End of Year Interview 2021 SuperSpock9000: ‘This has been one of the most challenging years I’ve had in a while if I’m being honest’

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 Spock, you are the next in line after wicked. How would you reflect on the year 2021?

SuperSpock9000: This has been one of the most challenging years I’ve had in a while if I’m being honest. Between some health issues with family members and starting a new job there has been a lot thrown at me this year. However, things have gotten significantly better and I’ve managed to adjust to my new work environment. Besides these endeavors, I’ve made a few achievements this year that I’m pretty proud of, Gwent especially. I’ll go into more detail about my Gwent achievements later but I managed to do well on the SBB ladder as well as some Yu-Gi-Oh Speed Duel events. These accomplishments made me realize that card games are something that I can compete in competitively outside of Gwent. Even though this was a difficult year as a whole I think I’ve controlled everything I could to the best of my ability and I’m in a pretty good spot as we wrap up the year.

BJ: Glad to hear things are going well for you! What has it been like to compete in Gwent this year?

SS: This year was the best year for me to compete in gwent so far. I managed to achieve my long-time goal of placing in the top 64 during a competitive season and i managed to finish in the top 16 during the TLG invitational which was an unexpected surprise. I was even invited to talk about my tournament experience in TLG’s podcast which was an awesome experience! Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the bookend of the year. It might be the lack of proper balance or the general grind finally amounting to needing a break but for the last two months of the competitive season and the entire off-season I haven’t had much desire to play on ladder or in community events. Although after watching world masters and seeing all the new changes coming in the December patch I’m excited to start playing again.

BJ: You also recently started playing Story Book Brawl, how are you enjoying that?

SS: Storybook Brawl is a really fun game and I’m looking forward to seeing how the game evolves and hopefully gets more traction. It’s really fun playing with different compositions of boards from game to game and it really rewards adaptability to drafting which is something I never really thought about as a skill until playing this game.

BJ: Can we expect some streams in the future again?

SS: Haha, this is actually something my IRL friends mention to me a lot and is a bit of a meme in our group. I always tell myself that I’ll start streaming again but one thing I’ve realized about myself is that right now I enjoy competing and playing optimally in my games more than streaming and entertaining. Perhaps my priorities will change with time and streaming will be more appealing but right now I think I’ll only do them when the urges really hit me.

BJ: Time will tell in that case. Is there anything (else) that you would like to do next year?

SS: I’m not really sure what my goals for next year are. Finishing more frequently in top 64 qualifiers would be nice as well as maybe going for a top 16 spot.

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

SS: Be healthier, work on myself more mentally and physically, and try to get outside of my comfort zone a bit more.

BJ: Personal growth is one of the most satisfying things. Good luck with that! Anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2022?

SS: Thanks for taking the time to read my interview! Look forward to another great year for BG as we continue to pump out content and try our best in Gwent and maybe even StoryBook Brawl!

BJ: Cheers and happy holidays!


*SuperSpock9000's Top 10 Cards of 2021

*Spock decided to start his top 10 with number 1 instead of 10.

1. Blightmaker: Most nilfgaard decks had the weaknesses of a slow start in round 1 and can make playing the faction annoying on blue coin. However, after the introduction of blightmaker this problem was lightened a bit at the cost of a slightly clunky deck building restriction. Easily one of my favorite cards to come out this year.

2. Citrian envoy: NR is well known for its Draw-your-golds like nature. Citiran envoy helps with this issue a bit at the cost of being a really low tempo play. However, it’s cheap enough that it can find its way into an NR deck every once in a while and helped me a ton during the invitational a lot.

3. Artaud: Artaud is a really cool spying payoff card that has crazy synergies with the assimilate archetype. I love playing nilfgaard and this card is an absolute house in the faction.

4. Dead man’s tongue: This card can be decent tempo while offering another form of consistency to nilfgaard decks. In very niche scenarios you can also banish high provision cards that you might’ve missed in round 3. It’s an all-around very strong card that I love playing in my NG decks.

5. Sunset wanderers: If you had to ask me what card I think of when I think of Gwent in 2021 it’s Sunset Wanders. This card completely warped the meta when it debuted and remains a viable card today. My favorite thing about this card is that it was the first card to have the mechanic of starting in your opening hand. This is a mechanic I hope CDPR explores more because I love this kind of design.

6. Mammuna: Another card that completely warped the meta on release along with all the other insane monster cards that were released around that time. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Even though other monster cards have been left behind I still think Mammuna is an amazing card and will see play once the faction she’s in sees some more love.

7. Tunnel Drill: Even though everyone and their mother complained about tunnel drill I thought it was quite the fun card to play and it kept Syndicate relevant in the higher tiers of competitive play. I’ll never forget sitting in voice chats with Sonnelion and hearing him say “BAM” “BAM” “BAM” every once in a while when this card would hit the board and do what it does best.

8. Coupe de grace:  At the time of release I actually thought this card was pretty bad. Initially, it might have been a low tier echo card for sure. However, after many buffs to spying cards, Coupe has made its way into most NG decks these days, which I think is for the better. There’s nothing like playing 2-4 Joachims per game when you’re in a particular mood.

9. Kolgrim: While some people despise the clog archetype I really enjoyed playing it myself and Kolgrim was more often than not the win condition that ties the deck together. As much as I know some people would love for clog to never see the light of day again I’ll be happy to slam down a Kolgrim or two (off of kingslayer) if the meta ever calls for it.

10. Eist Tuirseach: Another powerful finisher card. Even though warriors aren’t as powerful now as when Eist was first released it was one hell of a swing if your opponent gave you enough of a body to match that of the Jutta that you pitched from your deck. I’m a fan of big finishers in Gwent and Eist was one of the most memorable finishers that were around this year for me.

Bandit of the Month (August) | Exclusive Interview with Decode789

It’s our pleasure to award Decode789 with the BOTM this time! Thank you for all the hard work you put in our content! You are an absolute beast for helping out the team in every capacity! From streaming to article writing to video editing to making graphics! You can do it all! Congratulations!

Babyjosus: Sup Decode! What does it mean to you to receive your first BOTM?

Decode789: Getting my first BOTM is really encouraging me to do more for the team and the community! It means a lot! Thank you!

BJ: You are now officially one of the cool kids. How has it been so far on the team for you?

D: It has been wonderful journey so far! I am grateful to be in BG again, because it gives me the freedom to put my ideas/thoughts into reality. Truly grateful <3

BJ: You also helped out a ton when it came to the game spotlights, how do you look back on that?

D: When I was approached for game spotlights, I was very happy to try out new game ideas/designs and let others know about my experience. When I look back at that, I think that I’d like to do more game spotlights in the future as I always like to do creative stuff like, non-stop 😀

BJ: I am happy to hear that. What can people expect from you next month?

D: As of now my plan would be to create the best content that I can, either in the form of articles, banners, video edits, and anything else I’m needed for. I say as of now because, I might even surprise myself with a new idea in the future so stay tuned 😀

BJ: I like the commitment. And what message would you give to the supporters of BG?

D: I thank each and everyone of YOU! Without your support, I would not find the drive to do more <3

You can find out more about Decode789 here.

Bandit of the Month (July) | Exclusive Interview with Superspock9000

It’s our pleasure to award SuperSpock9000 with the BOTM this time! As a veteran of the team by now, he recently qualified for a Top64 spot,  finished Top12 in the TLG Invitational and inspires us with his constant dedication and ability to help his teammates! Congratulations!

Babyjosus: Hey Spock. What does it mean to you to receive your first BOTM?

Superspock9000: Hi BJ! It feels pretty good. After seeing a handful of my peers getting BOTM, I always thought it would be cool to get it myself.

BJ: You are now officially one of the cool kids. How was your experience to qualify and play in the Top16 in The Invitational 2?

SS: It was quite the journey all in all. I started in the community qualifier going 5-2 over the course of 2 days and seven rounds of swiss. For the first weekend of the main event I went 6-1 with a final series that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. 2 Ties, 1 PC crash and then finally 3 games after that to decide a winner. It was easily one of the longest days of Gwent I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, weekend 2 didn’t go as well as I had wished. I lost my first series in the winners bracket and only made it into the 3rd round of losers before getting knocked out. However, I had some really cool matches against some very good opponents and the event showed how much room I have left to improve.

BJ: You also made an appearance on the Zwei Null Podcast, what was that like?

SS: It was actually an awesome experience to be on the TLG podcast. It was a bit surreal to be talking with people like Jaggerous, Spyro, and Ryan all of whom I’ve known as large parts of the Gwent community for quite some time now.

BJ: I am happy to hear that. What can people expect from you next month?

SS: Well next month is the beginning of the Gwent competitive off-season so grinding ladder won’t be a priority for me like it was in previous seasons. However, I’ll keep an eye out for any community tournaments/leagues that come up in the following months.

BJ: I like the commitment. And what message would you give to the supporters of BG?

SS: Thanks for supporting BG! It’s awesome to have an audience of people who encourage us in our competitive and content endeavors!

You can find out more about Superspock9000 here.

End of Year Interview 2020 SuperSpock9000: ‘This was very unmotivating and I started to lose interest in the game shortly afterward’

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.