Shin Megami Tensei 5

4 Formidable Dark Demons | Shin Megami Tensei 5

Much like our recent Light article, Dark demons are a less frequent yet more powerful alternative to the more regular elements. Having foregone pure instant death skills, Atlus decided to beef up the damage of these particular types, which makes having a Dark demon specialist by your side a great idea. Plus well, the end boss is weak to Dark in particular, so it’s probably a good idea to get used to having one around now isn’t it? 

4. Leanan Sidhe

Leanan Sidhe, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Should you take the time to complete quests in the early game, and indeed are inclined to side with Leanan Sidhe, which is a much better option we might add, then you can get yourself access to a fantastic early game Dark demon in super quick time. Regardless, you should either get or fuse this demon as soon as possible, because it’ll take care of all possible Dark requirements for almost the entirety of the early game.

Mudo is initially available, which is the basic single target Dark spell, and the group version Mamudo will follow at level 19. This’ll hold you over for quite a while to be honest, but if this wasn’t enough, Leanan Sidhe will also learn the group heal Media at level 18, meaning it can double as a healer when required. Were it to have one other reasonable benefit, like a team buff or access to a single other element, then we’d have to say that it’s one of the very best in the early game. As it is, Leanan Sidhe is plainly a very powerful early game demon, and by far the best Dark option for the first quarter of the game.

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Mudo, the base single target Dark skill.
  • Learns Mamudo, the multi target base Dark skill at level 19.
  • Learns Media at level 18, to assist with group healing.
  • +3 Affinity in Dark and +2 in Healing, to reduce costs.


3. Alice

Alice, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Were you to look for a perfect embodiment of an element, in both design and actual combat capabilities, Alice would be right up there at the top. The design obviously draws on historical horror stories, but not only do the visuals actually physically steam with dark power, so too does the skill table. This thing is so powerful at level 40 that some players actually tend to fully invest into it, dragging it all the way to the end game by feeding it stat increases and levels en route. With such a perfect kit, it’s hard to argue with them.

The main reason for this is the innately known unique skill, Die For Me! Which deals 2-5 hits of Dark damage to multiple targets. Should all 5 of these hit, and you’re only against a single target, this is the most powerful Dark attack in the entire game. Were this not enough, Alice also knows the medium single target Dark attack Mudoon, the group target version Mamudoon, and even learns Dark Pleroma at level 41, which increases all Dark damage by 20%! All of this combines to make Alice the most powerful Dark demon, per level, in the entire game. Suffice to say you should certainly grab this demon as soon as it’s unlocked, which it does via simple story progression.

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows what is potentially the most damaging Dark skill in the entire game: Die For Me! This can hit up to 5 times, totally huge damage especially against a single target.
  • Also innately knows the medium single target Dark skill Mudoon.
  • Learns Mamudoon, the medium group Dark attack Mamudoon at level 42.
  • Learns Dark Pleroma, which boosts all Dark damage by 20%, at level 41.
  • Very useful +5 Affinity to Dark.
  • All combined, quite a lot of players like to level up Alice with items and bring her to the end game, which is a very viable strategy.

2. Skadi

Skadi, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Unfortunately sandwiched between the power spikes of mid (Alice) and end (Vishnu) game, the late game portion of SMT5 doesn’t have the best Dark demon options out there. There are some of course, but they’re unlikely to approach the power of a levelled up Alice, nor will they get even close to approaching our final choice. That said, what you’re mainly looking for here is some powerful spells to dole out good damage each round, and for this you’ll want to grab Skadi.

It’s a testament to the power of Alice, a demon 27 levels lower than Skadi, that it has access to the same spell initially, that being Mamudoon, the group medium Dark spell. Higher stats if you haven’t levelled however, but then Skadi also lacks Dark Pleroma, so it probably evens out. Happily Skadi will eventually learn Mudobarion, which is the highest single target Dark spell, and its magic stat is high enough to ensure that you’ll do some good damage. Further still, Skadi has access to very similar skills of the Ice variety, so you’re getting a good all round demon whilst accessing a particularly powerful Dark spell. 

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Mamudoon, the medium group Dark spell.
  • Learns Mudobarion, the highest single target Dark spell, at level 70.
  • Also knows Mabufudyne and Bufubarion, the Ice versions of the same.
  • Good magic stat, but the Dark Affinity is only +3 (+4 for Ice).


1. Vishnu

Vishnu, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Were you to skip out on the Alice levelling route, then the absolute pinnacle of Dark performance has to be this demon, Vishnu. You will of course have to wait until the very end of the game to do so, but it’s particular mix of skills and passives is truly hard to beat. This also means you can spread your consumables around a bit too, rather than spending them on levelling one singular dark demon throughout the game, albeit a very powerful one.

Vishnu has all of the essentials already in it’s kit; Mudobarion for single targets, Mamudobarion for groups and even comes with the light version Mahamabarion for good measure. Things really pick up however, when it reaches level 88 and unlocks High Dark Pleroma, which boosts dark damage by a whopping 40%. Only two demons in the entire game have access to this passive, and the other is only available in NG+. Given that this is the weakness of the last boss, we can see why they’ve done this, but it is a bit frustrating. Oh and we should mention that Vishnu also learns Enduring Soul, which allows it to survive an otherwise fatal attack and fully heal itself once per battle, and it even learns a full HP heal for the entire party in Mediarahan!

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Mudobarion, the severe single target dark skill.
  • Innately knows Mamudobarion, the severe group dark skill.
  • Innately knows Mediarahan, the full HP group heal.
  • Innately knows Mahamabarion, the severe group light skill.
  • Learns High Dark Pleroma at level 88, which boosts dark damage by a huge 40%.
  • Learns Enduring Soul at level 89, which allows Visnhu to survive an otherwise fatal attack whilst simultaneously healing to full HP.
  • Great +6 Dark Affinity and a massive 90+ Magic stat.

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