Counterplay Games Interview: Ferocca

by Counterplay Games  /  May 31, 2017

To be the first ever Duelyst World Champion is quite an accomplishment. I sat down with the winner of the Duelyst World Championship to uncover how this grandmaster bested the rest. Ferocca can still hardly believe that he really took the crown.

“The idea that I am a world champion in anything is surreal… The way I won the whole thing makes it all the more surreal…”

Ferocca entered the tournament a massive underdog in the eyes of many. Only one caster had predicted he stood a chance at making it to the Top Four. Furthermore, Grandmaster Kolos had invited Ferocca to discuss the Group Stage with himself and Grandmaster Humans. It was here the three predicted Ferocca would not even make it out of his group. On Day One, Ferocca relied on the power of his Arcanyst decks to lead him to victory. However, he inspired a bit of controversy when he chose to switch out his decks for five Mechaz0r decks going into Day Two. The grandmaster discussed this sudden shift in detail.

“The Arcanysts just got me into Day Two. I do think Arcanysts are the most stable, most powerful decks. But, I knew I would have to play innovative players at some point that knew how to win against them… Dragall already proved that to me, beating me 3-1 Day One when I had a full Arcanyst lineup—full Kolos. The other reason was Maser. I already had the idea of bringing five mechs before the DWC started after discussing how powerful Mechaz0r is at the moment with RHacker93. I believed no one would be prepared for it. I almost brought full mechs Day One, but I am happy I didn’t. If I had done that, people would have prepared for it the next day, and it was obviously vital to my win that they didn’t. Maser convinced me that bringing the five mech line-up Day Two was the right thing to do.”

Ferocca elaborated on Mechaz0r being the key to his success when I asked him if he believed he still would have won without using the archetype.

“No way. Take Dragall. I beat him 2-1 in sets Day Two, but he beat me 10-9 in games within these three sets. His decks had absolutely terrible matchups against mech. Me bringing such favored decks and still technically losing proves to me that mech was the right thing to bring.”

However, behind every champion is a support system that can help get them where they need to be. Ferocca wanted to take an opportunity to thank those who led him to this moment.

“When I was a new player, I learned Duelyst from Elmanbeastio’s and Joyfulrogue’s streams. On the ladder, I learned the most from games against Atlanta and Drezbo, I think. Later, I learned a lot from Grinch’s streams. I also found Jasz and Meziljie inspiring to watch as tournament players.”

Ferocca anticipates spending plenty of time relaxing and enjoying his winnings. When asked how he intended to spend his prize money, he already had a plan laid out.

“I am going to South Korea. [I will] revisit some people, drink soju, eat good food, [and] meet new people.”

In addition to prize money, Ferocca gets to design and name a card. I asked him to share any potential spoilers relating to the project.

“I have a lot of ideas for my card. I can’t say much about it though… I hope they can make a crazy new mechanic for my card. I want something positionally-based or card-draw-based. I guess I can share two new mechanics that pop up now. ‘Sacrifice’ [is] where you would, for example, lose one permanent mana crystal—the antithesis of Mana Deathgrip—to get a powerful positive effect out of it that turn or a later turn. The other one that popped up was if you play ‘Ferocca,’ players switch hand sizes. This is hard to balance, but if the appropriate mana cost for this spell is found, it’d work like this: a player with three cards plays ‘Ferocca’ [when] his opponent has five cards. The player that plays ‘Ferocca’ draws two cards while his opponent has to select two cards to discard.”

As a closing note, Ferocca wanted the community to know that his favorite card is Juxtaposition, he has no single mentor, and he hopes to not have to play Mechaz0r anytime soon.

Richard “JuveyD” HeyneHead of Organized Play