Deck Alcolici – Oncologico Trascendentale Pt.3 by Iamunframed
18 Luglio 2020
Roadmap Tornei ESC
11 Agosto 2020

[ENG] An interview with Oceanmud – by Iamunframed

This interview is the third chapter of a deck guide trilogy. In the first one, “The Father”, Iamunframed shared what he called the “trascendental oncological deck“. In the second one, “The Son”, he made an in-depth analysis of the very same deck, available here . In this chapter, however, he decided to go beyond his human limits by interviewing the father of all Potion decks, the one and only Holy Ghost, aka Oceanmud.
Eight questions were asked to the Messiah, and eight were the answers he gave us. Amen.

AS: In this interview we will be using expressions and terms which require an intermediate knowledge of the world of card games. If you are not able to understand the meaning of some words, our advise for you is to consult the introductory glossary of concepts and terms about card games made by IBabaYaga, Which you can find here:

Q1:Why did you choose Monsters as your (nonpareil) faction? When did your love for it begin?

When I first started playing Gwent, i didn’t think about myself as a Monster player. During the game tutorial, in 2017, Eredin was the first leader who was introduced to me. In my callow player logic, i thought that Eredin had to be the strongest, considering he was at the beginning of the tutorial, and starting from there, i played more than 5000 games without touching any other leader, so i never really tried any more of them until I became a faction ambassador on December 2017.

Q2: Which one would you say is the most degenerate deck you’ve ever created since the beginning of your experience with Gwent until this day?

I don’t think my decks are so degenerate. I create decks that I think can be appropriate to contrast the current meta. For example, if I create a deck that has 75 points in total and because of the meta the opponent can often generate 100 points, with both committed playing at the same level, there will be more games in which i will lose than the ones in which i will win due to the opponent’s bad draws. Cards such as Scorch, Cadaverine or the old Epidemic overturn the situation and can level the gap between the decks: with all things considered, it becomes irrelevant how many points the opponent can generate, if they are all removed at the end of the round. I can understand if there are negative opinions about these decks, but these ones still remain a minimum percentage of the decks i usually play. My lists are mainly creative and they tend to bring inventiveness to Gwent at a time when we are all inundated with meta decks.

Q3: What is the Monsters faction missing part in order to close the gap with the others factions? And again what would you want to be added as brand new for this faction in the next expansions?

I think that Monsters have some lacks of certain tools that CDPR intentionally wants to give to other factions, such as removals. As a matter of fact, Monsters have cards like the Cyclops, which can be considered a removal, but ultimately it ends up being a 4×5 card. We can often see how other factions have cost-effective removals such as poisons, which would do in two round of course, but other factions also have tons of removals that can work on a single round too. For the moment Monsters can say something about removals only thanks to cards like Adda Striga, and as a sedulous player of this faction, i feel the urgent need for more cards of this type. In this regard, with the new Master Mirror’s expansion many people have thought of the Frost mechanics as a control mechanic and personally I am not really sure that I can agree with this statement, because Frost literally damages the highest unit in the enemy’s row, and therefore it does not remove anything really.  It is a mechanic limited by the fact that it needs a certain amount of turns for you to gain value out of it and you cannot know in advance if the opponent will play units that can limit Frost’s damage, as an example it can be taken units with Armor. I’m curious to know how CDPR will evolve the faction to make it competitive as much as the others.

Q4: Which one is your favorite card, and which one do you hate the most?

Maraal is undoubtedly the worst that comes to my mind and in my personal view i see it as a very poorly designed card, or a design that leaves no possibility of counterplay to the opponent, to say the least. In fact, even admitting that we can purify the card, poisoned by Maraal, he can still use one poison on that same card in the next turn, and even if you try to destroy Maraal, the unit will still be open to a second poison from another card, so the points loss due to the poison remain inevitable.  Ultimately yes, Maraal is the card which i hate the most. Regarding my favorite card, however, it surely comes to my mind a flexible card that can effectively help Monsters. Before the release of this expansion, i believed that this card was Crimson CurseI don’t know why, maybe because it has the best graphic out of all the row effects cards, so i sincerely hope that CDPR will buff the card to let it express its full potential, one useful change could be that: its effect should activate at the end of the turn and not at the beginning of it.

Q5: Have you ever planned to join a competitive Gwent team? And again do you think that you would do it in case CDPR makes any changes? If so, what should this changes be?

Actually in the past I was a member of a competitive team, the Gwentlemen team, back when Swimstrim used to play Gwent.  At the time it was a very relevant team, if not the the most relevant it surely was the largest streamers team. The Gwentlemen then turned into “Team Topdeck”, but at that point I put aside the competitive scene because I didn’t like being assigned tasks from a team. Take, as an example, this interview: In this case too, i answered the questions Iamunframed did to me with a huge delay. Basically i am not reliable as a member of a team and i prefer not to be part of one of them, so that i cannot disappoint the expectations towards me. With the Gwentlemen team, however, i did several casting with Jaggerous, which went very well. I have been offered to enter into several competitive teams even beyond Gwent, such as Fade 2 Karma, and some collaborations have been proposed to me by practically every Gwent teams, but right now i don’t think that I’m in a position to enter in a team again, although it can get me more benefits than i can get on my own. Regarding the second part of the question, i’m not sure that Gwent will ever be in the position that can stimulate my desire to play it competitively, this is mostly caused by the type of ranking system and the fact of being forced to play 25 games to unlock the fMMR, I do not like these part of the game at all.

Q6: Do you have any tips you feel like giving to new players to help them improving at the game?

If you want to enter the Pro Ladder, play Tier 1 decks. But if you want to get good at Gwent, like real good, play decks that you enjoy, learn their interactions and learn how to build on them, but above all, you need to learn how to play with “Tempo”. Because for example, playing Harmony does not teach you that, and you should really learn how to “out-Tempo” the opponent. Let’s say we start with Blue coin playing as Northern Realms, and we play a unit of 4 on the second row. Let’s also say that the opponent, who uses a Monster deck with the leader ability of Arachas Swarm, starts his turn by spending a charge of leader and then plays Imlerith (therefore, making a 14-point play). At this point you must understand that you will have to start investing cards with a huge amount of points in order not to lose the round at even. This should be understood as soon as possible. Also, you need to know every single card in the game, which takes a huge amount of time, because you need to learn how to play around all of them and in every situation you can think of. Learning when the most optimal time to pass is, has mostly to do with learning on how to use Tempo at your advantage, because you won’t be able to find the best pass as long as you don’t learn how to Tempo play.

Q7: Do you think there are any other players in the international community who have some sort of similarities to you in the approach to the game?

It’s a complex question because it depends on what we mean by playing Gwent, all of us, as players, try to do the most optimal plays. Personally I have an extremely analytical type of gameplay: it is not enough for me to win the game but I need to understand why I won the game. At the same time, I have a psychological approach to the game, for example: deciding to play the cards from the hand quickly to put pressure on the opponent, as a foreshadow let’s put it in this way, i could quickly play Yghern with 5 cards in hand and two Larvae on the field, making the card (Yghern) so inviting in order to bring the opponent to play a 4-point removal tool, even before realizing that his play allows me to get out of the round pretty easily. Perhaps what makes my approach characteristic is my patience, in other words, accepting the inevitable progression of certain games, and i find this particular aspect of my gameplay mostly in Cceely probably.

Q8: Was the modification to Scorch and Epidemic so necessary or it could have been avoided, considering the strength of the other archetypes?

I think that the nerfs to Scorch and Epidemic was needed, but I also think that many other cards need a nerf. The reason why Scorch and Epidemic were nerfed is due to the possibility that, this two cards were in a position in which they could destroy the opponent’s entire board and therefore their strategy, with a single move, so in my opinion, i don’t think this scenarios were healthy for the game. But at the same time i think it was essential to play them because of other cards, which all things considered, should be nerfed as well. Although any card that has the possibility of destroying the entire opponent’s board, even if are required difficult setups for that to happen, is dangerous for the game. But with mechanics such as Harmony and the Mystic Eco, Scorch ability is almost essential, because the opponent can generate a huge amount of points and the other decks have no way to stop it. Of course, Scorch itself, even after the nerf, still remains an effective card against mediocre players.

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