Twilight CT (1st-place NZ nationals)

cyberewok 469

First place NZ nationals (21 players). Across swiss and top 8 its record was 7 wins (ETF, Sync, ETF, ETF, Harp, Sync, CI) and 1 loss (Gagarin). Deck name courtesy of Donald (@guv_bubbs) who, incidentally, is one of the nicest people you will ever meet and a great boon to NZ Netrunner.

Lets deal with the obvious question first.

Why not Kate?: The 40 card deck size gives consistency and the extra +1 allows Mopus, SMC and a breaker installed before a console hits the board. A main reason for CT over Kate is Personal Workshop, which (IMO) is one of the most powerful runner cards in the game and is near unplayable in Kate (due to the anti-synergy).

The deck plays silver bullet threats for most main match ups while maintaining a oppressive core game plan of remote lock + Vamp + R&D lock. The deck is consistent and finds its silver bullets fast as 3 Quality Time + 3 Diesel + 3 Rabbit Holes + 3 SMCs mean you should only have to draw ~4 times a game.

Common match ups and game plans:

Hinky IG: Do not run unless they try score out (which eventually they will). Install all eco and dig for Feedback Filter is the main plan. Councilman + Sports Hopper or Feedback Filter + money give you protection from the combo kill. Late game you earn 11-13 a turn and spend 9 on preventing the usual 3 damage a turn (less while you still have deck left), so you can just let them deck themselves if they do not try score out. By the time they try score out you have a free or discounted breaker/console suite from Personal Workshop and can just run the advanced cards (there are usually no advancable traps in the deck). MVPs for the matchup Feedback Filter and Underworld Contacts.

ETF: Money up and pressure R&D. Host icebreakers/console on Personal Workshop to ensure they slow down and install lots of ice/upgrades on remote. Vamp them when they try score out of remote to trash Caprices and such or let them score if you don't have eco advantage and you suspect Caprice. Keep SMC into Clot live in case of Biotics. In a usual game they get ~4-6 agenda points before you lock them out. MVP is Vamp.

CTM/Sync: Spend a few turns getting to an eco advantage and ensure Clot hosted or an SMC is free. Don't run centrals until remote lock is online. Keeping CVS/political assets and San Sans (only when you can afford it) at bay while maintaining advantage and Clot threat is the aim mid game. Late game you can afford to also lock R&D.

NEH FA: This matchup is difficult and is not in your favor. Advice is similar CTM and Sync except you have less setup time so have to be very careful on how to spend your Mopus as they are so intensive to produce. For instance, it is often the right call not to install Rabbit Holes even if you expect eminent traces as are so precious early game. Get creative slowing the corp down while spending setting up. Things like installing SMCs, hosting R&D Interfaces or even discarding Vamps are great to make the corp extra ice centrals/remotes and slow down without needing to spend to run.

CI: Get Mopus online and run 'till they ice up or threaten to combo out (if you are lucky you can see a few cards on R&D and notice how many of there initial 6 remains to get a feel for their hand). Next step is dig for all your hate while doing a minimal setup. Stop digging when you have SMC/Clot, 2 Vamps, Councilman and Clone Chip or cannot afford to spend more turns drawing (they seem ready to push a remote). Money up is the next phase. In the ideal situation Beth should be installed and Personal Workshop should be ticking down a Nexus or a Fem to clear the way for a Vamp. As you are not running they will try to score out an agenda, pre-install Jackson or a CVS or over draw themselves to avoid needing Power Shutdown. If they try score out an agenda or pre-install an asset, Vamp them and run the remote. If you have enough money to also keep the Clot + Clone Chip threat live clear the tag and install Councilman. If they have not yet drawn Reuse running archives and R&D locking should win you the game from here. Else you will need to Vamp again as quickly as possible to the first Vamp so they don't have many cards for an Archived Reuse.

(Please read @triorph's great article series on CI for a much more expert analysis than I am able to provide)

5 Sep 2016 triorph

I definitely like that you've thought of a game-plan for everything here. Did you have one for Palana or was that just accepted to be a loss if it showed up? It seems that Nisei Mk2 + Caprice on HQ would both ruin your core strategy.

6 Sep 2016 cyberewok

Hey @triorph! There was only one Palana player in my local meta in Canberra so I have not had much practice (around four tournament games). The game plan is the same as vs HB except without the Clot threat and possibly needing Pol Op or Councilman/Clone Chip (for the various upgrades). If they Caprice on HQ then you can remote lock/R&D lock through a Nisei reasonably comfortably. If they caprice the remote (which seems to be what usually happens) and score out a Nesei then you need to draw the Pol Op or second Vamp and possibly normal run HQ a few times to clear any Crisiums/other non-Caprice protection upgrades. Often it is worth Vamping to force the Nesei token at a more controlled time for you to keep the other locks. I think all up this deck is 3 wins and 1 loss vs Palana at tournaments. The one loss was when an early Nesei was scored while I was setting up. That was chained to another Nesei though the token was used to protect the remote and I was not fast enough in pressuring to stop al GFI with help of a Nesei token.

12 Sep 2016 apri

Love this. Gonna test this out here! We have a ton of non-NEH yellow here and it's a nice change from nexus Kate for me.

26 Sep 2016 cyberewok

@apri Thanks for the comment sorry for the slow reply. I checked out your decks and see you are also a long time CT fan. My thought process has been similar to yours in modifying from traditional big rig stimhack deck to try deal with faster paced corp meta. Would need to be convinced that brainchip in your latest list is the right choice but I can see how it is useful with the 3 stimhacks (but late game is it that big a deal to have a max hand size of 2 or 3?). Will try your latest list out when I get the chance. I loved the Da4id splash in the previous list too. How did this list end up going for you? Any suggestions for changes? Did you manage to find room for a stimhack or 2 in it (pol op to stimhack perhaps)?

26 Sep 2016 apri

@cyberewok Oops, that's a pretty outdated version of the list. I have changed the brain chip out for a box-e, added a legwork, added an inti, dropped the hyperdrivers, and a few other things. Let me post up a more updated version tomorrow, it is much better

26 Sep 2016 apri

@cyberewok and yes, the pol op became a stimhack! I also switched the councilmen for another hopper but this is a meta call. This deck has been crushing here.

26 Sep 2016 cyberewok

@apri Yea good changes both of them. The extra hopper is a good call. The councilman and pol op are flexi slots like lots of the deck and were mainly for the palana/RP matchup (as bati or caprice + scored nisei are very tough to deal without them) but I tend not to see palana or RP at all anymore (though maybe DNA will change this). They also provide a tiny bit in the IG matchup sometimes. Glad to hear you have been doing well with the deck and have made good tweeks. Look forward to check out your box-e list when you publish.

26 Sep 2016 apri

How has the paricia been working out for you? I don't think i've ever used it

26 Sep 2016 cyberewok

@apri I didn't use parcia much at all def could be replaced with a better tech card. I was having trouble vs various asset spam in testing. Mainly decks where I didn't know the engine so it was hard to figure out what the key pieces to trash are. In the tournament the only time I used it was Vs gagarin (which ended up being my one loss anyway :P).

Thanks for the updated list it looks cleaner. Will have a play with it when I next play in person!

14 Oct 2016 Windave

How do you treat the breaking news threat versus your Personal Workshop?

14 Oct 2016 cyberewok

@Windave Thanks for the question.

Vs yellow deck personal workshop is used slightly differently to in other matchups. Basically until you are on top of the remotes such as san san or have clot threat live vs NEH biotics you are vulnerable (typically first ~5 turns). Hence seek to minimise the damage that breaking news tag punishment would do. During this setup phase only put things on personal workshop that you don't mind losing it or can afford to pay for. If it can be helped don't bank credits too far in excess of what you need. This plays around both closed accounts and plays that kill personal workshop. In fact this deck is probably more resilient vs closed accounts then many other decks because it can sink cash in any paid ability window. The real play that hurts is preinstalled breaking news scored into closed accounts into hard hitting news this takes us two turns of mopus mopus clear clear to recover from. In yellow matchups I tend to put nexus on personal workshop only if I have another in hand or have stabilized. Another thing to consider is holding onto a second copy of workshop instead of playing or discarding it.

For anyone reading who is newer to netrunner: Breaking news score gives a paid ability window to us before corp click abilities can be used. This means before the corp can trash or play all seeing I we can spend money to take things off personal workshop.

14 Oct 2016 cyberewok

Please excuse the typos in the above comment. 'Deck' should be 'decks' and 'then' should be 'than'.

14 Oct 2016 Windave

Now that you mention and I think about it, you are right! It has an amazing breaking news ensurance doing both things at the same time, using the money and liberating the workshop to be destroyed empty. Very very nice.

Been trying lots of different things with Chaos (indexing + freedom trough equality, stimhacks, etc) but I think this one is spot on for the actual meta. Having link and an automatic bypass every turn is just so strong.

I never netdeck, if you see my profile I made some nice decks (I love deckbuilding the same as I love playing the game), but this time I think I will practice and take into competitive this archtype, it's so perfectly balanced that I can't think of much to change. Also is difficult to use it well and I like that too. Right now I'm having some issues with Vamp timing. When should I use it? Can you give me some advice?

So, I'm trying the deck but with some changes:

-1 pol op -1 paricia +1 stimhack +1 test run You won't believe the wonders that test run does with Femme

14 Oct 2016 cyberewok

@Windave Yea it is very tempting to fit test run and scavenge in, I agree with changes you made if asset spam isn't huge in your meta. In the version I currently run polop is stimhack and councilman is 2nd paricia for the asset spam decks.

Vamp is used in the glacier/non-yellow matchup to get into and clean up remotes. So you try get to a board state where they on 20 cred and 3 deep remote but no rezzed and you on 30 cred. This is achieved by threatening the scoring server (by having nexus and breakers on personal workshop) but not actually running the remote until your stabilized (they on around 4 points typically). Then when they put something in remote you vamp them click one and run the remote. Usually this will close them out for the rest of the game as RnD lock + remote lock with them at 0 credits and no ice rezzed on remote is hard to recover from.

In yellow matchups it is used in the kill matchup as they try bank money. In the rush yellow matchups it is only ever used in late game for around 10 cred but usually not at all. Vs tempo CTM type builds it is used in about 50% of the games just if an opportunity comes up.

I checked out your decks after the first comment! I liked your Jasminder list. Too bad john masanori doesn't combo with the ID.

14 Oct 2016 Windave

@cyberewok Thanks for the response mate, I'm going to practice and maybe taking it to Nationals. Cheers!

14 Oct 2016 Windave

One detail I noticed on the actual meta: it is mandatory that Zu needs to be changed with Gordian Blade. The amount of brutal code gates that are seeing game (DNA Tracker, Fairchild 3.0, Ravana) stacked, gordian can swipe them much better.

14 Oct 2016 apri

I would strongly disagree with the switch from zu to gordian. Nexus and femme are there for any problem codegates, and i've really depended on the free mem that zu provides some games. Maybe it's just how I play, but i've never had the problem of needing to break several big code-gates in one turn.

14 Oct 2016 Windave

I have encountered an RP that stacked code gates and believe it was hell, couldn't do it with femme and console alone

15 Oct 2016 cyberewok

@Windave while I agree there may be other code gate breakers more suited to RP it should be a very favored matchup anyway. So unless you see it more then you see yellow and HB and rush I agree with @apri and think swapping ZU out is the wrong call (the cloud subtype is very useful too).

If RP rushes out a Nisei MK 2 before we can contest, then it becomes a close game (as we need to draw 2 vamps or put huge R&D pressure on early). But otherwise we just money up and vamp them leaving them with big unrezzed ice on R&D and remote. If they put caprice on HQ to stop the vamp then we can remote lock them. By mid game we can pressure their eco, their remote, their R&D or their HQ in form of Vamp. They shouldn't have enough money to rez big ice on all three. In fact, in my experience I find we can pressure two servers without too much of an eco hit (i.e. run R&D every second or third turn with some R&D interfaces and keep the remote in check clicking for creds the rest of the time). To be fair this assessment is based on pre fairchild 3.0 and DNA and I haven't tested against RP since escalation so you maybe in a better position to judge than me. If I felt I needed help in this matchup I would bring in councilman and polop as they are incredible here as they guarantee the vamp hits.

15 Oct 2016 Windave

The problem is when HQ is a huge tower of expensive code gates, and there is a rezzed crisium because they know Councilman can hit the table. You can't out money they there, when they have sundews making money, celebrity gifts, and going to HQ costs you more than 15 credits... And early they will try to rush you, so you have to run the remote almost obligated to not let them score Nisei Mk2, and there you go, they rez you a Fairchild 3.0 and a DNA Tracker, and again, everything becomes so taxing that MO can't keep up, even with the underworlds.

15 Oct 2016 cyberewok

@Windave Yea the game can get out of hand if they tempo out some Nisei's. And we can get to a stage where MO doesn't keep up with taxing servers but I think this should be a very rare occurrence. Crippling ourselves to stop a nisei is a tough call. Sometimes we can't contest and should just click for 8/10 creds despite them getting a nisei. The sundews should get trashed the turn they are rezzed once we are stabilized. Would be interested to hear about your experiences in the matchup more recently, did you play the same deck agian? Are you playing in person or on Jnet? I've tried to find some RP games but Jnet competitive is pretty light on RP/Palana at the moment I only very rarely see it.

15 Oct 2016 cyberewok

One more thought. The councilman are there to force caprice rezes before they needed so you know which servers to go for and to stop battis. Crisuim should be dealt with by running HQ twice or if it is very taxing maybe over 2 turns using nexus. Councilman is doing work if it makes them prerez a crisuim (that's an eco hit for them and gives us info).