Yesterday was almost entirely devoted to tackling the Trial of the Sword in Breath of the Wild’s first DLC pack, “The Master Trials.” After multiple failed attempts, I got to the final room and had conquered every enemy save one, which decimated me. And as I contemplate going back through the final trials yet again to finally unlock the true power of the Master Sword, I can’t help but wonder: Could I have prevented this?

Well, obviously I could have. My largest and most embarrassing mistake was cooking all three hearty bass at once in a rush, essentially wasting two of them, as my hearts were already maxed out. Before I knew exactly what was in store for me, I squandered ancient arrows on moblins. And then there was simply human error: I made some fatal misses with reflecting guardian beams and missing with ancient arrows.

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But all of these are mistakes that either I made through error. There’s not much I can really do besides have a strategy planned out for what I’m going to deal with. What keeps me up at night, however, is whether I should cook fairies.

In Breath of the Wild, fairies work the way they always have in the sense that they automatically heal you when you hearts drop to zero. However, they have been considerably “nerfed” from their incarnations in Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, where they gave more hearts. In Breath of the Wild, they heal a mere five hearts. However, if you cook fairies, you get a fairy tonic that gives you seven hearts on its own, but that has to be consumed manually and will not automatically revive you. Before the Trial of the Sword, I never really worried about issues like this. Sure, I died a lot, but there were never any real consequences for doing so. The Trial of the Sword changed all that with its harsh punishment of sending you back to your last checkpoint, of which there are only two in a dungeon that takes an average of four hours to beat if you do it without dying a single time.

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Let’s go through the pros and cons:

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Pro: You get more hearts

The goal here is to survive. How do you survive? By keeping your hearts. Making a fairy potion is maximizing your resources by turning what would have given you five hearts into giving you seven. That two-heart increase might seem insignificant at first, but with three or four fairies, that can be six to eight more hearts. You can also increase the amount of hearts fairy tonics yield by adding other food or more fairies. And I’m sure we all know, from both Zelda and other games, how a single quarter of a heart can mean the difference between life and death. Let’s say that you’re fighting a Lynel. You have ten hearts, and, for the example’s sake, the Lynel has an attack that takes exactly ten. If you use the uncooked fairy to revive you after you hit zero, you’re left with five hearts. But if you use the fairy tonic beforehand, you’re left with seven hearts.

Con: You can make damage null by not cooking fairies

Let me explain. Let’s say you’re fighting the same Lynel, where its attack still takes ten hearts, but instead you have only one heart. If you have a standard fairy tonic, you can use it, but the Lynel’s still going to take you down in one hit if it hits you with that attack. However, if you didn’t cook the fairy and the Lynel hits you, it only takes away that one heart and leaves you with five. Even though you took an attack that normally takes ten hearts, the attack cost you one heart and one fairy, as opposed to one fairy tonic and your life.


Both methods are toward the same goal: to not die. If you’re confident enough in your ability to not die unexpectedly, then you should cook your fairies. You’ll get two more hearts per fairy out of the deal. If, like me, you are not confident in your ability to not die unexpectedly, then you should definitely not cook your fairies, as they will help you to survive.

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So, dear readers, what do you think? Is cooking fairies the strategically sound thing to do? You decide: