Written by Josh Stallworth
Hello and WELCOME to my brand new series, “How to Stop The Bleeding”! My name is Josh Stallworth, otherwise known as Cardfight Empire on YouTube. Through this article series, I'll be covering everything you need to know about the decks people have the roughest times dealing with, and how to finally be able to score a win against that “unbeatable” deck!
Today we are going to be discussing the Narukami Standard Deck. Narukami boasts high aggression by focusing on clearing the opponent's board using the “Bind” mechanic. Some of the units have effects that activate when units are bound, allowing them access to even more advantage than before. These include restanding, gaining multiple criticals, or even moving back row rearguards to the front row, making you unable to hide from a full board wipe unlike in previous sets.The majority of the time, the more open rearguard circles you have, the more powerful a Narukami card becomes. They have access to many different decision trees, from attacking multiple units at once to binding an entire front row.
Narukami is basically what I like to call “The Accel Slayer”, as Narukami grows more powerful the more open rearguard circles their opponent has. Since Accel-type decks create more circles, it’s a given that they would already be at a disadvantage against Narukami, who can usually neuter them quite easily. The deck does well to control your opponent's board as well, making it hard to survive between losing your units and guarding their threatening Vanguards turn after turn. It can feel really overwhelming to play against, but after identifying their weaknesses, the matchup should become much easier for you.
Now let’s talk about Narukami’s weaknesses. The first thing I want to mention is not so much a weakness as it is a crutch for you to use as the opponent to Narukami: Force and Protect decks. Objectively speaking, using a Force or Protect deck will lower the power of Narukami, because you have less circles to fill which means less advantages for them. Force uses its higher base powers and big numbers (sometimes with guard restrict) to force a game out of Narukami, as their hand size isn’t normally that large. Protect allows you a free sentinel whenever you ride, which will really help you deal with the pesky “Gauntlet Buster Dragon” attacking you every turn.
As for a second weakness, it would be managing resources. Narukami can be quite resource heavy with their removal/attacking skills. They use a lot of resources, and quickly, to clear boards of all enemy units and get their skills online without trouble. The problem here becomes that if you are playing a deck that refills your board without much direct minuses in doing so, Narukami will struggle against you, as eventually they will run out of counterblasts and possibly out of soul. Soul is a little harder for them to exhaust as they have access to “Supreme Army Eradicator, Zuitan” to help with that. But their counterblasts are really where you want to draw your focus, because once they run out of those, the deck becomes SIGNIFICANTLY weaker. They will no longer be able to consistently bind your units or do their attack skills therefore leading you to securing a win for yourself. This also means that counterblast denying them is a strategy to remember as well.
Narukami's last big weakness would be hand advantage. Narukami is a powerful deck, but often has very minimal hand compared to other decks when pressured properly. “Gauntlet Buster Dragon” and “Detonix Drill Dragon", their ace cards, require them to discard cards from their hand to be effective, especially if your board is full. If you play a clan that builds board easily, the game will be easier for you by default if Narukami has to use more resources (hand size, counterblasts, and soulblasts) to get you to the ideal win condition that they want to achieve.
Things to watch out for/Tips and Tricks:
When you don’t have a sentinel in hand, be careful about committing your hand to board, especially your cards with higher shield value, such as Grade 1s, and pieces you need in order to finish out the game. For example, these would be Blaster Blade in Royal Paladin and Blaster Dark in Shadow Paladin.
If you’re playing Protect, watch out for “Desert Gunner, Gaiban", as it limits your ability to use sentinels on attacks on select units after your Vanguard has attacked, and works very well in combination with “Detonix Drill Dragon”, as it is a Restanding vanguard allowing the use of Gaiban more than once per turn. Basically, multiple units can/will have a sentinel restriction, so be wary of how you guard when you see Gaiban on the board.
If you have a Sentinel in hand but can two-to-pass Gauntlet Buster Dragon, I would highly consider doing so, because later in the game, you might be able to trick your opponent into thinking you don’t have a sentinel in hand. This could cause them to overextend, and clutch you the game.
All in all, the best ways to fight against Narukami is to be wary of their hand size, their potential to wipe any important units you might have on board, and also to keep track of their resource management, leading you to a clean, well-planned win. Be on the lookout for more “How To Stop The Bleeding” articles from me in the future, and check out all the rest of the amazing things the Vision website has to offer!
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