Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz Deck Techs! For this article, we’re going to take a look at a high-placing deck list from the 2014 WS New Year Festival Trios event: Angel Beats!
This deck is brought to you by team ラブライバー. The decklist can be found here.
Let’s walk through the list first. The names have been written to align with those provided by Heart of the Cards.
Cards – 50
Level 0 – 15
2 Otonashi, Beating Memories (AB/WE10-09)
4 Kanade, Operation Meeting (AB/WE14-01)
2 Yui, Romantic Role (AB/WE10-01)
4 Yuri, Opposition Cleared (AB/WE10-22)
2 Yuri, Strategic Provokes (AB/W11-051)
1 Otonashi, Bond of Multiple Lives (AB/W11-121)
Level 1 – 12
2 Kanade, Sending Everyone Off (AB/W11-001)
1 Kanade, End of Opposition (AB/WE10-03)
3 Kanade, Angel Wings (AB/WE14-02)
1 Kanade & Yuri, Allied Front (AB/W11-053)
3 “Messenger of God” Tenshi (AB/WE10-04)
2 Angel, Enemy of the Front (AB/W11-T04)
3 Operation Tornado (AB/W11-071)
Level 2 – 4
1 Kanade, Worrying (AB/WE14-03)
1 Shiina, Skill of 100 People (AB/W11-054)
2 Yuri, Path of Each’s Own (AB/WE14-33)
Level 3 – 8
2 Kanade, Heart of Yuzuru (AB/W11-002)
4 Yuri, Solo Activities (AB/WE14-24)
2 Yuri, Resisting the Absurd Destiny (AB/W11-057)
CX – 8
4 After the Battle (AB/WE14-36)
4 Afterlife Battlefront (AB/W11-073)
This deck is red and yellow; the mainstay for Angel Beats! decks. Let’s start the breakdown from the deck’s level 0.
At level 0 we have 15 characters.
Otonashi, Beating Memories is a character with Bond. It gets back ‘”Messenger of God” Tenshi’ from the waiting room for 1 stock.
Kanade, Operation Meeting, is a “loner” character, who becomes a 3500 with hand encore if you have 1 or fewer other characters.
Yui, Romantic Role, has a trigger when it attacks. The top card of the deck is revealed, and if it is a CX, it gets -3000 power for the turn.
Yuri, Opposition Cleared is a character with Assist for all your [Death] characters, giving them +500 power. In addition to that, if another one of your [Death] characters becomes reversed while battling, you choose a character you control and it gets +500 power for the turn.
Yuri, Strategic Provokes, is a level 0 reverser. The character facing it also cannot side attack.
Otonashi, Bond of Multiple Lives, has a Salvage effect. When it is put onto the stage from your hand, you can pay 1 stock, and discard a card to choose a [Death] character from the waiting room, and put it into your hand. On top of that, it gets +1000 power for the turn.
The level 0 for this deck is fairly light when it comes to ideal first turn attackers. Yui, Romantic Role and Kanade, Operation Meeting, are the ideal first turn plays. Because Kanade does not lose power if there is only one other character, it is possible to have a 4000 attacker with hand encore and no drawback on the first turn. In case of problematic level 0s, the Yuri provides a very safe front line. Multiple copies of the Otonashi, Beating Memories however, makes the card effectively a level 1 character, because it is rare that the effect will be used during level 0.
At level 1, the deck really gets going, and for that, the deck has 12 characters, and 3 events.
Kanade, Sending Everyone Off, gives all your other [Death] characters hand encore, and can rest to give a character +1000 power for the turn.
Kanade, End of Opposition, has a repeatable Brainstorm effect that gives +2000 power to a [Death] character for each CX revealed. It also gets +1000 power during your turn.
Kanade, Angel Wings, gets +500 power for each other [Death] character you control. The CX combo is not used in this deck.
Kanade & Yuri, Allied Front has a kind of one-shot Accelerate ability, where you can put a card from hand into clock to retrieve a [Death] character from the waiting room when you play it.
“Messenger of God” Tenshi is a character that has extra power for its cost (typically, a 1/1 has 7000 power). It reveals the top card of the deck when it is played, and if it is not a [Death] character (i.e. a CX or event), it goes to the waiting room during your encore phase.
Angel, Enemy of the Front, is a 2000 power Backup.
Operation Tornado is an event with Brainstorm. It puts the top 3 cards of the deck into the waiting room, and then you choose a level X or lower [Death] character in the waiting room and return it to your hand where X is the number of [Death] characters revealed this way.
The level 2 for this deck is extremely small, but potent, coming in at a mere 4 cards!
Kanade, Worrying, is a “level support”, or a character with Assist where it gives X * 500 power where X is the character’s level. It also gives another [Death] character +1000 power for the turn it is played.
Shiina, Skill of 100 People is the hallmark of the Angel Beats! deck. While only a 2500 power Backup, it also refreshes your deck. Note that this does not incur the refresh penalty!
Yuri, Path of Each’s Own, has a Change effect that triggers at the start of your encore step, and only if it is rested. It can Change into a “Yuri, Solo Activities”.
At level 3 we have 8 characters.
Kanade, Heart of Yuzuru, has a Heal effect, and can send any character it reverses to memory.
Yuri, Solo Activities, has a Heal effect, as well as a CX combo with “After the Battle”, where it can return a [Death] character from the waiting room to your hand. If you use this effect, you can also choose a character to give +3000 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn, including itself.
Yuri, Resisting the Absurd Destiny, gives the character facing it -1 soul, and has a “finisher” ability when it attacks. You can pay 4 stock to choose up to 4 other characters and put them into the Waiting Room to deal X damage to your opponent, where X is the number of characters used this way.
Great! Now we know the cards, how does one use the deck?
Angel Beats! focuses on having a solid character or two at level 0. The “loner” Kanade with hand encore is the real front line character, and the Yui that nearly nukes itself if a CX is on the top of the deck, is more of a side-attacker than anything. In this deck, there are a few ‘tech’ inclusions of cards, including the Otonashi with a Salvage effect. The inclusion of a couple of level 0 reversers also helps overcome other level 0 characters that are out of reach (i.e. 4500-5000 power).
Level 1 is where the deck builds a solid stream of threats while keeping its hand stocked from its 8 Door triggers and other Salvage effects. “Messenger of God” Tenshi is one of the deck’s most “unfair” plays, as it will usually be able to stick around the turn that it is played. It has 7500 power, which is over the typical line of 1/1 characters that have 7000. Combined with the Kanade, Sending Everyone Off, it can gain hand encore and become an 8500 attacker. The level 0 Bond with the character adds a bit of insurance for it, as well as an extra attacker.
Because the deck is not particularly reliant on building a critical mass of stock until very late, it can afford to pay for these effects aggressively at level 1. Nearing the end of its level 2, the deck will want to amass 4+ stock for its level 3. The characters it has at level 1, are the deck’s entire front line for two levels (1 and 2).
At level 2, Angel Beats! has quite a unique effect in having a Backup effect that also refreshes the deck. It has a couple of characters with Change, but the effect is more incidental than it is something to aim for, because usually, the field will be full of 7500-8500 level 1 attackers, each of which is already as big if not bigger than the Yuri, Path of Each’s Own. If the deck had 4, it would be able to Change much more consistently, but it would need to trim other characters. In this case, the list is opting for a much more consistent level 1-2 game.
At level 3 are 6 characters with a Heal effect (puts the top card of the clock into the waiting room). Kanade acts as a kind of insurance should the deck ever be a level behind (at level 3 while the opponent is at level 2 or less), because it permanently deals with threats by sending them to memory. Essentially, Kanade is Angel Beats!’s answer to a soul rush strategy.
Yuri, Solo Activities preserves itself or another character with its CX combo, and maintains hand advantage, or board presence, should it acquire hand encore somehow. It is also the Change target of the deck. Should it ever come out earlier than expected (i.e. before level 3), with the CX combo it can quickly dominate the board.
Yuri, Resisting the Absurd Destiny, is also a rather unique ‘finisher’, in that you can use a couple turns worth of stock to burn your opponent for up to 4 damage. Though it is rarely ever worthwhile to use the effect for the full 4 damage (unless you have already attacked twice, and the opponent has had relatively bad [read: immediate] cancels), it gives the deck a bit of reach that others don’t have. If you do want to see the math that goes into burning for a full 4 damage, please consult the guide on Brainstorm found here, and it will explain just how good your chances of getting that full effect off at any point are.
How do we beat the deck?
There are a couple of ways to tackle the deck right from the start. An option is to soul rush the heck out of the level 0 and rush the opponent to level 1. If the deck gets to level 1 with 2 or fewer stock, it can be very pinched on plays to make that will survive for more than a turn. +2 soul and 1k1 are good effects to achieve this, but +2 soul is favored. However, the deck does have a swath of 1/0 characters, so avoid doing this if you do not have a 1/0 or at least a 1/1 that can deal with a 6000 power character.
At level 1, characters that can attack the back row are highly useful, because there are very few answers to one Kanade, Sending Everyone Off, let alone two. Dealing with two is especially difficult. For level 1, Bounce triggers are favored because they can tax the opponent’s stock and also force them to play the “Messenger of God” Tenshi again at the risk of losing it after a turn.
In level 2, +2 soul is again the effect of choice, especially because the Backup with refresh will be active. If the Backup effect is not in the opponent’s waiting room, it may be wise to run a +2 soul CX and side attack to sidestep the opportunity to use Counter effects. Note that direct attacks do not use the counterattack step, so those are just as good, but will be rare because Angel Beats! tends to build a full board.
But for an even more set-specific silver bullet strategy, Dog Days has incredible counterplay available because of the deck’s reliance on Salvage, and Fate/Kaleid can ignore the deck’s strategy by throwing everything at it turn after turn, ultimately leading to its CX ult which goes far beyond any effect this deck is capable of. Note that these are only suggestions based on what has been written about already; Angel Beats! is still a very solid choice and has a lot of play to it. Good luck!
Questions? Comments? Have an idea for another article? Send us an email at theninthcx AT gmail DOT com! Thanks for reading!