7 Point Penalty Shootout

Crowe 222

HEY NOW! LISTEN UP! DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? DO YOU HAVE THE GAME IN YOUR GUTS? HAVE YOU GOT STEEL IN YOUR SOUL?

DO YOU HAVE SPORTSMETAL???

Well do you?

If so, then this is the deck for you. I've been playing this deck for a while now, making a few minor alterations here and there, but the heart of the deck has remained pretty much consistent - 23 agendas + necessary combo pieces + some more cards to make up the minimum card requirement for a legal deck.

I've won most of my games. I maintain that my only losses are because I've horribly misplayed on a certain key turn.

This deck is fairly similar to Iceless Team SportsMoon: https://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/51496/iceless-team-sportsmoon except that the deck doesn't really need Estelle Moon (she's pretty cool, but now sh. e's removed from the game), and we're not running any 2 pointers, because 2 pointers are a serious liability imo.

I figured I'd write a bit of a guide to playing the deck because I have nothing better to do tonight.

MULLIGAN STRATEGY

Mulligan hard for Fast Break unless you have 3 agendas in hand, which you should probably keep, since your ideal first turn play is to install 3 agendas, preferably False Lead, The Future is Now and Hyperloop Extension. It might be tempting to keep combo pieces in hand, but a clever runner will run and trash it all. You have plenty of redundancy and recursion, but ideally you're drawing into the combo pieces with Fast Break.

GAMEPLAY

Right from turn 1, you should be installing agendas on the table, and if the runner doesn't run them, scoring key agendas (usually gaining money with Sportsmetal to offset the investment, but draw is better if you have at least 4 creds and don't have a full hand).

Given a choice, agendas should be scored off the table in the following order:

  1. False Lead. Getting a False Lead scored allows you to manage the board and the number of agendas the runner can feasibly steal in one turn. If they get to 3-5 points, you know they can win in 4 clicks if they just run 4 times, so being able to deny them 2 attempts and can save your life.
  2. The Future is Now. This lets you go find Fast Break, or whatever else you might need on the combo turn.
  3. Hyperloop Extension. This is just pure tempo. Pays for itself, and then some with SportsMetal.
  4. Bifrost Array. Score this after either of the above two agendas and trigger them.
  5. Chronos Project. Good for getting rid of Diversion of Funds + Shadow Net targets. The remainder of the agendas are only really good when you're scoring on the combo turn, unless you're doing something nuts with Research Grant (like straight up scoring 3 from the table) or if you feel there's some merit to creating a server with Director Haas' Pet Project (perhaps installing a Team Sponsorship).

You should spend most of your time drawing and managing the board state, always ensuring there aren't enough agendas on the table for the runner to outright win, whilst putting yourself in a fairly decent economic position to combo. You don't need much money, and in fact can win on as little as 3-4 credits, depending on how many agendas the runner has stolen.

If you have recursion in hand, don't worry about installing pieces of your combo early, especially Team Sponsorship. Getting early recursion from Team Sponsorship, and forcing the runner to waste time trashing them when you can easily bring them back works in your favour. If you can sneak out at least one Team Sponsorship and have it left unchecked, this will save you clicks later on.

WIN CONDITION

The aim is to create a board state where you have Breaker Bay Grid, Arella Salvatore, 2 Calibration Testing in one server, and 2 Team Sponsorship on the board. Once the runner hits 4 agendas, you can win the game at any point, because Fast Break ends up paying for itself, although ideally you want the runner to have stolen at least 6 agendas (not necessarily 6 points, given you're running Domestic Sleepers). At 4, Fast Break will let you install the whole combo server so long as you draw into it.

The question of when to combo is mostly is tough to answer. You need to be aware of what kind of deck your opponent is playing, what kind of multi-access, HQ disruption (etc) they're likely to be playing. Mad Dash is now restricted, but there's still Freedom through Equality to worry about. If you feel like the runner could feasibly win in the next turn, and you don't have the ability to manage their agenda intake through False Lead, then you're probably best off going for it.

The combo turn probably isn't going to be as clean as - Fast Break > install combo pieces > Game Changer, install Team Sponsorships, Sometimes you have to work hard for your 7 points, sometimes you have to play Fast Break, Game Changer, click for creds, click to draw, Fast Break again, Game Changer again, Archived Memories your Fast Break to play Fast Break again, playing your final Game Changer to purge a clot twice before you can combo out. The combo turn is basically a puzzle where you have to find the most likely path to assembling the winning board state.

Domestic Sleepers has won me so many games on the combo turn. I've had times when I've constructed a board state with 2 Team Sponsorship, Arella Salvatore + Breaker Bay Grid + 1 Calibration Testing with only 2 clicks left and 1 credit, thinking I've lost the game. Turns out you only need 1 click to install and only click and a credit to advance a Domestic Sleepers, trash Calibration Testing, draw twice with Sports Metal, find your final Calibration Testing, install both with Team Sponsorship, install the next agenda with Arella Salvatore, and from that point forward, it's 0 to to 7, unless your opponent just packs up before you get the chance.

CARD EXPLANATIONS

Best Defense is here to kill the Shadow Net and perhaps to kill a Sacrificial Construct to save clicks purging away clot.

Distract the Masses is here mainly to throw trashed combo pieces back into R&D, although you could use it for agenda flood. You don't care how much money the runner has. It is better than Preemptive Action because you can play it on the combo turn itself. It is very possible to get to the very bottom of this deck, and Distract the Masses lets you stack the deck to enable to a key Fast Break etc.

Restore. This lets you bring back one key Team Sponsorship, Arella, or the second Calibration Testing. I usually prefer to see Archived Memories though, as it lets you replay Fast Break for more draw.

Brain Rewiring. This is literally here because its restricted and looks scary. Personality Profiles is probably better, because it potentially does something, but there's an argument to be made for Gila Hands Arcology, although I can't imagine there being a scenario when you'd use it, unless perhaps on the combo turn after a Game Changer... Nope, still not going to put it in.

BUT WHAT ABOUT...?

Clot + Clone Chip + Sacrificial Construct? If you suspect clot, then money up. You'll need Game Changer to provide you with enough clicks to purge as per the number of Clone Chips/Sac Cons on the board. Best Defense can be used to save 2 clicks if your opponent is on Sac Con.

The Shadow Net? This card can admittedly ruin your day. The runner can just run all your agendas and sacrifice them all, then just sit back until you deck yourself. If you're against Shaper and have a Best Defense in your opening hand, keep it, or you'll likely regret it later.

Diversion of Funds? This is tempo loss for the runner, because it takes two whole clicks. Just click for money afterwards, and gain money with your agendas. If they're recurring the damn thing, try hit them with a Chronos Project. As I've said before, you can feasibly win off very little money.

Thank god Clan Vengeance is gone.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I love this deck so much. My meta won't let me play it any more, although I do get it - it's not much fun to play against when it invalidates most of your deck (icebreakers and money). I took it to UK Nats and I did pretty average, despite sweeping the first round and splitting with Chris Dyer in the second (not with my Corp unfortunately!). However, again, I maintain that these losses were due to my own misplays. Perhaps if I hadn't gone and had a baby who wakes me up at 5AM and doesn't let me practice on Jnet etc, things would have been different...

Have fun :)

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