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Beggin' for a Leggin': 2014 Worlds, 4th place

God this is long. Hi, I’m Ben Mason, and I wanted to share my 4th place world experience here since others have been doing the same thing, so here it goes.

As I said, I’m Ben. Or, as I used to be known, that guy who hangs out with Jesse Vandover. Going into Worlds I knew that I wanted to play Andromeda and NEH with Architect. Andromeda has been my deck since she came out and barring having The Fear immediately after Lotus field came out, I’ve been pretty faithful to her in tournament play. As a result I know how to play the hell out of that deck and it’s as strong as anything out there. I think she gives good players the best chance to outplay less talented/ less informed players, and I think she has one of the best economies against the field thanks to Security Testing against NEH, RP, and PE and Kati Jones against RP and Blue Sun. The deck I played had some significant changes to the ones that Jesse and I piloted to good success in Regionals season. The main differences were that we dropped the Parasite/Clone Chip package in exchange for more breakers (at least 2 of each kind) and RDI. Last year I was poopooing RDI to anyone who would listen because you just didn’t need it and it was expensive and clunky in deck that really valued tempo plays. Now that NEH is a thing, and parasite is much less good (thanks Lotus Field and Architect) it’s just the best all round card at keeping your attacks high impact (super important vs NEH) and cost effective (super important vs RP and Blue Sun). Yog also took the hit in favor of Gordian’s. The Fear won though and Lotus Field’s existence had me cut what definitely used to be the most powerful breaker in the game in exchange for the much weaker but never useless Gordian’s.

Programs: (11)
3 Faerie
1 Mimic
2 Corroder
1 Gordian’s Blade
1 Passport
3 Data Sucker

Hardware: (7)
3 Desperado
2 Plascrete Carapace

Resources: (10)
2 Security Testing
2 Bank Job
2 Katie Jones
2 Mr. Li
2 Same Old Thing

Events: (17)
3 Account Siphon
3 Sure Gamble
3 Dirty Laundry
3 Special Order
3 Legwork
2 Inside Job

On the corp side I just couldn’t find a good reason to not run NEH with Architect. The base of the deck is obviously very strong and can just win some games regardless of what the runner is doing. The deck is also very good in the Swiss just because it punishes weaker players and iffy deck choices.
Architect does a couple things for this deck: 1. It, combined with Lotus Fields, really hurts Shaper. Basically it puts them in a bind over what they set their first Atman to. Before Architect, I thought PPVP Kate was easily the best choice for taking out NEH because their ICE could be dealt with so easily with a little Parasite recursion and an Atman at Four. 2. The card is just generally fucking bananas when it goes off and it’s too stupid for words as R&D defense in conjunction with NEH’s ability. Even when they have the Mimic it’s still a reliable tax that will never ever go away. If they play around it until they get out that Mimic, fantastic. You just locked up R&D for 3-5 turns for free.
Overall I thought this would definitely be the best deck for the Swiss and not bad at all for the Elim rounds. here’s the list:

Agenda: (11)
3 Beale
2 Breaking News

ICE (16)
2 Architect
3 Eli
2 Lotus Field
1 Wall of Static
1 Enigma
1 Quandry
3 Wraparound
3 Pop-up Window

Assets: (8)
2 Pad Campaign
3 Marked Accounts
3 Jackson Howard

Upgrades: (3)
3 SanSan City Grid

Events: (11)
2 Biotic Labor
1 Closed Accounts
3 Hedge Fund
3 Sweeps Week
2 Fast Track

The one of Closed Accounts was a great role player in several games, especially one particular game in the elim rounds. I use it to punish tag floaters and it can also be used offensively, letting you rez a San San, score a Breaking News, and put them on 0 money. It’s pretty much as good as scoring an Astro most of the time. Generally when I play this deck, the games aren’t all that fast as I spend an awful lot of time shoring up my centrals. Multi-access is very prevalent right now and spending all of your money to score an APP will only get you so far if they Leg work you right back. Basically I think that it’s very often correct to make the safe play over the high risk high reward play, so my corp match were fairly long and grindy rather than the stereotypical quick win or lose games people think of when they think of NEH.

On to the report: (sorry if I forgot your name, if I didn’t remember your name, message me and I’ll update it)

Match 1 Vs Daine from Chicago
First game I ran against his RP deck. It seemed like he was running a lot of damage as I hit a Fetal, trashed a Ronin and stole a House of Knives. Some of these games from day 1 are going to be a little vague but I remember getting set up quickly and not being punished by any of his ICE. I know that I siphoned a few times and removed tags to keep Kati rolling and to keep him low on money. Because of the pressure I was applying, Daine never really had the cash to more than double ICE any server so I eventually was able to win off of HQ and R&D runs.

Game 2 he was running Chaos Theory. I got early agenda flood with pretty slim picking when it came to ICE. Daine got a turn 1 MO which let him trash all my econ assets. Turns out I was fine with this since it meant that he wasn’t running my hand. Eventually I went to 0 credits (with 1 protected Marked Accounts) to BL an Astro. Dane took the opportunity to drop an HQ interface and stole 2 agendas (an NAPD and I think a Breaking news) and then stopped . If he had kept going that probably would’ve been game, but I guess he figured he got them all. After that I finally started drawing some real ICE, I put the game in a stalemate for a few turns, but I knew it wouldn’t last since Daine had an SMC sitting on the board ready to go once it became clear what he needed. Then Daine played ProCon and started clicking it a bunch. I took the opportunity to score the second Astro and then a BN the turn after. I’m not sure why Daine stopped running and started pressing the ProCon button but it definitely cost him the game here. On the last turn when I still had 3 agendas in hand and Daine was sitting on 5 points, he dropped another HQ interface and ran my HQ. I counted his money and realized that after paying through my Eli, he’d still have 4 credits, enough to score the NAPD I had in my hand just in case he didn’t hit either of the two Beales. I inwardly sighed and rezed my Eli. After thinking about it Daine then said the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard: “Jack out”. Apparently I had a better poker face then I realized and Daine thought that after I scored 3, and he stole 3 , my hand was probably agenda-less and I was just trying to sucker him out of 4 credits. It’s not the play I’d have made, but hell, I’ll take it! Scored the Beale for the win.

Match 2 against a very nice Austrian man with glasses
My opponent informed me in his impeccable English that he was from Austria. I asked if he was the National Champ and he told me no, he just wanted to come. Right on.
Game one he was playing Reina. Unfortunately the only ICE I had in my mulligan was Eli and I knew that depending on his draw I would be in for a world of hurt/ Account Siphon. And that’s how that game went. After some quick probing, he found the Eli and start clicking through with the Siphons. I actually made a good attempt at stabilizing, especially since he couldn’t find his breakers (which made my Eli feel so much worse since it could have been almost anything else) but the early damage was done and a post Siphon Closed Accounts wasn’t quite enough to bring me back. I was happy to end this game on six points after the multi-siphon start, but a Nerve Agent with 4+ tokens on it meant my chance of victory was pretty close to 0. We packed up and started Game 2.

Game 2 he pulled out Blue Sun, the match up I’ve had the least practice against and that I’m the most scared of facing. I put up a reasonable fight, and IIRC I had an early Plascrete so it wasn’t like I was completely stuck, but I couldn’t drop below 4 cards which made using Inside, Legwork, or Siphon problematic. He always had the money lead and I just had to let several agendas go or risk death. I scored a Priority Req off of an RDI but the big mistake on my part came when he installed advanced what was clearly an agenda on the board. I was 99% sure the last piece of ICE in the server was Quandary since I saw it off the top a right before he installed it and to him it looked great since all I had was Passport. I could have dropped the Gordian’s in my hand, SOT Inside job, and paid with Data sucker Tokens and bad pub (from Hostile Takeover) and the last of my money to get through a PR rezzed Hadrian’s + Quandary to get the Atlas that would win him the game in one turn (by fetching the last Hostile). Then I’d have one click to draw up and not die. I didn’t do it because I got cold feet, not 100% sure if it was a Quandary and therefore I lost (it was the Quandary).

Round 3 vs Ben F.
Ben started out by corping with Next Design. He had a bad mulligan (1 ICE), but it worked out okay for him as he managed to get 3 Pad Campaigns running by turn 3. I made the executive decision to not trash them: They were making me money too, and by not trashing them, I’m pretty sure Ben left archives open way longer than he would have otherwise. By not ICE-ing he was only giving a away a single Data sucker per turn, not 3 money and a Sucker token. This turned out to be pretty key as Data sucker ended up doing a lot of work. Ben made a ton of money and made some huge servers. I managed to to get 4 points out of R&D with an RDI before he ICE’d it up with a bunch of Next ICE. His remote was intimidating, and he got to 5 points with it before I got my money rolling well enough to make him wary about using it again. I think I may have gotten my 3rd agenda out of it (can’t quite remember but it came from somewhere). I also Legged him to make sure he didn’t have anything and missed. Knowing I was safe, I sat back and churned out cash with Kati, Security Testing, and Siphon. After some of these money wars along with periodic runs into R&D, he finally drops an IAA in the server. Feeling suspicious, I Legged him again first and found an NAPD on my first pick for the win (the start of a long tradition in this tournament).

Game 2 Ben played Kate. this game was pretty uneventful. I remember locking up my centrals pretty quickly before slowly bringing the FA game to fruition. I think I might have won this game without giving up any agenda points (though I honestly cant remember). Fairly strait-forward game with NEH. I used the PAD econ to build myself a reasonable castle on my Centrals (especially R&D) and just Taxed him out of the game while I scored my no risk agendas.

Match 4 vs Allen Haas
Despite his Family affiliations, Allen had defected to Arch-rival Jinteki PE Game 1. It was an interesting Glacier PE that used profiteering to rez big ICE on centrals. Allen got an early Profiteering which he used for 10 credtis. I know for a fact that I got way more than 10 out of that Bad Pub though. I managed to get 2-4 points out of R&D before he rezzed a Janis that left him almost (but not quite) poor but which meant I was never going back to R&D that game (Faerie prevented Janis from Making it Brain that time around). Eventually I got him poor enough with Siphons to neutralize the Snares in his hand that he showed me with Celebrity gift. Soon after I got the last two point off the Fetal that had been in his hand since turn 3.

Game two was against Kate. This game was closer then the last one with my corp, but still similar. Tax the hell out him on centrals and win with FA. The game came down to a very tense moment when he got 2 accesses of R&D with an interface with 5 points. Lifting them up nice and slow, I showed him a 2 non agendas and he knew the game was over since he saw the winning fast track in my hand several turn earlier.

Round 5 Vs Ahmed
I had met Ahmed during regionals seasons when Niles, Jesse, and I went down to Durham. I also knew he was pretty good as he knocked Jesse out in the Elim rounds at Gencon.
Game one I corped against Kate. Again this game is similar to the other NEH vs Kate matches in that I start setting up taxing centrals and Ahmed is having to use Kati religiously to stay in the Game. Unlike the previous games, I cannot draw an Astro. He gets some early points out of an NAPD and a Beale. I SanSan out a Beale of my own and at one point score a BN off a San San and pop a Kati with 6 money on her. He drops another and starts trying to hit my centrals but completely whiffs on two Makers Eyes. Knowing I need to start winning the game soon before he can just econ me into oblivion (he was PPVPing as well as using Kati), I fast track an Astro and say “Come and get it”. I had a a lot of money, 2 San Sans sitting on the board, a BL in hand and 4 ICE (including 2 Eli) on HQ. In response, he took money off Kati, Sure Gambled, and made a probing run on HQ. I rezzed Eli and he jacked out, following up with a Legwork against my 4 cards. I rezzed everything, but he was able to make it in with 1 or 2 credits remaining to see 3 cards. Of which 0 were Astro, which was nice. He missed on the one in four and I score the Astro next turn and the NAPD after that. It was a risky move, but ultimately I think would have won anyway had he stolen it. One of my cards in hand was the other Fast Track, so I could just rinse and repeat the Astro-grab while he was on 1 or 2 money (it cost something like 10 to get into my hand) with nothing on Kati. It would have given him an extra turn to close out the game, but I think he was too broke to any points before won.

Game 2, I ran against his NEH deck. I got a slow start but kept poking and prodding around. The first agenda I got was an NAPD out of HQ that I figured he had based on the way he kept thinking about rezzing his HQ ICE, but ultimately declining. After that, my next big play was to drop an RDI and run his deck. He went low on cash rezzing a Lotus Field in front of the Eli he had already rezzed. It kept me out for a few turns, but I was making a lot cash with Bank Jobs and Testings the whole time while digging with Mr. Li. Eventually I found my passport and got a look at the top two cards of his deck: Astro and Beale. Not. Bad. Even though he had scored an Astro himself, that bit a luck put me firmly in the driver’s seat and I finished up with a Legwork where I first pick pulled an NAPD.

Match 6 vs someone who I think was Elliot Hedman but I could be totally wrong about that.

Whatever his name is, he was a really nice guy. He told me he had no idea why he was at the top tables, but his decks looked good and he didn’t make any awful plays, so that probably had something to do with it. Game one he played RP. I remember I got set up very quickly and had full control over his remotes. I used Kati, Testing, and Siphon to stay in the money and eventually got him with centrals accesses. This game was pretty unfortunate for him, since I was able to take over the game so fast and keep his money under control by trashing Sun Dews and such and this deck is so much more manageable when they are poor.

Game 2: I really don’t remember much of this game other then the fact that he had a Sneakdoor and he probably used it a little too much. After setting up with an early Astro I locked up R&D with a lot of ICE, so it probably didn’t seem like the most appealing target, but unfortunately for him, that’s where the agendas were. As I drew the agendas, I either scored them or threw them back with Jackson so they couldn’t be sneaked out of my hand. I though it was pretty clear that my hand had nothing, but he kept poking in rather than setting up to make big runs on R&D. I think I scored an NADP as the final 2 points off SanSan and Astro.

Final Round of Swiss where I get paired down against Aaron Andries, probably the last person I want to be playing

I had met Aaron last year where he knocked Niles (@hhooo) out of the Elim rounds in the quarter finals and I knew he was an excellent player. I also knew that he needed both wins to ensure a spot in the top 16, whereas I only needed one. This was going to be painful either way, because I didn’t want to get randomly knocked out in round 7 (obviously), but I didn’t want to knock Aaron out either as we had all been hanging out in the Hotel hot tub all weekend and I wanted as many of us as possible to make it in. I cheered myself up knowing that having been paired up multiple times this tournament (thanks to having the best second tie breaker in the room: a last name that starts with the letter A) Aaron had a really good shot of being one of the 10-4 players who got in if we split.
Two turns into game one I realized I was going to be very lucky if I got that split. Aaron started out fast with Andromeda, getting all three breakers up and running by turn 3 at the latest. He plays 2 each of Zu and Corroder, so he had no trouble finding them. My econ ended up making him a ton on cash thanks to Security Testing, Desperado and Bank Job. Everything was laid bare and there was no where he couldn’t get it. It was the only game I lost all weekend without scoring a single point. All right, I thought, fair dues. He made this deck specifically for this purpose. I’ll just have to repay the favor with my runner. It’s not like I’m any sort of slouch vs NEH.

Game 2 got off to a bad start for me when Aaron scored a naked Astro on turn 2. And then followed up with another on turn 3 after I couldn’t Legwork him. So that was terrible. He did go fairly low on cash at that point so I did have some respite while I special ordered for my Passport (no time for Gordian’s) and started hammering his R&D as best I could. I stole an NAPD, and then a Breaking News over the next few turns. A few turns after that I felt the pressure turn down about half a notch when I got the second BN. While it does absolutely nothing for me in terms of actually winning the game, it does quite a lot on the not losing front, since now he can’t just score the breaking news out of his deck with a Fast track and an Astro token from 1 credit. I think I must legwork him for the second NAPD (though I suppose it could have also come out of R&D) that got me to 6 points. I just want to mention the difference in how the early game felt from the runner side. When Aaron ran it was like his deck clicked together into a perfect machine built for making money shitting out stupid Fast Advance decks after eating them alive. When I started running, it felt like I was trying to build a car out of nothing but golf clubs. Not having Desperado will do that to you sometimes. Fortunately for me, my R&D pressure was just enough to keep Aaron from getting to a scary place points wise and he just couldn’t seem to draw an agenda. The other thing I had going for me was a stupid Data Sucker that was sitting around doing nothing but accumulating tokens for the first 6 turns. I played it out on turn one (you know…instead of running that stupid remote) and it had 10+ tokens on it by the time Aaron dropped an Eli. By the time his more sizable ICE was out it really wasn’t doing anything more to stop me from anything else. Eventually Aaron single ICE’d Archives, put what turns out to have been a Grim on R&D, and clears viruses after I drop a Mimic (Faerie got me through the first time around) so I can’t get back into R&D. I run his Archives for more suckers through a Pop-up and find the last NAPD there. Aaron had stowed it there earlier when I took a passing interest in his hand. Because I was Security testing Archives, I never got a look at it until I ran Archives multiple times in a turn to get Sucker tokens. Feeling extraordinarily lucky to have come back from that terrible start, I melted into puddle of pure relief, knowing that I just made Top 16.

The bad news was that after the round was finished, Aaron was in 17th place despite getting paired up at least twice. His SoS was tanked by one of his early opponents dropping. It was real bummer, even more so when I saw that I would have gone through (though at a much lower seed) had I lost both games to Aaron, but there was no way of knowing that at the time, and it’s against the rules to throw games anyway. On the plus side, Niles had gotten in on his 10-4 record, and while Jesse had somewhat lackluster performance that day, our other hotel roommate Rob got 29th on 9-5, giving him the full set of Promo ProCons. Once the pairs were up, we and a bunch of the other top 16 players and their friends went on got Mexican complete with happy hour Margaritas. We eventually returned to the hot tub and continued the revels there 'til it was time to call it a night.

The Elim: Round 1 vs Timmy with Gabe

After a pretty reasonable night’s sleep I got to start my Elim round off against Timmy from LA, who was packing what I had to consider both of my worst match ups, Gabe and Blue Sun. As the 5th seed, the choice was mine as to what to run first. Some people (Dan and Niles) told me that I should without a doubt have run, but others (Jesse and Rob) supported my decision. As I said before, Blue Sun was my least tested match up and there was no way I wanted to start the Day out that way.

The game had a something of a back and forth, with Timmy getting an NAPD and a Beale early, but with me chaining 2 Astros together followed shortly by an IAA Breaking news. For most of the game I had a quandary that was keeping Timmy out of HQ, and he was drawing like crazy trying to find what I thought had to be his Codebreaker. The turn after I scored the breaking news, I knew I had to spend 1 turn getting my money to 6 so I could Fast Track, Biotic, IAA + Astro token, and then I could win the game on the next turn. Timmy dropped his Peacock that turn. I sighed knowing that I was about to be given a trip to Siphon City, and gathered as many credit as I could so that could try again the turn after. Timmy did have the Siphon. In fact, he had 2, but he only needed one because Indexing came down click 2 with just enough cash to get in 2 more times for the the win. So close, yet so far.

Round 2 vs Brody with NEH
Getting knocked down to the loser’s bracket after the first round was not where I envisioned myself when I woke up that morning, but hey, someone’s gotta do it. My next opponent was Brody from Vancouver. A man after my own heart, Brody was also playing NEH with Architect. In fact when we compared lists later it turned out that we had only 4 cards different between us (he ran +1 Enigma, +2 Rototurrets, +1 Pad, -1 Wraparound, -2 Lotus Field and -1 Closed Accounts). After he scored the first Astro off a San San, I trashed the Region and got an Astro of my own with a Legwork, preventing disaster. I Siphoned him to low credits the turn after and dropped and RDI which showed me two Beales putting me on 6 points. Going for the kill, I ran again a couple turn later with an additional RDI, but this time he had the credits to rez the Architect sitting there, going to 0 credits. He installed something inside his Wraparound remote with not a Corroder in sight. I missed on the R&D run, and he took a credit from a Pad, another from a click, and AA + token to score the last Astro. That was a kick in the nuts. Architect is stupid. Fortunately for me though I still had 2 RDI, after waiting for the stuff I already saw to come off the top, (and fetching up a mimic), I ran again and found the last agenda for the win.

Round 3 vs Jesse with HBFA
Jesse was the Australian Nationals Champ out of Melbourne. We had each played 1 corp and 1 runner game so we rolled the die to see who picked. He won and picked Corping with HB over running with Kate. This made me raise an eyebrow because there is almost no matchup I like to play against more with Andromeda than HBFA., but Kate is good match up for me as well, and after watching the coverage of his previous game vs NEH, I think I understand why he didn’t want to go at it again.

We started the game with Jesse rezzing a couple of paper walls to keep me out early. As predicted, Jesse dropped some cash to Biotic out a Vitruvius. Thankful that it’s not an Astro, I carry on unperturbed. During this early stage of the game I’m running where I can while I start setting up my rig, while Jesse rezzes a San San and scores Vitruvius number 2. That would be fine except that the San San is behind an Enigma and I don’t have a Gordians out to deal with it. Instead I respond with a Legwork getting me an NAPD followed by some runs on R&D which turn up a Gila Hands . My position is precarious since I don’t have Codebreaker out and Victor 2.0 on HQ is making accessing his hand more trouble than it would normally be worth. I can also see the top card of R&D every turn, but he’s got Blue and Green Level Clearance and is drawing away, which scores him another 3/2. I hit a run of good luck off R&D finding a Pet Project followed by yet another 3/2, putting me at 6 as well. I also spend the next couple turns siphoning him to keep him low, as well as attempting to take down the San San with an Inside Job while he is on 1 credit. I figured that once the San San was gone, and with Jesse so low money, his chances of winning would go way down. Unfortunately the ICE he put in front of the enigma is the third Paper Wall, so that didn’t exactly go to plan. My following turn I finally drop a Passport, Siphon, run R&D, and Legwork finding the winning NAPD on the first card I picked. Apparently Jesse had also just drawn the ABT he needed to win next turn off the unsinkable San San. It was a close, tense game, and t was a pleasure to play against Jesse. I’m glad I got the opportunity while he was here, since Australia is a definitely more of hike than I can manage for the time being.

Around this time I start celebrating making it into the Top 8 by getting my picture taken with my new play mat and the nice FFG employee dressed up as Kate. I figured, hey how will all my non- Netrunner friends even know about this if I don’t even get some embarrassing pictures taken and put them online.

Round 4 vs Dave with Andromeda
Dave is the British National Champ and very cool guy I used to live in England for a while and we chatted about about that before we were given the green light to start.

I drew an excellent starting hand that had Sweeps Week, 2 ICE, Astro, and a Closed accounts. I did a snap keep while Dave mulliganed into something he likes a little more. While the game started off strong for me, my deck started handing me agendas while I watched Dave’s board develop. I think I did manage to score the first Astro at some point around here off a biotic, but the situation kept looking worse and worse as I drew more agendas I couldn’t score. Just to take a little of the pressure off my hand, I threw down a sacrificial NAPD naked just so I could keep more non-agendas in hand to keep the other Agendas safer. The turn after I did that, Dave ran it but held back, knowing it would take him down to low credits. He had designs on my HQ that turn so he left it. After checking Dave special ordered for a Corroder, played it and I braced myself for the Legwork that almost certainly would have been the end. Instead it was a last click Siphon. I went down to 4, while Dave was sitting on 17 credits. I rezzed my 2 PADs and and click one pretended to think about what my play would be for all of half a second before I slammed the Closed Accounts. Best singleton ever. This transformed Dave’s position from domination to an absolute shambles. He had no econ on board and none in hand, meaning he had to spend several full turns clicking for credits. I also advanced the on board NAPD which Dave declined to take in favor of building up his cash. I think this was probably a mistake though, since letting me score it put so much more pressure on him to start running everywhere when he really couldn’t afford to. While Dave is scrambling, I score the NAPD and draw another Astro that I score out of hand. If I recall correctly, it took me a little while to find the last point, but eventually I got there and took the game. It was a shame that this was not the game of mine that they showed on the coverage. It was tense, exciting, had huge money swings, and was probably my favorite game all weekend.

Round 5 vs Andy playing NEH Scorch
I’ll give this game the condensed version since it was a long attrition match that had a few big plays but by the end was mostly just about making him use all of his Jacksons until I had the locked in win with a Legwork. We both started out fine, with me getting a Desperado and a Datasucker early, along with some breakers. He was playing Ice that Sucker is good against like Rainbow and Eli, so I was Magnum Opusing off his naked Archives where I discovered that he was playing scorch. Eventually I sniff out that fact that he was just beggin’ for a leggin’ (I think he dropped San San which clued me in that he might have agendas. I Legged him and got what had to be the best Legwork of the top 16, if not the whole tournament: Astro, Astro, Breaking News. The crowd was giving a lot of “Oooooh” noises and I look up and see Niles rolling his eyes at me, disgusted. In our testing, shit like this is my signature move, especially if he’s just about to win. From this point on, all I had to do was sit back, stay up on money, trash San Sans, and exhaust his Jacksons. It was the boring, but ultimately safe play. There was turn where I opted to make a run and Andy was only 1 credit short of killing me. Dan later informed me that he potentially missed a kill by not baiting a run with breaking news on a San San, and then following up with a SEA-Source, Scorch, Scorch powered by an extra turn of drip econ if I ran it, but as it turns out, Plascrete was only one Mr. Li away, so I would have held on. After getting him to use the third Jackson and giving his hand a chance to ripen up again, game I Legged him and got the Beale on my first Pick.

Round 6, where I played Timmy. Again. With the same sides.
It’s not that I wanted to play against Timmy’s Blue Sun deck, but after watching it in action between rounds, I thought I might have a pretty reasonable shot against it. Better than NEH vs Gabe anyway. This match was was on the coverage, so I’ll keep it short (it was a short game anyway). I get rid of a no ICE opener with an Agenda for a 2 agenda mulligan with only Popup window. Between Sneakdoor Beta and Timmy’s Magnetic Fingers (every time he ran my hand with something on offer, he took it) I didn’t really stand a chance. I did manage to score an Astro off of a Biotic, but Timmy played everything stone cold correct and it wasn’t really a contest. At this point I was okay with losing though. After fighting my way all the way through the Losers bracket, I took forth place and was pretty happy. This also meant that would be absolutely no question of being forced to choose between playing the final rounds of the tournament or making my flight on time.

Thank you to Jesse (Vandover), Niles and Rob for splitting the cost of the room, to Ben Depew for driving driving our stupid asses all over the place, to the Hot tub guys for having so many great Netrunner players just talking shop all night, and Scott Awesome for teaching me Conquest. I managed to go all off 2-4 in the tournament thanks to your deck building and play advice (that game is fucking hard).

Last, thanks to all my opponents for giving me great games and not dropping. If I got any details about our matches wrong (or your name, looking at you round 2 and round 6) let me know and I’ll try and update it.


PS. Originally I was going to write about changes I would make if I was going to play in worlds again, and what changes happen in the near future when as Data packs come out, but this has already reached monster proportions, so if you wanna know, ask and I’ll be happy to answer.

Where the heck is Faerie being spelled Fearie? Fear-ee?

Thanks for the catch, fixed.

Fear ye, fear ye. All rise in the presence of her inestimable efficiency.

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Hey, we played two of the same people that day (Daine and Stefan, the Austrian guy), also in consecutive rounds. Funny coincidence.

What would you change if you’d play in Worlds again and/or with new Data packs? For example, with Clot and Traffic Jam coming down the pipeline, how salvageable is NEHBiotics, do you think?

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I knew whose report this was as soon as I read the title. Can confirm from experience that Ben has magic fingers (how many times did you Legwork someone only to find the winning agenda on first pick in this report?). Good report, congrats on your awesome run in the tournament. I’m assuming this means that @hhooo is going to get top 4 at next year’s Worlds for the BalWash Trifecta.

If I was doing it again with the same card pool, I’d try to fit in an Emergency Shutdown into Andy, and maybe, just maybe cut 1 architect for an Ichi 1.0. Architect was great, but the expectation to play against him was there, meaning that a lot of the value you got out of him was from people playing around him, not from actually having his Subs land. Now I did get a few early game Architect hits, and Architect is clearly the superior early game ICE, but I feel like I could have have gotten a lot of people with Ichi. On the other hand there were a lot of Criminals running around, and Faerie make Ichi a lot less good. We can call it a coin toss. As for the ES, it would have given more more game vs the Blue Sun and RP matches (and also against that Janis I saw out of Allen). It would have been nice, but not necessary.

As for the future of NEH FA, I think that the deck will still be a thing, but I think that it will be easily hated out by Shapers running instant speed clots. Clot on the other hand will do very little against other Corps in the format, so it will be a case of meta game juggling, trying to figure out whether this tournament is the tournament to bring FA since everyone might be gunning for Glacier. It’l be like dredge in MTG Legacy and Vintage…eminently beatable until people start relying too much on everyone else to beat them down. Then it can take down the format.

As for for traffic Jam, it puts a little pressure on NEH, but not a lot. It might force you to score things in an un-ideal order, but after you do, it goes away. Also, Breaking News is one of the best Anti current cards for the corp, and you get to play them.

Edit: Oh, and Andy gets a big buff in the next pack with Rex. I will definitely be cutting Gordian’s and 1 other card (figuring that out now) for 2 Rex, which frees up 3 influence. Once you do that, you have a lot of room influence wise to mess around with.

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I can tell you as someone who has lost a LOT of games to this guy that he has STUPID good luck.

If I would make a change to the deck (since I played the same thing) I would figure out a way to play John Masanori. It is very good against NEH.


Hey Ben! You were super nice and a generally awesome opponent, so I felt pretty bad for knocking you out of double elimination playing the same matchup twice - especially since I lost to Minh right afterward. I really wish they had recorded our first game on stream, which was way more tense and interesting. At least my lucksack HQ hits were apparently a fitting defeat for you. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for writing a great report. I hope we can get some rematch games in next year!


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Timmy does have magnetic fingers. Well done and nice report.