Hello Gamers! Today was have a guest blog from Lancey Ace. Lancey Ace is a CCG player with competitive experience in Pokemon and Hearthstone. He has written an extensive guide to playing Renea at a high level. Check it out!
Renea / the Spook
Renea is a sneaky detective from the Level 99 Games’ Seventh Cross. In normal mode she uses face-down continuous boosts to give her opponents more guesswork during strikes. And when she Exceeds, she can use her opponent's own boosts against them. Lastly, she has multiple ways to move to whichever range she needs.
Unique Ability: You may play Continuous Boosts face-down. Before you set your cards for a Strike, reveal your face-down boosts and resolve any Now effects on them.
Exceed Cost: 5 Gauge, -2 per transformation
Exceed Ability (The Spook): When you Exceed, put the top 3 cards of the opponent’s discard pile with Boosts into your Briefcase. Your attacks have “Hit: Put the bottom card of the opponent’s discard pile with a Boost into your Briefcase.
Briefcase: Flip this when Renea activates Exceed Mode. You may boost with a card in this area once per turn. If that boost did not cause a Strike, take another action.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Can set face-down continuous boosts, making it much harder for opponents to make read her true position (in normal mode).
- Multiple ways to move in and out of range.
- Multiple "dodge at range 1" effects.
- When in Exceed mode, can boost with opponent's boosts that are in the briefcase for increased tempo.
- Has one of the best zero-force boosts in the game if followed up properly.
- Her own boosts aren't that strong when played face up.
- Special and Ultras have no guard or armor.
- Although effective at range 1, she is not meant to stay there every turn.
- Smoking habit may become an issue in tournaments.
The best way approach Renea is to think of her as a “wavedash” character that slides into whatever range she needs. She has many ways to do this, including:
- Dive (preferably EX)
- Strafe Fire
- Flare (which also has an “Attacks at range 1 don't hit you” mechanic)
- Lethal Force (both as an attack and a transformation)
- Anticipation (both as an attack and a boost)
- Cross (both as an attack and a boost)
- Assault (both as an attack and a boost
While in normal mode, you want to take advantage of your face-down Continuous Boosts. When you do play face-downs, it's usually smart to wait for the opponent to declare a strike. Keep these two facts in mind:
- If you declare a strike, you will activate all of your face-downs before your opponent places their attack.
- If your opponent declares a strike, they will have to guess not only your attack but also your face-down Continuous Boosts.
With the confusion you are causing your opponent, you can easily pull off a transformation or two, which will not only make Renea more powerful but will also give you a discount on Exceeding.
Money in the Bank
When you Exceed, you lose your face-down boost ability but you get a shiny new Briefcase with three of your opponent's boosts from the discard inside! And when you hit your opponent, you get even more of their boosts into your Briefcase.
With this briefcase, you can boost with one of your opponent's boosts attached to the briefcase once per turn. If that boost doesn't cause a strike, you get a second action! This makes it easier to exploit Renea's boost-focused transformations like Double Down (Strafe Fire).
The Conspiracy Combo
Conspiracy Unearthed is a boost that can take a peek into the opponent's hand and make them add one of those cards from there to the gauge. If you have this as a face down boost and attack, you get to look at their hand, remove a card, and then immediately set your own attack.
The obvious combo is face-down Conspiracy Unearthed, then on your next turn initiate at range with Called Shot. Your opponent can interfere with this if they play brave and attack into your boost, so have a backup plan ready at your preferred range.
If they do attack first, they will set before you get to see their hand. In this case, try to predict their attack by looking at what remains in their hand. Use Dive, Lethal Force, or Strafe Fire to reset range, so you can still follow up with the Called Shot as planned to do more damage. The Reading and Parry boosts (on Focus and Block) can take advantage of your knowledge as well when Called Shot isn't available.
Special & Ultra Moves
Special Attack: Paranormal Investigation
- Range: 1
- Power: 2
- Speed: 7
- Hit: Return up to 2 Normal Attacks from your discard pile to your hand.
- Transformation - Mimetism: Your attacks have “After You may spend 2 Force. If you do, choose one of your Continuous Boosts. Do not discard it from play after this Strike.
This move is similar to Grasp, but it is a little bit weaker and does not move the opponent. The effect of picking up two normals (EX!) makes it a valuable move, even before you look at the transformation. Mimetism is handy when you want to hold on to a continuous boost a bit longer. This especially comes in handy when you are in Exceed mode and can access the opponent’s boosts via your Briefcase.
Special Attack: Strafe Fire
- Range: 2~4
- Power: 2
- Speed: 6
- After: Retreat 1
- Transformation - Double Down: Your attacks gain Hit: If you have 2 or more Continuous Boosts in play, +2 Power
This is a good speedy move to pull off if you need a hasty retreat. It stops Dive And Assault cleanly and gets way out of Spike and Dodge at Range 3.
Double Down is a good way of giving your attacks more zing if you have at least two continuous boosts in play. If you are in Exceed Mode, this gets easier since you can boost twice in one turn (once with your briefcase and again with your hand).
Special Attack: Flare
- Range: 1~4
- Power: 3
- Speed: 5
- Hit: For the rest of the Strike, attacks at Range 1 do not hit you. / After: Close 2.
- Continuous Boost - Fakeout (0): Now: Return this card to your hand, then draw a card.
Flare is a close-in ranged move that makes you un-hittable at range 1. Due to its speed, it's most effective at range 3.
Fakeout is a boost that synergizes with Renea's Normal Mode. Use this to scare your opponents into playing a bit slower, or to fake a loss of tempo.
Special Attack: Lethal Force
- Range: 1~2
- Power: 5
- Speed: 4
- Effect: Ignore Armor / Hit: Push 2. If you have a Continuous Boost in play, Retreat 1
- Transformation - Following Leads: After Resolving a Boost, you may spend 1 Force. If you do, Move 1. Ignore this when turning a Boost face-up.
Lethal Force Can break Block cleanly. If you have a Power boost or Double Down (Strafe Fire) backing you, it also stops focus from drawing.
When you boost while Following Leads is in play, you can spend a boost to move one space. Use this to “wavedash” in and out of the range you want while building vertically with your stat boosts.
Special Attack: Called Shot
- Range: 1~8
- Power: 0
- Hit: Name a card. The opponent must discard a copy of that card, or reveal a hand without any. If they discarded a copy, +6 Power.
- Continuous Boost - Tactical Training (0): +1 Power and +1 Speed
This card is all in how you set it up. The straightforward way to connect is to move to a range where your opponent can’t hit you and make an educated guess about the cards in your opponent’s hand.
This card is likely the best follow up to Conspiracy Unearthed (Neutralizer). Set that, then initiate with your Called Shot to land it with confidence. If your Double Down Transform is active, this can do game-deciding damage.
Tactical Training is pretty much a balance between the Light and Fierce boosts, and makes your next attack almost as good as an EX Attack. However, if you already have Conspiracy Unearthed in your hand, it's often stronger to prioritize the Conspiracy Combo.
Ultra Attack: Anticipation
- Gauge Cost: 2
- Range: 1~3
- Power: 3
- Speed: 3
- Effect: Attack at range 1 do not hit you. Before: Advance 1
- Continuous Boost - Jiujitsu (0): +1 Power / Now: Move 1
This card is a good to follow-up to Assault, since most fighters can't answer it at range 1. It’s also viable at range 2 if you are expecting a slow attack.
Placing Jiujitsu face down and waiting for your opponent to declare a strike so you can move to move to a different range last second. This boost is a playable face-up in Exceed Mode, but playing it face down in normal mode is absolutely superior.
Ultra Attack: Neutralizer
- Gauge Cost: 2
- Range: 1~2
- Power: 4
- Speed: 6
- Ignore Guard / Hit: If the opponent is in Exceed Mode, they must discard 2 cards from their gauge.
- Continuous Boost - Conspiracy Unearthed (0): Now: The opponent reveals their hand, then adds a card of your choice from their hand to their Gauge.
This move’s “Ignore Guard” effect works well against the big 3 normals (Spike, Sweep, and Focus), but it is really only worth it in Exceed mode, so you can attack the opponent's gauge.
The boost Conspiracy Unearthed can be powerful if you follow it up properly. This is one of the few boosts that lets you peek at your opponent's hand on demand (others like Reading and Parry les you peek, but you have to guess wrong to do so). Converting a threatening card into lowly gauge can has its perks, too.
Expect experienced opponents to change cards immediately after you use this boost. The power of Renea's Called Shot and Reading (Focus) are simply too much to risk, regardless of how good your opponent's hand is. Always play this boost face-down to combo with a follow-up initiate, as well as to train your opponent to attack into your other face-down boosts.
When it comes to your opening hand with Renea, a “bad” hand is a rarity (think four ultras in this case). There are a few cards you should look for in particular.
- If you are going first and expecting a early strike from your opponent, Spike, Grasp, Sweep and Anticipation are fine to keep.
- Keep any double copies of the same transformation with the intent of doing an instant transformation.
- If you also have Paranormal Investigation, Assault and Cross are worth keeping.
- Keep double Dive for the EX version.
- If you have Called Shot, Block, and/or Focus, keep Neutralizer with the intent on doing the Conspiracy combo.
Well that's it for my Renea guide. I hope this helps you learn to win with one of the most powerful characters in Exceed season 2!