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US Nationals Report – Part 3: Top 16 and Final Thoughts

2nd Day of US Nationals

My teammates and I arrived 20 minutes before top cut started. I spent the night before worrying about the loop lock deck I was going to have to be playing again in the Top 16.

Chrono Warper (Tech - Defend - Common) - Lightseekers MythicalI knew this was my last hurdle before getting to the Top 8. If I could get in Top 8, I knew I would be so excited with just that.

I was fully aware that my opponent was going to ban Zuna as that would be the smart thing to do since I had access to Chrono Warpers and a Kreebal Jester in that deck. But the problem was I didn't know whether or not I wanted to lead with Seleni or Dolo.

If I lead with Seleni and he lead with Dolo, that would be an easy win as I don't do my damage with attacks. But if he lead with Treanu and I lead with Seleni, it would be race against the clock to see if I can beat him before he locks me.

It was vice versa if I lead Dolo as well. Before I knew it, we were ready to start the Top 16 matches.

Top 16

Opponent: TatDaddy
Hero I Banned: Seleni
Hero Opponent Banned: Zuna

Game 1 was Dolo vs Dolo. I knew as soon as we flipped over our heroes that I had made the wrong choice with which hero to start in Game 1. I knew it would be a race against the clock to see if I can beat him.

I went full on aggro with Dolo.

I made sure to remove every damage reducing buff he threw my way while putting on aggro pressure. I remember I was able to get him down to 6 health and then he played Crystal Skin.

Crystal Skin (Mountain - Combo - Common ) - Lightseekers TCGI knew I wasn't going to get through anytime soon, so I tried to dig for either Stream of Tantos or Lava Shedding to be able to do damage through his Subjugator that he put down after Crystal Skin. I wasn't able to hit any of those and knew I had lost the race.

I proceeded to wait for him to kill me as I wanted to waste as much time as possible so we could go to time. At that time, I thought time to be my 100% condition. He proceeded to kill me with recurring combos.

Game 2 was Dolo vs Treanu. I knew I was going to try the same thing from yesterday in my Round 6 match.

I had to draw a bunch of cards and just wait for time to be called as I knew I had better chance in time. While I waiting for time to be called in our match, my opponent noticed that he had a card in his deck that he wasn't supposed to have in there.

We call over a judge and he was allowed to switch his cards without a penalty and time extension for the inconvenience. I blew it off and knew I had to focus of my game.

Eventually time was called, he was 2nd player in time so this meant I had to make sure my life total was way above his life total whenever it got to his last turn.

I had already started hitting him with combos before time was called so I proceeded to play Mountain Forts on my first turn. I had two Mountain Forts in play so I was feeling comfortable.

He was able to heal while doing a great amount of damage due to one with nature being in play. He then proceeded to use Forest Mender to send my two Mountain Forts back to my hand, which I wasn't totally expecting on his Turn 2.

On my Turn 3, I spent around 3 minutes thinking on what my next play should be. Unfortunately, there was no play I could go with that would guarantee me the game on his next turn.

So I made the best play I could make, but unfortunately it wasn't enough. I was outplayed by 4 damage.

This loss left me a bit crushed by barely missing Top 8. However with the support of my friends, I was able to jump back into the con to watch and support our friend in the Finals as well as play in a starter event.

Final Thoughts

Getting 9th place (2nd seed in day 2) as my overall placement at Nationals and Top 4 at the LCQ wasn't too bad for the weekend.

I’m happy with how I played and I'm sure I will only be getting better from here on out. I'm ecstatic to know that my Seleni build of the Flying Fortress/Time Chamber went undefeated. I do believe that the Flying Fortress/Time Chamber archetype will still be great post kindred despite losing Sun Beacon and Flynamo.

Fluxamo - Lightseekers KindredFluxamo is going to be a great replacement for Flynamo as it fits perfectly for Seleni.

My only gripe with US Nationals is how it was ran with some of the calls from the judges. The judges should know the rulings for almost every interaction especially at this level of competition.

Also, I do believe that some penalties should be put in place for whenever a player discovers a card in their deck that shouldn't be there after they have presented their deck to their opponent. As the prize pool for this game gets bigger, competitors will try to exploit this.

Other than that, I had a fantastic time that weekend at Gen Con!