Good Night, and Good Luck

Orbital Tangent 163

No big tournaments to speak of, but I have had a lot of success with this deck at game nights. Valencia's ability to punish poor play as well as lack of counter-tech is basically unmatched by any runner other than Leela Patel: Trained Pragmatist.

What does this deck do? To put it simply, it attempts to leverage Valencia's starting bad pub without completely relying on it. If you get it and/or can create more, great. If not, just build a rig and run. Your efficient breakers and Parasite should get you in.

Breakdown of Play aka So, how does this lovely lady achieve victory?

First and foremost is the mulligan. We're looking for a hand that contains at least one breaker and some economy, although a combination of Raymond Flint and Investigative Journalism is not a bad start either. If you have any of those things plus Blackmail, you want to keep that hand unless you suspect bad pub removal. If bad pub removal is suspected, seriously consider prioritizing economy.

Unless R&D is free or super cheap, you're going at HQ. You're going to hammer there. Hard. You're looking for them to spend a lot of their resources defending it and you're trying to get them to push agendas out to remotes far more early than they would be comfortable with. HQ Interface helps this appear more attractive to them, and Blackmail helps scoop the remote. If you can, have a full Liberated Account on the table and don't empty it. This helps crack a remote if Blackmail goes offline.

Investigative Journalism goes on the board right away any time you draw one, as both a way to turn bad pub back on if they remove it as well as a way to access HQ with Raymond Flint if they decided to make runs there very expensive. That HQ Interface works with the Raymond Flint access, so HQ still ain't safe as long as these pieces are around. The major thing to keep in mind here is that you want to use Investigative Journalism in a certain window; not just as soon as you can. Examples of perfect windows are a low corp hand size, low corp credits with nothing in scoring remote, etc...

Clone Chip exists in this deck as a way to play out programs using bad pub as virtual credits. You should feel free to Inject in the early game to get key cards and trash some of your extra programs for credits. Same goes for overdraw with I've Had Worse, as long as you don't suspect the Scorched play. The basic idea is to run, gain bad pub credits, then feed those into Clone Chip to install whatever you want.

The main breakers, Cerberus "Cuj.0" H3, Corroder, and ZU.13 Key Master are all pretty efficient. The only key to remember here is that Parasite should be used to kill annoying sentries so you don't have to use Cerberus "Cuj.0" H3 too much. Mimic was added to preserve Cerberus "Cuj.0" H3 counters too.

Déjà Vu should get you back anything you want, including Parasite if you need to aggressively use those. Also, Investigative Journalism isn't a bad target for it either, depending on board state. Then, of course, there is the quintessential Valencia card: Blackmail. If they let it work, use it!

Other Cards/Tricks

So, there's a few odds and ends that don't appear in normal play and cards I'm packing that don't make a ton of sense at first glance.

The first of these is Frame Job. It is a bad card. Awful, in fact. But is one of the few ways we can easily turn Blackmail and Investigative Journalism back on if the corp clears all bad pub. This can be a great play if Raymond Flint is on the table and they've set up a remote thinking it was safe. You pop this for an access, get a pub, and then Blackmail into that remote!

Next up is Spinal Modem. Don't get me wrong; trace ICE and Ash can hurt here. But the fact that you can start, baseline, at 3 a turn before real credits is pretty good. Since I want to be able to run sans bad pub, I don't like Vigil here, and Grimoire isn't needed because we only have a single virus and a 3 rig.

Itinerant Protesters gets one slot for that rare occasion that you've been allowed to stack a load of bad pub. If you can get to 4-5, which is hard but do-able, playing this wins you the game. I'm not certain it is the best use of the slot because it happens so little, so it could get cut in future builds.

Kati Jones is singleton here mostly because Day Job and Liberated Account do the heavy lifting and are fine econ on their own. That said, I am looking for slots to add more in future builds simply because it would add more outs to the deck if the bad pub gets cleared. The deck also looses a lot of gas in long, long games where Liberated Account, Day Job, and Sure Gamble just aren't showing up.

Our Scorched protection comes from a combination of cards that I like to call the Anarch Armor: Utopia Shard and I've Had Worse. If you haven't heard of it before, this basically is used to try and discard Scorch after a successful SEA/Midseason and, barring that, draw you up after the first Scorched lands so the second isn't a kill.

One last thing: Same Old Thing can be used to get any Event back, but a favorite of mine is Special Order if I draw it early. This can get you a rig quick if your Inject and Clone Chip tricks aren't firing. It can also get back that single Itinerant Protesters if the conditions are ripe for some HQ squeezing.

Potential Changes

This deck can run with -1 HQ Interface, -1 Utopia Shard, -1 Kati Jones and +3 Notoriety. You have plenty of ways to score it fairly easily, including Blackmail and just straight up efficient runs. That said, it fired way to little for my liking, and I took it out for more consistent protection and multi-access.

OR

+2 Kati Jones, -1 Itinerant Protesters, -1 Corroder. You're going to get the Corroder less consistently, and have no chance of the blow-out win with Itinerant Protesters, but this adds consistent Kati Jones access and the deck really sucks for long term economy without her.

Other Thoughts

Tallie Perrault: There are not enough good Grey/Black Ops to make her first ability fire all that often. She's a good alternative to Utopia Shard, but that makes you more reliant on bad pub. I also just don't like the tag because of we're running a lot of resources.

Earthrise Hotel: Great draw on those turns that go to Day Job and Investigative Journalism, but I'm not sure it is worth the tempo hit AND the extra slots when we already have I've Had Worse and Inject for draw.

Planned Assault: I just can't justify the influence use. This deck needs to spend its influence on a lot of other stuff to make things work out, and the only really good target is Blackmail. I want to be less reliant on my bad pub tricks, not more. So I can't ever see myself putting this in the deck.

That should be about it... Good Night, and Good Luck

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