Crocodilian isn't really a boss - this foe is more of a mini-boss, especially given the fact that you will be fighting with him numerous times. He is, however, the first major enemy you will encounter after getting into the new Courtyard area - the reptile is fought during the very first mission, "Burn the Hives". As always, proper preparations and party member selection is crucial here - by picking the wrong heroes you can easily lose the whole encounter.
The encounter starts with the Crocodilian in the 4th position, while 1-2-3 are occupied by "enemies" of the "VEGETATION" type. Those are basically immovable and invulnerable obstacles - you won't be able to hit them thanks to their huge dodge and all of the status effects are useless because of their immense resistances. Their role is to limit your access to the boss - the foe will be moving around the whole battlefield with its attacks, swapping positions between every rank. This is precisely why you should bring a party that can hit every enemy position - or at least have some heroes capable of the task. However, the foe can still be defeated by almost any party (although it will take more time and you will risk losing one of your heroes) - even the starting one, Crusader, Highwayman, Vestal and Plague Doctor can take the "croc" quite effectively.
The enemy uses 5 different attacks. Submerge and Lurking Fear are his support/defensive abilities - the former gives him a boost to DODGE and restores health, whereas the latter increases its DMG, PROT and moves him forward. Teeth Rake is an attack that deals moderate damage and stress damage and has a chance to cause Bleed and pull the character forward. Swarming Corruption is an AoE (area of effect) ability that can hit all 4 of your heroes for small regular and stress damage, as well as cause ACC penalty. The most dangerous, however, is Apex Predator. The enemy can only use it after Submerge and the attack itself deals high damage and can cause Bleed to up to three targets.
Statistics of the boss
The following table presents the boss's stats in his three difficulty variants (the enemy has the same name, regardless of the difficulty level). Note that the contents might (and probably will) change as the game is constantly balanced.
Resistance to Stun
Resistance to Blight
Resistance to Bleed
Resistance to Debuff
Resistance to Move
Note - the boss has 2 moves each round.
How to defeat the boss
As you've probably guessed from the information presented in the above table, the boss has three major weaknesses - quite low resistance to Bleed and Stun and extremely low resistance to Move. Weakness to Bleed, coupled with the fact that the boss moves twice each round, makes this DoT (damage over time) effect extremely effective against it. Stunning and forcing it to the front (with Bounty Hunter's skill Come Hilter or Plague Doctor's Disorienting Blast) will allow powerful characters that are capable of hitting the front ranks (Crusader and Lepper) to deal immense damage to it. This also applies to the new class, Flagellant - his two powerful Bleeds are capable of targeting 1st or 2nd rank only.
The team that will do well against this mini-boss consists of:
- Crusader in the 1st rank. When the boss will be in either 1st or 2nd rank, the Crusader can either focus on dealing damage, or on stunning the foe.
- Highwayman in the 2nd rank. The Highwayman can target all ranks from the 2nd position and can use quite an effective Bleed when the foe gets in the front.
- Vestal in the 3rd rank. Vestal will do good when healing the party, as the "croc" can sometimes deal quite some damage. Additionally, Dazzling Light can be used to stun the foe.
- Plague Doctor in the 4rank. Even though the Blight probably won't do much to the foe, as its Blight Resistance is quite high, the Plague Doctor will still do good thanks to his utility abilities. Disorienting Blast can be used to stun the enemy and force it to the front, whereas Blinding Gas can stun it when it's lurking in the back.
As you can see, the above party is the one that you start with (after completing the tutorial mission). This is a good party for those that go through the DLC content with a "fresh save", when the player lacks powerful trinkets and various characters. Plague Doctor should focus on using Disorienting Blast to stun and shuffle the enemy, Vestal should use Dazzling Light whenever possible (unless you need healing), Crusader and Highwayman should focus on dealing as much damage as possible.
However, if you have access to all of the character classes, you can use other party setups, such as (from 1st to 4th rank):
- Hellion, Flagellant, Jester and Vestal - Hellion is capable of targeting all ranks and can apply Bleed, Flagellant can apply Bleed anywhere on the battlefield and can heal in a pinch and Jester can support the party with his songs and Bleed attacks. Vestal is used to keep the party alive.
- Hellion, Flagellant, Hound Master, Hound Master. A heavy Bleed team where every character can apply Bleed to almost any position. This, coupled with the fact that the enemy moves twice a round and that Flagellant can lower the Crocodilian's Bleed Resistance should allow you to take out the enemy extremely quickly. Additionally, all of those characters can restore their health and stress on their own - they can do good without a healer.
You should avoid using characters that rely heavily on marks, like the Arbalest and Bounty Hunter. The enemy can move twice a round - in most cases the mark will fade away before you can even make any use of it. Abomination is also not the best idea - he can't go on the mission with either Vestal, Flagellant or Crusader and the enemy has high resistance to Blight.