Home | About | Tournament Winning Decklists | Forums

Matchpoint theory and Rush Hybrids

Hey guys,

I just finished a new article, thought some people may find it interesting:




A great article that does a good job laying out the different ways to bottleneck the runner. I could see this as a top level post on StimHack.

One distinction is that for some fast advance decks (like Jens) calling the FA aspect plan B is probably not totally accurate, as they are really scoring the bulk of their agendas through the FA plan.

I think Accelerated Diagnostics has the potential to make the matchpoint be very early in the game. If you can combo out 3 points from the AD combo reliably then you only need to rush out 4 points before comboing into victory.


The ‘B’ doesn’t refer to importance of the plan, just rather the timing (you rush first, FA second). Maybe I wasn’t precise with the wording there. It may very well be that Jens FAs the majority of his agendas, but I very rarely see all 7 points being FAd (hope that makes any sense)

It might get even worse (in NBN): Rush 1 Astroscript (they probably do that anyway), score one Breaking News from hand for your 3rd agenda point. And if I’m not totally mistaken the Accelerated Diagnostics + Power Shutdown Combo can give you a 4 point Beale via triple Shipment from SanSan.

Scary if you ask me :smile:

Very cool article. One thing that I don’t like about it, though, is that you talk about decks that fast advance 3-pointers and describe this as the future-- but no such deck has been demonstrated and you don’t describe what one might look like.

There are a couple of reasons why I didn’t do that:

  1. There were no such decks leading up to Worlds, so I don’t have experience with them (yet)
  2. Writing about such decks probably is a blog post on its own
  3. I intend to rock some Chronos Protocoll with those decks :stuck_out_tongue:

I edited the posted to give some general ideas about what is possible though. But this really is only my prediction as those type of decks are pretty new.

This is what I added:


Since the question came up somewhere else, how those decks might look like, here are some ideas:

  • Accelerated Diagnostics will enable some decks to score 3+ points from hand
  • Efficiency Committee with two Shipments from SanSan allows you to score a 3 pointer from hand
  • Jinteki will be able to score a “pseudo 3-pointer” with Unorthodox Predictions, probably not by direct Fast Advance though (still a threshold of 4 with a Never Advance matchpoint is an improvement, especially if Never Advancing fits your overall deck better)
  • and likely some more I haven’t thought about yet or with unreleased cards
1 Like

I like this article, mostly because I’m heavily involved in the talk on NEXT and been running it as my primary corp for a while.

However, with matchpoint being 5 as you describe, you are pushing for more 3 pt agendas to be used? I find this interesting! A lot of corps shy away from 3 pt agendas because it can very easily create the opposite situation - match point for the runner and an RD lock in hand

and its rather hard sometimes to rush out 3 points - needing 2 turns min to pull it out, what do you advocate for helping this along?

In my opinion scoring a 3-pointer is not drastically different from scoring a 2-pointer during the early rush phase, because both would need to sit behind Ice for a turn. So why not get to matchpoint faster? :wink:

Also it is important to note that not all decks will need 3-point agendas in order to score 3 points from hand. One example would be Project Beale, another most Cerebral Imaging decks. Or the “pseudo 3-pointer” Unorthodox Predictions (not yet sure on the last one though)

If you use 3-pointers you have matchpoint at 4 :stuck_out_tongue:
But to be totally fair, I’m not really advocating that. It’s just my opinion that those decks will prove strong in the future (imagine how many runners you could surprise with going from 4 to 7 from hand these days. I’d bet a lot currently)

I see. Problem then becomes getting to match point.

If you have all 2 pointers, then match point is always 6 - of course your opponent doesnt know what the numbers are, but you wont /really/ be threatening at 4. It will be scary for him, sure, but with 5advanced needing at least for a 3pointer he’ll know he’ll have two turns to access any card he is afraid off.

running 1pts then, you still need 3 agendas scored to hit match point. Same amount of work needed by you to get there.

I love the article, and I try to force ‘Match Point’ as quickly as possible with my NEXT deck (mandatory Upgrades early means I can score all but the other mandatory upgrades from hand, putting a TON of pressure on them - and then can ice up their main target, be that RD lock to tax the hell out of each run, or HQ)

just its interesting to make strategic decisions on trying to rush to match point with what your agenda advancement and points are.

It might just be me, but once I am sitting at matchpoint I assume that my opponent has figured out my agenda composition by now. At least I usually know my opponents agendas after a certain time in the game.

And the 1-pointers actually improve most decks in my opinion, mostly because each faction except HB currently has a really small one (Breaking News, Hostile Takeover, Clone Retirement).
And if HB wants to stay away from 3-pointers they will end up with some 4-difficulty agenda in the deck. Personally I feel like I might as well play a 5-difficulty one then.

1 Like

HB tends to want to play Efficiency Committee, though. Efficiency Committee “turns on” Shipment from SanSan as a fast advance card, makes Gila Hands much more effective, etc. It would probably be worth playing even as a 4/1-- IMO no HB 5/3 seriously competes with it. Maybe Executive Retreat?

My NEXT deck prefers Mandatory Upgrades :smiley:

My last incarnation ran 3 Mandatory Upgrades, 3 Vitruvirus, 3 ABT, and 1 Efficiency. Though I have instead dropped Efficiency for 2 gila hands, looking for the economy. Match point can arrive at 5 points now, but I tend to get a Upgrades and a ABT that I fire out, and then just roll up with whatever 3/2s show up advanced from hand for the win.

Mandatory Upgrades being scored might make it ‘Match Point’ right then? Being that the only way they will stop you is an RD lock, and if you have the agendas in hand its a matter of turns and money till you win, as long as HQ is protected.

How do you reliably score Mandatory Upgrades? I tried a deck using the same concept shortly after C&C and didn’t find it particularly effective, though it’s certainly possible that a more refined build is doing this more effectively.

My HB Rush plays
3x Beta Test
3x Vitruvius
3x Executive Retreat

My thoughts are the same as the analysis in the OP, and it is also one of the reasons why I believe 6x 3/2 and 3x 5/3 is the best way to play rush, because it’s much faster to get to match point. I can often win on turn 8 or 9 with this setup and a good ETR ice suite.


My early game ICE allows for some large scoring windows. Against anyone but Andro Aggro you simply get a couple ice, maybe even 3 on your scoring server and power through it. SMC / clone chip tricks and inside jobs are not going to get them into that. Not without a TON of cash.

Against Andro Aggro you have to wait till theyve blown a few events before you go in, and probably have to recover from a siphon, but with ice already on the board you are in good shape.

Usually its ice ice ice on remote, (first one free from ID) and instal Mandatory with enough credits in pool to Rez all your ice and to score without gaining any more. A first turn melange or hedge helps.


If you are interested, here is the current version I am running. Can reliably (with careful attention paid to Scoring windows and how many credits the Runner has) score mandatory upgrades, and I generally fire ABT with this deck)


Inspired by Sirprim’s article, I built a NEXT Design deck with low matchpoint requirement (it is at 4pts).
Played only 3 times so far, but worked like a charm each time. The decklist and gameplan linked above.

I really enjoyed the article. I wonder though, if you’re overvaluing match points, at least from a theoretical point of view. I’m not convinced that they should affect optimal play as much as you imply. For example, it seems clear that even if the corp is at match point, running at any facedown card is not the optimal play. How should the way in which the runner makes the run/don’t run judgement call be affected by the fact that the corp is at match point?

Having said that, I would agree from experience that it does have a strong affect on the way runners do actually play (I’m just not sure that those runners are playing optimally), so from that point of view a lot of your analysis is very valid. Another corollary from your match point analysis which I don’t think you mentioned (although I think Hollis did) is that traps become more powerful at match point. I still see a lot of corps playing traps early game (when the runner has the most to lose if the connect), when it’s probably better to save them until match point (unless you think you’re unlikely to get there).