DECK LIST: Bang Dream – Pants/Standby Poppin’Party – EN 2020

I’ve been waiting for this set to come out for months and it’s finally here! So let’s go over what build I’ll be playing and what new options Bang Dream vol. 2 brings to the deck 🙂

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Quick stats:

  • Colors: 25 red / 21 blue / 4 yellow
  • Level 0 = 14 characters
  • Level 1 = 10 characters + 4 events
  • Level 2 = 3 characters + 2 events
  • Level 3 = 9 characters
  • Soul triggers: 13 + 8 on climaxes

Level 0

4x “Music of Bonds” Kasumi Toyama
【AUTO】 When this card attacks, choose 1 of your characters, and that character gets +1500 power until end of turn.
【AUTO】 At the beginning of your opponent’s draw phase, if all of your characters are 《Poppin’Party》, reveal the top card of your deck. If that card is level 1 or higher, you may return this card to your hand. (Climax are regarded as level 0. Return the revealed card to its original place)

3x Puzzled, Arisa Ichigaya
【CONT】 During your opponent’s turn, if all of your characters are 《Poppin’Party》, this card gets +1 level and +1500 power.

3x “Invincible Hero” Kokoro Tsurumaki
【CONT】 If this card is in the middle position of your center stage, this card gets +1 soul.
【AUTO】 [(1) Put a card from your hand into your waiting room] When this card is placed on the stage from your hand, you may pay the cost. If you do, search your deck for up to one 《Music》 character, reveal it to your opponent, put it into your hand, and shuffle your deck.

3x “The Sister I Adore” Rimi Ushigome
【AUTO】 At the beginning of your climax phase, choose one of your characters, and that character gets +500 power until end of turn.
【ACT】 Brainstorm [(1) 【REST】 this card] Flip over four cards from the top of your deck, and put them into your waiting room. For each climax revealed among those cards, choose up to one character in your waiting room, and return it to your hand.

1x “Secret Spot” Arisa Ichigaya
【AUTO】 [(1) Put 1 card from your hand into your waiting room] When this card is placed on the stage from your hand, you may pay the cost. If you do, look at up to 3 cards from the top of your deck, choose up to 1 card from among them, put it into your hand, and put the rest into your waiting room.

Level 1

4x “Music of Bonds” Tae Hanazono
【CONT】 If you have 2 or more other 《Poppin’Party》 characters, this card gets +2000 power.
【AUTO】 【CXCOMBO】 When this card attacks, if “Jumpin’ Girls!” is in your climax area, and you have 2 or more other 《Poppin’Party》 characters, reveal 3 cards from the top of your deck, your opponent chooses 1 character or event card from among them, put it into your hand, you choose up to 1 card from the remaining cards, put it on the top of your deck, and put the rest into your waiting room.

4x That Irritating Girl
If the number of 《Music》 characters you have is two or less, this card cannot be played from your hand.
Choose up to one 《Music》 character in your waiting room, and put it into your stock.
Choose one of your characters, and that character gets the following ability until end of turn. “【AUTO】 When this card attacks, reveal the top card of your deck. If that card is a 《Music》 character, put it into your hand.” (If it is not, return the revealed card to its original place)

2x “Time for Chocolate Cornets” Rimi Ushigome
【CONT】 All of your other 《Music》 characters get +500 power.
【AUTO】 【CXCOMBO】 [(1)] When a card named “Chocolate Cornet Love” is placed on your climax area, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose a 《Music》 character in your waiting room, and return it to your hand.
【AUTO】 At the beginning of your opponent’s attack phase, you may choose one of your 《Music》 characters, and move it to an open position of your center stage with a character facing that card.

2x “In a Place as Big as This…?!” Rimi Ushigome
【CONT】 During your turn, this card gets +2000 power.
【CONT】 If the character facing this card is cost 0 or lower, this card cannot become 【REVERSE】.

1x “CiRCLE Storage Expedition” Saya Yamabuki
【AUTO】 When you use this card’s “Backup”, if you have a 《Music》 character, choose 1 of your characters in battle, and that character gets +1000 power until end of turn.
【ACT】 【COUNTER】 Backup 1000, Level 1 [Put this card from your hand into your waiting room] (Choose 1 of your characters that is being frontal attacked, and that character gets +1000 power until end of turn)

1x “Supreme Music” PAREO
【AUTO】 When this card becomes 【REVERSE】, if the level of this card’s battle opponent is higher than your opponent’s level, you may put that character at the bottom of your opponent’s deck.
【AUTO】 Accelerate [Put 1 《Music》 character from your waiting room to the bottom of your clock] At the beginning of your climax phase, you may pay the cost. If you do, look at the top card of your deck, put it on the top of your deck or into your waiting room, choose up to 1 《RAISE A SUILEN》 character in your waiting room, and put it into your stock.

Level 2

2x “Poppin’ Colors!” Saya Yamabuki
【CONT】This card gets +1000 power for each of your other 《Music》 characters.
【AUTO】[(1)] At the beginning of the encore step, if you do not have another【REST】character on your center stage, you may pay the cost. If you do,【REST】this card.

2x Buns For Luck
Put all cards in your opponent’s stock into your opponent’s waiting room, and your opponent puts the same number of cards from the top of your opponent’s deck into his or her stock.

1x “Bride For A Day” Saya Yamabuki
【CONT】 Assist All of your characters in front of this card get +X power. X is equal to 500 multiplied by that character’s level.
【ACT】 [【REST】 one of your other characters and this card] If there is an event card in your waiting room, choose one of your characters, and until end of turn, that character gets +500 power and the following ability. “【CONT】 During this card’s battle, your opponent cannot play event cards and “Backup” from hand.”

Level 3

4x Time for Our Live! Kasumi Toyama
【CONT】 During your turn, if you have 2 or more other 《Poppin’Party》 characters, this card gets +4000 power.
【AUTO】 【CXCOMBO】 [(1) Put 1 card from your hand into your waiting room] When this card attacks, you may pay the cost. If you do, deal 1 damage to your opponent, and this card gains the following ability until end of turn. “【AUTO】 [(1) Put 1 card from your hand into your waiting room] At the beginning of your encore step, if “Melody of Bonds” is in your climax area, and there is no character facing this card, or the character facing this card is 【REVERSE】, you may pay the cost. If you do, deal 3 damage to your opponent. (Damage may be canceled)

2x Swimsuit Arisa
【CONT】 This card gets +500 power for each of your other 《Music》 characters.
【AUTO】 When this card is placed on the stage from your hand, you may put the top card of your clock into your waiting room.
【AUTO】 [(2) Put a card from your hand into your waiting room] During this card’s battle, when the damage you received is not canceled, you may pay the cost. If you do, deal the same damage to your opponent. (This damage may be canceled)

2x Arisa Ichigaya
【CONT】 All of your other 《Music》 characters get +1500 power.
【AUTO】 [【REST】 one of your 【STAND】 characters] When this card is placed on the stage from your hand, you may pay the cost. If you do, your opponent chooses a climax in your opponent’s waiting room, return all cards in your opponent’s waiting room except those cards into your opponent’s deck, and your opponent shuffles his or her deck.
【AUTO】 【CXCOMBO】 [(1) Put a card named “Heart Pounding Star” from your climax area into your waiting room] At the beginning of your encore step, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose up to two of your 《Music》 characters, and those characters get the following ability until the end of your opponent’s next turn. “【AUTO】 When this card is frontal attacked, look at the top card of your deck, and put it on the top of your deck or into your waiting room.”

1x “The Magic of Smiles” Hagumi Kitazawa
【AUTO】When this card is placed on the stage from your hand, draw 1 card, choose 1 card in your hand, put it into your waiting room, choose up to 1 of your opponent’s characters, and return it to his or her hand.
【AUTO】【CXCOMBO】When “The Magic of Smiles” is placed on your climax area, this card gets +1500 power and the following ability until end of turn. “【AUTO】This ability activates up to 1 time per turn. When this card’s trigger check reveals a card with in its trigger icon, you may deal 3 damage to your opponent.” (Damage may be canceled)

Main Game Plan

Imposter Overview

As a starting point, please consult the infographic below to make sure you don’t make silly misplays:

The 0/0 Kasumi loses her coinflip ability if you have a character that isn’t <Poppin’Party>, but she can still assign power on attack. The 0/0 Arisa just doesn’t do anything in that scenario. Tae needs 2 or more other <Poppin’Party> characters both for the power boost and the climax combo, but the level 3 Kasumi only needs that for the power boost.

The Kokoro and Hagumi aren’t hard to remember since they’re obviously yellow, and I guess Pareo also clearly isn’t in the band. But the two level 3 Arisa cards are pretty easy to forget about: it’s just that set 1 cards didn’t have band traits on them, so these two actually have <Bonsai> instead of <Poppin’Party> as their second trait.

Level 0

There are 3 key parts to the ideal level 0 game plan:

  1. Mulligan Standby targets
  2. Get out the Standby targets
  3. Make sure you don’t screw up the traits

I’m usually not a fan of Standby combos because a lot of them are on level 1 characters, and I’ve personally never felt too comfortable with the tempo you set yourself up for by missing a turn of global soul at level 1. That being said, this deck is quite a bit different in the fact that the Standby combo is on a level 3 which is great because this way, you don’t fall behind on damage at level 1, you don’t over-swing at level 3 and most importantly, if you see a Standby CX in your opening hand, you don’t need to hold onto it until level 1.

In fact, I think playing a Standby CX at level 0 can lead into some of the most impactful plays this deck can make since pretty much all your level 1s are good targets in that scenario. Getting out the 1/1 Rimi which can’t be reversed by cost 0 characters is obviously the dream here, but the Tae can be equally great since the condition of two other <Poppin’Party> isn’t too hard at level 0 either, so she’ll likely be at 6k power even then. And if you can’t bring out a level 1 attacker, even just setting up the Rimi chaser so early can be a pretty big advantage depending on what your opponent is playing.

That’s not to say that you absolutely need to play a Standby at level 0, or that you should actively mulligan for one. I probably wouldn’t, especially if I already had the Pants CX in hand instead or if I knew that my opponent was playing something which would make my Standby targets less impactful (like answers to the 1/1 Rimi, for example).

The level 0s are gonna be just fine on their own: there might only be 14 of them, but both the Kasumi coinflip and the Arisa oversize are great turn 1 plays, and even better when played together on turn 2 since you can use the Kasumi to pump Arisa to 4k during your turn, reverse whatever needs reversing and then the coinflip either bounces back to your hand or not, but either way, the Arisa becomes a 4k level 1 during your opponent’s turn – provided that you only have <Poppin’Party> characters on board.

At level 0, the only problem regarding that requirement is the Kokoro drop search. She’s in the deck for 2 reasons: one, we don’t have access to this Kasumi promo in English, and two, she’s meant to splash yellow for the level 3 Hagumi bouncer. I’ll go into more details about on-trait alternatives later, but for the roles I personally wanted to fill, Kokoro was the best choice despite having the wrong trait. The fact that she’s only 2k power usually means that you can play her, use the drop search effect, then crash her into something or tie powers and still be perfectly fine since both the Kasumi and the Arisa check for trait during your opponent’s turn only. Sure, sometimes you might need to give up that sweet extra soul in the middle lane in order to get Kokoro off the board, but I didn’t really find that to be an issue at level 0 at all. Though admittedly, you will sometimes also find yourself in game states where the play-search-crash route is not an option, meaning you’ll have to decide between either not getting the search or not having the abilities on Kasumi and Arisa. But since the earliest you’ll ever be using the drop search is on your second turn, it’s likely that you’ll be close enough to level 1 already so that keeping your 0s alive won’t really matter as much – especially if you’re using Kokoro to ditch a target and then playing a Standby CX the same turn.

As a footnote to the level 0 outline, I guess it’s worth noting that depending on how lucky you get with Standby, you might not feel the need to find and field the brainstorm early on – which is fine, but don’t sleep on it for too long because having her on board is one of the easiest ways to fulfill trait requirements for your level 1s and level 3s. Well, either that or the Rimi chaser – but preferably both at some point!

Also, if you happen to be playing against another Standby deck and feel like that’s the perfect time to standby out the anti-change bomb, go ahead … as long as you remember that Pareo is, in fact, not a <Poppin’Party> character. Please be a better player than me and don’t make that mistake on two separate occasions, that’s all I ask of you.

Level 1

Congrats, you’ve made it out of the trait danger zone! You still need 2 or more other <Poppin’Party> characters on board for the Tae combo, but that is hardly ever going to be an issue at this point in the game.

So relax, play the your Taes and use the Toilet events to stick all the 0/0 Arisas into your stock since you won’t be needing them anymore. Seriously, all that card does after level 0 is bringing a big fat smile to your opponent’s face when they see you reveal it with Tae’s combo. Coincidentally (and purely based on my testing matches), the games where your level 0 plays are shit also happen to be the games where for every single Tae, you reveal one of these Arisas and then end the turn wondering who thought it was okay to let your opponent flood your hand with such useless cards. But that’s just a fringe scenario which I’m still too salty about, not an actual reflection of how this deck plays most of the time – so let’s get on with that, shall we?

The Tae combo is actually pretty nice. It doesn’t give you any selection at all, but it mills and it lets you confirm the top card of your deck: so you can do anything from making sure you hit characters for the Toilet effect, to setting up soul triggers, to stacking CX triggers or removing them to the waiting room in order to (hopefully) trigger clean. And the more Toilets you have in play, the less your opponent gets to screw with what you actually get into your hand from the combo. Because they can choose either events or characters, and sometimes giving you another Toilet would be better than giving you a counter or another good character, but it doesn’t really matter if you’d be able to grab that character off the Toilet anyway – so in the end, their best play is to give you the good card and hope that even after you put both remaining cards to the waiting room, you’ll still whiff the Toilet. Similarly, if I sometimes repeated the combo at level 2, I found that quite often, I revealed a random character, a level 3 and a Standby CX –  which forced my opponent into giving me the level 3 because otherwise, I’d just Standby it out either way.

So it’s really not like you’ll get stuck with random garbage every single time, and you can mitigate the influence your opponent ends up having on your hand pretty easily. And if you need any other reason as to why this combo is so great, let me remind you that most of the time, that Tae is going to be sitting at 6k on both turns – 6.5k if you have the Rimi chaser as well. So there are a lot of interesting plays you can make with either the coinflip or by crashing one of your lanes and then being able to move one of your Taes around to guarantee it’ll live another turn.

And that’s also what the 1/0 2k backup is for: I considered running the free-fresh counter instead and I might actually switch to that at some point in the future, but for now, I appreciate having the option of a 2k backup at level 1 on top of Tae already standing at 6k or more. I know some people really dislike running only 1 copy of a 2k backup, but I think it can pay off really well – perhaps even more so because many people don’t run these as 1-ofs. Realistically, even if your opponent sees a backup going to stock or clock during your first few turns, they still kinda have to play around it since they don’t know you’re only running one. Presenting the threat of a backup is sometimes just as impactful as actually presenting the backup! Not to mention that grabbing it during your level 1 combo turn also feels pretty sweet, especially against decks who can get over 6k on offense, but not over 8k.

Is there anything else to be said about Tae? Maybe a bit about the combo from a ruling perspective, I guess. First of all, yes you can put both of the remaining cards into the waiting room. Second of all, the revealed cards are still in the deck – if you use the combo with 3 cards in deck, it won’t trigger a refresh and consequentially, if you use the combo with less than 3 cards in deck, you only get to reveal however many cards you have left in your deck. You can read more about why that’s so in this post.

As for Standby plays at level 1 … there honestly aren’t that many since as I’ve already said, the main selling point of this build, for me, is the fact that it doesn’t crutch on Standby at level 1. Not saying it’s useless though! You can obviously still trigger it and bring out the 2/2 Saya wall – I only run 2, but they’re pretty easy to get into the waiting room by the time I need them, so that hasn’t been an issue so far. I did also have some games where I couldn’t get the Pants CX by level 1, so then I just opted for playing the Standby instead if I happened to have that in hand. And in those situations when you do bring something out at level 2, it’s especially great to have the Rimi chaser alongside it because she really adds a lot of value to whatever you put on the board: I especially like the play of standbying out the 2/2 Saya in the back row and then possibly moving it up based on what my opponent plays on their turn. Maximal reward with minimal risk, ain’t that just the greatest?

Lastly, I also feel like I need to justify the Pareo anti-change bomb a little bit, especially in this build where her second effect literally has 0 targets to benefit from. Honestly, there’s not much to it other than the fact that I wanted something to deal with other Standby decks at level 1. And perhaps running just one anti-change tool is a mistake, perhaps I’ll look at this list again in a week or two and replace the goth cutie with my trusted 2/1 Rimi or the Kasumi anti-change counter, or maybe I’ll even try to find the space for both, who knows. So if the match-ups you’re expecting would be better with something else in Pareo’s slot, definitely do change that!

Level 2

What you’re doing at level 2 kinda depends on how your level 1 game went and at what tempo your opponent is playing. You might be able to get another round of Tae combo off, though you’ll probably be on your second deck at that point, so you need to consider if your current compression is worth milling into or not.

Alternatively, you can slam down a Standby and start bringing out your finishers for free! Swimsuit Arisa is also another really good target to bring out early due to her revenge burn ability – having to crash a lane and then triggering Standby to play that Arisa over your crashed lane feels amazing every time. And again, you can set up some shenanigans with the Rimi chaser to move the Arisa in front of whichever character you assume your opponent will deal the most damage with, especially if you’ve already pushed them to level 3 during your turn!

Level 3

  1. Play Kasumis
  2. Smash face

Oh and I guess stock swap + Fumio (aka 3/2 Arisa with the global +1.5k) is also an option you should keep open! Other than that, the Kasumis are usually fine on their own since they’re 13k during your turn – not to mention that you can use the standby to bring out either the Fumio or the 2/1 Saya level assist for even more power! But again, keep in mind that neither of the Arisa level 3s are <Poppin’Party>, so … you know, don’t Standby yourself out of that 4k power boost. I make these mistakes so you don’t have to!

Anyway, with a little bit of setup you can get over almost anything. Kasumi + Saya assist + Arisa global = 16k, or 16.5k is you use Saya’s anti-counter ability. So you can technically match with Bunny Senpai’s bodyguard even if they have two Koga assists behind it, and they can’t counter over you in that scenario.

But of course, you want to have more than one out to walls: that’s why I also added the Hagumi bouncer. Again, depending on the match-ups you expect, you might not need this tech at all: if no one in your locals runs anything problematic, you’re probably fine cutting yellow entirely! But in a global EN meta with Bunny Senpai and Fate running around, you’re probably better off with Hagumi in the deck. Only running 3 cards to splash for her might look a bit risky, but it really isn’t – not for this specific card at least, since in the match-ups where you do need her, you’ll know you need to set up yellow from turn 1, which gives you plenty of time. The fact that the rest of the deck is a pretty even split between red and blue also helps a lot – it’s not like you’re super likely to get color screwed if you level with yellow early!

The draw-ditch effect on the Hagumi is also a nice bonus, especially since it’s the only way this deck has to dig for climaxes outside of the level 0 check-top-3 Arisa. Personally, I haven’t had many problems with missing the Standby CX in the late game (running Pants helps with that, obviously) but if that’s something you’ll have issues with, by all means, add in more ways to draw climaxes!

Btw, in case you missed it, the Kasumi can burn for 1 even without the climax. Good card, all around good card … now if only they printed it as a RR and gave it a draw effect as well.


Covering all the other options … in a Bang Dream deck …. hahahahhahahasomeonekillmewhydoIdothistomyself.

Realistically, I am 100% sure that I won’t be able to cover every single possible alternative this deck has. Have you seen Bang Dream’s card pool? I probably haven’t even heard of every possible alternative, much less actually considered it for the build. So here goes something, I guess.

Removing Yellow & Making This 100% PoPiPa

If you want less trait problems, yellow is obviously the first thing to remove. You want to replace the Kokoro with something that lets you discard cards, like this Saya or the new box promo Kasumi or even this new Rimi uncommon for example, but ideally, you’d also want the ability to search. Unless I’m missing something, the only on-trait drop-searcher for this deck would be this Kasumi which is a bit … unconventional, but not completely out of the question!

The Pareo doesn’t have any exact replacement since it’s the first time Bang Dream got anti-change at level 1, but as I’ve already mentioned, she’s not a key part of the deck by any means and you can replace her with the 2/1 Rimi or the anti-change counter which are both on-trait.

To be fully on-trait, you’d also need to cut both level 3 Arisas, but I’m not sure that would be the right choice honestly. Swimsuit works really well with the Standby shell and Fumio is … well, Fumio. Since this is the English format, we have the option of playing her alongside the stock swap event and I don’t think passing up on that is the right play? I know some people opt for the Kasumi Amagi instead of the Fumio since they both give a global +1.5k, but I wonder how much that is influenced by JP lists which can’t run both Fumio and stock swap. The Amagi does have the added benefit of helping you plus and I admit that with this build, converting stock to hand later in the game isn’t a bad idea, but if you go that route, you’ll probably have to switch out the Swimsuit Arisa as well since the Amagi only gives a power boost to <Poppin’Party> characters. I guess you could play this 3/2 Saya instead? Not as a standby target, but perhaps as a good early play that also helps you dig for climaxes.

Other Notable Cards From The New Set

I assume Connor will have a “Top 10 Cards” video out on his channel soon so I won’t go into full detail about every card, especially not the ones which wouldn’t have anything to do with this build. That being said, here are some of the newcomers I think you should consider when altering this build:

  • The Layer salvage Riki is a very good level 0 option. It sets up your level 1 game, it mills, it makes Pareo’s second effect not useless. I actually ran this in the original version of the build before realizing I’d need to splash for yellow, so if you plan to cut yellow but don’t care about being fully PoPiPa, definitely try this out!
  • The Kasumi event swapper is also a cool 1-of to have. If you run this, you might be able to safely get away with only 1 copy of the Bread event, which might not even be a priority if you cut the Fumio Arisa, so maybe this Kasumi should go into those builds intead?
  • There’s also a new Tae memory kick counter which might be worth teching in for match-ups where removal to memory helps you out!

Options From Previous Sets + Completely Different Builds

Other than the cards I already talked about, I haven’t really thought much about which of the old cards could be incorporated into this build. One thing you could try is committing more to the Swimsuit Arisa by running the 2/1 Arisa which changes into the level 3 when frontal attacked – meaning that in theory, you can get the level 3 out at level 1 due to Standby. Another thing I’ve been considering is this 3/2 Chisato because even though she’s off-trait, she’s a pretty decent standby target, and I guess you can never have too much power, right?

As for completely different builds … where to even start? You could run 8Pants with Yukina top end + the new Sayo combo or 8Pants PoPiPa with Tae + the Arisa neg soul combo, or 8Standby PoPiPa with the Standby from MultiLive and the 1/0 Tae that goes with it, perhaps even the 3/2 Rimi since you’re using that package! Will I make deck tech for any of these builds? Possibly! I was planning a separate Raise a Suilen post sometime in the coming weeks, but after that, I have no idea what I’ll be up to with all my new shiny idol cardboard 🤔 Guess you’ll have to wait and see!

As always, thank you for reading & if you have any questions, please let me know! Want to support future deck techs? Check out my ko-fi page!

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