By: Chris “Chibi” Michaelis
What is your name and how long have you been playing TCG’s? Did you have any accomplishments in previous TCG’s?
My name is Ken Tober. I have been playing TCGs since 1995 starting with MtG. I have played many other tcgs, some competitively others just for fun. As for accomplishments, I have played on the Pro Tour for MtG twice. Once in Hawaii and once in Amsterdam. I also played in the first two Kaijudo Championships. I have never done exceptionally well at these very large tournaments, but have always appreciated the opportunity to play with the best.
How long have you been playing Fow and what interested you about the game in particular?
I started playing a few months ago, before MPR came out. I was on the fence for a while about trying my hand at another card game, but ultimately went for it. The game play is awfully similar to MtG, where I have a lot of experience. Learning this game came naturally to me and I really do enjoy the heightened level of consistency allowed by the two separate decks.
What was your overall record at Chicago?
I took 3rd place in WGP Chicago. I believe there were 235 players in attendance on 7-11-15. Sadly I missed free Slurpee day stuck in the convention hall for the entirety, but I think it was worth it in the end.
Prior to the event how did you prepare for the event and what was your expectations on what you types of decks you were going to face?
I did a lot of testing prior to the event. I have a small group, including my wonderful girlfriend Cathy, who all prepared together. The really awkward part being that I hadn’t piloted our deck for about a week prior to the event
because everyone else wanted to get games in with it. I was stuck playing every other deck in the perceived meta against my team mates. I honestly think that helps too though. Understanding your enemies specific weaknesses to your own strategy can be very strong. My understanding of the meta was very close to perfect. I expected this area to be packed full of Grimm and Abdul and the mono red players to stay on the west coast for the most part. This is almost exactly how it played out, as I played three rounds against Grimm and four rounds against Abdul.
What deck did you decide to enter with and why?
I played a Liberator of Wind deck that looks a lot different than what most people are used to seeing. We had 0 Elvish priest and 0 Gretel in our deck, because we wanted to avoid the card disadvantage these cards come with. We played a ton of instants and seven Quick cast resonators main with the 8th in the board. We always wanted to interact on our opponents turn and honestly the deck played perfectly. So many times, I would control the early game,then suddenly Quick cast in some guys and my opponent would be under a lot of pressure all at once.
Ruler: Liberator of Wind/Scheherazade, the Teller of Stories
4 Feithsing, the Magus of Holy Wind
3 Zero the Magus of Null
4 Familiar the Holy Wind
1 Blazer, the Eater of Dimensions
3 Carmilla, the Queen of Vampires
3 Lora, the Blood Speaker
1 Fthaggua, the Flame Spirit
2 Slipper of Cinderella
4 Flame of Outer World
4 Exceed, the Ancient Magic
3 Stories told in 1001 Nights
4 Absolute Cake Zone
1 Feethsing, the Holy Wind Stone
1 Grusbalesta, the Sealing Stone
1 Magic Stone of Scorched Bales
4 Magic Stone of Blasting Waves
4 Magic Stone of Black Silence
2 Death Sentence from the Queen
3 Robe of Fire-Rat
1 Christie, the Wind Tracker/Helsing, the Vampire Hunter
1 Zero, Magus of Null
3 Elvish Bowman
1 Blazer, the Eater of Dimensions
3 Stoning to Death
1 Slipper of Cinderella
What would you consider your MVP from your deck list?
MVP card would have to be Zero, the Magus of Null. Most people did not play around her at all. The best moment of the event, was when I rallied from 100 life by using Zero on 3 turns in a row to deal 4000 damage and win a close game.
After construction of your list, during the event did you feel any card selection was under performing?
For under performing, I would have to say the Christie in the sideboard. I faced Dracula 0 times so I had no reason to ever use her. I am not sure if this is typical and I am not sure if the side board slot is worth it at this point.
Any tips for other players on how to play the deck?
Not sure about this one. As I would always recommend, nothing can replace play testing. You have to get games in with the deck and really get into the thick of it to fully understand how it will work. If you’re looking to run this list in particular I would stress this fact very much, as the deck is different than a lot of what is being played right now and can make some interesting plays to get out of sticky situations.
Would you like to clarify on any particular card choices?
Zero, the Magus of Null. A lot of people don’t love him, because he dies to Thunder. I can say, at least two or three times during the event, a control player used Thunder on a Lora to keep my “agro” down, then I Quick cast a Zero, killing off a couple 200/200s in the process and they were facing down a fairly serious threat. Zero is always just insane against Grimm. It is so common for the Grimm player to have a board of Tinker bell + Cheshire Cat + Cheshire Cat or something like Cheshire Cat + The Little Prince and they think their pumps are safe because Cheshire Cat cannot be targeted. Zero cleans all that stuff up while adding a body to the board.
What was your match line up during the event?
2: Control Grimm
4: Control Grimm
6: Odd Grimm
7: Pandora – siding into Abdul
8: Snow White
Reflecting back on the event – was their any choices that you thought you should’ve made but didn’t?
For the deck I was very happy with it. I was asked a similar question on stream after my win to lock up 3rd place and I couldn’t really come up with an answer. I think the deck was just what I needed to play to get the invite on that day. Moving forward, assuming anyone needs to play this deck in this meta (Pre-MoA/Vingolf) I think it is sound as is. After new cards are added to the game, there is no telling how much the deck could change.
What do you expect or hope will happen in the future with FOW?
I think the game is heading in the right direction. I am very pleased with the staff at the event and I think the US team is doing a great job over here. My only concern, as a player from Georgia, would be the insane distance I had to travel to participate in this qualifying event. My sincere hope is that next season has something a little closer to home.
Will you be attending any future events?
I will be going to Worlds in Japan.
Do you have any comments you would like to add? Any tips for new Players?
Play test. Play test. Play test. Literally nothing can come close to replacing good old fashion “playing the game.” All the sickest tech ideas and sweet side board configurations and quirky ruler swaps are not going to find you nearly as much success as digging in and playing a lot of games. Other than that, I’d like to thank everyone who attended the event in Chicago. I had a wonderful time and truly enjoyed being a part of that group. Thank you.