Exceed Character Guide: Celinka / The Gaki

Discord user @chucklyfun shares his thoughts on Celinka. Take a read below and learn how to bring your Celinka Exceed game to the next level!


Celinka / The Gaki

 "This evil must be sealed away!"

"This evil must be sealed away!"

Overview

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Celinka is a powerhouse rushdown character that dominates when opponents try to trade with her hit-for-hit.

In normal mode, she plays cards face down for +1 Power and seals them after the Strike. In Exceed mode, she instead seals every card that goes to discard and gains a permanent power increase based on how many cards she has sealed.

 
 

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

  • High early game power

  • Not transformation reliant

  • Reliable advancing attack

  • Continuous Boosts on Normals synergize with her Specials

Weaknesses

  • Poor hand advantage

  • Whiffing costs a ton of resources

  • Low burst damage/comeback potential

  • Rarely have advantage during a Strike

  • Low mobility

  • Prefers range 1-3


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General Strategy

Celinka wants to get 2-4 boosts in play and then hit hard in the next Strike. She boosts by using the Prepare action and drawing a card, playing up to 3 cards as boosts, and then drawing another card at the end of turn. She tends to boost with her Normals first and then one of each card. Usually she wants to do this when she's already at a good range for a Strike, as she runs the risk of being left low on cards and without advantage. Hitting with high power attacks is preferred here—Celinka is worried as much about running out of cards as life.

Around mid-game, Celinka should have about ten cards sealed, ten cards in her deck and discard combined, and another ten cards in her hand, Gauge, and Transforms combined. At this point, you should be trying to Reshuffle and Exceed, or maybe even Exceed early. That gives you a permanent +2 Power boost on all attacks. Ideally, you also have Good to the Last Bite—her best transform, found on Swift Exorcism—in play for another +1 Damage on applicable attacks.

For the end game, use the Feral Leap boost on Dispelling Horn to chase your opponent down. Celinka's Ultras have high speed for their range and are great for closing out the game.

Action Economy and Engine Building

Each character in Exceed can perform the basic set of actions: Prepare, Change Cards, Exceed, Reshuffle, Move, Boost, and Strike. These all have costs such as playing a card, spending Force or Gauge, or just taking your actual turn. Most characters in Exceed have ways to reduce those costs under certain conditions. Many can allow you to perform a pair of actions together under certain conditions, such as Renea’s Exceed allowing her to play a boost for free. When a character’s abilities allow you to play more efficiently, we call this their engine.

In addition to their engine, characters have stats—Power, Speed, Range, Armor, and Guard—and control effects which mostly affect the opponent. Most characters have their engine on their UA and Transformations. Celinka is unusual in that hers are mostly on her attacks.

Special & Ultra Moves

Celinka’s Specials function essentially as second copies of some of the Normals, but each with -1 Power and and more interaction with her starter UA. For example, Swift Exorcism is Grasp, Dispelling Horn is Cross, Moon Fall is Assault and Dive, while Wishing Ward is Sweep.

Swift Exorcism, Dispelling Horn, and Moon Fall all combo off of her Continuous Boosts on Normals. Meanwhile, Moon Flare loves the extra safety from a Speed or Guard/Armor boost!


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Special & Ultra Moves

Special Attack: Swift Exorcism

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  • Range: 1
  • Power: 2
  • Speed: 7

Swift Exorcism is interesting primarily for 3 reasons:

  1. It counters Sweep.

  2. It gains Advantage.

  3. It's Celinka’s best transform.

It also gives Celinka another Speed 7 attack, which is important for mix-ups.

In Exceed mode, your EX attacks get both the EX bonus and the Good to the Last Bite bonus, because the EX pair goes to your sealed area before you hit.


Special Attack: Dispelling Horn

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  • Range: 1-2
  • Power: 2
  • Speed: 6

Dispelling Horn is best used to counter other high power attacks. Unfortunately, it’s much easier to use before you Exceed.

Use its boost to close in and finish your opponent off in the end game.


Special Attack: Moon Fall

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  • Range: 1
  • Power: 3
  • Speed: 5

Moon Fall is Celinka’s best attack, as it allows her to get double the best value out of her boosts. Also, it's +1 Speed over Dive at Range 4.

Use the transform to close out the game with a last hit.


Special Attack: Moon Flare

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  • Range: 1~5
  • Power: 3
  • Speed: 3
  • Guard: 3

Moon Flare is Celinka’s strangest attack. It has poor Power, Speed, AND Guard. It makes up for it’s poor Power by having you draw two cards (assuming that you aren’t stunned) but that isn’t really enough to make up for the low Speed and Guard.

It’s real use is to counter Cross, which is one of Celinka’s biggest weaknesses. Because she spends so many turns and cards preparing for an attack, Celinka can’t afford to whiff.

The transform mostly makes your opponents afraid to play Grasp, since it'll now lose trades with Assault and Moon Fall. It also combos nicely with EX attacks, Moon Flare, and Good to the Last Bite.


Special Attack: Wishing Ward

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  • Range: 1~3
  • Power: 5
  • Speed: 2
  • Guard: 5

Wishing Ward is a good mix-up for when Celinka doesn’t have boosts in play and seems vulnerable. It’s also her highest power special.

This boost allows her to keep the tempo up if she's low on cards. This works really well if you are in starter UA and only have two cards in hand—you don’t have to seal anything.


Ultra Attack: Moon Ritual Dance

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  • Range: 1~2
  • Power: 2
  • Speed: 7

Moon Ritual Dance gives Celinka a fast attack to close out the game with her Exceed UA’s boosted power. Use the Hit effect to retrieve the second card for an EX attack. (Celinka’s Exceed EX attacks are ridiculous!)

Use the transform to get Good to the Last Bite into play, depending on your match-up.


Ultra Attack: Purifying Roar

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  • Range: 2-3
  • Power: 3
  • Speed: 2

If you've been sealing her Normals, Celinka should easily be at Speed 7 for this attack.

The boost really helps build your hand back up after dumping a bunch of cards.


The Double Decker Combo

Celinka can get the bonuses from both of her UAs for one Strike or a few more with Moon Fall. If you play her boosts and Exceed on the next turn, your boosts will stay in play. That hit will be exceptionally powerful and will force your opponent to play around you.

Advanced Strategies

While the Continuous Boosts on Celinka’s cards will usually be her face-down cards, they don’t have to be. Celinka also makes great use of all of the Continuous Boosts on her Normals.

Fierce (Grasp) allows you to play a +2 Power bonus for one card instead of two, Light (Sweep) guarantees that you have a speed advantage even if you goes second, and Defend (Spike) guarantees that you'll get to trade. Get twice the value of out them with Moon Fall!

Reading (Focus) and Parry (Block) get a lot more use here, as Celinka makes each Strike matter. Parry out Cross or Assault so they can’t retreat. Parry out their dodge effects and blocks so they can’t null your damage. Even if your parry whiffs, it'll buy you more time while they change cards. Use Reading to make sure they eat full damage.

Use Normals for boosts. They’ll power up the Speed on Purifying Roar as well as activate Familiar Taste. Getting them out of your hand prevents them from being a target of Focus as well.

Many of your effects seal cards before the Exceed UA or Your Swift Exorcism transform apply. You can play an EX attack after you Exceed and get an additional +1 Power and +1 Armor over the already powerful EX bonuses. Similarly, both of your special boosts discard or seal cards and end in a Strike.

Prioritize your high damage attacks for Strikes. You want to trade for lots of damage rather than poking and evading retaliation. You especially don’t want to Cross or Grasp unless you have your opponent in the corner and want to pull off a Moon Fall combo. For damage efficiency, you need to be thinking as much in terms of sealed cards as in your health.

Your Ultras discard a couple of cards from Gauge, of course. All of Celinka's effects that discard cards make it easy to Exceed early and still get the full use of her power.

Playing Against Celinka

Getting Celinka to whiff, hit a block, or be stunned before she can attack all ruin her day.

Wouldn’t that ruin any character’s day? Maybe, but Celinka’s boosts cost more of her hand and deck than most other characters. She really doesn’t like to whiff. Try to keep a large hand and Strike after she seals her boosts. As long as you keep Striking, you’ll probably be winning trades since Celinka has low average power without her boosts.

Interesting Match-ups

Renea: Renea’s plethora of dodge and movement effects means that you might end up wasting a bunch of boosts. Meanwhile, Reana has plenty of speed boosts, so she'll likely get to hit first and control positioning. On the other hand, her Exceed form is useless against yours and her dodge effects become less annoying as well.

Conclusion

Celinka’s high power makes her a real terror in trading. As long as she is striking with her UA active, trades almost always favor Celinka.


This has been a Celinka guide by Discord user @Chucklyfun. If you would like to follow him, use the links below!
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