Meet the Pro: John Maldonado
This series is your chance to ďmeetĒ some of our top players before you have a chance to actually meet them at the tournament tables.
This week we have the distinct pleasure of meeting the 2011 Origins Champion. Since the Spoils was not present at Origins this year, this week's pro, John Maldonado, is still the reigning Origins Champion. I think this technically makes him a super champion!
Also, John is the second of two interviewed pros to answer the ďHow long have you been playing Spoils?Ē question with something other than ďSince Open Beta in 2006.Ē Like Vince, though, we won't hold this against him.
What drew you into playing The Spoils?
Prior to The Spoils, I played a lot of Magic: the Gathering. In late 2010, a fellow Magic player and I jointly explored The Spoils and we were immediately intrigued. It didnít feel like a wide departure from what felt familiar and yet it had brought some really interesting, refreshing changes that made it an entirely different card gaming experience.
Why do you continue to play The Spoils?Because I enjoy playing! Itís quite a fun balancing act to navigate your development rule during the course of the game. I also feel like the game offers such variety and you really have a lot of freedom to experiment as a deck builder. The flavor of the world of The Spoils is wacky and amusing as well.
What is your favorite moment related to The Spoils?
Probably my semi-finals round game during Origins Championships 2011. My opponentís sealed pool was ridiculous and he played well. To stay in the game I had to make the most inefficient early plays to ward off a Recyclable Golem, Abominable Hamster, and a Wrinkly Rabbit, among others. The game called for a lot of grit and I almost conceded twice along the way. Itís probably my hardest fought victory in a Spoils game to date. .
What is your least favorite moment related to The Spoils?
The Top 8 draft at the National Limited Championships in 2011 first comes to mind. I was too inflexible in the second pack, ignored signals, and I had a tenuous deck build because of it. It was an amateur mistake and a good learning lesson.
Where do you play Spoils the most?
I play at a couple game stores in Tampa, FL; Anthem and Armada.
What is your greatest accomplishment as a Spoils player?
I guess winning Origins 2011. There were a lot of fantastic players there and I learned a ton about the game while competing.
What do you hope to see in the future of The Spoils?
More great artwork and continuing the healthy limited environment.
Which trade is your favorite and why?
Iím probably a Banker player by trade. Whatís not to love? It has resource fixing, card draw, and aesthetics with some of the best artwork in my opinion.
What play style would you say suits you best?
On the aggression-control continuum, Iíve always been more of a control player. But, playing the control game is a whole lot different in The Spoils.
Are you a member of any ďteam?Ē
Nah. Iím a rogue. A deceptive, covert one.
What is your forum handle?
I think itís VITAL_SIGNZ but Iím not on the forums as often as I should be.
Editor's note: It is - and you should :-)
How long have you been playing Spoils?
Since the fall of 2010.
If you could describe Spoils in one word, what would it be?
Do you have any advice for new players?
There is a ton of fun to be had with The Spoils. You canít call yourself a card gamer if you have yet to try it. Spread the word! As far as playing, know your development rule. You typically want to play a resource every turn in the early to mid-game and beyond.
What events are you most looking forward to?
Iím looking forward to The Spoils events at Gen Con 2012 and my next local draft!
Any funny stories to share about The Spoils?
More of an amusing one; when I was first learning Spoils with a friend, we had not yet learned that characters depleted after battle which made for very long games! Glad we were wrong about that.
What is your favorite Spoils format (constructed, seed constructed, seed draft, 2nd edition limited, etc) and why?
Iím a limited player all the way and most enjoy drafts. Itís a format that challenges you as a card player on multiple levels. I equally like Seed and Second Edition drafts.
What is your favorite card flavor wise and why?
Manifest. I think the card name, flavor text, artwork, and function of the card tie nicely together.
What is your favorite card play wise and why?
Portly Tradesmau is one personal favorite just because. Also, it punishes the impulse to simply attack in a party of two or more characters.
Any arch-enemies in The Spoils?
Yeah. Plunging Shriever. He always flies away, then comes back uninvited.
All Meet the Pro articles: