Welcome to another 9th CX Deck Tech! This week, we’ve decided to take a swing at building a deck from the set Kyoukai no Rinne! Special thanks to Travis and Johnny for helping with today’s article.
We’re going to be trying out a new format for the deck analysis, explaining card choices as they are introduced. This may make some analysis look out of sequence or otherwise look like some set knowledge is assumed. We’ll do our best to explain as we go along!
Translations can be found on Heart of the Cards. If translations are inaccurate or missing, in-house translations will be used. (And yes, we are still working on the common kanji article. Soon™)
Now onto the deck!
Level 0 – 18
4 “Transforming Mirror Scythe” Kain (KR/SE30-35)
4 “Calm Lunch” Rinne (KR/SE30-04)
4 Sakura in Her Youth (KR/SE30-05)
4 “Cleanse Completed” Tsubasa (KR/SE30-15)
2 Sakura in Maid Uniform (KR/SE30-14)
Level 1 – 13
4 “Calm Lunch” Sakura (KR/SE30-01)
3 “Stream of Thousand Winds” Rinne (KR/SE30-06)
3 Tsubasa Jumonji (KR/SE30-10)
3 “Strong Assistance” Sakura (KR/SE30-12)
Level 2 – 4
1 Sakura in Swimsuits (KR/SE30-07)
1 “Rinne’s Grandmother” Tamako (KR/SE30-27)
2 Hoop of Judgment (KR/SE30-19)
Level 3 – 7
3 “Spiritual Vision Experience” Sakura (KR/SE30-02)
4 “Guide to Cycle of Resurrection” Rinne (KR/SE30-03)
CX – 8
4 Two’s Incredulous After-School Time (KR/SE30-20a)
4 It’s Shinigami’s Work From Now!! (KR/SE30-21a)
Something to note before we introduce each card is that Rin-ne is a very small set, clocking in at 50 cards with no TD to accompany it. Green itself has 21 cards, Red has 20 and Blue has a mere 9. There is very little cross-color interaction in the set as well. While there are no effects that strictly penalize multicolor setups per se, there are a significant number of cards that reward color/trait alignment.
At level 0, we have 18 cards.
When “Transforming Mirror Scythe” Kain is played from hand, you may pay 1 stock and put the top card of your deck into clock. If you do, draw a card.
‘Riki’ variants are not available in every set, but this Kain comes pretty close. You still get to pay stock and clock yourself closer to level 1, and a card is a card. It’s a potential advantage as much as it is a downside to draw ‘any’ card versus a level 1 or lower character.
“Calm Lunch” Rinne is a clock reverser. When it attacks, if you control 1 or fewer other characters, you may put the top card of your deck into your waiting room. If that card is a level 0 or lower character, you put that character into any slot of your back stage. (The slot can be occupied or empty. If your back stage is full, you can still place the character into a slot; it’ll just kick the old character off the stage.)
This Rinne is an interesting character. It is a clock reverser while also rewarding early conservative play (or as many would argue, correct) of playing only 1 or 2 characters in the opening turns. The upside may not appear incredible, but it can single-handedly turn a poor opening draw on its head. If you are also in a ‘winning’ position, it can still net you cards. This is an example of a highly desirable ability, where no matter your position, it can reward you.
Sakura in Her Youth has a brainstorm ability for 1 stock + rest: for each CX revealed, tutor for up to 1 character that is green and/or [Black Cat By Contract]. When you refresh your deck, you reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card is a level 0 or lower character, you may put this card into your stock. (The reveal is a mandatory ability, and it only triggers when you actually refresh via the game rules, not via card ability.)
Obligatory brainstorm effect, with incidental potential upside. There is a bond + power-oriented combo in the card pool that is not being used in the deck.
When “Cleanse Completed” Tsubasa is played, reveal the top card of your deck, and rest this character if the revealed card is a level 0 or lower character.
Because the set is severely limited in terms of its level 0 utility, some kind of concession to including a beatdown plan may be necessary. The downside of potentially missing an attack can hurt early on, but that can just as easily be turned into valuable information in later turns.
Sakura in Maid Uniform is a standard searcher for green and [Black Cat By Contract] characters. (Pay 1, discard a card, tutor)
At level 1, we have 13 characters.
If you have 3 or more other green characters or [Black Cat By Contract] “Calm Lunch” Sakura gets +1000 power. If this card reverses its battle opponent with the CX “Two’s Incredulous After-School Time” in play, you can look at up to the top 4 cards of your deck and add a green character or a [Black Cat By Contract] to your hand, and choose 1 of your characters to get +2000 power until end of turn.
This card is similar to Minami from Cinderella Girls. Although she is 500 power weaker on offense, she makes up for it on defense, being 1000 power stronger. Both combo with a 1k1 CX to help them reverse their opponents and just like Minami, if you are able to ‘light the fuse’ by taking down one character, you can do a full board wipe more easily.
When “Stream of Thousand Winds” Rinne is played from hand you can pay 1 stock and discard a CX to choose a CX from your waiting room and add it to hand. When another green character or [Black Cat By Contract] you control attacks, this gets +1500 power for the turn.
The CX swap ability is one that most sets wish they had. It is a very valuable ability because it lets you swap out poor CX draws for the ones you need, or just drop them if you’re close to a refresh. On offense, he can get to 7000 if he attacks last; a solid number for a 1/0 that will prompt an answer from your opponent.
Tsubasa Jumonji is a level 1 clock “kicker”: when he reverses a character in battle, you may put the top card of your opponent’s clock into the waiting room, and if you do, put the reversed character into clock. Once per turn, when you use an [S] (ACT) ability, he gets +X power for the turn, where X is equal to 500 times the number of green characters you control.
Tsubasa is an interesting card because if you use an activated ability, he can become huge. (Think, 8000+) It’s kind of the best of both worlds from a burst character. Not only do you get the ability to surge over the top of generic 6500 1/0 characters, you can also eliminate pesky encore characters, and deny on-reverse revenge triggers.
“Strong Assistance” Sakura is a global +500 power to other green characters and [Black Cat By Contract]. If she does not have a marker, you can rest her to choose a green character or [Black Cat By Contract] from your waiting room and put it under her as a marker. Once she has that marker, you can rest her to put the marker in stock.
Sakura is a clean stock builder and assist. Though the global power component may not be as high as some would hope (compare: +1000 power to characters in front), the ability to build clean stock every other turn is quite useful. If she gets started quickly at level 1, she can solo power an endgame even if everything else goes horribly wrong.
At level 2, we have 2 characters and 2 events.
Sakura in Swimsuits gives all your level 3 or higher characters in front of her +2000 power. You can rest 2 characters you control to scry 1.
This Sakura is more of an endgame play, because she only affects level 3+ characters. Being able to scry 1 is a little pricey, but after the other Sakura assist is done with her work, the Swimsuit can step in to give you more information about your next trigger(s) and/or card(s).
“Rinne’s Grandmother” Tamako has a 1 stock +2500 power Backup ability. When you use the Backup ability, you may pay 2 stock. If you do, choose a character your opponent controls with a level higher than theirs and put it into the waiting room. (If this puts an attacking character into the waiting room, the attacking character will not deal any damage.)
Obligatory anti-change/anti-trespass card; not a mandatory inclusion, but never hurts.
When you play Hoop of Judgment, you may tutor for up to 1 “Guide to Cycle of Resurrection” Rinne’ and send the event to memory. While in memory, it gives your “Guide to Cycle of Resurrection” 2 abilities: when you play a CX, it gets +1500 power for the turn, and during battles involving that Rinne, you take no damage from your opponent’s Auto abilities.
This card serves as a bridge from the early game to late game. It searches for your main game ender, eliminates itself from becoming damage (i.e. compression), and gives your Rinne two abilities. The power boost will help Rinne reverse his opponents and if you have a full field of Rinne, the second ability is more or less a solid anti-burn.
“Spiritual Vision Experience” Sakura gets -1 level in hand if you control 4 or more green characters or [Black Cat By Contract]. She heals on play. If you control 3 or more other green or [Black Cat By Contract] characters, she gets +1500 power and the ability: when she attacks you scry 1.
This is a solid early play level 3. She heals, and has an easy condition to play early. The on-attack scry ability is also helpful.
When “Guide to Cycle of Resurrection” Rinne is played, you draw up to 1 card and he gets +2000 power for the turn. When he reverses a character with the CX “It’s Shinigami’s Work From Now!!” in play, reveal the top 5 cards of your opponent’s deck, choose a character with the same name as the reversed character, put it in your opponent’s clock, shuffle your opponent’s deck and you may send the reversed character to clock.
Rinne is a unique finisher, featuring the first ever clock kick ability that can kick to clock twice. (Not literally, but +2 cards in clock is still incredibly powerful) He gives you parity by replacing himself if you want when played, and has a lot of in-deck support to get him over the top of many characters.
The CX spread is a 4/4 split between Bags and Bars. (Both are 1k1)
How was this deck built?
This deck is limited. In fact, the whole series is limited, and does not have a very wide range of plays available to it. When it came down to looking for how to build the deck, it was a matter of seeing how the color’s endgames interact with one another.
(Un?)fortunately, it was very evident that the colors had very little to do with one another. We started from the top down, looking at the ways each color could end the game. Red had a cost-based burn ability, and blue had a way to remove non-CX cards from the deck. Green, as seen here, has the most unique variation of clock kick, in that it is a clock kick with a potential to add another card on top of it.
Complementing it, ideally, would be a character with heal, and it so happened that the healer had an ability to be played at level 2.
The level 1 game was next to follow, but there was only one possible option that gave card advantage. Because card advantage CX combos at level 1 tend to struggle against overwhelming power, the burst Tsubasa was put in to round out the game. The Thousand Winds Rinne was included as a way to enable both CX combos at levels 1 and 3 as much as possible.
So how do we use this deck?
The deck’s level 0 is designed to be conservative in its number of plays. The Lunch Rinne can reward you for playing well, and will reward you if you’re lucky. If that doesn’t suffice, the deck can beat down and try to “Riki” itself to level 1.
At level 1, it’s all about how the level 0 went. If the deck was rushed to level 1 (because hey, it can happen), “Calm Lunch” Sakura and her CX can snipe any small character for great profit. If the deck is second to hit level 1, it can clear the board using a combination of its burst characters.
The deck will also want to generate free stock on the side if able, in order to prevent future damage, pay for the end game, and so on. Once the deck hits level 2, it can threaten to plateau because its threats are somewhat fragile. Being able to play the level 3 Sakura early can be difficult unless you’ve already gotten sufficient card advantage from level 1.
Level 3 is where the onus lies on your opponent to blitz you down or risk being dealt a lot of cards directly into clock. Interestingly, if you are able to get the Hoop into memory and play Rinnes first, it can create a nightmare scenario for your opponent where they’re forced to crash their board for minimal damage or else risk certain doom from multiple clock kicks. It’s very dependent on the timing, but has a very high potential reward.
What are some of the risks the list takes? Are there any other cards that may warrant consideration?
The deck’s numbers are certainly not set in stone, but this is a choice of style that favors consistency. If you are a player who dislikes 4-ofs and prefers 3-ofs (Hi Bren) you can try to include a greater variety of characters, but may find limited success due to the set’s size.
About the list: Is it conservative or greedy? What’s its overall power range? Is it easy or difficult to use? Is it viable in the JP meta?
It’s a single color, and has very straightforward combos at levels 1 and 3.
Power Range: 5 – 8+
This could be a bit of an overestimation of the set’s capabilities, but based on how closely the level 1 mirrors other successful series and how unique the deck’s level 3 clock kick is, the deck probably should not be written off as a free win in any capacity. Both of the deck’s CX combos can punish poor play and/or luck from the opponent.
Colors may not ever be an issue for this deck, but proper sequencing can be. If your opponent plays 1 character at a time after level 0, the deck can punish that by rushing, at the expense of having fewer cards in hand. Deciding when the CX combo is worth using with 1, 2, or 3 targets present can bait value-oriented players. Of course, the dream is to be able to set off the biggest combo chain possible, net 3 cards and cycle through a bunch of cards to refresh with 8 CXs. But, there will also be games where it’s only possible to go off once or twice. If one is already practiced with similar combos (Idolmaster CG anyone?), the deck will probably play out very naturally.
JP Meta Viability:
There will be an announcement on August 29th regarding the ban list for the JP meta. While the ban list most likely will not affect this deck directly, it may affect this deck’s viability depending on what cards, if any, change.
Until then, the deck is probably playable, and can potentially play spoiler to popular sets including TLR. As we always say, testing is the best way to find the answer!
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Thanks for reading!