Friday, April 27, 2012
TPC 2nd Year Contest Honorable Mention: Anthony Burns
This post is long overdue but without any further delay, I'm going to officially start talking about our 2 Honorable Mention cards and 2 Winners for our 2nd Year Anniversary Contest. As I said prior, I've had a lot of hangsups so I want to thank you guys for being patient while I take the time to get them out there. First and foremost, the entry!

 The Entry

Card Completeness & Formatting
All the essentials, stats, flavor text, characteristics, and flavor text are there so Anthony gets full points.

Originality of Effect
While the first effect is hardly something new (It's just a slightly improved version of something akin to Itachi [True Heir]) it is still nice to see that this style of effect was thought of. That said, it could've probably did something slightly different than just standard fair. The second effect is actually very interesting, effectively removing a big threat from a team such as Pain (Deva Path), preventing you from ever attempting to resolve that game winning Jutsu. I like the flavor of this style of effect as it does try to match what Anthony's theme of the card was trying to do (React to your opponent's threats). It also feels like a very Tobi/Madara-esque effect...imprisoning someone for a short while.

Card Balance
Here's where I feel the card falls flat. For a turn 6 Squad, the stats are on point but I feel that every other thing falls flat. The cards cost of 3 is very steep and the effect isn't entirely rewarding of the effect seeing as it's only "Attacker | Mission" timing. I feel like to make this card better, it could've kept it's same cost but just be "Mission" timing or it could've dropped the cost all together and stayed the same (and perhaps add "Can't be sent out to Battle this turn and the next turn.") This is a turn 6 squad, which means people are only really going to consider it if it's game ending or gives you a decisive chance to win. Very few turn 6+ squads see play that don't grant large advantages or aren't game ending (Pain & Itachi, Naruto & 4th, etc.). Sasuke & Itachi squad, while strong, barely sees play as it is on turn 6 and it's still slightly stronger than the card. Anthony did a great job design and flavor wise, but the actual costs and restrictions on the card are what really held it being back.

The Uniqueness of the Pairing
Anthony's squad has a pretty obvious yet still less thought of Squad when it comes to Naruto characters. Tobi and Sasuke, while Allies, are rarely if ever shown in the same place or location outside of a few key instances (Right after the Sasuke & Itachi fight or Sasuke & Danzo fight). It makes it really easy to forget that sometimes they really are a pair and for that he gets some points.

The Write Up
Here's what Anthony had to say about his card upon submitting it: Ok, the reason I chose Sasuke and Tobi is, first off, Tobi is one of my favorite characters in Naruto. I chose Sasuke because of the talk he and Tobi had right after Itachi's death. As for expectations, I wanted to make a card that reflected Sasuke's Mangekyo activating at Tobi's Sharingan and the conversation the two had at the Akatsuki hideout.
It's a little bit shorter than I would've liked, but it does accurately convey his intentions with the card.

Thank you Anthony for your submission! We hope you enjoy reading The Perfect Curve and hope that you will submit more work for our next contest! Until next time!
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Rebuttal: 2EZ Blog's "Rogue List Interpertation" (+ Bonus)
Normally at this time of the day I'm sort of busy with work but today on my lunch break I came across this article written by Matt Eisenbud . Just reading over the list, I can already see several problems with it and wanted to share some of my thoughts on it and what I do and don't agree with on the list.

At Zero
Hydro Pump
Disagree with Hydro-Pump entirely at zero. I used to be one of the biggest opponents of this card being at zero and as it stands right now, I think it's fine. The format is generally fast enough where this card isn't really a huge problem and there are comparable cards now late game (Almighty Push). It isn't even really in every deck anymore. So the only real problem with this card is if it comes down early from Fourth Hokage... which is a combo I've played before. It's a -4 from your hand and if you still have to make a Ninja drop, that's a -5 for the turn. I really hope that what's left in your hand is a KNS and/or Sakura's Decision to refill your hand otherwise you burnt everything just to get that far. And if your opponent has the Dragon Flame/F. Punch Response, you just look silly for going "All In" on turn 1 or turn 2.

On top of that, it's one of the few cards that can stop a card like Susan. In fact I'd argue that Hydro Pump is one of the largest reasons as to why Susan doesn't see play in this format (others being things like Mind Transfer, Almighty Push, and an aggressive format).

At 1
The Warhawk
Why? I understand it's pretty much super over powered but if you go after this card, you have to go after Monster Research from Lightning & Water as well as Sakura's Decision from Wind because they essentially net you the same style of advantage you need. Earth is the only element that doesn't have a card like this and they're getting back Student & Sensei, a turn 1 Draw 2, with Set 25 as well as a pretty powerful Permanent Mission theme in my book. I really don't think you want to hit Warhawk at all as it's pretty much Fire's "Bread N' Butter" the same way all those other cards are. Post rotation, Fire has garbage missions without Warhawk.

At 2
This is one that I can get behind but at 2 solves nothing. If you're going to hit Byakugan, go all in or don't. Byakugan isn't a 3 of card, even with tri-color cards coming out in droves this set. You either ban it (I don't think it's that good), put it at 1 (kill it's consistency to be played in mulitples) or leave it alone. I really feel Semi-Limits are dumb as they don't really accomplish anything unless all 3 copies of the card are needed to win. You don't hit the consistency of a card, and you don't fix the problem.

Dome Prison
The problem with Dome Prison is the amount of advantage you get for playing it back to back. Putting Dome at 2 instead of 3 decreases consistency yes, but it just allows for a less skill intensive meta. You hit your 2 Dome Prison and blew the other guy out of the game early with your chakra burn so they can never get their game plan going. Denying resources is the most "Anti-Fun" mechanic in this game. Players shouldn't be just handed things and should have to be challenged to try to make their game plans but you shouldn't straight up deny your opponent's game, especially when it further accelerates you, can be played that early, and played that cheap. Putting this @ 2 is the equivalent of moving Furious Current back to 2. . . you're just encouraging an early game blowout

Big Bang
Same as Dome Prison. Only this time, putting this at 2 will make everyone shift to Fire/Wind or Fire/Lightning to give them the best chance of digging for Dragon Flame for the "GGs." Putting it at 2 just accelerates decks and gives players more chances to lock their opponent out of a game before they even get a chance to play it.

So Wind has no real damaging moves unless used with another element. And Reanimation's "Infinite Loop" doesn't really hit until turn 6 when Tsunade hits (I recognize with the release of 25, you have Sakura and Shizton to make this happen much earlier). But really this is all Wind has besides F. Punch...Wind Pressure is good but not great, like the Jutsu from other elements. I say let Wind have it....and if you're going to restrict it, why 2? That does NOTHING. Most people only play 2. 2 is what allows the loop to exist! If you want to hurt this card at all, put it at 0 or 1. As I said above, limiting to 2 does nothing except lower your odds of pulling off a combo (and it's not even that high, percentage-wise). 

Ink Leech
I still don't see the problem with this card. Earth and Wind can turn 1 F. Punch/Super Slap/Mind Transfer to stop any early game Jutsu you can get. In fact, it can force you to waste those same cards with Mental Power starts. The stats are sub par. I have no issues but the player base seems to disagree with me here... again 0, 1, or 3. 2 is not a realistic option for this card either.

Infinite Embrace
ROFLMAO! You're joking right? RIGHT!? The Jutsu that's tied for the 2nd best (along with Chidori/Petals/Summoning Jutsu, first being Prong) early game Jutsu want it to come back? DO YOU WANT THE GENCON META TO BE FIRE/WIND OR LOSE? 

3 x Dragon Flame
2 x Embrace

Every deck. Get at me.

Create-A-Card Article #1 goes up tonight or tomorrow, featuring Anthony Burns' card.

Our Videocast/Vloggy/New Podcast had a huge snag in filming which caused us to lose a lot of our footage. We have been working to fix the problem and as soon as Andrew is able to start filming again, we'll host these. We might even consider doing a weekly live streamed show, where we have prominent players/guests from the community on to discuss the state of the game. 

Our 2nd preview from Series 25 "Kage Summit" goes up next Tuesday around lunch time (EST) so be sure to check it out! It's really good! Trust me!


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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
The Perfect Curve Exclusive Preview #1: A Solid State, Too
Happy Tuesday everyone! Seeing as no preview was posted anywhere yesterday, I can only assume that I have the pleasure of posting the first of the exclusive off-site previews for Set 25: Kage Summit. Today we're going to be seeing a card that was hinted at by Tylar in his Tylar's Corner yesterday.

So, a few of you have voiced your concern for Water falling behind a bit do to a lack of real early game solid removal anymore, when compared to cards like Fire Style: Dragon Flame Jutsu for Fire and Rasengan for Lightning, and even Wind Style: Pressure Damage for Wind. Today's preview is a source of removal for Water as early as Turn 2.

Cursed Seal Chakra Blast is a Water Jutsu that cost 2 Water Chakra, and requires either State 2 or a Jugo with an Entrance Cost of 3 or higher. An important thing to note is that a Jugo that is not Turn 3 or higher but does have State 2 still fulfills the requirements of this jutsu.

Now, the Target itself is both a blessing and a curse (heh) in a way. Compared to the prior three removal jutsu that I listed this one can target any Ninja on the Battlefield, as compared to just an opposing Ninja. This allows for more flexibility in how you plan to organize your teams or make important blocks. The downside of course, is that it can only target a Ninja with More Support than the user. To touch on this a bit further, let's first make a list of all the Ninjas that can actually use this jutsu (Note, I am only listing those Ninjas currently in the Block Format):

Jugo [Path of Pain Starter Reprint]
Tayuya (State 2) [Path of Pain]
Jugo (State 1) [Path of Pain]
Kidomaru (State 2) [Tales of the Gallant Sage]
Jugo [Tales of the Gallant Sage]
Sakon & Ukon (State 2) [Shattered Truths]
Jugo [Shattered Truth]
Sasuke (State 2) [Tournament Pack 3]
Jugo [Tournament Pack 3]
Jugo (State 1) [Weapons of War]
Jirobo (State 2) [Invasion]
Jugo [Invasion]
Kimimaro (State 2) [Sage's Legacy]
Sasuke (State 2) [Sage's Legacy]
Jugo [Sage's Legacy]

Fifteen Users! Not bad at all. But then again, save for high level Kages or Growthed KNS (Which isn't all that uncommon), no Ninjas really have 4 Support. So if we remove all of the users with a natural healthy support of 3 or more, our list looks like this:

Jugo [Path of Pain Starter Reprint]
Jugo [Tournament Pack 3]
Jugo (State 1) [Weapons of War]
Jirobo (State 2) [Invasion]
Jugo [Invasion]
Sasuke (State 2) [Sage's Legacy]
Jugo [Sage's Legacy]

Ok, so we lose about half the users. It isn't too big of a deal though, because removal is removal, and most of these listed users actually get stronger when they trigger the removal part of the effect, that is, injuring the user in order to get that extra damage.

We should get to the effect I suppose, and I already mentioned above, you have to injure the user in order to get the extra damage in order to actually kill the target. This though, is no different from Dragon Flame in a way, as that card does the same thing.

Yes, so the card isn't true removal, but it can and usually will be removal. Comparing it to Dragon Flame yields the same result for less chakra, and comparing it to Pressure Damage leaves you with a Ninja compared to your opponent still losing a Ninja. Also, if you really want to go full on with this card, you could always play this little gem:

Card Not Found

Andrew Kardis may disagree, as might a lot of people, and I am by no means calling this a 'Pro Tech', but it opens up the possibility of making today's preview usable by nearly every Ninja in your deck, if you're running Water.

Overall, I really like this card, both for it's pool of possible users, cheap cost, and utility in it's both wide and narrow targeting. While it might not be able to hit Head Ninjas until around Turn 5, and kills most Kages without too much trouble, it has that key ability to cover anywhere on the Battlefield, creating the possibility for all sorts of interesting scenarios. Stay tuned over the next two weeks as we preview three more exclusive cards for the newest set of the Naruto Shippuden CCG: Set 25 "Kage Summit"!

-Nick (Shino'sDad)

Sunday, April 22, 2012
Kage Power Rankings by Squee

Hey guys, as a treat for you all Squee (Eric Melone) will now be writing for "The Perfect Curve"! His first article "Kage Power Rankings" can be found below. Be sure to leave us feedback and let us know how he did! Stay tuned for more from Eric in the coming weeks as well as more updates from us. I PROMISE this week I'll get the contest articles up. - Tsu

With the previews winding down and everyone picking and analyzing their favorite cards I decided to take a look at the five most anticipated cards now that they have all been previewed; the five kages. Many people have already stated their opinions on these cards. Reluctant to do so immediately I decided to wait a couple of days before re-visiting the pros and cons of each of these powerful cards. Please keep in mind that I consider all of these cards extremely playable and the difference between them is not that big of a gap. Before I get to the rankings though there is one big advantage and one big disadvantage each of these ninjas share. So to avoid extreme redundancy I won’t be mentioning these attributes with every single kage but I do feel that it is worth discussing.

Disadvantage: Every Kage is non-valid. While I am sure I am not the first to mention it I see this as a huge disadvantage on a ninja when considering deck construction. After playing your Kage if your opponent has a way of injuring it effortlessly it then becomes a giant vanilla ninja assuming your build doesn’t have substantial healing. This is a huge risk when playing a ninja you want to become a game changer until the end of the game because of it’s effect. Especially with Hidan as a prominent card in the format this becomes an issue to be wary of.

Advantage: High powered jutsu. With all of these Kage’s Bandai has been kind enough to release game changing jutsu for each and every one of these ninjas. I won’t go into detail on the various set 25 jutsus because that would be a separate article within itself. So I will continue on to the power rankings.

5. Onoki

Pros: Support- The first and most glaring positive for this ninja would have to be his support, instantly becoming an insane option for a back ninja on almost any team once he sees play. He has the highest support of all the kages.

Symbols- Fire and wind are extremely powerful elements to have in a build right now, especially as support elements because of their draw power and specific ninjas such as Hidan and of course the new version of Shizton released in set 25.

Effect- First off this is not a ninja that will be a drain on your chakra due to his low cost. An effect will give you an added bonus in every jutsu chain after he is put into play. He is that one jutsu so many of us fall short of in a crucial chain or maybe just insurance when you want to resolve your hydro pump. You can even leave him in your village if you have enough ninjas and make it even more difficult on your opponent to win a chain. And lastly the stand-by effect is easy to overlook but a very nice added bonus of the card. It may leave your opponent hesitant to start a chain if losing it may result the destruction of their team by you just paying 1. If your opponent is using 2 jutsu before you’ve even played your first this card is already pulling its own weight.

Cons: Combat- Obviously this ninja would not make an ideal head ninja due to its extremely low combat if you don’t have some combat on the field (unless you have temari wind pressure out) this ninja will not help you be aggressive.

Effect- The first downside to this ninja is that he forces you to stay on element during construction of your deck or risk not always being able to capitalize on his effect. For example; if you splash a naruto in his effect is unable to protect the naruto and may end up costing you. He also is unable to stop negation or jutsu that don’t target your ninjas which can be frustrating at times. The biggest disadvantage in my opinion is that he requires some sort of control of the board when dropped. He is not an instant game changer in every situation, more-so of a compliment to what you already have in your hand and on your field.

4. Gaara

Pros: Effect- Gaara’s first effect is what makes him better than Onoki. The ability to cloak all of your other ninjas can be very useful against some builds. Also, Gaara is another ninja who is very cost effective. When using these effects almost every turn there is a huge difference between a cost of 1 and a cost of 2. The negation helps in the chain for the same reasons I stated with Onoki except from Gaara you may be able to deliver a counter punch with the chakra you gain back from his effect or just take back any ambush ninjas that may have made their way into your discard pile. Essentially Gaara pays for his own effect and more every time he resolves.

Cons: Stats- Gaara’s stats are not extremely versatile which wouldn’t be a huge issue for me if he excelled in support or combat which he does not. This may be an issue when trying to construct the strongest team for your deck.

Effect- Gaara also depends on a bit of board control when playing him but you can be slightly more aggressive with him because of his stats and that he can stop negation. Secondly, against no-hand water jutsu his effect doesn’t hold much power because the negated jutsu is not discarded or moved to the deck.

Other options- Gaara is the only Kage with an extremely solid second option. Andrew pointed this out to me and it made complete sense… which Gaara is the better option? I think the turn 5 that tutors for you is extremely powerful if you want to use Gaara it would be a tough choice.

3. Mei Terumi

Pros: Stats- Now you may not understand how I prefer her stat pool to Gaara’s stat pool but to me the fact that her stats are balanced makes her very versatile within a team’s composition. She can become a back ninja and make that high team power you’re looking for or double as a head ninja if you are lacking high combat.

Effect- After she is played your opponent will have 2 vanilla ninjas each turn if you choose to pay and be denied all put in play effects if used correctly. Late game mill is also very useful in tight games and may even give you an edge in a tie breaker scenario. The discard effect is going to be hard to resolve against a competent opponent unless you pair her with something like kakashi/sakura and turn 6 just start killing off their threats 1 by 1. Otherwise it is more of a scare tactic part of the effect that may lead to some battle rewards. All in all her effect is very versatile and can win you the game in various ways.

Cons: Effect- The cost isn’t ideal if you’re in a situation where you’re using it on your turn and your opponents turn it may turn out to be a problem chakra wise. While I believe her effect is very strong I do also see it as just as circumstantial. Her, Gaara, and Onoki are all similar in the fact that they don’t hit the board and instantly make an impact which is probably why I don’t prefer them as much as the other 2. It’s all about personal playstyle. She is a very strong control card and if you have a slight edge she kicks your opponent while they’re down but she won’t win you a showdown with her effect or a jutsu war. Imagine how good Mei would be if you could use her in the EOJ or mission phase. Just saying.

2. A

Pros: Stats- Absolute beat stick; his printed power will beat almost any ninja in the game 1v1 and make him the best head ninja in the game. But why would you team him up? Effect- I see him the same way as I see third… I’m going to attack, I beat any team in the game if my effect resolves. Oh you want to attack and for some reason I don’t want to block with this monster I’ll pay 2 and draw a card. His effect also initiates a chain which I doubt your opponent will let go through so you bait them into using the first jutsu and gain an immediate advantage in the chain. The only reason I prefer third is because your opponent can stop his effect as you trigger it, however the difference is so slim I changed my opinion while writing this.

Cons: Stats- Terrible back ninja… lol?

Effect- The only problem is as I mentioned earlier your opponent can stop it in it’s tracks. If not though… say goodbye to their team.

1. The Third Hokage

Pros: Stats- Same stats as mizukage so I prefer them for that same reason.

Elements- Because all of the kages have 3 elements this is really personal preference. The same reason as Onoki, because third has fire and lightning I see that as an advantage in the current format.

Effect- I really love everything about this effect once triggered. His impact is felt immediately swaying your opponent from blocking and can lead to a game altering pump or other snipe jutsu. If they do block before the exchange of jutsu even occurs their team receives -1 to -3 team power as well as being down 2 chakra. The added effect of winning a battle reward just dissuades chump blocking (just in case losing 2 chakra wasn’t dissuading enough). The reason this card can be considered stronger than Raikage is because you can team him up and be even more threatening. Solid card, love the design.

Cons: Effect- The only negative I see at first glance can also be a positive… your opponent can choose not to block. In which case you swing with just 1 team and win battle rewards anyway.



Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Appologies. Getting back on track soon.
Right now things have been a literal mess for me so I appologize to all of you for being so far behind on updating the blog.

Things to Do:
-Show the winners and runner ups of the contest
-Mail out the winner's prizing
-Revamp the Website Layout
-Start the new Podcast/Videocast (Since the prototype blew up in my face)
-Find a way to record/stream GA jump.

Things Impeding Me:
-Lack of funds to pay the bills
-Sister's Birthday
-Raising money for charity to help sick animals
-Dealing with the issue of having multiple people moving into my house cause of family ordeals, where they'll stay, and how this effects my living space.



Sunday, April 1, 2012

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