WS Invitationals Round 1: Bandori 8Gate Deck Tech + Match Review vs. Fate

With Round 1 of the Weiss Schwarz Invitationals coming to a close, I thought I’d take a moment to deliver my deck tech as promised! You’ve probably already seen the build on the event’s Encore Decks page, so I’ll just briefly go over how and why I ended up playing it. Want a video version of my thoughts? Check out my deck tech interview with From 2 to 4 ๐Ÿ˜›

Since most of our locals are either mixed or JP, Bang Dream is actually the only competitive English deck I own at the moment. I bought into it last year on a whim because I didn’t know what else to play for Springfest and Xmas+Yukina seemed really nice at the time. Since then, I’ve obviously picked up more boxes and random staples for other builds as well, but nowhere near all of them because neither my wallet nor my card shelves are deep enough for a full Bang Dream investment at this point ๐Ÿ˜€

So when I received my invite, I was in a bit of a weird spot: I haven’t piloted my actual deck in months because I’ve been testing new builds with vol. 2 cards instead, and I honestly didn’t expect having to play the deck before that release at all! But alas, I took it out of the box and immediately, I knew I’d be a bloody fool to run Yukina not only in the current English meta but also against 31 of the best players in the world. Like, that was not happening under any circumstances.

My second finisher option was playing the Arisa neg soul combo and while I think it’s fun, I’ve personally never felt comfortable with taking it to a tournament – so that was not happening either. Moca? Would love to, but didn’t have any of the pieces. Kasumi, on the other hand, seemed like pretty much the only real choice: I already had a bunch of red staples anyway and I knew I could get the missing level 3s in time, so that’s what I went with.

I think most of the cards in the deck are pretty self explanatory, but here’s a brief rundown of the choices which I think are worth noting:

  • At level 0, I originally had 2 copies of the Rimi runner instead of the marker Chisato, but I made the last minute switch because I felt like I needed a little bit more blue & more importantly, I needed something that wasn’t a dead card past level 0. I also considered running the Arisa assist for topcheck purposes, but ultimately, I value the ability to possibly remove a card from the top of my deck a bit higher than just knowing what’s on top. And I guess Chisato also technically counts as a plussing level 0, though in a build with this many events, I am absolutely not confident enough to call her that.
  • I also considered swapping the stock suiciders with something else because I don’t need yellow splash in this, but it’s a pretty good card in all aspects so I ended up leaving it in since getting extra stock while denying reverses doesn’t hurt at all.
  • Given that Fujimi just came out, I expected more Standby decks in the bracket than what we’ve ended up with, so I wasn’t sure if including the 1/1 Rimi was the right call – but now I’m pretty glad I left her in.
  • For level 3, I kinda regret taking out the Hagumi bouncer. I assumed I’d be fine with the non-interactive finishers, but in hindsight, I maybe should have opted for one less Kasumi healer to make space for the bouncer instead.
  • Lastly, I thought about running a second copy of the Arisa Fumio or some Saya early play healers, but since I couldn’t be sure I’d get my hands on them in time for the tournament, those simply weren’t an option.

And I think that about covers all the questionable parts of this emergency 8Gate deck? If you guys have any other questions about it, just let me know.

Anyway, I put this list together, sourced the missing cards and got to work with play-testing. On the surface, it doesn’t look that much different than running Yukina, but keeping track of all the Gate triggers while also making sure I have the Warehouse events in all the right places at all the right timesย while also keeping red cards in hand to discard for the combo was … a bit of an oof to get accustomed to in the short amount of time I had between this and studying for finalsย which I probably should be doing right now instead of writing this, yet here I am.

So in my round 1 game against Fate, that definitely caught up to me. Besides the fact that Matt is likely the better player between the two of us, I’d say losing 0-2 was mostly due to the lack of experience with this particular build on my part. I guess not having played many games against Fate prior to this probably didn’t help my case either, but that was definitely the lesser of two problems.

Match Review | vs. Fate

Game 1 was pretty decent on my end for the most part, outside of the awkward starting hand – I believe it was two Warehouse events, two non-plussing level 0s and the 1/1 Rimi which I then chose to ditch. Since I went second, perhaps the correct play would have been to ditch one of the level 0s as well in hopes of finding my level 1 climax, but at the time, I didn’t wanna risk not drawing another playable on my first turn. After that, the game went fine all the way up to level 3 where I made the same misplay not once but twice. I knew I needed red in hand to ditch for the Kasumi burn, but having never played color-restricted ditch costs before, my brain just switched on auto pilot. I milled 3 with Warehouse, had the chance to take a 1/1 Rimi but instead took the 0/0 Hagumi since I assumed I wouldn’t kill that turn, so I wanted to have as few level 0s going back into my deck as possible on the off chance that I’d find another Kasumi Musashi next turn – it didn’t even occur to my bird brain that the red Rimi would be more beneficial on the current turn, not even for a moment. And then I got the first Musashi clone out, drew one of each Gate and then proceeded to discard the CX I didn’t need like a good player. And then merely 3 seconds later, I was left looking at my hand and thinking “hmm, shit, this could have been double Kasumi burn if I was a little less hasty with that ditch.” Oh well, it happens I guess ๐Ÿ˜€ I got really close to killing him that turn and I think I would have managed to close it if I played my discards right – but hey, at least now it’s burnt into my memory that I need to hoard red cards like my life depends on it.

And that game also had a really funny stock-swap situation where I already had a bunch of stock, got swapped and then just kinda sat on it for the rest of the game? Not entirely sure how that happened, it wasn’t a fully conscious play on my part but I do remember thinking at some point that there’s not much sense in trying to pay it out right away since with the way Matt’s hand was set up, I was pretty sure he could easily stock-swap me again if he thought it was necessary. So I just left it there for better or worse – I don’t know if it was the right play, but it sure made for some quality entertainment on the stream! I think Ian joined the chat a bit later and asked how clean our stocks were and the reply was “no one knows about hers.”

10 blind stock be like …

Game 2, on the other hand … I’d rather not even start with that second deck situation. Milled way too many (read: almost all) of my climaxes with the Warehouse events, and then made the extra smart play of not moving up the Rimi chaser in order to force Matt to side against my free-fresh counter. It really never fails to amaze me how easily I get tunnel vision in board states like that: my only thought at the moment was to save the 2/1 Rimi since I assumed I’d still have a use for it the next turn (spoiler alert, I didn’t). And then I was once again in a situation where I only had one red card to ditch for the combo, and it was the stock-swap of all things even! Which I would have gladly played, but I didn’t since I had my hopes set high for the Kasumi burns, and it kinda paid off? I mean, I didn’t kill him, but he did take a hilariously unexpected amount of damage ๐Ÿ˜›

Another thing that I kinda regret in both games is never being in a position where playing down the 1/1 Rimi seemed like a certain plus: in game one, I didn’t get it back in hand on time and in game two, I wagered it against the possibility of him reaching level 2 the next turn and decided it wasn’t worth the risk. I think at least part of that stemmed from the fact that I’ve been testing the new Standby/Pants build in which I almost never have to hard play Rimi to the board, so I think that kinda clouded my assessment here. In retrospect, I think I definitely should have taken that risk though, since the loss wouldn’t hurt as much, but the pay-off would have been really nice. Notes to take for future games!

All in all, this match was a perfect example of what I like best about Weiss: even though I lost and made some poor plays along the way, it was still a really fun game for me – I can only hope those of you who watched it live enjoyed it as well ๐Ÿ™‚ Big shout outs to Denis for helping me test the deck, to the guys over at Clock Tower for their lovely recaps of all the games so far and of course, to Matt for the great match – I hope you win your next one as well!

Poor Rimi didn’t see the board this game, but at least she gets to see everyone who read this far.


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