MA-20 Samurai Changer MS
Initial Release: Autumn 2004, Starter MA-20 (Purple)
Additional Releases: Hasbro's Samurai Changer MS Starter (Purple), Lucky Box/Fukobako 2005 (Red, Black)
Bit Protector - "Large Type"
Should be noted that BP Size Type on initial release is not consistent for every cycle of production or re-release. Being reproduced the following year could mean a different BP Size Type for a given Beyblade.
Attack Ring (AR)
Samurai Upper, ~22g.
Simply put, Samurai Upper is Circle Upper with an extra gram or two (depending on what mold of Circle Upper is being compared) worth of plastic that may slightly help aid its Smash Attack.
Officially called Samurai Upper, but for some reason says "Samurai Edge" on its stickers. Perhaps in order to stick with the long line of "Upper" suffixed ARs in the series, or to pay homage to Circle Upper.
This AR is just as much the Mack Daddy of HMS as Circle Upper is, and while the excess plastic may theoretically be worse for Stamina-oriented combos, or better for Attack, there is little in the way of measured, concise evidence supporting one AR over the other in any scenario. The final inductee to "The Big Three" of Attack ARs, completing the trifecta.
The two Upper's (Circle and Samurai) are interchangeable, and the Metal Frame itself is the definitive best AR of the series by a wide margin, with uses in every category.
Highly aggressive, capable of pulling off late-game knockouts almost regularly, to the point you may think it refuses to lose.
It should be noted that depending on spin direction chosen you can experience wildly different types of Attack. In Left-Spin Samurai Upper is capable of producing monstrous Smash Attack exclusively, while in Right-Spin it is able to mingle with all three forms - Upper Smash, Upper Attack, and Smash Attack.
Incredibly solid weight distribution and innate survivability qualities making it a safe choice on any RC, which is an incredible feat.
Best Potential Combo:
AR: Samurai Upper (Either Spin, Same-Spin preferred)
Game Plan: Knock everything out without remorse and without much effort. Even late-game, expect Samurai Upper to have enough gas in the tank to knock things out, it simply isn't an AR you can count out at any point. Despite its frequency, it wouldn't be wise to rely on endgame knockouts, though, so make sure your launching is on point. Sliding/Catapult or Banking are the only ways to go with this combo when against Stamina or Defense types, but if you get the hang of it, it feels like nothing can beat this combo. Just like Circle Upper, a case can be made for using an aggressive Bearing Core 2 over GFCUV as it doesn't have the exact same raw power but is incredibly safe and similarly dangerous.
Running Core (RC)
Battle Change Core, ~11g.
It may be easy to forget about this RC since most people only care about Samurai Upper when purchasing Samurai Changer, but this Beyblade is a part of the Gimmick Specialty series for a reason.
The RC's gimmick is mid-battle mode change. Unlike other iterations of this style of gimmick, BCC doesn't rely on RPM or manual alteration, but instead it changes via force applied to it. If you twist the upward slopes of the rather low CWD, you'll notice that a Semi-Flat tip extends and retracts. In battle, when hit in a certain way, BCC's slopes shift positions causing the tip to change between Semi-Flat and Hole-Flat.
In practice, this isn't a very competitively viable RC, as it has too much recoil to warrant high speeds, and not enough balance and survivability to warrant being stationary. The worst of both worlds, if you will.
Though not technically legal, you can unscrew the RC and put in a different CWD other than Samurai Changer's stock plastic CWD ring. You can also use the stock plastic CWD ring on regular CWDs, though with only one exception, the ramps must be facing down much like CWD Circle Attacker.
Stock, this RC is mostly not useful, but entertaining.
An interesting set up you can do is having two sets of CWD God Rings or Reverse Defensers on this RC, one at the lower level after unscrewing, and one where the CWD is intended to be. It should be mentioned that when using alternative CWDs illegally, the mode change gimmick does not happen mid-battle so your tip remains consistent throughout. Unfortunately it isn't very useful, and while it is slightly difficult to knock out in some instances, the tip leaves a lot to be desired. Perhaps if it was wider or more balanced, such an illegal combo could be interesting. Or overpowered.
Best Potential Combo:
AR: Samurai Upper (Right-Spin)
RC: Battle Change Core (Hole-Flat Start)
Game Plan: It feels like a bit of a cop-out to use mostly stock combo, but truthfully it is your best bet to win with this RC, let Samurai Upper or Circle Upper try to land a big blow and knock out the opponent, or die trying.
Battle Change Core: Retracted, Hole-Flat Tip
Battle Change Core: Extended, Semi-Flat Tip