Preview Practice – KanColle 3

Littorio

Welcome back to 9th CX’s Preview Practice!

With its imminent release, we wanted to look at a couple of groups of cards from KanColle’s latest set of reinforcements – KC3!

So let’s jump right into our first group of cards!

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U-511: (Please excuse the shorthand)

[A] Wenn diese Karte angreift, erhält sie für diesen Zug +X Power. X entspricht der Anzahl gegnerischer Charaktere mal 500.

[A][(1) Lege eine Handkarte in den WR] Wenn diese Karte von der Stage in den WR gelegt wird, kannst du die Kosten zahlen. Geschieht dies, wähle eine “Ro-series Submarine, Ro-500” aus deinem WR, lege sie in einen beliebigen Slot auf deiner Stage in REST.*

*(Special thanks/apologies to Thomas P. for allowing us to shamelessly grok his translation)

When this card attacks, it gets +X power until end of turn where X is the number of characters your opponent controls x 500.

When this card is sent from the stage to the waiting room, you may pay 1 stock and discard a card. If you do, choose a Ro-500 from your waiting room and place it onto the stage rested in the slot this was in.

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Ro-500:

This card gets +500 power for each other [Fleet Girl] you control. When it attacks, if you have [Ro Type Submarine, Sortieing!] in play, look at up to the top 4 cards of your deck, choose up to 1 [Fleet Girl] character, reveal it, put it into your hand and the rest into the waiting room, and until end of turn, this card gets +2000 power.

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Ro Type Submarine, Sortieing!

1k1 + Bar

Let’s break this down using our format, step by step.

Thoughts + Analysis!

Prior Sets:

(Mi)chael: KanColle is continuing to grow, and this will mark its fourth set. (KC, KC2, KCEB, KC3) Though the EB was technically not as applicable to the series as a whole, any set with as much fanfare as KanColle getting yet more cards can only make it more powerful. The combo presented here is a kind of hybrid level 1 / level 2 (level 1.5?) CX combo. Because of its flexibility, it could be potentially used alongside or instead of a level 1 CX combo.

(M)elanie:  The 1/0 is a good utility card for the set, especially to splash in the Y/G build that, at the moment, choice of 1 is Hatsukaze and is not running the 1/0 Verniy from the first set. True, it does not keep power on defense and KC doesn’t always field a full back stage, but it’s still a solid costless beater.

(T)ravis: I wouldn’t be surprised to see this ran in Y/G decks compared to Shimakaze. Compared to Shimakaze, this is guaranteed hand plus since there isn’t a on reverse condition Since it’s a Level 2 option Shimakaze may still be preferred, but since it is a Gold Bar trigger, the combo could be pulled off more consistently compared to Shimakaze. The change condition would be easier if you could reverse the 1/0 on your attacks, otherwise, it leaves a reversible target for your opponent to reverse for their combos.

Language:

Mi: Given that the first three sets have (or will) be(en) ported to EN, it is possible that this fourth set would come to EN. If it was to make that jump, it is unclear what the impact would be on EN, because KanColle’s impact has historically been to restrict a viable card pool. Because EN’s card pool is dramatically smaller, having this fourth set would be potentially format-warping.

Set Size:

Mi: The set is a BP, so there will be a good variety of effects available per color.  There may be an alternative available within the same color, or even a more powerful combo in another.

Color:

Mi: Green is historically not the most color or even included in the combination of colors, at least in JP. In EN where GY and GYb are reigning, this combo and set of cards might even be a way to go over the top of popular level 1 combos and setups (provided it arrives). In JP however, different color combinations are viable simply because of the size of the game. Green still offers some anti-salvage options (think: melons!) and some powerful finishers (Akagi says hi), so in theory, if one was to build a deck with green as its focus, this could potentially fill out most of the deck’s level 1 and 2 lineup. Because of its timing however, it does take up a lot of room, and would potentially make the other CX combo in the deck (if it is to be used), a level 3 combo.

Common/Unique Effects:

Mi: The effect of being able to get the level 2 from the waiting room is actually not terribly uncommon, as even within the context of the series, it was seen in the first set.

M: I will also note that this type of combo has become a bit more common lately, having appeared in the Milky Holmes booster.

Mi: Looking at the combo’s effect itself though, being able to power through 5 cards in a single attack (up to 4 for effect, 1 for trigger) is undoubtedly powerful. It can cycle a CX-poor deck into a more favorable refresh more quickly than a brainstorm effect, and of course, getting more cards in hand is always good. Ro-500 becoming 10000 power just through its effect (and CX) alone is good enough to chew through many characters at level 1 and sometimes even level 2.

Mi: That said, the card(s) don’t do anything in particular that hasn’t been seen before on other cards, even if this particular combination is (or may be) unique.

Standalone:

Mi: Each card in this set (sub-unit?) would need to be a 4-of to ensure consistency. A case could be made for reducing the number of level 1s given the potential risk one would leave themselves open to, but that’s more of a test of player skill than it is an inherent vulnerability. That is, if a player was to take out the level 1s out of fear of having their level 2 sunk too early, I would offer the view that it is also up to the user to determine when they will use the effect to bring out the level 2.

Color/Trait-lock:

Mi: KanColle has two camps, but the overwhelming majority can be found in the [Fleet Girl] camp. Because of this, using this set of cards won’t exactly restrict one’s character choices for a deck, but it will ensure that a deck contains a significant number of green cards.

Rating:

Our overall rating for this set of cards is 3.00. (mean score calculated from 5 team members)

tl;dr

👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀 good ship go౦ԁ sHip👌 thats ✔ some good👌👌ship right👌👌there👌👌👌 right✔there ✔✔if i do ƽaү so my self 💯 i say so 💯 thats what im talking about right there right there (chorus: ʳᶦᵍʰᵗ ᵗʰᵉʳᵉ) mMMMMᎷМ💯 👌👌 👌НO0ОଠOOOOOОଠଠOoooᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒ👌 👌👌 👌 💯 👌 👀 👀 👀 👌👌Good ship

Most notable pros: 

Burst power at level 1 can’t be ignored, and a CX combo that’s relatively easy to access that gives card advantage is also good.

Most notable cons:

Takes a lot of setup; 12 slots is a lot to dedicate to a deck.


Now that we’ve finished with Germany, let’s take a trip to Italy for our next set!

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A Moment in Summer, Littorio

When you level up, send this to the waiting room. When this card is reversed, your opponent chooses 1 character from your waiting room, and may put it on top of your deck.

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2nd Vittorio Veneto-class Battleship, Italia

Quando questo arriva sul centro della scena dalla mano o da ATTO, puoi mettere la prima carta nel vostro orologio nella vostra sala d’attesa.

When this card is played from hand or via Change, you may heal.

When another [Fleet Girl] you control attacks, this gets +1000 power until end of turn. Up to once per turn, if this card reverses an opponent in battle and you have the CX “I’ll show you the true power of Italy!” in play, you may pay 2 and discard 1 “A Moment in Summer, Littorio”. If you do, stand this.

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2nd Vittorio Veneto-class Battleship, Littorio

Characters you control in front of this card get +X power, where X is the level of that character x 500. (Level Assist) If you are at level 3 or higher, this card gains the following ability: [A] (1), send this to waiting room: Choose 1 “2nd Vittorio Veneto-class Battleship, Italia” from your Waiting Room, and place it on the stage in this card’s slot.”

When you play “I’ll show you the true power of Italy!”, reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card is a [Fleet Girl] character, put it into your hand. (Otherwise, put the revealed card back.)

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I’ll show you the true power of Italy!

1k1 + Gate (Pants)

Thoughts + Analysis!

Prior Sets:

M: Outside of Souryuu from Kantai Collection 2, blue in the set has not truly had a solid finisher, making it one of the lesser seen colors played in the set. Nagato from the first set bottom decks, which helps get rid of “zombie” or problem encore characters on the field, but with so many mill and “Draw 2, Ditch 1” tactics, bottom decking is only occasionally good. Souryuu gave a stall game with a climax combo potential of power with -2 soul in front, but in a ‘heavy finish’ game environment, these tactics are less viable than they seem. The restander 3/2 that doubles as a heal is super strong, and the 2/1 assist gives you an option to get it back on the stage either after it is reversed or if you get stuck with no copies in hand. 

T: A heal and a restander on the same card is amazing, however I’m not a huge fan of restanding. Restanders in theory are pretty decent for pushing out mass amounts of damage, but the downside is it leaves room to overswing on both pushes, with a bigger danger on the second swing.

Mi: It’s true, KanColle has not had very much in the way of finishers in blue. As Melanie said, the only viable ones involved Souryuu Kai-Ni and its book CX combo (somewhere in the world, Clinton was just triggered), and a smattering of other half effects that did not translate to immediate damage.

Language: 

Mi: Because it’s still undecided whether the 3rd fleet will make landfall in EN, the impact will be different. Now, in JP, blue has been making a comeback (or rather, has been popular for a while, especially in Japan’s meta) because of a support + searcher Akashi. So for decks that are already heavily invested in blue, this set of cards could see play. In EN, Taigei has been making Shimakaze’s life difficult, but that’s more of a level 1-2 thing; Akagi still rules the seas at level 3.

Set Size:

Mi: Same as prior cards.

Color: 

M: (continuing from before) The downside of this card is that it is climax combo tied, and while there are other Level 3’s in blue, they also have climax combos that could conflict. While another climax could be played to the stage to light another combo, it probably isn’t ideal to be holding on to that many climaxes at Level 3. Also, in planning a mono-blue deck, the options of other 3/2’s to pair with this are limited, however, splashing in another color does increase the viability of this card. The 0/0 4000 power base is a nice 4000 power, but the downside seems to be counterintuitive and also loses late game viability if this is left in your hand and you need to crash for damage when you are sitting at 3/6. While those moments aren’t all the time, dealing yourself a high probability of guaranteed damage is not a particularly attractive option.

Common/Unique Effects:

T: I have mixed feelings about the level 0 Littorio. It’s a decent size beater especially if you are playing two global +500 Hatsukaze in the back row, not to mention it can deny on reverse combos simply by leveling up. Her reverse condition is also awkward as well, since it either causes you to eat more damage, or your opponent feels generous and forces you to draw something you don’t need.

Mi: Having a character that explodes upon leveling up is actually not unique to the series, but that is a dubious honor at best. It’s kind of funny that you can indeed deny your opponent on-reverse effects with the Littorioino, but that kind of value is very rare and relies on some kind of unreasonable combination of opponent error and/or poor luck.

T: The level assist is great. She can dig for the 0/0 Littoro before you hit level 3, and plus your hand with other options as well. The trigger on her respective CX combo is a nice bonus.

Mi: And there we find a rather unusual combination of abilities. Though the idea of bringing out a level 3 straight from the waiting room is by no means unique, its conditions required and the value it provides (it being Lottorio)

As Travis mentioned before, the card has a heal, and Melanie noted that the restand ability, while not itself unique, is unique to the series (and color).

Trait/Color Lock: 

Mi: Same as before; the ships are part of a majority, albeit in a less popular (and to some extent, less viable) color.

Rating:

Our overall rating for this set of cards is 2.4.

tl;dr

I’m OK with people eating pasta but don’t make it a lifestyle. Walk around wearing shirts with pasta on them, claiming that you listen to Italian music because you have a poster of pavarotti. But I can deal with that but I really hate it when they go “ohh it’s all natural” and “it only has flour, eggs and olive oil so it’s really good for you”. No, stop that ship.

Most notable pros:

Unprecedented combination of abilities in terms of KanColle’s blue card pool, heal + restand. The added necessity for a level 0 character does mean that a deck using this set will be able to beat down at level 0.

Most notable cons: 

16 cards is a lot to ask for from a large combo line. While someone isn’t going to necessarily max out at 16/16 (particularly with the assist), it does mean that if a deck was to use the cards, it would need to dedicate a significant amount of deck space. The setup for the finishing CX combo is also quite elaborate and would need some assistance (besides luck) to resolve with any semblance of consistency.


Last Thoughts

KanColle is and has been a deck brewer’s series. Many combinations have been used to great success in both languages across many tournament formats. As results have shown (at least in JP), there is no one true “solved” version of KanColle which will ensure victory every time. Those kinds of decks tend to be very rare, but after a lot of testing, a more winning combination can be found even from previously overlooked cards. (Akashi, we’re looking at you)

So now that we’ve done it here, give it a try for yourself! These cards are coming soon, so ready your thoughts and theorycrafts, and get ready to test!

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Thanks for reading!