Ultimate Combat! – Scott’s Analysis, Part I

Scott sent me three files of his analysis after learning of my interest in UC! from this blog. Part I is looking at his list of the top ten technique (I believe out of the initial set).

BEST Technique
#1 Black Belt Shoulder Throw

Pros: the only card that gives you 3 above costs and it’s a throw mixed with cards from the second set (coach Long, Professor Uchida, Kama Chigi, and Grip of steel) throws become more powerful
Cons: none

ICL: Could say a con is that throws are trivially less desirable out of the initial set. As a reminder, UC! is often a game where deck construction is limited by rarity. With that in mind, this is just so below the cost curve, even though there is a 6/6 for 5. Also, not like anyone is likely to remember, but this is the key to my Instant Replay- Shoulder Throw decks; besides being the most undercosted technique per the system the game uses, the cost exactly matches Instant Replay, meaning that a deck typically has eight 6/5’s for CE2 (Conditioning, Experience, two generic).

#2 Black Belt Inner Thigh Throw

Pros: 2 above cost that happens to be a big attack most 2 above cost are small attacks and it’s a throw, so mixed with the cards of the second set throws become more powerful
Cons: none

ICL: Speaking of which …

#3’s

Pros: all the same but suit, all 2 above cost great in your 1st hand
Cons: Poor defenses

ICL: The con to me is that they are only likely to see play in certain decks. First, due to rarity, we are talking about black belt and up decks. At those levels, it’s easier to build control decks; or, maybe, it’s better to say at lower levels, it’s harder to build control decks. I play these in an extremely aggro combination deck, but I usually play either more control oriented technique or the 2/2’s for one below as speed bumps while I bring online bigger beats.

#4’s

Pros: the same but suit, both 2 above cost great in your 1st hand good attack and defenses and they are both brown belts which is a plus
Cons: not as good for attacks

ICL: The grading curve in this game is that black and gold cards need to have points deducted, unless you always play gold belt decks which is counter to every group I’ve ever seen. These two technique are the most commonly played in the game by far because rarity doesn’t factor and because they have so much synergy with each other and with Adrenaline.

#5’s

Pros: the same but suit, both 2 above cost great in your 1st hand good attack and defenses
Cons: not as good for attacks and they are both black belts unlike their counter parts from other suits (see #4)

ICL: As mentioned above, I am apt to use these as chump blockers in controllish decks. Where I might be concerned to some degree with movement direction with the 3/1’s, I’m not likely to be running movement in decks using these, so I’ll just pick based on predominant foundation type.

#6 Black Belt Barrel Roll

Pros: 2 above cost good attack it’s a throw, so mixed with the second set throws become more powerful
Cons: Poor defenses

ICL: I think I overplay the 4/2’s for two in my higher belt aggro decks. The tight foundation requirements are often annoying and I hate to waste Mantras of Power to fix my foundation to get them out. Anyway, I actually play the 4/2 kicks far more often as I’m not concerned with comboing with throw cards as much as not wanting to run into random anti-throw stuff. Then, there’s some theory to diversity of ranges in attacks when not playing with Close the Gap or Keep the Distance to avoid being unduly affected by decks that do run them.

#7’s

Pros: all the same but suit, all 2 above cost
Cons: Poor defenses

#8 Black Belt Lifting Sleeve Throw

Pros: 1 above cost for attack & it’s a throw, so mixed with the second set throws become more powerful it’s also a mono suited big attack… most are made up of two suits ex the 4 big attacks that each suit has all which are 8/4 (they are the biggest attacks in the game but don’t make the list for poor defenses at a cost of 7 making them 2 under cost)
Cons: none

ICL: I play the 5/5 with the same cost more often because it’s a brown belt card.

#9 Black Belt Cyclone Elbow Smash

Pros: 1 above cost for attack it’s also a mono suited big attack… most are made up of two suits
Cons: it’s not a throw

#10 Black Belt Jump Crescent Kick

Pros: 1 above cost for attack
Cons: not as good as the other attacks on this list

*Other cards to Note*

Pros: Ok so they didn’t make my top 10 but these 3 are also good cards the 1st two being some of the best defenses cards and the last one an at cost mono suited brown belt throw nice not great but nice.

ICL: I’d much rather play a Drunken technique than the Charging Front Kick, but even without the Ancient Fighting Arts expansion, it’s just too expensive to be a blocker, where any of the ()/5 technique above would be far better. Right Cross is more interesting because of other Knowledge and/or Experience technique that are reasonable for defense, like the 3/3 for three at white belt. Sweeping Leg Throw is the sort of solid, midrange plays that can make a difference in limited play, but outside of mono-foundation decks (generally not a good idea), I don’t see squeezing these sorts of cards in.

For constructed play, across belt levels, I expect to mostly see one cost technique, three cost technique of one foundation type, or undercosted beatsticks, or something massive for Favorite Technique or Instant Replay. There’s one more type that I’m increasingly believing in. I used to disdain 2/1’s for two as it was so easy to upgrade at the three cost level, but for aggro decks at lower belt levels, (power) curving and foundation cost simplicity is more important than a +1. A 3/2 for XY1 can’t be Mantra of Powered out with one available power, another consideration in this tempocentric game.

As an aside on limited play, the interesting thing that limited play teaches is that even bad technique may be important. While starters have too much technique in them, including often ludicrously overcosted junk, there’s only so much you can do about your power curve and you need to be putting numbers on the table. That being said, the limited player who puts two technique in play every turn to the opponent who puts one in play should crush.

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One Response to Ultimate Combat! – Scott’s Analysis, Part I

  1. […] Ultimate Combat! – Scott’s Analysis, Part I Ultimate Combat! – Scott’s Analysis, Part II Ultimate Combat! – Scott’s Analysis, Part III […]

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