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Subject: Tournament Report, Pastimes, Niles IL, March 30 rss

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Derrick Billings
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I was playing Cerebral Imaging and Chaos Theory, one a variant on Dodd Harris' (from Breaking News) "Flying Purple People Eater" that I have been making my own modifications to over the past few months, especially with the last two chapter packs. No tricks, no janky combos, just get money, stack ice on centrals, and Biotic Labor agendas from hand.

The Chaos Theory one was something I straight up netdecked from somebody's SC winning build, but it strongly resembled a "Deckless" list I made in December, as well as some strong resemblances to the "Big Girls Play With Monoliths" deck I'd played for the lulz for a few weeks. I wanted decks I that I didn't have to *think* about too much during the game, that I knew how to pilot because I'd had a bad time trying to broaden my horizons with Anarch and Criminal experiments, and I needed to return to my roots.

First observations: F&L and DT made my CI deck crazy good. Subliminal Messaging is fantastic for me because at a bare minimum, it's a blank draw to Celebrity Gift with, and it's hard for a lot of runners to run my centrals too often, and I don't play remotes, so I often see those credits again.

I used to run 3 Corporate War and one Efficiency Committee, because with $19 I can double biotic the CW for a net cost of $5, but that pressures my recursion so it's not optimal. (EC just because I needed 2 more points.) Now I'm running 3x NAPD Contracts and 1 Corporate War and that's just hands down better--they're blank cards, I'll never score them, but I'd rather the runner lose $4 than hit a card that's a dead draw for me but 2 points for them.

The true MVP in almost every game was Reclamation Order. SO GOOD. I don't care about inflating my hand, I need cards, there is buried treasure in my deck and I dig for it. I score out four points, I reclaim those two Biotics, now I'm at match point--how do you like them apples?

The CT deck is much more straightforward: Build a rig consisting of Corroder, Garrotasaurus, Torch, and Opus. Test Run/Scavenge is the single shaper discount package, no SMCs, no Clone Chips, because paying retail is for suckers. Strip mine the deck with Diesel and Quality Time, ruthlessly deck yourself, then Levy (or Same Old Levy) to get it back. A couple of Plascretes, RDIs, and Account Siphons.

I wasn't as practiced with the CT deck so it took me a while to get into its groove. I wasn't aggressive enough early on, particularly with using Quality Time--QT in a deck with 3 Test Runs, 3 Scavenge, 3 Sure Gambles, the odds are good you won't get cards you're sad to see, even if you already had 2-3 cards in hand.

I don't recall all my opponents' names so I apologize in advance--Max, Boaz, I rememember you, and the rest is a blur. But I'll know you if I see you, it's just if I were any worse with names I'd be on the tiniest end of the autism spectrum.

R1, Gabe/TWIY*

Corp deck went like a charm. Get money, install tax Ice, find and score those 3/2s. I remember little of this game other than realizing how much my Double Time cards were going to be awesome when he hit NAPD contracts I think twice while low on money. Realizing that NAPDC tax even if he pays it is going to give me my scoring window FTW unless he pulls the one 3/2 out of 13 cards...I'll take that action.

Pure 40-card fast advance, he managed to score two Astroscripts before I was up and running and I just never managed to get traction after that. He actually did lay down and advance an NAPD Contracts twice and finish it with Astros, and then a Breaking News sealed it. Saw an NAPDC on top of R&D with 1 credit...he liked that, too, I admittedly deserved it.

R2, Andy/TWIY*

I think his Andromeda deck wasn't all that great. He spent a lot of time drawing cards and getting money, seeming to tread water. I got my Subliminals back a lot more than I expected to. Meanwhile I was pursuing my win condition, marching out those agendas as fast as the cash flow allows.

Runner side, he got an early Astro, I got two agendas out of centrals before getting Midseasoned for 5 tags. I couldn't get into his advancement server with my half-built rig, so he installs and advances twice, then the next turn drops 2 psychographics for 5 advancements and 3 advancements, then drops the Astro token on it for a cool 5 points.

R3, Weyland/CT

Really weird match, I'm pretty sure he was playing for the pure lulz. His rig was Odd, his Decoder was Zu.13 which just wasn't good for getting through my Code Gates. Not much more to say, I iced up, got money, he never got in very often.

Both games were over fast--I think he got agenda flooded and I was able to account siphon him pretty aggressively. Eventually pulling some agenda points out of Archives that he couldn't shuffle away. Had to play cautiously because of typical Weyland dirtbag cards that can just kill you, but I think I was more cautious than I needed to be and he had some fun with me over my timidity.

We had so much time left and he wanted to play one more for fun and this was really where I hit my stride with the CT deck, drawing and installing and siphoning and reshuffling my deck when it got low.

R4, Noise/MN

The Noise matchup was bad for him--he never found a decent breaker suite once his Yog hit a rototurret and I purged viruses and I honestly don't think he ever got to make another run. A few of my better ice got Parasuckered down early, but I patched the holes, kept going, and there's an expression that settles in when you retrieve 3 Celebrity Gifts and I'm getting back my Subliminals every turn. I got to repeatedly show him all the money I'm going to be earning. Drew my biotics, played them, Reclaimed them, GG.

Making News gave me a more exciting time, but I really slowed him down early on. First turn HQ was open, so I hit him with a Siphon, cleared the tags, and stupidly didn't check the remote while he was broke. He had to click for money, So second turn I ran it, bounced off a wraparound, Dieseled, pulled my corroder, installed it, then grabbed the first Astroscript. A couple of turns later, I pulled another from his hand. I account siphoned him 3 or 4 times, didn't fall for a TGTBT/Bernice Mai trap, and even though he got to 6 points I was digging R&D by that time and found what I needed.

R5, CT/ETF

With 12 prestige I was in second place, and went up against the leader with 14 prestige at Table One. If I can win these two, I win the whole enchilada. Win one, and I'm top 4. Set that thought aside because I remembered from Plugged In Tour that I am more than capable of putting myself on tilt if I start thinking about placement. It was very nearly a mirror match, the first HB I'd seen all day.

First game wasn't great, but educational as all heck. Guarded HQ with a Minelayer which gave him great pause (Yay!) but all I had to put down when he hit it was a Sensei. (Boo!) Normally Sensei is a 1x I want to see late, but he didn't know that and later he told me he didn't want to give me free installs, so he backed off and drew for an Account Siphon/Same Old Thing turn. (Something I didn't quite realize the power of: if you can hit them once, go ahead and hit them twice.)

I didn't know that, so I proceeded with my normal game plan. I mulliganed into 2 Jacksons, little ice, and my first mandatory draw was a 3rd Jackson. I played all 3, he ran all three and I let him trash all three at which time I think he thought I was slightly insane. But, Reclamation Order: no more having to use-him-or-lose him with Jackson Howard.

But, it was not to be, because he hit me with the double siphon, leaving me with $1 to my name, 13 cards in hand, and six agendas. He was now sitting on a bucket of money, so NAPDC wouldn't save me, and he could get into HQ at will. So there was no way I could get enough money to not have to discard at least 4 points of agendas into an uniced Archives, with him able to run HQ at will for three more clicks. I took probably a good solid minute to evaluate all my options, then conceded the game.

Runner game was epic, and drew quite a crowd because it was the final table and the match was going long. Was quite pleased I was able to focus as well as I did. No pressure, no tilt, just played the game which was more than enough excitement. He scored an early Gila Hands while I was setting up my rig, exploding my deck for the pieces I needed, so he hit that very frequently later on. He got a Priority Req scored and rezzed a Wotan in his advancement server, that's going to suck. I pulled a two pointer from his grip and another off R&D, both had Eli's on them which I can handle. Somewhere in there he Biotics a 3/2. (Envy, as it costs his deck 6 credits, but me 7.) He lays down another in the remote, I account siphon him, run it, and grab 2 more points. But I spent my whole bankroll on that so while I'm catching my breath he trashes my Same Old Things that I was really hoping could get me a Levy back.

We're both at match point, he's got Biotics in his deck, it's YOLO time. I siphon him again, throw down two R&D Interfaces, then run his deck with 4 ice on it. He rezzes an outside Tollbooth, I plow through it, the Pop Up, and the Eli. Nothing. "Do you win?" I ask. But no, he grabs money and installs a card in his advancement server. Can't do a thing about it.

I take 8 credits and pass. "Do you win?" But no, he draws cards, gets money, so it's not an agenda. I take money and run again, I've got two cards in hand, I'm decked, I'm holding one Quality Time and Same Old Thing, the last out for getting my deck back. He rezzes an Ichi 2.0 in the third position, I have enough money to save my programs but not from taking a Brain Damage, and he gets the Same Old Thing, and I have to jack out and lick my wounds.

**** IT WE'RE DOING IT LIVE. No deck, no grip worth a damn, only what's on the table. I take 8 credits, and say "END THIS!" No, he gets MORE MONEY and installs two cards, one in his advancement server. That bastard is making me make choices with probably the last 4 clicks I'm going to get. We're both racing to try to find the same agenda.

I take 2 more credits and go for broke. I check Archives, nothing. I count out 5 credits to break Tollbooth, 4 for Ichi, one for Pop Up and four for Eli. I slap them down, drop my last useless card into the heap for the brain damage and say "I'm in."

He rezzes and uses TWO jacksons to shuffle all his Hedge Funds and Beanstalks back in, and I get nothing from three cards. I check his one last remote, it's a Melange, and I'm flat broke.

I ask "Do you win?" Nope. He draws, draws again, then cheers and double biotics to score the last 3/2 for the win.

I wind up with 5th place overall, but I'm so high from two of the best games, the most educational losses I've ever had, so I don't much care. Best I'd ever done in a tournament setting.

Cerebral Imaging: Infinite Frontiers (Creation and Control)

Agenda (10)
3x Accelerated Beta Test (Core Set)
3x NAPD Contract (Double Time)
3x Project Vitruvius (Cyber Exodus)
1x Corporate War (Future Proof)

Asset (3)
3x Jackson Howard (Opening Moves) •••

Operation (23)
3x Biotic Labor (Core Set)
3x Blue Level Clearance (Fear and Loathing)
3x Celebrity Gift (Opening Moves) ••• ••• •••
3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)
3x Restructure (Second Thoughts)
3x Subliminal Messaging (Fear and Loathing)
2x Archived Memories (Core Set)
2x Reclamation Order (Double Time)
1x Green Level Clearance (A Study in Static)

Barrier (4)
3x Eli 1.0 (Future Proof)
1x Hive (Double Time) ••

Code Gate (6)
2x Viktor 2.0 (Creation and Control)
1x Enigma (Core Set)
1x Hudson 1.0 (Mala Tempora)
1x Minelayer (Creation and Control)
1x Sensei (Trace Amount) •

Sentry (3)
2x Ichi 1.0 (Core Set)
1x Rototurret (Core Set)


Chaos Theory: Wünderkind (Cyber Exodus)

Event (20)
3x Diesel (Core Set)
3x Levy AR Lab Access (Creation and Control)
3x Quality Time (Humanity's Shadow)
3x Scavenge (Creation and Control)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
3x Test Run (Cyber Exodus)
2x Account Siphon (Core Set) •••• ••••

Hardware (7)
3x Dinosaurus (Cyber Exodus)
2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)
2x R&D Interface (Future Proof)

Resource (6)
3x Professional Contacts (Creation and Control)
3x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)

Icebreaker (4)
2x Corroder (Core Set) •• ••
1x Garrote (True Colors) •••
1x Torch (Mala Tempora)

Program (3)
3x Magnum Opus (Core Set)
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spags
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Nice work. Like the CT; it was mine.

re: CT
I ran it this weekend, and got smoked. Just some terrible draws (weird, I know; 2 games of all of my QT and Diesel in top 12 cards), some sketchy play on my part, and big ICE matchups.

Do you like it? I've found Femme to be far superior in the build now, as Scavenge is ALWAYS useful after a Levy. Thoughts? You like ProCon? I consider this a tag-floater deck.

Here's my latest build of it.

CaT Burglar

Chaos Theory: Wünderkind (Cyber Exodus)

Event (24)
2x Account Siphon (Core Set) ••••• •••
3x Diesel (Core Set)
1x Emergency Shutdown (Cyber Exodus) ••
2x Indexing (Future Proof)
2x Infiltration (Core Set)
2x Levy AR Lab Access (Creation and Control)
3x Quality Time (Humanity's Shadow)
3x Scavenge (Creation and Control)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
3x Test Run (Cyber Exodus)

Hardware (7)
2x Dinosaurus (Cyber Exodus)
1x e3 Feedback Implants (Trace Amount) ••
1x HQ Interface (Humanity's Shadow) ••
2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)
1x R&D Interface (Future Proof)

Resource (3)
3x Same Old Thing (Creation and Control)

Icebreaker (3)
1x Battering Ram (Core Set)
1x Femme Fatale (Core Set)
1x Gordian Blade (Core Set)

Program (3)
2x Magnum Opus (Core Set)
1x Self-modifying Code (Creation and Control)

15 influence spent (max 15)
40 cards (min 40)
Cards up to Creation and Control

Deck built on NetrunnerDB.
 
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Derrick Billings
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Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery

I liked that it eschewed Clone Chips and SMCs which actually increase the cost of programs, especially with 2 most expensive programs in their slot.

I didn't really decide to start floating tags until late, given that I played 3 NBN and 1 Weyland and I didn't want to be punished. At that point, ProCon is not so ideal, but if you see it early it's good.

Scavenge is kind of useless after a Levy; occasionally I had to work to discard programs I wasn't ready to install.

I like the original version slightly better than the revision above, if only because of a realization that Sure Gamble is a dead draw if you have Magnum Opus out, unless you draw into it with D/QT. For a click to draw and a click to play, you could have had the same $4 off of MO. So I really needed to get more aggressive in playing QT especially.

I have some ideas of changes I want to make--if I drop Corroder for Snowball, that frees up enough slots to run 3x Lawyer Up and really go nuts with the Tag floating. If I can find a Killer that can go in for Garotte, I could even run 3x Account Siphon and 3x Lawyer Up for 15 influence. Or 2 LU and 1 Femme for those irritating Tollbooths and Wotans.
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