Evolution Gaming Store Championship

   I decided to take the leap into the semi-competitive scene of Netrunner here in the mid-Michigan area for the Evolution Gaming store championship this Saturday, March 29.  It's a fairly new store as i understand it, but they've got a lot of space for tables and there were at least a dozen people playing other games in the rooms next door.  Double Time was rezzed for our group of eleven contestants, although i believe only a single Corporation was running Caprice and NAPD Contract in a Jinteki: RP deck.  Unfortunately i did not have a chance to play against that shell game, so i can't vouch for how it plays (he came in 4th overall).

   For myself, i brought a very typical NBN:MN Fast Advance deck with a few minor tweaks to try out new cards, and a Whizzard deck that's surprisingly reliable.  I didn't expect to do very well in my first tournament, so i thought i would bring one "good" deck and one "fun" deck.  This was very nearly two fun decks, but at the last minute i backed out of using a bizarre Jinteki:PE deck because i was afraid it would take entirely too long to play through.  This was probably the right decision, although i think Andy would have served me better than Whizzard in a few of these matchups.  Maybe next time.

   The Master Gamer, Mr. Wizard consisted of a typical Anarch breaker suite supplemented by Datasuckers and Parasites.  No surprises there.  However, instead of splashing for Clone Chips and other Parasite recursion, i dropped in two Inside Jobs.  I'd tried a version of this deck that ran Knight, but for Corps that are willing to trash and reinstall ICE i found the install cost of 2cr + [click] + [click] to be too high, so i swapped in a Femme.  The remainder of the off-faction cards shored up the typically poor draw power of Anarchs in the form of Mr. Li (for consistency) and Quality Time.

   The weakest point of this deck is that it cannot fall behind.  Liberated Accounts demands that you have some extra money sitting around, otherwise installing it wastes an entire turn, which is a big risk.  If it can get rolling, though, the recurring credits from Cyberfeeder, Spinal Modem, Datasucker and the Identity really make it easy to keep constant pressure on.  I know, i know -- Datasucker isn't really recurring credits.  However, when paired with Corroder or used for ICE destruction with Parasite it fills a similar role.  There are quite a few situational cards in this deck (Ice Carver, Medium, Djinn), but i did not find consistency to be a problem.

Whizzard: Master Gamer (What Lies Ahead)

Event (16)
2x Déjà Vu (Core Set)
1x Stimhack (Core Set)
2x Inside Job (Core Set)  ••••• •
2x Infiltration (Core Set)
3x Sure Gamble (Core Set)
3x Quality Time (Humanity's Shadow)  •••
3x Dirty Laundry (Creation and Control)

Hardware (7)
2x Cyberfeeder (Core Set)
1x Akamatsu Mem Chip (Core Set)  •
2x Spinal Modem (What Lies Ahead)
2x Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead)

Resource (8)
1x Ice Carver (Core Set)
3x Liberated Account (Trace Amount)
2x Kati Jones (Humanity's Shadow)
2x Mr. Li (Future Proof)  ••••

Icebreaker (7)
2x Corroder (Core Set)
2x Mimic (Core Set)
2x Yog.0 (Core Set)
1x Femme Fatale (Core Set)  •

Program (7)
2x Datasucker (Core Set)
1x Djinn (Core Set)
1x Medium (Core Set)
3x Parasite (Core Set)

15 influence spent (maximum 15)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Creation and Control

   This NBN deck should look pretty familiar.  The only thing i might consider changing is the use of NAPD Contract in place of Market Research.  Market Research is nice if the Runner is floating tags AND you've managed to score an AstroScript with a still rezzed SanSan City Grid, but that's quite a niche situation.  Basically, i see these agendas as the ones you don't want to score unless you must, and for that NAPD Contract is likely better.  Muckraker was very hit or miss depending on the base link of the Runner -- far more than i expected.  Generally speaking the ICE is the weak part of this deck, but it's really only intended to keep the Runner out or poor until the SanSan train to Astrotown takes off.

NBN: Making News (Core Set)

Agenda (11)
3x AstroScript Pilot Program (Core Set)
2x Breaking News (Core Set)
3x Project Beale (Future Proof)
3x Market Research (Fear and Loathing)

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

Upgrade (3)
3x SanSan City Grid (Core Set)

Operation (11)
2x Closed Accounts (Core Set)
3x Hedge Fund (Core Set)
3x Green Level Clearance (A Study in Static)  •••
2x Celebrity Gift (Opening Moves)  ••••• •
1x Sweeps Week (True Colors)

Barrier (5)
2x TMI (What Lies Ahead)
3x Wraparound (Fear and Loathing)

Code Gate (8)
3x Tollbooth (Core Set)
3x Pop-up Window (Cyber Exodus)
2x RSVP (True Colors)

Sentry (8)
3x Caduceus (What Lies Ahead)  ••••• •
2x Uroboros (A Study in Static)
3x Muckraker (Second Thoughts)

15 influence spent (maximum 15)
20 agenda points (between 20 and 21)
49 cards (min 45)
Cards up to Fear and Loathing

Round 1: Mirror Match (NBN:MN & Whizzard)
   I played Runner first in this match, running servers aggressively and early.  By around the 5th turn i was floating a tag on a Data Raven and fairly poor, so i tried to end the game as quickly as possible in case a Scorch was incoming.  Apparently he had two in the deck, but only drew one.  I won this by installing a Medium and running all over his R&D, which was defended only by the Data Raven and a Pop-up Window until very late in the game.
   The flip side of this matchup was very vanilla -- i got rich, set up a fairly safe remote, scored two Beales for 5 points and an Astro to win the round.  IIRC, i lost a Breaking News and the other Beale before tightening up the centrals, too.

Overall Prestige: 4

Round 2: NBN:TWIY* & Kate 'Mac' McCaffrey
   There's no denying it, i got very lucky in this set.  My opponent finished the tournament in second place, with these two games being his only losses.  He played Kate first and mulliganed into an opening hand of 3 Clone Chips.  On turn 3 he made an Indexing run on my Pop-up window defended R&D but found zero agendas.  This let me get very rich and ICE everything heavily.
   As the Runner, i scored an Astro and a Beale turn one from an unprotected R&D.  He almost brought it back with a bluffed out AstroScript, but i managed to keep HQ free from Agendas.  Very close game, but another win for me.  4-0 so far.

Overall Prestige: 8

Round 3: HB:CI & Gabriel Santiago
   My surprisingly strong start placed me up against the store favorite for the day, who apparently had already clinched his spot in Regionals.  Running Whizzard against a deck with no assets was an uphill battle, and although i grabbed a few lucky Agendas out of HQ i was unable to prevent him from drawing into them out of R&D.  He pulled off a neat Archived Memories into Celebrity Gift for a net of 7 credits in the turn about five times on me (Jacksoning the Archived Memories back).  Blue Level Clearance is very kind to Cerebral Imaging decks.
   His Gabe actually never made it into HQ all game, and i'm not even sure he was running Account Siphon.  Still, a surprise Keyhole dropped a Beale into Archives...twice.  I felt about a turn behind for the whole game, and this game was over quickly.  Two losses here.

Overall Prestige: 8

Round 4: Weyland:BaBW & Andromeda

   I played Corp first, stuck with a severely agenda-flooded HQ on first draw as well as the mulligan.  I did at least draw into my one Sweeps Week against Andy, so economy was not the issue it could have been if i had drawn tiny giraffes instead.  Eventually i was able to overdraw with Jackson and ditch some agendas, but after i rescued them from Archives i apparently shuffled them all into the bottom half of the remaining deck.  My Runner opponent didn't know this, though, and kept spending incredible sums of money to make heroic runs on HQ.  He was fairly new and uncertain of certain card interactions (kudos to him for his 4-2 start!), so combined with the late agenda draw this game ran about 42 minutes before i finally powered out my last 4 points.
   We tried to hurry through game two, but a couple of awkward plays meant that we ran to time.  I carelessly got my Plascrete #1 hit by a Power Shutdown, then later fell victim to a rogue Snare! on a click #4 run.  Fortunately triggering the Snare! meant that he only had 3 credits remaining, so his Scorched Earth only dropped my Plascrete #2.  I had to spent my entire turn drawing up, and at this point we ran up against time, meaning that we each received one more turn.  He had no way to score another agenda, so he dropped one more Scorch to empty my hand.  I drew three more times and went for a desperation run on R&D, but found nothing.  With three agenda points each, this was a timed tie, so we both received 1 prestige.

Overall Prestige: 11


   My score of 11 points resulted in a tie for 3rd place finish.  The other player with 11 points had received a Bye in Round 1 which lowered his Strength of Schedule below mine.  There were some extra prizes from previous Game Nights, so i walked away with a Wotan playmat, 3x Kati Jones alt art, and 2x Adonis alt art.  Not too shabby for a first try.

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