Mother of Dragons (1st at New Zealand Nationals 2020, 3-1)

Ghost Meat 543

flappy boi

Continuing in the recent tradition set by my Canadian comrade Eric Kielback (also famously known for his culinary-related naïveté as Whiteblade111 on Slack) of Nucks poaching the National tournaments of other countries, this is the runner deck I used to win New Zealand's Nationals on February 29th, 2020 in the city of Dunedin.

At least I have a New Zealand driver's license. (Thanks to Gareth Harrison for this interpolation).

I've been tuning this Hoshiko list ever since she was spoiled by Nisei, and was instantly drawn to her econ/draw ability and the delightful ID flip situation she entails. After playing with a bunch of the companions and Keiko, I was super impressed with her economy engine, and if there's one card I love in the world, it's Career Fair, and Paladin is basically a Career Fair machine with even wider applications. The first time you Career Fair a Liberated Account also using three credits from Paladin, and get one back from Keiko, netting you a credit to install a six cost card, you know this girl is playing for keeps.

I played about 100 games with iterations of this on JNet in the six weeks leading up to Nationals (fulfilling the Damon marathon), and won a small GNK with her a few weeks before this tournament, so had a pretty good handle on how the deck plays. Generally, you want to be on her hero side as much as possible, as it means you're getting accesses every turn, and likely therefore winning the game. Her draw capability is great if you can keep up run pressure (basically with a built-in Drug Dealer), and cards like Dirty Laundry, Aumakua, DreamNet, and Datasucker help you keep up that tempo and reward your runs. I love running a lot in general when playing Netrunner (unlike playing Hayley), so this is a fun deck for aggressive running.

Her matches were against MirrorMorph, SSO, MirrorMorph, and GameNET, going 3-1, losing to defending Nationals champ Ben Wilson's MirrorMorph. In that game, I had five points scored, put an Ikawah Project I'd hit on last click on Film Critic, but then he scored out of his remote to win next turn, so it was a really close two-click game.

Film Critic was great on the day, saving me from Bellona, SSL, Punitive Counterstrikes in general, etc., and other tech cards like No One Home were due to my disinterest in getting Hard Hitting News'd and Anansi/Ganked into the ground. It's also good for hitting IP Block with Aumakua installed in a pinch to avoid that tag. Boomerang is just amazingly useful in any matchup, and saves you from SSO degeneracy on turn one if you get it in your opening hand.

Odore is the card I'd most want to cut, but there's been a lot of Tour Guides around lately in RP and Gagarin, not to mention Komainu/Ganked (I fear this because I've been personally playing a lot of Palana with this lately when I've not been on CTM) so it can really save you in those niche situations. I don't think I installed it once on the day though.

Stargate is just obviously incredible and wins most games, and a backup Turning Wheel for HQ pressure and building counters during Stargate runs keeps momentum up. Hunting Grounds for Slot Machine, Tollbooth, Komainu, IP Block, Data Raven, Data Loop, etc. is a relevant ability, and in a pinch you can rip three cards with it against Fairchild 3.0 and trash them to its first two subroutines. I almost did this against Ben, but didn't really have the time/money.

There was a top four, single elimination cut, in which I played my CTM deck in both games, so that had six games to Hoshiko's four, for a total record of 9-1 on the day.

Special note: I was the only Anarch player at the tournament, with huge swathes of green and a little blue throughout. Happy to have represented the best runner faction, even if I was alone. #alonebutneverlonely

Special thanks to my Canadian friend Trevor Godley (meta4) for his invaluable input on my decks, talking for hours on end in the weeks preceding the tournament about card slots, meta-calls, and doing practice games on Jnet, so a huge shout-out to him here. ⁣⁣

Many thanks to my friend Gareth Harrison for organizing an incredible tournament, with some of the most bonkers prize support I've ever seen at one, and to Lead Developer of NISEI, David Withington, for being a great judge on the day. The folks from Christchurch, Auckland, and Wellington were a pleasure to play and hang out with over the weekend, so thanks to them too for being super rad.

4 comments
1 Mar 2020 MagicHead

Eh, deck looks aight 😉 Good job for the day man, and your welcome for the "drivers license" line. I guess I should have slotted more punitive huh?

1 Mar 2020 Ghost Meat

@MagicHeadHahaha. Thanks! I've since re-edited the description to give you credit for that insight. RE: Punitive, please see my above section on the brilliance of Film Critic. ;)

1 Mar 2020 Tamijo

How you left home without Chisel in this meta is beyond me, but well done for it. Reg Anarch and CtM, as it should be. 💜

1 Mar 2020 Ghost Meat

@Tamijo Funny story, I tested a Chisel/Devil Charm/Simulchip/SMC version of this deck for a while, and especially with Null, but found my win rates to be substantially lower than this reg version of Hoshiko, surprisingly, so I stuck with what was working better for me. But I agree that that's a solid archetype and bears more playing in the future. Once this is set up, runs and ice-breaking become usually relatively efficient, so even problem ICE can be handled reasonably in most cases. Another great thing about No One Home is that if you're outpacing the corp on econ, you can beat the two tags trace on Surveyor, and Boomerang is obviously great tech for that problem card as well. Thanks for your kind words, and yes, CTM/Anarch for life!