Strike Hayley - 5th at Worlds 2018

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This is the runner I took to 5th place at Worlds 2018. The deck went 4-4, and was definitely the weaker performer of the two. Then again, I do feel my luck was below average when playing it, and above average when corping.

The deck itself started off as Pawnshop Hayley, which felt decent but also felt the loss of Strike or Critic in certain games. I replaced the Pawnshop/Cache/Harbinger package with Dirty Laundries and 2 Piot, and it seemed to run fine, while freeing up the restricted slot. I tested this list with 2 Film Critic and 2 Hacktivist instead of 3 Strike and the second Turning Wheel, and I think it was equivalently strong - this version came in after losing a few games to rushy Aginfusion, and to Mti where I couldn't find my currents to pop Scarcity. Annoyingly, despite running 4 of them, this still happened.

Some cards:

Engolo is a great new shaper card that avoids the need to run a clunky AI solution that gets laughed at by IP Block. It's expensive to install, and should be done via stimhack as often as possible.

2 Indexing / 2 Makers eye: I found the flexibility useful, as Indexing is better early and against ice light decks like CTM, whereas Makers eys is easier to carry out against a well defended R&D. Following the tournament, I'm not inclined to change this package.

No one home; Really good tech card, mainly put in because I expected CTM lists to use sea source for shapers, and the odd SIU as well. It was useful helpful in cheaply sponging large bursts of net damage in a few games.

1 clone chip and clot: An odd looking combination, but the deck doesn't have much else it wants to recur with clone chip unless it loses a breaker, making it a dead card in a lot of matchups. A meta call, in a meta with more rampant fast advance, more clone chips may be a good idea.

2 Engolo: I dropped an SMC late for a second Engolo, to combat the odd rogue Skorp list. Testing against Alex Borrils monstrous list convinced me to put a second copy of this in as a safety net, as it is generally the breaker you want to find first in any case.

Report of my games:

Round 1: Had bye from Euros, so didn't play.

Round 2: Played against Biotech Mushin traps. against the opponent I'd played a casual game with during round 1. This time I got a much better draw with an early No one home and Feedback Filter, while he saw a lot of agendas. I cleaned up very straightforwardly with Indexing.

Round 3: Playing against MTI Glacier, not dissimilar to my own list. My opponent got down an early Scarcity and I had a nightmare draw, not finding a current to put it out, and paying around 14-16 extra credits on my resources, which was only slightly better than discarding them. Joel found a ton of money and ice, but frustratingly no agendas during his large scoring window, only drawing an Obokata as I was starting to climb out of the ditch. I let it through, in order to gain 3 fansites worth of money, and from then on, plundered an agenda rich R&D with Turning Wheel.

Round 4: Playing against CTM. I got an OK draw and managed to stay on top of his board despite an early ARES score. This was one of my more frustrating games, as I whiffed an indexing, a 6 card R&D dig, then only found 1 point on a 4 card dig, while also missing several single accesses on a hand containing agendas. My opponent eventually stuck HHN after I'd exhausted most of my econ on getting accesses, and finished off with Psychographics.

Round 5: Against Palana with punitive and mushin traps. Not much happened for a while, then my opponent installed an unprotected remote, which I ran, stealing a Bacterial Programming. On the next turn my opponent played a punitive at trace 10, which I could beat, but which would drain my money - at this point I wondered if he'd drawn triple punitive, which would have killed me. It turned out he only had 1, and soon after I stole a naked installed Obokata, putting me at match point. The rest of the game involved me cautiously poking both HQ and R&D, but finding nothing - the game eventually went to time, and my opponent graciously conceded giving me the full win.

Round 6: Took an ID.

Round 7: Playing against Argus. My opponent played well and seemed to always have Economic Warfare and HHN to punish me, while my early SMC into stimhack on a remote fell short and only hit a Reversed Accounts. I also made a daft mistake in this game when I ran through Data Raven and then allowed IP block to fire, forgetting I had a tag, though it turned out the contents of the remote was not an agenda anyway. I fired an indexing, followed it with Strike and ran twice more to steal two Armed Intimidation, but economic warfare into HHN put me in a difficult position, with 4 tags and no way to clear them all. I played Piot and cleared 3 tags, hoping my opponent didn't yet have 2 HPT with which to kill me, but he did.

Roud 8: Playing against SSO industries. A decent economic start, but slow to find breakers, allowing my opponent to push out a quick 5/3, followed by Red Planet Couriering another one out. At this point I played clot and ran R&D, followed by HQ, to try and flush out a Hostile Takeover. I found another 5/3 and also an Ark Lockdown, which told me clot was not long for this world. My opponent purged and I once again checked R&D then built up Turning Wheel counters with cheap HQ runs, but hit nothing. My opponent removed clot from the game, I play indexing and miss, then hit HQ, finishing off by seeing 3 of the 4 cards in it. Unfortunately the one card I didn't see was the winning Hostile Takeover.

Round 9: Game not played, as opponent conceded it after losing his runner game.

Cut round 1: I got to choose which side to play against Aaron Andries, and decided to run, since I knew his Palana was on fast advance of 3/2s, and some damage, both of which I had decent answers for. I got an OK draw and Aaron put out a naked Braintrust, which could have been a snare or breached dome, but I ran it, which netted me 2 points and gave me some information about his hand (he mulled). His draw felt sluggish and had too many agendas, allowing me relatively free control of the board, and Indexing finished off quickly.

Cut round 2: Against Biotech Mushin traps. Seeing the lists helped, telling me had no Ronins. The first half of the game felt uneventful, with both sides just setting up, but then he started putting cards out and advancing them, not always with Mushins. I seemed to call them correctly early on, taking 6 points off the table, but poking around in his centrals for the last one cost valuable money, leaving me in not a great position to use my Feedback Filter when it finally arrived. I then ran a 2 advanced Junebug, which consumed money and took me down to 4 cards total, and next turn he Mushined out a card, leaving 2 x 4 advanced cards in play. Either he was trying to score 7 points at once with Clones are not people, or make me think he was trying to, in order to bait me into a lethal trap. I tried to cop out of making a decision by digging R&D for 3 cards but missed, and finally left the advanced cards on the table, knowing that accessing a Junebug would kill me. Unfortunately, both were 5/3 agendas, one of which had been sat there for half the game, and he scored out.

Overall mixed feelings about this deck, as I had been expecting it to outperform my Corp. I suspect that a good shaper deck does exist, but the one given here is weaker than the common Maxx/Val archetypes.

Once again, a big thanks to everyone who made Worlds such an enjoyable experience, and hopefully we can do something at least similar next year, even without official support.

13 Sep 2018 emilyspine

Congratulations Patrick, so glad you took the leap to real life!