The Persona series is fantastic. It combines life-sim elements with classic Atlus dungeon crawling. It’s got a lot of things to love about it. One of my favorite things is the demons or personas you can use during battle. I really like that all of them are based on demons, gods, or characters from real-world things. Examples of that are Lucifuge and Hecate and influenced by mythologies and literature like Zoro. One persona that has been a part of many persona games but is often overlooked is the star of today’s Decarabia Guide.
The little guy has appeared in most of the Shin Megami Tensei and persona games, so what does the little guy have going for him to earn such popularity? Come with me, and let’s find out.
The Star of the Show
Decarabia will definitely be one of the lesser-known demons you come across when playing Persona. He never got the privilege of being featured in the bible, so he’s not popular like Moloch; instead, he comes from a lesser-known book called “The Lesser Key of Solomon.”
A text from the 17th century that’s a combination of 5 different books. The books included are the Ars Theurgia-Goetia, Ars Paulina, Ars Almadel, and Ars Notoria, but the main book you want to focus on is the Ars Goetia.
Within the Ars Goetia is a list of 72 demons. Alongside the listings are explanations of each demon and what they do. This has made the Lesser Key of Solomon quite the famous work among the occult and an excellent source of inspiration for Atlus. Quite a few of the demons and personas from their games actually come from this book.
Decarabia is one of the said 72 demons, although his name is sometimes just Carabia. He’s the 69th demon (nice) listed under the marquises of hell, alongside Andras and Forneus. He has 30 legions of demons under him, and Decarabia has an impressive knowledge of herbs and minerals alongside the ability to transform into any bird he sees.
He was drawn as a pentagram but was noted to be able to change into a man if his summoner at his summoner’s behest. Sometimes Decarabia is depicted in his human form as a man with his arms crossed over his head and arms crossed beneath him, twisting and contorting his body into the shape of a star.
This explains why Atlus decided to depict Decarabia as a star. There are also some references to starfish in its red and blue design and strangely textured back. His original design from the first Shin Megami Tensei makes this even clearer by showing Decarabia as this fleshy creature. Now, I’m not quite sure what the texture of Decarabia’s skin is supposed to be.
To me, it looks smooth like polished granite, which could be a reference to Decarabia’s knowledge of rocks and minerals.
Despite appearing in most Persona games, Decarabia has never had anything that could remotely be called a key moment. He’s just one of many personas at the protagonist’s disposal.
Letting Your Inner-Star Shine
Decarabia has appeared in all just about every Persona game. From Persona 3: FES to Persona 4 and Persona 5: Royal. He really is one of Atlus’ favorite personas.
Persona 3, FES, and Portable
In almost all of the Persona games, Decarabia is the same. Specifically, in Persona 3, he is a level 50 persona of the Fool Arcana. He blocks fire and is weak to ice. He’s one of the few personas to have a fusion spell with Forneus called Best Friends. The fusion spell and its skills are as follows:
- Stagnant Air: Cost 15 SP, doubles everyone’s ailment susceptibility for three turns. It knows this skill by default.
- Matarunda: Cost 12 SP, decreases all foes’ attack. It knows this skill by default.
- Megido: Cost 45 SP, deals mediums almighty damage to all enemies. It knows this skill by default.
- Evade Ice: passive, triples evasion rate against ice attacks. It learns this skill at level 52.
- Marakukaja: Cost 12 SP, increases the entire party’s defense. It learns this skill at level 54.
- Resist Ice: Passive, reduces damage from ice attacks, overwriting a weakness. It learns this skill at level 56.
- Best Friends: Cost 15% SP, requires Forneus and Decarabia, combines all Kaja skills on one ally.
Decarabia is surprisingly solid for a mid-game persona. He doesn’t have any valuable attacking skills, but the ability to overwrite his own weakness to ice makes him useful to have equipped. What’s more, Decarabia’s fusion spell “Best Friends” is a Heat Riser that can get quite early. I’d recommend you have him equipped first, so you can start with Best Friends before switching to a stronger persona on your second turn.
The skill card you get from him in FES and Portable is Marakukaja, which isn’t a bad skill, but nothing you’d be so hard pressed to find that you’d make Decarabia. I’d say keep him around even after he becomes too low of a level to be much help in a fight. Being able to throw out a Heat Riser is genuinely that useful.
Persona 4 and Persona 4: Golden
Persona 4 and Persona 4: Golden, Decarabia is the same. He’s a level 46 persona of the Fool Arcana that likes to inherit fire skills. He blocks electricity and light, resists wind, and is weak to physical attacks. Its skills are as follows:
- Agidyne: Cost 12 SP, deals heavy fire damage to 1 foe. It knows this skill by default.
- Matarunda: Cost 24 SP, decreases all foes’ attack for three turns. It knows this skill by default.
- Tetrakarn: Cost 36 SP, casts a barrier that reflects physical damage once to one ally. It knows this skill by default.
- Evade Physical: Passive, triples evasion rate against physical attacks. It learns this skill at level 48.
- Megidola: Cost 32 SP, deals heavy almighty damage to all foes. It learns this skill at level 50.
- Fire Amp: Passive, strengthens fire attacks by 50%. It learns this skill at level 51.
- Resist Physical: Passive, reduces damage from physical attacks, overwriting a weakness. It learns this skill at level 52.
Persona 4‘s Decarabia is very similar to Persona 3‘s, but it’s made better by being weak to physical and keeping its gimmick of gradually overcoming said weakness. Physical attacks are super common, making it risky at first, but by the time you get to resist physical, you’ll have a great fire persona that can cast Matarunda to do some debuffing. It even has Megidola, so it remains useful against enemies that resist fire. The fact that it’s also a part of the fool Arcana makes me think it’s supposed to be a bit of a metaphor for the player’s growth.
He gives the Megidola skill card when itemized, which isn’t the worst thing you could have gotten. Not sure if I’d be so eager to get the skill card because almighty attacks cost so much SP, but they are helpful.
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, Decarabia is once again a member of the Fool Arcana and starts at level 52. He likes to inherit ice skills, which is notably different from his previous iterations, and the skill card Megidola can be extracted from it. Its skill list is as follows:
- Agidyne: Cost 46 SP, heavy fire attack to one enemy.
- Megidola: Cost 68 SP, a heavy almighty attack with a medium chance of knockdown.
- Farsight: Passive, navigation skill, reveal treasure boxes, FOEs, and shortcuts within 11 squares.
- Stun Circle: Cost 18 SP, medium chance of paralyzing enemies for three turns.
- Summon Demon: Cost 72 SP, a heavy almighty attack to all enemies, requires a circle to be active.
- Circle Recovery: Passive, slightly restores HP each turn, requires a circle to be active.
- Legameton: Passive, raises the power of summons in circles.
Decarabia’s greatest strength is how well he works with circles. They’re not bad skills, and paralysis is one of the better status effects that you can use. Farsight is kind of pointless because you should be exploring the dungeons entirely to get the special locked chest that only opens at 100% map completion. Summon Demon is fantastic. It’s a better Megidola, so you can replace that skill with the one you get from a skill card.
The megidola skill card you can get from him is decent enough but probably not worth it getting rid of your Decarabia.
Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal
What makes Persona 5 different from its predecessors in Persona 3 and Persona 4 is that the shadows aren’t just faceless creatures. Taking a page from Shin Megami Tensei, the shadows appear as the personas you can fight and recruit. This means that Decarabia has two versions. The Decarabia you fight, and the one after you get him on your side, through negotiation or fusion.
The enemy can be found in Okumura’s Palace and the Adyeshach area in Momentos under the name of the Viscous Pentagram.
Persona 5 & Persona 5 Royal – The Enemy
The enemy Decarabia is the same in the original Persona 5 and Persona 5: Royal. Decarabia is a level 32 persona of the Fool Arcana. It likes to inherit fire skills, reflects fire, resists nuclear and curse, and is weak to physical attacks. Its skill list is short but goes as follows:
- Tetrakarn: place a shield over all to block one physical or gun attack.
- Megidola: heavy almighty damage to all foes.
- Agidyne: heavy fire damage to 1 enemy. Rare chance of burn.
The enemy is actually quite dangerous if you get ambushed because it gets to steal act before you do. They’ll usually spend their first turn casting Tetrakarn, which is really problematic since it blocks off their only weakness. Then they can start dropping Megidola’s on you. All I can recommend is not to get caught off guard and murder it first. Otherwise, it will cast Tetrakarn and proceed to laugh as you die in one or two hits.
Persona 5 – The Ally
The fact remains that Decarabia is a level 32 persona of the Fool Arcana that likes to inherit fire, resist nuclear and curse, and is weak to physical attacks. It drops the fire boost skill card when put in the electric chair, which is actually pretty good since you can recruit the demon and don’t have to waste resources fusing it. For some reason that will forever bug me, his skill list as an ally is entirely different from his skill list as an enemy, and it goes as follows:
- Agilao: Cost 8 SP, medium fire damage to 1 enemy, rare chance of burn. It knows this skill by default.
- Ominus Words: Cost 5 SP, high chance of inflicting despair on one foe. It knows this skill by default.
- Margaion: Cost 16 SP, medium fire damage to all foes, rare chance of burn. It learns this skill at level 33.
- Fire Boost: Passive, strengthens fire attacks by 25%. It learns this skill at level 35.
- Null fire: Passive, makes you immune to fire attacks while the persona is equipped, overwrites weaknesses. It learns this skill at level 36.
- Evil Smile: Cost 12 SP, has a medium chance of inflicting fear on all foes. It learns this skill at level 37.
- Tetrakarn: Cost 36 SP, casts a barrier that reflects one physical or gun attack for one ally. It learns this skill at level 38.
This persona is a significant step down from Decarabia’s appearance in Persona 3 and Persona 4. It’s decent enough when it comes to fire attacks, but being weak to physical is a HUGE problem. It means you’ll be getting knocked down with every other hit. Tetrakarn could help this, but it’s the last skill it learns and is crazy expensive to boot.
Turn this thing into a skill card at the first chance you get because that’s the most use you’ll get out of it. You might want to pass Ominus Words through fusion if you get a second one; it’s one of the only ways the Player can actually inflict the despair status effect.
Persona 5: Royal – The Ally
The biggest change made to Decarabia in Royal is its Arcana changing from Fool to Councillor. That was done to tie into the Dr. Maruki confidant that’s unique to this version of Persona 5. Decarabia’s resistances are the same as before, favoring fire, resisting nuclear and curse, and being weak to physical. Its skill list is only slightly different from the one in the base Persona 5.
Maragion -> Tetrakarn – Costs 24 SP, casts a barrier that will repel one physical or gun attack on one ally. It learns this skill at level 33.
Null Fire -> Agidyne – Costs 12 SP, heavy fire damage to one enemy with low chance to inflict burn. It learns this skill at level 36.
Evil Smile -> Null Fire – Passive, makes you immune to fire attacks while the persona is equipped, overwrites weaknesses. It learns this skill at level 37.
Tetrakarn -> Megidola – Costs 24 SP, heavy almighty attack to all enemies. It learns this skill at level 38.
Two mechanics unique to the Royal version of Persona 5 are Persona Traits, which are special passive abilities personas get, and fusion alarms, which will change what you get when itemizing a persona. Decarabia’s persona trait is Heated Bloodline which reduces the cost of fire skills by 50%. Under normal circumstances, Decarabia will give the Maragion skill card, and during a fusion alarm, it will give Agidyne.
Persona 5: Royal’s version of Decarabia is better than the one in Persona 5, but that’s not saying much, and it isn’t a particularly big step up. It’s better at being a fire persona, thanks to Agidyne, but it still has that physical weakness. It learns Tetrakarn earlier, for what it’s worth, but Tetrakarn is still costs too much SP for it to be used a lot, and it uses up a turn you could’ve attacked. It’s got Megidola this time, which is neat, but like Tetrakarn, it’s just too expensive to be used a lot.
Its Persona Trait really helps its damage, but I’ve already addressed how its physical weakness gets in the way of that. The skill card it gives during a fusion alarm, Agidyne, is nice, but I was never so hardpressed for a dyne skill that I ever made a skill card for one. Since you can recruit this persona, it would be a decent way to get the skill card.
Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth
In Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, Decarabia goes back to being a level 52 Persona of the Fool Arcana. The skill card you can extract from it is Megidola, and its skill list is as follows:
- Nuclear Blast: Cost 82 HP, heavy nuke attack to 1 enemy that splashes to either side. It knows this skill by default.
- Mutudi: Cost 4 SP, removes all binds on one row. It knows this skill by default.
- Megidola: Cost 32 SP, heavy almighty attack to all enemies. It learns this skill at level 54.
- Confusion Circle: Cost 18 SP, has a medium chance of Confusion each turn for three turns to all enemies. It learns this skill at level 55.
- Mafreila: Cost 36 SP, medium nuke attack to all enemies. It learns this skill at level 56.
Not a lousy persona per se, but it doesn’t live up to how good it was in Persona 3 and Persona 4. It’s still better than the underwhelming SP hog that was Decarabia in Persona 5. I do like that it knows Nuclear Blast by default, which is a good skill. In fact, I kind of wish that was the skill card you could get from it instead of Megidola. Confusion Circle is decent enough as a thing to throw down when you can’t hit a weakness, and Mutudi is a godsend because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost fights due to a stupid bind.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is Decarabia good?
Answer: That really depends on what Persona game you’ve got. He’s a pretty solid persona in Persona 3 and Persona 4, but you’ll have to put in some work to get his resist physical skill to make up for the weakness. Aside from making up for the weakness, it will also grant resistance to the most common attack in the game and can be passed on to an actually useful persona.
I’d bother recruiting it in Persona 5, but NOT fusing it, just to get my hands on the skill card. The persona doesn’t have anything particularly good going for it that other personas can’t do better, or without the terrible weakness to physical skills.
Decarabia is a pretty good persona in both of the Persona Q games. They have decent coverage with one of the better skill circles, and the one from Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth has fantastic almighty skills that don’t cost too much. The one from Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth is a solid nuke persona that can do some support and deal a bit of almighty damage if it needs to.
Question: How do I get Decarabia?
Answer: It isn’t super hard to fuse Decarabia in Persona 3. To get one, you can do a triangle fusion between Lachesis + Ragnada + Ganga. It’s a good fusion for fulfilling one of Elizabeth or Theodore’s fusion requests.
In Persona 4 and Persona 4: Golden Decarabia can be obtained through shuffle time in the Secret Laboratory (Naoto’s) Dungeon.
In Persona 5 and Persona 5: Royal Decarabia can be recruited in Okumura’s Palace and the Adyeshach area in Momentos under the title of the viscous pentagram.
Question: What do I do when Decarabia casts tetrakarn?
Answer: The best thing to do is to try and murder it with a magic attack, so your damage doesn’t reflect, but if you have to get rid of the shield, try using your weakest physical attack. In Persona 3, Persona 4, Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, and Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, that’s probably your default physical attack. In Persona 5 and Persona 5: Royal, pull out Joker’s pistol or Morgana’s slingshot to eat the damage.
There’s also the skill Tetra Break, which dispels both the Tetrakarn and Makarakarn barriers. It’s not super useful or practical to have because the skill is worthless when an enemy doesn’t have a Tetrakarn or Makarakan up. The enemies that can cast a karn-skill aren’t common enough to waste one of your limited skill slots on Tetra Break, rather than an almighty attack like Megidolaon, which ignores shields entirely.
Decarabia is surprisingly iconic as far as demons and Personas that Atlus has used. It’s been a super common reoccurrence and was even made into a follower that finds items for you in Shin Megami Tensei V. If Atlus pushed for the little guy just a little more, I’m sure he could be put up there with Jack Frost and other demons like Slime and Mothman in-terms of popularity.
It’s not always the best Persona in the games, but it always has a use for it, even if it is as lowly as being skill card fodder or fusion fodder for one of the Velvet Room Attendant’s requests. So, I suppose that makes Decarabia pretty cool.