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[Character Guide] Troq

This guide was written by @Thelo


Troq is a very efficient and straightforward grappler — a block and throw oriented character. Troq’s throws are all fast and powerful, and his unique Giant Growth blocks let him punish attack-heavy characters by growing Troq’s throws to be more and more damaging, culminating in an incredible 45 damage triple-ace throw . Between blocks enhanced by his innate , armored moves , and a few fast attacks , Troq is especially adept at dealing with pesky normal attacks.

Lacking serious attack combo starters, Troq seldom gets to deal big damage through attacks. However, if you enjoy smashing through your opponent’s moves with a few strong maneuvers, and being well-equipped to deal with a variety of opponents without having to think about speed or combos too much, then give the proud Troq a try.

Innate Ability — Giant Growth

Other grapplers like Rook or Midori often struggle with repeated attacks, but Giant Growth makes Troq’s blocks terrifying, for two reasons: they power up Troq’s normal attacks and throws, and they unlock his devastating Beast Unleashed triple-ace super throw. Because opponents cannot remove attached block cards in any way, Troq often wants to block twice as early as he can, to make all his subsequent throws more damaging.

The Giant Growth bonus applies to normal throws, but not to his King throw . This means that in the early game, when Troq doesn’t yet have Giant Growth attached blocks, Troq prefers using King throws to normal throws, saving the normal throws for later.

Giant Growth is a double-edged sword, however: Troq loves to block early, but hates to block further when he already has two attached blocks, because the block cards will then be discarded for no benefit. This is usually acceptable, and Troq may want to still use some blocks when he really needs to (for example when he is knocked down and predicts an attack), but the standard strategy is to use blocks early and dodges late.

Because Giant Growth’s extra damage comes mainly from normal throwing into a high normal attack, Troq prefers to block with lower ranks rather than high ones, keeping high normals like 7 and 8 as throw combo enders. Make sure to keep at least one normal throw , though — with a hand of 378, where 3 is the only throw, it is better to block with a 7 than with a 3 to keep a throw combo possible (3 -> 8).

Finally, remember that Giant Growth is an ability that takes time to bear fruit. If the opponent is already at low life, don’t try too hard to build up Giant Growth, and just focus on finishing them off now with direct damage.

About Beast Unleashed

Beast Unleashed is Troq’s most dangerous move: a triple-ace super throw that deals 45 damage, and can only be played when you have two attached blocks from Giant Growth. Landing it often means a Troq victory, and every Troq match should be played with it in mind. In particular, this is Troq’s main answer to attack-heavy opponents: block twice, power up for some aces as needed, then dodge into Beast Unleashed. This plan has many limitations, though, so be careful!

First, you need to successfully block attacks or jokers. Specific opponents can make this difficult: Geiger’s Time Spirals , Onimaru’s Guard Crush normal attacks , Gwen’s Relentless Strikes can all prevent Giant Growth, and it’s often hard to block enough against them to be able to use Beast Unleashed. Against these opponents, consider not going for Beast Unleashed as your primary plan, and sticking to more direct ways to victory.

Second, attaching two blocks then accumulating three aces (and often a few dodges) is a slow process, especially considering Troq can’t keep his block cards on hit. Beast Unleashed is an excellent way to seek a win against an opponent with over 40 life, but is often too slow to be worth pursuing when you can win in a few turns through other ways. If you were publicly accumulating aces for Beast Unleashed, then reduced your opponent’s life total below 20, consider using your aces as Eagle Totem (AA attack) in combat instead, as a surprise option.

Third, attempting Beast Unleashed has a heavy cost: it returns your Giant Growth cards to hand, meaning you no longer have Giant Growth bonuses and cannot attempt Beast Unleashed again for a while. Keeping Giant Growth active is often important enough that you usually want to use normal throws instead of Beast Unleashed while the opponent has high life or you are unsure of successfully hitting with it.

In particular, combo escape jokers are very dangerous — it is fine to use a ten damage normal throw instead of Beast Unleashed when you dodge an opponent attack and suspect a combo escape joker. Despite the heavy cost on failure, when the opponent has decent odds of holding a joker in hand, you may even want to use Beast Unleashed directly in combat in order to avoid combo escapes, but make sure you have a very strong read before attempting this!

With larger hands against high-life opponents, you can sometimes use Eagle Totem, then power up to three aces right afterwards to keep the threat of Beast Unleashed. This works especially well because opponents wary of your Beast Unleashed will often try to either throw your dodge or attack your Beast Unleashed directly, and Eagle Totem is fast enough to beat both of these options.

That said, even with all of these limitations, Beast Unleashed is unparalleled in sheer efficiency and destructive power, and should always be a factor in your plans as a Troq player.

Card Analysis

Block / Throw
This is notable as a fast throw against other grapplers, but in other matchups is usually used as a low-value block, or sometimes a throw.

Block / Throw
Mostly interchangeable with 2.

Attack / Throw
This is terribly weak as a normal attack, and so you will use this either as a throw or as power-up fodder. This is Troq’s lowest-value rank of cards.

Attack / Throw
Mostly interchangeable with 4.

Attack / Block
Usually used as a block, though it’s sometimes acceptable to throw into this attack. Fairly low-value.

Attack / Block
This is an excellent attack to use at the end of a normal throw combo. Occasionally a block.

Attack / Block
This is the best attack to use at the end of a normal throw combo. With two attached blocks, a normal throw into an 8-attack does 20 damage! Avoid blocking with 8 if possible.

Dodge / Throw
One of only two ranks of dodges, this becomes very valuable for threatening a dodge into Beast Unleashed. Try to conserve 9s for this purpose. You should almost never throw with a 9.

*Dodge / Throw / War Stomp
Your second rank of valuable dodges, but it competes with the useful War Stomp ability. Whether to use your 10s as dodges or as War Stomp is one of Troq’s hardest decisions, but on average War Stomp is the stronger option. Keeping 10s as dodges is mostly useful if you can immediately threaten Beast Unleashed, while using War Stomp is mostly useful against low-to-medium hand opponents and dodge-heavy opponents.

War Stomp has powerful uses as a soft “counter” in some specific matchups:

  • Against Jaina using Unstable Power , War Stomp to prevent her from rotating 2 -5 into a dodge.
  • Against Setsuki using Speed of the Fox , War Stomp to prevent her from dodging into a full combo.
  • Against Quince using Positive Spin J or K , War Stomp to prevent him from rotating into a dodge.
  • Against BBB using Overdrive , War Stomp to prevent him from dodging into Extensor Grab .
  • Do not throw with Troq’s 10s.

Jack: Bull Rush / Bull Charge
*Bull Rush: Attack 7 (2) dmg, speed 2.2, 1 CP Ender // Bull Charge: Attack 10 (3) dmg, speed 3.4, 2 CP Ender // Troq Armor
Troq’s face cards are mostly “defensive” in nature, all three often used in combat by themselves to beat opponent normal attacks or throws. Bull Rush’s 2.2 speed also slips just under many dangerous special attacks, like Geiger’s Time Spirals or Grave’s Lightning Cloud . Against opponents without many dangerous attacks between speeds 2.2 and 3.4, like Vendetta or Zane, prefer using the more damaging Bull Charge.

It is uncommon to combo into either of the Jack attacks, since they usually do less damage than normal attacks and are better in combat.

Queen: Up Hawk
Attack 9 (2) dmg, speed 0.8, 2 CP Ender
Up Hawk’s main use is slipping right under many dangerous speed 1.0 attacks, like Valerie’s or Onimaru’s aces, or BBB’s ranged attacks. It is unspectacular in damage, but its speed is surprisingly good for a grappler, and so it hits uncannily often. It’s also common to play Up Hawk by itself just to avoid spending more than one card this turn, as you build up your hand.

King: Lockhorn Skewer
*Throw 15 dmg, speed 2.4, Can’t Combo // Lockhorn Skewer
Lockhorn Skewer is an all-star card, with superb combat-winning power, outstanding damage, and absolutely no prerequisites. It’s a great dodge followup, but is more often used in combat since it wins so often. Like the other two face cards, you can play it by itself to avoid depleting your hand, and since it gains no damage from Giant Growth, it’s common to play it in the early game, before you can attach some blocks and normal throws become more attractive.

Ace: Eagle Totem / Beast Unleashed / Beast Unleashed
*Eagle Totem: Attack 20 (2) dmg, speed 1.0, 2 CP Ender AA // Beast Unleashed: Throw 45 dmg, speed 0.0, Can’t Combo AAA. Requires 2 Attached Blocks. // Beast Unleashed
As explained earlier, Beast Unleashed is your main threat and often a game-winning blow, and Eagle Totem is occasionally useful as an alternative play. Some opponents have dangerous 1.0 speed attacks or close (Setsuki , Valerie , Onimaru , BBB , Gloria , Gwen ), and it is usually smart to try to clash with them with Eagle Totem.

This guide was written by @Thelo