FF16: 9 Best Clive Abilities [My Picks]

With my expert guide, Explore the best of Clive's abilities in FF16 & discover strategic combos, understand their usage, and master your gameplay skills.

In the enthralling universe of Final Fantasy 16, Clive’s vast array of best weapons & non-Eikonic abilities is the beating heart of the combat. These skills, each boasting unique mechanics and strategic implications, form the foundation for combat encounters and your character’s progression. Mastering Clive’s best abilities in Final Fantasy 16 not only enhances the player’s prowess but also increases the understanding and nuance of these abilities. That is why I have listed the 9 best Clive abilities you should master in FF16 from the get-go.

Key Takeaways
  • Clive’s best abilities in Final Fantasy 16 are diverse and crucial for different combat scenarios.
  • The 15 different abilities range from defensive skills like Swift Recovery, which helps Clive regain composure quickly, to offensive abilities like Burning Blade, which can break an enemy’s guard.
  • Depending on your preferred gameplay, you can focus on ranged attacks, close combat, or a balance of both.
  • Many of Clive’s abilities can be further improved or mastered by investing in Ability Points (AP).
  • Certain abilities like Limit Break can turn the tide of a battle system.
  • Combining different abilities can result in powerful combos. 

My Picks For The Best Among Clive’s Abilities In FF16

Here is an overview of all the non-Eikon best abilities of Clive in Final Fantasy 16:  

Serial No.AbilitiesUnlock AP CostMaster AP CostBest Usage of This SkillBest For
1.Precision DodgeDefault (0 AP)500 APCounterattack after dodgingThe Best Early-Game Ability For Counter Attacks
2.Swift Recovery10 AP0 APInstant recovery after being knocked downThe Best Ability For Quick Recovery
3.Magic BurstDefault (0 AP)300 APQuick burst of magic damage after a melee strikeThe Best Ability For Combo Extention
4.Charged Magic20 AP250 APEnhanced magic damage and aerial combosThe Best Core Ability For Ranged Dmg
5.Burning Blade25 AP180 APBreaking enemy guard and parrying incoming attacksThe Best Innate Ability For Breaking Guards
6.Stomp15 AP170 APPowerful attack from an aerial positionThe Best Skill For Gaining Height
7.Taunt40 AP0 APCrowd control and manipulation of enemy movementThe Best Skill For Separating Crowds
8.Lunge20 AP200 APRapid strike at a distant enemyThe Best Core Ability For Closing Distances
9.Limit BreakDefault (0 AP)1000 AP (Upgrade), 2000 AP (Mastery)Boost damage and healing when HP is low or enemy is staggeredThe Best Ability For Transformation

Here is a quick run down on the best Clive abilities you should get first in FF16:

YouTube video

9. Precision Dodge

The Best Early-Game Ability For Counter Attacks.
Precision Dodge [Image Credits: eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: Precision Dodge can provide a variety of advantages, with its slowing environment and counter melee or ranged attack.

Learning how to do a perfect Precision Dodge early in Final Fantasy 16 is very important for 2 cases. One, you get to counter a small to big heavy incoming attack without taking a hit at Clive’s health bar. Two, executing a perfect Precision Dodge gives you a chance to do a Precision Counter. If the attack was carried right after a Precision Dodge, then it always hits like a truck than Clive’s regular attacks so, I recommend you to understand the mechanics of this ability & utilize it the most, especially on the bosses. 

You can also land a Precision Shot after a successful Precision Dodge by pressing the Triangle button. So, to make the most of Precision Dodge, you basically need to invest 500 AP, which then extends the trigger window for Clive’s Ability. The Mastered version ensures you get enough room to land a Precision dodge easily, and not waste this opportunity. 

  • The ability can slow down the environment.
  • It can be followed up by a melee or ranged attack.
  • The timing of the dodge can be tight without upgarde.
  • Cold Snap can give better reward than Precision Dodge in some cases.

8. Swift Recovery

The Best Ability For Quick Recovery.
Swift Recovery [Image Credits: eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: Swift Recovery is always handy in any situation. Plus, it costs essentialy nothing.

Unlike the Precision Dodge, the Swift Recovery is not unlocked by default in Final Fantasy 16 and you need to invest 10 AP into this skill to get it. I consider this skill to be very useful in instances when Clive is hit hard, especially by a heavy attack, is sent back by the attack, and is knocked down as well. Quickly recovering from knockdown with R1 can save your skin more often than not.

This is not an offensive best Clive ability in FF16, instead, this one leans more towards the defensive side of the combat. 

  • Can be acquired very easily due to low cost.
  • Prevents further dmg after getting knocked down.
  • Is primarily a defensive technique only, not for dmg.
  • Can’t protect against attacks that don’t knock you down.

7. Magic Burst

The Best Ability For Combo Extention.
Magic Burst [Image Credits: eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: Magic burst can essentially elongate basic combo chains, opening up new possibilities.

You also get the Magic Burst ability by default for Clive but, I am sad to say that this one needs to be upgraded to the Master version in order to utilize it the most. The final version of this ability will cost 300 AP, and like Precision Dodge, Magic Burst’s trigger window also gets extended. 

Magic Burst is one of the best early game Clive’s abilities in Final Fantasy 16, as it allows you to land a quick burst of magic damage by hitting the Triangle button after you have landed a melee strike. This is a close-range magic attack that may or may not be of much use if you try to execute it from medium to long-range distance. 

There are potentially two techniques to execute the Magic Burst, the best one is obviously to use the attack right after slashing the sword on an enemy. But, you can also use a Magic Burst attack from the air as well. 

  • Can effectively extend basic combo with extra hits.
  • Useable in mid-air, extending aerial combos.
  • Is only effective in your vicinity.
  • Comparatively low damage.

6. Charged Magic

The Best Core Ability For Ranged Dmg.
Charged Magic [Image Credits: eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: Charged Magic is very handy in ranged situations and aerial combat, and can be acquired very early.

Charged Magic is an advanced version of the Magic Burst skill in Final Fantasy 16. To unlock this Clive’s ability, you need to invest 20 AP. To obtain the Mastery or fully upgraded version of Charged Magic, you’ll need 250 AP.

You can use Charged Magic in two ways:

  1. Charged Shot: This hits enemies with a charged spell, dealing higher damage than a regular Magic Burst.
  2. Charged Lift: Lifts an enemy into the air with a charged spell, allowing you to execute aerial combos using Clive’s sword and maintain combo points.
  • Very low unlock cost and can be used at a range.
  • Launches enemies upward, enabling aerial combat.
  • Does not deal that much dmg.
  • Can not lift heavier foes.

5. Burning Blade

The Best Innate Ability For Breaking Guards.
Burning Blade [Image Credits: eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: Burning Blade is very practical in breaking enemies’ guard and parrying with it offers many benefits.

Clive’s Burning Blade ability in FF16 is reminiscent of Nero’s moves in Devil May Cry 5, charging the blade and delivering three fiery swings. To unlock this ability, invest 25 AP. For maximum effectiveness, I suggest you to unlock the Mastery version by spending 180 AP, reducing the time required to charge the sword.

You can use Burning Blade in two ways: on the ground or from the air. It’s particularly useful for breaking enemy guards, a challenging task before obtaining this ability. Additionally, the Burning Blade can naturally parry some incoming attacks when timed correctly, making it valuable in boss fights. Practice and master this parry mechanic for improved combat performance.

  • Easy to acquire and can be used mid-air.
  • Can parry enemy attacks if timed properly.
  • The time required to charge is high if not upgraded.
  • The timing for parrying is slightly tougher.

4. Stomp

The Best Skill For Gaining Height.
Stomp [Image Credits: eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: Stomp is very useful for aerial combat as it extends your jump height and duration.

Unlock Clive’s Stomp ability in FF16 by investing 15 AP to purchase the base version. To take it to the next level, you need to spend 170 AP to unlock the Mastery version, allowing Clive to execute two kicks.

Press X while airborne to make Clive kick a nearby enemy, adjusting the kick’s direction with the Left Stick on your controller. This move also enhances Clive’s jump height and duration. For maximum combat damage, you can combine the Stomp ability with Downthrust, which, I think is particularly effective when attacking from a higher aerial position.

  • Can be used to extend aerial combo.
  • Pairs great with abilities like Downthrust.
  • Doen’t deal any dmg to stomped enemy.
  • The upgraded version doesn’t make that much difference.

3. Taunt

The Best Skill For Separating Crowds.
Taunt [Image Credits: eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: Taunt can be used for separating crowds and luring enemies into your advantage.

In Final Fantasy 16, unlock the Taunt ability for 40 AP. This skill lets Clive draw the attention of an enemy, simplifying battlefield control. Activate it with the R2 + touchpad command to lure foes, making them more predictable and easier to deal with.

I must say, Taunt shines in FF16 when combined with the Precision Dodge and parry system. After taunting an enemy, you can bait them into an attack, setting up an opportunity to swiftly dodge or parry and counter with a powerful strike.

While Taunt can be used at any time during combat, it won’t work on some powerful enemies or bosses and is ineffective when you are recovering from damage. Therefore, it requires tactical timing to maximize its effectiveness. The best use of Taunt is in crowd control and manipulating enemy movement, especially when facing multiple opponents. By singling out one enemy from a group, Clive reduces the risk of being overwhelmed.

  • Effective for separating enemies from crowds.
  • Can be used to lure foes into different traps.
  • Doesn’t work on any elite or boss opponent.
  • Leaves you vulnerable for a set amount of time.

2. Lunge

The Best Core Ability For Closing Distances.
Lunge [Image Credits: eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: Lunge is very effective for dealing with ranged enemies and can be used defensively as it can parry attacks.

Activate the Lunge ability by pressing the X + Square button, allowing Clive to quickly close in and strike distant enemies. Unlock this ability for 20 AP, and invest 200 AP to enhance its range and power.

Lunge plays a crucial role in maintaining offensive pressure on enemies, especially ranged opponents. It can catch unaware enemies off-guard at the start of a battle, allowing you to initiate combos. As the lunge distance increases with mastery, it becomes useful for reaching distant enemies and escaping crowded situations.

Another best use of Lunge that I think is its parry capability when timed accurately. It can counter incoming attacks, reducing damage and allowing you to retaliate immediately, serving as both an offensive and defensive tool. Remember, Lunge isn’t just for offense; it can also be used defensively to parry incoming attacks and maintain an edge in battle.

  • Very useful for dealing with ranged enemies.
  • A parry can be executed at the right time with this skill.
  • Needs to be mastered for increased range.
  • The Phoenix Shift provides better output.

1. Limit Break

The Best Ability For Transformation.
Limit Break [Image Credits: eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: Limit Break increases every kind of dmg and extends your combo. It can also prevents you from getting knocked-out and restores your HP.

You can activate the Limit Break ability by pressing L3 + R3 when the gauge is full or semi-full. It significantly boosts Clive’s battle performance for a short time and has two key features. Firstly, defeating an enemy while semi-primed unlocks Semi-Prime Finish. Secondly, even if Clive’s HP reaches zero, he won’t be KO’d during this phase.

You acquire Limit Break during the quest “The Meaning of Life” when Clive gains Ifrit’s power. There’s no initial AP cost, but it can be upgraded. The first upgrade adds a second Limit Break gauge for 1000 AP, while the Mastery upgrade adds a third gauge for 2000 AP.

I recommend you to use Limit Break when an enemy is staggered or your HP is low to maximize its effectiveness. It significantly boosts damage against staggered foes and slowly heals Clive when his health is low, making it a survival tool.

  • Can significantly buff atk and stagger dmg.
  • Extends your normal combo and provides interuption resistance.
  • Has considerable delay between uses.
  • Requires further upgrades to increase uptime.

My Thoughts

My FF16 Hours PSN: ElitexNoGunz

I have ended Final Fantasy 16 twice, and both times, I realized how good both precision dodge and swift recovery are. Especially in Final Fantasy difficulty, these skills allowed me to counterattack and dodge deadly attacks additionally.

Also, Limit Break is definitely the best skill Clive can use, and you should put all of your ability points into mastering it as soon as you unlock it. Even in your first playthrough, you’ll get enough points to at least unlock all of the skills for Clive as well. But you should at least master the Limit Break and Precision Dodge skills first.

Understanding and mastering Clive’s abilities in FF16 enhances your combat prowess and immersion in the game’s world. Each skill has its unique uses in various situations, providing an edge in battle and enriching the gaming experience.

With this, I wrap up my FF16 Best Clive Abilities guide. I recommend you also read Final Fantasy 16: Joshua Rosfield, and How To save Tips For Beginners.


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Haris Umer is a Guides Writer on eXputer who can be seen torturing himself by playing FromSoftware’s offering of Souls games. He speaks about games with overwhelming passion, which readers can spot in his guides. Haris has been avidly playing video games for 15+ years now. You can find out more about his gaming experience by looking through his PSN and Steam profiles.

Experience: 3+ Years || Previously Worked as a Freelance Writer

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