Fate/kaleid liner プリズマ☆イリヤ 2wei! Deck Tech – Eins, 2wei!

Illya Mana

Welcome to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz deck techs! For this article, we will be exploring a new list of Fate/kaleid liner プリズマ☆イリヤ 2wei!

Translations can be found on Heart of the Cards. Names will be matched to reflect the translation notes. If translations are unavailable for the card, in-house translations will be used. Because the series has not been featured for some time, all cards will be introduced.

This list is presented as a deck to try. It aims to use the familiar endgame from the first set with the support of cards from the new set.

Let’s get to the list!

One-Two Punch

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 18

3 Kuro, Sweets Battle Starts! (PI/SE24-03)
3 “Promise” Illya (PI/SE18-23)
2 Miyu, Kaleid Magical Girl (PI/SE18-21)
3 Luvia in Casual Clothing (PI/SE24-07)
2 Rin in Uniform (PI/SE24-11)
2 Illya, “Necessity”? (PI/SE24-19)
3 Kuro, Temporary Retreat (PI/SE24-04)

Level 1 – 14

3 Rin, Work of a Maid (PI/SE24-09)
3 Miyu, “Coincidence”? (PI/SE24-27)
2 Miyu, Perfect Supergirl? (PI/SE18-11)
2 Illya, Guided Fate (PI/SE18-28)
2 Bathing Together, Illya & Kuro (PI/SE24-P03)
2 Miyu, Connected Bond (PI/SE24-20)

Level 2 – 1

1 Miyu at the Large Bath of the Luvia Mansion (PI/SE24-29)

Level 3 – 9

3 “Kaleidoscope” Illya (PI/SE18-17)
3 “Kaleidoscope” Miyu (PI/SE18-18)
3 Illya, Normal Scenery (PI/SE24-22)

CX – 8

4 Class Card Saber (PI/SE18-36)
4 Supplying Mana (PI/SE24-17)

At level 0, we have 18 characters.


Whenever a [Magic] character you control (or character with “Mimi” in the name) attacks, this gains +1000 power until end of turn. When you reverse a character with it, you may pay 1 stock and put the top card of your deck into clock to salvage a [Magic] character (or character with “Shirou” in name).


“Promise” Illya gets +1500 power as long as you have 6 or more cards in hand.


Miyu, Kaleid Magical Girl gives the other character in your middle slot on the center stage +500 power. You can Brainstorm by paying 1 stock and resting two characters you control: for each CX revealed, you draw up to 1 card.


Luvia in Casual Clothing is a level reverser. You may also pay 1 stock to choose a [Gem] character you control and give it +1500 power and [Maid] until end of turn. (It can target itself.)


Rin in Uniform has a “revenge” trigger: whenever another character you control is reversed in battle, you choose a character you control and it gains +1000 power until end of turn. You may pay 1 stock to choose a character you control with “Illya” in the name and turn it into a bomb level reverser until end of turn.


Illya, “Necessity” checks the top card of your deck when you play it – you can put it either on the top or bottom of your deck. When sent from the stage to the waiting room, you may pay 1 stock and discard a card to tutor (search deck, reveal & put into hand) a [Magic] character.


Kuro, Temporary Retreat can “run”: at the beginning of your opponent’s attack phase, you may put the top card of your deck into your waiting room. If the revealed card is a [Magic] character, you may move this to an empty slot on your center stage.

At level 1, we have 15 characters.


When you play Rin, Work of a Maid, you may pay 1 stock and put the top card of your deck into clock. If you do, you salvage up to 1 [Gem] character, and this gains +1500 power until end of turn.


Miyu, “Coincidence”? has Experience 2 (if the sums of the levels of cards in your level zone is 2 or higher): it gets +X power, where X is 1000 times the level of the character opposite it. It (more importantly) also has clock encore.


When Miyu, Perfect Supergirl? attacks, if you have a blue CX in your CX zone, you draw a card and discard a card. (This is not an optional ability.)


Illya, Guided Fate has a wordy startup [S] (or activated) ability. You can discard a [Magic] character in your hand to reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card is level 0 or lower, (A CX is counted as level 0) it gains “When this attacks, you may choose a character in your opponent’s back stage and have this front attack the chosen character” until end of turn.


You may pay 1 stock to give Bathing Together, Illya & Kuro +1000 power and “When this reverses a character in battle, you may put that character on top of your opponent’s deck” until end of turn.


When a character with “Illya” in the name you control is front attacked, you may send Miyu, Connected Bond to the waiting room. If you do, choose a character you control in battle and it gains +1500 power until end of turn. It also has a Bond for 1 stock with “Illya, Normal Scenery” (the new level 3).

The deck has a single card at level 2!


When Miyu at the Large Bath of the Luvia Mansion is played, if you have 5 or fewer cards left in your deck, you shuffle your waiting room into your deck and choose a character you control to have it gain +3000 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn. You can pay 2 stock and rest 2 characters you control to draw a card.

At level 3, we have 9 cards.


When you play “Kaleidoscope” Illya, you draw up to 2 cards, and then discard a card. It has a complex CX combo with “Class Card Saber”: when you play “Class Card Saber”, if you control a “Kaleidoscope” Miyu, you put the top card of your deck into your waiting room. (This is not an optional trigger.) If the revealed card is level 1 or lower, you may discard another “Class Card Saber” (from your hand). If you do, all your characters gain “When this attacks, deal 1 damage to your opponent” until end of turn. (Multiple instances of this ability, if successful, will cause your characters to gain separate instances of this Burn ability. If you are incredibly lucky, you can have your characters gain up to 3 instances of Burn through this ability. Each instance resolves separately and can be canceled.)


When you play “Kaleidoscope” Miyu, you look at the top X cards of your deck, choose up to 1, put it into hand, and put the rest into your waiting room where X is the number of [Magic] characters you control. (If you control more [Magic] characters than you have cards in your deck, your deck will NOT refresh while resolving this ability. After you have resolved the ability, your deck will refresh. This is because your cards are not entering the resolution zone because nothing needs to be verified.) It has a CX combo with “Class Card Saber”: when you play “Class Card Saber”, draw a card, and this gains +1500 power and “When this reverses a character in battle, you may put that character on the bottom of your opponent’s deck” until end of turn.


When you play Illya, Normal Scenery, you look at up to the top 6 cards of your deck, choose 3 of them and put them into your waiting room. The rest go on top of your deck in the order you choose. You may also pay 1 stock and discard a card when you play it. If you do, Heal and it gets +1000 power until end of turn.

The CX spread is a 4/4 split between Gate and Door triggers with all of them having 1k1 effects. Because Supplying Mana does not have any CX interaction with the deck, it is interchangeable in any number for “The Summer Vacation You Long For” (PI/SE24-P02).




How do we use this deck?

Back when Illya was a new face, the main ‘gimmick’ the series touted was a special Burn to close out the endgame. It was difficult to execute because the cards had very little to offer in terms of raw power, and the CX endgame was very soon overshadowed by the arrival of Kantai Collection and its new anti-salvage and anti-damage effects. The new set (and PRs!) have given the series a second wind (no pun intended), and with it, a lot of options in its early game.

One of the things to remember is that this deck in particular takes a lot of practice, because the difficult decisions begin even before the game starts, in terms of the kinds of hands to keep and what to mulligan. Testing counts for a lot more than it normally would, because the risks that the deck takes to get its reward (lots of Burn) are substantially higher than other decks, such as Nisekoi and Kantai.

At level 0, we can see that the deck already looks and feels different. “Promise” Illya remains one of the best turn 1 plays for the deck (don’t forget to clock!), because 4000 power is still a respectable amount. Kuro, Temporary Retreat is not a perfect “runner”, but 34 out of 50 of the cards in the deck are [Magic], which means you have better odds than a fair coin flip to save your Kuro. Even if you don’t need to move it or it’s going to get beaten no matter where it goes, it’s still an extra card cleared, either in a cancel denied (important at level 0) or damage denied (always good). Illya, “Necessity”? gives the deck a much-needed searcher, and Luvia in Casual Clothing gives the deck the ability to trade with other problematic characters at level 0.

Kuro, Sweets Battle Starts! is a cute tech to punish your opponent for trying to match your characters at level 0, as it allows you to Salvage early on in the game without much fear of anti-salvage effects. Why is anti-salvage not an issue for it? Because most of the time, when you attack with it and resolve its ability, your soul damage will have already been done from your previous two (or one) attack(s) and most anti-salvage effects such as +power or -soul will be moot. (Little Busters! doesn’t have anti-salvage until level 1 anyway)

Miyu, Kaleid Magical Girl is there to provide the deck some way to accelerate its refreshing and provide some card advantage on the way. Rin in Uniform also gives the deck some staying power into the late game, as it can turn any Illya into a level reverser. Hilariously enough, this may actually be relevant at level 3 more than at level 1 because the deck has often been unable to clear problematic characters at level 3 more than at level 0. (i.e. if you really want to stick it to your local Kantai player(s) who just cannot stop playing Akagi-kai, we have an answer now!)

At level 1, the deck gets some really sweet tech. Miyu, “Coincidence”? is quite possibly the best card possible for the deck’s transition through levels 1 and 2, as it is a 0-stock character that has clock encore. Because the rest of the deck has become stock intensive, Miyu, “Coincidence”? is very important to keep on the board, even if it has to spend a turn on the back stage. While Miyu builds stock, Rin, Work of a Maid is more than happy to cash in on your previously-built stock to get some card advantage. You get a character back for what is essentially a 1/1 6500 power character for a turn, which is quite reasonable, even if it does cause you to clock yourself. Do note that it salvages [Gem] characters only.

Think of the deck as having a very long level 1. Anything that it can get done at level 1 is bonus time before it manages to hit level 2.

Illya, Guided Fate is still in the deck, though not necessarily for its ability. It has always been a combo piece for the deck’s level 3, but with the inclusion of Rin in Uniform, it can turn into a level reverser in a pinch. Bathing Together, Illya & Kuro has an effect that has been seen on some other cards before, but its appearance here is quite surprising. For 1 stock, you can give it +1000 power and guarantee that the next card (provided you only attack for 1) will be damage. This ability scales well into the late game, and shouldn’t be underestimated, especially because it can punish your opponent for playing (and keeping in play) weaker characters.

Miyu, Connected Bond can act as an on-field “Backup” for your Illya, but is mostly in the deck for its Bond ability. Card advantage is key, after all!

If the deck can afford to refresh for free, it’s a nice ability to use on the way to level 3, but should not be forced, unless you know there are CXs remaining that you don’t want to trigger anyway.

The deck’s level 3 is (mostly) the same as before, only now it’s even more easy to pull off: resolve as many instances of Illya’s Burn ability as possible, and then attack! 1 instance is usually good enough to close a game if the opponent is at 3/5 or higher, but 2 instances can even close a full level gap (or more, if you’re really lucky).

On the way to level 3, depending on how its draws are, the deck can look two-faced. If it is able to maintain a board and Salvage regularly, it can look like a deck that loves to keep a full hand and float on 3+ stock until level 3, where it then cashes it all in for a big finish.

If it has to play from behind (not necessarily in the case of a CX flood!) though, it will look like a weird deck that keeps on clocking itself with Miyu to try to stay even in damage.

Interestingly, because of the way the deck’s endgame works, a CX flood is not as bad for it as it might be for other decks. If you see two copies of Class Card Saber in the first few turns, it can be worthwhile to simply keep them in hand until level 3. If you have two in your opening hand however, it’s a good idea to ditch one of them, because a Gate trigger can help you bring it back later on, and whatever you draw in its place is usually a better card.

Personal recommendation!

Hi! Michael here (out from behind the normal voice), just a few tips from personal experience. I’ve played with this series a lot, and for those that play Magic, I think this deck is the closest analog to  (edit: used wrong deck name before) High Tide that WS will ever get in terms of endgame complexity. This series is just more difficult to play than the average set. With the second set, now even sequencing your attacks properly is going to be another skill test. In the first set, mulligans, what characters to keep around, and sequencing Illya and Miyu were the biggest skill tests the deck presented, in terms of basics. Because the second series has added a lot more Salvage effects (good ones, at that), as well as a 0-stock clock encore character, decisions about those characters has gotten a bit more forgiving. What has not however, is the endgame setup.

The deck has only 10 cards that would “fizzle” the “Kaleidoscope” Illya combo, and if you can account for all of them, you can close the gap from a percentage probability to a sure-hit. Illya, Normal Scenery fortunately, is there to not only dig you out of a tight spot with a techy Heal ability, but being able to setup the top 3 cards of the deck is huge, especially when those cards are usually not going to be the cards you trigger during your attacks! In any other deck, the effect may be good for determining say if a Bounce trigger is coming up. In this one though, it’s to see what will go into the waiting room as a result of however many instances of “Kaleidoscope” Illya you have to resolve. That said, the endgame sequence should usually look like this:

“Kaleidoscope” Illya -> “Kaleidoscope” Miyu -> Illya, Normal Scenery

This maximizes the number of cards you draw, the number of cards you see, and the likelihood that you will resolve the combo.

What does the deck not do well? Is it missing anything?

One of the deck’s main struggles has always been keeping up with other decks strictly in terms of raw power at level 1. The ability to turn Illyas into level reversers can work as a partial solution, but it’s a stock-neutral solution in a deck that wants to have at least 6 stock at level 3. If the deck isn’t able to have at the very least 6 stock at level 3, its endgame looks very bad. Yes, now it can actually clear opposing level 3s by turning “Kaleidoscope” Illyas into level reversers, but that is again another stock-neutral solution for a deck that wants to net more stock every turn.

The second set also added a good deal of depth to the series which makes [Gem] decks, for example, a potential alternative. There are also a couple of other CX combos and cards that are not used in this deck that can potentially add to its power especially at level 2. You could consider cutting a level 2 or 3 character to bolster the probability of resolving the combo.

Also, if the deck lacks a certain amount of power, it can also add to its level 0 a number of copies of Bathing Together, Illya & Miyu, which gives all [Magic] characters you control +500 power.


Nothing like a hot, steamy bath, right?

How does the deck stack up? Is it conservative or greedy? What’s its overall power level? Is it easy or difficult to use? What would you say about its viability in the JP/EN metagames at large?

Greed: 6

This deck is quite greedy, in that it still wants to resolve the old combo. It is definitely more two-color than it used to be, so Miyu, Perfect Supergirl? may not be used as much as before. It can also be stock-intensive in its early turns, and can be punished because its biggest effects rely either on a certain card being sent to the waiting room or, a character being reversed. It also has (essentially) no level 2, so a series with a particularly good focus on going big at level 2 (e.g. Nisekoi, Rewrite, Love Live!) can give the deck issues.

Difficulty: 9+

Easily one of the most difficult series that the game has to offer. Ironically, its Burn has gotten a bit more attractive with the restriction of a card from a certain other series…


You remember me, right?

Mistakes can be punished as early as the game begins because a botched mulligan can mean the difference between hitting the combo and not. It may sound crazy, but it’s true! The series does not have as much wiggle room as other series have or may have once had.

Power Range: 4 – 7

Ultimately, the endgame shenanigans the deck runs is at best a Burn combo. Even though the Burn is unconditional once resolved (it even gets through Little Busters! and Kantai Collection’s respective anti-damage counters), getting there is so difficult that it takes away from the deck’s overall power. Worse, if the deck doesn’t “get there”, its plan of attack is decidedly subpar.

EN/JP Meta Viability: 

This series has been regarded largely as a gimmick in the JP metagame for some time. People have stayed away from it for various reasons- it’s not as ‘overpowered’ or stupidly ‘unfair’ as other series. Its endgame gimmicks are difficult to pull off to boot, and much more demanding in terms of the decisions most players take for granted (such as mulligans, attacks, and so on). However, it could be worth a look with this second set and with the newest PRs that the set has gotten.

Test a lot, and good luck!

If you have questions or comments, please send us a message via Facebook or an email at theninthcx AT gmail DOT com.  Be sure to sign up for our monthly giveaway where we are giving away at least TWO boxes every month!

Thanks for reading!

Fate/kaleid liner プリズマ☆イリヤ Deck Tech


Image Credit

Two deck techs in a single article? Yes! If you want to see the original list from December 2013, scroll to the bottom or search (Ctrl+F) for the text [Fate2013]

Welcome again to the 9th CX’s Weiss Schwarz Deck Techs! A more detailed walkthrough for Fate/kaleid Liner プリズマ☆イリヤ has been requested, and so without further ado, here is a new deck list and deck tech!

This deck list is brought to you by The 9th CX. The names have been adjusted to match translations from Heart of the Cards.

Now onto the breakdown!

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 17

4 Illya, Practicing Magic (PI/SE18-19)
4 “Promise” Illya (PI/SE18-23)
3 Miyu, Sudden Transfer Student (PI/SE18-24)
2 Rin, Kaleid Ruby (PI/SE18-03)
4 Miyu, Kaleid Magical Girl (PI/SE18-21)

Level 1 – 15

3 Illya, Kaleid Magical Girl (PI/SE18-10)
4 Miyu, Perfect Supergirl? (PI/SE18-11)
4 Illya, Guided Fate (PI/SE18-28)
4 “Believing” Miyu (PI/SE18-27)

Level 2 – 4

2 Illya, Dreaming Girl (PI/SE18-13)
2 Miyu the Realist (PI/SE18-16)

Level 3 – 6

3 “Kaleidoscope” Illya (PI/SE18-17)
3 “Kaleidoscope” Miyu (PI/SE18-18)

Climax Cards – 8

4 Class Card Lancer (PI/SE18-35)
4 Class Card Saber (PI/SE18-36)

At level 0 we have 17 characters.

pi_se18_023 pi_se18_024 pi_se18_021 pi_se18_019 pi_se18_003











“Promise” Illya is a 4000 power character as long as you have 6 or more cards in hand. 2500 otherwise.


Illya, Practicing Magic, is a Bond with Miyu, Perfect Supergirl? You can also pay 1 and rest it to give a Miyu +1500 power for the turn.


Miyu, Kaleid Magical Girl has a Brainstorm effect that has you pay 1 and rest two characters to draw a card for each CX revealed. It also gives your center character +500 power.


Miyu, Sudden Transfer Student is a 3500 power character with hand encore if alone on the center stage. Otherwise, 2500 power.


Rin, Kaleid Ruby gives your center character +500 power. You can pay 2 and rest it to salvage a character.

The level 0 for Illya is very versatile and powerful. “Promise” Illya is an excellent first turn play when going first because it will almost always (or at least should) be a 4000 power character. The characters generally do not have a great amount of rushing potential, and are best played one or two at a time at most, unless your hand size can keep up with it. Most sets will either have to attack around the characters or use reversers to go even on board. Four copies of Illya, Practicing Magic, ensures a smooth transition into level 1.

At level 1, we have 15 characters.

pi_se18_010 pi_se18_028 pi_se18_011 pi-se18-027











Illya, Kaleid Magical Girl is a 5000 power character that gains +1000 power with Experience 2. (i.e. if your level zone has a combined level total of 2 or more)


Miyu, Perfect Supergirl? is a 5000 power character that has a CX combo with ‘anything’ – if you have a blue CX in your CX zone when it attacks, you draw and discard a card.


Illya, Guided Fate is yet another 5000 power character. It has a specific ability that allows you to discard a [Magic] character (in this deck, any) to reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card’s level is 0 (CX cards count as level 0), it can attack something in the back row.


“Believing” Miyu is a 4500 power character that gets +1500 power as long as you have 6 or more cards in hand. If you have Class Card Lancer in your CX zone when it attacks, you can put the top card of your deck into clock to draw a card and give it +1000 power for the turn.

The level 1 for Illya is a pretty scary time. During the entirety of its level 1 (and 2), it has every incentive to use its 1k1 effects to deal the most efficient damage possible (2/2/2), all while reaping the benefits of its minor CX combos and interactions. Illya, Kaleid Magical Girl can sometimes function as a 1/0 6000 power character, and go over the standard 1/0 5500 vanilla. Miyu, Perfect Supergirl? filters through the deck quickly with its effect, and allows you to access even more cards per turn to sculpt future plays. Illya, Guided Fate, early on, is a utility card at best to deal with troublesome support characters (e.g. Angel Beats!). It is generally better to hold off on using it or even playing it until level 2 or later, when the CX ultimate would be used. “Believing” Miyu is where the deck stands to gain some decent card advantage. With its CX combo, it can potentially have 8000 power (4500 base, +1500 ≥ 6 cards in hand, +1000 1k1, +1000 ‘Accelerate) for no stock! At level 1, it can be a tall order to get characters even to 7500 power for 0 stock. (Incidentally, the greatest power the deck can get a “Believing” Miyu to at level 1 is 10000 – it just means that every other slot on the stage needs to have either a Rin, Kaleid Ruby or a Miyu, Kaleid Magical Girl on it, and that is provided Illya, Practicing Magic hasn’t had its ability used on it)

The deck mostly lives for its 2 soul attacks at level 1 and level 2. But what happens if the deck finds its level 2 characters?

At level 2, we have 4 characters.


Illya, Dreaming Girl, gives +1000 power to characters in front. It also gives the center character +500 power with Experience 3. At the start of your draw phase, you can pay 1 and Change into “Kaleidoscope” Illya.


Miyu the Realist has clock encore and can Change into “Kaleidoscope” Miyu at the start of your draw phase at no cost.

The plan at level 2 is primarily to stay the course with level 1 characters. If one of the level 2 characters so happens to be drawn, it can enable an early level 3 play. Playing both of the characters at level 2 can be very tricky. Sometimes, it makes sense to use the Miyu to clear an opposing character. But at 2/2, 8000 power is not a very high power to have. Typically, a 2/2 with no abilities will have 9000 power. Arguably, from a design perspective, the loss of power comes in increments of 500 from its two abilities. If ahead by a level, that is, the opponent is level 3 and you are level 2, play the characters with Change in the back row. (Illya should be used in the back row regardless) This is because at level 3, it is much more common to see effects that prevent encore from happening, such as putting a reversed character into stock, on the top or bottom of the deck, or worse, into clock. If used improperly, Miyu can also disrupt otherwise favorable attacks by going over the optimal number of 2 soul, into a coin flip 3 soul or rarely-favorable 4 soul.

But let’s say the end game arrives and you can Change or just outright play level 3 characters.

At level 3, we have 6 characters (and 2 walls of text).

pi_se18_018 pi_se18_017







When “Kaleidoscope” Miyu is put onto the stage from your hand or by Change effect, you look at the top X cards of your deck where X is the number of [Magic] characters you control. You choose up to one, put it into your hand, and the rest into your waiting room. If you have fewer cards in your library than you have [Magic] characters as this ability is resolving, you do not refresh the deck. Instead, you look at as much of the deck as you can, and finish resolving the effect as normal. This means that if you have five [Magic] characters but only one card in your deck, you only get to see that one card! If that wasn’t enough, if you play the CX Class Card Saber and this card is on the center stage, you draw a card. It gets +1500 power for the turn and the ability “When this character’s battle opponent becomes reversed, you may put that card on the bottom of its owner’s deck.”


When “Kaleidoscope” Illya is put onto the stage from your hand or by Change effect, you draw up to two cards and discard one. Note that even if you draw zero cards, you still need to discard a card. When you play the CX Class Card Saber, if a “Kaleidoscope” Miyu is on the stage, you put the top card of your deck into the waiting room. If that card is level 1 or lower (again, CXs are counted as level 0), you may discard a Class Card Saber. If you do, each of your characters gains the ability “When this character attacks, deal 1 damage to your opponent.” until end of turn. This damage can be cancelled normally.

At level 3, the deck’s ability to filter through massive chunks of cards and draw a lot of cards on top of it skyrockets. The CX ultimate (the one that, as advertised, can make your opponent rest in pieces) is a rather elaborate setup, but the rest of the deck is numbered in such a way to maximize its chances of triggering and resolving successfully. In this list, there are only 10 cards in the deck that will make the ability fail from its first check, but because it requires that another Miyu be in play, that number is effectively 8. Note that if you are particularly lucky, you can give your characters multiple instances of the damage ability, but you would need to discard another Class Card Saber for each successful Illya trigger.

pi_se18_035 pi_se18_036

The CX effects are both 1k1 effects, with the Pants and Book triggers, respectively.

How do we play this deck?

Very carefully. The deck is one of the closest things WS has to having a “combo” deck. (For Magic players, the deck is very similar to the old Time Spiral block + Lorwyn standard Spinerock Knoll Pyromancer’s Swath deck)

The level 0 game varies depending on who goes first. If you go first, play out a 4000 power character, and see what the opponent does. Use as much time as possible setting up for level 1, by clocking every turn and keeping the hand as close to 6 cards as possible. If going second, play characters to trade with the opponent, and draw out the level as much as possible, unless you have sufficient level 0 and level 1 characters to carry through subsequent turns. The ideal situation is to have your opponent with no level 0 characters in hand, while he or she is at 0/5, with you being at 0/6.

At level 1, there are a lot of options. You can sweep up your opponent’s lingering level 0 characters with oversized level 1 characters while drawing cards. You can also use the Bond and any CX to filter through your deck and sculpt future turns and plays. If you trigger a Pants trigger, get that CX back and use it the next turn! One of the biggest “secrets” to this deck is not the elaborate CX ultimate waiting at the end of the tunnel of level 2 or 3 but rather the ability to refresh at level 1 with all 8 CXs and cancel a lot of damage. If you have the choice between setting up a refresh with 8 against refreshing with 6 and having the CX ultimate, take the refresh with 8. The odds will be in your favor.

At level 2, it’s more of the same as level 1. Attack for 2 soul as much as possible, and take out key cards whenever possible. This is also an opportunity for the Guided Fate, Illya to shine, because its ability will be more relevant, and it’s very likely to have drawn more than 1 copy by this point in the game. It can take out troublesome Change effects from the opponent before they go off if they trigger at the start of the draw phase, as well as other effects. Its impact at level 2 is much more likely to be higher than at level 1.

At level 3, the story is again the same, cruise control with the same character base from level 1.


This is a trap that many players may fall into when piloting Illya. The ability to use the CX ultimate is nice, when it happens, but should not be approached as the only endgame option. There are a couple of reasons for this. First is, if the opponent knows that you are holding multiple CXs in hand, they are much more likely to attempt higher risk (3+ soul) attacks, and, they are much more likely to hit as a result. Second, the CX interaction (half combo) with “Kaleidoscope” Miyu is fine on its own, to deal with annoying characters.

In fact, the threat of using the CX ultimate is best played when behind rather than when attempting to close a game.


The CX ultimate has a moderate expected value for damage when up against an opponent with 6 or more CXs remaining in the deck. Because the CXs are 1k1 effects, it means that the Illya will be attacking for 1+3(+ trigger) damage. The 1 damage is very likely to hit, and the 3 damage, though still favorable, is much less likely to hit. Whatever the chances may be at a given point, the total potential damage is still incredibly high, and if left with no other choice, the deck can force a win even if behind by an entire level. It may be a tall order, but it is quite far from impossible.

What does this deck not do well? How do we beat it?

A common observation for this deck is that it does not sustain itself very well. Very very few characters have an Encore ability that is easy to pay, and its Salvage costs are steep.

The deck also has no stable level 2 plan. At level 2, the most it can do is improve its character power by around 1000-2000, depending on the number of Illya supports drawn. This can be seen in two ways. From the user’s perspective, the level 2 is merely a “tech” – something to play and enjoy the benefits of should it be drawn in a match. From the opponent’s perspective, the level 2 is smooth sailing, and occasionally there might be a Miyu that can just be hit with a steamroller larger character.

Getting to level 2 early with a deck that has a plan to play very large characters at level 2 (in the range of 9000-13000 power) can actually be a boon, because the deck’s maximum power hovers around a very easy-to-shove 10000-11000. No bonus effects last until the following turn, which makes removing characters relatively easy.

Ultimately, keeping Illya off of as many characters as possible in the mid-late game a great way to keep it from closing a game. Making the CX ultimate a forced move is much better than having the threat of it still out there while the opponent continues to play smaller characters to attack for 1 or 2. Because the ultimate is not quite a win-more (it doesn’t make sense to use it on an opponent with no characters, for example), there is a bit of variance on when it is best played.  Forcing it narrows the variance and allows you, the player playing against it, to assert more control over the pace of the game. Though, this shouldn’t be taken as a statement of “Do this and it will never beat you”, because these are only the optimal conditions that one should expect to see most of the time. If you have the misfortune of refreshing with 5 or fewer, RIP.

The original deck tech for this set is still included below for reference.

Questions? Comments? Have an idea for another article? Send us an email at theninthcx AT gmail DOT com! Thanks for reading!

Deck tech 1 [Fate2013]

Fate/kaleid liner プリズマ☆イリヤ is the latest WS extra booster as of December 2013, and it is quite a set. With Fate/kaleid liner プリズマ☆イリヤ, we get the mysterious new Gate trigger (or as it’s jokingly known as, the ‘pants’ trigger), which allows you to recover a CX from the waiting room. You can see the article on the Gate trigger here.

This deck tech credit goes to ‘Hisoka’ for their deck idea. (The deck is unofficially named the 神様 Build)This list is my own, though. The names of the cards have been adjusted to match those that can be found on the Heart of the Cards website.

So what’s in プリズマ☆イリヤ?

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 19

4 Illya, Normal Girl (PI/SE18-09)

4 Illya, Practicing Magic (PI/SE18-19)

3 “Promise” Illya (PI/SE18-23)

3 Miyu, Sudden Transfer Student (PI/SE18-24)

2 Rin, Kaleid Ruby (PI/SE18-03)

3 Miyu, Kaleid Magical Girl (PI/SE18-21)

Level 1 – 11

3 Illya, Kaleid Magical Girl (PI/SE18-10)

4 Miyu, Perfect Supergirl? (PI/SE18-11)

4 Illya, Guided Fate (PI/SE18-28)

Level 2 – 6

3 Illya, Dreaming Girl (PI/SE18-13)

3 Miyu the Realist (PI/SE18-16)

Level 3 – 6

3 “Kaleidoscope” Illya (PI/SE18-17)

3 “Kaleidoscope” Miyu (PI/SE18-18)

Climax Cards – 8

4 Birth! Magical Girl! (PI/SE18-33)

4 Class Card Saber (PI/SE18-36)

What does this deck do then?

Let’s break it down by level like usual.

pi_se18_003 pi_se18_024 pi_se18_023 pi_se18_009 pi_se18_019 pi_se18_021

Level 0

The Level 0 is pretty massive in this deck, with a whole 19 cards being dedicated to it. Having a lot of Level 0 characters in this deck however, is vital to performing its “ultimate” CX combo.

The Level 0 characters in this set are also quite noteworthy. In the back row we have 3 characters: Illya, Practicing Magic, Rin, Kaleid Ruby, and Miyu, Kaleid Magical Girl. The Miyu gives a boost to your front row center and gives you the option to pay 1 stock, rest 2 characters, and brainstorm. Rin has the same buff effect for your front row center, and lets you pay 2 (and rest) to put a character from the waiting room back to the hand. The Illya, Practicing Magic, is a bond for the Miyu, Perfect Supergirl? at level 1. (Currently not in the translation, but it also allows you to pay 1 stock, rest it, and give a Miyu character you have +1500 for the turn.)

On the front line we have a couple of characters that do very well if going first. Miyu, Sudden Transfer Student becomes a 3500 with hand encore if she’s alone in the front row, and the “Promise” Illya becomes a 4000 if you have 6 or more cards in hand. If you have the luxury of going second though, the Illya, Normal Girl is ready to start burning through your deck with the CX combo. When you attack, if you have Born! Magical Girl! in your CX area, you put the top two cards of your deck into the waiting room. If both cards have the “Magic” characteristic, you draw a card.

pi_se18_010 pi_se18_011 pi_se18_028

Level 1

But that’s not all! This deck has even more cards that allow you to cycle through the deck in its entirety very quickly. At Level 1 there are no cards that cost any stock. The Illya, Kaleid Magical Girl becomes a 1/0 6000 if you have experience 2 (a total of 2 or higher level present in your level), and can usually attack over anything of comparable cost. Illya, Guided Fate allows you to discard a [Magic] character and reveal the top card of the deck. This card serves a double duty in setting up the deck’s ultimate, and occasionally sniping the key back row character. Miyu, Perfect Supergirl? is a CX combo with ham sandwich – when you attack, if you have a blue CX in the CX area, you draw and discard a card. It is possible to refresh the deck during Level 1, because of the Level 0 CX combo and the Supergirl Miyu.

Level 0 and 1 are effectively the same for this deck. No plays should cost any stock (except for encore and the occasional brainstorm).

pi_se18_016 pi_se18_013

Level 2

This is where the fun begins. The Miyu protects herself with a clock encore, and the Illya is a +1000 front support, with an extra +500 for the center character if you have experience 3. Her change however, costs 1 stock. If there is a risk of the Miyu not surviving a turn due to a CX combo effect from the opponent, it’s best to leave her and Illya in the back row for a turn, and continue to attack with Level 0 and Level 1 characters to push for damage. Level 2 takes only one turn before going to either the real or effective-

pi_se18_018 pi_se18_017

Level 3

Remember… this?

With the Kaleidoscope Miyu and Illya, you too can have your opponent rest in pieces with this intricate CX ultimate. (It’s probably best described as an ultimate, because there are many conditions to meet). Never mind the crazy draw power that both give when they arrive from change or hand (Miyu lets you look at the top X cards where X is the number of Magic characters you control, put up to one into your hand and the rest in the waiting room, the Illya draws two and discards one), if you have two Class Card Saber CXs in your hand, the ultimate can go off!

If you have both on the stage, when you play the Class Card Saber, you can apply Illya or Miyu’s effect first. Miyu draws a card, gets +1500, and the effect when she reverses a character in battle, may put the reversed character on the bottom of the opponent’s deck. Illya puts the top card of your deck into the waiting room (a mandatory ability). If the card put there is level 1 or lower, you can discard another Class Card Saber. If you do, all of your characters get the effect “When this character attacks, deal 1 damage to your opponent. This damage can be canceled.” The previously mentioned Illya, Guided Fate, can help you peek at the top of your deck to see which effect you should apply first if you are going for the ultimate.

With this ultimate effect, it is possible to end a game through up to four or even five cancels from the opponent.

pi_se18_036 pi_se18_033

The CX setup is a 4/4 set of both CXs that have combos (or in this case, an ultimate) with cards in the deck. The CXs have such impact that it does not make sense to deviate from running the full set of both.

One player has commented that the printing of this effect could be to combat the ‘heal’ effects in decks that are in many sets. Some heal effects happen as early as level 2, and this CX ultimate can also happen at level 2.

Questions? Comments? Did you do well with this deck? Send an email to theninthcx AT gmail DOT com!