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"Goe Goe the Gallant Ninja", "Masked Ninja Ebisu", "Lady Ninja Yae", and "Ninja Grandmaster Sasuke" are characters based on Konami's popular video game series Legend of the Mystical Ninja. Incidentally, all the Sasuke Samurai monsters are from this series, as well.
|Goe Goe the Gallant Ninja||Goemon|
|Lady Ninja Yae||Yae|
|Masked Ninja Ebisu||Ebisumaru|
|Ninja Grandmaster Sasuke||Sasuke|
Some members of this archetype and their support are named after famous characters from Japan history:
|Goe Goe the Gallant Ninja||Ishikawa Goemon|
|Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo||Hattori Hanzō|
|Ninja Grandmaster Saizo||Kirigakure Saizō|
|Superheavy Samurai Ninja Sarutobi
Ninja Grandmaster Sasuke
|Fuhma Shuriken||Fūma Kotarō|
Constructing a Deck based around "Ninja" monsters is no simple feat, as they don't fight by conventional means; the Spell, Trap and Monster cards of the "Ninja" archetype revolve around underhanded, control-based strategies rather than all-out attacking or swarming.
For offensive examples, "Strike Ninja" can temporarily remove itself from the Field (dodging a card effect). "Sasuke" can bypass walls such as "Marshmallon" and higher DEF Monsters. Other "Ninja" tend to work behind the scenes, such as the effect of "Upstart Golden Ninja" for summoning, and the effect of "Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo" toolboxing effect.
Overall, "Ninja" Decks can be made in a variety of ways, but since Ninja-specific support is few and far in between, most of their abilities are far from game-breaking, making them more of an uncommon rogue Deck to use. However, they can excel against Stall Decks that revolve around a particular, titular card (Which "Ninja" are adept at destroying). The transformation traps in their arsenal give "Ninja" splashability with "Mist Valley", "Chaos", "Dragon", "Dark Simorgh Lockdown" and "Monarch" Decks, among others.
To effectively play the Archetype, "Ninja" Duelists must consider a large variety of monsters. For example, WIND and/or Winged Beast-oriented Decks aid "Lady Ninja Yae", while DARK monsters will keep up the stealth of "Strike Ninja". Others still, such as "Goe Goe" and "Ebisu", work better together than alone. Ideally, one should attempt to use monsters that fill several niches in one Deck; for example, "Dark Simorgh" is DARK, WIND and Winged-Beast, giving support to not only the above Ninja and "Hanzo", but is an ideal target for "Ninjitsu Art of Transformation". Continuing on this idea, "Roc from the Valley of Haze" can return to the Deck once he is discarded by "Yae" to become her transformation target within the same turn.
The age-old "Armed Ninja" and "Crimson Ninja" will be difficult to use in a Deck, as their effects are sub-par, and their low level makes them a less-than-ideal target for the transformation Traps; they instead are more useful when paired with such cards as "Ninjitsu Art of Duplication" and "Senior Silver Ninja", both of which enable the weak "Ninja" to swarm the Field, ready to Flip.
"White Dragon Ninja" is one of the strongest monsters in this archetype and is meant to be paired with "Super-Transformation" by means of her own effect that protects the controlling player's back-row. This card has a strong synergy with the card "Safe Zone", due to it then being indestructable apart from being returned to the user's hand from an effect such as "Neo-Spacian Grand Mole". Some monsters, such as "Tyrant Dragon" and "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon", also have means to bypass the debilitating effects of Super-Transformation.
If one is using a lot of "Ninjitsu Art" cards in their Deck, they may need to consider including means to remove them once they have outlived their use; "Armor Ninjitsu Art of Alchemy" was made for this purpose, but "Magic Planter" and "Uria, Lord of Searing Flames" can also profit off of a "Ninjitsu Art"-heavy Deck. Although slow, "Karakuri Ninja mdl 339 "Sazank"" is another useful tool for dispatching an enemy monster that might have bypassed one's Traps and other Monsters. Lastly, if you run a Warrior-only "Ninja" Deck, you can use "The Immortal Bushi" to Tribute Set "Senior Silver Ninja" and start the swarming.
There are ways to break the Safe Zone and White Dragon Ninja lock once it has been completed, such as using Trap Stun to temporarily remove Safe Zone's protection from White Dragon Ninja, using Trap Eater to remove Safe Zone (since it doesn't destroy), using Book of Eclipse to flip White Dragon Ninja face-down (since it doesn't target or destroy), both removing Safe Zone's protection and temporarily nullifying White Dragon Ninja's effect, or using Skill Drain.
- "Barrier Ninjitsu Art of Transcription", "Blind Spot Strike", "Spy Attack" and "Debunk" suggests that "Ninjas" have some sort of rivalry with the "Shien". Also, "Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation" implies a rivalry between the "Ninjas" and the "Karakuri" monsters, despite the fact that some monsters are members of both archetypes.
- YGOrganization Sleeve Winner Deck Recipes