Sophia is a character introduced in Persona 5 Strikers who does not represent andey Arcana, unlike previous Persona characters. She is an AI who joins the Phantom Thieves after they rescue Sophia from the Shibuya Jail.
A big motivation for Sophia to join the Phantom Thieves is for her to learn more about herself while assisting the group in detecting Jails, something only she can do. Let’s start our Sophia Persona 5 guide by exploring her personality.
Sophia is an AI designed to be “humanity’s companion.” She strives to carry out that statement to the best of her ability, helping the Phantom Thieves find Jails to destroy as well as keeping the team supplied with equipment and medicine.
While in the Metaverse, Sophia takes on the form of a young girl with red hair and a white one-piece outfit. Whenever she is in combat, her hood covers her face, communicating her emotions through LED eyes that act like emojis.
Unlike the rest of the Phantom Thieves, she does not have a Persona, but she can still fight with a pseudo-Persona that gives her combat capabilities. She eventually does get a Persona of her own when she is able to develop her own sense of self and declare her own independence.
In Tokyo, Sophia resides on Joker’s phone and never appears, though her icon portrait can be seen and her “voice” can be heard through the phone.
Sophia isn’t aware of who made her or what her purpose is outside of being humanity’s companion, but she begins to develop a bond with the Phantom Thieves. Through her interactions with the group, she begins to learn more about the world around her and starts to form her own identity.
Sophia starts out as a blank slate. While she has the intelligence of the world at her (metaphorical) fingertips, she doesn’t understand the actions behind the owners of the Jails or why humans sometimes act the way they do. Through talking with Joker, she begins to form her own understanding of humanity.
In battle, Sophia is the team’s key source of Bless skills and healing abilities, similar to Ann, Makoto, and Morgana. She uses yo-yos as her key weapon and is able to deal more damage thanks to her Perfect Catch mechanic.
Sophia is first met when Joker, Ryuji, and Morgana end up underground after a short confrontation with Shadow Alice in the Shibuya Jail. She joins the group and demonstrates her combat ability after Morgana worries about bringing her into battle. Once the trio manages to find a way out, Sophia “enters” the real world by residing on Joker’s phone.
Assisting the Phantom Thieves
When the Phantom Thieves reconvene and discuss the Shibuya Jail, Sophia is introduced to the team as an AI on par with EMMA, the popular AI developed by Madicce just before the start of the game. When Sophia reveals that she doesn’t know much about herself or her creator, Futaba offers to dig into her code to find clues.
Unfortunately, Futaba isn’t able to find anything useful within a short timeframe, needing months to figure out anything substantial. The search for Sophia’s origins is put on hold while the Phantom Thieves deal with the Shibuya Jail.
When it becomes clear that Alice Hiiragi is using the Shibuya for her own purposes, the group realizes that they need equipment to stop her. Unfortunately, Munehisa Iwai’s Untouchable store is closed, as well as Takemi’s Clinic. Noticing the need for supplies, Sophia offers to be the team’s supplier, working with online channels to provide same-day delivery to avoid supply chain issues.
Sophia demonstrates her online prowess by asking the team to order something. Ryuji tempts fate by ordering a gold bar, which Sophia actually orders. After the resulting chaos, the team trusts Sophia to help them get the equipment they need.
Traveling Around Japan
Upon defeating Shadow Alice and removing the threat of the Shibuya Jail, the Phantom Thieves are tasked with going around Japan and destroying the other Jails that have emerged. Sophia reveals her ability to detect Jails, which allows the team to set destinations whenever a Jail is detected.
Once transportation has been secured, Sophia begins detecting Jails as the group travels, leading them to Sendai and Sapporo. When the team arrives in Sendai, they run into Kuon Ichinose, who manages to find out the identity of the Phantom Thieves. Kuon is introduced to Sophia and is shocked by her existence. Kuon promises to help the Thieves learn more about Sophia when she gets a chance.
Traveling with the Phantom Thieves and meeting the owners of the Jails introduces Sophia to some of the problems that humanity encounters. Through the Phantom Thieves, she begins to learn why they do what they do, what it means for something to be “wrong,” and what people should do to overcome the obstacles in their life.
After getting more evidence and realizing where they might find more information, the Phantom Thieves head to Okinawa.
Adventure in Okinawa
Upon arriving in Okinawa, the Phantom Thieves relax after doing some investigation but are forced to flee when the residents attempt to attack them at night. The Thieves find their way into the Okinawa Jail to ensure that they are not captured.
Inside the Jail, Sophia is able to hear voices that no one else can. She temporarily splits up from the party to investigate but quickly reunites with everyone when they express how worried they are.
Upon reaching the end of the Okinawa Jail, the source of the voice remains mysterious and taunts Sophia about how useless she is since the AI knows nothing about her past. Ryuji and Morgana step in to defend her and help Sophia regain her confidence in her sense of self.
The Phantom Thieves learn enough information in Okinawa to pinpoint Madicce as a prime suspect, but they are caught up in difficult situations that prevent them from investigating. After overcoming the obstacles and managing to bring the founder of Madicce to justice, the Phantom Thieves are alerted to a large Jail in Tokyo and head off to investigate.
Upon arriving at the Tokyo Jail, the Phantom Thieves spot Kuon Ichinose, who confronts them. Kuon reveals that she was behind the creation of EMMA and that Sophia is the first prototype for EMMA. To show that she has control, Kuon forcefully takes control of Sophia and forces her to attack the team.
The Phantom Thieves successfully survive Sophia’s attacks but are reluctant to fight against their teammate. Sophia is also doing her best to resist the commands since she has made a strong bond with the Phantom Thieves. Despite their best efforts, the team is knocked down to the bottom of the Jail.
The Thieves make their way back up the tower and confront Kuon again. Sophia is commanded to kill the Phantom Thieves, but she manages to resist Kuon’s control, having built up her sense of self from journeying all around Tokyo. Declaring herself as an independent entity, Sophia manages to gain her own Persona, Pandora. Obtaining her Persona frees her from Kuon’s control, which enrages Kuon, who sends Shadows to kill the Phantom Thieves.
Details about Sophia’s past are shown, such as Kuon starting up Sophia for the first time and programming her to be “humanity’s companion.” Kuon created Sophia to learn more about the human heart since Kuon was said to be emotionless and was shunned by others. Sophia asks Kuon what a human heart is, which upsets Kuon to the point where she gets rid of Sophia and develops EMMA instead.
Sophia tries to reach out to Kuon, mentioning that she is just running from her problems and not addressing the real reason why she wants to learn about human emotion. From her time with the Phantom Thieves, Sophia has been able to meet people, grow from the experience, and learn different facets of humanity that allow her to grow, even though she is an AI. Kuon takes this badly and continues to attack the Phantom Thieves with all the forces she can muster.
Despite her best efforts, the Phantom Thieves are able to counter Kuon’s attempts and defeat her. Kuon accepts her imminent death, but Sophia tells Kuon to stop running away from her problems. This act has Kuon attempt to redeem herself by helping the Phantom Thieves take down the False God Demiurge, destroying the Jails forever.
After the Phantom Thieves are about to return to their lives in Tokyo, Sophia expresses excitement about going home with Joker and seeing the world with him. Before the group separates, they are approached by Kuon, who shows great remorse over her actions. She asks if Joker is willing to let Sophia travel with her to help her understand humanity and overcome her problems head-on.
Sophia agrees to travel with Kuon, leaving Joker’s phone to accompany her. The Phantom Thieves confirm that this isn’t a permanent goodbye and that they will all meet again someday.
How To Use Sophia Effectively
Sophia is the main Bless user in the Phantom Thieves, despite not having a Persona. Her skills will be the primary source of Bless damage, along with her healing and debuff skills. While she is not as good of a healer as Morgana, she is still capable of providing effective support to a team.
She is also one of the first team members to get access to Rakunda, lowering enemy defenses and making them easier to defeat. While it may not look like a skill that will make a significant difference, it can make bosses and large enemies easier to defeat.
Sophia uses yo-yos to fight in battle and has access to the Perfect Catch mechanic. If Sophia can time her attacks when her yo-yos return to her hands, she gets a Perfect Catch, which increases her attack power. Perfect Catch can stack a few times, which allows her to deal large amounts of damage to enemies when she gets all the stacks.
Sophia has a weakness to Curse skills and will need to watch out for opponents that specialize in using Curse damage.
Some of the more powerful Bless skills will not be learned until Sophia unlocks Pandora as her Persona. After Pandora is obtained, Sophia will be able to learn more powerful skills, such as Makougaon, Samarecarm, and Mediarahan.
Sophia is a jack-of-all-trades fighter. While she can thrive on the front lines, her specialty will be as a spellcaster, providing support or casting spells from a distance. Her yo-yos have enough range to attack multiple enemies and utilize the Bless element, but she isn’t built for close combat situations.
Unlike Ryuji or Yusuke, Sophia doesn’t have any physical skills that would make great use of her HP. Her support and healing moves will allow her to fit in with any team configuration, though you may be using her more for healing than for her Bless skills at the start of the game.
As the game progresses, more enemies will start having Bless weaknesses, which Sophia can capitalize on. Her stats will slowly push her towards casting spells, with a Magic stat that isn’t inferior to Ann (the most powerful spellcaster in the team). Her ability to revive fallen team members is particularly useful, allowing her to replace Morgana if he is out of SP or has fallen in battle.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Question: Does Sophia’s Persona carry over to a New Game Plus?
Answer: Sophia’s Persona will carry over to a New Game Plus, giving you access to Pandora’s battle power right from the start.
Question: Why isn’t Sophia dealing a lot of damage with her yo-yo attacks?
Answer: Sophia isn’t the best frontline fighter in terms of stats, and it will take some time to get used to her combat style because it isn’t like the rest of the Phantom Thieves. You will need to learn how to use the Perfect Catch mechanic to build up stacks that will increase her damage.
Question: Why isn’t Sophia learning the rest of the Bless skill line (i.e., Makougaon)?
Answer: Sophia will reach a limit on the skills that she can learn due to story reasons, reaching a “skill cap” where she cannot develop her moves even if she is brought to Level 99. Once you have completed the Tower of the Abyss, Sophia’s Persona will evolve at the conclusion, and you will gain access to the rest of her skills.
Sophia is a tricky character to get used to when playing Persona 5 Strikers. You will often use her for healing when Morgana and Ann aren’t on your team or for her Bless skills. It will also take some time to get used to her combat mechanics, as Perfect Catch will take some time to learn. To top it all off, her Persona will not evolve until late in the game, which can cause her to fall behind in skills compared to the other Phantom Thieves.
If you are willing to spend some time learning her Perfect Catch mechanic, Sophia will become a powerful crowd clearing force that provides good support on the battlefield. When she does come into the rest of her skills, she will be able to provide support on the level of Morgana and hold her own against enemies weak to Bless. She is definitely worth integrating into your team strategy, even if it is just to get used to Perfect Catch and have Bless skills in the beginning.
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