Low Key: Circuit Break Shinobird Spirits

Doug Zeeff

11/7/2017 11:00:00 AM

I've mentioned before how I was in disbelief when the Shinobird cards were announced.

I've been a fan of Spirit cards - specifically Aratama and Nikitama - for years, so when new Spirit support got revealed I was ecstatic. Spirts are a sub-type that brings an interesting set of challenges to the table: generally speaking, your monsters cannot be Special Summoned, and they bounce back to the hand during the End Phase of the turn they're Normal Summoned or flipped face-up.

However, behind those drawbacks lay unique effects for winning games. Aratama's a free search that's not limited to once per turn. If you have a card like Double Summon or Gem-Knight Seraphinite with two copies of Aratama you can grab two Spirit monsters for free. Nikitama compliments it perfectly, granting you an extra Normal Summon of a Spirit monster once per turn. Not only that, but when Nikitama hits the graveyard and you control a Spirit monster you'll nab a free draw.

That second effect is crucial because, once again, you're not limited to using it only once a turn. If you manage to send multiple Nikitamas to the graveyard in the same turn you'll instantly draw a whole bunch of cards. Between Link Summoning, Brilliant Fusion, and Ritual Summoning you're bound to get a few of them in the graveyard in the early stages of the game, which quickly turns into you burying the opponent in card advantage.

And yes, I said Ritual Summoning. Shinobaron Peacock and Shinobaroness Peacock break a lot of rules. They're Spirit monsters, but they're also Ritual Monsters. Not only that, but they both have effects that let you Special Summon Level 4 Spirit monsters, ignoring their summoning conditions.

To get those Special Summon effects you have to resolve the first half of their effect, which bounces cards. Shinobaron Peacock returns up to three monsters your opponent controls back to the hand, and then you get to Special Summon a Level 4 Spirit from your own hand. Shinobaroness shuffles up to three backrow back into your opponent's deck, and then brings out a Spirit from your deck, not the hand.

 Brilliant Fusion
Brilliant Fusion122379
Set 2016 Mega-Tins Mega Pack
Number MP16-EN082
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

When this card is activated: Fusion Summon 1 "Gem-Knight" Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your Deck as Fusion Materials, but change its ATK and DEF to 0. If this card leaves the field, destroy that monster. Once per turn: You can discard 1 Spell Card; the monster Special Summoned by this card's effect gains ATK and DEF equal to its original ATK and DEF, until the end of your opponent's turn. You can only activate 1 "Brilliant Fusion" per turn.

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There are a few important notes with those effects. First, both of them are non-targeting removal. That means your opponent has to activate any counters to them before you select the cards that are returning to the hand or deck, and it also means they get around annoying stuff like Kozmo Dark Destroyer. Secondly, the Spirit monsters they bring out do not return to the hand in the End Phase, because they weren't Normal Summoned or flipped face-up. That's huge, and while it was cool before Circuit Break as a way to cheese cards like Nikitama and Shinobird Crane onto the field, Circuit Break brings a new monster that truly breaks this mechanic.

Amano-Iwato is deceptively simple, but packs a mean punch. It has the same returning effect as Aratama and Nikitama, but while it's on the field neither player can activate monster card effects except for Spirit monsters. It's basically a Majesty's Fiend that only affects your opponent, and in a lot of cases you'll instantly win the game off of it. Sure, its effect is really good, but the real reason it steals games is because nobody knows it exists. By the time you're Special Summoning Amano-Iwato off of Shinobaron or Shinobaroness Peacock, it's too late for your opponent.

I specifically remember a cool interaction I had where I used a Shinobaron Peacock to bounce back several ABC monsters to my opponent's hand, and then brought out Amano-Iwato to prevent the equipped pieces' effects from going off. It was impossible for my opponent to come back from that much negation, so I won the game on the next turn.

But Amano-Iwato does so much more than stop a couple B-Buster Drake effects. Hand traps are useless against it, so you're free to use your Pre-Preparation of Rites without fear of Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring. There's no worry of SPYRAL Sleeper blowing up all your cards, either. Amano-Iwato hits the field like a better Denko Sekka with a similar impact on your opponent's morale: once they read it, they're not going to be happy to see it.

The goal of a Shinobird Spirit deck is pretty straightforward: disrupt your opponent with a bunch of Ritual Summons, and close out the game with Amano-Iwato. Let's take a look at the deck list.

    CIBR Shinobird Spirits Doug Zeeff    
Main Deck
Side Deck
2 Amano-Iwato
3 Aratama
2 Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
2 Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju
1 Gem-Knight Garnet
3 Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands
1 Maxx "C"
3 Nikitama
3 Shinobaron Peacock
3 Shinobaroness Peacock
1 Shinobird Crane
Monsters [24]
3 Brilliant Fusion
2 Cosmic Cyclone
3 Pre-Preparation of Rites
3 Shinobird's Calling
Spells [11]
2 Solemn Strike
3 Urgent Ritual Art
Traps [5]
Deck Total [40]


1 Abyss Dweller
1 Akashic Magician
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Decode Talker
2 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand
1 Fairy Cheer Girl
1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
2 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
2 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 Proxy Dragon
Extra Deck [15]

Urgent Ritual Art is a crucial part of any Shinobird list. A trap card that was released a little too late to be used in Nekroz, Urgent Ritual Art fills a huge gap in this deck.

There are a ton of ways to get additional uses out of your Ritual Monsters, specifically cards like Pre-Preparation of Rites that can add ones in the graveyard back to your hand. Unfortunately, there aren't any consistent ways to get spent Ritual Spells back. Without using any outside cards, you'd only be able to summon three Ritual Monsters per game. That's obviously not good enough, especially since the Shinobird Ritual Monsters return to the hand during the End Phase just like any normal Spirit monster.

Urgent Ritual Art lets you banish a Ritual Spell in your graveyard to copy its effect. That's utterly insane in a deck with cards like the Shinobirds, because it lets you use their disruption effects on your opponent's turn. More importantly, it grants you three extra Ritual Summons. Even better, Shinobird's Calling lets you banish Spirit monsters in the graveyard for Ritual Summons.

That means you can aggressively summon a Shinobaron Peacock on your own turn, using at least one Nikitama to get a draw. Then, you can set Urgent Ritual Art before passing turn. During the End Phase, Shinobaron bounces back to your hand and replaces itself with two Level 4 Tokens. On your opponent's turn when they go to make a play, you can respond with Urgent Ritual Art to banish the cards you used for the first Ritual Summon to bring out the Shinobaron again. That's even crazier when you're doing it with Shinobaroness Peacock because you'll also get two Spirits from your deck. No matter how you spin it, bouncing back three cards followed by Amato-Iwato is insane.

Brilliant Fusion's a fan favorite of mine and makes perfect sense in this deck. You'll almost always want to Normal Summon Aratama, grab Nikitama, and then used Brilliant Fusion to send a Nikitama to the graveyard. That lets you draw a card, and hopefully you can Ritual Summon to get the second Nikitama draw effect. If you can't, there's always the option of using your second Normal Summon on the Nikitama, and then making Akashic Magician with Seraphinite. That'll get you a second draw, and then you can use Akashic and Aratama to make a Decode Talker. It's not the flashiest play in the world, but it certainly gets the job done when you're trying to deck thin toward your Ritual Monsters.

The restrictions of Spirits might dissuade some newcomers to the deck, but once you get the hang of things you'll find they're not as harsh as they look. The Shinobird Ritual Monsters are extremely powerful, and Amato-Iwato really ties the deck together. When I played this thing before it really lacked a great monster to bring out with the Rituals, but that's no longer an issue.

I'm excited to mess around with Spirits at less competitive events, and can't wait to see if Konami gives them even more support!

-Doug Zeeff

Doug Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major in college. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not a single walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularly posting unorthodox, unfiltered Yu-Gi-Oh! content on his Youtube channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, Overwatch, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh. Click here to follow him and his adventures on Facebook!

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