Ayachi~ continues to make this arc enjoyable. It's a waiting game now until Kirito can somehow reach the top of the tree and face Sugou.
The whole Sugurd thing was interesting, but at the same time...whatever. It's a side-quest!
Originally Posted by relentlessflame
In fairness, these two points are completely related. He figured the only way to win was to use the "illusion" magic (really transformation), but the only way he could buy enough time is for her to keep healing him (because otherwise he couldn't take the hits). So it has nothing to do with her being a girl; he needed a support player to make his plan work otherwise they'd both be dead. For what it's worth, anyway...
I would have liked to seen Leafa fight, but understood why as the fight started.
My only problem with the battle was randomness of the strategy to beat the Salamanders. We only know what Kirito does or switches to due to Yui telling Leafa to cast a certain spell at a certain time. It would have been nice to show a minute or two of Kirito telling Yui what his new plan was going to be.