Next on our list of Worlds qualifiers is a player from Norway, Mathias Lunnan Bjørnstad! We don’t hear from players from the cold north too often, so this is a great opportunity to learn more about Mathias and his perspective. Enjoy!
Congratulations on your invite to Worlds! How did you earn so many points?
When the season started, with Dragons Exalted, I started pretty slow and acquired 25 points with a first and a third at two Battle Roads. Regionals season followed where I won Oslo Regionals and got third in Bergen which gave me a total of 235 points.
When City season started I managed to win three Cities in a row which resulted in 150 additional points. After that I was just 15 points shy, so I went to the ECC in Amsterdam where I was able to get Top 32. That gave me the last 20 points necessary to get the invite at 405 points.
Norway has a pretty small Pokemon community so we don´t have too many tournaments. I feel very lucky that I have been able to get the invite this early since most Norwegians are going to have to gamble on Nationals to get theirs.
For those who may not know you, can you tell us a bit about your history in the game?
I started playing at 11 back in 2005. I lived in Asker at that time, which lies about half an hour outside the capitol Oslo. I treated it more like a hobby than a competition though and only played two or three tournaments a year and never went to league. In 2010 I planned on quitting the game, but after watching a good deal of J-Wittz and The Top Cut I decided to come back in 2012.
I started playing easy decks like Durant and CMT after my return and actually did pretty good. I got Top 8 at Nationals that year and ended up being 7 points short of the invite. I spent a large portion of the summer vacation testing and getting ready for this season, and I am glad it paid off.
What has been your favorite deck to use this season? What have you been using currently?
My favorite deck was my own rogue creation Empire. It consisted of Empoleon, Dusknoir, Roserade, Mewtwo EX and Landorus EX, and I played it during the Boundaries Crossed format and used it to win the Oslo Regionals. It was very flexible and a lot of fun to play. I will admit that as the format progressed it became weaker and weaker, but I still enjoyed playing it.
Currently I haven´t really been using anything. I think that the Plasma Storm format is the most atrocious format I have ever played and I chose to not play any tournaments in it. I have been trying out a lot of Plasma Freeze decks though, so I guess the deck I am using currently is DoTa (Deoxys EX/Thundurus EX).
What do you attribute your success to this season?
I feel like deck choice and deck building have been my most important skills. Me and my buddy Richard built a lot of decks together and usually came up with great results. I am also pretty good at picking the right deck before a tournament. Because of these two factors I feel that I entered each tournament with the most well built deck and the most solid match ups.
I also feel like my buddy Benjamin Behrens deserves some of the “glory.” When I came back in 2012 he really helped me a lot, including building decks and inviting me to play sessions. Even though my inspiration is Jason Klaczynski, Benjamin is sort of my mentor and the kind of player I hope to be.
How do you feel about the current state of the game?
I am absolutely disgusted by the current state of the Pokémon TCG. I feel like luck determines at least 50% of every game, which is way too much. The stupid starter rule and Hypnotoxic Laser flip creates a worthless format. I also think decks like Blastoise and Klinklang are so silly, because there is no strategy in either of them. You just set up and that’s it. There are no interesting plays to make or roads to take because every single decision has already been made for you. This creates a boring and luck based format, which I absolutely despise.
What are your plans now that you have your invite?
Because I hate the current format so much I am not planning to play at any Battle Roads, which means that my next tournament is going to be Nationals. Even though I already have the invite I am still planning to do my best at Nationals. The only exception is if I manage to get into Top 8 and meet one of my friends without invite. I don´t want to ruin their season by not giving them the opportunity to travel to Worlds and will probably give in.
Do you have any hobbies besides Pokémon?
I enjoy reading mystery novels, my favorite authors being Agatha Christie and Camilla Läckberg. I am also currently working my way through a sea of old video games belonging to consoles like Genesis, SNES and Nintendo 64.
What do you enjoy the most about the Pokémon TCG?
I enjoy how the Pokémon TCG is an interesting game, which is easy to learn yet has a great deal of depth and complexity. It gives each players options to play their own way, but each game is different and demands different types of play. This encourages the ability to be flexible, which I think of as the greatest skill in this game. I also feel that this game attracts mostly nice individuals and the environment at my local league is fantastic.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to our viewers?
I feel that the Pokémon community is probably the best TCG community in the world. Not only the Norwegian players at my local league, but all the people I met at the ECC were so nice and cool. This is what allows the game to grow and expand. I feel the only poor aspect of the game right now is the luck factor and stupid card designs. Still, the game has given me so many friends and so much enjoyment that I will keep playing ´til the day I die.
Thanks, Mathias! We wish you the best of luck at Nationals and Worlds, and hopefully we will hear from you again soon.