Part 11: Boss Guide: The HagHello I'm writing this at midnight in a caffeine-induced state. There may be inaccuracies, they will be addressed once pointed out.
The Hag is the first boss you will encounter in the Weald, and its honestly the hardest fight out of all the normal bosses from my viewpoint. The Hag is your big lesson in understanding the concept of Action Economy, since unlike the Necromancer she gets two actions per turn, and her gimmick specifically reduces your actions by one whilst damaging said removed action. By reducing your team's damage output by one body, this makes the fight a delicate balance of keeping heroes alive while actually damaging the boss itself. One major thing to note: The Hag and her pot cannot be moved since they each have maximum move resistance on every difficulty, and when the pot isn't filled it has huge HP values along with 100% prot so you aren't removing its gimmick by any normal means. Also, if you run from the Hag while a hero is in the pot, the hero is killed as a result since no one saved their life.
The Hag's first and most damaging attack is Into the Pot (Labeled as Behold my Gimmick in the vid), a physical attack that will choose a hero to throw into her cauldron. Into the Pot is a physical attack with a high hit rate, and once a hero is in the pot they will take roughly 9% of their max HP in damage every action, so you have roughly 10 actions, including the Hag's, to free a victim. Once a person in the pot is at Death's Door, they will be dumped from the pot and placed in the front row, which can be extremely hazardous if your healers or someone very specific (ex: Abomination, Rank 2 Vestal, Incision PD) were in the pot to begin with. That being said, once someone is thrown in the pot, your formation is altered in kind with everyone pulled forward to compensate for the loss of space, and subsequently pushed back once they are released. In order to deal with this, once someone is in the cauldron it has substantially less HP and no PROT so one or two good hits will dump someone out of the pot. This is pretty much why I find the Hag the worst of the Big Eight; I usually run very fixed teams that cannot operate if they are shuffled around, and this boss shuffles just enough to ruin very simple things I do such as putting the Vestal from r3 to r2, putting the Hellion out of r1, and so on.
The Hag's other attacks aren't bad on their own, but exist to supplement the circumstance of anyone coming out of the pot into Death's Door territory. Her second-most threatening attack is Meat Tenderizer (labeled as Beat the Meat in video). This move hits everyone for a small range of damage with a small crit rate. This move can wear you down if you aren't loaded with healers, and on a bad day she will do this move almost consistently. I'm not sure if Iron Chitlin's post on it being programmed to be used on ejection is accurate since I can't find that info myself, however this move is a big threat if someone does get ejected from the pot at death's door considering she *will* hit the death-door victim since that state comes with a dodge debuff. Another attack she possesses is Seasoned to Perfection (labeled as Pinch of MSG in the video). This move is primarily meant to slow down your team; it causes stress damage alongside debuffing your hero's ACC and Damage, and most importantly, it does 1 damage. While 1 damage sounds like a piss amount, considering how easily you can be thrown in Death's Door, that still makes this attack a threat since its a potential Deathblow. This attack however is mainly meant to slow down your cauldron-tipping endeavors with its debuffs, and it really hurts if it hits your front-lines. Her last attack is one we didn't see in video, Taste the Stew. This move also does stress damage, but it also heals the Hag for a mild amount. Much like Seasoning, it also does 1 damage as well, holding the potential for a Deathblow.
The fight with the Hag begins at home, since you really have to prepare for this fight. Once you choose your team, be absolutely sure they can do three things: Operate in the front row, attack rank 3 from a variety of positions, and either have a retreat mechanism to get them to the back or have a move skill that puts them more than one space back. Good examples are: Graverobber's Shadow Fade, Highwayman's Point-blank Shot, Crusader's Holy Lance, Jester's Finale (no I'm not stoned), Antiquarian's "Get down!", you get the idea. Mobility is the key factor of this fight, and you want people that won't get positively ass-rammed if they get pulled out of place. Secondly, be sure to consider what camping skills you use for this fight: Things like Hellion's Battle Trance are terrible since she needs to be in a specific spot, while something like the Man at Arms' skill Tactics or the Vestal's Pray give your entire party that extra bit of survivability to power through multiple Tenderizer hits. A good stun would be amazing here; bringing a lvl 2 Houndmaster with stun trinkets will *plausibly* restrict the Hag's actions by one so long as he's not in the pot, and the stun buff will be removed with her second action, so if done well it will either result in heavily reduced damage and possibly only throwing people in the pot.
One thing I should let you all know though, this fight with the Hag was a terrible example of one due to how rigid my team was. The big reason why my team-comp was so bad was because of the skills I picked for my team. My GR was still operating on her r2 DPS build and was in an awkward spot anytime she was out of it. My support team of Jester and Vestal would also have their versatility cut once a person got thrown in the pot; As we saw in the video, my Jester could not Battle Ballad us to comical speed/dodge rates since he kept getting shoved into rank 2, and had my Vestal instead been in rank 3 she would only be able to use her party-heal once someone got potted and she inadvertently got pulled into rank 2. Looking back on things, an Arbalest would've been a better off-healer since her comical crit rate on Sniper Shot can possibly one-shot the filled up cauldron, and a Houndmaster could've served as better control for the Hag with Blackjack. Its an interesting thing to think about since I don't really have any good answers for her.
Finally, some trivia: The Cauldron is the only "creature" in this game with the Crockery type. This doesn't matter in the longrun. Also, that very cauldron is an accessory for the Occultist as well, albeit much smaller.