What are the pros and cons of each mutation tree?

Just as it says on the tin. I don’t simply want the ‘best’ mutation tree, I want the benefits and the negatives to be directly compared to eachother.
And last time I checked (granted, a long time ago) the wiki was missing a lot.

Looks like “a long time ago” was two and a half years…
https://discourse.cataclysmdda.org/t/what-is-the-best-mutation-tree/14779

but I don’t have any actual info on the topic beyond whats in the links of the second entry.

Plant

You become very slow under normal circumstances and even slower in winter/ice labs. Requires the metabolic interchange CBM if you don’t want to end up morbidly obese. You won’t need regular food anymore but by the time you can mutate food isn’t a problem anymore. Thorns and vines increase melee damage, especially if you have high strength. Minor armor on all bodyparts. You can wear any normal human clothes on your feat and head (including power armor) with a moral penalty. You will be able to “explore” the overmap by using Mycorrhizal Communion. Must sleep on dirt or in a pot.

Cephalopod

Makes a good night raider do to night vision, silent movement and the ability to safely climb down from roofs without requiring support. Armor options are limited for almost all slots. High strength or the hydraulic muscles will deal a lot of damage with 8 tentacle rakes. Gains +8 dex and +7 int and lots of encumbrance including 50 on both hands. Good at swimming, although currently there isn’t much to do in the water. Can spew ink at enemies.

Bird

You become fast and frail. Gains +11 per, +4 dex and the ability to fall without getting hurt. Can’t carry much and has some annoying traits.

Spider

Has decent armor, and can run around naked to gain a large boost to dodge.The only hard restriction on gear applies to helmets. Heat Dependent, Light Sensitivity are the biggest downsides neither of which are too crippling. Full Night Vision, Infrared Vision, Fleet Footed, Web Weaver and the ability to safely climb down from any building make you a good night raider. Web Weaver can be used to lay obstacles for your pursuers. Has Strongly Venomous and the fangs to use it with. Predator, Carnivore, Poison Resistant. Must sleep in thick webs, so if you are a deathmobile user you will have to cut a hole in your deathmobile if you don’t want to sleep outside.

Troglobite

Has some of the best pre-thresh mutations in the game but the post-thresh mutations are underwhelming, thus makes a good secondary branch for hybrid mutants. If you stick to purely this tree you will gain strength in exchange for dex, venom you have no way of using, hatred for the sun, Regeneration, Full Night and Infrared Vision, the ability to eat rotten food and a reduced penalty to mining. Doesn’t lose access to regular human clothes and armor.

Lupine/Feline

These are pretty similar except Lupine boosts strength while Feline boosts dex. While strength is generally a more desirable stat, Feline is most likely the better of the two do to the large dodge bonuses it gets, Saber Teeth, slightly less annoying downsides and Lupine being outclassed by other +strength trees. Both get Carnivore and Predator, some form of Night Vision, Snarling Voice and perpetually shift between pretty and deformed.

Slime

You become almost immune to non combat hazards, but will fall quickly in combat the moment stuff starts heading downhill. Lowered strength and hollow bones ensure you won’t be able to carry much. Will need to eat and drink constantly but must avoid filling your stomach. Boosts per and dex and doubles your starting int, which can make Zui-Quan a powerful option to consider, but beware of increased pain penalties including those from Sores. Acidproof and Acid Blood are always nice. Amorphous body lets you melt through bars which is cool, but not that useful. Genetically Unstable is a liability even with Robust Genetics. Has Venomous but no way to use it. Can wear normal human armor.
Finally, Slimesprings are cute.

Lizard

Ectothermic means summer is great and winter and ice labs suck. Recovers broken limbs faster and can see underwater without goggles. Otherwise is your generic melee mutant tree with Predator, +strength + dex, mutant special attacks that restrict your armor and so on.

Fish

Fish is still pretty bad even after its rework. Perhaps when we get underwater locations it will be better. Gains + 7 dex, Quick, Robust Genetics, a boost to swim speed and the ability to sense nearby robots and electric zombies. Can sleep in water and sleeps “with its eyes open” like everybody did in the older days. Shark teeth are powerful. Antsy is annoying.

Ursine

Broad paws are bad, and ponderous slows you down although padded feat somewhat makes up for that. + 11 strength is a lot, combined with TAAANK it will give you a lot of health and ensure you hit like a truck with bashing weapons or unarmed. Aside from severely limiting your wardrobe, HUGE also means you can forget about riding any vehicles1 so your deathmobile days over and you better get used to running around on foot. Can hibernate in winter, but it hasn’t been changed ever since 14 day winters so don’t expect to be able to sleep through the winter. Apex predator is good. Carnivore.

Cattle

Cattle gives you + 8 strength, the ability to eat bushes and swat Dermatiks with your tail. Slow Herbivore. Hooves can deal some nice damage but have no insulation against the cold. HUGE means no regular clothes and no bikes, cars, tractors1.

Rat

No stat boosts, but can eat anything including zombie flesh. Can chew through concrete with superior rat teeth. Doesn’t like the sun and needs to eat a lot. Can theoretically become a fully mutated rat with only one rat serum (for crossing the threshold) and help from the rat king.

Mouse

Stealthy little rodent. Reduces the distance at which enemies notice you, removes the need to drink, greatly decrease your carry capacity, increases stamina regen. Needs to resize all clothes. Moves quickly and silently. Is very frail. Can ride on the backs of dogs and hide in mailboxes.

Raptor

Decent fighter that could be stealthy if not for Shouter. +1 strength, + 2 dex -3 int + 4 per. Quick, Carnivore, Apex Predator. Nice mutant bodypart attacks. Mutagen is annoying to mass produce and perpetually mutates between Very Heat Dependent and Very Fast Metabolism.

Chimera

You fight to live and live to fight. Deals very impressive damage, heavily limits your armor options and is slowly deteriorating away. Acidproof, Acid Blood, Apex Predator, Eater of the Dead and Solidly Built are the good, Genetic Chaos, Metallassomaiphile, Restless, Deterioration and the many restrictions from other mutations are the bad. Hyper-Metabolism means only pain and blood loss can stop your rampage2. Carnivore. Mutagen is annoying to mass produce. +4 strength, +2 dex, -3 int, +2 per.

Beast

Once the HUGE bug1 gets fixed Beast will give the most strength (+7) of any tree capable of fitting in a car without getting cramps. Eats a lot, Screamer prevents stealth, and comes with the standard package of gear restricting melee mutations. Deals less damage then chimera but is less likely to get you killed. Has Apex Predator and Carnivore.

Insect

Insect Wings are pretty great, Butterfly Wings are horrible. Gains Indefatigable, Quick, +1 strength, Poison Resistant, High Night Vision, Infrared Vision, Armor on all body parts, Light Eater. Antennae is cool, particularly in labs. Madibles are better than Proboscis. Cold Blooded makes the cold annoying. Gains Acidproof and Acid Blood on post-thresh but all other post-thresh mutations are worse than the pre-thresh mutations available.

Elf-a

Glorious elfs are loved by NPCs. Stat changes are +1 strength, +5 dex, +4 int and +4 per. Cannot carry much between Bad Back and Hollow Bones. The other big downside is Radioactivity which will contaminate you, your home and fellow NPCs. Can see in the dark, immune to parasites and has some minor plant mutations. Tireless means you spend more time awake and less time resting. Like plant, has Mycorrhizal Communion but should probably not use it unless you are willing to risk getting malnourished. No mutated anatomy means regular human armor is wearable.

Alpha

The classic low risk tree, Alpha’s only real negative is Disintegration. Junkfood Intolerance and Nausea don’t have a very big impact and by the time you can mass produce alpha mutagen Fast Metabolism will be irrelevant. The stat boosts aren’t as high as they used to be but if you don’t feel like mutating any other tree Alpha offers a nice all round stat buff that is higher for low stats. Has Robust Genetics and some minor buffing mutations. Being a “human
but better” can wear everything regular humans can.

Medical

Has some of the strongest mutations in the game but also many downsides, most but not all of which can be countered by various medications. Deadened is the biggest plus, no pain is really big, especially if you plan on attacking Mi-Go Bases to counter their magic pain ray. CBM’s no longer require anesthesia to install. Acidproof and Acid Blood are great as usual. Metallassomaiphile, Unstable Genetics and Narcoleptic are the major negatives, while Jittery, Chemical Imbalance, Mood Swings, Insomniac, Kaluptic Psychosis are annoying but not as bad to have. There are other smaller negatives. Robust genetics is always good, especially if you get it early. Solidly Build is a boost to your HP. No restrictions on armor. Overall one of the strongest trees if you are careful to avoid the worst negatives.

The secret mutation tree

Mycus

We are the Mycus. We offer limitless food, shelter, protection from enemies and fire, and will permanently purge the blob from your organism. Join us and you will never be alone again, always surrounded by friends. Join us, the mycus must grow.

1 As of experimental build 10999 a bug makes HUGE not make you feel cramped in vehicles like it should. This will get fixed eventually so (don’t) abuse this bug while it lasts.

Edit: it seems you do still get cramps from vehicles but at a much slower rate than in the past, which means this might not be a bug. If this is the new intended rate HUGE mutants gain pain in cars, quick car trips will still be an option.

2 As of experimental build 10999 Hyper-Metabolism does not prevent the penalty for overeating and may not be working properly.


Most of the above information is based on my own experience, and thus includes what i consider the most important about each tree. Many minor effects were excluded and it is possible I missed something major while typing this wall of text. If anybody sees any errors please inform me.

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Wow, uhhh, what Junknown said. In fact that’s one of the best breakdown of the various mutation trees I’ve read really good info there and well presented.

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Definitely going to save this post.