"Rhapsody of Memories"
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]
3 Wind Scythe Jutsu (BP)
3 Concealed Weapon
1 Secret White Move: Chikimatsu's 10 Puppets
2 Sasori of the Red Sand
2 Kankuro's Puppet Show
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