Should You Pull? Festival: Messenger of the Dragon Palace

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Should You Pull?

This banner's really appealing if you're looking for a 3-3-3 farmer, event farmer, Paralyze barriers, or just a generally extremely strong attacker. Iku Nagae also brings 0P access to Wood and Water, attractive traits if you like to get every last drop out of your attackers. You'll have to look elsewhere for more team support, but this electrifying oarfish is a shockingly strong pickup.

Additionally the rate up Story Card, Protection of Cerpinus, is notably Iku's BiS. It's a good thing to spend your leftover exchange points on if you get the oarfish early, and is a fantastic card to shoot for if you want your Iku to be as strong as possible, though it's a little narrow in that it's only really outstanding for Iku.

Quick Overview

+Powerful AoE and Yang damage
+P0 Wood/Water breaks on her shots.
+Can inflict up to a total of 7 Paralyze Barriers on all foes
+Last Word possesses 2 levels of 2 Yang DEF DOWN

-Applies Paralyze barriers to her allies
-Weaker in longer fights, where she must spend Barriers to survive and thus cannot benefit from her character ability

Iku Nagae

Iku Nagae, the Beautiful Scarlet Cloth, is a messenger from the Dragon Palace, and an envoy on behalf of the Dragon God to Heaven. Her sole known duty (although almost certainly not her only job) is to utilize her ability to read the atmosphere to act as, essentially, a living weather report to heaven and the celestials whom dwell within. One of the families she interacts the most with is the Hinanawi clan, being tasked with delivering earthquake reports to them. However, a certain troublemaking celestial always gives her a headache - Tenshi Hinanawi, a spoiled brat who causes trouble all the time, up to even causing the events of Scarlet Weather Rhapsody just for amusement. Whilst Iku at first descended to Gensokyo during the events of that game to warn its inhabitants (and to punish Tenshi for being such a pain), she's since visited the land on a number of occasions (including for a recent 'fireworks' contest, as detailed in the Grimoire of Usami). 

As befitting her species, Iku is rather laid back, a smidge lazy, and rarely puts forward her own opinions or agenda. Instead, she tends to favor reading the room, rather like her ability, going along with whatever the mood is. However, don't mistake this for incompetence - with the Dragon God's power backing her up, Iku Nagae is a youkai to be feared indeed, bringing down catastrophic lightning bolts to smite her enemies - and yours, should you opt to Pray for her.

As a fun bit of trivia, Iku is often referred to as a “youkai of oarfishes”. This is because in Japan oarfish are called "Ryūgū-no-tsukai" which, in literal terms, means “Messenger from Dragon’s Palace”. This is supported by the fact that her design is seemingly based on an oarfish, hence the rather strange ribbons on her hat. 

In LostWord, Iku has two primary jobs. The first is that of a nuker and farmer - her All targeting Last Word, Diggin' the Shrine Princess, with its 100%/1110%/120%/0%/0%/0% Slicing (meaning that much of her Agility is factored into damage calculations) is extremely powerful with absolutely no setup time, and lowers every enemy's Yang DEF by 2 levels for 3 turns to boot, bolstering her teammates damage as well. This is complimented by her skill Earthquake Weather gives her 2 levels of Accuracy UP for 3 turns (alongside 2 levels of Agility UP for her and her teammates for 3 turns). Additionally, thanks to her character ability, she gains 1 level of Yang ATK UP each time she boosts (for 1 turn) as well of Agility, Accuracy, & Evasion UP for each layer of Paralyze on her (which also leaves her immune to the downsides of it).  It also does most of its damage potential immediately, making her a fantastic candidate for event farming as well as, in conjunction with her other attacks, farming most of the Story Card stages. 

Whilst for most people, this sort of ability would just be a nice perk, Iku's other skills feed into it rather well - Magnetic Induction applies 2 layers of Paralyze to herself for 3 turns (as well as 2 levels of Yang DEF UP for her party, for some extra oomph for your Yang Hard attackers), and Electromagnetic Field inflicts a further 2 layers of Paralyze to her and the rest of her party, as well as a bonus 1 Spirit Power UP for her passive (as unfortunately her Last Word is a 3-1-1 layout and, as such, has minimal benefits otherwise from Boosting). Additionally if you need a bit of extra oomph, her spell cards allow her to swim through the skies with grace: Fish Sign: Dragonfish Drill grants 3 levels of Agility UP  for 2 turns on use, and Thunder Sign: Elekiter Dragon Palace grants 2 levels of Agility UP for 2 turns, which can also help to mitigate the drawbacks her ability has in longer fights.

Iku's other job is to apply a lot of Paralyze Barriers to her foes. Electromagnetic Field, in addition to its other effects, also inflicts 1 layer of Paralyze Barriers to all of Iku's foes for 3 turns. This can be further combined with Thunder Sign: Elekiter Dragon Palace, which inflicts a devastating 3 layers of Paralyze to all foes for 3 turns on use - together, this means in 2 turns Iku can inflict seven layers of Paralyze to all enemies, which is enough to, with the aid of a Discharged All targeting attack (such as either of Minoriko Aki's Spell Cards), Full Break any fight in the game (assuming, of course, no enemies are immune to Paralyze). 

To round all of this out, Iku also possesses some solid Break potential - chiefly, 0P Breaks on her Basic Shots. Electrostatic Guided Missile inflicts 1 Solo targeting Wood Break, and Veils like Water inflicts 1 All targeting Water Break. Additionally whilst a bit underwhelming, Thunder Sign: Elekiter Dragon Palace still inflicts 2 Wood and 2 Moon All targeting Breaks for 3 Spirit Power, which isn't half bad. Lastly, should you be willing to use it for that purpose, Diggin' the Shrine Princess also inflicts a whopping 1/4/5/6 All targeting Wood Breaks for 0/1/2/3 Spirit Power, which will surely shock any Wood-weak foe she comes across. She still also has the previously mentioned Paralyze Barrier potential.

However, the shocking oarfish has two major downsides - firstly, the previously mentioned Paralyze Barriers are applied to your allies as well. This isn't a major problem if you immediately Graze them, but it can make her somewhat problematic to use in certain situations without care. Additionally, due to her reliance on having Paralyze Barriers upon herself, she is somewhat weaker in longer fights, where she's forced to Graze to survive - save bringing her in for when the time's right, and have her swim in to rain down electric justice upon your foes.

Overall though, those are rather minor downsides, and Iku is a shockingly effective oarfish who'll leave you paralyzed with her beautiful swimming, enormous damage output, electrifying Paralyze barriers, and solid Break abilities.