Hyperdriver Online (4-3 American Continentals)

Quacktapus 287

Despite being a long-time Shaper fan, I'd never played Hayley seriously before I started practicing for Continentals. I prefer runners like Kit and Kabonesa who can (at least theoretically) threaten the remote on turn one. Aesop's/ProCo looked too slow and fiddly, like all the worst Shaper stereotypes. And the payoff for managing all your install triggers is... three credits per turn? Just Wu out three Rezeki! Same dif!

But since she's rotating soon, I figured I should give her a shot.

After playing Hayley for the last month I can confirm that there are some decks, like The Outfit, that Hayley is simply too slow to beat reliably. But there's fewer of them than I expected, because I underestimated how quickly you can set up when you're chaining Hyperdriver turns together.

Hyperdriver Online

My 4-3 record shows I'm no Hayley expert. But if you're looking to pick up Hayley for the first time, here's my advice.

1: ProCo Aggressively

If you're old hat at Hayley, you already know this.

Hayley and ProCo are a match made in heaven. Hayley saves you a click each turn you can use her ability, and ProCo turns those clicks into more money and installables. Your goal in the early game is to click ProCo as many times as you possibly can.

Overdraw like crazy. Discard any silver bullets you don't need and your breakers--you can get those later with Simulchip. If you're doing it right, you won't even notice you don't have any standard draw effects like Diesel or Earthrise. The dream is to pop Hyperdriver, get six credits and cards including another Hyperdriver, install it alongside Harbinger, and do it all again next turn.

2: Know When You're the Beatdown

This concept comes from a classic MTG article. In any matchup, you need to know whether your goal is to force the late game, or to end the game before that point arrives.

Between Rezeki and Aesop's, you are heavily favored once you can get the Shaper lock going. Therefore, your job is to set up your money and breakers as fast as possible. Most of the time. Hard-core glacier decks like GameNET, SSO Industries, Blue Sun and Earth Station have so much huge, taxing ICE that they can even grind you through your drip-5 economy in the late game.

Against them, your only choice is to run early and get lucky. In the second round of the tournament my GameNet opponent mulliganed and didn't ICE HQ or R&D, so I spent all four clicks running centrals and nabbed Bellona and False Lead. That's the only way I can win that matchup 😅.

3: Lock the Remote, Then Run HQ

It took me way too long to learn this, but when you're Shaper, remote pressure is HQ pressure.

Anarch and Criminal are full of in-faction tricks that force the Corp to spread their ICE over all central servers, like Diversion of Funds, Aumakua, Wanton Destruction, Mining Accident, Sneakdoor Beta and Rebirthing into Omar. Shaper has... basically nothing. Which means if you aren't careful, the Corp can freely stack all their ICE on the remote and R&D. By the end of the game, you'll have spent 16 credits running over and over through a Gold Farmer the Corp spent three credits to rez. That's an economic exchange that no amount of drip can overcome.

HOWEVER. The whole point of locking the remote (which Shapers are really good at) is that it forces the Corp to hold agendas in HQ. Suddenly, HQ runs are far more likely to result in steals, and the Corp has to ICE up HQ to stop you from raiding their hand. Voila! In-faction HQ pressure.

So lock the remote as quickly as possible, watch your opponent's draws, and then run HQ. Worst case, you force them to rez ICE on a server you don't run very often. Best case, you force the rez and get an agenda anyway.

The Actual Matches

Round 1: L Vs. Sportsmetal
This wasn't Hayley's fault! I messed up a Hayley trigger that would have let me get Clot out to prevent the last Project Vitruvius from being fast-advanced 😭

Round 2: W Vs. GameNET
Ran centrals early, got 4 lucky points. After that, I just played a normal game until I got another lucky hit off R&D.

Round 3: W Vs. SSO
Another lucky win against a bad matchup. SSO got the SSO start and scored a Hollywood Renovation , but when they went to score the second, I used two Simulchips to get Engolo and Paperclip out clicklessly for just three credits, which meant I had exactly enough credits to steal. My opponent then missplayed by trying to score Hostile Takeover while I was threatening Clot with my third Simulchip, and I was up to 4 points. Once the remote became truly unassailable, I ran HQ with just an Ice Wall on it and pulled the last agenda.

The Moral: Play three Simulchips and always run HQ.

Round 4: L Vs. The Outfit
I was feeling pretty giddy after I swept my opponent in round 3, but Sokka234 brought me back to reality. Hunting Grounds is supposed to prevent Hayley from ending a turn tagged by Data Raven. Heartbeat is supposed to prevent Hayley from dying to Punitive Counterstrike after stealing City Works Project. I couldn't draw either of those cards in time, so I got shot in the face.

The Fan Site package is meant to grab your tech cards when your opponent tries to rush out. But if they rush fast enough, some decks can get to game point before you install your first Fan Site 😬

Round 5: W Vs. Argus
My opponent flooded and had a slow start, while I got the dream of three Hyperdriver turns back-to-back. After that I just locked R&D, stole 6 points, and went back to HQ for the win.

That order I just described shows there were agendas in HQ before I locked R&D, and if I'd run there sooner, I could have won sooner and more safely. Once again: run HQ.

Round 6: W Vs. Titan
CLOT. It's the number 1 reason (the only reason?) to play Shaper over any other faction right now. Self-modifying Code , Simulchip and Artist Colony mean you can grab Clot an instant speed multiple times per game. Even if they have Cyberdex Virus Suite one of those times, they probably won't the next.

I didn't see Cyberdex this game, but the point still stands. Hayley is highly favored against most forms of fast advance. As long as you manage your triggers...

Round 7: L Vs. GameNet
I tried running centrals before GameNet could get their ICE up, but no dice. The ensuing glacier matchup went exactly as GameNet hopes.

Thank you so much to my opponents and the entire NISEI team. A community like Netrunner's doesn't occur by accident. It's the result of countless people working to build a place where anyone can show up, feel welcome, and have fun moving cardboard around (or digital aproximations). In your own ways, you're building a little corner of the just, loving world we all dream about. I'm honored I get to hang out in it.