I created this guide to share my best strategy to defeat Vercingetorix, one of the most difficult enemies in the game. Vercingetorix is unique amongst FFXIII enemies because it requires a unique strategy to defeat.
Preparation for the Battle
This guide is written for the adept player who has been through the game once or twice, and so I will not be including some of the basic information that is available in other guides. I would encourage you to read multiple guides on Steam and Gamefaqs to develop your strategy, especially if this is your first time through the game.
I would like to thank Bover_87 for creating an excellent guide on Gamefaqs. It is an incredibly useful resource and easy to navigate in HTML format.
How to Find Vercingetorix
Vercingetorix is the mark for the final C’ieth stone mission, #64. The stone is located at the end of the rust covered bridge in Oerba, where you fought Barthandelus for the second time. The mark itself is at the other end of Gran Pulse, in the Paddrean Archaeopolis. Because it is a pain to go all the way back to the C’ieth Stone to launch the mission again, I have written this guide with the goal of getting five stars. When the stone is activated, the Archaeopolis is infested with powerful C’ieth and the mark is at the far end of the map. If you do not care about getting a five star rating the first time, you can use the Gold Watch accessory that you win from this mission to boost the target time and make it easier to do so.
Party Setup and Preparation
This mission should not be attempted until you are far into the postgame, having mastered the crystarium for each character’s primary roles and much of their secondary roles. Your HP max should be around 20,000. Hopefully you have a maxed out Kain’s Lance for Fang. Try to max out all of your accessories as well – it is best to try this after having defeated a number of Adamantoise/Adamantortoise to farm Platinum Ingots so that you have the cash to upgrade your equipment. Generally, if you are strong enough to defeat the big turtles without having to use a Summon, you can win this battle too.
Vanille will serve as the party leader. Her primary role will be sticking poison on the mark, so her weapon should be a Malboro Wand as the Improved Debuffing II ability is key. It would be best to keep this weapon at its lowest level to keep the target time low. She is also the character who needs the most protection, so load her up with General’s Belts as the mark’s most powerful attacks are all physical in nature. Adamant Bangle and Imperial Armlet are also good choices. Vanille will preferably have mastered the Synergist role with access to Protectra, Bravera, and Faithra. She will also need access to the Sentinel role and so she will need to have learned at least one of its abilities.
Fang will be the muscle and will help to debuff the mark. Give her the most powerful weapon you have and a Power Glove or (preferably) two. I find the best setup is to give her two pairs of Nimbletoe Boots to round out her accessory slots. These will give her a 10% ATB boost, improve her defensive capabilities somewhat when you are in Tortoise, and keep the target time high. You could also give her a few General’s Belts or Adamant Bangles if she’s having trouble staying healthy. Preferably Fang will have a maxed out Synergist ability with access to Haste and Protectra. She will also need at least a few Medic abilities so she can do some healing.
Snow will be the tank. He should absolutely have a Solaris as his weapon, as the Improved Ward II ability will limit damage to the entire party. Like Vanille, keep his weapon at as low of a level as possible – Snow won’t be using it offensively and leveling it up will just lower the target time. Give him two pairs of Nimbletoe Boots for the ATB bonus and evasion boost, and the other two accessory slots should have General’s Belts. Snow will need medic abilities to do some healing and will preferably be a strong Synergist with access to Haste.
Paradigms (the parenthesis order reflects the above party order)
1. Countermeasure (Sab/Sab/Sen)
2. Scouting Party (Sab/Com/Med) OR Attrition (Sab/Med/Sen)
3. Discretion (Med/Com/Med)
4. Tortoise (Sen/Sen/Sen)
5. Salvation (Med/Med/Med)
6. Rapid Growth (Syn/Syn/Syn)
Regarding #2, I prefer Scouting Party and will refer to it when I discuss the battle strategy, but if you find your party dying easily Attrition is a good replacement. However, you do not want to keep a Sentinel active for more than a few rounds consecutively as it will trigger IA.
Final Preparation and Strategy
It’s optional, but I use aegisol and fortisol before engaging the mark. While the mark can remove buffs easily these will still give you a boost out of the gate.
The overall strategy for this mark is different than any other FFXIII enemy. In most difficult battles the goal is to buff your party, debuff the enemy, build up the stagger gauge, and then pound them into oblivion. Other tough enemies can also be defeated using Vanille’s Death ability. Both strategies are not workable here because it is impossible to stagger Vercingetorix and it is invulnerable to Death. Here the goal is to fight defensively: remove any of the mark’s buffs immediately and hit them with Poison and Deprotect, then sit back and heal while Fang pounds away. Because the mark’s HP is so high, Poison is very effective and so other than staying alive getting that to stick is your top priority. The next highest priority is dispelling any of the mark’s buffs. Luckily Fang can clear these easily when she’s in her Saboteur role, which frees up Vanille to work them over with Poison. The mark becomes far deadlier as the battle goes on, so switch to Salvation immediately if anyone’s health gets into red territory.
A further problem to contend with is Impenetrable Aura (IA). IA removes all of the mark’s debuffs and adds buffs, makes them temporarily invulnerable, heals them a bit, and resets the chain gauge. IA is triggered if the mark loses enough HP or if the chain level goes to 200%. This makes the mark impossible to stagger and so Ravagers are useless here. As the mark primarily uses physical attacks, it would be much easier to just keep Snow as a Sentinel the entire time, which is a great strategy to use against Attacus (Mission #51). However, I’ve found that if you keep a Sentinel in their role for too long the mark will switch to IA, which will defeat all of your debuffing efforts.
The first thing to do is use a librascope. Then have Vanille hit them with poison until it sticks. If Fang has managed to land Deprotect then switch to Discretion, if not, switch to Scouting Party for one turn so Vanille can stick it, then switch to Discretion. The mark will pound you with physical attacks but with two medics you should be able to stay alive with the above party setup. Once Vercingetorix uses IA, switch to Salvation if you have anyone’s HP in red or yellow territory. If not, switch to Rapid Growth and (1) give Fang Bravera and Faithra, (2) Vanille Faithra and Protectra, and (3) the same to Snow, time permitting. Vanille usually has time for three action rounds before IA ends and you switch back to Countermeasure. Hopefully Fang and Snow will have hasted the party. While the mark will remove your buffs constantly they still provide a boost and you don’t have anything better to do during IA. However, as soon as IA ends you want to be back into debuffing mode as your time is much better spent there.
Once the mark is out of IA, or preferably right before, switch to Countermeasure so Fang can dispel any buffs that have been added, and Vanille can stick Poison. After one round switch to Scouting Party and hit them with Poison if needed and then Deprotect. Then Discretion to get some more damage in.
Repeat the above cycle until the mark hits 50% HP when it will use its most powerful attack, Wicked Whirl. Always switch to Tortoise immediately when you see Wicked Whirl. Be patient and stay in Tortoise until your characters have stood back up again. If your HP is low switch to Salvation. If you’re in decent shape and the mark has Poison and Deprotect, then switch to Discretion. A third alternative is to switch to Scouting Party if you still need to debuff. After this point he will use Wicked Whirl on occasion, so be ready for it.
If you follow the above strategy the battle is still difficult but manageable. When you have Snow with the above equipment and paradigms he will limit damage to the whole party when in Countermeasure and Tortoise, which can help tremendously by giving you more breathing room. It is always better to fight conservatively here, especially in the latter half of the fight, but once you get the timing down it is much easier. Things can get dicey if you do not switch to Tortoise fast enough when he hits you with Wicked Whirl, or if you accidentally switch to a different paradigm. Another way to gain an advantage is when you are in Discretion keep the paradigm menu open unless you need to input heal commands for Vanille. That way you can switch to Tortoise ASAP if needed or Rapid Growth if he uses IA. An alternative is to stay in Salvation once poison is active and only have Fang attack when you feel safe – he will die from poison eventually.