Welcome to another 9th CX deck tech! For today’s article, we have an interview with Steve C., the winner of the 2016 NA WGP Nationals! Steve took the newly-released set Dal Segno from the Da Capo universe and earned himself a ticket to Japan. Special thanks to Travis for article prep and sample hand beautification.
The deck list and translations can be found on Heart of the Cards. Steve has also answered some questions on Reddit, which have been included in the article and edited for clarity.
Now let’s get to the list!
Deck Name: Hat Girl, Robot Girl, Chuuni, and Imouto
Level 0 – 17
3 “3 Baka” Suginami & Yoshiyuki & Wataru (DC/W09-078)
3 Medesu, Dear Friend of an Incredible Hat (DS/W46-005)
1 Himari, TAB Debut (DS/W46-009)
2 Hazuki, Defending Champion (DS/W46-019)
3 Noeri, Cooking (DS/W46-033)
2 Noeri, Acknowledging Her Feelings (DS/W46-035)
3 Ame in Swimsuits (DS/W46-051)
Level 1 – 9 (12)
3 Himari, Ambition for Two (DS/W46-002)
4 Himari, Innocent Water Spray (DS/W46-011)
2 Playing in the Creek (DS/W46-116)
Level 2 – 7
3 Himari, Girl with the White Hat (DS/W46-003)
1 Noeri, First Date (DS/W46-043)
1 Ame, Brilliant Smile (DS/W46-058)
2 Horrible at Horror (DS/W46-117)
Level 3 – 9
3 Noeri, Wanting to Grow (DS/W46-034)
2 Io, Morning Accident (DS/W46-048)
4 Ame, Welcome to the Paradise (DS/W46-049)
CX – 8
4 Wind’s Mischief (DS/W46-014)
4 The Daughter of the Demon King Rises (DS/W46-074)
At level 0, we have 17 characters.
“3 Baka” Suginami & Yoshiyuki & Wataru is a free runner. When reversed, you may pay 1 to send this card to memory.
When Medesu, Dear Friend of an Incredible Hat becomes reversed, you may pay 1, clock the top card of your deck, and send this to memory to tutor for a [Hat] character..
When Himari, TAB Debut comes into play, look at up to the top 2 cards of your deck and return them in any order. Twice per turn, when your other [Southern Island] character is placed to the stage, this gains +1000 power.
When Hazuki, Defending Champion comes into play, you may discard a card to add a [Southern Island] character from clock to hand, then clock the top card of your deck. She also has a pay 1 send to memory cost to look at up to the top 4 cards of your deck, add a [Southern Island] character to hand, then ditch the rest.
Noeri, Cooking is a global 500 to all [Southern Island] characters you control. You can also pay 2 rest her to salvage an X level or lower character from your waiting room, where X equals the number of cards in your memory.
Noeri, Acknowledging Her Feelings gives +1500 power to all your other characters as long as you have 1 or less characters on the stage. On reverse, reveal the top card of your deck and if it is a level 1 or higher, she goes to stock.
Ame in Swimsuits is a pay 1 rest 2 search brainstorm for [Southern Island]. When you play a CX, you can give one of your characters +500 until the end of your opponent’s turn.
At level 1, we have 7 (10) characters and 2 events.
Himari, Ambition for Two is a 1000 power back up. If you control another [Southern Island] character, you can give a battling character you control +1000 power. (TL;DR 2k Backup)
Himari, Innocent Water Spray on play top checks for [Southern Island] to gain +1500 power until the end of your opponent’s turn. (It is the Experience target for the deck.)
Playing in the Creek on play you draw up to 2, then put 2 cards from your hand to the top of your deck. (If you draw less than 2 cards, you will still put 2 cards back on top of your deck.)
At level 2, we have 5 characters and 2 events.
Himari, Girl with the White Hat gets -1 level in hand if Himari, Innocent Water Spray is in your level zone. She has a CX combo with “Wind’s Mischief” where on play, if this is in front row, you may search for a [Southern Island] character.
Noeri, First Date has a CX combo with Becoming a True Family to turn one of your characters into an any level level reverser. She also has a revenge trigger ability to give one of your [Southern Island] characters +3000 power until the end of turn.
Ame, Brilliant Smile is a 1 stock, +2500 power backup. When you use its backup ability, you may pay 2 stock and sacrifice a character to anti-change. (Choose a character your opponent controls with a level higher than your opponent and put it in the waiting room.)
Horrible at Horror is an Anti-Damage counter. (Choose a character in battle your opponent controls. Until end of turn, that character gains “Until end of turn, this card cannot deal damage”)
At level 3, we have 9 characters.
Noeri, Wanting to Grow gets +500 power for each other [Southern Island] character you control. Once per turn during the turn she is placed, if she reverses her battle opponent, mill the top card of your deck. If it has a soul trigger, restand this.
Io, Morning Accident gets +1000 power if you have 2 or more [Southern Island] characters in memory. When she comes into play, draw up to 2, and discard a card. She also has a CX combo with The Daughter of the Demon King Rises: on CX play, you may pay 1, choose this and one other [Southern Island] character to give +2500 power and the following ability until the end of turn: “When this card reverses its battle opponent, mill the top 3 cards of your deck and burn X, where X is the number of CXs put into waiting room this way”
Ame, Welcome to the Paradise gets -1 level in hand if you have 4 or more [Southern Island] characters and heals on play. On attack, choose one of your other [Southern Island] characters and it gains +X power where X is 500 times the number of your other [Southern Island] characters.
The CX spread is 8 1k1s; 4 wind (bounce), 4 pants (gate).
Onto the interview!
M: Congratulations on the win! Let’s get into the questions right away. Why did you choose to play this series for the event?
S: I just wanted to play the newest cool set after I lost some confidence with my KC (KanColle) deck when I placed 6th at the Rochester regionals. To be honest, I have not played the DS visual novel yet, and I have not watched or played anything DC related. I bought the set because of the art and card effects.
What is the overall game plan for the deck you built?
Level 0s are mostly utilities that setup for level 1. The most important card is Hat, in case I don’t open with an experience target. At level 1 there are 3 goals: plus, wall, compress. Plus with combo; the search priority is usually 1/0 backup > early play > 2/1 Noeri. Wall with 7k Hats, with backup and support combined, they can hit 10k. Last, searching the deck gives immediate compression. I also personally value early game searches quite a bit.
At level 2, the deck wants to keep the lead from level 1. Usually I clock draw 2 then early play heal. The early play dies quite easily, so you want to maintain hand and not float on evel 2 forever like Idolmaster TP and Monogatari. In preparation for level 3, Io is the go-to card if I’m low on cards in hand. Noeri is the better finisher if I’m ahead. The card has very low risk, even without setup. The deck also feels like it has a lot of soul triggers with the amount of level 2s..
Editor’s Note: The deck in fact, has 22 soul triggers.
How did you arrive at this build?
The deck is basically built around 2/1 hat girl into 3/2 early play robot girl. The current version is only 5 cards off from my original draft. DS doesn’t have a very big card pool even though it is neo-standard with DC. The only cards I splashed were the runners and events.
What are the effects you like most in a card, and how did those things play into how you decided on the deck?
DS is cool set where it gives you four level 1 combos to pick from. I chose hat girl because it doesn’t require reverse and it searches to compress deck. Early play heals are favored in today’s meta. Lastly, Creek gives a unique way to manipulate the deck.
What did you play against during the event?
Round 1: Idolmaster 765 (I Want + Haruka gate) (1st) (W)
Round 2: Da Capo Dal Segno (RGB) (2nd) (W)
Round 3: To Love-Ru Darkness 2nd (GY) (W)
Round 4: KanColle (Abyssal, Hoppo bar + pants) (1st) (L)
Round 5: Idolmaster CG (RB Trancing Pulse) (1st) (W)
Top 16 – Single Elimination
Round of 16: SAO (YGB Yuuki + Sinon) (2nd)
Quarterfinals: Nisekoi (Weapon/Heiress + Pendants) (2nd)
Semifinals: Osomatsu (2nd)
Finals: Osomatsu (2nd)
What was the worst start you had in a game, and how did you manage to come back from the deficit?
I went second against Mike (Osomatsu) in the semifinal. I had Hat in front row and Kazuki at the back, but Mike killed both of them with the -500 power effect. Luckily, I drew the 2/1 to combo afterwards and Mike didn’t draw his gate to combo.
In the game against Abyssal in round 4, I went first and didn’t open with my experience target. So I played Hat, hoping that he wouldn’t bottom deck it. Then, the exact opposite happen and I couldn’t recover from missing experience. In hindsight, I should have just played 2 characters in front row turn 1 and taken the minus one.
What was the best start you had in a game?
Any game that I get experience is a good start. It doesn’t really matter what I open with because most of the level 0s are utility. Opening runner or Hat is nice just because they plus.
What was the biggest ‘lucky break’ you got during the tournament? (A miracle cancel for game, etc)
This one was also against Mike in the semi. In my last turn, I didn’t even think that I had lethal. He had 4 or 5 CXs in deck, and a rest counter in hand. I somehow milled a CX with Io combo and swung for 3 by triggering a soul trigger on the last attack for game.
Next, it’s time for some sample hands!
Note: Steve has written a short hand guide (no pun intended) for this deck’s hands:
General Deck Rules
If experience is NOT in the opening 5:
- Drop all cards that are not level 0s, wind, or experience target
- Exception 1: Keep a copy of 2/1 hat girl, 1/0 backup, and wind if opened with more than 1
- Exception 2: Drop a copy of runner if there are 2 and going first
If experience is in the opening 5:
- Drop all cards that are not level 0s, wind, experience target, or 2/1 hat girl
The opening turns boil down to three objectives. One, look for experience target. Two, find level 0s to attack with and to build stock. (Worst case scenario, it’s OK to attack with a support or brainstorm). Three, keep important level 1 pieces: wind CX, 2/1 Himari, 1/0 backup.
(Editor’s Note: “Drop 1” is meant as “discard card #1”, etc)
Sample Hand 1:
Drop 3 5.
Keep a backup for level 1 in case the last one goes to WR/stock/clock. Runner is a good opening play. Try to find experience and other pieces for level 1.
Sample Hand 2:
Drop 2. Look for more playable level 0s while keeping the key level 1 pieces. If you’re going second, Hazuki can grab more things from clock if needed.
Sample Hand 3:
Drop 1 4 5.
Try to draw experience, if not, open with Hat.
Sample Hand 4:
Nice hand, Hat can search 2/1 Himari.
Sample Hand 5:
Drop 3 4.
Try to draw experience.
Sample Hand 6:
Drop 3 4 5.
No good opening play, so drop the extra 1/0.
Sample Hand 7:
Drop 1 3.
OK hand; would look for a better opening play.
Sample Hand 8:
Drop 1 2 3.
The deck has 17 level 0s, so discarding 3 cards is safe enough.
Sample Hand 9:
Drop 2 3 4 5.
The only time that I would keep 2 CX is hand is when I have Creek.
Bonus Section: Questions from Reddit
Q: What do you do if the level 1 Himari doesn’t get in your level zone at level 1?
Really good question. I’m not too sure myself because I haven’t play enough games where that happens.
Best case scenario: play a bunch of 1/0 hat girl, try to plus with backrow, and hope to hit level 2 the turn after to combo. But what’s more likely is experience fails to go online at level 1, meaning no searches and no counters and any setup for level 2. Everything just goes downhill from there.
Out of my 9 games, I only missed experience once against Abyssal, and you can see how that ended up. In the end, it is just really scary going second. I’m surprised that it worked out in all 4 top 16 games.
What are some of the matchups that you prepared for for Nationals?
The two decks that I expected to see were Trancing Pulse, and Monogatari. TP and MG just want to sit at level 2 forever. This deck can beat both at level 1, but if you let TP early play, refresh, and early play again, this deck is in a really bad situation. I still think my level 1 game can push enough damage to prevent that, but sometimes their cancels can just snowball out of control. Luckily, I did not encounter a MG deck in this event.
What are some of the bad matchups for the deck?
It’s hard to say with only 2 weeks of testing, but I imagined that Milky Holmes and Kantai and some pretty hard matchups. Both of those decks have bigger walls than DS.
Are there any changes to the deck that you would like to make after Nationals?
I think the only change that I would try without changing the core of the deck is drop anti-damage counter to 1. There wasn’t a single game in the event where I felt that, “Yeah, money counter is the card that won me the game.” Out of the games that I won, I either didn’t have it, or won before opponent had lethal.
What are some tricks that you can do with Playing in the Creek?
- Put CXs on top then brainstorm to guarantee plus and discard CXs
- Put CXs on top then play 2/1 hat combo to shuffle to get cancels back into deck
- Setup for Noeri restand or Chuuni combo
- Draw through refresh to put a certain color into clock
Is there anything else you’d like to say, comment on, give a shoutout to, etc?
I feel like me topping (winning) with a DS deck just contributes more to the “NA is a meme” meme. Last year was YR To Love-Ru, now this. I never thought I would have made it this far with this deck, and I took many people by surprise. But this is just what Weiss Schwarz is, and this is why we love the game. Special shoutout to Nicholas who was there since the beginning to help me test the deck for 2 weeks straight. I probably played about 40 games against TP. Now to worry about what deck to play for Worlds.
And that’s the D.C., fine! (Sorry)
Congratulations again to Steve on the major victory, and best of luck to him representing NA at Worlds!
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Thanks for reading!