Benjamin Sullivan

Winner – Epic Limited Qualifier at SXSW 2016

Benjamin Sullivan - photoBackground:

What is your name, your age, and the city and state where you live now?

My name is Ben­­­­jamin Sullivan. I’m 24 from College Station, Texas.

When did you start playing Epic Card Game? What was your first strategy card game? How long have you been playing these sorts of games?

I started playing Epic two days before the qualifier. I met with Nathan Davis at SXSW and talked. I’m a huge fan of Star Realms and came to check out the WWG booth and he sold me on Epic. I started card games competitively with Magic: the Gathering. I’ve played that for a few years and have become a kind of a grinder in Texas. I’ve been playing card games in general since the Pokemon CCG in the third grade.

How often do you play Epic Card Game? Do you have a group that you play Epic with? Do you have a testing group (for constructed or for limited)?

I don’t get to play Epic nearly as much as I want to. My testing group is mostly MtG grinders and it’s hard to talk them into playing another card game when that game takes up so much of their time. I have been able to talk a few of them into playing limited with me though so that’s been my testing so far.

Questions for Limited:

Did you mulligan your card list? How quickly did you determine what you wanted to use from the card list?

The tournament I played in was just limited, sealed and then dark draft, but so far I’ve loved the constructed games that I have played. There’s a very do or die feeling you get when you play Epic constructed that I love. There are tons of decks from 4 Color Control to Hyper Tokens builds and the games play out really interactively and with a pace that I love.

I did not mulligan my sealed pool. It was a typical build for me. I looked up limited reviews the two days before the tournament and looked over each card and generated my own rating system.

Going into the event, what one or two cards did you want to see in your card list? Were they there? Did you want those cards for personal preference reasons, or for raw power level reasons, or for another reason entirely?

I found the cards that I wanted to build around, namely Hurricane and Mass Destruction backed up by 2-for-1s and efficient beaters that lived through Hurricane. Muse, Hurricane, Thundarus, Turn, Erase, and other value cards let me grind out opponents throughout the swiss, except for Tim Bedard. I’m a midrange player at heart so cards that let me immediately 2-for-1 or that grind out games over the course of a few turns are my wheel house. I found bounce events to be almost as good as hard removal, so Erase and Turn were the two cards I really wanted to see. Those two and champions that bounced creatures were a priority. Then I found the champions that had greater than 9 health and jammed them in the list as well so they could survive Hurricane.

What was your favorite play during the tournament, if you can remember?

I remember three moments in the Dark draft specifically. The first was whether I took another threat, I think Sea Titan, or a card advantage engine in Muse. I took Muse and she was the all-star of my dark draft games. The other two moments were essentially the same moment just over two games. Tim cast Secret Legion in games one and two, but I had the answer in Lightning Storm both games.

Were you happy with the deck you put together? What advice would you have for people playing in Dark Draft?

My advice to other players is to do research into the format. Thomas Sorenson’s drafting philosophy and review helped me the most. If you want to dark draft you should read his articles.

Final Questions:

What plans do you have for testing between now and the World Championships this November? 

I plan on testing by myself unless I can find a group before then or I can convert others in my current MtG testing group to join.

And, finally, what advice do you want to give to the people trying to win an Epic World Championship Qualifier?

For constructed: test. I don’t have much experience, but reading articles and decklists and tinkering with established decks is a great place to start. Start with established decks and then maybe brew jank. Don’t start by brewing. You need to know what to beat. For Limited: put good cards in your deck. Aha I know that’s not really helpful, but again read articles, do your own testing, and test as much as possible. My second and third drafts did not look like my first draft at all.