(last updated: 03/27/18)
Evade represents a shift in tactics on your part; an emphasis on defensive manuvers, a clear desire to 'play it safe' and not get hit. Anyone can have this ability, and it can be for any of several reasons; perhaps the character can teleport, or is so fast that they can spring off of nearby walls, or whatever. Indeed, a fancy trick isn't even needed, as Evade represents a shift in tactics more than it represents anything else. Nimble and speedy fighters such as Cammy, Mai, Hotaru, and so forth are the types most likely to have the Evade ability. It helps increase their already impressive dodging tendencies and reflects their evasive mindset when it comes to how they approach fighting.
Using the +evade command grants an immediate boost to your Reflex, increasing the likelihood of dodging (+%) and blocking (+%) incoming attacks until your next Action. The +evade command is used before choosing how you want to react to an incoming attack. The downside to using +evade is that attacks used this turn will suffer a speed penalty.
In TOP: Use of the +evade command does not cost any reserve at all.
D Rank:  use of the +evade command. Each use costs % reserve.
C Rank:  uses of the +evade command. Each use costs % reserve.
B Rank: Unlimited use of the +evade command. Grazing Hits are now possible.
A Rank: When hit while EVADE is active, attack speed penalty is removed.
S Rank: Stacking % FINESSE bonus for successful dodges and blocks while
EVADE is not active.
SIG ABIL: Access to the +escape command.
A character in TOP can use +evade without incurring the reserve cost.
D Rank represents someone just learning how to increase their defensive potential -- but only once per fight.
C Rank represents further study in the defensive art, adding a second usage of the command.
B Rank EVADE users are fully-versed in the defensive capabilitiies, and can use the +evade command at will throughout the fight.
Grazing Hits: Also at B Rank and higher, EVADE users gain a passive bonus as well: If you fail your dodge roll by % or less, you receive a Grazing Hit instead of the full damage. Grazing Hits are similar to Glancing Blows in that they do less damage than a full hit.
A Rank represents a character's ability to correct out of a defensive stance if it becomes clear that it isn't going to make a difference. If hit while EVADE is active, characters with A Rank do not suffer the speed penalty to their attacks. If you succeed the dodge, or suffer a Glancing Hit or Grazing Hit, the evasive stance did help you avoid the attack in some fashion, and as such, you will still suffer the speed penalty.
S Rank (Finesse) fighters' reflexes are honed to such a degree that their reaction times improve with further study of their opponents, even without devoting conscious effort to eluding them. Dodge and Block reactions that succeed without use of the +evade command will grant a stacking % Finesse bonus to future Dodge and Block reactions. This Finesse bonus increases with each reaction, and is limited to a maximum of %. Use of the +evade command will consume the Finesse bonus after the next successful reaction, or at the end of the round, whichever comes first. This does mean if you use +evade when the bonus is capped, you will have +% to dodge/+% to block.
Signature Ability -- ESCAPE
Every now and then, evasive characters can pull off a dodge that seems nothing shy of miraculous. Maybe their adrenaline pushes them to entirely new levels of speed that cannot be sustained, or perhaps their awareness of every motion of their opponent's reaches a level approaching prescience, these characters can escape from the seemingly impossible. This Signature Ability represents this echelon of evasion.
- Access to the ESCAPE command once per fight.
- Escape guarantees you will make your next dodge. However, you will take
a decaying penalty to reactions and hitrate depending on how bad your
dodge roll was behind the scenes.
- In the round you escaped, you can only ATTACK, INTERRUPT, or PASS. You
may not take any other passive.
- The messages range from 'easily', to 'manages', to 'narrowly', to
'barely', to 'miraculously' in terms of how bad the roll was behind
the scenes. If you legitimately make the dodge in spite of using ESCAPE,
you will see 'easily' in the COMBATSYS message.
Note: If you hit ESCAPE but then legitimately parry, the COMBATSYS: message will say that you parried. If your opponent doesn't have analysis, they may not know that you used your ESCAPE which is an advantage to you in the mindgame of ESCAPE.
Note: PROXIMITY is factored into the ESCAPE debuff. I.e., if a move has PROX on it, you have to roll better than 7% (5% from prox, 2% from base glancing chance) of the base chance to dodge to get the 'easily' message and avoid any debuff.
Note 2: You cannot ESCAPE when crashing after the user of DM/Hyper.