Hades 2 Hecate boss guide, how to beat the Headmistress

Hades 2 Hecate boss guide, how to beat the Headmistress
Tom Bardwell Updated on by

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Mentor turned skill check, the witch Hecate is the first real boss Melinoe has to face in Hades 2. Entering the arena is very much a baptism of fire and a loss is pretty much on the cards for all but the most skilled players. She bars Melinoe’s exit from Erebus, acting as a test before reaching the wholly more hostile Oceanus and, eventually, Chronos.

The first few bouts with the Headmistress will be tough, but stick with it and you’ll quickly figure out how to best her pretty much every time as we did when playing for our Hades 2 Early Access review. And, given Hades 2’s roguelike structure, you’ll lose count of how many times you face her as you progress.

Hecate move list

Below, you’ll find a table detailing Headmistress Hecate’s moveset. We’ve taken some creative liberties with the naming of each move because the game doesn’t offer up official names. As bosses go, Hecate’s move list is manageable and her attack patterns vary very little throughout the fight. She also remains immobile for multiple seconds at a time between attacks giving you plenty of time to get damage in.

She always rotates randomly through the same moves with no surprises or unexpected twists, other than a pesky Sheep Curse. The number of projectiles can feel overwhelming at first, but each of the moves has its own simple, repeating pattern. Once you get to grips with these, they are easy to anticipate and read.

Crossed FlamesHecate releases a slow moving purple ring that expands outwards from her in all directions before retracting on itself back to the Headmistresses position. The move is well-telegraphed as Hecate will spin on herself rapidly before launching the ring.Move as far away from the circle’s path. Or, alternatively, dodge into the circle, get a few hits in then, dodge out of the circle as it retracts.
Fiery ArcHecate fires off one or two curved arcs of flames in Melinoe’s direction. She’ll also occasionally throw in a follow up flame arc. This one is telegraphed by Hecate making a distinctive grunt before the arcs appear.Dodge to the left or right of the arc(s) and sprint in to damage Hecate or fire off a barrage of Special attacks.
Triple Divide SummonHecate summons two mirror clones of herself. Each of the three Hecates emit green flames, rings, or orbs in Melinoe’s direction. The move is telegraphed by Hecate vanishing into smoke before re-emerging with the two clones.Dart to the edge of the arena and dodge the flames/orbs or stay out of range of the circles.
Minion SummonSimilar to the Sigil Ring attack in that Hecate casts a growing and retracting ring, but she also summons several shades that chuck out projectiles at the same time. You’ll need to kill all the minions to end the move. Like the ring attack, Hecate telegraphes the move by spinning on herself but also spawns a translucent blue unbreakable shield around herself.Make your way around the edge of the arena, killing the Shades as you advance, while keeping an eye on Hecate’s rings and the orbs thrown by the minions.
Sheep CurseHecate sends out an orb that if it hits Melinoe transforms her into a slow moving sheep for a short amount of time. The curse move typically only happens when Hecate is below 50% health. She’ll bring up an unbreakable shield then emit the cursed orb.Stay mobile and use the dodge ability to avoid sigils and projectiles.
Sigil CirclesHecate spawns several fixed AoE sigil circles on the ground across the arena in quick succession, causing damage after a short countdown. Hecate will cocoon up with an unbreakable shield before launching this move, though the telegraphing is identical to some of her other moves so watch for the sigils propping up on the ground.Dash out of the magic circles as soon as they spawn on the ground. Repeat until the move ends.
Retracting Fiery ArcsHecate three different waves of green flames (smaller than the arcs) that go in three different directions before changing direction and returning back to Hecate. This move only tends to happen once Hecate is below 50% health and is signalled by a distinctive grunt.Get as far away from Hecate as possible and way for the arcs to bounc back, then fire of several Specials to damage the boss.

Hades 2 Hecate boss guide: small character emitting a fiery projectile in a dark arena.
Spam those Special attacks whenever you can. Captured by VideoGamer.

Hades 2 Hecate boss fight strategy

The overall boss fight strategy to beat Hecate is to dodge her attacks, use long-range Special attacks when you see openings to slowly whittle down her health, sprint in for normal attacks when possible, and use the extremities of the large arena to avoid her larger AoE attacks. At this early stage in a run, Melinoe isn’t all that powerful, so the main focus is on not taking damage rather than causing massive damage yourself. It’s very much a fight of attribution where a slow, methodical approach wins.

As condescending and unhelpful as this may sound, the best way to beat Hecate is to learn how to dodge. Reaching Hecate should take no more than 10 minutes if you blaze through Erebus. Once you’re there, don’t attack her. Instead, watch her attacks and learn her patterns, which are fairly simple to track. Then, practice dodging and moving around the arena to avoid them, especially the Crossed Flames and Fiery Arc attacks. It won’t take long to commit them to memory and learn how they change between phases. Before long, it will almost feel easy running rings around the goddess of witchcraft.

Hecate’s projectile arc attacks are avoided by a dodge to either side, just watch out for a follow up. After the dodge, get in a few hits then back off and wait for the next wave or for Hecate to change moves. If you do get the Sheep Curse, stay mobile, using the short-range dodge to avoid projectiles and any AoE sigils that might spawn on the ground. The Curse lasts no longer than 10 seconds so ride it out and you’ll be back dashing and sprinting as Melinoe in no time.

Hades 2 Hecate boss guide: character in a corner of an arena with fiery rings going towards them.
The edge of the arena is your friend when Hecate splits into three. Captured by VideoGamer.

As a general rule, stick to the outer edges of the arena whenever Hecate spawns in her clones. From there, you can track and avoid rings, flames, and orbs until the attack ends There’s the option to find the real Hecate among the three to get in some easy hits, but the risk of getting hit or attacking a decoy before the move ends means the reward isn’t all that worth the risk.

Hecate phases

Hecate has three phases. They are determined by the Headmistress’ health. The first phase lasts until ⅔ HP, Phase 2 is above ⅓ HP, and Phase 3 is below ⅓ HP (or above 66%, above 33%, and below 33% for those that prefer percentages). The phases differ from one another only by the intensity of Hecate’s attacks, typically by adding in more rings, flames, and orb projectiles as the phases progress. But, the basic pattern of the attacks remain identical, except that she’ll throw in the annoying Sheep Curse in the third phase.

  • Phase 1 – Hecate tends to focus on throwing out basic versions of the Fiery Arc, Triple Divide Summon, and Crossed Flames attacks.
  • Phase 2 – Fiery Arc, Triple Divide Summon, and Crossed Flames evolve to include additional projectiles, and Hecate pivots to using Minion Summon regularly.
  • Phase 3 – Hecate tends to cycle between Sheep Curce, Sigil Circles, Retracting Fiery Arcs, and a beefed up Triple Divide Summon.

Best weapons and Boons to beat Hecate in Hades 2

As Hecate is an early-game boss, you’re pretty limited on what you can take into the fight at first. Weapons-wise, I’m partial to the Witch’s Staff, simply because it allows you to spam Special attacks from a decent mid-range whenever there’s an opening while keeping out of harm’s way. The Staff’s normal attacks also deal decent damage for the moments when you can get up close to Hecate.

✓ Hephaestus Boons are broken

If in doubt about Boons, always go for Hephaestus. They are currently broken and offer some of the best buffs in Hades 2 regardless of the boss you’re taking on, including Hecate.

As for Boons, it’s a bit down to luck and what you stumble on while making your way to the boss fight. Hephaestus’ boons are currently OP, particularly ones like Volcanic Strike, which dishes out a 200 damage blast when using attacks (every 8-12 secs depending on rarity). Hestia’s Flame Flourish Boon pairs well with the Witch’s Staff’s Special attacks, inflicting 15 Scorch Damage to enemies with every hit. Artemis’ Support Fire works similarly, chucking out a seeking arrow for every Special or Attack, dealing up to 20 damage for each one, depending on rarity.

Hades 2 Hecate boss guide: in-game menu detailing Cinder resource information.
Every time you beat Hecate, you’ll get Cinder. Captured by VideoGamer.

Hecate boss fight rewards

After some hair-pulling and likely a few failed attempts, defeating the Witch of the Crossroads gives you Cinder, the reward for vanquishing the Guardian of Erebus. Cinder is used back at The Crossroads to unlock new weapons for Melinoë. Besting Hecate is the only way to get Cinder in Hades 2 and the reward is always the same regardless of how many times you defeat the Headmistress in the underworld.