Jaina didn’t come to fight a calm, collected battle. Aggression is king queen, and defense is for wimps who haven’t yet found the fun of blowing things up! Will Jaina annihilate her opponents with her explosive Unstable Power, or will her complete disregard for the long game be her undoing?
- Blistering fast rushdown.
- Playing With Fire lets her use attack chips incredibly well.
- Natural resilience against wounds.
- Vulnerable to good defensive characters and chips.
- Difficult to play.
- Becomes less powerful the more she is forced to use Unstable Power, making her a bad choice for the endgame.
Jaina’s General Gameplan
Jaina’s gameplan is to use attacks to disrupt them while you combine as much as possible. Then, use Unstable Power for a massive uncounterable crash to finish them off.
II. Puzzle Chips
Chips Jaina Loves
- Stolen Purples, Ouch!, Repeated Jabs, Sneak Attack, Color Panic, Knockdown, Just a Scratch, Really Annoying
Attacks tend to be very strong on Jaina, both because of her red arrow from Playing with Fire, and because they tend to speed up the pace of the game. More importantly, she is incredibly resilient against attacks herself. She can shake off wounds, can easily crash away antes, and even has a Double Crash Gem that can’t be stolen!
Of all of these attacks, however, the one she likes the best are probably Color Panic and Knockdown. Not only are these powerful effects, but they can wash red arrows into purple ones!
- Safe Keeping, Secret Move
No, you won’t be putting 1-gems into your bag too often. And yes, you won’t be able to keep Secret Move going for long before you have to discard it for another purple. Nonetheless, these are solid chips for Jaina to buy! First, her desire to incessantly combine means she often can’t afford much else. Second, these wash the brown arrow off of Playing with Fire, and let her pig Unstable Power for the biggest possible crash.
What’s better than a Combine? Something that DOUBLES the combines you already have! With the ante from Playing With Fire, the discard clause becomes manageable, and the only remaining challenge becomes washing the brown arrow.
- Now or Later
A single Now or Later can be a potent and versatile buy in the midgame. You can use it as a draw off of Playing with Fire, or you can trash 2 chips from your discard right before a shuffle.
- Risk to Riskonade
As if Jaina wasn’t already suicidally aggressive, here is a chip that lets her apply even more pressure. The dream draw is if you can draw Combine, Unstable Power, Risk to Riskonade, Burning Vigor, and Playing with Fire all at the same time (with a wound in your discard). Doing that, you can crash 5 at them out of nowhere. That said, getting all of these chips to line up can be difficult. This is a high risk, high reward strategy; sometimes you will have overwhelming victories, while other times you will kill yourself and look somewhat foolish. For the most part though, this is a devastating threat that your opponent can’t afford to ignore.
Chips Jaina Fears
- Iron Defense
Combined with forks, Iron Defense can be a powerful tool against Jaina’s rush. Iron Defense not only guarantees a countercrash, but let’s the other player stall the game without hurting his own economy.
- Self Improvement
Burning Vigor is great for trashing wounds, and often Jaina wants to buy even more attacks after that. Self Improvement punishes this harder than any other reaction chip.
- Dashing Strike
Jaina can’t afford to buy the premium brown washers like Roundhouse, and so Dashing Strike is nearly always a dead chip for her. However, often her opponent can use it against her as a defensive pile control chip.
Other Notable Chips
This chip is deceptively bad for Jaina, because while it is a powerful red, it disrupts her main plan of a monster double crash. At times, Jaina will be forced to crash before she really wants to, which will open up a chance for a countercrash.
- One of Each, Signature Move
Both of these share a common theme: they are nice effects that unfortunately have to compete with Combine. That’s not to say they are never worth buying, however. After you feel you have enough combines (usually 2 or 3), or if Stolen Purples is in the pool, these are nice and versatile options. Both can be used to wash a brown arrow into crash. Signature Move can even find it for you!
III. General Tips
- Unless you are facing another aggressive character, avoid using Unstable Power too early. You give your opponent early pile bonus, the wounds will clog up your deck, and you let your opponent countercrash you.
- Buy a wound when you are about to draw Burning Vigor for a free ante!
- Be careful of using Playing with Fire when you don’t have a way to wash its arrows.
- Buy combines (or combine effects)! Lots of them. Attacks are great and all, but your main plan should always be to crash 5 or more with Unstable Power. You can’t do that if you don’t buy combines!
Matchups Jaina Loves
As a dedicated rush character, Jaina is advantaged against dedicated Econ like Setsuki or Troq. Most of the time, she should be able to blitz them before they can react. However, she is also counterintuitively good against defense-oriented characters like Argagarg or Persephone due to Burning Vigor trashing their wounds.
Matchups Jaina Fears
Jaina has the worst time against characters with extreme amounts of pile control. Onimaru’s Double Slash and Valerie’s Chromatic Orb are annoying and tend to slow the match enough that Jaina has a tough time winning with her standard strategy. Her worst matchup, however, might just be Menelker, whose Deathstrike Dragon is a terrifying counter to Jaina’s aggressive, high pile strategy.
Guide written by vivafringe