Doin' the Pravdi-Most (7-0, 1st @ Spokane CO)

jfoley 304

This is the Prav list I've been cooking for the past several weeks that I piloted to 1st at our CO in Spokane this past weekend.

This was especially meaningful to me because it was not just my first tourney win, but the first time I've made a cut after years of living on the bubble. Not only that, but I made the decision to bring some of my own home cooking instead of playing it safer w/ a proven list like the AgInfusion list I played at the March AMT

I want to thank everyone in the growing Spokane, Washington meta, in particular @ComradeCoheed, @ChemicalCollapse for their dedication to recruiting new players to make this tournament possible.

Prav got a big boost in the new set but I hadn't seen much with it yet and I was interested in trying to iterate a non-shell game version. Logjam, Cohort Guidance Program, and, unsurprisingly, The Holo Man give a lot of gas for a tempo-based strategy. Subliminal Messaging ties this package together into a potent econ/scoring engine that creates an annoying conundrum for the runner.

With a Cohort live, the punishment for giving us our Subliminals back by not running is a free mini-Charlotte Caçador by trashing subliminals to Cohort right after they come back to hand at the start of turn. This sets up future threats of multiple free, clickless advancement counters. Also note that Cohort is not unique and can get busto very quickly if multiple copies are live. Not giving me subliminal back usually involves making a successful run somewhere, giving us a free counter either way. So when they run archives to flip your cards face-up, its not really a big punish because you get the counter anyway AND you still proc Cohort to pitch a card for cash and a card to set the cycle up again.

Defensively, we use these advancement counters to keep our Mestnichestvos filled and (lumber)jack up our Logjams and/or Tree Lines to prohibitively expensive territory. While highly vulnerable to Hush, triple Logjam gives us flexibility to turtle a bit and nullify Boomerang and K2CP Turbine threats, which proved highly effective in my matchups.

Offensively, we use these advancement counters to threaten the runner with a sharp, punishing agenda suite that puts the runner in tempo hell. We have tons of lines where our free counters enable us to score Fly on the Wall/Tomorrowʼs Headline w/ two clicks to punish w/ Self-Growth Program/Market Forces or score a Cryptocrash w/ two clicks left to consolidate the tempo swing. Scoring a 1-click Bellona w/ Holo Man also just feels good.

While its possible than the R+ version of a tempo list like this is better and more consistent, I found the unique play patterns and threats out of Prav comparable in power level and I appreciated having in ice suite that feels sturdier in the late game, which was one of my hangups with many R+ lists I tried.

Slots are Hard

Earlier iterations played with a few other cards that may be worth looking at again:

  • Ubiquitous Vig: Some games this would be sick and game-winning econ, but its hard to protect more than one remote and if it gets to threatening it just gets trashed. While a good way to get Oppo online, I found that it was a bit too volatile economically, so I swapped them for the Your Digital Life and Attitude Adjustment for more consistency and was very happy with the result.

  • Chekist Scion: This would be nice to park the Holo Man on and can cause blowouts if runners aren't careful, but we already punish those runners in other direct, more effective ways. Its another card that may be worth a 1x, but ultimately felt too orthogonal to our gameplan compared to extra ice or more econ/draw operations. In swiss, runners will often presume you're on it anyway and be more careful than they might otherwise be without costing the slot.

  • Public Trail: Plays into the Cohort/Subliminal plan more cleanly, but didn't seem worth the slot over Oppo. 1x might be nice, but see section title.

  • Threat Assessment: It's a funky extra self-growth without the extra steps. Earlier versions tried 1x along with 1x Oppo, but ultimately 2x Oppo just felt better and I wasn't willing to sacrifice the third copy of self-growth for it.

  • Akhet: Logjam addressed more threats and scales better over time. Perhaps there is an argument for taking out the Tree Lines for one or going to 2x Logjam, but I'd rather see a Logjam and the Tree Lines have incredible utility. The free advancement counter is nice, but our engine already does this part well enough and I liked the consistency of 3x logjam.

  • Vasilisa: Unsmiling felt like better tax and tempo hit than a 1c to break sentry that builds other parts of our board. 1x might be justified but, I didn't like having weak ice like this protecting a pressured central.

  • Offworld Office: Crypto over Offworld was a game-time decision and I was originally on 3x Offworld to make the econ more consistent, but decided that between Cohort, Subliminal, Rashida, Planogram, YDL, and Attitude, I would have enough cash. I was comfortable but not flush in most of my games, but DooF or other crim derez plays can be painful

  • Orbital Superiority: in R+ this makes more sense but here the econ swings of Crypto/Offworld more appealing than overloading on score + self-growth/market forces plays.

  • Vladisibirsk City Grid: Holo Man is a better, quicker version and slots are hard. Would be nice to have another expensive upgrade for them to trash and to be able to score a Crypto from hand, but adding it feels a bit slow and redundant.

Weak Spots

Hush and Hermes pose serious problems when used wisely, Devil Charm/Arruaceiras Crew lists can also be an issue if we've invested significant resources putting counters on our barriers. Physarum Entangler on Mesty can be painful as well.

Aside from a charged Mesty and Unsmiling, our facecheck punishment is not crazy good, so it may be hard to stop a savvy runner from bouncing ETRs to deny the subliminals and and avoid successful run triggers. Getting credits from our barriers may be enough value, but there are a lot of board states where they'd rather give us that than the Subliminals or an ID trigger.

Cohort is also only 2 bucks to trash, which can make it vulnerable if you dont have an immediate punish. Pushing it out behind a two tag Oppo can help it stick, but I often find myself protecting it at first and getting set up a bit before pushing out. After a crypto or fly on the wall turn we can usually stick a naked one for a few turns. You have to be very careful when you time these and its easy for the runner to punish poorly used Cohorts.

23 Apr 2024 Radiant

Congrats on the result! You been on the grind for ages and it's awesome to see it done with your own brews :)

23 Apr 2024 scantrell24

Congrats on the win! Cohort + Subliminal sounds fun!

25 Apr 2024 jfoley

Thanks @Radiant!! That means a lot - definitely should also be thanking you and the Seattle crew for all the help over the years!

@scantrell24 Thanks! and yea its a blast. Subliminal is such a unique and interesting card, and its cool to see all of the weird edge cases it can make a big difference in.

28 Apr 2024 hams

This list is super rad, I love it

28 Apr 2024 Anzekay

Super love this list mate! I've been hoping to see some Prav lists start doing well after RWR's release, so I'm real happy to see it happen so soon