This is the third part of my report on the Netrunner tournament scene in the UK.
The first was about the deck testing and preperation we did in a local tournament which can be found here. The second is about how our decks evolved and what we played in a Store Championship, this can be found here.
This part of the report is about my and my meta mates experiances in the Chronos Protocol Tour events. I was pretty set with my decks going into Chronos Protocol, I had done a lot of testing with my Andromeda and Haas-Bioroid decks and had been successful with them in both local tournaments and Store Championships, however there were definitely some tweaks that I wanted to make to them.
I went to two Chronos Protocol Tour events, due to pride, I'm going to do a write up of the one I did better at... The first one I made top 8 but was generally really unhappy with how I played.
Andromeda – I've been playing a Datasucker Andromeda deck for a long time now, but there is always something that I'm unhappy about with it. I don't generally run one of breakers as I don't like it, I don't feel safe and I don't like being forced to play a breaker just to avoid losing it to damage as often this gives away the fact I can make a run when the corp wasn't sure. I've also been unhappy with R&D Interface, I always find it comes with a huge tempo swing and it encourages people to have blinders and only focus on R&D. As I said in my last report, I did some testing with Gabe Knight in between some of the touraments and I really liked the ability to challenge any server even without multiple access, as you focused on what was weak or what the corp was trying to defend. Because of this I spent time testing testing with three Parasite instead of R&DI, as I keep saying I've been seeing a lot more taxing Ice recently, things like Eli, Tsurugi, and Hive. Parasite is extremely strong at getting rid of these. I wasn't convinced that this was better but I liked the style and the type of play it encouraged so I decided to play with this version of my deck even though I'd not tested it against some deck types. I was expecting it to be strong against some NBN decks that run low on Ice and against decks that run taxing Ice, but thought it would likely suffer against big Ice decks.
Haas-Bioroid – The first change that I made for this tournament was to include NAPD Contract because Double Time was legal. The deck is all based on taxing the runners economy because of assets, upgrades and Ice that are all costly. Therefore NAPD Contract was an obvious inclusion to the deck, as it is the type of deck that will generate scoring opportunities for it. I'm still running Grim, which may seem strange but, I'm not going to Fast Advance NAPD Contract and there isn't a huge difference between install and advance and install and double advance if I know they cannot get in. Also after someone sees NAPD they can sometimes incorrectly assume that I'm not running Grim and think it is safe to run providing they run first click to get through Ichi.
Other than that I dropped one Ice for Reclamation Order, this was because I was finding that there were times when I needed Fast Advance cards and didn't have any. I thought about adding another Archive Memories but after some testing decided that the ability to get back 2 or 3 San San's or Biotic Labors late game was too good as with enough money I can even score NAPD Contracts if I need to.
Deck lists can be found on the forums here.
There were 23 player who made the trip to Cardiff, many of whom I recognised from Store Championships. The rules for Chronos Protocol was the same as the Plugged In touraments which were 5 rounds of Swiss and no cut.
Andromeda vs Weyland BABW
George was a guy from Bristol who had come along to his first tournament and was running Supermodernism. He managed to score an early Hostile Takeover and Project Atlas after I hit two Snares and had to reset and play carefully. Once I got set up I had cheap access to R&D thanks to fixed breakers and Parasite, this allowed me to score. He managed to score a Geothermal Frakking and used it to recover from Siphon, however the bad pub gave me free access to R&D. George scored a second Hostile Takeover putting him at six points but I was able to pull the remaining points from R&D and HQ before he could find his third Hostile Takeover. Win 7-6
Haas-Bioroid – Engineering the Future vs Kit
I started with a standard Ice opening and put down some asset economy. George did some early running and then when the Ice locked him out started drawing for a Code Gate breaker. He seemed to have an unlucky draw and it took him a long time to find his breaker or any tutoring and this allowed me to get my economy and Ice set up. I was able to Fast Advance with relative ease due to a lack of early game pressure. I felt bad for George who really hadn't done anything wrong, just couldn't draw an essential card for Kit. Win 7-0
HB: EtF vs Andromeda
I start with an interesting hand with no Ice but no agendas. I decide to play it so I don't risk mulliganing into a hand of agendas. I don't see an Ice on my mandatory draw or a first click draw, so I play out some assets in case I need to rez something to avoid the Account Siphon. Ryan runs but doesn't score I get a Jackson down and draw looking for Ice but still dont see any. Though I do draw into a Biotic and an ABT. He Siphons mes and I rez an Adonis and a San San to avoid it, he kills the San San. The next turn I take money and then the following turn I Biotic out the ABT and activate it, hitting an Ichi and a Rototurret. I manage to draw more Ice and start to secure my centrals. I manage to get a San San down and use it to score before he can trash it. I then either see my third San San or use Reclamation Order to get them back. This drains all of his money and I am able to score out. Win 7-0
Andromeda vs HB EtF
We swap and I soon realise that we are basically playing the same decks. I run early and force him to rez Ice on centals, and then use Corroder to get through an Eli and Wraparound remote protecting his Adonis and kill his economy. I'm able to Parasite some central Ice and kill them but he is able to re ice but drains himself of money to keep me out. I kill a San San to prevent FA and set up my rig. He is clicking for money and so I drop a Sneakdoor and run scoring four points, he Ices up Archives and goes poor trying to keep me out. This allows me to get some more accesses on HQ and R&D once I have the breakers I need and I eventually pull the points I need. Ryan had drawn a lot of early agendas and only the one San San for FA and so the remote and HQ pressure was a real killer. Win 7-0
HB ETF vs Andromeda
I had a crazy hand against Chris which I decided to keep. It was 3x Jackson Howard, a Grim and something else. I Ice HQ and lay out a few Jacksons, after seeing that there is more than one Chris decides to leave them. I draw and get some Ice and economy and secure my centrals, he is running Archives for Desperado and Datasucker but I am able to keep him out other than that. He runs HQ but I always keep one Ice unrezzed so he doesn't know if it is safe to Siphon. I manage to FA an ABT which I know is safe because of Jackson, so get some free Ice. This enables me to draw and get another ABT and FA in relative safety. The game is over shortly after as I have gained too much of an advantage from the free Ice. I believe he scores an NAPD Contract when I try and bluff one in a remote. I win 7-2.
Andromeda vs NBN Making News
I run early and force Ice rez, he manages to get two PAD Campaigns out and running. I am able to benefit from an open archives thanks to Desperado and Datasucker, and start setting up a rig, once I have Yog out I am able to hit Siphon thanks to his Viper and Quandary defence. Following this I trash the PAD's and try and cut off his economy, I use Parasite to start killing some Ice and getting accesses which starts netting me points. He uses a Biotic Labor to score an Astroscript and so I use his lack of money to be more aggressive and am able to pick up the points I need. Lesson is to always kill PAD Campaign, makes such a difference. Win 7-2
HB EtF vs Chaos Theory
We both have fairly standard opening, he goes to Account Siphon me early but I am able to rez assets to avoid it. I am able to Ice up as he sets up his rig, and start Fast Advancing agendas, and get a Gila scored that sorts my economy for the game. He plays Makers Eye and scores 4 points from it, I desperately try and lock down R&D more but he is able to hit another Makers Eye before I can, though I manage to rez a Grim and kill his Code Gate breaker. I'm not sure if he scores on this or another access but he gets to six points. I get a San San remote up and running which he can't get into and get to 5 points, I then Ice R&D with six Ice and start drawing for agendas. At the close of the game I have drawn about 10 cards and not seen an agenda, and have a Biotic Labor in hand as well as the rezzed San San and plenty of money. I decide to draw and draw the only agenda in the deck I can't score from hand which is an NAPD. I can score from hand next turn though so I'm not too worried as he hasn't been running HQ. He does, make a random run on it and hits the 1 in 5 to win. Lost 5-7
Andromeda vs NBN Making News
I can't remember too much about this game, I know that Stu was running a Midseasons deck and so I knew I needed to keep my credits high. He didn't see much early Ice but did see a lot of economy, I was able to get a lot of accesses through a single Pop-up Window which scored me some points. I was also able to Parasite the little Ice he did draw, that combined with the NBN low strength Ice and an Anarch Breaker rig I was able to get to 5 points quickly and then just made safe and sensible runs until I picked up the remaining points. Win 7-0
HB EtF vs Andromeda
I have played Taurean in almost every tournament I have ever played in, normally in the final. He is an excellent player and is especially proficent playing Weyland. I set up asset based economy early and at one point have three Eve out and rezzed. I dont see any early agendas and so allow him access which makes it difficult for him to Siphon me. Once I find agendas I start fast advancing them. He is struggling for a sentry breaker and so I get a San San rezzed and start scoring, he Inside Jobs the server to get rid of it but I get another one and use this to win. He was seriously worried about program trashing (rightly so) but this held him back significantly, though I was worried when he dropped an E3! Win 7-0
Andromeda vs Weyland BABW
I run early and am met by Hive on R&D, I know that he is running a version of the Accelerated Diagnostics combo and so get a Decoy out to make it more difficult for him. I run to keep his money down but cannot stop the operation economy from booming, he scores a Hostile Takeover and a Posted Bounty for points as I am setting up. I drop a Sneakdoor and run three times to score three points, this forces him to double Ice archives. I manage to score a further two points in the form of an Project Atlas, though where from I cannot remember. I stop running as he has a lot of credits and I believe he is very close to finishing his combo and I am missing a key breaker. I spend turns drawing and using Kati Jones. Eventually I find a Plascrete and the breaker, so I start running again, I'm not sure the protection I have will be enough so I decide to run all four clicks, the first to hit R&D, then archives as there are a large number of discarded cards and then two HQ runs. I'm lucky enough to pull a Cleaners on the first R&D run. As I thought, if I hadn't won he would have been able to flatline me through a Decoy and a Plascrete since I had made a run... worrying... but I won 7-3
So after 5 rounds of swiss I was 9-1 and so at 18 prestige which was enough to win without going to tie breakers. Stu my 4th round opponent finish second with 16 prestige.
I'm obviously very pleased with the result, and how the decks performed, even in the one game my corp deck lost it was very close and I felt that it was actually a misplay by me drawing to many times that cost me the match. I am unsure if I like the Adonis Campaigns in the corp deck, I've also tested both Private Contracts and operation economy and I'm unsure which is best.
The Andy deck is good and I think Parasite is a valid choice over R&DI, but it needs more testing to see which is consistent, though I definitely believe it stops you becoming blinded to only running one server because you have a particular card.
This is the faction breakdown for the top 8.
HB EtF and Andromeda
NBN Making News and Chaos Theory
NBN Making News and Andromeda
Weyland BABW and Criminal?
Weyland BABW and ?
Weyland BABW and Andromeda
HB EtF and Noise
HB EtF and Andromeda
Lots of Criminal in the top 8 which isn't a shock, and a good mix of corp factions with the exception of Jinteki, also not a shock.
I'm having a pretty good run during this tourament season, having won a local tourament, a store championship and a Chronos Protocol Tour event. The next stop is Regionals, though it is unlikely I can make Nationals...
I've really enjoyed the tournament scene and am pleased there are so many events taking place, I do wish they were more spead out throughout the year, but still, very much enjoyable.
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