So, both of the henchmen and the villain had sucky Wisdom based checks that I auto - failed each time.. AND they always happened to be immune to the spells I had in my hand when I encountered them.
Fortunately a stout club is a sound backup plan.
Discard a card to bump Strength up to a d10, bury Blessing of Lamashtu for two more d10s, Mokmurian's Club for another d10+2, discarding an extra card for another d10 from the club.. and then 2d4 courtesy of a friendly Chevalier. I might have only rolled 26 on 5d10 + 2d4 + 2 but that was still enough to knock that rival bard out of the park. Those are my Iron Cages of Lust, bitch! :D