Walk, Don't Run - The New Criminal Ethos

seurimas 101

I've been making the rounds at store tournaments with this deck, and it always performs well, usually failing to execution errors like forgetting about Utopia shard or not Hostaging the right things.

Basic Principles

  • Economic superiority is the name of the game. The wonderful thing about scoring windows is when they never exist. Early game, you'll lose some agendas to slow setup time (no Special orders, combo-y economy), but once you're setup, the game is on. Dripping for 5 credits a turn, hitting Kati for 3 more, selling agendas, and running once a blue moon all put Iain in a uniquely amazing spot.

  • You are not running every turn, usually. You run only exactly when you need to. R&D lock if you can't keep remote pressure, Legwork to snipe agendas when The Source is MIA, and steal agendas from scoring remotes. None of that "hopefully there's an agenda there" crap. Iain doesn't have time for that and neither do you.

  • You want Iain's ability and also Logos to fire as much as possible. This means giving up a few agendas that aren't 100% advantageous to steal. This means data-dealing on the side some to keep yourself behind. In most of my games, I sold 1-2 agendas before winning. Sometimes more.

  • The Source has two main purposes: Anti-FA and anti-bait. Drop one ASAP against NBN. Protect it with fall guys. Against everyone else, do not fall for "oh, this card in this server MIGHT be an agenda, come and run it". That's how you give up your economic superiority and lose games. Jinteki can be rough, as they can single/double advance a card that might not actually be an agenda. For everyone else, The Source is an amazing asset beyond compare. Most of the games I lose are when I can't find or don't put down The Source fast enough.

Breakers, etc.

  • Aurora has been a huge source of criticism for this deck. I promise you, 100%, that Aurora works fine. You don't have the influence to spare for Corroder, you have the sheer economic power to fund the more expensive breaker, and you're not running that often. It's fine.

  • Cerberus "Rex" H2 is a wonderful breaker. You'll have some trouble with some Replicating Perfection matchups that use a lot of code gates, but otherwise you'll be fine. You're not running enough for it to usually matter. Peacock might be a good one-of companion or 2-of replacement, but Rex so rarely fails me that I'm not going to be the one to replace him.

  • Grappling Hook is included for the large ICE and face-checking. Even with your economic superiority, some big ICE are going to be problematic to run through more than once. Grappling Hook+e3 is 3 credits to get through a lot of big ICE, and that's crucial in some matchups. This may be better replaced by some Cresentus and/or special orders.

  • Crypsis mostly comes into play against the aforementioned code gate heavy compositions. Also an emergency breaker for the Power Shutdown decks.

  • A lot of Killers are sort of nice. Against Weyland, you'll want Ninja. Against Jinteki, you'll want Femme Fatale. HB is handled with e3 for the most part. And for everyone, there's always your Faeries. As usual, Faerie is a card that goes a long way by virtue of you not running that often.

Other cards

  • Your Connection selection is perfection (sorry, had to). Hostage lets you grab what you need (Kati if no link is available, The Source if you must have it out now, Underworld if you're getting your drip going). The Source's merits are already explained above.

  • The Helpful AI is tutorable link to complement the Dyson Mem Chip. I'd say it's worth the 2 influence, even for Iain's 10 influence limit.

  • Underworld Contacts take advantage of a number of things: very intimidating alongside Iain's natural drip, Hostage targets, Iain's natural link, and no influence cost.

  • Utopia Shard is extra combo protection. Might be better uses for the 1 influence, but I haven't found them.

  • Data Dealer is practically the best card in this deck. It's never played and, having used it, I have no idea why not. 9 credits for a click? Stimhack is the only comparison and those credits only exist during the run and brain you at the end. Add onto that 0 and -1 point "agendas", and Data Dealer is starting to shine.

  • R&D Interface is a sketchy inclusion. It's so rare for me to go for R&D and like it. Alas, sometimes keeping agendas from the corp is the only way to keep windows closed.

  • e3 supports Grappling Hook and Aurora. Enough said.

Playing the deck

  • Starting hand needs at least 2 of these things: sustained economy (link+Underworld Contact or just Kati Jones, substituting Hostage as available), Logos, a couple breakers, burst economy. Don't bother looking for The Source in your starting hand, except maybe against NBN. You don't want it usually.

  • Run less. If you think you're running enough, you'll be running too much. If it's not game point or might not lead to game point faster than you can close all future windows, it's just not that important. That said, go ahead and snipe R&D for free or run to force some safer rezzes if you are able to keep the Corp poor this way. But once an agenda is scored or stolen, the game should slow down immensely.

  • The Corp wants scoring windows. Don't give them to it. The Source shuts down a lot of fast advance very soundly. For slow advancers (both the normal kind and have-no-choice-because-of-The-Source kind), it's just knowing when it's an agenda, when you can accept the risk of not running, and when you have no choice but to run then bouncing back and closing all future windows.

Playing AGAINST the deck

  • Being able to leverage early scoring windows for more than 4 points is brutal. Iain only gets 2 credits a turn, no more, no less. So being behind by a lot is no nicer than being behind by a little.

  • Rez all the taxing ICE. There's a limit to my economy and stressing it as much as possible in your scoring remote is your best bet to keeping me poor.

  • You're probably not going to flatline me. Feedback Filter, Decoy, Logos and running carefully all equate to consistently tough flatlines. Early flatlines can be much easier, but, after setup, there shouldn't be a lot you can do to murder me. By the same token, economic superiority is going to result in a tough time tagging me. Even Midseasons, usually a great counter to Decoy, is countered by being able to Data Dealer the agenda I just stole to get back economic superiority.

23 Feb 2015 Bobbydigital

Have you thought about any updates which would incorporate more recently released cards?

23 Feb 2015 seurimas

None of the new neutral cards are at all appealing. Data Folding would require more MU than I have, for example. None of the anarch cards are anywhere near worth the influence cost.

Altogether, there would not be a good "update", though I can't rule out that a similar deck could utilize some of those cards.

27 Mar 2015 Runaway

I had a chance to play a few games with this yesterday and had a lot of fun when I wasn't getting hosed by mistakes or the substitutions I had to make.

I can't find Opening Moves anywhere, so to replace the missing 3x Hostage I dropped 1x The Source to free up influence (figuring Logos would help me pull the other one if needed) and added another Mr. Li and 2x Quality Time to dig through the deck faster and 1x Calling in Favors because connections = money. Nothing like having a tutor though, one of the two games I lost was because I couldn't get any economy or draw resources on the table in a timely manner. The other one I should have won (I caught up from 0-4 to 6-6 via RnD lock with R&D Interface and almost the entire rig on the table) but accidentally floated a tag with The Source in hand instead of in play and lost it to a Scorched, allowing the corp to score a Vulcan Coverup I'd never found in HQ while I was refilling my hand and bank account. It was easily the most fun I've had while losing a game.