The game made it somewhat apparent that something bad was going to happen once you leave Harth (basically "hey man, don't go unless you're REALLY ready to go") so I stocked up on potions and mega potions before the encounter. The hardest part was dealing with the blight mechanic introduction in that small space while attempting to defend yourself. Given the small space, it is insanely difficult to fight off the blight without having to take serious damage from the monster in exchange. I ended up blowing through all my potions and most of mega potions because I couldn't deal enough damage in time to stave off the blight most of the time before it reached full infection, turning its blight AoEs into DoT fields as well. Didn't cart once, though.
I treated the encounter as a scene to set the monster up as an antagonist, a challenge to inspire the player to improve and eventually overcome.