Love Live! Character Spotlight – Kotori Minami


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Welcome to the fifth 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. Some cards may appear in their EN wording.

This deck list is brought to you by David Young.

Wonderful Rush!

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 17

3 Kotori Minami (LL/W24-011)
3 “Minalinsky” Kotori (LL/W24-064)
3 “No brand girls” Kotori (LL/W28-009)
3 “That Is Our Miracle” Kotori Minami (LL/WE19-02)
3 “KiRa-KiRa Sensation!” Kotori Minami (LL/W34-042)
2 Kotori, Feeling of Not Giving Up (LL/W34-061)

Level 1 – 17

3 “Our LIVE, the LIFE with You” Kotori Minami (LL/W24-007)
3 Otonokizaka High 2nd Year, Kotori (LL/W24-051)
2 Secondary Leader Type, Kotori (LL/W24-053)
4 Makeshift Approach (LL/W24-070)
2 Climbing a Tree Together (LL/W24-071)
3 “Always, No Matter What” Kotori Minami (LL/W34-040)

Level 2 – 3

3 “Door of Dreams” Kotori Minami (LL/W34-046)

Level 3 – 5

3 “Sheep’s Feeling” Kotori (LL/W28-003)
2 “Happy maker!” Kotori Minami (LL/W34-035)

CX – 8

3 Favorite Place (LL/W24-074)
3 Wonderful Rush (LL/W28-066)
2 Sleepy Time, Kotori (LL/W34-067)

At level 0, we have 17 characters.


Kotori Minami is a “standard” searcher. (When played, you can pay 1 stock and discard a card. If you do, you search your deck for up to 1 [Music] character, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.)


“Minalinsky” Kotori has a Change effect: at the beginning of your climax phase you can pay 1 and send it to clock to Change into a ‘”Our LIVE is LIFE with You” Kotori Minami’.


When you play “No brand girls” Kotori, it gets +1500 power until end of turn, and you put the top card of your deck under it as a marker. You can use markers under it as stock when paying for a Change ability.


“That Is Our Miracle” Kotori Minami is a runner: at the beginning of your opponent’s attack phase, you may put the top card of your deck into the waiting room. If the revealed card is level 0 or lower, you can have Kotori run to an open slot on your center stage. Also, when you play it, you choose a character you control and it gets +1000 power until end of turn.


Characters in front of “KiRa-KiRa Sensation!” Kotori Minami cannot run. (They can’t go to another slot. If they would, instead they do not. So for example, if this is across from a “That Is Our Miracle” Kotori, the player can still resolve her ability to try to run, but even if they fulfill the requirements, they won’t be able to move her.) It is also a level reverser.


Kotori, Feeling of Not Giving Up has an Assist: gives characters you control in front of it +500 power. You can also rest it to give a “Kotori” you control +500 power until end of turn.

At level 1, we have 11 characters and 6(!) events.


When “Our LIVE is LIFE with You” Kotori Minami is in battle, neither player can use Backup abilities. (Events with Counter step timing can still be played.)


Otonokizaka High 2nd Year, Kotori is a level reverser. It has a CX combo with “Favorite Place”: when it attacks, you may pay 1 stock. If you do, choose up to 2 other characters you control, and they get +3000 power until end of turn.


Secondary Leader Type, Kotori gives all other [Music] characters you control +500 power. When you use a Change ability, you may pay 1 stock and rest this. If you do, salvage.


Makeshift Approach is an event with Counter step timing. You choose a “Kotori” you control in battle and send it to memory. At the start of your next draw phase, return that character to your stage in any slot, and it gets +2000 power until end of turn. (This event won’t do anything if you play it during your main phase, because the conditions are that your Kotori has to be in battle.)


Climbing a Tree Together salvages a [Music] character. You then choose a character you control and give it +1000 power until end of turn.


“Always, No Matter What” Kotori Minami has clock encore, and gets +1000 power if you control 3 or more other [Music] characters.

At level 2, we have 3 characters.


“Door of Dreams” Kotori Minami gets +500 power for each other “Kotori” you control. When it battles, neither player can use Backup abilities. (Events with Counter step timing are still OK to use.)

At level 3, we have 5 characters.


If you control 3 or more other [Music] characters, “Sheep’s Feeling” Kotori gets +1000 power and “When this attacks, choose a character you control, and that character gets +1000 power until end of turn.” When played (either from hand or via Change), it gains a Burn trigger. (Up to once per turn, when damage dealt by it is canceled, you may deal 1 damage to your opponent.)


When you play “Happy maker!” Kotori Minami, you may pay 1 stock. If you do, deal 1 damage to your opponent. (Burn 1) When another [Music] character you control attacks, it gets +1000 power until end of turn. (Yes, there is an inaccuracy in the translation; the power only lasts until end of turn.)

The CX spread is a 3/3/2 split among 1 stock +1 soul / +2 soul (blind stock), 1k1 + Door, and +2 soul / +2 soul effects and triggers, respectively.




How do we use this deck?

Author’s Note: Some of the observations here come from an actual game David and I played. Even though we only got to play 1 game, it was enough to give me an idea of how to play the deck.

At level 0, the deck has a range of options. It can either build some stock and attack with runners, or it can “charge” and Change into a 1/1 Kotori as early as turn 2. The searcher Kotori can be used at any stage to fix the hand for the next level.

At level 1, if a “LIFE” Kotori isn’t in play already beating down, the deck has a range of options to build stock and reverse characters with 2nd year Kotori and “Always, No Matter What” Kotori. Makeshift Approach is a unique counter – instead of giving an advantage right away by (ideally) reversing a character, it ‘saves’ your Kotori unconditionally and gives it +2000 power on the following turn. It’s probably best used with “LIFE” Kotori or “Door of Dreams” Kotori that prevent Backup abilities from being played in battle. Otherwise, using it to save a Kotori with a cheap encore ability may not be the best value.

There is a CX combo with Favorite Place that can push your characters higher in power, but the CX itself is already good on its own to build stock; if you have the combo, great, but it might not always be correct to use the ability. Sometimes, it’s better to just play it out to build stock.

Level 2 is mostly about sculpting the hand for the endgame, but “Door of Dreams” Kotori can still come in to swing hard and gain card advantage. The 2-stock cost is heavy, but is easily defended with Makeshift Approach.

Level 3 is all about Burn triggers and abilities combined with extra power – not a whole lot else to say about it!

So why is Kotori best girl?

David: If I had to say why, I think it would be because she seems to be like myself in some ways.  She is very kind to her friends, and does genuinely care about them. She seems to be an indecisive person because she has a hard time expressing her feelings, since she always takes other people’s feelings into consideration.

Do you think Kotori 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!