Interview with superthx555
This past weekend, superthx555 won the third 2019 Master Series Qualifier tournament. After last week’s control mirror “TESL-thons”, this third tournament felt like Aggro-week and superthx navigated this extremely well. He is one of the most consistent tournament players, winning thirteen Warpmeta tournaments. He is also the winner of the first European Warpmeta tournament ever. He finished ranked play as #1 Legend in October and November 2017, and has four finishes in the top 10 and six in the top 20.
With this triumph, it will be exciting to see him join some of the other top Legends players in the 2019 Master Series Finals at QuakeCon in late July. We are very grateful for him giving us this interview and sharing more details about his views and experiences with Legends, as well as his lineup.
Hello superthx555. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. Huge congratulations on winning the third 2019 Master Series Qualifier tournament. Before we go into the details of the Master Series, let‘s talk a little bit about yourself and how you came to card games and TESL in particular.
So what does superthx do in real life? What’s keeping you busy when you are not on TESL?
Tell us a little bit about how you started playing The Elder Scrolls Legends?
A Hearthstone streamer that I followed at the time tried out TESL. I got curious and went to try it out myself. I didn’t fully switch to TESL immediately, but I found some very entertaining streamers, namely Boomslife and Snaxximan, so I kept up with the game a lot.
Can you look back on any previous card game experience?
When I was a small kid, I played Yu-Gi-Oh! till a gypsy stole one of my Cyber Dragons and the other one I lent and never got back. Other than that, I played Hearthstone for several months before TESL. Since then, I have tried original Gwent and Magic the Gathering: Arena.
Aggro – Midrange – Combo – Control? What’s your favorite style of play and why?
My favorite play style is non-curve mid-range. I like decks such as Merric, Dark Assassin, or Strike Monk, as the synergies in those decks define your power-plays. You can plan accordingly in order to achieve them in later turns of the game. When you do, it’s very satisfying. They also require you to interact with your opponent’s board a lot.
What’s currently your favorite deck?
My current favorite is Mid-Battlemage. Unfortunately, current control decks are too punishing towards decks that aren’t packed with threats or aggression because running only a handful of mid-/late-game fatties will be dealt with by lethal pings and hard removal. With the Ash Berserker nerf, BM can’t justify running cards like Vigilant Ancestor so it is more vulnerable to aggro, too.
…and what’s your all-time favorite?
My all-time favorite would be pre-nerf Journey Wispmother Assassin.
You played very successfully in the Warpmeta tournaments. How do you feel about not being able to compete in these weekly events?
As someone who hates money and fame, I’m glad that part of my life is over.
Let’s talk about the Master Series Qualifiers 2019 #3. Those were some very intense and fun to watch matches. What was personally your favorite match in that tournament?
It was the Token Crusader vs DangerZoneee’s Rage Guildsworn match. Managing to hit no Piercing Javelin prophecies was very fortunate and high-rolling an opponent always feels good.View the first game between superthx555 and Dangerzoneee 2019 Masters Series – Qualifier 3 by TESLegends on www.twitch.tv
How did you prepare for the tournament? Did you put in long hours of refining your decks? Did you practice with your friends and teammates of Team Rankstar?
My timezone is 9 hours ahead of Traitor-Joe’s, who is my main practice partner. So we only get a couple of hours of practice every other day. I don’t really refine decks much, usually my first draft is five or so cards different to the final piece. The reason is probably because I build aggressive decks that have a lot of auto-include cards.
Let‘s discuss your deck line-up a little bit. Which decks did you bring to the tournament and why?
Corey Millhouse said abomination empire is the most powerful deck ever so I locked that one in. It often pulls a ban which allows me to play both Hlaalu and Crusader. I couldn’t bring a strong control deck such as Tribunal or Ebonheart because they do not mesh well with my ban strategy, which is usually my starting point when building my lineup. If I bring Tribunal then I’d have unfavorable match-ups against Ebonheart, which my aggressive decks want to leave up. Ebonheart wants to leave Tribunal unbanned, but other aggressive decks don’t.
My other 3 decks are Crusader variants. I like those because they aren’t ring dependent but still take advantage of it greatly. Redoran was tested only a little bit and performed well against control decks in testing.
Can you please explain your thought-process behind bringing such an aggressive lineup? Was this influenced by last week’s tournament?
A control deck is hard to balance against the field. If I run a too defensive variant then I might face someone with extra top-end and get stuck in unfavorable matches where I’m at the mercy of their draws. I dislike the rune system in control mirrors making sitting and drawing a stronger strategy than capitalizing on every value trade or tempo swing. In addition to that, I think yellow aggro is in a really good spot.
Your first deck was Abomination Empire. We have seen this deck in the last two qualifiers with reasonable success, although it often gets banned. You got to play it in the semi-finals against immortalaugust. Were you happy to have brought it and how did these games go for you?
Abomination went 7-1 in this tournament for me. I’m not really happy that the deck exists, but I probably won’t cry in the plane about it. It’s a deck that mostly cares about its own draws and either high-rolls or bricks. There is rarely anything in between. Because of that, it is more telling to look at its win rate (when played properly) and draw conclusions about its power than it is for other decks which always care about more factors that occur in the match.
Your second deck was Aggro Hlaalu, an absolute beast of a deck. Unfortunately, you didn’t score as many points with the deck during the top 8 matches. Retrospectively, would you have made any changes to your build?
Hlaalu smash, but sometimes only little smash.
The third deck in your lineup was Yellow Aggro Crusader, a consistent aggro deck that is still very popular on the ladder. What was special about this build?
The density of power-plays such as Fifth Legion Trainer plus Marked Man, Marked Man plus Pit Lion, Resolute Ally and Divine Fervor is very high. Also, the density of draw is high and it has good solutions for lethal defense in Shining Saint and Penitus Oculatus Agent.
Your final deck was Aggro Redoran. The deck combines some of the big bodies of Warrior with many cards from your Yellow Crusader. Please tell us a little bit about how the deck performed for you.
Redoran went 5-0 in top 8, it’s my new religion.
As the TESL community is growing with many new and returning players, can you elaborate on what you see as the critical success criteria for an aggro deck? What is important when you navigate them? What is your top tip for new players?
The most critical success factor for aggro decks is net-decking winning aggro decks. And don’t replace one drops that help fight for board with Mudcrabs. Yeah, I’m looking at you.
In aggro mirrors, swing turns are really important. Oftentimes, it’s okay to take damage and pretend to be more vulnerable than you are, and then pop off with Brumas, Marked Men and what not. There aren’t many aggro focused streamers. Earlmeister is probably the most well-known and a good choice for watching aggro on twitch.tv. Other than that, watching tournament videos of aggro matches can help a lot, too.
You played Sir Prook in the finals, who brought a rather off-meta lineup. What did you think about his decks?
When I learned that Sir Prook was the finalist, I decided that in case of a loss, I would netdeck his lineup for the last qualifier – seriously. So I wanted to give lesser known decks an opportunity to perform. But it turns out they don’t beat topdecks and prophecies.
How will you prepare for the Master Series Finals tournament?
If you prepare then you are unprepared for the incalculable.
Outside of Empire Abomination, your other three decks only used Varen Aquilarios from the Alliance War expansion. How disappointed are you that Alliance War didn’t provide more tools for classic aggro decks?
Dominion actually got a few sweet cards that I’d like to play, but until they kill Market Assassin not having Withered Hand Cultist in decks isn’t worth it. There’s three more expansions this year and I’m optimistic for more good cards to roll in.
What is your favorite faction in Alliance War?
Now onto some more general TESL topics, if you don‘t mind. What is your view on the current state of TESL?
I think they should keep all kinds of magicka cheat (ramp or reductions) in strict check, because predicting when your opponent will do something is meaningful, and you can’t predict when they will go off if they can manipulate magicka. In my opinion TESL is deep enough as it is to make linear gameplay progression skillful and rewarding.
Also, unique legendaries are kind of getting out of hand since their effects are distinct and powerful and near impossible to play around leading to harsh blowouts. Speaking of which: please give Dawnbreaker a sweeter animation.
What is your opinion on how Bethesda is evolving the game and the TESL community?
Bossman Van Hoose is a great leader and I’ll follow his twitter anywhere.
If you had one wish for the game, what feature, card or card mechanic would you like to see implemented?
Hah, easy: make Ahnassi return the keywords.
Thank you very much superthx, for your time and this interview. We wish you all the best of luck for the Master Series Finals and hope to see many more of your victories.