A Basic Introduction to Naruto Cards

My middle school life was mostly devoted to Naruto. The anime was a  a big thing among my friend-base and the card game was very popular as well. I was a casual player of this game during my Middle School years. Ironically enough, by the time I managed to build a decent deck High School came around and Naruto was pushed off to the side. I gave away all, but my main deck and never touched the cards again until I met up with an old friend from High School seeking to collect all the cards. We now meet every once in a while to play.

Goal in Naruto:

The goal in Naruto has to win 10 Battle Rewards. These cards are taken from the top of a player’s deck when they are attacked directly by the other player’s ninja characters. These cards are then placed face-down to the side can cannot be used (usually) for the rest of the current game.

Card Types in Naruto

Ninja Cards


Your troops in Naruto are the hundreds of ninjas from the series. Each ninja card has:

  • An Element/Color
  • A Turn Cost
  • A Hand Cost
  • Red Biography Text
  • A possible Effect
  • 2 sets of Combat/Support Stats

Ninja’s element reflects what color chakra it can be used for, but more on that later.

The Turn cost is the earliest turn that the Ninja can be played. For example this Yugito card cannot be played until the player’s 3rd turn. After turn 3, it can be played at any time.

The Hand cost is a card you have to discard as an additional cost to play that ninja from your hand. Higher turn cost ninjas tend to have a hand cost.

The red text shows that character’s personal information (what village they work for, their gender, etc.).

Some ninjas have effects that provide various perks, synergy or defects.

The combat and support stats are that ninja’s power. Essentially the way combat works in this game is you build a team using the ninjas you have in play. You do this by placing the ninja cards on that of each other revealing only the effect ans stats of the not lead ninja. The first number is that character’s power when at the head/front of a team, while the 2nd number is their power when in the back of the team.

The 2nd set of stats on the lower right side are that character’s injured stats. After a ninja receives any damage it becomes injured. An injured ninja is turned on its side (same position as a tapped creature or a defense position monster) However, even if a character is injured they can still contribute to their team’s power. Some characters (see Naruto) are powerful while injured. Though if an injured character receives damage then they are discarded.

You can also play 1 ninja each turn.

Jutsu Cards


Jutsus are cards that can be played in the combat phase in a stage called the Exchange of Jutsu, which occurs before damage is calculated. These cards give various effects to turn the tide of a battle. In order to use a jutsu you need to pay chakra. Most jutsus can also only be used by a specific character.

(So what’s Chakra?)

Chakra is a resource you use to pay for jutsu and ninja effect costs. You can charge chakra before you enter combat. To do so you place any number of cards from your hand into your chakra zone.

Mission Cards


Mission cards provide various effects during the mission phase. Some of them remain on the field (Permanent) while others go the discard pile after they resolve.

How combat works:

In order to win the game you need to attack your opponent with your teams of ninja. You can only attack with 3 teams in one turn. Whenever a ninja team damages a player that player must give 1 battle reward. If the attacking team’s power is 5 or greater they must give 2 battle rewards. The defending player however can choose to block attacks on them using their own teams of ninja.

Whenever ninja teams battle whichever team has the higher power wins. The leading ninja (called the head ninja) takes 1 damage when their team loses. If one team is 5 points or higher than the enemy team then the losing team’s head ninja is discarded and the supporting ninjas also take damage. Essentially 5 or greater power inflicts 2 damage to both player and ninja.


And I don’t have much more to say after that. I’m not that great at Naruto. I do find it to be a very fun break from Magic and Yugioh however. If you’re a fan of the series though I would highly recommend it. Being discontinued has caused the cards (if you can find them sealed) to be very cheap (the friend I mentioned bought the Naruto equivalent of a Yugioh/Magic box for less than $30). Anyway, I’m about to leave for a trip so I’ll see if I can get at least one more introduction in before I leave. Thanks for reading. Oh yeah you can learn how to play and look up the card sets here.


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