As usual I’ll try to keep things as spoiler light as possible. Some events transpire in Chapter 5 where you’ll find yourself fighting these characters again. Naturally I walked in thinking I knew what they were going to do and steam rolled them. That is until Barras got to 20% life and started exploding. Alright, I thought, I imagine I know what to do. I went back in and sure enough I took them down. Herein is the relatively easy explanation for how you do that. Sometime soon I should be finished with this game but for now it IS kind of fun to write little guides for these fights.
Secondary Ability set to Ninjutsu (for Utsusemi) on all 4 characters (recommended, 1 is enough)
Phoenix Flight & Blood Blade on 1 character
Salve-Maker on 1 character (recommended, makes this lazier)
Everything else is up to you [so many choices!]
The fight will begin with Barras occasionally doing invigorate and punching you in the face for an admirable amount of damage. Things like angelic ward or evasion will help here but frankly Salve-Maker makes this a non issue. You want to direct all your DPS onto Holly first. She can heal and that makes her a problem. Use your Blood Blade and cast Phoenix Flight on her 3 times. The next time your character is up have it do it 4 times, repeat until your drain is gone. Once your drain is gone just use Blood Blade and repeat this pattern.
Your Salve-Maker should be casting First Aid every turn. Occasionally you’ll get hit by an AOE from Holly but its rare and can be safely ignored. First Aid negates whatever the monk does each turn. Eventually you will have killed Holly. Following this is the interesting phase of this fight. Bring Baras down to 20% health through whatever means. At this point his invigorate causes him to explode and deal 5K to himself and an incredible amount of damage to you (I think about the same if it hits, it’ll wipe folks).
Start casting Utsusemi at this point. You will not counter him with this but you don’t need to. He’s dealing high amounts of damage to himself and should die in 5 turns maximum.
Congratulations! You’ve beaten Baras and Holly on hard! That wasn’t too bad! As I move along I’ll try to take pictures of the rest of these rematches and make guides for them too. Hope this helps anyone confused on how to drop this duo.