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Thread: Stilljutsu - UB Ninja Still

  1. #61
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    Re: Stilljutsu - UB Ninja Still

    I went 3-1 at a weekly tournament with the Faerie Miscreant list posted on the previous page bare a few SB changes (-1 Trophy -1 Cage -1 Rod +1 Return to Nature +1 Jitte +1 Blossom). The deck performed well throughout numerous intense games. My loss was to Maverick as I got Choked twice and suffered under SoFaI. Unfortunately I couldn't find a Plague or Jitte in any of those games. The game I won was by adapting Pteramander. In fact, adapting Ptera happened in half my games and was the pivotal moment where I went from durdling with card advantage and circumventing threats to actually closing out the game. Here are a few examples:

    -Adapt G1 against Maverick won the race;
    -Adapt and flip FoW on Yuriko via Brainstorm against Depths before the second Lage token came online;
    -Adapt for 3 mana in my 2 games against Miracles turned up the pressure

    Faerie Miscreant was garbage as usual but did its job as an enabler which leads me to believe that Outcast might be better than Seer as a replacement. I don't believe Seer can replace Ponder, especially with Ptera... Outcast is without a doubt the best enabler by having the ultimate typing and evasion. In all my games, all that I expected from that slot was to enable a T2 Ninja or Sprite. I've also had a few stare downs with Marrit Lage and Scryb Ranger that could have been avoided if I had Outcast instead of Faerie. Faerie did pitch to FoW on a few occasions but I believe that was a symptom of the card being horrible rather than a lack of blue cards.

    As much as I like Ninjas, I think 6 is a good number (good odds of finding one with a cantrip). I tested a list with Chrome Mox and more Ninjas instead of Ponder and what happened the most was that I would brick on land drops or have to mulligan much more than usual, likely because of the lack of manipulation or perhaps too few lands. Ninjas are clunky and I much prefer being able to set up a good ninjustu rather than having to jam as many as possible.

    Another thing I noticed is that the Faerie typing is really just icing on the cake. Most of the time Sprite is used as a flash evasive body or to counter removal and cantrips as you pretty much have to fire it off every chance you get because of the low impact nature of the card. Trying to use Sprite as a hard counter for key spells is inefficient as we want to be doing stuff all the time. Sprite shines against Combo and postboard against Control when paired with Blossoms. I usually side them out against DnT, Maverick and Tomb/City decks.

    Also, given the slow/midrange-y nature of the deck, playing against Eldrazi, Cloudpost ramp, and Depths decks is really a game about how many Wastelands and Forces you can find. Forces are good in every matchup but Wastes are sub-par or just dead weight against a big chunk of the meta. Colorless mana only pays for Sprite, Adapt, and Daze/Thalia taxes. I think it's important to have 4 Wastelands in the 75 but splitting them in the main/sb might be a good idea.

    Bitterblossom is the nuts against control decks and makes Grixis and Miracles an absolute walk in the park. They also help tremendously against Depths. I went up to 2 copies in my SB and they did not dissapoint.

    Our worst matchups are the toolboxy aggro decks like DnT/Maverick. Lucky for us, Plague Engineer goes a long way shoring those matchups. I've been struggling with SFM decks lately because every equipment is a must-answer (Jitte, SoFaI and BSK all shit on our parade). Return to Nature has been pretty flexible so far against Loam decks and Snapcaster+SFM decks. Return is a great complement to Nihil Spellbomb when you don't want to bring in Surgical Extraction (i.e: Miracles with AK and Snap, Aggro loam, Slow Depths). The problem is that the card is green... I can't really afford to play too many green cards against Wasteland decks. I stumbled upon Grip of Phyresis and I think it might be the answer to my prayers.

    My plan against DnT and Maverick is to go:
    -4 Spellstutter Sprite -3 Daze
    +2 Plague Engineer +2 Fatal Push +1 Return to Nature +1 Grip of Phyresis +1 Wasteland

    Sprite is too slow and doesn't have any meaningful CMC1 targets. Daze setting us back a land drop against Vial and mana dorks sounds terrible. I try to avoid cards like Grip of Phyresis and Dread of Night as much as possible since they have such narrow application. At least Grip is good against Stoneblade.

    Plan for Stoneblade:

    UW with B2B
    -4 Baleful Strix -3 Wasteland
    +2 Bitterblossom +2 Plague Engineer +1 Diabolic Edict +1 Return to Nature +1 Grip of Phyresis

    I take out Strix because there is nothing to block in this matchup. Most lists are on B2B so Wasteland comes out. Bitterblossom comes in because they buffer Sprite to counter TNN and they will likely bring in Verdicts.

    Esper/Jeskai
    -4 Strix -3 Daze
    +2 Bitterblossom +2 Plague Engineer +1 Return to Nature +1 Grip of Phyresis +1 Wasteland

    Edict is arguably the worst card here as it isn't guaranteed to hit TNN with Snapcaster, SFM, and BSK floating about.

    Y'all got any suggestions?


    2 Bitterblossom
    2 Plague Engineer
    2 Surgical Extraction
    2 Flusterstorm
    2 Fatal Push
    1 Diabolic Edict
    1 Return to Nature
    1 Grip of Phyresis
    1 Nihil Spellbomb
    1 Wasteland
    Do you know what assuming does? It makes an ass out of you and me.
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    ... ffs I was trying to be funny...

  2. #62
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    Re: Stilljutsu - UB Ninja Still

    I played at a weekly tournament with a super straight-forward NinjaFaerie deck. I won against Miracles, Jund, and Infect and lost to Manaless Dredge and 4c Loam with Wrenn and Six.

    The list:

    4 Changeling Outcast
    4 Faerie Seer
    4 Spellstutter Sprite
    4 Baleful Strix
    3 Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow
    4 Ingenious Infiltrator

    4 Abrupt Decay
    3 Daze
    4 Force of Will
    4 Brainstorm
    2 Thoughtseize

    4 Wasteland
    4 Polluted Delta
    2 Misty Rainforest
    2 Verdant Catacombs
    3 Underground Sea
    2 Tropical Island
    1 Bayou
    1 Island
    1 Swamp
    //SB
    2 Plague Engineer
    2 Bitterblossom
    2 Surgical Extraction
    2 Spell Pierce
    2 Fatal Push
    1 Diabolic Edict
    1 Tyrant's Scorn
    1 Return to Nature
    1 Grafdigger's Cage
    1 Umezawa's Jitte


    I had some fun despite some tilting losses. I lost to Dredge digging 20 cards deep and not finding a single GY hate spell in 2 games, and lost to Chalice and Choke holding 2 Decays but not able to topdeck a land for 7 turns. I was very comfortable against all the matchups I won. The engine is very easy to set up and draws a lot of cards.

    The main problem I encountered was that even though I was drawing lots of cards, most of them were garbage. In the few games that I didn't get to ninjutsu much at all. I was mostly jamming garbage evasive 1/1s waiting for a respectable topdeck. In some other games I would flood on Ninjas and struggle to enable them. The Ninja engine is good but not good enough to be the only thing.
    Do you know what assuming does? It makes an ass out of you and me.
    Get it...? Ass, u, me?

    ... ffs I was trying to be funny...

  3. #63
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    Re: Stilljutsu - UB Ninja Still

    I've been playing ninjas for a while now. Started with standstill went to ninja faeries and ended up now with full ninjas.

    Here's my current list:

    Creatures
    4#Changeling Outcast
    4#Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive
    4#Yuriko, the Tigerís Shadow
    4#Baleful Strix
    4#Ingenious Infiltrator
    2#Fallen Shinobi
    2#Nether Traitor

    Instant/sorceries
    4#Misdirection
    4#Force of Will
    1#Murderous Cut
    4#Brainstorm
    3#Fatal Push

    Land
    1#Shizo, Deathís Storehouse
    3#Wasteland
    4#Polluted Delta
    2#Island
    2#Swamp
    2#Verdant Catacombs
    1#Watery Grave
    1#Marsh Flats
    1#Flooded Strand
    1#Bloodstained Mire
    1#Misty Rainforest
    1#Underground Sea

    // sideboard
    2#Snuff Out
    2#Thoughtseize
    1#Meekstone
    3#Consign // Oblivion
    1#Murderous Cut
    2#Lilianaís Defeat
    2#Marsh Casualties
    2#Spellseeker

    So I went full in on the Yuriko and Tetsuko. Nvm the legendary, they stick to FoW or Misdirection. Misdirection is amazing against all kinds of spot removal. We can take the card disadvantage both fow and misd give because we have so many draws.

    Besides that they reveal for 5 life loss with Yuriko while playing them for alt cost.

    Wasteland feels bad. Consider moving them to sb. Nether traitor is hard.. mana intensive, doenst stick to fow or misd but is a recurring best evasion ninja enabler. Or just PW beater.

    Fallen shinobi is too good to pass. The deck has a lot of card draw but shinobi makes a finisher. It completely turns the game around and at 4 mana I now believe we can have it. I dropped the ponders but not sure about that.

    Curious on your thoughts! I had so many games with ninjas but no enablers and with less counter we care less about removal because we have so many creatures.

  4. #64
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    Re: Stilljutsu - UB Ninja Still

    My thoughts on your deck?

    I think Ninjutsu is good when it bounces something you want back to your hand like Strix and Sprite. Sprite is one of our best piece of protection to keep our draw engine going and another reason to play an unblockable changeling. 10 NInjas is too many IMO given that Ninjutsu by itself is not a win condition and the more Ninjas you play, the more vulnerable you are to removal and creatures. I've tested with 7, 6, and 5 Ninjas and 7 was already too many. I understand that with Misdirection you don't care as much about flooding with useless blue cards but Misdirection is extremely narrow and easy to play around. Most decks with a high amount of removal don't even play creatures of their own to misdirect to. I think Sprite does a great job at countering removal and is much more flexible than Misdirection. If anything, I would rather be playing Force of Negation than Misdirection by a mile.

    I am right there with you on Wastelands. I've just played a tournament where I opted for 3 main/1 side Wastelands and I don't think they belong in this deck. Wastes can't really cast anything. Most decks can assembles a few basic lands and operate smoothly. We can't ride tempo as well either because our creatures are not threats but engine pieces that need to be assembled. Wastelands are mostly there as an answer to problematic/unfair lands and unfortunately I don't think we have much space for them. I think we need to deal with PFire, Depths, Posts/Tombs, Depths, Tabernacle, etc. in different ways (I.E. with Trophy).

    Fallen Shinobi is indeed pretty powerful and wouldn't mind going down that route if I could tutor it as a one-of. As of now I think Infiltrator is much better as a Ninja and Fallen Shinobi is too mana intensive.

    Tetsuko is slow and doesn't do much considering that it affects mostly itself and Yuriko while the other affected creatures are already evasive. Legacy contains about 65% decks that can't block in the first place. Of the 35% of decks that do block, over 10% of them play Karakas.

    I would play any evasive 1/1 over Nether Traitor because casting cost matters. Ninja on T2 is one of our best play.

    I believe Faeries are an important component of this deck and Bitterblossom plays a crucial role against control decks. Blossom is fundamentally good in long grindy matches and underwhelming in fast games which makes it a side-plan at best considering that most Aggro and Combo decks won't allow you the time for Blossom to shine. This makes it a side plan at best, but damn a damn good one against a third of the field.

    On a different note, I am a firm believer that if you are going to play a substantial amount of T2 Ninjas enabled by evasive 1/1s, Pteramander is a prime win condition. He is our super Gurmag Angler and deserves to be built around. Ptera costs 1 mana, is evasive, is blue, and scales beautifully to close out the game fast (even through TNN/Gurmag/Active Mom). This is where I'm at right now:

    Creatures (22)
    4 Pteramander
    4 Changeling Outcast
    4 Spellstutter Sprite
    4 Baleful Strix
    3 Yuriko, Tiger's Shadow
    3 Ingenious Infiltrator

    Spells (21)
    4 Abrupt Decay
    2 Daze
    4 Force of Will
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    3 Thoughtseize

    Lands (17)
    4 Polluted Delta
    3 Misty Rainforest
    2 Verdant Catacombs
    3 Underground Sea
    2 Tropical Island
    1 Bayou
    1 Island
    1 Swamp

    Sideboard
    2 Plague Engineer
    2 Bitterblossom
    2 Surgical Extraction
    2 Spell Pierce
    2 Fatal Push
    2 Assassin's Trophy
    2 Nihil Spellbomb
    1 Umezawa's Jitte


    Of all the cards I care the most in my meta, Decay and Trophy tends to handle a fair amount. They include:

    -Wrenn and Six (really hot right now and VERY strong against us)
    -Narset, Parter of Veils (Miracles and Punishing Dack)
    -Liliana, the Last Hope (Every black control deck plays it and it wrecks our deck)
    -Leovold, Emissary of Trest (Punishing Dack and a resurgence of 4c Control with W&6)
    -Chalice of the Void (Eldrazi and every Stompy deck in the world plays it)
    -Umezawa's Jitte (DnT, Stoneblade, Maverick)
    -Punishing Grove (most of the W&6 decks play it. Without Wasteland I need Trophy and some good GY hate for it)
    -Counterbalance (Still a thing in Miracles...)
    -Choke (Depths, Maverick, Loam have all hosed me with it postboard)

    I'd like to fit in a pair of Leovold I currently need every other card more. They all synergize better with the game plan of T1 enabler, Draw+disruption, Adapt and finish. If Ptera was a Faerie I would probably drop the Ninja-heavy plan in favor of a heavier Faerie plan with Cliques and Leo...
    Last edited by Qweerios; 06-29-2019 at 05:07 PM.
    Do you know what assuming does? It makes an ass out of you and me.
    Get it...? Ass, u, me?

    ... ffs I was trying to be funny...

  5. #65
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    Re: Stilljutsu - UB Ninja Still

    Sounds very solid!

    Thank you for the response! For a more competitive build i'd definitly go with 4 sprites and maybe 4 seer and/or ptera. Dropping tetsuko.

    Now in my case I only play within the same group of friends 90% of the time. They play creature and removal heavy decks. Delver, reanimate, goblins, U/W control (miracles), infect, DnT. I have a good time against those decks so far and misdirection is an all star! So many stp, bolts and fatal pushes being played it's a 2 for 1. Even decay can be answered.

    Last detail: I love to keep it as ninja as possible for flavor sakes. I have the complete deck (but also the faeries) in Japanese ^^ save for the undergrounds obviously.
    Japanese sleeves, playmat and even, rare, D20 from kamigawa hahah. So Tetsuko feels so good!

    On a more competitive view and meta I would definitly take your advice and go back to sprites and maybe seer and blossoms side.

    So with that information in mind some more advice staying in ninja team but still kinda competitive with my creature heavy meta?

  6. #66
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    Re: Stilljutsu - UB Ninja Still

    Quote Originally Posted by Ezuri View Post
    Sounds very solid!

    Thank you for the response! For a more competitive build i'd definitly go with 4 sprites and maybe 4 seer and/or ptera. Dropping tetsuko.

    Now in my case I only play within the same group of friends 90% of the time. They play creature and removal heavy decks. Delver, reanimate, goblins, U/W control (miracles), infect, DnT. I have a good time against those decks so far and misdirection is an all star! So many stp, bolts and fatal pushes being played it's a 2 for 1. Even decay can be answered.

    Last detail: I love to keep it as ninja as possible for flavor sakes. I have the complete deck (but also the faeries) in Japanese ^^ save for the undergrounds obviously.
    Japanese sleeves, playmat and even, rare, D20 from kamigawa hahah. So Tetsuko feels so good!

    On a more competitive view and meta I would definitly take your advice and go back to sprites and maybe seer and blossoms side.

    So with that information in mind some more advice staying in ninja team but still kinda competitive with my creature heavy meta?
    For a heavy Ninja built I would play Ornithopter instead of Nether Traitor. Ornith is also the classic Ninja enabler so you have some added flavor there. About 2 copies seems reasonable.

    I would cut some number of Misdirection for a few discard spells as they are a great way to strip removal pre-emptively and allow you to curve out Ornith into Ninja with disruption. I advise a 1/3 or even 2/2 Misdirection/Thoughtseize or even Inquisition of Kozilek split. IoK is more budget friendly and has other benefits like:
    -Reanimator can't make you discard a creature with it;
    -No life loss against aggressive decks.

    I think Set Adrift is better than Murderous Cut for your meta. It is better against Reanimator, can bounce CB, Planeswalkers, even a Jitte or SoFaI.

    I would also split your removal suite between Fatal Push and Tyrant's Scorn. Scorn can be used to bounce Reanimated creatures and also your own creatures when targetted by removal or when a Terminus occurs. Scorn also pitches to FoW against combo decks so it gives some utility to your otherwise dead card. I would play a couple copies main. I'd cut Shizo and a Tetsuko for a pair of Scorns.

    Anything evasive at 1-2 mana is better than tetsuko, if you like Sprite that's great but you can also find something flavorful that's better I am sure.

    Get at least 1-2 Jitte in there for Flavor and it's great for your meta! Wastelands are not so good in your meta either.

    You'd have something like this for the meta you described to me and still retain a lot of Ninja flavor:

    2 Ornithopter
    4 Changeling Outcast
    4 Baleful Strix
    4 Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive
    4 Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow
    4 Ingenious Infiltrator
    2 Fallen Shinobi

    3 Inquisition of Kozilek/Thoughtseize
    3 Fatal Push
    2 Tyrant's Scorn
    1 Misdirection
    1 Set Adrift
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Force of Will

    18 colored lands


    That way you have plenty of removal for the common aggro deck, some removal for Reanimator, and not too many dead cards against Miracles. You've got some solid disruption against any legacy deck. You keep all your flavor and you increase the deck's velocity with additional cheap enablers and more proactive T1 plays. You also preserve the fear of Misdirection by having a singleton because you have played the full playset in the past with your playgroup.
    Do you know what assuming does? It makes an ass out of you and me.
    Get it...? Ass, u, me?

    ... ffs I was trying to be funny...

  7. #67

    Re: Stilljutsu - UB Ninja Still

    Quote Originally Posted by Qweerios View Post
    For a heavy Ninja built I would play Ornithopter instead of Nether Traitor. Ornith is also the classic Ninja enabler so you have some added flavor there. About 2 copies seems reasonable.

    I would cut some number of Misdirection for a few discard spells...
    ^ Agree. Four is a lot of Misdirections. While it's great for protecting honest ninjas against fair creature-based decks the card is going to be dead in a lot of match-ups and on many board states. If there are a lot of creature mirrors in your meta then you might be able to get away with two.

    To chuck out another list, I've been playing this recently:


    4 Polluted Delta
    2 Flooded Strand
    2 Bloodstained Mire
    1 Prismatic Vista
    3 Underground Sea
    2 Island
    2 Swamp
    2 Darkslick Shores
    2 Mutavault

    3 Ornithopter
    4 Changeling Outcast
    2 Faerie Seer
    2 Baleful Strix

    3 Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow
    4 Ingenious Infiltrator
    2 Ninja of the Deep Hours

    2 Plague Engineer

    4 Brainstorm
    2 Ponder
    2 Thoughtseize
    2 Fatal Push
    2 Curfew

    4 Force of Will
    1 Misdirection
    1 Snuff Out

    SB:
    2 Surgical Extraction
    2 Flusterstorm
    1 Blue Elemental Blast
    1 Hydroblast
    1 Divert
    1 Contentious Plan
    1 Grafdigger's Cage
    1 Null Rod
    1 To the Slaughter
    1 Liliana of the Veil
    1 Liliana, the Last Hope
    1 Contagion
    1 Commandeer


    Ornithopter and Changeling Outcast can lead to some pretty busted starts if you can dodge removal: turn 1 Outcast, Ornithopter; turn 2 Yuriko is kinda the dream. Faerie Seer and Ninja of the Deep Hours are both pretty weak, but I think necessary to provide enough turn one enablers and payoff cards respectively. Mutavaults have also underperformed -- too slow and don't cast any of the good spells -- so I'll probably cut them for either Strixes or Spellstutter Sprites going forwards.

  8. #68
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    Re: Stilljutsu - UB Ninja Still

    So I changed my list a bit after your advices and playtesting. Though nether traitor has worked wonders a few times I'd love to try ornithopter. Took out 2 misdirections for 2 thoughtseize aswell.

    Creatures 25;
    4#Changeling Outcast
    3#Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive
    4#Yuriko, the Tigerís Shadow
    4#Baleful Strix
    4#Ingenious Infiltrator
    2#Fallen Shinobi
    4#Ornithopter

    Noncreature spells 16:
    3#Fatal Push
    2#Misdirection
    2#Thoughtseize
    4#Force of Will
    1#Murderous Cut
    4#Brainstorm

    Lands 19;
    3#Wasteland
    4#Polluted Delta
    3#Island
    2#Swamp
    2#Verdant Catacombs
    1#Underground Sea
    1#Flooded Strand
    1#Bloodstained Mire
    1#Marsh Flats
    1#Watery Grave

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