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Path (Animal Path) [Animal Path]

Reviewed Nov. 16, 2010

Average Card Rating

Limited: 2.25
Unlimited: 3.13
Block: 3.37

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

Beastly Mage

Pain (Animal Path)

Today's card is another of Pain's Paths. This Pain is the Animal Summoner, and his effect clearly demonstrates this. At turn 1 having a Sacrifice requirement can be steep. But the effect can be useful in order to get other Paths out. At the very start of your turn, if the Marker is odd you can put one "Pain Spawn" coin in play. The coin will have "Animal" and "Rinnegan" characteristics, 3/0 in both positions, and a Valid effect which states that the coin will be discarded at the end of the turn. No Jutsu restrictions with the Spawn coin. The coin can be good for a rush attack, but the real benefit comes from sacrificing it to get another Pain out. Like with Preta, Animal's effect activates during odd turns. Animal's stats are pretty decent for a turn 1 with Ambush. Try it and see!


Limited: 1.5/5
Constructed: 2.5/5
Block: 3/5
Art: No animals here.../5

N-1003 Path (Animal Realm) [Animal Realm]
Next up in the Pain line up is Animal Realm. This version of Pain is pretty much the same like the others, characteristic wise. Animal Realm can be dropped at turn one, but I wouldn't recommend it since it would require you to sacrifice your only ninja on the field. This can easily be curved around, however, if you played Shino [Insect Warriors] on turn zero, so you can sacrifice the insect coin. Like Preta Path, Animal Realm's effect only works on every odd numbered turn. It spawns you a "Pawn Spawn" token, similar to the tokens Shino [Insect Warriors] creates at the start of an odd numbered turn. The Pain Spawn is 3/0 and 3/0 which is neither bad nor good, but it can be used to rush your opponent during your turn or be used as a sacrifice for Preta Path (not as much Deva Path since Deva has an entrance cost of six). The Spawn dies at the end of the turn unfortunately, but it balances out the card in my opinion. 
Although this card is good, there are some noticeable downsides with this card which will prevent some players from using it. The first most obvious one is the Sacrifice, but as I stated earlier, that can be avoided with Shino [IW]. Of course, you may not pull Shino, so in that case, this card will only be playable at turn 2 or higher. The second downside is the timing of its effect. The other downside is the timing of its effect,however, this is not a problem if you read the effect carefully. Most people think that the earliest you can get the effect is turn three, which is slow considering this card will be played on T1-2, however, it can be played on turn one. Most people (at least the ones in my area) aren't aware the Animal Realm's effect goes off during your opponent's turn as well. This gives you a free chump blocker during their turn, which can help justifying sacrificing your T0 for animal ream since you can just chump off attackers with your Spawn (although this is still not a good strategy).
Finally, the main question about Pain cards is what deck to put them all in (besides a void based deck). The most obvious choice for Animal Realm to be splashed in is in Puppy Decks. Puppies rush fast, so sacrifice isn't as bad when you have already have an excessive amount of ninjas. The Spawn will help your rushing attacks as well. Additionally, Spawn + Biscuit gives you two annoying chumps during your opponent's turn. All in all, I believe Animal Realm is a solid card and rather well designed. 
Limited: 3/5 
Unlimited: 3.75/5
Block: 3.75/5



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