Better Lucky than Good - 1st Stevenage SC

Kikai 583

Results

5-1 at Stevenage SC, with some lucksack wins against AgInfusion, Precision Design, Weyland: BTL and Sportsmetal, and a cool flatline loss to Jinteki: Restoring Humanity.

Big thanks RealityCheque for running two awesome tournaments (Chatteris and Stevenage), and to Algebraic who had to play me 4 x times on the day (after I rudely refused their very reasonable offer of an ID in swiss).

Premise

A critical mass of newly released, tempo-positive (and mostly neutral) agendas means that the Corp is chaining scores faster than ever before - and the emphasis is on the runner to respond.

This situation devalues drip economy cards like Rezeki and Daily Casts, and increases the value of event and run based economy and draw engines.

We play criminal because criminal has the best access to economy and run events, and we play 419: Amoral Scammer because it will either slow the Corp down ever so slightly, or it will give us information which we can use to make good decisions. Good decision making is critical in this new, rush, meta - because there is less time to recover from making a mistake.

There are arguments for playing this list in almost any criminal ID. Pick your favourite, if you like, but I'm reasonably confident that 419 is best.


Card Choices

If we value events over resources, and we value draw over sustained economy, then it only makes sense to be playing Aniccam. Big thank you to Havvy for pointing out that Aniccam turns every event in your hand into a very small I've Had Worse - keep this in mind when facing City Works Project shenanigans without Citadel Sanctuary, or Neurospike kill attempts.

Bankroll is basically a cheaper, clickless Pennyshaver for the disposable generation. These were the last 3x cards I added to the list, but we really need them if we want to be able to still play netrunner beyond about turn 12.

I have opinions about Mutual Favor. If you are interested in, and would like to subscribe to, my opinions - please check out the nrdb review page. Specific to this deck, we play Mutual Favor as a 3x because of it's synergy with Aniccam.

Tech Cards

1 x Political Operative (for Anoetic Void) and 1 x Citadel Sanctuary (for City Works Project).

Citadel Sanctuary is easily the most sensible card in the list.

For the record: I'm of the opinion that the first Miss Bones in any criminal list is not a tech card (it's card that reads click for 10 credits).

Notable Exclusions

Tapwrm would fit nicely of our game plan to keep pace with the Corp, but there is a lot of virus hate around, and we already have Aumakua.

Another notable exclusion is Prepaid VoicePAD - which has nice synergy with Aniccam, but ultimately sits in the same drip economy category as Rezeki. Mystic Maemi is slightly better, and might be worth considering.

I would love to be playing some copies of Jailbreak so that we could go even faster, but centrals are usually ICEd, and also that would be silly.


Piloting

Mulligan for Aniccam or The Class Act.

If the mulligan misses aniccam, we need to prioritise drawing aggressively until we find it - otherwise we risk our engine starting to splutter around turn 8.

Unless all centrals are being ICEd, we should use the first Mutual Favor we draw ASAP to grab Aumakua. The 2nd Mutual Favor is usually for Bukhgalter (so that we can faceplant ICE with near impunity), but sometimes it's best to hold on to it until the mid game. Boomerang will get us past most ETR in the early game.

A few other directions - we want to run often, but we should only run when it's tempo positive for us. This means some combination of Bankroll, The Turning Wheel, Aumakua, Dirty Laundry / Bravado. Gauging when we can simultaneously run and build tempo, and when we need to take a breath and set up, is a key part of playing this deck. If T1 we just install Aumakua and run 3 times, we will be finishing T1 with only 2 credits, and are likely to lose.

What we will find is that, hopefully, either the Corp will stick to their plan of "going fast", in which case we can play one event card after another until we win. Or the Corp will slow down, ICE all remotes, and stabilise their econ. This is harder for us, but still winnable - because at least the Corp is no longer playing the rush strategy that they want to play.

If the Corp isn't playing a rush strategy at all (and on the day only one or two of my opponents were), well, then we've made a bad meta read. and we will need to both play really well, and get really lucky.

Matchups

It's worth (briefly) noting that the zero-redundancy icebreaker suite, makes us super vulnerable to rigshooter, and should encourage us to be dilligent about potential net damage.

Like most criminal decks, this list also has no real answer to Spombo, other than to run early and steal Project Vacheron, so if we expect to face Spombo we should make sure to wear our best sick rips attire.


Match Report

R1: T12 WIN. Round 1 Cambridge pairing (as is tradition), and a super lucky win against Countzer0 on AgInfusion: New Miracles for a New World - using The Turning Wheel to access 2 cards from R&D and stealing 5 points on the same run that I burnt threw my Bankroll, and became p. much completely locked out of all servers.

R2: T11 WIN. Reasonably lucky win against twisty_b on Haas-Bioroid: Precision Design. Felt on the ropes after an early Cyberdex Sandbox score, but managed a cool (and I think unexpected) remote snipe with aumakua, using Falsified Credentials, Deuces Wild, and Political Operative to deal with Anoetic Void. Then proceeded to get some sick rips off the top of R&D with single accesses.

R3: T7 LOSS vs hemraa on Jinteki: Restoring Humanity - got locked out of centrals that I wasn't brave enough to run, and then killed by Salem's Hospitality into 2 x Neurospike (off a slow rolled Bacterial Programming score). Note to self: be a little more brave/reckless/self-certain.

R4: T15 WIN - Lucksack win vs Algebraic Red Planet Couriers - Weyland Consortium: Built to Last. Got locked out of centrals, and was again too scared to run, but, luckily, both Biotic Labor were in the bottom 4 cards of R&D - so I basically clicked for credits for a while, then Legwork to steal Government Takeover and 3 x more Global Food Initiative in archives.

#KeepCalmAndRunArchives #BetterLuckyThanGood

R5: ID against Swiftie so I can eat some pizza before the cut. Artichoke + Olives + Mushroom, on a thin base. P. good.

CUT-R2: T11 WIN - coinflip win vs Mendax on Red Planet Couriers - Weyland Consortium: Built to Last. Had a much smoother time of things than against Algebraic. Open lists mean that I knew the ICE suite and game plan - so I could make smart decisions about when to run, and whether I could float tags. With R&D down to 19 cards, it still ultimately came down to a 50/50 call on whether the Government Takeover was in HQ or not. Fortunately, it was, and, fortunately, Legwork and Docklands Pass found it.

CUT-R3: T14 WIN - lucky win vs Havvy on Game Changer - Sportsmetal: Go Big or Go Home (aka Spombo). I'm actually super proud of this game. There is a real trick to playing against Spombo, and I played this game incredibly tightly, and didn't at all panic until the very last turn. I used Political Operative (for Rashida Jaheem) and Diversion of Funds to slow things down, Falsified Credentials to make sure that I didn't steal any Megaprix Qualifier, and then did a big Docklands Pass + Legwork HQ run to steal Project Vacheron. Once Vacheron was stolen, it was time to sit back, draw for The Turning Wheel, and keep a careful eye on the board. Megaprix Qualifier being scored was the go signal, after which I just about managed to find the last few points that I needed in time.

Tournament Afterthoughts

This is not the best runner deck, but I honestly don't know what is - and I would play it again (if there was a tournament tomorrow). I might try and find a slot or two for Embezzle, though. Something makes me suspect that card is low key good at the moment.

Fortunately, there isn't a tournament tomorrow! Which gives me time to learn either Apoc Tao, Hivemind MaxX, or maybe Q-Loop Loup.

In the after tournament stream, GuyPatching pointed out how little the Corp and Runner is clicking for credits or draw. I've included the number of turns each game took not as some kind of weird flex, but to try to draw attention to the fact that, in this new meta, games of netrunner are shorter now than they ever have been before.

The emphasis is on the runner to find a way to survive in this new, faster, meta - where the Corp scoring an agenda no longer opens up opportunities of attack.

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