Had a great time at the World Championship with a couple of my fellow Michigan crewmates! The competition level was a notable step forward from the Nationals at GenCon, and the scene remains full of honest, open, jovial players who are a delight to interact with and play Netrunner against for 10 straight hours .
FFG's event center is also gorgeous! And serves a full cafe menu with burgers, craft beers on tap, wine, espresso, etc. TO YOUR TABLE. Amazing! FFG's staff was cordial and welcoming, and it was great to see how many people came out to participate. There were 160 competitors on the nose, more than any other game (120 for X-wing, 110 for Star Wars LCG).
I ran into @Sirprim early, and kept in touch with him on his trek to the top-16. One of my buddies also made it to the top-16 as well! Major props to the both of them. I got to play several international opponents, some people I'd only played on OCTGN before, etc. Between regionals, nationals, and the plugged-in tour I'm starting to build a repertoire of familiar faces!
As I'm sure you've seen, Andromeda dominated the runner pool (13 of the top 16 and 4 of my 6 opponents), though I ran into a Noise and a Kate. NBN, my corporation of choice, made a strong, strong showing. I faced 3 NBN builds (all different!), and I think NBN was about 8 of the top 16. So even though the hated HBFA (SanSan variant) pulled the top honors, I had tremendous fun seeing so much NBN love out there.
Me? I didn't have a whole lot of practice in, so I went with what I knew: I played a minor variation of my undefeated-at-nationals Andromeda deck, and a pure fast-advance NBN deck (a never-advance/ops-heavy variant I call NBN Silver) that I thought would give me the best consistency for a long day.
I got to start my day on the featured table, facing off against the defending World Champion Jeremy Zwirn, live on twitch.tv! That was really awesome--a high pressure way to start for sure--but also really cool. He had just taken the Call of Cthulhu title on the same stage a couple hours prior. You can watch that match on rebroadcast somewhere on twitch if you care to observe my nervous tics .
I played a perfect NBN game, shutting out his Andromeda 7-0, which was a rush. Sadly, I followed it up by making two major blunders in my Andromeda game against his HBFA, and a 4-0 lead slipped away to a 4-7 loss. Those were the only blunders I made all day: I redeemed Andy with two perfect 7-0 matches (one a rebound against El-Ad's HBFA!) later in the day. That deck is now 13-1 across Nationals and Worlds and I am proud of it—even if it is Andromeda . She gives up so few points--obviously 7 in my one loss, and 6 to a TWIY FA deck that I slow-played in case it was SE TWIY--never more than 3, and usually 0 or 1.
Sadly, it was not to be my day. I split too many other matches, the treacherous perils of variance on random R&D access costing me games I had well in hand (/me shakes fist at R&D). I finished in a pack of people tied at 8-4, and in 33rd place after tiebreakers--cold heartbreak for missing the cut by so little! Silly tiebreakers! I felt punished for having many of my early round foes drop, and afterwards brought up the subject of weighted SoS with Lukas in a deferential and roundabout manner . He had already thought about it, so we'll see if anything comes of that .
Lukas remains gracious and open to conversation about the game, if tight-lipped about the future . He did confirm that Reina Roja and GRNDL are the only IDs in the Spin Cycle, though. I hadn't heard that before, so I thought I'd share. It was definitely cool to get a couple of chances to talk netrunner shop with the designer!
I'm definitely looking forward to the next season of organized play, with store championships feeding into fewer but larger regionals! Hopefully we'll get more Stimhack folks out to Nationals/Worlds!
p.s. I still love my NBN Silver deck--it was sheer bloody-mindedness-of-the-universe that cost me two games with it; my other loss being a hard-fought battle with an Andy deck that was unexpectedly packing Atman (!).