Greetings Weiss Schwarz players,
The first deck tech I wanted to write is for one of my favourite decks. I’ve been playing various builds of Idolm@ster for a number of years and this is probably the one I have had the most fun with. My results with this deck have been good, including finishing 3rd place in the EU WGP finals in 2016 and having a number of successful results in the European league in the first half of 2017.
You can find the full list for the deck here: https://wsdecks.com/deck/38749/
All images in this article link to their Heart Of The Cards card translation.
This build of Idolm@ster has a much heavier focus on green as the main colour of the deck, with red as the primary support colour and then a splash of blue for level 3. The main aim of the deck is to generate as much clean stock as possible throughout the game. This allows for well compressed refreshes and the freedom to use character encore, as well as heavier costed effects such as searching using “Makoto, OFF Time”. The stock can then be used in the late game to set up the field how you want to hopefully finish off your opponent.
The main weaknesses of this build compared to others is that in exchange for stock generation, it is harder to keep a full hand and you sacrifice board control at level 1.
The goal of level 0 is to get as many copies of “Ritsuko Akizuki, M@STERS OF IDOL WORLD!!” as possible and a copy of “Go My Way” into your hand before hitting level 1. Ideally you will also be able to set up the back row before your opponent hits level 1. I personally like to slow play level 0 to give me time to build up the number of cards in my hand. Sometimes this will leave me only attacking once every turn at 0, or making sure my opponent stays at level 0 for an extra turn.
Compared to other decks this deck doesn’t have a very strong level 0 game as far as power is concerned. The only card that is going to be removing any of your opponents characters is “Iori Minase, M@STERS OF IDOL WORLD!!”. Sometimes you just have to hope that your opponent doesn’t play a full front row and if they do, that you can keep “Azusa, Easily Lost” alive.
“Azusa, Beyond the Brilliant Future!” is one of the most important cards in the deck. As with all stock generation decks as the number of clean stock increases, so do the odds of drawing climaxes. Because “Go My Way” has the treasure trigger icon, the combination of these two things can lead to having multiple climaxes in hand when you don’t necessarily want them. So not only does this card serve the purpose of finding the cards you need, but it is also a way to discard those extra climaxes that you don’t want. I always like to keep one of these in my hand at all times.
One copy of each of these will make up the back row in most games. Outside of triggering climaxes these 2 cards are the only way to generate card advantage so it is extremely important to get them placed on the back row as soon as possible.
“Makoto, OFF Time” is an incredibly annoying card for opponents to deal with because of the level she gives out in front of her during your opponents turn. It makes cards with level reverse useless and makes side attacks awkward. Don’t be scared to use her search effect because as long as you have enough stock ready to play cards at level 3, you can get away with multiple uses of this effect in this build. I usually prioritize finding a copy of this as there are only two in the deck.
“Miki Hoshii, M@STERS OF IDOL WORLD!!” is an interesting card because of its first effect. When you play a climax if you reveal a <<Music>> character you can give a soul out to one of your characters. This effect is one of my favourites in the deck as it can be used to set up side attacks or even just to soul rush. This card also serves as the decks brainstorm and main source of salvage.
“Yayoi, Acting in a Commercial” was added to allow the possibility of playing “Yayoi Takatsuki, M@STERS OF IDOL WORLD!!” at level 2. Sometimes her secondary effect can be useful for a bit of soul rush or to avoid triggering climaxes before a refresh.
At level 1 you will want to continue building stock by doing the “Go My Way” combo ready for level 2. At the same time you will want to try and set it up so you are close to deck refresh or have just refreshed for when you hit level 2 and have copies of the Level 3 Ami ready to play.
So here is the major difference between my deck and the standard Idolm@ster decks. While not as strong as “Haruka, Gentle and Positive” on defence, the major selling point of the “Go My Way” combo is the clean stock generation. As the extra stock comes from the waiting room it means that you can place cards you don’t want to draw into stock to set yourself up for a deck refresh. If you can pull the combo off multiple times it is quite normal to end up with 10+ stock and a well compressed deck refresh that has 7 or 8 climaxes going back in to the deck. Sometimes it is worth paying 3 to encore or using a backup to save one of these if you are going to be using the combo again in the next turn.
One of the other advantages of this combo is that because it uses a climax that has the treasure icon, it is easier to get it into your hand on time for when you first hit level 1. Finally, with the climax in play, Ritsuko becomes 8500 power on attack which is enough to get over most level 1 fields that are currently being played. If you have ended up playing the slow game at level 0 and hit level 1 before your opponent does, then you need to decide whether you want to use the combo straight away or wait a turn until your opponent is also level 1. The reason for this is that because Ritsuko only gains her power on attack you may have trouble clearing your opponents board after they do their initial level 1 turn.
This is the backup plan. If something goes wrong and you can’t use the “Go My Way” climax combo then you can play either of these Haruka cards instead. “Haruka, To the Next Stage!” is mostly in the deck to be used for the top check effect, but can be used as an attack if needed, and the backup is more useful for level 2 onwards.
Time to spend some of that stock (or in same cases all of it). If everything is going to plan you should have a minimum of 6 stock and will have either; just deck refreshed and have two or less climaxes in waiting room, or you can force a deck refresh through clocking, brainstorming or using Asuza top 4. The plan here is to keep the level 3 Ami(s) alive and stay at level 2 for as long as possible.
“Ami Futami, M@STERS OF IDOL WORLD!!” is another key card that makes the deck work. The moment you hit level 2 you will want to put 2 of these into play in most games. If that means playing one and then using Makoto to search another, then it is worth 6 stock to get them on to the field. As long as you have a backup in hand she is incredibly difficult to deal with as her power is so high. Her top check effect after taking damage is also valuable whether it is used to dig to the next climax, or just seeing whether you want to draw the next card. You can make the judgement call to side attack for no damage with the rest of your field, as keeping a full field for Ami’s power can be more important than an extra point of damage.
“Live in the Moment Ami” is there in case Ami plus a backup is not enough power or you need more power in your own turn. There are decks out there where your opponent’s characters will be powerful enough to be higher than a full field Ami plus a backup, so this card can be placed on the back row in those games for even more power. This is one of the tech cards that you really have to think about whether you will need it in each matchup or not when it is drawn, or when salvaging/searching.
“Live in the Moment Ritsuko” is here as a cheeky teach card because, why not? You already have the climax for the combo in the deck and some decks have annoying back row characters that you will want to get rid of (Any level booster or +2000 to level 3s in front are good targets).
I keep one copy of “Yukiho Hagiwara, M@STERS OF IDOL WORLD!!” in the deck but it is not very often I need the effect. It is usually enough to just use the power on Ami and win the battle with your opponents characters. However in some matchups it is still useful to hold on to this if you are expecting Ami to be removed or if you know your opponent plans to early play multiple level 3s.
Unless you are really far ahead then the chances are you will not kill your opponent in one turn when you hit level 3. There are 2 questions to ask: Can I win this turn? How do I survive to get another turn? If it is unlikely that you can win in the current turn, then if possible, you will want to save some stock/hand for when the game can be finished. You will also want to heal any damage you can and keep Ami in play. Regardless of damage numbers, if things are still going to plan then you should still have at least one Ami in play and a healthy amount of stock to find any extra level 3s if you need to.
These are the two finishers of the deck. While all the pieces for the “Haruka, Beyond the Brilliant Future!” combo are in the deck this is not the priority and this is why there is only one copy of this level 3 in the deck. If you decide you want to go down the Haruka route then I find you have to commit to the plan early in the game so you can start to collect the pieces. If you have built an abundance of stock or you have fallen far enough behind that you need a desperation move, then it is these kinds of situations that you look to Haruka.
“Miki, Beyond the Brilliant Future!” on the other hand is the focus for this level. Nicknamed the “Whiff Queen” amongst my group of friends for her tendency to reveal level 0s or climaxes, her effect can amount to the equivalent of a fourth attack when set up correctly. I always leave a slot on the front row for this card when I hit level 3 whether I think I can kill my opponent or not. The main reasons that I focus on Miki is because she isn’t an all or nothing play like a Haruka turn is (I’m not a fan of these) and having character encore lets Miki stick around for multiple turns.
There are 3 ways to try and set up Miki to have a guaranteed hit on her effect. You can use the Asuza runner’s come into play reveal, level 1 Haruka’s top check or play a climax and use the reveal off the brainstorm to see what the first attack is going to be. If you can’t guarantee a hit the only thing I will say is to work out your odds and trust your gut. Count the number of level 0s, climaxes and events that are out of the deck and then hope for the best.
Not much to say here. One of each heal character to be used when needed. Yayoi also has the possibility of being played early if the situation calls for it. “Battling Jupiter!” is probably my favourite card in the entire game. If I can I will keep one of these in my hand from the moment I draw it until the end of the game. The heal on this card has saved me from lethal attacks more times than I care to count.
Nothing special here just 4 of each climax for each combo in the deck.
So there we have it, a complete breakdown of my Go My Way Idolm@ster deck. It is a very versatile deck with a number of different options at all points during the game. The difficulty of playing this build is that because there is so much variety in card choice, sometimes you end up making the wrong series of moves which can cost you a game and you won’t realise it until it is too late.
If you have made it this far thank you for reading and please leave any feedback or comments you have. I’m planning to do more of these leading up to WGP season so if there are any decks you know I play or any decks you would like me to look at then again feel free to make suggestions.
Until next time.