Tribal Apocalypse's picture
By: Tribal Apocalypse, Tribal Apocalypse
May 17 2017 12:00pm
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 There he is, the player who fought in the latest Tribal Invitational starting from a 14th place in the seasonal leaderboard, then proceeded to eliminate from the tournament the likes of Generalissimo, Golden_Lin, 2013 Champion and tribal legend AJ_Impy and #1 seed Bazaar of Baghdad (the subject of our previous interview). Then he apparently disappeared from the event altogether. But who's Kasparadi? Where did he come from? How did he do it? And what happened to him? Let's find out. 

 First of all, what can you tell us about you?
 My name is Jenya, I'm a student at the College of Arts, will graduate this summer. I'm studying music, trombone and teaching. I also have a diploma as a computer science engineer, but I'm not into IT stuff right now. I live in Norilsk, Russia. It's the city located at the farthest North, above the Arctic Circle. Winter lasts here from late September to March.

Kasparadi is definitely up there with our Far Eastern players in terms of time zone.

 It's not an island, but it feels like it. It's surrounded by tundra and there are no roads that connect my place with the rest of the country. The only way to get there is by plane, or by ship.

And the temperature is not a joke.

 Where does your screen name come from?
 Kasparadi was one of my characters in role-playing game from a long time ago.

 Do you have any intensive hobby, aside from playing Magic?
 I like video games in general. I own a PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, and Nintendo DS. I also like to travel (Jenya sent pictures from his travels to Saint Petersburg, Israel, Japan, and Hong Kong – Kuma's note) and to play music. I'm an amateur guitar, bass guitar and trombone player. At some point I even wanted to become a pro, but it's too hard. Probably I don't have what is needed to be a pro. Music may look like it's fun and easy, but in reality it's a LOT of work. I think it's one of the hardest professions.

Jenya rocks his guitar.

 When did you start playing MTG and MTGO?
 I started playing when Classic 6th Edition was around. I was a kid back then. I was reading a lot of fantasy books, played RPGs like D&D, so when I discovered Magic, I liked it a lot. Then I took a long break from it, but at some point I returned. It was a few years ago, back when I lived and worked in Moscow. There was a big MTG community and a competitive scene there. Afterwards, I returned to my native city, where there's almost no MTG community, only a few friends playing Magic for fun. So, in search for more competition, I started playing MTGO.

 What would you say is your Timmy/Johnny/Spike percentage?
 I think I'm Johnny/Spike, like 60%/40%. I really enjoy winning the game, but more than that I enjoy playing new cool decks.

 Are you satisfied about your current MTGO collection? How do you feel about spending money on MTGO to better one's collection?
 I've spent some money on MTGO when I started (it was maybe 5 years ago). My drafts went bad and I realized that MTGO can eat a lot of money. So I just copy-pasted a really cheap Pauper White Weenie deck and started grinding daily events. It went well, and soon I was able to buy my first Modern deck. And it went on. Right now I have an amazing collection for a player who hasn't spent a dollar on MTGO for years. I have a good Vintage and Legacy card pool, some Modern decks. But I'm still missing a lot of staples.

At the Rock Pillars of Krasnoyarsk. "Pretty famous Russian spot", says Jenya.

 What's the Tribal Wars format for you? How did you end up playing it? And how did you find Tribal Apocalypse in the first place?
 When Wizards changed the daily events' prize structure, I stopped playing them and switched to PREs, which are amazing. I mean, they're free, they're a lot of fun, and even offer some prizes on top of it. I've tried almost all of the PREs that are around, Tribal Apocalypse included. I'm not so invested in this format, but it's a lot of fun for sure.

 Last year you won 4 events with variations of this Human deck.

Human Tempo
1st place in Tribal Apocalypse 286 & 293 (Regular)
Creatures
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Snapcaster Mage
4 Stormchaser Mage
4 Young Pyromancer
20 cards

Other Spells
4 Brainstorm
4 Daze
4 Force of Will
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Ponder
1 Chain Lightning
1 Price of Progress
22 cards
Lands
4 Wasteland
3 Flooded Strand
3 Polluted Delta
3 Volcanic Island
2 Island
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Mountain
1 Steam Vents
18 cards
 
Delver of Secrets

 

 At some point you added black to it, before reverting back to the UR version.

Human Black Tempo
1st place in Tribal Apocalypse 289 (Pure)
Creatures
4 Dark Confidant
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Stormchaser Mage
4 Young Pyromancer
20 cards

Other Spells
4 Chain Lightning
4 Daze
4 Force of Will
4 Ponder
4 Preordain
1 Fire/Ice
21 cards
Lands
4 Polluted Delta
4 Wasteland
3 Underground Sea
3 Volcanic Island
2 Bloodstained Mire
1 Badlands
1 Flooded Strand
1 Misty Rainforest
19 cards
 
Dark Confidant

 

 You also in the past did well with this Bird deck.

 

 What can you tell us about these winning decks?
 The thing is, as a free-to-play player, I decided not to buy decks especially from the Tribal Wars format. I just looked at my collection, found that I had some good blue Humans like Delver and Snapcaster, paired them with red, added some spells to make it feel like a Legacy UR Delver deck, and joined the event. It went well, so I continued. All changes were due to card lockouts in Pure events.

 As for the Bird deck, that was my first Tribal Wars attempt. I thought, "Wow, it's a creature-based format, so Supreme Verdict must be nuts!" So I looked at my collection and ended up with a Jace-Verdict control with some Birds to cycle and gain some life. Baleful Strix fit in well. But after some games I've seen that Tribal Wars is much deeper than "creatures battle in dirt". I was amazed by the numbers of creative combo decks. I was always a big lover of combo decks, so it was cool. Too bad that most decks of that kind are expensive and utilizes a lot of expensive but narrow cards, which I don't want to buy.

 Looking back at your results on MTGO, do you think you have a strategy or archetype you like playing the most or are better at piloting?
 I can't say I really have a favorite deck. I like to play different decks in different formats.

 Any favorite tribe or color, at least?
 Blue was my favorite color when I started playing. My very first deck was Prodigal Sorcerer/Sigil of Sleep control. Then some ridiculous deck with 20 islands, 38 counterspells and 2 Air Elementals. Now I don't have a favorite color. All colors are good and that's what makes Magic a great game. Same goes for the tribes, I think.

Jenya likes to change builds... and haircuts.

 What's your process to build a deck? How often you feel compelled to try something new vs. the times you just go with what you already have tried and tested?
 I really like new decks, but as an f2p player, I don't have a lot of space to experiment. So I often stay with my proven weapon.

 Is there a deck of yours that didn't perform as well as expected? Or one that in the end made you go, "What was I thinking?"
 I tried Jund Minotaurs in Underdog. It was.. painful. :)

 In these cases, are you more likely to try and fix these experiments until they perform acceptably, or just abandon them?
 Nah, I just call it a failure and switch to something else.

 Let's talk about this year's Invitational. What do you recall of that event? Mostly, how did you manage to take the throne?
 I don't know! I received an invitation and it was a free Saturday for me, so I entered. It was already late at my place and I was super sleepy. I wanted to lose at the 1st round and go to bed, but something went wrong with that plan! I didn't even have a deck ready for round 3. Luckily, AJ_Impy lent me an Eldrazi build. Then I was paired against him and beat him with his own weapon. I felt pretty bad about it, but AJ said it was ok. After that I thought that it would be unfair to him if I lost the finals. So I won!

Jenya during his trip to Hiroshima... and his 80s hair band phase.

 Which other players from the Tribal Apocalypse crowd do you like, both for their skills in building and playing or just as guys you get along with?
 I've not played in Tribal Wars a lot. I was only in a few events. But there is a lot of good people and good players around, that's for sure. AJ_lmpy, mihahitlor, ML_Berlin, Bazaar of Baghdad, Golden_Lin, Generalissimo, and a lot of others. It's a really good community.

 What other formats do you play other than Tribal, and what PREs other than TribAp?
 My favorite PRE is Vintage Swiss. I always wanted to play Vintage. Its home to the most awesome cards in Magic history. But it's so expensive. When Vintage Masters was introduced, I decided that it was my chance to play Vintage. So I tried hard, and I gathered my first Vintage deck. It was amazing.

 Where do you think Magic and MTGO are going? Where do you see Magic in the next 5 or 10 years?
 I don't know, really. I don't play Standard at all, I really only enjoy the eternal formats. And Magic can go in any direction, but I believe that the eternal formats will always be a lot of fun.

 This season you've not played in TribAp yet. Are you taking a break? Are you going to come back?
 Unfortunately, I'm not playing MTGO nowadays. That's because I have some problems with the client's performance. When I play for 5 minutes or so, the game freezes. Every action takes like 2-3 minutes. It's just painful. I don't know if it's a hardware or software problem, or maybe it's my connection. But other games performs well, while MTGO just freezes. I tried to reinstall it, but it's still the same. So I switched to Hearthstone and Shadowverse for the time being. But I miss MTGO and I miss all the PREs, Tribal Apocalypse included. Also, I rarely played in the past because the event starts late in my time zone. I played a lot during last summer because I was in Moscow at my parents' place back then. I had a lot of free time, and the events started in the evening in that time zone. That's my current personal status for Tribal wars, I'm afraid. But I really hope to return to MTGO one day. I was enjoying the PREs a lot.

Jenya says bye to TribAp... for now.

2 Comments

Thanks for the interview! I by stsung at Wed, 05/17/2017 - 16:19
stsung's picture
5

Thanks for the interview! I enjoyed playing against Kasparadi and wished I'd face him more often when playing Vintage.
Seems like his approach to putting something tribal together was same as mine^_^. I just put something together from my collection and called it 'tribal'. His passion for Vintage was showing quite clearly in his decks.
So let's hope he will be able to run modo again and play the game he loves!

Excellent interview. It by AJ_Impy at Fri, 05/19/2017 - 05:29
AJ_Impy's picture
5

Excellent interview. It really is a globe-spanning event, not just north and south of the equator, but north of the arctic circle!