Angels on Strike 😇 3-0 @ Wizard's Chest Startup CO H1 '24

lukifer 1214

Remember MaxX? She's back, in Corp form

This list went undefeated in the Denver Startup CO for H1 2024, leading to a 2nd place finish.

IMO, it's pretty dialed-in, and it's a blast (lol) to pilot 💥 (This format has very few answers to Punitive kill; what're you gonna do, put T400 in your deck?!)

Trashy Trashy!

Here's the key to Nuvem's ability: Always Be Trashing. It helps you dig to find your Punitive threat, while boosting your credits for big ICE, and the final flatline.

  • Decide whether you're willing to trash an agenda before you look, so you're not staring awkwardly at a 3-pointer and giving the runner a tell.

  • Leave yourself a free (ideally two); if you don't trash the top card (usually because it's a Punitive, or an early-game agenda you can't shuffle away), you'll probably want to draw it.

  • This list nearly always wants to ice Archives, even when the runner has no threats against it, both to make it safer to mill agendas, and to recur Subliminals more often.

You Conniving, Devious, Monstrous, Despicable, Sweet Little Angel

Our sinister murder retributive justice plan is supported by:

Angelique Garza Correa and Daniela boost your kill threat, and possibly put the runner in kill range with a single Punitive, or from a 2-point steal. Don't be afraid to install these on centrals as needed. (In one hilarious circumstance, I had Angelique and Daniela on Archives with 5 agenda points; and the runner couldn't steal both without immediately dying. They opted, correctly, to steal neither.)

Charlotte Caçador is busted in this list: the steady drip of cards and credits helps set up the Punitive threat, while you patiently build an impenetrable fortess on every server. If they take the bait and run it, you get a refund and (maybe) a scoring window.

Ooh, He Card Reads Good

  • Subliminal Messaging has amazing synergy with Nuvem: effectively 3 for 0 clicks, and once your defenses are up, these will come back often. Combined with Charlotte, this effectively lets you drip for 6 per turn!

  • Crisium unfortunately doesn't deal with every central threat (esp. Mercury, whose early game is our toughest matchup), but it's clutch against Eru, Cataloguer, Conduit, and the knives.

  • If you can score a Basalt Monolith, you're on easy street: rescue a milled agenda at instant speed; recur a single Punitive to kill from a 3-point steal; or even use 2x Punitive to kill off a 2-point steal. (Don't forget, it also triggers Nuvem bucks if you use it on your turn.)

  • Business As Usual is pure gas: we have plenty of targets (including Charlotte), plus it triggers Nuvem for another 2. The occasional free mini-purge is just icing.

  • Isaac Liberdade is the only card in the list I'm meh about. It does work in some matchups, but the rez/trash ratio isn't great, and our toughest matchups often ignore strength. Roughly half the time it just bluffs as another Angelique or Crisium; could be worth going to a 3rd Crisium or another ICE instead.

Me Not Counterstike? That's Unpossible!

One key tech card to play around is Cupellation, which can pinch a Puni from hand (and if the runner is really stubborn, refuse to give it back, so you can't even recur it). Seldom shuts off the kill completely; just something to keep in mind before you, say, IAA a naked 5/3 with 2x Puni in hand.

There's a case for switching up the agenda suite to six 3-pointers and two 2-pointers. But not only are 2-pointer flatlines often feasible; we also want to keep up a scoring plan. A single-advanced agenda often looks like a Charlotte; and Slash'n'Burn on a 3/2 can be a great way to close (or is sometimes 100% safe, with a Spin or a Basalt counter).