Be Our Guest: Matthew Mancinelli’s Sapphire Steel Refill Ramp

Be Our Guest is a special series where we feature guest commentary from a writer in the Lorcana Community. If you’d like to have a piece considered for Be Our Guest, please email dave AT davesdumbdecks DOT com.

Our inaugural guest commenter is Matthew Mancinelli, who wished to provide a rundown of the Sapphire Steel deck that he piloted to a Top 8 finish in the LevelUp Games tournament earlier this month. Matthew was kind enough to provide a brief video commentary about his deck which covers which cards he’s playing and some of the pros and cons of gameplay with this deck. Matthew’s commentary continues below the video.

Hi, I’m Matthew Mancinelli, a Disney Lorcana fan and competitive player who plays in the Baltimore, Maryland area. I used to play a lot of competitive Magic: The Gathering (which is how Dave and I first met), and enjoyed some regional success at the game. Today, I wanted to provide my thoughts on the Sapphire Steel deck that I designed, adapted, and eventually played in the LevelUp Games Lorcana $1K. Let’s take a look at the list:

This deck is a balanced design to hopefully beat both aggro and control. It can be tweaked to heavily favor one match or the other. My personal play-style is balanced so that’s what this list tries to be.

This is not a tier 1 deck. It can win often and I believe it’s a worthwhile investment, however it doesn’t use the absolute best cards in the format and requires a small amount of luck to perform at its best. I personally love this deck because A Whole New World is very fun, as are the synergies throughout the whole deck. Also, I admit that I enjoy the big swings that come with needing to get a little lucky.

I would say every match-up is 50% or better with the exception of Amber/Sapphire or decks which are heavy on discard like You Have Forgotten Me, which forces us to play differently than against any other deck. Powerful discard effects force us to keep cards in hand instead of dumping everything as quick as possible. You Have Forgotten Me specifically can outright win the game by itself if it leaves us empty handed at a critical moment.

Aside from Amber/Sapphire most losses come from clunky and awkward draws. This doesn’t happen too often but you will lose a game or two from it throughout the course of a mid-to-large sized tournament. You have to simply accept this. If you minimize play mistakes and win the games where you’re favored or where you have all the requisite pieces to win, you should be able to minimize those “variance losses.”

The good about the deck is that it can feel like a never-ending stream of large threats that we’re equipped to play immediately thanks to our vast inkwell. With smart challenges and singing of songs the advantage we generate can be so overwhelming that hardly anything can stop it. It’s not hard to get the deck going and the deck is fun because it happens often.

With this deck our gameplan is to ramp into a 5 or 6 drop by turn four so we can start to snowball our little advantages into a victory.

The main combos are Fishbone Quill + Beast’s Mirror/A Whole New World. Even without Quill we can shift into Tinker Bell – Giant Fairy or use Belle – Strange But Special + Aurora – Dreaming Guardian to overwhelm our opponents quickly.

The top 8 for the LevelUp Games tournament was a split; the “winner” was player who was in first place after swiss rounds. A younger me would have maybe wanted to play it out but everyone wanted to go home so I was happy to call it a night.