[startup] Pravalicious

Satoshi 432

This is a Pravdivost rush deck that aims to win in 10-12 turns.

The main idea is to try to ice both the scoring remote and HQ as soon as possible. Due to the combination of Seamless Launch and Vladisibirsk City Grid, it's very hard for the runner to guess if you are about to score and where the agenda is or which agenda it is. This makes it hard for them to disrupt your plans.

If you can score Remastered Edition then things get dramatically harder for the runner -- you can score Bellona from hand off a double-advanced Vlad's grid, or you can score Project Beale from hand with no other assistance. Or you can chain into another Remastered Edition which was installed and never advanced. The remastered counter is often critical for closing the game and forcing the runner to run everything.

The other main way to create a scoring window is using NAPD Cordon. This can be as simple as install-advancing a Remastered behind ice, which will cost 8 to steal if you put the Prav counter on it. If you also have Seamless Launch in hand, then this play works well with Bellona also, which will cost 13 to steal with the Prav counter.

The deck offers another power play with the combo of Digital Rights Management into Advance + NAPD Cordon. This is particularly good if there is also a loaded Vladisibirsk City Grid. The Vladisibirsk City Grid can move 2 counters at instant speed, so with the Prav counter, you can get to 4 counters on Bellona, costing 17 to steal. In one game I was able to deny a runner who ran through Mestnichestvo and Gold Farmer and got to Bellona with 18 credits, by moving the Remastered Edition counter onto Bellona, getting to 5 advancements and raising the cost to 19 credits to steal.

I like DRM a lot here because I don't like running 3x Bellona, if you have too many 3 pointers then the runner finds them more often by digging R&D. But DRM is effectively your third Bellona when trying to find a line to score out.

It's possible to win without Vlad's grid, but a lot harder as the game goes on. The games where you don't bother with grid are usually like, first rush out Remastered Edition behind ice, then score Bellona perhaps using NAPD Cordon, then draw for Project Beale and score from hand.

Usually you want to recur the grid as often as possible with Spin Doctor, put your most taxing ice on the remote, and make as much progress as you can towards scoring out before the runner builds economy, ideally scoring Remastered Edition. If it looks like the runner will establish remote lock, meaning, they can afford to run and trash the grid every turn, you have options to try to break it with Drago Ivanov or Chekist Scion into Retribution. (But ideally you are on 5 points with a Remastered counter before then.)

The ideal starting hand includes Daily Quest and either Mestnichestvo or Gold Farmer. (But I usually keep anything that has at least one ice and not more than 1 agenda.)

I greatly prefer Daily Quest to Ubiquitous Vig. Many Pravs that use Vig will install Vig undefended and ice centrals instead, since it has a high trash cost. But in my opinion, this is too slow and it encourages slow play that doesn't focus on building a scoring remote. Daily quest gives you much more bang for your buck right away, and so puts more pressure on the runner to run the remote immediately and not focus on building up their econ. Vig is hungry for the Prav advancement counters but you need to be giving those to Vladisibirsk City Grid, Mestnichestvo, Akhet, because that's what is going to help you win the game.

In terms of ice, we focus on chunky End-the-run ice that will tax the runner's credits even if they break it using things like Endurance and Cezve. 3x Mestnichestvo and 3x Gold Farmer are definitely your best ice.

We have 3x Akhet which are ideal for centrals, ensuring that the runner can't access centrals without giving you more drip economy and counters to advance your gameplan in the scoring remote.

I tested using Vasilisa, but the problem is that this ice doesn't tax runners on Bukhgalter at all. For instance a Sable with one Cezve and Bukhgalter will actually profit 2 credits for encountering Vasilisa. Additionally the on-encounter effect just isn't that strong -- Akhet is way better by comparison. In some iterations I tested Drafter, which is very good vs. Anarchists and often catches runners by surprise. (A good one to defend Archives vs. Esâ Afontov: Eco-Insurrectionist.) But in criminal matchups, it becomes blank once Bukhgalter and Cezve are out, and gives the runner money if they have 2x Cezve, which many do. I think sentries are just not in a good place right now. My main worry with F2P is that it costs four to rez and is trivialized by the boat. The runner doesn't even need a breaker to get through it, they can somewhat just get through it with Cezve. (This is probably still a good ice in GameNET: Where Dreams are Real though.)

2x Enigma are present because this is a pretty good ice in many matchups which bends the cost curve down. For runners on Unity or Cat's Cradle this is still going to cost them something even if they have Cezve. This ice is trivialized by Endurance but if the runner is burning boat counters on Enigma then we are probably winning. This ice is good vs. Captain Padma Isbister: Intrepid Explorer on R&D at the beginning of the game, because it's a cheap ice which they can't simply bounce off of to get another Earthrise Hotel counter.

Pravdivost has great synergy with traps of all kinds since you can throw another advancement on the trap for free right before access, and some contemporary decks (like this one) are using Urtica Cipher. Actually, you can build in a way that has a lot of overlap Superstranger's Truth or Dare deck if you want to.

Here our trap is Chekist Scion rather than Urtica Cipher. Giving the runner 3 tags doesn't produce the same satisfying crunchy sound that giving them 4 net damage does, and it's trash cost is zero rather than two. However, taking 3 clicks and 6 credits is a similarly effective tax on the runners resources, and if the runner doesn't clear tags, we pack 2x Retribution which can usually make it hurt and open a scoring window.

Our other ways to land tags are Tomorrow's Headline and 1x Drago Ivanov. This is not usually critical to the gameplan, it's more opportunistic. Usually when we go out of our way to land a tag, it's to trash The Twinning or to trash Endurance.

When using Chekist Scion, often one of the best ways is to try to pretend that it is a Vladisibirsk City Grid. So you may casually install and advance it. At that point, the runner really has no idea if it is Remastered Edition, if it is Bellona and you have Seamless Launch in hand, or if it is a Vladisibirsk City Grid and you are threatening to score Project Beale from hand next turn. If the runner decides to run somewhere else you can put the Prav counter on it, so it will have two. Once it is double advanced, I like to install a Vladisibirsk City Grid next to it the next turn, and not advance the grid. From the runner's point of view, this looks suspiciously like a Bellona install next to a double advanced Vlad's. But if they run it, they will be rewarded with 4 tags. This can even happen if they try to snipe the "Vlads" with Pinhole Threading, because they will end up accessing the Chekist Scion.

In my opinion, it's good for Prav decks to have a little less ice and a little more traps than usual, because of the ID synergy with traps, and the reality of the Boat meta where a lot of ice rapidly loses staying power. "Defending" your Vlad's grid with Chekist Scion feels better than defending it with a third ice in many respects.

Our ice is probably weakest overall to Anarchists. We don't have all that much ice, so Chisel hurts. Mestnichestvo and Gold Farmer are still taxing in the face of Botulus. We don't have any Magnet. We don't run Tollbooth either which is good but very expensive, and liable to get chisel-charmed.

Also, the NAPD Cordon is weak vs. cards like Imp and Light the Fire! which can simply trash the agenda and bypass the steal cost. Your only counterplay to this is to hide a Spin Doctor on the board.

To beat Anarchists, we have to keep our eye on the prize and play fast. Mestnichestvo is very taxing to Buzzsaw and it usually takes some time for them to find Leech and Ice Carver. Akhet is quite good in this matchup.

Usually Hoshiko takes a while to get setup, and can't really make a big stack of cash except through Liberated Account or Fermenter. Hoshiko also wants to run to activate their ID, but this gives you free advancement counters which helps accelerate you greatly. If you can score Remastered Edition before they have their rig set up, this will help you find a line to victory. Trashing things like Buzzsaw and the The Twinning, perhaps by pretending that Drago Ivanov is a Marilyn Campaign, may also give you a line to victory.

When against Esâ Afontov: Eco-Insurrectionist, the runner will usually be poor and running with Botulus and/or Begemot. The runner will surely have Light the Fire! so the NAPD Cordon play is risky (although you can try to bait it out by bluffing that something is an agenda and playing NAPD cordon). I have found winning lines by icing up HQ and trying to score from hand using Vladisibirsk City Grid.

Two other cards are worth mentioning which help in the Esâ Afontov: Eco-Insurrectionist matchup.

You are very happy if you draw Subliminal Messaging -- if you do, you never play it, you simply hold it and sacrifice it whenever sabotage occurs. Esâ Afontov: Eco-Insurrectionist often has to take turns to draw up and gain credits, so it is likely to return several times. This can help neutralize the small amounts of sabotage that come from Avgustina Ivanovskaya and Marrow periodically.

Crisium Grid is great to install over HQ to block Chastushka. Otherwise, this is kind of a mediocre card in Prav, because if the run is not successful, you won't get a Prav counter. However, situationally it can be very good, and it's notable that it prevents Endurance from getting a power counter also. It's also a good way to prevent a Deep Dive.

If you really want more ice, I would look to cut Crisium Grid first. I would maybe think about throwing in a Magnet. An Ice Wall isn't too terrible either. You could also try cutting Drago if you really want, he's not essential to the game plan, he's really just there as a "value Drago".

20 Nov 2022 Satoshi

After a lot of testing, I have better results with -1 Crisum Grid +1 Marylin Campaign. But would be interested to try with Mavirus also