This week, and for the next 4 weeks leading up to the release of our next new game, EXCEED, I'll be posting a series of previews of each of the 4 boxes in the game.
For those who don't know about it yet, EXCEED is a new Fighting Card game, in the same vein as BattleCON, but with a more traditional card game feel and style of play. If you've enjoyed BattleCON and you're looking for a lighter, faster style of game, EXCEED is a great game to check out. We even have a free downloadable print and play version!
EXCEED comes in seasons, with each Season consisting of 4 boxes, each containing 4 characters, for a total of 16 fighters coming out every 6 months. for our first season, we're featuring the characters of Red Horizon, a series first featured in Jasco Games' Universal Fighting System Collectible Card Game. (And coincidentally, Jasco is releasing a World of Indines UFS set right now, featuring our fighters from BattleCON. You should check it out!)
Read on to learn about the 4 characters featuring in Box #1!
Reese was the first EXCEED fighter to be fully fleshed out. In UFS, he has a rushdown style that revolves around playing lots of attacks while simultaneously resetting his card pool and drawing cards so that he can string together massive combos.
Reese is a straightforward rushdown fighter in EXCEED. When he stuns his opponent, he gets an effect called Advantage, which lets him take another turn. Unless his opponent can manage to escape his flurry of attacks or defend successfully, Reese can pin a rival and prevent them from drawing cards or moving out of his optimal range.
All this comes at a cost though–Reese doesn’t have excellent card draw either, and pressing the attack means that he’s going to sacrifice his own card draws, making each attack riskier and riskier. If the advantage turns against him in the middle of a long combo, it’s possible to punish him handily for overextending. Knowing when to commit and push the advantage and when to back off before your opponent turns the tables on you is a key skill for playing Reese effectively.
Heidi was a bit of a wildcard, since her UFS release is still set in the future. Even UFS players haven’t seen her yet, and so we got to be a bit creative with her play style. In general, she’s a foundation-focused fighter, which means more build-up and control.
Heidi is a tempo character who acts as a foil to Reese’s style. She works by playing lots of boost effects, and using her attacks to “install” a boost for next beat, giving her a potential for build-up play or rush-down tactics.
Heidi offers a high degree of sustainability. While she isn’t as competent at aggressive rushdown as Reese, she can pressure opponents without degrading her hand and leaving herself open to serious punishment. Often Heidi will need to set up a boost in order to make her attack viable for her next turn. This one-two punch gives her an interesting bluff-and-counter dynamic, as opponents will be trying to predict your attack based on the boosts you’ve put into play and zone out of your range. Knowing when to switch between your more control-oriented style and convert to a full-on assault is the key skill to using Heidi.
Vincent is one of my favorite characters in UFS, the President of a dystopian future USA. He uses psychic powers of prediction and a defensive powersuit to block enemies and destroy them with counterattacks.
In Exceed, Vincent is a fully-committed defensive fighter. He prefers to fight passively, and his abilities reward him for letting his opponents attack first. Vincent’s kit gives him a lot of ways to draw and discard cards, so that his pool of counterattacks is always well-suited to the opponent he finds himself fighting.
Vincent is extremely tough to take down, and his game plan usually revolves around building up Gauge quickly with a few early pokes and counters so that he can use his Exceed mode to extend his survivability even further. Once he has access to armor, he can go on the offensive without worrying about speed, as any trades will be skewed starkly in his favor. Not without a few surprises, Vincent’s kit has some quick attacks that let him out-speed opponents who take his defensive play style for granted.
Nehtali is one of the main characters in the Red Horizon storyline, and is the corrupting influence on Vincent who sets the main plots of the setting in motion. In UFS, she’s an Ultra-oriented fighter who builds up to a few high-power attacks that close the game in one big burst.
In Exceed, we’ve built Nehtali with power and manipulation at the center of her design. She can give both herself and her opponent massive amounts of Gauge, and she can use her opponent’s Gauge against them if they don’t spend it, giving her a psychological threat as well that can force opponents into suboptimal plays.
Nehtali’s key strategies are built around her Ultra Attacks, and these cards are critical to her. She usually builds into Exceed mode quickly, further improving the economy of her Gauge-building ability. Because she has so much Gauge at her disposal, Nehtali doesn’t need to use her hand for basic actions, and becomes highly mobile and can gain significant tempo advantage, especially if her opponent spends the Gauge Nehtali provides frivolously. Because she takes a while to build up and many of her special attacks require specific setups, Nehtali is easier to rush down than other fighters, and has to make careful use of her advantages to keep one step ahead of rivals.
Tag Pairing - Reese & Heidi
Reese and Heidi make a competent rushdown team, with Reese acting as the initiator and Heidi switching in to continue the assault more safely after a few strikes. Reese has a high number of excellent closing and engaging tools that can whittle away his opponent’s options, and Heidi’s excellent boosts can make these options even more difficult to deal with. Her sustainability covers his natural weaknesses, while his speed and mobility cover hers. Together, they form a relentless team.
Tag Pairing - Vincent & Nehtali
Nehtali and Vincent form a natural tag pairing, since Nehtali can generate Gauge to rush out both her and Vincent’s Exceed modes. With extra Gauge, Vincent can jump in and protect Nehtali while punishing opponents who would take advantage of her slower attacks. Likewise, Vincent’s playstyle gives him plenty of room to build up a position passively, then switch over to let Nehtali deliver a massive attack when the situation is just right.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at the first box of EXCEED! I’ll be showing off the next one pretty soon! :D