Welcome to the 9th CX’s deck techs!
This time around with a Fate Deck piloted by the French player J.P. Champy who not only managed to get 1st in the LCQ but also just missed the Japan trip, only losing to Bea in EGP Finals! Special thanks to Sebastian for gathering the interview, deck, and preparing the article.
Here’s the deck!
Cards – 50
Level 0 – 18
2 Kiritsugu, Heretic Style (FZ/S17-004)
3 Shirou, Steeled to Fight Alongside (FS/S34-004)
4 Shirou, A Normal Morning (FS/S34-024)
2 Archer, Rin’s Servant (FS/S34-056)
1 Rin, Proof of Pact (FS/S34-061)
4 Illya, Silver Thread Alchemy: Engel Lied (FS/S34-078)
2 SD Shirou (FS/S34-101)
Level 1 – 10
1 Rin, Gandr Shooter (FS/S03-055)
3 Kirei, Truth Seeker of the Holy Church (FZ/SE13-21)
4 “Saber’s Master” Shirou (FS/S34-002)
2 Shirou, Friendly to Others (FS/S34-017)
Level 2 – 6
2 Demolition (FZ/S17-026)
3 Caster, Strategist (FS/S34-068)
1 SD Rin (FS/S34-104)
Level 3 – 8
4 Rin & Archer (FS/S03-061)
1 Saber, Knight’s Oath(FS/S34-003)
3 “Heroic Spirit” Caster (FS/S34-076)
CX – 8
4 Words of Farewell (FS/S03-074)
4 Anger Towards Evil (FS/S34-034)
At level 0, we have 18 characters.
When Kiritsugu, Heretic Style comes into play you may pay 2 stock to search deck for up to one “Saber, Skill of ‘Riding'”.
He also is a basic stock reverser. (When he is reversed, if the battle opponent is level 0 or lower you may put the opponent’s character into stock and put the bottom card of their stock into waiting room)
When Shirou, Steeled to Fight Alongside comes into play you may pay 2 stock to search your deck for up to one “”Saber’s Master Shirou”.
He also gives each of your other [Master] character clock encore.
When Shirou, A Normal Morning is played, you reveal the top card of your deck and if it’s a level 0 or lower character, rest him.
Archer, Rin’s Servant has brainstorm 4: pay 1 stock and rest it; for each CX revealed, salvage up to 1 [Weapon] character.
Also when one of your characters is reversed, you may give one of your weapon characters +500 power for the turn.
Rin, Proof of Pact is a basic level reverser.
You can rest her and give one of your characters with ‘Archer’ in its name +1500 power for the turn and the ability that he cannot attack if the opposing character is lower than his.
Illya, Silver Thread Alchemy: Engel Lied is an Azusa/Akatsuki clone for [Master] characters (Sift). (When she comes into play you may discard a card and look at the up to the top 4 cards of your deck and put one [Master] into your hand the rest into the waiting room.)
SD Shirou is a basic global +500 power assist to all [Master] or [Servant] characters.
At Level 1 we have 10 Characters.
Rin, Gandr Shooter is +1000 power front assist for your level 2 and higher characters.
You can also rest 2 of your [Master] characters to put one card from your opponent’s waiting room on top of their deck.
Kirei, Truth Seeker of the Holy Church gets +500 power for each of your other [Master] or [Void] characters.
“Saber’s Master” Shirou has a CX combo with Anger Towards Evil: when he attacks with the CX in play, you may pay 1 stock and give +2000 power and the ability when he reverses his opponent, you may search your deck for up to one [Master] or [Servant] character.
Shirou, Friendly to Others has a 1 stock +1500 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability you reveal the top card of your deck and if it’s a [Master] or [Servant] character, add it to your hand and discard a card.
At Level 2 we have 4 characters and 2 Events.
Demolition is a “freerefresh” event for both players that can be used as a Backup as well.
When you use it, both players put all of their cards from the waiting room back into their library, then you discard a card and give one of your characters +2000 power for the turn. (Because events go to the resolution zone while resolving, this card will not return to your deck, unlimited cheatworks notwithstanding)
Caster, Strategist gives all your [Master] characters in front of her +1000 power and hand encore.
She also has a Change at the start of your draw phase: you may pay 1 and send this to waiting room and put “”Heroic Spirit” Caster” from your waiting room into the slot this was before.
SD Rin has a 1 stock +2500 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability you mill 3.
At level 3 we have 8 characters
Rin & Archer has heal trigger on play and has a CX combo with Words of Farewell: when it attacks with the CX in play, you may deal one damage to your opponent. (Burn 1)
You can also discard a [Weapon] character to give it +2000 power for the turn
Saber, Knight’s Oath gets +500 power for each of your other [Master] or [Servant] characters.
During the turn she is played from hand and her damage gets cancelled, you punish burn.
When “Heroic Spirit” Caster is played from hand or through change, you look at the up the top cards of your library as you have [Master] or [Servant] characters on your field, including her. (So up to 5 on a full field)
If her battle opponent gets reversed in battle, you may pay 4 stock and discard 2 cards to restand her.
The climax spread is a 4/4 split between +2 Soul | +2 Soul and 1k1 | Burn effects and triggers respectively.
How do we use this deck?
J.P.: I begin my mulligan with early game in mind, but I tend to keep the Caster change if I have plenty of level 0s in hand.
The level 0 is pretty good. First, Archer brainstorm and Shirou avenger make sure that my stock are clean.
I have 4k Shirou to beat the utility cards and Kiritsugu and Rin for the opponent’s beaters.
The clock encore makes sure it is hard for my opponent to get rid of them and I can get more damage to get to my level 1.
Illya makes this level 0 more consistent and help me dropping the lvl 3 caster.
The level 1 is expected to lose or at best be equal to my opponent’s level 1.
10 level 1s is not much but the reason that I tend to lose is that I only beat on my turn with the Shirou combo.
But the card advantages that Shirou combo, Archer brainstorm and Shirou clock encore tend to make this level 1 not that hard.
The costless level 1 plan helps me build stock for the later game.
Level 2 is … well level 1 with Caster change. It may seems weird to have both the hand and clock encore, but the versatility that it brings is helpful.
Hand encore is also a good mechanic when you play change on draw phase as you can use the change target as an encore material, the counter that I use also help on bringing Caster lvl 3 to the waiting either by hand (Demolition and level 1 Shirou counter) or by deck (Rin PR counter).
This level is built with the idea of a clear transition between the early game and the late game.
As such I usually replace my back row with Caster level 2 or Rin level 1 and the old back row is used as cannon fodder to crash on my opponent cards.
It is preferable to be at level 2 with few damages as the value of the level 3 caster will be greater if you are still level 2 at your draw phase; that’s why I don’t hesitate to clock encore until I hit 1/6.
The Caster helps me get either the climax needed for the combo or the other level 3. She also brings pressure as she can restand and finish the game before my level 3.
The Demolition counter is kinda tricky to use as it may not help that much. It can help by discarding a Caster after the refresh but it can also mess up the change if you don’t have any in hand, so be careful with it.
That being said, the counter is an event, which mean that you choose when to use it so make sure that you get a real advantage worth the -2 in hand.
Level 3 is offensive. Rin Archer both heal and burn with the climax on attack, the climax being a +2 soul makes you able to side level 3 charachers which is really nice.
Musashi (punish burn) and +2 soul are really good together. Caster is an okay finisher that takes the game once in a while.
Rin level 1 transforms your useless costless Master in hand into cards on top of your opponent’s deck.
To have encore on level 3 is not really common and it helps to keep the 2 soul attacker on the field.
What does the deck not do well?
J.P.:Anti-burn is awful for this deck. The restand looks like an alternative, but Casters tend to be weak.
Strong level 1s that do not get reversed by Shirou are also bad match up as the lack of cards on level 1 and level 2 (Caster usually don’t help in those situations) makes the deck more dependent on clock encore, which can result in faster games.
Winds (bounce) tend to be annoying, not only for the change but also for the clock encore.
Is it missing anything?
J.P.: Swimsuit rider seems like a good option that I didn’t take. My level 1 is weak on defense but there were times where I could win the power battle and I did not because of the cost of my Shirou counter.
Swimsuit Rider gives +1000 and an additional +1000 to [Master] characters for no cost and that makes her viable even if the color and the trait are both not appealing.
What are some of the potential risks the list takes?
J.P.: There is no generic searcher for the deck. Also I have Saber Musashi and Archer Brainstorm of the [Weapon] type and sometimes they don’t mesh well with the rest of the deck.
Is there or are there specific key cards in the deck that make it work?
J.P.: The deck is centered around Rin+Archer. This uncommon card has a heal, burn and is both master and servant.
I use caster and Illya from the most recent set to setup the combo in my hand.
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?
(Editor’s Note: the numbers are my own, but have been tuned to reflect a sense of the commentary given.)
J.P.: The color ratio are usually pretty good, and the cards effect tend to make you have what you want. On 16 games I had one game where I didn’t have my third color. But I really tried to have a lot of options, and as such I have a bunch of 1-ofs and 2-ofs.
I don’t expect to have the same cards every game with this deck.
Also a bit less than half of my cards have soul trigger so it makes it hard to let the opponent where I want him/her to be.
M: I think the deck can be a bit more momentum-based from earlier on than the deck might let on. Not having a standard searcher for the deck makes it a bit more draw reliant at level 0, and if it can’t overpower anything at level 1, it can be stalled out and potentially smothered by overwhelming power and/or encore denial effects.
Power Range: 4 – 8+
J.P.: Don’t really know about its power range.
M: I think the deck can cap out fairly high in terms of its offensive power. Being able to use punish burn with other burn and heal effects make for a nice “best of both worlds” combination. The deck does not have much in terms of utility and card filtering in the early levels, but, something that can’t be discounted, is its ability to hit for obscene damage out of nowhere because of its dedication to +2 soul CXs. Yes, anti-burn can give the deck’s endgame a difficult time, but anti-burn can’t do a whole lot about 3 4-soul attacks.
J.P.: I like to mess with my ratios and use a bit of everything so my decks tend to be a bit tricky to use, but not to the point where it is unplayable though. I think that 10 games with it are enough to get a grasp of it.
M: 10 games for an experienced player, maybe! If one is familiar with the cards in the series, then using a deck where no game will likely involve drawing the same cards at the same time is OK, but it can be a factor of unpredictability that some players cannot readily adapt to.
JP Meta Viability:
J.P.: This deck is vulnerable to heal tax and anti-burn. It also gets easily reversed. Anti-burn is the most annoying though; I try to burn before the anti-burn are set up. Typically, I try to be at level 3 before my opponent and I put him/her at level 2 and 5 damage specifically in the Log Horizon match up.
Overall, not really a good horse to bet on, but it can really strike hard sometimes and it can turn the tides in your favor.
M: Basically, it’s more of the same I was saying earlier. +2 soul variance can propel the deck further along than its cards normally allow, and if it has to fight “fair”, it has to rely on burn. I think the series is worth knowing about, but it doesn’t have anything extraordinarily unique to make it stand out.
Onto the interview!
How was your event overall?
It was great, but winning two tournament back to back was maybe a bit too greedy on my part. Hard to keep my concentration up at all times.
We got to play against a lot of people from different country in Europe and I’m grateful that they got the courage to come to Paris after the recent events.
What was a really lucky moment you had during the tournament?
Almost every single match to be honest. Sometimes I did 10 damage a turn in the mid game, sometimes I hit my opponent with 7 damage.
I canceled a lot too. But if I have to pick one moment, I got to say my first match.
I won with 6 damage on clock, level 3 and on the third of the three extra turn after the time was up.
What was a really unlucky moment you had during the tournament?
I didn’t have any lol.
Did you have any incredible comebacks?
As I said earlier, my first match was really hard. I was behind even though I was playing against a TD.
I had to use every unfair advantage that I had to stay alive and beat him.
That’s also the only time of the tournament that I thought that my deck was unfair since it was a TD in front of me.
How did the final match go for you? What did you play against?
It didn’t go well, not that I had a bad time but I made bad decision. I played against Charlotte.
So I had to make a choice between burn and caster. I could hope to put her to level 3 so that she could not put the anti-burn in memory and win the usual way or play it safe and win through card advantages and compression with caster.
The first choice was not a good one since I failed to put her to level 3 fast enough. That made Musashi a dead card in my hand and I got no red in level/clock for Rin&Archer (first time in the week end that it happened).
But, Bea is a strong opponent so I have no regrets.
How did you prepare for the tournament? Did you do anything special the day of the tournament?
I played against myself (lol). I was kind of busy so it was a convenient way for me to test my deck.
I changed a few card from my build since I lacked card advantages when I tested it.
Usually on tournament I listened to music that makes me smile or help me relax.
For this one, the song was Hotel Moonside from the [email protected]
Any funny stories from the event?
Someone was watching the stream of the event and gave a rough estimate of my decklist so that people interested in it could see it.
It made me hype!
Any other shoutouts or things you would like to say?
Any other shoutouts or things you would like to say?
Thanks to 9th CX to give me this opportunity to talk about my deck.
Thanks to Games From Japan, Epitanime and Bushiroad for the tournament.
Thanks to Yacine who is always here to lend me some cards.
Thanks to the Thean family for the magnificent idea of putting Caster into the deck and for all bunch of stuff.
Thanks to Nofoume, without you I wouldn’t know the gigant shooter match up.
And finally thanks to all players from Paris as I only made it because I trained myself in such a competitive environment filled with talent.
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