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Help! Need tips on defeating Draconis please!

Hello, I'm doing a first-time play through of BG2EE - Throne of Bhaal and I've got as far as Abazigal's lair. I'm really struggling with how to defeat Draconis once he's turned into dragon-form (honestly, I find him hard enough to defeat in his human form....!) I've completed Sendai's enclave and have completed Challenge 3 in the Pocket Plane and although all that was hard work, it was still possible. Draconis feels near impossible to defeat. I have got him down to low health a couple of times but then he just heals himself and we just get completely wiped out. So any advice on what weapons/spells/buffs/protections to use would be so helpful because I can't figure out how to dispel his invisibility & hasting or lower his magic resistance before he squashes us all into mush. I really love playing BG2EE and so I don't want to be stuck forever and not be able to progress!! Even the thought of not being able to continue enjoying this game because I can't get past Draconis is upsetting!! My current party is - me (35th level cleric), Minsc, Jaheira, Imoen, Viconia and Jan. PLEASE NO PLOT SPOILERS BEYOND CHAPTER 9 OF THRONE OF BHAAL! Thank you in advance! :smile:


  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,450
    All right, Draconis. Here are some stats (assuming the base unmodded game):

    Human form: level 25 mage, 210 HP, AC -5.
    Immune to acid, 50% fire resistance, 55% magic resistance.
    Buffs with Stoneskin, Globe of Invulnerability, Improved Mantle, Improved Haste, Mislead, Spell Turning. Casts various offensive spells, re-ups some defensive spells at various points in the fight.
    Immune to backstabs, critical hits, poison, instant death, stun, sleep, charm, fear, level drain, petrification, polymorph, imprisonment, paralysis, hold.

    Once you bring him down to 1 HP, he talks to you and starts the second phase of the fight. He transforms into a dragon, fully heals, and unleashes a "Death Field" that kills any nearby summons. Anyone too close when this happens may overlap his selection circle, rendering both that character and Draconis unable to move.

    In the second phase of the fight, he inherits any buffs left over from the first phase, and those buffs cannot be removed by effects such as Breach, Dispel Magic, or Secret Word due to a bug. At least, that's the case in game version 2.5. They can only be removed by other means - expired durations, using up a Stoneskin or Spell Turning, that sort of thing.

    Dragon form: level 25 with 225 HP. AC improves to -11, he gets 25% physical resistance, and now he actually attacks in melee. 3 base attacks per round with THAC0 -11, dealing 1d6+24 slashing damage (including his 25 strength).
    He now has standard dragon immunities: critical hits, backstabs, stun, sleep, silence, charm, hold, slow, entangle, paralysis, and confusion. And he can see through invisibility.
    In dragon form, Draconis buffs with PfMW, abjuration immunity, minor spell turning, stoneskin, and haste. He also casts Invisibility and Non-Detection on himself randomly, up to six times. He has six instances of Cure Critical Wounds he'll use on himself below about half health, and one instance of a full heal that he'll use on himself at under 75% health. He can re-apply Stoneskin once every five rounds and Minor Spell Turning once every three rounds.
    Offensively, he's a dragon. Acid breath weapon, powerful melee attacks, wing buffets, and spells. He's fond of tearing down defenses, with True Sight, Remove Magic, Breach, Secret Word, and Pierce Magic. And now all of his spells are cast with ForceSpell actions, so Insect Plague won't stop them.

    All right, how do you break down those defenses? In human form, it's like any other mage fight. A simple Dispel Magic from your priest will reliably take down everything but the spell defenses. Or you can hit him with a True Seeing/True Sight or a thief's Detect Illusion to take down the Mislead, and then go for a Breach. For the spell defenses, that's a mage's job - Secret Word, Pierce Magic, Ruby Ray of Reversal, Khelben's Warding Whip, Pierce Shield, Spellstrike, Wand of Spell Striking. Even warriors can get in on the action at this point, with the Rod of Reversal (buy from Amkethran smugglers or find in Neera's ToB quest).

    Just make sure you get everything. Any defenses left over when he transforms will make your job that much harder.

    In dragon form, that abjuration immunity presents a new wrinkle. It blocks Dispel/Remove Magic from working, so you need to take care of it if you want those to help. You can still dispel him by hitting him with a dispelling arrow, Carsomyr, or the Staff of the Magi - but you need to deal with the PfMW first for those to work.
    Spell Immunity:Abjuration is a spell defense, vulnerable to Spell Thrust, Secret Word, and that whole line. While most of those are abjurations, the spell immunity does not protect against them (or block self-buffs of the abjuration school).
    Invisibility and non-detection? That'll stop a simple Detect Invisibility, but not True Sight/True Seeing or thief Detect Illusion. Just remember that Draconis can re-apply those, so you might have to do it several times.

    One other thing to note - dragons aren't immune to nonmagical weapons. If all else fails, enough hits with nonmagical weapons can work. I've done it myself in my no-spellcasting run. Your party isn't really set up for that, though.

    With your party, True Seeing should be easy to come by to neuter his illusionary defenses. And if you don't have that running, Jan can take over with his Detect Illusion. And the mages should keep plenty of spell-breaking effects ready. Between his two forms, Draconis has a lot of those for you to tear down.
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,603
    My tactics rely on having plenty of Mordy's swords, Planetars/Divas, Wands of Spell Striking, a tank and the fact that Mordy's Sword doesn't count as a summons.
    I send in a Mordy's Sword to soak up the dragon form's attacks with a Planetar and my tank attacking from behind the Sword while my thief (with UAI) pelts the dragon with WoSS and my mage chucks in Secret Word etc. and more WoSS.
    The Sword and the Planetar can be re-cast by my mage as required (the tank is there to keep the dragon locked in place while reinforcements arrive) and my cleric can summon Divas if we run out of Planetars.
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,433
    edited June 2021
    Protection from acid is crucial in that battle, the dragon's breath weapon deals massive acid damage and can chunk unprotected characters! Use protection from acid scrolls, level 5 mage spell, and shadow dragon scale armor are a must to have!

    Have a few death spells ready to wipe out the summons, IIRC the dragon spams some invisible stalkers which can block your fighters. It has been some time since I played unmodded fight, so I may be wrong.

    Have more than one character cast true sight with a few seconds delay in between, each ticks once per round, and Draconis likes to go invisible and hide/heal and ambush often. Use spell trigger with 6 pierce magics or lower resistances to quickly debuff its magic resistance, then go to town with area effect damage spells ie: horrid wiltings and the like.
  • BewildermentBewilderment Member Posts: 24
    Thanks for your replies! I really appreciate it! I haven't actually had another attempt at Draconis yet because I did some trying out of the other NPCs in the Pocket Plane and recruited Neera and so I got side-tracked by going off on the mission to complete Neera's questline and so I'll do that, get some EXP and see what useful items I can pick up along the way and have another go at defeating Draconis after that. Thank you again for the Draconis tips!!
  • BewildermentBewilderment Member Posts: 24
    Thank you again everyone who replied and provided really useful Draconis advice! I first of all did a bit of reading on this forum to see what NPCs had side quests in TOB and did all the ones that were available to me (Neera's, Rasaad's, Hexxat's) and that helped me pick up EXP, go up some levels and get some very useful things like the Shadow Scale Armour and the Rod of Reversal which are mentioned above. I have to confess, I still had to flip the game onto Easy mode as well once I went back to Draconis again because I still found him really tough even with better equipment and using the tactics suggested here. Wow, that battle was hard work - even on Easy - and I'm happy I managed to defeat him at all! One day, I might go back and try to defeat Draconis on Normal mode cos I'm kind of embarrassed I had to resort to Easy mode, but for now - I'm just happy to be able to progress in TOB (back in Normal mode!) Thanks again everyone for all your really helpful strategies and advice - it's much appreciated!! :smile:
  • MrSextonMrSexton Member Posts: 390
    Just plant all seven of the spike traps outside of the entrance and let him follow you out. That usually does the trick.
  • BewildermentBewilderment Member Posts: 24
    MrSexton wrote: »
    Just plant all seven of the spike traps outside of the entrance and let him follow you out. That usually does the trick.

    Thanks for that tip - I'm going to start another BG playthrough soon and when I do I'm going to make much more use of the spike traps against some of the bigger enemies. Thanks!
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