Top Cut Talks #3: Jorge Fernandez
Welcome to another episode of Top Cut Talks featuring the only champion without a trophy Jorge Fernandez!
*Rare pic of Jorge with his trophy
Blue/Yellow Golden Frieza
So how was this past weekend with the States tournaments?
Jorge: A huge blur. 10+ hours of driving around, getting to know my teammates from Orlando, playing 13 rounds of best-of-3 Super, and 2 more rounds of top cut.
Going to Miami was a blast. Driving to Miami was not. Anyway the actual events were well-run and I had a blast. I woke up at 6 AM, drove 4 hours to Miami, played for about 12 hours, lost in top 16 at ~11 PM, drove 4 hours back to Tampa (props to Alan for keeping me awake the whole time), slept for about 6 hours, then drove 45 minutes to Serenity games for another 10 hours of Super, where I ended in top 8.
Any decks you saw that came to you as a suprise?
Jorge: There were a few unique aggressive takes on Vegeta. Rather than the linear U/R take on the deck with Cabbas and Champa line, there were a lot of monoU or U/G aggro decks. Maybe it's just the much slower metagame with Starter Goku and UY Golden Frieza making everyone else look like aggro decks? Hard to say.
Overall though, the meta was pretty much as expected: a lot of Starterku, a lot of Cell/Androids (maybe less than I expected with the ruling change), some Vegeta, some Mecha-Frieza, some Golden Frieza.
What are you looking forward to in set 3?
Jorge: I'm looking forward to exploring and building new decks. Especially degenerate combo decks and/or meme decks (looking at you, Myuu). For fair decks, I'm interested in the Great Apes and all the shiny new extra cards for Mecha-Frieza builds. Leader-wise, I'm interested in Pan and the black leaders, but my favorite is definitely the new blue Goku.
Ok there is a lot of fun potential so I am going to straight into it.
Do you typically drop the ball in important life matters or just championship trophies?
Jorge: Mostly the latter... though also sometimes the former. I usually come through on important matters.
Wanna explain more in detail what happened that day?
Jorge: So there's not a whole lot to say about the story; Collin had been holding my stuff while I was off doing interviews with people, and when I was done he went to hand me back some things and there was a miscommunication. The trophy got caught in limbo between the two of us and fell on the ground from a height of about 2 feet. It shattered into a million tiny pieces. It was sad/shocking for about 3 seconds and then it was hilarious. So we ran with it and I have since smashed any Super trophy I've gotten my hands on. Better keep me away from top 3 at NC!
You are part of team bearded, but you have no beard...what did you do to convince Allek to put you on the team?
Jorge: It's not about the beard on the outside, but the beard on the inside.
Speaking of Allek, have you touched his beard?
Jorge: No in fact I don't think Allek and I have ever really had any sort of purposeful interaction in person. Every event at Bearded that I want to go to has been the same weekend as a big State/Regional event. Hoping to make it out to the Beard more for events if our schedules permit it.
You are the only non-PPG winner of a regional, whats the secret?
Jorge: Honestly nothing special. I was really well-prepared. We (my playtest partners and myself) saw the potential in Mecha-Frieza instantly when he was leaked and as soon as the Hartford regional was over we were already brewing decks. Collin and I tested daily for that event over Octgn. By the time the event rolled around, I can comfortably say I had seen basically everything (well, except for my now-teammate Alan's Trunks deck). I had gameplans for every deck I played against (again except for Alan's deck). I was extremely comfortable with the mirror. The rest was just dodging the one bad match-up I knew about (Red Mecha-Frieza).
Who is your favorite player besides your self?
Jorge: I have had a lot of fun opponents. I have now had the opportunity to play against every regional champion except Abella and they are all super cool people (no pun intended). And of course my team at Bearded, especially the three guys that rode with me to Miami (shout out to Fern, Chad, and Alan), are all awesome, as well as my friends in Tampa that got me into the game in the first place, and my playtest partner and the Gary to my Ash: Collin Kaiser.
But my overall favorite is some guy I played in round 7 or 8 of Swiss in Hartford. We played in the Ginyu mirror shortly after this guy stomped my teammate Collin playing like 8 or 9 infinite multiplication metacoolers in his sideboard. The dude was playing 1 objection in the board, not because he thought it was the right number, but because he didn't own any more. And there he was, in the X-1 bracket, just crushing people. He was, is, and always will be my hero.
Lets back into a little more meta game talk
You are obviously successful at doing good at tournaments, what do you do that gives you more of an edge compared to the more casual-competitive player?
Jorge: I study the game a lot. I try to understand the reasoning behind every attack, every combo, every card that goes into a deck.
Super is a really deep and difficult game. Going back to playing Magic or other card games feels underwhelming in terms of the number of decisions I have to make each turn. The more decisions you have to make, the more opportunities for error.
To play Super at the top tables, you have to keep your errors to a minimum (something I did not do this past weekend...)
This game has a very diverse and triangle meta format, how do you finally settle on a deck to play?
Jorge: If I think there is not a deck with a clear advantage into a format (eg UGY Mecha-Frieza into the Orlando format), then I go with whatever deck I feel most in-control with. I play a lot of Trunks at locals and really really wanted to bring Trunks to a big event, but with Cell on the rise and especially with this new ruling change, it didn't seem like a good call. A lot of times, I just play the deck that feels the most powerful when I'm playing it.
Are you planning to go to any future regionals? Charlotte or San Jose?
Jorge: Should be going to both. Wish me luck!
We love Bearded Collectibles, their podcast and their community presence, will we see more of them at future regionals & events?
Jorge: Our team is set to bring 10+ people to NC to compete, and I'm trying to convince them to come to San Jose and the 5K as well.
Thanks Jorge for giving us this fun interview. Good luck to you in Charlotte, and hope to see you soon!
Tune in next week and let us know who you would like to see interviewed next!