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Sometimes counterattacks when hit by a physical attack.
Counter (カウンター, Kauntā?), also known as Counterattack (はんげき, Hangeki?), Riposte and Debug Counter, is a recurring support ability in the Final Fantasy series, typically belonging to the Monk job or monk-type characters. A character with Counter will automatically attack the opponent who initiated the attack. In some incarnations, this negates the damage from the attacking opponent, while in other versions, the attacked player will take damage and then immediately perform a counter-attack.
In games with an ATB gauge, a counter attack does not affect the speed of the gauge nor does it change how close it is to being full. Magic Counter is a similar ability that allows the character to counter magical attacks.
Counter is an Augment Ability given by Yang's wife after the battle in Fabul in the DS version. It can only be given to one character. When physically attacked, a character with the Counter ability will quickly hit back with another attack. Counter will always work, making it highly effective, especially when combined with Cecil's Cover or the Draw Attacks Augment.
The Counter will react with whatever ability is in the top slot of the command list, with no charge time. This allows Rydia to counter with an instant Meteor or Bahamut, for instance, though it still consumes MP.
In all versions, many enemies and bosses also have counter abilities. The original SNES versions of the game include a bug where enemies fail to counterattack, even if they are meant to. There are a number of commands that deal a physical or magical attack, but are not considered as such causing monsters to not react. For instance, the Larva monster does not respond to Tellah's Recall command (casts a random spell) and the Needler does not respond to Rosa's Aim command.
These bugs are fixed in the Advance and Complete Collection remakes.
Yang has the command Cover-Counter, which combines the technique Cover with Counter. Choosing the command will allow Yang to choose one ally to use Cover on. However, unlike Cover, upon absorbing the hit for the ally, Yang will use Counter. Yang will not automatically Cover an ally with low HP, like Cecil does.
Counter is a Level 4 ability for the Monk class, learned for 60 ABP. When equipped, it allows a player to counter-attack physical attacks at a 50% chance, but the player will still take damage from those attacks. Counter can be combined with Cover, and Guard (to nullify damage). Counter ignores weapons with Added Abilities, such as the Thief Knife, Chicken Knife, and Hayate Bow, and the Twin Lance will only attack once instead of twice as usual.
Weapons' Added Abilities don't usually trigger for counters, unless the equipped weapon is a harp.
The Relic Black Belt allows the wearer to counter-attack against physical attacks, but the player still takes damage. Cyan's level two Bushido allows him to counter a single enemy attack with a powerful strike of his own, provided he survives.
There are three types of counterattacks: Counter Attack the Independent Materia, and Counter and Magic Counter, the Support Materia that counter with the equipped Command or Magic/Summon Materia, respectively. The chance of triggering a counter attack increases with the Materia's level, up to the infallible 100% when mastered. The counter effect can be stacked to up to eight times by equipping multiple counter-effect Materia, meaning a single character can counterattack up to eight times to a single attack, however, Final Attack and Sneak Attack also use this space.
Counter Attack Materia allows a player to counterattack physical attacks, but the player will take damage from those attacks. It is obtained after defeating Materia Keeper, and additional ones can be won as prizes from chocobo racing (although the name of the Materia is deceptively written as just "Counter").
The Counter Materia, with the exception of Master Command, will counter once with all the abilities within the linked Command Materia. While this seems straightforward it is especially important with the Throw and Steal Materia: The ability used in the Throw or Steal Materia is the one highlighted on the Materia menu, and the player is unable to counter with the other darkened ability unless they equip another source for that particular ability. If the player has a source for both abilities on the Materia, then the character will counter with both; e.g. Counter linked with LV2 Steal would counter with the Mug ability.
However, if the character also equips a LV1 Steal Materia so that they know Steal and Mug at the same time, the character will counter twice when attacked—first with Steal, then with Mug—while only needing a single Counter Materia. When linked to Master Command, one of the commands is picked at random, with the exception of Coin, which is never used as a counter from a Master Command linkup. The Counter Materia is found in Northern Cave.
During Cloud's one-on-one battle against Sephiroth at the end of the game, if Cloud does not use Omnislash, Sephiroth will attack Cloud, to which Cloud will instantly counter and win the battle. Cloud is not equipped with a Counter Attack Materia in the battle, but counters because of Sephiroth's AI script commands him to. This is evident, as if Sephiroth is made to miss (not possible in a normal game), Cloud will still counterattack.
Counterattacks when attacked
Counter is a support ability taught by Carbuncle for 200 AP. When equipped, it allows a player to counter-attack against physical attacks, but the player does take damage from those attacks. It doesn't matter if the character receives any damage from the enemy attack, or if the enemy's attack misses, they will counter-attack regardless.
Return Damage (ダメージがえし, Damēji-gaeshi?) is a support ability learned by using the item Hundred Needles that allows the user to return a quarter of the damage they took at the enemy that dealt the damage. Hundred Needles can be refined from 100 Cactus Thorns.
Counter is a support ability that allows a user to counter-attack physical attacks, but the player will take damage from those attacks if they hit. Its occurrence rate is enhanced with the support ability Eye 4 Eye. Counter takes eight Magic Stones to equip and can be learned by everyone save Dagger, Eiko and Vivi.
The ability is taught by Ritual Hat, Power Vest, Power Belt, Venetia Shield, Anklet, and most of Amarant's claw weapon. Mastering Counter requires 70 AP for Zidane, 100 AP for Steiner, 85 AP for Freya, 55 AP for Quina, and 240 AP for Amarant.
The Counter ability is also a command ability available to a number of enemies. However, each may do it in different instances. Grimlock counter attacks when in its Physical Attack Red status. The Nova Dragon and Scarlet Hair bosses counter all physical attacks, as does the Troll enemy. The Sand Golem counters every attack towards it while its Core is out of play.
Whether or not Counter will be initiated is decided by this check, which is performed whether or not the attack hits.
- If Spr >= Rnd (0...99), Counter attack is initiated.
- With Eye 4 Eye, if (Spr * 2) >= Rnd (0...99), Counter attack is initiated.
Counter attacks use the same process of checks and damage calculation that are used by the Attack command.
The Counter-Attack auto-ability is found on, or can be customized to, weapons. When equipped, it allows a player to retaliate against physical attacks with their own physical attack, but the player still takes damage from those attacks. Counter can be customized onto a weapon with one Friend Sphere.
Evade & Counter is the improved version of Counter-Attack ability, and enables the player to avoid taking damage from an incoming physical attack, then retaliate with their own. Evade & Counter can be customized onto a weapon with one Teleport Sphere.
Magic Counter, a similar ability, allows a character to retaliate against magic attacks with their own physical attack. While usually a weapon ability, there is one case where an armor with Magic Counter can be found, on a traveling store on the first visit to the Calm Lands.
Berserkers learn the job abilities Counter, Magic Counter and Evade and Counter. Counter takes 180 AP, Magic Counter 300, and Evade and Counter 400 AP to learn.
Monks have the ability to counter enemy's attack. In this version, the monk will take no damage from the attacks they counter. Counter is a passive ability and is gained once player has 10 levels in monk, or for anyone whose Support Job is monk and has a job level of 20 or greater. Counter is only activated occasionally, but the chance of countering an attack can be greatly increased if a player uses the ability counterstance.
Additionally, and with much lower activation rate, a Samurai using Seigan may occasionally counter-attack when Third Eye is active. As of a recent version update, Blue Mages are also able to set Counter as a trait. At Lv. 79, Monks gain the ability "Perfect Counter", which is similar to the Seigan/Third Eye combination in that the next attack directed towards them has a high chance of being countered. The effect sometimes doesn't activate, but can also activate multiple times from one use.
Some (mostly high-level) equipment can provide counter effect for players (even without MNK as subjob), notably the Cobra Harness Attire from Windurst's Cobra Unit in Campaign.
Warriors can counter with their Retaliation job trait. This is similar to counter; however, rather than negating damage, as counter, the warrior actually has to take damage in order for counter to work.
Characters can use Counter by equipping the Battle Harness. Genji Armor increases the chance to counter, but does not grant counter on its own. Battle Harness can be purchased for 1000 gil at Dalmasca Estersand, or made at the bazaar for one Throat Wolf Blood whereupon it costs only 800. The Genji Armor can be stolen from Gilgamesh. In Zodiac versions, the Genji Helm also provides the ability to Counter so equipping the Battle Harness with it is pointless.
The chance to counter an attack is determined by the character's speed.
Counter chance with Genji Armor:
Counter only triggers when the character:
- is in the Charge Stage.
- is not running or walking.
- is not being knocked back.
- receives a "regular melee" attack (not ranged, tech or spells).
- Counter is 1-hit only. It does not combo.
- Any weapon can be used to counter.
- Counter may happen each time while being hit. A hit combo may be countered multiple times.
- Counter may happen even if the attack missed / is blocked.
- Counter acts like regular melee attacks. Added effect on the weapon may trigger.
Occasionally counterattack enemies after evading their attacks.
Counter is one of Sentinel's auto-abilities. It can be learned by Lightning, Hope, Fang at Sentinel Crystarium level 7 and Snow at level 5. Sentinels also can use a pair of counterattack skills, Entrench and Vendetta—they reduce the damage by 10 percent and allows a counter at the end of the ATB gauge, the damage will be 30 and 10 percent stronger, respectively, for each damage taken during the time the ability is on. Fang's weapons, Gae Bolg and Gungnir, boost her counter damage.
If a Sentinel character has successfully evaded an enemy's attack with the Evade auto-ability, the character will have a 90% chance to retaliate with Counter. Counter will never activate after an evasion successfully performed by Elude. Some abilities cannot be countered even though they can be evaded.
Hecatoncheir also possesses the ability to counter attacks after evading them or while Looming Wrath is active.
Entrench and Vendetta are still usable by Sentinels, but the Counter auto-ability is no longer available. Improved Counter and Improved Counter II are available as passive abilities.
Gilgamesh uses Vendetta as an enemy.
While equipping a weapon with Revenge Guard Lightning will automatically counter with Blitz after guarding for a short time. While wearing the Paladin garb, Lightning will automatically counter with Ruinga Guard after guarding for a short time.
The Pugilist ability Haymaker is called Counter in Japanese and functions stylistically similar to Counter, as it can only be used immediately after evading an enemy attack. Haymaker is 170 potency and can inflict slow on its target. This ability was removed in Stormblood.
The Gladiator ability Phalanx allowed the Gladiator to attack immediately after blocking an enemy attack. War Drum has a similar effect, but is a shield attack and also raises the target's enmity. As of A Realm Reborn, the Shield Swipe ability has replaced them. It is a 210 Potency attack with a chance of inflicting pacification.
The Warrior ability Vengeance formerly caused any enemy who hits the user with a physical attack to take a portion of the damage they inflict; as of A Realm Reborn, it is now a Marauder ability. While active, the Marauder will automatically counter physical damage with a 50 potency attack.
Heavensward has added Raw Intuition while active all frontal attacks are parried, however if the Warrior is hit from behind or while flanked it will be a critical hit.
In PVP Push Back countered physical damage with a 150 potency attack and also will counter any knockback with a knockback and knockdown. The Enhanced Push Back line of traits lower its recast time.
When engaging an enemy, if it flashes the following attack is going to be an extra strong one. This is a chance to counter or defend. After parrying, "co-op attacks" can kick in automatically. The counter feature lets the player turn some enemy attacks back on their originators if timed correctly. Each counter is unique depending on the foe and the type of reversal. For some enemies the nature of the counterattack is decided by which ally is nearby. Noctis can set a specific weapon to use for countering.
Counterattack with a physical strike.
Nature's Wrath, also known as Counter Flood, is a reaction ability the Geomancer class learns for 300 JP. It functions like Counter, however, the character will not counter with an equipped weapon, but uses a Geomancy attack according to the enemy's terrain.
Follows up enemy attack with a counterattack.
Counter is available to bangaa White Monks, and hume and moogle Thieves. Counter is activated whenever a character is attacked, and most likely will follow up with a counter-attack (If the unit is attacked from farther away than they can attack, it does not activate; Bonecrusher and Strikeback also have this requirement).
Bonecrusher does x1.5 damage, but only when actually hit with the attack, and not abilities. Strikeback blocks a Fight attack and counters with normal damage. Strikeback will only activate if it is a Fight attack. Return Fire blocks an attack with an arrow or Thrown item, and retaliates with the same arrow/item. For Black Mages and Bishops, Return Magic is available. Return Magic will counter magic spells with the same spell. The caster does not need to know the spell. Some spells cannot be returned (such as Blue Magic).
Counter allows the units to counter-attack with a short ranged unarmed attack. Bonecrusher counters with 1.5x damage, but only responds to normal attacks and not abilities. Blink Counter that always deals knockback. Strike Back avoids normal attack(not ability) and counters.
Additionally, the Clan Privilege Always Counter gives all units without a reaction ability the Counter ability.
- Rising Uppercut is a support ability for Eight, which allows him to counterattack an enemy if he is knocked down.
- Reflex and Tranquility are command abilities for Jack, which execute swift counterattacks when an enemy attack is incoming.
- Justice Guard is a command ability for Queen, which parries and counters an enemy attack with a chance of inflicting Killsight status on the target.
- Trigger Finger is a command ability for King, which allows him to dodge an incoming attack and counter with one of his own.
Both the Desert Hag and the Water Hag can counterattack when physically attacked. The later is much more dangerous than the former. If the Water Hag is not kill on the same turn, there's a good chance he'll restore his HP by casting the Cure spell on himself. There are special counterattacks where a monster will counter physical attacks by inflicting one status ailment on the attacker, these abilities are Confu-touch, Para-touch, Petri-touch, and Poison-touch.
- Burning: 30 uses, counter with Mana; deals Fire-elemental damage.
- Counter: 30 uses, counter with 2x damage + Str or Str x5. Half Str value if Pois.
- StonSkin: 30 uses, counter by inflicting Ston on the attacker.
- Counter inflicts double the damage taken.
- Avenge is the same as Counter.
- Burning retaliates with fire-elemental damage.
- P-Skin inflicts Pois on the attacker.
- ParaSkin inflicts Para on the attacker.
- StonSkin inflicts Petri on the attacker.
Counter is the Ninja's third job ability that lets the Ninja counter any attack they evade. The effect lasts four turns.
- Ninjas have Transience, which lets them counter after evading an attack.
- Time Mages have Slow Parry, which may inflict Slow on anyone that attacks them physically.
- Spell Fencers have Firewall, which has a chance of using a fire-based counter to physical attacks.
- Swordmasters have several counter abilities, including Counter as a support ability. Nothing Ventured and Before Swine will counter against physical and magic attacks respectively as reducing the incoming damage. Know thine enemy will unleash a stronger counter against a designated foe. The Worm Turns will use an especially strong counter, but only if the user is at critical HP status. They also learn Counter Amp which improves the power of all counter abilities.
Counter is the job level 5 support ability for the Swordmaster. It allows the user to have a 60% chance to counterattack when taking a single-target physical attack. Does damage to a single target equal to a conventional attack. This effect does not trigger for reflected attacks. It costs 2 slots.
Riposte can be learned from the Monk job at Job Level 11 after accumulating 210 Ability Points; when used, the the character will counter if hit. Counter is an ability from the Warrior job learned at Job Level 5 after accumulating 70 Ability Points; the character may counter if hit dealing less damage than a normal attack. Sol begins with this ability already learned.
Debug Counter is a dummied out ability that allows the user to always counterattack when hit.
Counterattack is a special ability that is learned at Level 85. It raises the Critical Hit rate of the character by 50% if they successfully land an attack when the opponent is attacking. Its base CP cost is 50 and it requires 360 AP to master. Several of the Level 100 exclusive weapons carry the Counterattack ability innately.
Retaliate counters physical attacks for 15 seconds. It is granted by Retaliate, Smoldering Moon, Demonsblood, Cyan's Samurai Soul Record Materia and Bushido Tempest Burst Soul Break, Snow's Entrench Soul Break, Auron's Decisive Instant burst command, Ingus's Secrets of Sasune burst command, Gilgamesh's Tsubamegaeshi burst command, and Basch's Beacon of Light burst command. The Ogre Gloves from the Scarlet Grace collaboration have the Jolt Counter Shared Soul Break which grants Retaliate and a boost to Attack. Warring Flame's critical chance is improved when the user has Retaliate.
Gilgamesh's Legendary Swordsman EX Mode and Cyan's Bushido Oblivion grant Major Retaliate, which has 120% potency and counts as a Combat ability.
Cloud's SOLDIER Counter Record Materia allows counterattacks vs. melee.
Galuf's Martial Master Record Materia has a chance of a 2-hit counter vs. melee.
Strago's Blue Mage Defiance has a small chance of countering magic with Stone.
Counter Mend is granted by Vanille's Innocence' and Paladin Cecil's Paladin's Devotion.
Samurai's Blade of the East counters with Blade Bash.
Monk's Blemished Insight counters with Chakra.
Emperor's Emperor's Stratagem counters with wind damage and Hellforged Might has a chance of countering black magic with Imperil Earth.
Gaffgarion's Fell Blademaster and Masterful Mercenary counter with a HP-absorbing attack.
Rubicante's Avatar of Fire burst command grants him Fire Cloak, which has a chance of countering physical attacks with AOE fire and non-elemental damage.
Curilla's Faith in the Dawn legend materia has a chance of granting her Magic Blink when attacked.
Counter is a reactive ability that comes in three levels of power and activates in Battle Music Sequence when the player receives a "Miss" on three triggers to deal physical damage dependent on the level of the ability, up to five times a stage. Firion, Locke, Sephiroth, Squall, Seifer, Prishe, Lightning and Snow all learn all three levels of Counter.
Enter a stance that lets you nullify a blow and counter. Can inflict stop, and ensure your next hit is critical.
Counter is a Knuckle skill. A successful counter may inflict Stop and makes the user's next hit an automatic critical hit. Katanas have the Quarte skill. A successful Quarte boosts the chance of weapon ailment traits being inflicted. Elude is a dagger skill. A successful Elude may inflict Stop.
Counter is learned by several characters and is also granted by the Black Belt accessory and Sabin's trust mastery reward. It has a 30% chance of triggering vs. physical attacks. Equipping the First Strike materia grants the user 5% evade and 20% counter. Counter-Strike is learned by Lightning and Fang and similarly works against physical attacks. Counter Tackle is learned by Delita, Mercenary Ramza, and Meliadoul. Requital is learned by Jack. Trigger Finger is learned by King. Dammit! is learned by Libertus.
Duane's Magic Counter and Snow's Fighting Spirit counter magical attacks with a physical attack.
White Knight Noel's Winter Palisade counters magic with one of several ice-elemental attacks: Ice Blitz, Ice Wave, Glacial Wave or Sub Zero.
Cupid Luna's Edlritch Air allows her to counter magical attacks with Dark Reverie.
Dark Fina and Dark Seabreeze Fina's Retaliate uses a magical attack to counter physical attacks. Dark Fina's can be awakened to trigger more often and also buff her Magic when triggered.
White Lotus Fina's Sexy Pose may charm in response to physical attacks, Cleansing Wish heals all allies, and Holy Retaliate does light damage to all enemies.
Zargabaath's Warden lets him counter physical or magical attacks with a physical attack. Cloud's Fighting Instinct lets him counter physical or magical attacks.
Cupid Artemios's Brillance Aura lets him counter with Blinding Bolt.
Illusionist Nichol's Phantasmal Wards has a chance to counter with Phantasmal Wards when an ally is attacked.
Rubicante's Face Me! counters physical attacks with Firaga and magic with Blizzaga.
Santa Roselia's Blessed Heart casts Resilience and her Divine Grace uses Heal Back, which may cast Self Heal on her or Mass Heal to the entire party.
Noctis's Damage Warp heals.
When fully awakened Terra's Lifesaver has a chance of healing all allies in response to physical attacks.
Aiden's Mind Shield recovers a small amount of MP. Silvia's Magic Field is similar but recovers MP for all allies.
21O's Mechanical Heart trust mastery reward may heal in response to physical or magic attacks.
Xon's Patches trust mastery reward has Bear Charm that may counter with Teddy's Blessing which in turn may use one of three abilities:
- Snack - heal a small amount of HP and MP
- Reckless - 2 turn buff of Attack Up, Defense Down
- Vengeful - gain use of Avenging Blow, an attack that costs 45 MP.
Regenerator materia grants a small amount of healing in response to physical attacks. Reactive Defense materia lowers damage taken by 20% for 2 turns in response to physical attacks.
Minfilia's Protection of the Twelve ability materia, Fina's Honest Wish and Beach Time Fina's Instant Cure heal all allies.
Warrior of Light's Warrior's Pride heals HP and MP when he is targeted by magic.
Olderian Officer Nichol's 8-fold Palm raises all allies' elemental resistance for 2 turns.
Marie's Punishment lowers foes' elemental resistance and Your Guardian raises allies' elemental resistance.
Fohlen's Speedster lowers wind resistance.
Kefka's Roar of Laughter lowers enemies stats by 30%. When awakened his Mage of Destruction passive allows him to counter with Hyperdrive.
Lulu's Magic Water lowers enemy water resistance.
Veritas of the Flame's Fiery Retribution lowers fire resistance in response to magical attacks. Veritas of the Dark's Dark Retribution lowers dark resistance in response to physical attacks. Veritas of the Light's Light Retribution lowers light resistance in response to physical attacks.
Lasswell and Ice Knight Lasswell's Mirror of Retribution allows them to counter with Mirror of Equity.
Revenging Edge is learned by Knight Delita and uses a stronger attack.
Sephiroth can counter with Scintilla.
Loren's Gap Closer counters with Full Break+
Veritas of the Flame's Uplift lets him counter with Full Charge Stomp.
Desch's Awakening Wisdom lowers defense. Glauca's Unhesitating Counter lowers defense. Vaan's Counter Break lowers enemies' stats by 40% in response to magical attacks.
Ulrica's skillset is almost completely counter-based:
- Revenge - a strong physical counter
- Magic Revenge - counters magic with a strong physical counter
- Full Revenge - hits all enemies
- Magic Full Revenge - hit all enemies
- Counter Heal - regain a small amount of HP
- Ragefire - fire-based, ignores a portion of defense
- Magic Ragefire - fire-based, ignores a portion of defense
2B's Avoid gives her a chance to evade and counter physical attacks for 2 turns. If it triggers, it also temporarily enables her Avoid Attack ability. 9S's Perfect Evade gives him a chance to evade and counter physical attacks for 2 turns. If it triggers it temporarily enables Counter Attack.
Adam and Eve have Human Imitation which for 5 MP grants them a 50% chance to counter for 1 turn.
Eye for an Eye and Undefeated double the activation rate of Counter. Demon's Revenge boosts counter chances by 250%. Meliadoul's Righteousness increases her Attack and chance to counter.
Snow can increase the activation rate of Counter and Fighting Spirit via ability awakening.
- Final Fantasy XII Game Mechanics FAQ - Info on Final Fantasy XII's Counter.