BlackRoger is the winner of the first ever Cup of Fate. Listen as Juzamjedi interviews him to learn more about BlackRoger and the Ruby/Sapphire dwarf aggro deck that he played.
Special thanks to Elysion for his work on editing the sound.
Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from Israel. I am a computer engineer, I am currently [beginning] my degree. I have been watching card games for many years but actually barely played until Hex…
So how did you learn about Hex?
Penny Arcade like many other people.
Are you a member of a guild or testing team?
I am part of Lion’s Share, my testing team was basically the group that ran with me in the Wild Cup: ShadowM and Antisocial. They were a little unlucky in the Fate Cup.
Were those people also in your guild?
ShadowM is a mate from a long time ago, and Antisocial—we actually only met him on the day of the Wild Cup, we were missing a member because someone bailed on us and we just “hey who wants to come with us to the Wild Cup?”
Why don’t you tell us a little about some of your favorite cards in Hex and maybe your favorite shard.
Gas Troll. He was the main card of the first deck I played competitively.
My favorite shard is Ruby. I’ve loved aggro for as long as I can remember. I tried control for a while but I realized I have zero patience for the mirror matchup.
I tried to make it work for the longest time. I used to run W/R Aggro back in Set 1. It had a trouble with the shards—it wasn’t consistent. Then I played the Filk Ape shenanigans, it got me to the Top 8 of the Diamond Cup.
I don’t like to run meta decks. I like to look at what’s in the meta and find something that can maybe beat it.
I am hoping that W/R is going to come back big time with elves.
You said you were worried about Master Mosses and Angel of Dawn. What were some of the decks you expected to play against?
Obviously I expected lots of Sapphire. Because Sapphire. But I was afraid of D/R decks. The one Cirouss played and defeated me and basically the one that beat me in the Wild Cup as well. Angel of Dawn and Heat Wave are so horrible for my deck.
Every shard has something I need to fear. The idea was hope they don’t have it or try and fight it.
From the matches that I got to see, the deck you played was very good at deploying and getting troops onto the board fast.
Its funny, if you look at the other top 16, Kaldhiem had an even faster dwarf deck. I don’t know, it could be plain bad luck, but he lost to Gore Feast of Kog’tepetl.
You can’t play in this meta and not expect to have any interaction. You can’t just do your own thing and not look right or left.
When we look at the decks that you’ve played, you’ve been very creative when playing decks, especially the Filk Ape deck.
I stopped playing the Filk Ape deck because I thought it was too weak against Heat Waves. Actually I was beaten by Blood control that tournament, which disappeared of course after that tournament because mono-Sapphire came back.
Were there any other decks you considered playing before the tournament started?
I knew it was going to be aggressive, I was pretty sure it was going to be the dwarf deck. I was already confident in the deck after the Wild cup, and there was only so much time to make decks.
I tried other decks that people thought had a good match up vs. Sapphire but my testing showed that if you were on the play, all your answers were just late to the party.
Were there any other cards (besides Heat Wave and Extinction) you didn’t want to match up or play against?
I want to say that while I fear Heat Wave and Extinction, it’s not that I can’t win against them—it just makes things a lot harder. Tectonic Megahulk just beats Extinction decks. You have enough troops with 3 and 4 toughness to survive Heat Wave. It’s not the most horrible [thing] in the world.
B/D was probably my worst match up. There was what, maybe one?
Basically I was afraid of any two shards out of Ruby, Diamond or Blood.
Besides Mono-S, did you test against any other decks?
My biggest test was the Wild Cup. I met a bunch of different decks. I saw pretty much every single match up. I beat the Sapphire decks and got crushed by the Ruby decks.
I was really hoping to meet one of those again to see if the changes I made would help, but I didn’t.
Was there any interesting matches or moments from your Pod play?
The most interesting games were against D/S, one game he got three Angels, and one game he got zero Angels. The moment he starts gaining life, it becomes a huge hardship to win.
Did you win the game against the three angels?
Yes, I had two Time Ripples, he played them and tried to replay them. Both times I just Time Rippled and he replayed them.
I actually decided to go with more Time Ripples than anything else. I decided I was strong enough vs. mono-Sapphire to not have to worry about it game on, and then side out all my Ripples if it’s mono-Sapphire.
What do you recall from your Gore Feast match up vs. Pheelon
Oh yeah, that was a hard matchup. He didn’t have Heat wave, but he did have Legionnaire, which is basically the same, but only my creatures die.
It was the only matchup I sided in Countermagics—that was exactly [what] I had CM in the board for. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to side them in. They’re really hard on my shard-base.
Obviously was to make sure the key creatures die. The Mirror Knight have to die and the Falconers have to die. If you kill those two there’s not much he can do really. You’re putting enough creatures on the board, that gore feast can’t do anything.
What do you remember about the finals [against MonoS]
Well the first thing that happened was that my (roommate) just came back. I told him I was in the finals and he had no idea what this game was all about. But he sat beside me and watched the game. I was explaining all the cards. Then I realized I had the stream with everyone explaining. While I played he was hearing the commentators talking about what was going on.
I also remember that the commentators were very impressed with (War Machinist). It was really funny because my guild members were like “why are you playing this card, it doesn’t attack into anything.” Maybe even I didn’t consider him that good, but he did do a lot of work.
Have you decided what you’re going to do with the prizes you got there?
I’ve been drafting once a day at least. That isn’t going to change if I am getting money or not getting money. You shouldn’t be playing for the money. I also have too many packs. I need to start losing.
There were some unfortunate problems like the connectivity issues in the first game, I still don’t understand if it was a bug or a horrible hand? (Editorial note: Koma kept a one-shard hand, and said he was unable to mulligan. He ended up deciding to play it out a bit anyway.)
In hindsight, is there any changes you’d have made to the deck?
Ripples would have probably gone to the sideboard. At this time I am unsure about the Foremans. If your [War Bot] gets bounced, it now costs 5 resources.
It’s funny I feel like i had the right number [of Megahulks]. They’re amazing against blood decks, but they come out so late against Sapphire decks, they usually have Countermagics in hand.
I wanted to ask you, if there’s anyone out there who might want to give this deck a try. What would you say to convince someone to try out this deck here.
I didn’t invent the deck. When someone played the deck against me the first time I was so blown out. “It’s an aggro deck that plays colorless creatures”. It’s the only aggro deck in the meta that has no fixing problem. I don’t know if we’ll ever have an aggro deck [again] that can play all its stuff without worry about shards.
Do you have any final words or shout outs?
Shout out to all of my guild, who are all very supportive. Shout out to Koma… he was really good person, he had no sarcasm at the end, he took it really well. Shout out obviously to Colin and all of the organizers who made an amazing (tournament).
BlackRoger Dwarf Aggro
Champion: Bertram Cragraven