Friday, June 28, 2013

Murakumo - Ninja Art: Illusionary Wall!

With BT09: Clash of the Knights and Dragons, more clans have received Crossride units, and what does that mean? An increased slowdown in game pace in this already defensive-oriented format. Well, I have a little something to say to that. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the covert corps of the Dragon Empire, particularly what I would like call the "Illusion Duo."

The Illusion Duo of the Dragon Empire. They act as defense commanders
for the Covert Ops.

BT05: Awakening of Twin Blades, the set that helped make Murakumo playable along with introducing the Crossrides and the monstrosity that that is Majesty Lord Blaster, brought us Covert Demonic Dragon, Mandala Lord, a unit that can turn extra copies of himself into a psuedo-Guardian with an equivalent of 10000 Shield at the cost of 1 Counter-Blast. Later on, BT09 gave us Fantasy Petal Storm, Shirayuki, which does something does the same thing Mandala Lord but at Limit Break only as a psuedo-Guardian with an equivalent shield value of 20000. Why do I use the term "psuedo-Guardian", you ask? These abilities in particular do not actually provide shield like Guardians do but rather decrease a unit's overall POWER. What does this mean? Against units like Dragonic Kaiser Vermillion and Exculpate the Blaster with their abilities granting them the ability to attack multiple units in one attack, you can easily put those skills to a screeching halt and completely stop them with a lower shield value than if you did not use the Persona Blasts of Mandala Lord or Shirayuki.

The concept behind these 2 units is that Drive Checking and drawing into Grade 3s does not become too detrimental for you come your opponent's turn as they essentially have Shield value. With Shirayuki in particular, it's almost like having most of the strength of a Sentinel at the cost of 1 card in hand rather than 2. With that said, let's move onto my take on a deck based around these two units:

Grade 0 (17)
1 Stealth Rogue of Body Replacement, Kokuenmaru
4 Stealth Fiend, Yukihime (Heal Trigger)
3 Stealth Beast, Cat Rogue (Draw Trigger)
2 Stealth Fiend, Rokuro Lady (Draw Trigger)
4 Fox User, Izuna (Critical Trigger)
3 Stealth Beast, Cat Devil (Critical Trigger)
NOTE: Murakumo has quite a lot of trigger choices. Use what you think looks good. If you really want to have a grind game against your opponents (which I personally would not suggest until the game becomes more offensively-oriented), you can try running Stand Triggers instead and annoy them. 

Grade 1 (14)
4 Silent Stealth Rogue, Shijimamaru
4 Stealth Beast, Leaves Mirage
3 Stealth Fiend, Oboro Cart
3 Stealth Beast, Midnight Panther 

Grade 2 (11)
4 Stealth Beast, Bloody Mist
4 Stealth Beast, White Mane
3 Stealth Dragon, Cursed Breath 

Grade 3 (8)
4 Covert Demonic Dragon, Mandala Lord
4 Fantasy Petal Storm, Shirayuki
The Grade 0 lineup consists of a Grade 3-searcher Forerunner as the clan lacks a way to access Shirayuki outside of game mechanics, and we would like to be able to access extra copies of our Grade 3s if needed. Stealth Beast, Evil Ferret does not help us too much since we don't really need the early offensive, but I guess he can make for a nice 5000 boost behind the Vanguard since both the Grade 3s here are 11000 base. Triggers are fairly standard, with an extra Draw Trigger than some would go for as we would like to be able to access both our offensive and defensive units quicker.

As for Grade 1s, we got the standard vanilla boosters and Sentinels. An interesting choice you might find is the inclusion of Stealth Fiend, Oboro Cart. With this unit, we can temporarily clone any Murakumo rearguard for a turn. This helps to increase offensive capabilities when most needed. I did try using Stealth Beast, Leaf Raccoon, a conditional 10000 boost to the Vanguard, but I found it quite unsuitable for the current state of the game, so we will use a stable 7000 boost in the form of Stealth Beast, Midnight Panther, who can be pushed up a bit if needed. You are also free to use Stealth Rogue of Summoning, Jiraiya if you do not care for Midnight Panther's ability and/or you just want to trick people into thinking that you are setting up for a Gigantoad swarm.

Grade 2s consist of our Vanilla interceptors along with a set of Damage unflippers. Believe it or not, this deck can easily eat up Counter-Blasts even though they're all paid 1 at a time. If anything, you can use them to poke cards out of the opponent's hand. As I mentioned before, Murakumo lacks easy access to Shirayuki, but the clan has 2 units that can possibly result in a Mandala Lord: Stealth Dragon, Turbulence Edge and Stealth Dragon, Cursed Breath. Cursed Breath is much more preferred because it's also an interceptor, and I would say he's the optimal Grade 2 ride because of his ability. His effectiveness begins to dwindle past the first Grade 3 ride.

Need I explain the Grade 3s? A maximum equivalent of 90000 Shield, people, with an average of an additional 40000-60000 Shield equivalent showing up during a typical game!

While this deck may not be too competitive now, it is quite the annoying deck to deal with due to the extra possible equivalent Shield values via the extra Grade 3s. It does have consistency issues such as having extra Mandala Lords while your Vanguard is Shirayuki and vice-versa along with subpar offensive power. If anything, the extra Mandala Lords can be called to rearguard for a decent 11000 attacker (You don't want to do this with Shirayuki because being an equivalent of 20000 Shield is much too valuable.). This is definitely a variant of Murakumo that requires patience to be able to properly use and succeed with.

With that, I say, "Ninja Art: Shadow Clone! Ride!"

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