Coach's Corner: Karate

Coach's Corner - the blog that focuses on the strategies and tactics of Budō. This installment provides an in-depth look at the Karate character.

Karate refers to various styles of martial arts developed on the islands of Japan. Popularized in mainland Japan by Gichin Funakoshi, the creator of the Shotokan style, Karate is a well-known art of self-defense. Using punches, kicks, elbows, knees, and the open hand, this versatile art is extremely adaptable.

When played well, Karate provides myriad paths to victory. In order to find the right path at the right time, Karate will need to draw upon his experience, utilize his adaptability, and rely on his strengths.

Maintain a high level of XP

As Budō’s jack-of-all-trades, Karate can do a little bit of everything, but needs experience points to make that happen. Did your opponent rush-in on you and get to range zero? No problem, Karate has the Body Knee, Vertical Elbow Strike, and Foot Sweep. Those will make your opponent think twice about rushing in on you. Is your opponent playing coy and keeping her distance? Karate has skill cards at every belt level that can deal with that, too. Pay attention to which skills your opponent is gaining from her dojo and try to anticipate her moves. Karate is equipped to handle any situation as long as you have the XP to build your deck accordingly, so be patient and attack when the time is right.


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Make use of limited movement

Making use of the limited amount of movement within the dojo is essential to victory. When you put distance between yourself and your opponent in order to gain XP and manage your skills, the Lunge Punch and the Jumping Side Kick provide an aggressive path forward. The Lunge Punch is a great card. As a low-cost blue belt, it is effective early in the bout and easy to return to the dojo when you don’t need it. The Jumping Side Kick is also a good value at 2XP for a Brown Belt PLUS a movement.


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Dominate Range 1

Karate is at his best at Range 1. Ridge Hand forces your opponent to use the advanced block from their dojo or take 1 Damage. The Palm Strike has 1 Strength PLUS a Stun which gives you an opportunity to leave the opponent defenseless and still have 2 Stamina to perform additional skills. Double Fist Punch provides two attacks each at 1 Strength PLUS is only allows the opponent to use one defensive skill which means unless your opponent can get out of range, you're guaranteed to do at least one damage. In order to maximize Karate’s adaptability at Range 1, make the Black Belt skills available quickly because both the Foot Sweep and the Roundhouse land at Range 1. The Reverse Roundhouse has low XP (for a black belt) and Stamina costs, variable range of 1-2, and strength of 2; it's hard to go wrong with Stats like that! If at any point in the game you find yourself at Range 1 with all four of Stamina, spend your XP to do some serious damage. The options abound.


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In Summary

The Karate character plays true to the description. As long as you have the experience, it is extremely adaptable and versatile. He can deal damage from Ranges 0 - 2. He can stun and takedown. He even has a bit of movement. The keys to winning matches as the Karate character are to play patiently and read your opponent.