Sunny Tempeau - Top 8 Cambridge Regionals

Aerosaucer 257

"Why Sunny? Wouldn't X be better in a main faction?"

I've been playing Sunny heavily for over a year, and even after I took her to a top 4 finish at ~25 person store championship, people kept asking that question. The big secret: I've been asking that same question myself. It's the right question to ask.

Murphy had a good answer over here.

But it did not fit my style, this meta, or her new cards. I made the meta call to sacrifice anti-fast-advance tech for other powerful effects, and I feel like it (mostly) paid off.

For all I know he now has a build that's both better than and totally different from mine, but regardless I'll share what I've learned from my pet project for anyone interested.

I made top 8 in a highly-competitive regionals, and my failure in her one game in the cut was a very dumb player error rather than a problem with the deck, which was actually in a fairly commanding position (against a great player) before I screwed it up. I would change a few cards based on my experience (didn't really get to test with Office Supplies versions of the deck), but the core of the deck is solid, even in the current fast meta.

People haven't really noticed because, well, they are Sunny cards, but Mom got some of the most powerful effects released since rotation. 3x Maker's Eye or Legwork in one card is way above the curve. 4 draw for 0 is too, and for 2 it's still solid. If White Hat was a 1-inf card without a trace, it would be in every deck. On top of that, if I made a list before rotation of what Sunny was missing in-faction, it would be draw, multi-access, and disruption, so gaining these cards freed up a massive amount of previously-mandatory influence.

Traps Avoided

A lot of the stuff people instinctively put in Sunny decks (including me when I started) is win-more, pie-in-the-sky stuff, when really her core advantages are enough to make her effective without leaning too hard into them. She's notorious for her set-up time, but the thing is you really don't have to set up as much stuff as you think you do. The way I won games was just by not losing until I had Nexus, breakers, and just a little bit of extra money so I could land DDM and Hats while threatening a remote. So before I get into the cards I chose, I'd like to briefly go over the cards I tried and cut.

The Power Tap+Citadel+[other blue cards that tag you] Combo: Great in crim, a trap in Sunny. You don't want to rely on a 3+ card combo that cares a lot about the order you get the cards when you have a 50-card deck. I accidentally fell into this, then noticed almost all my influence was blue so for a while I just played proto-Scamshop in 419 and it was way better.

Data Folding: It's too slow. Yeah, it was good when the cardpool was a lot smaller, and yeah, it works in a top-tier MaxX deck. But that's the runner ID with the most early-game tempo, period, so she can most afford to invest in a tempo hit early to benefit later. Every deck needs a balance between investing in the future and bursting for the now.

Aumakua: Just heaps better in Crim and Anarch. If you want to play a turtle-centric deck, do it in another faction that better supports more running and/or expose.

The Cards

With that out of the way, let's look at the cards I kept:

Security Nexus: faction-defining. Everything revolves around this card. Yes, it gets imported to other factions to great effect, but it's still at its best with Mom. 3x because Emergent Creativity, and also you really need to get it into play pretty early.

Office Supplies: I love this card. The draw is so nice at every point throughout the game, whatever link you're at. It also brought her to a critical mass of link-based cards that justify getting to 4+ link when before it was usually better just to pay the extra 2 on each Nexus trace.

Deuces Wild: Low-inf draw with great tempo and flexibility. After testing, I found the 3x DW 3x OS 2x EH draw engine to be the sweet spot. It was way too slow before the deuces, and Diesel was not better enough to justify the influence spend. Sunny often hurts for money to play the stuff she draws, so getting money when you draw is especially good for her.

Employee Strike: Meta call. I would absolutely never build a Sunny deck without at least 3 currents because Scarcity hurts her so badly. This is the best current. It was 2x Film Critic, 1x Interdiction, 2x Another Day, Another Paycheck until 9pm the night before the regionals, and I am SO HAPPY I made that change.

PAD Tap + Peace in Our Time: This was another last-minute addition, and I would certainly cut all but 1 Peace after stress testing it. The combo seems nice, but is too reliant on draw order in a 50-card deck. PAD did great work in some games and was nearly a dead card in others. I was surprised to notice how often corps simply click for credits, and less surprised how often people would Rashida into Hedge Fund into IPO, then PAD wouldn't fire again for 5 turns. It's interesting to note that people almost never trashed the PADs, so keep that in mind when considering the card. It's not at all bad, but it just didn't perform well enough in this deck and this meta to justify the influence and slots. Still better than Data Folding. Peace itself is actually much better than it looks in Sunny because the Corp has to pay into traces first, meaning if you're both at high credit totals you have an advantage. That said, it's situational and it feels bad to give the corp money, so I'd cut to 1 or 0.

Modded: Another last-minute addition I'd cut. It was solid, but there are better things to do with the influence. There aren't enough full-value targets for the similar Career Fair.

Deep Data Mining: The closer. It's a Medium on a stick that requires no setup for Sunny. The vast majority of games are won on this card. I wish I could fit 2, but...

Black Hat: ...can't justify the inf on 2 DDM when I have this! You usually can't use this early, so 2 seems right. Actually combos with DDM. Just an immense amount of power for 1 card.

White Hat: So unbelievably good. Disrupts corps like Clan Vengeance without setup, gives you info, and sometimes is a free Vamp that tells you they have important stuff in hand. Use it early in the turn because most times it fires you're going to run HQ to steal the agendas you left there. Great for slowing the corp early and countering fast advance and kill, then still great late. My favorite play was Black Hat against a corp that had held me at 1 agenda point and gotten to 6, run RD to steal 4 points, then White Hat to cut their hand down to 3 cards including my winning agenda.

Emergent Creativity: Ironically, this is a reason to play Sunny over a main faction (who can't afford to import this with Nexus). I 100% will make room for a second one.

1) Installs that expensive Nexus for 2c and an extra click. So when you play it you basically install Nexus with one click and gain 6 credits with the 2nd click. That's great econ.

2) It mitigates the 50-card deck by letting you tutor Nexus or a needed breaker (at a discount!). Better than Special Order!

3) It also mitigates the big deck by thinning your deck of extra copies of cards you don't need.

4) It synergizes very well with Sunny's playstyle. You generally don't want to install breakers early if you can at all help it, so sometimes if you get a bad draw they will start to flood your hand. This lets you turn that from a problem to an advantage by using them to install something you want for cheap.

5) Speed!

So basically, it's a card that either removes or mitigates Sunny's biggest weaknesses. It's well worth the influence here, and no main faction could combine it with Nexus like Sunny can.

Security Chip: Cut this with extreme prejudice. By the end of the tourney, I was literally angry whenever I drew this. I did not use it once. It's her own Stimhack, in theory. The reality is that 90% of your games will end before you have to break multiple high-strength ICE in one server. Most of your runs you won't even use breakers. Just slot a more universal econ card. Some people like comboing it with turtle, but everyone else can just get this effect with Dean Lister with less setup, so why bother?

Sports Hopper: It's expensive to install, but the link can pay for it in some games and there are others where you are flush with cash but would gladly pay out the nose for some quick draw. Great tech if you have to float 2+ tags for a turn or want to steal an Obokata after running through Data Loops and Kakugos. As hardware, it also makes great fodder for Emergent Creativity.

Jak Sinclair: An incredibly good effect, but dead in some games. 1x is right. Combos with White Hat and Datasucker extremely well.

Maxwell James: Probably the 2nd most important card in the deck. He does WORK. People love to try to rush against Sunny, and holding him in hand until after you run HQ on the turn you use him just surprise poops all over that plan. He also combos with Nexus to trivialize a double-ICEd server, and thrives in a meta full of DNA Trackers and Archers. 2x because you want to see him early and then still have him again later for the link. 3x is probably more correct.

Same Old Thing: Functionally, this is DDM #2. I found that I always wanted more copies of this, and swung one game by using it on an Employee Strike to clear Scarcity. Considering a 2nd copy but not sure what to cut for it in the new version.

Underworld Contact: requires no setup. Investing in SOME drip is great in Sunny, just don't overdo it.

Datasucker: A high-performer. Her breakers can be awkward against some common ICE (hello, Enigma), and this really smooths that out. Each token is usually worth 2 credits. Also, really shows just how bad Security Chip is by comparison.

Breakers: Good enough. Expensive, but strong against high-strength ICE and being "cloud" enables DDM.

Dirty Laundry, Sure Gamble, Daily Casts, Earthrise Hotel: Top-tier neutral economy and draw often seen in great decks. Only 2x Hotel because they are a major tempo hit and don't stack with each other.

I would cut: 1x Modded, 1x Peace in Our Time, 1x Security Chip, 3x PAD Tap

and add: 1x Dirty Laundry, 1x Emergent Creativity, 1x Stimhack, 1x White Hat, 1x Symmetrical Visage (basically a 4th Underworld Contact) and either an Overmind (mostly for Skorp and as EC fodder) or a second Same Old Thing

Regionals Tournament Report

My Corp was an MTI rush that transitions into glacier.

Round 1: ? 413 - Loss 8 agendas in first 20 cards.

Palana - Win Can't remember the details - I think he scored an early Nisei but Pad Tap and Estrike kept his ID in check. He forgot about his token on a crucial DDM run, but I was still in a decent position if he'd used it since it wouldn't be available to defend the remote.

Round 2: Aly (sp?) CtM - Win Tons of single and multi access on RD, but agendas just weren't there for me. Was at 5 to 6 when I finally hit the last Beale with a SoT'd DDM, I think.

Val - Win Close game, 7 to 6 I think. Went to time, and I installed the Philotic and passed turn with 1 second left on the clock so I would get one more turn. I think she bounced off a Surveyor on click 3, and then I Nisei'd any click 4 run for the win.

Round 3: Max Val - Win Very close game. Max is an excellent player. I think I rushed out 4 points, got hit with some Mining Accidents maybe, then scored more 2-pointers. He had great pressure with Rebirth into Omar, but I was jamming agendas immediately out of hand and got lucky on his RD accesses and any Clan Vengeance trashes.

CI Moons - Loss Ugh. I didn't expect any HB, my setup came in a bad order and my multiaccess whiffed, plus my opponent is one of the best players in our meta so he didn't leave me any wiggle room. Went to time, and on my final turn I faceplanted into a total of 3 architects. I conceded so he'd get full credit when my final turn ended 2 to 5. I tried to use EStrike at opportune moments, but he literally chained Advanced Assembly Lines to get down to 5 cards from like 10. I ended up playing both PiOT without Pad Taps out, and giving him that money wasn't great, which is probably the main reason I will move away from it in the future. I also screwed up by forgetting he couldn't have FC3 and Emergent Creativity'ing out my code gate breaker instead of my sentry breaker. This is the second round that went to time, but both rounds it was due mostly to my opponent taking a long time to think about turns mid-to-late game against my Corp (at one point Max went at least 5 literal minutes between clicks). So I guess that's something to consider if you want to play Red Tree, because it puts your opponent in mathy positions they have to take a lot of time to fully consider, but maybe you just need to be more assertive than I was.

Round 4: Ryan MTI - Win The standard News Hound build. Very close shave here. He made it hard for me to get in and I lost both code gate breakers stealing an Obokata (probably a bad play on my part). I later snatched another Obo (I think from hand) then got lucky and closed out the game after bypassing an enigma then plowing face-first through an MTI'd DNA Tracker to find a Nisei. PAD Tap almost never fired because he mainly clicked for credits.

Val - Win So many Mining Accidents. So many Turntable fires (on all 3 agendas he stole, 1 taking a new CST and 1 taking the only GFI I'd bothered to score on the day (on like turn 3). I got very lucky on hits with Inject, Zero, and net damage from my ICE, including both turtles in the bin on the same Inject, keeping him low on econ and breaking power. I could have closed out the game earlier, but I stupidly used my ID to install an archives ICE I didn't even rez on his Omar run, which meant I couldn't install the Sand Storm when he ran the remote. I'm pretty sure he eventually ran out of cards and his Clan Vengeances whiffed, and I was able to never-advance the winning Philotic just as time ran out (again!)

I made the cut! Coming in at 6th place after swiss, with the same score as the top 5 people, just lesser strength of schedule (probably partly because my 2nd round opponent dropped out of the tourney after we played).

Cut 1: Noah Titanium Ribs MaxX This was the first time I felt oppressed playing MTI. He used an early Titanium Ribs and Zer0 to sculpt his hand to great effect. I was able to score some early but he also snatched some off RD single-accesses and unexpected remote break-ins. He was by far the best user of Clan Vengeance I faced on the day, firing it only at key moments such as mid-run when I would have won the game had I been able to MTI Sand Storm out. I held him to 6-6, then drew a Nisei. After agonizing over the decision for way too long, I tried to score it, and he got in with a Stimhack with I think 1 credit to spare. I should have reviewed his heap before he Levy'd and known he'd use Titanium ribs to hold Stimhack. Guys, this kind of things is why I'm only top 8 and not winning tournaments. I think if I installed the Rashida instead he's still favored to win, but at least I still had a fighting chance, especially if I had found one of the 2 Ashes still lurking in the deck. Very well played, Noah.

Cut 2: Ian High-Profile Argus I got set up fast and was able to use Maxwell to keep him from rushing and took great care to keep up on econ. Ian is a great player but the game just wasn't going his way. He had scored some points but I was in a commanding position (he later commented that he didn't really have any outs), then I threw the game by forgetting that High-Profile does 2 damage per tag instead of 1. To be fair, he put me in a very difficult position. He finally landed an HHN after we both went low-ish from me stealing an agenda from the remote. I had 12 credits to clear with, but had just seen a Stinson in his remote, so I really wanted to stay at 6. So I only cleared 3 tags, stupidly ending the turn with only 3 cards in hand. I also had not seen High-Profile yet despite a near RD lock, so I was more playing around BOOM!, especially having seen the Consulting Visit in his hand. He played 1 HPT and CVed the other to knock me out of the tourney, having to explain to me that it does 2 damage per tag, not 1. Good game well played, Ian!

In retrospect, I obviously should have just cleared tags and let Stinson fire, especially since I'm a big dummy who forgot that the first Stinson fire would trigger my 2x PAD Tap to bring me over 6, thus preventing him from firing it again.

3 Jul 2018 rongydoge

Great writeup and great deck! I've been thinking some of the same thoughts about Sunny, and even as a #teamturtle guy I think you're right... Very wp on the day! (I also completely missed the Stionson/PAD interaction until you wrote it up!)

3 Jul 2018 deleriad

Excellent write up. I think this is definitely a very strong build in Sunny though Emergent Creativity, Office supplies and Deuces Wild makes a Power Tap build surprisingly consistent. I am always surprised when I see Sunny decks without Emergent Creativity.

3 Jul 2018 Cpt_nice

Good write up. I strongly disagree about the Turtle, as he fits perfectly for what you lack in sunny, early agression, and he synergises wih a ton of her important cards like Chip and Jak. I do like the one off Emergent Creativity.

3 Jul 2018 Aerosaucer

@Cpt_niceand @rongydogeI was probably too hard on Turtle. My experience with it in Sunny has been "lose tempo installing it, they ICE up, then I wish it was a standard breaker while they score" but it's totally possible I'm playing it wrong, or it's better in a different build. Meanwhile, my experience with it in Crim and Anarch has been "apply immense pressure, force purges, help compensate for inefficient breakers against high-strength ICE" so even if it is good in Sunny, I always feel like I'm just being inefficient not just playing it in one of those factions instead. For the 1 inf I like Maxwell James more for early pressure than turtle (though they are great together too). I also really like Overmind in Sunny even though it didn't make the cut this time, because even though it's expensive, it does what you really need it to do, which is get you into a server this one time to steal an agenda or land a DDM. It also doesn't require building counters, which for my playstyle has felt like an over-investment in setup, much like Data Folding. Getting sucker counters is a nice bonus you don't need, but if turtle has a hard time building up it feels bad, man. YMMV though.

Also, when testing things I found that, while running early is often the right call, a lot of the time I ended up wishing I'd spent that time setting up instead. I found one of the main ways I lost was running too much early for a few stray points then, having spent those clicks not setting up, I couldn't get set up to threaten a remote fast enough. This is even more true in a meta where running against a deck with HHN too early is often a nice way for Sunny to get killed.

@deleriad Yeah Emergent Creativity is rad. For a while I was testing a version with it alongside a version with Credit Kiting filling the same role (with Citadel, etc.) and the EC version had a much higher win rate. I also tested without it, just hard-installing the console every time (which you still sometimes have to do even with 2 copies of EC), and definitely missed it more than I liked the cards that replaced it.

3 Jul 2018 deleriad

One other thing in favour of Security Chip. In the early game you are often drawing quite aggressively and being able to splurge a zero cost hardware onto the board is no bad thing. In the late game, assuming 3 link, it saves you roughly 2 credits per ICE. On a double or triple ICE'd server assuming some combination of breakers, Maxy and the Nexus you are probably going to get at least 4 credits of value out if it. That's a delayed sure gamble. It's not Stimhack but it doesn't sit in your hand taking up space and its presence is a threat that may deter the Corp from trying to score until it's too late.

4 Jul 2018 Steamwood

It took so many years for someone to tell me that Data Folding is a trap, but it truly makes sense. I'm eager to take a look at this and see what works for me, thanks!

27 Aug 2018 apcud7

Same here on the Data Folding trap, it finally makes sense. What are you doing against net damage Jinteki decks? I've been struggling with a similar build to this, losing cards to Kakugo, traps, etc. Are you just more cautious running remotes or have you made any changes? Thanks again, really fun deck.

1 Sep 2018 Aerosaucer

@apcud7against net damage: running less and holding econ cards in hand for hp and clicking for credits (installing long term econ like UC but letting them trash dirty laundry from hand). 50 card deck helps. Feedback Filter is totally valid if your meta is net damage heavy.