Persona 5 Deck Tech – 1st at 2017 WGP Regionals – Arizona

Welcome to another 9th CX dech tech + tournament report! Today’s article features the list from the Arizona WGP regional. The list is brought to you by Arthur O. and special thanks to Travis for putting the article together, including writing in the shout-out to himself. (Heheh) As always, translations can be found on Heart of the Cards.

The deck can be found on wsdecks here.

Name: Rivers in the Desert

Level 0 – 15:

3x Soul of Betrayer, Protagonist (P5/S45-003)
3x Calm Anger, Ann – PANTHER (P5/S45-059)
3x Deal Made, Ann (P5/S45-060)
2x Deal Made, Ryuji (P5/S45-011)
2x Futaba Sakura (P5/S45-079)
2x Deal Done, Yusuke (P5/S45-090)

Level 1 – 11:

4x Ryuji Sakamoto (P5/S45-005)
2x Deal Made, Morgana – MONA (P5/S45-061)
1x Phantom Thieves of Hearts, Futaba (P5/S45-107)
1x Protagonist (P5) (P5/S45-T03)
3x Advanced Notice (P5/S45-021)

Level 2 – 9:

3x “All-Out Attack” Protagonist – JOKER (P5/S45-006)
1x Fated “Imprisonment”, Protagonist (P5/S45-012)
2x Yusuke Kitagawa (P5/S45-082)
1x Phantom Thieves of Hearts, Protagonist – JOKER (P5/S45-101)

Level 3 – 9:

3x Protagonist & Arsene – JOKER (P5/S45-001)
2x Navigation Role, Futaba – NAVI (P5/S45-076)
2x Yusuke & Goemon – FOX (P5/S45-077)

CX – 8:

4x THE SHOW’S OVER (P5/S45-023)
4x You Think I’ll Forgive You!? (P5/S45-100)

At level 0, we have 15 cards:

Soul of Betrayer, Protagonist can give +500 power to a character once per turn when you use a startup ability. He is also a pay 1 rest 2 search brainstorm for [Phantom Thief] characters.

Deal Made, Ryuji on play you may discard a card to get an Advanced Notice from waiting room to hand.

Calm Anger, Ann – PANTHER is a global +500 power to all [Phantom Thief] characters. When one of your character’s direct attack damage doesn’t cancel, send a face down card in your opponent’s memory to waiting room. If you do, you can pay 1 to salvage.

Deal Made, Ann on play you can discard a CX to salvage a [Phantom Thief] character.

Futaba Sakura reveals the top card of your deck on play. If it is a [Phantom Thief] character, you may put it under this as a marker. While this has a marker, this card gets +1500 power and  +1 level.

Deal Done, Yusuke gets +2500 power and +1 level if he is in the front row center position.

At level 1, we have 11 cards:

Ryuji Sakamoto gets +500 power for each other [Phantom Thief] you control.

Deal Made, Morgana – MONA is a 1k backup, where you can give an additional +1000 power to a battling character if you control a [Phantom Thief].

Phantom Thieves of Hearts, Futaba gets +1000 power if you have 2 or more other [Phantom Thief] and has clock encore.

Protagonist (P5) on attack can give one of your other [Phantom Thief] characters +500 times the number of your other [Phantom Thief] characters

Advanced Notice has your opponent put a card from their hand face down into memory. They may draw a card. You may then look at the top 4 cards of your deck for a [Phantom Thief] character and add it to hand. You may then bounce a cost 0 from your opponent’s stage to their hand.

At level 2, we have 9 cards:

“All-Out Attack” Protagonist – JOKER gets -1 level in hand if you control 4 or more other [Phantom Thief] characters. CX Combo with THE SHOW’S OVER where on opponent reverse, draw a card then tutor for a level 1 or lower [Phantom Thief] character.

Fated “Imprisonment”, Protagonist is a level assist for +1000 per level on your turn. He also gives all your Protagonist & Arsene – JOKER +500 power, and during your turn, on-reverse scry.

Yusuke Kitagawa lets you draw and discard a card, then put the top card of your deck into stock on play if you control another [Phantom Thief] character. At the start of your CX phase, you may pay 1 and discard 2 [Phantom Thief] characters and return him to hand to put a Yusuke & Goemon – FOX from your waiting room to the slot this was in.

Phantom Thieves of Hearts, Protagonist – JOKER is a 3k backup. When you use his backup, you may choose a character in battle to give memory kick on opponent reverse.

At level 3, we have 9 cards;

Protagonist & Arsene – JOKER gets +500 power for each other [Phantom Thief] character you control. On play, you may heal. At the beginning of your encore step, if your opponent’s front row is either gone and/or reversed, you may pay 3 and discard 1 [Phantom Thief] to perform the following action for each [Phantom Thief] character on your front row “Reveal the top card of your deck and deal X damage to your opponent, where X is that card’s level,  put it at the bottom of your deck, then shuffle.”

Navigation Role, Futaba – NAVI gives all your other [Phantom Thief] or [Coffee] characters +1500 power. When your other character is attacked, if you have 3 or more other [Phantom Thief] or [Coffee] characters, you may pay 1 and discard a You think I’ll Forgive You!?   If you do, choose one of your opponent’s characters in battle, and that character cannot deal damage during this turn. (If your opponent has effects that trigger on attack, those will resolve first. e.g. On attack burn X will not be prevented by this ability, but an on-reverse burn X can be.)

Yusuke & Goemon – FOX on attack lets you pay 1 and discard a [Phantom Thief] character to heal. At the start of your opponent’s draw phase, you can give one of your characters +4000 power

CX spread;

THE SHOW’S OVER (1k1 Wind)
You Think I’ll Forgive You!
(1k1 Pants)


M: Congratulations on the finish! Multi-part question: What made you decide to play this deck for the event? Were you considering other series? Was your local meta a factor in your decision?

A: I’m the biggest Persona mark in our playgroup. Seriously, with one other exception (another WGP winner, funny enough), I’m the one that dropped money on the boxes and made the deck. Having been burned by the Persona series before (with a disappointing EN offering and the JP offerings being meh, though it did carry me to a 2nd place offering last year), I was very, VERY happy with Persona 5, even more so after playing the game and falling in love with the Phantom Thieves. Sure, meta is important, but playing what you like is even more important to me.

M: How did you approach building the deck you ran? If you had to make changes, what would you add or take out?

A: I had so many approaches to P5. At first, Red/Yellow was my jam, but I found myself eating damage too hard, so I approached blue as an idea. Earlier builds lacked Yusuke, because I thought the cost was too high, but testing and encouragement brought him into the fold.

M: Describe your list. What does it do at each level? What’s it’s early, mid, and endgame like? In your mind, what makes this deck a good choice? Is there a time or a place where you think it would not be a good choice to play?

A: Most of the game is about survival.

At Level 0, you start some setup and have at least one slot that buffers damage (with a 4500+ Yusuke at Level 1, he defends against reversers and damage if your opponent wants to keep field).

Level 1 is where you start building your foundation with hongry boi Ryuji defending, Trial deck Akira giving a burst boost, and early play Akira netting me at least 2 cards per battle phase (though against some fields, there’s some difficulties reversing, which is where the Trial Deck Akira comes into play).

Brainstorms and Calling Cards help filter, with a bonus that Calling Card might disrupt a savvy opponent with limited hand; Futaba’s in there as both a stock filter and a reliable field presence.

At Level 2, if you don’t have at least one Level 3 Akira and one Level 3 Futaba in hand, you need one immediately, so dig with everything. Otherwise, keep field and get Yusuke out to be intimidating and to heal you down. You may not even need to reach Level 3! He keeps himself alive (and, occasionally, others).

Then, if you reach Level 3, you play it smart, count your high level cards out of deck, then see if it’s worth it to drop 3 to finish with at least 2 burn 1s. Otherwise, save your stock and blue CXs to keep yourself alive one more turn. The deck is a good choice because it doesn’t rely on one win condition too heavily, choosing the route of self-preservation if needed. If the job can be pulled off, then, yes, go for it, but it also keeps itself safe, much like a Phantom Thief.

M: Tell us how the event went. What did you play every round, to the best of your memory? How did the matches go?

A: Game 1 was against a unique take on Vivid Strike – the game didn’t go too well initially but I pulled back. Game 2 was against Little Busters G/Y, and we both agreed that it was a…well, he was nearly down before coming back in a big way, just not big enough to take the win. (+2 Soul, man. I still love it.) My final game of the tournament was against the eventual 2nd place, Rewrite G/B, a deck I had a lot of trouble against. There was one heart-stopping moment were one of Akira’s burns would have beaten him, we both realized at the last second that was going to happen, but he managed to pull a CX out of nowhere. It was beautiful.

M: What was the best play you made (or saw someone else make) during the event?

A: In all honesty, this event taught me that I should be very careful with Akira Level 3’s burn. The best move I pulled was not using the burn during the second game, where I would have certainly triple whiffed on the check for burns, instead keeping myself alive. Self-preservation is a very important thing.

M: Give us an ideal opening hand. What makes it good, and how important are the cards in it?

A: My ideal opening hand is 1x Yusuke level 0, 1x Yusuke level 3, 1x Akira Early Play, 1x Brainstorm, and 1x of any other level 0. The Lv 3 Yusuke is good clock fodder on turn 1 (doubling as a way to filter him into your waiting room in time for the early play) and the rest help set up for the rest of the game, building stock and filtering with the Brainstorm.

M: What would a difficult opening hand look like for the deck? What would you mulligan? (Please don’t do something outlandish like 5 CXs)

A: 5 CXs weren’t that outlandish in our tournament! Really, a lack of 0s would be disastrous, but not having a single Akira Early Play would really suck, because that combo helps you be easily situated for later game.

M: What are the deck’s best/worst matchups in your mind, and would you be open to doing a part 2 where you do some field/play analysis?

A: I tend not to worry too much about matchups – whatever I play against, I’ll deal with. Anything with Anti-heal might be a bad match, though, now I’m thinking about it. Oh, and things with big fields at Level 1 and beyond, like Titans. I hate Titans. (And sure, given some examples.)

M: Felix Question: Do you feel that it’s truly possible to tryhard in Weiss Schwarz, and why?

A: I believe in letting every player play whatever style they wish, so long at it doesn’t ruin the overall game experience. Win or lose, if the game was fun, then it’s at least somewhat worth it.

Congratulations again to Arthur!

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