Hello Martin, it is a pleasure to meet you, and get you on Behind the Mask so that you can talk about your newly created character Duff Martin. When he was first shown off on Facebook, I know quite a few people seemed to take notice, and for good reason. Not only does he seem to be a reference to one of the most popular and longest running tv shows of all time, but as a competitor in the game he seems like he could be quite strong!
Martin: I wanted to make a competitor that could survive in the current meta. After playing him at GenCon, it seems that I succeeded. I despise bury/discard decks and wanted to foil that if I could. As far as the Duffman idea, you can thank the Boss for giving me that identity last year at GenCon.
When it came to creating this character, what were your thoughts on the overall look of the character? He definitely seems like he’s a blue collar type of guy.
Martin: I have a red Duff beer hat and tan Duff work shirt that came from Universal Studios. So, that is the outfit that I went for. I did not want him to look like a wrestler at all. He looks like a beer delivery man and that works for me, because beer is first, wrestling is second. I couldn’t go for the Simpsons Duffman outfit because I didn’t want to come close to a copyright violation.
When you decided on his stat breakdown, what sort of things did you keep in mind while you figured it out? Were any stats changed around from what you had wanted originally?
Martin: My favorite competitor for tornado and trios is Night Terror. I just love spoiling people’s combos. Sure, it’s rude but so are some of the tornado tag teams out there. So, the stats are almost identical to Night Terror. I wasn’t really concerned with the stats really. They were the least important part of the competitor. I got no push back on the stats. They came back exactly as I asked.
Let’s move onto the gimmick, which is normally the most important thing about a competitor in this great game. How did you come up with it? It looks similar to Trent?’s gimmick, but slightly different, is that what you were going for?
Martin: The gimmick came from that fact that I am horrible at turn rolls, so I wanted to have something positive potentially happen even on my opponent’s turn. Trent? is good, but the fact that I can trigger the gimmick after they draw for the turn insures me that I am going to draw a card most of the time. That and my hatred for discard fueled the idea. I found out during GenCon that the gimmick is super good in tag matches. I have no problem saving my partner when I know I can get cards back relatively quickly. That was an unintended benefit. I believe the Dangerous Alliance took Duff Martin to the final 4 of the tag tournament.
The finishers that you have for Duff Martin are pretty awesome, and it’s not just because of their ability to finish a match, but also the way that they can impact a match even from the discard pile like your submission finish. How did you come up with them? Is there something certain you were trying to accomplish with the set, or did it all just happen to come together?
Martin: Ah yes, the finishers…the Six Pack Attack is the weakest of the 3. Once again, I hate discard, so if that lands, I get a huge draw advantage. Problem is, with the gimmick, I almost never have that few cards. So if I could do that one over I would. To be honest, I think Frog Splash is better in the 28 slot against anything except heavy discard. The thought process behind Kegstand was that I wanted to get a benefit every time I played the card. If it’s not stopped, I get a pin roll. If it stops, I grab a card from my deck. Either way I get value. The ability to play as a follow is nice, but there are no stat boosts, so all in all it works. Finally there is Twist Off…Originally when I sent the ideas over for the cards, I gave 2 gimmicks. The first one is the one on the card, the second prevented finishers from being moved from discard to hand. Somebody has to stop the 4:20. My original idea for the sub finish was a STOP. That got shot down immediately because frankly they are strong and any one creating a competitor wants one. So the Boss suggested I put my second gimmick on the sub finish and I could not be happier with the results. That card is to be feared for sure and I have to give the Boss credit on that.
So with this being the first character that you’ve made for the game, what was the creation process like when it came to working with the boss? Did he give you a lot of good feedback? Did he push you to change a few things to make it more compliant with the rest of the competitors in the game? Let us know how it went.
Martin: Working with the Boss is great. The only thing that got shot down was the STOP finish. Everything else is pretty much as intended. Like I said, without his idea to move my gimmick to the finish, one of the best cards in the game would not have happened. He kept me informed of the process, showed me the art as it came in and really tried to deliver the competitor I wanted. There is truly no other real game in the market where you can get that interaction.
It’s quite expensive to purchase the rights to create a character for The SuperShow, do you feel as if it was worth the money spent? Would you want to do it again in the future for a similar price?
Martin: Like I said before, it is so rare to collaborate with the head honcho of a game to make a significant impact. I was treated like a prince through the whole process. It is costly, but, to be honest, it’s rather inexpensive for being able to add something permanent to the game. As soon as I got the cards in my hand, I realized that it was without question worth the money. As long as people play SuperShow, my ideas are a part of that, which is pretty priceless.
When it comes to making a deck for Duff Martin are there any certain cards that seem like a “must have” for the deck?
Martin: First off, Rolling Forearm, Call to the Crowd and Strength in Numbers are essential. Not only are they great cards, they help you keep the gimmick active. After that is Crossbow, getting access to Twist Off early is pretty strong, so that helps. The one obvious thing to avoid is draw card abilities. So I find the line cards that let me put cards from discard to top of the deck work well. Also the 718, although counter intuitive to the gimmick, is just to good to pass up. Nothing draws out stops like that card.
If you could, please share some advice for other community members who may decide to create a competitor in the future.
Martin: My best advice is to collaborate with the Boss, he knows the game better than anyone and will only make your competitor stronger. If you go in rigid and resistant to advice, than you could possibly miss out on something special. The other piece of advice would be to do it ASAP. The cost for doing a competitor is only going to climb as the game grows.
Do you have any ideas for other characters you’d like to add to the game, and if so, would you like to share anything about them?
Martin: I really would like to create a tag team now that the formats are changing. I have a few ideas that I’m working on with a friend but as far as characters go, it’s up in the air. I think I would do something completely different as far as characters go, not just slap Duff Martin with somebody else and call it a day. Right now I’m going to enjoy Duff Martin and who knows what will happen down the road.
Once again I’d like to thank you for this wonderful interview, and if you’d like to say a few words, or give some shout outs to members of the community, now is your chance!
Martin: Thanks for the forum to talk about my experience throughout this process. Shout out to my boys in the Rustbelt. Shout out to the Dangerous Alliance for making me their official beer sponsor. Special thanks to The Brain for tagging with me at GenCon. Finally, thanks to the Boss and the GM for taking the Duffman beer challenge.