This was my attempt at building a fairly short-notice runner for the UpGate meta. Without too much time to play around, reg crim seemed like the place to be and I wanted to see what Steve could do now that he's thinking he's back. The deck is mostly just all the good criminal cards but there are a few key things to mention.
My limited testing suggested that the deck needed to go fast to have a chance against the expected Void Skunk Asa, Weyland rush, and any asset-based decks out of CtM / NEH. With no turtle for additional benefit, I moved off Deuces to 5 draw events (I've Had Worse providing potential extra benefit against Neurospike / Punitive decks into the bargain). Influence was freed up by cutting Rezekis and slotting Tapwrms instead. I figured these would help with speed as well, either slowing down my opponent or giving me econ to free up my clicks for drawing. The Steve ability also has the potential to give you back Diesels which I think is sneakily really good.
Talking of sneaky, we of course fit in a Sneakdoor to have a second way to trigger Steve's ability once HQ gets too expensive. This straight-up won me some practice games but was less useful in the tournament. I think you definitely want it in Steve, though, and I'm sad that I ended up cutting Docklands Pass as that's some bonus value.
Aside from I've Had Worse, my other tech cards of choice were Citadel Sanctuary, Miss Bones and PolOp. Citadel is very good against tag strategies / CtM even without a link and lets you steal City Works for the win or to avoid double Neurospike. PolOp is theoretically there to get rid of Void but also has some value against most decks in one way or another. Miss Bones is a lot of money on a card and, even if there aren't many asset decks around, expensive to trash upgrades are seeing a decent amount of play.
On the day this deck lost three times to Void Skunk Asa, once to mid-range Sports and once to rude Outfit. I won one game against Void Skunk Asa. Sounds bad, but I wasn't super disappointed with it. A couple of the other Asa games came pretty close and the Outfit game was winnable but I took the wrong line in the last turn. With practice, I think the Asa match-up can be improved though I also think a few deck changes might help.
So, changes! I think I'm convinced that this deck needs Rezekis after all. I ran out of steam badly against Patrick's Sports deck when he turtled up and I made a couple of bad runs, and I could see Palana or a Jinja glacier deck being the same story. The Taps weren't as good as I was hoping. One thing that I found really noticeable was that games where I found an early Pennyshaver went a LOT better so I'd really like to find room for a third copy. When it comes to the tech cards, I like the Citadel but the PolOp didn't feel great. I played against 5 Void decks and I never used PolOp to kill a void (either because I didn't draw it in time or the remote wasn't challengeable anyway or they already had a second void). If Asa is everywhere then I think you have to play multiple PolOps to make it worth it, otherwise don't play any and try to apply pressure in a different way (TBD through practice)!
Overall, I was really pleased with my performance in a strong field but the results were basically entirely down to my corp. Runner is where the more interesting issues and choices lie in this meta, though, I think so I thought it was worth writing my thoughts here even though this deck wasn't a top performer. As always, my opponents were kind and considerate and I had a lovely day of playing and chatting. <3 to all