Spinal Tap MaxX: Games of Berkeley Tournament Winner (5-0)

poorhaus 412

Yeah, it wasn't a store championship, but this deck still dominated. The core thesis of this deck is that Eater manufactures successful runs from money and the rest of your cards either give you nasty successful run effects or give you money. Simple and focused. You've heard about Keyhole Eater MaxX but this one makes a few key changes:

  • Spinal Modem is MVP. This was MaxX's console, we just didn't know it at first. Don't install if you suspect Manhunt or ChiLo or something stupid. Otherwise it's 2 free creds per turn plus an extra femme or knight on the board. Eater breaks all and Spinal makes double sure of it. RAWK
  • Dirty Laundry is essential. You want burst early and Keyhole or Eater in your opening hand. Dirty Laundry is another 3 cards in your deck that make this possible. So much better than Liberated Accounts. With Spinal you can even make it thru cheap ice and still get max credits back.
  • Utopia Shard -dirty laundry HQ for cheap with Eater and drop this bad boy for a one-click Wanton Destruction. if you have 5 points in agendas mid game, pop Utopia then Hades instantly and you've got a decent shot of winning in a single paid ability window.

Sometimes I add in a Scrubbed to try to avoid Manhunt, which is Spinal Modem's worst enemy. This deck has so much draw I'd even consider adding it as a 48th card. Otherwise it would likely replace a silverware. You may prefer Vigil to the lot of them. I find it a waste of space.

Decks this took down:

  • two Death From Above Weylands, one Blue Sun, one core (including Keyholeing a Goverment Takeover turn one. It was on click four and they got a Jackson out but still. Achievement Unlocked),
  • a HB ETF fast advance with Archers,
  • a Industrial Genomics Untrashable (won this one last turn, after time was called with a Hades Shard for 9+ points, avoiding death by Shock), and
  • an NBN fast advance/Meat Damage thingy (keyholed 1-2 Jacksons, all three astroscripts plus an NAPD by turn 7-10 or so).

The kill-you decks do not work when you trash their econ and combo pieces. Everyone else becomes too poor to do anything and then you Keyhole out the points and Hades Shard. That card won me 3 of 5 games, 2 from paying 7 and insta-using it, the other with it on the table.

Protip: Against kill-you decks, especially Blue Sun,build up lots of creds, don't break ETRs the first time you see them if you can avoid it, and run 3-4 clicks when you do run for the first time. Money + Eater = safe runs that make the corp poor every time. A poor blue sun that needs ice to stay put means a less threatening Blue Sun.

Silverware is overrated in MaxX- I added two in and went over 45 cards only as a partial meta call vs big ICE decks. Still kinda on the fence, because this deck will dominate most games from the start. When it doesn't dominate, I'm not convinced silverware will really prevent the loss. Manage the corp's cash with Keyhole and Siphon and you'll rarely need to worry about big ice. Femme does wonders and is easier to access. Spooned is for Tollbooth (or maybe Pop up in some cases), Knifed is for big Weyland Barriers, Eli in fast advance, or the odd Wotan. Knight and Femme can take down most sentries without too much problem.


  • if you need to get thru an Archer for a game-winning Access, a Suicidal Knight + 2c for the ETR gets the job done.
  • [almost] Always Dayjob turn one if you can.
  • Retrieval run Femme is your friend
  • There usually comes a point 5-7 turns in when you need to back off and recharge your creds. Do it. Dare the corp to make a move- they'll usually over-extend. You'll have the cash to Eater through anything they rez that can hurt you. Or if it's ETR let it fire and run elsewhere. They'll be poor in one turn.
  • Make sure you've burned as many events and installed as much as you can when you Levy (esp Spinal Modem! Key to winning longer games)
  • Count your Dejas and SOTs. You'll usually get at least one in hand at some point. Be careful about using them if Levy's in the trash or hasn't shown yet.
  • Toss Levy if you have recursion in hand or SOT on the board. You may win before needing it.
  • Inject is an econ card. If you're not seeing event econ, play it. It will usually grab you at least one econ event, esp if you haven't seen many. IHW works like this too against non kill you decks. Early game if you have econ but no eater/keyhole you may want to natural draw instead so you can keep your programs.


  • Crisium sucks and is a Jackson-level Keyhole target. You'll need femme and kights to get in there and trash it. Take net damage or spend clicks, whatever you need to do. It's got to go. You may be able to keep the corp too poor to rez it for a while- that works too.
  • Still refining my NEH gameplan. Keyhole first, then Siphon then Wanton. They will get Jacksons on the table- accept it and move on with more trashing than is usually advisable.
  • Blue Sun hates on Femme and Knight. See above advice about getting rich, running a lot in one turn, and not breaking ETRs at first.

Make sure to be very nice when you play this deck because otherwise you will have no friends. Have fun!

p.s. I corped RP (3-1-1 I think) and one game was against that new Au Revoir deck. Wow. With Rachel Beckman out it's "click for 12 credits, run R&D with 2 R&D interfaces out." I had 7 ice on R&D (two pups, two Elis, a Komainu, Tollbooth, Susanoo) and still couldn't pull out the win. Kudos to the deck designer for a neat deck and my opponent Greg for some masterful piloting.

9 Mar 2015 SuperHotFire

I was the IG deck. I went 4-1 in the tourney, only loss was against this maxx. I will confirm the ferocity if this deck. It doesn't waste anytime and pressures everywhere equally which proves very difficult to manage. Suggestions to counter: 1crisium-no need to explain. 2 asset econ behind cheap ice - renders eater null and forces runner to use expensive breakers then pay trash cost.3netdamage-not as a kill, but in hopes to snipe levy and recursion. 4recurssion-gotta have multiple methods to ensure jhows dont get keyholed. Final note-This deck is very well built but the real credit goes to how well its piloted.

9 Mar 2015 poorhaus

@Franks as a fellow Jinteki player I'm super excited about IG's potential. Do you have that list posted?

Forcing an impossible choice of R&D or HQ for the Crisium is what it's all about! :) Thx for two great games.

9 Mar 2015 JustJD

I love this kind of deck with MaxX but they're unplayable. A random chronos project scored mid game and you're fcked.

9 Mar 2015 SuperHotFire

Here's the deck I was running, I have since made a change to -1cyberdex -1lotus field; +1 wall of thornes +1interns.

9 Mar 2015 SuperHotFire

netrunnerdb.com oops forgot to link.

9 Mar 2015 poorhaus

@JustJD Chronos Project is a hard counter to any Levy AR Lab Access build the way Chakana Hivemind is to Fast Advance.

Existence of hard counter ≠ unplayable

One game I ran into a Psychic Field and lost my hand with an empty stack. Sh*t happens. MaxX attacks anyways.

So in summary the deck gets consistent competitiveness for a few rare and spectacular fails. If you don't like the trade, MaxX is not your runner

@Franks awesome will check it out. That Interns is going to do serious work for you.

10 Mar 2015 Myriad

Is a corroder a worthy x1 just to negate wraparound, which many have hailed as one of the answers to Eater/Keyhole or would you just lean on Knight as the solution?

Also do you find yourself missing the extra clicks from Amped Up and or Joshua? I know I have gotten some massive stupid turns out with them in my MaxX build. Not saying the brain or the tag is worth the hassle, but it can be really fun to get a whole extra turn worth of keyholing or those last few extra cards out of a successful wanton.

Just asking because my own store champs is coming up and I am really debating those cards includes. Otherwise our lists are markedly similar.

10 Mar 2015 poorhaus

@Myriad I respect those with enough guts to run spinal modem and Amped. I am not one. I played a Build with Box-E and Amped and didn't like its inconsistcy and slow setup.

Josh is a consideration but feels like a Win More card. This deck is plenty fast with just 4 clicks. My $.02. For a tournament, simplicity is key so I'd cut those cards. Singularity is a good example of what to include besides the core engine: problem solvers that can win you games. Amped and Josh just don't seem to meet that criterion for me.

10 Mar 2015 Myriad

I'll make those changes for my last round of testing. I often live on the razors edge with MaxX and Amped Up, waiting until I can get more than four clicks in a row worth of Keyholing or until I have a clear shot at hitting 4 cards out of HQ with a wanton before I bother to "stim up".

Its remarkable how often the wanton gamble actually works out.

Perhaps its just because I have not seen many trolls in my area, or manhunts but Amped Up is a card I will probably keep in my builds and just ditch Josh. I agree, he is a win-more card, which is slightly less of a problem in Netrunner than most TcGs.

Great advice. Grats on the win. Hope I can make the five hour journey down to Games of Berkeley to see the meta. The North Coast meta is largely untapped for me beyond Arcata/Eureka.

10 Mar 2015 poorhaus

@Myriad Awesome. I bet that'll work just fine. Personally I'm not a fan of brain damage if I can avoid it.

There's a store champ in SF at Versus Games on Saturday- come check it out if you can.

10 Mar 2015 Myriad

My own store champs are that Saturday, otherwise I would definitely be there.

I will just have to settle for Regionals, wherever they are in the bay area.

12 Mar 2015 turkishvancat

These were some fantastic games. Though as I recall, you did manage to pull out the win against my Au Revoir deck in the end. Even though I accessed all three of your Future Perfect during a single R&D run, I lost every single psi game, which seemed to be a theme throughout the whole match. Fantastic games, even the one we only had 7 minutes to play.

12 Mar 2015 poorhaus

@turkishvancat yeah I realized after I wrote this that I couldn't actually remember the outcome of the RP / Au Revoir game. All I remembered is 6 pts vs 6, one last do or die turn haha. And then the picture of the 7 deep R&D ICE. Thx for prolly my favorite games of the tournament.

14 Mar 2015 unitled

Oh man, I tried this tonight, utterly brutal. I gave my friend the worst game of his netrunner career, managed to siphon him five times, forked, knifed and spooned ice on all three centrals, and generally made life miserable.

It was beautiful.

So fast, and so harsh. So tricky for the corp to play against. And has an amazing seat-of-your-pants feel to it that makes it great fun.

15 Mar 2015 nomadic

I think I was the NBN FA, but I swear there was an amped up involved in my demise so perhaps not. Definitely adding spinal modem and dirty laundry into my Maxx deck.

15 Mar 2015 poorhaus

Glad the deck is working for everyone. For some reason I could not get it to work for me at tonight's store championship. There was a lot of Weyland Crisium and I mis-played games against NBN and Cerebral Imaging Scorched decks and got flatlined. Sorry to report I went 0-5 with MaxX while going 5-0 with RP (back to basics: a list mostly unchanged from my 7th place regionals showing last year). All this in the interest of full disclosure.

I'd been practicing a decent amount and it was going very well leading into the tournament, with a very high win rate. Either way, more practice needed on my end. I definitely was expecting the deck to be more consistent than it was tonight. Let's hope it was just me playing poorly! I'm going to keep with it- with a big heap and recursion in hand there are so many possibilities I know I missed some good plays from inexperience.

In other news, I've been toying with Andy and Silhouette Keyhole/Eater/Crescentus decks. Andy in a search for consistency ( with Earthrise draw) and Silhouette because i think she can be Tier 1 and i want to help discover the list that makes it so. Very similar play style but with a blue flavored tool box. Someone mentioned that Feint is a perfect way to trash a rezzed Crisium on HQ. Can post that list as well if anyone's interested.

6 Apr 2015 poorhaus

Update on this list for anyone who's interested: 2x Imp and the subsiding of extreme anti-MaxX deck tech had fixed the problems I ran into at the SC. Took out a Knight and a cutlery for the space, but adjust to taste. Also this conveniently helps with asset spam NEH Gagarin or Industrial Genomics.

When in doubt, include more powerful cards.

1 May 2015 unitled

I thought Hacktivist Meeting might be a good include for this deck... Trashing from HQ is powerful, especially random trashing. I've dropped my 2 Josh B to include it, will give it some testing!

17 May 2015 poorhaus

Thought you'd like the update: v3 of this deck just took down a 12 person GNK tournament at Gamer's Armory in Cary NC.

The 'semi-reg' edition has been very effective: one of each type of breaker and one of each type of cutlery. With SOT and Retrieval Run this gives you the ability to threaten most remotes, and/or eat rezzed ice off of R&D which forces the corp to change how they play. Much more resilient to Crisium.

I'm worried about Blacklist but haven't really played against it yet. Just one rezzed behind remote ice and my cutlery and breakers already in the heap could shut things down with no way to access. If it becomes prevalent I'll have to put Singularity back in and hope it ends up in my grip.

So anyways just a note to the MaxX faithful that the evolved version of this list is doing work and took me to 2nd and 1st in our last two GNK tournaments. The real challenge will be Southern Megacity and our upcoming Regionals so stay tuned.