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US National Report – Part 1: The Road to Nationals

Post PAX East

After arriving home from placing Top 8 at PAX East, I instantly started brainstorming a deck for Nationals. I wanted to get as much practice as I could get because I knew I wasn't going use Captain Blacktail.

Captain Blacktail (Storm/Astral - Hero - Mythic) - Lightseekers MythicalI knew I had to build a strong deck that could stand up against Sicario and Dolo the Mighty, as I felt that these two heroes would be common at the US Nationals. Ultimately, I wanted to bring something new to the meta while doing extremely well.

I started my testing with Seleni using the TPK Flying Fortress engine from PAX East.

As a player, I value deck consistency over consistent 3 damage any day which is why I chose Seleni over Cassini. This meant I didn't have to wait for stuff like Spectral Guide, Astronomer, or Umbron Informant to help me draw more than one card to activate Flying Fortress. I could instantly place Flying Fortress, then activate Seleni’s ability to draw 2 cards to hopefully activate Flying Fortress.

I also decided to change some of the cards in the engine to have more Defend cards and to add Starhorn Tusker. Starhorn Tusker is a great card in this deck, as you can put it on top of your discard pile to increase Flying Fortress damage consistently using Seleni’s ability.

The difference in damage between a Flying Fortress with Starhorn Tusker and a Flying Fortress without is 8 damage, meaning you could OTK (One Turn Kill) an opponent with two Flying Fortress and a Starhorn Tusker.

The last thing I decided to add to this build is the splash to Time. I wanted to get access to Time Chamber with Flynamo, as most of my deck consisted of Defend cards as well as Flynamo being a Defend ability.

This made a tremendous difference in my damage output and consistency, as I was able to get more damage across the board decently quick. I was also able to make use of my extra Blacksmiths with Time Chamber, as I ran three Tantosian Blacksmiths for maximum item consistency.

When I was finished tweaking my deck, it was just a week before UK Nationals. I decided to take a week off from testing to see what the meta would be following that event, and then tweaked my deck in response to the Top 8 deck list.

Then, quickly after UK Nationals, we were hit with the news that US Nationals was going to be Advanced Constructed instead of Basic Constructed.

Lightseekers Advanced Constructed Format

Advanced Constructed is a format where you take three decks with no side board, then you and your opponent ban a hero from each other’s chosen decks. You will then have to win with your remaining heroes. In response, I quickly began testing for my other two decks.

After the two months of on and off testing, I finally figured out which two other decks I was going to bring to Nationals before I left for Gen Con, only to change them the night before. Therefore, not much thought went into building them.

The First 2 Days of Gen Con

After traveling for most of the day, I finally arrived in Indianapolis around midnight on Wednesday. I quickly made my way to our Airbnb, where I and most of the Superior Seekers team were planning to stay for the duration of Gen Con.

The atmosphere was so relaxed when I arrived. No one was stressing out about the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) or Nationals, as all of us were there to have a good time.

The following day, we spent our time opening boxes and participating in the draft, as well as catching up with Lightseekers players we knew from other regionals. That day went by extremely fast and before I knew it, we were up at two in the morning building silly deck ideas that we were going to take to the Last Chance Qualifier, as we wanted to have fun.

Major props to our friend Matt (asamatterofmatt) who played Storm Lexi at the LCQ.

Lexi (Tech - Hero - Uncommon) - Lightseekers TCGAs we arrived next morning to participate in the LCQ, we were hit with the news that it was going to be Basic Constructed with no sideboard instead of Advanced Constructed.

We were given 15 minutes to decide which deck we were going to play with in the LCQ. I was torn if I wanted to play Granite or Dolo, as I built Dolo the night before. Dratylis was telling me I should play Dolo, but I was a bit hesitant as Dolo loses to Granite if Dolo doesn't have access to Air.

Knowing this, I went with Granite. Dratylis and I decided to play a game while we waited for the LCQ to start. On his turn 2, he played Shapeshifter into a Kreebal Jester and by that point I instantly switched decks to Dolo, not wanting to deal with Jester in the LCQ.

I made it to the Top 4 with my Dolo deck at the LCQ, so I decided I was going use Dolo instead of Granite for Nationals the next day. However, something interesting caught my eye at the LCQ. I found 2 people using a Seleni deck, which I suspected to by my own since I ran it on the Lightseekers app often.

I confronted one of the players running the Seleni deck and confirmed that they were using my deck, from what cards he remembered. These 2 players went on to get Top 8 at the LCQ and then dropped for some odd reason. This gave me hope in my two deck picks, especially Seleni.

Come back tomorrow to find out which decks FatalZeph chose and how he handled Day 1 of the US National tournament!

Keep Reading
Part 2: Deck Lists and Day 1
Part 3: Top 16 and Final Thoughts