Useless skills for the chopping block? Essential ones?

#1 Posted by onan (1332 posts) -

I'm getting to that point 34 hours in that all of my persona are starting out with more skills than the 8 they can learn, and I'm having to make choices that are going to affect how my game plays out.

So far, the most useless skill seems to be Trafuri, the one that lets you escape battle. Essentially it's just wasting a slot for an ability I'll almost never use because the only battles I'd run away from are boss battles where I'm getting destroyed, and you can't run from those. Also, you can get a Vanish Ball from the shop for a few bucks that accomplishes that exact same thing. Similarly, Traesto is also pretty useless because it can be used instead of a Goho-M to leave dungeons and those things practically grow on trees.

Alertness seems similarly useless, since I almost always go into a fight with player advantage by sneaking up on dudes. Sharp Student lowers chance of criticals on me, but I don't think I've seen a single one I didn't deserve getting hit by (e.g. not blocking constantly when an ice guy is attacking and I've got Yukiko on the field... which as an aside, is a little weird because the name means "Snow child" in Japanese and she's a fire chick.)

But then there are some of the attacks, like Hama and Mudo which both cause instant death with light/dark respectively, but at a very low percentage of probability. I'd pretty much never use them since I'd much rather have reliable damage. Similarly, Poisma/Poison Mist damage people too slowly, Fear attacks aren't reliable, etc. The only thing like that I've had some success with is Tentarafoo, which Yosuke gets automatically. It confuses/disables at least a few enemy characters at least during a battle and that's cool.

But like Enervation? Exhaustion? I have no idea how that affects gameplay.

Here's a list of all skills:

What else should I keep an eye out to get rid of? Anything that will unexpectedly become key that I should hold onto?

I've been putting Invigorate 1 on everyone new through fusions (Kinda wish I knew who had it originally so I can get some Invigorate 2 in there), as well as starting matches with persona with auto-something (usually attack-up / Tarukaja). I also lucked into getting a shuffle time that got me a random skill-up, and bumped one of my personas' Tarukaja to Matatarukaja, so it attack buffs the whole team way earlier than I should probably have that skill (I'm like 29 now). A good number of my guys end up inheriting that one.

#2 Posted by wemibelec90 (2087 posts) -

I've played through the game a few times and never bothered with most of the status affliction abilities. It's nice to have some good physical moves for enemies not weak to any spell schools, some buff/debuff spells for bosses (particularly DEF down for enemies and ATK up for your party members), and spells of every affinity (even Light and Dark - some enemies are only weak to these; you shouldn't bother using them on the rest). With these skills, you can make it through the game on Normal easily without too many difficulties, as long as you're of a proper level

#3 Posted by kerse (2191 posts) -

Get rid of anything that does just a status effect, waste of time. Tentarafoo can be useful sometimes though, but thats the only one I would use. I wouldn't bother with single character buff spells, but Matarukaja and Masukukaja are great. I didn't really need Marakukaja that much because eventually you are just using mediarahan every turn and taking 50 more damage or so a turn isn't a big deal. Rakunda is about the only debuff I ever used and only on bosses. I also got rid of the break spells, because I just didn't use them often enough to justify keeping them, maybe for Yosuke since he is kinda useless when they are immune to wind, until he gets brave blade. Although there is a boss later on that will be immune to everything, but you do get items throughout the dungeon that do the break spells. Almighty spells are also kinda not great, they are better in golden than vanilla but still not amazing and they suck at least twice as much sp. Mahama and Mamudo can be pretty useful, but aren't essential. Don't be afraid to use physical attacks with Chie and Kanji and Yosuke, the hp cost seems high buts not that big of a deal, especially when you get to at least mediarama and like I said before later in the game you will be full healing so it doesn't even matter. Kanji and Chie also have much higher health than the others to compensate for whatever damage they might take that turn. I wouldn't worry about any hama boost or mudo boost passives because if the enemy is weak they will just die, the increased chance does nothing. Stat immunity passives are also pretty pointless. When it comes to the passives you can pretty much tell if they'll be good or not. Lots of people like invigorate, but I didn't really find it that useful. Regenerate is generally pretty bad, on Kanji its actually not bad, but for you probably not.

Sorry if I'm kinda rambing here.

#4 Posted by onan (1332 posts) -

@kerse: I only JUST realized that physical attacks use HP instead of SP in hour 31 or so, I've never seen that before in an RPG. I was using Brain Shake a bunch on a boss and pretty soon I wasn't able to, but was still able to cast everything else, which was weird. I looked at my bars and one was full and one was empty, and then for a minute I wondered if I had those bars backward this whole time until I looked again and saw "HP" next to some spells for the first time.

Seriously, that's nuts. I need to reevaluate my strategies going forward. I was using regular attacks with everyone sometimes trying to save SP.

Rambling is fine, I'm still pretty new to the whole Persona franchise and it's turning my assumptions on their ear.

#5 Posted by MentalDisruption (1732 posts) -

Personally I never really found the multi-target debuffs to be that useful. I only ever really debuffed a boss, and using the more expensive spell on just one enemy is a waste. I'm sure if you're on a harder difficulty than normal you'd want to be able to debuff groups of shadows though. Also if I was using a party member that already had a particular multi-target buff ability then I didn't find it that useful to also have it on my main character. Don't bother with moves that inflict status effects but do no damage. You're better off using physical attacks that do damage as well as inflicting status, but like someone said above, tentarafoo is the exception. Light and Dark spells above the base low chance (mudo, hama, and their respective multi-targets) also seemed fairly useless to me unless you want to try and instant kill things that aren't weak to light or dark. If they are weak, they die no matter which level of the spell you use, so might as well use the cheapest. Single target status healing abilities are also fairly bleh since you should just have an item to cure it anyway.

More specifically, I never found revolution to be that great. I think that's the one that increases critical hit chance(?), which sounds nice, but it does it for everything on the field. So the enemy shadows get the buff as well.

Some other fairly obvious things, hold onto auto-buff spells whenever you get them. Especially ones for the entire group. Just make sure they all end up on one persona. Even if its a crappy persona in every other aspect, you can still start the fight with it to get the buffs and switch out on the first turn.

#6 Posted by Hrothdane (13 posts) -

Honestly, I have found few abilities that I would actually call useless.

I'm playing on hard mode, and Tentarafoo is amazing. It gives you extra time to take out the enemies, and you have a fair chance of getting some bonus money. The multi-target silence skill (forgot the name) is pretty useful too.

Hama is actually really useful in Yukiko's Castle. Several of the stronger enemies are actually weak to it. You don't want to spam it that early on, but it can get you out of jams. Late game P3 and P4 (don't know about Golden yet) (ma)hamaon and (ma)mudoon with the appropriate boosts can make you tear through many of the beefier enemies, many of which have no weaknesses. If I remember correctly from previous games, Mudo and Hama Boosts even affect Samsara and Die for Me! (which already have 80% success rates), so you can do the math.

However, Rebellion is a waste of time. Revolution (the one that affects everyone) is useful against Gold Hands, but not much else. Don't even bother with the Survive Light/Dark skills, and you probably won't get much use out of trying to pass on Dodge skills. Regenerate does not make enough of a difference to warrant the ability slot, typically. Invigorate is a must for the first couple dungeons, but by the Strip Club, you should have little problem getting back SP. It can help on some of the longer boss fights, but you are almost always better off with a different ability.

#7 Posted by Dark (451 posts) -

Hama and Mudo are needed skills, they are only used on enemies that are weak to dark or light but in the later dungeons there are large amounts of enemies who are only weak to either or both. Stat increases to party (defence, attack) are very handy in the later game.

I find a good one to keep are the charge up abilities like mind charge and the like, in boss fights they can make things far easier.

Whilst SP regen is cheaper and easier later in the game with invigorate and Rise's SP replenisher I was coming out of fights at full mana in the last 2 dungeons, actually finished the last 2 in one night without using fox. Don't be fooled on stat increasers as later game the bosses can hit for 80% life and still have another turn left, they can mean the difference between loosing a fight and not.

#8 Posted by EToaster (132 posts) -

The real things you want are good support skills like full party buffs, good debuffs (not poison/exhaustion) that hit the entire enemy party with an appropriate booster skill attached, high level magic with Mind Charge and an appropriate Boost or Amp skill available, powerful physical skills on a Persona with high strength and Power Charge. Hama and Mudo skills with their appropriate booster are extremely effective against anything that doesn't resist them, but a later party member can cover that for you when the enemies start getting harder anyway.

If you can get one Persona with all 3 Auto-Ma buff skills, then that's an amazing help as well.

#9 Posted by onan (1332 posts) -

Three shocking realizations here for me:

1: Mudo/hama are actually more effective against dark/light weak enemies? I figured it was a moot point because if it hits something, unless it's immune to dark or light, it's going to die. They're instant kill (at a certain probability rate). It's not like it can die+50% extra damage, or whatever weaknesses are. So it sounds like they're a guaranteed hit on weak enemies?

2: It didn't occur to me that I could splice together multiple auto-characters. That's epic and I'm so going to try that now.

3: I probably made a mistake keeping rebellion on Chie earlier. That and evasion buffs are too unpredictable, the only time I'm going to want to use it is if someone is weak to a skill, and at that point I'd just guard to not let the enemy get the extra turn. I wouldn't want to chance it.

4: Okay, 4 things. There's a strip club?? This game just gets better and better. And here I was wasting time catching bugs and planting tomatoes with little Miss "Everything's Great at Your Junes."

#10 Posted by MysteriousFawx (438 posts) -

@onan: I can only answer 1 of those points, about Mudo/Hama. Enemies weak to either are indeed more likely to be hit, so consider weak, normal, strong and null to be a dodge on these skills.

Don't assume however that enemies weak to light or dark are going to die every time with every cast, its just far more likely.

#11 Posted by StarvingGamer (9008 posts) -

Almighty damage is very useful against Gold Hands.

#12 Posted by MikeGosot (3235 posts) -

@StarvingGamer said:

Almighty damage is very useful against Gold Hands.

And against enemies with low health. I believe your damage is proportional to the target's life bar. In the final dungeon, there was a monster with 100 HP or something like that, but your skills did less damage because his lifebar was so small. Except for Almighty because it's not proportional. So it was an insta-kill. But keep Almighty spells on Naoto only, or keep one Persona with one of these. It's not very useful.

I liked buffing my team attack, and debuffing the enemy's defence. Aside from that, i only got elemental skills, physical skills and someone had a healing spell. Nothing too fancy.

#13 Posted by MikeGosot (3235 posts) -

@onan: I have to say two things. One is: Your username is awesome. The second one is: I thought there was a chopping blocks mini-game in P4 Golden.

#14 Posted by AlisterCat (6101 posts) -

I go all physical all the time. Never have an SP problem. All ailments are useless, so don't bother with those. I built a physical based persona with as many autos as I could, then make surei t had power charge and then an attack 1 skill and an attack all. That's it.

#15 Posted by MikeGosot (3235 posts) -

@AlisterCat said:

I go all physical all the time. Never have an SP problem. All ailments are useless, so don't bother with those. I built a physical based persona with as many autos as I could, then make surei t had power charge and then an attack 1 skill and an attack all. That's it.

Ha! I did this in my second playthrough with one condition: Only the MC could heal. Getting Kanji, Chie and Yosuke in a party did CRUSHING damage.

#16 Posted by BBAlpert (1801 posts) -

All bufu all the time.

#17 Edited by Flappy (2404 posts) -

I think it all depends on your style of play. During my first run of P4G (Which was pretty similar to my later runs through Vanilla), I fell in love with physical skills. Since Yosuke, Chie, and Yukiko covered a good portion of the elemental weaknesses (and constantly got better thanks to S.Link skills), I was free to spam physical skills and get a bunch of critical hits. By the time the game started having enemies that were immune to physical strikes, Yosuke and Yukiko were so powerful that Chie and I didn't have to do much outside of boss encounters.

MC: I don't think there was ever a time where I didn't have access to physical skills. Even when my go-to persona wasn't necessarily built for that sort of thing (Archangel, Jack Frost, King Frost etc...), I found myself spamming the physical skills on trash mobs and bosses alike. Oh, and I used electric spells on occasion to exploit weaknesses.

Yosuke: He tends to become really overpowered really fast in my playthroughs, so after a couple of dungeons, he's crushing entire groups of shadows with magarula/magarudyne. I supplement this with both wind boost and wind amp (I like to use the accessory slot on stat boosting items later on). Of course, I keep sonic punch/brave blade on him for getting critical hits and doing nasty amounts of damage to bosses. Auto-sukukaja eventually replaces Diarama.

Chie: For whatever reason, I'm one of the few people that actually likes using Chie. She's pretty bad at using Ice-spells and Kanji has the edge in physical damage, but she works perfectly fine. Since she's inferior to Teddie in terms of Ice spells, there comes a point where I replace mabufu/ice boost with high counter/power charge. Of course, I keep both a single-target and multi-target physical skill at all times. Tarukaja is eventually replaced with revolution. Gotta kill those rare enemies, yo. Bufula is used to exploit enemies weak to ice.

Yukiko: Much like Yosuke, this girl gets really flippin' powerful in a short amount of time. Fire boost + fire amp = Death to anyone and anything not resistant to fire. If you're anything like me and you want to make things worse, give her a Godly Robe and God's Love later in the game. With evade Ice, there's practically nothing that can stop her from torching bosses all by herself. Seriously, I love this girl.

Oh, right. This is just what I do when I play Persona 4. There's really no need to mess around with the status-inflicting spells. In my eyes, if a skill/spell doesn't make it easier me to kill them or harder for them to kill me, then I don't need it.

#18 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2721 posts) -

These chaps have covered most of what I'd say, but for the sake of me having time on my hands;

  1. Always keep Power Charge and Mind Charge around they actually boost damage by 2.5x, not 2x. Similarly, buffing your party has become better than debuffing your enemies since changes to some of the bosses - so ma-kaja spells are invaluable (Teddy is fantastic now) - also keeping Dekaja on Yosuke is a good thing to do.
  2. If you want to deal massive damage, physical skills are the way to go - you get the most powerful non-unique one in the 40s (Blade of Fury) from the persona Oukuninushi (emperor arcana). As for single-target physicals, I usually don't bother with that until late game when you have access to God Hand and Primal Force.
  3. I have come around to thinking that the ONLY status effect skill which is worth it for the MC is Seal Bomb (hit-all phys, chance of silence), this is actually probably the best skill in the game (when combined with Silence Boost) until you get Blade of Fury (at that point its damage starts going down the gutter as it's "light"). On Yosuke, I kept tentarafoo around until he got Magarudyne.
  4. Once you have access to Mahamaon and Mamudoon (high chance of instant kill, all enemies) then Hama Boost and Mudo Boost are very good to have - to the point where I'd only ever use those two on Naoto if you've also got the boost for them. 1.5x likeliness of working makes both a 60% chance to kill all enemies without strength/immunity on the field - and as such makes things go a whooooole lot faster.
  5. Try to never have an attack-all elemental magic spell on a persona who is also weak to that spell (preferably they should be null to it or higher) - once you get to the video-games themed dungeon you start being punished for mistakes like that in a big way. Strong is in many cases not good enough.
  6. But yes, it almost goes without saying that you should look for and keep as many of the most powerful elemental magic you have around on you. Also, since you generally get persona with a single-target version of a spell (eg. Agidyne), keep that as you can Magician Arcana it into the attack-all version. Having Maragidyne and Blade of Fury in my 40s made Very Hard difficulty a joke outside of boss fights.
  7. Always keep the Break skills in your party, but don't bother with them for your MC. In a case where your enemy is immune to all elements, have Yosuke use Wind Break and switch to a wind persona yourself instead of trying to break 2-4 different elements off your enemy.
  8. Don't bother with almighty except for Megidola, Megidolaon and Morning Star - single target almighty is never worth the SP, and Megido is crappy. You should only be using Almighty against gold hands or in situations where you don't have a persona which abuses the enemy's weakness - the main use for these spells is in New Game+, where just having Megidolaon is a free ticket through the first 4 dungeons.
  9. Don't bother with Trafuri, Traesto can be a life saver if you're on Very Hard and can't afford Goho-Ms but is otherwise useless, Samarecarm and Recarm are also useless (use the items instead).
  10. If you're rich, use the best healing items you can buy instead of healing spells as they're more efficient until you get Mediarahan or you have Yukiko with Divine Grace + Mediarama. On that note, remember to ditch Divine Grace the moment you get Mediarahan on Yukiko.
  11. Keep all of the Evade X skills your party learns through s-linking as these will save their lives.
  12. The only skills which are worth it from going on bike rides with your party (IMO) are the elemental spells for Naoto (though I usually play with a hama/mudo Naoto), Mind Charge for Yukiko and boosting your all-out-attack damage with Rise.

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