Okay. So, you’ve read through the Equinja, your GM has accepted that they can and will break major plot elements with their abilities, and you even found a niche to fit in into the Equinja mythos. What’s left?
Oh right. Your actual character.
Equinja present a unique challenge to players. Specifically, with their heavily situational combat, the Equinja give a heavy amount of combat flexibility, but having all that flexibility comes at a character point premium. As mentioned in the GM section, building a 40 point Equinja can be rather difficult. You either have to decide to have situational combat or super movement abilities at that point. Not both. There just aren’t enough character points to make a character that’s strong in both. You, of course, can go for the split, but you’re going to end up with a character with above average move speed, and some moderately damaging moves that require some set-up. What’s worse. Out of all the Ninja factions, Equinja are the least likely to have a Level 5 ability at low levels. Some of their lower level abilities give enough damage to occasionally outweigh the 40 damage of Faster Than Light.
However, Equinja also have the advantage of some in-built faction combos that don’t require dipping into other factions. So, today, I’m going to cover some of those.
Beat the Clock. Better Than It Looks
Most of my beta-testers knew immediately why Beat the Clock was a level 5 ability. Still, it may not be obvious to everyone. After all, it only seems to really double move speed, and there’s a non level 5 Evadinja ability that does that. The important thing here is the wording though. The Equinja gains 2 move actions. This means a lot. First, for full turn moves, the Equinja can now move before or after them. Second, the Equinja can move, attack, and then move away. In essence, this is giving the Equinja the Arrcrobats Run and Gun ability for free for a mere 1 awesome point. This may not seem like much when combined with other moves, but essentially, it allows the Equinja to play hit and run better than most factions. On a well-built Equinja, they can get out of the range of any attack that isn’t Horizon Throw.
Tanking for the Low Agility Characters
Together We Ride gives a passenger access to all bonuses based on an Equinja’s mount while riding, and Let the Ride Take Over allows the Equinja to use the Ride’s agility for a turn. Well, most Equinja have high agility, but not all party members will. If the Equinja has a high agility mount like a Yatagarasu, then the Equinja just might activate this ability for the sake of helping his passenger gain a lot of agility. This means that your high Life tank can gain even more staying power as others fail to hit them.
Mach Speed Hurricane isn’t just about the damage. The required body check keeps others from moving through it as well. In cases where there’s a strategic point the Equinja needs to guard, this move can be invaluable. Don’t want anyone getting in a door? Throw up a hurricane right in front of the door. This usage ensure that only the most sturdy and high bodied characters will be making it in without the Equinja’s consent.
Be The Rider. Frightening Self-Combo
This one is plain and simple. Does your ally have a move that would make you really powerful, but you can’t take it because it’s a level 5 Pirate or Wanderer ability? Well, that’s not a problem anymore. Just spend two awesome points, turn your ally into a motorcycle and steal that ability. Personal favorites include “Man of Awesome” (Arrcrobat), Fight Like a Demon (Weapon Master), and Luck of the Ancients (Luckies, but that’s most for the flavor of a rider move so awesome it destroys everything in sight).
Of course, this list doesn’t cover team combos like Bullet #9 and Ride the Currents for a free 100 meter move action or cross-faction combos like taking all the movement abilities from Evadinja to create a truly frightening move speed. Equinja work best in teams. Despite their ability to go solo for through the enemy’s base, their best moves involve working with their teammates. Either way, this should give you some ideas to get you started.