This interview is an transcription of the audio interview: https://youtu.be/4Mf0__6Tdp4
Transcription done by: eh1414
This year we saw 471 players enter to compete in the Dominion 2020 Online Championship. Only 8 players remain. This interview features markus who will be playing Quarterfinals against pop180 Saturday, October 31st at 7UTC.
truffles: Hi everyone, I’m truffles and today I’m here with markus, and I’ll be interviewing him for the Dominion Online 2020 Championship. I have a few questions prepared, but first of all, congratulations for making it all the way to the top 8 of the tournament!
markus: Thank you!
truffles: Yeah, it’s really cool. Because I think it’s over 400 players this year, so it’s pretty awesome to make it this far. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
markus: Sure, so I’m from Austria, I’m an economist, I’m 35 years old and I’ve been playing Dominion basically since it came out. Then I started playing a bit more online and when I got into league, and participated in the Championship since then. I don’t know how many times now, but it’s been some time.
truffles: Wow, you played dominion since it came out – I don’t actually know when it came out – 2010, 2009, I think? So you’re a long-time dominion player, you’ve played in 32 seasons of league so far – what’s your favourite aspect of the game?
markus: Well, of course there are some patterns and you start recognising them, and then some boards are more similar than others, but in the end you always have to figure out what’s the best thing to do here, and then what’s the state of the game, what’s your opponent doing and how you can respond to that.
truffles: So, menagerie came out this year, which is kind of crazy because this year has just flown by, but what are your impressions of the expansion?
markus: I like it very much. I must say I didn’t play that much, even though there was all this lockdown stuff going on, but I was quite busy so I didn’t get as many rated games in – just league and tournaments. But, I do like it.
truffles: Yeah, I think there’s some pretty cool mechanics in there. What is your favourite and least favourite card in Menagerie?
markus: So, favourite card, I guess Paddock. I would say Paddock now because it’s not super strong, but on some boards it can be quite strong, so I think that’s the favourite card I would name now. Just because I had one game today in the round of 16 with Transport, I think that’s a very nice event, so I will pick that as a landscape. Also the ways, I really like ways, but I wouldn’t single out one. Least favourite card, it’s Gatekeeper for sure.
truffles: Yeah, I also don’t really like Gatekeeper and I don’t like Cardinal, because it’s really sad to see your cards disappear. Especially with Black Market around.
markus: Yeah, but I think Cardinal is kind of fun because sometimes it doesn’t do much, but then you can, I think it’s an attack I like. Gatekeeper is somehow complicated and weak, so I don’t like that. I think it’s the only one that made it onto my banlist.
truffles: Do you have a favourite and least favourite card overall?
markus: Well, least favourite card is Star Chart. I think i’m famous for that – no, I really dislike that, at least online, you’re not allowed to see what’s in your deck when you shuffle. You have these two cards and you’re always figuring out, what are these two cards? I don’t like that aspect. Favourite card, I don’t know. I looked up what I said two years ago to be consistent, and back then I said Donate. But I don’t think I would name Donate anymore, so I don’t think I have a favourite card.
truffles: Oh, interesting. So, do you have a card that you really like?
markus: Haha, so actually I like it when I can play with a lot of different cards. Whenever I play a a match, I’m kind of hoping that I would get 60 different kingdom cards and a bunch of landscapes. Whenever there’s like a second Minion game or so, I’m a bit disappointed. So in that sense, everything that makes, let’s say gainers, but also landscapes in general. Even landmarks, but all the other landscapes are even better. I really like what they add to the game.
truffles: I know you’ve done a lot of work in card stats and card glicko – do those observations and data affect how you like a card at all, or is it just more for interest?
markus: No, that’s more for interest. It wouldn’t influence how I like a card, it might influence how I value a card, but also then it’s just when we have thunderdominion or whatever and we’re discussing cards – it’s interesting to see whether there is something to back up your feelings about certain cards. So in that sense I think it’s interesting.
truffles: That makes sense. So, what has your favourite moment in the Championship been so far, if you have one?
markus: Winning the last match I would say. It’s always fun when you win, and last year was bad for me and I was knocked out pretty early on.
truffles: Yeah, that was sad – I think the saddest part for me was that you were supposed to play markusin later on, in round 4 or 5, but that never happened – and the logs would have been so great, to see “markusi” and “markus”. That was sad, but winning is always fun. Who do you think will win the Championship, if it’s not you?
markus: Then I would pick the top seeds. So, I guess Freaky and nasmith, but more or less anyone who makes it to the quarterfinals could win in the end if you’re a bit lucky, or if you play well. Preferably both.
truffles: Yeah, that’s true. Do you have a favourite overall Dominion moment this year so far? It’s been a pretty crazy year, with lockdowns and quarantines, so some people have gotten to play a lot of Dominion, or spend a lot of time online. Is there a favourite moment you’ve had so far?
markus: No, not really. I didn’t play that much – I guess the favourite moment of the year would be when Menagerie was released, or when the previews week starts. Then it’s pretty exciting to see what people think about the new cards, how do they work, so that’s the best season of the year I would say. But I don’t really recall any particular games or matches apart from that.
truffles: I think preview week is a lot of fun because there’ll be ten or so videos posted each day with people’s first impressions of new cards, but it’s just a very exciting time overall. So there’s also been a lot of new Dominion players joining – I think there was an article posted online, and also people have a lot of time at home. Do you have any advice for Dominion players looking to improve?
markus: I think once you join the community and listen to videos or commentators, I think that’s the best way to improve. I remember when I started getting into this and, I don’t know who I was playing in league, but someone was commentating and I was buying Gold. Now, I wouldn’t buy Gold but back then I was buying Gold because Gold seemed a fine card, and they were all surprised that I would buy Gold. So I think you learn from these kinds of comments that you get when you play, and just looking at top players play Dominion – I think that helps to improve your own play aswell.
truffles: For sure, I agree. I have one last question for you, which is: If you had a Dominion catchphrase, what would it be?
markus: Yeah, I didn’t prepare for that one. Haha, a dominion catchphrase.
truffles: It could just be something like “never buy Gold”.
markus: Well, you should sometimes buy Gold, but “Don’t do stupid stuff”.
truffles: Haha, that’s a good one – “Don’t do stupid stuff”.
markus: Unless it’s for fun, but not in the Championship.
truffles: For sure, that makes sense. Thanks for letting me interview you, and good luck! I think you’re facing pop180 next week, so good luck with that! It was great chatting with you, and have a great day! Bye!
markus: You too, bye!
Tune into markus vs. pop180 this Saturday, October 31st and 7:00UTC as they battle for a spot in the Semi-finals!