Gramble Scrub 1st / 2nd NA Champs (18-0)

SimonMoon 2355

This is the deck that Dan and I ran to a combined 18-0 (10-0 me, 8-0 Dan) at NA Champs to take 1st / 2nd. It's originally based on Minh's Minh Maxx worlds list.

I've been playing a similar list off and on since the original MWL happened, as I enjoy DLR a lot and felt that after the WNP nerf DLR Val couldn't really cut it (shoutout to Podoboyz who've I talked with about DLR Maxx a bunch). Before the new MWL it never really felt good enough, as it had problems with MoH Asset Spam, NEH, and Palana which represented around 75% of the meta game at top tables. After the new MWL happened I wanted to try it again because it was untouched by the new changes and Anarch is my favorite faction. I knew it had problems against Sync and Palana, so I assumed I'd test it a few games and then suck it up and play Shaper. However, as I started testing I was basically winning every game, including against Palana and Sync. Then CTM emerged and everyone I talked to was struggling to beat it, and I found in testing that DLR actually just crushed CTM. So I decided to run with it.

A few days before Gencon I was talking to Dan and he said he didn't have a runner to play and I told him to play this. He said he'd try it out, played a few games on Jinteki the next day and immediately everyone was discussing putting in all seeing eye. Luckily most people were already there and it was too late to actually make any massive changes. He played a few games, and I spent half and hour or so walking him through various matchups and how to play them the night before the tournament started. His intuition on a couple of them was wrong, but he basically took a 1 paragraph summary of matchups I gave him and didn't drop a game.

There are three major differences between my list and Minh's worlds list.

  1. DDOS (this card is insane and stupid). It lets you pressure HQ with siphon early and messes up Siphon math (forcing a turn 1 double ice HQ by good players which is a tempo hit). Additionally it allows you to pressure score out attempts behind 1 ice, which means your opponent have to use multiple ice on their remotes to safely score out. It also provides end game archives access to win the game on points past a single ice. I heard that Minh didn't know this card existed when he built his worlds deck.

  2. Femme + retrieval run. This does a ton of different stuff, lets you pressure double iced remotes, HQ turing, and also helps you get into HQ to contest a caprice HQ. It also provides a crappy sentry breaker which was often relevant for getting through various ice. I thought corroder was wrong in Minh's original worlds list, as it was basically a tool to get through Wraparound. Corroder (and soon to be paperclip) are actually really good right now. They break wraparound, but also there's a ton of vanilla in the meta which is notable because you can rez it after you've been siphon'd to 0. Additionally it can break resistor which is almost always put on HQ by yellow decks against you.

  3. Scrubber / Hacktivist. There's a ton of asset spam in the meta, and getting out a scrubber in a pretty poor deck lets you trash lots of assets. I'd been tooling around with the last card slot for a while, and found frame job / activist support inadequate and not great. I had Slums but it felt like you either drew it turn 1 and it won the game or you didn't and it was useless. I was debating Keyhole since the correct line of play is to not ice R&D until ice #7 for most decks. TheBigUnit3000 suggested Hacktivist the night before and I put it in without testing. It turned out to be a huge boost letting me turn off a crucial Targetted Marketting (Maxx wins every current war with draw + recursion) as well as being crucial in slowing down a Gagarin I played against.

The deck is a strong deck and it was the correct meta call for Jamcon, but I think it has real weaknesses. It gains a lot because a lot of people don't know how to play against and it punishes misplays extremely hard. Additionally, even against it's bad matchups (Sync, Palana) because of how hard it forces your opponent to play around your Plan A you can usually get a reasonable amount of accesses through a combination of DLR + R&D single access.

Playing DLR: The most basic line of play is to install some WNP, Fall Guys, and DLR's and then Siphon them to zero repeatably while milling your opponent out. Mostly your opponent won't let you do this. One of the nice things about Maxx is you get to levy and go through your deck twice. So a good general tip is you can let them trash your "rig" multiple times because you can set it up again really quickly (don't trash your second WNP, hold onto it so if they trash everything you can drop WNP + new DLR or whatever).

Playing against DLR: There are two ways to win against DLR; trash everything and score out behind whatever at your leisure, or race them and score out before they mill you out / win on points. You should have a plan to do one or the other, and for most decks it makes sense to do 1 or the other before the match. Other important things are to plan and play around DDOS siphon. Your second ice should typically go on HQ, and trying to lock your opponent of centrals to prevent DLR install is a terrible plan, don't do it.

Against EtF: For EtF you have a pretty good scoring plan and a pretty good trash everything plan. Some obvious tips like HQ turing is your best ice, and hard etr code gates are the best inner ice on remotes (DLR wants to leverage Josh B and bioroids to force ice multiple ice on remotes . As DLR your goal is to not let HB stick campaigns (setting up DDOS siphon -> 0 into run remote trash campaign is usually a game winning play). If you land an early siphon you shouldn't be afraid to clear tags if you haven't got WNP + Fall guys to protect your asset installs. If HB sticks a bunch of bonkers + campaigns, its pretty trivial to get enough money to make HQ siphon hard and just trash everything. If you really hate losing to DLR EtF can splash 1x All Seeing Eye and become a massive favorite.

Against Palana: Palana's best plan is to trash everything and then score out behind a lotus field after you've burned out. Their scoring plan is pretty terrible, but the trash everything plan is pretty great. Their econ is operation based, which means you basically need to land siphons to win. Caprice eventually goes on HQ with 1-2 ice that make it hard to get in clean and makes the siphon plan bad.

Against CTM: This is a very good, but tricky matchup. Your ideal opening is gramble scrub, because it lets you start trashing everything and clearing tags. Eventually you're going to go tag me, but I usually want to avoid it because if you force them to HHN you it waste a bunch of their money. Once you find a WNP since their econ is so asset based you're usually safe to go tag me and have WNP protect scrubber. Their best line is usually something like score a BN and EOI it for a GFI + Psycho a Beale. You want to control their econ / your tag level to keep them off a massive psycho, so you want to be careful about going nuts with Josh B. If they're smart they'll inner ice resistor HQ, though I won a couple games in testing by single accessing HQ by paying 4 when I knew agendas had built up in there. Additionally, this is really the only deck that relevantly plays All Seeing Eye. Basically since they're poor anyway, you save a few things with Fall Guy and then install new things and they can't really trash the new things.

Against Sync: This is a not great matchup. Since their econ is operation based, its hard to interfere with. QPM, EOI, and GFI make their scoring plan great and your scoring plan terrible. Their flip ability is huge value and lets them trash everything pretty easily. You have some advantages though, resistor is often times their only relevant ice, and they need to put it on HQ. So its hard for them to keep you from single accesses R&D a billion times. A pretty common line of play is set up board -> land siphon -> mill over two turns. Everything gets trashed, then clear tags and set up again. Its basically impossible to set up a new board while floating. Mostly I've found that I beat Sync on points through a combination of HQ, R&D singles accesses and DLR mills.

Against IG-49: This is a great matchup. If you open any amount of reasonable econ (siphon, 1x scrubber) its pretty easy to control their board. I've had worse protects you from psychic field cheese kills, and once you've controlled the board its pretty trivial to turn it into a win. The thing you have to watch out for is milling a bunch into archives and giving them 10+ trash costs which they then use to install 3x kill pieces. Additionally one nice thing about this matchup is they have no money to trash anything, so you can start floating tags pretty easily with Josh B even with no protection.

Against CI: You want to siphon them a lot. This is another matchup where its hard for them to trash things, so you can use Josh B pretty early. Dig hard for siphon, and be prepared for them to double Ice HQ and the inner ice to be turing. There's not much use in trying to suprise them with DDOS, so just install it the turn before so you can triple click Turing.

Maxx is a fun deck that requires having a deep understanding of your opponents plan to play with. You need to be able to understand what they're trying to do, and how much you need to interfere with it vs. just DLR'ing. Its good but not overpowered in the current meta, having a bad matchup against several prominent decks. Rumor Mill will probably be insane it in it however, as turning off HQ Caprice, Jackson Howard, MoH is completely insane. It can be hated out of the meta (splashing all seeing eye in a deck that actually has the money to follow it up).

9 Aug 2016 dogstew

Glad to see this monster being shared. Congrats again!

9 Aug 2016 crfluency

Congrats to both Kenny and Dan. Good to see you guys still rocking it with MaxX.

9 Aug 2016 Neuvost


10 Aug 2016 gozik

Mumba cycle is a clutch

10 Aug 2016 fevve

How is the match up vs weyland kill?

10 Aug 2016 SimonMoon

@fevve its pretty strong. I'd say not quite as good as the IG matchup, but better than the CI matchup. Their siphon defense is terrible, and their econ isn't as good as Palana / EtF. DDOS / Femme / Corroder + Siphon denial makes their scoring plan pretty bad. Their best outs are typically either having scorch / scorch / beanstalk early before you get paparazzi installed (I typically keep them under 5 once I go tag me) or you just taking forever to draw a siphon and score a bunch of points in cheeseball remotes.

10 Aug 2016 bluebird503

Congrats and well played.

10 Aug 2016 spags

img brule

11 Aug 2016 JackMade

Why only 2 DDoS when you said it's insane? I would try to fit in the third.

11 Aug 2016 clercqie

Congrats on the placements, both Kenny and Dan ofc!

We all tried to play the deck in our meetup last night and it's is really hard to wrap your head around, actually. Thank you for the already very detailed writeup, but could you go a bit more into detail about a couple of things:

  • what goes into deciding your opening hand? Do you prioritize money, draw, other stuff?

  • how do you generally manage your economy? I know the deck can operate on practically zero, but while going so low I really felt unable to pressure the Corp and slowing it down...

  • the Femme felt really underwhelming against players who - as you suggest - start the game by locking down HQ. Siphons at this point, start to become dead draws as well. I played against a lot of Yellow, mind you, where the most annoying ICE were Resistors, Tollbooths and Archangels. Would a David provide maybe more utility?


11 Aug 2016 SimonMoon

@JackMade: 2 is just the right amount. Its good, but also kinda awkward sometimes and it sits in your hand a lot. Its really powerful but the 2nd one has a huge dropoff.

@clercqie: Mulligans depend largely on the matchup. But more generaly I usually mull for a coherent plan. I might be looking at a hand that says okay, I just need to power draw into Siphon and this is has everything to let me land it (DDoS, Eater, Gamble, Inject, Inject), or a hand that says you can install 3x pieces and set up to draw into the rest (Fall Guy, DLR, WNP, Inject, Gramble). You just wanna look at your hand and have a coherent plan for how to attack your opponent, and adjust based on what you know they're gonna be doing.

Manage your economy with practice, its pretty hard in low econ decks so just practice to get a feel for when you can go broke messing with the corp or not. In general, if you're both broke its good for you and bad for them, because DLR / Fall Guy / WNP is 1 credit total to install and takes 10 to trash everything (and if they're trashing 1 thing a turn you'll usually draw into whatever they trash).

For Femme, DDOS + Retrieval Run Femme is a great play for landing Siphons against prepared opponents. Femme is probably the best Ice Breaker you mentioned against all these Ice. Femme also beats HQ Turing which is important in the HB matchup. You're going to be getting it in with retrieval run 90% of the time, and most of these decks don't have enough ice to protect archives 2x against DDOS -> Retrieval Run -> Siphon -> SoT Siphon (or whatever). Its just a really strong general tool for answering a ton of threats well.

14 Aug 2016 Magnetar

Thanks for the detailed write up! If you decide to put in a Rumor Mill what would you cut for it?

14 Aug 2016 buzard

I'm a new player. Not quite to intermediate. And there are a few concepts that I can't quite get down. In this deck you trash the top two cards and draw the third every turn. Yet you only have 3 deja vu and 1 retrieval run to get cards out of archives. Since 66% of your cards are in archives that does not seem to work (although obviously it does) To me a wyldside where you can control what you discard, instead of random discard would seem better. So what am I missing here? Since you randomly discard 2 cards and draw 1, it would be easy to randomly discard all the deja vu's, the retrieval run and the Levy. What do you do then?

14 Aug 2016 153351

everything that's wrong with Netrunner in a single deck.

15 Aug 2016 Saan

@buzard You only really need a third of the deck to win anyhow, so either you're drawing what you need, or you're pitching what you need and drawing the recursion to bring it back. With I've Had Worse to draw you 3, or Inject to draw you 4 (most likely, since there's only 4 programs in the deck anyhow), you're going to see your deck very quickly.

15 Aug 2016 Yourmothermom

@buzard also the three same old things allow you to play events that end up in the heap

15 Aug 2016 SimonMoon

@Magnetar cut Hacktivist for it. Its a stronger current and does a lot of work against Museum decks which is where Hacktivist is most needed.

@buzard you draw a lot in this deck (either just by clicking to do so or inject / ive had worse) so you probably see more like 50-60% of your deck with the rest going in the heap. You're also missing the 3 SoT which also work as recursion (and recur Levy / Siphon) which are the two most important cards to get. Most of the time you have enough copies of the important cards that you need to find (DLR, WNP) that you don't need to Deja Vu for them.

The trash part of Maxx's ability is actually good (better than just Draw 1) because it lets you find pieces you need consistently. Finding a copy of account siphon is important, and trashing 2 lets you go through your deck (since drawing a deja vu and trashing an account siphon still lets you siphon). You have enough redundancy and draw power that its incredibly rare to be anywhere close to not being able to find a Levy (though occasionally you'll siphon too many times and not have a Levy recursion piece left).

@153351 no u

15 Aug 2016 buzard

Ok. As pointed out I did miss SoT. And 3 of those does skew the odds back. Did I mention I'm still learning ; ). Still having a hard time looking at a deck and seeing how it works. This game is considerably more complicated than I had first envisioned. (the last line is a monty python reference).

28 Aug 2016 KryptikRVR

@SimonMoon what is your opinion of imp vs scrubber?

28 Aug 2016 Pilgrim

I'm kinda confused how you access cards that have ETR code gate ice blocking. I get you can DLR cards into archives but then gaining access if there is say an enigma? I guess I am stuck with a criminal mindset of having all the traditional breakers :-)

29 Aug 2016 KryptikRVR

``@Pilgrim` You can either ddos through an archives ice if you havnt forced them to rez it yet, or ignore agendas and go for the mill win

26 May 2017 azaleth

Great deck! I have been struggling with the runner side of things being a new player and this gives me a great lesson on synergies and well explained tactics. I spend most of my time learning how these decks are played and once again, thanks for the explanations. With that said, in regards to the 'milling' aspect of DLR, shouldn't you include a copy of Hades shard for that just seems like an easy win?