Trials of Vulcan 1.0

Jashay 696

For no particularly fathomable reason, I've never actually tried to make a Foundry deck. Not sure why that would be; it's an ID with a subtle power to it, and those are by far my favourites.

It's an ability with no downside, really, save perhaps that it reduces the padding around agendas in your R&D. But it does this by giving you access to concrete defences over probability-based ones, so I don't see it as a downside.

The Plan

I started the deck with 3 x Accelerated Beta Test and 3 of all the Next ICE. Because of the way the ID ability works, triggering ABT is almost risk-free. The Next ICE is more powerful the more of it there is in play, so being able to tutor out the necessary pieces is a massive advantage.

Then I was a bit stuck, so I cheated and looked at the most popular Foundry deck to date, (Roid Rage). I loved the idea behind the deck; using The Twins to force kill conditions seemed delicious, and I particularly liked the way it used Merlin synergy. I was far less keen on the use of Oversight AI and Bioroid Efficiency Research to false-rez big ICE, as it is anti-synergistic with The Twins.

So the basic plan here is that you can roll out the smaller pieces (Bronze, Silver, Architect) quickly for early protection, and then use the bigger pieces with The Twins to either kill or create scoring windows.

The Agendas

As I mentioned, 3x ABT was always going in. I then put in 3x Project Vitruvius; not only are they a 3/2, if you overscore them you can use them to trigger The Twins as many times as you have tokens. (For those unaware, The Twins trigger in Step 3.2 of the run, and discarding sends the runner back to Step 3. There is then a Paid Abilities window in 3.1, wherein you can use a Project Vitruvius token to return the discarded ICE. At Step 3.2, The Twins trigger again, and the dance continues!)

Beyond that, Hades Fragment offers the chance to replenish the tutorable ICE, discarded agendas, or what have you. Eden Fragment could help with building ICE towers, and Priority Requisition is a nice way to save some money and trigger the ability.

The ICE

Triplicates of everything to get the most out of the ability. Bronze and Silver are early ETR ICE that self-improve, and Architect is helpful for setup and taxation, and is also conveniently indestructible.

NEXT Gold and Merlin are for stabbing. Merlin on its own can cause 4 net damage, and kill with The Twins. NEXT Gold can kill, and can reset rigs. Sure, no-one runs without some sort of destroyer protection, but with the possibility of The Twins... are they running two at the same time?

Wormhole is a jack-of-all-trades. It can do anything I need it to, and is particularly unpleasant with NEXT Gold. I might change these out after a bit more playtesting, as they are annoying to get in your starting hand, but forcing the runner to be extra-careful also forces them to give you scoring windows.

The Support

I haven't specifically designed this as a kill deck, as I don't really have any ways to attack the runner outside of runs. However, it is designed to be dangerous as hell, and if they slip up, it's going to hurt even if it doesn't kill.

The Twins are just so good in Foundry due to its ability to search out the redundant ICE. Whilst you can use it with Bronze and Silver, I would only do so in a pinch ( i.e. when it saved me from a massive R&D dig, Account Siphon, 3-pt agenda steal, etc.). It works best with the more powerful ICE, particualrly if it would be prohibitively expensive to rez 3 of them.

Corporate Troubleshooter seemed vital, as both of the primary attackers, ICE-wise, are STR 4. Troublesome, but not insurmountable. Also a prime Atman spot. Landing a single NEXT Gold can win the whole game, so making sure it lands is paramount.

Ash 2X3ZB9CY is there because the aim of the deck is still to score out. Its incredible spikiness is a tool to force scoring windows. If you manage to shank the runner in the process, so much the better. Ash works to protect agendas, but until revealed it can also be The Twins or a Corporate Troubleshooter, meaning the runner has to step carefully.

Jesus Howard draws cards, protects fallen agendas, and can shuffle Twinned ICE back into the deck for more delicious stabbing.

Everything else is money. Not keen on Blue Level Clearance, but you need piles of cash to pull this off, and it was the best option with limited influence.

How to Run

Your starting hand should include one of either low-grade NEXT if at all possible. Architect is a nice bonus. Money is always helpful.

A bold starting hand would involve Merlin, Hedge Fund and The Twins. First turn kill combo, if they're daft enough to run it. But for the start of a longer game you want to churn out the smaller NEXT ICE, so that when you do rez a NEXT Gold it's already super scary.

Then you need to get your combos set up to the best of your ability, and really rack up the money. Merlin-Twins needs 8, Gold needs 10, so make sure you have enough. You'll also need even more for Corporate Troubleshooter.

Whenever possible, stab the runner, especially if you have a scoring server set up. If you can hit them for 4 damage, and they spend a turn drawing up, that's a turn you can score in. If you trash even 1 or 2 programs, that's another window.

Don't be afraid to fling assets and upgrades down for fear of them being trashed; with the ICE-tutor ability and a bit of card draw you'll soon see the next copy.

Issues?

The ICE-thinning ability will mean that the deck is slightly more vulnerable to R&D digs than normal. Take this into account with your defences in the later game.

The ability will also make you a little vulnerable to milling effects, but hopefully triple Jackson and Vitruvius, with Hades Fragment, are enough to see you through.

ICE destruction affects the NEXT ICE disproportionately, but I'm not too worries.

Wormhole is not an optimal choice. Nor is the operation selection. Ideally I would use something highly unpleasant from Haas-Bioroid and use the influence for Sweeps Week instead of Blue Level Clearance and Restructure. However, Ichi 1.0 sits at 4, Ichi 2.0 and Janus 1.0 are pricey, Sherlock 1.0 somewhat lacks teeth.

I think the best option is to split the difference, dropping a single Wormhole for either 2x Beanstalk Royalties or Medical Research Fundraisers. But that makes it harder to Twin, and I would still need to drop another card. That other card would most likely be Restructure, which is difficult to play, or an Architect if I was feeling really crazy. 16 ICE may be too few, even for The Foundry.

But this is just a first attempt; I'm hoping to be able to refine the process after a bit more game time. In the meantime, comments, criticisms and suggestions are most welcome!

4 comments
22 Apr 2015 Jashay

An alternative occurs to me; I could drop a Wormhole, replace Blue Level Clearance with Beanstalk Royalties or Medical Research Fundraiser, and then replace the single Restructure with two Subliminal Messagings.

23 Apr 2015 FarCryFromHuman

What about Shell Corporation, since The Twins is basically trap protection, plus you still have room in the server.

23 Apr 2015 Jashay

@FarCryFromHuman That's an interesting idea. It could also as a lure to get the runner to go where I want... I worry that as an actual economy card, it's a bit slow, though. No harm in trying though! Thanks!

23 Apr 2015 FarCryFromHuman

I see your point about it being slow, but you have operations and Adonis as the rest of your econ (not slow at all). Shell Corporation would be a nice back-up, generating a bank that lets you easily recover from Account Siphon/Vamp, or just cash out 4 turns later for a good chunk of cash.

Honestly though that's just icing, it's ability to lure the runner onto The Twins while still supplementing you with some credits is the real reason for the include. Keep in mind it takes 3 to trash and a runner scrambling to stay alive against a surprise ICE encounter is going to be quite short on those. One of my favorite aspects of The Twins is that they throw off the runner's math, sometimes quite severely and occasionally fatally.