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[Character Guide] Quintessential Quince


#1

This guide was written by @MadKing

Quince, like his political persona, is a man of two lives. On the surface, he gets destroyed by many characters simply for being very slow. However, he is merely feigning weakness; once he lands a single hit, he easily becomes the most terrifying character in the game, being able to force multiple mixups and “cheat” his way to victory. A mixup character based in deception, he is the choice for you if you want to strike once and then constantly leave the opponent guessing what you will do next.

Pros

  • Most dodges of any character in the game
  • Two Truths gives him the ability to reuse many powerful combat options
  • Face cards all have two parts of the RPS triangle, ensuring he rarely runs out of options
  • Has the ability to play two combat cards in a single turn
    *Between his innate and Patriot Mirror, has the strongest mixups in the game, which feed into more mixups
  • Frequent access to knockdowns

Cons

  • Extremely slow – ties for slowest throws in the game and does not have a single attack faster than 1.2
  • Awful defensive options when knocked down
  • Vulnerable to Rewind Time Jokers
  • Requires a consistent cardflow to continue his mixups
  • Extremely high learning curve

Notice: As a result of Quince’s high learning curve, this guide is going to be significantly longer and more in-depth than I am used to writing. I would not recommend this guide – or the character Quince – to an absolute beginner at Yomi. Feel free to simply read one section at a time in order to gain a fuller understanding of Quince.

Understanding Quince – Death By Vortex, Or How You Win Despite Being a Glacier

Unlike other mixup-heavy characters, Quince cannot use fast combat options to enforce a mixup since he doesn’t have any real fast options to threaten with. Instead, he relies on landing a hit in some way – once he does this, his ability to flip his face cards weights the next combat heavily in his favor, and a won combat goes into another Positive Spin or a Patriot Mirror. The idea of a mixup that loops into another mixup is known as a vortex.

In order to begin the vortex, you first have to land the hit with Quince. This is incredibly difficult precisely because Quince is so slow - his fastest throws will either lose or clash with opposing fast throws, and his fast attacks will get outsped by even moderately fast combo starters. You will have to take damage in the early and sometimes even the middle game in order to win reliably - if you are not comfortable with this, I humbly suggest you try another character.

In the early game, you will want to play defensively by blocking opposing fast attacks and using occasional normal attacks against throws in order to build a hand relatively safely. Once you have access to a couple of face cards or aces, you can move to actively starting a vortex. You have to have strong reading skills to do this, as you are almost always playing a raw RPS read instead of something relatively fast. As basic as it sounds: your best options against fast attacks are dodges; your best options against throws are attacks; your best options against dodges/blocks are throws.

The safest two options to lean on are your attacks and dodges – since the opponent can only beat an attack/dodge range by blocking, it opens up the opponent to being thrown and knocked down, which not only gives you a vortex but also weakens their defensive options. This also makes being knocked down catastrophic, as you can no longer threaten dodges and your slow attacks and throws are unlikely to beat their knockdown mixups.

As Quince must deal damage in order to start (or continue) a vortex, this leaves him very weak to Rewind Time Jokers – Quince is effectively forced to use his dodges in order to beat fast attacks, and a Rewind Time potentially leads to a wasted dodge. Baiting out Jokers successfully is essential to playing Quince well - sometimes it is OK to simply pass against an opposing facedown if the cost of playing into a Joker is too high.

The Vortex Spin Cycle

Once you land a hit (or have a face card blocked successfully), the vortex can begin. Since each of your face cards have two options available, you use the threat of “cheating” in combat to enforce your mixup, as opposed to raw speed - a fast attack is no use if the attack it would outspeed suddenly becomes a dodge.

However, each of your face cards have both ends totally dominated by one option on the RPS spectrum. As a result, only two of the opponent’s options matter: the card that dominates the face card in question, and the option that beats your alternative play.

This is the safest possible spin reveal; by revealing the attack side, you beat all throw attempts, and you can spin to the dodge if the attack would be blocked, dodged, or outsped to either beat or tie their combat option. This also has the lowest reward if you reveal your spin card, as you either get a single card off the dodge, or 9 damage off the attack. The primary mixup you enforce with your Spin J is J/Throw, with your throw beating any dodge or block attempts to dominate the J.

Alternatively, once the opponent attempts to outspeed your throw attempt with their own faster throws, you can attempt J/Mixup Normal if the opponent is knocked down to give a higher-reward mixup – in exchange, your opponent’s blocks become slightly stronger since they work against 2/3 of your mixup (the J and one of your mixup normals). This setup is preferred against :zane: since any odd normal is unblockable and he has two ranks of throws that outspeed your 7. It is also stronger against :troq: :rook: and :midori: since you need high damage to threaten their strong throw game and the 9 damage from a J landing will not usually do the job you want.

Reveal J when:
You value safety over continued mixups;
The opponent is knocked down – you can guarantee another Positive Spin by playing the J, as you either win combat with it or deal block damage (the only two exceptions are :gwen: and :rook:), and can add Mixup Normal to your options.

This is a high-risk option with anywhere from moderate to high reward depending on your potential damage. The Q reveal beats all throws, blocks, and dodges between the two options, with the attack being a high-damage starter that beats throw attempts, and the throw beating any blocks or dodges. Any attack the opponent has that is faster than 7.2 will beat both ends of this card, including several high-damage combo starters. The main mixup you enforce with Spin Q is Q/dodge, with the dodge beating any attack attempts – as Righteous Zeal does high damage and knocks down, your dodge is guaranteed a solid payoff provided you have an additional face card to spin after expending the Q. If you think the opponent will use a slow attack to deal a high amount of damage, your mixup can instead become Q/A to outspeed slow starters and land a Patriot Mirror.

Reveal Q when:
You want strong up-front damage;
You have access to a combo escape Joker or are otherwise not afraid of opposing attacks; this is Quince’s most aggressive Positive Spin reveal and you have to be prepared for the consequences of being wrong on an aggressive range.

This is overall Quince’s strongest spin option, at moderate risk and potentially high reward. All attacks, blocks, and dodges are defeated by using the K, with the throw beating all blocks and dodges and the dodge beating all attacks. Any opposing throws faster than speed 9.0 will defeat the spin – however, many characters only have 8 total throws in their deck that are faster than 9.0, and if they haven’t been drawn yet or have already been used, you can potentially have a guaranteed combat win with K. Assuming the opponent does have a faster throw than K, the enforced mixup is K/attack, with Quince’s attacks beating all throw attempts.

Reveal K when:
The opponent is at a low hand size – the throw will beat any blocks used to rebuild, and the dodge will stop any attempts at normal draw;
You have a strong combo off the K starter, as the throw does not knock down.

As you draw a card when you spin a face card, you should try to play the option that is more likely to lose combat first, thereby increasing the chances you draw a card. Failing that, you usually want to reveal as follows:

J, K: Attack- or throw-side first. If you are forced to dodge, you maintain your hand size instead of going negative.
Q: Attack-side first. The attack side is already incredibly efficient at 12 damage and a knockdown for one card. However, the throw end requires a minimum of an additional pump to match that damage, and therefore benefits from the card draw.

Mirror Mirror On The Wall: The Strongest Mixups Of Them All

Quince’s Ace is the centerpiece of his gameplan. Unlike his Positive Spin, where he’s locked into two specific options, Patriot Mirror allows you to pick any two cards and use that as your mixup instead. In addition, the knockdown on a successful hit significantly weakens the opponent’s defensive options and makes it incredibly likely (and sometimes guaranteed) that you will get either another Patriot Mirror or a Positive Spin.

There are two ways to land Patriot Mirror:

  • A successful dodge. This is the most common way to land Patriot Mirror, as the 2.8 speed means that several important attacks naturally outspeed it. This method is very weak to Rewind Time Jokers since the damage prevention stops Patriot Mirror from activating.
  • A “naked” Patriot Mirror. This is normally used to beat throw attempts to catch Quince’s dodges or Spin K reveals, but can also outspeed greedy slow attacks used to defeat Spin Q. Landing a Mirror in this way guarantees you a Patriot Mirror turn even if the opponent has a Joker.

Since Patriot Mirror also knocks the opponent down, there are three strong mixups on a successful Patriot Mirror hit:

Mixup Normal + Dodge

This is the simplest and safest mixup that Quince gains, but that does not diminish its effectiveness. Similar to his Spin J, the mixup cannot actually “lose” combat (dodge beats all attack options and Gold Burst and ties with blocks, and the normal beats all throws/ineffective dodges and half of the opponent’s blocks). However, you have a higher chance of winning combat than you do with spin J, and a higher reward:

  • Opposing blocks only have a 50% chance to work (as opposed to the 100% chance against a combat-revealed J), as the opponent is knocked down;
  • Any throws or attacks meant for the other Mirror mixups simply lose to the option coverage that attack+dodge gives;
  • Off of a mixup normal, you gain access to highly damaging combos, as the normal functions as a Starter rather than as an Ender.
  • This should be your default mixup until the opponent is trained to block and hope for the 50% chance his block works. This opens up the other two primary mixups.

7 Throw + Dodge

This mixup is one of two that renders blocking completely ineffective. Instead of a 50% chance that the block will work (from the previous setup), any block reveal is now a combat loss to the throw. Similarly to the above setup, all attack attempts are also defeated by the dodge. In exchange, this setup loses safety, as any throw 7.8 or faster will beat the mixup, either by clashing or outright beating the throw attempt while also successfully throwing the dodge. However, against characters with only one throw that can beat Quince’s 7, this mixup is similar to Spin K in that once the opponent does not have access to that throw, this setup is a 100% guaranteed combat win. This setup can potentially work with a slower throw, but gains significantly more risk than using a 7, as more opposing throws can outspeed Quince’s slower throws.

Odd Normal + Even Normal – THE UNBLOCKABLE

This is Quince’s highest-risk Mirror setup, but potentially carries a very high reward. Since the opponent cannot simultaneously block even and odd, revealing both together when the opponent is knocked down results in an unblockable combat. As both options are attacks, this also beats fast throws that might be used to defeat the 7+dodge setup. Of course, as Quince’s fastest combat normal is speed 3.8, this means that almost any strong attack in the game will soundly defeat this mixup and possibly demolish you for large amounts of damage – however, since the other two setups strongly discourage attacking, this can become remarkably safe once the opponent is conditioned to attack less frequently.

While there might be some similarity to his Spin face cards in that each of them lose to a specific RPS option, the fact that your Mirror setup is not revealed (unlike your Spin) makes the setups significantly more powerful, as which of the three you are going for is wholly ambiguous. In exchange, Mirror setups drain your cards, as you must commit to using two cards immediately – this is contrary to Positive Spin, which sacrifices ambiguity and sheer power for maintaining your handsize (or potentially gaining cards if you get the card draw and the damage).

These three setups are the three strongest that Quince has access to, but two of them only work when the opponent is knocked down. If your Patriot Mirror is blocked, your setup choices become much more limited, and it might be more favorable to use a Positive Spin instead of burning two cards (minimum) on a weaker Mirror setup. However, if you have a hand that can sustain a weaker Mirror setup attempt, there are other setups you can use.

7+Dodge: See above for more details. This mixup is unaffected by the opponent not being knocked down, and is your strongest setup in this case.

Dodge+A: A safe attempt to land another Patriot Mirror, and best when you have two aces in hand to threaten another Patriot Mirror off of the dodge.

Attack+Throw: Protects the other two setups by beating all throw attempts and blocks/dodges, but is easily defeated by any sort of fast attack.

Quince also has two setups that are guaranteed combat wins. However, one is matchup-specific, and one seems strong but is actually a mistake to use.

The Strongest Possible Setup: Odd Normal + Dodge (Knocked Down :zane: Only)

As Zane has no odd blocks, this is a guaranteed combat win: either Zane attacks into a dodge, or does literally anything else and loses to an odd mixup normal. Zane is left with two pretty awful choices:

  • Swing and either have a Joker or hope Quince does not have another Ace. If you have another Ace, the setup loops into itself.
  • Take the hit and ensuing combo. This guarantees that he’ll be able to escape the setup quicker - and won’t be knocked down - but also leads into your combo of choice and a Positive Spin turn.

The Secretly Horrible Unloseable Combat: Gold Burst + Throw

Gold Burst beats all attacks and throws (and ties with other Gold Bursts), while throws beat all blocks and dodges. In addition, this setup works independently of whether the Patriot Mirror hit or was blocked. All this together makes the Secretly Horrible Unloseable Combat seem strong, but, as the name implies, this is actually among the WORST possible Patriot Mirror setups.

  • You invest a very valuable Joker. As Quince has major problems until he lands a hit, the Jokers are necessary to prevent combo damage and give Quince more time to build up and eventually start the vortex;
  • Landing the Joker ends your Spin/Mirror time immediately, as it does no damage. Given that you have to keep the vortex going in order to maintain an advantage, using your most valuable card to voluntarily end the vortex is almost certainly a mistake;
  • If the throw lands, you continue the vortex but get 0 benefit from your Joker.
  • In short, this setup is tempting but should only be used if you are either taunting the opponent or have genuinely run out of real setups – in which case going for the initial Mirror was also a mistake.

Card Analysis

2
Despite being Quince’s fastest normal attack, this should only be used for its ability, Two Truths, with very very few exceptions. Two Truths is important enough that it will get its own section later. Never ever power these away.

3
Quince’s fastest useable combat normal and also a good card to use for a dodge. As Quince does not have a 4 attack, this will only combo into AA, Qthrow, or J. As a result, you will more than likely be using this as a dodge much more frequently. Powering up with 3s is all right unless it will deny you access to dodges.

4
Quince’s best block and also favorite dodge, and excellent powerup fodder. Not much to say, it’s a card you should never feel bad blocking with or dodging with.

5
Quince’s favorite odd normal (since it leads into 567), solid combo filler, and a servicable odd block. In most matchups, it will lose to the same things that 3 attack does, making it ideal for mixup normal situations or as a throw punisher. Powering up with 5s is perfectly acceptable.

6
Quince’s only real even normal attack, as 2 is almost always an ability. Also Quince’s best 1CP combo filler for combos ending in J. Best used during Patriot Mirror setups as either the even half of the odd+even unblockable or an even mixup normal in the dodge+mixup normal setup. This is also important as part of Quince’s 567 straight. Powering up with 6s has a real chance of losing you access to even mixup normals, but can still be justified.

7
Quince’s fastest throw, it should mostly be used as such. However, it also is functional as the ender for the 567 straight, a part of the 67Q++ combo, and a high-damage odd mixup normal for confirming into AA+. Powering away 7s is almost always a mistake.

8
Quince’s second-fastest throw, and his worst card to be forced to block with. Because it’s valuable as an extra “fast” throw, powering up with these is questionable but it can be all right if you need aces.

9
Quince’s best odd block, and also servicable as a throw. Best card to power up with outside of your 4s.

10
Depending on your opponent, this is either a fantastic ability or your second-best even block and powerup. This hinges entirely on whether they respect Flagstone Tax, and how much. Similar to DeGrey, you can use this in tandem with your other mixup tools to attempt to influence your opponent’s actions.

Examples of Flagstone Tax setups include:
You Positive Spin a K, and during the Positive Spin turn you play Flagstone Tax on throws. Yomi Level 1 Play is to just play the K since even on failure you draw the cards. Yomi Level 2 Play is to play a 5, expecting the opponent to disrespect Flagstone Tax and take a lot of damage.

You land a Patriot Mirror, and play Flagstone Tax on blocks. Dodge/Mixup Normal becomes a much stronger setup since even if they correctly read that you are going for that setup AND they block correctly, you draw 3 cards from the Flagstone Tax and the normal draw, or you can select your dodge and replace the two cards you used on the Mirror turn. If they block incorrectly, you draw 3 cards from their block and the normal hitting. If they choose not to block at all, you either dodge their attack or attack into their throw/ineffective dodge.

If your opponent is not going for any of your “trap” setups with Flagstone Tax, one of the stronger uses is naming attacks during any Positive Spin or Patriot Mirror. As your opponent’s primary escape from the Quince Vortex is a faster attack backed up by a facedown joker, you can easily turn your 10s into free cards if you anticipate the opponent doing this. This also prevents the opponent from bleeding you of cards during Patriot Mirror with this escape, as the 2 cards from Flagstone Tax replace both of your Mirror cards.

Feel free to come up with more Flagstone Tax setups; in general, your strongest setups will come during a Patriot Mirror, a Positive Spin, or a knockdown that somehow does not include either of the above.

Face Cards and Ace

Because the specific Spin setups were already covered, this will cover the face cards’ utility as raw combat reveals, dodge punishes, or combo enders.

Jack
When not being used as a Positive Spin, the attack side is Quince’s ender for the 567 straight. This can also function as a dodge in the event you run out of 3s and 4s. In case of a knockdown, you can attempt to use J to beat odd mixup normals. This is one of Quince’s two cards that can be used as dodges against :midori: Dragon attacks.

Queen
As the Q attack, this is Quince’s highest single-card damage and his most damaging combo starter. However, Quince is not allowed to combo AA afterward, and must either combo into another Q, two adjacent normals, or a normal and a J. As the Qthrow, this is Quince’s most damaging combo ender from his 2CP starters, and this is the side that is most commonly used, since it adds 17 damage for 2 combo points to any hit Quince gets.

King
This is rarely used as a throw outside of Positive Spin or if the two extra damage compared to his normal throws would create lethal; the reason is that this throw does not carry a knockdown and is thus easier to use a Joker against. The dodge side is serviceable in most matchups assuming you have no 3s or 4s, and in the :midori: matchup as one of your two dodges that function against Dragon attacks.

Ace
Patriot Mirror has already been covered above. As Consent of the Governed, it is Quince’s fastest attack at 1.2 speed, as well as his most damaging combo ender when fully pumped; however, it can only be comboed into from normal attacks. In some matchups, you may need to threaten an AA reveal in order to relieve some pressure from attacks that fall between 1.2 and 2.6 speed.

Combos
2s are not considered for combos due to their use as Two Truths and very low damage.

Throw Q++: 24 damage

Throw 6J: 22 damage

567J: 27 damage, normal draw, ace search

56 (or 67) Q++: 28-30 damage, normal draw

normal - AA+: 33-37 damage, normal draw

KQ++: 26 damage

K6J: 24 damage

Q6J: 27 damage

Q Q++: 29 damage

3Q++: 20 damage, normal draw

Twice Tell The Truth - Using Two Truths Effectively

Two Truths is the ability that allows Quince to maintain his card-hungry ways without always blocking or going for Positive Spin. To begin understanding how to use this card effectively, you should know which cards to generally value higher for returning to your hand.

Top Priority - Take these cards above anything else unless your hand is already flooded and needs something else.

All Face Cards - This gives you high combo damage from J/Q, and consistent Positive Spin fodder from all three. J and K are doubly important against :midori: since you need access to dodges that work against Dragon attacks.

7 - Quince’s fastest throw and a part of the dodge+7 Patriot Mirror setup. Repeated access to 7 is what allows that setup to sometimes be a guaranteed combat win, and also lategame gives Quince an edge in most matchups in throw clashes.

High Priority - Value these cards generally higher than others in your discard outside of the Top Priority tier.

6 - Quince’s only even mixup normal. Also an important combo filler at 6 damage for 1 combo point.

10 - This can easily move into Top Priority against opponents that are easier to force into trap setups with Flagstone Tax. Otherwise, it’s a fairly awful combat card outside of being a servicable even block, but it can still serve a purpose as insurance in case a Positive Spin turn does not go as intended. It also helps refuel cards in case of the “fast attack + joker” escape attempt from an opponent.

8 - Quince’s second-best normal throw. Obviously 7s are better to recur but sometimes you don’t have access to 7s OR you need throws enough to choose both a 7 and an 8.

Medium-to-Low Priority - These cards are okay returns but not generally as useful as the upper tiers. In some situations, can replace the above cards as optimal returns if they fill a certain need.

3, 4 - As dodges, these allow Quince to keep dealing damage through fast attacks. In general, you should have at least one dodge per pile to guarantee continued access to dodges. Whether you value 3 or 4 more depends on whether you need an odd mixup normal or an even block.

5 - Quince’s best odd mixup normal, but not as important as 6 since Quince also has access to his 3 as an alternative odd. Against :zane: this moves into Top Priority as your most valuable Patriot Mirror unblockable.

9 - Probably my least favorite card to return, but is still useful as an odd block or a super-emergency throw.

Handling the Topdecks

In addition to the three cards you hand-pick, your deck provides its top two cards as the last two. Handling the topdeck is how you can maximize your use of Two Truths. Always set your cards up such that no matter which pile the opponent chooses to give you, your hand improves roughly the same amount either way.

Common Difficult Scenarios

The Single Pair: You choose J Q 9 from your discard. Your deck gives you 9 4 from the top. In this scenario, remember that a pair is functionally equivalent to an Ace. As such, the following piles could be acceptable:

994
QJ

This guarantees a dodge in each pile. In addition, the piles now read “4 A” and “Q J”, both of which could be useful depending on the contents of your hand. If your hand already had a 4 in it, this secretly the piles read “two aces” and “two faces.”

The Joke’s On You: You choose any distribution from your discard. Your deck gives you a Joker and some non-joker card from the top. What makes this scenario hard is how much you value the cards you selected over losing a Joker - this can either be incredibly strong or incredibly bad depending on that. As an example, your card pool might be J Q 7, with the flip giving Joker and K. In this case, you can either set up a “4 vs Joker” split, or you can put the three most valuable (to you) cards in one pile while leaving the fourth and the Joker in the other.

Three Truths?!: You choose any distribution from your discard. Your deck gives you a 2 and anything else from the top. In this case, realize that “4 cards vs 2” is a really bad split since you will effectively cycle your 2. Put the three most useful cards against the least useful and the 2, and be happy with the three most valuable cards.

Every situation is different; in general, try to get as many cards as possible while still giving your hand whatever fuel it needs.

This guide was written by @MadKing


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