We’re back! We’re starting off the year-end rush with a Milky Holmes deck tech that took 2nd at the WGP Regionals in Miami! This list and interview are brought to you by David B.
As always, translations can be found on Heart of the Cards, and a special thanks to Travis for setting up the article.
Let’s get to the deck!
Level 0 – 16:
4x Arsene, Crime Committed on New Year’s Eve (MK2/S19-089)
4x Arsene, Great Rival (MK/S33-080)
2x Rat, Rebelling (MK/SE09-05)
4x Pollock (MK/SE29-08)
2x Henriette, Kindly Watching Over (MK/SE29-45)
Level 1 – 12:
3x White Phantom Thief “Great White Fallen Angel” (MK/S33-085)
2x Black Phantom Thief “Darkside Revolution” (MK/S33-092)
3x Ra……? (MK/SE29-04)
4x Invitation to Phantom (MK/S33-096)
Level 2 – 5:
1x “Pouring TKB” Twenty (MK/SE29-12)
2x Arsene, Pride of Phantom Thief (MK/SE29-46)
2x Return of Arsene (MK2/S19-097)
Level 3 – 9:
1x Commander “Violet Shadow” (MK/S33-082)
4x Arsene, Charming Phantom Thief (MK/SE09-19)
4x Arsene, Time of Beauty (MK/SE29-41)
4x Color the Phantom (MK/S33-100)
4x Decisive Battle! Phantom Thief VS Detective (MK/SE29-49)
At level 0, we have 16 characters;
Arsene, Crime Committed on New Year’s Eve can rest to give one of your characters +2500 power for the turn, but the target goes to waiting room at the end of turn.
Arsene, Great Rival on play lets you pay 1 and clock top of deck to draw a card.
Rat, Rebelling is a pay 1 ditch one search for [Phantom Thief].
Pollock on attack lets you put a CX into your stock from CX zone. When this cards damage is cancelled, you can pay 1 to draw a card.
Henriette, Kindly Watching Over gets [Phantom Thief] on stage. On CX placement, you may reveal the top card of your deck, if it is a [Phantom Thief] choose on of your characters to get +1 soul for the turn. You can also pay 1 and rest this to give one of your [Phantom Thief] characters the following ability “When this card reverses it’s opponent you may draw 1”
At level 1, we have 8 characters and 4 events;
White Phantom Thief “Great White Fallen Angel” gets +4000 power and the following ability if you have another Black Phantom Thief “Darkside Revolution”: “At the end of turn, send this to waiting room”. When this reverses it’s battle opponent when Color the Phantom is in the CX zone, you may search for a [Phantom Thief] character.
Black Phantom Thief “Darkside Revolution” gets +4000 power and the following ability if you have another White Phantom Thief “Great White Fallen Angel”: “At the end of turn, send this to waiting room”. When this attacks when Color the Phantom is in the CX zone, choose one of your [Phantom Thief] characters and it gets +2500 power for the turn.
Ra……? gets +500 power and hexproof during your turn. When this reverses it’s battle opponent, you may send this to memory. If you do, choose a Ra……? in memory at the start of your next draw phase and put it on the stage in any slot.
Invitation to Phantom can’t be used if you have 1 or fewer CX in waiting room. Search up to the top 4 cards of your deck for a [Phantom Thief] character.
At level 2, we have 3 characters and 2 events;
“Pouring TKB” Twenty is an early play stock reverser if you have 4 or more other [Phantom Thief] characters.
Arsene, Pride of Phantom Thief is a +2000 power assist to level 3 and higher characters in front of this. At the start of Draw phase, you may pay 1 and send this to waiting room to change into Arsene, Time of Beauty from waiting room in the slot this was in.
Return of Arsene gives one of your [Phantom Thief] characters +4500 power.
At level 3, we have 9 characters;
Commander “Violet Shadow” on play you may check top X for any card and add it to your hand, where X is the number of [Phantom Thief] or characters with “Alice” in their name. Once per turn when this reverses it’s battle opponent, you may pay 3, ditch 2, then sacrifice a character and restand this.
Arsene, Charming Phantom Thief gets -1 level in hand if you have 4 or more [Phantom Thief] or character with “Henriette” in the name on the stage. This gets +1000 power during your opponent’s turn. When this attacks with Decisive Battle! Phantom Thief VS Detective heal 1 and this gets +1500 until the end of your opponent’s next turn.
Arsene, Time of Beauty heals on play from hand or Change. When this attacks with Decisive Battle! Phantom Thief VS Detective mill 4, and this gets +1000 power for the turn for each of your [Phantom Thief] characters, and deal X damage to your opponent, where X is the number of climaxes milled this way.
Color the Phantom (1k1 Book)
Decisive Battle! Phantom Thief VS Detective (1K1 Pants)
Now to the interview!
M: 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?
D: Milky Holmes is one of my favorite sets in Weiss Schwarz with multiple great builds. After all, Milky Holmes Detectives is an amazing deck, without a doubt one of the best decks currently in the game. However Phantom Thieves and to a lesser extent even Police are two decks that both can function well. We won’t talk about Feathers or whatever that Melodia deck even is supposed to be. For the last year, MK Phantom Thieves have been my go-to deck but I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to play it at WGP. This would be my 5th WGP Regional, in the 4 previous WGPs I had placed Top 4 in each one playing a variety of decks including PSYCHO-PASS, Terra Formars, King of Fighters and Phantom. While I had placed in the Top 4 of all 4 WGPs here in Florida, I hadn’t placed Top 2 since the first WGP Regional down here back in 2014. With Star Wars being restricted in North America, I had a few choices to play so I created a poll on the Global Community Facebook group to help decide what deck to play.
Not surprisingly my meme option of PSYCHO-PASS won the poll in a landslide. I dusted off my old Public Safety deck and considered playing it since it was the deck I got Top 2 with in 2014 but while play-testing the deck did awful. The 2 souls weren’t hitting and the deck could not keep up with the meta decks of 2017. Sorry Global Community, I ultimately decided on MK Phantom Thieves because it’s my favorite deck and would actually give me a shot a topping the event. The deck has some very spicy plays and is so fun to play once it starts snowballing at Level 2. I had been following BoatsDontSink WGP statistics of what was being played and for whatever reason no one had been playing Little Busters! or Kill La Kill. Without having to worry about anti-heal, I felt confident going with Phantom Thieves.
M: How did you approach building the deck you ran? If you had to make changes, what would you add or take out?
D: I have been playing Phantom Thieves since the Second Stage booster was released. With every new set, I have added cards and the deck has grown with me as I grew as a player. I’m basically now known as the Phantom Thieves guy in my local group and it’s hilarious to see players from other card games check out my games while I’m playing. The art on the cards can be so ecchi that they usually cringe or are suddenly very interested in knowing what anime my cards are from. At a certain point, I was even building the deck to try fit in as many uncomfortable fan service cards as possible. When MK Phantom Thieves won 2016 WGP Malaysia, I found the player on Facebook and he was awesome enough to add me and give me his thoughts on his build. He would go on to get Top 4 at Worlds with Phantom Thieves and he gave some really good tips for the deck. I’ve tested the deck an exhausting amount of time and I really wouldn’t change much about the build except for adding the new Brainstormer from the joke set. It fixes the few problems the deck has and would have been nice to play it hadn’t been sold out on YuYu-Tei since it came out.
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?
D: The deck doesn’t do much at Level 0. Without the utility of the new Brainstorm, I had to improvise and went all in on relying Arsene, Crime Committed on New Year’s Eve. It basically turns any of my Level 0 cards into bombers by having enough power to Reverse. I usually maintain 7 cards in hand by using Pollack’s ability on cancel and by drawing with Arsene, Great Rival or as players in my locals call the card… “bad Riki”.
At Level 1 the deck starts to get insane and players start demanding to see translations. Not many people know that Phantom Thieves has a Mikan combo especially one that can get over 10K consistently and even reach 14.5K or 17K if needed. White Kaito has on reverse combo with the Pants Climax to search a Phantom Thief but is only 4.5K. However, if Black Kaito and White Kaito are on the field at the same time they both become 8.5K and with the Climax they both become 9.5K. Black Kaito also has a Climax combo with the same Pants, on attack giving 2.5K thus being able to pump your White Kaito even higher or to the other level 1… Rat which is a free 5K Time Machine that doesn’t require a Climax Combo. When you combine these cards in combination with Arsene, Crime Committed on New Year’s Eve which is a simple tap to give 2.5K, the Power levels this deck reaches at Level 1 make Marcos and Rider Wall Decks look like 1/0 Rin’s from LB. Of course there is a balance to this, as if White Kaito and Black Kaito are on the field at the same time, at the end of the turn they are sent to the Waiting Room. This is fine however as pumping power with Arsene, Crime Committed on New Year’s Eve already sends the card you pump to the Waiting Room at the end of the turn. While you don’t maintain a field, you still hopefully got a plus by searching with your combo and sending a Rat to Memory to Time Machine. Not having a field means your Opponent is going to slam a Climax and hit for big numbers on Direct Attacks which more often means more cancels. By never having a Level 1 field, you also don’t have to waste space on Level 1 Power Backups. It also means the Opponent can’t do any on Reverse combos, which makes hitting Level 1 first on this deck absolutely insane which usually happens by clocking yourself with Arsene, Great Rival. Also at Level 1 is a Counter Akatsuki Event which most people don’t even know exists.
Usually I go into Level 2 with 6-7 cards in hand by some combination of Drawing by Pollack, Great Rival Clock Draw, Searching from White Kaito, Drawing with Henriette or Book/Pants Trigger. Level 2 is where the deck can snowball out of control and in certain matchups almost never lose. By having 4 characters you can early play Charming Arsene. So usually the back row will be filled by 1-2 New Year’s Eve or 1 Henriette and 1 Rat will be coming on to the field from Memory from Time Machine effect. The ideal play here is playing 1 Pride of Phantom Thief Arsene in the back row which gives a 2K boost to Level 3s. Now with 4 characters on field, playing Charming Arsene and playing the Climax Combo healing for one and boosting Arsene up to 14K. On Opponents turn, Charming Arsene will still be 14K and just to be safe I play 2 copies of the 4.5K Counter Event to protect her. On Draw Step, Pride of Phantom Thief Arsene can change into Beauty Arsene healing on play. If I have another copy of Charming Arsene I can also play it or play another Pride of Phantom Thief to boost the Level 3s. Knowing the series your Opponent is playing is important here, as over extending can be fatal. Usually I have a second Book Climax by holding it or by triggering Pants recently so I play the Book again, healing yet again with Charming Arsene and doing Ranko combo on Beauty Arsene which also combos with the same Climax. I know Ranko as a finisher profile is garbage, but having the ability on a Climax I already play is too sweet. Also she gains insane Power going up to 16K able to reverse almost any early plays the opponent has. If even that Power isn’t enough, I have Twenty which is a Stock Anti-Level bomb.
At Level 3, I play the Commander to restand and finish the game or at least dig by checking top 5 and hopefully getting the Book Climax again. There is also the funny play of pushing 1/0 Rats forward and swinging for game since they are free untargetables being able to dodge annoying event counters that people are playing. Hopefully the Combo was spammed enough at 2 that even if the deck runs out of steam towards the end, there was so much an advantage gained that you can pull a win out.
There also some tricks the deck can do like throughout the game the deck has ways to control your Soul damage through cards like removing your Climax with Pollack and Henriette which allows you to give +1 Soul as well as checking the top card to know your trigger. This in combination with side attacking or using the Level 1 hexproof Rat can help finish games at Level 3. Using Invitation to Phantom as a counter to mill your deck when you know you are out of Climaxes or to play around send to top deck abilities is so spicy. The Book into Book meme actually isn’t as bad in this deck since it enables you to play your combo again. As a matter of fact since you want to see your Climax as much as possible as well as having good Events, drawing in this deck is actually really good. Overall MK Phantom Thieves when running hot can compete with the best decks in Weiss Schwarz but of course it is not a good deck to play if there are many Anti-Heal decks being played.
M: Tell us how the event went. What did you play every round, to the best of your memory? How did the matches go?
D: I had play tested enough to be confident in my build, but was concerned with what decks I would have to play against since South Florida plays some very oddball series. First Round I played against Roneal, one of the better players in our area, who had topped the 2015 WGP Regional here. He was playing Kemono Friends but this wasn’t much of a game as we both were getting hit for big damage early. At the end of game he had triple Serval restand ready to go BUT with the Power of God and Anime™ on my side, I was able to luckily pull out a win. During Round 2, I played Adrian who ended up topping with Osomatsu Brothers. This was a very close game, but his very spicy play of 4 Ticket Events at Level 2 was too spicy for me and I lost.
Luckily I was able to win the last 2 rounds to bounce back including a game against Sengoku Basara which was INSANE since he resolved Date combo 3 turns in a row. It would have been crazy to see Basara top especially since Jon was running hot with the deck, having beaten last year’s WGP Regional Winner Gio in the first round. Overall the games went well, having played my deck for so long helped a great amount. There were multiple games where I got to make my ideal Level 2 play and usually averaged at least 5 heals a game. Thankfully I didn’t run into any bad matchups or counters. Especially after last year when I played Phantom -requiem for the phantom- and everyone in my locals added Level 1 Reversers to their deck to counter me. To get my 5th Top 4 in WGP Regionals felt good and it’s cool to be the only player in FL who has topped 2 WGP Regionals.
M: What was the best play you made (or saw someone else make) during the event?
D: Might not have been the best play but this was the most important play. In my last round, against Sengoku Basra I was able to make White Kaito 14.5K to get over a 14K Date. Killing that Date was a game winning play as he was running out of resources and being able to Reverse that Date assured that he would have a hard time playing Characters to finish the game.
M: Give us an ideal opening hand. What makes it good, and how important are the cards in it?
D: Ideal hand would be Pollack, Great Rival Arsene, New Year’s Arsene, Pants Climax, Rat Rebelling or Invitation to Phantom. Having a Pollack to play turn 1 and swing with is good especially since you can get a plus with it. If you didn’t plus with Pollack, then turn 2 play a Great Rival to Clock Draw. New Year’s Arsene helps you reverse Level 0s and having the Pants Climax ready for your Level 1 combo is important. Rat Rebelling is 2.5K which when pumped by New Year’s kills basically any oversize at 5K, but more importantly is a good drop searcher as it acts as a discard outlet if you get flooded and can search out which ever missing Level 1 combo piece you don’t have. If not him, having the Akatsuki Event to look for your White and Black Kaitos or Level 1 Rat while milling your deck is nice. Usually the games I see the Event more, I tend to win more and have better games with. It’s really that good of an effect.
M: What would a difficult opening hand look like for the deck? What would you mulligan?
D: Honestly opening too many climaxes is death in this build since the only way to mill is with the Event at Level 1. Having the new Brainstormer would help mitigate this however. Opening too many Events or Level 3s can also be a problem since so many are played in this deck, but usually you can mill all of them since the Level 1 Climax Combo can search out the necessary Level 3s.
M: What are the deck’s best/worst matchups in your mind?
D: The worst matchups are obviously Anti-Heal decks like Kantai, LB or KLK, in those matchups the deck straight up has no chance. Also decks that are strong at dodging Level 1 Reverse effects can make Phantom Thieves have tough time getting going but it is possible to still go off if you manage to get your combo pieces. At the same time decks that have anti-level bombs that can kill early plays easily can be annoying. Oh and Railgun, that’s a horrible matchup for Phantom Thieves. The best matchups are wall based decks since the costless Level 1 of this deck can reverse them easily ruining their game plan. My favorite is playing against a deck that can’t out the early plays of Phantom Thieves, you can just heal a million times and never die. Also decks that rely on Power early plays or big late games such as Level 3 Rem, Level 3 Shizuru or Level 3 Tenga aren’t that scary for Phantom Thieves. Actually that Bodyguard Tenga meme died right?
Felix Question: Do you feel that it’s truly possible to tryhard in Weiss Schwarz, and why?
D: That is an interesting question. I do believe that to a certain extent it is possible to tryhard in this game. I don’t want to sound full of myself but I have placed in the Top 4 for all 5 WGP Regionals in Florida. I know there are way better players then me in Australia, California, Canada or Illiana but my point is I don’t consistently show up in the results down here just by luck. To that point, I usually see the same players win the same events or at least do well at them. I have seen players refreshing without having a clue of how many climaxes they sent back or don’t even know what the word compression means. Even when I started playing 5 years ago, I thought the game was all luck based. Luck will always be a factor in this game, but by minimizing your misplays, having a good deck and playing well you can win more then you lose.
It is easy to fall in the habit of smacking cards down and flipping them sideways or even upside down but when two players are really thinking of their plays… that’s when this game is awesome.
Congratulations and thanks again to David for the interview!
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