Miku hasn’t lost its touch (TL;DR somewhere in the middle)

I said I would be doing this, and never got around to it. Rip. I actually started writing this post as soon as the deck list was released, but because of work I just never found the time and energy to finish it. Even though its late, here we go.

 

Hello everyone! Today I will be doing a detailed analysis and review of a Miku (Soundless voice) deck that recently took first place at Triple Crown Game’s PS4 Weiss Tournament. The deck features extremely high power spikes and solid endgame, and is able to apply consistent pressure throughout most of the game, provided it has the hand to accomplish its gameplan.

You can find the deck list (as well as the other four top decks in the tournament) Here: http://triplecrowngames.net/2015/12/weiss-schwarz-ps4-tournament-recap/

First and Foremost, lets get this disclaimer out of the way: I am not affiliated with triple crown games or bushiroad and am simply doing this out of my personal interest.

I won’t be quoting or posting card effects, as the card IDs and images will be on this post- you can find full card effects on heart of the cards, or on the bushiroad card database since all of these cards are available in english. I also have the cards linked to the translation on the names of the cards.

So to start with the level 0 lineup, we have a variety of different cards: High attack beaters and various low attack utility based characters:

Beaters:

2 PD/S29-E010 Kagamine Rin “Faker”
2 PD/S29-E013a Hatsune Miku “Chat Noir”
2 PD/S22-E090 Hatsune Miku “Solitude”

pd-s29-010pd-s29-013apd-s22-090

Analyzing the beatsticks, there isn’t much to them. The only real advantage that beatsticks have is that they have more power than vanillas- either through effects or through its base power (accompanied with a downside in its effect- you see this often in 3500 base beaters)

However, something important to note is the +1 level advantage that Faker and Solitude provide. The +1 level is a somewhat common effect in all sets, at least at level 0, but is largely ignored or taken for granted. The +1 level enables one to get over suiciders and preserve handsize- but can lose out to specific cards such as the 4k level 0, or the advantage it provides is completely negated by the existence of a runner on the board.

However, the 3500-4k power threshhold heavily punishes poor openings with massive early pressure and allows one to easily kill off the 2k-2500 power utility characters that many sets have.

Finally, the +1 level beatsticks force the opponent into an odd position if they cannot answer it: push the opponent to level 1 first by direct attacking, or side for 0 damage and risk being massively behind in the damage race as he loses more cards.

However, that does not mean that +1 level beatsticks are the end-all to level 0 frontliners. Runners are extremely solid cards to have early in the game and can negate the advantage by equalizing the gamestate (in which both players are forced to direct attack each other without losing cards rather than front / side each other).

Utility:

2 PD/S29-E028 Hatsune Miku “Magician”
2 PD/S29-E030 Hatsune Miku “White Dress”
3 PD/S29-E031 Hatsune Miku “School”
1 PD/S22-E079 “Never Ending Song” Hatsune Miku
2 PD/S22-E084a Kagamine Len “Bad Boy”
3 PD/S29-E102 KAITO “White Blazer”
1 PD/S29-E103 Hatsune Miku “Hana-Kotoba”

pd-s29-028pd-s29-0301pd-s29-031pd-s22-079pd-s22-084apd-s29-102pd-s29-103

You see this fairly often in soundless voice builds- a massive amount of utility based cards that focus on creating advantage by simply having answers to every situation, and this build isn’t very different. The importance of these utility level 0s cannot be ignored- if the soundless voice combo is the bread, then this is the butter.

Magician Miku, School Miku, and Never ending Song Miku serve the purpose of generating advantage and/or fixing the hand and ensuring all the pieces that the player needs to succeed with this deck is going to seamlessly and consistently make it to the player’s hand. With 2 magician, 3 school, and 1 Never ending song (for a total of 6), you have an extremely high chance of opening at least one of these or at least get your hands on it before level 2 (level 0 is all about advantage and preparation here and level 1 is all about setting up and getting the soundless voice combo to generate relative advantage if you don’t have it already).

White dress miku is a really simple card, but sometimes simple is best. The global 500 power boost, accompanied by the 500 boost when using a startup ability ensures that all backups, brainstorm uses, etc give you more of an advantage than you already have. In a deck where power is critical in getting a win condition off, a card like this can really come in handy. Keep in mind that the current JP meta is just full of power based beaters, and 1/0 climax combos that generate advantage (usually on reverse, some by paying stock) and by having a small powerboost to force losing battles games can be won by simply negating the opponent’s gameplan altogether and forcing them to make unfavorable plays which furthers the lead.

to finish up the lineup, we have bad boy, white blazer, and hana kotoba. These cards are combat oriented cards that serve specific purposes- Bad Boy acts as an encore for your frontline while providing a 500 boost on the defense, white blazer outright denies suiciders with its +1 level ability, and hana kotoba gives power on command. One thing to really take note is that hana kotoba and white blazer synergize with white dress miku, enabling larger power boosts than whats initially printed on the card. To players who are not expecting this somewhat invisible power (by invisible, its not immediately apparent but its still there) it can be destructive.

One thing to note here is that each of these utility cards have well-defined purposes and are geared to specific situations. Meaning, that each and every single one of these cards are “simple” enough that the decision making process behind using them to accomplish your goal is not incredibly complex. While some players may see this as a “noob” thing, its actually a very important part of understanding how this deck is optimally played – there are a variety of decks out there which feature utility cards that, while flexible in its own series, offer infinitely different ways to play the card incorrectly considering what the rest of that particular set has to offer, or the matchup at hand. Here, you don’t have much of that. Each utility card serves a specific purpose and doesn’t leave too much room to misplay- and consistent play is just as important (if not more important) as building a consistent deck.

Lastly, I really want to elaborate on the fact that many of these level 0s work extremely well with the previously mentioned beatsticks. While you may not always be using their effects on level 0s, the synergy that is available to deny board pressure from the opponent can allow you to snowball a lead and outright win the game when you reach your mid game power spike.

 

Now that I have covered the level 0s, its time to move on to the reason this deck is so terrifying: the level 1 lineup.

 

Level 1

4 PD/S29-E016 Kagamine Rin “Soleil”
4 PD/S29-E017 Kagamine Len “Ciel”
2 PD/S29-E088 “To Wherever You May Be” Hatsune Miku”

pd-s29-016pd-s29-017pd-s29-088

 

The level 1 lineup is the most straightforward and simple lineup that this deck can offer. It is incredibly small; only 10 cards total and is very reliant on a climax combo to go off to apply pressure.  However, once it gets going it’s nearly impossible to stop.

By sending the 1/0 rin to memory via its own effect, the Len receives a considerable power boost. However, Len receives a larger power boost through its climax combo which keeps the power on the opponent’s turn as well. At its worse, Len sit at a base of 7500 power before any assists and at its best Len towers over the board with a massive 10500 base power at level 1.

Keep in mind that the scary part of the deck isn’t the base power of Len, but rather how easy it can be to protect the Len and apply pressure through the use of Utility cards at level 0. You have Bad boy, which enables an encore of sorts should the opponent power over Len. You have access to 0/0 kaito, which is a +1 level, 1k counter. You have white dress miku, which further boosts the kaito counter, and finally you have a 1/0 miku which applies a global +1 level and 500 power to further keep the board strong. Suiciders are kept at bay due to the +1 miku assist and the +1 level kaito counter. The utility level 0s really shine during the midgame in tandem with the Len to maintain extreme pressure on the opponent.

Lastly, you have a plethora of tools to get the pieces together- magician miku, School Miku, and finally 1/0 miku which can check the top of the deck and draw it in tandem with “never ending song” miku.

Now, while I did go over what the cards do but I didn’t really go over why power is such a critical part of this deck’s gameplan. Ideally, having massive power on both turns enables several things as far as the gamestate goes:

  1. reducing the opponent’s available options by killing off their characters
  2. denying any chance for an opponent to successfully resolve an on-reverse ability early in the game (shimukaze, for example)
  3. pressuring the opponent into a lose-lose situation in which they have to answer the massive power or lose out in damage from direct attacks
  4. Forcing the opponent to make unfavorable plays on their turn (side attacking when it is not optimal to avoid losing their characters and getting direct attacked)
  5. Never being forced to side attack, rather, only needing to side attack when it is most optimal

in short, massive power pressure gives you more options and reduces (or sometimes outright disable) the opponent’s gameplay options.

However, that does not mean that massive power is the end-all to midgame. Denying advantage can give you an edge, but a game is truly won when you can completely deny the opponent’s gameplan. Power does not completely shut players out of the game but only hinders them- there are a plethora of ways to overcome power in the game- sometimes just outright ignoring the power number and going straight for damage is effective as well. If the opponent’s gameplan is reliant on maintaining a board then the soundless voice combo will completely dismantle it, but if the opponent’s gameplan is centralized around a different tactic- such as stock building, hard compression, or something as simple as slamming down the legendary +2 soul (Looking at you, Monogatari players) then different tactics must be employed.

While the consistency and riskiness of the soundless voice lineup is a concern (if you don’t get the combo off, or you open really poorly you will struggle quite a bit, much more than other decks), in my opinion the real weakness of the soundless voice combo lies in its lack of flexibility. The strategy is heavily based on maintaining board presence and denying board presence from the opponent- but because there are so many ways to overcome oversized characters in this game with basic game mechanics and effects that remove or inflict additional damage that ignore power levels altogether, the seemingly one dimensional strategy isn’t that massively overpowered.  However, that does not de-merit its effectiveness. What it does, it does incredibly well. It can most certainly win games by outpressuring the opponent, but it can lose just as many games if the opponent is able to get their gameplan off and ultimately outdamage the Miku player in the long run.

By the way, the tldr is still somewhere in the middle of all this. keep reading.

Level 2s

2 PD/S29-E012 Kagamine Len “White Edge”
2 PD/S22-E038 Hatsune Miku “Append”
1 PD/S29-E029 Hatsune Miku “V3″

 

pd-s29-012pd-s22-038pd-s29-029

 

This part of the deck is easily what I love so much about this particular build. Sure, there are plenty of builds that feature the same cards but this lineup is so straightforward in which it is intended to do that you can’t possibly go wrong here. Soundless voice already applies a large amount of pressure and scales well into level 2, and V3 just does a great job in keeping it relevant while scaling into level 3 with the power boost that it grants to the deck’s clockshooters.

Append Miku changes into a 3/2 beatstick + healer. While this may not seem like anything special as most sets have access to this kind of effect, I particularly love it here because of the massive pressure that is applied at level 1. Playing against and beating soundless voice requires you to learn how to play around massive power and out-damage the opponent, and the early change into a 2 soul healer just stonewalls the opponent while effectively bridging the gap between level 1 and 3.

The 2/1 counter has a refresh ability stacked on it, which is what I really like. You already are sitting on massive power so more often than not you need to add utility to remain flexible in bad positions to bring it full circle and there is definitely nothing better than the ability to hard reset a bad set of triggers than with a refresh counter.

What I like best about this level 2 lineup is that, even if you draw these cards late into level 3 they retain their full value. In fact, if you get rushed to level 2 too early, these cards can easily keep you in the game. They do a very good job supplementing the deck’s win condition(s) (which are to restrict the opponent’s options through pure power and to put down a large enough damage lead to win the game with clockshooters).

I do want to comment that this particular set of level 2s can struggle quite a bit to decks that can easily contest the power spike. Since the level 2 lineup doesn’t involve actually answering massive threats, things like Miku Mirror matches and vs titans can be tricky to play out at level 2. Luckily, you have a plethora of utility cards at level 0 that play out well here such as bad boy to encore lost characters and even the +1 level counter to combo with the level assist and get that extra power in.

 

 

Finally, we reach level 3 and here is the lineup:

 

3 PD/S22-E026X XR “Electron Diva” Hatsune Miku
1 PD/S29-E026X XR Resonating “Diva” Hatsune Miku
2 PD/S29-E027 RR+ “Eternal Sounds” Hatsune Miku

 

pd-s22-026pd-s29-026pd-s29-027

 

This deck’s level 3 lineup isn’t chock full of game ending finishers but is is rather centered around gaining an early advantage at level 1 and 2 and snowballing the game to level 3 where you have a clutch clockshooter to finish with. As mentioned earlier, there is an early change ability at level 2 which allows this deck to really gain another powerspike and really overpower the opponent at all stages before level 3. There isn’t too much to say here, as the deck’s gameplan is simply to abuse the power spikes at level 1 and 2 to overpower everything that exists and generate an unbeatable lead with that power.

 

Finally, we have the climax spread:

 

4 PD/S29-E023 CR Soundless Voice
3 PD/S29-E113 CR Cantarella ~Grace Edition~
1 PD/S29-E113S SR Cantarella ~Grace Edition~

pd-s29-023pd-s29-113

 

4 Soundless Voice is, without a doubt, mandatory in a soundless voice oriented build. Having the nessasary climax in hand is essential to the deck’s win condition and thus the 4 gate (pants) triggers are designed to continue the soundless voice pressure if the combo has already gone off once, or enable the combo if something unfortunate were to happen. At level 2, with V3 Miku the blue gate trigger becomes more of an enabler as the climax swap effect of v3 miku turns any climax in hand to soundless voice given the climax is available in the waiting room to grab. Further more, since damage and power are essential to the deck’s win condition it is important to try and play a climax as often as you realistically can.

One thing that I want to mention is the potential effectiveness of the shot trigger. Since this particular iteration of the build doesn’t feature a massive endgame lineup that can easily shoot 7+ damage in a single turn at level 3, every bit of damage that can stick is important and thus even though triggering soundless voice is less than ideal the trigger still helps the deck pressure with consistent damage.

As far as criticisms for the deck, I don’t have many. One thing that I always didn’t like about Hatsune Miku as a series in WS is that its endgame is more or less lacking in reliable finishers if the opponent knows how to play around on-reverse abilities or has answers to them (Shining stock counter, sacrifice anti-change counters, sayaka’s wish, etc) but this deck really combats that downside by simply winning the game earlier on and denying decks the time and ability to handfix and prepare their level 3 game (being rushed straight from level 2 to level while all of your characters are dying can really suck). After speaking with the owner of the deck, I had learned that winning the game earlier on was more consistent and easier to do in a meta that plays for late game (such as charlotte, kantai, and <key> nisekoi)

 

pd-s22-055

What I am not necessarily a fan of, is the deck’s lack of savage options.

One tech I would have recommended would have been MEIKO “SW Long Pareo”   to enable access to the waiting room and create a toolbox of sorts.

 

One thing I really like about this deck is that the gameplan isn’t extremely complex and is surprisingly flexible. While misplays can happen, horrendous misplays are easily avoidable in this deck assuming the player has more than two brain cells, whereas other decks can heavily punish you if you perform a specific action at the wrong stage of the game. Here, you have a bunch of utility cards but each one is suited for different matchups and by process of elimination it is very easy to figure out which cards you should keep in hand and which you can safely clock.

All in all, I’m fairly certain that I touched all bases with this deck so I will stop here. The deck is pretty strong on the power end, and has some solid utility cards to back it up. The main goal of this deck is board control which it accomplishes very well with some utility options at levels 0 and 2 to give what the level 1 lineup lacks.

I hope you guys enjoyed this article!

 

 

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