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Exceed: Red Horizon – Reese & Heidi vs. Vincent & Nehtali» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Kaden: A Quick-Start guide rss

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Jay Green
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Welcome to my quick-start guide on Kaden. Hopefully, you can use the tips here to get a solid idea of where to start with Kaden. As always, true mastery of a character comes from time and experience.

Kaden is a EX attack centered fighter who has a lot of tools to manage his hand so that he can always have the options he needs.


EX Attacks Were Already Good

EX attacks seem a little underwhelming at first. Why would I EX sweep, for example, when I only get 1 extra damage out of it? But it turns out that the stat boosts from ex attacking makes a big difference. +1 power +1 armor means your trading improves by 2 damage. +1 speed means you can just stun out attacks that would otherwise go first. Also, +1 guard +1 armor can help attacks counter attack more reliably.

Look at it this way: Would a boost that says: "+1 power, +1 speed, +1 guard, +1 armor, and strike" for 0 force cost be something you'd want to play? Yes! Thats stronger than just about any 0 cost boost in the game. And thats exactly what EX striking does for you.

Now with Kaden, you also get to draw a card when EX striking, or +2 power and draw a card when on your exceed side. The extra card draw also makes it more likely you will have another EX attack in hand, letting you put out a ton of pressure


Figure Out What Your Utility Cards Are

Not everything should be used as an EX strike however. Some cards serve a useful purpose beyond just winning a strike, and it is important to get good mileage out of them. Chain Strike is the perfect example of this. Chain Strike is a key anti-ranger card that allows you to bring opponents to your preferred range and then perform a follow-up hit. Using both copies to EX attack can deprive you of a necessary tool in matchups where the opponent prefers to keep their distance. I'd recommend picking a few cards in each matchup that you think provide necessary utility, either from their boosts or strike effects, and only use them as utility, rather than EX attacks. For example, against Lily, I might choose Focus, Chain Strike, and the boost Chain Extension as my utility cards, for the way the let me counter her ranged shenanigans.


Get to Your Exceed Side Quickly

The extra power Kaden gets from his exceed side can be a major game changer. The other major use of gauge for Kaden is his Ultras, but these don't get really good until he is in exceed mode, so that is still the first priority. Its okay if your early game is rough, because you can make up a lot of ground if you manage to get into exceed mode at a good time. For this reason, I'd recommend playing a bit safe with your attacks until you flip. Its better to lose a trade and still get gauge early on.

When you are in exceed mode, a number of powerful tricks opens up to you. EX grasp trades evenly with sweep and focus, which normally hard counter grasp. EX sweep stuns out focus. EX assault stuns out sweep, and gives you a follow up turn to add insult to injury. But the juiciest play at this point is EX Rising Host. This is a speed 7, range 1-3, power 4 attack. Which is good in stats, but even more importantly, both cards come back to your hand when you hit with it, allowing you to spam it constantly until your opponent finds something that counters it, or you run out of gauge. And even if they do eventually find a way to break the loop, all the card draw you gained from EX'ing it again and again will fuel your hand with resources to do something else obnoxious afterwards.


Tricks for finding more ex attacks
Kaden can run into consistency problems if he just doesn't draw the right cards, so its a good thing he has a lot of tools to help with this.
-Hit with Fusion Bane to dig for that card that pairs with something you already have. I'd recommend making it EX Fusion Bane, since its not very safe by itself.
-Use the Secret Weapon boost to just choose the card you need.
-Use Recall for a guaranteed ex attack. Make sure its something you don't mind the opponent knowing about though.
-The Perfect Evolution boost lets you sort your deck and dig for EX pairs.
-Dark Tide Summons and its boost Silence both let you pull a full EX attack from discard. Once again, make sure you are okay with the opponent knowing what it is. Or bluff by pulling a card from discard that you don't have the copy of in hand (while having a different EX attack ready to go).
-Use the Draw or Change Cards actions to go through your deck and dig up those cards the same way everyone else does.
-Finally, don't be afraid to reshuffle if too many singletons have gone into your discards, with their pair either in your hand or the deck.


Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities

-Kaden is somewhat dependent on luck of the draw to give him EX attacks. This can make his gameplay inconsistent, especially early on.
-Ultras, especially Rising Host, don't become amazing until Kaden hits his exceed side.
-Can be very predictable. Returning cards from the discard lets your opponent know what you can do, and makes you vulnerable to the reading boost. If you have a lot of cards in discard, EX attacks are very easy to predict, since anything you have in discard or gauge is not possible.
-Wild Swings are more than dangerous than usual, since you can accidentally deny yourself EX attacks if the wrong card shows up.


Strengths

-Absolutely amazing EX attacks that hit like a truck in exceed mode
-Lots of tools to dig for key cards
-Spammable Rising Host, to pile on punishment for players who don't have counters in hand.
-Good anti-range tech


Starting hands and mulligans

Getting EX attacks in your starting hand is obviously ideal, and you usually want to keep them even if they aren't immediately useful. Chain Strike is vital in certain matchups. Finally, Perfect Evolution is a key boost early game for digging up more EX attacks. I will mulligan aggressively to gain these advantages.
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Aaron White
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Thanks for your Kaden write up.

My favourite trick is to rinse and repeat EX Focus. Damage 5, armor 3, high stun, cannot be pushed and you get to draw a card. Considering Kaden's ability allows you to draw a card when you EX attack, this means he gets to play two cards to draw two cards and there is little the opponent can do about it. Then you can keep recurring Focus using Kaden's boosts and ultras. Kaden is really cool.
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Marco Santos
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Really awesome stuff! Concise, simple, and informative. Would you say that Kaden is more of a toolbox character who plays with a variety of options?

Based on your guide, it seems that Kaden's more of a "let me use a bunch of strong attacks" kind of character. A powerful, but predictable fighter.

Am I wrong in my intuition that he's a "toolbox" character?
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Joshua Christensen
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Cool write up. Kaden is definitely one of my favorites, EX attacks are just so strong.

Certain cards get especially crazy in EX. I think Sweep is one example of this because it allows it to beat an opposing Sweep and if you initiate the strike Sweep now hard counters its own hard counter (Spike).

I have the hardest time making use of Fusion Bane though. Even when EX'd it just losses to a lot of stuff. It's got a strong After effect though so I'll keep searching for ways to make use of it.

mnmkami wrote:

Based on your guide, it seems that Kaden's more of a "let me use a bunch of strong attacks" kind of character. A powerful, but predictable fighter.

Am I wrong in my intuition that he's a "toolbox" character?


It's possible he's both. He does have a lot of different options and he can make constant EX attacks do good stuff but once the game starts he doesn't have much of a toolbox. Since he can only return so many cards back to hand he's a toolbox once you see what fighter the opponent is playing then you narrow down his toolbox to your better EX and utility cards for the mu and mostly stick to that plan. If the plan doesn't work out it's pretty difficult to switch mid/late game. At least that is how it has gone in my experience.
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Jay Green
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I think that I'd agree with Joshua that he isn't so much a toolkit character, but a "make everything work" character. He does have some toolkit in terms of how he deals with rangers, but in most matchups, he's more about using his deck sorting to turn the hand he already has into a stronger one, rather than finding specific counters and answers. So you don't always have a lot of control over how you'll play, but you do generally get to make strong plays a lot of the time regardless.

Less about control, and more about just having good stats that let you go with the flow.
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Aaron White
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Kaden can be predictable if not played well, but he shines when you keep recurring attacks that your opponent struggles with. Cross against Gabrek, Focus against Lily and Miska etc. You can also use his tricks to keep recycling boosts as well. In particular his boost that gives +3 Armor and +3 Guard can give him a huge advantage on trades. I still love how individual you can be when playing these characters, there is no "optimal" way to play any of them. You do things how you see fit. Cannot wait for season 2.
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Marco Santos
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Interesting! Just goes to show how much I still need to learn about the game!

Thanks for the info!
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Jay Green
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Season 2 is going to be crazy. The nature of the new mechanics will increase the ways those characters can be played, allowing for even more individuality. At that point, my guides might start to be more about "here is how you play this character in this one specific way" rather than a general approach.
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Joshua Christensen
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I'm a little iffy on the transformations of season 2. I enjoy the spell like effect of the boosts so having less unique boosts per character worries me. Plus with how the Transformations work they have to be on generally useful attacks or they will have a difficult time getting into play which can lead to power creep because in season 1 characters have quite a few niche specials and those niche specials often have generally useful boosts on them. Transformations make Exceeding more viable and playing ultras less viable. I haven't played season 2 yet so this is all speculation at this point.
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Marco Santos
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ClanNatioy wrote:
I'm a little iffy on the transformations of season 2. I enjoy the spell like effect of the boosts so having less unique boosts per character worries me. Plus with how the Transformations work they have to be on generally useful attacks or they will have a difficult time getting into play which can lead to power creep because in season 1 characters have quite a few niche specials and those niche specials often have generally useful boosts on them. Transformations make Exceeding more viable and playing ultras less viable. I haven't played season 2 yet so this is all speculation at this point.


Well, a lot of Season 2 is HEAVILY different from Season 1.

On average, season 2 characters actually have WEAKER specials compared to Season 1 people (who have way better-statted specials). Instead of having a lot of Speed/Power, most characters have better range/movement to make getting those transforms easier to get. Also, remember that there is an EX Transform action that allows you to put Transforms into play without having to hit with them. Also, numerous characters have effects that let them "cheat out" transformations by paying some cost (like life).

A lot of Transforms are actually not just passive boosts either. Some of them give characters unique actions/spells to perform! Some people can do stuff like regain life instead of drawing cards, or even things like spend force to negate the activation of opponent boosts!

EXCEED-ing in Season 2 is heavily different because EXCEED-ing isn't always a straight upgrade (like it is in Season 1). In season 1, people with an ability that says "Power +2" simply become "Power +4" or something when they EXCEED. In Season 2, EXCEED-ing often causes you to simply "change" what you do. Someone who would get Power +2 can now have something like "Gain Guard 2" when they EXCEED. A good Example of this is Geoffrey, who gets Armor 1 and Guard 1 when he's slower on his regular side. EXCEED-ing, however, allows him to spend force for Power +2 when he gets hit by an opponent. Not only this but Season 2 EXCEED modes cost almost 3-4 times more than Season 1 EXCEED modes do. Some characters have an EXCEED cost of 6 or 8! So, on average, you're actually EXCEED-ing A LOT less. If anything, EXCEED mode is more viable in Season 1 than 2.

Finally, Ultras in Season 2 are costed differently as well. Ultras are less "SUPER AWESOME FINISHER" attacks and more of "really good" attacks. Some Ultras in Season 2 cost 1 Gauge to play. In fact, some even cost 0!
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