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.