ICEMAN 2.0 - 11th at Worlds 2021 (Undefeated in Swiss)

Ghost Meat 662

Was thrilled to make Top 16 again this year, but this time without my beloved Titan Transnational (RIP). Had to pivot to my next nearest and dearest, CTM, and it did me very well, dropping just one game all tournament against Bridgeman's Apoc MaxX in the cut, in which he dunked spectacularly all over this in the most commanding and humiliating way, on stream no less. XD

Wins in swiss were against MaxX, MaxX, Smoke, MaxX, and Zahya, then against Sunny in the tiebreaker round on Sunday morning, and Steve Cambridge in Round 2 of the cut.

The basis for this deck is from my NZ Nationals deck in 2020, but with some pretty notable differences, especially due to the rotation of Team Sponsorship and the banning of Gold Farmer. Idiosnycratic choices here are 15 Minutes instead of a third ARES (a tough choice), just as a way to close out games from 6 points, and for the amazing Exchange of Information of it for Bellona, then click it back into your deck, for a three-point swing for two clicks and zero credits. This happened several times during the tournament, so paid off. Lady Liberty is a swingy card, but it closed out at least one game for me, given the draw from DBS and Rashida, so odds of it panning out are good.

The Malia did some nice work for me, locking down a hard-installed Liberated in Round 2, and various other econ and card draw cards throughout the tournament. The News Team is a counter to Mad Dash coming back into the meta, and really helps to slow the runner. Throwing it in the bin against Alice and Criminals is great, as they're trying to milk value from Archives most turns. Not a single player who hit this all tournament took the tags, so it always went into the score area for -1 point, which is great tempo for you.

The Regoliths were last-minute includes, as I was previously on two Marilyns and no Archived Memories, but found myself scraping for credits in a lot of matches. Regolith is a great way to burst up and out-money the runner, which is how this deck primarily wins. The Mumba Temple synergy with Regolith is great, providing a free rez and a nine credit blast that turn.

All ice here are very cheap, with the idea to be able to rez any of them pretty comfortably on the runner's first turn, if necessary. Seeing Hydras and Tollbooths in some CTM lists requires some heavy lifting and for the runner to let your econ survive on the board, and that often does not happen. Runners are greedy to kill Bankers in most cases, so something like a Turnpike is a brutal early face-check, and costs you very little (and nothing if you have a Temple up). Lots of positional ice plays are available here, like Turnpike or Funhouse in front of IP Block or F2P, making the inner ice way better, or F2P in front of Enigma to lift the decoder if they can't break or pay. This slot was actually an Archangel in almost all of my testing, but then concluded that it does Archangel stuff plus threatens a tag, so even better, and at the same rez cost. Horrendous for MK Ultra to break as well, and I was expecting a lot of Anarch this tournament. The runner can pay four through it each run, but that's a fine economic exchange CTM is happy to see.

As ever, my corp play outshined by runner play by a wide margin this tournament. Between the Acme, CTM, Azmari, Gagarin, Palana, and Precision Design threats, runners are pulled in some tough directions at the moment.

Thanks to Nisei and the amazing OP team for keeping the Netrunner dream alive, the House Hippos testing group for all the theory-crafting and games leading up to Worlds (congrats to Chouxflower for being the other Canadian to make Top 16 this year!), Xtreme for the endless Netrunner support and dialogue, and my wife and mother-in-law for all the childcare this past weekend so I could play relatively uninterrupted, without incessant demands for macaroni pasta and Bluey.

No thanks to only four hours of sleep the night before the tiebreaker game and cut, and having to play the most important games of my life at 5 am two years in a row. Fingers crossed for an in-person Worlds next year to have a level sleep-based playing field for all (among many other reasons). :)

2 comments
22 Nov 2021 Xtreme

This is such a solid deck that you have built on for years now. I hate playing against it since it is sooo versatile. Congratz on yet another great worlds @Ghost Meat, and looking forward to see how ICEMAN 3.0 look likes

26 Nov 2021 Ghost Meat

@Xtreme I fear that CTM will be taking a major nosedive when the Mumbad Cycle rotates soon, as we lose Bankers, Virtual Tour, Mumba Temple, and Exchange of Information here. Other CTM lists that use Jeeves will be sad as well. We'll see what Borealis has to offer, but I suspect there will be intentional designs there that seek to curb CTM's power.