Starting another Seven Reviews In Seven Days is a potential starter for Murakumo, Stealth Beast, Evil Ferret. It has the ability to trade itself for a Murakumo in the hand for a turn. I think of Evil Ferret as the show-and-tell card: you show something and you use that something to forcefully interact with your opponent for a turn, but you're also telling them exactly what you're up to.
Though I hate to repeat myself, Evil Ferret lets you trade him in for a Murakumo in your hand for a turn.
Strategies and game play:
Trading your starter for another unit is a good idea, but what use is trading in your starter for a unit that you could just call? Simple: sometimes you can't just call. Remember, you can only call up to the grade of your current vanguard. However, this unit allows for a superior call, which is not limited by the grade. Also, remember that the unit you superior call will return to your hand, allowing for repeats of on-call effs or just protecting your call target from attacks. Even still, what good is a superior call without good superior call targets?
Combos with other cards:
Now we get to the superior call targets. There are several different tactical things that you can set your Evil Ferret up for: power, on-call skills, defense, and unit repositioning. First, there is power. In this sense, Evil Ferret is replacing himself for any attacker in your hand. This lets you get in a strong attack to your opponent before they have enough time to stockpile large amounts of guard. Secondly, there are on-call skills like the Million Rat series, who can use a CounterBlast to call extra copies of themself from the deck (only for them to return to the deck at the end of the turn). When that card returns to your hand, you can use that skill next turn, allowing yourself boosters and/or attackers without using your hand. Other on-call effects are damage increasers (allowing you to push yourself to Limit Break range multiple turns in a row) and Oboro Cart (who is essentially a different variation of the Million Rat series; rather than calling extra copies of itself from the deck, it allows you to call extra copies of something you already control, which will fill your field without draining your hand).
The third option is defense. Say you really need a bit of power, but you can't afford to play your perfect guard. With Evil Ferret's skill, you can get your perfect guard onto the field for a turn, and it'll return to your hand at the end of the turn, ready to be used to stop anything. This also works with the "Persona Block" series, Mandala Lord and Shirayuki.
If your vanguard happens to be Mandala Lord or Shirayuki (or even if it isn't yet but you plan for it to be, such as at a time before you ride to Grade Three, see "power" subsection), these cards are just as good as guarding units, Mandala Lord being essentially a 10k blocker and Shirayuki being essentially a 20k blocker. You would want for them to not be stuck on the field when you can be using them to protect yourself. This lets you get your attacker as well as keeping your guard options high. Lastly is the poorly phrased repositioning of your units. To explain this a bit better, look at the following units:
If it's your first turn and you decide to go for Turbulent Edge, you most likely will need a boosting unit. Using Evil Ferret, you can temporarily put Turbulent Edge into a column that already has a boosting unit (after all, it's kinda wasteful to have two boosters in the same column, especially when one of those boosters is 6k strong). This gives you a chance to use Turbulent Edge's skill (to search for the aforementioned Mandala Lord) without forcing one of your rearguard columns to be easily blockable late-game (when power is essential to break through as many guards as possible). Looking at the other unit, Jiraiya may seem like it would fit better in the "on-call" subsection, but it sends itself back into the deck whenever it decides to get Gigantoad. Think about it in this scenario: you'll need Gigantoad later, but you can't pay for the counterblast this turn. You can call Jiraiya this turn to boost an attack, then return it to your hand so that you can call Jiraiya next turn and make it take Gigantoad's form. Speaking of Gigantoad, a card that combines well with that is Tamamo. While this isn't a "combo" per se, it's an interesting trick that you can do: If you're facing Link Joker, they will try to lock a front-row rearguard to limit Tamamo's usefulness (Tamamo in all likelihood will be fetching attackers from the deck every turn, but only if it controls an attacker already; to simplify, it will usually have an empty front-row RG spot and an occupied front-row RG spot, and locking the occupied RG will force Tamamo to either abandon its strategy and call something else [disabling the strategy on subsequent turns] or not call anything and be easy to stop). If you use Evil Ferret, you can temporarily call a unit to the front row, have Tamamo fetch a duplicate, and end the turn with an empty and lockproof front row.
Ways to counteract it:
Evil Ferret, as an ACT skill whose only cost is putting itself in the soul, technically can't be "countered". That being said, it only gives its user advantage for one turn before the unit it called returns to the hand. Ferret may be exceptionally good at temporary advantage, but the advantage is still only temporary. Capitalize on the sudden lack of advantage by attacking with enough power and/or crits to make the opponent drop as many guards as possible. Minimize their hand, then all they have are what they showed you and what they drive check into. After that, it's a matter of keeping track of how much guards are in the hand and how to best force the guards to nothing.
Murakumo has 44 cards currently. This can combo with approximately 1/4 of them in some way.
You tip your hand and end with an empty RG space.
Stealth Beast, Evil Ferret is a R from Awakening of Twin Blades. It has only one picture art.
Artwork and aesthetics:
Even the card's lore refers to how tricky and tactical this little ferret is! He also reminds me of Bill the Ferret, from "Storytime With Chamo" (Negima Abridged episode 5). Perhaps Chamo was telling the truth...
He's a strong forerunner (7) with an abnormally pragmatic skill (+2) that gives early advantage (+1) at the cost of himself and giving your opponent a peek into your tactics (-2). All in all, Evil Ferret is worth 8 out of 10.