Greetings and salutations Doolers, IceyFire here. I’ve been gone for a while but over the course of my hiatus, the title of Grandmaster was awarded to the winner of the Meltdown League tournament. Who won this title? Why it was the Egg Master Zabiool himself. We messaged him on discord and did an interview, here is that interview.
“To begin would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?”
“I have very little competitive card game exposure beyond a few small MTG tournaments and FNMs. I enjoy strategy and turn-based games. I think it is a combination of the two skills that bring me some success in Duelyst. I picked up Duelyst in 2015 and played very casually as I had fun with Abyssian.
There was a new player tournament that popped up and I recently met a very good Vet player called Wyzed who coached me to be the first winner of a new player tournament. From there I was invited to play the Eyolympics. It was a community-driven fun tournament with big community figures in it and I was honored with an invitation. So I did what any new player would do and I disenchanted my entire collection to craft the random jank cards required for that tournament and ended up winning it in a close Grand Finals with TheScientist. After that, I took a break and joined in on a DWC qualifier where I got 1/9’d by an enemy Meltdown after missing my 1/2 drops for three turns in a row and my other opponent dropped from the tournament resulting in me not qualifying. Since then I played in Team Wars with Serpenti Squad and most recently played in the Meltdown League.”
“For a long time you’ve been at the forefront of popularizing and optimizing Tempo Ragnora. Do you think that Tempo Ragnora is the strongest deck right now and if not what do you think is?”
“With rotation being removed earlier this year we suddenly had a massive amount of new cards to factor in. Due to our relatively small player base there isn’t as much testing happening with niche decks. Fortunately this meta has lasted a long time so people were somewhat forced to explore things they discounted earlier.
Ragnora is the best general to me in the current state of the game as it has many highly competitive forms. I believe Eggnora is the strongest tournament deck currently as it is very versatile and can win bad match-ups. As the popularity of Fault rises Eggs will decline as Fault is simpler to play and a very tricky match-up for Ragnora. At the end of the day I enjoy the deck more than any other deck.”
“Over the course of Meltdown League as well as tournaments, in general, do you tend to do anything prior to the tournament to prepare?”
“My preparation during the week phase was minimal. I’d play whatever deck I’d like on a whim. I was in it for the fun and didn’t know there was a prize pool for most of the league. I did some minor research on what my opponents were playing in the closing weeks to ensure my top 12 finish.
For the finals, I analyzed my opponents thoroughly. Against the decks I knew I played against I drew up playbooks for openings: what cards to keep, what to replace, what opening would be the best, and what I should be playing around. I changed my tech cards to be my main board as I expected lots of Titans and Wanderers. If I’d face a different deck they’d still be playing around the cards that I have already subbed out again. I spent 3+ hours only building my deck and around 3 hours preparing for my specific opponents.”
“That’s some impressive preparation! No wonder you won. My final question to close out the interview: What do you think of the current competitive state of Duelyst in regards to CPG’s support and what RHacker93 is doing?”
“I haven’t noticed CPG supporting the competitive community beside allowing Hacker to allocate the title of Grandmaster and the allocation of tournament ribbons. Hacker is not only hosting great tournaments but also communicating with prominent figures throughout Duelyst. He is the cornerstone of the competitive scene.”