Monday, April 30, 2012

Unlimited Possibilities!!

Again, I’m deciding to write an article that is unlike anything being discussed right now in the Naruto CCG community (but nonetheless, it’s still interesting IMO).  Today, I’ll discuss the Unlimited Format Rogue List.  A legitimate amount of Naruto CCG players still play Unlimited Format; and even so, if there are to be any high level (SJC) Unlimited events in the future, the rogue list needs to be updated to match the times – right?

Firstly, I want to talk about the Unlimited Rogue List as it stands today – I feel some cards on it either need to be banned, listed at 1 (or 2) or even completely taken off the list (and brought back to 3).  Based off Tylar’s prior comment(s) about not wanting cards that are banned to ever come back, I will respect that and not go into that domain.  So banned cards will stay banned.

Cards that need to be tweaked on/off the Rogue List:

Naruto Uzumaki (Tailed Beast Mode) (n522) – Currently at 1

This card needs to be banned.  All of its counterparts (the tin OC Naruto, the 5-drop TBM from Emerging Alliance, etc) have all been banned because of their blanket-protection effects.  This card is incredible because not only is it invincible, it’s got a board wipe effect AND is a Genin (so it can get put in play early on due to a plethora of cards).  The fact this was left on the rogue list at 1, by Tylar, is crazy!

Nagato (n1205) – Currently at 1
This card needs to come off the rogue list and be brought back to 3.  Void has the least amount of Unlimited potential due to its limited card pool and restricted resources (all other elements have ridiculously broken combos and power cards.  Give void this option in Unlimited – it’s currently allowed in Block (as Nagato is at 3 in Block) and yet this combo has seen very little play and has made no impact whatsoever on the meta.  It is a perfectly fine combo for Unlimited to loop repeated Nagatos.

Naruto Uzumaki (n136) – Currently at 2
This card needs to come off the rogue list and be brought back to 3.  Any combo you can think of with decking yourself out to get effects (perhaps a cheap PiP with Ghost Panic or Dispatch of Anbu) can be done much more efficiently/effectively with the 1 drop Naruto that can mill a majority of the deck and can get quite big too.  Plus, there are SO many Narutos to run in Unlimited so if someone chooses to run 3 of these, let them – that means they do not get access to Reliance, the True Allies, or even Sage Mode Naruto.  Moreover, there are so many power 0 drops in format that this is hardly worrisome if you consider stuff like Sea Monster, Anbu, Sasuke Solo Attitude, etc..

Cards that need to be added to the Rogue List IMO:

Sharingan of Tears (j618)
This card needs to be banned.  Do I really need to explain why?  Sasuke, Kakashi Childhood, and other low-drop Sharingan-eye’d ninjas can manipulate their chakra area and/or discard pile to drop this jutsu on low turns and gain effects from powerhouse late game ninja to control the entire game early (way too many power ninja to name; use your imagination).  Moreover, there is an OTK involving this card and Jiraiya Monster Hunter (n827) where he loops Overwhelming Power (j811) – the main reason this card needs to be banned... This card has way too many broken combos and needs to be axed to prevent early OTKs and other game-deciding moves as early as turns 0 and 1.

4 Times Faster (m447)
This card needs to be banned.  This card allows you to drop powerhouse late game ninjas quite early (imagine a Mei Terumi on t2 or a Pain Target Promo on t2, or a Sage Mode Naruto on t3 – guaranteed with Naruto Reliance searching out this mission).  It also allows you to lock your opponent on t0, when on t3 you squad an Orochimaru Childhood and Sasuke (any 0 drop) into Orochimaru Sasuke and lock your out early.  Again, these are just some of the combos that make this card busted (there’s many more).  Even though it gives your opponent an advantage too, that’s only if they have something powerful in their hand (and you also don’t have a game-deciding combo in yours) – yet it’s all in vain if you drop a powerhouse late game ninja to swing the advantage in your favor extremely early.

Infinite Embrace (j820)
This card needs to go to 1.  I feel this card shouldn’t be banned mostly because every element has a power jutsu in Unlimited and it really isn’t a matter of sacking into this and deciding the game (because in Unlimited you can literally come back from nothing – and there’s many ways to Put in Play a variety of things after being hit by a power jutsu).  The reason I think this card shouldn’t be put to 2 (like Trigrams, Sealing the Evil, Vortex, etc) is because its requirements are too loose.  At 1, it will see play in some (but not all) Unlimited decks.  Every element has more than enough jutsu and missions to run besides this.


Ink Leech (n1294) + Kushina (n1181)
These cards both need to go to 1.  Early chakra generation in Unlimited means more chance for surprise game-ending jutsu (and Unlimited is filled with those); morever, there are many (dare I say it) "balanced" OTKs in Unlimited that become broken if Leech and/or Kushina are left at 3.  Huge chakra piles mean power jutsu can be played early (like our friend Five-Pronged Seal j092)...

The Warhawk (m827)
This card needs to go to 1 (or even 0).  Fire does not need to refill its hand after rushing with Anbu and slaughtering you with jutsu.  And there are plenty of rush-based decks in Unlimited, and most of them can keep their hand size to 5-6 every turn.  We don't need rush decks digging harder into their resources to end their opponent on t3 consistently.  This card is broken, regardless of format; but especially so in Unlimited for multiple reasons.

Closing Thoughts:
Tylar's reasoning for keeping the Anbu (the free put-in play ones from Shattered Truth) is seemingly this IMO:  everyone gets to run it (like the draw-2 Tobi from Broken Promise), so why not give everyone the same advantage; plus, Unlimited is supposed to be raw, broken and crazy fun to play (so why not?) - the fact that there are answers to Anbu in format (many answers) just justifies keeping them at "3".  If he really wanted to ban them, he could - but he didn't when he had the chance the first time around.  

The Fourth Hokage from Weapons of War is another contender for the rogue list, but again, he is (in a way), a necessary evil.  Chakra Thread (from Foretold Prophecy) and Puppet Master Jutsu (from Approaching wind) are also becoming increasingly OP with the invent of more puppets in future sets, and there are certainly many other cards which are OP (broken, even) and even known infinite loops (such as Kabuto/Orochimaru Platoon + Genyumaru), but it's all in good fun - because Unlimited is supposed to be crazy broken, isn't it?  It is most certainly a fun format, but I hope you can all see (and understand) my concern with changing the list to better (and "balance" lol) this supposedly "dead" format. 

Thanks for reading.

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