Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we will be looking at a deck that won the 2014 Asia Championships – Kantai Collection (KanColle)!
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 website here.
Let’s go to the breakdown!
Cards – 50
Level 0 – 16
3 Hatsukaze, 7th Kagero-class Destroyer (KC/S25-006)
1 Kagero, 1st Kagero-class Destroyer (KC/S25-011)
3 Hibiki, 2nd Akatsuki-class Destroyer (KC/S25-056)
1 Ikazuchi, Works Hard (KC/S25-057)
1 Inazuma, Blunderer (KC/S25-061)
1 Satsuki, 5th Mutsuki-class Destroyer (KC/S25-104)
2 Shirayuki, 2nd Fubuki-class Destroyer (KC/S25-105)
2 Hatsuyuki, 3rd Fubuki-class Destroyer (KC/S25-110)
1 Miyuki, 4th Fubuki-class Destroyer (KC/S25-112)
1 Arashio, 4th Asashio-class Destroyer (KC/S25-152)
Level 1 – 13
3 Shimakaze, Shimakaze-class Destroyer (KC/S25-003)
4 Verniy, “Trustworthy” Destroyer (KC/S25-038)
1 Jintsuu, 2nd Sendai-class Light Destroyer (KC/S25-066)
2 Yahagi, 3rd Agano-class Light Cruiser (KC/S25-010)
2 Ashigara, 3rd Myoukou-class Heavy Cruiser (KC/S25-158)
1 Compass (KC/S25-031)
Level 2 – 6
1 Zuikaku, 2nd Shoukaku-class Aircraft Carrier (KC/S25-004)
2 Maya, Full of Confidence (KC/S25-T19)
2 Houshou, Houshou-class Light Aircraft Carrier (KC/S25-099)
1 Zuihou, 2nd Shouhou-class Light Aircraft Carrier (KC/S25-134)
Level 3 – 7
4 Akagi Kai, Akagi-class Aircraft Carrier (KC/S25-035)
1 Kaga, Kaga-class Aircraft Carrier (KC/S25-036)
2 Haruna, 3rd Kongou-class Battleship (KC/S25-084)
CX – 8
1 All Airplane Squadron, Begin Launching! (KC/S25-033)
3 Swift as the Island Wind (KC/S25-034)
4 Akagi of the First Carrier Division, Deploying! (KC/S25-T07)
At level 0, we have quite a variety among the 16 characters.
Hatsukaze, 7th Kagero-class Destroyer is the familiar and dreaded anti-salvage that gives +500 power to other [Fleet Girl] characters you control. During the attack phase, if either you or your opponent salvages a character, all characters controlled by that player get -3 soul until end of turn.
When you play Kagero, 1st Kagero-class Destroyer, you may pay 2 stock to search your deck for up to 1 [Fleet Girl] character. When damage dealt by it is canceled, you may pay 1 stock to draw a card.
Hibiki, 2nd Akatsuki-class Destroyer has a Heal tax that functions from memory. When it is reversed, you may pay 1 stock and send it to memory and replace it with a Верный, “Trustworthy” Destroyer from your waiting room.
Ikazuchi, Works Hard has a ‘clock swap’ Brainstorm effect: pay 1 stock and rest it to, per CX revealed, put one card in your clock into your hand, then put the top card of your deck into clock.
When Inazuma, Blunderer is played from your hand, you reveal the top card of your deck and rest it if it isn’t a [Fleet Girl] character. When it is reversed, you may pay 1 stock and put the top card of your deck into clock to search your deck for up to 1 level 1 or lower character.
Satsuki, 5th Mutsuki-class Destroyer is a level reverser and can be given an encore for 2 stock.
When you play Shirayuki, 2nd Fubuki-class Destroyer, you look at the top card of your deck and put it back on top or in the waiting room. When your other “Hatsuyuki, 3rd Fubuki-class Destroyer” attacks, if this is on your center stage, you may choose a level 0 or lower character on your opponent’s center stage and send it to the waiting room.
When Hatsuyuki, 3rd Fubuki-class Destroyer attacks, you reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card is a climax card, it gets -3000 power until end of turn.
Miyuki, 4th Fubuki-class Destroyer reveals the top card of your deck when played from hand, and is put into the waiting room if the revealed card is a climax card.
When Arashio, 4th Asashio-class Destroyer is played from you hand, you look at the top card of your deck and put it back on top or on the bottom of your deck. You may also pay 1 stock to draw and discard a card.
At level 1, things are a little less chaotic at 13 characters.
Shimakaze, Shimakaze-class Destroyer has a CX combo with “Swift as the Island Wind”: when it reverses a character in battle, you search your deck for up to 1 [Fleet Girl] character.
Верный, “Trustworthy” Destroyer gets +1000 power if you have a “Hibiki, 2nd Akatsuki-class Destroyer” in memory.
Jintsuu, 2nd Sendai-class Light Destroyer gives your characters in front of it +1000 power. Whenever you play another character from your hand, you reveal the top card of your deck and rest that character if the revealed card is a climax card.
Yahagi, 3rd Agano-class Light Cruiser has clock encore. You can rest 2 [Fleet Girl] characters you control to give it +2500 power until end of turn.
Ashigara, 3rd Myoukou-class Heavy Cruiser has a 1 stock +1500 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability, you choose a [Fleet Girl] character you control in battle and give it +1000 power.
Compass Brainstorms the top 3 cards of your deck. If 1 or more CXs are revealed, you choose one of your opponent’s characters in battle and that character gains “This cannot deal damage to a player” until end of turn. Otherwise, this card goes to the top of your deck.
At level 2, we have 6 characters.
You can rest Zuikaku, 2nd Shoukaku-class Aircraft Carrier to give a character you control +3000 power until end of turn. It also has a CX combo with “All Airplane Squadron, Begin Launching!”: when the CX is played, you choose 1 of your characters that has a trait that includes [Carrier] and it gains “Once per turn, you may pay 1 stock when damage dealt by this is is canceled. If you do, deal 1 damage to your opponent.” until end of turn.
Maya, Full of Confidence gains +500 power for each other [Fleet Girl] character you control.
Houshou, Houshou-class Light Aircraft Carrier is a level support for your characters in front (+X power, where X = 500 times the level of the character). When you play it, you may pay 1 stock and discard a card to search for up to 1 [Aircraft Carrier] or [Light Aircraft Carrier].
Zuihou, 2nd Shouhou-class Light Aircraft Carrier has a 1 stock +2500 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability, you may pay 2 stock and put the top card of your deck into clock to choose a character your opponent controls with a level higher than your opponent’s level and put it on the bottom of his or her deck.
At level 3, we have 7 characters.
When you play Akagi Kai, Akagi-class Aircraft Carrier, you draw up to 2 cards then discard a card. At the start of your climax phase, you put all cards in your stock into your waiting room, and all your characters gain +1000 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn. It has a CX combo with “Akagi of the First Carrier Division, Deploying!”: when it reverses a character in battle, you may put that character into your opponent’s clock.
Kaga, Kaga-class Aircraft Carrier gives all other [Fleet Girl] characters you control +1500 power. When you play it, you may put the top 2 cards of your deck under it as markers. At the start of your draw phase, you put all markers under it into stock. At the beginning of your opponent’s attack phase, you may pay 3 stock. If you do, you choose a character your opponent controls and it gets +4 soul until end of turn.
When you play Haruna, 3rd Kongou-class Battleship, you reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card is a [Fleet Girl] character, you may deal 1 damage to your opponent. You can rest a [Fleet Girl] character you control to give it +1000 power until end of turn. At the start of the encore step, if you control no other rested characters on the center stage, you may pay 1 stock to rest it.
The CX split is 4/3/1 among 1k1 with Gold, 2k1 with +2 soul, and 1k1 with Bounce effects and triggers.
How do we play this deck?
There is a lot to take in about this deck, especially given its wild spread of effects starting at level 0.
Ideally, the opening 5 cards will contain some number of Верный, “Trustworthy” Destroyer to make use of Hibiki’s pseudo-Change effect. The level 0 has a number of characters that either reveal or check the top card of the deck, and these effects are good to use later in the game to ensure all the deck’s triggers are setup to the user’s liking.
The deck gives Salvage and Heal abilities a difficult time right out of the gates with its anti-salvage and Heal tax characters at level 0. There is a ‘toolbox’ of sorts in terms of effects to work with; a level reverser, a ‘looter’ (draw & discard), a character with Brainstorm, and a pair of characters that can search for other characters. The Shirayuki and Hatsuyuki duo can clear out opposing level 0 characters, making them a safe choice to deal with level reversers and other large level 0 characters.
Once the deck heads to level 1, it will look to build some hand advantage for future turns with Shimakaze, Shimakaze-class Destroyer and its CX combo. This means that it is ideal for the deck to hit level 1 first, because that gives it the best opportunity to reverse opposing characters. Because the level 0 for this deck has such strong characters, the opponent will be forced to keep up in terms of characters or be forced to an early damage disadvantage. If the deck is significantly ahead of the opponent however, it may be wise to send any CXs to the bottom of the deck that are seen with the “top check” abilities. Верный, “Trustworthy” Destroyer functions as an oversized 0 stock character, and Yahagi, 3rd Agano-class Light Cruiser has clock encore to preserve board presence into the next levels. Ashigara, 3rd Myoukou-class Heavy Cruiser is quite the heavyweight Backup, giving a large 2500 power to a character. Though it is smaller than 1/1 events that give +3500 power (e.g. Self-sacrifice, SAO; Mind Shock; Log Horizon), it is not subject to color restriction.
Compass is a fine singleton in the deck, as it is one of the few cards that, if it is successful, can stop insane Burn effects and large attacks.
Level 2 has a pair of Maya, Full of Confidence as a way to one-up larger level 1 characters your opponent may control, but also has an anti-Change effect to punish opponents that Change into higher level characters too soon. It can also be used against characters that snowball, or gain levels as they reverse other characters.
The level support and rarely-used CX combo with Zuihou and Zuikaku can help your characters keep even with or even go over larger characters.
Level 3 is when the deck uses Akagi Kai to its greatest potential. It is also the time of the game where the deck will run perpetually low on stock because of said Akagi Kai. However, with its power boosting and CX combo, that should not be an issue.
Even with only 3 stock available, the deck is still able to encore a single character, or encore a Haruna on the cheap. It can also use Kaga, Kaga-class Aircraft Carrier to generate extra stock for a subsequent turn and force an opponent to attack for an unreasonable amount of damage that is likely to cancel.
At level 1, the deck wants to use a yellow card to level; green at level 2, and red at level 3. At no point should a blue card be sent to the level zone because the deck does not play any cards that require blue to use the effect or play the character. These colors are only what are recommended if the deck begins a turn at X/6. The deck can run into a one-turn hiccup if it is unable to enter level 1 with a yellow card in the level zone, but it has other characters that can be played to fill in the gap.
What does this deck not do well? How do we beat it? Is there something missing?
One of the interesting omissions from the deck is Musashi. The ability to ‘punish’ a cancel from the opponent to do more damage is arguably well-placed here, though some may shy away from it because the number of characters at level 2 or higher in the deck is somewhat high.
This deck has an extremely diverse level 0 game, and a level 1 game that is almost as fragmented. This is not to say that its strength is lowered by its diversity, but rather, the deck could suffer from inconsistency.
Decks that rely on Salvage and Heal effects (e.g. Railgun, Milky Holmes, Madoka, Haruhi), are with very few answers against this deck. However, because this deck does not make any use of Salvage or Heal effects itself, Burn effects (e.g. Vividred, [email protected], Ilya) have very good chances against this deck’s main strategy. (Yes, that also means that soul rush from other Kantai decks or [email protected] can rush the deck down)
Even though this deck is a kind of jack of many trades in having its anti-salvage, Heal tax, and anti-Change effects, just having access to the effects does not guarantee that they will be applied in a given game. Bounce triggers are unfortunately not particularly effective against this deck because of its lack of Change abilities. (Верный is so low-impact that it hardly counts)
The effectiveness of Burn and soul rush against this deck is not to say that those are the only viable strategies. Rather, it should read that a deck with a tightly focused strategy that excludes Heal and salvage abilities will have a much easier time against the deck than a deck with the same focus on Heal and/or salvage abilities.
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