Thank you for joining us for another ETS champion interview with Mantidman. This week, we have Rhay, who took this week's ETS with a very interesting choice, Maul! Thank you to the Eternal Tournament Series for always running a professional cast and thank you Rhay for taking the time to answer some questions!
MantidMan - Rhay, for 6 weeks I watched you dig deep, grind for the win. On the 7th week, you did what I hoped you would, you finally won! Your determination and drive have shown through, and you have secured a win and a slot in the invitational. How does it feel my friend?
Rhay - To be honest it feels great to secure the slot after 7 weeks. The games in week 7 were really tough and I was really relieved after the result of the final best of 5.
MantidMan - Getting the opportunity to watch you in your very first season of the ETS put up consistent top finishes has been really exciting. You seem to be drawn to very aggressive decks time and time again. Your first few weeks were Haunted Highway, and now the last few weeks have been Maul. Do you just like to give the decks a fair chance to perform before moving on? Or was there a lot of testing on the ladder to see where they stood before you played them? Moreover, did you consider any other decks for this tournament, or were you heart set on Maul?
Rhay - Well, I really try to give the decks some chances to perform before I´m moving to the next one. For example, in week 4 and 5 I played Kennadins and it didn’t perform very well. So, I missed the top 8 in week 4 and still played it in week 5 and didn’t get a single win. After that it was time for another deck. But basically, I prefer to play aggro if I can find a deck that fits me. So, I really love to play Haunted Highwayman, but after losing a lot of matches to the urn in the first weeks I really didn’t want to play it this week even if it’s pretty solid against temporal. The testing isn’t that much on the ladder. Most things I test in matches with my friends so I can watch the deck perform in specific matchups that I guess I will face in the ETS. After the testing for this and last week I thought maul will be a pretty good choice, but if it’s possible I’ll go back to Highwayman.
MantidMan - Coming in this week, with maul, what match ups were you worried about? Is there a deck in your testing that you just could not beat?
Rhay - Let me answer your second question first. I absolutely wasn’t able to beat decks like camat0s Combrei Ramp. In the second round of swiss I actually lost to one of these. I worried about linear aggro decks like Skycrag or Rakano, because your units in Maul don’t have any battle skills and you’re giving a lot of cards to an aggro deck that he can play. Additionally, I take a lot of damage because of the permanent night, what isn’t the best against aggro.
MantidMan - Now that you have won, and people know what decks it is weaker to or should be scared of, there will be a LOT of players who pick this deck up to try and finish the climb to masters. Are there any changes you would recommend to it? Can you tell us the best way to play it and what to look out for?
Rhay – Actually, I think the list is pretty good how it is right now. Maybe you need some more Dissociates in the future because Temporal is also a great deck right now, or even maybe some Backlashes instead of Be Gone. Basically, I recommend to play as aggressive as possible. You don’t want your match to last for too long, because Maul deals less damage with every card the enemy can play. Cykalis is a great card and its worth to save him with a Be Gone or Teleport from a Harsh Rule for damage in the next turn if you don’t have much other unit cards left. For example, most Temporal decks only got Defiance against charge units so most of the time you can push another 5 damage, or 10 damage if he got berserk, after a full board clear. One really important thing to watch out for are counter-spells. If your Maul gets countered you lose much damage. Always remember you can break face aegis using Equivocate on an enemy unit and your night deals damage through it.
MantidMan - Were there decks that you saw this week in testing, or in the tournament itself that you are interested in trying out?
Rhay - Yes, I’m interested to try Scrappy Hour because I really like Grenadin and I think Witching Hour is a very cool card.
MantidMan - Last question and I will let you get back to your weekend, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Are you associated with a team or is there any content you want to promote?
Rhay - As I said before, in Eternal I’m playing aggro decks most of the time. Outside of the game I’m a 20-year-old economics and chemistry student. I´m not yet associated with a team but this will maybe change very soon. Most of the time I´m part of the twitch streams of _v3_gaming but mostly we`re talking German.
Thanks Mantidman for the interview, as always. If you haven't checked out Eternal Card Game yet, head over to our Official Digital Card Game team, Team Rankstar for articles on Eternal and many of your other favorites!
The Inked Gaming Team