A while ago, someone asked me how to use a certain card from the iM@S series. Here it is:
Card Name: “Too Serious” Chihaya
[Auto] When this card side attacks, and the climax card “The Moment Our Eyes Met” is in your climax slot, this card gains Power +3000 until the end of your opponent’s next turn, then choose one of your opponent’s character card in front of this card and it gains the following ability “[Continuous] This card may not side attack. This card may not move to any other border.” until the end of your opponent’s next turn.
For those who are wondering, here is the required climax card, “Me Ga Au Toki”:
IM/S07-T16 & IM/S07-099 CC (SP)
Card Name: Me Ga Au Toki (The Moment Our Eyes Met)
[Continuous] All your characters gains Soul +2.
At first glance, “Too Serious” Chihaya’s effect might not make any sense. If you think about it, this card cost 1, has the standard 5500 power, and requires the specific climax to be played for the effect to take place. And even so, you have to declare a side attack for her. Even if your opponent’s character cannot side attack or move to other border, he or she can always replace it with another character from hand. Which, if your aim is to disrupt your opponent’s momentum, is rather ineffective. And the rarity being an uncommon might make it look even more like another random pointless card.
Yes, I know what that person was thinking when he read the card’s effect. Because I was thinking exactly the same thing when I first saw it. However, if you take a wider look at Weiß Schwarz gameplay itself, the iDOLM@STER series is a rather versatile series, and this card is more deadly than it seemed. Tactically. Yes, I have to stress that word. Its usefulness is totally situational, but it can create a big enough problem for your opponent if used at the right time and place. After all, this is a blue card, and blue is the colour of tactics, and hand and field advantage in Weiß Schwarz.
Firstly, you have to know, this effect lasts throughout your opponent’s next turn. He will have one of his character stuck facing a level 1 card with 8500 power. It can’t run, it can’t side attack. It will have to carry out a front attack. At a level 1 power 8500 character. Now, 8500 power isn’t amazing. With the numerous 1/1 7000 characters flooding the scene, its pointless to go through so much effort to get rid of one easily replaced character, considering that your Chihaya will return to a measly 5500 power on your next turn. Not good. And with heavy supports, their 1/17k can go toe to to with your 8500 Chihaya. Level 2? The staples are 9000, and most range from 8000 to 9000 base power. Which, alone, can go head to head with your Chihaya. Add the supports, they won’t even have to flinch to stomp your Chihaya flat.
So, how can this effect be turned to your advantage? One word: Backup.
Yes. Its all about the counter cards. And being blue in iM@S has its advantages. The idea here is to lock down your opponent’s most important (or most vital, or most costly, etc) character, and force it to front attack your Chihaya. Since he can’t side and have to front, you can use your ‘Backup’ character card to boost your Chihaya’s power, ensuring the reversal of your opponent’s character. And being his important character usually means it won’t usually be replaced on a whim, your opponent will have that needle stuck on him, poking and annoying him in his every thinking process step. He will know you have a backup card waiting in your hand, and his quite highly dependent-on character cannot ‘avoid’ the inevitable backup short of not attacking or replacing it. Sure, he can always pay three to encore if he has enough stock, but you only have to pay one for your backup card. Compared to his three stock used, you are definitely better off. In other words, its like paying one and discarding a card to reverse one of his important character. And if its a character that is ‘changed’ out (using “Change” ability to bring out the higher level character with no consideration to your current level), it will hurt even more, because ‘changed’ out characters are usually costly. Most require some stock usage and one discard.
With that in mind, you might have to do some power checking consideration. Most character backup cards boost 2000 power at level 1, and 3000 at level 2. 8500 power with 3000 bonus is 11500. Enough to stop most lightly supported and boosted level 3 characters. But if you lock down his level 3 character, expect some fierce resistance. In other words, 11500 power will probably not be sufficient. How do you increase that tanking capability? The IM series are full of excellent and versatile cards. If you look across the four colours, at level 1, you have a +2500 power green event card (寄り道). At level 2, there’s a +4000 power yellow event card (ポーズレッスン). All at the cost of only 1.
Now, you might say “But I don’t play yellow or green!”. Yes, not incorporating yellow or green into your deck means the two iM@S event counters are unplayable. And the iM@S Trial Deck (TD) is red and blue. So you only have the 2000 and 3000 power character backup cards to work with. Without considering the usual characters with assist abilities, how do you increase Chihaya’s power to higher than 11500? Here’s a not-so-often used, but rather handy card:
Card Name: “Enthusiastic in Researching” Ritsuko
【自】この能力は1ターンにつき1回まで発動できる。あなたが『 助太刀 』を使った時、あなたは自分のバトルしているキャラを1枚選び、そのターン中、パワーを＋1000。
[Auto] This ability can only be used once per turn. Whenever you use a “Backup” ability, choose one of your characters involved in battle, during this turn, it gains power +1000.
[Startup] [2, put this card to rest position] Search your library for a character card with 《Music》 trait, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Shuffle your library afterward.
Its rare for a good reason. Whenever you use a ‘Backup’ ability, your battling character gains +1000 power. Even though its only once per, turn, 1000 power can turn the tables around utterly. And you can tutor out your music characters, which is also equivalent to thinning your library by one card. And you can browse through your library to see what cards are in there, and how many.
Okay, back to our “Too Serious” Chihaya. With the above mentioned Ritsuko support, now your Chihaya can go up to 12500 power with a 3000 power backup after counter phrase. And usually, I have 癒し系あずさ (Refreshing Azusa) along side Ritsuko on my backstage, meaning Chihaya can tank with 13000 power. Definitely enough to stop plenty of standard level 3 characters with decent supports. Even if both of them have the same power, you are still better off. Unless you pick a target with the “Encore: Discard a card” ability, which makes you the one worse off.
Something to take note. As the ‘Backup’ abilities exists only on character cards, you can use the above recommended Ritsuko card to pull them out into your hand, since she tutors out character cards. Also, if you run with red colour, iM@S has plenty of ways to pull back character cards from your graveyard back into your hand (素直で前向き春香, 歌への情熱 春香, プレゼント), in addition to ‘Door’ triggers. Quoting from someone (I forgot who), “Infinite Counter Works“.
The climax itself is also pretty much the best choice for this kind of effect. With +2 soul on your Chihaya, she will have a base 3 soul attack, meaning if she side attacks a level 3 character, all it takes is just a 1 soul trigger to be able deal minimum damage to your opponent. And the climax gives +2 soul to all your characters, which, even without your Chihaya’s effect, it is in a way a heavy damage dealing climax card on its own. Good stuff indeed.
Now, counter moves against this card. Short of ensuring that locked down character has encore or paying three stock to encore it during encore phrase or replacing it, the only way is to calculate in advance and try to out-power a potiential 13000 power tank, 13500 power if he or she happen to have two 研究熱心 律子 in play. Seriously serious indeed. Not attacking might be an option, but shortage in one stock and some potiential soul damage might cause you to lag behind. Sometimes, its better to just try for your highest power without pushing your resources to its limit and carry out a front attack, in an attempt to force your opponent to use his or her (strongest) counter card. He or she might only have one counter card left in his hand, you never know. After all, luck factor is heavy in Weiß Schwarz. At the end of the day, power doesn’t matter, soul damage does. You will still win the game when your opponent reach or surpass level 4, regardless of how big his or her characters might be.
So, like I said before, 生真面目 千早 is not as useless as it seems, its just very situational and difficult to fully utilise. It all depends on the current situation, and what your opponent does, or is capable of. This is just a seriously serious Chihaya afterall. You can’t be more serious than her. Seriously.
Music is <3.
Project iM@S is <3<3.
Chihaya & Azusa is <3<3<3!