Steve Refresh (SOCR2) - Top Cut

Ghost Meat 469

Along with Sync this deck came 4th in Swiss, and 6th overall in the cut in the recent Stimhack Online Cache Refresh Tournament (about 53 players).

It went 3-2 in Swiss, losing to a Moons/Sandburg ETF and then a brutal AgInfusion, in which I decked out, and was locked out by a Kakugo on R&D, HQ, and the scoring remote, so had no way to win. Turns out not even Inside Job helps, as Kakugo's damage fires when you pass it, not when the subroutine is broken. In round one of the cut, it squeaked out a win against another Moons/Sandburg ETF, but lost game three in a heartbreaking 8-6 loss, in which the corp scored the last 4/2 from hand with a double Biotic Labor play.

Going into the cut, I dropped the Blockade Runners and added a Spear Phishing and another Bloo Moose, which was helpful in adding more bypass options against insane Sandburg-supported HB ICE. Bloo Moose is a bit weird in Steve, as it works against his ability in the early game (hence only one here). Getting it mid-game is nice, as there is a lot in the bin by then that Steve doesn't care about recurring. Program trashing was something of a fear here, especially with Skorpios and Hunter Seeker in the meta and no Employee Strikes, but I didn't see a Skorp at all, so the two Sac Cons might have been better as more Deuces here, in 20/20 hindsight. Aumakua came out right before the cut, and I tested a version of this with three of those and three Deuces Wild, but found that purging was just too limiting without support from cards like Fester, and I was getting locked out too easily, so just decided to stick with the original plan.

I chose Steve because recursion is somewhat limited in the Cache Refresh card pool, so the ability to get key econ cards and (sometimes) breakers back with his ability is really good. He can make piles of money early, which is helpful against all the glacier HB and Jinteki decks I saw in this format. The bypass breakers proved really helpful as well in those clutch Hail Mary runs (especially coupled with Inside Job), helping Steve score some remote agendas when he really had no business getting in. Creation & Control is pretty much the best big box for Criminals, with econ like Dirty Laundry, Daily Casts, and the amazing Criminal card, Same Old Thing. SoT seems less needed in Steve than any other Criminal due to his recursion ability, but the limited card pool here made three a fine choice. I did a lot of Same Old Inside Jobs this tournament, but did miss Legwork a lot (having not taken Honor & Profit).

I had a great time playing in this tournament, with some of the most tense games I've had in recent memory. There was an awesome Slack thread for this tournament as well. Thanks to all who played, and to @Fightingwalloon for organizing!

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