Coach's Corner: Boxing

I'm excited to bring you a new series in the 5DG blog where I'll focus on various aspects of playing Budō. In this first installment, I'm going to focus on the Boxing character. Think of me as the coach in your ear when you retreat to your corner between rounds.

Originating in ancient Greece as an Olympic game in 688 BCE, boxing was popularized in Great Britain and made famous in the United States with Latin America and Asia also having a proud history in the style. Boxing is an art of fast hands, heavy punches, and quick feet. It’s known for combinations, rhythm, and timing.

The first thing to understand about playing as the Boxing character is his range is small. Boxers only punch; they do not have the long range that kicks provide. He must be at range 1 or 0 for all offensive strikes. The trick is that any quality opponent is also going to know that too. So, how do you win a bout as the Boxer when your opponent basically knows what you’re going to do?

Control rhythm and timing:

Boxing has within his dojo the skill, Dance, which provides 2 movements for only 1 stamina. Utilizing this unique skill effectively allows a player powerful combinations that will leave your opponent gasping for air and short on stamina. Let’s look at a couple of strategies you could implement that center on the Dance skill.

Rush-In: This aggressive, yet risky, opening strategy can give you an early health point advantage and prevent your opponent from gaining a lot of experience points. Understand that by rushing in you also leave yourself vulnerable, but it can be worth taking a couple of hits when Boxing has the ability to land some serious blows without a lot of experience cost. The white belt Cross deals two strength from the get go, and the Hook is a great value providing two damage at a range zero or one for only one experience point. Your opponent will be rushing to gain his advanced block sapping any experience he gained early on. Dance away after your surprise attack to quickly get out of range of any counter attacks.

Keep Away: Essentially the opposite of rushing in, use the dance to stay just out of reach of your opponent. You’ll need the help of the Bob & Weave for this one. You can make sure you have lots of experience points banked and will stay out of danger. The downside is that your opponent will also have the ability to gain lots of experience. The advantage of this strategy, though, is you get to control the rhythm and timing. By moving farther away by playing the Bob & Weave on your opponent’s turn, you’ll be left with the Dance to either move in for a strike or dance around and manage your hand of skill cards waiting and planning for the most opportune moment to strike.

Whether you rush in, keep away, or do some combination of both, the Dance allows you to control the rhythm and timing of the match. You’ll need to use that to your advantage if you want to walk away victorious.

Limit opponent’s Stamina:

Whether you’re rushing in on your opponent or dancing around him, you’ll need to limit how much stamina he has to work with on his turn. This tactic is effective for all the characters, but may be most important for Boxing. Since you are going to be in close range of your opponent, you’ll need to limit the damage he can do on his turn. That means effectively using your holds, stuns, and, if possible, the takedown. The difference between three and four stamina can be a big deal when your opponent is trying to pull-off his own deadly combo.

Use Combinations:

Maximize damage by using strong combos.

Jab + Cross: Simple yet effective. Jab to sniff out the block then Cross to deal heavy damage. Great for the early rush-in game plan because they're both white belt cards, so you don't need to spend any experience points to pull-off this combo.

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Hug + Body Blow: Guaranteed to deal 1 damage and leave you opponent held. The nice thing about this combo is that you still have two stamina to work with on your turn.

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Low Blow + Uppercut: Tricky to pull off because it requires all 4 Stamina. This massive combo can potentially deal 3 damage and takedown your opponent. Absolutely brutal!

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In Summary:

Boxing's offense is predictable because of it's limited range. Make use of quick movements with the Dance and Bob & Weave skills to keep your opponent guessing as to when and where your strikes will come. Try to disrupt you opponent's rhythm by using stuns and holds limiting his stamina and ultimately his experience. When the time is right, go in swinging!

See You in the Ring!

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