Tie-in review of the Index Comeback Campaign with the other article that will soon be posted. It’s a separate post because it looked pretty clunky and ugly in the other article, and this way people who only want a somewhat-informed opinion on the comeback campaign can come straight here. This article is going to be short and to-the-point.
Because it’s a Comeback Campaign, the card evaluation needs a bit of adjustment. Instead of the old Good, Average and Bad ratings, I’m going to have Touma-tier, Good and Average ratings. Cards in these CC packages tend to be extremely high-quality.
To Aru Majutsu no Index A Set:
Invigorating Temper, Mikoto
ID/W13-115 PR CH
Yellow / Level: 1 / Cost: 0 / Trigger: None
Power: 4000 / Soul: 1 / <ESP> <Frog>
[A] When another of your <ESP> Characters attacks, during this turn, this card gets +1500 Power.
[A] Encore [Put the top card of your deck into your Clock]
First things first, this card is worthless for the Index deck itself, and worthless in Touma and Green Railgun builds. Those decks either haven’t got the requisite ESP count or have much better ways to maintain field at Level 1. That being said, it will play a strong role in the existing mono-Red and Red/Yellow Railgun builds alongside the 1/1 7.5k Kuroko, most likely taking the place of the existing 5k. In fact, the two cards are almost directly comparable, which is interesting, to say the least. This deck generally let its costless cards die after they’ve had their Komoe-enhanced swing, so being able to clock encore those doomed cards is no small boon.
“Black Wings”, Accelerator
ID/W13-116 PR CH
Yellow / Level: 2 / Cost: 1 / Trigger: Soul
Power: 7500 / Soul: 1 / <ESP>
[A] When this card attacks, if the Character facing this card is Level 3 or higher, during this turn, this card gets +4000 Power and +1 Soul.
The only non-staple card in either Comeback set. It doesn’t matter that it’s overspec compared to a lot of other similar cards, it fulfills nothing but niche roles in any Railgun deck. This is a quick and easy solution to irritating advance summons like Onodera, but is not worth playing more than one of, if that.
Confronting the Threat, Touma
ID/W13-117 PR CH
Yellow / Level: 3 / Cost: 2 / Trigger: Soul
Power; 12000 / Soul: 3 / <No traits>
[C] This card gets Level -3 while on the Stage. This card cannot be chosen as a target by your opponent’s abilities.
[A] [Put a card in your hand into the Waiting Room] When this card attacks, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose 1 of your Characters. During this turn, that Character gets +1 Soul.
[A] This ability may activate up to once per turn. During the turn this card is placed on the Stage from your hand, when the damage dealt by this card is cancelled, you may deal 1 damage to your opponent.
Touma was the first 12k announced in WS, though he has been joined by two others already. Not only is he a tremendously overspec beater (3 SOUL), but he has finisher elements to boot. This card is a very competent endgame card, though it is not on the level of the nonsensical cards that new boosters continue to get. The major issue here is that Touma has no traits at all, meaning the majority of Index’s searchers cannot actually find him. In fact, the only searcher in the series that can pull Touma out is used primarily as an ESP trait searcher. The only card that Komoe currently gets in the normal Index deck is Hyouka & Index, which is a fantastic card, but probably not worth playing Komoe for. This makes Touma practically the same as Accelerator when it comes to being played in Index decks, which is a shame, really. The only benefit he has is that he buffs a couple Index characters who want the Touma name on your field.
The real question is: is it worth running this character over MisaKuro? The advantages of playing the red finisher is that you gain easy access to gates, the potential to splash a runner, various salvage options, and the series’ potent brainstorm. The pre-CC version of Index certainly can run it, though that deck starts to have issues with climax space if you want to play gates. However, there are always a couple drawbacks. First, MisaKuro is still restricted to 2. While this is a stupid restriction that isn’t at all necessary (especially while GFB continues to be unmolested), it’s still a restriction, and we need to deal with it. Having only 2 total lowers the count you can feasibly draw into, and means you have to focus more on getting them. Next, the metagame is becoming more and more hostile towards on-reverse finishers, meaning that MisaKuro will often just be a 3/2 healer. Lastly, it’s quite stock and hand intensive, and given that one of its primary advantages (the heal effect) is already present on both an existing 3/2 heal and one of the new comeback campaign cards, that element can basically be disregarded.
The other question here is: is it worth losing some consistency to run this? It’s not actually much better than the existing Accelerator card outside of consistently being 12k, having the extra soul abilities, and having the Touma name. I know that all sounds like it’s a lot better, but each of those advantages is pretty tiny. Still, I feel it’s worth running, even though you’re going to have issues searching it at will. This ultimately means you need to take one of three options.
- Play more global salvage/draw effects and prioritise this card.
- Play the searcher Komoe and some other relevant targets as extra outs.
- Rely on drawing into them by maxing out the Touma count.
I think the third option is going to be my first port of call, especially given how the rest of the comeback campaign is shaping up to be like. I wouldn’t be dreadfully surprised if Komoe was a correct inclusion in the final build either, and I’ll be playing some number of them in my initial build.
More importantly, it’s Touma. This guy has a harem 10,000 strong, with espers, saints and catgirls in it (eat your heart out, Haruhi). Railgun was only watchable because Touma was in it. The best arcs in the manga are unquestionably the ones where Touma is punching something. He has literally punched a pregnant woman in the name of justice, and then gone on to punch her still-living foetus, also in the name of justice. Thor was supposedly killed by the Midgardian Serpent, but since Touma didn’t have one on hand, he just convinced Thor to run himself over with a train. A freaking train. How do you run yourself over with a train? Ask Thor. Jesus H. Christ. Speaking of Mr. Christ, he restored himself to life, right? Yeah, well, Touma restored the world from the dead by dying approximately infinite times for your sins. Yeah, that’s right, the world literally ended, and Touma didn’t go with it.
Kamijou Touma, everybody.
Ahem. Those aren’t actual spoilers because Index will never get a 3rd season ;_;
Good Night, Index
ID/W13-118 PR CH
Blue / Level: 0 / Cost: 0 / Trigger: None
Power: 500 / Soul: 1 / <Magic> <Book>
[CONT] Your other Character in the middle Slot of the Center Stage gets +1000 Power.
[ACT] Brainstorm [(1) Rest 2 of your Characters] Reveal the top 4 cards of your deck and put them into the Waiting Room. For each Climax revealed this way, reveal a <Magic> Character in your deck, put it into your hand, and shuffle your deck afterwards.
This card is clearly an auto-include, possibly even at 3-of. Not only is the support effect a relevant boost on both turns, but both the mill effect and the potential plusses are effects that the deck was sorely missing before. You can get most anything in your deck with this, including bonds, Level 1 plays, or your advance summon. It also serves as manipulation of the deck for your 3/2, which we’ll talk about later.
This is a fine card with great applications in both the mono-Magic Index build and the Touma/Index combination build. The former had a rather depressing reliance on the Hyouka & Index bond combo to maintain hand, and while that combo was great, 3ks can’t exactly carry an entire deck’s gameplan. This is a great way to move away from reliance on that combo, and while I’m still not the biggest fan of tap brainstorm abuse, it’s certainly helpful in a series that has very little advantage otherwise. Tapping backrow is not a big deal here, as you don’t really have many key cards that tap things down (there is one later, but that one isn’t a core card imo).
I would be very content to just have one in the back row for the entire game.
Usual Scene, Touma and Index
ID/W13-119 PR CH
Blue / Level: 0 / Cost: 0 / Trigger: None
Power: 3500 / Soul: 1 / <Magic> <Book>
[AUTO] When this card is placed on the Stage from your hand, put the top 2 cards of your deck into the Waiting Room. If a Climax was among those cards, Rest this card.
[AUTO] When this card is placed on the Stage from your hand, look at the top card of your deck and put it on the top or bottom of your deck.
I’m actually not as high on this card as I thought I would be initially, though it is still excellent. The mill effect isn’t quite as strong as a runner effect (because compression will almost never be prized over plusses at Level 0), but it does what Index wants to continue doing all the way through the game (get through your deck as much as possible without jeopardising hand count), and is further manipulation of the deck for your advance summon and your reshuffler. Those two factors alone make me think it’s worth running over Kuroko. Add on the fact that you can fetch this with Orsola, and you’ve got a deal.
By the by, the conundrum of whether to mill first or scry first is pretty easily solved: if you absolutely want the card to stay standing, scry first. If you don’t care either way, mill first. If you know what’s on top of your deck, that obviously factors into your decision.
To Aru Majutsu no Index B Set:
Kanzaki in Swimsuit
ID/W13-120 PR CH
Blue / Level: 0 / Cost: 0 / Trigger: None
Power: 3500 / Soul: 1 / <Magic> <Weapon>
[CONT] This card cannot side attack.
The only purpose of this card is to be a searchable costless target when you absolutely cannot afford to let your 3.5k be tapped on entry. Kanzaki is pretty great though.
Infantile Body, Index
ID/W13-121 PR CH
Blue / Level: 1 / Cost: 0 / Trigger: None
Power: 3500 / Soul: 1 / <Magic> <Book>
[AUTO] When this card is placed on the Stage from your hand, reveal the top card of your deck. If that card is a <Magic> Character, put it into your hand, then put a card in your hand into the Waiting Room. (Otherwise, return the card to its original position)
[AUTO] During the turn this card is placed on the Stage from your hand, this card gets +X Power. X is the number of your <Magic> Characters times 1000.
This card is the most impactful of the whole comeback campaign, and is an effect that almost nothing in the game has mirrored thus far. If it wasn’t for this card, I probably would have just shut the door on an Index build and played for a Touma-centric beatdown theme. This card is actually a good incentive to keep the deck as firmly Magic-themed as possible. The closest comparison for this card is probably the Marika bomb from Nisekoi, but that card is helpless against anti-reverse effects and doesn’t leave a body behind to sponge damage. More importantly, the Marika bomb is pretty amazing at almost every point in the game, so just imagine how good this card will be.
Anyway, not only does it have a relatively easy 8.5k power when played, but it even fixes your hand AND digs through your deck. If you do get 8.5k power to begin with, chances are you have at least one support, so you’ll basically have a near-conditionless, costless 9k~ attacker that also handfixes. That’s pretty damn good, but that’s not the actual reason this card will be amazing.
The combo this card has with Hyouka & Index is pretty obvious, but it is absurdly powerful all the same. You get to throw a 9k~ beater at your opponent a second time, AND you get to handfix a second time. It’s borderline ridiculous, and is a synergy that, by itself, will completely redefine Index as a viable deck.
Being Frugal, Index
ID/W13-122 PR CH
Blue / Level: 1 / Cost: 0 / Trigger: None
Power: 4500 / Soul: 1 / <Magic> <Book>
[AUTO] When this card’s battle opponent becomes Reversed, you may put this card into your Memory. If you do, at the beginning of your next Draw Phase, choose a “Being Frugal, Index” in your Memory and put it in any Slot on the Stage.
[ACT] [Rest a <Magic> Character] During this turn, this card gets +1000 Power.
This is very close to Usual Haruhi, which is a relatively playable card in her specific deck. She’s a bit better than Haruhi though, as she has an innate ability that powers her up a bit. The effect is what most people outside Japan refer to as the ‘Time Machine’ effect, after the first widely-played 1/0 to have the effect printed on it. While the text may confuse some, what it actually reads is: ‘[A] [Maybe take one more damage] Kill your opponent. If you do, pay the cost, and you get a +1.‘ This card literally cannot die until next turn, because it won’t be on the field, and it will come back for a second round afterwards.
What this actually does is give you an incentive to hit Level 1 first if you intend to capitalise on this card’s inherent advantage. This way you can kill a Level 0 and have a free attacker for the next turn. If you can pull this off, don’t be too surprised if your opponent puts a Level 0 in the empty slot left behind, which will allow you to reuse the Time Machine effect and gain even more undeserved advantage. It’s a card with a very high ceiling, but it will require your opponent to either hand you freebies, or be unversed in relation to how cards like this work.
Sadly, the card’s potential rapidly dies down in the mid-game. The cost to give this card +1000 power absolutely kills it for me. If they were serious about giving the deck a strong playable, the condition would have been ‘When another <Magic> character or card with ‘Touma’ in the name attacks’. As it stands, it conflicts heavily with the brainstorm, which you may be using quite liberally to speed through your deck. I would definitely run this card, but probably not as more than a 2-of.
Vento of the Front
ID/W13-123 PR CH
Blue / Level: 2 / Cost: 1 / Trigger: Soul
Power: 7000 / Soul: 1 / <Magic>
[CONT] This card gets +500 Power for each of your other <Magic> Characters.
[AUTO] When this card is placed on the Stage from your hand while you have 5 or less cards in your deck, put all cards in your Waiting Room into your deck, shuffle your deck, then you may draw a card.
I don’t know why they slapped the effect on this bitch instead of on best girl Itsuwa, Orsola or even like, Tsuchimikado or something. That being said, people have probably forgotten how insanely powerful Nurse Kosaki was. While that power was in no small part due to its unfair synergy with Maiden’s Heart Kosaki, it was still a cantrip that effectively healed one. This one even manages to be an oversized beater, and will likely last for at least another turn, depending on the matchup. If you refresh in early Level 2, you will probably have this on-stage for at least a couple more turns, which is great.
This card is excellent and is an immediate inclusion in Index and Touma-based decks. It is even possible to argue for its inclusion in Railgun decks, especially those that have already chosen to run Heaven Canceller.
Lively Meal, Index
ID/W13-124 PR CH
Blue / Level: 3 / Cost: 2 / Trigger: Soul
Power: 9000 / Soul: 1 / <Magic> <Book>
[CONT] While you have 6 or more Climaxes in your Waiting Room, this card gets -1 Level while in your hand.
[CONT] For each of your other <Magic> Characters and/or Characters with “Touma” in their name, this card gets +500 Power.
[AUTO] When this card is placed on the Stage from your hand, you may put the top card of your Clock into the Waiting Room.
I don’t actually think this card is as good as the other cards I’ve given the Touma-tier rating to, but it’s very serviceable and an immediate inclusion at 3-4. It is undoubtedly the best advance summon for the deck, and is on-par with things like Kuroko, Uiharu and even MisaKuro by virtue of its low cost alone. This card takes up the mantle of primary heal enabler, which means you can probably eschew some number (or all) of the old Level 3 staple Index and/or the TD heal to run this.
An immediate comparison I want to make is to the recently-released Kirika from Shining Resonance. Both are advance-summoned 11ks that heal, but Index is notably worse, simply because it has to be summoned before refresh. I suspect that Index will have a fair amount of stock before refresh anyway, but compression is compression. Its role is simply to be a fat early-summon beater, and it does that quite well. There’s not much else to say about it.
I won’t be writing about my build post-CC, because I’ll be doing that in the other article anyway, so struggle through that one if you want to cheat your way into a netdeck.
The one thing I need you to take away from this is simple:
Touma is the best LN protagonist. Kirito is a twat.