This was my adapt-to-the-opponent runner deck at the Malmö Startup CO. It went 4-0 during the day and ended up in 1st place. My corp deck was Ruse Rush BTL.
Just like with my corp deckbuilding, I was struggling to get inspired by the current Startup format for runners, but didn't want to miss out the opportunity to play my favourite game in-person with a group of nice folks at the Malmö Startup CO.
Because ICE didn't seem to do much with Boat, Turbine, Botulus and Slap Vandal everywhere, lot of corps seemed to go more horizontal and play very little ICE. I'm not a fan of playing against that playstyle or playing it myself, so I toyed around with runner decks that largely ignore the remote spam nonsense and focus on winning from centrals with Deep Dive and big multiaccess runs. Even though I won some games that way, I never felt good about it. I felt like I was playing solitaire and not really interacting with my opponent. As mentioned in my corp deck write-up, I came to the conclusion that fun social gaming experience with my opponent is the reason why I play this game and ditched the one-dimensional central assault decks. I also decided to follow the Standard ban list (something I think Startup really needs) and built this one as a more interactive runner deck.
After a few test games where I felt like I could adapt to challenge asset spam decks, as well as break through glaciers with real breakers, I felt good about the deck and decided to bring it to the tournament.
The idea is to mulligan for draw & economy, favouring starting hands with Prepaid VoicePADs for drip econ that also fuels The Twinning. Make money and draw cards for the first couple of turns and see what the corp is up to. Observe if the game is likely to be played more on the horizontal or vertical axis, and then start adapting to it.
There is a fair bit of setup needed, but a key card that does a lot of work is The Price. It helps find and install the right cards while triggering any Steelskins on Strike Funds it hits. Quetzal also helps speed setup since most good barriers have 1 sub right now (Tatu-Bola, Ablative Barrier, Ping etc.) so you can downprioritise finding Cleaver and challenge rushing sooner. There is good redundancy of cards so don't worry about overdrawing, discarding or trashing cards with The Price to find the right tools. Retrieval Run helps bring them back. Prepaid Retrieval Run Femme always feels good and brings back old memories.
If the opponent plays more this way, find your Scrubbers, Pennyshaver and Hannah the Wheels to challenge the board state. Try to get The Twinning installed and charge it with Scrubbers and Prepaids, so you have an option to pivot to centrals to close out the game.
If the opponent plays this way, find:
1) Buzzsaw and Mimic or Femme
2) Pennyshaver, Turbine and/or Ice Carver
3) Cleaver (Quetzal is your barrier breaker while finding this to speed up setup).
This rig allows challenging most servers very efficiently while getting money back with Pennyshaver. Some SkunkVoid remotes can eventually keep you out, so try to install The Twinning at some point and charge it with Prepaids or a sneaky Scrubber so that you can pivot to multiaccessing centrals with your efficient rig. They can't maintain SkunkVoid everywhere.
WHAT ABOUT KILL DECKS?
Steelskin has saved me from many lethal situations and Strike Fund is a useful hit point. Having multiple copies of each axis building block helps taking damage and not end up getting locked out because key cards were lost to damage. This deck feels a bit like an old Nokia mobile phone - it can take quite a bit of damage and still keep operating :)
I faced Arg+ Reality Plus, Architects of Tomorrow glacier, Jinteki PE net damage and Restoring Humanity goblin cave during the tournament. I really enjoyed all these different corp challenges and was happy to see the deck was able to adapt to them, allowing me to win all four games. It was exactly the kind of highly interactive Netrunner I was hoping for.
Big shoutout to Gustav for organising the tournament and introducing new players to Netrunner over the weekend, even playing teaching games on the side tables while running the tournament. Thanks also to all the players during the day for the fun and exciting games.
Thanks for reading and Always Be Running!
4 Sep 2023 SciCat
4 Sep 2023 DoubleK