ProsperAri - 2nd NZ Nats

Paillu 543

A lone frog swims against an endless current of orange! What have ey got there? A knife!? Oh yes.

Frog holding a knife

First off, big thank you to NBKelly for running the event, I’m very grateful for the work and for being allowed to join in. Also to all of my opponents for being really friendly and providing really fun and engaging games. To everyone in QtM: frogs loves you.

New! Expanded write-up because I can't stop thinking about frogs! Trans rights!

Rationale: Beginning at the end

Slots have been a major issue in Arissana across all builds fielded at events, it seems, as well as as in internal QtM builds. This one was all mine, however, and the specific build was largely untested going into the tournament, but was informed by study of other Ari builds putting up results and my own experience testing out numerous different builds and approaches to the ID.

To solve the slots issues, I started from the endgame: What do I want the final board to look like in a game, and how do I get there efficiently? I decided on the Mawrie breaker and Takobi package, Conduit (possibly the best closer right now), and enough memory left over to host a nightmarish array of trojans catered to the board state and clot if needed.

LilyPAD vs. Pantograph: My personal observation from fielding various builds, after flipflopping on these a lot, was that Pantograph builds had more explosive wins, but LilyPAD was providing more consistent wins that shut down corp avenues to victory. LilyPAD it was.

Card Density

Because card slots are so tight in Arissana, due to MU needs, a critical mass of Trojans, and your unique engine pieces, there is an extreme need for every card remaining to be extremely impactful. You will notice a lack of what are typically auto-includes in-faction like Diesel. When testing builds, I ended up very unhappy resolving Diesel at the expense of a card because while sometimes it just worked, if it didn't burst into the correct things, I tended to fall behind. Similarly, Gachapon, a popular experiment in Ari, promises good burst value, but if the hit isn't right, and you aren't getting 2x Environmental Testing triggers from it, similarly it puts us behind in ways that really hurt. The solution is density of effect. We need maximum cards per card! The reward is greater consistency and inevitability. The tradeoff is that less bursty effects are more punishing of misplay and improper resource management.

Cards and Slots

2/2 Lilypad/DZMZ split: I expect some skeptical reaction to this. Build to endgame states. There really isn't room for more than 4 total slots for MU hardware. The goal here is to minimize dead draws and to give us a ceiling of 8 MU, 7 often felt just enough but also often somewhat strained and was the reasonable ceiling in Pantograph builds. 8 gives the flexibility we really need for longer games and for clot locks. 2 LilyPAD felt good enough. You end up clicking a fair bit for cards in the very early game sometimes and then never again once the engine starts to come together.

The Takobi and Anarch breakers rig: Gauss and Euler are good, but there's too much temptation to burn Simulchips on them to save some credits, these don't demand that so you can save those for recurring valuable trojans, rigshooting victims, and clot. And in the endgame state, you are Conduit running RD for pennies while being refueled by massive burst economy by way of UAV and Environmental Testing. I would consider Living Mural over Echelon, it has merits, but it is nice to have one killer that isn’t a potential victim to corp overinstalls.

Why Takobi over Turbine? Not all ice requires a boost from the base rates these breakers provide. a couple of small ice on the board and you're all gas. The breakpoints provided by Takobi's +3 are just a lot better against the relevant ice in this meta. The result is you're breaking most ice for 2, where with Turbine you would often still need to boost. It's also just a comparatively effortless install at half the cost of a Turbine. Thanks Jai!

3x SMC: Because the goal is to intentionally set up the endgame rig, we’re basically running the third one in a slot that would otherwise be another trojan, we would rather overclock and install one of these in a run over a trojan a good bit of the time.

1x Slap Vandal: The card I have thought about Way Too Much. Seems like most builds floating around have settled on 2x. It's very good and useful but it's mostly an early-mid game tech card before you get your full rig online, it's rarely a part of your endgame rig though and so installing Slaps with your ID ability over an Overclocked SMC or another trojan comes at an opportunity cost for assembling the doomsday machine. It's often the first sacrifice to a feed a chip or take an SDS, in any case it's going away at some point. Good for going through early Outfit ice safely, accessing agendas the corp thought were safe behind a gearcheck, and giving you some flexibility in going through early game Bioroids. No room for a second one here!

DJ: Underplayed in published Ari lists but I think she gets more flexibility out of it than other ID's. Sure, it’s still usually Steve to get your nice econ back and give you a cap of 5 Simulchips for the game, but it's easy to conceive of scenarios where Loup, Los, or even Quetzal could be correct choices.

1x Into the Depths: My pet card, but I’m going to stand by it. Maybe would have been talked out of it in the theory stages if this were a serious effort run through the QtM hivemind and not my last minute decision to enter a tournament on a smurf account. Does it usually just force Border Controls? Yes. But, threat of Hush means they have to pop BC at inopportune times if we haven’t preemptively Hushed it face down. We can benefit from all three modes for maximum value, there are plenty of charge targets. The payout is pretty huge if it lands as you can grab whatever the last piece of your endgame rig is and lock down RD. It's put in some real work.

Clot: It’s just a good card, it wins you games. I’ve done a lot of pondering whether it’s really necessary when the decks that are really hurt by it are already some of Ari’s best matchups. It is, just play it.

2x Pinhole: A last minute panic over a heavy Keeling forecast that I was worried compromised the build. I’d rather have a third Bahia Bands, generally. They probably need to stay though.

Bahia Bands: Oh what a card. We were so down on it in the very early days ahead of APAC, trying to include and play it like it was Deuces, but it's very much not. It's so much more, but only in lists that are relatively optimized and can make use of it, as well as taking some practice to use effectively. On average, it's often giving you one more click of value than Deuces did. Now that's a dense card!

Q-Loop is the silent hero of the deck, and I haven’t even learned how to play it completely optimally. Things to remember are that you have access to both cards you see at start of run between LilyPAD draw and your ID ability, and that you can get LilyPAD draws on corp turn with it as well. The extended turn planning and extra installs, especially in conjunction with LilyPAD, provide a level of optimization in turn planning that is difficult to quantify and explain, but is a very real effect that absolutely provided some pivotal turns for me. Between this and 3x SMC, Overclock credits are as real as they've ever been and if you're really cool you can Overclock a LilyPAD into play.

Dr. Nuka: A card density, true cards per card pick (in addition to just being fantastic, but we're prioritizing her over Diesel), ultimately 6 cards for 3 clicks and a card gets us further more consistently than 3 cards for a click and a card, and rarely do you even need all 3 to go through the stack. She can also be seamlessly installed off of Bands, which is relevant.

Econ Package: We really need to make sure there is enough. Environmental Testing I was such a skeptic of early on, but it’s the best econ in the ID, you just need enough fast cash around it to make it feel smooth, and that's been the difficulty. 4 Gambles (1 Creative) felt like enough, to smooth out the rest of the engine and LilyPAD. I did a 3/1 split because I prefer credits up front in my turns earlier on, but I've been considering 2/2 for DJ Steve purposes. The deck would love a second creative, a third Daily Casts, a third Kyuban, but endgame board and slots and we can’t have everything. The credits move relatively smoothly, but this all could be tweaked a bit, potentially.

Urban Art Vernissage: Is so much more than econ though. Sure, it helps you save your real credits for runs and keeps the Environmental Testing cash flowing in a big way, but the flexibility in trojan placement remains relevant even after you've installed every card you would want to from the deck. Again, 2x is just enough, so the only true dead draws in the deck are the second of this and LilyPAD. You could technically install the second, but it's difficult to see the advantages relative to anything else you could be doing with your clicks, since they don't stack and trigger independently.

I’m not going to claim this is an optimized Ari list, or even necessarily close to it, but it’s the smoothest one that I’ve managed to put together in my approach to runner, I’m really happy it ended up being a good showing. Major highlights include winning through WW Sports that got a total of I think 4 Vitruvius counters via silly combos and winning through a double-counter.


A personal note:

This placement meant a lot to me, even though I didn't enter with real expectations. It has been a very difficult year for me personally, lots of struggles that have bled into basically everything, including my competitive Netrunner showing. Placing in an event as stacked as this one (sharky waters) was a real confidence boost after months of being very down on myself despite QtM's overall success. I became very self-conscious of my presence on Jnet and guilty about not making more time to practice with the folks in the group who actually planned to attend the event, hence my decision to take my silly little decks on my silly little alt account, which was apparently a popular trend for this tournament.

Speaking of, and I learned this long ago as a trans person, but did you know you can just call yourself anything? You can just keep doing that, it turns out. You can just wear a mask and become the villain. froggy threat

19 Sep 2023 herrty

Do you require shell) shockers item codes? The most current ones are here, and we also know where to get more!

19 Sep 2023 izzy

You're finally gonna make this anarch-brained shell of a runner finally learn to play shaper like an adult, huh.

20 Sep 2023 BinkBonkle

Great run! Takobi is so sick. Your hushes were absolutely killer in our game (I was ablaptivebarrier doing aforementioned silly combo stuff)

20 Sep 2023 Paillu

@BinkBonkleOh hey! I was wondering who that was! Nice to meet you. That game was great, the WW Sports scoring lines through clot were amazing to see, I've been thinking about it a lot. Possibly my favorite game of the day. Yeah, Hush is just an amazing card and more so when you remove all of the click costs.

21 Sep 2023 Jai

both of those pics have vaguely threatening auras and I can't really explain why

oh wait

maybe it's the knife


21 Sep 2023 Paillu

@JaiI should probably be crediting you more directly for bringing our attention back to Takobi's breakpoints, thank you for that. Also, I heard your stream was a lot of fun, particularly of my last game running. Was sad to hear the VoD didn't make it!

21 Sep 2023 paanjacke

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22 Sep 2023 Porkobolo

This deck makes me happy :D

23 Sep 2023 Greasythumb

Cool deck, congrats, and Trans Rights!