Love Live! Character Spotlight – Maki Nishikino


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Welcome to the third installment of the 9 Love Live! Waifu spotlights!

For this waifu challenge, we collected nine lists from nine different Love Live! fans. Only cards with the character were allowed! We’ve asked each of these dedicated fans why their favorite idol is Best Girl™, and if you agree with them, you can look at the decks as a deck to try for a dedicated Waifu build!

Because the decks are not meant to be competitive, their viability in the tournament environment will not be assessed, and analysis will be significantly reduced.

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. Card names will be aligned to match the more common spellings of names, if necessary.

This deck list and deck tech are brought to you by Johnny Chau.

Let’s get to the- I mean…べ…別に…


“Tunedere” – Daring!! You’ll be wild~

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 17

4 Maki, Good At Singing (LL/W24-079)
2 Maki, Prideful (LL/W24-082)
3 Maki, Playing Melody (LL/WE19-P01)
4 “Always No Matter What” Maki Nishikino (LL/W34-077)
4 “Door of Dreams” Maki Nishikino (LL/W34-084)

Level 1 – 16

3 Doing Push-Ups While Smiling (LL/W24-095)
4 “KiRa-KiRa Sensation” Maki Nishikino (LL/W34-074)
2 Maki, Refreshments for the Live (LL/W34-083)
3 Friend’s Invitation (LL/W34-095)
4 Maki in Pajama (LL/W28-076)

Level 2 – 2

2 “You’re the Next Target” Maki (LL/W28-036)

Level 3 – 7

3 Maki, First Year at Otonokizaka High (LL/W24-081)
4 “Happy Maker” Maki Nishikino (LL/W34-070)

CX – 8

4 Sleepy Time Maki (LL/W34-098)
4 The Answer Everyone Agreed Upon (LL/W34-099)

At level 0, we have 17 characters.


When you play Maki, Good at Singing, you may put the top card of your deck under it as a marker. You can use that marker to pay for Change costs instead of stock. If you control 1 or fewer other characters, it gets +1 level and +1000 power.


Maki, Prideful has a Brainstorm ability for 1 stock: for each CX revealed, choose a [Music] character you control and it gets +2000 power until end of turn. Your other character in the middle slot of your center stage gets +500 power.


When you play Maki, Playing Melody, you look at the top card of your deck and can put it on the top or bottom of your deck. Characters you control in front of it get +500 power.


When you play “Always No Matter What” Maki Nishikino, you put the top 2 cards of your deck into the waiting room. If either card is a CX, rest it. (You put one card in for tsun, and one in for dere. – Johnny)


When “Door of Dreams” Maki Nishikino attacks, you may choose another “Maki” you control and have it get +1 level and +1500 power until end of turn. It has a CX combo with “Sleepy Time Maki”: when it attacks, you can discard a card to search your deck for a [Music] character.

At level 1, we have 16 cards: 6 events and 10 characters.


Johnny claims that when you play Doing Push-Ups While Smiling, your opponent has to do 35 push-ups or a character you control gets +3500 power. We here believe that you should do 35 push-ups anyway to show how dedicated you are to Maki. In any case, a character you control gets +3500 power until end of turn. (Sorry Johnny)


When you play “KiRa-KiRa Sensation” Maki Nishikino, it gets +X power until end of turn where X is 500 times the number of [Music] characters you control. (It counts itself.)


Characters you control in front of Maki, Refreshments for the Live get +X power, where X is 500 times the number of characters with Assist you control. (Basically, any non-level assist Maki) It has a CX combo with “The Answer Everyone Agreed Upon”: when the CX is played, you may give a [Music] character you control +2000 power until end of turn. (If katsu sandwiches are not available in your area, the best option is to simply make one yourself and eat it during your game. Obviously, it was because she made it for you, the player)


Friend’s Invitation is tsundere-in-a-card indeed: you put the top card of your deck into clock. If it is a Maki character, you draw up to 3 cards, discard a card, then choose a character you control and give it +2000 power until end of turn. (And if it isn’t, just play your next card and weep. -Johnny)

ll-w28-076Maki in Pajama has a Change ability: at the start of your CX phase, you may pay 3 stock and discard a card. If you do, choose a “You’re the Next Target” Maki in your waiting room and put it in the slot this was in.

At level 2, we have 2 characters!


If you are somehow brave enough to play “You’re the Next Target” Maki from your hand, you put the top card of your deck into clock.

At level 3, we have 7 characters.


Maki, First Year At Otonokizaka High gets -1 level in your hand if you have 6 or more CXs in your waiting room. When played, you draw up to 2 cards, then discard a card. It gets +500 power for each other [Music] character you control.


“Happy Maker” Maki Nishikino gets +500 power during your opponent’s turn for every other [Music] character you control. When played, you can Heal.

The CX spread is a 4/4 split between 1k1 + Draw and 2k1 + 2 soul effects and triggers respectively.



How do we use this deck?

Special thanks to Johnny again for providing his own analysis.

J: First you must prepare a sacrifice of tomatoes on a nearby Maki shrine and lay down your Maki mat atop the finest Babylonian silk before all else. After shuffling your deck with sleeves all signed by the great Pile-san-chan-senpai-sensei-dono-sama with surgical precision you may begin and draw 5 climaxes. “Don’t worry, don’t worry,” you will then discard all of it and draw the perfect opening hand like all tsundere decks should.

At level 0 play “Always Tsun No Matter What” Maki to run over your opponent’s big characters all while mumbling along to the verses of “Cutie Panther” and “Daring”. If they’re trying to be cute and use reversers use Maki, Good at Tsuning to #NoFear attack into them. If you still can’t beat anything use “Door of Dreams” Maki to pump your characters and also to kill those pesky reversers. Use the climax combo to grab the assist assister for level one to make your future Makis swole or to search for your changer or change target.

At level 1 if you aren’t out 8 climaxes by now you’re already doing it wrong, but you can help alleviate the tsun burns by playing the aforementioned assist assister to get some nice power on to the board. “Kira- Kira Assassination” Maki Nishikino is a good assassin that comes out of nowhere and most of the time the opponent’s characters get REKT by its insane power boost. At level one there is also the Pajama change. This is the main focus of the deck at level one because I hear 2/2 10Ks are hard to deal with at level 1.

The events are strong, too. There’s the obligatory Smile Push Up, because Maki obviously lifts bro, that will help defend your “Kira-Kira Assassination” Maki after it loses its power. The new event, “Friend’s Invitation” is so good in a Maki deck that if she wasn’t such a tsun I’d probably run 4. If it goes off you get some big plusses and you get to beat even more stuff up. It helps to dig through your deck and ditch CXs to play that early Maki. And if it doesn’t go off you clocked a climax which won’t go into stock, further synergizing with 1st year Maki.

And no matter what happens you are getting to level 2 faster to play said Maki- 11/10 would run 42 if allowed. At level 2 play level 3 Maki. At level 3, play level 3 Maki. That’s really all there is to the deck.

もう、いいだよ!でも、西木野 真姫がなぜ一番最高ガールか?

J: I could write a whole library of “Love Novels” (pun fully intended) about why Maki is God Tier Best Girl™ so instead I’ll just list off the pros and cons of everyone’s favorite red haired diva.

Pros: Redhead. That should be enough right there, but I’ll keep going. Outgoing, headstrong, smart, she can play an instrument, her singing voice makes my こころ ドキドキ, she still believes in Santa Claus, and most importantly she is a tsundere. Did I even have to mention she’s drop dead gorgeous? Didn’t think so.

Cons: everyone around Maki that Maki comes in contact with is not Maki and pales in comparison due to the natural laws of physics pertaining to her absolute perfection.


Do you think Maki is best girl? Stay tuned for our other character spotlights! Don’t worry, the girls will have encores with other lists!

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 at least TWO boxes every month! And, be sure to follow us on Twitch for live box openings, giveaways, games, and more!

Thanks for reading!