Damn you Director Haas! ( 7 - 1 at Worlds )

sruman 120

First I should explain the name. It is temping to spin some Netrunner Fan-fic involving Val's endless quest to take revenge on the mother who abandoned her to the cruel streets of new Angeles ... or just the corp that sold her a crappy Adonis. But I renamed the deck this because my Food Coats went 2-6, thus robbing Cowboy Val of any sort of notable finish. It is a fairly standard "Good stuff" Val list. A description I think is now very appropriate, given the visible relief I saw on some opponents faces when I played desperado or clone chip and not fall guy. More accurately, it could be described as "Toronto Val" a deck shell many of the people from Toronto brought and was perfected by Dien Tran (who was 3rd after swiss). My contribution was a slavish dedication to including memstrips until it just looked normal to everyone and made its way into other builds. The others migrated to Turntable but I couldn't give up my criminal-wannabe ways and stuck to Desperado. It's an undeniably good console and turns sucker farming into big-agra. But, most importantly, as a player, I need it as an incentive to run. I've always loved control decks and building big rigs so a major weakness in my runner play style is passivity. Desperado is like a little bribe for me to play better.

Wins were against 2 NEH Fastro, 2 Haarp, 1 Blue Sun, 1 Weyland BABW, and 1 Sync. Loss was to HB FoodCoats piloted by UK Zach who ended up 15th after the Swiss. Clot recursion shutdown NEH and Sync pretty handily. I've had NEH players tell me clot is no big deal and, frankly, they're totally nuts. Val came back from 2 early astros scored with one token and a rezzed san-san she never bothered to trash to win 7-4. Pre clot that was a card scooping situation. Clot also a factor in the Haarp games, but it was really the 2 plascretes and 2 IHW that won those ones. I rarely can win against Haarp without going tag-me (and then you go super tag-me, was up to 21 tags in one game) but once you do with a plascrete down and likely IHW in hand, it's open season on centrals. The Blue Sun game was super close and I timed won on a yolo R&D run on last turn due to time. However, stimhack was a major factor in that one, denying the first oversight AI.

It's only a few cards off the deck I played at regionals so I probably won't change it much if I drag it out again, but a few things I'd consider:

  • 2nd D4v1d. With HB Foodcoats everywhere and Archangel popular, high-strength ice is more and more common. With CVS hitting the bin pretty quick now-a-days you need an answer

  • 2nd stimhack. With SMC and peddler, stimhack's even better than it's always been. Stimhacking to magically conjure a liberated, corroder, and parasite off a peddler, smc, and clone chip makes you feel like you can win any game.

  • Taking out Faust. My toronto meta-mates are sick of me ranting and raving about how over-powered Faust is ( I really think allowing the easy exchange of one resource-type in a game for another at a 2:1 ratio is a big design mistake ). I mean, just compare it to previous AI breakers ... wait, I'm doing it again, I'll stop. Therefore, although Faust is a very strong (coughop) card, I felt dirty every time I saw it in my hand and I'm sure I avoided installing and using it even though I should have. I have no other answer to Lotus Field so not sure what I would replace it with though.

  • 2nd Kati. Maybe cut 1 liberated for it, but I've been back and forth on that change many times.

  • 3 datasuckers and 2 parasites. Another thing I've flipped-flopped on but not seeing suckers early can really limited opportunities for early aggression.

Thanks to all my friendly, fantastic opponents at worlds (sorry about that last turn top-deck Ran, you deserved that one). Comments and questions welcome.

11 Nov 2015 JamesG

Glad to see that Desperado Val performed so well in swiss Speaking of faust, the more I play it the more I find myself discarding valuable cards. I would cut it along with the single SMC for one ATMAN and a clot. So you can improve the fastro matchup and any matchup in which you need atman or a permanent solution for >str ice.

Also, I see no dirty laundry. I usually play it instead of liberated ( actually I go back and forth) because Liberated is too click intensive and too steep to install unlessi it's on peddler with a desperado already on the board. What's your opinion on Liberated vs Laundry?

Other than that it's an amazing deck

11 Nov 2015 sruman

@JamesG Hi James. I assume this is "James Grey" whose Val has ran over me several times on Ocgtn. Atman is a staple of the other Toronto builds and is tempting, I just find the 7 install cost to be hard to recover in comparison to just using the fixed breakers and suckers. I also find memory can be tricky with the breakers, sucker support, and parasiting so the Atman forced me to trash programs I'd rather not. The extra clot is a good idea and I was on the edge of including it the night before but couldn't decide on what to cut so I gave up. Turn 1 SMC seemed to turn out to be even worse for NEH's than 1 turn 1 clot. For that reason, I don't think I could cut the SMC since previous to it's inclusion the majority of the deck's losses were to "anarch problems" -- corps would just rush out behind too kinds of etr ice and I couldn't find the right breaker. Honestly, if I went the atman route, I would probably drop desperado ... a tragedy.

I switched up the mix of liberated, daily casts, and dirty laundry a few times over the months. Dirty Laundry is a great card in this deck and you wouldn't be wrong for switching it in. Ultimately I went 3xliberated for 3 reasons -- a) I wanted to keep events down for peddler (I used to have 3), b) with CVS seemingly hitting archives earlier and earlier these days, DL was sometimes coming up with no real place to burst a bit of money usefully, and c) against some corps (food-coats mostly) I found I was a bit too poor to effectively contest and figured the more guaranteed (if slower) credits were better.

30 Dec 2015 Shmeguy

So obviously i'm in no position to doubt the deck seeing as it performed so well at worlds (congrats man!) , but only 2x IHW seems really insufficient in a 50 card deck doesn't it? There's plascrete to supplement it, but coming from a Haarpsichord player seeing only 2 IHW makes me very happy, any reason for this?

30 Dec 2015 sruman

The # of IHW is something I did go back and forth on a few times with this deck. I had 3 in awhile but I, like many, was convinced that Convenience Shop was going to be everywhere at Worlds. I went with 2 plascretes to combat that but deck space was tight so one of the IHW was cut, for the very minor reason is was an event and I hate the dreaded 3-event peddler :) It worked out against Haarp as those match-ups were fairly straight-forward knowing my dmg protection would appear fairly soon and be renewable. With 4 dmg protection cards and wyldcakes and peddlers you're favored to find it before Haarp scores the 2 agendas and finds the 24/7 I find.

In retrospect, I think 3 IHW and 1 plascrete is the right call as IHW is less of a dead card in the majority of games.

30 Dec 2015 Shmeguy

Fair. I guess IHW is more of a 3 of in decks running NRE, and traffic accident still counters it fairly well.