First, a little something to set the mood:

(If you're wondering 'why this track in particular', in case you hadn't already gleaned this from her art, Shirei is spoopy--in lore, it's her 'duty' (or perhaps just her desire) to keep the spirits of the multitude of samurai who died in the slaughter at Shizo from entering the Reikai, or Kamigawa's spirit realm. Also, creepy koto music is a little hard to find, so we're going with this--it's not bad!).

So...what is it that you want most in a game of EDH, hmm? Mana? Life? Removal? Recursion? Pure card advantage, perhaps? You can have all this--and still more--when what has to be my favorite mono-black commander is running the show.

This deck right here is my firstborn EDH baby, in essence. I've upgraded it over the course of about four years from being a budget deck filled with jank like Elixir of Immortality, Nezumi Bone-Reader, and Bottle Gnomes to the $1000 monster you see before you today. So, what so inspired me to dump that much money on a commander like this? Weeeelllll...

I don't know about you, but most mono-black options for EDH bore me. Why? Well, while I'm not suggesting that this is exactly avoidable, whether it's Sheoldred, Whispering One, Mikaeus, the Unhallowed, or even Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed, there's an absurd degree of similarity between the mono-black EDH lists I find myself browsing through on occasion. While I'm not necessarily complaining about this, it's worth acknowledging that mono-black EDH decks indisputably tend to play the most staples out of every possible color combination in the format (which is not to say that I don't play any staples, buuuuut...).

Introducing Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker, who brings with herself a welcome departure from the same old thinking--if we respectfully disregard the words 'Shadowborn Apostle', anyhow. Her ability may seem underwhelming, at first, but in a deck built around it, it's an outright powerhouse--and one that may very well catch your opponents by surprise, for this very reason.

If you hadn't yet discerned it, I'm a big fan of 'toolbox' style decks--for me, being out of answers or lacking for resources during a game is my most dreaded nightmare. And, as a plus, this style of deck tends to be far more interactive and strategic than normal, which is precisely the kind of play that makes EDH my favored format. As such, I'm right at home with this deck. Perhaps you should try it out yourself--see if you like the way it plays.

CAUTION: Hating on this deck's strategy is very, very easy. You could really be attacking your meta at the complete wrong angle if you choose to play this deck. For reference, here are some (at least somewhat) commonly played cards in this format that will have you actively thinking over your outs in no time:

Grafdigger's Cage

Gauntlet of Power (They can name black)

Mimic Vat

Massacre Wurm

Night of Souls' Betrayal (Not as common, and not quite as devastating as some others, but still immensely hampering)

Leyline of the Void

Grave Betrayal

Relic of Progenitus (Not the worst, but still disruptive)

Rest in Peace

Tormod's Crypt

Bojuka Bog

Planar Void

Scavenging Ooze

Containment Priest

Bad Moon (Yes, for us, this counts as hate, though that's probably not intended)

In another category are commanders who hate on us so badly that you may want to consider conceding the game the second you see that they're being played and go off to find another table:

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

Anafenza, the Foremost

Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

And those are just the ones that I could think of off the top of my head! Your only choice in these situations, should you wish to fight through them, is to preempt them from arising in the first place, as, if they've stuck, your deck's flexibility has just been decreased by a backbreaking margin, to the point where it may end with you losing the game (or you could get lucky with Oblivion Stone, but don't count on it).


Updates Add



91% Competitive

Top Ranked
Date added 5 years
Last updated 8 months

This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

Rarity (main - side)

9 - 0 Mythic Rares

41 - 0 Rares

18 - 0 Uncommons

12 - 0 Commons

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 2.52
Tokens 3/1 Elemental, 2/2 Morph, 1/1 Bat
Folders Non-Budget Commander, Shirei, Saved, EDH, Shirei, Mono Black EDH, Shirei/Aristocrats
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Revision 11 See all

8 months ago)