CTZ_THE_WORM (3rd)

ctz 3951

“I think my second or third year in the league, I actually figured out what I can do best: rebound and play defense,” Rodman said. “Basically, I just started learning how to perfect that. I just used to have my friends, late at night — shit, 3, 4 in the morning — go to the gym, I’d say, ‘Shoot the ball. Just shoot it over here, shoot it over here, shoot it over there, shoot it over there. I just sit there and react, react. I just practiced a lot about the angle of the ball and the trajectory of it. You got a Larry Bird, it’s gonna spin. You got a Magic, major spin. When Michael shoot over here, I position myself right there.”

“So basically, I just started learning how to put myself in a position to get the ball,” Rodman said. “I was pretty much like that rash you can’t ever get rid of, right?”

THE WORM


If you feel like taking a walk:

  • Stick true to the left and change the 1x slots to whatever you want / to match the meta, which is required for a list like this
  • If I was to go back in time for this tournament, I’d move 1x Diversion of Funds & 1x Miss Bones to 1x Hotel & 1x Lucky Charm
  • Prepare yourself to play a runner deck that puts you directly in decision hell. Use the flames as your sauna and you’ll do just fine
  • Be as aggressive as possible in the front, let Hermes handle the middle, and use Katorga Breakout to close the game
  • Viewing and playing this deck is like walking a tightrope. You will get 4 points early. Your opponent will get 4 points in the middle. Y’all will collectively see 6 points, with the seventh going to the photo finisher.

If you feel like going on a hike:

1.) https://stimhack.com/the-two-year-turn/ This is the correct article to read from one of the all-timers. Use it to figure out how to create your own stencil and path.

2.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XIOrS2SWd4 I’ve watched this game before every single tournament post Worlds 2015. It perfectly demonstrates the experience as the corp, runner, commentator, spectator, and Netrunner at its core.

3.) https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1897897117?t=0h59m7s Me applying my stencil. Pay attention to @neuropantser (shoutout) / Michael’s commentary, as he knew what was going on from minute one. Sokka, as always, is a wonderful opponent and handled the matchup with grace. This version of 419 was made to combat Asa, Teia, and asset spam, as I thought those would be the most popular corps for the tournament.

Otherwise: please join me on the mountain climb after consuming the above preparations


Base Camp

The journey I’ve had with Netrunner has lasted just under 10 years so far. It’s given me far too much and I’m eternally flabbergasted at the fortune I’ve been able to reap from. The friends, experiences, journeys, life lessons, connections, and realizations I’ve taken part in are bar none. It is continually formative to my existence and an inseparable part of my identity. I can only think of this as deckbuilding IRL, for my IRL. To best illustrate how integral netrunner and CTZ are to my identity, I’d like to share a quick story -

Zooming back to 2019, some of us from San Francisco ventured off to a regional in San Diego. It had been a minute since we traveled for Netrunner, so the excitement (and as a result, anxiety) was sky high. I’m personally a nervous airporter as it is, so I arrived at SFO nice and early. This paid off immensely, as the security line was wildly long. After about 20 minutes worth of line traveling, I had made little progress and was still waiting. By this time, some of the group had arrived and entered the security line as well. In trying to get my attention, @enkoder kept calling my name (Andrew for those that don’t know), of which I was completely unresponsive to. As a final attempt, he shouted “CTZ”, to which I immediately turned around and responded. This is the importance of knowing your audience!

Moving back to modern times, the pandemic and resulting years have presented immense challenges to me internally. I’ve experienced systemic issues dealing with social anxiety, cognitive behavior, nervous & auditory function, and identity. Especially the latter two. This collective manifested itself in numerous ways, but at the end of the day, I was lost in space and unable to reel it back home.

I was having a particularly difficult day earlier this year and knew that I needed to leave the house. I just started walking and after 3 miles or so, I eventually ended up walking past the recently closed “Black Sands” cafe in San Francisco. Black Sands was the place I went to before every Netrunner tournament in San Francisco, prior to 2018. I was devastated to see it closed, as there was so much history there. Back in those days, I used to drive 1 hour each way, every weekend from San Jose, to hang with my Netrunner gang each weekend (can you believe we were as fortunate to have 1-2 GNKs a weekend?!?!). As much as this was a spiritual dip in the wrong direction, I knew that my true home, Gamescape SF, was not much further. I proceeded to head over, hang out for a bit, and then pickup some late lunch from nearby “The Little Chihuahua”, which is where we all ate after our casual TUE/WED/THUR netrunner nights. Again, I was both happy and sad to see history in front of me, but that’s the deal with the important stuff.

I took my grub to a nearby park and opened up my phone for some foodside entertainment. What happened next was the first step in setting me into a different direction. At the top of my youtube recommended list, a very important, no, my most important video came up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-z9nrzZiEc

While it isn’t necessary to watch to understand the immediate context, this is an interview I conducted with Netrunner legend and universe brother of mine @d1en. It is an absolute blast of a discussion and acts as a deep dive into what makes us up as Netrunner players. At the start of that video, I have a few seconds with a message on screen that reads “To My Metronome”. Something that I haven’t shared publicly until now, is the meaning of that message.

After recording that interview with d1en, I was to drop him off at the airport and head back to my apartment. Noah (nobo715), my best friend and little brother in life, was meeting me there so we could hang. Tapping into the dark and light of everything on that day, I was met with the worst news of my life. Noah, who was my metronome, had ended his journey here with us.

Returning to the park, I didn’t know how to process things, but I knew that the interview needed to be played. I watched the whole thing and felt a peace and energy I hadn’t felt in a long while. I redirected the energy there in order to reach out to @rongydoge ,one of my most principally important brothers. I just knew that I needed to talk with someone and bring me home to what had given me so much in life, which was this little thing called Netrunner. I’ll never be quite able to voice the impact that he had with me that day, but I know it is unneeded. That’s the deal with the important people.

The goalposts were set and Cascadia didn’t know what was coming. Literally.


The Climb

While I’ve covered the second half of my preparation in my Corp writeup, I’ll spend the time here expanding oh what got me to that stage. Throughout my Netrunner competitive campaign, I’ve always relied on two techniques:

  • Feel & Vibes & Spidey Sense (technical terms)
  • Absorbing the power, skills, and knowledge of those around me like the basketball in Space Jam

While those certainly have worked for me to a “average - great” level, I wanted to do better than ever and needed a system that allowed me a more systematic approach, to handle how rusty I was and me having a harder time with complicated things ™. I knew Smurf Season would be a great facilitator for me getting reps, but I needed a stepping stool before diving into that end of things. This led to two processes:

1.) Consume every major tournament, decklist writeup, and “get good” Netrunner content that I could find between 2014-2018. Additionally, review all my heroes filmed games and make a stencil of what I could identify. Primarily, I watched Dan Dargenio, Timmy Wong, Noah McKee, Grey Tongue, Spags, and Daine.

2.) I revisited Noah’s system and like all good Netrunner things, I iterated:

  • Establish Econ Advantage
  • Determine any click-saving opportunities
  • Secure Your Board
  • Identify and Dissect Your Opponent’s Board
  • Disrupt Your Opponent’s Game Plan
  • Score Out
  • Makes changes due to early, mid, and late games stage contexts
  • Above all else: Put on a goddamn show

While I plan to make a separate video going further into the above process, I’d like to highlight a few here. Steps 2, 4, and 8 are critical to my playstyle of Netrunner. While most commentators, fellow players, and viewers from afar were drastically confused and/or doubtful of this 419 list, it folds beautifully into the above stencil. Again, shoutout to @neuropantser for seeing through my eyes and advocating for what I was doing on official comms, with a few other folks explaining the madness in other pockets of discussion, both in real life and that internet thing. One of the coolest things about the tournament was seeing how folks were learning and buying into what I was proposing here, with increasing stock round and round.

Bringing this home to the stencil and how Dennis Rodman plays basketball, let’s get into some deck specifics:

Determine any click-saving opportunities

This cardpool is unbelievably sick and brings a new sheer power level to the corporation side of things. There are a lot of new mechanics, intricate timing windows, and click positive movements that can quickly force a runner behind and leave ‘em in the dust. This requires you to be one step ahead as much as humanly possible, in addition to taking some calculated risks that if correct, will proactively put you one step forward.

Speaking in Dennis’ terms, this would be this be the play: dive

Cards and Movements that facilitate this avenue: - Hermes just existing - Earthrise Hotel and Act providing you start of turn + filter + burst if needed - Pinhole Threading and Inside Job (1 for the run, 2 for maybe not needed a breaker)

Identify and Dissect Your Opponent’s Board

In addition to the propensity of corp’s click swings in this new cardpool, they are able to significantly change the board state in ways that would have been previously more difficult to do so. While we’ve all (and rightly so) laughed at cards like Sunset and Replanting, there are some insanely power effects that move things around in a sensible (and problematic) way. A Teia, Federal Fundraising, Epiphany, the installing barriers, and movable admins all present new board states + enablement with nominal interaction. Players of the past would perhaps call this NPE.

The Dennis Answer: alt text

There are two essential parts to this. I can’t remember if this was in person or in some Netrunner content, but Eric / @Whiteblade111 talked about part one before. His approx tl;dr is:

“Make sure you spend time on your (or their) turn actively guessing what the given installed card was. List it out and work your way to the most likely answer.”

You should be doing this both literally with installed cards, but also regularly chasing after what they discard. This was part of the significant advantage I had against Sokka in our game above, but was utilized all day and powers the turtle you want to anyways.

Part two of this is actively charging your opponent with aggression and committing real resources that make them consider the investment more than just the cards function. It is paramount that you be as aggressive as possible with this runner deck, because otherwise the mid and late game don’t matter. You also need to remind them about what could be around the corner, since you have direct pressure on all servers.

Cards and Movements that facilitate this avenue:

  • Mull for The Class Act and/or Hotel. You need the automation turn 1 or 2.

  • Execute Legwork and Maker’s Eye as soon as you can in the early game, with an extra focus on legwork early. Legwork suffers in the middle, since you’ll presumably be bouncing ice (not trashable) or assets (Miss Bones = installed)

  • Trash assets and build turtle counters in the mid game. This proactively stops their plan and enables yours.

  • Save inside Job for the mid and late game. Either you take advantage of the ~first Hermes bounce or you save a massive amount of cred/click econ

  • Don’t be afraid to “strand” your Boomerangs. It makes the corp think about them way more than you do, in addition to them being bad in the late game (shuffling in isn’t that great tbh)

Put on a goddamn show: showtime

There’s really only three parts to this one

  • Combo as many events as you can, as the sum is real better than the individual parts. Inside Job into multi-access, Doof into Doof, and Pinhole into Networking or Career Fair install are all S-tier

  • Hermes is life and is the universe making pathways for you.

  • More than just the goal for me, it is the way to play when you are on stream. I said this to everyone I played on stream with. We had one job, put on the show and everything else will come after that. It proved to be true every time I was on stream and I know in my heart of hearts that it made me and my opponent play better.


The Peak

The tournament was nothing short of extraordinary and as much as I just typed all that, I cannot put it into words. I’ll offer what I can and share the rest, but that’s the dig. A huge shoutout to -

Eric, Sam, and the rest of the NSG team: Thank you, thank you, thank you for making this whole thing happen.

Jeff: You and I were walking the same path for that tournament. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend to join me and look where we ended up. We did exactly what we promised we’d do - put on a goddamn show brother man

Ian: You are a brother to me for the rest of my days. I love you so much and no amount of thanks will be sufficient. I tried my best to give you what I could, which was the piss meta map, and I know that worked wonders for us two gals. Just look at us go

Brandon / The King: I am so glad to have met D1en and I’s protege in the flesh. I finished my day 1 games as quickly as possible, to both save on energy and be restored by watching you play. I can’t quantify what I experienced, but I do know that you are next in line.

Grey: The amount of deckbuilding we were able to do over the sonic waves of the universe got me here. There was never a second question about any card, tactic, or thought process, knowing that you are part of my Netrunner GPS.

Noah: At the end of your turn, I rez DeeBeeEss. At the start of my turn, I use DeeBeeEss to see two cards, DeeBeeEss and DeeBeeEss, adding a single copy of DeeBeeEss to HQ and returning one copy of DeeBeeEss to the bottom of R&D.

We gottem’ buddy.


I love you all very much. See you on the stream soon.

CTZ

fin dreamteam kingdom

23 comments
16 Aug 2023 plural

❤️ ❤️ ❤️

16 Aug 2023 rongydoge

∞ <3

16 Aug 2023 lukevanryn

CTZ for prez

16 Aug 2023 Sauc3

NRDB writeups have stirred many different kinds of emotion in me in the past, but I was not ready for one to move me so deeply.

Maximum Respect.

16 Aug 2023 Orbital Tangent

Immaculate.

16 Aug 2023 Havvy

Amazing write up !

16 Aug 2023 Baa Ram Wu

I started reading this whilst at work - and quickly realised that I needed to strap in for the long haul... gonna plug this in for some solid 'me time' later on tonight - and i am excited about that fact!

16 Aug 2023 ChiptheRipper

Beautiful...beyond words. Thank you for expressing your wisdom accumulated.

17 Aug 2023 sebastiank

This is one of the best writeups of all time. Thank you so much for writing this. Congrats on third!

17 Aug 2023 BinkBonkle

❤️

17 Aug 2023 Radiant

An absolute pleasure meeting you. Not often I get to enjoy such top-notch banter from such a top-notch player

Congrats on the placement and mad respect to our scammy boi ❤️

17 Aug 2023 ThePatrician

Brilliant, right in the feels (all of em).

18 Aug 2023 Jai

Instantly bookmarked. What an absolute gem of a writeup. The amount of thought and energy you've committed to this game is humbling. Congratulations on the placement!

18 Aug 2023 Booshy

I got better at Netrunner reading this writeup. Amazing thoughts by an amazing player.

18 Aug 2023 goodknite

I got better at life reading this writeup. Thanks!

19 Aug 2023 ctz
19 Aug 2023 koga

It's hard to find words to express how much I resonate with this. Congrats and thank you for the amazing writeup.

20 Aug 2023 tzeentchling

Leave one influence for gord.

20 Aug 2023 spags

Love Rodman. Embrace Rodman. Love CTZ

20 Aug 2023 josephlaizure

This is everything I love about this game. Thank you for letting us in.

20 Aug 2023 bing005

Thanks for sharing your story! I'm sure a lot of people are reflecting on their own netrunner stories after reading this and getting some feels, myself included. It's a nice reminder of how we in the netrunner scene value connection, care and community. Thanks again and lovely to see you back :) Also, your matches were very entertaining along with others that attended!

21 Aug 2023 Runaway

This is the netrunner content I didn't know I needed. Thank you for sharing it.

15 May 2024 Ronja

There is so much more to Netrunner than meets the eye. Amazing writeup ❤️