And now we come to the tail end of things. The decks whose exploits are the stuff of legend, simply because these decks are the enchanting combination of rare and depressing. None of these series are what you would term ‘unplayable”, but they will occasionally come close. That being said, WS is a game where the pilot matters as much as the deck, and a good player can make do with whatever diamonds exist in the rough.
Before that though, a quick review of what has come since the last post, starting with the most impactful stuff.
S Tier > A+ Tier: Nisekoi – YRB, GRB
What is there to say? The deck is still relatively solid, with advantage for days. It loses the ability to field multiple Marikas, which was absolutely huge – it was quite easy to stop one Marika restand (with the right deck), but more than one often led to a rather difficult time stopping at least one restand (heaven forbid two). Not only that, but the free refresh and your best pendant retriever are effectively banned. A less noticeable nerf is that its 1/0 gate climax combo is now a lot worse, since the field is going to be less Nisekoi and more KC/LB/GFB/IM. It wasn’t really played in droves towards the end of the deck’s dominance, but it is a nerf nonetheless. Luckily for NK players, the deck retains its amazing advance summon, which you will find takes over the board when played in multiples. This was already the deck’s gameplan against Shana (and LH, to a lesser extent), and it was honestly a damn good one. A single Marika is still a Marika as well, and a lot of more conservative players will find that their endgame plan with the deck is almost unchanged, sans refresher.
S Tier > S Tier: Kantai Collection – YG with whatever choice you want, really
YG is probably the best deck in the game now, though I really wish that Red or Blue builds were better placed in the competitive climate. It’s not as if they’re weak decks, but ironically, it is the fact that Yellow/Green is so good which prevents other builds from being particularly strong. The new booster didn’t really deliver that much for the old meta build, but what it gave was pretty good. The new Akatsuki is a stupid card, and is effectively an upgrade to CLANNAD and Little Busters’ extremely powerful CIP draw-drop 0/0s (it is not objectively better, but it is superior in maybe 95% of circumstances). It not only gives powerful handfixing, but it introduces one of those preposterously powerful unwritten synergies with Hibiki/Verniy, which were already extremely questionable design choices. Not only can you ditch drawn Verniys to morph your Hibikis more consistently, but you can often just mill the stupid card with Akatsuki’s free brainstorm effect. It’s a climax discard outlet to boot.
That aside, the deck got a serviceable and stock-hungry Musashi replacement in Yamato Kai (also spreads damage to help against antidamage counters), another advantageous Shimakaze out in the 1/0 Amatsukaze, a different (but also very relevant) 1/0 Shimakaze card that solves some of the deck’s power issues, and some other bits and pieces. Honestly, I feel the set mostly served to upgrade the less appreciated colours (not that Red was weak in the first place) and provide more money for Bushiroad. The proof is the fact that characters like Taihou and Bismarck weren’t in the set, indicating further cashgrabs (and deck upgrades) to come. We won’t see the last of Kantai Collection anytime soon, even as its banlist mounts higher and higher.
A+ Tier: Girlfriend (Beta) – Yellow or Red, maybe with some splash
This series can almost be treated as 3 small sets. It kind of cuts out the possibility of it being broken on cardpool alone, like KC1 arguably was. In my opinion, the colour forcing is an abhorrent and boring mechanic, but that doesn’t stop it from being quite competitive. Yellow is an extremely strong colour with engines reminiscent of LB and KC, except without the extremely relevant antidamage cards or antiheal mechanic. It instead adds an interesting memory kick in its place, which can put clock encore-reliant decks in a bind. Red is a very stable colour without anything too tricksy – just a good, unbombable field and relatively strong finishing. It even has a 2/1 event that gets rid of antisalvage and other supports, though in practice a lot of advantage is derived before you even hit Level 2. While a huge unbombable lv1 field seems ridiculous, field advantage is not the sole determining factor, else Fate Rider decks would have staked their claim a long time ago. You can side over, ram in and hope for the best, or just ride the wave till Level 2 and beat them there. The deck has a bunch of finishers, but it doesn’t have the antidamage gimmicks that make KC and LB so incredible, or the ridiculous endgame that unbanned Nisekoi had. Don’t get me wrong, it IS a strong set, it just happens to lack the strong gimmicks that (in my opinion) define the current best decks.
B Tier > A+ Tier: The iDOLM@STER – (G)RB with not-Takane choice
It’s very hard to put this deck outside S Tier, because the movie booster patched almost everything deficient about this deck up, and gave it a plethora of options to work around its restriction list with. If you want to run Azusa, there are great Level 1 Blue costless options in Makoto and Takane lv1s, though you will generally want to run the 1/1 Haruka for the finisher’s sake. Likewise, a 1/0 Haruka build now has the Ritsuko 4k to fall back on, though this is potentially less oppressive than the Azusa runner. The new mill-4 handfix archetype is honestly pretty stupid and makes the deck even more consistent, giving you an excellent discard outlet as well as letting you cycle faster for more value from your 1/0 Haruka climax combo. Let’s not forget about the fun new 2/2 pseudo-antidamage counter, either. Kotori cameos in a bunch of really good cards. However, this deck tends to fold against LB and can have a rough time against KC, which can deny its salvage and ignore potential negs from Level 1 ramming respectively. Given that these are my current S Tier, it’s hard to put this deck in there, just like it was hard to put LL in there with the last list.
A+ Tier > A+ Tier: SAO – YB, YRB, Death Gun YR
Deck is still super solid. The addition of a runner and some hardly-necessary utility cards made the deck slightly more powerful, and the new Sinon Level 3 finisher is a welcome addition, subverting money counters and the like. The anticounter support can put in work, and the deck can still run a solid Level 1 field as before. Death Gun is also a very viable archetype, given the power of the new finisher.
B Tier > A Tier: Prisma Ilya – Mostly Blue with 8 Pants and Kaleidoscope
This is a tentative jump and I could definitely see it launching even further up, depending on the local metagame. The deck now pulls off the Kaleidoscope combo with depressing ease, in no small part due to new topcheckers and a second set of Pants climaxes. The fact that the Pants climax combos with a solid Level 1 engine is icing on the cake, and makes the deck’s Level 1 game notable, rather than being unremarkable and stockcharging filler time.
A+ Tier > A Tier: Love Live – same old
The new booster gave Love Live approximately nothing, except a Kotori bomb that mostly superseded the old Level 0 suiciders, and a Level 2 removal event that needs you to have the Umi brainstorm. It also got a Fumio clone (reshuffle opp WR and leave out two climaxes), which I maintain is more of an annoyance than a straight up game-winner. Is that really all? It was a 100 card booster, right? RIGHT!!? Well… it did actually receive a traditionally formidable card in the form of a Sayaka’s Wish clone, but Rin cards haven’t really been particularly relevant for quite some time. If the card targeted Maki, Nico, Eli or Umi, we might have been in business, but of those only Maki even fits the colour to begin with.
The set didn’t really get anything, but it hardly lost anything, right? Why did it drop? See, its competitors moved on up and kind of left it behind. The release of KC2’s Shimakaze Kai and a shift towards Twins-centric LB builds gave those two series much easier methods of dealing with the costless oversize field this series is known for, as well as with the other strong newcomer decks boasting powerful Level 1 fields. SAO received better methods of dealing with the aforementioned decks, pushing it up the list of ‘fair decks’ in comparison, while DC maintains the strong gimmicks that kept it super-relevant in the first place, especially with nonsense like Yamato Kai and the various Girlfriend (Beta) finishers susceptible to antidamage. It also has a lot of trouble beating over the Level 1 fields of iDOLM@STER and Girlfriend (Beta), which cuts the deck down a notch or three. That’s my spiel and I might not even be right (the deck IS still pretty strong), but I think that losing your previously-solid matchup against the better decks in the game is a pretty problematic transition.
A Tier > A Tier: Zero no Tsukaima – YR
Still the same deck, but now it has a refresh out and occasional value of a strong event. It has almost exactly the same strengths and weaknesses as it did before the unbanning: problems against antiheal, problems against decks that traded favourably with it, and the same lack of powerful finishers that it had last post.
Terraformars does not get a review until the full booster (this is one of the next prospective posts), and talking about Milky Holmes based on thoroughly uninteresting TD cards doesn’t seem worth it.
Anyway, that’s far long enough without waterworks. Let the tears begin.
Serviceable decks. If these decks are piloted by good players with a fair lick of luck, the deck has the potential to dominate the game. A lot of the time, these decks are held back by a glaring flaw or three, but can still tussle relatively well against everything up to A Tier. These flaws are often just from lacking special or unique effects or being somewhat outdated, underpowered or overcosted.
Accel World – YR, YGR
A fairly vanilla deck that distinguishes itself by actually having finishers. It has a lot of effects far better suited to the meta of several years past, including forced stock kick, on attack salvage engines, and a lot of hand encore. It’s saved somewhat by the fact its main Level 1 is clock bondable and has hand encore (though it is a 1/1), and by the fact it does have some decent costless options at Level 1. You might want to run a two-colour Level 1 just for the 1/0 6.5k, and possibly the 1/0 gate climax combo piece. It has the gimmick of using tappable backrow as encore phase changers, but half the time you’ll prefer to have them in the frontrow anyway, especially when your key changer can change to a 10k healer or cantrip depending on the situation. A significant problem with this deck is that it kind of wants to be a power deck, but hasn’t really got the backrow (or frontrow) to support it, and is forced to play a somewhat stock-heavy advantage game. Its mid-to-late game isn’t all that bad, and you’ll probably get some decent beats in with your changed characters. Lastly, it gets some points for having finishers, but when they’re as absurdly expensive as these ones are, it’s questionable as to how far you can go with them. A solid deck, but not really one with anything that better, modern decks lack.
The King of Fighters – various GRB builds
KOF is a series that a lot of people pick up moving into WS – it might be for nostalgia, it might be the fact that cardgaming and competitive gaming communities overlap – but whatever the reason, they are discouraged by a wave of ‘KOF is bottom tier’ cries from most communities they enter. This is simply not true. KOF is a very unique set with a lot of intended versatility. Unfortunately, almost all of its interesting effects suffer from terrible overcosting, and it is forced to play a very tame game. That is not to say it cannot play said tame game. It has one of the best archetypal brainstorms in the game, several competent Level 1 climax combos, a series of unique, flavourful and (importantly) powerful events, a free refresher which also serves as pseudo-removal, and one of the most unique and ridiculous Level 3 cards ever printed. All in all, this series is extremely adept at forcing your opponent to stop and ask you if you aren’t actually cheating, and it’s honestly not nearly as bad as people seem to say.
Robotics;Notes – YRB, YR
This set kind of does everything except finish the opponent. It’s not subpar at anything in particular, but is also not particularly great at anything. It has an extremely solid bond combo that provides field presence, competent handfixing and utility, and even some pretty great advance summons. It just doesnt quite match up to other power decks in terms of raw field presence, and it doesn’t have strong gimmicks to deal with less orthodox decks. Your Level 1 game also tends to be pretty narrow as well, regardless of what you pick to play. A major problem this deck has is that it just isn’t special in the lategame. In a world where most competent decks have burns, clock kicks and restanders to lean on, Robotics;Notes is just stuck swinging at its opponent, over and over. It’s certainly one of the better decks in that vein, though. The lategame contains a reasonable amount of value, and it has some interesting ways to cheat cards out, cutting the cost needed in a deck that already bonds to oversized 1/0s. Its sustainability is why it stands above a couple decks that actually do boast finishers.
Note: I am very biased towards Mr. Pleiades, and I would like to stress there are other suitable Level 1 cards as well. I just think Mr. Pleiades is the best by a significant margin.
Haruhi – Alien with Summer Festival choice of 3
Ever since the (now somewhat questionable) bannings, Nagato.dec has been the frontrunner for Haruhi builds, and it is my opinion that there is no other particularly competitive Haruhi deck. Nagato.dec is a fairly consistent heal-focused deck that tends to thrash most opponents if they do not have antiheal, and if it isn’t rushed too hard. It snowballs extremely hard if it is given the chance. With some luck, it can be exceptional, healing as early as Level 1 (though it is generally best to try and start at Level 2). It has relatively large cards which demand either a bomb or some amount of resource usage, as well as passable climax combos that give draw-based advantage. When it does hit Level 2, it has one of the easiest advance summons in the game, which can lend itself to further healing and some real damage dealing. While it can’t finish the game particularly well, Nagato.dec is one of those decks that sometimes wins at 2.0, and it is extremely irritating to play against if you are not running some way to mitigate the constant healing that the deck can put out. On the same token, it has a horrible matchup against anything with an antiheal, particularly KC, so it can’t really be put too high.
Rebuild of Evangelion – YRB, RB
I went over this deck in the previous article, and my opinions are based mostly on that. This is a very straightforward deck with relatively good handfixing. That being said, there are some issues with this deck. It has almost no good Level 1 field, and even its ‘best’ Level 1s will rarely stay for more than a turn. The deck will have to keep throwing resources to maintain an offence against your standard modern deck. It has very few utilities outside of its handfixers, and lacks a brainstorm, meaning you’re kind of stuck with the deck luck you get. Lastly, its admittedly powerful Level 3 climax combo is easily messed with, especially since people are on high alert against clock kickers, Marika and other on-reverse finishers. A deck that can certainly win, but one that requires a fair bit to go its way.
PSYCHO PASS – RB with Public Safety focus
As much as I want to put this deck higher, I’m not sure that I can. While it has some solid stuff going for it, like ‘bondable’ will-be-8ks and a 0/0 Riki-esque +1 effect, it hurts that the will-be-8k is bombed all-too-easily, and that the bond is actually not a +1, and that the +1 is only for Level 2+ characters (of which there aren’t that many good ones)… the list of niggling faults goes on. There are two distinct camps in the booster – the Public Safety and the Psycho Pass traits. While Kougami has both (and is on quite a number of good cards), he can’t go it alone, and all-in-all, I think that Public Safety is simply a better trait due to having more cards period. I really want to like the blue cards, but the fact is, there are only two or three good non-counter cards above Level 0, which means it’s better to go deep on the red-unique trait. The deck hasn’t got quite as much of a vulnerability to bombs as some other sets, because you can splash a 1/1 clock encore as your alternative Level 1 field. If the 0/0 Makishima was an actual clone of Riki (instead of getting Level 2+ only), we would have a semblance of a good and versatile Level 1 field, but as it stands, we’re struggling. The Level 3s are fine for their time of release, but now they’re kind of outdated. Being big and healing simply aren’t good enough right now. I think the deck’s best shot right now is to just go ham with the +2 soul combo and try and be a worse Bakemonogatari. When that’s your best shot, you know that you might want to reconsider your deck choice.
Wooser – hi im a td
In seriousness, Wooser is a perfectly functional deck with almost everything a deck needs to run well. It has a solid power game at both Level 1 and 2, incredibly standard but functional advantage engines, notably one off a 2k1s, and the other other boardwipe in the game (though it is not a particularly amazing one). Its weakness simply lies in how vanilla it is. There are no gimmicks to be found here, just plain old stock ‘n’ swing, which simply isn’t anything special. Its 3/2 boardwipe is definitely something to keep in mind, but any deck with a competent advantage engine will find that eating 2 attacks a turn is preferable to 3 or more. It hasn’t got much variety in terms of deck build, given that all of its promo cards are illegal, but 1 repeatable stockcharge assist, 1/1 clock encores and ways to keep up steam have to count for something, right?
While WS is the game where anything can win, that phrase in itself holds some implications. ‘Anything can win’ strongly implies that either the game is perfectly balanced (hah), or that there are sets which you expect to lose. This tier contains the latter. While the mechanics of WS give all decks a sporting chance, these decks rely on often untenable assumptions about your opponent’s play, and can sometimes topple like a house of cards. Winning is definitely possible, but do not expect to consistently top with these.
CLANNAD – YR
One of the big draws to WS in terms of series popularity, and also one of the big turn-offs, once people discover how difficult it is to actually get the cards (hint: it isn’t hard if you have access to yuyu-tei and the like). CLANNAD is not a laughably weak set, but it has almost nothing special that other sets can’t do equally well or better. It has 1/0 7ks, but you give your opponent free soul in exchange. You have cost-0 bombs, but these tend to only have relevance from Level 1 onwards. You have a 2/1 change into a soul rush Level 3, but this Level 3 is just a vanilla beater after this turn. There just isn’t anything particularly special about this deck’s game. You will probably pull out some victories by virtue of soul rush alone, and you might even get a few fieldwipes. Sadly, you generally have to do better than that to win tournaments. It has serviceable utility and just enough cards to form a coherent deck, but a good amount of the cardpool is more or less unplayable, it crutches on backrows and brainstorm for advantage, and it doesn’t have much in the way of finishing. While it is functional and does have a relatively good soul rush gimmick, it has to take a lot of risks other decks don’t need to, and amounts to not much more than a particularly strong trial deck.
Katanagatari – YR
A functional deck that wishes it had just a little more of everything. It has some amount of utility and pretty decent power at Level 0, but it wishes it had more. It’s got a few neat costless tricks at Level 1, but it wishes it had a bit more. And it has a pretty solid advance summoned heal that also kind of swings for game, but it wishes it had more of both stock and hand to feel more comfortable going forward. Its Level 0 is basically about power. It has quite a few cards that break 4k without issue, and plays accordingly. At Level 1, you can play mostly-costless, with a very strong 1/0 salvage combo and a relatively solid 1/0, which can often become a 6.5k Level 2 (at one cost). Level 2 consists of a gate combo advance summon, or a bondable 2/1 with a +2 soul salvage combo. You can make a solid argument for either, but if your game has gone well and you aren’t fighting KC, you can probably sustain the former and completely forgo the latter. The lategame includes a finisher (sort of) and a cantripping 3/2 which is otherwise kind of unremarkable. In short, it’s very basic and has a solid gameplan, but tripping up at all can be problematic. Your only brainstorm effect is on a mediocre 2/1, you have no good discard outlets, and your only finisher is prohibitively costed. Furthermore, you have a pretty big problem against KC, whose costless cards beat yours (or at least force you to punch yourself), and whose main earlygame support denies most of your advantage. A set that functions well against most decks, but takes a streak of luck to do so without issue.
Black Rock Shooter – GB, YGB
A deck limited greatly by its cardpool, but not one to be underestimated. BRS builds either revolve around the weird gimmick of conditional ‘changing’, or the 1/1 > 2/2 changer that is very reminiscent of Rewrite’s. I think the latter is the better build. It’s not far off being as consistent as Rewrite either, but it’s missing a lot of things that prevent it from really going far. Both builds have a similar Level 0, which is actually surprisingly robust. You at least have search options and a spammable brainstorm, though some cheaper plusses couldn’t hurt. Still, tutors are tutors. That being said, a sizeable 2/2 at Level 1 can be a major problem to deal with, and coupling that with bonus stockcharging and acceptable utility means the deck can keep up until Level 3, at least. This assumes your opponent doesn’t straight up KO it or bounce it back to hand. After hitting Level 3, its depressing lack of finishers means it’s reliant on swinging and hitting for its wins, though the Dead Master Level 3 definitely helps on that front. It’s not nearly as terrible a deck as some make it out to be, though it is also not one for people looking to play an easy-to-pilot deck. I still wouldn’t call it good, though.
MELTY BLOOD – tears
Full review at the bottom of the page, but I wouldn’t bother, .
Nichijou – Monoblue
An interesting deck with a rather heavy reliance on its climax combos. The set is split into two colours which are more or less incompatible, as each requires a voltron-esque assembly of characters to do things. The difference between the two is that the Yellow combo is at Level 1 and is serviceable but not great, while the Blue one is at Level 2-3 and, while more expensive, has a much higher ceiling. In addition, the Blue deck has a Level 1 combo that gives you free soul rushes and combos with the only advantage-giving climax the set has, a book trigger. More to the point, your (bondable) 2/2 has a combo with a 2k1s will pull a 3/2 onto the field and heal the top card of your clock to your hand. This dodges antiheal and makes up for the -1 you otherwise would have taken with the combo. You also have a (very expensive) backrow attacker and a rather excellent (yellow) brainstorm. While everything I’ve written is all fine and dandy, it doesn’t make allowances for the fact that things don’t always go optimally. You will often fail to draw the climax, fail to have targets for your climax combos, draw too many climaxes, etc. You have ways to pull the characters you want, but the deck simply doesn’t have the tools to manage crises, and that is a problem. It seems like this deck can mostly ignore antiheal and antisalvage gimmicks, but that’s only impressive if the deck has a high enough ceiling to also beat antimeta on value. I’m not sure Nichijou has that ceiling.
Macross F – YG
I want to like this deck, I really do. But I don’t. It has a very minor Experience subtheme, but maybe two or three cards even care for it at all. The mostly-Ranka build with a green Level 1 is probably best right now, because the Sheryl-centric Level 1 is very stock-intensive and honestly isn’t that huge, whereas the Aimo combo is more or less guaranteed advantage on a bondable 1/0. The deck has a few neat gimmicks, like a support that can completely stop counters, and changers from 1 > 2 > 3. Sadly, it lacks almost any sort of crisis management (no reliable discard outlets until at least Level 2, costless Level 1s that are only mediocre at best if you don’t have a good Level 0 game). It also has a resoundingly mediocre endgame, with no playable method to force extra damage, and nothing but level supports and 10ks as field presence. Its climax combos at Level 3 are pretty uninteresting, and they sometimes set up attacks so undesirable that you might just not play the climax at all. The set has to run hot to match up with a modern deck, and even then it can struggle. A lot.
Shining Force EXA – GRB
This deck is presumably about to receive another comeback campaign in the form of the Shining Resonance EP, so it’ll have to wait until then to escape its chains. As it stands, it’s a confused little duck of a set with kind-of competent cards and a kind-of competent finisher. It’s forced to crutch very heavily on its current comeback campaign cards, not that this is a bad thing – the Level 1s are competent, the 3/2 is a great finisher, and runners are always helpful. The problem is that it has to dip into a bunch of colours for its good cards, and aside from these good cards, those colours really don’t have much to offer. It’s also really funny how good the 1/0 Cyrille would be in the deck. It wouldn’t really push the deck back up to competitive status, but it’s a damn pity you can’t play it. The deck struggles against fieldwipes, hasn’t really got much to do at Level 2, and doesn’t have the utility that some old sets manage to redeem themselves with. The traits are also all over the place, so it might be best just to stick to the comeback campaign stuff, and filling in the gaps. Or just not play the set before Resonance is released, either way.
MELTY BLOOD Tier
Melting wall. Solvable meaning. Self who can explain. Smoothness of changeable permeability. Transitioning time. Observation life and execution function. A pinky-less hand. Headless eyes. Rolling carpet. Once. Twice. Three times. 777 cages. Burst balloon. Unfulfillable promise. Unprotectable law. Death contract. Poison and honey. Red and afterbirth. Mercury lamp and bug light. Light refracting to countless dimensions. Swimming fish, singing at the ocean bottom. Tools, tools, tools. Towards endlessly reproducing stars without meaning, without will. Better than wishes. Another only me. Unraveling deep sea. Contradictory that appears from microscopic organisms. Detailed view of a quark. Rejection of everything. Formless form. An embryo within a hearse. I curse and celebrate their existence.
This ***king chair.
CANAAN – YR
Have you ever read something so bad, you had to read it again just to make sure your grasp of language was still intact? If not, you’ve clearly not read the CANAAN changers. This set seems like it was largely an experiment for BSR, seeing which elements of design space were worth pursuing, and how. You have to wonder though – how could you possibly make so many errors in design? How could you make a deck with such incredible self-loathing? The deck defeats itself a lot of the time, partly due to limited cardpool, partly due to needing very strong draws, and partly due to having an abysmally low ceiling.
Ahem. CANAAN boasts two major gimmicks. The first is gaining benefits when your character faces an opponent of a certain colour. This is actually pretty interesting, but when you consider that BSR has mostly abandoned the traditional colour pie, it starts to fall apart. Then, you find that the effects are extremely easy to play around, especially given all the consistency crutches in modern sets. Finally, giving the set a way to give all opposing characters all colours kind of eliminates the strategic aspect of it all, don’t you think? The fact that this effect costs one stock every turn… I don’t even know anymore, maybe it was designed to be expensive and awful on purpose. Anyway, the second gimmick is cards that require specific characters in Level Zone. This was executed horribly. The foremost cards boasting this phentermine gimmick are a 1/0 salvage character (good), and a 1 > 2 > 3 change chain (bad). Why is this bad? Simple. The change effect pulls the target from Level Zone. This is an awful mechanic in a set that has no cheap, effective way to swap Level Zone cards, as Milky Holmes does. The reward for getting these cards in Level Zone is mediocre and wouldn’t even be considered if the cardpool wasn’t so small. Luckily, BSR learnt from this and executed the effect properly in Zero no Tsukaima, Symphogear G and iDOLM@STER Anime. This set is a lesson on set design. If you are going to try out new design space, make sure the effects are at least moderately strong, or else you have failed to balance the difficulty of any complex design decision with appropriate rewards for jumping through hoops. I cannot recommend this deck to anyone but CANAAN fans.
MELTY BLOOD – A game with a lot of maids
MELTY BLOOD is a spin-off of the visual novel Tsukihime, and started as a very, very perfunctionary doujin fighting game with no particularly notable mechanics or features. After a significant amount of interest in the game, it has been updated and rereleased a total of 4 times outside arcades, and has only gotten more polished and popular. While the main draw is the fact you can use your favourite Tsukihime characters, the game itself has developed from a passable fandisc fighter-slash-visual-novel to what can be regarded as one of the best competitive anime fighters out there.
The current version, MELTY BLOOD Actress Again Current Code, is an incredibly (and surprisingly) well-balanced fighter that boasts a cast of 30 characters that each have 3 choices of moveset. These movesets are unique enough to result in a ridiculous 90-ish characters, each of which has somewhat unique traits. It has a focus around fast-paced air footsies and a strong emphasis on awareness, movement and fundamentals, but no matter what your playstyle is, you will find a character that feels right.
While the current PC release had possibly the stupidest legal distribution of any game in any genre, it has a surprisingly robust online playerbase and enough depth to keep veterans and newcomers alike enthralled. Though the graphics may not appeal to those who shun the anime genre (why are you on this blog if this is you?), it is far more than a game with incredibly detailed spritework, and most anyone who cares to venture into the maw of this excellent fighter will find themselves ensnared.
For reference, the full tier list:
S Tier Kantai Collection, Little Busters!
A+ Tier The iDOLM@STER, Sword Art Online, Girlfriend Beta, Nisekoi, Da Capo
A Tier Fate/Prisma Ilya, Love Live, Rewrite, Railgun/Index, Project Diva F, Milky Holmes, Crayon Shin-chan, Zero no Tsukaima, Persona, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, Vividred Operation, Daybreak Illusion
B+ Tier Log Horizon, Shakugan no Shana, Phantom, Angel Beats, Madoka, Devil Survivor 2
B Tier Lucky Star, Disgaea, Fate/stay/zero, Suisei no Gargantia, Guilty Crown, Dog Days, Kill la Kill, Symphogear, Sora Kake/Mai-HIME, Fairy Tail, Sengoku Basara, Monogatari series, Gigant Shooter Tsukasa
C+ Tier Accel World, The King of Fighters, Robotics;Notes, Haruhi, Evangelion Rebuild, PSYCHO-PASS, Wooser
C Tier CLANNAD, Katanagatari, Black Rock Shooter, MELTY BLOOD, Nichijou, Macross Frontier, Visual Arts, Shining Force EXA, CANAAN
In conclusion, Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code is an excellent game that I would recommend to anybody who plays fighting games, whether it be a casual pastime or a serious hobby.