22 PLAYER INDY STORE CHAMPS Jerkteki 3.0 2nd place 2/7/15

travisrchance 2242

I have been playing this deck for about 18 months at this point. It started as a Profiteering rush deck which has been refined into this current incarnation. I just took 2nd in a 22 person Store Champs (had to concede in finals due to plans--the event was almost 11 hours long), retooling it to deal with MaxX and other new Anarch shenanigans. It has won me two Store Champs and a number of local events. This, my friends, is a very good little deck.

THE DECK

This is a not a flatline strategy, though you will can and will kill runners by virtue of forcing them to play at your tempo. The net damage is primarily disruption. The more click the runner uses to draw, the more scoring windows open up. With 13 agendas, none of which are worth more than 2 points, 6 of which are worth 1 point, the runner has to sing for their supper. When you couple this with the myriad of net damage the deck can deal, it makes reckless running and multi-access cards like RDI and Medium potentially a death sentence for the runner. You have 8 traps as feints for your agendas, all of which are no advance except for Fetals.

Just remember the Jinteki mantra: your best cards are always facedown.

OPERATIONS

The deck has a stable econ, especially since it has a relatively low cost ice. Green Level remains one of my favorite cards for the influence. This draws you deeper while padding your pockets, keeps your hand stocked for Celebrity Gift, and helps in keeping temping. Hedge Fund is a given. Some may wonder why a deck that plays this many agendas and traps would be willing to reveal their hand, but this plays into the psychology of the deck: it encourages OR deters the runner, which, based on the game state, often works to your advantage. Gift is nice with the no advance agendas, as you can make sure you have the cash to protect them as needed.

The single Scorched Earth is an odd egg. It def has flatlined a number of runners. And it certainly has a profound psychological impact when a runner happens upon it in HQ or R&D. It can open up a scoring window by knocking a runner's out. It's a high-variance trick up your sleeve, but not one you will use often.

AGENDAS

This is the real strength of the deck: how the agendas work in concert with the ID's ability.

Clone retirement is a shuriken to the head. The ability to score it in a single turn can be the killshot to a reckless or unlucky runner--I killed someone on turn 3 in the Top 8 last weekend. Sure, the bad pub can suck, but just use one to fix losing another. Also, suck it Valencia.

You want to score House of Knives ASAP. The ability to ping the runner in-run puts them on tough decisions and can easily open up a flatline window. I typically use the first two counters any time the runner attacks. I then save the last counter for a Snare feint or when I am trying to push through a Fetal.

Brain Trust is essentially a blank agenda that nets you 2 points for no advance, unlike Philotic, which, with this many 1 pointers AND Shi Kyu, can karate chop the runner in the noggin one good. But you already knew this.

Fetal AI is, in essence, a trap. You don't want to have to score these unless it is your last agenda, or a window opens up wherein it is safe to do so. If the runner is low on cards, you can always advance, advance one of the other agendas to headfake as though it is a Fetal. It, with Snare and Shock, mean you can often leave your R&D open or lightly protected.

ASSETS

Snare remains one of the more awesome cards in this game, in my opinion. With the low cost ice and the stable econ, paying 4 to throat punch the runner isn't a hard choice 9/10. The single Scorched Earth can combo well with a runner that floats this, or any other tags. Please, sir, play your multi-access cards.

Shock and Shi Kyu are there to further grind the runner out, as well as punish Noise mill and Keyhole strategies. In the aforementioned matches, get these in Archives stat! Against Criminal, let them fill up your hand. I typically will pay 1-2 credits with Shi Kyu, unless I need them to take it as a negative point.

After playing this deck well over a hundred games that using these cards as feints when on, or near, match point to push the runner into making inequitable runs. This will open up windows for you to push through the winning agenda.

ICE

Before Order and Chaos, the deck played nine 1 credit ice, which was amazing. Yes, Ice Wall is weaker than Wraparound on the whole, but that 1 credit was often the difference in scoring an agenda out on your second turn.

Enter Eater...

While most people were scrambling for Crisium Grids and Swordsman, I was confident Wraparound was the key to the Keyhole trend (as were others). I found that Swordsman was a minor inconvenience at best to MaxX, as I have been playing the deck myself. Long story short, the nine 1 credit ice became 5 and it worked out just fine.

I consider the deck to have two types of ice:

ETRs: Quandary and Wraparound are your cheap ETR, with the two Enigmas on the backup mic. The single Lotus Field is there for diversity, higher strength, and against Sucker Spam.

I rank Archer as an ETR in this deck. You wanna forfeit Clone Retirement or a House of Knives with no counters left. This is a nice surprise often, though they usually come prepared for sentries--which is somewhat funny, as you aren't playing a ton. This one is all about timing. You want it to win you the game or make your wimpier ice relevant again.

GRIEFERS: These ice work to spam net damage, threaten flatline, and generally make the game untenable for the runner.

Komainu is the ice most runners fear out of the gate. It pairs with your ID ability to flatline. It pairs with a House of Knives counter to flatline. It pairs with the trap assets to flatline. But the real beauty here is the tempo loss. The runner will want a full grip, which means that Komainu can be expensive to navigate--sans Parasite, obviously.

Chum has a habit of stopping a runner cold with no need to see the next ice. Once again, we threaten flatline, esp. with the mythic ice. They can make Wraparound Knight-proof and a credit nightmare for Eater. They are awesome against Inside Job--Criminal is popular in my meta. I miss playing the third copy, but, alas, times they are a'changin'.

Janus is somewhat akin to Scorched Earth: I have this influence, but I don't really want/need it. The deck doesn't need Jackson Howard to beat Keyhole and Noise. I had Ichi 2.0 forever as another destroyer, but it was okay at best. Rezzing this on the runner's third or fourth click can just end the game. It isn't uncommon to be near 20 credits if you are drawing Gifts. And like Scorched Earth, once the runner sees this before it is installed, suddenly they have to make all these additional considerations. I look forward to replacing this card in the future, but, for now, I like it as a one-of.

Excalibur is a central griefer. Against Criminals, put it on your hand so they can't Siphon you and then follow up with a run. Protecting your deck with this means they will be running on their last click, which is a rookie mistake against PE. As mentioned, they pair nicely with Chums. It's a nice addition to the deck.

Kitsune is something I am trying. My thought is two-fold: pair this with Chum spells death if you're holding a Snare or Fetal--though in a shallow server, your Chum is not useless. It adds value to Shi Kyu. Lastly, placing this in front of an agenda like Fetal can make scoring impossible for the runner if you force feed them a Snare. Again, more testing is needed, but I am hopeful. For now, the single copy seems right as it requires some set up.

I know, I know... Swordsman. I don't think this stops Eater; it just annoys it. It is a nice griefer ice on a central though, and is especially nice against Security Testing. I can see this on the way out, but, as it served me relatively well against Criminals, I am okay with a one-of for the time being.

That's pretty much it. This deck is the bane of my meta. Not only is it a lean and deadly beast, but I know it inside and out after playing it for so long. Give it a try.

OH, and the MaxX deck I played at this even can be found here: http://netrunnerdb.com/en/decklist/15411/22-player-indy-store-champs-2nd-place-maxx-deck-02-07-15

19 comments
15 Feb 2015 Dydra

18 ICE PE I like it ;) Although I'll never probably run a PE without 3 Neural EMPs in it, I can see the effort ;)

15 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@Dydra I am not a fan of EMP. Here's what happens: you draw EMP, Snares, and agendas, and at some point you cannot push out scoring in a remote. Now you have to decide, do I throw agendas in the bin, give up on Snare, or ditch EMP. In short, it can make you play poorly if you get this kind of draw. I would rather have a Shock hit them on access than try and cobble this together. In short, I think EMP, outside of something like Cambridge, is an antiquated way to play PE here in the now.

More importantly, this deck kills through tempo, not trying to draw multiple EMPs. Flatlining is incidental, hence the ice count. You have to push the runner to make bad decisions, and the best way to do this is scoring. I know this may seem a bit outside the norm, but this is my best deck by far. I have played it for ages and had a tremendous amount of success with it, refining it as newer and better options have emerged.

15 Feb 2015 travisrchance

Bah! I hit submit too quickly! @Dydra thanks for taking a gander and commenting!

17 Feb 2015 x3r0h0ur

I trust your choices, and will be giving it a shot. I'm curious how you feel about hokusai grid. I love the tax, and it is pretty cheap, and is extremely annoying vs eater only decks that choose to keyhole (though wraparound is a better solution obviously).

Do you think that it could replace shi.kyu, if you don't have access to the card? Or do you find hokusai to be completely worthless?

17 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@x3r0h0ur No way, Jose. This is one of your many tools against Noise and a corp making an Archives run after Keyholing the shitake out of you. Grid isn't even close. It also pairs with your Philotic. Pay 2 is the sweet spot. The deck already has House of Knives for pinging. It's just too good of a tool, since you have no Jackson--which you don't need it really.

18 Feb 2015 Four_Leaf

How do you play this. 1 remote, 2? lay naked things here and there for mindgames? This is obviously glacial. Have you considered tollbooth for tax over janus or do you just like that surprise? I guess I'm having a hard time seeing how you'd play it. What is an ideal scoring server for you?

18 Feb 2015 travisrchance

@Four_Leaf the deck is pliable, reacting to the runner. Typically, you are pushing out agendas early game in a remote two ice deep--preferably a Chum to stop them cold. It's all about understanding when scoring windows open up. A lot of the ice help in whittling away at the runner when paired with the traps, but "glacial" is not the word I would use at all here. If you count agendas, this deck has 22 cards that can damage on access--Shi Kyu obv being a little more conditional. Clone Retirements are shurikens to the runner's head. Celebrity Gift and show them a mix of agendas and traps and then drop one in a remote behind a couple of ice. Scoring out House of Knives goes a long way in grinding out the runner's hand. Bottomline, the runner will have to spend a lot of actions to draw, treating cards more like hit points than options in many cases.

As I stated in the main thread, Janus is just in here. I am not particularly enthused with it OR Janus and am trying some new digs now. For example, I think Checkpoint is a nice addition to the deck. I wouldn't play Tollbooth over this because it is not as high impact, nor presents the runner with some of the types of choices I want them to make.

13 Apr 2015 Kroen

Isn't Scorched Earth 100% dead draw if your opponent isn't playing tag-me? you have zero ways to tag the runner aside from last click Snare! and who runs last click against Jinteki anyway? you don't even have False Lead...

13 Apr 2015 Kroen

Also, isn't Medical Breakthrough better than Braintrust here?

13 Apr 2015 travisrchance

@Kroen no.

13 Apr 2015 travisrchance

@Kroen so by this logic people shouldn't play any edge case cards right? I mean why would you play plascrete not every deck is playing scorched-earth or ways to kill you.

This card was there for a very long time because of accounts-which is a highly played card. You act as though I did not comment on the fact that I wasn't crazy about its inclusion in the first place.

13 Apr 2015 Kroen

Why is Braintrust better? This is not a cambridge-style never advance deck. Braintrust serves no purpose once it's stolen other than 1 net, and Medical Breakthrough also does that, with the advantage that if 2 are stolen and/or scored then the 3rd can be scored out of hand. And why the hostility?

13 Apr 2015 Kroen

And my logic is that putting a card in your deck with 0 ways to activate aside from runner mistakes is a waste of slot, not to mention influence.

13 Apr 2015 travisrchance

There is no hostility. I would say that yours is reading this way in your other post. Brain trust does not require to be advanced ever. I don't like playing around someone having to steal a medical breakthrough so I get that advantage. I have tried it and I do not think it is a good strategy at all

13 Apr 2015 travisrchance

Then don't play the card. But to say this is "wasted" is to pretend we haven't been living in a Siphon-dominated game for 2+ years. You also are making gross assumptions on how the deck pushes tempo, meaning risks often have to be taken. Like I said, I was never crazy about it. But it killed a lot more people than it felt like a dead draw.

14 Apr 2015 travisrchance

@Kroen, if I misinterpreted your intentions, apologies. But the initial post read more to me as an attempt to criticize, not open a dialogue. Also, I was out when you commented, and replied remotely--which was why I was more on the side of brevity.

Now, if you would like, here is a more thorough reply.

SCORCHED EARTH: It is worth mentioning I have since changed this deck twice, wherein the influence is used in a more general sense. Before Clot was released, I moved over to playing 2 San-Sans, which worked amazingly--and was another reason I preferred Braintrust. I have morphed the deck again, moving around influence which doesn't include Scorch.

Now, as far as Scorched being limited, yes, it is. As stated in the main article, this deck doesn't aim to kill. It aims to push tempo, wherein the runner often will kill themselves, and it does this very, very well. I state outright "it is a high-variance trick," which it is. Against decks that play tag me, which more than a fair number do, it is a great tool. Yes, Snare is the only means to land a tag outside of the runner doing it themselves, but that is not an issue. It is one card, which will win you a game, massively disrupt the runner, or be a single dead draw that, at worst, if the runner sees, they will begin to play more conservatively around. I am playing into the odds here, not building a Sea Source deck, which, to be fair, can just as easily fail at making Scorch work with a bevy of tools at their disposal. I look at this like a reverse Plascrete. It may work; it may not. As many decks play Siphon, the odds are in my favor. If they remove tags, then I am being given more tempo windows.

As far as Medical Breakthrough, I think a more reasonable suggestion would be them over Fetal, as the deck is not trying to kill. And I have tried this. And it did not work. Hoping a runner steals an agenda so the next one will be do Braintrust already does (which is be a no advance agenda) seems extremely counter-intuitive. Further, hoping this happens, I then score mine as an effective Braintrust and then hope to see another in no way appeals to me after playing this deck for close to 2 years. Braintrust having no ability is irrelevant to a deck that can, 9/10 put the runner on slamming into a trap or risk losing the game. I never wanna see or play Fetals. They are there to provide more tempo hits. If I have to score one, sure, but Med Breakthrough doesn't cost them 2 creds and and 3 cards, therefore it did not make the cut.

I have not posted the most current list on here, as I am still testing it. I am playing Cortex Lock and 2 Archers now, which has been a massive skull beating for leveraging game states back to where I need them, even at the cost of a 1 pointer.

I hope this provided insight.

15 Apr 2015 Kroen

Fair enough, and sorry for jumping to conclusions. One final inquiry though: Have you given any thought to using that slot for Biotic Labot? it can have many uses in this deck. Here are just 3 off the top of my head: 1. FA the final agenda needed to win. 2. FA Philotic for a killshot. 3. FA House of Knives if you're swimming in money and have nothing better to do. If you did test it, can you say why you didn't like it? thanks.

15 Apr 2015 Kroen

Oh btw, I acutally played with this deck today, and really liked it. Very creative. I've been looking for a while for a non-cambridge PE deck as I suck at shell mind games, and your deck is right up my alley. Good job.

15 Apr 2015 travisrchance

@Kroen, glad you like it. I did try Biotic, but San-San being another feint and requiring the runner to blow resources helps keep the wimpier ice relevant.

I have been testing a new version that is playing Eli, Pop-ups, 2 Archers, 2 Cortex Lock, and Mental Health Clinic. The additional Archer is just nutty. Cortex is rad. The deck has some more expected beats, but I esp. like the Mental Healths.