2013 Android: Netrunner World Champion
“Criminals doing crimes.”
Who is Jens Erickson?
Jens Erickson became interested in Android: Netrunner after watching its inaugural World Championship during the 2012 FFG World Championship Weekend. Shortly afterward, he and his roommates picked up a copy of the Core Set, and their fledgling playgroup was born.
It didn’t take long for Jens and his roommates to start mastering the game’s cyberstruggles, and Jens started earning top results at regional events. He placed in the Top 8 at the 2013 Regional Championship in Roseville, MN, then later earned two Top 4 finishes during the Plugged-in Tour.
All this experience and practice paid off during the 2013 FFG World Championship Weekend, when Jens emerged from a field full of talented Runners and Corporate executives to claim the Android: Netrunner World Championship.
In His Own Words:
I was born in Minnesota, and I’ve worked in IT for the past five years after getting my degree. I have a love of film and games, and enjoy both in the company of good friends. I'm a tournament organizer for our local Magic: The Gathering Friday Night Magic events, having played for over a decade. I've always loved playing card games, from running cribbage tournaments at family reunions when I was was a child to competing now at Android: Netrunner. I've played many different games with varying success: Magic: The Gathering at three Pro Tours, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, and most recently Android: Netrunner!
How do you prepare for high-level events?
My preparation for Worlds started about two months earlier in my living room with my friends, Brad, Dakota, Walker, and Luke. We'd deck-build new ideas, and experiment to see which would rise to the top. We'd play a couple of hours a night most weeknights, trying different decks to learn all the tricks they had at their disposal. We wanted to learn our decks, plus learn our enemies.
Specifically for Worlds, the most important part of preparation we did was playing different decks during Plugged-in Tour events. I played Andromeda (Humanity’s Shadow, 83) at a Plugged-in Tour event in Wisconsin and went undefeated as Runner. My deck was far from perfect, however, and had I not played in that event, I would not have learned how Forged Activation Orders (Core Set, 20) was weaker than I expected, or how Compromised Employee (Trace Amount, 25) more narrow than in our testing. At those events, I also learned Special Order (Core Set, 22) was the most important card to have available and exactly how important it was to draw Sure Gamble (Core Set, 50) in the opening hand.
On the 2013 World Championship Finals:
The World Championship finals was one of the most enjoyable matches I've played, and it was against an amazing player. It was a completely different type of game, and I felt I was playing against the player rather than his deck.
Jens Erickson’s Championship Decks:
Jens Erickson’s choice of decks for the Android: Netrunner highlighted his preferred factions: Criminal and Haas-Bioroid:
Criminal speaks to me. I see a perfect Runner game as one where you end with seven points and zero installed cards. You have so many threats that the Corp can't ever make the assumption, “This server is safe this turn,” even on turns where you have no breakers and no money. You have a lot of early pressure, as well as an unbeatable endgame.
Haas-Bioroid is an extension of how I like to play the game, very slowly and methodically, calculating risks and taking actions accordingly. Haas-Bioroid’s efficient ice, steady income, and ability to score agendas in remote servers without major risk are why I play it. Other factions have some of these factors, but not to the same degree that I’ve become accustomed. The Bioroid ice is great, and my favorite is Eli 1.0 (Future Proof, 110). Ice will never keep the runner out forever, but at least ice like Eli 1.0 will always be costly to bypass.