Among Risk of Rain 2‘s selection of rare items is the Brainstalks. This item doesn’t boost your damage or apply any on-hit effects. Instead, it offers the chance to use your abilities much more often, and in some cases, infinitely. Here’s a look at the Brainstalks effects, stacking, and ideal usage.
Brainstalks | Item Effects and Stacking
Brainstalks in Risk of Rain 2 is a rare (red) item that removes all skill cooldowns for four seconds (+4 per stack) after killing an elite monster. It’s unlocked by completing the Deicide challenge, which requires you to defeat an elite boss on Monsoon difficulty.
The best use for Brainstalks is with builds that focus heavily on abilities. Each stack removes all skill cooldowns for four seconds, leaving you free to spam your abilities as much as you like.
It’s especially useful for the Huntress, Commando, and Artificer, whose non-primary skills are immensely powerful when chained together repeatedly. The Huntress can continually deploy Arrow Rain while never touching the ground; the Commando can spam Suppressive Fire for non-stop machine gunning; and the Artificer can utilize a never-ending Flamethrower.
Each stack provides an extra four seconds to the effect, giving you more time to use your skills. Brainstalks also synergizes with Fuel Cell and Soulbound Catalyst, offering extra uses of your skills and reducing the cooldown when you’re not killing elite enemies.
Since Brainstalks only procs on elite enemies, it’s the perfect Rare item to pick up when using the Artifact of Honor. Otherwise, you may be better served by the Bandolier, especially in earlier loops where elite enemies appear more rarely.
The Brainstalks in Risk of Rain 2 may be one of the less exciting rare items, but it’s not without its use. It can transform the right character into an unstoppable killing machine, especially the Commando and Artificer. Just remember that you’ll still need damage-boosting items, or you’ll be hard-pressed to actually destroy an elite monster.