Kiznaiver Deck Workshop


Welcome to a 9th CX Deck Workshop! For this week’s article, we’ve taken a different approach to building a deck. Instead of just making a list and analyzing it, we’re going from the ground up so everyone can openly see how we might sketch a rough draft, pick it apart, make improvements, and land on a list we like! We decided that we wanted to delve into the more defensive aspects of the Kiznaiver set, in contrast to the other week’s G/Y Nico all-in build. The cards from the original list will be introduced, and then the analysis will go from there. Any new cards will be introduced thereafter with the “final” deck list (in progress).

Travis has volunteered for tribute his original list for analysis, and Michael will be the one guiding the action. Translations are checked via Heart of the Cards, but in-house translations are used when needed.

Now let’s get started!

Deck Name: Bonds Never Die!

Level 0 – 17:
4 Tenga, Giving a Pep Talk (KI/S44-003)
4 Shiori & Asuka, Overwhelming Memories (KI/S44-053)
3 Sonozaki, Always Cool (KI/S44-078)
3 “Eccentric Thoughts” Tenga (KI/S44-T01)
3 “Annoyingly Self-Righteous” Chidori  (KI/S44-T11)

Level 1 – 11:
4 Tenga, Pain in His Heart (KI/S44-001)
3 SD Sonozaki (KI/S44-104)
4 Chidori, Bitter Anger (KI/S44-T14)

Level 2 – 3:
1 Nico, From Being Uncertain to Believing (KI/S44-006)
1 Tenga, Confused (KI/S44-013)
1 Sonozaki, Know-It-All (KI/S44-087)

Level 3 – 11:
3 Tenga, Straightforward Personality  (KI/S44-007)
3 Chidori, Lost Her Self-Confidence  (KI/S44-052)
2 “Sharing From Now On” Sonozaki (KI/S44-077)
3 Honoka-chan Come Out And Play (KI/S44-023)

CX – 8
4 Like Or Being Liked KI/S44-024
4 Opened Wound KI/S44-098

At level 0, we have 17 characters.


Tenga, Giving a Pep Talk is a stock reverser and has the ability to send a character you control from the stage to the waiting room to give a <<Kizuna>> character +2000 power.


Shiori & Asuka, Overwhelming Memories on play, choose a [Kizuna] and give it +1500 power and has an ability of Pay 1 send to memory to Akatsuki (Look at up to the top 4 cards of your deck, search a <<Kizuna>>, reveal it, and send the rest to waiting room)


Sonozaki, Always Cool on defense (during your opponent’s turn) is a 500 power front assist and is a Pay 1 Rest 2 Search Brainstorm.


“Eccentric Thoughts” Tenga gives all your other Chidori Bitter Anger +1000 power and has a clock bond for the same character.


“Annoyingly Self-Righteous” Chidori on play, you may discard a climax CX to salvage a character.

At level 1 we have 11 characters:


Tenga, Pain in His Heart gets +500 power for each other <<Kizuna>> character. He has a CX combo with Like or Being Liked” on opponent reverse look at the top 2 cards of your deck and search up to 2 level 1 or higher cards, reveal them, put into your hand, and discard the rest. (CXs are always level 0s)


SD Sonozaki gives characters in front of this Clock Encore and has the “Married Life” effect (When you play a CX, give a character +1000 power until end of turn).

Chidori, Bitter Anger is a vanilla!  deal with it


At level 2, we have 3 characters:


Nico, From Being Uncertain to Believing is an early play stock reverser and has a Pay 1 bond for Tenga, Straightforward Personality.


Tenga, Confused is a 1 stock, +2500 power back up with another effect to pay 2 and give one of your opponents Level 2 or higher characters -1 soul.


Sonozaki, Know-It-All is a level assist that has Married Life effect.

At level 3, we have 8 characters and 3 events:


Tenga, Straightforward Personality gets 500 power for every other <<Kizuna>> and has Bodyguard.

Chidori, Lost Her Self-Confidence on play you may discard a card to put the top card of your clock to stock. On attack you may pay 3 to burn 1.

“Sharing From Now On” Sonozaki has an on play heal ability. She has a CX combo with Opened Wound: When the CX is played, you may choose a <<Kizuna>> character in your waiting room and put it under her face down as a marker if you didn’t have a marker already. If damage is dealt to you during a battle involving this, you may send the marker under her to waiting room to burn your opponent back for the same damage dealt to you. (If you are at level 4+ already as a result of that damage though, the game ends.)

Honoka-chan Come Out And Play is a backup that gives a <<Kizuna>> +3500 power and the following ability “When this card’s Level 2 or higher battle opponent becomes reversed, you may pay 1 to heal 1”.

The CX spread is between Bounce and Gate (both 1k1s)



Initial Thoughts:

M: From the numbers alone, we appear to have a rather “standard” distribution of cards. There are roughly 16 level 0 characters, double digit level 1s, a few level 2s, and an assortment of level 3s.

The level 0 distribution is pretty solid. We have a lot of utility, some ways to match a beatdown, but no way to really kite the opponent with runners (the set has none).

At level 1, we start to see a two-pronged attack. Tenga + Chidori provides a vanilla beatdown while SD Sonozaki gives them clock encore. Tenga, Pain in His Heart is the main level 1 card advantage resource. This combo is a little narrow but it’s the only kind in the set that lets you net a card or two. For starters, you can get up to 2 cards from it if you’re lucky, but it could also whiff completely. The deck has 25 cards that it can get from the combo, and 25 that are ineligible, so the odds are not exactly terrible.

I like the idea of using the “stock heal” Chidori at level 3, and having the Sonozaki “revenge burn” ability. The name of the game here, after all, was defense. What I don’t like as much is the 3/1 event counter; I think there could be something better to do at level 3, though I certainly do not mind the synergy with the Bodyguard Tenga.

So here are my questions:

  • Why no early plays?
  • Is there an acceptable substitute for the level 3 event?
  • Can the level 0 fit more red cards to support the level 1, or will the CX salvage Chidori suffice?

T: Why no early plays? 

Not including an early play was a hard decision to make. Two colors in this build, Red and Blue, have access to either an early play healer(Blue Sonozaki) or an early play that mills the top card of your deck to shoot an equal or lower level character off your opponent’s stage(Red Kacchon) as the milled card. The early play condition for the blue healer felt like it locked you into Y/B because you would need to have an insane number of Gomorin (Sonozaki’s early play condition is to have 6 of these in Waiting Room) in your deck to make the early play useful. As for the Kacchon, his early play condition (having 2 Shiori & Asuka, Overwhelming Memories in memory) is a lot easier to meet since it a main hand filter option in the deck to find the Level 1 plus engine in this deck, or finding the vanilla beat-down as mention in the deck description.

However, the time his mill effect would matter the most would be at level 2 or higher and, in my opinion, the chance of milling a card for a missed effect is too great in this situation to actually run it. Especially since I wouldn’t be using his climax combo of “on attack salvage a [Kizuna] and he gains +1500 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn” since I already have the Tenga and Sonozaki combo as main priorities. Yes, I do run the gate trigger, but I would still have to either draw into his climax, or hope to trigger the comeback trigger and have one in waiting room.

Is there an acceptable substitute for the level 3 event? Yes, there actually is a good substitute for the Level 3 event.


Kizuna of Wounds is a counter that gives all your opponent’s characters -1 soul.

It is an extra stock to pay than the 3/1 counter, but I prefer the heal 1 counter because in the amount of stock it would take me to give my opponent’s field -2 soul, I could heal 3 times instead if I were to give the counter to the Bodyguard Tenga. I did think about running this because this would let me deal smaller amounts of damage with the return damage Sonozaki combo and possibly end the game that way, but the idea of a bodyguard on reverse healer was way to tempting to not do.

Can the level 0 fit more red cards to support the level 1, or will the CX salvage Chidori suffice? Honestly, I believe there are plenty. There is enough red in both Level 0 and 1 combined (11) cards to at least have Red in clock or level when you hit level 1, and at most there are 14 Red cards in the deck. Now the ratios could be played around with after some playtesting of course, but for an initial build I feel this is enough red to make the Level 1 available when needed.

Now my questions back are:

– Why do you find the 3/1 event unappealing?

– How would you rearrange the Level 0 to make more Red for the Level 1 beat down synergy?

– Would you run any of the early play options that are possible for this build?

M: I like what we have going so far! Let’s go to your followup questions first.

Why is the 3/1 event unappealing?

The 3/1 event is rather dependent on having the right Tenga setup, and he’s pretty vulnerable to being bounced. Though this would normally not be an issue, it really is a huge blow to the deck’s setup if it so happens to be up against more popular TLR or Puyo Puyo builds. I suppose my dislike of it comes from just not really liking the bodyguard mechanic in general, but since this is an event where really you are rewarded for it, I should feel a little more warm to it, right?

I have to consider though, that the event’s condition demands a level 2 or higher character be run into him, and at late stages of the game, it’s pretty common to run in with the little guys to chip out the last few points, especially if the big swing from the turn prior (let’s see, TLR’s Yami, XYZABC’s Musashi, Puyo’s Arle, NK’s Marika, Imas’s Rin…) fails to end the game. The Tenga needs to be on the board basically at a time where it would make sense for the opponent to go big before trying to seal the deal with 3 1-soul swings. That is, we’d really only get the most mileage out of it if we’re somewhere between 3/2 and 3/5, and even 3/5 is a little tricky because if we take 2 we’re still just dead.

I like the idea of using the Kizuna event over the 3/1, just because it’s relevant at all stages of level 3, rather than requiring a certain “sweet spot” to be maximally effective.

How would you rearrange the level 0 to include more red or to further the beatdown strategy?

A style choice could say that the deck needs 4 CX salvage Chidori at level 0. (This falls more in line with the conservative “JP-meta” deck building)

But, I would like to point out one perhaps, minor oversight:


Chidori, Crush on Someone is a little gem of card advantage that can get the deck closer to level 1, or just bring back a chain of characters later in the game. Granted, she needs a turn to setup because she demands one stock, but look at the upsides! We get some card advantage, we have another red card, and it’s the set’s best impression of a “Riki” effect. I’m going to offer this as a potential substitute for the stock reverser Tenga, because while having a reverser is nice, getting a card back in hand is going to be more nice, more of the time.

Would you run any of the early play options?

Maybe. It’s not a requirement to use any card to its fullest potential, especially if it requires a CX on its own. It usually makes sense to, but because the deck is already so preoccupied with its level 1 and 3 CX combos, it’s probably fine to make the call to sacrifice it. After all, the deck has plenty of ways to recover its hand. I don’t like making the analysis hide behind testing (e.g. “idk test it first”), but having one here could come down to a gauntlet test.  Where would an early play shine, and against what decks? Would a player be more likely to find him useful in a given situation assuming a “normal” distribution of decks, or will be more likely be dead weight? I think in testing the early play Kacchon is worth looking into just because beatsticks matter, but I don’t think I would feel terrible if he couldn’t carry his weight and needed to be cut from the list.

Now that we’ve gone back and forth, let’s wrap up with a couple questions. This will be in lieu of our usual numerical breakdown.

What do you think about the level 0 Chidori? Should she be included, and if so, how can space be made?

T: I like the concept, but I would not make it a priority level 0. Since clock encore will be the main way board presence will be kept, I’d like to not have to take damage at level 0 unless it is absolutely needed. If this was run though, I agree with dropping the Stock Reverser Tenga, but I wouldn’t drop it entirely. I would maybe run Tenga and Chidori at 2 each so the option is there if needed.

What can the deck do per level, and what would it struggle against?

T: At level 0 and 1, this deck has no issues milling though the deck with brainstorms and limited number of Akatsuki effects, and at level 1 the Tenga CX combo. At level 2 the deck wants to take a turn or two to set up level 3, where it should stall out if needed with the use of Bodyguard, stock healing, “heal” event counters, and if the bodyguard becomes reversed, damage dealt back to the opponent.

Other Ideas

Michael’s list would look very similar, but would swap out the Tenga stock reverser for the Chidori. The list would also try to use the Kizuna event at level 3, rather than the heal. These are preferences of style because the lists have not been tested yet; after testing and collecting performance data, we can call them preferences based on effectiveness.

So, how did we do? Did we miss anything? Think we have the wrong idea, or do you like where the deck went? Be sure to leave us a comment on Facebook if you have an idea for another deck, or an idea for this one!

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Thanks for reading!