Mistress Persephone, Nox Oracle
"Expanding your horizons can be painful, but it's necessary to grow."
The myth of the Nox Oracle has many conflicting accounts. The common theme is that a woman in a black dress walks out of the darkness, often accompanied by her two dogs, and makes a memorable night. Some stories depict her as seductive and intoxicating to both men and women. Other stories depict her as cruel and sadistic, while still others portray her as wise and nurturing.
Persephone is her true name.
The most powerful beings of the Realm have several different kinds of power. Quince's power comes from lies, deception, and propaganda. DeGrey's power is his ability to shed light on the truth. Grave's power comes from relentless training and discipline, while Menelker's power is the will to do what others can't or won't do. Persephone's power is tapping into the most base and animal desires and having complete mastery over her own emotions as well as the emotions of others. It's a kind of power that even tough guys like Grave and Menelker aren't prepared to face.
While the stories about Persephone's sadistic nature are not entirely false, they also aren't the whole picture. She does revel in the pain of others, but it's pain mixed with pleasure. Even her unwilling victims become willing during the heightened experiences she creates, and some have said she made them feel "truly alive."
While Persephone enjoys "play," don't forget your place. She is serious and looks after those weaker than her, admiring their inner strength. She understands trends and people as only an outsider can--sometimes we're too close to our own problems to see them. Several times throughout history, Persephone has intervened and changed the course of events to favor those who she believes deserve to be favored.
Generations ago during a day of great turmoil, DeGrey was mortally wounded, impaled by a wooden post. Persephone appeared, and after a bit of "play," offered DeGrey a second chance at life as long as he pursued his mission. DeGrey accepted, and Persephone left a (tormenting) spirit behind to watch over DeGrey. DeGrey owes his unnaturally long life to the Nox Oracle.
Several years ago, when Onimaru claimed the Stormborne Family Sword from Grave's father in battle, Persephone stepped out of the night to retake that sword. Grave was just a young boy, crying as Persephone comforted him and presented him with his father's weapon. It was his now, though she cautioned him never to use it unless it's necessary.
She may have had other adventures, but no one seems to talk about these things.
Persephone is playful, dominating, sadistic, nurturing, and she has your number.
Max Combo: 4
Dominance: Whenever you knock down your opponent, you may fetch a non-Joker card from your discard pile (before you discard combat cards).
If you also knocked them down last combat, fetch up to five non-Joker cards of different ranks instead.
Normal attacks: x damage, Speed x.4
Normal throws: 7 damage, Speed x.6, 2 CP Starter, Knocks down
2: Attack 2 dmg, speed 2.4, 1 CP normal // Dodge
3: Attack 3 dmg, speed 3.4, 1 CP normal // Dodge
4: Attack 4 dmg, speed 4.4, 1 CP normal // Dodge
5: Attack 5 dmg, speed 5.4, 1 CP normal // Block
6: Attack 6 dmg, speed 6.4, 1 CP normal // Block
7: Block // Throw (KD) 7 dmg, speed 7.6, 2 CP Starter
8: Block // Throw (KD) 7 dmg, speed 8.6, 2 CP Starter
9: Block // Throw (KD) 7 dmg, speed 9.6, 2 CP Starter // *Do As Told
Do As Told: [Reaction] The opponent may take 10 damage to make their ability uncounterable. If they don't, counter that ability.
(Prevent and undo the ability and the opponent discards the card if played from hand. You can't counter Aces, Jokers, or character cards.)
10: Block // Throw (KD) 7 dmg, speed 10.6, 2 CP Starter // *Bare Your Soul
Bare Your Soul: [Draw Phase] Put the top 3 cards of the opponent's deck face up on the table. Whenever they would draw a card, you may choose one of those face up cards for them to draw instead. If you don't, they discard the face up cards. Whenever the opponent would shuffle their deck, they shuffle those cards back into it.
Jack: Rapid Lashes: Attack 7+4 (+3 Any) (3) dmg, speed 2.4, 1 CP Ender // Power Lash: Attack (KD) 10 (3) dmg, speed 4.0, Can't Combo
Queen: Rising Pleasure: Attack 9 (2) dmg, speed 0.2, 3 CP Ender
King: Wild Ride: Throw (KD) 9 dmg, speed 8.0, 2 CP Starter
Ace: Mistress's Command: Attack 1 dmg, speed 3.0, Can't Combo // On Your Knees: Attack (KD) 16 (3) dmg, speed 0.4, 3 CP Ender AA // *Mistress's Command: [During Combat] If you won combat and Mistress's Command deals damage, you control the opponent's next turn until (and including) the combat-reveal. You can't control two turns in a row.
(Look at their hand, you may play their abilities and their combat card. You control your own turn as usual.)
Persephone is a fragile character who relies heavily on matchup knowledge and successive combat wins. If you like to mess with your opponent's options and take total control over the game, then Persephone might be the character for you.
Innate Ability - Dominance
Persephone's innate ability allows her to recur her most powerful cards over and over whenever she lands a move that knocks down. Due to her below average damage, it is important to trigger Dominance multiple times in a row in order to have enough cards to finish off the opponent. She can trigger Dominance with normal throws (7-10), Wild Ride (K), Power Lash (J), and On Your Knees (AA), but primarily with On Your Knees, since it is a fast combat card, and combos off of normal attacks and throws.
Late Game Control & Locking The Opponent Out
Persephone is a control character who needs to build up her resources before having an advantage. Once she hits a critical mass of cards, she can use Mistress's Command and Bare Your Soul (10*) to cripple her opponent's options. Since Mistress's Command allows you to see the opponent's hand and waste their best card, you can set up situations where your opponent is nearly defenseless against you. If you are able to remove all of their blocks and attacks faster than 0.4, then landing a knock down will guarantee that your On Your Knees super attack will win. You can use that knockdown that it provides to recur Bare Your Soul over and over, which allows you to feed the opponent more cards which cannot beat On Your Knees. At this point, the game is essentially over, however, it isn't always that easy!
Sometimes, the opponent will have too many blocks and fast attacks to strip all of them away. In these situations, you can try to limit the opponent to only even or odd blocks, or take away their fastest throws. If you manage either of those, the next step is to land a knock down. Then, alternate between playing On Your Knees, the mix up normal that they cannot block or the throw that they cannot outspeed, and dodging. All of these options lead to another knock down, and decent damage. If you win combat, you will have them right back in the same situation, except you're building up more cards! To finish them off, you can try to land a throw or mix up normal that ends in Rapid Lashes (J), which is a special move that allows her to spend a lot of her extra cards to deal high damage. Overall, this strategy is less consistent, so you should try to land Mistress's Command as often as you can in order to set up the guaranteed win.
Understanding Your Abilities
Persephone's signature ability is Mistress's Command. Due to its relatively slow combat speed, Persephone often has to dodge an attack then follow up with it. Whenever she hits with Mistress's Command, she gets three extremely powerful benefits. The first is that she is able to make her opponent play their most relevant card in combat, which you can use to set up a knockdown or deal huge damage. The next two benefits interact her other two abilities in subtle ways.
The second benefit is that she is able to activate abilities in her opponent's hand until the combat-reveal step. On top of forcing the opponent to use abilities when they do not want to, she can also player her counter, Do As Told (9*), on the ability. Because Persephone is controlling the opponent's actions, she gets to decide whether they pay the life or let the ability be countered. This combination is extremely deadly, and it often scares the opponent into using abilities before they want to in order to prevent this from happening.
The last benefit is that Persephone gets complete information about the opponent's hand, which helps her Bare Your Soul ability come to life. When she knows exactly what her opponent lacks, she can continue locking them out of drawing those things with repeated Bare Your Soul activations. If you are able to hit with Mistress's Command multiple times in a single game, it's entirely possible to run the opponent out of a crucial option, such as blocks, then force them to never draw another block.
Surviving The Early Game
During the early turns, Persephone is one of the weakest characters in the game. Her throws have few viable combos, and are generally not worth the risk until she has strong cards to recur with Dominance. Her most threatening attack, On Your Knees, is almost never available to her early on. That leaves her with only one fast option, Rising Pleasure (Q). However, Rising Pleasure has a low upside of 9 damage, which is not impressive considering that Persephone only starts with 75 life.
Outside of that, she can try to poke an opposing throw with a normal attack or Mistress's Command. The problem with those options are that her normal attacks have a low payoff until she has accumulated a combo, and risking losing Mistress's Command to a block is a terrible scenario. Due to her low starting life, blocking is inherently risky for Persephone throughout the entire game, because any throw combo that the opponent lands can take off 25% of her life easily.
The Importance Of Powering Up & The Recurring Ace Trick
Unlike other characters, Persephone doesn't lose access to her cards when she uses them to power up. Due to her innate ability, her discard pile functions as a bank in some ways. It is usually worth giving up pairs or triples of a powerful card rank in order to get aces.
With most characters, you want to power up aces from your discard pile, so you still have a chance to draw more aces from your deck. However, it is vital that Persephone always leaves at least one ace in her discard pile, so that she can get it back whenever she triggers Dominance.
Attack 2 dmg, speed 2.4, 1 CP normal // Dodge
This card has two main uses. The first, and more important, is to act as a dodge. Persephone only has twelve dodges in her deck, and needs access to them consistently in order to function at full capacity. The more niche use for 2 attack is to attempt a mix up while the opponent is knocked down. The best combos you can do when you hit with a 2 attack are:
Her 2 attack might seem relatively fast, being 2.4 speed, however it trades extremely unfavorably with just about every other 2.4 speed attack in the game, and should not be used defensively often.
Attack 3 dmg, speed 3.4, 1 CP normal // Dodge
The primary function for this card is to dodge. This is her fastest odd numbered normal, so you can use it to mix up knocked down opponents.
Attack 4 dmg, speed 4.4, 1 CP normal // Dodge
Once again, the main use for this card is to dodge. It can also be used in straights or comboed off of a throw.
Attack 5 dmg, speed 5.4, 1 CP normal // Block
Attack 6 dmg, speed 6.4, 1 CP normal // Block
These two cards are Persephone's preferred blocks. While they deal high damage, they are hard to hit with. The only combos these cards are involved in are:
Block // Throw (KD) 7 dmg, speed 7.6, 2 CP Starter
This is Persephone's fastest throw. Since Persephone relies so heavily on getting knockdowns, this card is almost always used as a throw.
Block // Throw (KD) 7 dmg, speed 8.6, 2 CP Starter
Since Persephone has eight throws that are faster than her 8, it ends up being a block rather often.
Block // Throw (KD) 7 dmg, speed 9.6, 2 CP Starter // *Do As Told
This card is primarily used for its ability. Discarding your relatively weak 9 results in one of two outcomes: either their ability is countered, and the card they spent on their ability is wasted, or they take 10 damage, which is far better than her 9 would do otherwise.
Block // Throw (KD) 7 dmg, speed 10.6, 2 CP Starter // *Bare Your Soul
This is a good ability in the late game, but you can use this to block early on. Remember, you can retrieve it later through Dominance, so don't be afraid to use it as a block!
Rapid Lashes: Attack 7+4 (+3 Any) (3) dmg, speed 2.4, 1 CP Ender // Power Lash: Attack (KD) 10 (3) dmg, speed 4.0, Can't Combo
Rapid Lashes is a late game finisher. Since it costs a lot of cards to deal maximum damage, you often want to ensure that your opponent does not have a joker in their hand, which you can set up with Mistress's Command. Power Lash is an early game attack that you can use after dodging, or to hit a throw that you forced them to play with Mistress's Command.
Attack 9 (2) dmg, speed 0.2, 3 CP Ender
This is Persephone's best early game defense card. 0.2 speed is extremely fast, and will beat the majority of cards that her opponents will be trying to beat her down with early on.
Throw (KD) 9 dmg, speed 8.0, 2 CP Starter
A highly damaging and fairly fast throw. It is relevant throughout the game and is one of Persephone's best ways of evening out a life disadvantage.
Mistress's Command: Attack 1 dmg, speed 3.0, Can't Combo // On Your Knees: Attack (KD) 16 (3) dmg, speed 0.4, 2 CP Ender AA // *Mistress's Command
We've already gone over these! Aces are Persephone's best cards by far. Power up for them, hit with them, love them.
Due to her low life, Persephone generally does not get the luxury of using Gold Burst, despite loving aces. Don't be afraid to Rewind Time fairly early, because opponents will often avoid holding onto high damage cards in fear of having them stripped away by Mistress's Command.
Persephone vs GravePrepare to guess correctly very often! Grave hits hard, is pretty fast, and has more life than you. Your one advantage over him is that you have much faster throws, so make sure he respects them. Also, if you ever hit him with Mistress' Command when he has a 7
Persephone vs JainaJaina hits fairly hard, but is not particularly fast. Your normal attacks are faster, your special attacks are roughly the same speeds, and your throws are faster. Watch out for her 7 throw
Persephone vs Midori
Midori is fairly dominating if he gains momentum, but landing a few Mistress's Commands will completely annihilate his hand, and Persephone can lock him out easier than most characters.
Persephone vs SetsukiThis matchup is a slugfest. Setsuki is super fast, and hits pretty hard. While Setsuki's 7 throw
Persephone vs Rook
This is one of the matchups where Power Lash and Mistress's Command are strong combat cards. Due to Rook's reliance on building up a hand, and throwing to apply pressure, Persephone can keep him afraid with an early power up for some aces.
Persephone vs DeGrey
This is one of Persephone's hardest matchups. DeGrey hits very hard, and is less vulnerable to Mistress's Command than many other characters.
Persephone vs Valerie
This is another matchup that is based on momentum. Valerie can kill you in just a few combats, but landing Mistress's Command can ruin her offense and give you enough time to shut her down.
Persephone vs GeigerTry to survive early on. Getting Mistress's Command as soon as you possibly can is mandatory in this matchup. He hits hard, and Time
Persephone vs LumHitting Lum with Mistress's Command and forcing him to play 10s
Persephone vs ArgagargThis match is defined by who wins more combats. Expect Arg to 7 throw
Persephone vs Quince
Quince is hard for Persephone to deal with. He hits hard, has high life, and can be hard to stop once he gets Positive Spin and Patriot Mirror going. You need to attack often, and try to stall the game until you can use On Your Knees frequently.
Persephone vs Onimaru
Dodging into Mistress's Command is your best friend. Onimaru's hand can be sabotaged fairly easily, and forcing him to throw with Final Authority (9*) gives you a huge advantage in the late game.
Persephone vs Troq
This is the other matchup where Mistress's Command and Power Lash are excellent combat cards. Unlike Rook, Troq has fast attacks that can outspeed some of your moves, so you need to dodge a bit more than you would against Rook. Mistress's Command completely ruins Troq's day, and he has a hard time dealing with being knocked down.
Persephone vs BBB
Since BBB is strong against throws and blocks, you need to attack with 2 and J much more than usual. Mistress's Command is less of a priority than On Your Knees, but representing it early on can still dissuade him from attacking so you can throw him.
Persephone vs Menelker
This is one of Persephone's easier matchups. Due to his low starting life, Persephone's random hits deal a significant percent of Menelker's life. Mistress's Command can ensure that he's never able to build up Deathstrike Dragon, and he doesn't have a strong early game to worry about.
Persephone vs Persephone
If you can land Mistress's Command before your opponent, you will have a huge advantage. It's hard to put Persephone in the perpetual knockdown loop, since she can mirror all of your options, so rely on dealing high damage instead.
Persephone vs Gloria
This is Persephone's strongest matchup. Gloria cannot stand Mistress' Command, so forcing it upon her all the time is a wise thing to do. It takes some time to learn which cards are most important to her, so I suggest playing Gloria a few times to learn which cards to take and when.
Persephone vs Gwen
Gwen has an excellent early game, so the matchup is difficult. You need to take high risk plays in order to deal significant damage, which is your only chance of winning. Kill her before she kills you.
Persephone vs Vendetta
The matchup against Vendetta is slow paced. In the early game, both characters have relatively low damage, but Ven dominates the attack game. Your best bet is to dodge into Mistress's Command often, and try to throw him once he's afraid to attack.
Persephone vs Zane
Mistress's Command is vital against Zane. He often has a small hand, and it's very easy to run him out of strong combat cards. Save queens for when you are knocked down, because his mixup game is very powerful.
Credit to Aphotix for this strategy guide.
Q: Do As Told: If Persephone's opponent chooses to take 10 damage to make their ability uncounterable, can Persephone play another Do As Told on the same ability?
A: No. That ability is now uncounterable, and nobody can play a counter against it anymore.
Q: What happens when I play Bare Your Soul multiple times?
A: All the face up cards are put together (in the same zone), then otherwise things continue as if there was a single Bare Your Soul played. Bare Your Soul only triggers once when the opponent would draw, not multiple times.