This tournament really doesn't warrant a write-up; it doesn't warrant one as long as this, but I've never got to do this before! So here goes my giddy excitement at the prospect of getting to write about Netrunner for altogether too-many characters.
This was my first Netrunner tournament. I've dabbled in GLC's standard league before, and had to drop halfway through Vale's recent async, but this was my first real competitive event - or as competitive as a 15-person Circuit Opener can be, anyway. It was also my first time playing in paper against people outside my local playgroup.
I don't think anybody was taking this too seriously, and I was no exception - my corp deck was a near-carbon copy of CableCarnage's worlds CTM list because I'd played CTM at our last several meetups and had it mostly sleeved. It was great, it went 2-1, and was a very good deck. You've already read the writeup for it, probably, and you really don't need me to sing its praises. I ended up cutting the Whitespace for a second MVT because Squirtle is a very scary card. This was probably incorrect but I'm fairly confident that in the small sample size of these games it didn't make a difference.
This deck, my runner, I have very slightly more thoughts on. It might look a little familar; that's because it's just this deck from CritHitd20 that was published yesterday. CHd20 asked in the description for someone to win a tournament with the deck which I came remarkably close to considering it was my first tournament, I had 3 reps with the deck on JNET before today, and the incident.
All jokes aside, a lack of reps with the deck isn't really a big deal. It's just reg shaper - lots of money, lots of card draw, and a smattering of tech cards all topped off with a delicious serving of Deep Dive. Whilst there are interesting lines the core gameplan is fairly linear. This list is 41 cards because I added Misty and couldn't be bothered to work out what to cut. I did not face a horizontal deck and so can't comment on CHd20's assertion that it's not necessary against CTM or Gag, but I will say that it felt wonderful against Argus. I feel like the deck would really sing given just one more burst economy card, perhaps the 3rd Overclock, and depending on your meta call perhaps without Caldera.
I've already spent over 2000 characters on this little tournament, so I should probably get to talking about the actual games.
Round 1: I wasn't there! So here's the incident: for whatever reason, I could not for the life of me find where this circuit opener was in UKGE. I gave myself plenty of time to look around the area and could not find it; I asked an information desk and they were unhelpful; I tried to contact the TO but unfortunately their phone was on silent; I eventually went to the NISEI stall and after asking several more people if they knew where area D was, we finally found the event.... with round 1 already in progress. Thankfully I'm still in a position to join despite my ineptitude, but I'm going into round 2 with 0 points to my name.
Round 2: I'm obviously on the bottom table. I start runner against BtL and immediately start putting some pressure on. An early PAD Tap makes Wall to Wall awkward and my opponent is a little slow to trash it but still loathe to fire the credit ability. Good for me - despite a drawn Clot stopping me from blocking an Atlas counter, the lack of tempo means I can get some early steals from centrals, set up my rig, and get to 7 points before too long.
On corp I'm against Apoc Lat, a deck borrowed from the TO - the Big MaxX they had intended to play had been forgotten in a hotel room. I have a fast start with multiple DBS and Rashidas whilst my opponent can't find breakers or seemingly much money. My remotes go uncontested and I'm able to score out before the apoc drops, with 2 ice in hand to quickly recover.
Round 3: I'm running first against Argus. Tao's ability creates pressure and Misdirection lets me take several runs I couldn't have taken otherwise. An Atlas counter is unfortunately scored so I'm forced to run through a Chiyashi twice (thanks Border Control) to steal a City Works Project. I had a turtle in play, so even though the Punitive never comes I have 1 card in hand, an empty stack, and one credit. I money up and after getting a successful run on RD, HQ lets me DJ Steve for Deep Dive / Deep Dive to win the game.
We don't have much time left for my corp game, but that's alright. I'm vs Edward Kim and get off to a great start with some money, some ice, some draw, and an early ARES score, followed by a second. As my opponent starts running centrals I ask if I'm about to get apocced, but despite having a large money lead I decide not to boost the IP Block trace and am immediately apocced. The opponent goes broke and takes 3 tags though, soon made 7 by a HHN as I install another DBS and Spin Doctor. I've had DBS online for a while and haven't seen my BOOM! so I know it has to be coming soon, and sure enough between Spin and Predictive Planogram I find it the next turn.
Round 4: I've somehow submarined to the top table, and I finally corp first vs ExtraC's Big MaxX, a deck I have literally never played against as any corp because nobody in my local scene plays it. I get a slower start although I do score an ARES. Sadly Maw comes down a couple turns later and starts picking away at my resources with a frankly massive money lead. Eventually, totally out of options, I go for a gambit with a Tomorrow's Headline in archives behind a Ping, hoping it's ran last click. ExtraC doesn't fall for it and I concede soon after.
I'm running against Jinja PD, but fortunately they have a slower draw. I faceplant in a Gatekeeper, but quickly find a Cyberdex Sandbox in hand. When I hit the Border Control a little later, the 0-strength ice makes me feel comfortable SMCing for Aumakua over Paperclip. I find an Offworld Office and have a very pleasant 4-point lead, but once the Jinja comes down I don't have the economy to deal with it and I'm forced to concede the remote. I can't get through Gatekeeper, but when Jinja reveals a second installed on the remote I decide to take my chances with a Dive. It pays off, finding a Luminal on centrals and a Sandbox on the Dive for game.
If you couldn't tell from this truly excessively long write-up, I had a blast at this event. Congratulations to ExtraC on the first place, and I really do hope to see a lot of these people again at Nationals later this year. I loved my first tournament, I was very happy to take home a Shark playmat despite missing round 1, and I'm looking forward to more organised play later this year.
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