Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! This article is an update on one of our very first articles, Shana!
Author’s note: The decklist is brought to you by Felix. It has gone to the finals of local events, but has not won any. We present this list as a deck to try, but encourage others that may play the set to chime in with their ideas on potential inclusions.
Translations will be matched based on those found from Heart of the Cards. Onto the breakdown!
Cards – 50
Level 0 – 17
2 Shana, Development of the Town (SS/W14-001)
2 Shana, Apostle of Extermination (SS/W14-035)
4 Wilhelmina, Contractor to Tiamat (SS/W14-036)
2 Shana, Moment of Confrontation (SS/W14-037)
3 “Beautiful Whim” Pheles (SS/W14-081)
4 Hecate, Empty Existence (SS/W14-082)
Level 1 – 10
4 “Flame Haze” Wilhelmina (SS/W14-039)
1 Silver Flame (SS/W14-064)
3 Shana, Trust in the Blade (SS/WE15-08)
2 “Improvisational Poem of Slaughter” Margery (SS/W14-058)
Level 2 – 7
3 Shana as Dorothy (SS/W14-048)
4 “Persona” Equipped, Wilhelmina (SS/WE15-10)
Level 3 – 8
2 Shana & Yuji (SS/W14-042)
2 Shana, Fluttered and Black-clothed (SS/W14-104)
4 Hecate, Divine Summoning (SS/WE15-29)
CX – 8
4 Power of Will (SS/W14-070)
4 Until the Next Time Wishes Come to Fruition (SS/WE15-36)
Editor’s Note: “Fruitation” is not a word. It is very likely a deliberate typo from the translations.
At level 0, we have 17 characters.
Shana, Development of the Town gives all characters in front of it +500 power, and can rest to give another [Flame] character +500 power for the turn.
Shana, Apostle of Extermination has a Brainstorm ability that lets you Salvage a character then discard a card for each CX revealed for the cost of only 1 stock.
Wilhelmina, Contractor to Tiamat is a level reverser. You can also pay 1 stock to choose a level 0 (or lower) character your opponent controls on the center stage, and put it into the waiting room.
Shana, Moment of Confrontation is a 3500 character that goes to the waiting room when you play it if you control no other [Flame] characters.
“Beautiful Whim” Pheles can tutor a [Flame] character when played if you pay 1 stock and discard a card.
Hecate, Empty Existence gains +2000 power if your opponent as 3 or fewer characters on his or her turn.
The level 0 for Shana has some unique components to it. The level reverser it gets can snipe other characters in front that are too large to get over in a pinch, should the level 0 game go too long. Hecate becomes a 4500 power wall on the opponent’s turn unless he or she commits most of his or her hand to the board. There is a character with a tutoring ability to smooth draws throughout the game, and the Brainstorm effect is repeatable and an excellent answer to an early CX flood because it allows you to discard cards (unless you have had the misfortune of drawing every last one).
At level 1, we have 9 characters and 1 event.
“Flame Haze” Wilhelmina gains +500 power for each other [Flame] character you control, and has hand encore.
Silver Flame gives you backstage access to your opponent’s characters and sends a level 1 or lower character there to the waiting room. (You can only select something on the back stage with this card)
Shana, Trust in the Blade has Experience 2 to give all your other [Flame] characters +500 power. It also has hand encore.
“Improvisational Poem of Slaughter” Margery has a free +1500 power Backup effect.
Level 1 offers a good self-sustaining board presence, especially with Experience-enabled Shana, Trust in the Blade. The single copy of Silver Flame also allows for counterplay against problematic characters in the back row.
At level 2, we have 7 characters.
Shana as Dorothy has a 1 stock +2500 Backup effect that gives an additional 1000 power with Experience 5.
“Persona” Equipped, Wilhelmina gets +1500 power if you control another character with “Shana” in its name.
The level 2 for this deck offers a very efficiently-costed Wilhelmina that is at 9000 power with only another Shana, but can get to 10000+ with ease. The Backup effect is decent, requiring only 1 stock, and trades an upfront -500 power for a potential +1000 power with Experience 5.
At level 3, we have 8 characters.
Shana & Yuji, when played, has you draw up to 2 cards, then discard a card. With Experience 5, it gains +1500 power and the ability to pay 1 stock when it reverses a character to put that character on top of its owner’s deck.
Shana, Fluttered and Black-clothed has a Heal ability. Whenever one of your characters is reversed in battle, this character gains +1000 power for the turn.
Hecate, Divine Summoning has a Heal ability and a CX combo with “Until the Next Time Wishes Come to Fruition”. When the CX is played, you may pay 1 stock. If you do, you draw a card, Heal, and put this card into stock at the beginning of your encore step.
The CX split is 4/4 for 1k1 Door and 2k1 2 soul effects and triggers.
How do we play this deck?
Level up and gain experience. (In that order, of course)
The early game actually has a couple of priorities that add to its complexity. At level 0, one should aim to get at least one level 2 or 3 character into the clock, all while sculpting an optimal hand for level 1. As such, this is not a deck for rushing an opponent from level 0. It can use stock early to Brainstorm away the deck in case of a CX flood, and it also has cards to search for other characters. Hecate, Empty Existence, can also prompt your opponent to overcommit to the board just to shrink its power and get rid of it. This is one aspect of the deck that tests the opponent’s skill, rather than the user’s.
At level 1, the deck wants to keep a single board alive for as long as possible, by using its characters with hand encore. Because this deck has Backup effects of its own, if you know that your opponent has a Backup effect that will blow you out of the water (e.g. +3000, +3500), making a side attack or using a 1k1 or even 2k1 before making a side attack is OK! At level 1, aim to preserve the board and get at least one level 2 or 3 character into the clock. If you fail to get to Experience 5 by level 2, the game won’t be hellish per se, but it will be a great deal more difficult because a lot of potential power is lost.
Level 2 offers a very large and stock-efficient attacker in “Persona Equipped” Wilhelmina. Though it only attacks for 1 soul, it is very likely to survive a turn and attack again. There are no tricky Change effects to worry about managing, though level 2 is the last opportunity you will get to ensure you get to Experience 5.
Once the deck hits level 3, it can float on low numbers in clock due to its Heal abilities and the CX combo with Hecate, Divine Summoning. If characters from level 1 and 2 have been surviving for more than one turn, it could potentially have enough stock to pay through a single Heal tax effect, though if two or more are active, it can make the Heal effect very difficult or outright impossible to use.
How do we beat this deck? What does this deck not do well?
Unfortunately, most of this deck’s late game plan is to Heal. Throughout the game, it aims to Salvage characters occasionally with 4 Door triggers, but because it only has 4 of those triggers, triggering a mid-battle anti-salvage penalty is not going to be as frequent as one may think. Other anti-salvage penalties (e.g. +2000 power), however, can still trigger from the level 0s that Brainstorm.
Effects that can put characters into stock or places other than the waiting room are particularly effective against the deck’s level 1, though those effects are rare. Bounce triggers can also put a damper on its level 1 game and shrink its key characters, especially Shana, Trust in the Blade.
Trying to soul rush the deck down to deny it from achieving the proper level of Experience early on is a mistake, however. Experience is a mechanic that largely is uncontrollable by the opponent, so even if there is or isn’t a level 2+ character in clock, don’t pull punches or overextend on an attack.
Author’s Note: A reader has pointed out that the card “Mobilizer of Ceremonial Equipment” Khamsin Nbh’w (SS/WE15-20) is absent from this deck’s level 1. The effect of that particular card gives all characters in front +500 power, but also has a triggered ability that can go off once per turn: whenever one of your other [Flame] characters is reversed in battle, you can choose one of your characters and give it +1500 power for the turn. I personally would recommend using up to three copies, most likely two, because having access to that ability is also what gives the deck its staying power at level 1 and on.
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