Dirty Hands 3.0

travisrchance 2242

This is the the newest iteration on the I used to win the Plugged In tour at Pasttimes in Chicago. I placed 4th the next day at another Plugged In with it. It won a 37 man Store Champs last year. It is a very versatile and powerful deck--admittedly not the easiest to pilot, as you have a myriad of choices to make each turn. This is the most recent iteration, with the most substantial revisions to date. I'll try to stay on point, but with all the edge case cards, expect me to meander a tad.

THE DECK:

The main concept here is to utilize SMC, Test Run, and Clone Chip as an answer on demand for, essentially, any situation. Things like Test Run from the heap, Clone Chip, and Scavenge offer throughput in tandem with Exile's ability--this is on top of the 6 draw events. By overdrawing, and ditching programs to your heap, you make it a resource for Chip. This makes the 'silver bullet' aspect of the build a strength instead of a weakness.

The deck is highly reactive, tailored to be a remote sniping machine that often rummages up the right card in-run. It leans on the two RDIs and Opus to maintain aggression when the corp isn't pushing out agendas in remotes, with Nerve Agent as a solid back up plan while agendas pile up in hand.

I think it is hard for some people to wrap their head around a Shaper that isn't building out a rig. Your goal is to exploit scoring windows, making it hard for the corp to take risks, no matter the cost. Opus is the only program you do not wanna lose, as it is your primary econ in this deck. The deck does this by cycling through programs as needed, rather than amassing a rig 9/10--I cannot count the games I have one with just Opus in play at the end of the game.

The deck plays a lot of disposable programs: Sharpshooter, Faerie, SMC, Lady, D4v1d, Grappling Hook, Deus X, etc. These programs are usually high impact balanced against their limited and very specific use. Most are cheap, making them effective tools with Chip and SMC mid-run. Cards like D4v1d and Lady get recharged by scavenge, as well as the Femmes, which function as Inside Jobs that can break sentries. Reset your Cyber-Ciphers, making their drawback entirely negligible. On top of all these shenanigans, you get to draw via Exile's ability.

WHY NOT KATE

On this topic, many people have stated Kate is a better ID here than Exile. I could not disagree more. My ranking for resources in Netrunner are as follows:

1.) Actions: this is the primary resource of the game, without which you can do almost nothing 2.) Cards: the secondary resource which utilizes actions. You can do a few things without cards. 3.) Credits: the tertiary resource for cost balancing. You do a decent amount of things without credits.

Kate doesn't give you a credit; she gives you a discount. Yes, the deck plays a number of programs, but with Opus as your econ engine, you would rather be drawing cards, which can afford you far more opportunities and rewards than a miniscule discount. Kate's ability is good, but narrow. When you build a deck around an ability like Exile's you will see those additional draws adding up to far more than credits over the course of a game. It allows you to play more aggressively against flatline strategies, for example.

THE EVENTS:

Diesel and Quality Time: this is just to get you through your deck, often intentionally discarding silver bullets to be wielded as needed. These will help you draw through the density of edge case cards to get to what you need--esp. against damage strategies.

Freelance Coding Contract: Just this weekend at a Store Champs, I heard someone talking about how indirect and 'cute' of a card this is. I would agree on the whole, but, in essence, this card is highly abusive in this deck. 1.) With the density of drawing, it allows you to turn silver bullets and redundant programs (like the other copies of Opus) into burst econ. Gaining 10 out of seemingly nowhere can be quite an ambush play when the corp thinks they have a window to score. 2.) This rewards you two-fold for putting programs into the heap to be later used. For those of you that play Magic, I think of this as Reanimator enabler like Buried Alive or Frantic Search. Many, many times I have played some combination of Diesel and Quality Times 3 times, drawing as many as 11 cards in a single turn, when I have this card in hand. It is your only other econ beyond Opus. This card is a big reason why I play sooooo many programs, beyond the ability to abuse them in-run.

Levy AR Lab Access: This is simply a hard reset. Some times you will not need it. Other times, it will allow you to start the whole circus over again. If you lose this damage in flatline match, change the way you play.

Escher: A new addition. The idea here is that you move all of the annoying ice on R&D out of the way--don't give them a super remote though in exchange!!!

Test Run and Scavenge: Test Run is one of the 3 sets of tutors in the deck. If possible, you want to play the program from the heap. The deck has a number of targets that are awesome, but Femme is going to be the more common one to fetch. Ideally you will have a Scavenge, as it interrupts the tracking on Test Run, meaning that you don't have to put it back on top of your deck WHILE drawing you a card. As mentioned above, Scavenge has a number of abuses, though Femme is often your best bet.

HARDWARE AND RACHEL

Astrolabe: This is a quick fix if you encounter MU issues. The does have stable breakers like Cipher, Mimic, and Inti. With Opus sucking up 2 MU, this can be helpful while drawing you a card or two. Strictly superior to Aku when only playing a singleton.

Clone Chip: One of the key cards of the deck. It's pretty obvious: it gets you back the program you need when you need it as long as you have the credits for it. Oh, and you will draw a card on top of it.

Plascrete: I have to admit, I am not a fan of singletons that do not reinforce a strategy present elsewhere in a deck OR that can be searched out as needed. Still, with the raw draw power, you will see a lot of cards each game. If you are not playing a meat flatline deck, just discard it and shrug.

RDI: This constitutes one of your primary win conditions. 3 is too many, esp. with the aforementioned draw power. You often need 1. If you get 2, awesome. RDI isn't affected by Crisium Grid, by the by.

Rachel Beckman: This is a new addition to the deck. I got a wild hair up my arse and said, wouldn't it be funny if... So I put her in the deck and the very first game got her down on the second turn. I was immediately in love. Sometimes in the game you will have to sit back and just hit Opus 4 times. This additional action goes a loooong way, especially since you're not play tag-me style cards like Siphon.

Yes, she is expensive, but, right off the bat, you drop her and hit Opus for an instant rebate. She is obv not the best is some matches--NBN with Breaking News, Midseasons nonsense, Sea Source Blue Sun. For now, I consider this a nice new tool for the deck and worth the single influence.

PROGRAMS:

This is the meat of this deck, which I will break down into groups: BARRIERS: I played Corroder forever in this deck. You certainly want 2 copies of each breaker type, minimum, as I lost a game that made me 4th place due to drawing up my sole Corroder off Exile's ability by Chip'ing back SMC, which I would have used to search for it. But enough pouting. Lady is there for the bigger stuff. Inti is there for Wraparound and Ice Wall.

CODE GATES: Cyber-Cypher is a house, it's only draw back being that you have to set it on a single server. With the deck's ability to Scavenge, SMC, and Chip, putting a 4 STR breaker down for so cheap is extremely powerful. This thing rolls through Lotus Field for 1, shrugs off Tollbooths, and pretty much any Code Gate.

SENTRY: For the longest time, I ranked Caduceus as one of the most annoying cards for this deck, as I used to just play Femmes in the original build. We have Mimic now for this and various annoying Jinteki ice. We have Faerie as a bargain basement answer in a pinch that just happens to hang with the big boys, too. Femmes are no slouch on the small stuff, but mostly they are Inside Jobs in this deck. Why 2 copies of Femme? Because you want to draw them to discard for optimal Test Run setup, drawing you that extra card, and having them on standby for Chip runs.

TARGETED BREAKERS: The deck plays a handful of programs that are very specific, but powerful nonetheless. Deus X is there for big Bioroids and to prevent Snare, Fetal, and Ronin hits--which is often in my meta. Sharpshooter is another cheap solution to things like Archer, as well as other program trashers. Grappling Hook is great for things like Janus, other big Bioroids, Archer, etc. Atman is great for decks that don't notice ice strength trends OR as a last resort breaker in a pinch. D4v1d chews up big ice like Curtain Wall. Of these, one could argue for Sharpshooter to get dropped, but, at the moment, there is not anything I feel is necessarily any better.

ECON: Magnum Opus remains the most reliable and powerful runner econ cards. Yes, it is 2 MU, which honestly cracks me up, as people make all kinds of deck concessions for things like Data Suckers when they could just play more money and stable breakers.

No, the deck doesn't want Sure Gamble. You want program density, not a card that equates to a double click on Opus. Getting Opus down is priority one, every single game, without question, unless you think they are trying to push through an Astroscript on turn 1. The amount of credits you will generate over the course of the game is absurd with this card.

If you don't draw it up, use SMC. If you don't have either, use Test Run and click for credits 3 times--which is not my fav play, unless you have Scavenge also, but it works. If you have none of these, MULLIGAN! Opus is the life's blood of the deck. It is the only program you wanna protect--and even then, you have many ways to get it back.

THE OTHER TWO PROGRAMS: Leprechaun is there to help with MU or to trash to Coding Contract. I have Scavenged my Opus onto Leprechaun before a few times in a match where I wanted to keep stable breakers around--which can happen. This and Astorlabe are your two means to combat MU issues, which shouldn't matter most games.

Nerve Agent is your other multi-access card. What usually ends up happening, as Exile controls the clip of the game (unless they are FA using Biotics or Astroscripts), is you beat the hell out of their deck every other turn with RDI. Scoring out of a remote is often risky business, so this means at some point the agendas pile up in their hand. This is when you drop Nerve Agent and shift your assault to a new front. Rachel is quite helpful in tandem with this card.

That's pretty much it. Enjoy!!!

51 comments
12 Feb 2015 x3r0h0ur

Awesome, I'm always looking for more iterations on this deck. One of my favorite to pilot. I was curious if you had gone into including inject or not.

Interesting include on Beckman and Ghook, but I can get it with the modern BS multisub ice. Also nice include on D4v1d.

brb ebaying more clone chips.

12 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@x3r0h0ur I would love to play Inject, but the influence just drains the program suite. You end up with inferior cards for something you already have: draw power and stable econ.

I put Rachel in on a whim and holy crapola... insanity. Take 8 from opus is nuts. Take 8 and run, or take 10 is just mean. D4v1d and hook are amazing inclusions.

12 Feb 2015 TomRobbinson

Regardless of how tough this deck is to pilot it's really fun to play. I love this deck. Thanks man for the upload. Stay Frosty.

12 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@TomRobbinson I have had a good number of people comment that the deck shouldn't be good, but that is more so to do with their inability to grasp non-linear play. It isn't immediately apparent to play programs like events for some. I feel confident saying if I played 100 consecutive games with this, I would win at least 80 of them handily. That may sound arrogant, but the deck is just very versatile. FA can be tough if they get the train rolling, but that is the same for any deck really.

12 Feb 2015 AfroCelt

You wouldn't by chance have played a Chaos Theory deck at a store champ. in Oshkosh a year or so ago?

very fun looking deck, though.

12 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@AfroCelt, no sir. I only played in 1 Store Champs and it was at Game Time here in Indy.

13 Feb 2015 Flatline

This is a really wonderful deck. The fact that is complex to pilot just adds to its beauty. Well done.

13 Feb 2015 Oisin

Very cool. I tried to build something like this with the Professor, but clearly you have found away to maximize Exile's draw power. Can't wait to try this out.

13 Feb 2015 omegalife2002

Great looking deck! I'm really excited to try this one out!

Question: Have you thought about LLDS Processor? I assume it's not in there because of deck space, but with so many one time use style programs, it could really do well. I know I used it in an old Exile deck and liked it. Worth a look?

13 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@omegalife2002 I did look at it, but I am not sold. I think the cost and having to use an action, event, and/or Chip to get it into play is probably worth less what it will actually garner.

13 Feb 2015 Dydra

No O&C cards? Any reason for that?

13 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@Dydra Not trying to be short, but just because a new box is out doesn't mean it offers the deck much. The influence in this is pretty tight as is. I think you can drop the Grappling Hook, but nothing much stood out to me as a must include.

14 Feb 2015 Flipmaester

Really cool stuff! I totally trust your experience with the deck, but I can't wrap my head around how you dodge mana problems? I mean just Opus + SMC takes up all your base mem and you only have two memory-boosting cards in the deck, only one of which is tutorable...

I know you have a lot of single use programs which you want to have in the heap, but some of the stuff has to be permanent right? Like Atman or Mimic for example... Is this just never an issue or do you find yourself tutoring up the Leprechaun a lot?

14 Feb 2015 x3r0h0ur

Haha Travis has been defending the "lack of mu" in this deck since it's inception. As an avid player of it myself I can say it is tough at first, but realize you're only playing the answer tot he current problem, not all problems.

That said there's leprechaun and astro! And with how much you power through your deck, you'll see them for sure.

14 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@Flipmaester What @x3r0h0ur just said! Learning to play this deck within this MU constraint is a good thing--it showcases that this game isn't just about playing as many cards as you can, amassing some giant inter-woven contraption, and then on turn 20 start using it. These are answers NOW, not forever. They only need to work long enough to score you points.

I will say, if you wanna drop a Sharpshooter or the Plascrete for another Leprechaun, do so. SMC comes and goes quick, so it isn't the problem you may think. Your 'rig' is ever changing, often losing the Cipher that just broke through a code gate to get a Faerie to get through a sentry and score. You want to react to the corp, not flop down a bunch of cards and let them react to you.

14 Feb 2015 Duxmar

Loved this deck since the massive BGG post around the plugged in tour, haven't seen it in a while, I love the update!

14 Feb 2015 JAK

Like the look of this deck. I've been doing okay with my Freelance Coding Contract Prof list [outdated list, but you get the idea]. I've not tried cutting Sure Gambles, because I really like hitting them while I'm drawing, in the event of not wanting to FCC that turn. I should try it, though.

A couple of questions: How's your ability to survive Chronos Projects? I keep seeing them, and it's a bit harder to win once you've had half your deck gone. (Not impossible!)

How useful is Grappling Hook? I ended up cutting it. It feels to me like going -1 Grappling Hook, -1 Femme, -1 Beckmann, +1 Sneakdoor, +1 Same Old Thing, +1 Other Program (Leprechaun? Sahasrara?) could be really interesting

Sneakdoor ends up being one of my best cards, partly because of its synergy with Nerve Agent and the ability to get them both down at once, before the start of your turn feels like cheating. Same Old Thing's a more recent addition, but it's really great: -- lets you ditch your Levy without fear, and, more crucially, can sit out and function as an extra FCC once you've got one in your heap. Fits in with the Silver Bullet Recursion idea. Tested it out, works surprisingly well. Sahasrara is just good. Leprechaun would prob make supporting a Sneakdoor more possible.

14 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@JAK Chronos Project is en vogue now, but, unless they can score it out of hand, the deck's ability to weasel through a remote makes it resilient. If you see a Chronos, you should play more conservatively. The deck can drop a stable rig and just focus and RDI as a win like a normal Shaper if it needs to do so. I had 1 SoT forever, but you just don't need it. You don't HAVE to Levy. I guess I am a tad confused why you would wanna add this back while at the same time acknowledging that Chronos is more common now--it essentially makes this a WORSE card to play, not better. You don't have to Levy to win, in short.

Grappling Hook gets you through the dreaded Archer, past Janus unscathed, through annoying cards like Ichi, Komainu, and a number of other annoying ice in a bad situation. It is simply there as a redundancy and/or fail safe. I don't use it tons, but when I do, it is rad. It used to be Parasite, but using a Chip or Test Run to kill a Pop-Up is pretty meh. One could argue that this 2 inf could be better spent. I have played with 2 Femme forever, dropping one for awhile, and I just think 2 is the right number--esp. because of Chronos' ability to potentially snipe one. Femme is one of your best tools because of how you can manipulate it. Having a second one also means you usually are getting it into the heap more reliably to draw a card off Exile.

Beckman is insane. Totally insane. I would rank her as one of the additions to the deck now. That extra clicks pushes the deck across a lot of margins where you would otherwise have to attack on alternating turns.

I do not think Sneakdoor is good or necessary in this deck. You aren't playing Siphon, and have little reason to run their hand until you lock up their deck and remotes. This means you should be able to get through an ice or 2 on HQ more than easily. Sneakdoor is too expensive on every front for what it does: influence, credit cost, MU. Perhaps you don't feel this from playing Prof. Then you will start making other concessions to include it, like playing more MU. You drop it, get a turn of use, and if this doesn't win you the game, they are most likely reinforcing Archives. So, essentially, this means you drop this, drop Nerve Agent and get a couple hits with it on average before they hole up. This also means they can react by swapping around ice to force you to install other programs to get through, potentially putting you on trashing key programs. The 4 credits you spend and the click to install Sneakdoor is prob just better spent on clicking Opus three times and powering through HQ.

I do think Leprechaun could go up to 2 copies. Like I said, you can drop Sharpshooter--I am considering doing this. OR drop Astrolabe or Plascrete--it being a program just helps FCC that much more. Sahasrara strikes me as meh--unless I install it in the first few turns, I can't imaging a window where I would play this rather than click Opus or play any other card.

Hope this helps. I appreciate you taking the time to chat on the deck! Not trying to shut you down. Just not many people who can say they have played a deck as much as I have with this. I know the deck quite well.

14 Feb 2015 Oisin

Great write up, and I enjoyed the comments. I played around with this last night and it was a blast. I wrote up my version (which I dub an "easy mode"), though reading your response to @JAK makes me think I should dump the Sneakdoor Beta and keep the Grappling Hook.

netrunnerdb.com

15 Feb 2015 JAK

No worries!

I've mostly faced issues with Chronos Project out of Jinteki kill decks or ... well, unexpectedly as one-ofs (which is how I think it's probably best played), but you're right, it's definitely beatable.

Beckman's been on my list of things to try as the Prof's influence forever. (I've just tried Box-E, which helps this archetype much less than you'd think, Hades Shard, which is sort of great in some ways, and Utopia Shard, which ... is good and should possibly be used more. But, yeah, maybe Beckman next.)

I dropped my Sharpshooter when I added Mimic, which is mostly an Architect concession -- there's not that much of an other way round, really.

My other suggestion for influence would be this: work out what you can possibly cut to test a Copycat in your deck. Because it's just amazing against Glacier decks: if someone has rezzed 7+ ice, chances are there's a duplicate. It's super-great in the narrow situations -- you maybe use it every 5 or 6 games, but when you do, it's amazing. And hard to play around, reasonably.

(By the way: on the Sneakdoor front, never spend a click to install Sneakdoor. Trash it with FCC and then clone chip it out, or SMC it out. Doing that with Nerve Agent gets you four runs, which feels great -- though I totally understand that in more conventionally influenced IDs, this isn't practical.)

Why 2 FCC's, not 3? Why 1 Levy and not 2? My use of SoT is to get back a FCC, not a Levy -- though my willingness to FCC more might be from having 24 programs instead of 21.

My Sahasrara fondness might also come from using it with Aesop's to make money off programs in a different way.

Don't worry, I've played with my prof deck a lot. I'm sure I don't know it as well as you know yours, but I'm really familiar with knowing one's own deck better than anyone else. I think I will try cutting a Sure Gamble for something. Have you thought of trying Comet, when it's out, in place of Astrolabe? And, seriously, if you haven't, try Copycat. It's great.

15 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@JAK Thanks for the info.

16 Feb 2015 travisrchance

After some more testing, I think the deck can do the following:

1.) Lose a Sharpshooter for another Leprechaun--which makes me wanna lose the Astrolabe, as this helps your FCCs, but that is purely preference

2.) Lose Hook and sub in Parasite again--I have lost my love for this card as it seems to just kill Pop-ups and Komainus--OR lose a Lady or Inti for a Corroder. I like Hook a lot, but as is the deck has TOO many ways to navigate bigger and scarier ice.

3.) If you have a Weyland/Scorch heavy meta, sure, put another Plascrete in. The deck also doesn't HAVE TO play 2 Femmes, but I find that I can often rock two on the table at the same time to great and gross effect.

4.) A second faerie could be added in for more aggression over Hook and and 1 Femme with a Leprechaun on the backup mic AND a Plascrete if you wanna get jiggy. I will be making one of these changes, but not sure which.

16 Feb 2015 Flipmaester

@x3r0h0ur @travisrchance Thank you for the explanations! I do consider myself quite good at running before setting up, but I guess I always do that with the mindset that if the game goes late I'll find myself with a complete rig. Therefor it's really interesting to hear about this kind of playstyle, now I really want to try it out!

17 Feb 2015 x3r0h0ur

In my playtesting, I was as low as 0 astrolabe (but ended up at 1), with 3 leprechauns. This was when I was pushing 24 programs, making for super easy FCC. I think it can be done at 3 leprechaun, but the cut 1 for Escher is probably better, given the versatility and interaction with already femmed ICE.

I can say hook caught me off guard, especially when parasite is so good vs RP, a match up I've had issues with. I know hook works on tsurugi and komainu, but only 1 time. Parasite solves the issue for good. It is also beast for killing pop ups and pups, which seems super important. I'm not surprised to see it coming back.

I'm curious about crescentus though, its highly abuse-able, I'm surprised it came out, but I guess mimic is super important these days....

17 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@x3r0h0ur Comments below:

1.) This is way too much support--the 3 Leprechauns and 1 Astorlabe. You are playing less cards that actually matter. I played 4 matches tonight with the new digs and never had MU issues once. You just have to know when to pressure and be willing to give things up. 1 Astrolabe or 1 Leprechaun is more than enough. I could see losing the Astrolabe and playing 2 Leprechaun maybe. you have to sequence these correctly for them to even matter.

2.) I dropped Hook and 1 Femme for a second Faerie today, as my meta is crazy about Jinteki. I also dropped Sharpshooter and subbed in a second plascrete. I def love the Faerie. I want 2 Femme, but you can live with just 1. Parasite exacerbates MU issues and is just too low impact. You don't want to use a Chip on a pop up or pup--pay through them, as you have Opus. The deck has tons of answers to Tsurugi and Komainu, albeit expensive if you have a full grip on the latter. I know this just sounds like nonsense, but I can't recall a time losing to RP. Just blow up their econ cards and muscle R&D. It is a long game strategy, but one that totally works. Even Rachel helps you in this match. You really should not be losing unless you are getting bad Caprice guesses. Even then, start pressuring their hand to try and make them rez a Caprice there. This match is all about using Opus to just outclass them.

Crescentus has the same issue: you don't want to waste Chips and recursions on shenanigans when you could just be beating them to death and winning. I played it in the first iteration of the deck and it just never did anything. Sure, you flip an ice down. You have no follow up. You just run and they rez again.

@Oisin I tried Retrieval Run today out of curiosity and found it to be very underwhelming. I do agree though, however, with David and Lady in the deck now, you want to Scavenge more, so I put in a SoT, like the original deck had, and it was fine a couple of time.

20 Feb 2015 Oisin

I too found Retrieval isn't worth it unless you go with Torch, and that playstyle is very different from what you are doing here. The more I play the deck, the more I like it, but it does take a lot of practice and thought--much more than most other shaper decks. I almost cut the Hook for a Corroder, and then today a surprise Hook allowed me to break an Enigma to score a winning agenda.

20 Feb 2015 Oisin

Right now I play one Astrolabe (I play against a lot of PE) and two Leprechaun--this has helped me learn how to play the deck, since I often want to Clone Chip an SMC without having to trash two programs. But I'll probably pull the Leprechaun for an Escher or a second Atman (to help with code gates).

20 Feb 2015 marsellus

I am pretty sure I want to build an Exile deck as well and might start with this version. I am interested in how often you trash programs by overwriting rather than scavenging them. If that is a substantial amount, what about including Aesops? Also, I am a huge fan of Parasite, so I'd think about getting it in rather than Grappling Hook. Love Escher <3

20 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@marsellus The deck doesn't need more econ--you lose tempo install this and waiting for it to pay off over a few turns. The deck is very fluid, not like Noise with just stuff laying around like an Imp with no counters. Most of the time, you will be be overwriting programs. Many of your programs are only one shots anyway. I would not play Pawnshop in this deck for sure. You want as high of a program density as possible.

22 Feb 2015 mmychal

Absolutely love this deck. Played it in a Store Championship yesterday and it went 4-0 for me in the Swiss (facing 3x Jinteki RP and 1x Harmony Medtech). I then unfortunately lost in the Double Elims to a Space NBN deck because of a slight misplay on my part.

I had -1 Plascrete, -1 Grappling Hook, +1 Leprechaun and +1 Parasite. I expected very very little Weyland/Meat Damage and I was right and the Parasite was a metagame call as well. The Parasite helped me lower an Ichi 1.0 to 3 Strength so I could Mimic past it - which is pretty much what the Grappling Hook would have done in the same scenario so that choice was neither an improvement nor a detractor.

I should have won the NBN Space game, too.

RP decks simply have no answer to Turn 1 Opus, Turn 2 Rachel Beckman. It completely negates their Enhanced Login Protocol play and, basically, their ID.

I would not mess with the breaker suite at all except for the 1x Grappling Hook. Travis has this thing tuned to a well-oiled machine. You can surgically knife your way into any server at will and many times it comes out of nowhere. I heard the phrase "I had no idea you'd be able to get into that server" either because I played a D4vid (TOTAL all star in this deck, BTW) or a Freelance Coding Contract that was basically a Stimhack.

The MU issue is a marginal one at best. I found the one thing it did was make me make a misplay in my NBN match because I was fretting too much about the MU and didn't find my Astrolabe or either Leprechaun (ironic since I included a second copy specifically as a crutch for myself).

I wish you could fit in an Imp just for the ability to trash operations but that's absolutely not a critique of the deckbuilding choices. If Imp cost 2 influence, it would probably make it in for the "floating" metagame call of Grapploing Hook/Parasite/whatever but alas ... not meant to be.

Do not underestimate the power of the 6 Shaper draw cards in this deck. I beat Harmony Medtech simply by playing Diesel and Quality Time and powering through Snares and Shi Kyus. My opponent played a Celebrity Gift revealing 2x Snare, a 4/2 Agenda an ICE and a Mushin No Shin. He would then install the agenda with the Mushin No Shin into a naked server the next turn and I responded by playing the QT and just running it because - who cares about 3 net damage when you have 9 cards and want most of them in the bin anyway?

He then repeated the play with a Snare a few turns later and I Diesel-ed and did it again which was doubly damning for him because 1) it cost him 4 money just to essentially tag me and 2) took away 3 advancement tokens he was planning on using for Trick of Light later. The 7 card-draw cards in the deck absolutely cripple Jinteki net damage strategies.

I never got a chance to use the Escher but I wouldn't remove it. There were games where I could have easily used it to apply pressure and I wish I had seen it in the NBN game.

Most of all, the deck was completely fun to play. Thanks for sharing the build, Travis.

23 Feb 2015 ccie8020

A noob to Netrunner and chose this deck to start out with because it looked like a great way to learn the game by learning the deck. So far it's been a blast. I too added another Leprechaun as a crutch and -1 Grappling hook. It's strange though, I constantly find myself drawing hoping to get a card that is just the right one even though except for Opus, you seem to always have what you need already. OK, couple of questions.

Do you ever Test Run for a Leprechaun(I know, rig minded, can't help it)?

Against a scorch deck, is it better to use nerve to pressure HQ to avoid R&D Snares?

What about running Public Sympathy instead of Plascrete(got scorched out in in my first two OCGTN games)? Seems more lasting but may be counter to the focus of this deck...

Thanks!

23 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@mmychal Congrats! I know you have been a champion of the deck for some time, and I appreciate it.

@ccie8020

1.) Test Run is intended to get breakers, preferably a Femme. In a pinch, you can use it to secure Opus. I have never once ever wanted to get Leprechaun, nor SMC or Chip.

To play this deck optimally, you just have to concede you are not building a rig. You are losing tempo and opening windows for corp by not being reactive. One Leprechaun and 1 Astrolabe is more than enough for this deck. I have used Scavenge to put an Opus on a Leprechaun I have drawn into.

2.) I don't quite understand this question, as Snares are as likely to be in HQ when you are using multi-access like Nerve Agent and/or RDI. If you are playing Sea Source/Scorch, you just keep your money up, hand at 5, and don't float tags--don't run on your last click. You have Deus X to combat Snare, if you are worried about that. I think in like 100+ games I have died to Scorch maybe twice.

3.) I do not like resource solutions to Scorch decks, as they can tag you, kill the resource, and often kill you--yes, this can be a multi-tun process. Again, you just lose tempo by installing cards like these. Part of playing this deck is just running ambushes on remotes and keeping pressure on R&D. Personally, I don't even wanna play the one Plascrete, but I understand some people may want to run two.

23 Feb 2015 mmychal

Test Run is just too valuable to use on Leprechaun. You ideally want to get a Femme, Cyber-Cypher, D4vid or Lady with it. I also find that often when I am using up memory, there's an 80% chance that there's a program in my rig that I'd much rather have in my Heap anyway.

Where my piloting skills falter is at times, I need memory for programs to get into a server and the only way to do so is to likely trash my Opus. I hesitate and try to worry about the memory and the optimal play when I should just be bold, trash the Opus and bring it back later when I need it.

You do like drawing cards with this deck. That's why the 6 shaper draw cards are in it. you need to find your 1-ofs whether it's to put them into your hand or dump them/contract them into the heap.

23 Feb 2015 x3r0h0ur

There is almost no reason to ever blow recursion/tutor on leprechaun. Public sympathy is abysmal scorch protection, run plascrete and money.

I find that if I ever MUST dump opus, I try to ensure access to scavenge to use an installed program's equity to bring opus back when I want to get back on the money wagon. Scavenges are worth their weight in gold when I play. I'd run 6 if I could. Consider how much equity you have in installed programs more often if you're operating without opus, it can save you $$$ in the long haul.

23 Feb 2015 ccie8020

OK, got it. Awesome information. I'm petrified of trashing an Opus which is why I covet the Leprechaun so bad. Especially if I have an SMC out and a cypher or lady in hand.

OK, since you guys are so crazy helpful, more noob questions: Do you do a lot of face checking ice with this deck and then event in the breaker you need if it's an end run? Thereby saving your smc or cc for nastier ice or times when you feel you must get through?

Assuming you are playing a Titan deck with a fairly standard opening and you have an SMC, no draws, and a few programs, what do your first ~6 turns look like? Does this change with a PE or NEH deck?

Thanks again.

23 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@ccie8020 I don't think there is a "standard open" per se. When playing a deck with this many one-offs, you can get wonky draws where you have to push through the silver bullets to find the mainstays. I can tell you this: getting Opus is ALWAYS priority one, as it fuels the ability to ambush with SMC and Chip. You often want some draw power as well. Also, when you say "a Titan deck" this could mean a lot of things. Not nitpicking, I just don't know how to reply.

Leprechaun requires sequencing. Even if you played 3, it will never be the right move to go 1st click install Leprechaun, take 2 credits, and then install Opus on it. You have just lost half your turn when you could be putting other programs on Leprechaun. Yes, Leprechaun allows the deck to have a tad more reach in that you can rig up in the unlikely event that you need to, but it is not something you need/want immediately. You will draw into it or Astrolabe.

As far as facechecking, this is match dependent. You don't wanna do so against Jinteki for sure, unless you can drop Deus and/or Faerie and get to work. I typically start making runs once I have a Chip or SMC up. Against things like HB, probe on your first two clicks. Against Weyland, you can usually safely face check. NBN is usually safe, though you don't wanna lose a credit to Pop-up and then have to click for a credit to play Opus.

The best advice I can give you is react and respond to the corp. This deck is very hard to play, as you have so many options each turn with their almost always being a single best solution which can come at the cost of losing a program you may wanna keep around.

1.) RDI is your main pressure. Don't drop these against PE--well, maybe 1. Against NBN, you will often have to keep R&D pressure to stop them drawing agendas once the Astro train gets off the ground.

2.) Snipe Remotes. The deck is amazing at doing this. Once you start beating up their deck, they may try and hit a window to make a remote score. Leave something in hand like Test Run/Chip (or in play) to workaround this. Scavenge a Femme to switch ice. You can reset Lady or Cypher with Scavenge. Hell, you can Test Run SMC to run on unrezzed ice to see what they have if needed.

3.) If you aren't hitting agendas with RDIs and they are not trying to score out of a remote, then get Nerve Agent and start attacking their hand.

4.) Don't obsess over building a rig. I have said this before and I will say it again, I have won a lot of games with JUST Opus in play when I hit the winning agenda. Play to score points. This is not a critical mass Shaper deck. If you play it this way you are losing tempo and not optimizing the strengths of the deck. If you like rigs, I would suggest playing a more traditional CT or Kate deck--not trying to be rude here, but I feel like I have been answering the same MU concerns since 2013 ;)

5.) Against things like NBN with drip econ and Replicating Perfection, snipe their econ. It will go a long way even if you are clicking opus twice and then trashing something. Kill Sansans unrezzed. NBN remains the hardest match for this, so letting 1 Astro sneak through is not smart, even if it means them breaking their bank. As the deck draws so much, Sweeps Week is always good against Exile.

6.) Make sure to set up your RDIs and then Escher on click 1. Then run their deck as many times as possible, permitting you can get through to some agendas and/or trash something. A lot about this deck is sequencing. You don't want to do stuff like Test Run and Scavenge on clicks 3 and 4. This is where Opus is so great. Don't be afraid to click 4 times--this is a nightmare for most corp decks, esp. with Rachel Beckman out making it gain 10.

I hope this helps! Again, not trying to be abrupt--although I suppose with this long-ass reply, that isn't the right word. This deck is going on two years old at this point and it still feels relevant. It takes a lot of testing to understand. I played this as more of a control deck initially, but discovered when I had 10 mins left in the round in two games at the Plugged-In I won that you can win very fast if you go for broke. This is a deck that can take risks. It is a Swiss Army knife, so treat it as such by solving problems now and not necessarily worrying about later.

23 Feb 2015 ccie8020

OK, last question of the day (though it is much more fun to discuss ANR than to actually work). I know this is a very situational question but if you've hit QT and diesel but didn't end up with SMC, CC, Test Run, Scavenge, R&D, QT, or Rachel. Which do you never discard (maybe Scavenge)?

Just trying to understand the basic decision making. The rest will have to come with experience. This probably isn't the best deck to learn on due to it's difficultly level. But I appreciate it's speed, brilliance and the fact that it has a solution to almost any situation if you are just smart enough to understand the problem.

23 Feb 2015 ccie8020

..but ended up with SMC, CC.... (sorry for the typo)

23 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@ccie8020 Again, this is all in a vacuum so it's really hard to come up with an answer. What turn is it? What is the score? What corp am I playing against? What is the game state? How many credits do I have? Have I Levy'd yet? What's left in my deck? It's just an impossible question to answer in a vacuum. Each card in that scenario has a different value based on one of these answers. Sorry :(

I def would not recommend this to someone new to the game. It is very unorthodox and I don't think it really highlights fundamental play at all. The deck has sooooo many decision trees each turn and it takes a lot of understanding of game state and tempo to know which one is the correct play. This is why I think a lot of people trip up on the MU at a glance. The deck doesn't need to have long term strategies when it can just steal points at the right time. It's about big turns, not rinse and repeat.

27 Feb 2015 ccie8020

Starting to make progress with this deck. I'm batting about 80% with it on OCGTN. I've even taken off the training wheels (pulled out the extra Leprechaun) and have won a few games without laying it or astro down. I don't seem to use Sharpshooter much and haven't tried Escher yet but everything else is clicking. I did +1 plascrete (-1 grappling) as you mentioned since half the decks seem to be scorch decks.

But I still feel like my openings are just too slow. Scenario of the day (I'll try and be really specific):

I'm playing Titan Transnational and on turn 1 they ice HQ, R&D, and play a hedgefund. Second turn they play a daily business show, a Jackson howard, and draw with Jackson.

If you start with an Opus, R&D, SMC, Diesel, and a Scavenge, how do you play it? Thx!

27 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@ccie8020 Glad to hear it. I have made some adjustments myself--more to do with my sentry/damage obsessed meta. Sharpshooter has been out of my build for a minute now. I did the following:

-1 Hook -1Cipher -1 Sharpshooter -1 Femme +1 Faerie +1 Zu +1 Same Old Thing--you do wanna Scavenge more now, and this is a backup where needed, esp. on Levy reset. +1 Parcia--this is proving decent against annoying PAD drip econ decks and things like Daily Business show (very situational)

As far as that opener, that is a like a dream draw. Drop Opus, click for money 3 times. Next turn SMC, RDI, click for money and run. If you want, you can wait until turn 3 to get to work, but typically I drop SMC and start poking and prodding. It is obv more equitable to play RDI, but blind runs with SMC and like 6 credits up is usually safe.

Once you get this up, you can Diesel, and try to keep drawing into recursion and whatnot, but def try and click for money once or twice a turn. There is no shame in click 4 times, as often this deck has to alternate attacks once the game gets going and you force corp to start rezzing ICE. This is where Escher just owns, as you try and set up your RDIs, Escher click one, and then just smash their deck to crap. Remember, a lot of this deck is reacting. But you wanna try and keep a run on R&D and remotes when possible, to keep them spending credits.

12 Mar 2015 DJINNandJUICE

What do you think of the potential of Comet in this archetype? It would have to be built around a little, but with the success you've had with Rachel, some click compression could help threaten even more. And Comet comes with the +1 MU the deck needs. It can help chain QTs and Diesels into big FCCs and it has the obvious synergy with Test Run + Scavenge. Thanks for all your contributions to this archetype and ANR in general. Your decks are a blast to play.

13 Mar 2015 travisrchance

@DJINNandJUICE I feel like 4 is a pretty big tempo hit for this deck. I def encourage someone to give it a try.

8 Jul 2015 x3r0h0ur

@travisrchance I know you're on to better things with noise, but I'm curious if any of the new cards caught your eye for this build, in particular, faust. If you hit a massive draw and don't have FCC, faust wildcards you into useful discards, and 3 credits to install is not so bad at all, it might even be a breaker you could keep out for the long haul.

Also do you think this deck still has chops in the RP world of caprice and batty, blue sun glacier, and HB asset spam? It seems like in all cases paricia looks like a pretty good add.

Its a lull in the competitive season, and this is a deck I love, so I'm back behind the wheel cruising the nets in this beaut.

8 Jul 2015 travisrchance

@x3r0h0ur I still love this deck. This is going to sound ridic, but I just never have had an issue with RP. Maybe it is bc one of my good pals has played the crap out of it, so I have logged an inordinate amount of matches against it. Opus is def strong against it. It's not a fun match, but you can out-$ them pretty easily and ambush as needed. Central pressure is the way to go, while poking at their econ. Caprice sucks bc she sucks, but knowing how to exploit timing windows is a vital leg up in this match.

As far as new cards, I do think Faust is neat, but the 2 influence makes it a hard sell. It would be high variance as hell for sure.

At this point, I would drop Rachel, as the tempo of the game is different than before.

London Library is def worth a slot. I have played with it on a few occasions and it is perfect in the 2 Femme build.

Chameleon has some clout as a tool as well.

I am trying to make a Geist deck that uses a similar principle here that doesn't fall down the rabbithole. Noise continues to wreck people in its plain ol' way. Kinda bored of the game at the moment. Nothing in corp is enticing me, and Batty was, well, batty to reinforce an already popular deck.

8 Jul 2015 x3r0h0ur

I'm surprised given that I thought you hated resources that LL looks good, but it is insane with femme and scavenge, so sure. I'm interested to see where your mind takes Geist, since I'm sure it'll be different than the common build.

8 Jul 2015 travisrchance

@x3r0h0ur Yeah. I was waaaay skeptical, but there is just so much synergy with it to not justify a copy. I have a pretty specific view on cards that not many people agree with--or comprehend ;) I am not a fan of pipedream cutesy crap--Geist is gonna be tough in this regard, as he encourages all kinds of card-dependent shenanigans.

I think the deck can play Clot, though it sooo specific a slot, and I tend to like more general application cards.

I still love this deck. I am hoping to top it with Geist.

13 Jul 2015 travisrchance

@x3r0h0ur Well, damned-be! I sat down and started working on an updated build. I think Street Peddler def is an inclusion--with London Library coming out. I am still brewing, but I shall keep ya posted on an update--so far, I have about 7 new cards in the mix.

13 Jul 2015 x3r0h0ur

\m/(><)\m/

looking forward to it

14 Jul 2015 travisrchance

New list up here: netrunnerdb.com

14 Jul 2015 travisrchance

@x3r0h0ur Oh, and my Geist list is here: netrunnerdb.com