Note: This post does not contain any story spoilers, but if you consider seeing the Third Awakening Personas a spoiler, don?t proceed. I?ve also included a gap before the new characters, so you can stop before them if you wish.
One of the things Persona 5 Royal added compared to the original P5, is the degree to which you can customize your party member?s Personas. In Vanilla P5, you were basically stuck with the skills they learnt by level up, meaning some party members felt distinctly inferior to others by the endgame.
In P5R, you have access to the Jazz Club, which you can use to boost a party member?s stats or have them learn a new skill. A full list of Jazz Club skills can be found on this page, but I?ll list the ones I feel most important: 9/4 Charge, 9/25 Concentrate, 12/4 Heat Riser, 12/11 Debilitate, 1/15 Ali Dance, 1/22 Arms Master and 1/29 Spell Master.
P5R also added Persona Traits, which act as unique abilities that can benefit the party in different ways. Given the new options available, I wanted to post the party builds I had at the end of my first playthrough and talk about each character a bit. At the end of this post, I also listed some of the best accessories to equip, as well as how to get the Ultimate Weapons for each character. For a full list of trait and skill descriptions, check this page.
For the accessory slot on the characters, I tried to put different options that suited their specific skill set, mainly relevant during the endgame. For most of the game, the best accessory to have on nearly every character is the SP Adhesive 3 (Takemi?s clinic at Rank 5, 50% discount at Rank 7). If you have the DLC, itemizing Izanagi-no-Okami gives an accessory that is the same as the SP Adhesive 3 and gives +3 All Stats. For Joker?s Personas and this same sorta post for P4G:
Ultimate Persona Team (Persona 5 Royal Builds)
An endgame/NG+ team for Persona 5 Royal.
Persona 4 Golden Party Member Builds
Builds for each party member in P4G (besides Rise).
- Accessory: Rosary of Purity ? Holy Benevolence: Revive multiple fallen allies to max HP (Itemize Maria during an alarm)
- Other Accessories: SP Adhesive 3, Black Headband R (Max SP +30%, Itemize Magatsu-Izanagi during an alarm)
Morgana?s trait, Proud Presence, doubles the effectiveness of party healing skills, making him the best healer until you get into the mid-to-late game. When Makoto eventually learns Marakukaja around the time of Palace 5/6, I tend to not use Morgana nearly as much. Though, Morgana is able to learn Marakukaja from the Jazz Club (on 7/17 and 10/16), so he doesn?t have to stay as frail as he was in Vanilla P5.
If you want Morgana to be the best healer he can be, the Rosary of Purity accessory you get from itemizing Maria lets you revive multiple allies. If you mainly use Morgana to heal the party in between battles via the menu, the Black Headband R increases max SP by 30%.
- Accessory: Bravery Sash (Arms Master, P4 Protagonist fight DLC)
- Other Accessories: Divine Pillar (Firm Stance), Orichalcum R (Evade Phys, +7 All Stats), Crystal Skull R (Angelic Grace, +6 All Stats), SP Adhesive 3
Ryuji?s probably the character that needs the least amount of work to be good, he?s very much unchanged from Vanilla P5: he hits hard, is tanky and is solid pretty much from beginning to end. Ryuji gets Elec Boost from his weapon Imprisoned Mjolnir, so that?s why it?s not on here. Besides the Arms Master accessory, a good one to equip could be the Orichalcum R, providing +7 All Stats.
- Accessory: SP Adhesive 3
- Other Accessories: Ring of Envy (Auto-Concentrate)
Ann is very much similar to Ryuji, she is solid throughout most of the game, specializing in Magic instead of Physical skills. Although I didn?t keep her sleep skills of Dormina/Lullaby on the final build, I?d recommend keeping them on her for most of your playthrough, as Sleep allows for any type of attack to become a technical. Otherwise, I put Spell Master on her so she could use party-wide Concentrate as much as possible.
- Accessory: Black Moon R ? Apt Pupil, Str +8 (Tsukiyomi, Alarm)
- Other Accessories: Orichalcum R, Crystal Skull R
Yusuke?s the character I most wanted to upgrade using the new skills from the Jazz Club. In Vanilla P5, it was often difficult to justify using Yusuke over Ryuji, because Ryuji got Matarukaja and Charge, meaning Yusuke?s damage output was considerably lower at the endgame. Another problem was, Yusuke is best as a Physical attacker, but his lower HP and Endurance stat made it so if he didn?t dodge an attack, you might have had to spend multiple turns reviving him.
Luckily in Royal, he can learn Charge, which mitigates his prior damage problems, and Arms Master, which makes the HP loss from his Phys skills much more manageable. And now, due to Ryuji?s trait having a chance to raise all ally Phys attacks, Yusuke and Ryuji no longer really compete with one another, but are best used on the same team.
- Accessory: Magic Masangi (Spell Master, P3 Protagonist fight DLC)
- Other Accessories: Salvation Crown (Tanaka?s Shady Commodities), SP Adhesive 3
Makoto?s great because she can heal, play support and isn?t lacking in damage output. Once she learns Mediarama and Marakukaja, I tend to use her as the healer instead of Morgana. Her original trait Gaia Pact increases the chances of Burn/Freeze/Shock, so she synergizes with any combination of Ann/Yusuke/Ryuji, and can hit Nuke technicals off those statused enemies. Not to mention, her Ultimate gun gives her +11 all stats, making her overall endgame stats quite a bit higher than other party members. I had her learn Debilitate from the Jazz Club, which I feel is better than Checkmate because it costs much less SP and you rarely have to Debilitate multiple enemies.
- Accessory: Magic Masangi (Spell Master)
- Other Accessories: Black Moon R (Apt Pupil), Ring of Pride (Charge), Ring of Greed (Concentrate), Ring of Envy (Auto-Concentrate), SP Adhesive 3
Haru is definitely a tough character to build for. Given she learns so many skills, you probably have to decide between Gun or Psy for her at some point. In Vanilla P5, I went with the Gun skills, because of their good damage and high crit-rates. A gun Haru build is still good in P5R, but I think the Psy one might actually be better this time around. The reason for this being two things: the new Technical Damage ranks and the Chans Hook ability you get from the Faith Confidant Rank 4.
Firstly, by going to the Billiards club in Kichijoji, you can increase your party?s Technical Damage rank. As you raise your rank, you increase the damage boost and chance of knockdown when landing a tech, all the way up to Rank 4, where tech attacks have a guaranteed chance of knockdown. This is relevant for Haru, because Psy skills are what allow you to land technicals on almost all ailment types, including Sleep, Dizzy, Rage, Fear, Forget, Confuse, Despair and Brainwash. Given the benefits from Tech Rank 4, Haru can deal a fair bit of damage and get lots of knockdowns during a Palace run, if you are consistently applying ailments.
Secondly, the Chans Hook ability allows you to ambush enemies using your grappling hook. When these enemies are ambushed, there is a high chance of at least one enemy having the status ailment of Dizzy, Confuse or Fear. Given that you can use this all the time in Palaces instead of the normal ambush, it makes using Haru?s Psy skills even easier throughout the course of the game.
Otherwise, I gave her Concentrate to keep her damage output respectable during boss fights, and kept One-Shot Kill just to use it with the Apt Pupil accessory at times. Makarakarn/Tetrakarn are useful to keep on Haru, but can be replicated by items you buy from Takemi. Amrita Shower can come in clutch, but it?s not as relevant late-game because you likely have access to Salvation.
- Accessory: St. Hermelin Badge (Null Bless/Curse)
- Other Accessories: Black Moon R (Apt Pupil), Curse Amp (Kichijoji shop), Gun Amp (DLC), Ring of Greed (Concentrate), Ring of Envy (Auto-Concentrate), SP Adhesive 3
Akechi gets high tier skills in Phys, Gun, Curse and Almighty, making him versatile at the cost of lacking damage output (due to no Boost/Amp skills). He gets one of the best support skills in Debilitate, which is very useful in boss fights. Debilitate is available earlier via the Jazz Club, but having it on Akechi is still nice.
Akechi?s trait Tactical Spirit has a chance to halve ally Support skill costs, and after some testing I did, the chance rate on it is about 60%. Due to his trait, you?re able to spam the Tier 3 skills like Fighting Spirit, High Energy, etc to a higher degree when he?s in your party. There aren?t a ton of opportunities where the reduced SP cost makes a big difference, but it?s a good bonus for just having him in the party.
One last thing to know is that the Final Boss uses Bless skills, so equipping the St. Hermelin Badge or Ring of Vanity (which removes weaknesses) would help a lot there. Attack Master can be replaced with his Tier 3 skill Rebellion Blade, as Attack Master is redundant if Joker uses an Auto-Mataru Persona.
- Accessory: Orichalcum R (Evade Phys, +7 All Stats)
- Other Accessories: Bravery Sash, Crystal Skull R, Bless Boost (Underground Mall shop), SP Adhesive 3
The skills Kasumi learns are very focused and she works well because of that. She learns Sword Dance and Vorpal Blade, the highest crit-rate single target and multi-target Phys moves. Apt Pupil doubles the chance of landing a critical, while Ali Dance halves the foes accuracy, making up for her lower Endurance stat. Brave Step boosts the critical rate of the whole party, making her super useful in any situation where the enemy is susceptible to crits.
Kasumi isn?t super customizable considering when she joins the party in-game, but she functions just fine despite that. I gave her the Orichalcum R, to boost her stats higher as she doesn?t use that much SP. Her tier 3 skill Masquerade can replace Sword Dance.
Best accessories in general:
- SP Adhesive 3 (Takemi?s clinic at Rank 5, 50% discount at Rank 7)
- Shiny Belt R: Invigorate 3/All Stats +3 (Itemize Izanagi-no-Okami during an alarm, DLC)
- Ring of Envy: Auto-Concentrate/Masukukaja (Palace 6 Will Seed accessory)
- Ring of Greed: Attack Master/Concentrate (Palace 5 Will Seed accessory)
- Ring of Pride: Defense Master/Charge (Palace 7 Will Seed accessory)
- Pick-Me-Up Tie: Insta-Heal (1/15 Home Shopping Channel)
- Divine Pillar: Firm Stance (Beat the Reaper)
- Crystal Skull R: +6 All Stats & Angelic Grace (Itemize Crystal Skull during an alarm)
- Orichalcum R: +7 All Stats & Evade Phys (Orichalcum, Alarm)
- Bravery Sash: Arms Master (High score on P4 protagonist fight)
- Magic Masangi: Spell Master (High score on P3 protagonist fight)
For the best armor:
- Men: Tantric Oath R (Satan, Alarm)
- Women: Sirius Armor EX (Messiah, Alarm) or Lovely Witches Robe (Wash the sooty armor you can get from Scathach during the final Palace)
- Morgana: Dragon Scale Scarf (Clean sooty armor you get from Fafnir during the final Palace)
Character?s ultimate weapons (and their secondary effects):
- Melee: Punish Dagger (Airsoft Shop) or Paradise Lost R, Reduce Curse dmg (high), (Satanael, Alarm)
- Ranged: Tyrant Pistol EX, +15 Magic (Lucifer, Alarm) or Nataraja EX, +6 All Stats (Metatron, Alarm)
- Melee: Claiomh Solais R, +50 SP (Mother Harlot, Alarm)
- Ranged: Sudarshana EX, High dizzy (Vishnu, Alarm)
- Melee: Imprisoned Mjolnir, +Elec attacks (Thor, Alarm)
- Ranged: Megido Buster, High burn (Shiva, Alarm)
- Melee: Dainaraka Whip, High freeze (Black Frost, Alarm)
- Ranged: Gungnir, Medium despair (Odin, Alarm)
- Melee: Usumidori R, High fear (Yoshitsune, Alarm) or Senryou Takusha R, +6 Strength (Ame-no-Uzume, Alarm)
- Ranged: Providence, +13 Agility (Uriel, Alarm)
- Melee: Gordios, +Critical Rate up (high), (Cybele, Alarm)
- Ranged: Judge End, All stats +11 (Michael, Alarm)
- Melee: Fleurs du Mal R, Ma+6/High Dizzy (Beelzebub, Alarm)
- Ranged: Yagrush EX, High shock (Baal, Alarm)
- Melee: Hinokagutsuchi II, High burn (Futsunushi, Alarm)
- Ranged: Ancient Day, All stats +6 (Vohu Manah, Alarm)
- Melee: Sword of Sinai II, High dizzy (Sandalphon, Alarm)
- Ranged: Sahasrara EX, All stats +6 (Ardha, Alarm)