Tabletop Game / Weiss Schwarz
Whose side are you on?

Japanese TCG primarily targeted towards the otaku market. Featuring various characters from all manner of anime and video games, the game essentially runs on Super Robot Wars logic, allowing players to pit their favourite characters and series in the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny against each other. It was made by Bushiroad, the same company who made cute detectives, dat new card game, and a school idol mobile game.

Weiss Schwarz consists of two sides, Weiss and Schwarz. The general concept of the game is that Weiss and Schwarz are in constant conflict and recruit different series to help them fight against the opposing side. Their story goes that their battles are conducted on a Stage, and their respective series utilise the characters within the series to vie for the audience's attention. The amount of attention a certain Character gets depends on their Power, which they use to battle with each other. The Character who loses this battle gets sent to the Waiting Room, waiting their turn to return to the Stage once again.

The series available in each side:



  • Ultimate Starter: Card Game Shiyoko

The types of cards in Weiss Schwarz goes as follows:
  • Character: A Character is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. It is a character from a series that a side has recruited that is used to battle against other Characters and deal your opponent damage, much like Monsters and Units. Characters may have an ability, which is categorised into:
    • CONT: Known as Continuous. These abilities remain active as long as the applicable character is onstage.
    • ACT: Known as Activated. These abilities can be activated by the player during the Main Phase only as long as the character is onstage and the player can pay the sufficient cost.
    • AUTO: These abilities activate under certain conditions, such as being placed on stage or when this character attacks.
  • Event: A non-Character card that functions much like a one-time ability. Much like a Character, they have a Level and a Cost, requiring the player to meet the play requirements in order to use them. However, they are single use and are discarded immediately afterwards.
  • Climax: A card that enhances the parameters of a character or characters for the duration of the turn. There are only eight of these cards in one deck, and must be played during the Climax Phase, after Main Phase. If a player draws into this card when taking damage, all damage is negated and all cards drawn prior are immediately discarded, including the Climax Card.

The various areas in Weiss Schwarz is as follows:
  • Deck: Contains 50 cards, no more, no less. Amongst those are up to 8 Climax Cards. No more than four of the same card can be in any given deck, unless the card possesses an ability that says otherwise. Unlike other card games, the game does not end if the Deck runs out of cards.
  • Waiting Room: The resident discard pile. Used Events, Counters, Climaxes, reversed Characters, and so on are moved here after use. If the Deck is depleted, a Refresh occurs, where the Waiting Room is shuffled and placed on the Deck area as the new Deck. Refreshing forces the player to take one damage that cannot be cancelled.
  • Stage: The resident battlefield. The Stage is split into two areas: the Center Stage, which supports three slots, and Back Stage, which supports two slots. Characters in Center Stage are attackers and can be attacked by the opponent's Characters in Center Stage, while Characters in Back Stage cannot be attacked. The Back Stage is generally reserved for Assist Characters that boost the parameters of Characters in Center Stage.
  • Stock: A resource that is required to pay for Costs, including Character Costs and certain abilities. When Stock is required to be paid, the top cards of the Stock Area are sent to the Waiting Room. The turn player earns one Stock when they attack with a Character, which results in the Triggered card being sent to Stock. A subset of Climax Cards can add one free Stock to the Stock Area.
  • Clock: Damage counters. When an opposing character attacks, you take damage equal to the total Soul of the attacking character, after abilities and Triggers. Damage is represented by cards from your deck, which are sent to the Clock if you take damage and are largely unusable until the cards are sent to the Waiting Room. Cards with the Shift ability and select effects can manipulate cards in the Clock.
  • Level: A representation of the player's Level. When seven or more cards enter the Clock, the player Levels Up. This requires the player to place one card from the bottom seven cards of the Clock into the Level Area, and send the rest to the Waiting Room. Many stronger Characters and Events require the player to be of a certain Level to be played. If the player is at Level 3 and reaches seven cards in the Clock, the player loses.
  • Memory: The removed-from-play area. Cards sent here cannot be interacted with for the rest of the duel. However, cards with the Memory ability trigger when the character is placed in the Memory Area. Additionally, a select few cards can also manipulate cards within Memory.

A turn in Weiss Schwarz consists of several phases, in the following order:
  • Stand Phase: The turn player moves all Rested Characters to Stand, if applicable.
  • Draw Phase: The active player draws a card from the top of her deck. Unlike most card games, this occurs even on the very first turn of the game.
  • Clock Phase: The player may choose to place one card from hand into their Clock to draw 2 additional cards.
  • Main Phase: The bulk of a turn, the Main Phase allows the turn player to manage his/her Stage, such as playing characters and shifting their placement, both of which can be done without limit. Most ACT abilities of Characters can be triggered during the Main Phase, and the player may also choose to play Events if there are any in the hand.
  • Climax Phase: The active player may play a Climax Card from her hand to her Climax Area to buff the Characters which are about to battle.
  • Attack Phase: Characters in the active player's stage which are standing can attack the opponent and deal damage to the opponent's Clocknote . If the opponent has a Character, the two Characters battle it out based on their Power. When the battle is over, unless the Character was defeated in battle, the Character "rests", and cannot be used to attack until it its Stood in the next Stand Phase. The following types of attacks can be carried out by the attacking Character:
    • Direct: If your opponent has no Character in front of the attacking Character, this attack is performed. An additional 1 Soul is added to the Character's Soul.
    • Front: The Character attacks head on and battles it out with the opponent's Character. The Character with lower Power loses the battle and is turned to Reverse position, to be sent to Waiting Room during the Encore Step.
    • Side: The Character chooses to avoid confrontation with the opponent's Character and deals damage to Clock through other means. The attacking Character's Soul is reduced by the Level of the opponent's Character that it sided.
  • Encore Phase: Any reversed cards are now sent to the Waiting Room. However, if the player wishes to save any of his/her reversed Characters, they may Encore, which restores a reversed Character back to rest. Most Characters require the player to pay three Stock to Encore as a universal ability, but any cards with "[AUTO] Encore" effects can use an alternate means of payment to restore a Character.
  • End Phase: The end of the active player's turn. If a Climax Card is in play, it is sent to the Waiting Room. If either player has more than seven cards in hand, they must discard cards until their hand size is no greater than seven. All active effects for the current turn lose their effect at this point.

A more detailed explanation of the rules can be found here. Translations for the various cards can be found there, or at WS@NK-DS, littleAKIBA, Heart of the Cards. Now also has a PSP game.

Please only put examples regarding the general tropes revolving around Weiss Schwarz, and not regarding specific cards if possible. There are too many cards for that.

This game provides examples of

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    General tropes 
  • Attack Backfire: Anytime a Counter is played can spell doom for the attacking character if the Counter involves a large boost to the defending character's Power.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: White Day Gift, Wooser. A Level 3 that requires you to pay 14 Stock and has a Power of 20000 and 4 Soul. Once played, you can discard five cards from your hand to put it into your opponent's Level. It's so ridiculously impractical, in fact, that it's banned.note 
  • Back from the Dead: During the Encore Step, you can Encore to save any of your defeated Characters. This generally costs three Stock, although cards with the "Encore" effect are generally cheaper to Encore and may not require Stock. A select few cards can also prevent the opponent from Encoring a reversed character.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Some card sites that catalog Japanese cards can come off as this when translating the Japanese text. Averted with the English Weiss cards, whose translations are perfectly fine.
  • Boring but Practical: A lot of cards with above-average power for their level also don't have an ability. A lot of 3000 Power Level 0s and such fall into this category. They exist primarily to kill opposing characters.
  • The Bus Came Back: English Disgaea did not receive another expansion after the Disgaea: Hour of Darkness Trial Deck in 2009 until the Disgaea D2 set printed in the West in Summer 2016.
  • The Cameo: Promotional cards exist for a variety of outside sources, such as Bushiroad's other popular CCG Cardfight!! Vanguard, The Anime of the Game Weiss Survive, and even things like Culture Japan and Weiss's own mascot. Since none of these cards belong to a set, they can only be played in formats that allow Standard or Advanced deck building.
  • CCG Importance Dissonance: The game is guilty of this in a narrativistic instead of mechanical way. This game runs on Rule of Cool versus Rule of Cute; it tries to replicate the awesome (or heartwarming, or sad) moment of the licensed anime in its cards. To do that, it allows itself to print several different version of the same characters, even if it's just a minor or situational variation. The downside of this, owing to the limit of cards in each expansion, is that characters whose appearances are few and far between gets less cards and decks built around them are less versatile (if building such deck is even possible)— even if they are far more capable in-story than the spotlight-hogging main characters.
    • The "Nanako in a Yukata" card is stronger than the "Naoto" card. Except Nanako is the main character's 6-year-old cousin, whereas Naoto is a detective with a gun, not to mention the latter is also a fully playable party member.
    • Silica is another example of this. While in the anime she barely appeared for more than a few episodes and only appearing as one of Kirito's possible love interests, there's a whole entire set of her in both volumes of the series' respective boosters, which has been shown in tournaments to be a Game Breaker sometimes. Her signed card is priced at $75, and that's just her Level 0 variant!
  • Collective Identity: The so-called "boss combo" of a Titan-oriented deck involves summoning three Characters that are all simply different parts of the Colossal Titan.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Generally, each colour has certain abilities that are only present in that colour and all colours have certain themes. Yellow revolves around sending opponents to hand or Stock and own turn buffs, with many a search through Deck. Green revolves a lot around power, exchanging cards with Clock and maintaining or adding Stock. Red contains pick up abilities that allow retrieval of cards from Waiting Room and a lot of unique effects that are red exclusive. Blue has draw engines, heal spam mechanics, and normally buffs on opponent's turn.
  • Combat Medic: Some Level 3 Characters have the ability to restore one damage by sending the top card of your Waiting Room into your Clock.
  • Comeback Mechanic: The whole idea behind the Level system. As you Level Up, you gain the ability to play stronger cards and fight back harder, but every level you gain also puts you one step closer to defeat.
  • Competitive Balance: Cards with very high power for their level tend to have drawbacks, although how the drawback affects their usefulness tends to vary. 3500+ Power Level 0s, 7000+ Power Level 1s, and 9000+ Power Level 2s generally fall into this category.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Titan decks don't do much else besides buffing their Power. This means they suffer from a severe lack of support effects. Fittingly, as in Attack on Titan, you can beat a Titan deck if you're simply persistent enough.
  • Counter Attack: The Counter cards, which give the defending player an advantage against the opposing character. Many of these involve boosting the defending Character's Power, but some, like "Compass" from the Kantai Collection set, enable other effects like Brainstorm.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: The gimmick behind Sayaka cards. Many of them have crazy Power and/or extremely strong effects, but if a Sayaka card is defeated, it's sent straight to Memory.
  • Difficulty by Region: English Weiss buffs and nerfs a handful of cards and has a different banlist from Japanese Weiss, which can make some strategies that work in one version useless in the other, and open up new strategies that only work in one version and don't work in the other.
  • Discard and Draw: The "Brainstorm" effects, which require you to pay a cost to mill out (read: discard from deck to Waiting Room) four cards, and apply a certain effect (depending on the card) for every Climax Card sent to Waiting Room by this effect. While you lose four cards, and you lose Climaxes that you could potentially use or keep in the deck to Cancel damage, the effects of "Brainstorm" can potentially help you out in a tight spot.
  • Double Entendre: Climax Cards and Climax Area.
  • Dualvertisement: PD/S22-P01 PR "Nice to Meet You!" Hatsune Miku is notable in that its art notes that it's a Project DIVA F Extra Marker. In other words, it's an AR Marker designed to be used with the game in question.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: On a meta level; the first English Weiss cards were from the Disgaea: Hour of Darkness set in 2009, but back then Weiss Schwarz had not actually started running in English, so the Disgaea Trial Deck was little more than a souvenir. Weiss would not start fully producing the English version until 2013.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The Disgaea: Hour of Darkness and Kantai Collection Trial Decks look notably different from current cards due to the usage of different font and image prints. The current style of the cards stuck by the release of the Kantai booster set.
  • Expansion Pack: Some of the series only come in these, while some Boosters have these to increase the card count in a series.
  • Four Is Death: The goal of the game is to get your opponent to Level 4 while avoiding the same fate yourself.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Essentially what Counters do. The Character under attack calls for another Character's support and they add Power to the Character.
  • Gratuitous German: The title, which means "White Black".
  • Joke Character: "Wooser Rares", a special type of rare card in the Wooser's Hand-to-Mouth Life set. These cards have absurd joke effects, such as "Shopping, Wooser", which requires the player to pay two Stock and go buy a booster pack to select a single Character from the booster pack and play it on the Stage. Due to their effects, Wooser Rares are tourney illegal.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Considering how the game is based on simulating the scenes of the anime, resistance is futile. It gets even more tragic is when you plan on watching your favorite Magical Girl series and this comes up.note 
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Well, other than the literal meaning, it also has more cards that Yu-Gi-Oh by several hundred. And, at last count, Yu-Gi-Oh had approximately 5000. However, most cards in Weiss are also clones of each other with different names, art, and color.
  • Mana Meter: Stock, which is used to pay for Costs required to play a Character, Effect Costs, and standard Encores. Stock is largely gained by attacking, where the card used for a Trigger Check is placed face-down into Stock. However, some effects and Climax Cards can also throw extra cards into Stock to bolster your resources.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Weiss is basically the Super Smash Bros. of card games.
  • Me's a Crowd: Titans like to power themselves up by sharing a Center Stage with other cards of the same name. This encourages the player to build a deck around getting three of the same card on the field for maximum power.
  • No Sell: Some cards have the ability to become untargetable by your opponent's card effects. These intangibility effects are also usually temporary.
  • Oddball in the Series: Cinderella Girls is Weiss, while the rest of the The Idolmaster franchise is Schwarz.
  • Original Generation: The Card Game Shiyoko set is the only Weiss Schwarz series not based on a pre-existing anime, manga, or video game franchise.
  • Painting the Medium: "Girl Who Loves Card Games, Man, Shiyoko" is actually a two-panel manga-style card where two characters discuss the effect of said card. The card's effect is even written vertically like in a manga. One of the characters notes this.
  • Power Levels: Though Power Levels is used here, Soul determines the damage.
    • Meta seems to be going in this direction lately, with new series coming up with more ways to buff the Power of a Character.
  • The Power of Friendship: A Character with a Bond ability can use its effect to recover a specific card from the Waiting Room.
  • Serious Business:
    • SP and SSPnote  cards are very highly valued among collectors and can go for potentially hundreds of dollars/tens of thousands of yen if sold, depending on the popularity of the character. SSP Shimakaze-Kai-Ni was once regaled as the most expensive Weiss card in the English TCG.
    • Professional players tend to count the number of climaxes that appear during their matches (both their own and their opponent's) so as to know when is a good time to push for damage.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Squishy Wizard: Assist Characters and Counters are generally this. Both are largely useless in actual combat, as their Power is usually very low. However, Assist Characters can be placed in the Back Stage to grant the Center Stage cards buffs, such as Power boosts, and Counters can be used from the hand to turn a fight around when your Character isn't strong enough.
  • Suicide Attack: Even if you lose a battle, you still deal Soul Damage to Clock despite your character being defeated. In dire situations, this can be a legitimate strategy to push damage.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: The Change effect. Cards with Change can pay a cost and discard themselves to replace themselves with a stronger card, usually related to the initial character.
    • This is the whole point behind the Kantai Collection set. Many Characters have "-Kai" or "-Kai-Ni" versions that are in some way stronger, and via card effects, those initial characters can trade up to their stronger versions.
  • Taking You with Me: Known to the metagame as "Suiciders", these cards are fairly weak, but have an effect that reverses the opposing Character when they themselves are reversed in combat, which can easily break down a wall of high-powered Characters or force the opponent to waste valuable Stock to Encore. These are commonly Level 0 cards, but there are also some Level 1s and 2s, alongside special cards.
  • The Anime of the Game: Weiss Survive, though due to copyright issues, only original cards are shown, which severely diminishes its draw. The plot is also non-existent.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Weiss Schwarz wikia, which still needs a lot of work done on it.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Saber vs. Nanoha vs Haruhi vs. Shana vs. Hitagi vs. Tenshi vs. Kyrie vs. Konata vs. Protagonist vs. Shu vs. Misaka Mikoto vs. Black★Rock Shooter vs. Kirito vs Silver Crow...
  • Unexpected Character: Star Wars, a Western movie franchise in a Japanese card game based around anime and anime-type video games.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: This can happen if a player triggers an infinite loop with no way out, in which case nobody wins.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: Titans do little more than grow insanely powerful. Their answer to any and all comers is "add more Power". This wanders into Crippling Overspecialization, since, as Titans have very few other effects that don't increase Power, they have very little ways of evading, healing, or other whatnot support.

    Weiss Schwarz Portable 
  • Action Girl: Minami
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI makes very poor moves most of the time.
  • Chick Magnet: The protagonist, who causes almost every single girl who meets him to fall for him. He has SEVEN (which becomes eight after the first playthrough) potential girls to choose from.
  • Childhood Friends: Suzuka. Going on her route results in a Childhood Friend Romance.
  • Class Representative: Suiko
  • Cash Cow Franchise: Essentially the whole point of the development of the game. Though, it has a surprisingly deep plot.
  • Twin Switch: In Suzuka's route, the player finds out near the end that the Suzuka the player has been interacting with is actually her twin sister, Honoka. When the real Suzuka returns, she's not exactly pleased to realise that her twin sister got a Relationship Upgrade with her old childhood friend
  • Visual Novel: The game is part this, part card game simulator.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: And red. And green. And pink. There's also normal hair colours too.