Introduction Edit

Spellcards are a recurring theme in the Touhou series. The spellcard functionality in SWR is borrowed from SWR's prequel game IaMP, however in SWR they are selected, gained, and used entirely differently. Cards are now divided into three categories: Spell Cards, Skill Cards, and System Cards.

Decks Edit

Decks are located in your profile and are divided by character. For each character deck you are allowed to choose up to 20 cards to fill your deck with, but you can only have a maximum of 4 of any duplicate card. Because spellcards are chosen from your deck at random during a match, adding more than one of the same type of card increases the odds it will show up. Example: you have a better chance of getting a card if you have 4 of them in your deck, than you do if you've only placed 1 of them in your deck.

The optimal card selection for your deck will depend a lot on your playstyle and perhaps even who you're fighting against.

With the release of the Touhou 12.3 expansion, players can now create up to four decks per profile. This makes it easier to quickly switch decks between battles without having to switch profiles. These deck names are Happy (green), Angry (red), Sad (blue), and Calm (yellow).

Drawing Cards Edit

During the fight, you'll draw cards in a similar way you'd fill a super bar in other fighting games: each of the 5 card slots is filled in order, each representing a super bar level. Once one has been completely filled, it becomes a deck card, and the next slot will start filling. There are three main ways of filling the card slots: connecting hits, spending spirit, and having the opponent connect hits on you.

The last one barely fills the card gauge, so it can't be relied on, since the opponent gains too much card advantage from it. The first and second ones draw cards much faster, but they work slightly differently:

Connecting hits (blocked or unblocked) fills the gauges rather fast, with an amount that seems proportional to the attack's base damage. Howerver, the drawing speed for the last two cards is scaled down by 70% and 50% respectively.

Spending spirit will fill a constant fraction of the card gauge, invariable even on the 4th and 5th card slots. Also, the bullets or skill used will also fill in the gauge with the first method should they connect.

So, in most cases, combos and blockstrings are best for filling the first three card slots, and zoning is best for the 4th and 5th card slots. This should be considered when deckbuilding: i.e. a deck based on strong pressure will rely on many skill/system cards and lvl1-3 spellcards to keep the hand size low and assist in guardcruches.

Casting Cards Edit

Spellcards all have a casting cost which is indicated in the Deck menu. Each character has a maximum of 5 stocks of spellcard in their reserve which begin empty. During the course of gameplay, you will accrue meter (in the first empty stock) by attacking and getting hit. Once the meter fills up fully, you will gain a spellcard at random from your deck in your stock and the next empty stock will begin to fill.

In order to use a spellcard, you must first meet certain requirements. Each spellcard has a casting cost which can be seen in the Deck menu. In game the costs are visually represented by the gold glowing border around the number of cards that the currently selected card costs. Thus, the number of cards besides itself which it consumes is the cost of the card. Generally speaking, all System Cards and all Skill Cards have a casting cost of 1, meaning it will consume itself, Spell Cards will vary from 1-5 in casting cost relative on how powerful or useful the attack is.

During battle, you may cycle through your stocks by pressing A+B to pick which spellcard you wish to use. This can be done at anytime including when the character is knocked down. Once you have made a decision, press B+C to use the spellcard. Once a card is used, it is consumed for the remainder of the match.

Because of this, it can be important to cycle your reserve so that you don't accidentally consume a useful card. Note that you can only cycle the reserve in one direction, and you always consume cards in order from outward to inward, and new cards are always gained in the most outward available slot. Still, cycling your reserve before gaining a new card in a slot can help to separate valuable cards from one another.

For example:

(R) (G) (B)

In the above scenario, the G card will always come after the R card, and if the R card costs two then it will consume both the R and the G. If you were to wait until just before gaining a new card to cycle the R card to the last position, you can separate the R from the G once you've gained a new card, as follows:

(G) (B) (R)
(G) (B) (R) (Y)
and then cycle to reorder:
(R) (Y) (G) (B)

The result is now your R card is back to being the currently selected card for casting, but rather than also consuming your G card, you have separated the two with the newly gained Y card.

Card Types Edit

Spell Cards Edit

Spell Cards are traditional "Super Move" type attacks and have a very large variety of effects. Some are quite useful, while others not so much. Refer to the individual character sections to learn about specific spellcards.

Skill Cards Edit

Skill Cards are a unique design to SWR. Each character comes with 4 "default" skill cards that are associated with the 4 special moves your character has from the start. These will increase the attack power or improve the effects of special moves depending on your character and card.

In addition to these, there are Alternate Skill cards (alt.skill cards) that overwrite your character's normal special move set. Characters have different amounts of alt.skill cards that have a variety of different effects. Casting an alt.skill card during a match will swap the default special with the new special type, and increase it to level 1.

For example, if you use Reimu's Alt.Skill Card "Youkai Buster", which has an input of 236B/C. From then on, when you input 236B/C, you will use Youkai Buster instead of the Hakurei Amulet. If you use "Youkai Buster" again, it will power up to Lv2. However, if you use the Skill card "Hakurei Amulet", 236BC will revert back to Hakurei Amulet.

Skill cards and Alt.Skill cards max out at level 4. Their usefulness and how they level up per use is entirely dependent on each specific card, so experimentation is required to determine each card's uses.

With the expansion of Touhou 12.3, skill cards now activate the B version of their respective skills upon usage. For example, using the "Youkai Buster" card will make Reimu use Youkai Buster (236B), in addition to leveling it. This opens up more combo possibilities, as it is now possible to use two skills back to back, even if they both have the same input (Hakurei Amulet -> Youkai Buster, for example). Additionally, it is now possible to use a skill card in the air if the skill it represents can be used in the air. Note that, if a direction key is held while a skill card is being activated, the skill WILL NOT be activated and your character will level the skill without moving (just like in SWR). This cancellation does not apply to skill cards being used in the air, as those will activate the skill regardless of whether or not a direction key is held.

Hisouten System Cards Edit

System Cards include things like defensive bombs and weather-based cards. SWR only.

Bomb cards

Bombs are another recurring theme in Touhou, and the mechanics of these bombs were borrowed from SWR's prequel game, IaMP. These bombs, however, are limited to only the IaMP N-Bomb type, and can't be used as either D-Bombs or O-Bombs.

Basically, upon casting, your character becomes immediately invulnerable for a brief moment while a large explosion detonates around you. The explosion's appearance is rather deceptive, as the graphics are circular/spherical in nature, however the explosion is actually quite square shaped.

Bombs do zero damage, add 50% prorate, and will increase the Limit by 60%. But they are melee invulnerable and graze during startup and during the attack explosion duration. The explosion can hit an opponent for a knockdown on a normal hit, but on a counterhit the explosion will cause a heavy knockback into wallslam allowing a potential juggle (which is greatly nerfed due to the proration and limit increase).

Therefore, bombs are just reversal-type moves that are useful for defending. They can help break out of attack strings that contain frame gaps, or to counter an opponent doing a high/low guard crush mixup, or stop an opponent from a left/right crossup mixup, or as a basic form of a wakeup-reversal-move when getting up off the ground.

Weather cards (Temperament Manifestation)

In the previous demo there were multiple different cards that instantly changed the weather to the corresponding card type upon casting. In the latest demo version the cards have been consolidated to a single Weather card. To learn more about this card and how weather in general works, please refer to the weather section.

Guard Reversal (Guard Hangeki)

When used while blocking, this card will automatically perform a melee counter. You have complete invincibility during this maneuver.

Card Gauge Booster (Spell Amplifier)

This card will quickly (not instantly) fill your card gauge by 2.5 cards. You are frozen in place and as such, vulnerable while it is filling your card gauge.

Life Regenerator

This card, once cast, freezes you in place and slowly regenerates your life. After a little over a second, you are placed back in control and the regeneration continues. If you are hit at any time, the life regeneration will end. As of version 1.06 the Life Regenerator card only recovers 10% life at the very most.

Spirit Regenerator

This card will regenerate a set amount of spirit that instantly refills your spirit orbs. If you use it when you have crushed orbs, it will regenerate enough to recover at least one of them.

Hisoutensoku System Cards Edit

With the expansion of Touhou 12.3, the system cards have been completely revamped. There are now 21 system cards in the game, each representing one of the 20 playable (and one non-playable) characters. The original system cards have been sorted into these.

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Reimu's card, already unlocked. This is basically the Bomb card. It now has slightly extended range and wallslams when it hits enemies in the air.

Multi-purpose defensive card; harder to hit but less baitable than Crimson Scarfs. It also tends to cycle more weather and has a few other miscellaneous uses.

Soku common card001
Magic Potion

Marisa's card, already unlocked. This is basically the Spirit Regenerator. Fills Spirit Orbs. The effect lasts longer than in SWR, allowing a few seconds of attacking with the spirit regen.

It is good to note that this card also regenerates broken spirit orbs instantaneously, so it could be useful for those who BE a lot.

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Pocket Watch

Sakuya's card. Two seconds pass after activation and then time freezes. You're allowed to move but can't attack or use bullets. If you are hit between activation and the timestop the effect is interrupted.

Situational card for approaching, positioning and gimmicks, like chaining timestop > lvl4 SC.

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White Tower Sword

Youmu's card. Causes you to dash quickly forward. Drains two spirit orbs. Can be cancelled out of into melee attacks, spellcards, cancel-able system cards (including itself), and skill cards. A single skill card can be cancelled into from White Tower Sword, either immediately or after a melee string, despite the lack of spirit. Command input specials, as well as bullets, cannot be cancelled into from White Tower Sword.

Its most proeminent use as of today is in {autocombo > White Tower} corner loops.

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Substitute Doll

Alice's card. 4 levels. Reduces damage taken. Each card adds 5% to your damage reduction. As an additional bonus, the 4th card will add an additional 10%, for a total of 30% for all 4 cards.

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Patchouli's card. 4 levels. Boosts spirit regeneration.

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Special Parasol

Remilia's card. Creates a swirling red shield in front of your character. Eats projectiles. Will also enable Remilia to fight outdoors.

Soku common card007
Spirit Light

Yuyuko's card. Conjures three spirits above your character's head that pause and then float towards the enemy to inflict damage. 3 hit, 1039 damage, 10% limit per hit. They won't vanish if you get hit.

A good alternative for characters that lack coverage of this area of the playfield. As of 1.10, this card has now a slight delay before the activation.

Soku common card008
Left Holding Fan

Yukari's card. Performs a melee attack with a short delay. Guarantees a guard crush if blocked. If not blocked, causes no damage and 100% limit.

Probably useful for weather manipulation.

Soku common card009
Ibuki Gourd

Suika's card. Works like the Card Gauge Booster. Fills up the equivalent of two spellcard's worth in your spirit meter.

Good for drawing the 4th and 5th cards, and for deck thinning. Also, some situational multi SC combos are possible with it.

As of 1.10, the first card is instantly filled up when you use the card while the second is filled in the same way it was before.

Soku common card010
Tengu Fan

Aya's card. 4 levels. Slight speed boost.

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Card Eating Medicine

Reisen's card. Performs a melee attack that hits high. If it connects, it deals 500 fixed damage, forces limit, and subtracts one spellcard from the opponent's hand.

Soku common card012
Overnight Coin

Komachi's card. Can only be used during blockstun, causes pushback to your opponent. Infinite uses, but drains spirit, so be cautious of using it too much.

Powerful effect, but also badly antisynergic. It continuously costs handspace, which also means slower draws in this game, and the card can be consumed by SCs.

Soku common card013
Robe of the Dragon Fish

Iku's card. Guard Reversal card.

Very safe way to reverse an opponent's offensive into okizeme. Take note however that this card is easily baited with reversals, and sometimes can even be blocked.

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Sword of Hisou

Tenshi's card. This is basically the weather card from the original SWR.

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Illness Recovery Charm

Sanae's card. Causes a light teal glow to surround you, slowly restoring 10% of your health much like the SWR version. Getting hit ends the effect. Cannot use aggressive actions while being healed.

Soku common card016
Frozen Frog

Cirno's card. Creates a patch of ice on the ground that lasts for 10 seconds. Anyone that attempts to jump while standing over it or dash while standing over it (including you) is knocked down, no damage. Forces blue ring (100% Limit). Patch of ice disappears after 3 consecutive knock downs. It is possible for the opponent to ground tech after being knocked down.

Soku common card017
Dragon Star

Meiling's card. Briefly grants you one hit of time-limited superarmor. As of 1.10, you now glow yellow during it's duration.

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Control Rod

Utsuho's Card. 4 different levels. Causes everything you do to deal more damage, but also causes you to receive more damage. Each card will cause you to deal 10% more damage, in exchange for receiving 7.5% more damage from attacks.

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Three Heavenly Drops

Suwako's card. First two uses do nothing, third use grants full invincibility for seven seconds.

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Great Catfish

The Great Catfish's card. Makes a 'whoosh' sound, signifying the arrival of the Great Catfish a few seconds later. Anyone on the ground (including you) when the Great Catfish lands takes 2000 damage 75% Rate and 40% Limit, and is knocked down. Can be blocked, hits low. As of 1.10, the 'whoosh' sound no longer comes before the Catfish appears.

All system cards can only be used while on the ground. Some of the system cards cannot be cancelled into. Others can be cancelled into after bullet moves or most melee attacks, the same class of attacks which can be cancelled into special moves. With the exception of the White Tower Sword, no system card can be cancelled into another move.

System cards which cannot be cancelled into: Bomb, Pocket Watch, Substitute Doll, Grimoire, Special Parasol, Tengu Fan, Overnight Coin, Robe of the Dragon Fish, Sword of Hisou, Control Rod, Three Heavenly Drops.

System cards which can be cancelled into: Magic Potion, White Tower Sword, Spirit Light, Left Holding Fan, Ibuki Gourd, Card Eating Medicine, Illness Recovery Charm, Frozen Frog, Dragon Star, Great Catfish.