Maw Biggerest Maxx. 3rd at Worlds 2021

Janktivist 400

I believe I went 9-2 with this list over two days, losing only to Ysengrin's Sports FA deck in swiss and of course Rotom's PD in the cut. I was late to the Big Maxx-game, not believing that this (or a list somewhat similar) could be a contender at Worlds. But the Snare Bears are smart, and soon I learned how to stop worrying and love the draw and the drip. Honestly, I'm not sure what I can add to the larger conversation about Big Maxx that thebigunit3000 hasn't already said, but I'll try.

His list and this list are pretty close, with the two major differences being my inclusion of 2x TTW and 1x Mad Dash. For me, these were significant differences, as I found these cards to be, in both playtesting and over the two days of Worlds, my primary win conditions. And this is perhaps a point to linger on a bit.

What makes this archetype work is how adaptable it can be to player types and play preferences. If someone is better at attacking centrals while keeping an eye out for the remote, there’s a configuration in this archetype for that. If someone likes to keep the remote on lockdown and incapacitate their opponents, there’s a configuration for that. If someone, like myself, likes to pressure the corp on multiple fronts while having a reserve of gas (in any one of several ways) to make sure they don’t get overextended, there’s a configuration for that. Big Maxx sees you, and Big Maxx loves you.

One of the interesting things about this deck more broadly is how surprisingly easy it is to find the cards you need (except for Black Orchestra, who is always the bin breaker who hides from you in times of need), even if they are 1-ofs. In almost all my matchups, I was eventually able to find a piece that put me in contention when I was out of it or a piece to keep me in contention when I was losing tempo. And while you're digging for the pieces you need, you find the econ and other cards that help support the pieces you need.

You can draw hard with cards like IHW, Deuces, and Moshing, and thin out your deck with Gachapon, to either get what you need, or to reach the end of your deck to Labor Rights back in the pieces that can help you win. The more I played this deck, the more I understood I could make risky discards as I searched for needed pieces--tossing away the single Labor Rights or Rebirth or DJ Fenris in my hand, especially early--and feeling confident I would come across something else to get them back later. I've always been a risky player and I've always enjoyed that style of risky play, so this deck felt perfect for me once I got the hang of it: Big Maxx rewards guts and doesn't punish stupid, which kind of covers all my bases.

A few changes I would have made in retrospect:

  • I wish I went with only 1x Stargate instead of 2x because it ended up being too hard to get down in the tournament. I feel like I must have installed SG once at some point over the two days, but I can't recall.

  • The Mining Accidents ended up feeling aspirational and somewhat greedy. I think I might have played one all tournament, and that was done mostly to save a Maemi.

  • And so then without the MA, I only have 15 events that cost anything (with most costing only 1), so the Maemi becomes harder to justify, and I think it gets cut. I might have replaced it with an extra Trickster and called it a day.

But everything else I stand by. Slums and Citadel straight-up won me games, the 2x Pol Op was perfect for me, even though I might have been losing some value by not going with Aeneas, and I ALWAYS wanted to see a TTW at some point, so multiples of those felt right too.

I will say I did get pretty lucky with my econ draws throughout the tournament, especially against the three yellow glacier matchups I had against amazing players, one at the end of Day 1 and two in the cut on Day 2. Between an overflow of econ and timely draws into Hippos, I was able to control the table in each. I think if our draw luck in any of those three matches was reversed, each of my opponents would have won instead. And as I said, in other matchups where I needed specific cards, I was able to find them. Knowing that the deck can do this means you can have hope that you're never fully out of a matchup until you're dead or your opponent gets to seven. This definitely helped keep me in the mental game over the two days of the tournament.

A big thanks to everyone who made this event, and my participation in it, possible. NISEI and the devs, the Snare Bears and the CindyLou meta, the greater Netrunner community, and, most of all, my wife BlooMuse. In case you can’t tell from this flat-toned writeup, I am ecstatic and surprised that I took bronze at Worlds, behind only who I think are two of the hands-down best players in the game. Still can’t believe I did it. It’s an accomplishment I’ll hold on to for a very long time.

23 Nov 2021 x3r0h0ur

Nothing. Beats. Jon.