Nobody lent me Excaliburs (1st @ Poznań Regionals)

Odol 134

My first idea after I learnt Excalibur got off the restricted list was to include it in my AgInfusion deck along with the Obokatas. I played quite a few games with it on jinteki.net and it worked well enough to make my top choice for the upcoming Regionals in Poznań. Imagine my surprise while sleeving the deck the day before the event when I realized I must have left all my physical copies of Excalibur back in my hometown, along with a large part of my collection. None of my netrunning friends could supply me with a playset on such a short notice, so instead I went for the closest substitute that I had at hand – the Chrysalis!

The card itself is a weak ice and a weak trap, but having some AgInfusion fodder that also spices up early accesses on centrals turned the deck into a monster that only dropped a single game in the tournament and eventually lead me to victory.

During the event I faced Jesminder, Smoke, Val and two Kabonesas in Swiss, and then Kabonesa and Smoke in the top cut, with three games ending with runners flatlined and three with me scoring out. My only loss was against Śmieszny, who had a good instinct to check my Archives in just the right moment to see two agendas that I had put there for safekeeping… which gave him the correct idea that there was probably at least one more in HQ.

My default strategy each game was to score out an early SSL behind ETR ice (usually some mix of Kakugo and Thimblerig) while leaving my centrals open and trusting my deck to hold, then push for some Obokatas that would make uncomfortable steals for the runner. A Data Loop sandwich with Kakugos for bread is one example of a scoring remote that does just that.

In general I did not abuse my ID ability, but in the playtesting of this style of deck I found out that the three things I fear the most are Diversion of Funds, Khusyuk and Apocalypse, and the AgInfusion power just happens to stop each of them quite effectively.

Marcus Batty was sad to only fire ETRs on Kakugos the entire tournament, while his favourite ice in the deck is actually the Tithonium. Let’s face it – even if the runner can prevent rig destruction, the opportunity to end the run while murdering a film critic in the process must still be a wet dream of every self-respecting sysop.

I did not fire a single Punitive Counterstrike in the tournament, but their sole existence prevented my opponents from stealing Obokatas until they gained a credit lead. The Cortex Lock was also a little underwhelming, but I just love this card and its ability to grant me some early flatlines against overly aggressive runners.

The tournament was a blast, so kudos to Rattkin for making it happen and all my amazing opponents for the great and memorable games. You guys rock!

4 comments
28 Jul 2019 boreira

Since we start thinking about some Aginf builds I always had little concern how it will work against critic.. but you came with a grate answer for that in this amount of damage for runners forced to single accesses. 3x snares in a place of 3x scarcity so much worth it here. In the end no one in the top cut wanted to face that monster congrats!

28 Jul 2019 rattkin

Congrats on teh win! Was Thimblerig purely for a cheap ETR that is not a barrier, or did you employ some swapping shenanigans?

28 Jul 2019 Odol

@rattkinThanks! The most creative thing I did with Thimblerig the entire tournament was making sure I have a rezzed Data Loop in the outermost position somewhere, to increase the value of AgInfusion boops. It did the most work protecting my Rashidas and SSLs in the early game, though.

28 Jul 2019 Smieszny

congrats! Where are Chiyashi? I was so afraid of them and no even one of them. I'm very sad Piotr.