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The Ten Best Activated Items in "The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth"

Eric loves to play "The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth" on Steam, and it is one of his favorite games. He wants to teach others about the game.


Need to Update for Repentance

I wrote this guide before the Repentance update. I will need to buy and play the DLC and see how items have changed. I will need to update it.

Keep that in mind while reading this guide.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Items You Want to Use

In The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, you can find and hold one activated item.

There are many of these items, and you have to choose one (or sometimes two) to keep.

In this list, I am going to rank the ten best activated items.

These are the items you will want to keep! The right activated items can make the early game much easier.

List Rules

I am listing these items in alphabetical order. Trying to list them from best to worst is hard and makes my brain hurt.

I play the game with all DLC purchased and installed. Without the DLC, some items might not be available for you.

Also, I have most items in the game unlocked. You may need to unlock some of these items to get them.

The Book of Shadows

The Book of Shadows

Book of Shadows

Here is some info about Book of Shadows.

Item Information

The Book of Shadows blocks most damage for ten seconds. This item recharges after three charge bars.

You can find this item in libraries and treasure rooms. The item is unlocked at the start of the game.

Why the Book of Shadows Is Good

This item is a great way to "buy time" during the harder boss fights. It will stop you from dying.

But keep in mind this item only will give you about ten seconds to avoid damage! For the very hard boss fights, you will have to learn how to beat them by dodging their attacks.

How I Use the Book of Shadows

Since this item has a low recharge bar, you can use it often while clearing rooms. Using the book often is a great way to avoid taking damage early game.

The item has some utility purposes as well.

While this item is activated, you can use blood donation machines and devil beggars without taking damage. You can use this strategy to get extra coins and items early game.

You can also use this item to cross spikes to grab items without taking damage.

This item will also stop you from taking damage when entering or exiting Curse rooms.

The Red Candle and The Candle

The Red Candle and The Candle

The Candle Items

Here is what you need to know about the Candle items.

Item Information

The (blue) Candle and Red Candle items both do about the same thing with slight differences.

Both items shoot out a tiny flame that damages enemies multiple times.

The flames from the Red Candle shrink based on damage done. The flames of the (blue) Candle shrink based on the time they are in the current room.

Both items recharge after four seconds.

Both items do not require any DLC.

The candle is unlocked at the start of the game. To unlock the Red Candle, you need to donate 400 coins to the donation machine.

Both items are found in the Shop and cost 15 coins.

Why the Candles Are Good

This item does a huge amount of damage for being an item found in the shop.

Since the item recharges over time, you can also use it many times.

How I Use the Candles

The candles work great when used on bosses. That is if the boss moves enough to touch the flames.

The flames are somewhat hard to aim, so it won't hurt bosses that stay in place as much.

The candles are best when used in the early game. The damage does not scale, so late game it will not be as helpful.

I often will replace this item with another activated item eventually.

Since this item recharges often, you want to use it every chance you get. Don't worry if you miss enemies with the flames. Throw flames out at the start of every room.

You can use the flames to destroy dead shopkeepers. Doing this is a way to get extra coins early game.

Crack the Sky

Crack the Sky

Crack the Sky

Here is some info on how to use Crack the Sky.

Item Information

Crack the Sky randomly shoots five beams of light around the current room. The beams can hit enemies up to eight times.

The damage is calculated based on your tear damage, and this item gets better over time.

The beams seem to try to hit enemies directly. With DLC installed, this happens more often.

This item is charged after filling four charge bars.

Why Crack the Sky Is Good

When used on early game bosses, Crack the Sky destroys them. Many early game bosses will die to one use of this item.

It does decent damage to later bosses as well.

How I Use Crack the Sky

Early game, I tend to save the item and only use it during boss fights.

This item can also clear rooms very fast. It is a great way to clear dangerous rooms without taking damage.

But at four bars, this item does take quite a bit of time to charge. I would not use the item every chance you can.

Your damage will be stronger once you get to late game levels. You may want to start using Crack the Sky more often.

Crystal Ball

Crystal Ball

Crystal Ball

Here is what you need to know about Crystal Ball.

Item Information

Crystal Ball reveals the map except for the super secret room. It also drops a soul heart or a random card or rune.

Crystal Ball activates after six charge bars. You find the item in treasure rooms.

This item does not require any DLC. It is unlocked at the start of the game.

Why Crystal Ball Is a Good Item

Crystal Ball is a nice item to have during the early game.

You will get to see the whole map. This will help in deciding where to go.

You also will get useful cards and runes, and the soul hearts are very helpful early game.

How I Use Crystal Ball

The Crystal Ball has a somewhat higher charge requirement. But you should be able to use this item at least once every floor.

You can use Crystal Ball more often if you need health or want to see what cards you get.

Guppy's Head

Guppy's Head

Guppy's Head

Here is some vital info about Guppy's Head.

Item Information

Guppy's Head creates two to four blue flies when used.

This item is charged after filling one charge bar.

This item does not require any DLC, and it is unlocked at the start of the game. Guppy's Head is found in curse rooms, devil rooms, and golden chests.

Why Guppy's Head Is Good

Guppy's Head is the type of activated time you can find and keep the whole run.

While there may be a few better activated items, the simplicity of this item is amazing.

The power of Guppy's Head is the fact that you can use this item once every time you clear a room.

Blue flies scale as you gain damage. So they do more damage late game.

Find any battery related item and Guppy's Head becomes even better.

It is possible for Guppy's Head to recharge over time and to generate twice as many flies.

The Hive Mind item and the Fish Tail trinket are also great complimentary items.

How I Use Guppy's Head

This is a use and forget item. Just remember to active Guppy's Head every time you can. Find a battery? Pick it up and use Guppy's Head again.

If you can kill enemies before the flies touch anything, they will become a hive of blue flies.

Then when you get to a boss, the flies will swarm it and do decent damage.

Head of Krampas

Head of Krampas

Head of Krampus

Here is some vital info about Head of Krampus.

Item Information

The Head of Krampus fires a brimstone laser in four directions. The Head of Krampus activates after six charge bars.

The item only drops when fighting Krampus in devil rooms.

To unlock this item, you also have to beat Krampus once.

Why the Head of Krampus Is a Good Item

This item does decent damage to bosses. It is the most helpful early game because the damage does not scale or improve.

How I Use Head of Krampus

The item has a high charge requirement. I normally only use the item in boss fights. But if there are extra little batteries, then you might want to use it to clear normal rooms as well.

Late game, the item is more helpful when used to clear hard rooms.

Mama Mega!

Mama Mega!

Mama Mega!

Here is some info on how to use Mama Mega!

Item Information

When used Mama Mega! damages all enemies and destroys all obstacles in every room on the floor.

Mama Mega! will open up both secret rooms. Using this item will also open the door to boss rush and the door to Hush.

This item is unlocked at the start of the game. You need to have the Afterbirth Plus DLC to find the item.

The item is found in the store and can be received from bomb bums.

Mama Mega! has no charge time but it can only be used once.

Why Mama Mega! Is a Good Item

Mama Mega! is a great item to find in the late game as it will clear every room for you.

You can use Mama Mega! to get into the boss rush room or fight Hush. It will also open the secret and super secret rooms for you.

How I Use Mama Mega!

Most of the time I get this item, I save it for boss rush. I don't use it to fight Hush that often anymore. But I will do it sometimes.

If you use Mama Mega! while holding a gold bomb, you keep the item and can use it again. You will be able to use Mama Mega! on the next floor.

Mega Blast

Mega Blast

Mega Blast

Here is what you need to know about Mega Blast.

Item Information

Mega Blast shoots out a high damage beam for 15 seconds.

Mega Blast activates after 12 charge bars. Mega Blast is also a special item. Little batteries and charged keys only add three charge bars when picked up.

To unlock Mega Blast, you must beat Mega Satan with all characters. Doing this is very hard to do, and some people may never complete the unlock.

Why Mega Blast Is a Good Item

Mega Blast deals a huge amount of damage. Most of the bosses are not even a fight when you use this item.

How I Use Mega Blast

While you can use this item in normal rooms, you will not stop shooting for 15 seconds. This does eventually become slightly annoying.

So considering the higher charge requirement and the fact you have to shoot for a long time, this item is best used to fight bosses.

But keep in mind when used against the hardest bosses, it won't be as helpful. Bosses like Delirium and Hush have armor that protects against strong attacks.

In these cases, the pushback may do more harm than good, as you will not able to dodge.

Satanic Bible

Satanic Bible

Satanic Bible

Here is some info on how to use Satanic Bible.

Item Information

The Satanic Bible gives you one black heart. Black hearts damage every enemy in the room for 40 damage when depleted.

The item is charged after filling six charge bars.

The item is found in devil rooms, libraries, and treasure rooms.

This item does not require any DLC. To unlock this item, you have to beat Issac playing Azazel.

Why the Satanic Bible Is Good

When unlocked, this is one of the best defensive activated items in the game. When used enough, you will build up a lot of health points.

How I Use the Satanic Bible

You want to use this item every chance you can. Black hearts are the best type of health in the game.

The only downside to this item is the long recharge bar. But finding batteries will help a lot.

This item works best when used early game. This item will let you save up health until you get to max health if you can play well.

This item also makes taking devil deals a lot easier because you can build your health up afterward. You will also be able to interact with sacrifice rooms more often.

This item is not as helpful during the late game if you have a strong build. You may no longer need any extra health points. You can always replace the item at this point.




Here is what you need to know about Smelter.

Item Information

Smelter removes and permanently adds the effects of any held trinkets.

Smelter activates after six charge bars, and you find it in the shop.

This item requires the Afterbirth Plus DLC. To unlock this item, defeat Mom's Heart or It Lives! on Hard mode as Apollyon.

Why The Smelter Is a Good Item

The power of the Smelter item is collecting trinkets and their effects. Even weak trinkets can be helpful when you have enough of them saved up. The Smelter is all about power in numbers.

How I Use the Smelter

You want to find as many trinkets as possible. As long as the trinket does something good, you smelt it.

The hard part is getting enough batteries to do this.

© 2020 Eric Farmer

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