'Roid Rage 1st Place Petrie's Family Games SC

TheRyanBurke 1899

This Foundry deck was originally an attempt at combining the power of The Foundry: Refining the Process, Grail ICE, and The Twins. Where I ended up was far more sinister. I built it in my head on the hour drive down to Petrie's for the 2015 Store Championship. It lost twice in five rounds of swiss and won both games in the championship bracket. Of the five wins, three were flatlines.

In theory, Foundry and Grail ICE are a great combination. Where it falls flat for me is relatively low ICE strength on all the Grails and consumption of 9/15 influence. Twins is intriguing because the corp can make use of superfluous Grail ICE in hand to force some truly costly encounters on the runner. For me, the only interesting property of Grail ICE and Twins is in Merlin.

Let's look at Merlin and Foundry by itself. Rezzing a single Merlin in Foundry guarantees a second one in hand for the encounter. That's 4 net damage if the runner can't break a 4-strength code gate. Runners typically feel safe checking ICE with a Killer in play. This alone can snag a few flatlines.

Already had the second Merlin in hand? Now you're looking at 6 net damage as a potential surprise for the runner. How often are YOU running with six cards in hand?

Factor in The Twins. With just a single Merlin and The Twins behind it, the encounter looks like:

  1. Rez Merlin and Twins
  2. Foundry fetch 2nd Merlin
  3. Reveal Merlin for 2x 2 net damage subroutines
  4. Trash Merlin to Twins
  5. Encounter another Merlin with 2x 2 net damage subroutines

A runner unprepared to break Merlin is now suffering 8 net damage for rezzing an ICE and an upgrade for 8c. In the most lethal configuration (second Merlin already in HQ), you can push 22 net damage on the runner. Pretty rad.

Once I ditched the other Grail ICE, I started thinking about how else Twins is applicable. How about Bioroids like Janus 1.0 and the 2.0's? Encountering those twice without a break can drain all of a runner's credits, cripple them, and even flatline. How to rez those costly ICE? Hey, there are three cards that cheat them into play in faction, Priority Requisition, and Oversight AI we can splash from Weyland. That seems like plenty of options...

I've only played the deck seven times, so I'm not wholly aware of its weaknesses. Eater is pretty bad as it only takes a handful of credits to break ICE rezzed with OAI and BER. Big click turns fueled by Beckman, Amped Up, Stim Dealer, Joshua B, and All Nighter can hurt, too, but there is generally a trade off. It doesn't care too much about Siphon and Shutdown, as we tend not to pay the exorbitant costs to rez this stuff in the first place.

General strategy was to put Merlin/Twins on HQ, cheat out Janus & Heimdall 2.0 over R&D and a remote. Drop Eves naked to waste runner creds, Adonis in the remote to make bank or punish with brain damage. Eventually there is so much pain in front of a remote that running is infeasible and it is scary how fast you can get there.

Future versions will experiment with Ash replacing Awakening Center and Wotan replacing Ichi 2.0.

30 comments
31 Mar 2015 solendor

I know that Stealth is going to be one of your biggest weaknesses ;) But beyond that, it's a very solid deck that I would not want to face with a different rig.

31 Mar 2015 chrispedersen

With this deck, try levy and howler. When they encounter howler you can drop another howler, to force them to encounter again. This allows you to put 2 eli, victor/eli, marcus eli etc. Essentially trading a card in hand for a click. Pretty good deal.

Successful demonstration will almost always be playable in these circumstances.

Whatever ice you have in hand, you can drop a Levy, drop the ice, and levy the second ice to hand immediately. Its the fastest way to setup the flatline - then run agendas behind it.

31 Mar 2015 divadus

I figure this deck is predicated on Atman not being a significant part of the current meta (which it isn't presently, at least in mine). I really do think the deck is interesting, but just can't help but note that an Atman at 4 screws over almost half your ice.

Anyhow, look forward to testing it out, before attempting to analyze it further. Congrats on the win!

31 Mar 2015 dodgepong

FYI, you can't use Twins with Oversight AI or Bioroid Efficiency Research. The ICE gets trashed/unrezzed before the ICE gets "passed", so the Twins' triggering condition doesn't fire.

31 Mar 2015 PaxCecilia

@dodgepong that's assuming that they're able to break the piece of ice... which they should if it's rezzed, but there are certainly situations where this might not work. Say Janus is you innermost behind an Eli they click through. They might have a D4v1d to get through your Janus 1.0 and eat one brain damage. If you rez Twins when they encounter Janus, now they have to break them all to derez/trash the ice, or eat 5 brain damage... Ouch.

31 Mar 2015 TheRyanBurke

@divadus AI breakers in general can be problematic. Eater and D4v1d do some real damage, too. The goal with the OAI/BER plays is to rush them in a remote to score an agenda or slow down the runner getting through centrals. There are always trade-offs... otherwise OAI/BER would be overpowered.

@dodgepong yep totally acknowledge that. It's pretty hard to break all the subs on something like Janus, which is what I prefer to use with OAI/BER. I've also been testing with Wotan now, which is rad.

@chrispedersen thanks for the suggestions! I'd like to try a revision with Howler for making use of extra copies in HQ or to recycle the ones I've trashed with Twins.

@solendor yep, stealth rigs are not something I see very often. I'm hoping that they play just slowly enough that I can squeak out my 5/3 early.

31 Mar 2015 dodgepong

Sure thing, just wanted to make sure readers knew that. We had a guy at our last Store Champs who tried to Twins a BER'd Heimdall after the runner broke it...he was not happy with judge's the ruling.

31 Mar 2015 TheRyanBurke

Tournament report: boardgamegeek.com

31 Mar 2015 elderbookwyrm

I'd be tempted to drop the Oversight AI and Lotus Field for 2x Komainu... because that is another The Twins kill card as even if they break it the first time... they then encounter Komainu with twice the subroutines they have in their hand. Forcing them in a situation where even with mimic they either pay a 12-15 credit tax to pass it, ditch their hand and pay 5, or die. In front of any other ICE that deals damage or mystery ICE that could be a huge deterrent or death. Either opening up a scoring opportunity or killing the runner.

31 Mar 2015 elderbookwyrm

Also have you considered Sentinel Defense Program... it would turn every Brain Damage subroutine, into 2 Damage... making even 3 brain damage lethal to a hand of 5. Or 2 brain damage lethal if you score 2 by some chance.

31 Mar 2015 elderbookwyrm

You could also use Inazuma instead of say Komainu, and force the encounter... in which Twins then forces the second encounter of your kill ICE. Not sure if that is at all necessary, but it is food for thought.

31 Mar 2015 chrispedersen

Komainu has one great thing going for it. Its a one rez kill card - where merlin requires all three merlins. Its a pretty strong advantage.

However. Komainu often dies to parasite, reducing its utility. Foundry has significant econ issues. Fun, but it requires significant changes to the deck.

31 Mar 2015 TheRyanBurke

Komainu is heavy influence and requires 2 to be in the deck to make Foundry/Twins work. I think the OAIs are doing more work. I also think that being a Sentry works against the strategy of trying to catch the runner off guard. I like that with Merlin and Janus in the deck, I have two ICE subtypes that can generate the flatline.

Two Merlins is 4 net damage... this is still going to surprise some runners and flatline. One each of Merlin and Twins is plenty fatal.

31 Mar 2015 chrispedersen

If I wanted to include a sentry kill card, I would probably drop a zed behind a rezzed eli. Basically looking for those crim types that go running with a single faerie......

31 Mar 2015 Rhodricc

This deck was BRUTAL to play against. I only played against it once with Valencia, and somehow I pulled off the win. It was a close game though. Watching it play in the top 8, I still have no idea how I didn't slam into a Merlin or Twins trap. Very well played Ryan, and congragulations on the win!

1 Apr 2015 Shift

I've been running a deck very similar to this. I use Howler and Port Anson Grid, which is a bit clumsy but somewhat effective.

How does Awakening Center work with The Twins? I was of the impression that the ICE on AC is not "protecting" the serve, so you cannot trigger The Twins off of the ICE installed there. Is that correct or am I mistaken?

1 Apr 2015 dodgepong

Correct, AC ICE does not trigger Twins. However, it lets you force the runner to encounter giant ICE for really cheap, like OAI and BER.

3 Apr 2015 guy.brush

is awakening center doing it's job?

I'm thinking of cutting them for 2xhowler

3 Apr 2015 Shift

That's what I did. Awakening Center feels less relevant in this deck. Howler is pretty good. However, be careful with Howler. If you rez it and trigger its ability, you've lost the option to use The Foundry's ability on the next card, and you lose Howler. One thing you can do is Rez howler and don't trigger the subroutine that turn. The next time they run that server in a subsequent turn, you trigger howler and install Janus or some other such awesomeness, rezzing it, and fetching another Janus or said awesomeness (if they aren't running on a server with the Twins, this doesn't matter so much).

I stated this above, but to reiterate, consider running a couple Port Anson's with Howler. Otherwise the runner can jack out prior to hitting whatever you install with Howler.

Lastly, Brian-Taping Warehouse from The Valley should be pretty decent in this deck. I plan on running it this Saturday.

3 Apr 2015 TheRyanBurke

@mcpba No, Awakening Center was the first card cut when I went to version 1.1. I included a third Twins after seeing how awesome it was and added a Strongbox of all things. Strongbox is neat because it LOOKS like a Twins in a remote, then they spend all clicks getting through Janus/Wotan/Heimdall ugliness and you can protect your agenda for 3c! Combos well with the ELP, too.

@Shift Agreed that I would try Howler before going back to AC again. Port Anson is very interesting, but it would require cutting an OAI which I'm not thrilled about. I could see BTW replacing the three Eve Campaigns, but this could also backfire against a runner with enough econ and a full breaker suite. I think BTW looks better to me in a Stronger Together deck with the cheaper Bioroids.

3 Apr 2015 chrispedersen

Yeah I've liked strongbox. BTW isn't eligible for Saturday.

4 Apr 2015 cremator

@TheRyanBurke what did you cut for the third twins for influence?

4 Apr 2015 TheRyanBurke

@cremator I cut the Lotus Fields for Quandaries and ACs for 3rd Twins and Jackson. Also trying swapping the Ichis for Wotans and that's been interesting!

5 Apr 2015 guy.brush

but aren't the ichis great for trashing programs and giving brain damage?

Wotan doesn't do anything than stopping the runner and I hate to see a second wotan, I would never put more than one into the deck.

5 Apr 2015 TheRyanBurke

@mcpba They are, but with the pace I've observed this deck operate at, it seems to make sense to maximize click compression instead of looking for program destruction. One Wotan is great, but multiples can be fed into Twins to basically guarantee a scoring window. If someone actually breaks a Wotan I rezzed with OAI/BER, I am happy to rez a second one the same way ;)

9 Apr 2015 tuism

I love the Merlin Grail idea. I've already seen Janus + Twins, but a Code Gate kill combo is just fantastic! :D Will definitely try it out :)

29 Apr 2015 triplenine

Hey @theryanburke! Have you made any additions to this since The Valley and Breaker Bay?

29 Apr 2015 triplenine

thinking of Heinlein Grid specifically but not sure what I would pull in place of it.

29 Apr 2015 TheRyanBurke

@triplenine nope, nothing in SanSan yet strikes my fancy in this style. Heinlein is cool, but you're spot on about deck slots. I think you want Heinlein and Ash together, but now we're getting into a different deck altogether.

29 Apr 2015 triplenine

Has Enhanced Login Protocol been a decent one-off?