Swallow Ninja
The Swallow Ninja is a very interesting card. While its stats are nothing to sing about – 3HP and 1 Attack Power, with a Summoning Cost of 3 – it has a unique special ability which can severely disrupt your opponent. Any enemy creature that the Ninja damages (and remember 0 also counts as a damaging attack) is automatically rotated to face away from the opponent. This might not sound great at first glance, but when combined with the Ninja’s Lancer Attack Pattern, meaning it can do this to 2 enemy cards means that, not only can you neutralise 2 enemy cards in a single attack, but (as long as your attack doesn’t miss anyway) but the Swallow Ninja is immune to Counter Attacks – enemy cards are rotate before their Counter is processed. This is especially useful against those cheap, high power Fire cards which might be terrorising the board – causing them to rotate to face a wall, or one of their own cards will often leave them neutralised for the rest of the game due to the high turning cost of those cards.

The Swallow Ninja doesn’t have any real weaknesses – it has decent HP and its abilities are not dependant on any specific field type, and while it’s Summoning Cost is a little high for its low Attack Power, its special attack more than makes up for that. This can make dealing with enemy Swallow Ninjas a little tricky – hitting them from the front will cause its counter attack to rotate all of your cards in front of it, and it’s very rare that you will be in a position to hit its Blind Spot. Basically this means that, aside from the good old reliable Fieldquake tactic, your only real recourse here is brute force. Hit it with something big and heavy before it can mess with your set up too much. Depending on the current board situation, you might be able to ignore this card, but remember that all your opponent has to do is play a Firefly Ninja on the board and not only does the Swallow Ninja become Invisible, but (assuming the Firefly is on a Fire Field) the Firefly Ninja gains Perfect Dodge too, and you find yourself with 2 very hard to shift cards boosting the enemy ranks.

While not a great offensive card, the Swallow Ninja is great at neutralising enemy ranks. While this can be a situational power, it can often be the difference between victory and defeat. If nothing else, it forces your opponent to expend more resources (either Mana or Beguiling Fogs) to restore cards to their position, and there is nothing stopping you from simply activating the Ninja again to rotate them back.

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