Lu-Cid Dreaming Circuit #3 Winner: Thomas Nguyen

Lu-Cid Dreaming (Lightning Wind Lulu Control)

Hi everyone,

My name is Thomas Nguyen. I’m a Team Member and one of the Editors for the Meta Potion website. This past weekend, I managed to take down the third Meta Potion Circuit event up in Northern California at Isle of Gamers in Santa Clara, California. Since I’m writing a deck tech, you can guess that the deck I piloted during the event is a Herioc Lulu-based control deck.

At least in my area, the locals know that Lulu (1-149H) is one of my favorite cards. Lulu (1-149H) provides card advantage in conjunction with Fusoya (2-116R). Not only would you gain a card from breaking Fusoya (2-116R), but it may be possible to remove one of the opposing forwards as well. Lulu (1-149H) provides a way for the deck to remove many of my opponent’s forwards in connection with the deck’s backups (e.g. Fusoya (2-116R), Black Mage (2-108C)) and forwards (e.g. Onion Knight (1-125R), Balthier (2-065L), Barbariccia (3-066R)).

If you check out The Break Zone coverage of the entire event can be found as well as Top 8, seen below:

Deck List: Lu-Cid Dreaming (Wind/Lightning Lulu)

Forwards (21)

Backups (20)

Summons (9)

The main card that makes this deck work is Lulu (1-149H). This backup works with a lot of the different pieces that allows you to efficiently remove your opponent’s forwards. For example, Rygdea (1-211S), Onion Knight (1-125R), Baltheir (2-065L), Fusoya (2-116R), and Black Mage (2-108C) all combo with Lulu in some way to kill forwards between 7k-10k. This allows you to advance your board state, but control your opponent’s at the same time.
Special recognition should be given to Baltheir (2-065L) and Barbariccia (3-066R), in that these two forwards can also be used to kill large forwards as well. Barbariccia lowering a forward’s printed attack down to 1k is generally low enough that (even with buffs like Wakka (1-180R) and Enna Kros (1-095R), the forward can still be broken a variety of different ways (e.g. Rygdea (1-211S), Baltheir (2-065L) activations, Fusoya (2-116R), Black Mage(2-108C)). These different methods allow you to get around special conditions such as unbreakable forwards, Minwu (1-171H) /Larsa (2-139C)-type effects, or forwards that don’t take damage from abilities. Baltheir (2-065L) in connection with just playing backups, let you attempt to machine gun forwards down an additional 2k damage each time a backup is played. In connection with Black Mage (2-108C) or Fusoya (2-116R), an active Baltheir (2-065L) is capable of taking down forwards between 8k and 9k respectively.

The deck also lets you gain value in combat. In particular, various forwards and backups let you effectively trade up with one of your lower power forwards with stronger forwards your opponent controls. Lulu (1-149H) and Baltheir (2-065L) give you the opportunity to trade up your forwards while attacking or defending. Meanwhile, the deck can use Black Mage (2-108C), Fusoya (2-116R), Onion Knight (1-125R), Rygdea (1-211S), and Barbariccia (3-066R) during your turn (after the attack phase) to trade up on defending forwards who have taken damage.

With all the synergies the deck provides in killing opponent’s forwards and controlling the board, my main concern when choosing a color and building the deck was addressing opposing cards that can effectively shut down what the deck does using Lulu (1-149H). For example, backups like Minwu (1-171H) can reduce the effectiveness of direct damage from Lulu (1-149H), if the damage does not outright kill the opponent’s forward. Meanwhile, Aerith (3-050L) pretty much shuts down the use of Lulu (1-149H) and the various backups completely. Forwards can also pose a problem for the deck. For example, Cecil (2-129L) shuts down my ability based damage sources, Larsa (2-139C) mimics Minwu’s (1-171H) effect, and Emperor (2-147L) shuts down my ability to activate my damage sources (e.g. Lulu (1-149H) and Baltheir (2-065L)) and use various character abilities (e.g. Archer (1-088C) and Baralai (1-200S)). Originally Kyle McGinty and Matt Okimoto brewed an ice based list that relied on the ice Sephiroth (3-039R) in order to search for the deck’s singleton dark Sephiroth (1-186L) to deal with Minwu (1-171H) and Aerith (3-050L).

The lightning/ice list can be seen @ (http://ffdecks.com/deck/5639313064722432).

Although I had considered this deck for nationals at some point, I ended up not taking the deck because of its inability to effectively deal with the problematic backups. In practice, I found that decks running multiples of each Minwu (1-171H) and/or Aerith (3-050L) were problematic since having only one Sephiroth (1-186L) was usually not enough to deal with multiple issues. Even the special effect Planet Protector on Aerith (1-064R) – which some people at my locals in Nor Cal love – can also prove problematic for my sources of targeted removal. The lightning/ice also lacked good and cheap removal for problematic forwards like Emperor (2-147L) and Cecil (2-129L), which overloaded what the 3 expensive 7 cost Odins (1-124R) could be used for.

Because of the weakness of Ice, I moved next to Wind. I chose Wind next because it appears to provide a lot of utility. For example, Wind provided access to Archer (1-088C) – a decent solution to Minwu (1-171H) and Aerith (3-050L) that I can use (and recur with Sage (1-133C)) to deal with the problem backups. Furthermore, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how effective Chaos, Walker of the Wheel (3-071H) is as a solution for problematic forwards. Although the downside of the opponent getting to play another forward for free can be problematic at times, dealing with forwards like Cecil (2-129L) and Emperor (2-147L) for 3 CP instead of 7 CP as well as providing the deck with essentially 3 more (ex-burstable) ways to deal with these problem forwards also seemed beneficial. Even if the opponent has another forward to replace the Cecil (2-129L) or Emperor (2-147L), hopefully they don’t have a second copy of that same forward. There are also cards in the deck (Zidane (3-056H) and Enuo (3-101R)) that can be used to minimize or remove the downside of Chaos (3-071H). Baralai (1-200S) was added as support against Ice. It also provided an early source of wind that could be broken for free when I needed space in my backup row.
Lastly, Zidane (3-056H) deserves special recognition with the amount of work he did over the course of the event. Zidane (3-056H) was able to remove specific problematic cards from my opponent’s hand; providing information of what to play around, and a sizeable power forward (7k) in the late game when the opponent is top decking. There were a variety of games where I would play Zidane (3-056H) only to chump on the following attack so that I can recur and steal another good card from my opponent’s hand. With Zidane (3-056H) as a threat to attack my opponent’s hand, it makes it difficult for opponents to hide cards such as Shantotto (1-107L) or even Golbez (1-135L) for long periods of time.

The summons package was built in a manner to just kill forwards. Each summon can at least kill 1 forward in play. Odin (1-124R) needs no explanation as it’s a straight break on forwards that has an ex-burst tag attached to it. Although the cost of 7 is expensive at times (and influences me to pitch it early), the ability to break a variety of forwards regardless of power makes it indispensable. As mentioned above, Chaos (3-071H) kind of serves the role as a cheaper Odins (1-124R) numbers 4-6. Lastly, I chose to run a full set of Exodus (3-122H) as my way to clean up the board in case of opponents going wide. Exodus (3-122H) can tag 2 or more same costed forwards. In games against Golbez (1-135L), this can be used to wipe all their 2 cp forwards after the Golbez (1-135L) breaks. I don’t mind casting this while controlling no forwards just to tag one of an opponent’s forward. For example, I’ve used Exodus (3-122H) for the purpose of having another way to break Delita (3-088L) without the need to directly target him.

This is my initial overview of the deck and some reasons why I think wind and lightning pair well together. Please tune in to the Break Zone (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8Ls51Y_CvDne4wsdKMt5NQ) in the near future as I plan on talking about how the deck runs, strengths and weaknesses to the deck, and possible changes going forward.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Facebook.

-Thomas Nguyen