The Spanish Influenza v2.1 (The Winning Agenda Comp winner)

Snake Eyes 4619

Summary

This is my go-to deck for running. It has a great win rate, and is a lot of fun to play. This deck provides a constant HQ-locked pressure, and uses Anarch viruses as well as criminal tricks to maximize this value in tempo.

Tournament Performance

I have won a few tournaments with it, the earliest version of it recorded here: http://stimhack.com/gnk-the-board-room-game-cafe-2014-13-players/ I've won a handful of under 10 player tournaments, and would love to test it out more aggressively in larger circuits other than int/advanced OCTGN games.

Fortunately, Bananifier took the concept of the deck and managed to come first before the playoffs in a 52 person tournament in France (3rd after playoffs): http://www.acoo.net/deck/4330/open-shoot-the-moon-3rd-bananifier-gabe-spanish-influenza/ I am super pleased that the deck concept worked for him, and that he paid homage to the deck's name. He made a few meta call changes that sure seem like they worked.

Awards

http://thewinningagenda.com/2015/01/21/decklist-competition-special/

Play-style

This deck is both extremely aggressive, and comfortable with setting up for the long game pending the situation. The evolving global meta of this game required that I speed the deck up a touch, so I adapted by removing 1x Same Old Thing and 1x Planned Assault in favour of 2x Dirty Laundry. After playing around with Dirty Laundry, I started to dabble with 3x Dirty Laundry and 2x Sure Gamble - it's hard to say which of the two I prefer.

Mr. Li can really help sift through your deck and make your draws especially consistent. Getting the viruses going really help excel at what Gabe does best. Lamprey helps start a 4 credit swing on the first hit on HQ, and a 2 credit swing for the following runs. A well timed Account Siphon can potentially represent an 18 credit swing.

If we're talking about click efficiency here, you can also earn a virus counter on both Datasucker and Nerve Agent, and even set up an Emergency Shutdown. If I weren't having so much success with Mr. Li's consistent drawing power, I'd consider flipping over to John Masanori for optimized click efficiency.

It is possible to lock someone out of the game by just hitting HQ every turn until they're down to zero credits with Lamprey. If they purge, that's fantastic, you just got a free turn's worth of tempo. Djinn another one into hand and use the next 3 clicks setting up your board state or running other places. Be ready to install your reserve Lamprey the following turn, assuming that they clicked up for credits.

History

The Spanish Influenza as a deck has slowly been losing some of it's viruses since I first made it, notably 2x Pheromones and 1x Crypsis. The Crypsis was an emergency breaker for Lotus Fields on remotes, having to deal with Passport's limitations. Cerberus "Rex" H2 is a fantastic solution to that, and one that's good enough to use if Yog.0 got destroyed or net damaged out somehow. Pheromones were too finicky to use properly most of the time - if I had easy enough access into HQ to get lots of recurring credits on Pheromones, odds are that I really didn't need Pheromones up in the first place. Most of the time I ended up discarding them, or cycling them back with Mr. Li. They were an easy cut to make room for Feint and a 3rd Sneakdoor Beta.

On Feint, that was a meta call, due to the Crisium Grid becoming popular for a short period of time. The interaction between the two makes Feint a super charged Inside Job, making it potentially one of the best cards in the game (in a very specific situation). Crisium Grid is not especially popular anymore - but I still keep Feint in my deck since it can help fuel all my HQ lock tricks (Lamprey, Gabe's ability, Desperado, Datasucker, Nerve Agent, and set up an Emergency Shutdown.

The Heart and Soul

The following cards are the heart and soul of the deck, making the Spanish Influenza name still stick: Lamprey, Nerve Agent, Datasucker, Djinn, and Sneakdoor Beta. That's 11 influence right there, with the rest being spent on Core breakers.

Concerns

A minor fear with this deck is high str sentries. I've yet to be hit hard by an unexpected Archer - but if I were, I'd have to rely on backup breakers for the rest of the game (and hope that I haven't discarded any of them). I have been in situations (against Jinteki no less) where both Mimic and Femme Fatale were pinged out, but I still managed to pulled off wins using Criminal Events and selective runs to avoid everything.. But doing that it is not advisable.

Considerations for the future

I recently played a Good Knight Gabe (Ser Gabe) deck at a limited tournament (Cardpool up to Double Time). Doing this gave me the proper appreciation of Faerie in a deck... however if using them, you want lots of them. I don't think I can justify the space at this time.

Having the means to punish R&D would be a great addition to this deck - but the only ways that I can see doing that involve cutting influence that would take away from the core of the deck.

The economy card Security Testing is worth consideration - since this deck loves to farm tokens, doing it on archives or even HQ would yield great results.

10 comments
2 Dec 2014 PaxCecilia

This deck is a bastard to play against. I think I've beaten it once, but most games I get stuck at 0c with no way to defend myself from repeated Lamprey runs. Just brutal.

2 Dec 2014 Bananifier

This deck is tons of fun to play with! It was defeated only once during the 'Shoot the Moon' tournament (52 players, cards up to The Spaces Between). It got flatlined against a very spiky Personal Evolution.

The version I ran tried to counter all the expected Near-Earth Hub: Broadcast Center, hence the inclusion of Security Subcontract and Armitage Codebusting to get cash in the early game (no time for Kati, no time for Mr Li!). Lotus Field was trendy back then, making me drop the Yog.0 for a peacock (which was actually useful!). I think Rex is a great touch there, and the Yog/Rex package is strictly better than Passport/Peacock.

As you said, Faerie is very good to apply early pressure without fear, and can help you a lot if you expect Jinteki: Replicating Perfection (Komainu, Tsurugi). The drawback is that you actually have to play 3 of them to find them reliably.

In hindsight, I never should have dropped the Datasucker, which could have been extremely good. This may be why our opinions differ on Pheromones: as I did not have Datasucker in, I suspect that I relied more heavily on pheromones to lock HQ. I actually made people purge viruses several times in a game, for a lamprey initially and then for pheromones with 6+ counters ;).

I also cut the Plascrete Carapace, as Weyland was not played back then, wich was very greedy but actually paid off (I only saw a single Scorched Earth the whole day, in a cool Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future deck, but it was already broke :p).

2 Dec 2014 Snake Eyes

Yeah, this deck was waiting for Cerberus "Rex" H2 for a long time. It feels like much more universal of a breaker than Peacock does, especially for 2 sub codegates like Enigma, Datapike, Viktor 1.0 & 2.0, Viper and Yagura. Passport is fantastic and super efficient on centrals for most codegates, but given its centrals-only limitation, it was pretty easy to replace. Ideally Yog.0 with Datasucker support is the only decoder that you need, but if you have to deal with Cerberus "Rex" H2 it's not so bad.

I agree about Pheromones - while you can use Pheromones to get into HQ a whole lot easier, Datasucker does a similar job. It might not save you quite as many credits, but it is more universal across other servers when you need to hit a remote with fixed strength breakers (or you don't want to pay a million credits to boost Femme Fatale).

Plascrete Carapace is definitely a meta call. Only a small handful of people play Scorch decks in my local meta. Since I'm playing Mr. Li I can usually cycle that card to the bottom of the deck when I don't need it, and bring it up when I do, Since most of my play with this deck has been on OCTGN games though, you kind of need to be ready for anything.

2 Dec 2014 Snake Eyes

@PaxCecilia Lamprey is just such a mean card in Gabe. Definitely my favourite card of the cycle for that "control the game" feeling that it brings when it hits!

3 Dec 2014 ItJustGotRielle

NO ONE expects the Spanish Influenza!

But seriously, I love this list. Been intrigued by an "all-in HQ" Gabe for a while since I feel it requires more than just "Andy with less consistency", so it's great you've had so much success with it! I look forward to trying this one out.

3 Dec 2014 Snake Eyes

@ItJustGotRielle Haha, thanks! I hope it works out for you, let me know how it goes, especially if you make any changes.

After reading over Stimhack a bit, I've considered changing up Yog.0 for Passport, since Cerberus "Rex" H2 fills the void in Passport's ability well, and that the entry cost is lower - but I've been having a lot of success with Yog.0 + Datasucker//Djinn to summon Datasucker that I don't know if I'd bother with that edit. Usually I'm saving quite a bit of money in the long run with Yog.0 installed. That being said though, even if I experimented with the change, I have no idea how the one influence freed up by cutting Yog.0 would help this deck at all. I dunno, food for thought! I'm probably happy as is keeping it as written (Sometimes I play with 3x Dirty Laundry and only 2x Sure Gamble), but your mileage may vary with the all of the decoder options available.

3 Dec 2014 wedgeex

I always just see Faerie as more of an econ card. It breaks so efficiently that you're often up more credits using it on a ton of Ice thank you would be using something like Dirty Laundry.

If you're consistently hitting Jinteki dogs and Archers then Faerie is just worth it.

3 Dec 2014 Snake Eyes

Hey @wedgeex!

For the Jinteki Dogs, nawh, I have a different opinion there. Faeries here would just be single-use on something that I already have a reasonably priced permanent solution for. I'm comfortable with paying the credits and timing my handsizes to be safe from Snare! and Fetal AI when breaking Komainu for optimum efficiency. Otherwise it's a significant time investment to draw and install a bunch of single use Faeries, making you lose tempo on something that you're probably going to need a long-term solution for eventually.

When playing as the Good Knight Gabe/Ser Gabe archetype though, I certainly loved having them around, no question about that. If you can find the deckspace to have 2-3 of them, by all means you could certainly do that! Having Knight as a backup there was wonderful to keep the aggression up too. I highly recommend playing that style for fun a few times (even though it is pretty dated now).

For Archer (or any other high strength sentries to hit me by surprise, like Grim... Janus 1.0, granted I'm fine with just clicking through that for 1 brain damage) though, yeah, that is a legitimate concern. I've been pretty decent at predicting Archers on the board so far. If someone were to import Archer as a surprise out-of-faction piece of ICE though, yeah, there's a chance that it would catch me off guard and then make me have to rely on backup breakers and/or criminal events to deal with it. A half decent solution is to try to pull your Datasucker out early, tutoring with your Djinn if necessary, so that you can start building up a security blanket of virus counters before your opponent has the requirements set up to rez an Archer.

So far in about 300 games with this archetype, I can think of maybe... Twice where an Archer killed a program on me. The most recent time was super early-game where they just pinged out an empty Djinn, and ultimately was just Emergency Shutdown'd a couple of turns later.

4 Dec 2014 wedgeex

I guess Archer is just a huge part of our meta. I must admit, Feint+Shutdown is a pretty good answer. Dat facecheck though :)

9 Jan 2015 cmcadvanced

Ffffffff. This deck is garbage made for garbage men. That being said....I really hate playing against this deck against this guy haha.