"I have no name. I am but two days old."
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There's nothing quite like executing a combo that gets you into the SSS ranking in Devil May Cry 5. However, being able to do so requires a little more finesse than mindlessly mashing on buttons or even executing simple combos. As an action game, DMC5 is packed with complex mechanics that take practice and patience to fully master. It presents you with tons of options, and you'll often need to decide how best to take advantage of the tools the game presents you.
As series newcomer V, you fight foes from a range, commanding his pet demons to execute all sorts of dizzying combos. In this guide, we give you the basics of how to play him, as well as offer some tips on how to achieve an SSS rank. For visual reference, jump to the in the video above to see what SSS rank V combat looks like in action. Otherwise, you can watch the video below.
V is essentially DMC5's glass cannon. Though frail and weak in appearance, this demon hunter possesses impressive powers and relies on his demonic familiars--the shape-shifting panther Shadow, demonic bird Griffon, and giant golem Nightmare--to do damage for him.
With V's demons, you can perform all manner of complex combos and juggles, but you're generally standing away from combat instead of being on the front lines. However, V must step in and deal the final blow himself, which creates another tactical layer to his playstyle. It's a constant balancing act when playing as V, as you're frequently fighting demons from afar, getting in close to finish them off, and then pulling back out to keep a safe distance.
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Unlike his sword-touting allies, V demands patience and restraint. He's all about positioning and paying attention to the enemies on the field, only dodging when you absolutely must, as to do so temporarily takes one of your pet demons out of play. You generally want to keep at arm's length from enemies. Your familiars are excellent at keeping the enemy's attention, but if you approach too close to the action with V, they'll immediately divert their focus.
V has three pet demons in his arsenal, and they each inflict damage differently. Shadow and Griffon function as V's melee and ranged attacks respectively. You're primarily commanding them to attack enemies, while also coordinating strikes. It's possible to make them autonomous for a brief duration--which also boosts their attack power--but the deadliest combos come from when you stay in control.
The third familiar, Nightmare, acts as a Devil Trigger-like special move and can only be summoned once you have enough energy stored up. When this hulking golem enters the field, it becomes a major force that can dish out massive damage all on its own in a short time. If you purchased the Promotion skill, you can command it yourself, using its powerful melee strikes and long-range laser attack. You generally want to use Nightmare when you're looking to increase your damage output or if you're about to die and need to instantly revive any fallen familiars. Once Nightmare enters the fray, you can rest easy and let it do its thing.
At first, it can be a bit disorienting jumping into V's playstyle fresh after Nero. As a result, there's a natural inclination to spam the attack buttons and let the Familiars do their thing. While this can be viable against minor foes, you'll need to coordinate and set-up attacks against the more challenging demons. Both Shadow and Griffon will automatically try to get near the enemy you're targeting, so wait on them first before initiating a combo. However, be wary about getting too far from your targeted enemy, as doing so instantly teleports Shadow and Griffon back by your side upon pressing their attack buttons. Though you'll need to keep V at a distance, don't trail off too from combat.
Another thing to keep in mind is remembering the difference in perspectives for the demons and V. If you're having trouble performing directional attacks, it may be because you're trying to input them in accordance to the positioning of your pet demons and not V himself. Furthermore, reduce movement while you're attacking so as to avoid performing certain attacks unintentionally.
Once Nightmare makes it on the field, it can be tough to keep track of your smaller familiars, Shadow and Griffon. If you need a breather, spend Devil Trigger to amplify either Shadow or Griffon, which will set them on a temporary AI control. Doing this will let you keep your focus on only one familiar instead of both of them. However, doing this will expend the energy you have left for Nightmare to stay on the field.
When playing as V, the easiest way to build up a SSS ranking is by keeping a steady flow going for both Shadow and Griffon and to immediately go in for the killing blow with the demon summoner when the time is right. V's three familiar all possess attacks that can strike multiple enemies at once, which means you'll be tearing through enemies far more quickly compared to Dante and Nero. Nightmare can quickly skyrocket your ranking with its devastating attacks, but if you're only using Shadow and Griffon, diversify your attacks and use them in tandem to juggle enemies. It may take some time and finagling to get it just right, but before you know, you'll find that using your familiars to do your dirty work is a pretty solid way to get a stylish flow going. This will also give you a great opportunity to have V crack up open his book and recite some William Blake poetry, granting you a boost in Devil Trigger.