Neural Hel (5-1 Worlds Day 1)

scd 188

Warning, long write-up/quasi tournament report to follow — This is the Corp deck I played during the first day of Swiss at Worlds 2017. I won 5 out of 6 games, only dropping the first round due to a stupid misplay (distracted by a chattily unsporting opponent who literally told me he was talking a lot to try to rattle me, which he did).

The deck is about 90% @mordeqai’s spin on Brain Rewiring CI — after I kept losing, losing, losing at King of Servers, he shared his latest CI Brain Rewiring deck with me, and it struck a chord. It ran Brainstorms and Helheims in mordeqai’s original version, but also included Director Haas! I’d literally never played with her ever, and she seemed critical for a player like me being able to land the combo. As the Corp gains a click when she is rezzed, you often include her as the third card in a Mirrormorph, immediately rezzing her to get a click back.

I decided to play mordeqai's deck for icebreaker in its earlier incarnation (with Special Reports, Green Levels, Ashigaru, Elective Upgrades and Fairchild 3.0 as the restricted card). I bombed out, only getting the combo off once.

So, I spent the evening going back and forth about whether I should just dump this for PU, started making a PU deck, realized I didn’t even have a PU ID card, wept into my pillow a lot, and then fell asleep. Morning came and I said “Screw it, let’s just change the CI deck.”

First off, I hated losing to a lucky Elective Upgrades steal, so I switched from FC3 to GFI to at least force the Runner to steal four agendas. This meant immediately ditching the Ashigaru, which, given Sungho Lee destroyed the previous version in the icebreaker with a Dai V, seemed like it was a good idea. I was too far behind the meta to continue to run hand size/multi-sub ice, I feared.

I also am a bad enough player that I felt the need to swap out the Green Levels for recursion, putting in 2x Archived Memories and 1x Preemptive Action. I think mordeqai was on 3x Archived Memories, but the Preemptive turned out to be a critical include for one win.

More critical was mordeqai suggesting we replace Special Reports with 2x Neurals. It opens up another potential combo (triple Biotic, install Brain Rewiring, triple advance, Neural, Neural) if you ever get all those pieces in hand at the same time. But more often than not, it’s there just to make sure you can seal the deal after landing a Brainstorm.

Finally, I chatted with mordeqai a lot on the morning of Swiss about what the new ice suite should be, and he came up with what we have here. One Fairchild that might as well have been a vanilla, since I never rezzed it on the day, 3x Brainstorms, 2x Loki for extra storming of brains, 1x Excalibur and un classique MoGo for good ol’ fashioned CI feelz. Only one of these ice really mattered on the day, can you guess which one?


R1: Bad game, I was having a fun time chatting with my opponent who kept talking, talking, talking, who stopped midgame and said “You know I’m just trying to rattle you and get inside your head by talking so much, right?” And I screwed up a protective Helheim move as a consequence; he was simply Atmanning with his Smoke credit through my MoGo and ditching just one card per run would have kept him out but I was shaken up and angry. I had the combo and would have comboed out easily the turn after he won.

R2: I was able to pull off the combo fairly easily, no hate on the board to go through.

R3: Had to go through a Clot and a Biometric Spoofing for the kill, but comboed out with about 4-5 cards left in the stack.

R4: Riskiest but most fun win of them all: Versus a Geist who had a Shiv, an Aumakua, and a Crowbar installed, Dean Lister on the board, and 5 cards in hand. They decide to Legwork me on third click when I’m at about 20ish credits, have like 15-18 cards in hand, and about 8 points of agendas in hand. Opponent is at 2 points (a GFI). I rez a Brainstorm and a Helheim on HQ, having to ditch four cards to force it to land, but what cards? I decide to ditch about four points into Archives, and they get through after taking 5 brain damage, steal a Show of Force, see a Best Defense, and a Neural EMP. With the Neural there, opponent knows he’s only got one more click before death — he should have checked the trash (and would have won) but instead I suppose thought it unlikely I’d ditch that many agendas into the bin, and went into HQ again, seeing a Best Defense again. My opponent failed to consider that I wouldn’t have any 3-pointers in hand anyway (GFI was already stolen, so clearly I’m not on Elective Upgrades). I Neuraled for the win, but that was very, very close to a loss.

R5: Eventually comboed out with only three cards left in R&D through some hate (a Citadel Sanctuary), but the real challenge was earlier. Opponent was on MaxX, landed a fantastic Wanton Destruction, knocking three combo cards (a Biotic, a Kaguya, and a Show of Force, I think) into the trash. I drew into the Preemptive Action soon after to save them, and was thankful I’d included one. Also, I was getting tired and had a really dumb misplay that should have cost me the game — opponent ran R&D and I rezzed a Brainstorm with no Helheim behind it, completely forgetting the MKUltra he had in his trash. Took me 2-3 turns to recover tempo. Lucky win.

R6: Opponent was MaxX. Turn 3, he trashed, trashed, drew. First click with six cards in hand, he facechecked a Brainstorm on R&D. GG.

So, it’s a fun variant on the Rewiring decks out there, again about 90% to mordeqai’s credit! My small changes on the day helped me out a lot in my specific matchups and were, in some ways, just protection for me being a less experienced player and less experienced CI player in particular. This cleaned up in the middle tables, largely because it was the middle tables (I won a single Runner game all day, keeping me in splitstown, finishing 6-6 on the day). But the recursion did help with several wins, the Neurals were lots of fun, and who can ever hate a deck that runs 3x Brainstorms?

A fantastic Worlds, and I’m so happy I went. Cheers to everyone I met for the first time, congrats to everyone who did well, and looking forward to playing with you all again down the road.

6 Nov 2017 CritHitd20

This is amazing.

6 Nov 2017 scd

It was fun. Now what YOU did over the weekend? That was glorious. Congrats on the excellent tournament.

7 Nov 2017 Mordeqai

I'm glad the deck worked for one of us! Props going 5-1 :)

7 Nov 2017 scd

Props to you, and thanks for sharing it with me! I wouldn't have done well with this if I had faced any of those DaVinci Hayleys but this was for sure a lot of fun on the day.