Equipment being in the form of a card? It can’t be as crazy as the current incident, anyways! Story Cards, named after their image depicting a scene from a story, function as players’ equipment in Touhou LostWord, but instead of equipping them directly onto Friends, they go onto their spell cards! In a way, this also means that more Limit Breaks means more equipment slots, due to the way you unlock more spells for each Limit Break.
Story Cards have many practical applications, come in many different varieties, and are frankly at times the most important aspect to any team composition, so this guide will go over each part of a story card and how to best utilize them, with some advice on which story cards are the best to prioritize.
Where to Find Story Cards
Story cards are the secondary result of praying for Friends, in which instead of another Friend you get a piece of paper. Hey, it can still have great use though! It is also important to know where else you can find story cards, as many that are more useful are found differently compared to prayers. On Gamepress, you can search for different story cards to read more about their stats (as well as the stories, if you’re interested!). One essential detail can be found on the art itself, which highlights how to obtain the card.
There are three primary ways to obtain story cards:
- Through Prayers, most often when they get added to the General Pool of story cards.
- Through Events, which both refer to seasonal events as well as challenging content such as Elemental EX and Conflux.
- Through Stage Drops, which refers to potential card drops from Main Story or Hifuu LostWord. Only the Lunatic card drops are detailed on the page linked below, but plans to discuss the somewhat less relevant Hard card drops are planned.
There are also a few limited Story Cards that currently have no "Obtain Method" listed. This is either due to them being very rare and not part of the General Prayer Pool or them being from limited login events. They may appear once in a while again, but otherwise you should focus on these three types.
Very often you will see Stage Drop cards valued higher than any other type: not only are they farmable at any possible time and not limited to needing to Pray or have an Event running, but some Stage Drops are just much more powerful…especially a certain scarlet witch that will be addressed later. Event drops from Elemental EX stages are in a similar spot of advantage due to being part of a semi-consistent rotation, as well as being great in their own right.
Story cards do technically have their own classifications, seen from the icons on the story card. The only purpose these have is to determine the tiles and medicines required to upgrade and enhance the cards, so they do not heavily impact a card’s actual use.
Story Card Abilities and Effects
The primary way you will use story cards will be their abilities, or “effects,” which most of the community calls them by, as this guide will do as well. The Effect of a story card refers to any sort of buff or immediate change that occurs upon activating the card. This can range from buffing a Friends’ offensive stats, increasing their resistance to a certain bullet type, and even more that will be highlighted below. These effects are the keys to getting much more out of already well-off Friends, and will often be the method of consistent farming comps or winning tough battles. Just remember that these are active effects, meaning you must use the spell card the story card is attached to in order to start off the effects. I know that’s a lot of “cards,” but I’m sure you can manage.
Every story card has a base effect that can be maxed out after max limit breaking, or MLBing, the card with 4 extra copies of the card. While the base effect can be decent, the maxed one increases their buffs to the point where you usually would rather run the card at MLB. Exceptions certainly exist, but for the sake of this list and explanation, the cards discussed will be assumed to be at MLB.
Spirit Power Restoration
“When Spell Card is used, Spirit Power X UP.”
By far the arguably best effect on a story card is restoring or increasing the Friends’ Spirit Power. The effect does exactly as it says on the card, once you use the spell card, Spirit Power gets immediately transferred to your Friends’ stock. Spirit Power is the key to accessing more powerful attacks, activating more elemental breaks, and even getting special effects such as anomaly breaks, making these types of cards very versatile and the best when equipped on normal spells rather than Last Words. After all, what’s the point of more Spirit Power when you’ve already used up all of your firepower?
The Witch of Scarlet Dreams, the farmable Chapter 2 story card, might be one you have heard before. It is for good reason. It’s a story card that can be easily farmed by many Friends with the timeless effect to provide 2.00 Spirit Power upon spell card use. Due to its ease of collection, it is almost the best story card in the game, and one that is just to easy to serve as a spell card slot filler for almost every Friend.
Want a contender for the actual best story card in the game though? Myouren Temple Anniversary. On top of its other special effect of debuffing a foes’ defense, which will be explained later, it provides 0.75 Spirit Power to the entire party, not just the Friend who used the spell. With its high stat sticks (again, something covered later) and insane versatility, there is a good reason why this is currently locked behind the Star EX Battle Stage.
Need some more budget options or just starting off the game? It’s Spring! and Midnight Tea got you covered! 1.50 Spirit Power to self might seem a lot less overwhelming compared to the above options, but thanks to being only a 4* story card from Prayers, it can be somewhat easier to find from Story Card Rituals and normal prayers, something great for versatile cards to have.
Bullet and Elemental Buffs
“When Spell Card is used, (bullet/element) power X% UP.”
Another effect that shys away from Spirit Power Collection’s insanity but is good on its own right is something found in a majority of cards. If a card mentions increasing an element such as Fire’s power or states something like Slash Bullet’s power UP, then it falls in this category.
These cards heavily depend on Friend knowledge: what elements are the spell card they are using composed of? If the attack is entirely Metal, then a Metal power booster is the obvious choice for easy damage! The same applies to “X Bullets,” but these require slightly more knowledge in checking what type of bullets an attack is composed of, as instead of showing up clearly like elemental colors, some attacks may be made up of two different bullet types.
As there are so many different kinds of these cards, it can be pretty hard to specify which one is the “best,” especially since every Friend will require something different. The easiest ones to point to are 50% buffs, seen in cards such as Mysterious Sword Master for Slash Bullets and Puppet and Necromancer, which boosts both Light Bullets and No-Element attacks. And guess what? Both of these cards are farmable, with the sword master in Chapter 3 Act 1 and the necromancer at Chapter 3 Act 3! One current example of a 50% buff from a Prayer card is Bonds of Blood, providing a great boost for Fire-users.
And one last thing, which technically applied to the Spirit Power Restoration section but is more relevant here: effects last for a certain amount of turns, depending on the effect. Any bullet buff lasts for only one turn, meaning it can only be taken advantage of by the currently used spell card. The future effects mentioned will mostly last multiple turns, based on the card’s effect description.
Offensive and Defensive Buffs
“When Spell Card is used, own/party’s (stat) X levels UP. (Y turns)”
Sometimes equally important to bullet buffs are buffs for a Friend’s stats, mainly for Yin ATK and Yang ATK. Defensive and Agility buffs can be alright as well, but it is heavily situational and based on if the Friend can take advantage of Hard or Slice scaling. Increasing a Friends’ offense is an obvious step toward more damage, but these story cards are especially important for increasing stats that a Friend may lack in buffs for already. When used properly, these story cards can give more damage from buffing than if you just slapped on a bullet buff!
An immediate highlight for this type of story card is Mansion of Memories. A 2-turn 2 levels of Yin ATK UP is not bad already, but with this effect being split to the entire party, things can get out of hand really fast - for the enemies! Use this while on a team of Yin-based attackers, and you’re set for success.
Otherwise, 3 levels of an offensive stat UP is what you mainly want to run in this category. On the Yin ATK side of things is A Curious Festival, and for Yang ATK you have How Irrational… as well as Members of the Yakumo Family. What’s also important about these cards are that they last for multiple turns, meaning they can be used on a normal spell card with their buffs being transferred to a Last Word. This is something that a card such as New Year’s Shrine Visit I lacks, as it only lasts for a single turn.
Is your Friend well-versed in critical hits, or just needs a little more CRIT Accuracy to increase their damage? I’m the STRONGEST has you covered for CRIT ATK and The Surface Is So Fun! can serve well for both! Critical hits are crucial for some setups for squeezing out an extra bit of damage for consistent wins. That’s why the 3* story card, Miracle Mallet, is rather insane with its 3 levels of CRIT ATK UP for 2 turns. Being 3* makes it common to get in Prayers, but with how versatile CRIT ATK can be, this is something you want multiple copies of for sure.
Last but not least are Accuracy support cards. These are mainly only needed if the Friend has no type of Accuracy UP in their own kit, which is still somewhat common. Just like Mallet, Valued Tools of the Trade is ridiculously good as a 3* Prayer story card thanks to its 3 levels of Accuracy UP over 2 turns. Some other good 5* options exist, such as Poltergeist Sisters’ Concert. Best of all might just be a seasonal event card by the name of Shichi-Go-San School Visit?! due to having 2 levels of Accuracy UP for a great 3 turns!
“When Spell Card is used, [all] target’s (stat) X levels DOWN. (Y turns)”
Another way to increase your own damage is to decrease the foes’ defenses, something that debuff story cards are able to do for any Friend. In these circumstances, you really only want cards that debuff Yin DEF, Yang DEF, CRIT DEF, or Evasion. All of these will contribute toward getting more damage out of all of your attacks. The benefits of debuffs is that any Friend can take advantage of hitting a debuffed foe as long as the effects still linger, effectively making these buffs for the party.
Unfortunately, the debuff cards that are worth running are only Solo-target, meaning they only shine in stages where you need to eliminate a single enemy. Still, it does not mean cards such as Anniversary At The SDM have no use, especially when they cripplie a foe’s Yin DEF by 3 levels for 2 turns to help out any Yin-based attacker. Moriya Anniversary does the same but for CRIT DEF, making it great for if your Friends are hitting with Killer bullets that ensure critical hits! You may notice a trend of more recent or limited cards being debuff-focused, which supports their more limited accessibility.
Spirit Power Collection
“Spell Card’s Spirit Power collection rate X% UP.”
Don’t confuse this effect with Spirit Power Restoration, as this one is sadly a lot more limited in practicality. It’s self-explanatory, the amount of Spirit Power the spell card collects from attacking foes increases. Especially on All-target spell cards, some Friends may end up obtaining a good amount of Spirit Power, but the existence of many insane Spirit Power UP cards just somewhat invalidates the necessity of running these.
The main story card of this effect that is worth keeping is Rabbit of Good Fortune, as it is a 4* Prayer story card that is decently easy to rack up. Even then, this card is likely more useful for its secondary effect, which will be discussed below.
HP or Barrier Restore
“When Spell Card is used, recovers X% of own HP.”
“When Spell Card is used, adds 1 layer to Barrier.”
These effects are being grouped up due to their similarity in nature - and lack of practicality. Restoring HP may seem good enough to run on defensive or tanky Friends, but at that rate their base kit should be good enough in tanking that you’re wasting a story card slot that could be used for the above, better purposes. The same applies to Barrier Restore, which while barriers can be used for offensive buffs based on a Friends’ ability, only restoring 1 barrier for a spell card is just too slow most of the time. And yes, all current spell cards only restore 1 layer of Barrier, making them equally as unneeded.
Useless Effects: Focus and Resistances
“When Spell Card is used, Focus X levels UP/DOWN. (Y turns)”
“When Spell Card is used, DMG from (race/element/bullet) X% DOWN. (Y turns)”
Just like the above section, these two effects share a role in being useless 99% of the time. Focus UP is really only good for tanks, and like with HP healing they should be good at keeping Focus high anyway to not need a story card slot wasted. Focus DOWN is even less practical, as it only puts other Friends in potential danger. If you want the reward for least needed effects though, damage resistances are your guy. In a game where all damage can be avoided by Grazing or using Barriers, the need to decrease damage from a very specific source is even more niche than it had to be.
One final note before moving on though: DO NOT throw away story cards just for having less useful effects! Not only can story cards have multiple effects, with one of them being very useful, but stat sticks are equally as important based on what a Friend may need stat-wise. Most useless story cards will boast these effects, but some still may have use in the next section.
Stat sticks refers to every story card’s passive effects, which can be found as a story card’s “stats.” Each story card has 2 stats in Yin ATK or Yang ATK, Yin DEF or Yang DEF, HP, or Agility. Every story card mixes and matches these two, so be sure to focus on which each card gives! The most obvious stat to go for may be the offensive ones, but just like with defensive buffs on story cards, defense or Agility stat sticks may have practical use for secondary scaling on Last Words.
And that’s another important part of stats: due to being passive, these stats will impact the Friend as a whole for every attack they do! This makes story card planning a lot more intense, as not only do you have to focus on what each story card provides when activated, but you also must consider what it is passively providing throughout the entire battle.
Just like with effects, stats of a story card can be increased, though instead of Limit Breaks, you enhance story cards using Tiles and Coins or Medicine, which can be gained through seasonal events. Limit Breaking does have a purpose still, as every story card Limit Break allows you to enhance the card one step further, going from +6 at no limit breaks to +10 at MLB. Most of the time, you want to MLB the card to access its best stats, but sometimes, especially for 5* story cards, you can get away with only having the card at +6 and no limit breaks for viable stat sticks.
Now, what makes a stat stick a good stat stick? It really depends on what the Friend needs. In terms of raw values, you really want to look for stats of at least +90 on a story card (outside of HP, of course), as these will give the most practical buffs for hard battles. For HP, you can imagine the numbers being multiplied by 5, therefore making a good HP stat stick at +450 or more.
Getting Priorities Straight
So, with all of the terminologies out of the way, what really makes for an optimal story card set. You’ll hate the answer, but again, it depends on what Friend you are using and what they need in the immediate moment. Fortunately, I have a simple to understand priority chart for what to go for!
- Most importantly, if the Friend has no kind of Accuracy support to speak of and you have no Friends on that duty, run Accuracy UP cards. High buffs do nothing if the attack isn’t even hitting.
- If the Friend’s kit has good offensive buffs but no debuffs, you should usually run debuff cards…against singular enemies. If the stage has multiple targets, use some more offensive buffs or a bullet boost. This will likely be the case for most of your Friends.
- If the Friend’s kit has defensive debuffs but almost no offensive buffs, run offensive buffs.
- If the Friend has both good buffs and debuffs, just run a bullet boost card.
As just mentioned, the priorities will always be different based on what you are going for. Farming compositions are a whole different story, if the strategy you are running is very specific. In a sense, this just shows how crucial story cards are for any type of gameplay and further proof on why you need to keep careful tabs on the ones you have.
When it comes to prioritizing which cards to keep and which ones to throw away, especially if you are running with limited Story Card Inventory space, mainly try to prioritize the meaningful effects from the first 4 sections of the Effects section. Next, check if the story card has any significant stat buffs above 90 or so. If they have neither or the stat sticks themselves are meaningless, it is an easy card to skip over.
You can also try to refer to Gamepress’ Story Card Tier List on what to prioritize or throw away. Something to note about this list is that cards in B-tier can also be seen as “budget” cards that are mainly only good if you do not have the superior option at the moment. Newer players should definitely keep these few cards, especially when the story card that outclasses it is an event card, but otherwise, they can be safer to throw away.