Should You Pull? Festival: Flower Reporter & Scarlet Maid

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Should You Pull?

Maybe. Popping up near the tail-end of B3 Sagume Kishin's debut Ultra Festival make worries over pulling for meta less apparent, of course until you consider Z1 Marisa Kirisame and R2 Yuyuko SaigyoujiAdditionally, A7 Youmu Konpaku is lurking on the sides along with Seija Kijin and Shinyoumaru Sukuna, as well as the Water EX Festival, although if you are pulling this banner you probably aren't in need for Water Friends for Water EX. This prayer will last until May 11th, right before LostWord Global's first anniversary. I wonder what other prayers will come out for then...

The main appeal for this prayer (as well as A-Type Multiverse Friends in general) is their rarity. Not only are they your usual Festival Friends, but they are made rarer by not being part of special events such as Forever Prayers and requiring specific reruns to obtain. Of course, their skills are usually stronger than many Festival Friends as well, as somehow the older alternatives of the Friends are stronger...? Don't question it, and just consider if either of these Friends are worth it based on the information below.

Along with these Friends will be the debut of a 5* story card, How Irrational..., which will not be added to the story card pool until a future general pool and ritual update. It's a great 3 levels of Yang ATK UP, providing Yang ATK stat sticks to boot. As always, both Festival Friends cost 150 Exchange Points to exchange for, with How Irrational... costing 50 Exchange Points for one copy.

Ascending God Crystal Step-UP will be included for this prayer, meaning 60 God Crystals for one 10-pull with a guaranteed Friend, then the next 4 steps increase the cost by 100 GC (60, 160, 260, 360, 460). The final step provides 2 guaranteed Friends instead of one as well!

Quick Overview

+ P0 Wood shot and a host of other elements for breaking
+ Great utility as a debuffer of Evasion and Yang DEF
+ Self-Quick allows her debuffs to be applied first for the rest of the team
+ Good turn 1 damage
- Not great at farming Story Cards as a result of her kit
- Reliant on Killer bullets to deal sufficient damage
- Selfish buffer; main utility from Grazing and debuffs

+ 0P Metal breaks from both spread and focus shots
+ Great array of Fire, Metal, and Moon breaks from spell cards
+ Yin ATK buffs to whole party and Yin DEF and Evasion debuffs to all opponents
- Not much team utility beyond the debuffs; selfish buffer otherwise

[Numbers in brackets are buffs at Max Limit Break or stat sticks at Max Enhance]

  • Own Yang ATK 2 [3] levels UP (2T)
  • Sharp Bullet Power 20% UP (1T)
  • Wood Power 15% UP (1T)
  • HP +200 [+400]
  • Yang ATK +40 [+100]

Aya Shameimaru (Flowers)

Aya Shameimaru is a bit more unique compared to the other A-Type Mutliverse characters so far. In a sense, her Flower-self is not a reflection of her first appearance, as that actually was through the Touhou Project print works! Aya initially served as a reporter on everything that transpried within Gensokyo, writing about both incidents and other characters alike. It wasn't until Touhou 9: Phantasmorgia of Flower View where Aya finally got to shine in a danmaku setting. As a tengu reporter for the Bunbunmaru Newspaper, Aya flew around Gensokyo looking for a scoop while the flowers rapidly bloomed during the Flower Blooming Incident. At the end, she realized that this was an event she experienced before in her life...but don't tell this Aya, she's still looking for something news-worthy!

In LostWord, Aya's attacks reach to be above-average for Festival Friend standards and fit right into the other A-Type Friends. Her spread shot, Extra Fans (Flower), is your everyday 0P Wood break that gives her a spammable Wood option. Every one of her spells has an element attached to each of their lines, either split over 3 elements like with her first spell, Crossroad Sign: Saruta Crossor 2 elements like on her second spell, Blockade Sign: Terukuni Shining Through Heaven and Earth, and her Last Word, Giant Shellfish of Azaka. It may be a rather wild mix of Wood, Metal, Sun, and even Water, but that just gives Aya rather nice elemental coverage for several fights. As for her spells' pre-ATK effects, Crossroad Sign: Saruta Cross is the highlight for decreasing all targets' Evasion by 3 levels (2T), acting as a huge accuracy support for the whole team. While Blockade Sign: Terukuni Shining Through Heaven and Earth has underwhelming effects, it can break Blind anomalies via Flash bullets at 2P, allowing her to synergize with Blind inflictors. Giant Shellfish of Azaka is a...rather unique Last Word in terms of execution (which you can read for more background in the Last Word text itself), but overall it just serves as a very strong turn 1 option thanks to buffing Yang ATK and Agility by 2 levels (3T) for her Slicing scaling.

As for Aya's skills, they stick to debuffs along with some more self-buffs. Her first skill, Wet Crow Plumage, does a lot thanks to giving 2 more levels of Evasion DOWN (2T) to all foes while also increasing her own Yang ATK by 2 levels (2T) and giving herself Quick so that she can apply Evasion debuffs with Crossroad Sign: Saruta Cross before any other ally attacks. Her second skill, Geta of Gales, may seem less impressive due to being an Accuracy debuff, but applying 2 Blind anomalies to all foes synergizes well with Blockade Sign: Terukuni Shining Through Heaven and Earth's Flash bullets and even other Blind anomaly breakers. Finally, Wind God Skill is her third skill with 1.00 Spirit Power restoration, 2 levels of Yang DEF DOWN (2T) for all foes, and 2 levels of Agility UP (3T) for her own Slicing scaling. All of these skills have their own uses to make Aya excel both at offense and a bit of support.

Sadly, Aya's support role based on team utility is rather low. The Yang DEF debuff being on a skill helps for longer fights, but combining her two sources of Evasion DOWN as well as her character ability, Capable of manipulating wind, giving the party even more Accuracy UP based on how many Grazes are used in the turn, Aya's accuracy support can actually be seen as excessive. Additionally, even with some setup, she won't hit as hard as other Friends going for all-out attacks. Still, all of Aya's elemental breaks, anomaly breaks, and debuffs combine to make a very helpful reporter that isn't afraid to get her hands dirty for a scoop.

Sakuya Izayoi (Scarlet)

Sakuya Izayoi is somewhat different from the other A6 Scarlet-Type visitors, at least compared to the humans and outside of the ice fairy. Whereas Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame entered the Scarlet Devil Mansion to resolve the Scarlet Mist Incident, Sakuya is the head maid of the same mansion and worked with the youkai behind the incident, Remilia Scarlet, to keep an eternal red mist over Gensokyo. The mist did not benefit Sakuya herself directly, but her deep devotion to her mistress was all she needed to prevent the visitors from stopping the vampire’s plans. Her time manipulation and countless knives make her a relentless opponent, and her determination is so strong that back in her debut game, she would chase the protagonists even if they managed to defeat her once! Reimu and Marisa experienced the head maid’s power firsthand, and with her addition in Touhou LostWord, her bloody devotion can be unleashed once more.

Each of Sakuya’s skills contribute toward making herself, as well as her entire time, more capable fighters. Time Difference Trick will increase her own Yin ATK by 2 levels for 2 turns while Swift Service will give every Friend 2 more levels of Yin ATK UP for 3 turns. As a primarily-Yin attacker, Sakuya makes sure to strengthen herself and can prove useful to any other Yin attackers in your party. Instant Trap plays with this boon as well by decreasing every opponent’s Yin DEF by 2 levels for 2 turns, but also grants 1.0 Spirit Power UP to the maid. This is especially helpful, as Sakuya’s Last Word, Deflation World - Carmine, has a bullet line spread of 1-3-1, meaning most of the bullets and damage will be done at 2 Spirit Power, something Sakuya can conveniently achieve by herself. Along with the Yin-related buffs and debuffs comes a special debuff of Evasion DOWN on all targets from Maid Secret Skill: Manipulating Doll, which helps the accuracy of both herself and any assisting Friends.

Although Deflation World - Carmine mimics the Last Word of the current Sakuya Izayoi in LostWord, her Scarlet variant brings a few differences. For once, the spell consists entirely of the Fire element (which is somewhat ironic for a Friend that is weak to Fire…) as well as being Yin/Slash only. This makes it very easy to optimize damage when combined with story cards such as Bonds of Blood or Mysterious Sword Master. Unfortunately, unlike the spread-out formation of the original Deflation World that was All-targeting, the Scarlet version focuses entirely on a single opponent. At the very least, it is still a strong option to farm single-target stages when the opportunity shows itself.

Her classic spell cards share a helpful feature that is also seen from her Last Word: every bullet line has an element, making Sakuya very ideal for elemental breaks. Illusion Image: Lunar Clock includes 2 breaks of Fire, Metal, and Moon and Maid Secret Skill: Manipulating Doll has 3 Fire and Moon breaks. While the latter does not have any Metal breaks, that is quickly made up when looking at her spread and focus shots. Retrievable Knives and Illusion Actress have a Metal break at 0P, and even target all opponents to spread the breaks around. That goes for both of her normal spell cards as well, making Sakuya a very solid breaker along with her supportive capabilities.

Sakuya has been bullying Reimu and Marisa’s advances on the mansion for quite some time now, and even a quick peek at her kit clearly explains why. Even if she doesn’t especially excel in one single element, her skill in offensive buffs and defensive debuffs, along with a solid grasp on any situations requiring Fire, Metal, or Moon breaks. It helps that Sakuya is not only a wonderful fighter, but she takes her maid duties very seriously. Why not try a cup of her tea after a battle?

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About the Author(s)

I mainly go by Neku on Discord and primarily focus on writing articles for Touhou Lostword. You can usually find me on the Touhou Lostword Official Discord (Neku#9644) if needed for edits regarding any information on that side.