Header

Content

Shiranui Guide

Introduction

Shiranui are a synchro-based, Zombie archetype that debuted in Duel Links December 2019 with the Soul of Resurrection minibox and quickly gained traction in the meta with its small, but sufficient combo engine. Unlike the many other combo decks that dominated the meta at the time (e.g. Darklords, Blackwings, and Ritual Beasts), Shiranui decks were able to fit in a sizable amount of backrow to complement their core monsters without loss of consistency. This gave Shiranui (as a deck) a balance between having aggressive, one-turn-kill (OTK) combo plays and room for defensive tech cards to counteract the meta. As time went on, and the “shadow buff” to the skill Spell Specialist was discovered, players shifted their builds to focus more on That Grass Looks Greener and turned Shiranui into an explosive combo deck.

The combos of the Shiranui archetype focus on tutoring out tuners from the deck to set up and eventually perform synchro climbs from the initial levels 6 Shiranui Samuraisaga and 7 Shiranui Squiresaga into the game-ending levels 8 Shiranui Shogunsaga and 10 Shiranui Sunsaga. To aid the synchro climbs, the Shiranui main deck, non-tuner monsters have secondary effects on banish that help load the grave and summon back used tuners for further synchro summons, among other useful effects. These on-banish effects make Gold Sarcophagus as well as the combination of That Grass Looks Greener plus Burgeoning Whirlflame incredibly synergetic with the archetype, enabling the player to tutor out the exact Shiranui effect they need straight from the deck or graveyard respectively. As such, Shiranui as a deck is very “toolbox” in nature – i.e. its playstyle often requires the player to adapt their synchro climbs to the current game state rather than memorize bread-and-butter combos to win.

As a foreword, this guide assumes that the reader has an intermediate level of knowledge of the game mechanics in Duel Links and Yu-Gi-Oh! in general. The main concepts that we expect the readers to already know – beyond the basic rules of e.g. summoning and activating spells / traps – include the Toggle Button, reading “delays,” the Duel Links Limited 1 and Limited 2 lists, soft and hard once-per-turns, and Chain Links. We refer to these terms throughout the guide.


Core Cards

The Tuner Tutors: Shiranui Squire (3x), Shiranui Solitaire (2-3x)

Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Solitaire

Both of these monsters have a primary effect that activates on the field and a secondary effect that activates on banish. Each effect of Shiranui Squire and Shiranui Solitaire is a hard-once-per-turn (HOPT).


The “Grass” Monsters: Shiranui Spiritmaster (1-2x | 3x), Shiranui Samurai (0x | 2-3x), Gozuki (0-1x | 2-3x)

Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spiritmaster
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Samurai
Duel Links Card: Gozuki

The listed ratios on the left are for non-Grass variants of the deck, while the ones on the right apply if one is running That Grass Looks Greener. Shiranui Samurai and Gozuki have limited use without That Grass Looks Greener, as they compete for the normal summon with the other monsters, which all have more immediately useful effects for synchro summoning. Shiranui Samurai’s on-board effect is also particularly slow to utilize without the mass mill from That Grass Looks Greener. On the flipside, these two monsters are staple cards in Grass variants of the deck, being run at 2-3x copies.

Both Shiranui Spiritmaster and Shiranui Samurai have a primary effect that activates on the field and a secondary effect that activates on banish. Each effect of Shiranui Samurai as well as the on-banish effect of Shiranui Spiritmaster is a hard-once-per-turn (HOPT).

Gozuki similarly has two effects – one on the field and another when sent to the grave. Both of Gozuki’s effects are HOPTs.

  • Shiranui Spiritmaster

    • On normal summon, Shiranui Spiritmaster can special summon another Shiranui monster from hand or grave, with the condition that the special summoned monster gets banished when it leaves the field.
      • Early game, this effect is used to swarm the field with either a Shiranui tuner or Shiranui Solitaire – which can tutor a tuner from deck – alongside Shiranui Spiritmaster for a synchro summon.
      • Note that if Shiranui Spiritmaster’s effect is used to summon Shiranui Spectralsword, then Shiranui Spectralsword will get banished when it leaves the field instead of going to the grave. This means that one will not have Shiranui Spectralsword’s effect from grave next turn without another means of setting him up.
      • Late game, this effect can be used to not only bring back and recycle tuners in the grave (particularly the level 3 Shiranui Spectralsword Shade, which has no in-grave effect), but it can also bring back any of the Shiranui Synchro Monsters if they were originally, properly synchro summoned on the field (i.e. not through the effect of Shiranui Spectralsword).
    • On banish, Shiranui Spiritmaster allows one to target and destroy an opposing face-up card on the field.
      • This effect can come up at all times of the game thanks to how accessible it is off Gold Sarcophagus. One of the power plays that this deck has to out opposing, disruptive monster effects is to destroy the problematic monster by banishing Shiranui Spiritmaster from the deck with Gold Sarcophagus.
      • When used in combination with Burgeoning Whirlflame or Shiranui Samurai in That Grass Looks Greener variants of the deck, this effect provides a means of disruption on the opponent’s turn, allowing one to pop an opposing face-up card as a quick effect. See the “Playing with That Grass Looks Greener” section of the guide for further detail.
      • This effect is a HOPT.
  • Shiranui Samurai

    • On board, Shiranui Samurai can (by quick effect) banish a Zombie monster from one’s grave to (1) increase his own ATK by 600 and (2) banish any monster he battles after damage calculation for the rest of the turn.
      • The ability to banish e.g. Shiranui Spiritmaster from grave via quick effect is incredibly powerful, giving one a form of interaction and disruption on the opponent’s turn.
      • Shiranui Samurai’s ability to banish the monsters he battles makes him an inherent out to monsters that are normally difficult to destroy, like Invoked Cocytus and opposing Shiranui Sunsaga. This effect also allows him to neuter problematic monsters that would normally float on destruction like Spiritual Beast Tamer Winda.
      • This effect is a HOPT.
    • On banish, Shiranui Samurai allows one to add another Shiranui monster to hand back from one’s grave.
      • This effect comes up a lot in the initial mill off That Grass Looks Greener in combination with Gozuki. Gozuki‘s effect can trigger off the mill to banish Shiranui Samurai from grave and add e.g. a milled Shiranui Squire to hand for a combo starter. Further plays can then be made to bring back the banished Shiranui Samurai for a form of disruption on the opponent’s turn. See the “Playing with That Grass Looks Greener” section of the guide for further detail.
      • This effect is a HOPT.
  • Gozuki

    • On board, Gozuki can trigger a Foolish Burial effect to mill a Zombie monster from one’s deck to grave.
      • Early game, this effect can be used to set up one’s grave for follow up plays next turn. For instance, one can mill Shiranui Spectralsword to set up a synchro summon from grave next turn.
      • Early game, this effect can also be used defensively by milling Shiranui Spiritmaster to grave. This way, if the opponent deals with Gozuki and sends it to grave, then Gozuki’s second effect can trigger to banish the Shiranui Spiritmaster in grave and destroy an opposing face-up card.
      • Late game or after a mill from That Grass Looks Greener, this effect becomes an incredibly flexible way to get any Shiranui monster from deck to grave to abuse with e.g. Shiranui Spectralsword and Burgeoning Whirlflame.
      • This effect is a HOPT.
    • On being sent to grave, Gozuki can special summon a Zombie monster from hand by banishing a non-Gozuki Zombie monster from grave as a cost.
      • This effect comes up a lot in the initial mill off That Grass Looks Greener. For an example, see the above section on Shiranui Samurai.
      • This effect often triggers on the field from Gozuki being destroyed, tributed, or used for a synchro summon. Two particularly powerful plays that occasionally come up are (1) using Gozuki as tribute for Enemy Controller and (2) using Gozuki for the synchro summon of Black Rose Dragon. In the former case, one not only steals an opposing monster with Enemy Controller, but one also gets to special summon a Zombie monster from hand for additional board presence. In the latter case, Black Rose Dragon’s on-summon effect will trigger first on Chain Link 2 to destroy every card on the field, allowing Gozuki’s effect to then trigger on Chain Link 1 to special summon a Zombie monster from hand for a follow up play.
      • Late game, Gozuki’s first effect can be used to mill itself from deck to trigger this second effect.
      • This effect is a HOPT.

Tuners: Shiranui Spectralsword (2-3x), Shiranui Spectralsword Shade (0-1x | 1-2x)

Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword%20Shade

The tuners of the deck are the level 2 Shiranui Spectralsword, which has a HOPT in-grave effect, and the level 3 Shiranui Spectralsword Shade, which has a HOPT on-board effect. Both tuners can be easily accessed from the deck via Shiranui Squire and Shiranui Solitaire’s effects, or special summoned from hand or grave by Shiranui Spiritmaster.

Note that the level 3 Shiranui Spectralsword Shade has limited uses if one is not running That Grass Looks Greener. As such, that card is typically run at 0-1x copies in non-Grass variants.


Synchro Monsters: Shiranui Samuraisaga (1-2x), Shiranui Squiresaga (0-1x | 1-2x), Shiranui Shogunsaga (1-2x), Shiranui Sunsaga (1-2x)

Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Samuraisaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squiresaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Shogunsaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Sunsaga

Shiranui have Synchro Monsters for levels 6, 7, 8, and 10, with the levels 6 and 7 typically being used as bridges to synchro climb into the game-ending levels 8 and 10. All four of these Synchro Monsters have a HOPT on being special summoned. This means that one cannot summon multiple copies of the same Shiranui Synchro Monster in the same turn. This is something one should always keep in mind when planning out the synchro climb during a game.

  • Level 6: Shiranui Samuraisaga

  • Level 7: Shiranui Squiresaga

    • Shiranui Squiresaga is the archetype’s main way to freely banish its own Shiranui monsters. When on board, Shiranui Squiresaga can banish one’s own monster face-up on the field or in the grave to trigger up to 3 effects, as stated on the card.
      • On the first effect: if the banished monster were Zombie type, then all monsters that one controls gain 300 ATK PERMANENTLY.
      • On the second effect: if the banished monster were Fire attribute, then one can destroy any spell or trap card on board. This effect DOES NOT TARGET.
      • On the third effect: if the banished monster were a Synchro Monster, then one can destroy any monster on board. This effect DOES NOT TARGET.
      • Note that, if needed, Shiranui Squiresaga can banish HERSELF to trigger all 3 effects.
      • Early game, Shiranui Squiresaga is typically used to banish Shiranui monsters (usually from grave) to either trigger their on-banish effects or to set them up for Shiranui Solitaire to bring back when he gets banished by e.g. Gold Sarcophagus. The banish facilitates so many combos, that one often does not actually care about the 1-3 effects that trigger on resolution – her 3 effects are typically just “icing on top”. See the “Combos and Plays” section for further detail.
      • Mid-to-late game, Shiranui Squiresaga’s on-resolution effects can become incredibly powerful forms of spot removal, as they DO NOT TARGET.
      • Note that Shiranui Squiresaga’s effect can be triggered by banishing ANY sort of monster, including an opposing monster stolen through Enemy Controller.
  • Level 8: Shiranui Shogunsaga

  • Level 10: Shiranui Sunsaga

    • Shiranui Sunsaga is the main boss of the archetype with two incredibly powerful effects. The whole archetype basically revolves around setting up a synchro climb to eventually get him out.
    • On-summon, Shiranui Sunsaga returns any number of Zombie Synchro monsters from one’s grave or banished pile back to the extra deck to destroy THE SAME NUMBER of cards on the opponent’s field.
      • Note “THE SAME NUMBER” above. If one returns e.g. 2 Zombie Synchro Monsters, but the opponent only has 1 card on board, then Shiranui Sunsaga WILL NOT destroy anything.
      • Shiranui Sunsaga‘s effect on-summon can not only be a game-ender, being able to clear the board and go in with his whopping 3500 ATK, but it also recycles one’s used Shiranui Synchro Monsters to synchro summon again if needed. In other words, Shiranui Sunsaga also aids the deck’s grind game.
    • On board, Shiranui Sunsaga allows one to banish a Shiranui monster from grave to protect one’s Zombie type monsters from destruction. This protection includes Shiranui Sunsaga himself.
      • This effect makes Shiranui Sunsaga a threat even after his on-summon effect is used. Not only does it make him incredibly hard to take out, but it can also be used as an opportunity to trigger an on-banish Shiranui effect. For instance, one can banish e.g. a Shiranui Spiritmaster to not only protect Shiranui Sunsaga but also destroy a face-up opposing card in the process.

Synergetic Tech Cards

Revived King Ha Des, Doomkaiser Dragon, and Archfiend Zombie-Skull

Duel Links Card: Revived%20King%20Ha%20Des
Duel Links Card: Doomkaiser%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Zombie-Skull

These three Zombie Synchro Monsters can be special summoned off Shiranui Spectralsword’s in-grave effect, as it can bypass the restriction of normally needing Plaguespreader Zombie. Of these three, Revived King Ha Des is the most aggressive, as his effect negates the effects of problematic monsters like Spiritual Beast Tamer Winda and Blackwing - Steam the Cloak that float upon battle destruction. Doomkaiser Dragon can play a major role in winning the mirror match though – see the “Matchups” section for more details. Meanwhile, Archfiend Zombie-Skull has a nice protection effect for all of one’s Zombie monsters on board, allowing one to do their combo plays without having to worry about e.g. Treacherous Trap Hole and Offerings to the Doomed.

Note that Revived King Ha Des’s effect lingers as long as the monsters destroyed in battle remain in the grave. To put it into perspective, suppose Revived King Ha Des runs over an Elementsaber Molehu or an opposing Shiranui Spectralsword. In the former case, Revived King Ha Des’s effect will then prevent Elementsaber Molehu from changing its attribute in grave for an Invocation play later. In the latter case, his effect shuts off the opposing Shiranui Spectralsword in grave, preventing the opponent from using it for a follow-up play.

In general, these synchro monsters are good mid-to-late game options to summon with Shiranui Spectralsword’s effect over Shiranui Samuraisaga.

Red-Eyes Zombie Necro Dragon

Duel Links Card: Red-Eyes%20Zombie%20Necro%20Dragon

Red-Eyes Zombie Necro Dragon is a level 7 Zombie Synchro Monster that particularly shines in the Shiranui mirror match. Red-Eyes Zombie Necro Dragon can get incredibly large in that matchup, gaining 100 ATK and DEF for every Zombie monster on board and in both player’s graves. Red-Eyes Zombie Necro Dragon can also revive opposing Shiranui monsters in grave via its effect, as long as those Shiranui monsters were originally, properly summoned. This lets one potentially steal a properly synchro summoned Shiranui Samuraisaga or Shiranui Squiresaga or even a Shiranui Sunsaga from the opponent and use it against them.

Red-Eyes Zombie Necro Dragon has less use outside of the Shiranui mirror match, but can still be a nice option to have if one needs a bigger beater than Shiranui Squiresaga for a level 7 Zombie Synchro Monster.

Generic Synchro Monsters

Duel Links Card: Brionac,%20Dragon%20of%20the%20Ice%20Barrier
Duel Links Card: Black%20Rose%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Vermillion%20Dragon%20Mech

Being a synchro-based deck, Shiranui can potentially synchro summon powerful, generic Synchro Monsters outside of the Shiranui archetype. The only restrictions on synchro summoning with Shiranui are when one activates the on-board effects of Shiranui Squire or Shiranui Spectralsword Shade, both of which restrict one’s special summons for the rest of the turn to Zombie monsters. However, the other Shiranui monsters do not pose such restrictions.

One simple combo into a generic synchro summon is with Shiranui Spiritmaster and either Shiranui Solitaire or a Shiranui tuner in hand. On normal summon, Shiranui Spiritmaster special summons the other Shiranui monster. If it is Shiranui Solitaire, then one can trigger his on-board effect to tutor out a desired tuner from the deck. This is an easy level 6 or 7 synchro into e.g. Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier or Black Rose Dragon respectively.

The main concern with running generic Synchro Monsters in the deck is the limited extra deck space. Typically, one wants at least 1x copy of each of the Shiranui Synchro Monsters plus another level 6 Zombie Synchro Monster like Revived King Ha Des. This thus leaves only one tech slot in the extra deck, usually going to Black Rose Dragon for Grass variants and Red-Eyes Zombie Necro Dragon or Vermillion Dragon Mech for non-Grass variants.

Nine-Tailed Fox (with That Grass Looks Greener)

Duel Links Card: Nine-Tailed%20Fox
Duel Links Card: That%20Grass%20Looks%20Greener

Nine-Tailed Fox serves two great utility functions in Grass variants of Shiranui: - It can unclog one’s monster zones with its ability to special summon itself from hand or grave with two tributes. This can be particularly useful to get rid of one’s monsters that have been hit by Floodgate Trap Hole. - If in grave, then it can give one a way to go directly into Shiranui Shogunsaga with Shiranui Spectralsword’s effect without first having to go into a level 6 Synchro Monster. One would banish Nine-Tailed Fox with Shiranui Spectralsword in this case. This can be useful if one would have lethal on board with a big Shiranui Shogunsaga, but not the resources to set up the full synchro climb.

Nine-Tailed Fox also has a piercing effect when special summoned from the grave that may come up occasionally, especially with some ATK boosts from Shiranui Squiresaga’s effect.

Samurai Skull

Duel Links Card: Samurai%20Skull

Samurai Skull is arguably a poor man’s Gozuki, but has its advantages in some respects. Unlike Gozuki, Samurai Skull’s mill effect triggers on summon and thus cannot be stopped by e.g. Floodgate Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia. Samurai Skull’s second effect can also be a form of passive protection against monster removal effects, since it will float into another level 4 or lower Zombie monster from the deck if removed from the field by effect. Thus, Samurai Skull’s field presence discourages total field wipes from e.g. Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower.

That said, Samurai Skull does not synergize as much with the Shiranui archetype as does Gozuki. Gozuki‘s effect to banish a Zombie monster from one’s grave upon being sent to the grave is unfortunately irreplaceable.

Bacon Saver and Kiteroid (with That Grass Looks Greener)

Duel Links Card: Bacon%20Saver
Duel Links Card: Kiteroid
Duel Links Card: That%20Grass%20Looks%20Greener

Both Bacon Saver and Kiteroid serve similar purposes in the Grass variant of Shiranui as means of protection from the graveyard. Kiteroid is arguably the better form of protection, as it is still useful if drawn. However, Kiteroid is also Limited 2, meaning it competes for deck space vs. other powerful cards such as Enemy Controller and World Legacy Clash, unlike Bacon Saver. In general, both cards can be used to block a critical attack from the opponent.

That said, the quick effects Shiranui Samurai and Burgeoning Whirlflame are often enough forms of interaction during the opponent’s turn. As a result, most players opt to not use either Bacon Saver nor Kiteroid.

That Grass Looks Greener and Burgeoning Whirlflame

The explosive way to play Shiranui is with a 30-card deck and That Grass Looks Greener to load one’s grave with Shiranui monsters off one card and then proceed to spam their on-banish effects with Burgeoning Whirlflame. Burgeoning Whirlflame is an incredibly powerful card if it gets milled among Shiranui Squire and other Shiranui main deck monsters. If one banishes Shiranui Squire as one of the two targets of Burgeoning Whirlflame, then one can trigger Shiranui Squire’s Dark World Dealings effect to discard Burgeoning Whirlflame back into the grave. Since Burgeoning Whirlflame does not have a HOPT effect, it can be used again afterward to trigger more Shiranui on-banish effects. Furthermore, because Burgeoning Whirlflame is a trap, it can be used to banish Shiranui monsters from grave as a quick effect on the opponent’s turn as a means of disruption. See the “Playing with That Grass Looks Greener” section of the guide for further detail.

Gold Sarcophagus

Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus

Gold Sarcophagus is an amazing combo extender for the deck as it can trigger any on-banish, main deck Shiranui monster effect without using up a normal summon or any other resources. This card can trigger any of the following effects:

Forbidden Lance

Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Lance

Forbidden Lance helps synchro-based decks in general by giving their monsters a way to dodge Floodgate Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia for a turn. This spell also benefits Shiranui in particular in the Invoked matchup as a way to potentially make an opposing Invocation fizzle. See the “Matchups” section for further detail.

Enemy Controller

Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller

Outside of being an incredibly strong card, Enemy Controller’s tribute-and-take effect gives the deck another way to get its Shiranui monsters off the field and into the grave. This can be useful for getting Shiranui Spectralsword into the grave while also disrupting the opponent on their turn. One would then have Shiranui Spectralsword’s effect from grave the coming turn. Alternatively, Enemy Controller can be used to fuel the grave for a Shiranui Spectralsword that was already sent there on a previous turn. Enemy Controller is also useful mid-to-late game for tributing monsters that were hit by Floodgate Trap Hole to unclog one’s zones.

World Legacy Clash

Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash

World Legacy Clash synergizes with the Shiranui archetype by giving one another way to trigger the monsters’ on-banish effects. It also helps synchro-based decks in general by giving their monsters a way to dodge Floodgate Trap Hole. The card is also great defensively, particularly if it is used to banish Shiranui Solitaire or Shiranui Spiritmaster, as their on-banish effects can help one survive a turn with a subpar opening board.

Needlebug Nest (with That Grass Looks Greener)

Duel Links Card: Needlebug%20Nest
Duel Links Card: That%20Grass%20Looks%20Greener

Needlebug Nest gives Grass variants of the deck the ability to mill 5 cards from the deck without having to rely on That Grass Looks Greener. This ability can be particularly important in the Grass-Shiranui mirror match, where both players are running 30-card decks, thus invalidating That Grass Looks Greener. Needlebug Nest can also come up vs. decks like Invoked that can afford to run 25+ cards to weaken the mills off That Grass Looks Greener.

When using Needlebug Nest, one typically wants to flip it up right away during the opponent’s standby phase to potentially mill a Burgeoning Whirlflame and Shiranui Spiritmaster for disruption. This way, one can have the quick effect ready to banish Shiranui Spiritmaster before the opponent can start making plays.

Sealing Ceremony of Katon

Duel Links Card: Sealing%20Ceremony%20of%20Katon

Sealing Ceremony of Katon gives the Shiranui deck another way to banish its Shiranui monsters in grave and trigger their on-banish effects. The strongest use of Sealing Ceremony of Katon is to banish Shiranui Spiritmaster as a form of disruption and destroy an opposing face-up card on the opponent’s turn. The card can also facilitate combo play by substituting for e.g. Gold Sarcophagus.

The drawback of Sealing Ceremony of Katon is that it is slow and requires the grave to already be set up. This makes the card less attractive for combo play than Gold Sarcophagus. However, one could use Sealing Ceremony of Katon in a slower, more control-orientated build.

Sealing Ceremony of Katon’s actual effect can also come up in certain matchups, such as vs. Invoked, Darklords, and Crystrons. A timely activation to banish e.g. Elementsaber Molehu, The Sanctified Darklord, or Crystron Sulfefnir respectively from the opposing grave can really swing the game in favor of the Shiranui player.

Raigeki Break

Duel Links Card: Raigeki%20Break

See the “Endless Trap Hell” subsection under the “Skills” section for the most detail on this tech card. In general, Raigeki Break is a useful tech even outside the control variant of this deck, as its discard cost can be useful in fueling the grave for Shiranui Spectralsword’s effect. It can even dump Shiranui Spectralsword himself on the opponent’s turn for use immediately on one’s next turn. One can also use Raigeki Break to destroy one’s own Shiranui monsters to then banish off Shiranui Spectralsword’s in-grave effect.

The Regulation of Tribe

Duel Links Card: The%20Regulation%20of%20Tribe

The Regulation of Tribe functions not only as a defensive, tech card for stalling the opponent for a turn or more, but it also serves as a way to get monsters on board into the grave without depending on the opponent to destroy them.

In particular, The Regulation of Tribe can be useful in conjunction with a Shiranui Spectralsword in grave. Suppose one makes a typical Shiranui Samuraisaga opening play with The Regulation of Tribe set, and the opponent avoids destroying Shiranui Samuraisaga in fear of fueling one’s grave for Shiranui Spectralsword’s effect. One can then flip up The Regulation of Tribe to tribute off Shiranui Samuraisaga at the start of one’s turn – now the grave is set up for Shiranui Spectralsword to banish itself and Shiranui Samuraisaga to special summon Shiranui Shogunsaga.

The Regulation of Tribe can also provide the deck another way to unclog monster zones hit by Floodgate Trap Hole, putting less pressure on Shiranui Solitaire.


Invoked Engine

With the Shiranui core monsters all being Fire attribute, and Invoked Purgatrio being such a huge win condition in the current meta, it is only natural to think of incorporating the Invoked engine into this deck. There are however some caveats with mixing the two archetypes:

  • For one thing, both Aleister the Invoker and the Shiranui combo starters compete for one’s single normal summon per turn. This can especially be awkward early game, as one likely does not have a board or grave set up yet to perform both an Invocation fusion summon AND a synchro summon for a Shiranui Synchro Monster on the same turn – thus, one has to choose which of the two archetypes to put out first, potentially leaving dead combo pieces in hand until next turn.
  • Using the Invoked engine means that one wants to use Sorcery Conduit over Sealed Tombs for the skill (in the non-Grass variant), as Sorcery Conduit lets one draw into Aleister the Invoker after losing 1000 LP (from e.g. a use of Cosmic Cyclone). However, not running Sealed Tombs weakens the matchup against Darklords and Crystrons, which are otherwise arguably good matchups for Shiranui. In other words, running the Invoked engine can make playing with the deck harder in the long run.

There are however some advantages to using the Invoked engine:

  • The Invoked engine does improve one normally bad matchup for Shiranui, and that is vs. Ritual Beasts. Invoked Purgatrio gives the deck a huge win condition against Ritual Beasts, which depend on swarming the field with DEF position monsters to protect themselves.
  • Early game, the Invoked engine helps unload extra Shiranui cards in hand to the grave through Invocation. In particular, it allows one to fuse off Shiranui Spectralsword in hand to set up for his synchro-from-grave effect next turn.
  • Mid-to-late game, Invocation can be used as another avenue to banish Shiranui monsters on board or in grave to trigger their on-banish effects (while also getting a big Invoked Purgatrio out). This puts less stress on Shiranui Squiresaga as the deck’s main way of banishing Shiranui monsters from grave at will.

Vendread Engine

Duel Links Card: Revendread%20Slayer
Duel Links Card: Revendread%20Origin
Duel Links Card: Glow-Up%20Bloom

The Vendread engine synergizes with Shiranui by providing alternative methods to banish Shiranui monsters from grave via Revendread Origin and Revendread Slayer. Assuming one has their grave set up with Shiranui monsters, Revendread Origin can be used to trigger their on-banish effects while also ritual summoning e.g. Revendread Slayer to the field as a respectable boss monster. Revendread Slayer not only has his own built-in protection from destruction through Revendread Origin, but his effect on battle is another way to banish and trigger the on-banish effects of Shiranui monsters in grave. What’s more is that this effect of Revendread Slayer’s effect is a quick effect that can trigger at any stage of battle – the ability to trigger e.g. Shiranui Spiritmaster’s destruction effect in e.g. the damage step, when few cards can respond, can be a powerful form of removal.

Glow-Up Bloom has use in this hybrid build as well, being able to add a Vendread ritual monster to hand after being sent to the grave. It does synergize with the Shiranui archetype in that it can be special summoned from the deck off Shiranui Solitaire’s effect. One can then tune Glow-Up Bloom with e.g. Revendread Slayer into Shiranui Squiresaga or even Black Rose Dragon and reap the benefits of both Glow-Up Bloom AND Revendread Slayer’s effects on being sent to grave.

That said, one caution regarding the Vendread engine as a whole is that it is already bricky by itself, being part of a ritual-based archetype. Mixing Vendreads with Shiranui can lead to potentially brickier hands. Doing so also means that one has to dedicate deck space to the Vendread cards, taking away the Shiranui deck’s strength of having flexible deck slots.


Skills

The non-Grass variant of Shiranui is self-sufficient enough that the deck can execute its game plan without relying on a skill. This means that non-Grass Shiranui has the flexibility to run any skill, with Sealed Tombs being the preferred anti-meta skill at the moment.

The Grass variant of Shiranui however needs to use the skill Spell Specialist to consistently open That Grass Looks Greener. That skill gives the deck about a 68% chance of opening at least one copy of That Grass Looks Greener going first and 72% chance going second.

Sealed Tombs

Is the universal anti-meta skill at the moment, being able to shut down decks such as Crystrons and Darklords while stunning plays from other decks such as Dark Magician, Invoked, and the Shiranui mirror match. See the respective sections in “Matchups” for further detail.

Spell Specialist

Is the go-to skill for the Grass variant of Shiranui, giving the deck about a 68% chance of opening at least one copy of That Grass Looks Greener going first and 72% chance going second. These odds are calculated assuming that the deck is built with 3 copies of That Grass Looks Greener plus 4 one-off cards as the only spells in the deck. See the “Playing with That Grass Looks Greener” section of the guide for further detail.

Level Augmentation

Modifies what would normally be a level 6 synchro summon into a level 10 synchro summon for Shiranui Sunsaga. For an example, consider having the two card combo of Shiranui Squire and another level 4 Shiranui monster in hand. On normal summon, Shiranui Squire tutors Shiranui Spectralsword from deck. Then one can use Level Augmentation to reveal the other level 4 Shiranui monster in hand to raise the on-board Shiranui Squire’s level to 8, leading to a level 10 synchro summon. The caveat with this play is that, without any prior setup, Shiranui Sunsaga will not be able to destroy anything upon summon here, as there are no Zombie Synchro Monsters to return to the extra deck for his effect.

One can also do a similar play to summon Shiranui Sunsaga with two Shiranui Spectralsword Shade, one in hand and another in deck to tutor out with Shiranui Squire. In this case, one uses Level Augmentation to raise Shiranui Squire’s level to 7.

That said, while Level Augmentation provides a neat way to turbo out Shiranui Sunsaga for massive field presence, most of the decks in the meta have ways to deal with a lone Shiranui Sunsaga. Thus, if one wants to shotgun Shiranui Sunsaga immediately early game, then one also wants to have ways to protect him (i.e. sufficient backrow). Otherwise, it can a waste throwing Shiranui Sunsaga out so early, especially if one is only playing a single copy of him.

Endless Trap Hell

Might be one of the strongest skills for deck builds that gear more towards a control playstyle over combo play. Such control variants of Shiranui run a limited monster lineup of Shiranui Squire, Shiranui Solitaire, and Shiranui Spectralsword to increase their chances of opening multiple backrow. More backrow allows one to afford opening with even a lone Shiranui Solitaire to just leave a DEF mode Shiranui Spectralsword as the only monster on board.

Regarding Shiranui Spectralsword, the Endless Trap Hell variants of Shiranui can enjoy running Raigeki Break for not only spot removal, but to also dump Shiranui Spectralsword into the grave for his synchro-from-grave effect on one’s next turn. Raigeki Break also naturally synergizes with Endless Trap Hell by helping fuel the grave with enough traps to activate the skill. The trap can also dump Paleozoic Canadias into the grave to bring back as actual monsters. Note that Shiranui Squire’s on-banish effect can also similarly help load up the grave while also digging deeper into the deck for more backrow.

Endless Trap Hell variants can also enjoy running Treacherous Trap Hole alongside other backrow without worry of their Treacherous Trap Holes becoming dead too early. Between Raigeki Break and Treacherous Trap Hole, this variant of Shiranui has more than enough spot removal to control the field and eat away at opposing resources.


Example Decks

Currently (i.e. at the time this guide was written), there are three main playstyles that players are opting for Shiranui – combo-heavy with That Grass Looks Greener, combo-heavy without That Grass Looks Greener, and control-oriented (without That Grass Looks Greener).

  • The combo-heavy, Grass variant tries to take advantage of all the possible ways to trigger the on-banish effects of the Shiranui archetype, making particular use of That Grass Looks Greener to load the grave with Shiranui monsters as well as the key card Burgeoning Whirlflame. This gives the deck access to a large variety of plays, which in turn, allows the build to pump out bigger and more powerful boards of monsters than the non-Grass variants.
  • The combo-heavy, non-Grass variant forgoes That Grass Looks Greener for more flexibility in the spell lineup. This allows the deck to use multiple copies of Cosmic Cyclone and Forbidden Lance to have a stronger matchup vs. backrow heavy decks (e.g. vs. Dark Magician at the time). Gold Sarcophagus is used in place of That Grass Looks Greener to facilitate combos. This variant is also not susceptible to getting countered by opposing large decks (e.g. 25+ card Invoked) like the Grass variant.
  • The control-oriented, (non-Grass) variant tries to take advantage of Shiranui as a small, compact engine, using usually a simplified monster lineup of Shiranui Squire, Shiranui Solitaire, and Shiranui Spectralsword to free up deck space for a large amount of backrow. All the backrow in this variant can lead to better matchups vs. super aggressive decks (e.g. vs. Blackwings at the time). This variant is also not susceptible to getting countered by opposing large decks (e.g. 25+ card Invoked) like the Grass variant.

Combo-Heavy (Grass) Decklists

Feb 2020 MCS 27 Top 4 - aleebr

Feb 2020 MCS 27 Top 16 - mithyard

Jan 2020 MCS 26 Top 4 - AndyTsang

Duel Links Card: Nine-Tailed%20Fox
Duel Links Card: Gozuki
Duel Links Card: Gozuki
Duel Links Card: Gozuki
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Solitaire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Solitaire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Solitaire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Samurai
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Samurai
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spiritmaster
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spiritmaster
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spiritmaster
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword%20Shade
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword%20Shade
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Offerings%20to%20the%20Doomed
Duel Links Card: That%20Grass%20Looks%20Greener
Duel Links Card: That%20Grass%20Looks%20Greener
Duel Links Card: That%20Grass%20Looks%20Greener
Duel Links Card: Mistaken%20Arrest
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: Burgeoning%20Whirlflame
Duel Links Card: Burgeoning%20Whirlflame
Duel Links Card: Burgeoning%20Whirlflame
Duel Links Card: Needlebug%20Nest
Duel Links Card: Needlebug%20Nest
Duel Links Card: Black%20Rose%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squiresaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Sunsaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Shogunsaga
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Zombie-Skull
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Samuraisaga

Side Deck:

Duel Links Card: Tackle%20Crusader
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Hey,%20Trunade!
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Needlebug%20Nest

Jan 2020 MCS 26 Top 4 - gift

Duel Links Card: Gozuki
Duel Links Card: Gozuki
Duel Links Card: Gozuki
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Solitaire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Solitaire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Samurai
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Samurai
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spiritmaster
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spiritmaster
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spiritmaster
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword%20Shade
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: That%20Grass%20Looks%20Greener
Duel Links Card: That%20Grass%20Looks%20Greener
Duel Links Card: That%20Grass%20Looks%20Greener
Duel Links Card: Mistaken%20Arrest
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Burgeoning%20Whirlflame
Duel Links Card: Burgeoning%20Whirlflame
Duel Links Card: Black%20Rose%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squiresaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Sunsaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Shogunsaga
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Zombie-Skull
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Samuraisaga

Side Deck:

Duel Links Card: Nine-Tailed%20Fox
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Lance
Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Chalice
Duel Links Card: Offerings%20to%20the%20Doomed
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia

Combo-Heavy (Non-Grass) Decklists

Feb 2020 Battle Phase #36 2nd Place - Tenma

Duel Links Card: Vermillion%20Dragon%20Mech
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squiresaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Sunsaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Shogunsaga
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Zombie-Skull
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Samuraisaga

Side Deck:

Duel Links Card: Artifact%20Lancea
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Night%20Beam
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Shadow-Imprisoning%20Mirror

Feb 2020 MCS 27 Top 32 - Herbel and ChuChuMTFKR

Dec 2019 MCS 25 Top 16 - Gypsy


Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Solitaire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Solitaire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spiritmaster
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword%20Shade
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squiresaga
Duel Links Card: Red-Eyes%20Zombie%20Necro%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Sunsaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Shogunsaga
Duel Links Card: Revived%20King%20Ha%20Des
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Samuraisaga

Side Deck:

Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Lance
Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Lance
Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Lance
Duel Links Card: Hey,%20Trunade!
Duel Links Card: Poisonous%20Winds
Duel Links Card: Poisonous%20Winds

Control-Oriented (non-Grass) Decklists

Jan 2020 MCS 26 Top 16 - kuraki

Dec 2019 MCS 25 2nd Place - Mithyard

Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Solitaire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Solitaire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Lance
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: King's%20Consonance
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: The%20Regulation%20of%20Tribe
Duel Links Card: XX-Saber%20Hyunlei
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Sunsaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Shogunsaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Shogunsaga
Duel Links Card: Doomkaiser%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Samuraisaga

Side Deck:

Duel Links Card: Poisonous%20Winds
Duel Links Card: Poisonous%20Winds
Duel Links Card: Wall%20of%20Disruption
Duel Links Card: Wall%20of%20Disruption
Duel Links Card: Chthonian%20Polymer
Duel Links Card: Chthonian%20Polymer

Dec 2019 MCS 25 Top 4 - BlindBandit

Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Solitaire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Solitaire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Squire
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Spectralsword
Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Lance
Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Lance
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Shadow-Imprisoning%20Mirror
Duel Links Card: The%20Regulation%20of%20Tribe
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Sunsaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Sunsaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Shogunsaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Shogunsaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Samuraisaga
Duel Links Card: Shiranui%20Samuraisaga

Side Deck:

Duel Links Card: Poisonous%20Winds
Duel Links Card: Poisonous%20Winds
Duel Links Card: Wall%20of%20Disruption
Duel Links Card: Wall%20of%20Disruption
Duel Links Card: Non-Fusion%20Area
Duel Links Card: Non-Fusion%20Area

Combos and Plays

Shiranui decks have strong options going first or second. This section lists out some of the more common plays that will come up as one plays the deck. Similar to how the “Core Cards” section is formatted above, these combo plays below will be categorized into “early game” and “mid-to-late game” plays to emphasize when one would want to do them during a typical game.

Note that this combos list is not a be-all and end-all, but is rather meant to be more of a foundation. As mentioned in the “Introduction,” the Shiranui deck playstyle often requires the player to adapt their synchro plays to the current game state rather than memorize bread-and-butter combos to win. Thus, one should also become super familiar with all the “Core Cards” to be able to see and make creative plays that may not often come up.


Early Game Combos and Plays

Shiranui Squire in hand without Gold Sarcophagus

Option 1: End on Shiranui Squiresaga

Going second or later, this simple play results in a non-targeting spell or trap destruction with Shiranui Squiresaga’s effect. In general, this play also allows one to unload a potential Shiranui Spectralsword in hand to the grave to set up for next turn while also digging through the deck for another backrow or combo piece.

The end game state here is:

  • Shiranui Squiresaga on board with 2400 ATK
  • 1 non-targeting spell or trap destruction
  • 3 cards in hand (going first) or 4 cards in hand (going second)
  • Potential setup in grave for next turn
Option 2: End on Shiranui Samuraisaga

This play sets up Shiranui Spectralsword to be used next turn from the grave, which can actually pressure the opponent into NOT destroying one’s Shiranui Samuraisaga on their next turn. Doing so would give one the opportunity next turn to banish both Shiranui Spectralsword and Shiranui Samuraisaga from grave for Shiranui Shogunsaga. This mindgame can actually come in use if one did not draw enough backrow to otherwise protect the lone Shiranui Samuraisaga.

Compared to Option 1, this Option 2 can potentially allow for more follow up play next turn, especially if one has Shiranui Solitaire in hand (see below for further details). Option 1 only sets up a follow up play if one is able to discard a Shiranui Spectralsword when banishing Shiranui Squire.

The end game state here is:

Shiranui Squire + Gold Sarcophagus in hand + Shiranui Solitaire in deck

Going second or later, this play results in a non-targeting spell or trap destruction with Shiranui Squiresaga’s effect as well as a non-targeting destruction on ANY opposing card with Shiranui Sunsaga’s on-summon effect. In general, this is a 2 card combo that efficiently turbos out Shiranui Sunsaga for massive board presence.

While this play can be made early game, it can also be made mid-to-late game to wipe an opposing board. It being only a 2 card combo makes it incredibly flexible to throw out at any point of the duel.

The end game state here is:

  • Shiranui Sunsaga on board with 3500 ATK and destruction protection
  • 1 non-targeting spell or trap destruction
  • 1 non-targeting destruction on ANY opposing card
  • 2 cards in hand (going first) or 3 cards in hand (going second)
  • Shiranui Solitaire banished but returning to hand in 2 turns

Shiranui Spiritmaster in hand + Shiranui Solitaire either in hand or grave + a Shiranui tuner in deck

Option 1: End on Shiranui Squiresaga

This play is more suited towards going second as it results in a non-targeting spell or trap destruction with Shiranui Squiresaga’s effect as well as a targeting destruction on any opposing face-up card with Shiranui Spiritmaster’s on-banish effect.

The end game state here is:

  • Shiranui Squiresaga on board with 2400 ATK
  • 1 non-targeting spell or trap destruction
  • 1 targeting destruction on any opposing face-up card
  • 3 cards in hand (going second)
Option 2: End on Shiranui Samuraisaga

This play sets up Shiranui Spectralsword to be used next turn from the grave, which can actually pressure the opponent into NOT destroying one’s Shiranui Samuraisaga on their next turn. Doing so would give one the opportunity next turn to banish both Shiranui Spectralsword and Shiranui Samuraisaga from grave for Shiranui Shogunsaga. This mindgame can actually come in use of one did not draw enough backrow to otherwise protect the lone Shiranui Samuraisaga.

Alternatively, one can also banish Shiranui Spectralsword and Shiranui Spiritmaster next turn to not only special summon a level 6 Zombie Synchro Monster but also target and destroy an opposing face-up card with Shiranui Spiritmaster’s on-banish effect.

Compared to Option 1, this Option 2 can allow for more follow up play next turn, especially if one has Shiranui Solitaire in hand (see below for further details).

The end game state here is:

2x Gold Sarcophagus + a Shiranui monster in hand

This combo varies depending on whether the Shiranui monster in hand is a non-tuner or tuner. For the purposes of brevity, consider the case when the Shiranui monster in hand is a level 4 non-tuner. One can extrapolate how to get the same end-board result if the monster in hand were a tuner instead.

  • (1) Activate Gold Sarcophagus to banish a Shiranui tuner from deck.
  • (2) Activate the 2nd Gold Sarcophagus to banish Shiranui Solitaire from deck and trigger his on-banish effect to special summon the Shiranui tuner from the banished pile.
  • (3) Normal summon the level 4 Shiranui non-tuner monster in hand.
  • (4) Use the Shiranui tuner on board + the level 4 Shiranui non-tuner to synchro summon either Shiranui Samuraisaga or Shiranui Squiresaga, depending on the levels.

This combo minuses heavily in card advantage, but it can come up in a pinch in place of the above-mentioned combos if one could not perform those.


Mid-to-Late Game Combos and Plays

Shiranui Spectralsword + Shiranui Solitaire in grave

The end game state here is:

Shiranui Spectralsword + Shiranui Solitaire in grave + Shiranui Spiritmaster in hand

The end game state here is:

Shiranui Samuraisaga on board + Shiranui Spectralsword in grave + Shiranui Solitaire in hand + a Shiranui tuner in deck

Note that this initial game state is actually relatively easy to have. Simply opening Shiranui Squire and Shiranui Solitaire in hand, and sitting on the Shiranui Samuraisaga made from Shiranui Squire for a turn leads into the following combos.

Option 1: End on Shiranui Shogunsaga + Shiranui Samuraisaga

The end game state here is:

Option 2: End on Shiranui Sunsaga

This play results in up to 2 non-targeting destructions on ANY opposing card with Shiranui Sunsaga’s effect. However, it does leave a vulnerable 500 ATK Shiranui Solitaire on board.

The end game state here is:

Option 3: End on Shiranui Shogunsaga + Shiranui Squiresaga + Shiranui Samuraisaga

The order in which one summons Shiranui Shogunsaga and Shiranui Squiresaga can actually be switched. If one fears an opposing backrow card, then one can summon Shiranui Squiresaga first and snipe away the backrow. The monster banished to trigger Shiranui Squiresaga here CANNOT be Shiranui Solitaire though. This is because one needs to banish Shiranui Solitaire off Shiranui Shogunsaga’s effect instead if going this route to bring back Shiranui Samuraisaga in the end. The advantages of going this route instead of the bullets above is that it can get rid of a disruptive backrow earlier, but the disadvantage is that Shiranui Shogunsaga ends up being only 3500 ATK.

The end game state here is:

Option 4: End on Shiranui Sunsaga + Shiranui Squiresaga

Alternatively, one can activate Shiranui Squiresaga’s effect before summoning Shiranui Shogunsaga. Doing so can first snipe away at a potentially disruptive backrow card to ensure the safe summon of Shiranui Shogunsaga and Shiranui Sunsaga. The downside to going this route is that Shiranui Sunsaga will not get the +300 ATK boost.

The end game state here is:


Playing vs. Sealed Tombs, Artifact Lancea, and No Mortal Can Resist

The skill Sealed Tombs alone shuts down many of the combo plays of the Shiranui deck. This includes:

  • Stopping Shiranui Squiresaga from banishing a Shiranui from grave to both eat away at the opposing board and extend one’s own combos.
  • Stopping Shiranui Spectralsword’s graveyard effect for follow-up plays.
  • Stopping Shiranui Sunsaga from being a valid Turn 1 play, as he can no longer banish Shiranui monsters from grave to protect himself.

When playing against an Ishizu player, one wants to play conservative with their backrow so that they have enough resources to outlast the opponent’s initial turn as well as the turn after Sealed Tombs. This means not using up all of one’s backrow on the opponent’s first turn, as the opponent will likely click Sealed Tombs that turn to prevent any follow-up plays. While Sealed Tombs does not prevent one’s Shiranui plays on the field, it is unlikely that the opponent will allow one to make any power plays to summon Shiranui Shogunsaga or Shiranui Sunsaga without any aid from the grave. Thus, one usually has to stall out another turn before they can really starting playing the game. Note that Grass Shiranui is less stunned by Sealed Tombs as that variant can still abuse Burgeoning Whirlflame as well as Shiranui Samurai‘s quick effect on the opponent’s turn after Sealed Tombs is over.

Artifact Lancea is a handtrap that, like Sealed Tombs, can stun the Shiranui deck’s combo plays for a turn. Usually, Artifact Lancea will be chained to Shiranui Spectralsword‘s effect in grave to stop the banishes and, as a result, the synchro-from-grave effect altogether. One will then have to wait a turn before they can try to make another push. Thus, like with Sealed Tombs, one wants to play conservative with their backrow against Artifact Lancea to live another turn. Note that it is often easy to read when the opponent has Artifact Lancea in hand by its delay – if there are no activatable cards on board, but the opponent’s hourglass is still flashing, then there is an Artifact Lancea in hand. This lets one know ahead of time when to play conservatively to not lose to a timely Artifact Lancea stun. Note that Grass Shiranui is less stunned by Artifact Lancea as that variant can still abuse Burgeoning Whirlflame as well as Shiranui Samurai‘s quick effect on the opponent’s turn.

The skill No Mortal Can Resist is the most deadly of these three – that skill can essentially wipe away all the resources in one’s grave, including Shiranui Spectralsword. This can be especially deadly for the Grass variant of Shiranui, which relies on a loaded grave to make plays. The way to play around No Mortal Can Resist is to actually keep Shiranui Spectralsword banished and out of the grave on the opponent’s turn. For non-Grass Shiranui, this can be done by summoning by banishing Shiranui Spectralsword off Shiranui Squiresaga or Shiranui Shogunsaga’s effects. Shiranui Shogunsaga in particular will be able to put Shiranui Spectralsword back into the grave when destroyed for a followup next turn. Meanwhile, Grass Shiranui has more avenues to banish their Shiranui Spectralsword (e.g. with Burgeoning Whirlflame) as well as more ways to recover the banished Shiranui Spectralsword with multiple copies of Shiranui Spectralsword Shade. Note that the opponent needs at least 1000 less LP to activate No Mortal Can Resist, so another way of playing around this skill is to keep the LP difference small or be the one at lower LP.


Playing with That Grass Looks Greener

First, see the subsection on That Grass Looks Greener and Burgeoning Whirlflame in the Synergetic Tech Cards section of the guide for a basic overview.

Before playing the Grass variant of Shiranui, it is recommended to get comfortable with the core cards by playing the non-Grass variant first. In particular, playing a build similar to Gypsy’s early combo-heavy build under Example Decks will familiarize one with every core monster in the Grass variant besides Shiranui Samurai and Gozuki. Once one has the combos of the deck down and knows each of the effects of the Shiranui monsters by heart, learning to play the Grass variant should be a cinch.

This section of the guide is divided into four subsections:

Because of how many options there are after a good That Grass Looks Greener mill, the latter two subsections are by no means an exhaustive list of all possible plays. Rather, they discuss only a couple of combos that come up often and that a player should definitely know. However, players should feel free to improvise and create their own combos as they play and get more comfortable with the deck – after all, the whole playstyle of Shiranui is to adapt one’s combos to the flow of the duel.

Deck Building with Spell Specialist and That Grass Looks Greener

While there are some excellent decklists in the Example Decks section that one can copy, it is still worth knowing how exactly the skill Spell Specialist works and what spells should be played alongside That Grass Looks Greener.

Spell Specialist activates at the start of the duel if one’s deck meets its activation requirements, and it:

  • (1) guarantees that the first (left-most) card in one’s opening hand is a spell card
  • (2) has a 50% chance to make the second card in one’s opening hand also a spell card

Assuming that one is playing 3 copies of That Grass Looks Greener plus 4 other spells as the only spell cards in the deck, Spell Specialist gives a 30-card Shiranui deck about a 68% chance of opening with at least one copy of That Grass Looks Greener going first and a 72% chance going second. That means statistically one should be able to play their combo game (and likely win) every 7 out of 10 games, which is great consistency. The full details on Spell Specialist can be found in this article on the skill.

In the 3 out of 10 games where one does not open That Grass Looks Greener, one wants the other spells to be as useful as possible, especially in the cases where one gets two spells from Spell Specialist. Thus, care should be taken in deciding what the other 4 spells are in the deck. Recommended spells are:

Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Offerings%20to%20the%20Doomed
Duel Links Card: Mistaken%20Arrest
Duel Links Card: Heat%20Wave
Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Lance
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Galaxy%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Hey,%20Trunade!
Duel Links Card: Night%20Beam
Duel Links Card: Dark%20Core

It is fairly straightforward to see why some of these spells like Enemy Controller and Gold Sarcophagus as well as the backrow removal cards are good to have in the opening hand. Some of these are already discussed in the Synergetic Tech Cards section of the guide. As for the not-so-obviously good spells:

Playing Optimally with Burgeoning Whirlflame

Burgeoning Whirlflame is the other key card besides That Grass Looks Greener in the Grass variant of Shiranui. Its effect in grave is a quick effect that lets one banish two Fire attribute monsters from the grave to add the card back in hand. Since all the Shiranui core monsters have effects on banish, Burgeoning Whirlflame enables some explosive plays with a loaded graveyard.

Here is a quick reminder and reference of each on-banish Shiranui effect. Keep in mind that these are all HOPT.

The above-mentioned effects trigger a Chain Link in the order that they were banished. For instance, if one selects Shiranui Spiritmaster first and then Shiranui Squire second with Burgeoning Whirlflame, then Shiranui Spiritmaster gets banished first, putting it on Chain Link 1, while Shiranui Squire gets put on Chain Link 2.

The ordering of the Chain Link can be important as it allows one to chain block negation effects as well as dodge Floodgate Trap Hole. Consider the following examples:

Knowing how to order Chain Links properly with Burgeoning Whirlflame is key in playing this deck well.

The other key thing to keep in mind when using Burgeoning Whirlflame is count of each Shiranui monster in grave. Ideally, there should be a Shiranui Squire in grave to banish off Burgeoning Whirlflame so that one can discard it back into the grave to be used later. A common misplay that new players to the deck make is using Burgeoning Whirlflame without a Shiranui Squire to banish and then getting that card stuck in the hand, where it becomes a useless.

The other Shiranui monster to especially keep count of in grave is Shiranui Spiritmaster. A common mistake is to banish Shiranui Spiritmaster on one’s own turn to make an aggressive push, but then have none of him left in grave for disruption on the opponent’s turn. One should only exhaust all their Shiranui Spiritmasters in grave on their own turn if they have a way to win that turn.

“Turn 1” Plays - Establishing a Board and Followups

There are two main goals to accomplish when going first:

  • (1) Establishing a board with enough field presence to protect one from attacks and with ways to disrupt the opponent’s plays on their turn.
  • (2) Establishing followup plays for next turn to push for game or get closer to winning the game.

Establishing a Board

Typically, one does not have to worry much about setting up a form of disruption for the opponent’s turn because a simple That Grass Looks Greener mill can do that if Burgeoning Whirlflame and Shiranui Spiritmaster are both among the cards milled. Even just milling Burgeoning Whirlflame and Shiranui Solitaire (but no Shiranui Spiritmaster) can be fine, since that combination can be used to block a direct attack.

Things get complicated however when one does not mill Burgeoning Whirlflame. When this happens, one wants to find a way to get Shiranui Samurai on board for his quick effect. With him on board and Shiranui Spiritmaster in grave, one can still use Shiranui Samurai‘s effect to banish Shiranui Spiritmaster anytime during the opponent’s turn for disruption.

Keep an eye out for the following combo, as it not only gets Shiranui Samurai on board but also gets out massive field presence to pressure the opponent.

Requirements: A Zombie in hand + Gozuki, Shiranui Samurai and Shiranui Spiritmaster milled + Shiranui Solitaire in hand OR milled + a Shiranui tuner in deck

Note that one can change up their plays depending on the Zombie monster in hand.

The end game state here is:

The video below shows a replay of this combo at work. In general, be on the look out for ways to banish Shiranui Samurai and then Shiranui Solitaire to get Shiranui Samurai on board. It does not have to be via this combo – e.g. a combination of Gozuki’s effect to banish Shiranui Samurai from grave and Gold Sarcophagus to banish Shiranui Solitaire from deck can also work.

Establishing Followup Plays

In general, the idea behind establishing followup plays on your first turn is to think ahead and conserve enough GUARANTEED resources for the next turn. Guaranteed means not relying on RNG, i.e. the next draw. In regards to Grass Shiranui, conserving resources usually means not getting too trigger-happy and using up all the on-banish effects in the grave with Burgeoning Whirlflame on the first turn. Rather, one wants to still have some available for next turn to push for game.

Some of the key cards and resources to be wary of when establishing a followup:

“Turn 2” Plays - Looking for an OTK

The main Turn 2 OTK option for Grass Shiranui is the 5500 ATK Shiranui Shogunsaga. If one does not see an opening for him to get lethal, then it is typically better to slow play the game and just establish a board Turn 2 (see the above subsection on “Establishing a Board and Followups”). One would then have more resources to work with on Turn 4, such as Shiranui Spectralsword’s effect from grave. However, if there is lethal on board, then by all means go for it.

Below are some of the more common scenarios for when one might have Turn 2 lethal with Shiranui Shogunsaga. In general, one needs to mill Burgeoning Whirlflame and have access to Shiranui Solitaire and Shiranui Spectralsword, with the latter usually accessed through Shiranui Squire or Shiranui Spiritmaster for the initial synchro summon into Shiranui Samuraisaga.

There is also a combo at the end of this subsection that opts to go into Shiranui Squiresaga and Shiranui Sunsaga instead of Shiranui Samuraisaga and Shiranui Shogunsaga. Board wipes from Shiranui Squiresaga and Shiranui Sunsaga can still lead to lethal with an additional monster beside Shiranui Sunsaga.

Requirements: A Zombie in hand + Gozuki, Shiranui Samurai, Shiranui Squire, Shiranui Solitaire, and Burgeoning Whirlflame milled + Shiranui Spectralsword in deck

Note that opening with Shiranui Squire in hand can also work – in that case, Gozuki and Shiranui Samurai are not needed for this combo. One can also change up their plays depending on the Zombie monster in hand.

If there is no other Fire attribute monster to banish in step (8), then one can banish Shiranui Solitaire and Shiranui Spectralsword instead in step (6) to special summon back the Shiranui Spectralsword. From there, proceed directly to step (9).

Requirements: A Zombie in hand + Gozuki, Shiranui Samurai, Shiranui Spiritmaster, Shiranui Solitaire, Shiranui Spectralsword, and Burgeoning Whirlflame milled

Note that opening with Shiranui Spiritmaster in hand can also work – in that case, Gozuki and Shiranui Samurai are not needed for this combo. One can also change up their plays depending on the Zombie monster in hand.

Requirements: A Zombie in hand + Gozuki, Shiranui Samurai, Shiranui Spiritmaster, Shiranui Spectralsword, and Burgeoning Whirlflame milled + Shiranui Solitaire in hand + Shiranui Spectralsword in deck

Note that opening with Shiranui Spiritmaster in hand can also work – in that case, Gozuki and Shiranui Samurai are not needed for this combo. One can also change up their plays depending on the Zombie monster in hand.

Requirements: A Zombie in hand + Gozuki, Shiranui Samurai, Shiranui Squire, Shiranui Solitaire, and Burgeoning Whirlflame milled + Shiranui Spectralsword Shade in deck

Note that opening with Shiranui Squire in hand can also work – in that case, Gozuki and Shiranui Samurai are not needed for this combo. One can also change up their plays depending on the Zombie monster in hand.

If there is no other Fire attribute monster to banish in step (8), then one can banish Shiranui Solitaire and Shiranui Spectralsword Shade instead in step (6) to special summon back the Shiranui Spectralsword Shade. From there, proceed directly to step (10).

This combo can get lethal with Shiranui Sunsaga plus the Zombie monster summoned off Gozuki’s effect.


Matchups

Dark Magician

Popular Skills: Balance, Power of Dark, Sealed Tombs

Without That Grass Looks Greener

This is a matchup that is decided by tech cards such as Cosmic Cyclone, Forbidden Lance, and Gold Sarcophagus. Without these techs, the matchup is very difficult to win, due to Dark Magic Circle being such an oppressive card. Typically, one wants to save their Cosmic Cyclone or Forbidden Lance for when the Dark Magician player tries to use Dark Magic Circle to banish a key Shiranui monster on one’s own turn. One wants to chain Cosmic Cyclone to banish the Dark Magic Circle, making its effect fizzle after leaving the field, or Forbidden Lance to make one’s monster immune to Dark Magic Circle for the turn.

Gold Sarcophagus (to banish Shiranui Spiritmaster) and Shiranui Squiresaga are also great ways of dealing with Dark Magic Circle during one’s main phase. Shiranui Squiresaga in particular is great to get out Turn 1 vs. Dark Magician to pressure an early activation of Magician’s Navigation from the opponent on one’s Turn 3. If the opponent does not use their Magician’s Navigation before one’s main phase Turn 3, then one can activate Shiranui Squiresaga‘s effect right away to potentially snipe away the Magician’s Navigation. If they chain the Magician’s Navigation to Shiranui Squiresaga‘s effect, then one can just snipe away the Dark Magic Circle instead. If the opponent does use Magician’s Navigation preemptively during one’s draw or standby phase to banish Shiranui Squiresaga, then that means Dark Magic Circle is no longer a threat that turn, and one can proceed with the typical plays.

Other tech cards that can be great in this matchup are damage step cards like World Legacy Clash and Mirror Wall, since Magician’s Navigation cannot negate in the damage step.

Shiranui Shogunsaga will often be the win condition in this matchup – look out for lethal opportunities with a big 5500 ATK Shiranui Shogunsaga over a weak Magician’s Rod. Note that even after the -800 ATK debuff from Forbidden Lance, the Shiranui Shogunsaga will still be at 4700 ATK and be able to deal lethal damage over a Magician’s Rod.

With That Grass Looks Greener

Most of what is already mentioned above in “Playing without That Grass Looks Greener” still applies. Just instead of relying on backrow or techs to disrupt the opponent, the Grass variant of Shiranui has access to the quick effects of Burgeoning Whirlflame and Shiranui Samurai to banish Shiranui Spiritmaster from grave on the opponent’s turn. Furthermore, these quick effects also allow for more proactive and aggressive plays on one’s own turn with Shiranui Spiritmaster’s on-banish effect without needing to rely on Gold Sarcophagus.

Grass Shiranui actually has arguably a harder time vs. Dark Magician than non-Grass Shiranui all because of one card: Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer. Because Grass Shiranui is so reliant on banishing from its grave for disruption and making plays, Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer singlehandedly shuts down the entire deck. What makes it worse is that the Dark Magician player can easily summon Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer from the deck off Magician’s Navigation.

The threat of Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer makes tech cards like Gold Sarcophagus (to banish Shiranui Spiritmaster), Offerings to the Doomed, and even Dark Core mandatory as ways to remove Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer from the field.

Some additional notes that apply when playing with That Grass Looks Greener:


Side Deck / Tech Choices

Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Fiendish%20Chain
Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Lance
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Mirror%20Wall
Duel Links Card: Raigeki%20Break
Duel Links Card: Sealing%20Ceremony%20of%20Katon
Duel Links Card: Shadow-Imprisoning%20Mirror
Duel Links Card: Treacherous%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash

Side Deck / Tech Choices with That Grass Looks Greener

Duel Links Card: Fire%20Formation%20-%20Gyokkou
Duel Links Card: Galaxy%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Hey,%20Trunade!
Duel Links Card: Mistaken%20Arrest
Duel Links Card: Night%20Beam
Duel Links Card: Offerings%20to%20the%20Doomed


Invoked - Elementsabers

Popular Skills: Sorcery Conduit

Without That Grass Looks Greener

Contrary to what one might think, the Invoked - Elementsabers matchup can often go either way. While it is true that Elementsaber Molehu and Invoked Purgatrio can be massive headaches to the Shiranui archetype, which is synchro and fire based and made up of 0 DEF monsters, Shiranui as a deck actually has quite a number of ways to out these threats. This is thanks to the flexibility of Gold Sarcophagus and the deck to run plentiful backrow and techs as well as any skill (namely Sealed Tombs).

Using Gold Sarcophagus to banish Shiranui Spiritmaster and trigger his on-banish effect on Elementsaber Molehu is the go-to play to prevent Elementsaber Molehu from using his Book of Moon effect to disrupt one’s synchro summons. Likely, the Invoked player will use Elementsaber Molehu’s effect to flip himself face-down in reaction, to at least still have him as a body on board. This is fine, as Elementsaber Molehu will no longer be a threat that turn.

Note that Invoked decks also typically play quite a bit of backrow as well, particularly Floodgate Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia to complement their Elementsaber Molehu. Later in the game, one can play around e.g. Floodgate Trap Hole by using Gold Sarcophagus to banish Shiranui Solitaire from deck to summon a banished tuner or non-tuner, depending on what got flipped face down. This can enable one to still synchro summon that turn regardless of the e.g. Floodgate Trap Hole. Also, remember that one can free up clogged monster zones that got hit by Floodgate Trap Hole with Shiranui Solitaire’s effect – alternatively, Enemy Controller can do the same if one’s running that.

Another tech card that shines in this matchup is Forbidden Lance, which one can easily tech or side-deck in thanks to all the flexible deck space in Shiranui. Forbidden Lance can prevent the opponent from disrupting one’s combos by being chained to and making one’s Shiranui monsters immune to Floodgate Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia. One can also chain Forbidden Lance to Invocation in this matchup and target the Aleister the Invoker on the field – this prevents that specific Aleister the Invoker from being used for the fusion summon, potentially making Invocation fizzle if the Invoked player does not have another Aleister the Invoker in hand or grave.

Revived King Ha Des is arguably the best level 6 non-Shiranui Zombie Synchro Monster to run for this matchup. Any Elementsaber monsters that get destroyed in battle while Revived King Ha Des is face-up on the field get their effects disabled in the grave. This prevents the Invoked player from changing the attributes of their Elementsabers in grave to fuel their Invocation fusion summons.

Another approach to this matchup is to run handtraps over traditional backrow – e.g. Kiteroid and Sphere Kuriboh. Doing so gives the opponent no opposing targets for their Cosmic Cyclone, which they want to use to lose 1000 LP and trigger their Sorcery Conduit skill to add Aleister the Invoker to hand. They would have to use Cosmic Cyclone on their own card if they really want to trigger the skill. On that note, one should try to avoid triggering the Invoked player’s Sorcery Conduit skill too early in the game – do not recklessly deal 1000+ damage!

Finally, the skill Sealed Tombs is incredibly useful in this matchup to prevent Invocation from banishing one’s Shiranui monsters in grave for an Invoked Purgatrio summon. It also prevents the Invoked player from banishing their own monsters in grave, thus forcing them to need their (most likely) ONE copy of Elementsaber Malo in hand to summon Invoked Purgatrio. As such, a timely Sealed Tombs can slow down the pace of the game in one’s favor.

With That Grass Looks Greener

Most of what is already mentioned above in “Playing without That Grass Looks Greener” still applies. Just instead of relying on backrow or techs to disrupt the opponent, the Grass variant of Shiranui has access to the quick effects of Burgeoning Whirlflame and Shiranui Samurai to banish Shiranui Spiritmaster from grave on the opponent’s turn. Furthermore, these quick effects also allow for more proactive and aggressive plays on one’s own turn with Shiranui Spiritmaster’s on-banish effect without needing to rely on Gold Sarcophagus.

Some additional notes that apply when playing with That Grass Looks Greener:


Side Deck / Tech Choices

Duel Links Card: Artifact%20Lancea
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Fiendish%20Chain
Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Lance
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Kiteroid
Duel Links Card: Mirror%20Wall
Duel Links Card: Mispolymerization
Duel Links Card: Non-Fusion%20Area
Duel Links Card: Revived%20King%20Ha%20Des
Duel Links Card: Sealing%20Ceremony%20of%20Katon
Duel Links Card: Shadow-Imprisoning%20Mirror
Duel Links Card: Sphere%20Kuriboh

Side Deck / Tech Choices with That Grass Looks Greener

Duel Links Card: Galaxy%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Hey,%20Trunade!
Duel Links Card: Mistaken%20Arrest
Duel Links Card: Needlebug%20Nest
Duel Links Card: Offerings%20to%20the%20Doomed
Duel Links Card: Nine-Tailed%20Fox


Blackwings

Popular Skills: Harpies’ Hunting Ground, Sealed Tombs, See You Later!

Without That Grass Looks Greener

This is a matchup that can go either way, depending on how well one opens up with backrow and techs. Blackwings are incredibly vulnerable to early-game disruption, particularly from Cosmic Cyclone, Floodgate Trap Hole, Forbidden Lance, Paleozoic Canadia, and Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror:

Note that all of these cards are also just good generic cards vs. the entire meta. So a typical Shiranui deck should already have most of these cards in its (flexible) backrow lineup before even side decking. This makes the matchup vs. Blackwings mostly a matter of drawing one’s backrow early enough before Blackwings can get their combo plays going. This also makes going first in this matchup ideal as it lets one set all their backrow before the Blackwing player gets to establish a board.

Going second though is much more difficult as cards like Floodgate Trap Hole can be useless at that point vs. an established board, and the threat of Blackbird Close becomes a possibility. It is typically very difficult to play around an early Blackbird Close, as the Shiranui archetype has little to no comeback ability if its initial monster effect gets negated. Typically, one has no choice but to just go for the initial combo plays despite a potential Blackbird Close. If the Blackwing player has Blackbird Close, then they have it unfortunately.

Thankfully, Blackbird Close becomes less of a threat if one does manage to establish a board and grave. For one thing, Blackbird Close can only negate monster effects on the field, so it cannot stop a Shiranui Spectralsword effect from the grave. Furthermore, one can actually chain block Blackbird Close when summoning Shiranui Shogunsaga off Shiranui Spectralsword’s effect if the other monster banished is Shiranui Samuraisaga. Activating both Shiranui Shogunsaga and Shiranui Samuraisaga’s effects in this instance will put Shiranui Shogunsaga on Chain Link 1 and Shiranui Samuraisaga on Chain Link 2, preventing Blackbird Close from chaining to Shiranui Shogunsaga’s effect and destroying it. From there, one could potentially threaten lethal damage with a big Shiranui Shogunsaga, especially since the Blackwing player has probably already taken prior damage from the side effect of their combo starter, Blackwing - Simoon the Poison Wind.

Be wary of Sealed Tombs though if the Blackwing player is playing Ishizu. That skill alone shuts down many of one’s combo plays. This includes:

  • Stopping Shiranui Squiresaga from banishing a Shiranui from grave to both eat away at the opposing board and extend one’s own combos.
  • Stopping Shiranui Spectralsword’s graveyard effect for follow-up plays.
  • Stopping Shiranui Sunsaga from being a valid Turn 1 play, as he can no longer banish Shiranui monsters from grave to protect himself.

Typically, even if one stops the Blackwing player from establishing a board via e.g. Floodgate Trap Hole, the Blackwing player will still get another chance next turn by clicking Sealed Tombs. The skill seals off Shiranui Spectralsword’s effect from grave for a turn, which is usually enough of a stun to Shiranui to let the Blackwing player live another turn. This means that one needs to have more disruption ready to get through another attempt from the Blackwing player at establishing a board and OTK-ing. Note that Blackwings have incredible OTK potential, being able to cut through weak fields like butter – if one’s forced to end on a subpar board due to Sealed Tombs vs. Blackwings, then it is likely good game.

With That Grass Looks Greener

Most of what is already mentioned above in “Playing without That Grass Looks Greener” still applies. Just instead of relying on backrow or techs to disrupt the opponent, the Grass variant of Shiranui has access to the quick effects of Burgeoning Whirlflame and Shiranui Samurai to banish Shiranui Spiritmaster from grave on the opponent’s turn. Furthermore, these quick effects also allow for more proactive and aggressive plays on one’s own turn with Shiranui Spiritmaster’s on-banish effect without needing to rely on Gold Sarcophagus.

Some additional notes that apply when playing with That Grass Looks Greener:


Side Deck / Tech Choices

Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Kiteroid
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Raigeki%20Break
Duel Links Card: Revived%20King%20Ha%20Des
Duel Links Card: Shadow-Imprisoning%20Mirror

Side Deck / Tech Choices with That Grass Looks Greener

Duel Links Card: Mistaken%20Arrest
Duel Links Card: Nine-Tailed%20Fox
Duel Links Card: Offerings%20to%20the%20Doomed


Darklords

Popular Skills: Compensation, No Mortal Can Resist

Without That Grass Looks Greener

In the Darklord matchup, whoever goes first has a huge advantage. If one goes first as the Shiranui player, then one can use Sealed Tombs at the end of the turn to force the Darklord player to end on a weak board. This not only guarantees that one survives until Turn 3, even with a subpar opening hand, but it generally makes it so that the Darklord player can only get out a single Darklord Nasten on board. This lone Darklord Nasten is often not enough to stop one from making an explosive follow up play next turn, e.g. going into Shiranui Sunsaga for massive field control and damage.

Going second and countering a typical Darklord opening board can however be very challenging. Getting one’s normal summon effect negated by The Sanctified Darklord, either through a hard activation or a Darklord monster’s quick effect, can be devastating, as the Shiranui archetype has little to no comeback ability if the initial combo starter gets negated. Cosmic Cyclone and Gold Sarcophagus can be lifesavers here –

If one does manage to get their Shiranui combo plays going, then a simple board of Shiranui Sunsaga backed by Floodgate Trap Hole or Paleozoic Canadia can actually be tough for the Darklord player to out. Shiranui Sunsaga’s monstrous 3500 ATK means that none of the Darklord monsters can naturally run him over in battle, thus forcing the Darklord player to rely on Darklord Desire’s effect as their main out. However, Darklord Desire is not a Turn 1 play, and so it is highly susceptible to getting hit and neutered by e.g. a Floodgate Trap Hole that was set on a prior turn.

When relying on Shiranui Sunsaga in the above-mentioned manner, one does still need to be wary of Darklords resorting to deck-out as a win condition. Shiranui Sunsaga is only one monster and thus cannot clear a full board of DEF mode Darklords by himself if he has already used his on-summon effect. Meanwhile, Darklords can special summon each other back from the grave and shuffle back cards into their deck to stall. One still needs to make an aggressive push, most likely through Shiranui Spiritmaster and Shiranui Squiresaga’s destruction effects to seal the game.

As a general note, Darklords can only make plays if they have enough LP to pay their 1000 LP cost effects. If one can make a big push early (e.g. via a Shiranui Sunsaga direct attack) and get the Darklord player to below 1000 LP, then even though it was not lethal damage, it is likely enough to cripple their deck and steal the win. The only way that the Darklord player can heal up at that point is through a hard, on-field activation of The Sanctified Darklord, which is susceptible to Cosmic Cyclone or through Darklord Morningstar, which is susceptible to Floodgate Trap Hole.

Siding in battle traps like Wall of Disruption and Drowning Mirror Force can mitigate the disadvantages of going second in this matchup. Darklords, as a deck, rely on tech cards like Cosmic Cyclone to out backrow, and they generally only run 2-4 tech cards or risk bricking. As a result, opening and setting multiple battle traps against Darklords can slow the pacing of the game down and allow one to eventually get the Shiranui combo game going.

Finally, one thing that can make this matchup more complicated is the skill No Mortal Can Resist, which some Darklord players are starting to side in vs. Shiranui. A timely No Mortal Can Resist is devasting as it wipes and prevents any follow-up plays with Shiranui Spectralsword from the grave. See the “Playing vs. Sealed Tombs, Artifact Lancea, and No Mortal Can Resist” subsection of the guide for more details on playing around that skill.

With That Grass Looks Greener

Most of what is already mentioned above in “Playing without That Grass Looks Greener” still applies. Just instead of relying on backrow or techs to disrupt the opponent, the Grass variant of Shiranui has access to the quick effects of Burgeoning Whirlflame and Shiranui Samurai to banish Shiranui Spiritmaster from grave on the opponent’s turn. Furthermore, these quick effects also allow for more proactive and aggressive plays on one’s own turn with Shiranui Spiritmaster’s on-banish effect without needing to rely on Gold Sarcophagus.

The Grass variant of Shiranui cares less about who goes first in the matchup vs. Darklords. With a decent mill off That Grass Looks Greener, Grass Shiranui can often have enough resources to overwhelm a typical Darklord board. Not to mention that Grass Shiranui have a good chance to open with a power card like Enemy Controller or World Legacy Clash in addition to That Grass Looks Greener (thanks to Spell Specialist).

The general idea of how to break through a Darklord board is to gather enough resources to get through both a monster effect negation from The Sanctified Darklord and a destruction protection from Darklord Tezcatlipoca. If one does not have all the resources immediately on Turn 2/3, then it is recommended to slow play by establishing a board and setting up for next turn. The following replay video shows a good case of this (and also nicely shows all the Shiranui Synchro Monsters coming into play) – in particular, Shiranui Shogunsaga forced out the The Sanctified Darklord and Darklord Tezcatlipoca (by banishing Shiranui Spiritmaster), allowing for Shiranui Sunsaga to get game:


Side Deck / Tech Choices

Duel Links Card: Bad%20Reaction%20to%20Simochi
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Dimensional%20Prison
Duel Links Card: Drowning%20Mirror%20Force
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Fiendish%20Chain
Duel Links Card: Kiteroid
Duel Links Card: Sealing%20Ceremony%20of%20Katon
Duel Links Card: Shadow-Imprisoning%20Mirror
Duel Links Card: Sphere%20Kuriboh
Duel Links Card: Wall%20of%20Disruption
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash

Side Deck / Tech Choices with That Grass Looks Greener

Duel Links Card: Mistaken%20Arrest


Crystrons

Popular Skills: Transcendent Crystals

Without That Grass Looks Greener

The Crystrons matchup is arguably in favor of Shiranui thanks to two big factors:

  • Shiranui has non-targeting destruction in Shiranui Squiresaga and Shiranui Sunsaga, allowing the deck to play around Crystron Impact’s negation and also still remove the Crystron player’s field presence even if they use their Crystron tuners’ quick effects to tag out. Resolving multiple non-targeting destruction effects in one turn is usually enough of a push to end the game vs. the Crystrons player.
  • Shiranui can run Sealed Tombs to shut down the Crystron player’s plays, as their deck revolves around summoning back and banishing monsters from their graveyard. Typically, one wants to resolve a big, non-targeting destruction effect, as mentioned above, and then click Sealed Tombs to prevent the Crystron player from having anyway to recover back their board. Alternatively, clicking Sealed Tombs immediately at the start of the main phase will shut off the Crystron player’s Crystron Citree effect and most likely disable the only form of interaction the opponent has that turn.

One does need to be wary though of Crystrons’ ability to comeback with Crystron Ametrix and Crystron Quariongandrax. The former, on summon, switches all of one’s Shiranui Synchro Monsters to DEF mode, which makes them incredibly vulnerable to getting run over in battle, due to their 0 DEF. The latter, Crystron Quariongandrax, is in general a game-ender, as it can not only wipe away one’s board, but when destroyed, Crystron Quariongandrax can steal one’s own banished Shiranui Synchro Monsters and summon it to the Crystron player’s field. The best way to deal with Crystron Quariongandrax, beyond relying on a tech card like Enemy Controller, is to honestly end the game before it hits the field.

In general, Shiranui should be able to close out this matchup quickly before Crystrons can get going, thanks to the deck’s non-targeting destruction and Sealed Tombs. If need be, one can also slow down the Crystron player by disrupting their synchro summons with Floodgate Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia, or even Enemy Controller. Crystrons in general are hard-pressed by disruptive backrow, of which Shiranui can run many.

With That Grass Looks Greener

Most of what is already mentioned above in “Playing without That Grass Looks Greener” still applies. Just instead of relying on backrow or techs to disrupt the opponent, the Grass variant of Shiranui has access to the quick effects of Burgeoning Whirlflame and Shiranui Samurai to banish Shiranui Spiritmaster from grave on the opponent’s turn. Furthermore, these quick effects also allow for more proactive and aggressive plays on one’s own turn with Shiranui Spiritmaster’s on-banish effect without needing to rely on Gold Sarcophagus.

Just like how one would play this matchup without Grass, the main win-conditions with Grass are still going to be the non-targeting effects of Shiranui Squiresaga and Shiranui Sunsaga, backed by a form of disruption for the opponent’s synchro summons.

One caveat though is that Needlebug Nest becomes mandatory in the deck for this matchup. Crystrons often run large deck sizes, which weaken the mill off That Grass Looks Greener. The next best option for loading one’s own grave is to run three copies of Needlebug Nest and hopefully open with one of them.


Side Deck / Tech Choices

Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Duel Links Card: Raigeki%20Break
Duel Links Card: Revived%20King%20Ha%20Des
Duel Links Card: Sealing%20Ceremony%20of%20Katon
Duel Links Card: System%20Down

Side Deck / Tech Choices with That Grass Looks Greener

Duel Links Card: Needlebug%20Nest
Duel Links Card: Offerings%20to%20the%20Doomed


Cyber Dragons

Popular Skills: Cyber Style, Sealed Tombs

Without That Grass Looks Greener

This matchup can be sort of a coinflip, with whoever going first having the advantage. However, once one gets out Archfiend Zombie-Skull or (better) Shiranui Sunsaga, it is usually a win for Shiranui.

Going first against Cyber Dragons, the goal is to set up Shiranui Spectralsword in grave to summon Archfiend Zombie-Skull next turn. Archfiend Zombie-Skull shuts down Cybernetic Overflow, which is the main form of monster removal for Cyber Dragons. Once Archfiend Zombie-Skull is out, the only way Cyber Dragons can of get rid of it or any of the Shiranui Synchro Monsters (without relying on a tech card) is by beating over them with Cyber Twin Dragon or Cyber End Dragon, both of which are susceptible to backrow. Note that Shiranui Sunsaga effectively does the same thing as Archfiend Zombie-Skull in this matchup, but is not as easy to summon early on.

Going second, one wants to open with backrow removal like Cosmic Cyclone or a card like Forbidden Lance for the Cybernetic Overflow. Getting rid of Cybernetic Overflow and then summoning a monster with more than 2100 ATK should put one in a good position. The monster discourages the Cyber Dragon player from summoning the 2100 ATK Chimeratech Rampage Dragon to destroy one’s backrow. At that point, this becomes similar to the going first scenario, where the Cyber Dragon player has to rely on Cyber Twin Dragon or Cyber End Dragon, both of which are susceptible to backrow.

Since the goal in this matchup is to get Shiranui Spectralsword in grave as soon as possible, it is usually better to go into Shiranui Samuraisaga first. However, if one opens with a Shiranui Spectralsword in hand, then one can go into Shiranui Squiresaga and then use her effect to banish Shiranui Squire to discard the Shiranui Spectralsword to grave. This is fine as long as one has a way to get another level 4 in grave next turn for Archfiend Zombie-Skull. Shiranui Squiresaga can apply a lot more pressure than Shiranui Samuraisaga, especially Turn 1, since the threat of her non-targeting spell/trap removal can force the Cyber Dragon player to flip up their Cybernetic Overflow early and use it suboptimally.

Cyber Dragon players do usually run 3 Cosmic Cyclones to have an easier time triggering their skill Cyber Style. This makes Artifact Lancea not a bad tech in the matchup to stop the Cyber Dragon player from removing one’s backrow with Cosmic Cyclone on their turn.

On Zane’s Cyber Style skill, it is recommended to not attack until there is lethal, to avoid triggering the skill too early.

Note that Sealed Tombs can be used to stop Cybernetic Overflow from banishing from the grave. This forces the Cyber Dragon player to have Cyber Dragons face-up on field or hand that they are willing to banish to fuel the Cybernetic Overflow. One can actually force this scenario by using e.g. Gold Sarcophagus to destroy the only face-up Cyber Dragon on board and then clicking Sealed Tombs immediately after.

With That Grass Looks Greener

Most of what is already mentioned above in “Playing without That Grass Looks Greener” still applies. Just instead of relying on backrow or techs to disrupt the opponent, the Grass variant of Shiranui has access to the quick effects of Burgeoning Whirlflame and Shiranui Samurai to banish Shiranui Spiritmaster from grave on the opponent’s turn. Furthermore, these quick effects also allow for more proactive and aggressive plays on one’s own turn with Shiranui Spiritmaster’s on-banish effect without needing to rely on Gold Sarcophagus.

This matchup becomes less of a coinflip and more in Shiranui’s favor with That Grass Looks Greener. This is because the Grass variant has more resources and ways to extend its plays after getting hit by Cybernetic Overflow. Shiranui Squiresaga should be the go-to Turn 2 to force out the Cybernetic Overflow. Then, one can reestablish the board with the resources in grave.

The Grass variant also does not have to worry about its disruption getting hit by Cosmic Cyclone. Burgeoning Whirlflame with Shiranui Spiritmaster in grave is incredibly hard for Cyber Dragons to play through. This is because their main fusion spell, Cyberload Fusion, is a HOPT and also costs a fair amount of resources, meaning they usually can only get out one big Cyber Dragon fusion monster per turn. One can just destroy that fusion monster with the Burgeoning Whirlflame plus Shiranui Spiritmaster combo.


Side Deck / Tech Choices

Duel Links Card: Artifact%20Lancea
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Fiendish%20Chain
Duel Links Card: Forbidden%20Lance
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Raigeki%20Break
Duel Links Card: Sealing%20Ceremony%20of%20Katon
Duel Links Card: Shadow-Imprisoning%20Mirror
Duel Links Card: Archfiend%20Zombie-Skull

Side Deck / Tech Choices with That Grass Looks Greener

Duel Links Card: Fire%20Formation%20-%20Gyokkou
Duel Links Card: Galaxy%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Hey,%20Trunade!
Duel Links Card: Mistaken%20Arrest
Duel Links Card: Night%20Beam


Ritual Beasts

Popular Skills: Draw Sense: High-Level, My Monster Cards, Sealed Tombs

Without That Grass Looks Greener

This is one of the most difficult matchups for Shiranui for two big reasons:

  • The contact fusion and tag-out mechanic of Ritual Beasts allows them to not only render one’s typical backrow – e.g. Floodgate Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia – ineffective, but it also allows the Ritual Beast fusion monsters to tag out into Spiritual Beast Tamer Winda in response to Shiranui Squiresaga or Shiranui Sunsaga’s non-targeting destruction effects. Even though the non-targeting effects still let one remove some of the Ritual Beast player’s field presence, Spiritual Beast Tamer Winda can just float right back into a Ritual Beast fusion monster upon destruction.
  • Ritual Beasts have non-destruction based removal in Spiritual Beast Pettlephin, which can straight up bounce one’s Shiranui Synchro Monsters back to the extra deck. Since the monsters get bounced rather than sent to the grave, one cannot even make the usual follow up plays next with Shiranui Spectralsword.

Furthermore, the Ritual Beast player can play Sealed Tombs, which alone shuts down many of the combo plays of the Shiranui deck. This includes:

  • Stopping Shiranui Squiresaga from banishing a Shiranui from grave to both eat away at the opposing board and extend one’s own combos.
  • Stopping Shiranui Spectralsword’s graveyard effect for follow-up plays.
  • Stopping Shiranui Sunsaga from being a valid Turn 1 play, as he can no longer banish Shiranui monsters from grave to protect himself.

Ritual Beast players also can and WILL run two Treacherous Trap Hole, as their deck naturally synergizes with that trap. A timely Treacherous Trap Hole can unfortunately just stop one’s Shiranui combo plays for the turn.

One’s best bet in this matchup is to go first and stop the Ritual Beast player’s combos before they can even start. Even though it was mentioned above that Floodgate Trap Hole is not too effective against Ritual Beasts overall, it does actually have a use in the beginning of the game in flipping down Spiritual Beast Cannahawk and Spiritual Beast Rampengu BEFORE the Ritual Beast player has an established banish pile. Basically, in order for Ritual Beasts to get their combos going, they need 3 Ritual Beast main deck monsters banished, with at least one of them being a “Ritual Beast Tamer” and at least another being a “Spiritual Beast.” In order to fill their banish pile, Ritual Beast players rely on the ignition effects of Spiritual Beast Cannahawk and Spiritual Beast Rampengu to get their combos started. So if one can hit them with a Floodgate Trap Hole or even a Paleozoic Canadia on summon, then even though the Ritual Beast player can still contact fuse away the flipped-down monster, they will not be able to make further plays, thus giving one an opening next turn to take the game.

If the Ritual Beast player does already have an established banish pile and gets their combos going, then the main use of Floodgate Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia is to flip down Spiritual Beast Pettlephin to temporarily prevent it from bouncing a card on one’s side of the field. Granted, if the Ritual Beast player normal summoned Spiritual Beast Pettlephin, then they are still able to loop it and special summon it again for another bounce attempt. Note though that Spiritual Beast Pettlephin, as well as the other Ritual Beast main deck monsters, have a HOPT on being special summoned. This means that one could potentially use a timely Floodgate Trap Hole on a Ritual Beast fusion monster if at least all but one of the banished Ritual Beast monsters have been special summoned that turn – then, the Ritual Beast fusion cannot tag out to dodge the Floodgate Trap Hole.

One thing worth noting about this matchup is that it is one of the few matchups where Shiranui Samuraisaga’s on-board effect might actually come up. If needed, Shiranui Samuraisaga can return a banished Shiranui Squire or Shiranui Spiritmaster to grave to switch Ritual Beast Ulti-Cannahawk to DEF. This can save one from lethal vs. a board of e.g. Spiritual Beast Pettlephin, a Ritual Beast Tamer, and Ritual Beast Ulti-Cannahawk. Chain Shiranui Samuraisaga’s effect to Spiritual Beast Pettlephin’s bounce effect to prevent an exact lethal from Ritual Beast Ulti-Cannahawk plus the Ritual Beast Ulti-Apelio that gets contact fused.

Speaking of switching battle positions, Enemy Controller can be an invaluable card to keep in hand in this matchup. Depending on the scenario, if one attacks a Ritual Beast fusion monster with a boosted Shiranui Shogunsaga, then the Ritual Beast player might tag out their fusion monster into two DEF mode Ritual Beast monsters to avoid massive damage. One can thus use Enemy Controller to switch one of the newly summoned Ritual Beast monsters into ATK mode for massive damage. This could even lead to lethal damage on a weak Ritual Beast Tamer Elder or Spiritual Beast Pettlephin.

This is also a matchup where Revived King Ha Des can come up. If Spiritual Beast Tamer Winda gets destroyed in battle while Revived King Ha Des is face-up on the field, then her float effect will get negated.

Given the bad matchup, it is highly recommended to dedicate significant side deck space for this matchup, particularly Poisonous Winds to completely stop the Ritual Beast player from playing their game. Artifact Lancea is another card that completely shuts down Ritual Beasts – activate it from hand immediately upon the summon of the small Ritual Beast main deck monsters, and they will not even be able to contact fuse into their bigger fusions.

With That Grass Looks Greener

Most of what is already mentioned above in “Playing without That Grass Looks Greener” still applies. Just instead of relying on backrow or techs to disrupt the opponent, the Grass variant of Shiranui has access to the quick effects of Burgeoning Whirlflame and Shiranui Samurai to banish Shiranui Spiritmaster from grave on the opponent’s turn. Furthermore, these quick effects also allow for more proactive and aggressive plays on one’s own turn with Shiranui Spiritmaster’s on-banish effect without needing to rely on Gold Sarcophagus.

This matchup is much more manageable for the Grass variant of Shiranui since Shiranui Spiritmaster’s effect actually destroys the Ritual Beasts instead of just flipping them face down. Destroying the small Ritual Beast monsters like Spiritual Beast Cannahawk, Spiritual Beast Rampengu, and Spiritual Beast Pettlephin is much more devastating because the Ritual Beast player cannot recover with a contact fusion (whereas they can if disrupted by a mere e.g. Paleozoic Canadia).

One thing to note though is that some Ritual Beast players are starting to run large deck sizes (e.g. near 30 cards) just for Grass Shiranui. These players can be spotted from their My Monster Cards skill, which they run to make up for the consistency lost from playing a “fat” deck. Their large deck sizes weaken the mill off That Grass Looks Greener, thus making Needlebug Nest mandatory to run as the next best option for loading one’s own grave.


Side Deck / Tech Choices

Duel Links Card: Artifact%20Lancea
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Poisonous%20Winds
Duel Links Card: Raigeki%20Break
Duel Links Card: Revived%20King%20Ha%20Des
Duel Links Card: Treacherous%20Trap%20Hole

Side Deck / Tech Choices with That Grass Looks Greener

Duel Links Card: Mistaken%20Arrest
Duel Links Card: Needlebug%20Nest
Duel Links Card: Offerings%20to%20the%20Doomed


Shiranui (Mirror Match)

As with all mirror matches, the matchup usually comes down to who draws better and manages to execute their game plan first. There are however some interesting interactions to keep in mind when playing this matchup.

Without That Grass Looks Greener

(1) The main goal in this matchup should be to try and stop the opponent from synchro summoning as much as possible. Aim for the tuners generally with Floodgate Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia when deciding on what to flip face down.

(2) Techs like Enemy Controller and The Regulation of Tribe really shine here as ways to unclog one’s monster zones of monsters hit by opposing Floodgate Trap Holes. One should also try to conserve their Shiranui Solitaires as his effect is another way to unclog zones.

(3) Given how Shiranui can pop off once Shiranui Spectralsword is in grave, both players should and will try to avoid destroying the opposing Shiranui Spectralswords as much as possible. This includes not attacking into a potential set or floodgated Shiranui Spectralsword until there is a guaranteed victory plan. This also means that cards like Enemy Controller and Shiranui Solitaire are once again valuable here to get one’s own Shiranui Spectralsword in grave to start up the combos. Gold Sarcophagus also helps by banishing Shiranui Squire to then draw a card and discard Shiranui Spectralsword from grave. Of course, crashing one’s Shiranui Spectralsword into a higher ATK monster is always an option if one can afford the LP damage.

(4) Synchro summoning Shiranui Squiresaga early – e.g. Turn 1, before she can get hit by Floodgate Trap Hole – can be incredibly advantageous here as she can use her effect to pick apart the opposing backrow. Her 300 ATK boost effect can also come up as a way to let one’s monsters run over their opposing ATK position counterparts.

(5) A tech Synchro Monster that really shines in this matchup is Doomkaiser Dragon, which can steal and revive a Shiranui monster from the opposing graveyard. This effect is not limited to reviving the main deck Shiranui monsters – as long as an opposing Shiranui Synchro Monster was properly synchro summoned, Doomkaiser Dragon can summon it. Most of the time though, Doomkaiser Dragon will be stealing an opposing Shiranui Spectralsword to help synchro climb. Alternatively, one can steal the opposing Shiranui Spectralsword and just pass if there are no further plays to make – doing so gets the Shiranui Spectralsword out of the opposing grave so that the opponent cannot use his effect.

(6) One can also make a good case for Revived King Ha Des in this matchup. Any opposing Shiranui Spectralsword that gets destroyed in battle while one’s Revived King Ha Des is face-up on the field gets its effect negated in grave. That means no “synchro-from-grave” follow-up play for the opponent next turn.

(7) Red-Eyes Zombie Necro Dragon is another Synchro Monster that shines in the mirror. The 100 ATK and DEF boost for each Zombie monster on the field and in grave can potentially make Red-Eyes Zombie Necro Dragon even bigger than Shiranui Sunsaga in long games. Red-Eyes Zombie Necro Dragon also has an effect that can steal and revive Shiranui monsters from the opposing grave and thus can be used similarly to Doomkaiser Dragon.

(8) Shiranui Shogunsaga can be especially dangerous here – with a 2500 ATK boost from banishing Shiranui Samuraisaga, Shiranui Shogunsaga can get lethal over even a Shiranui Squire. On the flipside, this also means that Shiranui Squire can be liability here as she can give the opponent lethal via their own Shiranui Shogunsaga. Avoid ending a turn with her in ATK mode as much as possible.

(9) Make sure to have a follow-up play for an opposing Shiranui Sunsaga after destroying an opposing Shiranui Shogunsaga. Upon destruction, Shiranui Shogunsaga can put Shiranui Spectralsword from the opposing banish pile back into the grave. Then, the opponent can just banish Shiranui Spectralsword and Shiranui Shogunsaga from grave next turn for Shiranui Sunsaga. Ideally, it would be best to deal with an opposing Shiranui Shogunsaga through Enemy Controller to avoid the follow-up plays all together.

(10) If the opponent’s Shiranui Sunsaga does make it out, then the best outs to it are arguably Enemy Controller or flipping it face down with e.g. Paleozoic Canadia and then destroying it face-down. This avoids removes Shiranui Sunsaga without triggering his protection effect.

(11) And of course, Sealed Tombs is amazing here. Try to save Sealed Tombs for when the opponent has Shiranui Spectralsword setup in their grave to prevent them from doing a “synchro-from-grave” follow-up play next turn. Sealed Tombs should also be used before destroying an opposing Shiranui Spectralsword in e.g. battle for the same reason. Another valid use of Sealed Tombs is to shut off an opposing Shiranui Sunsaga’s protection so that it can actually be destroyed. With all that said, keep in mind that the opponent will also be trying to do the same with their Sealed Tombs.

With That Grass Looks Greener

Since both players are playing 30-card decks, That Grass Looks Greener becomes near useless in this matchup, and the matchup becomes a matter of who opens with an alternative way to set up their grave first.

Needlebug Nest is the key card for this mirror match as another way to load one’s grave with resources. Keep in mind that flipping up Needlebug Nest too early (e.g. during the opponent’s draw or standby phase) can allow them to use their That Grass Looks Greener.

If no Needlebug Nest, then the next best starting cards are Shiranui Squire, Gozuki, and Shiranui Solitaire in that order. The focus with all three of these cards should be to get Shiranui Spectralsword out of the deck and into the grave ASAP so that one can start making power plays.


Guide formatted and uploaded by RandomPl0x.
Thumbnail designed and created by RandomPl0x.

Loading comments…