This week, and for the next few 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 #3!
Satoshi is a rushdown fighter who focuses on harrowing his opponent’s hand down so that he can make big plays. While his opponent is down, he can fight opportunistically.
Satoshi is a dedicated rushdown fighter. He is unique in that all of his special moves allow him to improve his stats and then immediately attack, offering him a lot of customizations that can make dangerous moves much more viable at the cost of an extra card.
Once Satoshi engages and begins attacking, he’ll attempt to land as many hits as possible using a few light hits to degrade his opponent’s hand and bait out counters, then finishing off with a big hit like Demon Slayer Slash once his opponent isn’t in a position to deal with it anymore. Satoshi can maintain an assault by trading in all the Gauge he generates with these light hits for more cards, or can disengage to safely set up his next assault from a distance.
Mei Lien is a fighter who went through several iterations. She began much like Kaden, as an EX specialist, but that ability forked in a different direction, and made her a discard-manipulation specialist.
Mei Lien’s Normal and Special attacks get better based on whether she has a copy of the same attack in her discard pile or gauge. This means that her options will constantly be developing over the course of the game, and she is strongest at the midpoint of the game (before her first reshuffle), when she can capitalize on all of her abilities.
Playing Mei Lien involves a lot of card cycling, and so players need to be careful to pace themselves, as they can only reshuffle once, and reshuffling the deck too early can be devastating to the pace of their play. Mei Lien’s strategy usually begins by building a very strong hand in the first 2 or 3 turns of play, then unleashing a series of wide-range attacks that zone out her opponent. Once she has a reasonable number of cards in her gauge, she can upgrade to Exceed Mode and use her full power to close a game.
Baelkhor was a very fun character to design. We wanted to create someone who fought dangerously–a sort of “drag you down with me” type of fighter. Baelkhor embodies that style with his dangerous tactics.
Like Mei Lien, Baelkhor gets stronger as the game goes on. However, he does so mainly by denying resources to his opponent in the form of sealing their cards and removing them from the game. Baelkhor’s various effects that seal cards simultaneously empower his own abilities, while limiting options for his opponent. Baelkhor is a stance fighter, meaning that he switches between Exceed Mode and his Normal Mode, rather than upgrading just once over the course of the game.
Baelkhor, like Mei Lien, is a fighter who gets stronger and stronger as the game goes on. Several of his attacks increase in power after the game’s mid-point when he reshuffles, and so he prefers to run through his deck quickly and build a strong hand to open the game with strong trading cards like Focus and Sweep, that will let his character ability shine. When his hand is strong, he can go into Exceed Mode to get big advantages from his early-game set up, and seal the game with cards like Dragon Slayer and his From Hell Ultra Attack.
In UFS, Morathi is a character who can play off of the top of his deck to unleash a relentless string of attacks, if he’s lucky. In EXCEED, he’s a fighter that specializes in Wild Swings—playing the odds and fighting directly from the top of your deck.
Morathi has a kit full of extremely viable attacks, so he can Wild Swing much more safely than other fighters. When he does so, he can take a look at the attack he’s about to do before he commits to it. This style of play makes him excellent for rush down, since he will never run out of tempo. Instead, the openings for a counter will come from his deck, not his hand, keeping opponents guessing about when to try and break out of an assault.
Morathi excels in cutting down his opponent’s hand size to limit the number of counters they can attempt against him. While his attacks are generally very viable, they aren’t excellent against an opponent with a full selection of options. For this reason, he usually wants to open with a few well-chosen attacks from his hand before fishing for good attacks from his deck. Ultimately, playing Morathi effectively requires you to look at the board and gauge your odds of landing good exchanges from your deck. Knowing when to use your hand and when to wild swing will often be the deciding factor between victory and defeat.
Tag Pairing - Satoshi & Mei Lien
Satoshi and Mei Lien pair together as a sustained pressure team, with Satoshi leading the charge, and Mei Lien capitalizing on the mid-game advantage her character ability provides. Between his speed and her range, the two are flexible enough to fight well against most opposing teams. Mei Lien is also very effective at disengaging from the rushdown Satoshi starts, giving the two an opportunity to rebuild their hand advantage quickly.
Tag Pairing - Baelkhor & Morathi
Baelkhor and Morathi work together as a strong medium-range team. Baelkhor’s superior range and excellent boosts can help to initiate an attack, while Morathi sustains an attack chain with wild swings. Baelkhor can focus on landing hits opportunistically, and building up to use his high-power mode for the late game, rather than being forced to transform too early by a fast-paced opponent.