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Lightning returns beginners guide: Guard defense, Launch & Smite abilities

Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Returns is the final chapter of the nova crystallis saga. We can all agree that this game is very different compared to the first two games and even to any other final fantasy game.

Lightning Returns introduces a total new battle system. The combat mechanics are hard to master and require lots of practice. The game introduces some new attributes like Guard defense without giving us a proper explanation. The game even hides some very strong abilities which can be a key element in the most difficult battles.

Guard defense:
Guard defense is an important modifier for your defense when you guard damage. If you have a shield with 100 guard defense, you take 100 less damage when you are guarding, after applying the damage reduction from guarding. This is very effective in the beginning of the game. With high guard defense points you can easy nullify all damage from weaker enemies while guarding .

Launch & Smite:
Launch & Smite are hidden abilities which come available when you reach a certain condition in a battle. Smite is the strongest attack in the game and can do lots of damage to stronger enemies.

When you stagger an enemy while it is still staggered you are able to launch it. Your normal attack will change into launch. Normal attacks are abilities like Attack, Light Slash and Magic Slash. When you launch an enemie into the air you will be able to smite it. Your Heavy Slash will change into smite. Make sure you smite your target before it hits the ground again.

Launch and smite are very effective when fighting stronger monsters and even some bosses like Noel Kreiss. Sometimes it’s necessary to use the EP ability Overclock to reach the staggering condition.