And another report from this year’s EGP! Welcome to the 9th CX’s deck techs!
This time it’s about Sven L. from Germany and his Girlfriend Beta Deck with which he placed 2nd in the LCQ and 3rd/4th in the EGP Finals losing both times to J.P. Champy with his Fate Deck, previously featured. Special thanks to Sebastian for doing the interviews, and putting the article together.
Let’s get to the deck!
Cards – 50
Level 0 – 16
2 Yuzu Hazuki, White Shirt + Apron (GF/W33-007)
2 Nonoka Sasahara, Sunset Cool (GF/W33-070)
3 Matsuri Kagami, Exhilarating Heart (GF/W33-075)
2 Koruri Tokitani, Farm Experience (GF/W38-001)
4 Risa Shinomiya, Sound of Surprise (GF/W38-009)
1 Sumire Yomogida (GF/W38-010)
1 Haruko Yumesaki, Tropical (GF/W38-038)
1 Chloe Lemaire, Miss Contest (GF/W38-039)
Level 1 – 11
1 Raimu Nejikawa, Director on Site (GF/W33-009)
1 Nonoka Sasahara, Fitting Couple (GF/W33-055)
1 Matsuri Kagami, Well-Behaved (GF/W33-064)
2 Ichigo Kohinata, Flustered (GF/W38-042)
2 Matsuri Kagami, Study Session (GF/W38-043)
4 Kanata Amatsu, Culture Festival (GF/W38-053)
Level 2 – 6
1 Kinoko Himejima, Eyes of Mushrooms Also Have Tears (GF/W33-004)
1 Remi Tamai, Making Sweets (GF/W33-021)
3 Yurara Mishima, Skill Issues? (GF/W38-045)
1 Part-Time Job (GF/W38-066)
Level 3 – 9
3 Koruri Tokitani, Seeking Models (GF/W33-005)
2 Chloe Lemaire, Regular Brilliance (GF/W33-052)
4 Akari Amari, Cooking Contest (GF/W38-008)
CX – 8
4 Chihaya Something (GF/W33-109)
4 Good Friends “Akari & Yurara” (GF/W38-035)
At level 0, we have 16 characters.
Yuzu Hazuki, White Shirt + Apron gives your other character in the center slot of front row +1000 power and has a brainstorm ability for 1 stock and rest 2 of your characters: for each CX revealed, tutor up to one yellow character.
When Nonoka Sasahara, Sunset Cool attacks you may give one of your other characters +1500 power for the turn and she has hand encore.
Matsuri Kagami, Exhilarating Heart cannot side attack.
Koruri Tokitani, Farm Experience is basic +500 power front assist. You can pay 2 stock and rest her to tutor up to one red and up to one yellow character.
Risa Shinomiya, Sound of Surprise gives all your other ‘Kanata Amatsu, Culture Festival’ +500 power and hand encore.
She also has a clock bond for ‘Kanata Amatsu, Culture Festival’ as well. (The bond cost is putting the top card of your deck into clock)
Sumire Yomogida is a [Girl] basic searcher.
Haruko Yumesaki, Tropical is a basic level reverser that also lets you salvage a character for 2 stock when sent to waiting room.
Chloe Lemaire, Miss Contest has a +1000 power revenge trigger.
She also has brainstorm ability for 1 stock: for each CX revealed you may salvage a [Girl] character from your waiting room and discard a card.
At Level 1 we have 11 characters.
Raimu Nejikawa, Director on Site has hexproof and gets +1000 power for each other yellow character you control during your turn.
When she reverses her opponent you may send it to memory.
When Nonoka Sasahara, Fitting Couple is played you may pay 1 stock and discard a climax to return a climax back to your hand from your waiting room.
She also has a CX combo with ‘Yell’: when she attacks with the CX in play you may pay 1 stock to salvage a character. (The CX isn’t played in this deck)
When Matsuri Kagami, Well-Behaved attacks with a red CX in play you may discard a card to salvage a red character.
Ichigo Kohinata, Flustered has a 0 stock +1000 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability and you have 2 or more [Girl] characters, you can give a character an additional X power, where X is the total level of cards in your level zone times 500.
When Matsuri Kagami, Study Session comes into play you may discard a card and salvage a [Girl] character.
When Kanata Amatsu, Culture Festival comes into play and you don’t have another ‘Risa Shinomiya, Sound of Surprise’, you need to rest her.
At Level 2 we have 5 characters and 1 event.
Kinoko Himejima, Eyes of Mushrooms Also Have Tears has a freefresh ability: when she comes into play and you have 3 or more other yellow characters and 5 or less cards in your deck, you put all your cards from your waiting room to your deck and shuffle. Afterwards, you give one of your characters +2000 power and Burn 1.
Remi Tamai, Making Sweets has a 1 stock +2500 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability you may pay 2 stock and sacrifice a character and choose one of your opponent’s characters which is higher than their level and send it to stock.
Yurara Mishima, Skill Issues? has a 1 stock +3000 power Backup ability that also has a CX combo with ‘Good Friends “Akari & Yurara”‘: when the CX is played you may pay 1 stock and return this to your hand and choose one ‘Akari Amari, Cooking Contest’ from your hand and place it into the slot this was in.
Part-Time Job lets you salvage 2 characters.
At level 3 we have 9 characters.
Koruri Tokitani, Seeking Models has a Punish Burn trigger when is played from hand and if she reverses an opponent you may send it to memory.
Chloe Lemaire, Regular Brilliance has Heal trigger on play and a CX combo with ‘Chihaya Something’: when she reverses her opponent with the CX in play you may pay 2 stock to Burn X, where X is the number of CX in your waiting room.
Akari Amari, Cooking Contest has a heal trigger on play and a CX combo with ‘Good Friends “Akari & Yurara”‘: when she attacks with CX in play you tutor up to one [Girl] character and she gets +1500 power until the end of you opponent’s next turn.
The climax spread is a 4/4 split between 1k1 | Door and 1k1 | Bounce effects and triggers respectively.
How do we use this deck?
Sven: At level 0 you want to try build as much stock as possible without overcommitting. The 0/0 Nonoka paired with the 0/0 Matsuri (#070 and #075) allow you to run over almost anything at level 0 and given the great utility of the Nonoka, it can even be kept past level 0 if necessary. It is one of my favorite cards in the set, and in my opinion, is underestimated by a lot of people.
The other thing to do at level 0 is to start and prepare your level 1 game, which in this deck consists of your way oversized 1/1 Kanata, which coincidentally you can clock-bond onto with the 0/0 Risa. (#009 gf2 and #053 gf2).
Your other cards at level 0 are basically just utility cards such as searchers, supports, brainstorms, etc. It may look like a mess with all the 1-ofs but most of them are not really needed more than once which leaves spots for other valuable cards in the deck.
At level 1 you can finally start to !*@&$ I mean wall off your opponent with your oversized 1/1 Kanatas, which will most likely be sitting at 8.5k plus hand encore. Considering the current meta game and how almost every deck plays a Shimakaze clone, there are not very many decks that can easily and efficiently run over more than 1 of them, setting level 1 reversers aside.
It’s a minor downside for the deck to not have a Shimakaze clone itself since it relies a bit more on draws and triggers that way, but being able to shut down most other level 1 games helps a lot.
The rest of the level 1 cards are purely utility cards in this deck. Both of the 1/0 Matsuri allow you to fix your hand and prepare better for the late game or allow you to salvage your counters to keep your level 1 game alive if needed.
The 1/0 Nonoka is splashed in to be able to swap climaxes if needed, while the 1/0 Raimu is in the deck solely for its hexproof effect since I expected a lot of TLR, Charlotte and KC, i.e. anything that would prevent damage or front attacks.
At level 2 you have the option to early play healers via the Yurara/Akari climax combo which also lets you prepare further for your endgame or help you sustain at level 2. However, I find myself using the climax combo less often than I probably should, since often I just opt to stick with my level 1 board until level 3, depending on the matchups. Other than that there are not many things left at level 2 aside from the refresher, which may seem difficult to play properly with this color distribution and I will admit, it is not always easy and sometimes requires an additional card from hand to be played over something on the field. Also there’s the usual anti-change backup and a 2/2 salvage 2 characters event.
At level 3 you have multiple different options. I opted for Akari, Chloe, and Koruri aka Musashi clone in my deck list. It is arguable which level 3 lineup is the best but I’ve felt most confident with this one, so it was mostly a preference choice for me.
Akari will still allow you to have a minor wall while letting you compress your deck more. Koruri will do the obvious Musashi things and eventually get rid of some threads with its sending opponents to memory effect which can be helpful in some matchups.
Chloe was the most debatable level 3 that I put into the deck. Nowadays, its climax combo is very expensive, it has trouble reversing opponents with this setup but I still felt that it was the proper choice without having to splash blue into the deck for Shiina and Nonoka Pumpkin.
It leaves me with more options against decks such as Charlotte where I can’t burn my opponent but am able to heal at least.
Also, at level 3 is where the 1/0 Raimu can become valuable with its hexproof effect to shut off things such as the level 3 Nao and anti-damage counters.
What does the deck not do well? Is it missing anything? What are some of the potential risks the list takes?
S: The deck has some issues with bounce triggers given that the main level 1 game consists of cost 1 characters. As mentioned before, the deck doesn’t run a Shimakaze clone itself, which is hindering its ability to get everything needed into the hand without a bit of luck on hitting brainstorms or triggering doors, etc.
I think the potential risks the deck takes is the early game. It needs some stock at level 1 to run at decent potential and sometimes you just have that one game where it just isn’t going well and you can maybe only build 1 stock before hitting level 1 or even worse, no stock at all because of really bad hands. I’ve experience this every now and then and it’s quite hard to recover from it.
Is there or are there specific key cards in the deck that make it work?
The key card(s) in this deck are definitely the 0/0 Risa clock bond and 1/1 Kanata oversize 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?
S: I wouldn’t call it either conservative or greedy, more like a mix between the two. Considering Girlfriend has one of the better cardpools in the game, this deck has an above average power range. I wouldn’t necessarily put it above the blue/red deck or the TLR meta deck for example, but it definitely has its own way to be able to compete with those decks.
M: The number as always, is my own, but the sense that I get from this list is that its cards are accessible whether in deck or waiting room. Having a simple 2-color split is rewarded with Girl Friend’s expanded card pool, while still having some of the greedier mono-yellow aspects used in the early game.
Power Range: 6 – 9
M: GF Beta on the whole is known for its consistency. Based on the deck’s burn-heavy endgame, it can make it seem like it is aggressive. But, decks can certainly have multiple modes and faces at different parts of the game, so this will bear some clarification. This deck especially does not care about getting more cards in hand at level 1 through search effects. It aims to wall up at level 1, and sustain the wall through level 2. It has the option to delete characters with Raimu if key characters (no puns intended) show up. The deck also has 4 bounce triggers. The combination of these things actually make the deck a little more control-ish. Now, the deck does not have very many ways to reduce future damage to itself, or ‘compress’. But, it still has one way to do it, and several ways to heal. A steady hand can make this deck look anywhere from solid to insane, but the deck’s ability to snowball a game out of control early on is not as severe as something like YG TLR or soundless voice, and its finishing power is fairly predictable can be completely shut down by anti-burn.
S: The deck in general is not very difficult to use. However, I do feel that maximizing its potential to the fullest requires a lot more work and effort than just “playing” it, therefore making it more difficult in the end.
JP Meta Viability:
S: As for ENG metagame, I’d say people playing English WS should be happy that decks like this aren’t existing in their meta game.
M: Well, I’m not so sure if having a series like this in the English game would be so bad. After all, Haruhi is coming, Kantai is in full force with no restrictions (though no Junyou), and Attack on Titan is quite popular. But, the bit is about the deck’s viability in the JP metagame, and I think my analysis stays the same from before – GF Beta may not be as flashy as other series, but it has a lot of versatility and the consistency to take a player to a deep run in a large event.
Now onto the interview!
How was your event overall?
Sven: It was a very nice event. Unfortunately, I had to travel a lot during that time. Had to get from Sweden to Germany and then travel to Paris with friends. It was quite stressful but I was happy I could make it there. I met a lot of nice people and played against a good variety of new people I’ve never played against. It was nice to see all the different play styles and deck builds from people all over Europe.
What was a really lucky moment you had during the tournament?
There was actually only one lucky moment during the tournament, since most of the time I either had average luck or got quite unlucky.
During the 2nd round of the tournament, My opponent was at 3/5 damage and I had one attack left with 2 cards in deck. I counted every single soul trigger so I knew whether I need to front attack or side attack and when I thought I had 2 triggers left in my deck, I decided to side attack. I ended up hitting the trigger and won the game. However, I checked my last card afterwards and it was not a trigger because I miscounted because I forgot about my very bottom card in stock. I most certainly would have died next turn and the tournament would have been over for me.
What was a really unlucky moment you had during the tournament?
I had to play against one of my best friends, Gerrit, in the 4th round of the tournament, knowing that whoever loses this will most likely be out of the tournament. On top of that, he was playing TLR and we both knew each other’s decks in and out since we play ever so often.
Did you have any incredible comebacks?
Sadly, no. I was really close to one in the last round of Swiss against a GF mirror match but I ended up dying.
How did the final match go for you? What did you play against?
I played against Fate series. The match itself was really sad since I got super unlucky throughout the game. I was lucky enough that he did not pay full attention to all the things cause otherwise it would have been even more one sided. I guess since both of us were already qualified at that point, it didn’t matter too much for either of us.
How did you prepare for the tournament? Did you do anything special the day of the tournament?
It may sound weird, but I did not prepare at all. I was not home for a month and had not played WS in general for about 2 weeks prior to the event. The only game I played was to test a friends deck before we headed out to Paris.
Any funny stories from the event?
Nothing in particular that I recall.
Any other shoutouts or things you would like to say?
I want to thank Carl G. in particular. Ever since I started back in 2013 he’s been helping me out with deck building and teaching me how to play this game, sharing everything he newly learned and always explaining the choices and things he taught me. I don’t think I would have gotten as far as I have in this game without his help.
Gerrit K. for all the play testing we have done over the years and the time we hung out. I’m still sorry that you had to throw your deck at me for a second time.
And of course my girlfriend for supporting me, especially after I almost wasn’t able to make it to the event.
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