Character Spotlight: D’Janette

Welcome to the first entry in our new Character Spotlight article series. In each article, we will focus on one character in UniVersus. We will gather insights and opinions from well-known players in the community, collect links to decklists and deck profiles, and try to provide one central hub for information on the character. 

For our inaugural article, we present to you a feature on D’Janette, from the Seventh Cross set. Being from Seventh Cross, she has two Character cards, so there are some expanded possibilities in the way that she plays. To discuss D’Janette, I’ve asked my friends Tim Keefe (2-time World Champion), Scott D’Jarnette (2 PTC wins, including 1 win with D’Janette), and Tamren Cardwell (TCG University).

Thank you for taking the time to check out this curated analysis and I hope to bring you back for the next installment of Character Spotlight!

WHAT’S UP EVERYBODY?!!! Tam here from TCGUniversity, bringing you an article about my absolute favorite Seventh Cross character: D’Janette! D’Janette One-Dot is a character that takes a TON of skill to play. My goal today is to tell you all of the amazing lessons that playing a character like D’Janette can teach you. Let’s get started!

—Deck Construction—

When choosing a character in UniVersus, it’s very easy to find yourself falling into a pattern of picking characters Like Scorpion* or Ken** that pump a TON of damage very quickly from their Character card, regardless of the deck contents. D’Janette deals all of her damage from INSIDE the deck. D’J teaches you as a player to correctly value what you put in your deck and not “steal easy wins” by giving all of your Attacks 2 Speed and 6 Damage. Each card has a job to do and you as the D’Janette player have to orchestrate the win before the match ever starts.

—Know Thy Enemy—

D’Janette also teaches you that “knowledge is power”. D’Jannete’s Response is a VERY powerful disruption tool but only when used correctly. There are almost 600 Attacks in the Standard tournament format at the time of this writing, some much scarier than others. As the D’Janette player, it is a hard lesson to know what cards should be taxed and which shouldn’t be. And, it’s a harder lesson still to know what cards your opponent is willing to pay the Vitality tax on or not. 

—It’s More Than a Peek—

A lot of people focus on the Response on D’Janette as the best ability on her Character card. I’m here to tell you that the Enhance will save your game WAY more often than the discard will. As much as we love the thrill of throwing attacks and shouting “Hadoken” at each other, UniVersus is a card game. And card games run on math. (OH NO!) So, the person who will be best at the card game is normally the person who does better math. D’Janette lets you cheat in your number crunching game by not forcing you to guess whether you can block a specific attack that your opponent throws or not. And, even better, D’J lets you choose whether you want that card to stay on top or not. Maybe you have a way to draw a card on your opponent’s turn? As long as you have Momentum, she can sculpt away at what your next turn onslaught will be. 

Every time I sit down to play as D’Janette, even after years of playing UniVersus, she teaches me to appreciate a new aspect of the game. And this is only the tip of the iceberg! She always starts the game with a free Momentum and can retrieve it every turn. She can force your opponent to block EVERY attack you throw because of her subtle burn Response! And, so much more. PLUS, we haven’t even talked about her other version! But, that will have to be an article for another time 🙂 Thank you everyone who took the time to read what I had to say about my favorite Seventh Cross character. If you liked this article and want to hear more lessons and opinions on UniVersus Collectible Card Games, please go out to my YouTube channel TCGUniversity. There are tons of podcasts, deck profiles, and more for you to enjoy. Stay Lern’t!

“The strongest ability D’Janette has isn’t written in plain sight on the character – it’s on Spell Circle, in tandem with getting to start the game with it. The result is that D’Janette gets to (when she wants to) start every turn with a Momentum. That’s a big deal. Momentum rarely comes so easily to a Character, let alone with a 7 hand size, let alone with two defensive abilities, to boot. So, most of the good DJ decks will seek to make the most of that easy Momentum, activating cards like Hacker Extraordinaire, Covert Intent, Stake Out, Zanku Hadoken, and so on more reliably than is normally possible. 

DJ’s response, while not as central to the deck as her Spell Circle, is also better than meets the eye. One might think it isn’t very good until you have a couple of Characters stacked, but even with no stacks its impact is quietly significant. So much so that it’s not rare to see a D’Janette deck with no Gauge Attacks at all.

Between messing with your opponent’s kill-turn math, at times their poke-and-build math, countering next-attack effects including  some key Character abilities, and accumulating a few points of burn making your kill that much easier, there are a lot of little impacts going on within just one ability here. And, those add up over the course of a game, a match, and a tournament.

D’Janette has repeatedly shown herself to be stronger than she looks at face value. There’s no reason to expect that to change any time soon, especially with some interesting options for her in upcoming DLC (i.e. Zanku Hadoken, Royal Bodyguard, We Were All Comrades). So don’t be afraid to give her a try, and don’t sleep on her as an opponent.”

D’Janette really is a unique Character, and in a game like UV with a wide array of Character options and abilities, we probably should not throw the word “unique” around lightly. While many Characters in UV are distinct, they can often be classified or pigeonholed by what their abilities cater toward: stat modifiers, Reversal Characters, specific keyword deckbuilding rails, etc. D’Janette has no such restrictions and is a blank canvas for you to put whatever deck you want or can on top of the unique advantages that she affords, which is the key to finely tuning a list and best drawing out her strengths. You can look to make use of the Momentum she provides as fuel for other card abilities or you can save it just for her Response; both are potentially viable options.

Character Strengths:

  • Spell Circle Privilege – At no cost to you she starts with a Momentum in play and can always have at least one Momentum every turn — yours and your opponents — if you are willing and able to pay the cost of losing a card from hand. 
  • Fade-on-a-Stick – Her character Response should be viewed as a repeatable Fade, which is a very powerful tool if wielded correctly. 
  • With the Power of Foresight – Her Enhance gives you the ability to see and “stack” your deck or discard pile appropriately for potential defensive draw or top-of-discard-pile recursion effects (i.e. Undying Rage) and also allows you to know when a block check is going to be good and how you should plan out your block decisions accordingly. 
  • There Are No Strings on Me – She is not immediately locked into anything deckbuilding-wise to trigger her Character abilities. D’Janette pays you off well for having card draw/advantage effects, further Momentum generators, and some semblance of Character-stacking/Gauge effects. But, nothing is absolutely necessary to make her pay off or to make her “not blank” throughout the course of a game.

Character Weaknesses:

  • Offense Sold Separately – Due to her not natively providing Attack speed or damage bonuses like many Characters do, your offensive game plan really needs to come from the rest of your deck. 
  • Underwhelming Second Version – With the focal point of the 7th Cross sets being Character-stacking, it is a little disappointing that D’Janette’s 2-Dot version doesn’t pay off as immediately as one might like. 

Deck-Building Pitfalls and Traps:

  • Character Response Tunnel Vision – A common mistake that I believe many players make when building D’Janette is keying in on her Response ability of discarding cards with dreams of making their opponents ask “Mother May I?” every time they put a card on the table and make a check. While you probably should spend some amount of your deck slots on generating Momentum outside of landing attacks while accounting for getting characters attached, making it the sole focus of your deck to do both equally is likely a mistake. Everything in moderation.
  • Character-Stacking is Optional, Not a Requirement – The real payoffs for Character-stacking is to provide some pressure in the form of making it hurt when your opponent wants to buy back their discarded cards and to get the EX buff of the 2-Dot ability to a large enough number that you can readily and easily land a final blow.

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