|Abzu||Fire||Way of the Fist Vol. IX|
|Useful Materia:||Healing + Magnify, Fire + MP Absorption, Revive, Steadfast Block, ATB Stagger, Magic Up, HP Up|
|Useful Materia:||Fire + Elemental (weapon), Healing, Revive, ATB Stagger, Magic Up, HP Up|
|Weapon:||Light Machine Gun|
|Useful Materia:||Fire + Elemental (weapon), Healing, Revive, Time, Steadfast Block, ATB Stagger, HP Up|
Your second fight with Abzu starts out pretty tame. He'll generally only employ a limited variety of physical attacks during phase one, including "Bash and Smash" and "Ground Pound". His Abzu Shoats are the main innovation in this fight, not Abzu himself, and they'll generally prove to be a nuisance with their "Headbutt" and "Diving Tackle" attacks, which deal moderate damage and will knock a character down - possibly (read: frequently) spoiling attacks. This is a glimpse of how annoying these foes will become as the fight intensifies, but for now do your best to ignore them.
Your strategy for this fight will largely remain the same throughout - hit Abzu's horn with Fira as much as you can. To this end, we load Cloud up with Fire + MP Absorption and Magic Up Materia. He can block, draw Abzu's aggro, and use Fire (when he's not healing) every time he has an ATB segment to spare. Tifa and Barret absolutely can join in on this as well, albeit remotely, although Tifa's main role in this fight is as a pure damage-dealer, and frankly she's probably better off just pegging Abzu with repeated "Omnistrikes" while hoping for a generous Stagger period in which to use her full "Starshower", "Rise and Fall" and "Omnistrike" combo.
If phase one lasts long enough Abzu will leap up onto a ledge and from there use abilities like "Provoke" (inflict "Berserk") and "Playtime", which coordinates the attacks of Abzu Shoats, often enticing them to attack a character en masse. Their aforementioned attacks are weak enough, but getting hit by several of them in succession can add up quick. Use fire magics to dislodge Abzu and keep punishing him.
Bash: Slams the ground with one fist, dealing heavy damage to enemies in front of it. Can do this multiple times in succession in later phases.
Bash and Smash: Two "Bash" attacks (see above) followed by a double-fisted smash, each dealing heavy damage. In later phases he may repeat this several times in succession.
Ground Pound: Slams the ground, dealing heavy damage in an area around Abzu.
Pounce: Abzu will leap onto a ledge to use "Provoke" and "Playtime". He may use "Pounce" when leaving the ledge. This attack usually targets the controlled character. If he hits he'll inflict "Bound" and follow up with a series of attacks on his helpless foe. If a character is struck, use Curaga on them to recover from the damage Abzu's follow up attacks will inflict.
Provoke: Inflicts "Berserk" on a target.
After being reduce to around 66% of its HP, Abzu will begin phase two by leading onto a ledge and using "Blackwater Blast". This one is just for show, but it's a harbinger of what's to come. With the addition of a few new attacks, this phase plays out much like the last one, just be sure to get away from the glowing pipe (or hide in the corner near the pipe) to avoid the intermittent "Blackwater Blasts" Abzu will use. Keep attacking the horns with Fira and reduce Abzu to 40% of its HP to start phase three.
Blackwater Blast: Abzu will summon a wave of fetid water from one of the (now-glowing) sewer pipes. Hide in the corner near the glowing pipe or on the opposite side of the battlefield to avoid its damage. Deals massive damage and inflicts "Poison".
Charge: Dashes at a target (usually the controlled character), dealing heavy damage if it connects. You can evade this attack by running to the side.
Tailspin: Abzu spins in a circle, lashing out with its tail. Deals moderate damage.
Abzu will start out phase three by gathering its remaining Abzu Shoats near it. Immediately use every character to pelt them with Fira, if possible, as the cluster is just too tempting a target to resist. If you can manage to hit them, you may just dispatch most of the Abzu Shoats outright.
Succeed or fail, keep pelting Abzu with Fira and after a very short while (25% of its HP or so) it'll "Enrage" (shedding its Stagger gauge in the process) and start spamming "Blackwater Deluge", which is similar to "Blackwater Blast" save the damaging deluge will come out of both pipes alternatingly. Hide in the corner near one of the glowing pipes until the attack passes, then punish Abzu as much as possible. If you need more time, you can inflict Abzu with "Sleep" or "Stop" - it would have been of dubious value in other phases, but Abzu's far more dangerous at the end of the fight.
Backwash: Abzu will summon blasts of water to strike characters on the edges of the battlefield. Deals moderate damage.
Blackwater Deluge: Abzu will hunker down in the middle of the battlefield and charge this attack, which causes water to alternatingly flow from both pipes. Hide in the corner near one of the pipes to avoid damage.
Triple Charge: Similar to "Charge", but Abzu will now charge multiple times in succession, often choosing a new target (not always the controlled character!) after each charge.
Abzu will spam "Blackwater Deluge" fairly regularly near the end of the fight, but fortunately your summon gauge will start filling. When it's full, summon Ifrit and put an end to the fight.
For defeating Abzu and the Abzu Shoats you'll obtain the Way of the Fist Vol. IX Manuscript.