DECK REVIEW: 3-STAR DEMOTION NINJAS

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General Overview of Player and Deck

Hi, my name is Kazin_X, I just reached my 10th season KoG with 3SD Ninja. Each season I try to do something innovative and different from the meta. I feel the ranked climb is a good opportunity to test new decks and change up the meta. Last season, I shook it up a bit by being one of the first players to reach KoG and showcase ninja’s power by playing “Beatdown Ninja”. However, this season the deck felt ridiculously underwhelming and couldn’t really hang with bigger and faster deck. I am not sure what changed, because “Echoes of Silence” didn’t bring with it any amazing cards to support existing archetype. But something has changed, whether it be community awareness, new meta trending decks, or a combination of both, ninja power was greatly reduced.

So to combat this, I decided to switch up the skill choice and go with 3 Star Demotion. This skill allows you to get out the bigger, stronger, and more versatile ninjas, such as “Black Dragon Ninja ” and “Red Dragon Ninja ” easier. These powerhouse cards not only served as the main attackers of the deck, but also the main launch pad, allowing you to jump from one ninja to another or one ninja to two/three through the “Ninjitsu Art” trap cards. Collaborating with members of “Duel Links Meta” discord, the final approved version and the version that I believe is most optimized is posted below.

On my way to KoG, I went 10-2, with a flawless 8-0. Including the two lost, the best record was 15-2. This deck was a lot of fun to play, probably one of the most dynamic and interactive deck you will play in Duel Links right now. This deck requires the user to know their options (there is so many!) and also play focused. One can easily misplay this deck and then consider it a terrible deck.

Below I will show you all the cards, combos, plays, tricks, and match-ups to help you better understand Ninjas and how effective it can truly be. To be honest, even though I reached KoG with this deck, I think there is still room to evolve and learn about this archetype. There is so much power, versatility, and flexibility with this archetype that it is still fun to play with 2 seasons later.

I hope you guys enjoy the breakdown below!

Name
Effect / How to Obtain
Why

Card Replacements

Note: Selection of cards are slim within the current ninja pool. Currently, the mandatory cards to have in the deck (no substitutes) is: 3x Ninjitsu Art of Transformation , 3x Ninjitsu Art of Duplication , 3x Black Dragon Ninja , and 3x Red Dragon Ninja . Even Armed Ninja doesn’t seem replaceable in some match-up. So, I want to apologize for the minimum wiggle room.

Combos & Plays

This card is severely underrated and is arguably one of the best card when used correctly. He ability allows you to REMOVE ANY monsters during EITHER PLAYERS TURN by discarding from THE HAND or FACE-UP on the field a ninja monster and a ninjitsu art card. You can do this ONCE PER TURN.

Notice how I specifically capped words in that statement. At any time, once per BDN, you can remove ANY card from the field. So basically, think each BDN can activate it once per turn What does that mean for combos? Let’s explore:

For sake of convenience, from this point on: All Traps will be T (or by Dup for Duplication, Trans for Transformation, and Sealing for Shadow Sealing). All other monster is represented by their name (Sasuke is GS, Red Dragon Ninja is RDN, Black Dragon Ninja is BDN, Armored Ninja is AN)

BDN Combo Sampler: 3SD Skill ➔ Summon BDN ➔ If Opponent field is clear (he is playing ice barriers and decides to pass turn), Attack ➔ Activate BDN ability ➔ Discard a ninja from hand and trap from hand ➔ Banish BDN ➔ Re-summon BDN ➔ Attack again ➔ Repeat if you have more ninja + traps OR save ninja + trap for next turn removal. Congrats, you just did 5600 life point damage in one turn.

This is a sampler of what BDN can do. He launches a lot of combo for your deck. To understand how to play this deck, you must understand how to play Black Dragon Ninja. From here on out, we take the deep end and really explore the combos of Ninjas. It may require play testing to understand its flexibility and a few read through. I will try to cover common meta possibilities, common response your opponent may have, and what situation can be likely.

If you are ready, proceed below…

Kazin’s Favorite Combo

So you have BDN in hand, with 3 TRAPS! 1 Trans, 2 Dup or 2 Trans, 1 Dup (either works). You go first, and you 3SD summon BDN and set the three traps. Your opponent does whatever they do here, for the sake of the example, they set one face-down monster and 2 set spells/traps. A pretty standard response to your BDN. Here what you do when your opponent ends their turn.

By setting a monster, they sealed their fate. At the end of their turn, activate duplication into RDN and AN. RDN will spin back the face-down monster they have to the deck, leaving the field open now.

On your next turn (Let’s assume you draw into another ninja monster), flip AN to check that back row. If it’s a spell, that’s a plus for you, because no armed ninja destroyed it or they are force to activate it. From here you can branch into options if needed:

  • If they still have another face-down monster, you may elect, to activate duplication first. To spin that remaining monster back to the deck. OR spin any additional face-down spell/trap. I prefer to just clear the field and force them to use spells/trap
  • If their field is clear of monster, you can might want to transformation into BDN and start going in for the offense. Note, here is one of the strength of Ninja: It can attack 3-4 times off one monster, so enemy controller, windstorm, and even mirror wall isn’t a huge problem.

For the sake of simplicity, neither of the situation above is happening. Let’s say that one of the card is a spell. AN hit the spell and destroy it. Also, for simplicity, let’s assume that other trap/spell was something like Super Rush Headlong, which cannot be active now. So basically, the field is clear of monster and potential threatening spell/traps (refer to the above option select if the field is not as clear as you want).

Route 1: Now the field is clear, you attack with RDN, then AN for 2700 damage. Now…this is where the options open up some more. Depending on what happened, what deck you are playing, and what LP your opponent has you may choose to do different options. From here, you can do:

  • Trans RDN into BDN. BDN is now attached to Trans, but we will free him in a bit. Attack with BDN. If there is no block, it should be game. But for the sake of example, let’s say you are playing an opponent with 10,000 LP. The Dup and AN is still attached. By itself it is pretty useless.

So let’s re-use a combo we learned earlier. To free BDN from Trans, we send AN and the Dup to the graveyard to BANISH BDN. Now, BDN can be RE-SUMMONED into attack mode, and ATTACK AGAIN. So you attack again for another 2800! At this moment you have dealt, 8300 LP worth of damage, but we still have 1700 LP left.

Disregarding what we drew, we can still go in for another attack. From here, you can DUP into many different option because BDN is level 7. You can do another RDN + AN, another BDN, or Sasuke + AN. Either way, you do well over 10,000 LP worth of damage.

✔ Bonus Option: If you drew into a RDN during this turn, you could have summoned it. Tributing away AN to spin away another spell/trap. If you drew a Sasuke, you can save it to have your BDN do another attack replay, but discard Sasuke, the dead Trans, and banish BDN to replay.

Route 2 (when everything goes wrong):

Assuming that when you attacked, your opponent blocks your RDN attack with sphere kuriboh. They let AN go through for 300, which leave then with 3700. But during your AN attack, you notice a delay. That 1 spell/trap is active and can be used.

  • Now in this example, say the spell/trap is something that can block a second attack, for instance Enemy Controller or Windstorm. Let’s assume we play cautiously, we DON’T Trans first. Instead we duplication into RDN. To spin away that spell/trap. We send that card back to the deck, and attack for 2400.

Let’s assume that they have ANOTHER sphere kuriboh. They block your RDN attack. Fear not, the attack is not over. You now transform the RDN into BDN. And you attack for 2800 knowing there is no resistance. We attack relay now with BDN, by sending AN and a DUP. Banish BDN to resummons BDN, attack for 2800 for game. Now in this situation, everything that can be blocked gets blocked. But ninja as the ability to overcome all of this. ALSO, keep in mind, say you did not kill the opponent AFTER ALL OF THAT. You still have another dead dup on the field. So if you have another ninja monster, you can banish or dodge, depending on what happens.

Misc. Combos for situation and Key Notes:

  • Toons: At this moment you need duplication or AN in hand. At the end of their turn, you can dup any ninja you have to go into 1 or 2 AN to flip and destroy their Toon Kingdom.
  • If you run Senior Silver Ninja: at the end of your opponent turn, you can duplication into a face down Senior Silver Ninja. Depending on what you draw, you can summon 1 or 2 of the ninja from your hand/graveyard, to tribute for RDN or BDN.
  • Try to use your RDN at the end of your opponents turn, you can target their S/T before they can chain activation. You can also, use another RDN effect during your following turn
  • You always have options, even if you draw into too much monsters and no traps! Be patient, you might get a trap next turn. Letting a ninja such as Sasuke or Armed Ninja die can still be good. Next turn, you can 3SD into RDN to spin away a monster or s/t and start opening up.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How come my RDN has miss timing activation when I summon it?

  • ✔ If you summoned RDN during a chain, in which him being summoned is NOT the last thing that happens. His condition of “when this card is summoned” does not meet. Hence you don’t get the effect.

But what about when I use BDN to banish RDN, he gets its effect even though its summoned in a chain!?

  • ✔ Right, but BDN effect resolves before RDN hits the board. RDN isn’t summoned yet, its chaining to the selection of RDN.

What if I use BDN effect to see the trap card attracted to him (dup or trans) and then send 1 other ninja monster that’s not BDN, can I banish BDN?

  • ✔ Nope, BDN will leave the field as soon as you send that attached trap card onto him. Don’t make that mistake

Does this deck brick a lot? You seem to have a lot of high level monster and what if you never get a trap?

  • ✔ Be patient, you have like 7 traps, you will draw into one. If no monster, letting a playable ninja like sasuke or armed ninja die for RDN plays next turn is fine.

Have you considered XYZ version of this deck, running ABC cards?

  • ✔ I’ve tested a lot of different version, I like this one the most. But if you have a fresh idea, feel free to find me on Duel Links Meta Discord or Reddit.

Matchups

Good

These match-ups ranges from EXTREMELY FAVORABLE to TOSS-UP for ninja. 3SD Ninja is unique, because it can be good against a lot of different archetype and covers a large range of weaknesses (reading the closing statement to see what I mean).

Bad

So, I’m taking a slightly different approach in explaining the good/bad match-up, but explaining the weakness of 3SD ninjas, rather than the match-up. Below are a few cards that either exemplifies these weaknesses or poses a challenge for 3SD ninja to take out. These cards embody what Ninjas have a tough time dealing with. Luckily, the list is small.

Closing Statement

I want to first thank all the readers whom have made it this far into the guide/breakdown. I wanted to explain in detail the power of the ninja deck, because it can easily be misunderstood due to the complex options it provides. No other deck is like the ninja right now. In my conversation with fellow discord member, itsyoboyeden, we hit on a unique description of 3SD ninjas:

  • To play Ninja at its best, YOU need to be at 100%, because the ninja deck is so sideway and unique, covering a multitude of decks. Depending on the match-up, you can slow-roll, burst, or a mix of both. Most decks do not have that many gears, that many options. A lot of players cannot handle all the options. I am still learning about the ninja deck…that’s the crazy part. There is endless number of combos and out. You need to understand what options you have, to play it correctly. AND as more cards get released, whether it be ninja cards or certain winged-beast/beast/insect cards, the more complex ninjas can be. This is one of the top decks that is growing as the pool of cards is growing. A lot of decks die by the way-side as more cards get released. This is not one of them. They are still one of the most entertaining, powerful, and interesting archetype after 2 seasons. I hope it will stay that way for many seasons to come.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! GLHF~!

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