So Long & Thanks for All the Stimhacks 3rd/11th Toronto 8-0

lukesim3 462

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This is the Runner deck I put together for Toronto’s last (official) Netrunner tournament. After playing SO MUCH VAL over the years, I wanted to play with one of the new IDs. I have a fondness for 40-card decks and Clan Vengeance is good, so: Gnat!

@formerteen also played this list, and together we went undefeated (8-0) in Swiss.

My Corp was a card-for-card Skorporate Town. It has winnable matchups across the board, and the ID ability can force CV decks to make some sub-optimal plays.

Anyway, back to Gnat. There were some Gnat CV lists floating around, but I found they were too poor, and used cards like Patchwork and Guinea Pig that made hand management awkward. You're trashing so many cards that you tend to want the few left in your hand (because they're Stimhacks).

So, I made some changes:

  • Peace In Our Time is one click for 9 credits. Playing a few of these gives you enough creds to carry you through the game. Sure it gives the Corp money, but Stimhack ensures you can always get into a server, so who cares?
  • Turntable. It's better than Patchwork. Don't @ me.
  • The extra Titanium Ribs is clutch. The sooner you can start Zero-ing into I've Had Worse and drawing 5 cards (or more with Respirocytes) the better.
  • Severnius Stim Implant. I rarely installed this, but in games where the CV plan isn't working you can always boost up to a huge hand with Zero, I've Had Worse and Inject and then throw it all away (except for the Stimhacks) to see a bunch of cards out of R&D. Then you just Levy and repeat.
  • The spiciest include is probably the Laamb. It seemed better than any AI breaker option, and breaks a lot of good ice (Archer, DNA Tracker, Fairchild 3.0, Chiyashi, EULA) for less than the Anarch breakers. It also stops rush decks in their tracks and is a third fracter vs. Skorpios.

The result is a deck that sets up extraordinarily quickly and can start threatening a full-hand CV wipe by turn 3 or 4. It seldom wins just by throwing points into the trash, but if you can pull an agenda or two from the remote (thanks, Stimhack!) or centrals, you'll usually find whatever else you need to win in Archives. Val with Employee Strike and CV is probably still better, but this deck is still damn good.

Round 1 vs. Smoke and Sportsmetal

Corp: Kyle is playing a fun Smoke with Embezzle, Laamb and Knifed. It's a spicy brew that I don't see coming. I leave HQ open and promptly get most of my ice Embezzled right out of my hand. I forgot to remove the Embezzle with my Skorp ability, so he clears out a bunch of operations a few turns later using Same Old Thing. I'm on the ropes, but manage to score some points while he digs for Film Critic and then Hunter Seeker one of his breakers after he takes an Atlas. It all comes down to a Batty/Archer psi game which wipes his remaining rig and he scoops.

Runner: I feel bad about this one. Kyle mulls into a mitt full of agendas, and I'm on 5 points really quickly. A Stimhack into the remote a few turns later, plus a misplay where Kyle neglected to boost an IP Block trace that would have let Giordano Memorial Field fire, gets me the last agenda. Never even installed Clan Vengeance... 2-0

Round 2 vs. Mti Mwekundu and Reina

Runner: Steve had a stellar Store Champs season and is playing a spicy Mti with Punitive Counterstrike. Without Employee Strike the Mti matchup can be tricky, but you can always wipe their hand of ice using Clan Vengeance, which blanks their ID. Steve starts rushing pretty fast, but I sniff out a naked agenda, and then get the rest of the points out of Archives.

Corp: I rush some agendas, and then he fires Indexing click one and finds 7 points. Welp. 3-1

Round 3 vs. Valencia and Mti

Runner: It's my first time meeting and playing Andrej from the Metropole Grid! He's on Political Dealings and Estelle Moon, and gets a fantastic start, finding all 3 Moons right away. Fortunately, my first CV wipes out a lot of his good ice (so long, Chiyashi!) and he's forced to Biotic a Viral Weaponization off the table just to clear a Hacktivist. I think I topdecked an agenda from R&D, and then found 6 more points in the trash after CVing post-Rashida. This game could have gone very differently if Andrej had found a Jeeves, but props to his steely poker face that always made me think he had some dangerous ice in HQ.

Corp: I score 6 with an Atlas token before he can find his Black Orchestra. Play 3 copies of your breakers in Val, kids. 5-1

Round 4: ID

A huge shoutout to my would-be opponent this round, Matt, for making the top cut at his very first Netrunner tournament!

Top cut Round 1 vs. @lopert on CtM

I take a look at his decklists and see his Val is running 3 copies of each breaker and 3 Maxwell James, so I throw Skorpios in the garbage and opt to run vs. his CtM. It's a slog of a game (I think I Stimhacked four times). He can't find ice for R&D so I opt for the Severnius play, digging deep for 4 points over two turns. I eventually wipe his hand with CV, finding no agendas but seeing all of his tag punishment. TIME TO GO TAG ME! We both get to 6 points, but he played around CV by burying most of his agendas with Daily Business Show and they don't come back to the top of R&D in time for either of us to win. It's a timed draw, but my higher seeding carries me. 1-0

Top cut Round 2 vs. @d1en on Valencia

Staring across the table at Canada's best Netrunner player is always a bit intimidating, but Dien has been a huge part of the Toronto meta and a great ambassador for the game. I'm glad I got to play him at what will likely be my last official tourney.

Between Inject and Ark Lockdown, I remove two early breakers from the game, which lets me rush to 6 points. But a combination of CV, Rebirth, and Divide and Conquer means I never get to draw the winning Hostile. I likely made a mistake by not over-advancing an Atlas, but I was under a lot of pressure and didn't want to leave it in the server for another turn.

Sadly, I did not get to Stimhack because the rules won't let you when you play Corp. 1-1

Top cut Round 3 vs. Michael on Kabonesa Wu

Mike has been brewing a Wu deck for months, and I'm stoked that it carried him into the cut. He's got both Laamb and Engolo, which means Skorp has to trash a lot of breakers to get the lockout... Fortunately, that's exactly what I'm able to do after he takes the bait on a Standoff (letting me Hunter Seeker the Engolo) and faceplants into a Tithonium on HQ. This was one of those Skorp games where you draw the perfect flow of ice, money and agendas.

Landing in the Top 4 netted me a fancy Wu alt art, which I promptly gave to Mike because he deserves it. 2-1

Top cut Round 4 vs. @lopert on CtM (again)

So, back at it again with Alex. We sat down and joked that it would be funny if we ended up drawing at 6 again. WE DID. If anyone is compiling a list of ridiculous Netrunner achievements, I'm pretty sure we qualify. 3-1

p.s. I'm sorry, Alex.

p.p.s. I Stimhacked 5 times in this game.

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Top cut Round 5 vs. Terence on Mti

Mti glacier is a tough matchup. Between Nisei tokens, a mix of good/weird ice, and defensive upgrades, the remote can be tough to crack, which means you almost certainly need to win through Vengeance.

Unfortunately, that's hard to do in an 8-agenda deck and my first 6-card CV is a total whiff. In the meantime, Terence has scored two Niseis. I manage to walk through a Cortex Lock on R&D a few times (more CV counters, yay!) to find 5 points. However, I faceplant into a Crick on Archives after a second CV without the bank to break, letting him put the winning Obokata into the remote. I probably should have seen that one coming... 3-2

Congrats to Terence for always playing with guile.

3rd place

I'm elated that I did so well at the last Toronto tourney. Feels good to go out on a relatively high note. And hey, if you're heading to Worlds in September, I think this deck could be a strong (non-Val) contender. Stimhack wins games after all...

Lastly, I just want to take a moment and acknowledge the incredible Toronto Netrunner meta. We always strived to be a progressive, inclusive and supportive group, and I'm proud to have been a part of the community. I met some of my best friends through this game, people even came to play Netrunner with me when I was in the hospital, and I once Stimhacked myself to death on stream. All things I'll never forget.

There are too many people to thank, but if you're reading this you know who you are. Even if the game is ending, I hope our community can continue.

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22 Jul 2018 MaximumSushi

Hey buddy, I'm incredibly happy and proud you did so well at this tournament. I really feel like the two of us broke through a wall in the past year and I'm glad we were both able to garner some results for our final competitive season. I really wish that I could have attended this regionals and had to option of us hitting worlds as well. Timing sucks sometimes.

This deck looks like a ton of fun and is definitely my style of play! You know how much I love a good severnius dig. Let's give it a spin when I'm back from the arctic. Cheers!

22 Jul 2018 formerteen

i played this deck and it went 4-0 (one was a timed win, admittedly) so gnaturally i love it. thanks for letting me play it and congrats on your great performance! LONG LIVE TORSAUG

22 Jul 2018 icecoldjazz

Congrats on the finish. Love this deck!

23 Jul 2018 lopert

This deck is a monster and I will have nightmares of getting stimhacked for ages to come.

My CTM deck lost 3 games to time against this deck on the day but I got a beer out of it so I ain't even mad.

Congrats on the placement and shoutout to TorSaug for putting on a great final regional. Love you guys.

23 Jul 2018 RvdH83

I like Laamb a lot here! Will try it out for sure.

Another list was running The Shadow Net instead of Same Old Thing because of Malia Z0L0K4. What's your thought on that?

23 Jul 2018 lukesim3

@RvdH83 Same Old is really just here as a backup in case you find yourself in the unlikely situation of having trashed both your Levys. So, I'd much rather have a backup Levy that doesn't require me to sac an agenda.

And if someone is running Malia, they're probably better off blanking your CV...

24 Jul 2018 NinjaMike

Thanks for the kind words Luke, and thanks for the plastic Wu card. You played a great game, and I didn't play my best, but it was still fun!

I am definitely slotting some sac cons in my deck from now on. Apparently my strategy of just hoping to not play Skorp isn't the best plan ;)