Regional Top 8: Tre Braaten’s Shiranuis

When I first started playing Yu-Gi-Oh! I loved Zombies. You always had to worry about the strategy because they could accomplish a lot with a flurry of moves in a single turn, and that was rare back in the early days of the game. They had a ton of unfair cards like Card of Safe Return, and Zombies were even the undisputed best deck at a couple points in the game’s history.

While a lot’s changed since those days, Zombies have a few powerful new tools to work with in modern competition. Most recently, Shiranui Solitaire’s given every Zombie deck a way to make a Level 8 Synchro with just one card on their first turn. While that might seem good but not great, factor in PSY-Framelord Omega’s ability to disrupt your opponent and put a banished Mezuki back in your graveyard in the process, and things start to shape up a bit more.

If you aren’t familiar, the basic combo with Shiranui Solitaire is to Special Summon a Uni-Zombie from your deck, and then have Uni-Zombie kick a Mezuki to your graveyard. The Mezuki can revive the Solitaire, and boom you have the materials for a Level 8 Synchro. There have been a ton of powerful Level 8 Synchros released recently, especially PSY-Framelord Omega and Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon. Both are great on your first turn because they provide solid disruption while also being resilient, and the list of strong options doesn’t stop there. Between those two, Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons, Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend, and even Void Ogre Dragon, Zombies have a lot of Level 8 Synchros to abuse.

But why are we talking about Zombies right now? Tre Braaten managed to take his Shiranui deck all the way to the Top 8 of the Spokane Washington Regional Qualifier. Shiranui’s the closest thing we’ve had to a good Zombie deck in a long while, so I’m pretty stoked to see it achieving Regional success!

Let’s take a look at Braaten’s list and analyze why he did so well.

Tre Braaten’s Shiranuis – 40 cards
shiranuisolitaire-tdil-en-ur-1eSpokane Washington Regional Qualifier, September 3rd 2016
Monsters: 22

2 Fairy Tail – Snow
2 Gem-Knight Garnet
2 Maxx “C”
3 Mezuki
1 Performage Trick Clown
1 Shiranui Samurai
3 Shiranui Solitaire
1 Shiranui Spectralsword
2 Shiranui Spiritmaster
2 Summoner Monk
3 Uni-Zombie

Spells: 15
3 Brilliant Fusion
1 Burial from a Different Dimension
1 Foolish Burial
3 Gold Sarcophagus
2 Instant Fusion
3 Pot of Desires
1 Soul Charge
1 Upstart Goblin

Traps: 3
1 Rise to Full Height
1 Shiranui Style Swallow’s Slash
1 Vanity’s Emptiness

PSYFramelordOmega-HSRD-EN-ScR-1EExtra Deck: 15
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Black Rose Moonlight Dragon
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Colossal Fighter
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Elder Entity Norden
1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
2 PSY-Framelord Omega
1 Revived King Ha Des
1 Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend
1 Shiranui Shogunsaga
1 Void Ogre Dragon

Side Deck: 15
3 Anti-Spell Fragrance
2 D.D. Crow
2 Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju
2 Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit
2 Mind Crush
1 Raigeki
1 Shiranui Style Swallow’s Slash
2 Twin Twisters

So there’s a bunch of awesome stuff going on here, and I’m a big fan of all of it. First off it’s clear that Braaten built this deck to be a combo strategy. Brilliant Fusion has been a defining card since we first saw it. An additional Normal Summon is huge if you need to commit your first Normal Summon to a Shiranui Solitaire. It opens up huge turns by playing something like Summoner Monk in addition to your Solitaire, so you can guarantee a massive opening field. While you’ll be sending good ol’ Performage Tricklown to the graveyard with Brilliant Fusion most of the time, you can get another Level 4 trick as well: Fairy Tail – Snow is another option that gives you a lot of utility.

fairytailsnow-tdil-en-sp-1eI’ve seen a bunch of strategies try to abuse Fairy Tail – Snow, and anything that can fill a grave quickly can run it. Snow can Special Summon itself any time, as long as you banish a total of seven cards from your hand, field, or graveyard; obviously you want to be banishing stuff from your grave because it’s essentially free. That doesn’t mean you’re not supposed to be banishing stuff from your field or hand as well though, because if you banish Shiranuis with Fairy Tail – Snow you’ll get their effects! Once Snow hits the field, it’ll Book of Moon an opposing threat; it’s so strong. You can set Burning Abyss back a full turn if you can set up a good Fairy Tail – Snow, and the fact that it’s disruption attached to a body that also works with the rest of your deck makes it a real all-star.

This deck also gets to run Gem-Knight Seraphinite as a Synchro Material, something not all Brilliant Fusion strategies get to do. While Uni-Zombie’s usually going to be a Level 4 Tuner because of its effect, you can still use it to pump another monster to keep Uni-Zombie at Level 3. From there you can Tune it with Seraphnite to summon whatever Level 8 Synchro you want. That gives more value to your Brilliant Fusion because you have a high number of monsters that you really want to get onto the field, and the fact that Uni-Zombie does a lot even if you just use your additional Normal Summon on it is great.

With Gold Sarcophagus unrestricted, you can use it to banish whatever Shiranui you’d like and trigger its effect. That means it can be removal with Shiranui Spiritmaster, a way to grab resources back with Shiranui Samurai, or a way to get more monsters onto the field with Shiranui Solitaire. This is arguably the best Gold Sarcophagus strategy we’ve seen since Dragon Rulers, and if you haven’t played with a good Gold Sarcophagus deck then you really need to try it. The fact that you get an effect as soon as you activate it, but still claim whatever card you banished two turns later makes it much stronger than it looks.

While Pot of Desires won’t trigger your Shiranuis, it’s pretty cool that you can still get at those cards with PSY-Framelord Omega. That effect makes Pot of Desires much more valuable than it is in other strategies, because if you can get Omegas going and you run out of stuff to put back into your graveyard, you can get even more cards for free by returning something like Mezuki or Fairy Tail – Snow back into your grave. In fact, anything you return to your graveyard is useful because of Snow, so the interactions between Omega and Desires in this specific deck are pretty awesome.

The traps are the most interesting aspect of the list to me. The single copy of Shiranui Style Swallow’s Slash feels a bit out of place, but I understand the reasoning behind it. Multiple copies are probably a little difficult to resolve, but the effect is very worthwhile. Beyond getting to destroy two of your opponent’s cards, you also get to banish a Shiranui from your deck to trigger an additional effect. That means you’re always trading up, and if you manage to destroy something that your opponent had to invest in then it’s definitely a good deal.

risetofullheight-shvi-en-c-1eBut the real standout is Rise to Full Height. I’d never even seen that card before Braaten played it, and it has some pretty cool interactions. On the surface it seems really bad. The first effect is essentially worthless unless you can find a way to make it valuable by saving a monster or dealing relevant damage. But the second effect is what you’re playing it for. You can target a big resilient monster so your opponent can’t pick off the rest of your team, and when you combo it with PSY-Framelord Omega you can go crazy. By banishing the Omega, you remove the only attack target your opponent has and keep them from attacking entirely. The clincher is that Omega can recycle it back to your graveyard. Once you have that combo online, you can stop your opponent from making attacks for the rest of the game.

I’m stoked to see Shiranui make the Top Cut of a Regional Qualifier. All of the cards Braaten played are very powerful, and I think we could see something similar breakthrough at the YCS level as well.

What do you think of Shiranuis? Do you have any sweet tech you think makes them better? I want to see your ideas down below!

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