Since I never did finish my weekly card reviews, I decided to post up a list of the cards I feel to be the top ten cards to come out of the Naruto CCG's set 17 "Will of Fire".
The First Hokage is a card a lot of people underrated when initially previewed by Bandai. Being another Four Pillar Prison user with Mastery pretty much gave earth a guaranteed win condition, provided they could hit the jutsu. His ability to slow down your opponents game by taking back Battle Rewards, while also giving you hand advantage played a huge part in the third place deck at the Georgia Shonen Jump this past week, not to mention his recurring effect also made it easier to go into the long game without fear of decking out. I expect to see a lot more of this guy in upcoming events.
Unlike The First Hokage, people were hyping The Second Hokage like crazy when he was shown. While he hasn't yet lived up to the hype, he does have the ability to end the game, or at least swing it back into your favor. By taking back a Water Style: Water dragon and a Threat of the Tailed Beast with The Second Hokage's effect, you can pretty much lock up the game thanks to The Second's Mastery. While that might be a bit of a dream scenario, the ability to pick up Ambush Ninjas each turn is still very powerful and can completely change the tide of the game. While he didn't make top tables at the jump, I can easily see him there soon.
#8. Kigiri (N-801)
The ability to turn off any Ninja or Client effect every turn on a splashable two drop Ninja? How could you not love this card? If I had more room I probably would have squeezed a copy or two of this guy in my board for the Shonen Jump, as he turns off most of the common hate such as Shimon, Miroku, Naruto & Shion Squad, and even my favorite two drop Shino. All in all Kigiri ended up seeing a decent amount of play in the top tables, and I expect he will end up seeing even more post rotation.
This one should be rather self explanatory. It's a Vanilla Sasuke with two Mental Power, a water symbol, Ambush, and most importantly; a different name. While Tracking Ninja isn't "broken", it was probably a poor decision on Bandai's part to print a functionally better Sasuke vanilla that allows water to max out on turn four Sasukes without worrying about their early game. Curving this guy into Shikamaru [Flexibility] is a pretty big beating against most decks, so don't be surprised if you start to see flex being played in a multitude of decks along side this card.
Having played with her for awhile now, I can say for sure that she is pretty invaluable in the decks she's played in. While testing for the Shonen Jump I often tried cutting her in favor of other cards just to put her right back into the deck a few games later. Although I didn't always get to heal a Ninja when putting her into play, I was never upset to play her, as more often then not she made my team strong enough to take down my opponents. Ton ton also gave me the ability to play her on turn two, which was just a beating. I love this card, and I wish I could have put her into the top five.
This guy is awesome. I was very skeptical of him at first, as the [Man Beast Clone] variant of Kiba is so strong, but I definitely don't regret running [Keen Nose] this past weekend. One of the things I hate the most when playing in tournament is when I open with a hand without a mission. Without a Substitute, Just like Drifting Clouds, Long Awaited Reinforcements, etc in my opener, I know my curve will be entirely subject to what I rip. I mean, I'm not going to throw back a hand of Sasuke, Shikamaru [Flexibility], Ino [Pressing], but I would strongly prefer if there was some kind of mission to back up my curve. Thats why Kiba is so good, he dig just deep enough that the math is usually in your favor at hitting at least one mission in the revealed cards. While he doesn't set up an automatic Kiba Inuzuka & Akamaru Squad, he does increase the odds of hitting an early Shino Aburame & Kiba Izukuka squad via hitting any of the previously mentioned Missions. I would run this Kiba in any deck playing at least nine missions, without a doubt.
I had a bit of a hand in hyping this card, so let me be the first to say that this card should not be rogued. While this card is without a doubt more powerful than any of its predecessors, I think that in a format where the commonly played missions are both permanent and non-permanent and happen between turns two and three, neither Lone Avenger nor Catch-Out would cut it. That doesn't mean I believe this card is perfectly fair however, as it probably should be turn three and not turn two, I do believe that it is needed, at least for now. Having played with and against the card both at the Shonen Jump and in testing I can say that I was never blown out by the card unless I made a greedy play with Succeeded Will of Fire, but there needs to be cards like that in the format, other wise we don't need to think about when it's appropriate to play a mission, nor do we have to play conservatively.
Some of you might find it weird that this card is above Interruption, but the reality is that this card is way better. Being dual symbol means that twice the number of decks will be using it, and that earth will probably be playing a singleton Kabuto [Database] somewhere in the main deck or the board to fetch this card. In my opinion, what makes this card so much better is it's versatility as a sideboard option. Against decks where you need mission negation, it's mission negation. Against decks where you need client hate, it's client hate. Against decks with Mission hate, it helps you resolve your other missions. This card is amazing, and will probably help keep earth and water strong options against the rest of the field.
I put these cards together because they are essentially the reason the other is so good. After seeing the number of decks playing one to two copies of Asuma, no one should really be surprised at how high this card is on the list, but for those of you who are, all I can say is that Asuma does everything you want him to. He provides excellent late game, a free block/trade before squading, card advantage, and most importantly a win condition. Several of my games at the Shonen Jump were won off the back of this card, and if I could somehow make space I would probably play a second copy of him. I expect Asuma to end up similar to how Kiba [Man Beast Clone] did, being played in majority of the decks due to how powerful and how easy to set up the squad is.
This one should have been incredibly obvious, as this card is just ridiculous. With the number of dual element missions in the game, this Naruto can easily be splashed into any deck to help set up guaranteed turn three missions and in most cases pump your team's totals. At the Shonen Jump Fire players were grabbing Succeeded Will of Fire, Earth laters were grabbing Respective Dreams and Pledge Under a Starry Sky, and Wind and Lightning players just grabbed every mission in their deck. I'm not saying that the ability to grab a mission is completely unfair, I just believe that in the current pool he has can search too many powerful cards, while also boosting all of your ninjas. This guy just isn't balanced, and until he is rogued I will probably continue playing decks in which I can abuse both of his effects. On the upside, between this guy and the Sakura, Bandai should be getting a lot of money off the Starter decks.
And that ends my count down of the ten best cards in will of fire. Be sure to comment bellow on any cards you think deserved to be in the top 10 that weren't, or that you felt should be higher or lower then they were. Until next time!