Snow is a playable character in Final Fantasy XIII who also appears as a guest in Final Fantasy XIII-2 and in downloadable content, and as a boss in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. He specializes in Ice-elemental attacks and his Eidolon is the Shiva Sisters whom he can ride as a motorcycle in Gestalt Mode. He fights with his fists, his attacks being augmented by his AMP coat. Snow excels in defense, attracting all enemy attacks to himself as a Sentinel, able to withstand the onslaught with his high HP. His signature attack is Sovereign Fist.
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Snow resembles the Monk class of past games by fighting bare-handed, dealing high damage and having the best HP growth. Snow's primary strength is in his defensive abilities and he has the third highest Strength. He is not incompetent in the magical department, however, with many useful spells available to him. Snow's attacking and casting speeds, especially his casting speeds due to having two hands with which to cast his spells, are slightly better than the others'. The player may want to focus on either Strength or Magic to bias his attack sequences for the AI. The only thing he does worse with a magic build compared to a physical build is generally less damage as a Commando.
Snow's weakness is that he is almost completely outclassed by Fang, who learns all but two (Curasa and Blizzaga) of his non-Synergist abilities, and has better Strength and Magic. Snow's main niche is having the fastest animation speeds, but the lack of Commando's siphon abilities implies a speed-focused Snow was not an intended build. Sentinel is not among the most useful roles for most of the game, and Fang can do it when needed while being more useful overall. However, Snow comes to his own late-game with upgraded weapons when the player no longer needs to worry about class restrictions, and having some of the fastest animations across the board becomes useful.
Snow is the only party member to have two exclusive skills: the Hand Grenade usable in the first two chapters, and his full ATB skill, Sovereign Fist. Snow is the only character whose Crystarium automatically updates at the end of Chapter 3. Snow is the only character to completely outclass another in terms of base stats, with his HP, Strength and Magic all being higher than Sazh's at maximum Crystarium growth.
Snow excels in the Sentinel role, and has the highest HP growth out of the six party members, and weapons which provide bonuses to defense and Sentinel abilities. He learns all Sentinel abilities except for Elude.
As a Ravager, he learns all Ice and Water abilities, but can also learn Wind magic up to the -"ra" level. He learns Vigor, making him potentially the best endgame Ravager considering his fast casting animation.
As a Commando he lacks the Siphon abilities, but his high Strength makes him deal a lot of damage and his high HP will usually keep Adrenaline active. Snow's full ATB Skill is Sovereign Fist, which clears the enemy's stagger gauge when executed. It tends to be slightly stronger than Fang's equivalent, Highwind, but once both are hitting the damage cap they function the same.
As a Medic Snow learns the same four spells Sazh does. Curasa allows Snow to be a serviceable Medic since it's not affected by Magic much. Snow is one of only three party members to learn the useful Daze spell as a Saboteur, and Curse, Pain, Fog and Slow are all good debuff spells to have as well.
Snow's weakest role is likely Synergist, as his skillset is ordinary and he learns them late. He is denied the Bar- and En-spells.
- Base Statistics
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Snow's Eidolon is the Shiva Sisters, Stiria and Nix. Stiria is the dark-skinned elder sister. Nix attacks the enemies with mostly physical attacks, while Stiria wields powerful ice and healing spells. They can combine into a motorcycle for Snow to ride on for their Gestalt Mode.
Snow is the only playable character who fights his Eidolon alone and he doesn't help other party members to fight their Eidolon.
Snow's weapon uses AMP technology to enhance his powers. Although it changes the appearance of his coat when in battle, the coat itself is not the weapon. The coat augments the wearer's strength depending on which emblem set is sewn onto the back (the emblems only appear during combat). Snow's weapon is the only weapon that cannot subtract or change forms.
There is a glitch in the game that renders Snow's weapon outside of battle, letting him have a "different" coat on the field. If the player kills a beast on a mission with another character's Eidolon and the summoning is executed while the beast is attacking Snow, Snow's weapon stays on him, even on the field.
Paladin augments Snow's Sentinel role; Mediguard and Steelguard already add 20% damage reduction, but Paladin's "Improved Guard" adds further 8%, while Lv II adds 16%. It can also synthesize the ability "High HP: Power Surge" which increases damage dealt by 20% at HP above 90%. The trade-off is the low max stats.
Feymark makes Snow a magic-oriented character with high Magic at the cost of "Enfeeblement" and ability to synthesize "Magic Damper," making Snow immune to all magical attacks. However, physical attacks still hurt, healing magic will have no effect on him, and it would require equipping four Magistral Crests to synthesize Magic Damper.
Rebel Heart offers "Critical: Power Surge" and "Low HP: Power Surge" by keeping Snow's HP low. Its low stats may be only a minor problem since one is supposed to multiply the damage via the "Power Surges," but it's not easy to get Snow's HP into the specific range as the party starts each battle at full health, and the player can't switch to a paradigm with any AI-controlled Medics.
Sacrificial Circle has "Paper Tiger" that cuts his HP by 40% in exchange for the highest total stats. Even though it's Snow's highest Strength and Magic weapon, it is recommended to use his Power Circle over it as its Strength stats are similar and Snow will not have the 40% HP penalty.
Snow is a guest character in the Sunleth Waterscape 300 AF. Just like Gadot and Lebreau from Final Fantasy XIII, Snow has infinite HP, and thus cannot be knocked out. He is immune to status ailments and certain buffs are ineffective; he can, however, gain any of the En- spells if cast by a Synergist monster. Snow's Strength and Magic stats are at 273 each, and he has an ATB of 5.
Snow functions as a full-time Commando using Attack, Ruin, Blitz, and Launch. He is feeble when it comes to magic, which puts him at a disadvantage when pitted against Flan, the main enemies in the Sunleth Waterscape. His main use is to keep the enemies' stagger gauges from depleting.
He can perform the Sovereign Fist as his instant kill move, which he will use if he attacks the same target for too long. If the player tames his crystal, Snow will join as a Sentinel with the highest HP any monster can achieve.
Snow can join the player's Paradigm Pack as a Sentinel if defeated as a boss. He has by far the highest HP of any monster, which can rise well beyond 20,000 if Vitality Crystals are used in his development and the HP: +30% passive ability is infused into Snow. One drawback is that while he has high HP, he does not have any innate resistances, meaning he would be no better than other Sentinels with 10,000+ HP that can halve all attacks, abilities aside.
Snow is fought as a boss in Patron's Palace at the end of the Yusnaan main quest. Depending on which day he is fought, his stats and appearance change. In addition to reprising a few abilities from his previous appearances, Snow can use several Chaos-infused attacks among few other new abilities available at his disposal.