Geistbuster

travisrchance 2242

This is the Geist deck I have been aggressively testing and tweaking over the last week or so. At present, I feel confident in this build, though there is still a couple card wiggle room over which I can't definitively make up my mind.

Now, a caveat: I think this runner can encourage very pipedream building. At first I was very suspicious of the jail breakers (Crowbar, Spike, and Shiv), but, after about 50 games of using them, I am a believer. HOWEVER, they come at a price: You need breaker density to make them worth a damn. This means you best be drawing them. Further, a smart corp will try and grind them out by making you pick and choose your runs--which is why the deck plays Inside Job and Levy. You need some reliable breakers, like Passport and Breach, that stick around so you can play these equitably. No, you should not be playing Alias or Femme. And yes, I realize you do not draw off using Faerie.

I have seen a lot of Underworld Contacts drip going on, and, as you can see with this build, ya don't need it. I have been tracking my games on jinteki.net, and in the last 40 games, I have ended games with an average of 30+ credits. The vast majority of these games have not been close, this deck can get a blistering quick opener or play remote sniper, BUT the games I have lost were due to the deck falling flat on its face due to the variance cards coming in clumps--like the jail breakers, Account Siphon, etc. To that end, the deck can be a tad draw dependent.

The deck plays relatively straightforward: ideally, you Siphon them into oblivion while making equity on Geist's ability with a bevy of useful cards. Although the deck has but a single SMC and Special Order, finding your way into breakers when you are drawing so much isn't really an issue. Clone Chip is the all-star here, esp. in tandem with SMC, as it draws you cards and allows you to cycle back your jail breakers, etc.

Your multi-access is a single Medium and Legwork. Why am I playing only 1 Legwork? Because I play 3 Same Old Thing and 1 Planned Assault--the latter being a virtual 4th Siphon. The SMC can fetch the Medium as needed. There was some debate on RDI or not; in the end, I opted "not." I like the tempo of Medium when you have the Siphon lock working or can Crescentus their RD ice successfully. When they purge in this game state, they are basically making no ground, as you swing back in 4 times on the next turn. If they don't purge, you use Inside Jobs and your breakers to keep digging for the win. Remember, the only crappy hit with Medium is the first one. (As far as Legwork, you typically don't want this until mid-to-late game anyway, so why play 2?)

As mentioned, the econ is stable: your breakers cost 1 on average. The deck does like to Siphon lock, but more so to keep the corp from making headway than using those credits like Gabe or Andy might. Fall Guy is just quick and dirty, nothing special, but decent. The 1 Bank Job is awesome--I had 2 for most of my games, but went down to 1 and was still maintaining the 30 cred average end of game, win or lose. With all the naked remotes from NEH, RP, and things like HB playing Eve, Bank Job is a nice burst econ tool--esp. when paired with Inside Job.

The central breakers (Breach and Passport) are solid and help you maintain Siphon lock and Medium runs. The single Faerie is so efficient. In all my testing, Shiv is the breaker that is used the least. This means, having another disposable breaker that is cheap without the strength issue Shiv has is more than enough. In truth, I kinda want 2 Faerie, as you need to have breakers in play to make the jail breakers work. (If only it had that little garbage can icon...)

As far as the more specific cards go:

FORGER: You play tag me, but you need this for your jail breaker to reach critical mass and be scary. If you are playing a deck that aims to Sea Source you, sure, you could shift gears and play more conservatively. I hate playing 3, but even with all this draw, not hitting one could be the difference in trampling the corp or not. Sure, you will almost always have 1-3 MU available--which can suck against Cortex Lock--but this isn't what the deck really does. Just like in real life, nothing is permanent. (No, you do not need any sum of Dyson Mem Chips, esp. not for Underground Contacts.)

DRIVE BY: I had a single copy of this card for about half the testing, but every time I drew it I would be stoked. At worst, it is an infiltration so you don't make a run that blows all your disposable breakers/Chips. At best, it is killing drip econ, San-Sans, Caprice, Marcus, whatever. A smart corp will learn to snap rez before you get a chance to play this card, which means they may be stressing their fluid econ--making Siphon more of a potential back breaker.

Crescentus/Emergency Shutdown: It was tough figuring out the right mix of these, and even now I am not certain. I can say with certainty it is not 3 Crescentus and/or Shutdown. They are such different cards after all. I was on 2 copies of each, but Shutdown just felt very edge case some of the time. Yeah, Crescentus can draw you a card, but forcing the corp to rez in-run with Shutdown often feels right--esp with Inside Job sneaking you into HQ. The deck draws a lot of free cards, so you don't need to overkill it.

Levy: This is a tough one, as I sooooo want to play 2 SMC. But the fact remains, a smart corp (esp. one piloting RP or HB) can just wear you down and leave you with no way into servers (outside of the 2 centrals--no, you should not be playing Alias). The beauty of this is you can reset, which means you can play far more aggressively. Like the 3 Forger, this is a necessary evil of sorts.

This is still a work in progress, of sorts but the framework is solid. Street Peddler is certainly a good card, but with the high volume of events and the tight influence, I decided to pass. Anyway, this right up is manic, as I have no time and just wanted to paint the walls red with my thoughts.

Now, let the conjecture and needling comments begin!

22 comments
14 Jul 2015 mjortman

I've been tinkering with a Geist deck too, and am loving it. I don't think mine is great yet, but man is it fun to play. I never played your Exile: Streethawk deck, but this is unlike anything I've ever played in NR so far. I'm having a blast.

I started mine off based on the deck of the week on here, but changed the Dyson's over to Access to Globalsec (as a 2-of). It helps for when I want to trash my Forger, so I stay over my 2 link, and it's almost never a bad thing to have more link anyway for traces. Do you ever find yourself in trouble for MU if you trash a Forger?

I AM going with Underworld Contact for now, but you're making me wonder about Account Siphon instead. I've also got Armitage Codebusting, which has been fine, but with the Underworlds I've almost never had to use them. In fact, breaking stuff so cheap, I am usually leaving the Armitages on the table (the second one, at the least) with money, which just feels...weird. Like you said, the deck just doesn't need a lot of money though.

I threw in a couple of Mass Install too; have you thought about that? Dropping a bunch of 0- and 1-cost programs out of the blue is pretty fun and can catch the corp off-guard a bit. Getting the programs at the same time as the event can be very iffy sometimes though, so I may swap them out.

I'm running two The Maker's Eye, but I think Medium could be better after reading this. I'd have to rearrange my influence a bit though. I'm currently rocking the Street Peddler as well, because it's fun to pull off Shaper Bullshit sometimes, plus the card draw. But you're right about this deck rocking so many events, that you're much likelier to whiff on it. I have 10 compared to your 16, and would be down to 8 in mine if I drop the 2 Maker's for the Medium.

Lots to think about after reading this. Thanks for sharing.

14 Jul 2015 travisrchance

@mjortman As a famous Admiral once said, "It's a trap!" And by this, I mean the whole "Imma use all this link to do cutesy low-impact whatever." The strength of the deck is the draw power. Link matters for making the jail breakers not take up MU, nothing more, nothing less. All those actions and credits setting up drip that pays off slowly just seems like tempo windows for the corp to abuse. Sure, over a mid to long game these cards will payout, but not in the neck-snapping way Siphon does. Simply put, this deck makes money but not really having to spend any while it creates resource swings via Siphon.

Like a non-Admiral once said, "Tag me!"

14 Jul 2015 Chio

I have a serious "Pipedream building " problem.

Exile has been my first love almost since he dropped, although I sometimes stray into CT if I feel lige massive rigging. Gheist has caught my eye. But I am not sure how well I do with the criminal playstyle just yet. I have recently been net decking a lot to try get over my ... problem. Which has helped, but our local meta is very different from the rest of the world. So, some choices that make absolute sense in some places don't really carry much weight here.

Exile tends to be a beast remote sniper as well, and I have found that playing him a lot has led me to drawing when really I should be running sometimes. But playing an Au-revoir CT deck in a recent regional has also shown me that rigging is really not my thing anymore.

Gheist might be in a spot that leads me to more aggresive exile and shows me some other tricks. I'm looking forward to trying this out.

14 Jul 2015 mjortman

@travisrchance Do you rarely find yourself looking for that Forger then? It seems like if you don't have one, it becomes really tough to get out enough breakers.

14 Jul 2015 travisrchance

@mjortman Not really. You draw a ton with this. I mean, in truth, what else could you do? Play crap like Dyson mem chip which will just bleed econ for basically nothing--and help justify playing other cards that do not propel you directly toward victory. That is the thing with this deck, it just draws cards, the majority of which are for stealing purposes, not setting up a complex engine which takes time--the greatest resource in this game--to even get off the ground.

14 Jul 2015 travisrchance

@Chio Exile is my specialty. Check out my Dirty Hands deck if you have not already.

14 Jul 2015 Chio

Of course I have. I have a dirty secret though ... along with all my other hangups ... i also dont like opus very much. I find it really difficult to just click for econ ... clicking for cards I understand, clicking for runs, sure ... clicking for money, even with opus, is hard.

Having lots of fun with the trash gambler kind of archetypes in exile though. They have really opened my eyes to a very interesting alternative economy package for silver bullet type decks.

14 Jul 2015 travisrchance

@Chio Opus is the backbone of the deck. I played a dozen games last night, in which 4 of my opponents commented how they could do nothing when I would just take 8 and say go with the ability to snipe at will. The deck plays Cache is so silly to me, as you barely net anything. Opus has a sizeable barrier of entry, but it also will pay out like 20 times what you put in if you know how to play the deck.

14 Jul 2015 Chio

@travisrchance yeah, I totally get how good opus is, its all on me not liking it.

I think my biggest weekness in play is probably that im not good at utilizing clicks that dont have immediate payoff. If there is no urgent remote access to something to blow up, I probably tend to waste them a little.

But, luckilly, I have found a few more local games to join, so that should hopefully improve.

14 Jul 2015 travisrchance

@Chio we are going down an Exile rabbithole here on this Geist deck, but if you that is your weakness I would not suggest playing an Exile build like mine. It is all having options open and adapting to game state. Taking 8 credits is a threat for most corp decks. Being able to outpace on case is critical to a game like this.

14 Jul 2015 Dydra

Interesting take on Geist ... so far I've seen my Tech-Lord build and an Off-Campus + Street Peddler build ... What I can say is that they offer 2 different ways of playing Geist - mine is to make a few runs that count and utilize them on max, the Off-campus one is a lot of money, a lot of draw, but no multi access.

Yours looks different from both and somewhat similar to what I'd invision as "Control Geist" ... However, your econ looks really shaky ... You are relying on AS A LOT and you WILL be floating tags with this build. You just have to pray to god to not get Scorched to death, or have enough Sac effects in the game so u can prevent flatline .... Also totally can't recover from a Closed Accounts in my opinion.

14 Jul 2015 travisrchance

@Dydra, like I said in the main thread, I am ending almost all my games with 30+ credits, not to mention the majority of my cards are 1 or free. This means I am not relying on Siphon for cash, but more so for denial. This is why I also mentioned Bank Job, which most times is just overkill. Sure, I have had a couple games where I was low on cash, but with most cards costing 1, and not having to pay to break, it isnt a prob.

As far as the further tag speculation, I have beaten a number of SE and have had my accounts closed and managed to win. This has more to do with knowing how to play a match than it does to do with particular cards. I don't need to siphon, I want to.

17 Jul 2015 x3r0h0ur

Cracked a few skulls with this last night, definitely at the very least, functional, but feels a lot more than that (only played 3 so hard to totally say). I hovered around 8-12 credits, but I probably play a lot more reckless than most. Liked playing criminal again for the first time in a long time. Another winner @travisrchance!

25 Aug 2015 travisrchance

Current list update is:

-1 Emergency Shutdown -1 Special Order -1 Planned Assault -1 Self-Modifying Code +3 Street Peddler +1 Crescentus

Won a little local shop tourney today with this handily and my Argus deck.

22 Sep 2015 Vargar

How has the deck been doing against the invasion of Team Sponsorship? Have you tried out drug dealer?

22 Sep 2015 travisrchance

@Vargar I played in the ANRPC champs and ended up 7th out of 24. I played two rounds against NEH with Team Sponsorship, winning the first, and losing the second bc I never drew a code gate breaker, which meant I sat there drawing cards until it was over.

The key to this match is just making them broke with Siphon, which they will feed into their gazillion assets. Then get a medium/legwork running spree in. Rinse, repeat. If you can kill the sponsorships, and have the money, yeah, sure. But ultimately you have to just keep smashing into their deck to get agendas.

I have made a few edits to the deck:

-3 Sure Gamble: +2 Armitage and +1 Bankjob--sooooo much better and makes Peddler fail far less

-1 Shiv: +1 Faerie--the deck needed this as well.

Part of me wants to cut a single Peddler, as it is not so hot after you Levy--you usually wanna hit every Siphon and SoT if possible, and these can often just get rid of key cards.

The deck didn't perform as well as I would have liked, but two of my three losses with it came down to needing a code gate breaker, which is just gonna happen some times. I was god draw Scorched in the last round, which quashed my hopes of Top 4--I had solid breakers, as I played two of the top of players, splitting with one of them.

I played the deck in league last night, losing twice to a Butchershop deck that just chained Astros like it was second nature, but crushed the other games. The truth is, this deck is high variance. It has an insane late game--for those who call Forger crappy, it makes such a thing possible, while making Traffic Accident plays and Sea Source moot. I love the deck, but after 150+ games, I think I am on to the next thing, whatever that may be.

22 Sep 2015 Vargar

That for the update! Interesting move over to Armitage. If you dropped the 3rd Street Peddler what would go in its place? Would you at in a Rex instead and run with 14inf?

I really want to bring this my next GNK as I love the Id.

22 Sep 2015 travisrchance

@Vargar Armitage just makes much more sense.

1.) You can free roll it off Peddler. Sure Gamble only helps to strand events (like Siphon and Levy) on a bad Peddler with 3x events. 2.) It is bursty and great on those turns where you just need to gain some creds for a big push the next turn. Gamble means, when I am broke, I am clicking a whole turn and then some to get any use out of it. 3.) It is trash bait for a corp player once you are tagged up

The second Bank Job is just too good against this Team Sponsorship and any asset-heavy deck.

Nothing really strikes me at 1 influence to replace Peddler. If I could add ANY card to this deck, it would be 1 Parasite to chew up crap like Quandary and Pop-Up.

I think this deck is more than competitive. I have logged about 150 games with it, so I know it well though. I saw some other Gesit builds at the ANRPC Champs, but, to be honest, I prefer this one. Forger got sideways glances until I would have a mass of cloud breakers out letting me run for free while other builds get the cred from Desperado which they just dump back into using breakers like Corroder and Femme.

22 Sep 2015 Vargar

I am fully on board the Armitage train now, that makes allot of sense.

I think I am going to test out 46 cards and just add a 'Rex'.

Personally I agree that a parasite would be amazing, but it seems like the only way that would happen is to drop 2 peddlers or a clone chip, which sounds like a bad deal. Now if cheap code-gates are the problem, might -1 Street Peddler +1 Yog.0 be a reasonable solution? Or do we just wind up than wanting more breaker tutors.... hm.

22 Sep 2015 travisrchance

@Vargar I should clarify. I did not have a problem with Code Gates. I did not draw ANY Code Gate breakers, at all, in two matches, bc of crappy luck. This can happen, and there is just nothing that can be done. There are 4 in there and Passport is awesome. You want to smash their centrals, so Breach and Passport fit the bill. Thinks of Inside Job as a breaker of sorts--which is nutty when you can get them in a situation where they are low on cash and you Inside Job into a deep server with no ice rezzed.

I don't perceive the deck as having a weakness to Code Gates--not at all.

22 Sep 2015 Vargar

Okay I get it now :)

Thanks for all the feedback! I am looking forward to playing the updated version, hopefully I can pilot half as well as you have.

22 Sep 2015 travisrchance

@Vargar Glad to help! The thing to remember is, if the game is going slow, the late game is where you shine. If you build up a critical mass, you can just make their life miserable.

This is not to say you have to play conservatively. With a decent draw, you can be aggressive--esp. with Siphon and Inside Job. I try and not just run every server so they have a ton of rezzed ice. I abuse Crescentus on big things like Tollbooth, using it as another means to hit their wallet.

Last night I was playing against Tennin and they were on 5 points. I had to Siphon 5 times in a row, derezzing ice until I got him to 0 credits, then had EXACT money to Legwork in, knowing he had a Future Perfect with 0 creds.

It was intense :)