Should You Pull? Water EX Festival

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Should You Pull?

Maybe, leaning slightly toward Yes. For the third (or technically fourth) time, a prayer specifically made to cater toward completing an Elemental EX Battle Stage has been created! While sharing some similarities from the previous ones, Water EX Festival stands out by including five characters instead of the usual four, with four of the five being General pool Friends! With Koishi Komeiji on the Festival-side, the other features this time include Letty Whiterock, Minamitsu Murasa, Merlin Prismriver, and Kosuzu Motoori. Just like the last few, a 5* story card appealing toward elemental damage is featured, this time being My Favorites, boasting a 40% boost to a spell’s Water damage.

While the majority of General Friends might make this banner seem unappealing, especially when stacked up against the current Ultra Festival Friends (B3 Sagume Kishin, Z1 Marisa Kirsame, and R2 Yuyuko Saigyouji) or A-Type Friends (A7 Youmu Konpaku and A8 Reisen Udongein Inaba), all of the General Friends included here can be exchanged for 100 Exchange Points compared to the usual 150 Exchange Points that Koishi still costs. Similar to previous prayers, My Favorites can be exchanged for only 50 Exchange Points. This prayer is a very good pick if you need an extra boost to challenge Water EX, and don’t underestimate the utility of these Friends, especially Murasa and Merlin!

Along with the normal prayer is an Ascending God Crystal Step-UP. As usual, this promises 10 pulls for the low cost of 60 God Crystals, followed by 4 additional 10-pull steps that cost 100 more GC for each step (60, 160, 260, 360, 460). With the promise of two Friends on the final step, this can be a promising way to snag some unique Friends! (Though do note: Ascending Step-UP technically costs 100 more God Crystals to clear out compared to a Descending Step-UP.)

To continue the trend of the previous Elemental EX Should You Pulls, the in-depth section below will cover each featured Friend’s Water element access to see who does the best Water breaking. As always, this should never be the only way to judge the viability of a Friend and is only featured below to reflect on one way to tackle Water EX. While the following may not truly reflect their usage, the character pages linked will give a more general view of their utility!

For more information on Water EX itself, check the article below!

Quick Overview

+ Good Solo-target Yin nuker
+ Self barrier recovery
+ Some Yin DEF up
- Takes a turn or two to reach full damage potential
- Does not provide any utility to the rest of the team besides ACC down on targets
- No Focus UP as a defensive unit

+ Remarkable speed which translates into more damage using her Slicing
+ Very strong damage
+ Heavy in Water breaks
- Very little supportive utility
- Vulnerable after using skills

+ Can apply a decent amount of Freeze Barriers
+ Very strong, frontloaded Solo-targeting Last Word
+ Solid amount of Yang DEF DOWN to all enemies
+ Strong Accuracy support via Evasion DOWN to all enemies
- Can't quite reach the highs of other nukers due to mixed scaling
- Breaks are just average

+ Has a respectably powerful Solo-targeting Last Word that deals tremendous damage if given time to set up
+ Slightly above average access to Water breaks, with both Solo and All access to 1/1/3 Breaks for 0/1/2 Spirit Power
- Requires some setup time to get the most out of her
- Many of her buffs and debuffs rely on bullet line RNG
- No team utility

+ Last Word deals a lot of Piercing damage
+ Average access to Water and Wood Breaks, at 1/2/3 Breaks for 0/1/2 Spirit Power
+ Some Cri EVA DOWN Support for teammates
- Second Spell Card deals self-damage to Kosuzu
- Her Piercing isn't as good as you'd think
- Overall low damage output outside of Piercing shenanigans without heavy setup

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

  • Spell Card’s Water power 20% [40%] UP (1T)
  • DMG from Fire element 20% DOWN (3T)
  • DMG from gods 20% DOWN (3T)
  • Agility +34 [+94]
  • Yang DEF +26 [+86]

Water Accessibility Ranking

5. Kosuzu Motoori

Funnily enough, unlike the Moon EX and Fire EX Prayers, the bottom of this list starts off with a slight tie- one that ties at 7 Water breaks! Kosuzu plays with access to a decent amount of both Wood and Water breaks. For the sake of this list, she has an All-target Water break on her Focus shot…at 2P, sadly. Her spells fare better though, with 3 Water breaks on her second spell and 3 more mixed in with Wood on her Last Word. As a General Friend, her elemental coverage is rather impressive, considering she can prepare a decent hit with her Last Word as well. Just watch out, that second spell does damage herself…

Evil Dragon Print: 1 break (2P)
Original Text: Hotsuma Tsutae: 3 breaks (0P, 1P, 2P)
Privately Published Night Parade Scroll - Final Chapter Annex: 3 breaks (0P, 1P, 2P)
Total: 7 breaks (1 on shots)

4. Merlin Prismriver

Tying with Kosuzu is Merlin, who shares her 7 Water breaks and even the same gimmick of switching between Wood and Water breaks! Instead of having a break on her shots, Merlin sticks to Water breaking on her spells. With 3 Water breaks on her second spell, the trumpeter manages to tie with the bibliophile with 4 Water breaks on her Last Word. This is the primary reason why she is ranked higher than Kosuzu, as more Water on her Last Word will end up mattering more when attacking a foe weak to Water. Additionally, Merlin is one of the best General Friends, heavily debuffing all present opponents and just being a huge help for the rest of the team.

Noise Sign: Merlin Happy Live: 3 breaks (1P, 2P, 3P)
Final Encore - Merlin Solo: 4 Breaks (1P, 1P, 1P, 3P)
Total: 7 breaks

3. Koishi Komeiji

Koishi almost falls into the same, strangely common niche of Wood and Water breaking as the previous entries, but instead she keeps to Water breaks on her spells and only mixes for her Last Word. With 3 Water breaks on all of her spells- both of her spell cards and Last Word- Koishi is practically the definition of your golden standard of Water breaking. She can even boost her Spirit Power with skills to get an immediate start to Water breaking without relying on a Spirit Power-restoring card. For Festival Friend standards, Koishi can also hit rather well when properly set up, though her buffs might be weird if RNG does not go your way on her spells…

Representation: Bullet Hell Paranoia: 3 breaks (0P, 2P, 2P)
Memory: DNA’s Flaw: 3 breaks (0P, 2P, 2P)
Brambly Rose Garden: 3 breaks (0P, 2P, 3P)
Total: 9 breaks

2. Letty Whiterock

The final two spots here are technically another tie- to the point where these Friends have their Water breaks in the exact same position! 2 breaks on their Spread shot, 3 on their Focus (including a 0P Water break just for fun), and then 2 breaks on one spell, 3 on another, and 4 on the Last Word! For Letty’s case, she gets the 2 breaks on her second spell and 3 on her first. So why is she ranked lower despite having the same amount of breaks this time? Well, technically, her breaks are more Spirit Power-hungry than the top spot at times, even if she can gain 1.0 Spirit Power to help with that. Additionally, Letty’s utility outside of these breaks is quite limiting, which while this list is not ranking, can come back to bite you during challenging content such as Water EX.

Cold Wave: 2 breaks (2P, 2P)
North Wind: 3 breaks (0P, 1P, 2P)
Cold Sign: Lingering Cold: 3 breaks (0P, 1P, 3P)
Mystic Sign: Table-Turning: 2 breaks (2P, 3P)
Crystalized Silver: 4 breaks (0P, 1P, 2P, 3P)

Total: 14 breaks (5 on shots)

1. Minamitsu Murasa

As mentioned before, Murasa’s breaks are practically the exact same as Letty, with her 2 and 3 Water breaks being swapped (2 on first spell, 3 on second). While they are the same, to the point of their 0P Water Focus shot being Solo-target and their spell with 2 breaks being All-targeting, Murasa holds a lot more value. Her Slicing scaling and heavy Agility buffs only add onto her heavy damage, which will definitely show in challenging content such as Water EX. Additionally, an All-target Last Word means that she spreads those 4 Water breaks on a wave of 3 enemies instead of just one like what Letty would be forced to do.

Anchor Boomerang: 2 breaks (1P, 1P)
Anchor Shot: 3 breaks (0P, 1P, 3P)
Capsize: Foundering Anchor: 2 breaks (0P, 2P)
Drowning Sign: Sinkable Vortex: 3 breaks (0P, 1P, 2P)
Palanquin Fleet Bombardment: 4 breaks (0P, 1P, 2P, 3P)
Total: 14 breaks (5 on shots)

Still, it’s pretty strange that there were two close Water break ties on this list, both coming from the General Friends instead of the Festival one!

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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.