Lumia Explorer Returns

This week, I have an older brew that I played with, thouroughly enjoyed even beyond writing an article about it, had it set aside as the format edged it out, and now saw it’s biggest enemy get the ban-hammer and get some hot new tech. It’s time for the return of Lumia Explorer.

For those who haven’t seen this list before, it’s an aggressive interactive deck that can take on either burn or protect the queen roles depending on your opposition. Explorer on Mt Hoelle is the glue binding these strategies together. She’s aggressively costed an a decent clock that comes down early for cheap, and every successful attack is rewarded with a probable card draw. This keeps the gas flowing to pressure your oppenent and fill your graveyard with spells. Then, topping out your curve is Prokaryotic Being. It’s quite rare for the ooze to come down for less than 1000 power, and it’s easy to have it more. These two creatures, along with Refarth’s wall, allow us to max out on Dawn of the Earth, using it’s [BARRIER] and recover mode as the primary mode, with flexibility to be a hate spell in matches where it’s backbreaking against an opponent. Wall of Flame end step, into Dawn of the Earth on your turn is an easy 2-card 2400 damage with cantripping.

If you’re considering playing this list, know that there is a bit of a learning curve. There are a lot of sequencing options, your high burn density gives you the option to play a controlling roll or get aggressive with your damage. Knowing when to throw your burn as removal and when to turn the corner and start throwing it to the dome is an important insight that will go a long way to determine your performance with this deck. It has a lot of reach, and a huge ability to come from behind if your sequence well. I’ve had more than a few games where I sat on the back foot for 4-5 turns, barely protecting my life, then used 3-4 cards to flip the tables and win the game in a turn (and I mean, 4000+ damage, with a piece of interaction to protect the comeback attempt turns).

The big new addition to this deck is Welser, the Archmage of Fire. Welser slots perfectly into this deck’s game plan. We already have a high density of burn, so the floor for an early Welser is God Art before recover, into burn spell on your turn and burn spell on your opponent’s turn for an effective two-will +2 on both cards and will. The ceiling is that we can bring Welser in, recover, high-speed him and remove him with Lumia to keep him forever. High Speed was a borderline playable card in previous versions of this list, acting as a +400 power on ooze and having a psuedo-cantrip effect with Explorer. Now it gives us a new line into an very powerful line.

Be careful with this line though. It’s very easy to get tempted into holding Welser in hopes of getting to high speed him, but doing so will often be a mistake. Efficient uses of your resources is important, and Welser is one of the most impactful and efficient things you can do in the midgame. Don’t be afraid to just use him to put your opponent under pressure. You have a lot of burn and Ooze to give you reach, so holding on for too long can backfire on you.

You have a plethora of sideboard options in this style of deck, giving you a lot of range to adapt to your local meta or an event your expect to attend. The presented sideboard dedicates a little space to holding off Ayu decks or similar ones while you close, and quite a few spots to the Kirik matchup. In addition to what you see here, you could sleeve up some Resuscitating Wills and more Arrival to compliment the Nyarlathotep and Lumia’s swiftness to give you a Hasty Lumia to close (or clock a resonator removal heavy opponent). If your opponent is heavy removal and heavy control, you can sideboard into Charlotte, cut down on removal for more burn, and juke into a pure burn deck to become an rough match for hand disruption decks. If you need to morph into a more combo style deck, you can get piece’s like Zero’s Circle of Protection to morph into a resilient ooze combo deck (maybe even going as far as Shaela + Silence Mermaid to give you an uninterupted turn, though I’ve done no testing of this line of play). You can also just sideboard in heavier interaction and morph into a full control deck looking to win with late game oozes and Lumia.

I hope you’ll consider trying out this list. It’s one of my favorite decks I’ve played in the last year, and one I’ve gone back to several times (including sleeving it up and taking it to ARG level events). It’s flexible, very fun, and only available in New Frontiers for just a little while longer. If you have questions about this list, suggestions or requests for future brews, or any other request feel free to reach out to me at