Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lightning/Amodar FFXIII-2 Coliseum DLC Review + Battle Strategies

Final Fantasy XIII-2’s Lightning and Amodar coliseum DLC had its fair share of complaints upon release whether it is about not being able to play as Lightning in the main game in the first place or the idea of being able to play as Lightning would disrupt the drama of the game’s story involving the search for Lightning herself. Starting the DLC battle, the game doesn’t hesitate to show players a short cut scene that explains the characters appearing in the coliseum are not actually who they are and instead just copies to show that this isn’t a paradox (to use words from the game) that would upset the story. Now, is the DLC worth the $3 asking price? For the novelty of fighting against and alongside Lightning and for the extra firepower of having them as monster crystals, I’d say yes, but just to be clear, this is DLC that you’d have to work for.

First things first, do not take on Lightning and Amodar until you’ve either completed the main story or you’re considerably high leveled. I fought them around my 20th hour into the game and I can say for certain that it was too early to take them on. It took me a whopping 40 minutes to defeat, and that’s after spending a good few hours to find the best strategy to fight them, but I managed to drop it down below 10 minutes post-story.

After defeating them, however, there is a relatively low chance of actually  obtaining their monster crystals, so be sure to obtain the Monster Collector fragment skill from the mystic in Serendipity which can be obtained after collecting all the fragments from the Vile Peaks 200 AF and 010 AF. With the Monster Collector fragment skill, your chance of obtaining monster crystals is increased by 20%.
Lightning and Amodar can wear any adornment you've collected.
Lightning joins as a Ravager and Amodar as a Commando and are leveled like monster crystals rather than like Serah or Noel so be prepared to use lots of potent crystals (which can be acquired from Microchus in The Archylte Steppe ???AF Clearwater Marshes on rainy conditions). Luckily these characters are early-peakers with a max level of 13 so it isn’t much work to bring them up to the limit. They are by far one of the best of their class with incredible final level stats, but what makes them truly stand out is their 6th ATB bar for extra actions. Moreover, since these characters are monster crystals, they can be dressed up in the games various adornments you’ve acquired. This is where you can have Lightning wear newsboy caps, have a blue flower blooming out of her head or simply have a small decal of the L’Cie mark on the sheath of her gunblade. There isn’t much ways to customize her appearance, but it’s silly fun nonetheless. I personally have her wearing a black mage hat since she’s playing the Ravager role, but aside from some nice earrings, all of the adornments are quite odd and humorous.

I’ve used these characters to take down a couple of high profile monsters such as Yomi and Long Gui. With final stats as high as Serah and Noel with their ultimate weapons, not to mention the 6th ATB bar, Lightning and Amodar can easily be a permanent part of your paradigm pack. This is a DLC pack you have to work for and the fights are fun but a bit frustrating with the ridiculous amounts of HP they can heal. A small, but potentially a big nit to pick is that many people will buy the DLC thinking they’ll recruit Lightning and Amodar instantly after the fight, but they actually have a low chance of dropping a monster crystal. Make sure you get the Monster Collector fragment skill before attempting the fight and you’ll save yourself the frustration of fighting them too many times. Even though it’s quite cool to fight alongside monsters, there is just something special about fighting with a full team of human characters, and I eagerly look forward to other characters Square Enix has coming along.
As a monster crystal, they both have their own Feral Link.
Battle Strategy
The battle starts with Lightning, but Amodar joins after you’ve taken a small portion of her HP. They can change paradigms just as you can, but they don’t exactly play fairly as they have much higher HPs and heal much more quickly than you can damage them when they switch to a healing paradigm which happens after their staggered state is over. The first order of business is to defeat them one at a time. Doing so will cause one to go into “limit breach” (limit breaks FFVII style anyone?) mode where they can deal some serious damage. I would suggest defeating Amodar first and Lightning last as Amodar’s limit breach mode gives him a permanent protect and regeneration, making him much more difficult to defeat.

Make sure you have a paradigm deck with a strong ravager and commando, but most importantly a Bunkerbeast about level 30 or higher for a sentinel and a paradigm deck of Tri-disaster, Tortoise, Cerberus-X, Combat Clinic and Delta Attack. 

Like other boss battles, it’s best to bring the enemies up to stagger. Begin with the Delta Attack and start walloping on Amodar. As soon as they change paradigms, most likely Building Block or Sap and Salve, change to Tri-disaster to quickly bring Amodar to a stagger, but make sure you switch to Combat Clinic to heal anyone in trouble. If any character dies, make sure you revive them first rather than going with auto-battle which would most likely heal livings characters back to health before reviving anyone. After staggering Amodar, change paradigms to Cerberus-X and take his HP down as much as you can.

When the stagger finishes, change back to Tri-disaster to get a head start on the chaining, and since Amodar will switch to Double Dose immediately, you won’t be in any danger, but as soon as they change paradigms, switch to Combat Clinic and heal up, but make sure you switch to Delta attack before Amodar’s chain gauge resets. 

In limit breach mode, Lightning becomes more difficult.
Repeat this about 3 or 4 times and Amodar should go down. You’ll know when you’ve defeated Amodar as Lightning interrupts immediately by going into Limit Breach mode with increases to many of her stats. Switch to Tortoise to defend against her Army of One attack, and then proceed to Delta Attack to bring her to a stagger. Change to Cerberus-X to bring her HP down and then change back to Delta attack to proceed with the chaining. As soon as she announces her Limit Breach, change to Tortoise to take the coming attack. She’ll start healing right after the Army of One, so you can either heal yourself here too or you can get a head start with Tri-disaster, but make sure to switch back to Delta Attack as soon as she starts attacking again. Just keep repeating until you’ve defeated her.

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