The Water's Fine - 12th ACC

Paillu 91

This is a pile of bad, disjointed pile of cards, Paillu. No it isn't. It's a pile of baffling misdirection that punishes the slightest misplay! Isn't that grinder? NO! We punish misplay here, we really love to do that, but we don't rely on it.

First off, all credit for the initial concept goes to DoomRat, who posted a working list in the local discord a little ahead of APAC, and this list is what came out of our conversations leading up to that event and to ACC as well as my personal preferences. He'll probably have better takes than me whenever he gets around to a writeup of his version.
It only lost one game on tournament day, round 1, to what looked like The Lat Deck, the only unfavorable shaper matchup, but it was running Aniccam and Caldera instead of Boat, I assume to spite me specifically. Just kinda sputtered out after a quick early lead and died to all of the card draw and credits. Occasionally the deck does just fizzle, usually if it can't get any extra card draw online if it doesn't win within the first 10 turns.

So what is going on here?

The basic idea is to use Bladderwort and the ID ability to move agendas into our score area as fast as possible. And then to use Moon Pool to put agendas and counters where we want them, when we want them there. THIS IS NOT GRINDER. Sometimes overly cautious runners make it feel like grinder if we can't score out fast enough but they're doing it to themselves.
The fastest score out I had on the day was turn 5. And one Sting! kill that was faster.

Ice: Anemone my beloved, I wish I could just run 8 copies of you, you nasty little creature. Chrysalis was originally IP blocks which I never wanted to install unless I couldn't get one of the other two and often pitched to Anemone. This is kind of the same thing. Deck wants about 8 ice, these fill it out, and occasionally do something while uninstalled.

Bladderwort: Main enabler for a lot of shenanigans, if one sticks around for a couple of turns or you flip two up before a turn starts, you can usually jam out Blood or kill/deplete with Sting! You can keep it active by rezzing Hokusai grid and Moon Pool. Ideally get a couple of little nests with Bladderwort, Hokusai, and an ice.

Calvin and W2W: We need to see a lot of cards to spam remotes and these keep a steady stream. Don't discount Calvin! He's a good bioroid and he puts in work here. A lot of runners with check his remote and then not rez him to avoid the free card draw.

Moon Pool: The deck's other big trick, good for fast advancing, no advancing, or just keeping runners off of game point by putting the problem agendas exactly where you want them to be. NGO Front: A bit of a nonbo with Bladderwort, so there are only two, but sometimes you need a quick infusion of cash. People will often leave it alone if you are, so it's there if you need it to ruin run math. Spin Doctor: Spinny. Recur Bladderwort that Obokata you pitched with Anemone to see if you could sneak it out with Regenesis.

Operations: Audacity in theory has synergy with Moon Pool, but usually it was scoring me game point if I used it. Mitosis could probably go down to a single. I think DoomRat moved off of them and NGO entirely, but I think it sets up powerful plays, especially early, and enables ToL. It's just so much click compression if you can utilize all of the counters.

The deck really struggles against Freedom, but it isn't unwinnable, fortunately I dodged those matchups. Lat is a lot less favorable than the other shapers, which feel favored, but similarly not unwinnable. For both of these I feel like you have to bait the runner into some misplays because at a certain point they can control your assets almost completely and Lat's ID ability prevents some Blood FA's that you could pull off against any other Runner.

I'm very happy with the deck. I wish there were a decent barrier for it and an in-faction card draw asset, but we'll revisit that when the next set comes out! I suspect it would be somewhat disadvantaged in an open decklist cut, because they don't have to spend time figuring out that you aren't grinder. Even then though, it has some breakout fast starts that might make Sports players jealous. Things I would change: Some kind of barrier that doesn't exist for the Chrysalis. An in-faction draw engine would be great. These things don't exist yet. Jinteki is allergic to barriers and good cards.

Keep those Pools Bloody!

4 comments
31 Aug 2022 DonLoverGate

This is so cool.

I like IP Block as a good barrier with a low inf cost.

RIP Kakugo, who died for our sins (https://www.netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/4a136ac0-3119-45c9-b89a-502a71d34af8/unband-shadow-realm-1st-link-ping-co-).

31 Aug 2022 Paillu

@DonLoverGateYeah there were originally 2 IP block in the Chrysalis slots, it did okay when I couldn't find the other two ice, but decided the inf was making room for a second W2W. I think the card draw is more important than the ice suite here. Paperclip is a dead card in these waters!

1 Sep 2022 lopert

Why not include CSR Campaign for the draw over Calvin B4L3Y or Wall to Wall?

1 Sep 2022 Paillu

@lopertThe 2 rez cost not refunding itself and no built in defense is non-trivial here. I remember having a conversation around it when tuning our personal lists. W2W often has at least 2-3 turns where it is firing three effects and after that gives you flexibility. I wouldn't cut it. Calvin is not the strongest effect, but people will avoid trashing it a lot of the time because that gives you cards. I'd cut at least 1 Calvin first if something powerful enough in-faction came to be.