Magic: The Gathering – The 6 Best Cards For A Ninja Tribal Commander Deck
Initially debuting in Magic: The Gathering's Kamigawa Block, Ninjas are a traditionally Dimir (blue/black) creature type known for their signature ninjitsu mechanic. This mechanic allows unblocked creatures to be swapped out with Ninjas through the payment of ninjitsu costs, making them very unpredictable. After not seeing much of them after the original Kamigawa block, the past few years have been incredibly kind to Ninjas in Magic; the tribe received significant attention in Modern Horizons, Commander 2018, and most recently, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty.
As this previously niche creature type has been given significantly more support in recent years and now has access to numerous commander options, such as Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow; and Satoru Umezawa, there's no better time than the present to build a new Ninja tribal Commander deck. So to help, we're going to examine several cards that no Ninja tribal deck would want to be without.
6 Silver-Fur Master
Printed in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, Silver-Fur Master is an efficient Dimir 2/2 rat ninja for two mana that is a perfect fit in any Ninja deck with access to both black and blue mana. While this creature has access to a ninjitsu cost of two mana, its primary appeal is its two passive abilities that each scream "Ninja tribal."
In addition to providing all other Ninjas with +1/+1, Silver-Fur Master reduces the ninjitsu costs of its controller's creatures by one mana, making them much easier to sneak into play. While it may not be as splashy as other Ninjas on this list, Silver-Fur Master is certainly an asset that any Ninja tribal deck could benefit from.
5 Ingenious Infiltrator
As one of the core elements of a Ninja tribal deck's game plan is to deal direct combat damage to opponents, Ingenious Infiltrator is a creature that provides an additional payoff for doing so. A Dimir Vedalken Ninja for four mana, Ingenious Infiltrator has an affordable ninjitsu cost of just two mana.
Once in play, this creature states that, whenever Ninja under its owner's control (itself included) deals combat damage to a player, that Ninja's controller can draw a card. This means that by simply utilizing evasive creatures and ninjitsu abilities as intended, Ingenious Infiltrator can be used to draw several cards for its controller during each of their turns and ensure they never run out of gas.
4 Silent-Blade Oni
First printed in Planechase 2012, Silent-Blade Oni is among the most impactful Ninjas in all of Magic: The Gathering. A 6/5 demon ninja for a sizable seven mana, Silent-Blade Oni's mana cost can be made slightly more manageable through its ninjitsu cost of six mana.
While it may be mana intensive, this creature is well worth its cost. Upon dealing combat damage to a player, its controller may look at that player's hand and cast any spell of their choice without paying its mana cost. Not only does this deprive an opponent of their most dangerous spells, it allows a Ninja tribal player to gain their benefits instead, potentially swinging a game in one's favor.
3 Fallen Shinobi
Fallen Shinobi is yet another highly impactful Ninja which, like Silent-Blade Oni, allows its controller to potentially cast their opponent's spells whilst subverting their mana costs. A 5/4 zombie ninja for five mana, Fallen Shinobi can alternatively be put into play through its ninjitsu cost of four mana. If Fallen Shinobi deals combat damage to a player, its triggered ability can have quite explosive results as it exiles the top two cards of the damaged player's library.
Though depriving an opponent of their cards is solid, Fallen Shinobi allows its controller to play those cards without paying their mana costs. This ability lacks the card selection of Silent-Blade Oni, but it provides access to two free cards rather than one, and can be played for notably less mana than the aforementioned demon.
2 Kaito Shizuki
Kaito Shizuki is an impressive Dimir planeswalker for three mana that has access to a potent suite of abilities that synergize perfectly with Ninja tribal strategies.
Entering the battlefield with three loyalty, Kaito's plus one ability allows its controller to draw a card, only requiring that they then discard a card if they hadn't attacked that turn. Kaito's stellar minus two creates two 1/1 unblockable ninja tokens that are perfect for enabling your other Ninjas' ninjitsu abilities. Lastly, if its controller is able to access its ultimate minus seven ability, its controller gains an emblem that allows them to tutor for blue or black creatures whenever a creature they control deals combat damage to a player and put those cards directly into play.
Between Kaito's ability to provide card advantage and its ability to enable ninjitsu abilities with ease, it's hard to imagine a Ninja tribal deck that wouldn't want the utility of Kaito Shizuki.
1 Higure, the Still Wind
First printed in Betrayers of Kamigawa, Higure, the Still Wind is among the most ideal creatures that any Ninja tribal deck could include in their ranks. A monoblue 3/5 Human Ninja for five mana, or a ninjutsu cost of four, it can be used to both reliably retrieve one's most potent Ninjas and ensure they're able to connect with an opponent. This is because, in addition to allowing its controller to tutor a Ninja whenever Higure deals combat damage to a player, Higure's activated ability may be used at any time for the cost of two mana in order to make any target Ninja unblockable.
Between its ability to provide consistent access to the other strongest Ninjas in the game and its ability to ensure they make their mark, Higure is among the strongest cards a player can include in a Ninja tribal deck.
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