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By: Kumagoro42, Gianluca Aicardi
Mar 26 2013 10:00am
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 2013 is running fast towards the Spring already and we didn't have properly met the new sheriff in town back at Tribal Apocalypse. Let's fix this by have a little chat with the current Ultimate Tribal Champion, who swept the title from under Ayanam1's feet by winning the 2012 Tribal Invitational in January 19, 2013. I give you the winner that nobody foretold, el Señor Miguel Pérez, aka slug360!
 

Here with his dear friend Canito, who's not among us anymore. Too sad a story to tell.

 First of all, something about you: real name and profession (if you like to share that), nationality/heritage, when/how did you start playing MTG and MTGO.
 Before anything, it is an honor to get an interview from you, Kumagoro. My name is Miguel Gil Pérez, I'm 28-year-old, I'm from Spain (I live in Pamplona, Navarra), and right now my job is to find a job. I started playing Magic way back around Mirage: my very first cards where from a French Mirage starter and I will always regret trading my "Marteau du Bogardân" (Hammer of Bogardan) for a pile of junk. I quit the game for some time and started playing again since the release of the old Mirrodin. The main reason I play Magic has to be for the challenge to battle against other players. And for John Avon's Unhinged lands!

The sweetest of all the basic lands

 Anything you like to do when you're not playing Magic?
 I like listening to music (search for Gojira, I will always be in debt with ChrisKool for introducing me to this band) and watching movies.

 You know the drill: Johnny, Timmy or Spike?
 It depends, if I'm going to play in an event that I think it's important, I'll build the most efficient deck possible. But in every other occasion, I'm a Johnny.

 What about your MTGO nickname?
 The name "slug360" comes from when I started playing Counter-Strike, like, 12 years ago. I had to choose a nickname to play so I made a combo with "Metal Slug" and "Xbox360".

 Does that make you related to the one and only BlippyTheSlug?
 He has definitely copied my nickname, who wouldn't? No, seriously, it is cool to have something in common with the greatest PRE host and organizer, and such an active community member. By the way, we are not alone, I know there's at least another slug in the client. Slowly taking control of the world.

Yeah, that's Pamplona for you. "Party, paella and bulls", in Miguel's words.

 What's the Tribal Wars format for you? Why are you playing it?
 Tribal Wars or at least Tribal Wars Apocalypse means fun. Don't know how I found it, probably through one of your articles here at PureMTGO.com, but has to be the most open format and the second most appealing format to me, just behind 100 Card Singleton.

 How do you judge the status your MTGO collection? How do you feel about spending money on MTGO to better one's pool of cards? A necessary evil? An overrated thing?
 I am proud of my collection. Thanks to my favorite format being 100 Card Singleton, I have pretty much one copy of every card. As someone who has spent more money than I would like, I feel fine with it. Some people play IRL, others online and others both, I don't see the problem.

 You came to win the Invitational as an outsider, having only the seed #10. And yet you managed to beat a legend like AJ_Impy and then the #1 and #3 seeds respectively, mihahitlor and Nagarjuna. How do you feel about that? What do you think it was your key to success there?
 Being a Horsemen of the Tribal Apocalypse feels pretty good to be honest. The key was being lucky and not messing up too badly. Also, I think the parings and tribe choices helped me.

 As the new Tribal Champion, you're getting to fill the shoes of Ayanam1, and you seem to share his signature eclectic style: your 8 Top 4 placements in 2012 were achieved with 8 different tribes. You never seem too interested in playing a deck again. Is that something you do on purpose?
 Well this could had been due to the race I had with vantar6697 to take the 2nd edition of the Hamtastic Award, but I have always liked playing with different decks all the time, it's kind of boring to me to play the same deck over and over again.

 Is changing deck and tribe a lot something that can better your playing skills? Would you suggest that to struggling players?
 Hmmm, I don't know, I think that if you want to increase your skills you have to read, play and see other and better players play. If you practice and practice over and over again, you will increase your skills no matter what.

 Let's review your most successful creations by chronological order.

 

 One of the coolest decks I have ever built, full of synergies: from Opposition + Sosuke's Summons to Brainstorm + Lorescale Coatl, complemented by Gaea's Cradle and Seshiro the Anointed.

 

 Imperial Recruiter toolbox combo deck. The Recruiter could fetch Fauna Shaman, which in turn would search for Akroma, Angel of Wrath and then discard her to have Loyal Retainers "reanimate" her. And in case you have Enlightened Tutor or Guilty Conscience in hand, the Shaman could search for Stuffy Doll, while if you already have the doll, she could search for Totem-Guide Hartebeest to get Guilty Conscience.

 

 Another sweet deck, again full of synergies. Built to play in the Tribal Singleton event, it focuses on Trading Post and Birthing Pod to make devastating plays with all those artifacts. Kind of slow, vulnerable and skill intensive, but very fun.

 

 This one came from me trying to build an Experiment Kraj deck for 100-Card Singleton. Again another deck featuring Fauna Shaman (love her!) and also featuring a combo which involves Immaculate Magistrate, Devoted Druid, Experiment Kraj and Triskelion. Another important card here I remember being Spike Weaver, an old favorite of mine.

 

 On this event what I remember is buying all these Reaper from the Abyss, Liege of the Pit, Grinning Demon and so. I think I ended in negative balance with this one even though I placed 2nd! The key cards here were Grim Monolith and Consuming Vapors, since I believe it was a Demon only tribal event or something [it was Fattie Week! Only creatures with body 12 or greater — Kuma's note], and the Monoliths helped me being faster, while the Vapors were particularly amazing due to the slowness of the event.

 

 I can't remember how I came to this deck, I think I read somewhere about the idea of the Fateful hour mechanic + damage to yourself, then I just translated it into tribal, and it worked fine. The deck can have very fast starts, turn-1 Dark Confidant into turn-2/3 Gather the Townsfolk into Thraben Doomsayer into Mass Appeal. Faith's Shield felt really broken with Fateful hour and I regret not running 3 or 4 Mass Appeals.

Devil by slug360 - 4th place on TribAp 95 (October 27, 2012)
Creatures
4 Rakdos Cackler
4 Vexing Devil
4 Squealing Devil
4 Hellrider
2 Forge Devil
2 Torch Fiend
20 cards

Other Spells
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Chain Lightning
4 Searing Blaze
3 Fireblast
3 Sulfuric Vortex
1 Flame Rift
19 cards
Lands
4 Badlands
3 Bloodstained Mire
2 Wooded Foothills
2 Scalding Tarn
1 Arid Mesa
1 Blood Crypt
8 Mountain
21 cards

 
Rakdos Cackler

 

 The Halloween event. Rakdos Cackler and Hellrider, that is all.

 

 For the Slug Week I chose to run again Fauna Shaman, but this time 4 copies of her, with the combo involving Melira, Sylvok Outcast, Kitchen Finks/Murderous Redcap and Thermopod (in place of Viscera Seer, even if don't remember ever pulling this one out. I do remember being destroyed by opposing Contested Cliffs, should have definitely added one or maybe two more running 4 copies of both Molder Slug, Chameleon Colossus and Mirror Entity.

 Among all this tribal variety, is there a tribe that you like the best? Or one that mostly defines your style of play and deckbuilding?
 I definitely like Snake and Construct (the Singleton version), they are both very synergistic decks. Merfolk makes the cut too. But my tribe choice for any given week depends on my card pool and deckbuilding time.

 What's your process when you build a new deck? You start by choosing the tribe, or you decide a concept and you try and find the best way to work it around a tribal base?
 Most of the times I start choosing a tribe or a card in particular and try my best. But you never know what will happen once you open the deck editor.

 Which other players from the Tribal Apocalypse crowd do you like, both for their skills in building and playing or just as a guys you get along with?
 I'm still kind of new to Tribal Apocalypse, so I have yet to know all the people, but from what I can tell it is a great crowd. Never had any problems with any of them and you can feel that these people really like the format and enjoy playing it. Can't really point out a player in particular, the general skill level is very high, since this is a format that uses the same pool of Legacy and for that reason I have to think that some of them have been playing for a long time and they know what they're doing. For their deckbuilding skills, though, I will stand out Chamale and vantar6697, each one in their own different way.

 You're sharing the 2012 honors with mihahitlor and succeed to Ayanam1 as Tribal Champion. Do you have any memories of playing against any of them?
 I don't think I have ever played Ayanam1 [it actually happened twice after this text was collected, in Event 112 and Event 113; they won one time each — Kuma's note] but I have played a few times now versus mihahitlor and I can tell you that he is one of the strongest players. He will always show up with a deck ready to punish players for their mistakes, since he hardly makes any.

 Your win at the Invitational and mihahitlor being #1 in the ranking mark a change at the top from American/Asian-American players (Nemesis Paradigm, Ayanam1) in 2011 to European players in 2012. What's the main difference between European and American players in your opinion?
 The only difference I can think of is that the cards are in English and Americans have a little edge over not only most Europeans but any non-English speaker. Besides that I don't think there's any difference.

Canito overseeing business in Plaza Mayor

 What are your thoughts about the current status of Tribal Apocalypse?
 Since I started playing Tribal Wars I have played against lots of different things, and I really like that. There's room for every player and budget, since almost every week there's a different tribal format now.

 Finally, as the 2012 Ultimate Champion, you have to make a gift to your fellow Tribal players: give us a decklist you feel it would be amazing, but that you'll restrain to play in the event. (And if someone will play it and win in a challenge against you, there will be a prize: more on that in the next installment of Diaries of the Apocalypse.)
 I was going to keep the amazing list for myself, but Kuma insisted, so here it is. Plus, if anyone beats me with Death Watch, I'll definitely make them a gift.

 

 Kuma's note: this feels a bit like (unconscious?) revenge for my criticism of the Slug/Fauna Shaman deck not featuring Vengevine!


EXTRA CONTENT:
SLUG'S EXCELLENT INVITATIONAL ADVENTURE
(AS NARRATED BY HIMSELF)

 What follows is slug360's deck tech and audio commentary of every round of the 2012 Tribal Invitational  (where players had to build a different deck each round.)  Round 1 was played with Underdog tribes, and slug fielded Devil against AJ_Impy's Minotaurs.

 Round 2: players' best decks. Here's slug360 with his Snakes against Malum's Faeries.

 Round 3: decks they never had any results with before. For slug, that was Illusion, which had to face Nagarjuna's Rogues.

 The final round: an impromptu deck based on the colors chose by the opponent. The resulting, decisive figth was between slug360's Elf deck and mihahitlor's Human build.

 And scene.

4 Comments

Excellent article that I by Paul Leicht at Wed, 03/27/2013 - 11:41
Paul Leicht's picture
5

Excellent article that I almost missed! Nice to see you continuing with these interviews Kuma :D Welcome and grats to Slug whom I don't think I have interacted with as yet.

Cool voice, slug. by PlanetWalls at Wed, 03/27/2013 - 12:30
PlanetWalls's picture

You sound like an action hero.

Slug really does sound like a by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 03/28/2013 - 05:51
Kumagoro42's picture

Slug really does sound like a movie character! (I'm pretty sure he can also do a good impression of Jabba the Hutt. Which was himself a slug, after all!)

Update: Just to notice that by Kumagoro42 at Thu, 08/15/2013 - 18:00
Kumagoro42's picture

Update: Just to add that after taking the Invitational by surprise with just 1 event win under his belt, slug went to win 6 more events this year (and counting), of which 3 consecutive! And all with different decks (Zombie, Spellshaper, Goblin, Shaman, Wall, and Illusion). Looks like slug's retroactively trying to do justice to his Ultimate Champion trophy!