Perhaps the most popular character in the format these past few months has been the gravity-defying heroine, Ochaco Uraraka. With a well-rounded stable of support, stellar aggression and a balance that accounts for most situations, running Ochaco is a great choice for any player looking for premiere event level success. That’s why she recently made it to #7 in my Top 10 Power Rankings. So, what’s there to discuss? Well, which Ochaco?
There are three Uraraka’s printed so far and they each have pros and cons. In Set 1, Ochaco 1 was released. Her effects allow for a constant slew of aggression each turn without needing to draw many attacks. Typically you’ll play your first attack, which will be the best attack in your hand. Then once it resolves, you’ll activate Ochaco’s Response to send that attack to your momentum and pop it right back in your hand on your next attack. Plus, you’ll enjoy a nice little +3 speed buff to boot. So you attacked with a card without having to lose it, made a second attack harder to block pressuring your opponent, and you still are sitting with five cards in hand ready to build and defend.
Turning two attacks into three is a very big deal for a six-hander, and she plays like a seven-hander. Her other main distinguishing characteristic from Ochaco 2 and 3 is that she is the only one with access to the Life symbol. There, she enjoys great support from cards like Passing The Torch and First Villain Encounter, allowing for draw power and buffing attacks, respectively. Even more interestingly, she gets access to Navel Laser Beam, one of the few cards capable of unflipping Foundations. This allows her to reuse cards like Wall Cling and Infinite Potential.
Now, of all four symbols available to Ochaco 1 and 2 to this point, she has topped on all of them and shows no sign of slowing down. Where Ochaco 1 prides herself on consistency, Ochaco 2 trades a bit of that unbreakable combo chain, for more raw stats. The second version buffs all of her attacks by two speed and can nerf one opposing attack by three speed. While her predecessor tucks attacks away to momentum whether your opponent blocks them or not, Ochaco 2 needs an attack to land before she can move her attack right back to the safety of your hand and give your next check +2. There’s no denying the effects on Ochaco 2 are much stronger, but they also give players an avenue to play around them if you fully block her first attack. And that’s not what she wants to see when her hand size is a tiny size five. She relies on making that attack deal damage, so she can play like a six-hander, which has allowed her to see success throughout the format.
Just Like Ochaco 1, the second version likes to make her home on any resource symbol and has topped events on all of them. All she needs is a few devastating attacks and she can figure the rest out herself. Ochaco 2’s unique feature is that since she only needs to swing once or twice per turn, she often runs much higher attack counts, going up to 40 percent attacks in some of her best builds. She definitely has a higher skill barrier to entry, but Ochaco 2 is a force every time she’s put on the table.
With the release of Crimson Rampage comes Ochaco 3. The latest iteration is a bit of a combination of the two before her, but lacks something threatening to make her truly competitive. When you read her for the first time, you immediately get a sense that this is simply a great card. Each turn, as you start your Combat Phase, you pick up a momentum for free, effectively making her a seven-hander. She discourages your opponent from blocking by allowing you to filter one card in your hand and buff her next check. The problem is filtering a card just doesn’t compare to Ochaco 1’s and Ochaco 2’s ability to clear her card pool and buff speed. Her unique resource symbol, Void, also doesn’t offer her a strong attack lineup of Charge or High attacks. It’ll be an uphill battle for Ochaco 3 to catch up to the success of her three predecessors.
With an astounding eight Provisionals and two Regionals taking place over the next two weeks in Las Vegas and Columbus, we’re going to find out where Crimson Rampage has shifted the balance of power for the trinity of Ochacos. Personally, I think Ochaco 1 is the best because consistency in any card game is vital when you’re trying to win 10 matches in two days to claim a title.