Should You Pull?
Maybe, with a lean toward No. Both of these new Friends aren’t bad persay, in fact being solid representations of their character roles (Support and Attack), but their timing with other prayers make this a rough call. E9 Remilia Scarlet is your usual Ultra Festival meta pick, and the other UFES Friends Z1 Marisa Kirisame and R2 Yuyuko Saigyouji are still around for a bit longer. Even if these Friends are new, A6 Sakuya Izayoi and A9 Aya Shameimaru’s rerun hold a bit more value thanks to their A-Type rarity. This is not even going into detail on the Water EX Festival or the Festival Collection, which is full of even better limited Festival Friends. You can try pulling for these Friends if you really want them, but the competition is high. Eiki Shiki, Yamaxanadu is a Festival Friend and won’t return until some type of rerun, but Aunn Komano will at the very least return once the General Friend Pool is updated.
Along with the two new Friends is another new 5* story card, Good or Evil? The main claim to fame of this story card is pure offense, raising Yin and Yang ATK through both buffs and stat sticks. However, do note that the buffs only apply if the spell used is from an Attack Type Friend (like say…Eiki?). Just like Aunn’ it will only be obtainable outside of this prayer once the General Pool is updated.
Eiki being a Festival Friend means she can be exchanged for 150 Exchange Points. Aunn is General, meaning an exchange for only 100 Exchange Points, and the 5* story card goes even lower for 50 Exchange Points.
Ascending God Crystal Step-UP returns for this prayer, which any veteran player should be well-versed with by now. For 5 steps, you get special deals on the God Crystal 10-pulls, first costing 60 God Crystals and then increasing their cost by 100 GC (60, 160, 260, 360, 460). The final step provides 2 guaranteed Friends unlike the 1 guaranteed Friends from other God Crystal pulls, however the Fortune Dust gain remains the same compared to the other new prayers this one is co-running with.
+ Last Word comprised entirely of Sun and Energy bullets
+ All-around supporter: Accuracy, Yang ATK, and defensive buffs
+ 4-turn cooldown skills for rapid team utility
- Doesn’t hit so hard, even with Slicing and Hard scaling
- Doesn’t excel at a specific buff; more of a generalist
+ 0P Fire on Spread Shot
+ Good P gen with her skills
+ Average breaks on spells
- Little utility to speak of
- Spellcards need both Yin and Yang to make the most of their damage output.
- Damage, while decent, still doesn’t compare to the top end of nukers
[Numbers in brackets are buffs at Max Limit Break or stat sticks at Max Enhance]
- When Spell Card is used by Attack type unit, own Yang ATK 1  levels UP (3T)
- When Spell Card is used by Attack type unit, own Yin ATK 1  levels UP (3T)
- Yang ATK +30[+90]
- Yin ATK +30[+90]
Aunn Komano, a komainu youkai, is a literal guard dog for the Hakurei Shrine. After Okina Matara opened up a backdoor on the back of a normally inanimate komainu statue which stood unmoving at Hakurei Shrine for who knows how long, it came to life, and Aunn was effectively "born". But although Aunn was only "born" at the beginning of the Four Seasons Incident, she acts as if she's known Reimu and Marisa for a long time, suggesting that even though she couldn't move or talk, she was conscious in some way while she was only a statue. Her ability, to locate temples and shrines at will, is a bit niche and not exactly powerful, but it serves Aunn's purpose well enough. Aunn also effectively has two bodies at once, as komainu statues always come in pairs, but she cannot control them separately from each other (aside from choosing to just not control the second body at all), and it drains her strength rapidly. She is generally quite weak anyway, and loses quickly to Reimu and Marisa in the Four Seasons Incident, so hanging around the shrine is just what she likes to do.
At first, Aunn’s kit might appear unimpressive when going straight for her shots and spells. She has no 0P elements on her basic shots, and her Pre-ATK effects on her spells are a little underwhelming. 3 levels of Evasion DOWN (3T) from her first spell, Hound Sign: Mountain Hound’s Walk, is always nice accuracy support for the team, but it’s only Solo-target, so it only serves as support against one foe. Likewise, she gets 3 levels of Yang ATK UP (3T) from her Last Word, Guardian Beast Pincer Attack, but the extended effect duration doesn’t make much sense when all of her spells are gone. However, her spells make up for smaller Pre-ATK effects with elemental coverage, easily seen by Guardian Beast Pincer Attack 6/6 Sun bullet lines. Her other spells fare well too, providing 2 Earth on Hound Sign: Mountain Hound’s Walk, 2 Wood on her second spell, Spinning Top: Koma-Inu’s Spin, and 2 more Sun on both spells.
Where Aunn truly shines is with her skills. All three of them have practical uses, ranging from offense to speed to defense. 1.00 Spirit Power to herself and 2 levels of Yin ATK UP (2T) to the entire party makes her first skill, Sanctuary Protector, an easy offensive pick that doubles as quick Spirit Power gain. The rest of her skills are entirely supportive, giving the entire party 2 levels of Agility and Accuracy (2T) on her second skill, Animal Divine Envoy, or 2 levels of Yin and Yang DEF (2T) on her third skill, Twin Guardian. Basically any Friend can find benefits from most if not all of these skills, even if their values might appear lower than usual buffs. Even then, having 4-turn cooldowns on Animal Divine Envoy and Twin Guardian makes it so that Aunn will be a consistent supportive force as long as she is kept in battle.
Even with all of her newfound power, Aunn might not be able to stand up against the other top tier threats in terms of outright raw strength and power. However, what she lacks in offense is something most of those Friends cannot say they have: versatile team utility. With the increase of difficult Elemental EX Battle Stages, perhaps Aunn can serve as a good source of various buffs to help your team finally pull through. Or maybe she can just stand along the rest of the team and be the cute dog she always is.
Eiki Shiki, Yamaxanadu
Eiki Shiki, Yamazanadu, is a Yama who has the ability to judge all beings and determine if they are good or evil. As a Judge of the Dead, she can decide if the being will end up going to Heaven, Hell, the Netherworld, or live another life. Eiki is notorious for her lectures pointing out somebody’s faults, although it’s unknown what her motives are in terms of this. Eiki will sometimes be unable to make the most of her work schedule due to the shortcomings of her subordinate, Komachi Onozuka, who is also not immune to Eiki’s lecturings. During the Flower Blooming Incident, Eiki searched all over for her slacking subordinate to make sure the rest of the wayward spirits didn't bloom even more flowers. When a character dared approach her, however...god help them from Eiki's lectures.
Judging by what you may see in Eiki’s arsenal at first glance, you’d expect her to be a mix of both Yin and Yang, but soon you’d realize she is more in favor of Yang, which is demonstrated in her Last Word, Age of Revelation. In terms of 0P Shots, Eiki has a P0 Fire Elemental Spread Shot in Charge of Virtue which is always welcome. To add to this, our Yama’s Pre-ATK Effects are serviceable, but not the easiest to fully take advantage of. In her first spell card, Judgment: Last Judgment, there are 2 effects: The first being one enemy will be inflicted with 3 layers of Blind which will last up to 3 turns, and the other effect is an increase in Eiki’s Yang DEF by 2 stages, this one lasting 2 turns. On the subject of inflicting layers of Blind anomalies, this very Spell Card does have a 40% chance to inflict another one on the 2nd bullet line, which would last 3 turns. While not guaranteed, it may become an addition to one of the previous Pre-ATK effects. Now onto the Pre-ATK effects of the second Spell Card, Judgment: Guilty or Not Guilty, these are some of the only team support you will see in Eiki’s kit. Both Agility and Accuracy will get a 2 stage increase, lasting 2 turns. In terms of Eiki providing her own accuracy to ensure consistency in her attacks, her Awakening state may be important for the 2 stages, to go from a 75% chance of hitting, to a 100% chance. This is all assuming there is no outer team support for Eiki. Finally, her Last Word being the aforementioned Age of Revelation will increase Eiki’s Yang ATK by 3 Stages, lasting 3 Turns. This Last Word contains lines of Hard Scaling which are not to be taken lightly, and while they have prominence in the rest of her kit, they are at their best here, which makes her Yang DEF buff on her Spell Card 1 that bit more effective for damage output.
As for her skills, these are very selfish skills, but effective ones nonetheless. Her first skill, Stand-by Lecturer, will increase Eiki’s Spirit Power by 0.80 while granting Charge, allowing other debuffers and supporters to go first before Eiki unleashes her attack..Her second skill, Rod of Remorse will increase Yang ATK by 3 stages and Yin ATK by 2 stages, both lasting 3 Turns. As for her third and final skill, Cleansed Crystal Mirror, it’s got some of the benefits of the first two skills, but packaged into a skill with 3 effects; an increase in Spirit Power by 0.80, an increase in Yang DEF by 3 stages with an increase in Yang ATK by 2 stages, these lasting 1 turn. While this may be arguably the best skill of the 3, it’s important to use this skill on the right turn, due to its 1 Turn duration of Yang buffs.
To turn the tables and give our own judgment on our Yama, she does have her ups and downs in her capabilities. Her team support does leave a lot to be desired, with it only appearing in her Spell Cards, and while the mix of Yin and Yang in her bullets is a fun concept from a lore aspect of things, it does make it more difficult to get the most out of her Shots and Spell Cards in terms of concentrated power, although thankfully this isn’t a hindrance in her Last Word. In terms of elemental breaking potential, this doesn’t quite reach the levels of other existing units in the game, aside from her Last Word, but at the same time, the Fire and Sun breaks she does possess could still be nice to have, especially in her Spread Shot, Charge of Virtue which has its 0P Fire to work with. Both Shots, and her first Spell Card have Fire, and her second Spell Card has Sun, with Eiki’s Last Word, Age of Revelation having 3 of each. While Eiki is also able to inflict Blind Anomalies with Judgment: Last Judgment, she will have to rely on outer help for anomaly breaking. That being said, as an Attack unit, Eiki does her job just fine, she hits hard like she set out to do. Her Hard Scaling is nothing to scoff at with it being a contributing factor in her Last Word damage. While Eiki isn’t the best supporter, she will punish you with her attacks and her lectures. Not everything is black and white!