Is Dolo Too Mighty?

Whether you play Lightseekers casually or competitively, there is little doubt in my mind that you haven't heard of the controversial Mountain starter hero known as Dolo the Mighty and the current debate surrounding him:

Dolo the Mighty is too overpowered.

My take on the situation is that there is not much of a debate as to whether or not Dolo decks are strong, countless top eight regional finishes help put this dispute to rest. Rather, the controversy lies in the debate on whether everyone’s most beloved (or despised) pile of rocks is just TOO STRONG

Analysis of a Typical Dolo Deck

Traditional and proven Dolo the Mighty builds are very aggressive (often termed Aggro). They are the product of the many quick, hard-hitting combos and action cards that Mountain has to offer. However, the key in all Dolo decks is undoubtedly Dolo’s incredibly strong ability.

The ability, “Take two damage and draw two cards”, allows for a very speedy setup and can easily be improved by negating the “take two damage” with damage reduction cards like Mountain Fort, Colossi Ritual Site, or Rockhide Revenge. These damage reduction cards essentially negate the damage you would have otherwise taken from Dolo’s ability rendering the ability even more potent with almost no downside.  

The deck also has incredibly consistent answers to nearly all scenarios thanks to powerful healing cards such as Boulder Feast or Enchanted Soil and heavy damage cards like Magma Spitter, Draga Scorcher, and Flame Bat that hit hard and quick. It also must be discussed that the win condition almost always seems to be Colossi Ritual Site. This buff allows for large spurts of damage thanks to a surplus of attack action cards in the deck. Not to mention Colossi Ritual Site can be set up to hit simultaneously with a Draga Scorcher for an even more devastating onslaught of damage.

Popular Dolo deck techs include buff retrievals such as Geode Hatchling, or the less common (but still effective) Exteria Defender, which cancels your opponent’s next attack card or action. Exteria Defender’s value lies primarily in its ability to thwart attack based buff removal, which every order utilizes except for Storm. (God bless Thunder Slug!)

Overall, the deck is extremely consistent and quick. Plus, on top of those factors, It has an answer for nearly every aspect of the game and its fundamental mechanics. All of these concepts come together to help construct the Dolo the Mighty decks that the community has become all too familiar with.

Too Strong?

I’ll be blunt and get straight to the point – I do not believe that Dolo is overpowered.

Most well-established card games clearly have what are called “metas”. Very quickly, I’ll mention that by definition a meta is what is believed to be the most efficient and effective strategy in a particular game at the current point in time. The very nature of TCGs doesn’t allow for the nonexistence of a meta, it’s just a question of how diverse or loose that meta happens to be.

All of this considered, even though we see a lot of Dolo topping at regional events, there doesn’t seem to be an overwhelming presence that we may see in other games. Plus, given the recent mix of varying decks such as Sicario with a Tech order splash, Cassini’s Flying Fortress build, Sunhunter Tuktu and even Granite, it is clear that there are definitely many other viable options.

Deck Strategies That Lead To Dolo’s Downfall

From my experience, Buff heavy decks seem to be a great answer to the “Dolos on Dolos on Dolos” present at many Lightseekers tournaments.

I believe that this is largely due to the fact that Dolo only has Crystal Leech and maybe a Rock Melter for Buff removal at his disposal.

Since Crystal Leech is a Burn card and Dolo doesn’t have any means for recycling cards other than Buffs via Geode Hatchling, he isn’t well equipped to handle large amounts of Buffs. These factors make buff heavy decks such as Sicario and Treanu viable options so long as you can survive long enough to get a solid wall of buffs in play, which is reasonable considering the strong Abilities both aforementioned Heroes possess.

The only other thing I’d say is to be sure that if you splash into other elements be sure to have ample means of card retrieval for Items. Otherwise, Crushing Blow can cause you some serious headaches.

Looking Ahead to US Nationals

Believe it or not, as far as US Nationals goes, I’m not sold on Dolo being a great option given the newly released information regarding the format that will be in place for the tournament. After considering the nature of the Advanced Constructed format and Dolo’s prominence I think people will be in one of two mindsets, both of which are not favorable for Dolo.

One mindset includes participants denying Dolo’s existence by eliminating their opponent’s chance to use him right from the get-go. The other would be to have extreme confidence in your remaining two decks and bring Dolo into the tournament on purpose to theoretically ensure that you could play him with one of your two Dolo killer decks. In either scenario, the outcome isn’t promising for Dolo players. This is why I personally would not advise playing Dolo at US Nationals, but only time will tell if The Mighty Dolo can be stopped!

Let me know in the comments if you think Dolo is the Mightiest!

Dan Amon (DanTheMan) is a 17 year old Lightseekers enthusiast from Pennington, NJ. He is fortunate to have a thriving Lightseekers community very close to home thanks to his LGS, Family Fun Hobbies, and is proud to take full advantage of everything the community has to offer. Dan placed in the top four at the championship constructed tournament at PAX Unplugged and is looking to stream the digital version of Lightseekers on Twitch upon its release.