Hello, all. If anyone has read some of my reviews I've mentioned a term called 'Buff control' before. If you're unsure what this is I will explain to you exactly what this is and how you can benefit from knowing about it and can take the knowledge into a harder content battle. Buff Control: Using a set amount of buffs to alter the battle to a more favorable result. Here is also a wonderful list of buffs & debuffs for you to take note of. [Buffs] *As a note, most buffs last for three turns, I will list if they last more or less. Spoiler: Buff & Debuff list Bar Spells | +30% ST resistance to the specified element | 6 MP Protect | +20% boost to DEF to one ally | 4 MP Bar-a Spells | +50% AoE resistance to specified element | 12 MP Shell | +20% boost to SPR to one ally | 4 MP Bravery | +20% boost to ATK to one ally | 8 MP Faith | +20% boost to MAG to one ally | 8 MP Bar-ga Spells | +70% AoE resistance to specified element | 22 MP Protectga | +40% AoE boost to DEF | 24 MP Shellga | +40% AoE boost to SPR | 24 MP Cheer | +40% AoE boost to ATK/DEF | 48 MP Focus | +40% AoE boost to MAG/SPR | 48 MP [Debuffs & Status] Deprotect | -20% ST DEF Debuff | 4 MP Deshell | -20% ST SPR Debuff | 4 MP Imperil | -20% ST resistances to all elements debuff | 15 MP Break Attacks | 120% ST Physical Attack & -15% Stat Debuff to enemy | 4 MP Full Break | 160% ST Physical Attack & -30% all stats debuff to enemy | 20 MP Sleep | 40% ST chance to put target to Sleep | 4 MP Silence | 40% ST chance to Silence to target | 4 MP Knowing this, It's a known rule that this only applies to harder bosses where you'd actually need to think rather than just press auto and claim gg no re from there. Nono, these you actually swipe and pick the moves, and battle the enemy as effectively correct as possible. Let's start with a boss example. I'll be listing the future boss to come Devil Chimera which his skills can be viewed here. Devil Chimera From here, you can assess how to plan on taking him out. From looking at Devil Chimera we know exactly what we will need to make the fight go a bit smoother rather than a disaster. Things you would want to fight Devil Chimera. - Shell - Magic Break / Full Break - Poisona - Bar spells. - Sleep causing moves. But, where to find these on your team?: Look at your team and see what unit you got that can fit the role the quickest, and fastest way possible. One good member to throw out here would be Cerius cause he has access to 3/5 of the listed things that make the fight easier (You can give him Sleep from crafting) so he's a slot for your team. But, what if you don't have him?: Well, this is where you improvise. Barfira, Barblizzara, and Barthundera can be crafted so you'd have to give it to another unit to try and fit the role, just because the unit doesn't learn the aforementioned abilities doesn't make him/her bad. It's just a matter of versatility and you could use those materia slots to give something better to the unit who could learn the bar spells naturally. But, I'm sure you understand by now right? Let's skip ahead to the fight. AoE Buffing vs ST Buffing: In hard content, it's easily recommended you get up your buffs/debuffs as fast as possible. To prepare yourself for thresholds, or to generally scope the battle so you know what you doing. Depending on what you have on your team, you may have play 1 of 3 ways. 1: AoE Buffs, and Full Break. 2: ST Buffs, and Regular Debuffs 3: Only buffs no debuffs are had. Let me explain in greater detail, okay? 1: This is the safest way you wanna play. Cause you can scope get buff control in a mere 1-2 turns. Cause more than likely you access both Focus & Cheer, and have Full Break. This practically makes your control near prefect cause you at this point would only have to worry about other outside issues like Status which wouldn't be a bother cause of FB you can waste a turn not being buffed at all to be safe. A team example would be like this. - Vaan [Full Break + AoE MAG/SPR Boost] - Cerius [AoE Bar Shields] - Fina [AoE ATK/DEF Boost] - Bartz [DPS] - Cloud of Darkness [DPS] 2: This is the more mid ground, to be more expected situation for most players. We do have Fina who's a healer, and has Cheer as a AoE buffs, but that only helps so far. As Devil Chimera is mainly MAG based this would only help you in his regular attacks that's it. As a result, you would wanna be more aware to see what's more important cause that's what you wanna say up first. Since your using ST buffs use them on your offensive units so they can live more better since they're are not as bulky as your support units. And debuff the more important which would be MAG instead of ATK of the boss we talking about. A good team example would be this. Celes / Roselia / Rain / Lasswell / Duane 3: This is well, the RNG-gamble way as I like to call it. Basically, all you have is buffs to make it work as best as you can, similar to #2 you gotta buff the more important members of your team while hoping your support units can survive, however you have a reduced chance of winning as effectively or having control because the enemy could have buffs stronger than yours. ST buffs like Protect/Shell is a 20% boost in their respected stat, and the opponent could have a 40% boost in simpler words it's gonna be a battle til someone dies. And it's most likely gonna be you. Cause you lack the control to keep it going in your favor. Just remember, use what you can fit to a squad the best way you can. You don't have to have a super prefect squad to beat hard content bosses. You may just need to nudge at RNGesus to get what you want. But, in games like this it's always a RNG hassle even if you do have the best possible setup for bosses haha.