This guide was written by @Redless
Hihi all, Redless here. Gloria is a character who does not see as much play as she deserves based on how strong of a character she is. The purpose of this guide is to explain how she works so playing her is less intimidating. These are only my own opinions and assessments. Before we begin, let’s look at what some of Gloria’s strengths and weaknesses are.
- Can recur fast attacks/throws/dodges/abilities
- With healing becomes very durable
- Healing allows Gloria to come back from a game where she is at a life disadvantage
- Overdose lets Gloria set up checkmates and otherwise press an advantage
- All three of Gloria’s ace moves are really good at doing damage
- With the right setup and reads, Gloria draws cards very quickly
- If Gloria does not draw certain cards some matchups become a lot harder for her
- Gloria can become a touch dependent on making the right reads and winning combat, more so than other characters who are similarly complex out of combat
- Gloria has slow throws and normal attacks
- Gloria can be vulnerable to opponents who use burst damage to kill her before she can spend much time healing (she has 70 life)
So in summary, Gloria is good for players who like a rewarding challenge and lots of complex choices/abilities. Don’t let this keep you from playing Gloria, though! She has mind games and other games enough to keep any player entertained.
Character card: Gloria’s life total is 70, but with healing she is deceptively bulky. Gloria’s combo points are 4, but her linkers and starters are pretty cheap. Those two things are pretty obvious. What’s less obvious is how to use her innate, healing touch. Although it is called healing touch, it is very rare that you will use it with the express purpose of gaining life. Healing touch is more useful to recur strong hearts from your discard pile, and keep healing sphere up.
If you have healing spheres, you should be healing by any means except possibly discarding jokers. If you have massive amounts of spheres, like maybe two and definitely three or above, even discarding jokers is sometimes correct. If you lack healing sphere, you should heal when you have a large hand and want to bring back good options, or when you have ace of hearts in the discard. You want to have one ace in your hand at all times. Also if your hand is big and your life is getting lower, you can indeed heal primarily for life. Also if it sets you up for a checkmate, heal for life.
In terms of which cards to recur and toss for healing touch, imo they go like this
Cards you want to toss (from most to least expendable)
I purposely left ten off this list because tossing it late game works really well but obviously tossing it early doesn’t. Note that depending on what options you have available, you shouldn’t follow the list exactly. If you have read about basic hand management, you know to keep one of each option in hand at all times blah blah blah. To tell you the truth, I never thought this was a good idea. Especially as Gloria, the moment combat ends I begin thinking about what to play next combat. I leave whatever it is in hand, but if I am committed to firing off fast Q, I don’t really care if the 9 I just tossed to get the Q back was my last block or not. Anyways choosing what to toss and what to heal for is an important part of playing Gloria, and really that’s what makes her hard to play.
Next is my list of best cards to recur, which strangely resembles the above list read back words.
Cards to recur
Once again ten was left off, for the reasons above. If you have to recur ten back you waste the cards that fuel ten itself, so worse to recur this then to not toss it, if you get what I am saying. Once again you can tailor what specific cards you want in your hand, ie. If I already have an ace I am not going to choose ace over Q probably, but I will always go for ace if I don’t have one. Make note that almost never will I ever choose to recur anything but the top two on this list unless I have spheres up, and with no spheres non-Q special is much worse to recur. On the other list, I often toss cards to recur aces whether or not I have spheres up.
In depth card analysis:
2: sort of fast, sort of useful
Two attack is Gloria’s fastest normal attack. It is slow, but it is a decent move because it doesn’t die to block super hard because normal draw. Two is usually a card to power up or heal with in my book, and of course it can be used as a block. It can lead into fun combos if you have the cards, but first it has to win combat, usually against a throw. Overall pretty meh. So yeah I just use it to power and heal most of the time and sometimes play it in combat or in a strait.
Two of hearts: two is not super good to recur, but as usual I might grab it if there aren’t many hearts in the discard and I want to heal to keep spheres up.
3: slightly less fast, slightly more useful useful
2, 3, and 4 are similar in that they are expendable and bad. Cross supply everything I said about two, but allow that three is even slower, but is better for combing because it is a part of more straights and leads to more damage.
3 of hearts: taking back a three of hearts is a pretty desperate move, three is maybe the card I want to return to my hand the least out of all of my cards. If three of hearts finds its way into the discard, it’s probably because I hit confirmed into it (note: if you can’t fill a combo with jacks, slough off your normal attacks of hearts).
4: now not quite as bad
Cross supply everything I have said about the above two, but keep in mind that 4 is a part of all of Gloria’s straights and it does slightly more damage. The speed difference between 3 and 4 is pretty inconsequential as well.
4 of hearts: pretty solid card to return, if I can’t return any dodges or throws or specials or supers or really anything besides 2, 3, and 4. Even then it depends on the gamestate which of those three I want to return. I don’t recommend using straights to get aces past the first little bit.
5 and 6: dodge and hit confirm
Five and six are dodges. They also do plenty of damage off of hit confirm. Don’t mistake them for good combat options, though. As I see it, when Gloria is on a small hand, most of Gloria’s cards, even her specials, are more useful when converted into life and recurring options by use of healing touch than they are as old fashioned cards-played-for-damage. Of course, when Gloria is on a large hand or her spheres are giving her cards at regular intervals, she likes to convert fives and sixes to damage or use them as dodges. But unless you have an abundance of cards, it is probably better to fuel the innate with them.
Five and six of hearts: if I get five or six of hearts, they are a great high damage hit confirm off of throws and jacks. Also, they do very well as dodges in combat. Since they are useless as innate fuel, drop them in combat whenever you can.
7: throw from hell
7 is Gloria’s fastest throw, and in most matchups it is the second fastest throw overall. Since it locks out most throws and beats block and dodge, it makes for a great combat option, since it will likely trigger the draw two from overdose or let Gloria combo into jacks. The dodge side is applicable, but the throw side is better. 7 is a card to hold on to. In addition to its use as a generally strong card, 7 is indispensable in keeping healing spheres up. If I am attacking a lot to beat up on opponents trying to throw away my spheres, 7 becomes great backup, since it beats most naked throws AND beats opponents trying to dodge into throw. This is extremely important for the sphere game.
7 of hearts: I recur this a ton. Whenever my hand doesn’t have a hole in it like lack of attacks or lack of overdose, I grab 7 back. Having the fastest throw is a massive boon for a character that can get good damage and cards off of a throw win.
8: decent but worse then seven
Cross supply everything about seven, but imagine it is slower. It has some use as a dodge as well as a throw. As with most cards if my hand is less than ideal in terms of heart density usually I use this to heal.
8 of hearts: recur this slightly less than seven. It is notably more useful than 5 and 6 a lot of the time, since it can dodge AND throw. As such, if I have 8 of hearts I can toss it out to catch opponents trying to block my stream of attacks. If I get the 8 but not the 7 I sometimes can sort of use the 8 as a substitute 7.
9: high block, slow throw
As with most cards of its nature, 9 makes great power up fodder. It also makes a decent block or a desperation throw. This card is not super useful, so I keep it for the usual end of turn Gloria card recycle tech.
9 of hearts: if I play a Q throw and am looking for cards to pump off, here is number one on the list. If for some reason I want to block, here’s my first choice. If I don’t have any good dodge follow up and for some reason I dodged anyways, I get rid of this. You get the idea. It’s a pretty useless card. Except in the Onimaru matchup, where it is king.
10: play testers are idiots
I put up my spheres as quickly as possible, if I have the cards to support them. This means that I have a good chance of getting the cards I need to heal the next time I need to. Cards like J, 7, and Q are also useful for opponents who don’t want the spheres to stay up. Exploiting opponents who are over zealous to take out the spheres or want to use the distraction of the spheres to set something else up is a great way to trigger overdose, if I can make the read. Late game or if I need them to fuel existing spheres are the only times I will not use the tens as spheres. As I said, there are a lot of mind games surrounding these things. This can be one of the hardest things for a Gloria player to get good at. If in doubt, attack is strong for defending spheres in most matchups. If your spheres do get knocked off, try and heal one last time to get the card draw from them before they go to discard.
10 of hearts: I rarely recur this. It isn’t the best thing to recur. What priority on the list of things to recur is ten? It’s a question I haven’t looked into much, but I think it’s pretty low, especially in the late game when ten finds itself in discard. Play this as you would any other ten. Maybe lead with it if you have multiple tens so it get countered instead of another ten against a character with counters.
Jack: extra life
Jacks are pretty amazing. Slow j is my preferred dodge follow up because good payoff and low cost. Jack is also a linker, and if I can fill a combo with jacks you can bet that I will. I also play Jack in combat a lot, since it is high speed (I never ever ever play slow j in combat). A Jack that wins combat also becomes a strong combo, and when you combo you want to fill combo into more jacks as well as hearts normals.
As for the Jack ability, there are very few times that I wouldn’t use it. When I don’t, without exception I have a checkmate, lethal, or an option in my hand has become lethal where it otherwise wouldn’t be. I often tend to heal with Jack and heal with innate in the same turn, even if I have spheres up, because it lets me grab back aces that I might have put in my discard. I always want to have at least one ace in hand because it lets me overdose if I win combat. I sometimes dump jacks, especially Jack of hearts, to pump either side of Q or to power up. For sure I would rather heal by discarding jacks then to lose healing spheres or the opportunity to overdose.
Jack of hearts: a really good combat reveal, since jacks that are confirmed into are coming back into your hand anyway. I don’t go out of my way to retrieve this thing, though. It can be a decent retrieve into power up, since jacks accumulate in the hand. Also of note is that two jacks turn throw combos into life for free.
Q: fast and pumpable
Q is really great at winning combat, so often it can be used in conjunction with overdose. That is the main use of Q. Also I use it as a poke to prevent damaging combos off of attack and throw in the late game, to set up checkmate. If I have the face hearts, pumping is a good use of them, or I pump with normal faces, but only with a lot of cards or if opponent is very close to death. The other side of Q is Gloria’s second fastest throw. It is much worse than the attack Q. This Q is good for converting useless hearts into damage. I play it in combat or off of a dodge, ideally the second. Amusingly, throw Q will often make people slow attack to catch a perceived dodge punish, and then I hit them with attack Q. So yeah Q attack is way too good to use Q throw a lot. It is basically 2 free cards if an ace is backing it up and the opponent isn’t trying some sketchy block or something.
Q of hearts: OFF WITH HER HEAD. If I get queen of hearts, I know can mercilessly attack spam in addition to what I was already doing. I recur only A of hearts more than I recur the queen. I play Q of hearts a lot when I have it, because it is coming back to my hand if it loses combat, and even if it wins if I have another ace in hand I strongly consider returning Q instead of A.
Compared to the other faces king is pretty terrible. In a few mus such as Rook and Gloria mirror it is somewhat useful. Mostly it pales in comparison to other faces. It can work as a slightly fast poke or a dodge follow up if you are really desperate. Note that it does deal significant block damage. If I have extra Ks they are the first to be fed to the fast queen. Otherwise I power up or use them to heal usually.
K of hearts: I suppose recurring this is better than recurring 5/6 but maybe not. So yeah usually don’t bring this back, but if you do then I guess you can play it to deter throws with sphere up.
A: the best thing
A is amazing. Early on getting ace of hearts is my first priority. I get this back from the discard whenever I don’t have another ace in hand, and usually when I do. I overdose whenever I win combat. Overdose is a pretty simple ability to use. Later in the game, I grab more aces. Then I threaten a dodge into AAA with overdose, naked AAA with overdose, or throw into AA with overdose. All of these work without overdose also, but I try not to let any combat win go unmedicated. So yeah, early game use these to build hand and do some damage, and later use them to finish the job. One thing of note is when to play overdose when you didn’t win combat. Do this when you have lethal, can set up a checkmate or almost checkmate, or early game, when you need to heal to keep spheres up but have more than 66 life, so you will not get the full benefit of health from healing.
A of hearts: the most important card in Gloria’s deck besides her character card. Get this early. Gloria wants to use it all game to fill her hand and add spunk to her combat wins. Recur when possible.
Joker: pretty good
Gloria’s jokers are strong for several reasons. First, blue burst is pretty great. Gloria doesn’t mind tossing hearts out as bluff cards, so when she plays her jokers is unpredictable. Gloria likes both the card and life bonuses she gets from the burst, and she likes the card bonus significantly more than most other characters. Second, Gloria can set up checkmates with her jokers. If your life is getting low and you can’t kill Gloria in one hit of a certain option, Gloria can joker away your combo and then kill you with overdose. Also, opponents can not damage Gloria if she gold bursts while opponent is KD or when Gloria is holding the second joker. Finally, if Gloria wants a sweet comeback, her aces are very good at giving her one, and a gold burst can get her aces.
Gloria’s card flow throughout the game
On my first turn as Gloria, I look for ways to get more aces, specifically the ace of hearts. I first look for aces already in my hand. If I have them, great. I don’t have to worry about getting more aces until I have used overdose to get rid of the ones I already have. When I do, I will draw more cards which lo and behold helps me get more aces. If I don’t have any aces sitting in my hand, I look for pairs and normal straights. If I have a pair, I consider my mission to get aces complete, since I have my ace of hearts next power up phase. If I don’t have a pair or can attempt a straight without disrupting my pairs, I might try to straight at this point.
Straights are best done by leading a normal attack to try and catch a throw, or dropping the linker side of a Jack to beat out throws and normal attacks, then I combo into the three card straight. Jokers seem appealing at this stage, but they are in fact more applicable later. I typically try to play healing spheres early if I have them and can support them with the non-hearts/anti-sphere punish I need to keep them alive. In any case, once I have the ace of hearts or a steady stream of aces by other means, phase one is complete!
Ace of hearts in hand, I am ready to start winning combat, overdosing, doing damage, and keeping my spheres lively. I take assessment of which useful hearts I am going to have access to throughout the game. I will go over the specific roles of each heart in the card analysis section, but suffice to say playing hearts is the best thing for me to be doing. If I drop just one heart into my discard, I can now take it back when I heal. If I have spheres up, I am healing every turn, so getting to retrieve cards from my discard is a pretty good deal. This is especially potent if I am holding a variety of heart ranks in my hand.
I like to special attack a lot. That’s because I do slight block damage with my specials and attacks punish the throws that would knock off my spheres. Also, dodge is pretty weak early game, so dodging into throw is not SUPER potent for my opponent, and if they block the only payoff they get is cards, in the form of one draw and their attack card back. With healing spheres and healing touch, I can get lots of cards and return my attacks into my hand as well.
Of course, attacking isn’t the only move to play. If I grab a fast throw I can protect myself from throws AND dodges, as well as punishing block. I can throw into jacks, which increases longevity and card efficiency, as well as keeping the spheres up. Of course, dodge and block are good too. Slow jack makes for a great dodge follow up for the same reasons fast Jack is a great throw or attack follow up. Blocking gets me more cards, which means more life and aces and all the other good things that cards do.
So, all the options are pretty sweet, and I can maybe try to tailor my play to the opponent if I get the cards, especially hearts, that they don’t want to see coming back again and again. Trying to read the opponent is of course core to yomi, but the biggest payoff to Gloria in this stage of the game is getting in more won-combat overdoses for cards and damage. Also base moves on the hand, especially if the hand is small. It is really bad to run out of non-hearts and passively lose spheres. I will talk more about trying to keep spheres up against evil anti-sphere options in the section that concerns that.
I have made my way to a gamestate in which at least one player has an hp below forty, and I have a decently developed hand. I have reached the endgame. My play from here on out depends on life totals and how my hand is. If I have a large hand and one or both players is on low hp, I gravitate towards the might of aces. I will talk more about them in the section dedicated to them, but in summary, Gloria’s aces are the shit. Sun and moon is an extremely high damage low combo point fast starter. It is really cool, because not many attacks beat it, and it leads to a full combo. That means it does a lot of damage. Likely one shot of the mighty sun and moon will lead to lethal at this point, especially if the last ace carrying overdose is backing it up.If Gloria’s hand is as massive as she would like it to be, she can power up for sun and moon multiple times.
The other side of the ace is called twilight key. It is a linker, so I can play it in the middle of a combo. It also only costs two aces. Those are its claims to fame over sun and moon. I can lead into it after a throw or jack, which is great fun. Jack is a pretty low variance alternative to sun and moon at this point, so I can play it when I are holding only two or three aces. Throw is nice because if the opponent is sufficiently afraid of sun and moon they will be blocking and dodging like crazy. Throw into 24 damage and an overdose to punish this. 34 damage is likely enough to kill an opponent late game, or at least set up a lethal OD. Also, either ace move and overdose held together make a potent dodge follow up. 39 damage is often lethal. So in summary, aces are amazing late game when there is a big hand and a softened opponent.
When I am on a smaller hand late game, maybe the best thing to do is focus on winning combats by recurring my good options, so I can overdose to get more cards and damage. Small hand Gloria is a pretty rare sight late, usually the game is over or Gloria’s hand is good sized. Finally, if there is a large life differential late game, Gloria’s play style changes. If Gloria is behind by a large life count, her goal becomes to close the difference as much as possible. This means healing a lot. Gloria needs a bigger hand, so overdose a lot as well. Although it brings her life total down, it brings her opponents down as well, and she will be healing a ton whereas opponent probably can’t heal.
Speaking of which, play Jack into combos and in combat a ton, because this gets me cards and life, which is great. As opponent life count reaches the edge of “the ace zone” where her ace attacks start being dangerous, Gloria wants to power for aces to end the game quickly so opponent can’t press the advantage.
If Gloria is ahead by a large amount, Gloria begins wanting to make safe plays that will let her keep her life high while she drains the life of her adversary. I prefer to play fast moves like Q and 7 to win combat and then overdose. Some players will use overdose even when they don’t win combat. In my opinion this wastes cards and life, so it is a bad idea unless you can checkmate or almost checkmate. If opponent has a high damage super and lots of cards, likely they will go for it to try and comeback even through Gloria’s mighty OD late game. Gloria can use her own supers to shut these attempts down if she has the cards to grab her aces.
And that’s about it. I will add more later by request, if any specific piece of advice has been left out that people want to know more about. Maybe a matchup section if people want to play.
Most stuff - Redless
Encouraging/critiquing/coming up with the name - Jase
Ruining the formatting - my iPad for not letting me cut and paste formatting
This guide was written by @Redless