J/Ruler: Acolyte of the Abyss // Alisaris, the Demon of Calamity
4x Keeper of the Past, Urthr
4x Keeper of the Present, Verdandi
4x Guinevere, the Jealous Queen
4x Rukh Egg
3x Time Traveling Emissary
2x Vell-Savarian Dragon
3x Flame King's Shout
2x Lightning Strike
2x Barrier Seal
2x Orb of Disaster, Ifrit Glass
2x Deathscythe, the Life Reaper
1x Blazing Metropolis, Vell-Savaria
4x Disaster's Memoria
4x Magic Stone of Heat Ray
2x Fire Magic Stone
1x Lumia's Judgment
1x Interdimensional Escape
4x True Successor of Certo, Volga
4x Sanguine Arena
4x Torching the Timeline
Round 1: Vs. Valentina 2.0
Of course, out of all the people at the tournament, round 1 I would get matched up against one of my friends. He was using a Valentina 2.0 build we had put together after we realized we had the pieces lying around, and he'd been playing it for a week or so. In testing, Alisaris hadn't done too hot against her and I had been a little hesitant to take him since I thought she would be fairly popular. Still, it was either Alisaris or Wukong, and I was just there to have fun so I had decided on him before the event.
Game 1 went heavily in my favor. I got a good amount of RFG ramp going before he could get a good regalia arsenal built up, and staring down 4+ attackers with 1000 ATK each spelled doom. Game 2 I sided in to the Volga + Torching combo, siding out of Rukh Egg since I didn't need blockers (or too much searching to be honest) against a deck that only swings with a J-Ruler. I whittled him down with Emissary pinging Volga, and some attacks, over the course of a few turns and managed to hit exact game with a Torching burn.
Round 2: Vs. Lumia Hook
Looking around after Round 1, I saw quite a few of these builds scattered about. I was expecting a lot more Fox, but this was a nice surprise. I had seen the lists that topped in Tokyo, so I was a little familiar with the deck. Turn 1 Emissary meant I could immediately kill off Tamas or Sacred Elves, which slowed the deck down a ton. I focused mainly on hitting my RFG threshold as fast as possible, and had 1100 Urthrs and 1000 Verdandis swinging off a turn before they were able to drop Hook. Between Emissaries, Lightning Strikes, and Demonflames, I was able to kill off their mana dorks and keep them from ramping. Even when Hook came down it was too late, since my heavy hitters were already on the field.
Game 2 I sided into my fourth Demonflame and a couple Torching the Timelines, siding out Barrier Seal. It went similarly to game 1, where I killed off the Dorks and kept them going at my pace. It ended similarly.
Round 3: Vs. Sol
I got paired down this round, again matched up against one of my friends. He was using his Sol list we'd been working on since Legacy Lost dropped. Game 1 he had me worried, since my RFG engine was stalling and he dropped a World Flame Summon on a field of Guinevere (rested), Vell-Savarian Dragon, and Emissary, and hit one of my stones too. That set me back a lot, and he flipped Sol, got 10 counters, then dropped Rising to play a Catalyst Spirit and two Charlottes. With 6 cards in hand both of those Charlotte's were 1200/1200 with Barrier against basically everything in my deck. Fortunately, I was able to use Disaster's Memoria to hit 12 cards in RFG, flipped Alisaris, and used his God's Art to nuke everything. From there he just lost all steam, and I played another Keeper to seal the deal.
Game 2 I got my RFG engine going and just did what the deck was made to do. I don't remember too much about the specifics of this game, but I ended up taking it.
Round 4: Vs. Lumia Hook
This was very similar to the build I had faced Round 2, and I played against it similarly. Game 1 I played Emissary, killed off Tama and Sacred Elf, and ramped up before they could. Urthr and Verdandi beatdown, before they could get Hook going, took Game 1.
Game 2 I had a slower start, using my Emissaries and Demonflames/Lightning Strikes to try to kill their dorks, but a couple well-timed Wall of Winds and other answers kept them going, and I ran out of steam before I could stop Hook. They took Game 2.
Game 3 went similarly to Game 1. I was able to kill the dorks, get my RFG pile nice and big, and start swinging with my pumped up resonators. At one point they had a field of Hook, Melfee, Celestial Wing, and Lucifer. Alisaris' God's Art took care of that, but I made a pretty bad misplay the following turn with my attack order which could have won me the game. They ended their turn with Hook and Sacred Elf to my Urthr, at 10 life, so I recovered my cards and swung. They blocked with Elf, instead of Hook, which let me Lightning Strike her and have my attack go through for game.
Round 5: Vs. ???
I'm pretty sure this guy was playing Valentina 2.0, from what I had seen from walking around in the previous rounds, but we decided just to draw. I was tired, he was hungry, and we were guaranteed spots in Top 8 anyway.
From here we did the cut to Top 8, and when they posted standings, I was sitting happy in 1st Place. They did a deck check on all Top 8 participants, and since I was the only one of my friends who had made it, they all went and grabbed dinner while we waited for the Top 8 to start. I stayed behind, since I didn't want to be gone when the next round started, and my one friend (the Sol player) stayed behind and we played some games while the rest of the group got dinner and brought us food.
Top 8: Vs. Valentina 2.0
Game 1 they flipped Valentina at 3 mana. I flipped Alisaris at 4, then used his God's Art, which was just enough to hit lethal on Val, and I had a Deathscythe in play so she was dead and gone. He did a Pricia's God Art to try to stay in the game, but I broke through that with Emissary + Demonflame and Urthr burn, so he just scooped.
Game 2 he flipped Valentina but forgot to reveal the Seven Kings on her trigger, so he was swinging with a 700/700 vanilla with regalia pumps. Unfortunately, he had Apollo, so I couldn't block any of it. I got him down to 10, and had two Lightning Strikes in hand (I had grabbed one and a demonflame off of Ifrit Glass before upkeep), and attempted to burn for game. He negated one with Seal of Wind and Light, and since I didn't have a flying blocker, he swung for lethal the next turn. I should have grabbed Vell-Savaria Dragon instead of Demonflame off of the Ifrit Glass, since I had 2 open will after playing both Lightning Strikes, and could have had a blocker to survive with. Lessons for next time.
Game 3 he kept killing my Deathscythe so I couldn't kill Valentina. He flipped her into my field of Alisaris and 2 Verdandis, swung at a Verdandi, and stole her with Deathscythe. I had 2 cards in my grave aside from Deathscythe the next turn, so I swung at Valentina with Verdandi, which he blocked with my stolen Verdandi, who died and gave me 3 cards in grave to remove for Deathscythe. That plus an Alisaris God's Art killed Valentina again, and the rest of the game went similarly to Game 1.
Top 4: Vs. Lumia Hook
This was the same guy from Round 2. Nothing spectacular happened this round. I played Emissary turn 1, killed off Tamas and Sacred Elves, and got big Keepers to swing before he could get Hook going. Game 2 I had a much slower start and he played an Arthur. I tried to kill him with my God's Art, but he had sided in Amaterasu's Foresight and prevented all my damage, which sealed the deal for that game. Game 3 I got a very fast start with multiple Emissaries, and I Flame King's Shouted in a Vell-Savaria Dragon. He didn't have a cancel for it, so it took out his dork and I got 4 more RFG cards. I made another FKS play later in the game that killed a Tsukuyomi Noble and gave me a tempo swing that I rode to victory.
Finals: Vs. Lumia Hook
This was the Lumia Hook player from Round 4. By this point I was really tired, having been there for going on 10 hours, and my opponent had a long drive home. We agreed to split the prizes and just call it a night. They wanted the playmat that said Champion on it, and I was told I had to concede to them in order to do all this, so I guess I technically lost here. It didn't really matter to me either way since I still got a playmat, a bag, and a ton of Legacy Lost packs. I ended up pulling Lumia, Valentina, and a Full Art Sol, as well as a Full Art Melfee and Mikage's 2nd Daughter, among a total of 9 full art cards. I was a happy camper, to say the least.
All-in-all I did way better than expected. I thought I'd be seeing a ton of Fox decks, which is what led to the main boarded Barrier Seals, but I didn't face a single one over the course of the day. Those things got sided out just about every game. I entered just to mess around and have fun, because there was no way Alisaris was going to do well against the meta, and ended up going basically undefeated. Nyarlathotep didn't do too much for me throughout the day either, so I'm going to mess around with the deck to see how I can improve it. It has a great matchup against Valentina 2.0 and Lumia Hook, and almost no one knew how they were supposed to play against it or what to side in. I didn't touch my side board the whole day except for the extra Demonflame against the Lumia matchup, which I guess is a good thing, since I just threw it together since I had no idea what to run. Alisaris served me well, though, and I'm looking forward to the community's reaction at seeing an Alisaris deck at finals of an event.