This Liza deck carried me to 4th place in the Derby, UK regional yesterday, going 4-2 on the day, and helping me out no end when my Azmari deck vomited agendas after I omitted to put any kind of Jackson Howard replacement in the deck.
A couple of days before the event, I was chatting on Slack to @clusterfox, who mentioned that he had an interesting Liza build that had done well in testing, and shared it with me. I was tempted by the idea of not playing Val with Zero/CV, if nothing else for novelty value, so I tested it out a few times with @maxey, my UK testing partner, and it did really, really well against any deck that didn’t have High Profile Target (this deck’s nemesis, as @loveman has noted in his deck writeup for the Liza build that won the whole event). Last week’s Brighton Regional had about 15% Argus, and I was hopeful that that would go down, so @clusterfox and I, with @maxey’s help, looked at possible refinements. @clusterfox has written up his list here (https://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/51613/thunderdome-6th-bochum-regionals-), with lots more good background on the thinking. My list differed from @clusterfox, having 2 1 Legwork and 1 Inside Job over his 2 Inside Jobs.
The basics of the deck are straight forward. Run all the time. Collect tags and money. Keep your opponent down on econ. Draw more cards. Rinse, repeat. The engine is crazily fast if you can maintain centrals access – corps that are on thin ice decks, such as CI will find it incredibly hard going. Liza draws you into your key pieces, which are Bankroll, Aumakua and Paragon. Once you have those down. Any open remote is an opportunity to generate the Aumakua counters that you need for centrals access, and with Bankroll running, there is no reason to check every remote. Embezzle is there for one or two key matchups, specifically, to hit Psychographics against CTM, Hunter Seeker in Skorpios, and fast advance tools anywhere else. Bankroll saves you against CTM on Closed Accounts or Market Forces, by holding your money where they can’t get to it. Falsified tells you if it’s worth running an IAA remote, and gets you a turtle counter. Lister is there to get you 5 str post purge for a key run.
Ultimately, your goal is to have enough tags to be able to play Mars for Martians, install Counter Surveillance, and pop to run R&D to see enough cards to win.
The most significant change from the first build was removing all the kill protection. Paparazzi, Fall Guy and Wireless Net Pavilion are simply too slow to have any chance to save you from a fiery death if your opponent is on a kill plan. Those 8 card slots are much better off improving your matchup against every other corp that you will face. Don’t weep salty tears if the meta is Argus, The Outfit, and Titan with a back up kill plan, that’s the risk you take with this deck.
So, how did it turn out on the day?
Round 1 – bye, learnt how to play Century Spice Road with @highwire, @nemo and @vinegarymink.
Round 2 – v @epimer who was on a fairly standard Skorpios build. I was able to steal a couple of early agendas, got Aukamua taken out by Hunter Seeker, but with 3 in the deck, 2 Special Order, and Liza draw I was able to find another. He was able to stabilise centrals and score a Standoff to enable an Archer rez, which then became prime Emergency Shutdown fodder. I was able to build towards the deep dig and fired it for the win.
Round 3 v @vinegarymink, who had swept Round 2, and dangled an ID in front of me. I was sure I needed at least one sweep to progress, so we played the games. He was on a moons CI build, and I was lucky enough to have a strike in my opening hand. I facechecked Architect on HQ turn 1, but with nothing in archives, that’s always the best time to do that. The run drew me into a second strike, and I think got me a Vitruvius. With so little ice in his deck, I was able to keep up central pressure, and generate Aumakua counters, and generate enough money to kill remotes. Alex dug for Scarcity off an Estelle fire behind ice that I could break with Aumakua (I think) but didn’t find it, and ended up pretty flooded, having to put agendas into the archives, which I ran next turn for the win. It would be fair to say that Employee Strike and Aumakua won the game, rather than Liza.
Round 4 v Matthew Burton, and my worst nightmare – on the Outfit. I jokingly asked ‘how many people have you killed today?’, on the off chance that he would say ‘oh, none, this is a vegan build’, but sadly, and as expected, he thought for a moment and said ‘Two, I think?’. The game went very much as expected, I decided to clear tags rather than go tagme from turn one. He made bank money from Too Big To Fail, and proceed to score out a double advanced Atlas behind Mother Goddess,– I’d sniped one Armed Intimidation off R&D, but then saw the dreaded HPT with no way to kill it. A lesson for the future is to wait till you see HPT before using Embezzle. He scored out a second Atlas behind the Mogo, and used a token to pull City Works Project, and created an interesting fork which allowed me to choose whether I wanted to die stealing the CWP, or die to HPT next turn. I chose the latter. But hey, I got to 5 points.
Round 5 v @rotage, one of my best netrunner friends, and all-round creative nightmare to play against. Count his credits and never run if he’s on 9, unless you can break sentries. Or don’t mind losing your mind. We knew he needed a sweep to progress, while a split probably gave me high enough SoS to scrape in on 6-4. He was on Mti, I got an early strike to set up and get accesses and money. I had seen nothing from his agenda suite, so chose to challenge a remote, which was Obokata, which I stole, and then died to the punitive ‘which I put in at the last minute’. Probably should have been more careful, but that’s the criminal way. Fortunately, Azmari did it’s thing in this round, and I won after bouncing an ice carver with archangel to make R&D too expensive to run for a 2 card access, which with only 8 cards in R&D would probably have been enough.
Cut Round 1 - v King of Swiss, Michael Hawes, on Mti. I’m fortunate that he hasn’t spectated any of my games during the day, and so wasn’t aware of the full plan. I get Strike in my opening hand, and play it which really helps this matchup. Turn 1 I face check an IP Block on HQ and another on R&D, the archives run draws me into another strike and Aumakua, which I can put down. I’m able to keep him fairly poor, a limiting issue is that my rate of tag generation is incredibly high, every run is creating at least two tags - which is great for setting up for the CS run, but I need to find Mars for Martians to land it. Bankroll steadily makes money - Mike purges but is too poor to stop me farming 4 turtle counters off an empty remote. I steal an SSL which gives him money, and then draw into the pieces I need for a deep dig - as long as I can get into R&D, and Mike has purged again. I have 20 tags at this point, so am fairly sure I can win if I can get in - but the maths is annoying, and if he has a high str ETR on R&D, I’m boned. I draw up to 5, so the next turn is draw, install lister, install CS, pop CS to access 28 cards, after taking Mars for Martians the previous turn. The loaded Bankroll and Paragon give me enough money to sweep R&D for the win. ‘I’ll see 28 cards off R&D, please’, is something I don’t expect to say very often.
Cut Round 3 - v @pandageddon, on a Sports Metal Political Dealings/Jeeves deck. Liza’s ability to generate money and draw give me a really fast start, plus another early Strike, and I steal two early agendas. He sneaks out a Vitruvius off the table from a remote I missed checking, to clear strike, but by then I’ve found the second. The presence of an open Jeeves allows me to generate turtle tokens fast after he locks down centrals, but my goal is to control his board state rather than pressure HQ, and wait for him to flood out. He keeps purging, and using the Jeeves click to install, and eventually I decide this isn’t worth it, given he also has a Turtlebacks open, so I kill the Jeeves. The penny drops for him that open remotes are a bad idea, so he overwrites the Jeeves with Rashida. I finally attack HQ with 5 counters, forgetting that Gatekeeper is a thing, so he can clear his hand of agendas - but this just puts them back into R&D, which I check and see an Architect which I can break, and knowing that I can set up for the CS dig which wins me the game.
Cut Round 4 - the reverse matchup against the eventual winner, @loveman, and I know it’s not going to go well. I flood out early with nowhere to put agendas, a news hound/IP Block remote allows me to score a food (I think?), but by then with 4 agendas in hand, it’s ggwp.
23 Jul 2018 Cluster Fox
23 Jul 2018 AndytheLovell
23 Jul 2018 Tolaasin