This was my rush, rez and kill corp deck at the Malmö Startup CO. It went 3-1 during the day and ended up in 1st place. My runner deck was 2-axis Quetzal.
I was struggling to get inspired by the current Startup format, but didn't want to miss out the opportunity to play in-person Netrunner with a group of nice folks at the Malmö Startup CO.
Playing ICE didn't feel very useful with Boat and Turbine seemingly everywhere. With Botulus and Slap Vandal also being widely played, rushing or scoring behind ICE seemed almost impossible. Asset spammy kill decks with little or no ICE seemed like a good answer, but after a few games with them I quickly realized that I didn't enjoy playing them even if I won and my opponents didn't seem to have a good time playing against them either. After a good chat with @kagolslab, I concluded that I play this game mainly to have a fun social gaming experience together with my opponent and should feel responsible also for their experience. So I ditched the horizontal kill decks, decided to follow the Standard ban list (something I think Startup really needs) and built this one.
After a few test games, it proved to be more interactive and allowed the opponent to "play their deck more" for a lack of a better word, while having a decent chance to win games. I felt good about it and decided to bring it to the tournament.
GAME PLAN A (secretly plan B)
Rush as hard as possible with the Built to Last ID and tempo-positive agendas and force the runner to interact. Magnet, Envelopment and Archer are a few rare pieces of ICE that you can actually rush behind and be protected, but usually after about 5-6 turns, they also get blanked by the Boat & Turbine rigs unless the runner gets a bad draw.
Scoring a Hostile Takeover on a Tucana to gain 7 credits and then finding and rezzing an Archer for 1 credit, immediately forfeiting the Hostile to protect another bigger agenda feels surprisingly good. I need to try that with Standoff in Standard.
The rushing plan is rarely enough for the win, but asks the question "can you find your Boat quickly enough" and acts as a good ruse for plan B.
GAME PLAN B (secretly plan A)
Plan B is to flatline the runner with M.A.D.-End of the Line / Mindscaping. While rushing, get a bunch of ICE rezzed with Tucana and Send a Message whether the runner manages to stop the rush or not. Getting ~6 ICE rezzed turns on plan B with M.A.D. and the forced rezzing is also good against Hermes.
GAME PLAN C
Ping kill. The early rush can cause the opponent to overextend and not be able to clear the tag from Ping. Tucana also has a nice interaction with it, allowing you to fetch Ping after the agenda has been stolen and rez Ping on the same server and give the runner a tag. That can open up kill opportunities with End of the Line and Mindscaping.
WHY NO SPIN DOCTOR?
I feel like I have to comment on this one since most corps seem to play it. I know it's a good card and works well in many decks, but I also think it's overrated. This is a rush deck - I don't have time to spin cards around and recur them. I'd rather use 3 card slots and 3 influence for cards that feed more directly into my game plan. If I draw an agenda, I want to try to score it. I need more ICE for that. Mindscaping does a better job at giving tempo & econ, helps with the draw order, can't be easily trashed from centrals and supports the plan B that's plan A.
This deck faced 3x Boat Padma and one Hermes Tao during the day. Tao and two Padmas were flatlined after they managed to get their rig up and stop the rush, proving that rushing out really seems impossible in Startup right now. One Padma managed to Conduit dig out the win from R&D before the MAD trigger could be pulled.
I feel the irony that after having a moral struggle to build a "fair" deck for the tournament, I ended up murdering three runners for the win. My consolation is that at least agendas were scored the old-fashioned way behind end the run ICE, the runner got to install their cards and break ICE to steal agendas, before the board blew up and they were shot in the face. The games were closely contested and the turns after M.A.D. blowouts were intense while the runner was trying to find the winning agendas. I needed luck to win those games and this time it was on my side.
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