Coach's Corner: Muay Thai

Popularized in the 1900’s, Muay Thai traces its roots back to sixteenth century Thailand. “The art of eight limbs” is best known for its extensive conditioning, punishing elbow and knees, and brutal shin kicks. Balancing speed and strength, Muay Thai is effective at any distance.

Muay Thai features one of the biggest combinations in the game, is most adept at Range zero, and can deal damage at any range. Defeating an opponent playing with this character necessitates progressing through the belt levels quickly, using combinations, and adapting your game plan efficiently and effectively.

Progress Up Belt Levels Quickly

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Muay Thai is deadly at close range, so chances are your opponent will be trying to keep his distance. The Switch Kick and/or Roundhouse provide a high level of strength at long range. Both of these black belt skills cost three experience points and require three stamina to play. By progressing through the belt levels quickly, you’ll force your opponent to respect you at long range which should provide for some openings at close range. Be careful, though. Both of those black belts have high experience points and stamina levels. Gaining both may not be the best use of your resources. Plan accordingly.

Use Combinations

Similar to Boxing, Muay Thai has the ability to deal some serious damage with combination play.

Thai Clinch and Cutting Elbow: Arguably the best combo in the game, when played consecutively these two cards deal two unstoppable damage points and only require two stamina.

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Heel Stomp and Push Kick: Lead with the Heel Stomp to potentially do one damage andstun the other player. Once stunned, the opponent can’t block the Push Kick, so it’ll deal one damage, push the opponent away, and puts them on the mat (pushing a stunned player is a takedown).

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Be Prepared to Change Your Game Plan

To change tactics efficiently, a small deck is essential. When switching from a short range to a long range attack, you don’t want to get stuck with so many offensive cards that you can’t block your opponent’s strikes. Also, you’ll want a relatively small deck so that you’re able to play the combinations. If you have an eight card deck, chances are you won’t ever get the Thai Clinch and Cutting Elbow in the same hand.

Muay Thai has some great combinations, but as strong as they are, if your opponent knows what to expect every turn, he will be able to counter your attack and do just as much if not more damage to you. So, don’t be afraid to retreat. Movement is not Muay Thai’s strength, but putting some distance between yourself and your opponent may give you an opportunity to switch gears.

In Summary

The key to Muay Thai’s victory is unpredictable combination play. When the opponent expects and inside attack, kick from distance. When he’s ready for your long range kicks, rush in. Deck and hand management will be crucial to quickly changing strategies and catching your opponent flat footed.