Troq doesn’t have 5 CP and the ability to buy his whole combo back. Wake-up 8 in the mirror might not be smart most of the time, but it’s not suicidal.
Jaina’s main strength, imo, remains being one of the scariest, if not the scariest characters to throw in the entire cast. If you don’t have a 0.0 speed attack, her dodges are crazy safe late-game.
I think throwing Menelker is scarier. Sometimes you take 44, sometimes you take 55.
Anyway regarding Jaina Geiger, I can’t explain it as well as Jonny, but I’ll try.
Geiger likes block and has 90 HP, so he’s not bothered by chip. If Jaina spends cards throwing, she doesn’t get them back. Geiger likes that too.
Flash Gear is really good, like always. Beating or trading and KD. Yum yum.
Also he can do 40 on 0.0, or more easily, several sets of 20. Jaina is squishy, she can’t take a lot of that kind of punishment.
Geiger can easily win with just aces and kings.
Also his fireball is really good and it beats her blocks so they disappear and he has this whole TD thing sometimes and that also recurs his great fireball and oh man is Jaina sad.
Sorry, I should have specified as a grappler. Maybe Menelker is scarier to throw as a non-grappler, though I still doubt that, tbh.
44 is bK++6AA, right? That’s p rare to start in Menelker’s hand, and it’s card negative as hell. Probably a recoverable game for either Midori or Troq. Rook maybe has a harder time because Rook lol. AAAA is not something you find in Menelker’s opening hand meaningfully often enough to consider as part of your gameplan.
If Jaina has a normal and a J in her opening hand you have to deal with that every single turn of the game until she decides not to buy it back.
I also thought about adding to my list for advantaged matchups, but Ive not played the MU very much so didn’t feel confident touching that one.
Counter arguments are that fast J/Q are good in neutral unless Jaina is playing Q/A, and BU is so goddamned stronk, even more when you draw jokers a lot less than most people.
Yeah I think the post hug0naut brought up is my thoughts on Jaina’s issues/stuff I’d like to see.
I was a worse player when I originally played the character, but experience helps. I think if I came back to her with the knowledge I have now I’d be able to help much more.
Best to worst matchups.
I’m cool with getting more into why exactly later. I’m having trouble following the thread at the moment.
Notable character cons: Lack of damage efficiency, buyback actually makes her damage output net a lot less than it does on paper, Speeds just outside of the important speeds so she clashes on lots of things, block distribution issue with blocks being on all her throws (the only 4 block character like this.), Innate makes her effective HP much lower than it appears.
However she beats a lot of character she outspeeds who lack strong or consistent dodge follow ups. Or in Quince’s case a lot of her kit just works against him.
I’ve never had much trouble with Jaima as Val. Aces early, dominant throws, general nasty burst damage, and good dodge followups late. I’d put it more even though I’ll admit to have not played it much due to Jaina’s popularity.
I just wanna say I like idea of a flame arrow based Jaina. So I don’t dislike any of these ideas, but they need to be reworked.
Yeah this version of Jaina plays Black Flame Arrow on J/K turns. J=11, K=13. Beating Quince’s spin mixups. This can lead to big Jaina damage at times with 0 CP linkers. I feel like this is a stronger mixup than her 7 ability. Also Jaina can wake up Flame Arrow to beat Dodge/Normal XD.
Yeah Jaina can blow up. I think I got some of the orders messed up, but I think the number tiers are where I’d put them. I think Jaina beats Quince/BBB harder than Valerie personally, but I got the numbers about where I’d put them.
The important thing as Valerie is that if she leads too much with 2s/3s she lacks dodges late game. She also has to make her dodges count saving Face Cards and maximizing her Q damage. Also dominant throw helps.
I feel I overperform Valerie side in this matchup though. Like I have a horrible record in Jaina-Gwen. Like 1-11 in tournies, but it definitely is a Jaina favored matchup. Valerie hates blodge at 12 cards and Jaina exploits that, but not as hard as Grave. (IMO Valerie’s hardest/2nd hardest next to Troq.)
After reading through and dwelling on this MU analysis, I wonder if it’d be completely breaking to make K 2.2 speed but prevent her buying it back? That way she could have access to one of the “key speeds” without us worrying about it recurring forever. I see this change as helping Vs but not letting her straight up crush . I don’t think trading with J or K affects particularly negatively, but the reduction in repeatable burst damage might help.
At the end of combat, if you attacked, you may return any of your combo cards to your hand other than Queens, Kings or Aces. Take 3 damage for each card returned this way.
Another option I kind of like is to add Knee Bash to her reveal options for her innate. This is to let her throw in the early game (especially vs ) and would probably mean leaving Knee Bash otherwise unchanged. She also might not need such high chip values on her J with this change, so there’s some scope to lessen her grappler beatdown or at least push her to slow red normals if she wants chip.
At the end of combat, if you attacked or revealed Knee Bash, you may return any of your combo cards to your hand other than Queens, Kings or Aces. Take 3 damage for each card returned this way.
My final suggestion is to also make Q 0.0 speed (to help vs ) but stop it being rebought by her innate. To replace rebuying DPs, I quite like the idea of giving her one card (Jacks early and midgame, any face card late game) for free at the end of each turn that she returns at least one combo card. This ideally should improve her card/HP trade but worsen her A spam slightly, so it’s important that the timing makes it harder to immediately power up for aces.
Fan the Flames
At the end of a turn in which you returned at least one combo card, search your deck or discard pile for a Jack and it in your hand. If you have 35 life or less, instead search your deck or discard pile for a face card and put it in your hand.
I haven’t really thought about how Unstable Power (if we keep it) would interact with these ideas (its a bit late for that kind of brain power) and I may have missed something real broken, but hopefully there’s something useful here.
Pretty sure these statements are incorrect, though the ruling may not be entirely clear? Curious what someone more knowledgeable about the rules has to say. I believe face cards and aces are explicitly not treated as “numbered” cards. Arg’s Ace-block is considered odd for purposes of KD but is not considered “numbered”, to the best of my knowledge. If face cards and aces were considered numbered, that would make EX Jaina’s “Low Phoenix” destiny card attack which can beat both “odd numbered dodges and non-numbered dodges” totally redundant, which seems unlikely. If I’m correct, the intended interaction is that black Flame Arrow with Rain of Fire up would lose combat to Quince J/K-dodge and DeGrey/Lum Ace-dodge because they are not numbered.
I don’t think it would be as bad as you imagine. Remember that current Jaina recurs her J (and all other attacks for that matter) with 100% consistency from Burning Vigor, and the best Quince can do (other than AA) is trade with J which he often wants to save for spins anyway so 2.4 Flame Arrow isn’t hugely better. Current Jaina is advantaged vs. Quince, but the reason isn’t because of Flame Arrow imo even though current Jaina can recur it with 100% consistency. One of those reasons is that Unstable Power is really good vs. Quince, and this build removes UP. Rain of Fire is a different story and could very well be OP (I’m having trouble thinking through all the ramifications), but probably not vs. Quince - after the change you suggested to make black Flame Arrows not beat non-numbered dodges, his special dodges effectively nullify the dodge-beating part of the ability (if I’ve interpreted the rules correctly as discussed above).
I could see reducing Flame Arrow block damage to like 3 to make recur more costly when Flame Arrow is blocked.
In case there was any doubt, I don’t think any specific and substantial reworks are something that is likely to receive consensus, for any character. That said, I do believe that proposing reworks, even extensive ones, for existing characters that are argued to be in need of them is in line with the goals of the thread and should be explicitly encouraged. You never know when one idea will inspire another more brilliant one after all!
However, I did pick up the underlying message in Niijima-san’s sarcastic comment about this turning into a fan character thread and how that has the potential for a lot of derailment, so there must be limits. I’m a repeat offender so I’ll try to rein it in. :^) I just really enjoy drafting this stuff and receiving feedback!
EDIT: Also yeah I think you have a good approach in focusing on the patterns of changes rather than the substantive elements. Honestly, I think putting things like “make Jack better”, “buff Knee Bash”, “rework or replace Unstable Power”, or basically any of the broad concepts hug0/JonnyD/Arthur brought up that seemed consensus as changes under consideration is fine for a situation like this lol.
Re: Aces being odd: Aces are worth 1 or 11 in Blackjack, and there are card games that rank them in the 1 position. Face cards aren’t considered even, odd, or numbered, but Aces definitely are considered odd by implication with how Arg’s Ace acts when KD.
Ah, I had missed (or dismissed) the use of “numbered” in your initial innate suggestion. I think that makes things more confusing. If you mean ranks 2 to 10, just use “normal” instead.
Good idea. I agree that saying “normal” is more clear and will change that. I was simply copying the wording already used on a card existing in the game.
Normally I would applaud you for looking at existing cards for wording, but any time you use the EX cards as a reference you have to take a step back and say “is the wording on this card affected by the EX characters intentionally being overpowered?” In this case, it doesn’t matter if EX Jaina makes EX Quince sad (though with the latter getting an attack/block spin and a perfect counter I doubt it’s too bad), but regular Jaina will need tweaked wording if she gets a similar ability.
I’m wondering if it might be sensible to make a separate thread for alternative Jaina builds? More than any other character she seems to derail us from a general balance / tier compression focus.
I wouldn’t want one thread per character, but since she’s the main one we think maybe needs a significant rework, I think it could work to keep those ideas separate. If not we can just carry on discussing her here.
I can certainly add some “under consideration” general comments though. And probably a “consensus” fast J to 2.4 speed.
It seems like buffing Flame Arrow’s damage and block damage by at least one each is also pretty consensus from what I’ve seen.
I agree its been suggested a lot, but that’s always alongside changes to slow J, which aren’t generally consensus.
I really don’t like slow J staying at 8(7) while fast J is 7(6), so I feel we’d need to look at slow J and reach some sort of agreement there before I could make fast J consensus.
For example, if her innate is made less HP intensive, or Flame Arrow gets some sort of draw/fetch ability then I could see it dropped to 2 or 3 chip to balance against slow J and slow red normals as her high risk, high chip moves.
Edit: Did anyone like my idea of Knee Bash triggering Burning Vigour? Even if my other changes aren’t worth pursuing, I think this would leverage Jaina’s existing innate to solve her early throw dilemma quite nicely. She’d probably need rebalanced around this concept, but having a throw option she wants to use early makes her instantly more capable of rushdown.
It’s a good thought from a gameplay point of view, but I dislike it because it reads arbitrary and inelegant -Jaina can rebuy all of her attacks… And this one throw?
Edit: separating Jaina redesign out into their own thread would probably be more produktive both for that and general balance discussion.
I think if Knee Bash is left as-is or close to it, that could be an interesting option. Let’s see, how much damage per pump again? *Checks Yomibase*
4 damage per pump means that if you buy back the pump cards you’re only dealing a net of 1 damage to the opponent per pump, so it’s probably not game-breaking or anything. The wording could be cleaned up a bit, though.
@ArthurWynne: Yes, it’s a bit inelegant, but it’s hardly arbitrary—or at least no more arbitrary than Knee Bash itself being completely different in how it deals damage from all of her other throws.