While it will no longer kick, Cactuar Prime will attack with 1000 Needles, which is obviously the weaker version of the 10,000 Needles that Gigantuar uses. 1000 Needles inflicts Fog and Pain randomly to its target. Because its repeated use cripples the party, one may find it difficult to keep a steady chain gauge.
The Cactuar Prime is reasonably easy to defeat once the player has a sentinel with over 15 000 Hp. A good strategy to almost guarantee 5 stars is to start off with Lightning, Fang or Snow and Sazh with a Syn/Sen/Syn paradigm, making sure that Lightning has learned Bravery, Faith and Enfire. This will allow the player to buff Lightning and Sazh for maximum offensive capability with haste, enfire, bravery and faith during the time it takes the cactuar to fully mature into a cactuar prime. Once it has matured, and assuming the sentinel has managed to provoke the cactuar, you can then switch to Com/Sen/Com in order to take out the cactuar prime as quickly as possible. The sentinel will probably not be able to guard for very long due to the constant pain being inflicted upon them, but assuming they have enough HP (>15 000) they should be able to "take the pain" for long enough for your other two characters to defeat it. If necessary, one or more pain dampeners/deflectors equipped on the sentinel may help them guard for longer, but their guard does not massively reduce the damage they will take from the 1000 Needles attack.
The Cactuar Prime is a great enemy for CP grinding post-story, as it yields over 1/3rd of the CP of an Adamantoise, for (potentially) less than 1/6th of the battle time.
- Giant Cactuar
- Flowering Cactuar
- Metal Gigantuar