When you enter a battle, you will see a blue circle on the ground, which is where you draw your characters from to participate. There is a limit of 10 characters of your own that can be used in any given battle, which can be increased later on in the game. Any character whose HP is reduced to zero will be out of commission for that battle and subtracted from the deployment total. However, you can place a character back in your Base Panel and bring out a completely new one without your deployment total taking a hit.
Upon bringing out a character and pressing X on them, a menu with various options will pop up. Move allows you to move that character the allotted number of spaces they can, represented as a shoe icon in the character’s portrait. Attack lets the character use their current weapon to strike an enemy. Note that the type of weapon equipped on the character will determine how close they need to be to an enemy before they can actually attack (ex. Swords require you to be right next to them).
Special allows you to use a skill, whether they are offensive or not. All of the skills are different and have different ranges to them. Lift lets you pick up an enemy or ally that is next to you, which will change that command to Throw . Every character has a different range in which they can throw, represented by a hand icon in the character portrait. Defend makes that character guard, taking less damage. Item lets you use an item in your inventory and Equip allows you to change your equipment.
A special command that only monsters have is something called Magichange. Whenever a monster is next to a human character, they will be able to turn into a weapon and equip themselves into one of the two weapon slots. Two monsters can do this, with one going into each slot. Once you progress a little bit into the game and do something special, you’ll be able to have two monsters Magichanged into each slot.
Normally, a Magichanged monster will only last for three whole turns before they will go back into the Base Panel and use up a deployment spot (you can Magichange again). If the unit is killed with a Magichanged monster, then both units will die. There are three benefits to Magichanging, though, with the first being that the humanoid unit gains the monster’s first Unique Evility. The humanoid unit will also gain some stats and have access to special Magichange skills.
Revenge Mode and Overloads
When you receive attacks from the enemy, your Revenge Gauge will increase, which is the meter to the left of your character’s face in the bottom left. Once it has been completely filled, that character will automatically enter Revenge Mode, which has three basic benefits. First, the character’s Critical Rate will now be 100%; the SP cost of skills is also reduced to 1 and you will take 25% less damage.
The Revenge Meter will also fill up if your allies are killed and whenever you defeat enemies that are in Revenge Mode. This mode only lasts for three full turns before that character will return to normal. Some characters, though, have one more advantage, as they can learn a special skill called an Overload. This skill is only usable during Revenge Mode and can be used once per battle. Each Overload has a different effect.
Team Attacks and Combos
There are two special mechanics that will help you in delivering a swift justice to your enemies, called Team Attacks and Combos. The former only happens whenever you use a normal attack adjacent to an enemy and have other allies next to your character. When you are targeting the enemy and see the health bar at the top, there will be a percentage at the bottom that shows you the chance for the other ally to join in, making that normal attack stronger. The percentage will vary, but it can increase by having characters in the same Squad or if they use the same type of weapon.
A Combo will occur whenever you have multiple characters attacking the same enemy during the same turn consecutively. You will want to register all of the attacks at the same time before you hit Execute. The subsequent attacks in a combo will be stronger and deal more damage, up to a maximum of three times at a Combo Count of 20. By doing Combos, you will also increase the Bonus Gauge more proficiently.
Bonus Gauge and MVPs
The Bonus Gauge is something that is present on every single map in the map and can be accessed by going to the menu and selecting Bonus List. You will see a list of items and HL that can be gained at the end of a battle. The Bonus Gauge is visible after every one of your attacks (upper right) and will increase as you attack and kill enemies. The best way to increase the Bonus Gauge is by using Combos to defeat enemies.
A new addition to Disgaea 5 is the MVP system. After any battle, you will see a podium of sorts, with three (or less if you didn’t use three during the battle) characters standing on it. These are the top three characters that contributed the most to the Bonus Gauge, who will receive some extra experience and Mana for their efforts.