BOSS ANALYSIS : Stratoavis has a set pattern of moves. He will Attack twice, then charge for Paean of the Heavens, which is to be used on the next turn. Paean of the Heavens knocks off 93.75% of your maximum HP (since it’s the max HP, it CAN kill), induces a Delay, and blinds, so you need to fully heal on the turn before AND after it. Stratoavis will land after losing 2/3 of its HP (hits 106,667), only using his Attack thereafter.
MAIN STRATEGY : Auto-Protect is great for this fight, for the most part, since you’ll be seeing a lot of Attacks. Auto-Med and Remedy also work well to counteract the ailments from the Paean. Anyways, this boss isn’t anything special, since you know his routine. Attack on the first few turns. Next, Defend or heal on the charging turn. Protect and Defend quarters the damage taken from Paean, reducing it to almost 23.5% of your max HP. Heal on the next turn, then just keep up the attacking.
By the by, keep in mind that the boss is vulnerable to all four types of Breaks. Full Break or Banishing Blade can get in all four at once, and Power Break at least is recommended (and Armor Break and Mental Break for increasing your damage, of course). You can also Slow the boss (90% chance) if you feel like he’s moving too much, though it’s not really needed.
ALTERNATE STRATEGY - DOOM : Like a number of bosses in the Monster Arena, this one is vulnerable to Doom. This is the essence of a desperation tactic, however, because it will take 200 turns for the Doom to kill the boss. Still, if you prefer that, go for it!
ALTERNATE STRATEGY - OVERDRIVES/TRIO OF 9999 : This boss can easily be two-turned with some abilities. If your spells from Lulu aren’t doing over 20,000 damage (I’m talking like Fire and Water), then you will want Rikku to Mix Trio of 9999 for this. You’ll also want three people with maxed Overdrive gauges, with the third person (other than Lulu/Rikku) to have Entrust. Have Rikku Mix Trio of 9999, then go into the Fire Fury - you ought to be able to deal as high as 16 hits, nearly 160,000 damage. Have the third character Entrust their gauge to Lulu and repeat; you then only have to hit for 32 damage after that.
This strategy can also work with Tidus’s Blitz Ace (9 hits at best), but that has to deal at least 160,000 damage per Overdrive (nearly 18,000 damage per hit with a perfect Overdrive) for a two-use kill. You can also try two Entrusts with this strategy and deal just over 11,850 per hit to get it with three Blitz Aces.
And, of course, all these tactics work well with a 2x-2x-2x slot row on Wakka’s Attack Reels (12 hits). At that level, you’d need to break the damage limit though by dealing over 13,333 damage per hit. If you try with two Entrusts, you need only 8,889 or more damage per hit to make it. Attack Reels is rather luck-based, but it’s all a thought.
BOSS ANALYSIS : Every time on the first turn, you will be ambushed; unless you have First Strike and 35+ Agility, you will be hit. Granted, you REALLY ought to have more than 35+ Agility, and Auron’s Masamune has First Strike. Anyhow, expect Putrid Breath from this - it hits you with some damage, Darkness, Silence, Slow, Breserk, Poison, and Confusion, all at once. Expect to have a LOT of trouble if you don’t have Ribbon. Anyhow, there’s also Chow Time (physical damage to one), Gastric Juice Blast (physical damage to all, may Petrify), and Mega Gastic Juice (damage to one plus Power/Armor/Magic/Mental Break).
MAIN STRATEGY : How does one survive the first turn? You need either two things. I highly recommend having Ribbon on your armor and you won’t have a worry, really. Otherwise, Confuseproof, Berserkproof, and Auto-Med also suffice … but that’s a lot of slots, no? Alternatively, you can have 35+ Agility and First Strike on your weapon, AND keep Yuna out of the opening party - switch to her on the first turn and bring out an Aeon for some cannon fodder. It also helps you keep your Ribbon/Auto-Potion/Auto-Haste/Auto-Protect armor and avoid damage.
After that, it’s pretty simple - damage and heal. Putrid Breath is pretty unpredictable, so if you don’t have any of the two set-ups noted above, you need to fight with Aeons or quickly obliterate the boss with Overdrives, somehow. Ifrit or the Magus Sisters are recommended (since this boss is weak to Fire, and the Magus Sisters are strong). It’s simple once you’re past the first turn, really. See the Doom and Trio of 9999 tactics above for alternatives.
BOSS ANALYSIS : Kottos doesn’t have much of an offense to give. He’ll use basic physicals throughout the whole battle, really, and always as a counterattack. That’s about it.
MAIN STRATEGY : Throw up Protect/Auto-Protect and Hastega/Auto-Haste, and simply tread carefully here. Don’t attack too much or you’ll get countered too much (Protect only halves physical damage), and be sure to heal when needed. Auto-Potion with X-Potions really ought to suffice for that here, though. Once again, Doom and Trio of 9999 are alternative strategies.
BOSS ANALYSIS : There is no set pattern to this boss’s moves like the last few; even so, Chaos is used quite often, but it simply inflicts Confusion, Curse, and Doom, no damage. You can also see the Drain and Thundaga spells, and finally, there’s Hyper Blaster - that’s instant-death to a character that defies Deathproof.
MAIN STRATEGY : Ribbon and Confuseproof/Auto-Med will suffice a lot for dealing with the oft-used Chaos; you won’t deal with the Doom, though, which causes KO 5 turns later; hope you have Auto-Phoenix/Auto-Life! Curse can also be a bit debilitating, so if you’re using Overdrives, you should simply open the fight up with them and don’t let up. And you can’t do anything about Hyper Blaster other than sending in an Aeon (and it’s not predictable, so you’d effectively fight with that Aeon) or Auto-Phoenix.
Still, Ribbon and Auto-Phoenix make the fight laughable. With those two (or the suitable alternates named above), you shouldn’t have trouble with this one.
BOSS ANALYSIS : Not a lot to this boss fight. The most dangerous attack you’ll see is Cold Stare, which hits a character for unblockable damage that can also Petrify them. You’ll see it somewhere around 25% ~ 40% of the time if you’re me. Which you’re not, but whatever. There’s also a basic physical and Spacetime Vorpal (magical damage to all). That doesn’t seem too bad, but a basic physical here will shatter a Petrified character, eliminating 33% of your party outright.
MAIN STRATEGY : Stoneproof or Ribbon are crucial for this battle. With either one, Cold Stare is just mild damage, and the other two attacks are barely moreso. Open with your usual blockades if you must (Hastega/Protect/Shell) and simply attack and heal as needed. It’s noteworthy that this boss is resistant to Slow and all of the statistic breaks; the latter is very helpful if you prefer a magic-oriented offense because this guy will tank through those.
BOSS ANALYSIS : Nothing beyond what you’d expect from a Cactuar - 10,000 Needles deals 10,000 damage (instant-kill to those without Break HP Limit), and 99,999 Needles deals 99,999 damage (instant-kill no matter what). Both are also painfully unblockable without Aeon cannon fodder, and they won’t last long enough to matter.
MAIN STRATEGY : There’s pretty much no chance of fighting this guy without 200+ Accuracy - that 240 Evade is essentially a 94% evasion rate (240/255), at least to me. Don’t really know how it works, but whatever. That Agility is also pretty hard to get by without a First Strike set of weapons, which you’ll probably need at lower levels. There’s also Auto-Haste and 41+ Agility, though.
Anyhow, let’s assume you can hit this cactus. Auto-Haste and Auto-Phoenix will be very crucial here. Auto-Phoenix will stop you from dying for 99 of the boss’s turns - for that matter, if you plan on fighting this guy, don’t bother healing. 99,999 Needles is too unpredictable for healing to be worthwhile. … Honestly, I’d really go for the Overdrive strategies or Trio of 9999 as mentioned below - 100 Defense and 255 Magic Defense is DIFFICULT to pierce without maxing your stats (and, even this, this boss is immune to all elements). In essence, hit when you can and hope to Yevon your 99 Phoenix Downs last.
BOSS ANALYSIS : The boss will only use two attacks: Hades Claws and Blade Shower. Hades Claws will damage you and restore some of the Espada’s HP; it will also automatically KO you, or Poison you if you survive via Deathproof/Ribbon. It also used as a counterattack. Ouch. Blades Shower is just high physical damage to a single character, used after every four Hades Claws (including those from counterattacking).
MAIN STRATEGY : Come in with Ribbon or Deathproof, and don’t come back until you do.
Anyways, this boss heavily relies on HP restoration to survive (as if 280,000 HP wasn’t enough) - Hades Claws restores it, and he regains more via Regen. (And, no, you cannot Zombie him.) To beat that, you pretty much have to get at the boss before he can get at you. Thusly, the fewer turns you spend healing, the better - thus, Auto-Potion with X-Potions and Auto-Phoenix also work very well here to save myriad turns. And rounding out with Auto-Haste helps you outspeed the boss.
When the fight opens, you’ll want to begin with two things: Slow on the boss, and Full Break or Banishing Blade. This will halve its nasty Agility (to 26), Strength (22), Defense (50), Magic (16 - not that it’s used), and Magic Defense (80). That’s MUCH more managable, no? I mean, granted, Hades Claws can still kill you, but it’s not going hurt as much when you have Ribbon/Deathproof on, and even less if you happen to have Auto-Protect or instill Protect via Mighty G(uard) or something.
Once the boss’s stats are depleted, you simply attack and heal from there on out. Try to favor physicals, since the boss takes 1.6x more damage from them than magical attacks.
BOSS ANALYSIS : If you’ve fought these Worm-species enemies for extended periods of time (like your first trip through Bikanel), you know what to expect. It’s signature move is to Swallow a character (only after being hit five times, as a counter to the fifth attacker) - they’ll be Regurgitated after being hit twice more, with the Regurgitated character taking 9,999 damage (5,000 with Protect). There’s also a basic physical and Earthquake, which takes a turn to charge-up before magical damage to everyone.
MAIN STRATEGY : Not a lot to say. When you begin the fight, it’s nice to open with Protect on everyone if you don’t have Auto-Protect - in doing so, you ought to be able to prevent Regurgitate from killing you. You’ll also want to open with Haste if you don’t already have Auto-Haste. From there on out, attack the boss a lot and it’ll eventually Swallow the fifth attacker. Take time to heal everyone you can and do other buffing if you wish (the boss will not do anything until being hit twice, which causes Regurgitate). Shell is something you’ll want to throw up in that time, since Earthquake is halved that way. Beyond this, it’s a simple attack-and-heal fight, really.
ALTERNATE STRATEGY - REGURGITATE ABUSE : A little glitch is in the system, though - as it turns out, counterattacks don’t seem to count towards the Regurgitate counter. This includes two examples to be discussed: self-Reflect and Evade & Counter. First is self-Reflect. Carefully time your attacks such that your Swallowed character just so happens to not be your main magic caster; in the meantime, put Reflect on the magic caster. After the Swallow, but before Regurgitate, you can (Double)cast Flare on yourself (preferably - most others work) to hit the Abyss Worm, and it won’t trigger Regurgitate. Since the Worm doesn’t bother with anything until Regurgitating … there you go.
Do you prefer to use Evade & Counter? In this case, do absolutely nothing at all during the battle, really, while having Evade & Counter on everyone’s weapons. Only two things will occur during the fight: either a basic physical (where you counter - but the counter for Swallow fails to go up) or Earthquake (in which you can know ahead of time and switch to Yuna to summon Valefor as cannon fodder). Dismiss Valefor after Earthquakes and simply sit there and Defend. Hell, cast Protect and Slow on your party and Haste on the Worm to increase efficiency! (Just leave Yuna out of your main party or you might not have time to get to her in the CTB before the Earthquake hits.)
BOSS ANALYSIS : This boss loves elemental attacks! (Quelle surprise. It’s a Chimera. Duh.) It’s basically uses elementals whose strength are on the level of the "-ra" spells - Megiddo Flame (basically Fira), Blizzara, Thundara, and Aqua Breath (basically Watera to all). There’s also a basic physical.
There is also a set pattern to the moves: Megiddo Flame, Blizzara/Thundara, Attack, and Aqua Breath, looping from there.
MAIN STRATEGY : This battle is ridiculously easy - then again, it’s actually the first of the Area Creations made available to you, fightable before even leaving the Calm Lands the first time. In any case, you’ll likely want to open with the Mix Mighty G if you’re having trouble; this puts up Protect and Shell, halving the boss’s attacks’ damage entirely. From there, you’ll want to cyclically cast NulBlaze, NulFrost or NulShock, and NulTide. After the first round, you’ll know which of the NulFrost/NulShock to cast, since one will always be missing for you to fill in. ;) From there, heal whatever damage the basic physical does and wipe the floor with 'im. Just don’t bother with a magical offense (barring Flare/Ultima/Holy) since he is immune to all elements.
BOSS ANALYSIS : This boss is extemely abusable for gaining AP … but that’s another section. Anyhow, he’s basically a buffed Tonberry. Karma will be his main counterattack for when he’s far-off (i.e. first four turns) - it will deal damage to the attacker equal to the number of monsters they’ve killed times 100. It’s easier to say instant-kill, since it would’ve taken on hell of a low-level game to avoid killing any monsters. I mean, there’s like 60 required fights in the game alone, aren’t there? That’s 6,000 damage by itself. ahem You’ll also see a basic physical attack every turn after the four turns are up, which is a bit nasty.
MAIN STRATEGY : Auto-Phoenix is essential for the first four turns, and Auto-Potion with X-Potions for the remainder. That’s about it, really - he’s no different than any other Tonberry, other than the buffed stats and hole-tearing Karma. Attack and heal when needed.
BOSS ANALYSIS : This boss can be a bit nasty to deal with. It has a basic physical and Pop Fly (physical damage + delay) - that’s nothing much to care about. He can, however, cast Flare and Ultima. Ultima comes as a final attack at least, but it’s very powerful and non-Reflectable.
MAIN STRATEGY : A lot of expectations during the majority of the fight - open with Protect and Shell (or Reflect, if you have Auto-Potion and only X-Potions - that means no Curaga will be needed) if they’re not Auto’d on your armor, then work on weakening the boss, too! Full Break and Banishing Blade are good to halve his defenses and his damage further to a now 1/4 of the norm (we’re talking 19 Strength and 15 Magic with Protect/Shell on). From there on out, it’s simply healing and attacking, though.
BOSS ANALYSIS : Abaddon relies on a magic-heavy offense: you’ll see Firaga, Waterga, Thundaga, Blizzaga, Flare, and Demi for the most recognizable of these. You’ll also see Pharaoh’s Curse to cause Darkness, Silence, Curse, and Poison, and Emblem of the Cosmos, which requires a noticeable turn to charge (Mana Focus) before there’s heavy physical damage to a single target.
MAIN STRATEGY : You’ll want to open this battle with the usual - Hastega/Auto-Haste, Protect/Auto-Protect, and Reflect with Auto-X-Potions going around to make healing a lot easier. Hyper Mighty G is a good Mix to use to open the fight as well, as isSuper Mighty G if you don’t really want to throw up super-valuable items - this will do Protect, Shell, Regen, Haste, and Auto-Life (latter for the Hyper), so, yeah, it saves plenty of time! Granted, Reflect is still superior to Shell in this instance since you ought to be able to use Auto-Potion, which is a 9,999-HP heal with only X-Potions in stock, but to each their own.
This takes care of most of his magical offense. Demi, you’ll just have to live with; the rest of the Black Magic is reflected. Granted, none but Flare will do damage (he’s immune to all elements due to an eternal NulAll - plus, he, too, has Reflect), but better to take no damage than half-damage. To take care of Pharaoh’s Curse, you can have Ribbon or Auto-Med or just have a Remedy ready for after it hits.
For your offense, you’ll want to probably rely on physical attacks - Abaddon always has Reflect and NulAll, so the only thing that you can hit him with magically is Ultima, unless you Reflect magic off of yourself. That’s also a viable strategy; in fact, you’ll do about 12% more damage that way since his Magic Defense is lower - so, basically, Doublecast Flare. If you prefer to go physical, use a lot of Quick Hits.
BOSS ANALYSIS : Vorban’s offense shouldn’t be much of a surprise to you; just look at him! He can use a basic physical attack, Body Splash (hits all), and Mortar. Mortar is used as a counterattack only for non-elemental magical damage to everyone; it seems to be used with every 1~4 attacks against the boss.
MAIN STRATEGY : Clearly enough, you need Protect and Shell (Auto-Protect/Auto-Shell) from the start. Mighty G, Super Mighty G, and Hyper Mighty G all work well enough for this bit of it, though all you really need is Mighty G then Hastega/Auto-Haste. From there on, just keep attacking with whatever you’ve got. Quick Hit is the main recommendation since it can give you can extra turn on the off-chance Mortar is fired so you can quickly throw up Curaga if needed. Nothing beyond this.