Shiranui – Striking back from the shadows

Today, we have Zero2Pass to show us the ropes of the newest build of Nubatama , the Shiranui deck. A name many G-era players are sure to remember! – Cipher 

It is a great day to be a Nubatama fan!  We have been waiting in the shadows…. and Shiranui has finally made his way into the V reboot era.  Our boy is back to dominate the opponent.  If you are new to the game and/or to the clan and you enjoy control aspects of gaming then Nubatama may be right for you!

With the release of VBT-11, Shiranui has been unleashed as both his original Stealth Dragon form as well as his dominating Oboro form.  Both forms provide the Nubatama player a number of effects that we will touch upon before diving into deck theory.  Together, the “Stealth” and “Oboro” forms work together to provide an engine that is undeniably flexible, helping aid the Nubatama to victory.  The struggle for hand advantage and typically low column numbers ends with V era Shiranui.

PLAYSTYLE

Shiranui’s playstyle features elements of both of its previous playstyles in the G- era where it was introduced. The after image style which focused on binding and recycling your units, and of course Dominate which has been brought into life in V standard with the Mark of Domination Token. Having a token also keeps it compatible with many token based support in the clan making it rather flexible. 

It is a combo based and control deck that focuses on limiting your opponents options and walling them out while increasing your own.  As a combo deck it has a rather passive early game with many of its turns used to gather resources and set ups and lacks the explosive nature of beatdown decks. Instead it works to cripple the enemy before finishing them with a decisive blow, with the use of the Token and other addtional finishers

The Wielder of the Evil Eye

Stealth Dragon Shiranui has both on vanguard as well as on rearguard skills/effects. 

When on VC, as an ACT he allows the player to pitch a card to go search out a copy of the Oboro and ride it. This creates an additional Protect Marker well as a way to get copies of Shiranui into the soul. Thus this is always the first G3 you should be always wanting to ride and ideally you will want to have 2 copies of him by your first g3 turn. This allows one to create a strong presence of protection as well as fuel into what the Oboro form requires to allow for its full effects to flourish.  When on RC, when he gets 10k and after attacking the vanguard he goes into soul and allows the player to choose an opponent’s rearguard to be returned to hand, after which the opponent must discard one card from hand.  The acting player also draws a card.

Shiranui “Oboro” is back in full force, to dominate the opponent.  For a cost of 1 CB and discarding a card, the player gets to target an opponent’s card, either on the rearguard or in the opponent’s drop zone.  The targeted card is bound and a Mask of Domination token is created until the end of the turn, being placed in the RC located behind the vanguard.  This token can attack from the back row. granting the deck access to 4 attacks per turn consistently.

Then,  If there are 2 or more “Shiranui” cards within the soul it gets the drive check(s) of the dominated unit and a 15k boost to itself.  If you bind a card with Twin Drive the token will gain twin drive as well, giving the deck up to 4 checks. 

 Oboro effectively allows for board removal and also increases the total number of drive checks per turn.  This helps the Nubatama player spot remove issues as well as develop and/or keep a healthy hand size in order to guard on the opponent’s next turn.

G2s Supporting the Vanguard

Unlike the fairly rigid G1 line-up, the G2 selection allows for a bit more variation. However, if the goal is to make the deck as consistent as possible, the actual number of variable slots is only 2-3 at most. One build focuses on card draw effects to help propel the player to a favorable position whereas another focuses on the token generation and token assist. In both cases, CB management becomes very important given some cards here have CB effects.

The staple G2 Magatsu Gale (a Murakumo original) also hails from V-BT03 and was further reprinted in both the Festival set as well as an SP in VBT11 given its importance in Nubatama deck design and play. For 1 CB and 1 SB, this card helps to fix hand with card draw and provides an ‘afterimage’ like effect in bouncing cards back to hand at the end of the battle, itself going into the soul to help refuel the soul count. This allows the player to utilize other cards with on placement effects such as Genkai and Tengu, and even Sadamune if so desired (see above). This card provides 15k of pressure. When boosted by a hefty G1 it can hit hard before disappearing and repleting the player’s hand with shield value, helpful for fending off the opponent’s next attack.

Fuurai was rebooted in VBT-11, along with his boss Shiranui. This card is the best G2 ride target Nubatama currently has to offer. On ride, it forces the opponent to discard a card and draw. If the opponent discards a trigger then the player draws. On attack when on VC/RC the player can CB 1 to bounce another unit back to hand and give a unit a 6k bonus. When on VC, the opponent then draws a card. Like Gale, this can make Fuurai a 15k beater, forming a 23k column when booster by an 8k G1 or 28k when booster by a powered-up Kataragitsune.

Originally a foil slot in the G-TD13 trial deck, Genkai has also been rebooted with its boss Shiranui “Oboro”. At 2 to 3 copies he has typically filled the flex slot of Nubatama players G2 lineup. This fan-favorite provides many flexible functions within the V era Shiranui deck build. On placement, Genkai allows the play to give any unit BOOST (this includes the Mask of Domination token…). If it did not select itself then the player will SC for 1. If lucky, the player might just happen to SC a copy of Shiranui that might otherwise be needed to help put Obroro online. As a CONT ability (during the player’s turn) it also provides 5k to itself and all tokens, including the Mask of Domination. This makes it easier to select 8k G1 targets to dominate given they can now hit the vanguard readily at 13k.

Zangetsu originally debuted as a support card for Hanzo in VBT07. This set introduced the Evil Decoy Token mechanic, a system of tokens able to intercept for 5k from the back row. For 1 CB Zangetsu creates such a token giving it a boost for the turn and also giving ‘all’ tokens 5k until the end of turn. This 5k boost includes the Mask of Domination token, making it a choice for some players running upwards of 4 copies at the cost of dropping Fuurai and/or Gale to fewer copies or completely. The ability on Zangetsu is not [1/turn] and can be used repeatedly, to create more tokens and stack power. Powering up columns to hit for relatively high numbers when it comes to Nubatama. Zangetsu itself has another skill where it can protect itself with its Evil Decoy Tokens. If the opponent attacks a Zangetsu on an RC, the player may retire an Evil Decoy Token to bounce Zangetsu safely back to hand.

Gyumado is a new common from VBT11, a tech card of sorts finding its way into decks of players with a thirst for raw hand control. The power level of this card is deceptively great and surprisingly did not place it at least as a RR in print. Simply put, for 1 CB the opponent is forced to place a card from hand into play. Against clans notorious for keeping their fields clear of units, such as Granblue and Palemoon, this card single-handedly assists the likes of hand pressuring cards such Kokushigarashu and Jamyocongo. If either one of these G3 support cards makes it into your build then you want to consider Gyumado at 2-3 copies in your G2 lineup.

I include Tengu as a personal tech choice at 2 copies.  Tengu was a promo from a while back.  It is a meager 8k.  However, for 1 SB on placement, it forces the opponent to pitch a trigger to the drop zone or the player draws a card.  With Gale and Fuurai this effect can proc readily each turn, forcing the opponent to grant hand advantage versus losing guard value.  This card is likely to be replaced for another promo Gengan when its print hits the EN format.

Stealth Dragon, Gengan has the unique ability to search out additional copies of your Vanguard from your deck and place them into the soul when the Mask of Domination attacks while also giving itself +15000. For the moment its only application is of course to be used alongside Oboro where it helps you to meet its soul requirement to allow the Token to drive check and gain power. While it can be costly sometimes, meeting it  a turn earlier, can determine whole games.

G1s The Cream of the Crop

Sadamune is one of the 2 optimal G1 ride targets.  Try to mulligan for him.  On the ride, the player can search the top 7 cards of the deck for a Shiranui, with the “Stealth” form typically being the desired target (see above).  His on placement RC ability is similar to Tsumujibashou in that he forces the opponent to discard a card from hand to gain a bonus deepening on what is discarded.  He then gains the power to the shield value of the card discarded allowing.  The opponent then draws a card.  Such discard/draw effect forces interaction between the player and opponent which is unique to Nubatama acting as a trap for the opponent, and in some ways a possible lose-lose situation. If they discard a card with a high shield value they give this unit power while also losing a high shield, but if they discard a card with less shield they can risk giving you more targets for Oboro to bind or simply a combo piece they may need. 

Stealth Beast, Tobiitachi is a very powerful promo card for the card. It can search for a Shiranui from the top 7 whenever it is played and can even alter its cost from a counterblast to a soul blast if both players are of the same grade. It is also a 13k booster as long as the player controls a token. A very flexible card and a much-welcomed staple for the deck.

Kataragitsune is another key card for the card and is the main card we will be relying on to search G3s also allows us to search for our G3 ride target.  While this card does force the player to discard if a G3 is found and taken to hand (unlike Sadamune rode on VC), this card also performs the same AUTO when called.  This allows the player to also utilize this card to search for other G3 targets that may play a role as a pressuring or game finishing combo piece (see discussion below on tech G3 choices).  Furthermore, when a token is on the player’s field, Kataragitsune gains a 5k bonus, becoming a 13k booster.  This helps fix numbers on columns to provide more pressuring magic number levels.  This card can either function as a 13k beater on its own or form pressuring magic number columns with the G2 units like Gale and Fuurai.

Hailing from VBT03, the set which debuted Nubatama in the V era, Sakurafubuki has remained a tried and true staple resource card.  All he requires to fire off is that the player has one other rearguard in play, as the vanguard counts as a unit   When calling Sakurafubuki, he then counts as the third unit to meet its condition.  He provides deck cycling, a  bonus of 3k , and can even countercharge CC 1,  if there are no damage face up. Being an 11k booster makes it a strong booster for 12k units as well. 

Finishers

There are several G3 support card options to choose from when constructing a deck based around Shiranui, each having its strengths in deck design and gameplay.  While other clans tend to also have access to extenders , to well extend their plays (ours being Storm, not featured here), Nubatama also has what I like to refer to as limiters.  These cards directly constraint the opponents’ options for guarding.  The best-known limiter type card denies the opponent access to perfect guards.  We have two such cards, Fuzencongo and the more recently released Hyuoe.  Nubatama also has ways of limiting hand size as well as in limiting how one can guard based on grades.  Kujikiricongo, who will not be showcased here, was the first Nubatama card released in V reboot to directly limit as such.

On place, Mizukaze permits the player to SB a G3 to proc the following effect until the end of turn; the opponent cannot call grades that he/she had that turn from hand to the GC.  Effectively, if the opponent guards one attack with a G0 then no other attack can be guarded with a G0, and so on.  This can become problematic when the opponent has amassed a relatively large hand size.  However, with Oboro providing the fourth attack through the generation of the mask of Domination this becomes less of an issue.  Mizukaze appears to be a go-to option for many players and it is clear why as he directly ‘limits’ guarding by the opponent.  This card requires no combo pieces and can be fairly reliant.  The only downside is that to keep Oboro online, allow the Mask to drive check and himself you gain 15k, thus requires one to have 3 G3 in the soul.  The good news is that this isn’t difficult to do, given Stealth Shiranui helps fuel the soul with G3s.

Introduced in V-BT03, Kokushigarasu became the support G3 to help push Nubatama to victory by limiting hand size.  The goal with this card is to try and remove as many cards as possible from the opponent’s hand, ‘limiting’ what the opponent is left to guard with.  This card is fairly costly, requiring the player to pitch 2 sentinels along with SB 3.  While the SB cost isn’t too restricting for Shiranui, dropping two Protect markers could end up costing the player the game if not timed just right.  However, the payoff can be great.  When played in combo with Jamyocongo, it is possible to remove all cards from the opponent’s hand.

As a costed Danger-lunge, Hyoue provides Nubatama with a sentinel restrict + 15k + 1 crit final push.  This card requires 2 G3 in the soul, a requirement readily met with the help of Stealth Shiranui.  However, as a cost this card requires 1 CB, and that the player also discards 2 cards from hand.  Such high costs are reminiscent of the older Deletors.  It’s a risky finisher for sure. 

Nubatama has access to another card that prevents sentinels, Fuzencongo.  For a low cost of SB 1 G3 on the attack, the player can bind as many cards from the drop zone as desired to add 5k for each such bound until the end of the battle.  Fuzencongo can only proc if the player is at 5 damage.  This makes it risky for the player to attack with either the vanguard or the Mask of Domination before attacking with Fuzencongo, as upon damage checking a heal trigger will place the player at 4 damage and take Fuzencongo offline.  However, taking a risk of stacking crits on Fuzencongo and swinging into the opponent vanguard at numbers hovering around 100k, with the sentinel restriction, can be a huge payoff!

Lastly, I present the master of hand size restriction as a potential G3 tech option.  The downside is obvious.  By riding Jamyocongo, Oboro goes offline, and once again the player is sitting at a max of three attacks.  However, with the ever-increasing hand size for many clans, Jamyocongo affords the player an out to help mitigate this power creep.  Together with either Hyoue, Fuzencongo, or Kokushigarashu, this card may be what you need for that final turn.  Of note, Gyumado is a G2 tech option one should consider when Jamyocongo is making his way into your deck as this will allow the player to take the opponent’s hand size to 3 or even less if more than 1 copy of Gyumado is played on the same turn.

Protect

With Shiranui’s superior ride skill gaining Protect Markers is very easy for the deck.

Protect 1 is what the player typically wants to go with when running Shiranui, and most Nubatama builds in general. Having  extra sentinels helps Shiranui survive into later stages of them where their abilty to disrupt and gain advantage through the Mask of Domination and can wall out decks with lower attacks per turn easily so as long as they do not have Sentinel Restrict. 

 When running the Evil Decoy Token generators, such as Zangetsu and even Kurogiri, the option for Protect 2 does arise as tokens will be able to use this ability more often. However these tokens to provide even more intercept value, they can be easily picked off by a number of other clans effects or end up being simply too low in intercept value to help guard the massive numbers top decks can generate in the meta at this time.

Triggers

Triggers tend to vary from a 12 crit build utilizing the 30k crit sentinels to other builds that runs an upwards of 7 draws.  12 critical builds provide more opportunity for explosive finishes and can be advantageous when running the likes of Fuzencongo.  This is even more viable in Nubatama as the clan has access to numerous draw effects as discussed above with cards like Magatsu Gale while also being a Protect Clan. 

If one wishes to prioritize hand control as their main focus with cards such as Kokushigarasu, a 6 to 7 draw trigger lineup may be more favorable (with the inclusion of the 4 PG/draws, of course).   This allows the player to dig even deeper for the combo pieces that can easily destroy and opponent’s defenses , leaving them unable to maintain a hand to defend themselves easily.

General Gameplan

In the earlier stages of the game, the deck’s focus is to ensure that the deck can draw as many key units as possible and in particular Stealth Dragon, Shiranui as it is your main ride target. 

The optimal play is to ride up Sadamune/Tobitachi for G1, Fuurai for G2, and then into Stealth Shiranui for G3 to then fetch Oboro and ride it, netting two Protect 1 in hand and the ability to start dominating the opponent’s units.  Kataragitsune is there to help find the other copy of Stealth Shiranui to allow all of Oboro’s skills to be online.

When selecting a card to target with the Mask of Domination do look for an [ACT] or battle effect, given on placement effects do not proc. Against certain clans, targetting key units in the drop zone is also valid as binding cards like Skull Dragon, Volcogode, and Dragonic Overlord The End can force your opponent into an uncomfortable situation. Generally the Token or the Vanguard attacks first to ensure trigger effects arent wasted, and in some cases it is even ideal to put triggers onto the token to keep up the pressure.

Fuurai and Gale then provide support as they can recycle cards like Kataragitusune multiple times to fetch more copies of Stealth Dragon Shiranui and other G3 finishers that the player can play making the deck rather consistent. 

Over time the disruption skills in combination with Oboro’s Mask of Domination will weaken the enemy’s defenses and options lower before bringing the game to a close with a decisive finisher. 

Deck Builds

As we have done through there are many possible ways to configure the deck’s G2 and G3 line up to fit the metagame. The builds here are from Zero2Pass to give you some ideas to get started as they show you the possibilities. The first being a more aggressive version of the deck and the other using Tokens. Do check them out to learn about the thought processes behind these builds.

Cardfight Vanguard Nubatama Shiranui ( standard deck profile update )Cardfight Vanguard Nubatama Shiranui Tokens ( standard deck profile and discussion )
Competitive Results 

A Shiranui build placed 1st as a member in a Vision team tournament recently, you can read more about it in the interview CommanderJaime did.  You can check it out here 

In the Japanese side of the game, Shiranui has appeared as a rogue deck and has gotten some respectable tops. 

During the 3rd Stage of WGP2020, a Shiranui deck was able to take 4th place in a metagame that was dominated by Luard. 
The build plays both Jamyocongo and Mizukaze as finishers which both excel at breaking through decks with larger hands with their “limiter” effects. All of its Grade 1s being searchers over anything else. The deck also runs a playset of Magatsu Gale to add even more stability to keep up with the very demanding pace at the time.

So what should you play?

As for what type of build is more effective? This can be rather subjective as the many options offer different ways to play. Still here are some things you should keep in mind.

1) The Meta Game

What are you facing? How fast are you expected to win the game?

The types of finishers you prioritize can be different. In a format where games tend to be dragged out longer, Jamyocongo suddenly is a lot more attractive as it can punish decks that try to farm up a large hand. Of course, this will extend to even your trigger line-ups. Whereas in a faster format Mizukaze may be better as it can act a turn earlier as a rearguard.  

2) Your Playstyle

Like what we discussed before, with a deck with many moving parts like Shiranui, your playstyle can influence how well you play the deck. Some players tend to prefer a longer game and have a guaranteed finisher, prioritizing slowing the game down to a pace where you can overtake your opponent. Others prefer to be more aggressive and would rather run cards that will never be “dead” to avoid getting brick hands. Still do try all the options and judge it for yourself and be always curious to experiment.

3) Consistency is Key

While it may be tempting to experiment with many options always make sure to have a gameplan in mind during the earlier turns of the game and if possible, max out on all your key pieces. Something we can see in the WGP List. In a competitive setting, consistency is easily one of the most important things a deck needs to succeed. So don’t feel too pressured to always try and fit in all the types of cards. Rather rotate between them while testing to see how comfortable you are with the cards at the number you end up deciding on.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, Shiranui brings a new flavor that was missing from the V series format and gives it a clear gameplan that future support can build upon in V Premium in the future. Combining the earlier bouncing and discarding in Nubatama with the Mask of Domination gives the deck a steady way to cripple the enemy, with a consistent extra attack and drives giving the deck more pressure during the earlier turns which the clan definitely was lacking.  Be sure to give the deck a try if you are looking for a different type of Protect deck or are a fan of the clan. 

With that thanks again for reading this deck study and I hope it helps you get started in your journey with the deck.

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