Hi everyone! My name is Dylan Hunt and I came in second place at GP Montreal with Toolbox Lumia. Going into the tournament I knew that Lumia can out value other control decks from a mixture of retriggering enter abilities and a large variety of cancel spells and hand refills, so I felt very confident in my deck choice.
I made a few last-minute changes to the deck that paid off in the tournament. The first was swapping one of the Magic Stone of Nature’s Beauty and 1 Blasting Waves into Magic Stone of Black Silence. This was purely to cast the flip side of Flourishing Hope as my only nontargeting removal and it worked extremely well. The second change was adding two final battle to the sideboard which immediately became a very consistent side in for me.
Round 1 – Faerur
I knew this matchup would be a thing since it was a very powerful deck last format but the addition of Laurite, Seven Luminaries Astrologian and Last Days of a Powerless Dragonoid made the deck lose a lot of traction.
Regardless, it was a deck I had to respect due to incredible tempo and I had to load my sideboard accordingly.
Game 1: He resolved a turn 3 misty dragon and there was no way for me to respond to it in a timely fashion. This game was easily won on the back of Misty Dragon Spirit and despite my efforts to stabilize all it took was a Faerur flip and there was enough damage to push lethal.
Game 2: I sided into The Final Battle as well as Laurite and Last Days of a Powerless Dragonoid as I knew that this matchup was decided entirely by his board presence and that I needed to whittle his board down as quickly as possible. I used The Final Battle after his flip using all of my will and reducing my life to 400 so that everything he had after flipping died and he couldn’t regain tempo afterword.
Game 3: I opened with Last Days of a Powerless Dragonoid, Nyarlathotep, the Crimson Radiance, 2 The Final Battle and Tama, Familiar of Holy Wind. I opened the early game getting free value from Tama until he played a Misty Dragon. I was forced to use The Final Battle to clear it which left him feeling safe enough to invest into flipping his faerer to reestablish board presence. He went into a Tia Letoliel, Archer Princess of Elves with her Falcon and used her effect to clear my Sacred Elf I had drawn from Tama and hit me for 2 damage. At the end of his turn, I played Powerless Dragonoid to strip his counters so that on my turn I could play the second Final Battle for a board clear. At 200 life he thought he could slowly rebuild until I flipped my Lumia removing Nyarlathotep and started taking a huge comeback in life points that he couldn’t recover from.
Round 2 – Ayu
I wasn’t really expecting ayu since Scheherazade has a very strong matchup against it but I had a main deck Scarlet’s Agony just in case the matchup occurred.
Game 1: I opened really strong but he was able to hit me with a few burn spells early game and managed to final battle me after I used my agony. I had to play a Frigg, Goddess of Abundant Harvest to get it back and he had the Faerur’s Spell to cancel and end the game.
Game 2: He managed to resolve an early game copy of Ancient Barrier which made all of my spells very expensive. This was effective against the Severing Winds I miraculously topdecked every turn after he played it. Regardless, Agony was only a 3 cost with the addition and I sided into another 3 copies meaning the game was very much in my favor. Once I played a Shining Demon, Mephistopheles I was able to keep his ruler tapped which secured me the game.
Game 3: I knew very quickly that this game was in my favor when I drew into an opening hand that included Severing Winds , Faerur’s Spell, Sacred Elf, Agony and Mephistopheles. He made the right call to flip early and to try and hit me before I drew more answers but Agony kept me in the game. Mephistopheles then hit the field and was able to tap his ruler forcing him to play flutes water dragon to tap for stones. I had Mephistopheles attack and kill the dragon to sustain my lock and protected him with Faerur’s Spell long enough for Frigg to pick up Agony each turn and to totally lock down his board. Finally, Rachel was drawn and locked out his top decks as well which put me in full control of the match.
Round 3 – Control Scheherazade
This was a matchup I had playtested against very much and I was absolutely ready for this.
Game 1: I resolved a turn 1 Tama which proceeded to carry the entire game on his back with free advantage as the dolls were all canceled by the spells Tama drew and the deck had little in the ways of small resonator removal, and the life damage stacked up by Tama was about 1600. Each card he plucked from my hand with scorn or
Thought Control was met by me getting another card by a drawn Lumia, Saint of Creation, Tama or Frigg. Eventually my board was large enough that I made an effective push on him that he was unable to stop.
Game 2: This one was a lot more of a back and forth, but the Lumia, Saint of Creation proved her viability by providing cards that couldn’t be plucked by discard, which meant cards like Frigg were fair game. I baited the Evil Elemental Uprising and used Release as another way to gain an advantage, and once the uprising was used my grave was accessible by the Frigg I blinked each turn. I flipped Lumia at this point with Nyarlathotep and started healing to 6900 life. Time was called but since I had 6900 life and there was no way for him to end the game we drew game 2 securing me the match win.
Round 4 – Discard Lumia
This was not a deck I had practiced for but I knew Blazer, the Legendary Thief was a powerful resonator and I needed to watch out for him. Billy Buttons was playing the deck and we caught up with each other as we hadn’t talked since worlds in Japan.
Game 1: I played the same way as round 3 (with less ridiculousness from Tama), it was very back and forth but I was able to get Mephistopheles on the board and tap down Blazer so it couldn’t attack me anymore. Billy decided to flip his ruler which was a mistake since I was able to tap it down and effectively turn it off for the game. Ultimately I feel this was a game in his favor as the Blazer was proving too hard to remove and had he not flipped he likely would have been able to stabilize by removing Mephistopheles.
Game 2: This was very much the opposite of the previous game. I tried extremely hard to out value him but neglected to Severing Winds the Blazer by keeping up the 4 stones to hard cast it and ultimately it was too hard for me to clear multiple copies of it. He whittled me down in time and took the game making the match a draw.
Round 5 – Control Scheherazade
This was actually someone from Untouchables Sportscards and I knew them from the ARG event we hosted at Gamer’s Lair. I was interested to see his take on the deck.
Game 1: He won the dice roll and opted to use Thought Control. After seeing my hand he decided to take Lumia, Saint of Creation from my hand instead of Kaguya’s Moonbeam Butterfly. On my turn 1 I used energize to play it for Shackles of Ice and ultimately there was no way for him to stabilize as I built a solid board presence without him being able to access his extra deck.
Game 2: This was ultimately the same with me opening Shackles, but this time my luck was not as fortunate as he had a very solid resonator hand that was able to take early game board control. I was unable to deal with this effectively and he took the game.
Game 3: We went into time very early and neither of our decks was quick enough to win in a few turns. Ultimately given his early game board and my lack of cancel spells I don’t have any doubt he would have won this if not for timer making the round a draw
Round 6 – Aimul, Princess of Despair
This was not a matchup I had played against, and I had very little idea what to expect other than the fact that her front side can prevent me from blinking my creatures by standing them in response. As it was Ryan Miles piloting the deck I had no doubt the deck would offer some unique tricks. Since we were both undefeated with two draws this was the match to make or break either one of our standings.
Game 1: I opened Sacred Elf which I knew was safe to blink because him standing it was effectively the same result. He flipped pretty early in the game putting a Rachel in play and I had a Shackles stuck dead in my hand. I managed to draw Mephistopheles and used it to keep his ruler tapped for a few turns. He tried to destroy his ruler with Karmic Retribution to prevent me from tapping it and I used Severing Winds to prevent him from doing so. He was able to successfully remove Mephistopheles in the next few turns but he realized too late his life was too low to actually survive me flipping and attacking and I took game 1 by attacking him with Sacred Elf and my Ruler.
Game 2: This game was incredibly intense. He took an early lead with Rachel and I had an uphill battle dealing with them. I tried to flip with Nyarlathotep but he used
Separation of Fates to remove my swiftness and prevent me from healing. Then he flipped his ruler after stacking Grimm, Hope from the Future on his deck with Rachel and used his inverse ability to remove my imperishable and destroy my ruler. As I tried to answer his board as he would sack resonators with the Soul Returning Altar to clear my board and search with Rachel to keep my board presence low. I won this game mostly to both of us not realizing that Grimm had flying so I was able to clear it two turns later with Burgeoning Despair. His last shot was to attack me with his flying ruler for lethal but my sideboard Separation of Fates was able to keep his ruler from attacking as I recycled it with Frigg each turn by flashing and ultimately stole the game.
As best I can remember, top cut was composed of the following:
1 Discard Lumia
1 Toolbox Lumia (Me)
3 Control Scheherazade
1 Doll Tempo Control Scheherazade
Elimination Round 1 – Discard Lumia
Having played against Billy, I knew Blazer would be the sticking point in this matchup so I played accordingly. I also saw his decklist and knew he didn’t play 4 Severing Winds so I knew cancel wars would almost always be in my favor.
Game 1: I don’t really recall much about these games, just that Mephistopheles very much had the game on lockdown very quickly. I was able to Null Page a Blazer and kill another so he wasn’t able to play any more copies, and from there I was able to flip my ruler with Nyarlathotep and get the continual life and board advantage with Frigg and Rachel.
Game 2: I wasn’t able to clear Blazer in a timely fashion, despite my best efforts with the side deck burgeoning despairs as he spread his board very wide with Laurite
Game 3: This came down to time, I was able to go toe to toe in life with tama attacking, but I was then able to flip my ruler (without Nyarlathotep ) and go for his face very quickly. Burgeoning despair was setup for the next turn so that he had no resonators to attack with, which meant I won the game and the match.
Elimination Round 2 – Control Scheherazade
This was a very interesting list since he played lots of non-doll quickcast creatures like Sorceress of Heavenly Wind, Melfee and
Fiethsing, the Fate Spinning Winds. He also had 4 Jeanne d’Arc, Mad Maiden which I knew would be a pain if I allowed him to set it up.
Game 1: I opened very well, 1 Sacred Elf , 1 Severing Winds, 1 Faerur’s Spell, 1 tama and one Rachel. I was able to get elf up early and got tama out as well. Faerur’s Spell cancelled a doll that tried to block Tama and I was able to get another turn of advantage. When I played Rachel he used ruined story and I let Tama be banished. He cast a Melfee and Fiethsing on my next turn which I didn’t cancel since they were not relevant to my board presence.
He casted Jeanne d’Arc on my turn and I used a hard casted Severing Winds to stop it, only for him to cast another one right afterword. He opted to not attack the Rachel, so on my turn I was able to remove it with Null Page before it dealt any damage. After I cleared his board he had to flip to regain board presence but my Lumia flipped with Nyarlathotep and was able to whittle away his board with advantage.
Game 2: This was very similar to Game 1, but he used Charlotte’s Water Transformation Magic to prevent the trigger of Rachel when she left the field and used final battle to mop up my board. Burdening despair ultimately cleaned up his board, and I poked him with a Nyarlathotep, powered Lumia until he was dead.
Elimination Round 3 – Doll Tempo Control Scheherazade
Having seen his decklist, it became quite clear that this was a poor matchup for me. Rather than effigy, he played the smaller dolls that became larger with stories revealed in the extra deck and the rest of his deck was dedicated to protecting them while they punched me.
Game 1: I poked him very often and he used final battle to clear the board. His hand discard ate a lot of my hand and I didn’t manage to resolve any cards to refill it. I was forced to flip early with Nyarlathotep, and managed to get him down to 1000, but a main deck separation of fates killed Lumia and ended the game.
Game 2: This was the same as game 1 but my hand was depleted even faster due to additional sideboard hate for my resonators.
Ultimately I was very happy with the decks performance. There was a lot more control decks that I would have anticipated, but this worked in my favor as generally I out value most control matchups. I think my decks ultimate weakness was resonator based aggro, and ultimately I think the meta is diverse enough that you can’t have a deck that dominates all of the other decks with one particular ruler or color combination. I was excited to see the American players willing to take a risk with Aimul, Princess of Despair, and was very happy that me and my friend Jean-Luc (who got third with Kirik) were both able to secure 2 invites for Canada. The games I played were all extremely intense, and it felt like every tech choice I made flowed coherently into a finely tuned machine. I’m looking forward to GP Toronto where I will try to secure my 1st place paid invite.