Interview with NiNjiNiN, the Newest Legend; Tournament Recap

Spiel 2020 Legends Tournament Recap

An Interview with the Tournament Winner follows the Recap

WWG completed its third online Star Realms Legends Series Event, on October 24, 2020.

It began with 69 players battling through 7 Swiss rounds, after which the Top 8 would advance to a final single elimination round.  The winner of that final single elimination round would be crowned the newest Legend!

After the 7 Swiss rounds, here were our Top 8.

Notable facts about the Top 8:

  • Tunaslap has made the Top 8 in all three online Legends series events of 2020!
  • It was DG3‘s second time making a Top 8 in 2020.
  • In WWG’s three online Legends tournaments in 2020, two have been won by the #8 seed (kolok and now NiNjiNiN), and the other by the #1 seed (Ominous).  In other words, the #1 vs #8 match in the Top 8 has produced the winner every time so far this year!
  • During the Swiss rounds Tunaslap had the most wins against fellow Top 8’ers, with 3, and HomerJr was the only player in the Top 8 not to face any of the other Top 8’ers.
  • You may notice a seemingly 3-way tie for the #8 seed; the next tie-breaker after Opponent’s Match Win %, which isn’t shown in the above graphic, was Opponent’s Opponent’s Match Win %.

In the Top 8, the #8 seed – NiNjiNiN – emerged victorious!

Below are the results of that final stage.  The Top 8 played in a best-of-3, single elimination tournament.

Congrats to NiNjiNiN, the newest Legend!

We look forward to seeing his likeness on a future card!

Interview With NiNjiNiN!

We reached out to NiNjiNiN to get his thoughts on the tournament:

Before getting into questions about the Legends tournament, I wanted to ask you a few questions about your experience with Star Realms in general.

When and how did you first get introduced to the Star Realms game?

NiNjiNiN: I started playing about 6 months ago. A friend of my now ex-girlfriend had recommended the game and had given us a copy of Colony Wars to try out – we’re talking about the physical game here. 

I immediately took an interest in the game. I loved its simple fundamentals (although it took a few games for us to understand how scrapping abilities worked, lol), strategic subtleties and – of course – some good ‘ol RNG. But most of all I loved the ‘deck building’ aspect of it. I had played quite some competitive YuGiOh and Hearthstone before, but never a game where you had to build your deck from scratch every game. Both players having the (more or less) exact same starting point felt really cool – and not having to invest obscene amounts of money to get meta-decks didn’t hurt either! 

I read on the box that Colony Wars was a stand-alone expansion, so I googled around a bit to learn more about the game and found out there also was an app – and got hooked pretty much straight away!

What is it that keeps you playing?

NiNjiNiN: I’m pretty convinced the single reason I can and want to keep playing this game is the 48 hour game mode. Not having to commit to playing a game from start to end in one go gives so much flexibility, and allows you to play a lot of games without having to binge them all in one session – although I still like to do that from time to time! Oh and also: perfect game for my daily commute!

Another thing that makes this game attractive is the mixing and matching of sets. It makes for so much diversity in gameplay that I keep re-discovering the game over and over again. For example, like many others I initially was not too fond of missions and even less so of events, so… I didn’t play them! In Star Realms you’re never ‘forced’ to some kind of meta game, so you can just play whatever you like the most. After a while I actually started liking missions and – you guessed it – events even more. At the moment I’m having a ton of fun with a super fast-paced non-mission event format constructed by CrankyDay.

And that brings me to the last crucial reason I keep playing: the community. This community is just awesome. I am relatively new myself, so I experienced first-hand how welcoming and friendly everyone is. Watching some streams from TheCutter talking to prominent community members just confirms that the people playing Star Realms are just really cool.

Do you have a favorite card and/ or faction?  If so, what are they, and why?

NiNjiNiN: Star Empire, best empire! I love drawing cards, and I don’t think there’s a more satisfying feeling in this game than making some one discard their entire hand ^_^. I think Recycling Station used to be my favorite card, but after this tournament it’s now definitely Cargo Craft. Just ask DG3 😉

Are there any other board/card games you really enjoy to play in addition to Star Realms?

NiNjiNiN: As I mentioned before I had a lot of fun playing YuGiOh and Hearthstone in the past, and I am a big poker enthusiast. I’m kind of a card game nut.

Now speaking of the most recent Legends Tournament…

Have you participated in any Legends tournaments before?  If so, how did this one compare?

NiNjiNiN: Nope, this was my first one. I started playing SRPC this season as well, and finished 2nd in the first event, but other than that only a few first-round eliminations in a few of the tournaments hosted by the Galactic Summit community.

Did you have any specific strategy coming into the Tournament?

NiNjiNiN: Not really, it’s a format I don’t really play usually. I mixed up EU and US time zones so the tournament began at 17.00 EU time instead of 11.00, which gave me some extra time which I used to playtest a bit  with DG3 and CrankyDay. I think those games actually were really helpful for some last-minute familiarisation with the sets, so I’ll definitely be doing that for prepping from now on!

The tournament used Core Set, Colony Wars, and/or Frontiers.  Did you have a different approach when using each of these sets?  Did any of these sets concern you more than others?

NiNjiNiN: The games with CrankyDay seemed to indicate I should be more aggressive, so I set out to do just that, especially with Core and Frontiers. A few hours before the tournament I googled for some strategy on the sets and found an article on Megahaulin about Convoy Bot being the best card in game, so for my – incredibly limited – strategy for Colony Wars was just trying to get that whenever I could. 

[editorial note: Here’s the article on Convoy Bot NiNjiNiN was referring to]

Do you have a favorite between Core Set, Colony Wars, and Frontiers?  If so, why is your favorite?

NiNjiNiN: Yeah for sure I like Frontiers the most. It has a lot of cards that appeal to me, like Hammerhead, Farm Bot and Repair Mech. I think it’s probably the most aggro set as well, and I’m currently in a phase where I like fast, chaotic games so I play it quite a bit.

How were you feeling after losing your second match in round 6, knowing you had to win your last match for a chance to get into the Top 8?

NiNjiNiN: I was really quite nervous, because it was going to be so incredibly close if I was going to make top 8. I’ve played quite some swiss tournaments before so I knew losing your second game anywhere but the last round is really bad. I refreshed the standings page a few times and went from 7th to 8th to 9th… and then back to 8th! After getting top 8 I really felt quite comfortable because I never expected to make it so all the pressure was gone and it was already a nice result.

In the swiss rounds, were there any memorable matches or turns?  If so, describe what you remember?  

NiNjiNiN:  In my first match I actually ended up getting Brain World, Command Ship and Dreadnaught. I kinda felt dirty after that game…

In round 3 or 4 against – I think it was simplysteff – I vividly remember getting a Stealth Needle on The Wrecker, scrapped 4 from my discard pile and drew 2 for lethal.

In the Top 8, your first two matches were against DG3 and then HomerJr.  Were there any key moments in either of those matchups that you remember?

NiNjiNiN:  Haha, that has got to be the game against DG3 where I bought a Cargo Craft, which was replaced by another Cargo Craft that I could buy  as well, and then proceeded to draw them together like 3 or 4 times in the following few turns. That was quite brutal.

Can’t remember the games against Homer too well, but I know we were both jamming Tool while playing so I have to give a shout out for that!

What about the Finals vs Tunaslap…could you briefly describe that match, or at least mention some of the key moments?

NiNjiNiN: Ah it was actually one of the more one-sided matches of the tournament. I pretty much just got quite lucky. I remember in the 2nd game I got a Recycling Station up that he couldn’t clear for 3 turns, which gave me an obscene amount of greens to end it very quickly. Some games in Star Realms just feel destined to go to one of the players, and I got two of those in the finals.

Anything you would add about your final match?

NiNjiNiN:  Big shout out to Tunaslap!

Overall, how do you feel WWG did with their first official online tournament?

NiNjiNiN:

Well, it was the first time I played a WWG-organised tournament, so I can’t really compare, but this one was super smooth! Big compliment to the team. As far as I could tell everything went super smooth.

Personally I would have preferred BO3 in swiss as well, but that makes the run-time quite a bit longer so I’m not sure all players would agree. And I hope in the future we can have some tournaments with more sets!

Have you started thinking about your Legends card, such as preferred faction, preferred card type, or preferred ability?

NiNjiNiNHm, not a lot really. I have been thinking about how an effect that affects both players could be cool. Like, both players draw 1 card and discard 1 card. As long as they don’t put my head on a Blob monster, I’m happy, haha!

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!  Congrats again!

NiNjiNiNThank you, too! Keep up the great work on Megahaulin!

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