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So I started with this list https://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/51595/apocalypse-is-good-actually-2nd-place-toronto-regional because I knew I wanted to play an Apoc deck. The minor changes were a career fair for a Polop because Moons CI was the best deck and Val's main strategy against it is get lucky accesses or a very early CV/Zer0 down.
Through testing games I got pretty sick of single accessing all day and found against grindy decks it just wasn't enough, especially when the Apoc play was unavailable. I added 2 indexing but obviously ran into big influence problems. Then I added a Mad Dash because Indexing. The apocs dropped to 2 because you see so much of the deck with zer0 and you really never need 3. If you ping them all out of hand Shadow Net has your back anyway.
I still needed more influence cuts so I dropped E-Strike. I'll say before hand that Strike is definitely way better than Rumor Mill for a restricted slot but I still think Rumor Mill isn't a terrible option. Most decks are still running Rashida. A lot of them are running Ashe/Batty/Jeeves too. I think the value of Rumor Mill is also harder to notice. When your opponent's ID is blank it's pretty clear how it changes their play but Rumor Mill mostly means they just don't play the cards it hits. In my opinion Rumor Mill is better against Moons CI as well which is big. You can actually trash a stacked Moon without them popping it and you stuff Rashida for at least 1 turn while they clear.
Anyway those were my changes. I went into the tournament with the goal of making the cut. Last year was my first Regional and I managed 4th which was far beyond my expectations so I wanted to prove to myself that it wasn't a fluke. Tournament report as follows.
Round 1 - C. Callahan - Architects of Tomorrow - My round one opponent said she'd only been playing 5 or 6 months and her goal was basically to not lose all her games. Her deck was a pretty standard glacier that tried to run you through an expensive remote into NGOs or protect agendas with Ash or Red Herring. I played apoc twice and even though a lot of the agendas were at the bottom of the deck she didn't have much to rebuild with by the time we got to them. (2-0)
Round 2 - Holly Chandler of recent NISEI fame - Azmari - Holly was on 6 Agenda Azmari and I think she got kind of a rough draw. Early on I saw a Degree Mill on R&D but had nothing installed to steal it. Next turn on R&D I saw an Archangel and then a preemptive in HQ I believe. After her turn she dumped 2 cards and iced archives. All I had installed was zer0 and CV with a couple counters so I ran archives. The same Archangel bounced the CV but there were 2 Degree Mills in the trash. I installed an mk from hand and stimhacked back in to steal 1 of them. A couple turns later I pulled a SSL from hand and then indexed for the win. (4-0)
Round 3 - R. Niven - Argus - I hadn't fired a CV over the first 2 games but this one was basically decided by 2 great hits. The first took out his tag punishment and the second took his fast advance tools. I basically just played a lot of money for half the game while he got to 4. Then I apoc'd and he never had a way to recover. (6-0)
Round 4 - Stephen Ball - Sportsmetal - We ID'd but played it out anyway just faster and sloppier. He got some quick points before I found my breakers and got control of the board. I scratched back up and got to 5 including a mad dash. I sac'd the mad dash to apoc. As Stephen rebuilt his board I just checked R&D but all of the agendas were in a clump I mostly missed. I do find a vitruvius though which brings me to 6. He jams something behind a couple surveyors and I somehow miss that he advances it so I ignore it. Next turn he scores the Ikawa and goes from 4 to 7. (7-1)
Cut Round 1 - Kevin Ellenburg - Harp - This is one of the friends I drove up with on his own brew. He keeps a questionable hand with a lot of agendas to be cheeky and install them naked. It's a very short game as I pull a Beale off R&D turn 2, another off the board turn 3, then Apoc turn 4 and steal the now trashed naked SSL on turn 5. Bad luck for Kevin but major props for making the cut with Harp. (1-0)
Cut Round 2 - lose on Corp (1-1)
Cut Round 3 - win on Corp (2-1)
Cut Round 4 - C. Callahan -AoT - A rematch of my first round opponent who is clearly better than she thinks she is. She gets to 6 by scoring 2 Ikawas that I just assume are NGOs. She had no money to rez the ice in front of them so that's some ovaries of steel right there. Again though I apoc and she has trouble recovering. I slowly find a couple agendas and eventually win on an indexing run (3-1)
Cut Round 5 - win on Corp (4-1)
Grand Finals part 1 - Sportsmetal - Stephen Ball - I come up from the losers bracket to play Stephen Ball again. Stephen starts the game with a ton of economy but basically nothing to do with it. The agendas he does see he doesn't have the ice to defend and I end up with them. Once he finds ice he's got nothing to score. Eventually I apoc him and index for the win. His luck was pretty poor here. (5-1)
Grand Finals part 2 - lose a very close game in the final on Corp (5-2)
Overall I had a great time at the tournament just like last year. It was great to see the Netrunner people, that though I don't know well, all seem like wonderful people. Congrats to Stephen Ball on the win as it was a long time coming. Highlights of the tournament for me were of course doing so well, getting to play so many games of Netrunner before it's over, and while discussing Sportsmetal between games, having the entire table repeat Sportsmetal in the same "sports voice" completely unrehearsed. Yes, the voice you just did in your head. I'm pretty bummed about this being my final tournament and coming so close to winning is bitter sweet but both this tournament and my time with officially supported Netrunner exceeded everything I expected going in.
22 Aug 2018 arccollie
Holly here - great work!! I definitely played enough matchups against your decks, LOL.