Cardboard Crack: Netrunner Store Championships

I almost didn't go to this, but in the end, yet another playmat, some alternate art cards was worth the (short) trek.

It has been a week of a lot of card gaming, from Magic: The Gathering pre-releases and drafts, and to be fair I was already feeling fatigued from all that, and plus some additional paid writing work I've been doing for someone. So I was thinking of just sleeping in for the weekend

But then as I slept, I had this odd, surreal dream- where somehow I was in Russia (of all places), and I was attending a mass in a very modern, 21st century looking church- the ones with geometrical shapes and white stucco walls, and then this guy offered to take me to this shop, in heavily accented English where they run Friday Night Magic drafts, and my first round opponent was this 70 year old Japanese man who never spoke throughout the match, but laughing joyfully every moment possible. I pulled a really good rare during the draft as well. Then I woke up, and it was 8 in the morning.

Waking much earlier than I intended to, and thought this myself may as well go to this Android:Netrunner , as I'm not getting that much-vaunted sleep again. So I quickly wrote up my decklist (which didn't end up being necessary anyway), and made some tiny changes to my decks, but largely still the same ones I've been running with- the Jinteki kill deck, and an aggressive Silhouette brew that runs a very light amount of gear and can get set up really fast (as my opponent in the last round complained) .

The first round ended with me losing on the Corp side- making a critical misplay, but my opponent took advantage of a rule that I wasn't aware of, but winning on the Runner side, with my usually ineffective runner just running hot and stealing agendas with every single run, against a deck that I had feared- this particular Corp deck is an NBN sub-faction that simply threatens to punish me if I ever stole any agenda with a card that could drown me in tags.

I got stomped for the second round against a player who remained calm and composed and I could do nothing against such a player. On the Corp side, I was facing this deck that revolved around a massive install of lots of hardware, and all the tools to deny me my main win condition- and the player was very much aware of the deck I was playing. On the Runner side, it was one of those almost-there games, all I needed was one more agenda point, and hungrily ran in hopes of scoring the last one- and never did.

The third round also ended with a draw, a loss on the Corp side and a victory on the Runner side, with a very close run for the Corp player as he guessed right on a server I had advanced, with the intention to score it next turn- if he guessed wrong- I would've won. The Runner side, I got a bit lucky, stealing the Astroscript Pilot Program- an agenda so notorious for being unstoppable once it was scored, that for competitive play, a ruling was made that you could only run one copy of it.

The fourth round was a stomp in my favour, against a player who I was actually acquainted with, and found about it when I actually informed him the other day. He had to borrow a deck from a friend of his- which I faced the first round. An early run was stopped by an ICE which I had trouble breaking until later in the game, and again got very lucky as he couldn't get his gameplan off, which was to tax me dry. Then with Corp, it was the only game I won all day with the Jinteki deck, reducing my opponent to be unable to draw any cards due to an empty draw pile (or the stack, as its called in-game), not helped by the Runner ID he was using- MaXx, who looks like a stereotypical punk/riot girl, which puts cards in her used pile to get a mandatory draw.

Safe to say the corporation would be presenting me a gift of a nice, antique, genuine katana- and not out of goodwill. For now, that will be all my documented adventures in card gaming, until at least September, when another Magic: The Gathering set, the Indian-inspired, steampunk flavoured Kaladesh.

It never ends.

Andrew Ryan