Osaka Bushiroad Card Fight Report

Saturday (yesterday) was the Osaka leg of the Bushiroad Card Fight (BCF). For those that don’t know, these are tournaments that take place around Japan outside of the WGP season, so for those in Europe and the US, this would be similar to the Neo Showdown. Unlike previous years though, they decided not to have national finals, and instead just run the regional events. Because of this fact, many people have been eschewing the Neo Standard event in favour of the Trio Survival, so that they get to play together with their friends.

Osaka is meant to be the 2nd largest event (after Tokyo), and apparently there were over 1500 visitors to the event. I entered the Neo Standard event, which had 394 players at the start. I would guess that the trios might have had more actual people taking part (what with being 3 to a team), but the number of individual teams compared to players in the Neo would have been smaller.

BCF

The venue as it was winding down. Much less busy than the start of the day!

When I first heard about the event, I’d decided that my best bet for doing well at the event would be to play Lucky Star. It’s a very straightforward deck, which is built around massive field presence. It also doesn’t particularly have to worry about all the anti cards / decks going around at the moment. Whatever your opponent does, you just play bigger guys and run them over.

The straightforwardness can also be a detriment to the deck as well, because it means that it will struggle against things that can counter its central strategy. This can either be because of Reversers at the appropriate levels, or cards even more oversized than Konata.

A little while before the event, I’d been interested in the new Log Horizon cards, and decided I’d like to try them out prior to the BCF, and see how I felt compared to Lucky Star. As you can read elsewhere, I haven’t been massively impressed so far, so I decided to stick to Lucky Star instead. I hadn’t really played it much in the two weeks prior to the event, but it’s not really a deck you can forget how to play.

I had an early start to the day, setting off from home a bit after 7:10. I just missed the first monorail, so had to spend 10 minutes waiting at the station for the 7:30. I figured I’d be okay on time anyway. On my way there, I obviously was not paying attention at all, and managed to miss my change by about 5 stops (I thought it was after Namba, when it was before). Fortunately, the station I got off at had a line which could get me to the venue from the other side.

When I finally made it to Trade Centre Mae, it was obvious that I was in the right place, because there were big crowds of guys getting off the train. I wasn’t 100% sure of the right way to go, but figured just following the guys around the area would get me there.

It turned out that the venue was exactly the same as the one for the Madoka event, so I’d probably have been fine finding it anyway. It was once again easy to tell this was the right place, due to lots of guys waiting outside. There was a long queue for something (which I assumed was the exhibition game), but there were also stewards pointing people around them for what I hoped was the actual tournament.

Once in, I collected my entry gifts and made my way down to the actual tournament hall. After a bit of searching I located the Neo Standard registration desk. Here you just collected a score sheet with a number on, then went away and waited for round 1 to start. Pairings were basically just tracked via this number, and the sheet was meant as a personal record of your wins / losses (which would later be handed in for a PR). This was quite a different experience from the Yu-Gi-Oh! events that I’ve played in or judged in too, since it seemed a bit less organised here.

Something I will note is that the atmosphere in general felt much nicer than many other TCG events I’ve been too. This could be attributed to the fact that this is how Japanese people behave compared to non-Japanese people, or it might be because the age range skews a little bit higher for Weiβ Schwarz.

Another factor could be that this was a free event, with very little on the line except pride. This meant people were less willing to resort to underhanded tactics to win games. I’ve been told this was more or less the main factor in why people behaved this time. From what I could tell, the judges that were around basically just collected results and that was it. There didn’t seem to be any big he said / she said debates, or long drawn out rules discussions. The latter is probably due to the relative simplicity of the games rules.

The only time I a judge call ever came up in my games, was when [Stand Up! Konata] went for a 2nd attack, and my opponent had to check with the judge whether she still kept the Soul bonus.

With my entry form ready, I met up with my friend Jordan, and we got to talking about the event, and how things would work in general. Most of the regulars from the C-Lab seemed to have entered into the Trios event though, so we didn’t really see much of them. After a long wait around, it was finally time for Round 1.

Stand upvsKotori

When I sat down opposite my first opponent, he had a Railgun deck box, so I expected I’d be facing off against that. I have a friend back in London I’d played against before, so I figured this might not be too bad. When he took his deck out though, they were in Rewrite sleeves, and my heart sank. I did not want to see Rewrite in Round 1 of all things.

Thankfully it wasn’t the standard build for the deck, instead using Blue and Green cards mostly. There might have been a bit of Red for the Level 1 Reverser, but I didn’t have to worry about all the Chihaya cards for once.

Since I’m not really familiar with the cards in this version of the deck, I don’t really recall too many details of the game. I started off with a fully powered [Kung Fu Master Konata], which he followed up with two of the Runners for some reason. This made it much easier for me to pick them off.

I’m drawing a blank on most of the rest of the game, but I think I just got out some huge [Battlefield Konata] who basically just beat everything up. Something I noticed throughout the tournament was that people regularly had to check that some of my Konata cards really were as big as I said they were. I suppose if you don’t regularly play the deck it’s a bit of a surprise.

By the time it came to Refresh, it felt like my deck was somewhere close to 50% Climaxes, because 7 were going back in, and the deck was relatively tiny for post-Refresh. Because of the small deck size, I quickly ran through the deck again, and was hitting quite a few of the Climaxes myself, either drawing them, triggering them, or drawing them off those triggers. I was very quickly onto my 2nd Refresh, with a worse Climax ratio this time.

My opponent’s cards really weren’t a threat all game, with his Level 3 [Kotori Kanbe] only able to heal, and being no match for even my Level 2s. I was going to finish things off with some big hitters and [Stand Up! Konata], but I ended up winning before I got to her. If I’d not won that turn, I think I’d have been heading for my 3rd Refresh.

My friend also won his Round 1 game, so we were both off to a good start. After that we had a long wait until Round 2, because they were starting up all the Title Cups. There must have been about a 45 minute break between rounds at this point before we were finally able to get started.

KonatavsChihaya

My second opponent had IdolM@ster sleeves, so I was pretty sure about what I’d be facing. This was confirmed when he accidentally dropped one of his cards whilst shuffling. Of course, I don’t know all their cards anyway, so this didn’t necessarily help. I just had to be careful of the Runner at Level 0 if he was playing it.

This game was mostly straightforward again, with Konata simply being too big to deal with for most of the game. Due to Konata’s Stage presence I was able to stop Clocking relatively early to save myself a bit of damage. I’d also been drawing most of my Level 3 cards, so I’d be completely set up for the end game.

One interesting thing to note during the game was the fact that he was using a couple of cards which allowed him to swap the most recent card of my Stock for a card from my Waiting Room, allowing him to put Climaxes in there close to Refresh. I was able to pay out the one he put there with a character, but not the one from a Counter.

I managed to finish things off with a bunch of Level 3s, once again before [Stand Up! Konata] got to use her full strength. I think I actually used [Strongest Character Miyuki] in this game, but merely as a way to discard a Book Climax just before deck Refresh.

So far so good. We were both on 2-0, and the next round started up a bit faster than last time.

Every day sure is a battlefield for you Konata.vsMami1

My third opponent was running Madoka, which I was really happy about at first, because the standard “Apples” build is an easy game for Lucky Star. It soon became apparent that he was not using this version. Instead he was using a 4 colour version with the whole of the Madoka Quintet at Level 3, although he never got to play several of them.

Level 0 was about what I expected for the deck, and didn’t really cause me much problems. However, things started to turn at Level 1. He was using the Mami Climax combo, which meant he could quite easily deal with all of my Level 1s, something Madoka normally can’t manage. This was made slightly worse by the fact I had a Patricia Back Stage, which meant all my Konatas couldn’t quite reach their full Power.

This was most problematic at Level 2, because the Level 2 Konata doesn’t have Manga, meaning that’s an extra 500 Power loss. The no Backup Mami was also a problem, because it meant I wasn’t able to beat over certain characters with my Counters. This wasn’t a problem for my opponent, because he was playing the [Grief Seed] event card to protect his characters.

Once he started dropping Level 3 cards I was quickly losing cards and lost most of my Stage as well.

On the final turn my opponent was on 3/3 with a Stage of the Level 3 Sayaka and Mami, backed up by the Level support Madoka, and the Level 0 Sayaka & Mami in their last slot. I just had my supports on the Stage and 2 cards in Hand. I’d need a 2 Soul to be able to cause enough damage, or otherwise hit triggers, but currently only had 1 Soul cards.

I clocked my Miyuki Counter, and drew into two useless cards as far as winning was concerned. I then decided I might as well thin my deck and played and used my Brainstorm. This hit the final Climax in my deck and gave me one draw. My draw was the searcher Miyuki, which meant I’d at least be able to see the rest of my deck. Unfortunately, by using her I’d only be down to 1 Stock, so could no longer play any 2 Soul cards I had left.

My last 5 cards in deck were [Strongest Character Miyuki], [Stand Up! Konata], the Kuroi-sensei and Miyuki counters and the Otaku trio. I opted for the Otaku Trio, leaving me with a 4 card deck that contained 3 Soul Triggers. Now I just had to hope for no cancels. I suicided into Mami for 2 damage, then sided the Level 0 for another 2 damage and that was the end of the game.

After this tense game I learnt that Jordan had lost his game due to a play error on his part, but that he’d be sticking it out at least until he was eliminated.

KonatavsSayaka3

For my fourth round I was facing off against Madoka again, but this time thankfully the Apples build. The deck is meant to focus around cheap, easily bondable cards that can become powerful for their cost. The problem is that Lucky Star completely outmatches them at Levels 0-2, so it’s very hard for them to get set up properly, and they really have to hope to turn things around at Level 3.

He started off Level 0 with the big Madoka, and I had a slightly dodgy hand. My Level 0s were all [Kung Fu Master Konata] or the Otaku Trio, who you don’t really want to be putting out on their own. I might have had a Patricia, but I really needed to use her for her Bond. I decided to just use my +2k Climax alongside a Kung Fu to get over Madoka, then hope to get set up better on the following turn.

He next used another Madoka and the Kyoko Reverser, the former of which easily dealt with Kung Fu. I fought back with Patricia, another Kung Fu and the Otaku Trio, and managed to clear their Stage. This was a mistake on my part, because it meant that Kung Fu would lose her full Power on the following turn, since I used the Trio to deal with the Reverser.

Fortunately my opponent just passed their turn, obviously in a really bad situation. Most of his Apples Kyoko were ending up in Stock / Clock / Waiting Room, which made things pretty tough on him. This allowed me to improve my Stage and get a direct hit.

When my opponent reached Level 1, he was clearly in a terrible position for playable cards, because he played his 1/0 Counter to the Stage in order to allow his Homura Brainstorm to work. This did net him a copy of Apples Kyoko though, so he could stabilise things a bit.

Of course, since he was operating nowhere near full Power it was easy for my Level 1 Konatas to defeat everything in battle whilst I set up my Back Stage. Throughout the course of the game, thanks to cards like the Miyuki searcher I was able to get 2 copies of [Sunday’s Best Konata] down, putting my cards at full strength. I think throughout the course of the tournament, this was probably the most common card I searched with her.

Once we were both into Level 2 there wasn’t really much he could do, because I was able to get my Level 2 Konata down alongside two [Battlefield Konata]. This pushed him into Level 3, whilst I was still hanging around in Level 2.

As a last push, he tried to use the Level 1 Sayaka and [Sayaka Miki], powered up by the Homura deck shuffle to break my defenses. The smaller Sayaka could only suicide into [Battlefield Konata], whilst the Level 3 fell to my Kuroi-sensei counter which pushed Konata to 15,000. Finally Homura went down because of my Miyuki counter, and I was able to direct attack for game on the next turn.

I managed to win whilst at 2/3, with about 9 Stock and a hand with cards like [Stand Up! Konata] and [Strongest Character Miyuki] to end the game if I ever got to Level 3.

Jordan also won his game, so we were both still in it for now.

SundayvsJunyou

For my 5th round I was finally facing off against Kantai Collection, which is mostly okay for me, except for Junyou, the plus Soul support.

The game started off pretty bad for both of us, with him attacking with a 500 Power support card, and me having to suicide Miyuki back into it. I was able to stabilise things a bit after this, since I’d just been waiting for the cards to allow Kung Fu to reach full strength. However, I let my opponent  get to Level 1 first, which meant on the following turn I got hit by a Climax combo from either 2 or 3 copies of Shimakaze. This gave him a load of cards he’d need for later.

When I reached Level 1 myself I was able to overpower all of this cards, because Konata is massive. The game continued like this throughout most of Level 1 and 2, as my Konata cards just kept on getting bigger.

It became clear that my opponent was struggling to come up with ways around my cards, because he had to make less than optimal plays like using a Brainstorm and then replacing it with another card.

I tried to end things with a [Stand Up! Konata] combo, but my big hits kept on getting cancelled. From my other hits he’d been brought to I think 3/2, and then [Stand Up! Konata] ended up hitting for 5 damage (thanks to a +2 Trigger), which not surprisingly was cancelled. When I went for a second hit for 5 he had to get a judge, because he didn’t believe Konata still had that much soul. After this was confirmed my attack got cancelled anyway.

By the end I basically had a field he couldn’t break, and a hand full of cards. At one point I’d even managed to make it so that Patricia could beat a Shimakaze who’d attacked her, because I didn’t want her Climax combo to work. My opponent on the other hand was down to just his Stage, after playing a Climax, which was his final card. I’d just refreshed with 7 Climaxes in deck, and was only on 3/2, so I thought I’d be safe, but it wasn’t to be.

Thanks to a top deck check, he knew his next card was a +2 Soul Trigger, so he sided over one of my Level 3s for 2 damage, which is probably the most I’ve ever seen sided over a Level 3. That stuck. Then he sided over a Level 1 for 2 again, and that stuck. Finally he burned me for one which finished me off. My next climax was about 5 cards away, so the final attack would have finished me off anyway, even without the burn.

I was of course a bit disappointed to lose at this point, especially given my domination of the latter parts of the game, but there’s a reason Junyou is appearing in all the Kantai decks now. I also learnt that Jordan had lost his game and was now out, which left me as the (likely) only foreigner left in the tournament.

SundayvsKirito

The final round was up against a B/Y Sword Art Online deck, focused around the Asuna and Kirito team up cards.

He started off the game with the Kirito Loner, but I was able to overpower it with [Kung Fu Master Konata]. I can’t really recall much else of Level 0, except that I got him to Level 1 faster than I would have hoped.

At Level 1 he used the Asuna Climax combo to get cards like the Asuna split counter in order to protect his cards. I tried pushing back with some massive [Battlefield Konata], but I’d completely forgotten that [Self Sacrifice] existed, meaning that one of them crashed out against Asuna.

Most of the Level 1 to 2 game was Konata and Asuna fighting it out, as we both made our cards massive, and put extra supports out front to achieve this. Unfortunately this had been taking quite the toll on my card numbers. Thankfully the Level 2 was pretty hard to kill, so I managed to get a little bit of a breather.

The game eventually came right down to the wire, with my opponent on 3/6, and my final hit for 2 getting cancelled. At this point I was on 3/3, with 3 cards left in deck. I thought I was out of Climaxes, but I actually had 1 left. His Level 3 Asuna hit for 2, got cancelled, then burned for 1. With refresh that moved me to 3/5, and two attacks for 1 Soul was enough to finish me off.

With a final score of 4-2 I was finally out of the tournament, but at least I’d survived until the last round before the Top Cut. Even if I had won, it was unlikely I’d have ended up in the Top 8, because there were about 30 people going for the one final not X-0 slot. I then went and collected my Nanoha PRs

I’d been in the event so long that the Free Fight had actually closed by this point, leaving watching the Top 8 as the only thing I could do. I spent the rest of the tournament keeping an eye on this, whilst also keeping people online informed about the games. The Top 8 were 2x SAO, 2x Kantai, 2x Love Live, Log Horizon and Da Capo.

The final results were 1st Kantai, 2nd Love Live! and 3rd Kantai, which I don’t think was really a surprise to anyone.

With everything now over I got something to grab from a nearby Mos Burger and made my way back home, this time not taking the wrong route on the trains.

I was going to post up a decklist for the deck at the end here, but you’ll have to check out my next article on the latest shop tournament, where you’ll be able to see it in pictures.

I’m hoping to be able to make the WGP later in the year, and will see if I can perform better or worse there.

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Adventures in Nipponbashi: Losing in the Database

As you might have noticed it’s nearly been 3 weeks since my last post. For various reasons, such as time and enthusiasm, I’ve not gotten around to recounting these past 2 rather disappointing weeks. Rather than leave things to pile up, I’ll just be getting a quick article out with general details.

Nearly 3 weeks ago saw the release of the Log Horizon Extra Booster, which I’d been quite excited about due to some of the card previews. During the week leading up to the release I’d been marathoning the series, because I prefer to play series I’ve seen. I enjoyed it and I am now looking forward to the 2nd season later in the year.

On the day of release I was able to make it out to Nipponbashi in the evening and pick up the 7 boxes I’d reserved (6 for me, 1 for namimo). These were fairly successful boxes, containing several of the desirable cards, like the Level 3 Shiroe and Akatsuki, along with a signed copy of Shiroe. Since it was late in the evening by this point I didn’t have a chance to look for the singles to round the deck / set out, and I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted at that point anyway.

On the Saturday I had a slightly better idea of what I was looking for, and set about trying to complete playsets of some of the cards, or pick up the missing alternate art versions. I was also looking for sleeves for the deck, which was proving harder than I expected, due to there not being any Log Horizon ones. Eventually I settled on some Etrian Odyssey sleeves, which were a decent approximation to Log Horizon.

That evening there was a Log Horizon tournament at one of the card shops in Namba, so I decided to take part, so I could get one of the Nureha PRs. I eventually found the shop with about 15 minutes to spare. I still didn’t have a deck at this point, so quickly threw one together based around the core cards I definitely wanted in the deck. This early version used the Marielle Climax combo, which I would later take out of the deck.

The tournament only had 4 participants, and the others really just seemed to have fun decks. I was a bit confused by the fact that no one else seemed to be using, or have even considered the Clock Encore Shiroe, but I suppose he’s not a girl. Barring a slight scare at the end, my first game was fairly straightforward and I ended it with the Akatsuki Climax combo. For my second game my opponent was running some kind of Soul Rush build, and was all too happy to throw his own cards away. As soon as he reached Level 2 he dropped Isaac and the burn Rundelhaus and threw away all of the rest of his cards. I beat them both with counters, meaning the rest of the game was just me attacking into an empty Stage.

I’d been happy with the deck, and had really underestimated Soujirou, who I decided to add an extra copy of, alongside more of the Shiroe Brainstorm.

The following day there was another Log Horizon tournament, but this time sadly I lost both of my games. In the first game we somehow both managed to forget that the Level 3 Shiroe stops burn, but managed to come up with a fix for it. I don’t really recall the 2nd game.

I entered the C-Lab tournament that evening with my Log Horizon deck, so I could see how it would do against the rest of the field. This was another disappointing result, only managing a 1-X finish. I didn’t get the Akatsuki combo all day, and was growing increasingly frustrated with the Marielle combo. I either never got to use it, or the Climax itself would mess up my plans. I’d also been having trouble with deck thinning, despite running 4 of the Shiroe Brainstorm. I decided it was time to go back to the drawing board, and rethink the deck.

Last weekend I went searching for single cards again, this time for cards that I’d underestimated before, like the Marielle support, and the Akatsuki Reverser, alongside cards for namimo. Eventually I had a deck which was similar to the build from the Fukuoka trio, but still favouring the Clock Encore Shiroe over some of the other Level 1 cards. Unfortunately, this deck performed even worse at the shop tournament on Sunday than before.

Some of this was due to mistake on my part, such as forgetting to Rest cards for the 1/1 Akatsuki, and other times due to my own cards screwing me over. For example, in my first game, Marielle sent herself off to Stock on turn 1, which messed me up for a lot of the rest of the game. I can’t really recall much of the details of the rest of the games, but things just didn’t seem to work properly, even though I actually got Akatsuki to work this time.

I think I prefer my current build to my initial one, but there’s no way I’d play it for the BCF at this point. There still needs to be more practice and tweaking before I try the deck out at events again.

Next time look forward to hearing how my Lucky Star deck fares at the Osaka BCF, and see if I can make it past the first 2 rounds!

Weiβ Schwarz Fundamentals: Counters

Counters make up an important part of Weiβ Schwarz, because most of the time they’re the only chance you get to interact with your opponent during their turn. Before considering why you would want to play Counters, and when to play them, I’ll first cover some basics about the cards.

What are they?

Sayaka

One of the first counters English players come across

Counters, or Backups, are cards which have a Fist symbol on them. When your opponent Front Attacks one of your Characters, you can play a Counter from your Hand, provided you meet the activation requirements for the card, such as Level and Cost. You cannot use them if you are getting Side Attacked or Direct Attacked. You also cannot use more than 1 per battle, but you can use 1 for every battle during that turn.

Counters can come in both Character and Event varieties, with the former showing the keyword Backup on them. This is an important distinction to make, because there are cards such as [Mami Endures her Fate] which can block Backup, but not Event Counters. Event Counters will often have more powerful effects, but this is weighed off against the fact that they are not Characters.

An interesting difference between these two types of cards is that for Character Counters you do not need to follow Colour restrictions in order to use their Backup effect. So you could play a Red one in a completely Blue deck and never have to worry about whether you can play it or not.

You’ll be seeing a lot of this type of card soon!

For Event cards you have to follow the Colour restrictions, so you can’t just throw something like [Self-sacrifice] in all of your Sword Art Online decks.

Both of these types of cards can usually be played during your own turn, but this will often be as a last resort. Most Backup cards have no other effect, and will end up being severely underpowered vanillas. Although, some rarer cards, like [Monopolising? Asuka] do have bonus effects. Some types of Event cards, like [100M Shock], cannot be used during your own turn, because they specify battling character.

Why play Counters?

The most straightforward reason for playing Counters is to keep your characters from being defeated in Battle. Most Counters give your cards a Power boost, to help them win the battle they’re involved in. Your weaker characters can deal with characters they wouldn’t be able to if they were doing the attacking, and you can often take out characters which are a Level above them.

If you have cards which you want to keep on Stage for a long time, and they do not have Encore or a way to gain Encore, then Counters are the best way to achieve this.

What Counters to use?

The choice of Counters for your deck will rely entirely on what the series has access to, and what will work within your build. There’s no use playing a card that requires you to play Alien cards if your deck doesn’t have any Aliens in it.

The deck can use any help it can get...

Don’t discount vanilla counters!

The basic types of Counters in the game are the 1/0, which gives 1500 Power, the 1/1 which gives 2000 and the 2/1 which gives 3000. Sometimes you just want Power, so it’s absolutely fine to use these cards. It’s also worth considering these types of cards because they might have more useful attributes than some of the fancier Counters in the series.

If you can get more Power out of a Counter for the same Cost as the vanilla varieties, then it could be well worth considering those cards in your deck.

If you’re playing for Power, you need to consider at which point in the game your deck is lacking most, and thus where it will benefit most from them. If you need to protect your weaker Level 1 cards there’s no point loading up on Level 2 Counters.

Be careful about playing too many Counters in your deck, especially off-Colour characters, or Event cards, because sometimes you will be short on attackers.

When to play Counters?

The most important thing about playing Counters is using them at the right time. We’ve all had games where we’ve wasted a Counter during a battle we didn’t really need to, and then regretted it later. It’s very tempting to use a Counter at the first opportunity that presents itself, but you will often need to resist the temptation.

Asuka_counter

Do I really need to use this card right now?

There are many different factors you need to consider, and I suspect this probably won’t be a completely exhaustive list.

Firstly, you need to think about how important it is to save that character. If it’s a lower Level character that’s overstayed its welcome, is it really worth keeping it alive for another turn? Chances are its going to run into the same problem on the following turn.

Secondly, can you replace the character next turn or not? This is especially important late game, where attacking twice or 3 times can be the difference between winning and losing. If not, then it’s in your best interests to keep the character around on the Stage.

Next, can you beat the other character on your next turn anyway? Some cards have a big burst of Power on the turn they’re played, or via a Climax combo and will become weaker on the following turn. If that’s the case, then it might not be worth using a Counter if you could just play another character and beat it on the next turn. You’ll get to save the Counter for a more important battle, and will usually also save on Stock.

If you cannot beat the card during your turn, for example because it gets bigger in your turn, then it can be worth using a Counter so you don’t have to deal with it later.

Some cards will have effects that only work when they defeat something in battle, so if you can stop that, it will get rid of one headache for you.

You also need to consider how much damage you want to do on the next turn. If you counter, that will usually leave an empty slot on the opponent’s Stage, allowing you to Direct Attack next turn. If you’re behind on damage this can be just the boost you need to win the game, but if you want to hit for precise damage then it might be better to leave your opponent’s card alone.

On rare occasions, Counters can also be useful for fixing Climax problems. If your last attack on the previous turn was a Climax, and you’re close to Refresh, then it could be to your benefit to play a 1 Cost Counter. This can get your Climax back into your deck before its too late.

Notable Counters

To round things out, I’m going to be listing some of the notable Counters in the game. Since lots of clones exist in Weiβ Schwarz, many series will have essentially the same card, so I won’t bother covering every single example which repeats. Counters can be notable because of the Power they provide relative to their Cost, or because of the effects they grant outside of pure Power.

witch

One of my favourite cards

Split Counters, such as [Magician Nagato & Shamisen] let you split Power across two characters, potentially saving two characters instead of one. Or you can give all that Power to a single character, for an above Cost boost. Split counters usually have 500 more Power than their vanilla equivalents.

GDM

Coming soon to an English card game near you!

Oversized Event Counters, such as [Self-sacrifice] give you huge Power boosts relative to their Cost and Level, often beating out higher Level character Counters on brute strength. This is a trade off against a variety of downsides because of the fact they are not characters. In most decks you cannot search for them, or salvage them, making them harder to get into your Hand. You can also never use them to attack with.

Shiina

Log Horizon stole both of these last two cards from Angel Beats!

Aside from Power boosts, Counters will sometimes add on bonus effects, or even forgo Power boosts entirely. One well known example of the former is [Skill of 100 People Shiina], a card which allows you to refresh your deck. At an extra 2 Stock, this might seem like a high cost, just to remake your deck, but you have to consider all the benefits that you’ll get out of this.

Firstly, you’ll avoid Refresh damage, helping you stay in the game longer. Given that healing for 1 tends to cost 2 Stock, this is worth it cost wise. Secondly you can use it to fix Climax problems you’re having. By making your deck again you give yourself more chances to cancel, but you can’t guarantee this will actually happen.

Jupiter

This card was once restricted

Some counters can even heal damage, the most famous examples being [Sayaka’s Wish] from Madoka and [Battling Jupiter!] from IdolM@ster. Healing counters often come at a cheaper price than it would if attached to a character, but you are usually losing a card in the process to balance this out.

[Dark Hero] from Disgaea not only heals one damage, but also saves one of your defeated characters.

Jack

Be careful of the Jack Brothers!

Persona has access to a couple of unusual and costly counters which can prevent your opponent from getting in  a full set of attacks. [Jack Brothers] has a massive 4 Cost, but can outright stop one of your opponent’s characters from attacking. [Maggie’s Tarot Reading] does the same thing for a Stock less, but does mean you’ll have to bounce one of your characters in the process.

In a game where it can be so difficult to stop or prevent damage, cards like these give you one of the few ways to guarantee your survival.

Info

Send your opponent’s Climaxes to Canada

Another way to keep yourself alive is to mess with your opponent’s plans, and deny them their most powerful combos. [Unlinking Information] from Haruhi is one of the few cards in the entire game that can get rid of Climax cards, making Haruhi one of the few decks in the game that won’t fall to random Soul rushes.

sakura

You’ll either cancel everything, or lose horribly

As counter-productive as it might seem, another way to try and prevent damage is to make your opponent cause even more damage than they were aiming for. [100M Shock] from Lucky Star can give a card +6 Soul, whilst [Miracle of the Unwilting Cherry Blossom] from Da Capo gives all of your opponent’s cards +5 Soul and prevents them from Side Attacking.

These sorts of cards can save you by making it incredibly difficult for your opponent to actually cause any damage. Getting hit for 6+ is much more likely to get cancelled than 1 or 2 damage. That said, this type of card should really only be used when you’re sure you’ll lose otherwise. You don’t want to turn victory into defeat because of your own card.

Compass

Don’t see Brainstorm on too many counters

Another way to save yourself from damage is [Compass] from Kantai Collection. At worst when it fails it will put you two cards closer to a Climax. When it succeeds you’ll block your opponent’s damage. Often you would have cancelled the damage anyway, but it can block a 2 Soul hit if the Climax was on the 3rd card, which would otherwise have stuck.

WS_BM_S15_E079

JPN doesn’t have all the interesting Counters

Whilst it won’t necessarily stop all of your opponent’s damage, [Inner Feelings, Tsubasa Hanekawa] can be used to reduce an opponent’s card by 1 Soul, saving you from 1 damage. This is practically equivalent to a heal, especially given the 2 Stock cost.

clubroom

I’ve rarely used the bonus effect

A few counters out there can also modify the number of cards in your or your opponent’s deck, usually with the aim of making your deck smaller, and your opponent’s bigger. Cards like [Clubroom Nagato & Koizumi] let you put 2 cards from your opponent’s Waiting Room back into their deck. On top of making it less likely that they’ll cancel future attacks, it can also deny them cards they might want to salvage or change into. Often I don’t think the extra discard for this effect is worth it.

On the other hand, cards like [“Happy Spiral” Komari] will send cards off the top of your Deck to the Waiting Room, which will hopefully put you closer to cancelling your next attack. Unfortunately it will sometimes rob you of a cancel.

Misae

Early Level 3s beware!

Some counters, such as [Misae, as “Magical Girl Misarin”] can even outright get rid of your opponent’s cards, but only under specific circumstances. In this case Misae is a type of card that would often be called ‘anti-change’, because it’s most likely to be used against cards which have been brought out early via Change. The cost is massive, but will usually be about equivalent to what had to be paid for the early change.

Just another working day for an Idol

Just another working day for an Idol

Whilst on the subject of Change, it’s worth mentioning one of the most unusual Counters in the game, [Ichii-Bal] from Symphogear. It performs a pseudo-change during your opponent’s turn, which could be quite a surprise when a Level 3 suddenly appears.

Hopefully this has given you some food for thought on the matter of what counters to use in your decks, and when to actually use them. The quick overview of some of the more unusual or interesting counters in the game should also give you an appreciation of the variety that can be found in the game. I’ve no doubt missed off some very important cards from this list, so feel free to drop me any comments on the matter.

Any requests for future articles is also welcome.

Adventures in Nipponbashi: Disappointment in Lucky Star

This week I was back in action with Lucky Star again, hoping to turn things around from the previous week.

On Saturday I decided rather late in the day that I should pre-order some Log Horizon. By this point just about every shop was already sold out of the cards, so I was stuck with the nearly RRP ones from Card Pal. The plan is to try my luck with some boxes and then round it out with singles. If everything goes according to plan I should be able to try the deck out at next week’s tournament.

On Sunday I got out rather late, but was still able to make it to the C-Labo before the tournament started. I started a friendly against my friend Jordan’s Project Diva deck, but we couldn’t finish it before the event started.

Stand upvsFate3

For Round 1 I was against one of the regulars, playing a Nanoha deck. I’ve played him a couple of times in friendlies, but I think this was the first time in a tournament. We both pass our first turn without doing anything, presumably due to a bad hand. When things finally get going my opponent plays double [Cheerful Nanoha] and uses her Climax combo, but they both fail. The Otaku trio and [Kung Fu Konata] are able to deal with this afterwards.

I can’t really recall the middle of the game all that well. He put out some Fate cards, but my Konatas were generally able to run them over. I think I got out two [Swiftly Running Girl Konata] as soon as I reached Level 2, and the Power was just too much. This meant he was suffering a bit in terms of card numbers.

At the end I put down [Stand Up! Konata], and used her effect to get the right Climax, but realised I was looking at 1 Climax in a 10 card deck, so I decided to use a 2nd and go for the combo, since would Refresh my deck in the process. I ended up winning on the 3rd attack anyway.

Yaoi to the rescue!vsLeafa

For Round 2 I was facing off against SAO. The start was terrible with it taking me 2 turns to get rid of the Silica Brainstorm, which he was attacking with. I was just stuck with a hand of Level 1+ which I couldn’t do much with.

In the mid-game my Level 1s and 2s could overpower his, but I was really falling behind by this point. Once he was in Level 2 he was able to get out double [Leafa’s Pure Wish], which meant none of my cards could keep up in the Power battle any longer.

I was forced to try and end things with the [Hiyori Starting] Climax, which I really didn’t think could happen, given that I needed to do about 10 damage to win. Two of the hits got through, but the 3rd was cancelled. This left me on 3/4 with 3 direct attacks coming my way. The first one for 4 stuck and it was all over.

Miyuki3vsRamen

My 3rd round saw me facing off against a Blue / Yellow Macross deck. Level 0 wasn’t too much of a problem, with [Kung Fu Master Konata] able to deal with most threats. There was a point where my opponent tried to use a Level 0 killer on her, which of course wouldn’t work.

The Level 1-2 game had a bit of back and forth because I was able to put out big characters, but my opponent had the 3500 event counter to keep some of his guys alive. It didn’t help that he also had a Climax combo that could bottom deck some of my cards.

For the first time in ages I ended up having to use Miyuki to heal for 3 and keep me in the game. but she was quickly dealt with on the next turn. I figured I could afford to throw so many cards away because my opponent was running low on cards by this point.

Following this I was down to 3/6, whilst my opponent was on 3/3, so in order to win I’d either need a Climax (which I didn’t have), or a way to hit for more than 1 Soul per hit. I’d not thought about the end of the previous turn too much, so had let Miyuki go when I probably should have Encored for 3 Stock. I had the Level 0 Miyuki though, so figured I’d be able to search a 2 Soul card from my deck. All of my remaining cards were Level 1 or below, and none of them had Soul Triggers, except for one of the 2 Climaxes left in my deck. They were pretty much all useless to me.

I hit for 3, hoping that I’d hit the +2 Soul and it would stick, but sadly it was not to be. The final 2 cards in my deck were both of the climaxes, which would have been good at times when I wasn’t on 3/6.

I was pretty disappointed with the deck at this point, especially since it had just gone down to Macross.

Konata_foodvsLeo

For my final round I was facing off against Dog Days, which was a close game. I started off with [Kung Fu Master Konata], but a Climax helped one of his Level 0s over her. After this I think I struck back with the Otaku Trio, but I don’t think I ever really had enough cards to take out all of his Stage.

At Level 1, two of the anti-salvage support came down, which would normally have little effect on the deck, were it not for the fact that my hand was full of [Patricia Martin], and I’d only just gotten some [Battlefield Konata] into the Waiting Room. Fortunately I was able to draw at least 1 of them. My 1/0 and Battlefield fought it out with his Level 1s, until I could bring in my Level 2 to completely overpower them.

As the game dragged on I was able to get dominance over the Stage thanks to [Favourite Food Konata], who also helped keep me alive longer, but there was the constant threat of just losing from damage, even if he couldn’t break my Stage. This didn’t come to pass, and I was able to win.

A 2-2 finish wasn’t terrible, but it was also far from good. We’ll have to see if Log Horizon can do anything interesting next week.

Adventures in Nipponbashi: A mixed performance

I’ve fallen a bit behind on these, so you’re going to get a double dose, covering a more successful event from 2 weeks ago, and a less successful one from a week ago. Both times I entered with Lucky Star. Given the time frame, I unfortunately can’t remember too many details of the event from 2 weeks ago. I’d decided to try changing a few cards in my deck, and seeing how it went. First of all I switched out the 1/1 counters for the 1/0 counters, because I felt the extra searchability was not helping much, and that I’d rather just save a Stock. I also took out the +6 Soul counter for an extra copy of the Brainstorm, because I’d sometimes been suffering from issues with too many non-climaxes in the deck.

Stand upvsI think I got to about episode 5?

For my first round I was up against Bakemonogatari, which looked to be more like the standard build than some of what I’ve played previously. I really cannot remember much about this game other than Konata being bigger than everything and beating everything up. Level 3 Hitagi was able to send a support away, but it was too late by that point.

Stand upvs I still think this is a stupid way to spell Charles.

For my 2nd round I was facing off against Da Capo, and once again I can’t really remember much about it. Konata was once again too big to deal with, and I closed things out with the [Stand Up! Konata] combo, after digging through the top 10 cards of my deck.

KonatavsMio

Round 3 saw me facing off against Little Busters, whose Angel Beats sleeves had thrown me off a little initially. At the beginning of the game I had some problems putting out a proper Stage, due to lack of attackers. Once we were in Level 1 /2 I was able to take control of the game via the massive Konatas. He started to turn the tables at Level 3, when he was finally capable of dealing with the 2/2 Konatas. Luckily for me, he was unable to get the full effect out of his [Maid Mio].

Unfortunately, by this point he was so far behind on damage that he couldn’t catch up. The game ended with him on 3/6 with 1 card left in deck, with me only just having been put onto 3/0.

Stand upvsshin_chan

For the final round I was facing off against the same Shin-chan player as the week prior. Things went slightly better than it did for Eva, but it still wasn’t enough.

Once again, he started with the Shin-chan runner and the Himawari support, which meant there wasn’t really much character to character battles at Level 0. Once into Level 1, my Konatas were just too big to deal with, but my opponent was able to maintain his Stage, due to the Blue Encore Shin-chan, alongside Gates, Books and Brainstorms to keep up his card numbers.

Things were going well until we reached into Level 3. My [Stand Up! Konata] combo had just failed to finish the game, but I was still on close to 3/0, so I thought I might be safe. My opponent followed things up with a triple Level 3 Shin-chan Climax combo, which was just a bit too much for me to handle.

The end result was 3-1 and I walked away with an SR Kanbaru (and a few other cards) from my prizes.

Last week, things went completely differently.

Stand upvsSatsuki

I started off the tournament against Kill La Kill, which had just debuted recently. The Level 0 portion of the game wasn’t really any issue for [Kung Fu Master Konata], so I was able to start gaining some kind of lead. At Level 1 he was using the 1/0 that sends cards to Stock, so I figured I wouldn’t really need to worry about Stock in this game. Most of the game wasn’t really an issue for me, because I was able to stay ahead in Power, and even the Level 3 Satsuki couldn’t easily deal with Level 2 Konata. Unfortunately after Refresh I kept on hitting a bunch of Climaxes, so my deck was soon depleted.

[Stand Up! Konata] was unable to close the game for me, but I probably should have paid a bit closer attention to the number of Climaxes he still had.  Despite being on 3/0, by this point I was down to 1 Climax, so my opponent was able to hit for 3, cancel, and 3, then lose to Deck Refresh.

PatriciavsKongou

For the 2nd round I was up against Kantai Collection, and my deck pretty much just fell apart. I opened with a load of Patricias and not really much to do with them. The game just went poorly in general, and I was never able to establish a decent field. I didn’t see a [Sunday’s Best Konata] until I searched one with the Level 2.

At some point there was a turn where I played a draw Climax, drew into another Climax, then hit a Book Trigger, which made me draw another Climax. This wasn’t good. I tried to finish things with [Stand Up! Konata], but it wasn’t enough. It didn’t help that I needed to hit for 3 to win, hit a +2 trigger, upping the damage to 5, and then got cancelled on the 4th card. By this point my opponent had a huge amount of Stock and cards, and I was finished off easily with 1 burn damage.

Every day sure is a battlefield for you Konata.vsRiki1

The next round saw me against one of the regulars, who was playing Little Busters this week, with some of the new cards. He started off with the Level 0 who gets bigger when you use an ACT effect, so I figured the Level 0 Counter was on its way. I was able to get [Kung Fu Konata] big enough that this didn’t really matter.

This was generally a bad game for him, with him losing lots of cards fast, and being stuck fielding some undersized 1/0s, which were no match for Konata. It didn’t help that he also took about 8/9 in a row one turn. There’s not really anything he can do most of the game, and I’m sure I manage to get out a 10,500 [Battlefield Konata] at one point, because I don’t need to worry about 2 of the Centre Stage slots. In the end go for the [Stand Up! Konata] combo again to finish the game.

Stand upvsSayaka

My final round was against Madoka, which I have a history of usually doing fairly well against. During Level 0 he cannot touch [Kung Fu Master Konata], so I can just pick off his characters one by one.

In Level 1 he sets up the apples combo, with double Kyoko and Sayaka, but I’m able to get over them both due to double [Battlefield Konata] and triple [Sunday’s Best Konata], pushing them both up to 9,500. The Level 1 to 2 game generally plays out the same way, with him unable to deal with my Level 1 cards.

At Level 3 he puts out the first of his Level 3 Sayaka and starts to fight back against my Stage, supported by the Madoka Level support. Going into my turn, Sayaka is only sitting at 13,000, due to the fact he crashed one of his leftover Level 0s into one of my cards last turn. This allowed me to get my Level 2 up to 13,500, through a combination of 2 [Sunday’s Best Konata] and 2 of the Level 2 support. As expected, this was met with [Sayaka’s Wish].

On the following turn they put down a 2nd Sayaka, the new Homura PR and [Sayaka Looks up to Mami]. They were able to kick one of my supports to the Clock, whilst taking out my Level 2, in the end leaving me on 3/0.

I followed up by Clocking, then healing for 1 with [Favourite Food Konata]. Two [Stand Up! Konata] followed, which got me the Climax I needed. The first one could only look at 2, and caused a deck Refresh, but the 2nd could get the full 5. I set things up so that [Favourite Food Konata] could take down Homura, whilst the two [Stand Up! Konata] could finish the rest. Both of the Sayaka’s ended up being used for [Sayaka’s Wish] denying me the Climax combo, but things ended on the final hit anyway.

A 2-2 result was a drop down from last week, but at least it was still break even. I opened my prizes to see an RR and an RR+, which I was happy about. Until I looked it up and found out they were worth a grand total of ¥200.

Hopefully I’m going to have this week’s out at a better pace!