Kemono Friends Deck Sketch – YB, YG, and By

Welcome to a 9th CX Deck Sketch! We’re presenting some of our ideas here as works in progress to share our processes and insights. Michael has two to start, and Travis will round things out with the third.
Kemono Friends has been released into the wild new Neo-Standard format where only a couple changes have been made. What decks will come from the set that can suppress the very popular “burn 1” effect?

Onto the lists!

Kemono Hakken!! (Y/B only, not recommended)

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 18

1 Royal Penguin, Congratulation Party (KMN/W51-116)

1 Kaban-chan, Guide Map Found! (KMN/W51-011)

2 Gen, A Little Break (KMN/W51-096)

4 Serval, Driving (KMN/W51-021)

4 Kaban-chan at the Congratulation Party (KMN/W51-005)

4 Serval, RAWR! (KMN/W51-006)

2 Serval, Ditzy Girl Lives (KMN/W51-008)

Level 1 – 12

4 Emperor, New Leader Outlook? (KMN/W51-094)

4 Kaban-chan, During Desert Tour (KMN/W51-010)

4 Commerson’s Dolphin, Loves Playing! (KMN/W51-083)

Level 2 – 3

2 Serval, Good Bath (KMN/W51-111)

1 Lucky Beast, Emergency Situation (KMN/W51-019)

Level 3 – 9

2 Paper Airplane (KMN/W51-033)

3 Kaban-Chan, Full of Ideas (KMN/W51-002)

4 Serval, Curious About Everything (KMN/W51-001)

CX – 8

4 Returning to the Original Form…..(KMN/W51-034)

4 Oozora Dreamer (KMN/W51-110)


What does this build do?

It’s a starting point. The deck is probably not making sufficient use of the set’s range, but the idea went something like this:

Find the finishers, and find the card advantage. Put them together, and hope they form a deck.

This method of deck sketching though is limited by its own rigidity. After all, not every set will get its own card advantage engine at level 1, and it won’t have a spectacular and flashy finisher like Yami, Arle, Coco(a)Chino, etc.

The premise of this deck is basic, and because we aren’t recommending it for use, we’re skipping its card intros.

Level 0 was built with utility and filtering in mind, all while being able to push for a little extra damage by putting Serval in the middle slot.  Attacking for 3 on the very first turn can be a good thing, and having a level 0 that can hit for extra damage is also helpful later in the game. The real star though, is the Hat that denies burn 1 effects. Splashable and very difficult to counter, this is arguably the set’s most central ability.

The level 1 for this deck is where its brainstorm action starts, as well as its card advantage engine. It has a CX combo to get a Friends character from the top 4 cards of the deck, and a free attacker in Dolphin, as long as you draw multiples. Depending on who went first, being able to bounce your own board and deny your opponent on-reverse effects at level 1 (or later) for free is strong, but balanced out by the added vulnerability to damage.

Level 2 is more of the same at level 1, just adding soul, and level 3 has the shield and sword with a rest counter, and a restand CX combo.

So then what’s missing?

This sketch is simply not hitting even more potentially powerful combinations that are available. In itself, it does have a lot of strong points that people have come to expect from decks. But, the set’s most notable card is also very flexible. (Kaban-chan at the Congratulation Party) When a star card in a set is a level 0 that isn’t trait-locked and operates without a CX combo, it arguably becomes one of the first considerations to make when trying to design a deck.

Most of the cards in the set do not care about the loss of a burn 1 effect, even if it is symmetrical. Assuming that we do want to make use of this effect, we are left exploring other color combinations.

Yellow has restanding, and the set’s most ‘unfair’ event in Paper Airplane.

Green has the ability to clock kick and heal, a lot.

Red has burn (which will likely be ignored), standby effects, kill effects, and

Blue, for the most part, has a self-contained path from start to finish that involves a lot of attacking at level 3. It also has other splashable elements.

Let’s see if we can use this question to guide the deck sketching process this time:

“What is the most unfair thing that cards at a certain level in this set can do?”

Since blue is being taken by Travis later, we’ll look at the first three colors to see what combos come of them. (This doesn’t mean that blue can’t be splashed)

Level 0 is kind of a wash to apply this question to, because any cards are usable. Certain cards may become more important with different combinations, but let’s go through the other levels first.

At level 1:

Yellow: can brainstorm, can deny attacks (at great cost), and use a high-risk high-reward CX combo

Green: can use a stock-generating CX combo, can potentially boost power for free

Red: can use level reversers and setup future damage, kill cost 0 characters (using top checking effects from level 0), and use a CX combo to increase board presence

There is a +2000 power backup effect in red that is only bound by trait.

At level 2:

Yellow: can search its deck for its core events, play early level 3s, and push for additional damage

Green: can heal to hand, burn 5 (CX combo), generate additional stock (CX interaction), early play a level 3, and can bounce characters it controls (to save characters and potentially deny CX combo interactions)

Red: can generate additional stock for no cost, early play a level 3 to heal

There is an anti-change backup effect in green.

At level 3:

Yellow: can attack a lot, and deny attacks

Green: can send characters to clock, and search (thereby potentially reducing future damage)

Red: can burn, setup its triggers, heal, and restand

With these general effects in mind, the next step is to decide, based on player judgment and preference, what combination of effects is best. For the rest of this article, I’ll be trying to walk through a sketch of a deck that uses green and yellow. There are (almost certainly) a good number of other color combinations, including other tricolor combinations. For this exercise, I’ll be going through G/Y, and we will most likely revisit the set in the future.

Let’s look at this next list:


YG Zoo

https://wsdecks.com/deck/41307/

Level 0 – 12

4 Kaban-chan, Magnifying Glass (KMN/W51-042)

4 Serval, Driving (KMN/W51-021)

4 Kaban-chan at the Congratulation Party (KMN/W51-005)

Level 1 – 13

2 Serval, Saying Hi to Friends (KMN/W51-009)

4 Kaban-chan, During Desert Tour (KMN/W51-010)

4 Common Raccoon, Always Full Power (KMN/W51-040)

3 Giant Armadillo, Steely Guard (KMN/W51-067)

Level 2 – 9

1 Kaban-chan, Helping Out (KMN/W51-054)

2 Hearthfire (KMN/W51-055)

4 All Together, Pull (KMN/W51-056)

2 Serval, Good Bath (KMN/W51-111)

Level 3 – 8

3 Ruffed Lemur, Jungle Life (KMN/W51-039)

1 Kaban-chan, Full of Ideas (KMN/W51-002)

2 Northern White-faced Owl & Eurasian Eagle Owl, Chiefs of the Island (KMN/W51-041)

2 Paper Airplane (KMN/W51-033)

CX – 8

4 Capture Completed? (KMN/W51-057)

4 Releasing the Wild Side (KMN/W51-058)


What’s the plan with this deck?

At level 0, the deck can do a good amount of filtering and searching for its level 1. There are very few level 0 cards in this deck though, mostly to make space for its much more high-impact level 1 and 2.

The level 1 for this deck is where it both gets to focus on preserving its board with power, and generating stock. Serval, Saying Hi to Friends gives a character you control a massive +1500 power boost if you reverse a character in battle. On the offense, this means that on-reverse effects (including the deck’s endgame clock kick) are much more easy to pull off. On the defense, it means that your opponent has to really hit power levels way over the first character attacked, or risk losing their board. Even if you trade, you still get the power.

The deck’s stock generating CX combo can be accessed at level 0, though it will cost some cards in hand.

Level 2 is where the deck gets to cash in on its stock and heal up. The Pull event, though one-time use, heals to hand, and dodges hate effects. If you are fortunate, you can even early play some cards. The conditions to play them early, 2 or fewer CXs and having a Kaban-chan, Magnifying Glass in clock, are not extremely difficult to meet. Ideally, the deck will still be able to maintain a board while adding a Serval support to tack on free damage.

Level 3 is where the deck can try to do it all. It uses some copies of Paper Airplane to deny attacks. It kicks characters to clock, and it tries to compress via searches.

Overall, this deck is probably more complete than the first YB list. It has more synergy, and more importantly, much more staying power. The next step: testing!


Travis: Blue Splash Yellow

https://wsdecks.com/deck/41281/

 

Level 0(16):

4 Kaban-Chan at the Congratulation Party (KMN/W51-005)

2 Kaban-Chan, Guide Map Found! (KMN/W51-011)[Bonder to Event/Serval, Curious]

2 Serval, Driving (KMN/W51-021)

4 “PPP” Humboldt Penguin(KMN/W51-086)

2 Gen, A Little Break(KMN/W51-096)

2 Rocker, A Little Break(KMN/W51-097)

Level 1(12):

4 Commerson’s Dolphin, Loves Playing(KMN/W51-083)

4 Emperor, New Leader Outlook(KMN/W51-094)

4 Gen, Orthodox Idol(KMN/W51-095)

Level 2(5):

1 Kaban-Chan, Helping Out(KMN/W51-054)

2 “PPP” Gentoo Penguin(KMN/W51-087)

2 “PPP” Southern Rockhopper Penguin(KMN/W51-088)

Level 3(9):

2 Paper Airplane(KMN/W51/033)

4 “PPP” Royal Penguin(KMN/W51-085)

3 “PPP” Emperor Penguin(KMN/W51-089)

CX(8):

4 Oozora Dreamer (KMN/W51-110)

4 Idol Aura (KMN/W51-108)

 

I mirror Michael’s statements above, this is a rough sketch of a deck so I’ll avoid card intros here. However, I do recommend testing out this along with the small variations I have mentioned with the build.

 

Level 0; the game plan here was to fit as much utility into the deck as possible. I want to have access to both the rest counter(Paper Airplane) and the anti-burn 1(Kaban-chan at the Congratulation Party) while also being able to meet color conditions to play the event and also be able to light the level 1 combo easier. I don’t mind not having the extra damage “Golden Snub-nosed Monkey, Cerulean Hunter” and “Serval, RAWR!” so much as I can sustain my damage through other means.

 

I did consider adding in “Serval, Helping” so I could gain some sort of ground at level 0 to 1 with excess CXs in hand that didn’t have a combo to go to at the current moment, and an additional plus for the decks main combo at level 1, but I would rather have the top check ability of “Serval, Driving” to be able to top check for the rest counter. Granted, I am running the bonder to the event so I should be able to get it regardless, but it also filters for <Friends> characters. Those two cards can be swapped out per preference.

 

Level 1; easy level 1 combo, you literally have to be breathing to light this combo. It’s great for building stock, and seeing that the deck’s entire level 1 game is blue, the condition for the plus to light is irrelephant. Blue also has access to a bounceable assassin character just by having another copy of it in your hand, making an easy 7k on play(before assists and other effects) I don’t run any backups at level 1, since bouncing back the “Commerson’s Dolphin, Loves Playing” keeps a field empty, there’s no need to have counters. Level 1 also grants access to a Rize clone(Reveal up to top 3, choose a <Friends> character, add it to your hand, discard the rest then discard a card.)

 

Level 2; most of the work here is setting up your back row to meet the requirements for the restand condition of “Royal Penguin” Fortunately, you do not need the other two cards mentioned in her combo, but having them makes the combo hit harder seeing as it is 5 attacks for 1 stock and a card from hand(not counting the stock required to play all the characters). The same restand condition also lights an early play condition for one of the level 3s the deck runs, which doubles as a healer. Running the Mecha early play reverser wasn’t an option since it was off trait. However, the set does have access to an anti-early play card in green at level 2, another optional card to run in place of that would be “Serval, Did Well?”. The aforementioned card is a 3.5k backup if you have a <Friends> character.

 

Level 3; here’s the gravy of the deck. The restander has probably one of the cheapest restand costs in the game, being 1 stock and 1 card from hand if you meet a certain stage requirement. On top of that, if you can manage to get a yellow card in clock/level, you now have access to the Rest counter. The deck doesn’t eat up a lot of stock aside from paying for character costs and a brainstorm every now and them, not to mention getting the Kaban into memory. Being able to use a rest counter and still being able to do a second restand the next turn shouldn’t be a problem.


What do you think about the set? Do you think other color combinations are more viable or better? Let us know!

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