No Siphons, Please. Card Kingdom Store Championship 1st Plac

afishisborn 2612

Obligatory shoutout to Card Kingdom. This was the deck I ran in their tournament 2/28/15 alongside Chaos Theory. This deck went undefeated in 5 rounds of swiss and in the top 8 cut.

Compared to my runner, this deck isn't particularly janky, but it's no less effective.

First of all, I want to note that splashing Crisium Grid as an answer to eater-siphon-keyhole would normally feel like wasted deckslots, but in Tennin, Crisium does double duty by keeping your ID turned on. Pretty cool. Besides just keeping your bank safe from errant Siphons, it also protects you from Legwork, Wanton Destruction, and a host of other successful-run-contingent cards. Crisium Grid is an awkward splash in most decks, but in Tennin, it feels like it has a home.

So. The deck. Nine agendas. Nine assets and upgrades. Twelve econ operations. Nineteen ice.

Nineteen ice is the key to this deck. You are going to have 2-3 central servers to ice and 1 remote. You are not going to need all of your ice to do this, which means you are going to have options. Tsurugi is great, until Clone Chip hits the table with Parasite in the bin. Enigma is fantastic in a world without Yog. No matter what though, you should always have the right ice to make your servers taxing. A wide variety of ice strength and the ability to ice all your centrals well causes problems for Katman and Andysucker, while making your centrals all very taxing to get into. Icing up centrals is by far your biggest concern, but once you have them spending 6-10 credits per run, start setting up your scoring server.

Let's make a quick note about your ability here. There are no Trick of Light shenanigans to be found. The only advanceable ice you have is Ice Wall. That's ok. There are three things you will use your ability for. Firstly, you will use it to score out unadvanced 4/2 agendas. Nisei MK II especially benefits from this. Also, by scoring agendas from an unadvanced state in your remote, you'll find it easier to bait the runner into spare Jacksons and Crisiums. Secondly, you'll give spare tokens to your Ice Walls, wherever they may lie. Ice Wall becomes a nasty tax when it starts reaching into the land of 4+ strength. Thirdly, you will bluff out your other ice as ice walls. I've had many confident runners charge into a twice advanced Wall of Thorns, expecting at the worst to be knocked out by a Fire Wall. This is not an amazingly strong strategy, but given you'll find many turns without a good advanceable target, it never hurts.

Anyway, the ultimate strategy is simple. Ice up everything, then score out slowly.

I guess the final question is, why not NAPD? Well, twofold. Mostly, I just don't like NAPD. It's great that it's very taxing on the runner, but it feels very bland to score out. Also, between bad pub from Grim and the rise of Valencia, NAPD becomes very expensive to score for just 2 points. Medical Breakthrough is far easier for the runner to steal, but that rarely feels bad. Sometimes, after using Jackson to mitigate agenda flood, I'll still leave one breakthrough in archives, just to score the other two out cheaper and faster. Depriving the runner of agendas is already the main strength of this deck; I'd rather then focus on scoring them.

25 comments
1 Mar 2015 CJFM

Glad to see this deck wrecking face :)

1 Mar 2015 Chimpster

Really interesting ideas, love the econ spread and general plan. Will definitely give this a whirl!

2 Mar 2015 uniquefer

Can Wall of Thorns be advanced?

2 Mar 2015 Topaxci

It can in Tennin, you can use the Tennin free advancement token on ANY card. Great for bluffing.

2 Mar 2015 PaxCecilia

Interesting to see this done without the Trick of Lights! Congrats on the Store Championship win!

2 Mar 2015 Tomonaldo

I'm a Tennin fan and I love this too. Great purist deck. No nonsense, just score out those agendas. Nice work :)

2 Mar 2015 Myth

Do you get enough use out of Yagura to warrant 3 includes? Seem an extra Enigma or some other ETR ice might serve you better. But I don't play Yagura, so I'm not experienced with how beneficial it can be.

2 Mar 2015 firesa

looks good, how does it fare v stealth andy?

3 Mar 2015 Noah

The Crisium Grid is SUPER helpful against Keyhole & Eater decks. I despise those with a passion.

3 Mar 2015 afishisborn

@Myth Yagura is ideal central ice. It's as taxing as Pup (until Yog comes out, at least), but more punishing to facecheck. It can keep your R&D safe in the early game while adding a decent tax in the mid-late game. Almost all the ice in this deck ends runs, but only a handful hurt to run into, which is a niche Yagura fills perfectly.

@firesa I faced only one stealth Andy, and it wasn't bad. In general, Criminal econ gets hit hard by this deck. With more than enough ice for all your centrals and a scoring remote, Security Testing becomes often at most a way to break even on an archives run in order to turn off Tennin's ID. Crisium keeps you safe from the Siphon play, and playing without sentries is pretty easy if they set up Switchblade. Wall of Thorns, Eli, and Yagura are all taxing, stealth or otherwise, so server runs are always costly.

@Noah Crisium more than pulled its weight this tourney. Even in matchups where it wasn't relevant, it still found uses as an agenda bluff.

3 Mar 2015 CapAp

@afishisborn I love the interplay between Crisium Grid and the Tennin ID! Are you using TFP just as a density sink? That seems dangerous to me, and I feel like I'd personally rather run 3 NAPD, as they are at least scoreable if the runner hits one and can't steal it (rather than sitting in HQ waiting to be hit again). Can't wait to try this at home!

3 Mar 2015 afishisborn

@CapApIn most games, I scored a single TFP and two 2-pointers to clinch the game. It certainly helps with keeping the agenda density low. It's also decent HQ bait after a Celebrity Gift. The nature of the deck is that runs are expensive, so you want the runner spending all of their money making them.

Anyway, NAPD is not a substitute for TFP, as I'd need 2 more agenda points to fill out my deck. Also, it would mean I'd guaranteed need 4 agendas to win the game, which feels bad.

4 Mar 2015 gumed85
4 Mar 2015 PaxCecilia

That's true @gumed85

4 Mar 2015 gumed85

Oh wait... Crisium Gridsays that Successful Runs won"t count as Successful or Unsuccessful. So, for Crisium Grids ability to trigger, the run must be Successful first. Unsuccessful runs won"t trigger Grids... So Successful Demonstration does work.

4 Mar 2015 Myth

Any way you can think of to work Snare! into this? It seems to fit so perfectly, because you just have to SHOW it to them (Celebrity Gift anyone?) and they're forever afraid of running an un-advanced card...

4 Mar 2015 CapAp

@afishisborn I guess I'm surprised that you're able to score out the TFPs, since there's no RP/ELP pressure making the runs especially difficult and no trap subterfuge. Seems like the ice (while reasonable taxing) would have to be 3-4 deep to give you window opportunity. What's a typical remote server look like for you, ice-wise?

4 Mar 2015 CJFM

@CapAp usually two ice deep and Caprice is enough.

5 Mar 2015 IonFox

Fun fact. If bored, advance the runner's key cards. ToL can fire off from them (Checked the rules), and its fun to psyche them out and force them to trash the cards they need, in order to deny you a scoring method you don't even use.

5 Mar 2015 afishisborn

@CapAp With the ice suite in this deck, it's really common to make taxing servers with relatively few ice. Given that you won't start setting up your scoring server until your centrals are established, you'll likely have a good idea about what breakers they're running. Ice Wall becomes stupidly taxing if they don't run D4V1D, and if they do, it's fine to leave at four strength. Yagura and Enigma are great cheap taxes if they don't run Yog, and Lotus Field is if they do. Often, runners are spending 6-9 creds just to play a psi game. For that kind of tax, it doesn't matter how many clicks they have. Also, you don't generally try to score a TFP without a Nisei token standing by, but sometimes its even not terrible giving up an agenda, even a TFP if it drains the runner's bank.

I also just want to make a note here that Day Job is Tennin's best friend.

8 Mar 2015 PaxCecilia

Got fourth place with this deck at a store championship this weekend. Thanks for the play mat ;)

22 Mar 2015 ulrik03

Cool deck! Incidentally, this works of similar principles to lluliens old classic Never Advance decks. Were you inspired by him, or is it a coincidence?

I'm playing something similar, except that my deck is using Snares, Mamba and House of Knives to flatline careless runners and slow down careful runners.

22 Mar 2015 ulrik03

How do you feel about swapping Wraparound for Eli? Knifed is rough on Eli, and Wraparound is nice anti-Eater tech. Or is 3x Crisium enough to slow down Eater?

24 Mar 2015 afishisborn

@ulrik03 I was probably indirectly inspired by it. I haven't seen his decklist, but I'm sure I've played people running something based off it in the past, and that's probably what motivated me to make this. I have a lot of experience running FA Tennin, and I couldn't stand needing specific conditions to score.

As far as card choice, I like the flatline approach. I'm not confident enough in my econ to reliably keep poppping Snare!s, as it tends to ebb quite a bit. Wraparound is an interesting thought, but it's no tax at all once they pull any fracter out, and if they want to knife Eli, it's not a major loss, as I've still got tons of ice to replace it with.

Crisium hurts Eater very hard. Most Eater decks have some manner to work around Crisium, but it's clunky and usually enough to give you plenty of time to get ahead. Also, none of the ice is particularly cheap for Eater, and if you fear siphon spam without a Grid at the ready, just start advancing Ice Walls in front of HQ and R&D.

26 Mar 2015 ulrik03

If you want to flatline, you need to build around it - like you said, you need the econ, and a Snare! alone won't do it. I'm a bit surprised that Tsurugi works on its own, but it's costly o redraw even if a flatline is never threatened.

I see your point on Eli - fracters are still more common than Knifed. I really like your deck, it looks like a very good non-damage deck (and has performed as well, of course!) If I was going to play your version I'd try it without Grim. I don't like giving out bad pub if I'm trying to tax the runner. (I'm guessing you're not rezzing Grim unless you can hit something essential, but still!)