This is the Valencia I piloted to 3rd place at the Hemophilia Charity Tournament, going undefeated in Swiss (3-0) and winless in the cut (0-2). This was a "throwback" event, meaning you could include one playset of a rotated card or one rotated ID. Special thanks to @Whiteblade111 for running such successful tournament and creating such a fun format!
Anarchs have dominated competitive Netrunner since basically forever. But why?
An anarch won worlds four out of the five years between 2015 and 2019. Can you name the only anarch card featured in each of those lists?
@Whiteblade111 asked me to help test for the format to find broken cards to ban, but I wasn't very helpful in that regard. It wasn't until the format was announced and I could easily find games online that I really started jamming them out.
I mostly focused on Account Siphon 419: Amoral Scammer because how could you choose a more impactful card than that busted thing? The deck performed admirably... until people teched for it. My early testing benefitted from there being no established meta and everyone trying out new things. As the dust settled, it appeared that Jackson Howard CtM, Hostile Infrastructure RP, and Caprice Nisei Pālanā would be the big contenders. A combination of glacier and asset decks that required a wide range of tech and immediate answers meant we were going to need speed.
It turns out that the throwback format is more about consistency than sheer power, since only a few of your cards are power cards, and your deck is generally doing things at the power level of standard (barring huge flashy corp wincons like Midseason Replacements and Breaking News). And only Inject provides the consistency to cover all these bases.
Throwback is about finding answers to the corp wincon, so you mull for whatever you need. Typically, you keep an Inject since it's effectively two mulligans in one, but other draw like Zer0 is fine if you can get some good econ with it.
Depending on the corp, you need to develop your board differently to set up the endgame. That means Mining Accident or Apocalypse if they're on assets, a huge credit total if they're tags, a Hippo if they're on glacier, and Stargate if they are on fast advance or some combo. Inject finds these pieces... and sometimes trashes them... and automatically helps you avoid rush decks. If you do eat a Stargate or Zer0 something important, you can Labor Rights is later.
I had a blazing start and got tremendously lucky on accesses (8 runs accessing 14 cards the entire game) including a turn one Nisei MK II rip off R&D. Political Operative was ready but unnecessary for this MU. Fun thing about Inject? It doesn't give the corp the Pālanā buck!
This was an 8-minute game that brought us to time because of an epic glacier grindfest just before it (my fault–see other writeup), so we were both playing fast and loose. I knew that Blue Sun was probably on Midseasons so I could not let the credit differential get too high. When he used Oversight AI on an Orion turn 1, I was able to prevent the big-buck bounce back to hand with this insane turn:
With econ under control and @matuszczak looking to get points on the board before time was up, I was able to sniff out a couple agendas naked installed in the remote. I tried to play as fast as I could to make up for lost time in game 1, but it was over before we knew it.
A second consecutive game with turn one Inject meant I was sitting pretty on econ and Citadel Sanctuary by turn three. This allowed me to Hippo a Tollbooth with Stimhack on the remote to nab a Daily Quest before the econ got out of control. Early GFI and Bellona rips combined with a successful Mining Accident meant I was strong enough to poke around.
When @ADumbBrick installed and advanced something, I ran Bravado on HQ, bluffed interest in a potential Breaking News in the remote, then non-chalantly ran R&D as though it were my least worst option, avoiding a Crisium Grid rez which allowed me to finish the turn and Apocalypse, leading to the win.
CUT ROUND 2
Every game against @Pinsel feels impossible, but definitely had some lines in this game. I was able to keep a bunch of assets down with my bad publicity and prevent huge combos, and even got to game point by the last turn with some solid hits on HQ. However, being on 2x MKUltra meant I gave up too much value on Drafter fires and lost.
CUT ROUND 5
This was a heartbreaker that revealed a fatal flaw in my list. Despite knowing that Midseasons and Breaking News were staples of the format, I opted for a Citadel Sanctuary which performs fine in a lot of ways against NBN decks and kill decks, but it was not the No One Home I needed to sit back and set up. I respected @Sokka234 too much to not Stimhack an NGO that I called on stream, which led to the first HHN (I survived and cleared tags). That tempo hit was way too strong and the install-single-advances kept coming, leading to a quick demise.