I grew up infatuated with Ninja, Karate, Jiu-jitsu and terribly dubbed martial arts films. So imagine how overjoyed I was when Ninjutsu was introduced to the game back in Kamigawa block, but how disappointed I was when the block almost killed Magic: the Gathering.
For the longest time, we thought Ninjutsu was dead, never to be revived by Wizards and that we could never really build a deck that felt like it was doing SNEAKY NINJA STUFF, but with C18’s Preconstructed deck Subjective Reality we learned we were wrong, and boy did we get one of the most amazing and powerful commanders for casual commander.
A NOTE ABOUT THIS DECK
Usually I wouldn’t justify building a deck around the commander as you won’t always have access to casting your commander, but due to (Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow)’s ability to circumnavigate commander tax, I can 100% state with certainty we can build around her because she will ALWAYS cost Black Blue. Also, though this list isn’t fully optimised and can use some tweaking, this is the list I have been playing with.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE TO TURN THINGS SIDEWAYS
This deck is all about turning things sideways and going all in on combat. if you want a combo deck, this deck is NOT for you. the commander makes this deck hum in combat only.
HOW IT KILLS
Yuriko is our go to for the deck, everything we do should be focused on getting our attackers through and stacking big expensive spells. In addition, Yuriko’s ability is for each Ninja we control that deals combat damage, not just one. This means that the more “Ninja” we have dealing combat damage, the more likely we can kill the entire table in a single turn. The downside here is that every opponent can see Yuriko coming, so instead of doing a sneaky Ninjutsu, we need to ensure we can Ninjutsu.
We can use Sensei’s Divining Top, Brainstorm and Mystical Tutor to help us set up the top card of our deck to try and make use of Yuriko’s amazing Ninjutsu ability by stacking the top card of our deck.
GO NINJA, GO NINJA, GO!
The pre-con out of the box only comes with three Ninja, meaning you have to track down any extra. We are only running three in total maindeck, not many Ninja but we have ways to make EVERYTHING a Ninja!
What’s the deck without at least one additional Ninja throwing Shuriken and other terrible stereotypes. The Student is has a Ninjitsdu cost of one and a Blue, and when it enters play, it copies any creature on the battlefield and retains Ninja in addition to the new creature’s types. This means we can copy the biggest baddest creature on the field.
Ninja of the Deep Hours has the same Ninjutsu cost for a 2/2 but when he deals combat damage to a player, we get to draw a card.
Silent-Blade Oni is a little different, the Ninjutsu cost is four colourless a Blue and a Black. Now that may seem high, but its, in fact, a very strong way to mess with your opponents. When Silent-Blade deals combat damage, look at that player’s hand and choose a non-land card. You may cast that card in it without paying it’s mana cost. This is pretty nuts, especially if you decide to clone Silent-Blade and make the cloned version unblockable. You could be smashing your opponents with their own amazing cards.
I WISH I OWNED MORE NINJA
It’s true that currently there isn’t enough Ninja to make a full; tribal deck, so we have to improvise a little. Arcane Adaptation, Conspiracy, and Xenograft all help us create our very own Foot Clan buy making all creatures you control into Ninja.
YOU CAN’T TOUCH THIS
How are we going to ensure our combat damage always makes it through our opponent’s blockers, considering we don’t have smoke bombs like Ninja do?
Unblockable is our keyword of choice. Well, for the most part. We want to run a high number of creatures that have some form of evasion and steer away from anything that doesn’t.
At one Generic and one Blue mana, we have Flitterstep Eidolon an enchantment creature with Bestow that’s an Unblockable 1/1, we will likely never use that bestow cost because six mana just to make something Unblockable is really bad.
Blighted Agent for one Generic and one Blue mana is a 1/1 sneaky Human Rogue with Infect, not that we care about the infect, but we DO care about Unblockable!
Phantom Warrior is a 2/2 Illusion Warrior that’s also Unblockable, Latch Seeker a 1/1 Unblockable spirit and Neurok Invisimancer, a 2/1 Human Wizard with Unblockable.
Next up is the slightly more extravagant creatures. Uninvited Geist is a 2/2 Spirit with Skulk, it can’t be blocked by creatures with power greater than its power. When it deals combat damage, it flips into Unimpeded Trespasser, a 3/3 Spirit that can’t be blocked. It’s an interesting bulk card, but it’s very fun to get the damage in and flip it, but that might be me.
Check your bulk! Origins yield one of the coolest sort of Unblockable enablers in the form of Whirler Rogue, a 2/2 Human Rogue Artificer that generates two 1/1 Thopters when they enter the battlefield. You can then tap two artifacts you control and target creature can’t be blocked this turn.
Elusive Tormentor is a really interesting creature here as a 4/4Vampire Wizard. You may pay one generic mana and discard a card to flip it into Insidious Mist a 0/1 Hexproof Indestructible Unblockable Elemental ALLSTAR.
Keeper of Keys is a card I used to overlook constantly. If it weren’t for Katelyn (my co-host on Commander The Gathering) I probably never would have looked twice at this Monarch granting MONSTER. A Human Rogue Mutant 4/4, during your upkeep, if you are the Monarch, your creatures have Unblockable this turn.
For Artifacts, we have the good old bulk Equipment Whispersilk Cloak that grants Unblockable and shroud and we also have Key to the City that allows us to tap it and discard a card to make a creature Unblockable. Key to the City also draws a card when untapped if you pay two generic mana.
On the other side of this, we also have some great creatures that have other types of Evasion as well as some additional effects.
RELEASE THE KRAKEN! Wrexial is a pretty amazing beatstick, a 5/8 Kraken with both Swampwalk and Islandwalk and when it deals combat damage to a player, you may cast an instant or sorcery from that player’s graveyard.
Shadowmage Infiltrator is a must include here, he has Fear so he can only be blocked by an Artifact or Black creature and he draws you a card when he deals combat damage. Infiltrator is a major fave creature for me from my old Type 2 (old standard) Undermine deck.
Guiltfeeder is a 0/4 with Fear and when it isn’t blocked, the defending players loses 1 life for each card in their discard pile. Late game, you might even just OTK someone!
Vela the Night-Clad is an auto in when it comes to bouncing Ninja fun, Vela provides Intimidate to all your creatures but also whenever a creature leaves your battlefield, each opponent loses one life. This is pretty great as we want to be bouncing creatures when we can and Ninjutsu really helps us do that.
Good old Baleful Strix seems to get reprinted in EVERYTHING now days, but I’m not going to complain. This Birb draws us a card when it enters play and has Flying and Deathtouch. That’s some pretty good evasion!
BIG BAD WOLF-FANG-FIST
Back to Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow, we need some great big spells to help us kill everyone, so let’s look at some of the cool big spells that we can use to make our life a little easier.
Dig Through Time is a Delve Instant that allows us to look at the top seven cards, choose two and put them in to our hand. The great part of this is that we can use cards in our discard pile to reduce it’s cost. So we can play it for as low as two Blue mana, but when Yuriko reveals it, it still deals the full eight damage to all players.
Not unlike Treasure Cruise that draws us three cards or Temporal Trespass that nets us an extra turn, and that means more damage!
Speaking of extra turns, Beacon of Tomorrows not only nets us an extra turn, but also shuffles itself back in to your library after you play it.
Hey look, it’s Nexus of Fate! Okay sure, I do play Nexus at every opportunity I can manage. Sue me. It stops milling out, it shuffles back in, you don’t care much about discarding it.
WOLF FANG FIST
Fun deck for the “tap dudes hit you” crew.
Great to explore the Ninjutsu theme and can be expanded on pretty easy with other “bounce” effects such as Equilibrium
Deck won’t break the bank and can be made with an extremely budget focus in mind.
Commander avoids the “Commander Tax” making Yuriko a flat two CMC to cast when you have an unblocked creature.
Unblockable creatures are cheap and don’t pair well with Yuriko’s damage ability.
The deck is focused on combat, some prison decks will be a massive pain to play against.
That’s it from me today, I hope you liked this deck tech and KEEP CRACKIN’ PACKS!