Bloodlock: The monster is now fully awake v1.00

Erik_Twice 2016

Bloodlock proved itself an extremely gruelling deck even in its rough, untested state and now after some testing and tournament attendances, I think I have a competitive build on my hands.

OVERVIEW OF THE CHANGES FROM v0.99

1) The deck has been refocused and streamlined. Hostile Infrastructure proved to be the scariest card in the deck, people were willing to trash them at any cost and hence it was increased to three copies. Melange, Mining Corp replaces a third Sundew because it proved much better at pushing your game foward and Snare gets reduced to just two because the third one ended up being discarded too often for my liking.

2) Enhanced Login Protocol has been added. Currents are extremely powerful in this deck because they stick around for practically the whole game and a "whole game" is often twice as long as a game with any other deck.

Enhanced Login Protocol is useful in several respects. First: It limits runs to the first and second clicks of a turn to prevent being tagged by Snare! Second: It nerfs Security Testing, which is huge against this deck. Third: It covers all your servers, which helps to compensate the low ICE count. Fourth: It makes Sundew much easier to play.

Other currents were tested but were not as good. Predictive Algortythm makes NAPDs and Fetals much harder to steal but barely has an effect on the 5/3s so it didn't cut the mustard. Paywall Implementation earns you amazing amounts of money (25+) but money is useless if your assets still die and Housekeeping barely edged the far more useful Snare! with an average of 5 cards lost to it per game.

3) Lotus Field is gone. because it cannot protect Sundew from constant facechecks and because everyone seems to be playing Torch. A proper replacement still hasn't been found, but so far Cortex Lock doesn't seem too bad and Crick seems an event better replacement for it.

The deck is perhaps a bit too low on ICE to compensate the inherent weakness to Security Testing but two slots can be liberated by reducing Hokusai Grid to just two copies and removing the singleton Interns. (It sucks to take them from the list, but the awesomeness of Crick should compensate it)

STRATEGY

1) It's extremely strong against any deck that relies on card draws for its economy. There are lots of builds right now relying on PrePaid VoicePAD or a combination of Sure Gamble, Daily Casts and Kati Jones for their economy. In fact, the release of Simmetrical Visage has only popularized this even further and Bloodlock just preys on these decks.

Seriously, I know you Americans love Calimsha's Kate and this deck has an amazing matchup against it.

2) It requires good play to not fold against recurring economy like Data Folding, but it's not actually weak to them and installing all those cards gives you plenty of time to set up while putting them into decking range.

3) It's very strong against Denial decks. It's naturally resilent to Siphon thanks to its many rezzeable assets, Parasite doesn't open its servers and its assets are extremely expensive to trash. It also has no pressure to win, it can sit back and earn credits until the Runner bleeds himself out.

4) Security Testing was huge against this deck because you could play several copies. However, the addition of Enhanced Login Protocol and a better choice of ICE has fixed it. Fortunately, Criminal decks have a lot of cards that simply don't do much against you (Eg. Emergency Shutdown) so this is not an issue.

Still, if there's a lot of Security Testing in your area, you should drop the leftover copy of Interns for two more pieces of ICE. (Crick and Cortex Lock are good candidates). If not, you should take out a copy of Cortex Lock and replace it with another Hokusai Grid.

5) It's still very difficult to play. I don't think the deck will ever be popular because it's easy to deck yourself or sacrifice too many assets early on. If you are playing this deck, consider every lost PAD Campaign a terrible mistake because it is and don't treat Hostile Infrastructure as if it were disponsable.

5) It's the slowest deck around, much slower than Jinteki RP or HB Glacier. You need to be a very fast pilot to play it and finish the round on time.

MATCHUPS

Here are my toughts on the deck's matchups. I'm biased as fuck.

Keep in mind that Runners still haven't fully adapted to the slower metagame and that I have an unusually high win percentage as corp:

ANARCH

MAXX: Autowin, she decks herself in 26 turns and you are going to reduce that number with every play. KIM: Extremely favoured, lacks economic muscle. QUETZAL: Extremely favoured, lacks economic muscle. (Useless ability, too) WHIZZARD: Neutral. It sucks to play against him early on but his economy isn't any better than Kim and Quetzal once Archives starts to fill up. VALENCIA: Disfavoured. The better Valencia builds aren't actually a bad matchup, but most Valencia decks are full of bad cards that just happen to screw you over.

SHAPER

Prepaid VoicePAD Decks: Extremely favoured, they don't generate enough money to be a bother while being easy to deck out. Their tricks aren't particularly useful against you, either.

If you start taking the deck to tournaments, every PPVP deck will start running two copies of Levy and the matchup won't be extremely favoured anymore, just favoured.

KIT: Disfavoured. If they play Yog, you are going to suffer a lot unless you happen to draw a lot of ICE or protect your hand with Snare!. Otherwise, the matchup is favoured because they lack economic muscle. MAGNUM OPUS: Neutral. I thought it was going to be an awful matchup but it seems that not being able to do the old "Gain Six, run and trash" keeps MO in check. THE PROFRESSOR: Autoloss. He's so cool you are forced to hand him the match and buy him a beer.

CRIMINAL:

LEELA AND ANDROMEDA CONTROL: Neutral. Security Testing is really the crux of the issue here, if you control it or get a Melange Running, you should be able to win without any issues. If you don't, you'll probably lose.

If you play 12 pieces of ICE, this matchup should go from Disfavoured to Favoured, but you'll regret not having that third Hokusai against every other deck!

STIRLING: Favoured/Disfavoured. His clickless economy and pseudo-MO are strong. but he's surprisingly easy to deck. If he plays Feedback Filter, he'll be able to ignore your Hostile Infrastructures and Hokusai Grids, tipping the balance towards him but good play should overcome it because Genomics is inherently resilent against R&D and remote assaults.

Also, like Valencia, the best Stirling builds are actually easier than poorly-built ones with too much economy and no useless Inside Jobs filling up slots.

GABE:Favoured. He's designed to hit fast but he can't because agendas are few, difficult to steal and often protected with a ton of net damage.

KEN: Extremely Favoured: The question is not if you can outrun a glacier, the question is whether you can survive it! He tends to be much easier to deckout than Gabe because he plays more events instead of the safer and more reliable R&D Interface.

So yeah, bla bla go play my deck. It's probably good for your meta. Except for the part it may make it less fun. But I hate fun so that's a win for me :D

31 comments
24 Apr 2015 thiazyl

Hi Erik, I really like the deck. I tried it last night (version .99) and was destroyed by Andy. I don't think its the deck, it's more likely my terrible game play and inexperience. As you mentioned, security testing was a serious problem. I like this newer version and will keep working at it. I think Crick will work really well in this deck. A couple of questions if I may. Why Hades Fragment? Have you considered Utopia Fragment? With so little ice, do you only ice up 1 remote or multiple remotes? How many remotes do you typically have? How many cards do you like to 'float' face down in archives? For example, if you have 3-4 face down cards in archives, are you happy just to take your mandatory draw and gain credits? Finally, can you maybe comment on where you would ideally like to place ice (which ice on which server)? In the mean time I'll keep practicing with it. Cheers.

25 Apr 2015 hhooo

Server Diagnostics is way better than Sundew in IG. Give it a shot.

25 Apr 2015 Erik_Twice

@thiazyl

I think you should try to play against Shaper or Anarch first and then work from there. It's really not an easy deck to play and playing against Security Testing or Magnum Opus is very annoying and not too representative.

On your questions:

1) Hades Fragment lets you bring back every single trashed asset while filling R&D with Snare! and Hokusai Grid for more damage. If you score it, the Runner loses all long-term ways to pressure you except stealing agendas. And stealing agendas is hard with a Hades-fueled R&D.

Utopia Fragment doesn't prevent your agendas from being stolen from centrals and its impact on the remote is not too great either.

2) I normally aim to put a single piece of ICE on every central and then have a 2-ICE deep remote. That leaves you extra pieces to cover servers as needed.

3) I normally aim to have one iced remote for Hostile Infrastructure, Jackson and other utility and another (in which I'll eventually score in) for Melange. Everything else goes naked unless I have to avoid Security Testing.

4) I don't aim for a specific number, I simply start dropping out my copies of Shock! as I draw them and make it big by either dropping agendas with Jackson or simply dripping out useless cards while I use Melange.

In practice, I start with 3-4 cards and it naturally builds up to 7+.

5) Generally, you want to install economic cards instead but if you don't have them just clicking for money is fine.

6) Komainu should go on centrals. One of the Ashigarus should go in the scoring/Melange remote, the other tends to end in R&D, though playing it against Criminals on HQ is a very good idea.

Crick should be used on Archives or to defend small remotes (Eg. Sundew, Hostile Infrastructure).

Hope that helps :)

25 Apr 2015 Erik_Twice

@hhooo

I tried it, but it doesn't do enough compared to Sundewfor me to run it. The problem is that its trash cost is very low, so you have to protect it and if it's protected then it's worse than Sundew because it trashes itself.

25 Apr 2015 aphid

This has been popular in different versions on octgn. I haven't had a hard time vs it with kate ppvp and leela. 8-0 so far, don't get how you win with it? Except from runner mistakes. Played vs my friend who is really good as well, won all four games we played, with leela. Maybe runners think their cards are too precious and not running archives?

25 Apr 2015 Erik_Twice

@aphid

I don't play on OCTGN, so I wouldn't know. I can only vouch for my own build and, when it comes down to, it how **I **play it, not how someone I don't know does.

I don't know what you want me to tell you, sorry. XD

25 Apr 2015 Sarmatian

Biggest problem I ran into was getting archives cleared when someone ran archives and broke ice with eater. All face downs get flipped but no damage from shock/shikyu. One run and your ability is essentially blank. Not nearly as taxing then. Am I missing something?

25 Apr 2015 Huafen

@Erik_Twice Can the Ash go on archives and protect it ? From runner decreasing the trash cost of all the installed assets ?

25 Apr 2015 aphid

Yes ofcourse, just wondering how the wins actually come through, by net damage or by scoring out? We were playtesting it quite a bit, since it's a really cool idea. I can really see that ELP can do a lot of work in here... just have to play vs the deck more I guess

25 Apr 2015 Erik_Twice

@Sarmatian

Some tips:

1) Depending on the build you are facing, you may not want to rez ICE in archives so they are forced to access.

2) If facing a build that relies on Eater, simply ignore your ability, drop Hokusai Grid on R&D and keep Hostile Infrastructure behind a piece of ICE. They'll get locked.

3) Making them pay to flip cards is still an option, you can leave Archives open early on or with a singleton Crick and then seal it up with Ashigaru. Making them pay seven credits just so they can trash your assets at a reduced cost is fine.

4) Abuse Hokusai Grid on archives. They might not take as much damage as they would if they didn't have Eater, but making them take 3 or 4 over the course of the game is still worth it.

But the gist of it is that you shouldn't rely on your ability. Play in a manner that your assets are safe even without an increased trash cost, that is, focus on Hostile Infrastructure and protected Melanges.

Also, I think archives ought to be filled naturally. If you dump 12 cards one after the other, a single access will render your ability meaningless. But if you dump 4, wait for them to run archives and then dump other 4 you are probably getting the same mileage out of your assets with much less effort.

Basically, do not overdo it. If the Runner isn't losing after paying 10 credits to trash a Hostile Infrastructure the answer is not making him pay 5 more ;)

@aphid

Most games are won scoring agendas the old-fashioned way, that is: Sticking both Ash and Caprice on a remote. Net damage helps, because if you do enough the Runner will deck out and won't be able to run centrals, which is what you would normally do against Ash and Caprice.

But net damage is more of a way to constantly apply pressure than a win condition. I don't aim for a flatline and it's rare that I aim for a deck out, I simply take the chance to hit them over and over because the more damage they take, the more time they'll waste drawing.

Consider that with ELP on the board, they can only make a run on clicks 1 & 2. And if they do it against a central, they are going to need at least 3 cards so as to not die to Snare!. Add Hokusai, Multiaccess and damage on the remotes and the actual number of productive has to be lower because running more often just isn't safe. If they get hit by Fetal AI or Snare!, chances are they won't run the next turn because they'll have to spend time recovering.

25 Apr 2015 Erik_Twice

@Huafen

As far as I know, no, Ash 2X doesn't prevent cards from being flipped over.

26 Apr 2015 badbones777

I like it - my build is a bit different,I went more with NBN for influence though I did consider many of the same HB cards as yourself. I agree, I think this ID favours the long game (though I'm sure someone on here wil eventually come up with a fast advance version)

I recently switched to 54 cards and have been enjoying the extra options without noticing too much in the way of dead draw.

27 Apr 2015 Asmoridin

Quick question- you mention that currents stick around a while with this deck- why is that? Does Industrial Genomics make it more difficult to trash them? Or do Runners just not run many Currents?

27 Apr 2015 badbones777

@Asmoridin It's nothing Genomics does directly, but rather how he has built the deck to make stealing agenda's very tough to steal (a side effect being that the most likely way the runner has of getting rid of them is to play their own). In this case they are either playing a current to get rid of enhanced login in, or paying the cost - either way that's two clicks to make a run.

The costs of getting through and dealing with the upgrades (and prodigious cost added on by the ID ability) usually encourages a lot of build up play and the Corp currents help keep the tempo with the corp a bit. And I'm betting the plan is to just play another Enhanced login as soon as he feels there is another scoring opportunity.

I recently put a targeted Marketing in my on Genomics deck - I think it hit the table turn 2 or 3 (to counter Imp's) and stayed there the whole game, so in my experience yeah currents do hang around in Genomics.

28 Apr 2015 tuism

Good to see a new version :) I've also been testing with the GI archetype, since I have a tourney coming up and I'm locked into GI from identity drafting (my runner side is a dead last draft choice between Whizzard, Professor, Ian and Nasir... Barf).

I haven't considered the new crop of cards yet, so no Crick or Cortex Lock for me yet, but my findings are also the same on Interns and Snare... Cool but not great. I experimented with Executive Boot Camp for a while as 1) a silver bullet against Valencia 2) Fishes out Shocks if I don't get them early and the runner is aggressively hitting Archives 3) Fishes out Jacksons if I'm flooded and need them But have since dropped them for more "good stuff".

Archived memories instead of Interns? I know it's super versatile, but generally it's about as good unless you're grabbing an event, and between ELP, Hedge and solitary Interns, why?

I run without Komainus because I see a lot of parasites, so Lotus Fields are still in. Ashigarus are great because everyone runs Corroders and Dav1d. I have a Tollbooth just in case, and I pulled in two Vipers with spare influence - they're the taxing temptation that sits in front of centrals - I found that with bigger binary ICE the runner tends to not run, and when that happens they money up enough to just crush you whatever you drop eventually, out-econing even your Ash. So I've found Viper very useful to protect Sundews and the likes. I might still swap them out for Wraparounds if I see more Eater, but they seem to be less common now.

One major change to my strategy is that I have 3 Braintrusts and a Phiolotic, because I'm finding that needing to leave points on the table advanced is a HUGE problem against runners that just econ up. The threat of scoring off an empty card makes them nervous, and that encourages checking cards, and that's a good thing, it wastes their time or creates damage. It has become a Never Advance.

The early game is typically nerve-wracking in this deck. You want to ICE Archives. You also don't wanna get hit in HQ big (legwork/siphon when you don't have stuff to rez, wanton destruction... Which isn't so bad since it's all facedown cards, but still) and you don't wanna get R&D locked too early... So you gotta find ICE, find money, and still find time to discard, and to drop assets... It's a very precarious balance each time.

28 Apr 2015 badbones777

@tuism Completely agree on how it feels to play this ID - I too find the early game - specifically the first 2-3 turns - to be real make or break. If I can get to mid game and the runner has given up on running archives and theres a couple on Hostile Infrastructures out I generally feel a lot better.

It's a great ID and if you like a slow-boil long game type of play there's a lot to like with IG - I see it being my main Corp deck for some time. Just need to find something to play as my second corp choice - keeping an eye on Haarpsichord Studios!

28 Apr 2015 tuism

One of the first things I tried to do with RP quiiiiite a while ago was to create a RP rush deck :) I do like speed, least of all because going to time at tourneys SUCK. But I hadn't been successful with that yet... Hopefully... One day :P

29 Apr 2015 Erik_Twice

@tuism

It's beyond odd you don't consider Interns to be amongst the best cards in the deck. They are almost delightfully broken because they allow you to recur your Hostile Infrastructures, Melanges and Sundews over and over. They also allow you to recur Jackson, which is great.

Archived Memories is a slighty better Interns because it can recur your Enhanced Login Protocols. I run it because I have influence to spare, though I'm now testing the scarier Reclamation Order in that spot. Harder to play correctly but much more powerful.

They also make the early game much easier. Without them a trashed economy card is a huge blow. With them, you can just play it again. They also bring back Hokusais, ICE that has been destroyed and so on.

I don't think it's feasible for the Runner to "econ up" since that would mean leaving economic assets or Hostile Infrastructure on the table and if either sticks, no amount of economing up will get them past a Caprice+Ash server. At best, they'll spend all their money, steal one agenda and then let you score which is hugely in your favour.

It's not a bad idea to replace the two Fetal AI with other agendas, but if you start removing NAPDs for Braintrust you start leaking agenda scores early on and that sucks.

Still, it seems you are playing very fast! I normally don't score my second agenda until, say, the last 5 turns of the game.

Viper is decent but it doesn't really protect your Sundews as well as it might seem, they will simply lose the click and pay the credits on the ETR trace. It also sucks against Runners with link. Don't regret replacing them with Crick at all.

29 Apr 2015 tuism

Oh I've kept NAPDs. They're bread and butter discard material too. As for Inters... Well, the fact is that they are great, BUT they ended up being discarded more often than not, having other stuff that I want to keep, so... You've also dropped it to 1x, so I suspect we're on the same page.

As for Archived Mem, yeah ELP is the only significant difference, and I find that I can keep one around long enough and often have my 2nd one sitting around for a long time, so I've not been too bothered by it.

What I am experimenting with is tag punishment in that slot. Too many people just don't bother detagging against this deck that a single Scorch can very very very easily sneak up on them. Closed Accounts is probably not good enough.

Cortex Lock has been golden, have killed a few with an early Sundew + Cortex Lock. I'm still happy with Lotuses in the face of Suckerspam or the likes. Viper has left for tricks.

Am experimenting with a singleton Cyberdex Suite to see if it's worth keeping around.

I really haven't found that the runner can't econ past you - the Supplier decks and the MO decks can sit on their ass and come tumbling. If you blow a bunch of creds on an Ash hit, you're basically broke while they let you score 3 points, and have no hope ever of doing anything else. That's the scenario that I've run into repeatedly, so I felt I needed to fix that matchup.

29 Apr 2015 badbones777

@Erik_Twice Re Interns - I had them and Fast track in my deck but rcently switched them out as I was just never using them - I have bootcamps to tutor directly for assets and to be honest I'm barely using them, preferring to just go with mandatory card draw to bring what it brings.

I do have Jackson for pulling Future Perfects out the bin if it looks like I need one to win, and I can't see dropping him mind you!

I have found (purely my experience I grant you) interns is fairly limited in terms of recurring Jackson - if you've fired his main ability he is actually removed from the game completely (i.e. he is not in archives to be recurred) so the only way to reecur him with Interns is if he has been trashed or milled - which in the former case is unlikely as surely you would have triggered said abilty pre-access? In the latter, I agree that's a bummer (regularly face Noise in my Meta) but usually it's just as easy to wait on another copy of Jackson and save a card slot (just my opinion of course).

I rate interns highly but just hasn't been played in my build - I thought it was an auto include when I first sat down to try an IG deck but people just never seem to bother trashing my stuff so 99% of the time I was pitching my interns to reinforce the ID ability!

29 Apr 2015 Erik_Twice

@tuism

I haven't cut down Interns to 1x, I still pack three only two of them are called Reclamation Order because I have influence to spare ;)

I mean, if you have stuff, why not play it instead of discarding it? Let it get killed then play it again. Spamming the same assets over and over works and gives you more time to rack up damage.

Tag Punishment is interesting, I've considered running SEA Source just to be able to trash resources. So if you manage to get it running, let me know because I'm really interested on that.

I really don't think you are should lose games because you spend money on Ash because if you have that means they have spend an awful lot of money running on a Caprice and Caprice is still going to be there to kick their asses. No amount of econ should get past that and if they do, just drop another agenda and keep going.

The issue with MO and Glacier decks as I see it is never the remote, but that they have a great tool to prevent you from building up a good remote. Not sure if that makes sense =P

29 Apr 2015 tuism

Weeeeell, I need some stuff to pitch, and yeah, I'll keep the stuff I play... Hence the stuff I don't play I pitch. Like Interns :P

I guess we have very different experiences even with the same card set! Maybe it's just the decks we run into. I find that even building a big remote doesn't mean all that much if they only needed to run it once or twice. I need to make them run and make them spend, one way or another. If it's "too big to fail" then the runner really does just sit back and econ up, and when it comes down to the Ash spend, it hurts me a lot. Caprice is a good point but random so I tend not to rely on her. She's there, but unreliable unless you get them to spend down to 1/0, in which case, duh. But that was never the case with the big econ decks (again, Supplier, MO, the new Hayley builds can go that way but not until much later, sometimes a well landed surprise siphon snowball deck can also get out of hand - hence the tag punishment desire)

I feel like I want to put in more ICE. That's a big deciding factor in this deck's running, if I draw less than the fair share of ICE I have a really bad time. I'm on 11... Maybe I'll try to go to 12 or 13. But damn, what to cut....

29 Apr 2015 badbones777

I'm currently at 18 ICE and it feels just about right for my playstyle and virus heavy local meta (though I run 54 cards and am generally expecting to see a couple parasited or milled).

30 Apr 2015 Myriad

put blacklist in and laugh at any deck with recursion. A friend of mine subbed it into his IG deck and made his worst match up a total shut out.

30 Apr 2015 tuism

Which recursion matchup is that, Noise recurring Imps and Caches? Parasite recursion Shaper? Siphonspam Whizzard? I can't actually think of a strong recursion build that I've been worried about? Maybe Siphonspam Whizzard if you get unlucky.

1 May 2015 tuism

OK reporting back. Noise is one of the worst matchups - yes Noises's mills go face down which is great, but you're being forced to find and use your Jacksons earlier than ever, forcing you to run cards out faster. And the clincher is you have to Jackson proactively because Hades can drop and access before you can react. So watching their credit threshold when they can Hades + pay for NAPD and/or bet on Future Perfect becomes super important.

17 May 2015 tuism

My version which I took 1st at our local SC with :) netrunnerdb.com

31 May 2015 Nerdfighter

How does this deck actually close out games? As far as I can see, this deck suffers against runners who don't run on anything that hasn't been advanced. Does this mean the deck relies upon winning the Ash trace or the Caprice Psi Game?

31 May 2015 Erik_Twice

@Nerdfighter

In a sense, yes. I'm probably going to replace Shy.Kyu, whose value is going down as opponents get better with an advanceable trap to bait Runners in. AggSec or Juneburg seem both good choices.

Still, just sitting back and running when I advance doesn't work because you cannot sit back if Bloodlock is getting all its assets to stick, it's a deck that can snowball very fast if you let it and relying on beating Caprice twice is simply not reliable enough as a strategy.

The issue as I see it arises when the Runner is on match point and you are not which is bound to happen in at least some games with Hades Shard in the deck. It's the second most common way to lose, actually: They steal 5 points withuot taking significant damage or losing the economic race and you are forced to rely on Caprice.

So yeah, feel free to improve the deck in that regard.

31 May 2015 Nerdfighter

@Erik_Twice

Thanks for the info, and I can now see why Ash is such an important card in this deck - it lets you turn money into End the Run without increasing ICE density. As far as advancable traps go, I'll probable use a 1 Of Junebug, as it provides a lethal threat, while AggSec costs influence without a massive difference. Also, if they see 1 Of an advancable trap, they are then wary of the 2nd or 3rd copy, also the reason why I love jinteki decks that run 2x Snare - the opponent is always waiting for the 3rd. Thanks for responding so quickly, and DFTBA

15 Jul 2015 Sabin76

Have you thought about Himitsu-Bako at all? In theory, it's great early game denial of entry and once you get into a position where you can rez bigger ICE, you just pull it back into your hand and dump it into archives to feed your ID... in theory.

I've been using it in my Turtlebacks IG deck, but I have a 2 person meta at the moment, so I really don't know about its broader viability.