Comrades Potatoes 2.0 (2nd, 4th, 9th, 21st, 41st)

SimonMoon 2072

This deck is called Comrades Potatoes 2.0 because it is this old deck in PE: https://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/46741/comrades-potato-worlds-2017-did-pretty-well-i-guess-.

Anyway, I will discuss the actual Netrunner cards in this deck at some point in this write up, but first I'd like to talk about how it got made. (Feel free to skip ahead to the marked section if you only care about how to play the deck).

It all started when I saw the Lions trending on Twitter for losing a close game, and decided to message @sirris about it to make fun of him for insisting Matthew Stafford was a top 5 quarterback in the league. We chatted a bit on slack. A week or two later I messaged him again after the Lions lost, and he called me up to explain how the Lions were robbed but were going to beat the Packers on Monday night and win the division (spoiler: they did not). After telling me various ways in which they had outplayed their opponent only to be robbed by the terrible refs, Jon and I ended up chatting for a while and catching up on everything going on in our lives.

While I still talked to various people over slack, I realized how much I had missed hanging out with everyone in person in one place.

Then Jon started messaging me every couple days telling me to come to Pax. I said no and then started ignoring his of messages or responding with Lions jokes (which grew less effective as the main goal of the season started to be around getting higher Draft picks).

A few weeks ago I went to visit @eric_c and while we mostly talked about other stuff, we did also talk about missing getting together with everyone and being a bit sad about missing out on Worlds. We complained about how it was impossible to get anyone in the Comrades to do anything (I kept suggesting we go to the beach, Eric kept suggesting we go to Ohio).

Anyway, the day I got back Jon messaged me again about Pax and I talked to my long time friend Ran (@crfluency) who Jon had conscripted into his effort into getting me to go and she said would go if I would go. Then I talked to Eric and I got him in as well. We checked with everyone else in Comrades and while Jonas (@thebigunit3000) was already going Jason (@wyrm) was in and @d1en said maybe.

And thus we began testing. Here I would like to give a special shoutout to Jonas who we accidentally excluded from the testing because we were all under the impression he was testing with active DC community (as he was the only one of us still really actively playing Netrunner). I apologized to him in person, though he took it in good spirits and let me know he had been testing with Beckett and that honestly, he woulda spilled the beans on our tech. He ended up making Top 8 anyway and getting his revenge eliminating Eric. Wonderful sweet man who invented the original PU deck this list is derivative of.

So testing began and we ran into our first issue that would plague us throughout, nobody actually wanted to play Netrunner. Ran simply refused, Eric only wanted to spectate, Dien was busy with work, Jon only wanted to play garbage and due to a misunderstanding on my end was not actually included in our first group, and Jason hates playing on JNet.

So instead we simply argued about what was best without practicing. Liza or Freedom seemed like the starting point to me, and on Corp I had accidentally play a bunch of Assets ASA while trying to convince @percomis that he should play Embolus for worlds. Jason had actually gone to worlds and had a pretty good Val / Hayley deck and a solid Palana deck.

While testing Liza (which I gave up on after 15 games or so of losing too often in Jnet casual) I noticed that PE had gotten kinda real with the addition of sting. And notably, PE had huge comeback potential because when you totally took down their scoring plan they would install all their Ice on centrals and mill through Liza. I would actually ironically lose when I was winning early and win when I was losing early to PE, because when they tried to install remote Ice I would score there pretty easily.

I realized the ideal playstyle as basically Comrades PU, so I threw together a list really quick that was within 6-7 cards of the worlds PU list and what you see here. Eric tried it out and ran into Clan Veangance Gnat and lost his first game, and I assumed it would have a mediocre Liza matchup, bad Freedom matchup, and bad Smoke matchup so I forgot about it (which were the 3 best decks IMO).

I went back to trying to convince people that ASA was the nuts and grinding up Freedom in Jnet casual. I got a pretty good feel for it and felt it was pretty good. Eric was playing it too and getting good at it, and we both felt pretty comfy with it. Jason is a Shaper player at heart and did not really like the Freedom deck, but after a couple of good discussions and some good practice games started to really get a good handle on it and came out it with a different angle than me that was very effective (install more cards before attacking).

Around here two things happened, Jon came in and Eric kept insisting we try out this PE deck again. We both played 3-4 games in jnet casual and won them all, and then played against eachother with Freedom vs. PE and PE actually crushed Freedom. Then Jason tried Obelus / Stargate Liza against PE and PE went 3/3 (though one game was due to the fact nobody actually knows how Sting! works, but we agreed that was representative of what would happen in an actual event).

One thing to note is that the original PU deck was a 12 influence ID, 4 of which is Whampoa which we can't even play. Additionally, Ark Lockdown was less good due to lacking the mills, so we quickly cut down to 1. This left us with a TON of influence to play with. For most of the testing process this was eaten up by a Biotic, but a massive amount of time was spent arguing about what to do with the rest of it.

Eric continually insisted we play Beanstalk Royalties over IPO and Wake Up Call. Wake Up Call seemed reasonable until I played on against a FC, discovered it RFG'd, and Jason just installed a second Film Critic. Bad.

Here we entered the portion of testing where Jon and Eric attempted about a million different tech cards most of which were very bad. Hellion Beta Test, bad. Enforcing Loyalty? Bad. Sadaka? Bad. Voter Intimidation? Okay. We also were getting better and better at playing against the deck and realizing flaws in it (primarily Stargate and Ice Destruction). Afshar came in to shore up the Anarch matchup as its indestructable against Hippo and awful to break with Blorch. Thimblerig lets you resposition things nicely and is a solid early game ice which is your weakest point.

On Wednesday Eric suggested Warroid Tracker (though Jon insists he did too even if I don't remember it). Eric and Jason played exactly one testing game with it and reported back that it seemed pretty good. We all brought copies with us (except Jon who had already gone to Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell, which is a lesson for anyone else who ever wants to see the Liberty Bell, a tourist attraction on par with the worlds largest chair).

On the train ride down to Philadelphia on Friday I theory crafted multiple matchups in my head between Liza, Freedom, and Generic Anarchs and realized how much it did to tip the balance and decided it was the nuts. We talked about it some more all decided it was good, collectively decided the Biotic labor hadn't done much and decided that was the cut. This left us with a 50 card deck (Biotic -> 2x Warroid). Eric's original proposal was to go back onto his Beanstalk Royalityies for the IPOs and 1 AM. I was convinced 3x AM were the best cards in the deck and could not be cut, and Jason agreed. I ended up cutting the Voter Intimidation and Eric and Jason played 1x IPO. Who can say which is right.

Dien, who had not played any practice games, decided he was going to play 3x Junebugs and somehow made the cuts to this list. You will have to ask him what on Earth he did to fit them in. I had been worn down by Jon insisting Trope was good in freedom despite numerous testing games were he couldn't install breakers due to MU and losing. Also he's a huge memer who cannot be stopped. This led to multiple people in the cut staring at my list and going: but where are the Junebugs?!??!

Anyway, we all played roughly this list (other than Ran, who did not play and instead slept in until 2 PM and then complained she was tired when she arrived after Round 3).

When I heard the tournament was going to be only 5 rounds, top 8 due to time constraints I knew it was going to be rough, and that we were likely going to need to go 8-2 with 7-3 being a SoS crapshoot. This made me nervous as it left little margin for error and any team pairing would likely result in a teamkill.

In the end we went a combined 21-4-2 (Win / Loss / Timed Loss) with this PE, and 2 of us made top 4 and Dien bubbled at 9th on SoS. I think my biggest regret was not helping Eric and Jon get slightly more practice and diverse matchups who were both playing extremely well in practice games but didn't have as much experience with the deck from previous tournaments. In the end it was a team effort to put in all the practice and prep to make this decklist, and I'm proud of how we all did.

Jason of course ended up 2nd, having a great showing on the day and showing himself the true master of our Simpleton deck.

I played a lot of lovely people throughout the day, but I want to give a special shoutout to @ctz who I played for the first time this tournament. Beyond making me laugh as I read his decklists and throughout the game, he was a truly lovely person who helped me calm down during the game when my nerves were getting the better of me, and helped me refocus on what was most important (the people not the game).

All in all I had a good time and was happy with our team performance, but all things considered we should have gone to the beach (or just all watched TV on our giant airbnb couch).

TLDR of above:

  1. Jonas gets credit for making the original deck
  2. JNet casual gets credit for inspiring me to look at the deck again
  3. Jon gets credit for making me come as well as testing
  4. Eric gets credit for warroid trackers as well as testing
  5. Jason gets credit for testing and being the only other person who brought meta knowledge
  6. Dien gets credit for being a memer who played it with Junebugs
  7. Ran gets credit for being wiser than us all and coming without playing a single game of Netrunner

-----Skip to here if you don't read the acknowledgements of books------ Anyway, onto the actual deck and how it works.

This deck is admittedly kinda stupid, but I don't really think its that much stupider than the other decks with the exception of ASA, CtM, and Argus.

What you want to is basically 3 things in order:

  1. Protect the central with the highest Obo / TFP density.
  2. Make it so the Runner cannot make a run every turn (allowing you to SFT your 3 Advance Agendas)
  3. Once the Runner is out of cards in deck (<4 cards in hand), score an Obo.

For example, early on you're trying to establish 2 Ice you can rez on each central. Your first priority is having enough credits to rez your Ice. Your second priority is making sure each central is painful to run (usually Breached Dome covers archives). Then, from there, you usually want to slow down and click for credits to afford more ice on the centrals to make continually make them more painfult to run. Against Anarch, you often need a 3rd and 4th Ice to turn off Hippo on the two main centrals, against Crim, you need to click for credits even more as they have the most econ denial but also have the hardest time stealing Obo.

Warroid tracker, the last spicy piece of tech does three main things:

  1. Makes ice destruction very difficult
  2. Acts as a crisium vs. Stargate
  3. Keeps snares and such from being trashed out of hand / RND

It doesn't actually protect Hokasai grid, we thought it did but technically cards installed in centrals are in the Root of the Server, not in it or protecting it. This is quite frankly an absurd and counterintutive ruling that we managed to play an entire tournament with zero people noticing and should really just be errated to consider cards installed in the root to be behave as if they are installed in the server.

Your hand may fill up with Agendas, but that isn't too bad because its actually very hard for anyone to efficiently attack HQ, Snares, Breach Domes abound and its hard to make up progress. We tested briefly with Drudge Work and Attitude Adjustment but found them not great.

A lot of your turns will be clicking for credits, and it is easy to make the mistake of drawing before can actually rez all your Ice or drawing without purpose.

AM is generally the hardest part of the deck to use, as you have a ton of options for it:

  1. Getting back SFT to put the pressure on
  2. Getting back Hokasai
  3. Waiting to get back the tech cards
  4. Saving for getting back stargate cards (notbably preemptive)
  5. Getting back destroyed Ice

Often times it is correct to leave 1x copy of the card you're looking for in the bin when you preemptive (for example, SFT, and let your 3x AM be treated as extra copies of said card, when you have 1x SFT in the bin you essentially have 5x draws of SFT).

When playing against it here are some of the core components of what you should be thinking about:

  1. Ask yourself what the Corps actions say about where there 3 PTers are. What does there Ice placement say? What does their House of Knives usage say? The core of the matchup is all about stealing the 3 PTers.
  2. How do I attack early? The deck struggles for the first 3-4 turns lacking Ice / Money, and this is your window to attack and get good clean accesses without losing health.
  3. What cards do I actually need to install? Every card in your deck is also a hit point, and being focused on what is actually important to the matchup is worth an extra health each, which usually will convert into an access.

Anyway, this deck is legal post rotation and I don't really see the Archetype dying, so have fun with that everyone.

Final shout out to ever member of the squad (Dien, Eric, Jason, Jon, Ran), and a shout out to everyone I talked to over the day, and DanB for running a great tournament.

Finally our testing process summarized:

testing process

13 comments
10 Dec 2019 crfluency

I thought I made it very clear that I slept until 12:46pm.

10 Dec 2019 grogboxer

Sweet deck, but have you considered:

1) Mushin

2) Offer You Can't Refuse

3) Shock

4) Potential Unleashed

5) Literal potatoes

6) Scoring Government Takeover behind Archer

10 Dec 2019 sirris

So Warroid is cool or whatever, but seriously, what 4 Quarterbacks (besides Gardner Minshew) could you possible want on your team over Stafford?

10 Dec 2019 scd

This deck makes me very happy and very sad at exactly the same time. So thanks?

10 Dec 2019 triorph

I've been playing a similarish deck on jnet to reasonable success. Glad to see its getting some love elsewhere even if there are some pretty significant changes.

Have you considered attitude adjustment in this deck? I think its pretty good to help with your 5/3 placement and also just to act as an economy card.

10 Dec 2019 ouroborosglyx

Anyway, this deck is legal post rotation and I don't really see the Archetype dying, so have fun with that everyone.

Thanks a bunch

10 Dec 2019 thebigunit3000

Nice write-up, but have you considered making a deck solely from the cards other people have suggested in the comments?

10 Dec 2019 Janktivist

Omg, this deck was so nasty. I had NO IDEA how to play against it in the cut and got absolutely clobbered. But the build was so awesome and unexpected that it was easily one of my favorite matches of PAX. Congrats comrades!

10 Dec 2019 BigPopp

@SimonMoon how do you handle caldera/feedback filter/film critic?

11 Dec 2019 CritHitd20

Only Kenny would use a decklist to encourage people to not play Netrunner.

Deck looks sweet, and way more fun than the PU version. Looks like it has some legs against Buffer Drive, which (if people play it) is nice.

11 Dec 2019 SimonMoon

Against FBF / Caldera your main approach is two fold: 1. They don't have the econamy to make a run every turn, so SFT out Agendas and tempo them. Gamble run through Kakugo for 4 is actually the same thing click for credit run through and lose Gamble to net damage. You're probably gonna lose if they install 6 drip econ a turn, but for the most part its gonna cost 6+ to make a 0 net run, and to make money they need to install cards anyway. 2. Decks that can play these cards really struggle to steal Obo, so it's actually pretty hard for them to win themselves as stealing Obo is the primary way to actual win. You'll often get them to draw through their deck and sit on 5 (especially with Aiki psi, where you can either trade Obo or hit them with breach dome twice.

For FC, just mill them out of all their cards. They're way better at winning due to actually being able to steal Obo. There are some tricks like putting all 3 Obos in archives with the domes, when they run they steal one but take 3 meat / 3 mill and cannot steal a second. Then you preemptive. Mostly just play as normal except you have to kill them.

You can also slot Voter Intimidation.

11 Dec 2019 rapanui

I played against this monstrosity piloted by eric_c and had no idea what to do against it. I hippoed some ICE and didn't even think about how that would (obviously) trigger Warroid Tracker.

Nice jobs guys.

16 Dec 2019 BigPopp

@SimonMoonNice, thanks!And how you deal with buffer driver? I slotted a wake up call for that and seems pretty ok, but i want to hear your thoughts on this.