Attack on Titan Deck Tech – 6th at 2015 BWC Vancouver

Shingeki
Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we will be looking at an offbeat Attack on Titan list that went to the top 8 of the BCF Qualifier in Vancouver!
This deck list and tournament report are brought to you by Bren Olit. Special thanks to Johnny for the article prep.
Now let’s get to the list!
Cards – 50

Level 0 – 16

3 “Guiding Force to the Truth” Armin (AOT/S35-E009)
3 “Gentle Smile” Petra (AOT/S35-E034)
4 “No. 1 Oddball” Hange (AOT/S35-E038)
2 “A Chain of Tragedies” Mikasa (AOT/S35-TE14)
3 “104th Cadet Corps Class” Christa (AOT/S35-E056)
1 “Calm and Collected” Mikasa (AOT/S35-E064)

Level 1 – 11

4 “Cool Personality” Levi (AOT/S35-E040)
4 “Hope in the Darkness of Despair” Mikasa (AOT/S35-TE17)
3 “Healing Goddess” Christa (AOT/S35-E066)

Level 2 – 8

2 “Sudden Reinforcement” Eren Titan (AOT/S35-TE08)
3 “Threat to Humanity” Colossal Titan (AOT/S35-E092)
3 “Broken Wall” Colossal Titan (AOT/S35-E093)

Level 3 – 7

4 “Resisting Fate” Levi (AOT/S35-E032)
3 “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan (AOT/S35-E090)

CX – 8

4 The Wings of Freedom (AOT/S35-E053)
4 And, in 850… … (AOT/S35-E099)
At level 0 we have 16 characters.
AOT_S35_E009
“Guiding Force to the Truth” Armin is a +500 front assist and when you play him you can give one of your characters +X power, X being equal to that character’s level times 500 until the end of turn.

AOT_S35_E034

“Gentle Smile” Petra is clock reverser and the first one in English! When reversed by a level 0 or lower character, you can send the top card of your opponent’s clock to the waiting room and send that character to your opponent’s clock.

AOT_S35_E038

“No.1 Odd Ball” Hange is a “standard” searcher (pay 1 stock, discard a card) for both [Titan] and [Corps] trait.

AOT_S35_TE14

“A Chain of Tragedies” Mikasa gets +1500 power if you control 1 or fewer other characters.

AOT_S35_E056

When “104th Cadet Corps” Christa is played from hand, you can pay one and clock the top card of your deck to salvage a level 1 or lower character from your waiting room.

AOT_S35_E064

“Calm and Collected” Mikasa has a brainstorm ability for 1 stock: salvage a [Corps] character and discard a card for each CX revealed. When a character you control moves during the attack phase, that character gets +1000 power until end of turn.

At level 1 we have 11 characters.
AOT_S35_E040
When “Cool Personality” Levi is played he gets +X power, X being equal to the number of your [Corps] characters until the end of turn.

AOT_S35_TE17

“Hope in the Darkness of Despair” Mikasa is an “assist assist” to front and you can rest her to give a character +1000 power until end of turn.

AOT_S35_E066

When another [Corps] character you control gets frontal attacked, you can pay one and send “Healing Goddess” Christa to the waiting room, and that character gets +2500 until end of turn.

At level 2 we have 8 characters.
AOT_S35_TE08
“Sudden Reinforcement” Eren Titan has a cost 1 +3000 power backup.

AOT_S35_E092

If you do not have “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan this card cannot attack. If it is in the left position of your center stage, it gives all your “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan and “Broken Wall” Colossal Titan +1000 power. When it attacks with the climax “And, in 850……” is in play you can discard one card and all your [Titan] characters get +3500 power until the end of turn. When another of your “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan is sent to the waiting room, send this card to the waiting room.

AOT_S35_E093

If you do not have “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan this card cannot attack. If this card is in the right position of your center stage all your other “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan and “Threat to Humanity” Colossal Titan get +1000 power. When this card attacks with the climax “And, In 850……” is in play, you may draw a card. And when another of your “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan is sent to the waiting room, send this card to the waiting room.

At level 3 we have 7 characters!

AOT_S35_E032

“Resisting Fate” Levi has a CX combo with “The Wings of Freedom”: when played, you can discard one card and choose one [Corps] character from your clock and play it to stage. His last ability is on the turn he is played from hand, up to once per turn, when he reverses his opponent you can pay 3 stock, discard one [Corps] character and send one [Corps] character from your stage to the waiting room. If you do, you can stand him and move him to an open slot on your stage.

AOT_S35_E090

If “Threat to Humanity” Colossal Titan and “Broken Wall” Colossal Titan are on your stage this card gets -1 level in your hand. During your opponent’s turn if this card is in the middle position of your center stage your other “Threat to Humanity” Colossal Titan and “Broken Wall” Colossal Titan can not be reversed. And at the beginning of your encore phase you can put a climax called “And, In 850……” from your climax zone to the waiting room to take the top card of your clock and add it to hand. Then, this card gets +3000 power until the end of your opponent’s turn.

AOT_S35_E053AOT_S35_E099

For climaxes we have a 4/4 split between bars and pants respectively.

How do we use this deck?

Special thanks to Bren for providing pretty much everything in the following sections.

B: Let me do a little introduction to this decklist.  Before I made this deck, I was testing both [Corps] and <Titans>.  There were some things I liked from both decks.  In <Titan>, Colossal Titan did amazing work, and if ever he needed to be replaced, the Level 3 Female Titan shut down a lot of damage potential while being a strong front herself.  I didn’t like their Level 0 or 1 game, however.

Meanwhile, over in [Corps], their Level 0 game was excellent, and their Level 1 game was almost as fantastic, but they had no strong Level 2 game outside of Mikasa’s Level 3, and with Kantai’s presence looming over my mind, it was not a strong pick.  Levi was definitely a strong card, and Eren had some viability if I sensed a strong Level 2 game, but ultimately didn’t make the cut in my mind.  I asked myself, what if I were to combine the two strengths into one?

The deck has a lot of moving parts, so let me cover them in sections.  Instead of dividing them into Levels like traditional decks, let me take a more active role.  Like the show, in a way, let’s cover them in squadrons, and what their main role is in the deck.

“Guiding Force to the Truth” Armin
“Hope in the Darkness of Despair” Mikasa

Both of these cards are Assist characters.  Because this deck revolves around bringing the two polar opposite traits together, I had to find supports that would work for both.  The Trial Deck Mikasa in particular is amazing simply because she provides repeatable burst power on her own, reducing the need I would have for 2k1-draw climaxes once I hit Level 1.

“A Chain of Tragedies” Mikasa
“Cool Personality” Levi

Both of these cards are general attackers, with the Levi being a Level 1 assassin.  Their goal was to defeat opposing cards and force them to play new ones.  This is a bigger focus in the deck than one might think, at first glance.  Levi in particular is a key card to note, because in this build he easily gets up to 13,500 power with a climax, which is a strong power number for a costless character.

“No. 1 Oddball” Hange
“104th Cadet Corps Class” Christa
“Calm and Collected” Mikasa

These cards had the job of finding my pieces.  Early on it was important to have the Titan Pieces, and later on it was important to have Levi and the Eren Titan as backup in case the general strategy goes awry.  Hange in particular is a key card, as she can search both [Corps] and <Titan> class, which allows this deck to work.  Mikasa is a tech card, insurance against bad draws and for Level 2 refreshes.

“Healing Goddess” Christa
“Sudden Reinforcement” Eren Titan

While Christa is an attacking character, both fulfill the same role as a counter effect.  Christa is a feint, especially if I haven’t shown any blue cards to my opponents at that point, while revealing the Eren Titan at key points is a false hope since it implies my deck doesn’t have Titan’s Power, an Event Counter at Level 2.

“Threat to Humanity” Colossal Titan
“Broken Wall” Colossal Titan”
“Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan

The key combo of the deck, these three powerhouses together are the reason I wanted to add Blue to this deck.  You’ll notice that besides the Climaxes, these are the only Blue Cards in the deck.  The combo is so powerful that against most “meta” decks, particularly Kantai Collection, Nisekoi, Sword Art Online, and Project Diva -f-, have no easy way to deal with it outside of anti-change abilities, which I monitor frequently when facing a deck that has the potential of having one.  If your deck defeats enough characters before hitting Level 2, this can all but wipe out an opponent’s hand size.

“Resisting Fate” Levi
“Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan

Both Level 3s avoid the heal tax trap with their healing climax combos, and provide either a tough body to beat or a highly damaging double attack.  It’s rather simple to grab the cards you need; it’s just a matter of reading what your opponent’s game plan is and playing the cards that work the best.

What does the deck not do well? Is it missing anything? What are some of the potential risks the list takes?

B: The deck isn’t that good at sustaining a solid Level 1 game.  Every deck has a way to run over the Level 0s and 1s during their turn, even the lowly Disgaea Trial Deck.  As such, the deck has to rely on essentially trading resources for resources until both players are starting to suffer for hand, and then *insert AoT OP here*.

This deck doesn’t run any runners, and besides power has no real way of ensuring Level 0s stay alive.  At Level 1, there are no real powerhouse attackers, just burst assassins.  It also lacks any Events, but many are restricted to one trait or another, so I don’t find them useful here.  I don’t have any Chimis whatsoever, so it would’ve been nice to have a Chimi Sasha as a tech card.

The deck is rather rigid, and by that I mean each misplay is highly amplified.  If you have the wrong amount of stock (4 or less) at Level 2, that’s a problem.  If you refresh before you hit Level 2, that’s a problem.  The gameplan is highly specific that if you are disrupted by surprises, then it can take a lot of planning and time to salvage the game.  Instead of healing once or twice at Level 2, you now just hit Level 3 and play the Titans then.  It’s typically not a good thing.  It’s also somewhat reliant on having a back row support.  It is preferable to be Mikasa, but Armin is serviceable as long as you have the CX combo.

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?

Greed: 6
B: The deck runs a solid G/R/B package numbers-wise (15/13/9 outside of climaxes), and each color sticks to their preferred levels.  At Level 1, G/R, at Level 2, B, at Level 3, G/B.  Despite the fact that Blue has the least number of non-Climax cards, and the fact you need at least three of the characters in your hand to pull off the combo, being at Level 2 gives the deck time to find colors.  It is definitely not simple, but it is easier than it looks.

M: The searching and filtering power the deck has are in a seemingly unorthodox combination, but there is usually going to be a way to get to your ideal midgame and endgame. Blue is only relevant for about one and a half levels, giving the deck a rather generous window to setup. Still, the deck takes advantage of three colors, so it is something to keep in mind in-game.

Power Range: 5 – 8
B: As an assassin build that turns into a Wall build, it surprisingly deals with everything highly played at this point in time.  Merely having two Mikasa out at the back and one Armin in the front can let almost any character deal with even the toughest Level 1s.  I had a Level 0 reverse a Level 2 in the tournament, actually.

M: This deck takes some of the best of both worlds in the series. It’s kind of a Corps deck with a Titan level 2/3, and a Titan deck with a Corps core. The early game is a little more brawl-oriented with no runners and big characters, and the midgame has a lot more focus on one-shot attacks instead of tenacity found in abilities such as clock encore. Where it sacrifices and focuses in the early game, it gains in a very powerful mid to endgame. At level 2, the setup is almost unrivaled, but only in terms of sheer power. The endgame is a pure beatdown, and lacks some of the more popular abilities such as Burn that can more reliably end a game.

Difficulty: 6
B: This is not an easy deck to play correctly.  Moreso than most other decks, you have to understand exactly what your opponent’s build is and then quickly analyze given the cards in hand what you need to counter their main strategy, typically even before you mulligan.  This is a deck that aims to defeat the opponent before they get the chance to setup a level 3.  Drain their hand size, make them stop attacking or pay out stock to add to their hand size, while you enjoy the leisure of not clocking.  The game plan is relatively simple in theory, but in practice it’s a lot harder.

M: To be fair, what Bren is suggesting is applicable to many other decks in practice. In this deck’s case, it hopes to break even or better at level 0 – 1, and then run away with the game at level 2. With a deck like this, test, adjust, test more, and keep testing! It certainly ventures into less-explored territory, and anything less-known (but viable) warrants being explored more.

Viability in the EN Metagame
B: Part of the reason I ran this deck was that it was countering the major decks I anticipated to be there in heavy numbers: SAO, Project Diva, Love Live, Attack on Titan, and Kantai Collection.  If you can execute your game plan, it is nearly impossible to stop by these top tier decks.  However, oddly enough, decks like Healspam Madoka and Memory Fairy Tail actually have good matchups against this due to their compression and my lack of burn or shot effects.

M: Titans big, Corps good. If you are looking for a deck that goes all-in at level 2 instead of at level 1 (hi Miku, happy birthday!), then this might be one to try. Soundless voice (okay, not Miku Miku but still) is probably at the front of everyone’s minds in the EN game when it comes to winning a game at level 1, and decks from SAO and Nisekoi can still focus on card advantage at said level. Attack on Titan has been thought of (mostly) as a very strictly separated set, with no room to cross blue with any other color.  If I was to play Titans, I think this deck would be a very interesting but worthy starting point to test with.

Viability in the JP Metagame
B: Attack on Titan is in a weird place in JP.  Girlfriend is the burst deck, Kantai Collection is the stable deck, Nisekoi is the finisher deck, and Little Busters is the advantage-based deck.  Attack on Titan has little to no ways of dealing with all four at once.  This deck would change a bit for Level 0 and 1 while 2 and 3 would stay relatively unchanged, to focus more on Kantai’s costless Wall or their on-reverse advantage engine, Little Busters’ Rin Soul rush and on-attack Advantage effects, Girlfriend’s on-reverse advantage engine and memory kick, and Nisekoi’s <Key> or <Sweets> walls and potential on-reverse effects.

While the Titan Wall does effectively deal with a lot of threats, the higher power ceiling at Level 2 thanks to Girlfriend -kari- means it may not be as effective as it is in controlling the field as in the EN game.  Nonetheless, a solid Level 2 play.  Instead, to keep a costless game, you might focus more around the “Calm and Collected” Mikasa’s ability to grant power to cards that change position during the attack step, and then give “Paving a Way for the Future” Mikasa and potentially “Paving a Way for the Future” Armin a time to shine.  Alternatively, Anti-Titan “Omni-Directional Mobility Gear” gives any character the power boost while hand-fixing, essentially nullifying many on-reverse effects that are more prevalent in JP than in EN.

M: Now I would argue that since the ban list change, that the JP game has opened up a little more. In the short term, others might be inclined to play a little more Rewrite, Haruhi, and Idolmaster. But, Bren is right – GFB, Kantai, Nisekoi, and Little Busters are very powerful and competitive decks, and if winning is the name of the game, you are very likely to run into decks from those series. I’ll defer to his (Bren’s) recommendations as to what to change if trying to take a deck like this into the JP game.

Now let’s go to the interview!

M: How was your event overall?
B: I lost in Round 2 and in the first round of Top 8.  The Round 2 Loss was to our Spring Fest 2014’s Champion, while the Top 8 loss was to the eventual second place winner.  I know I misplayed my final turn against him now, but that’s all retrospect now.

M: What was a really lucky moment you had during the tournament?
B: I think I’ll talk about Round 6.  I was heading into Level 2 against the eventual 4th-place finisher, but I realized I had had no Blue in my clock during Level 0 and Level 1.  I drew at 1/6, and I saw a second copy of my blue CX.  I ended up yelling something (I don’t remember what anymore) and then clocked it and slid it into my Level Zone.  I heard a gasp from onlookers but I didn’t care.  The Titan Wall came out and my Nisekoi opponent had no real response, and from there I cruised to victory by cancelling pretty much every real non-ping damage when I needed to.

M: Whoa! Leveling a CX! That’s rare and bold but looks like in this deck such a risky move could pay off. What was a really unlucky moment you had during the tournament?
B: Round 2, my opponent has seemed to always have my number.  In Weiss, both English and Japanese, he had a collective record of 45-4 against me coming into this match.  During the final few turns at Level 3, he brought out Death Gun and started pinging me with his ability.  I beat it down but he encored it.  He had attacks available for 1, 2, and burn+2.  So of course he goes for the 1 first, and I cancel.  He hits for the remaining two characters and I lose, one card shy of my next climax.

M: Yikes. Did you have any incredible comebacks?
B: The deck’s not designed to really have a comeback game.  You start out ahead at Level 2 and finish the game there, or stabilize at Level 3 and heal-spam your clock to force your opponent to deal the full damage to you.  Since it takes the initiative, it forces the opponent to have an incredible comeback if the game plan hits off.

M: Fair enough! How did the final match go for you?
B: My final match in the top 8 went more or less as expected, except I recognized a lot of cards from my [Corps] testing and began to grow wary.  Not wary enough, I guess.  Instead of brainstorming for my Eren Titan Counter, I decided to sit on a non-boosted “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan, even at Level 3.  This allowed my nearly handless opponent to double attack with Levi for the win.  It’s a misplay I’ll have to learn to live with and get over in time for the WGP testing, but it cost me the game.

M: What did you play against?
Round 1 vs. Kill la Kill (R/B Sisters)
Round 2 vs. Sword Art Online (R/B Death Gun)
Round 3 vs. Kantai Collection (Y/R Soul Rush Torpedo Cruiser build)
Round 4 vs. Nisekoi (RBg Onodera-focused build)
Round 5 vs. Love Live (YGR Soul Rush)
Round 6 vs. Nisekoi (RB Meta) – Finished 4th Place
Top 8 vs. Attack on Titan (YGR Corps Meta) – Finished 2nd Place

MHow did you prepare for the tournament? Did you do anything special the day of the tournament?
I actually did half an entire blog post over at climaxphase.wordpress.com of what my medical family thinks proper preparation consists of scientifically, and I took that information to heart and spread it to my main gaming group’s members.  I actually woke up that morning and made smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels (I smoked the salmon myself on applewood) and gave one to each person in the two cars we took for our lunch, as a sort of pick-me-up.

After the tournament, we visited the local All-You-Can-Eat Sushi bar, kind of a tradition now after the first time we visited a year and a half ago after Spring Fest 2014.

M: Nice! Any funny stories from the event?
Not much, everyone was super serious.

M: Congratulations again on the finish, and thanks for taking the time to do the article. Any other shoutouts or things you would like to say?
First, shoutouts.  To Climax Screwed, especially our leader WuXian (sorry for beating you round 5 at pretty much Level 1), thanks for the group and the camera you’ve lent me.  To Climax Phase’s Admin, who happens to also be our province’s main TO and the host of our WGP tournaments, thanks for believing in Weiss before I ever got started playing and for all the support so far.  To my Gaming Group, who’s very eager to dive into whatever comes up.  And thank you to 9th CX, for continuing your never-ending source of information and decklists.

Also, to those reading, never let someone tell you that something you put your heart and soul into is not good or worthless.  It sounds corny, I know, but that bond can literally win you games you wouldn’t otherwise have.  I call it the “Vita” effect (thanks to a certain rush player of my group), but you can replace her name with whatever reason you have for building that deck.


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