Re: Visiting SAO; SAO Deck Tech G/B

Welcome to another 9th CX Deck Tech! SAO has gotten a Re:Edit version, and the deck is more accessible than ever! With new cards come more options, and Travis has been doing some crafting.

Special thanks to Travis for putting the article together. Translations can be found in the usual spots on Heart of the Cards, and in the case of inaccurate or unavailable translations, in-house translations will be used.

Let’s check out the list!


SAO Post Re:Edit v1.2

Level 0 – 18 cards:

4 Silica, Gathering Materials (SAO/SE23-07 -or- SAO/S47-051)
4 Kirito, Temporary Alliance (SAO/SE23-20 -or- SAO/S47-077)
4 Yuuki, Undefeated Super Swordsman (SAO/SE26-07 -or- SAO/S47-026)
3 Kirito, After the Battle(SAO/S47-113)
3 Sinon, Mission at Dusk(SAO/SE23-P01 -or- SAO/S47-122)

Level 1 – 11 cards:

4 Sinon, Temporary Alliance (SAO/SE23-21 -or- SAO/S47-078)
4 “Zekken” Yuuki (SAP/SE26-10 -or- SAO/S47-028)
2 Asuna, Vice Guild Leader(SAO/S20-010 -or- SAO/S47-007)
1 Sinon, Challenge to the Strong (SAO/SE23-P08 -or- SAO/S47-123)

Level 2 – 5 cards:

2 “Machine of Ice” Sinon (SAO/SE23-T15 -or- SAO/S47-079)
1 Leafa, Gathering Materials (SAO/SE23-06 -or- SAO/S47-041)
1 “Dicey Cafe” Gilbert(SAO/S47-118)
1 Sinon, Adventuring with Everyone(SAO/S47-119)

Level 3 – 8 cards:

4 Sinon, the Last Strike(SAO/SE23-24 -or- SAO/S47-076)
2 Kirito, to Obtain the Holy Sword (SAO/SE26-29 -or- SAO/S47-080)
2 Leafa, Adventuring with Everyone(SAO/S47-107)

CX Spread:

4 Phantom Bullet (SAO/SE23-35 -or- SAO/S47-098)
4 Mother’s Rosario (SAO/SE26-20 -or- SAO/S47-048)


Since the new Re: Edit booster features cards from previous boosters, i’m going to ignore the cards that have been reprinted and introduce the new cards in this deck that have been released in this set;

Kirito, After the Battle once per turn can give on of your characters +500 power whenever you use a startup ability. He also has a new type of brainstorm ability where for each CX you hit, you may draw up to 2 cards, and then discard 1.
Probably one of the strongest brainstormers in this set, aside from the previous Sleeping Knights brainstorm released in the Mother’s Rosario EB. It fixes one of the biggest problems I’ve had with this deck before Re: Edit of having 2-3 CXs in my hand almost every turn with the only discard outlet being this Sinon brainstorm from the GGO EB. He can hand fix, and plus your hand in the same sentence. Not to mention the extra +500 power he gives when you use a startup once per turn give back ups in the set a little extra boost.


“Dicey Cafe” Gilbert
 is a 2.5k backup. When you use his backup, you may pay 2 and discard an [Avatar] or [Net] character to bottom deck a character on your opponent’s field with a higher level than your opponent’s.
Finally, SAO gets an anti-change backup. It doesn’t sac a character like other anti-change backups do, but it still gets the job done of getting an early play off your opponent’s field. Plus with the Kirito brainstorm, this backup becomes a 3k backup.


Sinon, Adventuring with Everyone gets +1k  per other [Avatar] or [Net] character on attack for the turn if she is facing a level 3 or higher character. On play, you can also pay 1 and ditch a CX to salvage a CX.
Check Six got an upgrade in this set, with the added ability of salvaging a CX so you can set up Sinon at level 3. Considering a main CX in the deck is a gold bar, having a CX in hand for her on play ability is a walk in the park.


Leafa, Adventuring with Everyone
gets +500 power per other [Avatar] or [Net] character. On entry, you can look at the top X cards of your deck, where X is the number of [Avatar] or [Net]  characters you control, select a card to add to your hand, then ditch the rest. During both players turns, when she reverses her battle opponent you can discard 2 characters from your hand and clock kick her battle opponent.
Cross-turn clock kick is leagues above the previous level 3 clock kick Yuuki from the Mother’s Rosario EB. Her condition is stockless so you can save your stock to pay for backups, or perform more instances of Sinon’s burn combo. Added in with Machine of Ice and the Kirito Brainstorm, this card is a force to be reckoned with and makes your opponent have some tough decisions whether to front attack her or not.

Cards I have considered for this build:
Note: Cards that are new will have translation text, reprinted  cards will not.
Silica, Straightforward Trust (SAO/S20-051 -or- SAO/S47-058)
Considering how much I would be milling through my deck, I pondered adding this card in as a consideration so I can grab back characters I may need at the current moment. She could also double as another attacker since her brainstorm ability doesn’t need her to rest, only two other characters.

Sinon, in the Midst of Sunlight Through the Leaves(SAO/SE23-19 -or- SAO/S47-083)
A viable option for a brainstormer, considering her defensive buff as well as a spammable search/hand filter brainstorm. I don’t think this will make an appearance in future builds of this deck since it doesn’t plus, but I would love to be proved wrong.Sinon, Angered(SAO/SE23-31 -or- SAO/S47-094)
A costed 2k back up lets me pay out any blind stock or CX I may have triggered in my previous attack. Plus if I am close to refresh and know I’m out all 8 from my deck, it wouldn’t hurt me that bad to use this to force a refresh and possibly cancel an oncoming attack. It also could help me with damage pockets as well.

“Sleeping Knights” Talken & Nori & Jun (SAO/SE26-09 -or- SAO/S47-27)
A search brainstorm may benefit the deck, so this card will always be in consideration when brewing with SAO, but since in this current build I don’t run many Yuuki or Asuna cards for the first effect to benefit from, I decided to give the Kirito brainstorm a shot over this one for now.

Leafa, Time Limit(SAO/SE26-15 -or- SAO/S47-34)
Her global assist ability is always helpful, but I couldn’t use this and brainstorm in the same turn without playing over some backrow cards to do so. Her search ability is nice, but I have Zekken to give me that ability instead.

Sinon, “Cait Sith” Archer (SAO/SE26-34)
Her defensive global ability can offer some serious defensive power, especially with the new clock kick Leafa. Plus her on play ability can help filter out unwanted CXs in hand for more useful cards.

Kirito, Life-Risking Seriousness (SAO/S47-114)  On play top checks for [Avatar] or [Net] to get +2k for the turn. When he is sent to the waiting room, you may reveal up to the top 3 cards of your deck. If one or more is revealed in this fashion, add up to 1 [Avatar] or [Net] card from them to your hand, send the rest of the revealed cards to the waiting room, then ditch a card.
This Kirito offers more milling power for my deck, and yet another filter option. His reveal top ability may give me some decent information on whether to brainstorm or not, and can sub in for a decent beater. His on death ability also works really well to filter out unwanted CXs from hand with one of the revealed cards. Defensive presence he doesn’t offer much, but may be ran in future builds as a tech 2-of.

Sinon, Fear in Her Eyes (SAO/S47-116) prevents the use of events or backups for her controller.
It’s a beater yes, but I would need to get her off my field ASAP before my opponent hits level 1, otherwise decks that have on reverse abilities don’t even need to worry about backups.


Deck breakdown:

At level 0, the deck does need to rely on clocking each turn to replenish hand size, with the use of  Kirito, Temporary Alliance to keep a board presence and use both Silica, Gathering Materials and Yuuki, Undefeated Super Swordsman to take care of any beaters or walls your opponent. Silica also is used to filter out your hand to grab level 1 pieces and the ability to get a guaranteed brainstorm as well. Kirito, After the Battle can be used to hand plus, but should be used only if you can successfully hit 1 knowingly.

Level 1 things start to pick up with “Zekken” Yuuki‘s hand plus combo. A good target to look for at the start is Sinon, Challenge to the Strong since the Yuuki plus combo can provide hand encore fodder in the case she gets reversed. Kirito, After the Battle makes more of an appearance here, since on defense he can give an extra 500 boost to backups and keep your field alive without using encore effects.  Plus, since you’ll be pulling out damage with the Zekken combo, using his brainstorm ability to filter out possible CX triggers and mill through your deck will benefit more here.

Level 2 is mainly using level 1 attackers to deal damage. “Dicey Cafe” Gilbert is there to take care of early plays on your opponent’s end, in case Sinon, Adventuring with Everyone isn’t in hand. Again, since a gold bar is a primary trigger in the deck, she can also switch out any gold bar in hand with Phantom Bullet, in case it is not in hand already. “Machine of Ice” Sinon is there for providing assist power, while also denying your opponent events or backups on selected characters.

Level 3 is giant shots of damage, with a clock kick to keep board pressure. Leafa, Adventuring with Everyone is used as a final attack, or whenever you can guarantee the final point of damage with her clock kick. Sinon, the Last Strike is the primary damage dealer here while Kirito, to Obtain the Holy Sword is your defensive power. Sinon, you’d want to discard a CX for her cost unless you have enough characters to still use Leafa’s clock kick. Ideally, a full hand size has been kept up with the use of Kirito, After the Battle coupled with the fact that Leafa and Kirito replace themselves when they are played. Leafa, Gathering Materials can be used on defense mainly here to filter out a CX to give you 2 character cards for if you get a reverse with the Leafa level 3.

Question Time!

M: Some sets (e.g. Re:Zero) have now begun to feature these more punishing level 0 4000 power beaters. They can crush almost anything in the way, and they offer some potential card advantage for the early game. What do you think about running both the 4k Sinon level 0 alongside the Kirito runner? There are probably cuts that could be made, like going down to 3 of each reverser as a start.

T: The idea has crossed my mind to try and implement the Sinon beater in a version of the build, but with this current build I’d have to go with dropping a Silica and Kirito runner. I run just enough green to see it in my clock when I hit level 1 and taking out one of each reverser would be pushing my luck on that.

M: That seems fair. There is also a small case to be made about varying the brainstormers to give some degree of flexibility. Past winning decks within this series have been known to run 1-of brainstorm variants – would it be too much of a risk to do a 1 for 1 swap with a Sleeping Knights brainstorm? (as an example)

T: A variant I have thought would be 2 search brainstorms, 1 draw/ditch, and 1 salvage.

M: And some would call you a little crazy for inviting such inconsistency.

T: Having both a one of the salvage and draw brainstorm give me a little more flexibility if a situation were to arise that I need to search a secondary brainstorm with Zekken. Since all the brainstorms in that variant require any two characters to be rested, I could just use one of the unneeded brainstorms as a body to throw damage at my opponent.

M: A fair point, but I’m not sure fans of consistency will exactly agree.

Editor’s Note: Real life has gotten in the way of finishing this article properly, so if we have more, we will add it here after!


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