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How to beat Benedikta in Final Fantasy 16

Face off against the Dominant of Garuda

Benedikta clashing swords with Clive in Final Fantasy 16 Image: Square Enix Creative/Square Enix via Polygon
Johnny Yu (he/him) is a guides writer at Polygon. He has written about games such as The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Diablo 4, and Fire Emblem Engage.

In Final Fantasy 16, you’ll face off against Benedikta, the Dominant of Garuda, at the end of the main story chapter “Headwind.” Benedikta is the first Dominant you’ll fight against, and her attacks can be quite punishing if you don’t dodge them properly. However, don’t be alarmed! The fight against Benedikta isn’t as intimidating as you think — a majority of her attacks can be dodged by just running to the side.

Read on to learn all of Benedikta’s attacks, and how to defeat her in Final Fantasy 16.

How to beat Benedikta

The fight revolves around Benedikta weaving in and out of close and long range combat. She will lunge in to clash swords with Clive, and retreat to throw wind-infused magic at you. There are two phases: human form and semi-primed form. After you defeat her human form, a cinematic clash will occur where Benedikta will semi-prime, bringing out the power of Garuda.

Preparing to fight against Benedikta

Before you face off against Benedikta, we recommend you follow these tips:

  • Upgrade your abilities: You should always spend your ability points to upgrade your abilities because there is no refund cost. If you’re not spending your ability points, they’re going to waste since you can always get them back for free.
  • Just keep running: A lot of Benedikta’s projectiles can be dodged by simply running to the side. You do not have to get fancy and try to dodge to get the flashy animation. Stay on the move and continuously strafe in the battle to avoid a majority of her attacks.
  • Swap your abilities: You’re pretty limited on what abilities you can use at this point in the story, and you should always use what you’re comfortable with. However, the Benedikta fight is heavy on projectiles, and the Phoenix ability “Heatwave” becomes extra effective when it blocks a projectile. If you’re good at timing your dodges and parries, you should definitely give “Heatwave” a try here!
  • Watch for Benedikta’s tells: Benedikta’s attacks will always have a “wind-up” move where she either jumps backwards, floats into the air, flies around the stage, or collects particles around her body. Try to learn what each of these motions mean and what is going to come next to easily avoid taking any damage. For example, after Benedikta flies around the stage and shoots two wind orbs in your direction, she will always perform a follow-up attack immediately after, so be prepared to dodge!

First phase — human form

Benedikta holding her sword in Final Fantasy 16 Image: Square Enix Creative/Square Enix via Polygon

In the first phase, Benedikta will present her usual human self, and battle from both close and long range. During the first phase, Benedikta has three named attacks:

  • Aerora: Benedikta will swirl the air around her, and shoot one ball of wind in your direction. The projectile does come out pretty quickly, so either continue to run to the side once you see Benedikta use Aerora or be prepared to dodge.
  • Aeroga: Benedikta will charge up a ball of wind above her head, and hurl it at your direction. The ball will explode leaving a miniature whirlwind at its location. Aeroga can be dodged by running to the side or dodging just as the projectile is about to hit the ground.
  • Wind Blade: Benedikta will dash away from you and blue particles will start to form around her. She will then either send out one horizontal arc in your direction that is quickly followed up by another horizontal arc, or she will send out three vertical arcs that are followed by another three vertical arcs.

In addition to the named attacks, Benedikta has a few unnamed attacks:

  • Benedikta will float into the air with green particles around her. She’ll then quickly lunge towards your direction in a stabbing motion once. Dodge the lunge, and dash back in to get a few free hits in.
  • Benedikta will start to form blue particles around her, and unleash a spread of five balls of wind. You can either stand in between the balls or dodge through them to avoid this attack.
  • Benedikta will retreat backwards, and then lunge in your direction. She will proceed to swing five times, so make sure to keep dodging.

Second phase — semi-primed form

Benedikta semi-priming, drawing out the power of Garuda during the Caer Norvant fight in Final Fantasy 16. Image: Square Enix Creative/Square Enix via Polygon

In the second phase, Benedikta will semi-prime by calling upon Garuda’s power without fully transforming. In doing so, Benedikta will upgrade her abilities, and throw a couple new ones at you. During the second phase, Benedikta has ten named attacks:

  • Aerora: An upgraded version of Aerora from the first phase, but now Benedikta will shoot two wind orbs in succession.
  • Aeroga: An upgraded version of Aeroga from the first phase, but now Benedikta will shoot three balls in succession.
  • Aerial Slash: An upgraded version of Wind Blade from the first phase, but now Benedikta will repeat the move three times. Aerial Slash will upgrade one more time in the fight, where Benedikta will throw the vertical projectiles at you first, and then transition into the horizontal projectiles. Continue to dodge as the projectiles come your way to avoid taking damage.
  • Aero Rain: Benedikta will take to the skies and shoot a group of six wind orbs in your direction. She’ll continue to fly around the stage and throw eight more groups of orbs. You can either run to the side of the orbs or dodge just before they hit the ground to avoid this attack.
  • Nosedive: Benedikta will launch upwards, disappearing from your field of view. A blue spark will appear on the floor indicating that she is going to land on that location. Quickly dodge out of the way to avoid getting hit.
  • Tornado: There are two versions of Tornado during the second phase. The first version involves a green light appearing on the floor, and the wind will start to gather around it, summoning a tornado. In the second version, multiple green lights will appear around the stage, causing multiple tornadoes to spawn. Stay away from the green lights on the floor to avoid the tornadoes.
  • Gathering Clouds: A large circle of wind will form underneath Benedikta. Quickly run out of the circle, or else you’ll be caught in her next move, Rammelfall.
  • Rammelfall: Benedikta will grab pieces of the tower and hurl them towards your direction. If you’re caught by Gathering Clouds, you’ll be encased in the rubble, and slammed onto the ground instead.
  • Deadly Embrace: Benedikta will launch Garuda’s claws out towards your direction, grabbing you in the process. She’ll pull you back in and summon a tornado right on top of you. If you do end up getting grabbed, don’t be alarmed because you can still avoid the tornado if you quickly run from the area.
  • Twister: Benedikta will grab you, throw you into the air, and then slam you into the ground. Dodge the initial grab to avoid the damage. If you’re low on health and you’ve already been grabbed, make sure to use a potion before you hit the ground!

In addition to the named attacks, Benedikta has a few unnamed attacks:

  • Benedikta will back up a bit and then lunge towards your direction with a three staged attack. First, she’ll lunge towards you, swiping her claws multiple times. Then, she’ll spin towards you, hitting you multiple times. Lastly, she’ll slam the ground with Garuda’s foot. If you get hit with all three attacks, you will lose a large portion of your HP. Once you see Benedikta float backwards into the air, be prepared to dodge the initial lunge. From there, you can either continuously run to the side or dodge just before Benedikta is about to hit you to avoid the attack.
  • Benedikta will fly around the stage and throw two wind orbs in your direction. After she throws the two orbs, she will perform either Nosedive, Deadly Embrace, or Twister. Avoid the orbs by running to the side or dodging, but be especially prepared for the follow-up moves.

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