Cloud's Bandaged Sword
Cloud's weapon, the Bandaged Sword, offers some interesting features. It provides an area-of-effect (AOE) magic defense boost similar to Matt's Core Defender and Red's Sleek Collar. To a lesser extent, it's comparable to Glenn's Hard Core Squad.
At level 90, the potency of the buff is considered mid-level. However, when you reach OB6 (Overboost 6), it levels up to high potency. In terms of stats, the Bandaged Sword has more magic attack than regular attack, so it's more beneficial to build Cloud with magic materia.
Now, let's talk about the support materia slots. The first slot includes an ATK Boost I, which increases the damage of any materia by 10%. The second slot increases buff/debuff time by 20%. In the last slot, you get a 30% boost to ice ability damage.
You have options here; you could place a Barrier materia in the second slot for added support actions or a debuff materia to enhance Cloud's abilities. For ice coverage, consider placing a Blizzard materia in the third slot.
Regarding the R abilities, the Bandaged Sword offers "Boost HP" and "Boost Ice Resist." At level 90, it provides a standard boost of 24 points and 9 points for ice resist, respectively. When you reach OB6, these values increase to 34 and 24. At max Overboost, they reach 40 and 36, making Cloud even more formidable.
Using this weapon, Cloud will undoubtedly lose many of his offensive abilities. Normally, he serves as the primary physical damage dealer on the team, so it's challenging to transform him into a pure support unit. Doing so would mean wasting all the investments you've made in him as a damage dealer. One alternative could be to make him a sub DPS with support abilities, but that would severely limit his damage-dealing potential.
The weapon proves its usefulness in this event as the boss frequently targets the party with AOE magical attacks. The AOE magic defense buff it provides is highly appreciated. Additionally, it enhances Cloud's survivability with its ice resistance, which is particularly valuable since the boss employs AOE ice magical attacks.
I can envision a situation where this weapon finds its use in co-op play, especially when you need an all-rounder unit. This weapon enhances his survivability, particularly against bosses who use ice magic attacks. It's also valuable in battles that require ice damage. However, it's worth noting that it's not highly specialized, as it provides both ice resistance and increases ice damage. Personally, I would prefer it to have either fire resistance and ice boost or ice resistance and fire boost, but that's just a minor preference.
AOE defense buffs are undeniably valuable, particularly due to the likes of Crash Sephiroth who cannot offensively debuffed. I can foresee a future where this weapon becomes widely used, so it's not a bad investment. Nevertheless, it's not a unique weapon, so it's not a must-have. Red appears to be better at supporting the team than Cloud, and to some extent, Matt.
In summary, Cloud's Bandaged Sword presents a trade-off by shifting him from a damage dealer to a support role. It may find use in co-op and all-rounder setups due to AOE defense buffs, but its dual focus on ice resistance and damage may not suit all players. Its value may rise with time, but other support characters like Red may be more effective.
Cloud's Bandaged Coat
I like it aesthetically. I love the shoulder guards with what I'm guessing is Mako. Its abilities boost HP and heal potency by 10 points. The HP boost synergizes well with the weapon's HP boosting ability. However, the heal boost is useless unless we build Cloud as a support healer. He'd have to equip the Crystal Sword to take advantage of this. I don't think the Bandaged Coat and Bandaged Sword go well together unless you go pure support with the Bandaged Sword, Crystal Sword, and Bandaged Coat.
Personally, I don't like it. I'd rather have Sephiroth's outfit, which I'll explain in another article.