Mutations are passive items that modify and increase the abilities of the player in various ways. They are obtained between levels from Guillain.
- 1 Mechanics
- 2 List of Mutations
- 3 Effect scaling of mutations
- 4 Removed Mutations
- 5 History
- 6 Footnotes
- 7 References
The player can only have a certain number of mutations at once. Each area cleared in a run allows one more mutation, up to a total of 3 (unless in custom mode, where many more can be picked). However, the player can spend gold between levels to remove all current mutations, allowing a new choice of mutations to replace the old set. The price to do this starts at 1,000 and doubles with each reset, until the cost reaches 8,000 gold, at which point it will stop increasing.
Most mutations are associated with and scale their benefits with a specific stat. That is, mutations' base damage and/or healing magnitudes are multiplied by 1.15n-1, where n is the current level of the appropriate stat, rounded to produce the final amount.
For example, if a Brutality mutation provides an extra 90 base DPS and the player's Brutality is 2, the final extra DPS is 90 × 1.152-1 = 90 × 1.15 = 103.5 ≈ 104). Note that damage and DPS bonuses from mutations are not affected by gear-specific damage bonuses or Affixes.
Colorless mutations have fixed benefits unaffected by Stats, except for Instinct of the Master of Arms which scales on the highest stat.
As of v1.9, skills can no longer be used to activate mutations that lower their cool-downs when killing enemies, such as 'Hunter's Instinct', but will still activate ones like 'Heart of Ice' or 'Instinct of the Master of Arms', as they are not activated when killing enemies.
List of Mutations
There are 49 mutations in the game: 12 for Brutality, 12 for Tactics, 13 for Survival and 12 that are Colorless.
|Killer Instinct||Reduces the cooldown of your skills by [0.4 base, 3 max] sec for each enemy killed in hand to hand combat.||N/A (Always available)||N/A||Only activated when an enemy dies to a melee attack. Caps out at 25+ Brutality.|
|Combo||+[15% base] damage for 8 seconds after killing an enemy.||N/A (Always available)||N/A||This mutation is not restricted to melee weapons.|
|Vengeance||+[60% base] damage dealt for 8 seconds and -30% damage taken for 3 seconds after taking damage.||N/A (Always available)||N/A||Damage is added at most once every 0.2 seconds.|
|Melee||Melee attacks slow down enemies for [0.26s base, 0.8s max].||The Concierge (5th kill)||50||The slow down duration increase starts at 0.2s with a cap of 0.8s at 11+ Brutality.|
|Open Wounds||Your close combat attacks inflict bleeding ([18 base] DPS for 1.5 seconds)||Lacerator (0.4%)||50||Close combat attacks are with the melee weapons category. A single weapon may only inflict a single stack per use, while extraneous affixes will not be affected (grenades, arrows, etc).
Weapons that already inflict bleeding will stack with this mutation.
|Tainted Flask||Using a health flask adds +[20% base] damage to your attacks for 12 sec. If your flask is empty it will refill after killing [12 base, 4 max] "Elite" enemies.||The Time Keeper (5th kill)||50||Amount of Elites needed to kill start at 12 with a cap of 4 at 28+ Brutality.
The mechanic involving killing Elite enemies to refill the health flask is ambiguously described by the game. It works as follows: during a stretch of gameplay in which you continuously have zero flask charges remaining, if you kill the required number of Elite enemies, then you will be rewarded with one individual flask charge (not a full flask refill) immediately after the final required kill. (This period of gameplay may span across multiple levels.)
If a flask charge is acquired (e.g. in a level transition or from a food shop), then progress toward killing Elites is reset to zero and will not increase until you once again have zero flask charges. The game has no counter or other visual indication showing how much progress has been made toward the required number of kills or when that progress is reset back to zero.
|Adrenaline||Your melee attacks give you back a small amount of HP depending on attack damage for 5 seconds after dodging an attack at the last moment.||Rampager (1.7%)||100||The healing percentage that mutation provides starts at 0.0015% per attack damage point and is capped at 0.015% at 30+ Brutality.|
|Frenzy||Your melee attacks give you back a small amount of HP depending on attack damage as long as you have an active speed buff.||Found behind Timed Door (closes after 2 minutes) in transition before Toxic Sewers||50||The healing percentage that the mutation provides starts at 0.0012% per attack damage point and is capped at 0.008% at 37+ Brutality.|
|Scheme||Your next melee attack after using a skill inflicts +[200 base] damage.||Sweeper (10%)||50||The damage buff can only be applied within 8 seconds of skill usage.|
|Initiative||Your first melee strike against an enemy inflicts +[100 base] damage.||Royal Guard (10%)||50||Every initial hit from a melee weapon against each enemy will receive this damage boost.|
|Predator||Killing an enemy with a melee strike makes you invisible for [1 base, 3.5 max] seconds.||Automaton (10%)||50||Triggers on kills within 0.05s of a melee hit.
Invisibility duration starts at 1 second with a cap of 3.5 seconds at 23+ Brutality.
|Porcupack||Rolling through enemies attacks them with the melee weapon in backpack for [75% base] of the usual damages.||Rancid Rat (0.4%)||80||Increases by 1% with each Brutality Stat, while scaling has no cap.
Has a cooldown of 3 seconds after using. This mutation is single-target - No matter the range of the weapon, it will only hit the enemies rolled through
|Hunter's Instinct||Decreases skill cooldowns by [0.3 base] sec for each enemy killed without using melee attacks.||N/A (Always available)||N/A||Reduces your skill cooldowns when you kill an enemy with a weapon from the "Ranged" category. The effect starts at 0.3 sec with a cap of 2.5 seconds at 19+ Tactics.|
|Support||+[10% base] damage if you're close to a deployed skill.||N/A (Always available)||N/A||"Nearby" is defined as close enough to power a deployed skill (within 9 tiles to it). Proximity is checked every 0.2 seconds, and damage is added at most once every 0.33 seconds.|
|Parting Gift||Causes a bomb ([75 base] damage) to appear when you kill an enemy with a non-melee attack.||Secret area in Graveyard||100||Bomb takes 0.7 seconds to detonate with a 6-tile AoE.|
|Tranquility||+[25% base] damage if there are no enemies near you.||N/A (Always available)||N/A||The closest enemy must be at least 6 tiles away from you for its effect to activate.
Proximity is checked every 0.2 seconds, and damage is added at most once every 0.33 seconds.
|Ripper||Hand to hand attacks cause 6 arrows stuck in the attacked enemy to fall out, each one dealing [118 base] damage.||Secret area in Promenade of the Condemned||100||Stomping on an enemy also triggers this mutation.|
|Ranger's Gear||Your next ranged attack after using a skill inflicts [180 base] damage.||Dancer (10%)||50||Damage buff wears off after 8 seconds of not attacking.|
|Networking||Enemies with arrows stuck in them share [35% base, 75% max] of the damage they receive.||Swarm Zombie (10%)||50||Caps out at 29+ Tactics.|
|Crow's Foot||Rolling leaves 3 crow's feet behind you (with a maximum of 9), inflicting [50 base] damage and slowing the enemies for 1.5 seconds.||Drops from the chest inside of a Challenge Rift||50||Each crow's foot will reset the duration of the slowing inflicted on the enemy.|
|Tactical Retreat||Dodging an attack at the last moment slows down nearby enemies for [1 base, 3 max] seconds.||Slammer (10%)||100||This mutation has a radius of 15 tiles around the player.
Slow effect duration starts at 1 second with a cap of 3 seconds at 25+ Tactics.
|Acrobatipack||Attacking after rolling with a ranged weapon in your backpack fires a projectile of said weapon, dealing [25% base] of the usual damages.||Demolisher (10%)||120||Increases by 1% with each Tactics Stat and scaling has no cap.
Has a cooldown of 3 seconds. Projectiles created by it stay around for 60 seconds. Despite the description, the mutation can only be triggered by a ranged weapon.
|Point Blank||Close-ranged ranged attacks inflicts [40% base] bonus damage||Corpulent Zombie (10%)||80|
|Barbed Tips||Inflicts [32 base] dps per arrow stuck to enemies.||Toxic Miasma (10%)||80||The damage is dealt every 0.4 seconds.|
|Soldier's Resistance||Increase your health by [7% base, 40% max].||Guardian Knight (1.7%)||100||Caps out at 19+ Survival.|
|Berserker||Killing an enemy with a melee attack reduces the damage you take by [10% base, 60% max] for 5 sec.||Failed Experiment (0.4%)||100||The reduction caps out at 14+ Survival.|
|Blind Faith||Reduces the cooldown on your skills by [2.8 base, 6 max] sec with each successful parry.||N/A (Always available)||N/A||Caps out at 32+ Survival.|
|Counterattack||The attack following a successful parry inflicts +[210 base] damage.||N/A (Always available)||N/A||The damage buff can only be applied within 8 seconds of a parry.
Final added damage is always rounded up.
|What Doesn't Kill Me||Recover [2% base, 6% max] HP after parrying a melee attack.||Disgusting Worm (100%)||50||Healing can only occur once every 30 seconds per enemy. Skill cooldown does not scale with stats.
Caps out at 6% at 24 Survival.
|Necromancy||Recover [0.3% base, 2.5% max] HP when an enemy dies, up to 50% HP.||N/A (Always available)||N/A||Final healing is always rounded up.
Caps out at 2.5% at 33+ Survival.
|Extended Healing||Your health flask heals 85%, its effect is spread over 10 seconds and you deal + [25% base] damage during this time.||Secret area in Ossuary||100||The bonus will stack with the penalty the Emergency Triage.|
|Gastronomy||The effect of food increases by +65%. If you recycle food you deal +[10% base] damage for 300 seconds.||Conjunctivius (4th kill)||50||Doubles the amount healed by food.
The damage buff stacks if multiple food items are recycled. They wear off individually. Damage is added at most once every 0.33 seconds. Final added DPS is always rounded up.
Does not increase the amount of Malaise removed with clean food.
|Spite||Successful parries and reflected shots inflict [140 base] damage.||Secret area in transition to Toxic Sewers||100||Damage is added onto every individual parried attack. Has no effect on ranged attacks that do not allow for a returned projectile.|
|Frostbite||Enemies suffer [65 base] DPS while they are slowed down.||Buzzcutter (10%)||100||Synergizes with the Melee and Crow's Foot mutations.|
|Heart of Ice||Attacking a frozen, stunned or rooted enemy at close range reduces skill cooldowns by [0.6 base, 2 max] sec. Works with both melee and ranged weapons.||Pirate Captain (10%)||50||Caps out at 15+ Survival.
Synergizes with the Melee and Crow's Foot mutations.
|Kill Rhythm||Alternate weapons to increase your attack speed by [15% base] in 2 seconds.||Oven Knight (0.4%)||150||Increases by 1% with each Survival Stat and scaling has no cap. The effect cannot stack.|
|Armadillopack||Rolling also parries attack and projectiles with the shield in your backpack, for [50% base] of the usual damages.||Thorny (1.7%)||100||Increases by 1.5% with each Survival Stat and scaling has no cap.
Has a range of 3 tiles directly in front of the player, and a cooldown of 3 seconds after using.
|Instinct of the Master of Arms||Reduces the cooldown on your skills by [0.08 base] sec with each critical hit.||N/A (Always available)||N/A||Can only trigger once every 0.2 seconds.
Caps out at 24+ Stats.
|Ammo||Ammo for your weapons x 2.||The Concierge (6th kill)||50||Does not affect ammo from the Extra Ammo Affix.
Some weapons that have limited ammo are not affected by this mutation, if specified.
|Ygdar Orus||Saves you ONE TIME if you die prematurely. Cannot be dropped once picked up.||N/A (Always available, but only obtainable after exiting the Prisoners' Quarters and before entering any second stage biome. It can be re-obtained immediately after resetting mutations.)||N/A||Upon taking lethal damage which does not trigger sudden death prevention, freezes nearby enemies, returns you to 25% of maximum health, cleanses accumulated malaise and destroys itself. Once used, you cannot take another mutation in its place, locking this mutation slot for the rest of the run. Does not protect against death by curse. If the heart icon is red, the mutation is active while a rotten heart icon means that it was used.|
|Recovery||Time available to recover your health after a hit is multiplied by 3.||Conjunctivius (5th kill)||50||Recovery health now drains 0.16 seconds (usually 0.08) after taking damage, at a rate of 15% of maximum health per second (usually 30% maximum health/s).|
|Emergency Triage||Health potions only restore 35% HP but their use speed is increased by 275% and it completely protects you for 1.5 sec.||The Time Keeper (6th kill)||100||The penalty will stack with the bonus from Extended Healing.|
|Velocity||Running speed duration bonus (for kill combo) multiplied by 3.||The Time Keeper (4th kill)||50||Base duration of the speed bonus is 10 seconds, so in effect it is increased to 30 seconds.|
|Dead Inside||HP is increased by 50%, but the efficiency of all sources of healing (food, mutations or health potions) is cut in half.||Lancer (1.7%)||100||Since this mutation also grants a 50% health increase and healing is calculated by percentage, the amount of healing you get is technically only reduced by 25% compared to how much health you'd normally gain from healing sources otherwise.|
|Alienation||Reducing a curse restores 5% HP but increases the number of enemies required to lift the curse by 50%.||The Concierge (7th kill)||50||Each instance of healing occurs over 2 seconds.
Cannot increase the total amount of curses beyond 99. Does not affect curses applied before the mutation was taken or after its removal.
|Acceptance||Removing a curse requires killing 50% less enemies.||Requires 3+ BSC. First, gather all 3 Gardener's Keys in Promenade of the Condemned, then go through the Ramparts, the Graveyard, and the Forgotten Sepulcher for the Moonflower Keys. They are hidden in secret areas and locked behind doors which each require Gardener's Keys.
In High Peak Castle, there is a secret area containing the blueprint in exchange for the Moonflower Keys.
|200||Does not affect curses applied before the mutation was taken or after its removal.
If combined with Alienation, the latter scales on the modified curse value, rounded up.
|Masochist||Trap damage is capped at 10% of your max HP. When hit by a trap your movement speed increases by 20% for 20 sec.||Deep pit in Slumbering Sanctuary, with spikes on the bottom and very thin platform at the middle of the pit. After you fall down, climb up walls until you see a secret passage with blueprint.||100||Independent of the usual speed buff.
Some types of damage can be capped with this mutation, but will not affect movement speed in any way.
|Disengagement||If your HP falls below 15%, a force field protects you for 5 sec. Can only be used every 120 sec.||Chamber in the start of Prisoners' Quarters. Can only be accessed with the Homunculus Rune.||200||Triggers with Darkness and Poison damage, but does not protect against them.
Does not seem to prevent death in cases where a single hit does enough damage to directly take the player all the way below 0% HP in one fell swoop; for example, if the player is at 25% HP and then takes a massive individual hit for ~30% damage.[a]
Will actually heal the player up to 20% if the player is below 20% HP, has allowed the cooldown time to pass, and then takes damage with the mutation active once again.[b]
|No Mercy||Execute mobs under 15% health||Slasher (1.7%)||100||Bosses are executed under 7.5% health instead.|
Effect scaling of mutations
Cooldown reduction mutations
In this table, you will find the effect value (in seconds) of the cooldown reduction mutations based on your Stats.
- Killer Instinct starts at 0.4 second and caps at 3 seconds CDR with 25+ Brutality. The formula is [base value] + [(stats - 1) x 0,11].
- Hunter's Instinct starts at 0.3 second and caps at 2.5 seconds with 19+ Tactics. The formula is [base value] + [(stats - 1) x 0,12].
- Blind Faith starts at 2.5 seconds and caps at 5 seconds CDR with 25+ Survival. The formula is [base value] + [(stats - 1) x 0.105].
- Heart of Ice starts at 1 second and caps at 3 seconds CDR with 21+ Survival. The formula is [base value] + [(stats - 1) x 0.105].
- Instinct of the Master of Arms starts at 0.08 second and caps at 1 second CDR with 24 stats of any color. The formula [base value] + [(stats - 1) x 0.04].
|Number of stats||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||16||17||18||19||20||21||22||23||24||25+|
|Killer Instinct (Brutality)||0.4s||0.51s||0.62s||0.73s||0.84s||0.95s||1.1s||1.2s||1.3s||1.4s||1.5s||1.6s||1.7s||1.8s||1.9s||2.1s||2.2s||2.3s||2.4s||2.5s||2.6s||2.7s||2.8s||2.9s||3s|
|Hunter's Instinct (Tactics)||0.3s||0.42s||0.54s||0.66s||0.78s||0.9s||1s||1.1s||1.3s||1.4s||1.5s||1.6s||1.7s||1.9s||2s||2.1s||2.2s||2.3s||2.5s|
|Blind Faith (Survival)||2.5s||2.6s||2.7s||2.8s||2.9s||3s||3.1s||3.2s||3.3s||3.4s||3.6s||3.7s||3.8s||3.9s||4s||4.1s||4.2s||4.3s||4.4s||4.5s||4.6s||4.7s||4.8s||4.9s||5s|
|Heart of Ice (Survival)||1s||1.105s||1.21s||1.315s||1.42s||1.525s||1.63s||1.735s||1.84s||1.945s||2.05||2.155s||2.26s||2.365s||2.47s||2.575s||2.68s||2.785s||2.89s||2.995s||3s|
|Instinct of the Master of Arms (Colorless)||0.08s||0.12s||0.16s||0.20s||0.24s||0.28s||0.32s||0.36s||0.40s||0.44s||0.48s||0.52s||0.56s||0.60s||0.64s||0.68s||0.72s||0.76s||0.80s||0.84s||0.88s||0.92s||0.96s||1s|
In this table, you will find the heal value (in % of total HP) of the health mutations based on your Stats.
- Soldier's Resistance increases your health by a % of your total HP, starting at 2% and capping at 25% with 19+ Survival.
- Adrenaline heals a % of your total HP based on percentage multiplied by base total damage of a single hit after dodging at the last second. Percentage provided by mutation starts at 0.0015% and is capped at 0.015% with 30+ Brutality.
- Frenzy heals a % of total HP based on percentage multiplied by the base total damage of a single hit if you are currently under speed buff. Percentage provided by mutation starts at 0.0012% and is capped at 0.008% with 37+ Brutality.
- What Doesn't Kill Me heals a percentage of your total HP after a parry, starting at 1% and capping at 3% with 24+ Survival.
- Necromancy heals a % of your total HP after killing an enemy, starting at 0.2% and capping at 1.7% with 33+ Survival.
Soldier's Resistance's scaling follows the classic formula used for calculation of DPS (see DPS mutations), which is [base value] × 1.15(Stats-1). On the other hand, Adrenaline, Frenzy, What Doesn't Kill Me and Necromancy scale based on slightly different formulas, which are [base value] × 1.085(Stats-1), [base value] × 1.055(Stats-1), [base value] × 1.05(Stats-1) and [base value] × 1.07(Stats-1), respectively.
|Number of stats||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||16||17||18||19||20||21||22||23||24||25||26||27||28||29||30||31||32||33||34||35||36||37+|
|Adrenaline (Brutality)||0.0015% per damage point||0.0016%||0.0017%||0.0019%||0.002%||0.0022%||0.0024%||0.0026%||0.0028%||0.0031%||0.0033%||0.0036%||0.0039%||0.0043%||0.0047%||0.005%||0.0055%||0.006%||0.0065%||0.007%||0.0076%||0.0083%||0.009%||0.0097%||0.01%||0.011%||0.012%||0.013%||0.014%||0.015%|
|Frenzy (Brutality)||0.0012% per damage point||0.00126%||0.0013%||0.0014%||0.00148%||0.0015%||0.0016%||0.0017%||0.0018%||0.0019%||0.002%||0.0021%||0.0022%||0.0024%||0.0025%||0.0026%||0.0028%||0.0029%||0.0031%||0.0033%||0.0035%||0.0036%||0.0038%||0.0041%||0.0043%||0.0045%||0.0048%||0.005%||0.0053%||0.0056%||0.0059%||0.0063%||0.0066%||0.007%||0.0074%||0.0078%||0.008%|
|Soldier's Resistance (Survival)||2%||2.3%||2.6%||3%||3.5%||4%||4.6%||5.3%||6.1%||7%||8.1%||9.3%||11%||12%||14%||16%||19%||22%||25%|
|What Doesn't Kill Me (Survival)||1%||1.05%||1.1%||1.15%||1,21%||1.27%||1.34%||1.4%||1.47%||1.55%||1.62%||1.71%||1.79%||1.88%||1.97%||2.07%||2.18%||2.29%||2.4%||2.52%||2.65%||2.78%||2.92%||3%|
In this table, you will find the added DPS of mutations that add damage in certain conditions. Some of these mutations scale with the formula [Base DPS] × 1.15(Stats - 1)
For example, the Open Wounds mutation's base DPS is 18 and scales with Brutality. If you have 4 Brutality, the Open Wounds mutation will deal 18 × 1.15(4-1) = 27 DPS with each bleed effect it inflicts.
Each of the backpack mutations, such as Porcupack, reduce the damage of the weapon stored in the backpack to a percentage of its original value. The reduced damage is lessened by 1% with each point in their respective stats.
|Number of stats||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||16||17||18||19||20||21||22||23||24||25||//||35|
|Open Wounds||18 DPS||21||24||27||31||36||42||48||55||63||73||84||96||111||127||146||168||194||223||256||295||339||390||448||515||//||2084|
In this table, you will find the scaling of Melee, Berserker, Tainted Flask, Predator, and Tactical Retreat.
- Melee applies a slow down to enemies, which initially lasts for 0.2 second and caps at 0.8 second with 11+ Brutality.
- Berserker grants a % of damage reduction following a melee kill, which starts at 10% and caps at 60% with 14+ Survival.
- Tainted Flask, on top of its DPS scaling, can grant a flask recharge if the player's Health Flask is empty. This is triggered upon killing a certain number of Elites which decreases proportionally with the number of Brutality stats, starting at 12 Elites and capping at 4 Elites with 28+ Brutality.
- Predator grants short invisibility after killing an enemy with a melee strike. The invisibility duration starts at 1 second and caps at 3.5 seconds with 23+ Brutality.
- Tactical Retreat slows down enemies within a 15 tile radius of the player upon dodging an attack at the last moment. The slowdown initially lasts for 1 second and caps at 3 seconds with 25+ Tactics.
- Kill Rhythm increases the speed of an attack by a percentage if it was initiated immediately after an attack with your other weapon.
For Melee and Berserker, the scaling formula is the same as for damage mutations, that is [Base value] × 1.15(Stats - 1).
For Tainted Flask, Predator, and Tactical Retreat, the formula is instead [base value] × 0.96(Stats - 1), [base value] × 1.06(Stats - 1), and [base value] × 1.048(Stats-1) (rounded), respectively.
|Number of stats||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||16||17||18||19||20||21||22||23||24||25||26||27||28||29||30||//||35|
|Tainted Flask (Brutality)||12 Elites||12||12||11||11||10||10||10||9||9||8||8||8||8||7||7||7||6||6||6||6||6||5||5||5||5||5||4||//|
|Tactical Retreat (Tactics)||1s||1s||1.1s||1.2s||1.2s||1.3s||1.3s||1.4s||1.5s||1.5s||1.6s||1.7s||1.8s||1.8s||1.9s||2s||2.1s||2.2s||2.3s||2.4s||2.6s||2.7s||2.8s||2.9s||3s||//|
|Kill Rhythm (Survival)||15%||16%||17%||18%||19%||20%||21%||22%||23%||24%||25%||26%||27%||28%||29%||30%||31%||32%||33%||34%||35%||36%||37%||38%||39%||40%||41%||42%||43%||45%||//||50%|
Removed from the game in v1.1 (December 2018/January 2019).
|Sadism||+[75 base] DPS if a nearby enemy is taking poison, bleed or burn damage.||Impaler (100%)||50||Enemies within 8 tiles count as "nearby". Proximity is checked once every o.2 seconds, and damage is added at most once every 0.33 seconds.|
|Fireworks Technician||-[30% base] cool down delay when using your Grenades.||N/A (always available)||N/A||Only Grenades benefit from this mutation.|
|Efficiency||-[30% base] cool down delay when using your skills (except for grenades).||N/A (always available)||N/A||Only Powers and Deployables benefit from this mutation.|
Fireworks Technician/Efficiency's scaling with Brutality/Tactics are given in the following table:
- This is based on in-game experience, and might only apply to cases in which the player is already below 20% HP when the damage is taken (see the other note for more information about Disengagement's quirky behavior at <20% health). Further testing is needed to confirm whether this can happen at any HP level, or only at low HP levels.
- Disengagement seems to be coded so that when it activates, aside from creating the force field effect, it sets the player's HP to exactly 20% (rather than strictly preventing it from dropping below 20%, as one might intuitively expect). So, when starting above 20% HP and taking damage, this logic effectively "prevents" the damage from dropping the player any further below 20% than it otherwise would; but when starting below 20% HP and taking damage, its result is instead to boost the player back up to the 20% level. This is very likely an unintentional effect.
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