Spoony Special Val (2-3 at London Regional)

swabl 341

"THREE Special Orders in Val?? What are you thinking?!"

I hear you. My logic is pretty sound though, I think, and in practice generally worked out:

Reg Val has a few known problems: you can be rushed out as it's often hard to find breakers early; you can be locked out because you never found your Paperclip/Black Orchestra; Black Orchestra and MKUltra drain your money like none other.

Special Order and Engolo in tandem solve all these. Special Orders let you get the breakers you need when you need them instead of hoping to draw in to them, but often you can just grab your Engolo and use its painting effect to deal with most early ICE. You won't get locked out or rushed out anywhere near as easily. And Engolo is just a damn good Decoder (and a pretty good Killer, if we're being honest) which, in tandem with Paperclip, results in a much less money-hungry breaker suite.

Special Orders functionally count as additional copies of all your breakers, so we can take fewer copies of them, saving slots and influence elsewhere. In this case, we use that freed up space to take a third The Turning Wheel, allowing us to pressure centrals faster, and three copies of Spooned, letting us weaken servers for even greater exploitation (and remember, we have a much more efficient ICE suite, so we need even less money, allowing us to be even more aggressive!).

Inject and Engolo in the same deck is asking for trouble, but thanks to Special Order it becomes a calculated, but very favoured, gamble. With only 1 copy it's very unlikely Inject hits us, and far more likely that we find a Special Order first - we which can use to grab Engolo/Aumakua before we Inject, keeping them safe. The other alternative in the influence is, what, 2 Engolos, a Clone Chip, and another Retrieval Run? I feel this is better.

Basically, this takes Reg Val in, in my opinion, a more stable, more efficient, and more destructive direction, shoring up some of its known weaknesses.

I felt good enough about it to take it the London regional, whereupon it didn't do that well. It beat AgInfusion and PE, and lost to Gagarin, Argus and CtM.

Gagarin was just not going to happen, Argus I stalled on money and got forked hard, ending up in an unwinnable position, and CtM I went tagme and was kind of doing alright, but unfortunately missed important agendas in HQ several times, ultimately losing to Exchange GFI -> 15 Minutes to close.

Against AgInfusion I managed to rip 2 SSLs off R&D very quickly, and just spent the game digging with Turning Wheel until I won, and against PE... like, your deck is just health, my picks were barely relevant lol.

I don't think I used a Spooned all day (but then no game ever reached the point of it being relevant) BUT I did get Engolo out consistently, and rarely installed any other breaker, and it felt great every time.

Gagarin aside, I don't think the decklist lost me those games, but I wish my results represented a more ringing endorsement of this unconventional deckbuildiing decision!