Well, in this case, the third time was not the charm. My latest battle against Corvus was going well until he kept using breath attacks turn after turn.
If only you could lob breath mints at monsters in Dragon Quest IX.
On the upside, I can't fault the game's AI for its random factor.
Just as Corvus went heavy on the breath attacks for the first time in our latest match two monsters in his realm nearly slaughtered my party on its way up. Who knew that they could use the spells Kaboom and Kacrack?
Corvus will be tried again after another round of level ups. And maybe a wardrobe change. But not a shift in trades; my party of a minstrel, thief, mage, and priest seems quite effective. Its three loss streak notwithstanding, of course.