HxH (Honkers and Hanayo) Live- a Love Live! deck tech

As you know, the Bushiroad Regionals (or LCQ) are coming up next month and it’s time to decide what deck I’ll bring this year. Last year I brought SAO (you can find that deck tech here) and this year I thought I’d try something a little different.

Since that tournament, I built my second English deck- Love Live and finally got around to adding cards from the new Love Live DX set. This deck tech is going to be a little different than our previous ones as I’ll go a little more in depth on the card choices in my deck building.

When I started building the deck when only the first set was available, I was going for a mostly Hanayo (who I think is the best Love Live, but that’s a story for another time) deck but I ran into quite a few problems with the card selection, mainly the lack of good cards at levels 1 and 3. To try and increase the power level I had to add some of the other girls to try and make the deck more powerful.

Below is a screenshot of the deck (sorry about the card names being in Japanese)

Each of these cards with their English names are below along with a brief explanation of why I included them in my deck.

Level 0 (17):

The level 0 game in the deck is pretty bog standard, trying to accumulate stock with some early beaters and buffing them with some backstage assist. There are a couple of utility cards at this level which could prove to be live draws late in the game.

4 “Tight Hug, and Closing In on “love”!” μ’s (the Hanayo version because IT MATTERS)

This card is probably the premier yellow level 0 in either of the two sets. She’s going to come down as a 4K and take down most level 0’s, but unfortunately suffers a big downgrade the subsequent turn.  She’s not going to be a dead card as we can use her to feed our clock and “color fix” yellow. Since the backbone of our level 1 game is yellow, getting these into the clock early is very important.

Rin’s Childhood Friend, Hanayo

Hanayo is the main backstage support at level 0 with some upside in her other ability. Our backstage is going to get crowded at level 1 so we’re probably only going to keep her if we only have 1 brainstorm Umi. We can also cash in Hanayo for some cards on our clock step which helps us play blue cards down the road.

3 “Heart of Fire” Honoka

Honkers’ ability is a decent way to allow your other characters (in the front center row) to get around opposing suiciders or just getting that extra power to take down larger battle opponents.

4 Maid Outfit Honoka

The suicider from the original set and also helps get a red creature into clock when she loses value and help power out the 4 red level 1’s in the deck.

There’s also a nifty secondary ability that requires you to put 2 characters back into your deck to give her a small power boost. We can use this trick to our advantage. Say we only have 1 card left in our deck, chances are you’re going to know what it is, if you’ve been keeping track of what’s been going into our stock. By returning 2 characters back to the deck, we know what we have left to trigger in the deck and the odds of hitting each, which provides some decent information when attacking.

1 Powerful Pride, Maki

Maki is one of the two brainstormers in the deck and she’s a spammable brainstormer which does a decent job of digging out those climaxes buried in stock. Maki can also help get climaxes into your waiting room in a hurry to try and cheat out that level 3 Maki a level earlier. She’s a decent 1-of in the deck and can be found using the Umi brainstormer or using the Hanayo searcher from DX.

Level 1 (15):

The level 1 game in the deck is designed to be as efficient as possible, playing mostly costless characters with above average stats. We’re also packing some event backups at this level to try and sway the stage position in our favor.

4 “Our LIVE, the LIFE with You” Eli Ayase

Eli is the main backbone of our level 1 offense, being a very efficient level 1 that can (without any assist) be a 6.5K beater, which should be more than enough to take out most level 1’s, and costs 0 stock to play. Definitely a staple in most yellow based Love Live decks and excluding her makes any deck’s level 1 game significantly less potent.

3 “Our LIVE, the LIFE with You” Umi Sonoda

Umi is the second brainstormer in the deck and a global assist, making her the complete package. The search ability is definitely good and can find the 1 of Maki brainstormer if we need her to dig out a climax or some characters to fill out our stage and provide some offense. The cost of having to rest two characters actually provides some synergy with the level 2 Umi and can make her quite difficult to deal with.

Needless to say, this card is bonkers and does a lot of work in the deck.

2 “No Brand Girls” Hanayo

Hanayo is another one of our oversized beaters at level 1/0, albeit with a drawback. She basically acts as the fifth and sixth copy of the level 1 Eli in our deck. The 6K attack power should be enough to deal with most level 1’s and 0’s your opponent can throw at you.

Otonokizaka High 2nd Year, Kotori

This Kotori is a level 1 suicider and should be able to punch through almost anything your opponent has for you at level 1 and 0. Late game she can clocked to draw some cards and help get red into clock for the 4 gates the deck runs.

Energetic by Nature, Honoka

The 2 level 1/1 Honoka are basically there to take advantage of the 4 gates in the deck with her climax combo. We can use the combo to get more level 1’s to solidify our offense at level 1 or set up level 2 by salvaging a level 2 Umi or, if there’s 5 or more climaxes in the waiting room, the level 3 Maki. As good as the climax combo is, it’s still a little conditional which kind of makes me hesitant to put the full set in the deck.

Smile! Push-ups!

This is basically a very powerful event backup which gives quite a significant power boost. If Attack on Titan is heavily played and the booster cards have very efficient level to power characters, I can see myself adding the full 4 in the deck to give my idols an edge during combat.

Level 2 (3):

At level 2 we only have 3 cards:

3 Umi Sonoda

Umi is a very strong level 2 character but really requires you to have a full stage to let her reach her maximum potential. As mentioned above, the level 1 brainstorm Umi does a good job of getting that boost from your backstage by using her brainstorm ability, which requires you to rest two characters.

Level 3 (7):

At level 3 we have 7 characters

2 “Strange Sympathy” Hanayo

If you’ve read our Looking at Love Live DX article, you’ll know how much I think this card is good. A heal with a search on reversing the opposing character definitely makes Hanayo a very power level 3 finisher in the deck. However, she kind of gets worse against decks with heal tax (*cough KanColle cough*), which is why I’m hesitant to add more to the deck. I only have 2 for now because she’s not too difficult to get into our hand with the deck featuring a number of ways of salvaging or tutoring for her.

2 “Wonderful Rush” Honoka Kousaka

Honkers is the TD level 3 and she’s a pretty solid character. Like the level 2 Umi, you need to be mindful on ordering your attacks, ensuring Honkers attacks last so she can have the largest power possible. The search ability is a great way to chain level 3 characters to fill out the stage or even to find characters to set up the next turns.

3 Otonokizaka High 1st Year, Maki

Maki is an interesting level 3. If you have 6 climaxes in your waiting room, you can cheat her out a level earlier. The level 0 Maki brainstormer is a decent way of trying to get as many climaxes as possible into the waiting room to take advantage of this. The draw-2-drop-1 ability is decent, generating some card advantage in the late stages of the game and she gets quite beefy on a full stage and should be a pain for the opponent to deal with. Not the most exciting level 3, but Maki gets the job done.

Climaxes (8):

I run 3 different climaxes in the deck.

I’m only running 3 gates as a concession that KanColle with its anti-salvage might run rampant at the tournament.

I’m running 3 wind triggers as well to bounce annoying opposing characters and is definitely great against characters with markers.

I’m also running 2 book triggers to draw some cards upon triggering.

Possible Matchups

I haven’t had a chance to play the deck yet as most of the DX cards are still in the mail, but I’ll run down how I think the deck will fare against my gauntlet of decks:

Sword Art Online

Against old faithful, I think the deck is pretty much 50/50.All 3 levels are pretty evenly matched and might just come down to RNG. If SAO gets the marker Asuna down at level 1 while the Love Live deck is still at level 0 or getting a Leafa’s Pure Wish a level early might just be enough to swing the gave in SAO’s favor.


Depending on build I can see this deck being evenly matched to poorly matched. Against the meta-hate deck, a lot of the cards basically become blanks. A good way of dealing with this style of deck is aggressively attacking as KanColle’s primary weakness is the lack of a good brainstormer or forms of compression. We really have to put our foot on the gas at level 1 as KanColle’s level 1 game is quite disjoint.


I honestly don’t know how this one will go, but I think it’s also fairly even. The early game favors the Love Live deck, but late game Nisekoi definitely gets stronger.

I’ll try playing the deck this week and definitely give updates on how I find the deck.

Thanks for reading!


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