The Splinterviews:Deep Dives With The Movers And Shakers Of the Splinterlands World.Today--The Ultimate Trader BryBro27
Imagine if you could learn from the experts on how to grow and scale your Splinterlands empire.What a goldmine that would be. To this end, every week I'll be interviewing the game's heavy hitters. The smartest and most thoughtful operators, who have scaled the Eiger to rise to the highest levels of the game--the Splinterpreneurs, if you will. If you have ambitions of quitting your job, and living the crypto dream full-time, read on, mes amis.
Brybro and I joined Splinterlands on the same balmy day back in June, and tragically, this is where the comparison ends. Quite naturally, I have always measured my progress against his. This has been a curse, rather than a blessing. A week after signing up, he had 2200 land plots, was a Maverick, had been recruited by a top-ten guild, and was making serious moolah flipping cards with the pros.
I, on the other hand, was at this stage using Furious Chicken as my best tank. #tigerblood
Brybro, aka "Mr Monopoly", is what is known in the trade as a "professional fixer". If Splinterlands was "Pulp Fiction", he would be Winston "The Wolf". Getting more done in an hour than I do in a year, he is ubiquitous/omnipresent/absolutely-bloody-everywhere. With five fat fingers in five fatter pies, he has more roles than Wonder Bread. A support team member on Telegram, he also helps the founders take in orders for volume discount buys. And pens the townhall summaries. And runs the Splinterlands raffle server. In his own words--"I'm kind of a wild card when it comes to helping the team out."
Anyway, I thought I'd rub salt in my own wounds and discover where I'd gone so wrong, he'd gone so right, and what makes him the racing car on the Monopoly board.
Brybro, welcome! Many thanks for making the time to chat with me. Before we get into things, could you tell us a little about yourself?
My pleasure. My name is Bryant and I live in the great dairy state of Wisconsin. I'm a 25 years old and work as a Software Engineer. My username is brybro27.
Wisconsin eh? Never been. Heard they do good cheese though. If you had to choose 3 words to describe yourself, which would you choose?
Three words to describe me I guess would be hard-driven, adventurous, and open-minded.
PC or console? And if console, which one?
Definitely console, and Xbox hands down.
Casting your mind back through the swirling mists of time, what was the first game you ever remember playing?
One of the first games I remember playing would probably be one of the very first Halos. Just finished playing the new Halo Infinity campaign and it brought back the good ole' memories.
What a monster release that was. It's incredible to think that was back in 2001, and the franchise has since sold 81 million copies. Splinterlands aside, what’s your favorite game of all time?
Picking a favorite game is a bit too hard. I used to be a big Call of Duty, Gears of War, and Halo gamer, but now you can just find me on Rocket League. So anyone one of those can be my favorite.
Interesting. I was recently reading about Rocket League's partnership with Grimes for their "Neon Nights" in-game event which is released next week. I'm sure we'll see many more collaborations like that. Anyway Mr Monopoly, we have now exchanged the necessary pleasantries ,so let's get down to business. How long have you been playing Splinterlands, and what led you to knock on its door?
I first discovered Splinterlands back in early June 2021. I read a post on Reddit in the r/Cryptocurrency thread that outlined the top five play-to-earn games. It peaked my interest so I figured I'd try the first few on the list. Axie Infinity was the first one listed, so I looked into how to get started with that. However, it wasn't very clear how to begin or even play the game, and from what I saw, the barrier of entry was around $1000 total for 3 Axie characters. I thought that was insane, so I went to the second game on the list which was Splinterlands. I was quickly addicted once I bought some Untamed packs and ripped them open.
It's all a bit Mulder and Scully/Twilight Zone that you mention that, because we must have read exactly the same post.I certainly sat there thinking "They want HOW MUCH for three fish?!?" Quite ironic looking back now. Anyway, everyone has a treasured Splinter and ability. Which are yours?
I'm fortunate enough to have a competitive deck in all the Splinters, so it is hard to choose which one is my favorite as I actually use them all depending on the battle. But if I had to pick one, I would go with the Earth Splinter.
For favorite ability, I think the new Scattershot ability is pretty great. Makes battles a little more interesting, or frustrating, depending on the RNG of the targets.
Second interview, second person choosing Earth as their most beloved Splinter. For new players, this may give them pointers on the best cards to try and flip. In a similar vein, and without getting too Tolkien here, there are some cards that we covet, we cherish above all others. Our precious. Which card brings out the inner Gollum in you?
My favorite cards would have to be the ones that I remember buying or trading for first. That would be War Chaang and Tortisian Chief mainly. On top of that, I'm attached to Camila Sungazer and Cornealus as those were the very first two Gold Foil Legendaries I pulled out of the packs. Haven't sold either one and use them in my Gold Foil deck.
Conversely, we all have a card we loathe. Which is yours, and why do you want to tear into shreds?
Not sure I should be saying this publicly because now everyone is going to know what to play against me, but my least favorite card is Valnamor. I only have a lvl 3 of it, so never use it in Diamond/Champ, but anytime it is used against me, I have around a 15% win rate I'd say. So if I can't beat it, I don't like it.
(Mental note to self: make sure to spam Val against Bry whenever we meet. Muahahaha). Now, without divulging too many trade secrets, what’s your greatest weakness in Splinterlands?
I think the previous question answers this one. Valnamor lineups seem to be unbeatable in most cases. Magic overall is very powerful and is hard to counter without fully committing to countering it.
Time to be put on the spot—who would you say is the most difficult opponent to beat in the game?
Most of the big names up in Champ are the ones that constantly beat me down. The ones that come to mind right now are Jacekw, Byz, X@wi, Raynie, Bubke, and a ton of others.
Everyone has had their highest and lowest moments in the game. Which were your peaks and troughs?
I can't say I have any low moments really. The lowest would be when I struggle to get to Champ 2 before the end of a season and just gave up and stayed in Champ 3. For highest moments, I mean, all my investments back when I first started are probably the greatest decisions I ever made. And I just took 2nd place in the ZenSports Chaos Legion Only tournament this past weekend. I guess is pretty good too.
Err, yes. Second place in the Zensports tournament is "pretty good", my man. Chaos Legion general release is upon us—which are cards are you buying and why?
I may have a maxed Chaos Legion deck already from opening a very large amount of packs... However, I am constantly trying to improve my Gold Foil deck, so I'm mainly looking to trade any regular foil Chaos Legion cards for Gold Foils of equal value.
Time to shake your money maker. You have made an obscenely healthy profit from the game thus far. How did you do it, and how can it be emulated? (Asking for a friend, of course....)
In terms of advice, I'm not going to call it financial advice as I'm not going to be held responsible for it, but I would like to touch on the topic, especially given the state of the market we are currently in. This reflects similar to what I answered for the fourteenth question where it varies depending on each individual and there is no right answer.
When it comes to Splinterlands, you can't be consumed by the prices of cards, DEC, SPS, land, or all other assets. You have to understand that at the core, Splinterlands is a game. So when you buy an asset other than DEC or SPS, you are paying for something that has a functionality in the game, and a functionality that has zero correlation with the market price. In other words, when prices swing one way or the other, your in-game assets still function the exact same.
When I first started playing, I bought card packs and cards without even thinking about prices. Obviously everyone wants to spend as little as they can and get the best deal possible, but no one knows what price that is. I was just thrilled to spend money to improve my deck, which allowed me to climb to a higher league and compete better in tournaments.
I bought in because I enjoyed the game, and that is why I had zero doubts about investing into land before it sold out in game. This is the motive people need to have when playing this game. This isn't a job, it is a game. And if you enjoy it, prices are just a mere distraction from the bigger picture. So keep calm, keep playing, and I'll see those who love the game on the other side of this uncertainty.
I think a peacekeeping role at the United Nations beckons with that kind of answer. However, I certainly agree that the overall marketplace is very different animal to 8 months back. A giddy amount of uncertainty in the air. However, Splinterlands has recently experienced an unprecedented period of growth. What advice would you give to those just starting out and wanting to build a strong deck?
The biggest thing I try to urge new players, and even the friends and family that I get into the game, is to build your very own strategies based on your experience. Everyone always asks what cards they should buy that will win them games. The answer to that is all cards you buy will help you win games. There are no cards that are guarantee winners. There are different combinations that seem to have success for a period of time, but they get quickly countered after everyone starts doing it. So, as a result, I just recommend using your own experience to judge what works best for you, and what doesn't. Then build upon that.
2022 is shaping up to be a massively important moment for the game, with Chaos Legion and Riftwatchers being released, and lands finally being implemented. What is your strategy this year?
Oh, I'm very excited for this year in terms of Splinterlands. The biggest feature I can't wait for is the land expansion. I have a decent amount of land, and I agree with the team as it is going to be one of the biggest features outside of when they first even launched the game. In a month or so, I plan on starting a stream to focus only on Land and to speak with other land owners openly and discuss strategies or anything land related.
ANOTHER role? You're the Duracell Bunny of blockchain games. Although I'm loving the premiss of that. Sharing land tactics would be a godsend to both existing and newer players. Actually on the subject of sharing information, there are so many blogs, YouTubers, Twitter and Twitch accounts out there. Who do you recommend following to stay abreast of the latest industry news?
I personally don't follow many news outlets for Crypto. I honestly only glance over the r/Cryptocurrency thread in Reddit every once and while, but as everyone should know, you have to take that subreddit with a grain of salt. Just like this industry, that thread is very immature.
What other games are you playing or investing in right now?
Believe it or not, Splinterlands is the only game I am currently playing and investing in. I'm not against any other games, in fact, I think there are some other games out there that are quite interesting. However, I'm just too invested in Splinterlands right now, and I also work for them so most of my free time is tied up in making the game better for both players and investors.
Right, let's get up close and personal.Have you ever had a crush on a video game character?
I can't say I've ever had a crush on a video game character.
I'm disappointed by your lack of kinkiness on that score. Now, everywhere you turn at the moment, there's so much fantastic content being released by gaming developers and studios. However, what is a really popular game that everyone seems to adore but you can't stand?
There aren't too many games that I purely dislike, because I wouldn't have bought it if I didn't think I would like it to begin with. If I had to pick one, I guess it would be GTA (Grand Theft Auto). Never got into those games.
Time to name and shame—what is the worst game you’ve ever played?
The worst game would be Star Wars Battlefront II. I loved the first Battlefront, but Battlefront II was such a letdown compared to the original. For me, it was just awful. Terrible.
OK King Midas, when you're not being this never-ending photo-bomb of success in Splinterlands, what are your other hobbies and interests?
Ha! If I'm not working or on Splinterlands, then you could probably catch me playing volleyball, both competitively and casually.
Now, you've answered many answers very diplomatically, Gandhi. A career in politics clearly beckons. However, don't let me down here. Big drum roll for this. Finally, and perhaps most importantly—what is your favorite swear word?
My favorite swear word is whatever pops in my head at the time of wanting to swear.Haha!
Mr Monopoly, it's been emotional and the pleasure has been all mine. Much obliged.
So people, what are you thoughts on the advice offered by Bry? Anything you'd add on the investment or deck-building side, for players both new and old alike? Let me know in the comments below. After all "I'm Mr Monopoly. We're all Mr Monopoly."