Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Hidan Mat Preview
By request, here is one of the new mats coming out in the Tournament Kits this month.

It's Hidan!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I am Home!

So I just got home last night from Grand Prix Washington D.C., and I had a great time. I ended up going 6-3 missing out on making day two by one win, but for my first Grand prix I can't complain, especially since there were over 1900 players in the event. Now that the GP is over, Pat and I plan to start playtesting to prepare for both the Georgia and Pennsylvania Shonen jump events, and just like last set I plan to post up our notes on new cards and how they tested for us, as well as what decks we are playing with.

Despite the beating Bandai gave to water with the most recent rogue list, I'm still interested to try out some of the new cards such as The Second, Kigiri, and Nurari who all seem to be incredibly powerful. I think the decks we will most likely end up with are either Fire/X or Lightning/X builds though, because a guaranteed turn three Will of Fire or Group Lesson off of Naruto [Reliance] is game breaking in theory. With the lack of support given to them in teh core set, I'm pretty confident that both Wind and Earth probably wont make it into our gauntlet, except maybe the medical deck, however with Kabuto being put down to one and more powerful mission hate coming out, I don't think I want to play a deck thats fairly reliant on missions this format.

So we will keep you updated with our results from testing during the week, and I will probably put up a review on the top 5 cards of the set per rarity to replace the missing Element reviews, as most of you pobably don't care too much about the bad cards in each element. Until next time.

-Andrew post signature

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Monday, May 24, 2010
Play to Win: The Mathematics of Good Players

More extracts from my Bandai postings that I find useful:

A Swiss + cut event is designed to largely negate the effects of luck (due to the fact that it's possible to make top cut with 1-2 losses). In a deck with 11 0 drops and 3 Tobis (Tobi counts as reducing deck size by 1 - he actually should contribute more than that to probability but we're being conservative here), there is approximately a 18.1% chance of not drawing a 0 drop on a hand of 6, and a 24.6% chance of not drawing a 0 drop on a hand of 5. Assuming that the probability of winning with a hand of 4 is 0, that means there's only a 4.4% chance of drawing a hand that cannot win, no matter the skill level.

And let's assume that the deck is poorly constructed enough that 15.6% of the time, the hand will be unplayable or the cards drawn will do nothing. That means 20% of the time, a player will lose and be unable to control it at all.

6-2 with good breakers usually makes T8 at a 8 round event, 6-1-1 and 6-0-2 always will.

Even if you fail to win in 25% of your matches, you still make top cut.

Now take that earlier 20% - if a player is skilled enough, they'll be favored to win the rest of the 80% of the matches because they are better than their opponents.

But here's the kicker: bad luck doesn't just apply to yourself - bad luck also applies to your opponents. Therefore they also have that 20% chance of flat out losing a match due to a bad draw.

Applying the proper probabilities, here's the breakdown of a match between a good player and a bad player.

64%: Balanced game - good player wins (80% * 80%)
4%: Crappy draws on both ends - good player wins (20% * 20%)
16%: Bad player has a crappy draw - good player wins
16% Good player has a crappy draw - bad player wins

The good player should be expected to win 84% of the time, not just 80%.

Of course, the actual good player win percentage should be even higher. What separates a good deckbuilder from a bad deckbuilder is that the good deckbuilder reduces that 15.6 "unwinnable" percentage by tightening up the variance of the deck. What separates a great deckbuilder from a good deckbuilder is that the great deckbuilder will skew the draw distribution of the deck in order to create auto-win draws where the opponent can simply do nothing, no matter how they draw.

Is it possible for a bad player to be super lucky and make top cut, or a good player be super unlucky and miss top cut? Of course - it's possible, but improbable. Over time, all that shading of probability leads to a situation where good players should be able to top cut consistently due to the Swiss + cut format.


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Sunday, May 23, 2010
SJC Georgia Livestream Forthcoming
So as a treat for all of our loyal blog readers, I, your King, have decided for the Shonen Jump Championships in Georgia that we'll attempt to run a livestream with the help of Gary (VSA) and his local store.

You'll be able to watch a featured match every round, the entire event, live over the internet, right up to and including the final match. We'll be updating you all live via Chat every round with the results as well, giving you a level of coverage never before covered at any Naruto CCG event.

Of course, we'll also have plenty of pictures, videos, and tournament reports to go around if you prefer all that stuff as well. But the main focus will be the livestream, should we be able to get it up and running properly.

So... everybody, GET HYPE!

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Friday, May 21, 2010
Play to Win: The Mathematical Argument for Animals

So I was browsing Bandai (big mistake, I know) and caught sight of a few baddies bashing on TCao's SJC T8 deck (an update on my Animal/NVS Hybrid).

How do people still not get it?

The deck pre-BP was already insane.

BP gave it SWoF, Jiraiya, and Rasengan. Game 1 is a joke against most decks. I don't think the deck lost a single Game 1 in testing.

So of course, people bring in the hate for Games 2 and 3.

We (being myself and readers of this blog) already know that we shouldn't be fearing generalized hate. After all, if they don't draw the hate, they lose.

How come no one understands that simple concept?

Very few people play hate maindeck. The ones that do get beat by all the bad Fire decks that don't do anything. Or the Water decks that just point and laugh at the horrible cards that do nothing. And if they are playing scared, they're probably bad players anyways - a good player already has an edge in that matchup.

So we should be analyzing playing against an equally skilled player with sideboard hate.

Assumption: you have an auto-win game 1 most of the time when luck isn't involved.

You have to win 1 out of 2 games (50%) after that. They can bring in a max of 10 hate cards. Most likely they'll have 6 tops. With 6 hate cards, they have a 33% chance of not drawing one before turn 2, assuming they go first (40% for 5, 49% for 4, 59% for 3). Even with 10 hate cards, they still have a 14% chance of not drawing into a hate card by turn 2.

Using that 6 hate card number, this means that the opponent will draw into hate at a relevant time approximately 67% of the time. Assuming the Animal deck is good enough to win 1/3 of its games when the opponent hits his hate (I believe the real number is higher), you will win 33% (the time the opponent doesn't draw hate) + 22% (opponent draws hate and you still win - 67/3) = 55% of the time. Considering you only need to win 50% of your games if you win game 1, the odds are with you.

And that's if your opponent has 6 hate cards - less and the odds are with you even more.


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Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Last 3 Will of Fire Super Rares
Credit goes to Spiral8 for the picture:

(to view the picture better, right click and hit "View Image")

brb fapping to/building medical/females

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I Hate You Jerry
You just HAD to make Long Awaited Reinforcement discard your whole hand if you don't deploy the Ninja that turn didn't you?

In 22 test games over Skype, I've been Sealing Barrier'd off of my L.A.R. 16 of those times. Now I'm not going to say that the people I play with are cheating me but... yeesh. I must be unlucky. Someone cut me a break ;_;

Anyways, we know who the real culprit is to blame for all of this: Tylar. He made Sealing Barrier. He's the reason for my anguish in this test games. GET HIM!

In other news, Water is way too damn powerful. They really need a few things to keep them checked otherwise they're going to just run over everyone this format. After playing test games with Will of Fire, Water just seems to crush anything in it's way. Even aggressive decks like Animals or NVS thanks to Sea Monster and choice sideboard cards.

Things that I'd love to see rogue'd:

1. Tobi
2. Ninja Info Cards (If Tobi doesn't get rogue'd)
3. Water Dragon
4. Threat of the Tailed Beast
5. Kabuto (Because putting Threat on this list and keeping him at 3 doesn't do anything)

I'd put Hiding but that's just cause I'm a serious hater on Water. That's definitely a fair card.

Cards that I'd love to see banned:

1. Snake Waves
2. Sealing Barrier (-.-;;)

Before you guys fire off comments about saying how wrong I am, know that I'm a serious hater on water and most of this is purely in jest (I'm serious about roguing Dragon and Tobi though. Leaving them unrestricted would be one of the biggest mistakes Bandai has ever made). Hahaha. But no seriously, Water is really good this set.

Edit: So... out of NO WHERE All Things Fun announced their Chunin date... which is in 5 days (Sunday). So who is going, considering the short notice? Format is Broken Promise. Prizing is Broken Promise.

Re-Edit: Just got called into Work on Sunday. Not attending this unless it gets moved.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

You, the people, have elected me YOUR LEADER!!!

I won the Member Elimination on Bandai, so that means I'm the big cheese on the Bandai forums now and I am fully in charge of all the side games at GenCon this year.

Now, as a the winner, I am fully allowed to set forth a series of decrees that all shall adhere to!

1. No matter what anyone else says, I AM THE MAIN CHARACTER!

2. Reread #1. I AM THE MAIN CHARACTER!!!

3. By appointing me the leader, you have forfeited all of your rights to (especially the ones involving fun stuff) to me. In return, I shall promise to provide you all with more entertainment than you can possibly imagine at the end of the summer (See: GenCon Indy)

4. I shall appoint officers to oversee my rule when I am not present. You shall treat them as if they were me during these periods of time.

5. What I say, Goes. Don't like it? We have ways of dealing with you.

Simple, no?

On the agenda for GenCon this year, our side trips shall include 5 video game tournaments, each with a $1 entrance fee:

1. Super Smash Brothers Brawl
2. Super Street Fighter 4
3. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift
4. Naruto Shippuden Clash of Ninja Revolution 3
5. Pokeymanz (Must provide own gamez and own Dee Es)

1st 70% of Pot
2nd 20% of Pot
3rd 10% of Pot

Inuyasha TCG Draft/Bleach TCG Draft

Whatever we can muster in the show room is what we'll play, based on popular demand and attendance. Entrance fee will be similar in fashion to the above, along with the prizes. The more product we need and the less people we have, the more the price goes up.

Three Versus Three: Naruto TCG

I have to talk to Austin (Anavel Gato) about this but if he is not going to run the 3 vs 3 Event this year, than I will along with the rest of The Perfect Curve Staff. I will attempt to secure prizing from Bandai from this. If not, we can do a pay-to-play system, use the entrance fee to buy product from Bandai, and use that as our prizing. I'll whip up something custom made for our winners to display (perhaps small trohpies or some such)

EDH aka Elder Dragon Highlander aka Village Leader Highlander: Naruto TCG

This is confirmed. We will be hosting the first ever EDH side event for the Naruto CCG. Prizing will be Chunin Level Prizing. With enough support, this event may reach Jonin Level prizing. Ban List and Tournament Specific Rules forth coming as things get closer (Expect something in late June about this). You can find the rules for how to play EDH in Bandai's Casual Formats section as well as the Youtube videos found at my Youtube channel:

Hentai Dubbing: 18+ ONLY!!!


Bar/Club Hopping: 21+ ONLY!!!
The Thursday night before most of the GenCon events I would very much like to hang out with as many of you all as possible. I figured a good way to hang out and have a good time would be to go, have a drink, and see the sites of Indy and have a good time! WHO IS WITH ME!?!?!?

Anything else you would like to see? Post it up here. I'll attempt to make it happen.

Edit: In place of the fan service, I've decided to put up the video Deets posted on Bandai celebrating me, the King of GenCon, and my first decree:

Main Character, singing out.

-S.O.S. Brigade Chief Tsuzumiya Haruhi

P.S. Enjoy the new signature. True to Tsu form, it comes in 9 different flavors

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Friday, May 14, 2010
Time for another Zero blurb

So I'm finally out of classes, which (Hopefully) gives me more time to write for the blog. With regionals tomorrow and the GP next week, I will still be a bit busy, but without classes forcing me to get up early, and taking up half my day I should be able to devote some of my time to this blog.

First thing on the Agenda: The Georgia SJC. As most of you know, Pat and I have been planning on going to this for awhile. Unfortunately after taking with the group, I decided to sit this one out. Despite our initial plans of training or driving to GA, the rest of the group deemed that flying was the most cost effective plan for them, as they happen to have Air miles. As I don't happen to be so lucky, flying would not be a cost effective option for me, and I have no intention of going on this trip by myself.

It might be a good thing that I'm not going on this trip, because that would force me to look closely at the new set and see exactly how shafted wind got as a whole. Based on the themes I can easily see how poor the support for them was, in a BASE SET due to the lack of generic Negation, or decent theme support. Not to mention Winds super Tsunade is incredibly lack luster. As someone who enjoys playing, I have to say that I'm pretty disappointed in the designers, because the rest of the colors were supported fairly well, while wind was left alone in the dark for no real reason.

So yeah, I started an article and never finished it, and I know my excuses are no longer valid. I will do my best to both finish the article and get through the other two articles before the set drops next week, though I can't promise the wind review wont just be "Theme sux" written for each day of the week. Yes, I'm that bitter over this.

On a positive note, I really like Naruto Shippuden Live's Preview Sea monster. Not only does it provide a strong side board option against one of the supposed top tier decks for the upcoming format, but it will also hopefully achieve what Both Shino IW and Konohamaru IA tried to achieve, and failed at: Creating a slower format. Naruto seems to just speed up with each release, so much that many players are opting not to play ninjas above entrance cost five, unless they can be tricked into play. Sea monster makes it so attacking profitably is pretty hard until the game gets to be about three to four turns deep. I'm actually excited to see how this card will impact the meta, and if we will actually see a slower paced format!

Until next time guys,

-Andrew post signature

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... Wind week was absolutely terrible.


- Consider yourselves on notice, chaps.


Tsu Kiyo Me: Wind week sucks.
Final Valkyrie: I believe you're mistaken.
Tsu Kiyo Me: Don't gimme that.
Tsu Kiyo Me: You been smoochin' with everybody!
Tsu Kiyo Me: Snuffy
Tsu Kiyo Me: Al
Tsu Kiyo Me: Leo
Tsu Kiyo Me: Little Moe with the gimpy leg
Tsu Kiyo Me: Cheeks
Tsu Kiyo Me: Boney Bob
Tsu Kiyo Me: Cliff...
Final Valkyrie: What are you smoking?
Tsu Kiyo Me: I could go on forever, baby!
Final Valkyrie: This is why I dont talk to you often >_>
Final Valkyrie: Well that and you just walk away from your computer all the time without telling me, or something.
Tsu Kiyo Me: Oh. All right.
Tsu Kiyo Me: I believe you.
Tsu Kiyo Me: But my Tommy gun don't!
Tsu Kiyo Me: Get down on your knees and tell me you love me.
Final Valkyrie: 1...
Final Valkyrie: 2...
Final Valkyrie: 10!
Tsu Kiyo Me: *shoots you*
Final Valkyrie: *ninjas out of way*
Tsu Kiyo Me: Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal
Tsu Kiyo Me: And a happy New Year
Tsu Kiyo Me: *shoots you again*
Tsu Kiyo Me: ... Wind being sh**** makes you do crazy things.
Tsu Kiyo Me: Let's just quit Naruto together
Tsu Kiyo Me: Only 2 months until BlazBlue
Final Valkyrie: Well when i win the Sannin with Kunoichis, I'll shoot you
Tsu Kiyo Me: ^_^
Final Valkyrie: I feel like taking it seriously this year
Final Valkyrie: I have a recorder
Final Valkyrie: Specifically made for when I play Naruto
Final Valkyrie: before we start
Final Valkyrie: I hit the button and it says
Final Valkyrie: The Wheel of fate is turning... rebel 1... action!
Final Valkyrie: And the same for Rebel 2
Final Valkyrie: But not Rebel 3
Final Valkyrie: Cuz I 2-0.
Tsu Kiyo Me: Pro-Noel stuff right here.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010
So Far... Wind Week Sucks

I am disappoint.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010
Washington Shonen Jump Top 8
This post will be edited as more info comes in.

1. Max Grahnet (Females/Medical)
2. Daniel Collens (Taijutsu)
3. Thomas Cao (Animals)
4. Jerry Balentuangin (Taijutsu)
5. Amir Abboushi (Monofire)
6. Gersain Perez (Females/Medical)
7. Casey Strong (Monowater)
8. Destin Earsery (Unknown)

Credit and thanks to Joe Colon for the updates.

Now I know why Jerry said "You think Taijutsu is bad? *laughs* Oh man..." in our interview. It was a segment that got cut from the Bandai article. Very impressive~

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Saturday, May 8, 2010
Washington SJC Updates

67 players, currently end of round 5.


Thomas Cao


Amir Abboushi

Max Granhert


Jerry B (Match still unfinished)


Allan B

Andre Gamble

Chris Hill

Fidel Palacios


Mike Alpers


Stephen Garrett has at least one loss, don't know about anyone else. Let me know if there's anyone you'd like me to check on.


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Friday, May 7, 2010
Finalizing Plans for Georgia
It's been a busy week, filled with not one but TWO jobs to work, an article to publish (which I'll get to in a second), and paying visits to friends since I haven't shown my face in a while... plus my father's birthday (which means Iron Man 2 tonight).

So yeah, sorry for the general lack of updates guys and gals. But for now I'd like to talk about Shonen Jump Championships, specifically Washington and Georgia.

SJC Washington is this weekend I believe. Good luck to whoever is going. Even more good luck to the members of Josh and Alper's group in attendance. Snag us a win, will ya? I'm expecting the field to be predominantly Fire and Water.

I would love to place my bets on Wind for the win but with the Naruto & Hinata nerf, Wind has a tough time dealing with Water without mainboarding key cards like Picture Book and Wind Scythe to stand a chance, things that may or may not be bad vs. the other matchups and thus cause them to lose synergy. For Wind to win in Washington, it'll require a good read of the field and assess whether the field will be largely Water or largely Fire. Fire obviously can do solid with the Chidori route but I think what really gives the edge to certain Fire decks in the mirror is 2K Barrage. Some people think I'm clowning around here but if you think about it, it makes sense. Naruto Uzumaki is in every deck now a days in some shape or form and he has clone status. It's very easy to insert a colorless jutsu like 2K Barrage and blow someone out of the Water on turn 2 or 3, causing an early game loss. People like J.D. (from Jersey, not Cali) where running this back in New Jersey and others did in New York, snagging early wins left and right. Solid piece of tech, just like it always has been. Water doesn't really need much to win aside from having the right hand for the right situation. Hiding gives it a huge advantage vs. Wind. All that's really necessary is just hoping your opponent isn't holding the Picture Book hate and just hold your Jutsu for when they're necessary. I see so many people who are over eager to cast Water Dragon in non-game winning situations, to get a simple victory or outstanding victory. Be smarter than that.

On the list of things left to finalize, the ATF Chunin. Haven't been there in over a month since they canceled the local so I have no update on that. Expect it some time shortly after the Georgia Shonen Jump. If someone like MJM wishes to contact them and get the ball rolling, that's fine.

Now for the subject of Georgia. At the moment it is Andrew, Nick (Shino's Dad), and myself going. I know Squee expressed interest in going with us but we don't know the mode of transportation yet. Our choices are train or airplane. Train is a 16 hour trip in a car with a table which means plenty of time and space for play testing on the way down. Andrew is all for this one. Nick seems to be in the middle. For plane, it's a 2 and 1/2 hour flight in coach, which as you know is extremely cramped. My preferred method as it means we get there faster, we can arrive at Gary's (VSA) house and start testing/practicing with him sooner. Now you may be asking the price... for me? It doesn't matter. I have enough miles from my family's previous travels that I can go for free either way. But seriously, according to my sister, the difference in price is something like $10. So is $10 more worth the airplane trip? You guys tell me which method you'd prefer.

Also, there's the subject of the actual train for Nick too. He wants us to time it so we jump on the same exact train as him, which means we have to time it right. Otherwise, Andrew and I both take a different train than him and it kills our whole plan. It might cost more for Nick to do the alternate was he takes a train to Philly, then buys a train to Georgia and we meet him there and hop on a train there. It just seems to me the airplane wins out but again, you guys tell me what you think is the best plan.

On the subject of this month's Bandai articles: I tried once again to give you all an interesting topic. I like to be innovative because doing the same stuff over and over again is boring. This month we'll be visiting the tier 2 decks that don't quite make it to the top tables but I always see people playing at Chunins, hoping to make them a winner. The goal of the articles is actually just that: Designing a winner. Today's article will focus on the Byakugan deck arch-type, where it's been, what tools it has, and what it really needs to shine and be the deck everyone really wants it to be: The Strongest in the Leaf. It's a little long winded but I hope it conveys my point...and I hope you enjoy it enough and give me some feedback on how I can make part two even better for all of you.

Alright, I gotta go now and hop in the shower. I have paperwork to go and file, stops to be made, and people to meet.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010
Zero's Will of Fire Card Reviews #3

I told you guys I would try to get my earth preview week review up during the week, so here it is (Well, mosty of it anyway):

Saturday April 24th: Saturday Preview


Earth Style: Earth Pike: What a cool way to transition from water week to earth week. I've been advocating cards like this for a long time, so I'm pretty happy that we finally got something along these lines. I saw a lot of love for this card on the boards, which I'm not surprised by, after all it's good card design and it has Kakuzu showing his pimp ring. Despite how much I clearly like this card, I personally don't think the card is strong enough to see any competitive play. With both Disguise jutsu and the new Water shark bomb both in format, doing what this card does to a better extent I don't see a reason to run a worse copy just because it can be both. Still, I'm glad the designers are finally taking the initiative and designing cards like this.

Sunday April 25th: Sunday Preview


Kiss of Death: we've had about 6 or so jutsus that do essentially the same thing as this card, none of which ever saw any real play, so you can't really expect much from this card playability wise. Maybe if Bandai had tacked on a draw one or something like that to make you go positive? I don't know, it just needs something in my eyes.

Monday April 26th: Asuma Theme


Asuma Sarutobi [For the Next Generation] + Asuma Sarutobi & Shikamaru Nara [Everlasting Relationship]: I'm going to talk about both cards, simply because it's impossible to talk about one without talking about the other as the two cards make each other good. For starters I saw a lot of hate on the Asuma card, which I didn't get. Why would you want him to be a super? Why would you want an incredibly linear effect? I'm happy with my Uncommon Revamped Kiba MBC. Yep, Thats exactly what Asuma is. Some of you are probably like "No, Kiba is a good zero drop any deck can play that tutors a ninja you can play for free." While you are technically correct that there is a difference between turn zero and turn four, and that Kiba's target hit's play for free, Asuma does everything better than Kiba on a better turn.

Asuma, as a stand alone ninja is aggressively stated for a turn 4 jonin in earth, giving an early six combat ninja to an element which curves predominantly support, where Kiba was always under stated regardless of the deck, unless your opponent started with a sakura. Asuma's search is also better than Kiba's because unlike Akamaru, you are probably playing Shikamaru because he is a good stand alone card that fits in your deck and has a relevant effect. Akamaru is fit into the deck specifically to obtain value out of your Kiba. Lastly, and most importantly Asuma & Shikamaru squad is far more game breaking then Kiba & Akamaru squad ever was.

A turn five 7/5 with Jonin rank, five mental power, two relevant combat attributes, and a powerful effect seems a lot better than a turn three 4/3 with a strong ability, in my book at least. One of the main reasons I like this guy is because it brings us back to the early stages of the game, where size is everything, and stall breaking effects are a legitimate win condition, as opposed to the blow out one turn win effects we've become used to over the past year. One last little thing I want to about is the wording on the Asuma card, which allows you to grab any card with "Shikamaru Nara" in it's name, allowing you to not only set up Shikatemaris for decision, but also allows you to grab the Shikamaru Asuma platoon, play it, and then squad into the big guy on turn five trigger the platoon's effect netting card advantage and allowing you to deploy on that turn as well. I'm not sure how viable that is, but in theory it's pretty awesome.

I personally think that every deck should, and probably will be packing at least one copy of the Asuma. There really isn't a strong enough reason not to, especially if you intended on play Shikamaru in your deck to begin with.

Present for the Promotion: I like that this card doesn't have a hand cost, that way any deck can use it, and that it always causes you to break even by using it. Despite how similar it is to Emina, I'm pretty confident it won't be nearly as playable as she once was. Still, this card makes a pretty good one of to allow you to pick up steam in the late game by returning all the Jutsus to your deck.

Tuesday April 27th: The First Hokage Theme


The First Hokage [Supremacy]: I really like this card a lot. Not only does he have a strong, game changing effect just for entering play, but he also has an effect that helps give your deck some resilience in the late game? Having solid stats and mastery just adds to my love for this card. While I don't exactly know what kind of deck he will go in (Aside from tree based decks, which I am not a fan of), I assure you that I will probably find something to play this guy in even if I have to splash for him alone. While he probably isn't going to go for as much as the Second, I can easily see this guy ending up being one of the more expensive supers in the set.

Farewell: We have cards that already do this, why make more? At least it's a common.

Earth Style: Stone Plate Coffin: So earth gets Hidden Mist Jutsu? Interesting, but I don't think that will really do much in a format with disguise jutsu, as well as other negation options that at least appear to be better than this card.

Wednesday April 28th: Yugito Ni Theme


Yugito Ni [Rage]: Nice artwork! Unfortunately the card itself is rather lack luster. That kind of effect isn't particularly game breaking, and in an aggressive format, you need a good reason to play Ninjas that come out so late. At least Yugito's effect makes sense flavor wise, plus she has Tailed beast mode in her characteristics! I would be pretty surprised if Yugito saw some real play, but I don't know, the format might develop in a way that her seven combat might be relevant.

Howl: Again, good artwork, lack luster effect. Even in a cooled down environment, two chakra to not really change the board position isn't great. I feel like this card could have had a tack on of something small and it probably could have seen a bit of play post rotation, but as it is I'm going to just say no.

The Last Message: I really don't know what to think of this card. The cost seems really steep, but at the same time there could probably be some kind of combo with it to make it good. For now I'm going to say no to competitive play, but it has potential.

As I need to finish writing my final paper before I go out tonight to the Ironman 2 premier, I'm going to have to finish up this review later. Please be sure to comment bellow to let me know what you guys agreed or disagreed with. Until next time

-Andrew post signature

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Sunday, May 2, 2010
Zero's Will of Fire Card Reviews #2

Now that I've actually had a chance to look over all of the previews for the past two weeks, I figured I would post up another review for you guys. I'm only going to go over the Water theme today, as I have a paper due tomorrow, but I should be able to do the Earth themes at some point during the week.

Saturday April 17th: Saturday Preview


Combination Jutsu: I really like this card a lot, simply because it's costed so well. two generic chakra to water prison a ninja is pretty good value, especially in an aggro based deck like NVS which shouldn't have an problem getting this card to always have the better of the two effects. My only complaint about the card is the other effect. Why is it -2/-2? Isn't negatives a fire based effect? Should have given the user a pump, or something that made sense. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if this card saw some play prior to rotation.

Sunday April 18th: Sunday Preview


Princess Koto: Another strong client effect. While she might not seem as amazing as Michiru, or Emina, she is capable of some pretty crazy things when put in a deck that plays predominantly female ninjas. Odds are, this chick will constantly force the opposition to use jutsu's first, which is exactly what you want in a deck using cards like Counter and Wind Scythe Jutsu. I kind of dislike that she doesn't have the wind symbol, but I can also understand why she was given the two symbols she currently has. Princess Koto is a card I would be aware of when getting ready for the SJC this season, because if you don't have a way to deal with her in your board, you might be fighting an uphill battle against Kunoichi or Medical decks during the day.

Monday April 19th: Kisame Theme


Kisame [Water Clone]: I'm actually really disappointed with this card. While the effect is exactly what you would expect the effect to be for water clone Kisame, there are several things missing from the card that just ruin it. First of all, where is the clone status? The card is a picture of Kisame using water clone, has the surname [Water Clone], and the effect of putting an exact copy of Kisame into play... So where is the damn clone status? The other thing that bothers me is his inability to get his effect off of Ambush. I think thats pretty grimy, simply because water's entire play style has developed around Ambush, and I don't really think that by getting his effect off of an Ambush, he would be OP.

As for the card it self, I'm not sure if I actually like it or not. I can see the blow out moments where making two ninjas in one turn wins you the game, but I also see his effect causing the player to make bad plays due to keeping it in hand instead of charging it, and charging another card like a jutsu or mission, just to get Kisame's effect. It probably wont see play until after rotation, but even then, I feel like his draw back is too big to be played over Guren.

Water Style: Water Shark Bomb Jutsu: Right off the back you can probably determine the playability of this card in water decks in the current format by looking at it's name. Competing with one of the most efficient negation cards in the game means that this card is most likely not going to make the cut any time soon. However, the designers opted to not only forgo a requirement on the card, but also make the cost generic allowing any deck to utilize this card. While in the current format, I'm not sure what deck will want to use this out side of a rush based deck, post rotation this card might actually see some play.

The Top Priority: All I can say is that giving your opponent the ability to pick for an effect means that you will seldom gain a lot of advantage off of said effect. Pressing was the same way, while both effects were really good, allowing your opponent to pick between the two effects just meant that you would never really get the effect you want. This card is pretty much the same in that, yes sending a ninja to chakra is good for a mission effect, but sending a turn zero ninja, or a ninja with ambush to chakra isn't particularly good. Even in Limited, I probably wouldn't take this card until very late in the pack.

Tuesday April 20th: The Second Hokage Theme


The Second Hokage [Supremacy]: This card was really well designed for the core set in my opinion. The Second's effect pretty much ties all of water together, and in a way represents water as a whole. For those of you wondering what I mean, the best example I could probably give comes from other card games like Duel masters, where each base set they had Ultras that catered specifically to their color's main themes, which is exactly what The Second does. Helps you generate a lot of chakra? Check. Helps you play a lot of powerful Jutsus? Check. Helps you Ambush Ninjas? Check. Helps you burn Chakra? If you have Threats in your Chakra area when you put him in play, check. The Second just does everything you want him to do in water, so there really isn't a reason to play cards like Kakuzu over this guy, as Kakuzu is more narrow and less game breaking then the Second.

I really like this card a lot, not only from a design standpoint, but from the stand point of someone who likes cards that reward the more skilled player. Second's effect can just as easily be a game winning play for a skilled player who played the game thinking ahead, as it can be a decent play by a less skilled player who didn't think past the current turn. By planning ahead, you can easily manipulate your chakra to insure you get the exact three cards that will win you the game, like two Water dragons, and a Threat of the Tailed beast. All in all I think the Second is just really good, an dI expect him to be one of the chase supers from the set.

Bounty: Bounty isn't a bad card, as it has synergy with all the ambush ninjas water has, but I have never been a fan of conditional draw power that either has a good effect or none at all. it might see some play, but I sincerely doubt it.

Black Strings: Healing jutsus never seem to see play simply because there are better tricks you could be playing instead, and I don't feel as though this card is any different. While Black Strings does happen to be costed well for it's effect, it still doesn't do enough to warrant it seeing play in a competitive environment.

Wednesday April 21st: Haku Theme


Tracking Ninja: I personally think this card is a step in the wrong direction for Bandai. Including a 4/1 turn zero Ninja with two mental power, relevant combat attribute, and ambush, in a set with a bunch of decent turn zero ninja with weaker stats doesn't make sense to me at all. It was stated that they were making good turn zero ninjas on all colors to reduce splashing, but then they make a ninja who is better than those other ninjas, and leagues better than vanilla sasuke ever was in water. So the reality is, they made a bunch of turn zero ninjas that no one will play because they also made tracking ninja who has better stats, and has synergy with certain decks.

Killer Shot: So it's a fire ball for two generic? It's definitely better that any deck can utilize it, but I still feel as though it isn't good enough. Maybe if they allowed you to bounce it back to hand if the user had some kind of characteristic or something, I don't know. I just feel like the card is too narrow and doesn't really help unless the opponents entire strategy is reliant on a client or permanent mission.

The Next Target: This card is so incredibly good. This one mission gives water the ability to deal with things they could never deal with before on an early enough turn to hit almost anything. This card would probably have gotten my vote as best common in the set if tracking ninja wasn't around.

Thursday April 22nd: Kabuto Theme


Kabuto [Recycling]: Not only is this guy good in your deck, he is also good for the environment! Bad puns aside, I think this might be my favorite card in the set. Most of you can probably recall that I was one of the biggest advocators of Sasori TBT, and even ended up playing him in this years past sannin event. Kabuto's effect is incredibly powerful, and completely puts Sasori TBT to shame. Not only do they have similar stats and characteristics to begin with, but Kabuto's effect is more cost efficient and the Ninja actually sticks. I would without a doubt be playing with this guy at Gencon this year, if DB didn't exist. Because DB has solidified him self as a staple three of in every water or water/X deck, there really isn't any good justification to not play him. Hopefully DB gets restricted or something so I can justify playing this guy, because if not, what a waste of such a good effect.

Earth Style Ultimate revival Jutsu: Soil Bodies: This card is waaaaaay to narrow to see play, even with it's alternate cost. I'm not a fan of cards that rely on your opponents cards to do anything, and thats exactly what this card does. Even for limited, this card has no real reason to be a rare.

Tragic Destiny: I'm not a fan of this card for the same reason stated in the above; I don't like cards that rely on the cards your opponent plays to do anything. In water, this card lets you ambush a ninja, which probably already has ambush and give it an effect which may or may not help. So you are pretty much playing a mission that says "Give target ninja the effect of a ninja your opponent controls". I guarantee you that card would never see play. Yes, you could pick up a ninja from discard pile, and Yes I like Kabuto which does just that, but it's completely different. Kabuto allows you to abuse cards like Temari WS, the new Second Hokage, and Shino IW by constantly getting them back, where this card is a one shot deal that cost more for a potential bonus.

The card has more of a use in Fire decks, as they don't have access to similar effects, and have far less cards with Ambush on them. Still, I feel like there are much stronger cards to be playing in the current pool, and even if there weren't I'm just not a fan of this type of an effect. I will say that I probably would play this in EDH though, because recursion in a format of one ofs is obviously much more powerful, not to mention your opponent is guaranteed to have a powerful ninja effect via their general, so more often then not this cards second effect will be relevant.

Friday April 23rd: Three Tails Theme


Three Tails [A Monster who Lives in the Abyss]: This guy is pretty scary. As long as he is on the table with a jonin, you really cant attack or block profitably. Couple that with his huge stats and you have a pretty big threat. ALone this guy probably wouldn't see too much play, but the next card is what really makes him playable in my opinion.

Yukimaru [Guide]: His first effect is almost negligible, as most of us just read him as "You can play your Three Tails really early" and I'm pretty sure thats what is going to make this guy see play. I haven't tested out this concept yet, but believe me I plan to do so once the set lands. I never saw the Three tail fillers, so I'm not sure exactly who this guy is or why he gives the three tails a lower entrance cost though, so if someone would like to fill me in that would be great.

Stolen Bodies: While it probably wont see much play in the current environment, this card is a strong candidate to replace threat post rotation. It may not be as game breaking, but it does work in a similar manner. I'm actually okay with this card replacing threat, as threat happened to be pretty stupid, especially in multiples.

As I said before, I will try to get the Earth themes review up later in the week, but no promises. Please comment bellow to let me know what you agreed/disagreed with, what cards you think will end up seeing play, or if any of these cards is being over rated/over looked. Until next time.

-Andrew post signature

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