So tonight was our release event at my local shop for Set 23. We always have our events on Thursday because we have to compete for room with Magic (Friday) and Yu-gi-oh (Saturday) otherwise. We were all excited to open up our pool of six boosters and see what cards that had not been previwed prior to that time did. One forty card deck and three rounds of Swiss later, I walked off with a pile of prize packs for my 1st place win. That, of course, is hardly important. Rather, I just wanted to touch on a few cards that I found were extremely versitile in the Limited environment, and also how a few of those cards could possibly make for breakout success in Constructed.
First, I'll lay out my deck list at least so you can see what I was working with:
Ninjas (26) (4 Wind, 3 Fire, 4 Earth, 4 Lightning, 7 Water, 2 Void, 2 Fire/Lightning)
x2 Sakura (Childhood)
x1 Sasuke (Childhood)
x1 Kisuke Maboroshi
x1 Choji Akimichi
x2 Ink Leech
x1 Hinata Hyuga
x1 Ink Snake
x1 Pain (Animal Path)
x2 Rock Lee
x1 Tenten (yay...)
x1 Gaara of the Desert
x1 Kisame Hoshigaki
x1 Kabuto Yakushi
x1 Pain (Asura Path)
Missions (6) (2 Fire, 2 Wind, 2 Void)
x2 Heated Argument
x1 A Masters Death
x1 Six Paths of Pain
Jutsu (8) (2 Wind, 1 Lightning, 1 Fire, 3 Water, 1 Fire/Lightning)
x2 Wind Blade
x1 Lightning Beast Running
x1 Lighting Style: Shadow Clone
x1 Chakra Liquid
x2 Sticky Webbing
x1 Fire Style: Biscuit Firing Jutsu
Solid Cards of the catagories:
Sakura (Childhood)- More often than not, I was able to pick up an extra card off of this Ninja, who usually came down as a Turn 1 rather than the Turn 0 that it actually is. Her ability to dig through your deck might get her into some Wind decks as a functional 1 drop, as her stats and the added effect from growth make her a solid Ninja.
Kisuke Maboroshi- Nothing but value out of this card. I was able to ram into opposing turn 0 drops with 3 Combat without fear, knowing I could just chump with him and get him back as a ghost. I was able to effectively eliminate enemy Kisuke's with Biscuit Firing Jutsu though. I can definately see this guy being played in Fire as well as in Lightning, offering a valuable turn for setting up. If you happen to have the new Karin from this set around as well, he's pretty much an infinite chump blocker, save for well aimed Biscuits being fired at him.
Shiho- A conservative player will use this card to effectively have the top card of their deck as an extra card in hand, as they will block carefully to conserve important cards on the top of the deck or use it to shave away extra chaff. An aggresive player will use this card to dig for key Jutsu in order to push for rewards. I was able to use her in both situations in many games. Nothing was better than drawing into a jutsu I could use and shipping a high drop Ninja I didn't need back to the top of my deck.
Ink Leech- Yeah, good in Limited, Good in Constructed, just good over all. Three chakra in a format where playing missions is hard enough as it is puts you way ahead of the curve against your opponent, and in Constructed, where you will be gaining even more chakra from mission plays every turn, as well as the reintroduction of Paper Bomb into the format as a reprint (Paper Bomb early game is just as bad as Infinite Embrace was).
Tsukado- This guy was a champ, as being valid, he just ran head long into battle every turn. He as well as a few other cards really shined when I was able to drop Six Paths of Pain, forcing both my opponent and I to battle with Teams of only 1 Ninja.
Hidan- He just won games where I needed that one extra reward to win, which happened more often than I thought it would.
Kisame Hoshigaki- This guy is brutal every time he hits the board. As I mentioned with Ink Leech, in a format where every chakra matters, and with him effectively cutting off any chance for your opponent to reliably retaliate after his effect resolves, he allowed me to push aggressively for rewards when I otherwise might have feared jutsu retaliation.
Pain (Asura Path)- Not really solid perse, but big stats and the ability for me to actually get his effect online with the help of Kisame and Animal Path, he just solidified already strong leads, rather than really help me win. Honorable Mention for me being able to actually use his effect though a few times (and shut down a pesky Kakashi (Boyhood) before he even got to set off his coins).
Six Paths of Pain- Tempo card of the year. When your opponent is supporting their Head Ninja of a decent team with 0/2's and then this hits the board, they sort of just fold under the aggressive press of an opposing field of all Combat heavy Ninjas. With a curve of Kisuke, Tsukao, and Turn 2 Rock Lee one game, followed by this Mission, it added up to a quick GGGGGGG.
Almost all of the annoying as hell Permanent Attach Missions- Hiding and Brooding Mood crippled teams, Heated Argument made guys huge and into one man wrecking squads, Information Extraction made any Ninja into a complete liability with the fact that losing them meant losing 2 cards from hand.
Wind Blade- I had lots of Wind and lots of Water, and my opponent's Head Ninjas were lots of injured and lots of 0/0 for some sweet OVs. I still hate the picture though.
Fire Style: Biscuit Firing Jutsu- For 1 chakra, I just made profit off your bad block, or I just turned a draw into an edge for myself. This was just an overall popular card tonight.
Lightning Style Shadow Clone Jutsu- I could actually see this being played in Constructed, simply for the sheer factor that getting this played on you when you think you have the advantage can be really depressing, especially when someone uses their Kakashi's effect to try and obliterate your lone Kisame.
So anyways, I hope everyone enjoys their Release Events for Set 23: Invasion. Be sure to check back to the site every so often for more ramblings from Pat and I, as we're the only ones who ever post anymore.
-Shino'sDad (Nick Botchis)