Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we will be looking at a deck that won a qualifier for the 2014 European Grand Prix – SAO II!
Translations can be found on Heart of the Cards. Names will be matched to reflect the translation notes or official EN names. If translations are unavailable for the card, in-house translations will be used. The EB is slated for release in EN, and once it is out, the card names may change slightly.
The deck list and interview are brought to you by Sebastian Klein.
Cards – 50
Level 0 – 16
1 Silica’s Unyielding Trust (SAO/S20-051)
4 Silica, Gathering Materials (SAO/SE23-07)
4 Shouichi Shinkawa (SAO/SE23-08)
2 Sinon, Ideal Self (SAO/SE23-18)
2 Sinon in the Midst of the Sunlight Through the Leaves (SAO/SE23-19)
3 Kyouji, Protecting Shino (SAO/SE23-T02)
Level 1 – 8
4 Lisbeth Changes Clothes (SAO/S20-052)
4 Unidentified “Death Gun” (SAO/SE23-T04)
Level 2 – 12
2 Leafa, Gathering Materials (SAO/SE23-06)
3 Kyouji, Overly Attached (SAO/SE23-13)
2 Lisbeth, Hunting Mobs with Everyone (SAO/SE23-14)
3 “Real” Power “Death Gun” (SAO/SE23-T06)
2 Unexpected Encounter “Death Gun” (SAO/SE23-T07)
Level 3 – 6
2 Lisbeth’s Shining Smile (SAO/S26-46)
4 Sterben “Death Gun” (SAO/SE23-09)
CX – 8
4 Estoc Wielder of Fate (SAO/SE23-17)
4 Power of “Death Gun” (SAO/SE23-T08)
At level 0, we have 16 characters.
Silica’s Unyielding Trust has a Brainstorm ability for 1 stock and resting 2 characters: you may salvage a character for each CX revealed.
Silica, Gathering Materials is a level reverser. When you play it, you reveal the top card of your deck. If it’s an [Avatar] or [Net] character, put it into your hand and then discard a card. (Otherwise put the card back.)
Shouichi Shinkawa gives all other [Weapon] characters you control +500 power, and all characters on your opponent’s center stage [Target].
When you play Sinon, Ideal Self, you may pay 1 stock and put the top card of your deck into clock. If you do, you search for a level 2 or higher character.
Sinon in the Midst of the Sunlight Through the Leaves gives your other character in the middle slot of your center stage +1000 power during your opponent’s turn. It also has a Brainstorm ability for 1 stock: search your deck for up to X [Avatar]/[Net] characters, then discard X cards where X is the number of CXs revealed. (With the way the ability is worded, you will need to search your deck and shuffle regardless of the number of CXs you reveal with the ability.)
If you control 1 or fewer other characters, Kyouji, Protecting Shino gains +1000 power and +1 level. It gives the character opposite it [Target].
At level 1, we have 8 characters.
Lisbeth Changes Clothes gets +500 power for each other [Avatar]/[Net] character you control.
Unidentified “Death Gun” is a level reverser against characters that have [Target]. You can pay 1 stock and rest 2 characters you control to give a character your opponent controls [Target] and -1 level until end of turn.
At level 2, we have 12 (!) characters.
Leafa, Gathering Materials has a 1 stock +2500 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability, you reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card is an [Avatar] or [Net] character, you put the card into your hand and then discard a card. Otherwise, the revealed card goes back.
Kyouji, Overly Attached gives all other [Weapon] characters you control +1000 power, and all characters on your opponent’s back stage [Target].
Lisbeth, Hunting Mobs with Everyone gets +500 power for each other [Avatar]/[Net] character you control. When it makes a front attack (not direct!), you may pay 1 stock. If you do, you choose a character your opponent controls and it gets -1 level until end of turn.
If you only control other [Avatar]/[Net] characters, “Real” Power “Death Gun” gains +1000 power. The character opposite it gains [Target]. It has a CX combo with Power of “Death Gun”: when the CX is played, if this is on your center stage, you may discard a card. If you do, you choose a character with cost 1 or less your opponent controls and put it into his or her waiting room.
When Unexpected Encounter “Death Gun” attacks, if your opponent controls a [Target], it gains +3000 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn.
At level 3, we have 6 characters.
When you play Lisbeth’s Shining Smile, it gets +X power until end of turn where X is the number of [Avatar]/[Net] characters you control times 500. You also look at the top card of your deck and then put it back on top or into your waiting room. During your turn, if it reverses a character in battle, you may pay 1 stock. If you do, you choose a level 2 or lower character your opponent controls and put it on top of their deck.
When Sterben “Death Gun” attacks, if all characters your opponent control have [Target], you may deal 1 damage to your opponent. It has a CX combo with Estoc Wielder of Fate: when it attacks, until the end of your opponent’s next turn, it gains +2500 power and “When this reverses a character in battle, you may put that character on top of its owner’s deck”.
The CX spread is a 4/4 split between 1k1 + Door and 2k1 +2 soul effects and triggers respectively.
How do we use this deck?
Sebastian: You just kill your opponent’s waifus lol
Michael: As if the Anti-Waifu deck wasn’t enough already…
S: On a more serious note,
At level 0, it’s best to draw at least one copy of your Shouichi support, and if you’re lucky enough, the Sinon with Brainstorm. The best setup to have on turn 1 (assuming you’re playing first) is to have the Kyouji + Sinon that gives you a level 1 4500 power character during your opponent’s turn.
M: Going second, the deck has a lot of great options to filter its draws with Silica, Gathering Materials. Silica brings a lot of utility in that it filters draws and is a level reverser. Sinon, Ideal Self is also great to setup for the later game, as it can search for just a little under half of the deck’s characters.
S: At level 1, you basically have 2 options. You can either push with a high power Lisbeth or use Death Gun to bring down a character even as high as level 2.
M: “Why not both?” Sometimes doing both at once can cause awkward situations where your board is unable to survive your opponent’s turn. But, the options at level 1 are just as Sebastian says. If you reach level 1 first, the clear choice is to build a big Lisbeth. If the opponent plays out characters with high power or even hits a Change into an early level 2 (Love Live! for example can do this), Death Gun is the answer.
S: Here is where the deck runs the most characters. It’s really at the user’s discretion to do what they want, but the most important card is the Kyouji, Overly Attached not only for the global +1000 but to give your opponent’s back stage [Target]. For the front, it is really dependent on what your opponent is playing. Against another SAO deck, or Angel Beats! for example, you would want the CX combo to clear your opponent’s back stage supports.
If you’re ahead or if your opponent has a level 3, you can use the Lisbeth and a Death Gun to bring it down, or even just use that effect alone with your level 3 Lisbeth. If you need pure power, the 2/2 Death Gun is the character to use. Your characters should range from 10000 to 11500 power in a normal game.
During level 3, we have 6 characters, so try to finish the game with a combination of them. Make sure to save your Burn effects for either the Death Gun CX combo or Lisbeth + Death Gun since both of them can put a reversed character on top of your opponent’s deck. Remember that the CX combo lasts until the end of your opponent’s next turn, so you can expect him to be around 14000 power.
What does the deck not do well? Is it missing anything? What are some of the potential risks the list takes?
S: The only search the deck has is the Sinon it uses. If you feel like you need more search you can always put in some Silica or Kirito searchers.
M: Also, the deck could try to add more Sinon, Ideal Self to maximize its chances of having a very good level 2 game. Its numbers at level 1 are already so aggressive that cutting down on those is impractical, so it would likely come from other level 0s, or possible some level 2 characters.
S: The deck is also very reliant on its back stage – if you don’t have both in the back to give all your opponent’s characters [Target], a lot of your characters won’t do anything. The biggest risk it runs is having such a valuable back stage, so it will probably struggle against decks that can get rid of characters in the back easily.
What is the deck like in terms of greed, difficulty, and power range? How about its viability in the current EN/JP meta?
Power Range: 4 – 8
S: I would call this deck a conservative one with a high power range. At level 0, it’s pretty easy to start off with a level 1 4500 power Kyouji. Besides that, you have your usual utility level 0 with 4 reversers.
Its plans by level are pretty straightforward. There isn’t much more to say about it besides to make sure to read your cards 2-3 times, and the deck should play itself. The rest is handled with general knowledge about the game and the local meta.
M: I think decks can look deceptively simple even if their entire game plan has been laid out. As Sebastian pointed out before, there are some errors to catch to make sure you don’t make silly plays, like trying to resolve your CX combos in the endgame only to find out that your opponent doesn’t have enough [Target] characters.
S: In the English meta, I would guess that this deck is one of the stronger decks, but I don’t know enough about it. Right now in the JP meta I think it’s pretty strong because you only have 4 salvage effects and no heal effects, with a high power range throughout the game to give them a hard time. Even against Nisekoi and Little Busters! the deck is not completely lost.
M: I think Sebastian’s gauge on the EN meta is on point – the EN meta is going to get its first extra booster, and it’s going to be in the most supported series in the EN game. More cards means more power and a greater range of plays, and look at this deck – it doesn’t even use most if not any of the cards found in the winning lists in the past. KanColle can struggle against this deck’s game plan, with its ability to play characters with decent power, while also dodging the hate or “anti-fun” effects.
Now onto the interview!
Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted before the EGP, but because the event has already passed, the ending comments have been modified slightly to reflect a more timely interview.
M: Congratulations on qualifying for the first EGP! How was your event overall?
S: It was a pretty good event. I even got lucky in my second match against Nisekoi.
M: Tell us more about that. Did you have any other exciting games or comebacks?
S: Like I said before, it was in my 2nd match, which was against Nisekoi. A really lucky turn of events gave me the win (sorry Patrick! x3) I was behind pretty much the whole game, and in his last turn he managed to search for his 2nd or 3rd Marika (editor’s note: the EGP qualifier rounds took place before the ban list update took effect) and I pretty much had nothing. He got me to level 3, and during my turn I drew into 1 level 3 Death Gun.
The only way I could win from that position was if I triggered soul twice and he didn’t cancel, or if I triggered soul twice and he only canceled the burn from the Death Gun, and the second thing was exactly what happened. (Sorry again Patrick!!)
M: Ouch. What was a really unlucky moment you had in the tournament?
S: It wasn’t a really unlucky moment, but just the unluckiest thing I had happen overall: It was in the same match against Nisekoi. On the second turn, I used my Sinon to brainstorm and flipped over 4 CXs, leaving me 0 stock to brainstorm again. The top 8 players turned to me and were like “RIP” but I was able to cycle through the rest of my deck with my Silica reversers and more brainstorm effects.
M: So how did your final match go for you? What did you play against?
S: The final match was pretty relaxing, since it was against a friend and we had both already qualified (by that point). The funny thing is I was the one that lent him the deck he was using – a KanColle Soul Rush build (with Akatsuki, Yukikaze, Junyou etc). Nothing special happened that game, I just won lol.
M: How did you prepare for the tournament? Did you do anything special the day of?
S: Nope, nothing. It was just a normal day where I wanted to play some WS with friends.
M: Any funny stories from the event?
S: Actually, in the finals, my friend and I wanted to head home early since I had an 8 hour bus ride the next morning and he wanted to buy some Magic cards, but apparently we couldn’t so we ended up playing anyway lol.
M: Even though the EGP has come and gone, thank you for the interview and for the deck tech! Any shoutouts or other things you’d like to say?
S: Thanks to David for helping me with building the deck and letting me borrow his SAO cards for the event.
Thanks to Thomas for playing Railgun x3
Thanks to Bushiroad for officially sponsoring the EGP
And a really big thanks to Steven who organized it all!
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Thanks for reading!