2018 called, it wants its Val deck back (2*,5,8 @ UK Nats)

Nemamiah 3938

Runner decks, huh.

It's unusual to come out of Worlds, with all the streams, data and decklists available, and still not have a clue what to play at an event a month later. We flailed around with a wide range of runners, but it feels like a pick your poison meta on that side and we couldn't find anything with even close to good coverage across the board.

Win rate data from Worlds suggested that Hoshiko had performed quite badly and that any deck playing Deep Dive was probably the way to go, but by then we'd stumbled in to a monstrous iteration of Pinsel's Kanehl R+ that we couldn't beat with anything, but felt particularly bad to play against with Shaper or Criminal, so by the time we packed up for Sheffield we were largely back to square one.

The night before the team event we sat and made this at the communal table, using Sokka's list as the baseline. We felt confident that R+ was the best corp and that plenty of others would think the same, and that deck essentially wins by forcing you to have access to a lot of credits at every stage of the game and punishing you mercilessly if you don't.

To that end, we trimmed the more limited but quick economy and draw cards like Moshing and Strike Fund in exchange for Liberated Accounts and Earthrise Hotel. Career Fair then makes those cards much easier to play early and smooths out a lot of draws; you can't afford to get your high value resources stuck in hand while you're challenging the board or every corp will pull away from you in the mid game. We went up to three Fermenter, which is important to see early because it gives you a second burst of credits when your initial econ inevitably falters, and then swapped the Leech for an Ice Carver to ease the memory burden and the vulnerability to Mavirus. Miss Bones is the best and only tech card that matters against R+, so the killer suite got compromised in order to fit the second one in.

The deck did well at the team event and we still hadn't found anything better, so most of us ended up playing this by default for the main event. Friday night and Saturday morning were spent on a contentious argument about multi access; in the end we cut a Raindrops to get the second Twinning back in and extremely reluctantly gave up on finding a spot for the third Bankhar that we all desperately wanted but were unwilling to give up any economy or draw cards to fit in.

John had already gone to bed by this point after proposing cutting DJ Fenris and Carmen for Wake Implant and Num; after calmly and rationally discussing why that was wrong in the morning he couldn't be bothered to change back and was promptly and roundly humiliated by merely finishing 2nd and being the highest finisher on this deck. He is appropriately contrite and has agreed never to do anything similar again, I can only assume.

How good this deck is is an interesting question that I don't really know the answer to. It felt notably smoother than most other runner decks we tried and gives you plenty of play in most matchups, but as mentioned at the top you have to pick what you're focusing on and what you're accepting that you'll struggle against in this meta, and for this deck you're signing off on being notably down against PD and only slightly iffy against Ob. You're okay against R+ unless they blast you with a great start, and the eternal appeal of Hoshiko is that you're good against all sorts of oddball stuff in Swiss.

Having said that, the data we looked at beforehand and the results from this event strongly suggest that Deep Dive Lat was the correct deck to take, so I guess just play that instead of this.

Huge thanks and affection as always to everyone in the UK scene for making this the absolute best weekend of my year every time it comes round, and especially to Paul for sacrificing so much to make this an absolutely flawless event in every way.

A special shout out to QtM (EDIT: and QEH, with my embarrassed apologies for not realising you were a different group!) for highlighting and showcasing everything that is so good about the Netrunner community, and for having had an absurd amount of impact on this year's tournament scene both in results and finding endlessly inventive lists. I'm sorry I didn't speak to more of you at the event, but talking to new people is my Everest. I will concede that Mulch is good actually.

And as always my unending love for my extended Netrunner friends and family; you all know who you are and I'm unutterably grateful that I never have to find out what I'd do without you.

13 Nov 2023 jan tuno


13 Nov 2023 shanodin

Much love Chris. It's such a joy to see you (and others) on my annual sojourn to Sheffield.

13 Nov 2023 Ollie

Very sensible set of 45 cards.

14 Nov 2023 thebigunit3000

Almost too sensible, in fact

14 Nov 2023 Nemamiah

Nothing sensible about two Bankhar

15 Nov 2023 Tamijo

Am I the only one who gets a headache whenever they draw an opening hand with these reg Hoshiko decks? I do not know how you play this for 7 rounds and then a cut.

Was good to see you, however briefly. Runners are so bad, just play mulch.