Hello world, it’s Yuuhi, back to talk about some new topics!
Now that the a majority of the new year’s JP releases have been decided, I’m sure everyone is ready to go into new sets like Darling in the FranXX and Saekano.
While Kantai was once the largest set in the game, with player numbers to match, new sets being released have dented the numbers, as well as the release of Azur Lane stealing the hearts of Admirals (read: kuso teitokus) everywhere. Kantai’s play rate has further been hammered by the inclusion of a previously-staple card (Inazuma) being placed on a Choose 1 of 4 with Z3; essentially rendering it unplayable since the Z3 engine is widely considered to be critical in the modern Kantai deck.
However, as of the latest revision to the list, Z3 has been freed, allowing players to go back to a pick 1 of 3. This means once again, players can choose to run Inazuma (pseudo-riki), Hibiki (heal tax), or Hatsukaze (Battle Phase Anti-Salvage). Inazuma and Hibiki are likely to be the chosen choices as Hatsukaze generally has fallen by the wayside due to modern decks either not relying on Salvage, or said Kantai deck itself relying on salvage triggers. (Kashima and Kongou are both very serviceable finishers.)
For most players, the choice of Inazuma seems obvious as having Inazuma on field in tandem with a Z3 trigger into level 1 basically sculpts your hand with whatever you are missing. While this is all well and good, this basically shoehorns the deck into a field-based deck at 1 in order to try and get an advantage over the opponent, as this is when Kantai’s cards generally shine the most. In the most common meta deck (Prinz combo, choice of Kashima/Kongou cxc lvl3, assorted non cxc lvl3) Prinz Eugen is fairly mediocre as a card outside of her Climax Combo turn, being an unimpressive 4500 base power; and Bismarck requiring an ACT in order to be a tanky character. Sets like Love Live Sunshine!! Or Sword Art Online, which can easily pressure and break the set-up are a big issue, as Kantai Collection’s end game is generally not that impressive outside of potentially Compass on a good card.
I would like to advance that perhaps it is time to go back to running Hibiki. Currently, while there is still a significant amount of Level 1 On Reverse combos (Konosuba2, Vivid Strike, Attack on Titan), generally they either reach a power number which is unreasonable to counter on more than one lane, or you can leverage the Z3zwei + counter combo to defend your board. In this case, it may be better to try and gain advantage elsewhere. This is where Hibiki comes in. As an essentially tuned version of the ‘Bond’ mechanic, on a serviceable 0/0 -> 1/0 change, you are paying one stock for a slightly oversize 1/0 beater, one card in memory (this equates to 2% in a fresh deck of ‘50’, but we won’t go into too many numbers in this article.), plus activates an Anti-Heal Tax effect. A majority of decks in Weiss Schwarz have some kind of healing effect in their deck, and being able to Tax that helps your damage to stick in a close game of attrition. While it is symmetrical and you would have to pay extra to heal yourself, generally the level 3 cards in Kantai (or at least the ones taken into context here) do not heal, as their effects are generally to maintain cards in hand or provide additional finishing power. (Prinz Eugen Lv3, Kashima Lv3 cxc)
As written above, I do not seriously believe that Hatsukaze is a good choice for your Choose 1 of 3 at the moment, for two main reasons. Firstly, using Hatsukaze takes up a slot in your backrow that is already pretty much reserved by the Z3/Z3 Zwei backrow combo. Using Hatsukaze instead makes it very hard to garner field advantage at level 1 like the Z3 combo as that combination essentially gives you 2500 (or more) power to assign split among your characters. Further, a tri-prong problem in that modern Kantai wants Gate finishers, which means you essentially defeat yourself everytime you trigger that climax, opponents aren’t really playing Gates (which means your meta choice is not pulling its weight), and lastly, it doesn’t actually ‘stop’ your opponent from getting cards. This means that if your opponent wants the card more than damage, they get that option still. Even worse is if they are playing some sort of re-stander deck, they can leverage the soul to deal better numbers. Because of these reasons, I do not believe that Hatsukaze is a good competitive choice for Kantai right now.
I hope that this article has given you a little insight into how Kantai can conceivable operate after the update to the Banlist, and that you may consider picking up the fleet girl deck.
Next time, we’ll be (hopefully I remember) talking about a few builds and tech cards for Kantai, and how they fit into the current Japanese metagame.
Until then, happy Weissing!