Special thanks to ElCid for his awesome Ardyn artwork for our infographic!

Infographic (October 2022)

Character Notes & Recommendations

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Summon Board Passive selections:

Numbers listed below refer to the 7 passives to select for each Ultimate Summon Board for the character. Top is 1, bottom is 7.
  • Ardyn's HP is usually 0 or quite low due to his gameplay mechanic, so avoid HP DMG reduction, HP heal summon board passives. If you want to swap an HP > 80% triggered passive for something else- you can, just be aware that Ardyn may get healed back up by the healer on your team

  • Brothers choose 2 / 4 / 5

    • We prefer 2 over 6 or 7 as 6/7 is related to HP DMG/healing

  • Odin choose 3 / 6 / 7

  • Bahamut choose 4 / 6 / 7

  • Usuals:

    • Ifrit, Shiva, Ramuh 4 / 5 / 7

    • Leviathan, Pandemonium, Diabolos, Alexander 4 / 5 / 6

  • For more details and help with summons, check Summon Hub!

Sphere Recommendations

NOTE: The sphere letters below are hyperlinked to our Sphere Hub which lists all available spheres sorted by effect!
  • A Sphere: Give him ATK or BRV DMG to help him shave which he'll need to on unbroken enemies to get his free turns.

  • C Sphere: Alphinaud sphere is the most solo reliable, but can use Maria, Garnet or Llyud if paired with a healer who heals/regens often.

  • E Sphere: Vanille is easy to use, but it's utility is very niche. Laguna, Reno are spheres he can hit easily, otherwise you need either max HP or another teammate to enable weakness to expand his usable sphere pool.

  • Ardyn is a melee attacker with nonsense spheres. Standard A slot, C slot is practically useless, suppose you're best off with role expansion like Ceodore or Alphinaud to buff the party. E is even more useless. Vanille for utility, no others really work as unfortunately his generally low HP and lack of debuffs make it near impossible to trigger any. Ardyn's sphere slots could be used as evidence for the general lack of relevance of spheres as a whole in DFFOO.

How-To-Play Notes

  • Ardyn wants to get to 5 stacks of his "hat" special effect right away so use LD right out the gate and enjoy the free skill use next turn!

    • Maintaining Ardyn's stacks are trivial as his EX will always unbreak into break, refreshing the stacks and you'll be spamming skills to fill the EX.

  • Dark Tornado (LD) is what makes Ardyn immortal. Just be sure to maintain the buff to ensure that Ardyn never becomes a liability.

    • The free skill use from his LD board can be used on Warp Strike generally. The other option is to use his AA if you want to push an enemy back

  • Warp Strike (S1) has a good potency, and a BRV gain associated with it. It's his bread & butter for free skills.

  • Rising Phantom recharges slowly at 2 skills + 2 HP++ (note that HP++ attacks on his free turn don't count toward this). It hits excessively hard, delaying enemies, guaranteed break, and refreshes his hat buff. Free skill on Warp Strike, or on Break Reset Slash (if trying to push enemies back aggressively)

  • Aura of Darkness is your go-to AoE shave outside of his EX, which also gives him [Shadowstep] which is important for getting his free turns after breaking an enemy. Those are really the only cases for using Aura of Darkness.

Ardyn FR Synergy and Notable upcoming fight Infographics thanks to Cross!