Welcome to another 9th CX discussion!
Today, we are going to be going through some of the combos from the newest Illya set and compare them. With the newest Illya set, we finally get some options at level 1! We will be discussing three options for both level 1 and level 3, and the merits of the different combinations. Joining Travis and Michael is our guest, Albert, a long time Illya and Fate enthusiast. He has been tinkering with the set for a long time and has been testing the new combo for the last couple of weeks.
Here is the description of the cards/combos:
Level 1 Combo
Little Devil Girl, Kuro, PI/S40-002
When this card reverses its battle opponent while Rho Aias is in the CX Zone and you have a full field of [Magic] characters, you may pay 1 to salvage two characters.
Slumber Party, Kuro PI/SE31-29
When Coordinated Combo is placed into the CX zone, you may pay 1 to stand a [Weapon] character.
Slumber Party Miyu, PI/SE31-01
When this card attacks, if Friends who Laugh Together is in the CX zone, you may send the CX to waiting room and put the top card of your deck into stock, then choose one character and that gets the following ability until the end of turn “When this card reverses its battle opponent, salvage 1”
Level 3 Combo
Zwei Form, Illya, PI/S40-053
When this card is placed to the stage from hand, heal. When this attacks with Quintet Fire in the CX zone, if this has two or more markers put all your stock into the waiting room and this gets the following abilities until the end of turn; ”When this card reverses its opponent, burn 5”, “When this card reverses its battle opponent, burn 2.” (You choose the order of the burn effects.)
Duty as Big Brother Shirou, PI/SE31-03
When this card is placed from hand to the stage, you may discard a card and choose one of your opponent’s level 3 or lower characters in the front row and send it to the waiting room. When damage dealt by this card is cancelled, if Last-Ditch Effort is in the CX zone, you may pay 1 and resonate with any “Kuro” in hand and burn equal to the soul of the revealed Kuro.
Adventure in a Parallel World Illya, PI/SE31-39
+500 per other Magic. On play draw 2 ditch 1.
When this card attacks, if The Last Hope is in the CX zone and this has a marker, you may pay 2 and put “Waking Up, Illya & Tanaka” from your hand under this as a marker. If you do, stand this.
Given the new line-up of potential level 1 combos, the Kuro level 1 combo from the most recent Extra booster is probably the strongest combo PI has at level 1. It gives you the ability to play out two cost level 2’s from your waiting room and make up for the lack of soul that the deck will have due to the Standby CX not giving any power or soul boost when played. However, running that combo essentially locks you into a red and green build, seeing that Kuro and Shirou are the only two characters in PI that have Weapon as a trait.
This does not mean you can’t splash other Magic trait characters, such as the new Miyu level 3 that looks for other Green(Shirou) or Magic(Kuro) characters for her power boost effect. However, the selection on splashable Magic characters becomes very limited on what you can include. The previous brainstormer for PI becomes obsolete in this build because it only searches for Magic trait, missing any copy of Shirou that is left in the deck. Fortunately, a new salvage brainstorm was included in the set and happens to be one of Shirou’s targets for multiple effects, such as a potential hand encore target for one of his level 2 cards.
The new Miyu combo is an interesting one. You can immediately attack with her first and not worry about losing the effects of her respective CX for her combo since 2k1+1’s stick around even if the CX is no longer in the zone. However, you can only light her combo once per CX placement, you are unable to stack the effect onto one character multiple times, making her combo seem rather weak. In turn however, PI does have access to a level 1 reverser, making it a lot easier to light off the on reverse portion of the Miyu combo.
There was additional synergy to this combo as well through the form of a level 1 Kuro & Illya that has an optional mill 3 on play with a bounce back to hand and give +2k to a weapon character, plus a scry effect when you play a CX. A similar problem with that as well is it makes it almost impossible to run a tri color level 1 at that state, given that the level 3 combo that may be included in any build with this requires more than 8 cards dedicated to that finishing combo.
Finally, we have the previous Kuro combo from the full PI booster released last year. This is the only combo that can plus in all 3 lanes instead of a one and done deal like the previously mentioned combos. The only problems with this combo is A.) You need a full field of Magic trait characters; B.) The respective CX is a 2k1, meaning only one of the on reverse effects is most likely to go off. This combo does let you salvage 2 characters on the plus side, making the requirement of a full field less intensive on your hand size. This could synergize really well with the new Illya & Kuro card if it wasn’t for the fact that this Kuro needs a full board for her salvage condition.
The first level 3 combo I want to talk about is the new Shirou combo introduced in the new extra booster. Having access to a level 3 reverser that bounces back to your hand on reverse makes this combo an easy pay 1 punish burn for 2 when this Shirou’s damage is cancelled. His ability to send a level 3 on your opponent’s front row to the waiting room on play makes him a threat to some decks. Combo this in with the Standby trigger and you can light his combo as early as level 2, granted you’d have to wait another turn before you can use it.
Next up, there is the new combo Illya combo. A restander in the set is a more controllable damage dealer compared to the previous combo. Just like the previous combo however, you still need to dedicate 10-12 slots for this combo to consistently work not including the respective CX. Thankfully, you don’t need to fully empty your stock for this effect to proc. The first marker that needs to go under this card bonds to the second target, and the combo lights on attack compared to on reverse.
Last, we have Zwei Form, by far the most explosive finisher in PI. Again, like the restander, she requires 10-12 cards dedicated to it, not including the CX, to be consistent. The biggest downside to her is the cost of having to pay all your available stock when she attacks with her CX combo. That can mean a huge decompress if you’re close to refresh, so if you end up using her combo, you’d better be attacking to end the game. She does have the potential to fully deal a level+ worth of damage, so that makes up for the fact you end the turn with at most 3 stock.
The best one in my opinion is the new Kuro standby combo. It provides a good fat body in the form of Shirou 2/2 at level 1, and brings out the level 3 Kuro, Shirou, or Angelica depending on situation, and deck has very few downsides. The combo early tends to leave the deck a little low on stock, but not horribly so, and being able to bring out the level 3s for no stock tends to even out the early stock usage. The fact that all but the Kuro have fairly meh CIP effects is OK, because when you play the standby or trigger it, you aren’t missing out on incredible amounts of value. In current testing, unless you are facing a deck that can very easily deal with Shirou this combo makes for the most hand and stable games.
The Miyu 1/0 combo is a kinda a weird one. The combo effectively functions like a stock soul while still giving enough power to pretty much any card for the plus. As a general combo for Illya, I would say that it definitely does pretty much everything older Illya builds wanted. With the combo, stock is very rarely an issue and finally lets you play your level 3 game with pretty much no restraint, including the early Miyu. I would also say that the combo is fairly necessary for the new Illya restander, considering how stock hungry it is.
As for the new Illya restander, I really like this new combo in that it feels much more consistent than Zwei Form. But, it does have its downsides. The fact that the combo activates on attack requires you to have stock before starting battles. The level 0s are worse than Zwei Form’s. The Tanaka is arguably better as it’s a very nice fatty at 0, but not having the hand fix or global support really does hurt. However, it can dig for the combo pieces by itself and basically is a draw 2 if you ditch a Tanaka.
Testing with Zwei Form with new level 1 Miyu combo shows that it definitely makes Zwei much more consistent. Though, I would attribute that more to the power of the new 1/0 marker Illya and assist Sapphire combo. As said earlier, playing the Level 1 Miyu combo allows for holding more combo pieces and supports in hand, so playing zwei with Miyu 3 is much easier. I still find the new restander to be overall more consistent at 3, but Zwei is definitely better in terms of early game consistency.
The Shirou lvl 3 is one of the best new Level 3s for Illya. It kind of plays like a more precise Musashi, and the CIP to kill a lvl 3 or lower in front row is very useful as it’s only a discard anything cost. Having the CX be a gold bar makes the combo very accessible. It can even be played via standby with little to no downside. Yes you miss the CIP effect, but it’s not the end of the world. As long as you can hit it at least once during a game, it’s fine. Playing this with the Miyu combo doesn’t feel too necessary because it demands little stock.
As an aside, I actually think that the new assist and level 1 Illya stuff is the most powerful part about the set. It makes the level 1 much smoother, which is something the series wanted forever ago. Basically, having something that is really hard to kill and is a prime target for the Miyu combo, makes the level 1 game much better.
I think my views on Illya are a little outdated. I still remember the time where the old Kaleidoscope combo was bemoaned by many a player for being way too over-the-top for decks to handle. Of course, since then, we’ve seen a new flashy Zwei Form combo, but the missing piece has always been a level 1 combo. No matter what Illya combo one was going to play, I felt like it was always an awkward mishmash of spray and pray at level 1 to hope that anything would survive for more than a turn. There were costed backups, and there were ways to try to boost power with 1/1 characters, but these days, even the 1/0 characters seeing print are very close to hitting 7500 or even 8000 on their own. At some point, I’m sure many players have known that awkward moment when their 1/1 character was casually sunk by an oversized 1/0 – I know I have!
At first, I was on the fence with the level 1 Miyu, with the new 2k1+1. This is my personal bias speaking, but I do not care very much for 2 soul triggers except when nothing else is available. I don’t like having to randomly hit for 4 (or more) with direct attacks, because they are usually favored to cancel. The biggest strike though was the fact that they just didn’t do much damage on their own. But, they’ve gotten a little more with the times, and are now just one soul short of matching our very familiar 1k1 effects.
So what can be good about the combo and the CX here? After all, you can only go off once per turn with it. I spoke with Albert about the numbers of Miyu because he initially said that he almost wanted to run 3. I suggested 4 because I thought that even though you are essentially rate-limited in the combo, you still want to go off with it almost every time you can get it into your hand, and having 4 copies maximizes that possibility.
It looks like Miyu is the level 1 combo that the series has been waiting for the whole time, in spite of its unconventional appearance.
As far as my thoughts on the level 3? See above, I think those two covered it pretty well and we’re already over 2000 words!
What do you think about the new combos? Have they been working out for you? Leave us a comment on the Facebook page!
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