Stimhack Chat – Worlds Review by Foilflaws

In this first Stimhack Chat I invited Scot Pags, Simon Moon, Jake Tunstall and John Treviranus to discuss the World’s results, what it means for the meta and their own experiences at Netrunner’s biggest event. The following transcript has been lightly edited for legibility.

(NOTE: This conversation was pulled directly from a slack chat and was only edited for legibility. Grammar and punctuation errors remain.)


Foilflaws (Top 8 GenCon and Origins 2016):

So I think the knee jerk reaction to many World’s watchers is the sheer dominance of NBN in the top 16. 9 CTM, 4 Sync and 3 NEH. What are your thoughts on what led to this yellow dominance and what it means for competitive ANR?

Spags (Scot Pags, King of King of Servers):

Oh, come now. We knee-jerking already? XD

Foilflaws:

Well I think it’s a fair response from an outside observer.

Spags:

Worlds was prefaced by Yellow dominating the ANRPC UK finals, so, we were warned.

SimonMoon (Beat Dan in Philly Regionals 2016):

Yellow dominated because it has the strongest scoring / killing plan that is highly resistant to tech, on top of just having a pile of strong cards in all areas of the game.

Halarith (Jake Tunstall, Runner Up Rochester Regionals 2016):

It also helped that it’s the most resistant to hate; Rumor Mill and Blackmail do a lot less to those decks.

SimonMoon:

Yeah, stuff like Networking and Slums / Strike are way less good against it than stuff like Rumor Mill, Plascrete, FBF are against their equivalent win conditions.

Spags:

We’re mid-cycle, and they received the best cards Corp-wise, as well. Counting Boom!

SimonMoon:

The only thing its missing as a faction is an Eli equivalent (which it’s getting in IP block), and an Adonis / Sundew equivalent that would let something like Sol Glacier exist.

Spags:

Hey now. I play Sol Glacier.

SimonMoon:

Fine, make Sol Glacier be the best glacier deck.

Spags:

Fair. I understand the concern. However, I think we’re already seeing the counter-attack. Look at these Power Tap decks, and Citadel usage. Those are a direct reaction.

Spags:

Aaron Andries’ (Worlds Top 16 Competitor) new take on his Worlds’ deck (Annoying AF) can also straight imprison Yellow.

Foilflaws:

You can’t tease use with new post-worlds tech without providing some details spags

Spags:

I believe he added Rabbit Holes.

Halarith:

Power Tap is fine if you want to let the Corp get to 5-6 points before you do anything.

SimonMoon:

I’m skeptical it can get setup fast enough against a yellow player who knows they need to go fast

Spags:

Sure. CtM go only go as fast as they’re initial draw.

SimonMoon:

Against CTM you really need to be able to interfere turn 1 against Sensie Actors Union(SAU), because SAU going off is brutal and they’re gonna turn 1 SAU, what, 40% of the time?

Halarith:

They always seemed to have it against me Turn 1 at Worlds at any rate.

Spags:

Yeah, T1 Sensie is brutal, no doubt.

Foilflaws:

Yea it is one of the things I learned first for CTM, mull for the Sensie.

SimonMoon:

That’s the one thing Nexus had was I felt they had a strong plan with clot + remote lock to win even if the game started to get away from them early

Spags:

Andries’ deck had more oomph than Nexus in that it could Vamp 3 times, neutralizing a large amount of the field if it could hold on.

SimonMoon:

SAU being so strong turn 1, and Runner’s needing to have a plan to deal with that is a big reason Runner options are limited IMO. Because if you can’t contest you’re basically gonna lose 40% of games off the bat. Which is terrible

Halarith:

And that’s before getting into mid-game where both of you are fighting for board. Where if you make the wrong read, or the wrong play at the wrong time, the game’s over.

Spags:

I’m not sure the answer to Yellow right now, outside of link and hoping people will be off it for Store Champs for more fun things, like Hasty CI (Gotta Go Fast!).

Foilflaws:

It seems most of the conversation and competitive environment is focused on CTM, do you think Sync and NEH made it to the top for similar reasons?

Spags:

CTM was a mistake, for sure.

SimonMoon:

The other issue is there’s no real Corp deck to play that has a good match up with the best runners vs CTM. Well, to specify, non-Yellow Corp decks.

Spags:

NEH made it due to playing combo kill.

SimonMoon:

I think the Sync decks did really well against the decks good against CTM

Spags:

Yes.

SimonMoon:

Which made it a really solid call. Even though I think the Sync deck has worse matchups than CTM did

Halarith:

But had a better matchup against the deck you were going to see most.

Spags:

Like? Andries and I were 15-3 with our Biotic SYNC at Worlds. Super good v. the CTM tech.

SimonMoon:

yeah, both your biotic Sync (you got from @selverin right?) and Ben Ni (and @rojazu / @lpoulter ) boom Sync

Spags:

Yes, we tuned his up (Salem’s Hospitality?! ffs, no!). Those were the two hot SYNC at Worlds, for sure.

SimonMoon:

I think Nexus kate has a solid matchup against SYNC

Spags:

Yes. Agreed. We were counting on the lack of them.

SimonMoon:

Because you don’t have the turn 1 threat that CTM has to punish their slow setup

Spags:

HHN is a greater threat from SYNC.

SimonMoon:

Yeah, so you can just hold off and give up a score or 2 and then clot lock them while you setup. Where as CTM just goes super fast with SAU going off

Spags:

SAU/Bankers is a broke-ass start and happens too often.

SimonMoon:

All this being said, I think CTM has a ton of interesting game play. I would rather see the problem fixed by making other factions stronger rather than NBN weaker.

Spags:

The handoff between and didn’t go so well with CTM and the Political assets.

Foilflaws:

We will talk about the other factions in a bit but let’s switch to the Runner side.
Same as the question with yellow dominance, but what about the Anarch dominance? 1 Kate and 1 Hayley made in into top 16 but the rest is 10 Whizzards, 2 Maxx and 2 Vals. What are your thoughts?

Halarith:

Well, when 9 CtM make Top 16 you play the deck that has the best matchup against it.

SimonMoon:

One thing that I think its an important thing to note, is despite the homegony of ID / Faction on both side, there is a great deal of diversity within the Whizzard decks. There was Temujin Whizz, Siphon Whizz, and I believe Dumblefork represented.

Spags:

He’s such a strong starting ID. Noah and crew were using Rebirth into Omar, which is really solid.

SimonMoon:

yeah. Rebirth out of Whizz was some sweet tech

Halarith:

Rebirth into Omar is actually devastating.

Spags:

Worlds is its own meta, and was mid-cycle. Pack 4 would’ve led to a fair amount more Shaper, due to Smoke. Anarch definitely has a lot of tools across multiple IDs, which helps.

SimonMoon:

I think Smoke was a non-starter because it isn’t good against CTM

Halarith:

I don’t even think Smoke can survive with all these NBN decks right now.

Spags:

Smoke can’t survive… HHN?

SimonMoon:

I think the biggest thing is that Anarch had the best matchup against CTM, which was the main corp deck to play

Spags:

Yes. Whizz was the counterplay.

Foilflaws:

So lack of diversity on corp side led to lack of diversity on runner side?

Spags:

Yes. That is fair.

Halarith:

I think they feed into each other.

SimonMoon:

yeah, I think that’s the direction it went

Spags:

Whizz was dominant during Mumbad due to asset spam Corps, and CTM continued that trend as the top Corp.

SimonMoon:

I think Andy was okay, but just not as good as Whizz

Halarith:

Best Defense certainly won’t cause people to shy away from CTM either. If anything it made it better, somehow.

Spags:

Yes. How good is that card?

Halarith:

That card is ridiculous.

SimonMoon:

Is it? I’m a Best Defense skeptic. What are you putting it in?

Halarith:

Granted I’ve been playing Shaper by mistake the past week and a half. So whenever SMC or Inti gets trashed I feel bad inside.

Spags:

I currently have it in a 54 card CTM. It’s a great target for Visit. I like that Best Defense can usually have targets, and only gets better under tag-me mode. It will be great going into Red Sands cycle.

Halarith:

The Obelus decks certainly hate it.

SimonMoon:

Okay, so you’re saying it’s used out of Yellow decks as additional tag punishment.

Spags:

I’ve killed Obelus with it. Then, killed the Runner.

Foilflaws:

So to bring us back to worlds and the decks at the top, is there anything you would like to see to increase corp diversity at the top?

SimonMoon:

Ban Rumor Mill so Caprice / Ash decks can be good again. I think both Foodcoats and Palana become a lot more reasonable and if you don’t ban Rumor Mill, Free Eli and Architect from the MWL

Spags:

I would like to see more Jinteki. They really pushed those Gunslinging decks (Text copy of all spoiled cards!) at Worlds to keep hope alive.

Halarith:

To be fair I think a couple of those cards are good. For whatever my card evaluation skills mean.

SimonMoon:

Temujin MWL might help IG be good again. Right now all the corps being played have too much money for IG

Foilflaws:

Does Temujin MWL kill any hope Criminals have?

SimonMoon:

I don’t think so

Halarith:

They had hope?

SimonMoon:

they could pair it with removing Desperado from the MWL but Damon said never

Halarith:

Where were they in Worlds? Do we know the highest placing Crim deck?

Spags:

Right. Damon confirmed that Temu is a new econ option they wanted to push, but it is quite a detriment to a variety of Corps, much more so that PPVP, for example.

SimonMoon:

top crim was 20 I think, Pacer.

Spags:

He was also the top Haas Bioroid

SimonMoon:

yeah he swept me last round and didn’t even make the cut what a ruser

Spags:

No Andy.

Joseki (John Treviranus, Worlds Top 16 Competitor):

Yeah pacer was incredible. He had such low exceptions but did really well.

Halarith:

6 Criminal decks made Top 64.

Spags:

Mason Hans was top Jinteki at 49th. Hey, Joseki. Welcome.

SimonMoon:

Jinteki and Weyland both just feel abysmal right now. They both need a bunch of things to be good again. well, not again for Weyland

Spags:

Speaking of top Worlds decks, anyone in that SanFran Testing House needs their Fantasy Draft value upped by $2 automatically.

Foilflaws:

FWIW, top Weyland is 45th even better than Jinteki!

Spags:

Yeah. I played him.

Foilflaws:

It was Shutdown Combo, right?

Spags:

Yes. I also played the 2nd best Weyland, Gagarin. Whizz EStrike destroyed it.

SimonMoon:

Deck seemed cool, but I didn’t understand what it had over CI

Spags:

Simonmoon, it had a ‘cool’ factor.

SimonMoon:

True that

Halarith:

I too suffer from Special Snowflake Disorder. GT scoring is sweet.
But yeah, Jinteki is in shambles right now because they’ve been riding on Caprice plan for a while and that plan is gone

SimonMoon:

Rumor Mill is just too strong against it

Spags:

Is Non-Industrial Genomics Jinteki damage going to be viable again?

SimonMoon:

I think Personal Evolution continues to be okay

Halarith:

You mean just out of PE, then?

Spags:

Or Bio Tech.

Joseki:

PE is the king of tier 2 haha.

Halarith:

No joy for Potential Unleashed?

SimonMoon:

yeah, PE continues to be fine and has received almost nothing

Spags:

Project Kusanagi…

Halarith:

Fun fact; I had someone Mushin Kusanagi and score it with 4 counters on it.

Joseki:

Bio Ethics is incredible in PE, but thats about it.

Spags:

Kristopher Jamieson went 4-1 with PE at the Icebreaker. It def. cleans up a fair amount of Runners.

SimonMoon:

IG needs runners to stop all having a gazillion money and being whizzard

Joseki:

IG is actually fine. Pre Emptive Action is a massive buff to that archetype

SimonMoon:

you think? Makes sense

Joseki:

Its not like, CtM tier, but its very good.

SimonMoon:

I’ll have to test. Yeah I think it has meta problems right now where the best decks are all its worst matchup if you get any amount of shaper or non-Whizzard anarch in the meta, it gets way better

Joseki:

Well its good against every but whizzard, and whizzard is a lot closer with preemptive now. This is a museum deck like IG lock

Foilflaws:

Moving on, we know that CTM and Whizz won worlds but that’s not always representative of the best decks. What do you think the best decks were at Worlds? Or what would you bring to Worlds knowing what you know now?

Halarith:

I dunno, I feel like the best decks won. Siphon Whizz is close.

Spags:

Hate Bear (Hate Bear) was best Runner, IMHO.

SimonMoon:

I think Siphon Whizz and CTM where the best decks for the meta and Ben’s sync was the best deck for the top tables

Spags:

CTM and SYNC were the best Corp. Felt it was accurate.

Foilflaws:

It is hard to argue that Siphon Whizz wasn’t the best meta call. Cheers joseki

Joseki:

Shoutouts to everyone in SF who helped me make it, definitely a team effort

Spags:

Yes. Team effort, but you have def. been the SECRET TECH INJECTION into that crue. Take a bow.

Joseki:

Haha, I think its just an advantage of coming from magic – I’m a grinder at heart. But thanks, I def try and kick everyone’s asses into gear when I can ^^

Spags:

The only outlier was DLR, due to no one else on it.

SimonMoon:

I think DLR was super strong, and I regret not changing to it at the last minute, but I felt like I didnt have enough practice against CTM which is a super hard matchup

Spags:

What is DLR’s issue with CTM? ASI? EOI?

SimonMoon:

Basically they score BN early, then turn it into 3 pts with EOI and then psycho a beale for 7. So you have to siphon lock them in the end game which gets really hard with resistor

Spags:

Just don’t score? Yes, Psychobeale is how I beat you on JNET before Gencon. Need credits for that.

SimonMoon:

its mostly just a really tricky matchup to play that I felt out of practice in

Joseki:

We tested DLR vs CtM for a while at the house, and were pretty discouraged by the results. ASI slows you down, but the main problem is Psycho Beale, like simonmoon said

Spags:

Well, Ben Ni seemed to do OK with it.

Joseki:

If you mill the psycho or they can’t find it though, I’d say it favors DLR overall

SimonMoon:

yeah Psycho is the key card. I think CTM should probably be playing 2x psycho right now for DLR and Siphon Whizz since finding it is so important. ASI is pretty non-impactful in most of my testing tbh

Halarith:

I’ll be completely honest: I have yet to actually play a CtM deck. Like I have just not played the ID yet.

Spags:

You haven’t tried it at all, Jake?

Halarith:

Not once.

Halarith:

That will change this weekend when I finally take it (blind most likely) to my Store Championship

Joseki:

I think its hard to say what the best corp for the event was honestly. The problem is that yellow has so many strong distinct builds, while everyone else felt really really weak.

Foilflaws:

On that note, let’s look to the future. Considering the world’s results and the new data pack, what are your thoughts of the best decks now going into our early SC season?

SimonMoon:

I’m still undecided on what I’m bringing to my first SC

Spags:

Power Tap DLR Sunny.

Halarith:

Joseki:

I’m probably playing Andy with Find the Truth, and IG 54

Halarith:

I’m actually still playing Katman. That deck that got 18th (Temujin Katman) has been pretty fun.

SimonMoon:

I think I’m either playing 7 PT CI or EOI HAARP and some Anarch deck

Spags:

I’m leaning either Power Tap Andy, or Quetzal, with Sol Glacier or 54 CTM.

Halarith:

54 CtM? Is that a recent idea?

Spags:

Yellow Prison. The Spaniards at Worlds played it.

Joseki:

I will say, in my opinion, the two strongest decks you can play (excluding personal preference) are En Passant Siphon Val (Hate bear + En Passant and Blackmail) and CtM with Data Wards

SimonMoon:

I’m really not sold on En Passant but its pure theory so who knows

Spags:

I am really loving Data Ward.

Halarith:

Data Ward is underrated I think.

SimonMoon:

Data Ward seemed to me like it is potentially really strong but I haven’t been playing a ton since worlds tbh

Foilflaws:

What do the En Passants give to Hate Bear? Ramped up ICE destruction?

SimonMoon:

you blackmail cheese potato

Spags:

In Val with BM.

Joseki:

I guess the idea for me is, once Data Ward is rezz’d it basically shuts off a server if you’re tagged as Hate Bear so if you can just randomly trash a lot of unrezzed ice, you’re in good shape

Spags:

Right. It’s another great anti-tagme tool. Paired with Raven and Keegan Lane, and you have a robust server.

Joseki:

Its also just great vs Stealth decks, forcing them to pay real credits for accesses. Data ward, that is

Spags:

Right. Time for those Grounds to come back.

Joseki:

Hunting Grounds feels like its at an all time high haha.

Spags:

Loved me some Grounds in Pitchfork (Hayley Pitchfork).

SimonMoon:

yeah having a facecheck of 3, a min cost of 3, and a massive upside when tagged all for 6 is a solid overall card

Spags:

8 STR.

SimonMoon:

you know what hunting grounds dies to

SimonMoon:

(Foxfire)

SimonMoon:

Oh I was gonna play Frantic Coding Whizz with Mopus but I don’t think its very good and I’m gonna hate myself for clicking mopus

Joseki:

The best part about Data Ward is when they can’t pay the three, they still have to take the tag. Way better than toll booth

Spags:

Yes. Punishment always. You know what makes Ward sad? New Angeles City Hall.

Joseki:

Yeah!

SimonMoon:

so you get through for 2 instead of 3? Seems marginal

Joseki:

its not if you’re running alot with temu and stuff. I got stomped last GNK by that

Spags:

Right. What do we think of Architects of Tomorrow?

Halarith:

It doesn’t actually help you win a game. You rez FC3 for 2 credits and then they Spoon it.

SimonMoon:

Not better than ETF, maybe best general HB id post rotation. -3 influence is the real killer

Foilflaws:

Well I think that is good for the in depth meta discussion. Let’s move on to something a bit lighter

Foilflaws:

Many people couldn’t make it to world’s due to space limitations or the cost of the trip to the middle of nowhere Minnesota, so let them live vicariously through you. What was your favorite moment from Worlds 2016?

SimonMoon:

Cheering on Alex White as he played in the top 16

Foilflaws:

Because you two are twins?

SimonMoon:

I love watching Netrunner, and it was fun to have my shitty British version do well

Spags:

Round 9 of Swiss. My opponent: ‘Are you going to King of Servers tomorrow?’

Halarith:

LOL

SimonMoon:

oh and KoS. KoS was the best

Joseki:

My favorite moment was probably watching the Cubs game with Dan and Alex Black, and the erruption of pure joy. Set the tone for Worlds the next day

SimonMoon:

that sounds dope

Foilflaws:

Editing that out for sure! (Cleveland Indians Fan)

SimonMoon:

I was on the plane at that point and they were announcing score updates. It was pretty wild

Halarith:

The entirety of KoS for me was probably my favorite, having never done it before. I’d have bought more dice if I had the cash on me.

SimonMoon:

Playing Skull and Roses was also great fun

Foilflaws:

King of Servers is the best event in Netrunner. Cheers spags

Spags:

Hey, thanks! Guess I should keep doing that KOS thing, eh?

SimonMoon:

Mostly its just fun to hang out with everyone I talk to online all the time

Spags:

Yeah, seeing everyone is my fave part, for sure.

Joseki:

I will say, my favorite personal moment was playing against Dave Hoyland. I was extremely nervous (sweating, even) going into the match, and when I won it gave me the confidence to play against similarly strong opponents in the rest of the tournament without being nervous

Spags:

Yeah, Hoyland is intense.

SimonMoon:

Hoyland is secretly really nice but don’t tell anyone

Spags:

Hoyland = Love Bear

Spags:

Any other fave opponents?

Halarith:

I’d say Peter round 2 but I’d be lying.

Foilflaws:

Boo! I am the best opponent, Jake

Halarith:

lol it’s only because that started the collapse

SimonMoon:

Dan D’Argenio is my favorite Netrunner opponent because I never feel guilty about beating him. since he’s already won everything

Halarith:

Does ANYONE feel guilty about beating him?

Spags:

Heh. That Hades Shard play that Dien pulled off was perfect. Great way to go out, Dan.

Joseki:

I think one thing about worlds, is that the ANR community is just universally really positive. Everyone was complimenting and consoling eachother all weekend

Spags:

It is. I this community so much. I wouldn’t do a sliver of what I do now if it sucked. Like, in other games, where people are brutally cutthroat, to the point of cheating.

Foilflaws:

So I think that’s a good transition to our final topic, what would you say to someone who is thinking about going to World’s next year and might be nervous or apprehensive?

Halarith:

It’s going to be even BETTER next year, because all those Star Wars nerds won’t be there.

Spags:

Right.

Foilflaws:

Spags:

Worlds is always great. I highly recommend it, if you enjoy the game. For addicts like us, it’s a must.

Spags:

I look at Hoyland. He was the only UKer in ’14, then brought a fair amount last year, and then a ton this year. There’s a reason they come back.

Halarith:

Yeah all of my opponents were great.

SimonMoon:

Yeah, also everyone is super friendly. You can just go up to anyone and talk to them about Netrunner and they will be friendly and its super easy to meet people. Everyone is a weirdo who really likes Netrunner

Foilflaws:

and you’re a weirdo who really likes Netrunner, so come hang out with your real friends, right?

Spags:

Worlds is not cheap. If money is a concern, I’d recommend vacationing somewhere real, like New Orleans or New York.

SimonMoon:

sell your promos

Halarith:

Yes definitely sell your promos.

Halarith:

Also stay in the Radisson.There is no other hotel.

Spags:

The Radisson is a must.

Foilflaws:

I have yet to stay at the Radisson and I regret it immensely

Spags:

In ’13, I stayed on the other side of the highway. Bad move.

SimonMoon:

other places can be fine if you know people, but staying in Radisson makes it really easy to hang out with everyone if you don’t know people

Spags:

We all agree Worlds is worth it, right? I feel there are enough events.

Halarith:

SimonMoon:

Yeah. I’d go Worlds over Gencon, but they’re both close

Spags:

I wish there was a bit more to-do re: product. Like, imagine if Terminal Directive were there?

SimonMoon:

I don’t care about product. All I wanna do is play Netrunner and hang out with Netrunner people.


And that’s a wrap! Thank you for reading our first Stimhack Chat and thank you to all my contributors. Expect more Stimhack Chats in the future with different contributors. If you have any feedback or anything you would like to see from these articles please reach out to me on Reddit, Stimhack Forums or Slack, I’m FoilFlaws on all three!

Continue the discussion at forum.stimhack.com