How to defeat Sissna, the final boss of Ashen, without getting frustrated.
Guide to Defeat Sissna
The final boss of this game can be a frustrating experience. Sissna has 2 large health bars, can easily 1-2 shot you and if you die you have to redo the whole dungeon from scratch. If you play too defensive she eventually kills your AI partner, which leaves you solo and makes the fight a slog as there are very few openings where you can attack safely. But with a right build you can completely trivialize the fight. And no, it's not the awfully slow spear cheese, we won't be doing that.
The main trick is the Dwale potion, it gives you +50% damage resistance when fighting in darkness without a lantern, and the final boss arena counts as a dark area. The buff lasts 2 minutes, I only needed 3 potions but feel free to craft as many as you want, they're pretty cheap and all ingredients can be bought from the merchant standing right next to the alchemy table.
For the actual build, I suggest going with this:
- Imperial Armor (or Spirit of the Wild if you have the DLC, same stats but slightly lower stamina penalties) for +25% damage resistance but still decent stamina.
- Relic: Guardian's Pact for 30% damage reflection (at this point in the game the wings will be fully grown and unbreakable, even if you re-equip the relic).
- Talismans: Robust / Second Wind / Swift / Double Swig, for 10 gourd swigs and to minimize stamina penalties.
- Weapon: whatever highest DPS weapon you have, I used Runic Axe +7, on this build I could swing it 7 times and still have enough stamina to roll away.
With the potion + armor you get 75% damage resistance and then you have 30% damage reflection from the wings. You're still not invincible but Sissna can hit you for only about 10% of your HP. You can face tank the whole fight if you want, but I'd still advise caution to reserve heals. Bait her overhead swing, then attack. Use your companion to manage aggro. The second phase is very similar to the first, except for one new attack where she runs around the arena on her spider legs and lunges at you, simply stand in her way to trigger the lunge and then roll sideways.
As for the dungeon itself I'd suggest not rushing and actually clearing out all the enemies, as this greatly increases the chances of your companion surviving. Don't waste the gourd charges however, craft some Leechdraught potions, these are full heals over 10 sec. To reiterate, carefully clear out the whole dungeon to make sure your companion doesn't take too much damage or rolls off a cliff in panic. Then heal up before the boss fight with Leechdraught, take your Dwale potion and go in. Just remember to not use a lantern (even accidentally) as it will negate the potion's effect.