Decklist of the week

Nightmare Moon: Friendship, Upgraded (1st @ NorCal regional)

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Description by the author: tmoiynmwg 4796

The 2017 Berkeley regional took place on May 13th and boasted a field of 48 competitive players from the west coast. This corp deck went undefeated throughout the tournament with 6 wins and 1 timed win. My runner deck was Poutine.

Swiss standings and pairings are temporarily available here.

This was the very first corp deck I designed after the new MWL was announced, and I had high hopes for it. The Spooky HB shell was already absurdly strong, only kept in check by the ultra-powerful Whizzard decks that dominated the meta... that is, until MWL 1.2 hit Temujin, Sifr, and Faust. And while losing the card draw of Sensie was a huge blow for asset spam, HB was conveniently about to receive an in-faction replacement. (Only time will tell whether Estelle Moon or Sensie Actors Union is the more busted card!)

The stars seemed to be aligned for horizontal HB to shine, so I hoped to keep it under wraps until regional season began. Unfortunately @thebigunit3000, genius deckbuilder that he is, also recognized that Estelle is completely ridiculous and created a new and innovative horizontal HB deck to abuse it. Over the last month Mooninites has steadily gained refinement and popularity, to the point where many players recognized it as the strongest corp strategy. Runners were switching back to Whizzard and beginning to pack serious amounts of asset hate. By the week of the tournament, the surprise factor of HB asset spam had completely vanished.

In testing I also found Mooninites to be astonishingly difficult to defeat when it is piloted well, so I strongly considered switching either to that deck or to a completely different corp strategy. Ultimately, I decided to stick with my version of Spooky HB for several reasons:

  1. Familiarity. I'd spent more time tuning this list than any other corp.
  2. Personal pride. After the time I had invested into the deck, I wanted to see how it stacked up compared to Jonas's. My finish is of course very promising, so the verdict is still out on this one.
  3. Science. It didn't seem like anyone had found a reliable way to beat Mooninites yet. Even if I lost, learning how runners could successfully fight horizontal HB would be really valuable.
  4. I came up with a pretty hilarious name for this deck in the shower, and if I somehow won the tournament I would have an excuse to publish it. :D

Here's an abbreviated tournament recap.

  • Swiss round 1 against @tzeentchling on Whizzard. I cursed my luck at getting a bad matchup right off the bat, but my horror only deepened into the game as Kris revealed Slums, Maw, Hacktivist, and Rumor Mill. And somehow I still managed to grind him out and win fairly convincingly. Kris also had the misfortune of accessing a NAPD from HQ with only 3 credits, which is probably one of the worst feelings in all of Netrunner.
  • Round 2 against @alexstevens on Smoke; apparently the 2 of us flew up together just so we could play Netrunner with each other in the 2nd round. Alex pressured me very well early on, but he didn't draw an early Astrolabe so my board quickly outpaced his econ development.
  • Round 3 against @dickoff on Steve. Matt was running what looked like a cool mill deck, but giving free draws to an asset spam deck generally doesn't work out well for the runner.
  • Round 4 against @segin on Leela. Leela did her thing and bounced my HQ ice turn 1... luckily Winson didn't start with Account Siphon. I eventually stabilized and locked up my centrals well enough to secure the win.
  • Round 5 against @westonodom on Valencia. Wes turned out to be playing an Incubator combo deck. This could have been very dicey, but he made the crucial mistake of poking R&D and letting me rez an Enigma there. I accidentally cheated on the last turn by forgetting about the drawback on NAPD Contract until we had already began putting away our cards. Wes was gracious enough to concede anyway, as he had practically no outs to win at that point.

  • Cut round 2 against @crfluency on Whizzard. This was by far the closest game of the day; Ran knew what was going on in my deck and had plenty of experience with Turtlebacks NEH. I fired a rather questionable 17-credit Hellion Beta Test to trash her Slums, but she still managed to destroy all of my assets. Time was called with me up 4-2, but I think that I was likely to lose eventually if we had played out the game.

  • Winners' finals against @sirris on Whizzard. SoCal's #Tony car really crushed it this tournament! Jon opened up with heavy HQ pressure with Nerve Agent and eventually Maw, but NAPD was the only agenda in my hand. Then Jon made a critical mistake by playing Temujin while I had a rezzed AAL on the board, so I used it to block his Temujin; this tempo hit meant that he never had enough credits to make serious headway against my assets or break my ice.

Props to:

  • @yeoda for publishing the original deck
  • @sirris for beating me with it at a store championship, and for getting top 4 at NorCal regionals four years in a row ( ⚆ _ ⚆ )
  • @beyoken for helping me test different versions of HB spam, losing much of his sanity in the process
  • @alexstevens for taking this crazy mini-vacation with me, and for making his first regional top 8 in a truly stacked tournament. Mega congrats dude!
  • our friends Amy and Tecson for letting us crash with them in Berkeley and play Zelda. You guys are seriously the best.
  • all of my opponents for putting up with my degenerate trigger-city decks
  • all of the Bay area Netrunners for being gracious hosts, lovely people, and fearsome netrunners
  • everyone else who traveled up from Southern California to prove that we're still better than them ;)
  • and of course the MVP: Ronald Five. Friendship, Upgraded.

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