Break The Meta! - Palm Bay, FL Regional (3rd Seed)

indeflab4 162

Before I get into the deck and how it played, I just want to give a shout out and thanks to Dogs of War Gaming in Palm Bay, FL for hosting the event, and for streaming the whole ordeal.

TL;DR: IG goes 5-0 in Swiss, and 0-1 in Top 8 cut due to Noise milling ICE needed to secure R&D against Medium dig.

The inspiration for this deck came from 3 sources: the Bloodlock deck from a few months ago, Cory from the Atlanta Regional steam, and my own desire as a Jinteki player to play and understand each ID in the faction. IG ended up being relatively ignored due to how close it released compared to the Order and Chaos spoilers, as well as the fact that the ability, at first glance, is equal parts odd and somewhat replicated via other cards (i.e. Encryption Protocol). Turns out, however, making stuff harder to trash without using other cards is pretty damn good and slows runners down as they try to catch up to your board state.

Another thing to recall is that, since this is a Jinteki deck, net damage is a real threat. This deck isn't even close to being a kill deck, and yet I had 2 flatlines on the day due to enticing runners into servers they had no business going into with their current set-up (more on that later). The important thing to remember is that, when a runner takes damage, they have to draw back up to avoid that ugly "not dying" thing.

I swapped the influence around compared to Bloodlock to get more ETR, taxing ICE for remotes. I never really used the Archived Memories in testing with that deck, so I decided to use that influence to tax out runners further on my remote, allowing Ash to do even more work than he already does. Tollbooth wasn't even broken on the day, and taxed about 6-9 credits over the Swiss rounds.

Here's the round-by-round breakdown:

Round 1: Played against Magnum Opus Kit, who, on turn 1, installed 2 cards, played Maker's Eye into my open R&D, and proceeded to die to a Snare. Don't run with 2 cards against Jinteki, kids. We played a fun game with the extra time in the round, which went MUCH better for the Kit player, who made bank with Magnum, and even Escher'ed dead ICE into my scoring remote. However, thanks to Interns and Jackson (Praise be to Him), I was able to trash and re-install ICE onto the server before I could lose Caprice/Ash and score out with my piles of asset money.

Round 2: Played against Andromeda "The Deck". I started with a hand full of ICE, surprisingly, which I used to lock down the centrals on the first few turns. Andy wasn't able to build up an early lead thanks to that, and had no money until finding a Kati Jones in the midgame. By that time, I was sitting on 15-20 credits reliably, with most ICE rezzed. Caprice did work in the remote, and I scored out 7-2, with the runner stealing a Fetal AI. No assets were trashed except one Sundew I put into my remote for a few turns to build up stupid cash piles.

Round 3: Played against Leela with the good criminal cards. Thanks go to Tsurugi in this matchup, as this ICE forced out Faerie plays early, and a surprise Snare in a remote hit Mimic. From there, the centrals were locked down, and, despite the Runner finding 5 points early (thanks R&D /s), I scored 7 straight in the remote and managed to deck the runner at the same time.

Round 4: Played against Prepaid Ken Tenma, who was one of the only people on the day to frequently check the archives, and rather than lose the 1 card left in his hand, decided to keep an early Shi-Kyu (this is relevant later). We go back and forth on money, with me breaking ahead on points 5-1 with an IAA Future Perfect behind Tollbooth and Ashigaru w/ Caprice/Ash. He glory runs into R&D with The Maker's Eye and then Same Old Thing Maker's Eye, and finds 5 points of agendas, not winning out thanks to the Shi Kyu he took early in the game. Scored out next turn for the win. Closest game on the day by far.

Round 5: Ended up sitting in on one of the top tables, and was on stream ( Played against another Good Stuff Leela deck, who was digging hard for HQ pressure against my open HQ. I only had enough ICE to protect random accesses on R&D, as my deck was only spitting assets my way. I was making stupid money, but had nothing to spend it on, so I made a weird play: I left 4 cards in HQ, trying to entice the Legwork, and that shit somehow worked. Next turn, Leela draws with Mr Li twice, Legworks in, and hits both Snares. Flatline on stream. Awww yeah.

This deck ended up undefeated (5-0) in the Swiss, which I confidently took to the first round of double-elimination against Noise. I knew that, once Noise was set-up, I'd be in trouble, so I let his mills fill Archives for me, and rushed out a remote to score into. I had 5 points after about 10 turns (definitely a record for the deck), but Noise found the right tools he needed after that, blew up the ICE on R&D, and Medium dug for 7 points, with Hades Fragment giving it up at the end. If he had found the Snare in my deck rather than that agenda, I would have flatlined the Noise player, having stole a Fetal AI and finding 2 Shocks on the dig runs, but, alas, it wasn't meant to be. He milled most of my ICE, and so blowing up R&D wasn't too tough for him.

Overall, this deck plays like a combination of old school PE and RP: tax the runner out with damage, make assets too tough to trash, to the point that the runner breaks their own back keeping up with the board state. I had a player at, one point, access Caprice in HQ, and wanted to trash it until I reminded them that she was 5 Credits and 1 net damage to trash. He left it in HQ, which I then promptly put into my scoring remote.

This deck is slow, is a gross slog to play against, and completely took everyone by surprise because of the reputation that IG has as a "gimmicky" ID. I developed a phrase over the course of the day, and that phrase was "Break the Meta," which I am naming this deck in order to tell folks that no ID is gimmicky or bad, it's just a matter of finding the cards, strategy and playstyle necessary to make it work.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop a line below, and I will do my best to answer and reply. Go out there, and Break the Meta!

1 Jun 2015 say200426

Could you give an example about how to pilot this one?

I wanted to try IG from it's not even release, but I just cannot understand the way it's being played.

1 Jun 2015 indeflab4

@say200426 So, the overall goal of the deck is score out of a big remote using now hard-to-trash upgrades and big, taxing ICE. The early game is spent adding face-down cards via Jackson/regular overdraw to Archives (usually Shock/Shi-Kyu or early agendas) to make your assets harder to trash so you can slowly build up credits. Hostile Infrastructure helps tax out on trashing via damage, which the runner has to respect thanks to Tsurugi and Snare.

The remote develops slowly, usually with Tollbooth/Ashigaru/Tsurugi over an Ash and Caprice. Heck, some games I install Ash naked into a remote because the runner has to pay 5-7 creds and 1-2 damage to trash it, and most runners can't afford to do that and keep you from building up your board state. I'd say the deck starts to score out its agendas about 20-25 minutes into the game, where you just chain out agendas thanks to your monster econ from PAD/Melange/Sundew and the fatigue from the damage you've inflicted to the runner's deck.

Your ICE typically looks like 1 taxing piece over each central, and then about 2 ICE on the remote over Ash/Caprice. I generally use the Interns for trashed upgrades, and the Jackson generally recurs the assets and ELP.

Hopefully that little synopsis helps out. Let me know if you have any other questions!

1 Jun 2015 say200426

I always wondering if I want to or have to ICE up my archive or not.

Also, what to throw into archives. Every single card seems useful.

1 Jun 2015 indeflab4

@say200426 ICE over archives usually comes down to if your opponent is running Eater or not. Eater allows the runner to break ICE over Archives without accessing cards, but still causes the cards to be filled over, so Shocks and such don't fire. In almost all other cases, you want at least 1 ICE on Archives.

When it comes to what to discard, Shocks and the Shi Kyu are the main targets, because they provide a real tax on the runner from Archives whether they are face-up or face-down. From there, spare agendas to be Jackson'ed later, as well as Cortex Lock in the late game can be good targets, too. Some runners decided not to trash anything from the get-go, so I only ever rezzed 1 Hostile Infrastructure and threw away the others in those games. Sometimes you see both ELP early, so the 2nd copy can be thrown out and brought up with Jackson as well if needed. Currents tend to stick for 10-12 turns easy with this deck.

Really, it comes down to figuring out at that moment what isn't as useful as the other cards in hand, kinda like how your standard discards work for other IDs. We just have better targets than others thanks to Shock and Shi Kyu most times.

1 Jun 2015 Erik_Twice

I'm glad to hear you did well with the deck, hope you had fun :)

Your list is pretty much how I would run it right now except I would run a third Ashigaru over Tollboth and replace one of the Interns with Reclamation Order to allow the deck to come back from the destruction of its PADs or Hostile Infrastructures.

But yeah I think the list is very good, congrats! :)

1 Jun 2015 indeflab4

@Erik_Twice I absolutely had a blast playing this deck. No one expected IG to even show up, let alone go undefeated in the Swiss rounds. So much for RP as top corp, huh? =P

The Tollbooth did good work on the day, so it'd be hard for me to cut it just on that bias alone, but there's a good argument for a 3rd Ashigaru for the remote or another central. Gotta tax those Ladies, after all.

Reclamation Order, and even his little brother in Archived Memories, never did much work for me. Heck, Interns was only used twice on the day, once in 2 match-ups to get a trashed Hokusai once and a Caprice once. The runners I face against never wanted to trash anything once 2-3 cards were in Archives and a Hostile was rezzed. so the recursion wasn't super important. If that changes in the future, though, I think the change you suggested would be warranted.

2 Jun 2015 Erik_Twice


As players get better, they'll start trashing more and more of your cards. Hostile Infrastructure will go down as soon as possible, for example. Reclamation Order allows you to play a whole set of trashed assets again so it comes handy. Still, I wouldn't play more than one copy, I never played my second :P

Also IG > RP =P

5 Jun 2015 Hockmanm08

Congrats on making too cut. I played against security testing runners most of the day :(

My camera game reclamation order pulled back 3 Hostiles. Kate had to go through 6 of those bad boys. It's so strong in this deck.

The one card I question a lot is Shi Kyu. I never had it do work and I feel it could easily be replaced with something a little more productive.

It was great meeting you, and glad an IG made the cut.