Last week I had the fortune to attend a tournament at Redcap’s Corner in Philadelphia with the Philly usual suspects and a lot of newcomers. 22 people were in attendance and I have to say it that it was one of the most enjoyable small tournaments I have participated in. The field was full of interesting decks, strong competitors and a friendly, love of the game atmosphere.
We played five rounds of swiss with no cut to top 8, letting strength of schedule break ties. For me, the highlights were splitting with the world champ Dan D’Argenio in our match and facing off against a very effective Tennin grail build as well as a hostile infrastructure Replicating Perfection deck.
I ended up finishing in the middle of the pack due to some key mistakes and the world champ took the day by a single strength of schedule point from another Philly local.
When you look at the tournament as a whole a few interesting trends emerge centered around the corp side of the game. If we glance at the IDs seen below you can see that ….
we had a plurality of Personal Evolution, which, to my knowledge has never happened in the US. Also, the fast advance factions of HB and NBN were relatively underrepresented compared to other tournaments this year. I attribute this first to worlds being behind us and people being more willing to take risks with their IDs.
Secondly, even the world champ said that one of the most interesting decks to appear at worlds was Minh Tran’s Personal Evolution deck. Clearly, the word is out on the power of jinteki in the hands of a practiced pilot. Feeding directly into all the various net damage decks and Blue Sun is this little chart:
33 percent of all of the corp victories were flatlines, which completely changed the way people ran and the overall feel of the tournament. This tournament was less about outrunning the corp and more about survival, which I haven’t experienced since supermodernism Weyland ruled the roost.
My own Blue Sun deck went 5-0, flatlining every opponent except one. On the runner’s side I only won a single game and I lost to net damage flatlines in 3 out of 5 games. It was a crazy head space to get into that over a third of the field (nisei, PE, BS) were trying to flatline the runner as a primary win condition. What is really awesome is that the number of kill decks correlates closely with the amount of flatlines that occured, meaning the corps are getting it done.
In closing when you look at the day as a whole, corporations dominated the tournament, but not the ones most people have been playing for the competitive ‘season’ this year. Also, when comparing the chart above to my experience when I started playing during the genesis cycle, we live in a brave new netrunner world. It used to be very difficult to win as the corp in this game, your runner game was your easy win and now that has completely reversed.
With fast advance and all the kill decks you need to play well AND get lucky to win as the runner. Personal Evolution was hardly ever played, a cursory glance at stimhack shows that it rarely appeared before Honor and Profit. For it now to be the dominant ID at a 22 person tournament is an exciting shift that bodes well for the ongoing playability of the game.
PE puts the runners into a whole different mindset than any other match up and I love having the change the way I think about netrunner. I can only hope that the new big box and the coming San San Cycle will balance the game closer to 50/50 but the game remains fun even as the pendulum swings back and forth.
Don’t run with less than three cards kids,
PS here are the final standings
Players and Ranking
(Kate “Mac” McCaffrey / Personal Evolution)
(Rielle “Kit” Peddler / Near-Earth Hub)
(Kate “Mac” McCaffrey / Blue Sun)
(Rielle “Kit” Peddler / Replicating Perfection)
(Kate “Mac” McCaffrey / Engineering the Future)
(Chaos Theory / Near-Earth Hub)
(Ken “Express” Tenma / Near-Earth Hub)
(Andromeda / Personal Evolution)
(Andromeda / Blue Sun)
(Nasir Meidan / Nisei Division)
(Chaos Theory / Replicating Perfection)
(Quetzal / Blue Sun)
(Chaos Theory / Personal Evolution)
(Quetzal / Tennin Institute)
(Quetzal / Personal Evolution)
(Andromeda / Personal Evolution)
(Silhouette / Replicating Perfection)
(Noise / Personal Evolution)
(Kate “Mac” McCaffrey / Cerebral Imaging)
(Leela Patel / Near-Earth Hub)
(Chaos Theory / Engineering the Future)
|22.||Zigmund Aquino (forfeit)
(Whizzard / Nisei Division)