I've Beaten Apoc Val with Assets in Euros Top Cut, AMA

percomis 600

"I warned you about Apoc, Peter" - Chris Dyer

"Fuck it, let's play Little Engine" - Asger Sørensen

@Tugtetgut gave me this deck (every successful Netrunner player needs a @Tugtetgut in their life) and I took it to 4th place at Euros 2019, but my biggest accomplishment with it was defeating @Uraken's Apoc Val in the top 8. The deck was a meta call against non-Apoc decks, but then Apoc Val was getting popular and I was in a pickle as I've been practicing with this deck for the past few weeks. The thing is, every corp now has at least one awful matchup, so I think you pick your poison based on what you enjoy, know how to play and what meta you are expecting.

Also I have an awesome, lasered NEH from @Jakuza that I wanted to use, so what can I do, right?

The deck is the same old NEH tempo spam we all know and love, with HHN as threat and Psychographics as tag punishment.

Cards worth pointing out

  1. Indian Union Stock Exchange is amazing in this deck. It makes Temples and Team Sponsorship cost 0, Rashida gives you +1 cred and all your other out of faction cards (aside Enigma) now cost 1 instead of 2. Awesome piece of tech, made a ton of credits.
  2. Blacklist did a lot of work. It was mainly for the Apoc Anarch matchups to trap their breakers in the Heap, but can also stop Levy, Crowdfunding and Clone Chip (can be relevant with Clot or Misdirection out of Shaper decks). What the cut showed me is that even if they know about the Blacklist they have to respect it and that's huge against Maxx as they will spend time to draw cards they don't want to bin and this will slow them down hopefully just enough to let you run amok on the board.
  3. Little Engine is kind of a meme card, but we were looking for a codegate that's worth rezzing and is more expensive to break than Enigma, but I dislike Archangel (does nothing as 1st ICE) and Tollbooth felt too expensive (is still probably the better choice). Also the concept was that if they keep trashing your assets the upfront cost might be too steep (6 for Amina [and you don't lose a credit] and Engolo, 9 for Black Orchestra) and if they don't trash your asset then you don't really care about Little Engine being useless.

Also I would like to share a Little Engine moment with you where it stopped 2016 World Champion, 2018 Magnum Opus finalist, 2019 Euros finalist Chris Dyer: glory(Yeah, the image probably should have included Chris.)

I think Engolo was in Archives with Black Orchestra at this point, so if that Rashida was a Blacklist, Little Engine could have won me the game. I would choo-choo-choose it again if I had to.

How to play around..

Hacktivist Meeting

Less worse than Apocalypse, but still dreadful if it sticks around. If you're playing against Anarch it's a good idea to mulligan for:

  • Assets that are cheap to rez and give you money. For example Mumba Temple and Marilyn Campaign is a nice start as you can pre-rez both for 1 credit and now you at least have money going for you. Having money means you can threaten HHN.

  • 15 minutes and ICE to protect HQ. Spam out assets, protect your hand and try to have a big rezzing turn after you score the 15 minutes.

If Hacktivist doesn't come in the first 2-3 turns, you should be generally fine anyway. Also try pre-rezzing important assets as the less facedown assets you have, the less likely the runner might play out Hacktivist instead of doing something else and that can help the board spiral out of control.

Apocalypse

The bogeyman for this deck. There are steps you can take to help not lose, but this is one really awful, uphill battle for the deck.

  • Double ICE Archives and at least 1 other central server. This way DDoS alone won't be enough to get an Apoc.

  • Try to get Tour Guides or Little Engine on the inside. I know this is difficult as you have little ICE, but the point is to be aware of ICE placement. Still, any ICE is better than no ICE.

  • Blacklist helps a ton. 2 ICE before a Blacklist when breakers are milled, 2 ICE on Archives and 2 on another central can lock the runner out of Apocing you long enough to win or get close to winning.

The way I've beaten Ola's Apoc Val was that I followed the steps above and went up to 6 points (I kept 15 minutes to clear a Hacktivist I expected to come, then with pre-rezzing econ I had an active Lady Liberty that got me 5 more points) before the eventual Apoc struck. He had to break Tour Guide with MKultra for 12 + install + trash on Blacklist, so I could HHN him after. I still got Apoced, but then I won the topdecking for the agenda war with Psycho in hand. The win was lucky because I could have lost to:

  • Him running my 1 ICE Blacklist remote during the DDoS Apoc run I stopped (I looked for a 2nd ICE on the Blacklist remote, but couldn't find any in time)

  • A well timed Wanton Destruction

  • Him topdecking enough points before I do an agenda I can score with 2 clicks and 4 tags (and he was stealing my Beals, so that was rough)

The point is that it's not unwinnable, but really, really difficult to win.

Rich runners

Run based econ hurts the most as you usually win by spamming out assets faster than they can make money and find the clicks to trash them. A fistful of Dirty Laundries and Crowdfundings will make you sad.

It is an odd thing to do, but try ICEing more important assets (Mumba Temple or Turtlebacks to get money, Team Sponsorship to get back cards) to force them to find breakers. I did this against Alex White's Maxx deck (with Blacklist support I think?) and my board looked quite funny because 3-4 assets and all centrals were ICEd. I wished I had Fully Operational in the deck.

Shoutouts to:

  • Vesper, Akira and Austin for organizing the whole thing with side-events and all. Great job, things went smoothly, thank you for spending your time and energy on this community!

  • Asger for the deck, the support and Slack based cheering.

  • Sam Bull for teaching me how not to play against Apoc Val.

  • The community for traveling to Birmingham, being awesome and keeping this dead game alive.

2 comments
4 Jun 2019 Beesknees

Okay I’m new to making my own decks but the description of how to play is amazing man used to play this deck when Astro script was here and I look forward to play this thx man

8 Jul 2019 Jakuza

<3