Infinitybox (Top4 in SC 2015 Kuopio, plus good standings in

Earth Red 946

Okay, before I get into detail about this deck, I'll list how I've faired with iterations of this deck. I've been teching the Professor ever since he came out, and have attended most tourneys in Finland with him. I've used older iterations of this deck in older tournaments, but I'll put this up since this is both the latest and the most successful iteration. Some changes of previous iterations feature shifted amounts of Plascrete Carapaces depending on the meta, adding and removing Disrupter for the same reason, shifting between Medium and Keyhole, and the adding of Clot.

With this deck I've:

  • Reached top 4 in the Kuopio Store Championships of 2015.
  • Won one tournament (Winter 2015 kit).
  • Won two second places and one non-SC top 4.

I've also won a tournament with a really old iteration of this deck a long time a go, but I really can't count that since this deck has evolved too much after that.

Okay to get to the deck itself:

Tl;dr:

  • Professional Contacts and Personal Workshop are your best friends.
  • Maintain growth, and balance not being in too big of a hurry and not letting the corp just play everything past you.
  • Don't just try and amass everything, but balance installing along long term plans and installing reactively.
  • Have the cheapest way to continuously run everywhere.
  • You have single cards to solve situations. Keep that in mind, because you'll be able to make a lot of creative solutions some times.
  • Medium or Nerve Agent (and Sneakdoor Beta if need be) into victory when you see the chance. You'll be able to get into remotes quite efficiently too, most of the time.

General notes and standard gameplan:

  • On a general level this deck is more of a reactive midrange deck than a turtle. Your breaking is cheap and efficient, and you have both powerful tools to win from each server, as well as a big bag of answers to most situations you'll face.
    • In it's natural state, this deck is in a state of constant growth. You'll be clicking at your economy cards and installing stuff into your workshop. You want to ensure a state where you can either surely and/or without risk be doing reactive runs to not let the corp get out of hand. If the corp is not aiming for a victory, you're usually better off securing your own board to be able to react or grab your own winning conditions better.
    • You're dependent on your economy cards. Be ready to mulligan aggressively, since this deck is more susceptible to losing because of stupid starting hands. Professional Contacts is your best friend, since it lets you both get to growing your board and gives you credits to use your board. You'll notice a recurring theme of clicking it twice and playing two cards (installing on Personal Workshop a lot). Magnum Opus is not crucial, but if you don't draw it and see an opening for you to tutor it and actually gain a monetary advantage out of it, do it.
  • In general, your (or maybe even the Professors in a wider sense) biggest threat is the corp scoring agendas past you, you not being able to either get your rig up fast enough or have enough credits to do reactive runs. When you start learning the ropes of this deck, you'll probably lose some games solely to this.
    • Thus, you must play your turns in accordance to this so as not to give voluntary openings for the corp to just steamroll. You might not be in a hurry in a lot of matchups when the corp scores their first agenda, but at latest after that you should be ready to throw in any and all answers as you best see fit. As such, you should aim for a situation where you have both the money and the cards so that the corp either hands you agendas or actually has to plan it's moves.
  • Scavenge + Test Run is what really get's you going, but if you don't get to pull it off, make sure you have
  • All though Leprechaun and Djinn are the bread and butter of you actually installing your programs, you shouldn't do the beginners mistake of wasting tutors on them too early. Only do so in the most dire and extreme situations.
  • This deck is problematic in the sense that it requires more commitment and familiarization than a lot of other decks. Just to get let you know.

Why did I choose card X:

  • Stimhack: I've seen two different uses for Professors single influence in the rare competitive Professor decks. Either Stimhack, or a second Datasucker. I really don't like Datasuckers in this deck due to the fact that they make a borderline too slow deck even slower. I'm not saying their bad per se, but that I'd rather try and keep my ability to react and run off the bat stronger without additional setup. Stimhack and Personal Workshop or Self-modifying Code will be something really strong for you to do.
  • Daily Casts vs. Sure Gamble. In an ideal situation I'd play both, but seeing as deck slots are so hard to come by, I chose Daily Casts because of it's one credit gain over Sure Gamble and it's lower install cost. It'll fit right into your turn-by-turn growth play, and you'll still usually be able to play it without going too low on credits. If you decide to switch it with Sure Gamble, do so with all means, I'd see it as just as good.
  • My breaker suite is pretty much the biggest and most credit efficient stuff out there. Personal Workshop and Test Run + Scavenge mitigate a lot out their install costs, and leave me with the best long-term breakers I can get. Corroder and Femme are there to solve some remaining situations and problematic ice that my main suite can't handle. Corroder can also be used for early reactive runs if need be, if you're lower on credits. D4v1d also makes some corps flip the table if you can re-install it enough, and in general is a good program to have around, being both super cheap and efficient.
  • Clot, Disrupter and Grappling Hook are pure answers to certain decks and situations. They should cover a lot of out-of-, and in-meta situations.
  • I don't play a console because no console gives me enough bang for it's card slot. You could, in theory, replace one Leprechaun with Astrolabe or to a lesser extent Dinosaurus, but I my self would rather take the mathematical benefit of naturally drawing Leprechaun far more often.
  • Djinn is simple enough. Gain more memory units. Tutor programs that have a big effect on the game. What more can I say?
  • Imp is a solid card on it's own, and can do some good harm to the corp, but I've noticed that wasting a tutor for it will be usually just a waste of tutoring and money (unless you have Djinn). Some exceptions could be using it to secure trashes of extra-pesky cards in certain matchups and to secure SanSan City Grid trashes.
  • Medium, Nerve Agent and Sneakdoor Beta are cards that are your winning condition cards, and what's best, two of them can be naturally tutored with Djinn. They ensure being able to win by running continuously into whichever central you see fit. Especially here, don't try and amass everything, but install reactively and whichever you see fit.

Match ups:

  • Big-ice spamming match ups like Blue Sun will revolve around your D4v1d. Don't waste it.
  • NEH, or Never Ending Hell, will revolve around your own personal skill. You can pull it off, but it'll be hard and frustrating. This match up is an arms race where you'll be playing clot back and back again, and they'll be waiting to get instant speed purging. Try to overpower NEH, or it'll just rush past you with ease.
  • Against most Jinteki decks, you might not want to have the cards you need sit around in your hand. Don't be too afraid of net damage, but don't take it unless you absolutely have to. Be patient and look for the cracks of the corps game plan. Deus X is your friend against big bursts of damage.
  • Against Scorched Earth and Punitive Counterstrike decks, your game will revolve around Plascrete Carapace, Disrupter and having a lot of money. Patience will usually win you this matchup. Argus Security might give you some headache, but it's not played enough for me to have gotten enough good testing against it.
  • Ice Advance decks rise and fall with your D4v1d plays.

Thanks for checking out my deck! I hope you like it, and I hope Professor will see more competitive play in the future. :) Thoughts and ideas are all welcome! And most of all, if the competitive meta you are in doesn't require a card or two in this deck, change things up. If you're sure you won't be using Disrupter even once since no-one plays NBN or Scorched Earth decks in your meta for some reason, switch it up with something you need.

8 comments
7 Jun 2015 Fl3xbyts

I've been in love with the Professor since he came out, and always tried to make him work. I too found that the same two weaknesses: getting rigged up quickly AND having the money needed to make runs.

I'm curious about a few things:

1) Disrupter. Very neat inclusion; totally forgot that card even existed. I presume you pop it out when they play Midseason Replacements, and to a lesser extent maybe SEA Source. Are there any other times you play this? How useful has this card been?

2) Nerve Agent. When is it optimal to play; early when HQ is open/cheap, or later in the game when it may be more likely that they have agendas in hand (using the idea that an agenda is drawn by the Corp every 5 turns)?

3) I presume that Medium, Nerve Agent and Sneakdoor Beta are never installed onto Personal Workshop because you want it to be a surprise, right?

4) Do you find your Clone Chips to be taxed, considering a) the amount of programs in the deck, some will naturally be discarded, b) recursion of D4v1d, Self-modifying Code, maybe Clot?

5) Because much of the needed memory is dependent on Djinn and Leprechauns, when is it safe to run without fearing program trashing? I understand that the Professor has a flexible rig, but are there key "necessary" components to your rig?

Thank you for sharing your deck! I look forward to your words. :)

7 Jun 2015 Fl3xbyts

Is Kati Jones necessary, if you have Magnum Opus? Why are they both in the deck?

8 Jun 2015 Earth Red

Hi @Fl3xbyts, glad you like my deck, here's my answers, question by question:

  1. Disrupter is a problematic card as an include. I've been on the edge of removing it, but came to the conclusion that it's a really meta dependent card to the max, seeing as it's return isn't that super. In the tournament meta of my city and the cities nearby, there's a fair amount of big trace cards, so I've been able to use it a lot, and probably have won two tournament matches thanks to it. If, however, the meta you are in doesn't support playing it, just play another card that gives you credits or a program that's an answer to a more common problem in the meta you are in. It's an OK card, but not an auto-include. This could change when the new NBN big box hits the market.

  2. Playing an access virus early if you have the chance will either get you an agenda or two or then just make your early game really labile and clunky. Doing so could win you the game, but I my self don't prefer such high-risk-high-reward plays with the Professor since your ability to recover from such is really bad in most cases. I'd rather save Nerve Agents and Mediums for the endgame, when you can run continuously.

  3. Usually, yes. If you think you can pull it off, installing one of your "winning cards" on Personal Workshop a turn early to either get an extra click of running for agendas the next turn, or to create a false threat and pressure the corp to secure the wrong server, are also options.

  4. Your Clone Chips are, most of the time, a really valuable resource that yes, deplete really, really quickly. So yes, I do. I tend to mitigate this by planning ahead what Clone Chip heap installs will be the breaking points in the match up at hand. So, again, yes, usually they burn up for D4v1d, Self-modifying Code and Clot. Especially Clot... If you had a deeper question at had I didn't catch it, so did I give you the answer you where looking for?

  5. It all comes to your analysis of the matchup. If you still have everything in your Personal Workshop and nothing hard-installed, I wouldn't be too afraid. Generally, if you fear trash programs a lot after installing programs and still want to pressure with a few runs, Test Run + Scavenge for a Garrote is probably your safest option, seeing as almost all really dangerous ice are sentries. All in all the only "necessary" components for you are a SMC and some money to be able to make pressuring, reactive runs. Preferably you'd have more, of course, but the more isn't usually something you hunt for, just a general build up of your board. Tutors in general is all you need to be some threat, if you have the cash. You won't be a beast rampaging the corp, so don't overestimate yourself if you don't have the cash, but you can still snipe servers with a few select pressuring runs if the corp doesn't respect you, as with all flexible decks.

  6. Kati Jones is a really good card to start with or draw early to mid game, while as Magnum Opus is just something you'll grab for when you get the chance. With Kati, it's easier to maintain steady board growth and draws, and still get to 10-15 credits when you actually need the money, while as Magnum Opus requires more devotion (the biggest thing being memory units) to get going. Even if you start with Opus, you usually shouldn't aimlessly be going wild with it, seeing as you'll still want to be drawing cards and setting up your board. And when you have reasonable draws and most of your economy up, clicking Kati, two Professional Contacts draws and a Personal Workshop install will net you one card more than two Magnum Opus clicks, a draw and a Personal Workshop install. Thus, in term of your plans for game flow, I really don't see them as closing each other out, since Magnum Opus is intended for long-term economy and big bursts, while as Kati Jones will be clicking away while you're doing other things, only to give you even bigger rewards for the clicks you spent when you'll actually need the money.

I'm really tired, so if I missed something just give me a hollar! It's nice to see discussion spewing about my deck.

9 Jun 2015 JAK

Are you familiar with the ruling on Disrupter? (See the comments on the card's page.) It can never really save you more than a couple of credits.

9 Jun 2015 Earth Red

@JAK Yeah, 5 or 6 recursively in certain matchups. That's why I see Disrupter as a purely meta-reliant card, and not an auto-include to straight up win situations (since it's more of a big annoyance for Midseason Replacements, Punitive Counterstrike and to a smaller extent Ash 2X3ZB9CY plays.) Finlands high-end meta is quite scorch-type heavy, so that's why I play it. Here, I'll end up using it a lot, and enough for me to justify playing it.

20 Jul 2015 say200426

How do you maintain the MU?

20 Jul 2015 Earth Red

@say200426 Djinn and Leprechaun have been sufficient enough. Or did you mean to ask from a playstyle perspective?

5 Feb 2016 MightyToenail

Why don't you include a console for some MU?