Nicolas Cuenca

Winner – Epic Limited Qualifier at ConnectiCon 2016



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

Nicolas Cuenca, 31, Cambridge, MA/ Dorado, Puerto Rico

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 Card Game as soon as I got the product from the Kickstarter. I started playing strategy card games with the original Pokemon card game back in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. Eventually, that iteration of the game died but I still had that desire to compete at card games. When I’d go to the small Pokemon tournaments, I would always see people playing MTG which gave me the idea to start playing Magic. I’ve been playing these sort of games since then.

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 try to play at least one night a week but sometimes life gets in the way. Leading up to the event, I made an effort to play with my friends 2 to 3 nights a week. I have a group of about 5 players that I play with who were unfortunately unable or uninterested in attending the last qualifier. It being at the Convention was a huge turnoff for at least two of them. Between gas, food, convention entry and parking fee the one event entry ended up being about $115 for me. I hope Epic ends up having more local qualifiers since I know a lot of players are interested who would be into trying to qualify but are unwilling to make the $115 plunge.

My group is for both Constructed and for Limited. We only practiced Dark Draft and Constructed since we felt Dark Draft would ultimately show us which were the best limited cards without having to go through the sealed pool creating process. Leading up to the event, I spent most of my time practicing constructed since I felt pretty good about my limited game. Shout out to Duncan, Eric, Ben and the Garretts for their help!

Questions for Limited:

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

I didn’t mulligan my list. I noticed that the pool had a few powerful cards that I really like in limited and it looked to be at least average to above average. After playing I think my pool was above average.

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 wanted to see Muse and Lightning Storm since they go in every deck. Muse was in my pool but Storm was not. I had Blind Faith and Brave Squire which are cards I’d put into the category of “goes into every deck.” Of all the cards I mentioned one of them is a one cost card. That card can win the game by itself in a way that’s hard to interact with or is a recurring removal spell. The other cards are free and have an effect on the board. Muse is busted and on the border of being too good. The possibility of being able to draw more than one card for free is just absurdly powerful.

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

I killed my opponent from 30 with exact damage on his 2nd attack turn. It involved me stealing his TriHorror for a turn with Hellion and attacking for 12 then 10 from my Triceratops. On his turn, I Flame Striked him for 8 when he attacked me. The coverage team has the exact breakdown.

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

My sealed and dark draft decks were pretty good, I was mostly happy with them. My play could have been better though. I’m still getting used to passing priority when I want to as opposed to when my opponent wants me to. My Dark Draft preference has leaned towards aggressive sage/wild decks. Not sure that’s the best but it’s been successful for me. In that archetype getting good ambush and blitz creatures is very important. I pick off faction draw 2s or recycling 0s when there aren’t any good faction options. Flame Strike is pretty insane in that deck as well.

Final Questions:

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

I plan to help my friends test for the upcoming local limited qualifier. Once the new expansions come out I’ll be testing for Worlds Constructed which should help our testing group to qualify at the LCQ.

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

Play as much as you can and don’t be afraid to ask better/other players for advice. My friends. I couldn’t have qualified without the help of my friends.

Thank you for reading. I’m really excited for worlds!