Was thrilled to make Top 16 again this year with my pet ID, Hoshiko. This time, I had the top-performing Hoshiko in the tournament (the only non-MaxX Anarch in the cut), so very happy to be the current best Hoshiko player in the world. XP
Leading up to Worlds, I played a lot of Adam, various iterations of Hoshiko, and big MaxX, but this came up as having the highest winrate of the three for me. With the freeing of Mad Dash, Find the Truth struck me as a strong choice to get reliable fake points, and Anarch's Rebirthing into Omar ability is a great fork with this too. Having three of each breaker was a late choice, as some games just resulted in lockouts, so cutting three slots for 1x more of each type was tough, but I think ultimately the right call given how fast PD is, though incidentally, I never played a single PD all tournament (these slots were previously Liberated, Paladin, and either Citadel Sanctuary or Fencer).
Games in swiss with this were against CTM (W), Acme (L), MirrorMorph (W), AgInfusion (W), and Sportsmetal (L). The Acme loss was just a brutal field of spectacularly taxing ice, and I couldn't close out with the winning agenda. The loss to Sports was due to not drawing any of my three killers, all of them in the bottom 13 cards of the deck, and two Ansel's on centrals were keeping me squeezed.
In the Top 16 cut, I only played this once, and lost to False Lead Gagarin, despite being up 6-1 on points, and ahead on money all game. Got greedy and installed a Hippo and Paperclip on an R&D run to kill the Border Control, exactly enough money to dip into Economic Warfare/HHN range the next turn (but didn't realize it), getting trace 14'd and breaking their econ to 0 (I had 13 credits), then False Lead to go down to two clicks and four tags on my final turn. Tried for the top of R&D but didn't get the win, got HPT'd next turn. Having had one more credit or one more card in hand would have saved me, as I had three cards in hand and an I've Had Worse, so clearing two tags would have spared me against HPT. A blunder for the ages, but it occurs to me that everyone who played in the tournament except Rotom is probably regretting a few choices. My experience is that catastrophic, tournament-ending mistakes like this are how to best improve at Netrunner. I've had my fair share. XD
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). :)
22 Nov 2021 Xtreme
24 Nov 2021 Zerothmaxima