Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we’ll be looking at a winning deck list: Sword Art Online!
The deck list can be viewed here. Like Madoka, this set has been released in English, so the English card names will be used.
Sword Art Online is due for a second set on April 25th 2014. However, there are some North American qualifiers before the set’s release, and it is possible that this list will still be relevant after April 25th. Until then though, we have this deck to look at as an example of a winning list. SAO 2 has since been released, but that does not necessarily mean that the list here is incapable of winning games.
Now the breakdown!
Cards – 50
Level 0 – 17
3 Asuna’s Married Life (SAO/S20-008)
4 Asuna Lays on the Sofa (SAO/S20-003)
4 Lisbeth’s Professional Pride (SAO/S20-050)
2 Silica’s Unyielding Trust (SAO/S20-051)
2 Mysterious Girl, Yui (SAO/S20-076)
2 Kirito in the Battlefield (SAO/S20-079)
Level 1 – 15
2 Vice Commander, Asuna (SAO/S20-010)
2 Asuna Takes Shelter (SAO/S20-011)
4 Asuna Invites to Party (SAO/S20-001)
3 Self-sacrifice (SAO/S20-022)
4 Lisbeth Changes Clothes (SAO/S20-052)
Level 2 – 0
Level 3 – 10
4 Asuna’s Commanding Strength (SAO/S20-007)
4 Leafa’s Pure Wish (SAO/S20-027)
2 Like a Younger Sister, Silica (SAO/S20-047)
CX – 8
4 Star Splash (SAO/S20-024)
4 Sought Warmth (SAO/S20-072)
At level 0, we have 17 characters.
Asuna’s Married Life gives +500 power to characters in front, and when you play a CX, you can give a character you control +1000 power for the turn.
Asuna Lays on the Sofa is a 3500 character. She reveals the top card of the deck, and in this list, if you reveal a CX or an event, it goes to your clock.
Lisbeth’s Professional Pride is a level 0 reverser, with an Accelerate ability that gives a [Weapon] character you control +2500 power for the turn.
Silica’s Unyielding Trust is a character with Brainstorm that salvages a character for each CX revealed. (Payment is 1 stock and rest two characters)
Mysterious Girl, Yui, has a filtering ability that lets you pay 1 stock to draw and discard a card. You can also rest it and another character to give a character +1000 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn.
When you play Kirito in the Battlefield, you can pay 1 and discard a card to tutor for an [Avatar] character.
Level 0 in SAO, like any good level 0, has a great diversity of effects. However, there are some effects that scale very well into level 1 and beyond. The supporting Asuna has a fairly standard effect, but in multiples, can ensure that almost any attack against characters of equal or lesser level will be won with a CX. Lisbeth giving a 2500 power boost is also very respectable, as it allows you to trade a single damage for a character. The Silica is there to Brainstorm and to help burn through the deck to improve compression, and Yui can filter out excess CXs in the hand. The ideal time for Kirito is any time after the first turn, to get what you need at the time (or setup for level 2), and ideally trade with another level 0. Asuna Lays on the Sofa is the only real combat-worthy character, though.
At level 1, we have a big 15 cards: 12 characters and 3 events.
Vice Commander, Asuna, is a card with a Backup ability. It gives a character you control +1000 power. If you have two or more [Avatar] or [Net] characters in play, you can repeat this effect, even on the same character.
Asuna Takes Shelter has an interesting ‘snowball’ ability. Whenever it reverses another character in battle, you can put the top card of your deck under it as a marker. For each marker, it gets +1500 power and +1 level. (The markers stay face-down, and you can’t check them while it’s in play.)
Asuna Invites to Party gets +1000 power if you have three or more other [Avatar] or [Net] characters, and has a CX combo with Star Splash. When it attacks, you may pay 1 and tutor for an [Avatar] or [Net] character.
If you should ever feel the need to sacrifice your waifu (HOW COULD YOU), it will cost you 1 stock to give an [Avatar] or [Net] character +3500 power for the turn. Note that because this is an event, the card is subject to color requirements.
Performs Fanservice Changes Clothes gets +500 power for each other [Avatar] or [Net] character you control.
The level 1 for SAO is quite powerful. Instead of focusing on disrupting the opponent with cards that might trigger on Salvage effects, for example, it adopts a very focused linear approach that tutors for characters, and defends the front line with powerful Backup effects. Asuna Takes Shelter is a particularly opportunistic card that is one of the best ways to punish an opponent that has gotten you to level 1 first. After taking down only one character, it will be a 6000 power level 2 character, which makes it effectively immune to level reversers. In addition, Self-sacrifice can keep it very safe, and just the threat of having to attack into a 9500 power character (only to make it bigger if it fails), can effectively cut down your opponent’s opportunities for attacking. Because of the level increase as well, it becomes very difficult to side attack. Asuna Invites to Party is the core of the level 1 though, as it has a very powerful tutor effect. If you are able to use the effect more than once, it practically guarantees that your level 2 will be able to play to Leafa’s Pure Wish. Lisbeth Changes Clothes is usually going to be a 1/0 6500 power character, provided there are no boosts behind it.
At level 2 we have … nothing??
But wait! There are still things to play at level 2!
At level 2, if you have 5 or fewer cards left in the deck, you can play Leafa’s Pure Wish.
Leafa’s Pure Wish gets -1 level if you have 5 or fewer cards left in your deck. It gives your other characters +1500 power, and you can pay 1 and discard a character to give it +3000 power and unable to be targeted by your opponent until the end of their next turn.
Leafa’s Pure Wish is arguably the most powerful card in Sword Art Online. It has the opportunity to be played a full level earlier than it ‘should’ be, and gives a massive boost to your other characters. It also has the ability to protect itself for the low cost of a character card in hand and one stock. 13000 power before level 3 is not impossible, but very difficult to get.
For level 3, we have 10 characters, but ideally, only 6.
Asuna’s Commanding Strength has a Heal ability. When it attacks, you can pay 1 and discard a card to give all your [Avatar] characters +500 power and +1 soul until the end of turn. This effect will include itself!
妹 Silica Like a Younger Sister, Silica also has a Heal ability. Its CX combo is not present in this deck.
Level 3 is all about the Heal abilities. Asuna’s Commanding Strength shows up as a way to boost your other characters soul values without the need of a CX. For this deck, Silica is only a Heal ability.
The CX split is 4/4, and both are 1k1 effects.
Sought Warmth has a Door trigger, and Star Splash has a Bounce trigger.
How do we play this deck?
This Red/Yellow/Leafa build is fairly linear. The main game plan early on is to search for the characters that will transition to the early and then late game. Six cards in the early levels search for characters, and the Silica’s Unyielding Trust can both Salvage and enable an early Leafa’s Pure Wish.
The level 1 for this deck can look a couple of different ways. One way that it can function is to focus on searching for characters with Asuna Invites to Party. It can also use Asuna Takes Shelter and snowball an unbelievably large character into the late game. Asuna Takes Shelter, though it may end up tucking away a CX, so long as it has at least three markers under it, this is more than OK. This is because it has contributed to superior compression; 3 cards to stock, 3 cards out of the opponent’s hand, and 3 cards under it.
Because all the CXs have 1k1 effects, it ensures the greatest and most consistent possible damage (2 at a time).
At level 2, ideally the deck will have a spare Leafa to put into clock, and at least one in hand to play. It can use Silica to pare down the deck size, or even use it to Salvage a Leafa to play.
At level 3, it’s all about closing the game with out the need for CX abilities. Asuna and Silica both Heal you down to a ‘safe’ range. (3/0 to 3/2 are generally relatively ‘safe’, especially if you have a full center stage)The Asuna can amp up her damage to close a game by ensuring that only one attack needs to hit to end it.
What does this deck not do well? How do we beat it?
The only Heal effects for this deck are present at level 3. All damage that sticks to it early on, will stay. Stay about even on damage with the deck as long as possible at level 0, and speed the deck through level 1 and 2. 1k1 effects are good for doing this, though +2 soul is also viable, though a bit more risky.
If at level 1 the deck has a full center stage, call down the “what-if” as much as possible. If the opponent has a Backup effect, then he or she does. If not, then he or she loses the character. When attacking, make sure that the difference in power is greater than 2000 if possible. If you align your attacks to merely trade with the opponent, they can potentially spend 1 stock and 2 cards (Vice Commander, Asuna + Self-sacrifice) to remove your entire center stage – an absolute disaster.
Bounce triggers are very good against threats that are difficult to answer, such as an Asuna Takes Shelter with more than 3 markers under it, or a Leafa’s Pure Wish that did not use its ability. However, the effectiveness of Bounce triggers wanes in the late game because making the opponent reuse a Heal effect is quite risky (unless he or she doesn’t have the stock to replay the card).
This deck can also randomly die to inferior compression if its Asuna Takes Shelter hides too many CXs as markers. However, this is not really a reliable way to force more damage, as each character reversed by Asuna Takes Shelter can be thought of as an attack for 1 soul; it’s usually going to hit and not be a CX. Do not feed the Asuna!
Questions? Comments? Have an idea for another article? Send us an email at theninthcx AT gmail DOT com! Thanks for reading!