The Disappointment of Yuki Nagato

This weekend I decided to try out Mikuru Asahina in my Alien deck to see if she would be much use. Results for that card specifically have been pretty positive, even if my overall results have been pretty poor.

Prior to the Nakano tournament I was able to get in a handful of friendlies to test things out. I started off with Traitless vs Angel Beats, completely demolishing him. I managed to win during Level 2 with Saten and Touma running everything over. After that I switched to Alien for 2 games against Angel Beats and 2 games against Nisekoi. The first 2 went pretty badly, with a string of bad luck concerning Climaxes.

In the first game I drew 3 in the opening hand, then another 2 after discarding. Kyon’s sister brainstormed another 1 on each of the 2nd and 3rd turns. It just generally didn’t get any better. In the 2nd game bad luck pre-refresh did me in. I had 2 Climax in a 7 card deck, when I was hit for 3, then 2 and them both sticking. This meant I cancelled on the 3rd and then drew the last Climax. I couldn’t really recover after that.

The games against Nisekoi went far better, with Mikuru putting in a lot of work early game wiping out his Level 0 cards. By the end of one of the games he even had zero cards. The successes with Mikuru were encouraging, but things wouldn’t last in the tournament.

22nd

We had the smallest tournament in a while, with only 29 players, but there was a surprise guest from the US community there. Thanks to the new booster pack the tournament was filled with Milky Holmes decks, which had somehow unseated Kancolle as the most played deck. There were a variety of decks on offer, from Police to Detective (with and without Feathers) and I think there was a Phantom Thief floating around too. I was the only Haruhi player there that day, and I ended up winning the free pack lottery.

Overall composition this week was: Milky Holmes (7), Kancolle (4), Girlfriend (Beta) (3), Nisekoi (2), SAO (2), Little Busters! (2), Fate, Da Capo, Terra Formars, iM@S, Shin-chan, Nanoha, Project Diva, Haruhi, Love Live. I expect the number of Milky may drop next week.

TroublevsKokoro

For the first round I was up against a Milky Holmes Police deck. I remember the Kokoro Reverser dealing with my Nagato Yuki a lot, and then getting to Level 1 the turn after he got out the new 0 to 1 Change. This meant I didn’t have to worry too much about it messing up my Stage. There was trading back and forth of low cost cards in the middle of the game until I could get my Summer Festivals out. As the game was closing out he was able to get 3 of the Level 3 Kokoro and burn me for 3. The first attack left me on 3-5, meaning I’d pretty much given up, knowing only 2 Climaxes were left. I got lucky and cancelled both attacks, leaving me in the game and letting me hit him with Trouble Girl next turn for game.

Let's play 'Protect Summer Festival Nagato'!vsKazumi

The second round was Milky Holmes again, but this time it was Detectives featuring Feathers. I don’t recall anything particularly notable in the early to mid game, with us just mostly trading off low cost cards and me just being relieved to not have to deal with the clock swap and 1/0 3k counter shenanigans. Just before Level 2 he got out 2 copies of the card with the Climax combo than could reduce one of my cards by 2000 Power letting him kill both of my 3 Aliens. I decided to 3 cost Encore one so I’d have enough Aliens for later. Eventually I closed things out with Trouble Girl and Summer Festival. I never saw much of his late game, except for the top checking Feathers card.

Let's play 'Protect Summer Festival Nagato'!vsKyosuke

The third round was against Little Busters, which was probably the most fun game that day. My opponent was quite surprised that I knew what lots of the Little Busters cards do, and we both enjoyed the twists and turns of the game. He seemed to be in pretty horrible shape Stage wise most of the game, needing to 3 Cost Encore quite often. Mikuru and Onsen Haruhi made short work of things early game, and his Rikis kept on ending up in Clock. He was never able to pull off the Level 1 Climax combo either. Once Summer Festival was out he just couldn’t deal with my Stage at all, the only problem for me was that he kept on cancelling all my damage, because I was overswinging to heal myself.

The last couple of turns pretty much went, double Summer Festival combo, lots of cancels, Trouble Girl, lots of cancels, double Summer Festival, lots of cancels. Eventually I just lost. My opponent even apologised for winning at the end.

Let's play 'Protect Summer Festival Nagato'!vsMarika

It would be downhill from here, with a pretty terrible game against Nisekoi. There was nothing too notable during Level 0, but was losing more cards than I’d normally hope to be. It was pretty much the same in Level 2. I was finally able to fight back with Summer Festival  and try to win, but Marika and Chitoge were able to wipe me out. I think at one point I killed Marika, but he deck Refresh next turn and had a Pendant to search her back to hand.

Let's play 'Protect Summer Festival Nagato'!vsEllie

The final round was Milky Holmes again, this time it was Detectives again, but with less Feathers. All I can really remember about the game was that he kept on hitting Bar Triggers all throughout the game, and that he had the support that looks for Bar Triggers. Things were going well for me until the final turn when he dropped 3 of the new Clock Kick and I went straight  from late Level 2 to dead taking 9 damage in the process. If only I’d had Ryoko.

The final of the tournament was between Terra Formars and Milky Holmes with the former taking the win. I think from a brief look over that it was a RBY deck using the 2 Soul Akari combo in Blue along with the Akari Level 3 and one of the Yellow Level 3s.

After the tournament I got in 2 friendlies with my Traitless deck. Firstly against my 3rd round opponent who had switched over to his Girlfriend (Beta) deck. Kunikida put in a lot of work here, helping me thin my deck a lot. I even made use of the Saten support for once. Cards like Touma and the Saten Climax combo allowed me to keep pace with his bigger cards, even if I was spending most of my Stock on Kunikida. I eventually won with direct attacks from Taniguchi. The second game was against another player, with I think Milky. It was mostly unremarkable with my deck struggling to do anything particularly interesting for most of the game.

Yesterday had mixed results again.

Let's play 'Protect Summer Festival Nagato'!vsRin

Things started off against Little Busters, which was running the +2 Soul version of the 1/0 Climax combo. Thankfully he only got this combo off once in the entire game, but the +2 Souls were still scary. It seemed to me like most of the game he was unable to get his end game cards, because the end of the game mostly involved him ramming his lower cost / power guys into Summer Festival / Trouble Girl. Stage presence was never an issue for me, it was just a matter of whether or not I took damage. I got lucky at the end of the game when he decided to try and win with his +2 Soul Climax. I was on 3-4, with at least 3 Climax left, but can’t recall how many more. He hit for 3, cancel, 5, cancel, 3 cancel, and it was over next turn.

Mikuru_asahinavsOnodera

The 2nd round was against Nisekoi, which was going well right up until my last turn. At the start of the game he couldn’t match up to Nagato Yuki backed by the 3 Aliens, and I was able to follow up with Mikuru and Onsen Haruhi on the next turn, leaving me in control of the Level 0 game. 1/0s and the Magician Counters kept me on top during Level 1, especially since his Reversers were having to go after my Level 0 Nagato Yuki.

It all went downhill at Refresh though. My opponent had recently added the 2/1 Onodera Change to his hand, and given how the rest of the game was going, he seemed like he’d have a pretty poor Level 2 game if he couldn’t pull that off. I hit him to Refresh with the last 2 cards of his deck being the Green Level 3 Onodera, so I was hopeful that this would mess up his Level 2 plans. Unfortunately he cancelled on the 3rd card, dumping the change targets to the Waiting Room. He also drew the Climax for the combo next turn. This dramatically turned around his position in the game, even if it didn’t particularly impact my current Stage. What did me in was the next turn, where I triggered a book, drew a book, then on the third attack triggered a 2nd book and drew a gate. Marika killed me next turn.

Let's play 'Protect Summer Festival Nagato'!vsChihaya3

The 3rd Round was against Rewrite, which I’ll admit isn’t my favourite match up for the deck. I managed to dodge a bullet though, because he wasn’t able to play the 2/2 Chihaya until it was too late. None ended up in the Waiting Room in most of the early game, and by the time he finally brought one out I could take it down with Summer Festival Nagato. Things seemed so poor for him at one point that he even attack with his anti-heal. The Red and Yellow Level 3s weren’t enough to bring me down, so I was able to win on the following turn.

Mikuru_asahinavsShimakaze

The last round was against Yellow / Blue Kantai collection, and it would be just my luck that I would keep on Triggering my Gates throughout the game. At the start of the game Mikuru and Onsen Haruhi put in a lot of work, taking out multiple cards and making sure Shimakaze would at best only have 1 target to go after. I even managed to cause a suicide between Mikuru and Shimakaze on the turn I finally let her be defeated.

I made some mistakes in the Level 2 game because I made some bad choices with regards to the anti-early play counter. I was stupid enough to forget that it was a Level 2 Counter at first, so I wasted an attack trying to play around it, when I could have just run something over. I’d eventually get hit by it on my 3rd attack. On the next turn I used my anti-Climax counter to mitigate some damage, but it might have been better kept to stop a late game Climax combo. It did help me only take one damage that turn though, and I would probably have taken more otherwise.

The final turn came down to me on 3-5, and him on 3-1. His Stage was had 2 empty slots and a Level 3, whilst I only had 4 cards in deck. I knew the bottom two were Summer Festival and Trouble Girl, and that there was one Climax left in my deck. I clocked to draw my Climax and search out Summer Festival, so that I knew there’d only be one trigger, since I wanted to keep my damage to 3 if at all possible. I could only bring him to 3-4 rather than game though, with only my first attack for 3 sticking. Mikuru once again put in work here, letting me have an empty Stage, despite only having 1 card to ram into. I lost anyway, but it helped increase my chances.

After the tournament I got in 2 friendlies with my Deck Out deck. The first was against my Nisekoi opponent from earlier, and I opened with 3 Riki, 2 Scythe Master, Suginami and Yellow-chan. I very quickly had everything I needed to set up for Level 1 and put down the triple Suginami stage as soon as I reached it. The rest of the game was drawing lots off Suginami, sending his Climaxes to Memory and ramming into things whilst playing Climaxes. I wasn’t able to win by deck out, but I did win properly, after making him Refresh with 4 in deck.

A second game against Fate saw me quickly assemble the Suginami stage, thanks to double Laharl & Mao. I wasn’t able to get rid of many of his Climaxes to Memory, but at least the Stock Swap card put 3 of his Climaxes as the first 3 cards of his 9 card Stock, so there was a lot of digging. I got him to 3-5, before finally being defeated on his 3rd attack.

Advertisements

I have no interest in ordinary results!

I’m quite late on getting these reports out, so they likely won’t be as detailed as usual. I’m still sticking at it with my Alien deck, but I’m contemplating some changes for next week.

Deck ratio

Up first was Nakano, where it looks like things might be starting to settle a bit in terms of deck choices. Kantai is still far out in the lead, and Nisekoi is another popular choice, but decks like Terra Formars have already nearly vanished. The decks present this week were Kantai (10), Nisekoi (6), IM@S (4), Love Live (4), Nanoha (2), Project Diva (2), Haruhi (2), SAO (2), GFB (2), Madoka, Gigant Shooter, Terra Formars, Prisma Illya, Da Capo, Fairy Tail, Shana and Little Busters.

My overall results this week were pretty poor, only managing to go 2-3.

LenOnoderasinonNanoha_fate

The first round was against Project Diva using the Rin / Len combo at Level 1 again. Like before Swimsuit Haruhi & Nagato helped me weather this storm. I think he triggered or Brainstormed lots of his Climaxes, so Summer Festival dealt a lot of damage and finished him off pretty quickly.

Up next was Nisekoi, where I had a pretty decent start, managing to keep the stage more or less under control and starting to dwindle his resources. Unfortunately for me, he had 2 early play Onodera, which I just couldn’t keep up the pace against, and was pretty much shut down from this point.

The next round was SAO, where things were going pretty well for me, at least until Level 3 Sinon game out and I was completely wiped out cancelling no damage, despite having 7 Climaxes left. As it turned out there were 4 in a row down in about the last 10 or so cards in my deck.

I don’t remember the 4th round at this point, but I lost.

The final round was against Nanoha, which for once was actually a Nanoha deck and not a Fate one. Main thing I recall was my opponent repeatedly using the Nanoha & Fate that send themselves to Memory to look at 4 cards. The 1/1 Nanoha that could top-deck my cards was also helped her get in some damage against me mid game. Eventually though, repeated Climax combos from Summer Festival were able to wear her down.

Things went a little better for me on Monday evening at the Tsukuba tournament, where I managed to get a 2-1 record.

sinonChihaya_yellowYou'll be no match for my sword!

I lost my first round game against SAO, at least partly because I double Gate triggered on my final turn. Sinon and Asuna were able to finish me off, with Asuna siding for 1 over Trouble Girl.

The second round was a very close game against Rewrite, where the final turns came right down to the wire. The early game had gone fairly well for me, getting him stuck at 0-5 at one point, and him fortunately not having the searcher that could clock himself. During Level 1 he was also never able to pull off the Change into the massive 2/2, so that saved me a lot of pain.

Everything was looking good for me, until my second to last turn, where I triggered a Book, drew a Gate, then drew another Gate from Guitarist. At that point I’d decided I’d lost and just resigned myself to defeat on the next turn. Somehow I cancelled the bigger attacks, leaving me on 3-6.

By this point my opponent had no hand and only a single Level 0 character on Stage. My first 2 attacks pushed him to 3-6, before my final one was cancelled. This left him with 2 cards left in deck, and the whole game would come down to whether or not that 2nd to last card was a healer. Thankfully for me, it wasn’t so I won.

The last round was against SAO, which just turned into a Summer Festival beat down. I played 1 copy when I was at 2/0 to overpower his cards, and was able to follow this up with a double and then a triple Climax combo on the following 2 turns.

At one point he used the Sinon support to stop me protecting one of my Summer Festival from his Asuna, but I was able to boost her anyway thanks to my split counter. She unfortunately got bounced by a wind trigger anyway. In the end I won at 3-0.

The deck is doing okay so far, but after seeing that one of the players back in Osaka was having success with the deck, I’ve decided it might be worth making some edits to the list. My main thoughts at the moment are with the Level 0 Mikuru Asahina, and whether she would be a better choice than Usual Nagato.

usual_nagatovsMikuru_asahina

Yuki gains 500 per Alien on play, meaning she can easily become a formidable card at Level 0, and maybe even threaten a few Level 1 cards. However, she’s a terrible first turn play, and becomes a sitting duck after her initial turn. At 2500 the best you can hope for is that she gets hit by a Reverser, so it’s at least an even trade, but she can usually be run over in battle anyway. She is an Alien though.

Mikuru on the other hand has a much more interesting effect, whereby for 2 Stock you can send herself and another character to Memory during the Encore step, bringing them both back next turn with an extra 1000 Power. Essentially she gives you double Encore for 2 Stock, rather than 6 and doesn’t leave the cards vulnerable next turn. In exchange you’ll be taking more direct hits. However, during Level 0, where she’ll put in most of the legwork, this is pretty much a non-issue. You have empty slots anyway during that point in the game.

She’s stock neutral overall, but she lets you get in free hits against the opponent without fear of losing cards afterwards. You can get off 3 attacks on the second turn of the game and still only leave 1 card open to your opponent. From your point of view you still have 1 card and 1 Stock like if you’d played a single card like normal, but your opponent might be 2 steps closer to defeat.

She’s also a useful workaround against Reversers and Runners. She can take out Reversers without you losing any cards, and she’ll let you field a full stage against a Runner, without any of the draw backs from doing so next turn.

The Power boost is a minor bonus, which I suspect will only occasionally help. I can see myself teaming her up with supports a lot of the time anyway, who will just get moved Back Stage next turn.

I’m definitely going to be trying her out at the next couple of tournaments, and seeing how this all goes.

The Melancholy of Yuki Nagato

After my decent performance in Nakano yesterday, it was time for the Tsukuba tournament, where I have a horrible habit of failing miserably. And today wasn’t any different.

Kyon_sistervsChitoge

Round 1 was against Nisekoi, and I pretty much couldn’t do anything all game. I started with 2 1/1 vanillas, 2 Trouble Girl and a Gate, dumping all but the 1/1. After that and clocking I still only had one playable card, Usual Nagato, with my hand quickly filling up with Climaxes.

My opponent had a Reverser, so at least it was an even trade off and my card wasn’t completely wasted. Next turn, I drew even more Climaxes, and only managed to get Flower Bouquet Haruhi. I played her back stage and passed. Maybe I should have direct attacked with her.

I got hit again, then was finally able to put something on the Stage that wouldn’t die straight away. After that I was knocked to Level 1, with a massive deck and only 1 Climax left. After drawing and clocking there was still about 15/16 cards left in deck, so I can to use all my Stock for Kyon’s sister. Of course the Climax was in the top 2 cards, so at best I was left with 5 cards and 0 Climaxes after that.

Post Refresh I just took loads of damage and lost. By the end all 5 of my remaining Climaxes were in the last ~12 cards.

3AliensvsNot_3Aliens

For the second round I was facing off against a Red / Blue Kancolle build, and for the only time that day my deck worked properly. I started off with a big Nagato Yuki which it took him a Climax to get rid of, but the Level 0 game generally wasn’t an issue.

In Level 1 he used the 1/1 with a change into the 2/1 Marker card, which is too big for me to deal with. Instead I just used the free Encore and rammed cards into it instead.

Once in Level 2 I dropped a pair of Summer Festival and healed myself down to 2/0, actually leaving myself without any Blue cards in Level / Clock. I was able to win before I ever reached Level 3.

Let's play 'Protect Summer Festival Nagato'!vsSHALO

The third round was against the Level swap Milky Holmes build, with the new Feathers PR from the March shop tournaments. Hitting 4500 made it a bit harder to keep my Level 0s around.

Level 1 was also a bit of a struggle for me, because my 1/0s just couldn’t keep up with his, and it wasn’t until I got Summer Festival that I could start dealing with them.

After a bit of back and forth, he sent Halloween Shalo after me, and I was hoping to just cancel something. I had 2 Climaxes left in a 7 card deck, and was on 3-2. He hit for 2, sticks, 1, sticks, 2, sticks. He doesn’t even need the burn effect. My last 2 cards were both Climaxes.

GuitaristvsKerche

The last round was against Zero no Tsukaima, but RBY, without the early play Louise. The cost 0 Reverser was a bit of a pain, but I was mostly able to stay on top of things Stage wise and overpower his cards. It’s just that I kept on drawing / triggering Climaxes, or that they were near the bottom of my deck.

I made a stupid mistake close to deck Refresh, forgetting to use the extra draw effect of Guitarist twice, which meant I ate some damage I could have avoided. After that I was taking a lot of damage thanks to the Kerche that top deck something from your Waiting Room if they trigger a Climax. It also didn’t help when I double triggered again.

I was pretty much out of it by the final turn, but when he top deck 3 of my cards in a single turn thanks to the Level 0 Kerche and double Level 1 Kerche it didn’t really matter any more whether I could potentially cancel or not.

After the complete flop of the tournament I had one friendly with Traitless against Milky, which I’d eventually lose after a close game.

The Disappearance of my Level 0 game

Yesterday was the first Sunday of the new format, so it was time to test out Haruhi at the Nakano tournament. It’s the largest official shop tournament in Tokyo, and gets held up as one of the strongest. This can be attested to by the large number of winning certificates on display throughout the shop. Before the tournament I’d been out in Akiba looking for cards, and managed to get to the shop early enough for a few friendlies against the other regular foreign player there.

We paired off Haruhi against his latest build of Nisekoi, but the games really didn’t go his way. In the first one he didn’t see any pendants until Level 3, and in the second he kept on drawing Climaxes or otherwise unplayable cards, meaning he had to pass a turn in the middle of the game. In games where the opponent struggles, Alien can excel because it’s easier to gather resources and throw Summer Festival at them. Only other notable things I can remember in these games was holding off a double Marika combo during Level 1 with a double Counter, and siding a bunch with Summer Festival to avoid the anti-early play counter.

This was a good start to the day, leaving me pretty happy about my prospects for the tournament. Possibly due to it being the new format, the tournament was filled to capacity for the first time since I started coming, with the full 48 players. We had a fair variety of decks, but it already seems pretty clear about what’s going to be the way to go this format.

Decks

 

For those who can’t read Japanese, the decks were: Kancolle (10), Nisekoi (5), Terra Formars (5), Girlfriend(Beta) (4), SAO (3), Nanoha (3), Haruhi (3), Love Live (3), Angel Beats! (2), Project Diva (2), Little Busters!, Macross, Da Capo, Madoka, Shin-chan, Idolm@ster, Gigant Shooter (Not Gigant rare version), Milky Holmes. Terra Formars might still be riding the new series wave, but I reckon the other 3 series in the top 4 are regularly going to take up most of the tournaments. Kancolle still stays as the number 1 deck, but there’s a better variety of decks now, and it doesn’t take up nearly half the field.

TroublevsHaruna

For my first round I was up against R/B Kancolle running Hatsukaze. This game got off to a terrible start and I never really felt like I stood a chance. After dumping a chunk of my opening hand I ended up with 2 copies of the 3 Aliens and a bunch of climaxes / higher Level cards. Clocking and drawing just added to the latter, so I decided to pass turn 1. On turn 2 it didn’t get any better, so I made the decision to put one in support, the other in attack, and at least beat a card thanks to a Climax. This made them rush me with 3 cards, but they left the 3 Aliens for last, since they wanted to use the Rest and move back stage card. By this point I’d been hit into Level 1, and managed to save them thanks to my Magician counter.

On the next turn I thought I’d safely left them at Level 0, by salvaging under Hatsukaze, whilst defeating Inazuma leaving them on 0-4. I wasn’t expecting them to use Inazuma to grab a second one, putting them on 0-5, clock to 0-6, then play the 2nd Inzauma and play over her to get themselves to 1-0. After this Taigei and Akashi were causing problems for me, because I’m stuck with just a 1/0 vanilla, which can’t really match to a 1/0 6500.

Summer Festival Nagato starts to turn things around, by at least allowing me to establish a stage, but it comes down to me needing to cause a lot of damage in a single turn, which would inevitably get cancelled. By this point I was on 3-6, so could easily be finished off by Haruna. Even if he failed once, he could have just played Kongou over the top of her and salvaged her straight back to try again, because he had that much stock.

InfovsI'm not sure that's where CDs go.

For the second round I was facing off against a Y/G Project Diva deck, with its early game built around Rin and Len. The Level 0 Len who becomes a 3500 Level 1 was a pain, because I just wasn’t drawing supports. All I had to rely on was Nagato Yuki, since he made Onsen Haruhi useless. At least Usual Nagato was able to put in some work. At Level 1 he was using the Rin / Len Climax combo that gives you a 10,500+ Len, making short work of all my vanillas. At least I was able to ram two cards with free Encore into them next turn.

I still wasn’t seeing any supports, with 2 copies of my 3 Aliens in Stock, and another taken as damage. In the middle of the game I’d hit a Gate Trigger, hoping to get something good back, but the best I could do was one of my many 1/0s. I finally got one of my 3 Aliens within the last 6 or so cards of my deck, so could actually make use of the 10 or so Stock I had. In a little bit I had double 3 Aliens and Summer Festival, alongside the 1/0. He matched this with his own Level 3s, playing the Stock replacing Miku and 2 Sadistic Music Factory. Unfortunately for him, he walked right into the Ryoko counter, crashing Music Factory into one of my Summer Festival Nagato. I win on the next turn.

witchvsyuri

Round 3 was against a weird build of Angel beats, which either wasn’t using the global Encore or never drew it. I was a bit wary of this match up from years of playing against the deck. Between the Yuri support and my Magician counter, power levels could easily get confusing. He opted to rush me immediately, putting down 3 3,500s and the Yuri support against my 3 Aliens and Nagato Yuki. This would set the scene for the rest of the game, with him mostly throwing 0 cost cards and climaxes at me, keeping up his card numbers with the 2 cost salvager.

I was able to more or less stay on top during the Level 0 game with Onsen Haruhi, Usual Nagato and Nagato Yuki, with my vanillas and the Magician counter putting in work at Level 1. At Level 2 I got out multiple Summer Festival Nagato and just kept on healing as his cards dwindled lower and lower. I would eventually win whilst still in Level 2.

Let's play 'Protect Summer Festival Nagato'!vsshin_chan

The next round was against Shin-chan, which was iffy for me for quite a lot of the game. Thankfully he wasn’t using the runner combo, but I was still struggling to make much of a dent in his Level 0 game. At level 1 we mostly threw costless cards at each other and I think I ended up in Level 2 first. Summer Festival and Guitarist Nagato helped me dominate the Stage and heal some damage back, but it wasn’t enough. I had a terrible string of luck at Deck Refresh, leaving me out most of my Climaxes before the turn was over. I hit a book trigger just before Refresh, took another one as Refresh damage, then triggered a 3rd one and drew into Someday in the Rain with either one of the books, or the Guitarist extra draw.

I was lucky that he never had the Climax combo for the Level 3 Shin-chan, or any way to beat my Level 3s, but there’s not much I can do when I’ve lost most of my Climaxes. It was a close game with us both down to 3-6 by the end, but my luck eventually ran out, and the 2nd or 3rd attack did me in.

Let's play 'Protect Summer Festival Nagato'!vsJoseph

For the last round I was up against I think an RGY Terra Formars deck. Their colours seemed to be all over the place, because they were definitely using the Eva Climax combo, but also had the Akari gate, and I’m sure I saw the Captain somewhere, even if he didn’t play it. Unfortunately for him, his Marcos runner kept on hitting Climaxes, meaning he stayed still a lot of the time. This often meant that my plans for dealing with him never actually worked, because he was in the wrong place. Such as when I was hoping to snipe him with Flower Bouquet Haruhi, but he got stuck Back Stage, and of course I hit a Gate anyway.

During Level 1 he kept up advantage with the Eva combo and bonding to the Michelle Reverser, making my 1/1 a waste of a stock. I think he struggled for Stock a lot of the game, after he 3 Cost Encored a Marcos early on, since he’d been stuck in Level 0. The only late game card I ever saw from him was Joseph, because I don’t think he had enough stock to throw all his Adolf at me. Summer Festival and Trouble Girl just dealt with all of his cards and finished him off.

At this point I was expecting us to have to play a 6th round, but the only undefeated pairing (between I think Nisekoi and Kancolle) resulted in a time out, and what I assume was undefeated Haruhi lost in a pair down game against Girlfriend (Beta). So no one really actually won that day.

3-2 was an okay result for Haruhi, but I would have hoped for better. The Shin-chan game was close until the Triggers at the end, but the Kancolle game was never going to go my way anyway. I reckon I’ll be sticking with this deck for a while now, so be ready to read a lot more Haruhi games in the coming weeks. Somehow, Evangelion is still by best performing deck since I moved.

As always, if you want to be kept more up to date with what I’m getting up to in WS, you can also find me on Twitter @Xagor1.

 

I have no interest in ordinary card games!

It’s March 2nd today, so it’s finally time for Haruhi to come back. I’d been looking forward to this day since the announcement (and waiting years before that), so how would it go in reality?

The tournament was a little disappointing, only managing a 2-2 record, but I can see that this was partly due to mistakes on my part.

Let's play 'Protect Summer Festival Nagato'!vssinon

I started off the day against SAO and things were going pretty well at first. Kirito failed to run, so I was able to take him out with Onsen Haruhi. During the middle of the game, my opponent forgot to use his Marker Asuna’s effect, so she only had 1 marker underneath her. This meant I could run over her with my 1/1 vanilla.

Once in Level 2 I was able to start running things over with Summer Festival and everything looked in a pretty good spot. I was on 2/4 and had some Trouble Girls lined up for later. With 4 Climaxes left I was hoping I might at least cancel something, and if not, it’d be hard to take me out in 1 turn.

My opponent dropped double Sinon and her Climax, leaving him with 2 cards in hand. He started by siding for 1, which I thought might have been to get around the Ryoko counter, but given his surprise later, I think it was just to avoid losing the character. Next I took 4 off the first Sinon, deciding here to use my Counter to stop the 2nd combo. I then took another 2 off her attack, leaving me on 3/4. The last Sinon attacked, hitting a Wind Trigger and the 3 stuck, finishing me off.

My next 2 cards happened to be Climaxes, so if I’d let him do the combo I’d have survived. Even if he’d opted to not use it, and instead side that still would have hit the first Climax, then let me draw Someday in the Rain. This was arguably a miscalculation on my part, because Climaxes would have come up sooner or later, especially since I’d reached the point where half of it was Climaxes. I wasn’t expecting to eat 10 in a row (nor him to hit that last trigger).

TroublevsWill D2 push Laharl over the edge?

The second round was against Disgaea, which can be a very scary deck for Haruhi, because Winged Slayer completely wipes out your gameplan if dropped at the right time.

The game started with the Fenrich and Sardine Valvatoze combo, giving him a 5000 Power unreverseable card. This wouldn’t have been an issue with the older deck, because it had Kyon & Koizumi, but here I use Onsen Haruhi for colour fixing. For a while Valvatoze and Nagato Yuki traded off, with me Encoring her despite the loss of cards. He moved Fenrich up eventually, and I managed to clear them both out thanks to a fortunate Gate Trigger.

At Level 1 he dropped a bunch of 1/0s and used the +2 Soul Climax combo Laharl. Every one of his attacks were cancelled, which was thankful given that some of them were for about 5/6. After that I could just run over his cards with my vanillas.

Once in Level 2, double Summer Festival just ran over everything he had. He stuck things out for a while with his Level 3 Laharls, but he was practically out of cards by the time I was able to start playing Trouble Girl.

InfovsOnodera

The 3rd round would be against Nisekoi, where misplays and mistakes on my part would be my undoing. One example that sticks out was using Swimsuit Haruhi & Nagato to get around his Level 1 Reverser, forgetting that it only has that effect whilst there were pendants in Memory. He had zero at that point.

There was another big mistake just before Refresh, where I decided I’d grab a card from my deck, rather than play Summer Festival. As it turned out, my deck only had Onsen Haruhi and Xmas Party Kyon’s sister, neither of which were Alien, meaning I completely wasted 2 Stock.

About the only thing that went my way was stopping the Level 3 Onodera combo the first time she came down. That only really slowed things down though, since I was too busy messing up my plays. At the end I had a 10 card deck with 2 Climax left and on 3/2. So of course I trigger both of them during my turn and just have to concede there.

witchvsMarika

The final round would be Nisekoi again, and we basically seemed to get into a stock building battle, with both of us having massive piles throughout the game. I was never able to get the 3 Aliens any time during the game, but at least Flower Bouquet Haruhi gave a bit of a power boost. I was able to hold of most of his attacks with the split counter until I could make it to Level 2 and start throwing the Summer Festival combo at him, along with Guitarist Nagato.

On my first turn in Level 2 I decided not to play them, because I didn’t have the Climax and he had no characters. So I just put down Guitarist and moved Flower Bouquet up. I then hit a Gate (with nothing to kill), a Book and drew 2, discarded 1, then another book and drew 2 more and discarded another. At the end of this I had 9 in hand, so had to dump some cards.

Eventually he was ramming all of his Level 3s into Summer Festival, with only Marika able to get over my 1/0 vanilla. He exhausted most of his Stock and Hand, but it was only enough to leave me on 3/2. I then finished him off with Trouble Girl and more Summer Festival putting me back to 3/0. By the end I had 10 clean Stock just sitting there doing nothing.

Overall, it wasn’t particularly a good or bad performance for the deck, with most of the problems falling on my end. I need to think some of these plays through a bit better, and hopefully a bit more practice against decks like Nisekoi, I can better judge what plays I should be making. I should also try to be more aware of my deck’s contents. Here’s hoping I’ll be a bit more successful this weekend.

Get in the boat Shinji!

Since the announcement of the March updates I’ve been eagerly looking forward to playing Haruhi again, but this has meant I’ve been at a loss for what to do in events until then. To fill out the final week of events in Kantai’s current reign, I decided I’d bring out my 2nd oldest deck, Evangelion. In a format of anti-heal and anti-salvage, there’s no better choice than to play a Heal / Salvage deck for which Brainstorm is but a legend.

Tsukuba Tournament

kainatsusinon

My first event with the deck was the Monday evening local in Tsukuba. This was a pretty terrible performance for the deck, since it didn’t manage to win any games, but it put up a good fight in some of them.

The first round was against Kantai, and I seemed to be in a good position as the game was drawing to a close. Finishing Blow Asuka had helped clear out Hatsukaze, and my opponent was nearly at Level 4, whilst I was around 3/0. Unfortunately, they had a lot of Stock at this point. This allowed them to play double Yamato Kai, and give both of them double shot. Combined with a Climax, they hit for about 4, cancel. Double shot. Hit for 4, cancel, shot, cancel. I was then finished off by the final attack.

The second round was against Fairy Tail, and the deck just didn’t work until it was too late. I really struggled to get much going early in the game, and it wasn’t until late game that I was able to start taking apart his stage. It was too late by that point, because I’d racked up too much damage and he was able to finish me off.

The final round was against SAO, and much like the Kantai game, it was going well until the closing of the game. I don’t recall really ever having much problem keeping control of the game, and was able to push him into the upper half of Level 3 whilst still sitting in Level 2. I then got smacked by double Sinon Climax combo and went all the way to Level 4 in a turn.

It was fun bringing the deck out again and getting a few close games, but was disappointed it flopped. Hikari was probably the key card for this day. Twice during the tournament I ended up using her Experience effect and discarding the counter, before bonding it right back.

Afterwards I played a friendly with the new Haruhi deck against IdolM@ster, and was able to win after he finally pushed me to Level 3.

Nakano Tournament

Yesterday evening it was the Nakano tournament, which is meant to be the biggest official shop tournament in Tokyo. It usually gets between 20-30 people from what I’ve seen so far, but does have capacity for up to 48. Apparently it does reach close to this sometimes, but I’ve never been there when that’s happened. It’s also meant to be one of the stronger shop tournaments. It’s a fun event, and it’s nice to have something similar to what I used to have back in Osaka. Attendance levels are similar between the two, but the difference here is that they have more time to run one bigger tournament, rather than splitting into smaller blocks.

Something which is interesting at the Nakano event is that they tally up all the decks being played that day and post the results for everyone to see. Recently the events have been dominated by Kantai, with decks like Girlfriend (Beta), Love Live and Nisekoi also usually featuring prominently. If you’re playing a unique deck on that day, you get entered into a raffle for a free pack. Unfortunately, despite using Gigant Shooter and Lucky Star previously, I’ve yet to win the raffle.

For the tournament I had the choice between Eva and Wooser, since I figured no one would be playing either. I was convinced to go with Eva, but once again didn’t win the raffle.

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

For my first round I was up against Nisekoi, and it looked like we were both getting pretty bad luck in terms of Climaxes, it’s just that in the end things came down better on my end. My opponent kept on cancelling or otherwise losing Climaxes during Level 0 which meant he was stuck there for ages and could beat up his cards. I on the other hand was doing things like clocking into two Climaxes, or triggering two whilst attacking. He also made some mistakes with regards to the power of my cards, possible forgetting about the experience effects, or the global Asuka/Ayanami boost.

Later on I was able to do lots of damage thanks to my Climaxes and his lack of cancelling. Finishing Blow Asuka and Experimental Plugsuit Asuka helping to wipe his Stage, and rack up the damage. When he reached Level 3 he didn’t have enough Stock to go all out, so just had to use the search Onodera and play some cost zeros. I think he might have known about Asuka’s effect, since he made it so that Onodera was the only card on his front Stage by the time my turn game around. I still won from direct attacks and such.

finishingvshatsukaze

The second round was against Kantai collection, which wasn’t as bad for me as I’d been expecting. I was able to keep on top of things power wise for most of the game, and by Level 2 was starting to take his Stage apart. He had to pick up and read Finishing Blow Asuka after she cleared out his Hatsukaze, making my Gates live again. I even hit one on the turn she disappeared, and he never played another copy.

At the end though, he had triple Akagi, and even if it wasn’t for the Clock kicks, the final 2 hits for 3 would have gotten through anyway.

plugsuitvstwin

The third round was against an IdolM@ster deck using the twins, but I didn’t see do-dai anywhere. I’m not sure if he didn’t play it or just never pulled off the combo. Instead he mostly relied on things like the Level 1 cards that switch into each other. After a bit of a shaky start with practically no Climaxes in sight, I was able to start overpowering his cards and establishing field control. Finishing Blow clearing out Off Time Makoto also really helped. About half of my Climaxes were in the bottom 10 cards of my deck, so I was able to stick it out in Level 2 for quite a while. I think in the end his deck just petered out, and after he triggered lots of Climaxes I was able to defeat him.

finishingvsoff_time

The fourth round was against another IdolM@ster deck, but a different build. I don’t really know their names, but he was using some of the event counters, and the card that gives power boosts when you use counters. I think this game had another shaky start with me ending up at a higher Level much earlier, but this once again allowed me to fight back and rack up the damage.

I didn’t ever get around to playing a Level 3 card, instead relying on Experimental Plug Suit Asuka for my damage, and managing to win whilst still in Level 2. I did her combo two turns in a row to up my damage output, even though it was taking a toll on my resources. On the last turn I was tempted to make a very stupid play involving playing over one of my cards with the Level 0 salvage Asuka, playing over her with another card, salvaging Shinji and then playing him over that card, just so my card would have enough to cause a double suicide. I decided not to. In the end, my opponent milled a Climax with a mill counter, then ended up losing to the damage from that hit.

finishingvstarget

The final round was against SAO, packing Sinon and Death Gun cards. Early game was a back and forth between the Kirito runner and the 4k Rei, until I hit Level 1 and could start filling the Stage up. I didn’t see Level 0 Shinji for ages, partly because Rei milled 2 on turn 1. I could just about keep pace with the Sinon Clock Encore, so my stage wasn’t too badly impacted. I was in Level 2 first again, which allowed me to kill off his Death Gun support with Finishing Blow, who was 3 cost Encored back immediately. This left my opponent with no Stock, and really stifled his plays for the rest of the game. He was never able to recover and I went on to win.

After Eva somehow going 4-1 I got a pack out of it, but unfortunately it was from 4 series I didn’t care for, so just picked Kantai and didn’t get anything interesting. I played a friendly with Haruhi against new Kantai against my friend and was able to just about come out on top in the end.

I’m now looking forward to Haruhi this week, and I don’t expect I’ll be using a unique deck any longer.