2 weekends ago now, I made my third trip out to Nipponbashi, once again in the hopes of finding some cards, and maybe even getting some games in. It was arguably a less successful trip than previous ones, but that was mainly my fault.
To start off the day I was looking for sleeve protectors to go with my Wooser deck. There was no way I was going to play with that deck without them. When I arrived at Nipponbashi I quickly realised that I didn’t actually know what size Weiβ Schwarz sleeves were, which made finding the correct over-sleeves difficult, given the vast number of sleeve protectors or otherwise clear sleeves on sale.
Fortunately though, regular sleeves have their dimensions written on the packets, meaning that I simply had to find a normal pack, and then locate over-sleeves which were bigger. In the end I decided to pick up a set of soft and hard over-sleeves, so I’d get a choice, and could save the other one for another deck.
After this it was back to searching for cards again. I’d realised that I’d forgotten about a couple of cards during my previous visits, such as another copy of [Tabitha looking back] or some copies of [Accelerator, strongest Esper]. The former because the Tabitha deck needs all the help it can get, and the latter to act as replacements for [Kyon & Koizumi], so I wouldn’t need to swap them around all the time.
I eventually found these two cards in one of the catalogues in a shop. Unfortunately at the time I couldn’t remember how to fill in the card request form at the shop, so had to pass on them for that day.
I’d also made the decision that even though it was relatively expensive I would go and buy the [Literature Club Yuki] I’d seen the other day. At slightly over ¥1000, it’s only about £6, which is really nothing compared to games like Yu-Gi-Oh!, but still feels like a lot for a card, especially one which only maintains its value due to being a Yuki PR. Other series like Sword Art Online have an effect clone in their TD for example.
Unfortunately their Weiβ Schwarz PR display wasn’t out that day (maybe they change the displays on different days?), so I was unable to get the card. The other searches were also unsuccessful, since I still refuse to buy the holo version of the Saten card (even though it’s about the same price as the Nagato one).
Later on in the day I also started to look for [Overlord’s Vassal Etna] and [Overlord Zenon Defeated!!] for namimo’s Prinny deck, but unfortunately, due to being from the original Disgaea booster (which is ancient for Weiβ Schwarz) nowhere had any in Stock. It also doesn’t help that the Climax is a much desired Door trigger.
During my searches for cards I couldn’t help but notice some of the more ridiculous prices you get for Weiβ Schwarz PRs, which you would never see in a game like Yu-Gi-Oh!, where value is much more dictated by playability than anything else.
To illustrate this I’ll use a couple of Kanade PRs. First up is [“First” Glasses Kanade], a Level 0 vanilla. I can’t recall exactly how much this was, but I felt it was too much for a vanilla card (although looking around on the net reveals that it’s really not expensive at all). This card offers no real advantages for either Angel Beats! or Glasses decks, because both decks already have access to other Level 0 vanillas, or just flat out better cards. This card is desired because it’s Kanade wearing glasses, and nothing more.
Next is [Favourite Mapo Tofu Kanade], which is another vanilla, but this time a 1/0. I saw this on sale for ¥2400, which is about £14! It’s hard to draw an exact comparison to other games like Yu-Gi-Oh! because Weiβ Schwarz has both 1/0 and 1/1 vanillas (both of which are actually good cards in this game), but this wouldn’t be too far off something like Summoned Skull.
I am honestly confused as to how a card like this has value, unless it’s from some incredibly rare set. It only has uses in a pure Kanade deck, and even then you’d be paying through the nose for a vanilla. It’s much more expensive than the Encore giver Kanade, which every Angel Beats! deck needs to function, and it’s only marginally less expensive than the Otanashi PR, which is another key card in the deck. The card doesn’t even have any Otaku-bait features like the previous one with her glasses.
After completing my searches for cards, which left me empty handed, I decided to try getting in a few games. However, I had a hard time mustering up the courage to ask for games. In most cases people were playing in pairs, and I felt bad about leaving one of them with nothing to do. (Most of these pairs did seem to spend the entirety of the day sitting in the same place and playing.) At one point I found what seemed to be a large group of players in one place, but soon realised they were in the middle of a tournament, so quickly left.
Eventually I did manage to get in a few games against someone who owned an actual Haruhi centred Haruhi deck, rather than the usual Alien one that people, like myself play.
I decided to lead off with my Evangelion deck, because it’s the deck I have the most faith in (that isn’t a rage inducing deck like the Usual Haruhi one). My opponent was running a deck based around Fate, and things just didn’t go my way.
The game started off fairly well, with the Reverser Asuka dealing with any problem cards, and me generally keeping the Stage under control. However, I was also drawing or going through Climaxes fairly quickly, which would hold true for most of the game.
What I could do for the rest of the game was fairly unremarkable, since I struggled to put together a proper Level 1 Stage, and things didn’t really improve much by Level 2. All I could really do of any note was take out his Back Stage with [Finishing Blow Asuka]. I took too much damage due to drawing / triggering too many Climaxes, and was never able to establish and keep a solid Stage as the game went on.
I was in a bad state by the end of the game, so I’m not surprised I lost.
Next up I switched out to my Alien / Nagato deck, which prompted my opponent to use their Haruhi deck.
They opened up with [Koizumi in Apron] and [Flower Bouquet Haruhi], meaning I’d need to deal with a 4000 Power card, but thankfully I had [Kyon & Koizumi] to help me out. During the Level 0 game, I seem to remember [Kyon & Koizumi] trading off with a few other cards, whilst my Nagato cards got some direct hits in. During this time I drew one copy of the 3 Aliens and used it to get a second copy.
I don’t think too much of note happened during Level 1, with basically just my vanillas fighting his cards. I do recall getting hit by Haruhi’s effect when I was going to use my Counter though.
Once I reached Level 2 it was time to start bringing out [Summer Festival Nagato], who quickly helped me establish my Stage. Like the weekend before, I either didn’t have the cards for the combo right away, or held off on it until I could get the most use out of it.
From there on out, the game was mostly the same as it always is, with trying to keep the Nagato cards alive. The Ryoko counter came in quite handy during the game, the first time disrupting the Climax combo for [Normal Kyon], since my opponent had played 3 of them. The second time it just helped stave off some damage (I can’t recall at this point whether it got rid of [Someday in the Rain] before [Trouble Girl Haruhi] attacked, or if it was just a Climax used for damage boost.)
At one point when I only needed 1 heal I played [Wedding Dress Nagato], which meant she got smashed twice by the Level 3 Kyon & Haruhi, which did hurt quite a bit.
By the end of the game I was sitting on either 3/5 or 3/6, but my opponent’s Stage had been devastated so I was able to deal the winning blows.
For my final game of the day, I switched over to my Glasses deck, which faced off against a Clannad deck.
The game started off well enough, with Nemo actually sticking around until my opponent got to Level 1. It wasn’t really the best start for either of us, but at least I’d kept a Stage at Level 0. I think I drew into all 4 of my [Battle Mode] cards early on in the game, and was forced to give up 2 of them.
I don’t really recall what happened at Level 1, but I might have been a bit short on playable Level 1s.
At Level 2 the deck started setting up Chihiro and Lit Club Yuki, whilst protecting everyone with Battle Mode. The deck pretty much functioned as it’s meant to from here on out, building up Stock, and keeping the Stage alive.
I think whatever my opponent threw at me, I could pretty much take them out. Unfortunately in the end I took too much damage and lost, still without a chance to play Miyuki.
So in the end, what I can take away from my games so far in Japan is that nothing beats pure Waifu Power.