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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Ninjask #11

Dragons Exalted

Date Reviewed: Sept. 21, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.87
Limited: 3.25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Ninjask (Dragons Exalted)

We’re taking another break next week as Pojo will be on holiday, so I’ll leave you with what will be a slightly odd review, as Ninjask is a highly specialised Pokémon with a very specific use in one particular deck.

His stats are extremely unimpressive. A Stage 1 with just 60 HP is going to get mullered in today’s format of big-hitters (Darkrai-EX can also KO it with two Night Spear snipes). The HP is so low that the Fire Weakness doesn’t matter at all, but what really annoys me about this card is the Retreat cost of one. Ninjask is one of the fastest Pokémon in the video game (along with Deoxys Speed forme and Accelgor), so making him pay to Retreat just seems a bit off-theme.

What is on-theme though is Ninjask’s Ability. Cast-off Shell states that when you play Ninjask from your hand to evolve, you can search your deck for a Shedinja and put it on your Bench. This neatly replicates the way that Shedinja is acquired in the video game and really provides the engine for a Ninjask/Shedinja deck.

Now I won’t lie, said deck is unbelievably gimmicky and incredibly frail. It’s also a lot of fun if you fancy trying something a bit different at League (and aren’t too bothered about winning). The basic strategy of the deck is to keep using Ninjask’s Night Slash attack to do 60 damage and switch Ninjask to the Bench, while sending up Shedinjas to replace them, as their Empty Shell Ability means that they do not give the opponent a Prize when they are KO’d.

I’m sure that the problems with such a deck are apparent to everyone. Spread damage, snipe damage, or Pokémon Catcher will completely ruin the strategy, as will Garbodor DRX (which shuts off Abilities), and any deck which can shrug off Ninjask’s mediocre damage output. Yep . . . I think that covers pretty much everything in the format, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, it’s the only real way to play Ninjask: in anything else he is just a much worse version of Accelgor DEX. Avoid when it comes to competitive play.

Well, that’s it for the week. I’ll be back after our break with some more reviews, so until then I’ll just wish everyone good luck at Battle Roads.


Modified: 1.75 (enjoy uncompetitive gimmick decks? Then this is for you!)

Limited: 3 (I suppose you could try it here if you pulled enough Shedinja)

Jebulous Maryland Player Ninjask
Ninjask is a Stage 1 Grass Pokemon with 60 HP.  It has a weakness to Fire and a retreat cost of 1.  It is searchable by Level Ball.
'Cast-off Shell' is an ability that that activates when you evolve into Ninjask.  It lets you search your deck for a Shedinja and put it on your Bench.  This is great because it lets you bypass having to evolve into Shedinja.
'Night Slash' costs 1 Grass and 1 Colorless energy and does 60 damage.
 You may then switch Ninjask with one of your Benched Pokemon.  For 2 energy, 60 damage is not bad.  Plus it has a built in Switch.
I want to say how cool the idea behind Ninjask/Shedinja is.  It's a really cool way to make the Pokemon more ninja-like.  For those who don't know, ninjas do this thing (kawarimi no jutsu, or replacement technique? I don't know the official term) where when they get attacked, they switch places with an object and the attack hits the object.  So in this case Shedinja acts like the object (since it gives up no prize).  Ninjask evolves and brings out Shedinja, then attacks and switches with it.  That leaves your opponent to attack the shell.
Great concept, it really is.
Except for the flaws of it.  Pokemon Catcher is the biggest thing to mess up your strategy.  They'll just pull it back into the active spot.  Darkrai EX/Registeel EX will 2HKO it while it is on the bench.
Raikou EX will annihilate it on the bench.  And the whole 60 HP...
it's really not going to last long.
As cool as the concept is, I was thinking about how it could be better.  If the ability was integrated into the attack (attack for 60, put Shedinja into play, then switch) and its ability was 'if Ninjask is the active and is damaged, you may switch it with a benched Pokemon before damage is done', then it would be a lot cooler.  That's just my opinion (and seeing how I'm no card designer, it's falling on deaf ears).
Fun for a gimmick deck, not sure if it'll ever be competitive.
Modified: 2/5
Limited: 3.5/5
Combo's With:  Shedinja
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com

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