Tutoring (to Beat) Kirishima

Dan GreenJuly 15, 2022
tutoring to beat kirishima 2

Greetings heroes! We are fully in to season 2 of the My Hero Academia competitive circuit, and with the Orlando Regionals wrapped up and behind us, competitive players are eyeing the lists from the event and especially the event’s breakout deck, Kirishima 2!

The second DLC for the My Hero Academia Card Game brought new versions of several popular class 1A heroes, and it appears our hardening hero can’t stay out of the spotlight! Despite his first card from Set 1 receiving a strong errata due to his high power level, the second version of Red Riot is once again taking the meta by storm, with 3 Kirishima 2 decks making it into the Top 8 of the event – two under the Earth symbol and one under the Fire symbol. It was ultimately skilled player Jacob Johnson piloting one of the Earth lists to victory over the likewise skillful Travis Tangeman’s Water-based Tsuyu Asui in the finals.

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While the full bracket still showed some of the great diversity we expect to see in the MHA CCG, winning the event, as well as having a plurality of top 8 representation, makes the Kirishima 2 deck a standout “breakout” deck that you can expect to play against in future events, such as the next Regional at Gen Con on August 6. And anytime there’s a breakout in the meta, if you want to have the best chance of winning, you need to know how to beat it!

Of course, I’m no TCG genius myself – so I’ve spent the week compiling resources for you all to give you the best shot of dealing with the newest form of the red menace! We’ll start off with a compilation of decklists and content from Orlando and some top names in the game to know how the deck plays (and in case you want to play it yourself), and then we have a selection of thoughts, ideas, and advice from huge names in the MHA community to help springboard your testing as we hurdle through the competitive play season.

Huge thanks to everyone who contributed to this article! A lot of amazing players took time out of their already busy schedules to help provide decklists to the community and their thoughts for the article and this article is absolutely a Joint Effort Offensive! Thank you so much!

The K2 Deck

Below we have a variety of links to help you out in your journey to understanding Eijiro Kirishima 2!

UVS Ultra Decklist: Jacob Johnson’s Kirishima 2 under Earth – Orlando Regional 1st Place

UVS Ultra Decklist: Andrew Dovale’s Kirishima 2 under Earth – Orlando Regional Top 4

UVS Ultra Decklist: William Godbey’s Kirishima 2 under Fire – Orland Regional Top 8

William posted about his list publicly in the MHA CCG Facebook group, and he had this to say about his list:

“As far as my deck goes…The fire build can be a lot more Explosive (pun intended) than the Earth build, but can’t extend its attack string as far, and has a little trouble in the longer defensive games. I definitely want to take the deck back to the lab to try and improve my matchup with the Earth mirror, because, wow, Andrew Dovale whooped me. Great match either way and he was a great guy who I hope to get a rematch with in the future 😉. My first change to the deck will absolutely be finding a spot to squeeze in two more Ice Storms. Even if they have to be in the board, they make some rough matchups a little easier. I think I want to try and cut down to 60 cards as well, but that’s gonna be rough since I really liked how all of my cards played over the weekend.”

Go Beyond Gaming‘s Orlando Regional Top 16 Meta Breakdown

ProPlayGames‘s Kirishima 2 Multiple Top Cut Deck Profile

Phil Birch: How to get away with Meta Episode 4, discussing Kirishima 2

Universus Academy‘s Orlando Regional Event Report/Discussion

How to Beat K2

Earlier this week, after the dust had settled a bit, we went out contacting a variety of some of the most prominent names in the MHA CCG to get their take on the situation. The talking point we posed to everyone was this: What advice, tips, or anecdotes do you have about how to beat Kirishima 2?

We had some absolutely incredible (and extremely thorough) answers from some very generous folks who gave up their time to help us with this article! Initially I had planned to pare things down when people went a little ham on the question, but because basically everyone did that, I decided to just ride it out and give everyone the breathing room they need to discuss a complex metagame subject that they are clearly passionate about! As such, below are the unabridged comments from these wonderful people, as well as any relevant links to their own content or businesses so you can go check them out.

Tam Cardwell

Biggest thing I can say about him is understand his reach can be farther then most. He’s All Might 2 on 2 attacks AND gets to redraft and draw for it. Most of the strategies you used for All Might 2 apply here as well. The biggest thing to keep in mind is swinging all in haymakers isn’t the way to work it. Because of his commit his defense is really good vs bombs.

Play lots of small quick pokes and make sure not to over extend ever. Cause if he draws a grip of attacks he will kill you quicker then you kill him.”

George Machado

“K2 is a overall well balanced character, able to switch gears between putting up iron wall of defense and transitioning smoothly to an aggressive offensive string of 6+ attacks. The character itself while he may seem that he breaks the game, is surprisingly fair when compared to its less balanced classmates like Asui and Tokoyami.

Despite its dominating performance from Orlando, I think that had alot more to do with the pilots who decided to throw him on to the spotlight. The pilots include some extremely decorated players, either from Universus, other TCGs, or even both.

While this was the first official debut for the character, as all new things in life, it’s introduction might worry you about its actual power level in the grand scheme of things.

The deck is not without its weaknesses, cards as simple as Bloodcurdle are a major pain for the character who relies on safely refreshing 2 foundations, seeing 2 extra cards, and offering up a free partial block on his face. This can also double keep against other powerhouses in the format including Mineta2.

As a 6 hander (despite being able to cycle an extra 2 on offense) with no real consistent way of seeing additional cards on his turn via foundations – he will inevitably not see attacks as consistently as our 7 hand overlords. Keeping this in mind, don’t be afraid of going into the late game versus this character. Keeping pressure versus K2 will make sculpting its ideal kill hand much harder, and even taking this character into deadlock isn’t the worst idea. If there’s one thing that Earth is sort on is deadlock punishing cards, with its only weapons being Berserker Blow and Pull no Punches.

This is one of the few decks out there that can easy run through it’d resources a bit too fast and if the pilot can’t expedite a kill, they can fall to the face of deck out sooner than you thing especially with all the cards this deck can see. They keyword Flash is also something K2 hates to see, as it cuts off its precious enhance phase to provide efficient card cycling and foundation reseting to block best. Decks like Jiro can give the deck a tough time especially on the back of multiple Specialized Sound Waves. With that, those are my top tips against K2 throughout 12 rounds of high level gameplay at Orlando across 3 different events with the deck.

As always be sure to shop from www.pro-playgames.com for all your sealed product & accessories, and Pro-Play Games on TCGPlayer for the best selection on singles.”

Riley Burgoon

“Thankfully I didn’t get to see him as a opponent personally, I would have if I would have progressed in the top cut. however my friends whom I brought did and told me about him and then when I was told how many alone were on 1 side of the bracket and on 1 side of top 8 I wasnt too thrilled except still happy it wasn’t my side of the top 8 brackets. They told me on how he misread him as he ran asui and got railroaded because he was throwing large hitters but then not being able to get a decisive blow.

I watched plenty of the matches between Kiri2 when I was there. I’d say any character with low health will struggle hard in this match up, never play the long game unless they are able to regain health such as Toga or anyone using cards with super regeneration & excited for blood. If you want to play a long game against him that might be your only saving grace is a life gain. It’s all I can say for that soft of game, otherwise he will build too much to gain enough advantage to be sure to take what he wants you to take and block what he is willing to and still keep the game in his court.

The way to beat him in my personal opinion, is always my favorite way to go about games, throw fast attacks and heavy hitters as quickly as possible. If you can go first and get him before he can gain the advantage both in hand and field I’m sure the game will be over quicker than anything.

The only hard part is most other decks dont have the same ability as Ochaco 1 or 2. I built my deck to do both ways in retrospect and do fast damage with as much speed so it forces them to tap all their resources for me without me having to rely on stun so I can get my hits in. The other issue is playing characters against him with lower health isn’t a great thing. Against me I love it, just against him he is going to love it even more it’s easy pickings I guess you can say.

This is all just from me watching his matches hearing from my friends bad times and theorizing how to play against him. If you let him get into the late game you will be playing in a uphill game. If you do play that game you need to make him burn his resources and play hella defensive and not throw attacks like crazy. Little pokes at a time is perfect. but always have a big defensive board. I apologize if this isn’t much help, I honestly wish I could have gotten the opportunity to try my chances against him, I only got to witness it and hear everyone else’s issues. At the moment I feel asui 1 and kiri2 need either errata or to both need to leave the game they are both cancerous for the game in my personal opinion.”

Tyrell Scott

“Kirishima 2 is an extremely solid character, he can last through a fight a lot longer then most characters in the game which is why folks are having a hard time getting through him. He can build a wall and and play defense, take hits and plus off of it with his foundation, and can extend his attack turn. Unless you have some extremely good deadlock abilities, be careful going into deadlock with him. He becomes nearly impossible to kill once he is there.

You have to make him use his resources early, he also lacks speed hate on his main symbol(earth) so fast and multiple attacks is the key to defeating this up and coming monster.”

Levi Lalonde

“Kirishima is being heralded as the new nightmare of the format, and while he may not be as powerful as his original incarnation, he’s still a threat to be aware of! The real power of Kirishima comes from his versatility. His Harden Quirk, just like in the series, is extremely potent at offense and defense. Attacking him is no easy feat, since his Enhance lets him “ready” foundations in his stage and with how many cards he filters, it’s hard to catch him with the wrong block. And if you do, his response lets him not even have to use a card in hand to block for the same result.

The key is knowing when to go in on him. If you can manage a long string of attacks early on, it’s great to go in on him when his only defensive option is his face itself.

But if you aren’t able to get at least three attacks off, don’t expect to do much meaningful damage to him. Thus, it might be better to bring him into a late game scenario where it’s easier to get a string of attacks off into him.

Furthermore, he doesn’t have access to many powerful deadlocks on his most prominent symbol (Earth, Pull No Punches being the primary one), so don’t be afraid to really draw the game out if you play better in that game state.

Of course, you have to do all this while being incredibly mindful of his offense as well! With his enhances, he always has two more ready foundations then he actually does and his attacks can provide similar effects as well for long string potential. It’s also incredibly easy for him to stockpile attacks then pick them up later with things like Hardened Jab, very reminiscent of his previous versions playstyle. So you should always be mindful of how much damage you can deal with, as four or five attack turns midgame from him are not at all uncommon to see!”

With all that food for thought, are you preparing to beat Kirishima 2, or are you preparing to sleeve him up and join him instead? Let us know in the comments here or on Facebook, or join the Maindeck discord and our awesome MHA (and other TCGs!) community and discuss away there!

Until next time, heroes – may your plays be manly (no matter what gender you are)!

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