Exchange Ema Guide

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The Exchange Ema is an item given to everyone for free when starting their account for the first time in Touhou LostWord. With it, you can pick a selection from most L1 characters and instantly get them for free, guaranteed.

While sometimes given throughout campaigns, the Exchange Ema is a very rare resource and using it correctly can do wonders to kickstart a new account. This article will go over the most recommended units to pick from the Standard General Pool Exchange Ema. As for other potential Exchange Ema variants, it is encouraged to visit the Touhou Lostword Official Discord to look for guidance, or to check out the ‘Should you Pull’ pages for the characters.

When picking the best friend to kickstart your account, there are three main things that are considered:

  • Capability of quickly farming events at lunatic level for as long as needed
  • Capability of farming Story Cards
  • Capability of continuing to be used in challenge content later on

While these three will be delved into later, to get to the point, there are only 2-3 friends as of April 2024 that fit the criteria that will be discussed.

Hecatia Lapislazuli (L1)

Possibly the best character to choose from the Exchange Ema is L1 Hecatia Lapislazuli. To quickly go over her strong points from the criteria regard,

  • Hecatia’s AoE spellcard is decently fast, and features the extremely valued Gensokyo Killer, guaranteeing her to crit most units in the game, especially those who show up in events. Her Last Word has a similar effect, but solo-targeting instead.
  • Hecatia is capable of solo farming multiple story card stages, most notable Puppeteer and Necromancer (3-11-1) and Hifuu E9 Lunatic. She has also seen use in farming several VS Divergent Spirits story cards, most notably VS A10 Sanae Kochiya.
  • Hecatia is generally self-sufficient with accuracy and buffs, and scales well with more advanced story cards and her friend rebirth buffs. In addition, she has an above average amount of breaks compared to other units found in the Exchange Ema.

Hecatia’s only major con in this context is that her Last Word is Solo targeting, meaning if her All-Targeting spellcard can’t farm a stage and there is no solo enemy, she’ll have a tough time farming. Even then, this is a very niche scenario that won’t affect her much. Hecatia can be invaluable to a newer account, and is sure to help you out.

Watatsuki no Toyohime (L1)

Of nearly equal value to Hecatia is L1 Watatsuki no Toyohime. Looking over her kit:

  • She has some of the fastest Spell Cards and Last Word in the game, and her wide-reaching Killers mean she’s one of the most effective event farmers there is.
  • Toyohime can also farm Hifuu: Code E9 Lunatic. Her most important niche here is that, once her Luck Value is maxed out, she can be invaluable for farming Divergent Spirits Cards at a low total level, but this is much more endgame-oriented content.
  • Toyohime obsesses over buffing Accuracy and Yin ATK for herself, has increased damage against resisted elements, and has great buffs from her Friend Rebirth.

One note to consider about Toyohime is she severely lacks elemental breaks and struggles in longer fights, as well as generally lacking support and self sufficiency. However, she does have access to a powerful All-Targeting Last Word, and has strong Killers such as Gensokyo and Youkai.

The main reason Hecatia edges out Toyohime is because, without getting too into the details of it, Hecatia offers more benefits earlier on compared to Toyohime. By the time you’d start wanting to use Toyohime to farm events or Divergent Spirits stages over Hecatia, you will probably already have Toyohime or another Exchange Ema.

In addition, Toyohime suffers a lot more without her Friend Rebirth Buffs compared to Hecatia. Earlier on and even in the midgame, Friend Rebirths are rather expensive and time-consuming to get to, and earlier on it’s very important to manage resources effectively.

Nazrin (L1)

On the off chance one already has both of these units, the third best option would be L1 Nazrin. Looking closer at her kit:

  • Nazrin, though she can, has rather slow spellcards and isn’t much of a dedicated farmer. Still, she can farm E9 Lunatic as well as seeing use in Vs. L1 Murasa Minamitsu Divergent Spirits Farms.
  • She can, however, offer some very useful support and has an unexpectedly high damage output.
  • She also features an above average amount of Elemental Breaks compared to other units found in the Exchange Ema, but this doesn’t beat Hecatia.

As of April 2024, Nazrin lacks a friend rebirth and doesn’t quite scale as well as a unit compared to other units in her niche, aside from having a strong all-targeting spellcard and Last Word. Still, assuming you already have Hecatia and Toyohime, Nazrin would be the third best choice and can lend you her support.

Honorable Mentions

Aside from these three, there aren’t many other units worth mentioning that could help as much. If you have all three of these units and still want the best choice, you can look to the Tierlist featured on the website. Some potential mentions are:

  • For her high damage output and ability to farm 2-7-1 (The Witch of Scarlet Dreams Story Card)
  • For her useful support and unexpectedly high potential damage output
  • For similar reasons to L1 Toyohime, though this can’t be taken advantage of until late game.
  • Gains quite a bit of damage and support on her Fantasy Rebirth 2.0.
  • She becomes an unexpectedly powerful nuker on Fantasy Rebirth, allowing for a great start in Divergent Spirits Challenge Content even up to Level 120!

As an additional note, it is worth mentioning L1 Momoyo Himemushi in an Ema related discussion. As Momoyo has recently made her way inside of the General Pool in the Japanese client she will likely follow suit and become a General Friend in the Global client. As she is an incredible Festival unit already boasting a great base kit and extremely good scaling into late game with better cards, saving an ema specifically for her is highly recommended but not required.

Hopefully this article helped you choose and understand what’s important for newer players, and may your journey be smooth sailing!

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