Jacques the Charlatan
Super Short Summary — Jacques is a stage magician, cat burglar, and generally tricky fellow. He is a highly versatile and unique firepower that has a variety of mechanics on his abilities and mods — shielding on self or allies, invisibility on self or allies, copying buffs, stealing powerups, and more. I think he will be extremely fun to play.
Jacques is intended to be a flexible hybrid-style character. There are a lot of things he can potentially do (damage around walls, self-shielding, ally shielding, AoE damage, copying buffs, stealing powerups, invisibility for self, and invisibility for allies, to name a few) and his mods are designed to really allow the player to customize to fit a desired playstyle. You’ll note that he can’t do all of those things at once.
I was tempted to put him under Support, but as his base kit (without mods) offers no capabilities for shielding or healing allies, it didn’t seem right. So, he’s an artistic firepower, capable of doing a lot (with subtlety and panache). I think there are many ways to build and play him, and he should have a relatively high skillcap. He should also do well in coordinated teams who can take advantage of his unusual strengths, and can fit into a lot of team comps.
I gave him a free action shield that is meant to be almost but not quite as good as Juno’s (note the 4-turn cooldown). He also has relatively low hit points for either a support or a “tanky” firepower. He does have a dash, but I really wanted to limit its power level to emphasize the rest of the kit. So, the base ability deals no damage, has a fairly long cooldown (5) and doesn’t actually move him anywhere (that is, for example, an enemy Aurora could throw an Ion Cloud at his current location and know it would hit him whether or not he dashed). He does get to move after returning to his spot, but even that is subject to slows, etc. and the dash itself can be trapped. All that said, it’s a cute and fun ability. Sometimes you really like your current spot but happen to be facing down a fair amount of damage that turn — dash out of it and return! It also has some neat synergy with Shroud of Mystery: you can dash onto someone for the AoE damage and then pop back out.
Jacques, the Charlatan
Affiliation: Wildcard (none)
125 hit points
Lore: A mysterious man from Celeste’s past. A former partner? Former lover? I cannot say. What I can tell you is that Jacques was a magician who turned to a life of crime, and is an artist, a showman, and a burglar, a master of both sleight of hand and stealth.
Primary: From The Shadows — Blast Phase
Launch two arcing shadows at the target point. Can curve around walls. Deals 26 direct damage to any enemy hit by a shadow. Gain 8 energy per enemy hit.
Embrace (2 points) (default) — Enemies hit by both shadows take 4 additional damage.
Deep Shadows (3 points) — Effects of cover reduced by 50%.
Shadow Carapace (2 points) — Gain 5 shields next turn per enemy hit.
Spirit Touch (1 point) — Gain 2 additional energy per shadow that hits an enemy.
Notes: For targeting, rotate to aim; mouse near and far controls arc of the shadows. Far mouse = no arc; shadows go out next to each other in a line. Near mouse = full arc; each shadow forms roughly a half-circle so together they form roughly a full circle. 7 range if straight; full curving = circumference of 14 = diameter of about 4.5.
2: Shroud of Mystery — Prep Phase — Free Action — Cooldown 4
Gain 40 shields until end of turn. Any remaining shields at turn’s end will disappear into a new buff on Jacques (or ally if you take Lend a Hand-kerchief) which will combust during Blast phase of the next turn, dealing half of that remaining shield amount in direct damage to nearby enemies (radius 1). Gain 6 energy on use and an additional 3 energy per enemy damaged by the combusted shields.
Flourish (2 points) (default) — Increase the combustion damage by 2 and radius by 1.
Conceal (3 points) — No longer a Free Action. Gain invisibility until the end of the next decision phase.
Reinforced Fibers (2 points) — Gain an additional 10 shields, but no longer combust remaining shields.
Lend a Hand-kerchief (2 points) — the shield can be used on allies, but reduce the shield amount by 10 if an ally is targeted. (Half of remaining shield still combusts.)
Energy Absorption (1 point) — Gain 1 additional energy per 10 points of damage the shield takes.
3: Counterfeit — Blast Phase — Cooldown 4
Targets a 3×3 area to swindle. Deal 20 direct damage to each enemy in the area (ignores cover). If any enemy hit has a Might, Energize, Haste or Unstoppable buff, gain a copy of that buff next turn. Gain 6 energy per enemy hit and an additional 2 energy for each type of buff copied. **NOTE — I HAVE BEEN MADE AWARE THAT CELESTE’S ULT HAS A SIMILAR EFFECT. I HAD NO IDEA. 2500 GAMES AND I DIDN’T KNOW HER ULT DID THAT. I apologize for any inadvertent similarities, but Jacques and Celeste go way back and are similar in nature, so I think it’s actually kind of apropos.**
Infiltration (2 points) (default) — Can target through walls.
Grand Larceny (3 points) — Steal all powerups in the targeted area.
Diversion (3 points) — Create a smoke cloud at the targeted location (3×3) until the end of the next decision phase.
Cutpurse (1 point) — Deals 2 additional damage.
Rush Job (1 point) — if no buffs are copied, reduce the cooldown by 1.
4: Disappearing Act — Dash Phase — Cooldown 5
Dash (horizontally) to the target square up to 4 units away. At the end of Blast Phase, unless you get knocked back from your new position, you will reappear at your original location and can move during Movement Phase. 5 turn cooldown.
Nimble (2 points) — Gain Haste until end of turn.
Trapdoor (2 points) (default) — Increase the dash range by 1.
Stage Presence (1 point) — Gain 10 shields this turn.
The Prestige (3 points) — Deal 10 direct damage to any enemy you dash through.
Ultimate: Stealth Mission — Prep Phase — Costs 100 energy
All friendly targets in the target area (circle with radius 4) gain invisibility until the end of the next decision phase.
Mass Cloaking (2 points) (default) — Increase the radius of the target area by 3.
Cover-Up (3 points) — Friendly targets in the area gain 15 shields this turn.
Casing The Joint (1 point) — You gain full vision of the target area (like a Probe) until end of the next decision phase.
Cloak and Dagger (3 points) — Gain Might next turn.
A Few Suggested Builds:
Shadow Carapace — Reinforced — Grand Larceny — Nimble — Casing. Defensive and tactical firepower build. We use shadow carapace and reinforced to keep ourselves alive, grand larceny to grab powerups, nimble to position safely, and Casing The Joint is a nice pick-up with the remaining point.
Embrace — Flourish — Nothing — The Prestige — Cloak and Dagger. High-damage build that can get big damage off with Shroud of Mystery (either copy an enemy’s might or use ult with Cloak and Dagger on the same turn you prep your Shroud, then dash in next turn for some solid area damage).
Spirit Touch — Lend a Hand-kerchief — Diversion — Stage Presence — Cover-Up. Heavy support build that uses Lend a Hand-kerchief and Diversion to protect teammates / deny vision, plus shields on the ult and energy on primary to get more ult.
What’s amazing to me is that the above builds all sound good and don’t even use two of the mods I find most interesting, Conceal and Mass Cloaking. There’s some cool potential invisibility play there — although I tried hard to make it fair. I don’t think a 3-point mod for a 4-turn-cooldown non-free-action one-turn stealth is overpowered, and giving teammates invisibility is his ultimate — his entire ultimate, I might add. Still – lots of room to be creative.
Hope you enjoyed, and consider Jacques to be as much of a masterpiece as he considers his own work.