Interview with Wita
This past weekend, Wita qualified for the Master Series Finals at QuakeCon (from July 25 – 28). He scored a total of 14 master points across all four qualifier tournaments, a huge achievement. A veteran player to both The Elder Scrolls Legends and Hearthstone, Wita also devotes a lot of his time to his Twitch stream and organizing League of Legends tournaments in his home country of Denmark. You can find him on Twitter, and playing TESL or Hearthstone over at https://www.twitch.tv/ImWita.
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.
Hi Wita! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. Huge congratulations on qualifying for the 2019 Master Series Finals. 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.
Thanks for having me!
Let’s start with what you do in real life. Where do you live? What’s keeping you busy when you are not on TESL?
I am currently studying for my bachelor’s degree in international business communication at Aalborg University, which is in Aalborg, Denmark, and I currently live there as well.
I cast Hearthstone for Battleriff on Wednesdays and produce a Danish League of Legends tournament on Tuesdays. Besides the standard university stuff, I also go to the gym at least three times per week.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you started playing The Elder Scrolls Legends?
I am what I like to call a part of the “Old Guard” of TESL. I started playing Legends back when it was still under NDA, after I found the subreddit and signed up for the beta.
You have been casting for Hearthstone and the Warpmeta tournament games. What is that experience like for you and would you like to do similar work for TESL again?
Growing up, I always wanted to be a sports commentator, because I thought, and still think, that it is the sweetest gig on the planet. Honestly, it’s fantastic: I enjoy being able to share my thoughts with the world and to try to entertain in the process.
Regarding the second half of your question: I have commentated TESL in the past for WarpMeta, back when they were still up and running (F in the chat). I could see myself doing it should it be feasible for me as a time investment. Recently I came on Silverfuse’s stream on Day 1 of the MSQ #2 and did some casting, so check out the VoD of that stream if you want to hear me cast.
Aggro – Midrange – Combo – Control? What’s your favorite style of play and why?
Mid-range decks will always be my favorite decks in any game that I play. I like being able to be the aggressor, while being able to fend off early aggression easily. Being able to play a deck which can flex play styles and game plans is just fantastic.
What’s currently your favorite TESL deck?
This is a tough one to be honest. On one hand, I’d like to say the Aggro Keyword Sorcerer because the high-rolls are out this world with the Sisters, Jacks and Sages, but I think I am going to choose my Mid Dagoth. Reason for that is how well it can play into any deck: I think that Dagoth is the deck that I wound up banning a lot more often, just because of its strengths throughout the qualifiers. Thanks to Thuldir, my Twitch chat, Blade102 and CoreyMilhouse for helping me get the list right throughout the MSQs!
…and what’s your all-time favorite?
To the surprise of literally no one who knows me, Mid-range Sorcerer. I helped create this beauty together with SirFunchALot, who is an old friend of mine from my early Hearthstone days. Being able to slam down pre-nerf Bone Colossus and buff up Haunting Spirits, as well follow it up with 9 magicka Atromancer was just glorious.
Wita About the Master Series Tournament 2019
Let’s talk about the 2019 Master Series Qualifiers. You had some very intense matches across the qualifiers. Personally, what was your favorite match in that entire series of tournaments?
I had quite a few. I would like to not say any of my streamed matches, because I made quite a lot of misplays in those that cost me a lot of points, which ultimately made qualifying a lot harder than it should have been.
So I will have to go for a match which wasn’t streamed, sadly. But my set against Fafal in the top 16 of the initial MSQ, which secured me top 8, was something else, man. Perhaps my most intense match across all four MSQs, it had it everything: went 3-2, Markath Bannermen doing work, prophecies, it was for sure a match which would have provided great content.
How did you prepare for the qualifier tournament? Did you put in long hours of refining your decks? Did you practice with your friends or teammates?
I was actually incredibly busy for most of May, due to exams and writing my semester project, which meant not enough practice, and I think it might have helped. Last year, I put in around 100-150 hours (if not more) for the MSQs and didn’t even get close to making it because I overthought things.
This year I went with decks that that I knew from the past, especially important since I had barely touched the game since September 2018 after burning out during last year’s MSQs. I am currently a Free Agent and I did not really prep with anyone for the first three qualifiers outside of discussing some minor lineup tech with Booms (Really_Beau) and Blade102.
I did stream a bit and chat helped me with some techs and other stuff, which I am super thankful for. For the last week I played some sets against Thuldir, and CoreyMilhouse helped me test some specific techs for the Assassin match-ups which helped quite a bit too.
Let‘s discuss your deck line-up a little bit. Which decks did you bring to the tournament and why?
My lineup was primarily decks that I was comfortable on. But my general philosophy for weeks 2-4 was to create a lineup that preyed on Burn Assassin. Week one was some decks that I threw together throughout the week and thought “hey this is sweet and could work well,” which it did to be fair.
So with two aggro, one combo and one mid-range deck you had a good variety of decks. Can you please explain your thought-process behind selecting your lineup?
This is down to how LHS works as a format. It is a format that I have a lot of experience in both casting and playing from various Hearthstone events. You can’t run four of the same deck because you end up risking getting screwed if your opponent has two counters and you end up only being able to ban one of them. Something else which is very important for building LHS lineups is being able to have multiple decks that can sweep. I had a lot of series where one deck just took down all three games because of the nature of the decks.
Market Burn Assassin was a deck that you consistently brought to the various qualifiers. How did you evolve the deck between the four weeks?
I just netdecked some versions for each week to be honest. Not much thought was put into it. I also ended up cutting it for week four because I saw the way the meta was changing up and it would no longer suffice as ban bait. It’s a deck I just brought for it to get banned for the most part and it worked incredibly well. I had people who legit were running 6+ Withered Hand Cultists ban my Burn Assassin, much to my surprise.
You also ran several Daggerfall lists. In MSQ #1 you started with a Merric + Atromancer deck that you changed later to a tri-color good-stuff-deck. Why did you make these changes?
The Merric Daggerfall was put together because of the premium art bundle for Nord Firebrand and Raiding Party, true story. On a side note, I wish Bethesda had also included Markarth in this bundle. Anyways, it was a deck that I played on stream quite a bit and really enjoyed, and it had 50/50 match-ups all around and had enough top-end to high-roll and beat out Slay Ebonheart. The switch to Thuldir’s version of the deck – it’s the same 75 cards – was on the basis of his success in week one and through my testing. I couldn’t find the optimal list of my original so just ended up bringing it as a second sorcerer deck.
Your mid-range Dagoth was pretty stable across the series. What was your game plan behind that deck and did it perform the way you envisioned it?
I think Dagoth over-performed in a way. It was one of the most slept-on decks in the game for a long time and it wasn’t until week four that I really ran into it a lot. It is a deck which can beat out Burn Assassin, Hlaalu and a lot of other of the top meta decks due to its strong aggressive curve, decent mid game and incredibly strong late game potential.
Your Aggro Keyword Sorcerer was a very unique deck. It runs the Nereid Sisters from Alliance War and I remember the MSQ #3 game against Karakondzhul where you drew all three of them and high-rolled drain and charge onto them. What were your thoughts during this game?
First of all, “why am I misplaying?” I almost lost because I didn’t get 4 healing in from the first Sister on the turn I played the second one. Then, generally, I was pretty upset that I had to beat Karakondzhul in such a fashion to be honest. But obviously I was incredibly pleased with making top 4.
How will you prepare for the Master Series Finals tournament?
Next week I am flying home for a three week summer holiday to visit friends and family. After moving across the country for university last summer, I have been home once for Christmas and that’s it. With the nerfs hitting after the LCQ and potentially an expansion being revealed at E3, I see it as a natural way to relax for a bit before going hardcore boot-camp mode in July.
Wita on the State of TESL
Now onto some more general TESL topics, if you don‘t mind. What is your favorite faction in Alliance War?
I love being able to play Strength cards in my sorcerer decks, so it has to be Daggerfall Covenant.
How did you like the Alliance War expansion, overall?
I didn’t play during Isle of Madness, so everything was fresh to me and I have been enjoying it quite a bit. I think that the only thing weighing it down for me is the introduction of Slay Ebonheart. I have never been a fan of Rage as a card and think it’s ridiculous that they get to mess you up in that fashion for basically free.
What is your view on the current state of TESL as a game in comparison to Hearthstone and other CCGs?
I think it is in a decent place overall, and I think that the upcoming changes will put it in an even better position. It fills a different niche to a game like Hearthstone, which is also in a pretty good place right now, and I enjoy playing both and balancing both.
What is your opinion on how Bethesda is evolving the game and the TESL community?
I think that the initial client transfer crisis really put off a lot of people, myself included, but I believe that Sparkypants will keep doing a good job at improving the game and the client. The TESL community is overall really good, and I enjoy their support whenever I play the game on stream. Even after a 8-10 month break, I still find myself getting hosted by some of the biggest streamers in the directory, which I am incredibly thankful for.
If you had one wish for the game, what feature, card or card mechanic would you like to see implemented?
I am a competitive player at heart so I would obviously like to see tournament mode and Gauntlet mode. In terms of cards and mechanics, change Dark Seducer please, having a card that breaks a mechanic designed to only work on one turn is not okay.
Thank you very much Wita, 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.