Stay Safe, New Angeles: Building a Stealthy Shaper

I’ve been playing stealth Shaper since the day after Worlds 2015, and I did pretty well with it throughout Store Champs and Regionals. I was hoping to play Smoke at Worlds, but she got here just a little too late. Oh well.

But now that she’s arrived, it seems like as good a time as any to share my opinions on stealth lists for everybody new to the archetype.

Stealth Sources

Cloak
Three copies are the first thing that go in my stealth lists. No, you don’t really need to have all three, but you really want to find one, and you don’t want to spend an SMC on it.

Ghost Runner
If you aren’t playing Smoke, this is another three-of. The biggest downside of Stealth is the setup time, so this just improves the odds that you can start running fast. It’s also a card I’m rarely sad to see. In the late game, it can feel like Same Old Thing for Stimhack, letting you make multiple large runs a turn if you really need to.

Net Mercur
This card is ridiculous. It’s an Astrolabe cum Desperado without requiring success on the run. It doesn’t pay off quite so easily, so it’s not as automatic a play as putting down Desperado, especially as Scarcity of Resources can be a bit of a pain. You always want it in play, but be at least a little mindful of the tempo.

Lockpick
You don’t need it anymore. For Kit, it’s fine; you’ll always get value there. For Smoke, it’s a waste of a precious slot. Everywhere else, you should be using Ghost Runners to set up fast enough, and Lockpick will end up being card 48 or so.

Icebreakers

Decoder
Houdini is okay, but Refractor has been good enough for a long while now, and is cheaper for getting the pressure up faster. It’s almost impossible to justify the slot outside of Kit, but one of each would be hilarious to mess with the Corps’ attempts to stack code gates to tax your stealth credits.

Killer
Just play Dagger.
Regarding Switchblade: No. No no nonono. It’s too slow. Even with Smoke, you give up the ability to just run with an SMC. I’ve seen people complaining about having to spend 3 credits to break Ichi. Well, that’s true of most other Killers played in the game, and things have been fine. Unless you have the influence to spare, and you’re seeing too many Tour Guides, Sherlocks, and Archers, it’s not worth it. And even then, you should keep your Dagger.

Fracter
Play Corroder or Paperclip.
This is probably the thing I’ve gotten the most disagreement about. As far as Lady goes, you have to spend influence anyway, and the threat of stealth is that you constantly keep the threat of running.
Blackstone is awkward to pump, and even with a lot of stealth credits, it’s generally nice to have one breaker that doesn’t need them. (This is especially true against rush decks, where you can often make a strong read on the ice.) But If everybody in your meta is playing only three or four barriers, none with strength over 3, feel free to play whatever you want.

The Pressure

Mirror (and Indexing)
Don’t be tempted by The Gauntlet.  Mirror (along with Net Mercur) means the era of 1-run-per-turn stealth is over. It can make Temüjin Contract on R&D oppressive in the early game. And it enables Indexing very well.

More R&D Pressure
The Maker’s Eye and R&D Interface are as good as always. You can play whichever suits the rest of your deck better. I prefer RDI for pairing with Indexing—partly for the synergy, partly for hedging against Crisium Grid.

HQ Pressure
With stealth, the corp is under strong pressure to make the “H” of deep ice on R&D and the remote. So HQ often ends up cheap enough that single accesses are actually entirely reasonable, and HQ is also a wonderful target for Temüjin. The Turning Wheel is plenty of pressure, and I’d probably add a second copy before switching to any other HQ multiaccess.
Escher is often the card I cut, wishing I could fit it, as it will do a lot of work. If your econ is strong, Vamp is a strong option as well. And of course, if you’re Rude™, Smoke can play Account Siphon no problem, and the Corp will hate her for it.

Remote Lock
This is more about play strategy than about the deck. In terms of cards, Escher, Vamp, and Siphon naturally translate into play on the remote. Even without those, stealth gives you a pretty natural threat.  You want to make them at least rez their remote ice, so plan accordingly.

The Spice

The hardest aspect of building a stealth deck is finding slots for tech. Of course, the usual tech cards for Shaper are still relevant, but a couple of cards come to mind that do a bit more in stealth than usual.

Councilman
It’s not hard for the Corp to play around Councilman in the remote. But glacier decks often get desperate against stealth Shapers and put Caprice or Ash on R&D. Councilman forces them to choose which one they want to rez on their turn.

Net-Ready Eyes
There aren’t a lot of lists that it will feel completely comfortable to play NRE in, since the damage will often hit a card that you want more than you want the NRE installed. But if you’re playing one of those lists, NRE can smooth out a lot of the ice that’s a little bit awkward for the breaker suite.

Signoff

Hopefully this has been a helpful starting point for putting together a stealth deck, or at least an interesting view into the archetype. As always, remember that the best deck is a deck that you’re comfortable with. Try things out and change whatever doesn’t feel right to you. Nothing interesting ever came from keeping things the same.

This is Net Mercur, signing off for the night. Stay safe, New Angeles.

Casual GNKs at Eudemonia on Wednesday Nights and Learn To Play

Do you wish you could play MORE Netrunner in Berkeley? Are you sick of sitting at home Wednesday nights re-filing your Netrunner collection to ensure nobody took one of your Global Food Initiatives?

Well, I have a solution! Come on down to Eudemonia Wednesday nights at 6pm to play Netrunner with us. We pop open a GNK when at least 4 people are playing.

Also, this coming Saturday the 30th of April, we are holding a Learn to Play event at Eudemonia. Bring along your friends and family. Decks will be provided. A few of us veterans will be present so don’t hesitate to bring along your abusive IG decks.

See ya at Eudemonia!

Regionals 2016 Results

56 players attended Regionals this year. The new Game Kastle in Mountain View was kind enough to host us.

Here are the final results:

  1. Greg Monson (Whizzard / Near-Earth Hub)
  2. Kris MacLennan (MaxX / Engineering the Future)
  3. Jon Dalesandry (Noise / Near-Earth Hub)
  4. Adam Cabrera (Hayley Kaplan / Near-Earth Hub)
  5. Noah Chapman (Kate “Mac” McCaffrey / Pālanā Foods)
  6. Brian Cronin (Whizzard / Spark Agency)
  7. Jamie Kennedy (MaxX / Industrial Genomics)
  8. Gerry Salinas (Whizzard / Engineering the Future)

Let’s start out with overall wins:

wins

Not bad! With the timed Corp wins this is about as close to 50/50 as I’ve ever seen.

On the Corp side, red and yellow were popular:

corp-identities

I believe “Synthetic Systems” is Pālanā. I am not surprised to see the abundance of IG with the recent additions of Museum and Political assets. This is only going to continue with the release of Jeeves soon! Look forward to packing those Archives Interfaces a while longer…

I was surprised and happy to see my pet ID Spark leading the way on wins:

corp-identity-wins

However, NEH appears to be the most consistent given the larger sample set.

Jinteki came out ahead in overall number of wins:

corp-wins

No surprises on the runner side. The dominance of assets has not let us. Whizzard represented a full 23% of the field.

runner-identities

I take that back, I am surprised to see Hayley at the top Shaper spot (only because Kate has been so dominate). Hayley is clearly a great ID and people are finally learning how to build her and take advantage of her click efficiency and Shaper tomfoolery.  Look at Adam’s deck if you are curious.

Looking at Runner wins, Whizzard was the most consistently victorious of the three most popular runners.

runner-identity-wins

And Anarch dominated the total wins:

runner-wins

Here is the match up graph:

factionmatchup

And all the nitty-gritty details are here.

Thanks everyone for attending and making this another great Regionals tournament! And thanks to Kendall for running the event!

Recent Store Championship Videos

We have been doing a lot of recording lately at Store Championships.

First I wanted to point everyone towards a great new channel: Oaktown Business Cast.

They just posted their first game from the Victory Point cut featuring Jamie and Ainsley.

We have also posted a couple recent games up to the SSF channel.

First up is the lower bracket finals at the Games of Berkeley cut featuring David and Todd. This is a really interesting one!

And the finals from the same tournament featuring Noah and Todd.

You can look forward to many more videos from both Bay Area channels!

Games of Berkeley 2016 Store Championship Results

I attended my very first Netrunner tournament in January of 2013 at Games of Berkeley. It is now over 3 years later and the community has grown tremendously since then.

IMG_20160220_112134963_HDR

This is perfectly reflected in the annual Store Championship. We hosted 50 players on Saturday (almost entirely filling out the play space).

IMG_20160220_144238816

Noah McKee took his second Store Championship of the season going undefeated with his Sync deck and Noise. With Andrew Cortez taking Santa Clara, clearly those SF boys are who we need to tech against.

IMG_20160220_144443031

We played 5 rounds of Swiss with a cut to the top 8 players. The Most Wanted List was in effect but with so few tournaments since its inception, players are still working out how to deal with the fallout. As a result, the field was diverse. Of course, many of the staples were present: Faust, ETF, Kate, Parasite, Whizzard, and Noise but you may be surprised to see what IDs and cards made up the cut. So let’s get into it.

IMG_20160220_161402112

ETF and NEH are the two most popular Corp IDs and this was well represented on Saturday.

corp-identities

What surprised me was this graph of Corp wins.

corp-identity-wins

ETF performed far worse than I would have guessed. While Sync and Blue Sun over performed relative to expectations.

MaxX and Whizzard alone constituted a full 28% of total runner IDs. What is interesting here is the prevalence of Leela over Kate. The MWL is doing weird things!

runner-identities

Nothing jumps out at me as exceptions in the Runner wins. Anarch is good! Also, Robby Fry is screwing with our data! Being the only Kit player (and the best Kit player I know of), he makes Kit the most successful runner ID on the day. Watch out for that guy…

runner-identity-wins

The total wins is a fun chart to look at.

wins

Considering how complicated Netrunner is as an asymmetric game, this is truly impressive to me.

This graph is just really cool looking.

factionmatchup

This represents faction match ups in terms of wins. NBN is looking pretty hot right now! Again, this is based on a relatively small set of data but it is at least interesting to think about at least.

The top 8 was exciting to watch. We had some wild decks being piloted with a mix of pure skill and “oh god I’ve been playing Netrunner for 12 hours straight what even is a click?”. Many of these games were recorded by us and Noah McKee.

The final results:

  1. Noah McKee
  2. Todd Wilde
  3. David Gomez (who had been playing the game for less than a month!)
  4. Greg Monson
  5. Ian Watson
  6. Robby Fry
  7. Eric Green
  8. Gregory Daniloff

The full stats are available here if you want to dig into more detail. And here is the acoo.net link. Thanks everyone for attending and thanks to Games of Berkeley for hosting us!

IMG_20160220_181706972

(Thanks to Jared for taking the photos)

Small Update

Hello Corporate Troubleshooters and fellow Tech Lords!

I wanted to update the front page to let everyone know we are still Running!

Our Event Calendar is the place to go to find tournaments, learning sessions, and casual meet ups. If you know of anything not listed, please get in touch!

The Mailing List is a great place to find opponents, carpools, and get notifications on upcoming events.

Our YouTube Channel has a massive backlog of games from local players and special tournaments like Worlds 2015! If you see me at a tournament, I will likely have my camera gear. If you have an interesting deck, let’s get it recorded!

Finally, there is a Chat Room if you want to discuss the latest decks and tech with other Bay Area players.

And if you are interested in contributing to the community in some way, please email Brian (programmingisgood at the popular Google mailing service).

We have some fun things planned for 2016 so make sure to get on that mailing list!

2015 Santa Clara, CA Regionals Results

89 players decided to give away an entire day of their life and gathered at Game Kastle Santa Clara on Saturday the 30th for this year’s Regional Championship.

overhead shot of the tournament

Even Jackson Howard and the Professor showed up!

Jackson and the Professor

We played 7 rounds of Swiss then cut to the top 8 for elimination. After the Swiss the top 8 looked like this:

Rank Name Prestige SoS RW CW W-T-L
1. Noah Mckee
(Andromeda / Replicating Perfection)
22 135 7 4 4-3-0
2. Joe Filomena
(MaxX / Blue Sun)
22 126 6 5 4-3-0
3. Aaron Freeman
(MaxX / Near-Earth Hub)
22 116 5 6 4-3-0
4. Jason Dauer
(Gabriel Santiago / Engineering the Future)
21 119 6 4 3-4-0
5. Greg Monson
(Andromeda / Blue Sun)
20 110 4 6 3-4-0
6. Kris MacLennan
(Leela Patel / Replicating Perfection)
20 107 6 4 4-2-1
7. Jonathon Dalesandry (Jon)
(Kate “Mac” McCaffrey / Near-Earth Hub)
20 104 3 7 3-4-0
8. Weston Odom
(Kate “Mac” McCaffrey / Replicating Perfection)
19 92 5 5 3-4-0

 

As you can see, with only 24 possible prestige this was a tight cut. However, it was actually a lot closer than the top 8 shows. There was a 10-way tie for 9th (decided by tiebreakers of course) at 18 prestige, and everyone down to 38th place had 16 or more (meaning that they won 2/3 of their games).

Also, possibly even more impressive is that after hours and hours of Netrunner, only one person dropped during the Swiss. Major props to everyone who came out and played, as well as Game Kastle for having us all day!

Finally, after what felt like 18 years of elimination games, the top 8 settled out to this:

Rank Name
1. Noah Mckee
2. Weston Odom
3. Joe Filomena
4. Jonathon Dalesandry (Jon)
5. Aaron Freeman
6. Jason Dauer
7. Greg Monson
8. Kris MacLennan

 

Congrats to Noah McKee on the win! If you’re curious how the elimination rounds played out, check the bottom of this post for a round-by-round breakdown.

Here are the overall corp and runner ID breakdowns. Sorry for the clutteredness; in events this big there is bound to be a lot of variety.

Corps: corp identities

 

and Runners: runner identities

As far as the runner/corp split goes things were pretty even, with corps having a slight edge: runner vs corp wins

 

Elimination round breakdown is below. The corporation player is on the left, runner player on the right. The column to the far right shows the winner.

Round 8
1 Noah Mckee vs Weston Odom C : R Noah Mckee
2 Jason Dauer vs Greg Monson C : R Jason Dauer
3 Joe Filomena vs Jonathon Dalesandry (Jon) R : C Joe Filomena
4 Aaron Freeman vs Kris MacLennan R : C Aaron Freeman
Round 9
1 Noah Mckee vs Jason Dauer R : C Noah Mckee
2 Joe Filomena vs Aaron Freeman C : R Joe Filomena
3 Weston Odom vs Greg Monson C : R Weston Odom
4 Jonathon Dalesandry (Jon) vs Kris MacLennan C : R Jonathon Dalesandry (Jon)
Round 10
1 Noah Mckee vs Joe Filomena R : C Noah Mckee
2 Weston Odom vs Aaron Freeman R : C Weston Odom
3 Jonathon Dalesandry (Jon) vs Jason Dauer C : R Jonathon Dalesandry (Jon)
Round 11
1 Weston Odom vs Jonathon Dalesandry (Jon) C : R Weston Odom
Round 12
1 Weston Odom vs Joe Filomena C : R Weston Odom
Round 13
1 Noah Mckee vs Weston Odom C : R Noah Mckee

Netrunner in the Bay Area