Kemono Friends Deck Sketch – YB, YG, and By

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

Onto the lists!

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

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 18

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

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

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

4 Serval, Driving (KMN/W51-021)

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

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

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

Level 1 – 12

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

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

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

Level 2 – 3

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

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

Level 3 – 9

2 Paper Airplane (KMN/W51-033)

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

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

CX – 8

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

4 Oozora Dreamer (KMN/W51-110)


What does this build do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So then what’s missing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At level 1:

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

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

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

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

At level 2:

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

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

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

There is an anti-change backup effect in green.

At level 3:

Yellow: can attack a lot, and deny attacks

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

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

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

Let’s look at this next list:


YG Zoo

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

Level 0 – 12

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

4 Serval, Driving (KMN/W51-021)

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

Level 1 – 13

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

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

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

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

Level 2 – 9

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

2 Hearthfire (KMN/W51-055)

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

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

Level 3 – 8

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

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

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

2 Paper Airplane (KMN/W51-033)

CX – 8

4 Capture Completed? (KMN/W51-057)

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


What’s the plan with this deck?

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

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

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

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

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

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


Travis: Blue Splash Yellow

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

 

Level 0(16):

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

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

2 Serval, Driving (KMN/W51-021)

4 “PPP” Humboldt Penguin(KMN/W51-086)

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

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

Level 1(12):

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

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

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

Level 2(5):

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

2 “PPP” Gentoo Penguin(KMN/W51-087)

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

Level 3(9):

2 Paper Airplane(KMN/W51/033)

4 “PPP” Royal Penguin(KMN/W51-085)

3 “PPP” Emperor Penguin(KMN/W51-089)

CX(8):

4 Oozora Dreamer (KMN/W51-110)

4 Idol Aura (KMN/W51-108)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

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!

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Thanks for reading!

Illya – 3rei’d Time’s the Charm? – Combo Discussion

Welcome to another 9th CX discussion!

Today, we are going to be going through some of the combos from the newest Illya set and compare them. With the newest Illya set, we finally get some options at level 1! We will be discussing three options for both level 1 and level 3, and the merits of the different combinations. Joining Travis and Michael is our guest, Albert, a long time Illya and Fate enthusiast. He has been tinkering with the set for a long time and has been testing the new combo for the last couple of weeks.

Here is the description of the cards/combos:

Level 1 Combo

Little Devil Girl, Kuro, PI/S40-002

When this card reverses its battle opponent while Rho Aias is in the CX Zone and you have a full field of [Magic] characters, you may pay 1 to salvage two characters.

Slumber Party, Kuro PI/SE31-29

When Coordinated Combo is placed into the CX zone, you may pay 1 to stand a [Weapon] character.

Slumber Party Miyu, PI/SE31-01

When this card attacks, if Friends who Laugh Together is in the CX zone, you may send the CX to waiting room and put the top card of your deck into stock, then choose one character and that gets the following ability until the end of turn “When this card reverses its battle opponent, salvage 1”

Level 3 Combo

Zwei Form, Illya, PI/S40-053

When this card is placed to the stage from hand, heal. When this attacks with Quintet Fire in the CX zone, if this has two or more markers put all your stock into the waiting room and this gets the following abilities until the end of turn; ”When this card reverses its opponent, burn 5”, “When this card reverses its battle opponent, burn 2.” (You choose the order of the burn effects.)

Duty as Big Brother Shirou, PI/SE31-03

When this card is placed from hand to the stage, you may discard a card and choose one of your opponent’s level 3 or lower characters in the front row and send it to the waiting room. When damage dealt by this card is cancelled, if Last-Ditch Effort is in the CX zone, you may pay 1 and resonate with any “Kuro” in hand and burn equal to the soul of the revealed Kuro.

Adventure in a Parallel World Illya, PI/SE31-39

+500 per other Magic. On play draw 2 ditch 1.

When this card attacks, if The Last Hope is in the CX zone and this has a marker, you may pay 2 and put “Waking Up, Illya & Tanaka” from your hand under this as a marker. If you do, stand this.


Discussion

Travis

Given the new line-up of potential level 1 combos, the Kuro level 1 combo from the most recent Extra booster is probably the strongest combo PI has at level 1. It gives you the ability to play out two cost level 2’s from your waiting room and make up for the lack of soul that the deck will have due to the Standby CX not giving any power or soul boost when played. However, running that combo essentially locks you into a red and green build, seeing that Kuro and Shirou are the only two characters in PI that have Weapon as a trait.

This does not mean you can’t splash other Magic trait characters, such as the new Miyu level 3 that looks for other Green(Shirou) or Magic(Kuro) characters for her power boost effect. However, the selection on splashable Magic characters becomes very limited on what you can include. The previous brainstormer for PI becomes obsolete in this build because it only searches for Magic trait, missing any copy of Shirou that is left in the deck. Fortunately, a new salvage brainstorm was included in the set and happens to be one of Shirou’s targets for multiple effects, such as a potential hand encore target for one of his level 2 cards.

The new Miyu combo is an interesting one. You can immediately attack with her first and not worry about losing the effects of her respective CX for her combo since 2k1+1’s stick around even if the CX is no longer in the zone. However, you can only light her combo once per CX placement, you are unable to stack the effect onto one character multiple times, making her combo seem rather weak. In turn however, PI does have access to a level 1 reverser, making it a lot easier to light off the on reverse portion of the Miyu combo.

There was additional synergy to this combo as well through the form of a level 1 Kuro & Illya that has an optional mill 3 on play with a bounce back to hand and give +2k to a weapon character, plus a scry effect when you play a CX. A similar problem with that as well is it makes it almost impossible to run a tri color level 1 at that state, given that the level 3 combo that may be included in any build with this requires more than 8 cards dedicated to that finishing combo.

Finally, we have the previous Kuro combo from the full PI booster released last year. This is the only combo that can plus in all 3 lanes instead of a one and done deal like the previously mentioned combos. The only problems with this combo is A.) You need a full field of Magic trait characters; B.) The respective CX is a 2k1, meaning only one of the on reverse effects is most likely to go off. This combo does let you salvage 2 characters on the plus side, making the requirement of a full field less intensive on your hand size. This could synergize really well with the new Illya & Kuro card if it wasn’t for the fact that this Kuro needs a full board for her salvage condition.

The first level 3 combo I want to talk about is the new Shirou combo introduced in the new extra booster. Having access to a level 3 reverser that bounces back to your hand on reverse makes this combo an easy pay 1 punish burn for 2 when this Shirou’s damage is cancelled. His ability to send a level 3 on your opponent’s front row to the waiting room on play makes him a threat to some decks. Combo this in with the Standby trigger and you can light his combo as early as level 2, granted you’d have to wait another turn before you can use it.

Next up, there is the new combo Illya combo. A restander in the set is a more controllable damage dealer compared to the previous combo. Just like the previous combo however, you still need to dedicate 10-12 slots for this combo to consistently work not including the respective CX. Thankfully, you don’t need to fully empty your stock for this effect to proc. The first marker that needs to go under this card bonds to the second target, and the combo lights on attack compared to on reverse.

Last, we have Zwei Form, by far the most explosive finisher in PI. Again, like the restander, she requires 10-12 cards dedicated to it, not including the CX, to be consistent. The biggest downside to her is the cost of having to pay all your available stock when she attacks with her CX combo. That can mean a huge decompress if you’re close to refresh, so if you end up using her combo, you’d better be attacking to end the game. She does have the potential to fully deal a level+ worth of damage, so that makes up for the fact you end the turn with at most 3 stock.


Albert


The best one in my opinion is the new Kuro standby combo. It provides a good fat body in the form of Shirou 2/2 at level 1, and brings out the level 3 Kuro, Shirou, or Angelica depending on situation, and deck has very few downsides. The combo early tends to leave the deck a little low on stock, but not horribly so, and being able to bring out the level 3s for no stock tends to even out the early stock usage. The fact that all but the Kuro have fairly meh CIP effects is OK, because when you play the standby or trigger it, you aren’t missing out on incredible amounts of value. In current testing, unless you are facing a deck that can very easily deal with Shirou this combo makes for the most hand and stable games.

The Miyu 1/0 combo is a kinda a weird one. The combo effectively functions like a stock soul while still giving enough power to pretty much any card for the plus. As a general combo for Illya, I would say that it definitely does pretty much everything older Illya builds wanted. With the combo, stock is very rarely an issue and finally lets you play your level 3 game with pretty much no restraint, including the early Miyu. I would also say that the combo is fairly necessary for the new Illya restander, considering how stock hungry it is.

As for the new Illya restander, I really like this new combo in that it feels much more consistent than Zwei Form. But, it does have its downsides. The fact that the combo activates on attack requires you to have stock before starting battles. The level 0s are worse than Zwei Form’s. The Tanaka is arguably better as it’s a very nice fatty at 0, but not having the hand fix or global support really does hurt. However, it can dig for the combo pieces by itself and basically is a draw 2 if you ditch a Tanaka.

Testing with Zwei Form with new level 1 Miyu combo shows that it definitely makes Zwei much more consistent. Though, I would attribute that more to the power of the new 1/0 marker Illya and assist Sapphire combo. As said earlier, playing the Level 1 Miyu combo allows for holding more combo pieces and supports in hand, so playing zwei with Miyu 3 is much easier. I still find the new restander to be overall more consistent at 3, but Zwei is definitely better in terms of early game consistency.

The Shirou lvl 3 is one of the best new Level 3s for Illya. It kind of plays like a more precise Musashi, and the CIP to kill a lvl 3 or lower in front row is very useful as it’s only a discard anything cost. Having the CX be a gold bar makes the combo very accessible. It can even be played via standby with little to no downside. Yes you miss the CIP effect, but it’s not the end of the world. As long as you can hit it at least once during a game, it’s fine. Playing this with the Miyu combo doesn’t feel too necessary because it demands little stock.

As an aside, I actually think that the new assist and level 1 Illya stuff is the most powerful part about the set. It makes the level 1 much smoother, which is something the series wanted forever ago. Basically, having something that is really hard to kill and is a prime target for the Miyu combo, makes the level 1 game much better.


Michael

I think my views on Illya are a little outdated. I still remember the time where the old Kaleidoscope combo was bemoaned by many a player for being way too over-the-top for decks to handle. Of course, since then, we’ve seen a new flashy Zwei Form combo, but the missing piece has always been a level 1 combo. No matter what Illya combo one was going to play, I felt like it was always an awkward mishmash of spray and pray at level 1 to hope that anything would survive for more than a turn. There were costed backups, and there were ways to try to boost power with 1/1 characters, but these days, even the 1/0 characters seeing print are very close to hitting 7500 or even 8000 on their own. At some point, I’m sure many players have known that awkward moment when their 1/1 character was casually sunk by an oversized 1/0 – I know I have!

At first, I was on the fence with the level 1 Miyu, with the new 2k1+1. This is my personal bias speaking, but I do not care very much for 2 soul triggers except when nothing else is available. I don’t like having to randomly hit for 4 (or more) with direct attacks, because they are usually favored to cancel. The biggest strike though was the fact that they just didn’t do much damage on their own. But, they’ve gotten a little more with the times, and are now just one soul short of matching our very familiar 1k1 effects.

So what can be good about the combo and the CX here? After all, you can only go off once per turn with it. I spoke with Albert about the numbers of Miyu because he initially said that he almost wanted to run 3. I suggested 4 because I thought that even though you are essentially rate-limited in the combo, you still want to go off with it almost every time you can get it into your hand, and having 4 copies maximizes that possibility.

It looks like Miyu is the level 1 combo that the series has been waiting for the whole time, in spite of its unconventional appearance.

As far as my thoughts on the level 3? See above, I think those two covered it pretty well and we’re already over 2000 words!


What do you think about the new combos? Have they been working out for you? Leave us a comment on the Facebook page!

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Thanks for reading!

Level Up! – How Much Testing?

Welcome to another round of Level Up! For today’s article, we’re going to be giving our answers to a question:

How much testing does it take before you feel OK about a deck?

For today’s responses, we have Michael, Travis, Arin, and Felix.

It’s something we have written about before; testing is good! Testing allows you to see what in your deck is working, and what doesn’t – provided you do it enough. Here’s the premise we went in with to write our responses:

There are many schools of thought when it comes to testing. Some players opt for a high-test approach, where combinations of cards are discussed and then tested, kind of like an A/B test. Others simply theorycraft to bits and run with whatever feels best. Occasionally, there are moments of brilliance when decks just work when built. But, that shouldn’t stop people from feeling the need to test decks. So how much testing does it take before a draft is considered good to go, or junk?


Travis:

When it comes to testing, or even in this case brewing, I consider the following;

 

  • What utility does this set have
  • What finishers do I have access to
  • What ways are there to deal with -insert situation here-
  • What plus combos does the set have to offer
  • What tech options are there

Once I have those questions answered, I start the brewing process. Each build I have goes through roughly 20-30 games before I make any major changes such as combo swapping. At most quantities in the deck will be edited and in the case of a major flaw in one of the cards it will be removed.

TL;DR Play blue, true meta. Can’t have green without blue.


Arin:

I usually just go with the first draft of whatever deck I build. If there are obvious fixes, I’ll make them, but otherwise I’ll just run with it. If the deck sucks, I might try something different, but I rarely change decks.


Michael:

Testing is difficult. You need to have a good scrim partner or group to get the best testing possible. Barring that, you’ll hit the value ceiling much sooner with a less experienced group. This might sound elitist, but consider this: let’s say you’re in a chess club and you’re the only player with a rating higher than 2000. If the remaining players are all rated ~1400, you’re not going to be learning as much from your games as your competition. Similarly, if you try to play test with a newer player, you may find some time sunk into explaining the mechanics of the game or other intermediate concepts that you’ve known for some time.

So let’s say you have a good testing group, and a new deck idea. You’ve drafted it up and want to play it out. How many games do you play?

In a “perfect” world, we would have all the time we need to play hundreds or even thousands of games. But as we become more experienced, we may notice that we need fewer games to really know if a deck will work or not. We may also find ourselves with less time on our hands. Since WS does not have a pro player scene (and never will), the idea of dedicating entire weeks or months to testing as players in other games will probably remain foreign.

For me, because my time for testing is so limited, I try to record as much data as possible from a set of three games, or even a single game. I recall each decision made during the game that I made that could have been either improved or changed, usually with input from my opponent. In a pinch, I goldfish, and play a hypothetical game against an opponent who attacks for 2/2/2 almost every turn, and clears at least 1 character. It’s a very narrow range of games that this kind of goldfishing represents, but it’s mostly to prepare for using CX combos. I don’t recommend it as anyone’s sole method of testing, and can’t recommend it using it frequently.

In practice, I probably echo Arin’s sentiment; I’ll just go with a deck idea and try it out at a couple of tournaments as my ‘testing’. Between weeks, if something didn’t work well, I may make an adjustment. Otherwise, I’ll be patient and give it another try if I find that my misplays were more responsible for my losses than my luck. If I can’t make a deck do reasonably well within 3 events (somewhere between 15-20 games), I’ll make more major changes, or just scrap the deck.

Felix:

So there are many approaches to take regarding deck testing ranging from 0 to infinity games played. It is possible for testing to never be done as a deck can continually go through updates and refinement. This pertains largely to games with new sets constantly and eternal formats such as Magic: the Gathering, Hearthstone, Shadowverse, and to a lesser extent WS. The reason WS is put as a lesser extent is while the game has no rotation, not every set constantly gets updated and the amount of innovation in deckbuilding is severely limited by that fact. The other listed games allows for improvement of older decks to compete with newer archetypes that pop up, unless that archetype involves Spawn of the Abyss. In Magic, you can have a Modern/Legacy/EDH deck that you constantly add to and improve as new cards get released. When choosing to swap out cards, new testing needs to be done to verify that the changes are good. In essence, the amount of test games played drops to 0 because it is a different configuration. As other decks change and adapt to a newer metagame, you will need to test against those newer decks which effectively drops your test games played count to 0 again. In this sense, you will never be done with testing (unless you just jam 3x Spawn of the Abyss in your deck in which case you’re basically done testing) until the creators stop releasing cards.

 

In a more middle of the road case, with a relatively stale metagame, the number of testing games can be finite. For example, you have 31 other players who consistently goes to your local legacy FNM. You know what everyone else is playing so when you test anything, you can proxy up a gauntlet of decks that you know you will be facing. In this case, assuming your opponents do not make major deck updates, after about 1000 games against each unique deck every time you change something, you should have a good enough data set to draw some conclusions regarding your configuration. Good luck if all 31 people play unique decks!

 

Lastly, let us discuss the most practical way to test. Play 1 game with your deck. If any cards underperformed, take them out and put something else in. Play 1 game with your new deck. Repeat until you get a game where no card under performed. Deck done. Repeat entire process every time you change anything. Then the night before any large/important tournament right before you go to bed, completely change any and all decks you will be playing to something you’ve never played before and proceed to either smash or get smashed.

 

Tl;dr play aggro/mono red/+2 soul rush and avoid testing completely and have fast games for sanity of mind.


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Asuna vs Zekken, Last Shot vs Switch pt. 2!

Welcome to part 2 of the SAO discussion post! We are continuing off of the previous article over the new hand plus and finishers that have came to SAO, and to do so we have Clinton Chan and Bren Olit chiming in!

For reference, these are the new cards that will be discussed today;

When you play Attack in Waves, Kirito, you may sacrifice a “After the Battle, Kirito” you control. If you do, you may play this card at 0 cost. It heals on play. If you control 3 or more other [Avatar] and/or [Net] characters, this card gets +1500 power and “When this reverses a character in battle, you may choose another [Avatar] or [Net] character you control, rest it, and then move it to an open position on your back stage.

Attack in Waves, Asuna gives all [Avatar]/[Net] characters you control in front of her +2000 power and “When this reverses a character in battle, you may send the reversed character to memory”. When played, you may tutor for up to 1 [Avatar] or [Net] character. It has a CX combo with “Quest to Get <<Excalibur>>”: on attack, if you control 4 or more other [Avatar] or [Net] characters, you may pay 2 and discard a card. If you do, choose a “Attack in Waves, Kirito” you control, and this card, and exchange them. (Their status will not change)

Inherited Sword Skill, Asuna gets +1500 power until end of turn when played. She has a CX combo with “Demise of <<Zekken>>”: if she reverses a character in battle and you control 3 or more other [Avatar] or [Net] characters, you look at up to the top 3 cards of your deck, choose up to 1 card, put it in your hand, then send the rest to your waiting room. (You can choose 0 cards for either half of the ability.)

The other cards, <<Zekken>> Yuuki and Last Shot, Sinon, are the familiar gold bar and book CX combos.

 

Now onto the discussion!


Clinton:

So the first major point comparing Asuna vs Yuuki is does the deck want to play green as the primary or secondary color. If one doesn’t want to do more than splashing a few green versatility cards at 0 then the Asuna combo is the way to go. Asuna comes with a wind trigger that has uses throughout the game and the effect doesn’t require any extra cost in stock or cards from hand and provides milling and the choice of any card not limited to characters.

Yuuki is the number one reason to play green in SAO; she comes with a gold bar climax and the effect doesn’t require reversing an opposing character.  She also provides some of the best filtering and compression the game has to offer at a reasonable cost of 1 stock and a card from hand, which many times is more beneficial than a drawback. I think the Switch deck requires a lot more specific cards to fill up deck space than Last Shot, and having Asuna to be your main combo at 1 is viable because it is already on color with the focus of the deck.

The Last Shot build could benefit greatly from not having to pay extra stock with Asuna compared to Yuuki, but as a deck that mains Book triggers, Yuuki’s ability to potentially pay out a climax and pitch one to fix your hand and thin out a deck is just too good at getting you out of a pretty common scenario. So I don’t think either one is better than the other per se, but any SAO deck will want to play one or the other.

Last Shot vs Switch is the first crossroad in SAO builds in a long time. Last Shot is simple, a 2 card combo involving a healer and provides a potential big burst of damage from 2 sources that can easily deal a whole level worth of damage to your opponent in one attack. The effect of 4 damage on attack for a relatively cheap 2 stock and 1 card in hand is good because it is before the trigger step. It gets around half the damage mitigation from Compass and Project Darkness, and you can get around that by side attacking. Also, if the combo effect for 4 damage gets canceled, you get a big 4k attack buff until the end of your opponent’s turn, which gives you a good opportunity to combo again or at worst having a 2 soul beater. Blue is easily the best color in SAO at the moment and she fits in relatively easily without much space commitments. The drawback is that the Sinon goes to memory on reverse so you can’t encore her, but most times you’ll probably too low on stock to even want to encore her. Also, a continuous source of anti-character damage like the level 3 Shiroe from Log Horizon is a counter but playing against Log Horizon was already such an advantageous situation that you can afford to give those poor players something to be happy about.  

The Switch combo revolves around the Attack in Waves Asuna and Kirito. Both are level 3s and you need both on the field to make this combo work. The Kirito can be field for 0 stock if you sacrifice the newer brainstorm Kirito to waiting room. The effect is good enough to warrant playing that brainstormer, but isn’t absolutely required. The Kirito heals on play which is nice and on play, the Asuna searches for a character, so you can easily get Kirito. If you have 1/1 of each in play with the combo you get a 4th attack and with 2/2 in play you get 5 total attacks assuming you have a full board and a cost of 2 stock and 1 discard per Asuna activation. The strengths are that you aren’t affected by anti-character damage effects  and you have more opportunities for side attacks for precise damage. The extra attacks thins out your deck from the triggers and makes up for losing damage from Compass and Project Darkness. Also, the Asuna effect of giving characters in front of her a huge boost and memory kick is good in the mirror and removing threats from the board. Drawbacks are more deck space is more limited because of slots occupied by 2 different level 3s and potentially a specific level 0, requiring a full board to go off and are vulnerable to effects that gives character memory kick or bottom deck on reverse and effects that exhaust characters like Mismatched Pair.

At the end of the day the preference can come down to what climax triggers you prefer to play or not play. I think both finishing combo are very similar in damage opportunities and it comes down to how the deck plays to get to that point. I personally prefer Last Shot more because… (Editor’s note: The following was specifically requested to be published as-is.) 

Spoiler


Bren:

I’m going to assume that this is posited toward the English Format of Weiss Schwarz with an emphasis on competitiveness. (Editor’s Note: It is.)

When we compare two cards with a similar role in Weiss, we can’t just take a look at what they do, but also the context of the deck they come from, as well as what are the advantages and disadvantages of each choice.

 

Level 1

<Zekken> Yuuki and Inherited Sword Skill, Asuna are the generally accepted best advantage engines in their color (for those wondering, the initial question posed wasn’t specific, and it’s unclear whether they meant Inherited Sword Skill, Asuna or Asuna Invites to Party), and they share a small amount of similarities.  Both of them gain power on play, and they use a Climax to obtain Card Advantage, but that’s about it.  They’re vastly different otherwise.

Card Quality

<Zekken> Yuuki is great defensively in the short term, but also prepares for the future offensively.  While it’s costed and requires a discard, it searches out two Characters instead of just one, a small but significant difference, especially if done in multiples.  In addition, any Climaxes that are triggered, such as Treasure, Pants, or Book, can be either discarded or paid out to another Yuuki to prevent Climaxes from building up in either stock or hand.  It also reaches a higher base power with the combo, since base it’ll be 6500 if the last one played, then adding the 1k from the Climax brings it up to a respectable 7500, and that’s before the supports that can bring it to 10k easily.  The plus 1 level on both turns isn’t shabby either, as in English it blocks Level 1 Reversers from preying on them.

Inherited Sword Skill, Asuna isn’t without her strengths, however.  She’s on-color for the Switch combo, doesn’t require any stock, and as such, increases future defense due to that increased first refresh compression.  When she succeeds at her Combo, you get to go up to three cards deep, and choose any card, allowing you to set the pace and tempo while also keeping a small amount of information hidden.  The ability to pick Events and Climaxes for future turns also keeps this card interesting, and the added benefits like extra stock don’t hurt.  It also gets to a respectable amount on offense, going to 9500 with supports regularly.

Downsides

<Zekken> Yuuki is a weakling.  Even with supports, a 4000 base Character isn’t going to survive, with almost all Level 1s normally played in the center stage able to match or exceed that power level with their base power before supports.  Even some Level 0s can beat it.  The stock cost and discard may increase current compression, but it usually weakens the first refresh.  Yuuki’s presence gives on-reverse Level 1 combos a bright “Kick Me” sign, and the +1 Level only blocks Chika and Natsu.  Yuuki is also Green, a color that isn’t part of the Switch combo, and while it’s an easy squeeze for the Last Shot combo, it might be difficult to also squeeze any red cards in the Switch combo deck due to having to balance four colors. There’s also the potential anti-change counters here, as Level 1 ones like Taking Pride in Lyrics, Nico can function as a sort of anti-damage counter by sniping out a Yuuki once it’s received its level increase.

With that said, Inherited Sword Skill, Asuna isn’t much better on the power front.  4500 isn’t much better defensively than 4000, and still invites on-reverse combos to farm.  In addition, without the +1 Level Chika and Natsu aren’t even blocked, and with the right supports can even surpass the power without too much of an issue.  Asuna also doesn’t help solidify the future; she only adds cards in hand, not particular Characters, and most decks don’t run two of the most powerful events in SAO: Self Sacrifice and <Demonic Sword Gram>.  Running Events, after all, weakens the chance that Determination with Life on the Line, Kirito will get his power boost, and as we already covered, 4500 is not a strong power line.

Deck Ramifications

In very many cases, Yuuki is not the only Green thrown into the deck.  Adventuring with Everyone, Leafa, is quite a good card for the pressure, and for being able to dig for a Climax or Character, depending on what’s missing.  She slots in easier in the Last Shot build due to that build not requiring more than one color for its finisher, but she has a place in Switch as well since she’s not intrusive and enables the deck to run a card that can dig for the combo.  Due to the way Yuuki operates, it’s much less likely Choice to Fight, Kirito will be run alongside her since their power gain is pretty much the same, and can ruin the power of either card if there are too many copies.  In Switch, it’ll be harder to run Adventuring with Everyone, Lizbeth since that’ll put a fourth color out there.  It’s also much more likely that the Stock Soul is run given the support Yuuki demands, but the jury’s still out.

Asuna has a few different roads to take, regardless of deck.  You can go with Red with Lizbeth for a stronger Level 2 game, or a more solid Level 3 with Leafa able to grab necessary cards while providing an alternative finisher.  While on color for Switch, the base of Last Shot is only mono-color, and adding Asuna can also provide Attack in Waves, Asuna to give Last Shot, Sinon and Adventuring with Everyone, Leafa power boosts and the crucial optional memory kick, useful to shut down the Switch combo in a potential cross-archetype set mirror.  Yellow also enables the use of Agile Start, Asuna without making Level 1’s color situation awkward.  A further question compares using Self Sacrifice in the deck to reactively shut down an opponent’s attempts to take advantage of your weaker defensive field to the use of Determination with Life on the Line, Kirito to not only accept your power line on defense but increase the mill factor of the deck while helping to hand filter.  It’s possible to run both but it does weaken Kirito’s offensive capabilities.

Level 3

Last Shot, Sinon and Attack in Wave, Kirito/Attack in Waves, Asuna (known as Switch) are the premiere finishers of the Sword Art Online set, and it is definitively a debate as to which is better.  They provide interesting takes on how to finish an opponent, but they essentially provide multiple instances of damage that are difficult for an opponent to fully stop.  Oh, and they require a cost of 2 stock and a card in hand with the Climax in play in order to add on damage.

Card Quality

Last Shot, Sinon is quite straightforward.  It provides the most potential damage, the most instances of damage, is somewhat resistant to anti-damage, and on a Healer that can get prohibitively large if it doesn’t immediately finish the game.  Your backrow is not prohibited, allowing you to place supports that last.  Sinon can also self-compress by sending herself to memory if she’s somehow defeated.

Switch is likewise, straightforward, though with a bit more loopholes.  It avoids anti-burn, is quite resistant to anti-damage, is slightly cheaper than Sinon, even when not using the cost reduction for Kirito, and can be assembled with just one Asuna and the Climax, making it much easier to set up.  Since you don’t need particular Characters for the other slots, you can adjust your soul in your attacks.

Downsides

Sinon is expensive for its full combo, requiring 10 stock, 3 Sinons, 3 cards in hand, and her Climax.  This means that decks that are able to rush and have damage stick will be at an advantage due to the time needed to accrue those resources. Due to this, plenty of players end up using her combo only twice, making it only require 8 stock and 2 cards in hand instead, but it heavily weakens the damage range available, which allows Rest Counters to forcefully solve a good portion of the issue.  The ability to burn can be stopped by Anti-burn, and burning for 4, while great against an opponent who ended up a ratio of ¼ or worse, if it’s close to ⅓, it’s quite harmless.  In case Sinon is defeated, there is no option to try again, she sends herself to memory and you can’t try again, though usually the lack of handsize or stock will prevent another try.  You get one chance in most cases.  Also, due to her Climax being a Book, it’s very important to increase the number of Level 2s and 3s in English in order to pump up the Soul Triggers in the deck.  Prototypical Sinon decks that run the Mother’s Rosario and Last Shot climaxes tend to have around 10 Soul Triggers in the deck, providing a damage output similar to a standard deck running 2k1 Climaxes, like Shimakaze-focused Kantai.

Switch is very reliant on attacks.  A strong -1 or -2 Soul wall can heavily disrupt the damage output.  If the attacking Asuna or Kirito gets removed from the board, say, from a memory kick, the combo is dead.  Running After the Battle, Kirito takes up Brainstorm (and backrow slots), making running the Sleeping Knights Brainstorm at the same time awkward.  If he’s in the deck as well as the Sleeping Knights Brainstorm, it’s very likely that Kirito will only be used to make Attack in Waves, Kirito cost 0, and while he does some good work in milling other cards (like Comforting Moment, Asuna) do much better at getting two stock.  And without After the Battle, Kirito, a full combo requires 7 stock and 2 cards in hand, plus the Climax, though there is a reprieve in that starting with Attack in Waves, Asuna in hand lets you assemble the full combo as long as you have the rest of the pieces in the deck.  A Rest Counter on a non-Switch member hits Switch just as hard as Sinon, taking away two attacks while making the turn cost the same amount of stock, while a Rest Counter on an Asuna/Kirito that hasn’t attacked yet costs 1 more stock but you only lose 1 attack.

Deck Ramifications

Sinon is very freeform and can fit whatever shell you want to fit it in.  As examples, her combo can fit into a Lizgun shell, an Accelerate shell, or even a Silica Waifu shell.  By only having one color she opens up the floor for variety and greater accessibility by any kind of deck.  As long as you provide more soul and a way to increase stock and hand size without too much interruption, you’ll be able to achieve a triple Sinon combo.  This lends itself to having a more defensive Level 1 game, playing cards not for their offense but for their ability to reduce damage.  Burst Compression cards like <Zekken> Yuuki or mill cards like Determination with Life on the Line, Kirito aim less for specific cards but more to compress and prevent as much damage as possible.

Asuna is less flexible early game, so it can be flexible late game.  Running two colors late doesn’t necessarily close avenues, but it does make it a bit harder.  In order to fit both Green (for <Zekken> Yuuki and Adventuring with Everyone, Leafa) AND Red (Adventuring with Everyone, Lizbeth), you need to force Blue to be the base color, with Green the main splash at Level 1, Red the main splash at Level 2, and Yellow the main splash at Level 3.  It’s possible to not use Red due to it providing the least amount of help overall, but it still hurts to lose a card that avoids anti-heal and reduces stock usage, providing defense later on in the game due to stock compression.  Regardless, a third color does make it harder for newer players to play the deck to its fullest capacity, and the fourth color lends itself only to those used to four-color decks.  The emphasis for Switch is on its ability to be cheap and flexible late, so the early game is all designed to set up and go for specific cards over defense.

 

Final Thoughts

While both Inherited Sword Skill, Asuna and <Zekken> Yuuki have their individual strengths, the needs of both Switch and Sinon decks lends themselves to <Zekken> Yuuki.

Inherited Sword Skill, Asuna certainly adds more mill power to the Sinon deck like Determination with Life on the Line, Kirito does, but does so taking up a Climax slot AND a color slot.  It isn’t guaranteed to improve defense, and in some occasions may even worsen defense with a Climax in the first few cards.  Yuuki, while costing a stock, is guaranteed to compress with her ability, and while that does open up the deck to triggering more, due to the nature of Treasure and Book triggers the chance of cancelling is better with Yuuki on average, even if only slightly.  The stock can be regained by Comforting Moment, Asuna, anyways.  Finally, Green actually brings more use to the table than simply being the advantage engine.  Adventuring with Everyone, Leafa complements Adventuring with Everyone, Sinon by being another two-cost way to grab the Last Shot Climax, while also providing a 2-soul attacker and an additional finishing option.  Yellow’s main use outside of Asuna is her Level 3 variants, and while a Shot effect is alright, Asuna’s Commanding Strength’s role is mostly taken up by Machine of Ice, Sinon, the only exception being a Kantai Collection opponent holding multiple Compasses for your final turn.

Likewise, the Switch really cares about the <Zekken> Yuuki combo, but this time for her ability to grab specific cards rather than compression.  It’s unlikely a Climax is going to be the necessary card in hand, and the deck doesn’t run Events, so Inherited Sword Skill, Asuna’s niche is more or less useless, and while Asuna is in color, Yuuki is more guaranteed to find the card you want anyways.  Like with Sinon’s deck, Yuuki lets you run Leafa late, allowing you to help find the Climax while providing an alternative finisher.  The added stock isn’t too much of a downside to the Switch, and having a discard outlet early on is beneficial when the endgame combo can be a Pants trigger.

 

Tl;dr: Inherited Sword Skill, Asuna is good.  It just doesn’t do enough of what it needs to do in the Sinon and Switch decks because <Zekken> Yuuki does it better.

 


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Asuna vs Zekken, Switch vs Last Shot

Welcome to a 9th CX discussion post! Travis and Michael are here to talk about the new finishers that have come to SAO, and determine which one they prefer. Part 2 of this article will feature some more voices and will be posted later. Onto the discussion!

For reference, here are the cards being discussed:

When you play Attack in Waves, Kirito, you may sacrifice a “After the Battle, Kirito” you control. If you do, you may play this card at 0 cost. It heals on play. If you control 3 or more other [Avatar] and/or [Net] characters, this card gets +1500 power and “When this reverses a character in battle, you may choose another [Avatar] or [Net] character you control, rest it, and then move it to an open position on your back stage.

Attack in Waves, Asuna gives all [Avatar]/[Net] characters you control in front of her +2000 power and “When this reverses a character in battle, you may send the reversed character to memory”. When played, you may tutor for up to 1 [Avatar] or [Net] character. It has a CX combo with “Quest to Get <<Excalibur>>”: on attack, if you control 4 or more other [Avatar] or [Net] characters, you may pay 2 and discard a card. If you do, choose a “Attack in Waves, Kirito” you control, and this card, and exchange them. (Their status will not change)

Inherited Sword Skill, Asuna gets +1500 power until end of turn when played. She has a CX combo with “Demise of <<Zekken>>”: if she reverses a character in battle and you control 3 or more other [Avatar] or [Net] characters, you look at up to the top 3 cards of your deck, choose up to 1 card, put it in your hand, then send the rest to your waiting room. (You can choose 0 cards for either half of the ability.)

The other cards, <<Zekken>> Yuuki and Last Shot, Sinon, are the familiar gold bar and book CX combos.

Travis:

With the release of Sword Art Online Re: Edit, SAO has been given access to a new hand plus combo and a new finish combo. The new hand plus combo being a newer type of on reverse effect we have seen this year where the player checks only up to the top 3 cards of their deck and can select any card blind from those 3. As for the finisher, it is a type of pseudo restand combo where on other character attack, you can pay a cost to swap the position of two characters on the stage, potentially reaching up to 5 attacks in that turn. Now with two decent combos in both the hand plus and finish department, it makes deck building in an already decent set even more tricky. If you ask me, all the combos can be interchangeable. As in you can run Switch and Zekken, Switch and Asuna, Last Shot and Zekken, or Last Shot and Asuna. It just depends which combos you value more.

All my decisions and statements below are made based off my locale. These may not apply to where you play.

Personally, I value the Zekken over the Asuna for hand plus. Asuna is indeed a costless hand plus combo, on the condition that you reverse her battle opponent. On play she does gain 1500 power and does combo with a 1k1, so getting her reverses isn’t that hard to do just based on her being a 7k before adding in the power given by backrow cards. However, unless you double field Asuna’s Married Life, the board is going to look like 7.5k/7.5k/7.0k (with a Married Life and new Kirito brainstorm in the backrow) before the Married Life on CX play effect is assigned. Some decks have the defense power to block out one reverse, maybe two if they have a counter or two. If SAO had a Riki effect that searched for level 1 cards or lower, I would consider this card over Zekken since I would be able to force myself to get to level 1 faster and start to benefit from the hand plus ahead of time.

I value Zekken mostly because A.) She offers me a filter to get unwanted triggers out of my hand, B.) If I were to trigger a CX, I could pay it out with her CX combo and C.) Instead of pulling cards off the top of my deck, risking more than 1 CX being taken from deck, Zekken pulls damage out of the deck instead leaving in CXs unless it gets triggered. She might not have much to offer for defense, but pulling what you want or need out of deck makes it a lot more worth to run instead of the Asuna.

As for a finisher, I like Last Shot still over the Switch combo. I may have to give up more instances of damage, but it leaves me room to run Machine of Ice, Sinon in the back row to deny anti damage counters and rest counters, plus I can combo Last Shot in with the new Leafa cross turn clock kicker. Switch ideally can have 5 attacks in a turn with only 1 stock going into the attack phase, but I would need to have 2 of the new Asuna, leaving no room to deny my opponent counters or back-ups.

Michael:

One of the biggest drawbacks that stood out to me with the new Asuna search combo was that it requires a substantial board commitment to go off. Now, SAO has historically not had too much of a problem running a full field at level 1. In fact, among most builds that I have seen, it really does enjoy scrapping and drawing/searching for cards once it hits level 1.

There are some clear advantages that the new Asuna has.

The new Asuna:

  1. Looks at an additional card
  2. Can get a CX into your hand
  3. Can mill an additional card

But what if we consider what Yuuki does?

The “old” Yuuki:

  1. Only filters out future potential damage
  2. Can discard CXs from hand
  3. Can help tune damage depending on if soul triggers are pulled from the deck

The downsides that the two share regarding their power level are similar and potentially a non-factor. They aren’t supposed to survive for a turn. If they do and another CX combo can go off, that’s a huge plus, but it’s not the end of the world if they are steamrolled.

The endgame is where we start to see more differences. I have never been a big fan of Sinon’s headshot (burn 4) ability, simply because 4 damage is rarely favored to land. Yes, it can catch you up and give you another shot at ending the game if your opponent is at 3/3, but I have yet to hear anyone (be they experienced or new) call it a reliable effect.

So then where does that put the new Wave attackers? Being able to put out a healer for the cost of a 0 stock brainstormer is quite nice. No matter the build (that is, if someone is still using the 3/2 Kirito that can be played at level 2), it’s still a discount on stock, which SAO could use. Most if not all level 3 finishers would benefit from being free, so that’s already a point in favor of attacking in waves.

One of the biggest potential points of discomfort with the wave attackers though, is that they rely on the most easily disrupted method of ending the game: attacking! Perhaps my view is that of a spoiled player. After all, ending games with 1 damage pings is pretty safe and reliable. In comparison, trying to swing ‘wildly’ to end a game just feels clunky and barbaric. If one was in an environment where disruption at level 3 was unlikely, (i.e. no Compass, no Project Darkness), I’d call both finisher plans equally viable. As for my preference, I would have to test it before judging it. My gut says that I don’t like it, but I attribute that feeling to not having used it yet.


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!

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A Link in the Chain – Chain Chronicle Deck Tech

Good evening! Melanie here from 9th CX with some of my recent brews for Chain Chronicle. I recently split a case and have been very much enjoying the set. There are several things to iron out through playtesting in this very diverse set and to consider in how some components were color locked while others weren’t. In my quest to do so I have mostly started out playtesting some mono-colored decks first and a few variants. Despite being works in progress, I did want to share some of these now because they have been a lot of fun to play with for the most part. Updates will be released later!


Mono-Yellow:

 

Level 0: 18

4 x Fatima, Three Sages (CC/S48-003)

4 x Dilma, Sage of Life (CC/S48-004)

4 x Melchior, Sage of Might (CC/S48-011)

3 x Yoshitsugu, Second Lord (CC/S48-013)

3 x Lolo, Fire Sprite (CC/S48-020)

Level 1: 12

4 x Fatima, Golden Witch (CC/S48-005)

2 x Haruaki, Fated Swordsman (CC/S48-006)

3 x Werner, Combustion Sealer (CC/S48-025)

1 x Juni, Blue Ice Sealer (CC/S48-026)

2 x Melchior, Three Sages (CC/S48-007)

Level 2: 4

1 x Juni, Magic Corps Captain (CC/S48-016)

1 x Yoshitsugu, Blood of Shura (CC/S48-027)

2 x Ark, Blade That Cuts Through the Darkness (CC/S48-028)

Level 3: 8

4 x Fatima, Witch of Fate (CC/S48-001)

2 x Werner, Magic Corps Commander (CC/S48-002)

2 x Dilma, Three Sages (CC/S48-008)

Climaxes:

4 x Burn!! (CC/S48-029)

4 x To Produce New Light (CC/S48-030)

How to Play the Deck:

This deck is all about building up power on your turn only to get over your opponent’s board, hopefully refilling your hand in most instances. We also want to preserve stock for the endgame in addition to hand so that we can light the ideal setup “Fatima, Fatima, Werner”. A common theme among most decks in this series and others in the current game state is that we have a deck teched full of “answers” to search or call out to deal with different situations.

The deck has to be very careful in dealing damage and knowing where its climaxes are. The deck doesn’t have a traditional brainstorm due to keeping in mono-yellow. Instead it has the 0/0 Fatima in back row that, when you play a climax, you can pay a stock to get a guaranteed plus mill 4 for a yellow character. Combined with the 0/0 Dilma “Akatsuki” clone, this should be enough mill to sustain the deck, but the issue sometimes becomes that the brainstorm action being based off playing a climax is a little too late to help you get missing combo pieces in hand. Personally this is an effect that I am not fond of playing or running, but since she is part of the condition for early dropping 3/2 Dilma I wanted to give her a try.

The Dilma early drop is convenient from the perspective that you can drop her so long as you have the right back row and if her damage cancels you may ditch a yellow character from hand to heal again. If she can survive through your opponent’s turn, her heal is also reusable if her damage cancels. The downside is that her power level isn’t amazing and the stock and ditched card from hand for the additional hand may better be reserved for finishing the game at Level 3.

The end game for this deck is pretty straight forward. The ideal goal is to get Fatima, Fatima, Werner with Werner’s on play ability giving you a chance of pulling his climax combo. It’s okay if you wipe your stock going into this set-up because Werner pays for his ability after your 3rd trigger step if he cancels his attack. This deck is also running 2 copies of the 2/2 event that allows you to target positions on your opponent’s stage to send things back to hand. Why? Two reasons. One, this deck’s (and many Chain Chronicle Decks) biggest enemy is someone saving a rest counter or a anti-damage counter for your Werner. Most sets with popular rest counters need a full board (Osomatsu, To Love Ru Animal) or require the anti-damage counter to be played in that battle (Little Busters!, To Love Ru Alien, etc.). The second reason is that you want Werner’s damage to cancel to get his finish ability. Putting him in front center stage and attacking into an open slot stacks more soul damage on him from a direct attack. Either the damage sticks, or you pay and get your stacked finish abilities.


Yellow/Red:

 

Level 0: 19

4 x Fatima, Three Sages (CC/S48-003)

3 x Melchior, Sage of Might (CC/S48-011)

2 x Yoshitsugu, Second Lord (CC/S48-013)

2 x Aram, New Hope (CC/S48-T04)

4 x Yuri, Breaking the Chains (CC/S48-051)

4 x Juliana, to Recapture the Capital (CC/S48-080)

Level 1: 10

4 x Fatima, Golden Witch (CC/S48-005)

3 x Haruaki, Fated Swordsman (CC/S48-006)

3 x Werner, Combustion Sealer (CC/S48-025)

Level 2: 5

1 x Juni, Magic Corps Captain (CC/S48-016)

2 x Ashrina, Queen of the Lake of Sand (CC/S48-017)

2 x “Dragon Slayer” Vorg (CC/S48-071)

Level 3: 8

2 x Aram, Bond of Allies (CC/S48-056)

4 x Fatima, Witch of Fate (CC/S48-001)

2 x Werner, Magic Corps Commander (CC/S48-002)

Climaxes: 8

4 x Burn!! (CC/S48-029)

4 x To Produce New Light (CC/S48-030)

 

While there are some things that I really like in the mono-yellow build above, two of the cards that I was displeased with needed a tech out. I haven’t been a fan of the 0/0 Fatima backrow psuedo-brainstorm ability, nor that I had to have her on the stage to drop the early play Dilma. But I really like the endgame for this deck and like the bouncing shenanigans that Melchior synergizes with the Level 1 game to make things really big for several benefits. My decision: try splashing in some red.

The red splash is pretty simple. Swap the 0/0 Fatima for the salvage brainstorm Yuri that allows you to get back any character. Yes, he has to be off the stage by the time you get to Level 3 to light Werner, who requires a full board of yellow characters. This is pretty easily achieved simply by putting down Ashrina at Level 2 or 3, either moving him forward to crash into something at Level 2 or playing over him at Level 3. Also splashed in have been 2 of the runners from the trial deck, and 2 of the 2/1 reversers for early drop Level 3’s. The early drop Aram is also a tech option for a heal at Level 2 and some possible sustaining power. I realize this may not be the best synergy due to the fact that if he survives to Level 3 he has to be played over, but his early drop condition in most cases is easier to pull off and with so many anti-Level 3 abilities floating around I usually don’t expect him to survive.

I have also teched in a playset of the Juliana “Riki” clones for this set. Early on she can grab anything I might want for Level 0 or Level 1 that is either missing from my hand or I need to answer to other player effects. Unfortunately with all of the teching the 2/2 event is the one things that gets lost from this build, as well as some of the soul plussing at Level 1 by losing the 0/0 Fatima backrow. In most cases I’ve found this to be fine. Swinging for 2, 2, 1 with triggers may not be ideal, but it does allow for pinpoints and some attack order decisions to help damage stick.  As I work on this list I will probably be looking at what to drop to put in the 2/2 event. This build is very much a work in progress with several tech decisions to be playtested out.

I feel it is also important to note that there is an entirely third viable mostly yellow deck in the series that runs off of the 1/1 and 3/2 Shuza walls that get markers. While the deck does have some hand challenges and definitely needs to make use of the Red 0/0 Brainstorm, it can build some really big compression marker walls that can deny on reverse abilities and still chain into Werner as a finisher.

Mono-Blue:

Level 0: 16

4 x Burckhardt, Shield of the Holy Princess (CC/S48-T16)

4 x Juliana, Holy Princess (CC/S48-T17)

4 x Musica, Magical Voice (CC/S48-079)

4 x Juliana, to Recapture the Capital (CC/S48-080)

Level 1: 12

2 x Lilith, Holy Savior (CC/S48-082)

4 x Teresa, Natural Sword Skills (CC/S48-083)

4 x Einslot, Captain of the “Holy Blade” Knights (CC/S48-085)

2 x Louise, Body Double (CC/S48-091)

Level 2: 6

2 x Musica, Magical Songstress (CC/S48-086)

2 x Louise, Maid of Holy Princess (CC/S48-087)

1 x Aries, “Holy Blade” Knights (CC/S48-095)

1 x Rowendia, “Holy Psalm” (CC/S48-096)

Level 3: 8

2 x Juliana, Female Knight (CC/S48-T19)

2 x Juliana, Queen of the Holy Kingdom (CC/S48-077)

4 x Teresa, Swordmaster of Slaughter (CC/S48-078)

Climaxes: 8

4 x Light of Hope in That Heart! (CC/S48-098)

4 x You’re Next! (CC/S48-100)

This has become one of my favorite decks from this set in a short time, and the build that I have playtested the most. It went 3/1 its first week at locals, and it’s only loss so far is to Konosuba R/B running the Megumin 3/2 finishers that rest to burn and kick. In my opinion Konosuba is a counter to this deck and punishes it for it’s wall game. This week it went 3/0 against Puyo, GFBeta Blue splash Pumpkin, and Railgun with Power Up Set.

The deck works like a pinball machine all for the cost of using one “Start Up” ability. The deck is filled with costed and free start up abilities that can also be used on your opponent’s turn to create a power wall. Complete with a 1/0 character counter that can hand filter a card to boomerang back to hand and a 2/1 easy conditional 3500 character counter, the deck walls up very nicely, allowing you to sustain hand.

The downside to this deck is twofold. One, some will not like that the mill/plus combo requires a full field of blue to activate. This decreases the amount of splashing and teching you can do from the other colors in the set, although, truth be told, I don’t really think this is necessary. Second, the endgame of this deck is very much a “go big or go home” when relying only on the Teresa 3/2 RR finisher and not splashing in any other colors. Honestly, moving forward, I could see splashing in the RR 3/2 Fatima and stacking her punish burns on Teresa for a more effective end game. An easy 0/0 splash may be the yellow card that can call your Musica 0/0 brainstorm to stage, or simply just level a 3/2 Fatima at some point. It will be tricky due to the conditions for the Level 1 combo, but I think it might be doable.

Mono-Red:

Level 0: 16

3 x Aram, New Hope (CC/S48-T04)

4 x Pirika, Light of Hope (CC/S48-047)

4 x Yuri, Breaking the Chains (CC/S48-051)

3 x Selene, Excellent Assistant (CC/S48-064)

2 x Dusty, Arms Dealer of the Vice Capital (CC/S48-065)

Level 1: 15

2 x Aram, White Mana (CC/S48-060)

4 x Phoena, Live Together And Fight Together (CC/S48-048)

4 x Dusty, Hot-Blooded Arms Dealer (CC/S48-052)

3 x Kain, Virtuous Mercenary (CC/S48-053)

2 x Aludra, Universal Mage (CC/S48-059)

Level 2: 3

2 x Marina, Fervent Healer (CC/S48-054)

1 x “Dragon Slayer” Vorg (CC/S48-071)

Level 3: 8

2 x Aram, Bond of Allies (CC/S48-056)

4 x Yuri of the Volunteer Army (CC/S48-T13)

2 x Yuri, Grasping the Light! (CC/S48-049)

Climaxes: 8

4 x Light that Shows Bond (CC/S48-T14)

4 x Power of the Chain Chronicle (CC/S48-076)

 

This deck has a lot of polishing to be done to tweak numbers at various levels, but overall I’ve been pretty happy with it. The deck, like many salvage decks, seeks to use it’s waiting room as an extension of hand to tech back the pieces it needs. The play style, though, is a little counter to normal deck play where your plus combo at Level 1 adds key late game pieces to hand. Similar to the Goddess Konosuba deck, Phoena instead calls your Level 1 game or other missing backstage pieces to the board provided you meet her conditions (5 or fewer cards in hand and the things you call are cost 0’s). You ditch your Level 1 game and sculpt your hand to hang onto key late game pieces for your match up. The Yuri 0/0 brainstorm and the tech of the 0/0 Dusty help you with this if the cards never seem to come to hand.

Some players will prefer to run more of the 1/0 level reverser Aram, maybe fewer of the Dusty 1/0 in favor of more of the Kain, etc. Level 0 in this deck also has some super hard choices to make due to the amazing utility in the Red 0/0 commons, uncommons, and trial deck cards. I’m currently still swapping around numbers and utility cards to eventually settle on a final Level 0. I will also note that you shouldn’t undervalue the 0/0 Pirika RR in this deck. She gives us another free mill engine that puts more call and salvage options into our waiting room, prevents triggered climaxes that can get buried, and occasionally nets us a free stock.

Level 3 is also in super flux right now for me with this deck. My first build has been playtesting the 3/2 trial deck Yuri as the finisher, with the rare Aram 3/2 as the early play healer with some wall potential and the 3/2 RR Yuri that can heal on play, heal on reverse with the 2/1 Marina in the back row, and chain into a burn on the third attack of the turn. While he has won me at least one game while playtesting, I’ve been finding the ditch 3 to really hurt this deck’s hand and also have been having issues getting my main finisher’s climax for his climax combo. My next step will be to use the Level 0 and 1 core to experiment with the 3/2 RR Aram and the 3/2 rare Yuri early drop that can search out my finishing climax combo potentially on play to help consistency.

So far in games the deck has been decently solid, with work needed on finishing the game. The deck builds a ton of stock if it gets going, which helps if you like a compression style deck. Yes, there are 8 +2 soul triggers in the deck, but so far that hasn’t really come up as too big of an issue. If anything, it helps push damage for a pinpoint finish end game. I would recommend, though, that it is very possible to run the 3/2 RR Yuri with his gate climax combo, or the 3/2 RR Aram with his gate climax combo if you would like another finisher option that isn’t the trial deck combo.

Mono-Green:

Level 0: 27

4 x Eirneus, Demon of Destruction (CC/S48-034)

3 x Burckhardt, Demon (CC/S48-038)

20 x Black Soldier (CC/S48-039)

Level 1: 5

4 x Black Knight, Darkness of the Abyss (CC/S48-035)

1 x Black King, King Dyeing Things in Black (CC/S48-036)

Level 2: 5

3 x Black Knight in the Twilight (CC/S48-037)

2 x Olzada, Rampaging Blade (CC/S48-043)

Level 3: 5

4 x Black King, Fearless Smile (CC/S48-032)

1 x Eirneus, Black Army (CC/S48-033)

Climaxes: 8

4 x Power of Blackening (CC/S48-045)

4 x Dyeing Everything in Black (CC/S48-046)

 

There isn’t enough room for everything in this deck! The frustration in building this deck was very real in attempting to narrow down a build. There isn’t a lot of green in the set, but what we received is top notch. There are countless substitutions and, due to the nature of the deck’s plus combo, several tech ones or twos of cards that could easily be viable in several build variants. The deck also has the means to compress in several ways, and could even be built to splash some red in for an alternate end game and to abuse the 0/0 Yuri brainstorm and the 0/0 Pirika assist.

This deck is a clone deck that is built to focus around the Black Soldier 0/0 clock reversers. While all clone decks rely heavily on their clone counts, this one in particular hinges on it for its plus combo, its dealing of damage back to players by milling a clone, and putting damage back into deck a la “Krone” style. From my few games with this deck I have noted it is a bit greedy on stock, but ends up balancing out due to the fact that most of your plus abilities yank 2 cards from deck to aid in compression.

Level 0 is pretty simple. Play and utilize the clock reverse Black Soldiers, and (ideally) get your Eirenus brainstormer and the 0/0 Burckhardt. Level 0 is a slightly less powerful duplicate of the Yuuki plus combo from Sword Art Online. The corrupted Yuri 1/0 on attack with the gold bar climax pays 1 and ditches a Black Soldier Clone to search two other “Black Army” characters from the deck. This deck can, if running certain cards not featured in this build, hit power levels, but I’ve found the compression engine of yanking damage from the deck with both the 1/0 plus combo and the Eirenus brainstorm to be enough to crash cards and cancel damage.

Level 2 is where the fun begins, starting with the 2/1 Black Knight in the Twilight. He has the chance, if he mills a Black Soldier, to deal damage back to your opponent. This makes it easier to finish the game on your turn. Also, as a hefty 2/1, some meta decks don’t have a great answer to him power wise if they get stuck at Level 2. The 2/1 Olzada counter can help him stay on the board and potentially deal another damage if a Black Soldier is milled. Level 3 runs a tech of the Eirenus healer that can return to hand, and the finisher combo with the Black King to potentially stuff damage back into your opponent’s deck.

The deck certainly dances with luck a bit late game for it’s mill to burn abilities, but overall is a very solid contender in a range of new clone decks that have proliferated in the past year. There is definitely room to play around with tech card options and splashing in some other colors to vary it’s build and end game.

Thank you for taking a look at some various builds! I’ll keep you updated with edits as more playtesting is finalized!


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!

Level Up! – How to Use a Lead (Part 1)

Are Sonzai X and RNGsus conspiring against you in your games?

Are you convinced that you are just doomed to lose?

Is there a possibility that you have missed potential advantages and opportunities?

If there is, (and there might be!) we’re going to be looking at a much finer point in WS: just what do we do when we are winning a game?

In WS, having an advantage (or having it look like we’re winning) looks different from other games.

(These are general comparisons only)

For instance, in chess, a tempo is a turn gained. (e.g. Your opponent having to move out of check) In Magic, it could be getting a sweet 2-for-1. In Shadowverse, it could be slamming your animated Bahamut onto a full enemy board when your opponent has no cards in hand. Okay, that’s more like Winning™, but advantages come in many shapes and sizes.

In WS, there are many places for a player to gain an advantage, and each has a value that is dependent (ranging from barely to completely) on other factors. For example, an effect that draws 3 cards is powerful by itself, but is even more powerful the lower the level of the user and the higher their stock, and only slightly diminished by the number of remaining CXs in deck, and cards in hand.

But when it comes down to the little decisions in a game, we don’t have the luxury of notes to refer to; we can’t even take notes during a game. So with that in mind, how can we best prepare to recognize advantages that may arise during a game? And if we do spot one, how do we best use it? Our answers may change depending on what kind of deck we’re using, but we thought that there might be some general truths out there. For that, we’ve turned to our guests and team for their thoughts!

We’re featuring thoughts from Bren, Clinton, Sebastian, Travis, and Felix. We took everyone’s opinions blind, so no one has seen what the others have said. We did this to avoid accidentally biasing anyone, though the drawback is that some of the points may overlap. Michael will be adding some of his

When playing a game of WS, how do you recognize, take, and maintain a lead?


Contine reading

Re: Visiting SAO Pt. 2 – 1st at 2017 Sakura Fest

Welcome to another 9th CX Deck Tech! Today, Travis is here to show off his winning build from the 2017 Card Academy Sakura Fest tournament. Since we have visited these cards so many times, we’re going to skip the usual card intros and head right into the deck itself. Onto the report!


Note from Travis: Special thanks to Bren Olit for helping me test and create this build.

SAO G/B Post Re: Edit v1.2

Level 0 -16:

4 x Kirito, Temporal Alliance (SAO/SE23-20 -or- SAO/S47-077)
3 x Silica, Gathering Materials (SAO/SE23-07 -or- SAO/S47-051)
2 x Yuuki, Undefeated Super Swordsman (SAO/SE26-07 -or- SAO/S47-026)
2 x “Sleeping Knights” Talken & Nori & Jun (SAO/SE26-09 -or- SAO/S47-027)
1 x Silica, Straightforward Trust (SAO/S20-054 -or- SAO/S47-058)
1 x Kirito, After the Battle (SAO/S47-113)
3 x Sinon, Mission at Dusk (SAO/SE23-P01 -or- SAO/S47-122)

Level 1 – 11:

4 x “Zekken” Yuuki (SAO/SE26-10 -or- SAO/S47-028)
4 x Sinon, Temporary Alliance (SAO/SE23-21-or- SAO/S47-078)
2 x Asuna, Vice Guild Leader (SAO/S20-011 -or- SAO/S47-007)
1 x Sinon, Challenge to the Strong (SAO/SE23-P08 -pr- SAO/S47-123)

Level 2 – 7:

2 x Leafa, Gathering Materials (SAO/SE23-06 -pr- SAO/S47-041)
2 x Sinon, Adventuring with Everyone (SAO/S47-119)
1 x Sinon, Strong Being (SAO/SE23-22 -or- SAO/S47-086)
1 x “Machine of Ice” Sinon (SAO/SE23-T15 -or- SAO/S47-079)
1 x “Dicey Cafe” Gilbert (SAO/S47-118)

Level 3 – 8

4 x Sinon, the Last Strike (SAO/SE23-24 -or- SAO/S47-076)
2 x Leafa, Pure Wish (SAO/S20-027 -or- SAO/S47-029)
2 x Leafa, Adventuring with Everyone (SAO/S47-107)

CX Spread:

4 x “Mother’s Rosario” (SAO/S47-048)
4 x Phantom Bullet (SAO/SE23-35 -or- SAO/S47-098)


Round 1: Loss vs Konosuba

This match didn’t play in my favor. Didn’t see a CX until it was too late. First refresh I was refreshing with 2 in an at least 30 card deck. There was no return from this game.

Round 2: Win vs Kiznaiver

Started off with a strong lead and kept it up. Opponent was having difficulty getting damage to stick against me since I kept using the Zekken combo almost every turn keeping my hand full and damage out of my deck.

Round 3: Win vs Log Horizon

The closest match I had, however I had a big enough damage lead my opponent opted to not play the Anti Damage Shiroe to try and catch up damage(I was 2/4, he was 3/6 at the beginning of his attack phase) He ended up pushing me to 3/6 where I cancelled his final attack that was in front of my Leafa clock kick. His character happened to be lower so I clocked kicked for game.

Round 4: Win vs Girlfriend Beta

Normally I’d think a set like this would be putting me at a disadvantage since I don’t see it in WGP season, but since I own the set personally I had a general idea on how my opponent’s deck was supposed to run. I just kept forcing his hand until it became harder for him to keep a field and took the win.

Top 8: Win vs Kantai Collection

I actually did not have much experience versus Kantai before this match, but from what I could tell, my opponent was not having a good time. I believe she was out 4 within the first 3 turns, so I  just pushed damage. I was pushed to 3/4 before her final attack and cancelled on the last damage.

Top 4: Win vs To Love Ru

I got rushed to level 1 early in the game, but in turn did the same to my opponent. My opponent was unable to get his backrow early in the game, making it pretty easy to force his hand to keep board presence since he couldn’t encore his level 1 Mikan with the 1/1 Yami that grants hand encore in front of her. I got lucky at level 3 that my opponent didn’t have a Darkness Plan in hand to stop at least one of my attacks.

Finals: Win vs Cinderella Girls

I rushed my opponent to level 1 early, so naturally seeing that he can start off his plussing engine immediately worried me slightly. The real MVP in this match though was the Kirito brainstorm. Once I was level 1, a majority of my hand was CXs, so being able to hit on his brainstorm allowed me to mill though my deck faster, and gather more attackers for that turn. Afterwards, I just kept getting cancel after cancel, while my opponent wasn’t so lucky on that regard. I got the win while still being level 2 at the end of the game.


Q&A

M:  So we’ve seen that SAO Re:edit has given the card pool some options. One of the first one that comes to mind is the new Silica:

When Adventuring with Everyone, Silica is played, you look at the top card of your deck and may leave it there or put it into your waiting room. On attack, if you control 1 or fewer other characters, you mill 1. If the milled card is a level 0 or lower character, put it onto any slot of your back stage. (If you put it onto an occupied slot, it will send the other character to the waiting room.)

This card seems sweet because you can get a scry and possibly an extra card for the following turn. Why no new Silica?

T: The new Silica is good yes, but I’d opt for it if I could put the scryed card at the bottom of my deck instead of milling it. True I could use it to potentially bring out another attacker/set up back row, but I felt that risk wasn’t worth the reward and would rather have the reverse power and filter power of Materials Silica.

M: Why not both?

T: Couldn’t justify cutting anything for it. I need the Kirito runners for board sustain and milling that I’d prefer, Silica as a filter, Yuuki for color fixing, Sinon for back row, Brainstorms for well….brainstorms.

M: And I assume the spread of brainstormers is for diversity’s sake?

T: It was there as an option if I needed to brainstorm but everything needed was in waiting room, or if I prefered to filter my hand instead of a straight search and take more damage off the top of my deck. Or they operated as a body to deal damage, so I guess you could say the spread was for diversity.

Oh, also as a mill engine in case I couldn’t get a runner…
M: Which every brainstormer is in its worst case, pretty much.
Is there anything else you’d consider changing in the deck? Were there any cards that performed unusually well or poorly?

T: As of right now, the only thing I could think about changing would be the “Leafa, Pure Wish”, the only game I played it was in the final match because I met the early play requirement. I’ve thought about bumping it down to a one of and making the “Leafa, Adventuring with Everyone” a three of. The latter Leafa is a lot better for the deck because it can dig through my deck for answers, and possibly getting rid of some damage as well. I still want to attempt to run “Kirito, Life-Risking Seriousness”, but the clock encore option of Temporary Alliance, Sinon was really helpful for me throughout the day, and same went for “Sinon, Challenge to the Strong”.

As for card performance though, the one of “Strong Existence, Sinon” gave me a ton of leeway whenever I had to discard cards, or wanted to clock for turn. The strong part about her is being able to change into “Sinon, the Last Strike” at any point while “Strong Existence, Sinon” was on the board. “Dicey Cafe, Gilbert” was never used at all during the day, but I can’t really say it performed poorly, I just never ran into a situation where I needed him. More often than not, “Sinon, Adventuring with Everyone” did the job when it came to level 3s, whether early or when my opponent was at level 3. “Kirito, After the Battle” definitely had some work put in for him, especially in the finals match for the day.


Congratulations again to Travis for taking down the event!

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!

Card Academy First Annual Sakura Fest – Tournament Report

Hello! This is Melanie here from 9th CX with a tournament report. We held our first annual Sakura Fest for Japanese Weiss Schwarz at The Card Academy in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. We had 23 players come out from New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois to play in the event today. We had 4 rounds that cut to a clear Top 8 who played out their matches for playmats and store credit prizes.

 

And now for the tournament entry break down!


Here is the breakdown of all of the sets that participated today:

2 Accel World
1 Clannad
1 Dog Days
1 GirlFriend Beta
1 [email protected] Cinderella Girls
1 Is the Order a Rabbit??
1 Kantai Collection
1 Kiznaiver
3 Konosuba
1 Log Horizon
2 Puyo Puyo
1 Rewrite
2 Re:Zero
1 Rinne
1 SAO
1 Symphogear
1 To Love Ru Darkness
1 Vivid Strike

Here is the series placement for places 9-23:

9th: Accel World (Kuroyukihime)
10th: Re:Zero (Emilia/Blue Focused with other cards splashed)
11th:  GirlFriend Beta (3 color)
12th: Rinne (Mono Green)
13th: Konosuba (Mono Red Magic)
14th: Puyo Puyo (Red Puyos with Yellow)
15th: Rewrite (Gaia Build)
16th: Dog Days (Yellow Green)
17th: Log Horizon (With Power Up Set)
18th: Kiznaiver (Yellow Green Focus)
19th: Konosuba (Mono Red Magic)
20th: Is the Order a Rabbit?? (Mono Blue)
21st: Clannad (Yellow Power Up Set Focus)
22nd: Re:Zero (Yellow/Red Focus)
23rd: Vivid Strike

And here are the decklists, sets, and notes for the top 8!


First Place: SAO
Decklist Provided By: Travis Engle

Level 0:

2 x Kirito, Temporal Alliance (SAO/SE23-20)
2 x Kirito, Temporal Alliance (SAO/S47-077)
3 x Silica, Gathering Materials (SAO/SE23-07)
2 x Yuuki, Undefeated Super Swordsman (SAO/S47-026)
2 x “Sleeping Knights” Talken & Nori & Jun (SAO/S47-027)
1 x Silica, Straightforward Trust (SAO/S47-058)
1 x Kirito, After the Battle (SAO/S47-113)
3 x Sinon, Mission at Dusk (SAO/S47-122)

Level 1:

4 x “Zekken” Yuuki (SAO/S47-028)
2 x Sinon, Temporal Alliance (SAO/SE23-21)
2 x Sinon, Temporal Alliance (SAO/S47-078)
2 x Asuna, Vice Guild Leader (SAO/S47-007)
1 x Sinon, Challenge to the Strong (SAO/S47-123)

Level 2:

2 x Leafa, Gathering Materials (SAO/SE23-06)
2 x Sinon, Adventuring with Everyone (SAO/S47-119R)
1 x Sinon, Strong Being (SAO/SE23-22)
1 x “Machine of Ice” Sinon (SAO/S47-079)
1 x “Dicey Cafe” Gilbert (SAO/S47-118)

Level 3:

3 x Sinon, the Last Strike (SAO/SE23-24)
1 x Sinon, the Last Strike (SAO/S47-076)
2 x Leafa, Pure Wish (SAO/S47-029)
2 x Leafa, Adventuring with Everyone (SAO/S47-107)

Climaxes:

4 x “Mother’s Rosario” (SAO/S47-048)
3 x Phantom Bullet (SAO/SE23-35)
1 x Phantom Bullet (SAO/S47-098SP)

 

Second Place: [email protected] Cinderella Girls
Decklist Provided By: Kit King (Video can be found here)

Level 0:

1 x Yuki, Team KBYD (IMC/W41-006)
1 x Yuki, Team KBYD (IMC/W41-006PR)
4 x Kanako Mimura (IMC/W41-041)
2 x  Momoka Sakurai (IMC/W43-046)
1 x Miku, the Best Team (IMC/W43-055)
1 x Arisu, Project:Krone (IMC/W43-082)
3 x Kaede, Important Place (IMC/W43-083)
1 x Kaede, Important Place (IMC/W43-083R)
2 x Koume, Loves Horror (IMC/W43-086)
1 x Riina, Do What You Should Do Now (IMC/W43-097)

Level 1:

2 x Kanako, My First Star (IMC/W41-054)
4 x Minami Nitta (IMC/W41-079)
4 x Minami, My First Star (IMC/W41-087)

Level 2:

1 x Mayu Sakuma (IMC/W41-058)
1 x Chieri Being Too Nervous (IMC/W43-061)

Level 3:

2 x Anzu Futaba (IMC/W41-043)
4 x Ranko Kanzaki (IMC/W41-080)
2 x Anastasia (IMC/W41-081)
1 x Rin, Trancing Pulse (IMC/W43-080)
1 x Rin, Trancing Pulse (IMC/W43-080SP)
1 x Minami, New Challenge (IMC/W43-089)

Events:

2 x Unfitting Pair (IMC/W41-108)

Climax:

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

 

Third Place: To Love Ru Darkness 2nd
Decklist Provided By: Forrest Green

Level 0:

3 x “Yaiyaki of Memories” Yami (TL/W37-T01)
3 x “Sitting” Mikan (TL/W37-031)
4 x “Cute Pajama” Mikan (TL/W37-035)
3 x “Pure White Wings” Yami (TL/W42-001)
2 x “China Dress” Mea (TL/W42-006)

Level 1:

2 x “Ribbon-Wrapped” Mea (TL/W37-010)
3 x “Memory Connecting the Future” Yami (TL/W37-011)
2 x “Heart-Thumping Bath Time” Mea (TL/W37-012)
3 x “Sleepy Time” Mikan (TL/W37-039)
4 x “Organizing Clothes” Mikan (TL/W37-040)

Level 2:

1 x “Good at Cooking” Mikan (TL/W37-044)

Level 3:

4 x Golden Darkness (TL/W37-001)
1 x Mea Kurosaki (TL/W37-002)
2 x Mikan Yuuki (TL/W37-032)

Events:

2 x Calming Warmth (TL/W37-026)
3 x Darkness Plan (TL/W37-027)

Climaxes:

4 x Taiyaki-Shaped Keyholder (TL/W377-053)
4 x Kind Time (TL/W37-028)

4th Place: Accel World Nox Clone
Decklist Provided By: Steven Pidcock

Level 0:

2 x Rin, Calm Feelings of Love (AW/S43-032)
4 x Ash Roller From Shibuya (AW/S43-041)
4 x Circular-Shaped Enemy (AW/S43-042)
4 x White Duel Avatar (AW/S43-043)
2 x Utai, Summer Festival (AW/S43-057)

Level 1:

18 x Nox Core (AW/S43-044)

Level 2:

4 x Nyx & Risa (AW/S43-039)

Level 3:

4 x Nyx, Goddess of Night (AW/S43-040)

Climaxes:

4 x Citron Call (AW/S43-052)
4 x Big Brother’s Punishment (AW/S43-053)

Fifth Place: Puyo Puyo
Decklist Provided By: Ragnorok64
Note from Provider: Please take a look at my Twitch Channel for Weiss Games and Deck Techs!

Level 0:

2 x “Hentai” Schezo (PY/S38-004)
4 x Ringo, Lost in Mystery (PY/S38-090)
4 x Ringo, Student of the Suzuran Middle School (PY/S38-093)
3 x Sig, Student of the Primp Magic School (PY/S38-066)
3 x “KO’d” Amitie (PY/S38-073)
3 x Carbuncle (PY/S38-012)

Level 1:

4 x “Bayoe~n” Amitie (PY/S38-064)
2 x Kikimora (PY/S38-095)
4 x Maguro, Horrible Fashion and Weird (PY/S38-096)

Level 2:

2 x Carbuncle Being Whimsical (PY/S38-008)
1 x Schezo, Going After the Power of the Magic (PY/S38-007)
2 x Amitie, Student of the Primp Magic Schoo (PY/S38-075)l

Level 3:

4 x “Bayoe~n” Arle (PY/S38-003)
2 x Amitie, Very Good! (PY/S38-065)
1 x Amitie, Very Good! (PY/S38-065S)
1 x Risukuma-senpai (PY/S38-091)

Climaxes:

2 x Bayoe~ n (PY/S38-86)
2 x Bayoe~ n (PY/S38-27)
4 x I Won~ (PY/S38-118)

Sixth Place: Konosuba
Decklist Provided By: Julian Washington

Level 0:

3 x “Guide to Obtaining Skills” Megumin (KS/W49-038)
3 x “Kind Goddess” Eris (KS/W49-074)
4 x “Here’s Where the Adventure Starts…?” Aqua (KS/W49-087)
4 x “Meaning for Killing Snow Sprites?” Aqua (KS/W49-075)
4 x “Board Game” Megumin (KS/W49-037)

Level 1:

1 x “Shaken” Megumin (KS/W49-047)
4 x “Kind Smile” Eris (KS/W49-076)
2 x “Demanding Apology” Aqua (KS/W49-093)
4 x “Sacred Create Water” Aqua (KS/W49-077)

Level 2:

2 x “Pride of the Goddess” Aqua (KS/W49-T17)
1 x “Striking a Pose with Arms Open” Darkness (KS/W49-013)
1 x “Calling for Sensei” Megumin (KS/W49-051)

Level 3:

4 x Megumin (KS/W49-035)
2 x “May You Be Blessed with Kind Encounters” Eris (KS/W49-072)
1 x “May You Be Blessed with Kind Encounters” Eris (KS/W49-072R)
1 x Aqua (KS/W49-073)
1 x Aqua (KS/W49-073SP)

Climaxes:

4 x Revive (KS/W49-099)
4 x Real Explosion Magic (KS/W49-067)

Seventh Place: Kantai Collection
Decklist Provided By: Audri Sampson
Note from Provider: Shoutout to Benjamin Schiffli for the original decklist that was tweaked by me for this final deck version.

Level 0:

3 x Tokitsukaze, 10th Kagero-class Destroyer (KC/S31-003)
3 x Tanikaze, 14th Kagero-class Destroyer (KC/S31-023)
4 x Akatsuki, A Moment in Winter (KC/S31-040)
3 x Murasame Kai, Command Ship of the Second Destroyer Squadron (KC/S31-80)
3 x Z3, 3rd Z1-class Destroyer (KC/S42-037)

Level 1:

2 x Tahoukai, Taihou-class Armored Carrier (KC/S42-002)
1 x Tahoukai, Taihou-class Armored Carrier (KC/S42-002SP)
4 x Prinz Eugen, 3rd Admiral Hipper-class Heavy Cruiser (KC/S42-030)
3 x Maya Kai-Ni, 3rd Takao-Class Heavy Cruiser (KC/S42-039)
3 x Ashigara, 3rd Myoukou-class Heavy Cruiser (KC/S25-158)
3 x Z3 Zwei, 3rd Z1-class Destroyer (KC/S42-049)

Level 2

3 x Ro-500, Ro-class Submarine (KC/S42-035)
2 x Bismarck Zwei, 1st Bismarck-class Battleship (KC/S42-040)

Level 3:

2 x Musashi, 2nd Yamato-class Battleship (KC/S25-002)
3 x Prinz Eugen Kai, 3rd Admiral HIpper-class Heavy Cruiser (KC/S42-036)

Climaxes:

4 x Aim Well ……… Feuer! (KC/S42-056)
4 x Ro-class Submarine, Deploying! (KC/S42-057)

Eighth Place: Symphogear
Decklist Provided By: Nick Pipkin
Note from Provider: This build was inspired and influenced by another topping Symphogear list.

Level 0:

4 x Hibiki, Full Power Punch (SG/W19-001)
2 x Hibiki, Gathered Power (SG/W27-001)
1 x Chris, Own Role (SG/W27-055)
2 x Hibiki & Elfnein, Special Training by the Beachside (SG/W39-078)
3 x Chris & Hibiki & Miku, Swimming Time (SG/W39-063)
2 x Miku, Understanding Hibiki (SG/W39-003)
2 x Kiraka, Fluttering (SG/W39-038)

Level 1:

4 x Hibiki, Fight to Protect (SG/W39-005)
1 x Tsubasa, Collaboration of Songstresses (SG/W39-085)
2 x Hibiki & Miku, Preparing for a Day Nap (SG/W39-010)
4 x “Gathered Miracle” Hibiki (SG/W39-001)

Level 2:

1 x Chris, Fear of Losing (SG/W39-056)

Level 3:

3 x Shirabe, the Conclusion Reached (SG/W39-026)
3 x Kiraka, the Conclusion Reached (SG/W39-027)
1 x Kiraka, the Conclusion Reached (SG/W39-027SP)
2 x “Self Brilliance” Maria (SG/W39-052)

Events:

3 x Fusion with Relic (SG/W19-022)
2 x Ignite Module (SG/W39-070)

Climaxes:

4 x Unison of Two (SG/W39-048)
4 x Gungnir, Again (SG//W39-023)


Thank you to everyone who came out to the event today and participated! It was a fun event with a lot of diversity and great players!

Ko-No-Su-Ba! Part 2! – Explosions!

It’s another week of KonoSuba deck lists here at 9th CX! Michael and Melanie have put a couple of lists together for your enjoyment. For those who enjoy the world class tanking ability of LALATINA Darkness, a mono-yellow list, and for the other thousands of players who want to use EXPLOOOOOOOSIONS, we have a mono-red list! Onto the lists!


Michael’s List

Deck Name: Tank ALL The Things

Level 0 – 18

3 Kazuma (KS/W49-003)
1 “Shameful Abuse” Darkness (KS/W49-004)
3 “Hardcore Pervert” Darkness (KS/W49-006)
4 “Specialty: Delusion” Darkness (KS/W49-007)
4 “Decide How Much Your Own Panties Are Worth” Chris (KS/W49-009)
3 “Rescue Successful!” Darkness (KS/W49-010)

Level 1 – 10

2 “Somehow Happy” Darkness (KS/W49-025)
4 “Skill Lecture” Chris (KS/W49-008)
4 “Skill Obtaining Completed” Kazuma (KS/W49-022)

Level 2 – 6

3 “Something You Must Protect” Darkness (KS/W49-014)
3 “Striking a Pose wWith Arms Open” Darkness (KS/W49-013)

Level 3 – 8

4 Darkness (KS/W49-001)
4 “Steal Successful…?” Chris (KS/W49-002)

CX – 8

4 Masochist Crusader (KS/W49-032)
4 Thievery Skill (KS/W49-030)


Melanie’s List

Level 0 – 18:

4 “Board Game” Megumin (KS/W49-037)
3 “Guide to Obtaining Skills” Megumin (KS/W49-038)
3 “Proper Manner” Yunyun (KS/W49-039)
4 “Problematic Act” Megumin (KS/W49-040)
2 “Parents’ Names” Megumin (KS/W49-T02)
2 “Proud of Explosion Magic” Megumin (KS/W49-T03)

Level 1 – 14:

4 “Cannot Spit It Out” Yunyun (KS/W49-043)
2 “Good Explosion!” Megumin (KS/W49-042)
4 “Quiet Today” Megumin (KS/W49-048
4 Explosions Magic Everyday! (KS/W49-064)

Level 2 – 4:

3 “Simultaneous Fire!!” Wiz (KS/W49-044)
1 “Calling for Sensei” Megumin (KS/W49-051)

Level 3 – 6:

4 Megumin (KS/W49-035)
2 “Lich” Wiz (KS/W49-036)

 

CX – 8:

4 Real Explosion Magic (KS/W49-067)
4 Megumin’s Rival (KS/W49-068)



When Kazuma is placed to the stage from hand, you may pay 1 and ditch 1 to look at up to the top 3 cards of your deck, add any card to your hand, then ditch the rest.

“Shameful Abuse” Darkness mills 2 from your deck on attack, if there was a CX among the cards milled, she gets +1 soul for the turn. She also has an on play ability to pay 1 and ditch 2 to search 2 [Worries] or [Rogue] from deck.

“Hardcore Pervert” Darkness gets +4000 power times the level of the character facing her. She also runs to combat at the beginning of your opponent’s attack phase.

“Specialy: Delusion” Darkness can give one of your characters +1000 power when you play a CX. You can also hit yourself pay 1, clock yourself from top of deck, and rest this to tutor for a [Adventurer].

When “Decide How Much Your Own Panties Are Worth” Chris enters the stage from hand, your opponent calls 0, 1, or 2, then you put the top card of your deck into waiting room. If the level of the card milled this way is the same as the number your opponent called, you draw up that number plus 1 cards.

“Rescue Successful!” Darkness lets you discard a card on attack to bounce one of your YELLOW characters to hand from stage.

“Somehow Happy” Darkness gets +500 for each other [Adventurer] in the back row and has a ‘zombie’ effect(When this gets reversed, hit yourself you put the top card of your deck into clock and rest this).

“Skill Lecture” Chris gets +1500 power on play. She also has a CX combo with Thievery Skill. On attack, you mill the top card of your deck. If it is a level 0 or lower character, your opponent gets a blind stock from top of their deck. Otherwise, you get 2 blind stock from the top of your deck.

“Skill Obtaining Completed” Kazuma gets the following ability as long as you have Experience 2 or higher “When this attacks, choose the character facing this, it loses 1000 power and this gets +1000 power for the turn”

“Something You Must Protect” Darkness is a level assist. She has a CX combo with Masochist Crusader where on CX play, you may rest this and put a [Worries] character in your WR under this as a marker. If one of your characters is sent to the WR, you may put a marker from under this to the WR and return that character rested to its previous slot.

“Striking a Pose With Arms Open” Darkness is a +2500 power backup. When you use this card’s BACKUP, if you have another [Adventurer] character, choose a character in battle, and give it +1000 power.

Darkness gets -1 level in hand if your opponent has a level 3 character. If you have 2 or more other [Adventurer] characters, this gets hexproof and +1500 power. At the start of your opponent’s draw phase, you can give one of your characters +4000 power if this is in the front row. When your opponent hits you successfully deals damage to you in battles involving this, you can pay 2 and discard 1 to deal the same amount of damage back to your opponent. (You can’t do this if you are dealt lethal damage because the game will have already ended.)

“Steal Successful…?” Chris heals on play. On attack, choose one of your other [Adventurer] characters to give power equal to 500 times the number of [Adventurer] characters. Also when this attacks, you may pay 1 and ditch two to look at the top 3 cards of your opponent’s deck, discard as many of them as you want, return the rest to their deck and shuffle.

 

When “Board Game” Megumin is placed to the stage from hand, you may ditch a CX to salvage an [Adventurer] or [Magic]. She is also a free runner.

“Guide to Obtaining Skills” Megumin gives all level 0 or lower characters in front of this +1000 power. She is also a pay 1 rest 2 salvage brainstorm.

“Proper Manner” Yunyun gets +2000 power if you have no other characters and is a pay 1 bond for Megumin(The level 3 Megumin, not any Megumin)

When “Problematic Act” Megumin is placed to the waiting room from stage, you may ditch a card to look at up to the top 4 cards of your deck for a [Magic] character, then discard the rest.

“Parents’ Names” Megumin is a level 0 reverser. When this gets sent to the WR from stage, you may pay 2 to salvage [Adventurer] or [Magic].

“Proud of Explosion Magic” Megumin gives one of your other [Adventurer] or [Magic] characters +1000 power and +1 level for the turn on attack.

“Cannot Spit It Out” Yunyun has a CX combo with Megumin’s Rival where on attack, if you have another Megumin character on the stage, you may look at up to the top 4 cards of your deck for a [Magic] character, then ditch the rest.

 

Good Nice Explosion!” Megumin is a level 1 or lower reverser with hand encore.

“Quiet Today” Megumin gets +2000 power and +1 soul if Explosion Magic Everyday! is in your level zone. She also lets you discard a card on play to salvage her experience target.

Explosions Magic Everyday! cannot be played if you are higher than level 2 and your opponent is higher than level 1. When you play this event, you may ditch a [Magic] character from hand. If you do, put this in your level zone and explode your opponent perform the following action 6 times: “Deal 1 damage to your opponent.”

“Simultaneous Fire!!” Wiz gives all your level 3 or higher characters in front of this +2000 power. She has a CX Combo with Real Explosion Magic where if you have another Megumin(The actual card name, not a character with Megumin in name) you may pay 1 and ditch two cards to burn 5.

When “Calling for Sensei” Megumin attacks, if she is facing a level 3 or higher, she gains +6000 power. If she reverses her battle opponent and it’s level 2 or higher, you may pay 1 to salvage a character.

When Megumin is placed to the stage from hand,  look at the up to the top 3 cards of your deck, add one to your hand, then ditch the rest. She has a CX Combo with Real Explosion Magic where if this is in the front row, you may pay 1 to burn 4, then choose a level 3 or lower in front of this card, send it to your opponent’s clock, then rest this. (This means that Megumin will not attack.)

“Lich” Wiz gets -1 level in hand if you have 2 or less CX in WR. On play, you may heal. Also on play, your opponent may put a cost 0 or lower character from their WR onto the stage in any slot.

The CXs for the deck are Masochist Crusader(1k1 w/Shot Trigger) Thievery Skill(1k1 w/Bounce trigger) Real Explosion Magic(Red stock soul) Megumin’s Rival(Split 2k1)


Melanie:

Other cards that might be considered for this build, with the limitation of keeping it to mono-red and ::Magic:: trait.

 

“Serving Tea” Wiz (KS/W49-041),
“Super Archwizard” Wiz (KS/W49-045),
“Shaken” Megumin (KS/W49-047),
“Doll Horror” Megumin (KS/W49-050),
“Insufficient Mana” Wiz (KS/W49-052),
“Spell Chanting” Megumin (KS/W49-059).
“My Name Is” Yunyun (KS/W49-061),
– a
nd –
“Crimson Demon Girl” Megumin (KS/W49-T06)

It should also be noted that a variant of this deck could be built with the below card, but it is off trait and would probably want to warrant a look at choosing a different Level 1 climax combo.

Cabbage (KS/W49-057)

How to Play this Deck:

This deck’s main goal is to push damage at every level of the game and ending it with an explosive finish. Tools have been put in to allow this deck to mill through its own damage and search for setting up your end game, while including runners and many cost 0 characters to help build stock that is much needed for the deck’s end game.

This deck’s Level 1 game may seem a bit controversial, especially looking at the Level 1 event included. In exchange for 6 single instances of damage you Level yourself with it. The goal is to deal your opponent as much damage possible before their first refresh. The event, while it does level you, does give you 6 single instances of damage to help you with this goal and creates a +2 soul powerful beater in “Quiet Today” Megumin. (Did I mention she bonds for the event?!?)

The Level 2 game for this deck is very sparse, and only for certain match ups where the event was missed or soul damage rush just didn’t happen. Two early drop heal Wiz’s are included for healing off damage at Level 2, as well as a Level 3 slayer Megumin as a tech 1 to help maintain hand and power over things. Most games, though, you are simply going to be swinging with 1/0 characters for either climax combo plusses or extra damage, and then hanging on or looking to set up the Level 3 game.

The Level 3 game in this deck falls in the line of “Go big, or go home.” Your goal is 3 of the 3/2 Megumin and 1 2/1 Wiz assist, and enough stock and hand to light the finisher climax combo. The stock soul helps recoup a stock for the Megumin’s ability. The dream end game, of course, is an additional 2/1 Wiz assist added in the back row, but a bit unrealistic from a stock/hand perspective. The hope is to stick at least one burn out of the 4, and utilize the 3 psuedo “clock kick” abilities on the 3/2 Megumin to secure game. If it fails, the game is probably done, due to the fact that Megumin’s power level isn’t that great on defense and the lack of stock generated in that final turn to replay/relight anything on the next. It should be noted this finisher has a bad match up against decks that run a strong “hexproof” defense. In those games, players should seek to light Megumin and the 2/1 Wiz where there is no “hexproof” opponent, and then use the 3/2 Wiz’s to heal and attack as normal in those slots where Megumin can’t “clock kick”.

 

This deck is super greedy in terms of stock and damage dealt to you as the player. To this end, I’ve attempted to slim down my stock costs as much as possible, mostly focusing on 0 cost characters and characters with utility abilities that cost little to no stock. Also avoided have been counters, due to most of the counters being heavy on hand or spending a stock that just is better reserved for the end game. Even though there is a Wiz that has a pay 1, deal yourself a damage to retrieve a Level 1 or lower character from waiting room to help level you for lighting the event, I have avoided it due to not wanting to deal myself anymore damage than necessary.

While there are probably more viable builds in the series from a competitive standpoint, this deck is a soul rush deck that will upset a lot of decks out there in the meta. There are several sets that have a hard time coming back from a ton of damage being slung at them, especially if you push at Level 0 with 2 or 3 attackers early game. Use the hand plus/mill combo to maintain and filter your hand for your end game, and then swing for game with as many Explosions as you can light. Feel free to try teching in and exchanging some of the other cards considered for this build above to find the right fit for your playstyle.


Michael:

Now if you are the type who just has to hit themselves as much as possible in a game, Darkness certainly can help you out with that. When I was looking through the yellow cards for the set, I noticed a few things:

  1. Darkness really loves to get hit. A lot.
  2. Chris, at level 0, offers a unique opportunity for card advantage that has little to do with the user’s skill.
  3. There are very few opportunities for card advantage, unless you are willing to hit yourself. A lot.

With these things in mind, I built the deck to go all in while also deliberately ignoring the Freeze card. I thought that Kazuma and his spread of cards did not quite contribute enough. However, his exclusion from the list here doesn’t mean that he isn’t viable. Freeze is probably a fun card, but with this deck, it doesn’t belong.

How to use this deck:

At level 0, instead of kiting opponents, the deck can throw a Darkness in front of any character. Hilariously, the power she gets from facing down a higher level character is significant and can actually prevent some damage. In practice, it’s not likely to, but it’s a fun thought.

Fans of GirlFriend Beta will recognize the character-recycling Darkness at level 0, but the real odd duck is “Decide How Much Your Own Panties Are Worth” Chris. This card is strange, because rarely do cards test the opponent’s skill as intensely as this card. Magic players may recognize this kind of effect as similar to Fact or Fiction. As the user, one hopes that it trades with a reverser or gets good damage in, and if one is lucky, the opponent calls for a 0, and then a 0 is milled. The issue here is that individual familiarity can actually make this card better or worse. At worst, it’s a vanilla that mills a card on play. At its worst, its viability is questionable. At best, it could be an Ancestral Recall. The card would be considered broken if its favorable outcomes appeared much more than its unfavorable outcomes. To that end, the card is balanced by its own randomness.

At level 1, the deck wants to pile on as much stock as it can, even if it means giving the opponent some stock once in a while.

At level 2, Darkness can come down early!

Wait wait, there’s no Model Knight Darkness in this list. Wow.

For those who are uncomfortable using the Panties Chris, a 4-for-4 swap with “Model Knight?” Darkness here is reasonable. There are a couple of reasons that she isn’t in this list:

  • The deck does not have overwhelming power at level 1, and doesn’t have many characters worth defending as a result
  • Players usually have early play level 3 characters anyway

So yes, at level 2, Darkness can come down early and begin the damage trades. Trading damage at level 2 is particularly crushing because as long as you haven’t lost (and have the resources), you can burn your opponent right back. This can create a scenario where you don’t need an extra turn to make up for lost damage.

At level 3, the plan remains trading damage with Darkness and healing if need be with Chris.

The deck is gimmicky, fragile, and aggressive, with a distinct lack of brainstorm abilities. There are plenty of effects to help you search things out, and very obscure ways to gain card advantage. Only a player truly dedicated to tanking damage would use something crazy like this! (Something like that)


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Thanks for reading!