Cloudbahamut

Best Materia setup for Hard mode ?

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I am finally about to start my dreaded Hard mode run and I have looked at the guide from Power Pyx and their recommended Materia setup which is:

CHARACTER ONE

Weapon: Elemental - Fire/Ice/Light/Wind, First Strike, HP up (2), MP up

Armor: Healing, Revival, Steadfast Block, Barrier


CHARACTER TWO

Weapon: Elemental - Fire/Ice/Light/Wind, HP up (2), MP up (2)

Armor: Healing, Revival, First Strike


CHARACTER THREE (highest magic stats):

Weapon: Magic up (2), HP up (2), MP up (2)

Armor: Magnify-Healing, Revival



But I was wondering, why not use Steadfast block with all characters ? Or does it only work with the active character ? I always have it on all three characters. I also use ATB stagger a lot would't that be especially useful on hard where enemies don't die as quickly ? I was also surprised that there are no MP absorb or HP absorb in this recommended setup, wouldn't those be especially useful on hard ?

Also the boss guide from Power Pyx often mentioned using Haste, yet no character has Time materia equipped in their recommended Hard setup. And lastly wouldn't it be better to give Barrier to all three characters so the party can always have Protect or Shell up in boss battles right from the start ?

Also their bossguide mentions the Götterdämmerung accessoire a lot. Should I do chapter 17 on Hard first and try to beat Pride and Joy before actually doing the Hard run ? Though I imagine this would be insanely difficult as I never played on Hard before.



What in your opinion were your personal best setups for Hard mode that made it the easiest for you ? I gotta be honest, I am pretty afraid of doing Hard mode it seems very intimidating especially since I am no fan of high difficulties.






 

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I did my hard mode run following the recommended loadout from Powerpyx, in the original run it had Time Materia as one of the bits on your other characters so thats probably why its been left in the bits underneath.

 

With that being said there was quite a few times i had to change the Materia depending on the boss (Some bosses gain new abilities or phases in Hard mode) MP Absorb and HP Absorb only work when linked with a Magic Materia IIRC? Some of the Chapters are extremely MP intensive, you want to save every bit you can. 

 

The only time i used Barrier Materia was to place the spell that Halved Magic and Physical Damage taken to do Bahamut and the Final Boss. 

 

In terms of the Accessory its extremely overpowered and makes a lot of the challenge on hard mode trivial or easy, the actual boss Himself is really easy its the lead up to him that is difficult (you fight 4 of the Summons including Bahamut who can one shot your party if you dont have enough HP/Barrier on).

 

Once you make it to the boss you can just spam attacks into his legs and keep everyone healed you'll get it down easily, i saved Tifa's ATB Gauge to break Cloud out of the Grip.

 

The difficulty of hard mode IMO is mostly around making sure you have enough MP to do the bosses of each Chapter as most of the random encounters before then can be wiped out fairly easy with Clouds Triple Slash, Barrets Maximum Fury or Tifas Starshower, definitely make sure you are familiar with each boss as you make your way through each Chapter (Especially any of the fights where Counterstance shines or Hell House) and make use of the MP Mako Restore Crates that are randomly around the game. 

 

The biggest Chapter i had issue with was the Train Graveyard.

 

Try and do some of the side quests as you go through if you can or leave them until you finish the chapter and go back and finish then leave as most of the ones where you fight enemies give the Manuscripts to improve your weapons. The level 6 parts of weapons are extremely useful such as Reprieve (leaves you at 1hp per battle from an attack) and 20% MP reduction on Cure spells just to name a few.

 

I hope some of this helps.

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Most important tip that I could probably give is that there are no "auto-win" setup for the entire run, switch setups for boss battles.

 

I never used the elemental materias in my weapons, but rather used them defensively paired with whatever element the boss was using.

 

Other than that the above setup seems fine, revival is really useful to have on all characters along with 2 maxed HP/MP up even tho it might not be entirely necessary. Also I didn't think the Hard run was as bad as I got the impression of it to be, just be careful with the 1-shot super abilities of some bosses.

 

Also I got the Götterdammerung before even starting on Hard, its totally possible to do it on chapter 17 Normal since you have to choose "hard" on the VR challenge anyways. As long as u are prepared with good level materias its not too bad, Bahamut is the hard part, but Manawall makes it much more manageable.

Edited by Misshandlad
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2 hp up,2 mp up, cure, raise on everyone

 

Healer with cure - magnify and 2 magic ups

 

Elemental on  the other 2 I usually linked it to lightning but you can change it situationally

 

The rest can be up to preferences. 

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Hm so I should definitely go for beating Pride and Joy before doing Hard mode to get Götterdämmerung ?

I have started another run on Normal first now as I only played Classic and Easy so far and want to get more used to what it will be like on Hard. Also wanna use this run to max out all materia that I need for my Hard setup as I only want to get into Hard with max level and maxed out materia. After the Normal run I should be good to go to take on the Shinra combat simulations on Hard.

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I'm a bit disappointed with Hard mode, it's more like "Annoying mode" than Hard since the battles are kinda out of your control, things can go great or bad just depending on luck to be honest.


I hate the restrictions, they should have made the battles even harder than they are but made it so you can still use items and heal yourself and renew mp properly. It seems weird in a RPG that you go to the effort of getting items, stealing and levelling up and then the game restricts what you can do.

 

Hard mode, honestly pushes the game from a RPG into a Bloodborne, Dark Souls style game and I don't like the way it forces you to equip your characters in a certain way.

You basically have to equip each character with a similar setup, 2 hp up, 2 mp up and equipping your characters with non mp using magic like pray, first attack etc. Few materia slots left to have fun casting the magic you want to equip.

 

Also, do avoid using MP, waiting until there is a single enemy left and timing the end of the battle with everyone using pray gets old after a while. It also seems to be even harder to use summons in hard mode, why even have them at all for 95% of the game? Some battles for difficulty just seem to be down to luck, even random battles, the amount of times I have distances myself  away from all enemies, made sure no enemies are near me and then as soon as I try to use pray the attack gets cancelled by a random bullet/dive attack from nowhere. Then I will retry the same battle and next time the human AI don't get hit as much and the enemy AI seem a bit more stupid and I win easy.

As I say, "annoying mode"

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1 hour ago, Cloudbahamut said:

Hm so I should definitely go for beating Pride and Joy before doing Hard mode to get Götterdämmerung ?

I have started another run on Normal first now as I only played Classic and Easy so far and want to get more used to what it will be like on Hard. Also wanna use this run to max out all materia that I need for my Hard setup as I only want to get into Hard with max level and maxed out materia. After the Normal run I should be good to go to take on the Shinra combat simulations on Hard.

 

Its harder than you think! I spent HOURS on it trying to do it early. Gave up in the end, starting from Chapter 1 is much simpler.

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Optinooby said:

 

Its harder than you think! I spent HOURS on it trying to do it early. Gave up in the end, starting from Chapter 1 is much simpler.

 

 

 


lol another user wrote that he did it before doing Hard mode and that its not too bad with the right materia and setup. And if Götterdämmerung makes the entire Hard run much easier then I can take a bit of suffering. Besides I am at max level and with maxed out Materia it's not gonna get that much easier after playing Hard mode first. I figure you just gotta learn your blocking, dodging and healing in time and use the right abilities. Like with any FF it is really mostly about preperation and setup. I defeated all the hardest Final Fantasy Superbosses from the Weapons to the likes of Penance, Yiazmat or Valfodr so if with enough prep, strategy and the right setup Pride and Joy (and the bosses before him) can be beaten and make the entire Hard run much easier (which takes much much longer then taking down 5 bosses) then I am gonna go for it.

But certainly not rushing into it but taking the time to max out everything I need. Like I said - with Final Fantasy its all about preperation.

Edited by Cloudbahamut
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5 minutes ago, Cloudbahamut said:


lol another user wrote that he did it before doing Hard mode and that its not too bad with the right materia and setup. And if Götterdämmerung makes the entire Hard run much easier then I can take a bit of suffering. Besides I am at max level and with maxed out Materia it's not gonna get that much easier after playing Hard mode first. I figure you just gotta learn your blocking, dodging and healing in time and use the right abilities. Like with any FF it is really mostly about preperation and setup. I defeated all the hardest Final Fantasy Superbosses from the Weapons to the likes of Penance, Yiazmat or Valfodr so if with enough prep, strategy and the right setup Pride and Joy (and the bosses before him) can be beaten and make the entire Hard run much easier (which takes much much longer then taking down 5 bosses) then I am gonna go for it.

But certainly not rushing into it but taking the time to max out everything I need. Like I said - with Final Fantasy its all about preperation.

 

Yea, it just differs 1 player to the next I guess.

 

I was maxed, just couldnt get the fights down. Can ALWAYS get to Bahamut, but he just destroys me.

 

Having limit break early isnt as good as it sounds I dont think, bosses still destroy you on hard if your not ready.

 

 

You may find it alright doing it early, some players are, but some are not like myself. In the end I decided to play through first up to that point

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10 minutes ago, Optinooby said:

 

Yea, it just differs 1 player to the next I guess.

 

I was maxed, just couldnt get the fights down. Can ALWAYS get to Bahamut, but he just destroys me.

 

Having limit break early isnt as good as it sounds I dont think, bosses still destroy you on hard if your not ready.

 

 

You may find it alright doing it early, some players are, but some are not like myself. In the end I decided to play through first up to that point


The trick with Bahamut seems to be to keep HP up and use Manawall before he does Megaflare and save all Limit Breaks for Ifrit to kill him in two attacks. With Aerith as healer using Magnify/Curaga combo (or Regen) and Cloud using Manawall (and using Pray as backup healing when MP run low) it seems to be entirely doable. Certainly not that much harder then Dark Bahamut in FF X. Now that boss was a nightmare. At least VII Remake Bahamut is not blasting you with two 99.999 attacks (Megaflare and Impulse) in a row and hasn't 4 Millon HP.

Edited by Cloudbahamut
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1 hour ago, Cloudbahamut said:


The trick with Bahamut seems to be to keep HP up and use Manawall before he does Megaflare and save all Limit Breaks for Ifrit to kill him in two attacks. With Aerith as healer using Magnify/Curaga combo (or Regen) and Cloud using Manawall (and using Pray as backup healing when MP run low) it seems to be entirely doable. Certainly not that much harder then Dark Bahamut in FF X. Now that boss was a nightmare. At least VII Remake Bahamut is not blasting you with two 99.999 attacks (Megaflare and Impulse) in a row and hasn't 4 Millon HP.

I never used manawall at all so I can assure you all that barrier materia isn't necessary. ..

 

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I am surprised to see not many people use ATB generating materias.  First strike is incredibly useful for normal enemies since you can just open up with triple slash or a spell+magnify which often ends the fight or puts it heavily in your favor before the enemies have even begun to do anything on hard.  You don't really have to worry about healing as much if the enemies are pressured or killed almost immediately.

ATB Assist is one of the best materias in the game as well.. especially on Tifa with a high speed build.  You use 2 ATB segments in a row and it gives everyone in the party an ATB boost.  ATB stagger materias are very good for boss fights as they really set you up for a huge damage phase if you use them.  Steadfast block is great for hard mode.. and Parry is just amazing on Tifa.  If you spam it you can do this quick dash that gives her insane mobility.  It is also decent on Cloud since you can move in Punisher mode with it, but its no where near as good as the animation that Tifa has.

Typically, I will run 2x HP up, ATB assist, steadfast block, parry, fire/ice/lightning/wind + elemental in weapon, and then leave 2 materia slots open for whatever I think I will need with Tifa in a given situation.

With Cloud it is pretty much the same as Tifa with 2x HP up, steadfast block, first strike or ATB stagger, fire/ice/lightning/wind + elemental in weapon, 2x luck up, and then 2 open slots for whatever.  Typically I will leave the open slots as chakra/heal + revive, but can also substitute in other things such as barrier+magnify or time+magnify.  If I want to use Cloud as more of a support role such as the hell house fight then I'd take the luck ups off and fill in as needed.

Aerith.. is best used for damage with a little bit of support in pray and maybe revive.  With 2x HP up, 2x Magic up, 1 or 2 MP up, pray, and then you can use fire/ice/lightning/wind + magnify and first strike if you want to delete most normal enemies immediately.  She does tremendous damage with the right setup and will make the hardest simulation battles a lot easier.  Don't just leave her as a support chump like Barret.

Barret is just a support chump like I just said,  he might be able to do some pretty good damage with the right setups but I always just leave him as 2x HP up, 1 or 2 MP up, pray, revive, barrier+magnify if you aren't using magnify elsewhere, steadfast block and then whatever else I feel I need for the fight ahead.  I mostly just use him to raise the stagger gauge and heal/buff.  The other characters are better at killing things.

Don't overvalue MP ups too much, if you don't anticipate using a lot of MP on your melee fighters don't give them MP up.  You also probably don't even need 2 on Aerith if you use the circlet.  I did the pride and joy simulation with only 1 MP up on her and the lowest I got in the fight was 40 MP.  I beat it in 16 minutes as well so it wasn't like I was taking my time waiting on summons/limit breaks or MP regen.  Aggressive play is the way I prefer to approach hard though.  You can recover MP from boxes and such while playing through every chapter on hard so its not a big deal to use it when needed.  Just don't waste your MP on healing your whole party when pray exists and never cast if you think you'll be interrupted.

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4 hours ago, Cloudbahamut said:


The trick with Bahamut seems to be to keep HP up and use Manawall before he does Megaflare and save all Limit Breaks for Ifrit to kill him in two attacks. With Aerith as healer using Magnify/Curaga combo (or Regen) and Cloud using Manawall (and using Pray as backup healing when MP run low) it seems to be entirely doable. Certainly not that much harder then Dark Bahamut in FF X. Now that boss was a nightmare. At least VII Remake Bahamut is not blasting you with two 99.999 attacks (Megaflare and Impulse) in a row and hasn't 4 Millon HP.

 

Tried that plus more, problem I had was I would just get into poo when Ifrit pops up and either couldnt get my health high enough or cast manawall in time, manawall would always wear off and I could never get both in on time.

 

Got a few other ideas, tried the common ones, but decided to go back later and play through chapters.

 

Some of these setups are cool though. Literally just tanked Chapter 5 boss on hard without healing anyone at all other than casting a single regen on my main dmg dealer to begin. Standing beside the boss for 4 minutes attacking without healing anyone!!

 

Im sure by the time I get back to Ch17, Pride and Joy will be a piece of cake!!

 

I was just having trouble going from Easy diffculty to Pride and Joy without no hard practice in between. 

 

Better for me to break myself into hard first by going through the game a bit rather than jump straight in at the deep end xD

 

 

1 hour ago, Elegy said:

I am surprised to see not many people use ATB generating materias.  First strike is incredibly useful for normal enemies since you can just open up with triple slash or a spell+magnify which often ends the fight or puts it heavily in your favor before the enemies have even begun to do anything on hard.  You don't really have to worry about healing as much if the enemies are pressured or killed almost immediately.

ATB Assist is one of the best materias in the game as well.. especially on Tifa with a high speed build.  You use 2 ATB segments in a row and it gives everyone in the party an ATB boost.  ATB stagger materias are very good for boss fights as they really set you up for a huge damage phase if you use them.  Steadfast block is great for hard mode.. and Parry is just amazing on Tifa.  If you spam it you can do this quick dash that gives her insane mobility.  It is also decent on Cloud since you can move in Punisher mode with it, but its no where near as good as the animation that Tifa has.

Typically, I will run 2x HP up, ATB assist, steadfast block, parry, fire/ice/lightning/wind + elemental in weapon, and then leave 2 materia slots open for whatever I think I will need with Tifa in a given situation.

With Cloud it is pretty much the same as Tifa with 2x HP up, steadfast block, first strike or ATB stagger, fire/ice/lightning/wind + elemental in weapon, 2x luck up, and then 2 open slots for whatever.  Typically I will leave the open slots as chakra/heal + revive, but can also substitute in other things such as barrier+magnify or time+magnify.  If I want to use Cloud as more of a support role such as the hell house fight then I'd take the luck ups off and fill in as needed.

Aerith.. is best used for damage with a little bit of support in pray and maybe revive.  With 2x HP up, 2x Magic up, 1 or 2 MP up, pray, and then you can use fire/ice/lightning/wind + magnify and first strike if you want to delete most normal enemies immediately.  She does tremendous damage with the right setup and will make the hardest simulation battles a lot easier.  Don't just leave her as a support chump like Barret.

Barret is just a support chump like I just said,  he might be able to do some pretty good damage with the right setups but I always just leave him as 2x HP up, 1 or 2 MP up, pray, revive, barrier+magnify if you aren't using magnify elsewhere, steadfast block and then whatever else I feel I need for the fight ahead.  I mostly just use him to raise the stagger gauge and heal/buff.  The other characters are better at killing things.

Don't overvalue MP ups too much, if you don't anticipate using a lot of MP on your melee fighters don't give them MP up.  You also probably don't even need 2 on Aerith if you use the circlet.  I did the pride and joy simulation with only 1 MP up on her and the lowest I got in the fight was 40 MP.  I beat it in 16 minutes as well so it wasn't like I was taking my time waiting on summons/limit breaks or MP regen.  Aggressive play is the way I prefer to approach hard though.  You can recover MP from boxes and such while playing through every chapter on hard so its not a big deal to use it when needed.  Just don't waste your MP on healing your whole party when pray exists and never cast if you think you'll be interrupted.

 

ATB stagger gives a awesome boost (ATB assist only half a bar though), but the problem with it is that you must stagger via a ability or normal attack. If you stagger with a spell, the ATB stagger boost doesn't proc ;(. Not for me anyway

 

There are other options to just putting heals on everyone. You can make one character a tank and not have to worry about healing by using the following - 

- HP absorp + and whatever element (weakness if enemy has)

- Mp regen + same element as above.

- 2 x Magic Ups

- 1 x HP up and maybe 1 x MP up.

- 2 slots free to decide yourself

- Best magic weapon on main.

- Ring that gives 10% magic and 5 magic attack or something.

- Have support cast regen/manawall/haste on main at start and put autocure on one of them. The one with barrier/haste, give them enchanted ring (increases buff time) and the regen character give the curative ring (increase healing effects, can remember name)

 

With this, you just stand next to boss, keep attacking with main, then spam spell as soon as possible. This was letting me tank Chapter 5 boss while leaving AI characters alone other than doing the start casts.

 

Not put it into effect further yet, but can wait to. Most of hard is knowing enemy weakness etc, i'm not so sure you have to learn all their moves yet, as you see above, I didn't need to block/dodge at all for Chapter 5 boss, but knowing the weak points and WHERE/WHEN to hit them really help

 

As an example, chapter 5 boss, when you stagger it, a generator reveals itself only during the stagger and when I target that, I do 9999 dmg with basic thunder on hard with Cloud lol.

 

Also, do people know you can STOP certain bosses during the stagger and it freezes them in stagger for about 6 seconds longer!! Great tip that, Chapter 5 boss, its 3rd phase stagger shoots down really fast, but if I cast STOP straight away, I can just spam the generator a few times for 9999 dmg and its KO!!

 

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7 hours ago, Cloudbahamut said:

Hm so I should definitely go for beating Pride and Joy before doing Hard mode to get Götterdämmerung ?

I have started another run on Normal first now as I only played Classic and Easy so far and want to get more used to what it will be like on Hard. Also wanna use this run to max out all materia that I need for my Hard setup as I only want to get into Hard with max level and maxed out materia. After the Normal run I should be good to go to take on the Shinra combat simulations on Hard.

I wouldn't waste my time with  another normal run. It would be a better investment to grind every character and a lot of materias to max level using the bonuses you get after beating the game (I used the chapter 14 collapsed road and the chapter 16 shinra garage), then start Hard and play the first couple chapters to get manuscripts so your weapons get to level 6. After that you are definitely ready to beat Pride and Joy, since anything else wouldn't really affect your chances of beating that fight. Götterdämmerung is a really nice accesory to have early on your hard run, and you need it to get the platinum, but it's not  like you can't beat the game without it. So it's up to you in the end to decide when to tackle that fight.

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I started hard mode at level 38 and its not hard at all. You have to switch materias all the time to always have the advantage, I run with MP and HP up, Pray and Chakra, the rest I change depending on the fight. Bio is really usefull on bosses, probably did 10.000 damage to hellhouse during the fight, was doing like 150 per second and casted only twice for 10 MP total I think.

 

I just ran out of MP once during chapter 8 and just because I did all sidequests, but Aerirh can drain MP with her skill and also has 20% MP cost down plus the skill to double cast. During the big robot sidequest I drained MP twice and with 16 MP I double cast Thundaja for 14.000 damage, Cloud was just there to tank and use Chakra when low. Am currently at chapter 11 had to retry airbuster a couple times and that was it.

 

Anyone knows if hard mode changes enemies attacks? Airbuster was using B.Bombs even when I removed all of them and hellhouse summons 3 tomberries dont remember if he did on normal.

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6 hours ago, Optinooby said:

Also, do people know you can STOP certain bosses during the stagger and it freezes them in stagger for about 6 seconds longer!! Great tip that, Chapter 5 boss, its 3rd phase stagger shoots down really fast, but if I cast STOP straight away, I can just spam the generator a few times for 9999 dmg and its KO!!

 

 

What! That's nuts, I wasn't sure how visible the effects of STOP would be. I'll have to try this out.

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9 hours ago, DemonicDraco said:

I never used manawall at all so I can assure you all that barrier materia isn't necessary. ..

 


You can't survive Megaflare without Manawall unless you use Reprieve which only leaves you with 1 HP. Seems incredibly risky.

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39 minutes ago, Cloudbahamut said:


You can't survive Megaflare without Manawall unless you use Reprieve which only leaves you with 1 HP. Seems incredibly risky.

 

You can bud if you have a Revival Necklace active still or the Reprieve core skill still active

Edited by Optinooby
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1 minute ago, Optinooby said:

 

You can bud if you have a Revival Necklace active still or the Reprieve core skill still active

 

Do those two stack? Can I get two revives or do they both proc at the same time making it redundant?

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Just now, Optinooby said:

 

You can bud if you have a Revival Necklace active still or the Reprieve core skill still active


maybe you should read properly. I mentioned Reprieve. And as I said it leaves you with 1 HP. Risky as fuck. Also I ain't your bud. Stop talking to me like this.

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5 minutes ago, h4mx0r said:

 

Do those two stack? Can I get two revives or do they both proc at the same time making it redundant?

 

Cant say for sure but would assume they would stack otherwise its a waste, not sure which would go first though

 

6 minutes ago, Cloudbahamut said:


maybe you should read properly. I mentioned Reprieve. And as I said it leaves you with 1 HP. Risky as fuck. Also I ain't your bud. Stop talking to me like this.

 

My apologies, thought we are all friendly here and somehow I completely overlooked the word 'reprieve', maybe I do no need help reading ;(

 

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5 hours ago, Montyzu said:

I started hard mode at level 38 and its not hard at all. You have to switch materias all the time to always have the advantage, I run with MP and HP up, Pray and Chakra, the rest I change depending on the fight. Bio is really usefull on bosses, probably did 10.000 damage to hellhouse during the fight, was doing like 150 per second and casted only twice for 10 MP total I think.

 

I just ran out of MP once during chapter 8 and just because I did all sidequests, but Aerirh can drain MP with her skill and also has 20% MP cost down plus the skill to double cast. During the big robot sidequest I drained MP twice and with 16 MP I double cast Thundaja for 14.000 damage, Cloud was just there to tank and use Chakra when low. Am currently at chapter 11 had to retry airbuster a couple times and that was it.

 

Anyone knows if hard mode changes enemies attacks? Airbuster was using B.Bombs even when I removed all of them and hellhouse summons 3 tomberries dont remember if he did on normal.

 

Guard Scorpion used his Tail laser twice in a row too.

 

So yeah, Most bosses have a little something new and I love it.

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5 hours ago, Cloudbahamut said:


You can't survive Megaflare without Manawall unless you use Reprieve which only leaves you with 1 HP. Seems incredibly risky.

Its not since he doesnt do anything faster than you can cast a few recovery spells.

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I did Hard mode with a hodgepodge of random Materia, lol. It's not really that hard tbh and every boss is different anyway so your setup will be determine by that. For the very last VR battle I did have steadfast block on everyone because one of the tricks you'll learn with this game on hard is to exploit the enemy AI. They will practically always go for the character you're using so you can use that to your advantage a lot. Also, the trick to Bahamut is to make sure your ATB is maxed out as he's about to Megaflare, so go easy on dps after he gets to "one"

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