Angel of the Inca Cross - Oxford Store Champ Winner

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Vapo 1228

Angel of the Inca Cross 1.3.1 - Angel is the Datafold

Winner of the Oxford Store Championship (24 players) unchanged from the previous week's runner up position in Stourbridge (14 players).

Thanks to Tyrellian for the original Noise based Can o' Whupass Hivemind Chakana combo build which inspired the core of this build - go look it up wherever it's sitting near the top of the hall of fame for lots of relevant info.

If you've somehow missed the Noise version, the basic plan is to get out 2 Virus Breeding Grounds (VBG), a Hivemind hosted on Progenitor and a Djinn to fetch and host multiple Chakanas. Using VBGs to refuel Hivemind you can recover to fully charged Chakanas in 2 clicks following a purge, so the corp can never score an agenda without leaving it on the table advanced for at least 1 turn.

And what happens then? Blackmail happens then. Not having to worry about dealing with ice unless something goes wrong is a frankly ridiculous benefit when the corp can't fast advance. If you get fully set up before the corp has scored out they have very few outs at this point: Caprice, advanceable traps and ways to self rez ice are about their only options. If they haven't tried to score out or Jackson for a few turns, a Nerve Agent run powered up by Hivemind will often finish them off, and if you still need to find some points you can Medium dig with the best of them,

On influence: Chakanas: well, duh. SMC and Planned Assault are just to increase consistency in finding Progen/Djinn and Blackmail Clone Chips allow you to recur from Inject mishaps without wasting Blackmail recursion, and they make your Plan B of actually dealing with ice vastly better since you'll often have strength 5+ instant parasites.

Specific matchups:

Astrobiotics/AstroToL (wtf is that version supposed to be called?) is a surprisingly good pairing, it's tough to rush out 4 agendas in the face of blackmail before the combo hits and they're generally lacking any answer to it once it does. There will always be the odd game where they biotic a turn 2 astro and score out before you've seen half your combo but those games would probably be lost by any other runner too. 3 biotic/ToL versions are obviously stronger against you than 2 biotic/ToL, but otherwise the various flavours (grail, traditional, space ice, etc) might as well be identical.

HBFA isn't much different, just be prepared to need Darwin if they manage to fire an ABT and luck into an Architect or Lotus Field. Your sole parasite should take care of anything else that turns up.

Blue Sun varies considerably but is always helped by them needing to install + advance at least some of their agendas without chakanas so you can focus on getting Nerve Agent and Medium set up as soon as Hivemind is out. If you know or suspect it's trying to kill you and can't keep up with their money (if you're careful, this should only happen if they OAI something and you don't have d4v1d handy) then you have to make sure your first run is on HQ with Nerve Agent and Imp to take out one of the key cards. If Boot Camp turns up early and you can't deal with it, you have to go to your fallback Plan B of permanent Str4+ Darwin, D4v1d and instant giant parasites. It's pretty solid and they run out of money very quickly once you make them actually rez stuff.

RP is the toughest regular matchup, I won't deny I still have a lot of work to do in working this one out. Caprice makes blackmail runs on remote a frustrating exercise and combined with the need to run centrals first I think this is often a game to get Darwin out much earlier than you normally would. I've had some success pressuring R&D strongly enough to force the caprice there instead but you need a bit of luck to see enough econ and the right pieces before they can score out. It may be worth totally abandoning the blackmail plan and playing parasite recursion instead (using deja vus/SOT for clone chips rather than the parasite direct since you only have 1)

One currently less common deck to watch out for - NBN midseasons. You simply cannot operate tagged, even if you didn't need the combo vs NBN your entire econ is resource based. Get money and/or do the same nerve agent/imp plan as for blue sun, and hope they can't spew out Astros you can't steal before this.

What do you do about bad pub removal? Who cares, in all my testing and tournament play with this deck it has never happened. And if it does, see the Blue Sun/RP sections.

Surprise MVP: Data Folding. That card made this deck what it is today. Previous versions were endlessly short of money and I'm extremely grateful to Xenasis on for suggesting it after he'd seen me playing everything on Progenitors and Djinns. If you're careful, and occasionally install a 2nd Djinn, they should never turn off.

22 Mar 2015 Heartthrob

Awesome build, I so glad there's a top-tier Valencia out there now. How's the PE matchup been? Nerve agent and Medium 5-card digs are not good in that matchup, neither are Mushin traps. Did you deal with any PE in those SCs?

22 Mar 2015 Vapo

@HeartthrobI've only had to face one in an SC, the combination of criminals splashing for feedback filter and Keyhole being popular seem to have largely removed PE from the meta.

I've Had Worse was the key card in the one game I did have, save them in hand and as soon as you have two the chance of anything fatal happpening on a big dig is extremely slim and you can go to town.

23 Mar 2015 Laxen

Heh, Chakana and Blackmail. Clever :)

23 Mar 2015 tmoiynmwg

Could you comment on how you use Incubator? When is it important enough to search for?

Very tight list; I love the deck!

23 Mar 2015 darwindeez

This deck is fuckin' terrifying. It's a menace. Does Power Shutdown do anything to it?

23 Mar 2015 Vapo

@tmoiynmwgIf Djinn is the only combo piece you've got early game and you can spare the money it's often worth getting out incubator to start pressuring the corp, but once you're getting everything up and running you usually have much more important things to find. I generally only install it late game if it comes up naturally. Notable exception: In the Oxford SC final I was running against a Blue Sun kill deck with Research Stations. I found the Incubator early but if I hadn't I would have had to fetch it to allow a Nerve Agent run to see his whole 9 card hand without having to wait too long following a purge.

@darwindeez Power Shutdown can slow you down a bit, but you have an awful lot of recursion and you always want to install any extra Progenitors you find so it won't always even hit Hivemind. Keeping the combo up constantly isn't that big a deal against Weyland, it's more dangerous out of faction or in combination with stuff like Boot Camp.

24 Mar 2015 anyothername

I've been trying to put together a Valencia deck and REALLY love what you're doing here. How essential do you find Planned Assault when you play? Would you consider putting Doppelgänger in its place, in order to make RP easier to manage and R&D/HQ runs with Medium/Nerve Agent that much more threatening?

24 Mar 2015 Vapo

@anyothername You probably end up digging for a blackmail (or appropriate recursion) at one point or other in about half your games, and having the extra copy is handy when you do. It's probably not essential and alternative uses of the influence are worth looking at, but I don't think there's enough value in Doppelganger. It would be handy for RP but a one-of in 50 cards doesn't have great odds of showing up and in most other matchups you only ever run with Blackmail so it's a dead draw. In terms of RP hate I'd probably look at Deus X first of all, it's great for facechecking vs RP and/or saving you money over Darwin vs Komainu, while also having a lot of value in other Jinteki matchups and occasionally elsewhere. Drive By is another thing to consider when it comes out, but again will be difficult to find when you need.

25 Mar 2015 ttsgosadow

Love the idea of this deck! Do games tend to drag along, or can you finish them with any speed?

25 Mar 2015 Vapo

@ttsgosadow It's surprisingly speedy! While games certainly drag on in total number of turns, with no maths to do regarding whether you can afford to run (what does this run cost? Blackmail costs 1. What about the next one? Blackmail still costs 1. Oh no I need to Deja Vu the Blackmail, this one costs a whole 3 creds!) or any pausing and deciding how to handle newly rezzed ice your turns go much faster than most runners.

Even if you do need to handle some ice, your only options are Darwin, D4v1d and Parasite so you generally have them set up before you start to run and it's pretty obvious which is the appropriate answer to most situations.

Between 2 SCs with this version (including double elim top cuts) and another with a previous version I've only gone to time once, and that had much more to do with a frankly ridiculous 55 minute MaxX Vs NEH game which ate up virtually the whole round!

26 Mar 2015 Heartthrob

This deck is pretty baller. I did a 9-card medium dig against an Argus running Snare!s, DRT and Scorch and still pulled off the win thanks to IHW and plascrete. Hit double Snare! on the run, but no problem. I think this deck can handle the net/meat decks nicely.

26 Mar 2015 Vapo

@Heartthrob Thanks, glad you're enjoying it! I'd be interested to know what you dropped for Plascrete, it's certainly worth considering in a Weyland heavy meta. If High Risk Investment didn't exist I don't think it'd be worth the slot since you can usually out-econ Blue Sun before they've scored 2 agendas by taking 4 every turn, but it's tough to ramp up quickly enough to let you steal the first agenda that goes down and survive, and if they score a HRI the econ plan becomes untenable and you're back to needing Imp to kill combo pieces unless you're packing armour.

30 Mar 2015 zerumi

@Vapo this thing is faster than it looks. How do you respond to decks that drop the bad pub?

30 Mar 2015 zerumi

@Vapo oh nvm. I'm blind and didn't read. Ignore previous comment. (how do you delete on this site...)

6 Apr 2016 CF

This deck's so much fun! Thanks! Played it last night for the first time and won. Any thoughts on how to make it MWL legal? Just to try it i just took out the SMC for another daily casts, but that's not a long term solution - really struggled finding a Djinn to get everything set up...