They say you should never meet your heroes, because there’s no way they’ll live up to your expectations of them. This goes double in the event that your heroes are a band of metaphysical heart-stealing thieves whose actual methods you don’t even know. When you leave things to a fan’s imagination, it can get a little weird. Here’s how to beat Akane’s Joker in Persona 5 Strikers.

The Monarch of the Kyoto Jail is Akane Hasegawa, Zenkichi’s own daughter. With the Phantom Thieves under suspicion of murder and terrorism and her dad under arrest, Akane’s in a bit of a volatile emotional state. When you confront her, she refuses to believe that you’re the real Phantom Thieves, opting instead to conjure up her own red-haired knockoffs. Everyone will need to split up to take on their doppelganger, leaving you to take on the bootleg Joker all on your lonesome. 

How to Beat Akane’s Joker in Persona 5 Strikers

Since Akane doesn’t know about Personas, her fake Joker can’t summon one of his own, meaning he can only fight with his gun and knife. His lack of a Persona also means he has no elemental resistances. That’s the good news. The bad news is that despite lacking elemental skills, Akane’s Joker hits like a truck with his basic attacks. He’ll stab at you and pepper you with bullets, though the real thing you need to watch out for is his combo attack, which can stunlock you for its entire duration. Akane’s Joker is also extremely acrobatic and quick, allowing him to easily dodge out of the way of any large scale attacks.

With these factors in mind, your best bet as far as preparation goes is to pack a Persona with buffs and debuffs. Anything you can do to make yourself stronger and him weaker is worth doing. To deal damage, opt for an old-school hit and run strategy; bait him into taking a swing or unleashing a combo and dodge out of the way, and when he leaves himself open, lay down a quick knife combo and Persona attack. He’ll have a harder time dodging Persona attacks baked into your combos than ones that require you to open the menu. If he happens to wander near one of the parked scooters or lampposts, feel free to use an environment attack. Just be careful; he can use environment attacks as well. It’s a battle of attrition, but eventually, you’ll widdle him down to nothing.

Remember, you’re in this fight solo, so you can’t rely on your party for healing. Make sure you’ve got a big stack of quality HP and SP recovery items, because if he stunlocks you in his combo, you’re gonna need to get back up to full in a hurry.