Offworld Skunkworks [Fairer without Fairchild3] (5-1, 14/76)

Kikai 678

This list (or close variations on it) has gone 19-2 over 4 tournaments, won me Stevenage SC, and is, apparently, part of the reason why VLC was banned.

Being at least partly responsible for the banning of a netrunner card is a life goal that I didn't know I had.

Results

5-1 at EU/AFR 21 (14/76) with wins against René "Loup" Arcemont: Party Animal, Hoshiko Shiro: Untold Protagonist, 419: Amoral Scammer and Zahya Sadeghi: Versatile Smuggler, and a loss against MaxX: Maximum Punk Rock. <3 PSK

5-0 at Ntscape Navigator SC (22/70), with wins against Az McCaffrey: Mechanical Prodigy, Hoshiko Shiro: Untold Protagonist, Rielle "Kit" Peddler: Transhuman and Lat: Ethical Freelancer. <3 NetscapeNavigator, <3 Cluster Fox

5-0 at Stevenage SC (1/32), with wins against Steve Cambridge: Master Grifter, Zahya Sadeghi: Versatile Smuggler, and Hivemind MaxX: Maximum Punk Rock. <3 RealityCheque

4-1 at Chatteris SC (3/28) with wins against Steve Cambridge: Master Grifter, 419: Amoral Scammer and Hoshiko Shiro: Untold Protagonist, and a loss against 419: Amoral Scammer. <3 RealityCheque

Tournament Afterthoughts

It's taken a beating from every recent banlist, but this is still a strong deck. It has good matchups across the board if you know your lines, there is very little tech to worry about, and it gets some free wins against runners that are too cautious or not cautious enough.

I like to think that the deck also presents the runner with interesting decision points. It certainly "feels" like playing netrunner (to me).

Individual match reports from EU/AFR 2021 are at the end of the write-up


Premise

The basic premise is that the Manegarm Skunkworks + Anoetic Void interaction is disgusting, and the synergy with Asa allows us to build an impenetrably taxing remote very very quickly.

Matchups

This list has good matchups across the whole runner field.

Criminal is probably our worst matchup, because cards like Boomerang and Inside Job make it difficult to win quickly, and cards like Rezeki make it difficult to win slowly. We are still reasonably well positioned, though, because the same upgrades that can be used to defend the remote are also effective at defending HQ against cards like Diversion of Funds.

As long as we hold some ICE back in hand, this list also has good game against Apocalypse, because we can use Asa to quickly rebuild our board state (hopefully faster than the runner can rebuild their side of things).

Against virus heavy decks we have 3 x Cyberdex Sandbox and 2 x Macrophage. We should prioritise scoring sandbox first, but we also need to be 100% sure that it is safe in the remote before pushing. Scoring Cyberdex Sandbox can be the difference between winning and losing in this matchup.


Card choices

We're playing this list as a rushy glacier list, rather than a clever asset/combo list - so out with the tempo neutral/negative Project Vitruvius and in with the tempo positive Offworld Office.

This list has been hit by every one of the 2021 banlists.

Violet Level Clearance was initially replaced by Tranquility Home Grid, but I actually prefer Nico Campaign in Asa: where we want to be building at least 2 ICEd remotes.

Losing Fairchild 3.0 (our best card in the 419 matchup) to the most recent banlist meant a serious overhaul to the ICE suite.

Palisade lacks some of the threat of Hagen, and the bite of Fairchild 2.0, but it's cheaper than either of them, and (most importantly) it doesn't drop off in the late game (when both Hagen and FC2 quickly become 2 credits to break).

Ansel 1.0 is a reasonable replacement for FC3, but, like Palisade, it's also dangerously positional. It's not a piece of ICE that you want on HQ against criminal, or on any central against Apocalypse. It's also not a piece of ICE that you really want on the inside of a scoring remote.

Seamless Launch is a replacement for Jeeves Model Bioroids (now that extra remotes are taken up by Nico Campaign. It's fine, but nowhere near as impressive as a 1x in Asa as it is as a 3x in Haas-Bioroid: Precision Design. Definitely 49th card.

48th card is the 3rd Manegarm Skunkworks. 2x feels like not quite enough, 3x seems like slightly too many. I think erring on the side of 3x is fine, but we could happily cut this if we can think of something more impressive. Possibly a 2nd Seamless Launch, which would allow us to never advance the winning 5/3, or a Restore which would work as a pseudo 3rd skunkworks (with some additional utility).


Piloting

Mulligan for econ and ICE. T1 rashida behind ICE, ICE HQ is a great start. Leaving R&D open is fine. We will lose some agendas this way in the opening few turns, but that is perfectly fine and okay.

Try and get a Spin Doctor on the table to pair with Anoetic Void, if you can. HQ can often become flooded with agendas, making Anoetic Void awkward to play on it's own.

Against Shaper and Anarch we can rush out hard in a remote. We should aim to win around T10. Against Criminal we will need to go slower - ICEing centrals against Aumakua, and protecting HQ with either Manegarm Skunkworks (recommended), or simply more ICE. Aim to win around T15.


EU/AFR Match Reports

R1: T15 WIN vs mr monday on René "Loup" Arcemont: Party Animal.

Very fun game, where I rush out a T2 4/2 (because of agenda flood), only to lose 6 points while also getting apoc'd twice. Fortunately, the first apoc hits Paperclip, which, after stabilising centrals, allows me to score out. Great game to start the day with.

R2: T17 LOSS vs mjp on (Apoc) MaxX: Maximum Punk Rock

Tense game with a somewhat disappointing conclusion (I misread the board state, and threw the game in the last turn). Highlights include mjp rebirthing into Quetzal: Free Spirit, leading to me installing Palisade on HQ (because it was more relevant to limit multiple HQ runs).

R3: T12 WIN vs ChaosIsMe on Hoshiko Shiro: Untold Protagonist

ChaosIsMe runs aggressively early on, leading to 2 x Gatekeeper and a Drafter fire, which puts me even further ahead than the Asa click on it's own. I don't respect Apoc, though, which promptly resets me back to zero, and forces me to push an agenda with Manegarm Skunkworks and Anoetic Void, but no ICE. Another Apoc lands, but, as always seems to be the case against Apoc, the runner is left with no economy while Asa quickly rebuilds and recovers, and I'm able to score out behind very little ICE.

R4: T11 WIN vs wkz on René "Loup" Arcemont: Party Animal

I have a slow start, but no agendas in HQ, so prioritise protecting R&D. I do manage to push an agenda, when I see it, which sets up my economy because agendas do that now :shrug: . When Knobkierie is installed I'm able to ICE all servers, which makes life very difficult for the runner. Once a Cyberdex Sandbox is scored, and with 2 x Macrophages on the table, I'm feeling very comfortable, and can push out agendas for the win.

R5: T11 WIN vs emmel on 419: Amoral Scammer

Hedge Fund + 2 x ICE + Nico opening feels good, even if the ICE on HQ is Macrophage. Agendas don't show up for several turns, so I'm able to stabilise my economy and board state, and even bait some fairly worthless remote runs. Once I'm stabilised, it's straightforward to just push one agenda after another in an Anoetic Void remote.

R6: T14 WIN vs koga on (Counter Surveillance) Zahya Sadeghi: Versatile Smuggler

Similar opening to R5 with Hedge + 2 x ICE + Rashida, including Macrophage on HQ. The runner uses Inside Job to trash the rashida out of the remote, and follows up a couple of turns later with a blind Diversion of Funds, both of which put me off balance and prevent me from stabilising. Koga keeps applying the pressure, so both of our credit totals remain low until I'm able to build a scoring remote, and it becomes a frantic game to see whether I can push out agendas before I lose on centrals. Koga makes one valiant last effort with a 3 card Counter Surveillance dig on R&D, but doesn't see any points. Very very scrappy, and very very close.

3 comments
22 Aug 2021 paulyg

I really, really appreciate your thoughtful write-ups. Great list and fantastic results!

23 Aug 2021 tzeentchling

Would you consider including one or two MCA Austerity Policy in the deck, perhaps in place of a Seamless or a Manegarm? Seems like it might be valuable also in fighting off apoc decks.

24 Aug 2021 Kikai

@tzeentchling MCA Austerity Policy is a little slow, I don't know that I would want to tie up the scoring remote for that long (unless I had drip econ ticking in other remotes, and was struggling to find agendas, but that is unlikely).

In non-apoc matchups the remote is safe enough to just push. I honestly think in apoc matchups you can just let the apoc happen, even if it means losing an agenda. Make it expensive, of course, but I don't think we need to make it impossible.