Kantai Deck Tech – 2014 Sugar Land WGP Regionals Winner!

Yuubari

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Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we’ll be looking at the list that got won the WGP Regionals in Sugar Land: Kantai Collection!

This article and tournament report are brought to you by Dennis Tran.

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.

Because KanColle has been written about so many times in the past, the cards will only be briefly touched on incidentally during the analysis portion of the article as they are mentioned. This list uses Inazuma, Blunderer as its pick-one card.

Let’s get to the list!

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 16

3 Hatsukaze, 7th Kagero-class Destroyer (KC/S25-006)
4 Hibiki, 2nd Akatsuki-class Destroyer (KC/S25-056)
4 Inazuma, Blunderer (KC/S25-061)
2 Ikazuchi, Works Hard (KC/S25-057)
3 Satsuki, 5th Mutsuki-class Destroyer (KC/S25-104)

Level 1 – 18

3 Shimakaze, Shimakaze-class Destroyer (KC/S25-003)
3 I-8, 2nd Junsen-class Type J-3 Submarine (KC/S25-009)
4 Verniy, “Trustworthy” Destroyer (KC/S25-038)
1 Yahagi, 3rd Agano-class Light Cruiser (KC/S25-010)
2 Ashigara, 3rd Myoukou-class Heavy Cruiser (KC/S25-158)
3 Yuubari, Yuubari-class Light Cruiser (KC/S25-037)
2 Compass (KC/S25-031)

Level 2 – 0

Level 3 – 8

4 Haruna, 3rd Kongou-class Battleship (KC/S25-084)
4 Akagi Kai, Akagi-class Aircraft Carrier (KC/S25-035)

CX – 8

4 Akagi of the First Carrier Division, Deploying! (KC/S25-075)
4 Swift as the Island Wind (KC/S25-034)

How do we use this deck?

Dennis: In the early game, setup the Heal tax with Verniy.

kc-s25-056kc-s25-038

Use Inazuma to prepare for the level 1 game.

Michael: This deck makes use of Inazuma at level 0 to help it hit level 1 more quickly than the opponent. Satsuki works as a great way to get in for minimal damage while keeping a more open field. Fortunately, Inazuma’s cost involves putting a card into clock, so getting to level 1 is easier than builds of the series that don’t use it.

D: If you have the CX, play Shimakaze to gain an advantage and setup for later levels. Sometimes, you’ll need to grab Backup effects to keep the combo going or a Yuubari for level 2. Otherwise, the combo will probably be to search for an Akagi-Kai.

kc-s25-035

Once at level 3, if there is enough stock, play Haruna for Burn and then use the Akagi-Kai CX combo to end the game. The main goal is to end the game in a single turn. If that (the CX combo + damage) isn’t enough, Akagi-Kai’s +1k power boost comes in handy.

kc-s25-031

Use Compass to minimize damage and/or thin the deck for a quicker refresh.

M: Compass is very well-positioned for use in this deck as it helps the deck answer Burn effects. While it isn’t a complete answer (effects that occur on attack will still resolve), it’s still a great way to, as Dennis said, thin the deck and reduce damage.

The mid-game is interesting for the deck because it has no level 2 characters. In a situation where the deck cancels a lot during level 2, the best way to answer that would be to build up a hand and stock for level 3, and aim to hit it as quickly as possible.

What does the deck not do well? Is it missing anything?

D: The level 2 game for this deck is really weak, given that there are no level 2 cards at all. It mainly relies on Yuubari and Yahagi at level 2 with power and clock encore respectively to maintain a field. Haruna is vulnerable to anti-Burn effects, but Akagi-Kai gets around that nicely. High power level 1 characters that prevent the Shimakaze CX combo from going off can be problematic.

M: Interestingly, runners can also be an issue for the deck trying to gain an advantage from using the Shimakaze CX combo unless it draws multiple copies. The deck also has very little power to fall back on during level 2. Because of this, level reversers are also a potential problem throughout, especially for Yuubari.

kc-s25-037

The deck also only uses 1k1 effects as its other CX effect, so its maximum damage potential in a single turn (at least, before Akagi-Kai shows up) is significantly lower.

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

Greed: 6

D: The deck is fairly greedy, as any card that hits the waiting room is forever bound to it, unless you refresh or if it’s a Verniy. Sometimes at level 1 when you are gathering your level 3s, you might end up with 8 or more cards in hand and may have to discard.

M: The deck, insofar as it as no ways to Salvage characters can be considered aggressive. Its Brainstorm options are also severely limited, as it has no way to repeatedly do so. In a lot of ways, the deck itself is a huge gamble, as it could either shut an opposing deck down completely, or find itself completely unable to interact.

Power Range: 3 – 7

D: Against a deck that relies on Salvage or Heal effects, the deck is almost unstoppable. But against decks that don’t, it’s fairly weak, especially against level 2 – 3 Change effects as it’ll be level 3 characters against level 1 characters, which can force it to play characters turn after turn.

M: If the deck is able to cash in on its large stock-pile at level 3, then it should be well-positioned no matter what it’s playing against. However, this can be mitigated by keeping the deck stuck at level 2. 2/5 is arguably where the deck is most vulnerable, as it has very few options at that point, and it is very possible to lose outright from that position. The deck also has no answers to early Change effects. Because it runs no Bounce effects, it doesn’t have any way of answering anything unfair (short of early Heal and Salvage) until the very late game.

Difficulty: 5

D: It’s in the middle. Every game, your field will look the same, as there are only really a few characters you’ll be playing. There is a lot of thinking as to what deck you’re facing though; if your opponent has Heal effects, you’ll want to make the tax as high as possible, and if they have Salvage effects that happen outside of battle, you’ll want Yuubari to punish that.

M: Fortunately the deck is fairly straightforward for the first level and a half. The only real ‘grey area’ for decision making will be in the mid-game around level 2 where the user will have to determine when clocking is best, or when to brainstorm. As Dennis said, there are only so many characters that the deck will play. Searching for the correct character(s) with effects and CX combos is good, but as long as the rule of thumb of “Get Akagi” is followed, the rest of the deck should play itself out.

JP/EN Meta Viability: 

D: In the JP meta, I’d say this deck is highly viable. The series is so large, and it’s getting larger thanks to the 2nd set being released in December 2014. There are so many ways to deal with the various decks out there.

M: As long as Salvage and Heal effects are around, Kantai will be there to keep it under control. This deck is a much more aggressive metagame call because it has no answers to “off-the-wall” (read: non-Heal, non-Salvage, non-Burn) strategies such as (insane) soul rush, big Change effects, all-in high power level 1, and so on. The deck only stands to get better as the second set will be bringing in a lot of new cards.

 Onto the interview!

M: Congratulations on the finish! How did your event go?

D: I had a lot of fun.

M: What was a really lucky moment you had during the tournament?

D: It was during the final game, where I had 2 CXs left in my deck of 20+ cards against my opponent’s field of Onodera + Marika. I used Compass on the Onodera, hit a CX and prevented the damage. I used my Ashigara to prevent his Marika from re-standing. I also managed to cancel the damage from Marika (the Burn got through though), to survive and win the following turn.

M: Nice, that definitely sounded like a nail-biter. Any really unlucky moments you had?

D: A few of the games I ended up with all CXs out of my deck with more than half of it left. It made for some very on-edge moments.

M: That’s never fun – did you have any incredible comebacks?

D: All my matches were fairly even in terms of damage, though a few of the games I thought I was going to lose for sure.

M: How did the final match go for you? I know we heard about how it ended already, but how was it going into the match?

D: It was pretty nerve wracking as a loss would have meant that I would be knocked out – my Strength of Schedule wasn’t as high as the other X-1 players. On top of that, I was against Nisekoi; 2nd thru 5th were all Nisekoi decks.

M: How did you prepare for the tournament? Did you do anything special the day of the event?

D: Just the usual tournament prep – made sure that my deck list was correct and that I had everything I needed. At first I almost didn’t want to go because of that Aldnoah Zero season ending. It was just too much to process at the time.

M: Looks like it all worked out, given that you walked away with a win! Best of luck at Nationals! Do you have any shoutouts or things you’d like to say?

D: Shoutout to Team Ojou-Sama, for being the trolliest bunch of players.  Thanks to David (Sorry you couldn’t make it….not really?) and Aldo for helping me with my Deck. It needs to be December already so I can get my Kantai 2nd and GF(Beta) boxes.

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 TWO boxes every month!