World Championship Player Interviews

How did you get into Eternal?

Angrychicken: A friend told me about it
camat0: I love cards games i try many of them
childroland: Saw LSV’s demo video, signed up for closed beta.
HiThar: Drolicheck saw Kibler or LSV streaming it one day. We were competitive MTG players frustrated by the time and money commitment of collecting cards and traveling to events.
IlyaK: Brian Weissman got me into it (yes, *the* Brian Weissman of “The Deck”, who now works for GGG — the Path of Exile company)
KampfKrote: Introduced by LightsOutAce during the closed beta.
LightsOutAce: A friend was playing it on his tablet between rounds of a local Magic tournament and I thought it looked cool. He gave me his extra beta key, and the rest is history.
LocoPojo: Magic -> Hearthstone -> Eternal.  My close friend is Devon Rule, a Great Designer Search finalist who is also a designer on the game.  That wouldn’t have automatically made me support/play it to the level I have, but I did get to learn about it very early on and it turned out to be completely fantastic!
LoveUP: I was behind a card game a long time ago, and finally my girlfriend showed me Eternal, since then I did not play another.
Mouche: I watched LSV’s preview stream, which gave me enough reasons to ask for a closed beta invite. Got one in early June 2016, I’ve been hooked ever since.
Sunyveil: LSV talked about it on his stream once, so I signed up for the closed beta.
Tobboo: Was watching Kiblers stream and he switched from HS to Eternal so i checked it out
Toth201: LSV’s stream
Unearthly: I had been playing one of Dire Wolf Digital’s other digital card games, The Elder Scrolls: Legends. While I was having fun with that game, I heard that the developer was also working on another CCG that was more similar to Magic: The Gathering. I signed up for the closed beta and I’ve been playing it ever since I got my key.
VSarius: I saw an ad for the game on Luis Scott-Vargas’ stream one day and applied for a closed beta key the same day. I got it about a week later, and well the rest is history.

What do you most enjoy about playing Eternal? Why?

Angrychicken: It is a free to play game with an evolving competetive scene where everybody can participate.
camat0: All of it. I love the competition, draft, metagaming, making decks and the community of this game.
childroland: Draft, feels like a new game every time.
HiThar: That I don’t have to travel to events halfway around the world just to be able to compete. Not that I mind doing that occasionally, but it is annoying to do that frequently.
IlyaK: Playing against top players, because I’m a spike and want to prove myself against the best, constantly.
KampfKrote: I really enjoy the pace of the game. I like being able to sit down for a few minutes and play 5 games of Eternal.
LightsOutAce: I like that it is a complex trading card game with good pacing that can be played from the comfort of my own home. It’s interactive, but brilliantly optimized for online play.
LocoPojo: The digital format just makes it a better game than Magic for me, but even if it didn’t, the way Eternal reconstructs and fixes a lot of the issues with its predecessor is ridiculously compelling.  I like building new decks the most, it takes less than ten minutes to go from idea to execution and it’s a great process all the way through.  Draft too, for similar reasons.  There’s always something new and fresh.
LoveUP: Similarity with MTG but with simple mechanics. Its a really Free to play game. Im Very happy to know Eternal
Mouche: Despite being primarily a constructed player for a long time, Draft is by far what I like the most in card games, and Eternal is no exception.
Sunyveil: The interface is really nice to interact with, and being a DCG it allows for some crazy shenanigans that you couldn’t do in real life.
Tobboo: 2 things. 1: You can log in and play 1 game when you dont have much time or you can play 100 games if you do have time. It suits most peoples time schedule. And 2: The deckbuilding. I love coming up with new ideas to test.
Toth201: Finding and analyzing multiple lines to victory. It’s the combination of figuring out the odds and following your gut that really draws me to card games.
Unearthly: What I enjoy most about Eternal is the deckbuilding. While I may not build many decks from scratch, I love taking a deck and finding all the different ways you can twist and turn it. The reason why I especially enjoy the ETS compared to ladder is that creating a cohesive 90 cards that covers the metagame feels so rewarding.
VSarius: I think the combination of having an amazing system in place for deckbuilding and a lot of creative mechanics, but without the extremely retro-esque and unappealing UI of MTG. It blends old themes and new technologies in a really novel way.

What is your favorite Eternal deck to play?

Angrychicken: A really greedy version of Vodacombo. The best version was with primal and fire splash for 4 rise to the challenge and 4 celestial omen.
camat0: My favorite bad deck is probably scream reanimator
childroland: Burn
HiThar: Big Combrei
IlyaK: Have no favorite in particular.
KampfKrote: Burn Queen
LightsOutAce: I like a lot of decks – my favorite is still Knucklebones.
LocoPojo: I jump around a lot, but Combrei Ramp with New Tomorrow is probably my most consistent favorite.  There are also few things more appealing than a successful Static Bolt/Trailblazer carpet shuffle, or a 15 skill Clockroach.
LoveUP: Control decks: Stonescar Control… But it a Just Forfun.
Mouche: Probably Chalice (don’t judge me). Reminds me of birthing pod in the sense that the deck plays a bunch of value units with a busted 4-cost relic to back them up. Also I love drawing cards.
Sunyveil: Either Haunting Scream or Vodakhombo.
Tobboo: Praxis Warp. Its bad, but when it goes off its super fun
Toth201: I don’t have one at the moment, my favorite deck in the past was of course Icaria Gold.
Unearthly: Rakano Plate! I’ve always enjoyed playing decks that buff your units and no one does it better than Rakano. There’s nothing more satisfying that slamming a Deepforged Plate and smacking your opponent out of the game.
VSarius: Oh tough one. It’s probably Chalice at the moment though it was Armory for the longest time.

What is your background with Card Games? Have you played a game competitively before?

Angrychicken: I have played MtG and Hearthstone but not competetively
camat0: No i play others cards games but casually
childroland: Mtg on and off since 1995, for the most recent years, played draft, Commander and Modern mostly at FNM level and MTGO drafts.  Occasional higher level play with no success. Also played Lord of the Rings TCG around 2001-2004.
HiThar: I’ve made 65th in a GP and got 12th/60ish at an RPTQ when I played for 2 years. I was in the top 200 players in League of Legends for a while back in Beta + Season 1.
I also played a bit of hearthstone at some point, but got bored after going back-to-back legend in the first 3 months or so. I am just not into card games with no interaction outside of your own turn.
IlyaK: I’ve played MtG and Alteil
KampfKrote: Magic the Gathering, Pokémon, Star Wars Destiny, WoW TCG. I played MtG competitively for a few years.
LightsOutAce: I’ve played a lot of TCGs. The ones I’ve played in tournaments for are Yu-Gi-Oh! in the early 2000s and Magic since 2007.
LocoPojo: Well, as far as “a game” goes, I was a semi-competitive Evolve player before I was a competitive Eternal player … does that count?  I have won a few local tourneys in Magic but never did any pro-touring.
LoveUP: Magic the Gathering only.
Mouche: I started playing M:tG back in 2005, and tried my hand at tournaments about a year later. Unlocked achievements include a nationals top8 when those were still a thing, 3 pro tour attendances, a fair amount of top16/32/64 on GPs, and probably the second longest ptq top8 streak before getting an invite among french players (I finally made it after 20 over 5 years, which is about 10 fewer than the record holder).
Sunyveil: I play MTG competitively; as I’m typing this up I’m in a hotel testing for my first Pro Tour! I’ve also dabbled in the Pokemon TCG, SolForge, and Alteil.
Tobboo: Played magic the gathering since 95, and was somewhat successful domesticaly. Havent played really competitively in a long time though.
Toth201: I’ve played MTG since I was a kid, and I played Hearthstone for a while. I’ve never played any game more competitively than say FNM level.
Unearthly: I started playing card games with Magic: The Gathering. In high school I only played casually with friends or Friday Night Magic, but at college I started traveling to Vintage tournaments around New England. During the course of those I managed a few top 8s, including one tournament win. After college I stopped playing card games until a coworker introduced me to Hearthstone. I played that game quite a bit and score a pair of top 100 ladder finishes, but I never got into tournaments. It was only once I started playing Eternal that I really got back into competitively playing card games.
VSarius: I tried to break into competitive MTG but it never really materialized past the Top 16 in a Grand Prix level. I played quite a bit of competitive Hearthstone during the games early-stages, but I was so put-off by the design decisions in Goblins vs. Gnomes that I largely quit the game.

What other players do you respect/look up to and why?

Angrychicken: I definately respect my teammates for obvious reasons. Apart from them, Hithar is another reasonable combrei player and Tonygeeeee has some good thoughts about the game (especially about armory) as well.
camat0: I respect most of the competitive players in the game but i don’t look up to anybody right now mostly because i don’t know them very well still.
childroland: Angrychicken, Camat0, Hithar, Paradox, TonyGeeeee, Unearthly.  All great players who have had a lot of success playing and also deck-building, which I struggle with.
HiThar: Camat0 is a boss. He hasn’t been around long, but I really respect how he can bring different decks that aren’t already proven in the tournament scene and do well with them on a regular basis. Unearthly of course has always been a mainstay in the Eternal scene and I have a lot of respect for him as a player.
IlyaK: Every other person on my team (OND, i.e. Unearthly, AngryChicken, Shedd, Toth, etc. etc.), TonyGeee, HiThar, Childroland, IReedMinds, SirRhino, ManuS, and VSarius. And all of them because they’re fantastic players.
KampfKrote: Kibler – He has a really cute Doggo.
LightsOutAce: I respect most players – there are a lot of good players who are respectful and willing to help others. Fostering a community through being positive and sharing information is very important. As far as who creates the most interesting decks I want to play, that’s easily Sir Rhino. It seems like every time I have an idea, he’s already done it.
LocoPojo: Too many to mention, probably.  The whole RNGEternal squad.  Some early fuss-kicker-uppers like ThatOneGuy, Wafflez, Jaypeg.  Anyone who approaches the game with low sodium content.  Creatives – Fellow streamers like Ace and Rhino have been doing an especial lot of work lately in pushing new decks. Tournament wise, AngryChicken’s early Vodhakombo play a few months back was spectacularly consistent.  Also, his name is an emotional form of poultry, who couldn’t love that?
LoveUP: In Eternal, Toth, for creativity and Thundershot for be a friendly guy and some times discuss with me about TJP ideas. Camat0 and Angrychicken for great abilities in game, count abilities and agressiveness.
Mouche: I have a lot of respect for grimfan and mann_und_mouse since they are both among the nicest guys I’ve had the chance to meet thanks to the game while still being pretty good at it. It’s also hard not to mention the Eternal Titans crew for all the constructive discussions going on in discord, the overall great results in tournaments, and all the work they put into testing decks just so I can shamelessly pick them up at the last minute.
Sunyveil: camat0 because I can absolutely never win with Chalice, ever. Unearthly also because he does a great job of building decklists tuned for expected metagames.
Tobboo: I respect everyone that deserves respect. Not just in Eternal but in life aswell.
Toth201: I respect players like TonyGee and Elunex who figure out a single deck/archetype so incredibly well that they do well with it regardless of how the meta suits it.
Unearthly: If I had to choose one player then I would say Bradykin. Not only is he a great player who has put a lot of work into playing competitively, but he is a really positive guy that I always enjoy talking to. If anyone wants a role model of how to be an upstanding member of the tournament community, take a look at him.
VSarius: I definitely respect the rest of my teammates over at Eternal Titans, but that’s a bit of a stereotypical answer. Unearthly and HiThar probably fit the bill, I tend to always have great matches against them – and we have played against each other a lot of times by now. They are both extremely consistent, being that high in Series Points without ever getting the big bank from an Invitational Top 2 finish is really impressive.

What player is most difficult for you to play against/beat? Why?

Angrychicken: Until now, it was Unearthly when he is playing argenport, since I think he is the best aggressive player. It really is a thing about deck matchups, and with the newest balance changes, the meta has yet to evolve and thus each players pet deck has yet to be seen.
camat0: Never think about that. My biggest adversary is myself i still make a lot of mistakes.
childroland: Mann_und_mouse, amazing drafter, almost always slightly (or more than slightly) outplays me when we face off.
HiThar: Camat0 is the only player that I’m a bit nervous to play against. I think I’m currently 1-1 against him though. I have a pretty positive win rate against most other players. AngryChicken I’ve always kind of seen as my rival. I’m currently 1-0 in my matches against AngryChicken in tournament play, but he has seen a little more overall success than me in tournaments. He has exactly the same number of matches played as me, and has exactly 1 more win. /facepalm
IlyaK: AngryChicken! I have yet to beat him in an ETS =P
KampfKrote: V A R I A N C E – JK I kick that guys ass. I think the player I am always nervous to play against is Toth. Only because he crushed my dreams in Season 1.
LightsOutAce: There isn’t any player I specifically dread playing. I hate playing against super all-in aggro because I feel like my window to draw interaction is very small and the swath of cards that interact relevantly is narrow, so it is more draw-dependent and my decisions don’t matter as much.
LocoPojo: I’ve had some miserably bad beats against Rhino’s control lists, and now there’s not even a Greeds Reward to slot in against them ^ ^.  There’s no one that super scares me at the top, it’s really a matter of how the deck matches against mine. Unearthly’s always a little scary because he brings something consistent enough to expose decks that are trying to match a meta rather than stave off all comers.  Keeps me honest – which, let’s be honest: I’d rather not be honest.
LoveUP: Perharps Angrychicken, very solid results in several championships.
Mouche: I don’t keep up with stats against each players, that said Swann is an easy pick here since he is pretty good at stopping my runs cold during top8s.
Sunyveil: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Good players are hard to beat, but I don’t think anybody specifically has my number.
Tobboo: Myself, and the bad luck streaks that sometimes pop up. Don’t really have a nemesis.
Toth201: Definitely Unearthly, I just can’t seem to beat him.
Unearthly: I’ve not had any particular player that I’ve felt I could not beat. That said, while I have beaten him in the past I am currently on a losing streak vs VSarius. Given that he is here at Worlds, I’ll be looking to reverse that!
VSarius: I consider AngryChicken a personal rival. I think that aspect of him being able to take an accepted and expected archetype but retool it in these subtle ways makes it extremely difficult to plan against him.

How did you feel about your tournament performance this season? Were you impressed? Satisfied? Feel you could do better?

Angrychicken: My performance wasn’t really great this season, but since i knew already some weeks before the invitational that i could not participate in it, i did not put much effort into the tournaments anymore
camat0: I feel very lucky and disappointed of myself because i had play bad to many times.
childroland: I got a weekly top 8, which is better than my season 5 performance, so I was happy enough with that.  The 1-2 at the invitational, however, was a pretty big letdown.
HiThar: This season wasn’t my best. I’ve been pretty busy with life things so I haven’t had much time to play and I also decided to play some jankier decks than usual. That being said I had a strong finish at the end of the season with a 2nd place in the weekly and 4th in the invitational.
IlyaK: Not great. No series points and 0-2 at invitational. Lot of variance, but also things that could have gone better.
KampfKrote: I felt pretty good in all of the events that I played in. I could probably do better by actually playing in events though. 😉
LightsOutAce: It was great! I won the LCQ then won the invitational – what could be better?
LocoPojo: Oh man, I’m so rusty at tourneys!  I am really happy with my performance in tournaments as a whole – I was top scoring Scion’s League and had a great record in the first half of ETS, which is why I’m even here – but I made the decision to do more casting and take care of myself more on weekends and my presence lately has been absentee.  I have a lot of catchup work to do over the next week or so before I feel comfy challenging the newer batch.
LoveUP: I didnt play last seasons… So its hard to stay, but in First semester in this year, im Very satisfied.
Mouche: When I launch the game I spend most of my time drafting, so I am fairly sure I could do better by spending more time actually testing for tournaments. Because of that I feel both impressed and unfazed at the same time about my performance.
Sunyveil: I mean, I guess I could do better…
Tobboo: One can always do better! If you are satisfied with your performance its really hard to improve.
Toth201: I’ve been taking a break since shortly after set 2 released but I managed to attend a couple of tournaments this season. My performance was very mediocre though so I definitely feel I can do better. My problems were mostly that I needed to get used to the new cards and find a deck that really suits me.
Unearthly: Having scored an early tournament win in the season with some additional top 8s, I feel fairly satisfied with the past regular season. However, this invitational was my chance to pass AngryChicken in series points and I unfortunately was not able to capitalize on it. I’ll have to work extra hard for Worlds if I want the Player of the Year title!
VSarius: As a whole, other than Season 4, yeah I’m pretty satisfied and even that Season marked a pretty successful Weekly Opens performance. I’ve Top 8’d 3/4 of the Premier events that I was at. With a Top 2 finish at one of them, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be sitting with a few Premier Wins under my belt by now but I’ll save that for next year. I’m extremely happy with Season 6 especially to be honest, coming off from a long break I was worried I wouldn’t be up to shape since I wasn’t too familiar with Set 2s format – but I managed to pull myself together for the LCQ and Invitational.

What do you do in your day to day life?

Angrychicken: I am studying mathematics.
camat0: Industrial engineering student
childroland: Former software engineer, play games all day right now, but looking to get back into software engineering very soon.
HiThar: I’m a Cyber-security specialist. I’ve been married for 10 years to my wife. I have 2 dogs that are awesome. I run the team for SPG and do an Eternal podcast ‘Weekly Influence’.
IlyaK: Quantitative trading research, statistical programming, data analysis. I’m also starting to become a bit of an entrepreneur with my trading system subscription.
KampfKrote: I work for Ebates.com. I give people free money for shopping online.
LightsOutAce: I am an actuary, gamer, and husband. I go to work, sit on my computer (mostly Eternal, Youtube, and Heroes of the Storm), and hang out with my wife. Our favorite 2-player game is Star Realms.
LocoPojo: Programming and testing first half, then streaming and making things second half.  Commuting: too often. Sleeping: never. Someday: this.
LoveUP: I’m a student of statistics and a high school teacher.
Mouche: By day I work as a pharmacy employee. By night I am known as a dreaded troll in mann_und_mouse’s stream.
Sunyveil: Musician/music teacher.
Tobboo: I work as a music teacher, and when im not i play games.
Toth201: I am currently finishing up my masters thesis.
Unearthly: My day job is working as a Director of Engineering at a software company. I do a mix of software design, project management, as well as some actual software programming for good measure. It’s interesting and challenging work that keeps my mind sharp!
VSarius: I used to do Financial Consulting, but I currently work as a Talent Broker.

What is your favorite non-Eternal game and why?

Angrychicken: MtG, because you can have much fun playing really interesting decks like legacy high tide where you can do nice combo shenanigans.
camat0: Magic is the best physical card game
childroland: Magic: the Gathering, amazing depth for constructed formats, especially Commander and Modern and fairly consistently great limited environment.
HiThar: I bounce around to a lot of different games other than Eternal. Currently I’ve been playing a decent amount of HOTS with my wife. I enjoy a lot of random steam games.
IlyaK: Path of Exile. Because its developers are very communicative, and they ensure the game has a lot of depth.
KampfKrote: Warhammer 40K/Age of Sigmar. It is a creative outlet, as well as a fun game. There is nothing better to soothe your nerves after getting swept twice in the Team League Tournament.
LightsOutAce: Magic is the obvious answer, but I’ve actually found Eternal more enjoyable for the last year and a half. My favorite game to watch is Starcraft.
LocoPojo: Dragon Age: Origins because I am an absolute sucker for super strong writing with inclusive casts and difficult moral choices.  That’s a finished game for me, though; my ongoing obsessions are XCOM 2, roguelikes, and lately Oxygen Not Included.
LoveUP: Chess for the complexity and time I’ve spent studying it. I really like and do daily exercises.
Mouche: Although it’s hard for me to not answer Chrono Trigger, I have to give the edge to The Binding of Isaac. Started playing a few months before the afterbirth DLC, and that game keeps sucking the spare time out of me even to this day.
Sunyveil: Fire Emblem and FE Heroes! I’m a sucker for games that are absurdly thought-intensive and difficult; I’ve played every English release of the series so getting to play with all my favorite characters on the mobile game is a real treat.
Tobboo: Anything Blizzard
Toth201: I love playing D&D (and other tabletop RPGs) with friends, it scratches my creative itch and I get to hang out with people at the same time.
Unearthly: For me that is Banjo-Kazooie. It’s a fun game that is just chock full of personality. Everything from the wonderful sound design to the colorful and unique visuals pulls you into the game, and the addicting gameplay keeps you wanting to play more.
VSarius: Dota 2 but I’m terrible at it.

Any sports, hobbies, or other interesting information you’d like to share. Perhaps you were an Olympic medalist in 2012?

childroland: I occasionally read, bicycle and hike. Mostly TV, movies and video/board/card games. I also enjoy walking with my Beagle, Emma.
HiThar: I’ve been a gamer my entire life. I spend a majority of my time either with my wife or playing games. I’ve been on a Keto diet for the last 5 months and have lost 38 pounds =)
LightsOutAce: I have a group of friends that meet up and watch anime every week, and I play D&D with another group (WifeOutAce is the DM). Other than that it’s mostly games.
LoveUP: Im a chess medalist of my city hahaha 2nd :/ :/ the vice chases me.
Sunyveil: For somebody who sits in front of a computer for the majority of my free time, I’m actually pretty active. I rock climb pretty regularly and enjoy biking whenever I get a chance.
VSarius: No Olympic Medals, but I’ve been doing gymnastics for a large portion of my life and picked up weight-lifting in the past 6. I used to be the co-owner of a Nightclub in Pattaya, Thailand. That was definitely a very interesting experience. Oh, and I’ve lived on 5 continents over the course of my little life adventure.