Hello, all! The preview for today is a character being added to Devastations base box – Gar, the Guide to the Six Paths!
Gar is a straightforward brawler with a variety of dangerous control effects and unusually simple attack pairs. Her Styles are extremely efficient, giving her solid movement effects and other benefits when combined with her UA. And speaking of…
Well, that’s not much of a UA. Let’s see what her Bases can do!
That looks suspiciously like Shot. Her Bases in general are simple sidegrades of existing Bases: so for Fire, it’s Shot with additional Power and Stun Guard at the cost of Priority. Not bad.
Smash is scary as well, trading a point of Stun Guard for a point of Power on Strike. Gar hits hard.
Lunge, on the other hand, is a bit of a downgrade from Drive – losing a point of effective Range. We’ll talk more about why this is important in a few sentences!
Eruption is a weird hybrid of Shot and Strike. It hits extremely hard and has great range and Stun Guard – except for the minrange hole at Range 1.
Hurl is a clear sidegrade on Grasp, being slightly Marco-ified. At least, it’s got an extra Power and handy Priority to boot.
And Step (or, as we called it for a while, Jab) is a fast poke that excels at either closing out games or providing a high-Priority threat when the opponent threatens something that hits fast and hard.
As you can see, Gar lacks all the standard movements that the regular Bases would provide! Burst and Dodge are both important defensive tools, and without either of those she finds herself easily stumped by attacks with stats too high for her to easily break. This brings us to where the interesting effects are – her Styles!
Would you play a +0~1/+1/+1 Ignore Stun Guard Grasp? Blazing Sun is an overwhelming offensive tool in some matchups, giving Gar the ability to punch through enemy defenses when they try to counterattack her. It is much less reliable at long range, so Gar wants to stay close to enemies the vast majority of the time. Blazing Sun Lunge in particular is a scary pair, with 1~3 Range (this is the main reason Lunge isn’t 1~3 by itself…) and the ability to easily win beats the opponent can’t Dodge or Soak.
The flip side of Blazing Sun’s offense, Grasping Darkness provides effective defense and reliable End of Beat repositioning. This gives her a tool against Ignore Stun Guard herself, as well as high-Priority attacks that might clash out or otherwise disrupt Step.
Freezing Blizzard is a powerful control tool, especially when it comes to managing opponent position and closing out games (and, in all fairness, probably one that will get toned down as playtesting continues). It is her best tool against Burst in a lot of situations, and the potential Start of Beat retreat can also avoid Range 1 pressure if Step is unavailable.
Clear Sky brings her only Priority modifier, and a potential disruption effect when the opponent is threatening a hit she can’t avoid. Clear Sky’s clash being optional is very scary – if she hedges her parry well, she can beat a wide range of options. This is another key defensive tool, forcing the opponent to think twice about overly-obvious combos.
And lastly, Driving Rain provides her best hitconfirm. Pairing it with Smash or Step can result in sniping medium-range opponents for an unexpected hit, or using it at close range can get extra value from the forced Base discard. It does only discard it to Discard Pile 1, so it is only unusable for a single turn… Separately, another handy use of Driving Rain is to allow Eruption to hit at Range 1.
And to pair with these various movement and control effects comes the Six Paths itself. With a gratuitous amount of movement, Freezing Blizzard Path is her Burst replacement (since it can Start of Beat retreat 2) and its hitconfirm is generally fantastic. Her lack of any defense except for Grasping Darkness means that it will probably be slow, so she relies heavily on its Start of Beat to avoid getting swatted down – unless Clear Sky pulls through with its disruption or bonus Priority.
Gar’s Finishers are both convenient tools but not too much else. Trailblazer is a reliable, near-full-board damage swat that is very good at ending games or generating range. Six Paths: Backstep gives her a pseudo-Dash effect, letting her backpedal out of the way of any attack unable to hit the far corner while setting her up to blast an Eruption or Fire at the opponent right after.
We hope you enjoyed the preview of Gar! Despite being a low-Flight character, her versatility and power let her beat down just about any opponent as long as she can maintain close range and continue to force her mixup. Eruption and Smash are always powerful threats – even if they trade, they are starting at a massive 5 base damage, with potential Ignore Stun Guard, Power debuffs, or additional damage stacked on top of that. For players interested in huge stats or an unusual way of playing and who can accept missing out on Dodge, we highly encourage giving Gar a shot!
Thanks for reading!
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Content - Daniel Honig
Editing - Marco De Santos