Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we will be exploring a new list of Fate/kaleid liner プリズマ☆イリヤ 2wei!
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 the series has not been featured for some time, all cards will be introduced.
This list is presented as a deck to try. It aims to use the familiar endgame from the first set with the support of cards from the new set.
Let’s get to the list!
Cards – 50
Level 0 – 18
3 Kuro, Sweets Battle Starts! (PI/SE24-03)
3 “Promise” Illya (PI/SE18-23)
2 Miyu, Kaleid Magical Girl (PI/SE18-21)
3 Luvia in Casual Clothing (PI/SE24-07)
2 Rin in Uniform (PI/SE24-11)
2 Illya, “Necessity”? (PI/SE24-19)
3 Kuro, Temporary Retreat (PI/SE24-04)
Level 1 – 14
3 Rin, Work of a Maid (PI/SE24-09)
3 Miyu, “Coincidence”? (PI/SE24-27)
2 Miyu, Perfect Supergirl? (PI/SE18-11)
2 Illya, Guided Fate (PI/SE18-28)
2 Bathing Together, Illya & Kuro (PI/SE24-P03)
2 Miyu, Connected Bond (PI/SE24-20)
Level 2 – 1
1 Miyu at the Large Bath of the Luvia Mansion (PI/SE24-29)
Level 3 – 9
3 “Kaleidoscope” Illya (PI/SE18-17)
3 “Kaleidoscope” Miyu (PI/SE18-18)
3 Illya, Normal Scenery (PI/SE24-22)
CX – 8
4 Class Card Saber (PI/SE18-36)
4 Supplying Mana (PI/SE24-17)
At level 0, we have 18 characters.
Whenever a [Magic] character you control (or character with “Mimi” in the name) attacks, this gains +1000 power until end of turn. When you reverse a character with it, you may pay 1 stock and put the top card of your deck into clock to salvage a [Magic] character (or character with “Shirou” in name).
“Promise” Illya gets +1500 power as long as you have 6 or more cards in hand.
Miyu, Kaleid Magical Girl gives the other character in your middle slot on the center stage +500 power. You can Brainstorm by paying 1 stock and resting two characters you control: for each CX revealed, you draw up to 1 card.
Luvia in Casual Clothing is a level reverser. You may also pay 1 stock to choose a [Gem] character you control and give it +1500 power and [Maid] until end of turn. (It can target itself.)
Rin in Uniform has a “revenge” trigger: whenever another character you control is reversed in battle, you choose a character you control and it gains +1000 power until end of turn. You may pay 1 stock to choose a character you control with “Illya” in the name and turn it into a
bomb level reverser until end of turn.
Illya, “Necessity” checks the top card of your deck when you play it – you can put it either on the top or bottom of your deck. When sent from the stage to the waiting room, you may pay 1 stock and discard a card to tutor (search deck, reveal & put into hand) a [Magic] character.
Kuro, Temporary Retreat can “run”: at the beginning of your opponent’s attack phase, you may put the top card of your deck into your waiting room. If the revealed card is a [Magic] character, you may move this to an empty slot on your center stage.
At level 1, we have 15 characters.
When you play Rin, Work of a Maid, you may pay 1 stock and put the top card of your deck into clock. If you do, you salvage up to 1 [Gem] character, and this gains +1500 power until end of turn.
Miyu, “Coincidence”? has Experience 2 (if the sums of the levels of cards in your level zone is 2 or higher): it gets +X power, where X is 1000 times the level of the character opposite it. It (more importantly) also has clock encore.
When Miyu, Perfect Supergirl? attacks, if you have a blue CX in your CX zone, you draw a card and discard a card. (This is not an optional ability.)
Illya, Guided Fate has a wordy startup [S] (or activated) ability. You can discard a [Magic] character in your hand to reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card is level 0 or lower, (A CX is counted as level 0) it gains “When this attacks, you may choose a character in your opponent’s back stage and have this front attack the chosen character” until end of turn.
You may pay 1 stock to give Bathing Together, Illya & Kuro +1000 power and “When this reverses a character in battle, you may put that character on top of your opponent’s deck” until end of turn.
When a character with “Illya” in the name you control is front attacked, you may send Miyu, Connected Bond to the waiting room. If you do, choose a character you control in battle and it gains +1500 power until end of turn. It also has a Bond for 1 stock with “Illya, Normal Scenery” (the new level 3).
The deck has a single card at level 2!
When Miyu at the Large Bath of the Luvia Mansion is played, if you have 5 or fewer cards left in your deck, you shuffle your waiting room into your deck and choose a character you control to have it gain +3000 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn. You can pay 2 stock and rest 2 characters you control to draw a card.
At level 3, we have 9 cards.
When you play “Kaleidoscope” Illya, you draw up to 2 cards, and then discard a card. It has a complex CX combo with “Class Card Saber”: when you play “Class Card Saber”, if you control a “Kaleidoscope” Miyu, you put the top card of your deck into your waiting room. (This is not an optional trigger.) If the revealed card is level 1 or lower, you may discard another “Class Card Saber” (from your hand). If you do, all your characters gain “When this attacks, deal 1 damage to your opponent” until end of turn. (Multiple instances of this ability, if successful, will cause your characters to gain separate instances of this Burn ability. If you are incredibly lucky, you can have your characters gain up to 3 instances of Burn through this ability. Each instance resolves separately and can be canceled.)
When you play “Kaleidoscope” Miyu, you look at the top X cards of your deck, choose up to 1, put it into hand, and put the rest into your waiting room where X is the number of [Magic] characters you control. (If you control more [Magic] characters than you have cards in your deck, your deck will NOT refresh while resolving this ability. After you have resolved the ability, your deck will refresh. This is because your cards are not entering the resolution zone because nothing needs to be verified.) It has a CX combo with “Class Card Saber”: when you play “Class Card Saber”, draw a card, and this gains +1500 power and “When this reverses a character in battle, you may put that character on the bottom of your opponent’s deck” until end of turn.
When you play Illya, Normal Scenery, you look at up to the top 6 cards of your deck, choose 3 of them and put them into your waiting room. The rest go on top of your deck in the order you choose. You may also pay 1 stock and discard a card when you play it. If you do, Heal and it gets +1000 power until end of turn.
The CX spread is a 4/4 split between Gate and Door triggers with all of them having 1k1 effects. Because Supplying Mana does not have any CX interaction with the deck, it is interchangeable in any number for “The Summer Vacation You Long For” (PI/SE24-P02).
How do we use this deck?
Back when Illya was a new face, the main ‘gimmick’ the series touted was a special Burn to close out the endgame. It was difficult to execute because the cards had very little to offer in terms of raw power, and the CX endgame was very soon overshadowed by the arrival of Kantai Collection and its new anti-salvage and anti-damage effects. The new set (and PRs!) have given the series a second wind (no pun intended), and with it, a lot of options in its early game.
One of the things to remember is that this deck in particular takes a lot of practice, because the difficult decisions begin even before the game starts, in terms of the kinds of hands to keep and what to mulligan. Testing counts for a lot more than it normally would, because the risks that the deck takes to get its reward (lots of Burn) are substantially higher than other decks, such as Nisekoi and Kantai.
At level 0, we can see that the deck already looks and feels different. “Promise” Illya remains one of the best turn 1 plays for the deck (don’t forget to clock!), because 4000 power is still a respectable amount. Kuro, Temporary Retreat is not a perfect “runner”, but 34 out of 50 of the cards in the deck are [Magic], which means you have better odds than a fair coin flip to save your Kuro. Even if you don’t need to move it or it’s going to get beaten no matter where it goes, it’s still an extra card cleared, either in a cancel denied (important at level 0) or damage denied (always good). Illya, “Necessity”? gives the deck a much-needed searcher, and Luvia in Casual Clothing gives the deck the ability to trade with other problematic characters at level 0.
Kuro, Sweets Battle Starts! is a cute tech to punish your opponent for trying to match your characters at level 0, as it allows you to Salvage early on in the game without much fear of anti-salvage effects. Why is anti-salvage not an issue for it? Because most of the time, when you attack with it and resolve its ability, your soul damage will have already been done from your previous two (or one) attack(s) and most anti-salvage effects such as +power or -soul will be moot. (Little Busters! doesn’t have anti-salvage until level 1 anyway)
Miyu, Kaleid Magical Girl is there to provide the deck some way to accelerate its refreshing and provide some card advantage on the way. Rin in Uniform also gives the deck some staying power into the late game, as it can turn any Illya into a level reverser. Hilariously enough, this may actually be relevant at level 3 more than at level 1 because the deck has often been unable to clear problematic characters at level 3 more than at level 0. (i.e. if you really want to stick it to your local Kantai player(s) who just cannot stop playing Akagi-kai, we have an answer now!)
At level 1, the deck gets some really sweet tech. Miyu, “Coincidence”? is quite possibly the best card possible for the deck’s transition through levels 1 and 2, as it is a 0-stock character that has clock encore. Because the rest of the deck has become stock intensive, Miyu, “Coincidence”? is very important to keep on the board, even if it has to spend a turn on the back stage. While Miyu builds stock, Rin, Work of a Maid is more than happy to cash in on your previously-built stock to get some card advantage. You get a character back for what is essentially a 1/1 6500 power character for a turn, which is quite reasonable, even if it does cause you to clock yourself. Do note that it salvages [Gem] characters only.
Think of the deck as having a very long level 1. Anything that it can get done at level 1 is bonus time before it manages to hit level 2.
Illya, Guided Fate is still in the deck, though not necessarily for its ability. It has always been a combo piece for the deck’s level 3, but with the inclusion of Rin in Uniform, it can turn into a level reverser in a pinch. Bathing Together, Illya & Kuro has an effect that has been seen on some other cards before, but its appearance here is quite surprising. For 1 stock, you can give it +1000 power and guarantee that the next card (provided you only attack for 1) will be damage. This ability scales well into the late game, and shouldn’t be underestimated, especially because it can punish your opponent for playing (and keeping in play) weaker characters.
Miyu, Connected Bond can act as an on-field “Backup” for your Illya, but is mostly in the deck for its Bond ability. Card advantage is key, after all!
If the deck can afford to refresh for free, it’s a nice ability to use on the way to level 3, but should not be forced, unless you know there are CXs remaining that you don’t want to trigger anyway.
The deck’s level 3 is (mostly) the same as before, only now it’s even more easy to pull off: resolve as many instances of Illya’s Burn ability as possible, and then attack! 1 instance is usually good enough to close a game if the opponent is at 3/5 or higher, but 2 instances can even close a full level gap (or more, if you’re really lucky).
On the way to level 3, depending on how its draws are, the deck can look two-faced. If it is able to maintain a board and Salvage regularly, it can look like a deck that loves to keep a full hand and float on 3+ stock until level 3, where it then cashes it all in for a big finish.
If it has to play from behind (not necessarily in the case of a CX flood!) though, it will look like a weird deck that keeps on clocking itself with Miyu to try to stay even in damage.
Interestingly, because of the way the deck’s endgame works, a CX flood is not as bad for it as it might be for other decks. If you see two copies of Class Card Saber in the first few turns, it can be worthwhile to simply keep them in hand until level 3. If you have two in your opening hand however, it’s a good idea to ditch one of them, because a Gate trigger can help you bring it back later on, and whatever you draw in its place is usually a better card.
Hi! Michael here (out from behind the normal voice), just a few tips from personal experience. I’ve played with this series a lot, and for those that play Magic, I think this deck is the closest analog to (edit: used wrong deck name before) High Tide that WS will ever get in terms of endgame complexity. This series is just more difficult to play than the average set. With the second set, now even sequencing your attacks properly is going to be another skill test. In the first set, mulligans, what characters to keep around, and sequencing Illya and Miyu were the biggest skill tests the deck presented, in terms of basics. Because the second series has added a lot more Salvage effects (good ones, at that), as well as a 0-stock clock encore character, decisions about those characters has gotten a bit more forgiving. What has not however, is the endgame setup.
The deck has only 10 cards that would “fizzle” the “Kaleidoscope” Illya combo, and if you can account for all of them, you can close the gap from a percentage probability to a sure-hit. Illya, Normal Scenery fortunately, is there to not only dig you out of a tight spot with a techy Heal ability, but being able to setup the top 3 cards of the deck is huge, especially when those cards are usually not going to be the cards you trigger during your attacks! In any other deck, the effect may be good for determining say if a Bounce trigger is coming up. In this one though, it’s to see what will go into the waiting room as a result of however many instances of “Kaleidoscope” Illya you have to resolve. That said, the endgame sequence should usually look like this:
“Kaleidoscope” Illya -> “Kaleidoscope” Miyu -> Illya, Normal Scenery
This maximizes the number of cards you draw, the number of cards you see, and the likelihood that you will resolve the combo.
What does the deck not do well? Is it missing anything?
One of the deck’s main struggles has always been keeping up with other decks strictly in terms of raw power at level 1. The ability to turn Illyas into level reversers can work as a partial solution, but it’s a stock-neutral solution in a deck that wants to have at least 6 stock at level 3. If the deck isn’t able to have at the very least 6 stock at level 3, its endgame looks very bad. Yes, now it can actually clear opposing level 3s by turning “Kaleidoscope” Illyas into level reversers, but that is again another stock-neutral solution for a deck that wants to net more stock every turn.
The second set also added a good deal of depth to the series which makes [Gem] decks, for example, a potential alternative. There are also a couple of other CX combos and cards that are not used in this deck that can potentially add to its power especially at level 2. You could consider cutting a level 2 or 3 character to bolster the probability of resolving the combo.
Also, if the deck lacks a certain amount of power, it can also add to its level 0 a number of copies of Bathing Together, Illya & Miyu, which gives all [Magic] characters you control +500 power.
Nothing like a hot, steamy bath, right?
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?
This deck is quite greedy, in that it still wants to resolve the old combo. It is definitely more two-color than it used to be, so Miyu, Perfect Supergirl? may not be used as much as before. It can also be stock-intensive in its early turns, and can be punished because its biggest effects rely either on a certain card being sent to the waiting room or, a character being reversed. It also has (essentially) no level 2, so a series with a particularly good focus on going big at level 2 (e.g. Nisekoi, Rewrite, Love Live!) can give the deck issues.
Easily one of the most difficult series that the game has to offer. Ironically, its Burn has gotten a bit more attractive with the restriction of a card from a certain other series…
You remember me, right?
Mistakes can be punished as early as the game begins because a botched mulligan can mean the difference between hitting the combo and not. It may sound crazy, but it’s true! The series does not have as much wiggle room as other series have or may have once had.
Power Range: 4 – 7
Ultimately, the endgame shenanigans the deck runs is at best a Burn combo. Even though the Burn is unconditional once resolved (it even gets through Little Busters! and Kantai Collection’s respective anti-damage counters), getting there is so difficult that it takes away from the deck’s overall power. Worse, if the deck doesn’t “get there”, its plan of attack is decidedly subpar.
EN/JP Meta Viability:
This series has been regarded largely as a gimmick in the JP metagame for some time. People have stayed away from it for various reasons- it’s not as ‘overpowered’ or stupidly ‘unfair’ as other series. Its endgame gimmicks are difficult to pull off to boot, and much more demanding in terms of the decisions most players take for granted (such as mulligans, attacks, and so on). However, it could be worth a look with this second set and with the newest PRs that the set has gotten.
Test a lot, and good luck!
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Thanks for reading!