Pictured above: Rare in-game footage of this AgInfusion deck most of the day
As most people may know of me, NBN is my favorite faction and CtM is my favorite non-glacier corp ID! But in the lead-up to worlds, especially after the MWL shakeup banning Gold Farmer, I had the least amount of confidence in NBN than I ever have, and especially not CtM in a large Miss Bones Crim meta! Of course, CtM would go on to be the runner up this year. But I digress.
Round 1: L (Hayleyshop) - Excellent play, great match, didn't quite get to 7!
Round 2: W (Apoc Val) - Had great draw and managed to button up and got up to 5 fast to pressure the runner into poor decisions. Their Apocs were either zer0'd to the bin or lost with Engram Flush. They rebirthed into Omar and I managed to Thimblerig an Anansi on Archives and flatlined the runner.
Round 3: W (99 card MaxX) - At the mercy of their MaxX draws, managed to quickly button up and constantly boop into Chiyashi after scoring up fast.
Round 4: W (Hoshiko alt breakers!) - My poor opponent had absolutely terrible draw and I had incredible draw. The deck giveth and the deck taketh. See Rounds 5 and 7.
Round 5: L (Leela) - By turn 4, I had drawn all 8 agendas and two ice. I eked out a bluff of a La Costa + Sandbox score with ZERO ice on the table but lost super fast after that.
Round 6: W (Adam) - With perfect draw, I was able to ice up, Building Blocks a Chiyashi and just keep booping Adam into Chiyashi, essentially preventing them from accessing anything.
Round 7: L (Adam) - By turn 4, I had drawn all 8 agendas and three ice. Yes. It happened again. I was pretty peeved.
When I fell back into Netrunner in late 2018, my absolute favorite deck I brought everywhere was Spiky Palana and I wanted to bring it to worlds but, with the banning of Kakugo and Breached Dome, I felt like it lost all of its teeth. Testing came down to this deck and a La Costa Coats-like Palana (with Diet Caprice) but Palana felt too porous and weak.
This was my first time ever playing AgInfusion and I was curious about its strength in the current meta. I was inspired by both Enkoder's Yeet! deck I played against at US Nats 2019 and the recent Contl's winner, Yellow AgMarine. Again, I must apologize to Enkoder because I was being quite a bad sportsman that day and he was an absolute gentleman despite me being grumpy!
The testing and lead-up to Worlds with this deck was horrible. My metamates were absolutely crushing me and I felt like even though only 8 of 49 cards were agendas, my HQ was constantly, torrentially, biblically flooded in most games. If I were to re-tool this deck, I would find room to slot 1, maybe two Distract the Masses. I was pretty demotivated and actually discovered AgInfusion has a SUPER high skill ceiling. Ice placement is critical, when to Ag is critical, and then learning how to play around Hippo was something I had a hard time learning in the moment. I was strongly considering not even playing, however, I stuck it out and felt really good about my performance all day! I played my best, prayed to Damon to weather the floods, and had a blast against all my opponents.
With the banning of Gold Farmer and SSL Endorsement, I had to pivot to another way to save money / encourage bad decisions. Remembering how brutal it is to repeatedly booped into Chiyashi, I decided that I wanted to do the same.
The key concept is really simple: Button up centrals, Rashida for tempo and more ice to vomit onto the board, and find a La Costa ASAP to try and never advance literally anything to force pressure onto the runner. Thimblerig is really key to scoot ice around during scoring windows or to alleviate poor ice placement from early draw.
Worrying about rampant Tapwrm, Aumakua and Imp, I decided to slot the Norton Antivirus package. Regardless of the virus situation (thankfully low), the tempo gained from scoring or purging was absolutely key in keeping the pressure up.
The synergy between Cyberdex Sandbox and Macrophage is bonkers. I had my opponent both not wanting to break with Amina and then also beating the trace just to prevent me from getting 4 or 8 credits on the first subroutine which I'd often use just to pump the ETR trace during key runs. I have to say, I think pumping traces is underrated these days.
Building Blocks and Chiyashi is really cute and maybe not amazing (I would say I had a 50/50 ratio on being able to use BB or having to pay the iron price on Chiyashi throughout the day). However, Chiyashi absolutely did most of the heavy lifting of the deck. Overall I'm unsure if this is the strongest, but it definitely felt really fun.
I am a big proponent of Afshar in general, and found its greatest usage early runner taxing and preventing Hippo destruction. That being said, I could probably see myself swapping it for a singleton Attitude Adjustment.
I had a lot of comments on Konjin. This was my 4th Chiyashi or Anansi and was completely unexpected by my opponents. Interestingly, I discovered through testing that, with a Chiyashi rezzed, my opponent often spend 0 on psi games just to be able to have enough money to break Chiyashi. Another great feature of this card: It's not vulnerable to Hippo at all (you encounter the other ice, then go back to the declared server)!
I wished I had a 2nd Border Control for the deck, which did a ton of heavy lifting when I was able to assemble a nasty remote, and losing it too early was always heartbreaking.
Thanks so much to my testing crew to have the patience to deal with my whining, groaning and complaining in the lead up to worlds, haha. Radiant, FireRL, Sedatedfork, Smittyl, Runaway, Risingconcern, PureFlight (miss you!), and anarchomushroom (thanks for joining our weird corner!). I was really unsure about even playing (my meta knows me too well and absolutely can crush me pretty often) but I'm glad I stuck with it. For my first worlds showing, I feel really proud of my play and the amazing opponents I had. I felt zero salt from losses (except for the turbo flood my AgInfusion was prone to!) and had fantastic conversations during and after matches with my opponents. My hope next year is to be able to actually meet and hang out with this amazing community.
And, as always, a big healthy thank you to the NISEI crew - OP and the MWL committee: Thank you for sinking so much thankless time into this dead children's card game that we are all so passionate about.
Cheers and I hope to see you all next year!