How to fight, beat, and cheese the Reaper in Persona 3 Reload

persona 3 reload the reaper

Persona 3 Reload brings back the Reaper and thankfully, players have a good cheese option for beating the series’ super-boss.

As ever, the Reaper itself is optional but the long trip through its home turf of Tartarus is not, at least not if the goal is a happy-ish ending that lacks a party member or two. The Reaper can be encountered relatively early in a playthrough but will be nigh-impossible to beat until the late game.

Persona 3 Reload does offer a very strong cheese option for taking down the Reaper, though. Here’s everything there is to know for players who want to take down the gun-slinging beast.

persona 3 reload the reaper

How to avoid the Reaper in Persona 3 Reload

The Reaper appears when players spend too much time on a non-boss floor of Tartarus after a certain date.

The Reaper will only appear in the Tower of Tartarus area, which the player will first unlock on 4/20 of the game’s calendar. However, the Reaper still won’t appear right away. For that, the player needs to progress to 6/13, when they’ll get a story moment that will mark the first encounter with the Reaper.

From then on, the Reaper will appear whenever the player lingers too long on any non-boss floor from floor 62 of Arqa Block and higher. Avoiding the Reaper isn’t overly difficult as it works in the same way as any other shadow in Tartarus. If the player doesn’t literally run into it in the field, a battle won’t start and players won’t actually need to fight it. Players should actively avoid the Reaper until the final days of Persona 3 Reload as it requires a high-level party and a carefully constructed build, regardless of whether the goal is to cheese it or beat it straight-up.

The Reaper weaknesses, resistances in Persona 3 Reload

The Reaper has no weaknesses or resistances, and is immune to all ailments. The one “weakness” of the Reaper is it doesn’t reflect or absorb any elements or physical damage type, meaning all attacks will deal neutral damage.

Persona 3 Reload The Reaper Weaknesses

To defeat the Reaper without cheese in Persona 3 Reload, players should aim to bring plenty of healing and have a party level of 85 or higher. The Reaper gets three attacks per turn, has a massive health pool, and hits like a truck. This is why debuffing the Reaper, dealing consistent damage every turn, and keeping everyone healed up is of paramount importance.

Aigis, Yukari, Junpei, and Mitsuru all make solid picks to fight the Reaper, but any party will do as long as they’re high level and equipped with the best gear. Thanatos, Satan, and Messiah are all excellent Personas to use in this fight, for magic resistance, Debilitate, and damage nullification, respectively. Players are able to customize or upgrade other Personas through fusion, skill cards, and other methods to make them more viable.

Ideally, the battle should be opened with an ambush attack to gain advantage. In the first round, the player should cast every buff and debuff available; focus on lowering the reaper’s defense and raising the party’s defense. Then, they should simply use their most powerful attacks every turn while keeping the party healed to full and their defense buffed. The Reaper can one-shot players even at level 99, so there’s not much margin for error.

Following these guidelines, a normal victory against the Reaper should be entirely possible, but it will be a long, drawn-out fight.

Can you cheese the Reaper?

Players can cheese the Reaper in Persona 3 Reload with the Armageddon ability, allowing the team to beat it in one turn.

Persona 3 Reload Theurgy Skills
Theurgy Skills are a new “ultimate” ability added in Persona 3 Reload

Players who don’t wish to face a long, drawn-out, tactical battle can gear up for a one-shot build to defeat the Reaper in a single blow. This will take some setup, however, and requires being fairly late in the game.

To pull this off, the player needs both the Helel and Satan Personas. Combining these two Personas will yield the Armageddon Theurgy Skill which requires a charge-up, but deals 9,999 damage to every enemy. This is more than enough to one-shot the Reaper, but that gauge will have to be filled first.

Once the Armageddon skill is available, players should head to a floor where the Reaper can spawn and start fighting normal enemies. Keep doing this until the Theurgy gauge is full, then sit tight and wait for the Reaper to appear. Once it does, all it will take to secure victory is to start the fight and unleash Armageddon!

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Written by Jorie McKibbin

Jorie has been playing video games and writing creatively since they were old enough to hold a controller and a pen. They’re passionate about the indie gaming scene, and some of their favorites include Salt and Sanctuary, Stardew Valley, Hollow Knight, and Vintage Story. They also adore such classics as The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, Fallout: New Vegas, and Dark Souls.

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