Though no one runs this I thought I'd document a finding, just in case
While trying to find a marathon safe route for the Handheld Heroes marathon I stumbled onto a new glitch that can be used to develop at the very least a race-safe route that eliminates the need for 75% of health drops my WR route uses.
I call this glitch skill swapping, or in the specific case I use for safety strats "Shieldswap". It does what it says on the tin: swaps Lane's 50% damage shield to another hero so I can do another character's damage while using the damage mitigation usually only available to Lane.
The way it works is simple. If you press select to open the character select menu the frame after you use a B-skill, that skill will remain in effect after the swap. Usually this just results in a hilarious glitched out animation like skillswapping Pit's bomb to Kyle results in exploding skeletons. Lane's shield is, so far, the only useful use of the glitch I've found.
I've built a marathon route based on this. It's exactly the same as the WR route except if you don't get a tear from Bat Boss, you take Lane and Kyle and on the hand boss use Lane to start the fight until she's one hit from death, then use Shieldswap to protect Kyle. When his HP runs out, swap to the Hero to finish the fight; you should need zero healing items.
You can then use Shieldswap on Knight but you have to wait until he's about to hit you to get any use out of it. If done right you can beat Knight with only two potions instead of four.
Finally you can Shieldswap on Barius to beat him with zero healing items if you start with Zold, switch to Lane, and shieldswap just before his first volley hits you. If done right you will shield two cycles, giving Zold enough HP to finish the fight with no healing needed.
All in all this drops the healing item requirement for a run from 10 potions to 2-3. Unfortunately the time you waste getting Lane and juggling her MP means it's not WR-viable without a major reroute, but it'd be good for new runners, people who don't want to reset on bad drops, and races.
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