King of Catan

Behind the Hexes - raiyanar

For this Behind the Hexes, we’re taking a look at one of the most successful players of the KoC history (especially in Cities and Knights). Raiyanar from the Catan pro player hub Toronto has been a centerpiece of this community by always being friendly- but is that real, or does she just want us to trade with her?

IGN: raiyanar

Real Name: Raiyana, but I go by Raina

Age: “One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything.” ― Oscar Wilde

Home/Country: I was born in Bangladesh. I was raised in and am currently living in Canada. Whenever I can, I would travel to Texas, USA where my sister lives. My home is wherever my family is.

Catan player since: Casual player since 2013, but have now been addicted since March 2020.

Most notable achievements

  • The Settlers Series (TSS) winner
  • 3 x KoC C&K champ

With these achievements she is on everyone’s list as a player to watch out for in a tournament. By using unusual play styles, she often claims a surprise win no one sees coming. European players know raiyanar as the person who plays Catan during her lunch time, and for the Americans she can carry you through a Catan night.

Why are you called raiyanar? What is the story behind that?

This username is based on my name and it has a beautiful meaning. Raiyana is an Arabic or Muslim female name for “a door in Heaven”. Now, who wouldn’t want to knock on Heaven’s door?

How did you hear about KoC and when and why did you join?

I was in discord looking for Catan servers and I came across KoC during the start of the pandemic. It helped me stay home and fed my Catan addiction.

Is there a fun fact about yourself which you would like to share with the community?

I have been professionally trained in Indian classical dancing since I was 8 years old. I transitioned to ballroom dancing at age 16. My last stage performance was in 2012 and that was the end of my dancing career. Right now, I am a couch potato playing video games.

Are you part of a clan or do you have a sponsor?

I am a part of the RageQuitters (shout out to Wowza, Takeshi and Gilliant). Thank you to BadMat, for sponsoring me at TSS.

Who is your favorite KoC player?

I am my own favourite, but if I must choose someone else, then Takeshi for base and Trissie for C&K. He is a beast at C&K. I also want to mention that Young Naijah does magic!

Who is the player you are most scared of in KoC?

If you are playing Catan with me, then I am scared of you. Everyone is a threat and everyone has a playstyle! I have a tag for almost every player that I have played with:

  • Zurules: Steals your metro in C&K
  • Starshine: He is downplaying his cards and probably leading
  • Jwarrior: Dominates the game 
  • Vrej: makes 843 843 work 
  • Shin: Will always win 
  • Cool_kp: watch out for that mono 
  • JollyBaker: Sneaky, keep an eye on him 
  • KayTwenty: Keep all eyes on him and what cards and trades he is doing 
  • Dylighted: If you are at 9 points, then pull for it

What is your favorite resource and why?

I love ore! It is my favourite resource, because you need 3 of them to make a city. In C&K, I love paper. The Aqueduct is the best! Also ore and paper reminds me of rock, paper and scissors!

What is your advice for Catan novices?

Have a plan when placing your placements, and don’t be afraid to change your plans mid-game. Please block the person that is currently leading in the game and not the player with a resource that you are looking for. Talk to them and ask to trade instead. As for trading, think of what the trade is giving them versus what you are getting. To keep things simple, please think about your placements. 

You have met with people from KoC in real life. With who and how did it come to that?

I am friends with Austin and Bucky, who I met through KoC. We usually go for walks around Toronto, Ontario, Canada and drink bubble tea. 

Lisa, Starshine, Bucky and I played a C&K game where Bucky traded one sheep to Starshine to save his city. That trade did nothing for Bucky, however Starshine dominated that game only after that trade. Later that evening, Bucky and I met for the first time at a park and I asked him “Bucky, why did you trade the sheep with Starshine?” After that, Bucky and I are soul mates as that sheep bonded us for life. 

During the early pandemic, Austin, my ex, and I met at a coffee shop and then we went to a makeup store where you can make customized lipstick. It was Austin’s first time going into a makeup store. After that, we went for a long walk around the park and spent the entire afternoon just talking. My first impression of Austin was, “Wow this guy works out! Such big arms!” Weeks later, Austin and I also had a group video conference with Gilliant, Sarp and wowza. That was a great afternoon. 

In December, I have travel plans to visit and meet Trissie. I plan to beat him in real-life Catan.

How was it for you to win the greatest prize pools of Online Catan?

Winning games feels awesome!!! However, just winning a few competitions isn’t enough, I want to win more and prove myself. There’s so much left for me to learn in the world of Catan. I know MoTwo got  $1000 USD for a Seafarers competition. I still haven’t reached that level yet.

Did you tell someone?

Everyone in my world! My family is super proud, especially my niece and nephew. However, my dad thinks that I gamble online, and my mom says that it is time for me to retire to give other “kids” an opportunity to win.

How did you become so good at C&K?

Every game is a learning experience whether you win or lose. After every game, I think about what moves I made and what worked for me and what didn’t. I ask myself, “what could I have done differently?” Honestly, I think that I play too much Catan. If I am not improving after investing so many hours, then I should give up on playing Catan.

Any tips for anyone trying to improve at C&K? Do you have a favorite C&K tactic?

In my opinion, C&K is the best expansion. You have to constantly think of placements, and I find that it is the most important part of the game. My favourite C&K tactic is making everyone lose their cities mid-game. It brings joy to my evil heart.

What are the tournaments you are looking the most forward to? Have you been invited for a possible TSS 2 or any other tournaments?

Any C&K tournaments where I can win. KoC is hosting its next tournament on November 6th 2021 and C&K is hosting their tournament on November 20th 2021. Please sign up if you are interested and haven’t done so already.

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