FFVII: Character and materia management

Nothing like hotseating a console game with an out-of-town friend for a few days to get you long past the end of disk one.


But with controller swapping, comes strategic differences and philosophical clashes. After hashing out our differences in front of the monitor with Irish Whiskey, we came up with a standard, go-to party structure.


My general philosophy, despite what the structure of the materia system seems to imply, is to separate each character into a distinctive role. Cloud is the hearty melee fighter, Yuffie is the healer, and Cid casts most of the offensive spells. Materia configuration, of course, is always contextual but a typical setup would look like this.



  • Added effect paired with Time for stop and slow
  • Elemental with Phoenix for fire damage with the added bonus of the toughest party member with a life all.
  • Counter Attack
  • Luck Plus


  • Deathblow pair with Added Cut, so if Deathblow misses there is still some DPS.
  • HP Plus
  • Cover since he has the most HP with the bonus that it encourages more limit breaks. (context will occasionally dictate that Cloud also be given fury, if he can stand the damage increase debuff)
  • Speed Plus
  • And Ultima for a powerful attack all spell or Enemy Skill for its utility (attack all, heals, dispels and the like)



  • Restore plus All materia
  • Comet for some sort of strong magic attack
  • Fullcure
  • Odin (the power of the summon materia attack is a bonus, I really just use it for MP and Magic buffs)
  • Enemy skill for utility (e.g., Big Guard!)
  • Steal
  • Magic Plus


  • NeoBahamat, and Leviathan
  • MP Plus
  • Revive



  • Contain for powerful single target magic with the attending debuffs (freeze, slow, etc.)
  • Barrier, mostly for Reflect which, as you know is a tricky spell to use.
  • Destruct for the DeBarrier and DeSpell
  • Gravity
  • Heal, so Yuffie can focus on healing HP when poison and other status effects are housing the party.
  • Armor

  • Whatever summon materia are left that need leveling (Choco/Mog, at this point, should be maxed)
  • Long Range, since his HP is debuffed by all the magic materia
  • Bio, only if there is room.
    • battle party

      A few other thoughts, for other party memebers not shown here.

  • Barret makes a great caster since he can almost always be placed in the back row.
  • Vincent should ALWAYS be melee since he beserks during his limit breaks.
  • Red XIII seems to have naturally high HP, so he is strong candidate for either a melee class or magic since magic materia debuff HP.
  • Comments
    13 Responses to “FFVII: Character and materia management”
    1. Gavin Craig says:

      I find myself almost developing materia more than developing characters. I could take or leave Yuffie, but I’m deeply invested in a particular All-Restore combo.

    2. Daniel says:

      This is the party I used to beat Disc 1. Great minds, as they say. I popped Tifa in for Cid while slugging it out in the Great Glacier area, just for a change (and to get some of her Limit Breaks), but I may go back to Cid.

      For sheer amusement, I Googled “best final fantasy vii party” the other day, and your party was the frequent top choice (with Tifa in place of Yuffie coming second, usually).

      I like Cid as a character and I like his hard-hitting Limit Breaks.

    3. Daniel says:

      I gave your materia set-up a go (with a couple of changes) last night, and in doing so, I realized how much sense it makes. I have not been devoting AP building to any of my Summons.

      I have Tifa in the party instead of Cid, for now, and I gave her the Deathblow-Added Cut combo, since Cloud is plenty strong on his own. Yuffie also has Mug learned too, which helps considerably.

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