Traversing the mid game portion of a Shin Megami Tensei game is, on balance, probably the easiest section. You’ve scaled the difficulty heights of the early game, managed to get your head around negotiating and fusion etc, and find yourself slowly slipping into the comfort zone of the series; progress, defeat, adapt, progress etc. By that token, what you’re looking for are adaptable demons that have access to multiple skills, buffs and good all round performance that can help propel you towards the late game. Below are a selection of the demons that, for us at least, provided the most benefit in this particular section.
5. Hua Po
Having previously made an appearance in multiple Persona 5 articles, Hua Po has managed to retain its usefulness in the mainline SMT series, which it achieves by bringing multiple powerful options to the party. Fire spells come as standard of course, in the form of Agilao and Maragi, but it also has access to the group attack debuff Matarunda, which is very useful against groups of tough enemies. The cherry on top comes from the inclusion of Media in the kit, which it learns at level 34, and Light Mana Aid level 33. All of this combines to form a great demon that will be useful in almost every battle you find yourself in, either offensively or defensively, and one that you’ll find it hard to replace as you progress.
- Innately has the medium single target fire spell Agilao.
- Innately has the group target light fire spell Maragi.
- Learns Matarunda at level 32, which reduces the attack of all enemies.
- Learns Light Mana Aid at level 33, which restores some MP after battle.
- Learns Media at level 34, which is a light group heal.
During the first fifth or so of SMT5, spells and weaknesses dominate your demon arsenal, however once the mid game is breached and the general battle methodology is known, physical attacks start to come into play. It’s rare to meet an opponent that is strong versus physical attacks, and even more so to ever find one completely immune, so they become a very good option for dealing with regular enemies and bosses alike. That said, the first real highlight in this regard is Setanta, a demon that possesses tremendous physical damage skills and the stats to make the most of them.
Chief among these skills is Deathbound, which is a physical skill that hits every single foe for medium levels of damage, that makes for an excellent mid game battle clean up tool. The real highlight here however, is the ability for Satanta to cut down single targets, like boss encounters. Fatal Sword is a high damage skill that possesses a 30% critical strike chance, Fang Breaker will deal a good level of damage whilst also debuffing the attack of your opponent, and Acrobat Kick will deal a guaranteed critical hit! If that’s not enough, Satanta even learns the group force spell Mazanma, so it’s not completely useless when it comes to dealing with weaknesses!
- Innately knows the powerful group physical skill Deathbound.
- Innately knows the 30% crit, physical skill Fatal Sword.
- Learns the attack debuffing physical skill Fang Breaker at level 36.
- Learns Mazanma, the group force spell, at level 37.
- Learns Acrobat Kick, a 100% crit physical skill, at level 38.
The mid game portion of a Shin Megami Tensei game always tends to reach a similar point. You have met opponents that deal a significant amount of damage, often to your entire team, and whilst you have the ability to heal this, the skills of choice are either too weak or too expensive to rely upon. In this regard, we always tend to hunt for a demon that improves upon the cheaper version as much as possible. This allows you to explore the mid game whilst retaining as many resources as possible, after all it can get pretty hostile out there.
Parvati fits this particular bill perfectly. The demon has access to Media and an innate +4 affinity to healing spells, so it’s already pretty cheap. Once you give it another level of experience, it’ll gain access to the Heal Pleroma passive, which boosts health recovery by 20%. These skills combine to make them an ideal healer for some of the long and twisting sections in the mid game, where save points are in short supply. The fact that they have access to Matarunda means that they can debuff enemies during rounds without healing too, plus the ice spell Bufula and light spell Mahama mean that some weaknesses can still be targeted too!
- Innate access to Media, with a +4 affinity, making it cheaper.
- Learns Heal Pleroma at level 36, buffing heals by 20%.
- Innate access to the group attack debuff, Matarunda.
- Learns the single target ice spell Bufula at level 37.
- Learns the group target light spell Mahama.
- Very high Magic stat.
As you progress through the middle portion of Shin Megami Tensei 5, the importance of having strong Light and Dark spells becomes more and more pronounced. More and more opponents appear lacking a weakness in the four main elements, and you’ll begin to search for a demon that can account for such things. For this you need look no further than Anubis, which stands out as one of the single most powerful demons for its given point within the progression curve of the game.
As you might imagine, almost all of this power comes from its Light and Dark spells, which are supported by +4 affinities in both and a massive magic statistic. Mudoon and Hamaon are its strong single target spells for Dark and Light respectively, and it also innately knows the Light group version, Mahama. Anubis may not have much outside of these spells, but it’s worth noting that they’re tremendously powerful here, and it does have access to Donum Gladi, which can be used to seriously buff the damage of an allies next strength based attack, meaning it’s not entirely useless against opponents immune to it’s two specialities.
- Powerful Light and Dark spell casting demon for the mid game.
- Innately knows the group Light spell Mahama.
- Innately knows the single target Dark spell Mudoon.
- Learn the single target Light spell Hamaon at level 42.
- Also learns the strength buffing Donum Gladi at level 43.
- High magic stat will keep it relevant, and it’s resistant to Seal too.
Having pushed through the early portion of the game, which focuses heavily on the four main elemental weaknesses, and incorporated the physical, light and dark requirements of the mid game, you’ll start looking for strong, multi purpose demons for your push into the late game. Horus is a fantastic choice in this regard, because it has access to almost everything that you need to be useful in every single battle, and it will facilitate your pushing through a very tough period within SMT5.
It achieves this mainly by having a great combination of buff, damage and healing all in one. Masukukaja is the full party Agility buff, which is very useful in tough battles to keep the team evading, Megido is its Almighty skill, which ignores resistances and deals big damage to the entire enemy team, and it can spot heal with the single target Diarama heal. All of this combines to make Horus very useful, but these strengths are built upon further by the addition of resistance to Fire, which is very useful against a certain boss (Surt) that heralds the end of the mid game. Being resistant to fire and buffing party agility essentially nullifies almost anything this boss will do, making it the ideal choice, albeit a little low in level. Finally, it does learn Great Mana Spring too, and whilst static MP increases aren’t the best, it is handy for lasting through the long and winding portions of the mid game zones.
- Innately knows the group Light spell Mahamaon.
- Innately knows the strength based Light skill, White Dracostrike.
- Innately knows the single target heal Diarama.
- Learns Masukukaja, the group Agility buff, at level 43.
- Learns Megido, an Almighty spell, at level 44.
- Learns Great Mana Spring at level 45.
- Affinities reduce the cost of all spells and skills listed above.
- Resistant to Fire (useful for the boss at the end of the mid game, trust us).
Categories: Shin Megami Tensei 5