Ren is an overall balanced fighter which makes him a particularly good fit for beginners. His core play-style revolves around straightforward aggressiveness. While playing as Ren, you find yourself preferring to get close to his opponent and cornering them, while throwing down some interesting range options for keeping the pressure going from a distance. This balance between rushdown and projectile tactics makes him a well-rounded fighter. Ren’s ability to energize dice with every hit is incredibly useful in his pressure game. Energizing a single die when hitting an opponent won’t do very much in the short term, but it makes a real difference in over the course of a match. At range, his Dragon Blastlaunches a powerful projectile that cannot be blocked; prefect for punishing those defensive opponents. The slow but powerful Dragon Wings can hit up to five times, and if it is performed in the center of the arena, your opponent will be cornered by the end of the attack. The fighting game classic, Dragon Punch, is the perfect counter to an aerial assailant whom you have baited into jumping. Dragon Rush is an excellent addition to Ren’s rushdown arsenal. Not only can he move two spaces forward, but it also has Chain 2 and increases any follow up attack’s damage by 1. Dragon’s Tail is potent kick when it is used while jumping, as not only is it unblockable against a crouching opponent, but it then also gains Stun 2 which removes dice from the opponent’s active pool. Fangs of the Dragon is a unique mode that provides two different bonuses. It gives Ren’s strikes the effect of pushing the opponent and advancing Ren. It also gives his blasts the ability to pull his opponent, forcing them to remain close. Ren’s Power Block is in line with his main ability, helping to recover dice more quickly than normal for a fighter.
The Brawl technique from the Hard style is a solid base for Ren. Taking this technique provides him with potent attacks that target many positions. The Push technique from the Hard style can also be a great addition to Ren’s deck. This technique gives him access to the mode action, Overwhelm, and reinforces his board control aspect. The Hard style is not known for combo string, Overwhelm breaks the norm and helps set up a few short combos from time to time. On the Chi style front, the Yang technique is the favored for Ren with the offering of Surge, a mode action that works well in tandem with the Energize effect on his character card. The Wave technique is also a great choice for him. It encourages his opponent to block and crouch, or attempt to jump over, the blast he throws at them, which in both cases he can use to stall time and build up for those short but powerful combos.
Dragon Rush + Plexus Strike + Forceful Blow: This is a quintessential Ren combo and true display power for a very effective cost, thanks to the Chain keywords on both Dragon Rush and Plexus Strike. Start the combo with at least two core dice and rush your opponent with Dragon Rush. Return two of the dice on it to the Active Pool to bring the priority of Dragon Rush back down to 6, and then play Plexus Strike. Then use one core dice with Plexus Strike to match the priority of Dragon Rush. Dragon Rush increases Plexus Strike’s damage to 3. Once the Plexus Strike hits for 3, its Chain keyword resolves, allowing you to get up to three dice back and bringing the priority down to 5. Now you only need to roll a single core die with Forceful Blow to succeed and deal an additional 2 damage. Forceful Blow then allows you to push your opponent back two spaces and advances Ren two spaces, keeping his opponent cornered. Additionally, thanks to Plexus Strike, Forceful Blow knocks your opponent down. Brutal!
Fang’s of the Dragon + Chi Ripple + Trailing Blast + Heavy Kick: This combo requires Ren’s Fangs of the Dragon mode to be in play, and serves as a great trick against a defensive opponent trying to keep their distance.
Start with the Kneel command to crouch and energize one die from six spaces way, then play Chi Ripple to advance one space forward. Follow it up with Trailing Wave to resolve the Chain 1 effect and remove one of the dice used on Chi Ripple. Chi Ripple increases the distance that the Trailing Wave blast tokens move by two extra spaces. After the first Trailing Wave hits, Fangs of the Dragon allows you to pull your opponent one space towards Ren. Trailing Wave then resolves a second time, thanks to Repeat 1, hitting for another 1 damage and pulling your opponent one more space towards Ren, setting them up perfectly for a Heavy Kick for two additional damage.
This combo brings your opponent within two spaces of Ren—exactly within Ren’s prefered zoning distance!
Fangs of the Dragon + Overwhelm: This is not a combo, but it highlights how modes can stack to make each other more effective. Fangs of the Dragon gives all strikes the Push keyword. Overwhelm makes any strikes that push gain Chain 1. Being able to chain on so many attacks provides huge benefits, and an economy of dice that opens the door on many other combos.