|Hoplite||System Upgrade ability bestows Bravery; weak to Lightning and easy preemptive strikes.|
|Cryohedron||Beware Self-Destruct; absorbs Ice.|
|Juggernaut||Avoid if you're underlevelled - incredibly high HP and powerful Fire attacks.|
|Boxed Phalanx||Uses Deployment to summon Hoplites and Issue Orders to supply them with buffs; weak to Lightning; can be Launched.|
|Pulsework Centurion||Weak to Earth; absorbs Ice; disabled when Staggered.|
|Rust Pudding||Very high Chain Resistance; weak to Lightning but resists magic in general.|
You will enter a tunnel network which feels a little claustrophobic after the expanse of the Steppe. The caverns are filled with all manner of enemies, notably Pulsework varieties and Hoplites. Mechanical enemies in general make up the bulk of what you will face.
Just past the Save Station you will find your first enemies; a trio of Hoplites. Hoplites aren’t much different to the Pulsework enemies you have been facing and so can be treated as such. The only real threat they have are when they come paired with the Boxed Phalanx (which you will face later) because they receive upgrades from the Phalanx and will keep coming in swarms. For now though, cast Lightning and watch them fall.
Just past the battle with the Hoplites, lies a Treasure Sphere containing the Hauteclaire (weapon for Lightning which has Stagger Lock but can be synthesised with the Random Chain ability). Another couple of Hoplites block your route through so dispatch them and continue into another Hoplite battle just around the corner.
When you reach the fork in the road, take the left path where, before long, you will see two Cryohedrons. Similar to the Circuitrons, these little oddities are weak to Fire and absorb Ice. They always start battles with half HP and become incredibly dangerous in groups of three or more because of their ability to heal their allies, allowing for Self Destruct to be used before you can finish them off.
The first battle shouldn’t pose too many problems but beware the next one with three Cryohedrons and a couple of Hoplites. Remove the Cryohedrons first because they are far more dangerous. Around the corner is another trio of Cryohedrons for you to finish off and beyond that is a massive group of Hoplites patrolling a dangerous area that houses the terrifying Juggernaut.
This enormous mechanical monster packs quite a punch if you are a little under-levelled or didn’t spend a lot of time on the Steppe. Annoyingly, it has no real vulnerabilities to speak of but it does use mostly Fire-based attacks and some physical ones. Barfire and any Fire protection you have will mitigate a large portion of the damage you will receive, and the regular buffs from Protect, Shell etc will also help.
Having a SAB on your team will come in useful because it is susceptible to most status ailments and it will also use “Steam Clean” to remove them. This takes a bit of time during which the Juggernaut will not attack you, giving you ample time to drive up the Chain Gauge with your Ravagers for a quick Stagger. With over a million HP, it can be a bit of a grind but stick with it and you should come out victorious.
If you emerge with a win, your reward can be collected nearby in the form of a Platinum Bangle ( HP +400 ) which isn’t too bad a reward. Return to the previous area and head north where you will run into your first Boxed Phalanx. You should always target the Phalanx first before any Hoplites because it can keep calling more and more Hoplites anyway. Buff yourself with Haste, Bravery/Faith, Enthunder and Enwater and make use of Thundaga if you have it. The Bully (COM/SAB/SYN) and Evened Odds (MED/SAB/SYN) Paradigms will help if you’re having trouble.