Toast Skagen CI (1st @ Malaysian Nationals)

thearete 238

This is the Corp deck which I used to win the Malaysian National Championship on 21 October. It went undefeated on the day with one timed win. Check on the link for a write up of my Runner deck.


So the 2016 World Championship was an amazing experience in almost every way. Memories of people face planting into Fairchild 3.0 out of Sync still puts a smile on my face, though the highlights were, it goes without saying, to meet so many super friendly people who share the same kind of unhealthy passion for this game as I have.

Not being able to attend this year bummed me out big time and as the competitive person and Netrunner junkie that I am, I decided I had to look elsewhere for my fix. As I got word of a national tournament in Malaysia I figured a two hour flight from Jakarta, were I currently reside, was definitely worth it, if only for the fact that I would get to hang out with the incredibly friendly Kuala Lumpur Netrunner community as well as with Vicky and his wife Mestika. Thanks again for hosting me!

The problem of course, was that I had no idea what to play. I reckoned there were a few good runner decks out there but when it came to what corp to play I was really at a loss. The only thing I knew was really good was CI which I had never played and didn’t feel comfortable exploring either. As the events of “Scrapergate” unfolded however I got sufficiently convinced that had I no option but to play everyone’s favourite ID if I wanted to do well. I wasn’t quite sure which list to run though and I started off with a Shipment from Tennin build that I would horribly misplay, much to the bewilderment of any Jnet observer and the delight of my opponents.

As the newly implemented win-percentage stats on Jnet kept dropping into numbers that could easily have been mistaken for Trump’s approval ratings, I figured something had to be done. I remembered having seen a Brain Rewiring/Show of Force list that @Shmeguy used to win in Denmark back in May, but as far as I could tell on Jnet, no one was running Rewiring anymore, opting instead for the Glass House CI list or Load Testing Boom. Confident I couldn’t do any worse than with the CI I was playing, I began replacing the agenda suite to go for the kill.

I did do better and part of that was probably the deck, but primarily because I started to learn how to play CI more generally. At the time, I was still running Fairchild 2 and 3 as well as Enforced Curfew and I often landed 1-2 brain damages. This fact, along with clot being ubiquitous, led me to try Ronin as a way of just going for a straight FA kill in those rare cases where my opponents had a hand size of two cards, or if they had just been reckless and emptied most of their hand. I also thought the Ronin could work as a substitute for Show of Force in case they were stolen, or as a way of getting around Leela. During this time I was also experimenting with Vanity Project and Punitive Counterstrike to get around the clot lock.

As D-day began drawing closer I decided to build the deck IRL. While doing some inside job-searching for Shipment from Kaguya (read: looking through cards when taking a dump…sorry for the TMI) I stumbled upon Contract Killer and thought ‘heeey…this is 2 clicks better than Ronin for the same influence’. It also became clear that almost no one packed meat damage protection whereas I did see some Feedback Filters and Caldera which stopped the Ronin. But it was only after a few games that it dawned on me that not only was the Contract Killer 2 clicks better than Ronin, it also made the Rewiring combo 1 click more efficient, and that, in a combo deck, is not insignificant (if you have all 3 Shipment from Kaguya or 2 Shipment and 1 Audacity, then the combo is the same number of clicks as with Show of Force).

Since I initially didn’t have a playtesting group I didn’t bother keeping the list secret for worlds, but was instead more concerned with getting an insane amount of games in before the Malaysian nats. All in all, I racked up almost 250 games under the Jnet name Lyss, with different versions of the deck. The fact that games rarely lasted longer than 7-8 turns, with many kills on turn 4-5, meant I could compress a huge number of games into a small timeframe.

Feeling like it would be a shame if nobody played this, frankly, broken CI deck, I messaged @leburgan who I knew was going to World’s and shared my list. Lucas and I then tested the deck further (together with @spags and Lucas made a number of changes and suggestions that greatly improved the deck. The decision to reduce – and eventually remove – the IPO’s was a great decision and adding Best Defense also turned out to be super useful. With the new changes, the deck went up to 90+ win rate with more than 50 games and stayed around that percentage for a long period of time.

Of course, nothing lasts forever and after having played the deck manically for weeks on Jnet, more and more people started to take notice. @Django84 was one of them and the day after the Malaysian nats he managed to win a tournament in Germany with an early list while on stream, which only further put the deck in the spotlight (with an early ice list of 3 Vanilla, 3 Enigma and 3 Rototurrent. Atman 0 and Turtle were too good against this ice suite so I made some changes leading up to the Malaysian nats).

I would search the Stimhack Slack for the mentioning of Contract Killer and Biometric Spoofing almost every day to see if the tech and its counters, started to catch on. Too my surprise, although I began seeing more Rewiring decks on Jnet, people seemed to have been slow on the Contract Killer uptake. At the time of this writing, one week after worlds, I would say that it is likely, given the number of Contract Killer’s in top-16, that playtest groups might have refrained from engaging in too many public discussion about it. After all, those running it had no interest in scaring people into playing more damage protection.

I mentioned the ice above, and some players like @Tugtegut, tested with Mythic ice and in the end that’s what Lucas settled on. For me, I never had to deal with people playing damage protection and the list that is posted here is before the CI Kill (other than Boom) meta, which meant I didn’t have to face much hate.

Some people have asked me what I do against clot and I have told them that often you can sneak out a Brain Rewiring behind some ice and let it sit there for a few turns. I have often done the play of Shipment from Mirrormorph, install Brain, Vanilla, Enigma. This can keep it safe and you can then fast advance the Contract Killer. If they run and use SMC to get in to the remote, then they probably don’t have another SMC to find the Clot, and you can FA and combo with another Brain. In terms of scoring out, although this is a bit awkward, you can also do Shipment from Mirrormorph for GFI behind Vanilla an Enigma or Cobra, then Advance, Advance. Often they don’t have the necessary breakers setup that early (we are talking something like turn 3-5 if they have found damage protection) and you can score the 3 pointer. This puts the pressure on since you can score 4 points out of hand relatively easy. The kill plan is still preferable though if possible.

Other than that I’m not sure what else to say. Both Lucas Spags did a lot for the deck, and especially Lucas who made some additions that turned out to be absolutely crucial. In the end it was the collaboration and fine-tuning of both this and the Hayley list that made the decks so good. Although he Hayley is probably more resilient in the sense that it can’t be shut down as easily as the Kill-plan, some people did add 24/7 New Cycle to be able to fight through Spoofings and other hate. It’s also important to remember that the runner has about 5-7 turns to find the damage protection, otherwise it’s very likely gg.

Lastly and unrelated to the deck, sort of, I would like to give a shout out to the Swedish Netrunner community, and especially @gejben and @kollapse, whom have donated so much swag to the budding Jakarta Netrunner scene. Very much appreciated and it will help keep us grow and hopefully inspire some players to go to world’s next year!

(My apologies that this turned out to be so terribly lengthy and that it at times resembled a thank-you The Oscars-speech, there are just too many cool people who are involved with this game, in one way or another. Oh and the name? Well, Toast Skagen is a Swedish delight and the name just seemed right. Also, the it really annoys Gejben and at the end of the day, I think that’s all that matters).

TL:DR: I took a dump and discovered that Contract Killer is amazing in this combo deck. Great people made the deck much better. Wonderful and fantastic people play Netrunner. Make sure to annoy @gejben whenever possible.

12 Nov 2017 Dazzler

Reading the title of the deck in the morning makes me hungry and crave for toast.

13 Nov 2017 gejben

The name... so stupid.