Published on July 14th, 2014 | by Nicole Jekich1
New Challengers Have Appeared!
Review of Four New Yomi Decks
Yomi is a quick, competitive card game that simulates a fighting game. The theme, characters and gameplay are influenced by well-known fighting video game franchises like Street Fighter, Tekken and Marvel vs Capcom. A game is most commonly 1v1 but there are 2v2, tag team rules and other variations to add more players to the fight. The gameplay boils down to a rock, paper, scissors hierarchy and the individual characters add on abilities that alter the basic gameplay. To learn more details about the game, visit their official website or read up on the rules here.
Sirlin Games, the company behind Yomi, Puzzle Strike and Pandante produce games in a single, over-arching universe. His characters are repeated in all of his games and as a player you can always play with your favorite characters. In Yomi, characters express their fighting abilities through unique character decks decks. Character decks are similar to each other in that the cards are all derived from a 54-card poker deck but the distribution of abilities and the super moves of the characters vary. The similarity helps new players become acquainted with the gameplay quickly and later learn more complex strategies with individual characters.
The first base set of Yomi released a few years ago and featured 10 of his characters. Currently, Sirlin Games has a fantastic Kickstarter campaign that will introduce 10 MORE fighters to the fray and includes upgraded art and layout for their older character decks. We are excited to preview 4 of the new character decks that are available through this new Kickstarter!
He is a military strategist that never parts with his sword. When his clockwork minions are away, Onimaru isn’t afraid to step in and fight. His special character ability is Guard Crush: “your normal attacks cannot be blocked by cards of equal or lower rank, except named blocks with special abilities”.
Onimaru is great for beginners though you will not learn how to combo using this character. Onimaru cannot combo any of his attacks or throws. Instead his single attacks can be pumped up to deal more damage by discarding cards from his hand or in combination with his Super Power that lets him discard aces to deal 15 damage. Onimaru is a very difficult character to block- his character ability means that blocking his basic attacks are rare instances and an opponent will be taking damage. Opponents will have to use their Jokers carefully and will have to choose which damage is worth letting through.
Onimaru’s deck is attack heavy with about 50% of his cards are attacks. His throws can be pumped up and aren’t debilitating like other character’s throws, but his are very, very slow and are more likely to fail unless played at the right moment.
Onimaru is a master of strategy and reading his opponent and knowing when to act is crucial to keeping the upper hand the entire game. Missing with his face card attacks are extremely detrimental as he must discard an ace as a penalty. Since he doesn’t combo any cards, a player will instead look at their hand in a different way. Instead of saving up for combos, an Onimaru player will need to decide what cards to keep and which ones are worth sacrificing to pump up his damage.
The succubus seductress enjoys controlling the opponent to turn the battle into her favor. He character ability is Dominance: “Whenever you knock down the opponent, you may fetch a non-Joker card from your discard pile (before your discard combat cards). If you also knocked them down last combat, fetch up to four non-joker cards of different ranks instead”.
Mistress Persephone is alluring but is not at all a beginner-friendly character. She needs to understand her opponent very well in order to know when and how to control them. Her ace Super Power lets her play out the next combat phase for the opponent. Knowing the opponent’s character is key to understanding when she should unleash her controlling abilities and what cards she should play of her opponent’s hand to further open the opponent up to her attacks.
The higher the rank of the card, the more controlling Persephone’s abilities are. Her 9 and 10 card abilities are brutal and and a hit would be just as vital as a face card. Number 9 card ability is a block that lets her opponent take 10 damage to ignore the block and let his attack go through. While she has more attacks in her deck, the key cards are her blocks and attacks that knockdown an opponent.
Persephone can be quickly over-powered during a game. Her gameplay is a like a combo over several turns and doesn’t do much direct damage. Timing her abilities become even more critical when going against opponents with a lot of hit points (looking at you Rook). She isn’t a weak character but in our experience, she’ll need many play-throughs before really understanding her character.
Troq is a large beast with an even larger heart. He focuses on wearing down his opponent with blow after blow. His special ability is Giant Growth: “Whenever you block an attack your block card to Troq, or discard it if two cards are already attached. Your normal attacks and normal throws do +1 damage for each attached card”. He also has Defense Mastery: “Opponents don’t draw when you block their normal attacks.”
Troq is always charging forward. He hardly uses dodges and relies on his attack and throw combos; however, a well timed block is vital for increasing Troq’s damage from normal attacks via his special ability. An opponent that is very aggressive in the early game would work in Troq’s favor. Once two of his five blocks are attached to his character card, he’ll do two additional damage once he lands a normal attack. Getting the block cards under his character card as fast as possible will set up his most powerful ace attack that also returns those block cards to your hand for additional defense.
Troq is a well-rounded character for combat and doesn’t have an obvious weakness. He loses out on extra damage if the player doesn’t follow through adding blocks. That damage difference is significant if he has an equally powerful opponent or an aggressive damage dealer. A new player can easily follow Troq’s mini-game. If a player does not following through with his special ability then they would be missing an opportunity for easily acquired extra damage. Having lost a couple games by less than 5 points, I can say that having the extra damage is worth it.
Gloria isn’t much of a combatant. Her strength comes from healing in battle and returning cards from her discard pile into your hand. Her special ability is Healing Touch: “After the power up phase, if you aren’t knocked down, you may discard two non-Hearts to gain 4 life and fetch a Hearts card from your discard pile.”
Gloria’s role in a fighting game is very odd. She whittles down opponents with small attacks and throws. She is deft enough to dodge out of enemies large attacks and can heal small amounts of damage when she uses an ability. Gloria feels like playing two games at once: the normal combat game in Yomi and a mini-game of knowing when to heal and when to fetch cards from her discard pile.
As Gloria it is key to heal throughout the entire game and play her hearts cards multiple times to take advantage of her abilities. There isn’t a special mechanic or ability the heart cards do together so focusing on bringing back the higher ranked heart cards would yield the most damage. Discarding cards for healing and aces is Gloria’s focus while also preventing large face card attacks from opponents.
She is a healer-focused character and who doesn’t have much ‘umph’ to her attacks. Many games stave off healing until after seriously wounded but saving Gloria’s healing abilities until the need is dire is not a good idea and will usually not make up the difference from an opponents high damage attack.
In addition to all the new characters and revised decks, each deck will receive a stats card which will let opponents and the player know what the character deck has in store. The stats listed are the speed of normal attacks and throws; the number of attack, throw, dodge and block cards in each deck, damage available from each card and a breakdown of each face card ability.
Yomi offers unlimited gameplay variety with 20 characters which lead to thousands of battle combinations and outcomes. It is an easy pick-up game for two players and also makes great tournament play. The second Yomi Kickstarter is only live for another TWO DAYS but if you miss out, the decks are all available in a free print-and-play format.