Feeling Blue - Blue Sun, 5-2 at Worlds

Thike 1193

This is the corp deck I took to worlds. I didn't do that well, mostly because I wasn't on top of my Noise game that day. That being said, I'm rather happy with how this turned out, given that I'd only had a month to figure it out. I'm even more sure that I'm on the right path when it comes to Blue Sun after talking shop with Timmy W, the 3rd place player who played Blue Sun and Worlds. I did pretty well on the day of. This deck went 5-2, losing to two players who made the top 16. One of which is my sparring partner, Brody Lodmell, who knows the deck inside and out. I'm pretty sure he was 4-0 against Blue Sun that day, including Timmy. The other was a loss by one turn, basically. So it goes. Mostly I want to discuss some of the points I've come to in regards to this neat ability.

Weyland is in a neat/odd position right now. There are a number of strong strategies here, but they are mutually exclusive to a degree that other factions don't really have. Advance-able ICE doesn't work with the new powerhouse that is Blue Sun. Nor does Archer, really. They clearly want to set up some form of glacier build with Weyland, but their signature bad publicity undermines that. And then there's choosing whether or not to include a kill condition, to which I'm not sure there is a right answer. I'm obviously leaning towards yes, but bblum's Gold Standard Glacier makes a strong case for not. Everyone assumes you do, anyways.

I started my build with the idea of having a glacier strategy to tax them, with a kill if they let themselves get much poorer than me. Glacier, to me, means no bad publicity. I don't like the Elizabeth Mills combo; too fragile to rely on. This meant losing the fantastic Hostile Takeover. Without that, Archer didn't seem as appealing. Grim was out for BP reasons, and Lycan wasn't legal, so I had no in-faction destroyers. That meant that I had to use precious influence, or go pure taxing. I chose the latter. Tollbooth is probably the best ICE in the game for glacier, and Lotus Field field just wins the Anarch matchup. I don't regret either decision, although I'm not sure if it's optimal.

Now, the kill package. Punitive was considered, as I've had success with Weyland decks with it in the past, but I decided I didn't really like 5/3 agendas in Blue Sun. You too often need at least one click every other turn to reshuffle ICE or refill your credit pool. 4/2s and Project Atlas are perfect for that. No BP means that NAPD is an option. Corporate War is a FANTASTIC ICE for BS. Pull back an ICE the turn you install it, and you never lose credits. Anyways, for these reasons, Punitive wasn't ideal.

This left me with Scorched Earth. So, I needed tags. I originally ran just Sea Source, but found it rather limited and always expected. It also didn't allow me to triple scorch. After much testing, I ended up with three tagging abilities: Midseason Replacements, which is just brutal and the most often used. I don't mind dumping all my credits into this, as I can turtle to regain enough to blow you up before you can remove all the tags. If you do try to remove them, I'll probably have enough of an economic advantage to score out. Data Raven similarly allows for the delayed scorch, and encourages runners to go tag-me. It also works beautifully with BS's ability to play the cup game with ICE. And is a hard ETR for most of the game. Posted Bounty is the final option, for flexibility and also as bait.

As far as assets go, there's not too much to say. GRNDL Refinery is bait/economy. Shattered Remains is the one-of trap that I'm fond of, and re-enables scorch. Best use during the tournament was to kill the Dyson Memchip of a connections Andy, turning off her Underworld Contacts. The Root is theoretically an in-faction Adonis, but I'm not too pleased with it. Again, too fiddly in most scenarios.

ICE is fairly self-explanatory, too. Taurus is great for the kill. Caduceus is cheap, taxing, and often gets you some cash. Honestly, Changeling is MVP, though. It's just so flexible. Having a STR 4 ETR sentry is painful for criminals, unless they run mimic datasuckers. Even then, it's not too hard to lock up your centrals.

My general strategy was to slowly build up ICE and credits through the early game, and jump at scoring windows when I saw them. Scoring windows can take a lot of forms here. Sometimes the just can't get in. Sometimes they won't want to before the get enough money to avoid a kill. Sometimes they can, but you have Midseasons. That being said, my most frequent mistake is to rush too much. I'm an aggressive player, and it can hurt my corp game at times. You lose the game in centrals: remember that.

Anyway, that's the deck. I'm looking forward to exploring more from this ID, from the BP/Keystone versions to Mushin no shin with Off the Grid. And, again, shout out to Timmy W for repping Space Weyland in the elimination. He's a fantastic player.

10 Nov 2014 ItJustGotRielle

I enjoyed your explanation for your choices. Not running bad pub enables the NAPD, and also makes the runs slightly more expensive, which is good synergy, though most of all I like that you are running Midseason along with the taxing ice and lack of bad pub. I agree that it's the right decision to run Scorch over Punitive; any Weyland player knows that the 4/5 point to 7 point jump is where the flatline threat matters the most, and Punitive is turned off by that point. Having more taxing ice and no bad pub means a larger credit disparity for when Midseason lands, which is also awesome.

I just can't help but feel you've robbed your deck of some potential teeth by not running program destruction though. Did you ever try 2 Rototurret instead of a Data Raven (since you dont want the bp Grim would give and don't want to run Archer)? Or did you ever feel that the runner build their rig too quickly, face checked you too fearlessly? I'm very interested in this 'clean' style of Weyland (as I call it) and how effective it was for you. What were your problem matches? What matches did you reign supreme through? Congrats on your World's success with the deck! :)

11 Nov 2014 Thike

The two matches I lost were 1) to a standard Andy played by my sparring partner. He knows the deck inside and out, and practicing against me is a big reason why he did as well as he did given how many Blue Suns he faced. He made top 16. Basically, don't run unless you can stay richer than me. Get greedy with Kati. That changes with Snatch and Grab, but being conservative and rich is the way to go. Also, do your best to deny oversighted ICE. Losing 13 credits and a Curtain Wall is a huge blow. Just jack out afterwards. 2) The second one was to a PPV Kate deck. Again, he played conservatively and out monied me early. When I finally was able to Midseasons him, it bankrupted me. That gave him a turn to find his second plascrete, which he did. He had two brain damage, but managed to score out before i could find my third scorch.

Honestly, I do agree that no destroyers hurt. Taurus was a nice surrogate, but not the same. Honestly, the biggest changes I'd make is to drop the out-of-faction code gates to bring in some meaner ICE. Lycan can shore up your code gates, worst case. In honestly, I think Ichi 2.0 might be the very best import for Blue Sun. 8 credits is high enough that I don't feel too bad oversighting it if I don't find a Curtain. 5 STR is scary, and it's often unexpected. Clicking through it is a difficult choice too. If it's not your first click, who do you leave? Do you let me trash something, or take a brain and float a tag on my turn? There is no good option. I'll be testing a version with two of those. Janus and Heimdall 2.0 are other good options, for giving Brain Damage and making scorching easier.

On the trashing front, one of the biggest (non-BP related) differences between my deck and Timmy's was that he dropped restructure for Power Shutdown. It means you have a slower economy, but being able to trash Faeries, Corroders, Datasuckers, and sometimes ever plascretes, is AMAZING. I'm a little ashamed that I never considered it.

11 Nov 2014 Thike

As for bad matchups, it's more about playstyle than decks. Quetzal was hard at first, but you can play around her by protecting your oversights and stacking barriers. Plus Lotus Field and an advanced Changeling are great tech against her.

Nasir is a weird one I haven't faced enough of yet. Thankfully I didn't hit him on day of. Most of my successes involve scoring behind an oversighted Curtain faster than he can set up. I need more experience before I can talk more about it.

Noise is easy. Just score quickly behind some moderate ICE and he can usually do nothing. Kill him if he grabs something from archives and is poor.

Stealth Kit was a weird one, but ultimately won on the fact that you can very easily predict exactly how much ICE they can break. Build your servers to push that limit, and you should be able to score safely. The biggest risk is a surprise Ghost Runner.

The PVP Kate was rough for one reason, in retrospect: Stimhack. It's really, really hard to tax a runner using that. Any time I though I was safe to score, he just stimhacked in, and spent

11 Nov 2014 Thike

(formatting ate the rest)

...less than five credits, meaning I couldn't tag him. It does make them easier to kill, though, so that is probably worth playing into. Again, need more practice.

Standard Andy has all the tools, so it comes down to the player. Protect your centrals, and wear out their economy. Snatch and Grab will be nice, if only to get rid of Kati.

Back on the topic of destroyers: As far as facechecking not being punished goes, that's mitigated by one big strength of Blue Sun: uncertainty. Most of your ICE will often be face down, so the runner can never be sure exactly what they put there. and you have enough big ICE to tax an aggressive runner enough to kill them.