Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we’ll be looking at the list that took down the 2014 North Carolina Regionals: Madoka!
The deck list and interview are brought to you by Jim Chatham. Special thanks to Felix for article prep. Because the set has been released in English, English card names will be used.
Now, let’s see what made this deck’s soul shine!
Raspberries and Cheese
Cards – 50
Level 0 – 19
2 Kyubey Urges for a Contract (MM/W17-003)
4 Senior Magical Girl Mami (MM/W17-004)
4 Homura Watches Over (MM/W17-024)
4 Madoka’s Battle with Walpurgisnacht (MM/W17-032)
2 Kyoko Confesses Her Past (MM/W17-068)
3 Sayaka Looks Up to Mami (MM/W17-084)
Level 1 – 11
4 Mami is “No Longer Alone” (MM/W17-008)
3 Sayaka’s Healing Prayers (MM/W17-085)
4 Mami’s Wish in Order to Live (MM/W17-009)
Level 2 – 11
4 Grief Seed (MM/W17-017)
4 Mami Endures Her Fate (MM/W17-006)
3 Sayaka Getting Hurt in the Fight (MM/W17-096)
Level 3 – 1
1 Sayaka Miki (MM/W17-082)
CX – 8
4 I’m not afraid of anything anymore (MM/W17-019)
4 Miracles and magic exist (MM/W17-100)
At level 0 we have 19 characters.
Kyubey Urges for a Contract gives all your other [Magic] characters +500 power. When you play this, put the top card of your deck under this facedown as a marker. When you use the Change ability of your characters you may use the marker under this to substitute 1 stock.
Homura watches Over has a Brainstorm effect: you may pay 1 stock and rest 2 of your characters. For every CX you reveal this way, you may search for a [Magic] character and add it to your hand. Regardless of how many CXs are revealed, you shuffle your deck.
Madoka’s Battle with Walpurgisnacht gains +1500 power if you have 2 or less other characters.
When you play Kyoko Confesses Her Past, if you have 3 or more CX in your waiting room, you put the top card of your deck into clock.
When you play Sayaka Looks Up to Mami, look at the top card of your deck. You may leave it on top or put it on the bottom of your deck. When this attacks, reveal the top card of your deck. If it is a [Magic] character, put it in your hand and discard a card.
At level 1 we have 11 characters.
Mami is “No Longer Alone” has a CX combo with “I’m not afraid of anything anymore”: When this attacks, reveal the top card of your deck. If its a CX, this gets -4500 power until end of turn. If it isn’t a CX, this gains +4500 power until end of turn.
Sayaka’s Healing Prayers, upon being reversed, puts the top card of your deck to your clock and rests itself.
Mami’s Wish in Order to Live gives all your other characters +1000 power during your turn. It also has a Change ability: at the beginning of your draw step, you may pay 1 stock and put this in your waiting room. If you do, choose a “Mami Endures Her Fate” from your waiting room and put it in this slot this was in.
At level 2 we have 7 characters and 4 events.
Grief Seed is an event counter that gives a character +1000 power times the number of [Magic] characters you control until end of turn.
When Mami Endures Her Fate is in battle, neither player may use Backup effects. (Events are still OK to use.)
Sayaka Getting Hurt in the Fight, upon being reversed, puts the top card of your deck to your clock and rests itself. You may also rest a [Magic] character to give this +1000 power until end of turn.
At level 3 we have 1 character.
Sayaka Miki gains +500 power for every other [Magic] character you have. This has a on play Heal effect. When this becomes reversed, it goes to your memory.
The CX spread is 4 1k1 + bounce and 4 P2S.
How do we use this deck?
Jim: Attack with three characters every turn. Make sure to keep track of triggers and the number of CXs remaining in your opponent’s deck.
Michael: Early on, the deck can look like a typical Madoka deck, filtering its hand, and reversing characters. Interestingly, this deck skips using level reversers and puts in the level 0 Mami to give it the ability to cash in stock to search for characters.
J: At level 1, you can Change into Mami Endures Her Fate to battle characters safely, and use the CX combo with Mami is “No Longer Alone” to beat characters all the way up to level 3.
M: Mami Endures Her Fate is best used to squash much smaller characters against series that have event counters. However in the absence of event counters, it can be used to reverse characters in a more ‘greedy’ way, by battling characters with powers much closer to its own.
J: Both Sayakas that rest themselves upon being reversed maintain board presence, as does Senior Magical Girl Mami. Grief Seed works wonders to keep the board safe because +5000 power is hard to top.
Don’t forget to side attack if your characters are smaller! Rush your opponent down with +2 soul if they have a lot of CXs out and a lot of cards left in deck.
What does the deck not do well? Is it missing anything? How do we beat it?
J: Aside from encore, the deck does not have very many ways of paying out its stock. The deck could use a better Brainstorm effect. It doesn’t have any answers to Heal or Burn either.
M: What the deck doesn’t have in ways to answer Heal, Burn or Salvage, it gains in unique ways to deal with decks: overwhelming damage. However, effects that send reversed characters to different zones can be particularly punishing for the deck. For instance, an Akagi from Kantai or a Nico from Love Live! with the ability to send a reversed character to clock will cause the character to go to clock, on top of the clock trigger doing as much as possible, which is effectively double (or more) damage.
That said, a deck that can rapidly refresh with 8 CXs and try to outpace it in terms of damage can give it a hard time. Illya is a prime example of a deck that can potentially hit harder and refresh much more quickly.
To its credit, the deck is able to ignore about every “anti-meta” mechanic that has been seen in recent sets, as it does not Heal, Salvage, or Burn. However, it is also just as vulnerable to those effects, especially Heal and Burn.
(Also, the deck only has one copy of Sayaka Miki, which, for the true Sayaka fan, is a mistake, and the deck could stand to have more… Or none at all, for those who aren’t fans of Sayaka.)
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?
J: This deck is super greedy! It should regularly close games even before it hits level 3. Never hold back with it.
M: The greed from this deck does not come from its color balancing. The characters and events are primarily yellow and blue, and the deck should never have an issue with playing characters. Rather, its troubles will come from its dogged insistence on attacking for as much as possible as often as possible. In terms of colors, the deck’s greed is probably closer to a 2.
Power Range: 6 – 7
J: The power range seems decent; +5000 power from Grief Seed is a pretty strong effect.
M: The deck is very stable in terms of what it wants to do: attack with 3 characters every turn for as much damage as possible. Its card advantage is gained through having characters that rest (not encore!) themselves, and the occasional Bounce and search effect.
However, its power range will really be felt if it should try to ever compete with the endgame of other decks. Decks that can access their endgames early will make this deck look weaker.
M: Do you have an open slot on the center stage? If yes, place a character there. Can you front attack and reverse the character in front? If so, front attack! Otherwise, side attack. No matter what, attack!
EN/JP Meta Viability:
J: This deck doesn’t care about your anti-anything. That’s one of its true strengths, that it ignores the meta entirely.
M: What Jim said. Similar to an interesting 8-Bounce Love Live! build that has been featured before, the deck’s strength comes from being able to ignore the cycle of Heal, Heal tax, Salvage, anti-salvage, Burn, and anti-burn.
In terms of the English metagame however, the endgame pushing power of SAO can still give the deck a difficult time. +3500 power event counters in Love Live! and SAO can also make battles tricky prior to level 2, which is when those two decks have a significant power spike. Soul rush is certainly a viable option (heck, the very first deck tech for Madoka here is a soul rush deck, and that deck has won nearly double-digit tournaments) and will always be a viable option so long as level 4 is the most viable win condition in the game.
Let’s go to the interview!
M: Congratulations on the finish! How did your event go?
J: I had a blast, made some great new friends, and played against a couple of the best players in the states.
M: What was a really lucky moment you had during the tournament?
J: Against KanColle in the second round I was able to make him refresh just before his Changes were going to go off. When he attacked back, he left one card in my deck. Since my changes are before draw, I was able to double Change and really take control of a game where I was already ahead.
M: What was a really unlucky moment you had during the tournament?
J: Final 2 games of the tournament against Justin H he canceled everything and I got almost nothing. Two very close games!
M: Did you have any incredible comebacks?
J: Not this time. I was pretty much in control of every match right up until the end.
M: How did the final match go for you? What did you play against?
J: I played against Diva (Miku). He canceled A LOT. We both made a couple of terrible plays. In the end, there are only so may climaxes in a deck and I was able to pull it off.
M: How did you prepare for the tournament? Did you do anything special the day of the tournament?
J: I prepared for the tournament by [drinking a lot] (Author’s note: We do not advocate drinking alcohol before an event!) then driving for 10 hours (with my carmate Justin H) to arrive at 6 in the morning, sleeping for 4 hours, getting to the tournament, getting the cards for my deck, and having Burger King for my first meal in 16 hours.
M: That … is certainly an intense way to pre-game an event. Congratulations again on the finish and best of luck to you at Nationals! Any other shoutouts or things you’d like to say?
J: Shoutouts to Joon and Kit for always having what I need and the extra waifu power of the Sayaka SP. Jessi, for running a great event and giving me the cards I left 10 hours away. Justin for being my carmate and giving me two great games! The Illiana and Detroit play groups for helping me to learn the game. And, as always, the super hot, funny, smart and all-around amazing Beth P for all her support.
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