One of the most traditional superbosses in the Persona series is the Reaper, the bringer of death. One of the only two Death Arcana enemies in the game, this is one of Persona 3 Reload’s most difficult challenges and requires much effort to overcome (or an overpowered spell).
How to Find the Reaper in Persona 3 Reload
The Reaper spawns in Tartarus if the player spends too long inside the same floor in Persona 3 Reload. It takes from three to five minutes for it to show up. The Reaper’s timer stops while you’re in battle or checking menus but won’t reset. You have to actively explore the same floor for a long time without fighting any Shadows or just stand idle for a bit until the Reaper decides to stalk you.
Bigger floors will usually take longer for the Reaper to spawn, while smaller ones are quicker in doing so (usually around two minutes of difference). The Reaper spawns much quicker in pitch-black floors, taking only one to two minutes to show up. Once you kill it, it won’t spawn again on the same floor.
Differently from previous versions of Persona 3, Reload’s Reaper won’t appear before 6/13 (the day you unlock Theurgy and the new SEES gear). This indirectly means you can’t fight it while Mitsuru is still your navigator. The first time you explore Tartarus with Fuuka, she gives you a tutorial on the Reaper, indicating you can now fight it. Despite that, you can also spawn the Reaper on the first block if you return there later.
When you spend too long on a floor, Fuuka warns you about “something dangerous approaching” or directly mentions the Reaper by name. After around 30 seconds have passed, the Reaper will physically show up on the floor and the screen starts glowing red. The Reaper slowly chases you until you fight it or escape to the next floor.
Also new to Reload, the Reaper can now follow you to the next floor. Yeah, seriously. If you escape it and head to the next Floor, Fuuka will soon warn you that it followed the group, and you’ll get to see a cutscene of it climbing up the stairs.
Despite it appearing quite early in the game, we don’t recommend taking on the Reaper until much later. If the Reaper catches you before you’re prepared to take it on, it will one-shot your entire party and potentially erase a significant amount of progress you’ve made in Tartarus. For that reason, you should only approach the Reaper purposefully after saving your game and making any necessary party adjustments on Tartarus’s ground floor entrance.
How to Defeat the Reaper in Persona 3 Reload
You should be extremely well-prepared to fight the Reaper in Persona 3 Reload, with all characters around level 80 or higher to stand a chance. I recommend hunting it only after reaching the border floor in the final Adamah block in Tartarus.
The Reaper has a huge HP pool and always takes two turns. It has no weaknesses or resistances and is immune to every status ailment and instakill effects. Older strategies from other Persona games won’t work on The Reaper in Reload, such as repeatedly inflicting Shock or letting him ambush you (so he only gets one turn).
Personas to Use Against the Reaper in Persona 3 Reload
Taking the Reaper’s extreme defenses in mind, you should have at least three specific types of Personas:
- A buffer Persona with Auto Mataru, Auto Raku, Auto Masuku, and Auto Rebellion (optional, only if going for physical attacks). You only enter battle with this Persona and immediately change it, so it can be any Persona you like.
- A support-focused Persona with skills like Debilitate, Heat Riser, Samerecarm, and Salvation (Mediarahan + Amrita Shower works), preferably with no weaknesses. It can be the same Persona as before. Kohryu is a great option and even learns Spell Master, but you must pass down the buffing/debuffing skills to him.
- An attacker Persona to deal damage to the Reaper, preferably with its Weakness covered by passives or Accessories. Always go for Concentrate/Charge before an attack, and bring skills that boost your specific attack (like Ice Boost and Ice Amp for Ice-based attackers), with Single-Target Boost if you can.
Any Persona will do even if they don’t have all enhancing passives as long as you have buffs/Charge/Concentrate. But passives and skills are vital for supporter Personas.
Equipment to Use Against the Reaper in Persona 3 Reload
When fighting the Reaper in Persona 3 Reload, you’ll want the most optimal equipment. The ones you get from the Mayoido Antique shop are some of the best gear you can get in the game. It requires farming a ton of Heart Items from Personas and items from Tartarus, but it’s worth the effort.
You should go for any Weapon you can get at the Antique shop that’s more powerful than the ones available at the Police Station. But the regular, Yen-bought weapons are fine, too.
For Armor, I recommend four Fallen Noble Armor and four Mysterious Geta on your team due to their high defenses and good passives. Use equivalents if using Koromaru/Aigis. Even with the Unshaken Will passive, the Reaper can still inflict Poison, so you need an Amrita Shower Persona anyway.
Accessories should cover any weaknesses your party should have left. You can use the Tome of the Void for Koromaru to give him Unshaken Will or use Fire Charm/Eye of Fire on Mitsuru to help her avoid Fire skills, for example.
Reaper Party Formation in Persona 3 Reload
For party members, I got my first kill against Persona 3 Reload’s Reaper using Mitsuru, Koromaru, and Yukari. Koromaru learns Debilitate, so he starts the fight debuffing the Reaper and Mitsuru can later reapply the debuff with her second Theurgy. Whenever that’s not happening, they should be attacking at all times.
If Koro’s down and the Protagonist can’t do it this turn for any reason, you can use Mitsuru to debuff the Reaper’s defense. Yukari serves as an attacker and secondary support, using her second Theurgy to help set up big damaging turns.
The Protagonist should be setting up Charges/Concentrates and eventual Heat Risers whenever possible to dish out some nasty hits. But reviving/healing your party members is always a priority.
You’re free to use any other members. I defeated it later with Ken healing instead of Yukari, using him for Heat Riser setup in the meanwhile and reflecting hits via his Theurgy. Junpei and Aigis have good buffs and take huge advantage of Rebellion, while Akihiko has the most powerful single-target Theurgy out of all allies.
Reaper Strategy in Persona 3 Reload
Persona 3 Reload’s Reaper has around 7000 HP (from what I could notice) and huge defenses, so the battle will last a good while. Bring enough SP-restoring items and some Revival items too, since Yukari won’t always be around to help you.
If you hit a Critical on the Reaper, you can go for an All-Out Attack but the extra turn might be more useful in this fight. With that said, Scarlet Havoc might be preferred over Trickster as your offensive Theurgy if you wanna risk the crit chance.
Since you have various ways to block ailments, the Reaper might waste some turns trying to inflict them anyway. But whenever it chooses to attack, it goes for Weaknesses. It always goes for downed targets, so heal them/bring them back up ASAP if they’re Downed.
Be careful when it ends a turn with a Concentrate, as the next move might be a devastating Megidolaon that wipes your party. Try to keep everyone topped up/almost topped up at all times or you’ll waste even more turns reviving others (if you’re still standing, of course).
But if all you want is to see it die a quick death, use the Armageddon Theurgy to instantly kill the Reaper. You learn it after fusing Helel and Satan. This requires being at least Level 88 to summon Helel (or 83 if you drew the Sun Major Arcana) and maxing out Mamoru’s Star Social Link, so it might take a while. But once you unlock this Fusion Spell, you can quickly grind the Reaper with Armageddon for some easy levels for your party members/Personas.
Rewards for Defeating the Reaper in Persona 3 Reload
After you defeat the Reaper in Persona 3 Reload, you’ll get the following rewards:
- Bloody Button.
- 400,000 XP.
- Reaper Reaped Trophy / Achievement.
The Bloody Button is an item requested by Elizabeth on Request 100. You don’t need the request to drop it. Said request rewards you with the Divine Pillar, one of the most useful accessories in the whole game. The button can also be sold for 100,000 yen. You get two of them if you have the Devil Major Arcana, making it also a good way to farm money quickly.