Nisekoi (EN/JP) Deck Tech – 1st at Bay Area Locals

Tsugumi

Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we will be looking at a (new!) deck that has won its fair share of local events in the Bay Area: Nisekoi!

Despite the ban list, this deck has remained legal for use since the set’s release, and is also completely playable in both EN and JP. The difference between the two lists would be the matter of just one card, which will be addressed. Old translated card names will be used for the Japanese list, but the ‘official’ translated names will be used for the English list. (The lists are more or less functionally the same, but for the ease of using it in either language, we’re including both.)

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.

The deck list and tech are brought to you by Edmond Chew. He has used this deck in many Bay Area tournaments and consistently made the top cut, and at times took down the whole event.

So let’s see what this off-radar madness is!

Losing Friends  a.k.a. Tsugumi +2 Soul (Japanese list)

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 13

4 Seishirou, Dramatically Changed Looks!? (NK/W30-004)
3 Seishirou, Studying about Love (NK/W30-028)
4 Chitoge, Surprising Side (NK/W30-053)
2 Chitoge, First Love (NK/W30-058)

Level 1 – 18

4 Seishirou in Swimsuits (NK/W30-006)
2 Seishirou Tsugumi (NK/W30-019)
4 Seishirou, Girls’ Uniform (NK/W30-029)
4 Seishirou, Transfer Student (NK/W30-034)
4 Seishirou, Talented Hitman (NK/W30-036)

Level 2 – 5

2 Seishirou, Date Feeling (NK/W30-032)
3 Chitoge, Lovers!? (NK/W30-T05)

Level 3 – 6

4 Seishirou, First Time Feeling (NK/W30-001)
2 Seishirou, Maiden’s Heart (NK/W30-026)

CX – 8

4 “Closed Space” (NK/W30-049)
4 Fictitious Love (NK/W30-024)

Losing Friends  a.k.a. Tsugumi +2 Soul (English list)

Level 0 – 13

4 Great Disguise!? Seishiro (NK/W30-E004)
3 Learning About Love, Seishiro (NK/W30-E028)
4 Surprising Side, Chitoge (NK/W30-E053)
2 First Love, Chitoge (NK/W30-E058)

Level 1 – 18

4 Swimsuit Seishiro (NK/W30-E006)
2 Seishirou Tsugumi (NK/W30-E019)
4 Girl’s Uniform, Seishiro (NK/W30-E029)
4 Transfer Student, Seishiro (NK/W30-E034)
4 Crack hit-man, Seishiro (NK/W30-E036)

Level 2 – 5

2 Love Story, Seishiro (NK/W30-E032)
3 Lovers!? Chitoge (NK/W30-E020)

Level 3 – 6

4 First Feelings, Seishiro (NK/W30-E001)
2 The One, Seishiro (NK/W30-E026)

CX – 8

4 “Close Quarters” (NK/W30-E049)
4 False Love (NK/W30-E024)

At level 0, we have 13 (!?) characters.

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Great Disguise!? Seishiro gets +1500 power as long as you have 2 or less stock.

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When you play Learning About Love, Seishiro, you reveal the top card of your deck. If the card isn’t a [Weapon] or [Heiress] character, it goes to clock. (Otherwise, the revealed card goes back)

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Surprising Side, Chitoge is a level reverser and can run to the open middle slot of your center stage at the beginning of your opponent’s attack phase.

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First Love, Chitoge has a “revenge” trigger: when another character you control is reversed in battle, you choose a character you control and it gets +1000 power until end of turn. You can also Brainstorm for 1 stock: give a character you control +2000 power until end of turn for each CX revealed.

At level 1, we have 18 (!!) characters.

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When you play Swimsuit Seishiro, you reveal the top card of your deck, and rest it if the revealed card was a CX.

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Seishiro Tsugumi has a 1 stock +2000 power Backup ability.

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Girl’s Uniform, Seishiro gets +500 power for each other [Weapon]/[Heiress] character you control. (All characters in this list have one trait or the other) It has a CX combo with “Close Quarters”: when it attacks, you may pay 1 stock. If you do, you search your deck for up to 1 [Weapon] or [Heiress] character, reveal it, put it into your hand, and then shuffle. (You only perform the shuffle if you pay the cost for the ability.)

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Transfer Student, Seishiro gives all other characters you control +500 power. You can pay 2 stock and rest it to search your deck for up to 1 [Weapon] or [Heiress] character, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Crack Hit-man, Seishiro has hand (character) encore. When it attacks, you reveal the top card of your deck, and if the revealed card is a [Weapon] or [Heiress] character, it gets +2000 power until end of turn. (This happens before the trigger step, but the card you reveal will most likely be what is triggered)

At level 2, we have 5 characters.

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When Love Story, Seishiro is put into your waiting room from stage, you can put a card from your hand into clock, and then choose a [Weapon] or [Heiress] character in your clock and return it to your hand. At the start of your climax phase, you can pay 2 stock and discard a card to Change into the appropriate level 3 (depending on language): “The One, Seishiro” or “Seishirou, Maiden’s Heart”.

WS_NK_W30_E020C

Lovers!? Chitoge has clock encore and a CX combo with “False Love”: when it attacks, you may pay 2 stock. If you do, Bounce up to 2 characters your opponent controls.

At level 3, we have 6 characters.

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First Feelings, Seishiro gets +500 power for each other [Weapon] and/or [Heiress] character you control. When played, you may Heal.

JP:

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When Seishirou, Maiden’s Heart is played from hand or via Change, you draw up to 2 cards, then discard a card. When damage dealt by it is canceled during your turn, you may pay 1 stock. If you do, it gets +2500 power until your opponent’s next turn. (If for some reason it is able to deal damage more than once in a turn, for example through a Burn trigger, its ability will trigger for each time damage is canceled, and you can pay 1 stock every time. It will get +2500 power for each time you pay.)

EN:

WS_NK_W30_E026RR

When The One, Seishiro is played from hand or via Change, you look at up to the top 3 cards of your deck, choose up to 1, put it into your hand, and put the rest into your waiting room. It gets +1000 power as long as you control 3 or more other [Weapon]/[Heiress] characters. (If you have fewer than 3 cards left in your deck when you are resolving the ability, you actually will not refresh your deck mid-resolution, and you can’t look at more cards than you have left in your deck. This is because the cards you are looking at are not leaving their zone, and the cards that are moving are going from a closed zone to another closed zone. So if you have only 2 cards left in your deck, you look at up to as many cards as you like that are possible [that is, up to 2], choose the card you want [if you want it], put it into your hand, put the other cards into your waiting room, THEN refresh.)

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

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How do we use this deck?

Special thanks to Edmond for contributing his analysis for these sections.

Edmond: This deck focuses on having beaters (high power characters) and field pressure throughout all levels by searching. The deck has some ability to control the top card of the deck to manipulate damage/triggers, and lots of ways to manage and spend its stock throughout the game to make sure it refreshes with as many CXs as possible.

For the ideal starting hand, you should almost always keep a copy of “Close Quarters” (the +2 soul CX), a copy of Girl’s Uniform, Seishiro (has the CX combo with “Close Quarters”) or Transfer Student, Seishiro, but never more than 2 of the 3.

Michael: One thing to note about this deck is that it almost always concedes the early game to make up for an extremely explosive level 1 game. All the cards that Edmond mentioned earlier are for use during level 1, so the rest of an opening hand can be almost anything, but ideally it should have at least one or two level 0 characters.

E: At level 0, you just need to make sure to get at least 2 stock to maximize the number of characters you can play at level 1.

M: Again, the idea of the level 0 game is to not worry about getting a huge advantage in stock or on the field – just enough to get to the next level.

E: For level 1, focus on the “Close Quarters” CX combo and/or getting field advantage with your beaters.

M: Stock efficiency is the name of the game at level 0. There are a good number of characters that have 0 cost, and if you do manage to find your CX combo, you can cash it in for both big damage and more cards in hand.

E: Once you hit level 2, it’s pretty much the same as level 1, except you get access to the yellow (False Love) CX combo. You can run out the Change plan, but it’s extremely rare.

M: If for some reason you have built a critical mass of stock but are down on cards, using the False Love CX combo with Lovers!? Chitoge can be a way to keep your opponent off attacking you for a lot of damage, especially if you are behind. The Change is rare and pretty expensive; even if either Seishiro replaces itself, it’s still a total of 3 stock that is being committed to the effect.

E: At level 3, aim for chip damage.

M: What he’s saying is, don’t go crazy trying to deal unnecessary amounts of damage. +2 soul at level 3 is pretty risky, unless each attack is going to threaten to end the game (or make your opponent run out of cards at 3/6).

E: Some important tech about the deck to keep in mind is that Swimsuit and Learning about Love Seishiro both check the top of the deck. (Top checkers) Transfer Student and Girl’s Uniform both search. Chitoge, Lovers!? can Bounce, and Love Story can clock swap.

What does the deck not do well? Is it missing anything? What are some of the risks it might take?

M: I have actually been on the receiving end of this deck’s massive +2 soul push before, and I’ve also seen it in action several times. This deck does not use the cards that have been thought to be the most powerful that the set has to offer. In JP, Marika, Maiden’s Heart was widely considered (okay, it wasn’t even close) to be the absolute best card in the set, and has since been restricted. To the end that the deck completely ignores the JP ban list, it is a very interesting option to use a deck without any Burn, any free refresh, or even a Pendant.

In English however, the +2 soul CX combo can resemble just a much harder-hitting Asuna Invites To Party CX combo, and the Seishiro get be even bigger than Asuna! The EN game currently does not have a ban list in place, so deck lists that eschew the free refresh and Pendants can look a little odd, but this list clearly does not need any of those unless it is willing to sacrifice consistency in a big way.

E: The English level 3 is probably even better than the Japanese one.

What are the decks in terms of greed, difficulty, and power range? Are they viable in the current EN/JP meta?

Greed: 3

It might look like the deck is very greedy with its level 0 game, but the reason is simple – sacrifice early game power for a greater midgame power spike, which carries through well into level 2. It’s 2 colors, doesn’t rely on drawing things too heavily (outside of wanting to draw into the CX combo), and can search through the deck with ease. It only has 2 characters with a Brainstorm ability, but that should rarely be relevant.

Difficulty: 3

The deck should be an easy pick-up for veterans of SAO, as the level 1 CX combo is very close to the popular CX combo from the series that does functionally the same thing. The deck is mercifully straightforward in that the primary game plan is to just attack with things every turn. A few points of difficulty may come in when the deck is CX flooded (just hope its the +2 soul, and better hope you have the combo), or when the opportunity arises to use the double Bounce CX combo, but overall, the deck should, for the most part, ‘play itself’.

Power Range: 4 – 7+

At the end of the day, Nisekoi is Nisekoi; the set with so much power that it had to be banned down in JP, and rewritten in EN. This deck’s best game can look absolutely absurd starting level 1 – think about it, how good would it feel to slap your opponent for 3/3/3 damage, all while getting 3 more characters into your hand? Sure it’s stock-neutral, but that’s a lot of potential advantage gained! If the deck ends up not being able to get to level 2, it can just throw its hand at the opponent with another +2 soul for good measure while it waits to level up. The plus is a nod (or concession) to the fact that +2 soul, while being one of the most wildly unpredictable CX effects, also has the highest potential upside in terms of damage alone. The deck can and will pull upsets against decks with significantly more intricate or powerful game plans, but that is only if they can keep up with the deck’s power level and damage output. If the deck stumbles or fails to resolve a CX combo, it can certainly look underpowered, and if a deck is able to deny the deck any advantage by playing characters with much higher power, it can also cause it to lose cards earlier than anticipated.

JP/EN Meta Viability:

Finally, a deck where the difference between JP and EN is relevant!

In the JP metagame, the buzz is all about the 2015 changes which saw the return (in glorious fashion) of Haruhi, and different restrictions being placed on Kantai. (Little Busters still untouched!?) Nisekoi as a whole is still subject to a strict choose-one or “All-in on Marika” leash, and there is a tendency to want to use Burn and/or Salvage effects, which this list does not offer. Does that mean it’s a bad choice? Not necessarily. The ability to use a +2 soul CX AND gain card advantage is very unique for a deck. Very few decks have answers to the “soul rush”-like nature of the deck’s early-to-early-lategame (beginning of level 1 to the edge of level 3 is about where the CX combo is used most), and with good draws can simply deny the opponent time to setup for plays. It may not use any of the set’s “most unfair” cards, but the list is still quite viable.

In the EN metagame, the card pool is much smaller. As such, level 1 is (generally) not prioritized as much as it might be in the JP metagame. However, the CX combo scales just fine with going into level 2, as the deck can simply search for its level 2 CX combo for use in future turns and again, deny the opponent time by attacking and Bouncing characters. There aren’t as many Burn and or Salvage effects floating around in the EN game at the moment either, though SAO II looks to change that somewhat as so far all the cards that have been spoiled have been shown to be completely consistent with the JP release. If you are looking for an alternative to SAO or want to try out a similar combo that just hits harder, this list is for you!


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! We’re also on Twitch and YouTube, so be sure to follow and subscribe to see the latest streams and videos!

Thanks for reading!