Well to follow up from my tourney report, I actually set out to try and come up with something that was Ninja-related and was around the $50 range, and be somewhat playable so I can sell to Dashboard. Threw some stuff together on DN, tweaked a little here and there after each game I played, and my result is:
The premise is basically "go into Blade Armor via Upstart+Hanzo, or a rank 5 via Cydra+Flame Armor, with help from Chaos". I had to take into consideration my card pool and what I could reasonably easily pick up if I needed (like I think I'd need a 3rd Alexandrite), and obviously I wouldn't include BLS, Dualities, D-Prisons, or Warnings in the deck. Everything to the right of the Stardust in the Extra I wouldn't include as well, but just had them in there for testing purposes. It actually held up quite well in the half a dozen Unrated games I played, granted I didn't play against any meta decks lol.
Going Hanzo->Super Trans->Alexandrite is pretty lackluster, but I couldn't go the Guaiba route cuz then he'd want Laggia which I wouldn't include, nor do I own White Dragon Ninjas. At least Alexandrite can get over the 1900's of Heroes and TKing in general, and it's a Light for the Sorcs, so that's basically why I put em in there. Everything else is rather staple-ish, and the Calls were pretty helpful in re-using Hanzo to search Upstart Ninja for more Blade Armor plays. Not sure how I feel about 3 Darks with 2 Sorcs, but I couldn't think of another Dark that would really go well with everything else in the deck. I had Gorz in at one point but with Calls and Super-Trans and lots of traps in general, took him out. I suppose I could cut 1 Sorc for another trap like Compulse. Having a lot of traps for Upstart Ninja is important. Cyber Dragon fuels the rank 5 plays with Flame Armor and is just a good Light beater, obviously. Now that I think about it I might throw in a Chimeratech just for potential anti-Zenmaines play and Machines in general.
One game I had Alexandrite on field, MST'd his one down, Mind Control'd his 4star, summon Upstart pitch a trap for Hanzo, search Upstart, go into Blade Armor and Utopia for game, with a potential Blade Armor play next turn lol. It was actually kinda cool.
I'll probably end up "demoing" the deck for Dashboard just to show him the plays and whatnot. Realistically I can only let go of just the main and maybe the cheaper stuff of the Extra for $50. I figure 3 Hanzo is $30 in itself, Utopia, Stardust, and a bunch of staples for $20? Probably still a bad deal on my end but I have a lot of extra of this stuff so I wouldn't mind getting rid of some for the cash, and I don't give a crap about having Hanzos or not. All I concluded from testing was "wow Hanzo's first effect kinda sucks" just cuz there aren't a lot of good Ninjitsu cards, at least when not playing the White Dragon Ninja/Guaiba version.
No real point of this post besides showing the result of me having a little fun with a seemingly-difficult task. I think this was the first deck I built purely from my own thought process in like 3 years as well lol. I suppose it's not that hard though when half of a deck anymore is staples/all-around good cards. If anyone had any suggestions for alternative routes for this deck and staying within a ~$50 budget I'm all ears :)