Greetings Weiss Schwarz players,
The European WGP Final. My personal highlight of the Weiss Schwarz year as far as tournaments go. I was especially looking forward to it this year knowing that we would have a large number of players traveling for the tournament from the UK.
It had been a good year up to this point for myself, having topped the UK ladder in season one of the European league, plus qualifying for the world finals for the English version of the game. But this is the tournament I had been looking forward to, the one I really wanted to win. This is a recap of how I came to choose the deck I played in the tournament and how my games went during the day.
Choosing the Deck
The deck I chose to play was the following: https://wsdecks.com/deck/48190/
With the European league and WGP being combined into one event this year, it left me plenty of breathing room to find a deck I really wanted to use for the final. Most people were expecting me to pick up where I left off last year and play Idom@ster again and it was a consideration. However as the year has gone on, it just didn’t feel like the right deck for the meta and I chose to go with something a little different.
At some point during season 2 of the league I was looking through some Japanese lists on ws-tcg.com and there it was, a 3 colour Re:Zero deck using Crusch at level 1 and Ram at level 3. I found a couple of similar lists and put together a list of my own for testing.
After playing the deck a few times I knew that this was going to be a serious contender for the deck I wanted to play in WGP this year. Another couple of months went by with my focus being on an Idolm@ster build centred on level 3 Haruka and this Crusch deck. The results of testing these 2 decks against various other meta decks left it clear to me that Crusch was going to be the clear choice. My final months practice was spent focusing on learning the ins and outs of the Crusch build.
The main reason for choosing Crusch was because it has such a good match up against the standard B/Y builds of Re:Zero, and I expected there to be a lot of this deck at the final (it turned out Re:Zero was one of 3 major represented sets at the tournament). They can’t deal with your level 1 field and through a combination of Rem anti change slayer and Emilia anti change counter, you completely shut down their level 2 game as well. When playing this match up if they don’t Emilia combo for multiple turns they will run out of hand and you will have a hefty amount of stock and compression.
Level 1 Crusch backed up by Felix are the MVPs of this build. The power and utility the two bring give you a lot of breathing room against the current meta. This also applies against the other 2 highly represented sets at that event which were Rewrite and Railgun. I will talk about the deck itself at length in a future deck tech.
So on to the tournament.
Round 1 vs Idolm@ster(R/G/B I want)
This was the perfect game to settle my round 1 tournament nerves. If there’s one franchise I know the cards to and how they play inside out, it’s Im@s. Immediately I noticed through his first run through the deck was that his deck was the standard Haruka build with the level 1 combo, the slayer, ditzy and all the pieces for the level 3 combo. The other thing I noticed was that there were 3 copies of Jupiter over the usual 2 that most decks run when using this card.
The start of the game was pretty back and forth damage wise, but I managed to build a slight lead as we both progressed through level 1. I was able to keep the field relatively in my favour thanks to him not playing a copy of “Off Time Makoto”. This allowed me to side attack where needed, while slowly killing his Harukas, and he wasn’t able to kill my level 1 Cruschs in his turn. I did make one potentially big misplay where I forgot to use the resonance on Hetaro after bonding Mimi. He moved the Asuza runner in front of it but the side attack actually worked in my favour due to his compression at the time.
After pushing him to level 2 he used the stock swap event. I had only used Crusch combo once and was at 6 stock when the event was used. I was fortunate enough to only put 1 climax in with the blind stock and canceled his first attack off the top. He was also unable to early play Ami due to no green on clock or in level. This gave me time to push for an advantage and he hit level 3 while I was still at level 2.
I asked for a count of his stock and he had 6, enough to go for a Haruka turn. However instead he played 2 copies of Ami. It was at this point I knew I was heavily favoured to win the game. I hit level 3, played 2 Rams and used the climax combo but he managed to survive on 3/6. Ending the turn I have one card left in deck and I know it is a climax. He heals down to 3/4 and instead of attacking me for a 1 on a guaranteed cancel, he directs for 4. I refresh and cancel his next 2 attacks. Winning was a formality at this point as he triggered 2 climaxes and had no Jupiters available.
Round 2 vs Sam Re:Zero(Oni deck)
This pairing was slightly frustrating for the both of us. Not only am I against a fellow UK player but I have also been paired down. Neither of us play the meta build for Re:Zero but through practice we know it is a match up I am favoured in.
Or at least I’m favoured when things actually go to plan. This game was a complete disaster for both sides. Neither of us hit our level 1 combos on time and both the field and damage was all over the place. I built an advantage in a turn where he shouldn’t have taken any damage, but then did anyway which led him to draw and clock into 3 climaxes. After hitting level 3 first, I then decided to just try and kill him from 2/4. I took him to 3/6 using the Ram combo and after failing to get a soul trigger on my final attack. I managed to cancel both an attack and a bath time Rem & Ram revealing a level 3 (both were lethal damage), then won on the swing back.
Round 3 vs Re:Zero(B/Y)
Finally the match up I built this deck for was what I thought. My opponent sees my Rem and Ram deckbox, sleeves and playmat and assumes he is about to have a mirror match. He soon realises he isn’t after my initial discard and the game begins. The early game plays exactly how I wanted it to. Mimi and Hetaro are helping to clear the board and my Crusch in the centre slot isn’t going anywhere. Damage is fairly even but I am getting the compression I need ready for my second run through the deck. Meanwhile he is having to use his stock to brainstorm.
My opponent attempts to set up an early play Felt turn but fails and also fails to early play any Rems. I decided to early play my own Rem but it gets sent to the bottom of the deck because of the anti change slayer.
This is where things started to get a little crazy. I manage to hold myself at level 2 for an extended period of time while pushing my opponent up to level 3, leading him to play 2 copies of level 3 Rem. When this happens the only way I have to deal with Rem while still keeping my hand size is to get a wind trigger. This does give my opponent an additional heal but gives me the chance at direct damage hitting. Unfortunately this didn’t happen and the markers started to pile up for the Rems.
I finally hit level 3 and my opponent is on 5 stock. I am 3/1 and I have to make a decision on how hard I want to try and push for triple Ram and combo. This is where the game started to fall apart for me. My first potential mistake was deciding to clock as while I don’t have 100% recollection of the game, I’m pretty certain I still would have hit triple Ram and combo without clocking. My opponent at this point only has 2 climaxes left in deck so I’m reasonably confident I can finish in that turn. I have 1 stock when my attacks start and my first attack gets canceled. On my second attack I am thinking about whether I should pay the stock to burn 1, or save it for my final attack. The thought crosses my mind that maybe he has the rest counter in hand as I know it is in his deck. I decide not to pay the stock and the rest counter hits the field, stopping me from a third attack. I instantly regret not doing the burn and the second attack gets canceled on the second card.
Looking at my deck size and climaxes left I am relatively confident I can survive and try and win the following turn. I live and my opponent is on 3/3, has 2 cards left in deck and is all 8 climaxes out. While I have a fairly large hand from my previous turn it is mostly garbage for this stage of the game. This is where I end up making a number of decisions that turned out not to be optimal and in the end cost me the game.
I have 1 card left in deck and I am not sure what the trigger is going to be. My first thought is that I want to try and guarantee a hit for 2. So I play a 0 slayer and send it to the waiting room, discaring the climax in my hand to salvage a Hetaro. Discarding the climax was just in case my first attack ends up being for 4. Next I play Hetaro and bond Mimi. This move was 100% correct in my opinion.
My second thought is that I want to try and guarantee an attack for 1 on my second attack and this is where I think I made the wrong choice. I played a second copy of the slayer and sent it to the waiting room salvaging a Crusch for the top 2 check. I think this was a mistake. In the case I need a 3rd attack there is no way for me to have a second Crusch in play for another check, so instead I should have salvaged a Ram for the extra instance of damage from her burn and attacked with Ram third.
I heal with Felix which didn’t really matter and then move to attacks after resonating. My first attack ends up being for 2, leaving my opponent on 3/6 after refresh damage. My second attack with Crusch shows me a soul trigger on top so I put the second card on top. The attack is for 1, canceled. Third attack, attack for 1, cancel. I actually couldn’t believe it. After dying on the swing back I was left in disbelief. The game should have been mine, but through good luck on my opponents behalf and a suboptimal play from my side, I lost. Looking back to the event I am glad we had the lunch break here as it allowed me to reset myself for round 4.
Round 4 vs Osomatsu(Y)
This is a match where I had no clue what to expect as Osomatsu isn’t a set I’ve really memorised much of. I decided to just go with the default plan of setting up my field with a brainstorm and Felix on the back, then having 2 Crusch and a cat on the front. Holding on to some form of anti change is also part of the default plan.
Like with a lot of decks currently being played my opponent struggled to deal with the Crusch in the centre and his hand size slowly dropped. At level 2 he early played a single copy of his early play but I was prepared for it by having the Rem slayer in hand. I draw into my anti change counter and keep it in hand as it is likely that my opponent will be able to early play again. I play the Rem slayer and send his early play to the bottom of the deck, but after my attack he has 2 cards left in deck. He draws, clocks and again plays the single copy of the early play. I play the anti change counter, sending it to the bottom of the deck for a second time leaving me in a solid position both damage wise and on board.
During my opponents finisher turn he triggers 2 climaxes leaving him with 8 out and giving me an easy win on the swing back.
Round 5 vs Re:Zero(B)
My opponent had an interesting take on Re:Zero using a mostly standard level 1 game with the addition of the 1/1 promo Rem and then having the Oni combo at level 2.
This was the one game where everything just fell into place for me. I didn’t have to make any major decisions and just let my deck do its thing. I got to combo using Crusch multiple times, building a nice chunk of stock and I cancelled damage a lot. There was one turn where my opponent was 8 climaxes out and I stuck a nice 7 damage. I didn’t have a climax in hand so I did this damage through playing two Hetaro, using the resonance and getting lucky with triggers. My opponent’s deck bricked pretty hard and I capitalised on that and took the win.
Round 6 vs Gochiusa(R)
Mono red rabbits wasn’t exactly a deck that was on my radar but seeing as it was Chino Cocoa choice I knew it was just going to play like R/B normally does but with a slightly different level 1 game.
This game ended up being a complete disaster for me. I barely cancelled any damage from the start of the game to the end of the game despite having reasonable compression, and a reasonable number of climaxes in deck at all points. The worst part was that as with the rest of the day, he couldn’t fully deal with all my level 1 Crusch cards yet I wasn’t drawing the climax to combo.
Up until I hit level 3 I didn’t draw a single climax. The only time I saw climaxes was through triggers, brainstorms or through top checks with Crusch. The damage was just piling on and I couldn’t keep up. I was a level behind at most points of the game and without my combo it was close to impossible to try and swing the game back.
The turn I died I took an attack and refreshed 8 climaxes. My refresh damage was a climax and I then took an attack for 5 which killed me. That final turn pretty much sums up the game in a nut shell.
Final position: 9th
After finishing my round 6 game the wait for the standings was agonising. I knew that two people were going to make top 8 on 4-2 and being on table 3 for the final round, I knew I had a chance to make it. When they go to announce the top 8 and I hear “Let’s start with 9th place, Lee Powell” I have never felt so gutted to not make a top 8 in this game before. Being bubbled is always such a bad feeling and I was also disappointed I couldn’t have a repeat performance like last years.
Despite this I feel I played well throughout the day and it was unfortunate that I had to brick in Round 6, the one round where I really needed the win to guarantee placing in top 8. I definitely think I chose the right deck for the tournament, giving me favourable match ups and playing slightly off meta was working to my advantage.
My only regret is not being able to make the optimal play at the end of my round 3 game and seeing my opponent hit the double cancel on attacks for 1. Who knows how different the second half of the day could have gone if I had made a different choice in that game.
The event itself being 50 players felt like the right number of players to keep the over all quality of play high, plus giving it that epic feel of having all the different European countries who participate in the league be represented.
After a much needed break from serious play, I look forward to seeing what Japanese WS will bring next year. I will also look forward to how both the European league and WGP will look like next year as well.
Until next time.