FF7 Rebirth: Cloud Best Build [Abilities, Gear & Playstyle]

After 40+ hours, I have compiled a guide on the recommended Abilities, Weapons and Materia as well as a playstyle for Cloud.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth offers a diverse cast of characters to play, more so than the first entry this time, with the fast Red XIII or the mischievous Cait Sith. However, my focus today will be discussing Cloud Strife in FF7 Rebirth, your main character that you will control until the end of the campaign. Knowing about his best abilities to master, optimal Materia setups and the best Synergy skills to use can make all the difference in combat.

Key Takeaways
  • Cloud Strife is a melee damage character in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth and one of the main protagonists.
  • Cloud’s best abilities can dish out the highest damage numbers and abilities like Prime Mode, slightly increasing his capabilities.
  • While you can opt for a Mage Build for Cloud, I’d advise against it since I consider it a disservice to his play style.
  • My overall build for Cloud focuses on making him the main DPS for your party with a high Attack stat from his Ingenous Saber weapon.

Below is a summary of my character guide on Cloud Strife and all the aspects related to him, from the best abilities to the Materia setup:

CATEGORYCONTENT
BEST ABILITIESInfinity's End, Disorder, Prime Mode, Firebolt Blade, Focused Thrust
BEST MATERIAPrecision Defense Focus, Steadfast Block, Chakra, HP/MP Up
BEST GEARWeapon: Igneous Saber
Armor: Garm Bangle
Accessory: Speed Demon Keychain
BEST SYNERGY SKILLS & ABILITIESCounterfire, Melee Blade, Firework Blade, Relentless Rush

Cloud’s Role And Playstyle In FF7 Rebirth

The Best Damage-Dealing Character.
final fantasy 7 rebirth cloud
Cloud can make short work of enemies using his melee damage. (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

Cloud Strife is the Main Hero character of the party in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, who excels in close-range combat using his various swords and their strong damage-dealing abilities.

In contrast to the previous game, the noteworthy detail is how Cloud now has access to aerial combat resources in his arsenal this time. By dodging and pressing the Square button, he can launch wave projectiles at targets in the air, or by holding the Square button instead, he can do a full speedy combo, which I found is similar to Yuffie.

While he can possibly adapt a sub-Mage playstyle using different weapons and Materia, I strongly recommend using Cloud for his superb melee DPS and being able to counter-attack using his powerful Punisher stance.

  • High Melee Damage.
  • The best character for DPS.
  • Superb abilities for raising Stagger.
  • Operator and Punisher Modes offer flexible playstyle.
  • In my opinion, a Mage Build/playstyle limits his viability.

Best Abilities

  • ff7 rebirth cloud best weapons
    The Crystal Sword provides Infinity's End, the most powerful ability for Cloud. (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

Depending on the situation, Cloud has various abilities that can outperform other party members in dishing out raw damage numbers. Some are situational, while some are like Firebolt Blade, which I mainly use to target elemental weaknesses on fiends or other enemies.

Regardless of which, the following are the best abilities to use for Cloud, along with my reasons for them:

ABILITY NAME ASSOCIATED WEAPON EFFECT REASON
Infinity’s End Crystal Sword Wind up and unleash an overhead strike. Increased damage on Stagger. Costs 2 ATB. If you’ve played FF7 Remake like me, this ability needs no introduction, as it is the most powerful ability in Cloud’s Kit. Despite having a 2 ATB cost, it can devastate any fiend or boss.
Disorder Rune Blade Deliver a devastating attack while changing Modes. Fills the ATB Gauge when the attack connects and can be used airborne. My 2nd-favorite ability to use as it allowed me to effectively chain attacks in mid-air while also charging my ATB gauge to finish off my combo with an ability like Firebolt Blade.
Prime Mode Umbral Blade Strengthen Punisher mode. Hold down the attack to deliver three consecutive strikes. Increases Berserk Potency. Transforms the Punisher Mode of Cloud into Prime Mode for the entire encounter. For me, this ability was extremely beneficial in the main story’s one-on-one and boss fights.
Firebolt Blade Sleek Saber Imbue your sword with Fire and Lightning while slicing a foe. Can use while Airborne. The Firebolt Blade has simple effects but is ultimately another must-have ability for Cloud as you can easily expose weaknesses via it, plus in airborne with your combos.
Focused Thrust Buster Sword Lunge toward an enemy with a piercing strike that hits multiple times. Significantly increases Stagger. Focused Thrust is available immediately when you begin the game. I highly recommend you take advantage of this whenever the target is under the Pressured state.

Best Materia Setup

  • ff7 rebirth best materia
    I strongly recommend the Fire/Ice Materia to target weaknesses. (Screenshot Grab: eXputer)

In terms of Materia, while I didn’t use any particular Build-centric ones for Cloud, the most important one was the Fire/Ice Materia linked with Elemental Materia on armor for the resistance.

I have discussed my personal best Materia for Cloud below, which easily helped me complete the game on the Normal difficulty:

  • Precision Defense Focus: Level 2 allows you to dish out increased Stagger damage after perfect blocking, making this one of my favorite Materia to use on Cloud.
  • Steadfast Block: You’ll often perfect block or just Guard, in general, using Cloud, so using this Materia to generate ATB whilst blocking is necessary, in my opinion.
  • Chakra: A Materia that I highly recommend on characters like Cloud and Tifa as it allows them to self-heal a specific amount of HP from up to 20% to 40%.
  • HP/MP Up: It goes without saying that you should have these or 2x HP Ups on Cloud since he’ll be the main meat of the team during combat.

Recommended Gear

ff7 rebirth cloud best weapon
The Ingneous Blade boasts a strong attack stat. (Screenshot Captured by eXputer)

Following is the gear I recommend using for Cloud in FF7 Rebirth, which comprises the best weapon, armor, and accessory and their stats plus effects:

Important: While armor such as the Hades Armlet and others have higher Materia slots, I chose the Garm Bangle for Cloud specifically due to its high stats instead.
GEAR NAME TYPE STATS EFFECTS
Igneous Saber Weapon
  • +132 Attack
  • +44 Magic Attack
  • Weapon Skills: Formidable Counter, Unrelenting Punisher, Stagger Recovery.
Blade Burst Ability: Unleash a wave of non-elemental Mako energy at an enemy in front of you.
Garm Bangle Armor
  • +59 Defense
  • +28 Magic Defense
N/A
Speed Demon Keychain Accessory N/A Slightly replenishes the ATB gauge when using a weapon ability.
Steadfast Block Materia Earrings (Alternative Choice) Accessory N/A Offers the highest level of Steadfast Block Materia. In my opinion, if you want to use Steadfast Block without the Materia slot format, use this accessory instead.
  • Why I Chose Igneous Saber: It offers the highest Attack damage stat, but if you’re worried about the low magic stats, you can instead switch to the Buster Sword for its balanced stats.

Synergy Skills & Abilities

ff7 rebirth cloud
Counterfire is the best Syngery skill for Cloud. (Image by eXputer)

Both the Synergy Skills & Abilities are a brand-new addition to Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, with the former allowing you to perform either offensive or defensive skills to charge up your ATB. However, the real delight is the Synergy Abilities, which need to be charged and, upon unleashing, can deal great damage to enemies or provide other useful benefits in combat.

Below, I’ve shortly discussed my favorite Synergy Skills and Abilities to use for Cloud in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth:

  • Counterfire: A defensive Synergy Skill that works with any party member and is easily the best one among the ones I mention because you can literally counter back any ranged projectile to the enemy, especially viable in the final boss if you ask me.
  • Melee Blade: The Spellblade variant of this Synergy skill (Partners: Aerith or Yuffie) is the one I used the most, as it also allowed me to damage enemies who shortly became immune to physical damage.
  • Firework Blade: I mostly used the Synergy abilities on characters, which increased their Limit Break level, and the same goes for Cloud with Firework Blade.
  • Relentless Rush: A Synergy Ability with Tifa that provides an Attack boost and Staggered Damage extension, but one that I rarely used aside from a few boss fights.

My Experience With Cloud

Before I conclude, while Cloud can be a great Mage character with the right gear and Materia setup, I strongly recommend just making him stick to his melee damage Build. This is mainly because FF7 Rebirth has improved his overall gameplay viability and kit so much that I would go as far as to say that he is the most powerful character to use, at least in a normal playthrough.

This wraps up my guide, but if you liked this character guide, then be sure to check out my fellow RPG enjoyer and friend, Hamid Shah’s Review on Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. Be sure to let me know if you’re enjoying the game or have any questions or queries related to the guide’s information in the comments below!

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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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