Deck Profile: Ninjas

PhotobucketThere’s a lot of down time in Yugioh at the moment, no YCS’s no new things coming out until next year really. That to say I don’t have a whole lot to talk about this week. In lieu of that I bring you an update on a Ninja deck I’ve been working on. It’s not Chaos Dragon Ninjas, it’s not Dino Ninjas, it’s Ninja Ninjas! I’ll also take this opportunity to talk about some really cool cards that I’ve been testing in the deck in a similar fashion that I would if I where to give the individual card a “card review” spotlight.

Monsters: (15)

  • 3 – Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo
  • 3 – Red Dragon Ninja
  • 1 – White Dragon Ninja
  • 3 – Heraldic Beast Aberconway
  • 1 – Mist Valley Falcon
  • 1 – Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite
  • 2 – Card Trooper
  • 1 – Tsukuyomi

Spells: (10)

  • 2 – Pot of Duality
  • 2 – D.D.R. – Different Dimension Reincarnation
  • 1 – Soul Exchange
  • 1 – Book of Moon
  • 1 – Reinforcements of the Army
  • 1 – Dark Hole
  • 1 – Monster Reborn
  • 1 – Foolish Burial

Traps: (15)

  • 3 – Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation
  • 3 – Ninjitsu Art of Transformation
  • 3 – Call of the Haunted
  • 3 – Compulsory Evacuation Device
  • 2 – Safe Zone
  • 1 – Return From a Different Dimension

Total: (40)

Extra Deck: (15)

  • 1 – Steelswarm Roach
  • 1 – Abyss Dweller
  • 1 – Photon Papilloperative
  • 1 – No 39: Utopia
  • 1 – Blade Armor Ninja
  • 1 – No 50: Blackship of Corn
  • 1 – No 16: Shock Master
  • 1 – Gemknight Pearl
  • 2 – Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
  • 1 – Photon Strike Bounzer
  • 1 – No 25: Focus Force
  • 1 – Inzektor Exa-Beetle
  • 1 – Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
  • 1 – Chimeratech Fortress Dragon

Pretty silly deck in the end, but I’m quite proud of the success it’s been having. I’ve been able to use this effectively against most of the decks floating around within our group, but haven’t been able to test much outside that realm. The deck is fairly slow and rewards players for slowly taking control of the game. The deck doesn’t really have an end goal, it’s more about just messing the opponent up than anything else, which in general works quite easily.

First look, the only card that I run that could be considered a standard Ninjitsu Art target is White Dragon Ninja the rest of which are very different than normal. While White Dragon Ninja is nice, the majority of the deck’s game play comes down to Red Dragon Ninja. Red Dragon Ninja is the basis of most of the decks workings, the player using this deck will be cycling through multiple copies of it per game. I’m going to assume most people have no idea what the card does, so let’s start from scratch:

PhotobucketWhen this card is Summoned: You can banish 1 “Ninja” or “Ninjitsu Art” card from your graveyard to target 1 Set card your opponent controls; reveal that Set card, then return it to either the top or bottom of the Deck. Your opponent cannot activate the targeted card in response to this effect’s activation. You can only use the effect of “Red Dragon Ninja” once per turn.

Red Dragon Ninja is Level 6, Winged Beast, FIRE, and has 2400 ATK and 1200 DEF. This card has multiple facets that cause it to be highly pliable in a Ninja deck. The obvious application of this card is that you summon a Hanzo, add normal Transformation to your hand and use that to summon this guy by tributing Hanzo. This is the most generic play but it’s still very powerful since it ends with a plus 1 on your end and increased knowledge of the opponent’s game state as well as some pseudo lockdown, all from just a Hanzo. Essentially whenever Red Dragon Ninja is summoned, you ideally want return a card to the top of the deck, effectively nullifying there next turn. Note that his effect only says set “cards” so you can target set monsters, which is probably the best target, but Spells and Traps are good as well.

The card also has many other useful properties. Unlike any of the standard Ninjitsu Art targets Red Dragon Ninja is usable in pretty much every place you can have him. Obviously he’s useful in the deck for Ninjitsu Art of Transformation, but he’s also live in the graveyard for cards like Call of the Haunted and Monster Reborn since his effect only states “when this card is Summoned”. He’s also great in the hand, since it’s very easy to maintain at least 1 monster on the field in this deck and you can just tribute summon him with 1 tribute and have him act as what is pretty much exactly the same as a Raiza the Storm Monarch. If you noticed I even teched in 1 copy of Soul Exchange just for summoning him from the hand. Also, since he’s a Ninja monster, while in the grave he can be banished for the next Red Dragon Ninja you summon. He’s also useful when banished since his effect also activates when revived from being banished with D.D.R. or Return From a Different Dimension. If you can stack up multiples of him for return you can make some nice Rank 6 XYZ summons too. (note, you can only use the effect of Red Dragon Ninja once per turn, so if you summon multiples like that you can only use one’s effect)

It’s also very important that he’s a Ninja monster because this makes him a target for Ninjitsu Art cards. As you may have noticed I run pretty much a ridiculous amount of Ninjitsu Arts in my deck, this is because it’s really easy to maintain a Ninja on the field. As an example I summon a Hanzo and grab normal Transformation and then set it and a Super-Transformation. I can tribute the Hanzo for normal Transformation and bring out Red Dragon Ninja and still have a target to tribute for Super-Transformation since Red Dragon Ninja is also a Ninja monster. Another important synergy this card ads is with the mind games that come with both the transformation cards. If the opponent knows you have 1 of them it elicits a response that you want for the activation of the other. What I mean by that is pretty simple. If you search Super-Transformation with Hanzo, the opponent will be likely to set monsters or only spells and traps and no monsters. If they know you have normal Transformation they’re more likely to try to attack head on into Hanzo or summon monsters outright even if they can’t attack over Hanzo ex. Genex Undine or Wind-Up Magician etc. Nicely enough each response is an ideal activation situation for the opposite Transformation. You want the opponent to set monsters and spells and traps when you summon Red Dragon Ninja so you can get a huge leg up on them. On the other hand you want the opponent to try to make plays with face-up monsters so you can break them with Super-Transformation. This makes summoning Hanzo and setting 1 of each Transformation a really strong play.

In order to further facilitate Red Dragon Ninja, I added in cards like Tsukuyomi and Book of Moon to flip monsters face-down. You may also notice 2 copies of Maestroke in the extra deck who serve the same purpose. Tsukuyomi also has a lot of nice Synergy with the deck, being an out to a lot of problems in general, specifically Thunder King Rai-oh and also since Hanzo has a flip effect (not an actual flip effect, but when he’s flipped face-up) so I can make free advantage with extra Hanzos that are still on board from previous turns by flipping them face-down and manual flipping them to search my deck for a Ninja monster.

Before I move on from Red Dragon Ninja, I’d like to just note one more nice play the deck has; When you have Hanzo in the graveyard, you can revive him with Call of the Haunted or monster Reborn. While normally in other Ninja decks adding Ninjas to your hand is a little awkward and gets you in this strange Upstart Gold Ninja cycle that goes nowhere except to a land where you’ve discarded all your traps, you can just add Red Dragon Ninja to your hand in this deck and tribute the special summoned Hanzo and use Red Dragon Ninja’s effect by banishing the tributed Hanzo. Simple yet effective.

Moving along to the next strange tech-ish card in the deck: Heraldic Beast Aberconway. I bet nobody actually knows what he does, so I’m here to help:

PhotobucketIf this card is in the Graveyard: You can banish another “Heraldic Beast Aberconway” from your Graveyard to target 1 “Heraldic Beast” monster in your Graveyard; add that target to your hand. You can only use the effect of “Heraldic Beast Aberconway” once per turn.

Aberconway is a Level 4, Dragon, WIND, and has 1800 ATK and 900 DEF. He’s the main Super-Transformation target for the deck. In most cases Ninja decks would opt for Jurrac Guaiba, which is smart, but I’ve got a couple reasons why I run this guy instead. The first reason is originality is fun and I want to try out cool new cards. Second, because I want to always have a card in the deck to Super-Transform into at all times. Unlike in a standard Ninja build that would run Guaiba which aim to use this card as an engine to get into Laggia and Dolkka, I want to use the card as a control card to beak up my opponent’s plays. There’s a couple differences between those two types of usage, the Guaiba build will in most cases use up all its Super-Transformation targets up from the deck very quickly. Guaiba inherently pulls more copies of itself from the deck making Super-Transformation more likely to be dead and thus they usually only run 2 Super-Transformation. As you may have noticed, I run 3 Super so I’m obviously not counting on the card being dead. I mostly want to sit on it until I can use it the mitigate my opponent’s combos. They try to Magician Shark Combo, well I Transform out of it. They’re about to use Venus, Transform out of it. etc. etc. With this type of usage I need a target to always be in the deck, so I ran what I feel is one of the best targets for this purpose, with White Dragon Ninja included since he’s really good too.

Back to Aberconway. I also wanted to use him as a sort of prelude to using Heraldic Beasts when the next set comes out so that I’d have some experience with them because I really like the deck. I threw it in as filler at first but it ended up just being really nice and one of the best choices I made for the deck. In short his effect is thus: if you have 2 Aberconway in the graveyard, banish 1 to add the other to your hand. The way it’s written is a little confusing, but it’s pretty simple in the end. You basically start stacking them in the graveyard so you can gain free advantage by banishing them. This also makes some really nice combos with Return From a Different Dimension and D.D.R. For the most part I’m using him as discard fodder for D.D.R. when I’m adding him back to hand, but he also has substantial attack and is also level 4 so you can make some pretty easy Rank 4 XYZ without losing many, if any cards at all.

The most basic combo the card has is when you have 2 in grave and a D.D.R. in hand. You banish to add 1 to hand. Play D.D.R. discarding the one in hand to special summon the banished one. Effectively, all you’ve done is generated a level 4 monster with 1 card without normal summoning, so now you can go into an easy Rank 4. Also, once the Aberconway you used D.D.R. on goes to the graveyard you can just use his effect again to add another copy of himself back to hand. In the end it’s an extremely slow plus 1, but that’s not to say it isn’t effective. An example of the play in action: You do the mentioned play and now have an Aberconway on the field. Normal summon Hanzo, add an Art to hand, then XYZ for something to solve the problem, let’s say they have Zenmaines so you go into Blackship of Corn. Detach Aberconway to kill it and then next turn you can add another Aberconway to hand.

The use of D.D.R. in the deck is very important since in general, every monster you special summon it will immediately make a plus. Hanzo and Red Dragon Ninja both gain advantage as soon as they’re summoned to counterbalance the neg 1 from discarding. With Aberconway in the deck the discarding is much more of a non-issue and allows you to actually go plus off D.D.R. and cycle you deck really well.

Onto other card choices. Card Trooper is there as an out to T-King and a start-up engine for the deck. You don’t always open with Hanzo like you’d want to so moving through the deck until you see one is a must. Even when it’s milled you have a lot of ways to special summon it and return it to the hand after that. (Compulsory, Falcon and Zephyros) Card Trooper is also very important for Call of the Haunted since he makes blind MSTs a plus 1 for you if they hit Call of the Haunted while Trooper is in grave. It’s important that Trooper works in this instance since all the other monsters do not. Both Hanzo and Red Dragon Ninja will miss the timing for their effects if the lat thing to happen wasn’t them being summoned. In the MST case, if they MST my Call and I chain summoning Hanzo, the chain resolves backwards, I summon Hanzo and then MST destroys Call. The last thing to happen wasn’t Hanzo being summoned, its call being destroyed, thus Hanzo misses the timing.

Mist Valley Falcon and Zephyros. There purpose is to be alternative targets for normal Transformation as well as being able to bounce used Ninjitsu Arts, Call of the Haunted and Safe Zone back to hand. Zephyros is the better of the two, but unfortunately can only be used once. He usually makes a quick an easy Rank 4 XYZ or allows for the tribute summon of Red Dragon Ninja. Frequently the play that happens is I bounce a dead Super-Transformation to bring out Zephyros then I summon Red Dragon Ninja, spin a set card and the set Super-Transformation. I just went from being in a place of no control in the game to very high control. And I only used 1 card from my hand. Falcon is a little different since he can be used more than once, making him a nice utility for the deck. His biggest reasoning though is to justify the use of Safe Zone in the deck since other than with Falcon, it’s only legitimate use is to make the super lockdown with White Dragon Ninja. With Falcon it lets you destroy monsters by bouncing it which is very powerful control.

Other than that I feel the rest is fairly obvious. I’ll be testing and refining this deck more and more with time, so I’ll possibly update with more changes in a new post later. I’ve been thinking about using cards like Book of Eclipse, a highly underrated card as a control mechanism for the deck. We’ll see. As always comment to your hearts content and I’ll see you next week.


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