First Look: Naruto Deck-building Part 2

By Matt Hyra

First Look: Naruto Shippuden Deck-building Game

Part 1: Chakra
Part 2: Hand Signs & Positive Attacks

The Naruto Shippuden Deck-building Game will soon be the latest and greatest release in our Cerberus Engine deck-building game series. Today we are going to talk about two ways in which this game will be very different from any Cerberus Engine game you have played. The biggest difference is Chakra, which was covered in the PART 1 preview article.


Now that you have read the previous article, you have learned that Chakra Abilities are powerful tools for boosting the output of your cards and getting the most out of the Hero you are playing. Early in the game you might have trouble finding the cards to fill your Chakra Points. A quick Chakra boost early in the game could give you a nice head start over your opponents. Hand Signs just might be your best friend.

Hand Signs cost just 1 Power to buy, but are worth 0 VPs. They don’t clog up the main deck or the Line-Up. Oh no. Instead, there is a stack of 12 of them that are placed next to the Kicks, Weaknesses, and Archenemies at the start of the game. They are always available to be bought, as long as there are cards in the Hand Sign stack. And now that you’ve read the game text, you can rest assured that there will be a steady supply of them. After playing a Hand Sign, it will return to the Hand Sign stack at the end of your turn. Perfect for a temporary boost of Chakra to get you over the hump. If you don’t wish to use and lose a Hand Sign, simply keep it in your and place it into your discard pile it at the end of your turn.

Each Hand Sign’s kanji character is a different animal of the Chinese zodiac. They all look unique, but they all have the same effect: +2 Chakra! Chakra builds up during your turn just like Power does. It spends just like Power, too. With a single filled Chakra Point and a Hand Sign, you can activate your Hero’s Chakra Ability and rule the day.

Hand Signs have no card type, so they won’t combo too well with anything looking for different card types. Their buy cost of 1 makes them a good additional buy when you have some “spare change.” Several cards in the game are greatly improved by having lots and lots of Chakra. Since it’s rather difficult to generate Chakra beyond the four your Hero can provide, Hand Signs are one of the best ways to generate Chakra fast!

Positive Attacks

The other new addition to the game is a new type of attack. It’s an attack that doesn’t hurt your opponents. Instead, it helps you! However, your opponents have a chance to stop it, just like they would a regular attack. If they stop your Positive Attack, you don’t get the benefit. If they don’t stop it, you and you alone reap the reward.

Picture an opposing ninja setting up some world-changing event. The ground shakes, dust swirls. Something big is coming. Thinking fast, you cast your ominous shadow across the land, bringing the event to a halt. Today you have stopped your opponent. Tomorrow you might not be so prepared.

Positive Attacks are overpowered cards, to be sure. But when they’re stopped, suddenly they aren’t so good anymore. Be on the lookout for crafty opponents who lead out with a small attack to see if they can temp you to use up your Defenses. Then they follow up with a Positive Attack and catch you unawares.

When a Positive Attack is played, each opponent (in clockwise order) has one chance to avoid it. You can’t pass on your chance to avoid it and then reconsider when each of the other opponents has failed to avoid it. A Positive Attack is avoided by using a Defense card. Yes, the same cards you would use to avoid an Archenemy’s Group Attack or some other villainous attack. As soon as a player avoids a Positive Attack, no other players have a chance to avoid it. And you can’t avoid your own Positive Attack, by the way.

Positive Attacks are a positively powerful new mechanic in the Naruto Shippuden Deck-building Game, and are sure to make every turn a tactical challenge for you… and your opponents!

Pre-order your copy today to make sure you get a First Printing copy with the Promo Hero Card inside the box!

Scheduled to launch this fall, The First Edition Printing with the included Promo Card is going fast. If you want to make sure you are able to get this promo card, pre-order your game now with your local retailer or from our e-store. Once the first games are gone, so is the Promo Card!

Matt_Hyra's picture Matt Hyra

Matt Hyra has been designing games for 20 years, and has been Cryptozoic Entertainment's lead board game designer since its beginning in 2010. Some of Matt's recent games include Rick and Morty: The Pickle Rick Game, Epic Spell Wars: Panic at the Pleasure Palace, and DC Deck-Building Game: Rebirth.