The next in my series of interviews with the top 4 players in the second season of the online league is with Nathan Stickney, aka Sooner5. He is Sploosh’s opponent for the semi final. We also spoke before their final of the first season, which you can read here.
Xavier Protocols: What was your thinking building your roster for the knock-out stages?
Nathan: I wanted to build something that was competitive; I wanted to not just play exactly what u played in season 1 – I wanted to change it up. So I went with an Asgard-Wakanda pair. I think it pairs well at every threat value and I think it can comfortably handle all the crises: Wakanda is better in to some, and Asgard’s better in to others.
XP: Do you have a preference for which one you’d rather drop?
N: If I think it’s going to be a slow grindy game, I would rather drop Asgard. If I think it’s something like Infinity Formula or Gamma Waves that I can score a lot of points quickly on, then I think Wakanda is the answer there.
XP: When building an Asgard list, what is your core?
N: If you look at my roster, I only brought three Asgardians, which is kind of unpopular as I did not bring Loki – he’s a very popular character right now. My Asgard list is very specific, and I made it that way for a reason. I wanted to test it out in the league and I had a lot of success with it and I liked it, so I carried it over to the knock out stages. It relies on being very tanky: hard to kill. That where my Asgard went: Hela, Valkyrie and Thor and then whatever flavour I want to put in with it.
XP: What kind of things did you flavour it with?
N: M.O.D.O.K. Most of the time at 17 threat I ran M.O.D.O.K. I think we all know M.O.D.O.K. is probably the best character in the game: most people will agree about that. Asgard gives him somethings that are very beneficial. One of them being he’s a tank. He is extremely hard to kill in Asgard. The other big thing is he is immune to stagger. As we all know, there are a million Thors out there. He is very good against Thor. In the Thor vs M.O.D.O.K. match up a big thing is can Thor consistently get that stagger off? If he does, then Thor can win that matchup, but if he’s not, he’s losing a horrible matchup. Against my M.O.D.O.K., it doesn’t matter if he gets that off.
XP: When you play Wakanda, what kind of a Wakanda team are you playing?
N: I’m still mostly playing my team from season one. I think Killmonger is very good still in Wakanda with Usurp the Throne – I do have that in my roster. I’m still playing mostly the four Wakandans, and then I like Vision. The other one is Valkyrie: i still play her. They are both excellent Wakandans.
XP: If you win priority, are you picking extracts or secures, and which are you aiming for in particular?
N: Honestly, it depends on who I’m playing. I generally will pick secures more often than I will pick extracts, but that is not in every case. If I want to make a slow grindy game, I will sometimes pick extracts and try to force Wakandan Herbs or sometimes I think that Cubes are very good with Asgard, so I might pick one of those two.
XP: What kind of roster opposite you would make you want a slow grindy game?
N: Wakanda. As a Wakadan player, I can tell you I would favour my Asgard list over Wakanda if we played Wakandan Herbs. I don’t think Wakanda has the attrition and they can’t score fast enough, so usually by rounds five to six I’m scoring a lot of points and dominating the game.
XP: Do you think that falls down if you discard Wakandan Herbs?
N: Yes. I think it’s a gamble. If you don’t get the Wakandan Herbs, I think Cosmic Cubes – though I don;t currently have it in my tournament roster, just becuase there wasn’t a whole lot of US players playing Wakanda when I looked at the top 16 so I took it out. I kind of wish it was in my roster now. If I had a choice, it would probably be in the roster now, along with Wakandan Herb and probably Hammers.
XP: What about on the secure side?
N: I feel very comfortable with all three secures that I have: Infinity Formula, Gamma Waves and Extremis. I think both Wakanda and Asgard are all good in those.
XP: It’s interesting that you are not playing Deadly Meteors. It sings Asgard to me. DO you have any thoughts on that?
N: There’s one reason: my one loss in the league was in Meteors. I forced it in the perfect situation and my rolls for the meteors were absolutely awful and I decided I don’t want a scenario where rolls affect it. I want to just outplay the opponent and make my positioning good. I got a really salty taste in my mouth from that Meteors…
XP: Which affiliations do you think do particularly well on Extremis?
N: I think both Wakanda and Asgard play well in to Extremis. I think it’s one of Shuri’s weakest secures, but I think the rest of the team plays very well in to it. Obviously, Black Panther is really good in to it and Killmonger is good because he can go up one flank; he can take over that side. If you dominate that side he can head to the back objective and take that. Vision is very good in to it. So I think Wakanda is very good in to it.
The Asgard team, again, I think is very good in to it as the team is mostly built for attrition, and what’s better than something you can heal a point of damage for?
XP: What would make you choose Wakanda over Asgard on Extremis?
N: Usually who I am playing against. If I look across the table and I see a team I can probably outscore quickly, I will pick Wakanda. If I see a team like Guardians that I feel I can just beat on attrition then I might pick Asgard.
XP: How hard was it to choose tactics cards in this dual affiliation roster?
N: Pretty easy because I’m boring: I’m taking almost the same tactics cards every game. I’m taking Field Dressing, Medpack, and Brace for Impact almost every time. Sometimes I’ll throw in a flavour of Patch Up, and then I’ll usually take the affiliation card – either Wakanda Forever or Odin’s Blessing.
XP: You did mention Usurp the Throne; that must be in there as well?
N: Yeah, I have Usurp the Throne and Drop Off and I’ll take those. If I’m playing Asgard I may take drop off with Thor; its very powerful. Usurp I have in there for Killmonger. It’s good and I will certainly take it. In future I’ll probably drop it. It came down to Usurp and AIM Lackeys, and if I’m playing M.O.D.O.K. a lot, I think that AIM Lackeys is probably just straight better.
XP: Do you go for ‘bold’ early extract grabbing plays with Asgard?