Bhunivelze+ is the final boss in a New Game+ playthrough of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. This form is available if the player completes the Ultimate Lair on any difficulty level. Elementaga is a guaranteed drop on hard mode.
First phase Edit
The battle is completely different from Bhunivelze's normal counterpart. Bhunivelze+ merges his second and third forms from his less difficult battle and packs up to 14,000,000 HP. He will use a standard pattern of attacks before shifting between forms.
As soon as the battle begins, Bhunivelze+ will adopt a bird form, which specializes in magic. He will use a Spirit ability, and bombard the player with -ra and occasionally -ga level spells of that element, and sometimes the respective tier 4 spell (Flare, Chill, Tornado, or Surge). After several spell combos, Bhunivelze will use Monad Beget, follow up with one more spell set, and immediately use Wings of Destruction and attempt to destroy any Monads still on the field. Bhunivelze+ will then repeat this process, starting with a new Spirit ability. On the third Spirit ability, Bhunivelze+ will skip casting Monad Beget and instead charge Genethliac Hymn.
After casting Falling Star or Dancing Mad, he will change to his third form, which is more physically oriented. Bhunivelze+ immediately uses Holy Blade to give himself a permanent Bravery and Faith statuses. Although he does not debuff the player, his attacks are now substantially more dangerous. He can chain scythe throws with Divine Punishment, and occasionally combo into Almagest or Ultima. There is now little to no warning as to when he will use Hypernova, which can easily kill Lightning with damage that can exceed 40,000, which also cues the switch back to the magic form.
Second phase Edit
The second phase is similar to the regular battle's fourth phase. Bhunivelze+ is the same as his regular final form, but with up to 17,500,000 HP. Similar to the normal battle, Bhunivelze+ resists all damage and debuffs while not Staggered. Bhunivelze+ casts Doom on the player, giving a "time limit" to staggering him.
Bhunivelze+ retains many of the skills his normal form uses, while Damnatio Memorae becomes more powerful. Staggering him weakens him making him take significantly more damage from physical and magical attacks, make him vulnerable to nearly every status effect, and ensuring he will not attack. If not killed quickly enough, he will rise back up and continue to attack the player until staggered again.
The player should equip the Ultima Weapon and the Ultima Shield obtained for passing the four trials in Luxerion Cathedral. If in a New Game+ playthrough, especially on Hard Mode, the player is advised to upgrade their favorite equipment so that they hit, or get as close to, the stat cap for strength and/or magic, and also have a good ATB recovery rate for their three schemata. Having a healthy stock of X-Potions, Ethers and Phoenix Downs (or Phoenix Wings if the player can survive without using them) is recommended, and having max EP will help when the player runs out of items.
The player is recommended to nullify either magic or physical damage by using Quiet Guardian in combination with Preta Hood and Runic Ring or Ghostly Hood and Guard Glove to negate magical or physical damage respectively. As Bhunivelze+ has more magical attacks than physical attacks, it is recommended to nullify magic damage. Utilizing the Cyber Jumpsuit along with the other set of accessories will negate all damage of the other type, but will result in a longer battle because the player's damage output is decreased for each full damage negation. An alternative to such is to use Innocence or Loyal Servant, which provide Transform Protect and Transform Shell respectively, to cover for the other type of damage.
Offensively, the player should equip multiple -ra level spells, preferably Aerora and Thundara, on every garb, so that staggering becomes easier. Keeping distance from Bhunivelze+ allows the player to have more time to react to his attacks, so casting spells can be a primary damage dealing strategy. Using Imperil on Bhunivelze+, while not mandatory, can help increase damage done to him in both forms, can prevent accidental healing during his magic form, and can significantly increase damage done in the second phase once he is staggered. The player is recommended to equip a wide-area attack, such as Blitz, to kill the Monads Bhunivelze+ will spawn, as otherwise they will track the player and explode when he uses Wings of Destruction. As each Monad has in excess of 150,000 HP in Hard Mode, the player is better off with a highly leveled Blitz, and a maxed out Strength. It is also possible to defeat the Monads using wide-range magic attacks, which includes the -ra level spells, but since spells tend to push enemies away, and Blitz draws them closer, Blitz may be more practical.
Defensively, the player should be able to perfect guard against some of Bhunivelze+'s stronger attacks. Falling Star, Dancing mad, and Ultima can be perfect guarded with good timing, and the damage from Almagest and Damnatio Memorae can be significantly mitigated by guarding. Physical attacks are more difficult to guard against since they chain very fast and often in unusual patterns, so the player is better off guarding through the entire onslaught. In Hard Mode, if the player received Heroic Guard from killing Ereshkigal in the Ultimate Lair, it can be put to good use to nullify damage from some of Bhunivelze+'s more devastating attacks when upgraded fully. One should not hold Heroic Guard for too long, since it drains the schema's ATB, but rather use it just when they need to guard. The exception can be when guarding against Almgaest, since a full ATB bar can negate the damage.
In Bhunivelze+'s magic form, the player should Imperil him and be ready to target his weaknesses with -ra level spells to stagger him as quickly as possible. When he uses Monad Beget, the player should prioritize killing the Monads before returning to Bhunivelze+. If the player opts for using Blitz with maxed out Strength, they can quickly destroy the Monads and get a few shots at Bhunivelze+ before he can use Wings of Destruction. When he uses Wings of Destruction, guarding just when he opens his wings can nullify the damage, but will most likely still result in Lightning recoiling. When he charges Genethliac Hymn, the player should spam -ra level spells (and Ruin if it is equipped) to stagger him. If the player only used spells before he begins charging, the bolts called down during the charge will never hit Lightning. When he uses Falling Star or Dancing mad, guarding just before the ball hits the ground can prevent most of the damage or negate it.
In his physical form, the player should keep a good distance between Lightning and Bhunivelze+ to have a wider window to set up a guard. If the player has Innocence equipped, completely draining its ATB bar, or at least reducing its ATB to below 10, and then switching puts up Protect. The player should stagger Bhunivelze+ as soon as possible, and then attempt to do as much damage as possible while being prepared to guard at any time. Since his combos can be unpredictable, the player should not assume a third attack guarantees that a combo has ended, and should be prepared to guard. Making a mistake can result in Lightning being overwhelmed or launched into the air for a potentially lethal combo.
During the second phase, the player should attempt to stagger Bhunivelze+ as soon as possible by using -ra level spells. Because it is difficult to negate any of the damage he does, aside from perfect guarding, and only Cataclysm can be negated by damage resistance, the player needs to stabilize the stagger with abilities like the standard Attack or Ruin, and hit him with spells whenever possible. The window between the start of casting Heartless Angel and it triggering is enough to significantly increase stagger. After he is staggered, the player should use any debuffs they have equipped and relentlessly attack while Bhunivelze+ is weak to physical and magical damage.
The battle is likely to be long, and any mistakes are likely to annihilate the player's stock of recovery items and EP.