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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the best character / shottype?

This page lists the different shottypes that exist in each Windows mainline Touhou game, aside from PoFV (Touhou 9). Some basic information on the shottypes is provided and they are evaluated based on how good they are for a first clear. Keep in mind that these evaluations do not necessarily translate to different types of goals, such as scoring or a No Bombs clear.

In Touhou 7 to 15, Reimu has a smaller hitbox than other characters, as well as Yukari in IN (Touhou 8), but this is almost irrelevant for a first 1cc.

Touhou 6: Embodiment of Scarlet Devil

Shottype Description Pros Cons
ReimuA
(Homing)
Homing shot. Easier stages. Low shot damage.
ReimuB
(Needle)
Forward focus shot with a shotgun. High shot damage, especially when up close. Weak bomb with short invincibility.
MarisaA
(Missile)
Forward focus shot. Very high shot damage. Strong bomb when placed on top of enemies, doesn't disable your shot. Difficult Stage 4 boss. Almost no horizontal range, which makes some stage sections and boss attacks harder. Bomb doesn't clear the screen well.
MarisaB
(Laser)
Forward focus shot with piercing. Strong bomb with long invincibility, despite disabling your shot. Also clears the screen. Damage is inconsistent, due to the lasers turning on and off.

Touhou 7: Perfect Cherry Blossom

Shottype Description Pros Cons
ReimuA
(Homing)
Homing shot. Easier stages. Very poor shot damage and poor bomb damage. Very slow movement speed, which makes collecting items harder.
ReimuB
(Needle)
Forward focus shot with a shotgun. High shot damage, especially when up close. Strong bombs when placed on top of enemies. Unfocused bombs do little damage and focused bombs can do 0 damage if placed far from enemies. Very slow movement speed, which makes collecting items harder.
MarisaA
(Missile)
Forward focus shot. High shot damage. Strong bomb when placed on top of enemies, doesn't disable your shot. Best Cherry gain, which means she gets the most borders. Almost no horizontal range, which makes some stage sections and boss attacks harder. Only 2 bombs per life.
MarisaB
(Laser)
Forward focus shot with piercing. High damage. Easier final boss due to piercing. Very strong bombs, especially for pointblank unfocused bombs. Little horizontal range, which makes some stage sections and boss attacks harder. Only 2 bombs per life.
SakuyaA
(Homing)
Unfocused spread shot, focused homing shot. Huge range of homing. Good bombs. Easier stages. Very straightforward to use. 4 bombs per life. Somewhat poor shot damage. Very low Cherry gain, which means less borders. Very fast focused movement speed, which can make dodging more difficult.
SakuyaB
(Angled)
Angling shot, forward focus with knives that can be angled when unfocused and locked when focused. Strong bomb with long invincibility, despite disabling your shot. Also clears the screen. 4 bombs per life. High shot damage. Bombs do almost no damage. Very fast focused movement speed, which can make dodging more difficult. Shot angling can be tricky to use.

Touhou 8: Imperishable Night

Shottype Description Special ability Pros Cons
Border Team
(Reimu & Yukari)
Unfocus:
Homing shot.
Focus:
High damage homing option shot.
Longer deathbomb window. Very high and reliable focused shot damage. Easier stages with homing. Low unfocused shot damage, especially when blocked off by familiars. Focused bomb does almost no damage if placed far away from enemies.
Magic Team
(Marisa & Alice)
Unfocus:
Forward focus shot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot with piercing.
Can PoC at any power level. High shot damage for both unfocus and focus. Has the infamous "Malice Cannon" trick, where mashing shift deals crazy high damage. Weak bomb with short invincibility. Alice has almost no horizontal range and Marisa also has limited horizontal range.
Scarlet Team
(Sakuya & Remilia)
Unfocus:
Spreadshot.
Focus:
Locking shot, focusing locks your options in place so you can shoot from 2 places at once.
Dying with bombs in stock awards an extra bomb item. Shooting from 2 places at once makes stages easier. Can damage the boss without being under the boss. High shot damage when your options are stacked with you. Very low unfocused shot damage, especially when blocked off by familiars. Focused options need to be repositioned if the boss moves around.
Ghost Team
(Youmu & Yuyuko)
Unfocus:
Angling shot, can rotate her shot by moving unfocused.
Focus:
Very wide spreadshot.
Gets a bomb when clearing a stage if you have less than 3 bombs left. Focused shot spread is very good against stages. High unfocused shot damage. Focused shot is bad against bosses. Unfocused shot can be difficult to angle correctly.

Touhou 10: Mountain of Faith

Shottype Description Pros Cons
ReimuA
(Homing)
Homing shot. Easier stages. Can damage the boss without being under the boss. Low shot damage.
ReimuB
(Needle)
Forward focus shot. Very high shot damage. Little horizontal range, so stage sections can be more difficult.
ReimuC
(Spread)
Spreadshot. Easier stages. High shot damage when up close. Very low shot damage from far away. Her damage up close is situational and rarely usable.
MarisaA
("High" Power)
Tracing shot, options follow your movement and lock when focusing. Options can be manipulated for more range. Low shot damage due to the splash damage being bugged. Options can be tricky to control.
MarisaB
(Laser)
Forward focus shot with piercing. Piercing can wipe out columns of enemies very quickly. Between 3.00-3.95 power, she is extremely powerful due to a bug, killing patterns before the bullets even reach you. Low shot damage without the bug. With the bug, none.
MarisaC
(Frostthrower)
Locking shot, focusing locks your options in place so you can shoot from 2 places at once. Highest shot damage in the game (apart from MarisaB with the bug). Shooting from 2 places at once makes stages easier. Can damage the boss without being under the boss. Tricky to use for inexperienced players.

Touhou 11: Subterranean Animism

Shottype Description Special ability Pros Cons
ReimuA
(Yukari)
Forward focus shot. Screen wrap, often called "gapping". Used when double tapping against the screen edge while unfocused and not shooting. High shot damage. Screen wrap makes some sections trivial. Weak bomb. Hard Stage 4 boss.
ReimuB
(Suika)
"Homing" shot with piercing. Auto-collects items when unfocused and not shooting. Piercing helps at some sections. Easy Stage 4 boss. Low shot damage. Bomb doesn't always do good damage. Shot barely has any homing.
ReimuC
(Aya)
Angling shot, can rotate her shot by moving unfocused. Hyperspeed when unfocused and not shooting. Strong bomb. Easy Stage 4 boss. Options can be hard to control.
MarisaA
(Alice)
Forward focus shot unfocused, spreadshot focused. Can hold up to 8 bombs and gets bombs faster. High shot damage. Good spread. Has more bombs. Bombs are strong when up close. Bomb needs to be used up close for good damage, loses more power after dying compared to other shots.
MarisaB
(Patchouli)
Fire: forward focus shot.
Water: spreadshot.
Wood: wide spreadshot.
Metal: sideways shot.
Earth: backwards shot.
Can switch between 5 shottypes by tapping shoot and focus at the same time. Versatile shot. Water shot has good spread for stages. Fire shot has low shot damage. Bomb is hard to use optimally. Shot switching takes some practice.
MarisaC
(Nitori)
Forward focus shot. Shieldbomb that cancels a hit while active, gets 0.5 power back when the bomb expires if you were not hit. Bomb is quite good for Extra, as bombs do not damage the boss's Spell Cards. Hard Stage 4 boss. Lagging shots often severely decrease shot damage. Bomb does no damage and does not clear bullets when hit.

Touhou 12: Undefined Fantastic Object

Shottype Description Pros Cons
ReimuA
(Needle)
Forward focus shot. High shot damage. Strong bomb. Bomb is not too good for UFO collection.
ReimuB
(Homing)
Homing shot. Homing makes certain stage portions and boss patterns easier. Good bomb for UFO collection. Low shot damage, suffers especially lategame.
MarisaA
(Laser)
Forward focus shot with piercing. High shot damage. Strong bomb. Piercing helps a lot for UFO collection and stage portions. Has a bug that makes her deal more damage when you start shooting unfocused and then focus (at max power). Worst bomb for UFO collection due to Marisa being slowed down. Bright options can obscure bullets on certain patterns.
MarisaB
(Wave)
Omnidirectional shot. Decent shotgun when focused and all waves hit. Excellent bomb for UFO collection, good screen clear. Worst bomb for survival: horrible damage and short invincibility. Low shot damage from a distance, suffers especially lategame. Back shot barely has additional value.
SanaeA
(Snake)
Horizontal homing shot. Great bomb for UFO collection, screen clear is great. Homing helps on certain stage portions and boss patterns. Low shot damage, suffers especially lategame. Homing snakes can miss their target, lowering damage even more. Bomb is not always as good depending on which pattern it's used on.
SanaeB
(Frog)
Spreadshot with forward focus. Spread and splash damage are excellent in most stages. Strongest bomb in the game for both UFO collection and bosses. Her shotgun gives her the highest shot damage in the game. Power loss affects her more than anyone else: focused shot at 3 power and less is underwhelming compared to 4 power.

Touhou 13: Ten Desires

Shottype Description Pros Cons
Reimu
(Needle/Homing)
Unfocus:
Homing shot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot.
Decent shot damage. Easier stages. Weak trance. Trance auto-collects spirits, which makes chaining trances impossible.
Marisa
(Missile/Laser)
Unfocus:
Slight spreadshot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot.
Decent shot damage. High shot damage when up close. Very strong bomb and trance. Lack of homing or range can make some attacks harder. Shotgun is not always usable.
Sanae
(Helix/Spread)
Unfocus:
Spreadshot.
Focus:
Helix pattern forward focus shot.
Spreadshot helps with some stage sections. Decent shotgun. Gains more gauge from blue spirits. Weak trance. Low shot damage, also nullifying most of the gain from blue spirits. Focused shot can completely miss bosses.
Youmu
(Slash)
Unfocus:
Tracing shot, options follow your movement.
Focus:
Charged melee "sword slashing" shot.
Very high shot damage. Very strong bomb and trance. Burst damage trivialises stages and some boss patterns. Hard to use for inexperienced players. Focused shot has limited vertical range, especially at low power. Unfocused dodging can be difficult.

Touhou 14: Double Dealing Character

Shottype Description Pros Cons
ReimuA
(Homing Gohei)
Unfocus:
Homing shot.
Focus:
Homing option shot.
High shot damage. Very high damage when mashing Shift to respawn the gohei onto the boss. Can damage the boss without being under the boss. Gohei can be placed somewhere, allowing for controlling 2 areas at once. Bomb is weak when used far away.
ReimuB
(Needle/Homing)
Unfocus:
Homing shot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot.
Easier stages. Straightforward to use in general. Low shot damage. Generally weak all around.
MarisaA
(Flamethrower)
Unfocus:
Slight spreadshot.
Focus:
Shotgun shot.
Very high shot damage when used up close. Very strong bomb. Focused shot has low damage if not in close range. Harder stages.
MarisaB
(Missile)
Unfocus:
Slight spreadshot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot.
High shot damage. Bomb converts bullets into items. If placed on top of a boss, can create enough items for an artificial x2.0 item collect bonus, often multiple times in a single bomb. Bomb is very bad on Extra spells, as you lose your invincibility frames before the bomb is complete and it can leave you vulnerable for a long time. Harder stages.
SakuyaA
(Exploding Knives)
Unfocus:
Spreadshot.
Focus:
Powerful homing shot.
High shot damage. Insane shot damage when mashing Shift with a specific rhythm. Very strong shieldbomb that gives back bombpieces if not hit, and can also be used for bonuses very nicely, including when broken. Bullet slowdown caused by exploding knives is helpful. Slowly falling items make bonuses easier. Situationally, the knives can act a bit weird if not routed.
SakuyaB
(Scoring Shot)
Unfocus:
Spreadshot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot.
Spreadshot is useful for immediate damage on stages. Very good for scoring, but this is irrelevant for 1cc. Slowly falling items make bonuses easier. Low shot damage. Very weak bomb.

Touhou 15: Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom

Shottype Description Pros Cons
Reimu
(Needle/Homing)
Unfocus:
Homing shot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot.
Easier stages. High shot damage for a homing shot unfocused. Weak bomb. Bomb cancels bullets, making it difficult to graze during it to get more lives. Small grazebox, which makes grazing harder on certain sections.
Marisa
(Missile/Laser)
Unfocus:
Slight spreadshot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot.
High focused shot damage. Long-lasting bomb. No homing, which is very impactful on some stages in this game. Poor range as well. Bomb cancels bullets and slows Marisa down, making it difficult to graze during it to get more lives.
Sanae
(Snake/Frog)
Unfocus:
Wide spreadshot.
Focus:
Horizontal homing shot.
Easier stages. Very strong bomb. Bomb has startup delay that allows you to freely graze during it to get more lives. Low shot damage, especially relevant for bosses.
Reisen
(Wave/Bullet)
Unfocus:
Spreadshot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot with piercing.
High shot damage. Bomb is a shieldbomb that breaks after 3 hits and lasts the entire stage, making it impossible to die with bombs in stock assuming it's repeatedly used. It also increases Reisen's grazebox, making it easier to get more lives. No homing, which is very impactful on some stages in this game. Bomb increases hitbox size and doesn't deal damage.

Touhou 16: Hidden Star in Four Seasons

Shottype Description Pros Cons
Reimu Homing shot. Pretty good shot damage for a homing shot. Easier stages. Relatively weak bomb.
Cirno Spreadshot. Strong bomb with free movement for easy season item collection. Has a shotgun. Low shot damage. Shotgun is finicky and not usable often.
Aya Forward focus shot with piercing. High speed makes her good at cancelling bullets with Autumn. Strong bomb with free movement for easy season item collection. Very poor range. High speed makes her harder to dodge with. Deals less damage than Marisa. Harder stages.
Marisa Forward focus shot. High shot damage. Strong bomb. Harder stages.
Spring subshot Shot:
Homing shot.
Release:
Stationary release, grows larger with level, extra invincibility after releasing.
Release at higher levels is essentially a bomb, given the large screen area it cancels. Low shot damage. Has to fight Hidden Breezy Cherry Blossom (HBCB), one of Okina's extremely hard final spells.
Summer subshot Shot:
Light spreadshot.
Release:
Stationary, small release that only costs 1 level.
Release is spammable, can be used as an escape button while dodging. Release can also be put on top of the boss for a lot of damage. Very low shot damage. Has to fight Hidden Perfect Summer Ice (HPSI), one of Okina's extremely hard final spells.
Autumn subshot Shot:
Forward focus shot.
Release:
Release that moves with you, duration scales with level, grants hyper speed.
Release allows you to dash around and cancel bullets. If you cancel enough, you get a level 1 back, meaning you can infinitely chain releases. Adds a decent amount of range and power to your character. No notable weaknesses.
Winter subshot Shot:
Forward focus shot.
Release:
Stationary release, duration scales with level, boosts shot damage.
High shot damage. Release can be put on top of the boss for a lot of damage, especially at high level. Has a bug where the shot damage increases even further per season level, until you either release, die or stop shooting. Release as an escape button is expensive with little reward, because you lose your season level and barely regenerate.

Touhou 17: Wily Beast and Weakest Creature

Shottype Description Pros Cons
ReimuWolf Unfocus:
Homing shot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot (powered up).
Longer wolf hypers. Easier stages. Not the best at bosses despite having a better focused shot than ReimuOtter and ReimuEagle.
ReimuOtter Unfocus:
Homing shot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot.
Bomb is stronger and lasts longer. 4 bombs per life. Longer otter hypers. Easier stages. Weak focused shot on bosses. Struggles with high HP enemies.
ReimuEagle Unfocus:
Homing shot (powered up).
Focus:
Forward focus shot.
Longer eagle hypers. Easier stages. High homing damage helps on bosses as well. Weak focused shot on bosses. Struggles with high HP enemies.
MarisaWolf Unfocus:
Slight spreadshot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot (powered up).
Longer wolf hypers. High shot damage. Not the best at certain stage sections.
MarisaOtter Unfocus:
Slight spreadshot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot.
Bomb is stronger and lasts longer. 4 bombs per life. Longer otter hypers. Struggles with certain stage sections. Not particularly strong on bosses.
MarisaEagle Unfocus:
Slight spreadshot (powered up, with piercing).
Focus:
Forward focus shot.
Longer eagle hypers. Strong piercing lasers for stages. Does not have any real weakness, very balanced shot. Does not have any real advantage compared to otter shots.
YoumuWolf Unfocus:
Tracing shot, options follow your movement.
Focus:
Charged melee "sword slashing" shot (extra range).
Longer wolf hypers. High shot damage and good range with slashes. Hard to use for inexperienced players.
YoumuOtter Unfocus:
Tracing shot, options follow your movement.
Focus:
Charged melee "sword slashing" shot.
Bomb is stronger and lasts longer. 4 bombs per life. Longer otter hypers. Slightly more powerful slash than YoumuWolf. Hard to use for inexperienced players. Slash range is worse than YoumuWolf.
YoumuEagle Unfocus:
Tracing shot, options follow your movement (powered up).
Focus:
Charged melee "sword slashing" shot (bugged, very weak).
Longer eagle hypers. Strong unfocused shotgun. Slashes are extremely weak due to a bug. Relies on unfocusing. Very hard to use.

Touhou 18: Unconnected Marketeers

Shottype Description Pros Cons
Reimu
(Needle/Homing)
Unfocus:
Homing shot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot.
Homing can help if your routes are not strong enough. Good boss damage. Easy to use for its strength. Mediocre bomb. Not particularly good at any hard parts of the game. Is not very good at handling crowded sections.
Marisa
(Missile/Laser)
Unfocus:
Slight spreadshot.
Focus:
Forward focus shot.
Strong bomb. Lasers are strong. No homing, which makes some stages harder. Not particularly good at any hard parts of the game.
Sakuya
(Angled Knives)
Unfocus:
Angled shot.
Focus:
Locked shot.
High shot damage. You can have a lot of control over your shot if used properly. Weak bomb. Hard to use, a lot of routing is advised.
Sanae
(Snake/Frog)
Unfocus:
Spreadshot.
Focus:
Horizontal homing shot.
Easier stages. Strong bomb. Low shot damage.

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