Now, before you ask "Hey, didn't you say you were going to put up a 2010 card review?" I did say that. As my fellow writers can attest to, I have about 6 half written articles locked away in the post logs of this site, to one day be finished. Unfortunately, that article is among them. don't worry though, because if you are reading this, that means I managed to atleast finish one of my articles for the month!
Never the less, i wanted to talk about something most people seem to be looking past; Gamaken and Father & Mother's common ability. Most people seem to be overlooking that these cards can block multiple teams, which might be due to the presence of better cards being previewed, or more powerful effects on the same card in Father & Mother's case. Regardless of the reason, I think that the inclusion of this ability is something people should take notice of, because it might actually come to make a big difference in future game play.
How many games have you lost due to your opponent throwing 3 dork ninjas at you, when you were only capable of blocking 1 or 2 at the most, despite your overwhelming team power, or the existence of powerful jutsus in your hand? One of the biggest flaws in the game is that you really can't afford to miss drops, because you put yourself in a position where you can't make big teams otherwise you run the risk of losing to low power dorks being thrown at you until you die. Adding this kind of effect to the game changes this, and in a way reward long term strategies and making trades more carefully.
Now, I'm not saying "Gamaken is gonna be staple1!!!" because he wont be (Baring a freak animal invasion, of course) but I think that Bandai has alot of space to work with this mechanic in the future. I personally would love to see a new Akamaru or Kiba that boost each other, and have an additional effect of being able to block mutiple teams when together. How great would it be if Bandai even expanded on being able to block multiple teams by creating effects that trigger off of double blocking? Or even creating cards that implement double blocking in reverse? Here are a few examples of what I mean:
Double Headed Wolf
Leaf Male Animal Ninja Dog Rienforcement
[Double your Wolf, Double your Fun]
Sacrifice: Kiba + Akamaru
Valid: When this Ninja is Blocked, discard the top 5 cards of your opponents deck for each team blocking it.
Valid: This Ninja can be blocked by up to two of your opponents teams.
Leaf Chunin Male Secret Pills
Valid: This Ninja's Team can block up to 2 teams.
Valid: While this Ninja is blocking more than one team, if this ninja is in the same team as another Ninja with
"Nara", "Yamanaka", or "Akimichi" In the the name, this Ninja adds it's combat twice to the team power.
As you can see, there is alot that bandai can do with this type of effect, so hopefully the designers utilize the design space, instead of forgetting about it's existence entirely. This effect doesn't even have to be (and shouldn't be) printed on every ninja, but it's existence on a few solid cards in the format might add more depth to combat. Until next time.