Persona 5 Deck Tech – 2x R/Y

Welcome to another 9th CX deck tech! For today, we are exploring a couple of takes on the latest Persona set, featuring R/Y builds! Special thanks to Travis for putting the article(s) together, and also thanks to T. Pruett and J. Matney for contributing their lists.

Translations can be found on Heart of the Cards. In the event of inaccurate or missing translations, in-house translations will be used.

Now let’s get to the lists!

T. Pruett’s Build
Deck Name: Mono Red

Level 0 – 16

3 Soul of Betrayer, Protagonist (P5/S45-003)
4 Skilled (?) Actress of the Phantom Thieves, Ann – PANTHER (P5/S45-053)
3 Guide of the Phantom Thieves, Morgana – MONA (P5/S45-054)
3 Deal Made, Ann (P5/S45-60)
3 Phantom Thieves of Hearts, Ann (P5/S45-103)

Level 1 – 13

4 “All-Out Attack” Morgana – MONA (P5/S45-056)
4 Ann & Carmen – PANTHER (P5/S45-055)
3 Ann in Swimsuits (P5/S45-067)
2 Deal Made, Morgana – MONA (P5/S45-061)

Level 2 – 6

2 For the Sake of Allies, Morgana – MONA (P5/S45-069)
1 Genius Hacker of the Phantom Thieves, Futaba – NAVI (P5/S45-086)
3 Ann Takamaki (P5/S45-057)

Level 3 – 7

4 “All-Out Attack” Ann – PANTHER (P5/S45-051)
3 Morgana & Zoro – MONA (P5/S45-052)

CX – 8

4 omg!! We are SO awesome (P5/S45-072)

J.Matney’s Build
Deck Name: Protagonist

Level 0 – 16

4 Protagonist in Swimsuits (P5/S45-015)
3 Lablanc’s Freeloader, Protagonist (P5/S45-009)
3 Soul of Betrayer, Protagonist (P5/S45-003)
2 The Fate Supposed to Come, Protagonist-JOKER (P5/S45-P02)
2 Phantom Thieves of Hearts, Ann (P5/S45-103)
2 Guide of the Phantom Thieves, Morgana-MONA (P5/S45-054)

Level 1 – 15

4 Phantom Thief in Black Outfit, Protagonist-JOKER (P5/S45-016)
4 Hidden in Shadows, Protagonist-JOKER (P5/S45-017)
4 “All Out Attack” Morgana-MONA (P5/S45-056)
3 Deal Made, Morgana-MONA (P5/S45-061)

Level 2 – 7

4 “All Out Attack” Protagonist-JOKER (P5/S45-006)
3 Fated “Imprisonment” , Protagonist (P5/S45-012)

Level 3 – 4

4 Protagonist & Arsene – JOKER (P5/S45-001)

CX – 8

4 THE SHOW’S OVER (P5/S45-023)

Card Intros!

We have done the card intros for the whole card pool this time, so we’ll be doing them in the order of their appearance in the set. – Michael

Protagonist & Arsene – JOKER heals on play and gets +500 power for every other [Phantom Thief] you control. At the beginning of your encore step, if each slot on your opponent’s front row is reversed or empty, you may pay 3 stock and discard a card to perform the following action for each [Phantom Thief] in your front row: “Reveal the top card card of your deck and deal X damage to your opponent where X is the card’s level. Put the revealed card to the bottom of your deck” Shuffle your deck afterwards.

Once per turn, Soul of Betrayer, Protagonist can give a character 500 power until end of turn when you use a [S] ability. He also has a Pay 1 rest 2 search brainstorm for [Phantom Thief].

“All Out Attack” Protagonist-JOKER gets -1 level in hand if you have 4 or more [Phantom Thief] characters on the board. If you have THE SHOWS OVER in your CX zone, if he reverses his battle opponent, you may draw 1 card, the search your deck for a Level 1 or lower character.

On play, Leblanc’s Freeloader, Protagonist mills the top 2 cards of your deck and gains +1000 power per [Phantom Thief] milled this way. Also on play, you can put 2 characters from your waiting room into your deck and shuffle to give him +1 soul for the turn.

Fated “Imprisonment” , Protagonist gives all your other Protagonist & Arsene – JOKER 500 power and the following ability during your turn only: “When the battle opponent of this becomes reversed, scry 1*”.  Also during your turn, characters in front of this get +1000 power times their level.

Protagonist in Swimsuits is a standard searcher for [Phantom Thief].

Phantom Thief in Black Outfit, Protagonist-JOKER gets +3000 when facing Green or Red characters if this has a marker. On play from hand or waiting room you may choose a Hidden in Shadows, Protagonist-JOKER from waiting room and place it under this as a marker. He also can change into Hidden in Shadows, Protagonist-JOKER at the beginning of your CX phase (Send to waiting room).

Hidden in Shadows, Protagonist-JOKER gets +3000 when facing Yellow or Blue characters if this has a marker. On play from hand or waiting room you may choose aPhantom Thief in Black Outfit, Protagonist-JOKER from waiting room and place it under this as a marker. He also can change into Phantom Thief in Black Outfit, Protagonist-JOKER at the beginning of your CX phase(Send to waiting room).

When “All-Out Attack” Ann – PANTHER is placed to the stage, draw a card and this gets +2000 power for the turn. When this reverses its opponent and  omg!! We are SO awesome is in the CX zone, stock a [Phantom Thief] from waiting room and burn 1.

Morgana & Zoro – MONA gets -1 level in hand if you have 2 or fewer CXs in waiting room and heals on play. On attack, this gets +2000 power if you control 2 or more other [Phantom Thief] characters.

Skilled (?) Actress of the Phantom Thieves, Ann – PANTHER is a level 0 reverser. On play, you mill the top 2 cards of your deck, and if there is a CX, give a character +1500 for the turn.

Guide of the Phantom Thieves, Morgana – MONA is a free runner.

Ann & Carmen – PANTHER is a level 1 reverser. When this reverses its battle opponent, you may swap it with a standing character to salvage a character then discard a card.

“All-Out Attack” Morgana – MONA gets +1500 power when you place a CX. When this attacks with MISSION ACCOMPLISHED in the CX zone, reveal the top card of your deck and put it into your hand. If it was not a [Phantom Thief] character, discard a card.

Ann Takamaki is a level assist for 500 times level. On play, you may discard a card to salvage a [Phantom Thief].

When Deal Made, Ann is placed to the stage, you may discard a CX to salvage a [Phantom Thief].

Deal Made, Morgana – MONA is a costless 2000 power backup.

Ann in Swimsuits gets +2000 power on attack if you have 2 or more other [Phantom Thief] characters.

On play, For the Sake of Allies, Morgana – MONA gets +1000 power times the number of [Phantom Thief] characters you have. On attack with Only Place I Belong, you may salvage 3 characters, then discard 3 cards.

Genius Hacker of the Phantom Thieves, Futaba – NAVI is a 1 stock +2500 power backup, with an optional Pay 2 freefresh ability when you use the Backup.

When Phantom Thieves of Hearts, Ann attacks, reveal the top card of your deck. If it is a [Phantom Thief], add it to your hand, then discard a card.

When you play The Fate Supposed to Come, Protagonist-JOKER scry 1*. When he becomes reversed, you may Pay 1 and send him to clock to look at the top 2 cards of your deck and add one to hand, then send the rest to waiting room.


CX spread between the decks is:

1k1 + Bounce / Door / Door


omg!! We are SO awesome




T (9thCX): How do you play these decks? What are your goals for each level?

T.P.: The way this deck plays is to always have a way to find characters. If they are in the deck then you brainstorm then search them out or you use All-out attack Morgana to add them to your hand. If it’s in your waiting room, you have a lot of various tech cards that can help you add them to your hand before combat. This deck’s goal at almost every level, like many other decks, is to build clean stock, keep a full hand and to keep a board presence. Once this deck hits 2 and 3, the  goal changes to playing your level 3 game and stalling until you can play Ann, then burn and free stock for the game.

J.M.: At 0 I want to see 1 of the brainstormers, a Leblanc’s Freeloader for the mill and soul rush, and an Ann or Fate Protag for hand filter/hand plus. Once I hit 1, I want to have 1 of the 2 hand plus CX combos in hand and 1 or 2 of the color punish protagonists and start getting 2 of the level 3 Jokers and 1-2 of the level 2 back row protagonist to finish out the game.

Then, once I hit 3, I wanna play 2 (3 if possible) level 3 jokers and 2 of the level 2 back row protagonist and hope that I have 3 stock left over then play 1 of the Leblanc’s Freeloader to help get out the level 0 cards out of the deck and get level 1 or higher back into the deck for the Joker effect. The Joker back row is there to help get rid of level 0s and maybe dig for the wind trigger so my freeloader doesn’t get reversed or help setup a double burn at the end of the game.


T(9thCX): What are other cards or combinations have you tried/wanted to try with this set?

T.P.: There are 5-6 cards I’ve wanted to test they are:
Protagonist in Swimsuits (P5/S45-015)
Advanced Notice (P5/S45-070)
Mementos (P5/S45-071)
Futaba in Swimsuits (P5/S45-084)
Phantom Thieves of Hearts, Protagonist – JOKER (P5/S45-101)
The Fate Supposed to Come, Protagonist – JOKER (P5/S45-P02)

J.M.: I have tried playing blue yellow with the anti-damage backrow and it plays OK, but it isn’t as strong as I’d like it to be. I’ve also tried running the “meta” build, but I don’t like the level 3 Ann because it must reverse, and if my opponent knows my deck then they aren’t going to leave a field for me to do the Ann, so I try to avoid it. As for green, I never saw anything in it except the level 0 on play give 1k and 1 level and on play ditch 1 add 1 card from your clock to your hand then clock 1, and I’ve also tried the level 0 freeplay for the level 3 Joker. I’m still experimenting with the lv0 freeplay so I can have the stock to do the effect, but the problem I have with it is that it wastes hand space.


Sample Hands!

J.M. 1

J.M.:Keep both level 0s and the CX and discard the rest. They are essentially buffs for the level 1 protagonist so I wouldn’t be worried about that, and the backup I can search later on. For the level 0s, I’d play both to build stock in the beginning and make my opponent reverse them so I can clock them and go to 1 more quickly.


J.M. 2

J.M.: Keep the level 0 and drop the level 3 and 1 level 2. I keep the climax and 1 level 2 to see which CX combo I can get into hand first. I’ll play the level 0 to mill 2 and them return the level 2 and 3 only if the others milled weren’t the Morgana level 1 combo; otherwise I’d return the level 2 and Morgana.

J.Matney 3

J.M.: Keep everything except the level 3. Play the LeBlanc freeloader for the mill and return 2 for that extra soul, then next turn play the searcher Protagonist search out the 2/1 early play. The brainstormer will stay in hand in till I need to brainstorm or need help for meeting the early play condition for the 2/1.


T.P. 1

T.P.: I would discard the level 2 Anne, level 3 Anne, and the climax Omg!! We are so awesome to find least 2 more level 0s and the level 1 All-out attack Morgana.


T.P. 2

T.P.: I would keep this hand as it is, but I would start by clocking the level 3 Anne.


T.Pruett 3:

T.P.: I would keep the level 0 protagonist, level 0 Anne, and the level 1 Anne. I would be discarding the counters to find more characters to start out and the counter doesn’t help with the early game.

We had so much to do with this article that it became a two-parter! We’ll be back with another look at a different color combination!

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!

Is The Order a Triple Deck Tech?? (3x R/B GochiUsa)

Welcome to another shot of 9th CX Triple Deck Tech action! We have a set of three GochiUsa lists, which are all variations of the new R/B build using the new EB cards. These lists, though tested, are still works in-progress, and are tuned to the player’s style.

Translations can be found on Heart of the Cards. In case of missing/inaccurate translations, in-house translations will be used.

Let’s get to the lists!

Arin’s Build:

Deck Name: Mocha

Level 0 (18):

2 “Rabbit Ear Parka” Cocoa (GU/W44-032)
2 “Dignified” Rize (GU/W44-034)
2 Rize in the Wood-Framed Town (GU/W44-035)
4 “Present Exchange” Cocoa (GU/WE26-017)
4 Rize, Being Herself (GU/WE26-20)
4 Chino, Being Playful (GU/WE26-035)

Level 1 (11):

2 Cocoa, Very Drunk (GU/W44-037)
1 Cocoa, Going Together (GU/WE26-021)
4 “Present Exchange” Chino (GU/WE26-034)
4 Chino, Serious Match on the Board (GU/WE26-041)

Level 2 (5):

1 “Suspicious” Rize (GU/W44-047)
1 Chino in a Maid Outfit (GU/W44-085)
2 Cocoa, Get Well Visit (GU/WE26-023)
1 Rize, Club Helper! (GU/WE26-030)

Level 3 (8):

4 Chino & Cocoa, Good to Have Met (GU/WE26-018)
4 “Present Exchange” Rize (GU/WE26-019)

CX (8):

4 Pillow Fight (GU/WE26-032)
4 Talking in Sleep (GU/WE26-048)

Travis’ Build:

Deck Name: Two Shots of Espresso

Level 0 (18):

3 “Rabbit Ear Parka” Cocoa (GU/W44-032)
4 “Dignified” Rize (GU/W44-034)
4 “Present Exchange” Cocoa (GU/WE26-017)
3 Rize, Being Herself (GU/WE26-20)
4 Chino, Being Playful (GU/WE26-035)

Level 1 (11):

2 Cocoa, Going Together (GU/WE26-021)
4 “Present Exchange” Chino (GU/WE26-034)
4 Chino, Serious Match on the Board (GU/WE26-041)
1 “Greeting” Rize (GU/W44-P05)

Level 2 (5):

1 “Suspicious” Rize (GU/W44-047)
1 Chino in a Maid Outfit (GU/W44-085)
2 Cocoa, Get Well Visit (GU/WE26-023)
1 Rize, Club Helper (GU/WE26-030)

Level 3 (8):

1 “Rabbit Ear Parka” Rize (GU/W44-033)
4 Chino & Cocoa, Good to Have Met (GU/WE26-018)
3 “Present Exchange” Rize (GU/WE26-019)

CX (8):

4 Pillow Fight (GU/WE26-032)
4 Talking in Sleep (GU/WE26-048)

Michael’s Build

Deck Name: Cold Brew

Level 0 (18):

4 “Dignified” Rize (GU/W44-034)
4 “Present Exchange” Cocoa (GU/WE26-017)
4 Rize, Being Herself (GU/WE26-20)
4 Chino, Being Playful (GU/WE26-035)
2 “A Little Cool” Chino (GU/W44-T13)

Level 1 (12):

4 Cocoa, Very Drunk (GU/W44-037)
2 Cocoa, Going Together (GU/WE26-021)
4 “Present Exchange” Chino (GU/WE26-034)
2 Chino, Some Day (GU/WE26-042)

Level 2 (4):

1 Chino in a Maid Outfit (GU/W44-085)
2 Cocoa, Get Well Visit (GU/WE26-023)
1 Rize, Club Helper! (GU/WE26-030)

Level 3 (8):

4 Chino & Cocoa, Good to Have Met (GU/WE26-018)
4 “Present Exchange” Rize (GU/WE26-019)

CX (8):

4 Pillow Fight (GU/WE26-032)
4 Talking in Sleep (GU/WE26-048)

At Level 0, we have these cards varying among our setups:

When “Rabbit Ear Parka” Cocoa is played to the stage, put the top two cards of your deck into the waiting room. If there is at least one CX among them, this card gains +3000 for the turn.


“Dignified” Rize is a global 500 to all other [Rabbit House] characters. She can also snipe: pay 1 to send one of your opponent’s Level 0 or lower characters on center stage to the waiting room.

When Rize in the Wood-Framed Town is placed to the stage, choose a [Rabbit House] character you control to give +1500 power until end of turn.


When “Present Exchange” Cocoa is played, you may pay 1 and put the top card of your deck into clock to salvage a [Rabbit House] character. Also, on attack, you can give a character you control +500 power until end of turn.


When Rize, Being Herself is placed to the stage, you may reveal up to the top 3 cards of your deck. If 1 or more is revealed in this fashion, choose up to one [Rabbit House] character from among them, add it to your hand, send the rest of the revealed cards to waiting room, then discard a card. (If you have the misfortune of revealing 3 CXs, or you don’t choose a character to add to your hand, you still need to discard.)


Chino, Being Playful is a “Pay 1 Rest this” brainstorm that searches for [Rabbit House] characters. At the beginning of your opponent’s attack phase, you may choose another [Rabbit House] character you control and give it +500 power until end of turn.


At Level 1, we have these cards varying among our setups:

Cocoa, Very Drunk is a Level 1 reverser. When she is placed to the stage, you may discard a CX to salvage a [Rabbit House] or [Bread] character.

Cocoa, Going Together is a 1000 power backup. When you use her backup, you may pay 1 and sacrifice a character to choose one of your opponent’s characters that a higher level than your opponent’s level, and send it to the waiting room. Then, they select a level 0 from their waiting room to replace that character.


“Present Exchange” Chino gets +1000 power if all your characters are [Rabbit House]. When this card reverses its battle opponent, if “Sleep Talking” is in your climax slot, you may tutor for up to 1 [Rabbit House] character.


Chino, Serious Match on the Board gets +500 per other [Rabbit House] character. When she reverses her battle opponent, she also is considered to have the name “Chino, Big Sister” until end of turn.


When “Greeting” Rize attacks, she gets +2000 power if you control 2 or more other [Rabbit House] characters. She also has clock encore.


At Level 2, we have these cards varying among our setups.

“Suspicious” Rize is an early play reverser. (When reversed, if the character that she battled was a level higher than your opponent, you may reverse that character.)


Chino in a Maid Outfit is a 2500 power backup. You can also pay 2 when you use her backup to freefresh.


When Cocoa, Get Well Visit is placed to the stage from hand, give one of your [Rabbit House] characters +1000 power until end of turn. She is also a +2000 assist to Level 3 or higher characters in front of her.


Rize, Club Helper is a 1 stock, 2500 power backup. When you use her back up, you can pay 2 to burn 1.


At Level 3, we have these cards varying among our setups:

When “Rabbit Ear Parka” Rize is placed to the stage from hand, reveal the top card of your deck. If it is a [Rabbit House] character, burn 1. On attack, you may pay 6 to burn 5.


On play Chino & Cocoa, Good to Have Met is a draw 2 ditch 1. They also get +500 per [Rabbit House] character, and when they attack with Pillow Fight in the CX area, you may Pay 2 Discard 2 to deal two instances of burn 1, then this card gains +6000 power until the end of turn. (Damage may cancel)


“Present Exchange” Rize gets -1 level in hand if you have Cocoa, Get Well Visit and Chino, Being Playful on the stage. On play, heal 1. She also gets +2000 power on attack if you have 2 or more other [Rabbit House] characters.


The CXs within the three builds are:

Pillow Fight, Talking in Sleep

(1k1 + door, 1k1 + gate/pants)

How do we play these decks?

M: These decks have some pretty minor differences, but the plans are more or less the same by level.

At level 0, the deck wants to attack for profit as much as possible, without rushing the opponent. Given the Brainstorming early on is actually okay in the deck, because the level 0 Cocoa salvages. A slower level 0 allows the deck to hit level 1 first, where Shim- er, Chino can use her CX combo to search for vital characters.

Going even or profiting on attacks at level 0 will likely be a difficult task. The only characters that the deck(s) can reliably reverse at level 0 will be 2000 power or lower. Not removing level 0 characters is usually risky.

At level 1, the deck(s) have a wealth of options. All of the lists use the Chinokaze search combo, so opportunities to use it should be jumped on whenever possible. The deck(s) also have the unique ability to deny on-reverse effects and punish early plays with the level 1 backup Cocoa. This particular counter scales very well into later levels, as it can be used to remove early level 3 characters, or deny clock kicks (and other related effects).

By level 2, the decks want to have accumulated enough stock to afford a big Rize. If the decks go into level 2 with less than 6 stock Rize becomes more painful to play. This is where there are going to be some differences in opinion. Some players will opt to heal as much as possible, at the expense of potentially missing out on future burns in the final CX combo. Others will be more aggressive (or greedy) and keep that 8-10 (clean) stock for use at level 3 for the grand finale. If the deck is able to continue to build stock at level 2 while canceling, hooray! If not, better hope for at least 1 iteration of the CocoChino CX combo.

One thing will remain fairly consistent: if short on cards, keep clocking. The final CX combo requires a big 2 cards in hand on top of its 2 stock cost, and using it multiple times will require a decent hand size. The CocoChino replaces itself, which is helpful, but it isn’t everything, so keep up with those cards!

Level 3 is a kind of unique slice of burn finish combo. The deck needs a critical mass of stock and cards in hand for the dream play of 3 CocoChinos (10 stock minimum, 6 cards in hand), but this usually means that the deck has been winning for some time and the level 3 is either to send a message or close out an important game. (Why not both?)

Realistically, getting two iterations of the combo hits hard enough to end many decks. Burn 1 + Burn 1 + 3(+) soul, followed by another Burn 1 + Burn 1 + 3(+) soul means that an opponent will need 6 cancels to survive at 3/6; a nearly impossible feat. With two iterations, it means roughly 13 damage overall being dealt, which can be lethal as far back as mid or early level 2. Like many similar finishing combos, it gets better as the opponent gets closer to level 4. A key difference to note here is that the burn is proactive and not a punish, meaning that the overall potential damage is higher, when compared to a combo like that of TLR’s Yami or Puyo Puyo’s Arle.

T: Honestly, just one instance of CocoChino is deadly. If one of those small points of damage cancels, you get a % bonus to stick the next damage depending on how many CXs are left in your opponent’s deck. 3 instances of the combo is just overkill, especially if you don’t manage to finish off your opponent. Keeping at least 3 stock for a freefresh Chino is almost a priority at that moment. Or if push comes to shove, just enough stock to use as many of the sac counters as you can to prevent clock kick effects in the end game. Ideally, 5-7 stock going into level 3 is sufficient enough for the deck’s end game to light, and still have some left over afterwards to give some defensive options.

M: Of course, if all else fails, you can use the Rize backup to really make your opponent regret clocking to 3/6.

So there we have it – a small guide for our set of lists! There is certainly room still for any of these lists to be changed. However, Arin has stated that the list is really a list for him to play to suit his style, and the same can be said for the other two. We invite you to look at these lists as a starting point. Are they missing some cards? Swap them in! Are they not Syaro and Chiya? Well of course they’re not, but we’ll do those lists later! And yes, we do have BEST SHOT lists on the way.

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

Please check out our partner store, Card Academy!

Thanks for reading!

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

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

Let’s get to the deck!

Level 0 – 15

2 Miria Akagi (IMC/W41-E002)

2 Rika Jougasaki (IMC/W41-E003)

2 Kanako Mimura (IMC/W41-E041)

2 Uzuki Shimamura (IMC/W41-E042)

2 Riina Tada (IMC/W41-E077)

1 Haruna Kamijo (IMC/W41-E100)

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

1 Rin Shibuya (IMC/W41-E078)

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

1 Mio Honda (IMC/W41-E001)

Level 1 – 12

4 Minami Nitta (IMC/W41-E079)

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

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

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

1 Mizuki Kawashima (IMC/W41-E088)

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

Level 2 – 6

1 Our Lyrics, Miku (IMC/W41-E051)

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

1 Mayu Sakuma (IMC/W41-E058)

1 Nao Kamiya (IMC/W41-E097)

2 Mismatched Pair (IMC/W41-E108)

Level 3 – 9

3 Miku Maekawa (IMC/W41-E044)

2 Anzu Futaba (IMC/W41-E043)

1 Chieri Ogata (IMC/W41-E045)

1 Anastasia (IMC/W41-E081)

1 Kaede Takagaki (IMC/W41-E089)

1 Hanako (IMC/W41-TE55)

CX – 8

4 Everyone’s Leader (IMC/W41-E112)

4 OwOver!! (IMC/W41-E073)


M: Why did you choose [email protected]?

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

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

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

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

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

Level 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

Level 1

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

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

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

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

Level 2

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

Level 3

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

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

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

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

Round 1 vs LL mono Kotori (W)

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

Round 2 vs ?? (W) 

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

Round 3 vs AoT (W)

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

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

Round 4 vs Kancolle (W)

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

Round 5 vs Madoka Magica (W)

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

Round 6 vs Sword Art Online (W)

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

Round 7 vs Sword Art Online yet again (W)

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


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

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

What would you consider your luckiest moment in the event?

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

Luckiest start?

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

Worst start?

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

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

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

Sample Hand 1:

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

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

Sample Hand 2:

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

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

Sample Hand 3:

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

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

Congratulations again to Jaime on the finish!

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

Please check out our partner store, Card Academy!

Thanks for reading!

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


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

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

Now let’s get to the list!

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

Level 0 – 17

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

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

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

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

3 Noeri, Cooking (DS/W46-033)

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

3 Ame in Swimsuits (DS/W46-051)

Level 1 – 9 (12)

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

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

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

Level 2 – 7

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

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

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

2 Horrible at Horror (DS/W46-117)

Level 3 – 9

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

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

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

CX – 8

4 Wind’s Mischief (DS/W46-014)

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

At level 0, we have 17 characters.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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

At level 3, we have 9 characters.


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


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


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


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


Onto the interview!

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did you arrive at this build?

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

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

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

What did you play against during the event?

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

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

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

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

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

Top 16 – Single Elimination

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

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

Semifinals: Osomatsu (2nd)

Finals: Osomatsu (2nd)

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

Two stories:

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

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

What was the best start you had in a game?

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

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

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

Next, it’s time for some sample hands!

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

General Deck Rules

If experience is NOT in the opening 5:

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

If experience is in the opening 5:

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


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

Sample Hands!

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

Sample Hand 1:


Drop 3 5.

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

Sample Hand 2:


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

Sample Hand 3:


Drop 1 4 5.

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

Sample Hand 4:


Drop 5.

Nice hand, Hat can search 2/1 Himari.

Sample Hand 5:


Drop 3 4.

Try to draw experience.

Sample Hand 6:


Drop 3 4 5.

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

Sample Hand 7:


Drop 1 3.

OK hand; would look for a better opening play.

Sample Hand 8:


Drop 1 2 3.

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

Sample Hand 9:


Drop 2 3 4 5.

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

Bonus Section: Questions from Reddit

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are some of the bad matchups for the deck?

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

And that’s the D.C., fine(Sorry)

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

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

Please check out our partner store, Card Academy!

Thanks for reading!

Madoka Magica Deck Tech – 4th at NA WGP Nationals


Welcome to a 9th CX deck tech and tournament report! For today’s article we have a never-before-seen take on Madoka Magica that went all the way to 4th place at the 2016 NA WGP Nationals! Special thanks and congratulations to Rachael H. on her finish and for the interview.

Because the event was in JP, card names may be seen here in either their HotC or official Bushiroad EN translation. No cards were modified during translation, so if in doubt, use the card number.

Now let’s get to the list!

Deck Name: I’m Not Alone Anymore

Level 0 (17):

3 Homura, Watching Over (MM/W17-024)

1 Kyuuby, Supporting Role (MM/W17-067)

3 Kyoko, Farewell on the Subway (MM/W17-072)

2 Mami & Nagisa (MM/W35-003)

4 Mami, Lively Evening (MM/W35-009)

3 Madoka of the New World (MM/W35-030)

1 “Magical Girls’ Tea Party” Kyoko (MM/W35-064)

Level 1 (13):

4 Mami, Confronting Homura (MM/W35-001)

3 Mami, the Way She Wished Things Are (MM/W35-005)

3 Homura, Determination to Become a Witch (MM/W35-039)

3  Kyoko, Suspicion Towards the World (MM/W35-061)

Level 2 (5):

2 Homura, Time-Travelling Backwards (MM/W17-035)

1 Kyoko, Repelling Nightmare (MM/W35-065)

2 A Magical Girl Appears (MM/W17-078)

Level 3 (7):

3 Homura, Hope And Resignation (MM/W17-P07)

2 “Happy Now” Mami (MM/W35-007)

2 Kyoko, Relying on Intuition (MM/W35-062)

CXs (8):

4 Unavoidable Collision (MM/W35-023)

4 New Daily Life (MM/W35-079)

We’re going to jump right into the interview this time because we have a lot to talk about!

M: There’s a small elephant in the room- you elected to play Madoka for the event. If our reports are correct, you also used nearly the same list to qualify. Why Madoka?

R: A small, adorable elephant to be sure. Puella Shoujo Madoka Magica is, hands down, my all-time favorite series. It’s second only behind Gurren Lagaan. It’s a beautifully animated series. I also love its messages of friendship, hope, and triumph over the impossible. I sincerely believe it’s the best anime of all time.

As a Weiss series, most everyone seemed amazed that Da Capo won, but didn’t bat an eye at Madoka. That tells me that the people still believe the set works, although they’ll probably assume I’m running B/G/r in some combination.

…Which leads into my deck. The shell of the deck is Mami waifu. I got my spot in Nationals last year with mono-yellow Madoka, and top 12 at Chicago Springfest with a few refinements.

But between those events, I played R/Y Nanoha at Nationals 2015, and Love Live! Nico waifu at a Chicago 1K. I failed miserably at both. The former because I was inexperienced at deck building and testing. The latter because I was enamored with a brand new deck that hadn’t really been practiced or refined yet.

Both of those events hammered in the importance of sticking to Mami’s guns and playing with a set I’m comfortable with and love. That’s now more important to me than playing a set simply because of it’s perceived strength. I had a friend trying to convince me to pick up a “meta deck” in order to take my game to the next level. I even started having doubts again. I’m glad I held firm.

M: And that brings us to our next questions about the build. What were your thoughts as you sculpted this list? There is certainly a lot of damage that the deck can put out, and not in the ways that people typically think; no major CX finisher combo, but a lot of + soul.

R: That’s a long story because this deck is literally the embodiment of my past year.

As I said before, the shell was originally mono-yellow (with the 3/2 Nagisa combo). Mami was the primary motivation for me wanting to build that deck since she’s my favorite of the five girls. I’m fortunate that Melanie (of 9th CX) helped me build that deck and was willing to lend me the JP cards I needed to play at the regional I qualified in.

After my Nationals disaster, I started focusing on preparing Springfest. I changed the deck to be Mono-Mami and played it for 3 months straight. Play testing had been going horribly and I was much more excited for Vanguard than I was for Weiss. But when I started playing, things clicked. I found myself at the wrong end of a +2 soul trigger for exact damage in the last round. I missed out on Top 8, but final rankings had me in top 12.

That deck was more focused on the 3/5 event “New Encounter”. I ran the 2/1 Senior and Junior combo for the shot trigger with the goal of re-creating Yami’s (from TLR 2nd Darkness) strong finishing power. I even called it “You Can’t Spell Yami Without Mami”. Living the dream with triple punish burn on one attack was glorious.

I took that exact list to a team event in Chicago, but in the JP meta, I realized that build had a horrible flaw. If I’m unable to push damage, my finishing power is non-existent. I knew I’d have to change things up, and I had some ideas on how to do it. Unfortunately, deck building is still my biggest weakness so when Columbus regional came up, I played with my deck as-is and had my theories reinforced.

Again, I had more experienced players help me out. I asked Forrest, in our sister group to help me figure out the deck. The color split was exactly what I wanted, but I needed help for the initial ratios and tech.

After I had the new Y/R/g list, I started making changes based on my theories.

Theory #1: If your set can’t match raw power then go back to the one truth of Weiss: “Characters don’t win games, damage does”.

When I got into Weiss, Melanie taught me how to play and she told me that exact quote. When I used that as the base of my thinking, the +2 soul became the focal point of the deck. If you can’t over power their characters, you need to side attack effectively. And that’s because…

Theory #2: Today’s finishers lose power if they’re forced to play from behind.

Yami, Arle, etc. They’re all amazing and efficient finishers. I was supremely jealous that Madoka didn’t have anything close them outside of the gold bar Homura combo. But my struggles with “New Encounter” convinced me that I could do the same thing to my opponents. That proved true at the regional and national level. With my opponent at 3-X, and me at 2-X I was surviving finishers long enough to play my own and close out the game. Nothing was more evident than surviving triple Yami during Top 8.

Theory #3: You can’t control Weiss.

The game is about learning to manage what you can, adapting as best as you can, and learning to let go of what you can’t.

This has less to do about the deck itself, and more about the approach I take to Weiss. I see a lot of friends get frustrated with Weiss because they don’t get cancels, combos, or whatever. They play with the expectation that they can have more complete control like you would in games like Magic or BuddyFight.

To that end, I wanted my deck to have flexibility. I only run a single combo for card advantage which encourages me to consider the situation rather than sandbagging a CX for late game.

If I see that my opponent has hit early cancels, I can smell blood in the water. When my opponent has gone through at least 4 CXs by the time I get to level one, I slam down +2 soul and swing for the fences. Either I push them straight to level two, or they’re very close and just lost the CXs they need to combo off and push damage back which keeps me behind.

The same is true with my finisher line-up. My default is one of each: the Kyoko healer, the Homura clock-kick promo, and the Mami punish burn. I do that because Kyoko’s burn ability is too costly to use more than once a turn, and I want to stack as much power on Homura as possible to guarantee the kick. Mami doesn’t cost anything, so bringing her in was a natural fit. (Credit to my friend Tom who inspired me to do that when he used that line-up for Kantai and Fate/Zero, which I thought was really cool)

However, I can change the lineup based on my opponent. If I’m playing a high compression deck with power walls, I switch to two Mami and Kyoko. I definitely want Kyoko if I find myself behind since she can get an additional burn in. Against Yami, I wanted clock kickers to keep them from encoring, and so on.

As long as I can push damage fast enough in the early-to-mid game, I can focus on letting the girls get the finishing blow as the situation demands.

M: What did you play against during the event?


Round 1: I won against Y/R Monogatari.

It’s an interesting deck, but I don’t feel like it tries to do any of the “unfair things” that other top meta decks do right now. In an even match up, I’m very confident in my play. It also helped that I had a 5 damage swing stick mid-refresh, but that’s how most of my games went that day.

Round 2: I lost against [email protected] CG: Triad Primus.

Compression decks give me the hardest match up because they can dig through their damage with alarming speed. I didn’t get enough practice against these kinds of decks, so my timing with soul rushing and side attacking was off. I have yet to beat Triad Primus.

Round 3: I won against mono-blue “Is the Order a Rabbit?”

I playtest with Travis (of 9th CX) frequently, so I’d seen this build before. My opponent burned his +1 level characters on my level 0 reversers, so when I loaded my field with the Kyoko level one reverser he was forced to attack them to try and catch up. Against me, an empty board is a free climax in my hand.

I did have a twinge of fear on the last turn. He had two cards left in deck, was at 3/5 and I had two attacks left. I attacked with Mami, assuming that if she got canceled then her punish burn would stick and refresh would end it.

I completely forgot about the freefresh backup.

Mami’s attack was canceled, her punish burn stuck, but I was still able to end it with Kyoko’s burn ability. Talk about close!

Round 4: I won against G/B Love Live.

This gentleman was a darn good player. He had one inaccuracy at the end of the game that probably saved me the game. As it was, he killed my compression with the early play Rin and would have had me without timely cancels.

I don’t see the blue deck hitting the same power levels as green or red, so on that front we were about even. The level one Kyoko helps tip that in my favor since she can bomb walls and help my CX combo Mami get above counter range.

Round 5: I won against Shiyoko.

I have never seen anyone actually play Shiyoko, so I had no idea what to expect. Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry too much because my opponent was out 5 by the time I hit level one. I soul rushed as hard as I could, and I think I was just barely at level 3 when I clinched the game.

At the end of Swiss, I was 4-1 and guaranteed top cut 16.

Top 16: I won my rematch against the Shiyoko player Alex Noel, (I believe) the 2009 Melty Blood National champion.

Our game played out almost exactly as it had before. Afterwards, we spent some time talking and he praised my “competitive spirit”. Our game was still a lot of fun to play, and I’m very happy to have the acknowledgement of a previous champion.

Top 8: I won against Y/G TLR.

My opponent was clearly very exhausted, but he still put the fear of Yami in me. Admittedly, I was at my limit too. I figured I had at least one good game left in me before I started falling apart. (I got a warning in Top 4 for continuously slapping myself to stay awake)

I was struggling to keep a full field without my clock encores or hand plussing combos. It was to the point where I was so desperate to push damage that I was pushing assists to the front row just to have enough attackers. The upside is that I kept sending his wind (bounce) triggers to the waiting room when damage was cancelled.

When he hit level three, he forced refresh and dropped three Yamis to dig for his combo but couldn’t find it. He swung, and I cancelled. My hand was a pair of clock kickers that I couldn’t play because I couldn’t get to level three. With that being the case, I clocked one Homura away, dropped three cards and crashed to keep an empty board.

He played his combo. I cancelled all of the big damage, but still went to 3/6 from the burn triggers.

I played my Homura, and then the Kyoko. At that point, I only had one card in hand which was a level 0. I could either hold it to discard for Kyoko’s burn or I could play it as an attacker. I checked everything. Climaxes, damage needed, counters, etc.

I played the 0 as an attacker and swung. If my opponent had the anti-damage, then I severely lost my chance at winning. The third attack would at least give me a shot.

Homura’s damage stuck, and so did her kick. Kyoko’s attack was cancelled. My opponent was at 3/6.

Little Madoka swung. She swung and hit a +2 soul trigger. It all stuck.

Top 4: I lost to R/G Osomatsu.

This was the game where I knew I was done. Try as I might, I would slip out of focus when it wasn’t my turn. Combine that with the fact that I have never played against Osu before and I didn’t catch on to my opponent’s compression power fast enough.

My attacks kept getting cancelled and I died before I could even get him to level three. That player would get runner-up in the finals.

Bronze Match: I lost to Osomatsu. Again.

This deck didn’t have the same compression build that my previous opponent had, and I think I played it about as well as I could have. He had some good cancels and ended it with two clock kickers.

Team Questions

T: You stated earlier in the interview that this deck was an embodiment of the entire year. What was the biggest driving force into your decision to pilot this build of Madoka this season?

Frustration with power creep, and a love for Mami. As I said before, I love her character and playing Mami Waifu for the better part of the year made me very comfortable with the core of the deck for competitive play.

However, that deck has issues dealing with the raw power that characters and modern finishers have. So I wanted to play in a way that would allow me to compete and essentially ignore what my opponent is doing.

I was also annoyed that I was essentially told that if I wanted to be “competitive”, I would have to abandon my favorite series. I had friends recommend [email protected]: CG or Kantai, neither of which I care about as franchises. Weiss, to me, is not a game where you buy a set or a deck just because it’s “meta”. That’s why I sold my playset of Attack on Titan. I wasn’t in love with the show, so I didn’t want it.

One of the things Weiss sells you on is the idea that all you have to do is buy “your set” and you’re done, no further purchases necessary. But if your set becomes “obsolete” or “power creeped out”, and what are you supposed to do?

I felt frustrated and angry for those people who wanted to play their favorite sets but couldn’t. I believe that if you can completely master something, it becomes viable through your strength and familiarity. That’s what I wanted to declare going into nationals.

Now for our new fun section – Sample Hands!

Hand 1


It looks like a pretty bad hand, but that’s only if we don’t draw into any level 0’s. I would discard a single +2 soul CX, as well as both of the other non-CX cards. I want to keep the yellow stock soul CX because if I can fire my level one combo then I can refill my my hand and mill through potential damage. I want to keep the +2 soul so that I can maintain pressure, even if I have less characters to attack with. At worst, I can clock it to make sure I have red at level one.

Hand 2


In this scenario, I would discard the level one Kyoko, and a single level one Mami. The clock encore is vital for maintaining field presence, but we only need one. The stock soul gets kept for the level one combo, and I want to try and keep the 2/1 salvage event to help fix my hand before refresh. I’ll clock it if I don’t see a level 0 in a turn or so, but since I only run two copies of that event I’d rather hold onto it.

Hand 3


Fairly easy decision. I’ll discard the “Freefresh” Homura. If I really need her, I’ll usually be able to salvage her back. I could discard the level one Kyoko, but it’s probably better to hold her as clock fodder if I don’t draw into something else I’d rather clock. The presence of a level 0 means that I can don’t have to dig as hard for that opening attack, and I’d like to have the level 1 presence right away for soul damage.

Hand 4


Definitely one of the better hands. I would have discarded both level threes anyway, but the salvage event means I can do so and be sure I’ll get them back before refresh to set up for the late game.

Hand 5


I’ll discard a CX and the level three here. I don’t like discarding CXs because they represent bursts of damage that I need to get off if my opponent hits too many of theirs too early. Some players get concerned with showing off too much information, but I don’t particularly care. However, I’ve been punished for trying to hold onto too many without characters to swing with, so I’ll make the concession of discarding one now, and potentially clocking the other if it means getting more useable characters. Discarding the level three is an foregone conclusion for me at this point. 

Another round of congratulations to Rachael on her finish, and more thanks for the interview!

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!

To Love Ru Deck Tech – 4th at 2016 NA WGP Regionals – Columbus


We’re still working on our 2016 NA WGP Nationals reflection posts and interviews.

So while we are hard at work gathering data, we have …

Something something article introduction!

Something something TLR deck tech.

Something something 9th CX.




The pic says it all

Interviewee: B. Schwartz

Turn Yami Sideways(To Love Ru Darkness 2nd)

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 16

3 “Sitting” Mea (TL/W37-004)

3 “Pure White Wings” Yami (TL/W40-001)

3 “Sitting” Mikan (TL/W37-031)

3 “Sitting” Yui (TL/W37-034)

4 “Cute Pajama” Mikan(TL/W37-035)

Level 1 – 15

3 “Ribbon-Wrapped” Mea(TL/W37-010)

4 “Sleepy Time” Mikan (TL/W37-039)

4 “Organizing Clothes” Mikan (TL/W37-040)

2 “Memory Connecting the Future” Yami (TL/W37-011)

2 Calming Warmth (TL/W37-026)

Level 2 – 2

2 “Own Feelings” Yami (TL/W37-006)

Level 3 – 9

4 Golden Darkness (TL/W37-001)

2 Mikan Yuuki (TL/W37-032)

3 Darkness Plan (TL/W37-027)

CX – 8

4 Kind Time (TL/W37-028)

4 Taiyaki-Shaped Keyholder (TL/W37-053)

Since everyone knows what To Love Ru does in a nutshell, we’re going to skip card introductions and go straight to the interview.

T: So how does-

B: Turn Yami Sideways

T: But isn’t there some-

B: Yami. Sideways. Turn.

T: Are you sure there isn’t a-

B: Take Golden Darkness. Rotate her 90 degrees.

T: But…

B: TL/W37-001, Rested, but during attacks.


B: Yami. Horizontal.

…anyways, here are some test hands

Hand 1


B: Ditch the 2/1, ditch the 3/2, and use the 1/0 as clock fodder. “Sitting” Mikan can help us mill through the deck if we hit climaxes off of the mulligan or clock, and “Sitting” Mea can help us establish a board and look for our level 1.

M: But why fodder at all when the 1/0 could be another card? If we ditch it now, we are a “free” card deeper.

B: We can always utilize “Cute Pajamas” Mikan to retrieve the card from our clock if necessary, which is why it is a fairly safe play to clock this card here. Of course, ditching this card in opening hand is always an option, but I like to keep my options open in the case where I don’t acquire a gold bar between level 0 and 1.

Hand 2


B: Mulligan everything except for the 1/1 and hope for attackers, using the 1/1 as clock fodder if we need to dig deeper.

Hand 3


B: Dropping the 2/1 and the Darkness Plan would be the first plan of action. If I’m going second, I probably also drop the wind (bounce) trigger. Having two of these Mikans in our hand really opens up our options, especially if any of our level 0 OR level 1 components get hit into stock.

Hand 4


B: I would drop one of the bounce triggers and the 1/0 here. Dropping both wind triggers gives our opponent too much information. We can use “Sitting” Mikan to rip through our deck and hopefully refresh in a better situation climax wise, and use the brainstormer to discard the other wind trigger later on.

Hand 5


B: Discarding “Sleepy Time” Mikan and Darkness Plan would be the play here. If necessary, we can clock one of the “Organizing Clothes” Mikan and grab it right back using “Cute Pajamas” Mikan, which will allow us to go into level 1 with a really great power play.

Hand 6


B: Discarding the 1/0, 3/2, and possibly even the event here. I would probably keep the event in most situations, since it provides me with a reliable means of grabbing my level 1 game, and if I don’t need to use it, I can either clock the event, or discard it using “Cute Pajamas” Mikan later on.

Hand 7


B: Discard the counter and CX. We already have our level 1 components minus the CX, so all we really need are attackers to build stock and push damage early.

Hand 8


B: I would discard ALL of these Yami cards, leaving just “Sitting” Mikan and hope for the best. Worst case scenario, we have to use the Mikan to attack.

Hand 9


B: Drop one of the gold bars and the Darkness Plan here. Ideally we want to use the brainstormer to look mill our deck and open up our options for the late game and save the early game. If necessary, we can use the brainstormer’s first ability to discard the second gold bar and replace it with something else to save the game. The rest will be up to having good cancels and maintaining board so we don’t have to clock to retain hand size.

Hand 10


B: Discarding the 3/2, 2/1, and one wind trigger is ideal here. We don’t want to give our opponent too much information on how many climaxes we are out, so discarding the second wind trigger here can give our opponent the green light to soul rush us.

We are currently testing a new article format where we pit decks against one another and evaluate board states. This kind of article takes a long time to prepare and requires a higher level of game knowledge not usually addressed in our articles. Here is a teaser of the things to come – please let us know if you like this kind of thing! – Michael

Finally, a scenario to see what our TLR player would do against the deck to beat this season, Triad Primus.





(For this scenario, the TP player is assumed to have the stock needed to use “Power of Smile, Rin” twice, and the TLR player assumed to have enough stock to use a Darkness Plan and Sitting Mea ability. Both players are assumed to be Level 3. The Waiting Room CX count of the TLR Player is 4, with a 21 card deck left. There is also one copy of Darkness Plan in the TLR player’s waiting room. The first attack of the TP player is with the “Power of Smile, Rin” in front of Sitting Mea)

B: Best play here is to use the “Sitting, Mea” ability as long as using the ability would not kill me. This does two things for me, it rips damage off the top of my deck, and helps me dig for Darkness Plan to hopefully prevent the second restander from dealing damage. At this point, we’re at the mercy of cancelling the center’s damage.

M: Something to note is that if Mea goes to clock, that’ll be one more point of potential damage to cancel if the opponent does stand again.


(We know the picture is a little small; rest assured that in the future the pictures contained in the article will be more readable! – M)

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

Please check out our partner store, Card Academy!

Thanks for reading!

Nisekoi EN Deck Tech – 3rd at 2016 BWC PH


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

Now onto the deck list!

Level 0 – 16

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

2 Kosaki in Yukata (NK/W30-E040)

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

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

2 Swimsuit Marika (NK/W30-E078)

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

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

Level 1 – 14

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

2 Swimsuit Kosaki (NK/W30-E030)

3 Marika’s Ordeal (NK/W30-E056)

2 Head Tilt Marika (NK/W30-E059)

1 Infatuation, Marika (NK/W30-E079)

3 Promised Pendant (NK/W30-E071)

1 Promised Pendant (NK/W30-E097)

Level 2 – 5

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

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

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

Level 3 – 7

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

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

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

CX – 8

4 Your Only Juliet (NK/W30-E050)

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

T: I think I minimize my misplays during BWC.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hand 1:


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

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

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

Hand 2:


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

Hand 3:


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

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

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

Congratulation again to Tobie for the repeat performance!

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

Please check out our partner store, Card Academy!

Thanks for reading!

Rewrite Deck Tech – 3rd at 2016 NA WGP Regionals – Columbus


Welcome to a 9th CX Deck Tech! For this week, we have the deck list that took 3rd at the WGP Regionals in Columbus – Rewrite! Special thanks to Travis for conducting the interview and preparing the article.

Translations can be found on Heart of the Cards. In case of missing or inaccurate translations, in-house translations will be used. The deck list is brought to you by C. Jepson.

Onto the list!


Cards – 50

Level 0 – 19

3 “President of the Occult Research Club” Akane (RW/W15-003)

1 “Clumsy Girl” Chihaya (RW/W15-004)

3 “Unsociable Girl” Akane (RW/W15-051)

3 Akane, After A Bath (RW/W20-041)

4 “Under the Bright Moonlight” Kotarou & Kagari (RW/W15-074)

3 “Fate of the Scattered Cherry Blossom” Sakuya (RW/W15-079)

2 “Fumbling in the Dark” Kagari (RW/W15-080)

Level 1 – 10

4 Chihaya in Swimsuit (RW/W15-053)

4 “Under the Brilliant Blue Sky” Chihaya (RW/W20-047)

2 “For Whom” Shizuru (RW/W15-083)

Level 2 – 5

1 “Charismatic Witch-sama” Akane (RW/W20-004)

4 “Path to Walk Together” Chihaya (RW/W20-044)

Level 3 – 8

4 “Mischievous Kiss” Chihaya (RW/W20-002)

4 Chihaya Ohtori (RW/W15-052)

CX – 8:

4 Retaliation (RW/W15-070)

4 Someone to Protect (RW/W20-054)

At level 0, we have 19 characters.


“President of the Occult Research Club” Akane is a Riki clone. (On play pay 1 and clock the top card of your deck to tutor for a Level 1 or lower character)


“Clumsy Girl” Chihaya on play has you reveal the top card of your deck. If it is a Level 2 or higher, this card becomes rested.


“Unsociable Girl” Akane is a level 0 reverser with the bonus effect of on opponent reverse, you may pay 1 and discard a card to salvage.


Akane, After A Bath has a revenge trigger: when another character you control is reversed, give a character you control +1000 power until end of turn. It also has a spammable salvage brainstorm. (For each CX revealed, salvage 1 character, then discard a card.)


“Under the Bright Moonlight” Kotarou & Kagari on play gives a level 1 or lower character you control +500 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn. This card is also a free runner. (At the beginning of your opponent’s attack phase, you may move this to an empty front row slot)


“Fate of the Scattered Cherry Blossom” Sakuya lets you send him to waiting room to “encore” one of your characters sent from stage to waiting room. You can also rest him to give either  Kotarou or Chihaya character +1000 power and a Level.


“Fumbling in the Dark” Kagari gives one of your other characters hand encore at the beginning of your opponent’s Encore step.


Ar level 1, we have 10 characters


Chihaya in Swimsuit is a Level 1 reverser that cannot side attack.


“Under the Brilliant Blue Sky” Chihaya has an encore phase change: if rested, you may pay 1 and send it to clock to change into “Path to Walk Together, Chihaya” from your waiting room.


“For Whom” Shizuru is a 1 stock +1500 power backup. When you use the backup you may Scry 1.


At level 2, we have 5 characters.


“Charismatic Witch-sama” Akane is a 1000 power assist with a global heal tax ability. (When either player has a card move from their clock to waiting room from an effect they control, that player may put 2 stock into their waiting room. If they cannot, that player puts the top card of their deck into clock.)


“Path to Walk Together” Chihaya puts the top card of your deck into clock when played from hand and has a CX combo with Someone to Protect where on attack, you may salvage a character.


At level 3, we have 8 characters.



When “Mischievous Kiss” Chihaya attacks, you may pay 1 and discard a card to give all your characters +500 power and +1 soul. It gets cancel burn until end of turn when played from hand. 


Chihaya Ohtori heals on play. At the beginning of your climax phase, put all your stock into waiting room and this gains +3000 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn.


Our CX spread is 8 gates, both being 1k1s.


And now to the interview!

T: Rewrite huh? This is a surprising deck to see, and a deck that runs heal and its hate effect. Can you explain why you used both in the same deck?

C: The anti-heal isn’t very necessary. It’s there if I have a decent lead against my opponent and want to prevent them from healing off some damage dealt, or to preserve damage state at level 3. Otherwise, I tend to keep the Kagari that gives hand encore on opponent’s encore phase. Or if I really need to, keep a form of Sakuya loop going and saving the characters I really need on the field.

T: Since it’s been a while since we’ve seen a Rewrite deck tech, would you walk us through how the deck runs?

C: Certainly. At level 0, I want to use the Kotarou & Kagari to build as much stock as I possibly can by running to open or winning slots so I hit level 1 sooner. I also want to use the Akane Riki clone to start searching for my Blue Sky Chihaya’s so as soon as I hit Level 1, I can drop a field of them and proceed to have a wall that is near impenetrable. The Level 0 reverser and salvage brainstormer Akane are really good at accessing the cards needed for my Level 1, as well as filtering out my hand.

At level 1, I either want to control my opponent’s board state with the level reverser Chihaya, or as stated before, play 3 of the Blue Sky Chihaya and encore change into Path to Walk Together Chihaya, The change might damage you with one card, but if you happen to level up while changing, it will prevent the Path Chihaya from being anti-changed on your next turn. Along the way, I want to take advantage of any salvage trigger I hit to start grabbing either the free encore Sakuya or start looking for the Mischievous Kiss Chihaya.

Level 2 is just a rinse and repeat of the on-attack salvage combo that Path to Walk Together Chihaya has and keeping a decent hand size. Also, I want to play as few of these as possible since they damage me on play, and I would rather be at level 2 as long as possible. I also want to be using Kagari’s hand encore ability if needed to keep my field alive and preserve the board state if Sakuya is absent from the field.

Finally at level 3, I want to deal as much damage with Mischievous Kiss Chihaya as I can, and use Chihaya Ohtori as a last resort if I need to power boost to get over a character, or have a defensive wall. Around here I would play a Witch Akane to preserve as much damage as possible.

T: What are some changes that you would make to this deck?

C: I would drop the Clumsy Girl Chihaya for another copy of In the Dark Kagari, I value that Kagari way more than I value the Chihaya.

T: What would you consider a perfect starting hand?

C: The main cards I want in hand is a copy of Something to Protect, Kotarou & Kagari, Riki Akane, and In the Dark Kagari. The 5th card could be anything.

T: Okay, now we have some sample hands for you to look at.

Hand 1


C: I would ditch everything except the Clumsy Girl Chihaya. I normally would keep something to clock with on my turn, but seeing as I only have 1 Level 0 in my hand, I want to give myself more chances to put more Level 0s in my hand.

Hand 2



C: I would keep all but 1 Chihaya in Swimsuit. I would use the other as clock fodder to dig for the cards I prefer at Level 0 or 1.

Hand 3


C: I would keep this hand and use Path Chihaya as clock fodder. Since I have the spammable brainstorm, getting it back in my hand isn’t that hard to achieve. I may also ditch the Shizuru back up, but that is entirely dependent on the set I am facing.

Congratulations again to C. Jepson on the finish!

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

Please check out our partner store, Card Academy!

Thanks for reading!

Kiznaiver Deck Workshop


Welcome to a 9th CX Deck Workshop! For this week’s article, we’ve taken a different approach to building a deck. Instead of just making a list and analyzing it, we’re going from the ground up so everyone can openly see how we might sketch a rough draft, pick it apart, make improvements, and land on a list we like! We decided that we wanted to delve into the more defensive aspects of the Kiznaiver set, in contrast to the other week’s G/Y Nico all-in build. The cards from the original list will be introduced, and then the analysis will go from there. Any new cards will be introduced thereafter with the “final” deck list (in progress).

Travis has volunteered for tribute his original list for analysis, and Michael will be the one guiding the action. Translations are checked via Heart of the Cards, but in-house translations are used when needed.

Now let’s get started!

Deck Name: Bonds Never Die!

Level 0 – 17:
4 Tenga, Giving a Pep Talk (KI/S44-003)
4 Shiori & Asuka, Overwhelming Memories (KI/S44-053)
3 Sonozaki, Always Cool (KI/S44-078)
3 “Eccentric Thoughts” Tenga (KI/S44-T01)
3 “Annoyingly Self-Righteous” Chidori  (KI/S44-T11)

Level 1 – 11:
4 Tenga, Pain in His Heart (KI/S44-001)
3 SD Sonozaki (KI/S44-104)
4 Chidori, Bitter Anger (KI/S44-T14)

Level 2 – 3:
1 Nico, From Being Uncertain to Believing (KI/S44-006)
1 Tenga, Confused (KI/S44-013)
1 Sonozaki, Know-It-All (KI/S44-087)

Level 3 – 11:
3 Tenga, Straightforward Personality  (KI/S44-007)
3 Chidori, Lost Her Self-Confidence  (KI/S44-052)
2 “Sharing From Now On” Sonozaki (KI/S44-077)
3 Honoka-chan Come Out And Play (KI/S44-023)

CX – 8
4 Like Or Being Liked KI/S44-024
4 Opened Wound KI/S44-098

At level 0, we have 17 characters.


Tenga, Giving a Pep Talk is a stock reverser and has the ability to send a character you control from the stage to the waiting room to give a <<Kizuna>> character +2000 power.


Shiori & Asuka, Overwhelming Memories on play, choose a [Kizuna] and give it +1500 power and has an ability of Pay 1 send to memory to Akatsuki (Look at up to the top 4 cards of your deck, search a <<Kizuna>>, reveal it, and send the rest to waiting room)


Sonozaki, Always Cool on defense (during your opponent’s turn) is a 500 power front assist and is a Pay 1 Rest 2 Search Brainstorm.


“Eccentric Thoughts” Tenga gives all your other Chidori Bitter Anger +1000 power and has a clock bond for the same character.


“Annoyingly Self-Righteous” Chidori on play, you may discard a climax CX to salvage a character.

At level 1 we have 11 characters:


Tenga, Pain in His Heart gets +500 power for each other <<Kizuna>> character. He has a CX combo with Like or Being Liked” on opponent reverse look at the top 2 cards of your deck and search up to 2 level 1 or higher cards, reveal them, put into your hand, and discard the rest. (CXs are always level 0s)


SD Sonozaki gives characters in front of this Clock Encore and has the “Married Life” effect (When you play a CX, give a character +1000 power until end of turn).

Chidori, Bitter Anger is a vanilla!  deal with it


At level 2, we have 3 characters:


Nico, From Being Uncertain to Believing is an early play stock reverser and has a Pay 1 bond for Tenga, Straightforward Personality.


Tenga, Confused is a 1 stock, +2500 power back up with another effect to pay 2 and give one of your opponents Level 2 or higher characters -1 soul.


Sonozaki, Know-It-All is a level assist that has Married Life effect.

At level 3, we have 8 characters and 3 events:


Tenga, Straightforward Personality gets 500 power for every other <<Kizuna>> and has Bodyguard.

Chidori, Lost Her Self-Confidence on play you may discard a card to put the top card of your clock to stock. On attack you may pay 3 to burn 1.

“Sharing From Now On” Sonozaki has an on play heal ability. She has a CX combo with Opened Wound: When the CX is played, you may choose a <<Kizuna>> character in your waiting room and put it under her face down as a marker if you didn’t have a marker already. If damage is dealt to you during a battle involving this, you may send the marker under her to waiting room to burn your opponent back for the same damage dealt to you. (If you are at level 4+ already as a result of that damage though, the game ends.)

Honoka-chan Come Out And Play is a backup that gives a <<Kizuna>> +3500 power and the following ability “When this card’s Level 2 or higher battle opponent becomes reversed, you may pay 1 to heal 1”.

The CX spread is between Bounce and Gate (both 1k1s)



Initial Thoughts:

M: From the numbers alone, we appear to have a rather “standard” distribution of cards. There are roughly 16 level 0 characters, double digit level 1s, a few level 2s, and an assortment of level 3s.

The level 0 distribution is pretty solid. We have a lot of utility, some ways to match a beatdown, but no way to really kite the opponent with runners (the set has none).

At level 1, we start to see a two-pronged attack. Tenga + Chidori provides a vanilla beatdown while SD Sonozaki gives them clock encore. Tenga, Pain in His Heart is the main level 1 card advantage resource. This combo is a little narrow but it’s the only kind in the set that lets you net a card or two. For starters, you can get up to 2 cards from it if you’re lucky, but it could also whiff completely. The deck has 25 cards that it can get from the combo, and 25 that are ineligible, so the odds are not exactly terrible.

I like the idea of using the “stock heal” Chidori at level 3, and having the Sonozaki “revenge burn” ability. The name of the game here, after all, was defense. What I don’t like as much is the 3/1 event counter; I think there could be something better to do at level 3, though I certainly do not mind the synergy with the Bodyguard Tenga.

So here are my questions:

  • Why no early plays?
  • Is there an acceptable substitute for the level 3 event?
  • Can the level 0 fit more red cards to support the level 1, or will the CX salvage Chidori suffice?

T: Why no early plays? 

Not including an early play was a hard decision to make. Two colors in this build, Red and Blue, have access to either an early play healer(Blue Sonozaki) or an early play that mills the top card of your deck to shoot an equal or lower level character off your opponent’s stage(Red Kacchon) as the milled card. The early play condition for the blue healer felt like it locked you into Y/B because you would need to have an insane number of Gomorin (Sonozaki’s early play condition is to have 6 of these in Waiting Room) in your deck to make the early play useful. As for the Kacchon, his early play condition (having 2 Shiori & Asuka, Overwhelming Memories in memory) is a lot easier to meet since it a main hand filter option in the deck to find the Level 1 plus engine in this deck, or finding the vanilla beat-down as mention in the deck description.

However, the time his mill effect would matter the most would be at level 2 or higher and, in my opinion, the chance of milling a card for a missed effect is too great in this situation to actually run it. Especially since I wouldn’t be using his climax combo of “on attack salvage a [Kizuna] and he gains +1500 power until the end of your opponent’s next turn” since I already have the Tenga and Sonozaki combo as main priorities. Yes, I do run the gate trigger, but I would still have to either draw into his climax, or hope to trigger the comeback trigger and have one in waiting room.

Is there an acceptable substitute for the level 3 event? Yes, there actually is a good substitute for the Level 3 event.


Kizuna of Wounds is a counter that gives all your opponent’s characters -1 soul.

It is an extra stock to pay than the 3/1 counter, but I prefer the heal 1 counter because in the amount of stock it would take me to give my opponent’s field -2 soul, I could heal 3 times instead if I were to give the counter to the Bodyguard Tenga. I did think about running this because this would let me deal smaller amounts of damage with the return damage Sonozaki combo and possibly end the game that way, but the idea of a bodyguard on reverse healer was way to tempting to not do.

Can the level 0 fit more red cards to support the level 1, or will the CX salvage Chidori suffice? Honestly, I believe there are plenty. There is enough red in both Level 0 and 1 combined (11) cards to at least have Red in clock or level when you hit level 1, and at most there are 14 Red cards in the deck. Now the ratios could be played around with after some playtesting of course, but for an initial build I feel this is enough red to make the Level 1 available when needed.

Now my questions back are:

– Why do you find the 3/1 event unappealing?

– How would you rearrange the Level 0 to make more Red for the Level 1 beat down synergy?

– Would you run any of the early play options that are possible for this build?

M: I like what we have going so far! Let’s go to your followup questions first.

Why is the 3/1 event unappealing?

The 3/1 event is rather dependent on having the right Tenga setup, and he’s pretty vulnerable to being bounced. Though this would normally not be an issue, it really is a huge blow to the deck’s setup if it so happens to be up against more popular TLR or Puyo Puyo builds. I suppose my dislike of it comes from just not really liking the bodyguard mechanic in general, but since this is an event where really you are rewarded for it, I should feel a little more warm to it, right?

I have to consider though, that the event’s condition demands a level 2 or higher character be run into him, and at late stages of the game, it’s pretty common to run in with the little guys to chip out the last few points, especially if the big swing from the turn prior (let’s see, TLR’s Yami, XYZABC’s Musashi, Puyo’s Arle, NK’s Marika, Imas’s Rin…) fails to end the game. The Tenga needs to be on the board basically at a time where it would make sense for the opponent to go big before trying to seal the deal with 3 1-soul swings. That is, we’d really only get the most mileage out of it if we’re somewhere between 3/2 and 3/5, and even 3/5 is a little tricky because if we take 2 we’re still just dead.

I like the idea of using the Kizuna event over the 3/1, just because it’s relevant at all stages of level 3, rather than requiring a certain “sweet spot” to be maximally effective.

How would you rearrange the level 0 to include more red or to further the beatdown strategy?

A style choice could say that the deck needs 4 CX salvage Chidori at level 0. (This falls more in line with the conservative “JP-meta” deck building)

But, I would like to point out one perhaps, minor oversight:


Chidori, Crush on Someone is a little gem of card advantage that can get the deck closer to level 1, or just bring back a chain of characters later in the game. Granted, she needs a turn to setup because she demands one stock, but look at the upsides! We get some card advantage, we have another red card, and it’s the set’s best impression of a “Riki” effect. I’m going to offer this as a potential substitute for the stock reverser Tenga, because while having a reverser is nice, getting a card back in hand is going to be more nice, more of the time.

Would you run any of the early play options?

Maybe. It’s not a requirement to use any card to its fullest potential, especially if it requires a CX on its own. It usually makes sense to, but because the deck is already so preoccupied with its level 1 and 3 CX combos, it’s probably fine to make the call to sacrifice it. After all, the deck has plenty of ways to recover its hand. I don’t like making the analysis hide behind testing (e.g. “idk test it first”), but having one here could come down to a gauntlet test.  Where would an early play shine, and against what decks? Would a player be more likely to find him useful in a given situation assuming a “normal” distribution of decks, or will be more likely be dead weight? I think in testing the early play Kacchon is worth looking into just because beatsticks matter, but I don’t think I would feel terrible if he couldn’t carry his weight and needed to be cut from the list.

Now that we’ve gone back and forth, let’s wrap up with a couple questions. This will be in lieu of our usual numerical breakdown.

What do you think about the level 0 Chidori? Should she be included, and if so, how can space be made?

T: I like the concept, but I would not make it a priority level 0. Since clock encore will be the main way board presence will be kept, I’d like to not have to take damage at level 0 unless it is absolutely needed. If this was run though, I agree with dropping the Stock Reverser Tenga, but I wouldn’t drop it entirely. I would maybe run Tenga and Chidori at 2 each so the option is there if needed.

What can the deck do per level, and what would it struggle against?

T: At level 0 and 1, this deck has no issues milling though the deck with brainstorms and limited number of Akatsuki effects, and at level 1 the Tenga CX combo. At level 2 the deck wants to take a turn or two to set up level 3, where it should stall out if needed with the use of Bodyguard, stock healing, “heal” event counters, and if the bodyguard becomes reversed, damage dealt back to the opponent.

Other Ideas

Michael’s list would look very similar, but would swap out the Tenga stock reverser for the Chidori. The list would also try to use the Kizuna event at level 3, rather than the heal. These are preferences of style because the lists have not been tested yet; after testing and collecting performance data, we can call them preferences based on effectiveness.

So, how did we do? Did we miss anything? Think we have the wrong idea, or do you like where the deck went? Be sure to leave us a comment on Facebook if you have an idea for another deck, or an idea for this one!

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!

Kyoukai no Rinne Deck Tech – 2nd at 2016 NA WGP Regionals – Columbus


Welcome to the 9th CX’s deck techs! We have a tournament report coming to you from Columbus, where you can find our partner store, Card Academy!

What shameless advertisement?

Today’s deck is from the series Kyoukai no Rinne, and Travis has gone bravely to retrieve the many reports of fellow qualifiers. Special thanks to him for today’s article! The deck list and report are brought to you buy N. Wang.

Onto the list!

Rinne Time(Kyoukai no Rinne)

Cards – 50

Level 0 – 17

4 “Calm Lunch” Rinne (KR/SE30-04)

3 Sakura in Her Youth (KR/SE30-05)

3 “Work of Shinigami” Rinne (KR/SE30-09)

3 Sakura in Maid Uniform (KR/SE30-14)

2 “Cleanse Completed” Tsubasa (KR/SE30-15)

2 “Support Role” Rokumon (KR/SE30-54)


Level 1 -13

4 “Calm Lunch” Sakura (KR/SE30-01)

3 “Stream of Thousand Winds” Rinne (KR/SE30-12)

2 Tsubasa Jumonji  (KR/SE30-10)

2 “Monster of the Club Building” Rokumon (KR/SE30-37)

2 “Strong Assistance” Sakura (KR/SE30-12)


Level 2 – 5

1  Sakura in Swimsuits(KR/SE30-07)

1  “Rinne’s Grandmother” Tamako (KR/SE30-27)

3  Hoop of Judgement (KR/SE30-19)


Level 3 – 7

3  “Spiritual Vision Experience” Sakura (KR/SE30-02)

4  “Guide to Cycle of Resurrection” Rinne (KR/SE30-03)


CX – 8

4  Two’s Incredulous After School Time (KR/SE30-20a)

4  It’s Shinigami’s Work From Now!! (KR/SE30-21a)


At level 0 we have 17 characters.


“Calm Lunch” Rinne is a clock reverser. When it attacks, if you control 1 or fewer other characters, you may put the top card of your deck into your waiting room. If that card is a level 0 or lower character, you put that character into any slot of your back stage. (The slot can be occupied or empty. If your back stage is full, you can still place the character into a slot; it’ll just kick the old character off the stage.)


Sakura in Her Youth has a brainstorm ability for 1 stock + rest: for each CX revealed, tutor for up to 1 character that is green and/or [Black Cat By Contract]. When you refresh your deck, you reveal the top card of your deck. If the revealed card is a level 0 or lower character, you may put this card into your stock. (The reveal is a mandatory ability, and it only triggers when you actually refresh via the game rules, not via card ability.)


“Work of Shinigami” Rinne is a 500 assist to [Black Cat by Contract] and GREEN characters in front of him. He also has a startup: Pay 1, discard a CX to choose a card in clock, return it to your hand, clock the top card of your deck, then choose one of your characters to get +1 level for the turn.


Sakura in Maid Uniform is a standard searcher for green and [Black Cat By Contract] characters. (Pay 1, discard a card, tutor)


“Cleanse Completed” Tsubasa on play reveals the top card of your deck, if it’s a level 0 or lower character, he becomes rested.


“Support Role” Rokumon on play you may discard a CX to salvage a RED or [Shinigami] trait character.


At Level 1 we have 13 characters.


“Calm Lunch” Sakura gets +1000 power if you have 3 or more other green characters or [Black Cat By Contract]. If this card reverses its battle opponent with the CX “Two’s Incredulous After-School Time” in play, you can look at up to the top 4 cards of your deck and add a green character or a [Black Cat By Contract] to your hand, and choose 1 of your characters to get +2000 power until end of turn.


“Stream of Thousand Winds” Rinne is on play you can pay 1 stock and discard a CX to choose a CX from your waiting room and add it to hand. When another green character or [Black Cat By Contract] you control attacks, this gets +1500 power for the turn.


Tsubasa Jumonji is a level 1 clock “kicker”: when he reverses a character in battle, you may put the top card of your opponent’s clock into the waiting room, and if you do, put the reversed character into clock. Once per turn, when you use an [S] (ACT) ability, he gets +X power for the turn, where X is equal to 500 times the number of green characters you control.


“Monster of the Club Building” Rokumon is a 0-stock, 1500 power backup.


“Strong Assistance” Sakura is a global +500 power to other green characters and [Black Cat By Contract]. If she does not have a marker, you can rest her to choose a green character  or [Black Cat By Contract] from your waiting room and put it under her as a marker.  Once she has that marker, you can rest her to put the marker in stock.


At Level 2 we have 2 characters and 3 events.


Sakura in Swimsuits gives all your level 3 or higher characters in front of her +2000 power. You can rest 2 characters you control to scry 1.


“Rinne’s Grandmother” Tamako has a 1 stock +2500 power Backup ability. When you use the Backup ability, you may pay 2 stock. If you do, choose a character your opponent controls with a level higher than theirs and put it into the waiting room. (If this puts an attacking character into the waiting room, the attacking character will not deal any damage.)


Hoop of Judgment on play, you tutor for up to 1 “Guide to Cycle of Resurrection” Rinne’ and send the event to memory. While in memory, it gives your “Guide to Cycle of Resurrection” 2 abilities: when you play a CX, it gets +1500 power for the turn, and during battles involving that Rinne, you take no damage from your opponent’s Auto abilities.


At Level 3 we have 7 characters.


“Spiritual Vision Experience” Sakura gets -1 level in hand if you control 4 or more green characters or [Black Cat By Contract]. She heals on play. If you control 3 or more other green or [Black Cat By Contract] characters, she gets +1500 power and the ability: when she attacks you scry 1.


“Guide to Cycle of Resurrection” Rinne on play, you draw up to 1 card and he gets +2000 power for the turn. When he reverses a character with the CX “It’s Shinigami’s Work From Now!!” in play, reveal the top 5 cards of your opponent’s deck, choose a character with the same name as the reversed character, put it in your opponent’s clock, shuffle your opponent’s deck and you may send the reversed character to clock.


The CX split is between Bags and Bars (both are 1k1s).


T: So for our readers, you may notice that this deck is similar to a deck list we crafted recently, why were some of the changes made, like the inclusion of the red salvager and backup?

N: The salvage for Shinigami character was essentially a free salvage for the deck since running gold bars leads to triggering them to hand, or drawing into all of your climaxes. Having the climax filter option for the deck gives you characters you need while putting climaxes back into your waiting room for refresh or gives “Stream of 1000 Winds, Rinne” a salvage target for his on play ability.

As for the 1.5k back up, I feel people just underestimate the power of just having a backup. I typically don’t use it, but the threat of having one in hand seems to make my opponent play differently knowing that I may have one due to having one in my waiting room.

T: What are potential changes would you make for the deck?

N: I’ve considered the Level 1/1 promo that has Clock Encore and cannot side attack. The deck seems to fail when I can’t get anything on the board, so having a character with Clock encore can keep me some board presence, plus with a backup alone it becomes 8.5k before back rows, 9k+ with. Plus, it give some sort of stock dump to get gold bags out of my stock, and I can just regenerate the stock with Strong Assistance Sakura. Having the 1/1 promo also gives the threat of preventing on reverse effects.

T: What is the ideal starting hand for your deck?



Having 1 brainstormer is always convenient. And having two of the clock reversers allows me to hopefully at least one of the two attack ability. The level 1 Sakura is also pretty important to have in hand.


Sample Hand #1


N: So something I like to do is keep one card I call the “clock card”, a card that I just keep to clock and draw 2. However, since this hand is so bad that I don’t even have a level 0 game, I would get rid of everything. I would have a chance to get some level 0 game, while also having a chance to get the level 1 Sakura to my hand. I would still also have 4 gold bags in my deck that I can potentially get or draw into. I will likely draw into a clock card that I can clock into at the beginning of my turn.


T: So you wouldn’t hold onto the Event that searches for Level 3 Rinne?


N: Now this really depends on what deck I play against. During my To Love Ru game that I played in the tournament, I kept the event in my starting hand the entire game till level 2, because I know that is my only way of playing around the punish burns. Another example would be like Arle or Kashima in which I would definitely keep in my hand. Most of the time, this deck has enough searches to get three Guide to Salvation Rinne when I hit level 3. Most of the time though, if the opponent doesn’t have a character that burns when it battles, I don’t keep it because it’s not worth potentially losing out on the early game.


Sample Hand #2



N: Get rid of the gold bar, because most likely if I do need another gold bar, I will trigger or draw into it. Also, since none of my cards in my starting hand has one of the ditch a CX, get something ability, it’s not worth risking to keep it my hand. The Tamoko I keep only again as the clock card that I would use to keep to clock myself.

About the List:


N: 2 – 3

There’s a lot of ways to build stock so there isn’t a need to conserve stock to reach the deck’s endgame.

Power Range

N: 5 – 7

The deck doesn’t have the necessary means to meet levels on defense, but the double clock kick gives this deck a very menacing threat, especially if it does happen to hit. Or if your opponent reveals a lot of CXs on the check for the second kick, it forces them to be shuffled around in deck.


N: 5

The biggest thing on this is how greedy do you want be with your gold bars, whether it’s playing the only one that has hit your hand or holding onto multiple copies, same goes for using CX combos.

Match Report

Round 1: Win vs. To Love Ru Animals:

This match was fairly slow mostly because as players, both my opponent and I love to play slow. As for the game, starting from both our level 1 game, I started canceling fairly consistently while my opponent was having the damage stick most of the time. I never really saw any misplays from my opponent, just really unlucky with the CX placements from his deck. Once I started getting low on CXs, I use my Calm Lunch Sakura to basically just mill through most of my deck to refresh back with 8 climaxes in the deck. I think our damage ended where he was at 3/6 while I was a 2/3.


Round 2: Win vs. TP Cinderella Girls:

This game was kinda lucky for me. He never got the right set of cards this game. Never got his level 1 back row because I got him from 0/0 to 1 straight up. Then, basically the entire game, he was putting cards down and swinging with them with no hand plus and hitting nothing on his brainstorms. Basically, he died really quickly without even me having to play my finishers. Although I wish I did because in that game for two turns in a row, I had 4 of the Guide to Salvation Rinne in my hand. I really did wish I could try out this deck against the full might of TP Cinderella Girls, but oh well.


Round 3: Win vs. To Love Ru (YamiKan YG):

This is a pretty terrible matchup for To Love ru since Yami kinda gets countered by the Hoop of Judgement event if I hit level 3 first. I actually had Hoop on my first draw and kept it in my hand for about 5 to 6 turns to play it on level 2. Starting from level 0, I think I was never able to keep more than 2 level 0 cards, which led to some limitations on my opponent’s gold bar combo. Afterwards, I came back having the 3 Sakura combo straight back at him. Surprisingly afterwards though, he ran out of cards to play at level 2 which lead to him to be able to only kill 1-2 Sakura next turn. Thus, a second round of Sakura allowed me to get all 4 Guide to Salvation Rinne in my hand.

He got to level 3 first, so he played 2 Yamis and 1 of the level 3 Mikan and got me from 2/1 to 3/1. Next turn, I put down 3 of my Guide to Salvation Rinne, played the CX, and hoped for game. He canceled all three attacks, but I got pretty lucky with my double clock kick and landed 2, one of which there were only 2 cards left in the deck. So I got from his 3/0 to 3/6 with two double clock kicks and refresh damage. He tried to shove everything at me for damage, but I could feel that the game was over when the top card of my deck was a CX.


Round 4: Loss vs Puyo Puyo:

I think this is where I wished I knew what deck he was playing. He had a soul rush deck, and I could have played better. At level 1, I didn’t cancel two of his attacks which caused me to get to level 2 before I was ready. He also got 4 heals off with his level 3 early play and because of that, by the time I played all my Guide to Salvation Rinne, I was way too far behind to start catching up. I should have probably been searching for my healers more then my Rinne finisher that game because I really needed to scry out all of my climaxes to the bottom so that I could survive the soul rush in the later game. Hindsight is 20/20 though and it was a fun match anyway.

Congratulations again to N. Wang for qualifying for 2016 NA WGP Nationals!

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