Friday, April 30, 2010
Okay okay my bad (Random Zero Blurbs)

I know, I haven't posted anything in almost two weeks. For those of you who check back multiple times a day because you love us so much, I'm sorry I didn't put up anything sooner. You may have heard that I've been focusing on magic lately due to an upcoming M:TG Grand prix, which is true, but that isn't the soul reason I haven't been posting. The reality is that the past few weeks have been really hard for me.

Sometimes working on a team can be frustrating, because just like in everything else, people have different opinions. For instance, thus far in my group testing, none of us have found anything that all four of us actually would consider playing. That wouldn't be a big deal, but we tend to tear each others ideas apart in the process leaving bitter feelings for one another. Another thing you will find is that people don't always share the same values, or they may value something lower/higher than you would. As it stands, one of our team mates is taking the event so incredibly seriously that he constantly badgers the others about "Not being dedicated enough".

After arguing about decks, and how much I care about magic for an entire day, you can imagine how much I want to come home and write up about naruto previews I haven't even had a chance look at. On top of all of this I have other things going on in my life, such as trying to pass a class where the average grade is failing, friends who don't seem to have the time to talk or hang out because they would rather do other shit, lack of monnies in the bank, and more! I actually have been spending most of my days playing Pokemon on campus long after my classes are done with my phone turned off, just because I know that if I don't I might end up blowing up on someone.

I probably shouldn't even be posting this up, because it will inevitably attract trolling, but I just needed to get this out. I'll do my best to get up some kind of review this weekend, but no promises.

-Andrew post signature

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Path to Hokage: (Chidori) Stream

So I guess Pat's been wondering where I am... maybe (hopefully?) you guys have as well. It's actually been a long time since I've actually thought about Naruto - the article I posted a week or so back was one that I had been saving for a while and just never got around to putting up somewhere. In any case, I've just been working at both my jobs, playing some Heroes of Newerth, going through the motions at school, preparing for graduation... graduation? Shit, I'm graduating already... how did that happen?

I've been playing Naruto for four years now!

And to think that four years ago, I thought this game would be merely a side game to Magic, just like my dalliances with VS and Yu-Gi-Oh!...

But I mean... really? Four years? A Bandai game lived this long? And is still going strong?

Did you know that four years ago, my only exposure to anime had been the original 4Kids or whatever Americanized-version it was of Pokemon on TV?

Speaking of anime, just for fun I re-watched the whole Chunin exam arc over the past few nights. Four years ago, Naruto actually had a storyline and characters with both strengths and weaknesses...

Four years ago, the Naruto card game was much more interesting.

I think, after all these years playing the game, the deck I'm still the most fond of is the deck I won the '08 AX Kage with: Hybrid NVS. It was a deck with all the theories I've tried to impart on you guys... it maximized its best cards (essentially 6 copies of Gaara [Tragic Name]), it had explosiveness (Idate, SCJ, and NVS), and it used time value to the utmost advantage (built on speed, no useless late game ninjas - after all, what use were 5 and 6 drops against Gaara IP?).

Additionally, it was the deck I was most comfortable with and a deck I really enjoyed playing.

That's all very solid reasoning, for sure... but I think the biggest reason why I played the deck was because I really liked Unexpected Attack.

Going back to that Chunin Exam Arc, right up there with Lee vs. Gaara and anything involving Shikamaru, is Naruto vs. Neji in my list of favorite fights. There's just something inspiring about an underdog winning by finding an opening where no one else sees one.

And even better - it was Lightning, my favorite element and long-derided as the worst element. So when I was scrambling to create a deck, there was one other thing that weighed heavily on my mind - my legacy.

Ari was known as the king of water. Bruce was known as the master of tempo. I didn't really have an identity... at best I was the guy with an unhealthy obsession with Sakura's Decision, or a rogue deckbuilder with a fascination with decks with cute synergies and combos.

But if I could win with this crazy idea I had - if I could become Hokage in a field of Sand Tombs and Trigrams while I used a card that gave +2/+2 for 2 chakra...

When I become Hokage, I'll change the Hyuga for you!

Even if I never did anything else in the game, that would be enough. To win with my strategy, with my pet "bad" cards, against an opponent that many claimed to be unbeatable... well like I said, there's just something inspiring about an underdog winning by finding an opening where no one else sees one.


I talk a lot about playing to win, but there's one thing I cannot stress enough as I reminisce about the past. If you're not having fun playing, step away from the game. When it's more a chore than entertainment, it's not worth it to try and force that spark to reignite.

When you're dealing with games, even if you know it's not the "right" decision... always make sure whatever you're doing is putting a smile on your face.

Until we meet again.


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Sitting Around the Office...
Over here at the Perfect Curve, we try our best to bring you guys great content with a little bit of personality mixed in on the side. The problem is... well... when there's no content and I'm the only personality that isn't busy... well then the website is pretty much just me. Andrew has his "Magic Pro Tour" season to worry about and Josh is off being Josh I guess.

Well let me rephrase things. There is content. This is the part where I could talk about how boss that new Shikamaru is for Earth Decks but I can't because Andrew has his new weekly "review" entry. . . so that's out the window.

So I'm basically just sitting here, tossing darts at the dart board wondering what to write about... eating this delicious cinnamon raisin bagel. Toasted with cream cheese by the way. Kinda tired. Was up until 3 AM last night talking to Gary (VSA), Nick Botchis (Shino's Dad), and Tylar (Hungry Ninja) about nothing in general and I was expressing this same sense of emptiness for the game right now... there's just nothing going on besides previews. Anyone else agree? It's like we've all just opened the door expecting some amazing stuff only to be greeted with

The Void


void. . .

*stares around blankly*

Yeah it's kind of like that. Or like that one time when you were a kid and no one was home to hang out with but your friend's mom was like "Well s/he'll be back at 5 PM." And you sat there on the porch throwing stones or twiddling your fingers waiting for someone, anyone to show up.

It's almost a lot like madness when you think about it. I have a method to mine by the way, thanks for asking.

So . . . I guess I'll talk about my wish list for Will of Fire now:
-Good offensive jutsu for Wind. Not something uber broken but something decent... at least better than Knockout Blow. Hell I'd take a Knockout Blow for the same cost if it didn't have the requirement... or change it to turn cost 3 or higher.

-Good draw mission for Earth. I could play the Wind/Earth hybrid if there were good Earth missions.

-Better Earth early game. Other reason I couldn't play Yamato was because the element count didn't allow for him to be relevant all the time.

-First Hokage. Oh wait we already got that one.

-Tsunade. A good one. That doesn't suck.

-Some pretty boss mission negation for Wind and/or Earth. No, that turn 3 Earth Counter Mission is not good mission negation.

-To top an event with my deck name being "Mademoiselle Han's Purple Escort Service"

And that about covers it. Expect my interview with Jerry Balentuangin, the Sannin of '08, posted later today on Bandai.

Question of the Day (QOTD): What would you guys like to see in the Month of May for "Teach Me Professor Tsu Kiyo Me!"?

You can leave your answers in the comments below... if I like a subject I might actually use it!

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Question of the Day: How do you pick yourself up when you're down?
So I decided rather than a full fledged article today I'd just ask you guys the following question:

When you're down, how do you pick yourself back up? Since SSF4 came out, I've been having a lot of fun but I'm finding that picking up a new character is a hell of lot more frustrating and difficult than I anticipated. I'm finding myself completely vulnerable, not knowing what to do and being easily beaten...

... and I'm not used to losing. Hahaha.

So after going a solid 3-20 against a skilled opponent last night, I was getting pretty down on myself. "Maybe Juri isn't the character for me." "What am I doing wrong?" "Perhaps I should just quit." "Alright that's it I'm gonna drop her... but those pants are so awesome!!!"

I was sounding very defeatist, much like I do sometimes in Naruto when the going gets tough. I know I need to take a step back and just refocus and all... perhaps get more practice in and such. But I just couldn't no matter how hard I tried last night. So I ask you, fellow readers, what do you do when things aren't going your way?

Leave a comment and let me know.

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Monday, April 26, 2010
"Game With Fame"
Shameless plug time I guess.

I mentioned a while ago that for the release of Super Street Fighter IV I'd be holding a "Midnight Release" sort of deal for those of you who are getting it tonight.

So, for those of you from Bandai who are interested in hanging out with myself as well as Bandai poster "Saitsuofleaves", you can shoot me a message or a friend request at "Taijutsu Tsu" on XBox Live. We'll be on from 12:15 AM EST to probably 4 AM EST.

Come out, have some fun, and talk Naruto with us, whether it be about the anime, manga, or CCG (And I guess about the game if you want). Should be a lot of fun and I hope to see some of you there.

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Friday, April 23, 2010
Practice Makes Perfect
So, real talk. I'm writing this off of the top of my head kind of as a draft so I hope you guys can understand where I'm coming from on this one.

Over the years, I've played a lot of fighting games. That's the mind set I use to approach anything competitive cause it's how I learned it growing up and it's what I'm comfortable with. But there's something that I noticed a lot of people don't really do in Naruto that people seem to do in fighters and that's practice. Why?

I mean, when I first started this game, I played religiously with my buddy Zounder. Now a days, I find myself practicing less and less which is strange, but I intend to fix that come the Georgia Shonen Jump. Where did I get the idea that practicing wasn't that integral to the game?

In Fighting Games, the basic things you need to work on are:

-Mind Games
-Knowing the Matchup

You could say that basically the same thing applies to Naruto:

-Playing Your Cards Well with no Misplays
-Bluffing/Reading your opponent
-Knowing what cards to play and when. Also what to sideboard

It's not so different when you look at it, so why should the concept of practicing be so different?

I see people just write down a deck list and just think about the weak links in the deck and come up with scenarios via theorycrafting/brainstorming. Then they talk to others about the fears they have, then reformulate the list and doing it over and over again. And that's apparently how they arrive at the deck. Or they take someone else's deck and just netdeck it and they're good to go.

I don't think that cuts it anymore though. I know people will get "salty" over simply losing with a "netdeck" and wonder how the hell it won anything in the first place.

Practice does some pretty important things for you:

-1. You understand the card choices in the deck since you yourself built it. Even if you didn't build it, it may take dozens of games for you to arrive at why certain cards are in the build. There have been a lot of questionable "one of"'s in people's decks from time to time and people don't really understand it until they actually play the deck. Commonly understood ones are things like Dosu in Joe's 2007 Sannin winning build but that's only after light was shed on it by other players.

-2. You can weed out the stuff that hasn't been working for you that seemed good in theory. Pressing from this past set is notorious for this. Everyone thought it'd be pretty awesome since it's 2 stellar effects (One Morning and Temari & Kankuro) one one card but it doesn't always pan out this way.

-3. Changing commonly accepted answers for ones that better suit your play style. Granted, I think Yakumo is a great card but it doesn't suit the style of deck I'm trying to play or how I want to approach a given matchup so I opted not to play it. Some people might find this strange but lots of practice with the Set 16 metagame showed me that I could accomplish the same goals through other means while still covering up holes for matchups that either my deck isn't suited to deal with or I myself as a player have very little experience. Even Saul doesn't play Tobi in some of his decks for one reason or another. If you're seeing results with what works for you, why change?

-4. Knowing the right moves. If you've only played the Monowater matchup once before and I've played the Monowater matchup at least two hundred times in practice, which one of us do you think is going to be more likely to win? I'm going to be more confident in the matchup overall and be more comfortable with it. I'll probably make less misplays since I've weeded all of those tiny/colossal errors in play testing. I'll know when to hold cards back in anticipation for a counter. I'll know when to rush. I'll know when to be conservative. Rather than being on tilt I'll be thinking "Oh it's just like everytime I've played against Nick." Hell, in some cases the practice deck might actually be better than the deck you're playing against, giving you another booster shot. You're also likely to sideboard better cards

-5. Improved concentration. After not playing for 2 weeks, if you're going into a tournament early in the morning, you'll most likely be dazed and confused for the first couple of moves until you get your bearings again. This could lead to a suboptimal start, poor decisions in say, discarding cards with Tobi, etc. etc. It doesn't happen to everyone but if you've been playing hundreds of games with the same deck, you better believe you'll be more focused and prepared since your body and mind are so used to it.

But again, what do I know? Maybe it's just me. Practice is extremely important to me as it's how I learn what's right and what's wrong for me. Some of you may find you pick up things quickly with only 2 or maybe 3 games. Maybe none at all. I learn through dozens upon dozens of games though. Regardless, I hope you all remember the importance of practicing.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Play to Win: The Time Value of Cardboard

A long time ago, in the days of curves only Ari could love, I wrote a blurb on Bandai about the importance of playing a frontloaded curve. My argument, though clumsy and not articulated clearly, was that it was important to maximize the value gained from each turn by making a drop. Missing a drop, I wrote, was akin to giving the opponent a free turn – a highly inefficient way to try to achieve victory.

This article is going to build on the basic theory advanced by the concept of a curve – or more specifically, the higher end of the curve. Too often, when people explain their decks, I see them categorize ninjas as “solid X drop,” where X is the particular turn cost of that card. That is particularly shoddy reasoning that leads to inefficient deck construction, and we all know inefficiency leads to game losses.

To illustrate what I mean, let’s take a look at some cards – a vanilla Sasuke and a 4th Kazekage. Which card creates more value?

Well, taken at face value, of course the 4th Kazekage is more powerful. It’s bigger, it has a stronger effect, it has a higher rank… and it only requires one wind card as a cost, right?

What must be remembered in this situation is that cards have more than one cost – turn cost is perhaps even more relevant than hand cost. When you play a card like the 4th Kazekage, you aren’t just investing a ninja onto the board and a hand cost for it. You’ve already invested 6 turns into waiting to get it operational.

Barring any outside influence, your Kazekage will start accumulating value for you on turn 6. However, vanilla Sasuke can start accumulating value for you on turn 0. Intrinsically, the Kazekage has more value – but that assumes both start accumulating value at the same time. Of course, you’re going to see diminishing returns from your Sasuke each turn – but those returns come at a cost of just 1 turn and no hand cost, versus 6 turns and 1 hand cost. Thus your overall percentage return from that Sasuke could turn out much higher.

Furthermore, if you draw a Kazekage in your opening hand and the game ends on turn 5, essentially you received negative return on your investment. Not only did you not play your Kazekage, it also served as a pseudo-mulligan since you couldn’t play it. Basically you held the Kazekage for 5 turns in order for it to cost you a card.

This is why I never liked Gaara IP and the deck built around him. In the 40 card format, the deck often played 3 Gaara IP, 6 of his jutsus, 3 One Morning, a few other 4-5 drops, and some variant of Tsunade. In the 50 card format, it often went up to 9-10 jutsus as well as late game missions like Fellow and Loneliness. That means for the entirety of the deck’s existence, often 40% of the deck was composed of cards that required 4 turns of investment before they could come online – and even when they came online, they often required other cards to be useful.

So on paper, the deck looked super efficient, with Gaara IP not requiring a hand cost and all the aggressively-costed jutsus present in the deck. But in execution of a more detailed analysis, we find that 2 out of every 5 cards drawn don’t have any use until turn 4, and some won’t have any use without other cards. Thus the true cost of Gaara IP and his buddies was a lot more than just a 4 drop.

Does this mean we shouldn’t be playing 5 or 6 drops since they represent such variable return for such a huge time investment? Of course not – what this article is trying to explain is that for late game cards, you should only be playing cards that can win the game by themselves (or have Ambush, as Ambush gets around the problem of holding late drops in your hand). For example, cards like Itachi GiG, NVS, Jiraiya IOTHT, Yamato CBF, etc. – these are the types of game-winners that provide adequate return for the turn investment placed in them. Cards that provide the return of a lower drop but at the cost of a high drop should never be considered.

Going back to the beginning of the article, another concept I argued for back in those days was the concept of threat diversity – the idea that people should play ninjas with many different names in order to avoid missing drops (due to having a ninja with the same name in play). This was far more relevant in the 40 card format, but lessons can still be learned from it today. What’s important to understand about card costing is that each card also has an opportunity cost – putting card X into your deck means that hundreds of other cards won’t be put in instead. If card X has a comparable power level to those other cards, it might be worthwhile to diversify that drop. However, if card X is so good that the opportunity cost of playing it is minimal, you would want to maximize the copies of that card in your deck.

To summarize:

Turn cost is highly relevant when evaluating cards.

Don’t play a high drop if you can get the same value out of a lower drop.

Keep in mind the turn cost of jutsus. When will all those Trigrams and Mangekyos actually come online?

Don’t play too high a concentration of late game cards, unless you like drawing 6 card hands that are actually 4 card hands.

Your late drops should be game winners.

Threat diversity is important, but maximizing your best cards is more important.


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Saturday, April 17, 2010
Zero's Will of Fire card reviews #1

Due to the overwhelming amount of comments for Pat's new "The good, the Bad, and the Ugly" segment, where Pat uses two other cards to mask the fact that he wants to complain about one specific card, I decided to put up a weekly review of the previews posted on the main site. Hopefully you guys are still somewhat interested in my card evaluations now that I no longer have previews of my own to give out on a podcast that you can skim through. Anyway, let's get this started with.

Monday April 12th: Sora Theme


Sora [Broken Seal]: So before I get into anything too deep on this one, I want to point out that I never watched the Sora fillers, and I only really know that apparently he has the over flow of the 9 tails chakra in him, or something like that? Anyway, I like Sora. Not because I think he is good or anything, the reality is that he probably wont ever touch competitive play. The reason I like Sora is because he was designed to be another Naruto for a casual Tailed beast mode deck. He fills the roll of "Radiant Energy User" on turns three or four if you are desperate, or if you need someone else to use the jutsu for whatever reason. He also gives cards like Destructive swing a chance at seeing play. On a minor note, Sora is also Stated very well for limited play, so you might want to pick him sooner rather than later in a draft.

Beast Wave: Palm Hurricane: I feel this card is a step in the right direction for design. Most of you probably didn't notice this, but the card, while being primarily Lightning (cost and requirement wise) the effect is a Wind effect. I wouldn't mind seeing a cycle of Jutsu cards that are dual colored that allow an element a chance to use an effect that it normally wouldn't be able to use. My only complaint is that it probably should have costed Wind l Wind instead, so that Lightning would have to pay more for an off color effect, though I understand it was costed the way it was to be more playable in it's theme. In terms of power level, I feel like this card is far under what we have now, but might be much closer post rotation.

Hate: I really don't like this card. I do like the concept of giving lightning the ability to negate missions at a cost, where fire has that ability for free, however this card is just to situational with the current pool of cards. There are very few good effects that provide growth coins, and even growthing itself is generally un-advantageous. For a card like this to actually see play, one of two things would probably need to happen: 1) Bandai gave more solid effects that provide growth coins to lightning, or 2) Bandai made a broken mission card that completely destroys the foundation of the game and as such every deck needs a way to try and play around it.

Approaching Shadow of Death: I also like this card alot because of how it interacts with Hidan (Cursed mode). Granted Disaster is a far better card, I still plan on trying this card out, as the Hidan deck probably wont be able to compete until post rotation, where we are left disasterless. I'm also happy Bandai is sticking with lightning being the primary effect damage element.

Tuesday April 13th: Sai Theme


Sai [Study]: The only card in the theme that has anything to do with Sai! His effect is very strong, but due to how fast paced the current format is, I doubt he will see much play until post rotation, where I will probably end up playing him in everything. I really like this Sai a lot, and I think it's a prime example of a card that could easily be reprinted in future core sets, only without the terrible artwork.

Just like that Hero: Freaking awesome. This is a card that combo decks have been waiting for for a long time. Granted, it is turn four in a fast paced format, but I still wouldn't bet against this card seeing play in some deck during the next year, wether it be NVS, or some other crazy concoction. This is exactly what a super rare should be in my opinion: a card that is Fun, unique, and something people want to build around.

Scattered Thousand Birds Jutsu: Generic Negation for lightning that follows lightnings established Niche of sending cards to the bottom of deck. I have no problems with this card, in that it happens to be well costed for it's effect and it has a wide range of users. The unfortunate thing is that there are several cards in the current card pool that fulfill this cards role in lightning decks better, so this card might not see play right now.

Wednesday April 14th: Clone theme


Distraction: So basically this is a substitute for the Efficient training deck? I like that they are giving it some support, but I don't think this card makes the deck any better. Still, it would be pretty cool to play Naruto [Reliance] on turn three, search this card, then on five turn naruto into tailed beast mode in injured status and blow up a guy. due to this card not having a hand cost, it can be done in any deck too. This card might be worth looking into, but it's most likely too situational to see competitive play.

Rasengan: My initial thought was "Name is Rasengan, so it probably wont see play due to the Broken promises variant being amazing." However, I've grown to appreciate this cards value in the side board. Being able to kill a Ninja, and then Blow up a Michiru, or Miroku is incredible value. This card is exactly what we have been asking Bandai to give us, and I for one am happy with it. If the Hidan deck takes off, you lightning players might want to pack these guys in against it, cause without Ritual it becomes exceedingly hard for that deck to win.

Thursday April 15th: Taijutsu Theme


Agira [For the Revenge]: I think this card is awful. Not only is it awkwardly stated for a Taijutsu Ninja, but it's effect is random and over costed. This is a bad example of support for a theme because it isn't supporting the theme do what it's good at, it's just random and bad. It also doesn't help that they didn't give this guy a rank, or any mental power.

Gensho [For the Revenge]: This card is much better, in that it actually follows the theme slightly better by pumping itself, however I don't think the card is strong enough to see play for several reasons. The first thing I have against this card is it's timing. By using it's effect before they block, your opponent instantly knows if blocking you is a good or bad plan. Had they made his effect during the exchange of Jutsu, it would require more decision making, and therefore more skill to know when to block him, and when blocking might not be the best plan. My other complaint about the card is the lack of growth. I normally consider growth a worthless mechanic, but in this case I feel it's pretty relevant due to the turn zero version of this character being so good.

Rokaku [For the Revenge]: This guy might be the best card in the theme, which is unfortunate because his effect has nothing to do with the Taijutsu theme. A Disguise jutsu on a stick for lightning might be good next format, due to the decreased power level, and even now it could be pretty relevant when going up against cards like Chidori and Rasengan from Broken Promises. I think Bandai could have made this guy better for the theme, and stronger in general by changing the cost to removing two Taijutsu ninja from your discard pile from the game. This way, his effect would only be usable in the theme, and it would be legitimate because he would protect your Ninja's after they use pumps to get bigger than the opposing teams.

Jako [Support]: Card is bad. Seriously, Whoever made this card is retarded. Theme support doesn't mean "Give them a bad card that becomes on curve if used in the theme" because if that were the case, why not just play something on curve to begin with? He should have had the two support, and either gotten an additional support, or given a combat to the head if he was in a team with a Taijutsu ninja, giving incentive to actually run this card. The irony behind this card's surname has my head hurting.

Yagura [Probationer]: This one has growth, but not the turn four, wut? Despite that, I really like this card because not only does it fit the theme it also adds to the list of cards that benefit from the new rules regarding note taking a major events. Being able to look at a card in your opponents hand every turn is a pretty good ability for a zero drop, especially since he can use it from the side lines. I except this guy to definitely see play if not this format, then the next for sure. I also think this card would make a great platinum promo.

Friday April 16th: Lee Theme


Rock Lee [Motto]: Definitely fits in Taijutsu themed decks well, it's just unfortunate that they aren't good, otherwise this guy might be a house. Curving only Taijutsu ninjas with this guy could be such a savage set up, now if only Bandai could give us the resources to make this possible in a competitive environment. Looks like this Lee is getting my vote for "Cool card that isn't going to see any ply whatsoever" of the set. A shame, really.

Rock Lee [Eight Inner Gates]: Sooooooo good in aggressive decks. In Animals and NVS particularly this guy will pretty much always be a 5/2 after turn one, allowing him to nab more battle rewards, and beat down on even the toughest genin in the format. Love this guy, and I really like the unique card design and use of Lightnings "Turn marker maters" sub theme.

Raigo! Thousand Hand Strike!: At first glance the card appears to be limited fodder, but at second glance you realize that it might even be worse. It pumps worse then just about every other pump in the set, and it's effect doesn't seem to be too relevant in limited play (so far from what we've seen). In constructed there are much better options as far as stopping mental power battles go.

Sudden Entry: I saw that a lot of people really seemed to like this card on the boards, which confused me. In the current format, there is so much splashing that I cant ever see this effect going off reliably. Even post rotation cards like Baki AB, Tobi MoM, and Yakumo will still be around, and you aren't going to opt not to run better cards to try and get this card to go off, when at best you only have around a sixty percent chance of it going off anyway.

So that concludes the first edition of my weekly card reviews. I'm going to aim to do these every weekend, but those of you who know me well know that I have a habit pushing things off. I hope you guys enjoyed the review, and please feel free to comment and let me know if you agree or disagree with anything I stated. Until next time.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly #2

The Good

Sai? What the hell happened? I go and complain that there are no good Sais and we get a good one. Complain about Naruto & Hinata and that gets errata'd too... starting to make me wonder if Bandai actually reads this blog! But no, clearly just a coincidence. We all knew a new Sai was coming this set and I was really surprised that A) This wasn't a Student Sai given his attire B) ... and it was good!

There's nothing much to say about this card. It's just all around solid. Setting up your draws every turn is a great way to get exactly what you need for turns 5 and more.

Also, the new Gurren Brigade cards are very good that were previewed over at Gurren is very very good but I don't see her as super busted like everyone seems to. 6/4 that can be an 8/2 or 4/6 is okay for a turn 5. The real strength of this card is Jonin + Water Dragon + "Valid: Jutsu played by this Ninja cannot be negated." That's scary stuff. The turn 2 is very good but I'm unsure as of yet how it will impact the game. Negating any Ninja effect is huge. So-so stat pool isn't.

The Bad

Sakura. More specifically, the Shonen Jump Sakura Haruno that comes with Naruto Manga #48, one of the three exclusive promos that you need to get the Shonen Jump Championship promo. The card text apparently was leaked on Bandai according to MJM and I was told the following was the effect of the card:

Sakura Haruno
Leaf | Female | Chunin | Medical | Growth | Mental Power: 3
[True Allies]
When this Ninja is deployed, you can discard a card. In that case, search your deck for 1 "Naruto Uzumaki" with [True Allies] effect, show it to your opponent, and place it in your hand. Then shuffle your deck.

During your Mission phase, if you have another Ninja with [True Allies] effect, you can discard 3 of your chakras. In that case, you may heal all of your injured Ninja or draw 1 card.

Now, as you can see, that card isn't so hot like the Naruto SJC Promo (which is moderately playable but nothing compared to the starter). The most interesting thing about this card is actually 3 fold:

1. The Artwork (<3 <3 <3)

2. It's a Turn 2 Sakura (WTF!?)

3. Its stat pool is 2/2 Healthy, 0/3 Injured. (Even more WTF!?!?)

So I don't know how to feel about this card. If I have to play a Sakura because of busted Squad effects, this might be my go to one just cause ADP is such a terrible start anymore and turn 3s are bad compared to what else it shares drops with... although the new Starter Deck one has peaked my interest quite a bit. But like always, I guess I'll just go back to calling Sakura "Lacking Lady" since she's well... you know... not as good as other drops. Which is a shame :(

In other news, Queen Bee also gets an honorable mention on the "Bad" list. 2/0 2/0 wasn't good when Sasori (Childhood) had it, why the hell would it be good on a no name Ninja? Yes, the effect is pretty awesome especially since it's valid but the turn 2 Water Ninja that was just previewed out classes it... and on top of that, every other 0 drop kicks this one's butt. Going down the list...

1. Shino may be 2 combat but spams out another Ninja to make up for it.
2. Kiba may be 2 combat but spams out another Ninja to make up for it.
3. Naruto promotes hand advantage and is 3 combat.
4. Hinata promotes hand advantage and while her stats suck, she's part of the best card in the game. Probably the only commonly played zero that's worse than the Bee.
5. Kakashi is 3 combat. Rolls over the Bee.
6. Rock Lee is 3 combat. Rolls over the Bee.
7. Sasuke is 3~4 combat. Rolls over the Bee.
8. Anko is 3 combat. Rolls over the Bee.
9. Haku is 2 combat but if he dies you get a beastly Jonin super early.
10. Konohamaru is 3 combat and allows you to not give up BRs
11. Messenger Ninja turns into a lot of awesome Ninja dudes and sets up for the turn 2 Draw 3.
12. Choji is 3 combat. Rolls over the Bee.

Did I miss anyone? Outside of Messenger Ninja (whose effect I'd use as soon as I put him into play) and Konohamaru, Bee doesn't do anything out to most of those Ninja who naturally are stronger than him or equal to him.. To negate a guy late game, you have to have crap-tac-ular team power. Go go Bee + Yakumo curve since that's the only way I think this will get there :/

... And The Ugly

People want this card banned or errata'd already. Seriously? It's not even out yet. And it's not even that broken, if at all. It's just incredibly solid. You have to realize that this card A) Only works in combo B) You reap no benefits from it until turn 5 C) You put yourself in a situation to auto-lose because of how close you are to decking out and finally D) Your opponent gets at least one turn to shut you down. Outside of the NVS combo that Josh posted, or just recycling things like Tobi, I don't really get the big deal. It's good, but not an "every deck" card. It's just very solid.

This same effect exists in other card games and guess what? It isn't broken there. Why all the hate?

If anything, all the hate should be on this Andrew CARDis guy...

I don't care what anyone says... he's a scrub and the notion that he's the main character just cause he has Card in his name is preposterous. Everyone really knows that there are tons of other more qualified main characters: Josh cause he's Asian, Tsu cause he's the "feel good" story of the century, Nick Botchis for your romantic comedy stories, Gaara_ for the kids, Thomas Veazie for the frat boy "STFU"/anti-hero type people, Mike Alpers for the teen heart throb/screaming girl groups, Joe Colon for people who like "The Classics", and Amir for the people who prefer substance over a story line or plot.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010
A Main Character's Privilege: Paying attention to what's in front of you

Some of you have been complaining that I don't put up enough "Articles" and that my posts are generally thoughts or opinions on new developments in the game, as opposed to tips and tricks for tournament play. As such I decided to start doing an occasional segment on things I've learned from playing in high level events. I'm not as good of a writer as my two blogmates, but I hope that those of you who wanted more from me enjoy this.

"Always be aware of the game state"- Every writer in every article for every game

The above quote is probably something most of you have heard a number of times, and it's an important thing to remember, because nothing hurts more than to lose the match because you didn't pay attention to, or forgot about what's going on in the game. I know it sounds ridiculous, and you might be asking yourself "How could someone forget what's going on in the game they are playing?" Well, I assure you that not only does it happen, but it happens often.

To give you guys an example of what I'm talking about, lets look back to the Mist Kage '09, where my team mate and I introduced Fellow and Loneliness, a card most people called trash, to the competitive circuit. Many games that day would end in me playing Gaara IP, F&L, and then using Sand tombs and Double sand blades to reduce their board to teams of two or less so that they would pretty much die to F&L. At the same time, more games were won because those same players would spend the following game(s) playing around a potential F&L blow out, instead of paying attention to how aggressively I was playing.

The reality was that after almost every game I played them, I sided out the F&Ls and put more aggressive cards in their place. I won games off of the fact that my opponent was so busy thinking about what he might get wrecked by, that he didn't notice the way he was organizing his teams allowed me to win. I'm not saying it was wrong of them to be aware of a potential threat in my deck, but losing because they made poor choices in organizing their teams is entirely on them.

I've also witnessed games where cards like Unexpected Attack, Shuriken, or an ambushed in Kisame FM win the game for someone, simply because the other player didn't check their opponents discard pile when they milled for a card effect, or what they used as a hand cost for a mission. I find this crazy, because unlike my previous example of my opponents making poor choices due to his lack of attention to how aggressively I was playing, this is just simply not looking at what cards your opponent is using. I don't think there is any legitimate excuse for that.

This is the part of the article where I'm supposed to tell you some secret trick to not falling into these situations, but really there is no trick. Just pay attention to the field, the cards in your opponent's chakra area, and discard pile. As a player participating in a high level event, you should be utilizing any information available to you, including the face up cards in every zone. There's just no reason not to.

I hope you guys enjoyed the article, and if you have any more suggestions for me and the other writers, please don't hesitate to post them in the comments bellow. Until next time guys!

-Andrew post signature

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Just Like That Hero

This card is going to be the best card in the game or completely unusable. There are so many combos with it... Reunion + itself, NVS, Reaper Death Seal, or just get it and your best cards so you can keep on doing it over and over again.

Time to get thinking.



Friday, April 9, 2010


That is all.

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2nd Quarter Chunin Locations for 2010
Alright guys, I'm back again today. This time feeling a little better... I realized I flew off the high horse about the Naruto/Hinata thing. We all have bad days right? Granted, I still think it's a little ridiculous but re-reading it, some arguments were just kind of sloppy. Still no reason to fly off the handle at me... you know who you are :P

So today for those of you who haven't seen, Andy posted the list of 2nd Quarter Chunin locations and they are as follows:

Comic Cult - Norwalk, CA
Paladins Game Castle – Bakersfield, CA
Valhalla’s – Wheat Ridge, CO
BRADS Sports Cards and Collectibles - Coral Springs, FL
Avalon Manga Shop – Miami, FL
Quest Comic Shop – Carrollton, GA
Now and Then - Mason City, IA
Galazy Comic Zone – Chicago, IL
Main Street Cards and Collectibles - Mooresville, IN
Collector’s Mall – Owensboro, KY
Pandemonium Books & Games – Cambidge, MA
Front Row Sports Cards – Severna Park, MD
RIW Hobbies - Livonia, MI
Fanfare Sports & Entertainment, Inc. – Kalamazoo, MI
LAN World Gaming - Maplewood, MN
The Game Shoppe – Bellevue, NE
Double Midnight Comics – Manchester, NH
All Things Fun - West Berlin, NJ
The Guard Tower - Columbus, OH
Rainy Day Games - Aloha, OR
New Dimension Comics - Butler, PA
Bag22 Gamers Club - Caguas, PR
Comix Universe – Hanover, PA
Game Wizard - San Juan, PR
Planet Comics – Anderson, SC
The Castle - Tyler, TX
Heroes & Fantasies – Universal City, Texas
Game Grid – Ogden, UT
Star City Games - Roanoke, VA
West Coast Sports Cards - Federal Way, WA
House of Heroes – Oshkosh, WI

Carta Magica - Montreal, QC
BD Cosmos – Laval, QC

So there you have it. All Things Fun will once again be hosting another Chunin and since it's Second Quarter, that means before the end of June which means it'll be probably right before Shonen Jump Season. Sounds pretty awesome to me. Hope to see some of you all there. The one in PA is 5 Hours away from me, so there's no way I'm going to travel that far for 2 you're all safe :P

But on another I going blind? I don't see New York on that list. Where is it? Did I miss something? Did they not get one?

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Thursday, April 8, 2010
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly #1
So I've decided today would be a good time to introduce a new reoccurring segment called "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly" where I'd like to talk about, you guessed it, things that I think are Good, Bad, and just downright awful in the current state of the CCG.

The Good

Lightning. It's good. Really good. I'm pleasantly surprised that for the first time in probably 8 sets that Lightning is actually a viable element without the use of a dumb broken card.

. . . Okay maybe I spoke a little too soon but I was tired of having to play Lightning and it being awful because it lacked good missions besides just Box Lunch & Reunion. And I was also tired of having to play broken Narutos just to be "On Par" with other decks. That's not how you make an element "good" . . . what happened to having costly but powerful Jutsu? Where's my Pumps? And how about some Ninja not named Jiraiya that are worth a damn? Well with the new missions introduced in Set 16 such as Messenger Ninja, Group Lesson, and Succeeded Will of Fire, Lightning is a POWERHOUSE. It can quickly amass lots of chakra, powerful Ninja, and has devastating jutsu and that's a good thing. It's embarrassing that the main character's element has been the laughing stock of the game pretty much the entire time the game has been out. I mean, even Earth has had the same success or better with the help of the First Hokage and Yamato.

I'm very much looking forward to Lightning in set 17 and for once I'm happy to say the deck can stand on its own two feet without having to be paired for Fire or having to run an untouchable ninja just to make up for weak spots of having "decent" jutsu.

The Bad


Let's face it.

He sucks.

And that's a shame considering what an interesting character he is in the manga & anime. What's even more disappointing than that is this:

Top 20 Ninja Effects Printed Ever. Easily.
That matter how you look at it, is CRAZY GOOD. Negate any Ninja on your opponent's field, the ability to chain to pretty much everything under the sun, 6/4, 5/3 stats, Mental Power:5 + Female, Chunin, Medical... do I need to go on? And the worst part about it? It gets cycled out after GenCon.

The problem is two fold:
1. You have to give up in the best case a turn 0 and a turn 4 for another turn 4. Most squads come from turn 0 and turn 1 components that are played in competitive play.

2. If you drop Shino, but don't have Kiba, Shino is still good. Kiba is still good. Naruto is still good. Hinata not so much. Shion is still good. Sasuke is still good. Orochimaru is still good. Sakura is still good. Sai? He sucks.

It's almost unreal if you think about it. A card with this effect will NEVER see top tables simply because the ONE component of the Squad sucks on his own. Don't believe me? Let's just go through them all then.

Envoy - Everyone plays Michiru so blowing up your clients is awful. The only good play this card had with was Emi, who is no longer in block. Lightning has no use for him because of The One Who Lives Within and now Giant Eagle. 4/3, 3/2 stats are good, but are you going to play this guy over Sasuke? Baki? Father & Mother? Kakashi (Boyhood)? See where this going? It's not worth splashing anymore.

Singled Out - Arguably the best Sai simply because he doesn't count as a deploy. But that's only in Lightning. And it's damn hard to do it in that too. He's vanilla effect and guess what? He's the best one. So a 4/3, 3/2 with no effect is the best iteration of a Ninja? How sad. Still not playing it over Baki & Co.

Heartless Eyes - Okay so who comes up with the surnames? But besides that, you might think this guy is amazing because of his Mastery, but he's not. He has Kujaku stats on Turn 4, and Kujaku is a turn 3 and she has a reusable Temari Wind Scythe Effect. Guess what? She doesn't see play because her stats suck. "But Tsu, what about the Mastery?" Well that's AWESOME. So what can he play?

. . .

. . .

Paper Bomb? Giant Shuriken? Fireball Jutsu? A requirementless negation Jutsu like Wind Scythe?

So that's 4 cards? That seems awful. Well Lightning isn't going to play Shuriken or Paper Bomb anyway unless they're animals in which case why do you have Sai & Sakura in Animals? So, you want me to splash in him in Wind or Fire? Well... I'd rather play Kakashi, Baki, Puppets, etc.

Sorry to the Sai fans out there but he just... is bad.

. . . and The Ugly

This one comes as no surprise. If the following card surprises you in anyway, you should probably hit the X button on your browser right now:

Now before I go any further, it's going to get ugly from here on in so I figure I'll post the following disclaimer in hopes that many of you won't consider me an ***hole by the time this entire argument is done:

... cuz you asked for one ~cuz ya need it~

Got that out of the way. Are we good? Good.

I'm still not understanding what people don't get about this card and the fact that it is broken. Some players actually want this card banned or Errata'd. Why? Because we don't want this card dominating the SJC Season. I'm not a fan of going to travel halfway across the country just to get sacked by Naruto & Hinata every single round and lose because there was no way to come back since s/he went first and had this card.

For starters, this card is good in EVERY DECK. But if you build a deck that is meant to capitalize on the fact that your opponent missed a drop, it becomes all the more insane. I'm tired of people saying "I'll just chump block your next attack. It's no big deal." or "So I give you 1 to 3 Battle Rewards, it's no big deal." Now I'm going to assume that your opponent has at least taken 2~4 Battle Rewards in the first 2 to 3 turns because most players usually have given up at least 2 by turn 3 unless you just hit the nuts and your opponent did not.

1. Baki

The most likely thing that can happen is they skip your turn 3. Given the fact that you no longer were able to squad, you have a bunch of weak ninja in play. Your choices: Bunch up and I can swing around you for massive BRs. Split to avoid BR damage and just take a few chumps. Both are awful. One has you losing 60% of your life. The other has you losing all your Ninja. If they have Baki, it's even worse because since you split, you essentially gave up BRs, lost Ninja, and probably Baki locked yourself. How? Well since you only have 3 Ninja cause of Naruto & Hinata, I'm getting at least 2 cause I triggered Baki. The others you will either give me 2~4 for the attack, or get OV'd. Getting OV'd causes a Baki Lock. Giving me 2~4 means you have to split anyways otherwise you will lose. So... Baki Lock? Or lose to 10 BRs on turn 4~5?

2. "The Kankuro Push"

This one works with any deck but it shines the most in Wind. If at any point your hand contains: Naruto or Hinata, Kiba or Shino, Substitute, LAR or SOTRS or Kankuro or Ebizo + Puppet, you can pretty much assume you won. It's very easy in Wind to drop Naruto, then drop Kiba, then drop anything and sub it into Hinata. Then tutor or play Kankuro. Ideally you'll have a 5, a 5, and a 7 (Shino&Kiba, NaruHina & Akamaru, Kankuro & Sally). It doesn't happen all the time but you can build decks that will make it happen half of the time or so.

3. ShizTon Massacre

If I Naruto & Hinata you on turn 3, then Platoon into Shizune & Tonton and get Tsunade, how do you stop me? I didn't even deploy yet since I platoon'd Tonton. Now let's say I dropped Shikamaru Unwillingness. That's giving me 5 Battle Rewards right there, with a guarantee that I'm getting at least 2 more next turn. 7 BRs in 2 turns. If I took at least 2~4 in the first 3 turns like most decks do, you just lost. :/

4,5. Medical Ninja/SakuHina Massacre

Same thing as before only now I prevented you from dropping a female so I get a game push. Or a medical ninja so you can't block me.

6. Lightning Rasengan

Skip your turn. Swing out with Naruto & Hina, Jiraiya Childhood, and perhaps another team like Kiba & Akamaru. Again, 5~6 BRs, and if you block the Rasengan Jutsu will rain down on you and leave you with probably no field and no Ninja. If they have LAR in their hand? Baki Lock.

7. 10K

Swing with Oro Childhood. 10K. Naruto & Hinata them at the start of their turn. Self explanitory.

8. Chidori Stream

Not quite as devastating as others but curving Naruto then Hinata after a stream on block hurts.

9. Water Dragon

Drop Kankuro or a Jonin on 3, swing out, Water Dragon to destroy their board, then Naruto & Hinata them. (Edit: Because Tsu is dumb and doesn't read cards, scratch this one. Kankuro and Temari can't use Dragon. Still, you can do this later on for good damage)

10. Picture Book

If you Picture Book someone early so they have no hand,they usually have a hard time making drops. Naruto & Hinata after a successful picture book means your opponent should scoop.

Are we seeing a pattern here? This card is essentially "Cold Wave" from Yugioh only without the drawback of it effects you as well. Guess what? Cold Wave is limited to 1 in Yugioh and it has a drawback. This card is at 3 here. And it has none. And you can't restrict it. So what do you suppose we do? If you can't restrict it and you can't ban it... then you have to errata it or go back and allow bans.

Before anyone says these are all situational, yes that is true...but so are a lot of other plays. I will tell you what isn't situational though...and that's the consistency with which you can pull off the Squad.

With 3 Naruto & 2 Hinata in the deck as well as 3 Substitute & 2 LAR... going first... 48% of the time you will get your opponent with it on turn 2. But it's all the turn 3 plays that cause the real damage, which bumps up the percentage. But hey! I didn't draw cards with Tobi yet! Or my draw missions like Sakura's Decision or Ninja Info Cards or even Messenger Ninja. All of those cards propel the percentages way up. I've gotten in a test sample of 50 hands (Riffle Shuffle 3 times, Pile Shuffle, Riffle Shuffle 3 times, Pile Shuffle, Riffle Shuffle)... 84% of the time I locked my opponent down with Naruto & Hinata on turn 3. Of that 84%, about a little more than half of those I was in such great field position that my opponent couldn't help to come back unless he had crazy good Jutsu. I didn't even keep track if I had Jutsu in my hand.

So either I'm the biggest sack in the world, or this card is really broken. I wouldn't complain this much if there were answers to the card...but you know what? Only 3 exist. One requires you to give up 3 Battle Rewards and a Ninja...while I still have Naruto OR Hinata... just drop a Ninja and substitute. Some counter. Captivity? You give up a Ninja & 2 Cards from your hand just to be able to play another Ninja. I might as well have just made you miss your drop since you essentially just played a Substitute instead of making an actual drop. Granted, the other Ninja can be something like Orochimaru and you can 10K me, but you still gave up something and I can still do it again next turn with a tutor or just holding the other Naruto or Hinata in my hand. *shrugs* Lastly, Crying in Vain. Everyone goes to this for the sideboard. The ruling is you still get hit with the effect. Fine. I lose a guy. You miss a drop still and I'm getting first dibs on dropping the bigger guy. Again, I still have the advantage. *shrugs*

Now, I'm not trying to be a jerk with this segment but I really don't understand how people don't see this as a problem... There's a hell of a lot more dangerous plays than the ones I listed above for the card and I know a lot of people know them to (such as Team Chicago, Team Shadow, etc.)... just they're all keeping it quiet so they can use it at the SJCs in WA, Georgia, PA, VA, and the rest.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Random Zero Blurbs (4/7/10)

Haven't done a blurb in awhile. I'm currently sitting in school trying to type up an essay for my short stories class, but I figured I would take a break and post up some of my feelings toward some of the things going on in the narutoverse.

Now that Kakuzu (Courtesy of Naruto Shippuden live) and Hidan have been posted up there is a lot of talk on how they will fair in competitive play, and exactly how much they will be going for. I don't actually like Kakuzu, due to how slow he is, how conditional his burn is, and the minor benefit from using his effect on turn 7, though I'm sure he will end up seeing some play, or at worst end up like Obito did in BP.

Hidan I feel has a better chance of seeing play, simply because of his good stats and ability to force an action out of your opponent. Playing around with his curse mode leads me to believe that while it might not be the best deck in the format, it does go off and you do win when it happens, but it's still turn 7 and fragile. I still plan to keep tweaking with cursed mode, but I don't expect it to hit the top tables until post rotation.

Speaking about the current format, how about that Naruto/Hinata squad? There's alot of debate as to if it needs to be banned or not, and while most of you know my opinion, I though I would highlight the opposing arguments, simply to further prove how right I am. Here's a few of the responses as to why Naruto Hinata isn't broken and shouldn't be dealt with:

Naruto Hinata does give the player the upperhand but most players will(should) be smart enough to prepare for the worst and have some early game jutsu in their side decks to get rid of ninja's that can become potential squads.

Yeah, it isn't like NVS where we can side in like six cards and turn off their deck. It's one card, and by siding in card specifically to stop it, you are playing linear answers to one card, so that you can get steam rolled by their deck's actual threats. Not to mention the only answers to it are Shimon, Miroku, and Crying in Vain, one of which is rogued, and another is a turn too late, and the last is only available to water and pretty much just stops one card from happening.

ooooo scary naruto/hinata stops u from deploying for 1 freakin turn if u cant hold off for 1 turn well i guess ur deck needs fixed.

It's a freaking curve based game. Missing drops ALWAYS put's you behind the clock, and this one is done manually, while accelerating into a turn 2 4/3 7/3 ninja with 2 mental power.

Simply create a card that can remove a card in your reinforcement deck of your choosing actually I think there is a counter mission that allows you to draw 2 cards and remove a squad that is put in play from the game and plenty of cards that flat out stop squads from being summoned (shimon). Stop crying that you lose to 1 card and learn from it instead...easy.

Silver bullets are bad, and in every instance of their creation in this game they have either not worked (Control of the Nine-Tailed), or been ridiculous and ruined an aspect of the game (USF Ninjas, Miroku). There is a counter mission that blows up squads, but because it's a counter mission, you can't use it on Naruto/Hinata as it comes in on your opponents turn. Lastly, the only thing I've learned from Naruto/Hinata is that Bandai is even more ignorant when it comes to the impact of missing drops in a curve based game.

So for those of you who are on the fence and haven't really decided where you stand on the issue, all you need to do is look at the different arguments being presented, and it should become obvious to you. Just for the record though, I'm sure all of us would be happy with just an errata on Naruto/Hinata, though that's more retarded and less effective, but as it stands bandai has dug them selves into a hole with this card, and if we want the upcoming SJC season to not completely suck something needs to be done about Naruto/Hinata.

Last thing I wanted to talk about is that I will be transfering schools in the fall and It's quite a trip for me. I'll be going to UB (University at Buffalo) which happens to be 7 hours away from my home town. I haven't had a local store to play at in a long time, so if any one happens to know a store that isn't far I would gladly check it out. I actually don't know anyone going to the school or in the area, so I'm really going to be out on my own, which I think is for the best. I'm looking forward to moving, and hopefully I won't be too busy eating Buffalo wings to update this blog ;)

Until next time,

-Andrew post signature

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Sunday, April 4, 2010
Happy Easter!!!
So today was Easter.

And it was good.

Except I got neither Peeps nor Cadbury Easter Eggs.

I'm very sad.

Things that are grinding my gears atm:

-"Article Flub" this week where I'm behind by a bit because of the coordination that goes into it. Rest assured, I'll try to make sure to put out 2 this week. Just gotta get a hold of Stephen Garrett early.

-Shino's Dad. Where are you? You not having Skype means we can't discuss metagame stuff. Or just random dumb things in general. :(

-Thomas Veazie. <3 you Tom~tom~ :3

-No Peeps. Still.

-Super Street Fighter 4 not being released.

-Amir. Nuff said.

-The distinct lack of any events for the Naruto CCG in the next 2~3 months, meaning that we have to get creative with our blog posts. I'm thinking of just writing a walkthrough for "Brain Dead 13" as one of our blog posts because in all honesty, that game is awesome.

-People on Bandai who think Naruto/Hinata & Tobi aren't ban worthy. :/

As you can tell, I'm just kinda miserable and short with everyone. I still blame the lack of Peeps. That's like an Easter Staple!!! It's too cruel :(

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Thursday, April 1, 2010
The Real final Hidan previews!

I know that there are several of you out there who are upset at Hidan (Cursed mode) being just a Hidan with slightly better stats, but a I've said on the boards, Hidan in cursed mode wasn't any more powerful in the show. In order to become a real threat, he needed to complete his ritual, and it's the same in the card game!

First we gotta draw a circle!

Ritual Circle might not be the best jutsu, but it does grab you the Mission card needed to complete Hidan's "Ritual". I Personally would Just play the new Naruto Starter deck card, as he can not only grab the Ritual mission card, but several other key Lightning missions, making him less linear than the jutsu. Never the less, Ritual circle will still probably make it into the local fun deck versions to keep the flavor of the Hidan deck.

Conditions met!

Yes, you read it right. Every Injured Ninja. Disaster of the 9 tailed fox wipes the board save for Hidan, Sasuke CH triggers a massive wipe, or at least auto kills 1 ninja, heck even New pervy ninjutsu wipes a team! I personally really like these cards and I can't wait to try out the Hidan deck for next format. I want to thank Tylar again for letting us Preview these cards, and for bringing us a cool combo deck that doesn't just lose to a poor board position. I hope you guys liked the previews, and be sure to comment bellow!

-Andrew post signature

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The final Preview for Hidan theme!

So most of you saw our preview of Hidan (Cursed Mode) yesterday and were pretty bummed out. "He's a slightly better regular Hidan" some of you said, "How do you put him in play?" many of you asked. All your questions as to how he comes into play, and exactly what you do with him, will be answered with theses last two preview cards:

First up, HOW to get Hidan into play:
Sick, right? This not only allows you to turn your basic Hidan into a stage 1 Hidan (Cursed Mode) but it also lets you do it the turn he comes into play, so you don't have to wait a turn!

Now, the last piece of the combo:
And you guys wondered why he was fire. His milling effect helps put fire energy in your discard pile for Typhlosion to pick up and attach to Hidan, only without the draw back because Hidan can't die regardless of how many damage counters are put on him!

As you can see the Hidan deck is a clear front runner for the next season of States and Regionals. Thanks Tylar for not only making such a great combo deck, but also letting us here at The Perfect Curve Preview it!

... Just kidding. I hate april fools day, but even I couldn't pass this up. The real previews will be posted in an hour, so check back at 12.

-Andrew post signature

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"We'll Never Win Like This. . .Time to Change Tactics"
So after "Naruto Shippuden Live!" last night, we previewed "Hidan (Curse Mode)" for you all. And after debating the previews we had seen last night on Skype, the entire chat was divided. On one hand, Nick Botchis and I very much liked the new Kakashi preview, but Andrew wouldn't have it. So, having been tired of putting up with his BS so much, I decided that was the final straw.

After he left for the night, I decided I'm done with this game. No matter what I do, I can't appease Andrew and any suggestions just get torn down and ripped to shreds. I called Nick back on his cell phone after he left Dairy Queen and we talked for a bit about what to do about the situation. He suggested we just quit the Naruto CCG all together and switch to something else for the time being. Given our love for Pokemon and we used to play the CCG at one point, we decided we'll start playing that again instead of Naruto.

So we decided to reshift the focus of "The Perfect Curve" to what you see now. The site is a work in progress, but we'll get there. Josh is still on board, largely due in part to the new Ban List that Bandai put up (a further reason to quit the damn game), but as you can see due to irreconcilable differences, Andrew Kardis is no longer part of our writing staff, instead replaced by Nick Botchis (Shino's Dad). So I hope you enjoyed the previews while they lasted. The last preview I'll probably hand off to the CT Crew Boards tonight since I have no interest.

To get things started though and on topic, I'm debating what deck to play for this upcoming season. I found this one online and think it's pretty solid. Any input is appreciated:

Pokemon: (23)
4-3-2-1 Gardevoir Lv.X (SW)
1 Gallade (SW)
1-1 Luxray GL Lv.X (RR)
1-1 Slowking (GS)
1-1 Gyarados (MT)
1-1 Claydol (GE)
1 Chatot (MD)
1 Uxie (LA)
1 Azelf (LA)
1 Unown G (GE)

T/S/S: (23)
4 Roseanne’s Research
3 Bebe’s Search
3 Pokemon Communication
2 Pokemon Collector
4 Rare Candy
2 Expert Belt
1 Luxury Ball
1 Warp Point
1 Night Maintenance
1 Moonlight Stadium
1 Broken Time-Space

Energy: (14)
3 Call Energy
3 Double Colorless Energy
1 Rainbow Energy
5 Psychic Energy
1 Fighting Energy
1 Lightning Energy

I tried to ask Josh for help, but he's only interested in playing Unlimited, as you can see below.

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GG Bandai
So some of you may have noticed that our blog's design has changed.

This is because we are no longer supporting Naruto CCG or Bandai.

The reason why?

They've started banning cards. See the new Rogue List discussion thread for details.

I can't imagine why they'd ever want to ban cards. It's not like it'd take out a bunch of overpowered sack cards that randomly win games.

So now, buoyed by our success against Bug Catchers in Pokemon Heart Gold (Nick) and Soul Silver (me), as well as Pat's unhealthy affinity for female Pokemon of all shapes and kinds (and Lopunnies of either gender), we have decided to take up competitive Pokemon TCG.

I know it's been a while since we last played but a game's a game. And pro skill is pro skill.

Here's the deck I'm going to take to Regionals next month.

"A Trainer's a Trainer"

4 Squirtle
4 Blastoise
3 Articuno
2 Lapras
2 Magikarp
2 Seel
2 Gyarados
1 Dewgong

4 Professor Oak
4 Bill
4 Pokemon Breeder
3 Gust of Wind
3 Computer Search
1 Tobi
1 Item Finder

20 Water Energy

The point of the deck is to put a bunch of Water energy on your guys with Blastoise's Rain Dance, then use Professor Oak to refill your hand. I think no one will be expecting this rogue strategy at all.

Josh "JDragonTamer" Lu

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