This interview is an transcription of the audio interview: https://youtu.be/0MvtKvb32Rw
Transcription done by: amoffett11
This year we saw 471 players enter to compete in the Dominion 2020 Online Championship. Only 8 players remain. This interview features catoftheyear who will be playing Quarterfinals against nasmith99: Sunday, November 1st @ 20:00UTC.
truffles: Hello everyone! I’m truffles and today I’m here with catoftheyear who’s made it all the way to top 8 of the Dominion Online Championship. Congratulations!
catoftheyear: Hi! Thanks.
truffles: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
catoftheyear: I’m from Israel, 26 years old, working in information security. I’m kind of new to Dominion, playing online for maybe a year, maybe a bit more. I tried the live version before at some convention once or twice. I think whoever taught us the game didn’t know it too well, so when we played a card we discarded it so we had loops all the time. It was some interesting version of Dominion.
truffles: You say you work in information security. Would you consider or group yourself as a “programmer”?
catoftheyear: Ya, I guess you can say so.
truffles: I think some people listening will be very happy to hear that. Right now in the main Discord, people are fighting for Economists vs. Programmer spots in the Top 8, so I think you just added a point to that team.
catoftheyear: Who’s winning right now?
truffles: I think it’s the Eonomists. So far, everyone I’ve interviewed so far [markus, nasmith99, JNails, nerdbound] has studied Econ in school.
catoftheyear: Oh no!
truffles: Haha. So, menagerie came out this year; I was wondering if you had any impressions on it?
catoftheyear: I guess it’s the first expansion really for me; all the other ones really existed when I started playing. It’s really nice to have some extra new cards, especially the previews. It’s nice, I like it.
truffles: Do you have a favourite or least favourite card in Menagerie?
catoftheyear: Yeah, probably. I think Black Cat or Sheepdog are my favourites. They have interesting interactions
truffles: Do you like Black Cat because you’re a cat-lover, or do you like the card interaction?
catoftheyear: Probably a mix of both. I guess I buy it a bit too much because I like the cat.
truffles: What’s your least favourite card in Menagerie?
catoftheyear: I don’t know if I have one, maybe Invest I don’t really like, mostly because I also play 3 and 4 players sometimes and it gets really weird when you play it well.
truffles: Invest is definitely a little bit of a funky card. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, especially with games with Magpie and Invest, it gets a little bit crazy.
catoftheyear: For sure. It’s also too much on who goes first or who buys Invest first.
truffles: Mhm, for sure. Do you have a favourite or least favourite card in Dominion?
catoftheyear: I don’t think so, I like all the cards. I currently have Possession in Banned just because I’m not real experienced in playing it, so I don’t want to lose too much on Possession boards. I don’t really have cards I don’t like. Maybe Ruins.
truffles: Cultist Ruins are not fun!
catoftheyear: Ruined Village especially, my favourite card!
truffles: I think with the presence of Ways, it makes Ruins a little bit more tolerable. Like Way of the Horse of something like that.
catoftheyear: Or Way of the Mouse, or Experiment.
truffles: For sure. I think I might have missed it, but did you say your favourite card yet?
catoftheyear: It was my favourite card to hate!
truffles: Oh, your favourite card to hate, haha. What’s your favourite card to like?
catoftheyear: It has to be sheepdog.
truffles: Sheepdog, ya. Sheepdog is great. I think the card art and the ability, it just makes for really fun boards.
catoftheyear: Ya, it’s an ultimate mix.
truffles: Have you had a favourite moment in the championship so far?
catoftheyear: I guess winning is nice. There was the last game of the series against cha-shu, all the points were out of the board pretty much, except one province and two curses were still in the pile; I was 5 points ahead or something, so I donated to trash a curse and next turn bought the last two curses. It was a critical two turns ahead thing.
truffles: Yeah, I think those type of boards tend to be really interesting. Have you had a favorite moment in the championship outside your own matches?
catoftheyear: I actually watched a lot of them I think, with commentaries as well, which is quite nice. They’re all kind of mixed up.
truffles: Do you have a person that you think will be mostly likely to win the Championship? And you can’t pick yourself!
catoftheyear: I think I’m gonna go with nerdbound. I didn’t play too much with the others, but I remember I played him in league once, and he won 6-0 or something, and was very influenced with his moves.
truffles: I remember that division! It was C division, and he had a crazy overall score.
catoftheyear: He beat everybody with the same scores.
truffles: I think I can search it up right now, it was a really high win percentage, on average over a 4-2 score. Certainly nerdbound has been really strong, I think he’s also fairly new to Dominion as well. Ya, he ended with a 78% win percentage, which is crazy, in a 7 player division, so you also have more matches, and more variance.
catoftheyear: More sample size.
truffles: Have you had a favourite overall Dominion moment this whole year so far?
catoftheyear: I have a friend that’s also into Dominion, we play two people on the same computer debating which move is best on every move. Not in the tournament of course!
truffles: That would be really bad if it was in the tournament! You should get them to join the community and sign up for league!
catoftheyear: I tried, it didn’t really work out.
truffles: Ya, I think the Dominion discord can be pretty overwhelming for a lot of the newer folks. There are a lot of channels and a lot of information, and also scheduling can be a little bit rough.
catoftheyear: Ya, that’s so.
truffles: Do you have any advice for Dominion players looking to improve?
catoftheyear: Play many games! It’s nice to watch somebody play with their own commentary and think what you think you would play before they play it, and see if you’re right or wrong.
truffles: Yeah, I think listening to people explain their thought process is really helpful. Just seeing someone click cards, it might not necessarily be obvious as to why they’re doing it a certain way, but listening to those kinds of explanations is definitely very helpful.
catoftheyear: Especially if you try to guess yourself before you see what they do, I think you learn better than if you don’t.
truffles: Ya, for sure! My last question for you is, if you had a Dominion catchphrase, what would it be?
catoftheyear: Oh no. I guess buy all the Sheepdogs, maybe, sometimes.
truffles: “Buy all the Sheepdogs, maybe, sometimes”. That’s a good one! Both good real-life advice and Dominion advice. Thanks so much for letting me interview you, and I think you’re going to be playing nasmith99 next round?
catoftheyear: Oh no!
truffles: Best of luck on that, and I hope you have fun!
catoftheyear: Thanks, you too.