Cloud Strife is the main playable character in Final Fantasy VII Remake. He wields Broadsword Broadswords. Cloud's unique ability is to switch between fighting styles with his broadsword, and his main strength is in his ability to deal raw damage with a wide area-of-effect, his ability to counter enemy attacks with attacks of his own, and his versatility provided by balanced attributes.

Cloud leads the party throughout the majority of the story, and is the most frequently played character. He is also present for every Odd Job sidequest. Because of this and his well-balanced attributes, Cloud can fill a variety of roles in the party roster depending on the player's need.

If Cloud is transformed into a toad, he appears as a green toad with a miniature buster sword on his back.

Battle[edit | edit source]

Cloud is a melee damage dealer whose large broadsword provides him a wide area-of-effect damage that can hit multiple enemies at once. Though his movement speed is not as fast as Tifa's, he has strong durability and an ability to counter enemy attacks. Cloud's main strength is his versatility, able to play a variety of roles in a party composition and his ability to deal raw burst damage to dispatch enemies quickly, giving him a solid crowd control.

Operator Mode.

Cloud's unique ability is to switch his combat style mid-battle using Triangle. He can change between Operator Mode (default), which balances attack and defense, and Punisher Mode, which deals more damage while drastically reducing his movement speed and preventing normal guarding; instead, he reduces melee damage by 60% but counters them, though he cannot counter ranged attacks, such as bullets or magic, and will take full damage. While in Punisher Mode, he also cannot perform aerial attacks. Dodge-rolling while in Punisher Mode reverts Cloud to Operator Mode, and if Cloud is close enough to an enemy he is not yet in melee range of, pressing Square will cause him to jump towards them and attack. Nail Bat Nail Bat changes the attack during Punisher Mode to a baseball swing.

Cloud's attacks usually comprise a combo of five attacks: a sword slash from left to right, a slash in the opposite direction, a slower overhead slash that deals higher damage, a shorter upward slash, and a slower swing attack that deals the highest amount of damage. Holding Square when using basic attacks has Cloud perform specific moves depending on which stance he is in: while in Operator Mode, he'll swing his sword in a wide arc that can hit multiple enemies; while in Punisher Mode, he'll do an overhead swing and stabs his sword in the ground, briefly putting Cloud under the Berserk Berserk status.

Attacking in the air.

Cloud's attributes are overall balanced, allowing him to fulfill both the role of a physical fighter and a spellcaster tank. His Strength Strength is the highest in the game, his Magic Magic and MP pool are the second-highest after Aerith's, while his other attributes are above average. He has the second-highest HP, and his durability and ability to counter enemy attacks make him a viable alternative to Barret in the role of tanking damage and drawing fire away from the rest of the party. Though his physical attacks and ATB charge rate are slower than Tifa's, his attacks deal damage in a wider radius, and his individual attacks are stronger.

Stats[edit | edit source]

Level EXP HP MP Strength Magic Vitality Spirit Luck Speed SP Weapon Level
6 600 966 28 14 13 10 10 17 11 0 1
7 616 1026 29 16 15 11 11 18 12 0 1
8 949 1082 30 18 17 13 13 19 13 0 1
9 1384 1134 32 20 19 15 15 20 14 5 1
10 1934 1218 33 22 21 16 16 22 15 10 1
11 2614 1326 34 25 23 18 18 23 16 15 1
12 3588 1445 35 28 26 20 20 24 17 20 2
13 4610 1570 36 31 29 22 22 25 18 25 2
14 5809 1688 37 33 31 23 23 27 19 30 2
15 7200 1824 38 36 34 25 25 28 20 35 3
16 9397 1926 39 39 36 27 27 29 21 40 3
17 11814 2054 40 41 39 28 28 30 22 45 3
18 14665 2134 41 43 40 30 30 32 23 50 3
19 17765 2233 42 45 42 31 31 33 24 55 3
20 21028 2363 43 48 45 33 33 34 25 60 4
21 24368 2438 44 50 46 34 34 35 26 65 4
22 28025 2534 45 52 48 36 36 37 27 70 4
23 31758 2681 46 54 51 37 37 38 28 75 4
24 35619 2752 47 55 52 38 38 39 29 80 4
25 4162 2851 48 58 54 39 39 40 30 85 4
26 43785 2993 49 61 57 41 41 42 31 90 4
27 48019 3091 50 64 59 42 42 43 32 95 4
28 52340 3267 51 67 63 43 43 44 33 100 4
29 56763 3347 53 69 64 44 44 45 34 105 4
30 62702 3494 54 72 67 45 45 47 35 110 5
31 69272 3592 55 74 69 46 46 48 36 115 5
32 76630 3736 56 77 72 47 47 49 37 120 5
33 84507 3831 57 79 74 48 48 50 38 125 5
34 92865 3908 58 82 76 49 49 52 39 130 5
35 101719 3982 59 84 78 50 50 53 40 135 5
36 110784 4056 60 87 81 51 51 54 41 140 5
37 120374 4129 61 89 83 52 52 55 32 145 5
38 130504 4202 62 91 85 53 53 57 43 150 5
39 141189 4271 63 94 88 54 54 58 44 155 5
40 152444 4326 64 95 89 55 55 59 45 160 5
41 164284 4379 65 96 89 56 56 60 46 165 5
42 176723 4431 66 98 91 56 56 62 47 170 5
43 189776 4483 67 99 92 57 57 63 48 175 5
44 203458 4533 68 100 94 58 58 64 49 180 5
45 217784 4583 69 101 95 59 59 65 50 185 5
46 232769 4631 70 103 96 60 60 67 51 190 5
47 248427 4680 71 104 97 60 60 68 52 195 5
48 264773 4728 72 105 98 61 61 69 53 200 5
49 281822 4774 74 106 99 62 62 70 54 205 5
50 299589 4820 75 107 100 63 63 72 55 216 5

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Cloud wields the Buster Sword in Punisher Mode.

Cloud wields large swords and other two-handed weapons. His default weapon is the Buster Sword Buster Sword, a versatile weapon that increases his physical damage and spellcasting potential equally, with some improvements to his durability also. Cloud's broadswords usually consist of the same basic moveset, with the exception of the Nail Bat Nail Bat, which changes the Punisher Mode stance combo into a single strong baseball swing that keeps Cloud rooted in place, but can knock down opponents. Cloud's weapons are versatile, and offer some of the highest balanced attribute increases. Cloud can earn SP for his weapons with The Art of Swordplay manuscripts.

Cloud's weapons each suit a different playstyle. For a physical attack playstyle, the Hardedge Hardedge provides the highest increase to his raw Attack Power Attack Power, and Nail Bat provides great increases to his critical hit rate. The Hardedge boosts Cloud's physical damage, with a few improvements to his durability, but compromises his spellcasting potential. The Nail Bat has low attack power, but makes up for it with its critical hit rate. It provides greater increases to Cloud's durability, but locks him into the physical damage role due to slow materia slot growth and even poorer magic stats.

Cloud wields the nail bat.

Other weapons for Cloud lean harder into a spellcasting playstyle, with greater increases to his Magic Attack Magic Attack attribute, namely the Mythril Saber Mythril Saber and the Iron Blade Iron Blade. Between these, the Iron Blade compromises Cloud's physical damage less and is a more defensive weapon overall, providing great increases to Cloud's durability. The Mythril Saber, on the other hand, provides Cloud the highest raw magic attack increase of any weapon, as well as improvements to his MP regeneration.

Many of Cloud's other weapons provide him mixed attributes for both types of playstyles, taking advantage of Cloud's versatility and adaptability. The aforementioned Buster Sword provides the second-highest attack power increase and third-highest magic attack increase of Cloud's weapons, but fairly middling unlockable abilities. The Twin Stinger Twin Stinger provides slightly lower attributes, but many unique abilities focused more towards spellcasting and durability.

In terms of accessories, early on Cloud benefits from Power Wristguards to boost his strength, or from accessories that provide resistance to debuffs. Depending on the playstyle, Cloud is good candidate for either the Spectral Cogwheel or Transference Module, given his flexibility to be either a spellcaster or physical attacker, although these accessories may be better suited for Aerith and Tifa, respectively. The Champion Belt is also a great choice for Cloud, as improving his strength and HP simultaneously takes advantage of some of his best traits. He can also make great use of the Fury Ring for a high-risk-high-reward gameplay style to maximize his damage output, especially given jow his counter-attack mechanics through Punisher Mode and Counterstance reduce damage taken when countering.

For armor, Cloud should normally focus more on improving his durability than on increasing his materia slots in his role as a frontline bruiser, but can prioritize materia slots when serving a spellcaster role.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Cloud's unique abilities consist of varying sword moves that deal raw damage to the enemy in unique ways. His abilities are mostly straightforward, taking advantage of Cloud's increased melee range and power. The vast majority of his abilities are physical damage attacks.

Cloud's default ability, Braver, deals physical burst damage aimed at one target, with a decent area-of-effect. It is useful for Cloud early on, but is quickly outclassed Triple Slash and Infinity's End for different reasons.

Triple Slash.

Particularly for a melee damage playstyle, Triple Slash is a core ability for Cloud, in which he attacks three times against different random enemies. This not only deals great damage spread across the enemies (or a single target if only one is present), but tracks enemies that can otherwise run around Cloud, and helps build up stagger. Once obtained, Triple Slash is Cloud's best ability to start a battle with. Focused Thrust is another core ability for Cloud, which deals moderate damage compared to Braver, but can greatly increases stagger, especially against pressured enemies. In many cases, using it straight after Triple Slash can stagger many foes.

Disorder is a useful ability for Cloud's mobility in a melee damage playstyle. Cloud will perform an attack after leaping towards an enemy, switching stance while doing so. This can save animation time while switching to Punisher Mode when engaging an enemy.

Infinity's End is Cloud's only ability that requires two ATB charges to use, but deals immense damage, particularly to a staggered enemy, capable of reaching max damage when doing so. The downside is that Infinity's End has a high ATB cost and has a slow animation building up to it, which is not always optimal against enemies with short stagger duration.

Counterstance.

For a spellcasting playstyle, Blade Burst deals non-elemental ranged magic damage with a wide area-of-effect, meaning it cannot be resisted and relies on Cloud's magic attack attribute. This gives Cloud the ability to deal magic damage without expending MP, as well an attack that cannot be resisted.

Counterstance is acquired late for Cloud, but is a versatile ability useful for Cloud in any playstyle. Cloud will brace for an attack, reducing damage taken by 80%, and immediately respond with a counterattack that deals considerable damage. This is great for dealing damage, for preventing damage, preventing Cloud from being knocked down, and canceling some enemy attacks. Using Counterstance mixed in with Punisher Mode and switching to Punisher Mode also allows Cloud to effortlessly counter enemy attacks and deal damage while not being vulnerable. A notable difference between Counterstance and Punisher Mode is that Counterstance can trigger on projectiles, although it won't work against certain unblockable enemy attacks.

Materia[edit | edit source]

Cloud begins the game with a Fire Materia Fire Materia. With his balanced attributes and being in the player's party most of the game, he is good for equipping almost any kind of materia. A wide variety of Magic Materia Magic Materia benefit from Cloud's high magic attribute, making a great choice both for dealing damage as a spellcaster, or for equipping the Healing Materia Healing Materia to heal party members to a great extent.

The Steadfast Block Materia Steadfast Block Materia is core to Cloud's abilities, with how frequently he will guard against damage. This allows him to both block a lot of damage and build his ATB quickly. Cloud can also equip Deadly Dodge Materia Deadly Dodge Materia to deal stronger damage after dodge-rolling, leaning into his melee damage and durability. Parry Materia Parry Materia can also be useful to lean into Cloud's innate ability to counterattack, and provides Cloud the ability to dodge roll and remain in Punisher Mode.

Cloud with ice materia paired with elemental in his weapon.

Cloud is among the best beneficiaries of Elemental Materia Elemental Materia because his balanced attributes mean he can use the paired magic materia to not only deal powerful magic damage, but also to provide a strong bonus to his physical damage. Though elemental materia is a great choice on Cloud's weapons, it can be an equally strong choice on his armor to allow him to potentially absorb damage, making him durable in battle and leaning into his ability to tank.

Due to his magic attribute, Cloud is also the second-best user of Magnify Materia Magnify Materia after Aerith. Cloud's high magic attribute means he can pair it well with healing materia to heal the party a great amount, or with damaging magic materia to hit all enemies with powerful spells at once.

HP Absorption Materia HP Absorption Materia can be used in a wide variety of ways to improve Cloud's durability. Pairing it with Deadly Dodge or Parry allows Cloud to heal himself for free with normal attacks, while in a spellcasting role, pairing it with a powerful magic spell allows Cloud to heal himself while dealing damage to an enemy.

ATB Stagger Materia ATB Stagger Materia is a great choice to pair with Cloud's Infinity's End ability. As it increases the rate Cloud's ATB gauge builds against staggered enemies, this will allow him to build up Infinity's End faster, and then use it to deal tremendous burst damage afterward.

Beyond this, Cloud can equip a variety of Complete Materia Complete Materia to boost his attributes. HP Up Materia HP Up Materia is as important to Cloud as any other character, as although his base HP is already high, improving it further is important against some powerful abilities in hard mode, and improving Cloud's durability for when counter-attacking often is always useful. In a spellcasting role, Cloud can equip MP Up Materia MP Up Materia or Magic Up Materia Magic Up Materia to build his already strong spellcasting abilities further and deal even more damage, though both are interchangeable for him in this role and neither are essential. Lastly, Luck Up Materia Luck Up Materia can be particularly useful when using the Nail Bat, to further increase his critical chance.

Limit breaks[edit | edit source]

Cross-Slash.

Cloud's level 1 unique limit break is Cross-Slash, which consists of three powerful attacks to one enemy and any within range. His level 2 limit break is Ascension, which consists of multiple slashes, and an impaling thrust which transitions into a jumping slash. Ascension deals significantly more damage than Cross-Slash and increases an enemy's stagger gauge significantly, but causes the limit gauge to take longer to fill.

Because both limit breaks deal melee damage, they are improved by any attribute boosts to Cloud's attack power and strength. This means that the limit breaks will benefit more from Cloud being geared towards a physical damage role, but will still deal significant damage when Cloud has more balanced attributes. Cloud can save his limit breaks for when an enemy is staggered to deal more damage, though his Infinity's End ability means this is often not necessary to optimize damage during an enemy's stagger, and he is save to use them at any opportune moment.

Ascension.

Cloud can benefit from both the Transference Module or Spectral Cogwheel. These will increase Cloud's limit gauge when he uses expends ATB charges or MP, which Cloud will do often. Though either accessory is useful on Cloud, they may be better on Tifa or Aerith respectively. Once Gotterdammerung is obtained, it can also be given to Cloud to allow his limit breaks to be used much more frequently.

Cloud can also equip Refocus Materia Refocus Materia to use the Refocus limit break, giving him three ATB charges for a long time. This will also allow Cloud to use his abilities much more frequently.

Quests[edit | edit source]

Cloud joins the party in the first chapter, "The Destruction of Mako Reactor 1." He remains the party leader throughout the majority of the story, with a few exceptions. In Chapter 13, "A Broken World," Cloud is absent from the quest "In Solitude" up to the end of the chapter, after which he becomes leader of the party again. In Chapter 17, "Deliverance from Chaos," during "Find the Others," Cloud leads his own party with Barret, but occasionally swaps to a party led by Tifa. Other than this, Cloud is only absent in a couple of quests.

Squats minigame.

Being the player character most often on the field, Cloud most frequently partakes in minigames, such as the Darts game in Seventh Heaven during Chapter 3, "Home Sweet Home," Whack-a-Box in "A Verified Hero" during Chapter 8, "Budding Bodyguard," and the Squats game at the Wall Market gym in "Burning Thighs," during Chapter 9, "The Town That Never Sleeps." Also during chapter 9, in "Aerith's Plan," the player partakes in a rhythm minigame at the Honeybee Inn. The player also controls Cloud during the motorcycling segments.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Triple Slash was Cloud's most popular ability among players at 39% among respondents to a survey, followed by Infinity's End and Counterstance tied at 14% each. The majority of players reported seeing Cloud's second dress (suggesting they completed Chocobo Sam's questline) at 60%z, followed by 35% who saw his third dress, and just 5% who saw his first.[1]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Square Enix (August 14, 2020). Results of the FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Post-Play Survey. Final Fantasy Portal Site. Archived from the original on August 14, 2020.
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