Resource Retrospective - All
by Javelin Chimera
Welcome to the Resource Retrospective! In this series, I’d like to take a look at each of the resource symbols used in the Universal Fighting System and analyze some of the design philosophies and patterns that have manifested throughout the years. Along with this, we’ll take a look at a handful of powerful or popular cards that have represented these philosophies as well.
Just a bit of a disclaimer: the following is largely the opinion of the writer. By nature, UFS has a diverse system with a wide array of effects and strategies. With 99% of cards having at least 3 different resource symbols, you’ll see many of these themes spread across multiple symbols. What we’re going to take a look at are some of the more prevalent effects for each, both from the past and in today’s Standard format. So whether you’re a new player just starting their UFS journey, or a long-time veteran enjoying a trip through memory lane, thank you for joining me!
Today, we are going to be taking a look at All-
Existence - Fullness
First, let’s take a look at some of the cards that are very specifically designed for this resource symbol to get some initial inklings into what Air might be all about:
Contemplation of Existence (Legality: Legacy) - This symbol’s Foundation of Power is a little tame compared to many of the others, but gives us a good idea of what the symbol tends to be about. After all, more hand size means more cards drawn.
Seal of Completeness (Legality: Legacy) - Much like many of the Assets of Power, this one for All gives us a small taste of the symbol’s flavor. Compared to many of the other drawing effects, this one seems a bit over-costed, meaning you’re probably more likely to see this one run for the symbol gain if at all.
Now this is a symbol that is tough to define. Much like its name, All does a bit of everything. Vitality gain, speed, damage, punches, kicks, weapons, you name it. It truly is the Jack of All Trades resource symbol of UFS. That being said, there is one clear effect that All has stronger than any other symbol in the game, and that is card draw. We’re talking adding cards to your hand from almost any other zone you can imagine, but especially from the top of your deck. Today we are going to break down this strength and look at a number of classic examples.
If we were to take a step back and look at almost any card game created, we’ll see that having more cards in your hand is almost always more beneficial. UFS is great in that on each of your turns you are drawing up to a set hand size, meaning you are seeing relatively more cards every game compared to many others. Even with that in mind, when it comes to cards in hand, more is better. Single blind draw from the top of the deck? Good. Drawing multiple cards at once? Great. Pulling whatever you want from the discard pile? Even better. During the advent of UFS, card draw abilities tended to be wildly powerful. Over the years draw effects have been dialed back, but they have always remained relevant. Let’s take a look at some of the many examples from over the years.
Tag Along (Legality: Legacy) - Starting off with a fairly straightforward effect, this card lets you pluck any card you desire from your discard pile. After a few turns worth of control checks, there will be plenty of juicy targets that will let you end a game. Add on a bonus utility of being able to cancel a character(!) ability, and it’s clear why this card was beloved. This one also has a notable baby brother in the form of When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain... (Legality: Jasco Eternal *probably banned though*).
Templar (Legality: Standard) - This card has been a big player in Standard since it’s release in Red Horizon back in 2010. The original incarnation sported a tasty Breaker: 1, adding even more to the card’s defensive utility. Still today, you’re looking at a +1 mid block that nets you 2 vitality and 2 cards from the top, assuming no shenanigans. With the game speeding up more and more, it’s becoming tougher to justify slots for this action, but I think this will be an option to keep in mind when deck building for some time still.
Kuzuryu Reppa (Legality: Legacy) - A starter deck rare attack, this orange card is going to net you an egregious amount of cards even if it’s just half-blocked. Drawing a full 6+ from it will almost guarantee seeing another copy of it or at least another attack that can probably draw as well. This attack probably could have gotten away with a 2 control check and a worse block, and still would have been useful.
Segaki Offering (Legality: Standard) - Another card that has been useful in Standard for the 6+ years that it’s existed. Whether you’re leading an attack string to bait a block or clearing a previous block for a heavy swing, the (almost) free enhance that nets you a card is always going to be useful. Lots of value here.
Unorthodox Style (Legality: Legacy) - There are plenty of examples of commit one to draw a card, or take a card from your momentum. Getting to cherry pick something from your discard is always a step above. While discarding a momentum is a little more of a cost, in many cases this is just ensuring that you have an attack in your discard to pick up, if nothing else. Utility is key.
Searching for Family (Legality: Legacy) - This card was legal post the game design of UFS shifting to dial back draw effects, and was subsequently banned during its time in Standard under Jasco. As it turns out, when your symbols are flooded with decent kicks, just having to reveal two from your hand isn’t a sufficient cost to balance drawing 2.
Financial Troubles (Legality: Legacy) - Another extremely good drawing foundation from the Tekken set. One way or another, you are getting some card advantage out of this monster. As a result, this one was slapped with an errata making it Unique and was actually banned during the short-lived Jasco Extended.
Playboy (Legality: Jasco Eternal) - Speaking of utility, this one smacks of the All symbol’s flavor. Committing for a discard 1, draw 1 isn’t necessarily noteworthy these days, but snagging the top card of your discard pile, a known value, is sometimes just going to win you games.
There you have it, a short overview of some of the cards you’ll see that fit into All’s card drawing theme in the Universal Fighting System. As a bonus, here are some notable characters that also fall into this theme:
Let us know what your favorite flavorful All cards are, and join us next time when dive into madness trying to make sense of the next UFS resource symbol: Chaos. Thank you for reading!