Ah yes, the department store, a monument to modern consumerism. As a result of the post-industrialization period, the middle class’s increasing affluence and disposable income resulted in the creation of department stores, a consumer utopia where you can buy pretty much anything you want, no matter how asinine or niche it may be. Pastel hand towel sets for your guest bathroom? Get it from the Target down the road. 4-set of plastic bowls with Frozen characters printed on the bottom? Try the Walmart across town. Need hundreds of plastic forks fast, and for under $10? K-mart has you covered, baby. Some would paint these establishments as dens of evil. They are apparently places that suck the life out of local, privately-owned businesses, “ma and pa shops”, if you will. However, just because Sears can afford to sell rollerskates for half the price of your local alternatives, does that really make them the bad guys here?
Short answer, “Yes”. Long answer, “Very yes”.
Me personally (ignoring the moral dilemma at hand), I love department stores. I am a broke college student who spends most of his income on cardboard. I am going to need to find the cheapest ways to keep me clothed and fed, and boy, there is no better place to achieve that than at your local Junes. Ah yes, Junes, where the gravy atop hamburger steak flows like a river of milk and honey, and where the deals are as plentiful as grain in a wheat field. Every day is great at your Junes, because at Junes, every day is customer appreciation day. Come see for yourself at your local Junes.
Paid for by Junes LLC International, The opinions and thoughts shown here do not reflect that actual beliefs of terumeng or the other writers of toptiertears. What is Junes?
For the uninitiated, “Junes” is a deck that has a heavy focus on Yosuke Hanamura from the Persona series of games. While not as flashy as other Persona decks like Execution, Yukiko, or memory shenanigans, Junes has solidified itself as a strong deck that can do what it does very well, and that talent is the ability to beat face. Junes is very comparable to a traditional beatdown deck in other games. You slam your high-spec characters down, you swing deep, and you try to get the ball rolling by having very hard-to-answer threats. While high power isn’t the most coveted thing in Weiss Schwarz, I feel like Junes uses it greatly to its advantage. The deck can consistently get 3 lanes of 8,000 power or higher at level 1, and unless your opponent’s deck is built around a similar strategy (or a specific counter strategy), it’s very difficult for them to fight a wall of big numbers every turn. If your opponent’s deck is an advantage based deck that sits on puny clock encores for most of the game, you’re able to accumulate cards in hand at a healthy pace. Very rarely will you find your characters dying, which means you have to commit less new cards to the board every turn. This can also cause you to get ahead of your opponent in the damage race. If your opponent’s deck cannot deal with the huge bodies you are producing, they will either be forced to crash their characters into you and take more damage on the back swing, or side into you for less damage than they would prefer.
Okay, it sounds like rainbows and gumdrops so far. What’s wrong with it?
I honestly wish I could say there wasn’t anything wrong with the deck. There are a number of issues that come up simply due to how the deck works. First of all, the deck generally tries to run as many Junes characters as possible. While on the surface this may not seem like a bad thing, moreso if you’re not familiar with the Persona card pool, but by making your deck completely out of Junes cards you are sacrificing powerful cards like this searcher Naoto, and various brainstorms. Yup, 5 Persona sets with Junes cards and no brainstorms or early game search options. There is a search option in the form of a 2/0 event, but it suffers from not being a Junes trait card. Generally though, people still choose to run it because you need some form of consistency. The whole Junes trait only schtick also limits the deck to mono-yellow generally, or yellow splash red with your 2 red Junes cards. This isn’t really a downside for me, but I am sure this bothers some people.
The deck is weak to level 1 bombs. A popular choice for a number of decks at level 1 are bombs (or level reversers, or suiciders, or whatever you choose to call them). Bombs look at your 8,000 power beaters and laugh gleefully as they turn both themselves and your card upside down, and there’s nothing you can really do about that. There is a level 1->2 change that your opponent wont be able to get rid of with a level-1 bomb (outside of certain scenarios), and Junes does have a level 1 with hand-encore, the first is rather resource intensive and the latter has a hilariously terrible draw back at times. On the flip side, decks that run level 1 bombs usually do so because they cannot compete with high power, so you will have an easy time disposing of their non-bomb characters. Still, they will give you a pretty rough time if they manage to keep a constant stream of bombs coming.
The deck has no finisher whatsoever. Nothing to really say here. Junes has a dedicated level 3 option, which makes it an automatic 4 of in any deck. It is a repeatable heal which is nice, but in an environment of clock kicks and Musashi clones, it just doesn’t get there as well as it used to.
Okay so you play your guys, make them huge, and turn sideways and laugh…Is that really it?
Kind of sort of, yeah. I’m not going to try to sell Junes as some sort of amazing teched out deck with options out the wazoo, because it honestly isn’t, but I feel like a deck doesn’t need that to necessarily be good or fun. Some people live for really strange effects like Namatame or Ash, and I really enjoy cards like those as well, but sometimes it’s nice to know that somewhere in your bag is a deck you can just pull out, not think too much, and have fun with. I also just find it satisfying how high the power of your characters can get at their respective level. 8,000 power 1/0s and 11,000 power 2/1s are nothing to scoff at when it comes down to it. Junes does have a few interesting effects at it’s disposal if you are really itching for something weird, but if you’re looking for a deck that is mostly techy head-turning cards, this really isn’t the deck for you.
Do I still have your attention?
Wow, really? Damn. Alright, now that you have a more general idea of what Junes is about (see: beat face), why not take a deeper look at the pieces in the machine that make it tick.
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS: PERSONA 4
Wow check out this double rare. It’s a bomb…of sorts…I guess. Instead of the usual effect given to yellow bombs (the stock based one), this will bounce the level 0 character that reversed it to their hand and force them to discard a card. Generally, this card’s effect is not really good, at all. It is essentially strange hand fixing for your opponent that will only work out in your favor if you manage to deconstruct their perfectly sculpted hand with it, and given that it is probably turn 1 or 2, they probably just have a bunch of crap in hand they wouldn’t mind getting rid of anyways. Sadly, this card is somewhat sought after for its traits, as it is both Yukata and Junes, which are important traits for two different Persona decks. Just look at his face, he’s so disgusted with himself. Poor Yosuke.
The proverbial worst daughter in the world makes an appearance and is a total powerhouse in the deck. She is the reason that every day is great at your Junes. She is also contributing to the fact her family’s liquor store is going out of business, but hey, you gotta give a little to get a little. Global +2,000 power is absolutely monstrous at level 1, and fairly respectable at subsequent levels. She is why the deck does what it does, and the speed at which you get your copies of her on-field really determines how well the rest of your game will probably pan out.
Wow, sure wish we had something that could easily grab her at or before level 1 that was also Junes traited. I mean, come on Bushiroad, is that really so hard? She also has an alarm effect, which is not always super relevant, but can also be very helpful. If you have 2 on field and you find yourself with a third in hand, clock her for fresh cards and an addition 1k boost. That will usually make your wall of fairly-uncounterable Yosukes really uncounterable. There are also times I have taken her as damage from an attack, and then when the characters did battle, mine ended up winning. It’s a strangely delightful feeling.
One of a few Nanakos worth running in the deck. In very narrow situations, her level assist ability can be useful, but I generally find her being more valuable for her other effect. She is essentially a bond for the deck’s search event, making her a 1 stock search on a body. It’s more efficient than cards that actually search on play instead, given that it is actually a plus. There is a glaring downside compared to other searchers like her though, which is that you need the event in your waiting room to get any value at all. What’s nice is that you can also grab the event at level 2 pre-refresh, and then wait to search when your deck is full of more favourable targets post-refresh. When her level assist effect isn’t completely necessary (ie. frequently), I find she actually makes a serviceable beater when backed by 2 Sakis. Like, no joke, I have put a +2k1s on her and used her as an 8,000 power beater before. Feels good, man. There isn’t much to say about the event that I hadn’t said already, but if you were unsure about the event before, I feel like this Nanako helps justify it.
Oh baby, a triple. A very fun lineup. First of all, you have a 1/0 backup. Not the most imperative of cards in Junes, but it helps against certain decks that have the option of overpowering a single lane. Next we have a 2/2 that has a climax combo with a wind trigger. The important part is that it also changes from the previously mentioned 1/0 counter. The 2nd effect (usually the more relevant one) lets you pay 1 to bounce an opponents character on swing. The value of bouncing a character is generally quite good, depending on the phase of the game. You can bounce assists to give some help to other lanes, bounce an early play or a change that you don’t think they will be able to play again quickly, bounce something that triggers on death, or something that costs stock to play, simply to spite your opponent. The other effect, while not really super important, ends up coming up more often than you may realize. Decks with assists that tap for utility (or tap 2 brainstorms) will often make the first effect live, making him colossal and a beefy 4 soul swing. The change cost may seem steep at 3 stock, but it’s important to note that the 1/0 Yosuke returns to hand, which is kind of hilarious. While a number of changes will usually cost you cards, this one just actually gives you a card back. It’s a shame you will usually have to stick him in the back row, because even with 2 Sakis out, he will most likely not be able to survive an attack if he’s in the front. Generally I find it’s worth it to use the change when you can afford it – 2-soul beaters at level 1 are very, very good, and you get your counter back to help you protect Yosuke’s ass in the future.
Isn’t (s)he beautiful? This is another character with traits that benefit multiple archetypes (the second archetype in this case being the Crossdressing deck). I honestly have few musings about this card because I haven’t had much opportunity to use it. Some could argue the milling effect is good as a form of compression in a deck with no brainstorm to its name, and I guess the plus soul ability is cool, but in the end I think you have enough at Level 0 to the point where this really isn’t necessary anymore. That’s not to say it’s a bad choice, as ripping soul triggers off the top can turn a bad turn good, and maybe (s)he will let you dig deep enough for that climax to cancel your opponent’s would-be finishing blow. Most people are taken aback by its art as well, so I guess you could easily use that to your advantage. Psychological warfare, son.
Wow, he looks really pissed. Maybe it’s because he’s close to being a worthwhile card, though he’s not quite there. While I want to believe in the merits of a 1/1 8,000 power hand encore, I find this card hard to justify running. Not being able to direct attack is a big deal, and having more than one out can be really detrimental if your opponent just decides to clear out their lanes, leaving you with multiple Yosukes that can’t attack on your turn. Whats worse is facing decks with level 1 bombs – you are put into a situation where you might be Encoring a character that may not even get to attack optimally on the upcoming turn. There is also the somewhat-common situation where runners make this card totally useless as well. Fun times.
Why hello there. Here we have the only Junes level 3 character in the current cardpool (and probably the only one ever, at this rate), and he is the sole reason why people try to have as many Junes characters in their decks as possible. Sporting a single effect longer than most of my papers in high school, this card can range from being a complete terror to total dogshit, depending on your mills. Depending on how well (or terribly) you mill, you can either have a 12,000 base repeatable healer that throws another lane’s threat into stock, or you just are swinging with a 10,000 power dude who milled 3 of your climaxes. Thankfully, Junes isn’t the kind of deck to refresh with 18 cards in deck, so you don’t really run into the latter situation much, but it will happen from time to time. Even in those situations, be thankful that you have most likely fielded multiples of this, and are able to burn through your deck quickly despite the absence of a brainstorm. To a lot of people, the appeal of the Junes deck (or just this card) is the possibility of swinging with three 12ks and healing 3 every single turn. Those games happen frequently enough that I haven’t thrown my deck at a wall yet or attempted to sell it on Foreign. It’s probably why I keep coming back to this deck as much as I do.
I have placed these 2 together because generally they both work towards a similar goal – shoving as much red into your deck as possible for Door triggers while still having a high volume of Junes characters. The 0/0 Adachi is basically going to only be a +500 assist because the tapdown ability doesn’t really do anything for this deck. The 1/1 Adachi, on the other hand, has some pretty interesting applications. Right off the bat, he is a bomb of sorts, but not really your conventional type of bomb. He specifically only reverses characters with a higher level than your opponents level, meaning he is able to murder changes, early plays, and cards like the marker Asuna from Sword Art Online. He is a meta call more than anything, and with 2 Sakis he can go to an unbelievably average 7,000 power, but generally I don’t think this pair is worth running unless you are desperate for some red in this deck. Doors are a way to add consistency, sure, but you are forced to sacrifice one of the two Junes-based climax combos, and I feel that both of them are better than playing Door triggers for the sake of Door triggers.
PERSONA 4 EX(tra boring)
These are the only two Junes characters from the first extra booster that are really worth writing about*. The first card is a level 0 3,500 beater on your turn, which definitely has its merits. Your opponent won’t have the hardest time killing him on their turn, but he usually ends up in deck lists because there just aren’t that many options at level 0 anyways. The second card, Yosuke & Jiraiya, is an interesting card for sure. One of the gimmicks found in the earlier Persona sets is an effect on some characters that lets you play them without paying their stock cost. The substitute cost is sending a specific character from stage to the waiting room. This is some sort of flavorful mumbo jumbo that I find really cool and cute, but there aren’t a load of great cards that utilize this mechanic. As you could probably guess, the target for this level 2 Yosuke is the accompanying level 0.
The level 2 itself at first looks very playable. 2/0 3-soul seems like a decently strong play, but generally, you are going to have to play down the level 0 from your hand the turn you want to play the 2/2 for free. This runs into multiple problems. First is the consistency issue, as you have no real way of having both of these cards at the same time without simply drawing into both and holding onto them. Second, Junes isn’t the kind of deck that can afford to make cute plays at the cost of a card, since playing the 2/2 for free pretty much forces you to kill off the 0/0 before any value can be gained from it. It basically says you are discarding a specific named card. There is a very narrow situation where you could have had the 0/0 out for a few turns and then you managed to play the 2/2, but I would not count on that happening, ever. The third issue is that nothing else in the deck is worth dropping to fit in this 2/2. Junes tends to have a very fat level 2 already, and to run this I think you would just have to cut cards that are simply better than it.
*Editor’s note: I contend only one is worth writing about, though if you’ve read this far you probably got that vibe too.
PERSONA 4: THE ANIMATION
Oh hey look, another 3,500! Cool! This one, as opposed to the one shown just before it, is a static 3,500, which instantly makes it much better. He does come with a drawback, as per most overspec characters. When he is placed to stage from hand you mill a card, and if it’s a climax he goes into your stock. Honestly, it’s not the worst thing in the world. Compared to the Elizabeth from P4U, going to stock really isn’t the worst thing that can happen to your character. Milling is also a nice benefit in general, especially if you can’t burn through your deck with brainstorms and the like. Fun fact: you can play 4 of these in a turn and pretend you brainstormed.
On an unrelated note, am I the only one that thinks his eyes look a bit off? No? Just me? Okay.
Who names these cards? Like, seriously. This is honestly the most important part of Junes, important to the point where the deck may honestly crutch on it a little too hard at times. This climax combo allows you to field a bunch at level 1s and not really fall behind on cards from then on in. The 1/1 Yosuke combos with the Jiraiya Activated climax to search for the 2/1 Yosuke. Simple, yet effective. In most scenarios with similar climax combos, you would actually need more than 1 combo character to gain cards in hand (because playing the climax is inherently a -1), but seeing as it combos with a +2k1s (+ 2,000 power and +1 soul), the climax immediately replaces itself. What else is notable with the combo is that, because it triggers when the climax is played, this lets you search your deck for the 2/1 search target immediately, meaning you don’t run the risk of triggering it off of an attack, and you aren’t forced to reverse for your search like other climax combos. You even have the option to search before assigning the power/soul and drawing the card, which I highly recommend because drawing the 2/1 before searching might feel incredibly embarrassing.
The 2/1 it searches is pretty solid as well. If you have 4 or less stock it becomes a 9,000 power character for 1 stock. You would think maybe that having an x or less stock requirement wouldn’t work in a deck like this, but if you look at the line up of cards so far, most of your plays level 1 and onward cost a number of stock. Saki costs stock 1 stock, Yosuke, Sunny Classmate costs 1 stock, the Nanako assist can eat up 2 stock if you choose to salvage the event, the change into Yosuke & Susano’o costs 3, and playing Yosuke and Susano’o normally costs 2. All these stock costs, and its own of course, help make sure it sits at a nice 9,000 power, which then of course becomes 11,000 when backed up by 2 Saki assists. It is also important to note that this card comes in SP, because I’m sure somebody out there cares (like me).
PERSONA 4 ULTIMATE(ly a disappointing fighting game)
Who doesn’t love 0/0 assist characters? I mean, I’m not really fond of them unless they provide utility or they’re used to reach certain breakpoints in power. This card is very simple: 500 power to the characters in front of him, and rest to give a Junes character an additional 500 power. So what makes him a notable inclusion in a Junes deck? Isn’t Saki generally just a better card to play?
Well yeah sure she is, if you have her in hand. These Yosukes act as a back up plan if you fair to draw your Sakis by level 1. It is one of the very upsetting realities the deck faces, and it all stems back to one of its key issues of consistency. Overall though, it’s not the end of the world to have this card in the back row. It’s at least a better card than the Adachi 0/0 assist, which for all intents and purposes is a vanilla assist in this deck.
Wow, a third 3,500 level 0. Geez. I am not going to lie, I find this one better than the first EP one, but at this point I am just bitter about squandered potential. Someone at Bushiroad actually had to sit down and think, “Wow we could give this trait a strong utility level 0, or we could give them more beats.” And then they made this card.
Perhaps I am being too hard on Nanako. She just wants to help out and make everyone else smile. Not much else she can do while Dojima is out doing uh, Dojima things.
PERSONA Q: SHOVELWARE OF THE LABYRINTH
Keeping in line with the theme of being large, this Yosuke counter from the most recent set excels at one thing, and that thing is making your characters even larger. It’s the basic sort of 2/1 oversize counter seen in other sets. There is a chance that the top card of your deck won’t be a Junes character and he will only boost your character up by 2,500, but that should generally be good enough to deal with a lot of threats. I was very upset at first when this card was revealed
to be not a brainstorm, but then I realized that it actually helps the deck not die. Putting the 2/1 Yosuke to 14,500 or the level 3 to 15,500 is quite difficult for most things to get over, and helps keep you safe from effects like Marika or Akagi Kai, which need to reverse a character.
An honestly disappointing end to a long journey through sets. It’s a very easy-to-achieve condition to give you a 1/0 6,000 power character, and assuming you got your 2 Sakis on board, she is a 1/0 8,000 which is monstrous. Originally Junes had 2 different vanillas it could run, but this card just replaced all the vanillas I had previously run in my deck. I don’t mean to downplay her though, the deck really enjoys having a stockless beater option, and she fills the role pretty perfectly.
CHANGING UP YOUR PARTY: OTHER OPTIONS
There you go, a breakdown of every Junes trait character that I find worth running. There’s a handful of Nanako characters that have the trait, but they all interact with Protagonist cards, therefore providing very little for this deck. But what’s that? You’re not completely satisfied with everything I have given you? YOU WANT MORE? Broadly speaking, I wouldn’t want to play too many off-trait characters in a trait-centric deck, and I feel like I’ve covered my reasoning quite thoroughly. Still, there are 2 off-trait cards that I would actually consider using in my deck.
The first of the two cards is the level 0 Naoto from Persona Q. This card very quickly became a staple in most Persona decks, and that’s because it’s amazing. Prior to Persona Q, Persona did not have strong generic searching capabilities, or a consistent way to discard cards. Funnily enough, the two trait-reliant Persona decks that suffered from this issue have a very awkward time using this card. She allows both of those decks to smoothly set up their hands while ditching unwanted cards, but she comes at the price of not having the Junes trait for this deck, and not having the Yukata/Fan traits for the Yukiko deck. Really though, if you are having issues with consistency and hand filtering, this may be worth trying. She is also a potentially repeatable search, but I wouldn’t always count on her surviving back to your turn. Just don’t try to get too upset when you bump up your non-Junes card count and it destroys the balance of the universe.
A very powerful brainstorm. Salvaging is often treated as the best form of card advantage, because you get to freely select what card you are getting back from an ever-broadening pile. Putting this Yukiko in the Junes deck helps with 3 different things, making it a very powerful card. Firstly, of course, it’s a brainstorm, something pure Junes lacks as an option. Secondly, it’s a salvaging brainstorm, which means it helps out with your consistency whenever you successfully hit a climax off of the brainstorm ability. Thirdly, she provides card advantage. She does come with some downsides though, as she clashes with the deck mechanically. First off, you would most likely want to keep her in the back row, but that is also where you usually want 2 Sakis at all times. On the flip side, this makes her useful to have around before you get your second Saki out, but after that point you have to make a decision what is more important to you, the brainstorming or the extra power provided. There is also the awkward situation of placing her in the front row, brainstorming, and then playing over her with an attacker, but that is somewhat counter productive and defeats some of the card’s purpose.
P4G/P4GA/P4U2/P4DAN: What the future may hold, and final thoughts.
Given that there is still some Persona 4 related media they have yet to make into Weiss Schwarz sets, I am still somewhat hopeful for more support. I’m sure that by now you’re tired of hearing me go on about consistency options and advantage, but one of the biggest things I’d want from another expansion would have to be a searching brainstorm. It addresses multiple issues at once, and if you had to tap 2 Junes characters for it’s cost, you could tap your backrow of 2 Sakis without any issue. A 1/0 + power brainstorm much like the Zero no Tsukaima one would actually be quite fitting to the deck’s theme, and it would properly address the issue of not having a brainstorm. If we were to get something like the ZnT Saito, then I’d at least want some sort of trait based searcher for Junes, and even a very simple one that just pays 1 stock and discards 1 card would be more than enough for the deck. Another card I could feasibly see in the future is a Yosuke with a finisher type effect. Something like the Musashi burn, or even a more reserved burn 1 on cancel, would really help the deck keep up in today’s game. The 1/1 Yosuke climax combo feels archaic at times, and with how the game is now, the deck would benefit more from something that works like the Shirou from Unlimited Blade Works. Still, an update to Level 1 or 2 is hardly high on the wishlist for this deck.
Despite all its short comings, Junes has remained a personal favorite of mine, and it has consistently done well in tournament. It may not always work as well as you want it to, but when it decides to work out, it does a damn good job. It’s a cheap, effective, and a rather simple to play deck, which I think are all strong points. So if you walked away from this article with even a shred of interest in the archetype, then maybe next time you’re on yuyu-tei, you can pick up this rather inexpensive deck. Afterwards, you can cruise downtown with a little bit of extra cash in your wallet, and buy whatever is on sale this week at your local Junes.