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Subject: My OCTGN Tournament 2 Third Place Decks rss

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Geoff Hollis
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Here are the two decks I ran for the second OCTGN tourney, my decision process while making them, and my thoughts on both in retrospect.

Deck Created with CardGameDB.com Android: Netrunner Deck Builder

Identity:
Weyland Consortium: Building a Better World (Core)

Total Cards: (49)

Agenda: (11)
Hostile Takeover (Core) x3
Posted Bounty (Core) x2
Project Atlas (What Lies Ahead) x3
Priority Requisition (Core) x3

Asset: (3)
Melange Mining Corp (Core) x3

ICE: (22)
Rototurret (Core) x2 ■
Tollbooth (Core) x2 ■■
Archer (Core) x3 ■■
Caduceus (What Lies Ahead) x3 ■■
Hadrian's Wall (Core) x2 ■■■
Ice Wall (Core) x3 ■
Shadow (Core) x1 ■
Enigma (Core) x3
Wall of Static (Core) x3

Operation: (10)
Archived Memories (Core) x2 ■■
Beanstalk Royalties (Core) x3 ■
Scorched Earth (Core) x2 ■■■■
Hedge Fund (Core) x3

Upgrade: (3)
Corporate Troubleshooter (Core) x2 ■
SanSan City Grid (Core) x1 ■■■

Total Agenda Points: 20

Influence Values Totals -
Haas-Bioroid: 8
Jinteki: 0
NBN: 7
The Weyland Consortium: 33

Ok, first off, this deck and Orange Devil's corporation deck have quite a bit of overlap. The differences between mine and his are:

-2 Shadow
-1 Power Grid Overload
-1 Private Security Force
+2 Posted Bounty
+2 Scorched Earth

So, very minor differences. Orange Devil does a good job in his post summing up what makes his deck strong, and how it can be improved, so I’ll mainly talk about why I made these changes to my deck.

Against the range of all opponents, I think the deck Orange Devil ran is marginally better. However, I made this last minute change specifically with the expectation that I would have to face off against Orange Devil at some point during single elimination if I wanted to win the tournament. I expected OD to be one of the last two players, and estimate that he wins about 6 out of the 10 matches we play against each other (we probably have about 300 - 400 logged games against each other by now... geez). So I was looking for an edge.

One of the interesting things about tournament play is you are often up against an unknown. You probably don’t know each other’s deck contents. This creates a really interesting situation where you have to play against your opponent’s faction’s range of threats, rather than your opponent’s deck’s range of threats, at least for the first dozen turns or so. The mere fact that Scorched Earth exists as a Weyland card means runners have to play around it until they are reasonably certain you don’t have it in your deck. Weirdly, this actually makes Scorched Earth a very good card to cut in a tournament situation where you will only be playing each opponent once, and that opponent will probably not know what your deck looks like ahead of time.

The problem is, Orange Devil knew what my deck contents were ahead of time. I decided he was a big enough threat to make a couple last-minute changes that made my deck very marginally worse against my range of opponents, but substantially better against Orange Devil, assuming he thought I was running the same deck as him. So, Scorched Earth was completely OD-tech.

We did face off in the semi-finals, but unfortunately my game as corp was a complete wash, and nothing came of my tricks. Lame.

I had two other games where my Scorched Earth played a major role. In one of the games, Scorched won me a game I just simply shouldn’t have won (runner error). In the other game, Scorched Earth + a 3-advanced Posted Bounty gave me tunnel-vision, and I began digging for a kill combo when I probably should have just been pushing out more agendas; they were beginning to pile up in hand. In all my other games, the threat of Scorched Earth was way more powerful than the card itself; players were often dropping down plascretes before snooping around in my centrals.

I kind of regretted playing Weyland in this tournament. During Trace Amount, they were arguably the strongest faction for winning games, but the nature of Archer means that if you are behind in a game, you’re often going to have to reduce your chances of getting a match win if you want to try and play for a game win. That makes Archer an incredibly speculative card if you are playing the corp first and only have 1-4 agenda points scored.

If I were to go back in time 3 months, I probably would have ran an HB deck instead of a Weyland deck. Weyland is better at winning games, but HB is better at winning matches. This is a distinction I didn’t really begin to fully appreciate until a month or two ago, and it certainly was not on my mind at the beginning of the tournament.


----


Deck Created with CardGameDB.com Android: Netrunner Deck Builder

Identity:
Gabriel Santiago: Consummate Professional (Core)


Total Cards: (46)

Event: (22)
The Maker's Eye (Core) x2 ■■
Deja Vu (Core) x1 ■■
Stimhack (Core) x2 ■
Infiltration (Core) x3
Sure Gamble (Core) x3
Account Siphon (Core) x3
Forged Activation Orders (Core) x2
Inside Job (Core) x3
Special Order (Core) x3

Hardware: (7)
Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead) x3
Desperado (Core) x3
E3 Feedback Implants (Trace Amount) x1

Program: (11)
Magnum Opus (Core) x1 ■■
Corroder (Core) x2 ■■
Femme Fatale (Core) x2
Ninja (Core) x1
Peacock (What Lies Ahead) x2
Sneakdoor Beta (Core) x3

Resource: (6)
Armitage Codebusting (Core) x3
Bank Job (Core) x3

Influence Values Totals -
Anarch: 8
Criminal: 65
Shaper: 6

So, let me start by saying this deck can use lots of improvement. That said, I went undefeated with it. So that’s really interesting.

Let me explain some of the quirkier card picks, and some of the reasons I think I went undefeated as runner.

Let’s start with Bank Job. I see two dominant opinions of bank job. 1) This card sucks, why would you play it? 2) omg, this card is awesome economy!!!

Here’s my take on Bank Job. I don’t play bank job for economy. I have two reasons for running bank job. First, it is an early-game forged activation orders on remote servers. If you can keep your opponent’s income suppressed for the first 4-5 turns, the corporation (especially HB) gets pushed into a situation where they have to lay out a single piece of ice on an empty remote server. At that point, bank job enables precision inside jobs. You drop bank job and run. Either your opponent rezzes the ice and denies you money, but instead provides you with information for what breaker you need to fetch. Alternatively, your opponent lets you through and gives you the money you need for Femme. In both situations, two ice on a remote server is no longer going to protect against inside job. This is a big deal.

A second, slightly less appreciated reason for running Bank Job, is it can really screw with Ash’s math. If your opponent is running Ash and overbids to lock you out of a remote server, you can recoup your losses by taking 8 credits off bank job instead of accessing cards. Bank Job gets more powerful against Ash, the more credits that both the corporation and runner have in reserve. It is also an insurance policy against unexpected red herrings.

Why I decided to run x3 bank job and only x2 FAO is beyond me, though. Given that my main reason for running bank job is that it is a special-case FAO, I don’t know why I didn’t just run three FAO instead. Bad decision.

If there is a card that is a prime candidate for running as a singleton, it is Deja Vu. It gains value and flexibility the further into the game you are, and unless you are running a virus mill deck, it is not specifically required for anything; you are not disappointed if you never draw it. The previous iteration of my deck had x3 maker’s eye instead of x2 maker’s, x1 deja vu. I am very very happy with this change. Deja Vu is, effectively, a Maker’s Eye OR an Account Siphon OR a trashed program. That is a huge amount of flexibility.

Plascrete carapace. Man, this card won me so many games. Probably 2 or 3 of my runner games ended because of my opponent over-valuing a bare Data Raven on R&D. Mid-game, when your opponent is stretched thin for ice, and you have been hitting everything *except* R&D, you can really make a huge tempo swing by dropping down plascrete and ignoring tags for the rest of the game. Note, you cannot do this with Crash Space. That is the reason I went with plascrete over crash space. I was really expecting Weyland players to over-value tagging ice as defense on R&D.

If I were to go back and redo this deck for Trace Amount play, I would definitely make a few changes:

-1 Peacock
+1 Yog.0
-1 Bank Job
+1 Forged Activation Orders
-1 Desperado
-1 Ninja
-1 Sure Gamble
+3 Easy Mark

Yog.0 can really blow the early game wide open when an enigma is guarding HQ. Since you have special order, the 1-of is well worth it. I had an influence to spare, anyways.

I never used Ninja in this tournament. Although Ninja is a good solution to troubleshooter+archer, it is very very rare in practice that I wouldn’t want to / couldn’t just femme the archer instead.

I have begun to respect Easy Mark as an important card for those moments where you might have to bankrupt. It’s really difficult to get out of the hole once you go to zero credits. Easy Mark makes it a little easier. In practice, I am finding that a more valuable trait than the slightly increased efficiency of Sure Gamble.
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Orange Devil
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I just want to state for the record, and I have witnesses whom I stated this to before hand, namely Kordan and Mr. Skinny, and this may even have gotten recorded: your tricks totally would've worked. I was planning on giving your tags no respect whatsoever and not even bothering with Plascretes.

Really my main goal at that point was to get further in the tourney with your deck than you did, as I had already done to Jopejope
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Geoff Hollis
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Orange Devil wrote:
Really my main goal at that point was to get further in the tourney with your deck than you did, as I had already done to Jopejope


There should be an achievement for this
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Bingo Little
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Wow. First of all, with the prevalence of data raven, this take on plascrete being an ignore switch for data raven and a corp being overconfident in it as a deterrent for R+D in criminal is like.....rocking my mind right now.

I think this, in combination with your alternate take on the multiple utility of bank job is just brilliant.

 
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Frederic Bush
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Yeah, but if you *hadn't* played OrangeDevil in the playoffs would you still have told us that you tuned the deck specifically to surprise him?
 
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Geoff Hollis
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fbush555 wrote:
Yeah, but if you *hadn't* played OrangeDevil in the playoffs would you still have told us that you tuned the deck specifically to surprise him?


Probably?

Otherwise it doesn't make a whole lot of sense why I think Scorched is a good cut for tournaments, yet still ran two of them.
 
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Kevin
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Eeenteresting.

How do you use the solitary MO in your runner deck? Do you ever drop it into play early, or is it mostly a late game contingency plan/replacement for a useless sneakdoor?
 
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Geoff Hollis
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Corvus_ wrote:
Eeenteresting.

How do you use the solitary MO in your runner deck? Do you ever drop it into play early, or is it mostly a late game contingency plan/replacement for a useless sneakdoor?


It's situational. Sometimes you just need economy and MO has to come out early if you have it. In an ideal world, you want it about 30 cards into your deck (if the game goes that far). Some games you just don't draw it. That happens.
 
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Jon Day
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Congratulations Hollis interesting summary.

Plascrete is no guarantee for safety, I won 2 games in the Swiss by burning through double carapaces.
 
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jond wrote:
Congratulations Hollis interesting summary.

Plascrete is no guarantee for safety, I won 2 games in the Swiss by burning through double carapaces.


Yup, that's the last time I forget that even with 2 x plascrete, Snare! still makes you vulnerable to being triple scorched >_>
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Frederic Bush
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hollis wrote:
fbush555 wrote:
Yeah, but if you *hadn't* played OrangeDevil in the playoffs would you still have told us that you tuned the deck specifically to surprise him?


Probably?

Otherwise it doesn't make a whole lot of sense why I think Scorched is a good cut for tournaments, yet still ran two of them.


It's just hard for me to consider this a +EV play, if you think the scorches reduce your likelihood of a win vs an average player. My rough calculations say that you need to be something like 80% likely to face OD in single-elim for this to be worthwhile and that seems overconfident. The fact that it happened makes you look prescient (and that I need to reevaluate my priors), but do the two of you really have the winrate vs strong competition to make that leap?
 
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David Jensen
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Only three cards in the whole deck give tags (x1 Shadow and x2 Posted Bounty). The Scorched Earths are more likely to land due to self inflicted tags than by the Corps. (Posted Bounty is an exception but a bit unlikely if you will considering he needs the card combo and very critical timing of the combo).

Overall, three of the top four decks used Scorched Earth. Orange Devils ommission of Scorched Earth uses the faction threat - though it doesn't create a direct game win; the threat was enough to slow runners down and created game winning situations.

The threat is enough and I attempted to cover this in another thred. Meta Threat? is it enough?

What I find odd is that the community didn't recieve the thread very well - and yet - 3 of 4 top players used it. No player used exactly 1 (which I suggested wasn't the right play). 2 is border line (and Hollis admits it was really only an Anti-OD Strategy) - and the top two finishers used the 0 or 3.
 
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Geoff Hollis
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fbush555 wrote:
It's just hard for me to consider this a +EV play, if you think the scorches reduce your likelihood of a win vs an average player. My rough calculations say that you need to be something like 80% likely to face OD in single-elim for this to be worthwhile and that seems overconfident. The fact that it happened makes you look prescient (and that I need to reevaluate my priors), but do the two of you really have the winrate vs strong competition to make that leap?


My thoughts at the time were simply:

1. How much will this change affect my performance against my range of opponents? Not very much.
2. How much will this change affect my performance against Orange Devil? Potential to win out of nowhere.

I never put specific numbers to it, nor made any evaluation that went beyond a feeling five minutes before my first match, so it could very well be that it was a bad decision to make these changes.

But if I want to claim that Scorched Earth is a good cut for tournaments, yet still ran two, I kind of need a way to explain that discrepancy. My explanation may be dissatisfying. Maybe it was even the product of poor decision making or an availability bias (Orange Devil is the strong opponent I most frequently play). But it is the explanation I have. Perhaps we can evaluate its merits in 20 or 30 more tournaments.
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Nice Gabe list. I usually prefer to spend some influence on draw acceleration to help be transition from early-game aggro to late-game full breaker set as quickly as possible. I also love the 3x Plascrete .

Do you like anything from CE and ASiS in this deck? I've been trying various combinations of Emergency Shutdown and Crescentus+Dyson, but it's hard to know which of these "old-school" tools to drop. Nothing leaps out as compelling.
 
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Geoff Hollis
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laikal wrote:
I usually prefer to spend some influence on draw acceleration to help be transition from early-game aggro to late-game full breaker set as quickly as possible.


Orange Devil and I were chatting a couple days ago, and he made a comment that I think is right on the mark here. Gabriel Santiago says, "Phase 2? Never heard of it".

Strong criminal decks tend to set up situations where the *types* of breakers you have out just don't really matter. If you're getting into a position where you need a full breaker suite, rather than a specific card solution (e.g., Femme Fatale, Yog.0), you are now playing at a huge disadvantage. As a side note, this observation might be a good starting point for conceptualizing what a competitive corporation deck would look like.

Which, in turn, leads us back to your statement: there's a point where you want to transition from early aggression to a full breaker suite, and draw acceleration can really help with that. Maybe strong corporation decks force that happen a little earlier.

So suppose you wanted to fit 2-3 diesels into this deck. What cards would you drop to do so?

At *least* x2 Maker's Eye is kind of an auto-include in criminal right now, for reasons Jopejope lays out. Same with Corroders. In fact, I am compelled enough by Jopejope's argument that I am going to experiment with beefing up to x3 Corroders.

So that' already 8 - 12 of your influence tied up.

For a long time, my influence breakdown looked like this:
x2 Corroder
x2 Diesel
x3 Maker's Eye
x1 Stimhack

But I decided to do some experimenting, and ended up dropping diesels for Magnum Opus and another Stimhack (and recently, a Yog.0). I also cut a Maker's Eye for a Deja Vu. Each change just made the deck feel substantially more powerful.

Draw acceleration is nice in the abstract, but right now it is competing with some very essential cards in the standard criminal deck archetype. Special Order is your real go-to for breakers. Crypsis might be another solution that does not cut into your influence. However, there are pros and cons for that decision that need to be considered and tuned thoroughly in any specific deck.

Right now, draw acceleration for criminal needs to be imported from other factions. Since aggressive criminal decks already need to import so many essential cards from out of faction, draw acceleration is not a realistic choice. However...

There was a criminal resource spoiled awhile ago that looked like it read:

[click]: draw two cards and trash one.

If that is actually what it does, it is a card that will definitely be worth considering instead of Diesel / Wyldside.

Alternatively we could challenge the assumption that all strong criminal decks try to stay in Phase 1, in which case there might be reasons to consider importing draw acceleration OOF. So far, I've spent lots of time challenging this assumption, and failing miserably Maybe someone else will have better results.

laikal wrote:
Do you like anything from CE and ASiS in this deck? I've been trying various combinations of Emergency Shutdown and Crescentus+Dyson, but it's hard to know which of these "old-school" tools to drop. Nothing leaps out as compelling.


So far, I've seen three very strong corporation decks in ASiS. By strong I mean they win at least 35% of their games against good players, and they have no common hard-counters. Two are HB-core decks, and one is a Jinteki-core deck. The two things that unite all of these decks is they 1) rely on a wide variety of very cheap ice, and 2) they can pressure the runner late game because they aggressively score agendas early game. There are also a couple Weyland deck archetypes floating about that work on similar principles, but fall a little short because they are either hard-countered by meat damage prevention (which is common, unlike net damage prevention), or horribly handicapped if they are forced to feed the runner bad publicity early.

If this is the model for a competitive corporation deck right now, emergency shutdown and crescentus are almost certainly dead-end cards.

Honestly, my strongest criminal deck has not changed much (at all?) since Trace Amount.

If some strong big-ice decks begin re-emerging I would definitely revisit the tool suite provided to criminals in CE/ASiS, but I just haven't seen any that are competitive right now.
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Steven Tu
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hollis wrote:

There was a criminal resource spoiled awhile ago that looked like it read:

[click]: draw two cards and trash one.

If that is actually what it does, it is a card that will definitely be worth considering instead of Diesel / Wyldside.



Where the heq did that come from??? Looks amazing for criminal draw power, it's almost as good as chaos theory...!

Quote:
Honestly, my strongest criminal deck has not changed much (at all?) since Trace Amount.


I totally agree. Gabe decks hasn't needed much change. The new tricks with derezzing are fun and all, but they're either not quite good enough yet in concert with other stuff, or just isn't quite in the right meta yet.

The giant ice meta may see revival with the big rig making a comeback due to big link stuff coming in. That might warrant a change. Who knows...
 
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Geoff Hollis
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Tuism wrote:
The giant ice meta may see revival with the big rig making a comeback due to big link stuff coming in. That might warrant a change. Who knows...


I dunno. From what I have seen, big rig is already pretty soundly crushed by the three strong corporation decks I've seen in ASiS; they get to match point by the time the runner's rig is set up, which then forces the runner to gamble with their rig. A fast, lightweight rig (like AndrewRogue runs) might be the better solution.

But... anecdotal evidence. I'd much rather put my money where my mouth is against a bunch of big-rig decks.
 
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hollis wrote:
Orange Devil and I were chatting a couple days ago, and he made a comment that I think is right on the mark here. Gabriel Santiago says, "Phase 2? Never heard of it".


Heh; I certainly agree that Gabe never wants to go into "big-rig" mode--my experience has been that against a strong corp player you will need to dig out those breakers sooner or later . Obviously, the longer you can push that point off the better. The principle difference between my Gabe deck and those that have placed in the top-4 has been my lack of draw acceleration for those moments.

And related to the second discussion: I completely agree with the premise that the strongest Corp decks (right now) are those that ignore the long game--or those that are at best indifferent to it. But when piloted by good players, these corp decks will play patient, stacking ICE to force you into deck-digging for breakers. The difference between my top-8 runner decks and the eventual regional winners from my league has been that I don't play a lot of draw acceleration (in favor of dirty tricks), whereas they do.

I think NBN is strong now too; not *as* consistent as the HBFA decks, but a heck of a lot more fun to play .

hollis wrote:
Strong criminal decks tend to set up situations where the *types* of breakers you have out just don't really matter. If you're getting into a position where you need a full breaker suite, rather than a specific card solution (e.g., Femme Fatale, Yog.0), you are now playing at a huge disadvantage.


Yep; with the stipulation that it is easy for a (good) corp player to put you in that position (vs. anyone but Noise, at least--you never know if he's going to mill all your ICE).

hollis wrote:
At *least* x2 Maker's Eye is kind of an auto-include in criminal right now


Oh, man... I totally agree again; I just have the worst Maker's Eye luck . I've run 3x in both of the decks I've played in regional events, and usually hit with all three across a game. I've pulled two false leads and one PSF. Across 14 games yuk. I usually like to play one early and save the other two for lategame once I see the corp start digging for agendas.

Great discussion here. Local people have won regionals by playing draw acceleration when I eschewed it; nice to see there can be a healthy debate on this one. I think you guys might be on to something with heavily favoring Corroder and a one-drop of Yog.0.

hollis wrote:
If this is the model for a competitive corporation deck right now, emergency shutdown and crescentus are almost certainly dead-end cards.

Honestly, my strongest criminal deck has not changed much (at all?) since Trace Amount.


Precisely. I've used the new tools to whip some overmatched players who were playing big ICE HB or classic-model Weyland ("yes, please, spend your money rezzing that Hadrian's"), but they've felt dead in hand against the really good HB, Jinteki, and NBN players around here.

Glad to hear that's not just me/my playgroup.

 
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