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mrawsh: I remember nearly running out of days, so I pretty much spammed Chronostatis in order so I could do as many requests as possible, and then the unthinkable happened, I went to the opposite end of the scale - I got the fourteenth day ;)!
I didn't get good ratings for my boss battles but I managed to muddle through! Midnight Muave is a good garb, in my opinion, I used it along with the aforementioned L'ange Noir, and Purple Lightning through most of the game until the final boss, where I had to completely change my strategy, as I couldn't get up a good stagger wave! Purple Lightning has has two useful locked abilities, helped me out quite a bit in battle!
I don't think I bought many weapons or shields, usually because they would lower stat X or Y, and to me if that happens, it's a bad thing, I like all my stats to increase, not one to be sacrificed for another, so I matched my weapons, shields and accessories against my garbs, looked at which ones offered me the best stats, same with abilities!
Moeman: I had all my debuffs on one schemata, but that was only for the Dead Dunes on the Earth Eaters, when you're not the only one attacking, thus take a bit of a supportive role!
ATB staving, I remember that happening to me a couple of times, would hurriedly flick through the Schemata after it happened, to see if any of them had regained enough ATB in order to block an incoming attack!
BaKuRi: I know one of the FAQ on here only had one guard, when taking on the final boss, but that didn't work for me, so I went back to a two guard approach, as before, which did work! If you only have one it makes it hard to quickly jump to a defensive stance!
The Tenth Doctor: It used to be easy ... you could hop between realities, home in time for tea.
I just could not defeat any of the bosses my first playthrough. Probably because of my habit of not blocking more than anything else. Also I think I was throwing out -ga spells in order to stagger and nor -ra. This meant that I kept running out of ATB all the time.
I had one more day left as it happened. (doing the sazh main quest must have granted me an extra day) So I ended up doing a bunch more of the sidequests, fought a bunch of battles to get some lvl3 spells etc. before eventually failing and starting again on NG+ - went with easy mode this time too.
Yeah, -ga spells to my experience are AWFUL at staggering because they are so slow both to start up and to cool down and they cannot be combed together.
They do have an application for acting as a "spike" to push an already developed stagger wave over the edge, but even more than that, I'd say they are useful for their high "cut" value that makes them good at disrupting enemy attacks.
I run a -ga spell on my own schemata, combined with curse, for use to stun-lock them at advantageous moments, but -ras are my main staggering tool.
Excellent. I have never seen imperil drop so have never got to use it. I will try and farm it off those creatures you mention. Thanks for the tip!
Second playthrough is going much better so far. I have just competed the first day. Done a few sidequests/board quests in Luxerion, plus done the first bit of the main quest up to looking for the numbers. Then I went to the wildlands and did all the stuff up to being able to ride the bird plus a couple of board quests. Then just got in a visit to the dunes to run to rufian and get the quest to stop the wind.
This probably took me like 4 days in my first playthrough. The fight against the choccobo eater I found really hard first time round. That probably took me the most time. This time though it was really easy.