End of Year Interview 2021 MoriartyUK ‘I’ve had a lot of plates spinning in both my professional and personal life’

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: Welcome Moriarty, you are the next in line after Xhanthiax. How would you reflect on the year 2021? 

M: I can’t quite put into words how busy it has been for me, really. I’ve had a lot of plates spinning in both my professional and personal life; though many of them seem to be slowing down as the year comes to its end, which is great. I’ve even managed to find time to hop into streams to watch Gwent– and even play it a little again too.

BJ: This year you have been working a lot together with Enzo and Decode on Lore Blast, how are you describing your relationship with them? 

M: Well as you all know I haven’t written one in a little while, but it was a really fun change of pace to be reading Enzo’s scripts for the series. I love the series, and I always will. It’s hard to fathom the Herculean effort Enzo’s putting into them at the moment in writing, editing and even narrating some of them at the moment. Where does he get that energy from?

I’ll always love the series, at any rate, and will always be delighted to put my voice to them whether they’re written by me, Enzo, or whomever else.

BJ: How do you look back on all the episodes you worked on for Lore Blast? 

M: With a lot of fondness. It’s hardly a new or novel idea but I feel like once Enzo took charge of the editing we really found a unique way to deliver the content; which is  fantastic. I had a great time with the research and writing of the original set of videos; but the narrating has always been my favorite part.

All that said; I have a hard time watching them. Hearing my own voice is a weird one. I’m glad other narrators have taken up the task, too, so I can actually sit through a few of them!

BJ: Is there anything (else) that you would like to do next year?

M: Gwent related? I feel like I’m always wishing I had the time and energy to stream; but I don’t know how tenable that is. I tip my hat to anyone juggling full time employment and their live stream. It takes such a tremendous amount of effort; and with teaching especially I’m usually far too exhausted to do so. All that said, yeah. I’d love to stream again.

BJ: Do you have any new year’s resolutions? 

M: I think this year I’m going to resolve to eat less meat. I already have a vegetarian day a week thanks to a veggie ex-girlfriend forcing me to learn some pretty awesome vegetarian recipes. I’d like to take that a little further. Mostly for my health, really, though we all know the other benefits.

BJ: That’s a great one. If you have any questions regarding that you can always hit me up. I haven’t had meat since I was 20 years old. But to finish the interview, anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2022? 

M: Don’t play cloggers.

BJ: Fuck cloggers indeed and happy holidays!


*MoriartyUK's Top 10 Cards of 2021

*Finally someone that did his top 10 properly…

10. The Brute: I really like bounty as an archetype, but I don’t think it’s quite there yet. That said, I’ve really enjoyed playing the deck and cards like the Brute have really helped the list I think. As something of a lore nerd, as we’ve established, I also quite enjoy the world building they’ve done around the Hales. 

9. Raffard’s Vengeance: Controversial perhaps, since I think most of the community has it marked as too strong. I just really like the card, I think the twist on the crew tag allowing it to include mages is interesting. The order is obviously powerful (And thus feels great to use.) And look at that ART. Such a cool concept. 

8. Rioghan: Just a very cool finisher, I love the rain archetype a lot. I do sometimes worry if perhaps it’s a little binary; requiring graveyard hate to stop. But I suppose you can always just bleed and bully a rain deck if you need to. Also, again, a really cool story beats with Rioghan and Fucusya. I love a tragic romance.

7. Toad Prince: Unload the toad! Unclog the frog! Unbench the kench! Unroll the tadpole! Un-imprison the amphibian! Unmute the newt! Permit the kermit!

I love his buff, I love that he exists. I love toads.

6. Illusionist: Very cool card concept which has great potential for weird and interesting combos with Operator nonsense; or just as a reasonable power play on 4 provisions. I also find it quite interesting, as it’s a 4 prov card you don’t really want round one which is a bit unusual.

5. Gerhart of Aelle: I really like this card, I like that there’s an element of risk and reward with his patience. I feel like he sort of encapsulates the keyword well. Since he really is about patience. You can take the 6 point pact now, or perhaps wait for something different and better if you dare risk it. Whereas other patience cards tend to just feel like “Wait as long as possible for a bigger result.” I like that Gerhart actually feels like a test of patience, and not just waiting forever.

4. Torque: I’m not sure why exactly I like this card, I think just watching the buffs hit him and then spiral off onto something else is good for the ol’ dopamine receptors. I just find something about the card really enjoyable. I think I may just love handbuff.

3. Melusine: I enjoy the clown fiesta of building Melusine as high as possible and then praying it doesn’t just get heatwaved off the face of the earth. Cards with exponential potential growth are always compelling to me, and I like that it isn’t just growing for free (Since it wounds adjacent cards) Which gives a further level of play around. It also just has super rad card art.

2. Ildiko: An older card, but an honourable mention. I actually climbed from where I’d degraded to (Rank 12) all the way into pro playing mostly a Stockpile deck that used Ildiko as a pretty significant part of it. I had a blast playing the deck, and I loved finding a use for this card. So I had to include it!

1. Bride of the Sea: I love everything about this card. Its actual art and flavour in the rain and sea-cultist style cards in Skellige. I love the flavour of the effect: recreating alchemy (or gifts) from the sea in proportion to how much rain there is (and thus how devoted to the card and its theme you are.) I love its voice lines, and I really like how it can do some degenerate things in a devoted rain deck, but also how it can just fit neatly into other less rain-focused decks as a simple 4-prov alchemy resurrection. I really love this card, and after much thought think it deserves its number 1 spot!

End of Year Interview 2020 MoriartyUK: ‘The one thing I cannot praise Bandit Gang enough for is their patience’

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: Streamer, Voice Actor, Teacher and a friend of Shupe. In other words, a busy man. How would you look back at the year Moriarty?

MoriartyUK: It has been a transformative one for me, for sure. Speaking in terms of Gwent I came back to the game, I hadn’t touched it since Beta (Give or take a few looks here and there) and only came back after having a few videos in my Youtube recommended list. Started back up in MM during the Griffin season (Second wind SKOMEGALUL season) and ended up grinding up to pro that same month. Around that time I started streaming to and after a short stint, well, here I am!

In my personal life it’s been about as hectic as it has been for anyone. Though in my case I finished my teaching qualification and started teaching full time for the first time this year amidst COVID regulations and safety measures and half my colleagues dropping around me. The workload has meandered wildly from relaxed at home to manic and crazy when actually in school. Sadly it ended up cutting pretty harshly into my streaming/gaming time.

On the whole though I’d say, global pandemic aside, I’ve had more positives than negatives. A whole load of stress sure, but it all came accompanied by pretty significant life changes that I believe are only for the better. 

BJ: Glad to hear that you have had more positives than negatives. And of course you joining Team Bandit Gang as a streamer for Gwent was a positive too. And then I almost forgot to mention that once in a while your charismatic voice is being featured in videos too. Which is a delight for the viewer. May we hear your voice someday in one of the games from CDPR. But for now, how have you been enjoying the team so far?

M: First of all; you flatterer. Second, I’ve really enjoyed myself. The one thing I cannot praise Bandit Gang enough for is their patience with what is a pretty absurd real life schedule. There has never been any pressure for me to put out X amount of content or Y number of streams. It has only been a place of support and well-intended banter that has allowed Gwent and my fledgling creator career within it to relax as my work consumes my life without adding to a long list of stressors. I know the guys are there if I need them, for whatever I might need them for.

Enough of that. More practically; they gave me my first shot casting tournament games and I had an absolute blast! I’ve not been attached to the brand very long but their willingness to give me a shot like that is a testament to their ability to let new faces have a go, without overly leaning on the old reliables. Naturally I have a lot to learn, but that foot in the door was such a blessing.

Also they finally gave Rasheed a team. Maybe now he’ll get Partner. 

BJ: Well, he was on Sensual Team before us… but yeah I am pulling the strings to make it happen. And what was your funniest moment on stream this year?

M: I think it has to be when I EXTREMELY NAIVELY set up a channel point reward offering to read whatever it is chat wants me to read. I have since made it more expensive but when I started I had it set as quite cheap, since realistically I only had close friends watching me anyway.

Once I had a small audience however, I ended up reading Engineering textbooks and half of the My Immortal Harry Potter Fan Fiction which I think will haunt me to the end of my days. I never thought I’d say this but thank God for Twitch’s stupid DMCA policies for purging those VODS. Blessed.

BJ: I know you do voice acting outside of the Gwent Scene as well. Could you tell us more about that? And have you achieved anything with it?

M: Yeah! I really enjoy it. My father used to joke I have a face for radio and the voice sort of followed. I was a pretty nervous kid but people used to comment on enjoying my reading voice. Eventually when I was at university I decided to give it a real try. I would call my set-up distinctly amateurish but I’ve only ever pursued this for fun! Though I did secure a few pretty well paying gigs which helps! I’m proud of all of my work but the most commercially successful would probably be Pitch and roll (Also available on iTunes podcasts and I believe Spotify too) Which was a lot of fun to record. It, alongside another project called Firebird saw me nominated for a few awards!

I didn’t win, but nominations count right? 

I really enjoy it, anyway. I’ve always fancied trying my hand at acting and I found I have a lot of versatility in my voice. It’s something I enjoy practicing– it even saw me learning how to scream safely! (Heavy metal singers are a godsend for this) which I’m sure is a skill I’ll use often. 

I try to incorporate it on stream with my Dramatic Reading and Story time channel point rewards, anything to keep me sharp!

BJ: Have you ever had to voice act for a female role? The reason I ask is because I recently had to for one of BanditPig’s movies

M: If only! No never. I’ve done voices for genderless entities like deities but never female. But that’s amazing to be honest, I wish I could pull of a female voice convincingly it’s such a good skill.

BJ: It was nothing too official, but I had fun doing it. And to continue to the next question. Is there anything you would like to do next year?

M: I’d really like to go on an actual vacation next year. I haven’t been abroad in almost six years and lockdowns and COVID have really made me realize I need to stop working myself to death and take more time off to recharge now and then. 

In a similar vein I really want to get back into streaming on a regular schedule. I’ve been fortunate to see many of the familiar faces I usually see in my chat crop up even on a very inconsistent nigh-inactive schedule. But I want to keep that up somehow to continue to see them. I also want to improve my personal bests at the gym, I’ve been plateaued for a while now. 

BJ: A proper vacation next year sounds great. I was going to China this year myself but it got canceled due to COVID. Anyways, do you have any new year’s resolutions?

M: Yeah, actually. Though it isn’t usually my thing. I want to improve my time management when it comes to my personal life. With work, I’m a pretty well oiled machine but I really let that slip when I’ve got time to myself. I don’t necessarily want rigid timetables but I really want to make the most of the time off I have– rather than just letting it become nap and Netflix time every time. 

BJ: And to finish the interview. Do you have anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?

M: Not to be soppy about it but mostly that I know this year has been hard, for just about all of us. We’re all hopeful things will get better, and I truly believe that they will. At whatever pace they do, we’ll all be okay.

Also. When my streaming becomes more consistent I’ll be reducing the cost of ‘Dramatic reading’ for a bit. So get your fan fictions ready.

BJ: It was a pleasure talking to you!

M: Thanks for the questions BJ, I had a lot of fun answering!


MoriartyUK's Top 10 Cards of 2020

10. Coup De Grace – Probably one of the weaker echo cards I think the card’s biggest failing compared to the others is that it’s fair. I really like the card though, particularly in the instances where you can use it to steal something valuable from an opponent rather than merely replaying a spy.

9. Kerack Marine – Simple, straight forward, very rewarding. I came back to Gwent this year around the time of MM’s launch following a stint away since beta. Using very few resources to help me I cobbled together with what I had and to no surprise NR felt very strong, and these marines did a huge brunt of that heavy lifting.

8. Viraxas Prince – Controversial perhaps since the Prince has no doubt felt stifling and oppressive to a lot of people. The only evolving card to not catch a nerf– I just really like the card. I love its versatility. I love all the arts. I love it combined with  my main boy, the War elephant. Ildiko and Viraxas look like they would bully me in high school and I’m ok with it.

7. Freixenet – I love the character in the lore, so much so I cobbled together a video on him when I had a free afternoon. I like the cards use in a devotion deck but I’ve also enjoyed seeing him played (rarely) in non-devo for his flexibility. I think flexible cards are becoming a theme or me in this list so far…

6. Coen – IT’S A REVERSE SCHIRRU. KIND OF. The applications here seem tricky to predict but I can’t wait to see if, and how he works in some sort of meta list. I just love the idea, and I love playing NR in strange and esoteric ways. It ticks my boxes.

5. Arnaghad– I think this card is really interesting and awkward to evaluate. I had a really fun time reading the discussions about it, and had a great chat with Pajabol about the card too (Casual name drop. I mix with tournament winners what of it?) And though I think it has potential to be strong it may have issues fitting into SK. Ultimately, I like this card because it makes me curious.

4. Koshchey – Another card with interesting applications. I think it was Ace who ran some maths on twitter to find this card’s potential ceiling when summoning larvae and I think it’s fascinating to see how good it can be. I think I could list most of the newly announced gold insectoids here. So happy that archetype is getting some many-legged love.

3. Alzur – The card is an RNG fiesta which can be fun, though I know new RNG in Gwent gets hackles up as they fear the directions the game might go. I think Alzur does it in a good way though. It encourages alterations to deck building, and has a high pay off with a middling floor. (And comical low roll potential) without necessarily hamstringing your deck if the stars don’t align for you. I also feel it came at a very opportune time as people catch meta-fatigue waiting for the expansion. His release was a very good idea.

2. Salamander – The card looks hilarious. Beefy provisions on one amphibious boi. Sally the Salamandra Salamander is probably not going to be good. Probably. Unless? No… perhaps? 

I just really want to see it work. I want to poison the world, BJ. I want to poison you all.

1. Erland of Larvik – Such a fascinating card! With, wait for it, flexibility. I love the potential synergies, I love the versatility. I love the potential for red coin abuse (unless I’m on blue coin in which case please nerf). I feel like NR has gotten some pretty spicy cards, or at least very interesting ones so far and I truly cannot wait to try them.