Spooning in the mines - Untaxable Val (16th at Worlds 2020)

Bridgeman 492

The idea here was to create a deck that would crush in the glacier matchups while still having decent play vs assets. This was while GameNet was still a thing. Val came to mind as an ID, the bad pub essentially lowers the trash cost of all assets by 1, and in the glacier matchups the bad pub makes it easy to get into thinly iced servers.

Overall plan:

  • Setup as much econ as the matchup will allow you before going aggressive, once your drip is up you are free to use your clicks for pressure.
  • In general if you are not finding breakers, draw for them as aggressively as you can without ruining your long term econ. Engolo is basically needed for you to win.
  • Once you are setup use spooned + hippo to chip away at your opponents defenses until there is no taxing server left. The goal is to get to a position where the amount you spend to get into the most expensive server is similar to what you get from drip. This renders ngo/bio vault baits essentially useless.
  • If you are facing an extra fast deck you naturally wont need as much setup, more focus should then be on finding breakers and getting the right agressive cards out. Against Titan for example rebirth into kim as fast as possible, get wheel and imp out and run a lot.

Notable cards:

  • Engolo: A versatile and efficient breaker to replace black orchestra, often one of these is all you need in terms of icebreakers, but naturally paperclip and mkultra should be there for backup. This enables spooned to trash any ice.
  • Gachapon: This card is amazing here, there are a lot of natural targets and it helps find important cards earlier. At the same time it filters away cards you dont need in the matchup or dont need to use anymore(Extra keiko/Zer0 copies for example). It can be used during a run to make use of the bad pub, and also during your opponents turn to trigger keiko an extra time.
  • Zer0: The deck would simply not be nearly consistent enough without this card, this is a 50 card deck after all, and we are including more copies of cards than we will/can actually use(keiko for example). Spam this bad boy until you have found your key cards(especially Engolo), then you might be able to relax for a bit. :D This allows you to include more situational cards as leaving them in your hand to be trashed isnt too bad.
  • Keiko: Hugely important as it not only gives you two memory slots for a cheap prize but actually contributes to your drip econ.
  • Rebirth: A must have in val. In this deck you normally rebirth into Hoshiko if you get it early for extra tempo. If you get it late you often go Omar to stretch the corps defenses further. Against any operation heavy combo decks you can get Eddy Kim for some disruption. The flexibility is amazing.
  • Xanadu: It´s virtual so it can be fetched by gachapon for a cheap sum, really squeezes the glacier corp econ if you get it out early and synergizes with mining accident.
  • Imp: A nice little piece of hate against combo/assets/lakshmi to help out a little in the weaker matchups. Against glacier this can still be used to trash obos or important ice.
  • Spooned: Along with hippo you can now trash 6 ice during a game, courtesy of engolos paint ability. This makes expensive ice way worse, every time you trash something big you buy more time for your drip to do it´s thing while your opponent struggles to build taxing servers. Your bad pub gets more and more effective the thinner the ice layers are. Against Asa this can lower the effectiveness of fully operational but also gets rid of pesky tour guides.
  • DreamNet: Used to play two of these before the Imp was added. The deck has a few little nice run related synergies that help this card(gacha with bad pub, dirty laundry, mining accident, rebirth into hoshiko), but it also happens to be virtual and can therefore be installed with gachapon. It fits nicely into the theme of getting into a mode where you run a lot after some setup.
  • Deuces wild: Provides some extra tag protection, extra draw and more fodder for maemi.
  • Fueno: Actually great vs Asa, especially when you have keiko out, basically 2 drip at that point. 0 to install. Will often be Zer0 fodder in other matchups, although there are other use cases.

Problems:

  • Your main problem is that a big deck means difficulty finding the right cards at times, sometimes you wont find your engolo in time and you lose by default. However I find this happens rarely enough that I still like the deck, just keep in mind while playing that you will need to get the right breakers sooner or later.
  • There is not a lot of answers for fast advance in the deck, you have rebirth into kim and imp for disruption, as well as wheel for multi access. Plan and mulligan accordingly.

Worlds:

I brought the deck to worlds expecting:

  • A lot of jinteki glacier(good matchup)
  • A lot of lakshmi Asa(ok matchup)
  • A little Titan(okish in testing at least)
  • Just a few sportsmetal(not much practice but on paper a terrible MU)
  • A little kill weyland(Felt goodish)
  • Maybe some ctm, but figured drip + stimhack + bad pub deals with that nicely

I ended up going 2-3-1 with this(one draw by time where I lost by being lower seed). In swiss I made some crucial piloting errors and in the cut I simply couldnt find breakers early enough. So I´d say it wasnt inherently the decks fault, the practice games are a much larger sample size and show great results for the deck. However since the main strength of the deck is against glacier you might want to chose a different weapon for upcoming touraments given the success of titan and sportsmetal.

Big shouts to Leopold, Arndt and Mitch from our new testing group Unband for all the practice games ;)

Big thanks to Nisei for a great event!

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