Listen to good players - 1st Place ANZ Asynchronous Competit

triorph 614

This deck was what I piloted in the cut to first place of the ANZ Asynchronous Competition. Some information about ANZAC is below the deck information that follows.

The deck history

This deck was an exercise in listening to really good players and taking their advice on how to build the deck. The first 2 good players were Jonas Wilson (@thebigunit3000) and Abram Jopp (@thebigboy). Both are solidly good players who have a strong reputation for building good decks. Jonas' most notable deck was probably the DLR Val that won World's in 2015, and Abram's most notable deck was probably Dumblefork that stormed the entire meta the year after.

So this deck starts because quite a while ago now, Abram creates a deck called "Sleeper Hold" which he claims is actually quite decent. Months later I spend a bit of time familiarising myself with the deck and finding it reasonably fun to play.

Then about a month ago, Terminal Directive comes out and there's this card that I don't even think is that good called "Estelle Moon". Boy was I wrong, and great player Jonas shows us immediately that its amazing by creating the Mooninites Deck. I like this deck but I'm struggling to play it well.

Next minute, yet another good player comes along. Dan D'argenio (@mediohxcore), 2 time world's champion comes into slack and starts berating the moon deck, saying its a mess of bad cards such as Cybernetics Court, Shipment from Mirrormorph and Successful Field Test. At first I ignore him, surely he just hasn't tried the deck - but then I figure its worth actually listening to him. Dan definitely has strong ideas and he's not always right, but he is an incredible player and his thoughts should at least be considered. Doing so, I think about what a deck without any of the above cards would look like, and I lean back towards the Sleeper Hold Shell. SSCG, Jeeves, TS, AAL, etc.. This is the version I won the first few rounds of Swiss with. Also being based on sleeper hold, I swap Eli for Vanilla and in testing soon realise how much better this is in such a deck. Stopping accesses early is far more important for a tempo deck than providing a late game tax.

The next good player I listen to is current world champion Chris Dyer (@nemamiah). He publishes his own Moon list (I have since been informed that this was mostly designed by @tclifford and I think @lpoulter) which was near tuned perfection. Turtlebacks and Tech Startups and DBS just work in the deck. I also started finding that the SSCG really wasn't that good, usually just being a more expensive Biotic Labor. Considering I was only on 2x Biotic Labor, moving up to 3 was easy and gives us no trouble. I took inspiration from Chris Dyer's list over and over, and the more I tested the more it moved towards being his list.

Some thoughts on the card choices here:

  • Estelle Moon - Obviously really good. You ideally want this in your opener, so 3x for sure.
  • Team Sponsorship - I've seen a lot of people cut this, but this is really the best card for turning a behind situation back into an ahead one. You can spend significant effort scoring agendas and end up gaining tempo as a result. Also hilarious with AAL against Leela. I really wish I could have 3, but slots were tight.
  • Daily Business Show - This is probably the lowest priority trash for the runner, which really helps you keep agendas exactly when you want them. Also great synergy with moon on the runners turn, letting you use Moon early to free up a server and not bother as much.
  • Jeeves - I love this card so much. Stupid Fast advance is not his point, but rather never advance for 4/2 (Great against the Source with Project Vitruvius) or biotic into never advance a GFI.
  • Tech startup - This was a late addition, but I'm sold on it. I can see the value in 3x but honestly didn't know what to cut for it.
  • Turtlebacks - I'm not convinced this is absolutely necessary. These could probably be Marilyn Campaigns, which is my plan if this deck gets hit too hard by MWL. That said, prior to me putting Turtlebacks in here I was a bit skimp on credits and would lose to a strongly credit controlling runner.
  • Lakshmi Smartfabrics - Being scared of film critic, and it being so pervasive now, I found myself using this card less and less and less. Eventually I just cut it, but with Tech Startup I think it still has value as a 1 of. I would probably put it back in in hindsight.
  • Bioroid Work Crew - This was the newest card in Earth's Scion that fits the Moon deck, so I thought I would try it. The card is not bad, but mostly only supports the GFI fast advance route. I have 3 GFI so this is still a strong play. You can use friends on a tech start up behind some ICE, and then install BWC into a new remote at the start of your turn, gaining turtlebacks money. You can then play Biotic, allowing you to install with BWC into a new server and gaining turtlebacks money yet again. With Jeeves on the board, you can now advance it 5 times. Its actually a reasonably cost efficient way of fast advancing a 5/3. This sounds very combo-intensive and thus unlikely, but this board state happens quite often.
  • Clone Suffrage Movement - Usually just an archived memories or worse, but has the advantage of triggering Estelle Moon/Turtlebacks and forcing the runner to waste clicks running and trashing.
  • Vanilla - An absolute must. Forcing the runner to find their barrier breaker when they're too busy trying to contest your assets is huge. Also great against siphon decks who want to force you to spend money to stop them getting in.
  • Fairchild 3.0 - Great ice. At 6 to rez, It was going to be the one I was going down to 2 of. My 8 ice suite is very low though, and I can see the argument for going higher. I might consider a quandary over FC3.0 though, as technically fairchild is porous.
  • Architect - There's a reason this is still on the MWL. 3 of is a must.
  • Cyberdex Virus Suite - Since I was originally leaning so hard on fast advance, this was a must. I could maybe cut it now. I like having one copy against regular clot decks, but against SacCon clot decks your best bet is to just install agendas behind ice while they're behind.
  • Project Vitruvius - With Jeeves and Friends this is a pretty amazing agenda in this deck.
  • Accelerated Beta Test - Mostly just a 3/2 that's easy to advance, but with 3x Jackson and 2x Team Sponsorship you occasionally find yourself firing it and getting real value as a result. This is a replacement for Successful Field Test in other decks. I typically fire Estelle Moon a lot earlier than the Field Test based decks would, which is potentially just an issue of play-style. The American scene is pretty convinced that ABT is better but the brits still love their field test.
  • Global Food Initiative - I went 3 because its so common that you can actually fast advance this, however this is partially just a relic from when the deck had Lakshmi. This is another place that has free flex inf if the MWL rains hard on this deck (as I suspect it will). 2x GFI and 1x Efficiency Committee, Successful Field Test or Corporate Sales Team seems like a solid replacement here.

Australia and New Zealand Asynchronous Competition

The ANZAC was a slow rolling online competition between 80 players across the world, predominantly from Australia and New Zealand. It was played entirely on Jinteki.net, and unlike most tournaments, deck lists were not fixed from the start.

That does mean that this deck was not what I took in Swiss rounds to make the top 8.

Cards up to Station One Legal:

  • First round was Sync Boom vs Sunny (InterDan). Win.
  • Second round was Sync Boom vs Geist (Netrunner.Snow). Win.

Cards up to Terminal Directive Legal:

  • Third round was an earlier build of this Moon ETF vs Andromeda (basic.channel). Win.
  • Fourth round was another earlier build of this Moon ETF vs Leela (divadus). Win.
  • Fifth round was another earlier build of this Moon ETF vs Whizzard (k.art) . Win.
  • Sixth round was an Intentional Draw against Vicarin.
  • In testing, we tried the earlier build of this moon ETF against his Andromeda and I lost (as well as losing the runner game), so lucky for me that I did the ID otherwise I would not be in the cut.

For the cut, the deck was locked in, and is what is described here. Cards up to Earth's Scion were legal.

  • I was 3rd seed after Swiss, but @divadus dropped out from top seed to help solve some SoS based mistakes. This put me in 2nd place against @ddoy2277. I went corp first, and he was playing Lock Hayley. Win.
  • Next I was against @cyberewok who had also played corp, so a dice flip was made and I was runner. My Andromeda was able to beat his Penguin CI deck. Win.
  • Then I was against @Vicarin, who swept me in the final round of swiss, so I was worried, but I had made adjustments to the deck since then and felt it was better matched, and I also had a much better start. Win.
  • At this point I'm top seed and guaranteed at least second place.
  • @Vicarin beats @cyberewok in the loser's bracket, meaning I have to run against his corp. I lose this game, but because I'm top seed I have one more shot.
  • This deck against his Andromeda deck. Win.

Recorded videos from the cut should be uploaded shortly.

3 comments
15 Jul 2017 Guv_bubbs

Great write up

23 Jul 2017 AberDamo4

So ``@triorph`, there's an interesting question to be asked here. Rotation isn't a million miles away any more, and this deck only loses two things: Jackson Howard and Project Vitruvius. Are there any serviceable replacements, do you think? I'd hate to see this deck die - I love it too much!

23 Jul 2017 triorph

@AberDamo4 Good catch. I hadn't noticed how early-cycle-lite this deck was. Project Vitruvius seems like a reasonably easy replacement, since many people are already running this deck with 3x Successful Field Test instead of 3x Project Vitruvius. Make no mistake, Project Vitruvius is a much harder loss than ABT would have been, but I think the deck survives this reasonably well.

Losing Jackson is of course a huge deal. He does a lot in this deck, absolutely saving you in games where you get a bad flood, or just giving you more draw when you need it. In a post-rotation environment this is most likely to be the deal-breaker, however almost every corp deck needs Jackson and its likely that every other deck will be hit as hard as a result. So as far as corp power level goes, this might still be the best. You can probably put in preemptive action, as the general tempo level of the deck allows ice on archives to be more impactful, and a lot of the time you're only using Jackson to bring back your Friends in High Places and Biotic Labors and other cards.

Lastly, an answer to the question you didn't ask, which is how does this survive the MWL? Nobody knows what's going to be in the MWL so that's a bit harder to answer, however it seems likely that Friends in High Places will be on at tier 3, and that Moon will be on at 1. If this is the case, the deck probably doesn't have enough influence to spare to be competitive, as you're starting to have to drop Architects which are very important to the game plan. I think if just Friends in High Places is Tier3 and Estelle moon is untouched, then this deck is mildly weaker but still competitive. You swap the 3rd Friends for an Archived Memories and then the deck is just down 6 influence. Note the deck already has 1 influence spare, so we only have to find 5 to cut. 3x Turtlebacks can be swapped for some other Economy option in a pinch (Marilyn campaign seems popular, but Pad is probably good too). Leaving just 2 to go. Some combination of Jackson/Architect/3rd GFI is probably the way to go for that last 2.

Worth noting, that in the above scenario, the loss of Jackson Howard here actually helps with the influence. While I would not suggest cutting Jackson entirely while he still exists as a card, if everyone is comparatively nerfed by missing out on Jackson, then the 3 influence is a big deal in this deck.