Kaiwen Zhang
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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After ranking 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 2nd in previous store championships, I finally managed to win one

We had 14 players, coming from Cambridge, Hamilton, GTA, and Whitby. We played 4 rounds of swiss.

I am running Gabriel and Making News.

Game 1: vs. Anne (Weyland BaBW, Shaper Kate)

Anne is a new player who was playing with core set decks. The runner game was uneventful, the lack of ice prevented her from defending her servers properly. Likewise for the corp game, where my taxing ices proved too expensive for Crypsis.

4 Prestige (2-0)

Game 2: vs. Shomar (HB Next Design, Criminal Gabe)

I played against Shomar many times before but he switched his decks before this tournament. During the corp game, I was able to rez many pieces of ices, and then midseason him. The interesting thing is that I didn't pump the trace. He opted to spend 8 to beat the trace, but I felt like it was a big tempo hit because it brought him down to ~1 credit, with no easy way to make those credits back by running. Had he taken the tags instead, I would have used closed accounts so either way he would be low. His recovery was via Kati, but I scored a breaking news and killed it when it had 9 credits. This brought my credits very low but I was able to recover and score agendas behind a big remote. A bit of an unusual game since I didn't need to fast-advance much.

During the runner game, my strategy is to run on click 1-2 to safely facecheck bioroids. I get stopped early by a caduceus on HQ, which forced me to install Garrote earlier than I would like to. I whiffed my first siphon because he rezzed an Adonis, but got my second one down by not breaking his caduceus credits trace. Eventually I get up to 5 points with RDI installed, but runs on R&D are extremely costly. One problem I faced is I didn't draw Sneakdoor at all so I couldn't check his hand very well (he had Viktor 2.0 on top of Caduceus, expensive for Gordian). He installs an agenda and double-advance it behind an BioEff Heimdall 1.0. Now the problem is that the only way I can run that is to take the brain damage from Heimdall, but I know he has cerebral overwriter in his deck since I saw one, so I would flatline from that. Turned out to be a PriReq, which puts him at 5 points. On the last turn of the game (went to time), I end up doing a YOLO run on R&D, letting Ichi 2.0 trash all my stuff and found an agenda. Very tight finish!

8 Prestige (4-0)

Game 3: vs. Bill (NBN TWIY*, Criminal Gabe)

Bill is another player I am really familiar with, but he said he changed his corp deck. During the corp game, he installs sneakdoor, runs my hand, runs r&d, and installs Armitage. He scores the beale from hand. This proves costly since I midseason him for 8 tags. After that, I was able to stabilize the game by installing 2 layers of ices of all centrals + 1 remote, while closing his account twice. I was then able to score agendas behind my remote (which included 1x Hive, which is a nightmare to deal with for Knight!). I was even able to score a Restructured Datapool, which is uncommon.

Bill used to run a Scorched Earth NBN deck, so I was careful at first. However, on the first turn I accessed Anonymous tip from R&D, so I knew right away he was playing Astrobiotics and became more aggressive. He did a questionable move which was to biotic a Beale, which left him with around ~1 credit. Once he did that, I took advantage and ran his R&D and sneakdoor HQ and he wasn't able to recover from that.

12 Prestige (6-0)

Game 4: vs. Trent (NBN Making News, Shaper Kit)

Corp game, Trent plays a very interesting Kit deck with datasuckers, a full anarch rig, and torch. I was agenda screwed the whole and wasn't able to stabilize my centrals due to Kit's innate. He quickly found all the agendas he needed to win. My starting hand was a bit questionable. I had 2 hedge funds and 1 sweek, 1 agenda and 1 corporate shuffle. I thougth I would be ok if I played all the money cards then shuffle on turn 2. I think I should have mulligan the hand.

Runner game, Trent once again plays a very interesting NBN which flatlines using Shinobi. His first HQ ice is Data Raven, which signals flatlining intentions. He tries to push two agendas through a single bastion, but I inside job it twice to get a 4-0 lead. Eventually he uses MSR and forces me into tagme. At that point I just start to go crazy on siphons since he still only has data raven on HQ. With RDI, I lock him out and score the necessary points. I kept him at very low amounts of money, but if he was able to rez Shinobi, I could have died right there (I didn't know he had that card in his deck of course).

14 Prestige (7-1)

Overall, it was fun and the store staff was friendly and knowledgeable (played the TO during the plugged-in tour). I am glad to have won because it means I can finally retire my NBN deck!

NBN Choke (49 cards)

NBN: Making News

Agenda (11)
3 AstroScript Pilot Program
3 Breaking News
1 NAPD Contract
3 Project Beale
1 Restructured Datapool

Asset (3)
3 Jackson Howard

Upgrade (5)
2 Ash 2X3ZB9CY
3 SanSan City Grid

Operation (15)
2 Closed Accounts
1 Corporate Shuffle
3 Hedge Fund
2 Midseason Replacements
1 Psychographics
3 Restructure
3 Sweeps Week

Barrier (5)
3 Eli 1.0
2 Hive

Code Gate (5)
2 Pop-up Window
3 Viper

Sentry (5)
3 Draco
1 Grim
1 Rototurret

My NBN deck is based on denying the runner early money to setup their rig. Cards like MSR and Breaking news are important to ensure the runner has no money or is unable to install key resources (ProCon, Kati). At the same time, the threat of NBN fast-advance means that the runner has to waste clicks early to check everything, meaning they have less time to install. Once I've stabilized my centrals with taxing ices (Eli, Viper), I can start working on my Astroscript train. Hive is an awesome remote ice because it is so costly that they likely don't have enough money to trash SanSan or Ash.

Gabe the Douchebag (45 cards)

Gabriel Santiago: Consummate Professional

Event (19)
3 Account Siphon
2 Easy Mark
3 Emergency Shutdown
1 Hostage
2 Inside Job
1 Lucky Find
3 Special Order
1 Stimhack
3 Sure Gamble

Hardware (8)
3 Desperado
3 Plascrete Carapace
2 R&D Interface

Resource (5)
1 Kati Jones
1 Mr. Li
3 Same Old Thing

Icebreaker (8)
2 Corroder
3 Faerie
1 Garrote
1 Gordian Blade
1 Yog.0

Program (5)
3 Savoir-faire
2 Sneakdoor Beta

My criminal is very aggressive and high-tempo deck. It tries to make the corp rez as many ices as possible so they cannot set-up their win condition. Savoir-faire is very good at getting ices rezzed by not hinting what breakers you have. One thing I had to learn is how to play criminal without depending on Siphon. It is still an excellent card, but good corps always ice their HQ heavily. As a result, Desperado has now become the #1 card in my deck. It is the one that's most important to have early on. The deck needs to be flexible because of the large amount of ices rezzed due to aggressive runs, which is why I include both Yog and Gordian blade. I depend on HQ runs for economy, so running Yog.0 is nice when there are popups. The deck is capable of going tagme since it runs very few resources. I originally ran Indexing, but I expect the meta to become upgrade-heavy due to Caprice which is really bad for it (can't access upgrades during indexing), so I switched to RDI and used the spare influences for lucky find, which is a great card. Garrote is a late addition as well, but a necessary one to combat Grim and Archer which are really damaging for a deck with no recursion. Finally I added Stimhack which combos really well with Savoir-faire. It also gives me a late game boost when I need to get through a heavily defended R&D to seal the win. Also nice to have that option with Same Old Thing.
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