Increases how full the ATB gauge is at the start of battle.Description
First Strike materia is a Complete Materia in Final Fantasy VII Remake and "Episode INTERmission". It causes a character to enter a battle with their ATB gauge slightly filled, depending on the materia's level. It is meant to serve a similar purpose to the pre-emptive materia from the original Final Fantasy VII.
First Strike materia can be purchased from Chadley after completing Battle Intel Report 3. After buying the first one for 100 gil, the player can buy another copy for the full 5000 gil price to have two First Strikes.
In INTERmission, First Strike is found in the Abandoned Talagger Factory during "Scout Out Sector 7". It is at the end of the factory where venomantises spawn, and where the poster for "The Happy Turtle Ad Campaign" is found.
|1||0||Small ATB increase|
|2||250||Medium ATB increase|
|3||750||Large ATB increase|
First Strike allows a character to begin with their ATB slightly filled. If the player has two, the effect does not stack and thus the materia are best given two party members. However, the effect does stack with the Whistlewind Scarf accessory.
Though this is broadly useful in a variety of situations, it can be used strategically in specific ways when paired with characters' abilities, to gain an upper hand when starting a battle. It is very useful to many scenarios, but loses its value in longer, more drawn-out fights, where Refocus Materia is better. The materia is useful to level up, as at later levels, it can allow a character to begin with a full ATB bar. In the gauntlets on the Corneo Colosseum and the Shinra Combat Simulator, First Strike will activate at the start of every round.
All characters who have Magic Materia—such as Time Materia, Barrier Materia, or Binding Materia—can use First Strike to start a battle from an advantageous position. Some characters can use it with their unique abilities in specific use cases. Tifa can use First Strike to instantly use Unbridled Strength, and thus begin a battle with higher chi and use Omnistrike right off the bat. If coupled with a weapon that gives her a chance to increase her chi at the start of battle, she can also start with Rise and Fall. Barret can use First Strike to cast Lifesaver at the start of a battle, allowing him to immediately tank damage. Aerith can use it to use Arcane Ward instantly, to allow her to quickly follow up by casting a spell without taking up too many ATB gauges, or to finish battles fast against numerous small enemies if her Magic is high enough with Sorcerous Storm. Though Cloud's abilities are based on raw damage output rather than specific effects, he can use Focused Thrust to begin a battle by pressuring an enemy.
In INTERmission, Yuffie can make good use of the materia as well, e.g. she could use it to start the battle with the Elemental Ninjutsu the current enemy is weak against, or to quickly finish battles against weaker foes by immediately throwing her weapon and using Windstorm.
First Strike materia can be used in combination with other materia that also increases a character's ATB gauge quickly, including ATB Stagger Materia, ATB Assist Materia, Skill Master Materia, and ATB Boost Materia. ATB Boost materia, if paired with First Strike, can give a character two full ATB charges to start a battle immediately, while the others can boost the rate a character's ATB builds greatly, allowing them to use attacks more frequently. A mix of these can be very useful on Tifa, who relies on performing her abilities in quick succession in a combo and has the highest Speed, or on Aerith, who has a lot of ATB-intensive support abilities.
Behind the scenes
First Strike materia was the fourth-most popular materia among survey respondents, at 10%.
- Square Enix (2020, August 14). "Results of the FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Post-Play Survey". From Final Fantasy Portal Site. Archived from the original on August 14, 2020.