Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington Spa

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Vinegarymink
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Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington Spa

Postby Vinegarymink » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:40 pm

I planned to be the first to post in the tournament report section of the forum but it looks like James beat me by about half an hour.


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Sets Legal: Up To and including The Source

Decklists:
Noise: You Can Jack Out Any Time But You Can Never Leave (Back At the High Hotel)

Noise High Hotel (45 cards)

Noise: Hacker Extraordinaire

Event (9)
3 Deja Vu
3 Inject
3 Sure Gamble

Hardware (7)
3 Clone Chip ******
2 Cyberfeeder
2 Grimoire

Resource (8)
3 Aesop's Pawnshop ******
2 Daily Casts
3 Earthrise Hotel

Icebreaker (5)
1 Corroder
2 Crypsis
2 Mimic

Program (16)
3 Cache ***
2 D4v1d
3 Imp
2 Medium
3 Parasite
3 Progenitor

Built with http://netrunner.meteor.com/

NEH: Anita Skeeter’s Fast Advance Cheater

Standard FA (49 cards)

Near-Earth Hub: Broadcast Center

Agenda (11)
3 AstroScript Pilot Program
2 Breaking News
3 NAPD Contract
3 Project Beale

Asset (8)
2 Daily Business Show
3 Jackson Howard
3 PAD Campaign

Upgrade (3)
3 SanSan City Grid

Operation (12)
2 Biotic Labor ********
2 Fast Track
3 Hedge Fund
2 Shipment from SanSan
3 Sweeps Week

Barrier (5)
3 Eli 1.0 ***
2 Wraparound

Code Gate (7)
1 Enigma
3 Pop-up Window
3 Quandary

Sentry (3)
3 Architect ******

Built with http://netrunner.meteor.com/

On Saturday 28th February I attended a Netrunner Store Championship held in Leamington Spa at BAM CCG. Four of us got the train down from Birmingham – myself, Andrew ‘Xenasis’ Hynes, James Klee and Neil G. This was the third store champs I’d attended this season (and ever), and I was really hoping to win this one. In London I’d placed third and I’d missed making top 4 by 1 prestige in Worcester, so the fire was real at this point. More than anything I wanted to win the bye for Regionals, and my friend and accomplished player Andrew already having won one also made this goal a little easier – meeting him in the finals was equivalent to a win in my mind, given that this would result in the bye going to me.

The decks themselves:

Runner:
Noise has always been my favourite ID in the game and I feel like with the release of Inject and Earthrise Hotel he’s finally fast and consistent enough to be tournament playable. The power of Noise comes from his ability to essentially pressure all 3 centrals at once (between his ID ability, Medium Deep Digs and Imp hand pressure) whilst also controlling the board and killing as much Ice as he can. In Worcester I only lost 1 game with this deck and so I decided to try and run it back by playing him again. Generally Noise fares extremely well against slower decks like RP, Blue Sun and Haas Bioroid, but struggles to keep up with NEH. My plan was to crush everything other than NEH and just try and to pull out as many wins as possible against it. You do still have a plan in this matchup – controlling remotes with an Imp and lots of Medium runs to get your points, but sometimes NEH is just too fast.

Corp:
Over Christmas Andrew and I spent a decent amount of time trying to work out which corp deck would be the best to play for store champs and it didn’t take us all that long to settle on good old NEH Astrobiotics. The deck has a lot of the best cards, has ridiculous nut draws and is one of the best decks for pulling out the win when it’s behind. In London I didn’t lose a corp game right up until I was playing in the semi-finals, so continuing to play it going forward was a no brainer. As for the list itself there should be few surprises. I prefer the 2 Biotic version of the deck because the result of the saved influence is that your Ice suite doesn’t end up looking like complete garbage. Eli got a bit worse with the release of Lady but other than that is as powerful as he ever was. Architect is insane in NEH - the power to control your draws, develop your board without spending any clicks and occasionally save a Jackson or SanSan from the discard pile are all extremely valuable. In standard Astrobiotics I think the minimum number of Architects that you want to include is 2, and I’ve been very happy to have 3. Shipment from SanSan is also worth a mentioned, a card that you don’t always see in NEH. I like this card a lot – it’s essentially clickless economy at worst, and at best allows you to score points when the runner thought that you were too poor to do so.

The tournament:
We arrived at BAM CCG nice and early and spent the time catching up with all our friends from previous tournaments. The quality of the UK Netrunner scene is what keeps me coming back to these championships – at their core Netrunner events are often just a cool bunch of people hanging out and having a good time. Shout out to BAM CCG as well – other than some awkwardness with the tournament software they ran their event very smoothly, and I really appreciated playing in a clean, spacious room with lots of natural light. I’d happily come back again.

Round 1: ??? with Jinteki: PE and Chaos Theory Stimshop

(I’m really sorry that I can’t remember the name of my round 1 opponent. If you’re on here and let me know I’ll edit the report)
I started off corping as is my norm and essentially did what NEH is supposed to do. I had a good early econ and managed to score out an Astro in a remote while he was still setting his rig up. An early Magnum Opus meant that I couldn’t just tax him out of the game and would have to be as proactive as possible. Fortunately I was able to just fast advance out 7 points before he was able to get enough accesses to really threaten me. Not seeing a Stimhack all game really stopped him from keeping up with me. With this game in the bag we switched sides.

This version of PE was a little bit slower and more glacier like than the standard Cambridge shell game list, and so I wasn’t forced to simply make calls on unadvanced remotes. We both moved fairly slowly but I was able to mount pressure and start to threaten his servers. I probably could have taken this game had I not made a stupid mistake. After setting up a bit more and pressuring a remote I decided to run HQ last click. I’m aware just how much this goes against common wisdom but he’d celebrity gifted a couple of turns before and hadn’t showed me anything dangerous in HQ. I also had a Mimic out and wasn’t scared of any of his ice. I proceeded to hit a Snare, sending me down to 2 cards. On his turn he just clicked for credits and played Scorched Earth to end the game. I made a needlessly risky play and was rightfully punished for it.


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You're an idiot Alex


Round 2: James Klee with Jinteki PE and Chaos Theory Stimshop

This round started off in essentially the exact same way as round 1, with me corping and just being able to fast advance out 6 points by something like turn 8. James was basically sunk at this point but to his credit he did exactly what he should have done and installed an R&D Interface and started establishing R&D lock. I spent my next few turns trying to make R&D slightly more expensive whilst also drawing extra cards in an attempt to dig to agendas that he hadn’t accessed. At one point I Jackson drew into a Beale and then it was just a case of surviving my next turn and winning the game. James played well in a bad spot here.

The next game was one of my most memorable games of the day. James plays standard PE shell game and my Noise doesn’t have any tools to help me fight against it. Even if they don’t pack damage prevention effecys criminals can often use Siphon to weaken the power of PE’s traps, but I had nothing of the sort in my deck. The 3 Earthrise Hotel are about the best cards I have in my deck to combat PE, and for the most part I just have to play carefully and make as few bad calls as possible. The start of the game just involved me running pretty much every unadvanced remote, facechecking a Snare but also scoring 4 points worth of agendas. I avoided a disastrous five net damage from a Psychic Field by winning the Psi game and was feeling pretty good about the game – with my 4 points to James’s 0 I could afford to sit back a little and let my Noise mills take care of most of the rest of the points. This was where things got crazy. James had an advanced remote that had been sitting around for a while, and I while I had a feeling that it was a Ronin I decided to that it was safer to leave it alone and just make sure I stayed on five cards throughout the game. However at one point he installed another facedown card and began to advance it. At this point I suspected that he was trying to pull out a win with a double Ronin kill, and so I decided to run the new advanced remote, at this point it had 4 counters on it. James got me good here, flipping over a Cerebral Overwriter and dealing me a brutal 4 brain damage. From this point on the game was tense and scary for both of us. On one of my subsequent turns I drew up and ran an unadvanced card, stealing a Fetal AI and surviving by the skin of my teeth. This left me on 6 points, and from then on both of us were terrified of each other – one bad access on either side would be game. At one point James drew a card, looked at it, laughed to himself and said “that’s hilarious”, before installing and advancing it. I had no idea what that meant but decided to call him on it, running and scoring the Philotic Entanglement that would have won him the game next turn.


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Stop making mistakes Alex


At this point I’m sitting at 3-1 feeling pretty good about the tournament. I’m feeling good about my decks and I’m still on track to top 4.

Round 3: Neil G with NEH Grail and Andromeda

Neil is a proficient Birmingham player who crushed me in my first ever Netrunner tournament and since then we’ve always had good games – I look forward to playing him for this reason. He didn’t care about which side he played first and so I opted to corp. You’ll have to forgive me if I get a little mixed up about my games against Neil. He ran against my NEH deck three times during the day, and I may well forget what happened in which games. I know that in this game I was able to move a bit faster than him early on, his lack of Desperado slowing him down a little. I managed to score out 6 points pretty quickly, but wasn’t able to find the 7th before he was able to establish his rig and set up an R&D lock and scoring five points. Now it was just a race to see who could see the last agenda first. At one point Neil facechecked an Architect and I was sure that I’d see the agenda I needed in the five cards on top of R&D to close out the game, but alas I just saw five pieces of ice. I decided to remove a Jackson Howard from the game to shuffle in 0 cards at this point (sick plays) in the hope of shuffling an Agenda to the top. A couple of turns later I was able to find the agenda by using my first two clicks to draw a card, finally seeing the Breaking News and hosting it on a SanSan and using my last Astro counter for the win.

My game as Noise against Neil’s NEH was a complete curb stomp. Noise really struggles to compete both when he has a bad draw and when he runs against NEH. Both together is a death sentence. At one point I Injected hoping to at least net a credit or two to allow me to keep pace and maybe establish a Medium dig. Four resources and events flipped off the top of my deck and both my chances and my confidence were sunk. Neil closed out the game with few issues.


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Sometimes the drugs don't work


Going into the final round I’m sitting on two losses. My guess is that I’m a lock for top 4 if I win both, probably won’t if I split and am dead in the water if I drop both games.

Round 4: Sam P with NEH and Leela Patel

If you’re keeping track you’ll notice that so far I’ve played against 2 PE decks and 2 NEH decks, neither of which I really have the tools to beat in my Noise deck. Nontheless I roll up my sleeves and prepare to battle once again. This game is basically the same as my game against Neil – I can’t keep up and Sam outpaces me and scores out 7 points. I didn’t see very much early econ or Imps to pressure his econ, and I didn’t really stand a chance.

Once we swap I’m able to do my thing as NEH. Sam isn’t able to see enough cards early to threaten the win, and I fast advance out 7 points without too much trouble. I’ve played against Leela enough times to know that you need to pick the spots in which you score agendas very carefully. I promise that I have some really interesting NEH games later, but this round my deck just does its thing and I take the win.


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I am very good at Android:Netrunner


With the Swiss over I’m not feeling great about my chances to top 4. There’s a glut of people on 3 losses and my breakers aren’t that good either. My only hope at this point is that Sam Burdock has already won a store championship and is talking about dropping from the top 4 to go home early and to give someone else a chance. I decide to not get too invested (this was the mistake I made at Worcester) and just see what happens.

This is where it all gets a bit weird.

Sam B does indeed decide to drop out of the top 4, giving whoever came 5th in the Swiss a chance to play in it. The issue is that Sam P (my opponent in round 4) and I both sit on the exact same record and the exact same breakers, with the tournament software not providing any clue as to who makes it in. Someone suggests that the tiebreaker in this case is whoever has more wins with their weaker side and my heart sinks a little – there’s no doubt that if this is the case I can’t top 4. I haven’t lost a game with NEH but have only won a single game with Noise. However somebody else tells us that this isn’t the rule anymore and we’re just supposed to flip a coin. I emphatically agree with this option as it gives me a chance to get in and will resolve this issue quickly. Neither Sam P nor I are too invested in the result and just want to know who’s made it. A 2p coin is produced from somewhere and Sam takes it and asks me to call the flip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkh6if8TL2U

I snap call tails (not close) and just before he flips it I look at him – “whatever the result, no salt right?” and he agrees. No salt. With that established he flips the coin into the air. I’d like to tell you that it span in the air forever and my heart was in my mouth, but in actual fact it was over very quickly. The result comes up tails. True to his word Sam just shakes my hand and wishes me good luck in the top 4, and I thank him and let him know that I owe him one. As it turns out this story ends pretty well – Sam B didn’t want his top 4 playmat and asks if either of us want it. I have one from London and given that I’m playing in top 4 I happily let Sam P take the mat, letting him walk away with something. I later gave away the box I got for top 8ing because I didn’t really want it, leading to my buddy Jay calling me the Bob Geldof of Netrunner. If this and winning coin flips are all I’m known for I’ll be a very happy man.

So shout outs to both Sam P and Sam B for being the people who essentially got me into top 4. Hopefully I’ll be able to repay the favour I owe to both of you one day.


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Hopefully it won't involve hovercars


The rest of the top 4 is made up of Andrew Hynes, Neil G and Ben Tate. Following tradition 3 of the top 4 are from Birmingham, and my hope at this point is that Ben doesn’t just straight up Iain Reid the whole thing by knocking out all the Birmingham players and taking the championship. As mentioned at the beginning I’m also happy to see Andrew top 4 because all I really have to do is play him in the finals to get that regional bye. I’m less happy about the fact that all of the top 4 players are running NBN Fast Advance as their corp decks.

Round 1 of Top 4: Andrew with NEH Fast Advance

Andrew is the higher seed and gets to decide which side he wants to play. He knows that he’s much more likely to win with his NEH against my Noise and so he picks that. He was considering bringing a version of NEH with Midseason Psycho Beale to this tournament, but decided not to at the last minute. As we sit down to play I curse him for his choice – filling his deck with dead cards would have made this matchup much better for me. I’m just happy to have made the top 4 at this point and I’m not bothered by the possibility of a loss.

Andrew mulligans and I keep an opening hand with a Sure Gamble, an Imp, an Aesop and some other nonsense. The early burst econ and the Imp to beat down asset econ and SanSans are what I need to keep pace in the early game, so I’m not feeling too bad about the game ahead. Andrew and I both have good starts but I’m able to keep him in check while developing my board. My Imps keep SanSans off the board and so eventually he Biotic Labours out an Astroscript. At this point my econ is good and I have a Medium in hand, so I know what it’s going to take to for me to win this game – Medium deep digs are plan A vs NEH. Eventually I get the Medium down backed up by a Mimic and start to run R&D. He rezzes an Eli but I’m happy to click through it for my extra accesses. At this point an R&D battle begins in earnest. Andrew installs and rezzes another Eli, but I have parasites and a datasucker in my hand and I’m able to kill both Elis with the help of Grimoire. Andrew is sitting on 2 scored Astros at this point but R&D is open and vulnerable. NEH struggles when trying to do several things at once – in order to win this Andrew needs to set up good R&D defence, purge to stop me from winning with a medium glory run and score his last 3 points. He isn’t able to find the ice he needs and so with an Imp for extra pressure I dig deep into R&D and take my 7 points for the win.
I was going to have to beat NEH with Noise at some point during the day and here was where I finally managed it. If Noise has a good start and NEH doesn’t see enough event econ he can compete, and that’s what saw played out here.

Round 2 of Top 4 – Neil G with Andromeda

This was the second time Neil ran against my NEH deck, and this game was valuable for both of us. A win here guaranteed a spot in the finals and a bit of a rest with the loser fighting for their life next round. Neil had a good start and sniped a few points whilst setting up. I established acceptable central defence, but would have fallen behind if not for my two active Daily Business Shows that Neil couldn’t really afford to trash. I was able to neglect HQ defence a little given that I only drew agendas when I wanted to, and whilst he was ahead I was still slowly able to further my game plan. I had enough rezzed ice that bankrupting myself to score out Astros was completely acceptable, and some active Pad campaigns in the midgame allowed me to just about keep pace. Similar to our swiss game this game came down to an RnD battle, but my active Daily Business shows pulled me through here. Eventually I was able to pull out a win, with Neil very close to taking the game when I did so.

With my spot in the finals guaranteed I’m able to rest a bit whilst Andrew and Neil battle to see who will face me. I take the chance to get some air and eat a salad. Whatever happens I’ll have two chances to win the day when I sit down to play, and I feel pretty good about the fact that I’m just one NEH victory away. If Andrew beats Neil and we play in the finals I’m not even that bothered about winning anyway.
I come back from my trip to the shops in time to watch Andrew lose to Neil and get knocked out of top 4. It looks like I’m going to have to fight for my regionals bye after all.

Round 3 of top 4 – Neil G with NEH Grail

This game was one of my most interesting of the day. Neil elects to score out an early NAPD contract behind a Wraparound, but after this the game slows down a little. I have good functional econ and a Medium in hand, so I know exactly what my plan is. Neil’s Grail Ice really showed their power here – I have an anaemic breaker suite and just can’t afford to facecheck much grail ice. I’m holding onto parasites to kill the ice but I don’t have enough clone chips to be able to manage to kill the ice mid run. I manage to get in with an active Medium a couple of times, and coupled with my Noise mills I’m able to score a respectable 4 points. However I just can’t run an R&D protected by unrezzed Ice – it’s very easy for Neil to be able to fire a Lancelot subroutine and trash my Medium and its counters. I’m manage to get rich enough to Déjà vu back a Crypsis, with my plan being to install and prime it next turn and hit R&D. However my faffing about has allowed Neil to get up to 5 points, and the turn after I pull the Crypsis out of my heap he fast advances his last 2 points for the win.
In hindsight I should almost certainly have Déjà vu’d a Clone Chip and installed it before running. This is a play I’ve never made before and that’s probably the reason I didn’t seriously consider it. Had I done so I believe my chances would have been a bit better. After the game I ask Neil to show me the R&D ice, and he does indeed show 2 pieces of Grail ice, proving my assertions to be correct.
With this game done we move on to the grand final.

Game 4 of Top 4 – Neil with Andromeda

This is the third time this matchup has played out today and Neil and I prepare for a good game. He’s come extremely close in both of our previous games and as long as there isn’t terrible luck on either side we both expect a close game. I keep a 2 ice hedge fund hand and Neil deliberates over his opening hand for a while, eventually resolving to keep. On his first turn he plays a Sure Gamble, a Desperado, a Datasucker and a Security Testing, prompting everyone in the room (myself included) to incredulously ask him exactly why he considered the mulligan. Given that I’ve not done so in any of our previous games I decide to be aggressive and go for an early Project Beale score on turn 2, installing it behind a Wraparound. My thinking here is that Neil is unlikely to assume it’s an agenda, and even if he does he’s not all that likely to be able to get in. He does check the remote but I rez the wraparound and he leaves it alone (he later told me that he wouldn’t have been able to get in even if he’d wanted to), and on my next turn I score out the Beale with an advance and a shipment from SanSan. Neil is then able to set up his rig and econ, and as before the R&D battle begins. Whilst I don’t have an active DBS for most of this game I do draw a good amount of cards from a Jackson Howard, and Neil is forced to split his attention between HQ and R&D, especially once I biotic out an Astroscript putting myself up to 4 points. My big mistake this game comes when he makes a HQ run. I have a pop up over HQ with an unrezzed Wraparound in front of it, with an NAPD and a Breaking News in my 4 card hand. I reason that Neil will probably be coming into HQ at least a few more times this game, and so I rez the wraparound, putting me to five credits. He comes into HQ and steals the NAPD out of my hand, and with this run complete I realise why my rez was a mistake. Sure enough he Siphons me down to 1 credit, leaving me in a tight spot. Thankfully he doesn’t have time to check R&D this turn and I topdeck an Astroscript, which I score out on my next turn. With me on 6 points with a counter Neil is in a dangerous spot, but he himself is on five points. With all to play for he runs my R&D in earnest whilst keeping his econ good. However those keeping track are aware that I’m still holding a Breaking News in HQ, and next turn I show it to him and take the win.


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I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with this


Whilst this was the third time I beat Neil with NEH that day I still feel like this game could have gone either way. Neil was pretty unlucky with his R&D accesses in all three of our games, and had his luck been a bit better in any of them I probably wouldn’t be writing this report. On the other hand I never saw 1 T1 Sweeps Week against him so on balance I'd say that I was extremely unlucky against him.
I walked away from the tournament without a mat or a box, and owing two people called Sam a favour, but just feeling good about managing to take down a Championship. Noise turned out to be a terrible choice for the decks I ended up playing on the day – given that I played NEH 4 times I probably would have had a much better time if I’d played Andromeda, and I didn’t see any of the glacier decks I was ready to beat. But testing your bad matchups will usually pay off, and the win I pulled off against Andrew came at just the right time.


Big thanks as well to everyone who stuck around to watch the top 4 play out. The spectator element made the games a lot of fun and also stopped it from becoming a little bit too serious. In future I’ll aim to stick around to do this myself, because they’re always a ton of fun and it means something to the people playing in them. I’d encourage everyone reading to do the same.
I’ll be at the Store Championship in Birmingham on the 7th March with some sweet Order and Chaos cards, and I look forward to seeing everyone there. Cheers to everyone who made it to the end of this fairly long tournament report, I hope I didn’t bore you senseless. If there are any obvious mistakes or affronts to the English language in this report just comment below, and I’ll happily edit it.
Final shout out to that 2p coin. You mean more to me than any plaque or regional bye ever could.
Last edited by Vinegarymink on Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Chimpster
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Re: Mar28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leaminton

Postby Chimpster » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:57 pm

Another great write up and congratulations on your victory, all hail the mighty coin :)

Do you think the mythical clot will affect anyone's decision to run NEH?
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Re: Mar28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leaminton

Postby Xenasis » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:07 pm

Chimpster wrote:Do you think the mythical clot will affect anyone's decision to run NEH?


If you ask me, it will murder the types of decks we see these days. Though NEH will still exist, it won't be at its current form (I doubt there'll be any Biotic splashes for example), and indeed, fast advance is significantly worsened.

I think NBN may very easily drop from the best Corp to the worst, but there may be a style of deck like Yellow Jackets with Ash splashes and stuff that keeps NBN at the top tables.
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Re: Mar28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leaminton

Postby Vinegarymink » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:09 pm

We were talking about this during the top 4 when it was pointed out that every person in the top 4 was packing 3 Astroscripts. I think it will make it weaker and therefore less common, given that clot is efficient enough that people will be running it once it's released. Noise in particular gets a big leg up with the release of Clot and I think it'll finally make Djinn a good card.

The more Andrew and I discuss Clot the more we worry that there won't be any good corp decks left once its out. Fast Advance won't be as prominent and that deck is good for the meta, in the sense that it punishes runners who spend too much time faffing about. I'll certainly be looking for NEH alternatives once the card is legal, though the solution might be to continue to run Fast Advance but with more tools for remote scoring.

Chimpster wrote:Another great write up and congratulations on your victory, all hail the mighty coin :)



I don't know why I didn't keep that 2p
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Re: Mar28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leaminton

Postby Cerberus » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:04 pm

Congrats on your win.
Very nice write up and props on giving up your loot, another great demonstration of how cool the community is.
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Re: Mar28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby Sincil Banks » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:41 pm

Well played dude!

I stuck around after being schooled in the elimination section to see how you and Neil played and if I could pick up any tips, not sure I did but it was entertaining watching you two duke it out...

See you in Birmingham at the weekend!

P.S. Date in the title is wrong? :roll:
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Re: Mar28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby Vapo » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:07 pm

Nice write up, glad you did one as I was really struggling to remember what happened in which of our games :)

Re. the final game mulligan debate - it was the lack of breakers or Special Order in hand that was making me ponder it very hard, and it's possible I made the wrong call - while I got a great start, not being able to find a Corroder (Edit: It might have been Yog that game and Corroder earlier?) really hurt in the mid-game. You gotta find your breakers quickly against NEH. Because I'm running a couple of same old thing a single Special Order in an opening hand is potentially a full breaker suite and keeping a hand without one always hurts. Breaker woes were a feature of the day, I don't remember ever having quite so much trouble finding my tools with Andy before. She still did pretty well for a deck not containing any cards newer than Honor and Profit. An entire cycle later and other than the uselessly slow for tournament play Natman I haven't found a single deck I'd rather play.

I should probably have teched up a bit more for the NEH matchup, I was pretty confident Alex and Andrew would be bringing it and were likely to do well but I didn't have any Jon Masanori and was only running 2 RDI (I did the same thing in Evesham last week taking space ice NEH despite knowing Dave would be there with Leela, it's natural predator) Getting to 5-6 points every time against Alex but being unable to close out was pretty frustrating, but at least I did manage one crucial win against NEH vs Andrew in the loser's bracket of the top 4.

Oddly, the Parasites I was packing in Andy proved most useful in my one Blue Sun matchup! I got a Datasucker down early, killed a Datapike that was keeping me off security testing archives and kept up enough tokens that I was able to insta-kill a Hadrian's Wall on R&D to bag the winning agenda.

Grail NEH is an utterly ridiculous deck. Tim had told me it was good but I never quite found the time to try it, and yet having taken 5 minutes to build and getting a grand total of 1 practice game on OCTGN (thanks Sam) it went undefeated on the day. Favourite plays were bagging a merlin kill on turn 2 or 3 and managing to sneak out an undefended Breaking News against Ben to trash his Kati.

If I don't end up getting a regionals bye it's all Sam B's fault, if he hadn't dropped out I'd only have had to come above Ben to bag the bye! Hoping the fact that at least 4 people in Brum next week will already have one is gonna help my chances quite a bit!
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Re: Mar28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby MouseChan » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:52 am

The blue round titles hurts my eyes (could be my colorblindness).

And you won with noise....that alone earns my respect because noise is a super cool awesome guy.

More so you won in the future...which is impressive beyond words :)
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Re: Mar28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby Vinegarymink » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:56 am

NetrunningYork wrote:The blue round titles hurts my eyes (could be my colorblindness).


Yeah they don't look great. I'll change them at some point

More so you won in the future...which is impressive beyond words :)


Oops. I can't believe you were the first to catch that. Edited now
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby MasterAir » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:10 am

About Clot. I want to play with it to be sure, but I think it's great. At the moment I think the stats show NEH (of whatever variety, ToL, Grail, Astrobiotics, Asset Spam) is pretty stupidly OP. I think having a method to stop FA is pretty important right now. I like that other FA decks are better at building a remote than NBN who have invested in FA tech. There's also a good amount of bluff and counter bluff associated with playing with or against Clot. My feeling is that it's good, but not too good.

There are a lot of really competitive, really fun, non NEH decks. I'll be pleased to play them in tournaments without worrying that playing NEH is simply better.

I'm gutted that I didn't make the Tournament, my family is too young to be able to have too many Saturdays to play cards. I'm probably not going to another tournament before regionals. I can 2-0 round 1, that's nearly the same as a bye... I have my nationals ticket though, can't wait.
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby Vinegarymink » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:47 pm

MasterAir wrote:
There are a lot of really competitive, really fun, non NEH decks. I'll be pleased to play them in tournaments without worrying that playing NEH is simply better.



I agree that the issue is that NEH is just head and shoulders above everything else right now, but I do feel like the deck itself receives a bit more ire that it deserves. It is possible that Architect/DBS pushed it a bit too far by giving NEH power over the cards it sees, a problem that particularly manifests itself when some of the cards in your deck are obviously better than the others (Astroscript). It can feel frustrating and unfun before you know how to play against it but once you do it tends to lead to good games. Neil and I had several tight, close games with a decent amount of bluffing and hidden info, because the deck makes a lot of sacrifices to be as fast and consistent as it is (the highest strength piece of ice in my list is Eli at 4).

Of course Neil might disagree in which case my point sort of loses its teeth
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby Vapo » Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:48 pm

No I agree, from my side the games against you (and Andrew) were some of the best games of Netrunner I've played in a long time - against glacier playing with Andy can devolve into sitting on piles of money/suckers and waiting for the killer cards to show up whereas vs NEH you have to be proactive and play what you're dealt and you can't afford to put a foot wrong - every single decision over whether to take a credit or draw a card can be crucial. I felt like I was constantly being stretched to stay in the games but apart from the one game where Sam spewed out 3 Astros in 4 turns I never felt out of contention in any of them and I think I got to match-point and had potentially game winning R&D accesses every time.
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby MasterAir » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:00 pm

I like playing against NBN most of the time. I agree that it's interesting and tense. I don't particularly enjoy playing as NBN, because you don't have the same tension for most of the game. I find winning riding an Astrotrain a massive anticlimax. I think that the fact that 4/4 players in the cut were playing NBN and that fact isn't particularly surprising means that printing a counter to their dominant modus operandi is probably good for the game.

I'm not for one moment suggesting any of you didn't deserve to be there, or that NBN is an autowin button, just that at the moment it's a little too strong.

I disagree with Vapo about Glacier. I think there are good glacier decks where you have to think just as hard to stay in the game. It's just that any deck with 3 astros and a reliable way to score the first is scary as hell, the deckbuilding phase of a glacier deck is much harder.
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby Xenasis » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:06 pm

Vinegarymink wrote:
I agree that the issue is that NEH is just head and shoulders above everything else right now, but I do feel like the deck itself receives a bit more ire that it deserves.


This is why, without NEH in the meta I feel like Corps would be hopeless. My worries stem from the fact that I'm just not sure how glacier decks can win against a field of Valencia, Iain Stirling, Kate, and Stealth Andy. There's a bunch of other stuff too, but if decks don't have to go fast or adapt for much of the field, everything would be a bit too durdly I think.

It may be an overreaction, but if everyone woke up and Astro, SanSan and Biotic were mysteriously missing from their binders, the game would be a lot worse (not because NEH is the perfect example of a Netrunner deck or something) because it forces the game into one where everyone plays Glacier and there are some cards that are currently just too good against that (like Iain Stirling/Valencia + Blackmail). Building Glacier's harder these days because most of the decks you can make are not good, and can result in VERY mechanical games both sides (I stopped playing RP because NEH's skillcap is much higher). Again, as I say, I hope I'm wrong, but I worry for what Corp deck we're supposed to play post-Clot.
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby MasterAir » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:21 pm

You've played GRNDL Xenasis. You know there's a third way, right? I actually think that rushing will be pretty good once Clot exists.

I think Clot will upset the metagame very briefly. There will be a couple of tournaments where nobody is fast advancing anything. Then someone will win a couple of tournaments with FA and everyone will realise it's not nearly as hard a counter as people think. You probably won't win many games without scoring anything from a remote, and I think that's a good thing. When FA comes back, it will need to dedicate 2-3 cards to clear up clots, which will make it less efficient.

You're right, if Biotic, Astro, SanSan were gone, the game would be sad. That isn't happening.

Clot is great because it makes NBN and Criminal worse. At the moment, those two factions are still overrepresented at the top of the pile. There are many reasons to stop playing RP (struggling to get games finished within 30 minutes ranks highly, as does having to play more psi games than the absolute minimum) but I don't think winning with RP is mechanical at all.
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby Xenasis » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:34 pm

MasterAir wrote:You've played GRNDL Xenasis. You know there's a third way, right? I actually think that rushing will be pretty good once Clot exists.


I have, and it simply wasn't good enough. I think the ID's extremely strong (and I think it's better than Blue Sun for Supermodernism) but I'm not sure it can hold up today. A lot of its star ICE like Chimera really falters in a world of Eater and Parasite. It's *very* weak to Keyhole, too.

If it gets more support then maybe, just maybe.

You're right in that decks will have to speed up though, I've been trying a rushy RP deck on OCTGN whose largest ICE is Tsurugi (splashing for Successful Demo, Viper, Markus) and uses Fast Track and that is just okay, but it's, again, mechanical.

MasterAir wrote:
Clot is great because it makes NBN and Criminal worse. At the moment, those two factions are still overrepresented at the top of the pile.


Anarch's better than Criminal right now if you ask me, and Shaper's practically on par with Crim thanks to Lady and Cyber Cypher.

MasterAir wrote:I don't think winning with RP is mechanical at all.


Far more so than NEH. You have a game plan every game with RP (scoring in a remote) and either you execute it or lose. There's a lot more to decide with NEH, and NEH only wants to build a remote in ~50% of its games as a quick example, but there are many others.

Once you know RP, there's not much more to improve on, but I feel the top 10% of NEH is very, very hard to learn.
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby Brendan » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:36 pm

I think that saying no glacier will be viable post-clot is a bit 'sky is falling', but it's hard to disagree with the sentiment. Without a strong fast advance element, it's very hard for glaciers to outpace those runner decks with ridiculous economies would never stand a chance against NEH.

On the other hand, Clot won't be as good as people say. Virus Suite is a real card, and nobody wants to waste an early SMC on fetching Clot just to find an NAPD or Breaking News for their trouble. If it slows down NEH or forces deckslots to anti-virus measures: good. It'll still be a good corp deck. Right now it's head and shoulders above the rest, and I'd really like the chance to play a few Runner cards that pay off in more than three turns down the line. Playing a Noise deck without Cyberfeeder or Wyldside feels so wrong, but is the only way to stand a chance against NEH. I'd like that to change.
Last edited by Brendan on Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby Chimpster » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:38 pm

This strikes me as a little bit alarmist. Of course clot is going to affect the meta but surely you can agree we've seen an inherent laziness in deck building choices over the past 9 months on the corp side.

Do glacier decks have weak match ups? Yes, unquestionably. Does FA in its current form have weak match ups? Not really. Should it have weak match ups? Yes! Is FA doing to be DOA of clot? I don't think so, mainly because not everyone will run it. Tag and bag hardly died in a world of plascrete yet it's important that there is a counter to it in some shape or form.

NEH isn't an 'I win button' I'll grant you but I couldn't disagree more that it's skill cap is higher than RP. RP and glacier decks need an intimate knowledge of what can be played at any given moment, whether you have a valid scoring window, whether you risk econ assets early doors. Astro Biotics can be virtually scripted - do you have enough money and the right cards to astro biotic? Keep drawing! Obviously that's a gross over simplification but at its core, astrobiotics has a very clear game plan with very little deviation beyond when to risk a fast track.

Saying that glacier is the only alternative to FA is also wrong I feel. Tag and bag, punitive sheningans, PE fun and games, tag storms etc are all perfectly valid corp decks that could edge into being top tier lists with a little love (and with a counter to FA, THE current top tier deck).

It's going to be swings and roundabouts. No one packs FA so everyone drops clot so someone goes back to FA... etc Happens with scorch decks all the time.
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby MasterAir » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:54 pm

Xenasis wrote:You have a game plan every game with RP (scoring in a remote) and either you execute it or lose.


That's undoubtably true. If you don't have an FA strategy you can only score in remotes. But there's a lot more to it than that, as I think you know. It's about pacing, finding and exploiting scoring windows. Trying to read what answers the runner has by understanding their deck. Figuring out whether they'll let you have your drip econ and how much you need to force that particular issue. Are you happy to use them as a tax, do you actually need to make one or more stick? When to use Jackson Howard. How to use Jackson Howard. I think you're selling glacier players very short.

Xenasis wrote:Anarch's better than Criminal right now if you ask me, and Shaper's practically on par with Crim thanks to Lady and Cyber Cypher.


I think it's pretty even. Criminal still has desperado which is the best console in the game by such a huge margin it isn't funny. They also have Faerie, probably the best/most important Icebreaker. Criminal wins a lot of tournaments. I think not being able to effectively play clot is a good way to make Criminal slightly weaker.

Xenasis wrote:I have, and it simply wasn't good enough.

It's not currently as good as NBN Fast Advance (but might be in a world without Plascrete Carapace). Clot is just a plascrete that protects against fast advance instead of meat damage. If people start faffing around playing a long game because they aren't racing NEH, then GRNDL gets a lot better. The runners econ probably won't be fast enough to keep up.
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby Vinegarymink » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:03 pm

Xenasis is aware that any discussion about skill cap is all relative - by the nature of its clicks system Netrunner is a very decision intensive game, and of course decks won't just make all the decisions for you. His point is that there are less decisions to be made with RP and I agree. With RP you have one plan, and all of your decisions revolve around how to execute that plan in the most efficient way possible. Whilst NEH and Fast Advance in general does have a very obvious plan a, there are still a ton of decisions to be made about different options and different lines of play - good runners just won't let you execute your plan that easily. I've also played a lot of RP, and I'm not suggesting that it played on autopilot - I had lots of good games with it.

The problem that the two of us are anticipating isn't so much that all corps will just be crap post clot, but more that we may well be heading towards a meta with a very pronounced rock-paper-scissors element, in which every viable corp deck faces at least one strategy that's a hard counter to it:

NEH - decks packing clot and clot recursion, backed up by multiaccess
Glacier - Valencia bad pub recursion/big rig shaper with Kati and ProCon
Rush - PPVP shaper with SMCs and powerful draw events
PE Shell Game - Any deck with Keyhole in

This kind of metagame may well end up with people finishing their tournament rounds feeling very salty about who they got paired against.

And whilst the corps will be able to react to these strategies (Cyberdex in NEH for example) this makes them inherently weaker as they're forced to cut consistent cards for situational ones. You'll almost certainly end up in a situation where the corps try to react too much and someone just shows up with an aggressive Andy decks and takes the tournament.

Note I might be over representing this threat, and it isn't something that seriously worries me in the grand scheme of things. Pretty much every game of Netrunner has plenty of opportunities for both players to outplay each other. It's just something the two of us have been discussing and anticipating.
Of course the good thing about prophesying doom and gloom is that you're very happy to be wrong.
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby MasterAir » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:34 pm

I think what you're describing is a healthy metagame. You can't build decks that are hard counters to another sort of deck unless you're sure that deck is all you're going to play. I think clot makes 'which is the best corp deck?' a more interesting debate. That's got to be a good thing. I think NEH fast advance (some variety thereof) is still very much a contender in that debate, even in the presence of Clot.

If you include 2-3 Clots in your deck (and plan to use SMC/Clone Chip to find them) then you've weakened your runner deck against the non fast advance portion of the field. Exactly the same as the corp deck running Cyberdex Suite to counter the Clots. Medium is the best current tool against NBN anyway, it's not as if the Virus Suite is a bad card in the current O&C metagame.

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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby Chimpster » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:34 pm

You make it sound like a bad thing! Corp and runner diversity is not random and it most certainly isn't unhealthy! I for one welcome the world of netrunner rock paper scissors!
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby Vinegarymink » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:40 pm

I think generally a good metagame is a rock-paper-scissors one. The worry I was trying to express is that it might be too extreme, which is what can happen if the hate cards are too powerful.
To take it to its extreme - if they made a 2/1 agenda that said 'this card is worth 7 points when scored against a criminal identity' that would create a rock paper scissors meta, but I'm sure we can all agree that that card would be really bad for the game.

The potential issue is that these runner decks won't have to give up very much to pack these hate cards - MaxX can include 2 copies of Clot and call it a day, Noise only really needs the 1. Keyhole decks are brutal against PE but have game against everything else. If these runner decks were more extreme and had to concede matchups elsewhere it would be less of an issue.
Again, I too am still optimistic - I trust the designers of this game and don't really expect them to suddenly drop the ball on this one. At most I expect what I discuss to be no worse than the current 'corp is too good' issue that people have with the game.
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby Xenasis » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:36 pm

Brendan wrote:I think that saying no glacier will be viable post-clot is a bit 'sky is falling', but it's hard to disagree with the sentiment. Without a strong fast advance element, it's very hard for glaciers to outpace those runner decks with ridiculous economies would never stand a chance against NEH.


Yeah, agreed: I know my claim sounds alarmist because it is, and I know it won't be the case that everything is shit post Clot, but it (initially) seems that way and I want to find the 'answer', somewhat. Like MasterAir, I'm of the opinion that rushy Corp decks are (probably!) the way to go (and that speeding up glacier is very wise).

It's hard to explain, but I guess I'm feeling some form of doomed optimism: it's looking like all Corps will be bad post Clot, though I know that's most certainly not going to be the case in actual reality, and I'm interested in finding a list that stands up tall post-Clot.
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Re: Feb28 Leamington Spa SC 1/16: Flipping Out in Leamington

Postby mendax » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:44 pm

NEH will still be fine post-clot. Hell, even astro-biotics will probably still be fine. The problem with clot is that it completely annihilates some more interesting tier 1.5/tier 2 decks.

Regarding ranking the runner factions, I still think it goes crim > Shaper > Anarch, though the gap is much smaller now (and there are good anarch builds that aren't Noise).

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