Deck Tech – Lucid Dreaming
By Dan Nguyen
Hey FFTCG Enthusiasts, Dan here and I wrote an article to hopefully answer any and all questions you may have about this deck that I piloted to first place in the last Meta Potion Championship!
What is lucid dreaming?
“During lucid dreaming, the dreamer may be able to exert some degree of control over the dream characters, narrative, and environment.”
Deck Name: Lucid Dreaming - Wind/Lightning
- 3x [5-071R] Leyak
I felt like when the deck was firing on all cylinders, I could make whatever I want happen. I felt as though I had any number of tools to out play my opponents. If I could dream it, I could do it. Also, it was my cheeky mash up of the names of Al-Cid and Lulu. As you can tell from the banner on our website, some of us on the Meta Potion team have a soft spot for the Opus 1 Heroic Lulu backup. I’ve been playing since the game launched in North America and honestly have tried to find any excuse to shove 3 copies into a deck. With the help of my teammate Thomas Nguyen, I was able to take home the first Meta Potion Championship with an older version of the deck but it’s been difficult to play it when the metagame changed. Since Opus 5 released, I’ve seen all sorts of lists for Wind Lightning decks and while some have found various degrees of success, I haven’t really found any lists that I wanted to play those decks over Mono Lightning. That was until I saw this deck.
When I saw Urianger and Leyak in action, I realized that this easily translated to the old Lucid deck. It was exactly what the deck needed to buy time to set up some of the slower interactions and strategies. Opus 5 also gave the deck 2 very effective and very fast threats in Illua and Adelle, solving another problem of how slow the deck was during Opus 4. Miounne gave the deck more flexibility while Lulu allowed you to run multiple copies. And finally, another gift the deck received was just how good Kam’Ianaut is.
The Beautiful Black Mage of Besaid
While this card has been around since the game came out, it hasn’t had much popularity. FFTCG tends to be a fairly fast paced game and sitting there trying to set up your backups all game can lead to a quick death, or at least that’s what most people seem to think. Yes, she’s expensive and slow, but once it gets going, it allows for so many powerful interactions that just can disrupt your opponent’s board all game when she has a steady stream of backups that work with her. Black Mage and Fusoya part of the engine that makes Lulu work. Black Mage makes things shrink so you can ignore a Minwu and Fusoya with Lulu lets you kill giant forwards and bring back a valuable forward to just out value your opponent.
The Salt Bae from Rozarria
This card is obviously still one of the best cards in the game. It’s a workhorse and people constantly have to worry about playing around it. In traditional Lightning decks he does the job but with Lulu he’s able to go above and beyond, allowing you to split damage more easily and take out multiple targets or a really large one with ease. What’s new now though is that he has a few more minions to cheat into play with Illua and Urianger. Only dealing 6 damage doesn’t sound like much, but the deck’s backups can support dealing the remaining damage, or shrinking the target with Black Mage so that Illua has a clear path ahead to apply pressure. One interaction to be aware of that Al–Cid can do in this deck that he can’t in most others, is he can play around pesky cards like Buccaboo. Normally your hand would probably be empty, and it will be here as well, but after you discard for Buccaboo you have the ability to crack a Fusoya with Lulu and shoot something for 5000 damage while getting back an Onion Knight or Rygdea before Al–Cid’s triggered ability resolves.
The No Fun Zone
Personally, another favorite card of mine. Zidane’s effect is slightly fairer in a game like FFTCG since your opponent draws 2 cards a turn, but because there’s much more interaction in the game, he’s able to make sure the coast is clear for a lot of your big plays. Want to play a Sephiroth but worried the earth player is going to kill it with Hecatoncheir? Trying to make a play that empties your hand but worried Cid Aulstyne might be a giant roadblock next turn? Zidane is your man for the job. And in some slower matchups, or in the top 8 where you have more knowledge about your opponent’s deck, Fusoya and Mionne allow you to reuse Zidane over and over to just rip apart your opponent’s game plan. You haven’t truly lived until you played Zidane on your opponent 6 or so times in 1 game.
Something, Something, Dark Side
The Opus 4 version of this deck suffered from a couple issues. Issue one: It relied heavily on Archer to get rid of cards like Minwu and Legendary Aerith. Issue Two: Using said Archer was difficult at times because your backups rarely produced Wind CP besides the Archer you were breaking. So, you had to discard high impact cards like Legendary Onion Knight to deal with it. And in addition to both of these issues, Archer gets shutdown if your opponent also plays the ever so popular The Emperor. With Opus 5 however, Kam’Ianaut gives us access to the color fixing of Chaos, and the backup destruction of Sephiroth and neither card gets disrupted by The Emperor. I will mention however that Sephiroth is a risky card. He’s a bit of a necessary evil but the upside is there are a few decks that can handle his First Strike ability when Lulu is backing him up. Kam’Ianaut himself is a powerful card. Besides making your deck more consistent, if he lives a turn, he can be a nightmare for the sea of mono element decks out there. Sometimes your opponent’s feel the need to unload everything they have at him while they can still interact with him, and sometimes that leads to your opponent’s demise since your deck is built to out value them.
! and <3
Illua and Adelle are two ridiculously powerful cards. No one is ever happy to see an opposing Illua and for good reason. Why she fits in this deck so well is that both she and Adelle provide the needed pressure the deck was lacking in Opus 4. Illua does a lot of the heavy lifting and can sometimes get in for the majority of your opponent’s life total if your removal is also doing its job. Sometimes you get to S effect after playing an Al-Cid, and your opponent is either dead on the spot or on life support for the rest of the game. I chose to only run 1 Adelle in this deck since with Cid from Clan Gully and Fusoya, you’re able to find her throughout the course of most games. While she is more vulnerable than Illua both in size and lack of that passive shield, Adelle is able to sneak through your opponent’s defenses with her unblockable effect. It’s hard to keep talking about her without sounding so obvious. Unblockable damage is good.
Onion Knight (1-125R) and Al–Cid go hand in hand, but in Wind Lightning you get the additional support of Legendary Onion Knight from Opus 4. While I see most decks running 2 or even 3 copies of L Onion Knight, the card always felt clunky when I drew multiples. What he does as a one of in this deck however, is he takes some of the weight off of Al–Cid and Fusoya. Your Al–Cid doesn’t always have to wait for an Onion Knight for optimum damage, and Fusoya can be spent getting back higher value cards like Zidane, Illua, or Adelle. On his own his 3000 damage ping is great when combined with all the other damage effects. And if you’re truly desperate, you can use that S effect and fail to find an Onion Knight when you and your opponent’s decks are getting dangerously low.
Ex Burst, the Judge–Sal
The deck only runs 6 summons since it’s so chock full of removal. Unsurprisingly they are more removal spells. Exodus, the Judge–Sal gives the deck the ability to deal with problematic forwards immediately in case they can’t take damage from your effects, or if they are stopping Lulu like The Emperor. It also allows you to punish your opponent for not playing around it. There are so many popular 3 cost and 4 cost forwards that you’re bound to kill 2 things with it. Then if there’s that poor soul that thought to dust off their Golbez deck at your next tournament, you can do them a favor and pop him yourself and sweep all those cute 2 cost forwards into the break zone. Leyak also gives Exodus a pseudo cost reduction. You get to make plays on your turn, and Leyak lets you cast Exodus off your backups and/or off that extra card it draws. As for EX burst Odin, honestly, it’s just there for the EX Burst. The deck has a really low EX Burst count and while that’s not entirely a problem, over a long event you also want to be able to capitalize on some luck and Odin allows for that. Originally, I wanted to play with the new hotness that is Diabolos, but I found the 5 cost to be a bit clunky. Granted Odin cost 7, but you usually just pitch it or get lucky from it. If you are hard casting Odin, you’re either desperate or so far ahead in the lead.
I remember this card being spoiled fairly early for Opus 5, and was utterly shocked by how little people were talking about it. The card is a fine turn 1 play for no value, cause I’d rather play this than waste a Black Mage. It let’s you abuse cards like Zidane and Al–Cid. It lets you unfreeze your frozen haste forwards. IT DRAWS A CARD. For being one of the quest givers for new adventurers in Eorzea, her usefulness in FFTCG is quite complex. I believe most people are right not to play her or only run 1 copy. She takes up a lot of real estate and drawing extra copies feels bad. But in this deck however, she can easily be broken with Lulu, or gods forbid your own Archer.
Rikku is as old as Lulu is in that she appeared in Opus 1. The original version of this deck didn’t run her since activating her wasn’t very easy but Kam’Ianaut and Chaos make that much easier. There are quite a few times vs Earth or water decks where the game goes long, and it’s time to change gears and start milling out your opponent with Rikku. Leyak helps you set up your defenses while still letting you threaten attacks. At that point, you are attack your opponent on two fronts. With all these other decks drawing cards and searching more than you are, it really only takes like 3 or 4 activations to put your opponent into a precarious position.
The Flavor of the Month
The combo that started my path to revisiting this deck from Opus 4 to Opus 5 is the Leyak and Urianger combo. When I first saw it in action from the Earth Wind Mill decks that came out of Japan, it seemed so obvious of an interaction. What does it do in this deck? It let’s you attack and defend. Urianger can chump block and protect your life total. Leyak can dig deeper to find that answer you need. You can get more activations out of your Rikku to mill your opponent out. This combo is kind of the grease that makes a lot of the gears move. It has a lot of implications on different types of matchups and can just ruin your opponent’s day with two innocuous looking cards.
So what is Lucid Dreaming? It’s the culmination of constant iteration from my teammates and me. It’s a deck that at times, can just be unrelenting on your opponent. And strangely to me, it’s a deck that I can’t seem to convince anyone else to play except the other player that helped me build it (who by the way, won his own event up in Northern California at the Break Zone circuit with the same list #humblebrag). I hope this breakdown will inspire you to either try it or any of the components. One of the things I love about this game is that most strategies can work if you put in the time, and hopefully some of you will try making your own deck building dreams happen.
- Dan Nguyen