Sub-optimal Leela (4-2-1 and 3rd at 38-person regional)

paulyg 704

Trying to prepare for the York regional, I was fairly convinced that shaper was the way to go and I tried out various Hayley, Wu and Smoke lists. Then I remembered that I'm quite bad at playing shaper and none of them really clicked with me. I played a bit of MaxX, I played a bit of 419 and they were both fine. Time to go crawling back to Leela who has seen me through regionals season so far.

I wanted a list that could make some runs and make lots of money and my starting point was my MWL 3.2 lists without the 3 Crowdfundings. The unrestriction of Excalibur, possible increase in Mother Goddess (because corp restricted cards are pretty open) and spectre of Acme all told me I should try to fit some turtles in. But then I would need Hunting Grounds to deal with IP Block, and Aumakua + Sec Testing is a nonbo. Time to just yolo all these things and slot a single Engolo with Datasucker support and no way of tutoring it. Should be fine.

Asger had suggested to me that I should try Film Critic in Leela and I initially dismissed the idea, not wanting to give up half of my ID ability. But in the few test games I played I realised what a difference it made. Between SSL, the Weyland 5/3s, Obokata and Degree Mill there are agendas in most decks that you can grab with relief and slam on the Critic. And it seems like Punitive as a second wincon is at an all-time high right now.

With Critic as a the restricted card I had to include the decidedly lacklustre Interdiction as a counter-current because Scarcity ruins this deck. I think I played it twice. With much gnashing of teeth I included Caldera because of the amount of general net damage knocking around, the IG threat and the potential rise of the Lab Servers Aginfusion deck. It was useful, though I was still annoyed whenever I saw it.

Kati was supposed to be my main source of long-term econ though I think I only used her in any significant way in one game. Other games were short or Paragon + Sec Testing proved to be enough.

Yes, I already had slotted a speculative Bank Job before I even saw the Aginfusion list was a thing. Yes, I installed it against Lab Servers Aginfusion. Yes, I then ran last click, confidently knowing that there were no traps that fired from R&D only to hit a Snare! that Matt had added to the deck. Yes, I did regret my life choices.

I think Datasucker might be my favourite card in this whole list as it is value central, closely followed by Sec Testing. No One home really earned its keep in both modes, letting me tank damage and keeping me in a Gagarin game that would otherwise have ended much sooner.

On the day I beat a Lab Servers Aginfusion, Palana, Argus (better lucky than good part 1) and mythic Aginfusion (better lucky than good part 2). I lost to a Lab Servers Aginfusion and a Gagarin and got a draw against EOI Azmari.

The deck is... fine. It's way slower than MWL 3.2 iterations for obvious reasons and sometimes you just have to click for credits, but the tech in it seems good against the field at the moment and the Leela ability also helps to slow down your opponent a little bit. I'm telling myself that it's time for me to learn to play shaper, but I wouldn't be surprised to be sitting down with a Leela deck at my next regional.

11 Aug 2019 Terje

God damnit Pauly, the end to our game was so tense. Glad you managed to ride the wave into the cut!

11 Aug 2019 paulyg

@Njabbskolt I felt bad about the end of our game (dead next turn I nabbed the two agendas off R&D for an underserved win). But then I played against Andy in the cut who was 6-0 up and I stole 7 points in one turn from centrals and I think that made me feel the worst about any game I've ever won.