Traversing the late game portion of SMT5 is a truly perilous activity. Whilst the true end game has yet to be breached, the player is asked to push through some of the most annoying, unusual and difficult enemies found in the entire game, whilst traversing a backdrop of dungeon puzzles. This is no easy feat, but like any other game in the series, your experience will be shaped by just how prepared you are. That said, you may want to consider the following five choices, each designed to help you out en route to the end game…
Yes that’s right, our first choice is one that fans of both the main series and spin offs will soon recognise: Yoshitsune. The powerhouse of the Persona series is back, but here in SMT5 it’s available a great deal earlier than usual, at level 45. This means that you can take advantage of its power, which is still very much evident here, much earlier than usual. We wouldn’t necessarily call it game breaking like other versions, but it’s retained quite a bit of power in the transition.
As you might imagine, most of this power comes from Hassou Tobi, which retains its 8 hits. Sure they’re only light damage hits, but they have 100% critical chance and it has no accuracy penalty like other skills, so it’ll deal great damage throughout the entirety of the game. Combine this with Pierce Armour, which reduces defence whilst dealing damage, and the Restore passive to return MP when hitting a weakness (which works on the 100% critical strikes of Hassou Tobi), and you have a wonderful physical damage dealer for the late game zones. MP costs can still be an issue at times despite the passive, but it’s a small price to pay for the huge damage it can deal. It’s a testament to the power of Hassou Tobi, and indeed Yoshitsune overall, that players have successfully used this demon to defeat the final boss, despite the huge level disparity.
- Innately knows Hassou Tobi, an 8 hit 100% critical physical skill.
- Innately knows Pierce Armour, a single target skill that lowers defence.
- Learns Puncture Punch, a Pierce attack, at level 46.
- Learns Retaliate at level 47.
- Learns Restore, which grants 10MP when striking a weakness or critical hit, at level 48.
Our next recommendation is not one that is likely to break any records in a single discipline, but rather it’s an all round performer that will retain its usefulness throughout the late game sections of SMT5. At first however, Yatagarasu doesn’t seem all that spectacular; Wind Breath is a great multi-hit force spell that is innately known, and it’s paired with a great light spell in Hamaon and the full heal Diarahan, but at this point having two elements and a heal isn’t exactly world beating.
Give this thing a few levels however, and its true benefits are revealed. At level 56 it will unlock the Phys Block skill, which completely blocks the next physical attack against the entire team, and at 57 it reveals the powerful Yabusame Shot skill, which is a full party physical attack that pierces defence and has 100% crit chance. This, combined with all of the skills noted prior, make Yatagarasu a fantastic ‘swiss army knife’ demon for the late game. Statistically it will fall off in the end game, and you’ll begin to find even better skills soon, but for the transition from late to end game zones, this is a great demon choice for your team.
- Innately knows Wind Breath, a multi-hit group force spell.
- Innately knows Hamaon, a single target light spell.
- Innately knows Diarahan, a full HP single target spell.
- Learns Life Aid at level 55, which restores some HP after battle.
- Learns Phys Block at level 56, which nullifies a physical attack.
- Learns Yabusame Shot at level 57, which is a physical skill that pierces defence, hits the entire team and has 100% critical chance.
Our next choice is one that might be somewhat controversial, because it’s usage is somewhat of a balancing act. In short, Arahabaki has access to Debilitate, which is a spell that applies all three debuffs – Attack, Defence and Agility – to a single target. This is obviously a fantastic skill versus bosses, however it comes with a big downside: Weakness to four main elemental skills. What this means, in essence, is that you are very likely to give your opponent a press turn, but offset it by stripping away statistics. In many ways, your usage of such a demon will probably come down to your own risk aversion and play style. Happily, this particular demon has a few more benefits that might just swing the argument in its favour.
Innately it has access to Mudoon, the single target dark spell and Megidola, which is the mid level Almighty group spell, both of which give it a good deal of power. Once learning Debilitate at level 64 however, simply adding one more level will grant it access to Boon Boost, which adds an additional round to the buffs and debuffs that are applied, which includes Debilitate itself. This is the skill that truly sets Arahabaki apart, because having debuffs applied for an extra round can make all the difference in a game such as this, and as you progress towards the end game, you’ll need all the help you can get.
- Innately knows Mudoon, the single target dark spell.
- Innate access to Megidola, the medium almighty group spell.
- Innate access to Tetrakarn, the single target physical block buff.
- Learns Great Life Spring at level 63.
- Learns Debilitate at level 64, which applies all 3 debuffs to a target.
- Learns Boon Boost at level 65, which extends buffs and debuffs by an extra round (great paired with the above).
- Unfortunately has weaknesses to Fire, Ice, Elec and Force.
Possibly the most obvious inclusion in our list today is one that you’ll encounter in the story portion of SMT5, and one that essentially acts as a gatekeeper for the late game portion. Surt is, by all accounts, quite an easy boss to deal with as an opponent, after all just looking at the demon should tell you that it’s going to specialise in fire and physical attacks. Both of these however, are very useful in the late game, so why not take advantage? Sure, it’s more awkward and expensive to fuse a special demon, but this one is absolutely worthwhile.
As you might imagine, its skill list is filled with fire and physical abilities, all of which are very powerful thanks to this being the only focus of the demon. In many ways this demon marks the beginning of what we like to call ‘specialist’ demons, that feature a great deal of power in just a few different areas, which makes them ideal for taking down key targets as oppose to random battles. When it comes to physical abilities, Brave Blade is a powerful single target skill that has 30% critical chance, and it learns Hades Blast at level 64 that does the same to all targets. Fire is covered by the inclusion of Maragidyne, which is a fire spell that strikes every enemy, and Fire Dracostrike, which is a fire skill that deals damage based on strength. All of this is backed up by a big strength stat, a +4 affinity to physical skills and a massive +6 to fire spells, so your costs are reduced significantly.
- Strong, Fire and Physical focused demon.
- Innately knows Brave Blade, a 30% critical chance skill.
- Innately knows Fire Dracostrike, which is a strength based fire skill.
- Innately knows Maragidyne, which is a group fire spell.
- Learns Mighty Cleave at 63, which should be ignored due to 50% accuracy.
- Learns Hades Blast at level 64, which is a group physical skill.
- Learns Murderous Glee at level 65, which passively raises critical chance.
- Huge +6 Fire affinity and +4 physical affinity.
Were you to search for a more perfect late-to-end game demon, Lakshmi would be the one that you’d settle upon immediately. Having one demon that is capable of providing top level support, huge levels of healing, spell damage, good affinities and sustain is absolutely essential for taking on the end game portions of SMT5. Further still, there’s no need to push through any awkward quests or routes either; Lakshmi is available to any and all that might need her, which makes her an essential stop for players of any disposition.
We’ll skip some of the lesser spells and go straight to the main event: Lakshmi has Luster Candy, which applies all three buffs to the entire party, and this is paired with Boon Boost to extend the buffs by an additional round, so your entire team stays in top condition for as long as possible. It’s not an EX version, so it’s only one additional round, but this is certainly good enough for transitioning into the end game. Along with this, the demon provides a full health party heal in Mediarahan, Zanbarion and Hamabarion for huge force and light damage respectively, and even learns Mana Aid to keep the resources flowing from battle to battle. Truly, we couldn’t ask for much more, and it’s likely that this particular demon will remain in your team right up to the ending and beyond.
- Innately knows Hamabarion, a single target Light spell.
- Innately knows Sexy Dance, a group charm spell.
- Innately knows Mediarahan, the full HP group heal.
- Innately knows Mana Aid, a passive MP restoration skill.
- Learns Luster Candy at level 71, which applies all 3 main buffs to the entire team.
- Learns Zanbarion at level 72, a single target force spell.
- Learns Boon Boost at level 73, which increases buff and debuff duration by one further round (great with Luster Candy).
- Just an all round fantastic support demon for the end game of SMT5.
Categories: Shin Megami Tensei 5