Character of the Week: Kimbhe

Welcome to the Character of the Week! Every Monday, we'll be giving you insights on a specific character. Think of this as a primer for everything about a character from one of our games. From lore to game-play, you'll find most of what you need to know here! For this week, our Character of the Week is Archmage Uleyle Kimbhe!

Lore

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"I don't go easy, and I don't back down."
"Show some respect. If I decide to vaporize you right now, there's nobody on this continent who can stop me."

The Archmage is an unofficial political appointment held by the most powerful Ecomancer within a nation. Its holder is responsible for setting the magical policy of the nation–for deciding what kinds of magic are legal and illegal, as well as upholding and expanding upon the nation's magical tradition. Their most fundamental duty, however, is ensuring consistent weather for a good harvest. Usually this designation is provided by the previous Archmage to a chosen successor, though the title can be seized through an honorable test of ability–an Ecomancer's duel.

After graduating with honors in both Ecomancy and Spellbinding from Argent University, Uleyle Kimbhe was selected by Archmage Tulvar Iridice as his apprentice. Under his tutelage, she traveled across Relecour to enforce the balance of nature and magic, as well as to hunt down dangerous magical criminals. After several years of study, one of his marks got the best of Archmage Iridice, and Kimbhe inherited the title, swiftly taking vengeance against her old master's murderer.

Kimbhe's policies for magic are slightly more draconian than her predecessor's, and she has become known as the 'Mage Hunter' for frequently designating and hunting down magical criminals. Somewhat of a traditionalist, she his taken strong steps to keep Relecan magic 'pure' from the influences of Willati technomancy and Gesselhemian necromancy, instead favoring classical Relecan Spellbinding Sorcery for the creation of magical items.

Though Kimbhe doesn't have exceptional political clout or a police force to carry our her wishes, her mastery of Ecomancy allows her to control weather for half of the continent. This provides incredible economic pressure on city states to enforce her will, since resistance to the Archmage can lead to a poor harvest, or even to natural disasters.

Kimbhe has an apprentice of her own now, Luca Demarq (the son of Archmage Forcian Demarq of Amalao). Luca is studying under her to become Archmage of Amalao, specifically her mastery of Ecomancy.

Plot in Fate

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Summoned back to Argent after the resignation of Nostros Calahaan, her previous professor of Spellbinding offered Kimbhe a curious relic, a key to one of the ancient vaults that dot the land of Indines. Nostros left the key with a cryptic warning–that dangerous forces were moving to unlock the vaults for their own ends, and that it would be up to her to make sure that the forces sealed away beneath the earth were used for good–or kept sealed for another age.

Plot in Wanderers

With the Underlands opened, Kimbhe studies the 'new magic' the Underlanders bring to the surface. Though she is distrustful of these new technologies, she is mostly watching to make sure that no criminal elements or dangerous technologies find their way to the surface.

10 Facts about Kimbhe

  1. Kimbhe studied at Argent, and was a prodigy pupil who worked directly under Nostros Calahaan.
  2. Her family is from Ahemusei, the swamplands in the northwest of Relecour. Though most of the tribes in that area are Elvan, Uleyle is a pure-blooded human.
  3. She prefers to be addressed as 'Archmage', and is pretty insistent upon the use of her formal title.
  4. She wears exceptionally tall platform shoes to compensate for her small stature.
  5. Kimbhe's specialization is Ecomancy, an advanced study of Natural Magick that allows for the control of the weather.
  6. She is also a master of Spellbinding, the art of creating unique magical items by infusing Sorcery into objects.
  7. Most of Kimbhe's gear is not magical. This is so that she can use her own Spellbinding talents to infuse it with magic when needed.
  8. Kimbhe created her staff, Skybreaker, from a large piece of fulgurite formed during a lightning storm she engineered.
  9. Her apprentice, who is recruitable in Argent: the Consortium, is Luca Demarq. Luca is studying under Kimbhe to become an Ecomancer for Czanthine, the capital of Amalao.
  10. She has a pet Trussa named 'Night Hunter'

Game-Play

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Kimbhe is a high-Power brawler with decent mobility and limited control effects, using her Staff to grab some of the most consistently damaging attack pairs in the game unless the opponent can contest it effectively. She is not very good at disrupting the opponent directly (Expulsion’s pull is the only thing she can really surprise the opponent with), but if the opponent is careless or predictable she can end the game with just a few hits.

Kimbhe’s Unique Ability is a double-edged sword that looks fair on the surface: she has a single marker that gives +2 Power to either player standing on it. Her mobility is fine, with three Styles letting her reposition slightly, but two of her Styles and her Unique Base let her move the Staff if she wants to grab its Power bonus. Notably, Expulsion and Caster both let you move the staff anywhere, which gives a lot of flexibility when setting up for future beats. The Staff is never bad, so you always want to be standing on it– if the opponent is able to reposition onto it, your number one goal should be to take back control of the Staff immediately.

Positioning and Range

Ready to fight!

Ready to fight!

Like most brawlers, Kimbhe’s ranges are, well, fine. Quake looks great with +1~2 and a Before Activating: Retreat to make sure it hits, but the retreat means that your Maximum Range is more often just +1 (unless you are in the corner, which makes Quake risky because they can jump into your minimum range). Quickening has +0~1 Range and a movement Before Activating, which gives you enough hitconfirm to beat Burst, while Fulminating has +0~1 and a Start of Beat pull which can help. She’s no ranger, but with all her styles giving her at least 1 effective extra Range, she does not easily card lock at close or medium distance. The benefit of this is that she’s not easily predictable – at range 2 if you are on the Staff, you have a perfectly reasonable mixup between Penumbral Shot, Fulminating Grasp, Quake Drive, and Quickening Drive. On top of all that, Caster is an X-range Unique Base with basically any target Kimbhe wants, so she’s guaranteed to have some options even full-board.

Caster

A really strong base.

A really strong base.

Caster, Kimbhe’s Unique Base, is a very strange card. With 5 Power, it’s the strongest Unique Base in the game, but it only hits a single space... which happens to be worth +2 Power to the opponent. This works well versus characters with predictable movement, but suffers against anyone who can easily duck off its space before it activates. And given that it only has Priority 1, that’s just about anyone. However, Caster has several things that make it more interesting: Since the Staff can be placed anywhere, if it’s obvious that Kimbhe isn’t going to hit she can just place the Staff underneath herself and set up for next turn. Additionally, because the Staff is repositioned at Start of Beat, being slower than the opponent with Penumbral or Quake will let you move the Staff after Burst retreats, which probably nets you a solid trade.

Styles and Pairs

Kimbhe’s Styles are unusual in that they are very polarized – she has her fast Style, Quickening, with solid hitconfirm and either good or amazing Priority. She has her slow Styles, Quake and Penumbral, which have stun guard and sometimes Soak. And she has her medium-speed Styles, Expulsion and Fulminating, which let her mess with the Staff’s position and try and sneak hits in while the opponent is respecting her other options. In general, the three on the extreme ends of the Priority curve are better than the two repositioning Styles since they threaten huge life swings for Quake and Penumbral – they can both have +4 effective Power – or a solid stun and 3-5 damage with Quickening if the opponent runs into her burst of speed without enough Stun Guard.

For attack pairs, Kimbhe is very flexible. Because her styles all give her +0~1 effective Range, she’s not as concerned with midrange card lock as other people are. She does need to respect Burst, though, since only Quickening has the range to catch a Burst from point-blank. Remember that to maximize her pairs, Kimbhe almost always wants to be on the Staff:

Quickening Drive

Possibly the most dangerous pair Kimbhe has, Quickening Drive when on Staff is a 1~2/5/8 blitz (and you can pay some power for just about full-board attack coverage, effectively 1~5) that can outspeed just about anything the opponent throws at her and hit for a quarter of their life. You can often dodge Strike, and 5 damage can break a lot of Shot pair stun guard or trade up. Even when not on Staff, the wealth of movement options and high Priority at 6 lets you still jump onto the Staff… and if they try to Burst onto it, you can easily duck inside their Minimum Range.

Expulsion Caster

Expulsion is easily Kimbhe’s most awkward Style, due to -1 Priority with no Stun Guard. The Start of Beat pull isn’t all that easy to use when on the Staff, and pulling the opponent plus a slow Style with no Stun Guard is not great. Caster, however, gets around all these problems. Stun Immunity doesn’t care about the Stun Guard, and with Caster’s Start of Beat reposition you can throw the Staff behind the opponent and pull them to make them miss. Expulsion’s +0 Power is fine with Caster’s inherent 5, and since you’re Stun Immune the After Activating lets you bring the Staff back where you want it.

Fulminating Grasp

This pair’s definitely weaker than the previous three, but it benefits a lot from the surprise poke value. Effectively 1~2/3/6 because Kimbhe can move onto the Staff so easily, Fulminating Grasp can swipe the Staff away from an opponent with less than 6 Priority and is her only effective reposition without using either Caster or the slow Quake. 3 Power when you do grab the Staff is very respectable for a Priority 6 pair, and the Grasp movement helps a bit at mitigating counterattacks.

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Summary and Discards

Strengths
1. Very high, consistent damage when standing on the staff. Effective style Power of +2 on just about everything is massive.
2. Great threat at range 2, since all her styles add at least 1 to her effective range.
3. Strong cards on both the fast and slow ends of the Priority curve, with Quickening and Penumbral/Quake being a strong mixup.
4. Stun Immune unique base provides good defense against autostuns.

Weaknesses
1. Styles don’t have any redundancy, so once Quickening is down her fast options are extremely limited. Similarly, once Quake or Penumbral is down, her slow options are worse.
2. Standing on the Staff can give her opponent +2 Power, which can let them break Quake’s Stun Guard if she’s going for mix-up. In general, Kimbhe really needs to be in control of her Staff.
3. No threatening control effects except for Expulsion’s pull, which is situational. If the opponent has particularly dangerous pairs that need to be dodged or hit with Ignore Stun Guard to get around, Kimbhe has no natural options.
4. Repositioning the Staff requires weaker Styles, giving the opponent good chances to hit her with extra Power. Just watch out for Caster!

Discards
1. Force Grasp. Grasp isn’t a needed threat because Quickening Drive covers similar options, and Force is an easy toss.
2. Penumbral Dodge. If you don’t need Dodge Beat 1 then it’s a fine Discard 2 choice, and Penumbral is risky on the first Beat because the opponent can jump on the staff faster than you can get there.

Credits

Lore Section - Brad Talton Jr.
Game-play Section - Andarel

Editing - Marco De Santos