Final Fantasy 16: Best Garuda Eikonic Abilities

After having spent more than 100 hours in FF16, Here's my guide for the best Garuda Eikonic abilities.

Final Fantasy 16 introduces the new elemental abilities called Eikons that give Clive abilities he can utilize during his journey. Multiple Eikons are useful in different kinds of situations. In the early game, you don’t really have a choice and have to stick with the Phoenix Eikon, however, as Clive goes ahead on his journey, more Eikonic abilities are unlocked. In this guide, I am going to discuss the best Best Garuda Eikonic Abilities in FF16 you can utilize to the fullest.

Key Takeaways
  • Every Eikon offers 5 core abilities.
  • Garuda, also known as the Eikon of the Wind, is one of the elemental Eikons in Final Fantasy 16.
  • This Eikon offers Clive a diverse array of abilities that aid him in combat throughout his journey.
  • Many of Garuda’s abilities are useful for setting up combos, particularly in the air, increasing your combo versatility.
  • Garuda’s Eikonic abilities shine in different combat scenarios, from dealing with regular enemies to boss battles, and are consistently useful from the early game to the endgame.
  • Notably, while Garuda’s abilities offer broad utility, they also require careful usage and tactical understanding due to their varied effectiveness.

Just in case you’re struggling in beating Garuda in FF16, I suggest watching the following video:

YouTube video

Best Garuda Abilities To Have In FF16

Here is an overview and my opinion of Garuda’s abilities you should not skip & get them as soon as possible:

Serial NumberGaruda AbilityBest ForBest Usage
1GougeThe Best Garuda Ability For Relentless AttacksConsistent damage output, great for breaking down enemy health efficiently.
2Rook's GambitThe Best Garuda Ability For Counter AttackDodge and counterattack, excellent against human-sized bosses.
3Wicked WheelThe Best Garuda Ability For Aerial JuggleLift enemies for mid-air combos, limited effectiveness on heavier foes.
4Deadly EmbraceThe Best Garuda Ability For Grappling EnemiesPulls enemies closer or launches Clive for aerial attacks.
5Aerial BlastThe Best Garuda Ability For AoE Stagger DmgGreat for group damage, avoid using on heavier enemies.

1. Gouge

The Best Garuda Ability For Relentless Attacks.
The Gouge Ability
The Gouge Ability [credits: image by eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: Gouge allows you to deal good amount of stagger dmg with its long duration and can even be casted mid-air.

As you unlock Garuda, the Gouge ability can be accessed from the get-go. I think this is perhaps the most useful out of all Garuda’s abilities as it is just as important in the end-game as it is regularly. Gouge consists of a flurry of slashes that inflict significant stagger damage against the enemy. It is by no means the strongest of the Garuda’s Eikon abilities, but rather the most consistent one—the wide range allows you to break down the health bar efficiently. 

Gouge allows the player to throw in multiple sweeping strikes in mid-air, as well as on the ground. Moreover, I found that this ability especially comes in handy against staggered enemies as the damage output increases with every attack.

  • Can be performed for a long duration dealing stagger dmg.
  • Useable in mid-air, extending aerial combo.
  • Deals pretty low HP dmg if not staggered.
  • Leaves you vulnerable to dmg against larger enemies.

2. Rook’s Gambit

The Best Garuda Ability For Counter Attack.
Rook’s Gambit Ability
Rook’s Gambit Ability [credits: image by eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: Rook’s Gambit is pretty helpful in avoiding enemy attacks and enables a strong counter-attack.

Rook’s Gambit allows the player to dodge an attack and immediately follow it up with a counter. Dodging is already a powerful defense in Final Fantasy, but when you retaliate against the enemy with multiple-clawed kicks, it becomes deadlier. I’ve always found dodging an enemy’s attack to strike back loads of fun.

This counterattack ability can be utilized in various ways if you love trying out different combos—the game always provides you with multiple ideas. Rook’s Gambit is a good way to avoid damage against human-sized bosses later in the game–countering them with decent damage–though it isn’t that important of an ability in the end-game.

  • Can be used to evade enemy attacks.
  • Enables the use of counter attack after evading.
  • Effectiveness is diminished if you don’t dodge with it.
  • Cannot knockback larger enemies.

3. Wicked Wheel

The Best Garuda Ability For Aerial Juggle.
Wicked Wheel Ability
Wicked Wheel Ability [credits: image by eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: Wicked Wheel is efficient in dealing poise dmg to enemies and facilitates aerial combat.

Unlike the previous two abilities, Wicked Wheel enchants veterans more often than secondaries. This particular ability allows Clive to lift up enemies in the air, and is among the Best Garuda Eikonic Abilities in FF16. The claw can make way for mid-air combos, and the best thing about it as per my experience is how it allows direct transition into aerial combat.

While most Final Fantasy fans would get excited about this, I’ll make this clear that this ability doesn’t work on even remotely heavier enemies, and even if they do–in a fortunate case–Clive can miss the mid-air attack. Despite the flaws, Wicked Wheel is still incredibly useful situationally but shouldn’t be completely relied upon.

  • Can launch enemies into air, initiating aerial combat.
  • Deals significant stagger dmg to enemies that can be lifted with it.
  • Not much effective against foes who can’t be launched.
  • HP damage of the skill itself is considerably low.

4. Deadly Embrace

The Best Garuda Ability For Grappling Enemies.
Deadly Embrace Ability
Deadly Embrace Ability [credits: image by eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: Deadly Embrace allows you to pull in smaller enemies, and can launch you in the air towards larger foes, avoiding lower attacks in the process.

Deadly Embrace is yet another powerful and incredibly useful Eikon ability of Garuda. The ability can pull smaller enemies towards you, making them completely vulnerable to any sort of damage—providing you the freedom to try out powerful combos. In my playthroughs, the best use I found for it is getting rid of enemy healers and mages.

Against bosses or flying enemies, Deadly Embrace launches Clive into the air, allowing him to try out different aerial combos and break the enemies’ Will. Deadly Embrace is an effective ability regardless of the situation and can turn the tide of the battle at any moment.

  • Opens certain special attacks against staggered enemies.
  • Enables aerial combos against larger foes.
  • Highly single target, less efficient against hordes of enemies.
  • Aerial launch can leave you susceptible to dmg.

5. Aerial Blast

The Best Garuda Ability For AoE Stagger Dmg.
Aerial Blast Ability
Aerial Blast Ability [credits: image by eXputer]
  • Why I Chose This: The Aerial Blast with its tracking ability, huge AoE, and long duration, can stagger a lot of enemies with ease.

Aerial Blast of the Garuda Eikon abilities in FF16 is a small tornado, consisting of wind magic that slowly hunts down the enemies on the battlefield. This ability is activated once Garuda is fully charged and hurls the windstorm onto the battlefield. Once the enemies are grouped together, unleash this ability and enjoy as twister pummels them into the ground.

While there is a chance that you might get caught up in the attack, it isn’t hard to avoid it as there’s already a signal for players—lights on the ground. Useful as it may be, make sure you don’t try this ability out on heavy enemies, as it won’t be able to shatter them and may leave you vulnerable to powerful attacks with it’s visibility reduction which I think is very problematic.

If you want to avoid the tornado covering your screen, I suggest using the Diamond Dust ability from the Shiva Eikon as your go-to stagger damage option.

  • Has very large AoE and duration.
  • Deals high stagger dmg and can track enemies.
  • The tornado generated hampers visibility.
  • If missed, the tracking speed is slow.

Mastering the Eikon of the Wind, Garuda, in Final Fantasy 16 is an exciting and strategic endeavor. Each of Garuda’s Eikonic abilities offers a unique approach to combat, creating a dynamic battlefield filled with opportunities for strategic maneuvers and devastating combos. 

My Opinion On Garuda Abilities In Final Fantasy 16

After having played Final Fantasy for 100+ hours, going through each and every side quest and battling the game’s toughest monsters, I’ve found that each of the game’s Eikons has a specific role when it comes to combat. If I talk about Garuda, the main focus of her abilities is aerial mobility and primarily stagger dmg. All of her abilities though deal low HP dmg, can stagger enemies easily.

If I talk about my favorite abilities, they have to be Rook’s Gambit and Deadly Embrace. Rook’s Gambit is a more technical skill, and that’s what I like. It’s true effectiveness is when you precisely dodge an attack with it, which I believe adds a lot more fun to its usage. Similarly, the game’s combat is all about keeping the attacks going, and Deadly Embrace is highly valuable in making sure you never stop dishing out punishment.

There you have it, everything about FF16 Best Garuda Eikonic Abilities that I had to mention in the guide. for more amazing articles look at FF16: Blacksmith Blues 2, Knight Of The Splendent Heart Guide and Sekhret Location, Boss Fight & Rewards


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Usama Mehmood is a Games Specialist, and writer on eXputer who's either hunting for the richest loot in Destiny 2 or endlessly playing his favorite games such as Yakuza or Final Fantasy. Usama has been gaming for 15+ years during which he has accumulated 4000+ hours on Destiny 1 & 2. His constant adoration for video games has allowed him to pursue eXputer as a platform to showcase his striving talents in writing helpful articles. Get familiar with Usama's extensive gaming library on his Steam, PSN, and Xbox profiles.

Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly Covers Reviews And Guides || Education: Bachelors in Physiotherapy.

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