DMC5 V Overview


The Mysterious One V. DMC5‘s puppet character. V has an unorthodox playstyle involving controlling familiars to attack enemies and then dealing the finishing blow himself. He’s a little tricky to get your head around initially, but V is the least complex character in the game once you become proficient with him.

So it is written.



DMC5 V Default Button Layout PS4
DMC5 V Default Button Layout PC

Due to both of V’s familiars having attacks where you can hold down the attack buttons, it is recommended to move Griffon to a trigger so that you can use both familiars with different fingers.

But in any case, you should play with whichever button layout you are most comfortable with.


Since the full movelist can be viewed at any point through the pause menu, the movelist here will aim to detail more practical uses and/or hidden properties for each move. Also, for the purpose of keeping this movelist concise, the red orb cost of moves and basic abilities that are available on all characters will not be listed here. Please view those in-game.

The damage values listed below are Dante Must Die difficulty Void Mode estimates tested on enemies with normal attack affinity. Lower difficulties increase player damage output and some enemies take more damage from different types of attacks, so please keep that in mind.

V’s Playstyle & Familiars

V fights using his familiars Griffon and Shadow to reduce enemy HP. When an enemy’s HP reaches 0, they get a white aura that indicates that they are ready to be finished off by V’s Cane. Griffon and Shadow have their own HP bars that deplete when they take damage. They recover HP by being close to V. If their HP reaches 0, they are put into a state called Stalemate and are unable to fight. To heal from Stalemate, V must stand close to them as they recharge, or activate Devil Trigger.

V can also expend 1 block of Devil Trigger to empower a familiar and have them Auto Attack for a set time. This is done by holding the Auto Attack button, then pressing either the Griffon or the Shadow buttons. Expending more blocks increases the duration they auto-attack for. This is useful when trying to mount Nightmare, or if you want to turn your brain off.

Special Abilities

Important skills that provide V with utility.

⮞Show/Hide Movelist
Enemy Step Command: Press the Jump Button when near an enemy while in the air.

Use enemies as a stepping stone to cancel any air move at any point. A fundamental component of combos.

The Book Command: Hold Charge Devil Trigger button.

To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower. Devil Trigger gauge constantly charges up as a you read.

Hanging Command: Press the Jump Button in the air.

V’s double jump. Needs Griffon. You can continue to hold Jump to glide.

Switchback Command: Lock-on + LeftStick Back + Jump

Invul dodge that moves backwards. Needs Griffon. Also cancels Griffons actions and calls him back to V.

Forced Move Command: Lock-on + LeftStick Horizontally + Jump

Invul dodge roll that moves sideways . Needs Shadow. Also cancels Shadows actions and calls him back to V.

Promotion Command: Devil Trigger + Finishing Blow, or Jump Button while in the air near nightmare

Mounts Nightmare while its active allowing it to be controlled. Dismount with Devil Trigger + Jump or Jump button while in the air. Check Nightmare’s movelist below.


Cane skills refer to the Finishing Blow moves for killing demons once their HP has reached 0 and they have the white aura. If you try to finish off an enemy that doesn’t have this aura, V will be unsuccessful and just bounce off of them.

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Checkmate Command: Finishing Blow

Close range V attack to finish off dying enemies.

Gambit Command: Lock-on + Finishing Blow

V teleports to the target and finishes them off.

Touch and Move Command: Finishing Blow after an enemies dies with Checkmate

Teleports to the next dying enemy after finishing off one with Checkmate for a chain kill.

Royal Fork 75 Command: Lock-on + LeftStick 360 + Finishing Blow
Costs 1 block of DT gauge

Finishes off all dying enemies over a wide area. Very useful.


V’s flying familiar that deals Pierce Damage. Griffon handles V’s ranged attacks. The Griffon button has no function when Griffon’s HP reaches 0 and is Stalemate.

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Bullet 4 Command: Griffon button

Griffon shoots lightning balls that can be rapid-fired.

Blockade Lv1:50
Command: Hold the Griffon button, then release

Griffon releases lighting pillars. The damage and area of effect increases with each level of charge.

Flank Attack 75 Command: Lock-on + LeftStick Forward + Griffon button

Griffon swoops down and bashes the target, launching them upwards.

Double Check Lv1:80+
Command: Lock-on + LeftStick Back-To-Forward + Griffon button

Griffon releases lighting bolts that pincer closed. The damage and number of pincers increases with each level of charge.

Round Robin Lv1:50
Command: Lock-on + LeftStick Back+ Griffon button

Griffon teleports to V’s position and releases an area of effect lighting blast that causes knockback. The damage and area of effect increases with each level of charge.


V’s feline familiar that deals Slash Damage. Shadow handles V’s melee attacks. The Shadow button has no function when Shadow’s HP reaches 0 and is in Stalemate.

⮞Show/Hide Movelist
Shadow Combo A 125 Command: Shadow button x3

Quick 3 hit combo from shadow.

Shadow Combo B 280 Command: Shadow button, delay, Shadow button x2

3 hit combo from shadow that covers a wide area and ends in knockback.

Shadow Combo C 350 Command: Shadow button x2, delay, Shadow button repeatedly

Shadow bashes the enemies repeatedly with the final hit causing knockback.

Breakthrough 100 Command: Lock-on + LeftStick Forward + Shadow button

Shadow travels under the ground whipping enemies above.

Hedgehog 75+ Command: Hold Shadow button, then release when shadow glows

Shadow becomes a ball of spikes that jut outwards causing knockback. When leveled up, needles pop out of the floor after the Hedgehog and these can launch if they catch an enemy.

Arbiter 60 Command: Lock-on + LeftStick Back+ Shadow button

Shadow backflips and slashes upwards with his tail. Launches enemies. You can hold the button to send Shadow into the air, or press the Shadow button afterwards to have Shadow poke at the enemy from the ground.

Skewer 250 Command: Lock-on + LeftStick Back-To-Forward + Shadow button

Very long range stab attack with long startup. Inflicts guard break and causes knockback. Also counts as a hard knockdown. V can also stand on the Needle causing Shadow to stay still for a bit after the attack. You can charge Hedgehog during this attack since it takes long.

Bayonet 100 Command: Shadow button while Shadow is in the Air

Shadow becomes a spinning axe swinging on enemies in the air.

Guillotine 240, 260 Command: Lock-on + LeftStick Forward or Back + Shadow button while Shadow is in the Air

Shadow becomes a spinning axe and swings to the ground. If you hold forward, Shadow performs a forward dive towards the ground. If you hold back, Shadow goes directly downwards and ground bounces. You can charge Hedgehog during this attack since it’s active for long.


V’s Devil Trigger. He calls fourth a hulking golem of darkness that auto-attacks or can be mounted and controlled by pressing the Jump Button near Nightmare, or Devil Trigger + Finishing Blow. Dismount Nightmare while riding with Devil Trigger + Jump or Jump Button while in the air.

Devil Trigger activation also restores other familiars if they have 0 HP. V’s defense is increased while Nightmare is active. V can also purchase skills that make white orbs and green orbs more likely to drop while Nightmare is active.

⮞Show/Hide Movelist
Nightmare Combo A 525 Command: Finishing Blow x3 while mounting Nightmare

Slow 3 hit combo. Inflicts guard break on all hits. Final hit is a huge uppercut that launches enemies.

Nightmare Combo B 400+ Command: Finishing Blow x2, delay, Finishing Blow repeatedly while mounting Nightmare

Changes the final hit of the combo into a Haggar spin that deals damage and causes knockback on the final hit. Inflicts guard break on all hits.

Domination 1151 Command: Hold Finishing Blow during Illegal Move while mounting Nightmare

Charge a gigantic laser which deals a lot of damage and causes knockback. Inflicts guard break.

Strongpoint 175 Command: Lock-on + LeftStick Forward + Finishing Blow while mounting Nightmare

Razes the ground horizontally with a fine laser that causes explosions launching the enemy upwards. Inflicts guard break.

Critical Position 175 Command: Hold Finishing Blow during Strongpoint while mounting Nightmare

Razes the ground vertically with a fine laser that causes explosions launching the enemy upwards. Inflicts guard break.

Desperado 175 Command: Finishing Blow while Jumping and mounting Nightmare

Double axe handle slam the ground blowing back all enemies causing knockback. Inflicts guard break.

Illegal Move Command: Lock-on + LeftStick Back-To-Forward + Finishing Blow, or Lock-on + Forward Twice while mounting Nightmare

Teleports close to the target. Very useful given how slow Nightmare moves around.


Gain Devil Trigger gauge while provoking nearby enemies.

⮞Show/Hide Movelist
Provocation Command: Taunt Button

Performs a taunt depending on your current style ranking.

Air Provocation Command: Taunt Button while in Air

Below SS, taunts while in the air. SS and above jumps and falls to the ground. Very concise and great for gaining more DT in-between book reading sessions.

EX Provocation Command: Hold L3+Taunt Button

Taunt awarded for wasting money. The meme dance taunt. Extremely long but gains a fair bit of style.

Special Provocation 70+ Command: Press L3+Taunt Button

Taunt awarded for clearing Bloody Palace with V. Swings his Cane like a lightsaber. Can kill demons with white aura if the attack lands. Awkward to use.


Invulnerability Skills

Abilities and moves that have invul frames on them allowing you to avoid damage.

  • Jump
  • Switchback
  • Forced Move
  • Illegal Move


  • Shadow attacks

Hard Knockdown

Moves that ground enemies hard. This is a special knockdown for specific enemies like Hell Judecca that teleports out of other knockdowns.

  • Skewer

Guard Break

Moves that break shields, and break through blocking enemies defenses.

  • Skewer
  • All Nightmare abilities


Moves that launch enemies upwards and let you combo them in the air.

  • Flank Attack
  • Hedgehog needles
  • Arbiter
  • Nightmare – Combo A
  • Nightmare – Strongpoint
  • Nightmare – Critical Position

Ground Bounce

Moves that hit enemies downwards and they bounce into the air off the floor. Less useful on Heavier enemies or when enemies are in Devil Trigger.

  • Guillotine

Crowd Control

Useful knowledge for Legendary Dark Knight difficulty.

  • Blockade Lv3
  • Double Check Lv3
  • Shadow Combo B
  • Hedgehog
  • Nightmare Attacks


V has the smallest movelist in the game. He does not have access to a lot of the tools needed to build robust strategies around facing certain demons. This kinds of leads him into approaching a lot of situations in roughly the same way hoping it’ll work out. If it doesn’t work out? Throw Nightmare at it.

Below is a list of concepts that constitute to V’s difficulty:

  • Getting used to the flow of book reading, air taunting intermittently, attacking with a familiar while charging the other and vice versa
  • Reacting to familiars who are about to get hit, and calling them to safety with the corresponding dodge move
  • Meter management
  • Situational Awareness including keeping track of familiar position, HP and Devil Trigger gauge
  • Not being invul during Finishers
  • V feels helpless if both familiars die and you don’t have DT gauge.
  • Average damage. Below average without Nightmare
  • No reliable access to inflicting Heavy Stun on demons
  • No reliable access to inflicting Crumple Stun on demons
  • Honestly, combo potential is not very good because there’s no fast way to cancel familiar attacks, and he has a limited moveset
  • Special moves for familiars are always performed with directions to the lock-on target relative to V’s position. Not the familiar’s.

For more information on V enemy strategies or how to approach certain demons or bosses, please have a look at the DMC5 Demon DB or the DMC5 Boss DB.