Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we will be looking at a deck that took 4th place at the 2015 9th CX PH Cup!
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 interview are brought to you by Justin Brandon Jimenez. Special thanks to Johnny Chau for article prep.
Cards – 50
Level 0 – 16
4 Azusa, Easily Lost (IM/S07-090)
2 Haruka, Rookie Idol (IM/S21-T01)
2 Haruka, Proactive and Cheerful! (IM/S14-054)
2 Producer, Reliable!? (IM/S21-043)
2 Yayoi Takatsuki (IM/S07-053)
2 Azusa, Beyond the Brilliant Future! (IM/S30-028)
2 Eri, Brilliance of Next Generation (IM/S21-073)
Level 1 – 10
1 Chihaya in Casual Clothing (IM/S14-092)
3 Haruka as the Leader (IM/S30-054)
3 Chihaya, Determination to Appear on Stage (IM/S30-092)
1 Morning Greetings (IM/S07-070)
2 A Certain Day’s Scenery (IM/S21-T12)
Level 2 – 8
3 Haruka, Straight-ahead Idol! (IM/S14-052)
2 “Live in the Moment” Hibiki (IM/S30-055)
2 Chihaya, Genius Singer (IM/S07-092)
1 Iori, Daily Life Slowly Changing (IM/S30-045)
Level 3 – 8
4 Chihaya, Goddess of Songs (IM/S07-082)
2 Chihaya, Beyond the Brilliant Future! (IM/S30-077)
2 Haruka, Beyond the Brilliant Future! (IM/S30-051)
CX – 8
4 765 Productions, Fight-!! (IM/S30-073)
2 GO MY WAY!! (IM/S14-074)
2 Movie “Sleeping Beauty” (IM/S30-098)
At level 0, we have 16 characters.
When you play “Azusa, Easily Lost” you have to reveal the top card of your deck- if it’s a climax she cannot attack for the turn. Her second effect is that she can run to an empty open slot in your center stage at the beginning of your opponent’s attack phase.
“Haruka, Proactive and Cheerful” gives all your [Sweets] characters hand (character) encore and you can rest her to give a character you control [Sweets] trait for the turn.
“Haruka, Rookie Idol” gives all your other [Music] characters +500 power.
“Producer, Reliable!?” can rest and give a [Music] character you control +500 power for the turn. His second effect is brainstorm: pay 1 stock, and for each CX revealed, salvage one [Music] character and discard a card.
When you play “Yayoi Takatsuki” you look at the top card of your deck and either leave it there or send it to the waiting room. You can also pay 2 stock and rest her to salvage a character.
When you play “Azusa, Beyond the Brilliant Future” you may discard a card to look at up to the top 4 cards of your deck, choose one [Music] character, reveal it, add it to your hand, and discard the rest.
When you play “Eri, Brilliance of Next Generation” you look at the top card of your deck and put it on the top or bottom of your deck.
At level 1, we have 7 characters and 3 events.
“Chihaya in Casual Clothing” has a 0 stock +1500 power Backup ability.
“Haruka as the Leader” gets +500 power for each character in your opponent’s back stage. Her second effect is if you control three or more other [Music] characters, she gets +500 power and can’t be reversed by your opponent’s character’s auto abilities.
Once per turn, when a character is sent from your hand to the waiting room, “Chihaya, Determination to Appear on Stage” gets +2000 power until end of turn. (If you use a Backup for example, the effect will trigger.)
Morning Greetings forces both players to refresh. (No one will gain a refresh point)
When you play “A Certain Day’s Scenery” you have to rest one of your standing [Music] characters and if you do, you may draw up to two cards and discard one card. After that, send this event into memory.
At level 2, we have 8 characters.
“Haruka, Straight-Ahead Idol” has the effect: when the climax “GO MY WAY” is played and this is in on your center stage, all [Music] characters you control get +3000 power and cannot side attack this turn.
Hibiki is a level assist and her second effect is to rest two [Animal] characters you control to give one of your characters you control +1000 and +1 level.
If you have no other character “Chihaya, Genius Singer” gets +10000 power! Her second effect is on play, you may pay one stock to search your deck for one [Music] character and add it to your hand. Her last effect is a beginning of climax phase change to change into “Chihaya, Goddess of Songs”.
Iori has a 1 stock, +3000 power Backup ability.
At level 3, we have 8 characters.
“Chihaya, Goddess of Songs” has a come into play heal and her second effect is pay one, rest two characters you control to move a “A Certain Day’s Scenery” from your memory to your waiting room to heal one.
When “Chihaya, Beyond the Brilliant Future!” comes into play you may draw up to two cards and discard one. Her second effect is, up to once per turn, pay two, discard a “Chihaya, Determination to Appear on Stage” from your hand, when one of your other level two or lower character attacks, with the climax “Movie ‘Sleeping Beauty'” in the climax zone and the restand this card.
When “Haruka, Beyond the Brilliant Future” comes into play you may look at up to X number of cards from the top of your deck and choose one card and add it to your hand, discard the rest. Her second effect is if this card is in the center stage when “765 Productions Fight-!!” is placed in your climax zone: pay 4, discard a “Haruka as the Leader” in your hand and if you do all your characters get burn one on attack. (This damage can be canceled)
For climaxes we have a 2/2/4 split of blind stock soul, 1k1 + pants (gate), and 1k1 + door (salvage) respectively.
How do we use this deck?
Justin: Believe in your Idols like a real Producer should!
At level 0, the Azusa runner is your best bet in maintaining field presence and stock production.
You can pair her with the global 500 Haruka assist. You can also use the Haruka assist to attack for more stock, (if you didn’t draw the runner or if you revealed a climax on play) provided you have the encore Haruka to keep her alive to setup the field
The other Azusa can help with hand fixing. It’s also useful for burning through the deck if you’ve drawn too many climaxes.
If any climaxes get stuck in your stock, you can use Yayoi to remove them and setup your level 1 cards.
At level 1, you can use the 1/1 Haruka for field presence. You could keep her at 8.5k or have her at 8k with hand encore.
Chihaya is also a good option for field presence at level 1. The deck has multiple ways of discarding which can trigger its ability.
At level 2 it becomes a waiting game as you setup for your level 3.
Use the level 2 Haruka to wipe the opponent’s field clean with the CX combo and build up stock for your finishers at level 3.
What Idom@ster lacks in power it makes up for in finishers.
At level 3 it would be best if you’ve saved up 6 stock so you can guarantee the burn combo.
On the other hand, with that same 6 stock you could also go for the Chihaya restand combo (you can restand two of them if you have two of the L1 Chihaya in your hand).
Getting the combo pieces isn’t too difficult with the amount of tech the deck has; Haruka herself has a good chance to get her combo card or her CX with her on-play ability.
The other Chihaya level 3 allows for a “double heal” if you have Certain Day’s Scenery in memory.
M: Not much more to say here!
What does the deck not do well? Is it missing anything? What are possible substitutions that can be made, if any?
J: There are times when the level 2 Haruka seems unnecessary. Maybe adding the level 3 Miki along with her CX change would be better.
What are some risks that the list takes?
J: Some cards that you need might become hard to get normally due to the large variety of cards and tech the deck has. You would end up spending stock or milling your deck in order to get the cards you need. There are also problems against decks high power in the early levels which could leave you stock starved in the later levels.
M: Lots of practice is definitely in order for anyone who wants to pick up this (or almost any idolm@ster) list! On the other side of things, not even having to do with the cards perhaps, is the evergreen reminder to make sure you practice a lot with your list! Learning the exact sequence of cards you need to finish a game is key. While sometimes you can get away with playing a deck blind… it’s definitely not recommended to do that in a tournament!
To address the cards themselves though, Justin does have a point – the level 1 game is definitely starved for straight power. Looking at other series, Miku, KanColle, and Nisekoi arguably have more to do at the level in almost every way. Miku can use Soundless Voice (lots of power), KanColle can go to fairly high power (in yellow) and/or heal, Nisekoi can attack for a ton (in green) or salvage (in red). The level 1 concession is necessary to reach a slightly better than average late game though. The key is to not let your opponent starve you of resources in the mid-game. Deciding when it’s OK to pay 3 or use a card in hand to encore a character can have some pretty severe consequences down the line, so make sure to practice to identify those situations more readily. Just that one situation is difficult to teach- it’s much easier to experience and learn from.
Now about the list: Is it conservative or greedy? What’s its overall power range? Is it easy or difficult to use?
M: I’m going to agree with Justin’s number on this aspect. The deck takes a measured risk at level 1 to “lose” cards, in order to use them at level 3. In terms of colors, it’s only Red/Blue, but the CX spread is certainly tilted in a more rare split, opting for 4/2/2 instead of the more conservative 3/3/2.
Power Range: 4 – 5 (J), 4 – 7 (M)
M: I think the deck deserves a little more than a “5” in terms of its power range. Yes, its endgame combos are rather narrow and can be difficult to resolve. But, the effects of being able to attack again or give every character you control a Burn trigger on attack are looked at by other series with green eyes (we’re looking at you, ‘Nerf’ekoi and Illya).
If the deck gets beaten completely at level 1 by characters with persistent high power, the deck can be choked out early. Some decks that focus on winning the game very early such as yellow GF Beta and ‘old’ builds of SAO (for instance) can make the deck look pretty weak, but as any series will teach us, you just can’t count an idol out!
J: The deck is somewhat greedy in terms of stock consumption and the cards required for each situation.
Power was never really a strong point for the Im@s set. You can have good power play at level 0 and 1 but in the later levels you’d need a CX combo in order to overpower your opponent. The deck has some difficulty to it when it comes to having the right pieces at the right time but the amount of tech in the deck helps make easier to play.
JP Meta Viability?
J: I think it’s somewhat viable. One of the problems the deck would have is when it’s paired against either heal tax or anti salvage. I believe it has the ability though to match the consistency of Nisekoi as well as compete with Kantai in terms of finishers.
M: I think the deck is a solid ‘maybe’. Heal tax and anti-salvage effects do hit the deck pretty hard, but those “hate” effects are pretty restricted to certain series and are not terribly common. (I mean, unless your local meta is literally 100% KanColle, you should be able to run this deck without feeling silly) The finishers I agree are pretty promising, and the unique properties of the cards (combined with the relative popularity of the series) can make for a good surprise value.
Now onto the interview!
M: Congratulations on the finish! How was the event for you overall?
J: It was fun and exciting.
M: Nice! Any lucky moments you had during the event?
J: During my 3rd match I was able to end the game with the Chihaya restander combo. I was able to rush my opponent from level 2 to level 4. I was also able to do that in my 4th match.
M: Any unlucky moments?
J: During my last match around halfway through the deck I revealed my 8th climax with the Azusa card. I had no choice but to brainstorm three times with the producer just to refresh the deck.
M: Whoops. Did you make any incredible comebacks?
J: In my 4th match I was able to end the game with a restander when I was level 3 and my opponent was level 2. Before that turn, I triggered two climaxes. One was a salvage trigger and the other one was a pants trigger. I grabbed the cards that I lacked for the restand combo. After that turn, my opponent rushed me to level 3 and 3 damage in clock. I was able to deal the finishing blow the following turn with Chihaya. It was around 10 – 11 damage that went straight through.
M: How did your final match go for you? What did you play against?
J: It was against Love Live. Everything wasn’t really going that well. The unlucky moment I mentioned earlier happened during this fight. (Idol showdown! -M)
M: How did you prepare for the tournament? Did you do anything special the day of the tournament?
J: I just stayed at home that day and rested the day before.
M: Sounds great! Well, thank you again for participating in the 9th CX PH Cup, and congratulations on the finish!
Did you like this tournament report? We have 3 more on the way from the 2015 9th CX PH Cup!
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