Shidai is usually used as the “spells matter” Songhai general, since her BBS gives you multiple cheap procs to trigger Arcanysts and pump your spell count for Mantra. However, if you look at what the Spellswords actually do, it turns out that Shidai is naturally suited to be a Backstab general! The Spellswords all synergize with the gameplan:
- Kotetsu gives you backstab
- Kiyomori helps move you into position
- Tanahashi can vacate the space behind the enemy general
- Murasame finds combo pieces
This is a meme build which takes this theme to an extreme: essentially, its only means of winning is via a massive backstab OTK. Play this deck if you enjoy punishing bad positioning and killing with hilarious, out-of-nowhere burst.
The majority of the cards in the deck are devoted to setting up a one-turn massive backstab combo.
Mask of Shadows and Obscuring Blow give you the backstab ability. Try to hold off on playing these too early: doing so makes them vulnerable to damage/dispel, and just as importantly, tips off your opponent as to what you’re doing. Ideally you’ll want to be able to backstab the same turn you play these out, but it’s acceptable to play them after you’ve managed to get in the region behind the enemy generals. Saberspine Seal counts as an honorary backstab card that increases damage output during a combo turn or can be used as emergency removal.
Silhouette Tracer, Mist Walking, and Flicker allow you to run away from and dodge past enemies in the early game. On a combo turn, they teleport you into backstab position. Twilight Fox is probably the worst card in the deck and most of the time does nothing at all, but it’s worth it for the times when it RNG snipes the enemy general off the back wall into position to be bodied. You’ll feel like Meltdown never left…
Bangle of Blinding Strike is the most important card in the deck. It serves double duty: it enhances the reach of your movement skills, keeping you safe early, while doubling your damage on the combo turn. Since it’s so good in all phases of the game, try to keep an extra copy in your bar if you can afford the space.
All of the other cards are burn spells. Early game, burn allows you to manage the board while dealing chip damage to the enemy general. Late game, it can finish off an opponent after a combo turn. Crescent Spear powers up the burn and attracts pings, so it’s a good card to play early before your more important artifacts come down.
A word of caution: this deck can never be actually good because the counterplay of always keeping the back covered is very difficult to overcome. Try to keep your gameplan hidden initially to lure opponents into the middle of the field. However, you can make this competitive by upgrading it into Artihai, replacing the jankier backstab enablers with Cyclone Mask and more burn. Although Artihai decks usually run Reva, I believe that the above synergies make Shidai a superior choice of general for builds running Mask of Shadows.