I’ve been out of the game for a couple of months post Quorum, and coming back felt a lot like this:
Except in a good way. Seriously, I leave for one dang minute and what happens?
- A deck with Akshara Sareen, which I’ve repeatedly called the worst card in the game, comfortably won US Nats
- Power Shutdown finally got nerfed and CI7 decks bounced back stronger than ever
- The rigshooter archetype which people have been trying to make work since like…2014?…not only exists but is BRUTAL
- HB is the asset spam faction now I guess??????
- Sacrificial Construct autoinclude???
ALRIGHT LET’S DO THIS
Alright, fine, let’s get the big one out of the way. Cold Ones is an incredible build that, crucially, was an absolutely devastatingly strong meta call. It’s also highly possible you’ll never see it again now people know about it – even the pilot and joint creator John says he can’t exactly recommend it.
On a more general level, good old Siphon Anarch has reared its head again to counter the rise of HB asset spam, as well as being a generally extremely strong deck. MikeJS took down Euros with his Apocalypse version, while others prefer the tried and true plan of slam jamming as many Siphons as possible. Note the multiple Hacktivist Meetings and Wantons Destructions – powerful calls. DLR MaxX isn’t going anywhere. Reg Whiz is also very strong in both the Temujin and Frantic varieties due to the ability to control asset spam while setting up as well as having a strong game against more glacier Corps. Also they have Maw now, which makes me a happy man.
If you’re a Shaper, chances are high you’re playing a very control-y game and trying to lock the Corp down hard. Hate Machine is quite popular and gives us a perfect example. Dyper kind of counts and apparently still exists, despite DDoS costing a whopping 6 influence now. Also, you could play Account Siphon! One really cool list is the Smoke that tstack used to win Chicago Regionals. It’s a nice run-based econ list that can burst up really fast and plays a ton of draw to set up ASAP and get to threatening. The Indexing/Mad Dash combo is extremely strong and a big reason to play Shaper.
Although Criminals took the least punishment from the MWL, they don’t seem to be in as strong a position as many might have thought. The most likely explanation is a lack of ability to keep up with Moon, and MCA Informant hurts their ability to deal with SYNC. Reg Andy basically hasn’t changed since Temujin came out, so here’s a list with TWO MEDIUMS and an EXPLOIT PHWOAAAAR. DLR Andy is still really solid if that’s your jam. A whole bunch of people are putting Maw in Leela, because for some reason people love jamming Anarch consoles into Leela builds (I really didn’t understand that Turntable Leela phase). Despite his winning personality there’s not much Steve around, but that might change when Andy leaves us.
Oh man so many things.
First up, HB has two of the strongest archetypes in the game right now. Moons is of course extremely powerful and comes in several varieties, with the influence typically bouncing between various numbers of Caprices, Jacksons, Turtlebacks-es and Daily Business Shows (no Caprices, one Caprice, two Caprices). The other massive one available is CI7, whether you’re playing with Hasty or without. It’s an incredibly strong archetype that if played well can withstand massive amounts of hate and goes off extremely quickly. There’s also this batshit insane combo if you feel like becoming the captain of the ruse cruise. Also, you can play Foodcoats!
The most common NBN deck you’re likely to face now is very likely trying to remove your face. Ben Ni’s fantastic SYNC deck from Worlds is seeing a ton of play, topping Euros and taking second at US Nats. It’s worth noting that it folds pretty hard to NACH and Film Critic as well as Clot, so the Shaper decks above do very well against it. The classic fast advance/EOI hybrid has once again made a comeback in Sol, winning Chicago regionals. We also saw two very different and extremely odd Making News tax decks do very well.
Weyland may finally be on the edge of the long-dreamed of resurgence with an extremely powerful Skorpios build coming out of Worlds. It looks like the legendary unicorn rigshooter deck may finally be upon us. Blue Sun Midseasons is also unlikely to disappear until rotation.
Moon is good too.