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Baldur’s Gate 3: How To Beat Auntie Ethel

Here's how to beat Auntie Ethel in Baldur's Gate 3 and foil her nefarious schemes.

Auntie Ethel is one of the toughest bosses in Act 1 of Baldur’s Gate 3, as she has a couple of gimmicks up her sleeve that can catch players off-guard, making her seem much stronger than she actually is. Once you see through her trickery, you should be able to defeat this hag and save her hostage, possibly earning yourself a magical deal in the process.

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You’ll first encounter Auntie Ethel in Druid’s Grove, where she masquerades as a kindly old woman who sells potions. You’ll find her home once you venture to the south and enter the swamp, where she’ll reveal her true identity as a level 5 hag. Once you make your way through her dungeon, you’ll get to face her in the heart of her lair.

Related: Baldur’s Gate 2’s Slayer Form Makes Surprise Return In Baldur’s Gate 3

Auntie Ethel’s Stats & Abilities In Baldur’s Gate 3

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Auntie Ethel is a beefy opponent in Act 1, with 112 hit points and AC 17 on the Balanced difficulty. As such, you shouldn’t challenge Auntie Ethel until your party is at least level 4. It’s possible to beat her at lower levels, but it will be much more difficult. Auntie Ethel has decent stats, with no resistances or weaknesses, but some specific spells and items can help you with the battle, as mentioned below.

How To Beat Auntie Ethel & Save Mayrina

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Auntie Ethel is a gimmick battle for two reasons. The first is that she has a hostage, as Mayrina is in a wooden cage hanging over a pit. Auntie Ethel will set the cage on fire during the first round of combat, and if you free Mayrina, she’ll be taken as a hostage, making it harder to use AoE effects.

The second reason is that Auntie Ethel is a Naruto fan, as she starts the battle with her “Hag’s Trickery” power. This creates four versions of Auntie Ethel, each with access to the full range of her abilities, so you’re fighting an entire party of cloned hags. However, Auntie Ethel has a weakness, as dealing any damage to one of the copies will destroy it. So, your main goal should be to destroy as many copies as possible during the first round of battle.

Some of Baldur’s Gate 3’s spells and abilities will make this battle a lot easier. The first is the Create Water spell or any item that creates water, as you can use this in the first round to put out the fire in Mayrina’s cage. The second is Magic Missile, as you can fire three bolts using a level 1 spell slot or four bolts with a level 2. You should use your main arcane spellcaster to cast Magic Missile on the first turn to destroy Auntie Ethel’s copies.

There is an item on the field called a Control Orb, which will lower Mayrina’s cage. This can save her if you don’t have the Create Water spell. You have to rush across the field to reach it, but if you have a Rogue with Cunning Action: Dash or a mage with the Misty Step spell, you can get there immediately and activate it, freeing Mayrina.

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One thing you need to be aware of in the arena is that falling off some ledges will kill party members, so be careful where you end your turns. Auntie Ethel is pretty heavy, so don’t expect the Shove action to be useful unless it’s from a party member with a high Strength stat.

Once you save Mayrina and destroy the copies, Auntie Ethel will summon Mayrina to the field and stay near her to dissuade you from using AoE attacks. If you don’t deal with Auntie Ethel’s copies immediately, they’ll start spamming Hold Person spells to lock down the party, so defeating the copies quickly should be a priority.

Auntie Ethel will switch between powerful claw attacks and the Vicious Mockery Cantrip when the copies are defeated. Vicious Mockery is the weaker of the attacks, so keep your distance and ensure the party is spread out. Now that the real fight has started, you need to pile on the damage, as Auntie Ethel has a lot of hit points.

Like many Baldur’s Gate 3 enemies, Auntie Ethel can be knocked Prone. You can use spells like Grease to knock her down, potentially ending her turn early. This will give you plenty of chances to hit her, and you can even ignite the grease and cause it to explode, dealing even more damage.

Related: Baldur’s Gate 3: What’s The Level Cap?

Once Auntie Ethel’s hit points are low, you’ll enter a dialogue section where she tries to make a deal with you in exchange for keeping Mayrina. Should you refuse the deal, she will fight to the death, and you can plunder items from her corpse and home.

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Scott Baird
Scott has been writing for Gamepur since 2023, having been a former contributor to websites like Cracked, Dorkly, Topless Robot, Screen Rant, The Gamer, and TopTenz. A graduate of Edge Hill University in the UK, Scott started as a film student before moving into journalism. Scott covers Dungeons & Dragons, Final Fantasy, Pokémon, and MTG. He can be contacted on LinkedIn.