Hey everyone, welcome back to MetaManiacs!
Today we are going to look at the third DLC, or “Deck Loadable Content” for the now rebranded UniVersus collectible card game. With public health issues interfering with Jasco’s licensing for the My Hero Academia booster set, these DLC have become the primary release for UniVersus in 2020, and Jasco is continuing to try to keep releasing these month after month as they prepare a new booster release for later this year. It was way back in March we saw the release of the first of two Soul Calibur VI DLC, and, if the current schedule holds, for the rest of the year we will see Mortal Kombat, Cowboy Bebop, and one more for Soul Calibur VI.
As we’ve seen before, each DLC set contains 4 new character cards and two copies each of a new foundation card and attack card for each of those characters, and this Street Fighter set is no exception. What’s quite unusual for 2020 is that, with offline play brought to a grinding halt, and with the massive delay in production, many of these cards are already getting play in online events, including our own league the previous month, so many of you will have seen, or even used, these cards already! But if you haven’t, or just need a refresher course, we’ve got you covered as we go over each of these cards.
First up is the master of the Satsui no Hado, Akuma. This third version of Akuma is a 7 hander with 21 health and the Earth, Evil, and Void symbols. Akuma’s three dot focuses on resource denial and disruption. His first enhance lets you discard a character card to give your attack plus 6 damage! His response goes hand in hand with his enhance as well. It’s also exciting that Akuma now has three different character cards in standard, allowing you to go for some fun character-stacker strategies as well with some interesting overlap in their abilities.
His attack, Zanku Hadoken, combined with Akuma’s character ability means you can potentially get your opponent to flip 2 or more foundations, while also making your opponent’s checks harder. The multiple ability only further enhances the strength of this card. Evil Dead fans will find this is also a great attack for Combat Ash in his Earth builds!
Akuma’s best card, and possibly the best card in this set, is his foundation Overrun by Tourists. This card gives you the ability to selectively discard cards from your opponents hand and only needs a couple of foundations flipped – which many decks will do themselves already – in order to make it tough for the opponent to hide their important cards. While the opponent gets to redraw a random card, being able to apply this disruption both during the opponent’s turn OR during your turn – even when an opponent plays a non-attack card as a block – is incredibly powerful and could make this card nearly a guaranteed 4 of in any Earth deck.
Next up is my favorite character from the set, everyone’s favorite super spy Mom, C. Viper. Viper is a 6 hander with 28 health and the Fire, Good, and Order symbols. Viper’s enhances are pretty straight forward, but her response ability is really unique and lets you do some pretty fun stuff. This lets Viper peek at the top card of her deck and, in considering at least just her reach into the deck, essentially turns her into a 7 hander. An 8 hander technically when you realize her ability is for EACH of the combat phases, including your opponent’s. You can also try some cheeky stuff like, if you go first and have a Coffee Samba in hand, check your first card on top of the deck. Will you make the check? Then whack your opponent with a Coffee Samba on turn 1. Spicy.
Her attack, Burst Time, is a friendly reminder why Gill is gone now. Now obviously the combo enhance is very strong, fueling its own momentum cost, but you have to play two stun cards before it. There are lots of good stun cards to choose from but it is very susceptible to being messed with by your opponent. Cards like Ominous Prophecy can also stop Viper in her tracks, so you will have to be wary of that.
Her foundation, S.I.N. Battle Suit, can help against action heavy decks that use cards like Stop, Bang, and Big Shot Punch and Judy. The second response is also great for the stun heavy attack lineup that Viper will most likely be running, and being playable while committed means you don’t have to worry about using it to pass checks.
Now we have the ninja girl that made her debut in the legendary fighting game, Street Fighter 3 Third Strike, Ibuki. A 7 hander with 20 health and the All, Life, and Water symbols. Ibuki is very unique in that she actually wants to land a lot of attacks that don’t do a lot of damage by themselves to overwhelm the opponent. Each attack that is allowed to deal 3 or less damage lets her play her next attack at no added cost – even if that attack was half-blocked! Your opponent be pressured to block very carefully and deliberately when facing down her offensive barrage, and by playing her cards right your opponent will have trouble resources up against her pressure.
Her attack, Kunai Ikkinage, compliments that playstyle perfectly allowing you set up large chains of small pokes. The response on this attack works for any ranged attack, as long as Ikkinage is in the card pool. It also works well with Ibuki’s second response ability, letting you filter a card from your hand and ignore progressive difficulty. In fact if you discard another copy of Ikkinage in hand with Ibuki’s second response you can just pick it right back up with the combo enhance to just draw a free card and lose nothing! This can certainly be a cornerstone card in Ibuki’s attack lineup, and while the 2 check is something to fear slightly, if her response is firing off and negating progressive difficulty, even a 2 check won’t require much to commit to pass your attacks.
The static ability on her foundation, Energy Charge,makes it a free block that will make your opponent’s next attack also easier to block. This is certainly another really crucial card from this DLC that many decks will be interested to include because of it’s great defensive ability alone – if your deck plays any Combo attacks to take advantage of the straight forward buffing of the Enhance, this 2 difficulty/5 check foundation becomes an easy include and possibly in high quantities!
Last but definitely not least, is the master of Psycho power, the head of the evil Shadaloo (or Shadolaw depending on what you’re watching…), the mighty Lord Bipson, M. Bison! He is a 6 hander with 27 health and the Air, Chaos, and Death symbols. Bison can be built around making (and failing) control checks in order to ready and commit his character card multiple times. But I believe the true strength of this Bison is to play the M. Bison 1 dot from the Street Fighter set and stack this Bison on top of it. This will give you a built in version of clutch action The Toguro Brothers that also readies itself.
His attack, Psycho Blast, boasts solid stats, card pool control, and momentum building, great for setting up a game ending attack chain. When paired with Bison, the second enhance allows you to ready him whether or not you succeed on the check. However, this attack also plays nicely with other characters that can gain a lot from being able to ready again, like All Might, or characters that love making big checks like Yoshimitsu.
His foundation, Psycho Energy, is an interesting attempt at bringing that feeling of psychic mastery into the game. With every Enhance your opponent plays, you can make a check to mill the top card of your opponent’s deck. Just like reading their mind, when the right foundation is hit off of this mill – a copy of a foundation in play that you want to get rid of – you can use its Enhance to nuke it on your next action. Even without hitting it, regular access to these 5+ checks gives you more ability to utilize M. Bison’s response to untap. Alternatively, failing the check can allow you to remove the top card of your opponent’s discard pile, letting you dig down to get to the right foundation instead! This card offers interesting finesse to Bison decks but can also be used more generically as way to mess up particular decks that are trying to stack or recur certain cards – and occasionally luck its way into becoming foundation removal.
Out of all the DLC sets coming out this year, Street Fighter was easily the one I was looking forward to the most and I am very happy with the results. Each character has potential and can fit into their own deck building niche. Personally I am looking forward to building C. Viper, off of Fire specifically, and I can see each character being someone’s favorite based on their playstyle.
Thanks for reading everyone – this DLC released a couple of weeks ago, so make sure you ask your local premiere stores if you are looking for a copy, and stay tuned for our next overview of the upcoming Mortal Kombat DLC in a few weeks!