UFS is all about the luck factor. You're hoping and shooting that the card reveal from the top of your deck is the control that you need to pass the difficulty check from playing your card. Missing or making that control check is the difference between being able to win the game or hoping your opponent doesn't get the kill combo on you the next turn. If you miss the control check, there is one opportunity to salvage yourself and save face... commit foundations (or your character card) to make up the difference between the needed difficulty and the result of your check. You add one to the control result for each committed foundation. But what about those foundations you committed? Unless you committed a card that reads "Playable while committed" or "Only Playable While committed", you lose access to that needed ability.
Enter Shinobi Tradition, a common foundation that is widely used on the Water and Evil resource symbols, this card will allow you to commit it AND ready it in the same case when you're playing a card. (A card is considered played when you bring it to your card pool, make a check and pass that check needed for the card. Since you would pass the control check to play the card, you can activate it's Response ability.) With this card your turn is almost guaranteed NOT to end unless you make a REALLY big control check attempt and don't have enough foundations to play it.
- Attempt to play a card into your card pool, miss the check needed. If you missed it to the point where you need say three foundations to pass, commit Shinobi Tradition instead of your normal foundations. Then once your card is played, activate the response ability on each Shinobi to ready it.
- Are you playing with James Hata** (with the Water Asset of Power I hope)? This card is PERFECT for your deck as his Response ability can be activated to BOTH the commit AND readying of the card giving the chance to add +1 speed and damage to your attack up to eight times if you have already played your attack to the card pool. Or up to four times if you JUST passed it. (You can't add speed or damage waiting to pass its check.)
- Do you need to commit foundations for your opponent's Stun ability? Use Shinobi Tradition instead! The card will still be able to have it's response ability activated if you play (and pass the check for) a block on your opponent's turn
- Does your activated ability have a cost of commit a foundation? Use Shinobi Tradition instead and ready it on your next successfully played card.
The possibilities are endless.
Strategies and game play:
There really isn't TOO much strategy in using this card but somethings you should always be careful of are:
Combos with other cards:
- Does your opponent have any staging area responses that would destroy this card or cancel it's effects?
- The moment that you play this card, it should immediately go into the card pool for play so you can move it into your staging area. It's a cheap 2 difficulty, and while yes.. you have more important 2 difficulty cards to play... This card is probably THE most important as your turn can literally not stop.
Ways to counteract it:
- w/ Sardine's Beach Special: With Sardine's Beach Special's "Commit 3" ability but 7 difficulty cost... you should already have 3 or 4 copies already in play and those copies should be ready. Continue to play Enhance cards like "Kung-Fu Training" or "Top Turnbuckle" and etc. When you're ready to go, commit the three copies of Shinobi Tradition and count up all the cards in your opponent's staging area... Then continue to pile on the additional damage. This card with this combo should DEFINITELY be played with R. Mika who can possibly end games before your opponent's lethal damage is able to kill you. (Rule Reminder: The game immediately ends when someone is at 0. Even if there are other attacks waiting to resolve.)
- Any card which has a cost of committing foundations: Ideally you want to commit these cards as a part of a control check modification, then ready them with their ability. Then commit them to pay the cost. Play a low difficulty card as a follow up. Commit another foundation or your Shinobi Tradition's and then ready them again. Even if you use the ability before, you can activate it again and again so long as it's to a different trigger. (Hence why you have to let the card resolve (pass or fail), THEN if it passes, ready it.)
There are really three ways to counteract this card. Two are kind of self-explanatory, one... you will be really lucky to do.
- Any control check hack (example Blood Runs True). If you have control check hacks that massively have the ability to modify a control check, it's 99% likely your opponent will not be able to stop it nor get around it with Shinobi Tradition.
- Any negation of response abilities. Again self-explanatory, they say "I activate this response", you say "Negated with ...."
- Block their ability of ready cards or committing cards for costs. There are a few cards that outright say "The chosen card cannot be ready until your opponent's next ready phase" or the like. If you activate this ability, they will get one last response before their branch of the response tree goes off but after that, that's it. This is KIND of difficulty to pull off.
- Low Difficulty/High Control. Ideal for almost any deck as this card is REALLY cheap to play.
- It's a common printing. It's almost impossible to NOT buy a pack of Street Fighter: Domination and NOT pull one.
- The symbols it runs off of have a LOT of uses for this card. Can anyone say Mai**?
- Great choice for Stun Effects or effects where you can choose a foundation to commit defensively
- Anyone running Blood Runs True will IMMEDIATELY activate it if they see this card. (Granted anyone playing three or four copies of Blood Runs True will likely cause someone to quit. Not just the current game... the game entirely.)
- If used wrong you will be out of luck until your next ready phase. There are mistakes that can be made because players get too full of themselves. Be careful.
- The symbols that it runs off of (Water, Life, Evil) offer very little negation of activated effects so this card is vulnerable to whatever is thrown at it.
Currently there are foiled Hobby League variations of this card.
Artwork and aesthetics:
If you're a fan of the Udon Comics, you'll likely like this card. If not, you'll probably be asking yourself "Why is a Street Fighter Alpha character fighting a Street Fighter III character?"
Given the fact that this card is now twice cycled out into Legacy, it's uses are mainly found there. However, even in Legacy (where anything not outright banned is legal) this card is a menace. Turns have a possibility of not ending, players will be trying to cancel it out or commit it foolishly.
Nonetheless, given it's printed stats... you have to admit this card is HIGHLY recommended for Water and Evil decks... Life can find some uses here as well.