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Predictions for Store Champ season?


#1

Store Championship season is upon us. What are you expecting? Do you have any predictions?

Optimistic Prediction: New energy around the game will see better turn out for store champs over all than last year.

Fearful Prediction: Comrades PU will be extremely common as it is both very strong and appears easier to play than CtM, CI, or Hydra, the other strong Worlds Corp decks.

Hopeful Prediction: Kitara cards will give Criminal some new tools over the course of the season and some form of reg Criminal will be playable by the end of the season heading into Regionals.


#2

PU is gross, I hope you’re wrong. The fact that the community’s rage is not more targeted at dumb net damage decks (but we get ten podcasts and videos explaining why Magnum Opus is NPE) shows that there’s a weird sort of Stockholm Syndrome at work in the Netrunner world.

I had hoped that FFG would put more focus on economy and less on damage, but I guess moody 14-year-old boys think net damage is cool and FFG needs to sell cards to keep the lights on.


#3

Optimistic Prediction: People will let the tryhard dex stay in the box, and will really go outside of their comfort zones, eschewing PU and CI.

Fearful Prediction: People play prison/PU/CI/ITD before Boggs addresses any of those (if he does, at all), and SCs are not fun.

Hopeful Prediction: Boggs addresses problem cards from Worlds sooner rather than later, leading to a healthier meta (granted, I find the meta to be quite diverse, interesting, and fun).


#4

Optimistic Prediction: We see an influx of new and returning players with Core 2.0 dropping.

Fearful Prediction: The runner meta pushes corps into playing NPE decks at the SC level which discourages players.

Hopeful Prediction: MWL is updated every 3-4 months and a new one is released before the new year that hopefully addresses CI and takes another round at knocking down runners so corps can start reverting to scoring from remotes instead of alternative win-conditions.

I feel that the runner meta really pushed Corps into the archetypes we saw at worlds. The Hayley toolbox is exactly what Boggs was trying to prevent with the B/R list. It was a lot less oppressive than it could’ve been pre-B/R, but I’d like to see another crack at it. I wouldn’t be opposed to Clot and SacCon both going on the restricted list. Shaper is the only faction that plays Clot competitively, and being able to back it with a SacCon or Clone Chip makes a single, highly tutor-able card stick pretty easily and make the corp waste ~3 turns to get rid of it.


#5

I’d actually like to see misdirection get stuck on the restricted list as soon as another reasonable HHN counter appears (if not before), as the card is too efficient while breaking colour pie rules, thereby giving shapers easy access to overly broad meta coverage. Ideally it would have been a crim card from the start.

Rant over.

Beyond that, I’m pretty optimistic and can’t wait for the new cycle.


#6

I would say there’s a good chance that @FightingWalloon is right, and that PU will become the deck to beat at this level of competition. I can’t argue with the logic here; it really is an easier deck to pilot than a lot of the other “tier-1” decks uncovered at worlds and it’s pretty reliable until you run into specific hate (namely Feedback Filter, Caldera, and Film Critic). I think it was Dan who said on a Podcast that you’re more or less trying to sit back and wait for the runner to kill themselves.

That being said, if you’re ahead of the meta you can play something like the Comrades Val deck that has 2x Film Critic and suddenly Obokata isn’t much of a concern. Similarly, you could slot a second Levy into Laguna Lock Hayley and probably improve that match-up. Geist would be another candidate for running a second Levy and his PU matchup is also probably salvagable, if not slightly in his favor. I haven’t actually tested the match-up, but I would assume Tag Me Counter-surveillance Anarch would also have the edge against PU

In a lot of ways, I think PU’s strong showing at World’s was the result of players spending the majority of the prep time and tech slots on ways to deal with CI and not really considering the Net Damage match-up to be a significant concern.


#7

Personally, I think the PU deck requires a lot of patience, and strong yomi play to be particularly effective. Both Dan and Josh are excellent yomi players, so this deck plays to some of their strengths and can be quite effective.

The deck needs to manage agenda flood effectively and, as many others have said, wait for the runner to kill themselves. If the runner can sense when agendas are piling up on HQ and access/check the remote, or knows when there are enough agendas buried and to lay off, the deck can really flounder.

My prediction is: Hayley. Hayley everywhere. Every flavor under the sun, but expect a lot more Laguna and Heartbeat than you normally would.

Corp side I’ll guess CI, CtM, and PU in that order.


#8

Something I’m slightly worried about was that they announced Store Champs sign-ups for kits with basically no fanfare or lead-way so there might be less stores running them or have gotten them. I really wish they’d at least announce the store list at least already. Some of us have to put in for time off work 3-4 weeks in advance.


#9

Oh, I agree that at a high skill ceiling like the Worlds Top 16 bracket or say a Nationals Top Cut the PU deck can get extremely technical. The plays they were making on stream were incredibly cool (like overwriting Hokusai with a Hokusai, just to be able to rez it again to keep at the ideal credit level for Tap/Beth). I’m not saying that they don’t require skill to play to reach their highest potential.

OP was talking about the upcoming Store Champs meta, where you might expect a lower skill ceiling and possibly less competitive decks in general. I think the PU decks we’re discussing could perform very well in that environment, even with less than masterful piloting. Maybe you aren’t deliberately not playing IPO so Beth gives them a draw instead of a click, but you might still deck them anyways, a turn or two after you would have with perfect play.

Again, none of this is to meant to be condescending or reductive of player skill.


#10

I don’t mind PU at all but I’m a net damage die hard. I’d rather play kill combo than grinder but that dies even harder to the same dumb hate cards. PU has plenty of weaknesses and mostly punishes undisciplined runners who feel like they have to play every card they draw. IMO it’s not as bad to play against as prison decks like D2D or Gagarin.

Optimistic Prediction: the meta will be even healthier than worlds, with several SC wins from every major faction and probably an Adam or Sunny, too. A bunch of people win with Weyland, like last year when Blue Sun went on a tear.

Fearful Prediction: attendance will be as low as last year. Despite rotation and a pretty good meta, players still don’t come in at a greater rate than they leave. In particular, people who have left don’t come back.

Hopeful Prediction: we see some totally new archetypes emerge from Kitara to compete with the worlds decks. Specifically I hope for a non-CI HB deck (maybe glacier Architects with the new 5/3?) and a non-Geist Criminal.


#11

After hating on PU upthread I opened Jnet and my first opponent was on it. I said “Okay let’s try and puzzle this out.” Over the course of the game I spent around ten turns just clicking for credits instead of trying to draw into my econ pieces. I found my Caldera, installed it, and managed to get the Philotic and an Obokata out of HQ. On five points with only 3-pointers and a single House of Knives in the deck, I just sat there and clicked for credits until my opponent got frustrated and installed The Future Perfect.

It’s certainly not nearly as bad as when it was Friends in High Places was around. In retrospect I think Friends might have been the major enabler…

With the exception of Obokata, I took exactly 0 points of net damage in the game.


#12

I’d just like a list of where the SCs are going to be right now :slight_smile:


#13

I don’t mind the “standard” PU quite as much because although it’s a bit coin-flippy at times once you learn to take it slow and not impale yourself on their defenses it really is more of a puzzle to solve than a guessing game.

The trap based version on the other hand (Ronin and Overwriter, Junebug, etc. with Mushin) can be pretty tilting. It’s possible I’m missing some lines of play, but I feel like I often wind up in all-in situations where I have minimal information. The best “plan” I can come up with is to try and gather as much information as possible on their hand / R&D so I have at least some knowledge of what threats they have. I’m not sure which version is better but this one is more frustrating IME.


#14

You complaint about all-in situations with minimal information is exactly why players such as @TheBigBoy dislike Mushin.

He explains why Mushin is an unfair card in this article. Your comment about the two kinds of experiences playing PU is a perfect example of his point.