First, the thanks.
Thank you to @amvric and Mattie for running such an incredibly fun and smooth tournament and to Jon for running Startup. You deserve all the credit in the world.
Thank you to my gracious opponents in both Startup and Standard, who were nothing if not warm and open with their thoughts and well wishes, even as they mercilessly punished my misplays.
Thank you as always to my wonderful partner who bore to part with me for a weekend and didn't immediately throw me out and change the locks when the first words after I got home were still, impossibly, about Netrunner.
Second, the caveats.
Due to time constraints, Canadian Startup was only three rounds of double-sided Swiss, since the last two rounds of Standard had to be pushed to Day 2. As such, both of these decks only racked up three wins apiece. On a longer time frame, they probably look decidedly less impressive. As it was, though, both this and my runner, went undefeated in their three matchups, taking down Mercury, Esa, and Reina Roja and R+ (twice) and Precision Design, respectively. That said, I was the only player not to drop a match in all six games and so was named Canadian Startup champion.
On to the deck itself.
The bones of this deck are built on the Don't You Remember which won Switzerland's Startup nats, updated for the post-Automata Initiative meta. The core game plan is dead simple: bury agendas with Daily Business Show until you draw into one of your several ways of killing the runner, and then do precisely that. On the day, I won by flatline twice and by scoring out once. In the latter case, that was solely due to not drawing into my Reaper Functions and deciding, under duress, to actually play some honest Netrunner for once.
A few cards stand out to me in particular:
Starlit Knight is an absolute monster. In my Reina matchup I paid 6 for this and would happily have even paid 7. An absolutely devastating facecheck that becomes a brick wall once the runner decides to try to go tag-me. Instant MVP, no question about it.
-1 Reaper Function, +1 Snare! Look. I know that strictly speaking, Reaper Function is better because it's a positive game plan rather than a reactive one. Consider, as a counterpoint, that Snare! fuckin' rules.
Virtual Service Agent: I actually am sort of undecided on this card in Startup. On the one hand, you punish Boat, but on the other, I feel like this shines best in matchups against Turtle as a sort of pseudo-IP Block replacement. One of my runner wins as Tao was because of how porous this ICE is on centrals. Jury's out in Startup, in other words.
It was such a delight meeting so many people at Canadian Nats, especially since I can't make it to Worlds this year. Safe travels to everyone who's headed out to Barcelona and I'll hopefully see you all again soon!
30 Nov 2023 Tradon