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This guide will show you how to Get the Most Loot and XP.
Maximized Loot and XP
Challenge and Considerations The cambions offer comparable if not better loot than Commander Zhalk although it’s not unique. They will each give 300+ GP each and multiple rare consumables. 1 of the best items I’ve received from them was a Very Rare Arrow of Dragon Slaying. Very Rare is purple colored magic item and is the rarity just below legendary. I’ve also found elixirs, arrows, scrolls, and potions. In addition to the loot they also give 75 xp each.
That having been said I would say that the cambions offer a greater degree of challenge than Commander Zhalk. For 1 Commander Zhalk only attacks the mind flayer and when the cambion’s arrive the mind flayer will either be dead or actually attack your party most likely. For 2 the cambions arrive with 5-7 turns left before the ship crashes meaning that you have to be quick about dispatching them.
The ideal out come of this encounter (with the goal of maximizing loot and xp) is to Kill Commander Zhalk 1st and then kill the 2 cambions and mind flayer in any order. If the mind flayer dies before Zhalk you will not get XP for it.
Interestingly I think it’s actually easier to kill the cambions on Balanced difficulty than explorer difficulty. This is for a couple of reasons. The cambions come 1 round earlier, giving you an additional round to kill them. Commander Zhalk and the mind flayer have fewer HP, making it difficult to keep them alive until the cambions arrive. In practice, this means that you need to kill Zhalk, kill the mind flayer and then fight both cambions who are essentially at full health.
My general strategy for maximizing loot and xp is to make the mind flayer as tanky as humanly possible to get the additional DPR it provides for Zhalk and the cambions as well as keeping the cambions distracted and consuming their combat actions. The goal is to kill commander Zhalk on the ground that the cambions are coming into melee range with the mind flayer. Additionally, you want to kill commander zhalk without the benefit of the nautiloid tanks as you really need to save those for the cambions.
For the reasons mentioned above I recommend attempting this on balanced difficulty. I like to give the mind flayer Protection from Evil and Good and Armor of Faith and also disarm commander Zhalk thus ensuring that the mind flayer is not only alive but also still pretty healthy and tanky when the cambions arrive. I also like to save all of my other cooldowns, such as weapon attacks that cooldown after a short rest, for the cambions. Partially because killing Zhalk too early is also a problem in that the mind flayer will attack you if the cambions aren’t there attacking it.
If you’re trying to collect the loot around the room and clear the other additional enemies, then I recommend doing it during the Zhalk portion of the fight so you can really focus fire down the cambions when they arrive.
The biggest challenge in the Cambion phase of the battle is keeping the mind flayer and the cambions focused on each other and not on your party members. A great way I’ve found to do this is hold left shift key and keep your characters out of the red sight areas that the enemies have. You can shoot at them over the stair case railings and keep out of sight forcing them to fight each other.
I just finished this on balanced difficulty with a rogue as part of my Jack of All Trades play-through. It was a lot harder with the rogue than the ranger but still doable.
I also recommend building your main character specifically for this fight. The reason I say that is because you’re going to get over 600 gold from the cambions plus hundreds more gold worth of loot and it only costs 100 gold and clearing a dungeon near the beach to respec your character. However, choosing your race for this fight is not worth it as you will not be able to change that when you respec. So make sure to choose the race/class that you want for your build.
- Cleric with spells similar to Shadowheart and Sacred Flame
- Ranger with Beast Master and Keeper of the Veil
- Warlock with eldritch blast and Protection from Evil and Good
- Wizard with find familiar, Protection from Evil and Good, Bone Chill, Mage Hand, and Mage Armor, freeing up the cleric to cast bless and command.
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