Butcher Shop v4 - 1st Place Uncle's Games SC (Redmond, WA)

jakodrako 1529

Record
This deck has gone 7/8 in the last two store championships I went to in the Greater Seattle Area. It carried Noise to 1st place in the Store Championship at Uncle's Games in Redmond (8 people), and with just one more Leela win in the SC at Card Kingdom would have made the top 8 cut (12th out of 26).

The worst thing that can happen to this deck is losing more than one agenda on R&D turn 1; that's the only way this deck has lost so far. I've been testing it for about a month on Jinteki.net to really good results. Even seeming problem match-ups like Edward Kim have not really posed much problem. This deck is rul rul fast. All the tournament wins were in 15 minutes or less.

Basic Strategy
This deck is all-in on tag-storm meat damage. Because Near-Earth Hub: Broadcast Center is totally balanced and not at all ridiculous, there's enough influence for all three Scorched Earth, all three Traffic Accident, and still 2 influence left-over for whatever else. Why not more Scorched Earths and Traffic Accidents? That's what Reclamation Order is for. I've won exactly one game with points during testing online. All meat-space wins have been flatlines.

It's hard to say what a "good" starting hand is with this deck. There are a lot of ways to make almost anything work. Generally, you don't want more than two agendas, and ideally one of them is NAPD Contract or Breaking News. Other than that, it's nice to see one of the nine assets for turn 1 install and draw, some kind of money, and any one piece of ice to protect the problem server for whatever the match up is. Turn one almost always goes: install a new server to draw, play a money operation/click for a bit, install ice over HQ or R&D. Very frequently you can sneak out a turn 2 Melange Mining Corp. for a huge economic advantage because people will expect it to be the naked Jackson Howard or Marked Accounts (or some card like PAD Campaign that's not even in the deck).

Getting the Kill
The rest of the game is just a matter of agenda management and getting money. Use Jacksons to control exactly where your agendas are and to draw into your important operations. Once you have Midseason Replacements, you just need to make sure you can get the Runner to steal something. Leaving an NAPD in Archives until they want it, installing one naked in a remote server and slow-rolling it, or keeping a Project Beale in hand are all great ways to make this happen. Leaving R&D just porous enough against the right Runner works well too (use Pop-up Window and Data Raven for this).

The most ideal situation responsible for a significant number of wins with this deck is having Midseason and meat damage in hand then playing install-advance-advance on Breaking News. 90% of the time it doesn't even need to be protected by ice, although Data Raven definitely works really well here. This is the ultimate lose-lose situation for the Runner. If they run and steal Breaking News you get to Midseason them for the kill, and if they leave it on the table you get to score it for the kill. Conveniently, two tags is how many you need for Traffic Accident.

Once you've landed the Midseason, the game just becomes a race; can the Runner steal enough agendas to win before you put them through the meat grinder? Probably not. An unprotected Runner can be killed with 2x Scorched Earth, 1 each of Scorched Earth and Traffic Accident, or 3x Traffic Accident, so getting any one of those combinations is pretty easy. You also have SO MUCH meat damage. Don't be afraid to play Scorched Earth or Traffic Accident just for value. It will slow the Runner down, and you can always get them back with Jackson and Reclamation Order (it makes the Runner really sad when your turn is Sweeps Week and Reclamation Order for two or three Scorched Earths).

Counterplay
The two big matchups I always worry about in deck building are Account Siphon and Keyhole, especially since Eater became a thing. This deck is naturally resistant to Account Siphon- there's enough economy in here to just power through however many Siphons the Runner wants to play, Data Raven on HQ makes Siphon a much more dangerous play, and the main win-con punishes tags. This deck also has a good amount of natural Eater hate. Wraparound taxes Eater really heavily until Corroder hits the table, Universal Connectivity Fee will knock out the Runner's funds, there's plenty of recursion, and Information Overload just outright counters Eater. Once you've landed the Midseason, Information Overload has too many subs for the Runner to deal with and they just start losing their rig until they can't run anymore.

I know what some of you are thinking. What about meat damage protection? Don't Plascrete Carapace and I've Had Worse just turn the deck off? And the answer is a solid nope. For one, this deck moves so fast that most Runners don't have time to get any protection up and running unless they play Plascrete on turn 1 just in case. Even against Runners who do eventually get some protection online, this deck has ALL THE MEAT DAMAGE. Just burn through their Plascretes and then Reclamation Order the Scorched Earths. Or play all three Scorched Earths in one turn. Traffic Accident is a great finisher here as well; burn through the Plascretes with the big damage, then clean up next turn with Traffic Accident. If you suspect I've Had Worse, shoot with Traffic Accident first to have less chance of hitting the I've Had Worse, then kill with Scorched Earth.

Future Considerations
I've thought about switching to NBN: Making News, but those last two influence points are really crucial and the 2 don't really help much until it the game winning play, so they would be sort of wasted. There's also something to be said about the Runner needing to plan for any kind of NEH match up. If the Runner plays really fast to try and race out the Astrotrain, then that only helps you kill them faster.

There are three problem card slots that I don't know what to do with.
- Reclamation Order feels really important for recurring all the meat damage.... but it's hardly ever necessary. This deck plays so fast that you usually don't need to go get the Scorched Earths back. It has won me exactly one game (in testing), and been hand clog most of the rest of the time.
- Universal Connectivity Fee. I seriously don't know what to do with the last two slots of this deck. I've tried Dracō, Psychographics, and Tollbooth, but none of them ever did anything for the deck. UCF is the latest audition, but it has yet to put in much work either.

tl;dr
This deck is a really fun, fast, low-energy way to play for the kill. Pair with a slow or thought-intensive Runner; you will usually have 3/4 of the round left to play the other side.

49 comments
8 Mar 2015 podoboyz99

Congradulations on your store champ win! This deck is very interesting, and I'm glad we can see some anti traditional decks at the top. My personal idea for those extra slots would be the following:

-Kitsune instead of Reclamation Order because the Jackson's will probobly be enough to recur Scorched Earth and draw back up to get your damage. Kitsune could help you out with trying to give them an NAPD Contract to steal when you have the kill in hand

-Troll instead of the UCF because it just wastes the runners time until you have the kill in hand, and at that point you just stop boosting the trace. This pick is a bit iffy because it would be a lot better in Making News, but I think that Troll is a great card in kill decks.

One more thing, I know you talked about Keyhole, but in the tournement, how did your deck face off agenst MaxX/Valencia/Eddy Kim decks that would Wonton Destruction/Itenerant Protesters the Midseasons out of your HQ/R&D over and over agian, even if you are reacurring with Jackson? Once agian congradulations.

9 Mar 2015 TheTick

Something to keep in mind about Kitsune. If you make them encounter an NAPD contract, they can decline to pay the extra cost of 4 credits to avoid stealing it.

9 Mar 2015 TonyStellato

How do you score the first astro, assuming you are dropping all plans for a flatline? With no SanSan, Biotic, or ToL, it looks like this deck really only has the one win condition. Would be interested to hear more

9 Mar 2015 jerklin

Sneaking out a MMC out on Turn 2 is not very good if you can't protect it. It's basically on par with a beanstalk but with a large click investment. SanSan has got to be better.

9 Mar 2015 darwindeez

I use Private Contracts in this deck over PAD & Melange. It's actually perfect. Money "now" that you don't need to ICE. Don't nobody trash that PC. I do this deck without any giveaway ICE, instead cheap ETRs to support the Breaking News plan.

9 Mar 2015 cspieker

Have you considered a Neural EMP in place of the Reclamation Order. Maybe a bit of an edge case, but for a runner with a Plascrete the correct play is usually to take the meat damage and only use up the Plascrete counters to keep from dying. So if you hit the runner with meat damage to clicks 1/2 and they go down to zero cards to save the counters, you can kill them click 3 with the Neural. Might work. Might be hand clogger.

9 Mar 2015 darwindeez

@cspieker This is next-level thinking! :D But seriously, 6 kill cards is enough. What he needs is a Lotus Field. And some DBS. You'll draw more meat damage soon enough between NEH, Jackson and DBS. Don't need to splash for Reclamation but it's cute.

9 Mar 2015 Kamalisk

I think the deck works because people expect astrobiotics and so run more recklessly than usual. Once we have some counters to FA, and the usual becomes less popular, all the runner needs to do is get more money than you, and that is easily done these days. Now is definitely the time to do tricksy things with NEH though.

9 Mar 2015 lolpaca

Isn't Daily Business Show the obvious choice for those last 2 slots, or did you already try that? It's so ridiculously good for any sort of combo deck...

9 Mar 2015 jakodrako

@podoboyz99 Kitsune is an interesting thought, but it would be a singleton, so I'm not sure how useful it would be, especially because the Runner can just decline to steal NAPD Contract. I will definitely have to give Troll a whirl though! Unfortunately, I haven't played much against Wanton Destruction, so I can't comment too much. I played against one Wanton Destruction online and I don't remember it mattering. My guess though is that it wouldn't be too big of a deal if you ice properly. Data Raven over HQ means they have to save a click for removing the tag, and unless they can break Data Raven, then it doesn't matter if they chuck your hand because you can have the kill as soon as you draw it by winning the trace.

@TonyStellato If you have to win with points, then something has gone horribly wrong. The only time that should be necessary is (A) if the Runner has stolen enough points that Midseason Replacements doesn't matter and you need to end the game as fast as possible or (B) the Runner is scared of running past a Data Raven or Information Overload that you are scoring behind. As I said, every single meat space win has been flatline. A lot of people ask about scoring though, so I'm starting to wonder if the last two slots become SanSan City Grid.

@jerklin All of the games I've played so far have shown that to be untrue. SanSan might be a good addition to the deck, but removing economy to add in something that costs 6 to rez and doesn't help the main win-con seems like a bad idea.

@darwindeez I will have to try out Private Contracts in this deck, seems solid albeit intensive.

@cspieker Leave it to Chuck to throw out the totally off-the-wall suggestion :P That may need play testing, but I'd be worried about finding the one-of.

@Kamalisk Yes, playing to the meta-game and to the tournament format are a big part of being successful at Netrunner. That's why I mentioned this as part of the reason that this deck works best in Near-Earth Hub: Broadcast Center over other NBN identities. If the Runner is just playing the economy game, you can probably sneak out an Astro though, and trying two SanSans in the deck might help with that situation.

@lolpaca I haven't tried it yet, so I can't say for certain whether or not Daily Business Show works in this deck, but I've thought against it so far because DBS just gives the Runner R&D lock, and R&D is the leakiest part of this deck as it is.

9 Mar 2015 lolpaca

How does DBS give R&D lock? Maybe I'm being dumb, but I'd have thought it counters it by letting you draw through it?

9 Mar 2015 jakodrako

@lolpaca Yes it potentially lets you draw past what the Runner has seen (depending on how many cards they've seen and how many DBS you have), but now neither you nor the Runner has seen the new top cards of R&D.

9 Mar 2015 TonyStellato

Alright, played a handful of games with this yesterday. The ability to scorched is strong with this one, but once two plascretes hit the table, I had to rely on the score. The problem is, at this point, the agendas were flooding my hand. I saw no Jackson and when the runner was briefly tagged, i had no meat damage. I mean, that's just card games. I think the deck badly needs SanSan, is what I'm trying to get at. Every other game was a flatline win, though. Its a fun deck. Match-knowledge hurts this deck, but thats not a problem in a tournament (for the most part). I have a variant in mind for when the Valley comes out. Overall, I really liked playing the deck. Its definitely fun. I had to get creative and score and NAPD behind a Data Raven -> UCF server :P

9 Mar 2015 Grimwalker

Since I don't care about scoring out, maybe go to 3x Restructured Datapool, 1x Eden Fragment, 1x Hades Fragment, 2x NAPD Contract and 1x Breaking News?

9 Mar 2015 jakodrako

@Grimwalker I think a 3-pointer version of this deck is definitely worth trying. That gives you enough slots to put in Restructure and maybe Fast Track to go fetch the Breaking News for the winning play. If you're going with 3-point agendas though, Restructured Datapool is just so bad... I'd recommend Utopia Fragment (might actually be really good in this deck for the Breaking News play?) and Executive Retreat for helping with agenda control.

9 Mar 2015 jakodrako

@TonyStellato Yeah I think 2x SanSan City Grid- as much as I hate to say it- would probably just make this deck a little bit more consistent for those 10% of games that you just need to score out in. Pros: you can install it for a draw, the Runner has to waste money to trash it, it might help you win in a small subset of games (either by making Astrotrain an option or by helping you surprise kill with Breaking News in a wider variety of situations). Cons: it costs a lot for something that doesn't push the main win-con forward.

9 Mar 2015 lolpaca

@jakodrako Still not sure I understand why that's a problem - you mean because it encourages them to hit R&D every turn cos they might pop an agenda? I still feel the ability to dig for what you need while shooting unwanted agendas straight to the bottom outweighs that (at least til Showing Off hits the big time :P) But maybe I need to play it to see what you mean.

9 Mar 2015 jakodrako

@lolpaca Yeah, like I said I haven't tested it yet in this particular deck, but it is in my Top Deck RP. In that deck it has been okay for me, but I do often find myself in a situation where the Runner sees no agendas in the top 2 or 3 cards, I draw through most of them, and then next turn the Runner runs R&D again and steals an agenda. I have a feeling that that situation would be really bad for this deck, but I definitely want to try it to find out :)

9 Mar 2015 lolpaca

Hmm, I see what you mean. For the 2 influence, I wonder if Inazuma would give you a bit more mileage out of those Wraparounds (or Data Ravens). Since you've only got Pop-Ups, it'll be a nasty little surprise if they haven't installed a decoder yet.

9 Mar 2015 jakodrako

Oh that's an interesting idea I hadn't considered yet. Maybe Chum could do the trick, especially at 2x for 1 influence each. Chum-up Window is still one of my favorite things ever and Chum Raven is probably better than Inazuma Raven.

9 Mar 2015 lolpaca

Actually scratch that, I missed that they can still just choose to ETR against Data Raven :P

9 Mar 2015 guy.brush

Nice deck.

Some ideas for the last influence/slots:

-Psychic field: You are already playing a shellgame, so why not?

-Whirlpool/Inazuma: Nice on front of data raven and inazuma is taxing, too.

-Cyberdex Virus suite: Situational, but goood. I usually run a singleton of it, but that's just me.

-Shock! : Because why the hell not?

9 Mar 2015 beladee

@lolpaca - naw, Chum still fires if the runner ends the run via Data Raven's encounter condition, so it's still good. All hail chum, I say!

9 Mar 2015 CJFM

@jakodrako Gratz on the win! I've already told you this, but I knew this deck was scary as shit.

Glad to see you took my suggestion and added UCF. :) How was it during the tournament?

9 Mar 2015 jakodrako

@CJFM Yeah, I thought it was a strong possibility. I think UCF enables some interesting shenanigans as it synergizes really well with the other ice. Obviously Data Raven > UCF is great, especially when protecting NAPD Contract, but UCF outside of Pop-up Window is an ETR without a decoder and UCF outside of Information Overload means bye bye rig. I installed it in two games, but they were both over before I rezzed it, so it's hard to say. It needs more testing, especially in longer games.

9 Mar 2015 lolpaca

One more suggestion for the 2 inf - Gyri Labyrinth? Again, playing on the fact they probably won't bother installing a decoder. Might never go off, but on the other hand, just might win games.

10 Mar 2015 jakodrako

The new Old Hollywood spoilers from today's FFG announcement look amazing for this deck.

12 Mar 2015 lolpaca

Got to try this out tonight and it's a beast. My only change was Yagura instead of Reclamation Order, which worked a treat on R&D.

12 Mar 2015 rezwits

This deck is SAD FACE. Freaking can't run and score an Agenda. Why? Cause of, hate to say it, still Broken Midseason Replacements. This deck is a beast, cause even if you Eater/Keyhole with Plascrete and Worse, they just plop down a Jackson and re-shuffle. The difference between an HB deck and an NBN deck is so far apart. And that's just Sad Face too. But I don't want to play HB but talk about unbalanced. I think it's just demoralizing when you can't score an Agenda, cause if you do you are dead. Rookies beware and Pros. All I am looking at is 3 Wanton Destruction :P Good Luck Boys!

14 Mar 2015 lolpaca

Explode-a-palooza > Project Beales? Yespls

14 Mar 2015 hnautsch

Took this to a casual tournament today, went 3-0 against Kate, Leela and CT. No game took longer than 15 minutes. Guess my friends were expecting my usual FA NEH and were caught completely by surprise.

15 Mar 2015 lolpaca

Took this to a store championship today with a couple of minor changes (-1 Reclamation Order, -1 Universal Connectivity Fee, +1 Yagura, +1 Daily Business Show).

Went 4-1 in my corp games, and the only loss was to a really dumb mistake on my part - Midseasonsed for 1 tag and forgot that Traffic Accident needed 2. Honestly, it's pretty hard to lose with this deck.

16 Mar 2015 BinarySecond

Is Taurus not a good card to include in that last slot?

16 Mar 2015 GammaCodeX

I was against this deck one or two days ago on jinteki. I expected scorch when I saw a raven, but I was not ready for traffic accident. My plascrete barely kept me alive long enough to steal 8 points. (my opponent had TA and scorch in hand when the last aganda was stolen)

This is my kind of corp deck, I might just copy it tinker, and bring a version to the next nearby SC. Thanks for the list!

16 Mar 2015 tonybluehose

What I like about this NEH deck is it's a bit forward thinking too. "Oh, Hi Clot! Feel free to stay a while!"

Thematically, I always have to chuckle when the defacto News Agency decides to blow people up so they can make the news. Slow news day? Naw, something is gonna happen today.

16 Mar 2015 lolpaca

@tonybluehose I really hope NBN gets a card called 'Nightcrawler' at some point :)

16 Mar 2015 evilgaz

Great decklist. I'm going to try a Making News version, for I abhor the deformed monstrosity that is NEH,

Have you tried some Troll in there for Ice? They're quite good for taxing clicks off the runner make a run third click into a run last click if they're not careful.

17 Mar 2015 AKirkland

I have a deck planned for Harpsichord Studios that looks quite similar to this, and I think it'll do very well out of that ID. Explode-A-Palooza will be amazing for triggering Midseasons, and the ID not only helps prevent catastrophic accesses but will potentially allow you to trigger multiple "on access" effects of TGTBT and Explode, as will Red Herrings. Fun times.

17 Mar 2015 Mechanoise

First off, congratulations on your win! Read you deck description, it's interesting and unique in its own way, and I had a similar problem with not being too sure what to add as the last few ICE. One card that helped me a lot was Snoop; getting an idea as to what was in the runner's hand was always invaluable, but its purpose was to gain a counter so as I could remove any 'I've Hard Worse' from their grip before they ran into my disguised Junebug.

17 Mar 2015 umchoyka

Well done, sir. This deck looks delightfully evil.

Question: Would shoehorning in some TGTBT's be worth attempting? I'm guessing they would replace Beales and then you would have to add a single 3-pointer to make the difference (maybe Restructured Datapool in the very rare case where you can score). Alternatively, just add 2 and remove a single Beale.

17 Mar 2015 jakodrako

@BinarySecond Taurus is certainly worth testing! A couple thoughts though: it's not overly necessary with all the meat damage this deck can dish out, it would be a one-of so finding it would be tough, and it's pretty expensive. If you try it out, let me know how it goes.

@evilgaz Troll has been suggested further up the thread, I definitely want to give it a shot.

@Mechanoise Snoop would definitely be useful for getting rid of I've Had Worse, but I haven't run into any trouble killing through IHW. I'd be worried about spending too much money, which has been a problem in testing the deck with SanSan City Grid.

@umchoyka I would love to get some TGTBT in this deck! It's one of my favorite cards in the game. Just gotta find the deck slots, and conveniently there are two slots open :p

18 Mar 2015 futureguy

Hi all, pretty new player here. Regarding Midseason, if you cannot kill on that turn, do you simply flood the runner with as many tags as possible?

18 Mar 2015 jakodrako

@futureguy Usually if I don't have the kill, then I play Midseason Replacements to make a good number of tags stick so that I have time to draw into the combo. You don't want to spend too much of your money or you won't be able to kill once you do draw the cards and/or you won't be able to rez ice either (once you've landed the Midseason, you still need to be able to rez Information Overload as a really important piece of ice). I usually shoot for Runner + Runner + 4-6. That's often enough to force the Runner to just take all the tags because it seems so daunting. If the Runner makes the correct decision and spends to get as few tags as possible, then they lose all their credits and have to spend a lot of time and resources to get tagless again. Four tags is a whole turn of removing tags, but it also costs 8 to do so.

18 Mar 2015 CJFM

@futureguy you'd be surprised how infrequently runners will clear tags when they've got more than 4.

20 Mar 2015 wily-odysseus

I took a modified version of this to 2nd place at The Uncommons tournament last night. It went 3-1 in 4 rounds of swiss. Never actually stuck a Midseason, but I did kill twice and ride the Astrotrain to freedom once. I swapped -1 Information Overload and -1 Reclamation Order for +1 Archer and +1 Targeted Marketing, both of which proved useful at least once. Really fun deck.

21 Mar 2015 Salindurthas

Why Marked Accounts over Pad Campaign?

In a vacuum Pad is better, right? So what makes Marked Accounts the right choice here?

21 Mar 2015 jakodrako

@Salindurthas You answered your own question.

In a vacuum Pad is better[...]

I tend not to evaluate cards "in a vacuum". Most of those types of analyses lead to inaccurate and/or reductive card evaluations. I prefer Marked Accounts here because A) it's costs are 0/5 to Pad's 2/4, so it pays off immediately the first time you use it and it costs more for the Runner to trash (important for the Midseasons/Draven traces), and B) it's a dump, which is useful mid to late game.

27 Mar 2015 greytemplar

I've modified this slightly, and been practicing with the deck. -1 Jackson Howard, -1 Melange Mining Corp, -1 Midseasons Replacements, -1 Traffic Accident, +2 SanSan City Grid, +2 Big Brother.

I was having issues at first playing the deck landing a large number of tags with certain runners generating big econ, which prompted the replacements. I find that with the SanSan, if I can't land large tags, I can score out quickly. With a SanSan, and a quick install > Score of Breaking News, I"m able to land more tags with Big Brother. Or if they have only the 1 tag, I big brother into a Scorched + Traffic.

I've noticed that this hybrid of Meat + FA has kept opponents second guessing themselves unsure if I"m going for a Flatline or Agenda victory. I have to say I've enjoyed this hybrid tremendously.

30 Mar 2015 sruman

Took this to a Store Championship today (Toronto) because I thought it would be different that Fastro. It is certainly different from Fastro but ironically not than different from many of the NEH's there that day -- 3 Butcher Shop variants I saw. I ended up going 3-2 on the day with it, but really glad I swapped in 2 san-sans as in 2 of the wins I had to score out because the runner had econ to just money up and steal without mid-seasons reprisal. On the runner side, I beat Butcher Shop decks twice with pre-paid Kate by basically doing that, -- money-money, money, then big digs and legworks when I had econ advantage. Still a creative deck with surprise power but if you're going to play you really need to disguise it as "normal" NEH for as long as possible. Congrats to OP on popularity of deck though, seems to caused a meta-ripple all by himself.