Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
A good tactic for Phantom Saber is to use a 0 attack card to break the attack and deal damage. The other attacks can be dodged by jumping over them. His two sleights, Deathscythe and Blossom Shower, on the other hand, are easy to dodge. For Deathscythe, all Sora has to do is head up or down towards the wall after he swings the scythe. If timed well, this can allow Sora to dodge the attack. Blossom Shower can also be dodged. If Dodge Roll is used at the right moment, it can nullify the damage the sleight would have otherwise caused. Dodging Marluxia's attacks as often as possible is the key to victory.
Marluxia (Second Form)
This battle is the first time the real Marluxia is fought. Marluxia fuses with the giant Specter and is fought largely in two stages. In the first stage, the objective is to destroy the scythe hands. The main attack it uses in this stage is a minor version of Deathscythe. It is possible to damage the main body in this stage, but Marluxia is only vulnerable after a card break. Once the blades are destroyed, Marluxia takes on a different strategy. He uses floating flowers that shoot lasers first, which can be easily destroyed simply by card breaking them. At regular intervals during the battle, he fires 2-5 slicer waves which can be dodged by jumping and heading to the fore/background. He occasionally uses Blossom Shower, which can be dodged with a well-timed Dodge Roll.
After this, Marluxia hovers above Sora and slams the mechanical vehicle down, creating a shockwave that can be avoided by jumping at the right time. He does this three times in succession, and it is important to note that as his HP get lower, the succession becomes faster and harder to dodge. After this attack, Marluxia rears back and shoots across the screen. Card breaking this is important, as doing so puts Marluxia in his most vulnerable position. Once the attack is broken, Sora is placed on the back of the mech and Marluxia sends out three more shot buds to protect him. It's important to note is that the longer Sora stays on, the harder it is to remain on the mech, as Sora is constantly forced backwards away from Marluxia. A good strategy is to use high level Cloud cards (around 7-9) in succession (one at a time, not in a sleight) while in front of Marluxia. Doing so deals a lot of damage in a short amount of time, and can also deal with the shot buds when card breaking them. Eventually, Sora is forced off and the whole process begins again. This pattern repeats until Marluxia is defeated.
Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
In Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Marluxia's attacks are drastically redesigned. For example, Blossom Shower has changed completely from being just a Rose Petal Shower, to a long, virtually unavoidable Sleight, and the Deathscythe Sleight has gone from one strike to three, much faster strikes.
When the battle begins, Sora should be ready to Dodge Roll or Card Break, because as soon as Marluxia plays an attack card, he takes no time in attacking. During Full Bloom, Marluxia dashes towards Sora and immediately start striking, so Sora should always keep a good distance from Marluxia in case he pulls this card. In Petal Blade, Sora has a little bit more time to react and should either have a higher card ready or just Dodge Roll towards Marluxia.
When Marluxia uses Flower Storm, it is always a good thing to be as far away as possible before he plays it, that way Sora has time to run and find a card to break it.
The only sure way to survive Marluxia's Blossom Shower is to have the Auto-Life Vexen card or have a 0 card in place before the Sleight is played. During Deathscythe, if Sora doesn't break it, he should wait until his scythe spinning and immediately Dodge Roll to the left or right of him. In Drop Shot, either try to Dodge Roll and continue moving around or the fissure will hit you, but this sleight should give enough time to pull a 0 card.
One can also create a deck containing only cards with a value of 0, as well as three Cures of a high value.
Another strategy is to create a strong Firaga deck and add a Curaga and Elixirs at the end. Keep using the Firaga cards and they will deal a lot of damage, enough to defeat him pretty quickly.
Marluxia (Second Form)
The battle in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories is very similar to the battle in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, although Marluxia spends much more time on the field and is more vulnerable to attacks, the field is much larger, and Marluxia will often glide away from Sora. He uses many of his attacks from Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, including the shot buds, slicing waves, and the drop-down shockwave attack. Marluxia still uses only one card at a time, but his new attacks are more like sleights. The first of which is when he engulfs the field in darkness, preventing Sora from seeing his cards (except for the reload card) and the second is when he creates a massive Blossom Shower. The perspective in these attacks changes to Marluxia, which can make it difficult to dodge these attacks. There is a way around the card seeing, stock cards and keep using sleights or removing when they are memorized.
For the first part of the battle, the objective is the same as in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories: destroy the scythes. Marluxia will swing at Sora with his scythes in a manner similar to Deathscythe. This can be avoided by dodge rolling around the machine he rides. It is possible to attack Marluxia directly, but destroying the scythe blades first makes this easier. When destroyed, each of the blades releases a few HP orbs. When Marluxia's HP Gauge is reduced to three bars, any remaining scythe blades will be destroyed. After both are destroyed, Marluxia will rocket across the field in an attempt to ram into Sora, though this can easily be dodged with a well-timed Dodge Roll.
He will summon three shot buds, but they can be disposed of easily by simply card breaking them. Afterwards, he will create a rotating ring of five "X"-shaped flower waves and fire them at Sora. He does this faster as his HP gets lower. At regular intervals, he will use his sleight-like attacks: the mega Blossom Shower and the "dark void". As previously mentioned, the "dark void" attack turns the entire deck completely black (with the exception of the reload card), preventing Sora from seeing them. He repeats this attack pattern until his HP almost reaches halfway, then he begins using the drop down shockwave attack. Marluxia does this three times in a row, then repeats the previous attack pattern. This continues until he is defeated.
Marluxia (Third Form)
Marluxia has three regular attacks, the first of which are the shot buds from the second battle which have higher accuracy and card value than last time, the second attack is Marluxia's mega Blossom Shower which has not changed from the last battle, and the third attack is a blast of energy similar to Deathscythe.
As this fight takes place as soon as Marluxia's second form is defeated and there is no chance to modify the deck. So what will work well is before the battle with Marluxia, put in at least 12 attack cards, three or six of which are zeroes. Put in several Cure and Thunder cards and if possible some Cloud and Stop cards to use Cross Slash+. Finally, put in the Vexen, Oogie Boogie, Jafar, Shadow, Trickmaster, Barrel Spider, and Air Soldier Enemy Cards. Guard Armor and Axel are also useful as Guard Armor lets Sora attack Marluxia from a greater distance and Axel gives a slightly better chance of escaping Omni Laser.
When the battle begins use either the Jafar or Trickmaster cards to make attack cards invincible or decrease the value of Marluxia's cards, respectively; these are pretty strategic as Marluxia uses high value cards at the start of the battle. Then follow with the Shadow card to boost card values and even try to activate Ars Arcanum, Blitz or Strike Raid to deal more damage; Ars Arcanum (three 1s) and Blitz (two 1s and a 9) become possible due to Shadow's effect. Marluxia's sleights have a maximum value of 24, so take advantage of Shadow to top this and deal some damage. When Shadow is used up, reload with an item card or let Marluxia use Gale of Severance so Sora can reload without interruption. Omni Laser is likely to follow, so use the Vexen card to increase chances of survival; if revived, follow up with Oogie Boogie to heal. Afterwards, simply attack Marluxia to finish him off; use the Air Soldier card to dodge Marluxia's attacks and reload at the same time, and then use the Barrel spider card for faster reloading from here on out.
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
Due to the absence of cards, Marluxia's battle strategies are changed. At the start of the fight, Marluxia curses Sora with a number (Sora's current level) above his head. During the battle, try to defend or evade Marluxia's scythe attacks, as every time Sora is struck with the scythe, his counter decreases by one, and it is game over if the counter hits zero.
As the battle commences, Marluxia will begin to perform a combo with his scythe. While this combo can be blocked, it cannot be interrupted; as such, Keyblade strikes must be done after Marluxia finishes his or is stunned by blocks. After two finishers, Marluxia will teleport to Sora and swing his scythe, which can be easily dodged with Dodge Roll. If the attack connects, Sora is flung into the air, allowing Marluxia to perform an infinite combo. Aerial Recovery is necessary at this point, as it can nullify Marluxia's scythe slash. Marluxia will also create a whirlwind that sucks the party towards him and follow it up with a barrage of scythe attacks. Successfully Guarding the attack grants access to two Reaction Commands. In the first, Restore Count (which can only be performed if Sora is near the scythe), he steals Marluxia's scythe, swings it several times, and hurls it back to its owner, restoring 13 points back to Sora's counter. In the second, Aerial Strike (performed if Sora is instead close by to Marluxia himself), Sora evades Marluxia's scythe swing and bombards him with an aerial combo before sending him back with a backswing.
As Marluxia's health dwindles, he gains several additional attacks. He can teleport into the center of the arena and generate three circles surrounded by wisps of thorns, which cannot deplete Sora's counter but can deplete his health. The circles can dissipate after a while. During this phase, Marluxia can repeat his scythe combo, draw the party towards him with the whirlwind, or sink into the ground, the blade of his scythe visible, and spin towards Sora. When Marluxia teleports towards the center of the arena, casting Firaga or quickly initiating a combo as he emerges can prevent him from attacking. Marluxia can also slash Sora multiple times, each time preceded by him teleporting in a portal of flowers.
Marluxia's ultimate attack involves him rising upwards, surrounded by a pink aura and laughing as the arena darkens in color. Portals of darkness can appear and erupt all around the arena, which can be evaded by Gliding. Eventually, Marluxia will hurl his scythe towards Sora, which can hit multiple times, and then slam the ground. Reflect magic is necessary to survive the final hit.
The strategy for taking down Marluxia's Replica Data is the same, but he has more health. Marluxia, however, now begins the match by warping to the center of the arena, so try to intercept him quickly or spam Firaga until he emerges. Whenever he does this, he now instantly surrounds Sora with an aura of thorns. In addition, every successive time after the first that Sora uses Restore Count, the amount of points he regains is cut by a half (13, 7, 3, 2, 1). As such, it's even more crucial to utilize Sora's defensive options this time around than ever. If Sora is close to level 99, his normal strikes should not be an issue.
Sleights and Attacks
Notes and references