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- The final battle against Bhunivelze consists of four distinct phases. There is no break between any of them, so your Schemata setup must be well equipped to handle each one. Our recommendations focus heavily on offense, and while it may take one or two attempts to become familiar with the enemy’s abilities and patterns, you will ultimately be better off mastering the strategic principles behind staggering and dealing damage quickly to avoid the more severe attacks in Bhunivelze’s arsenal.
- 1st Form: Bhunivelze will open with Doom, imposing a time limit for the first phase of the battle. He uses basic non-elemental attacks in addition to ailment spells. Though many of his abilities are disruptive, they are not especially dangerous. Use Deprotect and Imperil and exploit the induced elemental weakness with physical attacks. Trigger Transform Bravery to power up your attacks even further. Use your dual Jump setups to stagger. This causes Unprotected, which should allow you to finish off this phase quickly.
- 2nd Form: After creating a set of roaming mines with Monad Beget, Bhunivelze will focus on using elemental spells, which can be powered up further after using a corresponding Spirit ability that alters his elemental resistances. Refresh Deprotect and Imperil constantly and follow the same strategy until you stagger this form. This produces an Unshelled effect, allowing you to deal more damage with your equipped elemental spells. Alternatively, trigger Transform Bravery if possible and continue to hack away with your physical attacks. Be sure to guard against Wings of Destruction after adding Stagger Preservation with Attack or Light Slash.
- 2nd Form (Genethliac Hymn): When Bhunivelze begins to charge this attack, shift all your efforts to staggering. At this point, Lightning will have to leap into the air to use physical attacks, so Jump is no longer available and Beat Down becomes less efficient, though still useful. Consider opening with Light Slash and casting spells repeatedly, switching between your Schemata to remain airborne. Staggering results in Falling Star, a strong magic attack, but nevertheless preferable to the non-staggered result, Dancing Mad, which is twice as powerful. If you are sufficiently strong, you can clear the second form without having to deal with Genethliac Hymn; you may consider Overclocking to ensure this.
- 3rd Form: Bhunivelze’s physical-based offense will pose a much greater threat if you do not guard against his weapon attacks, which can launch you into a long combo and disrupt your staggering. As a rule, be patient and guard consistently during your opponent’s long strings of attacks, then go all out on the offensive between those phases. Holy Blade bestows Vigilance, Faith, and Bravery over multiple instances. Eventually, Bhunivelze will use his ultimate attack, Hypernova, which locks out your menu. The window to react before its execution is very small, so keep your health up when you anticipate its arrival. As with the previous form, it is possible to prevent Hypernova from becoming a factor by pressing for a quick victory. This is where Heavy Slash comes into play: you can take advantage of the Dazed effect induced upon staggering this form to deal massive damage with a single blow.
- 4th Form: This final phase is designed purely to test your staggering skills. Bhunivelze takes very little damage, is immune to ailments if not staggered and attacks regularly. Furthermore, he becomes an aerial target, making Jump non-applicable. Use Light Slash to leap into the air and alternate between your Schemata to cast spells or use Beat Down. Be sure to guard all of its attacks to prevent interruptions and mix in an occasional Light Slash or Attack for Stagger Preservation. Your greatest opportunity to expedite your stagger is during Heartless Angel, which takes a long time to execute and renders Bhunivelze idle until its conclusion. As soon as you see the notification, Overclock and pile on as many hits toward stagger as you can. After Overclock ends, you can repeat the process or continue to cast spells on the ground until the camera zooms in on Lightning, at which point you need to guard to prevent Heartless Angel from reducing your HP to 1. Once you have successfully staggered, the battle is effectively over. Bhunivelze’s susceptibility to damage and ailments increases dramatically and you’ll have plenty of time to deplete his health after weakening him with all available status effects.
- Bhunivelze+ has only two forms, the first of which is a fusion of the first three forms of Bhunivelze with a single HP bar. During this part of the battle, he will switch between any of the forms fluidly, so you need to be very familiar with his attack patterns in order to defeat him efficiently.
- The latter stage of the fight is functionally identical to the fourth and final form of Bhunivelze. The only difference is that he will cast Doom, which you can cancel by staggering him efficiently and quickly.
- The drop rate for Double Deity is significantly higher when fighting Bhunivelze+ (15% chance, as opposed to only 5% against the standard version of Bhunivelze), so if you have yet to acquire this weapon, you should definitely equip the Beggar’s Beads to improve your chances.
The Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Complete Official Guide reveals the stats, hidden parameters, and ability list of both Bhunivelze and Bhunivelze+. It also offers the complete breakdown of the suggested Schemata setup which is used in the accompanying video.
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