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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Anonymous Anonymous said...
kankuro cant use the new water dragon...

Blogger Tsu Kiyo Me said...
And I've been thoroughly owned. Thank you good sir for finding the flaw.

Anonymous ross134 said...
Now I understand that with the right cards you can put this platoon in play no problem, but you have to play the right element. Fire/Wind or Earth/Wind to play both LAR and Substitute, so that leaves either Females, or Chidori/Baki. Yeah two decks out of all the decks out there. People still run Water, people still run straight earth, people still run puppets.

So with that Two decks that can run this consistently against how many decks that are out there? You can play around it. The only reason you can lose to Naru/Hina is if you played horribly in 0-2 and went second, or if your opponent got a god hand.

You may have to give up 3 battle rewards or lose the ability to search and put in play, but isn't that a small price to pay for shutting down your opponents biggest play?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
good to hear that lightning is doing well. I haven't been able to build decks cuz all my cards are at home.

lightning has always been my fave element, and I fully intend to use it next set.

also, about Naruto/Hinata, totally agree with you.

I of course, am using Naruto/Hinata in my SJC decks, and I have already thought up a deck type that is utterly ridiculous.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Naruto Hinata sucks, but if you insist on bitching I guess I dont mind if it gets banned/erratafucked.

That "Kankuro rush" is retarded. Your dumb if you can assume you have game. Maybe this is why you havent topped an event. You assume the best for you and the worst for your opponent. It utterly ignorant to think your opponent doesnt have any answers for your stuff. Not to mention if you arent going first your odds of getting buttfucked for over extending increases a shitton.

Assume your opponent has the best hand. Block against fire as if your going to get trigged. Block against Kankuro as if they have another puppet in hand. Block against Earth as if they have a detonating Kunai. etc.

Have fun with your "atuo win" against animals.

Also if your opponent has a FBG to protect their guys with, yea you just over extended. Pretty pro.

Oh and Hinata SS is a really good start I hear.

So yea just lmk when you wanna interview me about that E4 Champion article.

Blogger Tsu Kiyo Me said...
So the earliest you can drop a Jonin is turn 3 unless you're playing some crappy Sand Variant.

If I went first, I wait an extra turn...and deny you your turn 3.

If I went second, I don't have to wait an extra turn...and I deny you your turn 3.

How did you expect to play that extra puppet or Trigram me again?

By the way, I never said I didn't expect my opponent to have answers anywhere did I?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
What makes you think that this happening on T4 when you have put yourself in an awful position from your "push" isnt going to be devastating?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
richu pun made me lol hard
also let's also all ignore butt pyrot :D

Blogger Josh said...
Hey Veazie that explains why you haven't won anything... you don't know how to read your opponent and play too conservatively!

Blogger Zero said...
Josh wins the day

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'll take t4 t4 t8 over ninth and ninth anyday.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Like I said before, naruto/hinata is only devastating against the traditional curve based decks.

Even then, water has late game 10k and chidori stream, and fire has early game sharingan kunai.

To say there is no answer is pretty ignorant.

It doesn't hurt shizune & tonton decks much, it doesn't hurt lightning decks much ( rasengan on turn 4 for game is still devastating ), it doesn't hurt mono-earth much ( again late game jutsus are devastating ).

Is naruto/hinata broken... Yes.

Is it the most broken card... No.

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