After my review I’ve become good enough to beat up on rookies. On my way I missed some features and made some mistakes and I see other players making the same errors. I am far from an expert and still get annihilated often so if you have any other tips put them in the comments and I’ll add.
1. You can redraw cards
The tutorial never mentions this and I didn’t realize until 15 hours had gone by. You can redraw cards for your attack! The button is in the upper left hand. The number of redraws depends on the style. No more doing nothing.
2. The timer starts with the first card
Take a moment to mentally play out your first few attacks (or more if your memory is better than mine) but even after you press the attack key the timer won’t start moving until you click on the first card. Hover over the right spot, get in the zone then flurry!
3. The AI can’t see patterns
The AI doesn’t seem to notice if you spam attacks with the exact same pattern. Use this to quickly destroy a vital and collect your rewards. Just realize that…
4. Punching a dead area is useless
Once a body part is destroyed any further hits to it do nothing. The card’s title will be in red during your attack round and you should always redraw these cards first. Endlessly punching the teeth will not cause a “head” knockout.
5. Don’t focus on one spot
Human players will very quickly learn exactly where to block and then counter. Different cards that target separate body parts might have the exact same attack patterns. Make sure you look before you play two cards in a row that follow the same path.
6. Don’t spam slow attacks
Biggest rookie mistake. Don’t feel the need to send out all your attacks. Slow attacks give your opponent free counters. If you have nothing decent to throw then just end the round because…
7. Ending the turn early gives bonus adrenalin
The above tip is incorrect. Each style gets a set adrenalin bonus each round in addition to what you earn by striking. These values are:
Shaolin KF – 0.5
Shotokan – 0.6
Takekwondo – 0.7
Wing Chun – 0.2
Ninjitsu – 0.0
8. Think of the whole flow
My win rate went up considerably when I started imagining what my opponent would have to do to defend against my round. Make them move their hand all over the screen to defend. Make him anxious – uppercuts unnerve everyone and can be used to break up two identical attacks. In order to this effectively you should…
9. Have around 3 specific targets
There’s no HP pool. You have to knock your opponent out so don’t just pick cards based on what has good damage and speed. Try to specifically target a few areas that can win and think of how those cards will support #8 above.
10. Spread styles for easy points
You unlock styles for free as you advance. Have some matches with the other styles once you unlock (or buy) them. You’ll learn to defend them better and it’s an easy way to get XP since initially you get points for every little fart with a new style. They all go to the same overall pool so you’ll improve your favorite faster too.
11. Only arm and leg damage debuffs
When making the damage model only the arms and leg effects made it into the game. If you break a hand your opponent’s punching cards become useless (shown with a broken bone icon on the card). Break the shoulder and elbow strikes are removed as well. This can quickly neuter some styles such as ninjitsu which uses mostly hand strikes or tae kwon do which uses mostly kicks.
12. Upgrade your cards all the time
It’s easier and faster to do it from the card collection than from your actual deck since it shows how many cards you have of each (and therefore what’s eligible for a free upgrade). Upgrades have no downside so after getting a few cards take a look if something can be improved.
13. Save your most complex for last
As long as you get a card off before the turn timer expires you’ll have the full individual attack time to perform it. Save your more complex moves for last so you don’t eat up the whole round doing your dim mak heart explody thing.
14. Weaken before going for vitals
In general, the bigger the target the more effective the strike. A card striking the ribs will tend to have higher power and speed than one targeting the heart at the same adrenalin level. If your ultimate target is a vital, use more damaging general strikes to weaken the protective layer and switch to your pinpoint strikes once the ribs (or whatever) are destroyed. This also lets you do useful damage in early rounds before you get adrenalin access to more powerful attacks. See #19 for targets.
15. Use a “guard”
When you start most attacks end near the top right of the screen. You’ll get in the habit of always hovering there on defence. Utilize a guard like a real fighter would. If your legs are about to break hover near the bottom of the screen. If your foe throws a lot of uppercuts hover much closer to the left edge. Attack patterns are logical – you can protect a vital and survive an extra few turns at the cost of less important body parts.
16. Bonus possibly cheesy tip – Play with the resolution
The higher you go the bigger everything will be. This means on defence the blow will seem to travel slower and much further on a big monitor in full screen mode. But it also means you have to draw huge patterns when you attack. Find your sweet spot based on your reflexes. If you’re a precise cat-like young person a tiny window might let you do more. I’m not one of those.
Extra Tips from Steam Users
From ahli bela diri:
17. Chi channel combo
This might only work for some advanced players or players that already opened few packs of cards, but you might want to combine your chi-channel cards to make your attacks more deadly. For example, instead of attacking with only attack cards, you might want to add speed boost in advance, or better yet, combine it with other chi channel cards, like feint, chi shake, block fog, etc.
18. Points customization
As you progress and complete some challenges, you should spend points earned into your own preferred style. If you’re an aggressive player, spending points on extra hand attack damage/attack time would suit you best. Being a more defensive player type on the other hand has its own build too, spending points on defense reflexes or counter length would help you in counter attacking.
19. Coin Collecting
Gain coins for cards fast by mixing up fights and quests. Fights take a while until the opponent responds, so might as well cram a campaign match in between. Even if you’ve already done all the quests, you still get coins from those fights, and if you lose you get a chest with 1 card. Either way’s a win.
Also; don’t forget the free coins button on the main menu.
20. Single bodypart KO’s
There are 4 parts of the body that are a bit of an exception to the damage system; The brain, the heart, the jugular and the lungs. If any one goes out, it’s lights out (coma, cardiac arrest, bleed out and suffocate).
The spine is divided into 3 sections. Destroying any section will cause a paralysis KO.
The skull, throat and ribs protect these vitals but Dim Mak attacks bypass this protection.
21. Counters are Unblockable
Normally your chi strikes are slow, straight and pretty easy to block, which makes them wasted chi most of the time. As counters, however, it becomes easy to apply slows and chi drains and any other negative effects you want. The slows are particularly useful due to crippling enemy attack speeds, enabling you to pull off even more counters.
22. Intentional Failure
Instead of ending the turn rather than use slow moves, you can play and intentionally fail the move prompt so that you don’t have to spend a recycle on it in the following turn. In fact, intentionally failing your early moves is a good way to still build adrenaline in the first turn or two without worrying about counters, since you earn the adrenaline even if the input fails.
23. Cards aren’t side-specific
Cards that appear to strike a specific side (eg left eye attack) actually pick a side to attack each time you draw a card.