Ken Pre-Pays for his Silent Blade v1.3

dasher 54

An update to my take on Pre-Paid Kate Ken, instead of Kate.

A recent comment pointed out to me the inefficiency of Lucky Find compared to Dirty Laundry, especially in a Ken deck. With 3 Prepaid VoicePADs and a Desperado out, Dirty Laundry comes in at 7 creds for Ken's first click (9 if you can add Security Testing in the mix), which compared to 5.5 creds for a single click with Lucky Find (thanks to it being a double [9 + 1 + 1] / 2), so bye-bye Lucky Find.

Most of the remaining events are pretty standard for Criminal decks.

Tyson Observatory is a great card, and helps you get you hardware out quicker. It is a seriously underplayed card IMO.

As for the the rest... lots of runs events for Ken's ability. Not many expect a Knifed in Criminal (but it suits Ken more than the other Crim IDs), which is nice for dealing with Curtain Walls, Wotans and the like. The Femme Fatale is in there for the same reason - ideally using Retrieval Run paid for with your Pre-Paids to bring her hideous cost from 9 to ZERO, thanks very much!

Donut Taganes is something that I am just trying out here, as Ken's ability negates his effect, and I am curious to see what effect an extra cred might have on the Corp's ability to lay down some of their more common events. One less credit on the trace for Punitive Counterstrike and Midseason Replacements are the two main ones that come to mind. If he doesn't make much difference, then I will replace him with a Professional Contacts for more card draw.

Would love to find room for a couple of Hacktivist Meetings - seriously love that card (and Housekeeping for the Corps - but not when played against me, of course!). I would probably drop the Knifed and Rachel Beckman to put them in.

28 Jun 2015 Softman25

The only thing that screams at me is that you're essentially devoting 7 deck slots (3 Silencers, 3 Ghost Runners and the Switch itself) to one breaker. Usually 1 slot is taken. These extra slots could turn into more tech cards, more money, whatever, if it was replaced with a Femme Fatale, or heaven forbid, a Ninja.

I dunno, I'm sure it's working for you (otherwise why are we here discussing a deck in its 3rd iteration!), I'm just not convinced. I'm essentially asking you to convince me. I'm curious how / why it works!

28 Jun 2015 WardOfTheWoods

I think you could tinker with the influence use more. Donut Taganes is counterintuitive to how you are playing your deck. To devote 4 influence to Retrieval Run when you only have 1 Femme in the whole deck also seems very inefficient.

You could cut 7 whole slots by getting rid of Switchblade/Ghost Runner/Silencer. It's way too many slots used up IMO to make it viable in your current build. You could easily throw in 3 Faerie and have sentries covered and still have 4 slots left.

I don't think you have enough support to make Tyson worthwhile either, freeing up 2 more influence and another deck slot for you. With all the influence and slots you have open after this, you could probably run I've Had Worse and Earthrise Hotel and still find all the cards you could possibly want.

29 Jun 2015 dasher

Thank you for the comments, the feedback is much appreciated.

@Softman25 – you are correct that it dedicates a lot of the deck to the Switchblade, and in all honesty 3x Ghost Runner might be a bit of overkill, but at least some extra stealth creds in addition to the Silencer are needed to combat the sneaky Corp who stacks their Sentry ICE. It generally costs 2 stealth creds to break most Sentry ICE with Switchblade (the noticeable exceptions are Janus 1.0 and Orion which require 3 creds – and Janus gets dropped regularly in my meta), so those 3 recurring Silencer creds are not enough if the Corp stacks Sentry ICE on a server.

Another option could be to bump the base strength of Switchblade up using Dinosaurus or Net-Ready Eyes, but where to get the influence? Donut Taganes and Rachel Beckman are the most likely candidates. I cannot recall an in-faction breaker boost for Criminal. However, that is dedicating even more deck space to a single breaker - although NRE can be used on all breakers.

I have found that previous iterations of the deck have run OK with similar econ, mainly because the stealth creds act as econ as well. Once the Switchblade and Silencers are installed, you are no longer paying to break routines out of your own cred pool. The Femme Fatale can also help econ in this regards if placed on a Wotan or similarly taxing ICE.

Another option is to go full stealth and add a Refractor and/or BlacKat, but that would require the addition of a few Cloaks as well. Dropping the Gordian Blade, Donut and Rachel would free up 6 influence to include 1 Refractor and 2 Cloaks… but then I would need a few Dyson Mem Chips to bump up my MU.

@WardOfTheWoods - Donut at this stage is in the deck as a trial to see how he goes. Yes, he is somewhat counter-intuitive to the deck with all its events, but the Prepaid VoicePADs, plus Ken’s ability to negate him somewhat, while still taxing the Corp.

The Retrieval Run are not there just for the #Femme, but also as back-up should a Program end up being trashed – for example if I hit an Aggressive Secretary. With the other breakers being so cheap, you don’t get as much benefit out of the Retrieval Run tutoring a trashed program, but it still allows the card to pull double duty. Clone Chips are more efficient in this instance, but do not provide the cred saving for Femme.

I think the Tyson Observatory is key in this deck, and I would actually like to have another one in there. I want all the Hardware out ASAP, meaning 1x Desperado, and all 3 Silencers and all 3 Prepaids. You might draw 1 or 2 of them out early, but Tyson can help get them out even earlier; although there has been 1 or 2 games where the Tyson has been waaaay down in my stack and I have had to get everything out the old fashioned way.

Card draw is where this deck is lacking. I love I've Had Worse, but I am not a fan of Earthrise Hotel at all. I don’t like that the 2 card draw is mandatory; when I have used it in other decks, my grip has been flooded and I have had to discard – something I try to avoid. My preferred card draw for this deck would be Professional Contacts, and it is probably what will replace Donut in this deck.