Per Urtica Ad Astra 2nd of 16 @Reading CO 5-1

xccam 327

Through Urtica To the Stars


During my first weeks of tentatively trying out Standard I posed the core idea of this deck to the Aldershot Meta and received all the encouragement I needed to build this deck. The deck runs a very simple premise, with Urtica Cipher and Clearinghouse in the deck combined with Jemison’s ability the runner suddenly has to get all of their remote runs correct or win very quickly. If they make a mistake even 1 time, don’t run the Clearinghouse or do run the Urtica, whilst you can forfeit agendas they can lose instantly. I decided it was the perfect deck to bring to my first Standard event. Experienced players still get 50/50s wrong half the time and they only need to be wrong once for the deck to win.

Thanks to the Aldershot meta for the encouragement and the few testing games I did in person.

Key Cards and thoughts on play

The deck plays on dangerous forks combined with the runner’s most precious resources, clicks, being very limited. Mulligan aggressively for Hostile (to turn the ID on), be willing to play lots out onto the table unprotected, and try to either have nothing unknown in server roots or 2+ unknowns in server roots. It’s really important to know that unless this deck has 2 False Leads scored it can basically never kill you without an asset to help. As a result the runner can check 1 facedown card on its own risk free, but if you have 2 facedown and a number of agendas to forfeit any card COULD be an Urtica they can’t check or a Clearinghouse they HAVE to check. As a result the deck is very tempo based. Score aggressively and early. My favourite start to any game in the CO was T1 score Hostile. T2 install Nico, Corporate town, SDS. T3 Forfeit Hostile to res Corporate Town, 2 free counters on SDS, score it. Suddenly the Runner has to assume you’re on a fast scoring plan and maybe check FAR more riskily than they would like given the truth is you can put 4 counters on an Urtica at instant speed. If they decide that’s too risky, well there’s always actually scoring out or more likely just flatline them with Clearinghouse.

Agenda suite -

  • Hostile Takeover - Usually the first way to turn on your ID, and gives you money for it. Possibly the best card in the deck.
  • False Lead was the initial glue for the deck, if you can trade a Hostile to score a False Lead, do it. If you can score 2 you set up an iaa Clearinghouse forfeit forfeit flatline. Possibly the best card in the deck.
  • SDS is annoying to steal, and more annoying when scored. It also gives 4 counters when forfeited so is possibly the best card in the deck.
  • Atlas is always good.
  • Divested Trust has Forfeit written into its text and takes us to a legal number of agenda points, but usually isn’t very good.

Assets -

  • Clearinghouse and Urtica Cipher is the deck’s main fork. I was initially running 3 Urtica Ciphers, but relying on runners doing something silly like running into it is frustrating. Clearinghouse is more proactive and combines really nicely with False Lead. I think 3 and 2 is the right number, but I could be convinced otherwise. Both are possibly the best card in the deck.
  • Quarantine System is your way to at instant speed turn all your scored agendas into damage and might be the best card in the deck. It has the added advantage that all your opponents will ask you to read the card.
  • Corporate Town forfeits agendas, trashes resources (which sometimes matters) and costs a click and a reasonable amount to trash. It’s a really good card in the deck, and often survives being accessed on the table in the early game, only to rear its head as a fast advance tool later.
  • Nico Campaign. The deck doesn’t need much money so there isn’t much in the deck. This asset economy is click for a credit if they don’t check it, and then pays out big if they keep leaving it. If they check it you’re taxing their clicks which is important for your gameplan.

Ice -

  • Archer, Tithonium - “forfeit an agenda”, good strength, good subroutines.
  • Akhet, Enigma, Gatekeeper - reasonable gearchecks to score out behind, all with some sort of facecheck.
  • Mausolus - Good cost to effect ratio.
  • Border Control - This plus a False Lead means they now have to run the Clearinghouse behind it on Click 1 (or have a Pinhole Threading). 2 Border Controls protecting it and a False Lead means they MUST have the Pinhole or just a way to dodge the kill via Sanctuary etc. Might be the best card in the deck.

Other -

  • Extract - You’re going to be poor a lot. You’re going to have installed things which are no longer relevant (usually ice). Click for 6 is good.
  • Oberth Protocol - Forfeits an agenda. Adds power to the threat of scoring out. Always gets trashed on sight (unlike Quarantine System and Corporate Town), but is still well worth having.

Brief Overview of games played

The deck went 3-1 in swiss and 2-0 in the cut, performing well against the field of “reg” runners it encountered. It has an inconsistent Esa matchup which I teched against by simply never playing against Esa. Thanks to Extrac for TOing and everyone else for a great day of Netrunner.

I think these are accurate enough recountings of how the games went - of course a lot of things happened otherwise!

Round 1 - Rowan (Hoshiko)

I think I scored 2 Hostiles early and forfeited both with Corporate Towns to fast advance SDS to trash Aumakua. I later used a Quarantine System to forfeit that onto an Urtica for flatline.

Round 2 - Hyperbolic (Sable)

Sable got set up too quick for me. Lost on time 2-3 having forfeited Divested Trust to prevent an SDS steal with no way to fast advance myself - probably R&D locked if the game continued and I can’t argue with the result.

Round 3 - Freeformjazz (Tagme Freedom)

Scored a Hostile, used that to fast advance a False Lead with a corporate town, eventually scored another hostile. Jazz struggled to find a way to break ice whilst I got a 4 advanced Clearinghouse with Freedom at 7 in hand (hand size 9). Forfeited False Lead after a click 1/2 Rogue Trading and then Quarantine System to put 2 more from Hostile onto Clearinghouse for the flatline.

Round 4 - IDed vs CableCarnage to put myself in a good spot for the cut.

Round 5 - Sam B (419)

Sam wanted to 2for1 I wanted to ID, so we compromised by playing both games of Netrunner. Throughout the game I was incredibly poor. I think I was Doofed all 3 times, didn’t dodge any of them. I think 4 of my turns in the game were click for 3 credits - luckily you only need a few credits to be able to forfeit agendas, usually.

I scored a False Lead early unprotected off the table. A few turns later I double advanced an SDS behind an unrezzed Archer - Sam verbally said 'I don't want any of that' probably scared of Urtica so I trashed Aumakua with it on score which slowed Sam enough that I had breathing room to put 6 counters on a Clearinghouse with a Quarantine System again for the win.

Cut Round 2 (Loser’s Bracket) - Hyperbolic (Sable, rematch)

We were in the losers round so Jemison had to win against the runner who had beat it in Swiss. I scored a Hostile Takeover early which I used to fast advance a False Lead with a Corporate Town. Hyperbolic forgot that the card had relevant text beyond “forfeit an agenda” so it survived to my next turn to trash an Info Bounty. This really slowed down Sable compared to the first matchup. I eventually scored something else (who knows what, they’re all for forfeiting anyway!) and then iaa Clearinghouse which couldn’t be challenged in Sable’s first “2” clicks so False Lead paved the way for another Quarantine system forfeit to finish the flatline.

Cut Round 3 (Loser’s Final) - Steffmonkey (Hoshiko)

I managed to score a Hostile and an SDS but Hoshiko was starting to run all over me - all bin breakers in heap as well as Dreamnet and tons of money. I felt like I was running out of time so I installed Quarantine System in the 'scoring remote' (it was not actually very hard for Steff to run if he wanted, although not being rezzed he can’t know) and Urtica Cipher unprotected hoping the bait for a free Dreamnet trigger might work.. Steff ran the Urtica click 1 and the Hoshiko start of turn trigger and Dreamnet draw meant 7 cards in the grip which couldn't protect from an Urtica having 6 counters put on it at instant speed. Flatline to close the game.

1 May 2023 Quarg

Solid deck, solid play, and solid writeup, and a well earned second place!

Love to see it.

1 May 2023 Loki37

Despite encouraging you to build it I am deeply glad I spent the day at the bottom of the standings and never had to face it. Love the write up.

1 May 2023 xccam

Thanks @Quargand @Loki37

Maybe I'll have to bring it to a few more Thursdays before retiring it for a new option.

1 May 2023 Swiftie

There are so many legal actions the deck can take.

2 May 2023 holzpubbnsubbe

I'd like to get this right on jnet. Is it like this? After the runner passes the last peace of ice of the server with an Urtica in it, you ask if they want to access. If they say yes, you rez a Corporate Town, forfeiting an agenda, put deadly advancements on the Urtica and then hit the "no further actions" button?

2 May 2023 xccam

@holzpubbnsubbethat's spot on pretty much. The last Paid Ability Window happens after their last chance to jack out, committing them to access. Then you can use any asset that forfeits agendas, or False Lead if they have enough clicks left, to put lethal damage on an Urtica.

Worth noting that Jnet will skip straight to access after you click no further actions - they could use a card such as Stoneship Chartroom to draw before the Paid Ability Window actually closes.

2 May 2023 holzpubbnsubbe

@xccam Thanks so much for explaining and making this super interesting deck!

2 May 2023 Dr. Freshturtle

Pure evil, I love it

2 May 2023 Mancini

1x Audacity might be good just to close out games.

3 May 2023 Cliquil

Well done from a fellow Jemison player. I'd previously thought this style was no more now that Junebug, Mushin, Psychic Field were all gone, but I can see I was wrong. Did you ever toy with Standoffs, or working without false Leads?

3 May 2023 xccam

Thanks @Cliquil! I did briefly try Standoff, but I don't think they're often worth the deck slot, they're too many of our clicks for not enough pay off.

False Leads are so good with the Clearinghouse that I wouldn't drop them, but I could see a deck that drops them and the Divested Trust for two 3/2s which frees up some more slots. I've had too much success with false lead in this deck to drop them here personally.

6 May 2023 Longi

I love to see that such a deck could still do well at tournaments. Congratz!