White Bronco, Southbound -- Undfeated at Italian KoS

Saan 2451

You know what OJ liked? Football. But do you know what OJ loved?

Killing people.

When I was asked to be on the Patavium Unleashed KoS team, it was because someone had to drop. That person was going to be playing HB (a faction which I'm a little ho-hum about) and minifaction. I'm a Weyland man to my bones, but I didn't want to steal that Weyland glory from the person who already claimed it, so I went seeking an HB deck that I found interesting. What I found was RUSEMETAL MURDERBALL by lukifer. This thing? This isn't an HB deck! This is a Weyland deck in HB's clothing! I was all in.

After looking at the deck and goldfishing around a little with it, I decided it needed some changes. First of all, the sentries sucked. Errand Boy is one influence, and I see why that's needed, but I wanted something that was a little more punishing, so I swapped an influence over to an ICE Wall and took out a Quicksand and a Vanilla, throwing in 2 Architects. This helps a little with the second problem: money. There's not much here in terms of early game money, and the ability to potentially recur Rashida or the NGO for money seemed good.

I went back and forth on whether to keep Best Defense or the Cyberdex in the deck, but decided since it was a KoS event, I had a good chance of seeing Shaper at some point (spoiler, I never did), so I kept the Defense. Cyberdex is good vs Aumakua anyhow, so this I thought was still a good keep.

I also really, really wanted to ditch the Quicksand. 98% of the time, Wall of Static is a better piece of ICE, because it starts at 3 strength. However, there's always the scenerio of someone just pounding R&D every turn, and in that case Quicksand might actually not be a giant piece of shit like I know it fucking is, so I kept it in anyhow.

Finally, the night before, I decided it would be nice to move some of the late-game money into a more early game place, so I took out a Stock Buy-Back and made it an IPO. A lot of times I had to use one when the runner was on 2 agendas just to have some money, effectively making it an IPO anyway. This allowed me to ditch the final bad ICE, Loki, and put in a really good ICE, Archer. For a deck that's running five 1-point and three 0 point agendas, not having an Archer seemed kinda like a crime. And in HB! No one expects that shit.

In the end, no one expected any of this shit, as the sports team murdered their way to a 5-0 finish, making the top HB slot of the tournament (I finished 9-1 overall, with my Adam deck filling my runner slot).

Here's a match breakdown!

Match 1 - Sportsmetal vs Adam

I don't recall this match much, because it was the first in the day, and also because it just wasn't very long. I know one of the first agendas I scored was a False Lead. I eventually drew a couple Consulting Visits, so I started to try and out-money him. He kept playing a lot of money, though, which was annoying, but wasn't finding much in the way of agendas, which was very good for me, because if Adam can get a hand size of 7 or more, it's really annoying to kill them. Finally he ran Archives for an Aumakua counter (and to FTT peek at R&D) when I was far enough ahead in cash. I took a credit, then Consulting -> HHN'd him. Before he had a chance to do anything else, I forfeited False Lead, forcing him down to just 2 clicks. Adam couldn't win in those 2 clicks, so Adam lost to BOOM! next turn.

Match 2 - Sportsmetal vs Adam

So earlier I was like "because if Adam can get a hand size of 7 or more, it's really annoying to kill them." So yeah. This Adam had good luck finding early agendas, since I was having trouble finding enough ICE to do much with. My one saving grace was that I got my Cyberdex in Archives to keep him from farming it with Aumakua, but he'd still run Archives or HQ, see an agenda on R&D, and just run it, blowing a Logic Bomb (he found all 3 almost immediately). Thanks to a Brain Chip and a Brain Cage, Adam's hand is 9 pretty fast. I eventually catch him with his monetary pants down, and go for an HHN, hoping I can do something with it later (and knowing I can recur it with the Archived later). He opts to simply keep the tags and stay above 7 cards. I let him run around for a while like this (trashing things like Logic Bomb and Neutralize, though, since they hurt me a good deal by existing). Finally I realize I'm being stupid, and BOOM! him at a full 9 cards. He spends the turn drawing back up to 6. I use Archived Memories and BOOM! him again.

Match 3 -Sportsmetal vs Liza

I was so happy to see this matchup, because it's almost un-loseable. I mulligan exclusively for one of the four cards that wins the match on the spot, but don't get anything. What I do get is a handful of agendas and some ICE. I ICE HQ and R&D, taking a credit. I draw a little next turn, getting ICE and money, so that's good. Liza just spends her time swimming around in Archives for Paragon and Bankroll triggers as she sets up her business. I keep drawing, and just find more agendas and money. If there's one way I can lose this game, this is it. This keeps going on for both sides of the table; me, going into super glacier mode on HQ and R&D, making fat stacks of cash while holding a hand of agendas, her making fat stacks of cash while setting up the rig that will eventually run HQ. Eventually I need to pitch agendas, but fortunately it's 2 Domestic Sleepers and a Hyperloop, which translates into 3 credits and 6 cards for me, which finds me the Consulting Visit I've been dreaming of these long, cold turns. He passes turn, and dies.

Match 4 - Sportsmetal vs Valencia

This match was insane. I drew into a Vanilla, a Food, a Vitruvius, a Visit, and an IPO. I figure I slam the Vitruvius behind the Vanilla, take a credit, say go. I draw into a second Vitruvius, which is a little ugly, but go ahead with my plan. He Hedge Funds, then Dirty Laundries R&D, snatching a Food off the top (also not great), and a snatch a couple credits as he grabs it. He then runs HQ, fortunately whiffing. His last click he plays Earthrise. I draw a Quicksand and score the Vitruvius, taking 2 credits. I figure at this rate, I'm going to IAA the Food in hand next turn to accelerate the clock of the game, so maybe I can get out of this flood. On his turn he runs R&D, seeing nothing, but then runs and HQ and steals the Food I was going to score. I grab a couple credits in order to be in IPO range, still hoping to out-money him. He pokes again and steals the Vitruvius. ... This time I decide I need to draw for some ICE, so I take a couple cards, drawing into something inconsequential (Best Defense, I think, and maybe a Game Changer). His last click he plays a card, dropping him a little lower on credits. I mandatory into I think a Hedge Fund, so I ICE R&D, play the Hedge, play the IPO. He pokes HQ fruitlessly, and sets up a little more, dropping to 3 credits. I mandatory into a Hyperloop, which I'm not thrilled about. I draw, hoping for either Murder or ICE, and hit... a second Hyperloop. Whelp, might as well draw second click, maybe I'll -- holy shit I just hit the HHN I was dreaming about. I play the HHN, but now have a choice to make. What the hell do I do with these 2 Hyperloops? I'm at 7 cards, so maybe I just discard them and hope he doesn't run Archives? If he does run Archives though, I just automatically lose. I decide to keep them in HQ, banking on him just not accessing them. On his turn he thinks for a sec, then runs Archives (WHEW). He pokes HQ, and I'm trying to pokerface as hard as a man can. He whiffs. He runs the R&D ICE, and I rez the Quicksand that I hate so much. His final click he thinks for a sec, then takes a credit. Both me and my team mate who was watching just break down in gigantic sighs of relief as my opponent says "Oh, did I make a mistake?" Consulting -> BOOM!, was the answer. I reveal my hand of 2 Hyperloops and 3 effectively blank cards.

Match 5 - Sportsmetal vs Steve Cambridge

So by now, it's gotten out that the crazy American is murdering everyone with Sportsmetal. We're now at the top table, and I'm at the top seat of the top table, under the camera. My opponent is the same person I faced the final round of the Regionals that I won in Torneo earlier this year. He's playing Steve Cambridge, and since he's also at the top of the top table, I'm assuming it's a sick deck. From what I remember, this dude builds and workshops these really neat, kinda out-of-the-box decks that do very well. This game goes on FOREVER, so I'm not going to do a blow by blow, but will describe important things I remember. I have a hand with 2 ICE in it, so I play a Quicksand on R&D and a Gatekeeper on HQ, taking a credit on 3. He starts his day with a Fisk Investment Seminar, and I draw into some ICE and an agenda. He then plays a Patchwork (sick) and starts the money game. I have a hand full off bullshit, with no money, so I stick an Architect on HQ, an Errand Boy on Archives, and take another credit. His turn? Another Fisk Investment. He then drops a Turning Wheel and runs at R&D. I rez Quicksand, and am happy that this shitty barrier is actually doing a thing for the first time in its life, since he can't just farm Turning Wheel counters on it, as it would get bigger each time. On my turn I have more ICE and a Game Changer, so I just take 2 and throw an Errand Boy on a Remote, hoping to bluff an actual ICE later. I actually get a Hedge Fund, so I make a little money, then throw a Rashida in the remote, and a False Lead naked. He sets up an Aumakua, but doesn't run the Lead. I score it, taking 2 credits. He then sets up a Sneakdoor, and I don't rez the Errand Boy due to money concerns. He takes back a Fisk Investment with Steve, making me sad. I find some money on R&D, so I play it, throwing out a naked Rashida, just to get it out of my hand, and a naked Sleepers, hoping to eventually make the Stock Buyback in my hand good. He Fisks again, drawing me into tons of small agendas, and runs the Sleepers. I take 2 credits, and I'm finally feeling kind of okay financially this game. He's still way ahead, though, so the murder plan is probably off the table.

This turn I decide to make some money, I install 2 naked Hyperloops and a Sleepers behind my bullshit Errand Boy. He Sneakdoors to get back a Deuces Wild (pretty good card with Patchwork), then runs both Hyperloop servers, making me 10 credits. Ahhhh. My turn I draw a couple times and play Stock Buyback, finally winning me the credit race. Until he just shits out money the following turn, thanks to the Patfhwork'd Deuces that draws him into more cash. I score the Sleepers in the Errand Boy remote the following turn, which doesn't do much... yet. A few turns later when I draw Archer, though, and suddenly I'm a happy man. He only has 3 counters on his Aumakua, but that doesn't even matter, because I also drew Cyberdex. I jam the Atlas on my remote, deleting the Errand Boy that was there (my financial situation has become lessened due to ICE rezzes and DOOF. I throw Cyberdex behind it, and jam a Food on top. He doesn't take the bait. He just sets up. "Hilariously" his Aumakua doesn't grow, since his couple runs this turn end in agenda scores. I triple advance the Food. I realize I'm super open to Inside Job, but I haven't seen him use one yet, and his Turning Wheel is getting pretty big, so I figured if he had one, he would have used it on R&D several turns ago. He looks at it, and runs. Archer kills his only 2 programs: Sneakdoor and Aumakua. Life suddenly is good. I score out the Food, putting me to 4 points. At this point he has a ton of points himself, but I'm feeling okay. Fisks again and gets a Femme online, pointing it at the Gatekeeper on HQ so he can DOOF me again, and attempt to use Steve to get back his Sneakdoor. I decide that I'm actually okay with this, because Fisk has shown me 2 other Gatekeepers and a Food, and I have a plan. I slap a Gatekeeper over Archives, and one over HQ, trashing the Femmed one for monetary reasons. Now he's locked out of my servers until he can get enough cash to break Archer with Femme... which he gets the following turn. Fine. I find Vanilla and slap it over the top of the Archer, installing a Vitruvius that I also had in HQ. He doesn't run Archives or HQ, which is the only reason I installed the Vitruvius rather than the Food. I dump the Vitruvius in Archives, IAAing the Food over the top of it. I figured Aumakua could break Gatekeeper if its strength went down to 0 on both HQ or Archives, so I needed to be able to score the Vitruvius and install the Food if he made me rez them. I obviously forgot about the first sub that lets me clear HQ of agendas, but I was pretty braindead at this point. Anyhow, I slap the Food over the Vitruvius and advance it twice. He checks my face-ups in Archives calmly draws and sets up an Earthrise Hotel and some money? I was shocked as I score out the Food, winning me the only game of the day on points. He said when he checked Archives, he was looking for NGO front, which he saw in there (I had played one at some point early in the game for 5 bucks). He figured that it was probably a second one, so he didn't feel like he needed to act this turn. Yay!

18 Oct 2018 lukifer

Hey, this deck looks familiar... :D Cool tweaks, I like the Archer! I'll defend Errand Boy and Quicksand to the end though ;) (QS is indeed worse than Static sometimes; but as you note, it deters farming wheel counters, and can tax the runner into HHN range if they insist on locking the remote.) Congrats on going undefeated!

18 Oct 2018 Saan

@lukifer You know, as much as I shat on Quicksand, it did me some real good in the final game. Thanks for the fantastic deck. Even when they know you're trying to kill them, sometimes, you just kill them! I never got a good chance to use Game Changer, but I never felt like I was sad to see it. I was always like "Oh, this will be great later," but later usually involved murdering them before it was useful.