By Marcos Payan
“You are not a warrior; you’re a beginner!” Let’s change that.
This preview should help teach the inner mysteries of yoga and get you into fighting shape for the April release of the Street Fighter Deck-Building Game.
For those of you familiar with the Cerberus engine, this game offers some brand new mechanics and challenges that will keep the experience fresh for a long time to come. I’ll get to those in just a bit. For now, let me introduce the idea of a deck building game to the uninitiated.
The idea of a deck-building game is simple; every player starts with a basic deck of cards, some with a currency on them; in this case we call that currency “Power”.
Cards are drawn from your deck on each of your turns providing an amount of power to be used to acquire additional and more powerful cards. The large number in the lower-right is the Power cost of the card. The cards you purchase mainly come from the main deck, a 100+ card deck that spills out 5 cards into a Line-Up. At the end of each player’s turn, any empty slots in the Line-Up are refilled from the main deck, so every round there are new options.
The object of the game is to collect the most Victory Points (VPs) before the final Stage Boss is defeated or the main deck is unable to refill the Line-Up. Players collect Victory Points by gaining cards throughout the game and defeating Stage Bosses to add Location cards to their decks. Victory points are located in the bottom left of each card.
Now that you understand the basics; let’s get to the Hadokens and the Shouryukens. Those actually mean “Meat & Potatoes” in Japanese (editor’s note: this is completely untrue).
In the game you will play as one of 14 different characters from the Street Fighter universe. There is a great reason for this; In the Street Fighter Deck-Building Game, unchosen characters are the Stage Bosses you must fight to win a Location. Joining Ken, Ryu and Chun-li in the battle will be a slew of favorites such as Cammy, Fei Long, Balrog, Dhalsim & Akuma. Each with their own unique Counter-Attack and Ultra card. Did I just mention two new game mechanics to the Cerberus engine franchise? You bet I did.
I’ll discuss the Counter-Attacks first as they drastically change the way Super Heroes work inside of a Cerberus game. In the Street Fighter Deck-Building Game your character has a powerful Counter-Attack that you can activate when you are attacked and defend yourself with your Ultra card. However, you don’t start the game with that card in your deck. Instead, you must buy it, and you are the only one who can buy your character’s Ultra card.
Akuma’s Oversized Character Card and Ultra Card
The Counter-Attack serves a dual purpose. That second purpose presents itself when a player attempts to challenge a Stage Boss. Stage cards are placed in a stack in order from stages 1–8. Stage 1 being Guile’s hometown of USA. Unused character cards become Stage Bosses and are placed facedown next to this stack. The top Stage Boss is revealed to Counter-Attack the challenger after the Stage’s cost is met and the Location added to that player’s deck. The Counter-Attack happens immediately during that player’s turn as they are the only player affected by the revealed Counter-Attack. This means that it might be in your best interest to retain a defense in your hand when deciding to take on a Stage-Boss in the Street Fighter Deck-Building Game.
Did you notice how Akuma’s Counter-Attack mentioned placing a card underneath your Super Hero? You did? You are getting closer to crushing your opponents than I thought.
Cards placed under a player’s Super Hero can only be purchased by that player. Consider it an extra Line-Up. You get no VPs from cards remaining under your Super Hero at the end of game, but it can be a beneficial place to store cards you want out of your opponent’s decks during the game. It can also be a terrible place to see your favorite cards end up as you might be forced to pay for them all over again should they be placed there.
This is where your character’s Ultra card starts; underneath your Super hero, waiting to be purchased. Ultra cards are very powerful cards that act as Attacks and Defenses. Each card has a chance to make a big impact on your opponents’ hands if played as an Attack, and will trigger your Super Hero’s Counter-Attack when played as a defense.
Let’s go ahead and spoil a few of those Ultra cards for you below.
Some of my personal favorites are Vega’s Bloody High Claw, M. Bison’s Psycho Crusher and Ryu’s Metsu Hadoken.
As you may have guessed, the Street Fighter Deck-Building Game is very combat heavy. It’s based on Capcom’s brilliant series of fighting games and it just wouldn’t be Street Fighter without some imaginary blood on your fists. Let’s keep things civil and make sure the aforementioned blood stays imaginary, shall we?
So, Hot Shot, do you think you are man enough to fight me?…You do? Hmmm. How about the Strongest Super Powered Heroes in the Universe?
I’m sure you have already been thinking of clever ways to mix your current Cerberus engine games in with this new set of Street Fighter cards to have a battle between the Universe’s Ultimate Heroes and the World’s Greatest Warriors. Here are some basics you will want to follow in order to have the best experience when mixing together Cerberus Heroes Games:
- When choosing what character to play the game as, feel free to mix Super Heroes from previous Cerberus games with Street Fighter Super Heroes. The “always on” abilities of the DC Heroes might prove more effective early on, but Ultra cards can become very dangerous in the right hands.
- Decide if you will want to use the Stage Bosses and Locations mechanic or the Super-Villain mechanic. It is best not to mix Stages and Super-Villains in the same stack.
- If you choose to remove cards from Street Fighter to make room for cards from other sets; attempt to keep in as many Attack and Defense cards as possible. Remember, Street Fighter is heavily focused on combat.
This year’s GenCon will feature a Street Fighter Mash-Up tournament with another Cerberus Engine Deck-Building game. Best start practicing those insane combo skills now and prepare yourself! Your journey to become the ultimate fighter has only just begun.
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