Banana Breath - 1st Place West Coast US Nationals (6-1)

Ghost Meat 937

This is the deck I played at US West Coast Nationals in Los Angeles on Sept 16th, 2023, a list made by my good pal and fellow I Think You Should Leave enthusiast hams (this show is the source of the gif and deck name). I went 6-1 with the deck on the day, landing 1st place overall, for my second Nationals title (NZ Nationals in 2020 was the other one, also with NBN and Anarch [CTM and Hoshiko]). Esâ Afontov: Eco-Insurrectionist was my runner deck.

hams played a version of this against me on Jnet leading up to the Cascadia tournament in August, and I was struck and dismayed by the myriad ways this deck forks the runner into double-bind situations that are great for the corp player, telling the runner, “back away, banana breath; these points are mine, or else.” If you can get a remote going early and start jamming 3/2s fast with an AMAZE Amusements installed, you have a good chance of winning most games. Scoring an early Bellona before they have the money to steal it (or be punished hard by Oppo Research for doing so, getting to Threat 3) is also a great start that’s hard for the runner to recover from.

The worst thing that can happen to this deck is not drawing an agenda early and threatening a quick score, allowing the runner time to set up and get an economy going. At heart, this is a rush deck that wins on tempo and pushes the runner into Wallacian-level predicaments, forcing them into bad decisions either way, not unlike the old Supermodernism Argus decks.

The quadruple tag punishment kill threat of 3x End of the Line and 1x Mindscaping gives you an out to win very quickly if the runner floats Oppo Research, AMAZE Amusements, Behold!, or ICE tags, and NBN: Reality Plus’s ability keeps up your economic tempo really well. Between the ID, Rashida Jaheem, Hedge Fund, Predictive Planogram, Bellona’s on-score kickback, and the NGO Front, money is typically pretty flush in most games, allowing you to usually be able to rez the Hydra, for a cool net 3 credits if they facecheck it (5 back on the second sub, and 2 back for the tag with R+’s ability).

Earlier versions of the deck ran 1x Pivot instead of Mindscaping and hams used La Costa Grid, a second NGO Front, a third Predictive Planogram, and a third Starlit Knight and Funhouse instead of the Hydra in his list in LA (cutting the Shipment from Vladisibirsk and Market Forces), so we took the deck in slightly different directions.

Swiss matchups on the day were against a 69-card Freedom Khumalo: Crypto-Anarchist (win by flatline), René "Loup" Arcemont: Party Animal (win by flatline), Nyusha "Sable" Sintashta: Symphonic Prodigy (win by flatline), Arissana Rocha Nahu: Street Artist (the only loss of the day, with a ⅕ Project Beale snipe in HQ into Deep Dive to close out). Cut matches were against Arissana again (win by flatline), Arissana again (also win by flatline), and Sable in the Grand Finals (win by flatline on turn 2).

I played this deck in the main event at Worlds in Barcelona on October 14-15, 2023, going 5-3 with it, winning the first four rounds by flatline vs Arissana and three Hoshiko Shiro: Untold Protagonists (I had a 6-2 record at this point), but was then paired against Sokka's Worlds-winning Hoshiko in round 5 (congrats, buddy!), getting to 5-0, but then saw him surgically thread the needle to victory, mostly due to several unexpected Boomerang/Tsakhia "Bankhar" Gantulga plays in a row to steal winning agendas from the remote. After that, it lost on time to a Jarogniew Mercs Hoshiko, scored out against Hoshiko, lost to a Hoshiko in a game where I drew no agendas for a long time, and ID’d the last round, taking me to 87th overall out of 254 players and a 9-9 record. As you can see, I played against A LOT of Hoshiko at Worlds, haha. Serves me right, given my long and storied relationship with the ID. Esâ Afontov: Eco-Insurrectionist was my runner, and went 3-5 at Worlds.

Huge thanks to all of my lovely opponents in LA and at Worlds, especially runner-up Ebrey, who I had to play about five games with in LA (three of them my Esa vs his Thule Subsea: Safety Below, which is a wild matchup), to @rickrage for running such a great event, and to fellow House Hippos hams and sindarin for coaxing me down to LA for the tournament and being the best wingmen and cheerleaders on the day. Turns out LA is far cheaper to get to than Montreal (it was between this and East Coast Canadian Nationals). Big thanks to local meta-mate hotelfoxtrot for all the in-person grinding before LA and Worlds, and for bearing with all of the tags. Glad to have poached a title back from the Americans, since they stole both Canadian ones this year.

Links to commentated games from LA:

Round 3 Swiss

Winners Final

Grand Finals

You can see my recent LA and Barcelona adventures on Instagram @Netrunner in the Wlyd

25 Oct 2023 hotelfoxtrot

Having played both with and against this deck a bunch for the last couple months, can attest it’s absolutely gross.

Congrats on the great finish… now can I stop cramming Networking into every runner deck I play against you?

26 Oct 2023 Ghost Meat

Yes, I promise to play nothing but glacier for the next three months!

28 Oct 2023 hams

18 Nov 2023 Ying64

Thank you for this deck it carried me in Singapore Nats!

18 Nov 2023 Ghost Meat

Hey, whoa! Congratulations! I almost played in this tournament and probably would have used this list if I had. Glad to see it crushed for you! 🍌😮‍💨