WARNING! THERE ARE STORY AND VISUAL SPOILERS AHEAD! IF YOU DON’T WANT ANYTHING SPOILED, DON’T CONTINUE TO READ THIS ARTICLE! JUST GO ENJOY PERSONA 5!
I think most people would agree that Persona 5 is a fantastic entry in the franchise. From it’s story and characters to fantastic gameplay, it’s really a home-run. One of the many aspects that makes the game great are its engaging and intense boss battles. So today, we’re gonna go through the major Persona 5 boss fights and rank them from easiest to hardest, as well as give a few strategies on how to beat them.
I’ll only be going through main game bosses here, so expect there to be some minor spoilers here and there. Also, keep in mind that this is only my opinion on the bosses. You might find my easiest pick impossible while you find my number one hardest to be laughable. With that in mind, lets dive into Persona 5‘s bosses.
#10 Holy grail – Winner of Easiest boss
I felt way more pressure to win this fight when it was unbeatable. After the brutal run up to this boss towards the end of the game, you get to exact your revenge on this “god”. All I can say is thank god that this isn’t the final fight of the game because it is way too easy. All you have to do to win is send someone to cut the veins that are pouring into the cup. After that, the Holy Grail can’t really do anything to you.
At this point in the game, you’ll most likely have spells that’ll increase your stats well enough to where Holy Grail can’t really hurt you. He doesn’t have any weaknesses, but he doesn’t resist anything either. The fight is really just about staying alive until your teammate cuts the veins. Plus, once you cut the veins, he takes massive damage to even the most basic of moves. Thankfully he isn’t the final boss of the game because if he was, we would’ve been left with a bad taste in our mouths.
#9 Suguru Kamoshida
As you would expect from the real first boss fight of the game, Kamoshida is a relatively easy endeavor While he looks intimidating, you quickly realize that he’s all bark and no bite. His strongest move, Lick, only targets Ann and is telegraphed, so you can easily see it coming and block it. All of his attacks are physical, so you never need to worry about being weakened by magical attacks.
Kamoshida can actually heal himself, but once he does for the first time you can send someone to take his crown from his head. This automatically puts him in a weakened state so you can perform a Rush attack. This does massive damage to him but won’t kill him. After that attack though, the fight proceeds as normal, except Kamoshida may skip a turn and do absolutely nothing. Talk about a cakewalk.
You don’t really need a strong strategy to beat Kamoshida as he is really more of a Persona 5 boss tutorial rather than a boss himself. All I would do is just learn his obvious tells and don’t get overly greedy. Make sure everyone has plenty of health and be sure to guard against some of his stronger attacks.
#8 Kunikazu Okumura
This guy is the definition of a coward. You’d think that being under a time limit and having to fight multiple waves of enemies along with a boss would be difficult, but its just not. The time limit is in no way harsh as long as you don’t dilly dally on the way to the fight. Once you get to it, make sure you don’t actually listen to the dialogue as it doesn’t pause the timer.
The actual fight against the waves of robots that he sends out are enemies that you’ve fought already in the palace. If you’ve already discovered their weaknesses then they will be an absolute breeze. Once you defeat his 6 waves of robot henchmen, you finally get to take him on. And he’ll be dead in about 2-3 hits. Well, I guess that makes sense since most of the work is put into beating his henchmen, but it’s still disappointing.
As for strategy, the big thing here is time management. The timer will start to countdown before the fight even begins, so be sure to get to him ASAP. You can spend some time getting items, but try to avoid any fights on the way. As mentioned before, you should know the robots’ weaknesses going into the fight since you’ve had to fight them before. Just don’t waste too much time and this fight will be over before you know it.
#7 Junya Kanishiro
It sure feels good to put this dirtbag in his place, but the fight itself isn’t too difficult. You’ll start the fight by taking Kanishiro alone. Sure he gets disgusting looking fly eyes and wings, but he can’t really do much to you. He can sometimes inflict you with fear or do curse damage, but it shouldn’t really hurt you all that much. Once Kanishiro realizes that he’s a failure and can’t take you on, he summons Piggytron, a huge robot that he takes control of.
Piggytron can hit hard, but there are several ways to turn the battle in your favor. The best way is to take advantage of Piggytron’s March of the Piggy attack. Kanishiro will jump on top of Piggytron and begin spinning for a turn. If you do enough damage to Kanishiro, he will fall off of Piggytron and end up hurting himself, as well as keep you and your team safe.
There’s also another way to turn the tides in your favor, although it’s a bit risky. Morgana will discover that Kanishiro won’t attack if you throw a “valuable item” at him. If the item is nice enough, Kanishiro will waste a turn just looking at it and not attack you. I wouldn’t always use this though since you never get these items back once you throw them at him, so only use this if you have items you don’t want/need or you just want the fight over quickly.
All of these strategies make Kanishiro a pretty easy endeavor when compared to the Persona 5 bosses ranked above him. With these exploits, you should be able to beat this gluttonous pig in no time.
#6 Cognitive Wakaba Isshiki
One of the very few bosses that isn’t the shadow version of a palace owner, Futaba’s cognitive version of her mother, Wakaba Isshiki, is a decently tough fight. You start off automatically losing to her, but once Futaba comes in and awakens her Persona, you begin your full assault. Futaba brings in a giant ballista to fire at Wakaba, making her vulnerable to physical attacks.
The most important thing to do in this fight is lower Wakaba’s attack and increase the party’s defense. Wakaba hits like a truck even with the best equipment available during this stage of the game. I would highly suggest sending someone who doesn’t have much to offer to fire the ballista and use the down time to set up your party’s defense and attack stats before Wakaba comes down. Be sure to heal often too since she hits so hard.
As long as you manage your party correctly, this fight shouldn’t be too hard. Just make sure to have your party equipped with the best armor possible and buff that defense, as well as having a designated healer in the battle at all times (I highly suggest Morgana or Makoto) since Wakaba loves to use a devastating dive bomb attack that does massive damage to the party. If you guard it though it shouldn’t kill you, so just make sure to heal.
#5 sae niijima
The woman who’s been interrogating you throughout most of the game just barely breaks the top half. As the last required palace boss to “beat” Persona 5, Sae Niijima provides a decent challenge. The big gimmick of this fight is gambling on a big roulette table. Once you place your bet for the first time, you sense that Niijima isn’t playing fairly. Once you figure out her scheme (that being a glass lid on whatever you bet on), you begin to turn the tides of battle.
The most important thing to keep in mind here is to not attack Nijima when the roulette is spinning. If you do, you’ll be faced with a “penalty”. This usually involves you losing a bunch of health which never helps. This also includes using moves that lower her stats, so just guard or set up yourselves while the wheel spins.
After exposing her for cheating, Niijima will transform into her Leviathan form. She’ll gain more attacks and will be more focused on attacking you than spinning the wheel, but occasionally there will be another chance to gamble for stat boosts, increased health/SP, etc. I suggest only taking the safe bets as losing will only make the fight harder and longer.
Once Niijima has around 1/3 of her her health left, she uses the move Desperation, which dramatically raises her attack but costs her a lot of defense. While it may be intimidating to face a foe as strong as she is during this phase, her lack of any defensive power will prove to be her downfall. Use your most powerful attacks on her during this phase to end the fight as quickly as possible.
#4 Ichiryusai Madarame
For a boss fight early on in Persona 5, you’d think that Madarame would be a relative breeze, but I found this boss pretty tough. Madarame splits himself into four painting pieces; each piece having different abilities and resistances. For example, the eyes absorb magic damage while the nose and mouth absorb physical damage. The mouth will use physical attacks against you while the left eye uses magic. The right eye can only give the different pieces buffs and the nose can use wind magic.
Once you beat all four of the pieces, the true shadow Madarame comes out and you can perform a Rush attack on him. He can’t do much in this form, so wail on him as much as possible. I highly suggest using Rakunda on him as it’ll allow you to do more damage to him.
After a couple turns, Madarame will return to his painting form and earn the new ability “The Artist’s Grace” which coats one of your team members in a black paint that weakens them to all affinities for a turn. It doesn’t last long, but it can cause a lot of problems for whoever becomes inflicted so be sure to have a healer ready. The paintings will also revive downed paintings if they are not all brought down in a single turn, so lower their defense is encouraged so you can take them all out.
Now you may be able to beat Madarame after his second painting phase, but if you can’t, you’ll get a new prompt. You will be able to send a teammate to use black paint on Madarame so that he can become weak to all affinities. I myself didn’t get the chance to experience this as I was able to defeat Madarame after his second painting transformation, but this I’ve heard that this provides a big advantage.
Using Rakunda is a huge time saver for this fight. If you do not weaken his defense (or buff your party’s attack stat) then you’ll most likely have to fight Madarame’s painting form three times. As for dealing with the paintings themselves, just be hyper aware of what works and what doesn’t against the specific parts. One slip up could cost you the battle, so be careful. Overall I’d say that the true Persona 5 begins here with the Madarame boss.
#3 Masayoshi Shido
The man who ruined your life certainly puts up a hell of a fight. The fight begins with Shido on his trusted golden steed. This odd statue monster has three forms in all: Beast, Wings, and Tomb of Human Sacrifice; each coming out at different stages of the monster’s health. The Beast form repels any physical or gun damage while the Wings form repels any and all magic abilities. Once it becomes the Tomb of Human Sacrifice though you can attack it with whatever you wish.
The different resistances these forms have reflect the type of attacks they’ll dish out: Beast with physical, Wings with magic, and the Tomb with a mix. As long as you keep this info in mind, the first phase of this fight should be relatively easy. But where this fight’s true difficulty lies is within Shido’s last two forms.
With the rest of his strength, Shido enters his Samael form. He gains moves like Heat Riser and Tyrant’s Fist, so be careful when he buffs. Thankfully, his arsenal here is pretty limited as he can only use physical moves and occasionally Megidola. It’s certainly not easy, but not necessarily unmanageable as long as you have some SP regenerative accessories and items.
But that all changes with his final form. Shido’s “True Samael Form” greatly expands his moveset. He gains every heavy hitting magic attack and every buff and debuff attack. Once again he isn’t weak to anything, nor does he resist anything. But his expanded arsenal makes this final phase the most difficult phase of his fight without a doubt.
This fight can be a real test of endurance. I highly suggest equipping the SP Adhesive 3 on all of the party members you plan to use for this fight so you can consistently buff yourself and heal. Endurance fights like this (and our next entry) can be extremely tough due to the lack of great SP recovery items, but if you get the SP Adhesive 3 you should come out on top.
#2 Goro akechi
Poor Akechi. He was without a doubt one of, if not my favorite character (and boss) in Persona 5. Coincidently, he also provides my personal favorite boss fight in the game. Maybe I’ll gush about it some other time, but one aspect that certainly helps it is the great challenge it provides. That is, as long as you have the health and SP to take him on. This boss fight occurs right after a particularly rough mini boss. And no, you can’t skip to a safe house to leave and come back with full health and SP the next day.
But besides that cheapness, Akechi provides a pretty tough fight. It opens up with him enhancing a Guard Dog of Hades and a Spear-Wielding General. Don’t underestimate these two as they hit pretty damn hard. Luckily though their defense will usually be lowered due to them using Desperation whenever they can.
Once those two are down you get to face Akechi. Some of his attacks are the same as when he was a part of your team, but there are a couple of enhanced moves such as Megidolan and Megaton Raid. He also doesn’t have a weakness to exploit, so the only way you can perform a Rush Attack is by getting lucky with a critical hit.
Once you beat Akechi, a cutscene will play and he’ll show you his true form. He keeps all of the moves he had in his previous phase and adds on a plethora of new ones: Deathbound, Dekaja, Tetrakarn, and Brave Blade to name a few. Akechi loves to spam Tetrakarn, so make sure you have some SP to spare when attacking him. This is truly an endurance fight in the purest sense, so make sure to have some SP restoring items and accessories ready.
It’s tough to nail down a specific strategy to face Goro Akechi since he really has an answer to everything you could prepare. My best advice overall would be to have a fairly balanced team out when facing him so you can get around certain buffs he’ll put on himself. Also, the SP Adhesive 3 is highly recommended on every character for this fight; it’ll save you from a headache.
#1 Yaldabaoth – winner of hardest boss
I know it’s extremely cliché to rank the final boss of a game as the game’s hardest, but I could not think of how any other boss in Persona 5 could be more difficult than Yaldabaoth. Ironically taking place after the Holy Grail, my easiest boss fight, Yaldabaoth is the exact polar opposite of its previous form. The main body only has a few attacks but quickly makes up for its lacking moveset by growing for separate arms that each have their own resistances and moves.
Yaldabaoth will summon the Gun of Execution, Bell of Declaration, Sword of Conviction, and Book of Commandments. Not only do these extensions have movesets of their own, but they also can afflict the Seven Deadly Sins on your party. These status ailments cannot be cured, but they only last for one turn. You’ll quickly see how trivial they are as they rarely even work. But the regular moves used by these four arms can add up and obliterate your party’s health if you aren’t careful.
When Yaldabaoth is at around 1/3 of his health, he will gain a new move called the Rays of Control. He’ll bring his four arms up and begin charging a powerful beam. You have two turns to prepare yourself for this attack. There are several options here: either lower Yaldabaoth’s attack and raise your defense so you can withstand the attack, or bring down all four arms before he can unleash it. The latter is pretty difficult and risky to do, so I suggest doing the former.
You absolutely need to keep your stats up for this fight. Have your team be fairly balanced as well, otherwise you may not have an answer for one of the arms’ resistances. You should mainly focus on taking out the main body, but if the arms start to add up you should take at least one or two out. Don’t waste too much SP on them though.
Also be aware that you will not be able to buy new equipment going into the Holy Grail fight and this one, so be sure to stock up on equipment while you’re tackling the Mementos Depths at the very least. You’ll still be able to fuse Personas though, so make sure that you have the best possible Personas for the fight. I highly suggest coming to this battle at around level 70 as any lower and you’ll be finding yourself dead again and again.
Those are our difficulty rankings and tips for the bosses of Persona 5. Which boss did you find the most difficult to take down? Let us know in the comments below!
And be sure to check out our review for Persona 5 while you’re at it!