Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Guide: Ventus's Ultimate Command Deck
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep was the first of the franchise to use Deck Commands, specialized abilities that can turn the tide in a battle. While the game is kicked off by Terra setting off on his own journey, Ventus's story begins shortly thereafter. Though several commands are shared amongst the three playable protagonists, the most powerful moves are specialized and exclusive to each unique character.
As Ventus is the quickest and most agile of the main trio, his moves capitalize on his speed. His fighting style is also intentionally reminiscent of Sora's, striking a balance between physical and magic-based attacks. Here are some the best commands to keep in Ven's deck.
Easy to obtain, easy to use, the Sonic Blade has become a staple of the franchise. This move will send you (keyblade first) right at the enemy, shooting into them over and over with each successive button prompt. Each member of the trio can pick up Sonic Blade in Olympus Coliseum after beating Hercules in the Break the Urns mini-game. If you want a little extra challenge or mabe space to impliment Crystals, try your hand at melding.
Easiest recipe: Air Slide + Blitz.
After obtaining Air Slide in Olympus Coliseum, you can buy a copy from a Moogle. You can find Blitz in Mermaid Lagoon, or just meld it with Quick Blitz + Slot Edge or Slot Edge + Stun Edge. The only other recipe for Sonic Blade that'll work for Ventus is Thunder Surge + Fire Dash. Thunder Surge can be melded with Thundara + Fire Dash, Freeze Raid, Stun Edge, or Confusion Strike. Fire Dash can be found through Command Boards (if you have the patience of a monk) or melded with Confusion Strike + Fire, Sliding Dash + Fira, or Sliding Dash + Fire.
Arguably the peak form of the Strike Raid command, Spark Raid wraps the keyblade in light before being thrown at enemies. Once it makes contact, it'll shoot out devastating beams of light in all directions.
Easiest Recipe: Magnega + either Freeze Raid or Treasure Raid
We'll cover Magnega in the Magic section, so don't worry about that yet. Freeze Raid can most easily be made by combining Strike Raid and Blizzara. Treasure Raid is found on Neverland's Cliff Path, or melded with Slot Edge + Magnet, Magnega, or Slot Edge. Spark Raid also has a 20% chance of being melded by Thunder Roll recipes Dodge Roll + Stun Block, Thundaga, or Thunder Surge.
Also translated as "Final Arcana" or "Last Arcanum," the Ars Arcanum sends Ventus into a powerful 13-chain combo.
Easiest recipe: Aerial Slam + Blitz.
This is the only recipe certain to get you Ars Arcanum. Aerial Slam can be found in a chest in Pete's Rec Room (the giant pinball platformer in Disney Town), while Blitz can be found in Mermaid Lagoon or melded with Slot Edge + Quick Blitz or Stun Edge. The rest of Ars Arcanum's eight recipes have very low success rates. 10% chance from an Aerial Slam recipe: Aerora + Fire Strike. 5% chance from Slot Edge recipes: Cura + Blizzard Edge or Poison Edge. 5% chance from Blizzard Edge recipes: Quick Blitz + Blizzara or Blizzard, Sliding Dash + Blizzard or Blizzard. And finally 10% chance from a Blitz recipe: Quick Blitz + Slot Edge.
Stop every nearby enemy in time and teleport from one to the other, dealing out an onslaught of quick strikes. While it won't stop bosses, it'll still keep you nipping at their heels.
Easiest Recipe: Aerial Slam + Stopga
This is the only one with a 100% success rate. Stopga can be easily melded by combining leveled up Stop and Stopra commands, while Aerial Slam can be found in Pete's Rec Room. The only other viable recipe for Ven is Stun Edge + Slot Edge, which has a meager 10% success rate.
Launch a series of powerful whirlwinds that will send your enemies flying. While you can eventually go back and pick this one up in Enchanted Dominion's Dungeon, you might have an easier time melding it.
Easiest recipe: Aeroga + Binding Strike or Confusion Strike.
Aeroga can be easily melded by combining Aero and Aerora. Binding Strike can be found in Radiant Garden's titular Garden area or melded with Strike Raid + Bind. Confusion Strike can be melded with Strike Raid + Confuse.
It's like Magnega, but more violent. Pull in surrounding enemies for a single powerful spin attack. While there's a chance you can pick this up by defeating Deep Space's Blobmob, the chances are pretty slim (like 1%). You're better off melding.
Easiest recipe: Binding Strike + Collision Magnet.
Binding Strike is easy. Just combine Bind and Strike Raid. Collision Magnet (which can be replaced by Magnega in the original recipe) can be melded with Zero Gravira + Magnet. Those are your safest options. For a 20% success rate, try the aforementioned Collision Magnet recipe, or Stun Edge + Magnera, or Quick Blitz + Magnera.
Somewhat reminiscent of Roxas's powerful finisher in his Kingdom Hearts II boss battle, Salvation sends Ventus into a powerful spinning attack that summons devastating columns of light all around him and even restores a portion of his health. Unless you obtain 100 points in your Sticker Album (110 in Final Mix), your best bet is melding.
Easiest Recipe: Wind Raid + Curaga.
This is Salvation's only recipe. Wind Raid can be found in Keyblade Graveyard's Twister Trench or melded with Aeroga + Treasure Raid or Freeze Raid. Curaga can be melded with leveled up Cure and Cura.
Suspend surrounding enemies in a powerful anti-gravity field and then hurl them in all directions. It's a win-win. For you, that is. The unlucky Unversed won't fare so well.
Easiest recipe: Magnet Spiral + Zero Graviga.
Check out how to obtain Magnet Spiral under the Attack Commands section. Zero Graviga can be melded with Zero Graviza + Zero Gravity.
You will need Curaga if you want to win the game. It's a nice renewable option compared to all those annoying potions. You can't pick this one up in any chest, but the game will give you all kinds of Cures and Curas, so obtaining it will be pretty easy.
Easiest recipe: Cura + Cure.
You could also do Cura + Cura. I should note that, if you're wanting more health, you shouldn't meld Cure commands with a Soothing Crystal. They'll generally only give you item boosts.
Kind of like Salvation, but a little more organized, Faith will summon pillars of light to swirl around you before shooting out at your enemies and restoring a portion of your health. Faith can only be made through melding.
Easiest recipe: Wind Raid + Break Time
Wind Raid can be found in Twister Trench or melded with Aeroga + Treasure Raid or Freeze Raid. Break Time is a unique resting command that can be found in Pete's Rec Room.
Like Mine Shield, this magic command summons explosive traps that stun enemies when triggered. Unlike Mine Shield, this one puts the traps surrounding you instead of just in front of you. Pretty easy to meld and super useful in a pinch.
Easiest Recipe: Fira + Stop.
Your only other option is Aerora + Ignite.
Magnet's ultimate form. Create a vortex that will draw your enemies in, dealing damage and making them super vulnerable (and convenient) to attack.
Easiest recipe: Magnera + Magnet.
You can also do Magnera + Magnera, if you're an over-achiever. This pattern can be repeated for most "pure" magic forms (e.g. Fire to Fira to Firaga, Thunder to Thundara to Thundaga, etc.).
Create your own personal twister that can be directed around the battlefield, sweeping up enemies in its wake.
Easiest recipe: Aeroga + Magnega
Tornado only has one recipe with a 100% success rate. The rest are abysmally low by-product recipes for Aerora or Aeroga. They include Aero + Aero, Aerora, Quick Blitz, or Thunder, and Aerora + Aerora or Quick Blitz.
Boom. Shoot off an explosive, screen-whitening fireball that deals damage to every enemy onscreen.
Easiest Recipe: Fission Firaga + Crawling Fire
That's the only recipe. Fission Firaga can be obtained by melding Aeroga + Fira, Aeroga + Firaga, or Firaga + Aerora. Crawling Fire can be melded with Slow + Firaga, Stopga + Firaga, or Stopra + Firaga.
Choosing a Deck
Now that you have all of Ven's best commands laid out nice and pretty, it's time to figure out which ones work best for you. Do a little experimenting, test out different combinations, and know that different approaches work for different situations.
If you're looking to do a little crowd control, either use attacks with a wide range or bring the baddies to you. One particularly lethal approach is to gather your enemies with Magnega and then destroy them with something totally awesome like Faith, Salvation, or Tornado.
If you're focusing on one target, either decimate the whole battlefield or just one specific part of it. If your aim isn't exactly true, you might try an attack that can't miss, such as Mega Flare. For those of us who prefer to get close and personal, give the boss all you've got with something like Ars Arcanum.
And, as always, remember that any command can be "ultimate" if you put it to good use. Even if your favorite attack didn't make this list, don't feel like you have to drop it. Simple commands like Strike Raid can make all the difference when paired with something that has a little more firepower. Embrace the trials. Embrace the errors. And forge the X-Blade. Go get 'em, "kiddo."