[email protected] CG Deck Tech – 2nd at 2016 BWC PH

Welcome to a 9th CX deck tech! For today’s article, we have a doozy of a list brought to you by the runner up of the 2016 BWC in PH – Idolmaster CG! This list is brought to you by Jaime C. Special thanks to Travis for article prep. Due to the deck’s incredible variety, we are going to skip immediately to the interview for this time.

Let’s get to the deck!


Level 0 – 15

2 Miria Akagi (IMC/W41-E002)

2 Rika Jougasaki (IMC/W41-E003)

2 Kanako Mimura (IMC/W41-E041)

2 Uzuki Shimamura (IMC/W41-E042)

2 Riina Tada (IMC/W41-E077)

1 Haruna Kamijo (IMC/W41-E100)

1 The First Step, Rin (IMC/W41-TE41)

1 Rin Shibuya (IMC/W41-E078)

1 Bad at Smiling? Producer (IMC/W41-E023)

1 Mio Honda (IMC/W41-E001)

Level 1 – 12

4 Minami Nitta (IMC/W41-E079)

2 My First Star, Kanako (IMC/W41-E054)

2 *(Asterisk), Riina (IMC/W41-E083)

2 My First Star, Minami (IMC/W41-E087)

1 Mizuki Kawashima (IMC/W41-E088)

1 CANDY ISLAND, Chieri  (IMC/W41-E048)

Level 2 – 6

1 Our Lyrics, Miku (IMC/W41-E051)

1 Our Lyrics, Riina (IMC/W41-E095)

1 Mayu Sakuma (IMC/W41-E058)

1 Nao Kamiya (IMC/W41-E097)

2 Mismatched Pair (IMC/W41-E108)

Level 3 – 9

3 Miku Maekawa (IMC/W41-E044)

2 Anzu Futaba (IMC/W41-E043)

1 Chieri Ogata (IMC/W41-E045)

1 Anastasia (IMC/W41-E081)

1 Kaede Takagaki (IMC/W41-E089)

1 Hanako (IMC/W41-TE55)

CX – 8

4 Everyone’s Leader (IMC/W41-E112)

4 OwOver!! (IMC/W41-E073)

 


M: Why did you choose [email protected]?

J: Aside from the obvious fandom of the series, I chose [email protected] because I was really amused with a lot of the gimmicks and abilities the set had to offer. Right off the bat, my favorite would have to be the whole Asterisk interaction namely the level 3 Miku Maekawa and her ability to salvage her own CX and the 1/0 Asterisk Riina and her CX combo of being able to arrange the top 3 cards of the deck just before attacking – I’ll get to that later.

There are quite a lot of 1 and 2-ofs in this list! I’m sure that many fans of consistency are scratching their heads right now, but would you take us through how you wanted each level structured? Level 0 has a wide range of utility as is kind of the expectation, but our first and only non-CX 4-ofs are in level 1, which should allay concerns there.

Ah yes, the 1-ofs. Let me be the first to say that this build should not be taken seriously; rather, the build is the product of personal deck building ‘tryhardery’. To put things into perspective real quick allow me to share with you my experience pre-Nationals while the deck was still in the brewing process. Like with most theorycrafting a build would (in your eyes) look absolutely phenomenal on paper, but in actual usage against other people, that’s not always the case. Before the final build which you see before you the brew I used to run was the exact opposite and was heavy on the consistency side in terms of card quantity. Core cards were at 4, tech cards were at 2 and basically the only 1-ofs I had were Kaede and Mayu.

So why the sudden deck building philosophy switch? After many nights of brewing I finally decided to just “go nuts” if you will – on what cards to put in. The goal was to make it as complex and as difficult to use as possible just prove that even the most convoluted builds can make it to top table. Just so people don’t have to point it out, I am a huge tryhard when it comes to Weiss.

Now with that out of the way, allow me to breakdown the general flow of the build from level 0 onwards.

Level 0

As you can see the level 0 lineup looks like a mess at first glance. But I like to believe that it still follows the same practice of what a regular build looks like – The 2/2 split on runners is something me and my buddy Lawrence came up with. They both serve the purpose of being a runner and keeping up in board. Although I’m not a huge fan of the Uzuki runner simply because there will be games in which she’s not gonna attack for the turn. However, the command mil 2 is something I find useful whether it be for deck thinning or procing Anzu’s early play condition.

The 2/2 split on brainstorms however is simply because I had 2 copies of the Riina SP LOL and plussing on search is always something good to have.

As for hand fixing, I have 3 types – a drop search, a (bad) akatsuki, and a pseudo Sayaka looks up to Mami. Since they all fill the role of being hand fixers, I decided to just put in 1 of each. Odd, yes, but I was able to make it work. Also, I hated the akatsuki on [email protected] which only lets you grab a blue character (you guys have no idea how many time I’ve -1 because I can’t topcheck a blue character to save my life) but I can’t deny that it’s still a command mil 4 and a discard outlet so that’s why it’s there.

The Riki at 2 might raise an eyebrow, but on my end I somewhat had enough cards to tutor out whatever tech I may have needed during the situation. Also, past level 1 Miria’s effect doesn’t really see much usage anymore aside from the sometimes useful +500 to a character on attack.

The 1-of Mio is there to deal with other runners should I draw into her but the main reason I ran her was because I came up with a little combo with her and the level 3 Anastasia basically the idea is to put Mio in front of a small bodied character at around level 2 just before the opponent hits 3 just so I can guarantee a reverse on Anastasia seeing as Mio’s effect locks down a row.

Lastly, the 1-of Haruna is there as an extra pump to ensure Minami snowballs at 1.

Level 1

I’m sure most of you are familiar with how the Minami engine works so I won’t go into detail with that anymore.

What I will talk about however is the Asterisk Riina and how much I love that card. The main reason why I think this is such a neat card is the amount of control it gives you both on offense and defense. Obviously for offense being able to control your triggers makes attack patterns easier to determine. On defense let’s say you topcheck 3 and one of the cards is a CX. Simply attack twice and end your turn which guarantees that your opponent’s first swing would always cancel. My favorite part about it is that it catches the uninitiated off guard (the amount of times people have misplayed and attacked with their highest soul attacker first – oh man the smug on my face).

No Sae Backup? My L1 lineup isn’t really the largest of walls, 2000 does not save anyone at L1 I know this because I used to run Sae and it was always the deadest of draws because none of my small bodied characters benefit the 2k punch. Instead, I went with the Mizuki backup. Not for the power but because of the 2nd effect that has come in clutch I’ll tell you that much.

(Oh and while we’re in the subject of counters, can I just say that I REALLY dislike this counter – why couldn’t they have just made it into like a Leafa counter? I know I said this card saved me at times but even I have to admit that the scry into bottom deck is pretty lackluster especially when you know there’s zero CXs left in deck)

Level 2

I have a bunch of options here. The go-to play would be to early drop level 3 Miku via the “change” the Our Lyrics cards do. There’s also level 3 Anzu, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t prioritize her as the play, simply because I’m not the biggest fan of the “5 or less cards in deck” condition. It adds more cards to the deck  just before refresh, thus messing up compression but does act as a pseudo “freefresh” due to her heal on play in that regard. Luckily, there’s a card in set 2 that has the “2 or less climax” early play condition COUGH SET 2 WHEN BSR? COUGH but for now my alternative to that is the level 2 Nao in a sense that I pay 2 stock for a 2 soul beater AFTER refresh.

Level 3

Unlike most people that use Miku as their finisher, I tend to use Miku as more of a set up in an unconventional way of holding out. What I mean by this is at L3 I tend to be more conservative and prolong the L3 game if I’m not confident in winning that turn. Obviously that doesn’t apply in most matchups but the main gameplay is still to abuse the topcheck 3 effect and protecting myself with a guaranteed cancel and the Mismatched Pair event or “tap counter” as I like to call it.

As for actually ending the game, Miku is able to adjust with whatever “side finisher” I pair her up with. If I play Chieri I can easily set up burns in order to pick off my opponent’s cancels before the actual swing for soul damage. If I play Anastasia, I could easily set up my triggers so that the “assassin” Anya calls out from waiting room can also swing for 2 soul.

The 1-of “doggo counter” Hanako is there for the unexpected heal but I mostly used it to pump Anastasia for the “restand” insurance. (and also just to show off that I run a 2/1 split on event counters whereas a normal deck would probably just run 3 of the tap counters. Again, unnecessary tryhardery)


Take us through your event. What did you play each round, and how did the game pan out?

Round 1 vs LL mono Kotori (W)

Pretty straightforward, but I did get kinda nervous every time he slapped down a +2 soul.

Round 2 vs ?? (W) 

I knew the guy and he mains Project Diva, so with that in mind I decided to forgo the Minami combo at L1 thinking I might lose due to the amount of backups a PDf player runs. I played the beater game early on and ended up spamming stock souls and keeping up in hand cards thanks to brainstorms. Pretty clutch late game actually – I cancelled the deciding attack on the last card phew.

Round 3 vs AoT (W)

spoilers this dude and I would eventually bump into each other again during the final match

But during swiss our match was pretty favorable on my end. Let’s just say that it was a field day for [email protected] – I was cancelling like a don mid game thus giving me the upperhand in damage. I ended up winning the game at level 2 with a bunch of early drops.

Round 4 vs Kancolle (W)

A friend of mine. Decided to use the Sendai variant of Kancolle (“side attack for 6”) pretty heated early game with each one not allowing the other to level up first. But then came level 1 and he decided to drop 2 copies of Sendai on combo. Level skipped from 0 to level 2 and oh my goodness was I shaking. Luckily, I was able to stay alive and push him to 3 thanks to Anzu and Kaede holding out long enough. The deciding moment was him misplaying and not side attacking on the first swing thus allowing me to use the “tap counter” and denying him another attack that cost him the match.  

Round 5 vs Madoka Magica (W)

Luckily, not the Sayaka variant. Miku burning off climaxes on attack was what made this game so much easier at the end because early to mid game my opponent was just not having it and kept on cancelling.

Round 6 vs Sword Art Online (W)

Asterisk Riina yet again making cancels much more doable on a whim. I nearly choked away the game though. Probably the fatigue of playing all day but for some reason on my last swing I decided to mil 2 via Miku’s CXC when there was no need to – I triggered for 5 wherein my opponent was already at 3/4 and that if I hadn’t used the effect I would swing for an exact 3. Luckily though he took 5 and I ended up winning.

Round 7 vs Sword Art Online yet again (W)

Another friend of mine. The match was pretty neck and neck but in the end I was able to get the one up due to him running out of CXs in deck before me. What else can I say? Yuuki still annoying with the whole search 2 thing that she does.

Finals

Round 8 vs AoT The Big One! The Match to Decide it All! The One I Lost

Ah yes. If you were to permit me to also include this match as my most unlucky moment. Not because I’m salty or anything but because of the crucial moment wherein my deck ran out of triggers. So here’s how the match went – [email protected] needs hand cards, like most sets do. But with [email protected] once you lose in card advantage, you’re gone. At 1, things just fell apart. 2 attackers, brainstorms were whiffing, I was barely holding on. Surprisingly enough though I was able to rummage through whatever hand cards I can get and keep up in damage. My opponent was at 3/5 and I triggered my last climax, on my last swing I needed a trigger to seal the deal. I looked through my clock, level, hand, and waiting room. Sure enough, I had no more triggers and with that he lives at 3/6 knowing I had no more climaxes and just swings for game. Good game. Well played, Joseph.

What would you consider your luckiest moment in the event?

It may seem as a cop out, but making it as far as top 8 was something of a lucky moment for me.

Luckiest start?

Opening 5 – L1 Minami, Minami CX, 2 Rikka Runners, Miria – No Drop!

Worst start?

Let’s just say that opening with 4 climaxes in hand isn’t really a trip to Disneyland if you know what I mean.

Here are some sample hands we’ve generated from your list. What would you do with these hands, and why?

(Editor’s Note: We were not able to get super awesome sample hand graphics this time around due to Life™. Sorry!)

Sample Hand 1:

Miria Akagi, Miku Maekawa, Hanako, Mio Honda, The First Step, Rin

Pretty safe opening from the looks of it. I’d mulligan both Miku and Hanako just to bump my chances of drawing into Minami or her CX. The Mio bomb and Rin I think are more than enough to keep up in board til I hit level 1.

Sample Hand 2:

Minami Nitta, Minami Nitta, Riina Tada, Kanako Mimura, Anzu Futaba

A bit of an awkward one here. I suppose it would depend on who goes first in this scenario. What I mean by this is if I go turn zero I’d probably drop the extra Minami just so I can draw into a more suitable front row character. But if the tempo looks to be in my favor and I go second I might just play it greedy and keep both Minamis and praying that I draw a runner or something on the following turn LOL

Sample Hand 3:

Hanako, OwOver!!, CANDY ISLAND, Chieri, Miria Akagi, Mizuki Kawashima

Oh boy I would not want to see this as my opening in tournament. The safest play would be to drop all 4 cards and bank on something pretty. As much as possible I wouldn’t wanna waste the riki just so I can swing for the turn. Another “ballsy” play is to just drop all 5 and maybe I can grab a more ideal set up. Buuut on a serious game I would probably just go with the first and more safe option.


Congratulations again to Jaime on the finish!

If you have questions, please send us a message via Facebook or an email at theninthcx AT gmail DOT com. Be sure to sign up for our seasonal giveaway, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Please check out our partner store, Card Academy!

Thanks for reading!

Nisekoi EN Deck Tech – 3rd at 2016 BWC PH

NisekoiKoiKoi

Welcome back to another 9th CX deck tech! Today we have Tobie Ramos with us to give us his Nisekoi deck list that took 3rd at the BWC located in the PH BWC. Special thanks to Travis for article prep and sample hand production.

Now onto the deck list!


Level 0 – 16

2 Draw of the Shop, Kosaki (NK/W30-E033)

2 Kosaki in Yukata (NK/W30-E040)

2 Aggressive Girl, Marika (NK/W30-E054)

3 Surprising Side, Chitoge (NK/W30-E053)

2 Swimsuit Marika (NK/W30-E078)

2 At the Secret Place, Kosaki (NK/W30-E091)

3 Two of a Kind, Raku (NK/W30-E084)

Level 1 – 14

2 Fateful Lottery, Kosaki (NK/W30-E035)

2 Swimsuit Kosaki (NK/W30-E030)

3 Marika’s Ordeal (NK/W30-E056)

2 Head Tilt Marika (NK/W30-E059)

1 Infatuation, Marika (NK/W30-E079)

3 Promised Pendant (NK/W30-E071)

1 Promised Pendant (NK/W30-E097)

Level 2 – 5

2 Brilliant Smile, Kosaki (NK/W30-E031)

1 Chitoge as a Ghost (NK/W30-E068)

2 Angel in White, Kosaki (NK/W30-E081)

Level 3 – 7

3 After School Date, Kosaki (NK/W30-E027)

2 The One, Marika (NK/W30-E052)

2 The One, Kosaki (NK/W30-E076)

CX – 8

4 Your Only Juliet (NK/W30-E050)

4 Feelings for the Last 10 Years (NK/W30-E073)


We have covered Nisekoi enough that we aren’t going to introduce you to the cards in this deck list, but we will cover the two cards in this deck that did receive nerfed effects when Nisekoi was brought to English.

WS_NK_W30_E052RR

When you play The One, Marika  from hand to the stage, you reveal the top card of your deck. If it is a [Key] character, burn 1. She also has a revenge trigger: when one of your other [Key] characters is reversed, you may give one of your other characters +1000 power.

WS_NK_W30_E076RR

The One, Kosaki gets -1 level in hand as long as you have 6 or more CXs in your waiting room. When she comes onto the stage you may draw up to 2 cards, then discard a card. She also gets +1000 power if you have 2 or more other [Key] characters.

With those cards introductions out of the way, lets get on to the interview!


M: You said you played this in Springfest as well, to the same result. Did anything change in the deck, why or why not?

T: I didn’t change anything. I tried, like, I was considering using the Weapon/Heiress build because Nisekoi EB was released here. I was playtesting with my friends, and realized I sucked at using it (maybe because of the +2 souls and the +2k1 climaxes that I really hate when they trigger). So a week or two before BWC, I changed back to my old build.

M: How much would you say the game has changed in those months between events?

T: I think the release of SAO II EB 2 changed the meta in those months between the events, like during the Springfest, the meta is all about KC, then after SAO II EB 2 was released, fewer people used KC anymore. I actually also won Team Tournament here using SAO with only a day to practice it. All I can say is SAO is OP.

M: If you had to point out some major differences in play style between BSF and BWC, were there any adjustments you made?

T: I think I minimize my misplays during BWC.

M: Why Nisekoi? Some players have suggested that the series is not viable.

T: Nisekoi is one of my favorite series. Actually, the reason why I play Weiss Schwarz is because of Nisekoi. I was originally a Yu-Gi-Oh! player. I heard from my friends that there was a Nisekoi set back when it was only in JP. So I started with Love Live! (never watched the series before though), then they announced Nisekoi’s release in EN, and the nerfs to the level 3’s. I said to myself that even with the nerfs, I’ll still use it, even if it makes me lose tournaments. All I want is the fun of using it. I never really expected that this set will bring me to lot of victories in lots of tournaments.

M: What would you consider your luckiest moment in the event?

T: Round 2 against a Log Horizon. I have 3 cards in my clock, and 4 cards in my deck with no CXs. He attacked for 5. I refreshed my deck and the last card that would have been damage was a CX.

M: What would you say was the best start you had in a game?

T: I think it’s that game against a mono Chitoge where he didn’t cancel the entire game. I really don’t know what happened to him there.

M: Worst start? (If you won, how did you navigate out of it?)

T: Worst start was during the Top 8 (quarterfinals) where I was cancelling too early, and I was drawing CXs during every clock phase. I managed to refresh my deck quickly by brainstorming every turn during that level 0 game, and using the climaxes with 3 characters attacking. That helped me even out the game and win.


Moving on from the interview, here are some sample hands we generated from your list. What would you do with these, going either first or second?

Hand 1:

nksh1

T: I will drop everything, except for the Feeling For the Last 10 Years. I always keep a CX or 2, depending on if I already have level 0 characters in my hand. I’m always looking for the Chitoge runner, and At the Secret Place, Kosaki, cause they’re the characters that most of the time stays longer during the level 0 play. If none of them are drawn after mulligan, the 2nd best option is Aggressive Girl, Marika and Kosaki in Yukata. If I’m going first, I’ll just put Kosaki in Yukata at the back, and pass the turn. If none of all these cards are drawn after mulligan, I will start praying to RNGsus to give me a level 0 character, but in my experience, I never had that situation of no level 0 characters in my hand.

M: Although the deck has a ton of salvage options, would you consider keeping an “Angel in White, Kosaki” in hand despite knowing there may be better options in your waiting room when you use a salvage ability?

T: I never really thought of that. I might try it sometime. Though what I’m always thinking is that these types of cards are just dead hand cards. Sure they can be discarded by Raku or the red Pendant or use for clocking, but I’d rather focus on a mulligan that will make a play during the level 0 and level 1 games, rather than keep cards that will just stay most of the time in my hand and not really doing anything. Also, I always consider that there will be times that I cannot really use the card. I always try to set up my hand just in case the card is possible to use.

Hand 2:

nksh2

T: This is one of the best opening hands I can imagine haha. I’d probably just drop the 2 non-level 0 characters. Though, I wish I draw the red CX for the level 1 combo.

Hand 3:

nksh3

T: I’d drop one Pendant, hoping to get a decent level 0 character. If after mulligan Raku is the only level 0, I’d just play him and ditch a card that cannot be played yet for the Pendant I dropped, and attack with it.

M: Since you do have the Raku in hand, wouldn’t dropping both Pendants be a better option since you want to dig for 0s to play? Or even use the undropped Pendant as clock fodder?

T: In the situation, I really need to mulligan to get that good opening, but I don’t really want to drop all the Pendants. Reason is I still need that Pendant as a clock fodder if I get a good opening after mulligan and draw phase. Since I have a Pendant in my waiting room, and Raku in my hand, I can still get that Pendant. I also don’t like wasting Raku’s effect, especially in these kind of situations that there will be a chance that he’ll be the only opening. It helps me remove those dead cards in my hands too.


Congratulation again to Tobie for the repeat performance!

If you have questions, please send us a message via Facebook or an email at theninthcx AT gmail DOT com. Be sure to sign up for our seasonal giveaway, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Please check out our partner store, Card Academy!

Thanks for reading!

2016 9th CX PH Cup Winner’s Interview

Zekamashi

Welcome to the 2016 9th CX PH Cup Winner’s Interview! Shimakaze is a little unhappy with how late this article is, but, well… Other things came up! (BIGSORRY)

Zaccheus Liwanag was the winner of the 2016 9th CX PH Cup, and he took down the competition with EN KanColle!

Now, we have had many, many, many looks at KanColle, especially in English.

Because we have to, here is the deck list for those who are interested:

KanColle

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 15

1 Hardworking, Ikaduchi (KC/S25-E057)
4 Clumsy Girl, Inaduma (KC/S25-E061)
4 2nd Akatsuki-class Destroyer, Hibiki (KC/S25-056)
3 A Winter Moment, Akatsuki (KC/S31-E040)
3 7th Kagero-class Destroyer, Hatsukaze (KC/S25-E006)

Level 1 – 17

3 “Faithful” Destroyer, Верный (KC/S25-E038)
4 Shimakaze-class Destroyer, Shimakaze (KC/S25-003)
2 3rd Agano-class Light Cruiser, Yahagi (KC/S25-E010)
2 3rd Myoko-class Heavy Cruiser, Ashigara (KC/S25-E158)
3 Yubari-class Light Cruiser, Yubari (KC/S25-E037)
3 Compass (KC/S25-E031)

Level 2 – 3

2 2nd Shoho-class Light Aircraft Carrier, Zuiho (KC/S25-E134)
1 2nd Shokaku-class Aircraft Carrier, Zuikaku (KC/S25-E004)

Level 3 – 7

3 2nd Yamato-class Battleship, Musashi (KC/S25-E002)
4 Akagi-class Aircraft Carrier, Akagi-Kai (KC/S25-E035)

CX – 8

4 Fast like Shimakaze (KC/S25-E034)
3 Akagi of the First Carrier Division is up next! (KC/S25-E075)
1 All planes, take off! (KC/S25-E033)

Analysis!

NOOOOOO

What we imagine readers’ faces to be like right about now

Juuuust kidding.

There’s no way we could analyze the set again in good conscience.

So instead, we decided to provide the most troll interview possible.

If you really, really, really want to hear about how to use this deck (or something like it), we have many other articles on it.

Felix:

Here we go, question 1:

A trolley is heading towards 5 people tied on the tracks. you have the power to flip a lever to divert the trolley to a path with 1 person on it. However, the diverted track leads to another person with the exact same dilemma. Do you pull the lever?

Editor’s Note: Felix, in full troll form, decided that when asked for a troll or ‘trolly’ question, he would provide the most trolley question possible. Unlike previous presentations of dank memes, we have decided to allow this.

Z: Yes, if I understand it clearly 5 is greater than 1, hahaha.

Michael:

How glad were you to not have to play against Soundless Voice over and over again?

Z: Haven’t actually encountered one on my whole life playing Weiss lolol

So y no blu?

Z: I have blue but they are just backups.

mfw

13555518_1029604423801444_415734723_o

Clinton: 

On a scale from 0 to free, how easy was your last match? 

Z: 0 not that easy 😉

Michael (again):

What’s your favorite deck to play?

Z: Fate – Saber bias! I have a Fate yellow green deck that revolves around Saber because she’s my favorite character in the series.

Let’s dive deeper into this unhealthy obsession with Saber. If you were alone in a room with her and only had 5 minutes, what would you order to eat?

Z: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Saber

KIDDING I would order a hot dog or something easy to make. Maybe ice cream.

Melanie 先生:

What series would you like to see brought to Weiss Schwarz?

Z: I think One Punch Man with their level 3’s having the effect similar to their corresponding hero’s power like bounce effects? Most of the series I like are already in the game as it is lol


Special thanks again to Zaccheus for his patience with this whole thing, and to the greater PH WS community for their continued support!

If you have questions, please send us a message via Facebook or an email at theninthcx AT gmail DOT com. Be sure to sign up for our monthly giveaway, follow us on Twitch and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Please check out our partner store, Card Academy!

Thanks for reading!

9th Hour – BSF 2016 Origins Winner Interview – SAO II Vol. 2

Welcome back to the 9th Hour cast! Today we have a video featuring an interview with Clinton Chan, the current reigning EN World Champ, who defended his title at BSF Origins!


If you have questions, please send us a message via Facebook or an email at theninthcx AT gmail DOT com. Be sure to sign up for our monthly giveaway, follow us on Twitch and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Please check out our partner store, Card Academy!

Thanks for reading!

SAO II Vol. 2 EN Quintuple Deck Tech – Different Paths

Yuuki

Welcome to another 9th CX Deck Tech! Today, we will be going into the EN game and exploring some SAO decks using the latest cards that have made their way over!

Note, SAO has been ported in its entirety, as far as booster cards are concerned, but there remain some ‘orphaned’ PR cards that are still only available in the JP game. If those cards were also available in EN, these decks (and many others) would be potentially affected. But for now, we will make do!

Card names will be as they are in the EN release of the game.

Today’s decks are a concerted effort of the 9th CX team, including Michael, Melanie, Johnny, and Clinton.

The card intros and pictures will come after all of the deck lists. Here we go!


Melanie’s Build: [SAO1]

Level 0 – 17

4 Temporary Alliance, Kirito (SAO/SE23-E20)
3 Undefeated Super Swordsman, Yuuki (SAO/SE26-E07)
2 <<Sleeping Knights>> Talken & Nori & Jun (SAO/SE26-E09)
3 Mission in the Twilight, Sinon (SAO/SE23-PE01)
2 Kirito in the Battlefield (SAO/S20-E079)
3 Gathering Materials, Silica (SAO/SE23-E07)

Level 1 – 12

2 Choice to Fight, Kirito (SAO/SE23-E29)
4 Temporary Alliance, Sinon (SAO/SE23-E21)
2 Vice Commander, Asuna (SAO/S20-E010)
4 <<Zekken>> Yuuki (SAO/SE26-E10)

Level 2 – 4

1 Gathering Materials, Leafa (SAO/SE23-E06)
2 “Machine of Ice” Sinon (SAO/SE23-TE15)
1 <<Cait Sith>> Archer, Sinon (SAO/SE26-E34)

Level 3 – 8

1 Leafa’s Pure Wish (SAO/S20-E027 )
2 Getting the Holy Sword, Kirito (SAO/SE26-E29)
4 Last Shot, Sinon (SAO/SE23-E24)
1 Memories That Were Fun, Yuuki (SAO/SE26-E11)

CX – 8

4 Phantom Bullet (SAO/SE23-E35 )
4 <<Mother’s Roasario>> (SAO/SE26-E20)


Johnny’s Build: [SAO2]

Level 0 – 16

1 Ideal Self, Sinon (SAO/SE23-E18)
2 Undefeated Super Swordsman, Yuuki (SAO/SE26-E07)
3 Gathering Materials, Silica (SAO/SE23-E07)
4 Temporary Alliance, Kirito (SAO/SE23-E20)
3 Asuna’s Married Life (SAO/S20-E008)
3 <<Sleeping Knights>> Talken & Nori & Jun (SAO/SE26-E09)

Level 1 -14

4 Choice to Fight, Kirito (SAO/SE23-E29)
4 <<Zekken>> Yuuki (SAO/SE26-E10)
2 Vice Commander, Asuna (SAO/S20-E010)
4 Temporary Alliance, Sinon (SAO/SE23-E21)

Level 2 – 3

1 Gathering Materials, Leafa (SAO/SE23-E06)
2 “Machine of Ice” Sinon (SAO/SE23-TE15)

Level 3 – 9

2 Getting the Holy Sword, Kirito (SAO/SE26-E29)
1 Memories That Were Fun, Yuuki (SAO/SE26-E11)
2 Asuna’s Commanding Strength (SAO/S20-E007)
4 Last Shot, Sinon (SAO/SE23-E24)

CX – 8

4 Phantom Bullet (SAO/SE23-E35)
4 <<Mother’s Rosario>> (SAO/SE26-E20)


Alternate RB Accelerate-Oriented Build: [SAO3]

Level 0 – 17

3 Gathering Materials, Silica (SAO/SE23-E07)
1 Lisbeth’s Professional Pride (SAO/S20-E050)
4 Temporary Alliance, Kirito (SAO/SE23-E20)
4 Strong and Stout-hearted, Lisbeth (SAO/SE26-E22)
1 Ideal Self, Sinon (SAO/SE23-E18)
2 Silica’s Unyielding Trust (SAO/S20-E051)
2 Recovered Memories, Yui (SAO/S26-E068)

Level 1 – 12

4 Trusted Skills, Lisbeth (SAO/SE26-E23)
4 Kirito’s Unshakable Belief (SAO/S26-E066)
4 The Seed (SAO/S26-E078)

Level 2 – 4

2 “Machine of Ice” Sinon (SAO/SE23-TE15)
1 Gathering Materials, Leafa (SAO/SE23-E06)
1 “Check Six” Sinon (SAO/SE23-E32)

Level 3 – 9

2 Getting the Holy Sword, Kirito (SAO/SE26-E29)
4 Last Shot, Sinon (SAO/SE23-E24)
3 Excellent Sniper, Sinon (SAO/SE23-TE17)

CX – 8

4 Phantom Bullet (SAO/SE23-E35 )
4 Power of <<Death Gun>> (SAO/SE23-TE08)


Michael & Clinton’s Build: [SAO4]

Level 0 – 18

4 Gathering Materials, Silica (SAO/SE23-E07)
3 “Sleeping Knights” Talken & Nori & Jun (SAO/SE26-E09)
4 Temporary Alliance, Kirito (SAO/SE23-E20)
4 Shoichi Shinkawa (SAO/SE23-E08)
1 Ideal Self, Sinon (SAO/SE23-E18)
1 Silica’s Unyielding Trust (SAO/S20-E051)
1 In the Sunlight Forest, Sinon (SAO/SE23-E19)

Level 1 – 10

4 <<Zekken>> Yuuki (SAO/SE26-E10)
3 Decision to Fight, Kirito (SAO/SE23-E29)
3 Unknown Identity, <<Death Gun>> (SAO/SE23-TE04)

Level 2 – 7

2 Excessive Obsession, Kyoji (SAO/SE23-E13)
1 Gathering Materials, Leafa (SAO/SE23-E06)
1 Death-causing Bullet, <<Death Gun>> (SAO/SE23-E15)
1 “Check Six” Sinon (SAO/SE23-E32)
1 True Power <<Death Gun>> (SAO/SE23-TE06)
1 Machine of Ice, Sinon (SAO/SE23-TE15)

Level 3 – 7

2 Getting the Holy Sword, Kirito (SAO/SE26-E29)
4 Sterben <<Death Gun>> (SAO/SE23-E09)
1 Demon of <<Dual-wielding>>, Kirito (SAO/S26-E062)

CX – 8

4 <<Mother’s Rosario>> (SAO/SE26-E20)
4 Power of <<Death Gun>> (SAO/SE23-TE08)


BONUS – Clinton’s YGB Build: [SAO5]

Level 0 – 18

4 Gathering Materials, Silica (SAO/SE23-E07)
2 “Sleeping Knights” Talken & Nori & Jun (SAO/SE26-E09)
4 Temporary Alliance, Kirito (SAO/SE23-E20)
1 Silica’s Unyielding Trust (SAO/S20-E051)
2 Undefeated Super Swordsman, Yuuki (SAO/SE26-E07)
3 Asuna’s Married Life (SAO/S20-E008)
1 Kirito in the Battlefield (SAO/S20-E079)

Level 1 – 12

1 Time Limit, Leafa (SAO/SE23-E15)
2 Choice to Fight, Kirito (SAO/SE23-E29)
3 Temporary Alliance, Sinon (SAO/SE23-E21)
2 Vice Commander, Asuna (SAO/S20-E010)
4 <<Zekken>> Yuuki (SAO/SE26-E10)

Level 2 – 4

1 <<Lightning Flash>> Asuna (SAO/S20-E003)
2 Gathering Materials, Leafa (SAO/SE23-E06)
1 “Machine of Ice” Sinon (SAO/SE23-TE15)

Level 3 – 9

1 Leafa’s Pure Wish (SAO/S20-E027 )
2 Getting the Holy Sword, Kirito (SAO/SE26-E29)
4 Last Shot, Sinon (SAO/SE23-E24)
2 Asuna’s Commanding Strength (SAO/S20-E007)

CX – 8

4 Phantom Bullet (SAO/SE23-E35 )
4 <<Mother’s Rosario>> (SAO/SE26-E20)


Starting with Melanie’s build:

At level 0 we have 17 characters.

WS_SAO_SE23_E20

Temporary Alliance, Kirito is a mill runner. If you mill an [Avatar] or [Net] character he runs. On attack, he can give a Sinon +1000 power.

WS_SAO_SE26_E07

Undefeated Super Swordsman, Yuuki is a clock reverser and has hand encore.

WS_SAO_SE26_E09

<<Sleeping Knights>> Talken & Nori & Jun gives your Yuukis and Asunas (Avatar ver) in the middle of your center stage +1000 power and +1 level. Their second ability is a pay 1 stock, rest 2 brainstorm to search for an [Avatar] or [Net].

WS_SAO_SE23_PE01

Mission in the Twilight, Sinon is a +500 power front assist and when you play a CX give one of your characters +1000 power.

WS_SAO_S20_E079

Kirito in the Battlefield is a generic pay 1 ditch 1 searcher for [Avatar].

WS_SAO_SE23_E07

Gathering Materials, Silica is a level 0 reverser and when you play her reveal the top card of your deck and if it’s an [Avatar] or [Net] character add it to your hand and discard 1 card.

At level 1 we have 12 characters.

WS_SAO_SE23_E29

Choice to Fight, Kirito is an assassin.

WS_SAO_SE23_E21

Temporary Alliance, Sinon gets +500 for every other [Avatar] or [Net] and has clock encore.

WS_SAO_S20_E010

Vice Commander, Asuna is a cost 0 +1000 power backup and when you use the backup if you have 2 or more [Avatar] or [Net] character you can give a character +1000 power until the end of turn.

WS_SAO_SE26_E10

<<Zekken>> Yuuki is an assassin and when she attacks with the CX <<Mother’s Rosario>> in play you can pay 1 stock, discard 1 card and search your deck for up to 2 [Avatar] or [Net] characters and she gets +1 level until the end of your opponent’s turn.

WS_SAO_SE23_E06

Gathering Materials, Leafa is a cost 1 +2500 power backup and when you use the backup reveal the top card of your deck and if it’s an [Avatar] or [Net] add it to your hand and discard 1 card.

WS_SAO_SE23_TE15

“Machine of Ice” Sinon is a +1000 power front assist and you can rest her to give one of your opponent’s characters the ability “During this card’s battle you cannot play backups or events from your hand” until the end of turn.

WS_SAO_SE26_E34

<<Cait Sith>> Archer, Sinon gives all your other characters +1500 power during your opponent’s turn and when you play her from hand you can discard 1 to sift 4 for an [Avatar] or [Net] character.

WS_SAO_S20_E027

If you have 5 or less cards in your deck Leafa’s Pure Wish gets -1 level in your hand. She is also a +1500 power global to your other [Avatar] or [Net] characters. You can pay 1 stock, discard an [Avatar] or [Net] character to give her +3000 power and hexproof until the end of your opponent’s next turn.

WS_SAO_SE26_E29

If you have 2 or less CX in your waiting room Getting the Holy Sword, Kirito gets -1 level in your hand. When he is played from hand you can draw up to 2 and discard 1. During your opponent’s turn he gets +500 for every other [Avatar] or [Net].

WS_SAO_SE23_E24

Last Shot, Sinon heals on play and if she gets reversed she sends herself to memory. When she attacks with the CX “Phantom Bullet” in play you can pay 2 and discard 1 card to burn 4, and if it is canceled she gets +3500 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn.

WS_SAO_SE26_E11

When Memories That Were Fun, Yuuki is played from hand reveal the top card of your deck and if it’s an [Avatar] or [Net] character she gets clock kick until the end of turn. And when she attacks both players mill the top card of his or her deck and if the level of the card you milled is higher than your opponent’s you can blind stock 1. (CX count as 0)

 WS_SAO_SE23_E35 WS_SAO_SE26_E20

CX are a 4/4 split between book and bars.

Now for cards found in [SAO2] and not in [SAO1].

WS_SAO_SE23_E18

When Ideal Self, Sinon is played from hand you can pay 1 stock and clock the top card of your deck to search for a level 2 or higher [Avatar] or [Net] character.

WS_SAO_S20_E008

Asuna’s Married Life is a +500 power front assist and when you play a CX give one of your characters +1000 power.

WS_SAO_S20_E007

Asuna’s Commanding Strength heals on play and when she attacks you can pay 1 stock, discard 1 card and all your characters get +500 power and +1 soul until the end of turn.

CX spread is the same as [SAO1].

WS_SAO_SE23_E35 WS_SAO_SE26_E20

Now for cards used in [SAO3] not found in [SAO1 & 2].

WS_SAO_S20_E050

Lisbeth’s Professional Pride is a level 0 reverser and you can accelerate to give 1 of your other [Weapon] characters +2500 power until the end of turn.

WS_SAO_SE26_E22

Strong and Stout-hearted, Lisbeth is a +500 power global to your [Avatar] or [Net] characters and when you use an accelerate ability you can pay 1 stock and salvage 1 character.

WS_SAO_S20_E051

Silica’s Unyielding Trust has a pay 1 stock, rest 2 salvage brainstorm for [Avatar] or [Net] characters.

WS_SAO_S26_E068

Recovered Memories, Yui is a +500 power global on your opponent’s turn and when you use an accelerate ability you can pay 1, rest 2 and heal 1.

WS_SAO_SE26_E23

Trusted Skills, Lisbeth gets +500 power for every of your other [Avatar] or [Net] characters and you can accelerate to give her +1 level and the ability “when this card’s battle opponent is reversed you can salvage 1 [Avatar] or [Net] character.

WS_SAO_S26_E066

If you have 5 or more cards in your hand Kirito’s Unshakable Belief gets +2000 power. You can also accelerate to salvage 1 <<The Seed>>.

WS_SAO_SE23_E32

“Check Six” Sinon gets +2500 power when she is across from a level 3 or higher character. You can rest 2 characters to give her +3000 power until the end of turn.

WS_SAO_SE23_TE17

Excellent Sniper, Sinon heals on play and on your opponent’s turn she gets +500 power for each of your other [Avatar] or [Net] character.

The CX spread is a 4/4 split between books and gates.

WS_SAO_SE23_E35 WS_SAO_SE23_TE08

And lastly for cards used in [SAO4] but not in [SAO1, 2, & 3].

WS_SAO_SE23_E08

Shoichi Shinkawa is a +500 power global for all your other [Weapon] characters. And he gives all your opponent’s characters in the center stage [Target] trait.

WS_SAO_SE23_E19

On your opponent’s turn In the Sunlight Forest, Sinon gives your other character in the middle of your center stage +1000 power. And she has a pay 1 stock brainstorm to search for X [Avatar] or [Net] characters and discard X. (Note even if you don’t choose to search you still have to discard X)

WS_SAO_SE23_TE04

Unknown Identity, <<Death Gun>> is a level 1 reverser if the character across from him has [Target] trait and you can pay 1 stock and rest 2 characters to give 1 of your opponent’s characters -1 level and [Target] trait until the end of turn.

WS_SAO_SE23_E13

Excessive Obsession, Kyoji is a +1000 power global to your other [Weapon] characters and he gives all your opponent’s characters in the back stage [Target] trait.

SAO_SE23_15

If all your opponent’s characters are [Target] trait Death-causing Bullet, <<Death Gun>> gets +2000 power. When he is played from hand to stage you can pay 1 and clock 1 to send an opponent’s level 2 or lower [Target] character to the waiting room.

WS_SAO_SE23_TE06

If all your characters are [Avatar] or [Net], True Power <<Death Gun>> gets +1000 power. And the character facing this card gets [Target] trait. And when the CX “Power of <<Death Gun>>” is played and this card is in the center stage you can discard 1 to send 1 of your opponent’s  cost 1 or less characters to the waiting room.

WS_SAO_SE23_E09

When Sterben <<Death Gun>> attacks if all your opponent’s characters are [Target] trait you can burn 1. He also has a CX combo that is not used in this deck.

WS_SAO_S26_E062

Demon of <<Dual-wielding>>, Kirito heals on play or from change and when he attacks if you are level 3 (or higher?) and have 6 cards in your clock you can pay 3 and discard 2 to stand him. (If he gets reversed during the power comparison, he won’t be able to attack again.)

The CX spread is a 4/4 split between bars and gates.

WS_SAO_SE26_E20 WS_SAO_SE23_TE08

Clinton’s version uses cards already seen before, and is presented as an alternate layout to the “meta” YGB build.

WS_SAO_SE26_E15C

But the one that is not seen is Time Limit, Leafa, which gives all your other characters +500 power. You can also pay 2 and rest her to tutor for an [Avatar] or [Net] character.

How do we use these decks?

The differences among the YGB decks are pretty subtle. Since we have 3 of them, we’ll go through their plan first.

The level 0 layout is pretty much the same no matter where you go; play reversers and runners, filter, and setup for level 1.

Level 1 is where Zekken Yuuki can be used to clean out excess CXs in stock and hand. If things are going well, clock encore Sinon and assassin Kirito are there to fill the gaps and reverse characters. The focus in the level 1 in these decks is to trade rather than wall up, because of the prevalence of CX combos that search on reverse. Of course, games don’t always go as planned, and the presence of clock encore can help the deck sustain damage through inferior draws.

The level 2 across all SAO decks looks dramatically different, especially with the new Kirito. This Kirito came over completely unchanged from his JP version, and smooths out the deck where a power trough used to be. Kirito can bring on the beatdown, while Machine of Ice Sinon locks the opponent out of backups and/or damage denial. (We’re looking at you, Compass)

Level 3 can feel a little, well…

Mami Boom

 

Or maybe…

Spray and Pray

Or if you’re Clinton…

Minigun

In any case, someone is probably going to be hit for 4+ damage, and ideally, it’s not you.

There are some ways to tune the damage at level 3, but the core plan of “Play Sinon Land Headshot” stays the same.

Now what about the other builds?

The RB Accelerate build was something made to focus on the synergy that Lisbeth had with the salvage mechanic, plus revive a previously unused card in the level 0 Yui.

The level 1 therefore, plays quite differently, in that it can use The Seed and Lisbeth to maintain a field and hand simultaneously. The potential downside of this though, is that the deck floats on its waiting room instead of its deck in the early game. The waiting room can be potentially exhausted of good targets, but, there is no CX combo to worry about until level 3.

The deck has been built to also heal as much as possible, even as early as level 0 with Yui. It has solid options in the mid game, and a familiar potentially explosive endgame.

The RBG build was brewed when Clinton considered the use of book triggers to be anathema.

With this in mind, we came up with a deck build that crossed Michael’s BWC-winning build with the new Yuuki cards.

The result was a level 0 and level 1 that is similar to the above decks…

That ends in a level 3 that deals more damage on average despite having a lower range. (Compare Death Gun’s 1+2 damage versus Sinon’s 4+3)

We (Clinton and Michael) see it as a potential alternative to the YGB decks for those who really do not want to play the Sinon CX combo, but we will say that the YGB build was the most successful combination in the JP game; a similar deck in those colors won JP Nationals in 2015.

What deck should I play?

Whatever tests best! The YGB build is tried and true, and is very powerful. With the ability to pay out and ditch excess CXs now very much a staple, the combination of Book + Bar is significantly less awkward than before.

However, that is not to say that other builds are outright unplayable. We can say though, that the old build from last year’s BWC is now obsolete, and that other builds should be considered. When in doubt – test it out!


There are a lot of possibilities in SAO now that the second EB has made its way over. Has your own brew done well, or have you tried using something like we had here? Be sure to drop us a comment on Facebook and let us know what your thoughts are!

If you have questions, please send us a message via Facebook or an email at theninthcx AT gmail DOT com. Be sure to sign up for our monthly giveaway, follow us on Twitch and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

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Thanks for reading!

Miku Deck Tech – 2nd at 2015 EGP Qualifier – Germany

rin-und-len

Onto another deck tech!
This Deck Tech features the Twins Miku Deck that Andre Z. used to get 2nd in the EGP Qualifier Germany 2015, only losing to Bea Wu’s Charlotte Deck from a previously featured Deck Tech. Special thanks to Sebastian for prepping this article from start to finish. (Interview collection, article prep, yup, the whole thing)

Here’s the Deck!

Demon Twins

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 17

2 Kagamine Len “SW Boxer” (PD/S22-009)
1 Kagamine Len “Ni no Sakura: Fan Dance” (PD/S22-010)
3 Kagamine Len “Bad Boy” (PD/S22-084a)
4 Kagamine Rin “Faker” (PD/S29-010)
1 Hatsune Miku “Magician” (PD/S29-028)
2 Hatsune Miku “School” (PD/S29-031)
2 Megurine Luka “Floral” (PD/S29-065)
2 KAITO “White Blazer” (PD/S29-102)

Level 1 – 12

2 Kagamine Rin “SW Striped Bikini” (PD/S22-004)
2 Kagamine Rin “Kagerou” (PD/S29-004)
4 Kagamine Rin “Soleil” (PD/S29-016)
4 Kagamine Len “Ciel” (PD/S29-017)

Level 2 – 7

3 Kagamine Rin “Dreaming Panda” (PD/S29-007)
2 Kagamine Len “White Edge” (PD/S29-012)
2 MEIKO “Taisei Romance” (PD/S29-069)

Level 3 – 6

1 Kagamine Rin “Original” (PD/S22-007)
4 Kagamine Rin “Original” (F 2nd) (PD/S29-001)
1 Kagamine Len “Original” (F 2nd) (PD/S29-003)

CX – 8

4 Kokoro (PD/S29-022)
4 soundless voice (PD/S29-023)


At level 0, we have 18 characters.

pd-s22-009

Kagamine Len “SW Boxer” gives all our other “Rin” and “Len” characters +500 power and you can rest him to give another “Rin” or “Len” character +500 Power.

pd-s22-010

Kagamine Len “Ni no Sakura: Fan Dance” has brainstorm ability for 1 stock: for each climax revealed you choose one of your characters and it gets +2000 power until end of turn.

pd-s22-084a

Kagamine Len “Bad Boy” gives all other characters you control +500 power during your opponent’s turn.  Also if one of your other characters from the center stage is put into waiting room you may put him into waiting room and return the other character to the slot it was in rested.

pd-s29-010

Kagamine Rin “Faker” gets +1000 power and +1 level when you have one or less other characters.

pd-s29-028

Hatsune Miku “Magician” has brainstorm ability for 1 stock and rest 2 of your characters: for each CX revealed you may search deck for up to one [Music] character and put it into your hand.
Also you can give one of your characters +500 power up to once each turn when you use an [S] – Ability. (Side note: brainstorm is an [S] – Ability)

pd-s29-031

Hatsune Miku “School” is a ‘standard’ searcher for [Music] trait characters. (When she comes into play from hand you can pay 1 stock and discard a card to search a [Music] Character).

pd-s29-065

When Megurine Luka “Floral” reverses her opponent you may pay 1 stock and discard a card to salvage a character.
You can also rest a character you control to give this card +1000 power for the turn.

pd-s29-102

KAITO “White Blazer” as a 0 stock +1000 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup you can also give one of your [Music] characters +1 level for the turn.

 

At Level 1, we have 12 Characters.

pd-s22-004

Kagamine Rin “SW Striped Bikini” gets +500 power for each of your other ‘Rin’ or ‘Len’ characters on the field.

pd-s29-004

Kagamine Rin “Kagerou” give all your other [Music] characters +1000 power during your turn.
When she is placed on stage from you hand, you reveal the top card of your deck and if it’s a [Music] character add it to your hand and discard a card.

pd-s29-016

Kagamine Rin “Soleil” has a CX combo with soundless voice: when the CX is played, you may place her into memory and search your deck for up to one ‘Kagamine Len “Ciel”‘ and place him into her the slot she was in.
You can also pay 1 stock when she is reversed to send her to memory.

pd-s29-017

Kagamine Len “Ciel” has a recollection ability: he gets +2000 power when ‘Kagamine Rin “Soleil”‘ is in your memory.
He also has a CX combo with soundless voice: when he attacks and ‘Kagamine Rin “Soleil”‘ in your memory, he gets +3000 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn.

 

At Level 2 we have 7 characters.

pd-s29-007

Kagamine Rin “Dreaming Panda” gets +500 power for each other [Music] character you control.

pd-s29-012

Kagamine Len “White Edge” has a 1 stock +2500 power Backup ability. When you use his Backup ability you may pay 2 stock and shuffle your waiting room into your deck. (He gets shuffled back into the deck as well)

pd-s29-069

MEIKO “Taisei Romance” has a 1 stock +2500 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability you reveal the top card of your deck and if it’s a [Music] character, add it to your hand and discard a card. (The second effect is not optional)

 

At level 3 we have 6 characters.

pd-s22-007

Kagamine Rin “Original” has heal trigger on play and gets +2000 power if you have 4 or less stock.
If she reverses a character you must send it to stock.

pd-s29-001

Kagamine Rin “Original” (F 2nd)  gets +1000 power if you have 3 or more other [Music] characters.
If her damage is cancelled (on the turn she’s played from hand) you may burn 1.
She also has a CX combo with Kokoro: when she attacks, you may pay 1 stock to search your deck for up to 2 [Music] characters and add them to your hand.

pd-s29-003Kagamine Len “Original” has a heal trigger on play.
When he reveals a CX during the trigger check you may discard a card to give one of your characters +2000 power and +1 soul.

 

The climax spread is a 4/4 split between 1k1 | Bounce and 1k1 | Burn effects and triggers respectively.

pd-s29-022pd-s29-023
How do we use this deck?

It’s fairly simple. You try to get out the soundless voice climax combo at level one and then try to do the same thing again… and again. Its really just about how often you draw the soundless voice climax.

Editor’s note: This combo has been covered a lot in the past. If you want to see a similar version of the deck, you can find them here and here.

What does the deck not do well? Is it missing anything? What are some of the potential risks the list takes?

Andre: This deck struggles to end games. The only kind of finish you have is the level 3 Rin that burns one when her damage gets cancelled. So if you play against a very defensive deck that lowers your soul or has an anti-damage backup you’re gonna have a bad time. Having a good (better) finisher would really help this deck.

Is there or are there specific key cards in the deck that make it work?

A: Like I mentioned above it’s all about soundless voice. If you don’t have that, you lose most of the time.

About the list: Is it conservative or greedy? What’s its overall power range? Is it easy or difficult to use? What would you say about its viability in the JP/EN metagames at large?

Editor’s Note: The numbers are strictly my own, but the numbers have been adjusted to consider the commentary.

Greed: 6

A: This list is an all or nothing list. It has this one climax combo you just need to get unlike in other decks where not getting your level one combo might be bad, but not a game loss.

M: All-in at level 1, but no color requirements. From previous deck techs, I noted that the deck was a 4 on greed, but given the rising popularity of level 1 CX combos that search (TLR, SAO, KC, etc), I have to notch it up to a 6. The deck sacrifices potential cards in hand for more cards on board, which can make some (more conservative) players uncomfortable.

Power Range: 4 – 8

A: The power range is rather high since it is a bash deck without any really cool search effects like a Yuuki (SAO). The usual power range is 10500 to 11000 at level one.

M: In the context of the EN game, I know the rating was somewhere between 5 and 10, but the game is always changing as more sets get released. That said, relative to both games, this rating is a safer bet; it will probably never be outright unplayable, and is probably a decent aggro ‘litmus test’.

Magic reference time! For those who’ve played constructed environments where mono-red has been anywhere from unplayable to ‘best deck to take to an event’, there’s a good parallel to see here. In an ever-changing environment where new decks are popping up every month, sometimes a good old-fashioned beatdown will do the trick.

Difficulty: 3

A: If you get the basics down of this deck it’s rather easy to play. I myself was not expecting my deck to do this well. All the new sets have really amazing abilities and good finishers which my deck is missing. I thought that without them I wouldn’t stand a chance, but somehow I still managed to place second.

M: Learn combo, draw combo, use combo. Practice, and then …

Akuma

Onto the interview!

How was your event overall?
A: It was a nice an fun tournament like every month. I wasn’t expecting much and initially planned to go before the tops begin to grab some food.

What was a really lucky moment you had during the tournament?
A: The most lucky moment I had was during round 3 or 4. In one game, the timer saved me. Our game went on for too long so we were in time out. Because I had the last extra turn, I barely managed to get my opponent to 3-5 while I was still at 3-4 and won. The next round would certainly have been my doom.

What was a really unlucky moment you had during the tournament?
A: There wasn’t really an unlucky moment. The only thing that could be considered one was during the final game, but by then, it didn’t matter to me as much. I wasn’t able to draw the Soundless voice climax for two turns which kind of killed my mid game.

Did you have any incredible comebacks?
A: I almost had one. During the final match I did not manage to finish of my opponent and only got her to 3-6. We both were at 3-6 and I was already sure I would lose. She started to attack and I managed to cancel two of the attacks but the last one barely got through.

How did the final match go for you? What did you play against?
A:
I played against a good friend of mine who was using a Charlotte deck. I have never played against Charlotte and only knew that it had anti-burn which made my bad finisher even worse. The match was just a fun match for both of us since the only thing that was diffrent from first to secound place was the amount of boosters. We had a really fun match and goofed around a lot while playing.

How did you prepare for the tournament? Did you do anything special the day of the tournament?
On the way to the tournament I was debating about my assists. I was unsure if I should play an assist that give + one level in front or an overall stronger one. I tried to predict how many people would play level one slayers and settled in the end for more power since at that time not a lot of people were really using level one slayers.

Any funny stories from the event?
The funniest thing was during the finals. I played against Bea and we had a little discussion about Ayumi. I thought she was really cute, but Bea said that she didn’t really like her, which I poked fun at. Of course, she knew I was joking.

Any other shoutouts or things you would like to say?
I would like to really thank my friends who supported me even though they were all surprised at how far I got and all annoyed because we all wanted to finally get some food.

Thanks to Steven for organizing this whole event and thank you to all the people who work on Weiss Schwarz and the anime it features. Without them I wouldn’t be able to play this fun game.

Thanks!


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Sword Art Online Deck Tech – BWC 2015 CA Regionals Winner

Trio

Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we have a fresh tournament report and analysis from the 2015 BWC CA Regional Qualifiers, featuring SAO! The Pomona qualifier was a massive 258-player event, and yes, the same Michael who writes the articles here won the event! (Hi everyone!)

The event was covered by the Official WS USA page here.

If you want to skip the deck tech, you can scroll down or search for [REPORT] on the page.

Let’s get to the deck!

LizunaGun

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 16

4 Kirito, Temporary Alliance (SAO/SE23-E20)
4 Silica Gathering Materials (SAO/SE23-E07)
4 Shoichi Shinkawa (SAO/SE23-E08)
2 Silica’s Unyielding Trust (SAO/S20-E051)
1 In the Sunlight Forest, Sinon (SAO/SE23-E19)
1 Ideal Self, Sinon (SAO/SE23-E18)

Level 1 – 11

4 Asuna Invites to Party (SAO/S20-E001)
4 Unknown Identity, 《Death Gun》 (SAO/SE23-TE04)
3 Vice Commander, Asuna (SAO/S20-E010)

Level 2 – 7

2 Mob Hunting Together, Lisbeth (SAO/SE23-E14)
2 Excessive Obsession, Kyoji (SAO/SE23-E13)
1 “True” Power, 《Death Gun》(SAO/SE23-TE06)
1 Gathering Materials, Leafa (SAO/SE23-E06)
1 《Lightning Flash》 Asuna (SAO/S20-E002)

Level 3 – 8

4 Asuna’s Commanding Strength (SAO/S20-E007)
3 Sterben 《Death Gun》 (SAO/SE23-E09)
1 Lisbeth’s Shining Smile (SAO/S26-046)

CX – 8

4 《Star Splash》 (SAO/S20-E024)
3 Power of 《Death Gun》 (SAO/SE23-TE08)
1 Fateful Estoc Wielder (SAO/SE23-E17)

At level 0, we have 16 characters.

sao-se23-20

Kirito, Temporary Alliance gives a Sinon you control +1000 power until end of turn when it attacks. It is also a conditional runner: at the start of your opponent’s attack phase, you may put the top card of your deck into your waiting room. If the revealed card is an [Avatar] or [Net] character, Kirito can run to an open slot on your center stage.

sao-se23-07

Silica, Gathering Materials is a level reverser. When played, you reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card is an [Avatar] or [Net] character, you put it in your hand, and then discard a card.

sao_se23_08

Shoichi Shinkawa gives all other [Weapon] characters you control +500 power, and all characters on your opponent’s center stage [Target].

sao-s20-051

Silica’s Unyielding Trust has a brainstorm ability for 1 stock and resting 2 characters you control: for each CX revealed, you salvage a character.

sao_se23_19

In the Sunlight Forest, Sinon gives the other character in the middle slot of your center stage +1000 power during your opponent’s turn, and has a brainstorm ability for 1 stock: for each CX revealed, search your deck for up to X [Avatar] or [Net] characters, then discard X cards.

sao-se23-18

When you play Ideal Self, Sinon, you can pay 1 stock and put the top card of your deck into clock. If you do, you search your deck for up to 1 level 2 or higher character.

At level 1, we have 11 characters.

sao-s20-001

Asuna Invites to Party gets +1000 power as long as you control 3 or more other [Avatar] or [Net] characters. It has a CX combo with Star Splash: on attack, you can pay 1 stock to search your deck for an [Avatar] or [Net] character.

sao-se23-t04

Unknown Identity, 《Death Gun》 is a level reverser as long as the character battling it is a [Target]. You can pay 1 stock and rest 2 characters you control to give a character your opponent controls -1 level and [Target] until end of turn.

sao-s20-010

Vice Commander, Asuna, has a 0 stock, +1000 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability, if you control 2 or more [Avatar] or [Net] characters, you can choose another character you control and give it +1000 power until end of turn.

At level 2, we have 7 characters.

sao-se23-14

Mob Hunting Together, Lisbeth gets +500 power for each other [Avatar] or [Net] character you control. When it attacks, you can pay 1 stock to give a character your opponent controls on their center stage -1 level until end of turn.

sao_se23_13

Excessive Obsession, Kyoji gives all other [Weapon] characters you control +1000 power, and gives all characters on your opponent’s back stage [Target].

sao-se23-t06

“True” Power, 《Death Gun》gets +1000 power if all characters you control are [Avatar] or [Net], and gives the character facing it [Target]. It as a CX combo with Power of 《Death Gun》: when the CX is played, you may discard a card. If you do, you choose a character with cost 1 or less your opponent controls and put it into the waiting room. (You can choose a character on center or back stage)

sao_se23_06

Gathering Green Materials Leafa has a 1 stock +2500 power Backup ability. When you use the ability, you win the game reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card is an [Avatar] or [Net] character, you put it into your hand, then discard a card.

WSEN_SAO_S20_CH_BP

Lighting Flash Asuna sends any character it reverses to stock. During your turn, if facing a level 3 or higher character, it gets +4000 power and +1 soul.

At level 3, we have 8 characters.

sao-s20-007

Asuna’s Commanding Strength has a heal trigger on play. On attack, you can pay 1 stock and discard a card to give all [Avatar] characters you control +500 power and +1 soul until end of turn.

sao_se23_09

If all characters your opponent controls have [Target], Sterben Death Gun may burn 1 on attack. It as a CX combo with Fateful Estoc Wielder: on attack, it gets +2500 power and “When this reverses a character in battle, you may put that character on top of your opponent’s deck” until the end of your opponent’s next turn.

ws_sao_s26_e046

Lisbeth’s Shining Smile gets +500 power times the number of [Avatar] or [Net] characters you have until end of turn when played. When played, you look at the top card of your deck, and you may put it into your waiting room. When it reverses a character in battle during your turn, you may pay 1 to send a level 2 or lower character your opponent controls on the center stage to the top of their deck.

The CX spread is a 4/3/1 split among 1k1 + Bounce, 1k1 + Gate, and 2k1 + 2 soul effects and triggers respectively.

sao-s20-024

sao_se23_t08

sao-se23-17

Before I begin retelling how every round went, a question popped up that warrants a quicker answer:

This deck looks weird. Why did you use this deck? What possessed you to make it like this?

What I want to say: Because of a beautiful process of elimination involving hours of analysis, thousands of games testing, and blood sweat and tears.

The reality: I misplaced my blue cards and had to come up with something before the event.

This deck was the result of an eleventh hour edit. I went to SoCal with the idea of using YB SAO, using Asuna + Sinon as a way to push for massive endgame damage. I was expecting Attack on Titan, Log Horizon, and Madoka Rebellion to be major contenders, with a small slice of Love Live! players making up a significant minority. I had the cards for the YB build but somehow my level 3 Sinons went missing, leaving me scrambling for a solution.

Enter Sebastian.

Sebastian is a friend whose deck you may have seen last year when he qualified for the first EGP. I explained my situation to him, and at his wholehearted encouragement, told me that I should use LizGun. I knew that the basics of LizGun involved using very big red characters to beat down and end the game, but I also knew that the deck probably would not be able to stop a wave of charging titans in a fair fight. Thus, LizunaGun!

Here’s how the deck wants to work:

(Fair warning, if you are an experienced player, you have probably heard these things before)

In the early game, it wants to open with at least one global support, and a Silica reverser or Kirito runner. The runners are great for kiting and actually forcing damage through to you in the early game, and useful to deny damage later in the game if need be. Both cards have a bit of invisible power that give them an edge over other cards. Instead of moving only a single card at a time like most cards (the card from attack), they move two; the card from the reveal ability, and the attack. Silica, more often than not, will filter out a card, and if not, you get the luxury of knowing when to brainstorm, or when you might want to use the trigger on the top of your deck.

The first few turns are all about setting up as many copies of Asuna Invites to Party as possible, and searching for the backup(s). If you are beyond 1/4 though, the plan switches to searching for level 2+ characters. The curious part of the deck is how card-efficient the cards are. Each attacking character in the early game with the exception of the Death Gun reverser is capable of pushing 2 cards at a time, which increases the chances of canceling in the long run. The Death Gun reverser plays an interesting role and both levels 1 and 2, and sometimes 3, especially if your opponent plays an early level 3 character. While SAO does not have an anti-change effect, it gets to have an on-attack quasi-anti-change in Lisbeth + Death Gun.

The deck gets a lot of value out of its CX triggers (with the rare exception of the +2 soul, which will, thanks to confirmation bias, only show up at its most inconvenient possible time). Bounce can help gain cards by taking out a key support or tax your opponent’s stock, and salvage triggers can help maintain the board by reusing Backup effects (as an example).

By level 2, the deck should be ready to refresh favorably, but does not need a wealth of stock to function. (During the whole event, I would often go into levels 2 and 3 with an average of 4 stock.) Lisbeth is a huge character, and will often demand a large character to overpower. Given that a fully stocked back stage of support will give her +2500 without anyone else on the center stage, she, combined with a Death Gun reverser, can take down teams of level 2 characters with ease.

Level 3 is when having the full [Target] acquired is necessary. Even though a burn effect is much less flashy than a Sinon headshot (burn 4), it is immensely more difficult to cancel, and if the opponent should cancel that 1, they will be that much less favored to cancel the 2+ damage coming in from the Sterben. Asuna + Sterben can make the endgame a nightmare for your opponent if they have level 1 or level 2 characters on the board; side attacking skips the counter step, so anti-damage events etc can’t be used in those instances.

So what did you play against?

[REPORT]

Tournament report, start!

My friend Thomas and I left the Bay on Saturday morning SoCal-bound to play in a local event at It’s Game Time. Fortunately, we had an uneventful 7 hour drive, and soon I was sitting in a store, building a horrible blue/green Charlotte deck for testing. I got to meet some new friends, give away some packs and see how bad my first draft of my Charlotte deck was. (To reiterate: the build was bad, it’s not worth posting about, and we’ll be seeing more real decks very soon)

Thomas brewed a much better Y/x build (which will have a deck tech of its own), and went on to win the whole tournament that night. We drove half an hour away for a 10,000 calorie meal of KBBQ, and headed to his friend Ryosuke’s place to crash. We tested some games until 3 AM (a very risky move), and then woke up at 8 to drive to the venue. It was during the testing session that I made the decision to play RY LizunaGun over another ‘fun’ deck I had, 9-bounce Idols. (Love Live!, Yellow Green, no CX combos, 8 bounce triggers; the closest thing to cute vanilla beatdown)

I took my player number (174), filled out my deck list, organized it by level, double and triple-checked it, took a picture for later, and went to check my pairing for round 1.

Please note! These rounds are being done to the best of my memory – there were ten of them, and my memory, however good or awful it might be, is certainly far from perfect. If I played against you and I have forgotten some key detail etc, I’ll change it if you let me know!

Round 1 – Love Live!

My first match was against a Love Live! deck; a series I was anticipating to see maybe once or twice in the day. Things got off to an interesting start when his first direct attack triggered a +2 soul, and a turn later, his third attack triggered another double soul. Thanks to the help of my Asuna Invites, I was able to dig out a lot of non-CX cards from my deck. At level 2, he used the Honoka anti-encore to delete a Lisbeth, but I was able to consistently reverse his characters every turn, tax his stock, and make him unable to assemble a game-winning attack.

1-0

Round 2 – Love Live!

My second match was against another Love Live! deck, running a yellow/red build. The early game went smoothly, and I was able to filter through a good number of CX and non-CX cards to get to level 1 on time. My Star Splash combo pushed him to level 2, and he replied with a beefy 2/2 Kotori to clear some of my Asunas. Unfortunately, the bird found herself in the sights of a waifu slayer and was shot down for free the following turn (SORRY KOTORI), and I ended the game almost 5 cards and a level ahead.

2-0

Round 3 – Kantai Collection (KanColle)

Round 3 had me paired against a green/yellow Kantai build that had an offbeat CX split: 4 bounce, 4 bar. I refused to sink a Hibiki for a long time, opting to side attack it for several turns in a row to keep him at level 0 as long as possible. When I finally hit level 1, I hit 3 copies of Asuna Invites + the Star Splash CX to search up a Vice Commander and other characters. Those Asunas stayed on board for a long time, and he kept using CXs and side attacking. During one turn when I was expecting to level to level 2, I remained at 1/4. I was out 6 CXs, and I clocked and to my horror, drew my remaining two CXs, a Star Splash, and a Power of Death Gun, with 7 cards left in my deck. At that point, I had a choice. I could brainstorm to refresh with 6, but after some thought, I realized there was a way I could refresh with all 8; I played my Star splash, attacked, searched for a blank trigger (to improve the chances of hitting a soul trigger for more damage), went to 5 cards in deck, repeated, going to 3 cards in deck, and ended the turn with 9 cards in hand, and 1 card left in my deck. I discarded my 8th CX and another redundant character, refreshed with all 8, and had also pushed him a full level ahead of me. During the final turn, he hit an unsuccessful Compass, went to 3/6, and began his turn with 2 cards left in his deck before conceding.

3-0

Round 4 – Log Horizon

As soon as I saw the Waltz CX hit the waiting room, I knew that I had finally been paired against one of the decks I was truly expecting to see at the high tables. I was on the draw, and he played not one, but TWO marker Akatsukis, and slammed a level reverser, hitting me for 2 damage. My hand did not improve from my initial mulligan, but in a stroke of good luck (or fit of consistency), I drew both a copy of the runner Kirito and reverser Silica. I did not want to give him any value from his Akatsukis, and it was not worth letting him know that I had any more copies of level 0 characters in my hand, so I opted to crash the reversers and pass the turn. The damage that did go through ended up sending his brainstorm Shiroe to clock, and he was unable to add more to his board for another turn. Instead, he moved an Akatsuki to the front attacked, and passed. At that point, I was certain that I was going to have to do a long trade with Kirito and Akatsuki, but a copy of the global Shoichi and brainstorm Sinon showed up. I traded again 1 for 1 with his Akatsuki, using the brainstorm Sinon (both had 1500 power), and then hit him to 0/4. When he pushed his final Akatsuki to the front, I was able to clear it for free with my Kirito, and deny myself a cancel to get to level 1 on time. When he hit level 1, he only had a pair of clock encore Shiroes, and a Marielle went straight to stock after revealing a CX. He used the stock to convert a Miss Isuzu searcher into another character, and was able to parry an attack with my Asuna with a Mind Shock, but he had an unfortunate refresh in the midgame, only getting 6 CXs back into his deck. A subsequent attack saw him trigger yet another CX, and he drew another, and I was able to crash 6 cards into an impossibly large Naotsugu to not only push damage, but deny him the Akatsuki burn combo, and the -2 soul ability from his support Shiroe.

4-0

Round 5 – Miku!

I thought that I might run into a Soundless Voice build at one point, but fortunately for me, this was not one of those times. My opponent’s initial mulligan revealed that he was in fact playing a green/red Miku build. Unfortunately for him, I was able to pick off his early characters for free, and I had excellent level 1-2 cancels thanks to a combination of searching and brainstorming. His board pretty much stayed the same from level 1, with the exception of a healer Miku he changed in. Though I was never able to deal with the oversized Miku, he was forced to commit too much stock to preserving his board since he was already 3 or 4 cards down from the early game. The game ended with me barely starting level 2 when the final damage landed.

5-0

Round 6 – SAO

This round, I got to play the SAO mirror against Scott, a member of our party from the night before. His deck was more of what my deck was supposed to look like for the event, but the game did not play out beautifully at all. To expand a little bit on the way-too-short-and-very-rude version of “I just got too lucky” (which… I did), the story of the game was something like this:

  1. I played characters.
  2. So did he.
  3. We battled.
  4. My 1k1 Star Splash hit for 9 damage.
  5. Twice.
  6. He canceled about 2 times all game, and triggered at least 4 CXs from attacks.

All said, it was a beautiful and horrifying display of variance in WS, and I so happened to reap the benefit during the round. (In his defense, he played all of his cards correctly, and did everything he could do to win; he was just behind a level and a turn, and was low on cards during the time that players normally use to rebuild their hand.)

6-0

Round 7 – Blue Titans

That round…

I was given a grim reminder…

The horror that was this round against a fellow Bay Area player is best summed up in image and GIF form.

MFW out 6 CXs in 2 turns, taking 14 damage

MFW out 6 CXs in 2 turns, taking 14 damage

tfw Asuna is kill

tfw Asuna is kill

 

After a 5 minute thrashing, I was 6-1 and the top cut was performed. The top 8 were announced, deck checks were done, and it was off to the elimination stages!

Populating the top 8 were:

Madoka x2
Attack on Titan
SAO x2
Nisekoi
KanColle
Love Live!

Top 8 – Quarterfinals – SAO

The look of the blue/yellow Imprisoned Queen Asuna build evolved to include Sinon and was staring me down across the table – with the identical playmat to boot! We even both had Asuna sleeves, and we were off. I only remember the midgame the best, where his Imprisoned Queen Asuna was punished by a Death Gun reverser, and we were both getting more cards in hand from Star Splash combos. His triggers were burn triggers, and mine were bounces, which made for some interesting interactions. While I didn’t get to bounce anything worthwhile in the early game, I did once get to keep a character for free because I bounced the character mine was about to crash into. I kept hitting soul triggers during the midgame, and twice, two consecutive attacks for 3 would hit, before an attack for 1 would cancel; a very unfortunate sequence for my opponent. I ended the game at 3/0 with what turned out to be a triple cancel waiting on the top of my deck.

Top 4 – Semifinals – Madoka

Another Bay Area player, Nick, was not someone I was looking forward to playing, out of respect of knowing how well he played Madoka. I ran a couple of tournaments, and he won both of them with the same list. Though he and I had actually not played previously, I knew that I could count on a hard game.

I went first, and saw my opening hand after clocking. I had only 2 playable cards: a Silica brainstormer, and a global support Shoichi. I knew that he ran Sayaka Looks Up to Mami (a 1500 power character), as well as the New World Madoka (4000 power as long as you have 2 or less stock), and the stock and damage I was going to get from the attack was not worth knowing that I would lose the card for free the following turn. After tanking for a while, I passed the turn, getting a surprised reaction. He drew, clocked a level 3 Homura, played 2 copies of the Madoka (which after seeing, I breathed a sigh of relief in my head), as well as a Sayaka Looks. The surprise play was a 1k1 he followed up with, opting for a soul rush gambit to get me as far behind as possible. His attacks for 3 and 3 landed, and his last attack was canceled. I leveled with red, clocked a level 3 Asuna, and cleared his entire board with larger characters, opting to hold onto a CX to deny him from getting to level 1. Sure enough, he started his next turn at 0/6 after clocking, and could only bond for his Second Year Sayakas with Apples.

I took the opportunity to brainstorm after a Silica revealed a CX on top of my deck, netting me some more cards. My next push hurled him well into level 1, and his follow up attack triggered two consecutive CXs. Once I saw that he was getting low on cards and was already out 7 of his CXs (4 in WR, 1 in clock, 2 in hand), I held onto the 2 CXs I drew, and then stopped clocking. He hit a brainstorm to try to deny damage, but his final attack revealed the final CX left in his deck, leaving 8 cards worth of free damage hanging. I jumped at the opportunity to hit a 1k1, and searched out as many blank triggers from my deck as I could to maximize the potential damage I could deal.

His refresh was kind to him, but the brainstorm the following turn was not; he hit 2 CXs and searched for 2 level 3 Homuras, but his attack triggered another 2 CXs. I canceled his attacks, and went to my turn. Because his board was actually much smaller than mine, I was forced to “win” trades by clearing his characters, only to make them delicious HomuHomu food. I had 1 CX left in deck among 3 cards, and was at 2/6 when he played his Homuras and pushed a 1-soul character to the front to crash. His first attack was canceled on the 3rd and last card, making me unable to refresh with the CX, but I was hit to exactly level 3 after the refresh, and 3/1 after my character was kicked to clock. A second attack for 3 went through and sent me to 3/5. His final attack went for 3, but the trigger was a CX, and it was canceled on the last card, eliciting a “うっし!” from the president of Bushiroad USA, who happened to be watching. (Not a joke) At that point, he was at 3/5, had only 1 CX left in deck, and extended the hand.

Grand Finals – Attack on Titan

The revenge match!!

One of the best things that could happen while facing the deck, is going second. Mono-blue Titans hates going first because it wants to run at the opponent at full speed with enormous Titans that can’t be killed easily. And fortunately for me, I got to go second in this rematch.

Bert drew, clocked, and passed the turn with no plays. (Sound familiar?) I used the opportunity to play a pair of runners, and pushed him to 0-4 after my first attack triggered a soul trigger. Not wanting to send him to level 1 before my hand was ready, I passed the turn. It felt weird to deny myself free stock, but I knew that it was not worth the risk of nearly losing the game on the spot. As I feared, the Titans came crashing down, but fortunately, my Kirito runners were able to mill away a CX, ensuring I would be getting to level 1 more quickly. Though I lost my front line, I was able to trade a Silica for a single Titan. It kept the open slots for him to attack into, but it also kept him at 0/5, thus saving me from the horrors of level 1 Titans for one last turn.

His response was to bump me to level 1; I leveled a Vice Commander Asuna for yellow because quote, “It’s not like this is going to actually do anything against you at level 2 right?” Between levels 1 and 2, I was only able to land 1 or 2 attacks per turn. I was filtering through my deck like mad, doing my best to also cancel, which I did a fair number of times.

There came a point near the end of level 2 where I had about 15 cards left in my deck, and 3 CXs remaining. I clocked a Star Splash and drew… an Asuna Invites to Party. Oops. But, in retrospect, it was not the worst thing that could have happened. The other card I drew was a Sterben, leaving my hand with a total of 2 Sterben, a red 1k1, and the Asuna. Had I played more correctly, I would have had the option of filtering through my deck for more cards to deny him damage, but I knew that I had to leave myself with 4 stock to be able to play both Death Guns the following turn. In a very quiet turn, I hit him for 1 damage with the Asuna. He went to 2/3, did not clock, and then proceeded to crush my deck with enormous swings.

Fortunately for me, there were a pair of cancels that showed up after I refreshed that gave me some breathing room. I drew the one level 3 Lisbeth in my deck, but declined to clock because I did not want to risk drawing more CXs and dealing myself free damage. I played my pair of Sterbens, but then pushed my level 0 Shoichi to the front, because all of his characters were going to retain [Target] for the turn. I played a 1k1, and went for a game-winning set of attacks. A burn for 1 from the first Sterben was canceled, and the 3 soul attack stuck, sending him to 2/6. The next burn hit to send him to level 3, but the 4 soul attack was deflected like:

NoFramesNoGames

My last desperate attack for 2 went through, but he went into the next turn poised to finish the game.

A pair of direct attacks sent me to 3/4, and also made me refresh to 3/5. He attacked with the Titan head for 3, and I flipped the first two cards  thinking “Please…”, and saw a Death Gun CX on the last card to save me from losing the game.

I drew a card, looked at my chances of living to see the next turn, and jokingly announced “Final turn!”, before putting a card in my clock to go to 3/6, and draw my last remaining characters.

I pushed my support Kyoji to the front, and played another 0 cost character. My level 3 Lisbeth was played between those plays; the sequencing was irrelevant because no amount of trying was going to let me beat his 14-15000 power Titans.

I saw that the top card of my deck was a blank trigger. I saw that he had only one card left in his deck, so I left the card there.

I attacked with my level 0 for 1 damage, forcing him to refresh with only 6 CXs. (The last card in his deck was a CX) He clocked to 3/3 with about 17 cards left in his deck, meaning I would have to hit a soul trigger during either attack and not cancel, or, hit a double soul trigger on the Lisbeth attack to win.

I attacked with my Lisbeth, and the trigger was blank. Two damage stuck, leaving him at 3/5. I looked at my Kyoji with only 1 soul, and shook my head, knowing that the probability was not in my favor. I turned him sideways and flipped a Star Splash! The 2 soul attack I needed was there, and he began to reveal his cards- Titan, and, Titan!

I’d like to give a shoutout to John and Card Academy for helping me with cards, Thomas, Ryosuke & friends and the IGT folks for lodging and great games, and Randall for the deck tech video collab. Another thanks to Sebastian for pushing me to play LizGun. Special thank you to Ben B. from the Bay Area for helping me with the Asunas, and a shoutout to the WS PH community for your support!

Fun fact: BWC for 2 seasons now has been won by a Michael. (Hi Mike!)

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If you’ve made it through the nearly 5000 word brick of text, thanks for reading! I hope you were able to learn something about the deck (or just enjoy reading about the matches, or maybe even your match, haha), and enjoy the article. Thank you to everyone who showed their support for the website at the event – I am looking forward to continuing the 9th CX project, and to the Continental Championship coming up!


If you have questions or comments, please send us a message via Facebook or an email at theninthcx AT gmail DOT com. Be sure to sign up for our monthly giveaway, follow us on Twitch and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Please check out our partner store, Card Academy!

Kantai (EN) Deck Tech – 1st at 2015 BWC Chicago Qualifiers

shimakaze__kantai_collection__by_itachj-d6mdvyi

Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we will be looking at the list that took 1st in the 2015 Chicago Qualifiers!

The cards are released in English and translations can be found on Heart of the Cards or the official Weiss Schwarz site. Special thanks to Johnny for article prep.

This interview and deck list are brought to you by Clinton Chan. Though Kantai 2 is slated for release in EN later in 2015, the list is still worth a look. Now onto the list!

Kantai Collection

Level 0 – 16

1  KC/S25-E166 Type 3 Submergence Transport Vehicle, Maruyu
2 KC/S25-E104 5th Mutsuki-class Destroyer, Satsuki
2 KC/S25-E057 Hardworking, Ikaduchi
3 KC/S25-E006 7th Kagero-class Destroyer, Hatsukaze
4 KC/S25-E056 2nd Akatsuki-class Destroyer, Hibiki
4 KC/S25-E061 Clumsy Girl, Inaduma

Level 1 – 15

1 KC/S25-E024 1st Kaidai Ⅵ-class Type a Submarine, I-168
1 KC/S25-E010 3rd Agano-class Light Cruiser, Yahagi
2 KC/S25-E009 2nd Junsen-class Type Ⅲ Submarine, I-8
4 KC/S25-E003 Shimakaze-class Destroyer, Shimakaze
4 KC/S25-E038  “Faithful” Destroyer, Верный
3 KC/S25-E031 Compass

Level 2 – 3

1 KC/S25-E004 2nd Shokaku-class Aircraft Carrier, Zuikaku
2 KC/S25-E134 2nd Shoho-class Light Aircraft Carrier, Zuiho

Level 3 – 8

4 KC/S25-E002 2nd Yamato-class Battleship, Musashi
4 KC/S25-E035 Akagi-class Aircraft Carrier, Akagi-Kai

CX – 8

4 KC/S25-E075  Akagi of the First Carrier Division is up next!
4 KC/S25-E034 Fast like Shimakaze

At level 0 we have 16 characters.

kc-s25-166p

You can run as many copies of Type 3 Submergence Transport Vehicle, Maruyu in your deck as you want. You can pay 1 stock and send her to the waiting room to draw up to 2 cards and discard 2 cards.

kc-s25-104

5th Mutsuki-class Destroyer, Satsuki is a level 0 reverser and has a 2 stock encore.

kc-s25-057

Hardworking, Ikaduchihas a brainstorm ability, reveal the top four and for every climax take a card from your clock and add it to your hand and then clock yourself one.

kc-s25-006

7th Kagero-class Destroyer, Hatsukaze is a global +500 power to all your [Fleet Girl] characters and her second effect is whenever a player salvages during the attack phase, all their characters get -3 soul.

kc-s25-056

When 2nd Akatsuki-class Destroyer, Hibiki is reversed in battle you can pay 1 and send her to memory, then you can play one “Faithful” Destroyer, Верный from your waiting room onto the stage position she was in. And while in memory she has heal tax.

kc-s25-061

When Clumsy Girl, Inaduma is placed from hand to stage reveal the top card of your deck, if it is not a [Fleet Girl] character rest her. And when she is sent from stage to waiting room you can pay one and clock yourself to search your deck for a level one or lower character.

At level 1 we have 12 characters and 3 events.

kc-s25-024

1st Kaidai Ⅵ-class Type a Submarine, I-168 has a cost 0 +1500 power backup.

kc-s25-010

3rd Agano-class Light Cruiser, Yahagi has clock encore and you can rest two characters to give her +2500 power until the end of turn.
kc-s25-009
When 2nd Junsen-class Type  Submarine, I-8 is played from hand to stage you can pay one and discard one and search your deck for a [Fleet Girl] character. And when she is sent from stage to waiting room you can pay two and play a 2nd Junsen-class Type Ⅲ Submarine, I-8-Kai from your waiting room in rest.
kc-s25-003
When Shimakaze-Class Destroyer, Shimakaze reverses her opponent with the climax Fast Like Shimakaze in play you can search your deck for a [Fleet Girl] character.
kc-s25-038
If 2nd Akatsuki-class Destroyer, Hibiki is in memory “Faithful” Destroyer, Верный gets +1000 power.
kc-s25-031
Compass is a cost one event backup that when you use it you brainstorm three and if you reveal a climax you can choose one of your opponent’s characters and that character cannot deal damage to you this turn. If no climax is revealed, you place this card on top of your deck.
At level 2 we have 3 characters.
kc-s25-004
2nd Shokaku-Class Aircraft Carrier, Zuikaku has a climax combo that is not in this deck. Her last effect is rest her and give one of your [Fleet Girl] characters +3000 power until the end of turn.
kc-s25-134
2nd Shoho-class Light Aircraft Carrier, Zuiho has a pay 1 stock +2500 power backup. And her second effect is anti-change. When you use her backup you can pay 2 stock and put the top card of your deck into clock and choose an opponent’s character that is a higher level than your opponent and send it to the waiting room.
At level 3 we have 8 characters.
kc-s25-002
2nd Yamato-Class Battleship, Musashi cannot side attack. Her second effect is on the turn she is played if your opponent cancels her damage she you can put the top card of your deck to the waiting room and punish burn your opponent for one plus the level of that card.
WS_KC_S25_E035RRPlus
When Akagi-class Aircraft Carrier, Akagi-Kai is played from hand to stage you can draw up to two cards and discard one. At the beginning of your climax phase put all cards in your stock to the waiting room (she eats everything) and all your characters get +1000 power until the end of your opponent’s turn. And when she reverses her battle opponent with the climax Akagi of the First Carrier Division is up next! in play you can clock shoot it.
WS_KC_S25_E034CC WS_KC_S25_E075CR
For climaxes we have a 4/4 split between 2k1 and gold bars respectively.
How do we use this deck?
C: A Kantai deck is best known for the efficiency and cycling of cards provided while being supported with effects that counter some of the more common abilities opponents might play for advantage like salvaging and healing. The game plan involves your level 0s providing a lot of utility through a variety of effects and build up stock for later. Level 1 focuses on generating more stock and building a late game hand with Shimakaze and her combo. Level 2 is a continuation of the level 1 plan, and level 3 you reap the rewards of a carefully planned out game with some of the best finishers in the game with Akagi-Kai and Musashi.
M: tl;dr anything from a lot of other Kantai lists previously featured definitely applies here. The intent is not to be standoffish here, but the deck is so popular and has been analyzed so many times that it’s hard to keep saying the same things about the same cards.
The deck’s viability and power as-is is going to change in the course of this year, so we are going to skip the rest of the analysis and head right into the interview.
On to the interview!
M: What was a really lucky moment you had during the tournament?
C: When you play a 177 man tournament with 7 rounds of swiss and a top 8 and come out the champion, you will definitely run into a lot of lucky moments and I certainly had more than any other individual that day.
Round 4 vs AoT Corps I was at 2.2 with about 13 cards in deck with no more climaxes. My opponent had 2 1 soul beaters and played a level 3 Levi for the turn. He attacked with the 1 souls first with each triggering a soul. The level 3 Levi got to restand but didn’t trigger any soul with either attack. I started my turn at 3.5 and if he had a climax or triggered with Levi, I most definitely would have lost.
Top 4 vs AoT Corps I was playing a very nervous player who was in his first ever large scale event. At level 1 with only red in level and clock he tried to play the level 2 early out Levi and I caught it as soon it hit the board the head judge was about to call strike 3 (he already had two warnings from earlier in the tournament; the third would have been a game loss) but I said it was fine because I caught it real fast and the game state wasn’t irreparably harmed. This all happened while I was absolutely getting wrecked. I was drawing horribly and my board was getting destroyed. At level 2 he had 2 2/2 Mikasa and the 1/1 Sasha and I had a bunch of low power characters and all I can do was play a gold bar climax and try to push for damage. I crashed 2 smaller characters into the level 2s and side attacked the level 1. While I was sending my 2 reversed characters to waiting room, my opponent made a mistake and ended up causing some irreparable damage to the game state. The head judge who was watching the game said that was finally enough and can’t be fixed or overlooked and I was awarded the win. It was a really awkward situation.
M: Winning through tournament procedure can definitely feel awkward. That aside, what was a really unlucky moment you had during the tournament?
C: Round 6 I had to play my good friend and teammate Michael Broderick on a pairdown and lost. In theory it was a blessing in disguise as we both won our round 7 and both made top cut and he finished 3rd.
M: Did you have any incredible comebacks?
C: Round 1 vs Nisekoi I had very few cancels but I kept the game close and at 3.5 my opponent attacks for 2 soul and triggered the salvage trigger off the red climax and returned a character to hand with his last attack and I was able to survive. Starting my following turn and playing a search I saw that I wouldn’t have a cancel available in the next 9 cards. I was able to finish him off that turn with Akagi-Kais and Musashi.
M: Give us the rundown – what did you play against?
R1 Nisekoi
R2 Fate
R3 AoT Titans
R4 AoT Corps
R5 AoT Corps
R6 Madoka
R7 SAO B/Y
T8 AoT Titans
T4 AoT Corps
T2 SAO Y/R
M: How did the final match go for you?
C: The final match went very well for me since I won (haha). I was playing a R/Y SAO deck that was reminiscent of the deck I won the 2014 Ohio Neo Showdown with, especially when I saw my tech card Demonic Sword Gram getting clocked. At one point at level 1 I had 3 gold bar climaxes in my hand and wasn’t that far from refreshing. I drew my tech card Maruyu and was able to draw a Shimakaze and a Fast Like Shimakaze climax. After discarding 2 gold bars, I was able to play 2 Shimakazes with the climax combo to refill my hand. I was able to refresh with 7 climaxes in deck with a very healthy hand and board. I setup and executed my game plan, he had first crack at playing the level 3 game and didn’t finish me and the superior Kantai level 3 sealed the victory.
M: Nice! How did you prepare for the tournament? Did you do anything special the day of the tournament?
I play in 4 Weiss tournaments a week. I had the deck max rarity completed months prior and knew that it was what I wanted to play for September. So the month prior to the event I switched to my Kantai Deck to get in the practice of playing well and properly, which helped a lot since I made very few mistakes and didn’t make any major game-losing blunders.
M: Congratulations on winning another major event, and thank you again for the interview! Any other shoutouts or things you would like to say?
C: I would like to give a shoutout to my friends and teammates at our store Top Cut Comics Chicago. We had 3 in top 8, the bubble at 9th, 3 others at 5-2, and it reaffirms that we have some of the best players in the world. As a 2-time English qualifier winner, I know it is thanks to their constant competitiveness and skill that allows me to elevate my game to the level that it is. I would like to thank the Cardfight Underground, Gamers World, and the Gaming Goat for also running great tournaments in the Chicagoland community. I thank John Geig and his thecardacademy.net providing a lot of high quality cards by selling them to me at great prices. I would like to thank the Bushiroad staff for running a smooth tournament and was able to handle some really tough situations. Lastly, I would like to thank Michael Sohn and 9thcx for once again allowing me to share my experience with you all.

That wraps it up for this article!


If you have questions or comments, please send us a message via Facebook or an email at theninthcx AT gmail DOT com.  Be sure to sign up for our monthly giveaway, follow us on Twitch and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

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SAO Deck Tech – 2nd at 2015 BCF (Sapporo)

Sinon 1

Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we will be looking at the list that took 2nd in the 2015 BCF in Sapporo!

As a heads up, the deck list does not feature any of the SAO vol. II EB cards. Translations can be found on Heart of the Cards. Special thanks to Johnny for article prep.

Now let’s get to the list!

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 19

3 Silica, Straightforward Trust (SAO/S20-051)
2 Rika Shinozaki (SAO/S26-047)
2 Kirito, Waiting Out Rain (SAO/S26-063)
3 Kirito in “Flower Garden” (SAO/S26-073)
4 Silica, Gathering Materials (SAO/SE23-07)
4 Shouichi Shinkawa (SAO/SE23-08)
1 Sinon in the Midst of Sunlight Through the Leaves (SAO/SE23-19)

Level 1 – 12

3 Asuna, Vice Guild Leader (SAO/S20-010)
2 Lizbeth, Changing (SAO/S20-052)
4 Sinon, Temporal Alliance (SAO/SE23-21)
3 Kirito, Choosing to Fight (SAO/SE23-29)

Level 2 – 4

1 Leafa, Gathering Materials (SAO/SE23-06)
2 Kyouji, Overly Attached (SAO/SE23-13)
1 “Check Six” Sinon (SAO/SE23-32)

Level 3 – 7

3 Sterben “Death Gun” (SAO/SE23-09)
4 Sinon, the Last Strike (SAO/SE23-24)

CX – 8

1 Accident in Battle (SAO/S26-059)
4 Phantom Bullet (SAO/SE23-35)
3 The Power of “Death Gun” (SAO/SE23-T08)

 

At level 0 we have 19 characters!

sao_s20_051

Silica, Straightforward Trust has a pay 1 stock rest 2 character brainstorm ability. For every climax revealed salvage an [Avatar] or [Net], or [Familiar] character.

sao_s26_047

When Rika Shinozaki is sent from stage to waiting room you can pay 2 stock to salvage an [Avatar] or [Net] character.

sao_s26_063

When Kirito, Waiting Out Rain attacks he gives 1 of your characters +1000 and +1 level until end of turn.

sao_s26_073

When Kirito in “Flower Garden” gets reversed if you have 1 or less other [Avatar] or [Net] characters you must send him to clock.

sao_se23_07

When Silica, Gathering Materials is played from hand reveal the top card of your deck. If that card is an [Avatar] or [Net] character, you (must) add it to your hand and then discard 1. She is also a level 0 reverser.

sao_se23_08

Shouichi Shinkawa is a global +500 power to all your [Avatar] or [Net] characters. He also gives all your opponent’s characters in the center stage [Target] trait.

sao_se23_19

Sinon in the Midst of Sunlight Through the Leaves gives your other middle character in the center stage +1000 power on your opponent’s turn. Her second effect is a pay 1 stock brainstorm ability. Then search your deck for X [Avatar] or [Net] character and discard X. X being the number of climaxes revealed. (If you search for fewer characters than X, you’ll still discard X cards)

At level 1 we have 12 characters.

sao_s20_010

Asuna, Vice Guild Leader has a 0 cost 0 +1000 power backup and when you use her backup if you have 2 or more [Avatar] or [Net] characters you can give one of your characters +1000 power.

sao_s20_052

Lizbeth, Changing gets +500 power for each of your other [Avatar] or [Net] characters.

sao_se23_21

Sinon, Temporal Alliance gets +500 power for each of your other [Avatar] or [Net] characters. And she has clock encore.

sao_se23_29

When Kirito, Choosing to Fight is played from hand to stage he gets +X power. X being the number of your  [Avatar] or [Net] characters until end of turn.

At level 2 we have 4 characters.

sao_se23_06

Leafa, Gathering Materials has a cost 1 +2500 power backup and when you use her backup reveal the top card of your deck, if it is an [Avatar] or [Net] character add it to your hand and discard a card.

sao_se23_13

Kyouji, Overly Attached is a global +1000 power to all your other [Avatar] or [Net] characters. And he gives all your opponent’s characters in the backstage [Target] trait.

sao_se23_32

“Check Six” Sinon gets +3000 power if she is facing a level 3 character. And you can rest 2 characters to give her +2500 power.

At level 3 we have 7 characters.

sao_se23_09

When Sterben “Death Gun” attacks if all your opponent’s characters are [Target] trait you can burn 1. His second effect is a climax combo with a climax that is not in this deck.

sao_se23_24

Sinon, the Last Strike heals on play and her second effect is climax combo with the climax “Phantom Bullet”. When she attacks with the climax in play you can pay 2 stock and discard 1 card to burn 4, if this damage is cancelled she gets +3500 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn. When she gets reversed, send her to memory.

sao_s26_059 sao_se23_35 sao_se23_t08

For climaxes it’s a 1/4/3 split respectively with 4 gates and 4 books in total.

How do we use this deck?

M: SAO never seems to go away, and the fact that only 1 CX combo is used in the deck can speak to the power of the cards the series has access to.

This red/blue brew is considerably less dependent on midgame CX combos, and instead focuses its attention to gaining incremental advantages throughout the game, mainly through getting more cards in hand.

At level 0, we have a popular mix of utility and beatdown, found in the reverser + filter Silica, as well as some big Kiritos. Rika makes an appearance in the level 0 lineup, as a nod to furthering the potential for getting more cards in hand at almost any stage of the game.

Level 1 features a balance of power on all three ways it can be found: the tenacity of clock encore, through sheer numbers (Lisbeth) and through “burst” or “assassin” characters (Kirito). There are no CX combos; the deck should focus on pushing damage and building stock at this level.

At level 2, the deck has some proactive answers (as opposed to the reactive anti-change effect) in the Check Six Sinon, as well as some solid backup + filter effects in Leafa. Everyone’s favorite thirsty boi Kyouji is there to quietly setup for the late game.

Should the deck enter level 3 with its ideal setup against a full field of [Target] characters, the burn damage potential is pretty great. It’s no pre-ban Nisekoi Marika, but it takes significantly less setup. (Also, unless power creep starts to go at breakneck speed, no card should even get close to Marika, at least for now). Sinon can try to go for a massive headshot with a burn for 4, or your Sterbens can simply attempt to pistol down your opponent for 1 damage a piece.

The deck’s endgame is like a one-trick pony that people have seen at the show before. It’s old, and somewhat predictable, but that doesn’t mean it’s worthless!

What does the deck not do well? Is it missing anything? What are some of the potential risks the list takes?

M: This deck spreads out its focus by accepting a less explosive early game in order to keep its overall game plan more stable. It looks more like a “traditional” deck list, which for older players looks like 4+4 card advantage triggers (gates, books, maybe pants) in the CX slots, as well as a fairly linear game plan. It does not have a great variety of plays, and it cannot deal with overwhelming power very well, at least from characters that might get enormous at level 1 or level 2 (provided they aren’t level 3+).

The deck also does not use any of the newest EB cards, and misses out a little bit on the more offensive utility of cards such as Unnerving Gaze “Death Gun” which has a brainstorm ability that can ‘kill’ level 0 characters outright. Kirito, to Obtain the Holy Sword is a potential substitute card for the Check Six Sinon, as it is an early play level 3 that draws cards.

About the list: Is it conservative or greedy? What’s its overall power range? Is it easy or difficult to use? What would you say about its viability in the JP/EN metagames at large?

Greed: 2

M: The list is about as chill as a 2-color list can get, though I guess the next step down would be if it completely did away with all CX combos, but giving up that much power is most likely not worthwhile. Only needing to worry about one CX combo ever and having it be at level 3 takes a lot of the worries of execution out of the early game, too.

Power Range: 6 – 8

M: The nice thing about having a deck that is so focused on having a great B game is that even if it doesn’t perform its best at the very end of the game, the start and middle of the game will generally look about the same (in the long term). The deck’s A game is full of burn, and that has always been and will continue to be very good (unless there’s a sudden surge in the popularity of Log Horizon).

Difficulty: 3

M: If there was ever a deck that allowed a player to practice and master the basics while still having a great shot (excuse the pun) at winning, this would be a great example of one. Two colors means that leveling up at level 1 is a small but relevant skill test, and the deck has enough repeatable brainstorm abilities and hand filtering to make sure that it has ways to dig itself out of dreaded CX floods.

EN/JP Meta Viability:

In the EN game, many of the popular decks still focus on doing bigger and more powerful things. The presence of Attack on Titan, Madoka with Rebellion, Kantai and Miku means that SAO has not been seeing as much play. As the EN game grows and the card pool becomes more diverse, more decks will become viable and will see more play. Eventually, a more diverse metagame will reward a player for using a more “steady” deck like this. And that’s not to say that this deck is a “bad” choice; it’ll never be a bad choice, but it may also never get to a point where it is the deck of choice to use to win a given event. Keep this one on the radar and in the back pocket, and if you have the cards, try practicing with it or with a list like it if you feel the need to practice your basics.

In the JP game though, the card pool is already so big that we’ve already seen “steady” decks beat out the big elephants named Girl Friend Beta, Nisekoi, and Kantai. Where those series can take risks in consistency for the potential of greater power, this list capitalizes by having a solid A and B game. Most decks will be built to have the best A game possible, and that’s quite alright, but sometimes a player’s style might be to simply ignore the variance and go for what he or she feels will be the most consistent. If you are that player, then give this list your consideration!


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Thanks for reading!

Attack on Titan Deck Tech – 6th at 2015 BWC Vancouver

Shingeki
Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we will be looking at an offbeat Attack on Titan list that went to the top 8 of the BCF Qualifier in Vancouver!
This deck list and tournament report are brought to you by Bren Olit. Special thanks to Johnny for the article prep.
Now let’s get to the list!
Cards – 50

Level 0 – 16

3 “Guiding Force to the Truth” Armin (AOT/S35-E009)
3 “Gentle Smile” Petra (AOT/S35-E034)
4 “No. 1 Oddball” Hange (AOT/S35-E038)
2 “A Chain of Tragedies” Mikasa (AOT/S35-TE14)
3 “104th Cadet Corps Class” Christa (AOT/S35-E056)
1 “Calm and Collected” Mikasa (AOT/S35-E064)

Level 1 – 11

4 “Cool Personality” Levi (AOT/S35-E040)
4 “Hope in the Darkness of Despair” Mikasa (AOT/S35-TE17)
3 “Healing Goddess” Christa (AOT/S35-E066)

Level 2 – 8

2 “Sudden Reinforcement” Eren Titan (AOT/S35-TE08)
3 “Threat to Humanity” Colossal Titan (AOT/S35-E092)
3 “Broken Wall” Colossal Titan (AOT/S35-E093)

Level 3 – 7

4 “Resisting Fate” Levi (AOT/S35-E032)
3 “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan (AOT/S35-E090)

CX – 8

4 The Wings of Freedom (AOT/S35-E053)
4 And, in 850… … (AOT/S35-E099)
At level 0 we have 16 characters.
AOT_S35_E009
“Guiding Force to the Truth” Armin is a +500 front assist and when you play him you can give one of your characters +X power, X being equal to that character’s level times 500 until the end of turn.

AOT_S35_E034

“Gentle Smile” Petra is clock reverser and the first one in English! When reversed by a level 0 or lower character, you can send the top card of your opponent’s clock to the waiting room and send that character to your opponent’s clock.

AOT_S35_E038

“No.1 Odd Ball” Hange is a “standard” searcher (pay 1 stock, discard a card) for both [Titan] and [Corps] trait.

AOT_S35_TE14

“A Chain of Tragedies” Mikasa gets +1500 power if you control 1 or fewer other characters.

AOT_S35_E056

When “104th Cadet Corps” Christa is played from hand, you can pay one and clock the top card of your deck to salvage a level 1 or lower character from your waiting room.

AOT_S35_E064

“Calm and Collected” Mikasa has a brainstorm ability for 1 stock: salvage a [Corps] character and discard a card for each CX revealed. When a character you control moves during the attack phase, that character gets +1000 power until end of turn.

At level 1 we have 11 characters.
AOT_S35_E040
When “Cool Personality” Levi is played he gets +X power, X being equal to the number of your [Corps] characters until the end of turn.

AOT_S35_TE17

“Hope in the Darkness of Despair” Mikasa is an “assist assist” to front and you can rest her to give a character +1000 power until end of turn.

AOT_S35_E066

When another [Corps] character you control gets frontal attacked, you can pay one and send “Healing Goddess” Christa to the waiting room, and that character gets +2500 until end of turn.

At level 2 we have 8 characters.
AOT_S35_TE08
“Sudden Reinforcement” Eren Titan has a cost 1 +3000 power backup.

AOT_S35_E092

If you do not have “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan this card cannot attack. If it is in the left position of your center stage, it gives all your “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan and “Broken Wall” Colossal Titan +1000 power. When it attacks with the climax “And, in 850……” is in play you can discard one card and all your [Titan] characters get +3500 power until the end of turn. When another of your “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan is sent to the waiting room, send this card to the waiting room.

AOT_S35_E093

If you do not have “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan this card cannot attack. If this card is in the right position of your center stage all your other “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan and “Threat to Humanity” Colossal Titan get +1000 power. When this card attacks with the climax “And, In 850……” is in play, you may draw a card. And when another of your “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan is sent to the waiting room, send this card to the waiting room.

At level 3 we have 7 characters!

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“Resisting Fate” Levi has a CX combo with “The Wings of Freedom”: when played, you can discard one card and choose one [Corps] character from your clock and play it to stage. His last ability is on the turn he is played from hand, up to once per turn, when he reverses his opponent you can pay 3 stock, discard one [Corps] character and send one [Corps] character from your stage to the waiting room. If you do, you can stand him and move him to an open slot on your stage.

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If “Threat to Humanity” Colossal Titan and “Broken Wall” Colossal Titan are on your stage this card gets -1 level in your hand. During your opponent’s turn if this card is in the middle position of your center stage your other “Threat to Humanity” Colossal Titan and “Broken Wall” Colossal Titan can not be reversed. And at the beginning of your encore phase you can put a climax called “And, In 850……” from your climax zone to the waiting room to take the top card of your clock and add it to hand. Then, this card gets +3000 power until the end of your opponent’s turn.

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For climaxes we have a 4/4 split between bars and pants respectively.

How do we use this deck?

Special thanks to Bren for providing pretty much everything in the following sections.

B: Let me do a little introduction to this decklist.  Before I made this deck, I was testing both [Corps] and <Titans>.  There were some things I liked from both decks.  In <Titan>, Colossal Titan did amazing work, and if ever he needed to be replaced, the Level 3 Female Titan shut down a lot of damage potential while being a strong front herself.  I didn’t like their Level 0 or 1 game, however.

Meanwhile, over in [Corps], their Level 0 game was excellent, and their Level 1 game was almost as fantastic, but they had no strong Level 2 game outside of Mikasa’s Level 3, and with Kantai’s presence looming over my mind, it was not a strong pick.  Levi was definitely a strong card, and Eren had some viability if I sensed a strong Level 2 game, but ultimately didn’t make the cut in my mind.  I asked myself, what if I were to combine the two strengths into one?

The deck has a lot of moving parts, so let me cover them in sections.  Instead of dividing them into Levels like traditional decks, let me take a more active role.  Like the show, in a way, let’s cover them in squadrons, and what their main role is in the deck.

“Guiding Force to the Truth” Armin
“Hope in the Darkness of Despair” Mikasa

Both of these cards are Assist characters.  Because this deck revolves around bringing the two polar opposite traits together, I had to find supports that would work for both.  The Trial Deck Mikasa in particular is amazing simply because she provides repeatable burst power on her own, reducing the need I would have for 2k1-draw climaxes once I hit Level 1.

“A Chain of Tragedies” Mikasa
“Cool Personality” Levi

Both of these cards are general attackers, with the Levi being a Level 1 assassin.  Their goal was to defeat opposing cards and force them to play new ones.  This is a bigger focus in the deck than one might think, at first glance.  Levi in particular is a key card to note, because in this build he easily gets up to 13,500 power with a climax, which is a strong power number for a costless character.

“No. 1 Oddball” Hange
“104th Cadet Corps Class” Christa
“Calm and Collected” Mikasa

These cards had the job of finding my pieces.  Early on it was important to have the Titan Pieces, and later on it was important to have Levi and the Eren Titan as backup in case the general strategy goes awry.  Hange in particular is a key card, as she can search both [Corps] and <Titan> class, which allows this deck to work.  Mikasa is a tech card, insurance against bad draws and for Level 2 refreshes.

“Healing Goddess” Christa
“Sudden Reinforcement” Eren Titan

While Christa is an attacking character, both fulfill the same role as a counter effect.  Christa is a feint, especially if I haven’t shown any blue cards to my opponents at that point, while revealing the Eren Titan at key points is a false hope since it implies my deck doesn’t have Titan’s Power, an Event Counter at Level 2.

“Threat to Humanity” Colossal Titan
“Broken Wall” Colossal Titan”
“Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan

The key combo of the deck, these three powerhouses together are the reason I wanted to add Blue to this deck.  You’ll notice that besides the Climaxes, these are the only Blue Cards in the deck.  The combo is so powerful that against most “meta” decks, particularly Kantai Collection, Nisekoi, Sword Art Online, and Project Diva -f-, have no easy way to deal with it outside of anti-change abilities, which I monitor frequently when facing a deck that has the potential of having one.  If your deck defeats enough characters before hitting Level 2, this can all but wipe out an opponent’s hand size.

“Resisting Fate” Levi
“Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan

Both Level 3s avoid the heal tax trap with their healing climax combos, and provide either a tough body to beat or a highly damaging double attack.  It’s rather simple to grab the cards you need; it’s just a matter of reading what your opponent’s game plan is and playing the cards that work the best.

What does the deck not do well? Is it missing anything? What are some of the potential risks the list takes?

B: The deck isn’t that good at sustaining a solid Level 1 game.  Every deck has a way to run over the Level 0s and 1s during their turn, even the lowly Disgaea Trial Deck.  As such, the deck has to rely on essentially trading resources for resources until both players are starting to suffer for hand, and then *insert AoT OP here*.

This deck doesn’t run any runners, and besides power has no real way of ensuring Level 0s stay alive.  At Level 1, there are no real powerhouse attackers, just burst assassins.  It also lacks any Events, but many are restricted to one trait or another, so I don’t find them useful here.  I don’t have any Chimis whatsoever, so it would’ve been nice to have a Chimi Sasha as a tech card.

The deck is rather rigid, and by that I mean each misplay is highly amplified.  If you have the wrong amount of stock (4 or less) at Level 2, that’s a problem.  If you refresh before you hit Level 2, that’s a problem.  The gameplan is highly specific that if you are disrupted by surprises, then it can take a lot of planning and time to salvage the game.  Instead of healing once or twice at Level 2, you now just hit Level 3 and play the Titans then.  It’s typically not a good thing.  It’s also somewhat reliant on having a back row support.  It is preferable to be Mikasa, but Armin is serviceable as long as you have the CX combo.

About the list: Is it conservative or greedy? What’s its overall power range? Is it easy or difficult to use? What would you say about its viability in the JP/EN metagames at large?

Greed: 6
B: The deck runs a solid G/R/B package numbers-wise (15/13/9 outside of climaxes), and each color sticks to their preferred levels.  At Level 1, G/R, at Level 2, B, at Level 3, G/B.  Despite the fact that Blue has the least number of non-Climax cards, and the fact you need at least three of the characters in your hand to pull off the combo, being at Level 2 gives the deck time to find colors.  It is definitely not simple, but it is easier than it looks.

M: The searching and filtering power the deck has are in a seemingly unorthodox combination, but there is usually going to be a way to get to your ideal midgame and endgame. Blue is only relevant for about one and a half levels, giving the deck a rather generous window to setup. Still, the deck takes advantage of three colors, so it is something to keep in mind in-game.

Power Range: 5 – 8
B: As an assassin build that turns into a Wall build, it surprisingly deals with everything highly played at this point in time.  Merely having two Mikasa out at the back and one Armin in the front can let almost any character deal with even the toughest Level 1s.  I had a Level 0 reverse a Level 2 in the tournament, actually.

M: This deck takes some of the best of both worlds in the series. It’s kind of a Corps deck with a Titan level 2/3, and a Titan deck with a Corps core. The early game is a little more brawl-oriented with no runners and big characters, and the midgame has a lot more focus on one-shot attacks instead of tenacity found in abilities such as clock encore. Where it sacrifices and focuses in the early game, it gains in a very powerful mid to endgame. At level 2, the setup is almost unrivaled, but only in terms of sheer power. The endgame is a pure beatdown, and lacks some of the more popular abilities such as Burn that can more reliably end a game.

Difficulty: 6
B: This is not an easy deck to play correctly.  Moreso than most other decks, you have to understand exactly what your opponent’s build is and then quickly analyze given the cards in hand what you need to counter their main strategy, typically even before you mulligan.  This is a deck that aims to defeat the opponent before they get the chance to setup a level 3.  Drain their hand size, make them stop attacking or pay out stock to add to their hand size, while you enjoy the leisure of not clocking.  The game plan is relatively simple in theory, but in practice it’s a lot harder.

M: To be fair, what Bren is suggesting is applicable to many other decks in practice. In this deck’s case, it hopes to break even or better at level 0 – 1, and then run away with the game at level 2. With a deck like this, test, adjust, test more, and keep testing! It certainly ventures into less-explored territory, and anything less-known (but viable) warrants being explored more.

Viability in the EN Metagame
B: Part of the reason I ran this deck was that it was countering the major decks I anticipated to be there in heavy numbers: SAO, Project Diva, Love Live, Attack on Titan, and Kantai Collection.  If you can execute your game plan, it is nearly impossible to stop by these top tier decks.  However, oddly enough, decks like Healspam Madoka and Memory Fairy Tail actually have good matchups against this due to their compression and my lack of burn or shot effects.

M: Titans big, Corps good. If you are looking for a deck that goes all-in at level 2 instead of at level 1 (hi Miku, happy birthday!), then this might be one to try. Soundless voice (okay, not Miku Miku but still) is probably at the front of everyone’s minds in the EN game when it comes to winning a game at level 1, and decks from SAO and Nisekoi can still focus on card advantage at said level. Attack on Titan has been thought of (mostly) as a very strictly separated set, with no room to cross blue with any other color.  If I was to play Titans, I think this deck would be a very interesting but worthy starting point to test with.

Viability in the JP Metagame
B: Attack on Titan is in a weird place in JP.  Girlfriend is the burst deck, Kantai Collection is the stable deck, Nisekoi is the finisher deck, and Little Busters is the advantage-based deck.  Attack on Titan has little to no ways of dealing with all four at once.  This deck would change a bit for Level 0 and 1 while 2 and 3 would stay relatively unchanged, to focus more on Kantai’s costless Wall or their on-reverse advantage engine, Little Busters’ Rin Soul rush and on-attack Advantage effects, Girlfriend’s on-reverse advantage engine and memory kick, and Nisekoi’s <Key> or <Sweets> walls and potential on-reverse effects.

While the Titan Wall does effectively deal with a lot of threats, the higher power ceiling at Level 2 thanks to Girlfriend -kari- means it may not be as effective as it is in controlling the field as in the EN game.  Nonetheless, a solid Level 2 play.  Instead, to keep a costless game, you might focus more around the “Calm and Collected” Mikasa’s ability to grant power to cards that change position during the attack step, and then give “Paving a Way for the Future” Mikasa and potentially “Paving a Way for the Future” Armin a time to shine.  Alternatively, Anti-Titan “Omni-Directional Mobility Gear” gives any character the power boost while hand-fixing, essentially nullifying many on-reverse effects that are more prevalent in JP than in EN.

M: Now I would argue that since the ban list change, that the JP game has opened up a little more. In the short term, others might be inclined to play a little more Rewrite, Haruhi, and Idolmaster. But, Bren is right – GFB, Kantai, Nisekoi, and Little Busters are very powerful and competitive decks, and if winning is the name of the game, you are very likely to run into decks from those series. I’ll defer to his (Bren’s) recommendations as to what to change if trying to take a deck like this into the JP game.

Now let’s go to the interview!

M: How was your event overall?
B: I lost in Round 2 and in the first round of Top 8.  The Round 2 Loss was to our Spring Fest 2014’s Champion, while the Top 8 loss was to the eventual second place winner.  I know I misplayed my final turn against him now, but that’s all retrospect now.

M: What was a really lucky moment you had during the tournament?
B: I think I’ll talk about Round 6.  I was heading into Level 2 against the eventual 4th-place finisher, but I realized I had had no Blue in my clock during Level 0 and Level 1.  I drew at 1/6, and I saw a second copy of my blue CX.  I ended up yelling something (I don’t remember what anymore) and then clocked it and slid it into my Level Zone.  I heard a gasp from onlookers but I didn’t care.  The Titan Wall came out and my Nisekoi opponent had no real response, and from there I cruised to victory by cancelling pretty much every real non-ping damage when I needed to.

M: Whoa! Leveling a CX! That’s rare and bold but looks like in this deck such a risky move could pay off. What was a really unlucky moment you had during the tournament?
B: Round 2, my opponent has seemed to always have my number.  In Weiss, both English and Japanese, he had a collective record of 45-4 against me coming into this match.  During the final few turns at Level 3, he brought out Death Gun and started pinging me with his ability.  I beat it down but he encored it.  He had attacks available for 1, 2, and burn+2.  So of course he goes for the 1 first, and I cancel.  He hits for the remaining two characters and I lose, one card shy of my next climax.

M: Yikes. Did you have any incredible comebacks?
B: The deck’s not designed to really have a comeback game.  You start out ahead at Level 2 and finish the game there, or stabilize at Level 3 and heal-spam your clock to force your opponent to deal the full damage to you.  Since it takes the initiative, it forces the opponent to have an incredible comeback if the game plan hits off.

M: Fair enough! How did the final match go for you?
B: My final match in the top 8 went more or less as expected, except I recognized a lot of cards from my [Corps] testing and began to grow wary.  Not wary enough, I guess.  Instead of brainstorming for my Eren Titan Counter, I decided to sit on a non-boosted “Enormous Stature” Colossal Titan, even at Level 3.  This allowed my nearly handless opponent to double attack with Levi for the win.  It’s a misplay I’ll have to learn to live with and get over in time for the WGP testing, but it cost me the game.

M: What did you play against?
Round 1 vs. Kill la Kill (R/B Sisters)
Round 2 vs. Sword Art Online (R/B Death Gun)
Round 3 vs. Kantai Collection (Y/R Soul Rush Torpedo Cruiser build)
Round 4 vs. Nisekoi (RBg Onodera-focused build)
Round 5 vs. Love Live (YGR Soul Rush)
Round 6 vs. Nisekoi (RB Meta) – Finished 4th Place
Top 8 vs. Attack on Titan (YGR Corps Meta) – Finished 2nd Place

MHow did you prepare for the tournament? Did you do anything special the day of the tournament?
I actually did half an entire blog post over at climaxphase.wordpress.com of what my medical family thinks proper preparation consists of scientifically, and I took that information to heart and spread it to my main gaming group’s members.  I actually woke up that morning and made smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels (I smoked the salmon myself on applewood) and gave one to each person in the two cars we took for our lunch, as a sort of pick-me-up.

After the tournament, we visited the local All-You-Can-Eat Sushi bar, kind of a tradition now after the first time we visited a year and a half ago after Spring Fest 2014.

M: Nice! Any funny stories from the event?
Not much, everyone was super serious.

M: Congratulations again on the finish, and thanks for taking the time to do the article. Any other shoutouts or things you would like to say?
First, shoutouts.  To Climax Screwed, especially our leader WuXian (sorry for beating you round 5 at pretty much Level 1), thanks for the group and the camera you’ve lent me.  To Climax Phase’s Admin, who happens to also be our province’s main TO and the host of our WGP tournaments, thanks for believing in Weiss before I ever got started playing and for all the support so far.  To my Gaming Group, who’s very eager to dive into whatever comes up.  And thank you to 9th CX, for continuing your never-ending source of information and decklists.

Also, to those reading, never let someone tell you that something you put your heart and soul into is not good or worthless.  It sounds corny, I know, but that bond can literally win you games you wouldn’t otherwise have.  I call it the “Vita” effect (thanks to a certain rush player of my group), but you can replace her name with whatever reason you have for building that deck.


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