Equips "Time" magicDescription
Time is a Magic Materia in Final Fantasy VII equipped to provide the spells Haste, Slow, and Stop. Each affects the ATB speed of a target, where Haste doubles it, Slow halves it, and Stop freezes it. The Time Materia can also be linked with the Added Effect Materia, and is tied to both the Slow status effect and the Stop effect.
|Haste||18||Grants Haste to target.|
|Slow||20||Inflicts Slow on target. Only enemy immunity can prevent it.|
|Stop||34||60% chance of inflicting Stop on target.|
The Time Materia grants the spell Haste at level 1, Slow at level 2, and Stop at level 3. Haste applies the Haste status effect, which doubles the speed of the target's ATB gauge. Slow applies the Slow status effect, which halves ATB speed. Stop has a 60% chance to inflict the Stop status effect, freezing the target's ATB gauge entirely. These spells various uses, where Haste has a positive effect, Slow has a negative effect with a high chance of succeeding, and Stop has a full disabling effect with a chance of working.
Though no Time spells are based on the caster's Magic stat, it has fairly significant stat changes. It provides +5% to max MP, +2 Magic, and +1 Magic def, but -5% HP, -2 Strength -2, and -1 Vitality. This means it is normally better to give Time to characters who are better built towards spellcasting with higher MP and Magic stats, such as Aeris, Red XIII, Yuffie, Cait Sith, and Vincent who will benefit more from the stat changes, whereas it will detriment characters using physical damage. Cloud can be a good choice as he can be built towards either magical or physical damage.
Time can be paired with the Added Effect Materia. When linked with the Materia on weapons, it has a 20% chance to inflict Slow or Stop on enemies with physical attacks. When linked with the Materia on armor, it provides immunity to the statuses. Though applying the status to physical attacks can be especially helpful the stat changes from equipping the Materia are slightly detrimental to physical attackers, meaning it should only be done if offset by otherwise strong stats. For armor, it is useful broadly to provide resistance against the statuses. This can be useful as the only accessories that protect against the statuses are Sprint Shoes, which provides immunity to Slow by automatically granting Haste, and Ribbon, a rare accessory that provides immunity to all statuses.
The value of each of the spells varies. Haste can be useful in many cases, especially if linked with All to apply to all allies, though it can be applied in alternate ways such as Big Guard from the Enemy Skill Materia or applied automatically by equipping Sprint Shoes. It can be especially good on the Battle Square where beneficial status effects don't run out in-between rounds. Slow can also be useful to weaken larger enemies that deal considerable damage, and unlike similar negatives, is guaranteed to work unless the enemy is immune to it (which many enemies, including bosses, are not). Stop can go further by completely disabling an enemy, but is not guaranteed to work, and enemies can also have immunity.
Time is useful when paired with Sneak Attack at level 2 or 3 to cast Slow at level 2, or attempt Stop at level 3, as soon as the battle starts, before an enemy can get an action.