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Thread: Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker

  1. #1

    Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker

    I've wanted to build a proper Aristocrats deck for a while, and the reprinting of Shirei and the associated drop in foil prices made it seem like an obvious time to put together a new deck.

    Commander: Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker

    Blood Pet
    Carrion Feeder
    Fume Spitter
    Hope of Ghirapur
    Martyr of Bones
    Plagued Rusalka
    Viscera Seer
    Abyssal Gatekeeper
    Blood Artist
    Doomed Dissenter
    Myr Retriever
    Mesmeric Fiend
    Tattered Mummy
    Zulaport Cutthroat
    Big Game Hunter
    Bone Shredder
    Bottle Gnomes
    Cadaver Imp
    Corrosive Mentor
    Pilgrim's Eye
    Soot Imp
    Weaponcraft Enthusiast
    Mindless Automaton
    Pitiless Plunderer
    Marionette Master

    Bontu the Glorified
    Yahenni, Undying Partisan
    Falkenrath Noble
    Sifter of Skulls
    Sadistic Hypnotist
    Sidisi, Undead Vizier
    Harvester of Souls

    Attrition
    Hero's Downfall
    Damnation
    Ritual of Soot
    In Garruk's Wake
    Grave Pact
    Dictate of Erebos

    Sensei's Divining Top
    Necropotence
    Read the Bones
    Reprocess
    Entomb
    Vampiric Tutor
    Demonic Tutor
    Diabolic Intent

    Mind Slash
    Phyrexian Altar
    Open the Graves
    Torment of Hailfire

    Phyrexian Reclamation
    Malevolent Awakening

    Lightning Greaves
    Ring of Xathrid
    Swiftfoot Boots
    Darksteel Plate

    Mana Vault
    Sol Ring
    Coldsteel Heart
    Jet Medallion
    Unstable Obelisk
    Hedron Archive

    Bojuka Bog
    Cabal Coffers
    Cabal Stronghold
    High Market
    Myriad Landscape
    Phyrexian Tower
    Scrying Sheets
    Thawing Glaciers
    Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    Volrath's Stronghold
    26 Snow-Covered Swamp

    There are a couple of quirks about Shirei worth mentioning:

    1) Shirei has to live the entire turn in order to bring your minions back. Even if he dies but is then brought back within the same turn, his trigger will not go off because he is considered a new object.

    2) Shirei only cares about the power of your creatures when they died and does not check their power again while they are in the graveyard. If you have a way to shrink your own creatures, he will revive men with 2+ power provided they died with power 1 or less.

    Like I said, I wanted to build an Aristocrats deck but did not want to shell out for 20+ Shadowborn Apostles and build that nonsense, so here we are. I've gotten a few games with this deck under my belt and it is hilarious and fun but not very powerful, mostly because of Shirei's poor cost-to-stats ratio and lack of survivability options in black. I'm really hoping there's a 1-power, mono-black creature with Afterlife in Orzhov because it probably gets auto-added here.

  2. #2
    Hymn-Slinger
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    Re: Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker

    Wow, I didn't realize they had reprinted Shirei. I used to play this a long, long time ago. Looks like they printed some pretty neat things for the deck.

    I had found Blood Pet pretty underwhelming back then and I did like Thoughtpicker Witch, but that card tends to get you targeted. I think I also ran Scarecrone but I'm not really sure why.

    The deck was super fun, but people sure hated that I often had more to do on other people's turns than they did.
    "The Ancients teach us that if we can but last, we shall prevail."
    Kaysa, Elder Druid of the Juniper Order

  3. #3

    Re: Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker

    Yeah, I'm kind of surprised to see him back too, it wasn't a card I'd thought there would be much of a reason to reprint outside of maybe a precon of some sort.

    I need to pick up a Witch. Blood Pet has been okay so far.

    I'm considering giving the deck slightly more direction right now, with the two options as "-1/-1 counters" and "discard". There are a few discard cards I'm not running - Disciple of Phenax, Fell Specter, Burglar Rat, and Black Cat notably - but most of them aren't that great. The counter theme is slightly more interesting, but the options are more limited and I'm not sure I need oodles more creature control - but on the other hand, I've wanted to run Midnight Banshee in a deck for a long time, and this is a nice spot for it.

  4. #4

    Re: Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker

    Bump for an updated version of the list I'm running here, now with correct versions of the cards I'm running.

    This list is proving to be a lot of fun to play but has a nasty habit of stalling out hard if Shirei isn't in play (and will sometimes stall anyway even if you have him). I'm not sure how to correct for that. Most of the Aristocrats-style cards that reward you for killing your own stuff require you to have a board first, so if you're flooding out or mana-starved, you're kind of just screwed. Flooding in particular is brutal because Shirei is so personally pathetic as an attacker.

    Priest of the Forgotten Gods seems pretty tailor-made for this deck, and Orzhov Enforcer might not be bad either. I'll try them and see. Vindictive Vampire feels like a pretty free upgrade on Falkenrath Noble.

  5. #5

    Re: Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker

    I saw a shirei deck once that ran heartless summoning with x/1s that had a etb/ltb effect in combination with grave pact like effects. Was pretty scary when it all clicked, but like you said, quite durdly otherwise.

    Makes your game plan jump forwards quite a bit!


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  6. #6

    Re: Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker

    Yeah, Summoning is pretty solid. It pushes the deck in a different direction, I think. You can afford to run more high-end haymakers and use Summoning to accelerate them out while giving you board control with death triggers on the little guys. It also allows you to Shirei back 2/X creatures, since Shirei only checks power at the time the creature dies, and that opens the deck up to a lot more effects. My one gripe about it is that building around it ups the number of cards you have to tutor for, since I almost always end up burning a tutor to find a protection effect for Shirei early to make sure I don't get shut down by creature removal (Shirei has to survive an entire turn to work).

    I think Blood Funnel is another interesting option. There are a bunch of expensive spells in black that get a lot better if you can throw away a spud to ramp them out.

    The other Shirei build I was considering was Shadowborn Apostle, with probably around 25-30 of them and 10ish demons, but Shadowborn is about $4-5 per copy and I did not want to pay that much money for a bunch of duplicate commons. It does seem like a pretty beastly way to build Shirei, though.

    Back on topic: I really wish black had more Scry options. Shadows of the Past might be worth it here to dig to important cards, and Barrier of Bones and Doom Whisperer might also be worth it. I just need ways to scrape junk off the top of my library so I can dig for important cards when I start to stall.

  7. #7
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    Re: Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Aggro_zombies View Post
    The other Shirei build I was considering was Shadowborn Apostle, with probably around 25-30 of them and 10ish demons, but Shadowborn is about $4-5 per copy and I did not want to pay that much money for a bunch of duplicate commons. It does seem like a pretty beastly way to build Shirei, though.

    Back on topic: I really wish black had more Scry options. Shadows of the Past might be worth it here to dig to important cards, and Barrier of Bones and Doom Whisperer might also be worth it. I just need ways to scrape junk off the top of my library so I can dig for important cards when I start to stall.
    Wow, Apostles are $5 a piece? Time to see if I've got any laying around...

    As for scry, I've been sticking Crystal Ball in more and more decks lately for the same reason. It's not a creature for Shirei, but it is pretty non-threatening so it should stick around for a while. Could try Isolated Watchtower too. The "downside" might not actually be a downside if you regularly play vs. a ramp deck of some kind.

    There's other random cards that might be useful too, like Read the Bones or Price of Fame. Neither one is really flashy, but I always find myself reaching for stuff like this when I'm building decks.

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