Universally Blue Explosions v3

frost-duty 2625

Piloting this deck I recently achieved a 6-0 result at the London dark sphere store championship attended by 62 people. Unfortunately my poor runner performance meant that I just missed the top 8 cut! However, I am supremely happy with this deck as all six games resulted in flatlines. I would estimate that in casual play this deck has an upwards of 80% win rate - I put a fair bit of this down to the fact that many runner decks are currently suited to dealing with NEH, and this deck mercilessly takes advantage of this fact.

The deck has an extremely high kill potential, as it is packing both scorched earth and punitive counterstrike. In practice this means that the corp almost always has a viable flatline threat. The deck is capable of mercilessly punishing any mistakes the runner makes. Given that most runners do not expect both scorched and punitive they do not realise that they can essentially never take a risk.

The agenda composition synergises well with blue Sun and is extremely potent in a deck with this much meat damage - a single scored cleaners can often render a plascrete carapace irrelevant, as the scorched combo now does 10 meat damage. I have yet to lose a game after scoring two copies of the cleaners, and rarely lose once one is scored. 4 damage punitives are utterly brutal. As always a priority requisition is strong with blue sons innate ability, and after order and chaos I will be replacing the Eden fragment with a high risk investment.

The low agenda density reduces the risk of early game lucky run steals, and often means that you know not to protect either HQ or RnD depending on the composition of your hand. Agenda flood is almost non-existent.

Shattered remains has been a truly potent counter to plascrete, and I have achieved several kills against runner with two plascretes using this care, they have run one of these installed in a server, only to lose both plascretes and then get scorched. I have even install and advanced one naked in a new server against a turn 1 plascrete, and often find that runners will hit the server, not expecting this outcome.

The ghost branch is a completely unexpected include which can catch runners out if they run on the third click, leading to the obvious kill. If they do not run on the third click, they spend a lot of money getting into a server and are unable to recover, as they spend the next two clicks simply removing the tags. This can put you in the position to land a scorch kill if they have spent lots of money.

The research station is an unusual choice, and a personal favourite of mine. When you are packing so much meat damage it is difficult to maintain enough cards in hand. Research station frequently allows me to maintain a double scorch as well as three punitive counterstrike in hand, meaning that regardless of what actions the runner takes they are in a bad situation. It also reduces the chance of having agendas pulled from HQ, and if the runner pays to trash them this can be highly risky, as the six credits required can lead to a scorch death. I have found these to be an invaluable inclusion to the deck and the increased hand side put a great deal of pressure on the runner.

The operations and economy package are self-explanatory to any Blue Sun player; I have found that this deck regularly ends up with 20 to 30 credits (or more), and have landed multiple triple punitive victories. It is fairly easy to keep the runner poor when they have to run through large servers to steal an agenda, and then you simply return a curtain wall and go for the kill with the triple punitive.

The inclusion of both punitive and scorch has also led to several victories based on SEA, scorch, punitive kill combos.

The ice composition is also fairly explanatory, with some early game and the game ice. The datapikes have performed incredibly strongly early game against many different opponents, as one as do not expect to lose credits, and the ability to bring them back to handle makes them highly cost efficient. I replaced wall of static with Bastion, simply to be a greater tax on corroder, as 3 to break gets quite painful quite quickly. Also, this means a single Bastion will render a security testing/desperado run irrelevant.

Taurus provides yet another way to deal with plascrete.

The surprise Janus has become a favourite of mine, although it will not often turn up it is very easy to catch the runner out with a high strength sentry out of a wayland deck. Landing one or two brain damage is often enough to secure a kill victory, as the runner simply cannot play with such a reduced hand size. The bonus is that Janus can then be taken back into hand and then put down again in secret - suddenly any ICE encountered could be Janus, and this causes enormous problems for most runners.

{Edit 31/1/2015] Scorched vs punitive. This is an interesting observation I have had about the importance of these two cards. Over many games I have realised that although people are always scared of scorched I have achieved far more kills from double, triple, or even single punitives than I have via scorch. Ending up with 3 in hand is not unusual, and the 9 meat damage in provides can flatline frequently. Only God will help the runner if you have 3 and have already scored a copy of the cleaners.

On that note, I would also say that the cleaners is the most important agenda to score, the extra meat is far more useful than the extra credits from Pri-req, so this is how you should prioritise.

38 comments
30 Jan 2015 Vanadium

This deck is work of art...

30 Jan 2015 Vanadium

A work of art...

30 Jan 2015 vor_lord

I like the idea of the deck. How has Janus 1.0 performed for you? I'm looking at that influence to make room for Archived Memories.

30 Jan 2015 frost-duty

@bw Obviously as a single include it doesn't come up every game. However, when it does it usually makes a huge impact, and I wouldn't swap it out. Even a single piece of brain damage can win you the game in the long run, and I don't think I have lost a game where I have managed 2. If I could somehow grab the influence I would have two, and blue sun can often afford to rez it early when it hits hardest. Later on against most decks it is just a horrendous tax and excellent fear tactic.

30 Jan 2015 vor_lord

O&C updates you're considering? Off the top of my head:

30 Jan 2015 frost-duty

@bw Most of those suggestions are in line with my update thoughts. I am thinking of taking out a tollbooth and replacing it was a checkpoint and then adding in... a snoop. Yes, a snoop. I'm thinking it might make a very nasty surprise for all the anarchs thinking I've Has Worse will save them. Also the general ability to just remove a card at will for free will actually be really strong in this deck.

I'm not really a fan of orion, but will probably try it just to see what happens.

Housekeeping I want but I also don't want to cut anything for it. It's a really tough call. I found a way to slot one in (prob instead of the ghost branch), but just can't get to two

30 Jan 2015 vor_lord

@frost-duty, can I ask how to attribute this as the inspiration for one of my decks? I'd like to publish my version (when I've done some testing) and list yours as the inspiration but I just can't find the field to do that. I see that you've done that here (using your previous version).

30 Jan 2015 Vanadium

bw, click on Copy. Then modify the deck and publish it. That should do the Inspiration.

30 Jan 2015 mabool

@frost-dutyI was about to suggest Snoop for the exact reason you mentioned.

30 Jan 2015 frost-duty

@mabool my only concern with snoop and checkpoint is that I will likely take a couple of etr ice out, which may end up being a bad plan (I want to keep both Taurus)

30 Jan 2015 Fjord

That is some serious flatline focus. I imagine you get some pretty sketchy opening hands; could you tell us about your mulligan decisions? Is it more important to have some opening econ or to not have an agenda?

30 Jan 2015 frost-duty

@Fjord Interestingly most hands are fine. Agenda flood is very rare, and obviously you mulligan. What you want to see is some economy and one piece of early game ice. The hands I mainly mulligan are full of late game ice.

What sketchy hands would you imagine?

30 Jan 2015 Vanadium

I had the same question as Fjord. Using the hand simulator, I just drew 5 and got: 2x Punitive Counterstrike 1x Research Station 1x Jackson Howard 1x Hadrian's Wall

No economy and no early ice, so I mulliganed and got:

1x Scorched Earth 1x Shattered Remains 1x The Cleaners 1x Curtain Wall 1x Restructure

Neither of those make for great openers, from what I see (please correct me if I'm wrong), but that was just 2 random sample draws.

What do you do with either one of them? No economy (until Restructure) and no early ice....so how do you cope? Just draw until you hit something? Click for 3?

30 Jan 2015 Fjord

@MythThose are exactly the kind of hands I'm imagining. @frost-duty Econ and early ice in the starting hand makes most decks happy but because most of the ice is expensive and there are fewer playable econ cards I imagine you usually have to accept hands that are missing something.

30 Jan 2015 frost-duty

Well, there are seven early game ice, which is probably on par with most corp decks, and generally a Hedge or OAI makes for a reasonable starting hand. That's a fair few cards you want to see!

The big issue here is that you want to limit early agenda loss, the seven agendas really helps with this.

That first hand you drew is actually great! 2 punitives, a research and Jackson? Sign me up! No runner expects a double punitive turn 1. Take credits, leave RnD open, hope they steal so you can kill them. Jackson can get you some draw (which you can hold due to the research) and if they pay to trash, great, more early money they don't have if they steal. You kind of have to play it to see it in action, but runners often take risks, and you can and will punish them for it.

30 Jan 2015 frost-duty

Early game is generally where the risk is though. Losing a three pointer sucks, but this deck is super strong mid and late, so unless you lose six points right at the start you can generally get through it.

30 Jan 2015 frost-duty

(You would be surprised how many runners leave themselves on low money early in the game when they don't expect you to be able to kill them, and they are still building their rig)

31 Jan 2015 Vanadium

Alright, I do see the beauty of the first hand. The second I don't know what to do with still...click for 2 credits, install Curtain Wall (unable to rez it)? Draw and discard if you don't find ice?

Also, do you think Government Takeover belongs? It cuts down the number of agendas by 1 and makes Punitive Counterstrike even more insane. But it also adds considerable risk, I suppose.

31 Jan 2015 frost-duty

The second is a genuinely bad hand. What you want me to say? XD Any corp deck you can build will sometimes give you a bad hand. The second I would basically say install the curtain being unable to rez it over HQ most probably (psychology works well) draw a card and hope its useful.

Ahhh government takeover. If it belongs in any deck it will be this one. I still wouldn't run it though. To me the card is jank, it's just too risky, lose it at the wrong moment and the game is just over. Admittedly if you lose it at the right moment it's glorious - triple punitive! - but it's just too much of a risk to be worth it in my mind.

1 Feb 2015 SlayerCNV

i'd add Errand Boy (runners meet it, un spend ust 1 for it because gain 3 then take it in hand for Blue Sun.

1 Feb 2015 frost-duty

@SlayerCNV Errand Boy is tough. It's a good piece of early ICE, but it has two weaknesses. Firstly, it doesn't end the run. I want to keep the runner out as often as possible early, and so other then taurus (for plascrete) and janus (cus brain is super good) everything ends the run. I'm not sure how comfortable I would be giving the runner random accesses, especially since I'm normally not short of credits.

Also, it can be killed by clone chip parasite if used on your turn afer rez so it dies at the start of the runner's turn.

I might give it a try, but I'm not convinced.

4 Feb 2015 siahofmars

hey i recently came across this deck and am in love with it, but playing against eater has been hurtin me with it, so i sorta made a little rendition of my own im still tweaking , but lemme know what u think. thanks frost-duty. Props

netrunnerdb.com

4 Feb 2015 frost-duty

@siahofmars Having yet to play against eater, what have been your problems?

4 Feb 2015 Vanadium

For me, Eater means early runs. And since they're not going to be accessing, they'll be hitting you with Account Siphon and Wanton Destruction (paired with Amped Up). This kept me broke and handless early game.

Having said that, I still managed to recover in those games and win, in part due to some fortunate Jackson Howard appearances, but also because the agenda density is so low, they didn't get anything.

Checkpoint and Snoop I think are going to be huge for this deck. Sure, they don't end the run, but they're extremely taxing and get rid of those damn I've Had Worses.

I'd love to find a way to include a Swordsman but I'm not sure about that just yet. It just doesn't meld well with this deck I don't think and is too situational.

4 Feb 2015 frost-duty

@Myth I am legitimately interested in seeing this in action. (not played vs maxx yet) Last game I played I managed to rez a tollbooth on turn 1 over HQ, and I just can't see how the eater style decks have the economy to break through the weyland ICE walls. You can also invest the money in ICE which you then bounce back, so you don't have many credits to have siphoned from you! This of course applies more to money than cards in hand. My newest test version of the deck has 2 crisium grids and a checkpoint to help deal with this O&C anarch nonsense :P

As you say, the low agenda density really helps to kill early pressure, as they just can't steal anything unless you are super unlucky.

Snoop really needs to be tested, but isn't in my current build. I agree that swordsman isn't really viable, it's too many deck slots (if you want to actually see it when you need it) for something that has such a niche use.

4 Feb 2015 frost-duty

If you are struggling against Eater I would suggest switching some of the low cost ICE around so that you have ICE which is high strength for its price. Currently I'm thinking all 3 datapikes could be replaced by Firewalls or even Rainbow. These ICE are relatively cheap to rez (Fire wall is only 1 credit more than datapike) but they are seriously taxing for an eater based rig in terms of credits and forces them to pay a lot to get through event single piece of ICE.

4 Feb 2015 Vanadium

In my game, I didn't get OAI early, so I installed a Caduceus over HQ. They used Day Job on their first turn, Second turn, I drew a couple times, still no OIC. So I installed a Datapike over R&D. On their turn 2, they played Eater, Amped Up, and Wanton Destruction. Against my Caduceus they got past. I had to discard my Curtain Wall, Punitive Counterstrike, Restructure, and some other ICE I forget.

4 Feb 2015 siahofmars

same sorta deal with the data pikes or caduceus's with me, is my girlfriend who is a great anarch player, is using the new toolset, shes running valencia with bad pub, she has no problem getting truckloads of money with her deck. so what happens is, if i have a curtain wall oversighted in front of a server and then another peice of ice behind it unrezzed, to hopefully keep her out even if she breakes through the curtain, she is just first click eating through my curtain wall that i oversighted to trash it and then blackmailing the server , so any ice i try to put facedown gets blackmailed, and any ice i oversight is getting eaten through just to kill it, which then starves my bounce back economy. how can we kill that damn eaterrrrrr... lol. another thing with the deck is, this deck always has a full hand of cards so all the Vigil console anarchs are loving playing against this deck cause its always max hand for hte most part, so its increasing their draw dramatically. i had elizibeth mills in my deck to literally try and shut off valencia lol. blackmail is rough when u want to score. and the other thing is, say there is a turn they dont have blackmail in hand or a way to recur it in hand (same old thing) (deja vu)etc... once she blows through my OAIed curtain wall she can, spoon, knife or fork through the ice that im gonna rez and then straight run through an uniced server to my agenda its nasty, i always feel im playing from behind against eater and its utensil suite. especially with blackmail/badpub.

4 Feb 2015 siahofmars

frost what did u take out of the deck to put in the crisium grids?

4 Feb 2015 Vanadium

Can't speak for Frost, but I took out a Taurus and a Hadrians. I'm also experimenting with Government Takeover to free up another card and to make Punitive Counterstrike truly evil. However, I may have to go back on that if it turns out to bite me more often than I like.

With those 3 free spaces I added 2x Checkpoint and an Orion

Crisium would be nice...but so little deckspace is available to play with for this deck to work...

4 Feb 2015 siahofmars

thats cool, i'll have to look into orion, the thing im afraid about government takeover is if they get multi access and steal 2 agenda in a turn they win. i feel like government takeover/punative works well in a deck that can cut the runners turn short like false lead. i think im gonna try the -3 datapikes +3 firewalls for more tax get rid of all the janky 1 of's i had in my deck, put in 2 crisium grids. i want to figure out a way to recur punatives or scorches incause they get wantoned though right back into hand besides jackson. reclamation order would be nice

4 Feb 2015 Vanadium

Government Takeover is certainly risky, but I had a game where I installed it on my first click with a Punitive in hand. They ran it, scored it, and then I killed them. Turn 2, game over. But of course, that's going to be exceptionally rare.

4 Feb 2015 siahofmars

lol that sounds awesome! anyways heres my new version of it for now, i need to figure out where to put the 2 influence im left with. take out a restructure? put a reclamation order in? netrunnerdb.com

5 Feb 2015 frost-duty

I have developed a new version to help against some of the anarch concerns raised. Let me know what you think! netrunnerdb.com

5 Feb 2015 frost-duty

I have not dealt with the valencia bad pub situation. I honestly think it's too niche a situation to provide an extra direct counter to in this deck.

7 Feb 2015 Pyjam

My buddy played your deck tonight. It was hard but I beat it 3-0 with my Leela : In Lilac, I'm stunning.

The second game was very quick and easy: I stole 3 Priority Requisition during runs on R&D in the early game. He didn't draw enough ices.

Third game was very very hard: my buddy played three Hedge Fund during turns 1 and 2, and two oversight AI for a Curtain Wall during turns 3 and 4… At this moment, he had 42 credits… I must admit, it was depressing. Nevertheless, my Leela swung a couple of vicious attacks. I came back to 15 credits against 2 for Weyland. There was a lot of attacks and counter-attacks. The game was fierce and epic. We were at 6-6 when eventually I threw a planned assault for a Legwork and stole two more agendas.

Thanks to your deck, we had a lot of fun. However, I think it would have been easy for my buddy to win (games 1 and 3) if he were able to score an Hostile Takeover. I would also suggest some cheap and nasty sentries just to punish the face-check like 2x Architect or 1x Komainu.

Nevertheless, great deck. Thanks for sharing.

7 Feb 2015 fdubois

I am the buddy of @pyjam who played your deck yesterday evening. I love to play this deck, i love the fact that it can win by agenda or by flatline. We have a great time playing Netrunner yesterday thanks to your sounding deck. Thanks again.

13 Feb 2015 (A)Joke

I tried this and is absolutely monstrous!