🔥 Marsmetal (aka Tithonium Sports) (8-3, 45th @WORLDS'22)

xFWx FIREBIRD (aka FireRL) 449

🔥 Tithonium Sports 🔥

One of the most satisfying accomplishments in games is creating an engine🚂 that your opponents can't keep up with. Sadly, when your engine🚂 is right at the moment of achieving maximum power, the game is typically over and you never get to see it perform...

This deck is my beloved pet project, and was initially created as an exercise in abusing this paradox. It is my final result of the question: how do we build a competitive scoring engine🚂 that continues to run after it's at maximum power?

(spoiler: sacrifice agendas to defer winning the game)


🧠 Core game plan: Go fast. Create an agenda flywheel with Tranquility & Arella🚂. Go faster.

Strategy & key aspects:

  • Your ID is pushed
  • Your ICE are pushed
  • Your agendas are pushed
  • Put Tranquility and/or Arella🚂 behind Gatekeeper or Tithonium👾 (FC3 or Ansel are initially passable too if you must...). Tranquility will ensure that scoring an agenda is a net profit, and Arella🚂 will ensure that you get to score agendas every turn (and maybe more than once per turn). Install both, and your iron horse🚂 won't be stopped
  • Rez Tithonium👾 (ejecting the Runner) and stay on the train🚂 ride longer
  • The only thing better than slamming an agenda in the remote every turn is slamming a Rashida in the remote turn 1
  • A side benefit to playing Sports right now, is pretending to be FA Sports and tricking the Runner into misplaying for the first couple turns. Unlike the frail FA Sports decks, this Sports deck packs a bunch of big punches

🏆 PERFORMANCE:

Worlds Swiss (4-2):

  • R1 (IainFanAccount) - W vs Reavershop Wu
  • R2 (Ycarium) - W vs Boatshiko
  • R3 (Jinsei) - W vs Boatshiko
  • R4 (BinkBonkle) - W vs Boat Freedom
  • R5 (Extrac) - L vs Boatshiko
  • R6 (Lopert) - L vs Boatshiko
  • R7 (AxWill) - N/A (241)

Crown of Servers (4-1) 4th place team #freetheturtle🐢:

  • R1 (?) - L vs Steve (immediately dismantled by Miss Bones before I could establish economy)
  • R2 (The King) - W vs Boatshiko
  • R3 (Analyzechris) - W vs Boat Adam (Tithonium👾 sniped Femme + RNG + DJ Fenris)
  • R4 (Kysra) - W vs Wu (Tithonium👾 sniped early Reaver + Aesop)
  • R5 (Greg) - W vs Boatshiko (Tithonium👾 sniped early Fermenter + Casts)

🃏 Card choices:

  • 3x Tithonium👾... I know you're thinking it, and this is why you're here reading this writeup, because >50% of my opponents over the last 3 years have told me they felt like they were glad to see Sports sacrifice an agenda to rez a piece of ICE. Here's the thing: I can typically make up for that agenda loss with just 2, and oftentimes, just those 2 later I'm in an even better position since I probably sacrificed a 1pt and scored a 2pt (and that's not even including the benefit of the ability on the agenda!). So, the real question is: does rezzing this Tithonium👾 set the Runner back more than it sets me back? Of course this is not the case every time, but consider the blowouts this could cause the Runner. And for some quick math, let me help you: 8. 99% of Runners from the last 3 years have been on Paperclip, which costs 8 to install and break the first time. And 99% of the time, Paperclip won't be installed already because **we DON'T play any other barriers. <- THIS. IS. IMPORTANT**. Against Sports, the Runner must be aggressive so that Sports doesn't just run away with the win, and you know this so you've buried a Tithonium👾 behind another expensive-to-break ICE. At this point, typically you and the Runner are just on a laughable 5 or less, and the Runner's thinking "I can break anything that gets rezzed for 3-4, and maybe Gatekeeper just stops me." But no, now you rez your Tithonium👾 for 0, and the Runner's rig melts away while they get ripped out of the server🔥. Oh, and don't forget: Tithonium👾 can't host cards either🧲
  • 3x Arella Salvatore🚂... And this is why Tithonium👾 works so well. With 14 agendas and 3 Seamless Launch, your ability to churn out 1-4 points per turn is unmatched. Pair this with Sports' and Tranquility's ability, and you never slow down. 3 Arellas🚂 is important because we are leaning very far into having 14 agendas, and we want to get at least 1 Arella🚂 trigger every turn asap (plus, if the Runner gets smart and spends 4-9 trashing your Tranquility and/or Arella🚂, you probably already have another to replace it with!). This is the essence and maximum velocity of a slam-and-jam deck. Oh, and don't forget: Arella🚂 is flexible and can also install ICE on any server, and ignoring the install cost
  • 2x Architect Deployment Test... For the last 3 years, this has been a 3x slot, and has done various heavy lifting - especially pairing well with the excessive amount of higher cost ICE. No other 4/2 agenda can quite match its velocity. Architect triggering allows me to peak at the top 5, inform my Sports' trigger, know how best to defend HQ/R&D, and then pick 1 to draw AND install AND for free AND rez for free. Typically we're installing a new ICE on the remote to bolster its strength and prevent pesky robbers. If you fear Stargate, slam that ICE on R&D. If you're desperate to slam another agenda with 0 in HQ and can't reach it with Sports draw, flex on the Runner and show them that free andenda you get to install
  • 1x Biotic Labor... This card hardly requires introduction in HB, let alone Sports. However, until recently, I was on 0 and leaning as hard as I could into the Arella train🚂. Adding 1 gave me train🚂 derailment insurance. Typically it's used to close out a game where my winning agenda was sniped out of the remote, but it can also be used to force out a score mid-game and re-engage your Arella train🚂
  • 3x Elivagar Bifurcation... Thanks to Midnight Sun, the agenda suite became even more absurd. I cut 1 Architect and 1 Hyperloop for the benefit of including 3 agendas that increased the maximum speed of the Arella train🚂. Typically, scoring a Bifurcation means 1 of 2 things: scoring multiple agendas in 1 turn, or re-engaging your disrupted Arella train🚂 from hand
  • 0x Sprint... Typically I've slotted 2-3, and it's amazing for this deck like Red Level is for many HB decks. Not only does it provide the fuel for my Arella train🚂 to keep going, but in a pinch it can also help out awkward draw. However, this deck has unique additional Sprint utility: put Tyr, Ansel, or extra Tithoniums👾 back in the deck for Architect to find! As you can see though, I'm now sadly on 0, and this is thanks to . . .
  • 2x NEXT Activation Command... Thanks Boat🛳... However, this card is actually perfect for this deck proactively too. HB already loves using NEXT to push through a Luminal or Architect score, and this Sports deck is no different. Additionally, because of the significant amount of clickable bioroid ICE, this is potentially a life saver if all you can defend your remote with early is an FC3/similar. Draw it later, and simply use it to close out a win
  • 2x defensive upgrades... I've come to the conclusion that the deck optimally runs on ~3 defensive upgrades. For most of the deck's history, that's been 2 Manegarm and 1 Giordano. Your ICE is already taxing enough, and oftentimes (because of your ridiculous ability to slam-and-jam behind seriously beefy ICE and the Runner unlikely to pressure the remote every turn) you actually prefer to use them for central defenses
  • 1x Fairchild 2.0... While FC3 was banned, I slotted 3 FC2s instead (and 2 more Ansels). Upon FC3's release, I decided 1-2 FC2 was actually fine to stay (and 3 Ansel was worth keeping), and so I removed the Tyr to afford the upgrades
  • 0x Spin Doctor... I would love to have some Spins, but I found that when only slotting 2 Tithoniums👾 or 2 Arellas🚂, the pressure was lessened too much for the Runner. Embrace the speed and don't look back!

💭 Additional thoughts:

  • Historically there are 2 predators against this deck: Adam and now Esa. Adam's pure speed out of the gate is able to not only keep up, but often faster on the draw, and getting a free Docklands Pass is huge since Arella🚂 and your gameplan require you to quickly get and keep as many agendas in hand as you can. Esa's sabotage is terrifying with 0 Spins, and your best bet is to rez all of your sentries on centrals asap (and this matchup is one that you certainly want to avoid paying Tithonium's👾 alternative cost 😢)
  • Tithonium👾 is not just spicy and/or good when the Runner doesn't know it's present. If decklists are open, or the Runner sees one from accesses/Stargate/Architect/etc, then the fear of any unrezzed ICE being Tithonium👾 gives you more space than you would normally have
  • We have so many big ICE! In my experience, what happens is Runners assume that you've already rezzed your big ones, and all you have left are Hagen, Gatekeeper, Magnet, or Drafter. The over-and-over again surprise of face-checking, yet again, another big ICE often puts the Runner behind on economy and gives you scoring windows
  • Sportsmetal is an incredible home for Tithonium👾 (which IMO is far better splashed out of faction). With so many 1pt agendas and the aggression that it takes to bring down Sports, Tithonium👾 is a great way to leverage scored 1 pointers that you've already received the when-scored benefit from
  • And remember the Sports rule: Go Big or Go Home
5 comments
15 Oct 2022 xFWx FIREBIRD (aka FireRL)

I also want to shoutout the Null Signal Games team for running a PHENOMENAL event - thank y'all for everything you do! This was my first Worlds event, and it was WAY better and more fun than I anticipated (and I expected good stuff!)

16 Oct 2022 Crowphie

This looks like a very fun deck to play - grats on the 8-3 record.

17 Oct 2022 xFWx FIREBIRD (aka FireRL)

Thank you @Crowphie! It's super fun ♥️

5 Nov 2022 Scrub!

BIG WALLS, BIG PLAYS

6 Nov 2022 xFWx FIREBIRD (aka FireRL)

Hype! How'd it do for you today @Scrub!?