Crypt of the NecroDancer Wiki

Eli is the one who digs forever just to find his brother, Dorian. Eli is Cadence's uncle, Dorian's brother. He is Cadence's caretaker while her father is away. Cadence, despite Eli's recommendations, goes to the crypt to search for her father anyway.

To unlock him, you must complete Zone 1.

Rules and Restrictions

Eli starts with a Shovel, Nazar Charm, and infinite Bombs. 

Eli has no starting weapon (Amplified dlc.png has a starting weapon named Eli, which is Eli's prosthetic shovel) and cannot equip one - attempting to do so results in a death to "Cowardice". Instead, he is granted infinite bombs and a unique ability to kick them, moving it 3 tiles away. Kicked bombs will pass through enemies, but not through walls or chests. 

Due to these mechanics, Eli cannot find any Weapons or Shovels. Shrine of Space can still be activated to make dungeons larger (which can for example be useful in score runs), but Eli cannot pick up any of the 3 Shovels it spawns. Additionally, Eli does not have access to Ring of Might, Ring of Courage, Ring of War, Boots of Pain, Boots of Strength, Glass Jaw, Sunglasses and Amplified dlc.png Spiked Ears. Blast Helm, Amplified dlc.png Grenade Charm and Amplified dlc.png Bomb Charm are removed for balancing. Shrines of Blood and No Return do not spawn for him.

Shops only offer two items for Eli, and their walls will not provide gold upon destruction.

Moles will not spawn for Eli. Leprechauns are modified to have 5 HP (compared to the usual 4).



Since Eli can normally only damage enemies through bombs with a somewhat lengthy fuse delay, items that offer alternative forms of damage are extremely helpful for him. Holy Water, Fireball, and Boots of Lunging are all very strong in this regard. Boots of Leaping will help Eli get away from faster moving enemies tailing him and avoid damaging himself with his own bombs. Ring of Peace and Miner's Cap are also good options to help prevent enemy swarms from trapping Eli near his bombs. During score runs, the Ring of Gold is absolutely irreplaceable, as collecting gold without accidentally destroying it is extremely challenging for Eli. Nodlc.png Arguably the strongest option for Eli in non-score contexts, however, is the Ring of Phasing, as Eli is able to place bombs inside walls to attack enemies from nearly complete safety.


Bomb kicking allows Eli to attack almost every enemy at a safe distance with very little risk. His strength is in clearing out large swarms of enemies very quickly. His boss fights are typically very trivial, with each one going down within a couple of well placed bombs. Eli is fairly weak if trying to push aggressively in a speedrunning context, however, as allowing too many enemies to live can restrict his movement and interfere with ability to avoid his own bombs. Eli also needs to be very careful with digging and opening doors, as a fast moving enemy on the other side (such as an active Ghost or Skeleton Rider) can cause significant problems for him if he fails to place a bomb in advance.

Since Eli requires a beat in order to place a bomb, enemies which move every beat are the most deadly to him. The main things to watch out for in this respect are Zone 1 Ghosts, Zone 2 Wall Mimics, Zone 3 Skeleton Riders, and Banshees. Placing a bomb before they start chasing him or allowing them to get too close is important to handling them. If one of these enemies ends up adjacent to Eli while chasing him, Nodlc.png it may become impossible to avoid damage. Spells and items can defeat them if available, but Eli can also sometimes use the environment to allow him to gain breathing room. This can be in the form of bounce traps, bomb traps, or ice tiles (which allow him to plant a bomb while sliding). (Amplified dlc.png The knockback ability of Eli's prosthetic shovel now makes it possible to safely take on these enemies even if adjacent with nothing else available, but only if exactly one enemy is chasing him.)

Unlike most other characters, Zone 4 is arguably the easiest part of the game for Eli. Enemies that act every beat are almost non-existent and nearly all special combat properties of enemies become irrelevant, since these effects do not trigger or affect bombs (Warlock teleportation and Blademaster parries do not occur, Ooze Golem shrink tiles do not affect the ability to place bombs). Eli can even kick the bombs of Goblin Bombers away from the gold they drop, making the piles easy to pick up.


  • Eli's shovel is permanently grafted to his arm, possibly after losing his hand to an explosives accident. This trait is reflected in-game by his inability to pick up shovels, even if he finds one through the Glass Shop or a Shrine of Space.
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