Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne - Best Build for the Demi-Fiend
Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne is now available on modern consoles with the HD Remaster, and you might be wondering how to best build the main player character - the Demi-fiend. You have free control over both his stat allocation and his skillset, so you can shape him however you want.
However, this also means you can make bad decisions and put together a sub-optimal Demi-fiend if you don't know what you are doing. We're here to help prevent that.
Put bluntly, for the most part, it's best to build a Demi-fiend that is suited for physical attacks. That's not to say you'll get stuck if you decide to do something like a magic build, but the effectiveness of physical attacks is just a bit more potent late into the game. So in terms of stat allocation, you want to prioritize Str and Agi. Strength will of course raise your attack potential, while Agility will raise your hit/dodge chance. You'll of course want to put some stats into Vit so you have some HP to eat hits.
Skills are learned by leveling up with certain magatamas equipped ('ingested'). It's very important to note that if you choose to forget a skill, that skill is lost forever, so make sure you don't remove the skills you want to keep.
For a physical build these six skills you want for sure:
- Pierce (ESPECIALLY you're going for the True Demon Ending)*
The last two skill slots are a bit flexible and up to you. I personally like Mediarahan & Avenge, as Demi-Fiend won't be spending much MP (besides Focus), so having a Full-Heal under his belt can help when your team needs it. Avenge, of course, is a strong physical counter, although it can mess up a queued-up Focus if you counter. Other options include Repel skills, Tarukaja, Dekaja/Dekunda, etc. Hades Blast is a good 'hit-all' physical skill, if you want one of those, but I felt Deathbound was good enough. Plus, hit-all skills are rarely useful for bosses.
A commenter suggests Divine Shot as a high-critical chance physical skill, which can be useful in gaining extra Press Turns. Debuff skills like War Cry and Fog Breath are extremely useful, too, if you don't have demons with skills like Debilitate.
To see which magatama has the skills you want, you can check out our Magatama Locations guide.
Freikugel is the key ability here. It is an "Almighty" attribute physical attack, meaning it is improved by Str stats and physical buffs like Tarukaja/Focus. Freikugel + Pierce is the ultimate physical attack combination (though Deathbound can be fantastic too if you get lucky with more than one hit.)
Pierce has a special requirement to unlock. In order to be able to learn Pierce from the first Matagama Marogareh, you'll need to complete the Fifth Kalpa by defeating Metatron.
There are a few boss encounters where the boss is immune to physical attacks, in which you'll want to make sure your demons will be able to handle a magic offense. But otherwise, Pierce + Freikugal or Deathbound will get you through most of the late-game battles.
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