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Nero's Devil Breakers: A Short Devil May Cry 5 Guide

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Actually, it's pretty comprehensive

[Some people can just cruise through video games like nothing matters, lapping up all the knowledge and skill in various titles like so much potent potables. The rest of us need people like Fivefinger Delta to tell us how to tie our shoes and remind us to breathe every couple of seconds. In their first blog [!] they help the scrubs like me have a chance in games like Devil May Cry 5, where I'd normally just flounder and give up after a few hours. They're truly the hero Destructoid needs. - Wes]

So you've beaten Devil May Cry V on Human. Maybe you started on Devil Hunter. In a world of endless open-world map-clearers, your eyes have been opened to a shorter, tighter type of game that didn't last as long as you expect from a full-priced triple-AAA experience. But when the credits finished, you jumped back in. And when those credits finished, you jumped back in again. You've finished the game twice now and you still haven't scratched the surface, because what's on the screen isn't everything that there is to see. Your combat is improving, you're hitting S, SS, SSS, you're getting hit less and your Devil Breakers are breaking when you want them to break.

Below is a short guide listing each of the Devil Breakers (in alphabetical order) with a few tips that may help you better understand the tools at your disposal. It assumes that you haven't played previous entries in the series but, for the sake of spoilers, have beaten the game. I will however, try to keep such spoilers as vague as possible.

Other than Gerbera, I will not be commenting on the pre-order bonus arms as I do not have them.

Buster Arm

The Buster Arm is a recreation of Nero's Buster attack from Devil May Cry 4. When O/B is pressed Nero will perform a damage-dealing animation on enemies. These animations are usually unique to individual enemy types and may be performed on the ground or in the air. It can even be used on bosses. It is important to note that despite being locked into these animations, the attack may be interrupted causing your arm to break and for you to take damage.

The charged or held O/B attack is a stronger version, however, as you lose your arm anyway, when performing the move, Nero will gain hyper armour. Hyper armour means that your attack will not be interrupted, but you will still take damage when being hit.

Now I know what you're thinking. You've reached that stage in the game and you're wondering why the hell would you keep using this Devil Breaker. Well, Nico is such a skilled gunsmith that even demonic powers cannot match the damage output of Buster. While you may have access to the original Buster attack, both the Buster Arm and charged Buster Arm attacks will vastly out-damage it.

Gerbera

Gerbera is an excellent Devil Breaker for both offensive and defensive play. For those who are still getting used to having to jump or use lock-on to dodge, Gerbera provides you with a more natural dodge. And for all those Souls-veterans -- it's on the O/B button!

Any directional input plus O/B will cause Nero to dodge. This dodge does provide a few frames of invincibility. However it can be used offensively too. When facing a nearby enemy Nero will take said enemy with him, separating that enemy from the crowd and can be used to initiate a combo without worrying about being hit by surrounding enemies. This move even works when dodging backwards and Nero will pull said enemy with his Wire Snatch.

When holding O/B, Nero will charge his arm for one of two moves. On the ground, Nero will be locked into position and emit a high-beam laser. This laser can be aimed and moved for its duration, however due to being locked into the animation, Nero is susceptible to taking damage and thus it should be used strategically. Using this move will break Gerbera.

Second, when holding O/B and releasing the charge in the air, Gerbera will fire multiple, ricocheting lasers. This is a much safer move to use and is perfect for starting a pop-up rave in a small rooms. Once again, using this move will break Gerbera.

Last is pressing O/B without any directional input (neutral O/B). Neutral O/B will cause enemies to be knocked back, however, this move does negligible damage. Where it truly shines though is in its ability to deflect projectiles, or rather, reflect projectiles. Enemies, including bosses, can take large amounts of damage from their own projectiles.

If you, on the back of Monster Hunter World and Resident Evil 2, had newfound faith in Capcom and broke the No Pre-Orders Rule, you might be using the Gerbera GP-01. The GP-01's neutral O/B is a vertical dash, either from ground to air or air to ground. While the GP-01 might look super stylish, it doesn't feel as stylish as reflecting a fireball straight back at Goliath.

Edit: I have recently discovered that you can reflect projectiles while dodging in any direction, therefore if your prefer Gerbera GP-01's neutral O/B vertical dodge to the palm strike, then you can use that without sacrificing the ability to parry projectiles.

Helter Skelter

Helter Skelter is a very straightforward Devil Breaker with an obvious use -- it's great for breaking shields or guards. While a single press of O/B will cause you to drill into the targeted enemy, repeatedly tapping O/B will continue the attack and increase your damage output. This attack can be augmented three times the longer you keep tapping O/B and is represented visually by your arm opening up and expanding at each level. As it is a focused attack, you need to be aware of surrounding enemies that may interrupt you while trying to break the targeted enemy's guard.

The Helter Skelter's charged O/B attack is a horizontal drill attack that will also displace yourself and the enemy. Furthermore the attack will immediately break the enemy's guard while separating yourself and the enemy from the pack at the cost of breaking the Helter Skelter. There is hyper armour during the animation of both the wind-up and the attack.

Overture

Overture is an early-game workhorse that is great for new players but does contain depth. Similar to Gerber's neutral O/B, Overture's O/B will cause enemies to be knocked back while also taking damage from the lightning. This move is great for players who may find themselves surrounded and need to create space. Furthermore, the knockback can be used in various instances for initiating combos. For example when an enemy has been hiked into the air, O/B will be directed upwards for a second hike. When Nero is above an enemy, O/B will be directed downwards and will knock an enemy into the ground, causing it to bounce back into the air.

Again, similar to Gerbera's neutral O/B, when timed right, Overture's O/B can be used to block enemy attacks, causing them to be thrown back. While risky, it can be very satisfying to pull off against a charging boss.

Overture's charged O/B will embed a ticking bomb into the ground or, if facing an enemy, into the enemy. While the bomb will detonate after a certain amount of time, the bomb can be detonated by attacking the enemy, for example by firing a single shot at the targeted enemy. The bomb will also send surrounding enemies flying to give the player some recovery time.

While the charged O/B will break Overture, if you stack them as your only Devil Breakers, multiple bombs can be placed into a single enemy at the same time causing massive damage. This is particularly devastating against bosses.

Punch Line

Punch Line is a multifaceted Devil Breaker with a lot going for it in both the damage and style departments. Punch Line's O/B will send out a rocket-propelled arm that will knock back and then hit an enemy multiple times before returning to your side. It is excellent for stunlocking an enemy. If you anticipate that you're about to take damage and don't want Punch Line to break, you can tap O/B to have the Devil Breaker return to you or press L1/LB to manually break your Devil Breaker causing it to explode wherever it is at that moment.

However, if you have launched Punch Line and instead hold O/B rather than tap, Punch Line will allow you to rocket surf, which is a callback to Dante in DMC 3. Once Nero is riding Punch Line, there are a variety of moves available to the player. Pressing Squre/X on an enemy will damage the enemy; however, the real utility of this input is when combined with a direction Nero will immediately change direction rather than relying on the large turning circle of the rocket. You can do a complete on-the-spot 180 if you have to.

While rocket surfing, pressing Triangle/Y on an enemy will damage the enemy and continue in the direction you are facing. Holding Triangle/Y when approaching an enemy will launch that enemy and send you in the opposite direction. This also works against walls and "collidable" objects, which is great for moving around an arena.

Pressing O/B while surfing Punch Line will cause Nero to jump, launching enemies in the air with him. While jumping, Nero may again use the Square/X input to change direction or do a number of attacks, or rather, tricks.

  • While jumping, Left and Triangle/Y will cause Nero to spin counter-clockwise, damaging enemies.
  • While jumping, Right and Triangle/Y will cause Nero to spin clockwise, damaging enemies.
  • While jumping, Up and Triangle/Y will cause Nero to do a front flip, damaging enemies. If you land the front flip, Nero will continue riding Punch Line. If you fail to land the front flip, Punch Line will shoot forward, exploding on impact and breaking Punch Line while Nero bails.

When riding Punch Line the player may recall and dismount Punch Line by pressing X/A or may manually break Punch Line, shooting it forward, exploding on impact with L1/LB. If the player is hit at any point while riding Punch Line, Punch Line will break.

Finally, Punch Line's charged O/B is a devastating attack that can be done on the ground for an uppercut or in the air which will shoot Punch Line into the ground below Nero before exploding. Keep in mind that Punch Line's charged O/B has a long charge animation and does not have hyper armour and when interrupted will cause Punch Line to break. It is worth it though and uppercutting a giant boss is a sight worth seeing.

Ragtime

Ragtime is a fairly intuitive Devil Breaker. Pressing O/B will place an orb that slows time for any enemies caught in the sphere. Nero meanwhile has free movement within the sphere and can deal damage rather safely. However it is very easy to knock an enemy out of these rather small orbs during a combo. Furthermore, if an enemy has already started an attack animation, it is possible to walk into the attack and take damage causing Ragtime to break.

Ragtime's charged O/B will cause the entire arena and everything except Nero to be slowed. If you've played Bayonetta you will be well-acquainted with her Witch Time and you know this is the perfect time to pull off a long combo and try to deal as much damage as possible. Ragtime will break upon a charged use and both regular O/B and charged O/B do not affect some bosses.

Rawhide

Rawhide is a good Devil Breaker for creating space and mixing up your attacks. Unique to Rawhide is that it increases the range of Nero's Wire Snatch (R1/RB and O/B). If you aren't a player who is ready to fully explore Nero's Devil Breakers yet or tend to get hit a lot while you practice, having Rawhide equipped simply for Wire Snatch is an excellent choice.

Pressing O/B will initiate a combo and if pressed continuously will result in three hits before knocking the enemy back. Furthermore, the whip-like animation can hit surrounding enemies while you focus on a targeted enemy. If you space your O/B inputs out with correct timing, Nero will perform more hits in the Rawhide combo than the standard three.

Rawhide's charged O/B will lasso the targeted enemy, swinging them around, before knocking the enemy into the ground, causing them to bounce. This is a great way to initiate a combo and Nero has invincibility-frames during the animation before it breaks. As with the regular Rawhide attack, the whip-like animation can hit surrounding enemies.

Tomboy

Finally, we have the Tomboy, the best or worst Devil Breaker depending on who you ask. Pressing O/B will initiate the Tomboy's altered state which affects both your sword, Red Queen, and your gun, Blue Rose. Pressing O/B again will take you out of Tomboy's altered state.

While Tomboy is active, you cannot use lock-on. Instead the R1/RB button is used to modify your moveset, which I will go into later.

When Tomboy is active, pressing Triangle/Y will cause Nero to attack in a potential double-digit combo with each attack getting stronger for every hit. If you land all your hits, the last hit of the combo will knock the enemy into the ground, causing them to bounce.

When Nero is in the air, pressing Triangle/Y will cause Nero to slam to the ground but if you press Triangle/Y just as your first attack hits (a bit like Exceed), Nero will delay the slam for a second attack.

For the R1/RB modifiers, pressing R1/RB and Triangle/Y will cause Nero to perform a stinger-like move that will hike the enemy into the air.

When Nero is in the air, pressing R1/RB and Triangle/Y will cause Nero to perform multiple front flips while swinging his sword ending with the enemy being knocked into the ground, causing them to bounce.

When Tomboy is active, your gun is also modified. Pressing Square/X will pull out a reticle that you can aim to shoot at enemies with a further press of Square/X. However if you hold Square/X, you will charge up a shot that can deal out large amounts of damage and penetrate multiple enemies.

Being hit at any point while Tomboy is active will cause the Devil Breaker to break.

Tomboy's charged O/B is a longer and more powerful version of the Tomboy's basic power. However, unlike the basic O/B, the charged O/B's altered state cannot be toggled on or off and will break when you are either hit or it runs out.

Thank you for reading this - it's my first post. If I've made any mistakes or you have any other tips to add, please let me know and I hope you have learned something along the way.

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