Trail Stories: Dr Pringles

AGE: 25

BIRTHPLACE: Near Kaiserslautern, Germany

TEAM AFFILIATION: The Great Parliament

MOST NOTABLE ETERNAL ACHIEVEMENT: Champion of the latest ETS Invitational (Season 1, 2019)

PLAYING SINCE: Late 2017, ETS since Season 1, 2018

DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A BUILDER, TUNER, OR STRICTLY A PILOT: I am a builder. Unfortunately, a bad one. So competitively I’m just a pilot. My plan to make Compass Rod a deck failed horribly. But I also like picking up random decks I find on warcry and play them in Tournaments. I think I made Feln Berserk a deck after I Top 8ed a weekly with Ilyak‘s list

FAVORITE DECK ARCHETYPE: I like all archetypes. If I had to choose one, I would go with armory styled control decks, although I didn’t play when they were broken.

FAVORITE CARD: Artwork- Tumbling Sloth. Effect- Quarry

MOST DISLIKED OR DAMAGING CARD: I don’t like Teacher of Humility because I think a two drop shouldn’t have such a punishing effect

ONE ETERNAL WISH: As a tournament player, the answer can only be “best of 3 challenges”. The only thing more annoying than being on the draw in all games, is when you waste 5 minutes of your precious time, remaking matches to find the right starting player.

PERSONAL MANTRA: German: “Wenn der Lachs gut gebuttert ist, fluppt er.”

English: “If the salmon is well buttered, he goes smoothly.”

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE CUSTOM ETERNAL CARD, WHAT WOULD IT BE: I have a Magic the Gathering background and I love decks that are centered around lands. Unfortunately, that’s not really possible in Eternal. It is probably hard to balance. I guess something like Chainbrei comes closest to that. I wish there were utility power cards like this one:

MantidMan: Pringles, you continue to show up and do very impressive things time after time. ETS wins, ladder placement, comments and discussions in the community. You are truly model of what a contributing member should be, in my humble opinion. I want to kick this thing off like I do all of my interviews, with a little insight into you as a person, outside of this game and the community as a whole. Everyone has a real life, and I want to know about as much of yours as you are willing to share. Where did you come from? What did you do before Eternal, and how did you get into it? What does a standard day look like for you when you are not playing or doing stuff related to Eternal?

Pringles: First of all, thanks for having me. I’m Daniel and I study Information Management (a mix of economy and computer science) in Germany. I got into Magic in 2011 and played a lot of Limited and EDH. Then I got into Legacy and Modern, which I still play today. I never played GP‘s, but PTQ‘s and other local tournaments. During the first few sets I played a lot of Hearthstone, but when a friend told me to try Eternal, I stopped playing it because Eternal is the superior game. Coming from Magic, Eternal was very easy to learn for me. I made Masters in Draft and Ranked in the first Season I played and started playing in the ETS two months later. Otherwise I‘m currently writing my Master Thesis and let me distract by Eternal and other games.

MantidMan: And what a distraction Eternal is, am I right?! Let’s jump into the game right off the bat. A lot of my previous guests pick very strong cards when they have been asked what their favorite is, but you chose something pretty basic an innocuous in the form of Quarry.  Why do you like it so much? Do you think it is a lot stronger than it is generally given credit for?

Pringles: It just always feels good to cast that card. I guess it comes from my Legacy background where you cast cards like Brainstorm and Ponder. The fact that it can be a card selection spell and a ramp spell is really nice. The cost reduction also makes cards like Dark Return or Display of Ambition better. I think that the card could become even better with new sets.

MantidMan: I really like that way of thinking, I think a lot more people could enjoy the more basic cards with that mind set. Are there any of the more traditional bomb-type cards that you really enjoy seeing, or maybe some you wish were just a touch more viable?

Pringles: I really liked the old Vara, so I was happy to see her get buffed again. I didn’t play with her much since then, but I’m looking forward to. Clutch of Talons is very strong card, but it doesn’t seem to fit in a deck. I played around with it in Hooru, but the nerf of Jennev Merchant and the lack of a Smuggler makes Hooru a bit too weak in my opinion. Crill, Merciless Pillager would be my pick for a bad card that I want to be good. I like the Artwork and I think a good Skycrag midrange card would be nice.

MantidMan: Alright, I have to get you to explain it more. Your mantra. Of course, I want to know about what is actually means, and where you heard it from. But the big thing, really, is that I would love to know how it can be applied by other players.

Pringles: To be honest it is just a phrase that I created with my friends. But behind the nonsense is a real meaning, that can be applied to Eternal. It means that if you prepare yourself (buttering the salmon), it will work out fine. So as long as you know your deck and the meta, you can just trust in yourself.

MantidMan: That is awesome, it really doesn’t take much to be in a safe position. Just a little prep work and know how. It obviously pays off considering what you did with the ETS open and then the invitational. Can you tell me a bit about how you buttered up for the invitational?

Pringles: I’m kind of ashamed to tell you that I didn’t really butter myself up for this tournament. I’m pretty experienced with Haunted Highway, so I just played what I know. I looked at recent tournaments and the only decks I was scared of were Grenadins and Reanimator. I didn’t think Reanimator would be popular for the Invitational because it’s kind of inconsistent. I also didn’t expect a lot of Grenadins. FTP and FJS were the expected majority for the tournament. The match ups are at least 50/50 in my opinion. I decided that Haunted Highway would be a safe choice and I didn’t need to bother with learning new decks. I also Considered Chainbrei, but it felt very inconsistent in the matches I played on ladder.

MantidMan: I do want to touch on some of those points, but I am intrigued by one of the last statements there. Chainbrei did not do well for you on ladder. There is some interesting conversation that has taken place, whether or not ladder testing actually tells you how a deck will perform in a tournament, especially an open list tournament. Can you give me your thoughts on testing like that and if it actually prepares you?

Pringles: Interesting topic. Open deck lists are definitely a game changer in some cases. I always have my opponents deck open on the second screen during tournaments. You can easily see what your opponent can have, and it helps you to find the best possible play. Especially the content of your opponent’s market is a huge advantage.  For the most part the meta of a normal weekly event somewhat represents the meta on ladder. Sure, you have some new decks, but most players play the known decks which are also played on ladder. For premier tournaments like invitationals, a lot of people show up with new or improved decks. That makes testing tricky. It also depends on which rank you are playing. I think the diamond ranks and top master ranks are best for testing. because these players try to win and play the best decks. In lower master ranks you will often find player experimenting. You will also often find Tournament players in the top ranks and see what they are playing. Testing on ladder definitely prepares me for Tournaments, but it’s more like margarine. The real butter is served in tournaments.

MantidMan: I am getting more and more hungry every time you say butter, but I love it so that is no surprise. Don’t even get me started on Salmon. Before we get into the exclusive questions for the Top Deck Champion Interview, I want to know what you love, what you are passionate about. Even with school, and work, and who knows what else you have going on over there in Germany-land, do you have passions or projects you want to talk about some for us? Anything that keeps you up at night outside of studying and preparing to take down the ECQ?

Pringles: I’m kind of a lazy guy, so I can’t show any exceptional hobbies. At least not from a card players perspective. Other people might think that playing with cardboard, or in this case even with digital cardboard, is a weird hobby, but we are all sitting in the same boat. I love watching movies and try to watch one every day. Although I’m already pretty far behind on my 365 movies challenge for this year. You can follow me on letterboxed if you want to see what movies I watch and like. I also thought about streaming Eternal. Unfortunately, I’m not that passionate about the game at the moment outside of tournaments. Streaming could add some spicy to my salmon. But don’t take that as an announcement. What keeps me up at night is my cat Simon. He’s constantly changing his mind about being inside or outside.

MantidMan: Simon sounds like a loveable jackass, like most cats. I am a huge movie buff myself so you will have at least one more follower. We are done here but will take a jaunt over to Inked Gaming to talk about the tournament a little more in the Top Deck Champion’s Interview. Thanks for your time Pringles, and I will see you on the other side!

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