This page details everything about the story battle against Lord Balseph in Glanymede Castle, Calaglia in Tales of Arise. This will detail all of his attacks and how to defeat him.
Lord Balseph is your first boss battle and the first of the Lords you’ll encounter during your adventure. These battles are often extreme tests of your skills and unlike most regular battles, you’ll really need to pay attention, not leave yourself open and only use the Blazing Sword as and when an opportunity presents itself. This is even more important on the higher difficulties as most of their attacks will most likely down your or bring you close to it, with the harder difficulties sometimes adding in new mechanics too.
True to his stature, Balseph is a brute and despite his attacks being slow, they pack a punch, so you’ll need to wait for an opening. Most Lords tend to aim for the player-controlled character, so you can use this to your advantage to use Iron Mask and keep him away from Shionne. During this first phase, Balseph will often charge on the spot and unleash a quick Explosion, this deals moderate damage to anyone nearby so should you see him crouch down, be sure to evade away.
His Axe Slam requires a bit more work on your part however to avoid, Balseph will jump into the air and slam his axe down, create a ring of fire from the impact, be sure to keep your distance and leap over the flames as they approach. This is however, another prime time for Shionne to use her Boost Attack while he’s airborne and down him, leaving him open. After Shionne comments on it, the next time Balseph attempts to use this will prompt a special Boost Strike with Shionne, use it to trigger a unique attack that will down him and leave him open.
He has several variations of strikes with his axe, with the most common being a simple Axe Swipe that covers a large range. More troublesome however, is when he charges at you and performs his Axe Charge, either dash away from him or get ready to avoid the wide arc of the axe once he closes in on you. Balseph will also launch himself in the air and attempt to use a Ground Pound on you that will deal large damage should it strike you, this is much easier to avoid than his Axe Slam.
This first phase shouldn’t cause too many issues so long as you only go in for attacks when Balseph is open. Make use of Iron Mask’s Boost Attack to down him and follow it up with Infernal Torment while Shionne is useful for keeping damage up against him for a distance. Once you take Balseph down to 50% HP, you can use a Boost Strike that will end this phase of the battle and trigger some cutscenes.
With the addition of the Fire Avatar, Balseph becomes a lot trickier up on the roof of Glanymede Castle. Despite the HP gauge for it, you can’t target or deal damage to the Fire Avatar, you’ll need to focus on dealing with Balseph instead and he won’t gain any new attacks during this phase.
What is new however, is the Fire Avatar will attack the battlefield throughout so try to avoid attacking Balseph when he’s close to it and keep an eye out for it. The Fire Avatar will often use an Arm Swipe attack that will swipe across the battlefield, be sure to evade backwards to avoid this lethal attack. The Fire Avatar will also cast Fireballs that home in your location, keep on the move, evade and drag them away from Shionne to protect her. After the Fire Avatar has used a few attacks against you, you’ll get a trigger for a special Boost Strike with Iron Mask, use it to disable it for a period of time and allow you to focus on damaging Balseph without worry of extra attacks from it.
Once Balseph is near death, he’ll use his Overlimit and begin charging his Mystic Arte, this is your cue to go all out on Balseph or risk taking massive damage, and perhaps a party wipe if your HP is low, from his Pyroclasm Mystic Arte. Dash to the back of the battlefield and get ready to evade the massive pillars of flames that come shooting your way, each one that strikes you will deal well over half of your current HP. Regardless of whether you manage to defeat Balseph before he uses this or not, drain his HP to 1 and use a Boost Strike to end the battle, bringing an end to the Fire Lord’s reign and earning the Emissary of Liberation Trophy/Achievement.