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.
From what I have learned so far, some of the weaker items have now been buffed, and I may need to reconsider if they are the worst.
Most notably, Holy Water seems like it might be useful now.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Items to Avoid
I am going to list the worst items in The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. I will explain why these items are bad and so frustrating. These items tend to do more harm than good.
These items are good in certain situations. But it takes luck to get the right combination for these items to be great.
In a game like The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, you want items that are always good or at least neutral. Items that are sometimes bad are the stuff I mostly just ignore.
I play the game will all expansions installed. This list assumes that you do as well.
Also, you might disagree with an item that you think is good or not so bad. That is fine as everybody has their opinions after all.
You find No. 2 in Treasure Rooms.
When you have No. 2, firing tears for three seconds drops a Butt Bomb.
These bombs deal ten damage to all enemies in the room. You only drop one bomb while holding down fire at a time.
The bombs are helpful early game. They help you get into secret rooms and find more items. Bomb damage is great against some early game bosses.
But the bombs become a nuisance over time. Any item that forces me to dodge another obstacle is rarely worth the hassle long term.
There is enough in this game to worry about. I don’t want to remember to dodge a bomb after firing for three seconds as well.
Having Pyromaniac turns No. 2 into an amazing item, though!
You find Bob's Brain in Treasure Rooms and Golden Chests.
Bob’s Brain is a floating bomb. The bomb flies forward after a delay. This triggers when you fire tears.
The brain explodes with whatever enemy it makes contact with. After so long, it will come back.
The item is the most useful early game. Early game the extra damage is a great help. Bob’s Brain destroys some of the early game bosses.
But often during the late game, you no longer need the extra damage. At this point, this item becomes a liability. If the explosion happens too close, you also get damaged.
This is why most people dislike the item. If you are not careful, you can die from using this item.
This item would be perfect if I could drop it when I no longer needed it. The only way to get rid of items is to reroll every item you have, and this is very risky to do.
You find Cursed Eye in red chests, secret rooms, and Treasure Rooms.
Cursed Eye allows you to shoot out tears in charged shots. If you take damage while charging shots, the item teleports you to a random room.
Being teleported like this is very jarring. Also, when teleported out of boss fights, you have to restart the fight from the beginning.
This item can be good under the right circumstances.
The Black Candle item removes all curses. Even Cursed Eye. Without the curse, Cursed Eye becomes Charged Shot Eye? It is a great item without the curse.
Also, if you have very high tears, you will shoot so fast that the chance of getting hit while charging shots is low. You will be able to manage this risk more.
Curse of the Tower
You find Curse of the Tower in Red Chests, Curse Rooms, and Treasure Rooms.
Curse of the Tower spawns six troll bombs when you take damage. These bombs can hurt you as well as enemies.
This item can be useful in some situations. Often the bombs will help you clear a room after getting hit. But the bombs are also risky.
I don’t want items with risks that change how I need to play the game.
There is enough in this game to worry about than needing to dodge six bombs every time I get damaged. Often I take damage again from the bombs.
Some items make Curse of the Tower great or better.
If you happen to have Pyromaniac, then Curse of the Tower is a great item in this situation. The bombs now heal you if you have red heart containers.
The trinket Safety Scissors will turn the troll bombs into free bomb pickups you can grab.
Defensive based items somewhat mitigate the damage. Holy Mantle is a good item that helps here.
If you have a lot of health or a way to get health back fast, you don't have to worry too much about the bomb damage.
You find Glass Cannon in Treasure Rooms.
Glass Cannon shots a single high damage piercing tear.
The tear does a lot of damage, and it is an amazing damage boost. The item recharges and you can use it multiple times in one room.
The item would be amazing but for one fatal flaw.
The item sets your health to half a heart container after every use. You can heal yourself afterward, but if you use the item again, you will be at half a heart again.
Something that is a “glass cannon” in video games implies a character that does a lot of damage but dies fast.
Playing the game without error is too hard. This is way too intense. I can do it for a while but never 100% of the time.
With some items, Glass Cannon is not as risky. Dead Cat is a great item for Glass Cannon. If you die, you get nine tries at whatever you were doing.
Items that make you invincible allow you to cheat death at least for a short while.
The item could be useful as a final shot item. If you know the health of the boss and know one more hit will kill them, that final shot could be worth the risk.
You will need a method of gaining red hearts again afterward. Don't try this with only soul or black hearts!
You find Holy Water in Treasure Rooms and Angel Rooms.
Holy Water is an item that drops a pitiful tiny pool of water after taking damage. These pools damages enemies that walk into it. This only happens once per room.
This item is disappointing. Like it does nothing bad or anything. But it does nothing too good either.
The water pool is so small you never get a chance to damage anything with it.
Finding this item in Angel Rooms is a huge waste.
There is a limited number of chances to get items from Angel Rooms. Some of the items you find there are amazing. So finding this item instead is so bad.
If I have no way of rerolling the item, I guess I will pick it up.
With the Lost Cork Trinket, Holy Water drops a bigger pool of water! Now it is slightly less pathetic.
Also, with Box of Friends, you have two Holy Water. Now the item is doubly disappointing!
You find Ipecac in Treasure Rooms.
Ipecac turns your tears into slow high damage explosive shots. This does a lot of damage to single enemies. These shots can hurt you too if the explosion happens to close to you.
Ipecac is very risky to use. You have to be very careful not to hurt yourself in the process.
Even with the best intentions, I will often end taking some damage. You have to act as each shot is a threat to your safety.
Shooting too fast or having tears with a short-range is dangerous. Any item that splits your tears is also dangerous as it causes you to take damage more often.
The item my reflection is suicide as if you miss the tears will fly back at you. The Suicide King challenge was such a pain to complete because of this.
This is why I dislike the item, and I will refuse to pick it up sometimes. I don’t feel the risk justifies the high damage.
Some items make Ipecac worth picking up.
Pyromaniac turns any explosive items into absolute wins.
Items that create flies or spiders become epic items.
Remember, the game calculates spider and fly damage based on your damage. So having high damage gives them great damage.
With high damage blue spiders demolishes bosses with a single touch. It is very funny to see a boss die from touching a tiny blue spider.
Defensive items like the Holy Mantle somewhat help with dodging the self-inflicted damage.
The item lowers your tear distance. Every so often will spit out a kidney stone, and this shoots out a barrage that is somewhat hard to aim.
This item is more annoying than good. The lowered range is a huge nuisance.
Also, you spit out stones somewhat randomly. This is annoying to deal with as now I have to pay attention to when the charged shots happen.
I suppose this item would result in more damage overall, but I don’t think it is worth it.
You find Marked in Treasure Rooms.
Marked is somewhat helpful because now you can aim and shoot places you normally can’t.
This item is annoying because of how it changes how you play.
By constantly shooting, you have to be careful about where you use bombs. Since you will shoot the bombs out of the way.
I also rather be in control of how I shoot, and I don’t like how Marked feels to use.
You find Soy Milk in Treasure Rooms.
Soy Milk makes your tears stat as low as possible. It also greatly lowers your damage and future damage upgrades. You shoot out very fast, weak tears.
This item is a bit more controversial than bad. It just feels odd and weird to shoot tiny tears for low damage.
If you land every shot you are actually doing about the same damage but it just doesn't seem like it.
This item has a chance to be good. With the right passive items, you can do more damage than the tiny damage stat shows.
You need items like Apple!, Tough Love, Chemical Peel, Blot Clot, Holy Light, etc.
But in most cases, you will do tiny damage. Soy Milk will make you seem weaker than you are. Also, the item is worse to pick up if you already have good tears.
I might risk picking up Soy Milk early game. But often, late game I refuse to pick up the item if I like my damage.
© 2020 Eric Farmer