Tightrope (1st at Cambridge SC)

paulyg 1115

Bouncing on a tightrope

First of all, all credit for this deck must go to TugtetguT. Asger not only built this deck but also spent time helping me learn how to play it and discussing possible changes and match-ups. I really like EOI Azmari (I still have fondness for my Shipment from whatnow? list) and was keen to play it again. I'd been trying to recreate a classic Azmari rush deck but finding it needed another win condition. My mind was wandering back to EOI when Asger showed me this list and I was very excited to try it out.

Initially playing this deck felt like I was walking a tight-rope and that the early game was incredibly fragile. There's not that much ice, most of it is porous, and centrals often go unprotected for a while. Soon, however, I realised that it was more like being on a trampoline. It feels like the runner is causing you to lose your balance but when you do come crashing down you just bounce right back up again. If you watch me play it on stream you'll see me make a good few mistakes, but the deck is good enough that you quite often get forgiven misplays.

The agenda suite is, again, terrifying (real 3-pointers!) but is designed to be awkward for the runner. Getting a 1-pointer is rarely very helpful for them and if they spent resources to do so then that helps a lot.

Daily Quest is the absolutely key asset. Getting one behind something like a raven and a Border Control sometimes means you get to keep it for the whole of the game (or until you want to score in the remote). If the runner doesn't have too much central pressure (perhaps you AOId their Turning Wheel) then you can sometimes get a second remote going. I've had games where I've had two Daily Quests running for a few turns and that feels "pretty good".

The All-Seeing I is a card that has single-handedly won me 4 or 5 games that I'd otherwise likely have lost. A lot of runners are very reliant on resources at the moment, and this card can be devastating. Sea Source > EOI > ASI to trash 10 resources can be enormously demoralising for your opponent.

Ice is fairly straightforward. I like to mix Ravens and Border Controls on the remote and just make centrals taxing with Slots / IP Blocks / Afshar. Thimblerig can do some great work if you move it around smartly (watch me do the absolute opposite of this in the stream game against Rufus' Wu deck). Hydra is a bit of a question mark, but I've kept it in the list because it has got me a couple of kills after the runner went tag-me and assumed most of my ice wouldn't do anything. It can also be a decent tax on R&D late-game when you're rolling in money and trying not to lose off centrals.

I took this deck to Edinburgh store champs (came 13th, mostly down to a bad runner choice), Nottingham store champs (3rd place with this deck going 3-1) and Cambridge store champs (1st place with this deck going 6-0). It's really fun to play even though the first 5 turns are always terrifying. You can watch me play 3 rounds (and the final) on stream here for as long as it stays up on Twitch! I hope this is a good substitute for me summarising the round-by-round match-ups because my memory is terrible.

Thanks to all my opponents for some terrific games across these 3 SCs and, again, huge thanks to Asger for coming up with a strong and fun deck!

EDIT: Terje suggest this as the soundtrack whilst you play the deck.

29 Apr 2019 Kikai

Fantastically well played, the threat of SEA Source into The All-Seeing I made for some great / incredibly tense netrunner.

Congrats on winning the Cambridge SC! I hope that you'll think about coming down again next year to defend your title :-)

29 Apr 2019 paulyg

@KikaiThanks for running a great event! I will definitely try to make it down again next year. It's not every tournament that starts with a lecture about the design of the building ;-)