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6 Key Early Game Skills | Persona 3 Portable

Traversing the early portion of any Persona game can be a tricky proposition, but this is especially true of Persona 3 Portable. One lengthy introduction to some classmates, plus one creepy lad, and you’re dumped unceremoniously into a tower full of shadows called Tartarus. Add targeting weaknesses, persona fusion and the rather ominous Velvet Room, and you have a recipe for the confusion of players new to the series. Technology has allowed the modern Persona title to slow this introduction down, gradually exposing a gamer to it’s many foibles and giving them time to learn, but in an older title like Persona 3 Portable, it can all get a little overwhelming. This article then, is designed to be paired with our recommendations for Early Persona, but we’re going to go into a little more depth around the skills that will make the beginning of this epic game run smoother.


Bufu / Mabufu

Mabufu Skill, Persona 3 Portable
  • Light Ice damage to one or all enemies.

Getting access to some Ice spells in the early game of Persona 3 Portable has to be one of the most important things you can do. Things aren’t going to be impossible without them, but it will make your life so, so much easier if you do so. The main reason for this, is that the party member that naturally has access to Ice will not join your team for quite a while. By this we mean that they will not join you until your team is close to level 17 or 18, so you’ll want to plug that gap as quickly as possible. Not only does this allow you to quickly defeat enemies that are weak to Ice, of which there are many particularly in the second block of Tartarus, but you’ll also be able to more easily force All Out Attacks, which in turn will frequently unlock shuffle times. If you pick one skill to focus on in this list, Ice spells will make by far the biggest difference in the early game.

Early Persona Fusions

  • Asparas innately knows Bufu (Level 3) – Fuse Orpheus with Pixie.
  • Forneus innately knows Bufu (Level 7) – Fuse Orpheus with Ara Mitama.
  • Jack Frost innately knows Bufu (Level 8) and learns Mabufu at level 13 – Fuse Ara Mitama with Angel, or Omoikane with Alp.
  • Valkyrie learns Mabufu at level 13, but does not have access to Bufu – Fuse Pixie with Lilim, or Alp with Lilim. 

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Zio / Mazio

Zio Skill, Persona 3 Portable
  • Light Elec damage to one or all enemies.

Similar to our above choice is the necessity to get some Elec spells in your arsenal, only this time we’d say it’s slightly less imperative to do so. That’s not because it doesn’t serve the same purpose, after all you absolutely do want to grab a persona with access to these spells as soon as possible, however the party member that naturally has access to these will join you sooner than the Ice option. You’ll find plenty of enemies weak to electric skills in both of the initial floors, so it’ll see plenty of use, and even after your elec-capable party member joins, you may prefer that they focus on heavy physical skills as much as possible.

Early Persona Fusions

  • Omoikane innately knows Zio (level 7) – Fuse Orpheus with Nekomata, or Angel with Nekomata.
  • Lilim innately knows Zio (level 8) and learned Mazio at level 12 – Fuse Nekomata with Ara Mitama, or Forneus with Angel.
  • Inugami innately knows Zio (level 10) – Fuse Orpheus with Valkyrie, or Ara Mitama with Lilim.

Media

Media Skill, Persona 3 Portabl
  • 40 HP restored to all allies.

So far we’ve detailed skills that you’re unable to naturally access outside of either capturing or fusing a persona for the protagonist, at least until a certain point in time. With Media things are a little different, because by all accounts you do have access to a healer from the start of the game. Yukari is a very capable healer that comes equipped with the ability to restore health alongside her Wind spells, so why are we recommending that you get yourself Media, the first group heal? Unfortunately, the aforementioned party member will not access even the most basic group heal until level 22. This might not seem like much, but there are two key points that must be understood; by fusing persona you can get access to this at level 13, a massive 9 levels before Yukari does, and our second point is that enemy encounters will get group spells a lot sooner than she gets her group heal. Grabbing Media on your protagonist then, is a fantastic way to make sure your team stays healthy no matter what.

Early Persona Fusions

  • Inugami learns Media at level 13 – Fuse Orpheus with Valkyrie, or Ara Mitama with Lilim.
  • Nigi Mitama learns Media at level 14 – Fuse Nekomata with Forneus, Nekomata with Lilim or Forneus with Jack Frost.
  • Oberon innately knows Media (Level 15) – Fuse Jack Frost with Alp, or Alp with Chimera.

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Power Slash

Power Slash Skill, Persona 3 Portable
  • Light Slash damage to one enemy.

Before detailing our first early physical damage skill, it’s worth noting that Persona 3 Portable, and indeed any Persona title, doesn’t exactly do a fantastic job of explaining exactly how much damage easy skill does. ‘Light’ damage physical skills can range from slightly scraping an opponent’s HP to taking a rather large chunk, and nothing in the description defines this difference outside of health costs. That being said, we want to highlight Power Slash, which is one of the most powerful early game ‘Light’ physical attacks. To put this in perspective, another light physical attack is Cleave, which has an attack power of 30 whilst costing 7% of health to use. Power Slash however, has an attack power of 88 for a health cost of 10%. As the game progresses, you’ll start to meet enemies that have either no weakness or some that are unattainable, so having powerful physical attacks such as these will always be worthwhile. As an aside, it’s also a great skill to have when you come up against a certain early ‘duo’ boss fight.

Early Persona Fusions

  • Tam Lin innately knows Power Slash (Level 13) – Fuse Apsaras with Archangel, or Unicorn with Angel.
  • Valkyrie learns Power Slash at level 15 – Fuse Pixie with Lilim, or Alp with Lilim.

Holy Arrow

Holy Arrow Skill, Persona 3 Portable
  • Light Pierce damage to one enemy. 25% chance to Charm.

Speaking of physical attacks, in Persona 3 these come in three different types; Slash, Strike and Pierce. Happily, these three weaknesses will become covered very quickly by each of your party members, however it’s worth highlighting Holy Arrow in particular, because much like Power Slash it’s a very powerful early game skill in this Pierce category. We’re not about to claim that there are a huge amount of enemies weak to Pierce, but there are some, and having this type of attack available on your protagonist is very useful. It has an attack power of 60 for a HP cost of 9%, which is a reasonable ratio, and it also comes with a bonus 25% chance to charm. One of the lesser known benefits however, is just how early you can grab such a powerful skill; getting it at level 12 through fusing Archangel is a great way to boost your early game damage.

Early Persona Fusions

  • Archangel learns Holy Arrow at level 12 – Fuse Apsaras with Forneus, or Omoikane with Ara Mitama.
  • Principality innately knows Holy Arrow (Level 16) – Fuse Chimera with Valkyrie, or Tam Lin with Yomotsu Shikome.

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Recarm

Revival Bead, Persona 3 Portable
Alternatively, make sure you have plenty of these…
  • Revive 1 ally with 50% HP.

Another supportive healing spell takes the final slot in our list, and we’re once again highlighting the difference in levels that fusion can make. This time it’s Recarm, which is essentially a resurrection spell, and we’re recommending it for the very same reason: Yukari, your early pocket healer, will not gain access to this until level 28, yet through fusion you can get it at level 18, a massive TEN levels earlier! No matter your skill level, playing through Persona 3 Portable enough will invariably include a party member dying, so having a resurrection spell this early will help to mitigate any losses.

Interestingly enough, our first fusion choice for this spell – Nigi Mitama – also has healing and wind spells, making it an ideal persona for covering pretty much everything that Yukari does in the early game, which in turns allows you to get creative with party builds once new members become available. 

Early Persona Fusions

  • Nigi Mitama learns Recarm at level 18 – Fuse Nekomata with Forneus, Nekomata with Lilim or Forneus with Jack Frost.
  • Principality learns Recarm at level 20 – Fuse Chimera with Valkyrie, or Tam Lin with Yomotsu Shikome. 

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