Contractually Angry Val (2nd @ Face to Face Games Toronto)

lukesim3 428

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I saw Noah McKee playing a list like this in the Top Deck Cup, and decided to bring it to the next store champs. In case you didn't know, Blackmail-En Passant is good. There's a lot of good Ice in the game right now, so why bother dealing with it?

Corp deck can be found here, now to the play by play:

Round 1 vs. Boom SYNC

I get an early Medium, dissolve what little Ice is in front of R&D and snag a bunch of agendas before he can assemble the combo.

The tables are turned, and he peels a bunch of agendas off the top of R&D right off the bat. Split: 1-1.

Round 2 vs. Classic Scorch Haarp

A new, but fairly skilled player who still doesn't have the whole card pool. Still, it wasn't an easy match; I might have lost, except he went 24/7 into Scorch instead of Traffic Accident and hit the IHW. I eventually Rebirthed into Omar, got Faust online and snagged enough agendas from R&D.

He's playing Reg-Ass MaxX, and never really gets his economy going. He has no good answer to Fairchild 3.0, and I can rush early, biotic late. Sweep: 3-1.

Round 3 vs. Mushin SYNC

One of my best Netrunner friends and a regular practice partner. He's playing a SYNC that Mushins to score big Beales, or hit the runner with Junebugs or Ghost Branches. He scores an Astro off a Mushin right away, but I get an R&D lock going soon after with Medium, and take it. It might have gone differently, but he forgot the Val tax on NAPD, revealing an agenda that I snagged the next turn.

ETF vs. Smoke is pretty classic Netrunner, and this was one of the best games of the day. I rush to 5 points, but he gets to 4, puts Freedom Through Equality into play and locks me with an RDI. I twice use Jackson to shuffle nothing back in and break the lock, eventually drawing into a Vitruvius to Biotic out. Sweep, 5-1

Round 4: ID

Top Cut Round 1 vs. Boom SYNC

Rematch from the first round. I end up getting hit with the 24/7-Closed-HHN combo at some point, but a proactive Rumour Mill keeps a discarded GFI in the bin. I sniff it out the turn before he would have Psycho'd a Beale FTW. 1-0, into the Winners bracket.

Top Cut Round 2 vs. Temujin Whizz

I'm playing a version of the ETF decks that I brought to Worlds, and it's tech'd to beat Reg-Ass Whizz. An early ABT nets me a Fairchild 3.0, but also tosses 4 points into the garbage. He's already taken a GFI from hand, so he's on 6 points. I get to 4 points, and then install a GFI behind some code gates (he never drew his Yog) and double Biotic it the next turn. As my colleagues pointed out, I could have triple Biotic'd with a Vitruvius counter I had to fast advance the GFI, but I tunnel visioned on the install play. Still, it's a hard-fought win and I'm one game away.

Finals Round 1 vs. NEH Exchange Boom

I start well, getting a Plascrete down on turn one to shut off the quick kill, and score an early GFI. However, I don't draw into a Blackmail for ages, and fail to contest a second GFI that he scores. After some 24/7-Closed-EOI shenanigans, that GFI lands on the other side of the table, leaving him at 6. I know he runs one QPM, so I have to shake the tags, and my economy sputters. A 4-counter Medium gets popped by an Archangel and I'm forced to take a News Team. I get Medium back online, get back to 5 points, but have no breakers installed and no cash. Eventually, he finds the QPM and installs it behind a Turnpike that I can't break because I discarded Faust. A last-ditch run into R&D only nets me another News Team, and he scores out. I definitely got tunnel vision this game, leaned too much on Blackmail and completely ignored HQ (he had 2 agendas in hand for much of the late game). I should have installed Faust to be able to contest the remote, or break the Archangel. Kudos to my opponent for playing a tight game.

Grand Finals vs. Good stuff Andy

This one is a bit blurry, but he's tech'd for tag decks with cards like On the Lam and Guru Davinder, so I like my odds. I keep a hand with 2 Vanilla and 2 agendas (maybe a mistake), opting to rush an ABT out and protect HQ. He installs Paperclip and Faerie off the bat, but doesn't run. With a remote and an HQ that are completely vulnerable, and another agenda in hand, I opt to trigger the ABT, promptly putting 4 points in the bin (again!) and get an Architect that he can break for my troubles. He snags a GFI from hand on a Legwork and gets the two agendas from Archives to hit 6 points. I manage to score a Vitruvius, but promptly draw into two more agendas, only to get Legworked again two turns later after he Femmes an unrezzed Fairchild 3.0 on HQ. 7 of 9 agendas in the top 20 cards or so. Rough way to go out, but it's still the best I've done at a tournament ever, so I'll take it.

Thoughts:

I never liked how Hate Bear/Angry Val had to go tag-me, and didn't have any money if they couldn't Siphon. This deck feels a bit more flexible and toolbox-like. With Temujin, you can burst up and contest asset spam if you have to, but you can still go tag-me, huge hand Obelus if you find the single Siphon. This also means that you can save your recursion for Blackmail and En Passant.

I never really used the cutlery, but they're there so you can deal with ICE if it does get rezzed. I've thought about cutting the D4v1ds for a Planned Assault. I'm also kind of curious about Deuces Wild; it could help you sniff out the right Ice to En Passant. MKUltra is a fine Mimic replacement and works better in a deck with no Sucker support. I also never used the Hades combo (you don't go tag-me as often, so it's less relevant unless you just need ALL THE CARDS for Faust), but it's the closest thing I have to CI tech, so it probably should stay.

Overall, I think the Blackmail-En Passant combo is broken and dumb. It's silly to punish the Corp for playing properly. Once Blackmail rotates, En Passant could actually be an interesting card, creating a decision point for the Corp, rather than removing one.

3 comments
19 Dec 2016 scd

Nice job, man!

19 Dec 2016 scd

How useful/necessary is the 1x Scrubber? You didn't appear to face any asset spam, and that is back on the rise, but what are your thoughts on swapping it for, say, another Slums?

19 Dec 2016 lukesim3

@scd The deck could probably use more asset tech, but I wasn't expecting a lot of CTM (people are getting bored of it and those Andy DLR decks just run over them). Between bad publicity and Temujin, you can put up a bit of an asset fight. Get a Scrubber and Rebirth into Whizzard and you can put up one hell of an asset fight!

As for the singleton Scrubber and Slums, I like that neither is a dead draw. That said, if your meta still really wants to Control that Messageā„¢, then I might cut a piece of cutlery (Forked?) for a second Slums.