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.

Advertisements

Deck Profile: Otaku Power!

For the first Deck Profile in a long while, I’m going to be looking at the Otaku deck from Lucky Star. Thanks to a recent Comeback Campaign and a new PR card, the deck has been given a massive boost in strength. The deck has gone from outdated and weak, to something which can measure up to modern decks. The deck has a very straightforward strategy, but in my experience it does this very well.

This is probably the happiest Weiβ Schwarz deck I've played

This is probably the happiest Weiβ Schwarz deck I’ve played

I’ll be working through my current list for the deck, explaining my card choices and the strategies for playing them, alongside alternatives you might want to consider if you wanted to play the deck. For the convenience of the readers, each card will have a link to the translations found on Heart of the Cards. So if you’re unfamiliar with the cards you can check out exactly what they do on there. In some cases I will be using slightly different names to the ones they have listed, because I disagree with the way they’ve chosen to do some of the translations. Also in one or two cases, I’ve made some slight modifications so the name flows a little better in English.

Level 0: 18
4x Patricia Martin
4x Konata & Hiyori & Patty
4x Sunday’s Best Konata
4x Kung Fu Master Konata
2x Calm Type Miyuki

Level 1: 10
4x Battlefield Konata
4x Summer’s Day Konata
2x Innocent Konata

Level 2: 7
3x Swiftly Running Girl Konata
2x Kuroi Nanako
1x Way of Hobby Konata
1x 100M Shock

Level 3: 7
3x Stand Up! Konata
3x Favourite Food Konata
1x Strongest Character Miyuki

Climaxes: 8
4x Small Breasts are a Status Symbol and Rare
3x This Year Begins
1x Hiyori Starting

Level 0

Everybody looks so happy to be here!

Everybody looks so happy to be here!

The first thing you might notice about the deck is the large number of Level 0 cards that it plays, and the fact that a disproportionately large number of these are essentially support characters. The deck contains more support cards at Level 0 than most other decks contain in their entirety. These supports are vital for getting the deck up and running, and most of them remain relevant for the majority of the game. With so many supports it becomes much easier to set up for the early game.

The most important support in the deck, and arguably the most important card in the deck is [Sunday’s Best Konata], who provides general support for the deck, as well as turning [Battlefield Konata] and [Swiftly Running Girl Konata] into real powerhouses. During Level 0 she is important for helping your attackers reach their full potential, thanks to the global +500 she provides for Otaku, as well as the fact she has that attribute herself. Her true power isn’t revealed until you reach Level 1 though, at which point she turns into a +1,000 boost for [Battlefield Konata], allowing you to fairly easily field some 8,500 Power cards with Encore during Level 1. Once you reach Level 2 you can start putting down cards with up to 11,500 Power, which can even threaten some Level 3 cards. It’s only once you reach Level 3 where you might consider playing other cards instead.

You don't want to be staring this field down!

You don’t want to be staring this field down!

A big selling point for this card is the fact that it remains relevant into the late game. This means you don’t need to pay Stock in order to play new cards, or have to worry about drawing higher Level support cards. You can just keep the same Level 0 cards around and get large Power boosts out of them.

The second main support for the deck is [Patricia Martin], who not only functions as a backup plan for global supports, but also bonds to [Battlefield Konata], your most important Level 1 card. She gives a global +500 to all of your Manga characters, which includes all of your other Otaku characters, except [Swiftly Running Girl Konata]. This means that during Level 0 she serves just as good a support role as Konata, and that she still helps at Level 1, albeit not as much as Konata. You will hopefully have been able to replace her by the time you reach Level 2 though, because she will not give [Swiftly Running Girl Konata] a Power boost, beyond the fact Patricia will count as an Otaku.

Turn that stock into a Level 1 card! Sometimes you can even pay out a Climax.

Turn that stock into a Level 1 card! Sometimes you can even pay out a Climax.

Her Bond allows you to safely discard [Battlefield Konata] from your opening Hand, and it gives the deck an easy way to start building up card numbers. At the same time, she can also be helpful for paying out early Climaxes.

Miyuki is a multi-purpose card within the deck, who fulfils several different roles. The most obvious is the fact that she can search your deck for just about any card you want. The only character she cannot get is your Level 2 Counter, [Kuroi Nanako]. This search effect can be important at any point in the game, whether it’s getting your full set of supports at Level 0, or making sure you have more high Level cards to play at the end of the game.

Turn unwanted cards into powerful new ones!

Turn unwanted cards into powerful new ones!

Tied to this effect is the fact that you can also use her as a hand filter, allowing you to dump Climaxes to the Waiting Room without the need to play them. In this way you can avoid losing resources and also set up for after Deck Refresh. If you have her alongside [Patricia Martin], you might even consider discarding [Battlefield Konata], knowing you can bond it right back, although this will probably not be worth the effort most of the time, compared to just keeping it in your hand.

Her third use is to help provide a Power boost to your characters, ensuring she actually has a use after completing her search effect. This effect is obviously intended to work with [Completionist General Miyuki], who can reach at least 57,000, but that card has no place in an Otaku deck. Instead she’ll usually be providing either a 1,000 or 2,000 boost, which can be useful for winning battles you otherwise could not.

This effect can be useful at most points in the game, but will probably be least useful during Level 1. During Level 0 a +1000 boost can make a big difference, especially given the lack of Counters at that point in the game. Once you reach Level 1, not only does the importance of a +1000 boost go down relative to general strength of cards, but you also need to consider that in real terms it is only worth +500. Since she is not an Otaku, your Level 1 cards will not be getting the +500 they would have if she were. Whilst this is still true at Level 2, the fact you can start giving a +2000 boost, or in real terms +1500 can make quite a substantial difference. Level 3 cards will benefit from the full +2000, since they stop caring about the presence of other Otaku.

Miyuki also allows you to get an extra boost out of Climaxes, turning any Soul increase into an extra +1,000. So with [Hiyori Starting], you might even see characters gain +4,000 Power.

Since Kung Fu Master Konata is Level 1, it's extra hard to get rid of her.

Since Kung Fu Master Konata is Level 1, it’s extra hard to get rid of her.

The main attacker in the deck is [Kung Fu Master Konata], who is a powerful variant of some commonly seen Level 0 cards. Many decks have access to cards which become 3500 when two or more other cards of a certain attribute are around (usually matching to their own), so this is hardly a special effect. Where Konata differs is that by giving up an extra 500 base Power, she also gains a Level when two or more other Otaku are around. This kind of effect is much more common on ‘loner’ type cards, which become stronger when fewer or even no other characters are around.

Since Konata gets bigger in the presence of other cards, it means she can often become stronger than loner cards, because she is still able to benefit from support cards. You could also play multiple copies of her on the Front Stage, without worrying about her losing strength, although I wouldn’t recommend doing this most of the time. It’s not unusual to have her as a Level 1 4500, meaning that she threatens other Level 0 cards in battle, as well as being immune to most Level 0 Reversers.

Cheer up Rei! You didn't lose by that much!

Cheer up Rei! You didn’t lose by that much!

The final Level 0 in the deck is [Konata & Hiyori & Patty], who I often call the Otaku Trio. This card provides a big heavy hitter for the deck, capable of hitting 6000 on the offensive without too many problems. This should be able to deal with most Level 0 cards that Konata can’t beat, and even take on a few of the smaller Level 1 cards. Be wary that they will lose their Power afterwards, making them liable to only last a single turn. However their regular base is a respectable 2500 Power, so they can sometimes stick around for more than 1 turn. It’s also important to note that you will not be able to use two of them at full strength together. Although, usually you won’t want to be fielding too many cards at Level 0.

This is not a sensible plan!  You could lose far too many cards if it goes wrong.

This is not a sensible plan! You could lose far too many cards if it goes wrong.

As you might have realised,  both of these attackers need to have 2 other Otaku around in order to function properly. A lot of the time this can be achieved thanks to the large number of support cards the deck plays, but what about those games where you don’t draw them? What will you do then? If you cannot get 3 Otaku cards at all during Level 0, you will probably need to sacrifice them in order to simply gain Stock. Sometimes you might be able to get over 1 or 2 cards thanks to a Climax or Miyuki, but this deck can really struggle if it gets a bad opening draw.

If you do get 3 Otaku, but none of them are supports, what should you do then? It’s very tempting to go on the offensive, especially if you have lots of [Kung Fu Master Konata], but this could leave you very open to counterattack, especially if your opponent can easily play cards with 3,500 Power or more. Instead, I would suggest placing two of them Back Stage, only putting the final one to the Front Stage. Which one you choose to leave out the front will depend on what your opponent has.

A much better idea. Now you'll only lose 1 card if things go wrong.

A much better idea. Now you’ll only lose 1 card if things go wrong.

If you’re going first you’ll usually want to leave [Kung Fu Master Konata] out the front, because even at 3,500 it can threaten some cards, and the ability to get around Reversers should not be underestimated. If you suspect your opponent will defeat Konata anyway, you might simply want to sacrifice one of your Level 0 cards on the first turn, sending it out alone, and hoping that you get better cards on the second turn.

If you’re going second it will depend on what your opponent has played. If it’s a Reverser or small, then feel free to send [Kung Fu Master Konata] after it. If it’s big you’re better off using the Otaku trio to deal with it, because they can reach 5,000  even without supports. If 5000 is too small, even to suicide, then you’re probably in big trouble.

Due to the fact the deck plays 18 Level 0 cards, 16 of which are Otaku, it is usually fairly easy to start with Level 0 cards, at least some of which should be supports. I would usually advise dumping cards from your opening hand which are not Level 0, in order to increase your chances of setting up a proper Stage early on. This goes against how I usually play, where I try to keep at least some options for the late game. One card you might want to keep is [This Year Begins] for the Power boost and the fact you don’t lose cards by playing it. The draw will also help you dig for other Level 0 cards. You can always Bond back [Battlefield Konata], or simply search for the cards you need later on. If however you already have a good Level 0 set up in your opening hand, then it’s probably a good idea to hang onto the other cards as well, since you won’t need to dig for other Level 0 cards just yet.

I would advise playing as many copies of most of these cards as you can, because having as many Otaku at Level 0 as possible is very important for the deck. The only card where it might be overkill, is with Miyuki, because she isn’t an Otaku, and you might want to save some of your Stock for actually playing other cards.

Alternatives

Aside from these cards, which other Level 0 cards might you want to consider when playing this deck? Unfortunately, the choice of cards is very narrow, because most of them fit into the other decks within Lucky Star, like Twins or Glasses, and would not help the Otaku deck at all. Other cards like [Yasaka Kou] are completely outclassed by the supports already in the deck, and ones like [Hobbyist Hiyori] I just think are bad.

Not as strong as the others, but more consistent.

Not as strong as the others, but more consistent.

The only real choices you’re left with are [Konata Getting Out of the Bath] and [Idol of the Academy Michi], both of who are vanilla cards, the latter of which is one of the PR cards you are allowed to play in anything. I feel both of these are hugely outclassed by the Otaku trio and [Kung Fu Master Konata], although they will have more Power on their own. The only reason I can see to play the latter, would be for Red, for those very very rare circumstances where you might have to play the Red Counter onto the Stage. I really doubt this will happen often though.

Something which I had not considered until talking with another Lucky Star player was using [Online Gamer Nanako] to try and fix early game problems. She’s not an Otaku, so doesn’t directly benefit the rest of your cards, but her effect might come in handy when you have terrible starts. This could include Climax heavy hands and those where you simply don’t have the required Level 0 cards. You’ll hopefully be able to trade off your hand for a better one, but I can imagine it getting worse sometimes. The fact she doesn’t directly contribute to the rest of the deck’s strategy would make me wary of playing it, especially since I don’t think there’s that much space to play with at Level 0 anyway. I think she’s definitely an option if you can’t complete the Otaku core.

Level 1

Their printed Power might be small, but these are some deadly Otaku!

Their printed Power might be small, but these are some deadly Otaku!

Level 1 is all about fielding big characters which your opponent will have a hard time dealing with. Your offensive forces will be split between [Battlefield Konata] and [Summer’s Day Konata]. The former of which is a 1/1 with Encore that will usually reach 8,500, the latter is a 1/0 that will usually reach 7500. Both of these are fairly big for their costs, and the former has Encore to help keep her around.

You'd better watch out Yuki! 9000 Power is quite deadly for a Level 1.

You’d better watch out Yuki! 9000 Power is quite deadly for a Level 1.

[Battlefield Konata] will probably take up the bulk of the work, because she’s bigger, more durable and [Patricia Martin] has a bond with her. This makes drawing [Battlefield Konata] less of a problem, because you can always bond back copies which end up in the Waiting Room. With a full Stage of Otaku she reaches 6,500, which is actually pretty poor compared to similar modern cards which start at 6,500 with Encore. The only real difference being that Konata has a Soul Trigger, whilst those cards do not.

Where [Battlefield Konata] really starts to come into her own is when you consider her alongside [Sunday’s Best Konata]. She gets an extra +500 on top of the regular Otaku boost for a total of 1,000.

Lucky Star can put down lots of Power for cheap. But you need to watch out for Level 1 Reversers!

Lucky Star can put down lots of Power for cheap. But you need to watch out for Level 1 Reversers!

[Summer’s Day Konata] on the other hand just simply allows you to put out a big card without having to worry about Stock.

The deck gets its full strength when you have a full field. This means you’ll be pushing the game ahead quite fast, and is usually not how I would play things. Keeping a single copy of either alone on the Front Stage will be sacrificing 1,000 Power, which will be much easier for your opponent to pick off.

Putting lots out makes them harder to beat, but also leaves you more exposed if your opponent does manage it. At least with [Battlefield Konata] you can Encore her and strike back on the following turn. Paying the Stock for her early on might seem like a lot, but she’ll stick around for so long that she can easily make up for it in the long run.

Do you go for Power and searchability? Or less Power, but free? The choice is yours.

Do you go for Power and searchability? Or less Power, but free? The choice is yours.

Level 1 is rounded out by counters, where you have two possible choices of what to play, either the 1/0 [Takara Miyuki] or the 1/1 [Innocent Konata]. So far, I’ve tried out both cards in the deck, but I am currently still trying out the latter. Both cards have their advantages, so it will probably be down to the user to decide which one they prefer.

At a basic level, the difference between the two comes down to their Cost and the Power boost they give. [Takara Miyuki] is free to play, but gives a smaller boost of 1,500, whilst [Innocent Konata] can give a 2,000 boost for 1 Stock. As far as conserving Stock is concerned, Miyuki is the better option, because she’s free, meaning you never have to worry about her impacting on any of your future plays. On the other hand, the extra 500 from Konata will be useful for turning suicides into victories, or defeats into suicides. How often this matters will depend greatly on what you play, and how the deck is performing at the time.

An important difference between the two cards is the attributes they have. [Takara Miyuki] has Glasses and Chairman, whilst [Innocent Konata] has Otaku and Net Game. In both cases the latter is unimportant, but the former can make a big difference to the usefulness of the card during the game. Both cards can be searched by [Calm Type Miyuki], but only the [Innocent Konata] by the Climax combo of [Swiftly Running Girl Konata]. This latter interaction is important, because it allows you to search for a Counter to defend yourself on the following turn, something which you cannot do unless you run [Innocent Konata]. Whilst you’ll lose the surprise factor that counters can usually bring to battle, it makes it much easier to keep cards on the Stage.

The basic core of this deck’s Level 1 should be made up of four copies of both [Battlefield Konata] and [Summer’s Day Konata], because it not only increases your chances of seeing them, but also the number of them that you can play onto the Stage at once. Beyond this, the number of counters will probably be up to preference. My build shown here uses two copies of [Innocent Konata], but you could just as easily use one copy, replace them with [Takara Miyuki], or do a split between both kinds of counter. Just due to sheer availability, you may find it easier to use [Takara Miyuki].

Alternatives

Because the deck needs more supports.

Because the deck needs more supports.

Most of the other Level 1 choices for the Otaku deck really aren’t worth thinking about, but there are a few that you might find useful. There are two Red and two Yellow cards with Otaku, however they don’t do enough for the deck to consider trying to mix colours.

[Konata & Yui] is a Red card that could be useful for taking out support characters, but it is tiny for a 1/1. You’ll ultimately be using up a Stock and 2 cards just to get rid of a support card.

[My Pace Konata] is another Red, but it’s not worth running her Climax in order to use her properly.

[Anime Research Club President Kou] is Yellow, and honestly the deck doesn’t need the Power boost she provides.

[Outlaw Hiyori] is the final Yellow, and she’s quite frankly terrible. A 1/1 6,000 is awful.

This leaves you with three possible Blue cards to consider.

Firstly is [Izumi Soujirou], who is simply outclassed by the other supports in the deck.

Secondly is [Patricia in a Hot Country], who could fill a defensive role at Level 1. During the opponent’s turn she is equivalent to one of the other Level 1s, with 3 Otaku around. She allows you to have decent Power during your opponent’s turn, without having to commit a lot of cards to the Stage. She is completely lacking offensively though, and will be completely outclassed by the other Level 1s when you have a full Stage.

[Thinking that way Hiyori] is yet another support card for the deck, once again providing a global +500 to Otaku. Support wise it’s completely outclassed by [Sunday’s Best Konata], but it could give you extra options for when you haven’t drawn that or [Patricia Martin] yet. Her Climax combo is okay, because it allows you to recover from playing [Hiyori Starting], and actually gives said Climax a purpose outside of +2 Soul boosts. However, she’s so small that she’ll likely be defeated on the following turn, undoing any advantage you just gained. Her 3rd effect is mostly pointless, but I suppose it could be used to give [Swiftly Running Girl Konata] Manga, so she gets a boost from [Patricia Martin] or something like that.

Level 2

Even some Level 3 cards have trouble dealing with this lot!

Even some Level 3 cards have trouble dealing with this lot!

Level 2 is where you start to bring out the big guns, with [Swiftly Running Girl Konata], who thanks to [Sunday’s Best Konata] will usually have 11,500 Power when you’ve got a full Stage. This is more than most other Level 2 cards can handle, and will even trouble some Level 3 cards. For example, a Level 3 backed up by a Level support can usually only match her, meaning that at the sides of the Stage, some decks will struggle to beat her. Often she will still be your biggest card, even during Level 3.

You have to be wary that she does not have Manga, instead having Net Game, because this means she will not gain a Power boost from [Patricia Martin]. This means that during games when you cannot get the complete support set up done, she will be a little smaller than expected.

Use the Climax combo to add lots more cards to your hand!

Use the Climax combo to add lots more cards to your hand!

Her Climax combo is the icing on the cake for this card, because it allows you to turn a Climax card that would normally lose you a card, into just about anything you want. What’s more, it doesn’t cost you any Stock, so you can save that for the cards you add to your Hand. You’ll also be thinning your deck down, hopefully making it easier to cancel attacks in the future.

With a single copy on the Stage it turns the Climax into an even trade off, whilst with 3 you’ll end up gaining two cards out of it. In all likelihood, the only cards you won’t be able to get from your deck are [Kuroi Nanako] and, if you choose to use them, the Miyuki cards such as [Strongest Character Miyuki]. Cards you will often want to add to your hand include any of your Level 3 cards, [Innocent Konata] and extra or missing copies of your support cards. If none of these are available, just grab whatever cards you can, preferably with 0 cost, just in case you need them later.

You could also opt to play 4 copies of this card if you wanted, but that might be a bit much, and it would make your end game even more costly.

Outside of this, every other Level 2 card plays a support role of some kind.

For a Counter you have [Kuroi Nanako], who can give +3,500 to a single character, or split 2,500 and 1,000 across two characters. For the same cost, this outclasses the standard 2/1 vanilla counters that you get, and can make her quite a versatile card. She allows you to defend with up to 15,000 when used together with [Swiftly Running Girl Konata], which is very hard to get over, even for most Level 3 cards. She also allows your Level 1 characters to challenge Level 2 cards, because even [Summer’s Day Konata] can reach 11,000 with this card.

Kuroi-sensei can lead to some quite difficult decisions for your opponent. Do they worry about the split Power, or the big boost to one character?

Kuroi-sensei can lead to some quite difficult decisions for your opponent. Do they worry about the split Power, or the big boost to one character?

The fact you can split the effect across two cards means that on some occasions you’ll be able to take out two of your opponent’s cards for the price of one. Although it’s more likely that you’ll take one out and force the other to Side Attack, but even then it saves you from damage. Of course, since her bonus effect only works on Otaku and Net Game, she won’t be much use to [Strongest Character Miyuki], but that’s not really a card you plan on protecting in the long term anyway.

I feel that two copies should be enough of this card, but some people might want to play a 3rd copy instead of other cards.

As well as support, Konata can also use Brainstorm. You might thin your deck down, or you could draw cards!

As well as support, Konata can also use Brainstorm. You might thin your deck down, or you could draw cards!

As an extra support card that I run is [Way of Hobby Konata], who provides a global +1,000 boost to Otaku. During your Level 2 game, this will only be on par with [Sunday’s Best Konata], which also gives +1,000 to your main attack force, but without having to worry about a Stock cost. However it will start to come into its own once you reach Level 3 and start having to play cards which do not receive an extra boost from [Sunday’s Best Konata]. This extra 500 can help you win a few battles, but usually the advantages it has over [Sunday’s Best Konata] are negligible. This is why I’ve dropped it down to a single copy, but it’s very easy to play two in the deck, in order to see it more often.

The reason I haven’t removed it completely so far, is because it has a Brainstorm / Concentrate effect, which can be useful for thinning your deck down when you’re low on Climaxes, or refilling your hand when the effect succeeds. Since she rests herself, you cannot use the effect repeatedly, but this is usual, given that she lets you draw cards without having to discard any.

You needed to cause 1 damage to win the game? How about 7 instead!

You needed to cause 1 damage to win the game? How about 7 instead!

The final Level 2 card I use is [100M Shock], which isn’t vital to the deck, but I still find useful to have. This event gives your opponent’s character +6 Soul, which means that in all likelihood you will be cancelling that attack. This is best saved until the end of the game, where you can use it to survive attacks that would have otherwise killed you. If it fails, you were going to lose anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.

Alternatives

There isn’t really much else going at Level 2, because it’s mostly off colour vanillas or  cards intended for the wrong deck, such as [Konata & Kagami & Tsukasa], which is for the Glasses version of Lucky Star. Others which fit the colour, such as [Soujirou & Kanata], simply aren’t good enough to use or are once again vanillas.

That's not an instrument Konata...

That’s not an instrument Konata…

This really only leaves two cards that are even worth thinking about. Up first is [Cornet Player Konata], who can become strong and only costs 1 Stock. She can easily reach 11,000 during Level 2, working from a 10,000 base, which makes her nearly as strong as [Swiftly Running Girl Konata]. She does suffer from two major drawbacks though.

Firstly, she is not that useful in multiples. With two copies you’ll either need to split the Power across the two of them, leaving them at a 9,000 base, or alternatively leave one of them at a poor 8,000 base. With three of them, whatever you do, one of them will not be getting any extra Power.

The second drawback is the fact that this Power does not stay on the opponent’s turn. She’ll be an 8,000 base whilst defending, which will usually only mean 9,000 after supports. This shouldn’t be too hard for other Level 2 cards to deal with.

The only other real option at Level 2 is [Boooo!!], which is an Event that you could use to get more Otaku cards into your Hand. [Stand Up! Konata] does practically the same thing, and has a 10,000 body, so there’s really no need to play this Event any longer.

Level 3

Time to bring out the big guns!

Time to bring out the big guns!

At Level 3 the deck finally starts getting some interesting effects beyond just big guys. There are 3 main Level 3s that you will want to be playing in the deck, but the numbers you play of them will probably be dictated more by availability of the cards, than your desire to use them.

The most straightforward of the Level 3s is [Favourite Food Konata], who is the only straightforward healer in the deck. On top of this, she can also gain 1000 Power until the end of your opponent’s turn by resting two Otaku. This will often allow her to reach at least 12,000, making her the strongest card in the deck. This is nothing compared to other decks which can hit closer to the 15,000 mark. In the vast majority of games, the deck cannot defend against attacks which go above 15,500, so you need to be wary of facing decks which can break this Power level.

The only easy heal in the Otaku deck, and by far the most expensive card in the deck!

The only easy heal in the Otaku deck, and by far the most expensive card in the deck!

This card is useful in the deck, but I don’t think it is absolutely vital for it, hence why I don’t currently see the need for 4. The other Level 3s have much more interesting effects, which can be more useful for actually winning the game, rather than just delaying losing. Another thing to consider is the fact that this card is practically impossible to find, and if you do find it, it will cost you at least ¥4,000 (~£24). In the likely event that you cannot find it, or simply do not want to spend that much money on a single card, you can easily replace this card with extra copies of the other Level 3s.

5 Otaku means 5 cards!

5 Otaku means 5 cards!

Your game-ender at Level 3 is [Stand Up! Konata], who can maintain your hand size, thin your deck, and deal extra blows to your opponent. When she comes into play you can check the top cards of your deck, up to the number of Otaku on your Stage, and then add one to your hand before placing the rest in the Waiting Room. Usually this will allow you to check for at least 3 cards, but could go to as many as 5. This can be useful for digging for other cards to play late game, such as other Level 3 cards, or the Climax that goes with this card. At the very least it keeps your hand size the same, and leaves you with less cards in your deck.

Hopefully her effect won’t reveal too many Climax cards, and if it does, chances are you were going to Trigger them when you attacked anyway. Just be careful when using multiple copies of this card that you don’t dig too far into the deck, and get rid of all of the Climaxes that could have saved you from losing.

Miyuki and Konata combine their Powers to reach 16,000! Can Konata win the game with her 2nd attack?

Miyuki and Konata combine their Powers to reach 16,000! Can Konata win the game with her 2nd attack?

Her second effect allows you to Stand her for 4 Stock when she defeats something in battle, provided [This Year Begins] is in play, allowing her to attack for a second time, and deal even more damage. If your opponent wants to stop this, they need to make sure their character is bigger than Konata, which can be extra difficult considering [This Year Begins] can give her an extra +2000. A suicide isn’t enough, because she’ll still restand, regardless of her current position.

Something important to note with this effect is that Konata will still have any Soul bonuses she gained from her first attack. So if you used [This Year Begins] on her, and then hit a 2 Soul Trigger, her 2nd attack with be for 5, before even considering any extra bonuses. It’s rather unlikely, but you could even end up hitting for 7 damage in one go if the Triggers fall your way. You need to be very careful with this amount of damage though. If you’re not careful it will get cancelled and you’ll waste the extra attack. If you don’t need this much damage to win, you can always Side Attack instead. If you do need a lot of damage to win, you might as well take your chances anyway, because you weren’t going to win without the second attack.

This card can easily be bumped to 4 if you don’t have enough copies of [Favourite Food Konata].

All the Climaxes!

All the Climaxes!

The final Level 3 I use in my deck is [Strongest Character Miyuki], who whilst not an Otaku has a very useful effect. Miyuki can fetch all of your Climaxes from your Waiting Room, and then turn them into healing, however this will be incredibly stock intensive. Unless you have a Climax in hand already, Miyuki will cost you 4 Stock and a card in order to heal 1, whereas [Favourite Food Konata] will merely take 2 Stock and won’t lose you any cards. Stock wise, Miyuki will only become efficient after the 3rd heal, which has the same Stock cost overall as 3 copies of [Favourite Food Konata], but you will be hemorrhaging cards at a massive rate. If you have a huge pile of Stock (which can happen with this deck), then it is possible to heal 4+ in one go, but just be wary that you probably won’t have many cards left next turn.

The real use for Miyuki’s effect will be to get certain Climaxes into your hand, and not care about the healing. Mainly this will be to get [This Year Begins], so that [Stand Up! Konata] can use her Climax combo. It could also be used to get back the lone copy of [Hiyori Starting] to help you win those games when you’re behind on damage.

This Miyuki is helpful to have as a backup plan for late game, so I wouldn’t like to take her completely out of the deck, but the other Level 3s are more consistently useful on their own merits. If you’re lacking copies of [Favourite Food Konata], then you can replace them with more copies of Miyuki.

Alternatives

Old cards have weird effects.

Old cards have weird effects.

Beyond changing the amount of each Level 3 that you play, there’s not really much else you can do at Level 3. [Embarrassed Konata] serves a similar purpose to [Strongest Character Miyuki], in terms of salvaging Climaxes but she’s Red so is much harder to fit into the deck. Her effect to top deck opponent’s cards is also far too costly and restrictive to really be of much use at Level 3.

[Showdown on New Year’s Eve] is an interesting Blue Event card that prevents your opponent’s cards from standing, but I really think there are better things to be doing with your Stock, especially since you could probably Reverse a lot of them anyway if you have 3 Stock to spare.

Climaxes

Don't underestimate the yaoi Climax!

Don’t underestimate the yaoi Climax!

There’s not much to really say about the Climaxes that hasn’t already been covered with the cards they work with.

I use 4 copies of [Small Breasts are a Status Symbol and Rare] because it’s the best Trigger you have access to in the Blue build, and has a Climax combo with [Swiftly Running Girl Konata] for even more advantage.

After this, [This Year Begins] is needed for the [Stand Up! Konata] Climax combo, so it’s an obvious inclusion in the deck. The fact that it replace itself on play means that you can safely use it during the rest of the game without worrying about losing cards.

Rather than just playing 4 copies of each of those, I’m also playing a lone copy of [Hiyori Starting]. Normally I wouldn’t play this kind of card, unless it had a really good Climax combo, because it does nothing to help your Stage on its own. However, this type of card can be useful when you’re behind on damage, or during those games where your opponent runs through most of the Climaxes in their deck. A single copy means that I can sometimes use this Climax, but most of the time it will instead end up just being discarded or Clocked, because it’s much less useful during the early points of the game.

Since the deck is running [Strongest Character Miyuki], it means I can use her effect to retrieve [Hiyori Starting] from the Waiting Room at the end of the game, rather than needing to hold onto the card for when I need it. I probably wouldn’t run this Climax without access to cards like Miyuki.

If you opt to play [Thinking that way Hiyori] in your deck, then you might want to consider using more copies of [Hiyori Starting], because the two have a decent Climax combo together.

Alternatives

Sorry Kagami, you'll have to stay in your own deck.

It’s not like I wanted to salvage your characters for you or anything!

The remaining Blue Climaxes are either not very good, or have Climax combos that simply are not worth running in the deck. If you upped the Red count in the deck, I suppose you could get away with playing [Valentine], since it’s a Comeback Trigger, but to me that would take away from the other cards in the deck that need the Blue Climaxes to function properly.

Conclusions

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and finding out what a Lucky Star Otaku deck can do. It has massive field presence, and can easily put out very strong characters. However, it needs to be wary of decks that can put out bigger threats, because it doesn’t do much aside from play big characters.

So far I’ve been enjoying the deck, and it’s been nice to have something new after so long.

If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to drop me a message or write a comment on here.

Deck Profile: 眼鏡属性ってなに?

For my third Deck Profile I’m going to be looking at my deck based around the «メガネ Glasses» attribute. As you might imagine there are quite a lot of characters out there with the «メガネ Glasses» attribute, but they can’t necessarily all be combined together. For example one of the iM@S girls wears Glasses, but she’s Green, which I didn’t feel would fit with the rest of the deck. Some of my choices with what to play in this deck are down to character preferences though, picking quite a few cards because I know the series or like the character.

If you’re a fan of Haruhi you might recognise the deck title, which I thought was rather appropriate for the Deck. For those of you that don’t understand Japanese it roughly says “What’s a glasses fetish?”

メガネ!

Level 0: 16
4x Tabitha of the Yukikaze
4x Kanji Tatsumi
4x Miyuki, Chairman Character
2x Kensuke Aida
2x Convictor Nemo

Level 1: 12
2x Miyuki Takara
2x Miyuki, Teeth Hurting
2x Nagato, Waiting Mode
4x “Mystic Eyes of Death Perception” Shiki
2x Yukari Takara

Level 2: 13
2x Yukiko & Amatarasu
4x Battle Mode
3x Literature Club Nagato
4x Chihiro Fushimi, Student Council President

Level 3: 1
1x Strongest Character Miyuki

Climax: 8
4x Salvation
4x Seventeen Cuts

Level 0

Did you miss me?

At Level 0 the deck has a good variety of cards and effects, and can pull off some quite interesting plays.

The workhorse for the deck will be [Tabitha of the Yukikaze], who you might remember from the Tabitha deck. She can get over some of your opponent’s more powerful cards, whilst her Encore ability will help you maintain a Stage, and get a revenge attack in on the next turn.

Sunglasses count too!

For those cards which are simply too strong for Tabitha, you can instead turn to [Kanji Tatsumi], who can deal with most threats. As a Reverser there are few Level 0s that can stop him, only really needing to worry about those cards immune to these kinds of effects. Since he doesn’t have any other effects, it allows Kanji to have a base power of 2000, as opposed to the 1500 you see on lots of the others. Sometimes this will allow you to take out weaker Level 0 cards and give you the opportunity to get rid of 2 cards for the price of 1.

Experience decks are no match for me!

Outside of the main attackers the deck uses [Convictor Nemo] and [Kensuke Aida], the former of which can mess up your opponent’s plans, the latter can help yours. When Nemo is reversed, he allows you to put one card from your opponent’s Clock to the Waiting Room, and replace it with the card from the top of their deck. This can really mess up Experience decks which rely on getting a high Level card into the Level slot early, since they’ll often not want to put too many into the Clock at once. Sometimes it might also mess up your opponent’s colour distribution and restrict their early Level 1 plays. Finally, even if you can’t do anything useful like this, there’s always the possibility that the card off the top of the deck could be a Climax, preventing your opponent from cancelling damage. If possible you want to try and send Nemo after reversing cards or other weaker characters, since it means you’ll at least take down one of your opponent’s cards in the process.

Hey, wanna know where to find more glasses girls?

Kensuke on the other hand allows you to salvage any character if you pay 2 Stock and Rest him. This can be very important for setting up later in the game, since the deck absolutely needs some of its Level 2 cards to be able to function properly. He also provides the deck with a little bit more Red, so that other cards can function.

Be prepared to see quite a lot more of Miyuki.

The final Level 0 is [Miyuki, Chairman Character], who will provide support for the rest of your characters. There are loads of cards out there with the «メガネ Glasses» attribute and the basic Assist ability, but I decided to opt for Miyuki in this deck. This is because on top of her Assist effect, she also has an extra way to provide a Power boost. By sending her to the Waiting Room, one of your characters gains Power +1000, which will leave them 500 better off than from the Assist ability. A lot of the time you won’t actually need to use this, since it’s honestly a waste of a card, simply to get a boost that small. However, since she’s going to get replaced at Level 2 anyway, I thought it might be at least worth doing something with her, rather than just playing a new card over the top of her. The fact she’s blue can also help with the colour distribution.

During Level 0 the deck has a lot more tricks than the other fun decks I’ve displayed so far, so it can stand its ground a bit better against other decks. For power and sustainability you’ve got Tabitha, to deal with threats you’ve got Kanji, and to mess up your opponent’s plans you’ve got Nemo.

Level 1

He's still holding his glasses, it still counts!

The deck is mostly fairly ordinary at Level 1, but it does have one stand out card in the form of [“Mystic Eyes of Death Perception” Shiki]. He has a powerful Climax combo that is the bane of decks which rely on Encore, such as Angel Beats! and Disgaea. Shiki’s ability pumps himself by 3000, and turns off Encore for the opponent for the turn, even by game mechanics. This means that if you manage to clear your opponent’s Stage this turn, they won’t be coming back any time soon. The power boost also means Shiki can handle lots of cards in battle. Adding on the Climax itself he can reach 10,000, and with support can even reach 13,000. On rare occasions you might even push him further, but it usually won’t be needed. This means that Shiki can be a threat throughout the game and is always something your opponent needs to be wary of.

I wonder who inspired the deck...

The rest of the Level 1 attackers are merely vanillas, coming in the form of [Miyuki, Teeth Hurting] and [Nagato, Waiting Mode]. The former is a 1/0, whilst the latter is a 1/1. Ideally you’ll try to use Miyuki to start your attacks, and follow up with Yuki when your opponent plays more powerful characters.

I'll teach you a lesson about card games.

To help maintain the Stage at Level 1, I also use the Counter card [Miyuki Takara], which is a simple 1/0 +1500 Counter. It allows you to keep your characters alive during the early game, without losing you any Stock in the process. Since it’s only a weak counter it will of course struggle to protect your 1/0s from some of your opponent’s 1/1s.

Have you seen my daughter around here?

The final level 1 card doesn’t actually have the «メガネ Glasses» attribute, but is a useful support card for the deck instead. Miyuki’s mum, Yukari, has an Alarm ability that gives all your «メガネ Glasses» characters +1000, meaning you can turn your characters into quite a deadly attacking force. It will also mean on that on some rare occasions she’ll turn a battle around, by ending up on top of the Clock after you take damage.

During Level 1 the strategy is fairly straightforward. You’ll mainly be using Miyuki and Yuki to handle your opponent’s cards, backed up by the Miyuki counter. This will hopefully save you Stock for later. If your opponent plays any powerful or annoying characters you can then bring in Shiki to deal with them.

Level 2

You're in trouble now!

Level 2 is the heart of the deck, and where some of its most powerful cards can be found.  Since most of the current Level 3s out there either don’t really fit into the theme or colour of the deck, or just aren’t that great, it falls to the Level 2 cards to put in most of the work. Arguably the strongest of them, and the card that inspired me to make the deck, is [Battle Mode]. This Event Counter gives a character 1000 times the number of «メガネ Glasses» characters on the Stage. This usually means you can get a 5000 boost for a single Stock. This can either be used to help build a near unbreakable wall, or could be used to smash whatever your opponent has put before you. Usually playing 4 of a card like this might be a bit of an overkill, but I decided to just go all out with this deck.

Such a pain to find!

The mainstay of Level 2 is [Literature Club Nagato], who will provide a wall against your opponent’s advances, since she gains 1000 Power in your opponent’s turn. Throw in supports and she’ll usually be at 11,000. Add on Battle Mode to all of this and she manages to reach 16,000, which many decks can struggle to get over. This can make it very difficult to get rid of Yuki once she makes it to the Stage. Throughout all of this, you also won’t be using up too much Stock, so it means you might even be able to Encore Yuki if she is somehow defeated. She’s not quite as good when going on the offensive, but she can handle some other Level 2 cards. Ideally you’ll be hoping for direct attacks due to the fact your opponent lost a character trying to defeat her on their turn. I had originally planned to use 4 copies of this card in my deck, but it proved quite difficult to even find this card in Japan. Out of all the places we visited in Nipponbashi and Akihabara we only managed to find 3 copies, but I passed on the final one which had a higher price than the previous two combined. Fortunately I had one to start off with though.

I'm not sure how often I've even pulled this off...

The only other Level 2 in the deck really capable of attacking is [Yukiko & Amaterasu], who is really more there for the Climax combo. When building the deck I decided that I wanted to try and have a way to salvage my characters, because certain cards like [Literature Club Nagato] are very important to the deck. The easiest way to do this is via Gate Triggers, which means you need to play Red, unless you want to draw dead cards. I decided to include a Gate Trigger that came with a Climax combo, so that I could still get something out of the Climax when I drew it. Thus I decided to go with [Yukiko & Amaterasu], who turn that Climax into another chance to salvage characters. It can sometimes be a little tricky to get Yukiko onto the Stage, with the sparse number of Red cards in the deck, but it can be done if you’re careful.

Aside from the Climax combo, she also has a useful effect for tackling decks which like to Rest their support cards. Since she gains 2000 when the opponent has no Standing characters, she can reach 10,000 making her a threat to Level 3 cards. However this won’t happen unless the opponent regularly Rests Back Stage cards. Even if they do, they may well stop when faced by Yukiko, since it’ll make her easier to defeat. This could grant you a one turn reprieve from your opponent’s full strength though.

メガネ! メガネ!

The final Level 2 card is [Chihiro Fushimi, Student Council President], a powerful support card for the deck. She gives all your «メガネ Glasses» characters a +1000 boost, meaning your Stage can become quite tough to break once you get two of her out. She also allows you to search for a «メガネ Glasses» character for 2 Stock when you play her. Since the rest of the deck is fairly low cost, you should have plenty of Stock for this. She will allow you to hopefully grab the cards you need to bolster your field, and get the deck up to full strength. Usually this will mean more copies of herself, or [Literature Club Nagato]. You just have to watch out for those times all those cards end up in the Waiting Room or Stock.

Level 2 is when the deck really starts to consolidate its Stage, and aims to try and build an unbreakable wall of Yukis. You want to try and get 2 copies of Chihiro on Stage as soon as you can, and then fill the rest of your Stage with [Literature Club Nagato], since this is just about the best play the deck has. Hopefully you’ll manage to hold onto enough copies of [Battle Mode] and [Miyuki Takara] that your opponent will struggle to get past you. Aside from this you’ll want to use cards like Kensuke and Yukiko to help set this Stage up. It’s also sensible to hold Shiki back in reserve, just in case your opponent plays something you have to get rid of.

Level 3

The card name is making quite a statement isn't it?

At Level 3 the deck only plays 1 card, a single copy of [Strongest Character Miyuki], which is really here more as a joke card than anything else. Although I suppose it does provide the deck with the healing it sorely lacks. Miyuki has a pair of very unusual abilities, that can finally provide a use for all that Stock you’ve been building up. Her first effect allows you to add all the Climaxes in your Waiting Room to your Hand, and then discard the same number of cards. This could be used to help with Yukiko or Shiki’s Climax combos, but can also feed her second effect. Her second effect allows you to heal 1 damage in exchange for a Stock and a Climax card, which is a pretty heavy Cost as far as healing is concerned, especially since many Level 3s do it for free. It is however a repeatable effect, allowing you to heal lots in a single turn. It will ruin your Hand though. As mentioned before, this card is really more for messing about than anything else though.

The strategy at Level 3 is pretty much the same as Level 2, with you just trying to maintain the wall of Yukis. You can however throw in Miyuki sometimes, just to extend the game a little bit longer for you. Even now Shiki can still deal with some threats, or at least help turn Encore off.

Climax

Where'd his glasses go?

The deck uses two Climaxes, [Salvation] and [Seventeen Cuts]. The former is mainly used because it’s a Gate Trigger, but will rarely be used alongside Yukiko. The latter is used for its Climax combo with [“Mystic Eyes of Death Perception” Shiki], since it’s just too good an effect to pass up in this deck.

Overall

The «メガネ Glasses» deck has a lot more going for it than the previous decks I’ve showcased, because it has access to a wide variety of cards and effects. At Level 0 it has a lot of the useful things like a Reverser and someone with Encore, whilst also being able to use countermeasures against Experience decks. Its Level 1 is fairly straightforward, but has a Climax combo capable of countering powerful Neo-Standard decks like Angel Beats! and Disgaea. From there on it just becomes a matter of protecting Yuki by any means possible, and trying to abuse [Battle Mode], one of the strongest Counters around.

The deck is very strong defensively, since it’s not unheard of for a Level 0 to successfully defend itself from a Level 2. However, aside from Shiki’s Climax combo it doesn’t have the offensive strength some other decks do. The deck is also sorely lacking in Soul, which can make it hard to seal the game. The near complete lack of Level 3s can also be to its detriment, especially as far as matters like healing are concerned. It would be really nice if we had some more Yellow or Blue Level 3s with the «メガネ Glasses» attribute. However at this point it seems unlikely we’ll be getting any cards from for example The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, which would have been a prime opportunity for cards like that.

Deck Profile: 「」

For my second Deck Profile I’m going to be looking at my No Attribute Deck, which as you might have guessed is based solely around card which don’t have any Attributes. The deck has a lot more options available to it than the Tabitha Deck, however cards which actually support No Attribute are few and far between. As such there isn’t necessarily any linking theme between all the cards in the deck, beyond their lack of attributes. More through coincidence than anything else, they do seem to mostly be High School students though. By no means is this the only way to play the deck, since you could also mix in Hideyoshi from Sengoku Basara for example.

For the deck name I’ve just gone with empty Japanese quotation marks, 「」, since the Deck is based around cards which lack attributes, it makes sense that the deck would also lack a name.

Maya managed to sneak in there with all those high school students

Level 0: 18
3x Classmate Kunikida
3x Classmate Taniguchi
3x Jun Samukawa
4x Hare, Watching Over
2x Shu in the Academy
3x Akane, A Bit of Memories

Level 1: 10
4x Maya Ibuki
4x Normal Girl Saten
2x High School Student in Academy City Touma

Level 2: 8
2x Touma Kamijou
2x “First Date” Lucia
2x  Eight Extremities Fists Miyako
2x Haruna Annaka

Level 3: 6
3x Saten by the Water
3x Lucia Konohana

Climax: 8
4x What I Can Do
4x Receiving Power

Level 0

The reason the deck exists

At Level 0 the deck is mostly reliant on power, since it doesn’t have access to any Reversers or cards with Encore. It isn’t completely without a few tricks of its own though, and also contains the best No attribute support card there is.

For power the deck has several different ways to go about it, thanks to Taniguchi, Akane and Shu. Of these Shu is the strongest, since he can reach 4000 when accompanied by 1 of fewer other characters, 4500 if that’s support, hopefully allowing him to overpower many other Level 0 cards. This makes him a great opening play. It might be sensible to use more copies of him, but then there could potentially be the issue of what to do when the opponent has lots of characters on Stage.

Looking at her other Da Capo cards she seems to mostly be a no attribute character

Both Taniguchi and Akane can reach 3500 from their 2500 base, and have fairly common effects. Taniguchi gains 1000 in your turn, whilst Akane gains it when she’s accompanied by 2 or more other No Attribute cards, making her one of the few cards in the deck that actually fits directly into the theme. Taniguchi can be useful for punching through some of your opponent’s defenses, but may not last too long whilst defending. Akane on the other hand should be able to both attack and defend, provided you can maintain your Stage.

For support I opted to use [Hare, Watching Over], since she had an extra effect over merely just being an Assist card. She can give a +1000 boost in exchange for a Stock and Resting her, the latter of which shouldn’t conflict with any other cards, since she’s the only card in the deck that requires Resting. I decided that I would go this way to further enhance the attacking capabilities of the deck, since there’s not too much else it can do.

You'll also spot Hare on the sleeves.

To provide even more power to the deck I’m also using [Jun Samukawa], who provides an added out against Reversing cards. Thanks to her Shift ability it’s relatively easy to get her into your Hand, and you’ll have less thinking to do when considering what to Clock during the early portions of the game. When she attacks she can give a character Power +500 and Level +1, meaning she has a dual use. On the one hand she can be used to give that final little push you need to get over your opponent’s cards. On the other it also provides a means to get rid of Reversing cards without having to sacrifice one of your cards in the process. Since many Level 0 Reversing cards have a base Power of 1500, she can even defeat them on her own, leaving your other cards to take down bigger threats.

Get rid of those pesky reversers.

The final Level 0 card is Kunikida, probably one of the strongest cards in the deck, and the reason I wanted to build the deck in the first place. He has an Alarm effect that allows all of your No Attribute characters to search for another one when they defeat a character in battle. Thanks to the power level of some of the cards in the deck, winning battles shouldn’t be too hard to achieve. In theory this makes it very easy to set up all of the decks combos, and can give you an easy way to pay Climaxes out of your Stock, whilst keeping your Hand count high. However you have to be careful not to use up too much of your Stock in the process. At the right time though, he can allow you to swarm the Stage without sacrificing your Hand.

During Level 0 you’ll mostly be relying on your large characters to clear out your opponent’s cards, and hoping Jun can deal with any Reversers. Ideally you’ll also use it as a chance to build Stock.

Level 1

Super powers are no match for a baseball bat.

During Level 1 the Deck is once again about power, thanks to Touma and Saten, but it is also able to maintain field presence with Maya.

For consistency the deck can rely on Maya, who is a 1/0, 5500 with Encore once you’ve satisfied her Experience requirement of 2. This means she can stand up to 1/0 vanillas, and defeat those which sacrifice power for a beneficial effect. She also allows you to keep a character on the Stage to build Stock. Given that this deck can usually maintain a good hand size thanks to Kunikida, you should be able to afford the Encore. Whilst Maya does fit into the theme of the deck, she’s really more in here simply because I like the character. It’s just a happy coincidence that she’s also a useful card.

Who needs Rei, Asuka or Mari when you've got Maya?

For cheap power the deck has [High School Student in Academy City Touma], who sacrifices a Level on the Stage for an extra 500 Power over other 1/1s. This will usually allow him to defeat most other Level 1 cards, and at least suicide into other strong 1/1s. His detrimental effect fortunately doesn’t impact on your ability to use him and play with him, it does however make it much easier for your opponent to defeat him. You’ll need to be very careful not to lose him to a Level 0 Reverser.

Watch out for his Level 0 power!

The final Level 1 cards is [Normal Girl Saten], the Deck’s trump card. Normally she’s only a 5000, but with her Climax combo she can gain a massive 6000 power, pushing her above Level 3 Power. Add on the boost from the Climax itself and she’ll reach 13,000 before considering support cards. This can break through most defenses, and it would usually take a Level 3 with support, and a powerful Counter to block her. Even in those rare instances it still won’t be too bad for you, since it didn’t cost you too much Stock. With multiple copies of her, you can probably make quite a few holes in your opponent’s Stage with her baseball bat.

Hopefully during Level 1 you can build up more Stock, and try to match the power of your opponent’s cards. Unfortunately the deck is a bit defenseless during your opponent’s turn, since it lacks any Level 1 Counters, and Touma can fall to Level 0 cards.

Level 2

Shame I couldn't fit in this Climax combo too.

Once the deck gets to Level 2, it can start preparing for the end game, and it can finally start to upgrade its support and defend itself. Ideally you want to be using [“First Date” Lucia] to get [Lucia Konohana] out as quickly as possible, ultimately meaning you’ll be paying 3 Stock to get a Level 3 down a turn early. Hopefully thanks to Kunikida you should be able to pull this off fairly often. Unfortunately because I really wanted to use both the Saten Climax combo, and the Level 3 Lucia Climax combo, there wasn’t really any space for this Lucia’s Climax combo.

No my strawberry jam!

For pure cheap power the deck has [Touma Kamijou], who can match a 2/2, but for 1 Stock less. However like his Level 1 counterpart, he also drops to Level 0 whilst on the Stage. He allows you to conserve Stock, whilst taking out powerful characters, without sacrificing your ability to cause damage, but he is quite vulnerable. It can be quite embarrassing to watch your 9000+ card lose to a Level 0 for example. If you’re up for taking the risk, he will allow you to use your Stock instead for your Saten and Lucia cards.

What?!

In terms of support, the deck can unfortunately not do any better than [Haruna Annaka], who provides +1000 to cards in Front. Unless we one day get a set mainly dedicated to No Attribute cards, I doubt the deck will ever get access to Level support, or global support, since their inclusion would otherwise detract from the rest of the set. Haruna’s boost is still a useful upgrade from Hare, and will still be important for the deck, but will get outmatched by other decks eventually.

Animals beware!

The final Level 2 card is [Eight Extremities Fists Miyako], who finally provides the deck with a Counter card. She’s essentially a 2/1 vanilla counter, meaning she can provide an extra 3000 power to one of your cards, helping you defend against some of your opponent’s attacks. I believe there was a similar card in Guilty Crown, but Miyako also has an extra effect that in rare circumstances could make her better. If you’re ever facing an «動物 Animal» deck, you could actually put her on the Stage, where she can become a 7000 when battling them. This has never yet happened for me, but maybe one day.

The deck’s strategy at Level 2 is relatively straightforward, with you once again focusing on power, but also trying to upgrade to Level 3 cards early. Hopefully all that Stock you’ve been trying to build can be put towards the Change, with hopefully some left over for Level 3.

Level 3

Burn them all!

As you might expect, there aren’t really an awful lot of choices when it comes to Level 3 cards, so I opted to go with Lucia and Saten. There are other choices like Hideyoshi from Sengoku Basara, but I think he might be better suited to a deck more focused around him.

Lucia is able to heal you and can also deal out burn damage to the opponent, meaning that she can extend your game, whilst trying to cut your opponent’s short. In order to cause the burn damage though, she needs her Climax card and to win a battle. The latter being the bigger issue. Since the Climax itself does not give a power boost, and this Deck’s support cards are a bit lacking, she can struggle to defeat characters who make it past 12,000 Power. This will often mean you’ll either need to get the burn off during Level 2, when it’s less useful, or try and pick off your opponent’s weaker characters. If they know this is coming, they can take steps to prevent you doing this though.

Fanservice!

Saten on the other hand can restrict what your opponent can do, and help to keep you in the game longer. She does this by reducing her opponent’s Soul by 1, making just about all Side Attacks futile, and meaning only 2 Soul characters have a real chance to cause damage. On top of this when you play her, for a Stock, she can also prevent the opponent from playing Event cards until the end of their next turn. The usefulness of this will of course depend on the deck you’re facing. If you know the opponent uses Event cards as Counters this can allow you to make safer attacks for example. However if they don’t use Event cards, you’ll just be relying on the 1000 Power boost it also provides. As a final ability, she will gain 1000 Power when you have 5 or more Stock, making her your strongest character. This can conflict with the Lucia change though, so you have to be careful when making use of your Stock. Sometimes this might mean Saten will have to wait until last to attack.

During Level 3 you’ll be trying to defeat the opponent as quickly as possible with Lucia’s effect, whilst Saten will hopefully aid you in this. If you’re facing any truly powerful cards you can always still fall back on Normal Girl Saten to beat them up for you.

Climax

AAAAAA!!!!

The Climaxes in the deck were chosen for the Climax combos that go with them. Saten needs [What I Can Do] for her insane Power boost, whilst Lucia needs [Receiving Power] to cause burn damage.  [What I Can Do] can also be used to help other characters win battle, without losing resources, whilst [Receiving Power] can also help you build Stock. They both offer the chance for lots of damage when Triggered.

Overall

The deck is fairly straightforward to play, relying mostly on simply overpowering other cards. The Saten Climax combo should be able to defeat nearly anything your opponent puts in front of you for example. It will be very important to save her for important battles, rather than wasting her early in the game. At other times you’ll try to rely on your high Power, low Stock cards, in order to save your Stock for the end of the game, or for using with Kunikida.

Kunikida can be a blessing for the deck, since he means you should have little worry about getting your most powerful cards into your Hand. You do have to watch out for those games where they all end up in the Waiting Room though. Since Kunikida can quickly replenish your Hand, you can afford to swarm the Stage more than some other decks, since you won’t run out of resources. Just be careful about your overall Stock levels. Kunikida will deplete it, but your ability to put out a full Stage fairly regularly should help you gain Stock back.

For a deck built around these two gimmicks it can be pretty fun to play, and gives a few background characters a chance to shine.

Deck Profile: …

As a break from all the Cards of the Day I regularly do, I’m going to be presenting some Deck Profiles for the decks I currently own. Most of them are fun decks more than anything else, but the nice thing about Weiβ Schwarz is that fun decks won’t automatically get trounced like in some games. They might not win as often as proper decks, but at least they can put up a decent fight.

For my first Deck Profile I’m going to be showing off my deck based around Tabitha from The Familiar of Zero (Zero no Tsukaima). In fitting with the character, and the quotes on some of her cards, I felt the name ‘…’ would be appropriate for the deck.

Everything looks the same!

I’ve tried to stick to just Tabitha or her familiar where possible, meaning it does forgo a lot of powerful cards just to maintain the theme. When you’re building this sort of deck though, what matters is the character more than the power of the deck itself. The deck isn’t quite pure Yellow but the combo with Louise was just too good to pass up.

Level 0: 16

4x Tabitha of the Yukikaze
4x Sylphid
4x Quiet Tabitha
2x Tabitha, Royalty of Gallia
2x Louise, Strong Bond

Level 1: 10

4x Tabitha, the Girl Forgiven by Friends
2x “Wind User” Tabitha
4x Tabitha, Being Quiet

Level 2: 12

2x Tabitha, Dragon User
4x Tabitha, “Knight” of Hero
3x Tabitha, Trustworthy Ally
3x Looking Back, Tabitha

Level 3: 4

2x Charlotte Helene Orleans
2x Charlotte Helene Orleans

Climax: 8

4x Tabitha’s Secret
4x My Ivaldi

Level 0

You'll be seeing this card again soon in another Deck Profile

During Level 0 with this deck you’ll want to try and build Stock, whilst trying to gather your combo pieces together. The attackers of the deck only consist of [Quiet Tabitha] and [Tabitha of the Yukikaze], meaning it can be quite difficult to handle cards that can reach 4000 or higher during Level 0. [Tabitha of the Yukikaze] will be the real workhorse of the pair, since she can hit harder and is much more difficult to get rid of. Whilst she might have terrible defenses, you can still Encore her in order to keep on building up Stock and strike back against the opponent.

The other 3 cards all work as support, setting up for future plays. [Sylphid] powers up everyone in the deck bar himself and Louise, giving your cards a much needed power boost. Unfortunately since the deck doesn’t have access to any stronger supports, you might find yourself lacking in power when it gets to the late game. As an added bonus he Bonds to both Level 3s for the deck, since they share a name. This will be important for making sure you have cards to play at Level 3, since the deck is lacking in salvage effects.

[Tabitha, Royalty of Gallia] and [Louise, Strong Bond] both provide the deck with Brainstorm, allowing you to thin your deck and set up for your Change effect. [Tabitha, Royalty of Gallia] will mainly be used either to thin the deck, or set up future plays by searching your important «魔法 Magic» to your Hand. With [Louise, Strong Bond] on the other hand you’ll mainly be using her in the hope her effect succeeds, since it will allow you to play [Tabitha, the Girl Forgiven by Friends] early before Changing to [Tabitha, “Knight” of Hero], giving you access to an 8500 with Encore during Level 0. This doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, she’s pretty hard to get rid of.

This is pretty much the deck's only strategy.

Level 1

Say goodbye to all your Stock

During Level 1 this deck doesn’t really have that much it can do that’s actually to do with Level 1, since there simply aren’t enough Tabitha cards to use. If you want to go on the offensive you’ll often have to rely on [Tabitha, Being Quiet], since this is the only Level 1 the deck has with any sort of decent power. Unfortunately since it’s just a 1/1 vanilla there isn’t much very interesting you can do with it.

However if you have enough Stock and the right cards you can use [Tabitha, the Girl Forgiven by Friends] to call forth  [Tabitha, “Knight” of Hero], who should easily have Encore, given that you’ll have just used up 3 Stock in order to play her. In addition if you have [My Ivaldi] you can use her Climax combo to power herself  and one of your other characters up. This probably won’t make too much difference for [Tabitha, the Girl Forgiven by Friends] who can only match a 1/0 vanilla, but it could allow [Tabitha, Being Quiet] to defeat other more powerful Level 1 cards.

Notice anything different about the art?

The final Level 1 card is [“Wind User” Tabitha] who can act as an alternative to [Sylphid] if you haven’t drawn 2 of him yet. The power boost is only to the cards in front of her, but she does have a second effect that can work in conjunction with your Brainstorm effects. A +2000 boost is nothing to scoff at, and can help the deck make up for the power deficit it usually suffers from. However you cannot rely on this effect to work too often, since you won’t always have [Tabitha, Royalty of Gallia] or [Louise, Strong Bond] and their effects won’t always work either.

Basically at Level 1 this deck will usually want to concentrate on getting as many copies of [Tabitha, “Knight” of Hero] onto the Stage as possible. This way you should be able to make up for the power deficit that the Level 1 cards themselves have. The issue of course with this strategy is that you’ll never have much Stock, making it hard to compress your Deck, and make you much more likely to take damage.

Level 2

This is the key to the deck.

At Level 2 the main focus of the deck will remain on [Tabitha, “Knight” of Hero], who will probably have been carrying the deck since Level 1, and sometimes Level 0. 8500 power isn’t too impressive for a Level 2, especially given her Cost, but her Encore ability does make it quite a pain to get rid of her. If backed up by [Looking Back, Tabitha] she might not even need to use the Encore ability. The biggest problem [Tabitha, “Knight” of Hero] faces is that sooner or later you’re likely to have too much Stock, meaning she loses Encore and becomes worse than a vanilla. You could try and rectify this situation by playing more copies of her, or using [Tabitha, Royalty of Gallia] and [Louise, Strong Bond].

Outside of this your only other Level 2 attacker is [Tabitha, Trustworthy Ally], who can be 9500 on the turn you play her. This can hopefully help you deal with Level 2s that [Tabitha, “Knight” of Hero] cannot handle, but you’ll struggle to defeat anyone larger than 10,500. If your opponent doesn’t have any worthy opponent’s she’ll unfortunately be mostly wasted, since when defending she’s poor for a Level 2, and might even fall to some powered up Level 1s.

The deck is also packing an Alarm effect via [Tabitha, Dragon User], who can help boost the Soul of your characters once you reach Level 2. If you’ve fallen behind on damage this might be useful for last ditch attacks, but always runs the risk of being cancelled. It’s probably more sensible to use it for making Side Attacks cause specific low amounts of damage in order to deal that game winning blow.

Should have got more of this

The final Level 2 is [Looking Back, Tabitha], a 2/1 vanilla Counter, but at least it allows the deck to play Counters. This is helpful for keeping your characters alive at the end of the game, and can hopefully make up for the power deficit the deck otherwise has. Since the deck usually caps out at 11,000 whilst defending, you’ll have to be wary of decks that can break this barrier, because you’ll become defenseless against them. After playing a bit with the deck I realised I should really have played a 4th copy, but I don’t currently have access to any extra copies.

Level 3

Why did they have to have the same name?

The Level 3 game of this deck is unfortunately pretty poor, with access to at max only 4 Level 3s, since both of the cards share a name. This version plays 2 of both to mix things up a bit, but I would be tempted to switch to 3:1 in favour of the newer [Charlotte Helene Orleans]. One advantage of the shared names though is the fact that it allows you to Bond to either of them using [Sylphid]. This should hopefully make it easier to get them into your Hand by the time you get to Level 3, especially since the deck can very easily fill up the Waiting Room.

If only she had more power.

The older [Charlotte Helene Orleans] has Great Perfomance, which can help direct attacks away from other cards towards her, but unfortunately she only has 8500 power. This means that even with 2 [Sylphid] and [Looking Back, Tabitha] she can only hold off cards with 12,000 power, without becoming Reversed herself. This means some decks will have little trouble stopping her, and without the Counter card she’ll just get walked over by many Level 2 or 3 cards. She does have Encore though, meaning you can at least keep a character on the Stage to try and finish off the opponent if you get another turn. Finally she has a Climax combo with [Tabitha’s Secret] that allows you to bounce an opponent’s character back to their Hand. This could be useful for allowing your generally weaker characters to get through your opponent’s defenses, and make them reuse their Stock. If you bounce a support card it might even allow you to win several battles.

The newer version of [Charlotte Helene Orleans] on the other hand has more power at the standard 10,000 and she also allows you to replenish your Hand, and potentially draw more useful cards. She also comes with an additional effect that can help you defeat your opponent’s more powerful cards. If you trigger a Climax when attacking, she’ll gain 2000 Power, making her able to take on stronger Level 3 cards, and is the only way you could hope to defeat characters backed up by things like 2 Level support cards. However generally speaking you won’t be able to use this effect very often, because you’ll have more non-Climax cards than Climax cards in your deck. Also if you can’t end the game on that turn, you’ll probably end up regretting triggering that Climax on the next turn.

Climaxes

Don't cry Tabitha!

The deck simply plays the Climaxes required for its Climax comboes, which also happen to be the only ones featuring Tabitha. [MyIvaldi] can help bolster your Stock and Soul, and will help you with any shortcomings you have when trying to use the Change effect of [Tabitha, the Girl Forgiven by Friends]. [Tabitha’s Secret] on the other hand is simply a standard Power +1000, Soul +1. It does however have a Bounce Trigger, meaning that you can hopefully clear the way for your weaker cards.

Overall

Overall this deck is fairly lacking in most respects, mainly because of the incredibly narrow choice of cards available to it. This deck pretty much plays all of the Tabitha cards in the game, barring about 2, which you either wouldn’t have been able to fit in the deck, or I simply didn’t like.

The main play of the deck is to get [Tabitha, “Knight” of Hero] onto the Stage as soon as possible, and try and do as much damage with her as possible. After this you just have to protect her and keep on Encoring her until you can upgrade to [Charlotte Helene Orleans]. If this fails the deck will pretty much just fall apart. Outside of this, most of its other characters aren’t anything special for the Level they’re in, with you often relying on vanillas. The deck has real Power problems, and struggles to defeat characters who can make it over 11,000 Power.

Ultimately though the point of the deck was to build a deck around Tabitha, and to have fun with it, which I feel the deck succeeds at. It doesn’t really matter how often it will be winning, which isn’t much, as long as it’s fun to use. And there certainly aren’t many decks out there capable of putting down a Level 2 card during Level 0.

Building the Alien Deck

Currently the most successful deck from Haruhi is an Alien deck focused around Yuki. These decks tend to mix Blue with mainly Red, but also often with little bits of Yellow and Green. Today I’ll be focusing mainly on my own personal Alien (or rather Yuki) deck and explaining my card choices. At the end we’ll look at the choices available for the more competitive Red/Blue version.

Level 0

Level 0 is where you start the game and as such you need to make sure you can have a strong opening to gain stock early, since you’ll need it later. In addition most of your support cards will probably be at this level. The cards I use at level 0 are:

4x [Nagato Yuki(SY/W08-078)]

4x [Usual Nagato(SY/W08-102)]

4x [Aliens Nagato & Asakura & Kimidori(SY/W08-076)]

3x [Observer Nagato(SY/WE09-22)]

2x [Cat Ears Nagato(SY/W08-092)]

Most of these are fairly obvious choices in a ‘pure’ Alien deck. The 3 Aliens card is a key support card in the deck so you of course want to play as many copies as possible. It supports all «Alien» on stage, allows you to add nearly any card in your deck to your hand, and also allows you to manage your stock to remove Climax cards from the pile. [Nagato Yuki] is the deck’s wall at level 0, since it’s a 3500 attack character during the opponents turn, with encore, making it a hard card to budge. Once again it’s obvious to play as many copies as possible. The final card where I use the maximum of 4 copies is [Usual Nagato]. [Usual Nagato] is the deck’s one shot powerhouse in the early game, often reaching 5000+ attack, due to gaining 500 for every «Alien» on stage. With the right set up [Usual Nagato] can take down just about any level 0 it will be faced with, as well as a few weaker level 1 cards. However since it falls back down to 2500 (3500 with 2 support cards) afterwards it usually won’t survive another turn. It’s done its job though if it can take out characters that would otherwise be unapproachable for the rest of the deck. If possible you want to be avoiding playing it when you can’t defeat a character with it.

Moving onto the other level 0s [Observer Nagato] is a mixed attack / support card. If you don’t draw the 3 Aliens you can use it as a support card, but if you lack attackers its 2500 attack means it can take out the weaker level 0 cards. It can also be used to take out cards which reverse you once they’re reversed, such as [Onsen Haruhi(SY/W08-054)], without having to sacrifice [Nagato Yuki]. I feel 3 copies is enough to have a decent chance of drawing a support card in the early game, without taking too much away from your attacking capabilities. Finally there is [Cat Ears Nagato], who’s just a plain vanilla and is just a space filler / beater. If there were what I felt to be better options I’d play them, but I’m not a massive fan of the other choices, so just went for a straight beater.

Other options for level 0 in a pure Alien build are [Wedding Dress Nagato(SY/W08-106)] and [Watermelon eating Nagato(SY/W08-091)]. [Wedding Dress Nagato] can heal 1 by paying 2 cost when she’s played, however I feel this is too steep a cost. [Watermelon eating Nagato] has a change ability with [Swimsuit Haruhi & Nagato(SY/W08-083)], which has more uses in late game than early game, but I’ve never been particularly fond of the card. More often I found myself changing simply for the attack increase, rather than the ability. The card does have its uses though if you wish to play it over say [Cat Ears Nagato].

Level 1

For my deck Level 1 has a variety of different effects to try and gain card advantage over the opponent. The cards I use are:

4x [Waiting Mode Nagato( SY/WE09-25)]

2x [Swimsuit Haruhi & Nagato(SY/W08-083)]

3x [Witch Nagato & Shamisen(SY/WE09-23)]

3x [Glasses Girl Nagato(SY/W08-079)]

2x [Message on the Bookmark(SY/W08-095)]

All of these cards serve different purposes, and will be useful at different stages in the game. [Waiting Mode Nagato] is just a 7000 attack beater used to take down whatever cards you’re faced with at level 1, and with support is often at 8000 attack. [Swimsuit Haruhi & Nagato] gives one of your other characters a free encore, meaning you can afford to run a character into someone of equal or greater strength without worry of losing them, or use it to force the opponent to make a choice between losing a counter card, or losing a character on stage. The card is useful at all stages of the game from level 1 up, however when you’re leading the game this card is largely useless.

[Witch Nagato & Shamisen] is a free counter card which will usually provide either +2000 attack or +1000 attack to two characters, which helps to keep your characters on stage. Being a character card means it can be searched by the 3 Aliens card and in desperate situations can even be played to the stage. [Glasses Girl Nagato] is relatively weak but has a Climax Synergy with [Death Match in the Information Restraint Space (SY/W08-099)] . You can draw a card for 1 stock when an «Alien» reverses another character. This helps to replenish your hand and can also get Climax cards back to the waiting room as soon as you trigger them. Finally [Message on the Bookmark] heals and draws cards, but leaves you with 1 less than when you started. It can be useful for keeping you in the game, or digging for extra cards, but I’m always wary of the fact you lose 1 card in the process. Often I’ll just use it together with clocking a card for essentially a free clock.

Other choices for level 1 include [Onsen Nagato & Mikuru(SY/W08-084)], [Ryoko Asakura(SY/W08-080)] and [Emiri Kimidori(SY/W08-093)]. [Onsen Nagato & Mikuru] is just a vanilla, but with no cost can be used to build stock. Your use of  [Ryoko Asakura] will depend entirely on your choice of Climax cards, since she has a Climax Synergy. Finally [Emiri Kimidori] can give your «Alien» cards yet another attack boost, but often will be unnecessary for this deck.

Level 2

Level 2 is rather sparse since some of my level 3 cards essentially function as level 2s. My card choice at this level are:

2x [Guitarist Nagato(SY/W08-086)]

2x [China Dress Nagato(SY/W08-082)]

1x [Clubroom Nagato & Itsuki(SY/W08-012)]

These are basically all defensive cards, 3 are support or counter cards, and the last is a wall. [Guitarist Nagato] provides +500 times a character’s level during my opponents turn, which can make some of my high end cards nearly unapproachable at 13000 attack when 2 are played at once. The extra ability of Guitarist Nagato lets you draw an extra card, then discard one, when you trigger a book icon. This allows me to run through my deck faster if I’m in need of a refresh. However it does run the risk of drawing into additional Climax cards and putting you in even more risk than before. [Clubroom Nagato & Itsuki] is basically just a higher power counter, but you can use it to put more cards in your opponents deck, which will be useful in some situations. [China Dress Nagato], like Nagato Yuki is a high attack wall (often reaching 10500) in the opponent’s turn who also has encore. This can make it very difficult to budge her and makes it easy to keep a character on stage late game. Due the level 3s in the deck I can afford to play less level 2s without worry of being left defenseless.

Other choices at level 2 are mostly restricted to counter or support cards. [Destruction of Information Link(SY/W08-097] allows you to get rid of an opponents Climax card, which can spoil some plans in an instant. [Stay(SY/W08-096)] offers no advantage over Witch Nagato & Shamisen in terms of pure strength, but the additional effect to send the other card to the bottom of the opponent’s deck can help to clear out characters with encore. [Girl of few words Nagato( SY/W08-081)] has a powerful Concentrate ability which allows you to swarm the field with lots of low level cards, but it is very costly, probably too costly for the deck to handle. It can also change to [China Dress Nagato], which is how I used to play the deck pre-Extra pack, but there just simply isn’t space to warrant something like that now. Some people also like to use [Sakura Viewing Nagato(SY/WE09-26)], but I’ve never been that fond of concentrate abilities that just give a power boost.

Level 3

At level 3 we have the real powerhouses of the deck:

4x [Summer Festival Nagato( SY/WE09-24)]

2x [Dressed Up Nagato(SY/W08-077)]

[Summer Festival Nagato] is the heavy hitter of the deck, especially since she can be brought out at level 2. The deck really has no problems getting the 4 Aliens on stage required to play her a level early. Once [Summer Festival Nagato] is on the stage you want to keep her there as long as possible and get as many copies on stage as possible, since her Climax Synergy  with keeps healing you, and also allows you to overpower nearly any threat, regularly hitting 15000 attack. I felt going all out with 4 copies of her made sense for this deck. The trump card of the deck is [Dressed Up Nagato], who can rearrange the opponent’s stage, tearing their strategies apart in a single turn. She can disrupt your opponent’s best laid plan by taking out their support cards and also can allow you a turn of easy damage since their heavy hitters will often be relegated to back stage for the turn. It’s actually fairly rare to play this card in my experience and you will practically never have need to play more than 1 per game, however the extra copy is mainly to increase the chance of drawing that 1 copy you’ll need to use.

There really are no other options for an Alien deck at level 3. The only choice would be the relative numbers.

Climax Cards

Finally there are the Climax cards, which are limited to only 3 choices, of which I use 2:

4x [Death Match in the Information Restraint Space (SY/W08-099)]

4x [Evening of the rest of 2 weeks (SY/WE09-27)]

Both of these are Book triggers, meaning they work well with Guitarist Nagato, and they both have Climax synergies with cards in the deck, meaning they are useful if drawn. The only other option is [Yes, That is Impossible(SY/W08-100)], which provides the deck with some much needed soul, and being a Climax with a drawing effect doesn’t lead to a net loss in cards when you play it.

Strategies, Strengths and Weaknesses

Since the deck is severely lacking in Soul triggers the main strategy of the deck is to take out the opponent’s cards and options whilst maintaining your own, and use openings to make direct attacks to cause damage. You can gain advantage by taking out opponents cards through sheer power, like [Waiting Mode Nagato] or [Summer Festival Nagato], or through counter cards combined with walls like [Nagato Yuki] and [China Dress Nagato]. In addition you can increase your own number of cards through [Glasses Girl Nagato] and the 3 Aliens card, and of course the Book trigger. You just have to watch out for drawing too many Climax cards.

The deck’s biggest strengths lie in its searching abilities and its healing powers. The deck has a very strong end game with the combined powerhouse and healer of [Summer Festival Nagato].

The biggest weakness of the deck is arguably the near complete lack of Soul. Another problem is the fact that many of the cards in the deck beyond level 0 are more or less vanillas. The deck can also fall into a lot of trouble if it doesn’t get its support cards early enough.

Building a more competitive deck

If you’re looking for a more competitive build of the deck it’s very easy to combine it with some of the other colours from the series, usually drawn from Red.

From Yellow, counter card aside, the only card that ever seems to see use is [Xmas Party Kyon’s Sister(SY/W08-003)], who is simply used for deck thinning with her concentrate ability.

From Green there is [Wish Upon A Star Mikuru(SY/WE09-05)], [Different Time Isotopes Mikuru & Mikuru(SY/W08-026)]+[Classified Information(SY/W08-049)] and [Cat Ears Mikuru(SY/W08-037)]. The first three can be useful just for the sheer attack power they provide the deck, whilst [Wish Upon A Star Mikuru] can also help get Climax cards out of stock. [Cat Ears Mikuru] gives you defensive options during late game.

From Red the usual 3 cards you’ll see used are [Onsen Haruhi(SY/W08-054)][Trouble Girl Haruhi (SY/W08-T08)] and [Someday in the Rain (SY/W08-T10)]. [Onsen Haruhi] sorts out some of the early game problems with cards that are basically just space fillers and is useful for clearing out character cards you can’t otherwise deal with at the start of the game. [Trouble Girl Haruhi] gives you another late game heavy hitter, and another way to heal yourself. [Someday in the Rain], as well as being the Climax paired with Trouble Girl has a Door trigger meaning that between it and the 3 Aliens, any card you want should be at your disposal. You may also see some people using [Haruhi holding a bouquet of flowers in both hands (SY/W08-T02)] which works well with [Someday in the Rain].

Fitting these cards into an Alien deck is fairly easy. To fit the Climax cards in just replace [Death Match in the Information Restraint Space] and the associated character, since it becomes worthless without the Climax in the deck. So [Glasses Girl Nagato] should be replaced with [Onsen Nagato & Mikuru] for example, or with the characters of the new colour you wish to play. The level 0 characters can easily replace [Cat Ears Nagato] and you can reduce the numbers of some of the other level 0s to accommodate them, and shift a bit of the «Alien» support since you’ll be playing less «Alien». With less Book triggers you can also think about replacing one or both [Guitarist Nagato] to allow more higher level cards. In order to fit in the higher level cards you can also reduce the number of [Dressed Up Nagato] in the deck. Many examples of these decks can be found on the official site.

Since I originally planned and wrote this article I’ve now moved to the mixed Blue/Red version because of the added consistency things like [Onsen Haruhi] and [Someday in the Rain] add, although I’m still toying with the build. Hopefully this has given newcomers a view on the deck, and might inspire Yuki fans to take up the deck, or give other players an idea of what they’ll face should they come up against the deck.