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An illustration of Leanan Sidhe over a Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance screenshot of the Nahobino speaking to Leanan Sidhe.
Image by Prima Games

Shin Megami Tensei V: Should You Pick Apsaras or Leanan Sidhe?

They're as cold as ice (and willing to sacrifice)

You’re given a big choice early on in Shin Megami Tensei V: do you side with Apsaras or Leanan Sidhe? This guide goes over the best option.

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Should You Pick Apsaras or Leanan Sidhe in Shin Megami Tensei V?

When given the choice to side with Apsaras or Leanan Sidhe in Shin Megami Tensei V, your best option is to pick Leanan Sidhe. You can only complete one of their subquests, and at this early point in the game, completing Leanan Sidhe’s subquest offers more useful rewards.

The Benefits of Picking Leanan Sidhe Over Apsaras

If you side with Leanan Sidhe and complete her subquest “The Water Nymph,” you’ll obtain her as an ally demon and two (2) Stamina Incense items. If you side with Apsaras and complete “The Spirit of Love” subquest, you’ll obtain Apsaras as an ally demon and two (2) Strength Incense.

Apsaras has some immediate upsides as an ally, namely her ice magic: the first boss of the game, Hydra, is weak to ice, and you will more than likely complete one of these subquests before challenging it. However, there are other ice-focused demons you can obtain before fighting Hydra instead. Leanan Sidhe has the dark skill Mudo, which isn’t effective against Hydra but can be deadly against numerous generic demons you’ll fight along the way. Leanan Sidhe also knows the skill Media, which heals your entire party. The only other way to have a party-wide heal this early in the game is to obtain Angel via demon fusion.

The items Leanan Sidhe gives you for completing her subquest are also better than Apsaras’s items. Apsaras’s Strength Incense will permanently raise a demon’s strength by one (1) point, but physical demons generally gain strength when they level up already. The Stamina Incense given by Leanan Sidhe permanently increase a demon’s max MP. This is a lot more rare and valuable, since a demon’s MP does not increase by leveling up.

While it is more beneficial to side with Leanan Sidhe, you can obtain both Apsaras and Leanan Sidhe through demon fusion later.

How to Activate Leanan Sidhe’s Subquest “The Water Nymph”

To activate “The Water Nymph” subquest, find Leanan Sidhe in a small alcove in Shiba Park and speak to her. Agree to her request, then find Apsaras back south on a cliff in Shiba.

You’ll be given the option to complete Leanan Sidhe’s request or to hear out Apsaras. Doing so will give you the chance to accept her subquest “The Spirit of Love” instead. If you want to pick Leanan Sidhe, challenge Apsaras to a battle here.

After you defeat Apsaras, report back to Leanan Sidhe where you first found her. She will give you your Stamina Incense rewards and join your demon stock. If you don’t have any empty space for her, she will wait in the same spot. Return when you have room to speak to her and she will join you.

Battling Apsaras

When you begin the battle against Apsaras, she will be accompanied by three (3) Agathion demons. Agathion can heal each other or, worse, Apsaras, with their skill Dia, so defeat them first. They are weak to ice skills, so bring along either Azumi or Mermaid. Asparas doesn’t outright block ice damage, so you can freely attack with Mermaid’s Stormcaller Song skill.

Mermaid is an especially helpful option because she is immune to ice, meaning she will take away press turns from Apsaras when she targets Mermaid with an ice skill. Still, the rest of your team will likely take damage from Apsaras, so bring Pixie or Angel for healing.

Apsaras is weak to fire, so you can have an Onmoraki tag along this battle for extra damage. Another option is to use an Onmoraki Essence to teach one of your demons (or the Nahobino if you’re planning a magic build for him) the fire skill Agi.

What if You Spoke to Apsaras First?

It’s very likely that you’ll activate “The Spirit of Love” subquest before reaching Leanan Sidhe in the Netherworld. If you started the “A Preta Predicament” subquest earlier, the Preta you need to find is near Apsaras, who is marked with the glowing subquest scroll on the world map.

It’s tempting to go up to Apsaras and activate “The Spirit of Love” right away, especially if it’s your first time playing Shin Megami Tensei V and you’re not anticipating an option later. If you activated “The Spirit of Love” but want to side with Leanan Sidhe instead, not to worry. When you reach Leanan Sidhe, you can choose to “Talk to her” rather than “Fulfill Apsaras’s request.” From there you can accept “The Water Nymph” subquest, return to Apsaras, and challenge her. The only thing that changes depending on who you speak to first is the amount of dialogue each demon has.

If you change your mind and want to help Apsaras after all, you can also challenge Leanan Sidhe even after agreeing to help her. What determines the subquest you complete is which of the two demons you choose to battle. You will always be given a warning before making your final choice for either of these two subquests.

Alternate Demons to Fill the Apsaras-Shaped Hole in Your Garrison

Obtaining Apsaras Through Demon Fusion

As previously mentioned, you can obtain Apsaras soon after completing “The Water Nymph” through demon fusion. The following table lists some of the early demons you can fuse to obtain Apsaras.

Demon 1Demon 2
Cait SithTsuchigumo
Shin Megami Tensei V: Early demons that fuse to make Apsaras

But there are other ice-based demons you can obtain at around this point in the game that are just as strong, if not stronger, than Apsaras, one of whom is especially helpful to use against Apsaras.


Mermaid is an ice-based demon you can obtain through fusion or by talking to one in the Akabanebashi area of the Netherworld, in the lake area southwest of the Tokyo Tower leyline. Her exclusive skill, Stormcaller Song, deals anywhere from three (3) to six (6) hits of weak ice damage randomly across all foes, which is incredibly powerful against the game’s first major boss Hydra. She is also immune to ice damage, so she makes for a helpful ally when battling Apsaras.

Nyami Nyami

Nyami Nyami is one of the many demons new to Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance. He can be obtained by fusing Halphas, the raven with the classy hat found in East Azabu, with either:

  • Kodama, the flying flat friend found in Shiba,
  • or Tsuchigumo, the scary enemy crab found in Shiba Park.

What makes Nyami Nyami so strong is his unique skill Glacial Dragon Spiral. It’s an ice move that ignores an enemy’s ice resistance. This a fantastic ability to have in general, since accidentally hitting an enemy’s immunity can cost you your press turns and, subsequently, the whole battle. What makes it even better is that this skill also strikes through a Mitama’s immunities. The rare Mitama enemies have random immunities each time but offer amazing rewards when defeated. You can use Glacial Dragon Spiral without fear and sometimes even defeat them in one hit.

When all is said and done, you can still choose to side with Apsaras and defeat Leanan Sidhe instead. Check out our other guides on Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance to be best prepared for what the game throws at you regardless of which demon you add to your roster.

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Niki Fakhoori
Niki’s love for video games encompasses a wide range of genres, but she is especially fond of RPGs, adventure games, visual novels, simulation games, and fighting games. Her favorite video game-related pastime is asking her unwieldy backlog why she doesn’t have any new games to play. When she isn’t playing or writing about video games, she’s playing with cats, journaling, painting, or obsessing over the latest news in the world of stationery and planners.