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- Comparative Strengths: Set 27 - Lightning
If you're reading this it means you are part of the select few who have survived the destruction of Planet Earth. I congratulate you for your survival however I regret to inform you that the creators and designers of the Bandai CCG have all passed. Not a single one was able to survive the apocalypse. In other news, Mull to Four founders, Shino'sDad and I, have made it out okay. Hit the jump for our Lightning review.
So a few sets ago Lightning was the dominant deck. The key to its success lied in its early game control, rather the threat of early game control, and its ability to stay relevant throughout the course of the game. Both of these were accomplished by cards such as The 4th Hokage, Ink Leech, Rasengan, Konohamaru Ninja Squad, Anko's Memory, etc. However, with the banning of the former two and the rotation of the latter two, Lightning has been taken down a notch.
This doesn't mean its unplayable, don't get it twisted. Lightning just has to be a supporting element since half of its momentum has been stopped. This is true for other elements as well; Fire has been the dominant element with Lightning supporting it for the most part. This is apparent in both NvS and just Fire/Lightning decks. Lightning still has great cards that give it a unique edge over other elements. They have a great draw engine with cards such as The Sage, Rock Lee, Tsukado, and Nice Guy Pose. They still have Rasengan but with no good Konohamaru in format, the lateness of The 4th Hokage and Jiraiya, and lack of playable Naruto, it's not going to see that much play; though the new reprint Naruto may change this.
Lightning also received a keyword this set: Flashpoint. Flashpoint on Lightning Ninjas is a really cool concept, since many Lightning Ninjas are fast and are portrayed well through this keyword. Examples include Might Guy, Rock Lee, The 4th Hokage, Naruto, etc. But like most other elements and their keywords, Lightning and Flashpoint were not fleshed out to their full potential. Expect an article on card design and this topic in particular in the upcoming year.
Without further adieu, let's get into our Top 5. We'll be starting with our Number 5 pick just like last time, of course. You should note that, unlike my Water Review, I was actually excited to do the Lightning Review. To be honest, I picked the Number 1 pick weeks ago. Playtesting with it just further supported my choice. But let's get into it already.
This card is the Number 5 pick until the errata or ruling that makes him just a decent rehash of this Naruto. For those of you who don't know, currently he can only be blocked by "target Ninja". This means, when he Attacks, assuming he was put in play except by deployment that turn, you declare the target Ninja. The technicality that can make or break this card is the range of his targeting. By this I mean, if he can target himself, he is literally unblockable. Yes, he can swing in for a free Battle Reward every turn, in theory.
On the flip side, if he is ruled differently or given an errata, he is a decent rehash of the aforementioned Naruto. But, don't get me wrong, he's still a good card. He has relevant Characteristics, both Genin and Clone Status, in addition to his Oil Combat Attribute. Granted, you'd probably want to play a Turn 3 Naruto to go into Sage Mode but NvS might like this card. While NvS is in effect, if you select a non-Genin for Naruto's target, he'll go right through. Try him out anyway.