Part 19: Miniboss Guide: The Collector
(image found floating around on the net. If anyone finds a source I will credit them)
The Collector is a midboss seen randomly in the dungeon, and is set to appear once you have more than half your inventory full. Based on the Yellow King, this midboss is primarily a summoner and will more than often spend time refreshing his minions should he ever find himself in short company. Said attack, known as Collect Call, will summon three heads in varying amounts from the classes that you pick up heads from in secret rooms. Collector will open up the fight with this skill, and will use this skill in elevated frequency as you kill more of his summons. His other attacks can range in threat value depending on the situation. His most used attack is Show Collection, which hits your front two ranks for ~10 stress damage, but does nothing else so its something you hope for. Comparatively, Life Steal has a high damage range, high crit rate, can bleed and mark the victim, and worse off heal the Collector for 10 HP. Suffice to say, Lifesteal is his worst attack just by merit of making the fight longer.
The rest of the Collector's "attacks" comes from his cohorts.
The Collected Highwayman is a man of variable threat level to other players and me. His only attack is Headhunt, which does a decent amount of damage, has a respectable crit rate, and can bleed. This is where a majority of this fight's damage comes from, and depending on how many bandit heads are on the field it can range from an easy fight to a bloodbath. Many consider him the biggest threat due to his high speed and the AI's propensity to target low-HP characters. I don't mind him, mainly because I bring a lot of control to my teamcomp that results in him being a useless body that reduces the chance of Collector summoning more heads. In reference to the episode, two appeared and I normally remove one, but my healers was capable of out-healing one guy and I locked down the other one.
The Collected Man-at-Arms is not a threat at all, but goddamn is he irritating. His only attack is Head Games, which gives him PROT and has him intercept attacks on a target. His AI is also more inclined to protect the Collector and Highwayman more than the Vestal and other MoA heads, so he loves getting in the way. This head, in some sick sense, is one of the preferred heads to be on the field since its a wasted slot that you can easily manipulate with a stun. Without a stun though, he becomes an irritating sack of HP.
The collected Vestal is the support of this group, and as usual I attack her first because she will prolong the fight. Her main ability is Headstrong, which heals a target for 6-12 HP, while Headache buffs an enemy's damage/ACC/Crit to dangerous levels. Seeing a Headache buff on the Highwayman or the Collector is the worst thing to deal with, and with her keeping the fight going longer through healing this gives the Collector more chances to stack stress on you. This is why she dies first. Many people claim to leave her on the field since you can out-damage her heals, but the buff is the bigger threat and staying in this fight longer is exactly the opposite of what I want.
On strategies for the Collector, I prefer to bull-rush the Collector and any Vestals on the field while keeping any Highwayman and MoA heads on lockdown. Unlike most typical boss fights with ads, Collector will actively try to keep the field full since those are his actions, so you want to keep useless bodies around so he'll waste his time doing other attacks. If you do the opposite and try to clear the field, this keeps the battle going for longer without any clear advantages. AoE's and DoT's are great here since the MoA head is a thing that can prolong the fight way longer than it should go, and a clever AoE will ignore guard while DoT's will chew through his disgusting PROT. This boss is probably the easier of the midbosses since it has that element of RNG, but it can catch people offguard with how much pain he brings to the party. One last thing to note: Once you kill the Collector, the heads still stick around, so if there's still a MoA or Vestal around then you can take the time to heal/de-stress while it does nothing.
For beating the Collector you can get a single Puzzling Trapozohedron, or the offchance of getting one of the coveted head-accessories.