Part 85: Strategic Notes: ColossusStrategic Notes: Colossus
Okay, before you can fight Colossus, you have to go through floor 23 first.
There's a ton of FOEs to go through on this floor, and some of them aren't even shown on the map. Deathman are all over the place, and there's some new FOEs running around. Thankfully unlike EO1's FOE Thunderdome, you don't have to kill all the FOEs here. In fact, that's actually impossible without tons of grinding. Mainly thanks to this guy.
Yes, this Stratum actually has two Red FOEs, although Beamedges don't show up past floor 23. They're resistant to everything but Volt. While Dampen takes care of that, your party will not have the firepower to take them down. They have the stats of a postgame enemy, and should be saved for then. The best thing to do on this floor is to sneak past every one of the FOEs, since they're all dangerous to fight. Because Beamedges are Red FOEs, Sleep and Lure Bells will not work on them, so you have to plan your route carefully.
Now even if you do manage to sneak past every FOE, there is one that you'll have to fight. There's no avoiding it.
Skills: Head EM, Arms EM, Legs Em
-Common: Metal Chip - See Deathman bio.
Description: Mechanical guardians who constantly patrol the Colossus's shrine to ward off intruders.
Weakness: Volt (125%)
Resistance: Fire (50%), Ice (50%), Physical (50%)
Guardians are very weak FOEs that just serve to waste time and resources. All of their EM moves are AOE skills that try to inflict their respective bind type on the party. Now there's gonna be four more of these things in the room, and when you get into a fight with one, they'll try to join in. They'll also respawn constantly, so try to finish these things off as fast as possible. Once you're done with them, you'll finally reach the Colossus.
-Common: Guard Horn - 70% drop. Unlocks Balmung (Sword), and Nectall II. Limited Stock
--Gnarled, twisted skull of a guardian beast.
-Rare: Guard Skin - 30% drop. Unlocks Holy Armor. Limited Stock
--Sturdy hide that befits a guardian beast.
-Conditional: Red Spine - 95% drop. Don't kill with Cut, Stab, or Bash. Unlocks Ruby Mail. Limited stock.
--Guardian beast tailbone of legendary ruby.
Description: An ancient Labyrinth guardian that now rests in the floating castle. It has no weaknesses.
Destroy: Uses the legs. Deals a moderate amount of Bash damage to the party. Targets that get hit have their defense lowered.
Horns: Uses the head. Deals a severe amount of Stab damage to a single target.
Brandish: Uses the head. Deals a heavy amount of Bash damage to a single target. Deals splash damage. Has a high chance of inflicting arm bind.
Barrier: Cannot be disabled. Deals severe damage to party members that attack him with Fire, Ice, or Volt attacks.
Breath: Uses the head. Decreases the party's attack and has a high chance of inflicting Poison, Blind, and Paralysis. The Poison component ticks for 120 damage.
Mad Rush: Cannot be disabled. Deals a severe amount of Bash damage to everyone. Has a high chance of inflicting head and leg binds.
Colossus is a very infamous boss. He's generally considered to be the toughest boss in the game, even tougher than the final boss. It's to the point where he's considered a brick wall, and a run ender. People have tried to grind their parties all the way to 70 just to get past it, and that still wasn't enough. Keep in mind that not everyone runs the same party or uses the optimal classes. I should probably note that Colossus has a different respawn timer than the rest of the Stratum bosses. Colossus will not respawn until you kill the Overlord, so if you miss out on the drops, you'll only get a second chance after you complete the game. Of course the many people who got past this boss don't care about trying to get the drops again, and are generally happy to try for them later, or to never do that fight again.
Colossus has a ton of devastating moves. For the most part, he doesn't have a set AI. His regular attacks are likely to one shot your squishy classes. Destroy is a physical AOE that isn't likely to kill your party, but since it inflicts a defense debuff, it'll definitely kill your party if he decides to use it again. Horns deals a ton of damage to the point where it'll one shot any class. Likewise with Brandish, although the tougher classes should be able to survive the splash damage. The arm bind component can be annoying for physical attackers, so keep a few Therica As around. Barrier is when things get tricky. Colossus has a really high resistance to physical attacks, so you think spamming elemental attacks would be the answer. It's not, Colossus can throw up a Barrier at some points and if anyone uses an elemental attack on those turns, they're dead. Because of that, Alchemists are generally considered to be a liability for the fight. It doesn't counter untyped attacks, so that's something to consider. Breath is an AOE debuff that lowers your party's attack but has a high chance of inflicting various status effects. Its probably the least dangerous move he has, but it's still annoying to deal with.
Mad Rush is special. At this point in the game, it will one hit kill your party, no questions asked. But he will only use it if your party has too many buffs. More specifically, five of them. This means that a single Troubadour song will cause Colossus to go apeshit and cause a party wipe. And the chance of him using this attack increases the more buffs you have, so mists are terrible items to use in this fight. The worst part about this skill is that it doesn't erase your buffs. The reason is because for one thing, buffs being dispelled is usually lets the player know they did something wrong and had too many of them. The other reason is because your buffs not being dispelled means that Colossus can keep spamming Mad Rush. Using a Troubadour's Force Skill is a death sentence for your party.
Now everything I've said makes the Colossus sounds like a big tough boss. He's not. Colossus is a big fat joke. He's probably one of the easier bosses in the game. He's not a complete pushover, but he's far more manageable than Scylla. The main reason people considered to him to be a difficult boss is because they didn't know how to fight him properly. The best way to deal with Colossus is to use elemental attacks. Yes, you read that right. For the record, I said spamming elemental attacks is not how you're supposed to deal with it. This is because of how Colossus' AI works. The game will check every turn to see if anyone used a Fire, Ice, or Volt attack in the last turn. If they did, Colossus has a 45% chance of using Barrier on the current turn. If you alternate between elemental and physical attacks, Colossus will waste about a ¼ of his turns on average waiting to counter an attack that will never come. This gives you a lot more breathing room to deal with him. And it makes getting the conditional drop a breeze since you can just hold off on elemental attacks for one turn if he's about to die, and then deal the killing blow on the next turn. That's not even counting the other various methods you can use to break the fight, like Force skills and using a Hexer. If you play smart, Colossus is not a scary boss.
: A Hexer completely and utterly vaporizes any bit of difficulty in this fight. Revenge can nuke Colossus down in two turns, but on top of that Dampen turns Colossus' impressive defenses into a huge weakness. Colossus isn't that resistant to status effects either, so if you have Evil Eye and Suicide, you can stun lock the thing. Aliara only has Dampen, but that lets all of our physical attackers go to town on the thing. As a final insult to injury, Scavenge makes picking up all the drops a non-issue.
: Despite what some people think, Alchemists are not a liability for this fight. In fact, they are the best offensive class to bring to the fight. Bellamy can alternate between his elemental attacks and Megido and never let up on his offenses. His attacks deal around 500 damage without the damage boost from Dampen, but if Frederik is on the team, he goes straight up into overkill territory since his attacks will deal 900-1100 in that case.
: The reason I consider Survivalists a top pick is not because of their damage skills, but because of 1st turn. Barrier doesn't automatically go first, it just has a really high speed modifier which some classes can bypass. See where this is going? If Pauline is paired up with an elemental attacker, preferably someone who can deal a lot of elemental damage since they're gonna be the only ones who can use those attacks safely, Colossus will waste about a ½ of his turns on average using Barrier. If you get lucky, you can stun lock it for the whole fight.
: Ronin are kind of limited in usefulness since they're primarily physical attackers, but their elemental attacks can deal a decent amount of damage. Ken is an alright choice since he can alternate between Orochi and Midareba. While he can deal lots of damage with Midareba is Aliara is on the team, he's a front liner. Meaning that most of Colossus' attacks are going to be directed towards him. So he might not get a chance to actually fight.
: Gunners are pretty decent since they can avoid Colosssus' wrath on the back lines. Fedot can alternate between his elemental shots and Ricochet, which deals even more damage if a Dampen Hexer is on the team. As a bonus, he can cure any ailments inflicted by Breath with Medishot.
: A Dark Hunter's Dominate can completely shut down Colossus, and it's pretty easy to get a hold of the Dominator whip at this point. I won't be using either, so all Nick has is Gag and his Bait skills. Most of Colossus' skills use the head, so if Nick can land the bind, that takes a lot of bite out of the fight. The Bait skills are pretty questionable in usefulness. If Nick dies, they won't proc. For best results, he should be paired up with Aegis who can ensure that he and anyone else on the front lines can actually survive Colossus' attacks.
: Landsknechts are kind of mediocre for this fight. Their only form of elemental attacks are their chaser skills, so a team needs to be built around them to get the most out of those. Still, Emilia can dish out a decent amount of damage with her chasers, but only if there's other elemental attackers on the team. She has Tornado to fall back on when she has to alternate attacks, but its damage is mediocre.
: No matter how you skill your Beast, I don't consider them to be a good choice for this fight. A Protector does a far better job of defending your team in this case. Ling does have Rampage which is great physical damage, but Loyalty means that he'll probably die very fast. On the plus side, he could end up protecting a much more important party member.
: A War Magus is a fantastic support to bring to the fight. They're very fast healers and their buffs are single target, so they won't proc Mad Rush. Frederik can heal up any injuries inflicted by the Colossus and Warmight is a great damage boost for any offensive class.
: A Protector is a very good defensive support to bring to the fight. Front Guard lowers the damage from Colossus' attacks that are normally one hit kills to much more manageable levels. Provoke is also great at preventing his single target attacks from killing your squishier characters. Aegis is also the only party member that can tank Colossus' attacks head on and live. Unfortunately, he can't protect the back row.
: I don't really like Medics, they're way too slow to be useful. Maverick can dispel status effects and binds, but considering that the only way to ensure that he can heal the party is to spam his heals every turn, he's not going to get a chance to dispel ailments and binds. Besides, those are just minor annoyances compared what else the Colossus can do to you.
: A Troubadour is by far the worst class to bring to this fight. A single song will cause Colossus to go crazy with Mad Rush. All Gilbert can really do is imbue his fellow party members' regular attacks with elements, which I guess is decent for Emilia's chaser skills. He can also dispel Colossus' debuffs with his songs, but that's all he can really do.
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