Part 120: Teddie, Yukiko vs TeddiePart two: Tactics Chat returns with a vengeance!
Persona: Kintoki-Douji (Strong against Ice, weak to Lightning)
Initial Skills: Mediarama, Bufula, Energy Shower
Skills Learned: Traesto (Lv. 36), Mabufula (Lv. 38), Ice Boost (Lv. 40), Matarukaja (Lv.42), Ice Break (Lv. 44), Diarahan (Lv. 49), Bufudyne (Lv. 54), Marakukaja (Lv. 58), Amrita (Lv. 61), Samarecarm (Lv. 63), Mabufudyne (Lv. 67), Mediarahan (Lv. 70), Ice Amp (Lv. 72)
Stat Growth: Average Strength, above average Magic, average Endurance and Agility, below average Luck. 5th in HP, 2nd in SP.
Suggested Endgame Skill Set: multiple, see below
Combat Role: Teddie arguably has the widest variety of useful skills of any party member in the game. He learns two full-party buffs, the entire ice magic skill set, and nearly as many healing skills as Yukiko. He's the best source of buffs besides Souji, will be competitive with Yosuke for magic damage, and can heal nearly as well as Yukiko. His stat growths aren't quite as helpful as they could be: Teddie's physical attack is pretty worthless, so having his Strength growth so high when it could be going to Endurance, Agility, or better yet more Magic is less than optimal.
But ironically, the big problem with Teddie is actually that he learns too many useful skills. As I've mentioned before, Personas are limited to 8 skill slots. The three roles Teddie can fill in the party take up too much space to all fit at once. Blaster is 4 skills, healer is either 3 or 4 depending on whether you include Amrita, and obviously there are two buffs. This means that you'll inevitably have to compromise on at least one role when building your endgame skill set for Teddie. As far as I'm concerned, there are three 'best' builds for Teddie:
Jack of all trades: Bufudyne, Mabufudyne, Ice Amp, Matarukaja, Marakukaja, Diarahan, Mediarahan, Samarecarm. In my opinion, this is the best way to maximize the utility of all three roles Teddie can fill in the party. You lose out on Amrita, which is helpful but not completely invaluable, and his blasting takes a hit without the 25% extra damage from Ice Boost. Still, he'll do only slightly less magic damage than Yosuke and retain all of his support abilities minus the ability to heal status effects with this build.
Blaster/Buffer: Bufudyne, Mabufudyne, Ice Boost, Ice Amp, Matarukaja, Marakukaja, Samarecarm, Amrita. This is the best build to use if you're planning on using both Yukiko and Teddie, since you can let Yukiko handle the healing and have Teddie alternate between refreshing your buffs and blasting with Bufudyne. He keeps Samarecarm in case Yukiko goes down, and Amrita for the relatively rare instance when you'll need to clear status effects without healing.
Buffer/Healer: Bufudyne, Mabufudyne, Matarukaja, Marakukaja, Diarahan, Mediarahan, Samarecarm, Amrita. Bufudyne and Mabufudyne are kept around just for knockdowns during dungeon crawling, this Teddie build is all about support skills. The major problem with this build is that since full-party buffs cost 24 SP and Mediarahan costs 30, this Teddie chews through SP like crazy. Hold onto your Chewing Souls and Soul Foods if you decide to go this route, because you'll definitely need them for the last few boss battles.
It's technically possible to make a blaster/healer build for Teddie, but that really just makes him into a subpar version of Yukiko and doesn't take advantage of the buffs that set him apart. It's a shame his stat growth isn't a little better suited to what he does in combat, but for the amount of useful skills he contributes to the team I give him an A-.
Lightning Round: Yukiko vs. Teddie
This one's much simpler than Chie vs. Kanji, since there's no real numbers crunching necessary. Yukiko is indisputably a better healer than Teddie thanks to Salvation and her larger SP pool, and also a better blaster thanks to her absurdly high Magic. However, as any SMT veteran will tell you, buffs are extremely valuable in the Persona games and Yukiko does not have access to them. In most other ways they are very similar. Their follow-up attacks are nearly identical, although as far as I've been able to see Yukiko's has a 100% chance to dizzy the enemy, while Teddie's only procs some of the time. They even have the same critical weakness, which I will hopefully be able to clarify very soon, although arguably it's a slightly more significant liability for Teddie than Yukiko. Essentially, the only reason why you would want to use Teddie over Yukiko's better stats is if you really like the added versatility of the buffs.
I could see why someone would take the jack of all trades build I outlined over Yukiko, trading the extra magic damage and status heals for two full-party buffs. But the nice thing about Yukiko and Teddie as opposed to Chie and Kanji is that they work very well together on the same team. Having Yukiko handle the party's healing and Teddie focus on buffs distributes the SP drain pretty equally between them, having them fill the extra turns with much less expensive Bufudynes and Agidynes. Yosuke, Yukiko and Teddie were my main party throughout my first playthrough of Persona 4, and it's a formidable setup indeed. With Yosuke and Teddie having access to all three party buffs, Souji casting Debilitate, and Yukiko's insane healing, the only things that pose any significant danger to you with this setup are the final boss and the bonus boss. Incidentally, the healers' unique weakness make this setup very ill-advised for the bonus boss, but it will be much much later before I can explain that in detail if Feinne even intends to show it at all.