This archetype is based after the Shiranui (不知火; "unknown fire"), a ghostly phenomenon from the Japanese Folklore of Kyūshū, as a reference to both their Type and Attribute. In terms of appearance, "Shiranui" monsters appear to be a clan that forge, bless, and wield a sword possessed by a spirit in order to gain the spirit's power.
The "Shiranui" monsters revolve around the banishment of Zombie monsters, or the interaction with banished Zombie monsters, generally providing card advantage from this.
The non-Tuner Main Deck monsters have a set of two very versatile effects: the first one varies from the set-up of Synchro/Xyz/Link Summons, as seen in "Shiranui Spiritmaster", "Solitaire", and "Squire", to a boost on offensiveness or field presence, with "Samurai" and "Swordmaster". The second one triggers when they are banished and generally increases card advantage, by either destroying or retrieving cards.
"Shiranui Spectralsword" and "Shiranui Spectralsword Shade" are the Tuners of the archetype. The former allows the player to Special Summon a Zombie Synchro Monster from the Extra Deck, by banishing itself alongside with a non-Tuner Zombie monster, both from the Graveyard. Although this Special Summon is not treated as a Synchro Summon, this effect allows the player to unleash monsters that would normally require specific Synchro Materials, notably "Archfiend Zombie-Skull". The latter can Tribute itself to Special Summons 2 banished Zombie monsters, including a "Shiranui". Both of them can be easily Special Summoned by the effect of "Shiranui Squire".
The main goal of the theme is to Summon their Synchro monsters:
- With the weakest stats and effects among them, "Shiranui Swordsaga" changes the battle position of a monster upon being Special Summoned and Special Summons a "Shiranui Token" when banished.
- "Shiranui Squiresaga" is a solid option for the pin-point removal of cards: depending on the monster banished for its effect, it can either increase the ATK of Zombie monsters, or destroy a Spell/Trap or monster. If the monster banished for its effect is a FIRE Zombie Synchro monster, all three effects can be used.
- When "Shiranui Shogunsaga" is Special Summoned, it can banish a Zombie monster from the Graveyard and raise its 3000 base ATK by an amount equal to the banished monster's ATK. When it is destroyed, its owner can return one of their banished Zombies with 0 DEF to the Graveyard.
- "Shiranui Sunsaga" has the highest ATK of the group, with 3500. Upon its Special Summon, it can recycle any number of Zombie Synchro monsters, banished or in the Graveyard, and destroy opposing cards in the process, up to that number. Also, it can prevent the destruction of Zombie monsters by banishing a "Shiranui" from the Graveyard, possibly triggering its effect.
The archetype also has a Link Monster — "Shiranui Skillsaga Supremacy" —, that doesn't directly supports the archetype, but coincidentally prevents the destruction of FIRE Synchro monsters. It can also Special Summon a banished Zombie Synchro monster during the opponent's turn.
The Spell/Trap line-up further increases card advantage, by either Special Summoning a "Shiranui" directly from the Deck, as in the case of "Ghost Meets Girl - A Shiranui's Story", or from the Graveyard, with "Shiranui Style Synthesis". In addition, "Shiranui Style Swallow's Slash" acts exactly the same way as "Icarus Attack", with the difference that it banishes a "Shiranui" monster from the Deck at the resolution, which can trigger its effect.
Being a Zombie-reliant Deck, there are many generic support cards that can be very useful, such as "Zombie World", "Zombie Master", "Book of Life" and "Uni-Zombie". Also, the signature mechanic of the Archetype can also be supported by cards like "Gold Sarcophagus", "Spirit of Flames" and especially "Shutendoji".
In terms of lore, the "Shiranui" cards are related to the "Mayakashi" archetype. The shrine that appears in the artwork of "Mayakashi Return" is the same as in the artwork of "Shiranui Style Samsara", also, "Dakki, the Graceful Mayakashi" appears in the artwork of "Ghost Meets Girl - A Shiranui's Story" alongside "Shiranui Squire", presumably inside the said shrine. "Yoko, the Graceful Mayakashi" and "Shiranui Skillsaga Supremacy" also appear together in the artwork of "Fateful Hour" and "Shiranui Solitaire" bears a strong resemblance with "Hajun, the Winged Mayakashi".