Welcome to the 9th CX’s deck techs! For this article, we’ll be looking at a theorycrafted To Love-Ru Darkness 2nd list!
Though this deck has not been tested (yet), builds similar to it have already started to pop up around the world. This list is brought to you by Michael, as a work in-progress.
Translations can be found on Heart of the Cards. If translations are unavailable for a given card, in-house translations will be used.
Now onto the list!
Level 0 – 17
3 “Sitting” Mea (TL/W37-004)
3 “Sitting” Yui (TL/W37-034)
3 “Cute Pajama” Mikan (TL/W37-035)
2 “Taiyaki of Memories” Yami (TL/W37-T01)
3 “Sitting” Mikan (TL/W37-031)
2 Puchi Mikan (TL/W37-104)
1 Puchi Yui (TL/W37-103)
Level 1 – 16
2 “Calm and Cool” Yami (TL/W37-018)
3 “Memory Connecting the Future” Yami (TL/W37-011)
3 “Ribbon-Wrapped” Mea (TL/W37-010)
4 “Sleepy Time” Mikan (TL/W37-039)
4 “Organizing Clothes” Mikan (TL/W37-040)
Level 2 – 1
1 “Own Feelings” Yami (TL/W37-006)
Level 3 – 8
4 Golden Darkness (TL/W37-001)
2 Mikan Yuuki (TL/W37-032)
2 Darkness Plan (TL/W37-027)
CX – 8
4 Kind Time (TL/W37-028)
4 Taiyaki-Shaped Keyholder (TL/W37-053)
At level 0 we have 17 characters.
When “Sitting” Mea is reversed you can pay 1 stock and send her to clock, then look at the top two cards of your deck, add one to hand and discard the rest.
If you have 1 or fewer other characters “Sitting” Yui gives all your other characters +1500. And her second ability is clock reverser.
When you play “Cute Pajama” Mikan you can discard 1 card to clock swap. (Put a card of your choice from your clock into your hand, then put the top card of your deck into clock.) Her second ability is a brainstorm ability: pay 1 rest 2 characters, for every CX revealed search for up to 1 [Transformation] and/or [Housework] character.
“Taiyaki of Memories” Yami gets +1500 power until end of turn when played and her second ability is a standard pay 1 discard 1 search for [Alien], [Transformation], and [Housework] characters.
“Sitting” Mikan is a front +500 power assist and when you play her you can put the top 3 cards of your deck into the waiting room. Her last ability is anti-salvage, whenever a player adds a character from the waiting room to their hand during the attack phase all those player’s characters get -3 soul until end of turn.
When you play Puchi Mikan, you choose a [Transformation] or [Housework] character you control, and it gets +1500 power until end of turn.
If you control 1 or fewer characters, Puchi Yui gets +1000 power and gives the character facing it “This character cannot be moved to another slot.”
At level 1 we have 16 characters.
If you are level 2 or higher “Calm and Cool” Yami gets the ability: discard 1 card and send this to the waiting room to put 1 “Own Feelings” Yami from your waiting room in the position this was in. Her second ability is you can pay 1, send a CX from your hand to your clock and send her to your clock to play 1 “Golden Darkness” from your hand in the position this was in.
“Memory Connecting the Future” Yami is a front +500 power assist to [Transformation] and/or [Housework] characters and she also gives them hand encore. Her second ability is when the CX “Taiyaki-Shaped Keyholder” is played you can give 1 of your characters +2000 power until end of turn.
“Ribbon-Wrapped” Mea is a cost 0 +1500 power backup and when you use her backup ability if you have a [Transformation] and/or [Housework] character you can give 1 of your characters in battle +1000 power.
“Sleepy Time” Mikan gets +500 power for each of your other [Transformation] and/or [Housework] characters.
If all your characters are [Transformation] and/or [Housework] “Organizing Clothes” Mikan gets +1000 power. Her second ability is when she reverses her opponent with the CX “Taiyaki-Shaped Keyholder” in play you can search your deck for one [Transformation] and/or [Housework] character.
For level 2 we have 1 character!
If all your characters are [Transformation] and/or [Housework] “Own Feelings” Yami gets +2000 power. She also has a resonance ability, when she reverses her opponent you can pay 1 and reveal “Golden Darkness” in your hand to draw 1 card.
At level 3 we have 6 characters and 2 events.
When Golden Darkness is placed onto the stage from your hand, you can draw up to 2 and discard 1. And if all your characters are [Transformation] and/or [Housework] she gets +1500 power and cannot be targeted by your opponent’s abilities. Her last ability is when she attacks with the CX “Kind Time” in play, choose her and 1 of your other characters and they each get punish burn 1 until end of turn.
Mikan Yuuki gets +500 power for every other of your [Transformation] and/or [Housework] characters and heals on play.
Darkness Plan is an event with counter step timing. When you use the backup you can choose 1 character in battle and that character cannot deal damage this turn and then give 1 of your characters +1500 power until end of turn.
CX spread is an even 4/4 split between winds and bars.
How did we build this deck?
M: I built this list after reading the first half of the spoiler. (Seriously) I wanted to see how I could use the best cards at each level, and I remember laughing out loud after just reading the yellow cards.
This is a new section that we’re going to include in our original lists. If you’ve already built this list or already know how the deck “should” be built, this part will probably be boring.
Let’s start from the top down: at level 3, we have the maximum 4 copies of Golden Darkness. Golden Darkness is a very powerful card – being able to draw 2 and discard 1 on play (or change) is already the makings of a good card, but the CX combo is one of the most aggressive (and arguably unfair) things to see print. Attacking with just 1 with the combo in play renders your opponent dead to rights at 3/6, but if you have all 3 on board, that window widens to 3/4.
I also wanted to include a way to convert stock into “anti-loss” protection for the endgame in the form of Darkness Plan. 3 stock is a steep cost, but if it prevents a game-winning attack, what is 3 stock? There are only 2 copies in the deck because of the cost, but also because they can’t win a game on their own. Now, this number is subject to change, but the number seems like a decent starting point.
Level 2 was a bit of an afterthought because the level 1 was (is) where the deck does its best to pick up as much card advantage as possible. Having 0-stock 6500+ power characters and “ShiMikan” (a CX combo that lets you search for a character on reverse) aims to gain card advantage by striking a balance between raw power and searching power. Organizing Clothes Mikan gets 4 copies of the gold bar CX, which means triggering it early in the game is actually a good thing. Normally, triggering a CX early in the game is a bad thing, but because bars go to the hand, and the CX combo is used as early as level 1, it’s just an upside. It is very rare that a whole card (and even its CX) can turn what is almost universally a bad early game occurrence into a good thing. Therefore, using 4 copies of both Mikan and the CX makes sense; the deck wants to draw as many copies of each card as possible.
“Memory” Yami even gets extra power with the Taiyaki-Shaped Keyholder CX. The support Yami glues the whole deck together from level 1 to whenever it decides that it’s time to play level 3. It preserves characters with hand encore, and helps your Mikan search for more characters. If you feel like going big, “Calm and Cool” Yami can jump the deck from level 1 to level 3 at the cost of a CX from hand and it going to clock. If you don’t want to pay that much, you can change into the level 2 Yami to try to draw more cards. Granted, this only happens at level 2, but by level 2 there is probably a larger incentive to keep as many level 3 Yamis (Golden Darkness) in hand as possible.
Level 0 was a bit of a smattering of everything. The anti-salvage ability from “Sitting” Mikan is only matched by Kantai’s Hatsukaze, so 3 or 4 copies makes sense. Now, I don’t like drawing too many and think that the deck is capable of searching for the single copy of Mikan that it wants to see in a game. Actually, I think the Memory Yami is more relevant for the mid-game. Mikan has a specific window to be the most relevant, but the number can also go to the full 4 if one expects a bunch of red decks in a given event. (e.g. Nisekoi, KanColle w/ red, Girlfriend Beta w/ red, 8-gate old-school style grind-you-to-death-with-incremental-card-advantage-because-I-figure-that-the-meta-will-be-flooded-with-these-kinds-of-decks-and-I’ll-play-whatever-the-*#(&-I-want decks, the list goes on)
I have 2 copies of the Puchi Yui because I really don’t like runners getting in free damage in the early turns.
But wait! Isn’t free damage a good thing in this deck because if you get to 1 first you can just play a Mikan and profit?
Yes, but this is an instance where it’s a conscious decision to include runner “hate”. The effect isn’t seen very often, and because decks with runners typically rely on having them live for more than one turn, being able to deny them the opportunity to see another turn can randomly strand an opponent at level 0 with no plays. This is the kind of upside I want to explore with the card. It is definitely not a must-keep.
The trio of Mea, Yui and Mikan (search, clock reverse & brainstorm) however, are non-negotiable. Mea, though not a true searcher, is a much more mellow version of Riki from Little Busters, or Inazuma from Kantai. It’s better to think of her as a turn 1 direct (or side) attacker, that will almost certainly never miss on her ability. At level 0, she only fears a Levi or another level 0 “sniper” removing her. Yui is a great clock reverser that can even get you incidental card advantage. Level 0 does not generally want to have a player play out his or her entire hand, and the Yui actually rewards you for playing fewer cards in the early turns. Mikan has two powerful searching abilities attached to one card. Having a brainstorm ability is a critical part of a deck, but also having a relevant card-related ability regardless of stock? That’s value™!
So we have the “why”, what’s the “how”?
Fortunately, because we went over the cards in detail, the game plan can be boiled down into this hideously simple list:
Level 0: Attack with stuff. Try to get a Golden Darkness in hand for later.
Level 1: Attack with Mikan. Play a Yami support. Change into level 3 if you feel like going big.
Level 2: Attack with Mikan. Shoot to go into level 3 with as much stock as possible. 6 is the minimum, 10+ is ideal (and not impossible, but you may run low on cards).
Level 3: Spam “rip in pieces” in chat while Yami goes on cleanup duty.
What might the deck be missing? Are there any cards that were consciously omitted from this first list?
“Changing” Mikan, the spammable brainstorm character was originally in the list as a 1-of, which was eschewed in favor of the higher upside Mikans. The support being able to burn through the deck for free on top of the other Mikan that can brainstorm to search rendered the “Changing” Mikan unnecessary, though those who are particularly CX-flood averse may still consider a single copy.
“Beach Resort of a Southern Country” Mea could be worth considering if one really hates setups that focus on nothing but power at level 1. While Miku remains queen of going big (thanks to the dominance of Soundless voice in the EN game), that’s not to say that decks of other series can’t go big either.
These are two cards that I considered immediately when constructing the deck, but ultimately decided not to play because I felt they would not have as big of an impact as the other cards at the respective levels. Are they worth testing? Potentially, and if after a lot of testing I decide that they are worth putting into the deck, I will. The key with a deck that has yet to be tested is to keep an open mind but also to make sure that alternate cards are lined up to sub in after the first 50-100 games.
(I test a lot, okay? It’s alright to do that!)
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 has 2 colors, with absolutely no off-color cards in the deck, even at level 0. The deck is practically a single color in that regard; it really shouldn’t ever experience any issues with accessing either color.
Power Range: 7-9+
The series’ strength is in its consistency. (Felix) Though the most obvious source of the deck’s power is in the level 3 Yami, it also has subtle added power in its level 1 CX combo, a support that does double duty, and a level 3 card that just says “No”. The fact that the deck has a 0 stock +2000 power Backup hasn’t been mentioned, but is still totally relevant. Add these factors together and you have a deck that can still put up a heck of a fight even if down a full level, and is making players speculate loudly if the cards will be subjected to a restriction after this year’s WGP qualifier season.
If you have a good sense of how to play the game’s more powerful decks, such as Kantai or Nisekoi, this deck probably won’t feel terribly different from them. Decks that have powerful effects but also a good level of hidden power means that it will reward the most practiced player, while still being forgiving on the newer pilot. (In other words, I think the deck is so strong it can potentially mask a player’s skill to an extent, while an experienced player may end up winning a lot more with it than he or she would with another series.)
JP Meta Viability:
If you aren’t going to use the deck, make sure to test against it, because it’s going to be a force to be reckoned with. If you’re going to use it, well, you probably already know that the deck is starting to
bring balance to the Force push other more popular series out of the way. So again, this deck (or more accurately, lists like it) will see play, and it’s better to be prepared for it than get caught off-guard. For what it’s worth, I plan to test this deck a lot.
Melanie had two cents too. Let’s just say that when I said that I was considering testing the deck… well…
In any case, good luck testing, and remember that this list is only a starting point! Your style may (and probably will) differ, so don’t be afraid to be daring and play different cards altogether!
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Thanks for reading!