Deck Compression in Weiss Schwarz

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I’ve had an interesting game today playing against one of my friends: I believe that it was the best deck compression I’ve ever achieved. If you wanna read about it, I’ll add it as a bonus at the end of the article!

What is deck compression? A term well known to most people who’ve been playing for a short while, but if you’re new, it simply means bringing your deck’s ratio of climax cards to non climax cards as high as possible after the deck refresh. The goal is to have many non-climax cards in stock, memory, field, clock and hand, but it’s not that simple. Today, I’ll talk about some of the struggles you may face while trying to compress your deck mid-game, and how to handle them best.

“There goes my precious climax…”

Triggering climaxes on your first few attacks and sending those to the bottom of stock is one of the most common obstacles, since it can be hard to remember that they’re there and they’re not the easiest to pay out as well because often, by the time something is worth using up your stock for, you already have quite some of it built up and the bottom few cards might stay untouched still. So you’re left with a choice of either leaving out those climaxes from your deck refresh or losing stock for something that’s not as worth it – neither of those are good, and shall such a situation occur, you must know your deck well enough to know what will hurt you more. Can you replace the stock soon after the refresh? Have some cost-easy characters in hand? Paying out the stocked climaxes might be a good idea for you then. Are you still at a low level? Do you need another level up before your deck reaches full potential with cost-heavy characters and abilities? Then you might try to risk it and refresh without the stocked climaxes. Personally, I don’t try much to pay out the trapped CXs if there’s 1 or 2 of them; I do start to panic when the 3rd one gets sent over though 😛 It’s extremely situational though – it works for my wall/heal GRB Madoka, since (unless I’m facing anti-heal) it eventually hurts me more if I can’t heal than if I can’t cancel as much damage. Side note: your opponent’s stock suiciders will work hugely in your favor if your first trigger is a CX and they don’t know what they’re doing or weren’t paying attention.

Sending cards to memory is also a good way to compress your deck, since getting a card to memory is equal to practically getting rid of it for the rest of the game. I don’t think there are any cards with effects to return cards from your memory to your deck, but feel free to correct me if I forgot to recall any card with such an effect. Back to the point – characters and events may get sent to memory as cost for or result of a certain ability, but climaxes don’t get sent to memory ever, so memory is utterly harmless for your deck compression, right? Right? Not always, my friends. Meet, for example, this Saber card from Fate/Zero: her climax  combo effect allows your opponent to send a card – any card, even a climax! – from your waiting room to memory. And if they send one of your climaxes there… well, too bad. You’re not gonna be able to recover it. But it is fair to note that this effect is extremely uncommon, so in general, memory is a very good way to compress your deck.

On her way to wreck your deck.

 

Then you have the field, clock and hand left. By having a full field at refresh, you already have 5 non-CX cards less in your deck. Climaxes also don’t end up in clock by taking damage, only by clocking, clock encore and other effects, many of which you can control. So if you see that a deck refresh is approaching, you should focus on getting any climaxes from your hand to the waiting room ASAP; if you play them into the climax spot, check to make sure you won’t hit the refresh before the end of encore step, so that the played CX will already be back into the waiting room by then. If that is not possible and you’re at ?/6 damage, you can clock a climax and level up. While that allows you to return one more climax to your WR before refreshing, if you had no other climaxes in clock previously, it also means 5 other non-CX cards will go there as well. The by far best way to get climaxes from hand to waiting room, though, are effects that let you drop cards to WRlike Akatsuki and Tea Party Sayaka (she requires CXs specifically though), or any other effects that in general tell you to drop cards, like many salvage events.

All in all, the two most critical factors of deck compression are how much you know your own deck and knowing how much of your deck is where. Keep a close count on all your cards (what’s going into stock, what’s in your hand and clock) and check the number of climaxes especially. Don’t be afraid to ask your opponent for a moment to look through your waiting room so you can count the climaxes to yourself. Most importantly, watch your deck at all times. After a while playing a certain deck, it gets easier to grasp when your deck is gonna hit 0 a turn or two in advance, which leaves you with time to return all the possible climaxes to the waiting room. You also learn to stall or speed up a deck refresh over time, which can be extremely useful as well.

“Imma keep my eye on this climax_loss.dek”

And for those of you interested in my story of deck compression heaven: I was playing Madoka against Angel Beats, and the amount of stock I had before refresh shocked me. I took a fair second to count it – 20 cards. I couldn’t remember triggering any valuable cards (lvl3’s, all my salvages and heals were either in WR or still in deck.) 3 characters on field, 2 events in memory. I had one climax in clock, one in hand and 5 in WR after my draw at 2/6 damage and about 8 cards in the deck. I clocked the climax and leveled up to lvl3, returning 2 climaxes to WR. I went through with 3 attacks, then next turn hit the last climax still in my deck as the last card when counting damage from my opponent’s attack. That did leave me with one climax out of the deck, which would otherwise make it utterly perfect, but regardless. With that much stock, it wasn’t even necessary: after the refresh, my deck had 21 cards, 7 of which were climaxes. One climax per every three cards. Now if I ever again reach a 1:2 ratio of CX to non-CX cards, I’ll throw a damn fine party right then and there.

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9 thoughts on “Deck Compression in Weiss Schwarz

  1. Just going to point out that there’s an extremely misleading concept implied in the article. It happens to be a common misconception due to how lazily we speak in today’s society. Cards going into memory is indeed a form of compression, because as you said they leave the game for the entire game (there are card effects that can take your own cards from memory and put them into waiting room for effects–not sure if the opponent can remove your cards from memory by their effects though). However, what people fail to realize is that there are no (to my knowledge) cards that allow you to send your own card to memory 100% free. Take Sayaka’s Wish for example. 2/1 event counter that has you kill off a character, heal-to-hand, and send the event to memory. Sounds great, right? A card went to memory, so you’ve gained compression, right? Not quite. Sayaka’s Wish actually decompresses you by 1-2 cards. People are too caught up in the fact that a card is going to memory, so surely you’re compressing and there’s no need to think further on it. The actual logistics of the cards due to Sayaka’s Wish is a one card hand fix (Sayaka’s Wish leaving hand and the top card of clock entering hand to replace, if applicable, though usually is), one less damage in clock (if applicable, though usually is), one card going from stock to waiting room, one character from field to waiting room, and one card from resolution zone to memory. If you Sayaka’s Wish before an incoming refresh that would occur before your encore step (or if you’re killing a Sayaka that would have lived that turn to simply pay for the cost) then you’re decompressing 2. If your next refresh would occur after your encore step anyway, then you are only decompressing 1. Why is that the case though? If (a) card(s) go to memory, you should be compressing. The problem is that cards remaining in your stock is also a form of compression. Sayaka’s Wish costing 1 stock and sending a card (that would normally go to waiting room) to memory is nothing more than converting from one form of compression to another (of less worth, as stock is still usable to pay for more costs than memory can be used for).

    So what was that about how we speak? Why do I keep hearing about memory leading to compression? Well memory effects do lead to compression, but it’s not pure compression, it’s comparative compression. Meaning when you compare the logistics of a cost/effect on one card to a similar one with sending a card to memory involved, the one that sends to memory is lighter on your decompression than the one without. Take for example Unison Raid, Lucy vs. First Step of Lifelong Ambition, Satsuki. Ignoring that the timing for one card’s auto effect being on reverse and the other being when it is sent to the waiting room (since > 80% of the time, one leads to the other anyway). With Satsuki, she enters the waiting room, one card from your hand enters the waiting room, and one stock enters the waiting room and you get to search. So decompress 3. With Lucy, She goes to memory, one card from your hand enters the waiting room, and one stock enters the waiting room and you get to search. Decompress 2, compared to Satsuki’s 3. Similarly (although I don’t believe there are any in English yet), there are climax phase 2/1 changers that send themselves to memory as opposed to going to the waiting room. All of these cards are better at compressing than their counterparts, but that does not mean simply running them and applying their effects leads to pure compression. In order to get pure compression, the number of cards entering non-waiting room zones must exceed the number of cards entering the waiting room. For example, there are some 2/0 events that do something and then jump straight into stock. These cards are compression neutral, as a card going from your hand to resolution zone to stock does not affect your waiting room whatsoever, yet you gained some other effect from it where normally other events would go to the waiting room after play. The before mentioned events would have better comparative compression than events that do not jump into stock as a part of its resolution.

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    1. That’s truly an excellent point that I haven’t thought much about, so thank you very much for outlining it in such detail! I appreciate your feedback!

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    1. Right. Apparently there are a few cards in the Japanese format, that were pointed out to me, that do actually cause pure compression. That card being among one of them, under the correct conditions.

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      1. there are several cards that just go to memory for free, notably in DC and GT, as well as a powerful bond combo in LB that just goes to memory on reverse if the bonder is on the field

        memory is compression simply because those cards would have gone to waiting room otherwise

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  2. Hey, thanks for this post. I started Weiss pretty recently and I think I had a general intuitive concept of the things you mentioned. It was still really nice to see them explicitly stated somewhere though! I know that in general, having high compression is a good thing, but something does concern me.

    For example, in your Madoka vs Angel Beats game, you refreshed with 7/21. Let’s say your opponent had 2 attacks left after your refresh. Let’s say your opponent swung in for 2 and 2 or something like that. The first swing stuck and the second swing was cancelled on the 2nd mill, the specifics aren’t too important, but I think defining a situation is helpful. This would mean that heading into your turn, your deck would be at 6/17. Your compression remains beautiful into your turn, but isn’t that kind of a bad thing? If you draw and clock, due to your high compression rates, you’re more than likely to draw climaxes. Statistically, since you’re moving 3 cards down you’d expect maybe 1, but it’s not impossible to get more than that. Then, if you have any effects that mill or pick up cards, you may end up removing more climaxes from deck to either hand or waiting room. Finally, you attack yourself, potentially triggering climaxes there as well.

    Is this actually an “issue”? Or is this something that I’m concerned about simply because I lack experience to the game?

    My comment ended up rather long-winded, so the root of what I’m trying to ask is this: Deck compression is seen as a really good thing, but heading into my own turn, doesn’t good deck compression mean I’m more likely to remove climaxes from my deck? Is this as much of an issue as I think it is?

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    1. The problem you’ve pointed out certainly does exist – that is why alongside good compression, you also want to have ways to deal with excess climaxes in your hand. In my Madoka deck, I have a Sayaka that lets me drop climaxes to boost her and allow me to draw a card when she reverses something, so if I drop 3 CX to waiting room, she’s at 9k power and when she reverses a character, I get to draw three cards. Either that, or I just drop climaxes with salvage events like A Magical Girl Appears. Some decks, like Haruhi, even have cards that allow you to instantly pay out a triggered climax (Flowers in Both Hands, Haruhi), so that can be solved to your advantage as well 🙂 It requires a lot of management, but usually, a good deck compression is worth it.

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      1. Thanks for the response! That makes a lot of sense. I already knew that discard outlets were important if I randomly ended up with climaxes in my hand. In a way, it seems they become even more important with better compression as climaxes can possibly find their way into my hand much more easily.

        That Sayaka sounds like a really good card! I mean you always take advantage of good compression on your opponent’s turn, but that Sayaka in a way allows you to take advantage of your compression on your turn as well. Plus, since (assuming you get the reverse) you get to dig through your deck and hurry your way along to the next refresh as well. As far as I’ve seen so far, most discard outlets I have access to are either only CIP or costed… so if I unluckily bring too many climaxes into my hand, I sometimes have a difficult time getting rid of them.

        Maybe it’s just something that I’ll get better at as I gain more experience playing Weiss.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. True – Weiss is just like anything else. You keep getting better at it, so don’t ever give up on learning and improving your technique. I know it can be hard for a somehow new person especially, since I myself am not a veteran of the game either 😛

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