9/5/15 Oxford Regionals Report, Second Place

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Xenasis
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9/5/15 Oxford Regionals Report, Second Place

Postby Xenasis » Tue May 19, 2015 12:01 pm

Oxford Regionals Report 9/5/15, Second Place

Sets were legal up to and including Breaker Bay.

It's a while before the regional happened, but I wanted to write this up anyway. Great day, well ran tournament, and I had a lot of fun. Travelling down with Sam Pay early in the morning was kind of ironic: neither of us expected to be playing in the finals.

I apologise in advance if I get anybody's names wrong. Names aren't my strong suit but I can remember your faces!

The decks I took were the two decks I consider to be best right now, RP and Kate. I've not had a massive heap of time to test due to revision, so I just stuck with what I knew. The lists aren't anything too crazy but I'll go over both.

The Kate deck:

Count Wongula (45 cards)

Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker

Event (21)
3 Diesel
3 Dirty Laundry
2 Legwork ••••
1 Levy AR Lab Access
3 Lucky Find ••••• •
2 Scavenge
3 Sure Gamble
3 The Maker's Eye
1 Vamp ••

Hardware (8)
2 Astrolabe
3 Clone Chip
3 Prepaid VoicePAD

Resource (5)
3 Professional Contacts
2 Same Old Thing

Icebreaker (7)
1 Atman
2 Cerberus "Lady" H1
1 Cyber-Cypher
1 Mimic •
1 Sharpshooter
1 ZU.13 Key Master

Program (4)
1 Clot ••
3 Self-modifying Code

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

Count Wongula! The (horrible) joke is because it's playing Clot and Vamp and also has lots of money. The only points of contention here are really the ProCo and the Vamp. ProCo I feel is better suited than QT to the glaciery metagame we're in, and I have a Clot to (supposedly) deal with fast advance. I'd be more sceptical about playing ProCo if I wasn't playing Clot, but I feel like one should slot the clot, there's still NEH around.

The other weird decision is Vamp. I chose Vamp because it's your best shot against RP. They can't win psi games with 0 credits! It's pretty solid around the board, too, and can really make Blue Sun and similar decks unhappy. Either way, the tech is there for RP because I think RP is the best Corp right now, and the matchup is greatly improved with Vamp. One might note that there's no Parasite in this list, which warrants the second Scavenge for NEXT Silver. It's a sceptical exclude, though I do wholeheartedly believe that there's no better card to cut and that cutting it gives me a better overall winrate.

Anyway, onto RP:

Daily Blacklist Camp (49 cards)

Jinteki: Replicating Perfection

Agenda (8)
1 Hades Fragment
1 NAPD Contract
3 Nisei MK II
3 The Future Perfect

Asset (12)
1 Blacklist •
1 Daily Business Show •
1 Executive Boot Camp •
3 Jackson Howard •••
3 Mental Health Clinic
3 Sundew

Upgrade (4)
1 Ash 2X3ZB9CY ••
3 Caprice Nisei

Operation (7)
3 Celebrity Gift
3 Hedge Fund
1 Interns

Barrier (4)
3 Eli 1.0 •••
1 Himitsu-Bako

Code Gate (8)
1 Crick
3 Enigma
2 Lotus Field
2 Tollbooth ••••

Sentry (6)
1 Cortex Lock
3 Pup
1 Susanoo-No-Mikoto
1 Tsurugi

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

There are a few interesting things about this list, namely the 8 agendas and the EBC. EBC was a card I've been testing a bit before Blacklist came out, as a fourth Sundew whilst having the added benefit of being good against Valencia. Blacklist coming out made the splash a lot better, and players other than me came to the same conclusion of Blacklist + EBC + DBS which made me feel happier about my decision. Ash is there because a fourth upgrade is useful, and three Enigmas mean you can turn up the pace if the game feels like it. Enigma truly is the best rushing ICE in the game. Crick was a very nice include but I'd not go to more than one. There are games in testing where it's the only ICE you see or something and you can't protect your servers early on. Cortex Lock is the dodgiest card in the whole list, but there's nothing really to cut it for. It should probably just be a second Tsurugi but it's so so hard to say.

Cutting down to 8 agendas was a hard decision, but it was that or cutting Interns, the Cortex Lock (which would bring me down to the dodgy number of 17 ICE), or something from the Asset suite. I opted for the agenda after seeing some maths that showed it was pretty resilient to accesses, and that was mainly all I needed to know. It doesn't need to be Hades in that spot, and could be any 5/3, and is maybe better as PriReq, but Hades has a small upside with EBC amongst other things. Other than that, the list's nothing too wild. It's RP Glacier, and everybody knows how that works and why the cards in it are good.

RD 1 = Seb Atay (Leela and ETF)

So round one begins, and we immediately get a crowd of those who have a round one bye. I've heard tales of Seb from Neil, Tim Fowler and various other sources, but it was the first time I'd played him in person. He was even wearing his trademark onesie, which I'm sure must be the source of his power. Either way, not an easy start to the day.

First game: My RP vs his Leela

Started off with the easy side because the other side mightn't have been so easy. I got my Sundews rolling early on (I'm pretty sure I popped an EBC for one of them but I forget), and seeing Cortex Lock against its best matchup was fantastic. I placed it firmly over HQ, excited for the prospect of early damage, but Seb respected its threat and held off running until he had a Faerie or two. A well timed Legwork got an NAPD and my previously double-advanced Nisei, but that certainly didn't stop me.

I was rolling in the Sundew money, though, and it was just a case of using it to rez things. I rezzed the same Tollbooth twice, another on R&D, and a Susan somewhere else. Sheesh. I started scoring my own Niseis to the tune of Seb throwing up as a free action each time I scored a Nisei. At that point, the game was over and I ended it with a Future Perfect.

Second game: My Kate vs his ETF

Not a great matchup, ETF can be one of Kate's harder ones with pesky NEXT Silvers and 6 campaigns. If I recall, Seb wasn't playing the NEXT, but he was playing the 6 campaigns. I got a bit too aggressive early on, and wasted money getting some unfruitful accesses. I did get a few cheeky, one-credit Legworks onto HQ but not enough to seal the game. I can battle these sorts of decks for money, but I didn't take that line. His second score was a PriReq which also forced a lot of money spent on getting in his remote to check the face downs, and because I didn't spend enough of the early game building my board state, it was absolutely crushing to have to do this.

A Caprice on the remote sealed the game for Seb, I ended on 4 points.

1-1 after the first round.

RD 2 = Stuart Hume (Iain and PE)

First game: My RP vs his Iain

The name Iain strikes fear into those of us from Birmingham, but I remained unperturbed! I know how to play against Iain, build up money and make sure you don't take over him in agenda points unless you're going to score out your agendas in the next few turns. Fortunately for me, he scored an NAPD early on so I could retort with my own Nisei. After that, I let two Sundews tick over throughout the game until I felt like scoring my next Nisei and Future Perfect in succession to minimise Iain money.

Second game: My Kate vs his PE

Well. I wasn't packing Deus X. A slip up in this game would cost me the game. I know how to play against PE though, and I kep. Vamp was a bit of a help here as, naturally, you can't fire Cerebral Overwriters with 0 credits. He Sweeps Weeked turn one and I trashed two Overwriters throughout the game so I roughly knew the shell of his deck. He probably wasn't playing Scorch but I played around it anyway. I got hit with a 5 net damage Philotic but I knew to play around it. I ran unadvanced remotes and kept my hand at five and there wasn't really a way I could lose.

3-1 after the second round.

Rd 3 = Pete (Noise and Blue Sun)

First game: my Kate against his Blue Sun

He scores a Takeover early on, so I knew I had a pretty good chance of winning this game. Supermodernism style Blue Sun has a very bad matchup against my Kate deck. I Vamp him down to 0 after gladly letting him score an Atlas on top of the HoTay, and from there it was game over. Supermodernism decks need to have more money than you to be good. He tries a double Curtain Wall later on in the game, but I run through it and destroy both with my dog. After the Vamp, he had no way of winning and I eventually find the game in R&D as he's unable to score and stuck clicking for credits all game.

Second game: my RP against his Noise

Not a great matchup. It got a bit better, but not as much as one might think: I'm not running ELP and Noise is still one of the hardest runners to face, and it's middling at its easiest. This game was really weird, as I get slightly flooded early on which turns out to be really good for me, even though he managed to nab a few points early. I slap a Lotus Field on HQ and start scoring out behind (I think, but I forgot) another Lotus Field. I distinctly remember one point in the game where I counted my agendas and there were none left in R&D, so I happily let him Medium away whilst I scored out my agendas.

5-1 after the third round.

Rd 4 = Laurie Poulter (Kate and ETF)

Laurie's a great guy, and this is the first time I'd played him in a round of Swiss. We both talked a lot throughout the day and Laurie's a fantastic player, and one of the best in the UK if you ask me. Wasn't going to be an easy round. Laurie took second at Sheffield and first at Edinburgh as of writing this, and he really deserves it. For those of you who don't know, Laurie's embarked upon a somewhat crazy quest to attend every UK regional. Fantastic player and all around nice guy. Was expecting to drop at least one game going into this round.

First game: my Kate against his ETF:

I knew his ETF was based loosely on the HB rush deck that Alex and I played at the SSCI, but he was using NEXT ICE and Crisium Grids, which were both pretty annoying for Kate to deal with. Bear in mind that I'm not running Parasite, so NEXT Silver is especially awkward. He gets a bit flooded, so I find the points in his hand with the aid of a Legwork or two. This wasn't a super exciting game, nothing special happened, really.

Second game: my RP against his Kate

It's a matchup I'm very confident in, and my opening hand seems pretty good. However, the agendas start flooding in. It was one of those games where you have 5 agendas in hand, draw one for turn, then first click draw another. He gets 5 points through I think a Legwork (or some other sorcery, I forgot). I eventually found an EBC to fetch a Jackson, who found another. The second Jackson was placed in my scoring remote. After I didn't rez it as a Sundew, MHC or DBS, Laurie was... very sceptical of my second Jackson, thinking it was a Chronos Project. He spent a lot of effort getting in and practically kicked himself when he found out his mistake. He was also packing Vamp, like myself, to help against RP, and that was a concern. Despite the flood, I manage to get out a Nisei, but a few Maker's Eyes on R&D seal the game once I shuffle the agendas back into R&D.

6-2 after the fourth round.

Rd 5 = Sean Terry (Supplier Andy and RP)

First game was against Andromeda with Mr. Phones and The Supplier. A slow deck, and something that builds up money fast lategame, and I have to respect its lategame potency. I use the deck's slow start to rock out a Sundew whilst I protect my centrals, with an MHC ticking that he doesn't kill. I build a scoring server of Enigma, Enigma Caprice (or was it Ash? I forgot) and score the game out from there once I had enough money.

Second game was my Kate against his RP. Matchup I'm extremely confident with. I shut down his MHCs and land an opportune Vamp, and he spends much of the game clicking for credits and not being able to rez ICE. Not a particularly exciting game, he didn't see much econ and I Vamped him.

8-2 after the fifth round.

Rd 6 = Chris Dyer (Noise and Grail NEH)

Before this round, I remember Sam Pay coming up to me and exclaiming "The dream is real!", as he 2-0'd his last round. He needs to secure another 2-0 this round to get a shot at top 8.

First game: my Kate against his NEH

Woah Nelly, NEH. A brave choice post-Clot, but it's one that did well for James N throughout the day, leading him to an impressive 11-1. It's certainly a strong deck still, and I need to respect it. This was only my second game against fast advance NEH with Clot in my deck, and a tournament, no less. The other knocked me out at Manchester, due to a grave deal of pilot errors on my side. Was hoping not to have a repeat of that. I quickly learn he's playing Grail as I get out a Zu and plop down a Sharpshooter that I drew to deal with any Lancelots I find. I was struggling for money early on but finding plenty of programs and Clone Chips, so I discarded my two Ladies. That's when he rezzes Blacklist behind a Galahad. Oh. Well. A Wraparound on R&D and a Galahad on HQ mean I just locked myself out of the game. The game ends pretty quickly after that. I should have played around Blacklist but I guess I played a bit greedily. It's not like I'm unaware the card exists, I'm playing one myself!

Second game: my RP against his Noise

This is a tough matchup, as mentioned earlier, and I know that I probably need to win this to make the cut. Losing the first game, but not losing heard, I tried to play as best I could! A Crick over archives early was a pain for Noise to deal with, and prevents lots of intermittent accesses to archives. Noise puts on the pressure and Chris drops Paige and the "Pancake Combo" of Wyldside + Adjusted Chronotype. I try and score out behind I think a Susan (though it could have been something else), but he manages to find 5 points of his own. I manage to see the last agenda with a DBS, and with no agendas in hand and a well protected R&D, I scored out a Nisei for the win. Winning that game was a relief, since I lost the matchup I was meant to win and won the matchup I was meant to lose, assuring me a place in the cut.

9-3 after the sixth round. Just enough to make the cut (to top 8).

DE1 vs Laurie Poulter (Kate)

Very glad to see Laurie also in the cut, but it's unfortunate we're playing each other! On top of that, Sam Pay won his last round, meaning he's in the cut, along with a few other high profile players.

I pick RP, as I'm more confident playing that matchup, even though he's playing Vamp and beat me in Swiss. The game begins with him getting an early ProCo and econ, which I retorted with a Sundew and some economy of my own. He landed a badly timed Vamp which did more harm than good, and allowed me to kill his ProCo and didn't net him an agenda. After that, I slapped down a Blacklist protected by a Lotus Field whilst two of his SMCs were in the bin and his CyCy occupied. It proves effective, and he can't find an answer in time. He spends about three turns of tempo trying to kill it, leaving me plenty of room to score out.

DE2 vs James Nowecki (NEH)

Second game was against James, a fantastic player who managed to get a 11-1 record in Swiss, 6 of those being Corp side, I think.

So, we'd both Corped, so we rolled off to see who would pick the side, which is kind of unfortunate because I didn't want the hard decision! I pick Kate, which felt riskier than it sounds, as my only two matches vs NEH Post-Clot (other than a stupid game on OCTGN against NEARPAD which doesn't count) have been losses, when I know it's a matchup with an extremely high winrate if I don't make stupid pilot errors like the last two times. Either way, it felt more intimidating than it should have done due to my past mistakes, and relative lack of understanding in the matchup.

I mulligan a hand of garbage into a pretty decent hand that has a Dirty Laundry and an Astrolabe, welcome sights early game, especially Astrolabe versus NEH. I maintain board presence and play my ProCo when I see it as I had a SMC on the table to threaten Clot. He scored a Beale out early on before I could get out the Clot pressure, but after that, he couldn't score so I just picked the points out of centrals. Phew. Not only was this a nice win to continue getting through the top 8, it also was relieving to beat a NEH deck in a tournament! Third time lucky, as they say.

DE3 vs Sam Pay (Kate)

Sam also won his past two games, so it was up to us two to play off for a shot in the finals. I picked RP over Kate, despite his choices being Kate and NEH, because I was still uneasy about the NEH matchup and I'm very, very comfortable with RP vs Kate. I establish an extremely mean board presence early on, whilst he drops his ProCo and a Datasucker, which was an interesting include, but it works. I drop a remote early doors to later protect a Sundew, which I follow up the turn later with ICE (a new remote) Sundew Sundew. This was the mistake that lost me the game. With but three cards left in hand, I got very very greedy to try and go for two Sundews, and a Legwork scores 2x Nisei MK II and trashes the Caprice Nisei in my hand. Ow. That was obviously pretty bad for me, as I wanted to score them! He was pretty poor after that after faceplanting two Tollbooths and after seeing an Ash I decided to start scoring in the Tollboothed remote. Hades Fragment in the remote, which I assumed he thought was the Future Perfect he lost the psi game of earlier. I score it out no worries (and only use the effect once the whole game because I forgot), and try to follow it with one of the two Future Perfects that were occupying my hand. I succeed, making it 6 to 4 on my end. It doesn't matter really, though, as none of them were Niseis. Before I could attempt to score the Future Perfect in my HQ, he Maker's Eyes with an RDI out and sees Nisei -> Future Perfect and wins the psi game. I bid one like I did last time, which was an obvious bid which was why I didn't think he'd bid it.

DE4 vs Laurie Poulter (ETF)

Laurie again! After two games as Corp, it falls on me to run once more. His ETF deck isn't a great matchup for me, but my opening hand is pretty sweet, and I Prepaid, Sure Gamble, and Dirty Laundry right into an unprotected Gila Hands expecting to be trashing an Adonis instead. After that point, the game wasn't all that exciting, I just kept a money lead and he couldn't match it, so he couldn't score and I found the game in centrals. Sucks to knock Laurie out, he played very well the entire day, and I'm glad to see him go on to win at Edinburgh.

DE5 (GRAND FINAL) vs Sam Pay (NEH)

The final. Damn. Neither of us were expecting to get here. I needed to win two games, and he needed to win one, so he had the upper hand and I'd have been surprised if I could take a 2-0 here.

We decide to play the Kate vs NEH matchup first. NEH is still a bit intimidating when I'm playing Clot Shaper, because of my past mess ups, but I know I can pull it out if I play well enough. He begins with an install, Sweeps, install over HQ. I take a Breaking News off the top with a Dirty Laundry, and go back in to see a Nebula. At least I see his game-plan now, and I know what his Trick is. He scores out a Beale behind a Mother Goddess which I facecheck late in the turn; amusingly I had an Atman ready to answer the Mother Goddess in my hand. He scores a Beale out, so I continue to decelop my board presence and check his centrals. I eventually install the Atman after he places a card behind the Mother Goddess again, and it's a CVS so I trash it. Installing it here may have been one of my biggest mistakes, as it hurt my economy a lot, and I wasn't as rich as I normally was.

He installs over his HQ ICE and double advances it, but is left with only two credits, so I Legwork, and he doesn't rez, and I assume it's the Nebula I saw earlier. The ICE on R&D turns out to be a Wormhole, but I used my SMC getting Clot so my only Code Gate breaker for now is a Zu. Not something I want to be breaking often, especially as my economy wasn't so good that game, especially after trashing Blacklists and SanSans. He scores an Astro and another Beale with his two Trick of Lights after dealing with my Clot, which he Jacksons back in. I finally found a Clone Chip so I futilely recur Clot once more for it to be purged again. He purges, and I draw my Vamp. Knowing I've lost if I don't play it, I've a Sharpshooter on the board and I'm still thinking it was a Nebula. It wasn't, it was a Wormhole. I knew I'd lost, and his turn was install, Trick, advance, Astro token, to seal the game with an NAPD.

Very happy to have finished second. Would have preferred first, but I really can't complain: I didn't play well enough to deserve first that day, and Sam did. Fantastic tournament, extremely well ran, and a great day out. I got on the train with Sam and Ben Tate for Birmingham, and we talked over our games. Thanks for reading, anyone that got this far. I enjoyed myself a lot, and had a great day.
Last edited by Xenasis on Wed May 20, 2015 4:46 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 9/5/15 Oxford Regionals Report, Second Place

Postby Chimpster » Tue May 19, 2015 12:21 pm

Great report, sounds like a lot of back and forth in the later games - really looking forward to Nationals :D
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Sixtyten
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Re: 9/5/15 Oxford Regionals Report, Second Place

Postby Sixtyten » Tue May 19, 2015 1:10 pm

Count Wongula is an amazing name for a deck. Nice report, just to say I believe you played Chris Dyer in round 6...
MOON MONEY!
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Xenasis
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Re: 9/5/15 Oxford Regionals Report, Second Place

Postby Xenasis » Tue May 19, 2015 1:13 pm

Sixtyten wrote:I believe you played Chris Dyer in round 6...



Woops. You're right, mental slip. Fixed now!
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Re: 9/5/15 Oxford Regionals Report, Second Place

Postby Vinegarymink » Wed May 20, 2015 4:12 am

I'd just like everyone to know that I came up with the name Count Wongula.

Andrew and I have this good thing going where he builds or tweaks good decks for us to play, and then I think of names for them.
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Xenasis
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Re: 9/5/15 Oxford Regionals Report, Second Place

Postby Xenasis » Wed May 20, 2015 10:13 am

Vinegarymink wrote:Andrew and I have this good thing going where he builds or tweaks good decks for us to play, and then I think of names for them.


Thinking up a name is the hard bit, though!
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Re: 9/5/15 Oxford Regionals Report, Second Place

Postby ApeAsylum » Wed May 20, 2015 10:30 am

great report Andrew! yes it was a strange twist of fate the were both on the train together and hung out chatting decks and tactics. I still have nightmares about loosing that last psi game in the winners Semi lol. If i had lost that i think you would have been able to pull it back :D

*i actually won the game with a Makers eye run with an RDI out. I scored the last Nesei MkII and then i saw the last FP and won the psi game.
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Re: 9/5/15 Oxford Regionals Report, Second Place

Postby Cerberus » Wed May 20, 2015 12:08 pm

Andrew, I just wanted to say congratulations on doing so well during regional season.
I know a lot of people will say, it's Kate and RP, and while there is no question those identities are strong, a deck can be significantly stronger based on a few cards changes and many players don't realise this. You've made a few changes to an established deck archetype and made some big improvements and you deserve a lot of credit for that. It is deck building talent like that (along with your great playing skill) which will mean you keep winning. Good work!
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Re: 9/5/15 Oxford Regionals Report, Second Place

Postby Panda with issues... » Wed May 20, 2015 1:26 pm

Cerberus wrote:Andrew, I just wanted to say congratulations on doing so well during regional season.
I know a lot of people will say, it's Kate and RP, and while there is no question those identities are strong, a deck can be significantly stronger based on a few cards changes and many players don't realise this. You've made a few changes to an established deck archetype and made some big improvements and you deserve a lot of credit for that. It is deck building talent like that (along with your great playing skill) which will mean you keep winning. Good work!


Here here!

Anyone that says 'it's just Kate and RP' does Xenasis a disservice to his play skill. We've only had the chance to play once, but I can honestly say he's the fastest player I've played against, but is ALWAYS very clear about what he's doing whilst playing, which from an opponent's perspective is much appreciated. He was the only person to beat my NEH deck on the day, and did it the old fashioned way with perfect TMEs and Legwork, rather than needing clot.

I may not agree with all your deck building decisions (or even a lot of them, for example your insistence on playing Zu punished you when you were staring down the barrel of ApeAsylum's double wormhole over centrals in the final at Oxford) but they're obviously working for you. The refusal to sit back and stop iterating decks is what lets people squeeze the last little bit of juice out of deck archetypes, as well as keeping them up to date with the changing metagame, which does you great credit. There are multiple ways to build similar decks without being a 'right' or 'wrong' way; certain posters (who I won't bother to name) on the Stimhack forums refuse to countenance any changes made to their 'holy' deck lists, and are all the poorer for it.

The field at Oxford was extremely strong and to finish second there was a huge achievement. To finish consistently in the cut in all the regionals you've been to is monumental, showing you are a player to be feared!

Hopefully we'll get the chance to play again at nationals!
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Re: 9/5/15 Oxford Regionals Report, Second Place

Postby Xenasis » Wed May 20, 2015 3:51 pm

Thanks for the kind words guys, it really does mean a lot!

Hope to see you both at Nationals!
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Re: 9/5/15 Oxford Regionals Report, Second Place

Postby Vinegarymink » Thu May 21, 2015 1:20 pm

Just like to weigh in and say that one thing people might not know about Xenasis is how quickly he became the formidable player you know today. Him and I started playing against each other roughly a year ago when he was playing with unsleeved cards and splashed Easy Mark. He listened when I gave him advice, and I'm sure there are a lot of computer scientists who would scoff at the idea of having a philosophy/law student teach them about card games. I'm not taking credit for his success, and since then he's taught me just as much as I taught him. I'd have never won a regional if it hadn't been for our endless games against each other.

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