The latest iteration of a favourite deck of mine. The idea is to be taxing as hell, using the already strong Bioroids in combination with the Stronger Together ability and some support cards to achieve this.
Bioroids are crazy powerful for their cost, but they pay for this in porosity. It leads to an annoying set of circumstances in the early game; to be 'safe', you need multiple rezzed bioroids. To rez multiples, you need a fair amount of money (the lowest cost Bioroid in the deck is 3, with a lot being 4-5). However, the early porosity means you are vulnerable to things like Vamp and Account Siphon. If you get behind in the early game, it's hard to catch up.
I've made some changes from the previous version: I've dropped Wormhole in favour of a second Architect and Viktor 2.0. Wormhole suffered from being brilliant when it worked, but just not being reliable enough in this setup. It was particularly annoying to see them in the opening hand.
I've also dropped Targeted Marketing marketing and used the 6 influence to put in 2 Housekeepings. Targeted Marketing was there as anti-AS tech, and whilst it was more versatile than Crisium Grid, it was difficult to pull it off effectively with any reliability. Housekeeping is heavy on the influence, but it's pretty murderous, so I feel it's worth a look.
I dropped the Lag Time, initially in favour of IT Department; both were inclusions to mess with maths and hate upon Atman. However, something I'd found since switching to a Operation-based economy was that I sometimes suffered from unreliable cash-flow; it would all come in bursts. I've put in 2 Adonis Campaign in there; 3 is enough to rez over 1/3 of the bits of ICE in a pinch, and it's a nice target for Architect. I considered Private Contracts here, as it's more taxing, but the -intensive nature can work against you in the early game when you really need to get some layers to your defences.
Hive and Turing are in there because you will benefit from having some non- Bioroid ETRs in the deck. Hive is extremely taxing for the cost... Less convinced by Turing, though. It's pricier than I'd like, and if you get it early game you don't really want it on a central, which are what you need to protect. However, these were previously Enigma, which was marginally cheaper but not noticeably more effective. Turing has the advantage of mild AI hate and a boost when on a remote, which makes it taxing enough to be annoying. The problem with Enigma was that you didn't want to draw it anywhere but the opening hand; Turing has more enduring appeal.
The now-dual Architect is excellent at any point in the game. All the other ICE is Bioroids. At some point in my twiddling I've slipped below 20 ICE, which I am uncomfortable with.
Both upgrades are defensive in nature. Ash 2X3ZB9CY needs no explanation, but Heinlein Grid is a little different. It seems perfect on paper, but it gets a lot of flak. I still hold with them because they remove options from the runner. It almost forces them to pay through all of the ICE, which is only to your advantage. Also, since it disincentivises spending clicks it synergises with Brain-Taping Warehouse.
Brain-Taping Warehouse is pseudo-money, but not a patch on the real thing. I've dropped from 3 to 2 so that I could go back up to 20 ICE. 3 was overkill, especially as about a third of the ICE is not Bioroid. Subliminal Messaging is the closest thing to a free credit in the game, and you will often get to use them multiple times in a game due to the taxing nature of the ICE. Hedge Fund is standard.
Medical Research Fundraiser is an odd choice, but I'm standing by it for the moment. I tried Sweeps Week prior to putting the Housekeepings in, but I found that with the exception of Andromeda starts, it wasn't pulling its weight. Between the Viktors, Heimdall 2.0, and the Ichis, people were frequently taking at least one brain damage. Sweeps Week is pretty poor in those circumstances.
I've stuck with Medical Research Fundraiser because being on 10 first turn for one means I can hopefully put down any two pieces of ICE an be able to rez them both (excluding Ichi 2.0 and Heimdall 2.0. The 3 gift is irritating, particularly as that almost covers NAPD Contract, and does cover all of my Assets and Upgrades, but I see it like this; I give them 3 once, but they probably have to pay more that 3 every time they hit the ICE I rez with the extra credits.
How to Play
I've taken out any of the anti-AS tech, so you have to be super-wary of the possibility of that being played. Protecting HQ should be first priority, even more so than it usually is. I will sometimes double-stack HQ before putting ICE anywhere else if I suspect AS/Wanton Destruction plays. Hive is absolutely the best starting ICE to put on HQ. After that it's either Viktor 2.0 or Turing, with the latter being slightly better in the absence of a decoder. Then Eli 1.0, and then just about anything else. If you get down to 'anything else', double stack if you are expecting anything resource-draining.
That may seem overly paranoid, but if they drop you to 0, it will probably be at least 2 turns before you can rez anything, and almost all drains are HQ based.
Just about anything can be used to protect R&D and the remotes, but you'll almost certainly need at least 2+ layers for security. Adonis Campaign and Archives can usually be protected by just one bit of ICE. I don't ususally protect Jackson Howard or Brain-Taping Warehouse unless I've already at least double-stacked HQ and R&D.
Once you get over my unrelenting paranoia about Account Siphon (most of my losses with this deck can be ascribed to AS), there are a lot of viable hands. My favourite is Hive, Architect, Hedge Fund. But any hand in which you get an econ operation and two bits of ICE is a good start. If you can get two of the 3 bits of ICE, then even Subliminal Messaging will do as a stop-gap, but that's not great. 2 of the cheap bioroids and Brain-Taping Warehouse is also a surprisingly effective play.
Anything that increases rez costs is annoying, but probably not crippling. If it is a massed example (Reina, Rook, Xanadu, for example), you're in trouble.
E3 implants are a bit of a bugger, particularly if Quetzal is packing them. You'll be quite reliant on Heinlein Grid in those cases.
Anything that drains your credits before you can get your ICE rezzed is an absolute bugger, and will slow you massively in the early game.
Much as I love Housekeeping, it is a big chunk of influence. On the other hand, what would I swap it for? I've got the ICE roughly how I want it (although I have an alternative plan in mind too)... econ-wise, I feel like my options are either switching the Medical Research Fundraisers for Celebrity Gift, or switching the Adonis Campaign for The Root. I particularly like The Root, as you can often get your money back quickly. Less keen on Celebrity Gift, as I like to be able to play 2 bits of ICE and get some money, which this precludes.
There are two alternatives to this deck in the works; one using Defective Brainchips and suchlike as a brain-damage murderdeck, but I'm not sure if it will work better in this or Cybernetics Division: Humanity Upgraded. The other uses the NEXT suite to provide early cover that becomes increasingly taxing as the game goes on.
Thanks for reading! Opinions, comments and criticisms are always appreciated!
10 May 2015 esutter479
10 May 2015 Jashay
10 May 2015 esutter479