The Build Up
So leading up to the National Tournament for Lightseekers I had attended the North Regional in Manchester at the start of March this was my first time at a TGC tournament and the first time I had ever played people I didn’t know. I come out 2-3 obviously not qualifying but it gave me so many ideas and it really opened my eyes what one can do with a deck. I didn’t think I was good enough to qualify but wanted to give it a go. I couldn’t make any other regional that came up because they were either too far away or I just couldn’t make it. Thankfully there was Brendan (aka. Heroic Starfish), who has put on some monthly tournaments. This kept the playing alive and I loved every event. I was pretty sure I was becoming a half decent player but I still needed to do some work. I decided I wanted to go to the UK Games Expo and try to qualify for the Nats in the Last Chance the day before. I had played around with all the orders and different decks but nothing really stood out. So I went back to my first deck which was Dolo I could see Dolo as a hero was doing pretty well in tournaments. So I gave it a go. The deck did me well winning more than I was losing and improving it along the way. As Nats got closer I wanted to try a different deck and if I had already qualified I might have done. But my fear of missing out of Nats I stayed with Dolo and used that.
Last Chance Qualifier
This past weekend was a big weekend of all-out Lightseekers. Myself and Rubik_cube_man travelled down to Birmingham to attend the UK Games Expo for the Last Chance Qualifier, hoping to qualify for Nationals the next day. There was a lot of excitement and nerves going into the day. I decided to use my Dolo deck which was my most consistent deck leading up to the weekend so Dolo it was. My target was to win at least 4 of the 6 rounds of swiss to stand me a half decent chance of qualifying. Bellow is my decklist for the Last Chance Qualifier.
Round 1 – Bye
After my first round loss at the heroic starfish tournament, I realised winning your first game is very important when it comes to tiebreakers. My main man Cosmo from Heroic Starfish hooked me up with a bye card for some trades which let me settle in some more and check out all the decks that were being used in round 1. I’m fairly sure that around a 3rd of players used a bye card for the first round. After checking out the decks to my surprise there were only 2 Dolo decks and an overwhelming amount of Astral decks. There were at least 7 astral decks all Cassini or Selini. I’ve never had the chance to properly test against astral so I wasn’t sure what my chances were going forward.
Round 2 – Luther – WW – Starter Dolo
My first matchup was against Luther. Stright away after talking briefly I found out that he is very new to the game and had actually only bought a Starter Dolo deck just before the tournament started. I think he came down with some friends who were more experienced with the game so was able to get some tips and tricks from them. Both games were fairly convincing wins. I think he had the cards in his deck to pull a win but his inexperience let him fall short in the second round. Given that I was playing Dolo aswell, I gave him some tips and some plays he can do to maximise his chances going forward. Luther then went on to win a few of his games and managed to qualify for Nats.
Round 3 – Meme – WW – Treanu
Round 3, I was sat at table 1. So for the folk who don’t know, after the first round, all players are placed at specific tables, the lower the number on the table, the better you were doing. (with some randomisation for all the players on the same score). So table 1 was a good start. This is the table where all the games were going to be recorded. But unfortunately, this game nor any of my other games on table 1 were filmed. I was a little gutted at this as I would have loved to have watched it back and see what I could have done better and what the Playfusion team thought of my deck. Plus this game I thought would have been very entertaining to watch as I managed to overcome a lot. But hey, you win some you lose some. Throughout the whole weekend, this was my favourite to play.
So meme was playing Treanu. He had already qualified for Nats from a pass down at a different regional. Treanu has been lagging behind since the power nerf and Pollen Weaver ban. But I knew how strong Treanu can still be and wasn’t sure how this would go. Game 1 meme used the typical move of using Treanu’s ability to heal me for 3 while he drew 2. He played this for the first few turns so I used this to my advantage and used Dolos ability to increase my own hand. It wasn’t long before he had a spectral web out defending all of his buffs. If there is anything I have learnt from situations like this is to just carry on and forget about trying to remove their buffs. Both our health went up and down but stayed in the top end of health. I managed to use a Flamechained Warrior and spin his spectral web from its 3rd to its 4th corner. I was then able to remove some of his other buffs before he smashed out another spectral web. It wasn’t long before a Treetop Tribunal made it into play. I was 30+ health and started to lay down some defence. Some Mountain Forts and a well-timed Colossi Ritual Site meant I was only going to take 11 damage from his Tribunal. the Tribunal set off and hit me for 11 after damage reduction, to then be followed up by a shadow item and a Mimicking Horror used on the tribunal again to hit me for another 13 or 14. I was then floating in the low end of health but I was able to heal up with Boulder Feast so keep myself in the safe zone. I was able to chip away at his health until I was able to use a combo for the final blow and take a win in game 1.
Game 2 was similar but a quicker game. I sided out some of my Prism Canons for a Flame Bat and a Pair of Magma Spitters. He quickly put out an Unruly Mob which I couldn’t remove and then in his next turn played a Spectral Web. This prevented me from using a Flamechained Warrior followed by a Crystal Leech. Because he used Old Oaks and other cards, I knew the spectral web wasn’t going anywhere any time soon. So I wised up and just hit him with one attack per turn. With him using Trenau’s ability I didn’t have to worry too much about healing and just kept using Dolo and laying down 1 attack at a time. We both ended up on lower health but I wasn’t too worried as I knew all of his big hits are from combo buffs. I was at a point where I was about to pay for two combos back to back. This allowed me to take the second game and win the round.
Round 4 – The Red Flash – WW – Cassini
Halfway through the swiss rounds and I was 3-0 and I didn’t drop a single game. I was getting more excited and terrified as the day went on. I have played The Red Flash in some friendly games before. This was the first Cassini deck I had faced and didn’t know what to expect or how I should play. Flash had already come in the top 8 at two regionals prior to this so was already qualified for Nats.
The first game I just went full aggro playing my Prism Cannons and Draga Scorchers early. I managed to power through and win both games fairly convincingly. But I did leave the match thinking I lucked out in that game and I didn’t get the full blow of Cassini in full swing.
Round 5 – Ellerium Games – LWW – Dolo
Round 5 drops and I’m on table 1 again. Now 4-0, I was pretty sure I had done what I needed to do to qualify even if I lost the last 2 rounds of swiss. The pressure was now off a little. Ellerium was looking for a qualifying spot too as he had fallen short the week before at the 2nd Scottish regional.
Ellerium had just beat Cosmo in his previous round. So I was fairly sure I was the one starting on the back foot. In the first game, he destroyed me. He had the right starting hand and combos to take me out in 5 minutes. This was my first loss of the day and at this point, we were both pretty sure he was going to win the round and come away with a win. Game 2, I sided in my Unruly Mob, Kreebal Decoy and 2 Exterior Defenders. I managed to pull these out early enough to keep my head above water. I played down some mountain forts as well and was able to chip away at his health. Unfortunately, he was playing a Crystalcore which is so annoying to get around. I sent it back to his deck twice before I managed to get an opening to win game 2. Game 3 was pretty similar but luckily, my deck was a bit more buffy then his so I was able to get around his Unruly Mob easier then he could get around mine. I managed to send away his Crystalcore and get him down to 9 health. He had no answer and couldn’t heal or defend for enough over the next few turns before I was able to use a crushing blow for the final damage. He took a second to realise he didn’t have his Crystalcore in play and realised he had just lost the game. Ellerium went on and qualified and came 7th overall.
Round 6 – JaegerNoon – LL – Dolo
Last round of swiss and I was going in 5-0. I had been given confirmation that I had qualified and I had made the top 8 and whoever wins between me and JaegerNoon would go into the top 8 1st seed and the loser would go into the top 8 as 2nd seed. I never thought I would make it that far but I was so chuffed that not only had I qualified I had done so by making the top 8.
Both of my games against Jaeger were short-lived and he managed to overpower me with his own Dolo deck and win both games fairly convincingly. I just lacked the cards I needed to heal and defend so lost both games fairly quickly.
Top 8 – Tommy#Glasgow – WLL – Dolo
Top 8 time had come and we needed to move into a different hall as the main hall was closing. I was against Tommy, an American student based in Glasgow who had not long been playing the game. I was hopeful as I had already beaten 2 out of 3 mirror decks. I was happy with my pairing as pretty much the rest of the top 8 were all tried and tested in top 8s before.
First game I went for it I had a good hand and pounded on him he couldn’t match my pace or counter with some healing so I took the first game. I was pretty confident now I had got half the job done. But that is where my luck ran out. My hands were ok but not great and he was able to hit first keeping me back down on lower health then he was. So I needed to use some of my actions healing instead of attacking her was able to win the next two games knocking me out.
Placing in the top 8 was incredible and I had felt so much satisfaction that I didn’t just qualify from a hand down and that I had actually made the top 8. Overall I placed 7th. After there I received my 24 booster packs and £50 and headed to the BnB and bought a victory pizza while deciding what I needed to change in my deck for Nats the next day.
Nationals were up next, I had made it, I was where I wanted to be. Unfortunately, my compadre rubik_cube_man was not so lucky. He fell short of qualifying which made it a little awkward for the day but he managed to play loads of games with other players who didn’t qualify and players who had a bye due to dropouts. He had actually made an Ancient deck the night before and smashed my Dolo so I went to bed and moved on.
So a lot of hype starting the day of Owain (Aka. The Sneaky Kreebal). Was meeting up with all the players and hyping everyone up on Facebook and in person. Managed to catch up with some familiar faces and some new ones before we went into the main hall where all of the playmates were face down. The hype was real. A quick registration and listing my deck and it was all laughs and banter before it all started. Just for being at Nationals all player got an exclusive UK Nationals Playmat and 10 Mythical booster packs. That alone was more than enough to keep me happy for the day. So without further a due. Here is my Decklist from Nationals.
I swapped the Enchanted Soil for a Mountain Fort. The rest of my changes were in my side deck.
Round 1 – JaegerNoon – WW – Dolo
The first round I was paired up with JaegerNoon. I was dreading this straight from the start as he beat me 2-0 the day before. I didn’t have high hopes. I was expecting to go down with a first-round loss but to my delight, it didn’t go that way. I managed to win both games. I feel like Jaeger had the better deck just didn’t have the cards in hand to cope with what I had. I had a great sense of redemption after he beat me the day before, but gutted I beat him. Jaeger had travelled the country to every regional, Winning the first one as well, I was really rooting for Jeagar to do well but I couldn’t ease up and had to do what I could to give me the best chance at making it to the top 8. Jake went on and finished the swiss rounds 4-2 but missed the cut for the top-8.
Round 2 – Joedragon – LL – Cassini
The second round saw me face Joedragon. Joe was the youngest competitor there at 13 years old. Joedragon had competed the day before and managed to grab the last hand down to qualify for Nationals. He was playing Cassini, a hero I have faced the day before. I was fairly sure I knew what I could do to win. Plus the kid was 13 whats the worst he can do…. He DESTROYED me both games were fairly quick I can’t even blame a bad hand he just outplayed me. I heavily underestimated what he was capable of doing. He went on to finish his swiss rounds 4-2 and made the top-8 cut. He got knocked out there but fair play to the little man making it so far.
Round 3 – Edward – LL – Dolo
So after having the wind taken out of my sails by Joe. I was onto facing Edward, the winner of the Aldershot Regional and his Dolo Deck. I wasn’t looking forward to facing another mirror deck but it is what it is. He just outpaced me and just had consistent damage and some healing and took me out fairly quickly and I lost the third round. Edward then went on to also make the top-8.
Round 4 – Smurfitt – WLW – Sicario
Onto round 4 and my chances at top-8 were looking a lot less likely and I’m pretty sure at this point I was already out of the running. But the show must go on. I was playing a new face and a Sicaro. Now I was expecting to see so much more then I did but everyone decided to go with Dolo and Astral decks. The first game was a fast game and I had managed to win quite convincingly. The second game not so much. I delayed on playing some cards and he was able to get his buffs out at a rapid pace. Before long he had all the buffs he needed in play and there was nothing I could do. Game 3 was tough but I managed to persevere. I got him on low health and he needed to use Sicarios ability to get out the buffs he needed. I was at a point where I needed him to use Sicaro to get him within striking distance. He hesitated but took the gamble and use Sicario and took the 2 damage. I was able to then finish him off with a combo and take the 3rd game.
Round 5 – Tommy Glasgow – LWW – Dolo
Round 5 and redemption calls me again. I face Tommy who knocked me out of the top 8. He quickly took the first game after my appaling card draw. The second game though I sided in 8 of my 9 cards from my sideboard. This turned out to be a good call as I was better equipped to deal with his attacks. He managed to hit me early for 12 damage and I spent the rest of the game on the back foot. Just defence after defence waiting for the opportunity to damage him back. It was the longest game I had had with Dolo but managed to squeeze the win away. Going into game 3 we only have 10 minutes left. After exchanging blows time had been called and we have 3 turns each. Luckily time was called on his turn meaning I would get the last turn. I was able to knock him down and keep my head above the line. I had combos but not enough to take the win outright. On my penultimate turn, I played a combo which got him down to around 10 health. I was on 13 or 14 and had a boulder feast in hand. Unless he was going to pull off some VooDoo magic I was sure I had it. To my delight, he didn’t have enough in hand to heal above me and I won the 3rd game and the round on time. It’s quite a stale feeling winning on time but a win is a win.
Round 6 – Heroic Starfish – LL – Cassini
Last round and I needed a win to give myself a chance at making the top-8. I was against Heroic Starfish once again and facing my 3rd Cassini. I was 1-1 against Cassini so not sure how this was going to go. Starfish played Cassini really well with Flying Fortress’ and mass healing. I couldn’t get enough damage to keep him in the danger zone. Before long he won the first game. Second game I was pretty sure I wouldn’t win so I sided in 8 cards and just went for all-out attacks. I did a little better in the game and was a few moves of the win but I was taken down to 3 health without a heal in my hand. Starfish won game 2 and the round. He was left standing 4-2 as well as a lot of other people with only hope that the rankings would push him into the top-8.
I finished the day 3-3 not good and not bad I would have loved to have won at least one more game but it is how it is. I finished the day in 16th out of the 36 players that took part. After the last round, it was just a waiting game. Even though I knew I wouldn’t make the top-8 I was sticking around to watch the top-8 and was hoping to see who made it.
The finals were held in a private function room where all the top-8 went as well as myself and a few others wanting to watch the matches. Playfusion staff were there and hooked up everyone who was watching and playing with food and drinks. My self and the rest of the players that were watching just ended up turning into a living twitch chat and having such a laugh. I ended up talking a lot with Jacob and Bennie from the Playfusion team and I was relentlessly asking questions about the future of Lightseekers. Although they didn’t give us much information we did get a few cheeky spoilers and a sneak peek at the TGC app coming soon(tm). I managed to hand around for a few hours before I had to leave to catch my try halfway through the final. Harasiel went on to become the first ever UK National Champion and a very well deserved winner as well.
Here are the heroes that topped Nationals.
Sunday Monthly Tournament at FanBoy3
On the Sunday after a long journey home the night before, myself and rubik_cube_man made our way back into Manchester for a smaller tournament at FanBoy3. It wasn’t a big day and there were only 7 people competing but a good day none the less. All the faces were familiar ones that I had seen at Heroic Starfish Tournaments. I woke up late and didn’t have the time in the morning to sort out another deck so I ended up using my Dolo deck from nationals. I won all 3 of my games and won the playmat for the month. strangely it wasn’t Teanu as it should have been but it was the promo for the month before Tenebra. I was a little confused but happy that I got another playmat as well.
So a long weekend to a close and I am more ecstatic than ever before about Lightseekers. I made some pretty good trades and now only a few cards away from a complete collection. Here are 2 pictures showing what I managed to get from the weekend and I didn’t spend a single penny on Lightseekers the whole weekend just winnings or trades.
I loved every second of my time at UKGE and the people I played and talked to. I don’t think I’ve ever met a community so kind and friendly with such a strong passion for this relatively new game. If you have never played Lightseekers I highly recommend you do. It is by far, in my opinion, the best TGC out there is the moment and there is so much more to come in the future. If you are wondering what events are like, they are some of the best things you can do as a player. You can talk to so many people and learn so much about the game.
Finally a massive thank you to all the great folk at Playfusion for putting on such an amazing event I am definitely looking onward and wanting to help push the game out to more players. Also a big shout to rubik_cube_man, Cosmo, Heroic Starfish, h00x, Vundo, JaegerNoon, TheRedFlash, Ellerium Game, Shazz from Settlers, JoeDragon, Azrealm and everyone else that made the weekend so amazing.