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Evangelion 3.33: You Can(not) Brainstorm

16 Nov

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

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Tournament Report: A Certain Untested Index

19 Oct

I put together a new deck over the course of Sunday, so decided this warranted my first tournament report in ages. Read on to find out how I did with a completely untested Index deck! Continue reading

Return of Lucky Star

20 Apr

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

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

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

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


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

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

Stand upvsMarika

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

“…” Report

14 Apr

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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



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

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

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


The Yolo of Mikuru Asahina

2 Apr

My double tournament report is a little late coming out this week, so you’ll have to bear with me on not recalling all the details.

I’d had a busy weekend, visiting Asagaya Anime Street, and the Shirobako exhibit in Akiba on Saturday, and then Comiket Special 6 on Sunday. The latter finished early enough that I was still able to make it over to Nakano.

Numbers were a bit lower than usual for whatever reason, and the number of Milky players had dropped off a bit, bringing it level with Kantai. I’m still the only Haruhi player there after the slight bump in the first week.


This time we had Milky Holmes (6), Kancolle (6), Girlfriend (Beta) (3), Nisekoi (3), Terra Formars (3), Love Live (3), Nanoha, Project Diva, Madoka, iM@s, Little Busters! and Haruhi.


Round one was against Kantai, and I ended up going all in with Mikuru. I opened with Mikuru Asahina, Onsen Haruhi and Nagato Yuki, which is pretty close to an ideal start for the deck. What I wasn’t expecting was that all my damage would stick, and my opponent would go into Level 1 right away. At least Mikuru stopped me from losing too many cards at the start. I cancelled hits and stayed in Level 0, meaning I just had to ram cards in with a Climax and run to Memory again. I think I got stuck in Level 0 for another turn after this as well. I eventually stopped with all the Mikuru stuff once I had some Level 1s out, and noting that I was just about out of Climaxes by this point.

Most of the rest of the game was I think me ramming more cards in, so I was really low on cards by the end, and ended up losing. I think his Hibiki stayed on Stage all game. Something that annoyed me in this game was my opponent complaining that I wasn’t shuffling his deck in the overhand Japanese way. Which I’m sure doesn’t sufficiently randomise things compared to other methods. Especially since I know lots of players deliberately separate Climaxes before shuffling.


The second round was against Project Diva, which was once again Y/G with the Rin/Len combo. I’m sure I’ve played 3 different guys with this deck now, so I’m not sure what’s going on here. I got the Mikuru and Onsen Haruhi combo right away, and was able to chip away at his cards. He wasn’t able to get his combos working, so I spent most of Level 0 and 1 ramming those two cards into his. At one point Mikuru even took out the 1/1 Len, and would have also suicided with a 1/0 Rin, if I hadn’t set off Flower Bouquet. When I finally reached Level 2 I played 1 Summer Festival on turn 1, then another 2 the next turn, allowing me to heal lots. From here they basically shut down the game.


Round 3 was against Nisekoi, with Mikuru coming to the rescue once again. Mikuru and Onsen Haruhi made short work of all his Level 0s, including the running suicider and the 3500 yellow one. Mikuru also helped to keep me from getting wrecked by the Marika Climax combo at Level 1, since there was only 1 card he could actually go after. Mikuru put in more work at Level 1, dealing with cards like the lv 1 Reverser, and generally just being a nuisance for my opponent.

Once my stage finally began to stabilise into characters that actually stayed in play, I was able to protect them with the Magician counter, locking him out of all bar one of his Marika combos. Level 2 and beyond was Summer Festival and Trouble Girl as usual, and I was lucky enough to survive a Marika and go on to win.


The fourth round was Kantai again, this time R/B with utility 0s like Akatsuki and Hatsukaze. Once again Mikuru appeared early on to mess with my opponent, but I think it was a little while before I could get a third character and actually start building Stock. Our 1/0s fought it out during Level 1, with his having the slight power edge, but he seemed to struggle filling the stage, and I had my 1/0 counters. He was able to constantly keep up his card numbers with the 3 Aliens clone though.

Once I was in Level 2, it was Summer Festival as usual, and I was able to start dwindling his resources. The Ryoko counter saved me from a bunch of damage at one point. As we went into the final turn, I was on 3-0, with a bunch of cards still in hand, whilst he’d finally exhausted all his resources, leaving himself with pretty much his Stage and maybe 1 in hand. Unfortunately though, I took a bunch of damage, since I think I’d triggered some Climaxes on the previous turn. He hit for 2, hits, 2+2 Soul Trigger, hits, leaving me on 3-6 with 2 cards in deck. The final card was of course my last Climax, but it didn’t matter by that point. If only it had been somewhere else.


The last round was against Terra Formars, which was just a terrible game for me. I had no playable cards at the start, and dumped 5 to draw into 4 unplayable cards and Flower Bouquet. My opponent had a runner, which either hit me or got cancelled, I can’t remember. On my first turn after clocking and drawing I still only had Flower Bouquet, so I had to pass. Of course after that he knocked 2 Nagato Yuki right off the top. This set the tone for the whole game, and I could never really recover, although Summer Festival and Trouble Girl tried to put up a good fight, but were just overpowered by Michelle.

So pretty disappointing tournament overall, but Mikuru put in lots of work in 4 out of 5 of the games. Only really the Terra Formars game was a complete blow out against me, and the other two could have really gone either way at the end. I believe that the Madoka deck won the tournament.

Next up on Monday, I was feeling pretty grim at first, and the first round really didn’t help things.

My first opponent had new sleeves, but he hadn’t let the air out of them yet, so he had a very slippery and unstable deck. So of course whilst shuffling and trying to help with this, I managed to spill his deck all over the deck / floor. This understandably put him in a bad mood, and worsened things for myself. This game was against SAO, which seems very popular in Tsukuba, running a Y/B mix with Asuna and Sinon.


There was no Mikuru this time, so I just had to fight things out normally. I don’t really remember much of note for the majority of the game. The Sinon designed for taking down Level 3s was a big problem for me, because the deck doesn’t have Level 2 attackers, and my Level 1 game caps out at a 1/1 vanilla. At the very end I was able to survive double Level 3 Sinon thanks to my Ryoko counter. The first one hit got cancelled twice on both hits for 4, then in order to have enough Stock, he had to attack over my 1 remaining character, which let me drop the Ryoko counter. Without the extra hit the final Sinon couldn’t finish me off, and I won next turn.

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

Round 2 was SAO once again, with a YGB mix. No Mikuru again, but at least my vanillas could keep pace with his cards, with help from Swimsuit Haruhi & Nagato. Self sacrifice did make it a little difficult to get over some of his cards though. We had a lot of back and forth until we both reached our Level 3 games. My opponent had out the restander Kirito, who I wanted to make sure went down. He was on 3/3 and fairly close to deck Refresh, so I figured I’d probably have him. My first hit for 3, and second for 2 were cancelled, meaning only the last one went in, leaving him on 3/5, just right for Kirito. He even beat Summer Festival Nagato thanks to Self Sacrifice. If I’d left her until last, he might just have reach 3/6, and I’d be able to win via Refresh.

The restanding Kirito ended up smacking me for 4 or 5 and ending the game before he even needed to attack twice. After the deck Refresh, I was 15 cards away from a Climax, so would have pretty much lost whatever anyway.


The final round was an odd one against Dog Days, where we both spent most of it building a massive pile of Stock. I went through about 5 Climaxes in just my opening hand and discard, but Kyon’s Sister was there to save the day. The first two turns were basically, attack with Nagato Yuki, Brainstorm with Kyon’s Sister, pray. At Level 1 we threw a bunch of zero costs at each other, and used Encore / Pseudo-encore to keep all our cards alive. I did play my 1/1 at some point, but hit a Gate Trigger, and decided it was better to give it up than lose out on the salvage.

I think I refreshed twice during the game, but I can’t recall the exact timings. At least one of the times the Climax count was pretty bad, but the size of my hand / stock / clock made up for that.

I had hoped to use my Stock to play some Summer Festivals during Level 2, especially since I already had 3 in my hand, along with the Climax. However I didn’t actually have 4 Aliens at the time, because my Stage was Flower Bouquet and Kyon’s Sister, and all Clocking did was get my another Summer Festival. So I just continued with ramming cards in. On the final turn I was able to hit for 3 with Kyon’s sister, thanks to her Brainstorm, then 2 from my two other characters, finishing him off. Throughout the game I think I only spent 5 stock, 3 times for Kyon’s sister, once for a 1/1 and once on the last turn for Flower Bouquet.

4/4 overall for the two tournaments isn’t great, but as said earlier for the Sunday event, it wasn’t like most of them were particularly bad match ups, it’s just that it’s Weiss. Somehow Evangelion still has my best single event performance.

The Disappointment of Yuki Nagato

24 Mar

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yesterday had mixed results again.

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

I have no interest in ordinary results!

19 Mar

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

Deck ratio

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

sinonChihaya_yellowYou'll be no match for my sword!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Melancholy of Yuki Nagato

9 Mar

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

The Disappearance of my Level 0 game

9 Mar

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


I have no interest in ordinary card games!

2 Mar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TroublevsWill D2 push Laharl over the edge?

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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