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Final Fantasy 16 Garuda boss strategy

Clash of the Eikons.

Garuda is the first major Eikon you’ll battle against in Final Fantasy 16 and also the first proper Eikon vs Eikon battle excluding the prologue, so believe us when we say things get epic.

You’ll have already gained the power of this wind-based Eikon in a fight against its dominant Benedikta Harman in Final Fantasy 16. Yet she somehow still manages to transform into Garuda, forming a tempest that threatens to blow away the land, so it’s up to Clive to finish the fight against Benedikta for good.

This battle occurs during the main scenario quest 'Awakening' at the end of The Eye of the Tempest stage. The stage itself is pretty short, although the boss fight itself is long and split into two parts. But, with more Eikon abilities to play with than previous encounters and an Eikon to awaken too, it’s time to see what you’re made of.

This guide will provide you with all the information you need to beat back against Garuda’s winds, including how to beat Garuda during Eikon vs Eikon.

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How to prepare for Garuda in Final Fantasy 16

When you face Garuda in Final Fantasy 16, you will have also unlocked the powers of Garuda for your own use along with your starting Phoenix abilities. Unlike traditional RPG mechanics, picking one elemental ability won’t be better or worse against an enemy with the same element, so you can definitely use Garuda’s abilities against her.

We highly recommend unlocking Rook’s Gambit - an ability that has you jumping back to dodge an attack before jumping back in with a punishing counter. When timed right, this counter is even more effective, and even more so if you spend ability points to upgrade it, which will increase the number of hits. Pair this with Gouge, which is highly effective at taking down the will gauge to stagger enemies, and you’ve got a terrific combination. If you’re short on ability points, remember that you can reset any abilities you’re not making much use of and then spend these points on your new powers instead.

Do not ignore Garuda’s Eikonic ability, which turns into a deadly takedown when a boss has been partially staggered when their will gauge has been reduced to 50 percent. The takedown will give you a good window to wail on them but it must be done very soon after they enter partial stagger, which you’ll also hear a sound effect for.

You shouldn’t need to grind in preparation as this is still relatively early in the game, but do make sure you stock up on potions and other consumables at the Hideaway, as well as forge new gear from the blacksmith. If you notice the new equipment has lower stats than the last gear you upgraded, you can reinforce it to get the full benefits - if you have the required materials, of course.

Once you’re prepared, go to the world map and make your way to The Eye of the Tempest.

How to defeat Garuda in Final Fantasy 16

At first, you’ll be pursuing a hooded figure in this stage while Garuda occasionally swoops down to impede your path. Once you reach the end of the stage, a cutscene will start that sees Garuda using her wind magic to fling Clive into the air before grabbing him. You’ll get a QTE prompt to hit Square for a cinematic strike, before the fight properly begins.

This fight is set in a fairly small arena space with Garuda kneeling, but still towering over Clive at the front with her massive winged talons on either side. Unsurprisingly, she’ll be using those talons to attack; either bearing both down at the same time straight down in front of her , or using one to swipe at you. It should be clarified that these talons are part of her wings as she still has arms, which interestingly telegraph how her winged talons are going to strike. She may also lift her leg up to briefly charge up before performing a spinning tornado kick.

In any case, watch for these strikes and try to time a precision dodge, so you can follow up with a counter, or, better yet, go with Rook’s Gambit. You’ll find that locking on targets her head, which you’ll have difficulty reaching with just ground attacks, so using Phoenix Shift to warp up to her head is good for landing a couple aerial hits.

Still, the damage you deal is a bit negligible, though you’ll notice Garuda’s will gauge goes down quicker. I if you use your Eikon abilities like Gouge. As it will be the first time you’re using Garuda in a boss fight, when you bring her will down to 50 percent, a tutorial pop-up will explain the takedown mechanic. , s So make sure you use Garuda’s Deadly Embrace to topple the Eikon, and, ideally, have another ability not on cooldown to take advantage of this window.

While you won’t deal much damage when she’s toppled, the point is to take her will gauge right down so that she’s properly staggered. Garuda collapses to the ground once staggered, leaving her head exposed for all the combos and Eikon abilities you can muster, assuming they’re not all in cooldown if you spent them all trying to stagger her.

The Burning Blade skill is a very effective alternative to have unlocked and mastered in this situation too. While you charge the attack with Square and then release to unleash - mastering the skill reduces the charge time - you can actually start charging another attack in the middle of the animation for the first. That means it’s quite possible to deliver a Burning Blade attack, then have another charge ready to go several frames after the first attack has finished. This way you can deal quite a few of these out in quick succession while you wait for your more powerful Eikon abilities’ cooldown to reset. If you’ve been efficient, you’ll have reduced Garuda’s health to 50 percent by the time she recovers from stagger.

Once down to half her health, Garuda unleashes Aerial Blast where, instead of hunching over you, she whips up her magic, sending pillars of tornadoes to toss you up in the air. During this, you can’t reach her physically but can still fire off your own ranged magic spells at her, with Chared Shots being ideal for this, to continue chipping down her will gauge. Mostly, you’ll want to focus on dodging those tornadoes or making sure you’ve got swift recovery so you can get back up quickly.

After this, the aura will dissipate and Garuda hunches back down to attack you with her winged talons again. It’s similar to before except there will also be sporadic pillars of tornadoes to watch out for - telegraphed by a streaming green and black light.

Keep up the same tactics until you can stagger Garuda, then continue wailing on her until she’s down to about 5 percent of her health. At this point, the action will transition into cinematics with a few QTEs. You’ll be prompted to hit Square for a cinematic strike twice, followed by a prompt to mash Square to execute a cinematic clash.

At the end of this, a message will come up to say Garuda Slain and you’ll reap 55 sharp fang materials, 100 XP, 100 ability points, and 500 Gil. Only, it’s not actually over. Watch the cutscene that follows and you’ll get a major revelation in the story. More importantly, the fight against Garuda continues, except this time you’re in control of the Eikon Ifrit!

How to defeat Garuda during Eikon vs Eikon in Final Fantasy 16

Whereas Clive was at a disadvantage previously, now it’s an even Eikon vs Eikon kaiju-style scrap. That said, your Eikon controls are quite basic here; with Square for melee attacks, Triangle for ranged fireball, R1 to evade, and Circle for a lunging dash.

That does make this phase of the fight somewhat simpler, as you’ll just need to watch for Garuda’s strikes, evade and then charge in to mash Ifrit’s attacks. When Garuda retreats, just chase her down and continue the assault, taking care to dodge any wind blasts she fires off from a distance.

Garuda also has a Tornado attack, where she sends out three pillars of tornadoes towards you, which you can side step around. While it’s tempting to hold back and just let off your fireball projectiles, though it can cancel out any wind projectile Garuda sends like in a Street Fighter match, aggression works well. Especially since Ifrit’s lunge is quite fast, so just rush in and go hard with the hits when you get an opening. At the end of these melee combos, you can also further punish as Ifrit will grab Garuda and then slam her back down like something out of a pro wrestling match.

When down to about two-thirds of health, Garuda will take to the air to unleash Skyfall where she gathers nearby rocks into one huge rock to slam down on you. This triggers a QTE so mash Square to execute a cinematic clash.

Following this, Garuda can, much like in the first phase, unleash Aerial Blast, but, as Ifrit, this will be more like an AOE attack you want to back away from until it’s over. But besides that, the fight will continue pretty much in the same fashion.

When Garuda is down to a third of her health, the action changes to a cutscene as the Eikons clash in the air. It’s pretty wild, so we won’t spoil the details, but there will be quite a few QTE prompts throughout. The first three being to press Square for cinematic strikes, followed by three where you’re mashing Square for cinematic clashes, culminating in Ifrit’s signature Hellfire ability and slaying Garuda for good this time.

Garuda reward in Final Fantasy 16

Besides the rewards from defeating Garuda in the first phase in Final Fantasy 16, properly slaying Garuda earns a rare Wind Shard material used for crafting a new weapon, 60 Wyrrite and 2 Meteorite crafting materials, as well as 400 XP, 200 ability points, and 2,500 Gil.

More importantly is the revelation of just who Ifrit is, and how Clive’s going to handle that. We’ve still barely scratched the surface on this journey, however, and there’s still plenty more to Ifrit, which you’ll discover as you continue Final Fantasy 16.

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