This month's featured card is the green X-Rare included in SD31 and Kanetsugu Houryokuin's key spirit, The WhirlwindNinja Kirikage.
This card has a printed cost of 7, with four green reduction and a single symbol. It starts out with 6000 BP, but can be leveled up to 10000 BP at LV2 with 3 core or even higher to 13000 BP with 5 core. Notably, it has three families: the new families Catalyst and Ninja Gale, along with the regularly supported Shellman family.
With an abnormally low BP compared to its cost, you'd think this card would have some effect that makes up for the difference. And you'd be right: Kirikage's first ability is the new effect Soul Swift. It can be summoned on the attack step by using a single Soul Core in the reserve to pay the entire cost. This means that it can be summoned as early as turn 2 to instantly put pressure on the opponent.
Kirikage's second ability, Catalyze, is just as novel and just as powerful. Catalyze significantly increases burst activation capabilities, sending Soul Core to the trash in exchange for activating a set Soul Burst. There's no need to wait around for opponent advantages like summon effects or life decrease. Instead, Kirikage allows you to take the initiative.
As of yet the most notable combination possible with Kirikage's Catalyze is the new card Double Body Swap. It allows no-cost summon of two Ninja Gale spirits from the hand and then exhausts all cost 4 or less Spirits and Ultimates, plus a pick of any one other. With this combo, the opponent's life can quickly be reduced.
This card's last effect is not as revolutionary, but is still very handy. By leveling Kirikage all the way to LV3, one Spirit can be exhausted. It's a green-style effect through and through, helping to cut away the life without having to deal with high-BP blockers.
Despite its potential for swift victory, Kirikage is not without downsides. The most glaring one is that both Soul Swift and Catalyze require sending Soul Core to the trash, preventing the use of Catalyze on the turn it's summoned (unless summoned normally). Having to remove core from your Spirit will also mean leveling it down, so be sure to have more than enough core.
For maximum Soul Core advantage, use The ArmoredMothHead Kuwagaslayer to summon cards from the deck, then use the Soul Core in the reserve to activate Soul Swift. You might consider braving it with The HurricaneTwinBlade Kamui-Hayate to get not only a BP boost and double symbol, but refresh it as well. The nexus The Blowing Whirlwind guarantees refresh, and if leveled up, it gives nearly unlimited Spirit/Ultimate destruction. Kirikage is a good card on its own, but what really brings out its full strength is combining it with others.
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