Final Fantasy 13-2 Boss Strategy Guide

Your definitive guide to Final Fantasy 13-2 Boss Battles.

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.

For more help on Final Fantasy 13-2, read our Crystarium Roles and Paradigm Decks, Equipment and Farming Guide.

Episode 5

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.

You should be able to defeat it with the same strategy, since Gogmagog won’t change his tactics or use a secret ability that it wasn’t previously making use of.

Episode 6

Since Episode 6 is the final episode of the game, the difficulty for boss battles ramps up significantly with each subsequent boss fight.

None of the boss fights in the story are, however, immensely challenging or even close to being as hard as most coliseum battles and some of the optional bosses. Expect more fights with Caius (two in fact) and battles with four variations of Bahamut.

The first boss fight is against two Pacos; Amethyst and Luvulite, both with varying strengths and weaknesses. After that, your next encounter with a boss will be with Chaos Bahamut, which will trigger a series of boss battles. The following battles, including the fight with Chaos Bahamut, are Final Fantasy XIII-2’s final four.

Academia 500 AF (Pacos Amethyst and Pacos Luvulite)
Fire and Ice, that’s all you need to remember when fighting these two giraf….I mean, Pacos (or is it Pacoses, or Paci? Oh well).

In case you still don’t get which Pacos is vulnerable to which element, Amethyst is susceptible to fire and Luvulite is weak against ice. Both of them absorb the opposing elements, so be careful who you’re targeting with which ability when fighting these two.

Amethyst and Luvulite use the same set of attacks and abilities. Only their elemental abilities employ differing elements (out of fire and ice) depending on the elemental affinity of the Pacos who uses the ability.

Both of them have heavy damaging AoE attacks of their respective elements, so equipping accessories that grant elemental (fire and ice) or magic resistance will help reduce the damage you receive.

Another thing you need to keep in mind when fighting these two is that you have to finish off Amethyst and Luvulite in quick succession. Defeating either of the two results in the surviving Pacos commencing a chant, at the end of which the Pacos that you dispatched is revived.

I bet it sounds like a troublesome battle, especially when you consider their stats and 250,400 hit points. That isn’t the case however, because the Pacos that is resuscitated only has hit points equal to the current hit points of the Pacos that resurrected it. To put it simply, you’ll finish them off – eventually.

Eventually isn’t always good enough, particularly when the enemy uses attacks that deal wound damage, and with much frequency. You have to beat them, and beat them fast.

To do so, you’ll have to ensure that whichever Pacos you’re attacking is afflicted with Deprotect and Deshell, for which you will have to use a SAB.

Right before you kill the one you’ve been attacking, switch back to SAB and stick Deshell and Deprotect on to the other Pacos. This way, you won’t waste any time attempting to inflict those two ailments during the chant.

Since neither of the two Pacos inflict any status ailments on your party, you won’t have to use a MED much, except for healing purposes whenever a member of your party is running dangerously low on hit points.

Feel free to buff your team with a SYN, and as the Pacos can’t debuff you, you won’t have to cast buffs over and over again.

Rest of the time, stick to an offensive paradigm, preferably Relentless Assault (COM/RAV/RAV). If you aren’t immensely underleveled (in which case the only thing I can suggest is fighting a lot more monsters), this battle shouldn’t be too difficult.

Final Boss Battles

If you’ve been sticking to the main story, you’re probably going to find the final four battles Final Fantasy XIII-2 a tad bit challenging. You’ll have to prepare accordingly before triggering these chain battles. Use the following Paradigm Deck:

Once you’ve set your paradigms, begin your fight with Chaos Bahamut.

Round 1 – Chaos Bahamut
This is one mean boss with immense offensive capabilities. A quick look at the above table and you can tell that Chaos Bahamut has no weaknesses, none! Well, if it doesn’t have a weakness, then we’ll just have to make one. Problem is – it’s immune to most status ailments, and highly resistant to the rest.

Successfully casting Deprotect on it with your SAB can take a while. Keep trying until you finally land it, switching between SEN/SEN/SEN to reduce damage from heavy attacks and MED/MED/MED to stay at high health apart from the SAB paradigm.

When you do finally stick that Deprotect on to Chaos Bahamut, shift to COM/COM/SYN for a brief period. Once the SYN has applied a few buffs on your party, switch to COM/COM/COM and continue attacking Chaos Bahamut until you’ve defeated it.

You’ll still have to use the SEN/SEN/SEN and MED/MED/MED paradigms at time, so don’t just leave it at COM/COM/COM.

Staggering Chaos Bahamut isn’t exactly a viable option, since Chaos Bahamut’s stagger resistance is at 999.9%. Don’t concentrate on building up the chain gauge, and leave it at whichever level it is when you’re done sticking Deprotect with the SAB/RAV/RAV paradigm.

It will usually reset as you won’t be using a COM in between to maintain the chain gauge for long. Another thing, don’t tally around for long.

Chaos Bahamut has some strong AoE spells at its disposal when in hover mode, and once it uses Metamorphosis and changes form to flying mode, it has access to three devastating attacks.

Your best bet is to shift to SEN/SEN/SEN to reduce damage, particularly when it casts Megaflare. Megaflare is the most powerful attack in Chaos Bahamut’s arsenal, and it inflicts massive wound damage. That’s the reason why you can’t spend too much time healing yourself in the MED/MED/MED paradigm.

If you do as I’ve previously instructed you to, you’ll defeat Chaos Bahamut in a couple of minutes. If Chaos Bahamut does survive the initial onslaught and its Deprotect wears off, simply repeat the whole procedure, or if Chaos Bahamut is below 25% health, you can continue attacking it with the COM/COM/COM paradigm until it goes down.

Round 2 – Caius Ballad
Guess whose back? Caius Ballad, and he’s bigger, better and stronger than ever. Okay, he’s not bigger but he has definitely learned a few new slick moves while retaining all his abilities from before. Yep, he still resets the chain gauge with Chain Break, and buffs himself like crazy.

You can’t provoke him either in this fight. Still, he only has 38,830 hit points and you’ve got your whole team this time, so this battle really isn’t that challenging.

Anyway, the strategy is the same as before. You have to inflict Poison on Caius to counter his HP regen, and put up Deprotect and Deshell on him. Once done, shift to the COM/COM/SYN paradigm, wait until you’re buffed, and then switch to COM/RAV/RAV. Keep doing this for a while and you’ll defeat Caius.

Be careful of Caius’ wound attacks. He’ll focus on attacking a single target of your party until he’s down to half health, but once he hits 50% HP, he’ll start making use of AoE attacks that deal wound damage.

Try to reduce the damage these attacks deal by shifting to SEN/SEN/SEN whenever Caius is casting them. That’s all there is to this fight. Time for ‘Round 3’!

Round 3 – Caius Ballad
Not another Caius Ballad battle! Oh well, that just means less explaining for me. I’ll just concentrate on what’s different this time.

Caius isn’t immune to provoke anymore, he’s got a new, really powerful spell Ultima in his repertoire and an ability that applies Curse, Deprotect, Deshell, Poison and Daze on a single member of your party.

Oh and, you might have to tweak your Paradigm Deck slightly for this fight. Substitute SAB/RAV/RAV with SAB/MED/SEN and you’re all set to beat Caius for the last time.

You’ll be using the same strategy as before. Use the SAB/MED/SEN paradigm to Poison Caius and for debuffing and countering his buffs. After that, just switch to COM/RAV/RAV and fire away. Shift back to SAB/MED/SEN whenever Poison wears off.

Use MED/MED/MED when in dire need of recovering health. You could even stagger him in this battle, as he gets staggered at 200% instead of the 300% mark from the last fight.

Caius only attempts Chain Break when the chain gauge is above 150%, so get the chain gauge close to that mark, wait for Caius to initiate some heavy attacks that takes a while to execute, and burst away with the COM/RAV/RAV paradigm.

If you’re lucky you might manage to stagger him, and when that happens, you’ve pretty much won the fight. Did I mention he revives after you defeat him? Must have slipped my mind, so anyway, employ the same tactics from before and you’ll take him out for the final time.

Final Round – Garnet, Amber and Jet Bahamut
Brace yourself for Final Fantasy XIII-2’s final battle. This fight is broken down into two segments. You first have to take out the two lesser Bahamuts standing in the front line.

Jet Bahamut is invincible until you’ve beaten them both. After dispatching those two, you can target Jet Bahamut, the game’s final boss.

These two Bahamuts are the polar opposites of each other. Much like the battle with the Pacos, you’ll have to switch up your attacks as they both have varying resistances. Garnet is all physical, while Amber is all about magic.

Magic attacks against Amber are ineffective whereas Garnet is resistant to physical damage. Similarly, they both excel at dealing damage through their preferred attack types, and both can recover HP. Garnet also has a spell called Twin Solfire that deals wound damage.

Focus either one of the two and quickly take it out. You need to be fast because Jet Bahamut casts Exa/Tera/Giga-flare every now and then, the strength of the spell depending on how many Bahamuts are alive at that moment.

When all three Bahamuts are up, Jet Bahamut uses the Exa variation of its Flare ability which is powerful enough to wipe your entire team. Jet Bahamut only casts a Flare spell after a countdown, so shift to SEN/SEN/SEN to minimize the damage you take.

To take out either of the two lesser wyrms, inflict Deprotect or Deshell on it and then relentlessly attack it with a COM/RAV/RAV paradigm or COM/COM/COM depending on which one you’re attacking, switching to SEN/SEN/SEN or MED/MED/MED when needed. Moving to COM/COM/SYN briefly helps as well.

One of the Bahamuts however, applies debuffs on your team members, so I wouldn’t suggest using COM/COM/SYN while it’s alive.

Once you’ve dispatched the two smaller Bahamuts, Jet Bahamut will move in on your team. The first attack it employs will inflict various debuffs on your party. Shift to SAB/MED/SEN to cure your party of all the debuffs and to inflict Poison on Jet Bahamut.

After successfully casting Poison on it, change your paradigm to COM/RAV/RAV. Continue pounding at it and making use of the same strategy until you defeat it.

Don’t forget to defend yourself against Gigaflare with SEN/SEN/SEN. Jet Bahamut does have a few tricks up its sleeve that you need to keep in mind as well.

Firstly, it uses a few AoE attacks to damage your party. The second ability you need to look out for is an attack in which it summons a massive sword and drops it on your party.

It isn’t fatal however, so you don’t have to be in SEN/SEN/SEN every time. The real threat comes from Ebon Seeds, although they can be countered easily.

These crystal-like creatures function pretty much the same way as bombs do. If you don’t finish them off quickly, they’ll self-destruct and inflict a great deal of damage.

They’re weak against all elements however, and only have 3,000 hit points so they shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you concentrate on dispatching them whenever they spawn.

The last thing you need to know is that Amber and Garnet re-appear after a while. Jet Bahamut resurrects either one of the two, and it probably will if you’ve been focusing on the main story, because; chances are, you’re not that strong to kill it fast enough.

Not to worry though, since Jet Bahamut returns to the back lane and only uses Flare attacks again. Concentrate on defeating whichever lesser Bahamut is revived, and resume your fight with Jet Bahamut.

Take forever to beat the newly revived wyrm and you’ll have to take out the other one as well, since Jet Bahamut resurrects the other after a certain amount of time.

When you do get back to your battle with Jet Bahamut, just use the same strategy as before. Jet Bahamut won’t be casting any new abilities, or mixing up its attack pattern, so the fight should be pretty straightforward.

If you do everything the way you’ve been instructed to, you should find yourself at the battle rating screen, and just a key-press away from the ending.

Congratulations! You’ve defeated the final boss! Kick-back, relax and enjoy the ending cut-scenes.
P.S.: You’re welcome, you ungrateful lout!

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Ali is a passionate RPG gamer. He believes that western RPGs still have a lot to learn from JRPGs. He is editor-in-chief at but that doesn't stop him from writing about his favorite video ...