Evangelion 3.33: You Can(not) Brainstorm

I’ve had a bit of a break from tournament play since my last Index post, either opting to just hang with friends and play cards, or skipping tournaments to rest after a day of work. Apart from testing with Index I’ve been pulling out a bunch of my old decks, giving people a chance to play against decks they’d normally never see. For the past week or so I’ve felt like playing Evangelion again, at least partly because of the reaction I get out of people who’ve never seen [Finishing Blow Asuka] before. Read on to find out how I did in the most recent Nakano tournament.

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Log Horizon Overview: Living in the Database

Log Horizon was a much hyped Extra Booster when it originally appeared in Japan, partly thanks to unique cards like the Level 3 Shiroe and the relatively high density of good cards. However, this hype died down fairly quickly, with the deck disappearing from the competitive scene within a few weeks. The set is about to make an appearance in the English game, so I think it’s about time to revisit the set.

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The Shiyoko of Fighters

One of the nice things about Weiß Schwarz is that it’s pretty difficult to come up with a deck where winning is impossible. There are clearly decks that are better than others, but there’s also a lot of space for gimmicky decks. Even if they’ll lose most of their games, you can usually get fun games out of them, and it’s pretty rare to get complete wash outs. You’re not going to get one turned killed, or left staring down an insurmountable field from the get go like in other games.

With these ideas in mind, I’m going to be presenting a couple of my recent Neo Standard decks which are pretty high up on the scale for gimmicks. If you plan on actually winning often, and doing well these aren’t the decks for you. They’re good for having a laugh.

First up we’ve a deck which can be very loosely categorised as being a ‘King of Fighters’ deck, by virtue of 8 cards in the deck. In Weiß Schwarz there are a handful of PR cards which can be played in any deck. These usually feature Bushiroad’s mascot Shiyoko, or characters and people from their other properties.

The aim had originally been to build a fully PR deck, making it a Neo Standard deck which didn’t actually belong to a single title in the game. Unfortunately there are only 2 Climax cards, one of which is very hard to obtain. This left me resorting to my backup plan of combining it with King of Fighters and one of the more unusual Level 3 cards in the game.

For convenience I will link to Heart Of The Cards for translations, so you can look up the cards yourself.

Level 0

4x Assisting Shiyoko

2x Loves Card Games! Shiyoko

2x Full of Smiles, Emitsun

3x Suzuka, Childhood Friend Full of Pleasantry

4x Shizuru, Heisei Big-Breasted Girl

3x Emi Nitta as Tokoha Anjou

Chosen Warrior Takeshi

Michi, Idol of the Academy

Given the nature of the deck there isn’t much room for variety, especially since 5 of them are vanillas, and the rest are barely above vanilla in terms of usability. This makes traits and colours important in deciding exactly how many of each card to use.

Takeshi is the only Green PR card, which means he’s needed to help pull off the King of Fighters cards later on. Unfortunately I currently only have one, otherwise I’d play more to make colour fixing easier. He also comes with the very rare Hetare (approx. well meaning, but inept) trait, which is only shared with another 2 cards, from the rarely played Visual Arts and Wooser sets. It is very rare that he won’t add a trait to the stage.

Your Blue cards are all Shiyoko, with the vanilla as filler and the support a key part of the deck. They both have Card Game, which is important for your Level 1 game, and is a trait shared by most other cards in the deck. Since Loves Card Games! Shiyoko only has Card Game, she won’t be any help powering up Ash.

Assisting Shiyoko is key to powering up Ash, and having a laugh, because she can add Genki trait to a character by resting herself. This is mostly pointless, but it’s a +1000 buff to Ash once you reach Level 3. Her 2nd trait is Headband, which pretty much only exists in King of Fighters and Sengoku Basara, so you rarely need to worry about overlap.

There are a variety of Red cards on offer, adding a bunch of different traits to the deck, making them useful for Ash later on. Michi has Otaku, Emitsun has the very rare Seiyuu trait and Music, Suzuka has Swimsuit and Card Game and finally Emi Nitta has Vanguard and Card Game. All the 3000s are vanilla cards, so it doesn’t really matter which ones you use. You can just ignore the effect on Emi Nitta since you’ll never have a Neo Nectar Vanguard, since you’re playing the wrong game. Emitsun has Hand Encore, so you can keep her around easily if you need to. However, with 20 Level 0s you’ll never be short on playable cards.

Finally we have Shizuru our only Yellow card, who gains 1000 in your turn. She is probably your best Level 0, since she can actually beat cards in battle. Her Love trait can be useful, you just need to wary of this trait appearing in series like Madoka and IdolM@ster to name but a few.

Level 1

4x Shiro-Kuro Fes Shiyoko

4x Shiro-Kuro Fes Shiyoko 2014

There are only two Level 1 PRs, so you have to play both of them at max. Both are Card Game / Music, so it helps get you another trait on the stage. The 2014 version can wall up during your opponent’s turn, whilst the first Shiro-Kuro Fes Shiyoko has Clock Encore to help keep herself alive.

Level 2

Ren Suzugamori

Izumi Kitta as Misaki Tokura

2x Nanana Pal Child Actor Sora Tokui

2x Evil Army! Don-sama

4x Aichi Sendou

Both Ren and Izumi Kitta act as top checks, so you can try to avoid stocking a Climax with your Stock boost. I’m mainly just using them so I have one of each card in the deck. You can ignore Izumi Kitta’s other effect, because you’ll never have an Oracle Think Tank Vanguard.

Sora Tokui gives your deck access to a very expensive burn effect, but also let’s you see their hand. When you play her, you say a Level between 0 and 3 and if your opponent has a card of that Level in their hand they take 1 burn damage. 4 Stock overall is a pretty steep cost for this though. At least she has the Buddyfight trait to power up Ash.

Don-sama is your main attacker, as the biggest PR card in the game, and the only one with 2 Soul. Unfortunately he can’t direct attack, so your opponent can just ram cards into yours to stop him from being able to do anything. Having the Alien trait also helps with powering up Ash, unless you happen to be playing against Haruhi, or there’s a Kyubey hanging around.

The final and best Level 2 is Aichi, who has a Climax combo with Stand Up!, letting you draw a card when he attacks. He can also power himself up by resting other characters, so you might be able to beat things without spending too much stock. You’ll just have to forego giving cards Genki for a turn or two.

In the Level 2 lineup there’s quite a bit of space for changes, because aside from Aichi there aren’t really any cards you’d definitely want to play 4 of. If you want more deck manipulation you can use more Ren and Izumi Kitta, but if you want more Soul damage you can use more Don-Sama

Level 3

4x Plunderer Ash

There are no Level 3 PR cards, so instead I opted to combine the deck with King of Fighters, letting me put Ash and his +2 Soul Climax into the deck. Ash is one of the more fun Level 3s in the game, despite the underwhelming looking 3000 Power. As gains every single trait on the Stage, including your opponent’s, and for every trait he has his Power goes up by 1000. This is why Assisting Shiyoko is so useful, because adding Genki to the Stage will give him extra Power.

You can usually expect to have Card Game, Headband, Genki and Vanguard at the very least, which can often be supplemented by traits like Music, Seiyuu, Swimsuit, Buddyfight and Hetare. Unless your opponent’s deck is very mono-trait you can usually gain a good 3-4000 from their Stage too. Ash can get up to the regular 10,000 base for Level 3s and often exceed that.

Ash has a very strong Climax combo with Germinal, letting you heal from Clock to Stock, and stopping your opponent’s Backups and Events. The healing gets around anti-heal cards and gives you extra Stock for the next turn, or to just help Encore Ash during your opponent’s turn. The anti-counter effect makes sure you can defeat your opponent’s card, but also prevents annoying cards like Sayaka’s Wish or anti-damage events.

Finally he also sends his defeated opponents to Memory, so they won’t be bothering him again. Be careful with effect though, since if you have multiple copies of Ash you might be cutting their Power down by removing Traits from the Stage.

Climaxes

4x Stand Up!

4x Germinal

Stand Up! is the old fashioned Stock boost Climax, which combos with Aichi. You need to be wary that you may sometimes blind Stock a Climax when using this.

Germinal is a +2 Soul, and the combo card with Ash. You can use this to push for damage if you see an opening or fall behind in damage.

General Play

This deck is very straightforward, so there’s not really anything that needs to be explained with it. You’ll spend most of the early game playing costless cards and hoping to be able to beat something it battle. When you can’t you can use your Climaxes to help Side Attack over your opponent’s cards. You’ll want to try and hold Ash and Aichi for later in the game so you can pull off their respective Climax combos. Aichi is very useful for making sure you have enough cards in your hand to be able to make future plays, whilst Ash will surprise your opponent with his unusual healing mechanic.

All the Stock you build can be used for 3 Cost Encoring characters when you start running low on playable ones, or just as a means of Deck compression. I’ve had 17 clean Stock with this deck before, although I did then keep on drawing Climaxes.

Don’t expect to win many games, but you’ll have a good laugh with the deck. It would be better if there were more King of Fighters cards and less PRs, but that’s not really the point of the deck. You’ll see Assisting Shiyoko turn up in normal King of Fighters decks all the time, for her ability to power up Ash.

Going Full PR

The ultimate aim for the deck was to play it with just PR cards, unfortunately the “Love” Aimi Climax is expensive and hard to find, so I currently don’t have any of it. It’s a +2 Soul, just like Germinal, but it’s Red and doesn’t have a Climax combo.

Aimi is another 2/1 8000 for the deck, but she’s potentially the strongest card in the deck, since she can pump herself to 11,000. This happens if you cancel damage during a battle involving her. Your opponent will need to be wary attacking her, and may need to account for the extra 3000 boost. It may encourage your opponent to only attack her with 1 Soul characters since the damage is less likely to be cancelled. If your opponent can get their 2 Soul cards above 11-12,000 it won’t matter anyway. Her effect is too inconsistent to rely on working much.

(This article originally incorrectly stated that Aimi got Power when her damage was cancelled)

Hope you’ve enjoyed this look at one of the more gimmicky decks in the game. I’ll be back soon with another one, looking at a Blue / Yellow Girlfriend (Beta) deck.

Return of Lucky Star

This past Sunday was filled with lots of card games, both in the tournament and outside it. This report will only be fairly short though.

I met up in the afternoon with a couple of other players and was able to get in lots of games with a variety of decks. We even started getting a new player up to speed on his Madoka deck.

I’d brought my Alien, Evangelion, Lucky Star and Traitless decks with me that day, and they all got at least one outing. Although from what I can recall Evangelion completely fell apart and wasn’t able to do anything useful in the one game it played.

For the tournament I decided to use my Lucky Star deck, which hasn’t seen a tournament outing in a while. I’d recently managed to obtain the official Lucky Star sleeves, so wanted to get some use out of them. This week I neglected to get the deck distributions and winning deck, so all I can say is that it was the lowest turn out we’ve had in a while.

shockvsMarika

Round 1 was against Nisekoi, and there really isn’t much to say about this match. By the start of my first turn I think I had 2 Climax in the Waiting Room and another 3 in hand, with my only playable cards being the Patricia supports.

The deck never really did anything useful and I was behind pretty much the whole time. At least I made Marika a 9 Soul before losing to her 2nd burn for 1.

Stand upvsMarika

Round 2 was Nisekoi again, and I don’t actually recall much about this game. I tried to push for game with the Restander, but it failed and I lost next turn to Marika. If I’d not done that then my +6 Soul counter might have saved me.

shockvsKerche

Round 3 was against a gimmicky Zero no Tsukaima deck full of top deck checkers, brainstorms and cards that looked for Climax triggers. Most turns involved plays like, top deck check, brainstorm, draw / salvage 2, top deck check, ram guys in. This repeated for most of the game, with free deck refresh and change to the Level 3 Louise involved. Outside of the Level 3 Louise, his cards were generally just too small to beat any of mine.

As the game drew closer to the end, he started to make use of Kirche cards that allowed him to stack the top of my deck. In the first instance I was down to 3-5 with Deck Refresh fast approaching, he then stacked 1 card and hit me for 1 damage. I had the +6 Soul counter to survive this though, and I survived the following attack too.

I refreshed to 3-6 and followed it up with the healer and 3 copies of Stand Up! Konata. This got me back my +6 Soul counter, and I think yet another healer. I had a lot of stock at this point. On the next turn he stacked 2 whilst hitting for 2 damage and 100M Shock saved the day again. I somehow eked out a win on the next turn.

KonatavsChristmas

The last round was against Milky Holmes and a player who’d never encountered Lucky Star before. This was a fun game and he was quite surprised by how much Power Lucky Star was able to put on the Stage. Even his 3000 counters weren’t enough in many cases.

I couldn’t get Kung Fu during Level 0, which meant he could take out things like the Otaku trio, but I was able to field a nearly full power Stage from Level 1, getting out double Battlefield Konata, and Sunday’s Best Konata. Those cards managed to stay there for pretty much most of the game.

Eventually I upgraded into the even stronger 2/2 Konata, which he just couldn’t deal with. When he finally got a card above their 11,500 Power, I had the Kuroi-sensei counter to push one to 15,000.

At the very end he was down to 2 in hand and the PR Shalo on the Stage, and I knew one of them was the 1/0 counter since he hit a Gate trigger last turn. I went for the Restand combo anyway and beat him with Stand Up! Konata anyway, even though she got reversed by the counter.

A final result of 2-2 wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t a good outing for what used to be one of my best decks.

I had a few more friendlies afterwards, including a very close game with the Traitless deck, and then Alien and Lucky Star running over an Execution deck.

“…” Report

I’m back after a week’s break where I didn’t feel like writing anything. The tournaments 2 weeks ago weren’t particularly good for me, with a 1-4 followed by a 2-1 for my Alien deck. I went a bit overboard with the Mikuru plays, and this made things pretty bad for me in some games. For example in my first game I nearly won despite only ever playing 1 character above Level 0.

After a run of bad to middling results with Haruhi I decided I wanted to just mess about, so went in with Tabitha this past weekend. It’s a gimmicky deck where the idea is to get out a Level 2 during Level 0, then sit on it and Soul Rush the opponent to defeat. Sometimes this works, but usually it’ll splutter out or fail spectacularly.

Milky Holmes was back on top this week with 5 players, but most of the other popular decks were the usual suspects. Love Live (4), Nisekoi (4), Kancolle (3), SAO (2), IdolM@ster, Illya, Shin-chan, Girlfriend, Terra Formars, Zero no Tsukaima (me), Fairy Tail, Psycho Pass, Rewrite, Nanoha and Project Diva.

Tabitha_AlarmvsChitoge3

The first round was against Nisekoi piloted by one of the regulars at the tournament. I’m never really a fan of these games, because he usually seems to be in a bad mood when he plays against me. This really wasn’t his game, because he couldn’t get his Pendants going until far too late in the game. I either pulled off the Change in Level 0, or as soon as I hit Level 1, which meant his 1/0s couldn’t do anything about the 2/2 Tabitha, and I was able to build up more of them on the Stage.

My set up had gotten pretty ridiculous by the end, with one of the 2/2 Tabitha, the Level 3 Tabitha who gains 2000 if you Trigger a Climax, and 3 of the Tabitha & Illococoo card that gives someone +1 Soul if you trigger a Climax. On top of this I also had the Alarm Tabitha active, giving all my yellow cards an extra Soul. My first attack hit a Wind Trigger, and I added an extra Soul to all of my attacking characters. In the heat of the moment I forgot to actually bounce anything, and my opponent was very forceful about not letting me use that effect. I decided I didn’t care, because it would reduce the chance of my follow up attacks being cancelled. I think I sided for 3 and game.

Tabitha+sisvsMiki3

The second round was against IdolM@ster, and things got pretty silly during this game. This was the first round where my opponent seemed pretty confused by what I discarded turn 1, because he needed to have a serious think about what he was going to do. I went first with a vanilla, which got defeated by one of his 4000 Level 0s. Fortunately the second one ended up in Stock. Next turn Louise hit two Climaxes, netting me two copies of Tabitha & Illococoo, which were able to get over his card with help from her familiar.

The middle of the game was mostly back and forth between the 2/2 Tabitha and whatever he could throw at it. During Level 1 he really couldn’t do much, and his Level 2s only had high Power in his turn, meaning I could Encore her and go again. There was a lot of Soul damage going around from hitting +2 Soul Triggers, the Tabitha Alarm and Tabitha & Illococoo. A lot of this was getting cancelled though, which meant he was stuck in Level 2 for a long time. It also meant he nearly Refreshed 3 times.

At the very end I was at 3/6, whilst he was still in Level 2. I think he must have been at 2-5 given how much damage I caused, since there’s no way he could have been at 2-1 and cancelled nothing. I was pretty sure the game was done at this point, but I was going to try my best to go out all guns blazing. My Stage had the 2/2 Tabitha, the really bad Encore Bodyguard (I think), and Tabitha & Illococoo. I attacked for 2 and hit a +2 Soul Trigger, giving another Soul to my Level 3. The 4 stuck, pushing him to Level 3. Next my Level 3 hit a Wind Trigger, making her another 4 Soul hit, and giving Tabitha & Illococoo an extra Soul. This time the damage was cancelled. Next I attacked directly with Tabitha & Illococoo, hitting a Soul Trigger, making it another attack for 4. This stuck, leaving him at 3-6 with 2 cards left in deck.

I figured it was all over unless he had a heal, but what I had forgotten was that the Level 3 Miki can burn with her effect before you get to Trigger check, potentially winning him the game just before Refresh. My opponent used a card to check the final card in his deck before conceding. He had 3 Miki, but his last card was a Climax, which wouldn’t have caused any burn damage.

TabithavsHaruna

The third game was against Kantai Collection. I pulled off the 0 to 2 Change at 0-6 and just sat on my big 2/2s for the rest of the game. They were big enough that my opponent couldn’t deal with them properly until Level 3, by which point I could just keep Encoring them and ramming them into things again.

My lucky streak continued as I managed to win the game before running out of cards.

TabithavsNot_3Aliens

The Tabitha deck was on a roll, but it would come crashing down against my second Kantai Collection opponent. I think I did the usual revive Cost 0 plays and lots of Soul boosts, but it was finally a game where the massive bursts didn’t stick, or at least not often enough. There was a good start, pushing him close to Level 2 whilst I was still in 0, but things were able to soon turn around. The deck eventually petered out, and some big hits were cancelled, meaning I couldn’t end the game.

Louise_brainstormvsNico

The last round was against Love Live. I got the 2/2 out early which meant Eli wasn’t a problem and over the course of the game was able to grind him down to practically no resources. The Tabitha support who gives someone 2000 Power if you hit a Climax during Brainstorm was very useful in this game, allowing my 1/0s to beat things in battle they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.

The final turns were very tense, with my opponent getting me to 3/5, with his last attack from Nico, but only 1 card in hand. He refrained from doing the Clock kick, letting me clock my Alarm next turn and try one last push. I Brainstormed a lot with Louise, including doing moves like reviving a new Louise over a rested copy to get a 3rd Brainstorm off. I couldn’t end it, and was finished off on the next turn.

I was pretty happy with the 3-2 result especially since it wasn’t a serious deck by any stretch of the imagination. Most of the game were fun, just because of the gimmicky stuff that happened. My Kantai opponent from Round 4 went on to win the event.

For those interested, the full deck list is as follows:

Sensible_deck2

 

I decided to skip over the Monday event this time, so no report from that.

This also seems to be my 300th post. So happy 300th post I suppose.

If you want to keep up to date on the TCG and other stuff I get up to, you can follow me on Twitter @Xagor1