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  • Hardy Strength Guide

    I'm writing a guide for playing a strength type character...



    Now personally I used to hate guides, because all they end up with, is a bunch of clones, so rather see this as a technical reference, with some tips for strength players.

    Most of this holds true for any class, but please note that this is written with strength characters in mind, so it might also differ a little from your class.



    Also let me note now, before there are any questions later, that this guide will in some cases contradict itself. Why is is that? Because I like confusing you.

    No really it's all about style of play and there is no way you can follow ALL the advice. You are going to have make some hard choices.

    I will tell you the pro's and cons of every strategy or idea, but you will ultimately have to decide for yourself which tactics you are going to follow.



    Right, now that all the disclaimers are out of the way: let's get started.



    Before I start breaking all the stats down and explain what they all do, and why they are good for you, or not, as the case may be, the first rule of playing an aggressive type character (such as strength class) is move selection.

    Do this right now if you haven't done it already:

    Go to the help section. Click on moves list.

    Look at EVERY MOVE in EVERY POSSIBLE POSITION, and then decide if that is a move you want or not.

    You will never have enough fe to buy every move you want, so plan which moves you will need (and when you plan on getting them).

    Note that this is not just a random selection of good moves, but note the position, the required abilities, the position it leads and also the position suffered.

    If you find for instance (and I know this is usually a big problem for balanced players) that you can have 20 fantastic moves leading to grounded position, also check out your grounded position. Do you have any good moves there?

    It doesn't help you hit a mortal Uraken (yes I know this is a balanced only move, but this is just the best example out there) and then follow it up with a light knee stomp, simply because you don't have any good grounded moves.

    Rather then NOT get the Uraken, because ultimately, it is far worse than for instance a mule kick, which does less damage, but leads to a better position.

    On the other hand, if you have great moves in grounded position, such as leg drop (a must for any strength player), then try to get as much as possible moves that lead to that position, because then you will use your most powerful moves more often.



    That said: on to stats and abilities:



    Strength:

    This is of course your primary stat, and upgrades a lot quicker than the other stats. It also gives you more points per level (2.5 point/level) than the other stats (which will only give you 1.5 points per level), so the advantages to upgrading this stat are rather apparent. You will also need to upgrade this stat as much as possible to get the strongest moves, do more damage, get more attack bonus. bleeding chance etc. This is an aggressive stat, so for an aggressive player (such as a strength class) this is a good stat to have.

    But now I'm going to turn right around and also say that this is a terrible stat to upgrade at the start of the game, and also the main reason why so many strength type players suffer. Even though it upgrades a lot faster, it still costs the same FE per level than any other stat, and you WILL be tempted to spend a lot of FE on training this stat. DON'T DO IT. The phylosophy for this is that even though it looks good to do 80% increased damage (by raising both fury and might to level 40) early on, what good does 80% damage do when your moves only do 2 damage. (2*1.8=3.6) Hurray!

    I'm not saying don't upgrade strength at all, (that would be silly) but try to upgrade it gradually (there is no reason to be over hasty, and then find yourself stuck on lvl 4 with no FE to train your stats) and over time, that 80% damage increaser will look a lot better on a big move (such as leg drop) where it matters. (63*1.8=113.4). Now that means something.



    Might:

    A lot of strength wrestlers are tempted to take this stat early on, because the advantages seem apparent (and extra damage is always a good thing right?). NO!

    I refer you back to the previous discussion. Early on, damage increaser isn't that good. It woks FANTASTIC when you have good moves, but at the start... why?

    Also, I find that not too many good moves require might (I can only find 6 moves I think are worthwhile with might, and even that is a stretch). So rather upgrade some other stats first to give you some good moves, and THEN give them a double whammy with some damage increaser to boot.



    Rage:

    This is going to be a very controversial stat for you to get. You will either get a LOT early on, or you will get VERY LITTLE at the start. Make the choice, but don't do it halfway, that is just stupid.

    Rage controls your finishers and finisher executions. The more rage you have, the better finishers you can have and the more often they will hit. (Note that rage goes hand in hand with taunts, so if you decide to go with rage, make sure you have a few (or just one) good taunts, to help you gain adrenaline quicker.)

    You can, but I wouldn't recommend it, get more than 40 Rage, but personally, I think 40 is the limit. Why would you want a finisher that does 3000 damage, but one hit later you will be as tired and flat as your opponent. (A good point to note is that finishers cost stamina as well as rage, so if you are going with big finishers and a big load of rage, you will also need stamina to back it up.)

    Now you can either early on get a lot of adrenaline, and make a good finisher that will level up quickly, but sacrifice other really good stats like beserker, fury, unstoppable blow and stiff blow, or you can settle for a small finisher, but focus on other good stats. You cannot have both (especially not unless you have 63 strength which takes 110 days if you upgrade nothing else). so choose carefully. Don't half-do it and half not, because then you are going to have to remake your finishers later anyways and lose a lot of executions. If you choose to wait with your finishers, and rather go for other stats, that's good too. You can always start focusing on finishers at lvl 12 or so. you will be a little behind, but you might reach lvl 12 a little sooner than someone who chose to go with a finisher early on, so ultimately, it sort of balances out.



    Unstoppable Blow:

    This is a a very good, and simultaneously very bad stat. This stat gives you better attacking chances and reduces the chances of being dodged/blocked. (No it does nothing for "the opponent pulls himself together and fights back", but there is a remedy for that too.) This is especially good if you want to get long chains of attack and try to beat your opponent down by simply not giving him a chance to fight back. But note, that you will also need beserker and frenzied urge for long chains, so it doesn't help much you have 200 attack, but zero berserker. There is also the theory (which partially holds true) that the moves level up, and get more attack bonus, so you don't need to upgrade attack bonus. Some characters have been very successful having little to no attack bonus, and good for them. Attack bonus does however lead to leg drop, so it might still be worthwhile at least getting to lvl 40. But that is just my opinion. (Yes I'm biased. I really like Leg Drop Ultimately your choice, but at least now you know what it's good for.



    Stiff Blow:

    This stat is going to depend a lot on your build, and the moves you selected. A very useful, and powerful stat, but it is very move dependent. It will only have value for moves which allow bleeding. Even if you push this stat to 250, it still won't make leg drop cut your opponent. (Sadly). So if you have less than 10 moves in your arsenal that allow for wounding, I wouldn't recommend spending any points into this stat. If on the other hand you have 1 or 2 wounding moves in every position, then this is DEFINITELY your main stat. To a certain degree this stat is even more useful than Might, because after a few wounds (cut, bleeding, busted wide open, crimson mask) your opponent will be knocked out cold, giving you the victory (for every possible match type). This could finally make you unbeatable in previous matches where you were considered to have no chance (such as ultimate submission matches). Note however that not all match types have equal chances at bleeding, US matches for instance really require a lot before you can get someone to be knocked out cold, but this at least improves those chances. Also note that an opponent who is still black (or green) has much less chance of being cut than an opponent who is red, so you might still want to consider getting some Might anyway, just to get them there quicker. (Evil Grin)



    Beserker:

    Probably the most needed stat for fighting against another strength or balanced wrestler who can match your attack bonus and long chains of attack. This is an aggressive ability that stops your opponent from interrupting your attack sequence by means of feint. VERY Useful, and if you want to play aggressively, very necessary. This stat goes hand-in hand with attack bonus and Frenzied Urge. It won't help if you have tons of beserker, but only a maximum of 5 attacks, or little attack and possibly even get dodged/blocked after the first one. So if you are going this route, make sure you also stack up on the other two stats.



    Fury:

    Now this is probably the best and most powerful stat you have or will ever see, and the main reason why I chose this class to play on S3. You get both attack bonus and damage, making you a killing machine. the only other class that can match you blow for blow will be a balanced, but he will take 4 times longer to get there as he needs to spend one point from every class to upgrade his Versatility (And most balanced wrestlers will tell you that it really isn't worth it in the end for them to raise this stat to more than 43).... So this stat is what is going to separate you from the masses. Get as much as possible.

    I'm also going to counter this by saying that you probably don't want to get too much Fury early on. Refer to the top where I explain why might is not good at the start, and then also there are only two moves really that I would recommend that require a lot of Fury, so while you are battling with FE, you might want to put aside this stat for now to get past the first 10 masters, and then stock up on your secret Fury weapon.



    Speed:

    This is a supporting statistic that you cannot afford to miss. Most of your abilities under strength will require some of the abilities you can get under this stat. Speed allows you to fight harder, for longer, and more often. Not as aggressive a statistic as Strength, but also very aggressive in it's nature. If you are going to specialize in dodge, then this is probably the biggest statistic you will need to train early on to get past those terrible masters.

    The biggest problem you might have here is actually not if you want more Speed, but that you will have to choose which ability to place those very little ability points into, because you just never seem to have enough.



    Improved Reflexes:

    Dodge. For the sake of not repeating myself, I'm going to discuss this simultaneously with block, because in essence, they do pretty much the same thing in the end.

    Dodging is great, especially since you don't have a lot of Health or DR (unless you really focus on resistance statistic), so you will want to avoid getting hit. As the aggressive type player, you will want to be in the driving seat dishing out punishment in big numbers, not receive it. This will allow you to do that.

    Get as much as reasonably possible.



    Head Start:

    If you are going to play aggressively, this is a very important stat. it allows you to get the first punch in (giggle) and obliterate your opponent from there. (Granted, Speed wrestlers can get a lot more of this than you can, but it works great against techs) It also helps you turn the match around when the opponent makes a mistake. For instance he taunts at the wrong time> you gain the initiative, he doesn't successfully pin you> you gain the initiative, you escape from the submission (not when he lets go)> you gain the initiative.

    Getting the initiative means you get to attack him and that is where you want to fight the battle from. Not the receiving end.

    All in all, no downside to having this ability.



    Lightness:

    I think I've already mentioned how important stamina is for an aggressive player, and you will probably never have enough. This ability will allow you to "stretch" what little stamina you have to make it last longer. If you have big moves, and high DR, then this is most certainly going to be a VERY good help in the stamina department. This is not actually as powerful as simply HAVING enough stamina, because sadly, this ability is also dependent on your stamina, so as your stamina becomes less, so does this ability, and you will start to use more stamina again, making it drop faster.

    None the less, a great ability to have, but no need to really overdo this one. Medium amounts of it should suffice.



    Elasticity:

    AKA Pinning Bonus. A good ability to have, as it will make it a lot more difficult for your opponent to escape your pin attempt, and possibly ending the match before your stamina runs out. This could be a very useful ability if you have plenty of pinning moves. If you don't have any pin moves, the only time you will be attempting to pin your opponent is at the end of the match, and by then either you or him is already dead anyways, so it makes very little difference.

    I would recommend upgrading Elasticity if you have enough available points, but if you are struggling to get enough ability points together, then this could possibly be the ONE ability you don't need to get under Speed.



    Frenzied Urge:

    This ability goes hand in hand with beserker and attack bonus. It gives you more attacks before your opponent starts interrupting you or pulling himself together, allowing you to do more damage to him. If you have chosen to go all out with these abilities in your main stat, then you will certainly need to spend some points in this, else the other points will be somewhat wasted.

    If however you play a little more passively and didn't get much beserker, then don't waste your ability points here.



    Technique:

    This statistic is somewhat wasted on any class other than Technique (and maybe Balanced) as it has mostly to do with submission moves (which are rather difficult to come by when you play a strength) Many characters in the past has chosen to completely ignore this statistic and focus on the other three only, allowing quicker training for the stats they feel they needed more, and no-one will blame you if you choose to do the same. It does kinda make sense to focus on the things that work, and ignore the ones that don't.

    There are however a few abilities here you might want to invest in, and if you choose to forsake technique all together, just remember to make sure you have enough compensation for it in the other skills.



    Block:

    See Improved Reflexes.



    Power Grappling:

    A very handy ability if you have submission moves (and probably the most important ability if you choose to specialize in them). This ability improves both the landing damage on the submission move (light, strong, devastating etc.) and the hold damage (weak, agonising, excruciating etc.) putting the "Oomf" into the move.

    If however you don't have any submission moves, then this ability will be a complete waste.



    Ruthless Grasp:

    If you have submission moves, this is probably the second most important (some Technique characters argue that it is the most important) ability. It improves the hold damage (weak, agonising, excruciating etc.) of the submission moves and it reduces the chances of the opponent escaping from the move, allowing it to do full damage.

    Once again, if you don't have any submission moves, then this ability is also completely wasted.



    Escape Artist:

    This is a very good counter to submission moves being executed against you, as it will allow you to escape from it. (If you have high initiative you will also be able to attack the opponent right back after you escaped).

    It is however very unlikely that you will be able to obtain more escape than any technique will be able to obtain submission bonus, but it might still be worth investing something here at least.

    The best defense to submission moves however remains to completely avoid them by dodging/blocking.

    Side Note: If you are struggling against technique wrestlers because you tend to run out of stamina, this is a very good way to save some stamina, as submission moves also reduce your stamina, and escaping from the hold sooner will also rescue you from a complete stamina drain.



    Feint:

    This ability goes hand in hand with pacification, and if you cannot afford to put points in block/dodge, or if you have spent all your points possible already into block/dodge, this makes a good backup. It allows you interrupt your opponent's attack sequence and give you back the initiative, making you attack him again. Note that this skill does not work outside the ring.

    If you are going to spend points into this ability, also make sure you spend some points in Pacification, to complement it.



    Resistance:

    Arguably the most important statistic, especially in lower levels. This statistic governs your ability to last longer in matches, and be able to sustain more damage, adding endurance to your wrestler, and giving you a bit more buff.

    This statistic cannot be ignored, and the options for putting abilities should be rather straight forward. Your only choice will have to be as to what quantities you want to put to what abilities.

    Many characters have been very successful at lower levels ONLY upgrading strength and resistance, and for a resistance player, it can even be worthwhile at lower levels to upgrade nothing but Resistance.



    Tireless:

    Stamina. Case and point. I've hinted quite few times in this guide how important stamina is. This is where you can get more stamina.

    Enough Said.



    Toughness:

    Damage Resistance.

    Being able to take a hit, is what separate the men from the boys. If your opponent does 80 damage, and you can resist 90% of that, you will only take 8 damage, turning a devastating move into a light move. This can ultimately make it nearly impossible for someone to bring you down without having to resort to MAJOR moves like 1000 damage finishers etc, which will in turn drain their stamina.

    Note however that damage resistance uses up stamina, so if your stamina is more crucial than your health points, maybe rather not upgrade this ability. (It does however use a lot less stamina to resist damage than to give it, so bear in mind you can sap someone by making him throw all the punches, and then finish him when he's tired.)

    I highly recommend getting some damage resistance at least, even if it just to take the sting out of your opponent's finisher.



    Thick Skin:

    Health Points: How much health you have. Is not affected by stamina, and is not limited. So any points you spend here will be worth it, and it is a case of the more the better.

    The more health you have, the harder it will be for your opponent to beat you up, and the more stamina he will end up using. So not only does it prolong your time in the ring, it also gives you better attacking chances towards the end of the match.

    When in doubt, raise your health. You cannot go wrong here. There is no downside to having more health, except maybe that the points could be spent somewhere else where you have a crucial lack.



    Force of Will:

    Pinning opposition. This is equally as handy as Escape Submissions, and will allow your character to kick out of pins more easily. (It will also allow you to attack the opponent in return after you kick out if your Initiative is high enough.).

    It will not however allow you to avoid the damage (if any) from the pin attempt, nor will it save you from the stamina loss. (which is very small usually).

    The best defense yet again is to avoid the pin altogether with block.dodge, but having pinning opposition can't hurt.



    Pacification:

    This ability goes hand in hand with feint, and allows you to "pull yourself together and fight back" after a certain amount of executions from your opponent. The higher the skill, the fewer the executions before you fight back. Highly recommended for a resistance player with little to no dodge/block, but not very effective if you have high dodge/block already.

    Also does not work outside the ring.





    Notes:



    Note on Min/Max Chars:

    There is a lot of value in completely over-doing one stat, and completely forsaking the other stat. Basically having 1000 Dodge, but almost no Damage Reduction. This is one example, but there can be MANY cases of min/maxing.

    Min/Maxing can be a very good way of becoming unstoppable, for instance spending ALL your time and FE upgrading health, stamina and damage resistance (as a resistance player of course) could be VERY useful, because you will soon find that no-one is able to bring you down and you beat your opponents by shear attrition (or draw as the case may be).

    As useful as this may be, it is also a very expensive gamble. Raising one ability from 40 to 41 for instance costs 41 points, with an effective +1 gain. You could have used the same amount of points to raise two other abililties from 0 to 4 and one ability from 0 to 6, with an effective +14 gain. This is the gamble: you risk 13 possible other upgrades to gain that one upgrade that might make you unstoppable. The choice is yours. Note however that this theory of course implies that it is always best to upgrade ALL stats and abilities evenly, but Alas, that is not the case either. You will end up as a Jack of All Trades, but Master of None, and get your behind kicked from here to Kingdom Come.

    Personally, I believe you should focus on a set of abilities that fits your build, and leave the rest, and don't get stuck on setting goals like: I'm going to get my strength to 40, and then start raising this... (Becoming too rigid will cost you a lot more in the end.) Always be ready to re-asses your strategy and plan from there.



    Note on Dodge/Block:

    There is a lot of theory that seems to state that you need only block or dodge, as they both do the same thing. Thusly having 50 dodge and 0 block is better than having 25 dodge and 25 block. This is true, but saying that only needing one, and not using the other... well that is a little ridiculous.

    I'm going to explain this by simplified math calculations. (Note that this is not exactly how the game works, it is only an explanation of theory.)

    Say your opponent has 100% chance of hitting you, and you have 50% chance of blocking him. (50 block).

    Now when he attacks you, then he has 50% chance of hitting you.

    Now if you have 50 block AND 50 dodge, he will have 50% chance of getting past your block, and after that another 50% chance of getting past the dodge.

    So he will have a 50% times 50% chance of hitting you (0.5x0.5=0.25) 25%.

    So you will now have an effective 75% chance of avoiding the blow, not just 50%.

    See if you can follow this: 100% is better than 75%, which is better than 50% therefore:

    Having 50 block and 50 dodge is better than only having 50 block, but not as good as having 100 block. (Maybe equally as good as 75 block, but note that this is a simplified calculation, so in reality 75 block is a little better)

    Now if we look at the cost of raising block from 50 to 75. You will need 1575 skill points.

    Raising Dodge from 0 to 50. You will need 1275 skill points.

    It works out (roughly) even.

    Side Note: No matter how much block/dodge or attack bonus you have, you will never have more than 90% chance of attacking or dodging, so even if you have 1000 attack bonus, and your opponent has zero block and dodge, he still has a small chance of avoiding the blow.



    Note on Stamina:

    Stamina is a very tricky and very necessary ability. It does nothing by itself, but governs pretty much all the other abilities. If your stamina runs out, so do your other abilities. If you have any high abilities that you chose to min/max, always make sure you have enough stamina to sustain them. Higher abilities use more stamina, so when you've upgraded one of those abilities, also check that you still have enough stamina for it. If the stamina runs out halfway during the match, you are in deep trouble. Your abilities will stop working as effectively, you will lose health even if you are the one doing the attacking, and you will be very vulnerable to bleeding, pinning and tapping out. Generally not a good place to be. The biggest challenge for aggressive players (like strength characters) is to not run out of stamina, and as you have neither lightness nor tireless as primary abilities, you could find yourself in a constant struggle to keep up with the demand. You might find that you will need combinations of Abilities, Special Abilities, Advanced Techniques and even Private Gym (if you are a supporter) just to keep up with the amount of stamina you use, especially when you have BIG finishers.

    Side Note: If you see you are having a problem with stamina, stop upgrading your moves and finishers, because they will use more stamina at higher levels and end up doing you more harm than they do your opponent.



    Note on Damage Increaser/Reducer:

    As with dodging and blocking, there is a limit to how much damage you can do or resist (90%). For this reason, there would be no point getting 300% DDI, when the most DR on your level is only 100%. 190% will be enough. Rather spend those points somewhere else.

    Secondly, DDI and DR is strictly dependent on stamina, that is why you will find you do more/less damage towards the end of the match. Either your opponent or you have run out of stamina.



    Note on Out of the Ring Fighting:

    Getting the opponent out of the ring is a good thing. This is for three reasons:

    Firstly, out of the ring moves generally do more damage, and have more chance of wounding. If you can get him out of the ring, you can knock the wind out of him.

    Your tech opponent has no submission moves outside of the ring, and the speed has no pin moves either.

    Thirdly, pacification and feint cease to work outside of the ring, so you can only be dodged and/or blocked. As there is a ten count (nine attacks) you can do some serious damage in a rather long chain of big moves without fear of retribution (assuming of course you stacked up on attack bonus.)

    Not all moves allow you to go out of the ring, and there is no way of knowing which moves do allow it. The two best moves I can think of to get your opponent out of the ring is Multiple German Suplex (but you will need some tech points) and Rocket Launcher. There are others too, but these two work most often (for me anyways.)



    Note on Upgrading Moves:

    Upgrading moves is a good thing. Better moves do more damage and have less chance of being avoided.

    The downside of course is that the cost to upgrade goes up exponentially, but the increase stays linear. For every 10 levels you upgrade the move, you will gain equal to the original moves bonuses.

    This is all great when you go from lvl 0 to lvl 10 (effectively doubling the ability of the move), but not so great when you go from lvl 90 to lvl 100 (where the increase in move potential is only 11%, but the cost is ENORMOUS.)

    That said, many characters have had success in upgrading moves to preposterous levels, but you will have to decide for yourself what the cut-off point will be for you.

    Personally, I don't think you should train past lvl 20. (Lvl 50 if you buy TP's and can afford a little "extra") but maybe that's just me.

    Just a reminder as well, higher level moves also cost more stamina, so keep that in mind when you train your moves up.



    Note on Masters:

    You can go about this one of two ways:

    Either you are a TP buyer and don't have to worry about getting enough FE, or you are not , and FE is a BIG concern for you at lower levels.

    So you either WANT to level up quickly to get more FE, or you DON'T.

    If you WANT to level up, forget about your strength for a while and focus on defence. The best way to beat a master is to simply outlast him. Stock up on Health, DR, Stamina, Block and/or Dodge. These are the most basic skills you will need to beat a master. (Contrary to popular belief a better finisher might help you get lucky, but it will actually decrease your chances of beating the master)

    If you DON'T want to level up, well, just do exactly the opposite. You can beat many characters on your level simply by dominating them with initiative and long attack strings, allowing you to get to 1st or 2nd ranking in level. But for the masters, this simply doesn't work. So effectively, you will be level sitting, winning some much needed FE and TP from tourneys. Maybe even Elimination Chambers, but don't bet on that too much as this is usually dominated by the resistance characters who have the endurance for such long and tiring matches. (Also the worst thing for elimination chambers is a big finisher)





    Well, I hope this guide helps you through some tough questions, or maybe even give you a few options you didn't have before.
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