The vanilla deck is the deck where no characters have any printed ability text. Everything is as it is written on the card; power, soul value, and cost. All the CX cards are +2 soul, and there are no special triggers in the deck, aside from +1 soul and +2 soul.
The deck is better explained as a concept than a specific set, because a vanilla deck can be built from almost any (newer) set.
Level 0 – 16
16 characters with 3000 power
Level 1 – 16
8 characters with 5500 power
8 characters with 7000 power, 1 stock cost
Level 2 – 10
6 characters with 8500 power, 1 stock cost
4 characters with 9000 power, 2 stock cost
CX – 8
8 +2 soul CXs
Why would anyone use this?
Simple – practice! The vanilla deck is a way to practice playing Weiss Schwarz without having to memorize much effect text. The deck is also a very good way of showing a newer player how to play the game without getting bogged down with effects and complicated interactions. If one is feeling bold, it can even be taken to a tournament. In 2013, the vanilla deck was piloted successfully to the finals of an event in the Bay Area in its first (and only) appearance.
How does the deck win?
The same way that any other deck would; attack the opponent to level 4.
Isn’t this deck too easy to use?
For the seasoned veteran, certainly, though there are many decisions that one makes in a game that might be taken for granted. These decisions may not be as easily picked up by a newer player. For example, there is the issue of what to put into clock after drawing for the turn; does the card match other cards that may need to be played such as characters or CXs? Are the colors already present in clock?
In addition, it also rewards a player’s awareness of when to use a +2 soul CX. If the opponent has a lot of CXs remaining in the deck, it may not be an optimal time, but it may make sense to use one if:
– The player has more than one CX in hand, as the current attack will make the subsequent attack better, unless the attacks cancel perfectly (on the last damage) every time
– The player has more than two in hand (because the deck has no other way of burning CXs besides using them)
Already we can see that there are many decisions in any game of Weiss Schwarz, regardless of other complexities that may be introduced by card effects.
The deck is arguably more friendly to newer players than a standard trial deck. For players that want to introduce others to the game, I’d recommend taking any newer set (Sword Art Online, Madoka, Idolmaster, Nanoha, and Da Capo, are all capable of building the vanilla deck, for example), putting the deck together, and keeping it around to show off. The decks from series that have more than one set can even build a 2-color version of the deck. With minimal rules text in the way on the cards, the basics are much more easily explained, and practicing the game is much less stressful.
Good luck, and thanks for reading!
Questions? Comments? Send us your thoughts at theninthcx AT gmail DOT com!