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The Bandit is one of the weakest monster in the game. However, he packs the extraordinarily nasty Lower Resists debuff effect. This is the only debuff that is irreversible and unpreventable, and for most characters suffering it even once is a non-starter. However, the effect cannot take you into the negatives, so if you don't have any resists to begin with then the bandit is just a pathetically weak opponent.
Characters with resistances will need to find a way to slay bandits with a single attack in order to avoid their devastating debuff. Use of the GETINDARE or WEYTWUT glyphs are very useful, as are the magical attack glyphs, BURNDAYRAZ and PISORF. Usually you will want to avoid bandits until you're a higher level than them and can clean them up easily.
For characters without resistances, your options are much broader and you can attack bandits with impunity. Simple hit-and-run antics often are enough to defeat them, since you will quickly heal the low amount of damage dealt by the bandit. Because the bandit is so weak, he is a favourite target for these kinds of characters. It's quite easy to kill a bandit that is three or even four levels higher than yourself, which is worth a lot of bonus experience.
The bandit boss strips a much higher amount of resistances on each attack and also has the mana burn and poisonous properties, meaning hit and run becomes impossible without having immunity to these conditions. However, he is by far the weakest boss in the game and overwhelming him with pure spellcasting or just attacking him in spite of his debuffs is often more than sufficient to bring him down. Where this boss can become a problem is when he is accompanied by other bosses, weakening you and leaving you unfit to take out the others. This is a particular problem on the Naga City dungeon. If you absolutely must avoid an attack from Tomithy, the best way to get in a free shot is by worshipping Tikki Tooki to acquire his Quicksilver Potion and Reflex Potion.