10 Questions with Jerry Damage
Jerry Damage sits down with the low-seed superstar, Rizen!
Welcome to 10 Questions with Jerry Damage. This is a weekly player interview to get to know some of the players and personalities around the league better than just someone who’s name we’ve seen on the website. For this interview, we talk with the star 4 seed of the Thermic Whims, Rizen.
Standard opening question here: Where are you from originally? And where are you at now?
Rizen: I was born in St Louis but have lived in Kansas City since I was 1. Still live in my little corner of Suburbia with 3 kids (shout out to DadLegend).
Other than playing Hearthstone, what do you usually do to have some fun or relax?
Rizen: With 3 kids around the house, even watching 30 shudderwock animations go off IS relaxing. I'm pretty boring though really. I tend to read or play other video games on the rare times I do have extra time. I also have an unhealthy addiction to MTV's The Challenge.
What’s your history with CCGs? Is HS your first?
Rizen: HS is probably my first CCG. I mean I had played a little (and by little I mean I barely knew the rules) Magic and Pokemon before. I've played poker professionally since 2006 so most of my time/effort went into that. Different laws went into place that's made doing that online a lot tougher than it used to be so I decided to try wizard poker out as a competitive outlet and here I am!
How long have you been playing Hearthstone and what are your goals in the future for your Hearthstone career?
Rizen: I started playing toward the end of the Un'goro expansion. First and foremost I want to win a THL championship (gotta have priorities), but outside THL I want to continue to grow my stream and play in high legend. Thus far I've been able to hang out in the top 50-200 quite a bit during the month but can't really seem to get a finish so going to continue to improve and hopefully sometime in the future get finishes/HCT points and see where that goes. I'm a pretty competitive person so I want to be the best possible player I can be but I don't have pro aspirations or anything.
You’ve been around the league since SHL Season 4 and THL Season 7, what first brought you to THL/SHL and what’s kept you in the league for so long?
Rizen: I found out about the league from several different podcasts. I'm a super competitive person but three kids kind of makes it tough to have good competitive outlets. Due to the fact that I had just started playing Hearthstone a few months prior to those seasons I knew I would come in with a fairly low PR so thought it would be a good situation where I might be able to land on a team where I could learn a lot from other players but also could contribute as I thought I could improve a lot faster than my PR would increase. I got lucky enough to get on the Dad Legend team in Sylvanas league as I'd been lurking in their discord for a while and saw they were looking for a lower PR 5 seed and then was fortunate enough to get on board with Switters when he was starting the Whims. Both YellowDart and Switters took a chance on me given how new I was and the fact that my collection was fairly limited at the time
This is your 3rd season in both Sylv and Ragnaros. Which format do you prefer?
Rizen: I've had better results in Sylv and I like winning, but I probably enjoy the lineup challenges Rag league presents a lot more. Since you have to win with all your decks any weak spots in your lineup can really get exposed. Ultimately they're different skill sets and I plan on playing in both leagues as long as I can find teams willing to take me!
You’ve hit top 100 legend before and easily the only 4/5 seed to ever do so in THL. What’s it like on the legend ladder at that level? Do you enjoy playing at the highest possible level that Hearthstone has to offer?
Rizen: Yeah - I mean I want to try and do everything I do at the highest possible level I can, be that rank 5 or rank 1 legend. It was definitely super different for me when I started seeing myself play against names I recognized or other streamers. I'm not going to lie and say that the first few times I was in the top 200 range I wasn't afraid to queue. It still makes me pretty nervous as I approach the top 100. I love getting to play against people at the highest possible level though. I try and learn from how they try and approach matchups and just do the best I can. I'm going to keep trying to improve and keep getting back there as best I can.
I got a few write-in questions for this week. Yellowdart wanted to know if you will still run Leeroy Jenkins in your Even Palaladin?
Rizen: I mean Leeroy is 6 attack, 2 health, and summons 2 minions for your opponent. Seems like it belongs in even decks to me!
If you could pick 1 card from Hearthstone to represent you as a player, what would you pick and why?
I guess questing adventurer? I feel like I should try and put something funny hear but honestly I just try and be a little bit better at the game every time I play. Thanks so much for the opportunity to do this!
That’s it for this week. Thank you Rizen for letting me interview and look forward to another player interview next week.
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