Damage your foe while making an ominous symbol with your slashes.Description
Cross-Slash consists of a lunge forward and three slices of Cloud's sword, forming an ominous symbol. Each slice deals separate damage, though the last deals over twice that of the first two.
Cross-Slash comprises three hits, though the third hit is the strongest. The first two hits have smaller attack damage (with attack powers of only 300 and 200 respectively), while the third deals significant damage with a power of 1,200. The third hit also has a blowback effect against the target.
Any last words?Cloud
Cross-Slash deals heavy physical damage to a single target and can damage nearby enemies. As it requires no ATB to use, there is no penalty to using it at any time except for the fact that some enemies can either dodge it, or become immune to physical damage when under Shield. Because it deals physical damage, damage from Cross-Slash is based on Cloud's Attack Power.
Cross-Slash can deal more damage to an enemy that is staggered and takes bonus damage, meaning Cloud may choose to wait until a boss is staggered to use it. However, putting the limit break on hold can be less efficient than using it quickly to have a chance to build the limit gauge up again. Therefore, the choice is mostly situational: against a boss who takes little damage outside of stagger, it is best to wait, but otherwise, it should be used quickly to give Cloud a chance to use it again.
Cloud can benefit greatly from equipping the Transference Module or Spectral Cogwheel accessories, which increase the limit gauge when Cloud consumes ATB charges or spends MP by casting spells, respectively, both things that Cloud will do often. This can allow Cloud to use Cross-Slash frequently depending on his role, though they may be better on Tifa (who consumes ATB more quickly) or Aerith (who casts spells most often). If obtained, Gotterdammerung also allows Cloud to use Cross-Slash very often, though it similarly may be better used on other characters. Though it allows Cloud to open with Cross-Slash, this is better saved for Refocus instead.
After obtaining Legacy: Ascension, Cloud unlocks his second limit break, Ascension, which deals significantly more damage and has the added bonus of greatly increasing an enemy's stagger gauge, but also fills the limit gauge slower. Whether Cloud should equip this instead of Cross-Slash depends on how often he wishes to use his limit break, and if he has Refocus Materia equipped, as equipping Ascension will also mean a longer time before Refocus can be used. As Cloud is better at sustaining damage than other party members, and because raw damage is more helpful to him, Cloud is better off equipping Ascension against most bosses.