Grabbing yourself a defensive persona in P5R might sound a little unusual – the battle system is all about exploiting weaknesses surely, so why bother with defence? Long time players of the Shin Megami series will know that there are always situations that call for defence, especially on higher difficulty levels, though in the particular case of ‘Royal we’ll admit that offence is encouraged thanks to the player damage buff. Regardless, there will be times during which favouring defence will be of great benefit, so we have put together a list of our favourite 5 defensive types of Persona in ‘Royal!
Persona #5: Ippon-Datara
We expect that some of you may have thought a certain ‘slimy’ Persona may have been in our first slot, and that would have been a valid option for sure, but after multiple play through we found another early game option a little more useful: Ippon-Datara. Whilst the encounter is slightly rare, this Persona can be found during the early to middle portion of the second palace. It is possible to fuse it earlier than this, however it’s not really worth doing so, unless you’re intent on taking tiny amounts of damage from the boss of the first palace.
Statistically speaking the benefits are obvious. Coming with such a high Endurance stat means that you’ll be taking less damage no matter what you do, from either physical or magical. On top of this, Ippon-Datara comes with the Sharp Student passive, which reduces the chance to be struck by a critical attack – this doesn’t happen often sure, but it’s a nice addition to his kit. It’s defensive prowess is rounded out by the Counter skill, learned at level 18, which has a small chance to reflect a physical attack. It even comes with quite a few spell resistances, bonus!
- High Endurance statistic, which reduces both physical and magical damage.
- Sharp Student passive, learned at level 17, reduces the chance of suffering a critical hit.
- Counter, learned at level 18, has a 10% chance to reflect a physical attack.
- It’s Trait, Striking Weight, actually makes for a good physical damage Persona by boosting physical damage by 20%.
Persona #4: Shiki-Ouji
Those familiar with the second palace, and indeed certain sections of Mementos, will no doubt have battled Shiki-Ouji at some point. Much to the intrepid dungeon crawlers consternation, you’ll soon find that it’s completely immune to both Physical and Gun damage, along with taking normal damage from practically everything else. It’s only real weakness is the Nuke spell, so you’re likely to be stumped, unless of course you’ve been paying attention to our Nuke list right here.
Unfortunately the benefits don’t really extend much further than those resistances. It’s Strength stat is nice and high, and Magic isn’t too bad, but the remaining move set isn’t much to write home about. Oni Kagura, learned at level 24, is a nice group attack that can inflict Rage on every enemy, and getting some early Psy group attacks is nice, but really you’re here for the novelty that is being able to completely ignore Physical, Gun, Curse and Bless at such an early point in the game.
- Naturally resistant to Physical, Gun, Curse and Bless. This is unusual at such an early point and can make Joker invincible in some battles.
- Little else in terms of defensive abilities, though it’s Rage based moves – Taunt and Oni Kagura – can disable groups of opponents in a flash.
- Doubles up as a great early Psy Persona.
Persona #3: Rangda
Perhaps you really enjoy Joker being completely immune to Physical and Gun attacks, but you’re worried about our previous choice – Shiki-Ouji – falling behind in levels and statistics. Good news, we have a higher level option that does the job even better! Rangda! You may also be familiar with this… Interesting looking fellow if you’ve taken some time to battle things in the sixth palace in P5R. It too can be quite a pain to deal with, so why not recruit this bad boy and let it do some work on your team?
Again, it’s main benefits are rather obvious, given that it repels both Physical and Gun attacks – oh and that’s Repel not Null by the way, which means that you’ll reflect the damage back at your enemies rather than just ignoring it. We’re going to try not to spoil things here, but if you can fuse this Persona ahead of time it will come in very handy against a certain one vs one boss battle that happens in Mementos – you’ll know it when you see it. Outside of this it comes with the Counterstrike passive, which has a 15% chance to reflect physical attacks (useless here but nice to pass on), and learns the Matarunda debuff at level 51, which reduces all of the enemies’ attack power.
- Repels both Physical and Gun attacks, dealing the damage back at the attacker.
- Comes with the Counterstrike passive which, while useless here, can be passed onto another Persona.
- Learns Matarunda at level 51, which reduces all targets’ attack power.
Persona #2: Abaddon
We were torn when choosing this Persona, honestly we really were. It’s not that Abaddon is a bad Persona, in fact it’s one of the absolute best available in P5R, but our experience is so tainted by the eleventy million battles against the damned thing that we just couldn’t face seeing it again. Anyone that has experienced the end portion of the original P5 game will likely be familiar with this awful thing, and it’s presence is just as overbearing in Royal. For reference, the best way to get rid of these damned things is to either Burn or Crit it to pieces – just putting that out there, you’ll know when you get there.
To the business of defensive value then, and you’ll immediately notice that it Drains both Physical and Gun attacks. Yes that’s right, any attacks of these types will actually heal Joker, something very rare in the entirety of P5R. Abaddon also comes with the Enduring Soul passive, which allows you to survive a single fatal blow, restoring your health fully as it does so. Once you add it’s massive Endurance statistic into the mix, you end up with a Joker that is damned near untouchable! As a bonus it comes with the Mouth of Savoring trait, which increases your own SP recovery by 50%! With the right set up of equipment and skills your Joker can take a beating and keep going like no other!
- Absorbs any Gun or Physical attacks completely!
- Enduring Soul passive lets you survive an otherwise fatal attack, and fully heals you in the process!
- Massive Endurance stat means that Joker will take next to no damage.
- Mouth of Savoring trait increases SP recovery effectiveness (Hint: Accessories).
Persona #1: Ongyo-Ki
If we’re honest, it’s a bit of a toss up between this Persona and Abaddon for the absolute peak of defensive prowess, but it’s always nice to have choices right? You’ll need the Hermit confidant (Futaba) maxed out to be able to fuse this burly chap, but it’s worth it for an absolute end game defensive beast! By the time you reach the third semester you probably have P5R worked out, so again we’d potentially value Abaddon more since it’s available at such a tough time in the calendar, but if you want to see some truly hilarious defensive builds then this is where you need to be.
The highlight here has to be the combination of Regenerate 3, which restores 6% of your HP each turn, and the Demon’s Bite trait, which doubles your own HP recovery! Pair this with an accessory and you have a recipe for huge amounts of health being returned at a time! On top of this, it learns the Firm Stance passive at level 93, which halves all incoming damage at the cost of any evasion. So now you’re healing huge amounts every turn and taking half damage from everything! It even comes with the Arms Master passive, which halves the HP cost for physical skills, though if we’re honest it’s a bit redundant when you’re regenerating huge gobs of HP every turn…
- Learns Regenerate 3 at level 92, which heals 6% of Joker’s health every turn.
- It’s trait, Demon’s Bite, doubles health recovery!
- All health recovery options stack, so the more HP recovery skills you add the better…
- Learns the Firm Stance passive at level 93, which halves all incoming damage at the cost of any evasion.
- Also learns the Arms Master passive, though it is a little redundant here…