Wednesday, March 31, 2010
"Conditions Met... JUDGMENT SHALL COME!"
Hello all! As promised, now that "Naruto Shippuden Live!" is over, I will be unveiling our 3rd as well as our 4th preview cards for "The Perfect Curve" Blog, again courtesy of Tylar aka Hungry Ninja. Thank you Tylar! You're the best!

First, for all of those people who are complaining about Hidan burning 4 cards a deck per turn cycle, we have answer for you:

Giant Eagle is a wonderful client, especially in decks that utilize cards like "Hidan" and "The One Who Lives Within." Make no mistake, it's no Emina, but it is certain a powerful card that will allow you to filter your hand to make sure you get exactly what you need. Coupled with the new Client Rulings in Set 17, running him along side your trusty Prince Clients will be no problem. I expect him to be a 1 or 2 of in almost every deck that plays the Lightning Symbol. Genma making a comeback anyone?

Now class, before we begin discussing the final preview, I think it's time we stretch out those brains and do a little review session. To motivate where this is going, let's take a look back at "Design Space" on the Bandai CG Forums. Over the course of the article, I, with some assistance, fleshed out some ideas which I was hoping would flesh out the game, including things such as Dual Colored Jutsu, which while they're not as great as I would've liked them to be at the moment, we're clearly moving in the right direction.

For the longest time, I recall Tylar was a big advocate of the Reinforcement Deck doing more than just being "The Squad Deck," which was confirmed later on when talking with other play testers too. I know Tylar and I were on the same page here in our love for alternate states for key ninja in the series. As such, the following idea was developed:

But what happens if all the State 2 ninja didn’t have to take up deck space? What would happen if I could just play each of the 3 drop Sound 4 Ninja or a 4 drop Kimimaro and call upon the “State 2” ninja whenever it was relevant? Well with the Reinforcement Deck, couldn’t that be made possible? Much like Squads, there could be some sort of “Transformation” card that allows for more decks like the “State 2” deck to thrive by giving them extra leeway in deck construction. However, they need to be handled in such a way that not just every deck can play the card and it needs to have some sort of inherit drawback. The draw back to Squads is you’re essentially turning 2 ninja into 1 ninja, which results in a loss of field presence. If a “One Man Squad” type of card was introduced, there has to be a drawback to just turning your “average” ninja into a super powerful one. The most obvious design choice would be to slap a hand cost on it or perhaps only allow it to come into play under very specific cir****tances (Such as having “Power of State 2” in play perhaps?). Alternatively, the could have a drawback to it, rewarding those players brave enough to try the “Transformed” Ninja that go in the deck rather than the Ninja that come out of the Reinforcement Deck.

Let’s take a closer look at one of these fictional “Transformation” cards:

Edit: The Following Card Is Not Real!!!

A Naruto like this would add more consistency to the “Tailed Beast Form” deck by not handicapping the player who has to sacrifice the deck’s best early game ninja to play a later game version of it. As you can see though, this Naruto has a number of drawbacks that make him worse than his 5 drop “Emerging Alliance” counterpart including lower stats, coming out a turn later, vulnerability to card effects, and an effect that can potentially lose you the game if you aren’t careful. You have effectively gained a much more flexible deck by using a card like this but it doesn’t give you the same benefits as if you had played “The Real Thing” in your actual deck. It is important to note that the design of this card is set up in such a way that the card has plenty of drawbacks but still provides the players with the centerpiece they need as well as providing an alternate win condition in the form of mill. Transformations, or any card for that matter, need not just be tools to assist a win condition but rather can create ones, allowing for diverse decks that have multiple outs and backup plans, thus making it a game more of intelligence and skill than one of luck.

After this article and the follow up "Going In(to) Depth" where posted, Tylar shot me a message telling me "Good Job." I never really knew why he praised me on those two articles in particular until the other day,
when Tylar gave me today's Preview. And contrary to what I posted, it is actually... NOT A SQUAD.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the "Transformation" topic is indeed a reality. It is with great pride that I'm proud to introduce to you all the Game's First "REINFORCEMENT" Type Card (At least going by the card number):

Tylar had been planning this idea all along, and the support from the article I assumed only added fuel to the fire. This is the first Ninja Transformation state that you will be able to play in your Reinforcement Decks (Hence the Squad Type Slow Spoil). Now, let's look a look at what he does shall, we?

With all the same characteristics as the normal Hidan, you're not "sacrificing" anything by putting him into play. In fact, you're getting an upgrade of 7/3, 7/0 stats rather than 6/2, 6/0. However, unlike his regular counter part, Curse Mode does not discard cards off the top of the deck every turn, rather opting to discard when he takes damage. Combo this with the Giant Eagle card above and Hidan is a draw/filter engine almost by himself. Keep in mind the fact that he still can't die. Oh and did I mention it has Name: Hidan? That means you theoretically should be able to "Squad" him into himself again to get back to Healthy stats.
If he ever gets removed from play, since normal Hidan returns to your hand when removed from play, you should easily be able to put him into play again. And again.

But going back to the "Squadding", how do you put him into play? Tylar said already that you can't straight up "Squad" or rather "Reinforce" this guy into play like you would a normal "Squad." You need to meet a special requirement for this card to come into play. So the question now is... how does he come into play? And what is the point of Three Bladed Scythe's second effect?

Perhaps we'll find out later this week?

I want to again thank Tylar immensely for these previews and giving me the wonderful honor of being the first to show you all the "Reinforcement" Card Type. (Designated by it's "Red" Squad border, rather than the Purple I showed you yesterday. It's like a Squad...but it's not :P)

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Slow Rolling is Great, Isn't It?
And here is the second Preview Card we all promised you that we unveiled last week in the Interview with Tylar:

Now I'm still slightly confused why all the bad rap on this card? It's a monster in draft and even in Constructed post GenCon rotation, it is hardly a bad card. A Snipe Injure for 2 Fire without having any real requirements to speak of is pretty nice if you ask me. You get the Bonus Effect of giving yourself a damage if Hidan was the user. Sounds strange? Well Hidan can't die by damage, so why worry anyway?

While Andrew may have spoiled some surprises (and my fun) for you all, I think I'll have to find some other way to amuse myself. How about I slow spoil one of our many preview cards to come?

And yes, that is indeed a Squad Border.

What could it be?

I'll unveil the preview card tomorrow night, immediately after the airing of "Naruto Shippuden Live"

Until then!

~Ja ne

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Hidan has arrived!

So, last week in an interview with Tylar, one of the game's designers, we revealed the effect text of the first ever Hidan card, as well as one of his jutsus. As a follow up, we thought we would discuss our opinions of each of the cards, as well as include the pictures Tylar sent to us, so that those of you dying to see the card image could finally stop messaging us begging for pics. So here's the man you've all been waiting for:


Before I go into the card itself, yes we actually water marked the card to prevent the usual image leeching. Anyway, first off I wish it had a lightning background, as it looks really meh with the fire background in my opinion. Secondly, I really like the care that went into the card. As a player who also follows the series religiously (Get it?), having an effect that truly follows the story line, while also being really solid is a big deal. As a veteran of the game, it also makes me happy working with brand new card effects, such as Hidan's inability to die by damage, to see how I can "Break" them. I've already found some cool combos, and I'm sure some of you have as well.

All in all I think Hidan is a really solid card. On his own he isn't amazing, but with the help of some other cards he might turn out to be a pretty big contender in the upcoming format. Check back later this week for more Hidan previews, including the much talked about Cursed mode Hidan! Also a big thanks to Tylar for providing us with these previews!

-Andrew Photobucket

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Monday, March 29, 2010
Play to Win: Y'all ready for this?

Sorry for the lack of writing from me recently, been busy with finals and then Spring Break. Now I'm back at work so, of course, that means it's time to steal my employer's money and write a blog post!

So far this article series has mainly been about getting an edge in tournaments through superior strategy, but that's just one way to improve your play. Another way to get an advantage over your opponent is just to simply be in superior condition to them.

So what do I mean by condition? Well, this game is a test of mental acuity (or attempts to be, depending on your view of Bandai's skill at card design). And the surest way to lose this particular battle of wits is through misplays and mistakes. Therefore, to win, our goal should be to minimize our misplays and mistakes. The best way to do this outside of playtesting? Minimize outside distractions. The less-distracted player is already ahead in the matchup before the cards even come out.

Now, not to boost my ego or anything (although I'm plenty fond of that), I've been one of the more consistent Day 1 players in this game. Out of the numerous events I've been to, the worst finish I've had is a either a 6-2 at AX '07 or 5-1-2 at Sannins '09 (basically, 1 bubble match win/tiebreaker away from top cut). Every single other time I've been in the cut. My preparation (in card terms) for those events has been highly inconsistent, however. I can't really attribute my consistency to that. What has been consistent throughout all these years, however, is how I approach these events from a personal standpoint. I'll go through that list in the following sections.


  • Get a good night's sleep. At least 8 hours worth. At the end of the day, you'll be more focused than your opponents that are tired and sleepy.
  • Take a shower and clean yourself up. While some gamers may prefer to use their stench as a weapon, those usually aren't the ones doing well. Feeling clean and refreshed will again give you that edge at the end of the day, when other people might be feeling greasy and icky and nasty.
  • Eat a healthy, filling (but not too much so) breakfast. Your first few rounds are going to be built on the energy from this meal. Get some carbs in. Eat some fruit (I always eat bananas before events - they are extremely healthy, decently filling, and provide you with good sugar that won't result in a crash later on. In fact, Thomas Cao, perhaps the unhealthiest guy on the planet, picked up my habit of eating bananas before events at Sannins. The rest, as they say, is history.)
  • Pack some snacks and drinks. There's not always enough time to get food in between rounds, or there might not be anything healthy available. Be prepared. (I'll go over this point and the above in more detail later.)
  • Make sure you have all your materials ready the night before. Freshly sleeved deck, extra sleeves, various gaming accessories required, filled-out decklist, trade binder, etc. It's nice to have peace of mind going into a match without worrying about "did I bring this/that/etc.?"
  • On a note about trade binders - bring with you only what is absolutely necessary. Thieves do exist. Don't carry around extra stuff that you have to worry about.
During the event:
  • Stay energized. Use the restroom regularly. Wash your hands/face and stay fresh. Don't let distractions build up.
  • Keep yourself hydrated. Water is the best. Tea is good if you need some caffeine (tea gives you caffeine nice and slow, which tends to minimize the possibility of a crash). Diet soda is ok if absolutely must have something with a sugary taste (but watch your caffeine intake). Stay away from anything with sugar in it - even those "natural/organic/blah blah blah" fruit juices. If you want some sugar, eat the actual fruit. Nothing good ever came from all the processed sugar found in soda and juice.
  • Apply that same sugar philosophy to your snacks. I prefer granola bars (the healthy kind) and baked chips when I pack snacks. The goal for snacks is to have something that will quell your hunger without taking away from your mental capacity later on.
  • Try to eat lunch and dinner. Keep your body in the routine it's used to.
  • Avoid oily, greasy, heavy, and high fat foods at all costs. These will kill you (literally). I am as much a cheeseburger fan as anyone... but never during a tournament. Eating a cheeseburger is pretty much a death sentence once your body processes it. There are so many things that can go wrong: food coma, sluggish thoughts, a greasy feeling on your skin, doesn't go down right, mad cow disease...
  • I prefer sandwiches (no cheese or heavy sauces) during events. They have the carbs to keep you going, are nice and filling, and are delicious.
During the match:
  • Figure out your pre-match routine. I sit down, introduce myself to my opponent, get out my deck, then riffle shuffle 7 times, pile shuffle with 7 piles, and riffle shuffle another 7 times. I've done this so many times that my body instantly knows it's time to focus after I do that. It just helps to get into the proper mindset to play good Naruto.
  • Stay calm. Don't go on tilt. Always be respectful. Luck will always be involved in the game. If it happens, it happens. Don't worry about it.
  • Play your match. Don't listen to music. Turn your cell phone to vibrate or silent.
  • Have fun and smile. You're playing a game!


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Saturday, March 27, 2010
I Guess We're On a Roll?
"A Target's A Target" goes undefeated today at the New York Chunin, netting me another Chunin win.

Too tired to type out a report now.

Maybe tomorrow.

It's funny that Tylar didn't post my article today considering it was time dated material. People will read it and go "There was a Chunin today?" However it will have already have happened yesterday...the day before...whatever.

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Friday, March 26, 2010
Well Shit.

So the Naruto starter deck card was previewed just a short while ago and my first thought was "Really?". While he isn't as stupid as other cards we've received in the past like Kankuro, Ino, or even Third Hokage, he is still pretty nuts for what he is. The only real draw back to Naruto is that you cant sub him into his effect, due to the deploy clause, however I don't feel that will stop this guy from showing up on the top tables at SJCs everywhere.

Turn three guaranteed Succeeded Will of Fire is pretty stupid, as is a guaranteed Group lesson, Reunion, or even Entrustment. Naruto also sets up a turn four NVS blowout, and I'm sure other kinds of ridiculous blowouts as well. While it's to early to tell for sure how powerful the naruto is without knowing the rest of the set, I will say that the only thing that might possibly hold this guy back is Naruto/Hinata being such a relevant card in the format right now. Only time will tell.

I'm off to go visit UB for the weekend, so I wont be posting again till sunday night. Until next time.

-Andrew post signature

Thursday, March 25, 2010
Things Tsu Thinks (3/25/10)
So, now that I'm on my lunch break, I think I'll take this time to talk about some of the things that have been on my mind this week for the Naruto CCG.

First off, I'm glad many of you guys enjoyed our first set of previews in Hidan & one of his Jutsu. Please check back later on for those uploaded images as well as interviews with the rest of the play tester staff for Set 17 Will of Fire. We hope to provide you all with more previews next week. I have heard we receiving at least 3 previews... one of which is supposed to be very good from what I hear. I'll be just as excited as you all to find out what they are. Again, check back constantly for updates.

A new addition to the website, the stat calculator, can now be found at the bottom of the website. Previously we had no way to figure out how many of you guys were actually reading the site outside of asking you all to post comments or follow our site. This counter will now accurately reflect the number of UNIQUE VISITORS. So no, F5ing the page will not increase the counter to absurd heights. We're trying to get an accurate gauge on what content people like so we can provide you with more of it.

A big thank you to Scubadude and his crew for plugging us last night on the new Naruto CCG Podcast "Naruto Shippuden Live!" Although it was a shame that Andy didn't show up for your program last night, we still tuned in for it and thank you again for your plug on the air. More support is always a plus as there are still a lot of readers on Bandai who do not know about us so tell your friends and local play groups to check us out if they haven't done so already.

A number of people have been messaging me for my Chunin Deck List since it was withheld in previous article. Sadly, I'm still not going to post it. That's just the way things go when you're a competitive player in the CCG world. The game doesn't have enough depth yet for me to feel comfortable giving out key cards.

Due to Tylar being at Gama this week, as well as me being quite behind due to a lot of work, this week's "Teach Me Professor Tsu Kiyo Me!" will be delayed. Expect to see it late Friday night or early Saturday morning. This will be the last in the series of "Where I've Been/What I've Learned" articles that will cover from GenCon 2009 Day 4 up until this past week's Chunin Victory as well as how I landed the Bandai writer position, the inspiration for the formation of this blog, and a few odds and ends. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, as voiced by one of Bandai's Moderators, but I'm glad that even the "haters" so to speak love my writing style. Next Month's Article series will be entitled "The Elite Four." I'll leave it to your imagination to figure out what that series will be about.

Also, we are now one month away from the release of Capcom's "Super Street Fighter 4." For those of you readers who play the game on the X-Box 360, myself as well as Bandai Poster "Saitsuofleaves" will be hosting a midnight release game session for the game. So for those of you who are getting the game and would like to talk Naruto CCG with me and Saitsu as well as have a little bit of fun, get online on April 27th @ 12:30 AM EST(30 minutes after the game's launch).

That's all for now people. Back to work ; ;

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Monday, March 22, 2010
Designer Interview #1: Hidan is like a guy Eating a burrito

Question 1: Who are you, and what do you do at Bandai?

Tylar: I go by Hungry_Ninja on the forums, which I plan on changing soon I just don't know to what, and my real name is Tylar. I do: Q&A, lead Q&A at this point, I design, test, uhh edit for errors. Pretty much everything. I'm in charge of article writing, I keep the article writers in check, which Pat can attest to. umm I don't think there's a single thing I haven't done. I've even compared marketing numbers before.

Question 2: Ice breaker! If you could have one Super power, what would it be and why?

Tylar: The power to grant myself any power I want? Nah, but seriously seeing the future seems like the best thing ever. You'd be the ultimate at everything. "I'm going to put a thousand dollars down on double zero" "Why?" "Because it's going to be double zero." Then again, you'd probably go to jail because they would think you were cheating. Maybe I'll have to rethink that, or just do sports bets. But yeah seeing the future seems good.

Question 3: How exactly does the design process work?

Tylar: We are still in the experimental stages, but I can tell you what we did for set 17. We actually met in the room I'm sitting in now. There were six of us and we were told to start from scratch and come up with basic effects. Then James Takenaka came in and gave us two to three marketing goals for the set, and said "Every card must reflect these goals". Next we took the five elements and made kind of a pie chart out of them, and we divvied up the special niches between each element and then tryed to make those diametrically opposed, much like people would know from Magic: the Gathering. No offense to anyone who dislikes Magic, but a game going on for that long means it has to be doing something right.

Anyway, after that we took out a bunch of scrap paper and we calculated the total number of ninjas we need to on average get a good curve in draft. We then split them up so that each element has an equal number of zeros, each element has the same number of ones, twos, threes, and so on. After this we started giving the cards names and effects. Effects are really a kind of down the road thing, thats the thing that takes the most time. I distinctly remember the very first day working on this was fifteen hours long, because James was going to be like "Hey guys, it's been eight hours, it's time to go", but were were on such a huge roll that he didn't want to stop us. Each day after that we would come in and work on the effect text, wether we wanted to scrap them and start over, or wether we wanted to keep them because they were basic enough.

In the end we came down to a few problem cards that we wanted to balance the story line with the actual game, though I'm sure you know which ones I'm talking about. Hidan was a big problem, as I think he started out with five valid effects. We eventually broke him down to to the point where both sides of the group were happy, cause Brian and I are big on the story line, and Andy and Alex are big on the game play. In the end I'm pretty satisfied with set 17, we put a lot of work into it.

Question 4: What specific types of effects do you prefer to put on cards when designing?

Tylar: I don't really think of cards as a single entity. I don't stare at a card and say "Hey this card is good". When designing I tend to think "if I was making a deck, what would I need to make this type of deck playable?" and then I go from there and have cards bounce off from each other in one way or another so that it still feels like you are playing Naruto, but the way that you are playing it is more in tune to the character or the mechanic you are attempting to play with. It's more fun that way and it adds variety to the game if you ask me.

Question 5: So about that Hidan guy. Since you had full design over him, what can you tell us about him?

Tylar: Well, he originally started as a smattering of valid effects, you know there were a few things from the story line side and a few things from the game play side. From the game play side we wanted him to be playable in the current format um, in this right he couldn't be a stand alone stupidly good card. I'm okay with his regular version being a good stand alone card, but the curse mode had to be separated or something he transformed into. There were lots of card ideas and new mechanics floating around for cursed mode Hidan.

For story line purposes, Hidan had to be an idiot, he had to lose to shikamaru, and we reflected it no problem. The other thing we wanted to show, which was the biggest hurdle is him never dying. Without being over powered, that's a really hard thing to touch on, especially in a game with so much removal. It was really hard to get this card to really show the story without it being busted. I had some trouble when I first started working on him, and eventually had to give somewhat of a presentation of the card to try and prove my point about him. But eventually we came to a nice middle ground with the cards, including the weakness of Hidan and how he never dies.

Question 6: What decks do you think will do well with the introduction of set 17?

Tylar: Set 17 was shortly done, as we only had something like three weeks to build this set from scratch. it was very difficult when adding in getting license approval, asking Bandai japan for approval, and the artist working on the cards. We had something like three PDFs going back and forth in a mater of a week, which was impressive. For what little time we had though, I think this is a really well made set.

For what it will do to the meta, I know the Hidan deck might show up as it has a wickedly good combo to it, I don't really think any other new deck types were developed aside from Hidan and Kakuzu cause they were central to the set. Still, other decks will get stuff cause Shikamaru is going to beat Hidan he's going to need some mental power stuff, so that will be there too. I'm not really sure with the meta, as my head has been buried in the sand in set 18 as of late, but I expect a lot of these cards to make a splash. There shouldn't be anything completely busted, as we are trying to slow the game down, but yeah I expect to see some intresting developments with set 17.

Question 7: For future sets, what do you plan to work on in particular?

Tylar: For set 18 we started off three months ahead of time, sat down at the table and asked who wants what element, what characters do we want to make, and where do we really want to go. And I'm not thinking set by set I'm thinking block by block. were going to need a pain deck soon, as he is close at hand in the story line. Pain goes hand in hand with sage mode, and toads. As for elements, I ended up getting stuck with an element I didn't like at first. It wasn't exactly my flavor but I turned it into my kind of flavor. Everyone has been working on specific deck ideas, and since we are trying to think block by block we can actually plan out cards ahead of time so that by the end of the block, the deck is fully complete. It makes sense. I kind of ignored your original question, didn't I?

Andrew: Kind of. What element were you stuck with?

Tylar: Lightning. Keep in mind though, it's lightning as a first element. Things having two elements is still not out of the question. I will say that right now, there are three different deck types I'm working on for this next block (sets 18-21).

Question 8: In the current format, what card do you feel is the most problematic, and why?

Tylar: Tobi. He is playable in everything which is one of the things I'm deeply against. I'm for cards being playable in everything but they shouldn't be that good in everything or the best in everything. There should have been some kind of cost associated with it to try and slim it down. In the end that card should have never been printed. I have a small fear the new Might guy might turn out to be the same thing, but I don't think so.

Question 9: The tournament pack. What exactly went into it?

Tylar: We started with a huge list of characters and we thought: 1. What do we need for our set 17 archetypes? 2. What do we need for our set 18 archetypes? And 3. what would look really cool as a chibi?

Pat: Lots of Sakura Haruno?

Andrew: Ino Megamilk in Chibi? Both her head and her breasts would be huge!

Tylar: *Laughs* There are some really awkward picks in this pack, but number one priority was for draft ability so any effects that would affect making drafting easier, we would definitely put in the pack. Market and designing always seem to be at ends, last week we had a couple of cards James said we couldn't have the set so we had to cut them. Luckily we just got it finished up before this. So I feel pretty happy about this too.

Question 10: That cool Sakura Chick who is clearly three cards in one. How did that come about?

Tylar: Let's put hokage rocks on a body. It's still kind of bad, what do we do? Futaba is rotating out and the Chicago players love Futaba, lets put it on her. It's getting there, but how does it work in medical? Well, it needs to heal. Bam, Done. We put all three decent effects together and thats what came out. Why fire? I think it should have been Wind/Earth to fit in Kunoichi butas Fire it fit with the other "Reliance" Ninja cards. Story wise Sakura's personality and Inner sakura are always angry and have angry flames.

Question 11: What are your plans for the Taijutsu archtype?

I will tell you that that has been one of the decks on my mind for awhile. It's been away from the spot light too long, in fact it never had it to begin with. It's one of those decks that exemplified lightning in what it does and I really think they deserve a pump up. The question is what does Taijutsu do? "I get big and kick your ass". Thats the obvious answer anyway, but to exemplify that answer in teh card game I have a few Ideas but nothing is concrete just yet.

Question 12: Platoons with Hand costs... Why?

Tylar: It's dependent on what effect is on it. We start without a hand cost, and look at the effect and if the consensus is that the card is too good and splashable, then we add a hand cost or some kind of restriction. This is why Tenzo requires two earth chakra instead of one for his effect. If it has a hand cost, the hand cost has a place... Well now anyway.

Question 13: Sasori and Zabuza are rotating out, plans to reprint them?

Tylar: We watch ninja that are cycling out and in. We are already aware of the things that are leaving, and with Sasori and the puppets leaving it isn't beyond us to revisit puppets. Just next time without Lifeless Warrior and without that Kankuro guy.

Question 14: Is Sasuke BTL being reprinted?

No. We were sitting at the table when it was brought up. Three of us said instantly said "Not Sasuke BTL" A couple of people looked up at us. We stared them down. Then they were like "Okay, were not." The only way Sasuke BTL comes back is if the Chidoris in format were really balanced, like lightning blade from set 1, and you couldn't recur it.

Andrew: I like lightning blade from set 1...

Question 15: Have you tried out EDH?

No, haven't had enough time to try it.


Three Bladed Scythe
Cost: Fire Fire
Requirement: Printed Entrance cost of 3 or more
Target: 1 Ninja
Effect: Injure the Target. Then, if the User is Hidan, you may give 1 damage to the user.

Tylar: This card Originally started off as a blanket one damage. Pay this give one damage. We thought it was too bland, too stupid, and didn't fit really well with Hidan. It's based on when Hidan swings his scythe at Asuma, and Asuma ducks and it hits Hidan. It's generically okay, when you play it in a deck it's meant to be played in it's good.

T5 HC:1
Characteristics: Akatsuki l Rogue Ninja l Male l Jonin l Mental Power: -1
Valid: This Ninja cannot be removed from play due to damage.
Valid: When this Ninja is removed from play, return it to the owners hand instead.
Valid: Discard the top two cards of your deck at the start of your turn.
Stats: 6/2 Healthy, 6/0 Injured
Combat attribute: Curse/Weapon
Super rare

Tylar: Hidan started with four or five valid effects and was boiled down to three effects on this card, and two effects on the cursed mode card. I gave Hidan the milling effect because I was out hanging with a friend who was eating a burrito. After awhile my friend said "This burrito is to big, I can't finish it" and then it clicked. Even though he wont die, he will eventually run out of steam.

Hope you guys enjoyed the interview, as well as the previews (Pics will be up later in the week when we get them). Thanks again Tylar for letting us Interview you!

-Andrew post signature

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"A Target's A Target"
Yesterday was the All Things Fun Chunin in New Jersey. Despite the fact that a lot of people confirmed they were going, only 15 people showed up. I can think of at least 6 people off the top of my head who said they were going all the way up to the last minute and never showed. Strange. Not a terribly large Chunin but still you want to win it and walk away with the prize support for sure.

As you guys all know, we've been play testing this format a decent amount since Set 16 Release and the general consensus (at least for Josh and myself) is that the 4 most overhyped supers in the Set are generally accepted as jank (Obito, Kakashi, Chidori, and Fear). While Kakashi isn't 100% jank, he's jank when not in a Monofire deck and the versatility other combinations have makes them more favorable than just Recyladori.

I was expecting two packages before this event: 1 Containing all of my Earth cards and some Wind cards. The second containing 2 Tobis, 2 Kakashi, and 2 Chidori. One did not show up. The other showed up however I was informed before I received it that 1 or 2 keycards were missing from it. Awesome! Luckily, Andrew and Nick (Shino's Dad) came through for me with their awesome cards.

Friday rolls around and Andrew shows up late. Again. He swears up and down he's on time but phone logs say differently. Five Guys for dinner. My buddies show up and we get some gaming in, including me finally getting to see the ending to God of War 3. Nick (Zounder) rage quits on Final Fantasy XIII cause he can't beat this boss. He has the boss basically won (he just has to hit square to trigger the cutscene to win)... and at the last second his main character gets blind sided and dies. Heh. Nothing terribly exciting.

Saturday I got up and watched Mighty Morphin Power Rangers cause that's how pros do it. Andrew didn't watch some of it cause he slept in until like 12:30. Nick (Zounder) came over around this point. Went and picked up Nick Botchis (Shino's Dad) from the train station. So now Nick, Nick, Andrew, and I go to Chili's cause Andrew said he'd treat us to lunch. For the record: Don't get the tacos here. Just opt for the fajitas. I mean the tacos were fine and all but why are they sweet? I've never had Mexican food that tastes like candy... very strange. After Andrew pays up and everything we get up and head towards the car. Andrew calls "Shotgun" but Nick Botchis is already on his way to the car and takes the front seat anyway. Andrew stands there and goes "Really? Really? I called shotgun. Really?" for like 3 minutes until finally I tell him get in the back or I'm leaving.

And then I start pulling away.

And he stood there.

And I kept going.

And he stood there.

I stop the car and Zounder is like "Why are you stopping? Just drive!" I should have. Now Botchis gets out of the car and throws up his hands and gives Andrew the seat. We all decide to call him a baby when he gets in the car...and he proceeds to play it off like he's not a whiner. Yes he did just pay for lunch for all of us but come on, holding us up for 5 minutes just so he could get shotgun? Needless to say we all harassed him about this for a while.

Then my buddy Lael shows up again. Perfect Dark was played. And it was fun.

BlazBlue was played. And people complained that I was cheap for using "Combos."

Final Fantasy XIII was played. And there was more rage quitting over stupid fights.

Naruto Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 was played. And people complained that my Rock Lee was too much of a pimp.

Everything but the play testing was pretty much done. So everyone leaves and we find ourselves at the like... 1 AM mark...looking at the decks going "Well... ****!" Last minute testing was done, decks assembled and put together. By the time the deck lists were written out and we were off to bed, it's like 4:30 AM. We have to get up at 9:30 to be on time.

So I'm enjoying my 5 hour nap only to be woken up by Shino's Dad snoring. Normally I'd throw something at him but what kind of host would I be if I threw something at someone while they slept in my house? I couldn't decide which was worse... Andrew sounding like a cat while he slept or this. All I knew is I was tired as hell... when I finally got to sleep, I got woken up to let the dogs out. FML.

Arrived at All Things Fun and turn in the deck list:

Player: Pat O'Neill (Tsu Kiyo Me)
Deck Name: "A Target's A Target"
Archtype: Wind/Earth Puppets

As usual, I do not give out my entire deck lists because there are key cards in the deck that need to be used for later events in the Season. You'll just have to guestimate based on the rest.

Round 1 vs. Shino's Dad (Monolightning)
Well... that sucks. Having to play your buddy round 1. We decided to just take the Draw super early and just play test games to warm up for the day. The result ended at 1 game a piece, then we switched decks to try to get a feel for the others deck to see how it works. By the time the round was over, we found out that Andrew had also drawn in time over procedures with his opponent JD (No, not Josh Lu).

That means that no matter what, one of us is going to get screwed next round because there's 4 people with 1 point each. So Round 2 I'm either playing Andrew or JD.


Round 2 vs. JD (Monofire)
JD is a good guy that comes down every once in a while for Locals. When I first met him, he was playing a Tailed Beast Mode deck however he didn't really use the power of Naruto 2K Uzumaki Barrage. After playing me a few times in the past, he started to adapt to the Naruto Dangerous Chakras I was using in the past 2 formats and it was no surprise to me when I saw the Dangerous Chakra in his deck. Lightning, just like expected.

What was a surprise was me playing Long Awaited Reinforcements on turn 2 of the 1st game of the match only to get Sealing Barrier'd immediately after. I looked at him like "Seriously!?" That's never happened before. NEVER. I charged my entire hand to chakra and decided to see if I could sack a win. More importantly, I decided to not scoop to try to figure out if my prediction about the deck being Lightning was indeed correct. Much to my surprise, there were no lightning cards played and Kakashi (Boyhood), Drift, and a few other cards led me to believe it was Fire. I eventually scooped after I had seen enough to get an idea of what to sideboard.

The rest of the match was pretty much a blur to me. I just remember that I did get sacked by 2K Barrage, which prompted me to yell at Zero saying that splashing it wasn't as bad as he was thinking. I clearly just lost to it. He still thought it was bad. All I'll say is karma.


Round 3 vs. Monolightning
One of Eric's friends. I didn't catch his name which is odd cause usually I catch everyone's name. This matchup was pretty much the same as playing against Shino's Dad's deck however it wasn't nearly as optimized. The thing that did throw me for a loop though was the random 5 drop Tailed Beast Naruto. That thing was scary but I still won game 1 with my field presence.

Game 2 was pretty much the same fashion however this time what appeared to be a surefire win was clearly not the case. I have: Injured Ninja in Team 1. Sasori & Crow in team 2. Shino & Kiba, Ebizo & Salamander in team 3. He drops Tailed Beast Mode again. That's fine. Disaster of the Nine Tailed Fox spirit. WAT.

Kills Team 1, injures all of Team 2 and 3. Uses Naruto's effect to destroy Sasori, leaving me with just team 3. He must attack and I still have a 1 up on him in 1 team. I'm at 8 BRs so I must blow. Rasengan's my whole team off the board.


Game 3 I ripped Godly, hit him with Naruto & Hinata, Shino & Kiba, Kankuro, and a jutsu or two all by turn 3. He was forced to scoop up on 4.


Round 4 vs. Luke (Animals)
Luke is someone who I've played before at my local as well. He's a nice guy and I was really happy that he enjoyed reading some of the stuff I've written for Bandai. After some talking, we're allowed to begin. I take a guess based on his first turn Naruto Guard of the Prince that it's animals because that's the only deck I remember him playing. Sure enough, it's Hikaru. We were talking about how he had me beat one time until I dropped Triple Tombs on him with Gaara IP one game. Fun times.

Game 1, we tempo evenly which as you can tell is bad for Animals. I sweep up this game.

Game 2, he's just super aggressive, with I think 5 or 6 Ninja by turn 1. Yeeeeouch. I try to hold on as long as possible but Baki can't really do anything vs. 3 teams of 2. Itachi GiG comes down to score him a few BRs and win it for him.

Game 3 was very much like game 2. Things weren't looking good until I pay a chakra with Michiru and draw into my bomby animals hate cards which allow me to completely rip through his defenses and win in the next turn or two.


Surprisingly after all this I make Top Cut. Zero wins by round 3 and I still top? Ridiculous.

Top 8:
8. MJM's Cousin - ??? (Assumed to be Fire)
7. Tsu Kiyo Me - Wind/Earth
6. Squee - Monofire (???)
5. Andrew Kardis - Monowind
4. JD - Monofire
3. Nick - Monowater
2. Andrew C. - Medical Kunoichi
1. MJM - Monowater

I believe those are the standings + their decks. Correct me if I'm wrong. I originally thought there was Lightning in there but I guess I'm wrong.

Top 8 vs. Andrew C. (Medical Kunoichi)
Andrew is one of JD's friends and probably one of the nicest people I've met at All Things Fun. Always pleasant to talk with and play against, I was really looking forward to an interesting game. My signature Sakura Cards + Sakura Mat was a decent foreshadowing of what I was about to face given his remarks and also what he was asking me to borrow earlier in the day... this was indeed going to be against a Sakura Haruno based deck. She may be my <3 <3 <3 but I'm not going to lose to her, that's for sure.

Game 1 I believe he got the ShizTon combo out...I do remember though I had a team of all 3+ Ninja and because I was puppets... I clearly had the bigger team. He attempts a jutsu in desperation with Sakura at some point, but I simply just Concealed Weapon her. Even though he got out his secret tech Sasuke Cold Headed, things just went very smoothly.

Game 2 I hit Naruto & Hinata against him, setting him back. Then I hit Ebizo and pick up Salamander. He drops Sakura and I simply Arbitrate her for Salamander. Temari & Kankuro next turn to limit the hand. And he has a field of 1 of ninja so Baki comes down and cleans up.

After, I made some adjustments to his deck and gave him recommendations. By no means do I believe females are bad. I am by far one of their biggest supporters, however they are somewhat frail and need specific builds in order to gain consistency and good performance. It is probably the 4th or 5th best deck at the moment in my eyes.

Andrew loses in the first round of Top cut to JD because he got sacked by 2K Barrage. I called it! Karma! HA HA! Squee loses to his teammate Nick. MJM wins against his Cousin.

Round 4 vs. Nick (Monowater)
Nick from Squee's Play Group was my only legitimate loss at the Mist Kage back in June of 2009. The only other loss at the event was me forfeiting to Andrew Kardis in the last round or so of the Kage. I've played him a few times since then and I know for a fact this was going to be one tough game.

Game 1: He manages to Tobi about 4 times in a span of 2 turns. (Triple Tobi and then Ninja info cards) I go get Hinata off my bug coin via Substitute turn 1. Using his player priority afterwards, he Sealing Barriers and calls Naruto Uzumaki blindly. He asks "Did I get it?" Apparently he didn't know how crazy Naruto Hinata was before this event and has been making it a point to just go for Naruto or Hinata when the opposite is dropped. So there goes my 3 Prince Narutos :( But it doesn't matter cause I still curve out perfectly with Kiba, Shikamaru, Kankuro, and Baki to just wail on him and end it on turn 4.

Game 2: I attempt a Tobi knowing full well he has Sealing Barrier in hand, trying to get him to waste it. No take. I play Kiba knowing full well there's Akamaru in my hand. I play dumb and fail to find a search target. Then I deploy Naruto knowing full well that he'll attempt to try to get either Michiru or Hinata after this play. I fail to find a Michiru (which was also already in my hand). At this point he's feeling pretty sure of himself when I substitute and fetch Hinata, Naruto & Hinata him on my turn 2 into 3. Then next turn I squad into Shino & Kiba, discard the Akamaru, draw 2, and then play Michiru. The look on his face was like "What?" 4 Sealing Barrier Targets, he whiffed all of them. However, Kisame from EA comes down and he causes problems. My terrible selecting off of LAR + Second Hokage Matchless Hero to prevent a Jutsu rally costs me the game.

Game 3: The game goes to time in on turn 1. We are tied at BRs. I drop Naruto GotP and search for Michiru. I confirm that I do indeed have the last attack of the game. I have 2 Wind Chakra from substitute (which I used to get Kiba off a bug coin). I charge the two other missions in my hand + the michiru giving me 2 cards in hand, 5 chakra, 2 of which is wind. Pressing onward with Shion, Naruto, and Shino. He blocks. I fear by Genjutsu to get through for the last BR, holding Wind Scythe in case he has something else to stop me. Winnar!

Top 2 vs. JD Monofire
Considering Andrew had to leave, the store needed to start closing ASAP, and JD is my good buddy who had never gotten this far, he and I decided to just split the prizing and I let him have the pin since I can no longer get one.

Congrats to JD on his first Chunin win!

Afterwards, we headed to the parking lot where there was a fight over shotgun. An actual fight. Headlocks. Punches. Knees. Good times.

We went back to my house with my 36 blister backs to pack poker, 12 each. Highlights of my pulls:

-2 x Sasuke [Finishing Blow]
-1 x Yamato [Control by Fear]
-1 x Bashfulness
-1 x Sakura Haruno & Tsunade Squad
-1 x Orochimaru [Forbidden Jutsu]
-1 x Approaching Showdown
-Tonton Foil
-Sasuke Uchiha [Severing the Bond] foil
-Hinata [Reserved Character] foil
-Kakashi Childhood foil
Lots of Baki/Sasuke/good stuff non-foil

Also got another Sakura Meijin Mat, giving me 2. Unsure if I want to trade it but I guess if the offer was good enough . . .

After Andrew left, Nick and I decided to watch Downfall before turning in for the night. If you don't know what it is, you can watch this clip: Click Here. (Warning! This movie is rated R and as such some material is not suitable for all audiences)

Woke up crazy early to take Nick back to the train, only to go back to work in the morning.

Well at least I won another Chunin!

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Just finished Final Fantasy XIII, so everything should go back to normal after the weekend.

-Andrew post signature

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Thursday, March 18, 2010
"The Human Race Requires JUDGMENT!"
"You're going to judge us? Do you get all your ideas from comic book villains?"

No, seriously, the whole Unlimited vs. Block thing has gotten a little out of hand lately. What started apparently last night I guess on Naruto Shippuden Live (that's the first I've heard of it) has turned into some huge petition thread on Bandai. I don't really know what to make of it.

Basically the scenario is this: The Shonen Jump in Lacey, Washington is considered to be an Unlimited Tournament rather than Block like all the other Shonen Jump Championships. And that strikes people the wrong way, especially a few from out of state who were intending to travel out there who are afraid they'll travel all that distance only to get sacked by an OTK deck.

Unlimited at the moment to my knowledge has 3 OTK decks, one of which is turn 0. It also has access to Chain Lightning which combined with the Lightning support from Set 16 puts them into absolutely ridiculous status. And let us not forget about Freedori which has tons of support this set.

Block is the other choice for the tournament, and while it seems to have a much more diverse and balanced play field, I can understand the appeal to want to play Unlimited. You already have the cards to play Unlimited, why spend money to play Block? It's also much more difficult to build a deck for Unlimited due to a larger card pool. Momentum Shift is much more constant in Unlimited as simply dropping 1 or 2 Broken cards can put you back into the game. It makes for a very "Yugioh-esque" meta which some people like better. More is happening and it makes for a more exciting game from time to time.

The best way to deal with the issue is not to petition on Bandai to make "All Shonen Jump" championships but rather there should be a Poll for each Shonen Jump Championship Location as to what the decided format should be months in advance (Read: NOW). Close the thread like 5 weeks before the event and that's the decided event. Of course, polling results should be open so that way we can filter out duplicates and fake accounts just by looking at the number of posts as well as people who we know have more than one (Here's looking at you Tom and Josh). I think that's the only real fair way to do it.

As I said when Block first came out, it's your job to promote your format of choice. If you're not happy, fix it. But do it in a constructive way. I'm tired of every Bandai argument basically turning into something along the lines of bad movie/video game/comic dialogue.

"Every day humans are one step closer to self destruction. I'm not destroying the world, I'm SAVING IT!"

No you're not. You're just making yourself look like a jackass by posting about how your format is superior and is for expert players and everyone else who disagrees is a noob. Two formats. Two very different games in my opinion. It takes more foresight in Unlimited and it takes more quick decision making skills in Block. To each their own. Make your choice. Just let it be laid to rest. Lest we have another thread that's like:

"Why don't you understand Bandai? Do you really believe this format is worth saving? Natural selection leaves the survivors STRONGER and BETTER! Humans have escaped this winnowing for far too long!"

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Attention Please!
Just beat Final Fantasy XIII.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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New rule changes make me smile

Seriously, when I read that there wouldn't be a ninja limit any longer I was ecstatic. The ninja limit never really served any purpose in the US version of the game, and ended up only hindering flexibility and innovation. There are some people on Bandai who happen to be against this change for many reasons. Of those reasons only one of them makes any sense, which is "Tobi just became an auto three of in everything." To that I say Tobi was already a three of in everything, and should not have been made in the first place.

If we are going to prevent the game from further developing because of specific, already over the top cards, then count me out. I mean, not making the game better and more fun to play because one card attains staple status (Though in this case it already was a staple) is just poor mentality, especially in a game that not only rotates out cards, but also has a restricted list for cards that are deemed too powerful (Inbeforetobiisonthenextlist).

One of the other arguments against the change that I read was that having a restriction on what you could put in your deck added more skill because you were forced to play with less ninja than you wanted and needed to make cuts. This argument is completely false, because now that there is no limit, it is up to each individual player to find the perfect balance of Ninja, Jutsu, and Mission cards for their deck through testing and playing with percentages. For those of you masochists players who like making deck building hard for yourself, just pretend that the ninja limit still exists, that way everyone can marvel at how skilled you are.

As for the client ruling change, I'm pretty neutral about it. It seems like a positive change but I'm still waiting for people to flip out because this change makes Genma better, *Gasp*. But seriously, I can only see it doing better things for the game by making people actually want to run multiple clients in a deck... Okay, probably not, but I can dream...

Until next time guys.

-Andrew post signature

Sunday, March 14, 2010
Building Networks and why it's the most important thing ever

So, I decided to take a small break from FF13 to actually post something up for the first time in a week. In actuality, I'm stuck on a boss and decided it was best to step away and do something else for a little while. I swear Pat and I will go back to posting things up regularly soon, I'm on chapter 11 and he's on chapter 12 I think, so we only have about 20 hours of gameplay left.

Anyway, in todays blog post I'm going to talk about something incredibly important, networking. "What is networking?" you might ask. Though there are a lot of definitions for the term, the one that best fits what I'm talking about is this: "The act of meeting new people in a business or social context". Some of you might be thinking "Wait, that sounds simple" well, that's because it is. Just like in businesses, being successful in a card game has a lot to do with who you know.

When I started out playing Naruto back in set one I didn't have local tournaments, so my only knowledge came from what I learned from my three friends playing the game with me. Because no one in my group used Trigram back then, I had no idea how powerful of a card it was, that is until my group began going to actual tournaments. Somewhere between "Coils of the Snake" and "Curse of the Sand" I made a bunch of new friends at tournaments, who showed and played me with different decks they had put together. It's at this point that I ventured to the internet to further expand my knowledge of the game.

On Bandai I met a lot of new players from all over the united states, who I regularly chatted with about different aspects of the game, including previews, local metas, and even deck ideas. One of these players was the infamous Josh Lu, who not only became a close friend, but also helped expand my play network to what it is today. Introducing me to both Dave and Rachel Moll, Josh gave me two new people to bounce ideas off of, and to test out new concoctions with. Through Dave and Rachel I met Ari and Chris, and through them I met several other players, and so on. Soon I had dozens of people to talk about previews, decks, local metas, and even test with.

To this day, all of my success can be attributed with the concepts and ideas i've learned from testing and talking with these players. From the deck I used at this past seasons Mist Kage event, using Substitute (M-443) to increase consistency of hitting Gaara was a concept I got from talking with Travis (Visserac88). The Puppet/Gaara Hybrid build I played at the Sannin event used Arbitration (M-386) and Neji (N -513), which were cards that Josh and the NorCal group had been using to counter puppets. Even our Sexy Gaara builds from way back when were heavily influenced by players we talked to from both the west and east coast.

The point I'm trying to get across with these examples is that even though you may be a solid player and even a great deck builder, by yourself you aren't always going to have all the answers. Be willing to try other decks made by people in other metagames, even if they look janky, and be willing to admit it if your deck isn't as good as you thought it was outside of your meta. I've learned a lot from all the players I've talked to over the years, and I hope that many of you will attempt to expand your networks after reading this, and make some new friends.

Sorry the article is a bit choppy, but I'm going back to playing FF13 now so I'll fix it up later ;)

-Andrew post signature

Things Tsu Thinks (3/14/10)
So the Perfect Curve is about a month old now and we have a decent amount of readers and for that I want to thank you guys. Just keep checking back often. We do have interviews, previews, and exclusive features for you guys once Set 17 Previews get underway from Bandai. Also, don't forget about our EDH Tournament that will be at GenCon Indy this year. Rules for the format are still being decided so suggestions are welcome so that we can make the event run as smoothly as possible. No more of this 3 v 3 canceled at the last second crap.

Bandai has been on the fritz lately. I don't really know what's going on there nor do I care since I've been too busy playing Final Fantasy XIII. Like way too much. My eyelids seriously feel like they're going to fall off from playing it so much. I'm 33 hours in and I've only had the game for like... what... 4 or 5 days now? That's a lot no matter how you look at it. Because of this, our Rotisserie Draft was postponed so sorry about that guys and gals.

Also suffering from it is my deck. The All Things Fun Chunin is next weekend and I have no idea what to play. So far for people I have heard who are coming are Matt Eisenbud and his group, Squee and his group, Shino's Dad and his group, Andrew, and then myself and the players at my store so... it'll be a reasonably difficult event to try to win I would think. Yup yup. Still wandering around aimlessly for what deck to play even after having tested with and against pretty much everything under the sun. There's just no clear cut winner of a deck this format which is actually a good thing cause it would mean Bandai did a pretty spectacular job of balancing the game. Even Lightning decks are kicking some serious @$$ in our test games. Females seem weak still but they've snagged out a win or two as well so that's definitely viable, as long as you're not playing it with Rules for Medical. That's a sure fire way to get your head handed to you because of the lost speed/chakra.

The prizing for the event is supposed to be Set 15 or Set 16. The last thing I need is to go through all this testing and then win and get handed a box of Approaching Wind or something dumb like that.

Anyways, I've got nothing to do today except navigate Lightning through giant castles and large fields. For the love of God, someone find something for me to do today.

Perhaps I'll download this:


-Tsu post signature

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Saturday, March 13, 2010
Bandai down?

Anyone else getting a database error trying to go on Bandai? (Currently 1:07 AM PST)

Edit: Looks like it fixed itself. Yay.

Edit 2: Errr... back to database errors. Looks like it's sporadic. Woot.


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Thursday, March 11, 2010
Favors and Appologies
So as many of you know, we kinda postponed the Rotisserie Draft thing. Sorry we haven't been moving that along.

I personally blame work and Final Fantasy XIII but what can you do?

Anyways, I'm hoping that many of you will enjoy this week's article for Bandai. It's a continuation of last week and it actually involves some thought and work on the reader's part. I want to know how well I did this week and the only way I'll really know for sure is based on the feedback and the responses in the thread. It's kind of another experiment to see what kind of writing styles I can get away with somewhat.

Anyways, off to lunch.

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Complete Forbidden Program Patch (v1.0)

As promised, here it is. Instructions inside. Enjoy!


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Great Moments in Fail History 2

Waiting for the patch to upload... so bored...

Putting this patch together has brought back some memories (which will continue to be chronicled in my Path to Hokage series once I get more time). I've told this story a few times, but overheard at the ER release draft...

Thomas Cao: "Ooooh! I'm drafting this chick! She has boobies!"
Josh: "Oh, did you open a Tsunade?"
Thomas: "Nah, just this random hot girl." *shows card*
Entire table: *collective facepalm*

"Thomas... Yashamaru's male."

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Sannin!


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Since my two blogmates, currently glued to a terrible game, are being useless... I am going to slack off on the content as well.

But wait! I'm not utterly useless unlike those other two nincompoops. The latest Forbidden Program patch (with every single set + promos) is done. Download link will be coming as soon as it finishes uploading.


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Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Forbidden Program Patch

Instructions inside. Enjoy.



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Monday, March 8, 2010
One more try

I'm currently uploading the patch for the Forbidden Program. I'll have more details when I get home tonight. Hopefully it'll work properly this time... cross your fingers.


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Things Tsu Thinks (3/8/10)
So I've been testing diligently working on making a deck for the ATF Chunin in 13 days. Every time I think I've found a match, another possibility comes up. I want to say that after playing Shino's Dad, Lightning is a definite possibility. Decks left to test still fall under mostly Water and Lightning. Fire is almost done testing.

I know people are looking forward to this week's sequel of "Where I've Been/What I've Learned" but I'll be honest: I'm trying to think of things I've learned since QFP. Only 2 or 3 come to mind unless I really wanna post lessons like "Here's one time where I learned Andrew is a dick and I shouldn't have listened to him." Although I'm sure most of you guys would enjoy that. And even Andrew would enjoy it cause he'd get "Name Dropped" so it's a win-win for everyone. Awesome. Just typing this now I have the motivation to finish the article.

On the subject of Shikamaru & Choji squad: Why is everyone complaining? The game is shifting towards a slower game, and this effect is very powerful. Almost every deck plays Shikamaru in a Tier 1 environment so its only about Choji. Choji Moving and Choji Infuriation are both extremely solid turn 0s that any deck can play that have some sort of effect. So the ease at which it is played is not an issue. The next question I'm here is "Well it's not as good as other X card."

Shika-Temari: This thing is 7 Mental Power. Considering every Ninja printed has at least 1 mental power or a broken effect, expect like an 8~10 mental power team with this guy's physical power backing it. It's better than ShikaTemari for hitting hard, especially since it single handedly beats it out.

Shika Flex: Again, it beats out Shika Flex. 8/6 is huge. God speed dealing with that and Kankuro on turn 3.

Shika Unwillingness: This is the one that I keep hearing about. Just no people. Here's a News Flash for all of you: Unwillingness is not as good as you're all thinking at 1. The decreased probability of drawing him means there's a slim chance you will hit him on turn 2. If you hit him on turn 2, great, fantastic. He's broken for the next turn or two and will score you 2~6 BRs. That's why he's rogued to one. So now that he's at one, your consistency dives off considerably. But you could play LAR to get him, right? Well then you're -2 from the hand just to play him on 2 and you'll realize this sad fact: Every 2 or less that gets played at this point in the game Squads into a 3. Shikamaru Unwillingness has no targets usually in my games by the time turn 4 rolls around. You guys can say what you want, @ 1 I feel he's only good in certain decks.

Oh and also about that squad, keep in mind that since it's a Shikamaru/Choji, it's likely to be the only Shika/Choji squad ever printed so as long as the game continues with those characters, that'll be the Squad that gets reprinted for Shika/Cho. How many cards are now similar to LAR? There's a few. The Ninth Match. Sasori of the Red Sand. Constricting Bind. etc. etc. LAR has a chance to eventually get phased out. What about Drift? Well there's a Lightning Mission in Set 16 that's incredibly similar to Drift. My point is Missions will get phased out as time goes on, just like any other card type. The Squad is the least likely card to get phased out, thus keeping Cao's and Lu's name out there.

Was talking to Andrew and Josh last night about making a team name. Dave is still calling himself Team Complete Victory/PlayTCG so we need a new team. As much as we all love "The Perfect Curve," for a team name it is kinda terrible. Just about the only real reason to name ourself Team TPC is just to plug this site, which is pretty awesome. Andrew suggested (I believe half jokingly) that we should have a picture to represent us like (ugh) The WOBMOB. They have their picture of the Lucky Star cast that they use to represent themselves. Andrew wanted us to have a picture we could use to represent ourselves. So after much thought and considering we only really have 5 Members. . .

. . .My bid:

I don't care what anyone says, it's Genius.

(From Left to Right)

Kyon (Cao Cao): The Important One. The most important person in the group (Sannin) but generally does nothing. Often object of Haruhi's Hate for being awful at everything.

Nagato Yuki (Josh Lu): The Powerful One. Clearly the most powerful member of the team however also the laziest one. Doesn't do anything unless absolutely necessary. Shortest person on the team.

Suzumiya Haruhi (Andrew Kardis): The Bossy One. Hates it when things don't go their way. Completely hates on everyone and everything that isn't the way they see fit. Constantly considers themselves to be the main character and the leader. Uses force if necessary.

Asahina Mikuru (Pat O'Neill): The Cute One (lolSmall Asian Female). Constantly has any inkling of free thought or free will crushed by Haruhi. Because of this, constantly traumatized that everything they're doing is wrong. Constantly filled with doubt whenever something important is on the line. Needs someone like Kyon or Koizumi to get back up on their feet and boost their confidence... only til it happens next time.

Itsuki Koizumi (Mike Alpers): The Charismatic One. Constantly favored for everything and seemingly perfect in every way. Does things that piss you off but you can't stay mad at them. Everyone loves them except for Kyon and the impartial Yuki.

. . .

Andrew was stupified and "Doesn't Know If Want." Josh hates it. He'd rather be "The Great Gurren Brigade" from Gurren Lagann. Andrew as Viral, Josh as Kamina, Cao as Kamina, Alpers as Kitan, and I guess that leaves me as Yoko (doomB****!)

Oh well, let me know what you guys think. Post in comments below and such what you guys think.

-Tsu post signature

P.S. Tsu is getting Final Fantasy XIII tonight so he'll disappear from the face of the Earth for a few days. No AIM. No Blog. No Skype. No Phone. Nothing.

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Sunday, March 7, 2010
A Certain Need
So there seems to be this void that hasn't really been filled since I first quit the game and came back.

I know Bunnyslayer used to fulfill it but he quit to play "better" games like "UFS."

So yeah. . .

There's a certain program.

That needs a certain patch.

To play a certain game.

Josh told me it just needs knowledge of PHP to make.

Well... damn.

Where am I gonna find someone who knows PHP?

Oh wait!

I am someone who knows PHP.

I can make this patch.

And then people can play this certain game.

On this certain program.

I'll get around to it soon.

Stay tuned!

-Tsu post signature

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Thursday, March 4, 2010
The Path to Hokage: Every superhero has a beginning...

Yep, this is a direct result from reading Pat's article about his origins. I've actually been struggling with writer's block recently, so the inspiration Pat provided was very convenient... otherwise you guys might have ended up with some more half-assed blithering.

Anyways, this is my story. Enjoy.


If I had lost just one more match, I might have quit Naruto before I even started.

My first encounter with Naruto came when it was released in my senior year of high school. Looking for a side game to play alongside Magic: the Gathering, I had started playing this "Naruto" (nah-ROO-to) game that Thomas Cao had invested his life savings in. I hadn't even watched the anime or read the manga at all, and the only thing I knew about the game was that the goal was to become Hokage (ho-kej).

So I learned the rules, started playing some games with Thomas's decks, and decided the game was definitely more fun than Yu-Gi-Oh!'s brokenness. Soon we found out that there was going to be a tournament at a shop called Pro Stars, and we decided to test our skill at competitive play.

Thomas brought his entire collection to Superstars and I started work on my very first original deck. A little bit of research had informed us that the "best" deck was something like 3 Konohamaru [Hokage's Grandson], 3 Sasuke [Individual Play], 4 Demon Brothers, 3 Haku [KG:BT] and a metric ton of late game Jonins. So I decided to build my deck to counter that style of deck by using concepts of tempo and momentum I had ported over from Magic.

I ended up with a deck full of low drops, pumps, Ninja Academy, and Three Man Squads for the finisher. When I goldfished with it, it performed like a dream. I didn't miss drops. I dominated the early game. I swarmed the board.

And then I started testing it against Thomas's Harem Jutsu deck. And by testing, I mean losing repeatedly to it. In retrospect, that Harem Jutsu deck would definitely be a great example of a "bad matchup." I lost something like 20 games in a row and was just about ready to quit Naruto (the fact that Thomas hit his Naruto [Impostor] flip just about every single time made it worse).

By the time we left for Pro Stars, I was fuming. "This game is stupid," I declared, "it doesn't reward skill at all! This is why I only play Magic..."

We got to the shop, signed up, and I began to play - fully expecting to go 0-X, throw my deck into the garbage bin, and go back to Magic.

And then I demolished my first round opponent. I mean just stone cold stomped him. My deck worked perfectly.

But he wasn't very good. This wasn't what I was seeking.

My second round opponent was playing the same Fire/Water as my first opponent. I ran him over before anyone else had finished their first game.

Ok... maybe there was some skill involved in this game. But everyone I was playing against wasn't great, and didn't understand the concept of not making one gigantic team when you're under pressure.

Round 3 was paired - and I was up against Thomas.

Game 1 started out just like so many of our playtesting games. I opened up with vanilla Sasuke, he started with Konohamaru. I played a vanilla Rock Lee and hard charged a chakra, then attacked with both my guys. He blocked with Kono, and I had the Kunai. He dropped his frustratingly annoying Naruto next. I played Shikamaru [Lazy Bum] and bashed with some guys. He blocked my team of 5, I Kunai'd for the OV, he flipped... and missed.

Hey, I'm starting to like this game.

Game 2 I again got off to my usual fast start, but he managed to survive long enough to play Disaster of the Nine Tailed Fox Spirit - leaving him with a board dominating Might Guy along with one or two medium sized ninjas. My side of the field was a bunch of crappy Genin.

But it was ok... I had prepared. This was what playtesting was for. I drew for my turn and calmly played After the Battle. He read the card. Read it again. And then his jaw dropped.

My crappy Genin won the game shortly afterwards.

1 for 21.

1 for 1 when it mattered.

If I didn't win that match, you probably wouldn't be reading this right now.

Next: Coils and Tribulations

-Josh Lu post signature

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Fierce Ambitions Tin Previews 9 & 10
These are the final two tin Previews for the newest tins by Bandai.

Pretty interesting that Sasori wasn't picked :-/

-Tsu post signature

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Zero's Playtesting Notes #1

As stated in mondays post, my team has recently started testing out decks for the new format. While we haven't tested everything, we have gone through different variations of about five or so deck types we felt were strong enough see a good amount of play on a competitive level.

To give you guys a bit of insight to our test results I figured I would post up a list of cards from the new set that we have been working with, and how they worked for us. Since we haven't tested everything, take what I say with a grain of salt, because even though a card may work/not work for us now, doesn't mean our opinions are set in stone.

Spectacular (cards that seemed to work really well for us)

Tobi (N-717)- Obvious, I know. I can't see myself NOT running 3 in every deck. I've had turns which involved using Shino/Kiba, a Tobi, then a draw mission, leading into a second Tobi. It's hard to lose when you dig through over 6 cards of your deck in one turn at no real cost. The current price tag on Tobi put's him as the most expensive uncommon ever printed, and I can't say I blame sites for charging that much. Pick up your set ASAP.

Haimaru Brothers (N-723)- This one might not have been completely expected in a format without Kakashi AD, but I assure you these guys are the real deal. Too often have we been able to set up a team of Giant Tiger, backed by two Haimaru Brothers on the second turn of the game in our Zoo variants, that's an 11 on turn 1 with practically no effort involved to set up. Similar to NVS, Animals has always lingered around the tier 1.5 mark without ever winning anything big, but Haimaru brothers might change that.

Yakumo Kurama (N-777)- I really like Yakumo, mostly because a lot of people seem to be ignoring her. In the first batch of our test decks I was the only one running Yakumo, and because of that, she felt really strong and stalled out games against decks faster than my own. Recent decks in our group run either Yakumo or cards to try and counter her. I expect Yakumo to see a decent amount of play, and much more post rotation when our favorite turn one ninja, Temari, leaves the format.

Kakashi Hatake (Boyhood) & Chidori (N-709 & J-604)- When Kakashi was first previewed I was sure this guy would make waves, and after testing with him I've found him to be even better. Kakashi single handedly removes one of fire's biggest draw backs, it's lack of hand conservation, by allowing you to pick up a game winning jutsu and pushing through for damage every turn, but that's not all he does. Kakashi removes the draw back of two very popular cards, Michiru and Tobi. Instead of having to lose resources when playing these cards, why not just discard a chidori, then pick it right back up via Kakashi? I love the engines the two cards can create and I expect to see a lot of these guys at the top tables soon.

Wind Scythe Jutsu (J-631)- I don't think there's much I really need to say about this card. We all played Gigantic Fan, and this card costs only one more chakra, but can hit any jutsu and even has an added bonus if the user happens to be a card every deck plays at least 1 copy of. In wind, an element which relies more on it's ninja effects and draw power than it's jutsus, it definitely helps to have well costed generic negation, especially in decks using Temari/Kankuro Platoon.

Lackluster (Cards that seemed underwhelming for us)

Fear By Genjutsu (J-640)- Yep, I went there. In just about every deck we played this card in, it was incredibly underwhelming. Most often the card sat in our hands waiting to get some use, and eventually either negated a Jutsu or pushed back a super big team in desperation, and in no way changing the board position for the following turn. This basically made the card an over priced negation, or an easier to play around Pass Permit majority of the time. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the card is bad, because it isn't, but more often than not this card will either be a more expensive Wind scythe, or a Chidori you can't pick up. With that being said, I do like it in Animals, as it give's them an actual answer to Jutsus and a way to push through for game.

Pressing (M-614)- I was really looking forward to playing with this card, and after just one game I realized the awful truth: This card is a worse One morning. Basically, I will just let my opponent draw two cards 90% of the time, making it a One morning a turn earlier. "Then how is it a worse one morning?" you might be asking yourself, well there's that 10% of the time where you play this card with nothing in hand, and I choose to discard two cards just to leave you handless. There is also that ruling that states the opponent can choose the "discard two cards" option if they have less than two cards in hand, and because of the wording, they don't have to discard anything at all. I don't know about you guys, but I don't like liabilities in my one mornings.

Tears of Determination (M-592)- In Tear's defense we mostly tested fast paced decks like Animals and Puppets, making this card a death sentence more than a solid option. I still think this card will essentially have the same results in a format filled with Animals, Naruto/Hinata and other swarmtastic goodies.

Moving Ninjas (N-771, N-772, & N-773)- Basically, as much as we like these cards, their pretty dual symbols, and Anti-Shikamaru effects just aren't good enough reasons to run them over the Guardian of the Prince, Strong Spirit, and Infuriation variants. Maybe post rotation these cards might get some action?

Neutral (Cards we haven't really come to a conclusion on)

Chidori Stream (J-635)- This is the only card we've tested with where I'm not really sure what to think. A lot of games were won with it, and a number of games my opponent dropped a ninja, killed my Sasuke and left me in a terrible position. I feel like if we continue working with it we can make the card win more often than whiff, so for now I see a lot of potential in this card.

And thats it for my notes, I'll be sure to post up some more in the future as we test more decks in the coming weeks, and remember to comment bellow.

-Andrew post signature

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March Rogue List Thoughts

Miroku at 1
Baki at 1
Snake Waves at 1

Nothing really unexpected coming out of this rogue list update - but there were a few things I would have liked to see. For example, I really would have preferred LAR and JLDC to go back down to 1 in order to level the playing field between elements (since Water got greatly powered down by losing Snake Waves).

Another situation that was perfect for this rogue list was a "test case" banning. I doubt anyone would have cared (in a financial sense) if Snake Waves got banned in Block Format (rather than restricted). Restricting Snake Waves just means someone's going to get sacked eventually in some sort of skill-less manner. Banning Snake Waves would have acknowledged that this type of effect should not exist at all (unless it's something like Requirements: Fourth Hokage and Gamabunta). Furthermore, it sets a precedent for getting troublesome commons/uncommons out of the environment.

But at least they took that stupid sack deck out of the environment... although I don't think I ever lost a match to it, it was annoying as hell. Miroku going to 1 was also great, but again, that's another card I would prefer to not exist at all.

Baki going to 1 just turns him into a ridiculously swingy sack card. How many games are going to end up "I split up my ninjas and swung to set up the kill next turn... but then he topdecked 1-of Baki and I was wrecked?"

I can understand the SRs getting restricted, as they have monetary value attached to them. But all of these mistakes in card design... can't we just get rid of them?

-Josh post signature

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Great Moments in Fail History
"So I'm wondering if we play Rampagerous Pig in an Animal Build" said Andrew.

"You mean Rampageous," I said.

"I'm calling it Rampagerous because... well you don't listen to my podcast."

"No. I heard it. It's what uhhh... Wheat calls it."

"Yeah it was the original text on the card."

"Well Rampagerous isn't a word. Neither is rampageous. See if I type it into Microsoft Word it comes up as mis- OH **** IT IS A WORD."


-Tsu post signature

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Random Zero Blurbs 3/2/10

Good morning! I'm just on my way out the door but I wanted to first post up some of the stuff going through my head from this past week. I've been pretty busy lazy lately so I haven't posted up some of the stuff I've been working on, but I plan do get as much of it up as I can this week, including some card analysis/reviews for the upcoming format, as well as a new comic.

A few days ago my team officially started testing for the format, because we actually plan on hitting several chunin events and SJCs (If they happen before set 18, sigh). While we have only played with a few decks and variants, I've made a small list of cards from the new set that have been either spectacular for us, or have been completely underwhelming, and why. I should have that up either tonight or tomorrow, so keep your eyes open for that.

So sunday Andy (Texans), Chris (Scubadude), and I had a meeting skype chat to go over the changes for the next crossover list, because even though it appears as though DB is dead, there will be events for it at Gencon, so we wanted to make sure the format is still as fair as we can make it. The list should be posted up later this week for you guys to see. Anyway, while we were discussing changes, I asked Andy about previews for set 17, and a few other things to help promote The Perfect Curve, and while nothing is set in stone, it's looking good. What are the "Few other things" I was referring too, you ask? well, you will hopefully find out pretty soon.

So yeah, the blog should be far more active this week, as I have a lot of content to post up, not to mention the rogue list goes up tonight, which may or may not will cause a bit of pandemonium regardless of what is/isn't on it. And now I'm late for class, so I will see you guys later, and be sure to comment below!

-Andrew post signature

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Monday, March 1, 2010
The Price of Tobi
So I'm trying to gather some cards up before the big Chunin on the 21st and the first stop is to gather the easier cards first so I don't spend my time trying to get them all later. Today, I decided to try to acquire Tobi.

Pojo: Everyone that lists them has them valued as high (Almost like a mini-super rare).

Troll And Toad: Sold out. Price increase from $0.79 to $1.99 a copy.

Ideal808: None for sale.

Shuffle And Cut: For sale... at $8.41 a piece.

eBay: Foil Tobi for sale, auction ending in 2 days. $11.50 is the current bid with $2.99 shipping. A foil Tobi is worth $15. FIFTEEN DOLLARS.

My Play Group/Friends: Andrew has none to spare at the moment. I have one. Josh, Alperz and the rest I don't know. Gary only has his three. FinalValkyrie has no extras to spare. Have yet to talk to Shino's Dad or Thayli yet but I'm hoping they can fix me up with some.

Even though it probably is happening (which it should) Bandai needs to Platinum this guy post haste. And they need to ship them out now. Cause there is a huge demand for them in the metagame and not having them is a huge deal. It's like not having access to Inherits back in Set 4. . . you really want me to go to a Chunin without 3?

-Tsu post signature

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