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First Strike is an ability that can be customized onto a weapon by using x1 Return Sphere.
Return Spheres can be found in a variety of locations around Spira, but the quickest way to farm them is by bribing Dark Elements with 36,000 gil for x3 spheres. You can find Dark Elements in the Cavern of Stolen Fayth, which you can access close to the Mt. Gagazet starting path.
You can also get a single Return Sphere by defeating Chimerageist at the Monster Arena. And this is probably the better farming method if you don’t have extra Gil lying around.
Chimerageist is unlocked at the Monster Arena after capturing one of every fiend in the Calm Lands (which you need to do to use the Monster Arena anyway). There are eight fiends in total:
- Flame Flan
- Chimera Brain (these can be found in the northwest of the Calm Lands)
Since you’ll only need one Return Sphere per First Strike ability, it’s probably easier to just bribe Dark Elements for them.
It’s also worth noting that Auron’s Celestial Weapon, the Masamune, has First Strike built right into it.
What is First Strike, Exactly?
It’s just as it sounds:
It gives its user the very first turn in combat.
But unlike its cousin “Initiative”, First Strike guarantees that the person with it equipped will be able to act first.
The only exceptions are in boss fights, and a few select Monster Arena fights.
Having the ability to act first is really handy, especially against stuff like Malboros, which love to use Bad Breath and essentially give you a status-effect game over.
Is First Strike Worth It?
It’s nice to have, but as you raise your agility and luck, this ability becomes less and less important.
The best use for First Strike is to put it on your capture weapons, so you always have first crack when hunting monsters for the Arena.
And, as previously stated, some monsters just love destroying parties on the first turn. So getting to make a move before them to end the battle quickly is a blessing.
When you’re exploring the Omega Ruins for the first time, First Strike and/or No Encounters is just about required for survival.
When in doubt, don’t take chances – take the first strike!