Last night was a long, tedious, but ultimately productive night. I loaded up at level 22 and plowed my way to level 25. At 24 I wandered around a bit to try to find a better place to level and found I could beat the weakest of the 'peninsula of power' monsters but ultimately decided I was dying too much to make up for the extra experience from the fights I could win.
I hit 25 and found I could barely get any experience at all (every level gained increases the chance a mob runs away by 4% and it still took 3 rounds to kill an ogre so they were often running away wounded). I decided there was a fight worth reasonable experience that I could probably handle... The wizards at the bottom of the marsh cave! Astos is pretty much on the way to the marsh cave so I figured I'd save outside his castle and give him a couple spins to see where I was at.
The first fight I got slowed as his second action but still managed to do about 70 damage before I died. The second fight I got rubbed out as his first action. The third fight I got rubbed out as his first action.
The fourth fight he opened with a melee attack while I got a good roll and hit him for 13. He missed his rub and I hit him for 9. He slowed me successfully but I crit him for 28. He then proceeded to melee attack me four times in a row while I hit him for one attack a round. He went through the rest of his spells and I got off a max hit of 14 along with some other decent hits. He missed the dark, the sleep, and his second rub. Coming into his damage spells I had 144 health left and he had 38 health left. He fireballed me for a mere 42. I attacked and crit him for 37. So here we are. He has 1 health left. I have 102 health left. His next spell is a damage spell which can hit for up to 120. I could miss my one swing. Will I win?!?
I ended up going first and hit him for 9, killing him off at level 25. Woo! Without realizing it I gave the D-X 'suck it' motion to the tv as he was dying, hence the title of the post.
The key you ultimately get as a reward for killing him let me get a weapon with 7 more damage and 10 more hit than my current weapon, opening up my third swing and practically doubling my damage output. The next town which was trivial to reach let me buy a new armor piece with an extra 10 absorb and 7 evade. Those changes coupled with the over 500 base health I have at level 25 have turned me into a practical god among men. I entered the next dungeon and monsters I'd never seen before were trembling in fear and fleeing at the sound of my approach. And then I ran into a group of 9 undead who can paralyze on attack and got hit before I could run, wiping out my progress in the dungeon. I really need to find a ribbon, pronto!