Full ATB skills, also known as unparalleled attacks in the Brain Blast quiz, are attacks used in Final Fantasy XIII and its sequel Final Fantasy XIII-2. They are akin to Limit Breaks in other Final Fantasy games.
Each member of the main party has a unique attack, which requires the use of the whole ATB bar. These attacks can deal extreme damage or consist of multiple strikes. To perform these moves, the player must manually select them during the battle, as the A.I.-controlled battle members will never use them and auto-battle will not select them.
Full ATB skills (except Death, if not used as an attacking move) are increasingly effective against staggered enemies. They ignore the target's type-based defense, meaning even enemies that are immune to physical/magical damage can still be damaged by them. This also means status effects like Deprotect and Deshell have no effect on the sustained damage. Full ATB skills are disabled if the character is afflicted with Pain or Fog.
If used against a staggered target, the target's stagger status won't end before the full ATB skill's animation has finished (except with Death). Even if the enemy's stagger gauge depletes during the full ATB skill execution, its stagger status will not end until after the skill has been completed, and during this time allies will also be able to continue dealing damage to the enemy. In addition, enemies will hang on with 1 HP until the animation for the move is complete (except with Death and Last Resort).
Full ATB attacks are unlocked at Crystarium Stage 9, after the final boss of Chapter 11. When executed, a golden stream will run along the top and bottom rims of the screen. A full ATB skill is not a "Limit Break" in the traditional sense of the term, but like a Limit Break, it has potential for massive damage and is a character-specific skill.
List of skills
Army of One
I control my fate!Lightning
Army of One (シーンドライブ, Shīn Doraibu?, lit. Scene Drive) is Lightning's full ATB skill. It is part of her Ravager Crystarium tree, and deals eleven hits of physical damage against a single opponent. The game calculates every hit separately, meaning if Lightning is equipping the Random: Instant Chain passive ability, it has eleven chances to trigger. This also means that if Lightning has the Attack: ATB Charge ability, her ATB gauge is charged eleven times, giving an extra 1.1 ATB segments with the basic ability, or 2.2 segments with Attack: ATB Charge II. When used against a staggered foe its ability to accumulate chain bonus is boosted, and it can rapidly fill the enemy's gauge to 999.9%.
The attack manifests as several fast strikes from Lightning's gunblade, as well as heavy kicks. If this move is performed midair, it has the same appearance as a ground attack, meaning Lightning lands midair and also pushes off the air for her back-flip.
Army of One is a physical attack that uses Lightning's Strength stat to calculate damage. Army of One ignores physical resistance, but also ignores physical weaknesses; it will deal 100% damage whether it is resistant, normal, or weakness. Army of One can be affected by Commando bonus, Bravery/Bravera, and Debrave, but is unaffected by Deprotect, Protect on enemy, or enhanced element spells like Enfire.
A player can Paradigm Shift during the attack animation. If the player shifts to Commando during it, Lightning will deal more damage, but will still increase the chain bonus.
Army Of One reappears as the Feral Link ability for Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII-2. Lightning also has a variation of Army of One called Legion of One, used in sequels. Though Legion of One can be considered an upgraded version of Army of One, a "legion" is normally one of many military units that together constitute an army, meaning there are fewer people in a legion than in an army. However, the word "legion" relates to Lightning's more mythical appearance in Final Fantasy XIII-2 as opposed to sci-fi setting of Final Fantasy XIII.
The heroes always win!Snow Villiers
Sovereign Fist (ルーラーフィスト, Rūrā Fisuto?, lit. Ruler Fist) is Snow's full ATB skill. It is part of his Commando tree, and deals one strong hit of physical damage. It is an area attack, meaning it will hit nearby enemies as well. Sovereign Fist has Snow leaping into the air, heaving his fist down into the enemy.
Sovereign Fist is a physical attack that uses the Strength stat to calculate damage. Sovereign Fist ignores physical resistance, but also ignores physical weaknesses; it will deal 100% damage whether it is resistant, normal, or weakness. Sovereign Fist can be affected by Commando bonus, Adrenaline bonus, Bravery/Bravera, and Debrave, but it is not affected by Deprotect, Protect on enemy, or enhanced element spells like Enfire.
When used against a staggered opponent Sovereign Fist gains a massive boost in its damage multiplier. When executed, Sovereign Fist will reset the target's chain gauge to 100%. This means it also ends an opponent's stagger status, meaning it is best used once the enemy is about to recover from stagger. This property can be used for strategic advantage in the battle against the Proudclad whose Retaliatory Strike can be avoided if the player uses Sovereign Fist as soon as it staggers.
Wish on these fireworks!Sazh Katzroy
Cold Blood (デスペラード, Desuperādo?, lit. Desperado) is Sazh's full ATB skill. It is part of his Ravager Crystarium tree and deals seventeen hits to one enemy. Cold Blood is similar to Army of One in that it serves to raise the enemy's chain gauge, and each hit is calculated separately, meaning, if Sazh is equipped with it, Random: Instant Chain has seventeen chances to trigger. When used against a staggered opponent the skill's ability to amass chain bonus is boosted, making it a fast way to raise a staggered foe's chain to 999.9%.
Cold Blood is a physical attack that uses the Strength stat to calculate damage. Cold Blood ignores physical resistance, but also ignores physical weaknesses; it will deal 100% damage whether it is resistant, normal, or weakness. Cold Blood can be affected by Commando bonus, Adrenaline bonus, Bravery/Bravera, and Debrave, but it is not affected by Deprotect, Protect on enemy, or enhanced element spells like Enfire. The player can shift paradigm during Cold Blood's attack animation to make Sazh a Commando to use the aforementioned bonuses.
Cold Blood returns as the Feral Link for Sazh in Final Fantasy XIII-2.
I decide my fate!Hope Estheim
Last Resort (ラストリゾート, Rasuto Rizōto?) is Hope's full ATB skill. It is part of his Ravager tree and deals eight hits of magic damage to different targets; Last Resort shuffles through the list of enemies dealing a single hit to each until all hits have been distributed. Appearance-wise, Last Resort resembles Holy spell from previous Final Fantasy games, with a ring of white beads flying into the air. However, there is no Holy element in the game and Last Resort is considered non-elemental.
Last Resort is a magical attack that uses the Magic stat to calculate damage. Last Resort ignores magical resistance, but also ignores weaknesses; it will deal 100% damage whether the target is resistant, normal, or weak to the element in question. Last Resort can be affected by Commando bonus, Faith/Faithra, and Defaith, but is unaffected by Deshell, Shell on enemy, or enhanced element spells like Enfire.
When used against a staggered foe its ability to amass chain bonuses increases significantly, meaning it can be used to quickly bring an opponent's chain gauge to 999.9%. However, because Last Resort shuffles between targets, not all eight attacks land on the staggered foe unless there is only one opponent.
We can change the future!Oerba Dia Vanille
Death deals base damage equal to 364–400% (randomly determined) of Vanille's Magic parameter and has a 1% chance to instantly kill the enemy, increasing by an additional 1% per negative status the target is afflicted with. Death does not benefit from a staggered target other than the normal damage increase.
Unlike the other full ATB skills, Death can benefit from En-spells, giving it the highest potential repeatable multiplier of any special attack, as it does not clear the chain gauge. Death deals magic damage, but ignores weaknesses or resistances to magic damage, including the effects of Shell and Deshell. Death is still affected by weaknesses or resistances to elemental damage if Vanille has an En-spell active.
Death is not classified as a debuffing spell; consequently, its instant kill chance does not benefit from the Belladonna or Malboro Wand. Unlike all other Saboteur skills, Death ignores chain bonus as a factor when calculating success rate. Buffs like Faith boost the damage the spell deals, but not the instant death chance. The only way to boost the success rate of Death is via the Saboteur role bonus and by inflicting as many status effects as possible on the target.
Death's casting animation is long enough for the player to shift to a Commando paradigm before the damage is calculated, vastly increasing the damage dealt.
No escape!Oerba Yun Fang
Highwind (ハイウィンド, Haiwindo?) is Fang's full ATB skill. It is named after the recurring surname of the many Dragoons in the series. It is part of her Commando tree, and manifests as Fang leaping into the air and bringing her spear down into the enemy—similar to the Dragoon ability Jump—with an explosion damaging nearby enemies as she hits the ground.
Highwind is a physical attack that uses the Strength stat to calculate damage. Highwind ignores physical resistance, but also ignores physical weaknesses; it will deal 100% damage whether it is resistant, normal, or weakness. Highwind can be affected by Commando bonus, Adrenaline bonus, Bravery/Bravera, and Debrave, but it is not affected by Deprotect, Protect on enemy, or enhanced element spells like Enfire.
When used against a staggered opponent, it will gain a massive increase in its damage multiplier. When executed, Highwind will reset the target's chain gauge to 100%, meaning it will also end a foe's stagger status immediately. The attack is therefore best used against an opponent that is about to recover from stagger. This property can be used for strategic advantage in the battle against the Proudclad whose Retaliatory Strike can be avoided if the player uses Highwind as soon as it staggers.
- Army of One, Cold Blood, and Last Resort are best used on a recently staggered foe, as they are the best moves in the game for boosting chain bonuses.
- Highwind and Sovereign Fist are best used against a foe about to recover from stagger, as they clear the chain gauge. Using them against a staggered foe usually results in at least two hits of 99,999 (or more with a Genji Glove).
- Highwind and Sovereign Fist deal damage in a small radius, but will only clear the chain gauge of the target, meaning they can be used to repeatedly damage nearby staggered enemies.
- Death is best used against a strong enemy that is not immune to the spell. It is commonly used against Adamantoise, as it is a tough enemy, but killed relatively easily through the Death spell. The attack is also commonly used when battling a Long Gui for a quick win, where Death can still do up to 999,999 points of damage each hit, provided Vanille is buffed with the right enhancements, the enemy is debuffed, the stagger bar is near 999.9%, a Genji Glove accessory is equipped (for the Uncapped Damage ability), and the player switches to the Cerberus paradigm (COM/COM/COM) before Death hits.
- Using any full ATB skill except Death before a stagger period ends allows other allies to attack a little longer while the enemy is still staggered. This also means two Commando allies can potentially land multiple Scourge or Smite attacks each, dealing massive damage.
Serah and Noel can learn their respective full ATB skills once they reach Stage 11 of their Crystaria, but they can be used only once per battle unless the player uses an Elixir, which restores the ability to use a full ATB skill. Having more ATB segments will increase their power.
When using Serah's and Noel's full ATB skills, neither the target nor the caster can be knocked out during the animation. This can lead to a scenario where the player unleashes a full ATB skill on a near-death enemy that is just about to launch a strong attack on the player: if both parties kill each other during the full ATB skill animation, the player will win the battle even if it was technically a double KO situation.
During the prologue, Lightning uses skills that consume the entire ATB bar, but can be used repeatedly, namely, Ullr's Shield while Lightning is riding Odin, and War's Benediction when Lightning and Noel are fighting Caius on Bahamut. Both are curative abilities. Lightning also unleashes Army of One on Caius during a Cinematic Action sequence before she buries him in debris.
The recruitable human monsters available through downloadable content have their full ATB skills in the form of Feral Links, and will also use them in battle when fighting the player. Lightning uses Army of One, Snow uses Sovereign Fist, and Sazh uses Cold Blood. Other human Paradigm Pack allies also have access to attacks that resemble full ATB skills, e.g.: Nabaat's and Amodar's uses of Sadistic Surge and Iron Bear Claw.
An upgraded and more powerful version of Lightning's Army of One is used by her during "Lightning's Story: Requiem of the Goddess" downloadable content scenario as a Feral Link. Titled Legion of One, the attack is almost identical to Army of One but heals the player and ends with an explosive stream of light rather than just a slash. Legion of One is also her Feral Link when used as a Paradigm Pack ally, albeit not restoring her HP.
Get ready for this!Serah Farron
Ultima Arrow (アルテミスアロー, Arutemisu Arō?, lit. Artemis Arrow) is Serah's full ATB skill, and part of her Ravager Crystarium tree. It manifests as Serah firing an arrow into the air and it exploding into light as it returns to earth, consuming the area directly in front of her.
Ultima Arrow is best used just after the opponent has been staggered. As soon as Serah starts to execute the attack, the player should switch to a paradigm in which she is a Commando, such as Aggression or Cerberus. This can yield massive physical damage to the target, as well as greatly raise the chain gauge.
You picked a good day to die!Noel Kreiss
Meteor Javelin (メテオジャベリン, Meteo Jaberin?) is Noel's full ATB skill, and is part of his Commando Crystarium tree. It manifests as Noel leaping into the air and throwing four spears into the enemy. Similar to Highwind or Sovereign Fist from Final Fantasy XIII, it resets the chain gauge to 100%.
Meteor Javelin is best used just before the enemy is exiting its stagger period. This is the time the chain gauge will be at its highest, delivering the greatest amount of damage. It can also extend the period of time other allies can use attacks on the staggered foe, such as Smite or Scourge (which deal a lot of damage to enemies exiting stagger), for the use of a full ATB skill freezes the depletion of the chain gauge.
Lightning can use her Army of One, but it is no longer a full ATB skill, but rather, a special skill activated during Overclock. Noel uses Meteor Javelin as an enemy attack when he is fought as a boss. Lightning and Hope use Hope's full ATB skill, Last Resort, in the ending.
Try this on! Get lost!Lightning
Army of One returns as one of Lightning's abilities for her Ravager skillset. She spins towards the opponent slashing, then performs a combo of sword attacks and gunshots that knocks the opponent away. The distortion seen across the top and bottom of the screen when a full ATB skill is used in Final Fantasy XIII, is also present in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, when Lightning uses Army of One.
Sovereign Fist is an exclusive reactive ability for Snow. Last Resort is an exclusive reactive ability for Hope. Ultima Arrow is an exclusive reactive ability for Serah. Army of One is an exclusive reactive ability for Lightning #2.
Characters from Final Fantasy XIII use their full ATB skills when they are summoned as Legends. In addition, players can obtain certain full ATB skills to use as abilities.
- Ability Cards
- Legend Cards
Some of the full ATB attacks appear.
Sovereign Fist is Snow's Champion summon ability. It inflicts Ice-elemental magic damage to all enemies. It also grants Defense+ to all allies. It can be unlocked after completing chapter 12 and costs 1★ gauge to use. When used, "Snow's Theme" from Final Fantasy XIII plays.
Ultima Arrow is an active magic ability that inflicts neutral magical damage on all targets for 7 AP. It can be used by Reynn (Serah's Champion Jewel).
One of Lightning's cards can use Army of One. For the discard cost of another Lightning card and a Thunder CP, Lightning gains the abilities Haste and Preemptive Strike for the rest of the turn.
One of Serah's cards can use Ultima Arrow. For the discard of a Serah card, Dulling Serah and paying 2 Ice CP, Ultima Arrow deals 8000 damage to all the opponent's Dulled Forwards.
One of Sazh's cards can use Cold Blood for the discard of a Sazh card, dulling Sazh, and paying eight Light CP. The ability allows the player to choose up to three Forwards and deal them 17,000 total damage in increments of 1,000, the player dividing up the damage however they choose.