Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we’re going to take a look at a deck that took down the Neo-Standard title in Sendai – Madoka! Because the set is slated for release in English, we will be marking this as an EN and JP deck tech.
(Note: Cards are subject to change from release to re-release in other languages – please make sure to keep this in mind when planning out future decks!)
We will be using the names of the cards as they are found on Heart of the Cards, because the whole series hasn’t had an official English translation (yet).
You can find the official deck list here! Special thanks to Johnny for preparing the article.
Now onto the list!
Level 0 – 15
3 Kyoko, Sharing Apples (MM/W17-063)
2 Kyubey, Supporting Role (MM/W17-067)
2 Sayaka, Admiration for Mami (MM/W17-084)
3 Madoka of the New World (MM/W35-030)
3 “Puella Magi Holy Quintet” Homura (MM/W35-036)
2 Sayaka, Memories of Witch (MM/W35-083)
Level 1 – 11
4 Sayaka, Second-year Student of Mitakihara Middle School (MM/W17-094)
2 Sayaka, Honest Question (MM/W35-095)
2 Homura, Determination to Become a Witch (MM/W35-039)
3 “Tea Party of Magical Girls” Sayaka (MM/W35-085)
Level 2 – 7
2 Homura, Time-Travelling Backwards (MM/W17-035)
1 Kyoko, Repelling Nightmare (MM/W35-065)
1 A Magical Girl Appears (MM/W17-078)
3 Sayaka’s Wish (MM/W17-098)
Level 3 – 9
3 Sayaka Miki (MM/W17-082)
3 Homura, Hope And Resignation (MM/W17-P07)
3 Sayaka, Guided by the Cycle (MM/W35-082)
CX – 8
4 Reunion and United (MM/W35-078)
4 Sayaka’s True Form (MM/W35-099)
At level 0, we have 15 characters.
Kyoko, Sharing Apples gives all your “Sayaka, Second-year Student of Mitakihara Middle School” +1000 power. She also has a 1 stock bond for the same Sayaka.
If Kyubey, Supporting Role is on your center stage your other [Magic] character in the middle slot of the center stage gets clock encore.
When Sayaka, Admiration for Mami is played you can look at the top card of your deck and keep it there or move it to the bottom. When they attack reveal the top card of your deck and if it is a [Magic] character, add it to your hand and discard 1.
If you have 2 or fewer stock Madoka of the New World gets +1500 power.
“Puella Magi Holy Quintet” Homura is a global +500 power to all your other [Magic] characters and you can pay 1 stock and give a [Magic] character you control +1000 power until end of turn.
Sayaka, Memories of Witch has a 1 stock brainstorm ability: for each climax revealed, search for up to 1 [Magic] character and discard 1. (If you don’t search for/find a character when you reveal a CX, you will still need to discard a card.)
At level 1, we have 11 characters.
Sayaka, Second-year Student of Mitakihara Middle School is a vanilla!
Sayaka, Honest Question has a cost 0 +1500 backup.
Homura, Determination to Become a Witch is an “assist assist”. (Characters you control in front of it get +X power where X is the number of characters you control with the Assist ability) When played, if you control 4 or more [Magic] characters, you may put the top card of your deck into your stock.
“Tea Party of Magical Girls” Sayaka has clock encore. You can also discard a climax to give her +1000 power and the ability “When this card’s battle opponent becomes reversed you can draw 1 card” until end of turn. (This ability stacks)
At level 2, we have 3 characters and 4 events.
When Homura, Time-Travelling Backwards is played, if you have 5 or fewer cards remaining in deck, you can “freefresh” (return all the cards in your waiting room to your deck then shuffle), put two cards from the top of your deck under a “Madoka, Fate’s Final Destination” as markers, and give all your characters +2000 power until end of turn. (You do not need the Madoka for the ‘freefresh’ and the +2000 power)
Kyoko, Repelling Nightmare has a cost 1 +2500 power backup. And her second effect is anti-change. When you use her backup, you can pay 2 stock and send 1 of your characters to the waiting room and choose 1 of your opponent’s characters that is a level higher than your opponent and send it to the waiting room.
When you play A Magical Girl Appears you salvage up to 2 characters and discard 1. (If you don’t salvage anything, you still need to discard a card.)
Sayaka’s Wish is an event with counter step timing. When you play it, you send a “Sayaka” you control to the waiting room. If you do, you put the top card of your clock into your hand, then send this card to memory. (It won’t go to memory if you don’t sacrifice a Sayaka.)
At level 3, we have 9 characters.
Sayaka Miki gets +500 power for each other [Magic] character you control and heals on play. When reversed, she goes to memory.
You can rest 1 of your [Magic] characters to give Homura, Hope And Resignation +1500 power. And on the turn she is played, if she reverses a character in battle, you can pay 1 stock. If you do, send the reversed character to clock.
If there are 6 or more climaxes in your waiting room Sayaka, Guided by the Cycle gets -1 level in your hand. At the beginning of your opponent’s draw phase, if she is on your center stage, you can give a character you control +4000 power until end of turn. She has a CX combo with “Sayaka’s True Form”: when she attacks, you can pay 1 stock to search your deck for up to 2 [Magic] characters.
The climaxes are a 4/4 split between gates (+1k1) and pants (+1k1).
How do we use this deck?
M: Rebellion was a pretty significant expansion of the Madoka card pool, and this deck is one shining example of what some more support can do for a series. Seeing Madoka finally getting a second set was super awesome, but we’re delaying the start of the guide!
The level 0 for this deck looks pretty different from what the old “meta” builds of Madoka used to be pre-Rebellion. Gone are the level reversers and Madokas being sent off to fight Walpurgisnacht. In is the Madoka of the new world, as a straight power upgrade. Level 0 now is complete with a suite of utility: hand filtering, top-deck checking, and as the raspberry on top, an even more powerful Brainstorm ability!
The one familiar pair though is the combination of the Apples Kyoko + 2nd-year Sayaka. If you have any Apples in your opening hand, you can mulligan and/or clock any number of 2nd-year Sayakas for extra cards in the start of the game. The New World Madoka should be a familiar sight for anyone who plays Nisekoi (or Attack on Titan, or… well, you get the idea). 4000 power is slowly becoming the new “standard” for power at level 0 as far as attackers are concerned, and Madoka was not passed over. While the series still doesn’t have any ‘runners’ to build stock for free, the supporting Kyubey can give a character clock encore as a way to generate extra stock.
At level 1, the familiar pair of Sayaka and Kyoko are there to lead the charge but with a little extra help. CX flooded? Tea Party Sayaka to the rescue! You can discard excess CXs from hand to turn them (potentially) into cards. If this is the case, try to reverse a hanging level 0 character your opponent controls so as to not miss out on the valuable cards. There are no CX combos until level 2/3, so it’s not a major priority to get many in hand. Tea Party Sayaka also has the incidental upside of fueling…
The level 2 game for this deck, which is able to (finally) leap ahead with an active play in Sayaka, Guided by the Cycle. Madoka doesn’t have to wait for Change to happen, though in this case it’s Sayaka who is taking the center stage. Though she doesn’t heal, she’s still just as effective with her Wish, and can defend herself or another character with a massive boost. Kyoko is still there providing support in the way of an anti-Change effect, which can also double as an effect to prevent clock-shooting effects even later in the game. The Time Regressor Homura (yes, that’s the EN wording, but you get the idea) is there to make sure you never feel the punishment of a refresh, but just make sure you play your Cycle Sayaka before playing the HomuHomu (whenever possible).
At level 3 we have a familiar set of Sayaka Miki with the familiar
odd non-canon bedfellow HomuHomu, giving the deck a little extra punch, though the clock-shooting effect of Homura should not come as a surprise to Madoka players – the PR has been available for quite some time now.
What does the deck not do well? Is it missing anything? What are some of the potential risks the list takes?
Some of the shortcomings of the deck are simply a result of the card pool not having the same depth of power as newer sets. (Still, it’s a testament to the set that it managed to overcome a field presumably filled with Kantai) R/B/g has been thought of as the ‘best’ combination of colors to use out of Madoka, but it doesn’t mean that there are some things that the deck won’t be able to do.
As said before, the deck doesn’t have any runners, but it also doesn’t have any reversers. It does not have any straight answers to early power plays at level 1, and has to rely on clock encore to build stock and card advantage.
The biggest risk that this list takes is its focus on level 2. Level 1, while powerful in a vacuum, pales in comparison to the level 2. If the level 2 plan goes as planned, the deck will have refreshed for free with a high CX count and will have thinned out some non-CXs with the Sayaka CX combo. The shift in focus may be uncomfortable for some players, especially if the deck is ahead in damage early on (though not necessarily ahead in cards).
About the list: Is it conservative or greedy? What’s its overall power range? Is it easy or difficult to use? What would you say about its viability in the JP/EN metagames at large?
The deck uses 3 colors, but the red requirement is quite narrow and low. The most awkward color requirement actually comes from the fact that the CX split is 4/4 between blue and red, instead of blue and green. The red cards are also quite important in the early game, which can make playing a red CX difficult in the same phase.
Power Range: 5 – 7
The deck certainly got a lot more power with the addition of Rebellion, and the early-play Sayaka is one of biggest indicators. However, the deck distinctly lacks Burn, Bounce, re-stand, run, and other more common effects at levels 0 and 3. Still, straight power is what keeps utility in check, and the deck certainly has a decent amount of it at levels 1 and 2.
The most skill-intensive portion of the deck comes at the transition from level 1 to level 2, and managing the mid-game properly. Sometimes, the deck will be able to get the Sayaka and “freefresh”, and other times, will have to settle for one or the other. (In the rare situations that the deck gets neither, well, I suppose that too is another test of skill. Maybe make a contract? ／人◕ ‿‿ ◕人＼
EN/JP Meta Viability:
The JP meta is (apparently) awash in sets that are exclusive to the JP game, such as Kantai (1 & 2), GF Beta, and Love Live! (ft. SiF Vol. 2). However, it’s also important to keep in mind that with a more diverse metagame comes a lot more viability for any given set. In other words, because there are so many more sets in the JP game, it means that more decks will be fine to use.
In the EN game however, the number of sets is much smaller. As such, it becomes significantly easier to project what decks one might encounter in a tournament environment. As of writing this article, the more popular sets are Attack on Titan and Miku, with some appearances by Kantai and Kill la Kill. (SAO where?) That said, this particular build may not be the most well-suited to the EN environment, especially with the focus on power at level 1 (SAO, Miku, AoT, KLK, the list goes on), and the ever-growing popularity of the “Exodia” Titan build from Attack on Titan. While a deck like this is certainly playable, it will likely require some adjustments for one’s local metagame, or even for a larger tournament.
In any case, especially if copying the deck card for card, make sure to test it! Having mastery of a deck helps its viability, and that’s true in both games! Good luck!
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Thanks for reading!