Pincer Movement 3 - 40th and UNDEFEATED at Worlds 2018

paulyg 1115

This is the list I took to worlds 2018. It took me into day 2 and was undefeated across both days. You can see me playing against Timmy Wong on stream here.

This is largely a refinement of my original Pincer Movement list that I played throughout regionals, though obviously there was a tiny issue with the new MWL coming out and grounding Skorpios' hunter seekers. Skorp had done pretty badly for me at nationals, Trojan horse seemed like a mediocre replacement for Hunter Seeker and I started looking into other win cons for the deck (mostly variants of tag n bag). Then it started to become clear that shaper (and Hayley in particular) was looking strong under the new MWL with Clone Chip back on the table and I started to wonder if I should switch to a different corp entirely. Dark times, indeed, I'm sure you'll agree.

But there was a glimmer of hope. MaxX was also looking strong, and more top players seemed to be switching to her. Criminal wasn't looking too prevalent. Shapers were not packing Sac Cons. And, damnit, I know how to play Skorp!

In case you're interested, here's how good your matchups are against the various factions from best to worst:

  • MaxX
  • Other anarchs
  • Shapers without sac cons
  • Criminal
  • A box of insects who don't want to play Netrunner but instead eat your face
  • Shapers with sac cons

Spurred on by the knowledge that two other UK players were also planning on Skorping, I set about refining the basic decklist and spent Thursday night at the "Skorp table" in team UK HQ along with Alex and Steff. The HHN/HPT plan seemed like a distraction and was bad against shaper so I removed that again. We spent our time productively, looking through all the Weyland ice and determining it was all terrible. I campaigned hard for the Best Defense include, as there are some great targets for it against Shaper and it helps a bit against Liza who mostly wrecks you. Steff and I ended up with lists that had about 4 cards difference whilst Alex took his monstrous "Daddy Skorp" 49-card deck to enormous success, making the top 16.

The main changes from my regionals list are:

  • Standoff is a lot less good without Hunter Seeker and is a Turntable risk, so cut
  • Added a Crisium (Steff went with a Cyberdex which is also good) as you can be vulnerable to early indexing and it also helps on HQ against crim
  • I got rid of the HPT as I wasn't expecting much Liza (and there's no proactive tagging) though we did discuss this a bit
  • 2 Horse instead of 3 Hunter Seeker (it's not worth running 3x)
  • Way more money to threaten the Trojan horse
  • A Consulting Visit to help fetch the Ark Lockdown, Best Defense or Trojan Horse at the right time
  • I found myself scrabbling for ice too much at nats, so went up to 14 pieces and ended up going back to basics on what I took. Without Standoffs, 3 Archers is too many in my opinion. Colossus is good because it's not vulnerable to d4 at its base strength. Hortum is a bit more expensive than Enigma for Shapers and can also (eventually) fend off the turtle.

My basic plan varied a bit by matchup, but was essentially to rush behind gear-checks, money up when I had the chance and slow my opponent down with some rig-shooting when I got the chance. Against criminal you have to go a bit slower and shore up centrals, against shaper you need to bait an early breaker that you can surprise Horse (taking out Engolo is ideal).

As it turned out, I played against 100% anarch across both days. Wonderful! There were some tight games, to be sure, but I kept to my plan and it worked perfectly.

Big thanks to all my opponents for great games, to team UK (those who travelled and those who were back home) for all the amazing support and particularly to Alex and Steff for giving me belief that Skorp could do well at worlds.

13 Sep 2018 knails

43 Good cards and a Battlement. Well played Pauly.

13 Sep 2018 CodeMarvelous

It was wild to watch this on stream. The room was erupting with cheers when you were RFGing breakers against Timmy

16 Sep 2018 laneford