The Apex of Competition
Welcome back everyone. I would like to start off by saying once again that the FFG World Championships is awesome and everyone should do it once in their life if they love living card games! This article is going to review my experience playing Apex in the world championships. Yes it looks like I was the only one to have done so, and yes I came in almost dead last. However there was a lot I learned about competitive Netrunner by playing Apex and I want to discuss this with you today!
First off I will present you with the final deck list so you can muse and judge my choices!!
Apex: Invasive Predator
3x Deuces Wild ●●●
3x Dirty Laundry
6x Exclusive Party ●●●●● ●
2x Out of the Ashes ●●●●
1x Rigged Results ●
3x Sure Gamble
2x Chop Bot 3000 ●●
3x e3 Feedback Implants ●●●●● ●
1x DDoS ●●●
3x Hunting Grounds
3x Endless Hunger
25 influence spent (max 25, available 0)
45 cards (min 45)
Cards up to 23 Seconds
First thing to notice is that this deck is very similar to The Cult of Apex build on NRDB (in fact it was directly inspired by it!). This means it runs no Levy AR Lab Access. This deck is supposed to run hard and Apocalypse often! The other aspect is to give yourself some options for dealing with iced up servers with Rigged Results and DDoS (the decks name sake). The last thing it does well is give you fodder for Endless Hunger and Heartbeat by throwing in cards like Out of Ashes and Exclusive Party. These can really help with econ and stabilization after an Apocalypse.
So how did it work?
Game 1: Apex Vs NEH Fast Advance – this game was over very fast. He has all the component he needed post mulligan to score two with a San San City Grid I could not trash. I missed the agenda when running HQ and got unlucky but before he could get more I Apocalypsed because it was cheaper than actually trashing San San. Then I scored one or two on my own but got Information Exchanged because I floated a tag and he swept the game with a final score with an Astroscript token.
Game 2: Apex vs Blue Sun – This was a long game. It ended up I had gotten 6 points and he was at 3 but I couldn’t hit the last agenda and had no cards left. My failing R and D runs were getting him money from Errand Boy but not really stopping my access. I kept trashing his assets on the top of his deck but never hit the final agenda. Then he Consulting Visited into a Scorched Earth when I had one card in hand, a heartbeat, and an e3 implant installed.
Game 3: Apex Vs. Engineering the Future- One antecedence describes this game. An unexpected Brainstorm for 4 into enough Neural EMP to delete this invasive program.
Game 4: Apex Vs. Cerebral Imaging – This was the game I played right before I dropped. I was against Julianne (Rei2Jewels) who makes those fantastic click trackers for Netrunner! The game was pretty fun with me getting to play Rigged Results and an Apocalypse but her money was too strong and her ice was too brutal and I lost!
You will notice I didn’t see DDoS a single time, which made me very sad. I felt like the randomness of the game was against me but also I didn’t bring a very strong deck. The problems with Apex reared their head. He has to run fast and hard and when he cannot score he gets bogged down even if you hit a good Apocalypse. What could have helped? I should have made room for some Turning Wheels due to the nature of randomness in the game. They can really help you dig into R and D and they can give you run clicks that bounce on a central server a lot of meaning. I also found out I am a lot better at playing Apex when I have Levy’s but making room for them is tough. Never really saw value from Chop Cot 3000 so I would probably try to take those out as a start for two Levy’s not sure what else I would remove yet.
The spread I played was awesome and you will notice I only saw one NBN deck and it wasn’t even Controlling the Message. I was personally very glad I wasn’t winning much due to which I saw as a brutally boring saturation of Whizzard and CTM. I got to play all the off the wall fun decks. Finally I am going to say that that level of competitive Netrunner isn’t really for me. I enjoy more of a casual jank filled Netrunner, in particular the Colorado group has amazing deck ideas and creativity!
How do you feel about tournament Netrunner? Will Apex ever be a thing? What are your thoughts on the deck? Let me know if the comments. Living Card Guy out!
All images with our source are property of Fantasy Flight Games. Thanks!