elixir will fully restore your health no matter how low it is. This can be used as a quick save if you do not have any additional boosts to your overall HP.
The oil of garlic can be crafted at level 6 combat. This will provide a buff that will prevent enemies, such as slimes, bugs, and other monsters from appearing on any level. This will help increase your survivability when you are on an ore run and do not want to deal with as many monsters.
The roots platter, unlocked at level 3 combat, will provide a +3 attack buff. This cannot be stacked with any other food buff but can be stacked with the profession buffs.
The warrior ring is a new recipe unlocked at level three combat and it can be crafted to provide the wearer with the warrior energy buff. This will increase your attack by 10 for 5 seconds after the buff is applied. This can be helpful in conjunction with the scout profession to add more damage in addition to a higher critical hit chance.
The iridium band (available at combat level 9) can be crafted to provide multiple benefits. The main use for this ring in relation to combat is that it adds a 10% attack buff that can be stacked with another ring and the fighter profession attack stats as well.
The combat skill provides new ways to explore gameplay in the mines and interact with monsters. Over time, the mines will become easier no matter which of the professions you choose. It all comes down to what kind of player you are. If you decide that you are not happy with the profession that you chose, you can pay 10,000g and reset it by using the statue in the sewers.