An Idiot's Guide to Retina

Posted on September 26, 2018

a clarification

the idiot in the title refers to the person who wrote it, not necesserily to the person reading this.


BattleCon is one of my favourite boardgames and its made by a bunch of really great people.

at its core its a card game version of something like street fighter (if you’re a pleb) or Melty Blood (if you’re a cool guy slash gal)

it currently has a kickstarter running for the latest set, which you should check out here as well as an online version which you can grab for free here

as part of the promotion for the kickstarter im writing a guide for my custom character Retina, which has recieved very little playtesting because im bad at balance.

so without further ado



retina is a girl who wears headphones and is a slick-ass fighter.

she is the friend of iris (the vg gal and the respective battlecon promo

since creating this character i have come to realise that vg gal iris was named after the flower, and not the part of the eye, however ive become attached to the name retina for my character so we’ll leave it at that.

she is excited on the inside because she is somewhat of a self insert character and im expressionless. sue me.

her fighting style involves being in-tune with her opponent, which grants her extra power, however if she loses focus these are lost until she can sync back up with the opponent.


Retina is, like every single other battlecon character, a Brawler. she has very bread and butter battlecon effects, with an emphisis on movement.

her up to date kit including balance changes is hosted at the BattleCon Customs Database but i will also list it her, with what it was at the time of writing.

Unique Ability

Retina has a single, double-sided Form Card. She begins the duel In-Tune.

She can only activate In-Tune effects while she is In-Tune, and can only activate Out-of-Tune effects while Out-of-Tune.

In-Tune: When you are stunned, flip this card and discard it with your current attack pair. +1 Priority.

Out-of-Tune: This card cycles together with your discard piles. When it leaves your discard piles, regain and flip it. -1 Power.



+0 Range, +0 Power, +0 Priority

Reveal, In-Tune: +1 Power
Before Activating, In-Tune: Move up to 1 space.


+1 Range, +0 Power, +1 Priority

Start of Beat, In-Tune: Push the opponent 1 space.
In-Tune: If the opponent would move more than 1 space, reduce that movement to 1 space.


+0~1 Range, +0 Power, +0 Priority

Out-of-Tune: Stun Immunity
In-Tune: This attack does not stun opponents


+0 Range, -1 Power, +0 Priority

Reveal, In-Tune: +0~1 Range. If the opponent has any positive Power modifiers, +2 Power.
End of Beat: Move up to 2 spaces.


+1~2 Range, -1 Power, -2 Priority

Start of Beat: Push the opponent 1 or 2 spaces

Unique Base


1~3 Range, 2 Power, 4 Priority

End of Beat: Move up to 1 space. you may swap your discard piles


Drop the Bass!

1~6 Range, 4 Power, 1 Priority

It’s been a long build up!

Stun Immunity
Reveal, Out-of-Tune: Remove your form card from your discard piles, and flip it to its In-Tune side.

Blow the Speakers!

1~2 Range, 7 Power, 6 Priority

Totally worth it!

After Activating: Flip your form card to its Out-of-Tune side and remove it from your discard piles. For the rest of the game you cannot flip your form card.


retina is somewhat of a brawler, who likes to play the clock. she would rather jump around and hit for small amounts, than trade for larger amounts.

this is because she gets quite weaker while out of tune, and she lacks stun guard on any of her styles outside of Deep (which ironically does not help while in-tune anyway).

because of this she likes:

  • fast attacks that can stun
  • positioning so that the opponent misses
  • strike

fast attacks

retina has a lot of styles with either neutral or positive priority on them. this means that against a lot of people she will often outspeed unless up against a speedster. this is helped by her In-Tune offering an extra priority as long as she can remain unstunned.

fast bases like drive and grasp, and her unique base beat help to stun an opponent who does not have large amounts of stun-guard, and while she may not trade for much (she lacks a lot of positive power), she hopefully will not get stunned, and thus stay in-tune.


against heavies with lots of stun guard, retina’s best option is to try and play the range game, and move either herself or the opponent so that they will miss.

her best tools for this are the base grasp, as well as her styles piercing and booming which can both move the opponent.

this is especially useful against characters with lots of close range options, as you can often move them out of range 1 and win the beat.

as always, burst and drive help with this too


another line of play is to abuse strike, and to a lesser extent shot, which both offer stun guard. this allows retina to make a trade (hopefully) without getting stunned, and more importantly can allow for mixups with opponents who were expecting a fast and tricksy character.

becoming out-of-tune

should you get stunned (and if you’re as bad at battlecon as i am, this will happen a lot) you have a few options to get back to your peak.


it will take two turns after being stunned for you to return to being In-Tune. if you can successfully dodge then this will reduce your downtime by half, so its very good to dodge when you can.

beware of easy clashes when doing this. the only real pair retina has to get out of the standard 3/4 prio dodge is booming, which is a bit of a nonbo unless you’re against close range opponents.


if you’d rather go on the offensive, deep while Out-of-Tune lets you get in any damage as long as you can maintain range, regardless of priority or stun guard. this is one of retina’s few tanking abilities, so it can be a nice surprise for an opponent expecting to get a quick stun in while you’re weak.


finally, beat allows you to swap your discard piles. this drops one turn off of your downtime, but it is predictable, and stops you being able to use beat to replay your best attacks. if you can avoid getting clashed however, beat lets you get back in tune after the beat turn, which can be quite powerful.

final thoughts

please email me at if you have any balance ideas, or ping me on tA on the battlecon discord.

if this is your first introduction to battlecon, then please play! its a really great game.

thanks for listening pals

a new challenger approaches!