Killing Kittens (21st Worlds, 3rd Icebreaker)

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[WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2016] #21 of 250 rojazu
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rojazu 1334

This is the SYNC deck that I brought to Worlds along with Andromeda (https://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/38844/andy-strikes-back-21st-worlds-3rd-icebreaker-)

Overall it went 4-1 in the Icebreaker and 7-2 in the main event facing only Whizzards and a couple of Vals so it was certainly the right meta choice.

The idea for the deck originated with Ben Ni and I wont re-iterate what Ben has already written here (https://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/38734/fiery-info-worlds-2016-runner-up-) but instead offer a how-to guide based on nearly 100 games playtesting this deck and explaining some of the card choices.

Gameplan:

Plan A: FA two agendas, one being BN, 24/7 BOOM!

Plan B: If they have Plascrete/Obelus down, you will need to assemble the combo which takes a lot more finesse. Essentially you wait for them to run (or bait them with naked agendas) and then 24/7, Closed A/C, HHN for a total of 6 tags followed up next turn by O&D Boom or trashing their board to buy time for you to find the killer blow.

Plan C: Against tagme runners who have multiple solutions to the kill, you are looking to closed/O&D their mediums/obelus/davids and utilise EOI to get to 7 points.

Plan D: Against NACH + Film Critic runners (these runners usually have high link to which blanks all your ICE) your only out is to build a remote as early as possible and try to win off the IA a BN, followed by Advance BOOM play next turn. If they go for the agenda you may be able to get them with HHN if poor else your best plan is to concede and get on with the next game.

Playstyle:

Dont try to build a remote ever (except against NACH decks). You only have 12 ICE and you want to get ICE down on your centrals and turtle up (I often have 4-5 ICE on R&D & HQ by the late game), your typical turns will be Install Take 2, or Take 3 discard your worst card. By sculpting your hand in this fashion you will have all the money to defend, which includes replacing ICE vs whiz, reducing the impact of siphon on your bank and maintaining enough money to land your combo. If you try to draw all the cards butcher shop style you will end up throwing the baby out with the bath water and find yourself extremely poor.

The priority cards you want to keep in your hand are Archives Memories, 24/7, HHN, Closed, Boom, O&D, EoI, then agendas, then 2nd copies of the priority operations. The skill test of this deck is hand management and you will have to make a call which cards you need according to which plan you are on given the runners boardstate. Immediately score any 2/1s out of hand and try to get a Data Raven on archives to safely store your cats in there. You still want to be removing agendas out of the game even when you have the 2 2/1s scored. Its ok to toss foods in there too because they will be EOI targets later on in the game. You need to predict the lines the runner will take and play prophylactically and show patience until you are ready to go. Often the game will end with a tagme medium dig which is why I run an additional Archangel over Bens list which I think is probably correct.

In terms of the combo keep an eye on their cards and money at all times for opportunities to strike. If they go below 5 cards in hand with a plascrete fire it off anyway because if they lose more than 2 counters of plascrete you can kill them later on. Its worth noting that a non-IHW player can not really survive Boom with Archived Boom even with Plascrete because they dont have time to draw up.

Card Choices:

The Agenda suite is what makes this deck in my opinion as every single one of them is quite unfair. QPM/15mins are essentially worth 0 points in terms of their expected value to the runner, whilst foods are only worth 2. This leaves them with only 11 points in the deck that they can effectively steal and often they will be in a situation where they cannot win when they are tagged/broke when you count up the agendas and where they all are. Which brings me to the first question - why no Astro? We had a spare influence and NAPD is absolutely the better choice for this deck. This may sound sacrilege but you are not trying to score NAPD is better not only is it unexpected these days but it also singlehandedly kept me in 3 games over the week which would have been losses if they were Astro.

Archives Memories is worth its wait in gold - never ever discard it when you have it. This card allows you to keep 1 Boom in the bin which gives you a consulting visit like ability and keeps the boom safe from the Slumlords and is your defence against Rumor Mill too when you need to get something out of the bin. It will also recur HHN/O&D if you have an opportunity to. EOI AM EOI will also win you the game against a tagme runner.

Observe & Destroy is one of the strongest cards printing in a long time. It may look conditional but those conditions are what this deck is built around. It singlehandly gets the pieces that either give you your win condition or prevent theirs. Also, there is no better feeling than seeing them pick up and read the card during play. If you do play against this deck try to float above 5 credits as it will buy you some time.

The ICE choices are quite obvious. The tagging ice works really well to disincentivise runs in the first half of the game, whilst the Resistors/archangels and popups do wonders in the late game when they are broke.

The deck is super fun to play and I really enjoy it. The best moment of Worlds for me was when Timmy Wong and the Californian crew commented that we had the strongest Corp deck in the tournament (they had the strongest runner deck) which although i was super confident with the deck based on testing results it still very much surpassed my expectations.

Finally a big congratulations to Ben on is phenomenal performance in the cut!

1 comments
8 Nov 2016 slowreflex

Thanks for the very thorough explanation. Congrats on doing well at Worlds. 21st is still a great accomplishment.