[TWA] Argus AGRO

DonutTaganes 2504

Argus Security deck in the style of the "Cambridge" Jinteki Personal Evolution decks from last year.

Very few ICE, only used to defend centrals from Siphon or Vamp, with everything focused on scoring agendas quickly, giving you gas to get through to 7 points or enough to force through Midseason Replacements and meat damage if necessary.

Profiteering is crucial. Always take 15! Bad publicity doesn't matter, you just want the money!

One turn of Melange early can be really huge in the economy race, especially as you have no need to spend credits rezzing ICE.

Dedicated Response Team is also good protection against Siphon, and the threat of it being something else can make them reticent to run. If you install Snare! and DRT in two remotes on the one turn, you give them a 50% chance of taking 5 to the face when they run, which is pretty gas.

Install remotes with little-no ICE, except perhaps if you want to protect a Profiteering on turn 1 or 2, or if you want to keep a DRT alive once you have some bad pub.

Hope you enjoy!

12 comments
14 Apr 2015 firesa

I love PE and want this deck to work, but having played against different argus decks I've felt that as long as the runner knows not to overdo it and steal maybe one agenda a turn, they are more or less safe. Yours does look like it adds a few more avenues of attack with DRT and midseaons, have you playtested it much?

14 Apr 2015 JimmyDeemo

Thanks for the decklist Jesse, can you please discuss a little about how you would go about trying to score the 2 pointers? Atlas seems pretty important to threaten your kills but with so little ICE it must be pretty vulnerable.

14 Apr 2015 DonutTaganes

@HalfDayDeemo No worries! Scoring Atlas is not too hard - just install it naked in a remote like you would anything else. The deck is so reliant on getting agendas onto the table early and decent economy that you really have to change your thinking about what is a good opening hand. You want agendas, money, Midseasons and Snares, probably in that order, and then ICE comes after that, meaning that what might look like a mulligan most of the time is usually a fine keep with this deck.

Against Crim and some Anarchs you want to be defending HQ against Siphon on T1 so that first ICE is more important, but generally playing hyper aggressively into remotes is where you want to be. They can't afford to keep calling the bluffs at the speed you can make them when they're punished so savagely for doing so, and if they don't call you early you can chain out agendas pretty easily.

Scoring a Fracking requires an ICE, but if you have one Fracking and an ICE early you can go for it in a remote without worrying too much - if they facecheck, play the breaker, run again then clear the tag, you're taxing their resources pretty hard and turning on Midseason Replacements.

@firesa I've played quite a few games with it, and it really catches people out with its speed. The thing that has kept me playing it is that even once they know what's going on (i.e. against my more common playtest partners) it still has a good chance because the threats are so diverse.

14 Apr 2015 JimmyDeemo

@DonutTaganes Ah so it's more for the 3/2 threat once you have put the fear in them, rather than utilizing the Atlas counter. Having said that then, how do you find the deck in terms of getting to that Midseasons? Or have you found that you are essentially forcing people into going 'tag me'? Would you consider scoring an early Atlas in a similar way to Fracked above if it meant you could have that counter?

I might just sleeve this one up for a shake up in style, looks fun regardless of how competitive it is!

16 Apr 2015 AKirkland

Is it still worth going with 3x Paper Wall now that Eater is a thing? I guess it all depends on how your economy turns out, but I find it pretty hard to justify Paper Wall to myself any more. I actually think Cortex Lock might be really good here if you can find the influence, even though it doesn't end the run - if you have a DRT down especially.

Otherwise, this looks pretty sweet, I might try playing around with it.

16 Apr 2015 JimmyDeemo

@AKirkland I think the point of the ICE selection is leaning towards getting you that ETR that demands a breaker install, be that Eater or something else. I do agree the early face check penalty of Cortex Lock would be good, but what do you cut? One midseason reduces the threat a lot and I feel the Snares are important given how much you will be letting the runner into R&D. Perhaps -1 Snare!, -1 Paper Wall, +2 Cortex Lock is worth a test?

16 Apr 2015 DonutTaganes

@HalfDayDeemo Yeah the Atlas is all about scoring as a 3/2 to improve the chances of scoring out, or at least getting in range to do so. It's rarely worth it to try for the overscore on Atlas in this particular deck (not something I ever thought I'd be saying), partly because you're usually spending a click each turn drawing, so you get through lots of your deck pretty quickly to find your combo pieces.

@AKirkland - There are so many things I'd love to do with influence - a third Snare, Cortex Locks, Swordsmen etc. The biggest weakness of the deck is Eater/Keyhole, but I don't feel that Paper Wall is too much of a liability there. The deck really has no answer once Eater/Keyhole gets going other than trying to race them with remotes and force them to step into a trap. You have so much bad pub at that point that the difference between having a Paper Wall and a Quandary or Ice Wall is rarely relevant. I might consider adding Meru Mati once it's printed, but would probably replace the Chimeras rather than the Paper Walls just because they are so good in the first 4-5 turns when this deck is made or broken.

I'd definitely be interested to test out Cortex Lock though @AKirkland and @HalfDayDeemo. Going down to one Snare! isn't the end of the world, and Cortex Lock might actually get in for damage just as reliably. The other thing I've toyed with is going to 1 Midseason 1 SEA Source to free up two influence, but the fact that SEA Source doesn't turn on Traffic Accident has been holding me back there.

16 Apr 2015 AKirkland

Yeah, Eater/Keyhole is the bane of rush decks nowadays. If you can free up influence (maybe 1 Snare?) Wraparound would probably be the best anti-Eater tool at your disposal. I've tried building a variant of this and I agree, the influence is super tight, I think it'll just come down to experimentation in the end.

20 Apr 2015 JimmyDeemo

@DonutTaganesFinally going to be able to give this a decent run out today but my mind has been running with this deck a little bit. I think your comment above about adding Meru Mati is a good one, and Breakers Bay is just around the corner. If this happens though, I feel that the deck could do with a solid Sentry choice to force another breaker install. The problem is this is a bit sparse for Wayland, mainly due to the fact that the cheaper ICE will be turned off by bad pub as it uses traces.

Hunter and Searchlight fit into this problem, as well as the go to Sentry of Caduceus. Can the deck afford a 4 cost piece of ICE? We have Errand Boy or Negotiator. Could Guard be considered?

27 Apr 2015 JimmyDeemo

Would love some more thoughts on this @DonutTaganes and @AKirkland. Enjoying playing it a lot and considering taking a similar deck to UK Nationals. Here are a couple of tweaks I've made.

-2 Ice Wall, +2 Meru Mati: As Jesse said most of the time your ICE is to stop that early credit denial. Given you rez so little ICE havinga chance to add a tax to this is good.

-2 Chimera, +2 Mother Goddess: There are some games I just don't rez any ICE. Either because bad pub makes it pointless or you have reached the point where you can play Midseason Replacements and actually want them to take an agenda. This can make ICE dead draws, but Mother Goddess not only allows you to have a remote only an AI can get into but also allows you to use other ICE draws to overwrite obsolete rezzed ICE to turn it on.

-1 Dedicated Response Team, +1 Restructure: With the uplift in ICE costs above, I felt that adding another economy card was a good idea. I'm not sure on DRT as I have found limited used for it in my testing. Though just having something else to play on the board instead of an agenda is useful.

Feedback much appreciated.

27 Apr 2015 DonutTaganes

Thanks for the feedback @HalfDayDeemo!

I've made a few changes too - here's what I've changed from the list posted:

-3 Jackson Howard (frees up influence and most of the time when you need Jackson you're probably dead anyway!)

+2 Wraparound +1 Swordsman (Eater defence. Eater/Keyhole is one of the biggest weaknesses for the deck because they don't have to steal until they can steal all at once, and you're giving them bad publicity to get in. You can't race it without these! I've gone with one Swordsman just so you still have something once they have a Fracter out).

-1 Chimera

-1 Geothermal Fracking

+1 False Lead

+1 Gila Hands Arcology (could be Chronos Project)

I wouldn't advise cutting DRT - they're so good against Siphon and early (or late) for giving yourself another way to win with Snare! in remotes.

Meru Mati could be okay, but I find that I leave HQ un-iced most games, except against Siphon decks. I'm not sure Siphon is enough of a threat to have an ICE that is more inefficient except for dealing with it, but it is certainly efficient at that so it might be worth putting in there.

Those are my thoughts!

27 Apr 2015 JimmyDeemo

Interesting changes @DonutTaganes; do you see a lot of Keyhole then? Mostly due to Crisium Grid it has disappeared out of my meta and I thought that it would do the same from being seen in competitive play.

I'm also unsure of how I feel when I score a False Lead. I find that most of the time I can catch them with one tag, if they get complacent, but this isn't enough for traffic accident. Should it be used to trade up to a 2 point agenda if you have a Project Atlas or Geothermal Fracking on the board?

Once again thanks for the thoughts, let the testing continue!