The Let's Play Archive

Darkest Dungeon

by Highwang

Part 13: Boss Guide: The Siren

As penance for not having an episode ready today, let's catch up to these boss fight tips.

The Siren

The Siren is your first boss in the Cove, and she's best described as Hag 2.0. Many of her attacks emphasize AoE damage of various designs, but her main feature is changing the tides of battle by either summoning assistance or stealing assistance from your very team. Much like the rest of the Big 8, she gets two actions per turn to balance her against your team, with one action reserved for her gimmick.

The Siren's primary attack is Siren's Song, which will choose one of your heroes and bring them to the boss' side in order to both reduce your options and possibly decimate your team depending on who gets charmed. This move is a hassle, but is also one of the more mechanically involved attacks in the game. One big thing to note: There's an AI logic pattern that's a pain to explain but basically sums up to saying Siren won't use this attack first if your team is all in death's door, there's only two of you left and someone's already possessed. This is a long way of saying if you're fucked she won't charm anyone, which is a good form of balance. The other, more prevalent fact about Siren's Song: The attack is a debuff despite not showing any hint of that if it hits. The Siren will also prioritize the person with the lowest debuff resistance in the team in order to guarantee that it connects. Finally, once a person is charmed, they will take ~8 Stress/Turn for 3 turns before being flung to the farthest back row soon afterward. Siren's Song is a very dangerous skill if you don't plan ahead, but an easily surmounted obstacle if you're aware of it.

The rest of the Siren's attacks are mainly designed to wear the entire team down, hoping that she pulled a beefy hitter to pile on the big damage. Her other threatening attack is High Tide. This move is interesting; it allows the siren to either summon a Stinger Jellyfish, a Grouper Swordfish, or the Pelagic Guardian. The interesting part is that the Pelagic Guardian has double the chance of being summoned over the other two, which basically means there's a high chance of the Siren summoning a free bodyblocker to pad out the fight. On her other moves, Pressure Crash is a team-wide stress damage attack with somewhat low accuracy but also does 1 damage for that deathblow chance. On the other end of the spectrum, Devour is a freaky-looking team-wide attack that does 1 damage and also a chance at a bleed DoT. While those two last moves don't sound like much, they are meant to be the killing blow as your charmed hero wears down your team.

Preparation for the Siren fight can range from painfully simple to meticulously rude. The easiest thing you can do to subvert the Siren's gimmick is to pack four Holy Waters to buff both Bleed and Debuff resist, making the charm happen way less often and either reducing her action output or making the most benign member of your team charmed. Accessories that also boost, or if you're insane reduce, debuff rates will both hamstring the boss or manipulate her to your own ends. Classes like the Leper, Abomination and Antiquarian also have camping skills that takes their debuff resists to even more ludicrous levels, and to wit your Leper never really should be charmed by the Siren if you prepare properly. If you want to go into full-meta territories however, the Antiquarian has really low base debuff resist and no real way to max hers out, so if you just leave her alone and in the back the Siren will mostly try to charm her and only her. Aside from that, its a very straightforward fight and your vestal in general can out-pace any damage output the Siren puts out up until Champion realm.