Rewrite the Methods of Brewing in Weiss

 

Terrible titling puns aside, Melanie from 9th CX is here with a slightly different type of article that will come back a few times in the next 6 months.

Tonight we’re going to take a look at brewing with a new set, and I would like to share several lists and how I handle building decks in Weiss. Deck building, or brewing, is a very personal process. The bottom line is that I am going to present the way I build with a new Weiss set, but realize there is no one way to approach building new decks. Every person goes about it a bit differently, and I believe no one is outright wrong. Some players, however, may be curious to see how I approach the process, while others may be looking for inspiration to develop their own skills as a player in this area.

I just purchased a case of Rewrite Anime, and as some readers will know, I am a huge Key Anime fan (alongside my obsession with Shaft Anime). I pretty slow at putting out deck techs because I go through an extended building and playtesting process before I like to share my builds. Of late I have been really bad about this, as I like to play and adjust most decks about 20 to 4o times before publishing. So this time, in the interest of getting some new lists out near the release date of the set I will be sharing my deck building and testing process of 6 different deck builds. These lists I will be sharing with you tonight are rough drafts. Typically what I do then is take these rough drafts and start playing games against a variety of decks, keeping track of various statistics and making notes of cards I like and don’t like synergies on.

This time, I’m going to share these rough drafts with you instead of waiting until the end of the process, as well as my statistics Google Doc for these builds. Over the next few months you’ll get to see the inputs on my statistics, changes I make to the builds as they evolve, and how I arrive at finalized builds. I’ll update with articles here too, but you can also follow the real time updates of all of my lists here.

(Note: We will be embedding the spreadsheets into the article at the bottom soon.)

Rules I Use for Brewing New Decks

Everyone does it differently, but I find it a lot easier when I begin building with a set to do the following things. Here are my personal rules for beginning to build decks with a set.

  1. When a set is announced begin looking at previous sets and making note of staple cards that may be useful in new builds. This can be a bit harder than it may first appear, but in the excitement of a new Weiss Schwarz set being announced I begin to review older cards from previous sets if the series is a sequel set like Rewrite Anime. I look for tech Level 0 and 1 cards like Riki clones, Brainstormers, Level Reversers, Runners, Vanilla +1500 1/0 counters, and cards that on play hand filter or pay 1, ditch 1 to search. I consider previous Level 3’s the set has had, and look for any plus (especially Level 1) combos a series may already have. A look is also made at the climax types available for the set already, and events that may come back into usable play. While it doesn’t always work because of popularity or demand for a set, or because Bushiroad prints something that updates a card’s usefulness out of nowhere, I typically attempt to pick up any missing cards from my collection that I think may be useful in future builds.

  2. I don’t start building anything until the entire set and box topper promos are spoiled with translations. This is a personal preference on my part, but I dislike building with a set until the entire 100 card list is spoiled with it’s box topper promos. Sometimes cards aren’t spoiled that change how we view whether a card is playable or not. As an example, the RR 3/2 Chino healer from the 1st Is the Order a Rabbit?? set that many, including myself, lamented not having an early play condition, had a very playable 2/1 climax combo that changed into it from hand at Level 2 that wasn’t revealed until the set launched. True, some players still didn’t like it because of it being a climax combo, but it did change how I viewed and play tested the card. Key cards sometimes just aren’t spoiled. The average number of officially spoiled cards for a set is usually between 50 and 70, with unofficial spoilers from Bushiroad Monthly Magazine and preview events filling in some of the gaps. Building with an incomplete knowledge of all of your options is something that is frustrating to me, but I realize for some players singling out decks release night this is a luxury they don’t have. Since I tend to reserve boxes, cases, or playsets of new sets that I am getting I find it easier just to wait so I don’t miss out.

  3. At some point in time, unless it is a vanilla with no other special bonds or combos, a card needs to see play in a deck at least once. For every player, some cards fit their play style and deck building needs, while others do not. To some players, some cards are obviously not ideal while to others they see it as an opportunity. The bottom line is, that if you make assumptions about a card, you may be missing out. It may seem like a waste of time in some cases, but playing with a card truly shows you whether it is actually playable or not. Most competitive “meta” decks in Weiss revolve around a solid core of Level 0 tech, Level 1 plus combos, and Level 3’s that early drop or help finish the game. Typically, though, when looking at several topping lists you will see variance in numbers of cards or various tech options. That is because Weiss decks can be customized to fit the player who is wielding the deck. Finding the cards that help fill out your competitive list mean playing with them to see how they work.

  4. When dealing with sets that are getting a sequel, try to incorporate newer cards in your builds at a larger majority at first. This is going to come up with my Rewrite deck list examples below tonight, especially with the new Gaia deck builds, but you really need to explore all of the new options that are out there. Consider it this way: We already know what the old meta build of a deck did (and how it got punished for doing it on a restriction list…ahem….). In the case of the Gaia builds, I am deliberately trying out two new Level 1 combos that were given in this set, even though I’m aware that, more than likely, the old 1/1 to 2/2 Chihaya change and gate plus combo may be staying in that deck. Even though I own the older cards for this set, I am going to make sure that most of my first builds incorporate the newer cards so I can get a chance to try them.

  5. Limiting your options can keep you from becoming overwhelmed. It really depends on the set, but some sets need you to set limits on what you are considering for a deck. Rewrite kind of does this for itself in this new set by locking cards to name groups (Lucia and Shizuru, or Akane, Chihaya, and Sakuya for examples). However, some cards, even though they are outside name groups are worthy of consideration in some builds. For example, Lucia and Shizuru’s Guardian build lacks a plussing brainstorm that isn’t tied to playing a climax, but Chihaya’s new brainstorm has the ability to salvage any character in the set regardless of name. True, she may die to the new 3/2 Lucia’s climax combo if you light it, but early game she is worth considering in a deck that’s hand plusses are limited to when you play a climax and choose to act on the new Lucia 0/0 RR’s ability. Because these are my very first drafts of these decks I am going to avoid using this off name tech option, even though I’m aware of the limitation I’m putting on the deck and that there is strong chance it will make it’s way into revisions of the list. By doing so I’m giving myself a chance to see the deck run purely on it’s limitations, and then look for the slots that need tech. With open trait sets that don’t have any apparent locking, I recommend limiting to 1 or 2 color combinations or character focuses, like waifu or otp (one true pairing).

  6. Don’t look at other people’s deck lists. This is a super personal preference that some people will flat out disapprove of or disagree with. I don’t like to look at other people’s lists until I have built and played with a set for a few months. I feel like I get overly influenced by what others do or present, and then I’m not playing and thinking about the cards on my own. I usually wait until a set has been out at least a month before looking at other people’s deck lists. As I get closer to regional season I usually gather statistics about decks that have made top cuts in Japan and other countries from a series I am considering playing, but I do this well after I have already explored and experimented with a set. Again, many will choose to ignore this rule I set for myself because they like to build or modify decks by starting with a pre-existing list. There is nothing wrong with this, I just choose to approach it differently.

Writing the Lists

At this point, after doing my homework, I’m ready to begin brewing. I gather my singles, start collecting or printing lists of translations, and begin putting them together into decks. I keep lists of cards I have considered for builds, and then narrow it down into a starting deck list. Below I’m going to share my six deck lists for Rewrite Anime. On the linked spreadsheet where I keep my data you can see my starting list of considered cards for each of the builds. This list will evolve as I review and consider more cards in the series, and as I begin to play more and more with the set. Since these decks are rough drafts, I am not going to present full deck techs or sample hands tonight. I will do this at the end of this sharing process. I will share a brief thought process on how the deck is supposed to work at this conceptualized phase, but since these lists are untested that will be reviewed throughout the data collection process.


Test Deck List #1: Kotori, Kagari, and Kotarou

Level 0- 17

3 “Under the Bright Moonlight” Kotarou & Kagari (RW/W15-074)

2 “Out of Feecof” Kagari (RW/W48-003)

4 Kagari-chan, or Rather “Key-chan” (RW/W48-004)

3 Kotori And B And L (RW/W48-005)

3 “Meteorite Falling” Kagari (RW/W48-076)

2 Kagari, Poltergeist? (RW/W48-083)

Level 1- 10

4 “Amnesia” Kagari (RW/W48-002)

3 “Favorite Thing is 55 Yen a Can” Kagari (RW/W48-007)

1 Kotori, Dream Adventure for Two (RW/W48-012)

2 Kotarou, Buying Canned Coffee (RW/W48-013)

Level 2- 3

1 Kotori, Big Dream (RW/W48-018)

2 “Barrier Preparation” Kotori (RW/W48-080)

Level 3- 8

4 “Kazamatsuri Academy High School” Kagari (RW/W48-008)

4 “Master of the Barrier” Kotori (RW/W48-073)

Events – 4

4 Feecof (RW/W48-031)

CX – 8

4 Self-Discovery (RW/W48-034)

4 Barrier in the Forest (RW/W48-097)

Initial Build Reflections before Playtesting:

There are several cards that need to end up in the final version of this build, most likely including a 4 runner, a few copies of the new 3/4 -2 soul to opponent’s front row event, and possibly teching in the old 2/1 +4000 event counter to help protect the early drop 3/2 Kotori and to light the +1000 when you play event ability late game on defense. Shizuru’s 3/2 finisher, even though it is off name/trait, would be another solid finisher for this deck. Kotarou’s finisher could fit a variation of this build as well, but I feel at this time requires its own separate build to maximize it’s effectiveness.

This deck is pretty straight forward. At Level 0 use tech to help maintain hand, mill through the deck, and gamble on early dropping and changing into the 1/0 Kagari plus mill combo. At Level 1, which with this deck we want to hit first in most match ups, we want to light the Kagari 1/0 mill combo. We can also use the 0/0 bond to get back the 1/0 Kotarou and hand filter for the mill event if reversing battle opponent’s isn’t an option. At Level 2 we early drop the marker Kotori, heal, and slow down soul damage reception if possible with her ability. Finally, at Level 3 we want to finish the game with using the new Kagari to burn on reverse and continue to light the Kotori 3/2 healer and markers.


Test Deck List #2: Guardian Deck Green Focus

Level 0- 18

4 “Don’t Get Carried Away~!” Lucia (RW/W48-038)

2 “Locked-On” Lucia (RW/W48-040)

3 “High-Speed Evasion” Shizuru (RW/W48-043)

4 “Curse” Lucia (RW/W48-046)

2 Shizuru, Rendezvous With Allies (RW/W48-075)

3 “Blades Drawn” Shizuru (RW/W48-082)

Level 1- 8

4 “Preparing for Tomorrow” Shizuru (RW/W48-039)

4 “No Longer Alone” Lucia (RW/W48-041)

Level 2- 4

2 “As the Chairman of Earth” Lucia (RW/W48-044)

2 “High-Speed Evasion” Shizuru (RW/W48-049)

Level 3- 8

4 “Just for the Sake of Friends” Lucia (RW/W48-042)

4 “New Memory” Shizuru (RW/W48-074)

Events – 4

4 Gloves (RW/W48-051)

CX – 8

4 Power of Asahi Haruka (RW/W48-053)

4 At the End of the Day (RW/W48-054)

 

Initial Build Reflections before Playtesting:

This deck is exclusively cards from the most recent set, even though there are some interesting options available from the previous 2 sets for Shizuru and Lucia. There are several tech Level 3 options, as well as the old clock kick combo that are worth considering as well. Also of note is that some other tech options like the Akane Riki clone searcher from the first set, the Chihaya brainstorm, and some of the other 1/0 attackers will need to be explored. More Level 2’s will need to be added also, including perhaps the Nishikujou-Sensei stock swapper and the bottom deck anti-early drop 2/1 Lucia.

This deck wants to push damage early game with a slightly higher 0 count by capitalizing on the 0/0 Shizuru runner or the top check and possibly call a Level 0 to the board Shizuru. This deck wants to play climaxes almost every turn after the first turn so that you can slowly build hand with the 0/0 Lucia’s ability. Level 1 wants to build as much stock with the 1/0 Shizuru’s and then wall up with the 1/0 gloves counter. At Level 2 hopefully Experience 6 has occurred, allowing you to early drop the 3/2 Lucia and wipe your opponent’s lower power stage characters with her climax combo. Level 3 sees the healer and finisher Shizuru to light and end the game. This deck is always going to be playing a precarious game of being light on hand. A lot of careful decisions about filtering cards may decide some games.


Test Deck Build # 3: Guardian Build Blue Focus

Level 0- 16

4 “Don’t Get Carried Away~!” Lucia (RW/W48-038)

2 “Locked-On” Lucia (RW/W48-040)

4 “High-Speed Evasion” Shizuru (RW/W48-043)

4 “Curse” Lucia (RW/W48-046)

2 Shizuru, Rendezvous With Allies (RW/W48-075)

Level 1- 8

4 “Class Representative” Lucia (RW/W48-078)

4 “Medication Creation” Shizuru (RW/W48-079)

Level 2- 4

4 “As the Chairman of Earth” Lucia (RW/W48-044)

Level 3- 8

4 “Just for the Sake of Friends” Lucia (RW/W48-042)

4 “New Memory” Shizuru (RW/W48-074)

Events- 4

4 Gloves (RW/W48-051)

2 Until That Day Returns (RW/W48-052)

CX – 8

4 Power of Asahi Haruka (RW/W48-053)

4 The Punch Shouldering the Earth (RW/W48-098)

 

Initial Build Reflections before Playtesting:

This deck has pretty much the same reflections as the other Guardian deck, but the hope was to test the new Level 1 Blue combo cards with Shizuru and Lucia. The same limitations and the need to consider tech options to help with hand and consistency exist with this build as with Build #2. Also, of note, the old +2 soul 1/0 Shizuru bottom deck combo may be more effective and warrant testing in this deck variant because of the larger soul damage push.


Test Deck Build #4: Gaia Red Focus Akane Plus Combo

Level 0 – 16

4 “President of the Occult Research Club” Akane (RW/W15-003)

3 “Crimson-lit Night” Akane (RW/W20-046)

4 Akane, When the Sun Sets (RW/W48-001)

2 Chihaya of the Occult Club (RW/W48-024)

3 Chihaya, Going Out (RW/W48-057)

Level 1- 13

4 Chihaya Swimsuit (RW/W15-053)

2 Chibi Chihaya (RW/W15-109)

3 Chihaya, Transfer Student (RW/W48-059)

4 “Power” Akane (RW/W48-060)

Level 2- 7

2 Sakuya, Delivering Bento Boxes (RW/W48-029)

2 “High-Speed Evasion” Shizuru (RW/W48-049)

3 “Saint” Akane (RW/W48-068)

Level 3- 6

2 “Mischievous Kiss” Chihaya (RW/W48-002)

4 “Superhuman Strength” Chihaya (RW/W48-056)

CX – 8

4 I Have Good Strength (RW/W48-071)

4 Power (RW/W48-072)

 

Initial Build Reflections before Playtesting:

As noted on the test sheet for this deck, it is most likely that the old Chihaya 1/1 to 2/2 change that combos with the older gate will probably end up being the better plus combo to keep in this deck due to it’s walling potential despite how much stock it eats and damage it causes. The point of these two Gaia builds are to test some of the other alternatives that we received in this set.

Notably also missing from this build is the 0/0 Sakuya that can encore a front row character if it is sent to waiting room and one of the three runners that this deck could also still run. The 0/0 Sakuya will probably work it’s way back in, but was left out due to the lack of back row space for him due to running the 0/0 Akane back row to help increase the 1/1 combo’s consistency. The 0/0 Shizuru that can set up and change the order of the two cards on the top of your deck, or the old 0/0 Kagari PR that on play allows you to scry top and either leave it or bottom deck it may end up eventually taking the Akane assist’s spot. For now, I wanted to leave it on trait to help with consistency and allow the new Akane Akatsuki clone to grab it.

This deck is also missing several viable events it could be running. This is because I wanted to see what an all-character version looked like. Most likely the new 1/0 Chihaya event will make it in. If you want to test this build yourself, but lack the 1/0 Chibi Chihaya vanilla PR counter, a good substitute is the Chibi-Moth 1/0 vanilla from the first set since it is at least on-color.

This build wants to mill through the deck and leave plenty of options to grab with the 1/1 plus combo. The Level 1 plus combo in this deck is very chancy, but great when it actually goes off. It is weak to anti-salvage, but so is the old combo. The Level 3 game is very hand heavy to light the new Chihaya finisher, but it is very explosive and nicely paired on a new healer.


Test Deck Build #5: Gaia Yellow Focus Chihaya Calling Sakuya Combo

Level 0 – 16

 

2 “Unsociable Girl” Akane (RW/W15-051)

4 Akane, When the Sun Sets (RW/W48-001)

4 Chihaya of the Occult Club (RW/W48-024)

4 Chihaya, Going Out (RW/W48-057)

2 Chihaya, Catch! (RW/W48-058)

Level 1- 10

3 Chihaya, Member of Gaia (RW/W48-006)

4 “Knight” Sakuya (RW/W48-017)

3 Chihaya, Transfer Student (RW/W48-059)

Level 2- 4

2 Sakuya, Delivering Bento Boxes (RW/W48-029)

2 “Forgot Something” Chihaya (RW/W48-067)

Level 3- 6

2 “Mischievous Kiss” Chihaya (RW/W48-002)

4 “Superhuman Strength” Chihaya (RW/W48-056)

Events- 6

2 Chihaya Rolling (RW/W48-069)

4 Sakuya’s Special Training (RW/W48-070)

Climaxes- 8

4 Knight Has Arrived — (RW/W48-036)

4 I Have Good Strength (RW/W48-071)

 

Initial Build Reflections before Playtesting:

As noted on the test sheet for this deck, it is most likely that the old Chihaya 1/1 to 2/2 change that combos with the older gate will probably end up being the better plus combo to keep in this deck due to it’s walling potential despite how much stock it eats and damage it causes. The point of these two Gaia builds are to test some of the other alternatives that we received in this set.

This deck is serving to be the opposite of the previous build. Here we’re testing the 1/0 Chihaya that pulls the 1/1  Sakuya wall from the deck. He’s weak on defense to Level Reversers, but is also a solid wall that really stop some on-reverse combos. This deck is also going to test the two new events for this build, but there is also the old 1/1 Chihaya event from the first set that is worth considering as well in this build specifically. The 0/0 Sakuya that can encore something is something to seriously be considered in this build, but because of how the new search combo is worded it is hard to have the back row space for him (this was probably to balance this deck and force that decision).


Test Deck Build #6: Kotori Plant/Familiar Build

Level 0- 19

4 Kagari-chan, or Rather “Key-chan” (RW/W48-004)

4 Kotori And B And L (RW/W48-005)

3 Kagari, Encountering the Mistletoe (RW/W48-089)

8 “Made by Kotori-san” Monster (RW/W48-090)

Level 1- 9

9 “Made by Kotori-san” Monster (RW/W48-093)

Level 2- 6

3 “Barrier Preparation” Kotori (RW/W48-080)

3 “Made by Kotori-san” Giant Monster (RW/W48-084)

Level 3- 4

4 “Master of the Barrier” Kotori (RW/W48-073)

Event- 4

4 Power Spot (RW/W48-096)

Climaxes- 8

4 Barrier in the Forest (RW/W48-097)

4 Erasing Memories (RW/W48-099)

 

Initial Build Reflections before Playtesting:

This deck, while meant to be a little bit more of a casual deck, is actually probably going to end up as a very solid build. Kotori can actually build a couple of familiar/plant deck variants in this set. This one is the more obvious one with her plant clones, but there is another variant that could run the Chibi-Moth cards and change with variants of Yoshino, Kagari, and Kotarou. There is a pay 1, ditch 1 Plant trait search from Rewrite Harvest Festa! that could find it’s way into this deck, as well as some other 3/2 Kotori’s from the other two sets. In this case, I locked this deck to this set to see how the new cards synergized together.

There probably aren’t enough clone cards in this deck, as well as there is a lack of counters to protect the clones and the 3/2 early drop Kotori. The 1/0 rest counter, the 1/0 vanilla Chibi-Moth counter from the first set, and the 2/1 event counter from Harvest Festa! (even though that is a bit hard to run because it relies heavily on having two yellow characters on stage).  The memory kick Shizuru counter from the new set is also an option too. I’m looking forward to trying out multiple variants of this deck as I move forward.


Searching the Paths to find our Rewritten Decks

Over the next few months I will be testing these 6 decks and documenting data on how each game goes. I normally do this for decks I have built, but this is the first time I will be sharing this to a larger audience. For each sheet on the Google Sheet you can see the cards I am considering, the initial Test Deck Build, and the area to collect data on the build. The questions I have up now are the ones I always consider when testing decks, but I sometimes will adjust these data points if I notice something that crops up that I need to check data on. Typically I play a minimum of 20 to 30 games with a deck before making changes. For a deck that seems to be running well, I will leave it alone for up to 50 games before making changes. This is so I can get a statistically relevant amount of data before making decisions about a deck. If I see a huge flaw that is causing a deck to be unplayable, I will update it before this limit is up. In most cases, though, this isn’t necessary.

When testing your own deck builds it is important to find a place to keep track of information you gather, even if it is as simple as which set you played against and a win/loss record. My list is a bit more complicated, but it does help me see what little things a deck might be missing in tech. It also helps me identify and separate outlier matches that may not have been representative of an average game, and get a solid body of information to see  how a deck really is performing. There are a few decks that crop up in the competitive scene that don’t need this, but they are rare. Most sets are designed so that decks have more options for cards than there is available room. Finding the right combination takes some time to process and figure out which ones fit your own play style and build.

Keep watching the Google Sheet  for updates on play test outcomes of these Rough Draft decks. New builds will be updated and follow up articles will be coming soon. Thank you for reading!


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