Game Breaker / Shin Megami Tensei

Just because Shin Megami Tensei is infamous for being Atlus Hard doesn't mean you can't break it. Hell, in some cases, these breakers just might be your only chance at victory.

In General
  • Fusion in general can get you some hilarious results, if you get lucky with the save scumming. Most games since The New '10s have adopted the "pick-and-choose" skill inheritance system. Signature skills are usually restricted, and certain games also add in restrictions on which skills demons can inherit, but baring those restrictions, anything is fair game.
  • Fusion Accidents, while normally something unwanted, it can sometimes spit out some unbelievable demons that the player might not be meant to have at the point in the game they might be in. That includes demons that might be way above their current level. Stories range from players getting demons with every resistance in the book, to others such as getting endgame demons while having barely left the starting zones.
  • Most games have Victory Cry (sometimes with another name, such as Auto Soma), a passive skill that completely heals the character who has it after every battle. While these may not be much help during combat, they make grinding and regular dungeon exploration quite easy. In games where SP healing is rare or expensive, the game might as well be over as soon as you get these skills.

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    Shin Megami Tensei 
  • In Shin Megami Tensei I the Zio line of skills stun almost everything in the game. With high enough speed, the heroine can immobilize pretty much everything before it even has a chance to move. The Bufu line of spells works just as well, but you need demons for those.
    • Marin Karin works on the vast majority of bosses. Get it to stick, and you can sit back and watch the boss beat itself to death.
  • Also in Shin Megami Tensei I, one of the best swords in the game, the Hinokagutsuchi, can be acquired about halfway through if you know the proper fusions. One attack is usually enough to kill anything short of the final boss and his lackeys.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei II, its damage and defense buffs and debuffs, which stack with themselves and last until they are dispelled, something that not every boss is capable of. But more-so is the Divine Retribution spell. It tears off a quarter of an enemy's health with an alignment opposite to to the spell's caster, and it works on bosses with no reduction.
    • Speaking of stackable stat buffs, there is a passive Game Breaker that can, if one is not averse to Level Grinding and item farming, turn your main character into a stat buffed tank. This is achieved by farming gemstones from demons until you have nine of each type, whereupon stats buffs are applied to your permanent stats as long as you don't reduce the gemstone count, and this condition is stupidly easy to honor, since the only two ways to lose gemstones is to spend them as currency at a certain store (which can make the game easier for some gamers but never need be visited) or use them as trade items in demon negotiation, which, again, need not be done because all demons can be bribed with other materials. This doesn't mean that the stat buffs make passing the skill check for the bonus dungeon easier (the check goes by your natural skill level, ignoring buffs), but this can be used to make certain story event skill checks effortless.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei if..., having save data from other Atlus games when you reach the Appraisal Shop in the World of Sloth will get you 18 extra stat points (effectively letting you reach level 117 in a game with a 99 max), increases all of your demons' HP permanently by 25%, gets all of the buff spells on your partner, Sabbatma, and ten somas. That's ten party-wide full-HP and MP healing items, a spell that lets your partner summon demons, and the three most useful spells in the game!
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has its fair share of Breakers too, in many forms. Masakados, for example, nullifies just about every attack on you and increases strength, vitality, magic and agility by 10 (the max on stats in this game is 40).
    • Then there's Fog Breath, which drops the accuracy and evasion of every enemy by two stages and can't be blocked. You can get this skill from a common Magatama as early as Level 21, and although the MP cost is steep at that level, Fog Breath retains its value right up until the endgame.
    • God's Bow and Hell Gaze are basically the same attack, just with different elements (Bow is Expel, Gaze is Death). Either they can block that element, or they die. Simple as that.
    • Beelzebub (Fly form) has Death Flies, a skill that has 100% of killing all enemies unless they are immune to Death. If they are immune to Death, they take an amount of damage equivalent to Megidolaon.
    • Hoo boy, Black Frost. Where to start? He's one of few demons that can be recruited outside of fusion, he has ridiculously high stats, comes with a Ma-Dyne spell, and has no weakness. And his resistances? He absorbs ice, reflects fire and darkness, is immune to light, and takes negligible damage from physical attacks. This means the only attacks effective against him are electricity and force.
      • Even though he joins the party outside of fusion, he can still be fused and/or have Mitamas fused to it to make him even stronger.
    • Atropos. When you get her she has Element Boosts, which amp up damage of a specific element by 50%. In other words, she is optimal for being a Quad-dyne-spell user.
    • Daisoujou. Immune to every status ailment in the book in some way, has good Magic stat, and can restore its own HP and MP during boss fights with Meditation, and also learns Prayer, which makes him a stellar support caster, especially if you sacrifice demons to level him up.
      • Recarmdra, with proper exploiting and fusion, you can create an infinite cycle of healing or one powerful mage. When the HP/MP of your party is low, have that demon use Recarmdra, Blammo; your party gets back all their HP and MP, next have another demon use Samrecarm to resurrect it, and summon it again. Mana Drain also is useful, give it to a powerful magic user and let them do all the damage dealing; it is even better if they know Megido class magic.
    • Freikugel: Almighty damage, very high critical chance, and abnormally high damage output. It's simply the strongest damage skill in the game. In addition, on the True Demon Ending, due to it being an odd mix of Physical and Almighty, you can combine it with Pierce to break one of the last bosses in the game, who is a Barrier Change Boss resistant to Almighty.
    • Focus: Raises the damage of the next physical attack by around +150%, and can be learned as early as lv23. It's not hard at all to hit 4 digits as early as against Matador (who only has 1000 HP), or 5 digits later in the game due to this.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey has Victory Cry + Jihad (or any powerful Almighty-type spell) on a demon. The Eternal Rest spell in conjunction with any sleep spell is also effective, as status ailments work quite often on a surprising amount of enemies, and the combo can lead to a near Disc One Nuke if you get it early enough.
    • Shiva as well as The Demiurge appear as the demons with the highest starting level for the Chaos and Law alignments respectively. Both naturally start with the aforementioned Victory Cry + Jihad combo and have respectable resistances (both are immune to expel and curse and have several other elements which are ineffective against them). Additionally Shiva has Enduring Soul (a full revive after death once per battle) and The Demiurge has luster candy (boosts all stats for the party). Shiva gets bonus points here for being considerably easier to summon (he only requires the player to be level 91 and is created in special fusion with his traditional recipe, while The Demiurge is the bonus boss and must be beaten, only in the second playthrough and later, before you can fuse it from 3 specific demons.)
    • There are several guns that allow you to cause the Stone element. This counts as instant death. Almost everything except bosses are weak against this attack. Your Main Character gains 4x the EXP he would normally get if you have no demons out. Manshonyaga (an early game weapon with the stone element) will allow you to gain levels every 2-3 fights for a while.
      • The 4x EXP bonus can also be gotten by softening up an opponent with your demons then giving them the return order and finishing the battle on your own. This makes it trivial to break the game in a different way.
    • While Jihad is commonly considered the ultimate skill, it isn't necessarily the most damaging. That falls to the ultra-rare skill Desperate Hit (only naturally on Demonee-ho, and can only be passed on via demon source), which does a random number of almighty hits. If it does 3 or more to a single enemy, that enemy takes more damage than it would from Jihad. VERY useful agaist bosses. Not to mention it's only 40 mp.
    • The way Strange Journey's reflection equation works (damage is calculated entirely based on how much it would have done to the target of the attack, not how much it would do to whoever it's reflected back onto) a smart enough player could have a team of low level demons reflecting attacks back for THOUSANDS of damage, only having to heal their Main Character occasionally and watch out for Almighty moves.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE has Erosion Hex, a skill that can hit paralyze, poison, amnesia and stone all at the same time, and has a huge area of effect. When combined with the soulstones of Mothman (+50% Amnesia rate) and Catoblepas (+50% Stone rate), this skill can make everything not immune to mystic/amnesia and death/stone easy targets. It has such low requirements to be learned that nearly every build in the game can incorporate it with minimal effort.
    • Magic Bullets have the Enchanting Bullet Hole, which has a base 40% chance of hitting charm. Then there's the nekomata soulstone that raises that chance by 50%. And then there are dozens of different ways to get the 10% remaining to have 100% charm. Considering Magic Bullet skills completely ignore enemy resistances for calculating ailment chances, anything that doesn't null mind/charm will become charmed when shot by this.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV brings back Demonee-Ho's Desperate Hit... which is now more useful considering that it can be passed onto your character. Basically, it's an Almighty attack that hits enemies multiple times, but it also has physical attack attributes. Not only does it bypass all weaknesses, but it can also be charged and can get critical hits. Combine with the MP recovery apps and you'll find it hard to use any other skill.
    • The MP recovery app is broken in itself. You know it's broken when you can use Megidolaon every battle and have no shortage of MP by the next battle.
    • Remember Jihad from Strange Journey? It's back in this game as Antichthon.
    • The Skill Augment app. It makes demons more likely to mutate skills. With a little luck, it's possible to get useful skills early in the game and get even more powerful skills as you proceed.
    • Odin's Thunder Reign attack is a Severe-level, all-targeting Thunder skill...that costs only 22 MP. To compare, Maziodyne is one tier lower, also targets everyone on the enemy team, and costs 32 MP. While Odin himself has a pretty bad Magic stat, Thunder Reign can be passed on either via Demon Whisper if you have a high Magic stat, or to a new, magic-oriented demon via fusion. This was, ahem, reined in in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, where it instead costs 70 MP before affinities.
    • Judgment Light can also qualify. Yes, its MP cost is huge, but it's an all-target Light instant kill with insane chance of hitting. If you cast this, it's pretty much all but guaranteed to kill every enemy or all but one... and that's when they are not weak to Light. And since in this game humans have natural immunity to Light, passing it via Whisper means that you can spam it with all day with no fear of Reflection as long as your MP holds. Mix it with the aforementioned MP recovery app and you can destroy any random encounter with the press of a button.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV also (ahem) inherits the "pick and choose" skill system of Devil Survivor mentioned at the top of the page, but instead of selecting only a few, it allows you to choose up to eight skills for your demon to have upon birth: the demon's one or two intrinsic skills, plus anything its progenitors have learned (and then, whatever else the demon can gain naturally by leveling). Even if the demon lacks natural resistances, making a demon that Nulls, Drains, or Repels anything but Almighty is absurdly easy. And while this was already possible in earlier games in the franchise, enemies that target your demon won't just lose their turns, they'll also grant your demon a free Smirk status, making it a game-breaker for anything other than Fiends and Almighty-abusing bosses. The only limitation to this inheritance system is with specific "signature" skills which can't be selected during Cathedral of Shadows fusion, but they can still show up during the mid-battle Fusion Lite app.
    • Yet another Streetpass Exploit found. Want to increase a certain demon's stats without level grinding, (or if it's already at level 99) or using up Incenses? Just have at least another 3DS with Streetpass enabled on both of them, attach the demon to your DDS card, and insert the cartridge from one system to the other when you get the data from either of them. If done correctly, the attached demon's stats will increase (along with a possible gift) when you access the Streetpass feature on your gauntlet. Just save afterward (This is very important in order to keep the increased stat), and go back to the menu where you can then receive more Streetpass data from the other 3DS. This even works with demons only available through DLC, even if only one 3DS has the purchased data required. Without said data on the SD card, the DLC demon attached will appear as a question mark and be unplayable (with the possible exception of the Archangels, whose names still appear as "???") but will still get the stat boost(s). Meaning you can get something like Masakado's Shadow with maxed out stats before or after it reaches Level 99 in a much easier fashion that doesn't require using up a single Incense or waiting to receive Streetpass data from more players.
    • Kannuki-Throw is already a very unbalanced skill —it hits from 1 to 15 times for Physical damage, and it's the Signature Skill of Uriel, a demon who has very high HP, extremely high natural Str and Dx, and a good propensity for Critical hits. But if you take some time to build him up, you can give him Phys and High Phys Pleroma (multiply natural Phys damage by 1.20 and 1.50), Charge + Dark Energy (increase damage of the next Physical attack by 150 and then by 200% respectively, and they stack), Pierce Physical, and your pick of Beastly or Draconic Reaction (increases accuracy+evasion, therefore, number of hits), Speed or Haste Lesson (increase agility, ergo, accuracy), and Bloody Glee (increase Crit chance) and then drop an Archangel's Law on him for the Smirk multiplier (and, for overkill, a triple-stacked Tarukaja —and if you have turns to spare, a triple-stacked Rakunda on the target) and there is absolutely nothing in the game that can survive a 15-hit Kannuki-Throw doing over 2000 HP of damage per hit. Pair him up with a demon that knows Guardian's Eye, and your only concern for the rest of the game is activating the combo before a Fiend or Sanat Kumara can knock out Uriel.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse has Nanashi's Awakened Power, obtained near the end of the game. It powers up all his attacks and lets them bypass all forms of resistance. Since the player can fully control his stat growth and dump a lot of stat points in his main attacking stats, this makes Nanashi an outstanding attacker.
    • Once defeated and the method discovered, Krishna can be fused for you to use. His Raga skills can each inflict three possible ailments at once with 2 applications of an attack or defense debuff, making him useful both against random encounters and bosses, and Combat Tara is his own, cheaper version of Luster Candy. Keep him alive and he becomes a fantastic support party member.
    • Matador is one of the earlier Bonus Bosses you can find in Twisted Tokyo. Defeating him unlocks him for fusion, and he carries his Signature Move, Andalucia. This hits a tremendous number of times (4 to 12) and he innately learns Phys Pierce to make the attack completely unblockable. Combine this with Pleromas, Charge, and maybe even Bloody Glee, and you can lay waste to bosses with a good chance of any one of these hits becoming a critical.
    • Your allies can border on this too once their final skills are unlocked. Navarre gains access to the immensely helpful Doping and Debilitate skills, which have had their costs dramatically increased as compared to the previous game, thereby saving you hundreds of MP as you won't need to cast them yourself. Asahi, at her full power, has her healing output dramatically enhanced, allowing Mediarama to heal for upwards of 800 health, keeping your party consistently fresh, and when she doesn't need to heal, she can provide free Smirks as well.
    • From the Demon Market, one can purchase several custom-built demons, thereby skipping the process of needing to fuse them oneself. An example includes Demiurge with the highest-strength single target inheritable elemental spells, Concentrate, and Antichthon. While his low MP and middling Magic stat puts him at Cool, but Inefficient despite his great attacking affinities, he becomes valuable fusion fodder for other Magic-oriented demons as well as passing and augmenting these skills to Nanashi via Demon Whisper.

Persona 1
  • Lucifer came very close; he had 999 or 99 in all stats, some of the strongest Dark skills, was immune to everything, and had the strongest earth skill. However, he was completely useless against dark demons as he had no light skills, so anything that reflected light would kill his host (always Reiji/Chris). Instead, the real Game Breaker was Vohu Manah; it had the strongest light skills, the strongest healing skill, and the final boss killer Hieroglyphein. That's not the best part, however; the real fun was Binal Strike, which did damage equal to twice the user's HP. If your level is high enough to summon Vohu Manah, your HP will be so high that nothing will be able to stand up to Binal Strike. But you need revive magic, of course, which costs a lot of MP... actually, that's not an issue for two reasons. First, MP cost is calculated by the Persona, not the skill, and skills could be added to a Persona that didn't learn them naturally, meaning you could abuse the system and, in theory, get a Persona with a single-digit MP cost that had Samerecarm. Second, dead characters are revived with 1HP after the battle ends, meaning that all that's needed is healing and, if you're able to summon Vohu Manah, you've probably found enough Spell Cards and got a high enough level that you have something with Mediarahan (possibly for a low MP cost, as previously stated) By the way, Abracab himself has Mediarahan, and since the dead character will be revived, he or she can then use Mediarahan on him or herself, making Vohu Manah 100% ridiculous. The catch, of course, is that Vohu Manah requires certain demons be fused with his totem, and by the time you are high enough level to fuse him, nothing in the game is a threat anyway.
  • Gozu-Tennoh. A Chariot Arcana starting with only Squash and Poison Sting, it's not able to attack well except when it ranks up to 3 when it learns Megido, as long as the enemy doesn't block or reflect Nuclear it's not hard to wipe the entire enemy. Keep using him and he learns Megidola, the 2nd tier in Almighty. Slap it on to Mark and it's possible to have him surpass the party in levels. When he max ranks and is too frail to continue, return him and you get a Grydyne Stone.
  • When you entire you enter the mall on Aki's side, you can't leave until you beat the boss in the mall, this might be extremely difficult if it wasn't for the fact that there is a shop that sells elemental stones. Normally these stones are one-use third tier spells, however use them in a fusion, and the result is the Persona is guaranteed to learn the third-tier spells at Rank 2. The result is Personaes that immediately learn strong elemental attacks that deal AoE.

Persona 2
  • Lucifer and Satan had an exclusive Fusion Spell, "Armageddon" which skipped the damage numbers and just wipes out the enemy party. Only two bosses in the game actually had some sort of countermove for it. One is an enemy that is immune to all attacks until you remove its barrier, and the other is Philemon, who will reflect the attack on YOU and cause a Total Party Kill.
    • Before this are the spells Hell Desert, Megalo-Fire, Storm Nightmare and Maelstrom. It's technically a Total Party Kill that can only be avoided by one of two means; luck (as these spells are ungodly accurate) or resistance to a certain element (in respective order; Earth, fire, water or wind). These spells are available even earlier than Trimurti, however.
  • What is game breaking is Eikichi's ultimate weapon, the Supernova, in Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Not only is it the most powerful weapon in the game, but you can also get it very very early. It allows you to mow through the first half of the game and some of the latter half with extreme ease. Downside is, it's an extremely difficult weapon to get.
  • One broken spell combo is "Trimurti" by the personas Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma. It will KO all non-boss enemies. It is more broken since these three can be obtain far earlier than Lucifer and Satan and do not require the insane MP consumptions. This only applies to Innocent Sin since it was nerfed in Eternal Punishment.
  • Pegasus Combo might not be that Game Breaker, but being able to deal about 400 damage points since level 10 is something to consider.
  • Innocent Sin's has its own version of Persona 4's Hassou Tobi; the fusion spell Dashing Strike, performed by combining the low level spell Zio and weak physical skill Tackle. At least five hits of Havoc + Elec damage to all enemies on the field, and if there's only one enemy such as a boss, it probably won't pose much of a challenge after a few turns. The only catch is that most mid-level to high-level Personas won't be caught dead with Zio in their skill list, so you have to have Zio skill cards to make liberal use of the Fusion Spell in the later half of the game.

Persona 3
  • The Lucifer (or Helel in the remakes) persona (in addition to being the most powerful persona on its own, bar none) gives access to "Armageddon", a spell that deals 9999 almighty damage (cannot be blocked or absorbed) to all enemies at 100% accuracy. While it will kill every non-Bonus Boss enemy in the game, Armageddon in itself isn't a Game Breaker, because it costs 100% of your MP to cast. No, what makes it a Game Breaker is that another of Lucifer's abilities, "Victory Cry", replenishes all your HP and MP at the end of each combat. End result: You win everything.
    • To add insult to injury, it's fairly easy to give Lucifer the "spell master" ability, which halves all MP usage. Yes, that includes Armageddon. Now, even going into combat in less than 100% shape lets you win everything as well.
      • Outright removed in Portable, where Fusion Raids are done via items that require grinding for items (and Armageddon requires 99 of the main item and 10 of a hard to get one).
    • However, Portable brought a new Game Breaker to the table: Skill Cards. Think TM's from Pokémon, only 1) you can easily farm them and 2) there are no restrictions to what persona can learn what skill from cards. This means you can get personas with skills that they couldn't have through fusion (ex a Fire type casting Bufu spells). While it doesn't have the unique, superpowerful skills (Morning Star, Black Viper, Die For Me, Thunder Reign, Ragnarok, stuff like that), it does have the "Absorb x attribute" skills. This makes it trivially easy to cover up weaknesses in strong personae. This can be taken to Nigh Invulnerable levels with a Beelzebub that essentially Blocks, Absorbs or Repels every attribute (and still have slots for attacks!).
      • Also of note: Skill Cards can be reproduced for no cost. The Inari Sushi in the temple can take one card and make a copy of it after a few days. If you religiously go there every time he finishes, you can load up on very powerful skills you can put on any Persona you want. Or if you don't want to wait and have an excess of money, the Compendium will allow you to register a Persona just before it gives you a skill card. Gain one level to get the skill card, fuse that persona into something else, get a replacement from the Compendium, gain one level for another skill card. Lather, rinse, repeat.
      • Portable also introduces Direct Commands. This in itself would not qualify as a Game Breaker, but consider that the PS2 versions do not let you directly control your allies and that P3 was designed with AI-controlled allies in mind. This is especially useful on bosses such as Chariot and Justice, who must be killed within the same turn or the one that is killed gets fully revived, as well as the Final Boss, who has a skill that repels all attacks; in the PS2 versions your allies will idiotically attack the boss, but here you can make them, you know, not attack until the repelling skill comes off.
      • Also broken is the new Great/Good/Tired/Sick system. Combined with the trivial cost of paying the clock for healing (and, later on, the large gobs of money you can get from higher-level Coin cards), you can easily travel from one temporal barrier to the next in a single night, as you and your allies' condition only change after you exit Tartarus. Yes, this will put your whole party into Sick status the next day, but that doesn't affect social activities, and at worst you'll be out of battle condition for a couple of days, given a day of going to bed early and investing in condition-restoring services and items.
  • The Odin persona: Thunder Reign, his signature move, is the best of the 4 top tier elemental spells in the game because, in addition to the damage, it has 100% chance of inflicting the Shock ailment, which gives you 100% crit rate against the affected target with physical attacks. It's easily possible to defeat The Reaper (who is Lv 99) as soon as Odin learns Thunder Reign on P3/FES by stunlocking him with alternated All-Out Attacks and passing turns (this doesn't work as well in P3P, but you can still cause Dizzy on him, making him act only once every 2 turns). Odin also learns Elec Amp (+50% Elec damage) and Spell Master (reduces SP cost of all spells by 50%). It's extremely easy to pass Elec Boost (+25% Elec damage, stacks with Elec Amp) to him. His only problem is the weakness to Wind, but that can be fixed by passing Null Wind to him, or using an equipment to give you that resistance.
  • FES Also brings the MC's ultimate persona: Orpheus Telos. This palette swap of your original persona is clearly specifically designed for the Bonus Boss because it resists everything but Almighty and Poison (The Bonus Boss will automatically kill you if your persona absorbs or repels any of her attacks, so resist is the best possible option) and has great stats. The only spell that it learns naturally is Victory Cry, but most importantly, it can inherit every skill in the game. If you plan everything out right, you can have a single persona with the eight best attacks in the game. Mix and match to your heart's content to decide what eight skill combination is right for you. The catch? He can inherit every skill in the game, not just the best ones, and because he has an equal likelihood to inherit every skill, you'll spend hours wading through combinations with inferior skills, hoping for that one-in-a-million perfect combination that you just spent a few hours setting up. Of course, this is all assuming that you maxed out every social link in the game, have the necessary fusion fodder, and are above level 90; the requirements for being able to fuse Orpheus Telos.
  • The Omnipotent Orb accessory makes you nullify every element other than Almighty, being this game's version of Nocturne's Masakados Magatama. There are only 2 ways of getting it, though: one is by defeating the Bonus Boss, and the other is a 1% chance at a Heart Item from Messiah. Of course, using this against the Bonus Boss will get you killed, but it doesn't stop you from destroying everything else on your path.
  • Soma are items that restore full HP and SP to the entire party. All versions of Persona 3 gave you a decent stock of them should you save them up, which makes surviving some of the harder bosses much easier. Persona 4 and 5 severely limited the amount of Soma you could get in a single run because of this.

Persona 4
  • Though spell combinations weren't included, Lucifer makes his return as the notoriously hard-to-fuse but gloriously broken ultimate Persona of the Judgement arcana. He learns both Victory Cry and Spell Master naturally and tears up Shadows like nobody's business. Even more broken (and even more of a pain to get) is the game's sole Persona of the World arcana, Izanagi-no-Okami. This one starts with Victory Cry as a base skill, and proceeds to learn 4 high-level elemental skills and an amping skill for each one. He is a bit Awesome, but Impractical, because he doesn't inherit any skills, and has no immunities nor any protection from Insta Kill Light and Dark spells.
    • Trumpeter, on the other hand, starts off Immune to Dark, Reflecting Light and Electricity, and Absorbing Ice. As a Hexagon fusion, it is moderately easy to get the other three immunities, giving you a person immune to everything except Almighty and Poison. On top of that, Trumpeter gets the best buff and debuff spells and the strongest non-unique Almighty spell automatically. And you can get Spell Master on it for spamming Megidolaons all day (use Skadi to fuse Daisoujou, one of the components for Trumpeter - incidentally Daisoujou with Spell Master borders on a Game Breaker by itself, as this makes its Light-based unique skill Samsara spammable and with Hama Boost Samsara has about 99% chance of instakilling anything not resistant to Light, while useless against bosses this allows to easily and MP-efficiently clear lots of normally-annoying encounters). Unlike Lucifer and Yoshitsune, which require some dedicated grinding, Trumpeter is fusable at about the level you'll either naturally be or are recommended to gring to (depending on difficulty-based EXP gains) before the final run of the Normal ending.
    • Yoshitsune is the best physical attacker in the game because of his Hassou Tobi attack. Eight separate hits, though with light damage, casually offset single hit severe damage like Primal Force. And it hits all targets to boot. Power Charged Hassou Tobi DOUBLES the damage output of a Power Charged Primal Force, the second-strongest physical attack in the game. Not to mention no weaknesses, and Yoshitsune is one of the most customizable Persona in the game (he only needs Power Charge and Hassou Tobi, and you can technically get Power Charge off of a slave), meaning you can have a semi-invincible god slaughtering the field.
      • Also, he has Heat Riser, which is essentially the combination of all three buff spells, and when fused on a certain date, he can also learn Debilitate, which is a combination of all three debuff spells. Combine it with the aforementioned Power Charge and Hassou Tobi and you will have a combo that could defeat Death with at least two usage of it.
    • Beelzebub in Persona 4 is the ultimate tank Persona. It's trivially easy to get him immunity or better to every element in the game, meaning the only thing that can touch you is Almighty and certain ailments. Metatron can do the same thing as Beelzebub but is a little bit harder to pull off.
  • Random skill changes can give you Victory Cry at Level 24. No, really. Kaiwan in P4 comes with Tetrakarn, which randomly changes to any other equivalent skill on certain days. A lot of save scumming can end you up with Victory Cry at a ridiculous level.
    • Not to mention that this Victory Cry can then be spread to other Personas. It's possible therefore to carry a Victory Cry slave throughout the whole damn game.
    • That's not even scratching the surface of how game breaking this skill change abuse can be. Since Tetrakarn is a high-rank skill, it can change into skills of the same rank, which includes all of the Repel [Element] skills (including the ever useful Repel Phys), Brave Blade, Mediarahan, Spell/Arms Master, and a dozen other high level skills (all of which would otherwise only be available by the last third of the game) as early as April/May.
    • Furthermore, most players will find themselves deep in the Bathhouse dungeon when a Skill Change day comes up. One floor of the Bathhouse is lousy with very easy enemies that yield Ghoul and Vetala Persona cards during Shuffle Time. What Persona can you fuse for free with these cards? Kaiwan. So not only can you mutate Tetrakarn as much as you want, you can mutate Victory Cry itself into even higher-rank skills than the ones above, and all of that absolutely for free.
  • Norn is this if you're willing to invest in a little Save Scumming. Having Status Buffs on your entire party at the beginning of a fight is pretty good so that you can do a lot of damage right off the bat. If you can also get her Repel Elec and level her up till she gets Debilitate, you pretty much have a good starting Persona for boss fights (though you could still just use Trumpeter for the Debilitate part).
  • The level up trick with the Mr. Pringles (King-type enemies that can summon other Shadows infinitely) is also a good way to have a high level. While unfortunately, there's a cap for EXP, there's none for cash. If you have a Phys-Null (or Reflect) Persona on your main character, just let it summon its mooks, turn on Rush Mode overnight and wake up with a lot of exp (at 65k normally, 130k with both equipment pieces (each increasing your exp by 50%)) and a million worth of cash that you could use on a New Game+ (you know, to summon your broken personae listed above). Though as for the two equipment pieces...
  • Unlike the previous game, you do not keep your level or stats. Since you have low SP, summoning late-game Personas with high level spells becomes impractical. However, physical based Personas are fair game, because physical attacks are percentage based, rather than having a fixed spell cost. If you have Arms Master, then severe physical attacks would now cost only around 18 HP; all physical attack Personas practically become Game Breakers for a third or half of the game! Bonus points if the Persona you're using is the above mentioned Yoshitsune. Oh yeah, and if the Persona nulls or even returns physical damage, it would make Shadow Kanji a complete joke.
  • In Golden to add some Anti-Frustration Features, you're allowed to choose what kind of skills your Persona inherits. All the aforementioned Game Breaker stuff listed up above? Just got about a million times easier to pull off.
  • With the changes in Golden, including skill cards returning and Shuffle Time allowing you to boost the stats of your personas, almost any Persona can be extremely powerful if you're willing to put in the work. It's fairly easy to take a Persona with a large number of resistances, apply absorb or reflect skills to whatever it doesn't resist then grind an early dungeon until its stats are at maximum. Not every single skill has a skill card(for example, Morning Star or Hassou Tobi), but skills like Victory Cry, Power/Mind Charge, and Primal Force all dp.
  • In addition, the upright Magician card in Golden's Shuffle Time will upgrade any one of your Persona's skills to its next tier (for instance, Zio to Mazio, Garula to Magarula, Megido to Megidola). It will take some Save Scumming, but if you keep getting Magicians during Shuffle Time, you can upgrade Physical skills to game-breaking levels as early as the Bathhouse. For tanking, a simple Slime can become a Game Breaker though this method. Slime is available as early as Yukiko's Castle, and is otherwise unremarkable apart from learning Resist Physical. An upright Magician card will upgrade this skill to Null Physical, granting you complete physical immunity at the very beginning of the game. Once Slime has served its purpose, it makes for great fusion fodder to pass the skill on.
  • Yet another Golden change: the "Ask for Help" feature. When playing online, you can try to call for help during battle from other online players, and it doesn't cost a turn; depending on the number that respond, your party's HP and SP will be healed accordingly. Getting SP healing in Persona 4 is both rare and prohibitively expensive, making you quit dungeons quickly or pay an arm and a leg to the Mysterious Fox. But Asking For Help can be done for free, at any time, and even if you get just one response, it's much more consistent (and dependable) than Shuffle Time healing with none of the drawbacks, so you can spend as much time as you want grinding and exploring without ever having to pay the Fox or using Chakra/Soul items. During the early game, where you don't even have that many SP to heal yet and Dia spells are cheap, (and the Fox isn't even available)it can destroy the difficulty of Yukiko's Castle.

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
  • The Mission Control characters Took a Level in Badass upon coming to the Margin World, thanks to the Sub-Persona system. Unlike the combatant characters (who rely on a limited pool of SP to use magic), Fuuka and Rise instead rely on the regenerating "Leader" gauge that builds as you fight shadows. This makes Fuuka one of the most efficient healers in the game, as she can grant the party three turns of recurring healing for only one 1/5th of the gauge. Equip her with a Sub-Persona like Kaguya and she easily outshines dedicated healers like Yukiko, Yukari, and Rei.
  • Physically-oriented characters like Kanji, Chie, Aigis, Shinjiro, and Akihiko are highly valued because of the fact that most of their abilities are Cast from Hit Points which are easily replenished, both thanks to Fuuka's healing and the HP/SP buffer given by Sub-Personas that's replenished after every battle. One of the most popular strategies involves equipping one of these characters with a Sub-Persona that has several of the various "Link" skills equipped, which allow them to add bonus elemental damage to every allied attack that comes after them. Kanji is a popular choice for this, as he has the highest natural strength score and naturally learns abilities that allow him to go first in battle, allowing him to maximize link damage. Junpei has less Strength, but has the Golden Gemini skill upon getting his ultimate Persona, which gives him a very high chance of executing any physical skill twice in a row (and the second is free). This includes Hassou-Tobi.
  • Luck plays a massive role in this game, with Naoto being one of the most broken party members due to naturally learning both multi-target variations of the series' signature instant death spells. She also has high enough agility to ensure she can strike first, with Ken being not far behind in that category. And though Teddie's a bit of a Tier-Induced Scrappy in this game, he has the highest luck score out of everyone, and can also be exploited for instant death. All three of them are also good contenders for Standard Status Effects, also affected by luck, and unlike the main Persona games, are far more deadly and far more likely to work on bosses! Add to that the fact that sub-persona have their own SP values which replenish after fights. Once you get one with at least as much SP as your instant-kill move, you have free agency to use one at the start of every battle to thin the enemy numbers with nearly no cost.
    • In addition, the Stun status effect can bring almost any enemy to their knees when specialized properly. Stun status both makes an enemy unable to attack you and makes them unable to avoid attacks. If you use a skill that raises status success chance, then even a boss will probably be affected with only a few tries, rendering them useless for a few turns. Already a very powerful feat, you can then use Stagnant Air, which raises the duration of ailments to keep this going for a good 7 turns or more. And if you want to be especially mean, just teach your biggest damage dealer Death's Sickle, which raises their damage to enemies with status ailments... then give them a Link move. Curbstomping doesn't even begin to describe how vulnerable this makes bosses, and the really weird thing is it works on nearly EVERY boss.
  • Speaking of heavy damage dealers and boss killers, Aigis' Orgia Mode when it comes to facing bosses and/or F.O.Es. A damage multiplier for only two turns doesn't sound impressive, on its own. However, the thing that makes it so unfair to bosses is that it doesn't take up a buff slot, meaning you can have that, Shura Tensei, Heat Riser, Matarukaja AND Power Charge active for an even more powerful multi-hitting attack such as Danse Macabre on a thoroughly debuffed and preferably agility-bound enemy. Alternatively, having Rise as your battle navigator can turn that particular combination of Aigis into one of the best Linkers due to Spotlight, and with the right passive skills, every successful follow-up attack will deal damage in the thousands.
    • In fact, you may not even need Rise for that strategy. Giving Aigis Dragon Cry will not only grant her both the first hit, but also one of the biggest damage buffs in the game.
  • Yoshitsune returns from Persona 4 as a sub-Persona, retaining his signature overpowering Hassou Tobi attack, which now has increased base damage in exchange for now distributing 8 hits across all enemies randomly. This doesn't matter against single targets. While Yoshitsune doesn't learn any other attack skills, he doesn't need them - every other skill he naturally learns is a passive that makes Hassou Tobi even stronger. note  Add in the fact that no enemy in this game is immune to any element that isn't Light or Dark, and Hassou Tobi can decimate anything in the game, Almighty attacks be damned.
  • The P3 Hero's ultimate Persona, Messiah, gains Debilitate is its special skill, which is the ultimate F.O.E/Boss killer. Debilitate lowers all of the target's stats in one move, rendering even the worst F.O.Es virtually harmless. Use of this combined with other tactics described above can enable the party to defeat F.O.Es LONG before the game expects them to be able to, resulting in massive exp gain and massively powerful Persona cards, allowing them to break the game even further.

Persona 5
  • In certain months, The Reaper can randomly be infected with the flu, causing him to get the Despair status, which kills him in three turns. This can be abused to grind massive amounts of exp. for the party at little risknote .
  • Yoshitsune's back in this game, and his signature move, Hassou Tobinote  is just as powerful as before.
  • Early on in the Tower Confidant, you gain an ability that allows you to knock an enemy down with your Gun even if they aren't weak against Gun attacks. It costs a lot of ammo at first, but becomes more useful with later abilities from that Confidant, which reduce the ammo cost and allow you to hit targets that would otherwise be immune to Gun skills. With this, it's even possible to knock down The Reaper.
  • If you get up to the second rank of the Sun confidant, but no further, you gain the ability to repeatedly extort money from Shadows during negotiations. While there's a chance of the Shadow getting angry and attacking or summoning reinforcements, it's possible to get thousands of yen from a single battle.
  • Lucky Punch and Miracle Punch don't do much damage, but they're relatively cheap and have a higher than usual chance of getting a Critical Hit. This is quite useful for knocking down enemies without any weaknesses, or for starting a Baton Pass.
  • Caroline and Justine's Rank 10 ability allows you to pay money to fuse personas that are higher leveled than Joker. With how easy it is to get money this makes gaining access to top level personas (such as Yoshitsune) trivially easy.
    • Since Special Fusions usually require high-level Personas, fusing the material Personas and the final result this way may be too costly... Thankfully, you can unlock this fusion as soon as Level 51... And Barong is a Level 52 Persona, while Rangda can be easily obtained in Palaces. Yes, the classic recipe for Shiva still works! - and you can acquire the Level 85 Persona for about 300000 yen.
  • The DLC Persona Kaguya comes with Shining Arrows, a Bless-type attack that hits every enemy four to eight times for light damage. It's a magic version of Hassou Tobi, but one that can also be buffed with several magic damage boosting passives.

    Other Shin Megami Tensei 
  • The Null Attack skill from Digital Devil Saga nulls everything except Almighty attacks. This makes you effectively invincible for 90% of the game as only the last two dungeons have random encounters that make use of almighty attacks and none of the storyline bosses (except for the last boss) use almighty as their main form of attack. It won't help you against the bonus bosses though since they just love their powerful unique almighty attacks and the Demi-Fiend will rip you to shreds on his first turn if you dare to have immunities equipped.
    • Cocytus in the first game. It's a random-hit ice spell that has an absurdly high rate of inflicting the Freeze status, which makes the target lose all their resistances and turns any physical attack on them into a Critical Hit. Also, if it hits a same target twice, it deals more damage than Bufudyne, the top tier ice spell. Slap Ice Boost and/or Ice Amp, and the game will be a walk in the park for the most part. It's especially useful against the Boss in Mook Clothing Arahabaki enemy, which repels everything but Ice (which it's weak to). It was nerfed in the second game, though.
    • The Death Flies skill from Nocturne makes a comeback in this game: 100% kill if targets don't null Death, Megidolaon worth of damage if they do.
    • Null Sleep, especially in the first game (where it's on the same Mantra as Cocytus above). That title is a misnomer; it doesn't make the user immune to sleep, it makes them dodge all attacks if they're asleep, causing the enemy to waste precious turns. It's so good that it's even part of a strategy that makes the Demi-Fiend much, MUCH easier, because it enables the user to dodge even the strongest Almighty attacks!
  • In Devil Survivor, some skill combinations certainly count. Most notable, however, is Drain. It does Almighty damage (which means that 99.9% of enemies can't resist, null, deflect, or absorb it), is surprisingly damaging, and robs the enemy of their HP and MP while replenishing yours.
    • Also, Holy Dance and Drain Hit+Power Hit+Any Phys passive buff.
    • And also: Tyrant + Megidolaon + leader with Magic Yang = free one-turn kill every turn. And if you've got Awakening as well, even better!
    • Petra Eyes is extremely useful, at least on the first run, since petrified characters can be killed in one hit with luck no matter the HP or level. Being an Atlus game filled with Goddamned Bats where a huge part of them aren't resistant.
      • In the Overclocked remake, this is expanded with the combination of Makajamon + Grimoire + Death Call. Makajamon has a high natural chance of success (higher than Petra Eyes) but just mutes the enemy. Grimoire boosts the chance of status effects working. Death Call kills all muted/stunned enemies. The result? Instant death to anything that isn't immune to Curse/Mystic.
    • Pierce bypasses resistance to, nullification of, and draining of physical attacks, unless the demon's name starts with "Bel" and ends with "dr". Pair this up with Deathbound and you can demolish bosses that would otherwise make a physical assault hopeless, such as Belzaboul and Naoya. Throw in Full Might (which grants a guaranteed critical for the first phys hit in order to steal Extra Turns) and Phys Jump and/or Ares Aid to amp the damage, and you can easily demolish anything that doesn't reflect Phys.
    • Beast and Kishin demons on the same team. Beasts let you move again after you attack, and Kishins let you attack twice.
      • Even better, try Kishins and Vile / Dragon type demons. As long as your opponent doesn't have a demon of the same type, you can attack for two turns without the other team even touching you.
      • Vile and Dragon do come with a drawback though, of making your character wait longer between turns and reducing your Move (Viles have a higher attack range, but make you even slower). Still, that's not a big deal when you can attack twice in a row without ever being hit back, pretty much decimating whatever you're attacking.
      • In Devil Survivor 2 higher level Dragons get Evil Flow. One usage of this buffs your attack range to 6, allowing the player to attack anything shy of a few bosses with complete impunity. Add in the higher level Viles which get Chaos Breath, giving you a normal attack range of 4. Who cares that you only get your turn once in a blue moon, if you can barrage the enemies from 10 squares away?
    • The Multi-Strike skill introduced in Overclocked is a sterling example. Hits the entire enemy team with up to seven hits each depending on the user's agility. Stick it on a physical specialist with decent agility like Atsuro in the original or Hinako in the sequel and you'll quickly end up with a one-man/woman wrecking ball capable of completely decimating 95% of the enemy teams in the game.
      • Better yet, mix it up with Drain Hit and Pierce. So long as there are no enemies that repel physical attacks, the HP recovery you get after every use will allow you to spam it infinitely.
    • Mixing Passive Skills can lead to this. A lethal one is a variation on Keita's strategy: combine Rage Soul with Twin Strike, Attack All and Ultimate Hit. See how many enemy teams survive that. Other variations include Grimoire, +Stone, and Multi-Strike.
    • Titania, Purple Mirror, and Metatron in Devil Survivor 2 are immune to all but two elements. Fusing them with the exact right passive abilities makes them invulnerable to everything but almighty attacks. Use the Release Passive add-on to add Hero Soul (take attacks for the leader if your resistance is higher) and their leader is safe from a good 80% of attacks. The former two are actually of low enough level to be used in the endgame without needing a New Game+.
      • In Record Breaker, the Frost Five join the ranks of immune-to-everything demons. They have only one weakness and are immune to everything else, but one of their fusion requirements, Black Frost, already comes with a passive that can cover this weakness. Of course, given the level restriction, you can only feasibly start using them on a New Game+, but there's nothing stopping you from using them against some of the Bonus Bosses.
  • Demikids Dark version Fusion system that affects only stats. While its not as unique as the Light version classic system, this is arguably better. With some easy work, and extremely abusable battle arena that gives out mid and high level demon as a prize, this allows you to Elite Tweak your party to ridiculous level.
    • The skill giving item. Oh gosh the skill giving item. Simmilar to Updated Re-release of Persona 3 this allows you to give skills to your demon, except your option in this game is limited to some exclusive moves instead of almost every moves in the game. The catch? One of these items that is alvailable pretty early gives you 8 randomly hitting move that is available to pretty much every demon in the game with fairly strong base power and sometime extra effect. This basicaly renders every other move barring healing move completely obsolete since you can spam this move to win any kind of fight. Combine with the fusion system above and even the Bonus Boss wont last more than one round.
  • If it has Victory Cry, expect to use it a lot; Victory Cry restores the user's HP and MP after every battle, eliminating the need to restore its MP with expensive or hard-to-find items. If it also has a high-end spell like Megidolaon, expect to mop up the final dungeon with it.