The European Netrunner Experience
This is an Android: Netrunner related article. Specifically a report about my journey to Birmingham for the UKGE and the European Championship hosted by FFG during the 2nd,3rd and 4th of June 2017.
I spent a lot of time contemplating if I should go to the European Championship that was hosted in Birmingham this past weekend and I finally decided to go after lots of conversations with both my girlfriend and my Netrunner buddies. And boy am I glad I did!
I will explain my deck choices, a few of my rounds during each day and a couple other things, but first, let’s talk about the journey a bit. The reason why I am writing this report, is because a bunch of people told me that they actually liked reading my reports and they were wondering why I stopped writing them. Well, here you go fellas, this is all for you!
Oh and, before we say anything else, congratulations to the amazing Mike Sheehan for his victory. Very good meta calls when it came to decks and very well played. Well done good sir, you are awesome.
Image taken from Krystman’s Twitter
So, most people consider me to be a hipster in the Netrunner community for getting very vocal about my success with some very rogue decks in the past (Nisei, Silhouette, etc.) and sometimes I’ve been obnoxious even, to the point that some really did not like me and made it very clear on every Netrunner group there is. This was my main reason as to why I was not sure if I should visit an event where there will be lots of people that have badmouthed me online, but nonetheless, I got convinced that I should go for all the other lovely people that I would most definitely love to meet up close. I am immensely glad I went after all, because my interest in both the game and the community was revitalized to the point that I want to keep travelling as often as I can to keep meeting more people that love the same game I love.
I knew that quite a few people knew me from the Nisei and Silhouette decks, but I did not expect that many. It may sound cocky like “shit, I’m famous” but it was the most amazing experience ever, to be sitting at a table and having the other guy go like “Shit! You are the Nisei guy! I love your decks! I took ’em to a GNK and did awesomely!” Comments like that and a whole lot more just made me smile all the way till the end of Sunday. Hugs, pats on the back and a shitload of emotions just made the trip to Birmingham something extraordinary. I have met a bunch of people from Belgium and Germany, but meeting even more from the Nordic and Balkan countries as well as from the UK was just amazing. I played with some amazing players that gave me the most competitive Netrunner games I’ve had in my Netrunner life and game after game, I felt as if I belonged there more and more.
Was more than excited to find Kostas again :O
I met people like:
Cursor, who has been supplying me with decks when I literally do not know what to play at GNKs and are super fun to try out. He was a super chill guy and I am very glad to have met him up close.
Rui and the whole Portuguese group who all came by to say hi and talk to me about Netrunner and indie games. Can’t wait to visit you and play with you in your country too guys!
The Spanish peeps who are all as lovely as I expected them to be after having chatted just a little bit online. Hopefully we’ll meet again soon (Spanish nats? Maybe?!?!?)
The German, Belgian and French guys who I know better than most others and made it feel as the most European event it could ever be. Played some awesome games with Ryanbantwins (Brian) who I still consider to be the best Belgian player I know. I mean, damn son, his dyper piloting skills are just off the hook. Also a really good NBN bluffer-player.
The Czech guys who apparently all played my Cache Refresh decks (not the only ones but still, community effort from them!) and we had some nice chats after our games!
Tristan von Zahn from South Africa, who came to visit us and turned to be even nicer of a guy up close than I thought he was from just chatting with him online.
Percomis who is one hell of a good player. Well done on top 16 dude.
Jakob who was as drunk as I expected him to be in the last day, rolling around just getting wins non-stop the rest of the days. A cool guy that you shouldn’t underestimate when playing against him as he knows his Netrunner quite well!
The Dutch guys who travelled to Euros as well and made it feel a bit more comfortable as an atmosphere for me than it would have been if they weren’t there.
Kostas from Athens and Spyros who came from Sweden. I hadn’t seen them in 2 years and we had a blast roaming around together. We had far too many laughs with Kostas throughout the 5 days trip in Birmingham. I actually started getting tired and getting headaches after so many laughs.
For the people I played with, check below at the round explanations. My apologies if I am forgetting anyone!
The Decks and the Tournament experience!
So, let’s get to the tournament part. I made a meta call, or as I would call it, a very STUPID ROGUE CALL. A call that apparently nobody else made and thus nobody else was prepared for. I played a full-on Palana traps deck that I made 2 days before the event. I also brought Smoke, because of reasons (that I will explain below). I made 29th place but I could have easily made 18th. If you are thinking “yeaaaah right, sure you would have” then just read below and you will see why. I am not just saying it. But I will say that it does not matter what I made, I just know I was with the guys from 18th to 36th or so. We were much around the same skill level at those spots anyway.
Round explanations after the deck descriptions.
The Corp Deck (Link to NetrunnerDB)
The lovely alt-art NYC Palana, a gift by my good friend Carlo Gozzi!
Boy oh boy. Mooninites and SYNC everywhere. The thing is though, I realized that I haven’t practiced either of those decks as I have been playing weird decks for a while. I also found that Nisei Division, after many iterations and lots of practice, was not really good for the current meta and any well prepared deck for Glacier would destroy me anyway. Also, apart from that, it would also take a lot of mental strength to win games since they would take so long. Oh and I hate Timed Wins. I seriously do. I find it silly that people with one timed win get points and get above you in swiss. Especially after the last round.
Anyway, talking about what corp deck to bring, I really was not sure and even though I knew that Beyoken’s SYNC is amazing, but I also knew that a lot of people had been practicing against that. So, not having played it enough myself to be good with it (for EU Champs at least) I knew I had to go another way. So, I thought to myself “what am I best at?” Two answers. Nisei and damage. Having played Personal Evolution, exclusively, for the first 2 years of my Netrunner experience, I have learnt to love it and master its ways, so I figured “let’s just build a traps deck, that WORKS.”
Enter the “Poisonous Herbs Garden”. Proudly presenting the best Trap / Shell Game / Mind Games, Deck in Euros (unless you consider IG Bio-Ethics any of that too of course.) 3rd best Jinteki, could have been 2nd but eh.
The plan: You basically just try to mill them out. It sounds silly, but it so darn possible. Even through one and two Levys, you can just keep installing Junebugs, Snare!s and Ronins to get that kill going. Big ICE that both tax (Komainu) and hurt a lot (Kakugo) really help with this plan. Also Palana Foods is by far the best ID to be playing with this kind of deck, since you want to be making some money on the side to keep the advantage of being able to fire traps and rez big ICE (Chiyashi, DNA Tracker). Setting up Mushin No Shin Ronin/Junebug or install-advance-advance is the main way to go when playing the deck. Dropping agendas in Archives is also huge when they know there is a Shock! and won’t go there anyway.
I tried the deck out with Personal Evolution and the lack of money really hurt me. It’s scary to steal agendas, but not that much when they are 2-pointers anyway. Also, Aaron Marron kinda wants you to score out and in most of my games against Aaron Marron, I barely scored anything so that I do not give them the clickless draw option. Other than that, if the Runner allows you to go far ahead in credits, you just SEA Source – Scorch them the old fashioned way. If they have a resource to defend against that (Aaron) then you just Voter’s that away first.
Agenda Suite: You need as many 2/3s as possible to be able to fake them out and score them in one turn if able later. I actually rarely ever scored with the deck, but still, it’s good to have the option. Also, all the other agendas are not great in this kind of deck. Global Food Initiatives of course make the deck a bit less agenda-thick and that helps a lot. Other than that, I played only one Fetal AI so that people think that installing their Film Critic is important and also to make them think that some of the advanced cards are actually Fetal AIs. You cannot imagine how well this worked. Some of these tricks go all the way back to my Neural Secrets tips and tricks and I am just amazed at how well they still work. The Future Perfect is also a 3-pointer and Film Critic will take it from you anyway. Knowing that most people run at least one Film Critic to counter Lakhsmis, I really did not care about having agendas like that, so I went with a standard House of Knives, Philotic, Braintrust, GFI agenda suite. I also tried out an agenda suite with Medical Breakthroughs, which made people run more the remotes, so I switched it out, since I do not want them running out that much early to mid-game.
Assets: x3 Junebug is the best value you will ever get in your life. Install – advance – advance and for 1 credit (which you will basically get back since they will have to draw back their hand) gets you 4 net damage on your opponent. A double advanced Junebug is better than a triple advanced one, because it fires more often. Always remember that.
x2 Jackson Howard because they expect you to be playing a 3rd one and sometimes they might go looking for it if they are playing Keyhole or something like that. Because, who the heck wants to run Archives with Shock!s. You play a Preemptive instead to fill up that slot and you also save one influence which is very much needed.
x1 Psychic Field so that they think you run more than one. It fired twice in 10 rounds, but it scared the shit out of the runners, so it did a really good job overall.
x2 Ronin, because that makes all the other 4 advanced assets junebugs. After they see one, everything is a Ronin.
x2 Shock! because x3 is too much and I needed the space. Maybe it will go up to 3 since it is such a good value card.
x3 Snare! because it does 3 net damage everywhere except Archives and you can always afford it in Palana. You always install your Snare!s unless you see the Runner running lots on HQ. Trust me, if they don’t run it in the early and mid-game, they might run it later when you score an agenda that was also installed many turns before.
Operations: Hedge Fund and IPO carry the economy where it needs to go. Palana makes enough on its own, but that sudden burst when you are just waiting for the runner to run your 3 and 4 advanced cards is perfect.
x3 Mushin No Shin is definitely a must in this deck since you must always be able to Mushin your Junebug, Ronin or GFI if you feel it’s safe to start faking out things.
x2 Neural EMP because it’s a good card. x3 is too much and rarely gets any value out. You always have a Ronin waiting to hit anyway. I would rather play a Hokusai instead of a third Neural EMP, but unfortunately there is too much Whizzard and slums rolling around.
I explained the Preemptive already.
x2 Scorched Earth + x1 SEA Source for when you outmoney them. Nobody expects Scorched Earth outside of Palana. Unless you are Kelfecil. One guy literally told me “I know you enough to play safe, whatever you ID is..” and then he installed a Plascrete without having seen any traps or Scorches yet. Well played good sir.
x1 Voter Intimidation for getting rid of pesky resources that are annoying you. Kills Aaron for the SEA Source – Scorch combo or kills something else important (Kati, Slums, Net Mercur).
ICE Suite: Man, I thought I could go iceless, but after a few tries on Jinteki.net I realized there is just too much keyhole/siphon going around (apparently those two are still good cards). So I figured, if I am going to ICE up, I might as well ICE up, real good. x2 Chiyashi for when you feel like trashing your opponent’s entire deck (it fired with AI breakers at least 7 times in the tournament). Kakugo because it is the best corp-mill card (you have to get it back if it gets parasited). x2 DNA Tracker because it is a good tax. x1 Cortex Lock for the early game, or the late surprise if needed, pretty much the most useless card though if you do not see before the mid-game. x3 Komainu because they cost so much and they are always good to have around as scary protection.
The Runner Deck (Link to NetrunnerDB)
Burst is key.
I have been playing Andromeda extensively since I switched from Silhouette and although she goes very fast, I knew that the match-ups were bad for her. Her breakers are really good, but terrible against the current meta. Abagnale breaks Fairchilds and DNA Trackers for a lot of money and Mongoose is just a way to help the corp shut you out of central servers by double Sentry-icing them. So I figured “what do I know how to play best right after Silhouette?” and the answer was Shaper. Not just any kind of shaper, but my favourite kind. The stealth kind of shaper.
Enter the “Last Minute Smoke”.
The plan: I did not have ANY practice with that deck prior to the Euros Champs and therefore when I arrived at Birmingham and met Kostas I told him, “we need to practice, LOTS.” So he took out two versions of mooninites and we started testing a lot. We very soon realized that Indexing – Mad Dash is useless against Mooninites since they always have some kind of way to break the combo. We also tried the Desperado Smoke version and it felt as if I had to always contest the remotes if I wanted to win against Mooninites. So I included Equivocation and Maker’s Eye and focused on just trashing really key assets when I had the money. After mid-game, I basically had to give up on trashing assets and just focus on the main goal, which was to just run R&D and HQ when possible. The Maker’s Eye – Equivocation gives you a 4 cards access (in most cases) combo that is just perfect for closing out the game. Against all other kinds of decks, I just know how to play fast Shaper Netrunner so I knew I wouldn’t have any issues. Except NBN of course, which is always a race.
Events: x2 Deuces Wild for the extra draw when needed and for knowing what I might run against. I usually took the 3 credits since you do not really care what you might face once you are set up with Smoke. She can pretty much break most things for 3~4 credits anyway (not including recurring stealth of course). x3 Diesel for the mandatory draw she needs. x3 Dirty Laundry to combo with Temujin and also get money back after only spending stealth credits. Employee Strike and Interdiction to cancel out annoying corp ID mechanics and also get rid of Enhanced Login Protocol. If you do that though, remember that you MUST trash the Clone Suffrages. Just because you are focused on the centrals does not mean you should not be checking remotes to force rezzes and also do a surprise Film Critic after a Lakhsmi rez. x3 Sure Gamble as staple economy when you cannot make runs (due to ICEd up servers) and x3 Maker’s Eye for the burst. At first I wanted to try R&D Interface, but I am very glad I went with Maker’s Eye instead. I REALLY wanted to play a Notoriety as it is my signature card since it came out, but I unfortunately did not have the card with me. Needless to say, I would have won 2 more games if I had it since I was at 6 agenda points in those games.
Hardware: x2 Astrolabe which gave me the win against 2 Mooninite match-ups. They kept installing, I kept getting my pieces to run R&D and get those very elusive agendas. x1 Clone Chip which I am not sure I like, for when you get an unfortunate trash or for getting Clot after trashing it (it got Lockdowned in most match-ups, but at that point I did not really care anyway, since I was ahead). x1 Personal Touch as the most ghetto way of pumping your Blackstone to Eli 1.0 strength. Helped me in 4 games.
Resources: x2 Beth because it is a good card. x2 Film Critic because you cannot play without it against most match-ups. Used it in every single match-up actually. x2 Net Mercur is worse than x3 but deckslots were tight and I was ok with not seeing it until mid-game. Thankfully I did in every match-up. x2 New Angeles City Hall for the NBN match-ups. Unfortunately, other than the one game I had against Beyoken’s NBN which I beat because of it, it was a dead card in every other match-up. x3 Temujin because it is a good card. Just install it on a central and keep running it, or early game Archives and get all dat easy money. Sacrificial for Batty and permaclot tricks.
Programs: Standard stealth breaker suite. Preferred Refractor because I did not expect to play against much Palana and the only extra cost against Fairchilds was just having to pump the strength one more time again, whereas with Houdini I would have just paid 2 from the start anyway, so it did not make that much of a difference. I also prefer it when my icebreakers are cheap. Dagger has really good value in the current meta and Blackstone was the only problematic icebreaker since I had to boost it in glaciered servers with Seidr Adaptive Walls. x2 Cloaks, x1 Clot for the fast advance HBs and NBNs and x2 Self-Modifying Code for the early game. Rarely ever used two SMCs to be honest.
So, please bare with me, as I was an idiot and I did not take notes. I actually was not expecting to make a report until a bunch of people asked me for one. I also should have taken a whole lot more pictures. You can count on me making a lot more reports with tons of pictures of happy Netrunner players from here on for sure!
Again, correct me if I am wrong with names!
Round 1 – Markus from Sweden (2 wins)
He played Palana Glacier and DLR MaXx. We played the MaXx game first and he had Wireless Net Pavillion with x2 Fall Guy in the first turn installed. We then proceeded to the point where he had only 10 cards in his deck after running a bunch of junebugs and not being able to DLR a single card from R&D. He saw my Scorched Earth in hand and then installed x2 Paparazzi with 3 cards left in his hand. I then killed him the net damage way.
We then played the Palana and he was with one Nisei MKII scored. He put an Excalibur on his remote making it impossible to get the other agenda since I did not have an AI breaker (I removed my Atman because it was bad against HB and NBN match-ups). I thankfully ran R&D a bunch with Maker’s Eye and Equivocation and got the last agenda points for the win.
Markus is a friend of Spyros and I found them at the terrace outside the venue relaxing after the round with Beyoken and Kostas. I was approaching them and they all turned to me and laughed while Beyoken yelled “WHY DO YOU PLAY THESE KIND OF DECKS?”
Markus was a lovely person to play against and I can understand his slight tilt, since it’s not easy to start the first EU Champs with a double loss. He still made it to day 2 though so that says enough about him as a player. Thanks for the games man!
Round 2 – Another Swedish guy whose name I cannot recall (I think it was David Eriksson) (1 win, 1 loss)
Really nice fella, not as talkative as me but most certainly quite relaxed during our games. He played an HB glacier and Whizzard. I got agenda flooded, he found them all in HQ, he got agenda flooded, I found them all HQ. A karma split right there. We played one more for fun and I beat his HB fair and square though. Really nice guy and by the way, he also played Aggressive Secretary, which I thankfully found in HQ before he install-advanced it in the big remote.
Round 3 – Diaz Thomas (1 win, 1 loss)
That lil’ shit. I love him so much. We had such a good laugh during both of our games and then he offered to buy me beer because he enjoyed the heck out of our games. He played Noise and Skorpios.
Noise game first, he mills a bunch of stuff, nothing bad happens. At some point I start feeling bad about him, so I intentionally drop some points in Archives, since I know I am going to Jackson later. I eventually kill him since he was starting to get REALLY scared of whatever was going on on the board. I think he ran into a Junebug and just died.
Skorpios game, I am fully setup, Film Critic, NACH, everything I needed and I start running. Only Ice Walls to stop me. I Equivocation R&D and I find a Hostile Takeover so I am like “WHATEVER, NO FILM CRITIC, JUST SCORE.” I did this, because the previous turn, I Maker’s Eyed and saw two Hunter Seekers that he proceeded to trash with two consecutive Power Shutdowns for 1 (which trashed my clone chip and a Cloak). I thought he wouldn’t have a third, but apparently the 3rd one was on top of R&D (as well…) and he just burnt my Blackstone for the win. I am an idiot. Always put agendas on Film Critic against Skorpios, no matter what. Otherwise you just lose.
Great guy, loved my games with him since we enjoyed Netrunner the best way I love to enjoy it. By laughing my way through stupid moves.
Round 4 – Aaryn Byrne (1 win, 1 loss) Best Jinteki game I’ve ever played.
He played Whizzard (if I remember correctly) and HB. We played the HB game first and I was at 6 points, running R&D 3 turns in a row and the turn I did not, he drew an Agenda and scored it out through his remote with Ash and tons of money. Feelsbadman.
Then we played my Palana game. It was by far, the best and most intense Jinteki game I have ever played. I tried killing him for quite a while, then he installed Political Operative, making my double Ronin kill option go out the window. I tried digging and waiting it out for a voter’s, so that I can kill Political and then fire my Ronins but it was not coming. So he started running R&D, even though it was expensive. He made a lot of money with Temujins and he was Medium digging. I realized I did not have much time, so I started bluffing out agendas (with about 20 cards left in R&D by the way). I Mushined a GFI and scored it the next turn and I knew I had previously Mushined a Braintrust and also had another non-advanced Braintrust on the board. So he ran R&D, I had 5 credits and he saw a Snare! in a 5-cards dig. I know I should not spend money but I immediately (and Jintekily expertly) thought that I should not say “not firing” right away, but take a moment to think about it. He still had cards anyway and I did not have a kill anyway if I fired it. I needed the credits and I knew he might hit the agenda or go for the remote if I say “not firing” right away. So I waited a bit and then said “not firing” after half a minute or so. Last click, he is thinking about doing a 6 card dig now. I tell him “maybe you should draw your last card” (1 left in his deck, but did not matter anyway). I continue to say “I might just kill you next turn”. And so he drew his card and I scored out my x2 Braintrust (triple advance on the not-advanced one and score the already advanced one) in one go. We then checked R&D and apparently he would have won if he went for the medium dig, since there was a Philotic.
Thank you so much for this game Aaryn, it was an experience to be remembered, since you played it so on point and gave me such a hard Jinteki shell game to play.
Round 5 – Martin Paul (ID)
I knew that if I ID’ed, I would get into Day 2 and thankfully my opponent did the same. We played our games for fun and I was even more happy I ID’ed when I saw he played Mooninites. He beat me easily with Mooninites and did his hivemind – medium – incubator combo with his MaXx for a 27 cards dig. You would think he would die quite easily against my deck, but if you’re lucky, you just see the agendas instead. Congratulations to Martin for making top 16 with that MaXx deck though!
INSERT PICTURE OF DUTCH COMMUNITY GROUP PICTURE HERE (When I get it…)
Round 6 – Ben Ni (Beyoken) (1 Win, 1 Loss)
I saw Ben’s name on the pairings and as I walked towards the table, Ben was already going through a plethora of crying and laughing emotions since he really, REALLY did not want to play against me. It was great. We had a really good laugh before the games begun, I kept counting his cards to make him feels stressed about card draw and we eventually split.
It has to be said that he was the only one that beat my Poisonous Herbs Garden fair and square (no agenda flood or weird shenanigans). He played it to the point and after a really close call, he managed to find the last agenda. The best part of that game was when I Mushined a Junebug and he literally stared at me with the most serious Netrunner player face I’ve seen in my life for about 30 seconds straight. Then he proceeded to do the same after I install-advanced-advanced another Junebug. He ran both of course and took tons of damage, which was great!
The NBN game, I knew was going to be tough. I mean, hey, I heard Ben is a pretty good NBN player and NBN deckbuilder. Like, 2nd best in the world or something like that? So yeah, obviously I was scared. I setup my Film Critic – NACH early enough to prevent the tags if needed if the Breaking News happened behind an ICE’d server and then proceeded to play the long game. Ben also expertly put Targeted Marketing Temujin, then SMC and then Temujin again, which I had to let fire twice in order to make money and continue playing the game. It seems like it paid out since I got a 5th click and when he MCA’ed my Film Critic, I ran, stole an agenda, played Sure Gamble and then trashed Film Critic. I did this twice and in the end, Ben had no outs and I just ran on his poorly-bluffed install – advance “fail” agenda. Basically, he installed, advanced, looked at my clot and said something like “oh no…..” and looked disappointed. I told him “DON’T YOU DARE TRY TO BLUFF AGAINST ME!” and I just ran, took the Corporate Sales Team, ran the remote with the long-time one-time advanced card and scored the last point off a Breaking News (that has been sitting there forever!)
Thanks so much for the games Ben, I told you up close and I will tell you again, I admire the way you play and even more the way you deckbuild. You are an awesome person to hang out with and people like you are the people we need to look up to in order to have an awesome community.
Round 7 – Luis Adler (2 Wins)
Luis is, in my opinion, the best Jinteki player Germany has to offer, with a significantly better playstyle than any other I’ve seen thus far. He played Personal Evolution and Valencia. We played the Valencia game first.
He played Apocalypse and he tried to fire it twice in the game, but failed. He had Eater and the first time he ran, I rezzed a Chiyashi and he soon realized that this is NOT going to work out for him since he was left with 2 credits (with Apocalypse costing 3, it was a no-go). So he started moneying up. The Chiyashi of course did some damage too with the 6 cards stack trash and he knew that it would hurt him more if he was going to try that again. So he was only moneying up and waiting for me to do tricks. I did a bunch of Mushins, he ran a couple Junebugs, found one Ronin as far as I remember and then left the others alone since he wanted to Apocalypse again. I was running out of money and I was thus not able to rez a DNA Tracker on R&D but I knew he was going to deck himself if he ran through the Chiyashi again. What he did not consider though, was that if he ran Archives and I did not rez, he would have to access. I told him that and he said “no, I got Eater” and I said “no, I am not rezzing”, so he had to access the x2 Shock!s that were there. He did and I trashed his Apocalypse and then Neural EMPed him + Ronin for the kill. Definitely one of my harder games that day.
He then played his Personal Evolution and did the classic “shuffle 3 cards in my hand and install them blindly”. I cared not for his remote though since I had a hand of Diesel, Film Critic and Equivocation. I ran R&D, found 3 Fetal AIs which I put on Film Critic one after another and then Maker’s Eyed for the win. Luis got a bit annoyed though since he had a double Ronin waiting to kill me the next turn.
Well played Luis! I gotta say, I am so happy to have had the chance to play against you and it is a huge achievement to have swept you with the decks that we were playing, knowing how good of a Jinteki player you are.
Round 8 – Igor Orlowski (2 Wins)
Igor is a Polish guy that lives in Cardiff and a really nice fella. He played HB mooninites and Leela.
We played his Mooninites first and I played it very well, trashing exactly what I needed to trash and pressuring centrals when I had to, thus giving me the win.
We then played the Leela game and I got agenda flooded, so I installed most of my agendas during mid-game. I knew that if he ran any of them, his Aaron would be filled up and he would also bounce my advanced stuff (which was x2 Junebugs and a Ronin, all at 4). He thankfully did not and after hitting a Snare! he realized he had to run one of the advanced things in order to find the Ronin. He unfortunately ran into one of the Junebugs and died. He got a bit annoyed by that game but he apologized to me for tilting a bit and was really nice about everything. Really nice guy who gave me a couple tough games until the very end of them.
Round 9 – Richard Hammond (2 Losses)
I really have to explain this one. He played IG and Keyhole/Siphon Whizzard.
We played the IG game and I got to 6 points and then died. He made me realize that IG is still a thing and I should have packed at least x1 Levy for exactly that reason. If I did, I would have won that game easily since I could go in any of the servers and I could Equivocate. Bad meta call, easy win for him in the end.
The Whizzard game, I was setting up traps and other things and at some point, he Siphoned me, went through the Kakugo (went down to 2 cards) and after I moved out my credits (NOTABLY before he got past the ICE) and he took the net damage, he said Siphon. I thought he was siphoning again, but he was just announcing the fact that he was firing the ability. I then got excited and since I knew he had only 1 click left (eater, siphon, siphon thus far) I showed him my Scorched Earth. He said “what are you doing?” and I got really confused and frustrated thinking that he was taking back his second siphon or something. We called for a judge, explained the situation and all that. I was at 13 (after an IPO, so siphon, siphon would put me at 3 anyway) and after a bit of a fuss, I just calmed down, leaned over to him, apologized to him and said “I am extremely sorry for making this so stressful, it is 100% my mistake, I showed you information, this is a game state that can be continued from where it was since you had 2 more clicks. Would you like to continue from there and just forget about this?” He said it’s ok and then we continued from there. He of course cleared the tags and siphon-locked me for the rest of the game while Keyholing my entire deck away. I asked him after the game if he would have cleared tags and he said “I never clear tags with this deck” so basically, I gave away a 100% win and my last chance for top 16.
Richard was a really nice guy and I would like to apologize to him again for giving him a hard time, even if it was for something silly and for just 1 minute during that game. He got into top 16 of course after sweeping me but unfortunately didn’t go much higher. Congrats nonetheless and well played good sir. Thank you also for being so understanding.
Round 10 – Aladar Kezuravt (1 Win, 1 Loss)
He played Replicating Perfection and a Runner that I do not remember at all. (A friend of his just told me that he played Leela actually!)
I was so tilted from being an idiot in the last round that I was too tired to play the game. I asked him if he wanted to just split and just play for fun but he said he just wanted to play it out. So I played my Smoke first, he got a TERRIBLE hand with 4 agendas in hand and I ran his remote with 2 cards in hand. Sundew, Philotic, Snare!. I was too tired to even think “Jinteki, Snares.” And come to think, I installed Net Mercur instead of Astrolabe in the first turn. I was literally so tired, that I was not even thinking. So this is the win that I literally threw out the window and that would have gotten me easily to 18th place. We checked R&D and there was an Agenda on top there too. So 10~12 points for the taking on the table. I am an idiot. But I was a tired idiot at that point.
We played my Palana game, he tried a bunch of things, ran a bunch of Junebugs and eventually ran a Snare!, drew up and then I SEA Source – Scorched him.
Aladar was one of the Czech guys and a really, REALLY cool guy. We finished both our games in like 7 minutes, we hugged each other and just laughed it out.
Euro Champs Conclusion
I realized that I can be a very good player even without much practice as well as a good deckbuilder. As cocky as both of those things sound, I enjoyed the heck out of the European Championship and it made me realize how much I love playing with all these lovely people and how much I love playing the game, the way I like to play it myself. I saw some of the top cut games the next day and it made me realize how badly I would have done in top 16 had I made it. That is of course because the top 16 was full of power players who had probably practiced playing their decks against most things at least a hundred times. Maybe I would have had a chance due to my Palana being weird and my playstyle being so “special” but nonetheless, let’s not kid ourselves, there are some very amazing players in Europe.
Can’t leave without MCAing the Convention Center.
Sunday Cache Refresh
It needs to be said that during the Sunday Cache Refresh, about 20 people were playing my Smoke and/or NBN decks and I got so many compliments and curses about them throughout the day. It was great!
A game I had against Johannes (really nice guy from the Nordics) where he had 8 points, 2 News Teams and then I locked him out and killed him!
It was just amazing seeing 3 tables in a row with Door to Door on the table and it was even more amazing seeing people appreciate the one-off Armitage Codebusting that just helps with the NBN match-up when you can’t go into servers.
So much Door to Door….what have I done…? :S
A side note here about the cool story about Coop asking me to make him a deck for the Cache Refresh during midnight of Day 2. After spending 2 minutes of thinking about cards, I made him a deck that he managed to pilot and go undefeated with in the event. The amazing Coop. All him. Decklist can be found on NetrunnerDB on this link.
I made 9th place in that event myself with a 7-3 and a very bad SoS, since I was too tired to think in certain match-ups and just ran into a Snare! with 2 cards again (even though I knew he runs Snare! after seeing one…but you know, when you got 3 cards and you play Maker’s Eye, that makes you go down to 2 cards, apparently.)
Polaroid memories with Felix and ff0x!
Also, huge thanks to Felix for being such an awesome guy and gifting me his Chaos Theory that he just won (since I didn’t make top 8). You da man, man!
Playing at the airport with Yiorgos what was probably my 50th game of Netrunner after 5 days full of it…
A big thank you to the organizers and the judges for being awesome people and a big thank you to the Netrunner community for being so awesome. You really, REALLY made me interested in playing more Netrunner and I am actually thinking of travelling as much as I can for it and writing as many reports as I can for it from here on. I am even thinking of beginning a series of videos for teaching how to play Jinteki to new players so that I can initiate more people in the ways of the Ambushes!
I am honestly honored to have had so many people come to me and say nice words about my deckbuilding and my “rogue” ~ “hipster” efforts in Netrunner. I promise you I will not stop doing what I am doing!
Really though, you are all amazing. Thank you and see you next time!
~Constantine “Kelfecil” Christakis
(Really sorry I did not take more pictures from the event and the players, I promise that I will next time!)