How to defeat the Hydra in Shin Megami Tensei V

Have you tried getting up on the Hydra’s back?

The Many-headed Hydra

Image via Atlus

While you may have had an easy time breaking through Abscesses in Shin Megami Tensei V, knocking out sidequests and even getting some early Mitama farm going, your first real test will be at the base of the Tokyo Tower. The Hydra is a multi-headed demon that not only boasts the largest health pool of any demon you’ve fought so far, but it also can deal a threatening amount of damage in a single turn. If you’re having a little trouble, we’ve got some tips on taking this boss down.

Hydra, being a real boss and not an Abscess goon, has a few tricks that you must prepare for, or risk getting a game over. Hydra nullifies fire attacks but is weak to ice attacks. This right away tells you that you have some good choices in demon picks available to you — Mermaid and Apsaras. Mermaid can be fused pretty easily, as it only takes a Pixie and Preta to create. Mermaid has access to Stormcaller Song, which deals three to six hits of weak ice damage — and against a single target, pumps out much more damage than regular Bufu does.

Apsaras is a little trickier to obtain. If you sided with Apsaras during the Sign of Love quest, Apsaras joined your party and should be good to go — otherwise, she can be fused with Cait Sith and Tsuchigumo. She has access to Bufu, coming in with an innate +2 to her Ice element. Your third party member can be anything you choose, but make sure it isn’t weak to fire attacks. Obariyon is a fine choice, due to its access to Sukunda.

Hydra will use Fire Breath, Poison Breath, and Frenzy for its attacks. If you managed to snag a Sukunda somewhere, Sukunda will make it unlikely to hit. Turn one, use Magatsuhi: Critical, and slam it with your strongest ice or neutral hitting attacks. This should easily cut its HP down to 66% or better. Simply heal when necessary and you should be able to cut this beast’s head off no problem.