Ume and the Blade: Gameplay Info

Our Starter Deck, Ume and the Blade, specializes in Aikido, Okinawan Karate, and the Katana (for playing in “anything goes” mode only). In the deck, you will find two new gameplay mechanics: LOCK, GRAB and THROW.


If you are playing this deck and let’s say someone attempts to attack you with a “Jab Punch”. You would first play a Defense Card. If successful, instead of playing a linked attack for a counter-attack, you can play a move that is considered a “LOCK” (it will say so on that card.)

During the “LOCK”, your opponent can discard a “LOCK” move from their hand to cancel it out. The only other way for them to get out of your “LOCK”, is to discard a DEFENSE card from their hand. But, if you discard a DEFENSE card from your hand, the “LOCK” stays active. And like a game of tug-of-war, they can discard another DEFENSE just as you can as well until someone gives up.

Let’s say you win and the “LOCK” goes through. During this time, your opponent can not do anything. During this time, you can play your next move and it will be unblockable. Most “LOCK” moves have requirements as to what the follow-up move will be, like a Throw or Punch versus a Kick.


Unlike a “LOCK” move that depends on your opponent first attacking, “GRAB” moves add a lot unpredictability to the game. Any move that’s considered a “GRAB” can be used even on someone’s Attack phase! So if someone was going to attack me with a “Jab Punch”, I could play a “GRAB” move and tell my opponent that before their move happened, I “GRABBED” them. The only way to avoid a grab is by using a move that’s considered a SIDESTEP, PUSH, SHIFT, or a BREAKAWAY (You’ll find out more about some of these terms in the other 3 decks or our expansion set!). Once you “GRAB” a person, your opponent your next move on them is unblockable.


The only way to perform a “THROW” move is if you have a move that sets you up for one such as a GRAB or a LOCK If you use a move that is considered a “THROW” successfully, the opponent is considered to be on the ground. This is important because there are moves in the game like Grappling that take advantage of the player in that position. Throws are usually pretty powerful so don’t end up on the losing side of one. If there is a way to counter a throw, it will specifically be written on the card.



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