TEAM AFFILIATION: TEAM RANK STAR BAY BAY
MOST NOTABLE ETERNAL ACHIEVEMENT: #1 Drafter after doing Co-Op Drafts with Amaz
PLAYING SINCE: It went into open beta
DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A DECK BUILDER, TUNER, OR STRICTLY A PILOT: I am all of the above when I stream. Which probably attributes to why I don’t overly excel at any, but, my favorite aspect of Eternal is building decks.
FAVORITE DECK ARCHETYPE: Control
FAVORITE CARD: Feln Cauldron
MOST DISLIKED CARD: Display of Ambition (currently, but this rotates by the minute)
ONE ETERNAL WISH: (try to make this not card related) They would move the game from pushed units and removal, to synergestic ideas.
PERSONAL MANTRA: If you don’t like where you’re at, envision where you want to be, and never stop pushing.
IF YOU COULD HAVE A CUSTOM CARD IN THE GAME, WHAT WOULD IT BE:
MantidMan: I do not even know if you prefer Jonah, or Mr. Veil, or maybe just the ‘Gargantuan Mannequin spitting flim-flannikin Zap Brannigan of Rap’. I will probably go with Jonah just because it is the easiest.
With arguably one of the most hilarious and popular streams in the Eternal Community right now, I think many people are very accustomed to you, and know that you do this full time to try and stay alive. But I always like to start with a bit of a chance to introduce yourself, maybe even the real you. How did you get into card games, or even streaming? What does your real life look like outside of being a salty-yet-hilarious human being?
Jonah Veil: Jonah is fine, but people call me whatever they want and I’m usually cool with it. Streaming for me started over 2 years ago, I was in/ending a toxic relationship, and I used it as an outlet for myself. It soon grew into a passion and now, is most of my life. Card games originally started for me when I was around 13, back in New Hampshire. Again, I was a bit of a depressed kid, I found Magic, and a card shop called Hammer’s Comics. My ma’ dukes would drop me off every weekend for over a year and I would play all night with mostly guys in their mid twenties and thirties. I played Magic for 2 or so years and then puberty hit me fairly hard, needless to say, I dropped the game completely and never got back into it, until recently.
My outside stream life consists of sleep, watching Netflix/Anime, making sure my one room shack stays afloat, and bills bills bills. I’m currently looking to move outside of Florida, and I’m hoping with an actual place with space to myself, I can start to get a better balance between streaming and off stream.
MantidMan: Let’s jump right into Eternal stuff. Consider my interest piqued the moment you said “Feln Cauldron” was your favorite card. I keep looking at it and wondering “How, Why, Does he know anything?” I mean, I get it. It has a cool effect, it lets you roll the dice a bit, but I want to get the scoop from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Walk me through why you love this card, and maybe what you would need for us to see this in a higher-tier deck?
Jonah Veil: Well, the first thing you need to understand is that I love horrible cards. But, my love for Feln Cauldron comes from when way back, or, a memory of a time long past. Back when I first started streaming Eternal, I would often try to brew Reanimator decks, often in Feln colors. Cauldron at the time was one of the best discard outlets we had, with potential upside, so it was often within my deck. The main reason it is my favorite card is it is well designed RNG, it is hard to discard 5 cards in 5 turns and get it’s pay off, but, if you do, and those 5, completely random spells win the game? Well, let’s just say…it’s f*cking hilarious.
And regarding it ever being in a high tier deck, let’s just say, Bore is a card, and there are better discard outlets now, needless to say, this will remain, a relic….of the past.
MantidMan: On your stream, you have come to adopt this ‘persona’ of a salty player. You have it as your logo and you exude it in your world-renowned rants. But you have found a great balance of ranting with love, because that love of the games is also very prevailing. Did you come up with this style for your stream or is it your natural state? What kinds of things do you tell yourself to keep the love alive as well? That is a hard thing for a lot of people to do, may as well learn from a master.
Jonah Veil: I’ve always been passionate about video games. While my passion and love may come out as whining or salt, in reality, it’s just tough love. I feel like some of the worst people for games are those who white knight every decision a game company makes, never being critical, afraid to say what their real concerns are. In the past I was brought onto games to sponsor them, and in turn, those companies regretted it, because I refuse to say the shit smells like roses. For as far back as I can remember, growing up on Ultima Online, I have always been aggressive and passionate. And if you’re going to do something, whether it be video games, a project, life, give it 100%. I do hope people can see, like you yourself have, that all of my rage comes from a place of love. I do love Eternal, but moreover, the community. I think a lot of people take the community here for granted. My main gripes will always be that it deserves to be bigger, but Eternal has one of most solid tight knitted communities, and it’s thanks to them I am allowed to do this as my job.
MantidMan: I think that is a tough thing for some fans, but it is absolutely one of the reasons I have enjoyed lurking in your streams. Good fans support everything that a developer or publisher does. Great fans support the good things and provide feedback, whether it is good or bad.
Let’s talk about the bad for a second though. A lot of people think the modal display cards are the best thing since slights bread, but you do not. What, specifically, do you not like about Ambition or the other ones? Are there other cards that you dislike, and more-over, do you think Ambition is bad for the game or you just do not like it?
Jonah Veil: Well, I think the displays are very well designed, having multiple options on a card should mean deeper game play. But, what has happened is that they are now a staple in a deck. What it breaks down to is the games and their play patterns are extremely predictable. Example, I know they’re in FJS, so I remove their two units, praying, that they don’t have a display, during my end of turn, they display and bring both back. Sometimes with destiny. It makes it feel like some of the only times you can win, are praying they don’t have a display. What I truly wish for Eternal is that both players are making multiple decisions during a game and countering their opponent. What has been playing out lately, at least in my personal experience is, threat into removal into threat into removal into recursions etc. I don’t want Eternal to feel like mid-range soup top-deck wars. This past set though was the best they’ve done since Set 1, so I do hope that’s just not what Eternal is, at its core.
MantidMan: Are there any cards, or design principals that have been introduced, that you think are BAD for the game? Or just this small hope for a bit of design philosophy?
Jonah Veil: It does seem like anytime something synergistic does well it gets nerfed, and that at the end of the day, units are stronger than everything else in Eternal. I know this is intentional by the designers, but at my heart, I am a control player, and when the best type of control deck, is one jamming pushed units, it kind of hurts my soul.
The DWD team has a strong group of guys there, so I have faith they can make the game play not so predictable. I just hope this game is still a priority there for some and not on the back-burner.
MantidMan: That falls very close in line with your Wish for the game itself. Making the game more about finding synergies and the like, rather than building the best support curve to get to fat units. We seem to have some of that now with the Advent of sites which it looks like you want more of as well (based on your custom card, super fun). I would love to see if you will share what would make Eternal even better over the course of the next year. What would you like to see happen, outside of this design philosophy? Rotation? More synergy cards that are bad by themselves? More abilities like Mentor or Renown that bring the game into the fold of ‘combo these things to win’? What do you think?
Jonah Veil: My overall hope for Eternal is that not only do they bring in more cards like sites, but to get this game out to more people. This game has been a passion of mine for a while, and it deserves more attention. The community it has, is second to none, but for the streaming ecosystem to survive, the game needs to be marketed vigorously. I haven’t seen sponsored streams since I came back 4-5 months ago. The cash tournaments is a good step, but we want new blood, not only the same blood. I do think the game needs rotations to keep it not stale, and so the collection is not so daunting for new players.
The good thing is Eternal has had a solid base its entire open beta/release existence. But the question I always come back to it is, will it get more?
MantidMan: Agree completely across the board. I like that you brought up passion, because this is my go-to for the last question and we are right there.
You are obviously passionate about Eternal, about streaming in general, about communities and gaming culture and all that stuff. Is there anything outside of these that you are passionate about? Whether it is just getting people to learn about something, or something you do in some of your down time. What hidden passions do you have? And do you care to share one or two of them with us before we depart?
Jonah Veil: It kind of goes hand in hand but entertaining people and making them laugh has always been a passion for me. In all of my past games I was a guild leader, in my real life, I was a director or trainer. I really enjoy raising up communities and forming a bond with people, and if I can make them laugh while doing it? All the better.
That’s probably why streaming fits me so well.
But regarding any hidden passions? Not so much, I just want people to be able to laugh off the small stuff and not get so worked up over everything. People take things way too seriously in this day and age, and while I may be rage-y, it’s not overall serious, I hope people can get that about me and apply some of that to themselves.
MantidMan: Jonah, thank you for hanging out and talking a little bit of shop. I hope people learn some cool stuff about you and your mindset from this. I could not have asked for more from one of the most entertaining people in the community right now!
Jonah Veil: Was my pleasure Mantid, and I want to thank you from the community for truly adding something special to it. Also, your voice is like butter