Nisekoi Deck Tech – Promises, Promises

Nisekoi Marika Raku

Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we’re going to take a look at an experimental build of Nisekoi, a set that has been making waves and causing much debate among the community as to who Best Girl™ truly is!

To help us settle the matter, please vote in this ongoing poll, here. Best Girl™ will be the subject of our next Waifu Deck spotlight, so be sure to vote!

Please note that this deck is only meant as a base from which to test from. It is in no way a polished deck list, and while the authors have done their best to ensure that it works, it does not mean that it will be the best list possible! Analysis for card choice will be included.

Author’s Note: A new list is on the way!

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.

Now let’s get to the list!

Nisekoi – Team Marika!

Level 0 – 16

4 Chitoge, Surprising Side (NK/W30-053)
2 Marika in Swimsuits (NK/W30-078)
3 Raku Being Similar (NK/W30-084)
3 Marika, Mischievous Kiss (NK/W30-085)
2 Kosaki, Store’s Mascot Girl (NK/W30-033)
2 Ruri, Kosaki’s Dear Friend (NK/W30-083)

Level 1 – 14

1 Marika, Straightforward Feelings (NK/W30-079)
1 Pendant of Promise (NK/W30-071)
3 Pendant of Promise (NK/W30-097)
4 Kosaki, First Visit (NK/W30-080)
1 Chitoge, Words of Promise (NK/W30-060)
4 Marika, Tilting her Head (NK/W30-059)

Level 2 – 4

1 Kosaki, Angel in White Clothing (NK/W30-081)
2 Marika, Daughter of the Police Chief (NK/W30-057)
1 Chitoge as Ghost (NK/W30-068)
Level 3 – 8

4 Marika, Maiden’s Heart (NK/W30-052)
4 Kosaki, Maiden’s Heart (NK/W30-076)

CX – 8

4 Feelings of 10 Years (NK/W30-073)
2 Promise of a Day Long Gone (NK/W30-099)
2 Exchanged Promise (NK/W30-100)

At level 0 we have 16 characters.

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Chitoge, Surprising Side is a level 0 reverser. At the start of your opponent’s attack step, you may move this to the center slot of your front row if it is empty.

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Marika in Swimsuits gives another 1 of your [Key] characters +1000 power until end of turn when it attacks. It also has a Brainstorm ability: you may pay 1 stock and rest 2 of your characters. For every CX revealed you may search for up to 1 [Key] character and put it in your hand.

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Raku Being Similar Gives all your other [Key] characters +500 power. When you play it, you may discard a card from your hand. If you do, choose a “Pendant of Promise” in your waiting room and return it to your hand.

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Marika, Mischievous Kiss gains +2000 power if you have no other characters. You may also pay 1 stock to draw and discard a card.

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When you play Kosaki, Store’s Mascot Girl you may pay 1 stock and discard a card. If you do, search for up to 1 [Key] character and put it into your hand.

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Ruri, Kosaki’s Dear Friend has a Bond effect to “Kosaki, First Visit” for 1 stock. You may also rest it to give a character with “Kosaki” in its name +500 power until end of turn.

At level 1 we have 10 characters and 4 events.

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Marika, Straightforward Feelings has a 0 stock +1000 power Backup ability. When you use the Backup ability, you may pay 3 stock. If you do choose a character on your opponent’s field that is higher level than your opponent and put it in the waiting room.

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When you play this (Marika’s) Pendant of Promise you may rest 2 characters. If you do, Salvage 2 [Key] characters and discard a card. Send this to memory.

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This (other girl’s) Pendant of Promise is a +3000 power event with counter step timing that goes to memory upon resolution. (Sorry sorry, Kosaki)

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Kosaki, First Visit gains +500 power for every other [Key] or [Sports] characters you have. It also has a clock Encore ability.

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Chitoge, Words of Promise gives all your other [Key] characters +500 power. If you have 2 or more “Pendant of Promise” in memory it also gives characters you control in front of it+500 power.

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Marika, Tilting her Head becomes a level 1 reverser if you have a “Pendant of Promise” in memory. When you play this, reveal the top card of your deck. If it is a [Key] character, put it into your hand and discard a card.

At level 2 we have 4 characters.

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Kosaki, Angel in White Clothing shuffles your waiting room into your deck on play if there are 5 or fewer cards left in your deck. If you do, then draw a card. You may rest 2 [Key] characters to give a character +2000 power until end of turn.

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Marika, Daughter of the Police Chief is a level support. When you play it, you may put the top card of your deck into clock and Salvage a [Key] character.

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Chitoge as Ghost has a 1 cost +2500 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability, you may pay 2 stock and send a character from your stage to the waiting room. If you do, choose a character on your opponent’s field that is higher level than your opponent and put it in the waiting room.

At level 3 we have 8 characters.

nk_w30_052

 

Marika, Maiden’s Heart Burns 1 on attack if there at 2 or more “Pendant of Promise” in your memory. When this card reverses a character in battle, you may pay 2 stock and discard 3 cards. If you do, stand this.

nk_w30_076

 

Kosaki, Maiden’s Heart gets -1 level in your hand if there are 2 or more “Pendant of Promise” in your memory. If you have 2 or more [Key] characters this gains +1000 power. When you play this, search for a [Key] character and put it in your hand.

The CX spread is 4 Door + 1k1, 2 +2 Soul and 2 Gate + 1k1.

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nk_w30_099

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How do we use this deck?

Going down the list, there are a lot of solid effects in the deck’s level 0. Chitoge, Surprising Side is a combination of a runner and reverser, which is very rare to see on a level reverser. Being able to go to the center means that it can sidestep “loner” characters that gain +1 level, so long as you play it on the side first! Marika in Swimsuit provides the deck’s primary Brainstorm utility and incidental search throughout the game, and can actually help gain an advantage in a pinch in the early game because of its ability to increase power.

Marika, Mischievous Kiss is a character that has great utility throughout the game. If it isn’t your first play, you can use it to filter stock to free excess CXs, as well as discard extra CXs in hand. As if that wasn’t enough, Kosaki, Store’s Mascot Girl gives the deck access to a familiar ‘standard’ search effect for the cost of 1 stock and a card from hand. At level 0, the aim should be to build a reasonable amount of stock, but also to build a good number of cards in hand to support the aggressive trading the deck can do at level 1.

At level 1, the plan of attack is twofold: use Kosaki, First Visit as a difficult-to-remove threat and overpower characters when possible. If Kosaki can’t get to sufficient power to go over a character, leave it to Marika, but only after you have a “Pendant of Promise” in memory! Playing out an early Marika reverser can be a signal to your opponent that they better use a large character to go over it, especially if you have blue available as a play. The idea behind this is that if your opponent uses a small level 0 character to try to maximize their value against the Marika reverser, you can gain a significant advantage by using a “Pendant of Promise” to boost its power, reverse their character, and then on the following turn, reverse yet another character.

When possible, use Marika’s Pendant of Promise to setup for the later game near the end of level 1, instead of using it early on, unless absolutely necessary.Be careful when using the level 1 Backup to clear over-level characters, as the effect is extremely expensive! Only if the opponent is way ahead should you consider using it at level 1; its effect is best used for the level 1-2 change (or other enabling) effects (especially if your opponent is in a position to stop clocking), or the level 2-3 change/enabling effects.

Kosaki, Angel in White Clothing is one of the more unfair effects that the set has access to, because it offers a way for a free deck refresh to actually gain a card right away instead of having to attack. (Compare to Time Regressor Homura from Madoka, or free refresh abilities seen in Backup effects in Angel Beats! and Log Horizon.)

The endgame can arrive sooner than the opponent expects if you are able to get 2 or more copies of Pendant of Promise into memory with Kosaki, Maiden’s Heart. Though it is only a slightly more powerful character than average, it again allows you to gain an advantage right away by searching for a character. Marika, Maiden’s Heart is the real centerpiece of the endgame however, and demands respect from the opponent. If your opponent knows that he or she is facing down a Marika at level 3, it’s up to him or her to ensure that characters aren’t reversed by Marika or they face a lot of pain. Remember that soul values are cumulative, so if your Marika attacks for 2 soul on the first attack and reveals a soul trigger, its base soul will be 3 for the second attack!

Sometimes this can cause odd rules interactions (including, yes, your opponent does have the opportunity to use Backup and other effects twice if you declare two frontal attacks, and the power values are checked, meaning that your Marika can be reversed by an already-reversed character), but these tend to be so rare that they are not worth worrying about.

The deck does use 2 +2 soul CXs, so in case of emergency, remember, +2 soul! +2 soul effects can turn a game around with a minimal commitment of resources, especially if the deck should so happen to miss out on drawing and using any Pendant of Promise, or draw nothing of the appropriate level.

What does this deck not do well? How do we beat it? Is it missing something?

Arguably, the deck does not have anything in terms of being able to prevent the opponent from carrying out a very specific and focused plan. While at early levels it can aim to gain a lead, its endgame is admittedly very predictable. Marika, though devastating, requires an incredible resource commitment, and if the opponent is able to build an overwhelming board presence in the early endgame, it can be very difficult to close the game.

From a strictly game mechanics standpoint, Heal abilities are well-positioned to give the deck a hard time in theory. However, the presence of +2 soul effects and also the lack of Draw/Book triggers in the deck will slant play to be more aggressive than focused on incremental advantage.

The deck has no answer to anti-burn or anti-salvage effects (the latter of which can be easily mitigated by using a different CX), but is able to completely ignore Heal tax due to having absolutely no Heal effects of its own. Because of this, Burn effects can take advantage of the deck.

The deck (like almost any from the set) is highly dependent on drawing and using Pendant of Promise. Though effects in the set exist to call Pendants from memory, they are not present in this deck. It is something to keep in mind when playing against the set though. If the deck is able to get two or more Pendants into memory, its power level will spike to above average, but it needs to get there before being effective.

But… is it missing anything?

Of course it could be missing something! In fact, this deck is just one of what could be many lists to test from, which include the use of Yellow for a double Bounce effect, or Green for additional utility and power.

How does the deck stack up? Is it conservative or greedy? What’s its overall power range? Is it easy or difficult to use? What would you say about its viability in the JP/EN metagames at large?

Greed: 5

Though it is only two colors, the deck, like almost any from the series, will tilt more greedy than conservative simply because of its reliance on Pendant of Promise. Otherwise, as for colors, the deck should never have an issue being able to play characters.

Power Range: 3 – 9

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Being able to stand after reversing an opponent isn’t an unfamiliar ability. In fact, Love Live! has it, and where LL has a Heal ability, Nisekoi has a Burn ability. The endgame is kind of two sides of a coin in that regard. If Pendants are able to go to memory, the deck looks quite scary, but that carries with it the risk that the deck will look potentially awful if Pendants are unable to make the trip to memory.

Difficulty: 6 – 8

The early game requires a bit more attention to detail than most (with the positioning of characters and so on), as well as making use of the best time to use a Pendant of Promise. Brainstorm effects are also not repeatable in the deck and are quite costly. Sequencing characters to bait an opponent to play a beatable character (enabling Marika) in the endgame is also an advanced tactic that can and will come up while using the deck.

EN/JP Meta Viability:

The set has not been released in EN, and no plans have been announced to bring it to the EN game.

In the JP meta, much of the set that follows this deck’s main idea of Burn and draw is able to dodge much of the anti-salvage and Heal tax that is present due to Kantai Collection.

Despite the nerf to Kantai Collection (it takes more than 3 hits to sink a battleship, after all), Kantai will continue to be a strong presence in the metagame, though the build that uses the almost unmissable Shimakaze level 1 CX combo may see some further evolution before major events.

That said, (we believe) this deck is well-positioned to give Kantai a run for its money (i.e. punch it in the face), and remaining competitive among other popular decks such as Love Live!, Rewrite, and Log Horizon. Its lineup of cards across every level is solid and playable, and a “weak link” is difficult to find. However! This list is only one of many possibilities, and should be tested and changed as necessary.

If you have questions or comments, please send us a message via Facebook or an email at theninthcx AT gmail DOT com.  Be sure to sign up for our monthly giveaway where we are giving away a box every month! Thanks for reading!