Karakondzhul – The QuakeCon 2019 Interview
Karakondzhul has been playing The Elder Scrolls Legends since open beta and has almost 11,000 wins in ranked play. He is among the most consistent top players in the game, finishing in top 10 ten times and taking 5 podiums. Karakondzhul finished at #1 Legend in August 2017.
He is also a very strong tournament player. In 2018, Karakondzhul participated in the Master Series Finals at QuakeCon and won $10,000 for placing second. This year, he made it to the semi-finals, taking $6,000 in prize money back to Bulgaria.
The Experience at QuakeCon
Hello Karakondzhul. Thank you for taking the time today to talk to us, today. How have you enjoyed QuakeCon so far?
It has been great meeting all the people and going into Texas for the second time. I think the tournament has gone quite well. I’m not mad about losing in the semi-final to Thuldir – he’s a great opponent. I did misplay once or twice but that’s part of the game and I’m not unhappy about my performance. I hope to make a comeback next year!
It was great seeing all your matches. Did you feel like you had enough time to settle in?
Last year it was a bit hectic, there was barely enough time for anything that wasn’t playing in the tournament. I like having a day where you can just not do anything, as it really helps to deal with the jet lag. Of course, I still woke up at 4 am but that’s never going away unless I have a whole week to settle in.
What did you do to prepare for the tournament?
To prepare my lineup, I knew I had one deck, the Crusader, that did very well in all the qualifiers, and it wasn’t touched by the nerfs. So, I knew I could bring that one again. For the other decks, I had gone for a few more and was practicing mostly with Frenzy and Hakme. We were playing matches and I tried to build like really aggressive decks that are good against control. So, that’s what I was going for and I think I had a really good lineup.
What was your favorite deck from the lineup?
My favorite deck was the archer which I didn’t get to play at all. It’s a bit sad that I didn’t get to play it. But what can you do, if ate a ban and the single elimination bracket doesn’t accomodate that. But the archer is very difficult but a fun deck to play, as your decisions and resource management matter a lot. Also, no one else brought anything like that. I’m very proud of that deck and that I managed to come with something that’s fun and unique.
Let’s talk about your last game, your Crusader against Thuldir’s Empire. Can you walk us through some of your decisions during the last turn of that game?
I knew I could kind of stabilize, but I felt like I must push for lethal, as well. I can’t control him infinitely, as my Crusader is not a control deck. It’s an aggro deck, and I don’t have any shadow lane interactions. So, I felt like I need to set up a two-turn lethal and I tried to take a risk.
It didn’t pay off, but I still think that was the correct play, because it was very unlikely that Thuldir would have 5 damage with 2 for 7 magicka. People forget that you don’t see his hand. But if he didn’t have those, if he hadn’t had lethal right there, he would be struggling a bit to answer my board. As his deck was not that interactive with the shadow lane either, I think I did the correct play. I tried to play to win, and not play to not lose. I stand by my play.
Did you have a favorite game from the games you played today?
Yes, my favorite was the second game against Wita, where he played the Rage Guildsworn. That’s been a really fun game, as he managed to clear my board and then established a big board himself. He then started to go face and I had already given up after this Rage turn in which he healed to 30 hp. But, somehow, I managed to turn it around and with such an aggressive deck it’s hard to turn around games. Usually, when you’re out of resources you’re out. But, yeah, that’s what Crusader does with so much draw. I didn’t expect to win there, but it was a really nice surprise.
Yeah, that was a fun game to watch. In terms of individual cards, Alfiq was the card from Moons of Elsweyr that we saw in almost every blue list. You used him in your Battlemage. What do you think about Alfiq?
I think Alfiq is really strong but not as much as people think. I ran him in my battlemage, but couldn’t really find another similar deck to put it in. However, Alfiq only seems to work in 50 card decks, as you don’t want to play him to only get a Flame Atronach – you really want to have a good chance to get a Storm Atronach as early as possible. So, Alfiq pushes 50-card decks and I love that. You really need to meet some conditions, like having an Atronach already in the graveyard, which is not that easy to do.
Or, you need to have a Luzrah on the board. And Luzrah is something that just wins games and has really unfortunate interaction with Alfiq, especially with the guard. So, I expect that Luzrah will get hit in the future. I do think that it adds a bit too much to the consistency of Alfiq.
What are you going to do after this?
I’ll go back to my life and work. QuakeCon 2019 was an awesome experience and I hope I get to experience it in the future once again!
Alright, well, thanks for your time. We really appreciate it!
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