Smooth Jazz Apocalypse (40th @ Nisei Worlds)

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For Nisei Worlds 2019, the NYC testing crew spent about 80% of its testing time on 419 and Palana, and eventually realized that Anarchs and assets had a serious leg up on the competition. This was great news for me because I'm a garbage tier crim. Freedom and Apocalypse Val were both on the docket for what we'd want to run, and then on my flight to Amsterdam listening to KLM's amazing "Dutch Dance Essentials" and "Dutch Number 1's - The 80s," I was delivered a sign:

Smooth Jazz Apocalypse on KLM Radio .

This list started with NYC's @groenkaaf putting together a resource-intensive DDoS-focused Apocalypse deck. The big decision was whether to Deuces Wild or Aumakua with the spare influence. Deuces was helpful in determining inner ICE to apoc, but turtles ended up being more flexible for actually dealing with any Excalibur shenanigans and to Rebirth-Freedom any assets matchups.

I appreciated the smooth consistency of this deck with a huge heap of 3x cards. I often would struggle with draw order in Freedom and knowing when to deploy which strategies, so this played relatively linearly. I was even convinced at the last minute to go up to 3x MKUltra and 3x Stargate at the last minute, which felt like overkill, but definitely helped against Blue Sun.

Speaking of which, the 1x Archives Interface was a desperate attempt to stymy Industrial Genomics, who we thought would emerge as the dominant corp archetype in this meta. Unfortunately we were right, and Freedom surged into the top tables and dismantled a bunch of our plans. I did install this once on the day but died trying to use it.

Round 1
Argus (Ryan from Australia) Traditionally a tough matchup for anarchs, Argus proved to be too much rush for Val. I let an Atlas get scored with a counter, so when another one was installed and advanced, I had to contest. I was able to clear three tags from the first HHN, but the second one stuck. This led to a frantic tag me strategy looking to delete his HPTs. Stargate helped me avoid immediate death and nab a bunch of agendas, but it was not quite enough! More importantly, Ryan gave me a cute tiny koala brandishing an Australian flag! 0-1.

Round 2
PE (Keith from Glasgow) Stargate did so much work in this MU. I was able to eat a couple News Teams for tags with some savvy accesses, and root out a couple Obokatas from centrals. With the Stargate down I was able to trash some of his FA tech. Even though I needed to take a Shikyu, I was able to Stargate into the win. 1-1.

Round 3
Outfit (Jim from Oxford) The first apoc hit in this game in a somewhat interesting way. Trebuchet was rezzed on an early Wanton Destruction (that did trash a DDoS of mine), which ultimately helped me with the apoc because it trashed my Paperclip for me. Then my R&D run also ended up trashing a breaker when I stole SDS. Since so much ICE was devoted to centrals, he was unable to bounce back. Jim became famous as the guy who was giving out "gingercreds," tiny gingerbread cookies sculpted from a 3D printed credit mold! 2-1.

Round 4
IG (David from NYC) Of course I had to play one of my testing partners and meta-mates, David. It wasn't totally a mirror match because he chose Freedom and I chose Val. However, I know this IG deck card for card. It... didn't really help me. I was unable to keep my card draw up after an early Earthrise Hotel and his board state kept growing. I was able to install the Archives Interface at an unacceptable tempo loss. In order to contest the board I had to attempt double-iced archives. Turns out he was able to find 2x Cortex Lock for it. Rip. After the game he told me that once the Interface went down, he Genotyped the Breached Domes out of archives for more central damage. I didn't really stand a chance! 2-2.

Round 5
Blue Sun (Ben from Cambridge) Ben and I played different decks together in CoL, so it was nice to match up again. This game came after and incredibly stressful and long IG game that he won masterfully going through basically his whole deck. I don't remember too much about this matchup because the IG game was so epic. 3-2.

Round 6
Blue Sun (Andrew from Liverpool) This was a super-intense matchup that came down to the final turn. He barely tried to score and I barely tried to run. Each deciding to hoard credits. He was on Punitive and we both knew it, so I had to be a little careful. I took some pokes at HQ and archives to try to force Border Controls and found HQ lightly defended. On the Apoc turn I actually hit an SDS in HQ. I felt a little too poor and thought I could just grab it after apoc so I declined to steal. My next run on archives yielded two SSLs. Uh oh. Instead of finishing the apoc and getting Punitived for 6 net, I ran HQ click 3 and trashed an NGO. With no real money left, I ran last click, let Sapper nab my Paperclip, and hit the SDS for the win. 4-2

Round 7
NEH (Matthias from Sweden) This felt like a crazy unlucky matchup for Matthias. NEH is so prone to apoc it hurts. He knew it was coming from the moment I ran HQ (he tried to rush out a score before the apoc). After the apoc turn I was able to Stargate a couple agendas and it was over before turn 5. 5-2

Round 8
AgInfusion (Marc from Belgium) This might have been my proudest game in the tournament. I have played a fair amount of Ag in my day, so I have a feel for the ICE and how much money you need. I realized it would be a pretty hard matchup if I forced too many outer ICE rezzes, so I decided to only attack with DDoS. I lucked out on an NGO, but then he was able to get a Nisei token. After that I needed to apply more pressure so he couldn't chain the tokens out. I used a DDoS to attempt an apoc, but he was able to stuff the final run with Nisei. With that cleared up, I was finally able to find Omar to get through the thin ICE on archives. After much hemming and hawing, I landed the Apoc, but it wasn't super simple from there. I only had four cards in hand and knew there was an Obo in HQ. I had to decide whether to take it or leave it and install the Stargate from hand OR use the Wanton in hand. Either way I would be able to steal no more Obos. So I steeled my courage and took the Obo, bringing me down to 0 cards in stack and 0 cards in hand. A few more Omar pokes yielded the final agenda. 6-2

Round 9
NEH (Fabian from ???)
This was a wild finish to my tournament. I discovered very quickly that this deck had some Door to Door shenanigans, but I could not find my resource economy quickly enough. He was able to just barely land an HHN, which didn't seem like the end of the world except that Door to Door kept taxing me bit by bit. I may have been too aggressive trying to clear it by stealing an agenda. I assumed it was 1x Boom and I could Stargate lock it away, but he already had a Consulting Visit in hand for the win. 6-3.

Big thank you to the NYC competitive group for help testing and moral support throughout the day. Deck list originally by @groenkaaf, testing by myself and fellow NYC try-hards @Eli, @endera, @internet, @kysra, @shiiuga, @skry, @Redino987, and honorary NYC testing partners/world champs @chaosjuggler, @Paranoid, @rongydoge, and @Whiteblade111! Special shoutout to @CodeMarvelous for helping me maintain composure and keeping things in perspective. Thanks to everyone for a wonderful and sleep-deprived worlds experience full of Netrunner Codenames, Ethiopian food, and teaching Whiteblade the differences/similarities between pasta and pizza!