Decklist of the week

Bag of Tricks - 2nd Oslo Regionals, Undefeated 8-0, top seed

Identity

Description by the author: Elusive 135

I have played this deck a long time, and it is slightly different from normal PE-decks that i've seen. People usually make the mistake assuming that this is a Cambridge-style deck.

This is not Cambridge PE. It does not win by bleeding the runner dry, it wins by creating such a large number of possibilities for a kill that there almost always is a way. It is not consistent, it does not have a specific game plan to enact. While playing it you have to be creative, and you have to be bold. In my experience this is a strength, even my regular opponents (who are skilled players) never know what to watch out for. This is efficient especially versus the strategic people that like to play safe. I see the cards i draw however, and can start laying a trap. I rarely watch my opponents side of the board expect for credit total, maybe icebreakers and their hand-size. I do however watch their face..

It does pose a credible way for scoring out as well, mushining TFP's. You should decide early if that is your gameplan however, as it is difficult.

Playing this deck requires a lot of Yomi, good reading. It also requires taking risks like leaving advanced agendas out for a few turns to use as kill-tools. You should hone your bluffing skills, faking tells, feeding the opponent a lot of confusing and faked information. If you like to play a deck with a consistent safe strategy, this is not it. This can be a real negative as to play well with this style of deck requires you to feel good, secure and not being mentally tilted.

Strengths:

  • Shapers in the current meta

  • Careful players

  • Careless players

Weaknesses:

  • Your own mental state

  • Account siphon

  • Keyhole

  • Obvious counter-cards

Gameplan:

Put some scary ice down on HQ and RD. Some ice is scary early, this is what you want to see in your starting hand. The combo-ice (Lockdown, Kitsune, Lotus field) is what you use late to open up a kill or score-window.

Put down some scary remotes, preferrably using mushin. If you get a jackson out keep him behind something reasonably protective (pup, cortex). The selection of advanced remotes is really important, and is decided by the opponent you are facing. Some people run centrals, some people run remotes. Some people only run when they have too (strategic players) some take unneccesary risks and run advanced remotes early. Top priority is getting a read on your opponent and use it against them.

It is often a good idea to advance to 4. In a tournament most players will play careful, which means you should use agendas/ronin as a default tactic, but you should be really aware of what type of player you are facing.

The game will usually give you an oppurtunity to kill, but you need to search for it.

Notable card selection and choices:

Agendas: Very few 1-pointers, they are not needed. HoK is there to enable kill-pressure and combo with Tori Hanzo. TFP and Fetal are very good with Punitive and difficult to steal. Philotic is self-explanatory. Scoring a HoK and a TFP enables hail-mary mode for certain players against new mushin'd remotes.

Chairman Hiro: Extremely efficient kill window creator. Also often unexpected.

Junebug: Lone junebug allows you to threaten from 1 credit, also flatline.

Ronin: Allows killing of too careful players. Can enable hail-mary runs at your advanced remotes if you get many.

Crisium: Account siphon.

Tori Hanzo: I've been told she's expensive, but i gladly pay 5Cr for a single brain damage in a deck that is all about getting the kill. Combos with HoK of which you should score one early.

Punitive counterstrike: Combos with your agendas, especially with all the damage taken from Fetal. Makes skilled players more careful, creating scoring windows for you. Surprise-kills uknowing players, or people thinking this is Cambridge PE.

Lockdown: Trying it out, decent so far. Usually put on RD, also effective psychological tool.

Kitsune: The absolute best card to enable a certain kill, giving them a Fetal or Snare! at the proper time with absolute certainty, while they think it is a cortex you don't think is worth rezzing anymore.

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