Saturday, January 25, 2014

Research Tour: Shino'sDad Has A Task


Sorry for the lack of updates recently, especially given that we had espoused earlier in the month about how we planned on getting the ball rolling again on the blog itself. It doesn't mean that any of us have forgotten about our promise of course, just that we've all been really busy lately. Despite that fact, we have at least been discussing more possibilities and deciding on projects that we all plan to individually pursue in the coming weeks. For me, it will be Naruto CCG related, and be something that has been a long time coming, considering that the community that still exists to a degree via the Facebook group has decided to embrace the larger overall Shippuden Format, which covers Set 11 and up, along with reprints.

So what exactly is it that I'm going to be working on? Well, it's actually something that I'd been doing before the game was cancelled last May, but I never had a chance to finish it and present it for official use. What I'm talking about is a card retexting file. If you play Magic the Gathering at all, you are likely familiar with something called the Oracle. The Oracle is the official text of a card that is meant for use in the game, which isn't always the same as what is actually printed on the physical card itself. Sometimes, it's because cards get erratas, other times it is clarifications on what the card does. A great deal of it though is the clean up of old cards that were worded poorly due to the time that they were printed, or cards that were worded a certain way because that's the way the rules worked back then. So what the Oracle did, was to consolidate every single card in the game to follow the same rules and all be written in a similar manner, following certain restrictions on the wording of the cards. All triggered effects will read the same, all activated effects will read the same, all replacement effects will read the same, and so on and so forth. Taking this in the direction of the Naruto CCG would be something like making sure all triggered effects were worded with "When", since some cards that predate I believe Set 15 used "If" a lot. Another example is the disuse of "at the beginning" in favor of "at the start". The retext would take the most recently used word choice and apply it across the board.

Card games that last as long as Naruto did, which was over 30 sets, are going to go through changes like this, and there were at least three significant changes to the core rules of the game in it's time, along with at least half a dozen random variations on certain wordings ('target' in Ninja effect text was a recent change over 'choose' and 'select'). Now, back to what I was saying before about this having been something I'd started and never gotten a chance to finish, I would have loved to simply be able to use the original spreadsheet that I was working with, but I no longer have access to it, and I'm not about to go asking people who might still have access to it to allow me to try and use it for anything. So, I have to start from scratch. Rather than going from Set 1 and on-wards though, I am going to start at Set 11, since that is the beginning of the Shippuden Format that is being used most wide spread. As of this writing, I'm about 50% done with Set 11, which I started on the 24th, and I put about three hours into it. So if each set takes about six hours, I could probably put out about two sets a week, maybe three. Now, assuming I only have to get up to Set 21 where the new effect templates had begun being used, that means it would take about three and a half weeks. But, we all know that isn't likely the case and that I'll be combing through Sets 21+ as well to make sure there isn't anything that is too out of whack.

You're probably wondering why I'm wasting my time doing this at all, and the answer is that I figure if people want to keep playing the game, they're going to want to be able to understand all these old cards that stopped seeing use because of the way Block Format rotated things out. Now that people are wanting to play with a new format that includes old cards that have outdated card text, this will make it easier on everyone, and possilby help promote more people getting into playing the game again, since it will sort of blend everything back together. I'll be sure to say more on the matter when I get a chance, but that's really it from me for now. Be sure to check back in to see what MJM and TheNosePath might be up to soon.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Old Faces, New Problems: Happy Two Thousand Mull-to-Fourteen!

Have you ever opened a hand and tossed it back just to do it again? That's right, I mean have you ever mulligan'd twice? In other words, have you ever mulled to four? I'm sure you have, but here's the catch. Have you ever mulled to four and kept going strong? Maybe you won with it. Maybe you didn't. Maybe you stacked your deck like Nick Brady did with his OTK—there's no fucking way it's that consistent Brady. I mean Jordan Markle scrubbed out with the same exact deck at the same exact event. Either you cheated or he's just awful at the game. I'll be content with the latter.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Never Ending Love: Bandai Mulls to Four & Scoops

It was the best of times, it west the worst of times. This game has been on a steady decline since around Set 16. The signs weren't obvious at first, but as the player base cried for better support of the game, the game continued to worsen. Cards were imbalanced, prize support was lacking, opportunity was scarce, and the player base was just awful. Yet, for some odd reason, we found hope in this declining card game; Bandai saw similar hope and pushed reform and change. But, despite all this, this game we all loved suddenly died. Died from what you ask? Simply put, a broken heart.

Before we continue, let's recount a few of the major events in history that has been associated with this day, May 1st.

  • Adolf Hitler's Death
  • Osama Bin Laden's Death
  • Naruto CCG's Death
  • MJM's AP United States History Final
  • The May flowers caused by April showers
Coincidence? We'll let the investigative team answer that one.

No but on a serious note, the end of the Naruto CCG is tragic. No one thought that the CCG would end before the series. But this is not the only thing that comes with such an event. Here's a list I've compiled of the consequences of this game's death.

  • Hundreds of YouTube channels have no purpose
  • Trade Cards Online loses a great portion of their activity
  • Odion F. Baby and kyuubirasengan actually have to go to school
  • pyrot53's credentials in the Naruto CCG mean nothing
  • spiritomb's questions will remain unanswered for the rest of eternity
  • Hundreds of collections that were once worth thousands are now worthless
  • All those packs in your local Target are still priced at $4
  • MJM is finally free from Bandai's grasp
Now for the question we've all been waiting for. Will Mull to Four still continue? That my friends, is up to you. Do you want us to continue posting content every now and then? And if so, about what? Leave a comment or discuss in the Bandai thread. See you all later... maybe...



Friday, April 19, 2013

Research Tour: Opposites Rule


Alright, so I promised more content, and I did mean it. Recently, I have just been rather busy helping my brother pack, as he is moving to California in a week, and since I don't see him nearly enough as it is, I took the time to help him out. But tonight, I was able to find time to write about something recent that has occurred, and has a lot of people in a bit of a fit. A few days ago, there was a rules change that went into effect that concerned certain effects that used the conditional phrase 'In that case' within the body of its effect text, rather than being a signifier as a break between what the Cost to activate the effect is, and what the actual Effect text that occurs is. You very rarely see it being used that way now a days anyways, due to the new activated Ninja effect template that began back in Set 21. Hit the jump and find out what that rules change was and how it effects a few cards...

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Three Man Squads: But not a Ménage à trois


So it seems with Shino'sDad and MJM being so busy lately, they needed someone new to keep the content flowing. Reaching out, they contacted me, citing my vast knowledge of the rules of the game as well as the current meta. I am honored to join the crew and hope that everyone enjoys the articles I plan to set forth. Sorry for any odd auto corrections that I don't catch, I am posting this from my phone.

(Sorry I don't know how to make it do the break on this phone).

More Articles-

Deck Articles

Apparently, our first (and currently only) Deck Article about the Permanent Earth deck was pretty popular and week received by most. We intend to continue this with more new articles with the same format, especially now that the new format is in full swing as shown by this weekend's Shonen Jump Championship. MJM will be recording matches as well, recreated with intense Photoshop skills and including audio commentary from both himself and Shino'sDad, with me making a few appearances as well when my phone allows.

Preview and Preview Review Articles

These usually don't come too often, since new sets only release every three or four months, but the month or so leading up to the release dates are always filled with review articles as we did with Set 28, and we will most assuredly be receiving exclusive previews once more for Set 29. Shino'sDad does want to apologize for the last week of Stormy Battle articles, since both he and MJM were busy, and then the whole Information Extraction thing happened again, and took precedence over finishing the review articles. Speaking of which, be sure to keep an eye out for any interesting exclusive information if we ever stumble upon it. Since Ultimate Minus Storm 3 released in early March, we should be seeing Set 29's release slotting sometime in early June. This means that previews should start up later in April, and span through the month of May. We'll be sure to let you know ahead of time as soon as we have any information.

Monday Rants and Picture Books

Mondays have always usually been for rants, and today will likely be no exception. Be sure to keep an eye out for Shino'sDad rant about his secondhand perspective of the events of the New York Shonen Jump. Don't worry though, the names of the innocent will be left out, while the names of the guilty will be in 25 font bold italics.

Picture Book is the random article series that is our way of pointing things out about the design of the game as well as designing things For the game, such as Shino'sDad article that included printable token Ninjas (SD Edit: They're called coins). Though, the latter will be likely moved to it's own special section that we will discuss further down.

Interviews

While actual video interviews are likely going to be saved exclusively for when we attend actual events and do some form of coverage during them, audio interviews are something that we will be trying to aim for in this coming tournament season. With the New York Shonen Jump behind us, veteran players and unknown names alike secured themselves spots in the Top 8, being the first big names to be on display this season. Thomas Veazie (pyrot53 of 2ezforums Blog) took first place, beating out Scott 'Dashy' (Genre) using the Tears and Rebirth deck designed by Saul Pena (zbkillaz), who was quoted while expressing his enthusiasm over the turnout by stating “Ladies and gentlemen, I have created a monster”. While we would love to run a deck review on the winning Deck, we are going to definitely leave that to its pilot or creator to do a review. Be sure to check out either 2ezforums or Klowstr1fe on You Tube for the eventual video review. As for us, we plan to try and get a few interviews of the rest of the Top 8 as well, and their explanations on their decks they chose to play as well as if they think the format will change at all as time goes on, or if the Tailed Beast/ Fang's Rush Deck may be the new powerhouse Deck for the competitive scene.

Downloads Section

We will also be adding a new page to the blog, where we will be uploading various things that range from custom tokens, to custom mat designs. As time goes on, we will continue adding new resources that we come up with.

A possible planned page as well would be a sort of Mull to Four trade corner, where we will be posting our current cards and mats for trade or sale.


As for me, I will be doing occasional articles called Being the Fool, which will focus on Laughing Man's inability to properly do Q&A, as well as my observations on how certain rules are done. Hopefully, I will be able to open other people's eyes to the terrible way that Bandai writes their cards, and urge everyone to voice their concern about these extremely confusing and vague answers that Tylar and the rest supply us. I cannot tell you how many times I have waited an entire day for a Q&A response and not received one. Also, I will be doing Unlimited Deck articles, as that is my favorite format. Currently, I am working on a Fool based Rush deck that aims to punish the overuse of cards such as Ino (Childhood) and Shikamaru [Outwit]. It would include the two Fool Brothers Eon and Eric Hill, as well as Being the Fool and The Fool and the Elite Mission cards. Anyone who thinks that it won't be a good deck is likely very foolish.


That's it for me. I hope everyone has a great April. Be sure to check out the Mull to Four Facebook Page for any new updates that are posted!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mist's Greatest Swordsmen: New York Jonin Event

Hey everyone, sorry for not posting much over the past week or so. I would have been at the New York Jonin Event today, but the Shonen Jump at the same location is the following week, and rather than travel twice, I figured I would just wait for the larger event. Since I'm not there, I can't really do live coverage at all, but I can link you to the Facebook Page for the event itself where the Head Judge is posting round by round listings and you can discuss the event in full as well.


New York Jonin Facebook Page


Be sure to like the page to keep up to date with any notifications as well as make your predictions on who will end up topping the event or not. Currently there are 38 players present. This is also the first event where the free Bye system for winning a Chunin event is taking place, so we'll have to see if that prize helps or harms Saul Pena, Eric Hill, and Adrian Matuszewski. Be sure to check back occasionally. Currently they are in Round 2, and the highlight match appears to be Scott Holbrook (Genre) vs Saul Pena (Zbkillaz). This will be a pivotal match in deciding if Saul has any chance of achieving Top 8 or not.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Picture Book: And Yet They Feed Us Tokens From The Tablecloth

So I know that I promised the final two parts of the Stormy Battle Series by Friday, but with the such rush of the Information Extraction happening, and a few other things occupying both staff member's time, we never were able to fully finish it. Regardless, I'll likely be posting an overall summary on Set 28 soon, as well a few articles on some new decks that have sprung up with the release of the new set.  I did have time to do a bit of interesting things last night though. Hit the jump to find out what...


Monday, March 4, 2013

Information Extraction: The Super Card List Tracker Strikes Again!

First and foremost allow me to apologize for the lack of content on Mull to Four in the past week or two, I've been really busy with life in general. I'm aware we skipped the Stormy Battle segment last week. I'm not completely sure if we're going to  make it up or go on ahead, but we should know soon. However, today, I have for you something that makes up for all that. Hit the jump for "previews"!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ninja Info Cards: You Gotta Keep 'Em Separated



This is the moment you've all been waiting for it seems. After hyping up our final preview over the past few weeks, Shino'sDad is proud to finally show it off to everyone. Stormy Battle articles will continue on Saturdays until previews are finished, and then we'll likely do an overall look at the set as a whole and how it will effect the upcoming Jonin and SJC events for the next Format, as well as a look back at some viable deck types and new ones that have becomes possible with the release of the set. Now, it's time to see just who our Super Rare Ninja preview is...

Stormy Battle: Preview Review Part 5 "Whites Eyes, Flashing Bursts, Cursed Blood, and Yellow Flashes"



Welcome to Week Five of the Stormy Battle article series, which takes a look at the previews revealed so far for Set 28 Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, and gives a brief review of the cards and possible uses in the upcoming Format once Set 28 becomes legal. This week, we look over an array of different cards, ranging from Byakugan, Cloud Ninjas, The Avenger himself, and the flagship card of the set, Naruto Uzumaki (9 Tails Chakra).