Sorry for the loooong post but I'm at work and need to do something to fill the time.
Nice! Which character/s did you play?
Of this set I've seen three of them in game
I really dig Alice. Her "I want to hit you with the tip of my sword" style is a lot of fun to play. When both players are familiar with the game it will be a cool game of Alice trying to be at range 3 while the opponent does everything in their power to not be at range 3. 8 damage sweep? get rekt.
She is also one of the characters where I really like both the attack and the boost on most of her unique cards.
Sword & Cross - a strong set up card. If the opponent is really mobile and good at avoiding your preferred range this can shut them down.
Grim Determination - the Boost on the card feels a little out of place for the character but still seems solid.
Soul Gazer - this card is hype! It is hilarious to cancel an opponents Ult move with this 1 damage attack. Speed 8 is super rare. I think it's the only non-ult with speed greater then 7? It's hit effect also has solid set up stuff for Alice's preferred range. Great card
Bullet Time - essentially makes Alice go EXCEED for a combat at much cheaper cost.
Dark Corruption - The only unique attack I'm not crazy about. Ignore armor isn't near as good as ignore stun guard (armor doesn't seem too common). It's hit box is also extremely narrow and can't benefit from Alice's UA. It has good speed though so it can potentially do work.
Soul Eye - Divine - This boost is bananas. It gives her so much set up and safe Ult potential it's crazy. I'm not even good at the game and I think this boost is super strong. I can only imagine if I'm ever able to memorize every one's cards it will become even better. Want to play Cross Blades? name Assault/Cross/Dive to get rid of its strongest counter and then get to see if they have any other way to beat it. Even beyond setting up Ults it can be used as a control tool. Opponent has enough gauge to use a scary ult? Just Divine it right out of their hand. Strong stuff for sure.
Bloody Baptism - This card might have less flash then some of her other stuff but I think it serves a useful purpose in her kit. Alice's biggest weakness is her awkward ranges and this move helps with that. It has the best hit confirm of all her moves by far at ranges 1-4. It has okay speed and low damage. The damage is probably easily remedied on this card because of the Before effect which should allow you to get in range to activate Alice's UA. The Before effect of the card is what really makes it exciting for me. It allows Alice to dodge some dangerous attacks and get into her own preferred range. At the very least it beats Sweep clean at ranges 2-3 and that alone is pretty decent.
Hunter's Instinct - This card is all helping Alice's narrow hit boxes and the boost on it is no different. A useful boost.
Guardian Slasher - This card is super hype and makes Alice worth playing. This card sums up what Alice is all about, get in the right spot and then wreck. At the very least it is doing 7 (unless Hunter's Instinct boost is up) but can do 9 damage. That is nuts for a normal card. I can't tell if its After effect is a good thing or a bad thing. Movement is generally good but if Alice is already at her range does she really want to move? Either way this card is amazing and feels so good when it hits. Makes the other player really scared to be at range 3
Soul Eye - Diabolic This is another amazing boost. Gives her ridiculous control and information. If it hits the named card it just lets you auto smash even if it doesn't you now know their hand. Its a win no matter what happens. The only thing I'm not certain about is if you can name Ultimate moves? it doesn't say you can't but that seems way too good if you can.
Surprise Punishment - This attack has me a little confused. It doesn't feel like it fits in with her kit/style. A range 2 move that advances you 3 spaces will put you at range 1 on the opposite side of the opponent. I guess it's main use is if you are about to be cornered and you're at range 2 you can use this as an escape and give yourself more room to back up and get back to your range.
Backflip - The boost is pretty solid. I could see playing it a lot but not getting too excited about it. It seems super cool until you realize that all Ult moves can move you 1 or 2 spaces. The good part about it is it allows you to move over the opponent and still get another space of movement + getting that card draw so your hand gets a little bigger by the end of the turn.
Cross Blades - Now this is one of the coolest attacks in the game. It pretty much hits for 15 damage (half life) but there are still quite a few ways to beat it so it's hype when it lands. It just feels like a really good and fun Ult. It's how Ults were meant to feel.
Try Me if you Dare - An amazing super gets an equally amazing Boost. It lets Alice move to her range and then gives the opponent a really tough choice. A very fun Boost.
One of the reasons I like asymmetric games is all the different play styles and finding your character/s. Also even if you only like one character in the game it can still be a blast and a great game. Alice might be that character for me. The fact that she cares so much about positioning makes the existence of the board very relevant. Some characters just have crazy hit confirm and the board isn't near as much of a factor. Alice is all about getting the right set up and then hitting for crazy damage. It's a blast of a style to play. It's also extra fun for me because I actually like her specials more then the normals. Also her dress is dope.
I was pretty bummed about being meh on Gabrek. I was really hoping to like the games grappler but he was just so-so to me. I liked his UA quite a bit but not much else. It felt like all his moves were about getting in but once he got in he didn't have anything that wowed me (Choke Hold being the one exception). Grasp beats all of the stuff he wants to do up close to. This is were some of the luck bothers me. His Ults are boring as well. All the other characters have their Ults do different things. His were just two different versions of the same move. Maybe I'd like him more with more plays, not sure.
It's funny the more I get into card games the more I like control style of play. So far in EXCEED I like Alice (those Divine Eyes are super controlly), Nehtali, and Baelkhor best. In Codex I'm liking Blue more and more (and really want to make my Law, Truth, Disease deck work). I'm going to have to start picking up Persephone in PS and Yomi. Pretty much I like things that make me feel safe (that's one of the reasons I like BBB) and control gives me that.
When I said they were safe on balance I was talking about how similar there characters can play do to more of their decks being the same cards. I really wish more of the characters were Unique. Like I wonder what the game would be like if each character had 3 copies of 4 of their specials then their signature or most generally useful special had 4 cards. Then two of each Ult would give you 20 cards. That leaves room for 2 copies of each of the following: Block, Grasp, Assault, Cross, Dive. Maybe it wouldn't work. It would definitely require some tweaking. I just wish the characters had more uniqueness about them. I just want more Guardian Slashers, lol.
Continuing what I was saying about build up characters being weaker.
Eva is a character I really want to like but she leaves me wanting better stuff.
Upgrade - This move really leaves me wanting more. It's just a way worse version of block. The only reason I can see why this move exists is to deal with an opponent that declares a strike at a range where they're not effective just to get your Boosts to fall off. I should have a chance at doing more though. At the very least it should be a range 1 power 1 move.
Mandatory Upgrades - This Boost just exacerbates Eva's problem of fighters wanting to resolve strikes against her often. It should be a degrading power level and only activates if the opponent declares a strike. Something that buys you time and not something that makes the opponent want to immediately get rid of your Boosts.
Riot Machine - Maybe you can get this attack to go from terrible to just bad? not sure.
Revoke - Okay this Boost is pretty awesome. Probably the coolest thing about Eva is Revoke.
Enki Thresher - Another terrible attack. Who cares if you have Stun Immunity if you're not dealing more damage then you're taking?
Lost Memories - Same problem as Mandatory Upgrades
Plasma Barrage - Maybe her 2nd best special attack? but still bad
Auto-Defense Engine - Same problem as Mandatory Upgrades and Lost Memories
Cyber Destroyer - This is probably her best special? but it's still meh.
Emergent Technology - A decent boost but nothing to get super excited about (especially when it's combined with the rest of her kit).
Her Ults don't make up for any of the above
Shifting Technology - Terrible, easy to stun it out and it does little damage itself. Requires a lot of build up which is really hard to do.
Liberation - Same problem as a lot of her boosts. It makes the opponent want to strike you right away. Guarantees you 1 gauge though.
Harnessing Chaos - another bad Ultimate. Requires so much build up that the opponent will never allow.
Rejuvenation - meh
Her whole kit makes it seem like Lv99 has a huge disconnect with how the game is actually played. Eva requires so much build up to even maker her attacks on par with others attacks that it's silly. You would want to strike often at a boost heavy character any way and all her build up stuff just makes you want to do it even more. She has no deterrents. Mandatory Upgrades, Lost Memories, and Auto-Defense Engines should have been something along the lines of: Gain +2 speed/power/armor. If the opponent stikes on their next turn get an additional +1 or they take 2 damage or they can't move you or some other effect. She really needs some sort of effect that scares the opponent off of striking and if they aren't scared then her move becomes just as good as theirs. Just way to much set up and no good way to pull it off. I would be happy to be proven wrong though.
Meanwhile you have a guy like Morathi who is the absolute opposite of a build up character. He's a wild swing character so he's effective even with 0 cards in play and in hand. And Lv99 goes and gives him an attack like Revenger:
Hit: The opponent discards 2 cards at random, then add the top card of your discard to your gauge.
Excuse me, what was that now? not only does it have good hit confirm but it makes them discard two random cards and it gives me double gauge? Why does this exist? So the guy that just plays off the top of the deck and makes the opponent play off the top of the deck has great cards. Meanwhile the build up character's stuff is just terrible and needs so much set up that will never happen. Morathi's other special attacks are good too.
Morathin and Eva are on complete opposite ends of the build up spectrum and I feel like Lv99 games went too far with making Morathi's attacks just all around good so he can play off the top of the deck if he wants to. And then they give Eva a pile of junk to build off of.
I just hope the fact that every one has access to the same normals doesn't make them lazy about balancing the special and Ultimate moves.
Having said all that I still really like the game and will continue to play my favorites (I'm a little worried Baelkhor will fall into the too much set up required to be good camp) but this game definitely has tiers and Eva is way in the bottom.
If you read all that then I salute you