Sunday, February 14, 2016

I'm on a Rampage! Pt. 2: Nubatama

At this point we've basically solidified the theory that Vanguard's true ninjas only receive support once every two years and any and all power creep is made in an effort to prepare every other clan for the incoming Nubatama cards. Gotta maintain that balance!

...seriously though, The RECKLESS RAMPAGE offers the strangest mixed bag for Mr. Mark's saikyou strongest clan.

For starters, like both Tachi and Spikes, Nubatama saw the introduction of a keyword ability to its arsenal - Afterimage. But where Engorge and Charge are essentially rehashes of what those clans have always done, Afterimage is... completely shoehorned?

When a card is returned to your opponent's hand from their bind zone, if the number of cards in your hand is six or less, you may return this unit to your hand.

Alright, alright, I can't deny it, Nubatama do have a history of requiring fewer cards in their hand than their opponent to activate their abilities. As such they need to be guarding and aggressively calling to meet that requirement. This in turn leaves them vulnerable in various ways. Afterimage attempts to rectify this by allowing you to field the cards as necessary and then keep them safe. Does it succeed? Well... yes and no.

When one binds an opponent's card using effects like those of Tamahagane or Shiranui, they're typically aiming to remove those cards permanently with the on-hit abilities of Kuroko or Agitomaru. Doing so cripples the opponent, sometimes irreparably, and it's extremely cost-efficient. Opponents don't always have to bend over and take that, though - they can toss out a perfect guard or some such and retrieve their cards. That's where Afterimage comes in. It's nice, in theory, because it creates a "lose-lose" situation for your opponent no matter what they do.

...but then you look at the effects the individual Afterimage cards.

They're mostly vanilla beaters you don't have any particular use for because an opponent with a suffering hand isn't going to be able to guard them even if the attacks are lower in power. Some, like Kamojigusa, are incredibly slow, not coming into play until turns 5 and beyond unless you get fairly lucky, and in her case, actively work against your own keyword ability. It's messed up, and I don't like it one bit.

But the clan wasn't completely screwed on this round of support. They got an incredibly good stride leader in Shiranui, a really scary game ending boss in Atagolord, a situational lifesaver in Tsukumorakan, and a few more bind hate cards to take a bit of load off Kuroko. Hell, the resident Heart-thump and Amber clones play into the base Nubatama strategy better than anyone could have hoped. And man oh man does a well piloted Nuba deck ever trigger me, because it genuinely doesn't feel like there's anything one can ever do; you just die no matter how you play.

Give my scrubby list a go if you want:

1 Kuroko
4 Heal
12 Crit

4 Stride fodder
4 Dreadmaster
2 Fuuki

4 Tamahagane
4 Amber clone
2 Agitomaru
1 Glimmer clone

4 Shiranui
4 Kujikiricongo

4 Atagolord
1 Tsukumorakan
1 Jyurorikan
2 Gedatsurakan

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