SYNC or SWIM - 39th at Worlds

Saan 3093

The Boring Backstory

This last year, I wasn't able to play much Netrunner. I moved from Berlin to Edinburgh right as Worlds was happening last year, and played Worlds from a hotel room, sitting on the bed, and tried to find apartments online in between rounds. Although I was able to play online at the start of the year with the Berlin folks (until they moved their meetups back into meatspace) the scene in Edinburgh seems to have died with Covid, at least for now. I don't really like playing online, even with people I do know and like, so I wasn't really feeling it playing randomly on Jnet. Then Worlds signup happened again, right as I was moving from Edinburgh to Seattle.

I figured I'd do what I did last year, and play whatever decks that I felt comfortable with. Then I realized because of not playing for so long, I didn't really have one of those. So I talked to some of the Seattle folks, fished around online, and found a couple decks. My runner deck was simply a deck I stole wholeheartedly from Watzlav, because I liked the look of it and I trust him as a player. That being said, I did throw in a Retrieval Run as a cheeky 46th card, and I was glad I had it. I'm not going to publish it because, as I said, it's literally Watzlav's deck with a Retrieval Run tacked on.

As for the Corp deck, obviously this is it. It went 4-2, because I ID'd the final round in order to get to the next tier of prizes (hello sweet foil Rebirth!). It might have been that I could have swept the round and made tiebreakers on day 2, but it seemed unlikely enough that I didn't want to not get the Rebirth. That and I already promised a friend that I'd help them move on Sunday, and I didn't really want to back out of that because I happened to be doing well at a card game =P

The Part That Might Be Interesting

I'd liked the look of a lot of the Neurospike decks I'd seen around, but most of them were Azmari (which makes sense, because money is cool). However, after getting 35th at Worlds last year with SYNC, I really, really liked making tags cost 3 rather than 2. It allows you to do HHN plays at higher runner money totals than Azmari can, since the cutoff is now 12c rather than 8. Sure, you're more poor, but HHN relies more on the runner being poor than it does on you being super rich. NBN's best ICE costs next to nothing anyhow, so it's not as bad as one might think.

As I said, this deck went 4-2 on the day (2 Neuro kills and 2 BOOM! kills), and both of those losses were due to the runner getting an early agenda and then just making money and Mad Dashing the next card I advanced. As you'll notice, I was dumb and didn't include any NGOs in this deck, and they would have fixed this problem almost completely. I think playing 2 is probably a good number, although finding cuts is the problem. Maybe one less Planogram and one less Ping. It's possible that cutting Rashida entirely might be fine, although the extra draw and credits feels really good, and would require testing (which I didn't get a chance to do).

As for ICE, Tollbooth should almost certainly be an Enigma, because having an ETR Code Gate is really nice once the runner goes tag-me, and Tollbooth is just too damned expensive for this list. The rest of it felt great. Ping is great because all of a sudden they have to deal with a tag they might not have forseen, although looses almost all of it's charm once the runner goes tag-me and has a Paperclip out, which is why 2 might be good enough, rather than the 3 I ran. Funhouse is a little pricey, and you really feel that extra credit difference over Data Raven, but it's still worth the trouble it gives the runner.

This list even beat an Adam deck that started the game with a No One Home and a Networking. Lemme tell you, when an ID that says "You need to pay 3 to remove tags" runs up against a card that says "Nah, Imma pay 1," you get really sad. I think I HHN'd them 3-4 times over the course of the game, but it was good enough because once they blew No One Home it forced them to spend an entire turn using Networking to clear tags, and the the next turn clicking for credits so they could continue to play cards. Eventually they were too poor to run my remote and I was able to Neurospike them for the win.

The other game I Neuro'd for the win, the runner didn't think they were able to run my Reeducation remote because they were too poor after another Econ -> HHN play. The remote ended up being 2 Ping and an AMAZE under the agenda, putting them in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't scenario.

The games where I BOOM!ed for the win, I simply made some rather rude Econ Warfare HHN plays, sometimes a couple times over the course of the game. The deck is staggeringly good at draining the runner's money.

I think there's a couple of reasons that drew me to this type of deck. For one, it was very similar to the deck I ran last year (see the link in the first section), so it felt at least somewhat comfy. The second reason is that I really enjoy decks that force runners into choosing between multiple bad choices. I think with the changes I outlined above and maybe a little real world testing, it could have been the best most horrible thing it could have been. If you like killing runners, it does a really good job of it.

A special thanks to @Radiant for chilling and chatting with me about Neurospike decks for a bit the day before decklists were due. You ended up tipping me in this direction, and I had a blast playing it. So really, this is their fault.

3 comments
2 Dec 2021 5N00P1

glad we did not play each other, I would hope to steal an agenda early and find Mad Dash....

2 Dec 2021 Sanjay

Exciting that we both did so well with Sync with a bit different plans! Seems like the only difference here was you had a friend to help move, so you ID'd, and I was hanging out with some people who were making the cut, so I 241'd.

Looks like you can make some real gnarly forks here! Congrats on the build and the result.

3 Dec 2021 Longi

Such a refreshing change in yellow faction. Congrats!