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- Avoid fighting multiple enemies inside of a room when you can. It is always safer to lead them to a corridor and face them one at a time. While doing so, take advantage of corners to take extra shots.
- Past the first couple of levels, it is much safer to test Wands on opponents who have been Paralyzed. Even distance won't save you when you accidentally make an opponent faster with no way to deal with it.
- Before you advance the floor, eat any extra items that you can. This helps maintain a high Spirit Power, and keeps Momiji from getting hungry, so you will only need to hold onto a handful of Riceballs. Especially since changing floors dispel status ailments, you can just mass devour Suzuran and Confuse Herbs, fixing all the negatives by descending the stairs. Avoid Paralyze Herbs, though, as the duration of the paralysis negates the satiation.
- Seal cancels speed effects, so it is an alternative to inflicting Slow if an opponent has Haste. More useful, too, as it also provides its other benefits. On the other hand, if you want a Slow, Sealed enemy, you need to inflict Seal first, then Slow.
- Always try to have at least one Warp Herb in your inventory. If Momiji gets surrounded, teleporting is usually the safest action. The Ran Spellcard duplicates this effect, while the Kanako Spellcard provides an even safer alternative (as you can warp into danger with the other two).
- The only way to get the effects of the Powerful Wand (強化の杖) and Haste Wand (高速の杖) on Momiji is to reflect it off of PC-98 Alice. Thus, it is counterproductive to carry these wands past 16F.
One of the big parts of strategy in the game involves Spellcards. How you manage your spellcards dictates a lot about how well you can do in the dungeon.
Soaking a Spellcard renders it useless. It recovers when the floor is changed, or by casting Sanae or Eirin. However, Soaking is a useful asset which allows Momiji to recycle her Spellcards that were attached. Cards can be removed from weaker equipment and transferred to better stuff, or simply cycled for more useful Cards. It's especially good when the helpfulness of a Spellcard has run out. For example, once Eirin is no longer a threat, you can remove the card from your Shield and have a nice emergency alternative. The traditional method employed to Soak attached cards is to use Nitori or Suwako, but the game provides a very convenient and cheap alternative: the water trap. While a hassle when you don't want it, if you find a perfect opportunity for a Soak, you can drop all of your Cards and equipment except the articles you need to remove cards from, and simply trigger the trap. Always check for this kind of trap before using up your Nitori and Suwako.
Spellcards have two uses, and the important thing to know is that there are two uses. At first glance, since attaching a Spellcard has a more permanent effect that can be reused, it seems that it's always better to reserve Spellcards for attaching good equipment (except for Suika, of course). However, it is wise to always weigh how useful a Spellcard can be for casting. Some really good emergency cards you may want to consider keeping on hand are the following.
- Reimu - Permanent Floor-wide Seal is incredibly powerful, especially against the likes of EX-Keine, Mokou, Eirin, Shinki, and Evil Eye Sigma. Also probably one of the best responses if you step into a Monster House. It allows you to get out safely and take your time to deal with the enemies.
- Lunasa - Since Slow is permanent on enemies, this makes a great alternative to Reimu when facing a Monster House. Not as disabling as Reimu, but it will save your life almost as well. Much less expensive than Reimu, as well.
- Letty - Not quite as good as the previous two, but better if you're simply surrounded. 10 turns of Sleep is too short to take out an entire Monster House.
- Kanako or Ran - Both are very cheap, and remove Momiji from danger. This merely prolongs the issue, but in some cases, careful repositioning is all that is necessary to survive.
- Remilia - Remilia, Yumemi, and Mokou are the only characters immune to Flame Pillars. 20 damage doesn't seem like a lot late game, but wading through 5 of it in order to reach you is 100 damage, plus however much you can potshot for. If you have an entire room of enemies on your tail, lead them to a safe place and use this.
A fair number of the Spellcards, on Shields, provide immunity to status ailments. This sounds great, but it is rather important to assess when it is great. For example, the Resonance Effect for Keine is "Level Drain Immunity". Sounds awesome and something you'd like for a long time, but the only way to lose levels is from Keine eating your history, which only occurs on floors 11-13. Keine on a Shield is great to have all the time, of course, but you needn't stick so closely to that sword except on those levels (unless you really need the Spellcard cost reduction). Furthermore, some of the immunities are double-edged swords. Eirin's effect prevents you from using HP recovery herbs, Lunasa's makes you unable to attain Haste, and Kanako's prevents you from warping by your own means. However, with any status immunity, but especially Eirin's, Momiji is able to eat otherwise dangerous herbs with no harm. This is also the only practical use of Paralysis immunity, which you can only self-inflict.
Other level-dependent status ailments are as follows. Blind is only from Mystia (7F-8F). Knockback/Warp from Meiling (6F-7F) or Kanako and Aya (24F-26F), Lunatic from Reisen (18F-20F), Curse/Soak from Hina (7F-8F) or Suwako (24F-26F). and Flame Pillar from Yumemi (19F-21F). Slow and Sleep always pose a threat due to traps.
Lyrica vs. Komachi
Blocking Sleep is very important, because 3 turns is all one enemy usually needs to mercilessly kill Momiji. And there will usually be more than one such enemy. Since traps can cause Sleep, they are a trouble no matter what floor Momiji is on. There are two ways to counter Sleep, Lyrica and Komachi.
Lyrica provides complete immunity to Sleep, plain and simple, so it sounds like the strictly better choice. However, Komachi can turn Sleep from a negative to a positive, due to the great amount of healing gotten. With Komachi, Sleep traps on the floor turn into healing spas. However, Momiji still loses at least 3 turns, which can put her in a dangerous position. It's up to preference, but in the late game, it is almost essential to have at least one of these.
Herb Synergy (Aya, Reisen, Meiling, Medicine)
Beyond the normal effects of herbs, there are (supposedly) 4 cards which provide great synergy with certain Herbs. These are the Resonance Effects of Aya, Reisen, and Meiling, and all effects of Medicine. They all provide incredibly powerful benefits, especially Meiling and Medicine, which can be stocked for later usage. The difficult matter is luck plays a lot more against these combinations than others. You need the luck to obtain both the Spellcards, and the Herbs. And since the effect is always temporary, you'll need a lot of Herbs, or need to reserve their usage carefully.
Attack Boost (Yuka, Hina, Medicine)
Three Cards will provide Momiji a significant boost in attack power: Yuka, Hina, and Medicine. Of the three, Hina is the most reliable as it can be carried from floor to floor, Medicine's is the most luck dependent due to requiring Poison, and Yuka's is in between, as it can be reliable called upon with good item usage but is utterly useless against Yukari. The boost in attack power is not something to scoff at. For example, upon reaching 28F, Momiji with a good sword can do roughly 50 damage to Evil Eye Sigma, for an average of 2 hit kills. With Hina on, this can be boosted to almost a guaranteed kill, while having Yuka always confirms a kill. With both, the damage is well over 150. As killing the enemy quickly is far more important than surviving more than 3 hits, the attack boost is extremely important. Do note that the damage boost is only for melee attacks.
Death Attacks (Yuyuko)
Yuyuko makes one of the most powerful, yet also decidedly difficult, Spellcards to use on equipment. The Yuyuko Sword has a chance to instantly kill most enemies, but against those enemies, it has a chance of doing absolutely nothing. This is only problematic on the floors where this risk exists... and Yukari. As a result, if you plan on using a Yuyuko Sword, you should only paste cards that are useful for the journey, not against Yukari (Yuka, for example). The Yuyuko Shield, naturally, is very detrimental. But is it worth the Resonance Effect? The answer is yes, with strategy. Keeping it on as a main shield is not very practical: you generally want to only face off against a single enemy at a time, in a corridor. Even Minoriko can't offset this; a Yuyuko/Minoriko Shield still makes Momiji get hungry faster than normal. Instead, it's actually more effective to keep the two cards separate, and carry both a Yuyuko Shield and a Minoriko Shield. Wear the Minoriko Shield as a standard to keep your hunger safe, then when you run into certain situations, switch to the Yuyuko Shield until the threat is taken care of. A good example is if you run into an enemy in Restless Sleep (Reimu and Evil Eye Sigma especially), you can simply wait on a spot and the enemy is going to perish without causing you problems. You can also use things like Paralysis or Bind to keep enemies away from you, and the Resonance is also good if you're unfortunate to be trapped in a Monster House.
Useful Spellcard Combinations
Resonance Effects aren't the only good combinations of Spellcards. There are a lot of Spellcards which can be combined to create very nice effects. Here are a few of them. * indicates that the rest of the Spellcards don't really matter.
Combination: Yuka/Kaguya/Chen/* Sword
Colourfully named for its theme, it relies on the extreme synergy between the Kaguya and Yuka cards. Kaguya has the highest rate of triggering (with 100% if you invest in a Kaguya Shield), and Yuka increases the damage once Curse of Eternity is inflicted. The Chen Card is mostly extra flair: double attacks with this weapon are significantly more powerful as the second hit will get the boost.
Combination 1: Chen/* Sword + * Primary Shield + Chen/Aya/* Secondary Shield
Combination 2: * Primary Sword + Komachi/Aya/* Secondary Sword + Komachi/* Shield
The Resonance Effects of Chen and Komachi are extremely powerful in terms of escaping from danger, but they are often not worth the problems they cause when you're trying to fight. The workaround is to keep the Resonance Effect as a secondary equipment, by having a primary Sword/Shield that doesn't mess your rhythm, with a secondary item that you can swap on once danger rears its head. Aya enforces the emergency escape part by allowing you to switch without using up a precious turn. It's not necessary on the primary equipment as the escape should provide you at least one extra turn to switch equipment.
Combination: Kanako/Mystia/Merlin/Lunasa/Letty Sword
Requires 80 Spirit Power if you're lucky, but on average it'll probably be 100 or so. However, this combination represents ultimate stopping power in preventing an enemy from hitting you. With the priority, the chances are: 8.33% Sleep, 7.64% Slow, 10.50% Confuse, 9.19% Blind, and 5.63% Knock Flying: an almost 50% chance of restricting the opponent from attacking you. Not quite as useful as the old Stop Sword (in previous versions, Kanako Sword was a 1/4 chance of Warping the enemy while Meiling Sword was 1/12 chance of Knock Flying), but powerful nevertheless if you get your hands on it. You can substitute Yuyuko in for any of them, but remember that Death Attack doesn't work on Yuyuko, Eirin, Kaguya, and Mokou.
Combination: Sikieiki/Udonge/Merlin/* Sword
The chances of Sikieiki triggering are unknown (observations yield roughly 1/4 or 1/6), but this sword is a much cheaper alternative to the Stop Sword. It won't get the enemies out of your face as the previous, but it has a much higher chance of its triggers, all of which prevent the enemy from using their Special Abilities.
Combination: Sakuya/Reimu/* Sword + Sakuya/Marisa/* Shield
This is something of a game-breaking combination if you can ever get it. What makes this so powerful is that it doesn't need an adequately powerful sword, since Shot damage is based purely on your Level. The Reimu Sword will make your laser always hit, which in turn will always refund your Spirit Power. So, you can just attack the entire map from a safe range. This combination was able to completely devastate Yukari's first three forms, with a little help from a Wriggle Card. You can add a Marisa to the Sword if you can get enough Alice Cards, making this all the more ridiculous.
Combination: Eirin/Shizuha/* Shield
Useful for 20F-22F, as well as if you have Spirit Power issues often. This converts all those extra Herbs on the ground that you can't use into wellsprings of Spirit Power. As an Eirin Shield is always important to try and have before facing Eirin, you might as well get some extra benefit if you can squeeze it out. Just remember to take off this shield before trying to heal, or carry a different Shield for normal matters.
Combination: Remilia/Letty/* Shield
Reduces damage from Flower Tank and Evil Eye Sigma to a measly 2 and 5 respectively. Has the extra benefits of protecting against Yumemi and Reimu, but it is rather costly for such selective use.
Combination: Aya/Mokou on either Sword or Shield
A plain Mokou Sword or Mokou Shield is always useful as a backup, but this is a step further. The advantage of having Aya is to be able to squeeze in one more attack, a last hit, before dying. This is also useful if you and your enemy will die in one hit, and you are worried you might miss. Switching this will let you get the attack, which will either hit and keep the equipment, or miss and you'll survive.
- Reisen/Merlin Shield - Lunatic immunity negates the problems of Merlin Shield, letting you attempt her Resonance Effect with safety. Reisen Shield also lets you Invoke Flandre for just the Power Up.
- Cirno/Letty Resonance - Letty Resonance can paralyze to setup the heavy hit of Cirno Resonance.
- Tewi Resonance + Certain Cards - Seeing traps can provide good setups for things like Medicine (Suzuran Trap), Komachi (Sleep Trap), Ran (Warp Trap), and Hina (Disarm Trap).
- Youmu Sword and Certain Cards - Attacking around corners without costing Spirit Power is more powerful by combining it with effects like Yuka (Bind), Letty (Sleep), and Merlin (Confuse) that can keep the enemy around the corner and away from you.
- Return to Momiji and the Mysterious Cave