[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!

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Thanks for reading!

Da Capo / Dal Segno Deck Tech – 2016 NA WGP Nationals Champion

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Welcome to another 9th CX deck tech! For today’s article, we have an interview with Steve C., the winner of the 2016 NA WGP Nationals! Steve took the newly-released set Dal Segno from the Da Capo universe and earned himself a ticket to Japan. Special thanks to Travis for article prep and sample hand beautification.

The deck list and translations can be found on Heart of the Cards. Steve has also answered some questions on Reddit, which have been included in the article and edited for clarity.

Now let’s get to the list!

Deck Name: Hat Girl, Robot Girl, Chuuni, and Imouto

Level 0 – 17

3 “3 Baka” Suginami & Yoshiyuki & Wataru (DC/W09-078)

3 Medesu, Dear Friend of an Incredible Hat (DS/W46-005)

1 Himari, TAB Debut (DS/W46-009)

2 Hazuki, Defending Champion (DS/W46-019)

3 Noeri, Cooking (DS/W46-033)

2 Noeri, Acknowledging Her Feelings (DS/W46-035)

3 Ame in Swimsuits (DS/W46-051)

Level 1 – 9 (12)

3 Himari, Ambition for Two (DS/W46-002)

4 Himari, Innocent Water Spray (DS/W46-011)

2 Playing in the Creek (DS/W46-116)

Level 2 – 7

3 Himari, Girl with the White Hat (DS/W46-003)

1 Noeri, First Date (DS/W46-043)

1 Ame, Brilliant Smile (DS/W46-058)

2 Horrible at Horror (DS/W46-117)

Level 3 – 9

3 Noeri, Wanting to Grow (DS/W46-034)

2 Io, Morning Accident (DS/W46-048)

4 Ame, Welcome to the Paradise (DS/W46-049)

CX – 8

4 Wind’s Mischief (DS/W46-014)

4 The Daughter of the Demon King Rises (DS/W46-074)

At level 0, we have 17 characters.

dc_w09_078

“3 Baka” Suginami & Yoshiyuki & Wataru is a free runner. When reversed, you may pay 1 to send this card to memory.

ds_w46_005

When Medesu, Dear Friend of an Incredible Hat becomes reversed, you may pay 1, clock the top card of your deck, and send this to memory to tutor for a [Hat] character..

ds_w46_009

When Himari, TAB Debut comes into play, look at up to the top 2 cards of your deck and return them in any order. Twice per turn, when your other [Southern Island] character is placed to the stage, this gains +1000 power.

ds_w46_019

When Hazuki, Defending Champion comes into play, you may discard a card to add a [Southern Island] character from clock to hand, then clock the top card of your deck. She also has a pay 1 send to memory cost to look at up to the top 4 cards of your deck, add a [Southern Island] character to hand, then ditch the rest.

ds_w46_033

Noeri, Cooking is a global 500 to all [Southern Island] characters you control. You can also pay 2 rest her to salvage an X level or lower character from your waiting room, where X equals the number of cards in your memory.

ds_w46_035

Noeri, Acknowledging Her Feelings gives +1500 power to all your other characters as long as you have 1 or less characters on the stage. On reverse, reveal the top card of your deck and if it is a level 1 or higher, she goes to stock.

 ds_w46_051

Ame in Swimsuits is a pay 1 rest 2 search brainstorm for [Southern Island]. When you play a CX, you can give one of your characters +500 until the end of your opponent’s turn.

At level 1, we have 7 (10) characters and 2 events.

ds_w46_002

Himari, Ambition for Two is a 1000 power back up. If you control another [Southern Island] character, you can give a battling character you control +1000 power. (TL;DR 2k Backup)

ds_w46_011

Himari, Innocent Water Spray on play top checks for [Southern Island] to gain +1500 power until the end of your opponent’s turn. (It is the Experience target for the deck.)

ds_w46_116

Playing in the Creek on play you draw up to 2, then put 2 cards from your hand to the top of your deck. (If you draw less than 2 cards, you will still put 2 cards back on top of your deck.)

At level 2, we have 5 characters and 2 events.

ds_w46_003

Himari, Girl with the White Hat gets -1 level in hand if Himari, Innocent Water Spray is in your level zone. She has a CX combo with “Wind’s Mischief” where on play, if this is in front row, you may search for a [Southern Island] character.

ds_w46_043

Noeri, First Date has a CX combo with Becoming a True Family to turn one of your characters into an any level level reverser. She also has a revenge trigger ability to give one of your [Southern Island] characters +3000 power until the end of turn.

ds_w46_058

Ame, Brilliant Smile is a 1 stock, +2500 power backup. When you use its backup ability, you may pay 2 stock and sacrifice a character to anti-change. (Choose a character your opponent controls with a level higher than your opponent and put it in the waiting room.)

ds_w46_117

Horrible at Horror is an Anti-Damage counter. (Choose a character in battle your opponent controls. Until end of turn, that character gains “Until end of turn, this card cannot deal damage”)

At level 3, we have 9 characters.

ds_w46_034

Noeri, Wanting to Grow gets +500 power for each other [Southern Island] character you control. Once per turn during the turn she is placed, if she reverses her battle opponent, mill the top card of your deck. If it has a soul trigger, restand this.

ds_w46_048

Io, Morning Accident gets +1000 power if you have 2 or more [Southern Island] characters in memory. When she comes into play, draw up to 2, and discard a card. She also has a CX combo with The Daughter of the Demon King Rises: on CX play, you may pay 1, choose this and one other [Southern Island] character to give +2500 power and the following ability until the end of turn: “When this card reverses its battle opponent, mill the top 3 cards of your deck and burn X, where X is the number of CXs put into waiting room this way”

ds_w46_049

Ame, Welcome to the Paradise gets -1 level in hand if you have 4 or more [Southern Island] characters and heals on play. On attack, choose one of your other [Southern Island] characters and it gains +X power where X is 500 times the number of your other [Southern Island] characters.

 

The CX spread is 8 1k1s; 4 wind (bounce), 4 pants (gate).

ds_w46_074ds_w46_014


Onto the interview!

M: Congratulations on the win! Let’s get into the questions right away. Why did you choose to play this series for the event?

S: I just wanted to play the newest cool set after I lost some confidence with my KC (KanColle) deck when I placed 6th at the Rochester regionals. To be honest, I have not played the DS visual novel yet, and I have not watched or played anything DC related. I bought the set because of the art and card effects.

What is the overall game plan for the deck you built?

Level 0s are mostly utilities that setup for level 1. The most important card is Hat, in case I don’t open with an experience target. At level 1 there are 3 goals: plus, wall, compress. Plus with combo; the search priority is usually 1/0 backup > early play > 2/1 Noeri. Wall with 7k Hats, with backup and support combined, they can hit 10k. Last, searching the deck gives immediate compression. I also personally value early game searches quite a bit.

At level 2, the deck wants to keep the lead from level 1. Usually I clock draw 2 then early play heal. The early play dies quite easily, so you want to maintain hand and not float on evel 2 forever like Idolmaster TP and Monogatari. In preparation for level 3, Io is the go-to card if I’m low on cards in hand. Noeri is the better finisher if I’m ahead. The card has very low risk, even without setup. The deck also feels like it has a lot of soul triggers with the amount of level 2s..

Editor’s Note: The deck in fact, has 22 soul triggers.

How did you arrive at this build?

The deck is basically built around 2/1 hat girl into 3/2 early play robot girl. The current version is only 5 cards off from my original draft. DS doesn’t have a very big card pool even though it is neo-standard with DC. The only cards I splashed were the runners and events.

What are the effects you like most in a card, and how did those things play into how you decided on the deck?

DS is cool set where it gives you four level 1 combos to pick from. I chose hat girl because it doesn’t require reverse and it searches to compress deck. Early play heals are favored in today’s meta. Lastly, Creek gives a unique way to manipulate the deck.

What did you play against during the event?

Round 1: Idolmaster 765 (I Want + Haruka gate) (1st) (W)

Round 2: Da Capo Dal Segno (RGB) (2nd) (W)

Round 3: To Love-Ru Darkness 2nd (GY) (W)

Round 4: KanColle (Abyssal, Hoppo bar + pants) (1st) (L)

Round 5: Idolmaster CG (RB Trancing Pulse) (1st) (W)

Top 16 – Single Elimination

Round of 16: SAO (YGB Yuuki + Sinon) (2nd)

Quarterfinals: Nisekoi (Weapon/Heiress + Pendants) (2nd)

Semifinals: Osomatsu (2nd)

Finals: Osomatsu (2nd)

What was the worst start you had in a game, and how did you manage to come back from the deficit?

Two stories:

I went second against Mike (Osomatsu) in the semifinal. I had Hat in front row and Kazuki at the back, but Mike killed both of them with the -500 power effect. Luckily, I drew the 2/1 to combo afterwards and Mike didn’t draw his gate to combo.

In the game against Abyssal in round 4, I went first and didn’t open with my experience target. So I played Hat, hoping that he wouldn’t bottom deck it. Then, the exact opposite happen and I couldn’t recover from missing experience. In hindsight, I should have just played 2 characters in front row turn 1 and taken the minus one.

What was the best start you had in a game?

Any game that I get experience is a good start. It doesn’t really matter what I open with because most of the level 0s are utility. Opening runner or Hat is nice just because they plus.

What was the biggest ‘lucky break’ you got during the tournament? (A miracle cancel for game, etc)

This one was also against Mike in the semi. In my last turn, I didn’t even think that I had lethal. He had 4 or 5 CXs in deck, and a rest counter in hand. I somehow milled a CX with Io combo and swung for 3 by triggering a soul trigger on the last attack for game.

Next, it’s time for some sample hands!

Note: Steve has written a short hand guide (no pun intended) for this deck’s hands:


General Deck Rules

If experience is NOT in the opening 5:

  • Drop all cards that are not level 0s, wind, or experience target
  • Exception 1: Keep a copy of 2/1 hat girl, 1/0 backup, and wind if opened with more than 1
  • Exception 2: Drop a copy of runner if there are 2 and going first

If experience is in the opening 5:

  • Drop all cards that are not level 0s, wind, experience target, or 2/1 hat girl

 

The opening turns boil down to three objectives. One, look for experience target. Two, find level 0s to attack with and to build stock. (Worst case scenario, it’s OK to attack with a support or brainstorm). Three, keep important level 1 pieces: wind CX, 2/1 Himari, 1/0 backup.

Sample Hands!

(Editor’s Note: “Drop 1” is meant as “discard card #1”, etc)

Sample Hand 1:

dcsh1

Drop 3 5.

Keep a backup for level 1 in case the last one goes to WR/stock/clock. Runner is a good opening play. Try to find experience and other pieces for level 1.

Sample Hand 2:

dcsh2

Drop 2. Look for more playable level 0s while keeping the key level 1 pieces. If you’re going second, Hazuki can grab more things from clock if needed.

Sample Hand 3:

dcsh3

Drop 1 4 5.

Try to draw experience, if not, open with Hat.

Sample Hand 4:

dcsh4

Drop 5.

Nice hand, Hat can search 2/1 Himari.

Sample Hand 5:

dcsh5

Drop 3 4.

Try to draw experience.

Sample Hand 6:

dcsh6

Drop 3 4 5.

No good opening play, so drop the extra 1/0.

Sample Hand 7:

dcsh7

Drop 1 3.

OK hand; would look for a better opening play.

Sample Hand 8:

dcsh8

Drop 1 2 3.

The deck has 17 level 0s, so discarding 3 cards is safe enough.

Sample Hand 9:

dcsh9

Drop 2 3 4 5.

The only time that I would keep 2 CX is hand is when I have Creek.

Bonus Section: Questions from Reddit

Q: What do you do if the level 1 Himari doesn’t get in your level zone at level 1?

Really good question. I’m not too sure myself because I haven’t play enough games where that happens.

Best case scenario: play a bunch of 1/0 hat girl, try to plus with backrow, and hope to hit level 2 the turn after to combo. But what’s more likely is experience fails to go online at level 1, meaning no searches and no counters and any setup for level 2. Everything just goes downhill from there.

Out of my 9 games, I only missed experience once against Abyssal, and you can see how that ended up. In the end, it is just really scary going second. I’m surprised that it worked out in all 4 top 16 games.

What are some of the matchups that you prepared for for Nationals?

The two decks that I expected to see were Trancing Pulse, and Monogatari. TP and MG just want to sit at level 2 forever. This deck can beat both at level 1, but if you let TP early play, refresh, and early play again, this deck is in a really bad situation. I still think my level 1 game can push enough damage to prevent that, but sometimes their cancels can just snowball out of control. Luckily, I did not encounter a MG deck in this event.

What are some of the bad matchups for the deck?

It’s hard to say with only 2 weeks of testing, but I imagined that Milky Holmes and Kantai and some pretty hard matchups. Both of those decks have bigger walls than DS.

Are there any changes to the deck that you would like to make after Nationals?

I think the only change that I would try without changing the core of the deck is drop anti-damage counter to 1. There wasn’t a single game in the event where I felt that, “Yeah, money counter is the card that won me the game.” Out of the games that I won, I either didn’t have it, or won before opponent had lethal.

What are some tricks that you can do with Playing in the Creek?

  • Put CXs on top then brainstorm to guarantee plus and discard CXs
  • Put CXs on top then play 2/1 hat combo to shuffle to get cancels back into deck
  • Setup for Noeri restand or Chuuni combo
  • Draw through refresh to put a certain color into clock

 

Is there anything else you’d like to say, comment on, give a shoutout to, etc?

I feel like me topping (winning) with a DS deck just contributes more to the “NA is a meme” meme. Last year was YR To Love-Ru, now this. I never thought I would have made it this far with this deck, and I took many people by surprise. But this is just what Weiss Schwarz is, and this is why we love the game. Special shoutout to Nicholas who was there since the beginning to help me test the deck for 2 weeks straight. I probably played about 40 games against TP. Now to worry about what deck to play for Worlds.


And that’s the D.C., fine(Sorry)

Congratulations again to Steve on the major victory, and best of luck to him representing NA at Worlds!

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!

[email protected] CG Deck Tech – 1st at 2016 NA WGP Regionals – Indy

idols

Welcome to a 9th CX deck tech and tournament report! For this article, we have a list that took the top spot in the 2016 NA WGP Regionals in Indy! Our friend Audri (#1 Honoka fan NA) was the pilot behind this list – special thanks to her for the content!

As usual, translations can be found on Heart of the Cards. In the event inaccurate or missing translations are present, in-house translations will be used. Let’s get to the list!

Editor’s Note: We are including our own justifications for each card’s inclusion as our best shot at analysis. For those who are familiar with the series, many (if not all) of these cards will probably look intuitive or obvious.

Rin’s Replacement Friends

Level 0 – 16

2 Miku, the Best Team (IMC/W43-055)
3 Rin Shibuya (IMC/W41-078)
4 Nao, Trancing Pulse (IMC/W43-081)
3 Arisu, Project:Krone (IMC/W43-082)
4 Kaedae, Important Place (IMC/W43-083)

Level 1 – 17

3 Sae Kobayakawa (IMC/W41-083)
4 Nao, Encounter of the Three (IMC/W43-088)
4 Rin, Troubled Feelings (IMC/W43-100)
2 Rin, Stern Gaze (IMC/W41-105)
4 Karen, Trancing Pulse (IMC/W43-084)

Level 2 – 2

2 Nao, as an Idol (IMC/W43-104)

Level 3 – 7

3 Rin, Trancing Pulse (IMC/W43-080)
4 Rin, Power of Smile (IMC/W43-090)

CX – 8

4 Triad Primus (IMC/W43-122)
4 Trancing Pulse (IMC/W43-126)


At level 0, we have 16 cards.

imc-w43-055

When you play Miku, the Best Team, you may discard a CX to salvage a character. If damage dealt by her is canceled, you may send her to stock.

Many a-deck can appreciate a way to filter CXs and turn them into other cards. CXs for characters is always a nice way to go, and being able to potentially net an additional stock off an attack provides so much awesome incidental value.

imc-w41-078

Rin Shibuya is an ‘Akatsuki’ clone for blue characters. (On play, you may discard a card. If you do, you look at up to the top 4 cards of your deck and tutor up to 1 blue character.)

Azusa Rin needs almost no introduction; the recent toning down of this type of effect in recent sets (including this card!) suggests correctly that these effects are very powerful.

imc-w43-081

Nao, Trancing Pulse gives your other “Rin”, “Nao”, and/or “Karen” in the middle slot of your center stage +1000 power, and has a very specific brainstorm ability: pay 1 stock and rest 2 characters you control to brainstorm 5. For each “Trancing Pulse” or “Triad Primus” (i.e. for each CX) revealed this way, tutor for up to 1 [Music] character.

One more card? One more card is huge! Normally, brainstorm effects are 4 cards at a time, so just getting that one extra card makes this card a big value magnet.

imc-w43-082

Arisu, Project:Krone has two on-play abilities (which can be used in any order): 1. Reveal the top card of your deck. If it’s a [Music] character, put it into your hand and discard a card. 2. You may discard a [Music] character. If you do, draw a card.

Two effects, both on-play, but both very useful. There is actually a small skill test with this card in choosing the order of effects. If you are diving for CXs, you’ll want to use the filter ability first before drawing a card. The loot is optional as well, so autopilot is not recommended!

imc-w43-083

Kaede, Important Place is a runner (can go to middle slot on center stage) without a condition, and gets +1500 power as long as you have 2 or less stock.

Run and beat down? Sign us up!

At level 1, we have 17 cards.

imc-w41-046

Sae Kobayakawa has a(n effectively) 0 stock +2000 power backup ability.

imc-w43-088

Nao, Encounter of the Three cannot declare a frontal attack against a character with a higher level.

imc-w43-100

Rin, Troubled Feelings gets +1000 power as long as you control 3 or more other [Music] characters. When reversed in battle, she runs away and hides goes to the bottom of your deck.

As if Rin or Nao could be considered fragile with a powerful and free 2000 power backup being threatened every turn! Everything here so far costs 0 stock, which can only mean that that stock is freed up for brainstorming or saving, or anything else, really.

imc-w41-105

Rin, Stern Gaze = vanilla!

Before wielding a pitchfork, we should consider some specific upsides this kind of vanilla character can offer to the deck. We can think of a couple: she’s a stock sink in case a CX just needs to get out of there and you’ve already used a brainstorm, and her power level is not awful if she picks up support from Nao.

However, we should also say that while Audri has expressed that she isn’t sold on using this card, she’s not sure yet what should go in its place.

imc-w43-084

Karen, Trancing Pulse gives all other “Rin, Trancing Pulse” you control +1000 power. If you control a “Nao, Trancing Pulse”, all other [Music] characters gain a power boost based on level (500 x level). When you play a “Triad Primus” CX, if you control another [Music] character, choose another character you control, and it gains: “When this reverses a character in battle, tutor for up to 1 [Music] character, then shuffle your deck.” (The search is actually mandatory, so even if you decline to find something, you’ll have to shuffle your deck.)

Shimakaze has gone behind the scenes and now appears on demand, it seems. Being able to dole out on-reverse effects to your most favorable battles is no joke. The only major difference here is that Karen costs 1 stock, but calling the cost a downside is very difficult to defend.

At level 2, we have 2 5 cards!

imc-w43-104

Nao, as an Idol has a ‘slayer’ ability: when she attacks, if her opponent is level 3 or higher, she gets +4500 power and “when this reverses a character in battle, you may put that character on the bottom of its owner’s deck” until end of turn. She also has a CX combo with “Trancing Pulse”: on attack, she gets +2000 power and “when this reverses a character in battle, you may draw a card” until end of turn.

Need cards nao? Need pesky early plays gone? Why not both? Clearly with Nao, it’s not about winning the battle against early level 3s, it’s about sending a message, and man, can she send one.

At level 3, we have 6 4 cards.

imc-w43-080

Rin, Trancing Pulse can be played at level 2 if you have 2 or fewer CXs in your waiting room. She has a heal ability when played, and if she’s in the middle slot of your center stage, she gives all other [Music] characters you control +500 power and your opponent cannot play events or backups during her battles.

Next in the exhibit, we see an idol who can lock your opponent out of freefreshes or inconvenient events, at least, for one battle. Did we mention she heals? As we visualize this walk through this museum of idol art, please also imagine the trail of salt and bitter tears that follow Rin, as we get to our final exhibit-

imc-w43-090

When Rin, Power of Smile is played, you draw up to 2 cards, discard 2 cards, and then put up to 1 card from the top of your deck into stock. When you play a CX, she gets +1500 power until end of turn. She has a CX combo with “Triad Primus”: up to once per turn, on attack, she gains the ability: “This triggers up to once per turn. When another character you control attacks, if you control 3 or other blue characters, you may pay 3 stock and discard a card. If you do, stand this card”. 

If at first you don’t succeed, attack and attack again! Rin needs no fancy tricks like burn and such, she just gets in there for 3+, over and over and …

One of the most powerful (or perhaps, unsettling) aspects of this card is that it has an optional stock refund attached to it. Without it, the card would be fine; it would still see play but it probably wouldn’t be considered particularly powerful because the restand is rather expensive. With it though, we get a very potent package of effects with a much more accessible ability.

The CX spread is a 4/4 split between stock/soul +2 soul and 1k1 + gate (pants).

imc-w43-122

imc-w43-126

How do we use this deck?

From turn 1, the deck wants to build stock and sculpt a hand for its level 1. Unfortunately, the deck cannot fire its search combo without stock like some other decks might because Karen, Trancing Pulse demands her stock upfront. The deck does not have a way to accelerate its journey to level 1 and in this case, it’s probably for the better.

Being able to use a slightly better brainstorm than most decks is an incredible but subtle advantage. The deck can cycle through itself more quickly and setup earlier refreshes. Its stock demands are generally low throughout, and its level 2 game is mostly an extension of level 1, with options to kick out early level 3 characters and heal.

In the endgame, at least one Rin, Power of Smile should be center stage to take up a second attack. Just keep the ‘once per turn’ trigger in mind. For instance, if you attack with Rin 1 followed by Rin 2, if you don’t pay for Rin 1’s ability when Rin 2 attacks, Rin 1 will not be able to stand again during the turn.

(While not allowed in any official tournament setting, we recommend using a small visual aid like a die or coin to show that Rin still has an available trigger when playing her. This can greatly help prevent confusion in games.)

 

What are some potential options that players might have to customize the deck? Were there any inclusions that were made based on your play style/ personal preferences?

A: I would say Miku, the 1/1 Rin and TP Arisu could be taken out to make the deck your own.

M: Swapping out a CX-salvage effect in the deck could be risky, we might add (re: Miku).

 

Sample Hands!

For this fun section, Audri’s offered her thoughts on an ideal hand, and a nightmarish hand:

Hand 1

ideal-hand

A: Perfect hand! You have a setup in the back row and can get to work milling out the deck right away. I would use the level 3 Rin as my clock for the first turn.

M: I took a second to think about why one might not want to ditch the Rin, and I thought of a couple of reasons. It might be advantageous to not immediately reveal the deck to the opponent (if, at the time your deck is completely unknown), but also because Audri’s right; Rin’s excellent clock fodder here. Going through an additional card is almost like tempting fate because you are already slightly favored to see a CX in your opening hand to begin with. (Roughly 60% to see at least 1 CX in the first 5 cards you draw)

Hand 2

omg-no

A: Hold onto 1 Triad Primus and drop everything else. The deck mills itself quickly, so you should be able to dig your way out of this mess before hitting level 3. The one Triad in hand should help with pushing early damage, since your opponent will probably be rushing you.

M: If this statistical anomaly ever should happen to you (Travis can attest), the key is to not panic. Remember as Audri said, the deck mills through itself very quickly, and has ways to do it without stock too. Build up as much of a board as you can, and sprint for the first refresh if you can right before or upon hitting level 1.

About the list: Is it conservative or greedy? What’s its overall power range? Is it easy or difficult to use? Is it viable in the JP meta?

Greed

A: 6. The stock usage in the deck is nearly all in the endgame.  Triad Primus also makes it very easy.

M: 2. I must agree that the deck’s stock is all for its endgame, but I must also point out that the deck has a ton of ways to stockpile (…literally) and is only 1 color. Its combos are not particularly elaborate nor difficult to execute in terms of cards, player decisions notwithstanding.

Power Range

A: 6. I find outside of the level 3 Rin, counters are needed a lot to keep your early game alive.

M: 6 – 9+. The deck does indeed have a potentially fragile game at levels 1 and 2. Reversers and anti-change effects can still prey upon the deck’s idols. However, Rin at level 3 becomes a terrifying force. I can’t justify calling the deck a 10 in terms of top-end power because the CX combo requires a lot of practice to ensure consistent accuracy in use, and the deck does not have any ways to try to deal extra damage outside of Rin.

Difficulty

A: 6. The deck has a few tough judgement calls, but overall the deck can be run on autopilot for a lot of the time.

M: 나도


Now onto the tournament report!

Round 1 Monogatari Series

I always seem to have to start a regional against a good friend. He brought Y/R Monogatari. Both decks were running rather awkwardly, and neither of us could reliably retain any stage presence. He was able to get a Shinobu early play down, but that was countered by using the Trancing Pulse/Nao CX combo to bottom deck it. Once that happened, things went much better for me as TP Rin locked down the center stage, and the game ended on several restands from the Power of Smile Rin.

1-0

Round 2 Accel World

This match really took me by surprise. The deck was mono red and really good. At level 1, my opponent setup 3 1/1 7500 characters with a +1000 assist that top decked anything they reversed. This really hurt me at level 1 as Rin and Nao could not compete with out backup. It took out a lot from my hand. At level 3 though, my opponent missed on a top deck check for a burn that proved critical; he attempted to knock me from 2/6 to 4, but I survived and won.

2-0

Round 3 Charlotte

Neither of us seemed to be able to cancel and I took him from level 0 to 1 very quickly and he followed up by taking me from level 0 to level 2. I was able to hit him to level 2 as well on the following turn, and that’s when the game really began. I got really lucky when he used the level 3 Nao to force me to side attack with a restander and got a Triad Primus +2 soul trigger on the trigger check. The other restanders followed up, and it was a win.

3-0

Round 4 Mono Blue Rabbits (Travis)

If things could go wrong for a player, they certainly did for him. He had tons of CXs in hand, and when he refreshed the first time, they were still there while his deck refreshed with nearly 40 cards. This let me just slam through damage for the win.

4-0

Round 5 Triad Primus

Kit and I joked all day that neither of us really wanted to play this match up till the finals, and it happened. Picture this match like a shootout in an old western film where the first person who blinked was going to get shot and lose. From his face and comment about a weird hand, that blink happened in the final 5. I was able to get a quick lead and ride it despite several restanders coming at me and hold on to end the wild ride of a day.

5-0

I was once told by a very important person that the people around you, make you who you are.  Thankfully I have greatness around me. Let’s start with Ben Schiffli who keeps me looking forward and on the right path while I’m freaking out or about to do something dumb.  Next, I would have to give credit to Forrest G., David Y., Aubrey P., Andrew C. and the rest of Illiana who are the best playtesters a player could want, as well as great friends.  Facebook has also connected me with some great friends like Devon Mesunchuk and Bren Olit, who I know cheer for me all the way from Vancouver.

Next in the 2D world, I need to give credit to Rin, Karen and Nao.  Those three girls busted their butt and had to put up with me producing them…
Lastly, I need to give a shoutout to the most wonderful waifu that could ever exist, Honoka Kosaka.  Her smile keeps me going and her determination is an inspiration as I continue to work with Illiana and her beauty mesmerizes me and enchants me like a goddess.

raiseyourhonks


Congratulations again to Audri on qualifying for the 2016 NA WGP Nationals!

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!

Dog Days Deck Tech – 2016 9th CX PH Cup Champion!

DOG.DAYS.full.1817795

Welcome to a 9th CX Cup deck tech! We’re going a little out of order here (sorry!) to bring us a less-seen deck, Dog Days! The 9th CX Cup is an annual tournament in PH under JP banlist regulation. Special thanks to Sebastian and Johnny for article prep. Translations for cards can be found on Heart of the Cards. If a translation is inaccurate or missing, an in-house translation may be used.

This deck and interview are brought to you by the champion, Hyuga Miki.

Let’s get to the list!

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 15

3 Couvert, Beloved Lord (DD/WE23-01)
3 Vert, Leaf’s Relative (DD/WE23-17)
2 Farine the Priestess (DD/WE23-45)
2 Gaol, Searching for Hero (DD/WE23-18)
2 Nanami, Naive And Romantic (DD/WE23-13)
2 “Reminiscence” Fi (DD/WE23-03)
1 Nanami, One Summer Adventure (DD/WE17-22)

Level 1 – 13

3 Leaf Lang de Shar Harva (DD/WE23-15)
3 Nanami, Hero’s Rest (DD/WE23-19)
2 Rebecca, Hero’s Rest (DD/WE23-05)
2 Sharu, Visit From the Sky (DD/WE23-46)
1 Fi the Hero Princess (DD/WE23-07)
2 Legend of Hero Summoning (DD/WE23-10)

Level 2 – 6

1 Couvert, Descendent of Hero King (DD/WE23-09)
1 Adel, Gun of Hero Princess (DD/WE23-08)
4 Hero Crystal (DD/WE23-49)

Level 3 – 8

3 Rebecca, Hero of Pastillage (DD/WE23-02)
3 Leo, Young Lion Princess (DD/WE23-14)
2 Couvert Eschenbach Pastillage (DD/WE17-05)

CX – 8

3 Demon God Crystal (DD/WE23-11)
3 Guidance (DD/WE23-24)
2 Story of Hero and Princess (DD/WE23-12)

 

At Level 0, we have 15 characters.

dd-we23-01

Couvert, Beloved Lord is a global +500 power to all your [Hero] and/or [Royalty] characters. She also has a level 0 shift ability, and you can pay 1 stock and rest her to choose one yellow card from your clock and add it to your hand, and afterwards clock the top 2 cards of your deck.

dd-we23-17When Vert, Leaf’s Relative is played from hand to stage you can discard 1 card to choose a [Hero] and/or [Animal] character from your clock and add it to your hand, and if you do, clock the top card of your deck. Her second ability is whenever you play an event you can give 1 of your characters +1000 power until the end of turn.

dd-we23-45When Farine the Priestess is placed from stage to waiting room, you can pay 1 stock and clock yourself to draw 1 card.

dd-we23-18Gaol, Searching for Hero has a level 0 shift ability and his second ability is a pay 1 stock rest this card brainstorm: for every CX revealed take 1 card from your clock and add it to your hand and then clock the top card of your deck.

dd-we23-13Nanami, Naive And Romantic is a runner and if you are lvl 1 or higher she gains the ability: at the start of your CX phase you can swap her with a “Nanami, Hero’s Rest” in your clock.

dd-we23-03When “Reminiscence” Fi is played from hand to stage you may mill the top 3 cards of your deck. When she is reversed in battle, you can pay 1 and discard 1 card to search your deck for an [Animal] and/or [Hero] character and add it to hand.

dd-we17-22Nanami, One Summer Adventure is a +500 power assist to front and when she is played from hand to stage you can take the bottom card of your clock and swap it with an [Animal] and/or [Hero] character from your waiting room.

At Level 1, we have 11 characters and 2 events.

 

dd-we23-15For every one of your character that attacks before Leaf Lang de Shar Harva, she gets +1500 power until the end of turn. And if she reverses her battle opponent while the CX “Guidance” is in play you may choose 1 card from your clock and add it to your hand. If you do, clock the top card of your deck.

dd-we23-19When Nanami, Hero’s Rest is played from hand to stage, reveal the top card of your deck and if that card is a CX then she rests. Then she has an encore where you choose 1 [Animal] and/or [Hero] character from your waiting room and put it on the bottom of your clock.

dd-we23-05Rebecca, Hero’s Rest is a level assist to [Hero] and/or [Royalty] characters in front, and gives the character in the middle position of your center stage hexproof.  Lastly, she has a level 1 shift ability.

dd-we23-46Sharu, Visit From the Sky is a generic cost 0 1500 power backup.

dd-we23-07When Fi the Hero Princess is an assassin. When she is played from hand to stage she gets +X power until end of turn, where X is equal to 500 times the number of [Animal] and/or [Hero] characters you control.

dd-we23-10Legend of Hero Summoning lets you search your deck for up to 1 [Animal] character and up to 1 [Hero] character and add them to your hand. Then, discard 1 card and send this event to clock.

At Level 2, we have 2 characters and 4 events.

dd-we23-08Adel, Gun of Hero Princess is a cost 1 +3000 power backup, and when you use her backup you can send 1 “‘Reminiscence’ Fi” from your memory to your waiting room to give all your [Animal] and/or [Hero] characters hand encore.

dd-we23-09Couvert, Descendent of Hero King gets +500 power for each other [Royalty] and/or [Hero] character you control. And when she is played from hand to stage if you control 4 or more other [Royalty] and/or [Hero] characters you may blind stock 1.

dd-we23-49Hero Crystal is an anti-damage event backup. When you play Hero Crystal you can discard a Hero Crystal (yes the same card) from your hand to choose 1 character and that character cannot deal damage this turn.

At Level 3, we have 8 characters.

 

dd-we23-02Rebecca, Hero of Pastillage has trespass if “Couvert, Beloved Lord” is in your clock. When she attacks, you can choose 1 of your characters and that character gets +4000 power until the end of turn. And if she reverses her battle opponent with the CX “Demon God Crystal” in play you can burn 1 and send her to memory. Then at the beginning of your next draw phase choose 1 “Rebecca, Hero of Pastillage” from your memory and play it to stage and that character gets +3500 power until the end of turn.

dd-we23-14Leo, Young Lion Princess gets +500 power for each of your other [Hero] and/or [Animal] characters. When she is played from hand to stage you can pay 2 stock and add 1 character from your clock to your hand. If you do clock the top card of your deck. And finally when she reverses her battle opponent on the turn she is played from hand to stage you can pay 1 stock and clock kick.

dd-we17-05If you have 3 or more other [Hero] and/or [Royalty] characters Couvert Eschenbach Pastillage gets +1000 power.  And she heals 1 on play.

The climax spread is a 3/3/2 split between 1k1 | Bounce , 1k1 | Gold Bar and Stock Soul | 2 Soul effects and triggers respectively.

dd-we23-11dd-we23-24 dd-we23-12

 

How do we use this deck?

H: The level 0 play of this deck is pretty much different from the usual level 0 line up. In this deck you’ll only have utility at level 0. Now, how do we play this one? Simple, you just have to deny and ignore your opponent’s play and focus on getting your Level 1 combo pieces in hand as early as possible. You can also use Couvert 0/0 to clock yourself an additional damage to level up first before your opponent, you also use this card to gain hand advantage. Farine also does the same thing, she’s just a bait to gain hand advantage and level up yourself easily.

At level 1 you can easily set up your late game using Leaf’s CX combo; take note that Leaf’s ability can get a card (can also get climax and event). Other option for the level 1 play is to make a good defensive wall using Nanami 1/1 7k clock encore that can also be played for no cost using her changer.

I usually level up myself using Couvert 0/0 and place yellow in my level area, play Legend of Hero Summoning to search Nanami 0/0 that removes the bottom clock changing it into another character from waiting room. Since the 1/0 event will get inside the clock, I can always change that card into something else like Nanami 1/1 to make my green cards available and ready to play. She also gives Nanami 0/0 runner the target for her change.

Level 2, you have to make sure you have Couvert level 0 in your clock to early play Rebecca level 3 and gain field advantage. Usually, you just have to encore Nanami using her ability to clock yourself Couvert or use that Nanami 0/0 that can swap the bottom card of the clock. You also do want the level assist Rebecca to protect the level 3 from anti-change backup effects because she gives hexproof in the middle slot of center stage. Playing them together at level 2 is one of the key in this deck. Imagine having a 11k level 3 beater in the middle, with hexproof, swinging and giving 4k to one of your characters- it just feels so good.

For the level 3, you do want to have two copies of the Hero Crystal (Damage Counter) already. This will help you to have extra turn and negate damage (just don’t do this over Yami lol). Lastly use Leo to clock kick and Rebecca’s CX combo to deal 1 damage. To make Leo clock kick your opponent’s characters, you can always use Rebecca’s ability that gives 4k and give it to Leo.

What does this deck not do well? What would you say are some of its key weaknesses?

H: The deck lacks something really important but I do think it’s because of the card pool. The set doesn’t have good brainstorm like Umi 1/0 brainstorm search. Level 1 play is limited to Leaf’s combo (because he is the only one who can plus 1 when he reversed something). Can’t also splash in the Sharu 1/0 searcher because she can only search red or blue character which is kinda sad.

For the weakness of the deck is obviously when you get to level up into level 2 from level 0 without any time to setup (yup, soul rush). It’s very hard to fight back because the level 2 play of the deck requires a lot of stocks to early play the Rebecca 3/2 together with the 1/1 level assist.

What are some of the risks the list takes? Are there any other cards that may warrant consideration?

H: The biggest risk the list takes is its blind clocking from your characters’ abilities. Even Leaf’s combo can backfire by clocking yourself some CXs. Also the damage counter can clog the hand because it doesn’t do anything until in your hand in multiples.

How did you go about building this list? (Where did you get the numbers, etc)

H: Upon building the list, I considered to play 3 copies of Vert level 0 to ditch CXs from my hand and convert that card into something important. For the level 1 line up, I usually play 4 copies of Leaf and 4 copies of Nanami but since I’ll be playing anti-damage counter, I reduced the count to 3 for both of them; 3 copies of each works really fine with me.

4 copies of the anti-damage counter because you really need to have 2 of that in your hand to make it playable. Level 3 lineup, basically 3 clock kicker, 3 early play and 2 healer. For the CX spread as you can see I only use 3/3/2. The reason why is because I don’t really like bar triggers because it keeps on going to my hand plus this deck does only have Vert level 0 who can ditch 1 card from hand to waiting.

On a scale of 1-10, how greedy is the deck and why?

H: 6

H: The deck uses 3 colors but you’ll only be needing blue for the damage counter. It’s really not that hard to get some blue in your clock even if the list only runs 8 blue because there’s this Nanami 1/1 that can always clock yourself an [Animal] or [Hero] character from waiting room.

M: I think this deck is about there in terms of greediness. I think I would give it a 7 just because missing the early game, as Hyuga said before, can be even more punishing than other decks. On top of that, the deck is running a counter that needs to show in multiples before it’s useful.

On a scale of 1-10, how powerful is the deck and why?

H: 8

H: The deck is pretty powerful when it goes off at every level. There’s Leaf’s CX combo to plus 1, 1/1 Nanami to gain field advantage, a powerful event that can search combo pieces, and a level 3 that can come down early, with a level assist to give her hexproof. We also have clock kicker in late game to deal 1 sure damage and anti-damage counter to shut down some of your opponent’s finishers.

On a scale of 1-10, how difficult to use is the deck and why?

H: 7

H: Well, the hardest part of playing this deck is that the deck itself is clock dependent. You can’t just use Leaf while you are on 1/0 because you can’t get anything in your clock. Also unlike Shimakaze or Marika, you can’t search or salvage the card that you really need for the game. Search and salvage is very limited in this deck since you’re only allowed to pick whatever is in your clock.

Would you consider this deck viable in the JP metagame?

H: It works really fine with the JP meta. You have that event that can nullify damage, level one play also works fine, late game also works fine. I do think the deck will always be fine in JP meta.

Onto the interview!

How was the event overall?

H: The event was fine. A lot them use JP decks which is quite exciting for me. 4-1 in Swiss and 3-0 in top cut. Taking home 1 sealed box of Charlotte (Thanks 9th CX!).

Did you have any particularly lucky moments during the tournament?

H: When I am battling Angel Beats, my opponent has 2 back row, 1 Kanade Sending Everyone Off and another 1 with a power assist. I triggered bounce in my 1st attack and bounced the power assist (then I realized I should have bounce the hand encore assist instead) triggered the 2nd attack, blank, then 3rd attack triggered another bounce to bounce the encore assist. Just. Lucky.

How about unlucky?

H: While at 2-6, I thought I was going to win the fight, I do have 6 CX left in deck, he attacks for 3 and take, then direct attack for 5 souls. Guess what? Take. Unlucky.

Any incredible comebacks?

H: When my opponent counted my CX in waiting room and it’s already 6 (I was holding 2 CX). He frontal attacks using his last attacker for 3 while I am at 3/4 and use Hero Crystal (Anti damage). On my turn he is 3/4. Played Leo (clock kicker) with a level assist and Rebecca swing for 2 and gives 4k to Leo and he took the damage. Leo is at 17.5k with clock kick frontal attack to his L3 11.5k. He surrendered and showed me his hand; he did have a backup, but it was only 3k.

How did your final match go?

H: The only thing I can remember in this fight is when Rebecca swings for 4 while he had 5 cards left in his deck with 1 CX and he takes the damage, allowing me to win the game. (PS, that’s a 60% chance success rate! -M)

How did you prepare for the event? Did you do anything special the day of or night before?

H: We practice WS night before the event but eventually we end up playing Exploding Kittens instead. LOL

Did anything really funny happen?

H: 3rd game where I play Leaf’s combo. I triggered bar CX then I choose to get the bounce CX in my clock then take another bounce CX from the top of my deck. I hate Leaf.

Any shoutouts or other things you’d like to say?

H: I would like to thank my Teammates, Metabois and Friends for supporting and playing WS with me. Team Alien for sponsoring my deck name. Miu for being my inspiration. Isla for being my center marker during the event. Thank you guys. Nyhessss~ ლ(´ڡ`ლ)

Also thank you 9th CX and Courtside for having such a great tournament! Will probably look forward for the next one! v(^∀^*)

 


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Girlfriend Beta Deck Tech – 2nd at LCQ EGP and 3rd/4th EGP Final

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And another report from this year’s EGP! Welcome to the 9th CX’s deck techs!
This time it’s about Sven L. from Germany and his Girlfriend Beta Deck with which he placed 2nd in the LCQ and 3rd/4th in the EGP Finals losing both times to J.P. Champy with his Fate Deck, previously featured. Special thanks to Sebastian for doing the interviews, and putting the article together.

Let’s get to the deck!

“Clownfiesta”

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 16

2 Yuzu Hazuki, White Shirt + Apron (GF/W33-007)
2 Nonoka Sasahara, Sunset Cool (GF/W33-070)
3 Matsuri Kagami, Exhilarating Heart (GF/W33-075)
2 Koruri Tokitani, Farm Experience (GF/W38-001)
4 Risa Shinomiya, Sound of Surprise (GF/W38-009)
1 Sumire Yomogida (GF/W38-010)
1 Haruko Yumesaki, Tropical (GF/W38-038)
1 Chloe Lemaire, Miss Contest (GF/W38-039)

Level 1 – 11

1 Raimu Nejikawa, Director on Site (GF/W33-009)
1 Nonoka Sasahara, Fitting Couple (GF/W33-055)
1 Matsuri Kagami, Well-Behaved (GF/W33-064)
2 Ichigo Kohinata, Flustered (GF/W38-042)
2 Matsuri Kagami, Study Session (GF/W38-043)
4 Kanata Amatsu, Culture Festival (GF/W38-053)

Level 2 – 6

1 Kinoko Himejima, Eyes of Mushrooms Also Have Tears (GF/W33-004)
1 Remi Tamai, Making Sweets (GF/W33-021)
3 Yurara Mishima, Skill Issues? (GF/W38-045)
1 Part-Time Job (GF/W38-066)

Level 3 – 9

3 Koruri Tokitani, Seeking Models (GF/W33-005)
2 Chloe Lemaire, Regular Brilliance (GF/W33-052)
4 Akari Amari, Cooking Contest (GF/W38-008)

CX – 8

4 Chihaya Something (GF/W33-109)
4 Good Friends “Akari & Yurara” (GF/W38-035)


At level 0, we have 16 characters.

WS-GF-W33-007

Yuzu Hazuki, White Shirt + Apron gives your other character in the center slot of front row +1000 power and has a brainstorm ability for 1 stock and rest 2 of your characters: for each CX revealed, tutor up to one yellow character.

WS-GF-W33-070
When Nonoka Sasahara, Sunset Cool attacks you may give one of your other characters +1500 power for the turn and she has hand encore.

WS-GF-W33-075

Matsuri Kagami, Exhilarating Heart cannot side attack.

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Koruri Tokitani, Farm Experience is basic +500 power front assist. You can pay 2 stock and rest her to tutor up to one red and up to one yellow character.

gf-w38-009

Risa Shinomiya, Sound of Surprise gives all your other ‘Kanata Amatsu, Culture Festival’ +500 power and hand encore.
She also has a clock bond for ‘Kanata Amatsu, Culture Festival’ as well. (The bond cost is putting the top card of your deck into clock)

gf-w38-010

Sumire Yomogida is a [Girl] basic searcher.

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Haruko Yumesaki, Tropical is a basic level reverser that also lets you salvage a character for 2 stock when sent to waiting room.

gf-w38-039
Chloe Lemaire, Miss Contest has a +1000 power revenge trigger.
She also has brainstorm ability for 1 stock: for each CX revealed you may salvage a [Girl] character from your waiting room and discard a card.

At Level 1 we have 11 characters.

WS-GF-W33-009

Raimu Nejikawa, Director on Site has hexproof  and gets +1000 power for each other yellow character you control during your turn.
When she reverses her opponent you may send it to memory.

WS-GF-W33-055

When Nonoka Sasahara, Fitting Couple is played you may pay 1 stock and discard a climax to return a climax back to your hand from your waiting room.
She also has a CX combo with ‘Yell’: when she attacks with the CX in play you may pay 1 stock to salvage a character. (The CX isn’t played in this deck)

WS-GF-W33-064

When Matsuri Kagami, Well-Behaved attacks with a red CX in play you may discard a card to salvage a red character.

gf-w38-042

Ichigo Kohinata, Flustered has a 0 stock +1000 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability and you have 2 or more [Girl] characters, you can give a character an additional X power, where X is the total level of cards in your level zone times 500.

gf-w38-043
When Matsuri Kagami, Study Session comes into play you may discard a card and salvage a [Girl] character.

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When Kanata Amatsu, Culture Festival comes into play and you don’t have another ‘Risa Shinomiya, Sound of Surprise’, you need to rest her.

At Level 2 we have 5 characters and 1 event.

WS-GF-W33-004

Kinoko Himejima, Eyes of Mushrooms Also Have Tears has a freefresh ability: when she comes into play and you have 3 or more other yellow characters and 5 or less cards in your deck, you put all your cards from your waiting room to your deck and shuffle. Afterwards, you give one of your characters +2000 power and Burn 1.

WS-GF-W33-021
Remi Tamai, Making Sweets has a 1 stock +2500 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability you may pay 2 stock and sacrifice a character and choose one of your opponent’s characters which is higher than their level and send it to stock.

gf-w38-045

Yurara Mishima, Skill Issues? has a 1 stock +3000 power Backup ability that also has a CX combo with ‘Good Friends “Akari & Yurara”‘: when the CX is played you may pay 1 stock and return this to your hand and choose one ‘Akari Amari, Cooking Contest’ from your hand and place it into the slot this was in.

gf-w38-066

Part-Time Job lets you salvage 2 characters.

At level 3 we have 9 characters.

WS-GF-W33-005

Koruri Tokitani, Seeking Models has a Punish Burn trigger when is played from hand and if she reverses an opponent you may send it to memory.

WS-GF-W33-052

Chloe Lemaire, Regular Brilliance has Heal trigger on play and a CX combo with ‘Chihaya Something’: when she reverses her opponent with the CX in play you may pay 2 stock to Burn X, where X is the number of CX in your waiting room.

gf-w38-008
Akari Amari, Cooking Contest has a heal trigger on play and a CX combo with ‘Good Friends “Akari & Yurara”‘: when she attacks with CX in play you tutor up to one [Girl] character and she gets +1500 power until the end of you opponent’s next turn.

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

WS-GF-W33-T08gf-w38-035
How do we use this deck?
Sven: At level 0 you want to try build as much stock as possible without overcommitting. The 0/0 Nonoka paired with the 0/0 Matsuri (#070 and #075) allow you to run over almost anything at level 0 and given the great utility of the Nonoka, it can even be kept past level 0 if necessary. It is one of my favorite cards in the set, and in my opinion, is underestimated by a lot of people.

The other thing to do at level 0 is to start and prepare your level 1 game, which in this deck consists of your way oversized 1/1 Kanata, which coincidentally you can clock-bond onto with the 0/0 Risa. (#009 gf2 and #053 gf2).
Your other cards at level 0 are basically just utility cards such as searchers, supports, brainstorms, etc. It may look like a mess with all the 1-ofs but most of them are not really needed more than once which leaves spots for other valuable cards in the deck.

At level 1 you can finally start to !*@&$ I mean wall off your opponent with your oversized 1/1 Kanatas, which will most likely be sitting at 8.5k plus hand encore. Considering the current meta game and how almost every deck plays a Shimakaze clone, there are not very many decks that can easily and efficiently run over more than 1 of them, setting level 1 reversers aside.

It’s a minor downside for the deck to not have a Shimakaze clone itself since it relies a bit more on draws and triggers that way, but being able to shut down most other level 1 games helps a lot.
The rest of the level 1 cards are purely utility cards in this deck. Both of the 1/0 Matsuri allow you to fix your hand and prepare better for the late game or allow you to salvage your counters to keep your level 1 game alive if needed.
The 1/0 Nonoka is splashed in to be able to swap climaxes if needed, while the 1/0 Raimu is in the deck solely for its hexproof effect since I expected a lot of TLR, Charlotte and KC, i.e. anything that would prevent damage or front attacks.

At level 2 you have the option to early play healers via the Yurara/Akari climax combo which also lets you prepare further for your endgame or help you sustain at level 2. However, I find myself using the climax combo less often than I probably should, since often I just opt to stick with my level 1 board until level 3, depending on the matchups. Other than that there are not many things left at level 2 aside from the refresher, which may seem difficult to play properly with this color distribution and I will admit, it is not always easy and sometimes requires an additional card from hand to be played over something on the field. Also there’s the usual anti-change backup and a 2/2 salvage 2 characters event.

At level 3 you have multiple different options. I opted for Akari, Chloe, and Koruri aka Musashi clone in my deck list. It is arguable which level 3 lineup is the best but I’ve felt most confident with this one, so it was mostly a preference choice for me.
Akari will still allow you to have a minor wall while letting you compress your deck more. Koruri will do the obvious Musashi things and eventually get rid of some threads with its sending opponents to memory effect which can be helpful in some matchups.
Chloe was the most debatable level 3 that I put into the deck. Nowadays, its climax combo is very expensive, it has trouble reversing opponents with this setup but I still felt that it was the proper choice without having to splash blue into the deck for Shiina and Nonoka Pumpkin.
It leaves me with more options against decks such as Charlotte where I can’t burn my opponent but am able to heal at least.
Also, at level 3 is where the 1/0 Raimu can become valuable with its hexproof effect to shut off things such as the level 3 Nao and anti-damage counters.

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

S: The deck has some issues with bounce triggers given that the main level 1 game consists of cost 1 characters. As mentioned before, the deck doesn’t run a Shimakaze clone itself, which is hindering its ability to get everything needed into the hand without a bit of luck on hitting brainstorms or triggering doors, etc.

I think the potential risks the deck takes is the early game. It needs some stock at level 1 to run at decent potential and sometimes you just have that one game where it just isn’t going well and you can maybe only build 1 stock before hitting level 1 or even worse, no stock at all because of really bad hands. I’ve experience this every now and then and it’s quite hard to recover from it.

Is there or are there specific key cards in the deck that make it work?
The key card(s) in this deck are definitely the 0/0 Risa clock bond and 1/1 Kanata oversize 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: 4
S: I wouldn’t call it either conservative or greedy, more like a mix between the two. Considering Girlfriend has one of the better cardpools in the game, this deck has an above average power range. I wouldn’t necessarily put it above the blue/red deck or the TLR meta deck for example, but it definitely has its own way to be able to compete with those decks.

M: The number as always, is my own, but the sense that I get from this list is that its cards are accessible whether in deck or waiting room. Having a simple 2-color split is rewarded with Girl Friend’s expanded card pool, while still having some of the greedier mono-yellow aspects used in the early game.

Power Range: 6 – 9
M: GF Beta on the whole is known for its consistency. Based on the deck’s burn-heavy endgame, it can make it seem like it is aggressive. But, decks can certainly have multiple modes and faces at different parts of the game, so this will bear some clarification. This deck especially does not care about getting more cards in hand at level 1 through search effects. It aims to wall up at level 1, and sustain the wall through level 2. It has the option to delete characters with Raimu if key characters (no puns intended) show up. The deck also has 4 bounce triggers. The combination of these things actually make the deck a little more control-ish. Now, the deck does not have very many ways to reduce future damage to itself, or ‘compress’. But, it still has one way to do it, and several ways to heal. A steady hand can make this deck look anywhere from solid to insane, but the deck’s ability to snowball a game out of control early on is not as severe as something like YG TLR or soundless voice, and its finishing power is fairly predictable can be completely shut down by anti-burn.

Difficulty: 4+

S: The deck in general is not very difficult to use. However, I do feel that maximizing its potential to the fullest requires a lot more work and effort than just “playing” it, therefore making it more difficult in the end.

JP Meta Viability:
S: As for ENG metagame, I’d say people playing English WS should be happy that decks like this aren’t existing in their meta game.

M: Well, I’m not so sure if having a series like this in the English game would be so bad. After all, Haruhi is coming, Kantai is in full force with no restrictions (though no Junyou), and Attack on Titan is quite popular. But, the bit is about the deck’s viability in the JP metagame, and I think my analysis stays the same from before – GF Beta may not be as flashy as other series, but it has a lot of versatility and the consistency to take a player to a deep run in a large event.

Now onto the interview!

How was your event overall?
Sven: It was a very nice event. Unfortunately, I had to travel a lot during that time. Had to get from Sweden to Germany and then travel to Paris with friends. It was quite stressful but I was happy I could make it there. I met a lot of nice people and played against a good variety of new people I’ve never played against. It was nice to see all the different play styles and deck builds from people all over Europe.

What was a really lucky moment you had during the tournament?
There was actually only one lucky moment during the tournament, since most of the time I either had average luck or got quite unlucky.
During the 2nd round of the tournament, My opponent was at 3/5 damage and I had one attack left with 2 cards in deck. I counted every single soul trigger so I knew whether I need to front attack or side attack and when I thought I had 2 triggers left in my deck, I decided to side attack. I ended up hitting the trigger and won the game. However, I checked my last card afterwards and it was not a trigger because I miscounted because I forgot about my very bottom card in stock. I most certainly would have died next turn and the tournament would have been over for me.

What was a really unlucky moment you had during the tournament?
I had to play against one of my best friends, Gerrit, in the 4th round of the tournament, knowing that whoever loses this will most likely be out of the tournament. On top of that, he was playing TLR and we both knew each other’s decks in and out since we play ever so often.

Did you have any incredible comebacks?
Sadly, no. I was really close to one in the last round of Swiss against a GF mirror match but I ended up dying.

How did the final match go for you? What did you play against?
I played against Fate series. The match itself was really sad since I got super unlucky throughout the game. I was lucky enough that he did not pay full attention to all the things cause otherwise it would have been even more one sided. I guess since both of us were already qualified at that point, it didn’t matter too much for either of us.

How did you prepare for the tournament? Did you do anything special the day of the tournament?
It may sound weird, but I did not prepare at all. I was not home for a month and had not played WS in general for about 2 weeks prior to the event. The only game I played was to test a friends deck before we headed out to Paris.

Any funny stories from the event?
Nothing in particular that I recall.

Any other shoutouts or things you would like to say?
I want to thank Carl G. in particular. Ever since I started back in 2013 he’s been helping me out with deck building and teaching me how to play this game, sharing everything he newly learned and always explaining the choices and things he taught me. I don’t think I would have gotten as far as I have in this game without his help.
Thank you.

Gerrit K. for all the play testing we have done over the years and the time we hung out. I’m still sorry that you had to throw your deck at me for a second time.

And of course my girlfriend for supporting me, especially after I almost wasn’t able to make it to the event.


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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Fate Series Deck Tech – EGP LCQ 1st and EGP Finals 2nd

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Welcome to the 9th CX’s deck techs!
This time around with a Fate Deck piloted by the French player J.P. Champy who not only managed to get 1st in the LCQ but also just missed the Japan trip, only losing to Bea in EGP Finals! Special thanks to Sebastian for gathering the interview, deck, and preparing the article.

Here’s the deck!

Hotel Moonside

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 18

2 Kiritsugu, Heretic Style (FZ/S17-004)
3 Shirou, Steeled to Fight Alongside (FS/S34-004)
4 Shirou, A Normal Morning (FS/S34-024)
2 Archer, Rin’s Servant (FS/S34-056)
1 Rin, Proof of Pact (FS/S34-061)
4 Illya, Silver Thread Alchemy: Engel Lied (FS/S34-078)
2 SD Shirou (FS/S34-101)

Level 1 – 10

1 Rin, Gandr Shooter (FS/S03-055)
3 Kirei, Truth Seeker of the Holy Church (FZ/SE13-21)
4 “Saber’s Master” Shirou (FS/S34-002)
2 Shirou, Friendly to Others (FS/S34-017)

Level 2 – 6

2 Demolition (FZ/S17-026)
3 Caster, Strategist (FS/S34-068)
1 SD Rin (FS/S34-104)

Level 3 – 8

4 Rin & Archer (FS/S03-061)
1 Saber, Knight’s Oath(FS/S34-003)
3 “Heroic Spirit” Caster (FS/S34-076)

CX – 8

4 Words of Farewell (FS/S03-074)
4 Anger Towards Evil (FS/S34-034)


At level 0, we have 18 characters.

fz-s17-004

When Kiritsugu, Heretic Style comes into play you may pay 2 stock to search deck for up to one “Saber, Skill of ‘Riding'”.
He also is a basic stock reverser. (When he is reversed, if the battle opponent is level 0 or lower you may  put the opponent’s character into stock and put the bottom card of their stock into waiting room)

fs-s34-004When Shirou, Steeled to Fight Alongside comes into play you may pay 2 stock to search your deck for up to one “”Saber’s Master Shirou”.
He also gives each of your other [Master] character clock encore.

fs-s34-024

When Shirou, A Normal Morning is played, you reveal the top card of your deck and if it’s a level 0 or lower character, rest him.

fs-s34-056

Archer, Rin’s Servant has brainstorm 4: pay 1 stock and rest it; for each CX revealed, salvage up to 1 [Weapon] character.
Also when one of your characters is reversed, you may give one of your weapon characters +500 power for the turn.

fs-s34-061

Rin, Proof of Pact is a basic level reverser.
You can rest her and give one of your characters with ‘Archer’ in its name +1500 power for the turn and the ability that he cannot attack if the opposing character is lower than his.

fs-s34-078

Illya, Silver Thread Alchemy: Engel Lied is an Azusa/Akatsuki clone for [Master] characters (Sift). (When she comes into play you may discard a card and look at the up to the top 4 cards of your deck and put one [Master] into your hand the rest into the waiting room.)

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SD Shirou is a basic global +500 power assist to all [Master] or [Servant] characters.

 

At Level 1 we have 10 Characters.

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Rin, Gandr Shooter is +1000 power front assist for your level 2 and higher characters.
You can also rest 2 of your [Master] characters to put one card from your opponent’s waiting room on top of their deck.

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Kirei, Truth Seeker of the Holy Church gets +500 power for each of your other [Master] or [Void] characters.

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“Saber’s Master” Shirou has a CX combo with Anger Towards Evil: when he attacks with the CX in play, you may pay 1 stock and give +2000 power and the ability when he reverses his opponent, you may search your deck for up to one [Master] or [Servant] character.

fs-s34-017

Shirou, Friendly to Others has a 1 stock +1500 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability you reveal the top card of your deck and if it’s a [Master] or [Servant] character, add it to your hand and discard a card.

At Level 2 we have 4 characters and 2 Events.

fz-s17-026

Demolition is a “freerefresh” event for both players that can be used as a Backup as well.
When you use it, both players put all of their cards from the waiting room back into their library, then you discard a card and give one of your characters +2000 power for the turn. (Because events go to the resolution zone while resolving, this card will not return to your deck, unlimited cheatworks notwithstanding)

fs-s34-086

Caster, Strategist gives all your [Master] characters in front of her +1000 power and hand encore.
She also has a Change at the start of your draw phase: you may pay 1 and send this to waiting room and put “”Heroic Spirit” Caster” from your waiting room into the slot this was before.

fs-s34-104

SD Rin has a 1 stock +2500 power Backup ability. When you use its Backup ability you mill 3.

At level 3 we have 8 characters

fs-s03-061

Rin & Archer has heal trigger on play and has a CX combo with Words of Farewell: when it attacks with the CX in play, you may deal one damage to your opponent. (Burn 1)
You can also discard a [Weapon] character to give it +2000 power for the turn

fs-s34-003

Saber, Knight’s Oath gets +500 power for each of your other [Master] or [Servant] characters.
During the turn she is played from hand and her damage gets cancelled, you punish burn.

fs-s34-076
When “Heroic Spirit” Caster is played from hand or through change, you look at the up the top cards of your library as you have [Master] or [Servant] characters on your field, including her. (So up to 5 on a full field)
If her battle opponent gets reversed in battle, you may pay 4 stock and discard 2 cards to restand her.

The climax spread is a 4/4 split between +2 Soul | +2 Soul and 1k1 | Burn effects and triggers respectively.

fs-s03-074fs-s34-034
How do we use this deck?
J.P.: I begin my mulligan with early game in mind, but I tend to keep the Caster change if I have plenty of level 0s in hand.

The level 0 is pretty good. First, Archer brainstorm and Shirou avenger make sure that my stock are clean.
I have 4k Shirou to beat the utility cards and Kiritsugu and Rin for the opponent’s beaters.
The clock encore makes sure it is hard for my opponent to get rid of them and I can get more damage to get to my level 1.
Illya makes this level 0 more consistent and help me dropping the lvl 3 caster.

The level 1 is expected to lose or at best be equal to my opponent’s level 1.
10 level 1s is not much but the reason that I tend to lose is that I only beat on my turn with the Shirou combo.
But the card advantages that Shirou combo, Archer brainstorm and Shirou clock encore tend to make this level 1 not that hard.
The costless level 1 plan helps me build stock for the later game.

Level 2 is … well level 1 with Caster change. It may seems weird to have both the hand and clock encore, but the versatility that it brings is helpful.
Hand encore is also a good mechanic when you play change on draw phase as you can use the change target as an encore material, the counter that I use also help on bringing Caster lvl 3 to the waiting either by hand (Demolition and level 1 Shirou counter) or by deck (Rin PR counter).
This level is built with the idea of a clear transition between the early game and the late game.
As such I usually replace my back row with Caster level 2 or Rin level 1 and the old back row is used as cannon fodder to crash on my opponent cards.

It is preferable to be at level 2 with few damages as the value of the level 3 caster will be greater if you are still level 2 at your draw phase; that’s why I don’t hesitate to clock encore until I hit 1/6.
The Caster helps me get either the climax needed for the combo or the other level 3. She also brings pressure as she can restand and finish the game before my level 3.

The Demolition counter is kinda tricky to use as it may not help that much. It can help by discarding a Caster after the refresh but it can also mess up the change if you don’t have any in hand, so be careful with it.
That being said, the counter is an event, which mean that you choose when to use it so make sure that you get a real advantage worth the -2 in hand.

Level 3 is offensive. Rin Archer both heal and burn with the climax on attack, the climax being a +2 soul makes you able to side level 3 charachers which is really nice.
Musashi (punish burn) and +2 soul are really good together. Caster is an okay finisher that takes the game once in a while.
Rin level 1 transforms your useless costless Master in hand into cards on top of your opponent’s deck.
To have encore on level 3 is not really common and it helps to keep the 2 soul attacker on the field.

What does the deck not do well?
J.P.:Anti-burn is awful for this deck. The restand looks like an alternative, but Casters tend to be weak.
Strong level 1s that do not get reversed by Shirou are also bad match up as the lack of cards on level 1 and level 2 (Caster usually don’t help in those situations) makes the deck more dependent on clock encore, which can result in faster games.
Winds (bounce) tend to be annoying, not only for the change but also for the clock encore.

Is it missing anything?
J.P.: 
Swimsuit rider seems like a good option that I didn’t take. My level 1 is weak on defense but there were times where I could win the power battle and I did not because of the cost of my Shirou counter.
Swimsuit Rider gives +1000 and an additional +1000 to [Master] characters for no cost and that makes her viable even if the color and the trait are both not appealing.

What are some of the potential risks the list takes?
J.P.: 
There is no generic searcher for the deck. Also I have Saber Musashi and Archer Brainstorm of the [Weapon] type and sometimes they don’t mesh well with the rest of the deck.

Is there or are there specific key cards in the deck that make it work?
J.P.: The deck is centered around Rin+Archer. This uncommon card has a heal, burn and is both master and servant.
I use caster and Illya from the most recent set to setup the combo in my hand.

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 my own, but have been tuned to reflect a sense of the commentary given.)

Greed: 5
J.P.: The color ratio are usually pretty good, and the cards effect tend to make you have what you want. On 16 games I had one game where I didn’t have my third color. But I really tried to have a lot of options, and as such I have a bunch of 1-ofs and 2-ofs.
I don’t expect to have the same cards every game with this deck.
Also a bit less than half of my cards have soul trigger so it makes it hard to let the opponent where I want him/her to be.

M: I think the deck can be a bit more momentum-based from earlier on than the deck might let on. Not having a standard searcher for the deck makes it a bit more draw reliant at level 0, and if it can’t overpower anything at level 1, it can be stalled out and potentially smothered by overwhelming power and/or encore denial effects.

Power Range: 4 – 8+

J.P.: Don’t really know about its power range.

M: I think the deck can cap out fairly high in terms of its offensive power. Being able to use punish burn with other burn and heal effects make for a nice “best of both worlds” combination. The deck does not have much in terms of utility and card filtering in the early levels, but, something that can’t be discounted, is its ability to hit for obscene damage out of nowhere because of its dedication to +2 soul CXs. Yes, anti-burn can give the deck’s endgame a difficult time, but anti-burn can’t do a whole lot about 3 4-soul attacks.

Difficulty: 6

J.P.: I like to mess with my ratios and use a bit of everything so my decks tend to be a bit tricky to use, but not to the point where it is unplayable though. I think that 10 games with it are enough to get a grasp of it.

M: 10 games for an experienced player, maybe! If one is familiar with the cards in the series, then using a deck where no game will likely involve drawing the same cards at the same time is OK, but it can be a factor of unpredictability that some players cannot readily adapt to.

JP Meta Viability:

J.P.: This deck is vulnerable to heal tax and anti-burn. It also gets easily reversed. Anti-burn is the most annoying though; I try to burn before the anti-burn are set up. Typically, I try to be at level 3 before my opponent and I put him/her at level 2 and 5 damage specifically in the Log Horizon match up.
Overall, not really a good horse to bet on, but it can really strike hard sometimes and it can turn the tides in your favor.

M: Basically, it’s more of the same I was saying earlier. +2 soul variance can propel the deck further along than its cards normally allow, and if it has to fight “fair”, it has to rely on burn. I think the series is worth knowing about, but it doesn’t have anything extraordinarily unique to make it stand out.

Onto the interview!

How was your event overall?
It was great, but winning two tournament back to back was maybe a bit too greedy on my part. Hard to keep my concentration up at all times.
We got to play against a lot of people from different country in Europe and I’m grateful that they got the courage to come to Paris after the recent events.

What was a really lucky moment you had during the tournament?
Almost every single match to be honest. Sometimes I did 10 damage a turn in the mid game, sometimes I hit my opponent with 7 damage.
I canceled a lot too. But if I have to pick one moment, I got to say my first match.
I won with 6 damage on clock, level 3 and on the third of the three extra turn after the time was up.

What was a really unlucky moment you had during the tournament?
I didn’t have any lol.

Did you have any incredible comebacks?
As I said earlier, my first match was really hard. I was behind even though I was playing against a TD.
I had to use every unfair advantage that I had to stay alive and beat him.
That’s also the only time of the tournament that I thought that my deck was unfair since it was a TD in front of me.

How did the final match go for you? What did you play against?
It didn’t go well, not that I had a bad time but I made bad decision. I played against Charlotte.
So I had to make a choice between burn and caster. I could hope to put her to level 3 so that she could not put the anti-burn in memory and win the usual way or play it safe and win through card advantages and compression with caster.
The first choice was not a good one since I failed to put her to level 3 fast enough. That made Musashi a dead card in my hand and I got no red in level/clock for Rin&Archer (first time in the week end that it happened).
But, Bea is a strong opponent so I have no regrets.

How did you prepare for the tournament? Did you do anything special the day of the tournament?
I played against myself (lol). I was kind of busy so it was a convenient way for me to test my deck.
I changed a few card from my build since I lacked card advantages when I tested it.
Usually on tournament I listened to music that makes me smile or help me relax.
For this one, the song was Hotel Moonside from the [email protected]

Any funny stories from the event?
Someone was watching the stream of the event and gave a rough estimate of my decklist so that people interested in it could see it.
It made me hype!

Any other shoutouts or things you would like to say?
Any other shoutouts or things you would like to say?
Thanks to 9th CX to give me this opportunity to talk about my deck.
Thanks to Games From Japan, Epitanime and Bushiroad for the tournament.
Thanks to Yacine who is always here to lend me some cards.
Thanks to the Thean family for the magnificent idea of putting Caster into the deck and for all bunch of stuff.
Thanks to Nofoume, without you I wouldn’t know the gigant shooter match up.
And finally thanks to all players from Paris as I only made it because I trained myself in such a competitive environment filled with talent.


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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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Idolmaster CG Deck Tech – 2015 NA WGP Last Chance Qualifier Winner

Ranko

Welcome to the 9th CX’s deck techs! For this article, we’ll be looking at the list that stole the spotlight before the 2015 NA Nationals tournament and cruised to an undefeated finish! This deck list and interview are brought to you by Danielle Wright. Special thanks to Felix for article prep.

Translations can be found on Heart of the Cards. If translations are unavailable for a given card, in-house translations will be used.

Now onto the list!

[email protected] CG

Cards – 50
Level 0 – 16

2 Rin, First Step (IMC/W41-T41)
4 Ranko, Not Being True to Herself (IMC/W41-T44)
2 Kanako Mimura (IMC/W41-041)
2 Riina Tada (IMC/W41-077)
3 Rin Shibuya (IMC/W41-078)
3 Anastasia, My First Star (IMC/W41-082)

Level 1 – 12

4 Minami Nitta (IMC/W41-079)
4 Ranko, Fallen Angel of Darkness (IMC/W41-085)
4 Ranko, Pure White Angel (IMC/W41-086)

Level 2 – 7

2 Minami, First Job (IMC/W41-T50)
3 Ranko, Becoming Someone She Wants to Become (IMC/W41-P04)
2 Ranko, My First Star (IMC/W41-T51)

Level 3 – 7

3 Hanako (IMC/W41-T55)
4 Ranko Kanzaki (IMC/W41-080)

CX – 8

4 -LEGNE- Sword of Hatred, Melody of Light (IMC/W41-110)
4 Everyone’s Leader (IMC/W41-112)

 

At level 0, we have 16 characters.

imc-w41-t41

When Rin, First Step is put into the waiting room from the stage, Scry 1. (To scry 1, look at the top card of your deck. You may put that card on the bottom of your deck.) When this card attacks, reveal the top card of your deck, if it is a [Music] character, put it in your hand and discard a card.

imc-w41-t44d

Ranko, Not Being True to Herself is a vanilla character.

imc-w41-041

Kanako Mimura gives the character in your center slot +500 power and has a Brainstorm ability: pay 1 stock and rest it, reveal the top 4 cards of your deck, and for every CX revealed,  Salvage 1 character.

imc-w41-077

Riina Tada gives the character in your center slot +1000 power on your opponent’s turn and has a Brainstorm ability: pay 1 stock and rest 2 characters, reveal the top 4 cards of your deck, and for every CX revealed, Tutor 1. (Search your deck for up to 1 character)

imc-w41-078

When you play Rin Shibuya, you may discard a card. If you do, look at up to the top 4 cards of your deck and choose 1 blue character among them to add to your hand. Put the rest in your waiting room.

imc-w41-082

Anastasia, My First Star gives all your other [Music] characters +500 power. When you use a startup ability choose 1 of your characters and it gains +500 power until end of turn.

 

At level 1 we have 12 characters.

imc-w41-079

Minami Nitta gains +1500 power until end of turn when you play a CX. This card has a CX combo with “Everyone’s Leader”: when this card reverses its opponent, you may look at up to the top 4 cards of your deck and choose 1 [Music] character among them and add it to your hand and discard the rest and choose 1 of your characters and it gains +2000 power until end of turn.

imc-w41-085

When you play Ranko, Fallen Angel of Darkness from the waiting room, if you have 2 or more other [Music] characters, this gains +2500 power until end of turn. At the start of your opponent’s draw step you may put this in the waiting room. If you do, you may put a “Ranko, Pure White Angel” from your waiting room in the slot this was in and it gains +2500 power until end of turn.

imc-w41-086

Ranko, Pure White Angel has a Change ability: at the start of your CX phase, you may put this in the waiting room. If you do, choose a “Ranko, Fallen Angel of Darkness” from your waiting room and put it in the slot this was in.

 

At level 2 we have 7 characters.

imc-w41-t50

Minami, First Job is a vanilla 2/1 character counter. (+3000 power)

imc-w41-p04

When you play Ranko, Becoming Someone She Wants to Become you may pay 1 and send it to memory. If you do choose a “Ranko, Pure White Angel” and a “Ranko, Fallen Angel of Darkness” from your waiting room and put them in separate slots on your stage.

imc-w41-t51

Ranko, My First Star is a level support. When you play a CX, Scry 1 and choose 1 of your characters and it gains +500 power until end of turn.

 

At level 3, we have 4 characters and 3 events.

imc-w41-t55

Hanako is an event counter. When you play it Heal 1 and choose 1 of your characters and it gains +2000 power until end of turn.

imc-w41-080

When you play Ranko Kanzaki you may Heal 1. It has a CX combo with “-LEGNE- Sword of Hatred, Melody of Light” : when this attacks, Mill 5 and Burn your opponent for the number of CX put in your waiting room by this effect.

The CX spread is 4 Book and 4 Pants, all with 1k1 effects.
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How do we use this deck?

Danielle: This deck is all about hand fixing and using the tech to make sure that you are setup for the next level well before you reach it. At level 0, Rin Shibuya helps remove climaxes or high level cards from your hand with its on play ability – in a mono blue deck, unless you manage to mill the event backups or climaxes only, you are almost guaranteed to replace the card you discarded with something a little more useful, or something to clock or discard for another copy of the card.

Rin, First Step’s on attack top of deck check also allows for a little hand fixing, since if a music character is revealed, you add it to hand, and discard a card. There are two types of brainstorms in this deck also, one that allows you to search your deck, Riina Tada, and one that allows you to salvage from waiting room, Kanako Mimura. Using the Anastasia, My First Star in conjunction with a brainstorm can help give a needed power boost.

Generally, level 0 is used to do three things – get multiple copies of Minami Nitta in my hand, Ranko, Fallen Angel of Darkness in the waiting room, and fix any climax issues that I may have.

Level 1 is heavily dependent on using Minami’s climax combo to mill the deck and add cards to hand, and being able to change between the two angels to have a power presence on the field. This is really the main engine of the deck up to level 3.

At level 2, the Ranko PR allows me to maintain a field presence and a little bit of deck compression due to its ability. Beyond that the level assist helps give a power boost to the level 3 Ranko, since it top checks and also gives 500 power when a climax is played.

At level 3, drop a couple Ranko Kanzaki and the climax that combos with it, and hope you mill a couple climaxes to activate the burn ability. Use Hanako to heal damage away, and compress the deck a little bit if you refresh due to Ranko’s mill ability (good chance!).

What does the deck not do well?

Power at level 0 and level 1 is an issue. But since the game is mostly costless at that point, it builds a lot of stock to encore with.

Is it missing anything? (more on this later)

After playing the deck more, it definitely needs a back-up at level 1.
Most people run the red level 1 backup… think I probably should too!

What are some of the potential risks the list takes?

All the milling is a bit of a double edged sword. I’ve had times where either Rin Shibuya or Minami Nitta mill two or three climaxes out of my deck, but I still have a good chunk of deck left. But those cards are also very useful and integral to making the deck work.
Is there or are there specific key cards in the deck that make it work?

I keep saying them, but Rin Shibuya and Minami Nitta are both very important cards! The Minami can help clear your opponent’s field as well as add to your hand when the climax combo is played, so it is probably even more important to the deck working.

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: 3

D: I’d say it’s pretty conservative. It doesn’t use a lot of stock until late game, and the deck is absolutely about using the tech to your advantage.

M: The numbers here are based on my assessment and as close as possible to Danielle’s descriptions. I think the deck is pretty safe in terms of what it gets to do every level; the only truly ‘greedy’ component I see is the level 3 CX combo.

Power Range: 3 – 7

D: It isn’t really strong – most of the low level game is fairly weak, but if the black angel to white angel change is accomplished, you do have a 1/0 7500 beater on the field (with assists hopefully!).

M: Straight power doesn’t always work these days, especially with the popularity of Burn effects. (Charlotte may have something to say about that, but still.) Now, that isn’t to say that this deck isn’t without its own power in Burn effects, but the effect does not tend to give a reliable shot for 2. More often than not, it’ll be a single point, and sometimes it’ll be 2. Being able to Heal both on offense and defense for a single stock though, is rare and nice.

Difficulty: 4

D: I’d say it’s really easy to use – being mono color and mostly costless makes it really simple to pilot. The only difficult thing is knowing when or when not to use the mill cards.

JP Meta Viability:

D: It’s a strong deck, if only for its hand fixing and compression abilities. The level 0 and level 1 game can be very solid and mostly costless. This deck is lacking the game ending level 3(for blue, the level 3 Anastasia is a better finisher than the Ranko, and doesn’t require a climax), and if you recently refreshed and don’t have the change targets for the level 1 game, it lacks power. Due to the fact that most of the cards don’t salvage, but look at the cards on top of the deck instead, it gets around the anti-salvage game that most meta decks seem to play.

M: Personally, I have not really been a fan of the “Ranko cannon” effect which is starting to pop up on more cards these days. Milling away 5 cards is fine, but the ability will deal 1 damage more often than it will deal 2. The variability of the ability does let the deck have a range of plays, and if it can sculpt favorable refreshes, it can cancel a lot. It doesn’t have a lot of defensive abilities (compare to: Index [double heal], Charlotte [anti-burn], TLR [anti-opponent]), but the spirit of the deck is consistency. For a large event where anything goes, I would call the deck a real contender, but for a smaller one where more greedy or “crazy” decks can be expected, I might not use it.

Onto the interview!

How was your event overall?
D: It was a lot of fun. I’ve been to big tournaments for English, but this was the largest Japanese language event I have participated in. The day was really long, but everyone was pretty nice to play against or interact with. I do wish that there was a much more efficient pairing system.
What was a really lucky moment you had during the tournament?

D: In my last game, I drew a Ranko lvl 3, and a Hanako back-up. Those really saved me at the end with the healing abilities.

What was a really unlucky moment you had during the tournament?

D: There was one game I had four climaxes in my hand at turn 1 – that’s never good. Thankfully this deck is super efficient at getting those cards out of my hand, between ditching them via the ‘Rin Shibuya’ card, or simply playing them.

Did you have any incredible comebacks?

D: I can’t say that I did. For two of my games, I kind of just coasted, because my opponent’s decks did not want to run. The others went fairly smoothly, and I wasn’t in a terrible position.

How did the final match go for you?

D: It was a pretty intense final match, even though it was played as a more casual game – it was against To Love Ru. My opponent and I kept going back and forth on damage, and it was really coming down to who was able to stick the last bit of damage first. We had some pretty good climax blocks on both sides of the field. The level 3 counter, Hanako (which gives 2000 power to a battling character, heals, and then goes to memory) was the MVP of that match – I used it two turns in a row, and I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t used that card, I would have lost the match.

What did you play against?

D: Log Horizon, To Love Ru, Cinderella Girls, Kantai, Dog Days, and To Love Ru, in that order.

How did you prepare for the tournament?

D: Mostly a good chunk of playtesting when the set first came out. I also gave the deck a go at the Alabama regional, and only barely got knocked out of securing a spot due to strength of schedule. I knew the deck could perform after that.

Did you do anything special the day of the tournament?

D: Chugged a ton of dayquil – I was super sick the day of the LCQ! I barely had a voice, so I was more concerned about surviving the day versus any pre-tourney ritual.
New! questions:

Were there any last-minute changes you made to the deck prior to the event?
D: I changed out a level 2 card – I had the Nao Kamiya which gets +500 for each other music, and has character encore, and replaced it with the Ranko level 2 PR card. Probably not the best choice, but I didn’t end up staying in level 2 terribly long during any game.

Are there any cards you would consider replacing now?

D: I probably would be better off putting the red level 1 back up in over the level 2 Minami, as well as the level 2 anti-change backup. This deck is a bit more of a ‘characters I really like’ deck though, so I probably won’t be reasonable about it and keep things the way they are.

Why is Ranko best idol?

D: Well, first, she’s a cutie. I really enjoy the Gothic aesthetic she has going on, and her singing voice as well. Her personality also kind of resonates with me – she puts on this ‘chuuni’ act, but is really a sweetheart underneath it all. Also, did I mention she’s a cutie?
Any funny stories from the event?

D: Not really funny, but it was pretty amusing (and sweet) how concerned my opponents were when they realized I had no voice! One kept offering me cough drops during the match.

Any other shoutouts or things you would like to say?

D: I’d like to give a shoutout to the Illiana Weiss Schwarz group, and to the Indianapolis players in particular. The Illiana group has been the best source of information and learning, and the Indy group is my regular play group. I’d also like to give a shout out to my husband for being understanding and supportive during this regional season. He didn’t even bat an eye when I told him I was joining a couple of other players to go to Alabama just a few days before that trip happened!

Thanks again to Danielle for the list and the interview!


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