Update: I got him. Turns out I was just fighting him a little early. I went back just before Akzeriuth and had a much easier time. Thanks again.
It is possible to beat him the first time you run across him too. I did so on hard mode. It depends on the strategy you use. I prefer a challenge so I had more fun fighting him right after Arietta. But good job. Just make sure you don't miss the other two fights against him. --- "I don't think we have time for this. Shouldn't we be focused on saving the world?" -Asbel Lhant, side-questing in Tales of Graces.