With my Lucky Star deck now complete (Deck Profile coming soon!), it was time to actually get some practice with the deck and use it in some real games. Until that point I’d only been thinking about how it might work, and trying to form strategies, but actually playing it would be a whole other matter. It turned out I’d pretty much gotten the right idea about this in my head prior to playing any games though.
To start off with, I got some friendly games against my friend, two vs Miku and two vs Day Break Illusion – il sole penetra le illusioni / Gen’ei o Kakeru Taiyō, which for convenience I will call Gen’ei from now on.
The final score was 3-1 to me, with the only loss being in one of the games with Gen’ei. I think it was my second game with the deck, and I drew lots of Climaxes and didn’t really deal with it well. From these games I realised just how deadly the deck could be, and just how much Power it could put on the Stage when things were functioning correctly. Which thanks to Miyuki and Patricia was most of the time. A field of 8500s with Encore is quite a scary prospect during Level 1.
I’ll save most of the playstyle talk for the actual Deck Profile, but there are some parts of the deck which are quite different from other decks I’ve played. The deck encourages a focus on the Level 0 game, otherwise it cannot get set up, and then builds on things from there, whereas normally I’m more used to trying to prepare for later as soon as I draw my first hand. Secondly the deck has a lot more supports than I’m used to, and finally it’s still a bit weird playing a deck with a decent amount of Soul Triggers.
After the practice games it was time for the deck’s first tournament outing, which unfortunately had a bad start and didn’t really let me test properly.
Round 1 was against a Green Rewrite deck(piloted by the Da Capo player from last week), which I made some stupid mistakes against. For example I played a 500 attack card whilst the opponent had an effect in play which dropped all my Front Stage cards by 1000, so you can imagine how that went.
I also made a terrible mistake on the last turn of leaving a tiny card out vs the Level 3 Lucia who can hit to Clock, even though I was on 3-6 at the time. Fortunately he didn’t have the combo, but I still lost anyway. I think at some point I just fell too far behind on damage due to early climaxes, and just couldn’t pull it back, even with Stand Up! Konata double attacking.
My next two games were against beginners, so didn’t really count as proper practice.
Round 2 was against a Nanoha deck focused on Hayate, but it was mostly full of vanillas or other underpowered cards. It was really no match for the brute strength of the Lucky Star deck, and I think I’d reduced him to about 1 card by the end of the game, and had stopped clocking pretty early on. I wanted to do the Stand Up! combo, but won before she got to attack even once.
For the 3rd round I was facing a newcomer with a Miku deck, who basically just kept on throwing cards and climaxes at me. I took 9 straight damage at least in a single turn at one point, which was not nice. By pushing me ahead in damage it meant he had no chance of beating my Konata cards. I think I stopped clocking at 2/1, and actually stayed at that point for a couple of turns. Eventually his Level 3s started falling before my 2/2s, and I was pretty sure I was going to be able to win, due to his rapidly dwindling resources.
There was a very scary moment when I was on 3-2 and got hit for 5, but thankfully I cancelled that hit. I finished them off on the following turn, by which point they only had 1 card left.
An end result of 2-1 wasn’t bad, but really two of those games were unfair. The main revelation I had during the event was realising why people play the 1/1 vanilla counter over the 1/0 vanilla counter. It is simply the fact that the former is an Otaku, meaning you have a counter that can be searched by the Level 2 Konata, whilst the latter cannot. I’m still not convinced this is worth it, but it’s not a terrible deck building choice.
The following weekend, which last weekend from now, my friend had Saturday off, so we managed to get a load of practice games in. In fact we had so many that I’m not really sure how many we managed in total. I played 2 games against Gen’ei, and either 5 or 6 against Miku, managing to come out on top in every single one of them.
This included games with terrible starts where I could not set up my supports, and even one game where I did not get a single Level 3. I’d done the Level 2 Climax combo hoping to get a free search for a Level 3, but it turned out that I actually had none left in my deck at the time, so I had to fall back on the Level 2s for the rest of the game.
I had a couple of games where I was able to nearly win at Level 2. In one case winning at 3-0 on my first turn at Level 3, without even needing to play any of the 5 Level 3s in my hand. From my games it was quickly becoming clear that the Power output of the deck was substantial, and that it could generate huge piles of Stock.
The next day it was time for another tournament, and this time I was quite pleased with my performance, although I know it could have gone better.
Round 1 saw me facing off against a Symphogear deck. I can’t recall too many details about the game, barring the fact it was getting pretty close at the end, and the fact my opponent was using an illegal deck.
Early on in the game I saw something go to the Waiting Room that I was sure looked like an iM@S character. Later when he played that card I was still sure of it. I asked to read it, and confirmed it was indeed an iM@S card, and he was playing a Standard, and thus illegal deck.
I informed the guy running the tournament of this fact, and my opponent was given a loss and had to alter his deck. Feel a bit bad about winning in this way, but he couldn’t get away with using an illegal deck.
For Round 2 I was up against a Railgun deck, and thanks to some of my encounters with the Eva deck, I was a bit more ready to face this than some other decks. Throughout the Level 0-1 game I pretty much dominated the Stage, but my opponent kept on hitting gates, which allowed him to keep his number of cards up.
Once we reached into the Level 2 game, things started to sway his way a bit more, as his Level 3s started coming into play. It was during this point that I made a terrible mistake that probably in the long run cost me the game. After he wiped my stage out, for some reason I just let my 2/2 go, rather than Encoring it, even though I had a massive pile of Stock at the time. If I’d kept it around, not only would I have been able to do its Climax combo on the following turn, but I’d also have been able to kill his Level support that he’d brought to the front Stage.
Instead I was just forced to ram 3 Level 0s into his guys. Once we were into Level 3 proper, I was staring down a big field of things that were between 13 and 14k, which was a bit of a problem. I tried digging for a certain card with Stand Up! Konata, but it turned out it had actually been in my Stock at the time, so that didn’t really help. It even made things worse by going through at least 2 book triggers. In hindsight, if I’d realised this and just looked at 1 card with both copies of Stand Up! Konata, then I’d probably have cancelled all my opponent’s hits on the next turn, and had at least one final turn to strike back.
Instead I got knocked to 3-6, and had my last Front Stage card killed by Mikoto & Kuroko, which of course meant defeat for me.
After kicking myself a bit for the stupid mistakes, it was onto Round 3!
This time I was up against IdolM@ster, which was a game that generally went my way for most of the match, although my opponent did make at least one glaring mistake.
Starting off with 2 Summer Dress Konata and a Kung Fu Master was a pretty good start for me, but my opponent had the Runner, so the two cards pretty much dodged around each other for most of the Level 0 game. Once we moved into higher Levels I started to put on more pressure with higher power cards, which were able to just about beat over his.
At one point he made a big mistake by sending his Reverser Makoto into Kung Fu Master Konata, hoping to top deck it. After him and his neighbour trying to explain what was going on, and me looking confused, I let him know my card was Level 1, and he realised his effect did not work. I knew there was no way there’d be a Level 0 card that could top deck a Level 1 card like that.
Once we got into Level 2 and 3 I was mostly relying on the 2/2 Konata to push me onwards. My opponent’s resources were gradually dwindling as he was forced to move his supports into battle, and some of his Level 3s were falling to my Level 2s. This was whilst I was still managing to hang on at Level 2. I was using up quite a lot of stock keeping Konata around when his combos managed to get over her though, at least she could strike back and win on the next turn usually.
On his final turn he wasn’t even able to field 3 things that could attack, and he was finally able to get me to Level 3. I didn’t actually need to play any Level 3s though, and was able to finish him off with 2 copies of the Level 0 Miyuki and the 2/2 Konata. Since he was at 3/5 at the time, I figured there was no need to bring in the big guns, especially since their Stage was nearly gone, and they only had 3 cards left it their hand, which they’d been unable to play last turn.
The first Miyuki got cancelled, the second one let him use a heal counter, but hit for 1. By this point Konata was at 14.5k, meaning she could walk over my opponent’s last Level 3 and finish the game.
For my final round I faced off against a Sword Art Online deck, in a game that could have gone much worse.
I opened up with Kung Fu Master Konata, a draw Climax, 2 copies of Kuroi-sensei and a Level 3, dumping the latter three only to draw into 2 Book Triggers. That right there could have been a death sentence for me, because not only was I already out 3 Climaxes, but I also couldn’t get my Level 0 game up and running properly. I ended up having to use the draw Climax just so Konata could actually beat something in battle.
As you might expect I was soon in Level 1, but by that point I’d managed to get some Level 1s, so was able to field my 1/0 7500 and a 1/1 8000 (I think I had a Patricia and a Summer Dress Konata back stage, rather than 2 Summer Dress). My opponent got rather unlucky with cancels, and got stuck at 0/5 when I put my big field down, meaning he was forced to lose cards for an extra turn. When I hit him with 3 direct attacks on the next turn he took a lot of damage.
As the game went on I was generally able to keep on top of things in terms of Power, whilst wearing my opponent down. I made a couple of mistakes, like trying to pay a Climax out with Patricia close to Refresh (with no Bond target) and forgetting the Climax was actually one deeper.
By the end of the game, my opponent was practically out of cards, and had a nearly empty Stage, with I think just 1 Asuna in my way. When I put Stand Up! Konata into play, paying out 2 Climaxes, I realised that my deck only had a single Climax left in it, and there were definitely more than 10 cards left in it. This was an incredibly bad situation to be in at this point in the game.
To try and help the situation out I decided to go all out with Stand Up! Konata and look a the top 5 cards of my deck, and hope none were the Climax. Thankfully there were 5 characters, so I was able to thin my deck by 5. Ultimately it didn’t matter because I won that turn. My opponent was down to one Climax as well, which was 2 from the bottom of his deck, so he never saw it.
A final result of 3-1 wasn’t too shabby, and I think I placed 4th in the end. With the number of players we got that day, it really should have been 5 rounds Swiss, but the tournament stops as soon as there’s only 1 person on perfect score, which had happened that round. We were also 20 minutes from closing time, so it’s not like they could have done another one.
I was happy with the performance of the deck, but as a player I could have done better in Round 2. Of course, I can’t say for certain how the other 2 rounds would have gone had I won that, so I might have actually done worse overall. Something interesting during this tournament, was that whilst I was playing at the higher end (like Table 1 for round 2), I could tell some of the others were joking about it being the World Championship, due to me being English.
With 3 losses out of somewhere near 20 games, I’d say I’m happy with the deck. I still need to play against more different decks, but I’m really happy with how it plays and the style of the deck. Of those losses, I’d chalk two of them up to mistakes on my part more than anything else, so I think there’s still room to improve.