Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we will be looking at a deck that won the Neo-Showdown Qualifier in France: Nanoha!
Translations can be found on Heart of the Cards. Names will be matched to reflect the translation notes. If translations are unavailable for the card, in-house translations will be used.
The deck list can be found listed on Bushiroad’s EN website here.
Onto the breakdown!
Cards – 50
Level 0 – 17
2 Fate, 9th Grader (NA/W12-009)
2 Fate, Afterwards (N2/W25-003)
1 Fate, Reunited After A Long Time (N2/W25-009)
3 “Big Brother” Chrono (NA/W12-040)
4 Nanoha in Uniform (N1/WE06-22)
3 Reinforce II, Spring Winds (N2/W25-069)
2 Nanoha, Sudden Attack (N2/W25-039)
Level 1 – 13
1 “Friends” Fate (NA/W12-010)
3 Nanoha, Blessing (NA/W12-067)
1 Nanoha, Cartridge System (N2/W25-035)
2 Nanoha, New Power (N2/W25-041)
2 Yuuno, Advisor (N2/W25-050)
2 Mariel Atenza (NA/W12-035)
2 Nanoha, Accel Mode (N2/W25-036)
Level 2 – 4
3 Nanoha, Full Power (N1/WE06-20)
1 Nanoha, Exelion Mode (N2/W25-038)
Level 3 – 8
2 “Unwavering Will” Nanoha (NA/W12-052)
2 Nanoha, Determined Look (N2/W25-031)
4 Magic Training (NA/W12-070)
CX – 8
2 Divine Buster (N1/WE06-26)
4 Starlight Breaker (N1/WE06-27)
2 Exelion Buster A.C.S (N2/W25-055)
At level 0, we have 17 characters.
Fate, 9th Grader has a Bond with “Nanoha, Blessing” at the cost of putting the top card of your deck into clock.
Fate, Afterwards, gives all your characters with “Nanoha” in the name hand encore. When you play it, you can pay 1 stock to give a character +1 soul until end of turn.
Fate, Reunited After A Long Time, has a Brainstorm ability. You may pay 1 stock, and this gains +1000 power and +1 soul for each CX revealed.
When “Big Brother” Chrono is reversed in battle, you reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card is a [Weapon] character, you may send this card to memory.
Nanoha in Uniform gets +1500 power if you control 2 or more other [Magic] and/or [Anima] characters.
Reinforce II, Spring Winds gives your characters in front of it +500 power. You can also pay 2 stock and rest it to tutor (search your deck) for a [Magic] character or a character with “Hayate” in the name.
When Nanoha, Sudden Attack is reversed in battle, you may pay 1 stock, discard a card, and send it to memory. If you do, you Salvage a [Magic] character.
At level 1, we have 13 characters.
“Friends” Fate has a 0 stock +1500 power Backup ability. When its Backup ability is used, if you control a character with “Nanoha” in the name, each player puts the top 3 cards of his or her deck into their waiting room.
Nanoha, Blessing is a vanilla 1/0 5500 power character.
Nanoha, Cartridge System gets +1000 power if you control 3 or more other [Magic] characters. You may also Accelerate to have this card gain +1 level and +3000 power for the turn.
Nanoha, New Power gives another one of your [Magic] characters +1000 power for the turn you play it. It also has a Change ability that triggers at the beginning of your climax phase. You may pay 1 stock and send it to memory to Change into a “Nanoha, Accel Mode”.
When you play Yuuno, Advisor, you may pay 1 stock and rest two standing [Magic] characters you control. If you do, you Salvage a character with “Nanoha” in the name.
Mariel Atenza has a 1 stock +1500 Backup ability. When you use the Backup ability, you choose a character you control with “Nanoha” and/or “Fate” in the name and give it +1000 power until end of turn.
If you have at least 1 card in memory, Nanoha, Accel Mode gains +1 level and +1000 power. When played from hand or via Change effect, it gains “When this reverses a character in battle, you may put that character on top of its owner’s deck” until end of turn.
Level 2 brings us a small 4 characters.
Nanoha, Full Power has a CX combo with “Starlight Breaker”; when it attacks, it gets +X power until end of turn where X is the number of CXs in your waiting room, and it and the character it is facing gains “When this reverses a character in battle, Salvage a character” until end of turn.
Nanoha, Exelion Mode gets +2000 power if you have 2 or more [Magic] characters in your memory. It has a CX combo with “Exelion Buster A.C.S”; you may pay 2 stock to deal 1 damage to your opponent and it gains +3000 power for the turn.
At level 3, we have 4 events and 4 characters.
“Unwavering Will” Nanoha has a Heal effect. When it attacks, you may pay 6 (yes, 6) stock to deal 5 damage to your opponent.
Nanoha, Determined Look gets +2000 power if you have 2 or more [Magic] characters in your memory. When you play it, if you control 3 or more other [Magic] characters, you may put the top card of your deck into stock. When it is front attacked, you look at the top card of your deck and either put it back on top or put it into the waiting room.
Magic Training deals 1 damage to your opponent and gives a character you control +3000 power until end of turn.
How do we play this deck?
At level 0, we have a good handful of characters that can send themselves to memory. Fate, Afterwards can keep a stable board attacking while other characters are reversed and (ideally) sent to memory. While sending characters to memory is not the primary goal of the deck’s level 0, having at least 1 in memory by level 1 is very helpful; having 2 in memory is optimal.
Around level 1, the deck can have a low stock count and still operate well. The spread of 0 stock characters allows the level 1 to keep its characters protected but also opens the opportunity to Change into Nanoha, Accel Mode. With the presence of multiple large Backup effects, even the vanilla 5500 characters can be made to survive a turn. Nanoha, Cartridge System and Nanoha, Accel Mode can take down defending level reversers with ease, as well. “Friends” Fate may look like a strange card in this deck but can do a lot of things. Its main role is to protect a character. But, it can also help deny damage (say if you have drawn a few too many CXs and need to get through the deck more quickly), open potential damage (just hope your opponent loses 3 CXs during the effect), and perhaps most importantly put a Nanoha, Accel Mode into the waiting room to Change into. Because Nanoha, Accel Mode can turn a character into damage the turn it’s played with its ability, it is very possible to ‘burst’ an opponent to level 2 or at least late level 1, from level 0.
Author’s Note: This section has been corrected, thanks to input from the community and a clarification from the official Bushiroad WS Q&A.
Level 2 is admittedly very thin for the deck. However, the CX combo with Nanoha, Full Power serves to keep the hand stocked leading into the late game with its free Salvage upside. The combo does apply to both characters though, which means that if your opponent has a character with a Backup ability in hand and sufficient stock to use it, your Nanoha, Full Power may end up giving your opponent a free card. If your entire front row is Nanoha, Full Power and you have the CX combo active, you can Salvage up to 3 characters during the turn, provided that you are able to reverse three characters your opponent controls. The drawback to the deck’s level 2 is that it is quite stock-intensive, and playing out all three copies of Nanoha, Full Power will not typically be practical because it will starve the deck of its level 3 plays.
When the deck is pushed to level 3, it has little choice but to push a lot of damage and use Magic Training to clear the opponent’s board away. “Unwavering Will” Nanoha has the 5 damage ability that can be used as a fun or last-ditch way to either end a game or catch up in damage. Heal effects are restricted to only “Unwavering Will” Nanoha. Nanoha, Determined Look costs a net 1 stock if you control sufficient characters while offering some damage denial. Ideally, by level 3, the user’s hand will be stacked with a lot of characters from the deck’s many Salvage effects and will not need to worry about running out of characters to play.
What does this deck not do well? How do we beat it? Is there something missing from it?
One of the first things that might be noticed is the presence of vanilla 5500 characters where additional copies of other cards would probably be much better.
Felix’s Comments: The deck should have 3 or 4 Nanoha, Sudden Attack to maximize its compression for the late game and to keep its Salvage effects going. Nanoha, I would use more Nanoha, Cartridge System instead of the vanillas.
Alternately, the deck probably could stand to focus more on the Change from Nanoha, New Power to Nanoha, Accel Mode by including more copies of each.
Editor’s Note: In the user’s defense, these numbers could be justified by saying it was a matter of access to cards. It could have also been personal preference, but the analysis is not meant to cast either the deck nor user in a negative light. That said, it’s still very possible that the list can be improved.
The deck as a whole does not deal with oversized characters very well before level 2. Nanoha, Full Power can top out at 16000 attack (8000 + 1000 + 7000) if the rest of the deck’s CXs are in the waiting room, assuming no support. Short of waiting for level 2, the deck may struggle to attack into large Backup effects (e.g. SAO, Milky Holmes). On the defense, most of the deck is prone to being cleared by level reversers, especially at level 1. No characters in the deck have hand encore or clock encore on their own, and can be a challenge for the deck if it doesn’t see a copy of Fate, Afterwards before or during level 1.
Without the CX combo from Nanoha, Full Power, the deck also runs the risk of running low on cards in the late mid-game to late game. 6 Door triggers and other Salvage effects can help ensure that this does not happen, but the deck’s Salvage effects can strain the deck’s stock and its ability to play its level 3 to maximum effect.
Should the deck not get sufficient at least one card into memory in the early game, its level 1 will suffer greatly. Effects that can put characters to the bottom of the deck are much more effective than Bounce triggers for this reason.
Heal tax is not particularly effective as a whole strategy against this deck, but anything that can interfere with its ability to Salvage can and will be very effective, especially in the later game. Heal effects, if not repeated, may struggle to deal with the repeated damage the deck is capable of putting out. However, certain builds of various sets that have repeated Heal effects can potentially out-sustain the deck’s damage.
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