The Let's Play Archive

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2

by Dragonatrix

Part 24: Feinne's Notes: Elements, and other Races

I think it's time to talk a bit about fusion again. So, Dragonatrix drew out a thing that was admittedly way too much work for something this early in the game, a fusion tree. Thinking something like that through later on starts to become more important, because you start really wanting certain skills on your end products and it's not always easy to figure out how to do it. Obviously the easiest way is to use an Add-On, but that's not always available so it's important to know how to work things with demons. You need to look over all the demons that have the skill you want, then see how many steps it will actually take to reach the demon you want. Fortunately, since you're allowed to set your own skills, you don't have to deal with crazy shit like reloading your fusions to get the skills you want. Sometimes, though, you'll find yourself in a situation where there doesn't seem to be any good way to get the skill you want in a fusion chain with the demon you want. Well, that's where those lovely Elements Dragonatrix mentioned come into play.

Elements do something rather special when they're fused with another demon, something you're no doubt familiar with if you are familiar with SMT games. That is, the Rank Up/Rank Down fusion. What this means is that when you fuse an Element with another demon you get either the next strongest or next weakest demon of the same Race as the original demon. Each Element will Rank Up certain Races and Rank Down the rest. Some Races cannot Rank Up and will only Rank Down, generally the more powerful Races full of Unique demons. Still, we can fuse an Element with the skill we want and then use it to transition that skill into a Race that would normally have trouble picking that skill up through a standard fusion chain. Elements are vital to the creation of powerful demons, and we'll likely see quite a bit of them later.

Now let's talk about some more demon Race Skills that we've seen since the last set:

Snake: Constrict- Constrict reduces the movement rate of adjacent teams to one and screws up their initiative. It could be nice for maps where you need to prevent escapes, though Bind or Ghost Wounds will generally give you better results since they've got a range. The initiative effect alone is actually pretty nice, though early Snakes are kind of blah and I don't generally consider them worthwhile enough to bring along.

Divine: Blood Wine- Expends some of the caster's health to return MP to the whole party. This is needless to say absolutely incredible and is our only real way to restore MP early on. Pair it with healing skills on the party leader or other demon for best effect, because it's extremely MP efficient to Blood Wine then Dia back the damage. Divines are also pretty universally incredible demons.

Avian: Flight- Increases the movement of the team by one and allows them to move through obstacles. This is a really useful benefit on a lot of maps, but is really hampered by how inconsistent Avian demons are. Mobility is king and this is one of the most universally useful mobility skills, but there are definitely times where you are basically bringing a useless demon into battle just to let you move more freely. Just remember that you can totally return a shitty demon then resummon a good one once you're in the position you want to be in.

Fallen: Sacrifice- Restore HP and MP for the team when the demon defeats an enemy. Honestly, kind of weak. It sounds really good because it restores MP, but it relies on the Fallen demon itself killing things and doesn't restore as much as you'd hope (and certainly not enough to say keep something using elemental dances). It's sort of like the Fallen race in general, they seem like they should be really good but I never found much of a use for them.

Avatar: Switch- This lets you swap places with a friendly party up to six squares away. There are a few niche uses like we saw earlier in the LP, and that's really about it. I guess it could help you save a friendly party that's got itself stuck out somewhere by sticking a fresh new party into the same shit position but you should't let things get to that point. Avatars actually are pretty decent at times, though, so you might just happen to have it and come up with a use on a map. It could happen.

Femme: Devotion- This heals a party in range for half of the user's current HP. It's not got a very long range and it's reliant on the Femme staying at high health, but it's still very potent. Enemies will use it quite a bit, so always target Femmes first to neuter Devotion. When you're using it, make sure to use single target heals on Femmes first to help them group heal outside of combat. Femme demons are generally really good so I tend to keep a few around in any given party setup.