Behind The Mask: Koby Gullo

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Hello Koby, welcome to the show, it’s a pleasure to have you on. A lot of people in the SRG Universe know you as “The Bum,” but your character in the game is actually Koby The Kid. How did you come up with not only that name, but also, how did you get the nickname of “The Bum?”

Koby: When I was first getting known in the community, Eddy Fury was one of the first to respond to my video. He always referred to me as a kid, and it honestly worked out because I originally wanted my character to have a #8 basketball jersey on, because Kobe Bryant is my favorite player of all time. Well he also wore #24, and so did my favorite baseball player Ken Griffey Jr…. his nickname was “The Kid”. I was a fan of Scotty Too Hotty growing up, and originally my name was going to be Koby 2 Cool. As far as the bum thing goes, it’s ironic. I said it once or twice a few times in my first few videos, maybe even more (I didn’t realize I said it so much) and it was always directed toward my opponent. Somehow it got flipped back to me being the bum, but hey, I’ll take it. I’ll always love when someone sees me and yells “THE BUM!!!” Also, It’s for sure “Motto of The Year 2019.”

I’d say when it comes to the looks of your competitor, they did a hell of a job making it look just like you. Did you send them a picture wearing the outfit and everything for them to copy, or did you simply give them some minor instructions on what you wanted your attire to look like?

Koby: I absolutely agree with you, not trying to be biased but I do believe my art may be the most realistic in the game. When I sent my sample photos in, I was honestly embarrassed, I just thought I looked so goofy. I was doing that exact pose, had on a basketball jersey (Kobe #8) and just told Steve I want red on black, SRG #24. I’ve thrown up a “Too Sweet” in almost any picture I’ve took for a few years now, so that was a must. It also fit with the “if you can’t beat me” motto. The logo on my hat is something we can dive into another time, and you’ll see the importance of it inside the game soon. Nunoh did a incredible job on it.

Your stat breakdown on your character is one that I don’t remember seeing all that often. Most characters with a high agility, end up having a lower Grapple. Was there any particular reasons that you chose the stat breakdown you chose?

Koby: Outside of starter boxes, my first few characters that I bought and played had 10 agility. Shout out to Phantasm and Kid Fresh. So my eyes always lit up when I seen that green after rolling the die. It seemed to be my lucky skill too, as I rolled it quite often. Going down highest to lowest, I just sorta based it off how I am in real life. That was my plan all along, put KOBY in the game. No masked character, no total different appearance. Looking back I realized I messed up as far as having a great lineup for certain powerful cards, but that’s okay. I enjoy this game the most when I play what I like. I believe I could be more successful in this game if I picked a character with a great gimmick and stat line up, but just because I would win doesn’t mean I’d be having fun, and that’s what it’s all about.

It’s gimmick time! Your gimmick is definitely one where you could end up drawing a decent amount of cards, especially later in the game. Was that the plan all along, or was there other reasons why you chose that gimmick? Did it go through any changes during the creation process?

Koby: Oh man, gimmicks. I’ve made jokes about the reason I wear #24 on my jersey is because that final gimmick is the 24th gimmick I pitched to Steve that he didn’t shoot down. Speaking numbers, that might actually be true. Honestly I was tired of getting hit with the same card over and over because people would take it out of the discard. I also thought about late game. Either player with no deck, I “bury” a much needed card.. let’s say a kick into the corner. My opponent needs to grab their finish grapple out the discard, but doing so will make me draw the stop. Just fun situations like that I enjoy. Also, I didn’t play test my final gimmick once before submitting it. I didn’t use that gimmick until I actually had my official card set in hand…oops.

Alright, let’s move onto your finishers. All three seem to be pretty good when it comes to finishing a match, but the “Bum Breaker” seems to be the most lethal of them all considering how much your lower stats are boosted, giving you almost an automatic win as the crowd meter goes up. What was your thought process was creating each of the finishes?

Koby: My finishers….thanks Steve. He actually did the text for all 3 finishers. I was stumped and burned out of thinking about supershow when it came time for that because of how many gimmicks I had to think of before one went through. “Bum Breaker” is VERY important to me, as strike is usually all I roll on finish rolls…ask Matt Nelan about our supershow match. I never rolled strike until I got my own character.

So tell me, what was it like getting to work with the SRG Boss? Everyone I’ve talked to thus far has had only positive things to say about it, but what was your personal experience like working with him?

Koby: Steve is great and treats me like a brother…without the bickering. Very helpful, friendly, and always down to discuss ideas and creations. Some rulings he has make me tilt and scratch my head, but he is the boss so I trust his word. Nothing but love and respect for that guy and everything he’s done. He made sure I had a great character, and not one that would sit in your binder.

Purchasing a character to be created in this game is definitely a large investment. Do you feel personally that it was well worth the money spent on having the character created? Would you do it again in the future?

Koby: 100%. I had my doubts, especially paying in March and seeing nothing of it until middle of May and June. As soon as I rolled up to the grand gathering and got plenty of competitors and even more cards, I knew for sure it was worth it. Then to be in a card game is special. Most of my free time is spent playing this game, and it’s always cool to tell your friends you’re in a card game. As for doing it in the future, as long as the price stays the same I’ll most likely purchase it again during next years Kickstarter.

If you were making a deck for your competitor, what certain cards would you want to incorporate to get the best use out of the character?

Koby: I’m constantly switching up and trying new things. I believe defense wins games in anything, so I switched out my ankle lock. “Ankle Lock” is really good when you play “Bum Breaker.” +4 to 5 skill and +2 to your lowest skill, ankle lock makes you have two lowest skills(7) bumping them to two 9’s. Any deck needs recursion, so I run said type cards in all slots I can usually besides the call to crowd and strength in numbers slots. “Crane Kick” is a must, as long as you have champion of Kickstarter and your opponent doesn’t bump the technique down one. I’ve tried running cards that make me bury cards in my opponents discard (yes that triggers gimmick) but it wasn’t as helpful as I thought. I’ll let my opponent trigger my gimmick for me.

If you have any advice for other community members who want to create a competitor in the future, we’d like to hear it.

Koby: Make a character you know you’d enjoy playing. If you’re not having fun, why are you playing? If you’re focused on winning, focus on that stat line and study the catalogue of cards on the website very carefully. Do your homework. Don’t over boost on your finishers, boost the low stats so you won’t roll a 7 on crowd meter 2.

Do you have any other character ideas in the future that you’d like to bring to this awesome game?

Koby: Character wise? Not really. I did ask Steve if we could make Captain Insano, to his reply of “No”. “Even if he shows no mercy?” I asked, he left me on read. I do have gimmick ideas that would introduce new but not overpowered or too game changing mechanics. Change is inevitable for anything so when Steve is ready to do that gimmick I’ll be here waiting.

One bonus question, what was the thought process when you came up with the “Mrs. Bum” card. I know it was somewhat of a present, but what sort of thought went into the creation of what the entrance card actually does?

Koby: “Mrs. Bum” is actually a hilarious name to me. If Steve and John didn’t call her that I don’t think I would’ve let that name stick for her sake. She doesn’t mind it though. Anyways, originally I wanted to make her a character, but it was such short notice to Steve. There was no way it would’ve been finished in time. Luckily Steve is awesome and he said yes when I asked about a entrance card. I knew Mrs. Bum would just be happy she was on a card, and carefree about the text so I had to make it special. Originally it was “Shuffle Card #8 and #24 from discard into deck” (Kobe Bryant numbers, and Koby The Kid’s) but after sitting with South Belle at GenCon she told me it had to be special. Our anniversary is August 11th, or 8/11. Hence the “Shuffle #8 and #11.”

Once again, I’d like to thank you for joining me for this interview Koby, and if there’s anyone you’d like to shout out, or anything you’d like to plug, now is your time, as the floor is yours.

Koby: Thanks for the interview, I really enjoyed this. I want to thank Michael Bailey for demoing me and my brother, Backpack Man the game a year ago. The Kid and Backpack Man should have cards coming out soon, be on the lookout for that. I would like to thank the crew down at Comic Book World. Kirk Polka, Jacob Maynard, and Shane Strickland for always teaching me new things and making me the player I am today. Jacob is incredible with the card and rule knowledge. Shout out to all the friendly people in the community, it’s like a second family. And finally, to The Kid’s worst enemy, Eddy Fury. For always bringing the heat and disses, as it’s always a good time beefing with him. He’s a tough opponent on the microphone and the play field. Much love from The Kid.