Trust the Process - 2nd at Worlds

Nemamiah 3558

Yup, it's basically the same list that a bunch of UK players and I have been on for the past six months.

At the start of the Worlds testing process we were pretty down on CtM; our initial expectation was that the meta would shift to Misdirection Shaper and Bendy MaxX; the latter is one of your worst matchups, and requires an entirely different set of answers than those that the Shaper decks demand. We assumed that CtM would end up at tier 2 and so looked for other decks, at least partially because we believed there must be something busted out there somewhere.

Over the next few days we spammed games with a wide variety of Corp lists, including a few Azmari decks, various kinds of Jinteki glacier, a couple of IG lists, the SIU and Judge combo in basically every deck that it could feasibly fit in and, during our lowest ebb, a Mushin Brain Rewiring deck (If the runner doesn't run, you literally can't lose! ~ Mike Prosser).

None of these put up anything like a convincing performance, and so we did what we secretly knew we would all along: talk ourselves in to playing CtM. This was helped by the appearance of Patchwork Maxx instead of the Bendy variety, which is a better matchup, and an anticipated return of a large chunk of the field to traditional Val lists, which is also fine for this deck.

SEA Source came in to the deck, which you need to beat Shaper and has utility in other matchups as well. That replaced the third Daily Business Show or Calibration Testing that Seamus and I couldn't agree on, thus preventing further arguments. SEA Source also means that you should probably play Closed Accounts, so that replaced Market Forces. That further hurts your tag me Liza matchup, which is already pretty dubious, but that always promised to be a small percentage of the field.

This list is obviously significantly different to the Comrades version that performed predictably well, though they share a large number of cards. Ignoring incendiary questions like which, if either, is 'better', it's helpful to understand where each is strong or weak.

This list is theoretically quicker, and thus is a bit better at both clearing currents and converting good board states in to wins. It's also better at forcing a runner to go tag me, but the Comrades list is then better at punishing that game state because it has more Quantum Predictive Models and Exchange of Information. At least a little bit of this is play style: the Comrades list usually requires you to bluff either a Global Food Initiative or a Project Beale as a Quantum Predictive Model (or vice versa), which isn't a line I particularly like as it gives the runner room to make good or lucky decisions that can hurt you. However, CtM has always relied on people making wrong decisions against it which you then punish, so that element is present to a lesser extent in this list too.

This deck was a blast to play, as always, and led to a whole bunch of close and interesting games over the tournament (together with the handful of blowouts that you also tend to get against people who aren't as familiar with or confident against CtM). CtM being both the best and winning deck at the final FFG Worlds shows that there's still a shred of justice left in the world.

(By the way, UK players do trash Bankers. Usually. Unless we forget. Or think it's a bad time and put it off for a few turns. Or maybe if we're saving our credits to do something else suboptimal. But the rest of the time we definitely trash them, so don't listen to any American lies to the contrary).

Always be trace4 ing.

5 comments
12 Sep 2018 Cliquil

Thank you for the explanation of the differences between the "US" and "UK" versions (this vs. Comrades to use the terminology you used).

As always your contribution to deeply explaining the game enriches us all. I am glad you were, once again, representing the game at its highest level.

12 Sep 2018 whirrun

Well done! Can someone explain to me what bendy MaxX is though?

12 Sep 2018 spags

Chris is right; he trashed mine to prove a point to Josho.

13 Sep 2018 Murse

Thanks for all that you've done to help this game Chris. Especially Dead Channel. Hope that you guys can keep it going somehow. Really have appreciated your insight. It's helped me improve and love my favorite game even more.

13 Sep 2018 mcg

@whirrun 'Bendy' refers to Data Folding, which you use to replace the BP you would get in Val (and, you know, spend).