Note. This guide only covers boss fights from the main story (Episode 5 onwards). Optional bosses are not listed, neither are there any strategies here for coliseum battles.
Xan Hisam – Before we start with our guide, I’d like to touch up on something crucial for these (and all other) boss fights, Libra. At the start of a boss battle, cast Libra on all targets. The quicker you cast Libra, the less time you waste employing attacks that your opponent is immune or resistant to.
The purpose isn’t just to find out an enemy’s strengths or weaknesses, however. Once you’ve obtained all information of a foe, all AI-controlled party members will automatically make better decisions, using abilities that have the maximum effect on an enemy. Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to move on to the last eight boss fights of Final Fantasy XIII-2.
The first boss you’re going to face in Episode 5 is Caius Ballad, and not just once, but twice! You’ve fought him before in the game, and you will fight him a couple times more.
Caius won’t be at his strongest in these two battles, but he will be making use of some new abilities that you haven’t seen him use in your previous encounter.
To add up to the difficulty, your party will be divided. The third and final boss battle for Episode 5 is against Gogmagog, the second most overused creature that you have boss fights against after Caius.
The Void Beyond ??? AF (Caius Ballad – First Battle)
For the first battle, you’ll only have access to Serah and your monsters. You’re going to need a strong, SEN monster and Serah in her SAB role. Other paradigms you’ll find helpful would be a SAB and a MED. A few buffs from a SYN wouldn’t hurt either.
Caius will continually buff himself with various status effects, and debuff your party with Curse, Deprotect and Shell. Keep dispelling his buffs, while casting Esuna or counter-buffing to cure your team of all status ailments inflicted upon them.
Use elemental attacks, since Caius is resistant to physical and magic damage. Wound damage works well too. Poison is vital for countering his Regen, so make sure he’s always under the effects of it.
Don’t try to build up the chain gauge or stagger him because, well, you can’t. Technically, you can, but you can’t always since Caius can cast Chain Break which instantly resets the chain gauge back to 100% whenever it gets high.
With 12,000 HP, Caius won’t take too long to die if you do keep him poisoned for the whole fight. You don’t really want the fight to go on for long either.
Caius can inflict Wound damage on your party via an ability called Blast Wave, so keeping the battle short is in your best interest. Nevertheless, Caius goes down easily, and he shouldn’t really give you a hard time in this fight.
A Dying World 700 AF (Caius Ballad – Second Battle)
The second battle against Caius is a simple one. You’ll only be controlling Noel however, and you’re pretty much stuck with the roles you have unlocked for him.
If you do have SAB on him, the strategy from the first fight should work just fine. If not, just use the roles you’ve focused on leveling for Noel. Either way, defeating Caius should only take a few minutes as he only has 5,000 hit points and much lower stats than before.
His attack patterns are almost identical to the one in the preceding battle. His ability set has a minor change and he doesn’t use debuffs on you anymore. If you do have SAB, inflict Poison and switch to COM or RAV depending on whichever your Noel is better at, and just burst away.
You probably won’t need to heal during the battle, but if you do get low on HP, just toss a potion at yourself or switch to MED. Change role to SEN whenever Caius employs one of his heavy attacks to minimize damage.
The final battle in the fifth episode of the game is also the most difficult (relatively) and time consuming fights of the three. Unlike Caius Ballad however, you’ll be fighting this Rift Beast for the last time. You will have your whole party for this battle though.
As you can see from the table above, Gogmagog isn’t weak against any attack type or element and neither is it resistant to any of them. Gogmagog starts the battle in a weird way.
At first, it will cast debuffs on itself. Then, once he’s finished applying Deshell, Defaith, Debrave, Deprotect, Fog and Pain, he’ll transfer them onto you by casting Hellish Breath.
Hellish Breath deals wound damage in addition to inflicting all those debuffs to all foes, which in this case, is your team. Moreover, apart from employing other damaging attacks, Gogmagog heals itself via an ability called Absolution.
Gogmagog can only use Hellish Breath when its afflicted with all six of the aforementioned debuffs (it only casts 2 at a time using Writhe).
When it’s busy debuffing itself early on, shift to COM/RAV/RAV and build that chain gauge. Since Gogmagog will be under the effects of Deprotect and Deshell, it should be taking a good bit of damage from your attacks.
Set your paradigm to COM/MED/MED or SEN/MED/MED right before Gogmagog uses Hellish Breath. Having two MEDs will allow you to clear all debuffs rather quickly. Don’t spend too long healing or removing debuffs otherwise Gogmagog might recover a good amount of hit points.
Shift back to your offensive paradigms and continue bursting it with attacks until it staggers, after which you’ll keep on doing the same thing ‘til it dies. This should be enough to take it down. If Gogmagog survives, just rinse and repeat.