Sephiroth creates a barrier of cyan hexagons in a "honeycomb" pattern in front of himself, which bursts into a cloud of damaging sparkles a second later. This separates it from most traditional counterattacks, as the attack is triggered even if Sephiroth is not attacked, in effect making it similar to Focus Attack.
Unlike most counters, which deal damage based on multiplying the triggering hitbox, Scintilla behaves more akin to Charge Shot, with a linear range of damage between minimum and maximum values. The maximum damage is achieved when the triggering attack deals 18% damage. If the barrier is not hit, the move strikes at below its normal minimum power.
Scintilla cannot counter attacks that deal more than 25% damage; the barrier instead breaks, though Sephiroth will not take damage from the triggering hitbox. He is also vulnerable from behind, and the counterattack itself is a projectile, so there is risk of it being absorbed or reflected back. As a result, using Scintilla against moves with both a hitbox and a reflector is very dangerous.
The barrier resembles a reflector, particularly Reflect Barrier, however despite its appearance, it is not a reflector itself.
When using the move, Sephiroth may say 目障りだ ("Annoying." or "Pathetic."), 来い ("Come."), 消え去れ ("Disappear."), 愚かな ("Foolish."), いい顔だ ("I like the look on your face."), 打ち砕く ("I will crush you."), 跪け ("Kneel.") or simply chuckle.
Scintilla is a technique that originated in the Dissidia series of fighting games as one of Sephiroth's HP attacks. When triggered, Sephiroth raises a barrier to block attacks, then slashes twice with his sword, the first doing several hits of Bravery damage and the second dealing HP damage. However, depending on their damage priority, certain attacks can break the barrier to stagger Sephiroth, or hit him through it. Unlike in Dissidia, which was limited by the PSP's technical capabilities, the layout of which honeycomb tiles appear is randomized on each use in Ultimate. Scintilla also appeared in Final Fantasy VII: Remake as one of his attacks; Sephiroth no longer summons a barrier when using it and only attacks if the player attacks him.