The Let's Play Archive

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2

by Dragonatrix

Part 86: Feinne's Notes: The Elemental Stairway To Maturity

Unkillable: You Can Call Me Al, Part Four- Why Did I Save You Again, Keita?

Dragonatrix made this map look really easy and it really kind of is once you know what you're up against. If you DON'T, you'll totally have to restart after you try to fight Keita and he one shots an entire team thanks to Rage Soul/Attack All/Phys Amp. It also helps a lot to have enough ranged ability to just skip Fumi, because pushing through the endless demons can get a bit grating. If you don't have enough ranged demons to do what Dragonatrix did, I'd definitely suggest knocking off Keita and the things that won't come back first. And if you somehow don't have any ranged demons, I don't even know what to tell you. Get some because even if you somehow made it through Shiva without anyone dying and without ranged demons you seriously will get bodied by Keita. Also if you somehow fuck up getting Phys Repel you need to restart the map as well because Phys Repel is 100% amazing.

So, speaking of Phys Repel being 100% amazing, maybe it's time to talk about some more fusion strategies and getting good skills on things. Today I'm going to cover the use of Elementals, some of the most inherently amazing and useful things in the game. As I think has been mentioned in passing, Elementals are used in 'Rank Up' and 'Rank Down' fusions. Let's talk about how these work for a bit. They're exactly what they say on the tin, they either take a demon to the next highest level demon of the same race or the next lowest (with fusion being impossible if you need to unlock the demon in question). The following Races can Rank Up- Snake, Dragon, Divine, Avian, Fallen, Avatar, Beast, Wilder, Genma, Fairy, Kishin, Touki, Jaki, Femme, and Ghost. This also means that the following Races can only Rank Down- Omega, Megami, Deity, Vile, and Tyrant. I don't think you can even Rank Down Hero or Fiend demons. We get Elementals, in turn, by fusing two demons of the same Race.

Elementals are really useful and not just for the Ranking fusion (though that is fantastically useful in certain circumstances, especially since there are actually some nice demons in the Races that have Rank Up access). See, it sort of gives us the chance to double up on Add-Ons, because we can use one when we're fusing the Elemental to get some weird ass skill we don't have easy access to yet and then we can use another Add-On when we're doing the Rank Up/Rank Down. This can give us repeatable access to rare and powerful skills in strange places, though in truth we can get most of the really fun elementals just by smart fusion (for example the next Femme has Phys Repel, so we don't strictly speaking need to use an Add-On to get it onto an Elemental). Fusions involving Elementals are best when we're working with demons that don't inherently have a lot of skills, because it lets us grab as many of the good things we've stacked onto it as we want. Otherwise, we can use Release Add-Ons to get the same effect.

It goes without saying that Rank Up fusions are much, much more useful than Rank Downs. Rank Downs are really, really niche and weird and you could easily go the whole game without ever wanting to use one, they're really when you need a very specific demon with a very specific skill and no other good way to make it happen (they were much more useful in Nocturne when there was demon evolution, that's how I got my Debilitate Lilim to make a Debilitate Lilith). Rank Ups on the other hand can be absolutely amazing because they help preserve good skills while dodging around the need for multiple strong demons in high-level fusions. If I had to name the single Race on the list of applicable Rank Ups that most benefits I'd say Divine without any reservations, Rank Up of Remiel is the straight up best way to make Metatron for instance. Still, it's a useful tool to keep in your back pocket all throughout the game.