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Final Fantasy: Cloud Vs. Noctis - Who Would Win?

The Final Fantasy franchise is full of memorable, iconic characters, and every gamer has their favorite. Some gravitate towards Final Fantasy 4's Cecil Harvey due to his redemption arc and love triangle with childhood friends Rosa Farrell and Kain Highwind. Others prefer Final Fantasy 9's Zidane Tribal because he is a "thief with a heart of gold." However, most Final Fantasy fans will claim they love either Final Fantasy 7's Cloud Strife or Final Fantasy 15's Noctis Lucis Caelum.

Outside of Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, you will never see these characters fight since they exist in separate universes, despite being tied to the Final Fantasy franchise. However, Dissidia matches come down to player skill. Noctics might win in one fight, while Cloud could take home the crown in another. To determine who would win in an actual battle, you need to look at the strengths and weaknesses of each character. To keep everything even, no healing items and no summons allowed. The second someone tags in an earth elemental that can punch out a tortoise the size of London, battles tend to get a little one-sided.

So, who would win: Cloud or Noctis?

Cloud

Let's get this out of the way: Cloud's biggest strength is his biggest feature, the Buster Sword. Even though it's his weakest weapon, Cloud wields the sword in every marketing picture. And yet, despite being about as long as Cloud is tall and almost as heavy, the weapon doesn't weigh him down at all. He can swing the sword (or similarly sized weapons) quickly, cleave through buildings (but not opposing swords), survive falls from hundreds of stories, and keep his bearings when gravity goes every way but down.

However, regarding special abilities, Cloud is somewhat lacking. He can cast magic spells such as Lightning and Cure, and use special skills like Steal — but only when he has the appropriate Materia or weapon. Ultimately, Cloud is limited by how much Materia he can equip, and his tactics vary depending on what he has on hand since he can't swap them while in combat. The closest Cloud gets to any real, stand-alone abilities are his Limit Breaks, which range from simple, skull crushing blows to summoning tornados with a gesture.

Noctis

Noctis Lucis Caelum, or Noct to his friends, is a prince who can access all the magic power of his royal lineage. This primarily takes form in his ability to equip four weapons at once and swap between them by phasing them in and out of existence. While Noctis favors swords, he is just as capable wielding polearms, guns, and much more. He is also known for his ability to throw his weapons and magically warp to their location, temporarily becoming intangible and immune to damage. If thrown at an enemy, his warp becomes a damaging Warp Strike.

While most of Noctis' skills come from his magical swordsmanship, he has a few non-weapon abilities. As heir to the throne, Noctis can craft and use elemental grenades. However, like actual grenades, these take time and resources to create. Noctis can also use the Ring of the Lucii to absorb the life-force of enemies, burn them with holy fire, and boot them into an alternate dimension. Yet for all his power, classic spells like Cure are beyond him.

Out of all of Noctis' abilities, though, his most dangerous is Armiger, which summons spectral weapons to temporarily attack his enemies and guard him. He can also replenish health and mana without potions.

Cloud vs. Noctis: Who would win?

At first glance, Cloud and Noctis seem evenly matched. Cloud is faster and more durable than Noctis, and he can swing a gigantic sword as quickly as Noctis can swing a normal sword — if not faster. Meanwhile, Noctis can swap between weapons on the fly, which lets him quickly switch between offense and defense. And, his warp ability lets him instantaneously get into and out of danger.

Moreover, Cloud and Noctis are equally hamstrung when it comes to magic. Cloud can only use spells and abilities linked to his weapon and on-hand Materia — Limit Breaks notwithstanding. Meanwhile, Noctis can't cast traditional spells like Cure and is restricted to grenades and an extremely small list of ring spells, but his Armiger grants him some serious attack and defense.

Nevertheless, Noctis would come out on top due to passively recovering health. Since breaking line of sight and/or warping to vantage points starts the healing process, and given Cloud is a melee combatant, he would have to dash towards Noctis, which would give Noctis some precious healing seconds. Furthermore, because warping is faster than running, Noctis would simply outpace Cloud. Sure, Cloud could cast ranged spells or use a ranged Limit Break, but those rely on limited resources. Moreover, Noctis could edge Cloud out with a constant barrage of ranged attacks, either with a gun or a Warp Strike.

By using guerrilla hit-and-run tactics, Noctis would likely outlast Cloud and thus win the match.