Surplus Entropy

Cluster Fox 571


Oh my word, it's been a long time since I've had so much fun with a deck. Holy moly! It took many people by surprise and even those who knew what I was doing, it gave them a run for their money. It's fast, it's aggressive, and you have really strange advancement patterns that throw the runner for a loop. It benefits from runners playing slowly and carefully, because since it's yellow, it could always be a horrible Hard-Hitting News deck. And above all, it's just really fun to say "Neurospike".

So a quick bit of strategy. With the Azmari ability you always name Event. Once in a blue moon there may be a very specific reason to deviate from this (in one turn over the course of 4 games I called Program and got rewarded for it), but it's good practice to just inform your opponent at the start of the game that if you don't name anything it's just always Event. You can flatline the runner with a host of different combinations of Reeducation, Seamless Launch and Neurospike. Cards like Stoneship and Steelskin present a problem, but there are patterns in which you can double Neurospike. The only card that I haven't found a way to deal with is The Class Act.
If they really put down a lot of hate, you can also score out.
You want to try and protect your remote with Ping + Keegan Lane into a gearcheck they can't break, although with Boat all over the place this makes this strategy far more unreliable, but then that's what the EULAs are for.
The deck is kind of a glass cannon in a way, so if games get dragged on too long it gets quite a bit harder. This deck will also coast you through swiss but if you're sharing decklists in a cut and people know what's up, that also makes your game significantly harder.

But just remember, it's fun to say "Neurospike".

What would I change about the deck? Not much to be honest.. The 15 Minutes is debatable, this could be an Echo Chamber. the NGOs did very little for me, but I can see some games where you want to make opponents respect the Install-Advance-Advance. I also wouldn't really know what to replace them with. I considered things like Public Trail and Backroom Machinations, but you generally don't have the credits for things like that. Maybe you could slot Best Defense for Stoneships. I'd like to test NAPD Cordon just to see if that discourages runs when you've gotten your agenda to the sweet spot for the kill, but I think going forward I'll probably swap these for Special Reports just to find pieces quicker and get out of Stargatelock.

Deck went 2-2 on the day (last round was a 2-for-1 and I was runner), and should have been 3-1 if I were paying attention instead of being the dingus that I am. See below.

ROUND 1 vs M0H4WK (Kit)
Turns out Hyperbaric does work on this ice suite. Couldn't get a Ping + Keegan combo out and he installed Boat anyway. He found agendas faster than I could get set up, sometimes you just lose to RNG and it was a bit of a mirror to my runner win against him. Also in this game, I forgot Azmari actually has an ability and never called anything, so basically played with a blank ID like the muppet I am, which probably largely contributed to this loss. My head was too full with setting up the tournament and TO'ing, it had been a while and was still getting my sea legs.

ROUND 2 vs Shiro (Kit)
I had a very good start in this game and quickly got a decent remote up with a facedown card. My opponent played very slowly and methodically, setting up boardstate before contesting. I 3x advance the card in the remote without scoring and eyebrows were raised. He continued setting up his board and poked centrals, I believe he figured he didn't have enough credits to contest the remote and steal a Bellona (and deal with a possible HHN on top of that). Advance, advance, score Reeducation. I had 6 cards in hand (due to mandatory draw) and put 5 cards on the bottom of my deck (which was completely unnecessary, but sometimes you just need to establish dominance) to reduce their hand to 0, NEUROSPIKE.

ROUND 3 vs Kobayashi (Smoke)
After a very tedious first game in which I conceded (you can find that story on my other decklist entitled "The Lonely Island ft. T-Pain"), I got my revenge and it was the most satisfying kill of the day. Smoke notoriously needs time to set up and get her specific breakers and Net Mercur and things online. I had a Reeducation in the remote and it stayed there for a turn or two, making him think it was an upgrade, while I was building up boardstate and icing things, getting credits, basically trying to filter my hand. Then I advanced the card in the remote and took 2 credits. Again, eyebrows were raised. He continued to set up and be very careful with his runs, again benefitting from the fear or Bellona/HHN. Okay. Seamless Launch, Seamless Launch, score Reeducation, bottom 3 cards, NEUROSPIKE. He had no idea what hit him, we laughed, high-fives were given, it was glorious.

ROUND 4 vs Ryanbantwins (Lat)
With Brian being from my local meta, he knew what was up. And his Lat deck had a very clever albeit surprising include. Namely, a single copy of Embezzle. We have a term in Belgium, "Brianhands". This guy always seems to get the exact cards that he needs at the exact time he needs them, it's uncanny. Anyway, things weren't quite going to plan and my draw was pretty bad, but at a certain point I had a Reeducation ready for the kill in the remote but he Stargated and trashed a Neurospike, then Embezzled and hit the Neurospike in my hand. Believing (correctly) that I didn't have the third one in hand, he let the agenda go. I advance, advance, scored the Reeducation. At this point I had given up hope on the kill plan and focussed on just rushing and scoring out. The cards I was holding weren't particularly useful for the scoring plan, so I bottomed the remaining 3 cards I was holding to draw up 3 new ones, put them aside and took a credit for my last click because I was under Sure Gamble range anyway.

If you've read this far, here's a tragic tale so you never make the same mistake I did. Always. Always. Check the cards you draw up with Reeducation.

I had drawn the last Neurospike and didn't notice, and I could have killed him.

I don't need to reiterate how mediocre at this game I am, so let's continue. I scored out a Bellona a bit later. Brian let it go because he had played against earlier iterations of this deck that only had 3x Bellona and 3x Reeducation, he didn't know there was a 15 Minutes in the deck. I pumped everything, Planograms, Spin Doctors, using them to get back Planograms, clicking for draw any chance I got.. If I had drawn it I could have won the game but unfortunately it alluded me and was at the bottom of the deck and he found the winning agenda before I could. Still kicking myself. But definitely a fun game!

ROUND 5 vs Maelig (419)
This was a 2-for-1 and I played runner, if you want that story check out my other decklist, I mentioned it above somewhere :)

At the end of the day, even though we had an extremely low turnout for a Nationals, it was tons of fun and a joy to TO. Thank you to all my opponents, and everyone who came out for a cozy and diverse weekend of Netrunner. Thanks for the memories and hope to see everyone again soon. <3

27 Sep 2022 yluras

Loved it!!