Buffet of Chips [3-1, 3rd Place at October AMT]

DoomRat 2305

Here's another project deck NetDad and I have been working on. We had what we thought was a pretty good Loup deck that NetDad played at Worlds. It was fast and strong, but its late game was suspect and it absolutely punted a couple of matchups (particularly Outfit, but anything with a lot of big sentries was a problem). Then two things happened that lead us down a separate path. First, QtM published the mulch deck they played at worlds. If you've seen mulch at all the influence is obvious, as we grafted a lot of the shell of that deck onto our previous loup. But the big break through came in a random jnet game where I was playing PD. My opponent was on Hoshiko with Bankhar, and when they got to the end of their deck, they used Buffer Drive to repeatedly save a Strike Fund getting hit by net damage then draw it back with Hoshiko. It was neat, but it wasn't very efficient as runner frequently had to break the outer ice anyway to avoid flatlining. Still, the idea seemed cool, so I tossed a copy of Buffer Drive in the project list to see how it worked out, not expecting much. Oh how wrong I was:

Iterating from that point got here pretty quickly, with the hardest bit getting the list down to 40 cards. Even without that the deck is a monster with very few bad matchups. Additionally, we finally get to see the true face of Audrey:

How to Play

The early game is pretty similar to standard mulch. Burn your deck down with The Price, Solidarity Badge and your ID, hold the corp off with your Botulus and Audrey and try to get your key pieces (Solidarity Badge Knobkierie Imp) installed. While doing that, make sure not to lose Buffer Drive, at least one Labor Rights and at least one Strike Fund.

Sometimes that early game is enough. The combination of Imp and Badge can absolutely dumpster some corps, so our win condition may come online in the early game. If it doesn't, we can unmask Audrey and get to the fun part of the game:

  • Step 1: Start your turn with an empty stack Strike Fund in hand, and Buffer Drive, Knobkierie, Solidarity Badge, Imp and Audrey v2 installed.

  • Step 2: Run something. During that run, trash Strike Fund to boost Audrey and Buffer it to the bottom of your empty stack. If you can get a break out of this, great. If not, do it anyway.

  • Step 3: When the run is successful, use Knobkierie to put a virus counter on Imp, then trash whatever you access. This charges Badge and triggers Loup giving you a credit and your Strike Fund back.

  • Step 4: At the end of the corps turn, use Strike Fund to boost Audrey's strength again, Buffering it to the bottom again. (You are allowed to do this. The exact arcana that led FFG to make this ruling is lost to time, but its been in place since OG core set).

  • Step 5: At the start of your turn, badge draws your Strike Fund, and we can repeat the whole process again for a total of five credits dripped clicklessly.

At this point you might say, "DoomRat, it took you 5 separate cards and an empty stack to do that. That can't be worth it?!?" But remember, aside from Buffer Drive, these cards are all really strong on their own. One of the biggest downsides of our previous iteration of Loup was that when you hit the end of your deck you stopped getting value from Badge and Loup, but this lets us keep it going until our wincon comes online.

NetDad says this deck has a story line in 3 parts:

part 1: Try not to trash all the breaks, both labor rights and a strike fund.

part 2: Oops! You did part 1 bad. Fix all your mistakes with Labor Rights.

part 3: Drip for 5 until your wincon kicks in.

Win Condition

Then you say: "DoomRat, I've seen you mention the decks win condition twice now, but I don't see one in here?" The win condition of this deck was a bit of a quandary. The QtM mulch deck played Conduit to great effect, but we don't have the MU, influence or slots to support that. Fortunately, we came across another win condition that doesn't need any of those things:

In all seriousness, the late game of this deck is sufficiently powerful that if you make it there you can almost always sit on the corp until they're ready to quit or they deck out. If you really want to have a proper wincon you can cut Tranq and a Pinhole for Conduit and Moshing 2, but I'm pretty sure doing that is giving up some win percentage to avoid being bored.

Other Card Choices

  • Tranquilizer: This thing is pretty nice to have. Corps might get ideas about taxing out Revolver with big sentries, but throwing a tranq on Anansi pretty quickly disabuses them of that notion and encourages the corp to make use of our win condition.

  • Revolver was Echelon for a long time, as it gave us a good way to break all the Winchesters weyland is playing all of a sudden. Final conclusion, however, was that this didn't actually make a difference to winning, as Botulus is usually sufficient to handle these, and having Revolver in the bin keeps Ob from getting any ideas about Stavka+Hafrún.

  • Clot. Were playing Simulchip. It doesn't cost influence. Slots are tight but this is free win percentage. Don't cut it even if your not using it much.

  • RCS and Moshing. These cards are both real good in original mulch, but kind of tail off a bit here. We have more cards we want to install eventually and less cards we can afford to mosh, so the count is reduced from that deck. RCS on the other hand, much like Dirty Laundry, benefits a lot from being Hoshiko. We are not hoshiko so we don't play it.

AMT Results:

  • Round 1 vs. RH: Play against Punitive Counterstrike RH, so far as I can tell no changes from Bridgeman's world's list. We're relatively favored in that matchup. Run centrals, imp agendas that aren't named Regenesis and try not to allow the corp a 4 point play. This game I end up sniping the 1 pointer on T2 and quickly follow by imping two Bacterial Programming, and go and pull them out of archives when I'm sure its safe on T4. Yodel PD squeaks out a win vs. Mulch (this matchup is bad, more on that later) so I'm 2-0 and my opponent drops. No big deal but my SOS is going to be pretty mediocre. Move on to the next round.

  • Round 2 vs. I want to say Ob, but opponent doesn't have their IDs on ABR. I don't remember much about this game other than Loup rolled and my opponent made use of the concede button. PD also rolled. 4-0 but my opponent drops again, meaning my SoS is going to be absolute garbage. No making on the cut on tiebreakers today.

  • Round 3 vs. Facet Ob: This matchup always feels tough at the beginning, your on the edge of what you can do to hold off the rush, then it feels like the corp just falls apart all at once because their end game plan isn't viable if runner trashes recocos for free and has clot. Play this one on stream for about 8 turns then my opponent concedes. I squeak another Mulch vs. PD game because my opponent misses their math, 6-0.

  • Round 4 vs. AgInfusion: I look at the standings and see that so long as I win one game this round I can't possibly miss the cut. Offer my opponent an ID, which they refuse (rightfully in retrospect, they end up bubbling out). PD crushes Kit in game 1, so I go into game two thinking (wrongly) that the outcome of this game doesn't matter. I didn't throw the game on purpose, but I didn't try very hard to fight through my fatigue this game, and ended up accessing a Fujii I suspected was in archives with zero cards in hand. Whoops.

  • Semifinals: I end up with the two seed and a rematch with my round 3 opponent. I was thinking I'd get to play Loup vs. Facet Ob again and cruise, but it turns out that its not higher seed picks but randomized instead. I roll PD, and my opponents not going to mess up their math again, so I'm out. In retrospect I really needed to push hard for the one seed, but even then I think I would have gotten caught out by Baa Ram Wu's Snare RH in the finals.

Wrap Up

Tinkering on various versions of this list with NetDad has been a blast. I think its one of the better lists we've put together, and even if it does draw heavily from other previously published lists, the play style is quite different. Additional credits obviously go to QtM for mulch and previously mentioned random jnet player who rubbed my face in the fact that buffering strike fund let you do silly things. Hope y'all enjoy it.

7 Nov 2023 jan tuno

this is beautiful! it was great to play against it

7 Nov 2023 NetDad

This list is a jnet casual boogeyman. Knob-Imp is a fairly ubiquitous counter to a ton of corp strategies that does everything from avoiding threat 3 Oppo by trashing agendas to eating expensive assets and combo pieces. What really makes it shine here is Imp is not just a cool side program like in Freedom or Hoshiko, it's a core part of Loup's rig. Solidarity Badge also dunks on yellow pretty hard

7 Nov 2023 Girometics

Glad I'm not the only one experimenting with Loup! When it comes to win cons, I think WAKE suits Loup very aptly, as you're already running HQ over and over again.

7 Nov 2023 DoomRat

Wakes probably pretty good, though I find if I’m running HQ instead of remotes it means the corp has exhausted themselves and the game is pretty much over anyway.

7 Nov 2023 Krasty

Is it really Sure Gamble not missing? Excelent deck...

7 Nov 2023 DoomRat

@Krasty Feels kind of wild, but yeah, intentionally missing sure gamble. The deck needs a big credit infusion once to get Knobkierie down, which is usually handled by Fermenter, Paladin or The Price. Other than that you usually can afford most everything on Loup credits and strike fund until your drip kicks in.

8 Nov 2023 rotage

Nice idea, I was trying a similar idea in Tao with Amicam to get the draw, but you've done a much better job

Great to see cool ideas work

10 Nov 2023 Crunchums

You are allowed to do this. The exact arcana that led FFG to make this ruling is lost to time, but its been in place since OG core set

I think it was that you are allowed to pay to boost a breaker's strength before encountering Tollbooth (since you'd rather be on 2 credits than 3 or 4)

22 Nov 2023 napalm900

Love this deck so much, the last game I had ended up using up all the virus counters, having to use power counters as fill in, running out of those and then having to resort to using advancement counters for my maxed out virus rig! Thanks for sharing!