Congratulations on your victory today! You faced off against some great players today and we had the privilege of watching your final match and it was a nail-biter.
Now you’re currently a Magic the Gathering player aren’t you? Yes, I’m a PTQ grinder, I love it and think everyone should get out and play a game of magic. Any other games you play?
I play League of Legends.
I used to play League myself. I just couldn’t stand all the angry players screaming and freaking out every match. It was beyond toxic to me. Though I hear the European League of Legend scene doesn’t have this problem.
You might be right about the European server. There is something about League that just brings me back and it is fun. It is toxic at times, but you have to keep positive attitudes in games like that. In my match against Zrusher, the banter between us was very friendly and fun. Even when I was getting crushed I was like, “Wow!” that was a sick combo. It’s one of the things I love about collectible card games, everyone is so cool.
Unless you’re playing a Murloc deck, then well you’re going to catch a lot of flak from people.
Oh man! I have never tilted so hard on Hearthstone then when I have to play against Mage or Murloc decks. I can total respect Murloc decks, but when you print a card that says deal ten damage the game becomes difficult.
It puts you on a clock.
It makes each point of life worth so much more. As a Rogue player I have to trade some life to keep tempo and board control and if I can’t do that, I will just die turn eight.
So what made you decide to play in the MLG/ManaGrind Tournament today?
To be honest, it was probably all those late nights bashing games against Druids. I had this hunger to beat those guys and get legendary and that didn’t happen, so no top 100 listing for me. So I was looking around for something and I saw the ManaGrind tournament and it looked like a really good medium for me. The one thing that I couldn’t comprehend though was in Magic the Gathering you have a finite amount of sideboard cards. Here it’s limitless and it makes it very difficult to plan. You face your opponents and they can be really crafty. They can sideboard in some stuff to counter you or can sideboard in some all-star arena cards and just destroy you because you’re not prepared to fight that way.
Yeah, we do it this way because policing a sideboard is near impossible and a real hassle virtually.
Right that would be difficult.
So what was the best part of the tournament for you?
Winning I guess?
That seems to be the most common answer! (Laughs)
It was actually game three of the semifinals; I played against a Paladin control deck. It is probably my worst match up and I had to nickel-and-dime him the whole time. I sideboarded in a Spellbreaker to deal with his Tirion Fordring though, it’s a very good card against both Tirion Fordring and Cairne Bloodhoof, another powerful legendary.
No, I don’t have Tinkmaster Overspark. It’s the one legendary I am missing. My deck is called, "All Legendaries, No Skill". I just crammed a deck full of legendaries and hoped they would carry me. There was a moment where he put out a Silver Hand Knight that was boosted by the Sword of Justice and if I didn’t kill it I would have lost, so I was able to kill it and then moved on to win the match. It was a beautiful moment because I was at six health and he didn’t rip his Avenging Wrath to finish me off.
Would you say he was your hardest opponent?
I would say the skill level throughout the tournament was about on par with the semifinals and finals being slightly harder.
Ok I have to ask this, we here at ManaGrind were able to watch your final match against Zrusher and you had lethal on the board and you didn’t take it. WHY?!
I did? Hold on let me count that.
He was at nine health left; you had three damage with your weapon, had three damage with the buffed Squirrel, had two from the Eviscerate, and you had one from the debuffed Argent Commander.
Oh my god, you’re right! My mistakes should be known and I should be scolded for it, so I and others can learn from it.
Now you are coming back for another chance at victory?
Well I think I have to defend my crown!
HAHAHAHA...Yeah though we have had one repeat winner with Muffinsssss in the NA tournament.
Yeah, well most winners I think go and play their pet decks after they get a win and those are just not strong enough to win the second time around. So I will have to come back with something different.
So you beat Zrusher. You win the tournament. What went through you mind?
How could I play so bad and still win.
Which archetypes would have been the biggest threat to your deck?
I would say Paladin control is a difficult match up, it was miracle I won the first game of the finals. I played more of a midrange in the finals and people gave me grief on for playing Edwin VanCleef in one match, he got Aldor Peacekeeper used on him but I was able to make it to a 2/7 taunt minion and it gave me enough breathing room to regain my tempo and control.
Edwin VanCleef is still a strong card if even if you get silenced or pull a Tinkmaster Overspark, or a hard removal, that’s still a great trade off because you force them to play in on something kind of low rather than on something you really don’t want them to be able to use it on like say, Ragnaros the Firelord.
Exactly, a lot of players make that mistake and there is a lot of talk about him on the forums. There is a horrible story about why I decided to make him involving the roll of a die and well it rolled even so I crafted him an jammed him in every Rogue deck.
I would have gone with the Ragnaros the Firelord. I watch a lot of Chinese streamers and they are so ahead of everyone else when it comes to Rogues. They have some of the most insane Headcrack combo decks and they run Ragnaros the Firelord. I love their theory crafting. They will run anything. In terms of Edwin VanCleef people say using The Coin for him is a waste, but playing a turn two 4/4 minion is great.
In our tournaments you can have an unlimited sideboard. What were your thoughts behind your decisions?
The unlimited sideboard was a difficult concept to grasp in the early rounds of the tournament. I made some pretty standard sideboard choices. As it progressed I realized I could do so much more.
Now there was a point where Zrusher put in a card to counter one of your cards.
Yeah, it was Spiteful Smith. He saw how hard it was for him to deal with that card, so he decided to use it against me. For a Rogue anything above four health just makes me cringe. If you want to beat a Rogue play minions with four or more health!
In your opinion, what are some of the best neutral cards in the game right now?
One thing I can say is it is all right to go all in with your deck. I learned that it was a crime to play in ranked with an inadequate deck. I like everyone else, net decked and tweaked from there. But play a deck, feel it out and tune it to what works for you.
Let’s talk about the new ranked system. Do you have any thoughts on it?
I think the rank system needs a tweak. I feel it rewards those who power out 100 + games grinding it out. People who don’t have much time to play like an hour here or there just don’t have a chance.
What are your thoughts on the new gold cap?
I don’t think they should have capped gold. I understand it’s part of their business model and all, but still.
See they told us it was to prevent botting.
Botting is an issue but they should be able to solve that on their end. There are fundamental problems with your software if you cannot handle botting. It also punishes players that were grinding really hard every day. Cause not everyone has the income to output into this game to be successful. Not everyone is lucky to get twelve wins in arena.
For me it really did kind of kill my incentive to play longer than two hours a day. Some people I know could grind out enough packs a week to make 4000 dust a week and now because of this and the severe nerf to mid and low rewards in arena, they cant.
When you get to grind you get to learn every single match up against every single deck and when you have access to every single card you will be able make the fundamental changes to your deck to get a higher win percentage which gets you more gold. So it feeds into each other and you reap the rewards for the work you do and for them to cap that it’s kind of criminal. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to bash Blizzard. I am happy they have given us a great product.
Wow, that’s pretty good explanation and I have to agree with you on every single point. I think we can call this a wrap! Again congratulations on your victory. I wish you the best of luck for next week and hope to see you back here real soon.
Thank you. It was a lot of fun and I would like to thank ManaGrind for the tournament.