It’s Part 3 already. Don’t forget to check out parts 1 and 2 that I posted earlier this month. One third through the Street Fighter cast already done!
Blanka is one of the best characters that came out of the Street Fighter set. In fact he made top cuts in our most recent world championship. Blanka is a 6 hand size character with 26 health, so slightly below average. He has a free enhance ability that discards the top 2 cards of the opponent’s deck, and gives your Charge or Slam attack +1/+1 for each non-attack discarded this way. This ability is very good, and gives Blanka versatility. It puts major numbers on board especially when he’s set up, and can deck your opponent out if you decide to go that route. I have yet to see a functional Blanka mill deck, but I can hope one will pop up one day! His second ability is to destroy a foundation to add a Charge or Slam attack form your card pool to your momentum. This ability is also super good. It clears your card pool and gives you quick momentum, and it has a fair cost. All in all, Blanka’s character card is really solid and fair. He is built as an aggressive character since all of his abilities only work on his attacks or his turn, so his play style would be either midrange or aggro.
Blanka’s foundation support is mostly solid. Victory Howl is provides amazing momentum control, and can boost speed/damage while getting attacks through robot masters style. Unpredictable Movement is a solid spam. Savage Style is the oddball of the four. It doesn’t do much to warrant play with it’s ability. A +2 block and Breaker: 1 is nice, but only giving +1/+1 to a charge attack for a commit is awful on a 2 difficulty, but if it was “Once per turn” or had some condition it would be good. Savage Style is clearly an unfinished card. Fight Like a Beast is another interesting card, it can stack the opponent’s deck with foundations, which can interrupt draw combos (Merciless Master) or support Blanka’s effect. It also has a response that works with any character that can load momentum which seals an opponent’s foundation, making it a very solid card. 3/4 solid cards isn’t bad. Everything aside from Savage Style see frequent play on symbols, and non of them do anything degenerate, so it’s safe to say Blanka’s kit has made a very positive impact.
Blanka’s attacks are less solid than his foundations. Rolling attack is probably his best. It has super solid stats with a +0 block and Stun: 1, it can also mill the opponent out or force them to check poorly depending on the roll you get from the E. Vertical Rolling Attack is usable but underwhelming. You need to pay cost to maybe get momentum, and it’s a 5 diff mid attack with only 3 speed, the EX:2 helps it, but not enough to save it. Electric Thunder is great in Blanka as a Reversal, but is solid enough in most other characters because it’s mid zone. If Electric Thunder were low or high, I feel it would see a lot more play, because it’s abilities are solid. Lightning Cannonball is probably one of the worst UR attacks printed in recent memory, especially when compared to what’s come out recently. When paired with Fight Like a beast, it basically an 11 damage attack that can zone change, but other than that your rolling dice for damage. It also only gains damage from it’s E off of foundations, not just non-attack cards, which is a major design oversight considering Blanka can. if it were a 3 check with a +0 block or slightly higher stats, it may be worth playing, but as it stands this card is clearly unfinished. If it got +3 speed and damage from it’s top E, it could also justify play. It’s a number card that has bad numbers.
All in all Blanka is a super solid character, with a lot of great cards in his kit. He is definitely one of Street Fighters best, and I would consider him to be very underrated. With his tournament results I think he has earned a solid B+ to A ranking.
Dee Jay is a 6 hander with 27 health, so average stats. He has 2 free abilities which will increase the stats of his next attack depending on weather or not his current attack is blocked, and a powerful draw ability. Dee Jay is better than people give him credit for, but he still isn’t very good. He is picture perfect mediocre because of how is abilities are printed. His enhances are free and put numbers on board, but only work on the second attack or later, but they are not playable while committed so they don’t work after you use his ability. This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if his ability was an E not an R, so it’s timing and requirements are a lot more rigid. His R is very good, it can raise you 3 or more card with ease, but that by itself wont win you the game when your card pool is full and staging area sideways. The pool of charge attacks on his symbols is also limited because of how new the charge keyword his, which puts him on a crutch. I feel that if Dee Jay’s abilities were tweaked slightly, it would put him right where he needs to be. A little more numbers on his enhances (like +1/+2 and +2/+1) or making his R and E would put him up, but as it stands his character card isn’t worth playing outside of locals.
Dee Jay’s foundation kit is honestly lame. The Southern Comet, is in the same place as Savage Style. It does not do enough to warrant playing. Maximum Rhythm is also in this boat. The idea behind both of these cards is fine, and they are fun, but they should have something extra on them. I feel like if you added the numbers form The Southern Comet to Maximum Rhythm it would create a card worth playing, while still being a fair one. It would have also opened up another slot for design space in Dee Jay. Meaning Business is almost solid. If it had Breaker:1 or if it’s ability was Flip instead of Destroy, I think it would be where it needs to be. Rhythmic Fighting Style is the best card out of his foundations. It is both the most interesting and the most usable. You can use it to get rid of attacks to interrupt combos, or stop damage from throws. If you’re really cheeky you can even use it in a mill deck. Overall Dee Jay’s foundations seem rushed and unfinished. All the lesser characters in Street Fighter suffer from this issue. I just looks like there wan’t enough time put into them, or they were simplified to a fault.
Dee Jay’s attacks are an interesting bunch. Double Rolling Sobat is a solid charge attack, with good stats and abilities. Sobat Carnival is one of the most gimmicky cards in the game, and it’s a lot of fun to be honest. It’s certainly not a competitively viable card, but you can play it for the memes, and have loads of fun, which is something that should exist in card games. Use Artful Impostor to trigger both of it’s enhances! Air Slasher enables Sobat Carnival and supports Dee Jay’s ability, and is an okay card by itself. Climax Beat is another over costed UR that will probably never see play outside of locals much like Blanka’s UR. It is basically a worse version of Death Blow. Dee Jay works really well with multiples because of his enhances, but this isn’t one you would want to play with him because of it huge cost. It should have had an ability that caused it and it’s multiple copies to not count towards progressive difficulty (“E Discard 2 cards: This attack and it’s multiple copies do not count towards progressive difficulty” or something.) It would support Dee Jay and could give people a justification to play this card. Its another unfinished UR!
Overall Dee Jay is an okay, but unfinished character. Almost all of his kit has had little to no impact on the game because it is unusable or has no home. It’s a shame, because he is a fun character to play. Drawing 10 cards a turn is a lot of fun! Keep him in locals, because he’s only a C to C+ character.
Be sure to leave any feed back below. Send be decklists for any of the characters we’ve looked at so far and I’ll post them on the next one.
Thank you for reading! Next time we will be taking a look at Balrog and Dhalsim!