Hey all! Derrick here with my first ever Force of Will article to go over the deck I played for the new season’s online GPHyde, Solitary Assassin (TUS-068) – or as I called it, “I can’t believe it’s not Sherry”. Those who remember Speaker of Eternal Night (TSW-109) // Scheherazade of the Catastrophic Nights (TSW-109J) probably get the reference, but for those who may be new to the game, or just want a refresher, Sherry was one of the strongest rulers in the game’s history. She consistently would claim over 50% of the top 8 spots for many GPs (editor’s note: you can find the proof here 😉), eventually warranting a ban.

There were a number of things that made Sherry powerful, but I want to focus on the things I found comparable between Speaker of Eternal Night (TSW-109) // Scheherazade of the Catastrophic Nights (TSW-109J) and Hyde, Solitary Assassin (TUS-068), which were having access to a “2nd hand”, being able to play on your opponent’s turn, and having access to powerful cancel spells. Hyde, Solitary Assassin (TUS-068)‘s ability to play cards from your Shinobi EX area, the contract Rocket Dive (TUS-079), and the enter of Pink Spider (TUS-079J) allowing you to expand and place cards into your Shinobi EX area gives you that “2nd hand” that Sherry had, only better. You can effectively increase your hand size over the course of the game, and can even hide information from your opponent’s discard spells/effects. Iga, Village of Assassins (TUS-069) allows you to play your Ninjas (like Glowing Spider (TUS-001)) and Ninjutsus (like Ninjutsu Meditation (TUS-006) or Rocket Dive (TUS-079)) at quickcast speed, just like Speaker of Eternal Night (TSW-109) // Scheherazade of the Catastrophic Nights (TSW-109J) gave your dolls in hand quickcast. Since we’re already trying to play on our opponent’s turn, playing cancel spells synergises with our game plan, as we will already have the will available anyway.

With the background out of the way, let’s hop into the list!


1st PlaceDerrick MugwanezaHyde
Hyde, Solitary Assassin (TUS-068)

Child of the Light Moon (NWE-003)
X, Black Cat (TUS-059)
Magic Stone Deck: (10)
3x Darkness Moon Fragment (NWE-101)
3x Magic Stone of Moon Shade (MPR-100)
4x Secret Stone of the Wanderer Moon (TUS-107)

Resonators: (16 of 42)
4x Glowing Spider (TUS-001)
4x Rusty’s Fox (TUS-009)
3x Laurite, Seven Luminaries Astrologian (TSW-094)
2x The Witch of the Fallen Kingdom (ADW-072)
3x Geryon (TST-084)
Chants: (21 of 42)
3x Angelic Battle Barrier (NWE-001)
1x Keep the Faith! (GOG-006)
2x Kunai Throw (TUS-002)
3x Ninjutsu Meditation (TUS-006)
3x Memory of Worlds (TUS-043) // Recorder of Worlds (TUS-043J)
4x The Sword of Progression (TWS-065) // Genesis Chronogear (TWS-065J)
4x Rocket Dive (TUS-079) // Pink Spider (TUS-079J)
1x Spy Mission (TWS-093)

Additions: (4 of 42)
4x Iga, Village of Assassins (TUS-069)

Regalia: (1 of 42)
1x Horn of Sacred Beasts (SKL-099)

Sideboard: (15)
1x Angelic Battle Barrier (NWE-001)
2x Mumu Tribe Straggler (TUS-005)
1x Memory of Worlds (TUS-043) // Recorder of Worlds (TUS-043J)
1x Witch with a Pointy Hat (ADW-060)
1x Pumpkin Witch (CMF-088)
3x Stealthy Black Widow (TUS-057)
1x The Witch of the Fallen Kingdom (ADW-072)
2x “Ki Lua: Fossil Girl in the City” (TWS-090)
3x Spy Mission (TWS-093)

Glowing Spider (TUS-001) – Your Story Listener, Eva (TSW-110) of the deck and win condition. Spider gets bigger as the number of cards in your Shinobi EX area increases, AND you get to draw cards.You also have the option to play the slower game of setting cards into your EX area for a few turns, then just playing a Glowing Spider (TUS-001) at main timing to dig a little deeper. Many opponents hated seeing a 1 will 1000/1000 draw 3 come down, but when you’re still holding up 2+ will, interacting doesn’t feel great.

The Witch of the Fallen Kingdom (ADW-072) – Since your win con can draw so much, it’s very likely for you to play multiple spiders on T5+, draw into witch, and play it to get Pumpkin Witch (CMF-088) from side for lethal.

Rusty’s Fox (TUS-009) – Has a zero ability that can kill most resonators in the game, but maybe most Importantly: this is the #1 way to un-contract your Pink Spider (TUS-079J) so you can contract again. It is also a nice tempo way of getting Ninjutsu Meditation (TUS-006) or Rocket Dive (TUS-079) from your hand into your EX area.

Iga, Village of Assassins (TUS-069) – Ramp, quickcast, all the goodies. Being able to play on our opponent’s turn is crucial to this deck’s gameplan, and so is Iga. After getting Rocket Dive (TUS-079) and Ninjutsu Meditation (TUS-006) into your EX area, your most common play will be to reveal Iga, Village of Assassins (TUS-069), rest it for white will, and play Ninjutsu Meditation (TUS-006) from your EX area producing 2W 1B. Using 1W and 1B, you cast Rocket Dive (TUS-079) to contract (expand or banish is dependent on the situation), fill your EX area (including a Glowing Spider (TUS-001)) and draw your first handful of cards. Using the last white, play the Glowing Spider (TUS-001) from the EX area, draw your next handful of cards, and from there you’re able to start pressuring your opponent’s life total while having the cards, and open will to interact.

Cancel Package – During Sherry format, the cancel suite would usually consist of some number of Laurite, Seven Luminaries Astrologian (TSW-094), Faerur’s Spell (ACN-096), Otherworld Dreams (ADK-106), and/or Severing Winds (ENW-063). I believe the new cancel suite will want some number of Laurite, Seven Luminaries Astrologian (TSW-094), Geryon (TST-084), The Sword of Progression (TWS-065), Memory of Worlds (TUS-043), Faerur’s Spell (ACN-096) (not in current list), Angelic Battle Barrier (NWE-001), and “Ki Lua: Fossil Girl in the City” (TWS-090) (in side). Each of these cards fill a purpose:

  • The Sword of Progression (TWS-065) – Most insane card of the newest set. Starts as just a cantrip and quickly becomes one of the strongest cancel spells in the game. Don’t be surprised if this card makes it into every deck moving forward.
  • Angelic Battle Barrier (NWE-001) – Stops crazy combo decks, but also allows you to get your cancels through, as well as your contract and spiders during your opponent’s turn.
  • “Ki Lua: Fossil Girl in the City” (TWS-090) – Just an all around great card. Never dead in hand as it can replace itself, is addition removal, and provides more automatic trigger cancels – moving this card to main in the future.

Rocket Dive (TUS-079) – The deck’s main contract. Mostly this card will just be used to expand your Shinobi EX area and contract, but it’s important to note that the only stipulation to contract is that it must be played from the EX area. This means you can use the mode to make your opponent banish two and still contract. I played 4 because I wanted to see it, but had no issue siding out 1 I felt I could play a bit slower. 

Ninjutsu Meditation (TUS-006) – Can let you turn 0 contract (don’t recommend unless you have a really good hand), but it also lets you play will efficient. Using the common play line as an example (see Iga section for a refresher) you’re able to contract, and play a Glowing Spider (TUS-001) all while leaving your up stones to fight a cancel war with. 

Kunai Throw (TUS-002) – I feared aggression; being able to rest a J/res for 0, then destroy the attacking one for 1 felt amazing! Also a way to kill your Pink Spider (TUS-079J) if the enter got laurited and didn’t get to put a Rusty’s Fox (TUS-009) into EX, or just want to contract again.

Horn of Sacred Beasts (SKL-099) – With how much drawing you can do with Pink Spider (TUS-079J) and Glowing Spider (TUS-001), I did have a few games in testing where I drew my entire deck. This made me worry that I may want a way to not deck out, but after the tournament, this felt unnecessary, and will either be moved to the sideboard, or cut completely.

Spy Mission (TWS-093) – Truthfully, I loved Spy Mission (TWS-093) and the idea that I could discard at instant speed. However, I quickly ran out of space in the deck, and eventually cut Spy Mission (TWS-093) all together. I then tested against a tree deck, and realized game one would always be a draw if they found an Alisaris, the Invader of God’s City (AO1-045) (and I had Horn of Sacred Beasts (SKL-099)), as I had no burn, or way to discard him. With that in mind, I added back 1 Spy Mission (TWS-093) so I wouldn’t auto lose game one just in case. Recognizing how good it would be in the mirror and other slow matchups, I decided to side more.

Keep the Faith! (GOG-006) – Tossed it in last minute for a way to get back Glowing Spider, Laurite, or Witch of the Fallen Kingdom. Came up a few times, easy cut from the list though.


I believe the side should be made up of personal preferences for what you think will be good against the meta, so I don’t recommend just copying it. I’ll briefly explain some choices to give you more insight, but if you think you have better tech or prefer one card to another, use it! 

Mumu Tribe Straggler (TUS-005) – This was just in case I came across Reinhardt, Descendant of the Ethereal King (TUS-078). If your opponent is able to find and get multiple Ethereal Defense Trooper (TUS-027) into their Possession EX area, your damage gets heavily reduced. Mumu Tribe Straggler (TUS-005) is currently the only card that interacts with the EX area, so I felt it was definitely worth the spot. 

“Ki Lua: Fossil Girl in the City” (TWS-090) – As mentioned earlier, this was for addition removal and more automatic trigger cancels. Definitely moving the 2 main, and will likely be siding a 3rd. 

Witch package – If you play The Witch of the Fallen Kingdom (ADW-072), Witch with a Pointy Hat (ADW-060) and Pumpkin Witch (CMF-088) are pretty staple. I personally added an extra The Witch of the Fallen Kingdom (ADW-072) for extra damage out of the side, but adding The Witch of Quenched Fire (ADW-028) is fine too. 

Stealthy Black Widow (TUS-057) – Wasn’t a huge fan of this card. In theory, I would be able to 2 for 1 (destroy a recovered resonator, block the attacking one), but in reality Stealthy Black Widow (TUS-057) was essentially a flying blocker. Needing to manage the EX area to be able to destroy certain cost resonators while fighting aggression, didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. In retrospect, I’d play 3 Lumia, Princess of Rebirth // Wings of Light and Darkness (ROL-005) for the aggressive matchups.

Spy Mission (TWS-093) – As mentioned earlier, this was brought in against slower matchups. Having hand knowledge gives you so much power as you’re now able to see which cards you care about answering, and see if your opponent will have a response to your response. The additional effect of being a destruction spell out of the EX area means that threats you weren’t able to cancel, can now be removed; highly recommend having some number between main and side.

The last few cards were the 4th Angelic Battle Barrier (NWE-001), and Memory of Worlds (TUS-043). The extra Angelic Battle Barrier (NWE-001) was mainly for Asuka, Gravekeeper of Tsukuyomi (NWE-058), and Memory of Worlds (TUS-043) was mainly for the mirror.


Over the course of the tournament I faced a number of Justice (NWE-068J), a few Eins (NWE-090), an Aristella, Twin Prince (NWE-057), and an Ulga, Eclipser (TWS-067); the most notable matchup being Eins (NWE-090)

Eins (NWE-090) decks having access to The Damascus Moon (TUS-101) out the gate, hinders your ability to play on your opponent’s turn as the Moon will make it so Iga, Village of Assassins (TUS-069) will have no text. This means you have to find addition removal and time to play it, or you’ll be forced to contract on your turn. This means not holding up as much will, which can allow your opponent to run you over with aggression. 

Ulga, Eclipser (TWS-067) was a deck that caught me off guard in swiss. I quickly realized there was no way for me to answer a resolved Genesis Chronogear (TWS-065J), so the game plan in top 8 was to make sure a The Sword of Progression (TWS-065) played for the 4th time never resolves.

Aristella, Twin Prince (NWE-057) and Justice (NWE-068J) were both matchups that felt very winnable, but making a mistake could cost you a game. The game plan is still trying to resolve an early contract and/or Glowing Spider (TUS-001), then chip in damage and force them to answer you while you’re holding up will and cancel spells. Turn 3 is the safest, but if you can silence your opponent and have all the pieces already, turn 2 also works.

Overall I believe Hyde, Solitary Assassin (TUS-068) is a very powerful deck, but might require some testing to get a grasp of the appropriate time to “go for it” and when it’s okay to ease up on the gas and take it slow. 

Hope you enjoyed the article, Rulers! Special thanks to my testing partners and support group who keep me playing the game I love. Until next time!

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