I’ll call my return to Netrunner and the tournament scene after sitting out the entire Spin Cycle ‘The Relapse’. A new job had given me more time to explore Netrunner (in addition to the other board games I play, not in place of, as had been before), the draft format got me peeking at a few Spin Cycle cards, Brian’s and Eric’s community efforts, especially with the ‘6 meat damage’ Google group whetted my appetite, and I just knew I needed to come back after seeing the text of Sundew (JintekiRP has always been my favorite ID).
Only 8 people showed up, since it was Mother’s Day (did we like Netrunner more than our moms, or do our moms not care about us?), and most players were going experimental, since they’d already received most of the loot from Season One. For a scrub like me, I needed every advantage I could get!
I used to go for credit-click tax on JintekiRP with a single deep remote, but I wanted to go with a guaranteed product on Corp (historically my glaring weakness), so I took db0’s ‘Untrashable‘ archtype and made modifications based on my previous experience. He goes for all 3 kinds of tax, throwing net damage into the mix. I’ll link you to db0’s ‘Untrashable v5’ because I don’t agree with the post-H&P changes he’s experimenting with in v6.
ID – Jinteki: Replicating Perfection
3 Fetal AI
2 NAPD Contract
2 Nisei MkII
2 The Future Perfect
3 Jackson Howard
3 Pad Campaign
3 Encryption Protocol
Shock! is the other card besides Sundew that made my JintekiRP self happy; it used to be so lame to defend Archives to maximize the ID’s ability, but now I can drop Shock! in without using any clicks. This was the main differentiator that made me go Untrashable (net-damage tax) instead of my own mix, because the latter can’t make use of Shock! (no net damage tax) — I basically chose Shock! over Mental Health Clinic.
2 Caprice Nisei
2 Hokusai Grid – would go with 3 if I can find room
2 Closed Accounts
I don’t really like Interns since it doesn’t surprise the Runner, would rather shuffle those economy assets back with Jackson instead.
3 Shadow – taxing if the Runner cares about the tag, punish with Closed Accounts if he doesn’t
1 Wall of Thorns
The Runner deck is completely original (I like to build runner decks from scratch). I wanted to go Whizzard to counter asset economy + SanSan (Weyland doesn’t seem popular locally), and since Whizzard is the king of remote-server asset pressure, I’d throw in central-server pressure with Vamp + Data Leak Reversal (HQ + Archives) and Keyhole (R&D + Archives) to go FULL COURT PRESS (the name of the deck). It also gave me an excuse to try cool new runner stuff like Keyhole, Caissa (Whizzard is a master gamer in chess!) and Overmind.
ID – Whizzard: Master Gamer
1x Mimic – secondary breaker, and needed in case of Swordsman
1x Corroder – always splash the best fracter when playing Anarch
1x Grappling Hook
The intent is to use Overmind early, then transition to Knight and Mimic + Corroder later. The Caissa suite + Grappling Hook were introduced when I was looking for ways to maximize my mileage with using E3 Feedback Implants for Overmind. If the Grappling Hook doesn’t work out, can replace with a Lucky Find or a long-term decoder / 2nd killer (really terrified of Swordsman).
3x Deep Red
2x E3 Feedback Implants
2x Plascrete Carapace
Important to install Deep Red early so Overmind gets more tokens. E3 is the star of the deck that synergizes with Knight, Grappling Hook and Overmind besides hurting bioroids.
The Important Resources
2 Data Leak Reversal
2 Joshua B
2 Fall Guy
The late-game idea is to enter tag-me mode by Vamp-ing the Corp down to 0 credits, then bleed him with Data Leak Reversal and Joshua B with no repercussions (Scorched Earth, Psychographics, Closed Accounts etc all require credits). He can take 2 credits and trash an annoying resource, but that’ll leave him broke again, and your two key resources will keep bleeding him if you have Fall Guy on the table.
Economy and Events
2 Lucky Find
3 Easy Mark
3 Dirty Laundry
3 Sure Gamble
3 Liberated Account
1 Deja Vu
Economy is paramount in order to set yourself up for Vamp. I went mostly events because they’re quicker and they work even when you’re broke and/or tagged (in case the Corp survives your tag-me mode). Liberated Account is the only resource economy; use it before tag-me mode (to set up the Vamp), and afterward as a 1-turn econ. No Armitage because it sets up too slowly beforehand and it doesn’t work as well when in tag-me mode.
I played a memorable game against Davis in my last tournament 7 months ago, when his Noise hit my HQ with Nerve Agent and Imp to trash my Trick of Light right before I was going to win, then after I spent the next turn using Archived Memories to get it back, he dove into Archives for the win. He makes no mistakes (none that I notice anyway).
I ran first, and he got a Sundew out the first turn, defended by mystery ice. I liked my hand, so I unfortunately didn’t dare to check it out, and the Sundew eventually snowballed into massive economy for him (lesson learned: trash Sundew early — turns out he only had an Eli defending it). I trashed all other assets (Whizzard, woohoo) he put out but it wasn’t enough — a single Sundew left to stew can totally bubble over with credits.
I also did stupid things while shaking off the rust, drawing cards to look for more economy to install the cards I like in my grip (and not daring to run lest they get lost to net damage), then ending up with too many cards in hand, so what did I discard end of turn? The extra copies of those cards. Now I really didn’t dare to run because the net damage would knock out the last copies of my cards. I created a bad cycle for myself.
He also made a very smart play by sticking Caprice on HQ. Now I couldn’t guarantee my Vamp could get through.
I stole a Medical Breakthrough at some point (through Keyhole, I think), but was locked down all game and never really felt like I got going. He scored the winning agenda after I ran on last click and got Nisei’d. Gah, so n00b.
In the return game, I got to enjoy the power of Sundew. 2 copies of that and 3 Pads gave me a taste of that awesome Spin Cycle Corp economy. He got to 6, but I fought back and got to 5 points, after his breaking capabilities amounted to just a single Parasite being recurred thrice through Clone Chip (bad draw?). But disaster struck, time was called while I was on matchpoint and he was taking his turn (a JintekiRP mirror match takes a long time, plus I was rusty); the time I took shuffling cards for those two mulligans I took for the round loomed large… I scored the winning agenda and pleaded with the organizer to count the win, but he said rules are rules… unless Davis wanted to concede. Before I could even turn to him, Davis had already said that’s unfair and gave me the win. Whew thank you Davis, who proves great sportsmanship and great skill go hand in hand!
+2 prestige (2), 0 R wins, 1 C win
I believe in karma and this was another manifestation. In that 7-month-old game I alluded to, he had Imp’d my winning Trick of Light away after I’d let him rewind and install Imp via Clone Chip, because we’d played through that process very quickly, and he honestly looked like he had it planned all along, just wasn’t aware of the timing (he was a new-ish player back then). All that time later, he paid me back, and it was a pleasant surprise.
Round 2 vs. Calvin: Silhouette/Cerebral Imaging
Everybody was 1-1 after the 1st round. I got paired with Calvin, a nice guy who entered during Spin Cycle after I left. In a later round, I looked around after using a Nisei token, and he gave me a thumbs-up, it was pretty funny and encouraging.
I ran first, and it was over in 5 minutes. He defended HQ instead of R&D (since it’s Cerebral Imaging), I kept running R&D and I kept pulling agendas on single accesses. I felt almost apologetic for that piece of luck. Didn’t get to see what his deck was like at all, and I’m not sure I installed anything except a Fall Guy.
As Corp, it seemed like he couldn’t draw enough economy and kept clicking for credits. So I kept building economy and scoring agendas. Eventually he revealed what he was saving up for: Blackguard!
He used both Snitch and Satellite Uplink (which I thought was overkill, I prefer to use Silhouette’s ability in place of Snitch and other expose effects, not in addition), but don’t think he ever got the cards and credits to actually break Ice. I went 2-deep on centrals with Shadow outside and 3-deep on the remote. Weirdly enough, I just had to be careful to never get to 8 credits, since he’d then force-rez my Wall of Thorns on R&D and ruin my plans. I had an unrezzed Komainu protecting a Sundew, but he never ran there or checked that Ice, so my sub-8c economy was OK.
+4 prestige (6), 1 R win, 2 C wins
Round 3 – vs. Austin: Kate/Personal Evolution
Austin was the tournament organizer, and I marvel at his ability to withstand distractions from customers at the store and curious onlookers, answer ruling questions, yet still play at a high level (it’s difficult for me from previous experience to be able to drop and re-enter a game after 1 minute, I kinda need to be ‘in the zone’). He’s also a laidback dude who lent me 2 copies of Swordsman and just made the environment welcoming for everybody.
As I prepared to run, word came of his previous match, when he managed to score and enjoy 3 (!) House of Knives. It was a deck full of 1-pt agendas, with Neural EMP lurking. He started off scoring Clone Retirement, then House of Knives. I did some early Keyhole-ing, and stole a Medical Breakthrough as a result (maybe should have let it curdle in Archives for a little longer, but I didn’t want a future Jackson undoing my hard work).
Finally, this was the only game all day where my Runner deck came together. The draws just ‘flowed’ very well (I’d draw everything in the right order), and I kept setting up. Still, I made a mistake when I let him score an NAPD Contract; I forgot to host Pawn before I ran a central, so I couldn’t install + host the Knight to break RSVP, so my Corroder couldn’t attack Himitsu-Bako. RSVP was plain ‘rude’ (in his words) to my Grappling Hook. I installed it early, so he tried to only show me 1-subroutine Ice.
I hit up Joshua B to make my move into tag-me mode after he 1-advanced a card while at 4 points. By now, I had transitioned to Overmind (overwriting Grappling Hook since he was rude to it), and used Vamp to defuse the threat, then 3 Data Leak Reversal pings. On the next turn, he trashed DLR. With him broke again, I Keyhole’d the unrezzed Ice on R&D 5 consecutive times. He surprisingly took credits and scored a Medical Breakthrough to get to 6 APs. That’s scary now, I’d lose next turn if he had either a Medical Breakthrough or Clone Retirement. Hail-Mary Keyhole runs, and I finally hit some agendas, but I only trashed 3 APs worth of stuff into Archives and I needed 4. Next turn, Keyhole party ended when he rezzed Archer and destroyed Overmind + Corroder; that actually reassured me since that’d take Medical Breakthrough out of his winning solution. I saw I had just enough cards to steal everything I’d need in Archives (the net damage on the last stolen agenda doesn’t count if I’d already won, and I can steal in any order I choose), so gave it a try since there were 3 hidden DLR cards in there, and yes, one of them was the last agenda I needed!
On the Corp side, it continued a theme of the day as opposing runners just couldn’t draw into economy + icebreakers, so I simply built my economy. My first two agendas scored were Niseis. Used Jackson to mess up a post-Indexing run, and used the Nisei token to stop a surprise Account Siphon. I 2-advanced the winning Future Perfect, and withstood 2 Stimhack runs across 2 turns on it (with Ash helping out) for the winning points.
+4 prestige (10), 2 R wins, 3 C wins
Round 4: vs. Tony: Chaos/Nisei Division
Tony is another really good player who accounts for all possible plays. He was janking it up today with experimental decks (read: The Source + Fall Guy + Donut Tagines and Nisei Division), but he was at the top table with me for the last round, must have done well, and that speaks to his ability.
I ran first, and unfortunately for Nisei Division, this will go down as the game where I went 4-0 in psi games as the runner. Went through Snowflake once to steal an agenda. Killed Caprice twice. And most damagingly of all, stole Future Perfect from R&D on the first try for the winning points
For the entire round, we went 5-0 in terms of guessing the same #, because he stole The Future Perfect early. I scored two NAPD Contracts to claw back, including overcoming The Source (Fall Guy was not out yet). Some economy-control went on, because he’d ignore my Shadow and tiptoe around the Closed Accounts he saw, and dare me to trash his resources. I kept his economy low, including using Closed Accounts twice, before he finally transitioned to Magnum Opus.
He finally was getting enough credits, but still had trouble overcoming my 3-ice remote server of doom. He chose to use Indexing, and Jackson took care of that. I decided to go for 6 APs instead of waiting for the last copy of Future Perfect for the win, and safely scored a Fetal AI. That allowed me to bait him with Snare, but he ignored it, got down his R&D Interface and ran through Shadow. I used agenda-thickening with Jackson, but he still stole an agenda. Couple of tense pulls resulted before I locked him out with Wall of Thorns. Then went for matchpoint. He ran in desperation on last click, with no hand, and got killed by Tsurugi.
+4 prestige (14), 3 R wins, 4 C wins
Corporations won 19 of 32 games, or 59%.
My first tournament win! And only 3rd time placing above half the field. I had some good luck all day, and I didn’t rush as I usually do, which paid dividends. Thanks to my opponents for putting up with my rusty slow play, especially Davis at the start when the rustiness was at its worst.