If you’re here then you the queen of frost put you on ice. Well, this Shiva boss guide contains all the tips, tricks, preparation, and strategy you need to get through this! I also prevent myself from making any Frozen jokes so there’s that!
Preparing for the Shiva fight
Here’s all the tips you should know BEFORE you fight Shiva. The strategies I’ll be sharing will primarily be on party members, materia, and equipment available to you at the time you can first encounter Shiva – she’s totally beatable at this time. There’s no reason to wait.
So for this fight, I’m going to assume you’re using Cloud and Aerith.
Beat the cold with Elemental Materia
The ULTIMATE tip in beating Shiva is abusing Elemental materia.
Equipping Elemental Materia linked to Ice on your armor will HALVE the majority (if not all) damage Shiva does to you. Having this setup on your active character will almost trivialize the fight.
Alternatively, you can bring the heat with Elemental materia by linking it with Fire materia on your weapon. I opted for this since I wanted a bit of a challenge.
Elemental materia’s behavior changes depending whether you link it on your weapon or armor. The armor path is super cheesy, so I opted to do the Fire on weapon setup. However, against Shiva, I highly recommend linking Elemental + Ice on armor if you’re struggling.
Wait… do you have Elemental materia? If you missed it back in Chapter 5, that’s rough. It’s the only way to have it in time for the Shiva fight. Consider looking at a spoiler free walkthrough focused on highlighting things you can miss!
Active character? Aerith’s time to shine.
Using either Cloud or Aerith is fine, but in this fight Aerith might be the better choice for many reasons – the foremost being Shiva has resistance to physical damage. Ouch.
Aerith’s Arcane Ward skill basically DOUBLES THE FIRES you cast. This will quickly pressure and stagger Shiva. Don’t be too attached to Arcane Ward, though, as Shiva’s AoE can obliterate you if you’re too stubborn not to leave it. Don’t worry if you have to step out for a while! High Magic Attack stat helps here, too.
While it sometimes feels weird shifting out of Cloud, I feel Aerith is the better choice beating Shiva. Her Magic damage stat is also through the roof so it’s even more reason to consider it.
Healing and Fire materia – bring extras!
The strategy to beating Shiva is survival and fire damage. Give the option for both of your characters to do both! For such a small investment (if you don’t already have them lying around) you can greatly increase your options, survivability, and damage in the fight.
2 Materia slots and a few hundred gil is nothing, besides, I highly recommend, as a long term goal, leveling at least 3 of each of these basic materias, anyway. It’s not something you should tryhard early on, but it’s something.
There is absolutely no reason not to have double Healing and double Fire materia (on each of your party members) when taking on Shiva.
Revival materia is pretty expensive. While it’s worth leveling up multiple of these later on, it’s just not worth the investment this early in the game. Equip it on one of your characters (preferably the active one), and just use Phoenix Downs for the other guy.
It’s ya boy the lord of the inferno – Ifrit
Ifrit summoning materia. Bring it. Summoning Ifrit brings so much damage to the table it’s ridiculous. He does all fire damage – notably his summon abilities.
Of course, Hellfire (Ifrit’s ultimate once he times out) itself does a megachunk of fire damage, and will, quite literally, melt quite a bit of Shiva’s HP. Bonus points to you if you can time your Stagger to Hellfire!
Reset weapon upgrades – stack MDEF and MATK!
Don’t be afraid to make the small investment with Chadley to reset your weapon upgrade points. Use up your SP and stack Magic Defense and HP are generally good stats against Shiva.
Come to think of it, Attack damage is almost useless versus Shiva and you might be better served by stacking your Magic Attack as high as you can (even with Cloud).
During the Shiva fight
Here’s all the advice you should be aware of WHILE fighting Shiva.
Shiva’s skills to look out for
Whiteout is a ranged sleep (or is it a stun?) which she immediately follows with a large AoE on the target’s location. I haven’t actually done it, but if this is a sleep, you can smelling salts the victim to prevent the damage. Alternatively, you can use this time to absolutely beat the snowcones out of Shiva since this animation takes a LONG time. Hopefully, you interrupt her and get the best of both worlds.
Blizzara is also a stun, but quite a bit more difficult to dodge… The projectile is much faster compared to Whiteout and always seems to be followed by random icicles. Dodge this at all costs – it’s essentially a more painful, faster Whiteout.
Diamond Dust – there’s no way to avoid this damage. Expect to lose 4/5th’s of your life so try to ALWAYS BE HEALTHY cause when she decides to cast this, you won’t have much time to prep.
She has a plethora of other skills, but I feel the most worrisome are the above or ,otherwise, impossible to interact with. There are also a few skills which I’m not exactly sure how they work, such as the orbs she summons… Not that they really mattered since with the proper setup this shouldn’t be THAT hard.
You can’t dodge everything. It’s actually not possible. So KEEP HEALTHY. Regen is amazing in this fight as there are large windows between damage (but once you take the damage it’s in a huge BURST, so be prepared).
Manage your ATB
To be safe, always save up two ATB bars before you do a DPS spell. This way you have an emergency heal in your back pocket. Only dump your ATB if she’s pressured and you’re not at risk of dying – and, of course, if she’s staggered.
Preparing for boss fights is a huge part of FFVIIR and I find the customization to maximize your chances per fight quite fun. Follow the tips! Elemental materia cheese… Bring double Fire and Healing materias… Stack MDEF and MATK… you got this!
In the fight, watch out for her deadly stun attacks: Whiteout, Blizzara… Always have an emergency ATB pip available to recover HP in a pinch. Slam her with Fire damage as much as you can (preferably using Aerith) and you should get past the finish line with a little help from Ifrit!
Hopefully, our guide helped you slide past the Shiva boss fight! Good luck!