There are two types of status effects in Lighting Returns: beneficial and detrimental effects.
Status enhancements (also called buffs) are beneficial status effects that improve the defensive or offensive prowess of the user – be that Lightning or an enemy. They play a decisive role in determining the difficulty, duration and final outcome of the more demanding battles.
Status enhancements cannot be bestowed by abilities, but only via the use of recovery items or accessories. Each buff has a specific purpose, as revealed in the following table.
Status Enhancements: Overview
|Bravery||Raises the target’s Strength stat, increasing the damage inflicted by physical attacks.|
|Faith||Raises the target’s Magic stat, increasing the damage inflicted by magic attacks.|
|Protect||Increases the target’s resistance to physical attacks.|
|Shell||Increases the target’s resistance to magic attacks.|
|Haste||Increases the rate at which the ATB gauge fills.|
|Vigilance||Increases the target’s resistance to interruptions.|
|Regen||Slowly restores HP over time.|
|Veil||Increases the target’s resistance to status ailments.|
|Enfire||Strengthens attacks imbued with the Fire element, and imbues non-elemental attacks with this element.|
|Enfrost||Strengthens attacks imbued with the Ice element, imbues non-elemental attacks with this element.|
|Enthunder||Strengthens attacks imbued with the Lightning element, imbues non-elemental attacks with this element.|
|Enaero||Strengthens attacks imbued with the Wind element, imbues non-elemental attacks with this element.|
|Reraise||Revives you once if your HP gauge is entirely depleted.|
Status ailments (which include both debuffs and debilitations) are detrimental status effects that can be inflicted on Lightning and her enemies. They become a more prominent aspect of combat encounters as you progress through the story. Some adversaries (particularly bosses and large-scale foes) can prove difficult to beat unless you weaken them with status ailments.
The most common way to inflict status ailments is via the use of debilitating abilities. Ideally, you should have one of your Schemata at least part-specialized in inflicting debuffs, and pay attention to any immunities that your current target may have. What could be a long, protracted battle might become a formality the moment you hamper your opponent with the debuffs it is vulnerable to.
When you are assailed by status ailments, you will need to quickly assess how dangerous they are. The Esunada EP ability is the most obvious solution to remove them, though this costs 1 EP. Other cures include recovery items such as Remedies, and potions that grant a buff that counters the debuff you’re suffering from.
Status Ailments: Overview
|Debrave||Diminishes the victim’s Strength stat.|
|Defaith||Diminishes the victim’s Magic stat.|
|Deprotect||Reduces the target’s resistance to physical attacks.|
|Deshell||Reduces the target’s resistance to magic attacks.|
|Slow||Reduces the rate at which the target’s ATB gauge replenishes.|
|Curse||Reduces the target’s resistance to interruptions.|
|Poison||Deals gradual damage until removed or the effect expires.|
|Imperil||Reduces the target’s resistance to elemental attacks.|
|Pain||Prevents the afflicted combatant from using physical abilities.|
|Fog||Prevents the afflicted combatant from using magic abilities.|
|Daze||Stuns the target and increases the damage they sustain through attacks.|
|Unprotected||Lowers the target’s physical resistance.|
|Unshelled||Lowers the target’s magic resistance.|
|Parched||Lowers the target’s resistance to Fire damage.|
|Exposed||Lowers the target’s resistance to Ice damage.|
|Conductive||Lowers the target’s resistance to Lightning damage.|
|Brittle||Lowers the target’s resistance to Wind damage.|
|Broken||Makes the target easier to stagger.|
|Infected||Makes the target more vulnerable to status ailments.|
|Hindered||Slows the target’s movements.|
|Confused||Makes the target unable to distinguish friend from foe.|
|Cursed||Makes the target more likely to recoil and have attacked interrupted.|
|Dazed||Makes the target unable to take action and more vulnerable to damage.|
|Pained||Makes the target unable to use physical attacks.|
|Foggy||Makes the target unable to use magic attacks.|
Note that each status ailment (except for Imperil) can be countered by using the opposing effect which strengthens the same parameter, and vice versa:
When you face an enemy type that is immune to certain (or all) status ailments, it is worth noting that staggering the target can often cancel its immunities and make it ripe for a quick round of ailments at the beginning of the stagger period. You can then launch your most powerful attacks for optimal results. This is an essential step against the toughest enemies and bosses in the game.
In addition, many creature types suffer from unique debuffs while staggered, making them even more vulnerable to your attacks. These ailments have the same icons as the ones introduced here, except that they have hexagonal shapes.
The Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Complete Official Guide reveals all of the values and parameters of each status effect, as well as how these are implemented and how their modifiers stack in the game’s damage calculation system. Reading this will enable you to considerably optimize your overall damage output and efficiency.
Also, be sure to pre-order the Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII game today.