Sunday, October 31, 2010
Happy Halloween! Have this Podcast!
Happy Halloween everyone! Hopefully your teeth have all rotted from all the sweets you've been eating. Or in my case, hopefully you've recovered from a massive weekend of partying.

Anyways, here's our podcast! Sorry that there's no intro (which Andrew is going to be sad about because well. . . he worked hard on it) but Skype received some fatal error while we were recording so it's gone. No seriously. Random red screen popped up in the middle of recording and *poof* Nick got booted, I got control of the chat instead of Andrew, and the recording stopped and became corrupted. So . . . enjoy the second half! You didn't miss anything other than the sweet sounds of Andrew's voice and us screaming about how we hate people who don't realize how good The Third Hokage is.

The Perfect Curve Halloween Special!

Edit: New Podcast Link since other has exceeded bandwith

The Perfect Curve Halloween Special! (Mirror)

The Podcast Contains:
-Review of our opinions on certain Supers in the Set
-Thoughts on the new Rule Changes
-Top 10 Scariest/Creepiest Naruto Cards
-Announcing the Winner of our first mini-contest
-7 Preview Cards

Edit: Scott, shoot us an email with your contact info so I may send you your prize.

Here are our previews from the podcast (Although I realize Sakura & Kick of Anger were previewed today). Pictures now in MUCH Higher Resolution (as per request)

N-971 Naruto Uzumaki (Taijutsu)

J-758 Severe Leaf Hurricane

N-991 Sakura Haruno

J-767 Kick of Anger!

N-977 Jiraiya

N-985 Orochimaru

N-997 Tsunade

Tsunade's stats have been changed once again, this time being 8/3, 5/1.

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Happy Halloween from TPC!

Happy Halloween everyone!

The staff and I are planning on doing a special Halloween podcast, where we talk a bit about the upcoming set "Path of Pain", the new rule changes, and announce the winner to our first contest! we also plan to have a count down of the top 10 spookiest cards! So check back later tonight for a download link. Enjoy your trick or treating!

Also, for those of you wondering, Nick and I were given week long bans on Bandai due to making spam threads (It's Halloween, we were just trying to have some fun), so disregard the ridiculous speculation on us getting ourselves banned because we hate the new set or rule changes.

-Andrew Photobucket

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Friday, October 22, 2010
The Perfect Curve "Path of Pain" Preview #6 - "Seriously, Down X Spam is Such BS!"
I'm Andrew!

Okay, no I'm not. Andrew was supposed to have the privilege of unveiling our last, and arguably best, preview for Set 19 "Path of Pain."

However, because this week is Midterms for him @ college, he's been booked up and has been unable to get around to talking about all the fun findings and combos with the card.


I'm here to deliver the last preview, just in time for the final Taijutsu theme preview to hit Bandai in today's featured article (also written by me).


There's your finale for the combo! Interesting, no? The entire combo relies on drawing a bunch of Jutsu cards into your hand, then sending the whole hand to the bottom of the deck to win 10+ Battle Rewards in one shot. The only problem now is trying to figure out what's the best way to accomplish this.

Rather than rehash and rewrite several pages of work, I'll go into more depth over the card in today's Bandai article "The Lotus Loop", which features the last Set 19 Taijutsu card.

Oh and one last thing. The contest advertised at the end of "The Lotus Loop" is coming soon. I know it says that it'll be up by today but the staff has hit a snag and won't be able to get to it for a few days. It was my understanding that we'd be able to give the go ahead for our second contest but we haven't yet figured out what we want to do for it. I can assure you though that the prize is most definitely a "Sakura Haruno Meijin Mat" as well as a 1st Edition copy of "Hirkuo [Impatient]"

Stay tuned for details on how to win our second Mini-Contest here at The Perfect Curve! Until then, please keep submitting your entries for our "Create a Sakura Haruno & Ino Yamanaka Squad/Reinforcement" contest. We'll choose one lucky winner before Halloween to win an entire set of Target promos!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010
A New Challenger Appears! Also, Preview.

Who's This Guy?

So, for those of you out there who don't know who I am, (Which I find completely impossible since I am, after all, one of the most important people in the Naruto CCG Community) my name is Nicholas Botchis, and I go by the handle Shino'sDad in pretty much any forum or site that has to do with the Naruto CCG.

I have been a sort of court advisor in the shadows to The Perfect Curve since it's creation, and up until now, have only been mentioned in context to discussions or tales of whimsy by the other members of the staff. Starting today though, I begin my “internship” as a writer for the blog itself. Zero feels that I require some sort of trial, a rite of passage if you will, to prove I am up to snuff, though he fails to realize that I pretty much write all of Tsukiyomi's content for him (Haha, joking.. I think.)

Back to the point, though, I have been playing the Naruto CCG since it's launch with Path to Hokage. Those halcyon days of believing that a Hand cost could be paid with any Element Symbol and that Zabuza Momochi [Demon of the Cloud Village] belonged in every single deck are long since over, and I now play competitively, playing in many Chunin level tournaments (multiple Top 8's and a “win”) in my time, as well as the Mist Kage in '09 (7th Place) and the Sannin Event at Gencon for the past two years (Moving on...). I am also a Meijin for my local game shop, if you call a 45 minute drive local that is. Forum wise, I am an active member or the Bandai Forum Community, as well as one of the founding members of my Team's forum, CT Crew Gamming (Shameless Plug-no-Jutsu!).

On a less Naruto-esque note, I am an avid gamer of all fields. I have at least tried nearly every MMO game to date, save for the more obscure Korean and Japanese exclusives (and even a lot of those), and was a full time player of both Everquest and Everquest 2 up until about two years ago. Table top RPGs are also another area of expertise of mine, ranging from Dungeons and Dragons to Vampire: The Requiem. And of course, I have shuffled and cut a deck of dozens of CCGs, including but most certainly not limited to: Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon, Magi Nation, Star Wars (Decipher), Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, Legend of the Five Rings, Dragon Ball (Score and Bandai), Bleach, and of course, Naruto (both the English game as well as the Japanese Shippuden CCG).

Less Talky, More Previewy

Now that introductions are out of the way, I am proud to have the pleasure of revealing and reviewing one of The Perfect Curve's previews for the week. Fitting in with our Taijutsu theme, I present to you the Raging Blue Beast himself, Might Guy!

So, right from the get go, we notice a few key things that make this Might Guy different from the rest. Sporting the addition of both Surge as well as Growth on his characteristic line this time, as well as a support value of 3 in his Healthy Status, along with maintaining his monstrous 6 Combat even when injured.

This Might Guy can play the role of both Head Ninja as well as Support, given that 3 is the golden number we look for in support Ninjas, as well as the fact that with Growth and Surge, he can be either a 6/3 6/0 (normally), 7/4 7/1 (growthed), or a 8/5 8/2 (surged). With the existence of Might Guy (Afro), he has plenty of backup copies to Growth from, or better yet to Surge with, and his effect makes all those extra copies even more useful. A valid effect that turns Surge into a reusable effect is not exactly game breaking, but with the right cards, you can produce some positive results.

Rock Lee (N-913) – Pro: Surge him multiple times with a plethora of useable cards in hand for that key Outstanding Victory. Con: Late game tech for a early game Ninja.

Leaf Hurricane (J-755 ) – Pro: Surge a Ninja multiple times and then pick them up with this Jutsu card to do it again or conserve Hand advantage. Con: Requires you to go relatively unharassed during the Exchange of Jutsu for maximum effectiveness (if you want to use the combination effect in tandem with a copy of this card in your chakra or discard already).

Advisor of the Sand (N-939) – Pro: Turn every copy of a Ninja you have in play already in your hand into a new card from your Deck. Con: As with Leaf Hurricane, this can be interrupted during the Exchange of Jutsu by your opponent, though...

Chiyo (N-942) – Pro: Gives much more flexible defensive control in case you need to surge off of the same Ninja in order to block a jutsu or two. Con: Another non-Taijutsu Ninja for what it seems it supposed to be a near Taijutsu pure decktype.

Overall, Might Guy [Gate of Joy] may not be the most incredible Might Guy ever printed, but he fits in as a key component of the Taijutsu deck for Path of Pain, as you will see once Zero posts his own preview in a day or two. Keep in mind both Leaf Hurricane as well as Advisor or the Sand for that one.

- Shino'sDad

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Monday, October 18, 2010
My Fire

It is currently 12:50 AM. I am in St. Charles, Illinois, and I am in full-on card game mode.

Not that my current situation has anything to do with card games – I’m actually about to start the nationwide training for my new job. It’s just that for as long as I can remember, I’ve always been unable to sleep before tournaments because I’m so excited. So to force myself to sleep, I stay up for an entire night so I crash the night before the event. So excited that I can’t sleep? That’s card game mode.

I think it’s a testament to my sad state of affairs that I’m getting excited about training, but c’est la vie.

In any case, the reason I’m writing this article is because I read Pat’s article about obsession on Bandai, and it inspired me to write the one article I’ve been putting off forever. You know, the one where I reveal all my secrets at how to become amazing at children’s card games. The tell-all where I bare my soul and let you, my dear readers, into the deepest recesses of my mind. The one where I alienate half the Naruto community through brutal honesty and egomania.

No really, this is that article. I’m going to go ahead and warn you right now: this article really doesn’t have a point. It’s just me rambling on and writing about whatever comes to mind as I retell my long journey.


Like anything else, it all starts with obsession. There are many words for it… the desire to be great, drive, the Fire… whatever you want to call it, the point is that I once had it – and now I don’t. Is that something I regret? Not really. Do I wish I could turn it on again? Sometimes.
But the one thing you must know about obsession is: if you want to get better, you must embrace it. Nothing comes without hard work. It’s a fact of competition: there will always be someone better. And if you want to get better, never let anyone convince you otherwise. The moment you become complacent, someone with stronger desire is going to take your place.

When I first started playing this game seriously, there was one thing that drove me – I hated losing. For those of you who are familiar with me from playing in events, you’re well aware of the fact that very rarely is there ever not a smile on my face – even after a loss. I deeply enjoy playing card games and interacting with the community, and I still maintain that’s the only force that should be greater than your obsession – if it ever becomes not fun, then there’s no reason to continue to try to get better at a chore. But tangent aside, even though I still have a smile after losing – inwardly, I’m completely livid. That’s one thing that’s stayed with me throughout my entire career.

In one of the first few events I played in, I lost to John Forlanda, the man known to the world as darkpotato. And I was pissed – not just because I lost, but because I knew I was a better player than him. After that loss, I forced myself to choose – either I start taking this game seriously so I won’t ever have to lose to someone worse than me again, or I quit and go back to Magic.

Obviously, I chose the former. For a period of time, I went to every single event I could go to. Every weekend, I’d travel to two or three different tournaments just so I could get better and better. I didn’t really care about the prizes – for those months, it was all about improving. People online questioned the win-loss ratio that GRT showed – there was no way that could be real, they claimed. But I am here to tell you now – my record was very real. During that span of time, I did lose a few games – once to Vit Ratipat in the finals of the very first Genin in the area, one or two to Thomas Cao – but those were the losses that sustained and drove me for months on end to get better. And the first time I sat down across the table from John Forlanda and saw fear in his eyes – I knew that I had already won the game – and that I was making progress.


I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past
I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

I’ll admit it freely – I didn’t play in the first Jonin at GenCon SoCal because I was afraid of losing. Even though I had regularly dominated events in my area for quite a while at this point, I knew I was still making mistakes and not playing perfectly. And being a longtime Magic player, I was well aware of the local hero syndrome – someone smashes through their locals on a consistent basis, then gets absolutely crushed in a large-scale event because they had only played against subpar competition. Somehow, I managed to convince myself that I wasn’t legitimately good at all.

I should have known better. The players at that first event were largely terrible. Doing the coverage for the event, I saw horrible play after horrible play. I might not have been perfect, but the players who ended up making the top cut were nowhere even close to my level. The lesson in this fiasco? Never let fear override your obsession. If you truly want to get better, you should never be afraid of losing, and never, ever be afraid of playing against people better than you.


A few months after that, the first local Jonin finally rolled around (Fanime). And this time, there was no way I was going to pussy out. I had learned my lesson from SoCal – there’s an infinite array of what-if scenarios you can use to scare yourself – but once you start playing, it’s just your skill versus your opponent’s skill.

And as fate would have it, my first opponent in the top cut was my old nemesis, the dark potato himself. To compound this destined battle, I was in a terrible mental state. The prior day, my backpack containing my entire collection had been stolen – the deck I was playing with had been constructed out of borrowed scraps from friends, and I had not gotten any sleep whatsoever. And John knew this.

But when I looked into his eyes, I didn’t see a shred of confidence. When he spoke, I heard nothing but excuses – “I’m happy with making top 8. I don’t care if I lose.” And right then, I knew I had won the match already.

The same thing happened in my top 4 match. And in the top 2, I finally found an opponent who could actually play on equal ground with me – Thomas Cao. I took game 1. He took game 2. And in game 3, after a mulligan to 4, I further solidified my legend of being able to pull completely lost games out of my ass.


That seems to be a gift I have – I call it playing to my outs, other people (notably one Mr. Andrew Kardis) call it sacking. But it happens consistently every event I play in – there’s always some match where it looks completely hopeless but I hang on and stick around and somehow scrape out a miraculous win.

Even when he was getting pounded into the ground, he never stopped planning his next move. He never lost his faith in his ability to win. Naruto knows instinctively that believing in yourself gives you the power to change your destiny.

One of my favorite fights of the actual Naruto series has always been Naruto vs Neji in the Chunin Exam Arc. And I think this quote is very representative of the philosophy I try to apply to my card game matches. It’s hard enough having your opponent trying to beat you – don’t make it two vs. one by going on tilt. Always have a plan in your mind of how to achieve victory, no matter how improbable that victory may seem. Don’t just give up because the situation looks bad.

One of the few times I can remember completely going on tilt was at the Anime Expo Jonin following my Fanime Jonin victory. While I finished respectably, going 5-2 and missing top cut on tiebreakers, I never was mentally in any of the games I played until I had already picked up two losses (after which I resolved not to embarrass myself further – and the difference was obvious when I wasn’t on tilt. Before, I was making the most retarded plays imaginable. After I pulled myself together, I was beating turn 1 Kakashi ES/Baki off of JI two games in a row).


I finished off that season with a decent finish, finishing 3rd at Sannins and proving myself an elite player – however, as you should very well know by now, a finish that I was nowhere near satisfied with. I didn’t want to just be an elite player – I wanted to be the best.
I figured I was on my way after the pre-GenCon tournament season I had 2008. I felt like my NVS variant I had played to 2nd and 1st place finishes at Fanime and AX was the best deck in the format – and not only that, I was incredibly comfortable with it. I had logged countless playtesting hour with the deck and was confident in it to win from any situation possible (as an added bonus, the deck prominently featured Unexpected Attack – the card representing the defining moment of the Naruto vs Neji fight).

Additionally, it wasn’t just in Naruto that I felt like I was the best player in the world. In Bleach, I had designed a deck that was broken beyond belief (the infamous Ban and Ho) and also had played over a hundred playtesting matches with it. The craziest thing about that? In all those playtesting matches, I had to yet to lose a single game (except versus the carbon copy mirror match).

And as if to further prove it was my year of destiny, I was heading to Indy without needing to pay a dime – my plane flight was paid by Bandai, my hotel was free because of numerous accumulated points, and my badge was a press badge courtesy of PlayTCG.

Around a month before GenCon, my parents told me that my mom’s colon cancer had relapsed – and not only that, it had metastasized to her liver. She was given less than six months to live.

The next day, I canceled my flight to Indianapolis.


Fanime 2009 rolled around, and for the first time in a long while, I was playing Naruto again. For the past year, I had focused as much as possible on spending time with my mom and making her happy. I had taken that fire that once burned within me for card games and applied to what we would term “real life.” And somehow, miraculously, mom was doing the impossible. She was beating the death sentence of metastasized cancer. Her endless optimism and will actually pushed the cancer back into remission by the time I stepped into the San Jose Convention Center that May.

But my journey through those doors – that was difficult. It was my junior year of college, and all the accounting majors were applying for internships. I was at the top of my class – nothing but As in all the accounting classes, and that doesn’t even begin to describe how far ahead I was. In classes where the average exam grades ranged around the mid 40s, and the second-highest score was somewhere in the 70s – I was getting 98s and 100s. I didn’t even have to work hard and I was at the top academically. An internship at one of the prestigious “Big 4” accounting firms was practically guaranteed with my accomplishments.

I didn’t get a single offer from any of the 13 accounting firms I interviewed with. From the Big 4 to the smallest of the local firms, I was rejected by every single one. This hurt worse than losing to random scrubs in card games. This was my future. My resume sucked. My interview skills were atrocious. I desperately applied to endless numbers of companies. Nothing but rejection followed. At some point, I lost count of how many times I had received the, “We’re sorry…” e-mail.

But in early May, I finally broke through. I got a corporate finance internship position I was immensely overqualified for – but it didn’t matter… I had a job, and mom was on the road to recovery.


Of course, with all that energy spent on real life, I hadn’t really bothered to invest much of myself into card gaming. And it reflected in my results – while I did put together some 3rd place finishes in the Fanime and AX Jonins, as well as 1st/2nd place finishes in Dragonball and crossover, at this point I was basically skating by on pure talent alone. I barely knew what most of my cards did, and I didn’t really care that much.

At Indy 2009, when I finished 5-1-2 and out of the top cut for the first time since over 2 years prior, I realized I wasn’t even that mad at myself. I was just happy to be there. I recognized that my window of opportunity for dominance of the game was probably over, but it didn’t matter that much to me. I had picked up another year of hanging out with the greatest group of friends in the world, as well as another seasons’ worth of ridiculous comeback stories.

But the obsession was gone, and with it, my proficiency at the game. I knew my skills were slowly degrading with each missed playtesting opportunity. Whereas previously I had sometimes played in 3 events per weekend, now I was playing in 3 events a year.


At the beginning of the school year, my mom’s cancer came back. This time, it had metastasized into the bloodstream and lungs. The results of the scan of her lungs was the most depressing, soul-crushing image I’ve seen in my entire life. All over the picture were tiny pinpricks of white – each another tiny tumor, growing with the speed that only cancer can grow at. And worse, now this cancer was resistant to chemotherapy – and no amount of surgery would be able to remove all of it.

Obviously, the prognosis was even worse this time around – 3 months, the doctor said – if you’re lucky.

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.

She was supposed to have grandchildren.

She was supposed to be there at my wedding.

She was supposed to see me go to work at my first real job.

She was supposed to watch my graduation.

I wanted, with all of my heart, for her to be proud of me.


I realized that I had very little margin for error. There was to be no more slacking off if I wanted to accomplish my goal. For the first time in my life, it wasn’t a question of how much effort, how much obsession was necessary. Instead, it was a question of whether my obsession would be enough.


“Tell me,” the interviewer asked. “What’s your strongest trait?”

“Well,” I answered, “whatever I do, I always apply my passion towards it… you could almost call it an obsession for constantly improving myself and getting better. In fact, let me tell you about one of my hobbies, this card game I play…”


That night, the partner who interviewed me called me.

“We were really impressed with your interview today, especially what you told us about your passion for what you do. That’s exactly what we look for in our candidates. We’d like to extend an offer…”


That fall, I finished the final class required for my accounting major. But the hunger to do even more still burned within me.

This June, I graduated summa cum laude with a triple major in accounting, finance, and information systems. As soon as the commencement ceremony finished, I dashed out to find my mom and give her a great big hug.


Three weeks before GenCon, my mother passed away. She had battled for four years against cancer, and outlived her initial prognosis by three.

Before she went, she told me she was so proud of me, especially of how mature I had become over the past two years.


Three days before GenCon, I left for the airport. It was the first time in my 10 years of playing competitive card games that my mom hadn’t been there to wish me luck as I left.


During GenCon, I “played to my outs” many, many times.

Thanks, mom.


Of course, I really wish I wasn’t such an idiot and actually read over my cards… but that’s always been my problem, hasn’t it? Brilliant plays one game, completely boneheaded errors the next. That’s just been my style for these four years.

And when, to-night,
I enter Christ's fair courts, and, lowly bowed,
Sweep with doffed casque the heavens' threshold blue,
One thing is left, that, void of stain or smutch,
I bear away…
My panache.


It is currently 4:30 AM. I am in St. Charles, Illinois, and I have just finished writing about 4 years of card games.

Card games have everything to do with why I’m here. In four hours, I begin my training for Ernst and Young – perhaps the most prestigious out of the Big 4 accounting firms.

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Friday, October 15, 2010
The Perfect Curve Set 19 "Path of Pain" Preview #4 - "Turtle? How? 5th Gate Breaks Guard in 3 Hits!"
After seeing our preview of "Primary Lotus" the other day, you're probably very confused. So far, to recap, it would seem that the Taijutsu deck has a Rock Lee with Surge, a Might Guy with Surge who gets "Overflowing Chakra" effect text when used, a crazy powerful Platoon, a Leaf Hurricane that picks up Ninjas & Taijutsu Jutsus, and now another Jutsu that requires Taijutsu that picks up Jutsu.

So you'll no doubt notice that for Leaf Hurricane to reach maximum efficiency, it has to be used with Lee or Guy as they're the only Taijutsu Ninja with Surge (Of course there's Gitai and a few others but that's not the point). Well, if you need to make Leaf Hurricane more efficient, you're going to need to stock pile your deck full of Surge Ninja. Or you could just play today's preview and play, you know, whatever Taijutsu Ninja you want:

The Tortoise Ninja returns! But this time, he doesn't give all your Taijutsu Ninja +1/+1, instead granting all your Ninja the effect of Surge, which may not seem like much but it's actually better than you think. For example, anyone remember Agira from Will of Fire? Yeah, this tortoise is going to ensure that deck is going to be using his effect a lot more often.

So let's take a look at a few of the Pros and Cons for this card:

-Good support
-Valid effect
-Allows extra of cards to be useful in a pinch
-Enables Leaf Hurricane and Primary Lotus to be used more often

-On arguably the worst turn marker in the game. Godspeed fitting it in with the other 3 drops
-So-so injured stats
-Not so much a con as it is a generic, unoriginal effect

This card could be something the deck desperately needs depending on the other pieces, or it could simply be a throw away card that won't ever see the light of day. You guys decide.

Oh ... and there was something else I wanted to talk about... oh right


So we said that we were going to have a Contest here at "The Perfect Curve" as sort of a "Reader Appreciation" contest. Well, to be more precise, CONTESTS. That's S as in plural. From now, leading up to the "Path of Pain" launch, we will be randomly inserting a special section at the end of featured articles and previews that includes contest details. To be more specific, there will be a set of instructions to follow for your chance to enter to win a featured prize. Each article "challenge" is a little different so as such, the prize for each "challenge" will be completely different. There's some really great stuff you can win.

In fact, I think we're going to do our first one right now.

The Prize

I'm sure many of you are wondering what we're going to be giving away for our first mini-challenge/contest. Well, how about a set of Target Promos?

The winner of this challenge will receive the prize in the picture, in the sleeves you see. Those are the actual cards that we're giving away to one lucky reader.

The Challenge

So now you know the prize, but how do you win? Well it's simple really.

Take the following blank card. . .

. . . and complete it. That is to say, the Name, Surname, Characteristics, Stats, Turn Marker, Hand Cost, Combat Attributes, and of course effect text.

We're looking to see your creativity. We want to see something that really "Wows" us in terms of design. There's a lot of "Design Space" for a card like this, and we want to really reward those who like to think outside the box. "The Perfect Curve" Staff will review each entry and vote on their favorites. The winner will not only receive the Target Promos, but also have their work featured here in an article on "The Perfect Curve." Winners will be announced in the coming weeks.

How Do You Enter?

There's an email button on the side for a reason. Or if you don't want to send it there you can send it to theperfectcurve *AT* gmail *DOT* com

We're not putting up the real email via text because we don't want spam or webcrawlers, thank you.

To clarify, you DO NOT have to provide an image of your designed card, but it doesn't hurt. Text is also acceptable and you won't be penalized for not having an image.

Good luck to everyone, and have fun!

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The Perfect Curve "Path of Pain" Preview #3- Dat Hitbox

Just like last week, today's preview card from Naruto CCG's set 19 "Path of Pain" is part of an all new combo based Taijutsu deck designed by Mr. Tylar Allinder himself.

So, like most of you, I'm not really sure what to think of the card itself. Without knowing how the combo works, it's very hard to judge this card, especially with it being a super rare. I remember when Just Like That Hero was previewed, and everyone had the same thought "It's either going to be ridiculous, or it will suck." Unfortunately we all know how that ended up, but who's to say that Primary lotus will share the same fate? Speaking of Just like that Hero, Primary lotus does happen to combo with it. Dump your deck, Primary lotus to pick up all your Hurricanes and other jutsus, then play them all and send them to the bottom of your deck so you don't deck out. Obviously this isn't a great strategy now, as there is no real win conditon, but maybe it will incorporate itself into the Taijutsu deck? Tylar was the one who mentioned to me the synergy between Lotus and JLTH. I really would like to talk more about this card, but without knowing what the deck is trying to do, it's hard for me to pass judgement on a card like this. I guess only time will tell how good Primary Lotus will be. Until next time.

-Andrew Photobucket

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Thursday, October 14, 2010
Zero Blurbs: Why is it so difficult to come out with a good rogue list?

If you haven't checked yet, you bandai put up the new Block format Rogue List. Seriously? It's like despite how much better they get at designing and developing, they are still physically unable to produce a very simple list that won't cause some kind of riot, but still effectively balance the format. Don't get me wrong, I love Bandai (Admittedly it's kind of a love hate relationship) and I think they have gotten much better at designing and development, but times like this make me question if they use common sense when putting together these lists. Anyway, let's go over the new changes to the list:

-Water Style Furious Current Jutsu: In my honest opinion the card should have always been banned in my opinion, since it's pretty ridiculous in your opening hand, and very difficult to play around. Going to one was fine, since it decreased the chance of drawing it in the first few turns, but it's still a pretty obnoxious when some one sacks its in their opener, so I fully support removing a bit of the luck factor from the game by banning this card.

-Giant Ninja Toad: What. The. Ef. So this is what I was talking about when I mentioned Bandai's lack of common sense. They just restricted a card that only sees play because he gets pulled from your deck and played on turn "way to early" via Summoning Jutsu. The result: You can still play Summoning Jutsu early and wreck your opponent with Giant Ninja Toad, because you only ever needed one to begin with. Now, before Bandai responds "By restricing him, we prevent players from using Summoning jutsu twice to get Giant Ninja Toad and demolishing your field over the course of two turns." I must point out: If you had restricted Summoning Jutsu to one (You know, the problematic card) we wouldnt be able to Summoning Jutsu twice anyway.

-Sealing the Evil: So, this card probably should have hit the list last format, but never did so it's a little awkward that it's landed there now, but I think it's fine. Taking away the cheap removal in the format should make the format a little more tolerable.

-Chidori Stream: Come on. It's bad enough that you made a Sasuke that literally says "Just go get the board wipe thingy" but now that you acknowledge that stream is an issue (It wouldn't be on the list at all if you didn't feel that way) you put it to one instead of banning it. You made a card that searches it. That same card can play it. That card can also be tutored like five different ways. Seriously? What logic went behind this decision? And I don't want to hear anything like "We didn't ban it cause we were afraid the target promos would stop selling" cause thats bull in my opinion. The target promos are all playable to begin with, have amazing artwork, and come at an incredibly affordable price. On top of that, the Sasuke has a billion (Maybe not a billion) different targets he can grab, including the new water Chidori, so I highly doubt people would forget him, or even stop playing him just because Stream was banned.

-Exposing the Hideout: Is fine at one. People wont build around the concept of dropping into play Katsuyu or other random six plus drops if they only have a small chance of drawing the card early. It allows the card to be played, but not abused I think, so I'm fine with it going to one.

-Fear by Genjutsu: Why is this card NOT at three, it doesn't even see much play outside of decks located outside of california (You guys put it in everything, don't lie). I feel kind of weird arguing this, because I have no intention of ever playing the card unless I suddenly had the urge to play Dogs, but I'm just tired of Bandai encouraging the illusion that Fear is "Too good", justifying to the ridiculous price tag on online stores.

In retrospect, Bandai didn't do an "Awful" job with the list, but I just feel like this list was easy mode. There were three major cards that defined the previous format, Exposing, Stream, and Summoning. All they had to do was make them all less overwhelming by decreasing their consistency, which they did with Exposing, but completely failed to do with both Summoning Jutsu and Chidori Stream. By failing to touch two of the three best decks, all they did was widen the gap between those decks and the rest of the format. All I can say is that I'm glad the 4th quarter is going to be unlimited format.

Feel free to let me know wether you agree or disagree and why in the comments bellow.

-Andrew Photobucket

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Set 19 "Path of Pain" Sasuke Uchiha Preview Discussion
Sunday, October 10, 2010
The Perfect Curve "Path of Pain" Preview #2 - "What do you mean BB is a semi-infinte!?"
Right from the flavor text, you know our second preview for "Path of Pain" is something special.

"Now. . . Explode!"


. . .


In all seriousness, the change of having Taijutsu be a Combo deck starting with Set 19 has been a much welcomed change, and something I've been hoping for for a long time. When I first started to watch this series, I wasn't really a big fan of Rock Lee but after his selfless actions when fighting Dosu I sat and thought about it. "He really whooped on Sasuke so that alone gets him cool points. I might actually end up liking this guy after all!" Then after the Gaara fight, I was sold. I don't often show it much anymore, since he seems to be taking a back seat to my obsession with tsundere (See: Sakura), but Rock Lee really is my favorite character in Naruto. I feel he is one of the most likable characters and really carries my spirit and motto in life very well: You can overcome it with hard work. If you really try, you can do it.

And the character is actually flawed. He has weaknesses. He's not over powered like Sasuke. He's not just handed incredible powers like Naruto or Ichigo or any other main character in a Shonen series. He works for it...and it pays off (sometimes). So why isn't this reflected in the card game? You work hard to make a Rock Lee deck and it under performs. As Andrew said, chance removals and pumps don't work well AT ALL in a removal based format. Now that removal is gone and entire elements are being reevaluated, Lee finally has his chance to shine.

Yesterday, we showed you the first piece in the Rock Lee combo for Set 19, which is basically the beginning of the combo. Today, we'll be showing you the centerpiece of the combo. It doesn't tie everything together but you will soon realize just what it is the deck is supposed to be doing:

Yes, it's a Platoon. When Tylar first showed me the card, I protested saying it should have been a Squad because typically Platoons without Shikamaru or Temari just don't make the cut. Some of those fears, however, are quickly dispelled by a few of the cards highlights.

Card Overview
-9/3, 8/0 stats are absolutely bonkers. The card is HUGE.
-No Hand cost, something that has been needed for platoons to be competitive for a while
-Commonly played Ninja in Lightning
-Effect allows for near infinite Battle Phases if you are able to force blocks. The effect IS MANDITORY, so yes, it is indeed an infinite combo that auto-wins the game if your opponent must block the team every time and cannot remove it from play.
-Valid effect means injuring it does not stop the infinite lock
-Jonin Rank and a solid combat attribute in "Taijutsu"
-Not a squad meaning you don't need to cram both Ninja into the deck

-Not a squad meaning its probably more difficult to play and thus risks seeing no competitive play
-No mental power
-Takes up deck space
-Only 1 symbol
-Turn 6 Platoon makes it very difficult to play
-Competes with other Might Guys (Dynamic Entrance, Unstoppable Blue Beast) and the Rock Lee & Gaara Squad which are both incredibly powerful in the Taijutsu Deck already.

Will the card see play? I don't really know. But the effect looks EXTREMELY promising and if someone can find a way to break it, it could be the start of a very fun deck type, finally earning Rock Lee some much earned recognition.

Thanks again to Tylar for giving us such a fantastic preview for set 19. Check back early in the week for our "The Perfect Curve Contest" prizing structure as well as how to enter for your chance to win one of several prizes, as well as more previews from Set 19, "Path of Pain."

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Saturday, October 9, 2010
The Perfect Curve Path of Pain Preview #1- Spamming dat Forward A
When Tylar announced his remodeling of the Taijutsu archetype I was pretty excited, as I have always felt as though Rock Lee received the short end of the stick in the game. Pump based decks in removal heavy formats never really have a chance to shine, and it had been established since the beginning of the game that Taijutsu would be a pump based strategy. I had never thought of changing Taijutsu to be combo based, but now that the idea has been presented, it makes a lot of sense. Unlike Ninjutsu techniques, which are usually powerful one hit attacks, Taijutsu is all about a combination of powerful kicks and punches to beat your opponent.

Anyway, here is our first preview card, as well as the first card of the new Taijutsu combo:

So, not much can really be said about the card by it self, as it IS a combo card and we don't know any of the other pieces, however I wouldn't be surprised if the combo has something to do with Surge. Maybe there will be a Might guy who can be surged multiple times, and whenever he is surged he gains the effect "When this ninja wins a victory or outstanding victory you win 1 Battle Reward" and the combo is basically using a card to get might guys and a leaf hurricane in your discard pile so that you can keep picking up might guys and surging him and win 10 battle rewards in one turn. While I'm sure Tylar came up with something a bit more elegant, all we can do right now is speculate.

Anyway, check back each day for new content including previews twice a week!

-Andrew Photobucket

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Shaping the format: Rhapsody of Memories!

Earlier in the week Bandai posted up the new Rogue list for the Naruto CCG's "Unlimited" format. If you haven't seen, you might want to check it out. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to see such a huge overhaul to that train wreck of a format. I've always supported the idea of maintaining Unlimited as a secondary format, and potentially switching between Block and Unlimited for Shonen Jump Championships, similar to how Wizards uses Standard and Extended formats for Magic: The Gathering's Premier level events. With the new list I firmly believe that Unlimited can be a format used for premier level events.

Those of you interested in participating in 4th quarter Chunin events, which are set to be Unlimited format (Or Block if your local is uninterested in trying out the "New" unlimited format) are probably just starting to build, and although Bandai did ban most of the more powerful cards in the format, actually did leave a few incredibly solid options for the upcoming season. Over the course of this month I plan on throwing together some deck ideas for the new Unlimited format, and discussing why I think they are a solid choice for the upcoming 4th quarter Chunin events. I figured we would kick of this series with the return of a personal favorite archetype:

Monowind Puppets

"Rhapsody of Memories"

Ninjas: 33

3 Shino [Insect Warriors]

3 Kiba [Keen Nose]

2 Gaara of the Desert (Childhood) [Loneliness]

2 Sakura [A Double Personality]

2 Shikamaru [Flexiblity]

2 Temari [Wind Scythe]

2 Kankuro [Trick]

1 Black Ant [Lifeless Warrior]

1 Crow [Lifeless Warrior]

3 Tobi [Man of Mystery]

2 Ebizo [Fishing]

1 Naruto [Reliance]

1 Kankuro [Tactician]

1 Salamander [Lifeless Warrior]

2 Hiruko [Impatient]

1 Asuma [For the Next Generation]

1 Chiyo [Retired Master]

1 Father & Mother [Lifeless Warrior]

1 Sasori [Creating the Master Piece]

1 Shikamaru & Asuma [Shogi Match]

Jutsus: 7

3 Wind Scythe Jutsu (BP)

3 Concealed Weapon

1 Secret White Move: Chikimatsu's 10 Puppets

Missions: 10

3 Substitute

3 Entrustment

2 Sasori of the Red Sand

2 Kankuro's Puppet Show

Reinforcement Deck:

3 Shino & Kiba

2 Shikamaru & Asuma

2 Sasori & Deidara

2 Sasori (Puppet Mode)

2 Gaara & Temari

2 Kankuro & Black Ant

1 Naruto & Shion

I was initially surprised when I looked at the list and saw that pretty much every highly played deck of the past got slammed, save for Puppets, which went completely untouched. Regardless, puppets is back and better than ever due so cool new inclusions:

-Hiruko: Now you don't need to flash a puppet onto your team before using an offensive Concealed Weapon! He also forces your opponent to make bad blocks to prevent getting out tempo'd, something puppets already tries to do. and lastly: So yeah, probably poor foresight on Bandai's part, but Kankuro [Trick] can grab Hiruko, making Trick even deadlier than he was before. He also works great with Kankuro & Black ant, letting them lock down a ninja, while Hiruko picks off their teammates.

-Gaara & Temari: One of the problems with Puppets was its lack of high powered ninjas without the assistance of puppets. The new squad not only gives you a powerful effect at the cost of 2 commonly played low drops, but a 7/5 body as well!

-Entrustment: The draw power puppets wished they had before they were rotated is finally in their hands!

-Kankuro's puppet show: I initially thought this card was strictly worse than arbitration, but after Pat kept talking about how good it was I tried it out. I still dislike it in block, but in Unlimited it gives you a lot of sick interactions, such as picking up an Ebizo, then replaying him to pick up a puppet (Also giving you a draw since he is Sand), targeting Temari for draw and other chance at picking off a Jutsu, and picking up a Salamander while having tactician in play, thus giving the card NO draw back. I really like this card in this list, and may even bump it to three if I see fit.

Miroku does a number on this deck, so I would probably side a few Kigiri's, since he is probably the best way of dealing with her, not to mention fits right into the curve of the deck. The Shika/Asuma Package isn't necessary, and it makes the deck a little clunky (seven 1 drops) but I feel like he's too good not to play, especially since it prevents your opponent from just chumping your huge puppet teams until they find an answer.

Check back each week in October as I discuss decks and strategies for the New Unlimited format, and check back tomorrow when I post up the first of our Preview cards for Naruto CCG's set 19 "Paths of Pain"!

-Andrew Photobucket

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Monday, October 4, 2010
"Path of Pain" Contest In the Works
The first step to revitalizing and revamping "The Perfect Curve" after our big absence this off season is to open up big.

How Big?

How about a contest for all our loyal readers.

What will the reward be?

Prizes, obviously.

What kind of Prizes?

Glad you asked.

We'll be giving away platinum promos, signed cards from "The Perfect Curve" staff, Super Rares, Playmats, Starter Decks, A WHOLE SEALED BOX OF CARDS, and possibly the new "Untouchable" tins.


Well because we love our readers. And we want to give our readers a reason to start reading us again on a daily basis.

Stay tuned for full contest details and rules in the coming week or so, as well as perhaps a new layout.

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