Rerouting: Ninja Clan

Loukas Peterson

11/2/2016 11:00:00 AM

I've always loved Ninja decks - when I was into Magic, I played Shinobi and Artifact decks exclusively if the opportunity arose. The first time I ever played Ninja in Yu-Gi-Oh, I was paired up against an Inzektor deck. On their turn, I used Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation to turn a pumped up Inzektor Dragonfly and my Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo into a Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon.

See why I'm hooked?

While the Ninja theme hasn't had any breakout success, it's really fun to play and nets you a ton of Ninja monsters to swarm your opponent. No Ninja strategy's identical, but if I can field a Twilight Ninja Getsuga, the Shogun and use its effect at least once, I'm a happy duelist. I guess I'm a simple man; it doesn't take too much to make me happy.

Today's contributor writes… Mitchell D. from Oshkosh, Wisconsin writes...

Hey Loukas!

I wish Konami would release a pirate-themed archetype, so I can finally answer the age old debate of "Pirates vs. Ninjas" by beating everyone in the face with my Twilight Ninja Getsuga, the Shogun. Sadly, running over Photon Pirate just doesn't cut it. Although, dropping down a Dark Law coupled with Shogun shenanigans is a lot of fun.

Speaking of which, this deck is all about getting to Shogun and abusing its effect. I've tried several different versions to accomplish that goal, but this list is my newest attempt. With this deck, if you open Empowerment, Armageddon Knight, and ANY 2 Ninja's you're good to go. Summon Armageddon Knight to send Shogun to the graveyard, then activate Empowerment and discard the first ninja for Dragonox, the Empowered Warrior. Follow up and discard the second Ninja to activate Dragonox's effect, setting the yarded Shogun! Lastly, overlay Armageddon Knight and Dragonox for Photon Papilloperative, and use it to flip up your now live Shogun!

-Mitchell D. ~ Oshkosh, Wisconsin

In terms of combos, wow - that's pretty extensive. I've gone out of my way to pull off some crazy combos that needed wacky opening hands, but that just about takes the cake. Check out Mitchell's deck below:

    Ninjas Ver 1.0 Mitchell D.    
Main Deck
Side Deck
3 Armageddon Knight
3 Dragonox, the Empowered Warrior
3 Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo
2 Twilight Ninja Getsuga, the Shogun
2 Twilight Ninja Shingetsu
3 Upstart Golden Ninja
Monsters [16]
3 Armor Ninjitsu Art of Alchemy
3 Empowerment
2 Mask Change II
3 Ninjitsu Art Notebook
1 Reinforcement of the Army
2 Terraforming
Spells [14]
3 Breakthrough Skill
3 Call of the Haunted
1 Ninjitsu Art of Duplication
3 Threatening Roar
Traps [10]
Deck Total [40]


1 Abyss Dweller
2 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Daigusto Emeral
1 Ghostrick Dullahan
1 Heroic Champion - Excalibur
1 Heroic Champion - Gandiva
2 Masked HERO Dark Law
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number C39: Utopia Ray
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
3 Photon Papilloperative
Extra Deck [15]

Ok, so I don't care about pirates at all and will ignore that request like I practiced. I know I'm not a clever man, but I am a little confused as to why Ghostrick Dullahan is in the Extra Deck. But that aside, I'm excited as I've ever been to reroute a deck!

All in all, a Ninja deck is nothing without Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo. When Normal Summoned, you'll search a Ninjitsu Art spell or trap. When Special Summoned, you'll search a Ninja monster instead. In other words, Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo's your bread and butter. Ninjitsu Art Notebook's the deck's key to consistency, but speed and consistency aren't the only factors in a winning duel, else Medallion of the Ice Barrier would be a must-have.

Let's cut right to the chase - last week, I highlighted Ties of the Brethren and its pivotal importance to the otherwise-slow Bujin strategy. Upstart Golden Ninja and Summoner Monk bring out Hanzo from the Main Deck but require a trap and a spell, respectively. Ties of the Brethren turns a handful of cards into possible Hanzo targets, and the other Dark Level 4 Warrior monsters kick the strategy up a notch.

Scour the Yugioh Card Database and you'll find both good and bad monsters that fit the bill. Armageddon Knight's a Foolish Burial on legs, Elemental HERO Shadow Mist opens up your Extra Deck, and Gaia, the Polar Knight is finally useful, at least in my eyes. One of those monsters, or a Hanzo with Ties of the Brethren, will load your field, hand, and graveyard while thinning and searching your deck.

It's not quite the defensive set-up with free card advantage that Majespecters can accomplish with a first-turn Ties, but it's pretty darn good. Personally, I was swayed by the easy access to Masked HERO Dark Law. But you can take your pick of the best thing Ties brings to the table.

 Ties of the Brethren
Ties of the Brethren123485
Set Legendary Decks II
Number LDK2-ENY02
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Pay 2000 LP, then target 1 Level 4 or lower monster you control; for the rest of this turn after this card resolves, you cannot Special Summon monsters, also Special Summon 2 monsters from your Deck, with the same Type, Attribute, and Level as that monster, but with different names from each other and that monster. You cannot conduct your Battle Phase the turn you activate this card.

Our Best Prices: [View ALL Prices]
Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
Neverland Games 1st Edition - Heavily Played 1 $2.48
Buis Card Place 1st Edition - Heavily Played 1 $2.50
Untouchables 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $2.91
BadMonsterGames 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $2.99
Game Nut 1st Edition - Lightly Played 2 $2.99
Buis Card Place 1st Edition - Lightly Played 2 $3.09 allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time, in a simple checkout experience. Shop, Compare & Save with! - [Store FAQ]

Whether you field Elemental HERO Shadow Mist with Ties or yard it with Armageddon Knight, you'll search another card to put pressure on your opponent. If you already have it in your hand, you can discard it with Gaia, the Polar Knight's first effect after searching an Upstart Golden Ninja for thinning. Heck, you can even tribute it with your Gaia on the field after searching a Mask card if you need to.

Gaia was initially a gimmicky idea, but at the prospect of searching another free Ninja or the life-saving Tasuke Knight, the monster fell right into place.

How About That Combo?
Mitchell revealed his signature combo that fields a first turn Twilight Ninja Getsuga, the Shogun, but Ties of the Brethren actually matches the hand and field surplus the Shogun would get you in a similar manner, and doesn't require such a specific hand to get the ball rolling. I won't deny that the idea's super-mega-special-cool, but starting with an Armageddon Knight, Empowerment, and any two more Ninja monsters doesn't happen very often. x, the Empowered Warrior has enough merit for a single copy to stay, as it's compatible with Ties as well, but I couldn't find any ratios that max out the potential of the aforementioned combo enough to keep it as the strategy's centerpiece.

In other words, the combo cards are out the door and in come the cards for Ties of the Brethren. While you could add more Light Warriors for additional Ties, nothing melds together; I'd rather not add in more dead cards just to clog my draws. Besides, with you'll have plenty of targets with Armageddon Knight, Dragonox, the Empowered Warrior, Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo, Elemental HERO Shadow Mist, Twilight Ninja Shingetsu, and Gaia, the Polar Knight.

Some minor tweaks can help some of the deck's biggest weaknesses, while still meshing well with the strategy. Upstart Golden Ninja needs traps, and this deck crumbles to Main Deck threats like Archlord Kristya and Jowgen the Spiritualist, so something like Breakthrough Skill fits perfectly. Threatening Roar at three, though? The one Tasuke Knight fuels your Gaia, the Polar Knight and effectively replaces Threatening Roar. Sometimes to have a fighting chance, you just need one turn to survive.

Call of the Haunted is a godsend for Ninja but Oasis of Dragon Souls is your friend as well! And don't get me wrong - I love all the Ninjitsu cards with a fierce passion. The only problem? They're hardly useful against a field of Pendulum monsters, untargetable behemoths, and removal-driven threats that'll pick your field apart.

Ninjitsu Art of Duplication, miraculously, works for you in two ways. Not only can it give you the extra punch to make an OTK, but your Ninja can dodge opposing threats like Effect Veiler, Castel the Skyblaster Musketeer, and ABC Buster Dragon. I tested one Armor Ninjitsu Art of Rust Mist as a buffer for your Life Points, but it never made a defensive impact.

 Masked HERO Dark Law
Masked HERO Dark Law95874
Set Structure Deck: HERO Strike
Number SDHS-EN044
Level 6
Type Fusion/Effect Monster
Monster Warrior
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2400 / 1800
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Must be Special Summoned with "Mask Change" and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. Any card sent to your opponent's Graveyard is banished instead. Once per turn, if your opponent adds a card(s) from their Deck to their hand (except during the Draw Phase or the Damage Step): You can banish 1 random card from your opponent's hand.

Our Best Prices: [View ALL Prices]
Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
IDeal808 1st Edition - Lightly Played 2 $0.76
IDeal808 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $0.95
Dyspepsia Magic 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $1.00
Epik Cards & Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $1.39
YGO Wumbologist 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $1.40
ProjectYGO 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $1.45 allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time, in a simple checkout experience. Shop, Compare & Save with! - [Store FAQ]

Your need for speed in a deck like Ninja mandates Upstart Goblin and Allure of Darkness. Blah blah Pot of Desires blah blah, but Mitchell said he didn't have any, so there's no point in breaking my pact here and tossing them into the fixed build.

The only other numbers change revolves around Mask Change II and subsequent HERO monsters. Since Elemental HERO Shadow Mist is a viable target for the original Mask Change, why not have one copy in here? Most of the time you'll be searching a Mask Change with Shadow Mist anyway; Shadow Mist will be on your field for Mask Change's target.

In terms of Shadow Mist's second effect to search a HERO, your options are extremely limited. While Destiny HERO Diamond Dude's a Ties of the Brethren target with more matches in deck, I found Elemental Hero Bubbleman more useful. Diamond Dude's never a priority to summon off Ties; it's a waste of a normal summon to roll the die on it.

-1 Armageddon Knight
-3 Dragonox, the Empowered Warrior
-3 Empowerment
-1 Mask Change II
-2 Terraforming
-1 Breakthrough Skill
-2 Call Of The Haunted
-3 Threatening Roar

-1 Ghostrick Dullahan
-1 Heroic Champion Gandiva
-2 Photon Papilloperative

+1 Elemental HERO Shadow Mist
+2 Gaia, the Polar Knight
+1 Elemental Hero Bubbleman
+3 Allure of Darkness
+1 Mask Change
+3 Ties of the Brethren
+1 Upstart Goblin
+1 Floodgate Trap Hole
+3 Oasis of Dragon Souls

+1 Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon
+1 Evilswarm Nightmare
+1 Diamond Dire Wolf
+1 Traptrix Rafflasia

The Extra Deck's solid, but geez, I literally can't think of any situation where you'd need THREE Photon Papilloperative. Another good first turn play? Traptrix Rafflesia - take that, swarming monsters!

    Ninjas Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
Main Deck
Side Deck
2 Armageddon Knight
1 Elemental HERO Bubbleman
1 Elemental HERO Shadow Mist
2 Gaia, the Polar Knight
3 Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo
2 Twilight Ninja Getsuga, the Shogun
2 Twilight Ninja Shingetsu
3 Upstart Golden Ninja
Monsters [16]
3 Allure of Darkness
3 Armor Ninjitsu Art of Alchemy
1 Mask Change
1 Mask Change II
3 Ninjitsu Art Notebook
1 Reinforcement of the Army
3 Ties of the Brethren
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [16]
2 Breakthrough Skill
1 Call of the Haunted
1 Floodgate Trap Hole
1 Ninjitsu Art of Duplication
3 Oasis of Dragon Souls
Traps [8]
Deck Total [40]


1 Abyss Dweller
2 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Daigusto Emeral
1 Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Evilswarm Nightmare
1 Heroic Champion - Excalibur
2 Masked HERO Dark Law
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number C39: Utopia Ray
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 Photon Papilloperative
1 Traptrix Rafflesia
Extra Deck [15]

I really hope we get more Ninja support in the future - I feel like the deck's missing something, but I can't quite tell what it is. I'd really appreciate an even easier way to summon our big Shogun, but until then I'll keep trying my hardest to do something creative!

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson

Loukas “Stalker of Julian Edelman” Peterson lives in Madison, Wisconsin where he's earned the honor of Employee of the Century at his basket-weaving job. When he's not getting lost walking to the grocery store, his days are spent shaking his fist in the direction of Konami's North American headquarters demanding Fabled support or an archetype based around rainbow flags. In his spare time, Loukas enjoys long walks on the beach with his pet tarantula, “Snarf.”

Do you love winning with unconventional strategies? Do you love creating mash-ups? Does your deck need an injection of crazy? Send the following to to have your deck featured in the “Re-Routing” deck fix column!

-Your Main and Extra Deck list. (No Side Deck needed, but please send a written deck list, not a screencap; screencapped deck lists will be filed and then burned in the furnace accordingly… and your deck should be TCG legal).

-Your name and city.

-Remember, please use full card names! Abbrevs and mis-sipllngs make Loukas' life sad. Try your darndest to get the TCG name on there.

-A paragraph or two describing your deck: what it does, why you're playing it, and its strengths and weaknesses. “Winning” is not a strategy per se, and neither is “beating your opponents before they beat you.”

-Your favorite card from the build and why – make me fall in love with the deck! The cooler your strategy the more I'll want to fix it, and if you throw in funny jokes, that'll surely get my attention too; be warned, unfunny jokes will push your deck to the back of the stack. Don't be afraid to get creative! New stuff takes priority, because I'm not bored of it yet! -LJP

Join our Newsletters

Subscribe to get the latest information on your favorite games.


All original content herein is Copyright 2016 Ascension Gaming Network, Inc. TCGplayer® and MaxPoint® are trademarks of Ascension Gaming Network, Inc.
No portion of this web site may be used without expressed written consent. All rights reserved.
Magic the Gathering and its respective properties are copyright Wizards of the Coast
Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service