Interview: Dog Answers The Call

BY Andrew Miesner / September 12, 2014

by Sören ‘Fantasy’ Vendsahm

This week I was able to talk with the new compLexity Hearthstone superstar, David “Dog” Caero. We dove into topics such as the current Hearthstone meta, upcoming events, as well as yesterdays announcement that he’d be joining the compLexity Gaming family.

Hello Dog, thanks for taking the time for this quick interview, as you were just introduced as the first member of coL.HS. Some people might not know you, can you introduce yourself?

Well I’ve been playing Hearthstone since early beta. I started streaming a few months ago, and have developed a decent sized viewer-base. I’ve hit #1 Legend multiple times on and off stream (I think almost every season).

Your stream boasts a rapidly increasing viewer base. How do you explain that growth? What do you think is the trademark of your stream?

Well when I was first learning Hearthstone I would watch streams and try to learn the game better, however I wasn’t getting enough information from the streamer generally. I kind of focus my stream to show a more informational side to help people learn (and yes there are chat riots).

What are your ideas for the future of the stream? Do you have any special plans, any sub icon ideas in mind to even grow a larger following?

Well my first priority is trying to get a schedule, but that has proved somewhat difficult with classes (my tests are generally in waves). However I have been working on sub-emotes for a while and I have quite a few that will be released soon (Bite the pillow, Pound town, and Thalnos!)

Dog playing Hearthstone on stream.

Switching gears from streaming to the actual game. What are your thoughts on the current meta?

Everyone always complains about the meta, saying one class if overpowered and BLIZZ please nerf. Just remember, if 90% of the people you play are a specific class/deck, you can easily counter it. Not to say that Hunter is not overpowered, and BLIZZ please nerf. That being said, I dislike it. it seems there isn’t much room for improvement in a lot of classes just because of the rushy nature of Hunter (and because of flare).

What are your ideas to fix the Hunter then? Many people complain about Unleash, about Buzzard or about traps now. What is the thing you would do to make it more “enjoyable” to ladder again?

Buzzard, Unleash is nowhere near the problem it used to be. Most of the reason Hunters gained popularity again is because they were lacking early game, and Naxx brought them that with Undertaker, Mad Scientist, and Creeper. Prior to Naxx, Hunters were not able to stabilize the board early enough and would die by Buzzard turn. I think most of the problem lies with flare and Hunters mark. Hunters mark is just… amazing, haha. Flare is a problem because it’s class specific, what do you do when you are getting owned by traps? Play Hunter! Plus it makes all those poor Mages cry out there :/

Despite the “imbalance” of the ladder, you’ve managed to get to very high legendary ranks during a number of seasons, and on two server regions. On stream you mostly use your “famous” Ramp Druid – why do you like that particular deck so much?

Well first off, it’s a control deck and I love playing control decks. But Ramp Druid is a deck that can sweep an opponent if they are not prepared. It’s a type of deck – like Handlock – that if you don’t have some minor techs in it, you are going to get roflstomped. Also Ramp Druid has some things that almost feel “cheap”. Wild Growth and Innervate are cards that are just amazingly overpowered if drawn at the correct time. Plus there is nothing more satisfying than getting that perfect curve ^^ hnnnnnggggg.

Would you say it’s your favorite deck?

My favorite deck changes a lot from time to time, due to the meta shifting and me getting burned out if I play a certain deck too long. At the moment though, no. Hunters mark got me down bro.

What is your current favorite then – and why?

HURRR DURR Hunter, because I want to win! However, I’d probably have to go with Paladin. I haven’t explored control Pally in all my time playing Hearthstone and it’s refreshing to play.

May the fatigue guide you! Another thing I want to discuss with you is the competitive scene. You have dipped your toe into that world in one big event so far. How was that experience for you?

It was fun, just like any other Hearthstone tournament. I wasn’t too alarmed with anyone I had to play because I have played every single one of those players on ladder – I play ladder a lot. The only thing different from ladder is that there are a lot of decks that you don’t see played a lot in ladder (because of the banning format) and I was punished for that in my last few matches against Gaara and Strifecro.

More of Dog playing Hearthstone. What else?

Switching gears from streaming to the actual game. What are your thoughts on the current meta?

That inexperience came back to bite you, but also taught you a valuable lesson. What are tournaments you looking forward to compete and apply that new knowledge? Anything you would be really eager to compete in?

I’m really looking forward to the Blizzcon World Championships and the Primsata Cup 2. Both of these are really great tournaments because they reward gameplay (ladder). Sadly, Blizzcon does not have a banning format so I cannot apply the knowledge there. Something like Deck Wars would be cool to compete in.

In general, the HS community is still trying to figure out the best way to balance the RNG of a card game. What mode do you like the most?

I really enjoy Swiss format and banning one class. The ban system just adds another level of strategy that I love!

Last topic of discussion obviously is compLexity Gaming. You’ve joined us now – how did you decide to go with the black and red brand?

Well I’ve seen compLexity around the eSports scene and have followed them during my time playing HoN and CSGO. It just really seemed like a good fit for me after talking to many of the people that are part of the operation. I’m really excited to start for one of the biggest eSports names out there!

Were other organizations or teams knocking at your door as well?

Yeah, I’ve gotten a lot of offers from a lot of different teams. I just though coL would be best for me.

You have any shout-outs or final fighting words?

Yeah, shout-out to Firebat. He is one of my better friends in Hearthstone as well as my brother for getting me into this game. I’d also like to thank my new family, compLexity Gaming, and all of our sponsors Sound Blaster, CyberPower PC, Creative, Twitch, Corsair, DXRacer, Scuf Gaming, and PWNIT WEAR. As for fighting words… get ready to bite the pillow boys!