I didn't play today, but I'm gonna make a post about the commander bonuses which I've been mostly ignoring. You may recall that Mokou's commander ability lets her revive people. That's pretty much the only one I've ever used. So now I'm gonna go through all the characters and see what I've been missing. Each character has two, the first one costs one bomb and the second one costs three bombs. They all happen at the start of the turn before anything else happens, and their effects last for only that turn. This will be enlightening for me too. Maybe some of these could have saved me a lot of trouble.
- Hakurei Border - Reduces all damage taken by 20%. 20% isn't a huge amount, but it could useful for surviving unstable periods like before the buffs go up.
- Fantasy Seal Explosion - All attacks gain the "Exorcism" property. I don't know what this means and that scares me. A number of weapons also have this property.
- Hakkero - Increases damage by 15%. There are point where I want to do as much damage as fast as possible, but generally Marisa is a part of those parties. If I had different main characters maybe.
- Stardust Sanctuary - Nullifies Magic-element attacks. Um... this would be awesome if I could think of any magic elemental attacks that bosses do. Call me when we have to fight Marisa.
- Miracle Fruits - 25% healing to party. 25% is pretty low for costing a bomb. Maybe for random battles.
- Summon Takemi Nakata - Increases party's stats. Doesn't say how much. If it's anything like her Last Word, then not bad for balanced offense and defense. I'd still prefer to have her in my party though.
- Tengu's Flight - Gives allies a chance to Perfect Dodge. Doesn't say how high, but I'm pretty sure it's not 100%. It did save my life again Chihiro, but it seems unreliable in general.
- Paparazzi - Allies act first this turn. Most of my party is slower than the enemies, so if I can actually manage to kill something with this fast turn it could be awesome. Or it could be useless.
- Sunshine Reflector - Reduces magic damage taken by 33%. Again, I'm not really worried about small reductions. Either I die or I don't. Failing that, I either take one hit or two. The odds of this saving my life seem pretty low to me.
- Royal Diamond Ring - Increases magic damage dealt by 33%. Pretty awesome in concept I guess, except that Patchouli is one half of my two massive magic damage characters. Maybe if Byakuren had a good weapon or Satori learned more spells?
- Perfect Maid - Increases Induction and Resistance for the party. Um... huh. That's odd. Not sure what this has to do with Sakuya's playstyle, but interesting. Could've used it against Anastasis or Eirin for a smoother encounter.
- Deflation World - Stops all enemies. I'm assuming that rather than doing her time freeze stuff this just casts the stop effect on the enemies. Could save my life in random battles, or it could miss and do nothing. Not the worst back-up to have.
- Bad Camouflage - Reduces enemy evasion to 0. Remember those sylphs from Tenshi's stage? This would've been nice. There's actually quite a large number of highly evasive enemies, and missing is a pretty recurring problem for Sakuya. I tend to deal with them using magic, but this would work too.
- Hyper Camouflage - Allies gain camouflage. I don't really know what camouflage does. I would normally think that it makes the enemy not target you, but then what's the point when the whole party is camouflaged? A number of boss strats on the wiki have implied that this makes you invincible though, which would be awesome for predictable massive damage.
- 7-Colored Puppet - Shield activation chance becomes 100%. You will block every attack on this turn. Shields are actually pretty good, but many character can't use them while doing their thing. No casters or Sakuya. My party never looks like that, but I guess it could work. I'd rather have Alice in the battle blocking for everyone though.
- Alice Formation - Formation bonuses doubled. I have no idea how big these bonuses are, so I have no idea how effective doubling them might be. Given that this is considered a 3 bomb ability, formations must be pretty awesome. Maybe I should look into them more.
- Attack Prediction - Gain 15% deflect chance. How is this different from Aya's perfect dodge? Was that also 15%? Seems pretty low though.
- Enemy Arts - Randomly uses one enemy skill. Um... thanks? This is never useful because it's unreliable.
- Half-Phantom Attack - Halves Resistance. This is probably better than Sakuya's induction boost for my purposes. The more resistance they have the stronger it is, and it doesn't share space with a frankly pointless-seeming resistance boost.
- Six Realms Sword - Attacks have a high chance to crit. I like critting, but I prefer to plan around known quantities rather than vague "high chances".
Fujiwara no Mokou
- Magic Butterfly - Recovers 10% MP. This would be awesome for dungeon crawling. I should spam it until she's out of bombs and then switch someone else in. I'd never run out of MP.
- Devil's Recitation - Reduces enemies' HP by 50%. Demi! Doesn't sound very useful, because the enemies it's most effective on would probably have a high chance to resist it. I wonder if it takes into account Byakuren's induction.
(she's got an old fashioned name because she's ancient)
- Phoenix's Tail - Randomly revives one dead ally. This is my bread and butter. Sanae has a revive spell, but I rarely use it.
- Phoenix Rebirth - This turn, allies survive fatal attacks with 1 HP. Another "get out of jail free" card. Again, relies quite a bit on timing and frankly I'd rather save her bombs for reviving.
Overall, I'm probably going to stick with Mokou. As you've noticed, I like to play defensively when possible, so just being unkillable is high on my list of priorities. Youmu's ability looks good for bosses where hitting with stat downs is really important, and Byakuren looks good for dungeon crawling. Most of the offensive ones seem pointless to me because of who you have to sacrifice to use them.
Other than that, I've learned that there's something called the "Exorcism" property which is probably awesome and that formation bonuses are huge. Since the beginning of the game I've stuck with the standard 1 tank, 2 fighters, 2 mages formation and upgrades to it. I've never had anyone actually out of formation though, such that they'd lose their relevant bonus, so I guess I haven't—
Oh yeah, Aya. That's probably why she's weak. I should've changed my formation back then to account for a melee heavy party. I'm bit skeptical of her being able to survive in the front row though. I'll have to look into this.