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Constructing a Deck based around "Ninja" monsters is no simple feat, as they don't fight by conventional means; the Spell, Trap and Monster cards of the "Ninja" archetype revolve around underhanded, control-based strategies rather than all-out attacking or swarming.
For offensive examples, "Strike Ninja" can temporarily remove itself from the Field (dodging a card effect). "Sasuke" can bypass walls such as "Marshmallon" and higher DEF Monsters. Other "Ninja" tend to work behind the scenes, such as the effect of "Upstart Golden Ninja" for summoning, and the effect of "Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo" toolboxing effect.
Overall, "Ninja" Decks can be made in a variety of ways, but since Ninja-specific support is few and far in between, most of their abilities are far from game-breaking, making them more of an uncommon rogue Deck to use. However, they can excel against Stall Decks that revolve around a particular, titular card (Which "Ninja" are adept at destroying). The transformation traps in their arsenal give "Ninja" splashability with "Mist Valley", "Chaos", "Dragon", "Dark Simorgh Lockdown" and "Monarch" Decks, among others.
To effectively play the archetype, "Ninja" Duelists must consider a large variety of monsters. For example, WIND and/or Winged-Beast-oriented Decks aid "Lady Ninja Yae", while DARK monsters will keep up the stealth of "Strike Ninja". Others still, such as "Goe Goe" and "Ebisu", work better together than alone. Ideally, one should attempt to use monsters that fill several niches in one Deck; for example, "Dark Simorgh" is DARK, WIND and Winged-Beast, giving support to not only the above Ninja and "Hanzo", but is an ideal target for "Ninjitsu Art of Transformation". Continuing on this idea, "Roc from the Valley of Haze" can return to the Deck once he is discarded by "Yae" to become her transformation target within the same turn.
The age-old "Armed Ninja" and "Crimson Ninja" will be difficult to use in a Deck, as their effects are sub-par, and their low level makes them a less-than-ideal target for the transformation Traps; they instead are more useful when paired with such cards as "Ninjitsu Art of Duplication" and "Senior Silver Ninja", both of which enable the weak "Ninja" to swarm the Field, ready to Flip.
"White Dragon Ninja" is one of the strongest monsters in this archetype and is meant to be paired with "Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation" by means of her own effect that protects the controlling player's back-row. This card has a strong synergy with the card "Safe Zone", due to it then being indestructable apart from being returned to the user's hand from an effect such as "Neo-Spacian Grand Mole". Some monsters, such as "Tyrant Dragon" and "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon", also have means to bypass the debilitating effects of Super-Transformation.
If one is using a lot of "Ninjitsu Art" cards in their Deck, they may need to consider including means to remove them once they have outlived their use; "Armor Ninjitsu Art of Alchemy" was made for this purpose, but "Magic Planter" and "Uria, Lord of Searing Flames" can also profit off of a "Ninjitsu Art"-heavy Deck. Although slow, "Karakuri Ninja mdl 339 "Sazank"" is another useful tool for dispatching an enemy monster that might have bypassed one's Traps and other Monsters. Lastly, if you run a Warrior-only "Ninja" Deck, you can use "The Immortal Bushi" to Tribute Set "Senior Silver Ninja" and start the swarming.
There are ways to break the Safe Zone and White Dragon Ninja lock once it has been completed, such as using Trap Stun to temporarily remove Safe Zone's protection from White Dragon Ninja, using Trap Eater to remove Safe Zone (since it doesn't destroy), using Book of Eclipse to flip White Dragon Ninja face-down (since it doesn't target or destroy), both removing Safe Zone's protection and temporarily nullifying White Dragon Ninja's effect, or using Skill Drain.
- Ninja Grandmaster Sasuke
- Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo
- Upstart Golden Ninja
- Senior Silver Ninja
- Earth Armor Ninja
- Flame Armor Ninja
- Aqua Armor Ninja
- Air Armor Ninja
- White Dragon Ninja
- Blue Dragon Ninja
- Red Dragon Ninja
- Reborn Tengu
- Dark Simorgh
- Alector, Sovereign of Birds (Works well with "Lady Ninja Yae" and the effect of "Dark Simorgh". Allow "Yae" to activate its effect and transform on the same turn using a single monster card.)
- Any Dragons, Sea Serpents, or Dinosaurs equal to or more than Level 3.
- Any Insects, Winged Beasts, or Beasts equal to or less than Level 7.
- Reinforcement of the Army
- The Warrior Returning Alive
- Armor Ninjitsu Art of Alchemy
- Magic Planter
- Solidarity (Only in a all-Warrior Deck)
- Burial from a Different Dimension
- Emergency Provisions
- Ties of the Brethren
- Upstart Goblin
Works well with Mist Valley themed Decks and Decks that focus on "Dark Simorgh". With the release of Order of Chaos, this type of deck can become more competitive, since it's now possible to merge some Ninja cards to strengthen this deck, mainly "Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo" which can easily search for "Ninjitsu Art of Transformation". Set the trap immediately and activate it during your opponent's Draw Phase, summoning "Mist Valley Apex Avian" or "Dark Simorgh" from your deck.
- "Goe Goe the Gallant Ninja" and "Ninja" in general get support in the form of "Masked Ninja Ebisu", who can send set Spell/Trap cards back to your opponent's hand for an safer and cleaner strike. "Goe Goe" can then attack directly via the effect of "Ebisu" (Twice directly if you use the effect of "Blade Armor Ninja" or multiple "Goe Goe"), and possibly discard cards from their hand, including ones sent back with "Ebisu".
- Use "Lady Ninja Yae" to bounce your opponent's cards, and use "Goe Goe the Gallant Ninja" or "Masked Ninja Ebisu" to discard them. "Goe Goe the Gallant Ninja" or "Masked Ninja Ebisu" can also be used as the cost for this card.
- "Red Dragon Ninja" creates a loop, using Call of the Haunted and Mist Valley Falcon, you continuously revive and destroy Red Dragon Ninja by bouncing Call of the Haunted with Mist Valley Falcon when you attack. Once Red Dragon Ninja's effect goes off 2-3 times you'll usually win the game.
"P.A.N - Pendulum Apex Ninja"
Set-up your Pendulum Scales and Ninja Transformation plays. Ideally, you'll summon Apex Avian with Transformation. Apex can negate a card by returning itself to the hand, it makes the perfect monster for you to continuously Pendulum Summon every turn from your hand allowing you to negate 1 card every turn and also giving you a massive attacking body. Use its effect to negate something and Pendulum Summon it later. Backrow and draw power cards help. The decks primary offensive plays are Rank 4 Xyz Summons, Transformation and Pendulum Summons.
- Later sets brought out "Blue Dragon Ninja" and "Red Dragon Ninja", giving further (albeit niched) support to the Super-Transformation and 'regular' Transformation sets, respectively.
- While you control "White Dragon Ninja", your "Heavy Storm" essentially becomes "Harpie's Feather Duster" or a better control player's back-row.
- "Red Dragon Ninja" for return that set card to the top or bottom of the Deck.
- "Black Dragon Ninja" allows you to banish a monster simply by sending a "Ninja" Monster and a "Ninjitsu Art" card on your field or in your hand to the graveyard. This is especially good in Control variants as the effect is a Quick Effect, enabling you to banish a key monster the instant it's Summoned as well as sending a useless "Decoy" or "Freezing" art card to the graveyard, freeing up a Spell/Trap card Zone. Although beware: any monster banished by the effect of "Black Dragon Ninja" will return when the card is removed from the field.
- "Armor Ninjitsu Art of Freezing" acts as a one-time "Negate Attack" (in terms of effect) that also prevents your opponent's monster from changing battle positions.
- "Armor Ninjitsu Art of Rust Mist" can halve the ATK of any monster Special Summoned to the field, possibly stopping a swarm.
- "Ninjitsu Art of Transformation", can be used by order to Special Summon "Dark Simorgh". Can be part of a lockdown: Use "Anti-Spell Fragrance" so that your opponent can't activate Spell Cards from their hand, nor activate them when on the field.
- "Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation" can be used to take out one of your opponent's more troublesome monsters, and replace it with a stronger and more splashable monster of your own, such as 'Blue' or 'White' Dragon Ninja.
- "Ninjitsu Art of Duplication" main use is for an OTK/Power play. Like Transformation, it can also be used to dodge targeting card effects and get rid of extra attacks.
- "Ninjitsu Art of Shadow Sealing" just like the other previous ninjitsu art cards, this can be used to dodge targeting card effects. The difference, however, is instead of summoning a monster, you get to banish one of your opponent's. This can be useful in addressing the deck's weakness of spot removal. Many write off the card, but when using it in this fashion, it is actually a useful card that works out card advantage wise. Still, it's better as a side against Evilswarm and other XYZ reliant decks.
- Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite x1
- Dogoran, the Mad Flame Kaiju x1
- Kumongous, the Sticky String Kaiju x1
- Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo x3
- Senior Silver Ninja x1
- Traptrix Dionaea x3
- Traptrix Mantis x2
- Traptrix Myrmeleo x3
- Upstart Golden Ninja x3
- "Goe Goe the Gallant Ninja", "Masked Ninja Ebisu", "Lady Ninja Yae", and "Ninja Grandmaster Sasuke" are characters based on Konami's popular video game series Legend of the Mystical Ninja. Incidentally, all the "Sasuke Samurai" monsters are from this series, as well.
|Goe Goe the Gallant Ninja||Goemon|
|Lady Ninja Yae||Yae|
|Masked Ninja Ebisu||Ebisumaru|
|Ninja Grandmaster Sasuke||Sasuke|
- "Barrier Ninjitsu Art of Hazy Transfer", "Blind Spot Strike", "Spy Attack" and "Debunk" suggests that "Ninjas" have some sort of rivalry with the "Shien". Also, "Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation" implies a rivalry between the "Ninjas" and the "Karakuri" monsters.