I put together a new deck over the course of Sunday, so decided this warranted my first tournament report in ages. Read on to find out how I did with a completely untested Index deck!
Thanks to its recent Comeback Campaign Index has received a huge boost in playability, and is now among the upper tiers of decks. I thought it might be nice to play a heal heavy deck again, like in the old days, and its Level 1 lineup looked interesting.
Current trends in the game can allow for a healing heavy deck like this to succeed. None of the high performing and played decks use anti-heal, and none of them are particularly affected by it either. Playing anti-heal for the sake of crushing Index seems like a poor choice, so I doubt we’ll be seeing much Hibiki Kantai for example. Decks like Rewrite or Little Busters are still a potential threat, but they’re not seen in enough numbers over here to be a major concern.
After scrambling to get cards around Akiba and Ikebukuro I managed to throw the below build together. It can likely do with some tweaking, but I need to do some more testing first.
Everyone in Japan is running the B/R build allowing access to Misakuro, the potential to play gates, and adding to the strength of your Level 0 lineup, either through the runner or the reverser, and the cost 0 killer brainstorm. I decided to opt for the B/Y build with Touma, at least partly because it is significantly cheaper, but also because it allows for extra plays with the Dragon Strike counter. Unfortunately I’ve yet to play any games where this actually matters.
Another difference I’ve seen in Japanese builds is a much greater preference for the comeback Kanzaki than the Index & Touma. Kanzaki is far more reliable, since her no side-attacking is barely a restriction. Touma & Index will sometimes rest themselves, which is a pain, but I think their general utility for deck fixing outweighs that issue. I ran out of ideas for my Level 0 lineup, so I ended up playing both anyway, but with more of the Index & Touma.
I have always had a terrible habit of entering TCG tournaments with barely tested new decks, and it was no different here. Prior to the tournament I managed to get halfway through a game with a friend’s Guilty Crown deck that’s still transitioning from the old builds. The game was not really representative of much, but I’d been dominating the early game, despite a relatively bad Climax situation.
We had to cut our game short because the tournament started, with 42 players participating. The deck distribution can be found below. If you can’t read Japanese, the series go in order: Cinderella Girls, Girlfriend, ToLoveRu, Nisekoi, Madoka, Index, Love Live, Persona, Attack on Titan, Shana, Guilty Crown, Sword Art Online. As expected, Cinderella Girls is bumped up by new set release, so expect numbers to shift next week.
Round 1 vs Attack on Titan (Corps)
My first game was against RGY Titan, which was a fairly unpleasant game. My opponent’s attitude and demeanor just made me feel uncomfortable, making this the least fun game of the day.
I started off fairly badly, with no playable attackers. Fortunately though, all my opponent did was put out the Eren Stock Reverser, allowing me to crash the bond Index into it. Things got a little better after this, and I was actually able to stabilise my Stage.
Level 1 consisted of me playing the 1/0s and trying to beat over cards, but the 3D maneuver gear allowed him to dodge my attacks. His Climax situation seemed pretty poor, because he was using them when he really didn’t need to, and dumped two of them for the 3D Gear.
Eventually he changed into the swapping Mikasa, which was a minor pain, but everything else was still getting beaten up. Once in Level 3 she was joined by Levi, who swung into an empty slot thanks to the Eren stock reverser. Whether I took it or not didn’t really matter because I was on 3/0 at the time. I played Index, Touma and the 1/0 Index to finish out the game, with a direct attack for 2 being enough to end it all.
Round 2 vs Cinderella Girls
This game was much improved over my previous one, because I had a friendly opponent, and a fun game. He remembered me as being the person playing the ‘King of Fighters’ deck, consisting of 42 PRs and 8 King of Fighters cards.
This game generally just went my way. Touma & Index combined with the Brainstorm meant I was cancelling lots, and looping the 1/0 via Hyouka & Index meant I was repeatedly able to wipe out most of his cards. Occasional Climax plays put me ahead in damage, and I was able to win during Level 2. It was either this game or the next where I managed an even trade-off against the early play Anzu with my 1/0.
Since the game had ended quickly we tried to get another friendly in before the next round. I got into a silly situation with about 11 cards in hand, and managed to go from about 20 cards to Refresh effect in a single turn. The following turn I also brainstormed and hit 4 Climaxes.
Round 3 vs Cinderella Girls
I don’t recall too many details about this game, because I’m still not really sure what all of these new cards do. Everyone seemed to be using high utility Level 0s and the early play Anzu, but the rest of the deck didn’t really do much. This build was running the 1/1 unkillable, alongside the New Generations Climax combo, but they never actually pulled off the latter, so at the time I had no idea what some of his cards were really doing.
Main thing I remember is looping the 1/0 and beating up his 1/1 to make him take extra damage. Ended it all with Touma and some other cards, when I honestly expected him to last another turn.
Round 4 vs To Love Ru
This game was against one of the several other foreigners attending that day, so we got to have a chat in English during the game. This was overall a fairly poor game for me, with repeatedly drawing or triggering Climaxes soon followed up by lots of damage. I was trailing behind for most of the game, and nearly every instance of the 1/0 top check failed. This was all compounded by a Brainstorm which hit 2 Climaxes only to reveal my deck consisted of events. Oops.
Eventually he dropped 3 Yami and I was done.
Round 5 vs Persona (Execution)
The final round was against a friend with an Execution deck. I thought it might be interesting to see how two heavy heal decks did against each other, but I was never really significantly in the game. My early game mostly consisted of single attacks with supports, because my attackers were nowhere to be found. As a result, I fell behind on resources and stock fairly early on.
The Level 1 game went a bit better, allowing me at least some chance to fight back. During the game he was able to use his Level 0 Reverser to get rid of some of my heal counters, which was a bit of a pain. He also eventually killed Touma with another copy of that card.
At the end of the game I do a bunch of stupid plays to try and thin down my deck, followed by some big Touma and Climax assisted attacks. He ends up somewhere around 3/4, and I get crushed thanks to execution. Things might have been better if I’d just left my deck as it was, and done sensible normal attacks.
Following the tournament I also had a friendly with a Kotori Love Live deck. Main things I can recall is his cards running off to Memory to dodge my 1/0 Index, and us having a very long Level 3 game, thanks to healing and cancelling.
I’m going to get another chances to try the deck out tonight, so will hopefully have some more thoughts after that. All I can say so far is that when I works properly, it works fantastically.