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Countdown: Top 10 Naruto Cards of 2008

#3: Gaara of the Desert - Immense Power

Review Date: 01.14.09

Average Card Rating

Constructed: 4.50
Limited: 4.50

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

Beastly Mage

3. Gaara of the Desert (immense power)

The Gaara that started a revolution...

This version of Gaara, the centerpiece for the "Over 9000" Deck can speed up your deck, and has access to some killer Jutsus. Even with the shift from 40 to 50 card decks he can still be good if played right. Remember, in any format, searching for cards is a good thing.


Limited: 3/5
Constructed: 5/5
Art: The No-Eyebrows thing always freaked me out!/5


2008 Stone
Village Kage
Gaara of the Desert
[Immense Power]

You all knew this one was gonna be on the list. A meta changing card like this has to be. I have to say, this effect combined with the already amazingly mean jutsu Gaara has is probably one of the most broken card effects to date (save APW in its prime). This card, along with the one previewed yesterday was one of the ones that helped me win the Kage last year, so I feel I owe it a great deal. Searching out a jutsu every turn is insane. Now we have a Kimmi that does the same thing, but his jutsu are much, much less threatening, so no one ever complained of how broken it was. Combine the searching with wind’s amazing draw power and chakra generation, and you have yourself one stable deck. Bandai even released the deck as a starter, making it so anyone could have a deck that dominated the meta for a mere ten dollars. For the most part though, this deck is a dead type, but you still see it every now and then. Gaara is still a force to be reckoned with, so don’t take the deck too lightly.

Limited: 5/5
Constructed: 5/5 (At its prime) 4/5 (Now)
3. Gaara of the Desert (immense power)

Now a card that inflicted even more rage at the beginning of the year. The Infamous Gaara IP, also known as "Oh my god, he's over 9000!!!!!!!!!" Now, with the help of the starter decks, he was made insanely good and easy to use. Sand Tomb and Double Sand Blade sent shivers down opponent's spines...or just pure anger. His stats are Kakashi like for turn 4 and his effect let him search for any Sand Combat Attribute required jutsu on the top 5 cards of the deck. Now, his usability has been cut down since the new rules, so he's not even close to as effective as before. But some people are trying to resurrect him from the grave, so be wary of the 2nd Coming of Over 9000!!!!

Constructed: 3/5 (Not as good as before but can still cause problems)
Limited: 5/5 (He has half a 9k deck in the starter with him, good luck opponents)
Ryu Juini Gaara of the Desert [Immense Power]

Possibly THE most hated card in the game that hasn't been errata'd to death, Gaara IP had complete dominance over the metagame, until it's 'tragic' loss at the 2008 Sannins.

This ninja had everything. SOLID stats, a SOLID line up of jutsu, the ability to GET those jutsu at a whim... he was insane. He is still a good ninja, mind you, but the 50 card deck limit, and the abundance of OC Ninjas on the meta floor has put Gaara in the backburner.

Perhaps one day he will see play again? Pffft.

N. Jolly
3. Gaara of the Desert-Immense Power

Now we get to the other elephant in the room, Gaara 9k, as he's known. He's a T4, 5/2 4/0 Genin with Sand, and the effect of when he's sent out to battle, look at the top 5 cards of your deck and pull one jutsu with Sand combat attribute to your hand, then put the rest of the cards on the top of your deck, and
shuffle. This in effect should always give him a jutsu to use, which as you know, is something that makes him very dangerous.

This was the dominate deck until the last Sannin event, when people started to get over it, the new rule changes went into effect, and 9k was made from the top tier deck into a 2.5 tier deck or lower. With awesome stats for a turn four, genin ranking, and an awesome effect, it's no suprize how this card managed to hold onto the game for so long. But it wasn't just him that did it, it was also his awesome support network.

Gaara is a good character overall, and he deserves his own deck, as do the other main characters, but with the 50 card deck, he's lost a lot of steam, as well as the OCs being invincible to his effects, which makes him more worthless, and that isn't what should have happened to this card. It was the game for awhile, and even though people didn't like it, it's a big part of the history of
this game, and I'd like to see it come back to prominence.

Constructed: 4/5 It's still good, but needs changes to the meta to become great again
Limited: Amount of Gaara jutsu you pull/5
Art: 4/5 Great art, makes him look massive, but shows the size of his forehead way too much.
First off let me apologize about yesterday....I forgot :p

Today we are talking about 1 card, 1 card that changed naruto forever and reigned supreme over 6 months to point even the national even was heavily dominated by this 1 card, I am talking about Gaara of the Desert, Immense Power from Battle of Destiny (set 8)

Let it be known in the beginning, I saw those monkey shaped ears and passed it off (the day of release), but after it showed at the New Jersey Jonin to be a card to bring Wind as an element out of the cellar, I along with thousands became interested in this card, March 14th, 2008. That is when Gaara became the meta.

Gaara reined supreme by playing multiple jutsu cards in a single turn, he did this by abusing the best draw engine in the game of naruto, Sakura's Decision from Coils of the Snake (set 2) to injure Shikamaru & Temari from Battle of Destiny (set 8) to draw 5 cards along with his effect to search out 1 of the jutsu in the top 5 of the deck. Add to it that his primary jutsu Sand Tomb (set 8) was only 2 chakra, and you have a very dangerous decktype.

The next big Jonin was in Minnisoda, a lot of people tried to discredit MN for it's size and location, but it turned out to be a really solid top 8, this is the last time in his reign that he would fail to top 8 a jonin or higher event, Gaara was that big of a deal.

Georgia Jonin was next, this was when an entire deck was designed to counter the Gaara decks, but he managed to get 3 of the top 8 decks. In the end it came down to a Gaara based deck and a deck built to counter everythin that deck did, you can guess the results of this one.

Then the Chosen starter decks were released, in one, a Gaara Theme deck complete with 2 Gaara's and 2 of his amazing jutsu Sand Tomb, meaning 20 dollars could buy you the skeleton of the current meta deck. But that's not all, contained in the starter deck is 2 copies of a new Gaara Jutsu called Double Sand Blade (set 9) that for 1 wind and 1 generic chakra, you can flip a coin and give 1 ninja either 1 or 2 damage based on how you flip, giving Gaara not just 1 but 2 versital jutsu. One of the things that made Gaara decks were that you could remove multiple ninjas regardless on where they were on the table, a very powerful thing.

Oregon hosted their Jonin next, 2 of their top 8 were Gaara based. The entire toruny came down to a Gaara deck (hybrid wind earth) and the deck specificly designed to beat it. Being as I was one of those people it burns me to say that the Gaara deck was not victorious. Naruto players had a blueprint on how to beat Gaara, but it wasn't over yet.

The Objective of the Wind Earth Gaara deck was to abuse Gaara having Genin, using cards like Ninja Academy from Path to the Hokage (set 1) and Hinata Hyuga Ointment (set 6) to not only fre play Gaara two turns earlier, but also have it heal at the end of each of your turns.

The A-Kon Sand Kage was next, we are entering the prime of our new format (the Chosen set 9) so Gaara's time should be about up? wrong! 6 of the top 8 were using and abusing Gaara, and the finals was indeed a Gaara v. Gaara one. The victor abusing a very special Jutsu that not a lot of people saw potential in, Sand Levitation from the Chosen (set 9) The game seemed to take one giant step back.

Origins and the Cloud Kage was set to be "the who's whose of the Naruto Gaming world" and it did not disapoint, only 3 of the top 8 were Gaara based (only 23 days after A-kon) and the Finals were not Gaara, It ended up Mono-Fire vs. Tempo. The Raikage started a bit of a trend in Naruto with tempo for a few months (myslef included) and it seemed like we had multiple answers to this beast called Gaara.

Florida's Mist Kage was a great example of how amazing those starter decks were, it was said that the Mizukage for 08 came down to the event and bought 2 starter decks, changed in the Shikamaru & Temari Platoon with 1-2 more cards and won the entire event! Gaara was only seen in 2 decks but when one is a starter modifyed and it won. Gaara was a lot of things, and accessible was definatly one of them.

Anime Expo Leaf Kage, the last one before the national event. half of the top 8 was comprised of Gaara, Lightning vs. Lightning Wind Hybrid was the Final, and I was never prouder to be a member of the leaf.

By July we had seen a number of counter messures to this guy, we had:

Lightning Aggressive, a deck that relied on beating the opponent before Gaara was played, capitalizing on Winds lack of early game.

Tempo, it was a deck that would have the game wrapped up before turn 4, so Gaara wasn't as effective.

Wind Earth Hybrid, It had every counter for things Gaara decks liked to do.

along with a few others, now with that in mind, we have no officall word how many Gaara decks made top 8, but the word was it was everywhere, but the winner chose another path. 08's Sanin or best player desided to run a mono-fire dog deck, which sparked more interest in Fire sterring the spotlight away from Gaara.

The Chain rules and 50 card decks have also played a huge part in his death. Without a offical Sanin T8 it's safe to say September 14th, 2008 was the end of it, that's a full 6 months of 1 card dictating what this game did, that's what makes this number 3.

Overall, he's really good and was the "it" card of 08, the finalists are cards that turned things away from Gaara, but even in todays game he is still a force, I know I have a new build that abuses him (and with the new previews of the 5th Kazekage, I expect to see more everyday)

Constructed: 4 out of 5. 1 flaw, and it turned out to be his undoing.

Limited: 3 out of 5. Everythings rare, means it's hard to constructed a deck

Art: 1 our of 5. Chimp ears=bad pic.


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