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JAELOVE's Smooth Journey

Article 24: Constructing the Strike Ninja Deck
January 17, 2005

I must say, this article is a rather dandy doozy, incorporating a full on regionals report tacked onto the standard array of monster descriptions and deck construction. To those who are shocked that Strike Ninja is chosen over Dark Magician, take solace in the fact Dark Magician will be covered in less than a week. Strike Ninja merits some special attention. You see, this past Saturday was regionals at San Mateo, California, and I chose to take a heavily play-tested Strike Ninja deck to the regionals.

Top tier tournament duelists are very protective of their decks. Since they spend so much time testing, tweaking, and conceptualizing them, it's very rare to be able to see the rationale behind many of the deck choices made by regionals qualifiers. That's why this article, I hope, is one of the most informative I've ever written.

We're going to construct the exact Strike Ninja deck that I took to regionals; then, we'll get an analysis of how it all turned out :D. We've got a lot to cover, so let's move right along to the key monsters of the deck.


            The Strike Ninja deck provides easy access to incredibly powerful tribute monsters, such as Blowback Dragon, Jinzo, and Dark Magician of Chaos. By recycling the D.D Scout Planes repeatedly, you'll be able to bring out tribute monsters for free. It also provides for an easy attack force, and the Strike Ninjas themselves are very hard to kill. Finally, you'll be able to use other Warriors as well, simply because Strike Ninja is a warrior himself.


The main weakness of the deck is monsters with more than 1700 attack. If you're going against a massive beatdown force, it's going to be very hard to keep those Ninjas alive. Proper sidedecking is very crucial, especially when your opponent brings out the Kycoos.


Strike Ninja- Warrior/Effect/4/1700/1200

You can remove this card from play until the End Phase of this turn by removing 2 DARK monsters in your Graveyard from play. You can use this effect during either player's turn. You can only use this effect once per turn.

+ Provides Field Control, On-Field Presence, Resource Replenishment, Counter-Disruption,

-- Detracts from Field Control

How can a monster both provide field control and presence and detract from it? Meet Mr. Strike Ninja, a long forgotten holofoil Ultra Rare from Invasion of Chaos that was cruelly discarded by the cookie cutter era of Chaos Control. He's a solid 1700, which lets him stand up to most of the effect monsters save Gorillas, souped up Blade Knights, and Kycoos (more on that later).

His effect basically makes him immune to every spell, trap, and monster effect in the game, provided you have dark "food." His effect also lets him combo with excellent, nasty surprises like Dimension Fusion, also an Invasion of Chaos Ultra Rare. It works versus Last Turn, it works versus Fiber Jar, it works versus everything because it's multi-trigger! (meaning you can activate it on your opponent's turn). But wait, JAELOVE, one may ask……… wouldn't you eventually run out of DARK monsters to remove?

D.D Scout Plane- Machine/Effect/3/800/1200

If this card is removed from play, Special Summon this card in face-up Attack Position on your side of the field during the End Phase of this turn.

+ Provides On-Field Presence, Resource Replenishment (slightly)

-- Detracts from Field Control, On-Field Presence

This card is another that can either provide presence or detract from it (by dying). Assuming you get two of these in the graveyard, you'll likely be able to summon an army each turn. This is potentially devastating to your opponent, to say the least.

So what monsters did I run to capitalize on the special summon capabilities of Strike Ninja? Well, I ran 4 tribute monsters which is far more than average, considering one of the bad boys was none other than Dee Mock, DEE EM OH SEE, Dark Magician of Chaos.

Tribute Monsters: 4

1. Jinzo                                                            + F R c/-o C E

1. Dark Magician of Chaos                               + F r E/-o

1. Mobius the Frost Monarch                            + F R c E/-o

1. Blowback Dragon                                        + F f O R c E /-o

The tribute monsters feature some of the best spell/trap negators in the game. All three of the bad boys feature some form of spell/trap removal, and Blowback Dragon is a dark monster that combos with Dimension Fusion and destroys anything. Dark Magician of Chaos involves huge losses of field presence because he can be such dead weight, but the Scout Planes justify his use.

Monsters: 13

3. Strike Ninja                                                  + F o r c /- F (slightly)

3. D.D Scout Plane                                           + o r/- F o

1. Mystic Tomato                                              + o r/ - F (slightly)

1. Don Zaloog                                                  + E/-F   -c (slightly)

1. Magical Scientist                                         + f O c E/ - o C e

1. Zombyra the Dark                                        + F o c (only slight)/ - e (slightly)

1. Tribe-Infecting Virus                                    + F O E / - r
1. Sinister Serpent                                           + C / - F

1. Breaker the Magical Warrior                                   + F R c

The monster line-up is all synergetic with one another. Mystic Tomato will always have a decent search, and the problems with presence and field control are shored up somewhat by Zombyra and Breaker. The spells and traps will have to provide some much needed added field control.

Spells: 18

1. Pot of Greed                                                            + r
1. Painful Choice                                             + r
1. Change of Heart                                           + f c E e / - rs
1. Snatch Steal                                                + F O o E / - e
1. Heavy Storm                                                + R c E
1. Mystical Space Typhoon                              + R c E
1. Premature Burial                                         + F o/ - e
2. Scapegoat
                                                              + o C e/ - r
2. Smashing Ground                                        + F O
1. Dimension Fusion                                       + F/- r e
1. Card Destruction                                          + r/ - r

1. Swords of Revealing Light                           + f o C c

2. Creature Swap                                             + F/ - r

2. Reinforcement of the Army                          + F o r c E/ - r

Traps: 7

1. Call of the Haunted                                                  + F o
1. Ring of Destruction                                      + F O C E
2. Sakuretsu Armor                                          + O C E
1. Ceasefire                                                     + f E e/ - r
1. Torrential Tribute                                         + O D E

1. Waboku                                                       + o C e/ - r

Note: Sakuretsu Armor was misspelt as providing presence instead of defense last time.

The spell trap lineup must account for the lack of presence that Ninjas cause by removing themselves, so 2 scapegoats are necessary. In accordance and harmony with the tokens, 2 swaps are used to add synergy with Sinister Serpent, D.D scout planes, and Mystic tomato. More than one Dimension Fusion was unnecessary, and Swords of Revealing Light attempted to semi-handle flip effects and stall to gain resources.

On the trap side, everything is self-explanatory. Sakuretsu Armors, subbed in for Mirror Walls, easily allow me to take control of the game and limit the rascally D.D Warrior Ladies and D.D Assailants.

Sidedeck: 2 Divine Wrath (anti-burn, anti First Turn Kill Scientist, anti Kycoo)

2 Windstorm of Etaqua (anti-scapegoat, anti-Kycoo, anti-Berserk Gorilla)

2 Dust Tornado (anti-burn, anti-Mirage of Nightmare)

The Forceful Sentry and Confiscation (used if I lose a duel and am guaranteed to go first)

2 Nobleman of Crossout (used if I win the duel and am guaranteed to go second), 1 Hallowed Life Barrier (anti-burn, anti-First Turn Kill Scientist)

2 Swarm of Locusts (anti-burn, anti-field themes i.e Gravekeepers)

2 Kinetic Soldier (anti-Warrior)

Let's take a look at the final FORCE components of the main deck. I've made numerous cards count for 1/2 a point in certain cases, (for example Strike Ninja's resource replenishment doesn't work all the time)ss

Total Field Control elements (Positive- Negative): 12 --

Total Flip Management:                                              5.5

Total On-Field Removal:                                              8.5

Total On-Field Presence:                                             10.5

Total Removal (S/T):                                        4.5

Total Resource Replenishment:                                   -4

Total Counter-Defense:                                                4

Total Counter-Disruption:                                             13

Total Enemy-Disruption:                                              14

Total Energy:                                                               -1.5

As you can see, the deck has very, very strong Presence elements despite 4 tributes, Counter-Disruption thanks to Strike Ninja, Enemy Disruption, and even Field Control. Simply put, this deck has phenomenally high subtotals in almost all scores. So here's the big question…….. how did it do at Regionals? Well it's my EXACT deck, meaning you've just learned all the play testing and thought that went behind it! I also played with it in real life, so stay tuned for this mini-cliffhanger and I'll holler back with the thrilling conclusion in a few days!

Send all e-mail regarding this deck, and anything else really, to JAELOVE@gmail.com. I appreciate all of the fans and even the naysayers out there, and I'll get back to you guaranteed. Vote in the poll!

Could Strike Ninja hang with the tough California Regionals competition?
Maybe So
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