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Ninjutsu

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Ninjutsu
Type: Activated
Introduced: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Last Used: Planechase (2012)
Reminder Text: (Cost), Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand: Put this card onto the battlefield from your hand tapped and attacking.
Statistics: 10 cards
Manau.gif50% Manab.gif40% Multicolor 10%
Gatherer search for "Ninjutsu"
For the theme deck see: Ninjutsu (deck)

Ninjutsu is a keyword ability that was introduced in Betrayers of Kamigawa. It represents the stealth of the Ninjas by allowing a creature that is attacking and unblocked to be exchanged with a Ninja in the controlling player's hand, such that the Ninja is attacking and unblocked instead of the original creature, which is returned to the controller's hand. With the release of Worldwake and the card Amulet of Vigor, one can put a ninja into play tapped and attacking, but have that creature untap as soon as it enters play.

The keyword had only appeared in Betrayers of Kamigawa, and exclusively on black or blue Ninja cards, until it returned on some cards in the Night of the Ninja deck of Planechase 2.

From the Comprehensive Rules (Khans of Tarkir)

  • 702.48. Ninjutsu
    • 702.48a Ninjutsu is an activated ability that functions only while the card with ninjutsu is in a player’s hand. "Ninjutsu [cost]" means "[Cost], Reveal this card from your hand, Return an unblocked creature you control to its owner’s hand: Put this card onto the battlefield from your hand tapped and attacking."
    • 702.48b The card with ninjutsu remains revealed from the time the ability is announced until the ability leaves the stack.
    • 702.48c A ninjutsu ability may be activated only while a creature on the battlefield is unblocked (see rule 509.1h). The creature with ninjutsu is put onto the battlefield unblocked. It will be attacking the same player or planeswalker as the creature that was returned to its owner’s hand.

From the Comprehensive Rules (Khans of Tarkir)

  • 509.1h An attacking creature with one or more creatures declared as blockers for it becomes a blocked creature; one with no creatures declared as blockers for it becomes an unblocked creature. This remains unchanged until the creature is removed from combat, an effect says that it becomes blocked or unblocked, or the combat phase ends, whichever comes first. A creature remains blocked even if all the creatures blocking it are removed from combat.

Rulings[edit]

  • The ninjutsu ability can be activated during the declare blockers, combat damage, or end of combat steps if you have an unblocked attacking creature.
  • Activating the ninjutsu ability during the declare blockers step allows the Ninja to deal combat damage. Using ninjutsu during the combat damage or end of combat steps will mean the unblocked attacking creature is dealing combat damage.
  • The Ninja will be attacking the same player or planeswalker the original attacking creature was attacking. This is a rule specific to ninjutsu; in other cases, the controller of a creature put onto the battlefield attacking chooses which player or planeswalker it attacks.
  • Although the Ninja is attacking, it was never declared as an attacking creature (for purposes of abilities that trigger whenever a creature attacks, for example).
  • The Ninja should be revealed while announcing the ability, but it doesn't leave your hand until the ability resolves.

Examples[edit]

  • Ninja of the Deep Hours - Mana3.gifManau.gif
    Creature — Human Ninja
    2/2
    Ninjutsu Mana1.gifManau.gif (Mana1.gifManau.gif, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand: Put this card onto the battlefield from your hand tapped and attacking.)
    Whenever Ninja of the Deep Hours deals combat damage to a player, you may draw a card.
  • Okiba-Gang Shinobi - Mana3.gifManab.gifManab.gif
    Creature — Rat Ninja
    3/2
    Ninjutsu Mana3.gifManab.gif (Mana3.gifManab.gif, Return an unblocked attacker you control to hand: Put this card onto the battlefield from your hand tapped and attacking.)
    Whenever Okiba-Gang Shinobi deals combat damage to a player, that player discards two cards.