“You have to be very careful of the dangers of becoming too inward looking and over teching for yourself” - Chris Dyer throughout 2019
“Can we play a Polop instead of this Caldera? Caldera sucks and polop at least shoots rashida so it’s never blank” - Chris Dyer - 8th November
“What idiot put this Polop in this deck?” - Chris Dyer as it came down and locked both of his remaining win cons during the final - 10th November
This deck went through a bit of an odd journey for us, we were very vaguely aware that @whiteblade111 had played it to some success during Crown of Lasers, but didn’t take it super seriously on the grounds that Argus was still pretty popular and while you have a crushing rig against them, it sounded like it would take some fiddly set up that had to fail a relatively high percent of the time. We were also all a little wary of Liza generally having watched a lot of full tag me Liza games against Mti and Palana that looked like mega grinds with turtle being purged that none of us were really into. As such it stayed on the back burner until, I believe, @shipmentofheadcrabs posted a screenshot of a game they were playing with Argus vs Liza on uk slack asking how they were ever supposed to win against the rig as it stood.
Some curiosity tweaked I started pulling this list together from then and beat a few jnet luminaries on both Crisium Grid Palana and Argus. From there I was sufficiently convinced that it was the real deal and passed it onto the rest of the team. @binarydogs and @chrisferg both did a large amount of testing in the Brighton channel and seemed pretty convinced, while team Party House didn’t jump fully on board until after US nationals when two different builds of the deck crushed the tournament.
The initial development process didn’t make a ton of iterations to the build, other than adding the shutdowns and the additional copies of the breakers. While those (particularly the breakers) look a little out of place as non-resources and dead in duplicates/dead against the Asa that we believed to be the best corp they both proved particularly important in lifting up the Blue Sun rigshooter matchup that we expected to be reasonably popular. Previously an explosive start out of that deck could cause Aumakua huge problems and Batty + Tithonium/Chiyashi could completely end the game whereas that lifted our econ denial game high enough and gave us both a better chance at beating gear checks + additional programs to chuck to Dummy Box in the face of program trash.
From there it became a particularly interesting meta question: would the deck go entirely under the radar, had the US nats victory and all the discussion on Slack pushed too many people to play egregious hate for the deck (I doubt that the card Self Growth Program has ever been searched for on slack as many times in one day as it was that Monday) or would it go to the next level and would people assume that between the 1 week prep time between the two events and the wide discussion of SGP mean that there would be no Liza so there would be no need to then actually play the hate.
In practice the deck felt strong enough to theoretically have a non-zero chance of beating the hate decks while crushing everything else. We decided to go for it and just cross our fingers that we weren’t making a terrible terrible mistake and we all sleeved it up. The final part of The Process undertaken in the house on the Friday night prior to the Swiss once @nemamiah, @vinegarymink and @tolaasin were on board involved locking in 46 cards then all staring at 2 copies of Aeneas Informant, a Paragon and a Caldera for an entire hour while listening to increasingly terrible radio. Finally we agreed to go with:
then put it all away and played some Fastro vs Prepaid Kate.
On the day 17 people were on various flavours of Liza, including 5 people on this exact 50 cards (significantly more people than did, in the end, play strong hate). In total it didn’t actually wildly overperform, the % progression into the cut was about in line with the % of the field and the id was distributed throughout the standings. That said, between myself and Chris I believe it dropped 2 games all weekend and it felt very strong in most of the others, including a game I managed to take against a fully teched out Self Growth Program Argus (by controlling the tags at 2 for the first 6 turns until I got to 4 points then loading up on tags from a data raven and seeing 7 cards out of r&d) with hq relatively clean.
Overall the weekend was fantastic and I feel incredibly privileged to be part of the UK Netrunner community which is the best group of random internet friends you could possibly ask for to spend a weekend locked in a game shop playing a children’s card game with. Particular thanks go to John Hulme for grinding out a whole giant pile of test games with both versions of the Asa deck (and just about every other deck I’ve played over the last 2 years, Chris Dyer for keeping us grounded during testing and being an extremely gracious opponent in the finals given an all time bad draw on Asa, Team Party House for playing a whole pile of classics and generally upping the fun factor outside of Netrunner all weekend and Andy Lovell for the unrelenting positive hype when I was panicking in the cut.
11 Nov 2019 spags
11 Nov 2019 leachrode
11 Nov 2019 spags