1st Place Antwerp Regionals: Zer0 skill Val

ryanbantwins 1938

Since I didn’t really test any serious decks since Euros (Pheromones Gabe y’all), I was in a bit of a pickle deciding my runner for the tournament. After scouting Nrdb and Jinteki.net it seemed that Val (with Zero and Clan Vengeance) was the deck to beat. Since it didn’t seem that different from my normal Val from Euros, I just combined the list from BlueHG and DoomRat. Even though I never played Clan Vengeance nor Zero before.

I mostly followed the reasoning of these 2 people, like Indexing is awkward with Zero compared to FTT+RNG because you want a fluent hand (you either play a card immediately or it will get discarded). Extra breakers vs etr-ICE is good against rush. Yet I will never cut my third stimhack, because that is just the best econ card in the game.

Round 1: SC Bye

Round 2: Pieter with Argus

Can’t remember much from this game, but I was rich enough to dodge Economic warfare, Stinson and HHN. I kept attacking his centrals with Omar and FTT and eventually saw the Hostile that I could turntable ftw.

Round 3: Gereon with Asa

I go deep early on to steal an Ikawah through two surveyors without MK Ultra. So I have 4 tags, but at least he can’t play the never advance game. I stay tagged for the rest of the game (up to 24 tags in the end), but he can’t stop my single accesses every turn on R&D. More than 10 turns in a row I access the top card of his deck, but can’t find the final agenda (can’t rely on TTW when you’re tagged). Eventually he scores out in his big remote, with like 6 cards in R&D (3 of those being agendas).

Round 4: TheOneakaNeo with SSO

He opens with a standard play of install City Works Projct and put an ICE in front of it. A turn 1 estrike forces him to actually invest in that agenda. But when he advances it next turn, I’m able to steal it without the risk of losing good cards or getting punitived. A couple of turns later I have 5 bad pub and 4 points and he has just one point. He installs another CWP without advancing. I can’t contest the agenda this turn, but it should be doable next turn. At that point he makes the interesting play of using Red Planet Couriers on CWP to move 10 tokens, but he doesn’t score the agenda. Now this is annoying. I can never steal that agenda, so he gets 3 adv tokens every single turn. Knowing that he has 2 biotics and a fast track in hand, I have to find an answer to that soon or I will lose if he finds a second Red Planet Couriers. I can’t find estrike but I finally draw my Clan Vengeance, so that he can no longer win. Even though I’m still running for free, I can’t find my Turning Wheel fast enough. HQ is locked, top of R&D is locked but we’re almost out of time. I finally find my Turning Wheel and manage to land a 6 card dig before time is called and I whiff … Luckily I’m not an idiot and I don’t forget to check the 1 card he trashed earlier and find a sweet 3-pointer in Archives. I was farming HQ for TTW tokens, so my opponent decided archives was probably a safer place for the agenda. Nice try!

Round 5: SmokeElmo with Azmari Punitive

I’ve to destroy my boardstate to keep up with his agendas due to Jua, Degree Mill and FC3 (goodbye Zero, Maxwell, FTT …). Ice carver is doing an amazing job though against his FC3 and Surveyors, but I’m biting on too many NGO’s. Eventually he runs out of NGO’s and IAA a degree mill. Since he’s already on 4 points, I have no other choice than to bite. This almost creates a scoring window next turn, but a clutch stimhack saves the day. I end the game with 2 cards installed, since I had to bounce/trash most of my cards in order to get through his remote again.

Top 4 Round 1: Luis with PE

I’ve to play against the undefeated PE-deck … WHAT??? A deck that doesn’t even run a single economy card… NONE! I play carefully but the lack of IHW, Clan Vengeance or FTT is scary. I score an early Obokata and swap a false lead for another Obokata. There was one moment where he could kill me early game with double neural, but for the rest of the game I just made sure to never over-extend and eventually found the last agenda.

Finale part 1: Django CTM

Another undefeated deck … yay! Luckily I can keep his board under control with 2 early Stimhacks to contest his remotes defended by MVT’s (an ARES and Rashida). Eventually I can also use my estrikes and FTT+RNG to close out the game. To be fair, my opponent didn’t have a great draw.

2 comments
14 Jul 2018 Slowriffs

14 influence spent (max 15, available 1) -> OCD ATTACK AARGH

All jokes aside, good job keeping the Antwerp trophy in Antwerp and beating the german invasion!

14 Jul 2018 ryanbantwins

I mean you're Anarch, you already have all the good cards. It's kinda funny that you basically only splash neutral (or minifaction) cards. Except for James ofc ... that guy is just amazing.