Bag of Tricks v2 - Undefeated, Nordic Nationals, 6-0

Elusive 1163

So far 8-0 in the Norwegian Regionals, and now 6-0 in Nordic Nationals.

A quick update on the performance of this menace. Unfortunately i did not perform with my last-minute switch of runner, only winning one game, but Bag of Tricks is still undefeated in official tournaments. I am somewhat amazed at this, as it seems to perform even better in high-pressure settings. In casual games my regular opponents can definitely beat it some times, but i find the psychological game much more effective in high-stakes environments. People are easier to read, and tend to be more careful. That usually kills them, although i won one game by rushing agendas.

I believe this is quite a difficult deck to pilot, and it takes some time to get used to all the tricks. If you intend to give it a shot, stick with it.

Notable switches from version one are threefold:

Profiteering instead of House of Knives. Since we don't want to score agendas until the kill anyway, it merges beautifully with Punitive Counterstrike, meaning that you don't take the money/bad pub until you intend to kill usually. House of knives is too random, it is very good, but not a consistent kill-tool, and costs way to much credits and time in a deck with this goal.

Hokusai grid instead of Tori Hanzo. Follows from removal of HoK, but also taxes the runner even more. Can also be a nice deterrent, but mostly just a good card to place on R&D, HQ or archives as appropriate for whatever passive kill-plan you set out.

Celebrity Gift instead of Medical Research Fundraiser. More money, and the disadvantage of showing your hand usually matters less if you are careful. Always try to follow my advice with keeping a protected jackson on board and you'll be able to hide some cards by drawing with him. This saves your bluffs, and allows you to CG with imPunity (Pun intended).

The lone Chronos Project will be switched to a third Profiteering.

9 comments
16 Aug 2015 benticurus

Happy to see you keep the BlackTree where it should always be: AT TEH TOP :D

17 Aug 2015 Elusive

We do what we must, because we can.

Very happy to see a plethora of different kill-decks lately (Biotech, Nisei Division) but i still hold on to the 1-turn kill-potential of scoring agendas for clickless net-damage.

17 Aug 2015 pastorn

Hey! Alexander here. Cool that you're still playing this ol' hunk-o-junk ;)

I tried your old version (-1x Lockdown, +1x Kitsune as I don't have Lockdown yet) against this deck. My friend playing it had never played PPVP before and doesn't play as much as he should. But good times were still had - Cerebral Overwriter for 3 BD on turn 2, another BD on a Tori Hanzō + House of Knives a bit later! I did not manage to bring him to -1 hand size with Chairman Hiro, though :( His copy of Deus X saw a LOT of use through Clone Chips and a Lab Access.

I saw your updated copy of the deck. Pretty nice. Have you thought about bringing 2x Tori Hanzō back together with 1-2x Restoring Face (and House of Knives, obviously). It's probably too unreliable, but Jackson is fully capable of looking out for himself. I know when I played 3x Profiteering in PE it backfired on me eventually. But then I always got greedy when scoring it...

What are your thoughts on Aggressive Secretary? Killing killers is quite rewarding.

17 Aug 2015 Elusive

Hey Alex! You can learn an old ID new tricks ;)

Deus Ex is quite difficult to handle, not as bad as feedback-filter though.. I think the power level drops as soon as people start teching against it, but by then i consider it a half-win by itself ;)

Too many cards, if i go up in 1-pointers i can't maintain the punitive kill-plan i'm afraid. I only score profiteering when i intend to kill with punitive, or if i am in a really bad spot money-wise (facing account siphon). The money you get enable a surprise-kill since no-one can count you out in the credit-race, and all your remotes become even more dangerous ;) A single un-scored agenda is almost as good as a brain-damage for the kill-turn.

Aggressive Secretary would cost influence, and i usually only need my dangerous ice early, to allow me to set up some threatening remotes. Also, the way i think this deck wins against experiened runners is not counting on them making mistakes like running into sentries or snares. The advanced remotes can enable a kill on your own turn sooner or later. I very rarely kill them on their turn.

17 Aug 2015 Dydra

Looking at how much you are counting on Profiteering ... Yeah it gives you the 15 credits which the runner maybe can't keep it, so he you can secure the Punitive Counterstrike.

Since you play only 2 I assume u will have 1 in hand about the time the runner hits Fetal or TFP, so that's 1 net , 3 TFP Pun = 4 dmg for 1 click , if u neural neural 6 damage ... yeah, it could flatline definitely, but don't the people in your playgroup know that u are running and Plascrete Carapace? Or some + Max hand size decks? Or Geist? One Plascrete away from throwing your main gameplan in the bucket and sticking to good old only net damage Jinteki.

Happy for your results mate, just hard to believe the people you are playing against don't slot Plascreet or IHW and stuff.

17 Aug 2015 Dydra

Forgot to mention the runner simply drawing back a few cards after hitting the agenda, which is like " Playing against PE 101" class.

17 Aug 2015 Elusive

Hey Dydra, I'll try to keep the answers short and consistent, although i could go into length on any of them.

Punitive is not the 'main game-plan' at all. It is simply one more trick in the box. I use perhaps 1 punitive for every second kill, and there are definitely alternate gameplans. Punitive allows you some additional time to set up though, and since your threat level increases with the number of remotes this synergizes with the deck-plan. It can also allow you to sneak out a TFP score which ramps up the threat of any new mushin, enabling easier trapping.

Profiteering simply is a nice 1-point agenda to use for clickless damage, and synergized beautifully with punitive and can sometimes be used for emergency money against criminals. As i said i'll also drop the Chronos Project for a third one. The alternative to Profiteering is HoK which is more fitting for 'on the runner's turn' kill plans, and somewhat unreliable. Worst of all, you WANT to score HoK. That is very bad for your clickless net-damage for the kill-turn.

Alternate kill-plans include Ronin (of course) and well-timed Hiro and Philotic. The deck revolves around leaving everything out advanced. If you don't dare to do this you won't be successful with it. Nice seconds are Kitsune into snare third runner-click and 'bunch of agendas in archives'. Then with a punitive and neural or two you usually have enough for the kill. Use your agenda 1-point damages first to avoid hitting their I've Had Worse.

My meta is mostly Anarch, and currently very little criminal. Also, shapers don't pack FF or Deus at the moment which makes this deck very strong.

18 Aug 2015 kollapse

It was nice to finally get a chance to play against this (albeit in the "consolation tournament" post Nordics), and to meet the pilot. I had almost completely forgotten how to play against PE, and losing on agenda points against this was a bit sad on my part. It is a really fun deck to watch, I will definitely take it for a spin.

/ Peder

18 Aug 2015 Elusive

Heh i had a nice time as well, and i admit our game was a little anticlimactic, but i got the agendas early and the plan worked well ;)

I hope you find it fun to play with!