Phaleg is just a reaction test at this point due to the power creep making the S rank easy to hit if you can react. The fight doesn't really check positioning or planning either.
If you're just trying to assess your own skills, 4-man Persona trigger is a lot broader in coverage, and the Varuna story fight is more fair of a duel boss (healing, can avoid instead of iframing, can fish for counters on swords, etc) while still being easily accessible. Don't pay too much attention to the exact times you get, but ask yourself whether there's anything you did that you did that you could have improved on. Those two fights have a lot of ways to shave time off that are applicable to other bosses. Precasting, blind spots, chain counters, all sorts of things. Plus they both push you hard on defense, but let you heal instead of resetting the whole thing.
That’s actually really helpful, thank you!
Fights like Phaleg and Masquerade are meant to train you to avoid damage - like many action games. Rather than trading hits to see who dies first or who runs out of resources first, you are suppose to avoid getting hit in the first place. This isn't your typical holy trinity game where a healer is going to be healing the damage you are taking, rather you are suppose avoid that damage in the first place.
When solo ultimate quest for Sodam comes out, this is a DPS sponge where you can check your DPS as Sodam has much slower attack speed. Here you can actually see if you are doing decent DPS, depth 1 starts at 66 million HP and depth 100 has 250 million HP. The time limit is 15 minutes, it includes all the cutscenes for phase transitions so you need to factor that in starting from depth 30 and onwards when Sodam gains the double element phase and later the final phase of the fight from 40 and every 10 depth afterwards.
You’re right, and in those games I always play a class with a safety net because unfortunately I’m aware of my limitations. I can practice a fight until I memorize it but the reflexes just don’t match the eyes anymore. I don’t think I’ll be able to beat Phaleg but who knows, I said the same thing about Masq but I finally beat him! I’m looking forward to that Sodam fight now.