We’ve touched on party members in our Persona 5 Royal Tier List already. There we ranked all possible party members by their absolute power when taking on enemies, but what about everything else? What about the other benefits they provide, their availability, quirks and foibles? Like any Persona game physical attacks scale better in the late game, so should you just take a group full of strong arms, or will doing so completely forbid your magical prowess, and demote Joker to a purely healing role? It’s a bit of a minefield for the new player, to say the least.
Which members should get a slot in your team then? Joker is a given of course, besides which he’s always going to top any list thanks to his multi-persona skills, but what of the rest of them? Well, after multiple play throughs of the original and Royal, we’ve put together a list of our Top 5 Party Members, taking everything into account. Bear in mind this is an opinion piece, and your mileage is likely to vary, but the following are those that we found the most useful in our time with the game(s).
We should caveat this by saying that we’re considering party members that aren’t Joker. He’s part of your team whatever you do and if we’re all honest with each other, he’s miles better than anyone else, even more so in Royal.
Member #5: Akechi
As a party member, Akechi is… Infrequent. We’re not going to go into the reasons behind his dropping in and out of your team, suffice to say that you’re not going to properly get your hands on him until the third semester, introduced in Royal. His weaving in and out can be frustrating, but there’s no denying his strength when he is present. Availability is low then, but his power pushes him into our Top 5.
Not only does he have access to some very powerful abilities, but his statistics are also very good. Often he’ll do a great deal of damage each turn, and his AOE gun attack will come in very handy when clearing random battles. All of these benefits pale in comparison to the main one however: He learns Debilitate. On balance, Debilitate is probably the most useful skill in the entire game, since it applies every stat reducing debuff to a single target. This is mainly key because Akechi having access to this means that Joker doesn’t have to waste a turn casting it, freeing him up to do what he does best: Dealing massive damage.
- Low availability.
- Comes with some good damaging abilities.
- Comes with the excellent Debilitate skill.
- Ultimate ability has very high damage potential.
Member #4: Ann
Third to join your team in Persona 5 Royal is Ann, upon which she immediately takes up the mantle of ‘Fire Mage’. It’s a moniker that she keeps up throughout, since she learns all manner of Fire abilities, but that’s not her entire kit. She’ll also learn an AOE sleep spell, Matarunda to lower the attack of all enemies and all manner of single target heals. These abilities are all useful throughout the game, but they only scratch the surface of the benefits Ann brings to your party.
Her real value comes in two main parts; her huge Magic statistic and her confidant abilities, namely ‘Sexy Technique’ and ‘Crocodile Tears’. The former is by far the better of the two confidant options, since it has a chance to completely nullify an enemy attack, but the latter can come in handy too. As the game progresses however, and she gains access to Concentrate and increased Burn rates, she becomes a magical, damage dealing powerhouse. Often she’s able to completely remove a group of enemies with Blazing Hell, or severely damage a high health single target, leaving it slowly burning to a % HP reducing death. Her final ability, High Energy, certainly has potential, but the value of physical attacks means you’re unlikely to get too much use out of it.
- High performer in any team.
- Burn is quite valuable in the late game.
- Concentrate means she can keep up with other attackers.
- Great passive, confidant abilities that come in handy.
Member #3: Ryuji
Regular readers will note that Ryuji was significantly lower in our estimations than third in our Tier List, specifically finding himself housed in ‘B Tier’. The caveat to this however, is that we were considering absolute power, and as such Yusuke outclassed him with judicial use of the Jazz Club. Why then, is he taking third place in our Top 5? Well, it comes down to what else he brings to the party, combined with his availability.
Firstly, he does come with an assortment of Lightning skills which, whilst weakened in Ryuji’s low-magic-stat hands, are as useful as any other element. Secondly, he has a fantastic assortment of physical attacks, and whilst we do despise the fact that he’s horribly inaccurate, they do hit very hard. Third up is his natural Charge ability, learned at level 63 – it more than doubles the damage of his next physical attack, and when he has access to abilities such as God’s Hand, huge damage can be doled out. Combine all this with his unmatched availability, massive Endurance stat and the Insta-Kill Confidant ability, he’s a force to be reckoned with. Just expect him to miss more than you’re comfortable with…
- Great physical damage, albeit with accuracy issues.
- Closest to a ‘Tank’ character, able to take damage like no other.
- Fantastic Confidant ability makes Mementos a breeze.
Member #2: Haru
As a later joining party member, Haru is criminally overlooked by the majority of Persona 5 Royal players. Often players will have so much time and effort invested in pre-existing characters that she completely passes them by. More fool them we say, because Haru is one of the most powerful party members around. Her confidant skills might be niche as all hell and she might speak remarkably softly, but she carries a massive axe and she’s not afraid to use it. Well alright she never really uses it, but bear with us here.
The main event here is her Gun attacks and the passives that she amasses to power them up. One-shot Kill is a fantastic attack that will often crit, dealing huge damage to a single target, and let’s face it single targets are the only ones that are likely to bother you much in P5R. On top of this she can cure the entire party of ailments, something the game throws at you more and more in it’s latter third, and she can compliment her Gun attacks with big spell damage in the form of Psy spells. Once you add Heat Riser into the mix, a super powerful buff that you can cast on other characters, you have a party member that’ll slot into any party build and improve it.
- Very powerful Gun attacks are useful throughout P5R.
- Psy spells are very useful in the third semester.
- Amrita Shower on a character other than Joker is a godsend.
- Heat Riser on Joker is stupid powerful.
Member #1: Yusuke
Our choice for the number one party member in Persona 5 Royal is Yusuke. Key in that sentence is the use of the word ‘Royal’, because without this he’d certainly be somewhat lower down. In the original our erstwhile artist had no way to access the coveted Charge ability, meaning Ryuji would easily pull ahead in terms of physical damage, but one visit to the newly added Jazz Club to learn said ability see’s our blue haired boy catapults himself to the top of our list.
Firstly, he has ice abilities which, on balance, seem to be one of the most useful elements throughout P5R, especially given their chance to cause Freeze. This is paired with huge physical damage of course, made more so by the aforementioned Charge ability, but also bolstered by the choice of skills at his disposal – Vorpal Blade and Brave Blade are two fantastic skills that will constantly see use. So far then, we have a heavy physical attacker with some spell utility, but what makes him truly stand out?
Hyakka Ryouran, Yusuke’s Third Awakening skill, fully buffs the entire party. Yes that’s entirely, fully buffed with the usual attack, defence and accuracy, all in one spell. It does cost a great deal, 90 SP to be exact, but when Royal offers you so many ways to regain SP, this isn’t exactly an issue any more. This truly tops Yusuke off for us, pushing him to the top of our list. He’s a huge physical attacker, joins relatively early in the grand scheme of things, and his late game is supremely useful.
- Highest Strength Stat.
- Causing Freeze on enemies can lead to powerful Technical attacks.
- Great choice of physical skills
- Amazing final awakening skill, fully buffing the whole party in one round.