Adventures in Nipponbashi: The Search for Lucky Star

8 Mar

I’ve fallen incredibly behind on this feature, and now have several weeks worth of catch up to do. Because of the relatively large time frame involved, I unfortunately cannot remember games in as much detail as I’d normally like to. This means that in general I will only be providing brief accounts of them.

We’ll start things off with the beginnings of my search for Lucky Star cards, and the final outing (for now) for my Evangelion deck.

Having not really settled on a new deck for a couple of years now, and mainly just playing my Evangelion deck, I was starting to feel a bit weary of the same thing all the time. However, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to play as an alternative deck. I knew that decks like Da Capo and Rewrite were undoubtedly good, but especially in the former case there were a huge number of cards to work through before I’d be able to settle on a build.

In addition to this, I didn’t really care for either of them as series, since I’d never played or watched them. I’d much rather be playing a series I know, because I can relate to it in some way, rather than just playing to win. The only time I’d not followed this was for Robotics;Notes, because of the Science attribute, and that deck gets used a relatively small fraction of the time at the moment. This leaves me with a relatively small choice of series, because a lot of the stuff in Weiβ Schwarz I have never watched or played, and have no real intention to do so. In addition to this, I’d rather not overlap on series with namimo, which cuts out decks like Disgaea and Angel Beats!.

This left me with:

Sorry Nanoha, you're not for me.

Nanoha, which I watched the first season of with the anime society, but don’t really care about it beyond that.

Even a god isn't enough.

Madoka, which I watched and thought was a good series, but did not get blown away like lots of other people. I’d started trying to build this in English before the move was finalised, since I like the idea of what the GRB build can pull off, but never finished it. I was a little wary of going through that again, given my interest wasn’t huge.

So expensive!

Lucky Star, which I’d watched years ago, and had enjoyed at the time. Until very recently the set had been terrible and outdated, but with the Comeback Campaign and a new tournament PR it had suddenly gained a lot of strength. Otaku builds had a good showing at the WGP finals, managing 5th place, and were on the winning team for the New Year’s Trio Survival. Beyond that the modern version is too new for most people to have really made their minds up about, and most probably haven’t even given much thought to it. One issue I knew about ahead of time was the fact that the deck runs an old tournament PR from about 2009, which was now incredibly hard to find, and also one of the most expensive non-SP/SR/RRR etc in the game, at about ¥4000.

There's only one flat girl who comes out a level early for me.

Zero no Tsukaima, of which I’d seen season 1. I already had my Tabitha deck for a bit of fun, but I didn’t feel compelled to build a proper deck, despite knowing it was good.

Sorry, you're not the deck for me either.

Project Diva. I know vocaloids are a thing, and like some of their songs, but I would really feel no loyalty to it.

I think I got to about episode 5?

Monogatari. I’ve not watched enough of it to justify playing the deck. Also the RR Hitagi is nearly as expensive as the Konata PR.

Out of all of these I was leaning more towards either Lucky Star or Madoka, knowing full well that the former would probably be much harder to build, although I felt more loyalty towards the series.

Upon arrival in Nipponbashi that day I decided to set out looking for the rest of the cards on my ‘To Get’ list, as well as scouting for Lucky Star cards. Still to this day the Red R Etna from the first Disgaea pack evades me.

Much to my surprise the Card Pal near where I come into Nipponbashi had one of the Konata PRs, but as expected its price was around ¥4000. At this point I was very wary of spending that amount of money, especially if I couldn’t gather the rest of the set. So at the time I passed on it, but made a mental note that it was there.

Later at one of the other shops (which might also be a Card Pal, I’m not sure), I spotted some Kung-Fu Master Konata, which is the brand new tournament PR, and another big obstacle to building the deck. That day they had 4 of them, so I bought them up right away, even though they were substantially more than the Yuyutei price (which has been pretty much perpetually out of stock). I’ve yet to see any other copies at any of the other shops, so that was a good decision.

Some of the cards gathered during day 1 of the search!

After this I’d decided I might as well start down the path of Lucky Star, so went back to buy the first PR, which was thankfully still in stock. After a bit more searching I managed to locate a shop which was selling full playsets of both the Otaku and Twins PR sets, so I picked up one of each. With my collection of some of the harder to obtain cards growing, I was starting to think about how to complete the deck, and how quickly I’d look to be doing this.

So long Asuka, we won't be seeing you as much any more.

To round out the day I participated in another tournament, once again fielding my Evangelion deck. After a good early start it went downhill, and I became determined to have a functioning Lucky Star deck by the following weekend.

Round 1 started off against a Sharuru Da Capo deck, which I’d gained some knowledge of thanks to the previous week. Barring an early mistake involving me not realising he could get a Level 1 out early, it mostly went my way and I won.

Round 2 was against Guilty Crown, where I controlled the Stage for most of the game, but came dangerously close to losing at the end.

Round 3 was where everything started to go wrong. I was up against Love Live, and thanks to lots of early Climaxes, I ended up massively behind on damage. Whilst this did mean I was able to devastate his Stage and resources due to my superior Power, I was too far behind to be able to win. This loss was quite annoying, given that my opponent was practically out of cards by the end.

Round 4 I was against Rewrite, after a bit of confusion about pairings. This went terribly. The deck just seemed to fall apart before the 2/2 9500 that comes out at Level 1. I really had no hope all game and ended up losing.

With a closing record of 2-2 I was really disappointed in the deck, and determined to try something new in the future. The following weekend I’d continue by search for Lucky Star.

To start off with, I’d be visiting Nipponbashi on a Saturday, rather than my usual Sunday outing for the tournament, and this time I’d just be looking for cards, with no intention of playing.

You really exist!

To start off with, I was looking for more copies of the Konata PR, alongside the PR counter if I could find it. I was quite lucky that the newly relocated Hobby Station had both, which meant I was one step closer to finishing the deck. Unfortunately they didn’t have any packs, so I’d have to look elsewhere for those.

Eventually I found that the C-Labo at the top of Animate happened to have an unopened Lucky Star box on their shelf, so I decided to buy that. After trying to ask in broken Japanese about whether that was all their stock, the very helpful shop assistant made a phone call to secure me a 2nd box. I can only assume she was either calling up one of the other three C-Labo, or their stock warehouse somewhere. I was told to wait about 10 minutes for it to arrive, so I spent my time browsing through the cards and sleeves on display.

After finally securing my two boxes of Lucky Star I decided to get into opening them right away, and working out how much more I’d need to finish the deck. The biggest issue with Lucky Star is simply the availability of some cards, so I decided boxes would be a better shot, because I’d have some chance of getting the cards I’d need, rather than no chance at all. It also meant I’d had leftovers for the Twins deck, and other cards like the Minami ones, because Chihara Minori.

Both of my Blue RRs were the 1/1 and in the end, RRs aside, I was missing 3 copies of the Patricia R, and 2 Book Triggers. Up to this point I had never found anywhere with Patricia, so things weren’t looking the best for finishing the deck.

The final outcome of the two boxes!

After visiting several more shops, and revisiting ones from earlier I was no closer to finishing the deck, because everywhere was sold out of those two cards. Eventually I returned to the Hobby Station from earlier, which happened to have a Book Trigger on display. That along with more copies of Miyuki (2 for Otaku, 2 for Twins, 2 for Standard Glasses) would get me close to completion, but still not quite there. I managed to ask the shop assistant if that was all of their Lucky Star stock, and he understood which card I was looking for when I said Patricia. Thankfully they had at least 3 copies hidden away under the front desk, so I was able to finish the deck, at least barring more copies of the Level 3 PR and maybe the PR Counter.

Extras to finish off the deck, and Kyon and Koizumi again...

With that out of the way, I decided to go pick up some supplies to go with the deck, such as sleeves, a deck box and a playmat. I was able to secure a Lucky Star playmat, but other supplies for the series were long gone. Instead I got Squid Girl sleeves, and a plain deck box, the latter because it was getting very late by that point. I also picked up two copies of the Log Horizon TD to mix into my Glasses deck, and some doujin Aussa sleeves for Yu-Gi-Oh! cards.

Card supplies.

After getting home that evening I decided to start building the deck, and discussing strategy with namimo, in preparation for the following day. I also prepared a few alternatives for the deck, but I’ve yet to get around to using those.

Since this has already been a pretty long article, I’ll be splitting it into two, so come back soon to hear about the deck in action.

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