hide results

    Persona Evaluation Guide by Alessar

    Version: .6 | Updated: 02/08/05 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Persona 2: Eternal Punishment 
    "Persona Evaluation Guide"
    Version: 0.6 (February 8, 2005)
    by Alessar  
    (c) 2005 Matt Redding. All rights reserved and commercial duplication 
    prohibited. Please send comments and corrections to night.alessar@gmail.com, 
    and put an appropriate subject line on your email, like "Persona FAQ." Or, 
    contact me on the GameFAQs message boards. If you're not GameFAQs, YOU CANNOT 
    have this document on your website.
    
    This remains a work in progress. I apologize for the long delay in its 
    completion, but I felt that the earliest levels were the most critical to get 
    people started. At this point, I will be completing the guide without the 
    benefit of a recent play through and will be unable to give as much advice in 
    regards to hints about good personae to use on certain bosses. However, 
    having been told that my critique is the "American Idol" of the Megaten 
    world, I could not hold off any longer. ;)
    
    Feel free to send me your comments on the sections that are complete already, 
    and I hope you will find this useful.
    
    I.   Introduction
         A. Persona Basics
            1. Summoning for Beginners
            2. Activating a Persona
            3. Ranking Up
         B. Mutation and Modification
            1. Mutation Events
            2. Which Personae Can Modify?
         C. Customizing Personae
         D. Starting Play
            1. Seven Sisters High
            2. Your First Trip to the Velvet Room
            3. Mount Mifune 
    II.  Persona Rankings
         A. Starting Personae
         B. Personae: Level 1 to 13
         C. Personae: Level 14 to 26
         D. Personae: Level 27 to 35
         E. Personae: Level 36 to 50
         F. Personae: Level 51 to 69
         G. Personae: Level 70 to 99
         H. Fool Personae
    III. Optimized Groups [pending]
         A. Any Four Elementals
         B. The Ancestors
         C. Ultimate Personae
         D. Pantheon Lists
    IV.  Tips & Tricks 
    V.   Credits & Thanks
    
    
    I. Introduction
         Persona 2 is a fabulous game, but there are so many Personae to choose 
    from that it can be a bit overwhelming. When I played Revelations: Persona, 
    Victar's Persona Rankings FAQ was a useful tool for me. Not only did it rate 
    the Personae, he gave his reasoning and his advice. This is not a 
    comprehensive list of every Persona's parameters and spells, and what it can 
    be returned for. If you want to look up that information, consult 
    Archaeopteryx's amazingly complete FAQ. (I used it as a reference when 
    writing this in fact.) This is also not a walkthrough. I am also not going to 
    be giving a great deal of situation-specific advice; I will make a few 
    suggestions, but for complete strategies, consult Sasoriza's boss strategies 
    FAQ.
          Rather, this is a list by level of the Personae I've played (which is 
    most of them), and my comments about them. The choices reflect my playing 
    style, and your results may vary. I will endeavor to not put spoilery 
    information in this FAQ, but there will be some. Specifically, I will be 
    giving out some details on how the Persona system works, I will occasionally 
    mention hidden information about Personae (such as what a given Persona gives 
    you when you return it at Rank 8), and I may refer to specific dungeons and 
    bosses in general terms. I'm going to start by summarizing how the Persona 
    system works, clarifing a few details and giving some advice on how to 
    optimize your use of Personae.
    
    A. Persona Basics 
    1. Summoning for Beginners
         Summoning Personae is really quite simple. You just pick the Persona, 
    spend the appropriate Tarot cards for it in the Velvet room, and Igor summons 
    it. The only limits are your stock of Tarot cards and your level: you can't 
    summon a Persona that's more than 5 levels higher than your highest party 
    member. As you should know from the game documentation, you get tarot cards 
    by contacting the "demons" you encounter in dungeons. An interested demon 
    will give a number of tarot cards of its class. It is important to know that 
    not every type of Persona has a corresponding demon. Many of the classes of 
    Persona can only be summoned by taking blank or "Free Tarot" cards to the 
    Velvet room and having them converted into the appropriate kind of tarot. You 
    get free tarot cards by making a demon happy and then signing a contract, and 
    then on subsequent encounters when you make the demon interested, it will 
    give you cards of its class and some free tarot in addition.
         The reason for the level limit on summoning is that, theoretically, a 
    Persona that is too powerful for its user might 'possess' the user. So Igor 
    won't summon high-level Personae for you. However, this is a plot element and 
    not a game mechanic. If you somehow come into ownership of a Persona that is 
    more than 5 levels above your party, it's perfectly fine to use it.
          A few Personae require a rare object to summon them, called a material 
    card. Once that material card is used, you will not get it back (for 
    instance, from returning the Persona once its reached rank 8), which means 
    that you only get one chance to summon that Persona. (There are a few 
    material cards that are gained by returning another Persona at rank 8 or 
    which are bought, but the best ones are gained from unique demons or item 
    boxes in dungeons.)
    
    2. Activating a Persona
         When a character activates (i.e., equips or junctions it) a Persona 
    there are three effects. First the character's attributes are averaged with 
    the Persona's. Secondly, the character gains whatever defense properties that 
    Persona has, for instance, "Strong against Earth, Weak against Wind." The 
    third effect is that each Persona contributes a certain permanent attribute 
    boost at level up. Since you can only specify how Maya Amano's attribute 
    points are spent, paying attention to Persona's attribute boosts is essential 
    to have some control over those other characters.
         Keep in mind that you can freely change Personae during combat (unless 
    the character is out of your control, berserk for instance; and there is one 
    boss in the game who can prevent Persona switching). While some of the 
    Personae do seem to have serious vulnerabilities, you can switch them off if 
    enemies with those attacks come into play. I prefer to pick Personae with 
    strong defenses, but sometimes you don't have a choice.
    
    3. Ranking Up
         The level of a given Persona never changes. Depending on how high that 
    level is, the Persona's starting attributes will be higher. Their spell 
    assortment (in theory!) will also contain more potent spells and special 
    moves. However, due to the game system, some spells will be useful at every 
    level, and other spells won't be as useful as they could be depending on your 
    characters' stats and attributes.
         Personae instead "rank up" from being used in combat and using their 
    special abilities. Most abilities give 1 point toward ranking; healing and 
    support spells give 2 points of this special "experience." Each Persona has a 
    specific rank-up pattern; some gain ranks at an even rate, some rank up 
    quickly at the beginning and slow down to a crawl in the end; others rank up 
    quickly, slow down, and speed up again later. Unfortunately, the only source 
    for this information is in the deluxe strategy guide published in Japan and 
    will not be available. If I happen to mention something like, "this persona 
    took a long time to rank up," this is am referring to. For the most part, 
    they all even out, but there are a couple that are just very slow levellers. 
    If you notice a great deal of variation in how quickly your Personae rank up, 
    now you'll understand why.
    
    B. Mutation and Modification 
    1. Mutation Events
         In Persona 1, after a Persona gained all its spells, it was usually 
    ready to be recycled at the Velvet Room. That's not necessarily the case in 
    this game. As you will know from the game manual, it is possible to cast 
    "fusion spells" by combining the right spells in the right sequence in 
    battle. Honestly, it's a lot easier than it sounds. Whenever you end a fight 
    (the end of the whole fight) with a fusion spell, there is a chance that one 
    of the Personae involved in that spell may "mutate." There are several 
    possible results from mutation. The most common are "Two Ranks Up" and 
    "Parameters Increased." Two Ranks is self-explanatory. A Persona of first 
    through 6th rank may get this effect. In the case of Parameters, the Persona 
    gets +1 to every attribute, similarly to leveling up. There is no specific 
    limitation on how many times you can get this mutation; I have personally 
    taken more than one Persona to 99 in every attribute this way. Consequently, 
    a lower-level Persona can remain useful if its attributes continue to 
    increase to stay on a par with new, higher-level Personae. Eventually, 
    because its spells are just not top-grade, it will become obsolete; but this 
    mutation process helps extend the usefulness of the Persona. I find this 
    particularly useful on Personae that I am keeping for defensive purposes. 
    (After all, it does no good to be strong against earth if the Persona is 
    lowering the character's TEC score, and subsequently, spell defense!)
         Another not uncommon result of mutation is to learn a hidden spell. 
    Every Persona (except for a handful of very special Personae called the 
    "ancestors") has one specific hidden spell which can be unlocked by mutation. 
    Another similar effect is "Unknown Power Awakened." This is a secret power 
    which may function when the host is near-death. It's a matter of luck and 
    compatibility (discussed a bit later) if it activates. Personally, though 
    I've had several Personae gain this power, I've never seen it happen.
         The final possible result of mutation is that the Persona may gain the 
    power of Modification. What that means is that you can take the Persona to 
    the Velvet Room and turn it into another, completely different Persona. The 
    option "Mutation" will appear on the menu. (Unfortunately they mixed the 
    terminology there so sometimes when people say "mutation" they mean any of 
    the mutation events, and sometimes they mean the actual transformation only.
    
    2. Which Personae Can Modify?
         Every Persona can gain modification ability EXCEPT: any starter Persona 
    other than Maia; any Fortune class Persona; any Persona summoned with the use 
    of a Material Card; and the very highest-level Personae (level 73 and up).  
    The way it works is that Personae with this power mutate into a "minor 
    arcana" Persona that are categorized using the tarot suites of rods, cups, 
    swords, and pentacles instead of "major arcana" types such as magician, 
    tower, and moon. All viable Personae of a given level range have the 
    potential to mutate into the same Persona, however, you can't have two of the 
    same Persona so once one has mutated, it won't let another do so. For 
    instance, all Personae of up to level 12 that gain modification ability would 
    become "CUP Matsuo-sama." However, level 13-16 Personae may become "ROD 
    Hotei" and level 17-19 Personae can become "PENTACLE Fukurokuju." The 
    progression continues like that up to level 72. However, there are 
    exceptions.
         First, there is a small chance that any modification can be a "dud" 
    resulting in a level 2 Poltergeist. Fortunately, since you can't have two of 
    the same Persona, keeping a Poltergeist in stock in the velvet room the 
    entire game will prevent this. Seriously, even if you never play the 
    Poltergeist, summon it once and store it.
         Second, a very few Personae can become another major arcana Persona. For 
    the most part, it is just a case of having very good luck, because when most 
    of these Personae modify, there's about an 85% chance they'll become the 
    usual minor arcana Persona, but about a 15% chance that they'll become their 
    secret other self. There are also a couple Personae that require a plot 
    action of some kind to come into play. They don't use the percentage chance 
    listed above, you either have achieved the special requirement or you 
    haven't.
         Finally, another factor that affects mutation rate is the characters' 
    compatibility with their Personae. Different party members have different 
    levels of compatibility for the various classes of Personae and this will 
    result in an adjustment to the cost of using them, and the chance of 
    mutation. Some characters can't use certain Personae; this is called 
    incompatibility. For others, the SP cost may be increased, this is called bad 
    compatibility. Many will work fine for the character, and have the listed SP 
    cost. This is normal or average compatibility. But other classes will give 
    the character a reduction in SP cost. This is called good compatibility. And 
    for some, while they appear to have good compatibility, the Persons will have 
    an increased mutation rate too. This is called best compatibility and the 
    only way to tell it is by observation or consulting the FAQ. Note that all 
    the characters start with a Persona for which they have best compatibility. 
    One of the advantages of the Minor Arcana Personae is that they have at least 
    good compatibility with every character. Luck is also a factor in getting 
    mutations.
    
    C. Customizing Personae
         There are two things that can be added to any summoned Persona: A spell 
    card, and an incense card. (Actual incenses are used to boost the characters' 
    attributes.) A spell card can only be used on a Persona if its not in 
    conflict with its nature. For instance, you can't put a water spell like 
    Aques on a Persona with an affinity to fire. Affinity is actually denoted by 
    a little square icon in the Personae screen, it's not just what kind of 
    spells the Persona has. For instance, if the Persona you are summoning has 
    some fire spells but is not fire aspected (not uncommon for an earth or holy 
    Persona), you can go ahead and add a water spell if you want.
         Adding spells to your summoned Personae is extremely important in the 
    long-term. Even the weakest spell could complete a powerful fusion; A Persona 
    may be very good but not have any potential to combine with the other 
    Personae in the party. Judicious use of a spell card will allow it to engage 
    in fusion and possibly increase in power. Of course, you'll need to know 
    which spells are used for a fusion, but I leave you to find that information 
    out yourself, either in game play or by consulting a general FAQ. I will give 
    you the tip that while any two earth, air, fire, or water spells creates a 
    high-damage single creature attack, any two lightning, ice, or nuclear spells 
    creates a moderate-damage all creatures attack. Consequently, often when I am 
    at a loss for what to do with two Personae, I'll give each an ice or 
    lightning spell because I know I can get a good fusion out of them relatively 
    cheaply. (I had "Bufu" spell cards all over the place by the end of the game 
    even though I frequently used them!)
         The second thing you can do is add an incense card. This gives +10 to 
    one attribute or +5 to all attributes. Incense cards aren't essential, how 
    you use them is up to you. The first time I played the game, Maya's TEC 
    attribute started to seriously outstrip ANY Persona she equipped, so I 
    started putting TEC incenses on all her Personae so that her score wouldn't 
    be lowered as much. You can use the cards in other ways. For instance, if you 
    have a slow character, give their Persona an incense to boost agility. Or if 
    you have a strong character, you can give their Persona a strength incense so 
    they are even more potent with physical attack spells or regular attacks. 
    Remember, you can increase any Persona's attributes by both ranking it up and 
    mutating it, the incenses are strictly enhancements, not requirements.
    
    D.  Starting Play
         The following is a Mini-Walkthrough for the first two dungeons of the 
    game. It is intended just to explain to you how you should be using the 
    system and to put you on the right track. There are no navigational 
    instructions, just a general description of how play should proceed. I have 
    endeavored to not have this be spoilery content. Here are a couple of general 
    play tips:
    * You can exit most normal dungeons and come back to them. There are a few 
    that are in remote locations that you can't, however, derelict buildings in 
    the city can be left and resumed.
    * You can never re-enter a normal dungeon once it is completed. There is one 
    optional side dungeon you can keep re-entering. It is there to let you re-
    encounter demons you missed for purposes of getting Tarot cards.
    * The skill "Hula of Misfortune" appears to do no damage. In actuality, it 
    roughly HALVES your current money
    * When discussing Personae defenses, the term 'attack' refers to physical 
    moves of the tackling variety. It was a bad name choice as it can obviously 
    be confused with the basic Attack command and term. Weakness to attack is not 
    weakness to all physical blows, just the attack sub-type. 
         
    1. Seven Sisters High
         Approximately the first 40 minutes of the game features no fighting. 
    After a plot event your characters gain their powers, and the the actual 
    gameplay begins. You will be in Seven Sisters High, which is a GREAT starter 
    dungeon. You can save anytime you want except during battle, so be sure to do 
    so as soon as you get control of your characters. The first encounter you 
    have will be a preset tutorial in demon negotiation. After that, bad luck 
    could get you killed in your first real encounter. 
         At the very start of the game, your characters will be fragile, and your 
    Personae won't help too much yet. You will level up with just a few 
    experience points, though, and the difference will be even more dramatic when 
    the Personae begin to rank up. When you start, just use each Persona's first 
    attack power, focus on one demon at a time until you've won the encounter. 
    After Maia manifests her Aqua power, you can cast the Stone Rise fusion spell 
    (detailed in the manual) by casting spells in the order: water (aqua), fire 
    (agi), earth (magna). Start doing that, just Stone Rise everything that moves 
    (unless you hit something resistant to it) until the Personae start really 
    ranking up. With luck, you will get some mutation effects and increase in 
    power even more. You need to find a key to the 4th floor, where there's a 
    boss fight waiting for you. Don't rush it. After Seven Sisters, you'll gain a 
    4th permanent party member, who will enter play at Eighth level, so that 
    should tell that the designers expect you to be close to that. So go ahead 
    and poke around. Experiment a bit, there are other fusion spells the starter 
    Personae can cast; you should learn the use of their powers. Definitely rank 
    up the Personae until Maia gets Media (or Me Dia if you break up the 
    syllables as they do on the spell card for it) so that you can cure everyone 
    for about 30 hp at the same time.
         Contact some demons. In fact, try to make contracts with a few that you 
    are encountering commonly. Most of the demons in Seven Sisters are fairly 
    easy to persuade. You can get some valuable starting items too, like ball of 
    return, but mostly focus on getting some Tarot and quite a few Free (blank) 
    tarot. The low-level demons in this area won't give you many cards (3-5 if I 
    recall right), but rest assured that it will be easier later on as demons 
    start to give you 10, 20, 40, 80 cards at once. Try to get a dozen or so of 
    each type of card that has demons running around, try to get a few dozen free 
    tarot if you have the patience. It will be well worth it having them at the 
    end of the dungeon.
         By the time you go to the end boss, your characters should be at least 
    sixth level, and have their Personae ranked up to about 6th rank as well. If 
    you were lucky, you may have gotten some "two ranks up" mutations; my Maia 
    was 8th rank at that point and had gained her hidden spell but that's really 
    a case of my Personal luck. Since you cannot return to this nice starter 
    dungeon with its free healing, so be sure to get all your stuff squared away 
    before fighting the boss. And remember, save before you enter the room with 
    the boss! :)
    
    2. Your First Trip to the Velvet Room 
         Once Baofu joins your party, you can visit the Velvet Room for the first 
    time; since he's 8th level, you can summon at least up to 13th level 
    Personae. But don't overlook a few low-level Personae that can be quite 
    useful. It should have been no problem to gain at least 8 Lovers and 8 Devil 
    cards. Summon Pixie and Poltergeist. Additionally, if you have at least 27 
    Free Tarot, convert them to Emperor Class (a type for which there is no demon 
    you can get cards from) and summon Airget Lam. If you have another 20 free 
    tarot, I recommend summoning Temperance Harpie (there are Temperance demons, 
    I just don't think there are any in that first dungeon, but its worth 
    spending the cards now to have extra Personae.) At this point in the game, 
    you probably don't have enough money to buy spell cards, but don't worry, 
    they'll be available soon enough. 
    
    3. Mount Mifune
         The second dungeon is in the form of a maze-like path up the mountain. 
    Of the enemies here, quite a few use physical/shot attacks and quite a few 
    use magic/air attacks. Once Maia has reached rank 8, I recommend you put 
    Harpie on Maya; if she takes too much damage from earth or shot attacks 
    (Harpie's weaknesses) swap in Maia and heal. Maya and Ulala both have "best" 
    compatibility with her, so she's likely mutate a lot on either of them. She's 
    not that great otherwise, but she is a perfect candidate to modify into CUP 
    Matsuo-sama because her return item is worthless. You can continue to use the 
    starter Personae or not as you like. I recommend putting Airget Lam on 
    Katsuya every time he's about to level so that he gets some TEC; otherwise 
    the computer doesn't seem to put points into his TEC until his strength is in 
    the high twenties. Poltergeist will work well on Baofu, and Pixie on Ulala. 
    Find the earth fusion that can be cast with this selection, experiment a bit. 
    If you're lucky, you might even get a few spell cards in encounters... 
    Finally, a little before you get to the back of the sanitarium, there'll be a 
    shrine hidden off into the woods (a few screens back). This shrine to 
    Junnosuke Kuroda is the first step to unlocking the Ancestral Personae, 
    however, getting the right cards to use them on your first play can be 
    tricky. If you want to start unlocking them, stuff the donation box until 
    it's full and won't accept any more money. But again, if you don't have 
    enough money to do that, you can get these rare Personae on the replay.  
    There will be another Velvet Room right inside the building at the end of the 
    trail, so build up some more cards in preparation of that. It's time to 
    supplement the starting Personae with backup...go ahead and look in part two 
    to see my suggestions about that.
    
    II. Persona Rankings.
         These listing are sorted by level, in level ranges that I thought made 
    good break points. There's no "right" amount of leveling up, everyone has 
    their own play style. But it does seem the game designers expect your 
    characters to be around the level of the demons they will encounter by the 
    end of a dungeon, so I have tried to roughly pick ranges that encompass every 
    few dungeons. Additionally, when you first gain access to the Velvet Room, 
    Baofu's starting level guarantees you'll be able to summon at least up to 
    level 13, so that's the level range of the first section. The next level 
    range is based on the next character to join; the range becomes guesswork 
    after that.
         I played around with ideas for formatting these entries but couldn't 
    really top Victar's. I wasn't going to bother with the defense info, but it's 
    one of the first things I look at in picking a Persona, so I've gone ahead 
    and put it in here. The format used in the listings below is:
    
    Level - ARCANUM (Persona type) - Name 
    Defense information. Affinity. 
    ~Any special notes about compatibility, creation, or Mythos membership
         Detailed commentary. 
    * Overall rating (5 * scale) and short comment.
    
         I take a lot of factors into consideration when I assign a rating, and 
    not all of them have equal weight. The Persona's defensive status is a big 
    factor, what it protects against is generally weighted more heavily than what 
    it's vulnerable to. The reason for this is I'm trying to focus on the useful 
    aspects of the Personae; and basically, if a Persona is weak against some 
    kind of attack, you can switch off to a different one. However, being strong 
    versus several kinds of attacks is a real benefit. Still, if a Persona's 
    vulnerabilities outweigh its defenses, it's a strike against it.
         Another major factor is the spell selection. I do look at what the 
    "hidden" spell is, and weigh the spells for being both appropriate for its 
    level and a useful mix overall. Ability to engage in both common and rare 
    fusion spells can be a heavily weighted factor. By common spells I mean the 
    basic elemental attack fusions; by rare, I mean fusions that require spells 
    which only a few Personae possess. Additionally, there are unique fusions, 
    which require specific Personae with specific spells, or at least specific 
    rare spells. Most unique fusions require three to five members of a given 
    mythological pantheon operating together; unfortunately, the Personae 
    involved are often spread across a very large level range, which means that 
    unless you invest time in "buffing up" the lower level members, they're going 
    to be a burden to drag around. Still, not all of the combos are like that and 
    a few of them are resoundingly potent.
          Lesser factors include attributes, both the starting statistics and the 
    attribute that a bonus is given to at level up; and the item the Persona can 
    be returned for at rank 8.
    
    Scale Explantion:
    
           - No stars. Completely worthless Persona. 
         * - A sub-par Persona. Weak or terribly average with nothing  
             to recommend it. 
        ** - An average Persona. Probably needs a spell card to be useful, or  
             has limited usefulness, such as being good only for an item. 
       *** - A good Persona. Exact usefulness may vary with game play, but  
             generally worthwhile. 
      **** - Top-notch, useful, powerful, and capable of being used for many  
             levels in the game. 
     ***** - One of the most powerful and useful Personae in the game.  
             There are only a few.
    
    A. Starter Personae 
         The starter Personae are not particularly potent, but then, they are 
    very low level. One thing that's interesting is that the number of fusions 
    you can achieve with them (especially if all 4 of them have unlocked their 
    hidden spell) is quite high. Though Maia is technically a non-elemental 
    Persona, she has a water attack spell, and therefore all 4 elements are 
    represented in this set. Thus, you can cast all four elemental "boost" 
    fusions (which have 3 different elements combining into 1 single attack) with 
    them, as well as a few other attack and status fusions.
    
    1 STAR Callisto 
    Strong against Earth; Weak against Wind. Affinity: Earth 
    ~Usable only by Ulala
         Though you will find enemies with wind attacks early on, her 
    vulnerability won't be too much of a detriment. At the lower power level of 
    the start of the game, the increase in damage won't be very high, perhaps an 
    extra 10 hp. In fact, if Ulala's TEC is raised, thus raising her SDF, the 
    vulnerability can be compensated for. Her earth attacks are useful against 
    those same wind-aspected monsters, and if you encounter earth monsters, her 
    Zan (non-elemental damage) is very handy. Her hidden spell is mafui (silence) 
    -- nothing special; I would advise that as soon as you rank her up to 8, move 
    on to another Persona and switch back when you need to use her earth spells 
    in fusion. 
    ** Decent for such a low-level Persona, but not memorable
    
    1 JUSTICE Helios 
    Voids Fire; Weak against Water. Affinity: Fire 
    ~Usable only by Katsuya
         Helios is rather neutral towards most enemies you'll face early on. 
    There are a few that are strong with respect to fire but not many. His final 
    spell is Maha Agi, which attacks an entire group, and which begins a whole 
    series of fusion spells that use the formula fire, earth, maha agi___; of 
    course, you need another Persona which can use at least Agi to do so. ** 
    Decent for such a low-level Persona, but not memorable
    
    3 MOON Maia 
    Voids Holy, Darkness, Mind/Nerve. Affinity: None  
    ~Usable only by Maya
         Maia is mostly about healing, but she can attack with holy and water 
    spells. Her Multidimension doesn't have a high success rate, but notice its 
    category: "(Special) Type: None." Multidimension does not count as either 
    magic or physical, so it can be used on demons that void and reflect magic!! 
    This makes it one of the most powerful spells in the entire game, not that 
    you'll appreciate it at such a low level. (Look for fusions that have the 
    same definition; they're rare, and extremely powerful). Maia ignores holy and 
    dark spells, which have instant kill potential, and she's also immune to 
    mind/nerve spells such as sleep and confuse, which is very handy. Whenever 
    the party is in trouble, switching Maya back to Maia will probably save the 
    day because she's so defensively powerful and has so much recovery power. Her 
    SP cost is low; you would do well to keep Maia around until 20th level so you 
    can heal out of combat cheaply.
         If you play Maya "in character" (kind and forgiving), after a certain 
    plot event you may be able to gain the ability to modify to a higher-level 
    version of Maia, Maia Custom.
    *** One of the most valuable Personae in the game; do not Return it under any 
    circumstances
    
    6 HANGED MAN Odysseus 
    Voids Wind, Lightning. Affinity: Wind 
    ~Usable only by Baofu
         Odysseus' defenses will be useful going up Mount Mifune. However his 
    attacks aren't going to be that useful either. If you get very lucky, a 
    mutation will unlock his soothing melody spell (healing spell usable in 
    combat only, but stronger than Media). Soothing Melody fuses with 3 other 
    certain spells to create a very powerful status attack on all opponents (one 
    that has an almost 100% effective rate.) If you get Soothing Melody, 
    Odysseus' usefulness basically doubles. If you choose not to put Airget Lam 
    on Katsuya, put him on Baofu instead as a good replacement for this one.
    * Pretty weak for a starting Persona, though the hidden spell is extra good. 
    I think they should have made him more balanced though.
    
    B. Other Personae Level 1 to 13 
         As noted above, when you gain your fourth party member, he'll be at 
    level 8 which means that you will be able to summon Personae up to 13th level 
    right after finishing the first dungeon, Seven Sisters high. This next 
    section of Personae is pretty wide, but they will probably be what's 
    available for the second through fourth dungeons. 
    
    2 LOVERS Pixie 
    Strong against Wind, Weak against Earth. Affinity: Wind
         Pixie is a great asset. She starts with a healing spell and gains wind 
    and lightning attacks. Kotoludi cures possessed status, and you will probably 
    encounter some demons with this annoying attack early on. Her rank 8 spell is 
    Meggido, which inflicts moderate non-elemental damage to all enemies 
    (multiple groups). Meggido is not normally found on Personae of under 35th 
    level! It will take Pixie a while to rank up to 8, but it will be worth it. 
    Her attributes start quite low, however, as she ranks up her Luck will 
    increase abnormally. At rank 8, Pixie always has a 99 luck. Put Pixie on 
    Ulala and try to get her to mutate a few times so that her stats improve. 
    She's going to be useful for quite a while. As the lowest level (and thus 
    cheapest SP) Persona in the game, many players like to summon Pixie later in 
    the game and give her the strongest healing spell available (Mediarahan, full 
    heal of the whole party) which they can then use for about 2 SP.
    *** An unusually potent Persona worth putting some effort in to developing.
    
    2 DEVIL Poltergeist 
    Voids Darkness, Weak against Holy. Affinity: None
         His attack spells are pretty rudimentary, mostly earth which makes him 
    useful against air creatures as he's got no specific vulnerability to air; he 
    can cure poisoning at rank 2, which is handy. Otherwise there's not much to 
    recommend him, though he would work well with Callisto. (Special) Keep 
    Poltergeist in stock the entire game to prevent dud mutations.
    ** otherwise.
    
    5 TEMPERANCE Harpie 
    Strong against Sword, Attack; Weak against Earth, Shot. Affinity: Wind
         Harpie is not that great a Persona. Going up Mount Mifune, she can be a 
    liability in several instances. The main reason I recommend her is that she's 
    a good choice for a Persona to turn into CUP Matsuo-sama, which is a very 
    good Persona. She does have pretty good attack spells, which will let her do 
    fusions with Pixie. She's highly compatible with Maya, who tends to rank Maia 
    up to 8 rather quickly. And her return item is merely 10 Free Tarot, so she's 
    easy to mutate and not going to be missed. Finally, her attribute is Luck, 
    which is not so common in Personae that the women tend to use.
    ** A strong candidate for Modification otherwise not that special.
    
    9 EMPEROR Airget Lam 
    Strong against Earth; Weak against Wind. Affinity: Earth
         Airget Lam is the lowest level Persona to boost Technique at level up. 
    His starting attributes are good, and his earth attacks are reasonably 
    useful. He will work well with Poltergeist or Callisto in dropping rocks on 
    demons. The computer tends to not spend attribute points on the men's TEC 
    scores early on. Airget Lam is the only way you can correct that. He's 
    technically more compatible with Baofu than Katsuya, but Baofu already should 
    have a compatible Persona in Poltergeist (which Katsuya won't work well 
    with), so I recommend him for Katsuya.
    *** A useful Persona with a good mix of benefits
    
    11 LOVERS Robin Goodfellow 
    Strong against Earth; Weak against Wind. Affinity: Earth
         This Persona is very similar to Airget Lam, except it's two levels 
    higher and its good spells aren't quite as readily available. Also, while 
    Airget Lam gets bonus points for being a Technique booster, Robin loses 
    points for being an Agility booster. The computer always focuses on Agility 
    for Ulala, she really doesn't need to ever have an agility-boosting Persona 
    on. If you really want another earth Persona, for fusions perhaps, it would 
    be OK. But I personally would use Callisto instead and save my cards.
    * A pale copy of a good Persona
    
    12 STRENGTH Ryume 
    Strong against Ice, Lightning, Nuclear; Weak against Attack, Strike. 
    Affinity: Water 
    ~Member of the Saiyuki group
         Ryume is a good Persona, but he costs too much to summon before Mount 
    Mifune so I didn't recommend him in my mini-walkthrough. Once you're at the 
    top though, you might want to summon him before entering the asylum. His 
    water and ice attacks will let him help in a few fusions. If a monster has 
    dropped a Bufu card for you by the time you summon Ryume, you should 
    seriously consider using that card on another new Persona so that it and 
    Ryume can do an ice fusion together. He is vulnerable to two forms of 
    physical attack, but I think shot is more common so he's not too bad.
          [Note that 'attack' is a subtype of physical attack (it should have 
    been named 'tackle' in my opinion, to avoid confusion) and Ryume is only 
    vulnerable to that subtype and strike, not to all melee attacks.]
         I would recommend adding a Dia or MeDia spell to him, but you should 
    have Maia and Pixie available for that. His Poismudi and Kotuludi are going 
    to be very useful for quite a while, and his hidden spell is Recarm, which 
    raises a fallen party member in combat.
         Ryume can participate in a unique fusion; however, the spell in this 
    case is not that great.
    **** It might not be obvious, but this is a very strong recovery Persona with 
    some useful attacks.
    
    12 STAR Kimnara 
    Voids Fire; Weak against Water. Affinity: Fire
         Kimnara is a fun Persona. His fire attacks are strong, and you get Maha 
    Agi fairly early. His soothing melody is a stronger healing spell than MeDia, 
    though it can only be used during a fight. He is the first Persona to get 
    Trafuri, which is the escape combat spell. It's quite rare, and you can 
    return a rank 8 Kimnara for a Trafuri card. Kimnara's defenses are definitely 
    useful in the third and even fourth dungeons. Could be a lifesaver in the 
    third boss fight.
    *** A good basic Persona with a rare return item, uncommon spells, and useful 
    defenses. Definitely worth summoning, but probably not keeping. You may, in 
    fact, summon him repeatedly throughout the game to get his return item as 
    it's the most expensive spell card there is!
    
    12 CUP Matsuo-sama 
    Absorbs Water; Weak against Fire. Affinity: Water 
    ~Requires: Mutation from another level 1-12 Persona
         Like most minor arcana Personae, he's extremely useful. He starts with 
    Maha Aqua, which will allow certain water fusions. His most useful spells 
    though are de kaja (which cancels various attribute boosting spells), wall of 
    water (which protects the entire party completely from water attacks), and 
    refresh ring (which cures all status ailments on one character). Matsuo-sama 
    is a good Persona but will really come into his own in the fifth dungeon. 
    [Note that I count the trail up Mount Mifune and the Asylum atop it together 
    as the second dungeon.] You will be using higher level Personae by then, but 
    his powers will be very handy. Therefore, build him up when you get the 
    chance, and be sure to have him with the party then. Finally, as a CUP, 
    Matsuo-sama is at least good compatibility with everyone.
    *** A very worthwhile defensive Persona, tailor-made to protect you against a 
    certain boss.
    
    13 SUN Surya 
    Reflects Fire; Weak against Water. Affinity: Fire
         Surya is a pretty useful Persona; he's not so focused as many others 
    are. He has maha agi, but he also has maha garu. His spiral shot is useful as 
    a physical attack. He has good flexibility and he makes a logical partner to 
    combine in fusion spells with Kimnara, but he could also cast fusions with 
    Maia, Pixie, and others. He will be very good against the third boss, and is 
    also a likely candidate to modify into ROD Hotei.
    *** An attack Persona with unusual flexibility
    
    C. Personae level 14 to 26 
    This is a pretty broad range, and it covers Personae for the next few 
    dungeons. You will eventually be getting a fifth character, and when you do 
    you should be able to summon Personae up to about 26th level. In general, I'm 
    assuming that these Personae will be in use up to either the Science Lab or 
    the TV Station. 
    
    14 HIEROPHANT Genjo 
    Voids Mind/Nerve. Affinity: None 
    ~Member of the Saiyuki group
         Genjo's ability to ignore mind and nerve magic could be very useful, 
    especially in the fourth dungeon. His lack of affinity allows you to add a 
    spell of any element, which is good because his innate selection is quite 
    mediocre and doesn't lend to fusing.
         Genjo is one of a few Personae which can participate in a fusion spell 
    unique to it and members of its mythic pantheon; however, the spell in this 
    case is not that great.
    * A useful defense, not really much to this Persona otherwise 
    
    14 HERMIT Nekomata 
    Reflects Mind/Nerve. Affinity: None
         Nekomata is quite a tricky character. She reflects mind and nerve 
    spells, and like Genjo, has no affinity to limit her when adding a spell. She 
    does have air, almighty, and status attacks already, which is not a bad 
    selection. Her return item is an ok weapon for Ulala that may inflict Charm 
    status.
    *** Useful defenses, ok spells. A fixer-upper Persona but good.
    
    15 EMPRESS Arianrhod 
    Strong against Physical; Weak against Magic. Affinity: Wind
         Arianrhod is an unusual Persona; she's an air Persona but she has no 
    wind attacks. She does have zio, the first lightning spell, but that's about 
    it. She does have a useful power which will be invaluable against the boss of 
    the fourth dungeon: Wall of Air. Once cast, the party gains the status: Voids 
    Wind. (Note: Wall spells do not stack; the last one cast takes precedence.) 
    She's the lowest-level Persona to have a spell such as this. Her weakness 
    against magic is not really a liability at the beginning of the game; her 
    stats are quite even and basically anyone with a decent Tec won't notice much 
    extra damage. Her resistance to all physical, however, will noticeably help. 
    She really could use an extra spell added onto her though; either a wind 
    attack or ice (to fuse with Ryume) might be good.
    *** A lifesaver against the fourth boss; a good defensive Persona overall.
    
    15 CHARIOT Minotaur 
    Strong against Physical; Weak against Magic. Affinity: Earth
         This isn't a very useful Persona. His ability to soak physical attacks 
    might come in handy, but the Persona is weak in general; unlike Arianrhod, he 
    really IS vulnerable to magic and in general. He has the generally useful 
    defensive spell wall of earth, but I don't believe you'll need it. His attack 
    spells are physical, and aren't that good, really. Kotoludi is a useful spell 
    but other, far more utilitary Personae around this level have it. I would 
    recommend skipping this one.
    * The only use I can see for this Persona is swapping it in to resist strong 
    physical attacks. Maybe.
    
    16 ROD Hotei 
    Voids Fire; Reflects Nuclear; Weak against Water. Affinity: Fire 
    ~Requires: Mutation from another level 13-16 Persona
          I usually mutate Sun Surya but you could use another Persona. He starts 
    with a fire spell capable of completing a fusion, he gains the ever-useful 
    Estoma in the middle of his spell progression, and his hidden spell is 
    Recarm. He also has holy, nuke, and throw attacks thus making him diverse and 
    quite useful. Even if you're about to put aside Personae of the mid-teen 
    levels when you get him, he's strong enough to keep around and use for a 
    while, and his universal compatibility makes him available to any party 
    member that needs a fire Persona.
    *** A very useful fire Persona
    
    16 MAGICIAN Tengu 
    Voids Wind; Weak against Earth. Affinity: Wind
         Tengu is a very strong Persona for its level. It starts off with a good 
    group wind attack, gains an Almighty group attack, has Wall of Air which can 
    protect your whole party, and even has Recarm, thus making him a must for the 
    fourth boss fight if you don't have Arianrhod. Another good factor is that he 
    gives a TEC bonus; while TEC will become more common shortly, it's still rare 
    around this level. He very similar in power to Hotei, actually, but with 
    different spells.
    *** Very useful air Persona
    
    17 JUDGEMENT Phaleg 
    Voids Holy; Weak against Darkness. Affinity: Water
         Phaleg is not that great. He does gain water spells, but while Tengu and 
    Hotei are starting with Maha Agi and Maha Garu, Phaleg is starting with Aqua 
    and gaining Maha Aqua (which makes the original spell-slot a waste really) 
    several ranks later. And that's comparatively weak; even gaining Aques at 
    rank 8 doesn't make up for it. He is a good candidate for being converted 
    into Pentacle Fukurokuju, though, as his return item is worthless and he does 
    have enough innate spell power to participate in a common water fusion. I had 
    a hard time mutating him though, even on Ellen who should have best 
    compatibility with him. It's sad really; misnamed as Deva, Phaleg was 
    probably the most useful low-level Persona in the first game.
    * Worth mutating and that's about it.
    
    17 HANGED MAN Shax 
    Voids Water; Strong against Attack, Sword; Weak against Earth, Fire, Shot
         Shax has both ice and lightning attacks (two each, a waste of spells 
    basically), thus making him a natural to pair with Personae like Ryume and 
    Arianrhod. His other attributes are not outstanding, and shot vulnerability 
    is bad in general.
    ** An ok Persona, but another candidate for a hopefully quick mutation into 
    Pentacle Fukurokuju.
    
    18 STAR Iris 
    Absorbs Earth; Weak against Wind. Affinity: Earth 
    ~Requires: Material Card - Flash of Colors
         Iris is a potent Persona. If you haven't let go of Maia yet, now's the 
    time to do so (well don't RETURN her, just try out Iris on Maya!). Iris's 
    healing power is quite similar, and her attack strength is Earth. Sadly, she 
    has the fairly typical mix of a weak single-target attack spell, a weak group 
    attack spell, and a medium single-target attack spell of the same element. 
    This leaves her sadly lacking in diversity, but still very useful in the 
    fourth dungeon. And, the ability to absorb an element is very useful. I would 
    definitely invest a spell card in Iris; if you've gained a Frei card, and you 
    could do so in the fourth dungeon, I would use it on her. It would give her 
    an atypical attack that really complements her, and she could cast nuke 
    fusions with Hotei or Hel. Iris will work well on either Maya or Ulala. Trust 
    me, Nuke fusions rock.
    *** Useful Persona, fairly strong and with a few tricks available.
    
    18 LOVERS Jack Frost 
    Absorbs Ice; Voids Water; Weak against Fire. Affinity: Water
         Jack Frost might actually be so cute he's worth summoning for no other 
    reason. That's good, because there isn't much reason to summon him otherwise. 
    At his level I don't think you'll be encountering too much that uses water 
    attacks, but you will encounter several things with Fire. He has few spells, 
    though he's hiding an extra spell: Atomic Bufula. If you spread a rumor, this 
    spell will appear, and it can fuse uniquely, however, it's pathetically weak 
    on its own. (Not that you can get the other component for about ten 
    levels...) He does have a high rate of Persona-talk with his own kind and 
    Jack O'Lantern, but Lovers cards aren't that hard to get. Summon him for 
    nostalgia, or if you want to see his rare spell, pass otherwise. He could be 
    very useful in the fifth boss fight, though I would expect you to have 
    stronger Personae by then.
    ** Adorable but not very useful. Ho!
    
    19 TEMPERANCE Fearal 
    Strong against: Sword, Attack; Weak against Shot, Earth. Affinity: Wind
         For a physically-oriented Persona, Fearal is not that great. Weak 
    against shot is, in my opinion, a fairly serious vulnerability to have as 
    most of the human enemies you encounter will have strong shot attacks. Her 
    weakness against Earth is mitigated by gaining the spell Wall of Earth at 
    rank 8, but her other moves are not that special in general. At least she 
    starts with Maha Garu, which will definitely let you participate in a fusion 
    spell with her. If you summon her, adding a healing or assistance spell could 
    increase her usefulness dramatically.
    ** Fairly weak, but not completely useless.
    
    20 HIEROPHANT Aizen Myouou Voids Earth, Darkness, Holy. Affinity: Earth 
    ~Usable only by Nate.
         Aizen Myouou is one of the best starting Personae. He has excellent 
    defenses and a range of attacks (holy, earth, and physical). With a lucky 
    mutation he'll manifest Maka Kaja, which is the magic attack boosting spell. 
    His return item isn't great, so go ahead and have Nate use him a lot and 
    increase his power with some mutations.
    *** A good overall Persona. A shame he's pre-summoned and only usable by 
    Nate.
    
    20 PENTACLE Fukurokujo Reflects Earth; Weak against Wind. Affinity: Earth
    ~Must be mutated from another level 17-19 Persona.
         You will want Fukurokujo, if for no other reason than to return him at 
    rank 8 for a Lucky Source. This accessory, if equipped at level up, grants an 
    extra +1 to Luck. Fukurokujo has a mix of healing (including status recovery) 
    and earth attacks; nothing really special but nothing really bad either and 
    useful to have all in one place.
    **** A decent healing Persona with some attack power, and the source of a 
    rare and precious item. 
    
    20 MOON Pariker 
    Voids Physical (except Sword), Weak against Holy, Sword. Affinity: None
         Pariker really only has one thing going for her, and that's voiding most 
    Physical. Her spell selection is on the weak side. Be careful of her 
    vulnerabilities.
    ** Useful to resist damage from physical attacks - if you encounter any that 
    are that dangerous. 
    
    20 FOOL Sarutobe Sasuki [See Fool section.]
    **** It's a FOOL, they pretty much all rock. But you might want to save your 
    card...they're very rare and this one's not essential. 
    
    21 SUN Kinich Kakmo 
    Voids Fire; Strong against Attack, Sword; Weak against Earth, Shot, Water. 
    Affinity: Fire
         This Persona has a lot of vulnerabilities, and I don't think its 
    resistances make up for it. Sword attacks are not exactly rare, but they're 
    not really common either. Fire Breath attack does level-based damage (based 
    on the summoner, not it) so this Persona has some flexibility there, but its 
    spells overall are just typical. It does return for an Anti-force card (which 
    teaches a Persona the spell Tetrakarn which bestows Reflect Physical for one 
    attack) and that can be useful but it's not the only source for that card.
    ** A mediocre Persona; the return item could be useful but you have options. 
    
    21 STRENGTH Otohime 
    Absorbs Water; Weak against Fire. Affinity: Water
         Another mediocre Persona. The low 20s seem to be filled with them. She 
    has Throw, Healing, Water, and Status attacks which is a pretty flexible 
    assortment. Her ability to absorb water is a notch above the typical for a 
    Persona that's weak against Fire. If you need a water Persona, you could do 
    worse. (You could also do better). Keep in mind that if you want her throw 
    attacks to do any reasonable damage, put her on someone strong, like Katsuya.
    *** A fairly typical water Persona. Good to have healing in this arcanum, and 
    absorbing water is a plus.
    
    22 DEATH Hel 
    Voids Darkness, Holy. Affinity: None
         Meet the Swiss Army knife of low-level Personae. Meet the first Persona 
    to be granted a 5 star rating. Hel has an attack spell of every type except 
    Almighty, Holy and Lightning. (Water, in the form of the all-attacking Acid 
    Rain spell, is gained by mutation). She has no weaknesses and ignores the 
    instant kill attacks (as well as simple damage) of Holy and Darkness. She can 
    participate in a huge number of fusions. This is a Persona you can plan on 
    keeping and using for the next 10, 15 or even 20 levels. Feel free to add an 
    incense card to her if you have it, she'll be with you a while. Since Baofu 
    will likely be the one using her, I would recommend an AGI card to compensate 
    for his slow speed. Also, you should use a spell card on her, something 
    that's going to be worth your while. I wouldn't bother adding another attack, 
    she has so many already. Rather, consider this is a Persona that can leap 
    into most attacks. She will probably mutate a lot too. I recommend you add a 
    support spell (if you have it) such as Maka Kaja, or a recovery spell like 
    Mediarama or maybe even Trafuri so that if your party is mostly wiped out by 
    a holy or dark attack, you can still successfully flee. When the dust clears, 
    Hel will be there to pick up the pieces and dish out punishment. Oh, and if 
    Hel gets the mutation ability ... don't bother.
    ***** Summon this Persona, she's incredibly useful.
    
    22 HERMIT Tenhou Gensui 
    Voids Earth; Weak against Wind. Affinity: Earth
         After the amazing usefulness of Hel, we're back to another mediocre, 1- 
    note Persona. His earth spells are not so useful (Magna and Magnus, no "maha" 
    in there) and he uses sword attacks. His best spell is probably Raku Kaja 
    (physical defense up), and that's not all that great.
    ** Pretty mediocre. 
    
    23 STAR Gandharva 
    Absorbs Fire; Weak against Water. Affinity: Fire
         Gandharva is similar in power and disposition to Otohime. His ability to 
    actually absorb Fire is potentially useful. His fire attacks aren't 
    particularly fuseable. He does learn a healing move, but it's his last move.
    ** Absorbing Fire is his great strength. Doesn't stand out otherwise.
    
    23 JUDGEMENT Nike 
    Voids Fire, Holy; Weak against Darkness, Ice, Water. Affinity: Wind Usable 
    only by Ellen.
         Nike sucks. She's vulnerable to the main attacks you'll be encountering 
    in the very first dungeon you'll have her in. Seriously, you'll see Ellen get 
    killed again and again if you leave Nike on her. She starts with Maha Garu, 
    which is not that great for when you'll have her. It's replaced at rank 8 by 
    Maha Garula but it'll be an uphill struggle to get there. Her holy and status 
    powers are of so-so usefulness in the meantime.
    * If you have something else Ellen can use, perhaps Nemesis, get rid of her 
    right away. Nike almost got a - rating from me, I think she's a slow to rank-
    up Persona on top of her other problems, but I can't remember that clearly.
    
    23 HIEROPHANT Umayado no Ouji 
    Reflects Shot, Throw. Affinity: None 
    ~A member of the Saiyuki group (I think)
         Umayado is a pretty handy Persona. He has two extremely useful spells: 
    Estoma (which reduces encounters) and Trafuri (which escapes from them). His 
    ability to reflect Shot could be handy in a lot of places (more so in Nate's 
    route than Ellen's). His other powers are pretty sucky - if you need him just 
    for his 2 good spells, put a spell card on him too. Since he has no affinity, 
    you can pick anything you'd like. Maha Agionn might be good.
    *** Not essential, but useful if you need Estoma and Trafuri
    
    24 HANGED MAN Kabanda 
    Voids Water; Weak against Fire. Affinity: Water
         Kabanda's best move is Wall of Water, however his spell progression 
    overall is pretty bad. He starts with Aqua, which is ludicrous for a 24th 
    level Persona, then gains Aques at rank 4, which is the spell he ought to 
    have started with. Select this Persona to protect your party against water 
    attacks (useful in the sewers on Nate's route) but adding a spell is almost 
    essential. Perhaps an ice attack would be good. If you're lucky he'll modify 
    into ROD Nankyoku Roujin.
    ** A redundant assortment of spells. If he didn't have wall of water, this 
    would be a * Persona. 
    
    24 TOWER Kanaloa 
    Voids Darkness, Holy, Water. Affinity: Water
         Of the three water Personae in this level range, Kanaloa is head and 
    shoulders above the other two. His resistances are superior, his spells are 
    not merely water attacks but also throw and darkness. His mutation spell, 
    Transfixion, is fairly rare and somewhat powerful. He also possesses a Rumor 
    spell, Wonderful Aques, which is part of a unique fusion. On top of all that, 
    he has Media, which while weak, is still useful.
    *** This is the best water Persona in the low 20s
    
    24 SWORD Kanshou 
    Voids Attack, Sword. Affinity: Wind 
    ~Requires: mutation from another Persona level 20-24
         Kanshou is all about sword attacks. He has several different sword 
    techniques, plus the ability to increase the attack power and agility of 
    party members. If you want a strong physical attack Persona, Kanshou's not 
    bad for its level. However, I don't think you really need one that much. If 
    he had more defensive powers, such as voiding darkness, or if you could add a 
    spell, this Persona would be much more useful. As it is, its somewhat 
    lacking.
    ** A well-focused Persona, unfortunately an unneeded one.
    
    25 JUSTICE Mars 
    Strong against Fire; Weak against Water. Affinity: Fire
         Expect to summon this Persona. Mars is the origin of the Strength Source 
    item, which, like the Lucky source, grants an extra attribute point at level 
    up. Fortunately, Mars is not exactly a bad Persona. He has fire, sword, and 
    holy attacks, as well as Media. Media is always handy, even if its just used 
    for some out of combat healing. (Remember though, healing spells help a 
    Persona rank up faster...) His mutation spell, Fire Storm, is pretty potent. 
    You might be tempted to add a spell to him, since he doesn't have the 
    terminal spell for a fusion, but since you're probably going to return him 
    for his item ASAP, its not worth it unless you've got lots of extra spell 
    cards (poisma or something like that perhaps; or a maha garu spell to 
    increase flexibility in fusions).
    *** A reasonable, self-contained package, easy to level up and return
    
    26 LOVERS Jack O'Lantern 
    Absorbs Fire; Weak against Water. Affinity: Fire
         Jack O' Lantern is a bit more useful than his icy counterpart. His spell 
    progression is a bit strange, but he can participate in fusions reasonably 
    well. I personally had stupendous luck with his mutations with Ulala, and he 
    not only ranked up incredibly quickly, he massively increased in power. Jack 
    is also hiding a rumor spell: Dynamic Agilao. His Devil's Smile spell is 
    fairly rare and can be used in a fairly rare fusion (though the other spells 
    needed are a bit higher level so you'd need to keep him around for quite a 
    while to unlock it). Absorbing fire helps put him ahead of Mars in quality. 
    *** A strong fire Persona. 
    
    26 EMPRESS Nemesis 
    Voids Mind, Nerve. Affinity: None
         Nemesis is a very strong neutral Persona. She has no particular 
    vulnerabilities, and she's immune to those annoying status attacks that take 
    your characters out of your control; it might be worth your while to keep her 
    around just to resist them. If you've levelled up enough to summon her for 
    the fifth dungeon, she will be a great asset. Though she has both a water and 
    an ice spell, you can add any element you wish to her. I chose Maha Agionn, 
    making her potent against both fire and water enemies but you could as easily 
    add an air or earth spell. She also has shot, darkness, and healing moves. 
    (She's like a slightly weakened version of Maia Custom.) She would work well 
    on any of the women, and if you can summon her, I'd seriously consider 
    replacing Nike on Ellen with Nemesis. Because she is immune to mind and nerve 
    spells you could also increse her recovery powers and make her a healer.
    **** Very flexible Persona with rare defensive capabilities.
    
    D. Personae level 27 to 35
    This is a much smaller range of Personae than the last set, but I estimate 
    these are the Personae you'll tap for the next dungeon or two. In general, 
    they are noticeably better than what you had available in the low 20s and the 
    next group after this features members who could specifically be usable a few 
    dungeons further along in the game, so I split the list at 35.
    
    27 CHARIOT Taranis 
    Strong against Physical, Weak against Magic. Affinity: Wind
         Taranis is a fairly mediocre Persona. He does have the spell Killer 
    Wind, which targets all enemies. While it won't complete a fusion as Maha 
    Garula would, it's a stronger spell so it will enhance other fusions it is a 
    part of. His physical attacks are fairly weak, disappointing really. He'd be 
    a good candidate to mutate into ROD Nankyoku Roujin as he has just enough 
    spells to easily participate in fusions; he would also be useful to have in 
    case you run into heavy physical attacks.
    ** Not too useful. Good mutation candidate, defenses quite so-so.
    
    27 PRIESTESS Tensen Nyan Nyan 
    Reflects Mind/Nerve. Affinity: None
         Tensen Nyan Nyan is a status effect-oriented Persona. Consequently, 
    she's fairly weak in combat as the status attacks generally have only a small 
    chance of affecting a foe. Her final normal spell is Medirama, and her 
    mutation spell is Recarm. If you are able to get her to rank 8 and unlock 
    that mutation spell, she could be a fairly strong support Persona. However, I 
    had a hard time ranking her up. I think she has one of the slowest rank-up 
    patterns in the game. If you're going to use her, put a primo attack spell on 
    her, something that will complete a mutation like a Maha spell of the second 
    power level or freila or something like that, and hope for a 2-rank up 
    mutation. 
    *** Potentially a good support Persona, she is a bit of a fixer-upper 
    
    28 HERMIT Grinbulsti 
    Resists Physical; Weak against Mind/Nerve. [Check these attributes]
         Grinbulsti is one of the worst Personae I've seen in terms of defense. I 
    believe that his Resists Physical is a half-strength version of Strong 
    against Physical, so it's not too great. And his weakness? If there's any 
    status attack used on you, you WILL succumb. His spells are really not useful 
    either. However, his return item is a material card which allows you to 
    summon another Persona, so I do recommend you summon him and use the cheesy 
    quick rank-up trick: Place a Dia card on him, (yes, DIA), go to Kasu High, 
    get into a fight with some very low-level demons. Set combat to auto, have 
    everyone defend, and have the person with Grinbulsti just cast Dia until they 
    run out of spell points. Since healing spells rank you faster than combat 
    spells, this is the quickest and safest way to go.
    * Worth only for his return item, or he would be a -
    
    28 EMPORER Marduk 
    Voids Fire; Weak against Water. Affinity: Fire
         Marduk's a decent elemental Persona. He's actually not quite as good 
    with fire as Jack O' Lantern is, but he has Posumudi (Antidote/cure poison) 
    which is always useful, and Straight Slash. His mutation spell is Freila, 
    which helps a lot. Finally, his return item is the Agility Source (though you 
    can get it another way too). Most of the male characters suffer for Agility, 
    so this is a great source for them.
    *** Pretty typical 1-note Persona, but a good return item and no really bad 
    weaknesses
    
    28 ROD Nankyoku Roujin 
    Strong against Magic; Weak against Physical 
    ~Requires: mutation from another Persona level 25-27
         Nankyoku Roujin has several different fire attacks and some status 
    powers. He has two noteworthy spells. The first is Pine Bamboo Plum. The name 
    refers to certain trees revered in Japanese culture, but the spell is a very 
    strong healing move. It randomly heals every party member for some amount of 
    damage, usually 1-250 points. That makes it potentially more potent than 
    Medirama. His mutation spell is Summon Spirit, which is the silence all 
    spell. It's also the spell that fuses with all rumor spells, and fairly rare. 
    There are only about a half-dozen Personae which can learn this spell, and 
    Nankyoku Roujin is the first of them.
    **** Good fire Persona with special healing and fusion powers. Worth making a 
    point of getting.
    
    29 STRENGTH Kerepres 
    Strong against Ice, Lightning, Nuclear; Weak against Attack, Strike. 
    Affinity: Water
         Kerepres has physical, water, and ice attacks, which is a fairly good 
    mix. Acid Rain, Blizzard Breath, and Wing Beat attack all your opponents. 
    They're potentially very useful - but watch out for demons that reflect them, 
    especially since they effect all.
    ** Average Persona. Good candidate to try to mutate into Yebisu. It's 
    interesting that she resists all three of the secondary element types.
    
    29 HIEROPHANT Shaka 
    Strong against All. Affinity: Earth 
    ~Requires: Material Card Yuiga Dokuson
         Shaka is a very powerful Persona. His defenses are great. Note that 
    being strong against all subsumes Void: Dark/Holy. Shaka's attacks are Holy 
    and Lightning based. He also has Mafui and Recarm. His mutation spell is 
    Refresh Ring (very useful in general!). Put a potent spell of your choice on 
    him, possibly a strong healing spell, or an elemental attack of your choice.
    **** A very good all-around Persona.
    
    30 STAR Kenren Taishou 
    Absorbs Ice; Voids Water; Weak against Fire 
    ~Member of Gensomaden Saiyuki
         With a mix of strong water attacks and Maha Mudo, Kenren Taishou will 
    probably serve you well. His Tetraja is useful, and his mutation spell is 
    Wall of Water. A very good water Persona. 
    *** Above average water Persona.
    
    31 WORLD Demeter 
    Voids Darkness, Holy. Affinity: None 
         Demeter's got an odd bag of moves but I've always found her useful. 
    Diarama's not the greatest healing spell, but it's better than nothing and 
    it's good for ranking with. Ninety Nine Needles, Marin Karin, Maha Magnus and 
    Magdyne are all fusion components. You could enhance her usefulness with 
    another attack, probably water, almighty (zanma perhaps) or a nuclear spell, 
    depending on your other Personae. As an extra bonus, she gives a Tec bonus, 
    and Katsuya will probably be her main user and in need of such by now. A kaja 
    spell might also be useful. Also, she hides a rumor spell.
    *** A nice overall earth Persona, I think of her as being somewhat defensive 
    but I think that's just the way I play her.
    
    31 MOON Maia Custom 
    Voids Darkness, Holy, Mind/Nerve. Affinity: None 
    ~Requires: Mutation from MOON Maia. Useable only by Maya
         Before I analyze Maia Custom, let me explain that a great deal of her 
    usefulness comes from getting her much earlier than you would be able to 
    summon her, when your characters are perhaps as low as 13th level. 
    Consequently, her powers are all abnormally strong when your party first gets 
    her, but are actually fairly typical for her level.
          Still, Maia Custom's defenses are pretty much top-notch. Only "Strong 
    Against Everything" is better, really. Hama is the same as the starting 
    Persona, and now it's a ludicriously weak spell. It should have been replaced 
    with Mahanma in my opinion. Invitation to Sleep is a new move, it's somewhat 
    useful. Scratch gives her a basic physical attack (and I always like a 
    Persona to have one off-type move for versatility's sake). Aqua is replaced 
    with Maha Aques, and its fusion was probably a huge help to you when you got 
    it. Like Maia, she has Multidimension as her final spell. In case you didn't 
    read the earlier entry, notice that its category is "(Special) Type: None." 
    This means taht Multidimension does not count as magic and can be used on 
    demons that void and reflect magic!! (You'll be encountering some of those 
    annoying things by this level... :) This makes it one of the most powerful 
    spells in the entire game, even if the success rate isn't high. I don't know 
    if Maya's LUC (or perhaps TEC) affects its success, but I suspect that one of 
    them do because I brought Maia Custom out again at the end of the game and my 
    success rate was at least four out of five with it.
    **** Maia Custom's mutation spell is Recarm, thus, along with her defensive 
    statuses and Medirama, she's a 1-woman revive and restore system. 
    
    32 JUDGMENT Melchisedec 
    Reflects Holy; Weak against Darkness. Affinity: None
         I'm surprised this isn't categorized as a Wind Persona, it has quite a 
    few Wind moves, plus some sword and holy. I suppose the angel nature makes it 
    a holy (and therefore a "none" affinity) Persona. Sadly, it's a 'weak angel' 
    and is easily dispatched by dark, though it reflects holy. However, that's 
    pretty useless: most things with holy attacks void them, just like this 
    Persona. I'd pass on summoning Melchisedec and just get a more generic wind 
    Persona if I were you.
    ** Average moves, poor defenses... not worth bothering with.
    
    32 PENTACLE Yebisu 
    Strong against Magic; Weak against Physical. Affinity: Earth
         All of the pentacles are good, Yebisu is a favorite among Persona 2 fans 
    for being one of the best of its level and its arcanum. It starts with 
    Diarama, which is good for healing one person who definitely needs reliable 
    healing, but also gets Pine Bamboo Plum (which despite the variability, 
    really does usually heal quite a bit). Yebisu has Maka Kaja and Raku Kaja, 
    which you would expect to pretty much cement it in the role of 
    support/healing. However, at rank 7 it gets Rock Fall, which is an 
    Earth/attack all spell, and very good for fusion attacks, and at rank 8 it 
    gets Summon Spirit.
    **** Wonderful healing Persona with useful (if specialized) attack fusion 
    capabilities
    
    33 HERMIT Byakko 
    Voids Ice, Water; Weak against Fire. Affinity: Water 
    ~Unusual Compatibility: At least Good compatibility with all characters!  
    Member of Shiijin Tenchishou set
            Byakko is a special case among Personae. By himself, he's fairly 
    weak, but he has some extra factors going for him. First of all, he can 
    participate in not one but TWO special fusions with other members of his 
    pantheon - and unlike several other such spells, these are both GOOD fusions. 
    Secondly, he's unusually compatible, this is probably to encourage you to use 
    him in those full-pantheon fusions (though he'll mutate best for Maya and 
    Ulala). The spells he needs for those fusions are Wall of Water and any water 
    attack spell. His best water spell is Acid Rain, but since the rest of his 
    pantheon is a bit higher level, it would be to your advantage to put the 
    strongest water attack spell possible on him (Torrent card to give him Maha 
    Aquadyne if possible). Since this pantheon has one Persona of each element, 
    my general advice for elemental sets applies (see section III.A).
         Anyway, on with the main analysis. Byakku learns only 5 spells but each 
    is distinctive. One physical attack, Suku Kaja (which enhances speed), one 
    water attack, one ice attack, and Wall of Water. A very good mix, it's just 
    that the spells are somewhat weak. Blizzard Breath attacks all, but its power 
    is level-based so it might not be so good at first, but if you keep him 
    around it will equalize things some. Acid Rain also attacks all, but the 
    damage is relatively low. His mutation spell is Absolute Zero, which isn't 
    really much better than Blizzard Breath. Still, he's fairly easy to mutate. 
    If you add Maha Aquadyne he should power-up quite quickly, and any of the 
    party can use him. His defenses are also a bit better than typical for a 
    water Persona. 
    (Special), *** if considered normally. 
    
    33 SUN Heimdal 
    Reflects Lightning; Voids Wind; Weak against Earth. Affinity: Wind 
    ~Member of the Ragnarok Combatants
         Heimdal's a pretty versatile Persona. If you want a Wind Persona, I'd 
    definitely pick Heimdal over Melchesdic. He has a couple of ice attacks along 
    with Maha Garula (good for triggering fusions) and Killer Wind (his mutation 
    spell, better for boosting air fusions when he doesn't need to complete 
    them). Soothing Melody's not a very strong healing move, but as previously 
    mentioned it's a component to some good status attack fusions. Add any spell 
    you find useful to him; you'll probably find yourself doing ice+ice fusions 
    with him and Byakko. Heimdal can particpate in a pantheon-specific fusion, 
    though it's not a great one.
    **** Solid Persona, unusual mix of wind and ice (ice being more common on 
    water Personae). 
    
    34 MAGICIAN Agrippa
    Strong against Magic; Weak against Physical. Affinity: Fire
         Agrippa's sort of a fill-in Persona. He has a good mix of abilities, but 
    nothing spectacular. His best spell is probably Megido, and his mutation 
    spell is Summon Spirit. With darkness, almighty, and fire attacks, he can 
    help with several fusions though can't complete any. Once Summon Spirit 
    unlocks, he may be a bit more useful. Still, I suspect you're mostly going to 
    have him cast Megido to chew up your opponents. It's a VERY nice change to 
    have a fire Persona that's NOT weak against water though.
    *** An ok fire Persona, Jack of all trades, master of none.
    
    34 PRIESTESS Sif 
    Reflects Lighting; Voids Wind; Weak against Earth. Affinity: Wind
         Sif has the same defensive properties as Heimdall. However, her powers 
    are mostly lightning and status-related. You may find yourself actually 
    adding Maha Garula or the like to her, otherwise she's likely only going to 
    be doing lightning+lightning fusions. Also, Sif is definitely one of the 
    Personaes that takes quite a while to rank up. You'll really appreciate any 
    mutation/two ranks up that you get. Her spells Tetraja, Diarama, and Kotoludi 
    will come in handy. Despite being Thor's wife in Norse mythology, she is NOT 
    a part of the Ragnarock pathenon fusion.
    *** Add an air spell, useful support Persona in general.
    
    35 CHARIOT Seiten Taisei 
    Voids Fire; Weak against Water
         Seiten Taisei starts out with Maha Agionn, and that's a Good Thing, as 
    he's able to cast powerful fusions right at the start. His kotoludi might be 
    useful (especially if you don't have Sif). He has two physical attacks, not 
    bad. His mutation spell is Killer Wind, which gives him a second element. 
    Sama Kaja boosts spell defense; not a critical spell but useful. Megido is a 
    very strong almighty spell. I consider him a fairly strong Persona, but I 
    don't find him a candidate for adding another spell. I wouldn't bother adding 
    another elemental attack spell because he has fire, air, and almighty 
    already; I wouldn't add another status curing or support spell to him, and 
    physical attacks aren't an option. If you were desperate to have another 
    element, maybe lightning, sure, go ahead, add a zionga or freila to him if 
    that's what you need. But don't go out of your way to put a spell on him.
    *** Very useful mix of spells in a fire Persona.
    
    35 FOOL Tenjiku Tokubei
    **** It's a FOOL, they pretty much all rock. But you might want to save your 
    card...they're very rare and this one's not essential.
    
    E. Personae level 36 to 50 
    This part of the game seems to be where the differences in play style really 
    start to become apparent. Some people really leap forward in the levels, 
    while others start to use use Estoma or focus on negotiation. Consequently, 
    people tackle the next several dungeons at a lot of different levels. By now, 
    you should be developing good resources (in terms of Tarot cards and spell 
    card selection). Hopefully, you're mastering the trick of summoning Personae 
    in useful sets. The Personae in this range represent a new level of power, 
    and consequently, any Persona that has spells typical for this level is going 
    to be pretty good. Furthermore, this is the point where this guide becomes 
    more from memory than from recently-taken notes. 
    
    36 CUP Galahad *** 
    36 TOWER Loki ** 
    36 EMPRESS Seioubo ** 
    37 EMPEROR Baal *** 
    37 TEMPERANCE Stuparideth * 
    38 STAR Heinir ***/**** 
    38 JUSTICE Nata ***/**** 
    38 WORLD Njord **** 
    39 DEVIL Surt *** 
    39 HIEROPHANT Yama *** 
    40 HERMIT Genbu *** 
    40 PENTACLE Peri *** 
    41 HANGED MAN Barbatos ** 
    41 PRIESTESS Parvati *** 
    42 TOWER Aeshma *** 
    42 LOVERS Vivian **/*** 
    43 CHARIOT Susano ** 
    43 STRENGTH Takshaka * 
    44 DEATH Ankou **** 
    44 JUSTICE Gundari Myouou ** 
    44 ROD Nodens *** 
    45 EMPORER Hurakan ** 
    46 SUN Il-Dana special 
    47 DEATH Charon * 
    47 MOON Succubus **** 
    48 JUDGEMENT Armati * 
    48 SWORD Chu Chulainn ***/**** 
    48 EMPRESS Rinok *** 
    49 MAGICIAN Abe no Seimei ****+special 
    50 CHARIOT Ares *** 
    50 TOWER Seeker *** 
    50 FOOL Tobi Katou special
    
    F. Personae level 51 to 69 
    51 FORTUNE Cerberus
    51 MOON Tsukuyomi
    51 PRIESTESS Izanami
    52 CUP Bacchus
    52 EMPORER Indra
    52 JUSTICE Skanda
    53 HIEROPHANT Mithra
    54 MOON Maihime Amano SPECIAL
    54 TEMPERANCE Phoenix
    54 WORLD Mucalinda
    55 FOOL Junnoske Kuroda SPECIAL
    55 MAGICIAN Manana
    55 PRIESTESS Hathor
    56 HERMIT Kinich Ahau
    56 STRENGTH Vrita
    56 SWORD Arthur
    57 HANGED MAN Adramelech
    58 SUN Tatsunoshin Suou SPECIAL
    58 WORLD Seiryu
    59 CHARIOT Mahakala
    59 JUSTICE Bishamonten
    60 ROD Quetzalcoatl
    60 STAR Valkyrie
    61 DEVIL Beelzebub
    61 EMPRESS Kali
    61 HANGED MAN Prometheus SPECIAL
    62 MAGICIAN Isis
    62 STAR Astria SPECIAL
    62 SUN Apollo SPECIAL
    62 TOWER Hastur
    62 WORLD Uruboros
    63 JUSTICE Hyperion SPECIAL
    63 MOON Artemis SPECIAL
    63 TEMPERANCE Suzaku
    64 FORTUNE Urd
    64 PENTACLE Sarasvati
    64 PRIESTESS Scathach
    65 EMPORER Odin
    65 FOOL Fuuma Kotaru
    65 FORTUNE Verdandi
    66 FORTUNE Skuld
    66 STAR Hanuman
    67 HIEROPHANT Varuna
    68 CUP Dagda
    68 STRENGTH Wong Long
    68 TOWER Seth
    69 JUDGEMENT Amurtart
    69 MAGICIAN Rangda
    
    G. Personae level 70 to 99 
    70 FORTUNE Fenrir
    70 STAR Fariedone
    71 HERMIT Tishtoriya
    71 PRIESTESS Lakshmi
    72 EMPORER Lugh
    72 HIEROPHANT Alfred
    72 SWORD Futsuno Mitama
    73 MOON Nannar
    73 SUN Virocana
    74 DEATH Mot
    74 JUSTICE Pallas Athena
    76 JUDGEMENT Gabriel
    77 FORTUNE Gyokukoujoutei
    78 EMPRESS Gaia
    80 LOVERS Alice
    82 HIEROPHANT Brahma
    83 JUDGEMENT Michael
    85 CHARIOT Shiva
    86 EMPORER Vishnu
    88 WORLD Shokuin
    90 HANGED MAN Azazel
    96 JUDGEMENT Satan
    99 DEVIL Lucifer
    
    H. FOOL Personae
    
    III. Optimized Groups
    A. Any Four Elementals
         When creating a matched set of 4 Personae of different elements, always 
    add Earth to Water (and vice-versa) and Fire to Air (and vice-versa), and 
    preferably make the add-on spell a Maha version. That guarantees that you'll 
    always have 2 of the same element, one a terminal spell, and at least 1 of 
    the element necessary to link them. 
    
    B. Ancestors
         These three Personae are the returned ancestors Maya and the Suou 
    brothers, along with one of the characters from Innocent Sin who appears only 
    as a supporting NPC in this game. The ancestors each have only two moves, one 
    starter and one gained at rank 8. However, they have a fusion move with their 
    rank 8 moves that almost insta-kills the boss of the dungeon their 
    requirements come from. 
    54 MOON Maihime Amano
    55 FOOL Junnoske Kuroda
    58 SUN Tatsunoshin Suou
    
    
    C. Ultimate Personae
         These personae are high-level character specific Personae. You can use 
    them as your end-game Personae, though there are some more powerful ones in 
    the game. Overall, they're pretty good and the main party's set have a group 
    fusion move.
    61 HANGED MAN Prometheus 
    62 STAR Astria 
    62 SUN Apollo 
    63 JUSTICE Hyperion 
    63 MOON Artemis 
    
    
    IV. Tips & Tricks 
    Quick Rankup Trick:
         If you need to rank up a low level persona, and you are past the point 
    where you would consider it possibly useful, do not despair. I discovered 
    something while trying to rank up Kimnara so that I could return him for a 
    cheap Escape card when I was very high level. If you do a fusion using a 
    persona that's significantly lower level than the person using it, that 
    persona will get gobs of extra rank up points. And I mean, do a fusion --> 
    gain a rank. Or two. I experimented and found out how many levels it needed 
    to be, and I can't remember the exact amount now, but it's about 30 or 40 
    which is actually not too bad. Still, it's only likely you'll be doing this 
    for a handful of Personae.
    
    V. Credits & Thanks
    
         Thanks go to Dollies, for posting her game play diary and thus helping 
    me get through the game the first time; Archaeopteryx, for writing a massive 
    FAQ and being a great answer guy on the Gamfaqs board; Hyral (aka Yushiro) 
    for providing some sanity-saving info on the boards as well; Sasoriza for 
    tackling fight strategies and being a real booster of the game; Beans for 
    giving me another reason to work on this; and the GameFAQs board in general 
    for being helpful and supportive. 
         I also have to give some credit to the people on the SMT: Nocturne board 
    who nagged me into doing this. Valorous and ... ?