Shin Megami Tensei 5

The 18 Best Demons Overall | Shin Megami Tensei 5

Fusing yourself some powerful demons is vital to success in SMT5, or indeed any Shin Megami Tensei game. Consistently recycling your repertoire of powerful allies is the only way to get through these difficult titles, and in Shin Megami Tensei 5 specifically you’ll often find yourself sifting through the compendium, seeking out new ways to deal with a difficult zone or boss battle. Not all demons are created equal however, so we’ve put together a list of the 18 best demons that we’ve found throughout the game’s entirety, start to finish.

Neko Shogun

Neko Shogun, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Most Shin Megami Tensei players will no doubt understand the value of enemy debuffs. These are skills designed to reduce specific opponent statistics, and are often used to tip the scales in your favour, specifically in boss battle scenarios. Happily SMT5 features the perfect demon for such things: Neko Shogun. This particular demon features the defence debuffing Rakunda, the Agility reducing Sukunda and, where this not enough already, it can reduce the attack of your opponent with the physical Fang Breaker skill. This makes it the ideal early game demon for single target fights, even managing to stay relevant until the first main boss battle with a little levelling.

Demon Benefits

  • Innate access to Rakunda, the single target Defence debuff.
  • Learns Sukunda at level 6, the single target Agility debuff.
  • Learns Fang Breaker at level 8, which reduces the Attack of a single target.


Angel, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Where our first choice is ideally positioned to lever a statistical advantage, you’ll no doubt still find yourself in situations that require a good old health restorer, or specifically a good healing demon in your pack. For such a thing in the early game, Angel is completely unmatched. This is because of its unique skill Humble Blessing, which heals the entire party for almost as much as a Media spell, but at half the cost! We’re tempted to say that Angel was given such fantastic skills to help players new to the series, but either way you should absolutely take advantage of this epic skill. You’ll find it’s usefulness extends much further than the early game too, and it can even remove ailments or revive allies via Patra and Recarm respectively!

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Humble Blessing, which is a group heal that will restore almost as much as Media, but is available much much earlier and costs less!
  • Learns Patra at level 11, which removes ailments from a single target.
  • Learns Recarm at level 13, which revives a single target to 50% HP.
  • Also innately knows the useful single target Light skill Hama!


Leanan Sidhe

Leanan Sidhe, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Depending on your side quest appetite, and indeed the choice that you make towards the end of the first zone, you may happen upon Leanan Sidhe as an automatic recruit. Of the two available in the side quest named ‘The Spirit Of Love’, we would absolutely recommend that you choose to side with Leanan Sidhe. Not only does she have access to Media, which is the first non-unique group healing spell in the game, but also both the single and group versions of the Dark set of spells, Mudo and Mamudo respectively. These will start to come in very handy, specifically as the early game transitions into the mid, so it’d be wise to pick her up or fuse her if possible.

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows the single target Dark spell, Mudo.
  • Learns the group heal Media at level 18.
  • Learns the group target Dark spell Mamudo at level 19.


Aitvaras, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Speaking of powerful spells, one rather annoying opponent in the early game will make a fantastic addition to your team: Aitvaras. We’ve all been through that annoying mountain range, attempting to dodge through these little blighters, only to be caught by them and stung by their massive single target fire damage. Well, why not add it to your repertoire? The skill in question is Mirage Shot, and it’s a tremendously powerful single target Fire attack that you really should have in your arsenal. Grab yourself an Aitvaras and you’ll have bagged a flying little flamethrower that inflicts Agilao damage long before it’s available in a normal form. 

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows the unique Fire skill Mirage Shot. This deals huge Fire damage for the early game, and has a 75% chance to inflict Mirage status.
  • Learns Maragi, the group Fire spell, at level 18.
  • Learns Concentrate at level 19, though in this case it’s really not worth it.

King Frost

King Frost, Shin Megami Tensei 5

You may have noticed a bit of a trend in the early to mid portion of SMT5, and it is that of unique skills often being mentioned. This is for good reason to be honest, because they’re essentially more powerful versions of normal skills, and they’re seemingly designed to either get you through hard times, or reward you for conquering difficult quests. King Frost then, is a demon that falls into this camp, and whilst you’ll need to complete the subquest, “A Wish For A Fish”, it’s absolutely worth it.

Ice damage is the name of the game here, obviously, and the unique spell in question is called King Bufula. This will deal big Ice damage to all opponents, whilst also inflicting them with Rakunda, which reduces their defence. This is a great way to chop down tricky groups of enemies, and the fact that it’s backed up by Ice Pleroma, which increases Ice damage by 20%, makes it all the more satisfying to use. 

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Bufula, the medium single target Ice spell.
  • Innately knows King Bufula, a skill unique to King Frost that consists of powerful group ice damage and Rakunda being applied to every target, which reduces their defences.
  • Innately knows Ice Pleroma, which increases Ice damage by 20%.


Parvati, Shin Megami Tensei 5

By the time the mid game of SMT5 rolls around, you’ll likely find yourself facing huge amounts of incoming damage, often to your entire team. You may also find that regular old Media isn’t really cutting it any more, and you’re not quite at the level to unlock its upgraded version, Mediarama. Enter Parvati, the demon with a bumper crop of skills, Media included, and the Heal Pleroma to boost its effectiveness by 20%. This makes it the ideal healer for the early mid game, and one that’ll honestly perform well for a lot longer, transitioning into a budget version of Mediarama.

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Media, the base group healing spell.
  • Innately knows Bowl of Hygeia, a skill that increases the healing of your next spell by 50%, and allows it to ‘overheal’ your maximum health by 30%.
  • Learns Heal Pleroma at level 36, which is a passive that increases healing done by 20%.
  • Thanks to these skills, Parvati is the best mid game healer. That Pleroma boosted Media will keep your team going for a long, long time. Think of it as a budget Mediarama.



Setanta, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Paired with Parvati, Setanta is the ideal solution to a physical demon at or around level 35. Around this period in the game, physical skills really start to come into their own, mainly by dealing big chunks of damage to one or more targets that lack an innate weakness to abuse. In Setanta then, we have a demon that can do both of these things, and do them fantastically well. Deathbound is a whopping great group attack that’s innately known, and Setanta will learn a brilliant array of single target skills as it levels up, including the tremendous Acrobat Kick, which is a guaranteed critical hit. This means you have a demon, at this level, that can specialise in physical damage whilst retaining press turns, which is something truly valuable around this time.

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Deathbound, a powerful group physical skill.
  • Innately knows Fatal Sword, a powerful single target physical skill that features an additional 30% critical strike chance.
  • Learns Fang Breaker at level 36, a skill that deals good physical damage and applies Tarunda, the attack debuff, to the target.
  • Learns Acrobat Kick at level 38, which is a light physical attack that features 100% critical strike chance. This guarantees a press turn, which is very, very useful in SMT5’s mid game.


Alice, Shin Megami Tensei 5

In many ways, Alice is not only one of the best Dark demons that you can get your hands on, and not even just one of the best level 40-ish demons either, but rather one of the best demons of any level in the entire game. So good is Alice in fact, that players will often keep her in the team all the way to the end of the game, thanks to a combination of her Dark skills being fantastic, and that they’re a weakness of the last boss. 

All of this really comes down to Die For Me, which is a ludicrously powerful dark skill that is unique to Alice. It hits random targets from 2-5 times over, rising by the amount of targets, and deals 120 base damage with each hit. On a single target this will only strike twice, however that totals 240 base damage, and the most powerful single target non-unique dark spell Mudobarion is only at 265! So at level 40 you have access to a spell almost as powerful as the best generic dark spell going. Top this off with Dark Pleroma, which boosts damage by 20%, and you have one of the best Dark demons in the entire game!

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Die For Me! Which is a unique skill that hits 2-5 times to random targets. This will only hit a single target twice due to the formula used, however the total damage is close to the best generic Dark skill in the game, Mudobarion!
  • Innately knows Mudoon, the medium single target Dark spell.
  • Learns Dark Pleroma at level 41, which passively boosts Dark damage by 20%.
  • Learns Mamudoon at level 42, which the medium group target Dark spell… Though it’s functionally useless thanks to Alice’s unique spell noted above.


Anubis, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Should you find yourself not falling into the camp of Alice enthusiasts, and perhaps want demons that act as functional problem solvers, then you may want to opt for Anubis instead. Not only does this demon feature the powerful Dark skill Mudoon, but it also comes with both the single and group target version of Light spells, in Mahama and Hamaon. This makes it a great choice for a team more interested in progression rather than min maxing, and it even features the fantastic Donum Gladi spell, which buffs the next physical attack of an ally by 50%! This is ideal for supporting a physically focused Nahobino, and even works well with the upcoming ‘Dracostrike’ series of strength based elemental skills that begin to unlock in the mid game.

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Mahama, the base group Light spell.
  • Innately knows Mudoon, the medium single target Dark spell.
  • Learns Hamaon at level 42, the medium single target Light spell.
  • Learns Donum Gladi at level 41, which increases the physical damage of an allies next Strength based attack by 50%.


Idun, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Were there to be a poll to count demon popularity in SMT5, we suspect that Idun would be very close to the top. Some of this can be attributed to its looks, after all the design is very aesthetically pleasing, but most of the votes likely come down to its unique skill: Golden Apple. This is a skill that both heals your entire team, and applies one stack of every standard buff. Effectively, it’s Media and Luster Candy rolled up into one powerful but expensive skill. Other skills are present too of course, but we’re not going to waste your time on them, rather we’ll spend the time recommending that you get Mana Aid on her as soon as possible. Yes, Golden Apple is a very good skill, but your MP is going to suffer badly as a result. Pro tip: Pair this with Parvati for coverage in normal battles and longer dungeon jaunts.

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Golden Apple, which is a skill that combines Media and Luster Candy, resulting in a spell that heals the entire team whilst applying one stack of Attack, Defence and Agility buffs at the same time.
  • Learns the useful Diamrita spell at level 43, which applies a standard Dia heal to a single party member whilst also cleansing any ailments.
  • Requires the clearing of the sub quest called, ‘A Goddess Stolen’. 
  • Should you want to keep Idun until the end game, we will tell you that whilst it’s totally doable, her MP will always need help no matter how high she levels up. Light Mana Aid or Mana Aid is a must if she’s your main healer.



Yoshitsune, Shin Megami Tensei 5

If you’re anything like us, you probably expected Yoshitsune to be downgraded in SMT5, especially after such high levels of performance in Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5 Royal. We were even more convinced of such things when the demon became available at such a low level – surely they’re just giving an old favourite some screen time, only to have him be reduced in effectiveness in the late game?

Turns out the ol’ orange samurai is just as good as he’s ever been. Hassou Tobi is back, and whilst it’s not necessarily the world destroying skill that it is elsewhere, mainly because it strikes random enemies, it now features 100% critical strike chance. This means that it guarantees a press turn in almost every battle, and whilst it does cost a huge 45 MP to cast, Yoshitsune also features the Restore passive, returning 10 MP when a weakness is struck… Or a critical hit lands. Functionally this is a 35 MP skill then, and when it’s paired with powerhouse skills like Pierce Armour and Puncture Punch, you’re going to struggle to find a better physical demon until the absolute end game. 

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Hassou Tobi. This is a physical skill that hits random targets 8 times for light damage, with 100% critical strike chance. Big damage and free press turns? Yes please.
  • Also innately knows Pierce Armour, which deals good physical damage whilst stripping away the target’s defence by applying Rakunda. 
  • Learns Puncture Punch at level 46, which deals good physical damage and ignores physical immunity.
  • Learns Restore at level 48, which restores 10 MP when a weakness is struck, or a critical strike hits.


Yatagarasu, Shin Megami Tensei 5

There is a reason why a lot of players choose to keep one particular move in their physical skill set, even at the very end game. The skill in question is Yabusame Shot, and the reason for keeping it active is that it hits every enemy, has 100% critical strike chance and it completely ignores physical immunity thanks to the Pierce status. In short, if you’ve read our description of Yoshitsune above, this is Hassou Tobi but for other demons, without the random target element and at a slightly higher cost of 50 MP. It’s not going to hit as hard as some Nahobino skills, or the very highest of single target Pierce skills, but it’s very powerful and worth grabbing this demon alone to experience.

Demon Benefits

  • Learns Yabusame Shot at level 57, which is a Pierce physical skill that hits every enemy, and features a 100% critical strike chance. This is super powerful all the way until the very late game, and even then it’s useful on some stronger demons.
  • Yatagarasu also has quite a bit of utility, with Wind Breath, Diarahan and Hamaon… But let’s be honest you’ll probably just be spamming Yabusame Shot.


Lakshmi, Shin Megami Tensei 5

If you’re at all familiar with the Shin Megami Tensei series of games, you’ll no doubt understand just how difficult they can be, and to tackle the late game of such you’re going to need some serious party support. This is where Lakshmi comes into play, by providing a fantastic combination of party buffs, heals and enough damage to stay relevant when they’re not required.

Healing coverage is provided by the 100% HP party heal Mediarahan, which will most definitely become a requirement as you push into the late game. Buffs are covered by Luster Candy, which provides one stack of all three main party buffs of Attack, Defence and Agility, and it’s buffed hugely by the Boon Boost passive, which increases the amount of rounds that they last by one, meaning they’ll need less refreshes in long battles. Were this not enough, Lakshmi also has access to the heavy single target spells Hamabarion and Zanbarion. All of this combined makes this particular demon a wonderful addition to any late game team, greasing the wheels and freeing up your attackers to focus on dealing their damage.

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Mediarahan, the 100% HP party heal.
  • Innately knows Mana Aid, which restores 15% MP after every battle.
  • Learns Luster Candy at level 71, which applies all three main buffs to the entire party – Attack, Defence and Agility.
  • Learns Boon Boost at level 73, which adds an additional round to all buffs that Lakshmi applies.
  • Also has access to the top level Light and Wind spells, Hamabarion and Zanbarion.


Odin, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Should you need any more convincing after having battled with him, we can confirm that Odin is a very powerful demon that’s certainly worth the effort to fuse. He is one of the most powerful demons to specialise in both Physical and Elec damage, and in both of these cases he’ll put almost any other demon to shame with the damage numbers that he can put out. The two skills that enable this are Gungnir and Thunder Reign, which are a single target defence-piercing physical skill, and a multi hit Elec skill respectively. Both of these will deal a tremendous amount of damage, and Odin even learns High Elec Pleroma once it reaches level 80, pushing its Elec damage into the stratosphere by buffing it by a huge 35%!

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Gungnir, a powerful single target physical skill with the Pierce status. 
  • Innately knows Hades Blase, a strong group target physical skill.
  • Innately knows Maziobarion, the severe group target Elec spell.
  • Learns Thunder Reign at level 79, which is a powerful Elec spell that hits random targets 2 – 5 times.
  • Learns High Elec Pleroma at level 80, which passively increases Elec damage done by a huge 35%.


Huang Long

Huang Long, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Were you to seek out an ideal late game supportive demon, then your search would surely end with Huang Long replete as it is with powerful versions of pretty much anything your team might need. Damage is taken care of by the combination of Megidolaon and Almighty Pleroma, buffs are provided by Luster Candy, Phys Block and the fantastic Fierce Roar, and it even features a full health revive in Samarecarm. Combined this creates a wonderful support demon for your team – pair this with a healer and few damage dealers, one of which is effectively freed up to be the Nahobino, and you have yourself a great party for the tough late game of SMT5.

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Megidolaon, the powerful Almighty spell.
  • Innately knows Samarecarm, the full HP resurrection spell.
  • Innately knows Luster Candy, which buffs the entire team with the three main buffs; Attack, Defence and Agility.
  • Learns Fierce Roar at level 79, which is a skill that taunts your opponent, which makes them much more likely to target Huang Long, whilst also applying the defence buff Rakukaja to the demon itself. 
  • Learns Almighty Pleroma at level 80, which passively increases Almighty damage by 20%.
  • Learns Phys Block at level 81, which blocks the next physical attack for every party member.


Alilat, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Perhaps you’re looking for a great demon to combine with our last choice? Or perhaps you just want a healer that focuses more on sustain and increasing specific forms of damage? In either case, you’re going to want to fuse yourself the Alilat demon. Things start out quite similar with the Almighty Megidolaon spell, however it’s eventually paired with the fantastic Energy Drain skill, which steals HP and MP from your target. Where things start to differ is that Alilat features a full HP party heal, Mediarahan, and the focused damage buffs of Donum Gladi and Donum Magici. These buffs increase the damage of an allies’ next Strength or Magic based attack by a huge 50%, which can result in absolutely incredible amounts of damage, especially from a well built Nahobino. 

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Megidolaon, the powerful Almighty spell.
  • Innately knows Mediarahan, the 100% HP party heal.
  • Innately knows Donum Gladi and Donum Magici, which buff the damage of the next Strength or Magic based skill one ally uses by 50%.
  • Learns Energy Drain at level 84, which drains HP and MP from one target.


Zeus, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Were you to argue that Zeus is the very best demon in Shin Megami Tensei 5, we would honestly struggle to argue, such is the power of the thing. It features three unique skills all of its own, each of which are designed to deal huge chunks of damage to any target silly enough to get in your way. Panta Spane is the first, which is a physical damage skill that hits every enemy and applies both Rakunda and Tarunda to them, stripping away their defence and attack respectively. Next up is Keraunos, which is a strength based Elec skill that strikes one foe for huge damage whilst piercing defences. And finally, Madness Glint is an Almighty attack that strikes random foes 2 – 5 times, dealing big damage alongside a 40% chance of inflicting Panic and Seal. Were this not enough, Zeus will even learn Mazanbarion and High Elec Pleroma, the latter of which will make the Keraunos skill do even more damage – 35% to be exact.

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Panta Spane, a physical skill that hits all enemies and applies Rakunda and Tarunda at the same time.
  • Innately knows Keraunos, a strength based Elec skill that hits one enemy and features the Pierce attribute.
  • Innately knows Madness Glint, which is an Almighty skill that strikes random targets 2 – 5 times, and features a 40% chance to inflict Panic and Seal.
  • Learns Mazanbarion, the severe group Elec spell, at level 87.
  • Learns High Elec Pleroma at level 88, which increases Elec damage by 35%.


Vishnu, Shin Megami Tensei 5

Our intent with this final recommendation is to give you something very specific: A fairly easy route to defeat the final boss. If you’re either on your way there, or you’ve perhaps already fallen to it, then you should be aware that the final boss doesn’t have an innate weakness of sorts. What it does feature however, is a lack of resistance to Dark, which makes it the best way to deal damage outside of Pierce skills. That said, it’s relatively unlikely that you’ve focused on building a Dark focused demon, because it’s not strictly necessary before this point.

What we’re saying here then, is that you have a great option available to you outside of stacking as many Pierce skills as possible. Vishnu has access to Mudobarion, the severe single target Dark spell, and High Dark Pleroma, which is the passive that buffs its damage by 35%. Better still, it features Enduring Soul, which means it can survive one lethal attack whilst healing itself to full, and even has access to the full HP party heal Mediarahan. Patch up its weakness to Fire and you have an excellent, non route exclusive demon to take into the final battle.

Demon Benefits

  • Innately knows Mudobarion, the severe single target Dark spell.
  • Learns High Dark Pleroma at level 88, increasing Dark damage by 35%.
  • These two skills alone make it great against the final boss, and Vishnu is not locked into any particular route. It’s almost like they knew.
  • As a bonus, Vishnu will learn Enduring Soul at level 89, which allows it to survive one lethal attack per battle, after which it’ll fully heal itself.
  • Even has access to the 100% HP group heal Mediarahan, though you’ll probably want another party member to take care of healing, allowing Vishnu to focus on dealing big Dark damage.
  • Patch up its Fire weakness. Just trust us, it’s necessary.

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