Congress

Daine 3344

This has been my tournament deck for most of this season and I want to publish it here in case anyone is looking for a good runner deck for nationals (which I'm not attending). In my opinion, this is the best deck I've ever built by a wide margin.

I call this deck Congress because the goal is to get paid an ungodly sum of money for doing absolutely nothing. You work hard to get elected and then nobody expects you do to a damned thing.

The goal of the deck is fairly straight forward: get a 6-credit-per-turn drip economy up as soon as possible and use that to counter any problem the corp tries to create. Use SMC + stimhack to be aggressive early, but only if you need to. This deck is so demoralizingly powerful in mid- and late-game that you can afford to let the corp get an agenda or two without too much worry that you'll lose the game. Even an astro scored early isn't a problem as long as you are doing ok on getting set up properly (clot will prevent them from using that counter anyway).

Draw like a mad person early game. With 3 modded and 3 career fair you can afford to quality time on click 2 or diesel on click 3 and be fairly certain you won't be trashing or wasting cards. Additionally, drawing often makes the corp mistakenly think that you're struggling (even while you're looking at an SMC and stimhack in hand) and they'll feed you an agenda you can easily steal.

This deck has grown to 48 cards because of the utility I threw on top (sacrificial construct and 2 feedback filters). The second game I lost with this deck at a regional was to a PE deck and my local meta was starting to fill up with Batty kill decks and occasional jank Cybernetics decks so I made the change and have been very happy. I very commonly end up drawing and installing the last card of the deck, so the fact that I'm over the minimum deck size hasn't been a problem for me. Having 3 or 4 of my drip economy cards at the bottom of my pile sometimes happens, but this deck loses so infrequently that it hasn't been a problem I have felt needs addressing.

The easiest way to lose with this deck is by being too aggressive. People will think this deck is an aggro PPVP Kate (struggling to find its voice pads) and will realize too late that it's a hard control deck. While I didn't win any regionals I played in with this deck (missed top 8 by a strength of schedule cut because my 1st round opponent won the scorched earth prize and my corps did poorly every time), I did beat loads of good players with it including the eventual tournament champion in St. Louis.

The key is to know your match ups and change your play style accordingly. Rely on clot against fastrobiotics (sac con can save it from a cyberdex purge), keep 4 cards in hand against butcher shop and run on any server with 2 cards in it (so they can't San San an installed Breaking News into a double scorch), and make Weyland score 7 points against you rather than letting them SEA Source you. Just breathe and have confidence that every long game is yours. While 2 of my losses were to NBN, they also represented an absolute majority of my 16 wins as well. The matchup is a favorable one.

I've tried dozens of permutations to this deck and there are lots of ways to adjust the archetype to your personal style. I've had worse works almost as well as inject but gives some damage protection. I've experimented with a few day jobs and have loved them early game. Gordian blade works if you're not expecting many code gates (though study guide is surprisingly awesome. I'd highly highly recommend keeping it). I've even tried the supplier rather than career fair to some success (though I felt it was a bit too slow, even for this slower archetype).

As always, questions and criticisms are welcome.

44 comments
20 Jul 2015 sruman

With career fairs, wouldn't Earthrise be a natural substitution for quality time? With EH there are only 6 full value CF targets which is probably enough but seems low.

20 Jul 2015 spags

I don't the deck's record is good enough, Daine. Work on that.

20 Jul 2015 Bigguyforyou518

Assuming the Corp doesn't misplay (assuming your deck is something that it's not, for example), what do you see as the strongest matchup against this?

20 Jul 2015 Daine

@sruman earth rise is good in this deck, but I replaced it for the very reason you're recommending it. I found that I wanted my CFs for speeding up my money game rather than my draw. I also found ERH a bit slower than I liked. Your mileage may vary

@spags I'll work on improving. Sorry to disappoint.

@Bigguyforyou518 Luck sacking psi recursion, early double scorching, and scoring a mandatory upgrades behind 2 chimera on turn 4 are the types of things that keep me up at night (though that's true of all runner decks, right?)

Raw speed can be a problem if I can't get my SMCs or a stimhack. Also, tag storm causes serious problems for me. If I suspect a mid seasons in hand I won't run.

20 Jul 2015 dodgepong

Very interesting deck, nice to see some Kate variety.

I'm curious as to the Femme as killer of choice...did you ever run into issues with high strength sentries like Susanoo or Archer, if you weren't able to target them with Femme? And assuming Atman is at 4, paying 4 for Architect sucks...

20 Jul 2015 Vanadium

I...REALLY like this deck. Might give it a try, with some customization. It's got a lot of similarities to my Andy deck I was running in St Louis: netrunnerdb.com

I'm still glad the pairings got screwed up and we didn't end up playing each other round 3. But it would have been interesting to see our drip econ decks against one another.

20 Jul 2015 Vanadium

Out of curiosity, what would you do with a very middling opening hand, such as 2x Data Folding, Feedback Filter, Stimhack, and Dyson Mem Chip.

Draw, and assuming nothing helpful, click for a credit and install 2 data foldings?

21 Jul 2015 Daine

@dodgepong Big sentries seem to be rare right now but I don't have problems with them anyway. By midgame when I'm starting to run a lot more I'll reserve enough cash to break anything that could ruin my day. Paying 12 to break an archer once isn't the end of the world. If it's over R&D I'll absolutely install atman at 6. Against Blue Sun I frequently install atman at 10 just to cheaply handle curtain walls. I think I've only installed atman at 4 once (they had 2 Ichi 1.0). Breaking Eli for 4 is reasonable and lotus field isn't a problem at all. With 1 Ichi I'll click the trash subs and let them trace against my 2 link and basically unlimited money.

@Myth I like that Andromeda deck. Congress started in Andy for me and I loved it. I made the switch for more access to clot and for shaper bullshit early aggression.

As far as your hypothetical middling hand, I don't see that as middling at all. Draw, click for a credit and install 2 foldings sounds awesome to me, especially since I have a dyson and a stimhack for later. Turn 2 is probably draw 3 cards and install the dyson or whatever I found, but you've got a foundation for a great game with that hand. There are certainly better hands to be had, but if corp took a mulligan I would absolutely keep that one. If they kept theirs I'd throw mine back and look for something speedier.

21 Jul 2015 Craloaa

Why career fair or modded over Sure Gambles?

21 Jul 2015 Daine

@Craloaa Sure Gamble actually performed terribly in the development of this deck. During setup I often run rather low to the ground, relying on that turn's drip to install what I've drawn for the turn so I don't have to discard it. Saving up to 5 credits so I could gamble meant that I often didn't draw for an entire turn. That setback was in no way worth the 4 credits that Gamble gives. In the late game, 4 credits isn't worth very much at all. There are literally dozens of better cards that you should consider before adding Gamble in this deck.

21 Jul 2015 gumonshoe

I lost to this deck in Madison, WI; At top tables to a 4 deep R&D dig machine. I took too much time setting up with RP as suggested and couldn't deal with the cash available. This was pre-batty. Set up up to face against @spags who swept me with excellent play. Happy to finally see the deck list. I'm a bit surprised at the win rate, but I guess it makes some sense.

Having played against it I'm not sure what you do to beat it other than rushing early. GL if you face this and its in skilled hands.

21 Jul 2015 Craloaa

@Daine Valid point

21 Jul 2015 Craloaa

How often do you find yourself losing out on a credit because you are modding something that costs 3 in Kate.

21 Jul 2015 Daine

@gumonshoe I'm sorry I didn't show you the list when we played. I was keeping it somewhat under wraps but not so much that I wouldn't have shared if you were interested. For what it's worth, my beating you meant that I had to get paired up to play Jens. So it was lose-lose for both of us, it seems.

@Craloaa wasting Kate's credit actually happens only rarely. If I have a modded in hand but only a dyson's to install, I usually install a feedback filter, clone chip, or corroder first to make use of the discount before following up with the modded. I won't go exceptionally far out of my way to maximize Kate's ability, but there are enough installable things in this deck that it almost never does go waste.

21 Jul 2015 hi_impact

@DaineOpinions on this out of Hayley? Kate's econ is very real, but in your play do you skirt the poor line often enough to justify Kate? You could run the Toolbox out of Hayley can still get your 2 link as well as a sweet recurring 2 credits. Great Modded target as well.

21 Jul 2015 Daine

@hi_impact Hayley works fine with the archetype (a friend played a variant at the Chicago regional out of Hayley), but toolbox is a big ask. Unlike dyson's, your second toolbox is a dead draw. Rabbit hole works great for the link and akimatsu handles your MU. If Hayley is more your speed, I think your Congress deck could work just as well as mine, even if slightly differently.

22 Jul 2015 Dydra

Great to see not another prepaid Kate. Congratz. :)

23 Jul 2015 slakker

Great to see this deck posted. Having lost to it at the chicago regional I can say it was surprisingly one of the most powerful decks I faced all day.

23 Jul 2015 Wookiee

How different does the Hayley version look? Dysons become 2 CyberSolutions Mem Chip and 2 Rabbit Hole maybe?

23 Jul 2015 Daine

@Wookiee you're going to want 3 chances to find your rabbit hole to turn on your underworlds. I haven't played the Hayley version enough to know if 2 cybersolutions will be enough to keep you in sufficient MU for data folding.

The heart of the Congress archetype is to get your drip economy going as soon as possible and with as much consistency as can be mustered. While I haven't tested Hayley much, I'd say that you should add 3 of each link and memory card and cut some of the ancillary cards to make up for it.

24 Jul 2015 Spaceman_Spiff

Proud to be one of the few to win against this deck, but it required an ungodly number of purges and a hefty dose of luck!

26 Jul 2015 Linger

Clot is a good meta against fast decks in this deck. However the lack of breakers make this deck hard to pilot. How you will deal with different strength of code gates? (Nigma, Quandry, Lotus?). How to break the architect or ichi 1.0 with femme? this ices is quite popular in the HB decks.

Sure atman could do the trick! but good corp with diversified ice will smash this deck.

27 Jul 2015 Vanadium

Code gates are handled by the Study Guide, easily pumped by Stimhack, or just the boatload of cash you'll have. Architect is only 4 to femme, which isn't much. Ichi is a bit pricey, but you can pay it, or just click through the first 2 subroutines and let the trace fire (corps will never bump the trace when you have 2-4 link).

27 Jul 2015 Vanadium

Daine, I ran this today at Cinci ANRPC. It did ok for me - I didn't do amazing overall, but it wasn't the deck's fault. But at one point I got double Marcus Batty'd in front of an Ichi 1.0 and got rig wiped. Not terrible, as I still had my clone chips. Especially since I had 5 or 6 points and money. Except he had a Chronos Project too, that I couldn't stop on the next turn. Ouch.

27 Jul 2015 Daine

@Myth I heard about your presence at the ANRPC and the fact that you were there playing my deck quite well. And I appreciate that. My Chicago friends mock me that I make decks unplayable by others, so I'm thrilled you we doing relatively well. Batty is terrible for the game (as is caprice), IMO, though that's a conversation for elsewhere. And chronos is a silver bullet to lots of decks. There's sometimes not much you can do about it.

@Linger Myth answered as I would have done. The deck has known weaknesses to large sentries and atman should be used to handle the most annoying problem in front of you.

But exactly zero archetypes--whether they vary their ice strength or not--has been able to consistently smash this deck over the last few months. If you find a way to do so, please let me know.

27 Jul 2015 Vanadium

@Daine I tried a few variations on the deck over OCTGN, but ended up running with only 2 changes: I switched the Inject's for I've Had Worse's because I'm bad against kill decks. And I added in a second Kati Jones out of personal preference. In the end, it didn't make any noticeable difference. Fun deck - not sure I'll stick with it, but glad I ran it.

27 Jul 2015 jflans

@Daine this deck is absolutely terrifying late game and can also apply pretty sick pressure early; there's nothing like what I've taken to calling the "Femme-hack" where your tollbooth or Susanoo is made essentially worthless. I've played it three times (I'm the double Batty/Chronos @Myth was speaking of), and I either won quickly or was struggling to find a way to win late. Are there 2 FF for brain damage? I would think if they're for net, 1 would probably be enough, and it could free up a card slot for scavenge (i.e. changing Femme targets) or something of that sort, or just going down to 47 cards. Love the sac con, as it helps with both FA and the Large Sentry Problem.

Thanks for sharing!

28 Jul 2015 Thiamine

@Daine You should think about replacing a dyson with Toolbox. It pumps up your Study Guide for free and can just replace one of your dysons for slightly more money, which you will be able to make back pretty quickly in the added savings. I just won my first game with it against Blue Sun, and its the first time I've heard Sun say "you just have too much income." Fun deck.

28 Jul 2015 Daine

@obijuan the 2 FIlters were for the spate of jinteki kill decks that hit Chicago once Batty came out. I use them for brain damage against cybernetics as well. I've gone down to one.

@Thiamine toolbox can be good in this deck, but I would strongly recommend against taking out a dyson for it. You need your link cooking as soon as you have your first UC installed, and waiting until you can modded out toolbox for 5 leads to the same problem I described above in regards to sure gamble. Toolbox is absolutely the right call in a Hayley variant, however.

1 Aug 2015 Daine

Nationals update:

I managed to swing a ticket and go last-minute. Congress went 5-2 (so did my corp). I lost to a perfect kill start from a butchershop round one and a chronos protocol that destroyed my atman and femme. I beat 3 NEH, a core Weyland, and an HB.

I saw a few people playing the deck and heard stories of lots of others, so thanks to everybody who used it. Any suggestions from your play are appreciated.

The only change I made was -1 feedback filter, -1 inject, +2 day job. I loved the changes.

17 Aug 2015 Vanadium

@Daine Congress has been serving me very well in the tournament scene. My corp side has been awful, but Congress has been carrying me through. In case you hadn't thought about the obvious, Film Critic is the greatest card this deck could have gotten. It's saved me on so many games. I threw in 2 and they've done their work, easily.

I'm going to try and make it to Chicago for ChiLo/LastChance + the GLC invitational (I qualified as an alternate). Will probably be bringing Congress with me.

Thanks for the amazing deck!

17 Aug 2015 Daine

@Myth I'm so glad it's been working for you! I've been excited for film critic since it was spoiled and planned on playing 2. I'm glad you think 2 is enough.

I'll be hosting that tournament and not playing in it, so I'm glad you'll be representing Congress when I can't. Come introduce yourself if you do make it.

17 Aug 2015 Vanadium

@Daine Ah, sorry, I thought you knew who I was. I'm Brian from Louisville. Bald guy. Was running a drip-based Andy deck at St. Louis regionals. We almost played each other, but pairings were screwed up.

17 Aug 2015 Daine

Of course! Brian! Now that read the previous comments I should have known that. I think I registered it and then forgot.

Congrats on the 4th place GLC. I had a similar run with Congress winning everything and my corp losing almost every game. I'd recommend NEH. It's easy mode.

21 Aug 2015 NerdimusPrime

@Myth Did you cut anything when adding Film Critics?

21 Aug 2015 Vanadium

@NerdimusPrime: From the list as printed, I cut Plascrete Carapace because Film critic turns off Midseason Replacements (but not SEA Source). I swapped Inject for I've Had @N Worse to give an option between draw or scorch protection. I also dumped 1x Feedback Filter. Considering dropping the Sacrificial Construct, but I lost my 5 strength Study Guide recently, which makes me want to keep it...

21 Aug 2015 NerdimusPrime

@Myth Thanks! I'm interested in trying this at our next game night, and will also try it with the 2 Day Jobs @Daine added.

1 Sep 2015 stoppableforce

@DaineLove this deck. I initially took it for a spin in Hayley per your suggestions above, because - well, I don't have a valid reason, I'm just an unrepentant Netrunner hipster. After one night of testing I immediately went back to Kate - your list, -2 FF (because both net and brain damage is basically nonexistent around here) -2 Inject -1 Plascrete +1 I've Had Worse +2 Day Job +2 Film Critic.

However, with Data & Destiny on the horizon, I'm wondering if there's a place for this deck archetype in Sunny Lebeau. Advantages as I see it include having the ability to turn on Underworld Contacts from the word 'go,' as well as leveraging her natural link with Security Nexus and, if using cloud breakers, Security Chip. Disadvantages being a lot more manual drawing and the need to pay influence for both Modded and Career Fair.

Thoughts?

10 Sep 2015 Daine

@stoppableforce I've played with and against Sunny, but I'm not 100% sold yet. While this list can be painfully slow, it can also surprise stimhack SMC early too, something I am not convinced Sunny will ever be able to threaten.

Sunny will still likely boast all the end game power that a Congress-style deck can bring, and Sunny may prove to be better than Kate at it. But unless there's a patch that can give threats early, I'll still stick with my trusty Kate, at least for tournaments.

21 Sep 2015 flowerscandrink

I play a deck kind of similar to this and I have to say that All Seeing I and 24/7 is a nightmare. If they land one, and they probably will because the deck is slow, it's really hard to recover. I'm not sure what or if there is a solution to that other than maybe turntable which I doubt makes sense.

22 Sep 2015 Daine

New Angeles City Hall will be slotted in shortly to handle the new tag storm meta.

22 Sep 2015 flowerscandrink

Good point I keep turning my nose at NACH because of it's drawback but it's one of those cards that you only need in certain match ups and in those match ups you will be needing to use Film Critic anyways. I'll give it a shot.

1 Jan 2016 podoboyz99

@Daine What do you feel is the correct cut with the new MWL? I really liked this deck in its prime and want to bring it back due to the new limitations. I am thinking -1 Clone Chip, -2 Feedback Filter, -3 Dyson, -2 Inject, -1 Stimhack,+3 Toolbox, +1 I've Had Worse, +1 Day Job, +1 Kati Jones. What are your thoughts on something like that?

2 Jan 2016 Daine

@podoboyz99 I've updated my list and posted it here: netrunnerdb.com

This deck has needed lots of changes to keep up with the meta. I think I've found some good answers though.