[Deck] Ninjas

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Post by ktkenshinx » 2 years ago

This is a placeholder thread. If you are interested in taking over the thread and/or writing a primer, PM the moderator team.
This is the thread to discuss the Ninjas archetype in Modern.
Over-Extended/Modern Since 2010

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

Glad to see the ninjas will be continued here.

I do remember seeing a succesful list that had 4 Fallen Shinobi and 4 Tarmogoyf in it.
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Post by Erian Ignis » 2 years ago

I posted this over at MTGS, but I am unsure whether here or there will I get more replies, so here it goes.

I am planning to test the following:
Decklist
Approximate Total Cost:

Originally I had only both drawing Ninjas (Deep Hours and Infiltrator) and a larger counter suite, as well as more 1 CMC flying creatures to enable Ninjustu as quick as turn two.

I found out that while I could Ninja in T2 around 80%+ of the time, and frequently dominated the early game, I tended to lose control later and wouldn't be able to deal the last finishing 5-6 damages needed to win. This version with more Ninjas aims and some Hand disruption aims to prevent that. I am hoping Mist-Syndicate Naga helps me close out the game.

I am not totally sold on Fallen Shinobi yet, it seems too random at times and too expensive to Ninja in.

After some testing, I am definitely will drop Fallen Shinobi. With this amount of Lands I find it hard to use, and I want to maximize my amount of live Spells. The one advantage it has is it is a 5 CMC Blue card for Shoal, but I currently run only 2 instead of the full set.

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

you did the right thing removing the F. Shinobi. With only 19 lands, it's hard to cast them regularly.
how do the Naga work. Are they effective against your opponents?
________________________

Also testing. The main problem in game 2 is my enablers getting killed, so it becomes harder to sneak in a ninjutsu.

my current enablers are

4 Faerie Seer
4 Typhoid Rats
2 Changeling Outcast

Using rats because they trade with almost everything, and people usually don't want to block them game 1. Although game 2, people are more willing to trade their creatures with the rats to not allow a ninjutsu. My next order on SCG would probably include a swarmyard to make my rats more durable and reusable as attackers.

And lastly, I hope someone would take over and make a primer, so we can have a more detailed approach on things.
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Post by Erian Ignis » 2 years ago

Right, Shinobi has simply felt underwhelming most of the time.

Naga has been great. If it manages to connect even once it snowballs pretty quickly, winning the game on its own. I am unsure if it is because people do not know what it does or simply because it is that good. I have considered increasing it to 3 or 4. Mist-Syndicate Naga + Ingenious Infiltrator is the absolute nuts.

I found out you absolutely need evasive enablers (duh), which usually translates into Flying creatures. Blue Flying ETB creatures are optimal to me as they also pitch to Force or Shoal (Faerie Seer is simply perfect). Hence I removed Snapcaster Mage, as it is usually blocked and does not allow Ninjutsu. I may return it to two now that Fallen Shinobi is out of the Deck.

I feel you on the enablers getting killed part. How have you been feeling Changeling Outcast? I have been curious for it but it being non-Blue scares me. Care to share your list?

Also, agreed on the primer part. Who could be qualified for it? I am by no means an expert at all, much less a top-notch player, simply an enthusiast feeling attracted to the Tempo style Ninjas offer. Would you be willing to create it?

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

I see, thanks. Will try getting some Naga to test on next scg order. :)
Also need to have some photocopied to use as tokens. hehe

for enablers, Faerie Seer is arguably one of the best. However, I also suggest you test one or two Smoke Shroud. It's not card disadvantage in our deck, as it comes back for free when a ninja arrives. Flying from the smoke has allowed some ninjas to keep dealing damage even when there's blockers on the ground. The +1/+1 bonus also allows some more muscle into the ninjas, attaching one to infiltrator makes it bolt proof and can now survive combat with an arclight phoenix.

Cannot share my list yet as it is still under testing and incomplete, some cards are still on their way on the mail, as well as some kamigawa art islands. Mardu Pyromancer is my main modern deck, so my ninja list is based on that.. more on discard and removal to allow the ninjas to punch through. the only counterspells on the main are 2 mana leak and 2 dimir charm, plus another three spell pierce on the sideboard for when I face amulet titan and scapeshift decks.

I'm not qualified to make a ninja primer. Don't have enough experience with ninjas.
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Post by Erian Ignis » 2 years ago

I proxy as such myself, yes.

Please do try the Naga and let me know your thoughts. It is hard to come by other people's opinions or experiences with it. It has worked great for me, but of course my small corner of the world is but one among many data points.

Have you tried the Smoke Shroud yourself? I am a little bit curious and it being Blue is a big boon imho. I may try it before the two Snapcaster Mage as it would theoretically occupy the same CMC slot for Disrupting Shoal.

I get it. This Deck for me is also a side project. Based on my previous experience, yeah having discard for the larger threats seems optimal. I do like countermagic though and it shows in my Spell selection. Please be sure to keep posting!

Well, what should be done about the Primer then? Wait until someone decides to take it?

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

was reading the old ninja thread at salvation from beginning to end.. over the course of several days. My deck was also partially based off one of the winning reddit deck lists posted somewhere in the mtgs thread. Changed some cards, replaced some of the counterspells with discard --- that succesful list had mirrodin swords in the main which would be too slow for today's modern, so I swapped those out with smoke shrouds. Yep, tried the smoke shrouds myself. Have 3 in the main, and I'm always glad to draw them. Although for your list, I only recommend one or two.. as you have fewer lands than mine and your strategy wants plenty of counterspells.

Oh, I remember you asked. Changeling outcast has been good on my testing. Draws cards if infiltrator is around, and he also picks up smoke shrouds from the yard. When I purchase a swarmyard, that land would also be able to regenerate him. :)

Another card I suggest for your list is replacing the one dismember with a cast down. The meta right now is aggressive, we need to conserve life total. Dismember is better against infect and opponents using gideon planeswalkers, but I pretty much want cast down if infect and gideon are not plentiful in the local environment.

For the primer. Sadly, not much can be done right now. We need more people to show up.
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Post by Erian Ignis » 2 years ago

The old Ninja primer is very outdated, yes. Guess we will have to wait for more people to show up.

I can see the synergy between Changeling Outcast and Smoke Shroud. Does this interaction show up a lot? Also sick interaction with the Swarmayrd, too. In the meantime, yes I will try 2 Shrouds. I hope this helps me deliver the last points I soemtimes find myself unable to deal.

The Dismember I run mainly because it can be used as a 1 CMC removal on a Deck with few Lands which aims to play as efficiently as possible. I will add it to my list of test potentials.

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

I hope the smoke works well for you. They have been a blast to play, and gives the deck a real ninja flavor. Ninja are more skilled when fighting inside a smoke! :P

About swarmyard. I expect it to work in my deck because 4 typhoid rat and 2 outcast in the main, plus 3 skullsnatcher and a throat slitter in the sideboard. That makes ten cards that can be regenerated. I don't suggest swarmyard in decks that are not rat based, as the only ones that can be helped by swarmyard in those builds are the outcasts.
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Post by Erian Ignis » 2 years ago

The flavor is real indeed. I hope I can get to test later today.

The Rat package is also flavorful, but in my current build I'm going more for disruption than quick Ninjutsu enablers.

By the way, I did try a build with 8-10 1 CMC enablers and while it does allow for disgustingly fast Ninjas, I found out I couldn't close the game when anything larger than my creatures/removal managed to slipped in. Hence I am now going for the Counter/Hand disruption approach instead.

What do we think on the Mono-U build listed here? It is not labeled as Ninjas per se but could very easily be it, too. https://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/article. ... =7-25-2019

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

cannot comment on the mono blue list, not have any experience with mono u type of decks.
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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

some more cards arrive in the mail, so I'm now able to do some testing. :)

results

1. Mana flooded too often at 22 land, so decreased it to 21.
2. Three ghost quarters are too much, there's a game I needed another blue source. Removed one ghost quarter, put back in one island.
3. Faerie Miscreant is unexpectedly good.
4. Went down to 3 typhoid rats to make room for the fourth copy of faerie miscreant.
5. I really need at least one swarmyard.. humans and other aggro decks would have been easier if my typhoid rats and throat slitter could regenerate.
6. Fallen Shinobi can be cast reliable with only 21 land. There are many "draw a card" effects in the deck that help me find the 4th land.
7. sometimes I put smoke shroud into the graveyard with dimir charm, then an opponent is surprised when I cast a ninja and smoke shrouds come from the yard.
8. dimir charm is a nice toolbox, but should be limited to one copy
9. hardcasting ninjas isn't so bad when there are smoke shrouds waiting to be attached
10. wanted to add a higure, the still wind but sadly no room for him. Three fallen shinobi are the limit on 4 cmc ninjutsu that the deck can handle.
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Post by Erian Ignis » 2 years ago

Great! Hopefully you get a chance to play with Mist-Syndicate Naga, too.

Some questions/comments:
3. Unexpectedly good as in "not completely dead" or "must be running 4 right now"?
6. I expected I needed at least 20 Lands to use him consistently, yes. How relevant has he been?
7. Other than Dimir Charm, how else are you sending the Smoke Shroud to the GY?
8. I have Tyrant's Scorn in that slot. I feel I have enough counters as it is. How much do you use the third mode?
9. I can see that. So far, sadly I usually cannot find a good moment to cast it and get it exiled often for Counters. Needs more testing.
10. Higure feels super spicy but if I cannot use even Fallen Shinobi I guess he is out of the question, too.

What have been some tough matchups for you? I think I have some problems against Rock-type decks.

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

3. running four Miscreants because it adds to deck velocity with the card draw.
6. very relevant, a 5/4 is a finisher. By the time shinobi hits the board, both of us had exhausted removals on earlier threats. I'm using three right now, but have put an order on SCG for the 4th one.
7. the charm is just a cute little trick. The shrouds naturally end up in the yard, because the creatures being enchanted get kiiled. I cast them even on rats and faeries, because the shrouds would come back anyway.
8. using 3 tyrant's scorn. My build is discard and removal heavy. Somehow plays like my mardu mancer deck, as the main plan is to soften the opponent with discard, then kill their creatures to gain board advantage. Only start casting ninjas after firing all the discard in hand.

tough matchups? Hogaak and Dredge, game 1 is almost impossible to win unless they have a really bad hand. Phoenix is also bad game one although not impossible to win like the Hogaak match up, it improves in game 2 as I bring in more removal, skullsnatcher, and Narset. Tribal aggro is tough game 1, example - humans, spirits, elves. It looks cut and dried in theory because I have a lot of removal, but in actual games they are explosive and fill the board fast with creatures. Sometimes they have more creatures than I have rats and removal. Game 2 I bring in damnation, throatslitter, and a shuriken.
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Post by Erian Ignis » 2 years ago

3. Yeah, I have been tempted to use the Miscreants but have been afraid they are dead more often than not. Might give them a try later.
6. Indeed the main attractive to me is the 5/4 body, as I found out the exiling effect was too random and dependent on the opponent and matchup.
8. I see. It is actually not a bad idea at all. On my end my purpose is oftentimes the opposite: try to jam a card-drawing Ninja as soon as possible and protect it as much as I can.

The matchups sound about right to me. Which is why I changed my basics to Snow basics and added Dead of Winter and Plague Engineer in the side. They being -1/-1 effects rather than destruction (and 1 mana less to boot) have been somewhat relevant against indestructible creatures, which my LGS has an abundance of.

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

nice idea on using dead of winter.

Anyway, just one more thing. I suggest having at least one Creeping Tar Pit. Just a single copy won't cause much of a slowdown, and it helps having a manland in those times that opponent has plenty of board wipes or terminus.
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Post by Erian Ignis » 2 years ago

So, this is actually interesting:



I tried the Thopters and thought they would get useless pretty quickly, but actually they speed up the Ninjutsu a lot. It allows me to use my discard Spells and have a Flying attacker ready for a Ninja.

I like his deck a lot. I think it has too many enablers, but the ideas are nice indeed. Some of those slots could be used for further removal. The interactions between Infiltrator, Naga and Outcast are crazy when you can pull them off.

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Post by ZephyrScarlet » 2 years ago

This is what I'm testing right now. Although I admit I don't have the nerve to pilot it in a tournament (I'd prefer some of my more orthodox Tier 1 decks), it has served me well in casual play and through some FNMs:
Decklist
Approximate Total Cost:

So hear me out. Changeling Outcast might not have any EtB abilities, but he's very important for the build, both because he's flat out unblockable and because he counts both as a Faerie for Spellstutter Sprite and a Ninja for Ingenious Infiltrator. Mutavault are sometimes awkward because I need UB on turn 2 for Ingenious Infiltrator, so I might do -1 Mutavault +1 Catacomb. What do you guys think here? Otherwise they're a good resilient attacker that also counts as Ninja and Faerie. Mist-Syndicate Naga and Fallen Shinobi are stone-cold bombs if they connect, providing a pretty good clock and strong card advantage that we can leverage into winning from there.

On Force of Negation vs Disrupting Shoal, I'm preferring Shoal at the moment. We have a good mixture of CMCs from 1 up to 4 (remember that a second Shoal can pitch to itself for two) and two at 5 to counter pretty much anything in that range, and card draw to get the CMC we need. The biggest plus I see in running Shoal rather than Force is that connecting with Ninjas after we tap out for Ninjutsu is critical for the deck, and Shoal helps us protecting them from removal on our turn, which is something FoN doesn't do. It also helps that Shoal can counter creatures as well. On the early turns, Spell Pierce and Spellstutter Sprite can help hold the fort on the counterspell department, so it's not like we're without options.

That's pretty much it, although I'm missing a playset of Thoughtseize somewhere and don't know what to cut. One or two of Tyrant's Scorn as both a flexible card that can save our threats from removal, bounce big things, kill small ones, and pitch to a 2 CMC shoal is also something I have in mind.

Sideboard isn't set in stone yet since I prefer to finish the main deck, although I suppose a playset of Leyline of the Void or Ravenous Trap to fight Graveyard strategies even after Hogaak eats the ban is warranted.

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

sometimes awkward because I need UB on turn 2 for Ingenious Infiltrator, so I might do -1 Mutavault +1 Catacomb. What do you guys think here?
a 21 land manabase is capable of supporting 2 colorless lands. Those can be field of ruin, ghost quarter, blast zone, or if you need more men then they can be mutavault. Take what I said with a grain of salt though, as I had less 20 games from my build. Got mana screwed only once on 21 lands with two colorless.
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Post by ZephyrScarlet » 2 years ago

The Fluff wrote:
2 years ago
a 21 land manabase is capable of supporting 2 colorless lands. Those can be field of ruin, ghost quarter, blast zone, or if you need more men then they can be mutavault. Take what I said with a grain of salt though, as I had less 20 games from my build. Got mana screwed only once on 21 lands with two colorless.
Field of Ruin didn't cross my mind. Since we're a 2-color manabase it might merit some testing, and perhaps even try with 3 to really screw with Tron and similar decks. It might be better than Mutavault in the long run. What do you think about Thoughtseize? I was thinking I might drop the faeries entirely, add a playset of Ornithopter and Seizes and go from there, but the Fae synergy is pretty good and fun.

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

i'd advise against it. Trying to run 3 colorless in a 21 land count manabase got me mana screwed too often. A two color 24 land deck can handle 3 colorless, but it's difficult at 21. I know because the uw control that I've been using for years is 24 land, and it runs just fine with 3 ghost quarters.
What do you think about Thoughtseize?
use it if you have some. Although to be honest, my ninja deck only has 4 duress and 2 despise as it's discard suite. The 4 inquisition and 2 thoughtseize are being used by my real deck, Mardu Pyromancer.
I was thinking I might drop the faeries entirely, add a playset of Ornithopter and Seizes and go from there, but the Fae synergy is pretty good and fun.
the answer to that is just testing, and more testing until you find the build you enjoy playing. I'm a mardu player, so the ninja deck is patterned after it.. plenty of discard + removal. The only "counterspell" is one dimir charm. :)
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Post by ZephyrScarlet » 2 years ago

Dimir Charm is a good find which can be compared against Tyrant's Scorn. One can counter some sorceries like Scapeshift, Faithless Looting and Ancient Stirrings, while the other can save your creatures or bounce big / death triggers one. I'd have to run a comparison about the creature destruction mode, but I'd say that at first glance I believe destroying CMC 3 or less > destroying power 2 or less.

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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

I have 4 mainboard scorn + 2 cast down + 1 charm. The charm is a flex slot that can change anytime.
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Post by ZephyrScarlet » 2 years ago

Has anyone tried Smoke Shroud? Is it the real deal or just a meme? I can help but think that it's the latter, specially since it's a sorcery-speed tap out that we can't discard to trigger for free.

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