Dominion Online Championship 2020: Top 8 Interviews with nasmith99

This interview is an transcription of the audio interview:

Transcription done by: truffles

“Specifics matter”

This year we saw 471 players enter to compete in the Dominion 2020 Online Championship. Only 8 players remain. This interview features nasmith99 who will be playing Quarterfinals against catoftheyear (date/time TBD).

truffles: Hi everyone, I’m truffles and today I’ll be interviewing nasmith99 who has made it all the way to the top 8 of the championship. So, first of all – congratulations because that’s super cool. 

nasmith99: Thank you!

truffles: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

nasmith99: Yeah, so I grew up in a great Philadelphia area. Right now, I’m a college student in the midwest. I’m studying mathematics and economics. Yeah, I don’t know – I like learning about a lot of things and get sucked into things pretty easily. Like with Dominion.

truffles: Um, the math background explains a lot, I think. 

nasmith99: *laughs* yeah.

truffles:Yeah, seeing a lot of your analysis and listening to your commentary – it makes sense, haha. So, menagerie came out this year – I was wondering what your impressions of it are.

nasmith99: In general, I really like the expansion. I feel like there are a lot of really interesting cards and also just a lot of cards that are kind of more simple but do still make games pretty interesting in general. I don’t think there are a lot of cards from the set that I don’t like. 

truffles: Do you have a favorite or least favorite card?

nasmith99: My favorite card from the set is definitely cavalry. I feel like it’s kind of similar to villa in that it gives you a lot of really interesting and complicated decisions. I feel like the thing that makes it more fun than villa to me is that cavalry there are more spots where you could reasonably buy cavalry, but it’s unclear whether or not you should. Whereas with villa, it’s usually a lot more obvious when you’re supposed to buy it.

truffles: That makes sense. I’ve seen a lot of suggestions from people saying to buy cavalry turn two to trigger a shuffle to see your turn one buy, like amulet or something like that. It’s always pretty interesting to look at those mechanics. Do you have a least favorite card in menagerie?

nasmith99: I don’t think any of the cards really annoy me. If I had to pick a least favorite, I would probably just pick gatekeeper because it’s really weak and generally doesn’t add much to a kingdom.  

truffles: You’re the second person that I’ve interviewed and also the second person who has named gatekeeper as their least favorite menagerie card. Markus also said the same thing – that it’s weak and makes kingdoms kind of boring.

nasmith99: Yeah, that makes sense.

truffles: Do you have a favorite or least favorite card overall?

nasmith99: So least favorite overall is definitely tournament, just because the way games play out annoy me. Like followers makes games really messy. Having to buy early provinces and stuff is just not something I really enjoy. Favorite overall might honestly still be cavalry. But if I had to pick something different, maybe pixie.

truffles: You know, I was going to guess possession just because your current avatar is possession. But I’m happy to hear that it isn’t.

nasmith99: Haha, no it’s not anywhere close.

truffles: I think pixie is also one of my favorite cards. Definitely cards from nocturne especially like pooka, pixie, those type of heirloom cards. They’re really fun to play with.

nasmith99: Yeah, a lot of the nocturne cards are quite nice.

truffles: Switching over to talking about the championship, do you have a favorite moment in the championship so far? 

nasmith99: Favorite moment… do you mean from my games or in general?

truffles: In general.

nasmith99: Yeah, so actually last night I was commentating on auto_pp vs. Titandrake. There was this one really funny play where auto_pp had a shuffle of 7 cards with two patrols and no villages. 

truffles: Oh no. That’s really sad.

nasmith99: It was sad, but they actually did this play where they remodeled into a festival and bought annex. Which, was just really funny because well, we were discussing it in chat that it was super bizarre to see annex bought at all but you know nevertheless bought in the midgame.

truffles: The play did make sense right? I didn’t get to watch the game yet but deck tracking wise it is kind of interesting.

nasmith99: Yeah, I think the play was good. I mean obviously, a duchy isn’t super good at that point in the game but it did save their next turn so I think it was worth it.

truffles: For sure. Have you had a favorite moment of dominion overall? I guess in this past year, since this year has been pretty special!

nasmith99: Favorite dominion moment overall… hmm. Oh, probably just the WELP Finals in general. That was a really exciting match. I did end up losing it, but I was pretty happy with how I played and I think Mic also played really well, so it was a fun match.

truffles: At least you got to claim revenge against Mic in the championship.

nasmith99: I did, yes. That felt really good to finally get that “W”. 

truffles: In general, it’s been a really strong Dominion year for you. You’ve played in multiple seasons of A, reached the top spot in the leaderboard, won Friendly Mix and of course, reached the Quarterfinals of the championship. What do you think has contributed most to your improvement since last year or previous years.

nasmith99: Sure. Well, I think the obvious thing is just playing more and getting more experience with all the cards and whatnot. Other than that, I think my mindset’s improved over the past year or so. I also think the release of menagerie has been pretty kind to me.

truffles: If you had to pick someone other than yourself, as a guess, to win the championship – who would you pick?

nasmith99: A guess? As far as who I think is most likely to win, other than myself, probably Freaky? Although, I guess you could make the argument that you should pick someone who has already made the top eight since they have one fewer round to go through, but probably still Freaky.

truffles: Given last year, I think that’s a pretty reasonable guess. Do you have any advice for dominion players looking to improve?

nasmith99: I would say to just engage with other players, and see the kind of ideas that other people have about the game and always be open to revising your old ideas. It’s pretty easy to kind of get emotionally attached to certain ideas you have about a card or board or whatnot. It can be kind of difficult to let those go – and I’m definitely guilty of that myself. But yeah, the more open you can be to learning new things and admit when you’re wrong, the easier it is to improve.

truffles: Mhm, for sure. I think being able to be aware and modifying your strategy even if a shuffle didn’t go the way you wanted to, or something like that happens, not only helps you improve but I think it helps you enjoy the game more, when you aren’t tilted.

nasmith99: Yeah.

truffles: So, my last question for you is: if you had a dominion catchphrase what would it be?

nasmith99: Um, just something like “Specifics matter”, I guess?

truffles: “Specific matters” – that’s a good one.

nasmith99: Yeah, kind of just to focus all the relevant details of a given position or whatnot and not to get lazy.

truffles: Short and sweet, I like it. Well, thanks so much for letting me interview you! For those of you listening in, nasmith99 will be playing one of kayoshi versus catoftheyear – so tune to watch that quarterfinals match! Thanks and good luck on your next round!

nasmith99: Thank you! Bye!

truffles: Bye!

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