Prepaid Eater (1st Place Richmond, VA Store Championship)

Fry 42

(The corp counterpart to this deck is here)

Field of 21 players. This deck didn't perform very well: if I recall correctly, it went 2-3 in Swiss, and 2-0 in double elimination. It beats up on decks that have to advance their agendas in remotes the fair way, because you have as much as 9x Blackmail to punish that, but unfortunately the field was all fast advance as far as I could tell: lots of NEH Astrobiotics, a moderate amount of Titan Transnational with Trick of Light, and a smattering of HB and Tennin Fast Advance. The wins were against the Tennin FA player (once in Swiss and once in elimination), due to some lucky R&D/Keyhole pulls, despite getting my Eater trashed by Swordsman on R&D three times in two games. I got a lucky win against NEH in elimination when I was able to Keyhole just enough points through 2x Pop-up Window on R&D the turn before the astrotrain scored the last points from hand. The other Swiss win was against The Foundry - IIRC he was low on money, and I was able to snipe a couple 3/2s from remotes with Blackmail while dismantling his R&D defenses for an eventual Keyhole win.

The problem with fighting fast advance decks is that they are largely immune to Blackmail. If you don't put agendas in your remotes, I can't snipe them, which means I have to get them all out of centrals, and it probably won't be HQ because I don't have a strong pressure there, meaning most of the defense can be concentrated on R&D. Meanwhile, I still have to Blackmail those remotes, because it might be SanSan City Grid which I have to trash, but just as often it's Jackson Howard or some economy asset. If I just run normally and the corp can rez an ETR ice, that's a huge problem, because now they can just slow advance agendas there, particularly if they stack any other ice on top afterward - I have to have the right silverware to get in (and a huge pile of money) and/or Parasite + Datasucker already loaded up, which is often not the case.

The rig is awkward: I really want to have Eater + Keyhole + 2 Datasuckers, but that requires that I've found a Desperado and it means I don't have enough MU to Parasite ice. It is definitely great when it's working correctly though: being able to get paid to make Keyhole runs is good times. For future iterations of the deck, I might try Grimoire or MemStrips as the console. Also, grip management can be challenging, particularly during the setup phase: it's not uncommon to have a grip full of run events and an Inject. The run events don't do anything now but will be great later, if you play Inject it's either going to draw a bunch of cards you can't use or it's going to trash the programs you're trying to find. Usually it's correct to Inject anyway, but it always feels painful. I've seriously thought about trying Public Sympathy but I can't quite make myself do it.

The deck often feels short of cash, even when the Prepaid VoicePADs show up early and are doing their thing. The singleton Daily Casts and D4v1d were added the day before the tournament in place of the third Keyhole and Parasite. D4v1d is obviously good against Oversight AI, but it can also be very helpful against Wraparound which will show up very frequently and is otherwise a huge problem to deal with.

Directions to go with this deck:

  • try a standard rig. If you keep the Self-modifying Code you could even possibly get away with just 1x core set breakers so you aren't leaning quite so hard on Eater and can maybe get real accesses on HQ or remotes. Space is so tight though!

  • switch to a Hivemind + Progenitor + Virus Breeding Ground + Chakana plan. This would force even those dirty fast advance decks to open their agendas up to Blackmail. Maybe you don't even need to run icebreakers other than Darwin / Crypsis? That might make the deck even slower than it already is though (fortunately my corp deck was able to win games pretty quickly, so time was never an issue for me).

  • also in the vein of making FA play fair: The Source, possibly with Fall Guy as backup.