Aerith Gainsborough

A flower seller from the slums, Aerith Gainsbourough is the last of the Cetra, and the key to saving the planet from Meteor.

Who Is Aerith Gainsborough?

Who Are Aerith Gainsborough?

Aerith is the last of the Cetra, an ancient race with powerful connection to magic. Because of these, she was hunted all her life by the oppressive Shinra corporation. Everything changed one day, though, when Cloud Strife came crashing into her flower guardian and became her bodyguard.

After travelling with Cloud and his party for some time, Aerith used the White Materia to summon Holy. Though Sephiroth killed her to stop the summoning, Aerith returned to the lifestream and was eventually able to use it to push back Matera and finish calling Holy – thereby saving the planet.

I remember the first time I saw cutscene where [Ed. Note: spoiler alert, 30 years later] Sephiroth kills Aerith like it was yesterday. And to be honest, I watched it again yesterday. It was the first game I played where a character "died for real". Not only that, but I was shipping Aerith and Cloud. It hit hard.

At time of writing, part two of the Final Fantasy VII Remake isn't out yet. I am desperate to play it, eager to see if the party's changing of the future at the end of the first part (by defeating the fates) has sufficiently altered history enough to keep Aerith alive.

Zach is, after all.

Keys to the Character

Aerith's flower

Flowers In The Slums

Aerith displays a deep connection to the planet – first seen in the way she is able to grow flowers in the slums. In fact, she says the flowers speak to her.

Her uncanny green thumb also keeps her flowers unusually sturdy.

Aerith's white materia

Materia Girl

Aerith keeps the White Materia – which “does nothing” – in her hair. It is this materia that she eventually uses to save the planet.

In addition, she is frequently the most prolific spellcaster of her party. Among her friends, she often is able to hold the most materia.

Aerith's staff

Staff Party

Aerith wields staves as her preferred weapon. When called upon, she can use them to deliver a wallop. More commonly, though, they are used as a focus for her magic abilities.

Aerith's wind magic

Blowin’ In The (Healing) Wind

Communicating with the lifeforce of the planet isn’t just useful for growing flowers. She can summon the lifeforce itself to heal her allies in the form of a gentle breeze. This represents just one of the handful of defensive and curative abilities she brings to her party.

Building Aerith Gainsborough

In Final Fantasy VII, Aerith is a “backline” party member by default. That means she’s fragile, but what she lacks in toughness she makes up for in magical ability and supportive prowess. Her Limit Break, Healing Wind, can be a huge help to the entire party when things go south. Plus, her equipment generally features more materia slots than her allies, giving her more magical breadth.

So on the tabletop, Aerith needs to be a heavy supportive character. Someone who stays out of the way, safely behind allies, while delivering powerful heals and a wide range of magical abilities.

Aerith has a ton of support spells – heals, protections and revives. Allies can feel confident that with her in the skirmish, they will be healthy enough to take down whatever comes their way.

However, she isn’t just a heal-bot. Her Druid Dedication represents her large materia capacity – specifically, her elemental spells. When teammates are healthy and no one is in need of a heal, Aerith can blast foes with the elements. Especially her favorite, wind.


· ·
· · ·
· · · ·
· · · · ·
· ·
· · ·
· · · ·
· · · · ·
· ·
· · ·
· · · ·
· · · · ·
· ·
· · ·
· · · ·
· · · · ·


Elf – Ancient

This combo is great for representing Aerith – and not just because it has the word “ancient” in it. In parties, she is a bit more fragile, a bit more worldly, and a bit more magical. That certainly seems like elf.

The Ancient heritage will allow Aerith to pick up a Druid archetype at level 1. This doesn’t synergize with her Charisma Divine spellcasting as much as a Sorcerer archetype would, but it gives access to a lot of primal spells and represents her ability to speak to the planet, rather than just command its elements.

Level Feat Notes
1 Nimble Elf Aerith showcases some surprising agility as she climbs around the wreckage of the slums.
5 Defiance Unto Death She may get scared from time to time, but she never abandons her cause.
9 Elf Step Foes tend to focus on bigger threads, leaving Aerith to support her allies.
13 Forlorn The last Cetra is cursed with the knowledge of her ancestors.
17 Share Thoughts Aerith melds minds through the planet's lifeforce. Groovy.


Plant Whisperer

Aerith literally tells Cloud she can converse with her flowers. Whether this is a metaphor or not, we’re not sure.

The Plant Whisperer background gives some Plant Lore, Nature training and the Natural Medicine skill. To be honest, Aerith is packed full of enough healing magic that she may not need Natural Medicine, but it may come in handy in a pinch.


Oracle – Life Mystery

There are a few different possibilities for representing Aerith’s status as a planetary lifeforce communicating ancient. Druid is a good start, and it also helps address the flavour of her flower-talking green thumb. However, I felt the Druid is a bit too much in that direction. It highlights her gardening much more than her lifeforce connection. Not only that, but her connection to the planet is a bit of a burden – it’s something she’s kind of been running from for years. In a sense, she is cursed with the status.

Oracle it is then. And though the Ancestory Mystery would make some sense, communicating with the life-force of the past Cetra, I think that the Life Mystery is a) more fun and b) a good representation of the healing prowess she shows in FF7.

Plus, she’ll use her status as an Ancient to gain the Druid Multiclass Dedication at level one, to get that flavour of plant talking and elemental material using.

Level Feat Notes
1 Druid Dedication From Ancient Elf. Represents her ability to speak with the planet.
2 Domain Acumen - Death Adds an early extra focus point and some temporary hitpoints, which don't count as healing for the Life Mystery curse.
4 Basic Druid Spellcasting Aerith is a heavy materia user – this equates to her using elemental materia.
6 Advanced Revelation Get that third focus point already and
8 Basic Wilding - Poison Resistance Having a green thumb numbs you to low level toxins over time.
10 Oracular Warning Aerith uses the lifeforce of the planet to get a glimpse of things to come.
12 Domain Fluency - Healing A powerful focus spell that keeps her party from sharing her fate.
14 Advanced Wilding - Green Empathy Speak to plants!
16 Expert Druid Spellcasting Use stronger elemental materia.
18 Primal Breadth Use more elemental materia.
20 Master Druid Spellcasting Use the strongest elemental materia.

Skills & General Feats

Aerith focuses on Nature for her Druid spellcasting, as well as Medicine to help her allies.

Legendary: Nature
Master: Lore: Plant, Medicine,
Expert: Crafting, Diplomacy





Battle Medicine

Be ready to heal with more than just magic.



Aerith needs some extra health to deal with her curse.


Root Magic

Keep those spooky Fates away from your friends.


Robust Recovery

Your salves and healing poultices do more help.


Influence Nature

Grow some flowers in the slums.


Consult the Spirits

Commune with the lifeforce of the planet to get aid.


Ward Medic

Tend to more friends at once!


Advanced First Aid

Be ready to heal friends even when your materia doesn't work.


Paragon Battle Medicine

When you're not casting, your healing with nature.


Magical Crafting

Work on your staves in your down time.



Hop around the battlefield to where you're needed most.


Alchemical Crafting

Work on your poultices and potions in your down time.


Unmistakeable Lore

If someone has a question about plants, you have an answer.


Incredible Investiture

You need room for the knick knacks you keep from the hearts you break.



You can last a long time among nature.

Attribute Increases


Suggested Starting Equipment

Name Cost Notes
Staff 0 Though she rarely enters the fray close enough to hit with them, her staves can hold charges of extra spells from her Druid list, while serving as a backup for close quarters.
Explorer's Clothing 1 sp One of three dresses for Don Corneo.

Aerith Gainsborough's Signature Items

Key Spells

Level Spells Notes
Cantrip Shield A little extra protection, in the form of an energy barrier.
Cantrip Read the Air Take a deep breath and let the world tell you what you're missing.
Cantrip Gale Blast Druid list. A nice little evocation cantrip that blasts foes with a gust.
1 Heal Gotta walk before you can run. The basic support spell Aerith will make a ton of use of.
2 Wind Surge Reflavor of Sea Surge. Druid list. Use your Wind materia to blast foes.
3 Life Connection Connect your allies life forces with the Planet.
3 Wall of Wind Druid list. Protect yourself and allies with a difficult barrier to cross.
4 Petal Storm Druid list. Put those flowers to use!
4 Vital Beacon Ennervate healing energy outward.
5 Breath of Life If only Aerith could do this to herself.
5 Healing Well Grow a healing area on the battlefield.
6 Field of Life Heal allies, hurt undead, grow plants.
6 Tangling Creepers Druid list. Those flowers can hold down your foes now.
7 Energy Aegis A bit stronger than your shield cantrip.
7 Regenerate Like a tree closing a wound with bark, or something more poetic.
8 Divine Inspiration Divine? Maybe more like 'Ancient' or 'Cetra' or 'Flower Seller'.
8 Punishing Winds Druid list. The real smackdown of wind against enemies. Everyone really.
10 Miracle The White Materia, activated.


Aerith Resources