King of the Ring

Good morning everyone!

King of the Ring is our Boxing Deck for Martial Arts: The Card Game. It comes with 54 cards mixed with Attacks and Defense moves, Strategy Cards, Events, and Illegal Moves. This deck is probably an easy deck to get into as the learning curve is very slight.

The theme of the deck concentrates on power hits and combo transitions. A strategy is to plan out your attacks to setup for unblockables or pace yourself between heavies and light, trying to get a 2-hit/3-hit combo here and there.

So, let’s go over each of the cards in the deck:

JAB PUNCH – Just likethe actual move, a jab punch is used as a way to distract or stun an opponent with a flurry of light attacks that concentrate on speed. With this card, on the 3rd jab you play in a row, if not “countered” (so just a defense won’t work against it), you can setup your next power hit to be unblockable. Of course, this means you’ll have to play your hand pretty strategically to load your hand with 4 cards you want to use. But, jabs are a general term as there are other cards from different martial art styles that have jabs of their own which you can customize into your deck.

STRAIGHT PUNCH: Though a “vanilla” card, this card has a higher CPT and ATK for you to link into other moves. It’s own linker is higher to balance the card and to represent a stronger exertion of energy used in the actual move.

CROSS PUNCH: The better version of the Straight Punch where the CPT is higher and the LNK is less. This is a great linking card to add to your combos.

HOOK PUNCH: One of the stronger punches that can potentially be devastating to you opponent. Like the actual move, a Hook Punch can be more effective borrowing the momentum of a prior move, thus making it completely stun a person (lose an attack phase) on the receiving end of a combo. The opponent can discard a card at random from their hand, simulating losing focus from the attack combo (your hand is your focus and your deck is your stamina.)

UPPERCUT: One of the strongest moves in the game that if unchecked, can make you lose all that hard earned ADR. But, getting uppercut by a boxer will definitely stop any adrenaline from pumping.

HAYMAKER: With a whopping 5 damage (taking a quarter of your opponent’s life), this is your “all out” move that gets a big handicap. For one thing, it has a high LNK so following combos are going to be tough. There’s also no DEF value so it’s an “attack only” card. Plus you have to be weary for sidesteps/backsteps or else you’ll overshoot the attack, leaving your back completely exposed for an onslaught by your opponent.

FEINT: This is a very useful card. Though it’s an “non-attack” attack, it helps flush out defense cards from your opponent to help you setup your attacks. If they don’t sacrifice one, you’ll get to haymaker them for free AND since the LNK is only 1, you automatically get a point of ADR if you play a successful attack.

BOLO PUNCH: There are so many iterations of the actual move. From what I’ve learned, it’s most effective as a speed blast of mid range attacks that switch from high and low attacks to overwhelm your opponent. This mid-range move can substantially grow. With every 2 cards you discard, you essentially get an extra 2-ATK damage move. Although your opponent can block each 2-ATK, you’re basically helping to filter out cards less useful, spending your opponent’s defend moves and fanning out your attacks. Remember, you’re still doing your initial 3-ATK damage as well.

SIDESTEP: A very powerful defense move that is effective against specific moves throughout the different decks. You may use this as a regular 2-DEF move or by discarding 3 cards, you can completely avoid an attack. Coupled with a low LNK, your counter attacks just got more interesting.

LOW GUARD:  A good defense, but more importantly, the ability to gain ADR points quickly by filtering your own cards. Basically this move alludes to focusing on your defense to build up some adrenaline.

HIGH GUARD: Specifically for pesky “High” attacks (the cards that that apply will have the word “High” in their move title). This is your average defense with a low LNK for good combos starting.

CLINCH: Getting shut down by attacks? End you opponent’s turn though still taking the blunt of their last attack. PUSH cards are the only thing that can get people out of your clinch. But a well timed clinch can possibly win you the game, even at an ounce of your health!

DOUBLE KO: This event card reminds me a lot of Rocky 2. If you play this card, the effect is global and “resets” the players each time medium damage is done. Imagine going blacking out the same time as your opponent and struggling to get back to your feet each time. But if this gets too intense, any one or more players can spend a total of 3 ADR to remove this event…. or you can replace it with another event.

SEEING STARS: Another fun event to play to mess with your opponent. Make each turn start of just a bit blurry until both players agree to give each other a chance to refocus. But keep in mind that if you play withe someone a bit less honorable, they may trick you into giving up your attack turn without actually giving up their own!

TAUNT: This is a great 1-ADR move. Filter your opponent’s card or get them to waste an attack. Of course, you should have some kind of defense ready unless you’re trying to go all beefcake and take the hit on purpose. I suppose there really isn’t any etiquette when you’re taunting.

BOB AND WEAVE: So when this card is played, it lasts the entirety of your opponent’s attack turn. It’s a sure fire way to annoy your opponent for as long as you have cards in hand, you can dodge any attack that comes your way. Like a clinch, this is a great way to tell the attacker to just stop.

ROPE A DOPE: Purposely pinning your back against the ropes, you basically play possum until it’s time to unleash your power hits. In this case, as +1s to all your attacks this turn!

EYE OF THE FIGHTER: Costing a whopping 5 ADR, this is a CRAZY powerful move. Though balanced by not awarding further ADR, this move can win you the game, or at least whittle down your opponent dramatically if played correctly.

EAR BITING: A very famous illegal move in Boxing. This isn’t very focused on doing damage, rather disabling your opponent’s focus. I love how this card doesn’t care if it does the 1 ATK damage or not… it will STILL mess with your opponent’s hand!

HEADBUTT: The last card in the deck, this illegal move hurts their hand, adrenaline and your head. Plus, it has a higher CPT which is also very nice when combo-ing.

Overall Thoughts

King of the Ring is definitely a heavy hitting deck. It has a balance of the variety of different cards and plays well with small combos. Raising your ADR up to unleash Eye of the Fighter and setting up small moves ahead of time make this deck powerful.

The weakness of this deck are fast characters that are agile with sidesteps and backsteps. As well, any deck that can manipulate cards in hand will break the rhythm of the boxer, forcing them to sacrifice linking combos.

Until Next Time

Here is the link to the PNP of King of the Ring. The rules on our website haven’t been updated (which I’ll do this week). One of the biggest update from the old rules, is the ability to “Exert” yourself, letting you refresh your hand at a cost of stamina. This was a unique way to help get people out of stale hands. Basically, for every 1 card you wanted to to draw towards your maximum hand size, you would discard 1 from your main deck. So 1 discard, then 1 draw. Remember, once you have no more cards to draw, you lose a turn to “recover” and rest.


2 comments on “King of the Ring

  1. Trying to understand the use of the jab card and combos… What’s the point of its unblockable combo ability? Since it has a linker of 1, the only move in this deck it could make unblockable would be a fourth jab, or a feint which could lead to… a fourth jab.

    • Great question! Actually there are many more jabs in the game though in different decks. Since you can mix and match decks, there are many ways to exploit the Jab’s ability in King of the Ring; In Master of 8 Limbs you have Forward Jab and in Enter the Phoenix you have Snapping Jabs. Since jabs in martial arts were meant for distractions, lead-ins, or quick stuns, you can see how they have more forgiving link requirements an succession abilities.

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