Kill la Kill is a very powerful set with strong options and powerful finishers. However, to make the most of the deck requires investment into three different colors and proper resource management and awareness. I haven’t seen good Kill la Kill decks that incorporate all of the power plays yet, so I’ll use this opportunity to highlight a deck that showcases the best of Kill la Kill as well as go over some basic principles regarding deckbuilding and ratios.
Without further ado, here is the decklist (if you were just looking to netdeck).
Kill la Kill TriColor Deck
3x Conclusion After Wearing! Ryuko
3x Mako Can’t Stop for Any Reason
4x To Protect the World, Satsuki
1x Wandering High School Girl, Ryuko
2x Voice Heard, Senketsu
4x Towards a New Self, Ryuko
4x Great Spirit, Satsuki
2x Talking Sailor Uniform, Senketsu
4x Junketsu (Blue)
4x Only Clothing Ryuko Has, Senketsu
3x Worrying Mako
3x Before the Final Battle, Satsuki
3x First Step of Lifelong Ambition, Satsuki
2x Deep Bonds, Ryuko
4x The time comes when a girl outgrows her sailor uniform
4x To Honnouji Academy
What makes Kill la Kill good?
Kill la Kill wins games completely due to their ridiculous endgame finishing options. Ryuko’s burn effect is off-the-charts amazing and Mako’s Musashi-type burn only makes things harder for your opponent. Even at level 2 you can crank up the pressure using Satsuki’s early play to prolong a level 2 game with a powerful 2-soul beater.
What makes Kill la Kill bad?
No advantage game whatsoever.
This set has 3 climax combos that plus, and none of them are good or consistent. There is exactly a single bond effect and it’s in yellow. Nothing else lets you draw or search without paying fair prices in stock. In other words, you run out of cards very quickly if you’re not careful.
How do you make it work?
By being smart. And that starts with deckbuilding.
It is absolutely imperative to field a Satsuki brainstormer as soon as possible and brainstorm almost every turn. Even if you miss, you have a decent chance at triggering a climax which will either A. salvage a card or B. push more damage which speeds up the game (meaning you need less cards to do things). You definitely want to use your drop searchers to secure this card if you need to.
Your other backrow is going to be the Mako global +500 power. Her secondary effect is highly relevant in preventing your opponent from using anti-overlevel counters against your Satsuki in the center slot. Global power is also great. Once you’ve gotten one on the field, make sure you level up on another so you can guarantee your level 3 Mako play.
A few tips regarding 3 color decks. First, make sure one of your colors is only played at level 3. That way, you don’t have to worry about the color until the very end of the game. Secondly, you can comfortably level on Mako whenever you get her because the odds of getting the other colors through damage and/or simply clocking is very high. The only time you really need to worry about color is the transition from 0/6 to 1/0 and having only 1 color at level 1. In practicality, you’ll want to level either red or blue for level 1, and then yellow for level 2. Holding the Mako until you hit level 3 is also an option, as neither of your finishers heal.
Kill la Kill ideally wants to hit level 2 with 3 of the blue 2K1 draw climaxes in waiting room so you can dogpile as many Satsukis onto the field as possible. To do that, you probably need to hold onto the 1/0 Junketsu event as well as give yourself breathing room in terms of stock so that you can brainstorm. That means about 7 stock going into level 2. In order to hit this number, you can’t afford to pay for anything outside of brainstorming for advantage. This is why you must run a completely costless level 1 game.
Here’s where smart play makes a big difference. You run 4 copies of the 1/0 Ryuko RR, but rarely do you want to play the gate climax at level 1. Why? Because playing the gate is -1 from hand and the Ryuko doesn’t plus back. Sure, it becomes absolutely massive but only for this turn and killing something on your opponent’s field isn’t the same thing as +1 in hand advantage. Your opponent probably has better ways to regain advantage than you do, so playing the climax impulsively is very dangerous. You’re almost always better off using the climax as fodder for Deep Bonds, Ryuko to grab an actual character you can play. At level 2 and on, playing the gate becomes appreciably better since you also get to topdeck your opponent from waiting room as well as threaten your opponent’s early plays. So save the climax for when it has more impact.
Instead, your level 1 game should be entirely focused on using a combination of the 0/0 Senketsu bomb to buff your 1/0 Satsuki beaters to a relevant 7500 power with backrow. If you have a Deep Bonds, Ryuko out you can further increase power by running things in. Don’t worry about taking extra damage – rather, you want to be hit to level 2 before your opponent so you can make the most of your consistent early play Satsukis.
Once you hit level 2, the combination of Junketsu, brainstorm, and drop searchers should all but guarantee 3 of the Honnouji climax in waiting room. This is another reason why brainstorming smart is important: you either want to refresh two turns before hitting level 2 or the turn after you hit level 2. It’s hard to give exact instructions for how you should go through a deck, but I can throw out some numbers: draw for 1, clock draw for 2, trigger for 3, and damage 5. In other words, every turn you’re looking at getting rid of about 10-12 cards from your deck. If you start with an average mulligan hand of 8 and with consideration that level 0 goes about half as slowly as later levels, you’ll be refreshing on or right before/after turn 5 in most games. This is without brainstorming. A single brainstorm can push that forward a turn, and it takes about 3 brainstorms to push that another turn forward. So figure out how much damage is sticking and how many climaxes are left in the deck, then decide whether or not you want to aim for the refresh before level 2 or the refresh after level 2.
Once you get a Satsuki out, the game is easy cruising. Simply leave it in the center so it can’t get anti-overlevel countered, and hit your opponent to level 3 before dropping a full field of Mako and Ryuko and wiping their face off with burn.
What if you’re against Log Horizon?
Make sure to hit level 3 before them (side attack if necessary) and burn them to death from 2. You’ll need a gate in hand probably, as well as a burn 2 from Ryuko and some luck.
Are there any other important matchups I need to worry about?
Kantai Collection: Since they have Compass, you need to put whatever you care about dealing the most damage in the center so they can’t compass you. Usually this is Ryuko.
Love Live, Nisekoi, Kantai Collection: all have anti-overlevel counters, so keep an eye out for those. Ways to get around them involve either playing Satsuki in the center (and only one at a time) or side attacking with Satsuki so you can at least get some damage in.