PPvP Fundies - 1st Dallas Regionals

Venali 611

Corp Deck: https://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/44292/the-failed-exchange-1st-dallas-regionals

My ability to prep for this regional season was pretty much non-existent. Thankfully the current meta is so wide open it can be better to play what you know than find the "best deck," so I fell back to an old staple. There were two different versions of PPvP I was considering bringing - this one and a Comet/Day Job/Modded/Cars version that was a lot of fun. In the end I went with something a little more basic and wound up winning the day at the Common Ground Games Regionals in Dallas, TX. This didn't drop a single game.

Oh and I had a Corp deck too. It, uh... it was there.

Deck decisions:

The original deck ran 2x Daily Casts and 3x Maker's Eye. It also came in at 46 cards. I wanted to trim that little excess fat and in the testing I did found that the casts weren't really living up to the slot. PPvP is all about big money burst and setup, plus the world seems to be overflowing with Scarcity so the more resources I could ditch the better I felt.

Dedicated Processor - I didn't need this at all, but I'd seen too many varied strength sentries floating around to trust Mimic + Atman alone. Plus, I wanted a way to deal with big sentries without Atman on the table at all if I ran into AgInfusion Chiyashi problems. I still think it's worth the spot as insurance.

Deuces Wild - These paid for themselves in gold over the tournament. Well worth the loss of the 3rd Lucky Find. Over the day I used them to expose ice when facechecks could cost me dearly, ditch tags when I was out of cash, and hasten the setup process to get the engine humming. 10/10 would go sleeveless again.

Clot - I used Clot once on the day, but the threat of it was enough to make it worth the spot. You're a Shaper. Slot the Clot.

Film Critic / SacCon - The rig is fragile, and there are a lot of dangerous things out there in metaland that could throw the game plan over the cliff. SacCon wasn't needed (No Skorp and not much Clot need), but Film Critic was great to see more often with 2x.

Notoriety - Hnnng, this card. Won 3 games because of that 1 point. I'd trade the alt-art Smoke we got for an alt-art Notoriety in a heartbeat. Gimme that sweet, sweet fame.

Rounds:

Round 1 - Sweet, sweet bye. Used that lovely free win I grabbed with a triple-slums Temu/Faust Whizz (How much do you not miss those days?) and a big money SanSan EtF deck to sit around and play a game of Lotus with a friend. All zen'd up.

Round 2 - vs. Palana Foods (Carl Huffman) I don't recall much about this game other than the arms race for setting up. Carl had 3 celebrity gifts and the rest ice for the first 4 turns, so while he gifted and installed I set up. The gifts also let me know he was on Grail, which changed my plans a bit, but I had a pretty good starting hand and came into a couple PPvP in short order. Setup was fast, money came easy and it was hard for him to keep me out.

Round 3 - Moons EtF (Colin Hanna) This was a hell of a game. I found in testing against Moons that my best plan was to let them do their thing and focus on mine. Clones and AAL had to go, but other than that I had decided to let everything stay. Colin was able to save a GFI with Fabrics because I made a bad play with Legwork, but after he revealed it I dropped the FC and picked up the installed copy before he could biotic/Jeeves it out. Clot saved a score that he was able to overwrite and shuffle back into R&D. I hit the end of the deck and made another iffy decision to Levy. At the time, Clot was in the bin and I had 2 clone chips out, but I was running thin on cash and knew I needed more to threaten R&D with any value. It turned out to be the right call, as a few Maker's Eyes picked up the last few points.

Round 4 - ID (Chris Miller) We played out our games despite the ID, and I can't begin to say what a great idea that was. This little friendly match was the first time I'd run into the oppression machine that is the NBN tracer deck. I found 6 points against it then spent the rest of the game at 0 credits while he waited to pull a Psycho to win, which he did. It felt awful, and I spent every bit of downtime between games trying to figure out my game plan against it if I had to see it again.

Cut Round 1 - Sleeper EtF (Tommy Hubbard) This was another round where I was able to set up pretty quickly, and Tommy was hard pressed to keep me out of anything from early in the game. After I got a few points up (Early game Notoriety included) I took a bit of time to capitalize on it and really ramp up the credit pool and prep for end-game, and was able to close it out after that.

Cut Round 2 - AgInfusion (Jaxon) Jaxon is part of my local team, so it was pretty cool to get the chance to play him that far up in the cut. I don't know a whole lot about AgInfusion, but I knew I needed a couple of things to help my chances. 1) Rezzed ice that isn't DNA tracker or Chiyashi. 2) quality multi-access to pivot away from a Caprice server.

Early on I ran like a Criminal, trying to force condition 1, which worked to an extent. While he was under 8 credits I ran pretty aggressively, and after that point I pivoted to setting up. I found 6 points before he could really get the big ice out there, and then I took time to money up and attempt to contest his scores while preparing for a couple different plans of attack.

Eventually he got rich, which gave me the 5th click I needed to be able to Notoriety and win the game, since AgInfusion turns off Notoriety with only 4 clicks.

Was a close game, and I'm not sure how things would have turned out if he could have pushed a Mk II when I had some forced downtime.

Cut Round 3 - Corp side (JD Bartee) This game was a train wreck. Check the Corp deck list for a rundown.

Finals - NBN Trace Oppression (JD, again) I've never wanted a game recorded so badly before. This was one of the best games I've ever had the pleasure of playing, from start to finish. This NBN tracer deck is amazingly oppressive, and it seemed every click could turn the game one way or another. I wish I could give a play-by-play, but the game ended at time (Though not because of time), and given how short the first match was that meant this one was probably about 50 minutes long.

I knew from my game with a similar version of this deck that there were two main things I needed to do. Pummel centrals and never let a Arb Tech linger if possible. I spent the early game prodding centrals to force ice rez and installs, hoping it would keep him at least a little on the back foot. A lucky 4/2 grab off of R&D put me in a good spot, but in that time he got a couple of Arb Techs behind Macrophages. Which is just... not pleasant.

Then began the long, looong oppression phase in which he used Door to Door and MCA informants to drain money and ping in damage. I knew at this point my options were limited and I absolutely needed my full PPvP setup or I was toast. He scored a Datapool during this time behind the Macrophages, which cost him an Arb Tech but enabled trace spam. I spent a lot of time digging, clicking for credits when needed, and repeatedly losing my easiest econ option (Dirty Laundry) to Door-to-Door snipes.

At this point R&D was getting thin. He was down to one Jackson and I knew there had to be agendas in HQ. I had 4 points at the time (I'd found a Beale somewhere along the way), and he already had a Datapool so I let my MCA'd Film Critic hang around with a hosted 15 Minutes. I knew drawing was dangerous because I needed to have the money to use Levy or I risked having it sniped by Door-to-Door, so my turns alternated between single-access HQ pokes (Legwork was nowhere to be found), RDI R&D pokes, and money turns. I hit HQ probably five or six times during this point before I was able to get myself in the position to Levy, and killed off his BOOM! a couple times.

With Levy done, JD had space to put another Datapool out and begin to advance it. fired off a Maker's Eye with RDI out, seeing 4 of I think 8 cards in R&D and finding nothing. Time is called on JD's turn after he'd taken 2 clicks, which made him unable to score the other Datapool and put him ahead on points. Kind of a crappy way to end that game, but we'd had a warning on time earlier so it was what it was. His turn ended and I monied up to make one last HQ poke. Final turn of the game, last click run, I single-access HQ with 0 credits and a 2 tags to steal the 3rd Datapool and win the game.

That game was such a slog, but there was still so much adrenaline around it. JD is a great player and a fantastic opponent, 10/10 would finals again.

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