Attacks with lightning.Description
Thundara, also known as Bolt 2, is an Attack spell in Final Fantasy VI. It is the medium lightning-elemental spell, an upgrade on Thunder (dealing triple damage), that can be used to hit one target or an entire party. It is learned by party members through magicite or by equipping the Thunder Shield.
Thundara is also an enemy ability used by Chadarnook (Demon), Crane (Left), Crane (Right), Goddess, Gold Dragon, Inferno, Joker, Level 30 Magic, Magic Master, Moebius, Number 024, Humbaba, Veil Dancer, and Misty.
As a spell with a power of 61, it deals damage with the following formula:
where "Level" refers to the user's level, and Magic refers to the user's Magic stat. As a standard spell, when Thundara is group-cast, its damage is halved, the target's Magic Defense and shell play a role in mitigating damage, and the spell can potentially be blocked by Magic Evasion.
Several relics augment Thundara and other spells. If the caster is equipped with an Earring or a Hero Ring, the damage is multiplied by 5/4 (or a 25% increase). If the caster is equipped with two Earrings, two Hero Rings, or one of each, the damage is multiplied by 3/2 (a 50% increase). If the caster equips Gold Hairpin or Celestriad, its MP cost is cut by half or reduced to 1, respectively.
Because the spell deals lightning-elemental damage, the enemy's elemental affinity affects its damage output. If lightning is nullified, or the target is immune to lightning, the spell will deal 0 damage. If the target absorbs the element, it will heal HP instead of dealing damage. If the target resists the element, it will deal half damage; conversely, if the target is weak to the element, its damage will be doubled.
Thundara when first acquired is a strong but costly spell to cast, dealing triple Thunder's damage. It is stronger than summoning Ramuh on a single target, but on groups, Ramuh is better. Though it the least MP-efficient and least strong of the three medium-tier elemental spells (Fira, Blizzara, and Thundara), the difference between the three is negligible. Nonetheless, this means Thundara should be used specifically against enemies weak to lightning, against whom it will deal double damage, destroying many such enemies in one hit. The MP cost means that, when first acquired, it should be reserved for tougher enemies and bosses, while Thunder can be cast instead against weaker enemies.
As an Attack spell, the player should prioritize teaching Thunder to party members with a high natural Magic stat and access to mage equipment. This includes Terra (who can double its damage with Trance), Celes, Relm, and Strago; Mog and Shadow have high Magic stats, while Gogo has access to mage equipment. Though Sabin will be built toward magic damage, his access to Aura Cannon makes him less of a priority than others. Thundara is worth teaching to all party members simply to provide a way to exploit enemies' elemental weaknesses, but is not a high priority.
Thundara outclasses Thunder in terms of damage output and turn-efficiency, but its hefty MP cost means Thunder can be used more frequently until party members' MP pools improve. Thundaga doubles Thundara's damage, but also more than doubles its MP cost. When Thundaga is available, Thundara becomes the base spell to cast against all but the stronger enemies, until party members either equip Celestriad, or have immensely large MP pools.