Going into battle with Sabin is to understand the plight of fighting game enthusiasts everywhere. His Blitz attacks require inputs very similar to those known in such a genre, more so in some cases, and the results are often similar: Big moves and big damage. Well, that’s the theory at least, in reality some of these skills aren’t what you might call… Fantastic. In fact, there are a few that are pretty damned underwhelming. So, let’s put them all to right, shall we?
- Sabin sacrifices himself to fully heal HP, MP & remove all ailments for the entire party.
We’ve never really understood sacrifice moves in JRPG games, save perhaps that of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. The theory goes of course, that a party in dire straits can be saved by one emergency skill, resurrecting the team and giving them one last shot in the arm, with which to push to victory. Unfortunately, what tends to result is a team that no longer has its damage dealer – because invariably damage dealers have these skills – and isn’t in the position to do enough damage to win the battle. There are niche cases of course, but on the whole this is clearly the least useful of Sabin’s Blitz skills, and it’s one we’re fairly certain most players will go the entire game without using.
- Weak fire damage to all enemies.
Technically speaking, Rising Phoenix isn’t a bad skill. Dealing damage to every enemy on screen is never really a bad thing, but rather it’s somewhat superfluous when you consider its owner. This is a resolutely early game skill, but Sabin has a great deal of better options at this point in the time, where one of his single target skills will likely kill a target outright. When you then consider that Magic, Scrolls and Dances exist, all of which require less input to set up and likely do more damage, the Rising Phoenix skill falls into obscurity. If you’re set on having Sabin in the team, and indeed set on raising the stat by which most of his skill scale – magic – then you might find this has more use. As it is, we cannot in good conscience put this any higher when it sees such little usage, and there are a great deal of better options available.
- Heals all other party members for Sabin’s current HP divided by the amount of members alive, whilst also cleansing the Silence, Poison, Blind and Sap ailments.
Honestly, we were tempted to put this skill slightly higher up, because it is essentially a weaker version of the White Wind spell without an MP cost, but again we found it slightly too obscure to do so. Sabin is essentially a walking damage dealer, which means that the gamer brain will immediately associate him with such, to the detriment of the rest of his kit. It’s a reasonably good heal, but when you have magic, items and summons available without an annoying d-pad input, and this relies upon both Sabin’s HP and the remaining members alive, the others invariably win out. It’s just not worth it to be honest – stick to healing via other means and throw Sabin at enemies to deal as much damage as possible.
- Sabin fires a Holy damage blast at one enemy.
Now we’re talking. Aura Cannon is one of the Blitz skills that Sabin initially knows, and is essentially the magic version of a base level attacking skill. This is actually a fairly useful skill, but it doesn’t make its way higher up this list for one reason: Raging Fist performs better, and unless you specifically build Sabin towards magic, Aura Cannon will fall off in the second half of the game. Essentially, Raging Fist is better in the early game, and by the time that a significant amount of enemies are specifically weak to magic or Holy damage, you’ll have a good amount of better options. By no means is it a bad skill, but one it’s somewhat superfluous and quickly outclassed in the mid game and onwards.
- Sabin hits one enemy for big physical damage, ignoring defence.
Between this and Meteor Strike, Sabin has some great options for physical damage Blitz skills in the early game. Either will do a great deal of damage, but if we’re honest you will likely use this particular skill a great deal more. It’s ideal for removing single targets from battle, and when there are entire groups of enemies this skill is actually stronger than Meteor Strike. It also doesn’t have an issue with immunity that the aforementioned does. Still, you’ll find that Raging Fist does fall off a good deal earlier, so whilst it is a fantastic skill in the early and mid game, it’ll become obsolete in the World of Ruin. Until then however, having Sabin punch a single enemy will probably be his most regularly seen Blitz.
- Sabin Suplexes one enemy, dealing big physical damage and ignoring defence.
- Damage done by this is reduced by 50% if more than one enemy is active.
Why did they have to go and change the name, following the various rereleases? What was wrong with Sabin suplexing a train? It’s certainly a better description of the animation than a rather unspectacular Meteor Strike taking place. Either way, this is a powerful physical skill that will allow Sabin to deal a tremendous amount of damage to a single target, though said damage does assume that a couple of conditions are met; the enemy is alone in battle, and the game considers it possible for Sabin to Meteor Strike (Suplex) them. This latter point does something to ground Sabin’s strength in reality, and indeed made it such a surprise that the Phantom Train could be suplexed, but the point is that he cannot use this on any and every enemy he decides. This point, along with the potential 50% reduction in damage, does limit the rating we give the skill, but it’s seriously powerful regardless.
- Sabin deals big Wind damage to all enemies.
Thankfully, where Rising Phoenix was rather niche and underwhelming, Razor Gale comes along in the World of Ruin to redeem Sabin’s group clearing options. By this time you will have had time to put effort into his magic stat, should you wish to do so, and this will make Razor Gale all the more powerful. It’s not going to reach the heights of a powered up level 2 or 3 magic spell, but it’ll at least allow him to deal great damage to groups of enemies, specifically during a time period when he’s had time to grow that vital magic stat. Once unlocked, this will become your goto skill for Sabin throughout the remainder of the game. Well, except for single target battles that is, for those you’ll be looking at another magic scaling skill…
- Sabin deals massive magic damage to one target, ignoring defence.
When Sabin first joined your team, his Blitz skills ensured that he would do the most damage in a single round of battle, at least for a short while. Fitting then, upon gaining access to the Airship in the World of Ruin, that Sabin takes up the mantle once again by learning Phantom Rush. By visiting a certain old man in a hut, you’ll gain access to the skill, which at this point will be very likely to deal more damage than anything else at the moment. From this point forward, there’s no point in using any other single target skill than this, and multiple targets will call for Razor Gale, so you now have access to the two skills that Sabin will use for the remainder of the game. Phantom Rush is the goto for boss damage of course, and its usage keeps him relevant when the magic users and dragoons in your party start to scale up in the late game. If only they’d allowed him to wear some better equipment in the games’ latter third…
Categories: Final Fantasy 6