For Persona 5 Royal players, there is a number of optional secret or challenge boss battles, and this guide aims to provide a breakdown of each boss fights, and tell you what’s the best way to defeat them.
While not a secret boss, the Reaper is a difficult boss that appears in Mementos that I figured I should mention as well. Because in Persona 5, the Reaper could be cheesed during Flu Seasons by restarting the battle until he’s afflicted with Despair and then waiting 3 turns, but in Persona 5 Royal, he can no longer be afflicted by Despair, so you’ll need to defeat him with your own abilities now.
Let’s start by going over how to find him. The Reaper can spawn in most floors of Mementos (not rest floors, first floor, or last floor), all you have to do is spend time in the Mona Car on a floor with shadows and sit outside of battle for a couple minutes (try another floor if he doesn’t appear after waiting). Once he spawns, you’ll hear chains rattling, and you just have to find him.
To start things off, you actually want the Reaper to ambush you because that’ll result in him only having 1 action instead of 2 actions per turn. It’s generally recommended that your party should be around Lv 60+ before challenging him for your first time, but depending on the difficulty settings and your personas, it’s doable at much lower levels.
Once the fight begins, we’ll be abusing the Reaper’s AI by throwing a Magic Ointment or Makarakarn on one of your allies. This locks the Reaper into a predictable Concentrate + Megidolaon spam instead of using elemental skills that your teammates have a weakness to. As long as you manage your team’s HP and can survive the nuke each time, you should be good to just attack with whatever you got.
Buff everyone with Thermopylae. Debuff the Reaper with Debilitate. Use Concentrate and deal Almighty damage, or otherwise use the best damage skills available. Rinse and repeat until the Reaper is finished.
P.S. – Izanagi-no-Okami is the most busted Persona with his Myriad Truths and Persona Trait (Country Maker). He’s also free (due to being DLC) and very high level to start with, so for minimal grinding, you can just use him.
Caroline & Justine
To unlock this secret boss battle, you need to be in New Game+. Head to Mementos and speak with Caroline in front of the Velvet Room to start the battle once you’re ready. Keep in mind they’re only available between 5/9 and 12/22, so if you’re past those dates, you won’t be able to challenge them.
The twin wardens have 6 different phases, each with their own attack pattern, and every 6 turns, they will transition to their next phase (indicated by dialogue during the battle). If your entire team is ever knocked down, their instant kill All-Out Attack will be triggered; and if you don’t meet the phase change’s damage requirement, they will knock down your entire team, killing everyone. You’re given 50 turns total to defeat them, if you hit turn 51, they will also knock your entire team down. Since they don’t skip phases, it’s also possible to defeat them before they reach their last few phases if you do enough damage.
When fighting them, you should try to split the damage between the two so you can meet the HP requirement for phase change, as well as for the following reasons:
- Both twins will use Diarahan once on the other twin when the other twin reaches 50% HP for the first time, restoring the other twin back to full HP.
- If you don’t defeat both twins on the same turn, on the surviving twin’s turn, she will cast Recarm and revive the other twin with 4,000 HP.
Lastly, the twins may break their attack patterns to exploit a weakness. If either twin ever knocks a party member down (via critical or weakness), they can use the One More to remove your buffs or their debuffs with Dekaja or Dekunda, or even Baton Pass for the other twin to exploit another weakness. In addition, if they burn, freeze, or shock a party member, they might also break their attack pattern for a Technical bonus damage.
Boss Pattern Overview
Justine – Heavy Gun
Justine – Heavy Ice / Wind
Justine – Heavy Nuclear / Curse
Justine – Heavy Gun / Ice / Wind / Nuclear / Curse
Justine – Severe Gun / Ice / Wind / Nuclear / Curse
Justine – (Random) Severe Gun / Ice / Wind / Nuclear / Curse
Before you begin the battle, make sure you bring personas without weaknesses, and ideally they have repel to return some extra damage. Though this isn’t technically a requirement if you keep track of the twins’ attacks and switch to the correct personas, it might become a problem if the fight drags on long enough to reach the last phase where you’ll be rolling the dice and praying they don’t exploit your weakness.
Next, make sure your party has debuff and buff all stats skills, such as Debilitate and Heat Riser. Once you’ve decided on what AoE attack you’ll be spamming to deal with the twins, bring Charge / Concentrate depending on whether it’s a physical or magical attack, since you’re likely going to be the main damage dealer. For physical, I suggest the classic Hassou Tobi from Yoshitsune (with Arms Master). For magical, it can be Megidolaon from Satanael (with Almighty Boost, Almighty Amp, Magic Ability, and Tyrant’s Mind), Shining Arrows from Kaguya (with Bless Boost, Bless Amp, Magic Ability), or the most broken build: Myriad Truths from Izanagi-no-Okami (with Almighty Boost, Almighty Amp, and Magic Ability).
Now, on to the fight itself.
Phase 1 will be your time to set up debuff, buffs, and start attacking without too much worry since there won’t be any weakness exploit concerns for your party members, only critical hits which will lead them to removing your buffs or removing their debuffs.
Phase 2 is when you’ll need to start paying attention and keep track of their skill usage to avoid getting your weakness exploited. Caroline will use Agidyne/Maragidyne, then Ziodyne/Maziodyne; Justine will use Bufudyne/Mabufudyne, then Garudyne/Magarudyne. Have your party members guard or switch out if they’re weak to an upcoming attack.
By phase 3, both twins should have already used Diarahan once, healing each other to full. This phase also has Caroline switching to Psiodyne/Mapsiodyne, then Kougaon/Makougaon; Justine switches to Freidyne/Mafreidyne, then Eigaon/Maeigaon.
For phase 4, Caroline & Justine combines their attack patterns from phase 1, 2 and 3 and uses every elemental skill at least once.
Phase 5 is where it starts to get scary, and you’ll want to defeat them quickly before the next phase. Caroline & Justine follows the same elemental pattern as phase 4, except now they’re using severe damage skills instead of the previous heavy damage skills.
Phase 6 has Caroline & Justine using the skills available during phase 5, except there’s no longer a pattern, it’s random. You’ll want to avoid this since you never know when they’ll decide to exploit one of your party member’s weakness, then chain the One More for more downs. There’s also a hard cap of 50 turns. If they manage to stall you to this turn with their Recarms, your entire team is instantly wiped out.
This secret boss battle is actually available on your first playthrough. All you need to do is clear the Path of Da’at (which can be accessed starting on Jan 13), and make sure to have talked to Jose 3 different instances while there (each time will trigger a different cutscene). Once that’s done, head to the final floor (Cognitive Control Room) and he’ll be waiting to talk to you at the end of the room.
Unlike most bosses in the game, Jose only has one action per turn, and he doesn’t have much worth noting other than all his attacks being AoE, and that he has an AoE Confusion skill. He also always starts the battle by using Drift, a heavy physical attack to everyone.
Since he’s resistant to physical attacks, it’s best to bring a magic focused team, and you should carry Null Confusion on Joker’s persona. The other thing to watch out for is if you see him using Launch, it means he’ll be using Special Fireworks next turn, which deals Colossal Almighty damage and will most likely kill anyone that isn’t guarding.
Aside from the usual debuff and buff strategy, you can also consider using Life Wall from Haru’s 3rd persona awakening, Lucy. It’s effectively the same as casting Tetrakarn & Makarakarn on your whole party, and you’ll get to watch Jose hurt himself (outside of Special Fireworks).
Similar to the unlock conditions for Justine & Caroline’s secret boss battle, you’ll need to be in New Game+. Head to Mementos between 1/14 and 2/2, and a cutscene will play where Lavenza requests to battle you. Talk to her in front of the Velvet Room, and you’ll be able to start the fight.
Defeating Caroline & Justine is not necessary, but you do get some unique dialogues after the fight with Lavenza if you do.
As she’s the hardest boss in the game, I strongly recommend that you max out your party’s levels and have their 3rd persona awakened (except Akechi & Yoshizawa due to the awakening not being available) before challenging her your first time.
The basic gist of Lavenza’s boss battle is similar to Caroline & Justine’s boss battle. Lavenza has 4 different phases for her fight, each with their own attack pattern, and once you do enough damage within 9 turns, she’ll immediately transition to her next phase (indicated by dialogue during the battle). If your entire team is ever knocked down, she’ll instantly wipe your team with an All-Out Attack; and if you don’t meet the phase change’s damage requirement after your 8th turn, she’ll knock down your entire team. She technically doesn’t have a hard turn limit, but every 6th turn on the last phase, Lavenza will cast Concentrate + Megidolaon, which guarantees a team wipe unless you have something to endure the fatal blow (such as Enduring Soul), in which case, you buy yourself another 5 turns until she does this again.
Boss Pattern Overview
Turn 2~8 – Rage / Dizzy / Sleep / Confuse + Heavy Fire / Elec / Ice / Wind
Turn 6 – Concentrate + Megidolaon
*Lavenza will periodically use Dekaja, Dekunda, and other debuff / buff removal skills in all 4 phases.
Recommended Damage Type for Boss Phases
*Lavenza has 50% Almighty resistance until phase 4. Attack with the correct element instead.
As with the preparations for the twins boss battle, don’t bring personas with weaknesses as that’ll leave you open to getting knocked down. Repel is also nice to have as a potential source of extra damage too. Also make sure your party has the necessary debuff and buff all stats skills, as well as buff items. Lastly, you’ll want to carry a few different personas, as you’ll be switching between them to deal different damage types depending on which persona Lavenza has equipped currently.
It’s important to note that Lavenza can be downed in this boss fight. While you can initiate an All-Out Attack, it’s better to Baton Pass for a buffed up powerful attack.
For phase 1, Lavenza starts with Dekaja to remove your party’s buffs, and follows it with a Heat Riser. After that each turn she’ll attempt to afflict an ailment and rotate between personas to deal Fire, Elec, Ice, and Wind damage. Not much else to say other than attack with the right element, and deal 5,000 damage before the 9 turns are up.
On to phase 2. Lavenza now becomes susceptible to all ailments except Despair, and you’re forced to deal at least one instance of Technical damage each turn, or on her turn it’s an instant All-Out Attack team wipe. She now uses Phys / Gun / Bless / Curse skills, so watch out for her insta-kill Bless/Curse skills. I suggest afflicting her with Dizzy or Sleep to make it easy on yourself, or you could afflict her with Rage and halve her defense, evasion, and accuracy.
Technical Damage Chart
Phase 3 is the luck phase. Lavenza loses her Phys/Gun resistance, but you’re now forced to land at least one Critical on her each turn, or on her turn it’s an instant All-Out Attack team wipe. She may also cast Tetrakarn to prevent physical attacks, so watch out for that and try to end this phase ASAP. Otherwise, she just does more damage as she now uses severe damage skills.
You’re on the home stretch. Phase 4 doesn’t have any turn conditions like phase 2 or 3, but on Lavenza’s 6th turn, she will always use Concentrate + Megidolaon, which is a guarantee K.O. to everyone. The only way to survive is to have something that can endure a fatal blow, which will buy you 5 more turns before she throws it out again. Otherwise, she’ll be using severe damage skills, and will frequently do a regular attack after one of your party member’s turns.
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