What EN Weiss Schwarz Lacks Compared to JP

Subtitled “Just an opinion though” so no one gets their panties in a twist.

A week or two ago, I was asked about what I think English Weiss Schwarz needs the most compared to the Japanese format. It was just a random question from a friend at locals, but it got me thinking for a while. We’ve talked before about what sets or cards we still wish would get translated and I think they were really just expecting me to name some strong JP sets that haven’t yet been translated or released in English – but personally, that’s not what I think would make EN significantly different in terms of the game. What I miss the most in English Weiss Schwarz are sets meant for fun; troll sets that could probably never be competitive but are just as endearing to play because of their unique mechanics. Why is it that JP gets those, but EN doesn’t?

Image result for wooser

Including the Milky Holmes demo deck and the upcoming Accel World release, EN still only has 22 different Neo-Standard sets to choose from as of March 2017 while JP has over 70. Heck, that’s some bad diversity for us EN players already – not to mention that the majority of sets Bushiroad releases in EN are already competitively focused to begin with. Naturally, JP also has a lot of competitive sets, but it also has a bunch of one-of sets that seem like experiments or trial runs for different game mechanics, and those never saw the light of being translated (partly because the popularity of different source materials and the projected profit also play a part in this).

I’ll go ahead and reference my old post about some of the Weirdest Cards: all it takes is one scroll down the list and you can see just how many of those picks are from exclusively JP sets. Sure, some things like Wooser and Shiyoko cards aren’t meant to be played at official events at all, and they do take a rather far-fetched approach to spicing up the gameplay. But you don’t need to wander that far off the chart to get diversity – take CANAAN per say, a set that follows its source material wonderfully by using the color mechanic in an innovative way of letting you manipulate and benefit from the colors of your opponent’s characters. It’s an awesome idea that could still be expanded and built upon, but it never was, at least in EN. Another interesting and more recent example would be the newly introduced Standby trigger, a JP-only promo card from BanG Dream. It’s hard to say what the future of it will be though, especially whether or not it will start appearing in other sets or be translated to EN at all.

Image result for canaan anime

The closest thing EN has to a fun and unique set is probably Haruhi with her 1/3 event and Dress Up Nagato‘s field shuffle effect. I have to say, I was actually really surprised when Haruhi got translated after years of sitting still in JP: it’s not a competitive set at all, its effects are overpriced and under-performing compared to the cards that see regular play in meta decks and even the new Power-Up set made different builds more viable instead of making the already existing ones significantly more powerful. And still, I can tell you from personal experience that Haruhi is extremely fun to play even when you’re not winning.

All in all, it’s not just the competitive aspect which makes a game interesting. Casually fun decks play their part as well, and I really wish we’d have more of those going around. Don’t get me wrong, tournaments are super important for any card game, but they shouldn’t be the only compelling and interesting thing the gameplay has to offer.

Image result for nagato yuki dress
Thank you all for reading, have waifu+goddess+forcedsexappeal for good luck 😉  Love and cookies to you all, Teya.
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5 thoughts on “What EN Weiss Schwarz Lacks Compared to JP

  1. I remember the time when a 9th CX member mentioned that there was basically a general shift in focus for Bushiroad for EN Weiss, to move away from sets like Haruhi and move towards sets like To Love-Ru Darkness.

    I kinda laughed internally because Accel World was coming, and it won’t be the only set that is released that isn’t “competitive”.

    Anyways, as a reply to your article, I think the thing to point out here is that it’s a bit more difficult for Bushiroad JP (who is mainly in charge for choosing which sets come to EN, based on feedback from BushiUSA and BushiSEA) to tell what is fun for those that play English, because it’s part of their internal policy that they aim to create a fun play experience. I mean, when you have staff members come right out and say that their games are not meant to be taken competitive (see 2015 and 2016 at EN events), you know that there’s a less serious side meant to be shown in these games. That’s why sets like Accel World are still down the pipeline.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m excited as hell for Accel World! And as you said, the competitive aspect isn’t meant to be the only one, but that’s definitely easier to achieve as more non-competitive sets come over 🙂

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  2. I think the big issue is that the audience for Weiss is still pretty small in the U.S. compared to other countries. Also a common question I hear from people who are interested is that they ask, “Which set will win the most?” Players tend to very competitive in the U.S. I rarely hear players from other games say they play a deck because it is fun. Bushiroad has a tough task of balancing sets that are popular and sets that people will buy- they are not necessarily the same. I am by no means mocking competitive players, it is just the name of gaming in the U.S. and I think Bushiroad is starting to realize this. They have stiff competition in the market for a game which already a niche audience. I agree that the game should be fun first and foremost. Sadly though we never see the diversity JP has simply because of the player base and business needs. Great article on a topic which needs to be discussed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most of my experiences come from the European player base (since I’m from Europe) and here, it’s often a mix of people who either play SAO for the win rate or people who have troll JP decks that are also good simply because they’re unexpected. It still seems like a less competitive community than the US one though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It doesn’t sound like the player base is that much different between the two regions- SAO is the biggest played set here as well. Thanks for providing some insight on that.

        Liked by 1 person

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