At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.
Babyjosus: Hey man. Before you joined the Academy Team this year I already knew you from your Twitch streams and it has been nice to have you on board since then. How would you reflect on the year 2020 in general?
SuperSpock9000: Once the pandemic started, I felt unmotivated to do anything, but staying indoors meant more Gwent so I cannot say there wasn’t a silver lining. I saw the summer as an opportunity to go all out for a top 64 spot on the ladder and get into a qualifier. During the season of the Griffin, I tried my very best but fell short at spot #66 on the ladder. This was very unmotivating and I started to lose interest in the game shortly afterward.
However, that changed when I got a surprising message from SynergyGod on discord asking if I would like to join the team. About a month later, I remember talking to you about some specifics and before I knew it, I was doing a trial. Everyone was nice, and I felt like it was a great place to be with people who were invested into the game as much as me.
I got to participate in my first tournament with the other guys from BG during The Elder Blood series which was a completely new experience for me. While I did not accomplish much, other than getting top 5 in a Gwent trivia game, the tournament experience was great, and it helped familiarize myself with the format. Shortly afterward, The Duel of Dogs tournament came up and I was ready to try my hand at the tournament scene again. Unfortunately, I could not secure the last game I needed to qualify for day 2. This led me to doubt my ability to compete in the game. Along with it came the stress of finals week approaching and a US election that I could not that could not be ignored. With all these mixed emotions I started to return to the unmotivated state of mind I had earlier in the year.
Luckily, about a month before the Duel of Dogs tournament I started running on a regular basis with one of my friends from university. This was single-handedly the best decision I have made for my mental and physical health over the last few years. After working out it often feels like a mental reset button I can always rely on when I feel overwhelmed. After The Way of the Witcher expansion set released I started really enjoying the game again. With all the new cards added there’s new decks and matchups to learn, which is one of my favorite parts about Gwent. Recently, we held the second In House BG tournament and that was a massive success for me. So yeah, it has been one rollercoaster of a year for me.
BJ: Whao, that doesn’t sound like an easy ride. But winning the second in-house tournament is an amazing achievement. How did it feel to win it and did you prepped for it at all?
SS: It felt great to win the second BG in-house tournament. This was my first Gwent tournament win and even though it does not have the same stakes attached to it as an official CDPR tournament or the community ran tournaments from a few months ago it still hits for me. We have some great players on our team from both the competitive and content side of things, so it was no easy feat to come out as the Bandit Champion. I knew going into the tournament what I was going to bring for my first 3 decks, but for the last one I had to do some digging. Movement for ST, Shieldwall for NR, Imperial Formation for NG, and some kind of SK list as the fourth deck was the lineup I wanted to bring. After a day of testing different decks, I knew Lippy wouldn’t cut it, so I decided on the control SK list that Sawyer made earlier in the week before the tournament. I spent the last 3 or 4 days before the tournament playing nothing but SK to test it out and get a feel for its matchups. Outside of playing an extensive amount of the SK in the days leading to the tournament I did not touch my other lists since I already had a fair amount of experience using them beforehand.
BJ: Outside of playing the in-house tournament. What was it like to compete in season 2 of Gwent Masters under the BG banner?
SS: Well, I didn’t join until the very end of the competitive season for Masters 2. In fact, during the first month I became an official academy member, which was also the last month of the competitive season, I was more focused on university since the first weeks usually set the tone for the rest of the semester. However, in the following months when I was playing in the tournaments for Elder Blood and the Duel of Dogs it was fun to prep with other members. It gave me a great idea of what it was like preparing for competitive events and I look forward to doing it again when Masters 3 rolls around in January.
BJ: Good thing season 3 has arrived. What do you want to achieve in this particular season?
SS: Right now my goal is to make it into a top 64 qualifier, I’ve had that goal since Masters Season 2 started so I would really like to see it through and work from there. Otherwise, I’d like to help out the team however I can in prepping, article writing, or just promoting whatever BG is proud to present.
BJ: I hope you can achieve your goals. Is there anything that you would like to do outside of Gwent next year?
SS: If things can get closer to normal in 2021, I would really like to socialize more. Because of the pandemic I put a halt on most of my social life in-person so being able to go back out into the world will be on the list of things to do for sure. I will be applying to graduate schools in the coming year as well so getting everything I need for that will be another large undertaking. Other than those I don’t have much planned, to be honest I’m more of a go with the flow type of guy anyway.
BJ: I can relate to that, but its good to make plans. Especially when you want to date girls because girls don’t like guys with no plans 😉 And what about new year’s resolutions. Do you have any?
SS: Nope, no new year’s resolutions for me. Any resolution I make usually gets forgotten after a week or two. However, I liked the idea that Driftbling suggested in his interview of having a theme of the year rather than a resolution. Here’s the video he linked and I’d recommend anyone who’s interested watch it.
BJ: Haha, fair enough. And with 2020 coming to an end. Anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?
SS:Keep your eyes on BG for Masters Season 3.
SuperSpock9000's Top 10 Cards of 2020
10. Moreelse – This used to be my favorite card but I can’t say I’ve used it much in 2020. I mostly love this card because of the artwork, it looks like this guy came straight out of bloodborne and I have a soft spot for all the FromSoft games.
9. The Great Oak – This card was a staple in all ST decks for a long time and still has a lot of power. One of my favorite things about this card is that it specifically works with all cards on the row and not just units.
8. Vernossiel – I like cards that have an effect for each row and Vernossiel has two strong row effects. Her ranged row effect plays for easy proactive points that can lead to swarm setup and her melee row ability can often surprise opponents with a barrage of damage.
7. Prince Anseis – This card often makes or breaks your game plan as NR but even if you miss it when you need it you can always tell yourself to be more talented at drawing in the next game. This card coupled with Shieldwall can be devastating and makes playing Viraxas even more satisfying.
6. Amphibious Assault – This card makes playing bronze cards feel good and can even fish for a gold that is 9 provisions or less. It has synergy with the Inspiration mechanic, and it is one of the few high end NR golds that can be searched if you are playing John Natalis. This is easily my favorite echo card.
5. Hefty Helge – I love playing this card in Imperial Formation since you can give it extra layers of protection with your leader ability. If your opponent cannot answer this card it can be devastating and set up cards like Amnesty or give you more removal reach to deal with any threats your opponent might want to stick on the board.
4. Harald Gord – I really like cards that incentivize or reward certain styles of decks. Not only does this card require you to stack your deck full of specials to get the proper payoff but it gives a fair finisher to more control-oriented strategies, which I love playing. It is also really satisfying to see him come down as a 15 point or higher unit as the last play of the game to solidify a victory.
3. Impera Enforcers – If there’s any card that reminds me of beta it’s these guys. They are one of the few cards that kept an ability similar to what they did in beta, although they’ve come a long way since the release of homecoming. They did not see much play until the release of the Master Mirror expansion which brought a lot of payoff for spy synergies and the recent addition of Zeal on these cards makes them feel even better. While they are far from the machine gun like tools, they were in beta I look forward to any future spy support, so I have even more of a reason to play this card.
2. Yennefer’s Invocation – One thing I love across all card games are simple removal effects. While something like Korathi Heatwave might resemble a rawer version of this concept the additional setup Invocation provides by putting the removed unit to the top of your deck puts it a step above Heatwave in my opinion. This card synergizes well with Joachim or Roderick and if used in rounds 1 or 2 can punish your opponent for using a powerful unit that you can top deck into during the following round. Overall, this card has a lot of versatility and represents one of my favorite designs across all card games.
1. Roderick of Dun Tynne – This is a card I have had an absolute blast playing recently. After the buff to Coup De Grace, Roderick has felt like an absolute must in Nilfgaard. He can find the golds left in your deck, he has the all-important Aristocrat tag to trigger Masquerade Ball, and he can be played twice thanks to Coup De Grace. This card can grab whatever you stole from Invocation and provide charges to Enforcers or boost Dames. Above all else his ability is also a callback to Emissary’s old effect in beta except you can search for gold cards instead of bronzes. Overall, I try to fit this card in every single NG deck I play and he is another reason I love to see more spy support.