Vamp Kit - 1st place Regionals Dortmund 2/5/15

Eldraian 285

I. The Idea and a confession

I've had a soft spot for Kit since I first laid eyes on her. This deck is my latest version I took to my first regional and I never expected it to do as well as it did. The deck went 5-1 in the swiss rounds (dropping one game to classic astrobiotics) and remained undefeated in the top 8 cut. The inspiration to include the Vamp (which was the all-star in almost every single game) came from watching the appropriately named Jeremy Bright rock the Tulsa Store Championsship with it. That idea seemed too good not to steal and claim as my own. I don't know his exact decklist, but I imagine it looks a lot like this one, so the credit for that obviously goes to him.

I'm a shaper by heart and Kit is "the" shaper to me. You are pretty much always going to have a way into a server. I felt like Magnum Opus economy combined with the usual pressure on R&D that shapers generate and their unmatched capability to get into even the most heavily defened remote servers was too good to pass up.

II. Piloting

The general plan is pretty straightforward. You are looking for a Magnum Opus first turn, or at least a Self-modifying Code with 7 credits ready. If you don't hit either, you should hopefully at least have Diesel to draw into either one. If all else fails, spending a Test Run , hopefully followed by a Scavenge on this is ok, too. After that is done, you start generating money, while hopefully drawing into a Personal Workshop to host R&DI's and/or Breakers on, while you check undefended remotes (or use the Cyber-Cypher if it is defended. If you happen to have Test Run and Scavenge ready, you obviously want to go for the Torch right away instead.

You can always poke at the centrals, if they don't have multiple ICE rezzed. With the release of Clot, I figured most corps would go for scoring out of a remote. They are going to need some time for that, which you use to get your R&D Interfaces and outpace their economy with opus. This is going to be a little painful if they are running a lot of asset economy, but it has to be done. Once they have a scoring remote set up (which both RP and HB liked to do with both Caprice and Ash in this regional), you use Vamp to break their bank and clean the remote. Usually HQ is less ICE'd up than R&D because you have open multi-access for that server. One ICE is nothing to Kit, the Femme Fatale (brought in through Test Run or the Personal Workshop) for the inner ICE makes sure the Vamp hits. You can keep the foot on their throat with Same Old Thing and then just pound the centrals, using your efficient breakers (where Kit's ability really helps again) until you win.

III. Problems

So, everything's perfect? Well, this deck has issues with the old Astrobiotics-NEH, because it usually is just not fast enough. This could be helped by swapping either the Stimhacks (which are nice to get your stuff off the workshop or for a final surprise run on R&D or the remote though) for Clot, if Astrobiotics is still big in your meta.

If you meet the dreaded Blue Sun kill deck, you're going to have to hope, they don't run too far away with their Oversight/Curtain Wall trick early on. But this deck is running two Plascrete Carapaces that you can also host on the Personal Workshop, so that's at least some protection from their retaliation when you inevitably score something.

IV. Exchangable cards

If you're less paranoid than I am (it should be noted I was running a Butcher Shop-style deck on the corp side, so I always expect others to try to kill my own runner as well), you can easily drop one of the Plascrete Carapaces for a third Astrolabe to help against NEH/RP/HB. A Akamatsu Mem Chip could also be replaced like this.

I've been thinking about dropping the Legwork for an HQ Interface, but decided against it, because I don't want to seem like I'm threatening HQ before the Vamp hits. If you keep threatening the scoring server and you suspect agendas start piling up in the corps hand, you can still pick it card by card if you don't draw the Legwork. They won't have the money to defend both centrals against your breaker suite, especially after falling victim to a (or even a repeated) Vamp. They might be out of Economy cards, while your own remeains stable as ever.

I've had some exiting and close games with this deck and would love to hear some ideas to tweak and hopefully still improve it, so fire away!

3 May 2015 BTrain

I had been running a freakishly similar build out of Kit for a while (experimenting with Hayley now though), and had a lot of success with it. Teally the only thing I would look at is whether you should open up room Sure Gamble. The only changes I have compared to this list are -1 Plascrete, -1 RDI, -1 Deus Ex, -1 SMC / +3 Sure Gamble, +1 Lady.

Sure Gamble really smooths out your early game and either makes it incredibly easy to get Magnum Opus online, or at worst serves as net neutral once Mopus is installed (click to draw + click for 4 = two clicks of Magnum Opus). At least in my area, the kill decks are being phased out for bigger and more taxing glaciers, so I'm more than comfortable going down to a single Plascrete.

And the flexibility of having two Ladies can't be overstated. It messes with a corp who's trying to scout your Scavenges, or getting you to waste time and resources popping a Same Old Thing on one. What's also fantastic is having a one-counter Lady in play, Test Running a second copy out of your stack and breaking everything you can with the new Lady knowing those counters are just going to reset next turn once you install over the first copy. It's such a powerful breaker that I think it's worth catering to its limited-use nature.

Otherwise, glad to see you're loving Vamp Kit! It's my favorite style to play for my favorite Shaper :)

4 May 2015 Eldraian

I've had Sure Gamble in the deck for a while, but now that I've cut it, I'm not really missing it. The only time it really helps me, is if I have it in the start draw with an Opus or I lack Opus and SMC but have a Quality Time to draw for them which I wouldn't play otherwise.

A second is really worth considering though. I'm probably going to cut a Plascrete Carapace anyway and a second Lady is the most likely replacement for it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

4 May 2015 Saan

I don't suppose you'd also mind posting the corp deck you used?

4 May 2015 Eldraian

Ask and you shall receive :-)

4 May 2015 Eldraian

Ask and you shall receive:

4 May 2015 Eldraian

Apparently I cannot post the whole link for some reason. But you should be able to find it anyway.

4 May 2015 Saan

Thanks =)

4 May 2015 proxy

Post-Breaker Bay, what about Study Guide in place of Torch? Is the Test Run > Scavenge combo too strong to remove Torch?

6 May 2015 Eldraian

I have yet to test that one. Study Guide sure is a good card, I'm not entirely convinced I can fit it in this deck. It is only more efficient than Torch (which I hardly ever pay in full for) if you regularly break high strenght ICE or never, so you don't need to pump strength. My initial thought with the guide was recurring credits, which I have no room for in this deck. Stimhack also does the trick though. I guess I'll just have to experiment with it a little.

13 May 2015 Watzlav

I sleeved Chris Hinkes' Vamp Kit replacing Indexing with Tinkering and Gordian Blade with Torches and Atman. I can also see myself replacing Nerve Agent with Legwork, which would make it very similar to your list.

What do you think of The Toolbox in that deck? I think in glacier meta it could be reasonable with plenty of #Personal Workshop or #Modded.

20 May 2015 Alturis

This may be a given to many of the players here; however, I have a question on what you mean by the Test Run/Scavenge combo. Are you allowed to test run out torch, use Scavenge to trash torch, and immediately re-install it (avoiding having to return it to your stack? or are you using it to install another item for free due to Torch's high cost.

20 May 2015 Eldraian

@Alturis Yes, Test Run/Scavenge is a way to tutor out your Torch and immediately re-install it with Scavenge, because you can trash Torch with the first step of Scavenge, then get it out of your heap with the second step of the card. The same trick can be used on Femme Fatale. This can now be countered by Blacklist though.

@Watzlav I didn't know the deck by Chris Hinkes, but I actually like the idea of Nerve Agent over Legwork very much. It just might become a MU issue in some cases, but the potential upside is massive. I might actually swap that myself. Somehow I thought that one splashed for 3.

I don't really think this deck needs Tinkering though. It seems like a natural choice in a Kit deck, but I rarely ever need it and in previous versions of my attempts at making Kit work, they almost always just ended clogging up my hand. The ID ability and the other efficient breakers hardly ever warrant the use of it over just clicking for 2 credits. It might prevent some early aggressive scoring a two-deep remote, but if they go for that, they'll pretty much have to give up their centrals in the meantime, which means you can establish an R&D lock and/or Vamp them to their point they're incapable of scoring.

The Toolbox is nice, especially with MU sometimes being kind of tight and you can host it on the workshop. I personally prefer Astrolabe because it allows you to fight back against Astrobiotics a little more and really helps against aggressive use of Asset Economy of HB and RP, which is necessary. Any click you don't have to use to draw is one you can use to establish financial superiority.