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A competitive deck is, as the name states, meant to be able to compete and perform well in tournaments. It is true that the different series are by no meaning equal in power and viability, so take these decks as the cream of the crop for the specific series in question, because even the best deck of one set may not be a match for a semi-good deck from another.
4x Kyon & Koizumi
Level 0 stock suicider.
4x Yuki Nagato
During your opponent’s turn, she gets +2000 power.
She also has hand-encore.
2x Usual Nagato
When she’s played, she gets a boost of X*500 power for the turn, with X being the number of <Alien> characters you have on field – including herself.
4 Alien, Nagato & Asakura & Kimidori
Global +500 power up to all of your other <Alien> characters.
You can also pay 2 and rest this to search your deck for 1 <Alien>.
1x Xmas Party, Kyon’s Sister
Clock bond with “Usual” Kyon (not in this build).
BRAINSTORM: Pay 1, flip 4 to WR, for each CX revealed give a character with “Kyon” in its name +1 soul for the turn.
2x Glasses Girl, Nagato
CX COMBO with Battle in the Information Control Area: When she attacks, all of your <Alien> characters get the following ability until end of turn: when their opponent is reversed, you may pay 1 to draw a card.
2x Standby Mode, Nagato
1/1 7k vanilla.
4x Mage Nagato & Shamisen
BACKUP Level 1, +1000 power: discard this from hand to WR.
When you use this backup, if you have 2 or more <Aliens>, you may choose to give one of your characters additional 1000 power for the turn – can be same character the backup was used on as well.
3x Swimsuit Haruhi & Nagato
When she CIP, she gives another of your characters free pseudo-encore for the turn: when it’s sent to the WR, you may return it back in REST.
4x Hot Springs Nagato & Mikuru
1/0 5.5k vanilla.
2x Message on the Bookmark
EVENT: If you don’t have an <Alien>, you can’t play this.
Draw 1, discard 1, heal 1 and send this to memory.
2x Guitarist, Nagato
Global level assist during your opponent’s turn.
When you trigger a BOOK climax, you may draw 1 (additional) card and discard 1.
2x Release of Information Binding
EVENT/ COUNTER: Put your opponent’s climax in their WR.
4x Nagato at a Summer Festival
If you have 4 or more <Alien> characters, she gets -1 level in your hand.
CX COMBO with Night with Two Weeks left: When she attacks, you can heal 1 and she gets +3k power for the turn.
2x Primp and Proper Nagato
When she CIP, you may pay 1 to give her the following ability for the turn: when she reverses an opponent, you may heal 1.
When she CIP, you may put all of your opponent’s characters in their memory: if you do, re-arrange them back on the stage in any way you like.
4x Night with Two Weeks Left
1k1soul, BOOK trigger
4x Battle in the Information Control Area
1k1soul, BOOK trigger
Okay, so you have a mono blue <Alien> build with a splash of yellow tech at level 0: the four stock suiciders and Kyon’s Sister (you’re not running her lvl 2 bond target Kyon, she’s only here cause she has a spammable brainstorm). Her soul bonus from the brainstorm is pretty much limited to these 5 cards as well, since there are no other Kyons in the deck. Moving on to the actual blue, you have the “3 Aliens” global +500 boosters that also have a deck search ability – I mostly use that to search for a second copy of it if I don’t have it in hand yet, and after that I sometimes grab Summer Festival Nagato if my stock is doing good. There’s also Yuki Nagato, which has hand-encore and a 2k power boost during opponent’s turn – with both of your backstage spots filled with the 3 Aliens, she’ll be reaching 4.5k. There are also 2 copies of Usual Nagato who gets an extra burst of power for the turn when she is played: +500 for each of your aliens including herself, meaning that she’ll never be below 3k when she’s played. All together, the main goal of level 0 play is to get 2 copies of the 3 Aliens backstage and to start building stock; their search effect will usually be used after you hit level 1.
Speaking of level 1, you might have noticed that we’re quite heavy on vanillas with 4 copies of 5.5k characters and 2 copies of 7k characters. Wait… isn’t this, like, not good compared to modern decks? Yes, that’s true. But does that make it bad? Nope. Seriously, this is just the way Haruhi is and it works for it. Yeah, you’re short on some bombastic level 1 effects that other sets have, but with all the supports and backups, your vanillas can get to nice power levels, meaning you’ll get to reverse your opponent’s characters even when they might not expect you to. Let’s talk the Mage backup for a bit, which you’re running 4 of: 1/0 1k backup, but if you have 2 or more <Aliens> on field (which like 99% of the time, you will), you can give an additional 1k boost to a character of your choice, same or other. You might have seen the same type of backup in some other series as well, like SAO for example – it’s pretty neat, since you can build it up from one attack to the other, and it cost 0 stock.
It’s worth mentioning that this deck easily gets rid of level 1 suiciders with Swimsuit Haruhi & Nagato‘s ability, which gives a “free revive” to another character when it’s played. So either you take down those pesky reversers without losing characters or you just slam into bigger cards and still have characters blocking direct attacks the next turn. In addition to this pseudo-encore keeping your hand size up, you can also get help from Glasses Nagato – she has a CX combo that, for a cost of 1, lets you draw a card when your <Aliens> reverse an opponent. BTW, you also get early access to healing with Message on the Bookmark, which also helps your compression by going to memory after letting you draw and discard 1.
Level 2 doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of additional cards, but you do get access to the Guitarist: global level assist during your opponent’s turns and when you trigger a BOOK (note that you run 8 BOOK triggers), you get to draw an extra card and discard one; extremely useful for filtering out your hand. At some point after hitting level 2, you will want to replace one copy of the 3 Aliens with this card. I almost always leave them at a 1-1 split backstage; I’ve tried having 2 Guitarists in the back a few times, but it just wasn’t as effective and it made me unawaringly go through my deck quite a bit faster than expected when I’d trigger BOOKs. Then there’s your main troll card, the 2/0 counter that gets rid of your opponent’s climaxes, meaning you can cancel out a lot of the opponent’s combos – just keep in mind that some CX combos trigger on play or on attack, since you won’t be able to stop those.
If you’re asking what’s actually gonna be on stage during your level 2, let me introduce you to the festive early-play activities with Nagato at a Summer Festival (lame pun intended). All you need are 4 <Aliens> on field and baam, she’s on at level 2. If you’ve used your searches and extra draws well up to now, you might even be able to play 3 of them down as soon as you hit level 2 and then heal for 3 all together with her CX combo, which also gives her a 3k power-up for the turn. Yeah, anti-change is a thing and you should be wary of it, but it’s unlikely that your opponent will have (or even run) more than 1 anti-changer in their hand, and while they can make you lose Festival Nagato this way, she heals on attack, so you’ll still be pulling that off.
The rest of your level 3 play consists of another healer option, Primp and Proper Nagato. Now, you have to pay 1 to heal when she reverses something, so… what’s the point? Well, look at her second effect. Scroll up there and look at it and then Imma break this down for ya: you put all of your opponent’s characters to memory. All markers under said characters? Gone. All 2-turn boosts from the opponent’s previous turn? Gone, since when a card switches zone positions like this, it’s no longer treated as the card it was before. This lets you wreck your opponent to unimaginable levels… you can literally put their tanks backstage and attack their supports, or even changers to stop them from changing into potential healer before their next draw. While this fancy Nagato might not be reversing many level 3s, she will gladly take their 2/1 level assists and such.
Climaxes are eight books. That simple – because you want to maintain hand size and be able to filter your hand using the Guitarist. Both climaxes also have good combos, so there’s that.
Important stuff to keep in mind when playing:
- With the exception of the 5 yellows, all your characters are <Alien>
- Keep your level 1s alive with the Mage backup, since having at least some field presence already when you hit level 2 helps you out immensely with getting Summer Nagato out early.
- Plan your stock out well; in this deck especially, knowing when to search and when to just attack and build stock is key.
- The 2/0 climax removing counter, while good, is also extremely situational. If you’re playing against a deck which only has on-play or on-attack CX combo effects, don’t bother keeping this counter in hand since you’re not gonna be able to do much with it (unless you expect your opponent hitting with 3 on-attack combo characters, in which case you can at least block the last 2 since the first one will go through any way).
- For level markers, try only using a blue card if you absolutely have to, since your clock will allow you to play blue any way. My usual strategy is to have at least 2 of the yellow stock suiciders in the level area, since they’re not useful in any way after level 0 – on the other side, even the weakest <Alien> level 0 can be useful since it has 0 cost to play and you can use it to fulfill the 4 <Alien> requirement for Summer Nagato. I’d avoid putting Kyon’s Sister as your level marker though, since she’s your only spammable brainstorm and you’re running just 1 copy – you won’t be using her much, but just as a safety precaution, I prefer to keep her in the deck.
What can be changed if you want a different playstyle?
Well, if you’re looking to keep the <Alien> build, this is pretty much set in stone. I’ve noticed that running 2 Primp and Proper Nagato is enough even though most builds run 4, so in my case I’ve decided to replace the 2 slots with Message on the Bookmark. There are a few different options for level 0, like Wedding Dress Nagato, for example – she’s essentially a healer with the same cost as a level 3, only that she can be played just as a usual character at level 0 as well. She’s one of the booster box promo cards in the EN release though, so you might have some trouble finding her.
If you’re on a budget and you can’t get 4 copies of the 3 Aliens (since they’re a RR card and quite expensive), your best alternative option is Observer, Nagato – not nearly as good or efficient, but it’s something.