Pirate Hayley - 10th at Euros

AndytheLovell 464

A completely derivative Pirate Hayley list that did well at Euros. Massive credit to Catherine, Dave and Chris for coming up with a fantastic shell which is not only incredibly fun to play but also took me to my first cut at an event bigger than a Store Champ.

Shout outs to all my opponents on both days, the Brighton crew for keeping me company and sane throughout the weekend, Thameside for being the very best of people, and Tagore and Catherine for lending me enough cards to have a legal deck! Also huge props to Johno for streaming, recording, fixing AND playing in the event all at once - you're a huge credit to the community.

Card choices: My only interesting tweaks from the original list were to add 2 Peace and an extra current dropping the 3rd grappling hook and an SMC in the process. Peace smooths out the early game econ, helping to get Laguna online faster and providing a huge benefit vs Hard Hitting News decks, moreover it allows you to add ducks to a Pirate deck, solidifying the aquatic thematic. Freedom is the (whisper it) 46th card which provides an extra current to battle scarcity and helps a ton against Azmari, SSO or any deck running all 3pt agendas.

Common match ups: Titan is pretty much just a race for accesses which works in your favour as DDM is an absurdly strong card for getting accesses. PolOp was MVP in all games essentially denying any Reconstruction Contract scores which slows down the Atlas train by a few turns and makes GFI almost impossible to score. Shuffling with Bootcamp or an Atlas token is also a double edged sword as it resets the top of R+D for more DDM fun.

Rush Skorp is relatively pain free as a lot of their ice is single sub ETR or trash program which is blank in the early game. Generally I'll wait until they advance a card in the remote before using DDM which forks their Skorp trigger between menagerie breakers and multi-access. This also helps the plan of scoring multiple agendas in one turn to lessen the impact of Hunter Seeker. Stay aware of Ark Lockdown at all times, and generally Levy preemptively when only half your resource breakers are in the bin to avoid a complete zoo shut down blow out.

Glacier-ish decks such as Palana, Aginfusion, SSO and Azmari are all positive match ups as they give more breathing room to find Tech Traders and Laguna, plus expensive high strength ice aimed at taxing Anarch breakers is usually a poor trade in terms of rez cost vs your resource zoo of birbs and crocs. It's often best to Levy slightly earlier in these games as a large enough remote can put a difficult tax on your breakers if enough of them are in the bin. Always make sure to use up animals and hooks before you levy, even for single accesses, as this gives you more econ and staying power in the long game.

CTM is the toughest match up you will see on the regular as you don't really have the econ to trash much, if anything, and are completely devastated if they can land a SEA/ASI or HHN. Hard mulligan for Astrolabe and/or Peace and don't worry about letting a few points go if you need to set up econ. This match up is definitely corp favoured, even more so if they are on a rushier Team Sponsorship build, but their ice is generally quite porous and a combination of DDM and Legwork will often pull you through, even if you are tagged up.

CI Moon/FA was a match up that I didn't really test at all as I didn't expect it to be prevalent at Euros. I didn't play any CI on either day so can't really comment except to say that DDM scores lots of points and PolOp vs Moon timing windows is a real pain as there is legitimate reason to stop and ask if you want to trash after every install and before every run.

Closing thoughts: The deck can feel a little wonky to play and DDM/Freedom combined with runs that leave you richer rather than poorer can create huge swings in both points and tempo. I've often felt like a game is slipping away before mining 4 points in one R+D run and legworking the win, having gained 10+ credits and wondering what I was ever worried about. If you want to know what that feels like, this deck is definitely for you.