There are two aspects of Ninjala that influence your performance: your weapon of choice and Shinobi Cards. Of the two, you can only upgrade your Shinobi Cards, via the Assist Codes.
After establishing your preferred weapon, Shinobi Cards are the key to success, but some of the ten cards are much better than others.
As it costs medals to unlock and upgrade Shinobi Cards and their Assist Codes, it’s good to know which ones to focus on; that said, not all of the best Shinobi Cards will suit every player.
Here, we’ve broken down the three best Shinobi Cards and put them all into a tier list at the foot of the page.
Life Drain Shinobi Card
As one of the two more expensive Shinobi Cards to unlock, you would hope that Life Drain is worth forking out five gold medals.
The good news is that Life Drain merits its cost of entry, effectively being the vampire of the Shinobi Cards.
While your standard rate of health recovery is reduced, you absorb enemy health when you attack them with your gum weapon. If you’ve mastered the best yo-yo weapon, Life Drain can be absurdly potent.
All of Life Drain’s Assist Codes are centred around making your ninja better after absorbing health from your enemies:
- Life Absorption+ increases the amount of health that you absorb from your opponent when you land a hit;
- Damage Down reduces the amount of damage that you sustain after you’ve absorbed some health;
- Gum Damage Down reduces the amount of gum damage that you take after you’ve absorbed some health.
Not only does Life Drain pull health away from your opponent, but it also increases your health and improves your defence.
The vampiric Shinobi Card is certainly one of the best in Ninjala, especially if you’re the type of player who actively seeks combat.
Starting Dash Shinobi Card
Starting Dash is the other gold-cost Shinobi Card to unlock, but like Life Drain, it offers some significant perks to warrant the additional cost.
Its primary perk is that you start the battle with five bars of S-Energy instead of three, giving you a big head start on other Ninjala players in the hunt to get a big weapon.
Big weapons end up dominating the field, especially if others haven’t been smashing Drones. With this Shinobi Card, you only need to beat the others to three Drones instead of five.
The Assist Codes for Starting Dash are centred around keeping you in the game for longer after respawning:
- Movement Speed+ gives you a speed boost from the start of a match and after you’ve respawned;
- Damage Down reduces the amount of damage that is taken at the start of a match and after you’ve respawned;
- Gum Damage Down reduces gum damage at the beginning of a match and after you respawn.
Starting Dash gives you a significant boost in speed, defence, and in trying to get a big weapon as soon as possible.
Overall, it’s probably the most useful Shinobi Card to Ninjala players: suited to any playing preference as its boosts don’t need to be directly triggered by an action.
Sudden Burst Shinobi Card
Not only is Sudden Burst the cheapest to initially unlock of the best Shinobi Cards, as it doesn’t require gold medals, but it might just be the best of them all.
The card’s primary function is to effectively offer a second chance. With the card equipped, you’re able to activate one S-Burst regardless of if your S-Energy gauge is depleted.
Better still, this prime opportunity to dodge and trigger another parry if things aren’t going so well replenishes every time you respawn.
The Shinobi Card gets even better when you delve into its Assist Codes:
- Life Recovery restores your health whenever you win a parry and defeat your foe by Ippon;
- Ninjutsu Gauge+ builds on Life Recovery, with parry wins resulting in an Ippon refilling your Ninjutsu gauge;
- S-Energy Replenish is triggered in the same way as the above, this time replenishing your S-Energy gauge.
You will find yourself in a parry a lot in Ninjala, and having this second chance in the duel will come in very handy once you get into the habit of using the S-Burst.
Couple that with the massive replenishing, should you win, and Sudden Burst stands as one of the best Shinobi Cards in Ninjala. It’s also incredibly cheap to unlock and upgrade.
Ninjala Shinobi Card Tier List
While different Shinobi Cards will work better for different playing styles, the Shinobi Card tier list below ranks and grades the Ninjala upgrades based on their general usability and the importance of their perks in battle.
|Life Drain||A||The vampiric abilities offer health restoration while battling as well as defensive boosts.|
|Starting Dash||A||Be faster and have better defences from each new start and begin with two extra points of S-Energy.|
|Sudden Burst||A||A second chance in the parry and replenishing boosts after winning a parry can quickly send you on an Ippon spree.|
|Ninja Sense Pro||B+||It takes some getting used to, but once you’ve learned to react to the tells, the extra speed and first contact damage boosts can make you a real menace.|
|Discerning Eye||B||For the Drone hunter looking to get a big weapon as soon as possible. Pairs very well with Starting Dash.|
|Gum Guard Master||B-||Trying to play defensively doesn’t get you too far in Ninjala unless you fully commit, which this Shinobi Card allows you to do.|
|Master of Change||C||So few players even bother with morphing on the minimal selection of maps available, but sometimes, that’s why this can be effective – if there isn’t anyone looking.|
|Utsusemi Master||D||Similarly to Master of Change, this Shinobi Card can be effective simply because so few use it, but its success rate is still rather low.|
|Two-Edged Parry||F||The fundamental randomness that dictates the all-important parry makes this incredibly volatile, with the cons outweighing the pros outright.|
|Wall Shooter||F||All-but useless in the current game – might have some use if a ‘the floor is lava’ type of arena comes to Ninjala.|
As it stands, these are how the Shinobi Cards rank and grade in Ninjala. Future updates may tweak a few of them or make some become more useful in new arenas.