Lunar Kudzu v2.1

Bwob 435

Overview

I've been having a lot of fun with this deck lately. I've been using Industrial Genomics as a sort of weird fast-advance deck for a while, but the addition of An Offer You Can't Refuse and Allele Repression have really filled in some holes.

This is probably not a top-tier deck. (Yet!) I don't think it's quite tournament-ready. But I don't think it's that far off, either. It has some really neat plays open to it, it's a lot of fun to pilot, and it's unconventional enough that it still can net some surprising wins, because it attacks in ways that people aren't used to defending against.

General strategy:

The basic idea of this deck is straightforward: Get a trap or two into archives as fast as possible, and spam econ assets. Keep at least 2 facedown cards in archives at all times, to make trash costs prohibitive. And score!

At the start of the game, the single most important card is Jackson Howard. Ideally, you want him as early as possible, so you can overdraw efficiently, and dump some cards into archives. You usually want to use your first turn to throw some ice over HQ or R&D, (depending on if you're more worried about a first turn Account Siphon or Keyhole.

Try to get a trap into archives as fast as possible. Runners will usually run archives at least once early, before there is too much in it, and you need to teach them, as quickly as possible, that every time they do, there will be a cost.

Don't worry about icing up your centrals too much. If they focus on one of them, (or install something threatening like Medium, R&D Interface, etc) then stick a couple of ICE in the way, but otherwise, let them take pot-shots. They can't/won't trash most of your assets, so you can afford to leave centrals a little less defended than usual.

If you really need to keep them out of someplace, Fire Wall is probably your best bet. It's expensive for just about anything (except D4v1d, grr.) and you can dump some advancement tokens on it to increase the tax, if they're trying to run on it too often.

Alternately, Hokusai Grid and Caprice Nisei can be used to protect a central that is getting too much attention. Hokusai Grid deserves special mention here, because with a base trash cost of 4, with even a few cards in archives, it will almost certainly be prohibitive to get rid of. (And it's a good deterrent against runners spending their whole turn running against a single server.)

Scoring

There are a lot of ways to get points in this deck:

  • First, there's fatigue and/or bluffs. Sometimes people get tired of checking all your facedown assets. Sometimes they get worried about Psychic Field and Snare!. For whatever reason, sometimes people don't bother checking all your facedown remotes, and you can sneak out a naked 3/2 agenda, never-advance style.

  • Second, there's the honest way: a couple of ETR ice plus Caprice Nisei make for a pretty solid scoring server. This is pretty much the only way you'll ever score out The Future Perfect, except for occasional crazy games where you get to use the best way. (See below.)

  • Third, there's the fast-advance way. With all that advanceable ice, it's easy to store up some advancement counters. Heck, with Space Camps, most games the runner will give you a couple themselves! Just Trick of Light one of the 3-cost agendas into points-land, and use Cyberdex Virus Suite as insurance against Clot. This is probably how I score most of the points with this deck.

  • Finally, there's the best way. The An Offer You Can't Refuse way. It works like this: Any time you have some money, at least one Space Camp in archives, a Crick guarding it, and the runner isn't able to break it, consider playing An Offer You Can't Refuse. At worst, it's a cheap point for 4. Which is great, because most of the agendas you'll score are 2-pointers, so it will usually mean you need one less agenda! If they take the run though, just install a Braintrust or whatever with the Crick, and then when they get into Archives, use the Space Camp(s) to advance it, and advance it the rest of the way by hand. Bam! You have just scored an agenda from archives in one turn. And with enough Space Camps and/or Tricks of Light, you can sometimes even score bigger agendas, like your first Medical Breakthrough, or - very rarely - one of your Future Perfects.

Useful Plays:

The best play is the one with An Offer You Can't Refuse, listed under Scoring. But there are a few others worth noting!

Allele Repression is a surprisingly good card here. Remember it doesn't cost a click to fire! You just need to pay the res cost. It has several good uses.

  • You can use it to get cards back from archives and into HQ, if they're things you really need. I use this a lot to recover a lot of trashed Jacksons Howard, or Tricks of Light when I'm ready to score.

  • You can use it to increase a trash-cost mid-run (by throwing facedown cards into archives) if they decide to just suck it up and run archives and go on a trashing spree.

  • You can use it as an impromptu Jackson Howard, to rescue agendas from archives mid-run. (Potentially throw some extra traps into the mix, to boot.)

  • You can use it to get itself back. This is one of the most important things. Always try to have at least 2 advancement tokens on it, so you can get back some other card, as well as recover itself. With a base trash cost of 2, runners will rarely bother trashing it if you have some facedown cards in archives. Just stick two tokens on it and let it sit until you need it.

Also, be aware of Medical Breakthrough! After the first two have been scored or stolen, the third one becomes a 2/2 agenda, which allows a lot of room for silliness. You can obviously just install/advance/advance it out of hand. But if you don't have all 3 clicks available, (because you drew it on your first click with Jackson Howard, for example) you can still score it in two clicks using Trick of Light.

And of course, with Allele Repression in the mix, you can keep one safe(ish) in archives until the first two are found and scored, and then pull it out to score when needed.

18 comments
31 Aug 2015 TheBytemaster

Wait wait wait, you can rescue the exact same copy of Allele Repression you just trashed from the archives? That card just became more interesting. I especially like the Offer/Space Camp/Crick combo.

Do you ever find yourself strapped for cash against trash-happy runners, say, Whizzard? 6 econ cards seems a bit tight.

31 Aug 2015 Bwob

Yeah, as best I can tell, Allele works the same way as Scavenge. It's well established that you can Scavenge a program onto itself, because the program is trashed as part of the cost. Since the cost of triggering Allele's ability is to trash Allele, the same reasoning should apply - Allele is already in the trash when its effect resolves, and so is a legal target for that effect.

Re: Whizzard - he's really annoying! You have to either throw some ice in front of the econ, or just build up more cards in archives than normal. You'll still lose stuff either way.

One thing to note though, is that there are 9 econ cards, not 6. PAD Campaign, Mental Health Clinic, and Turtlebacks. I don't know which one you weren't counting, but I suspect it was the Turtlebacks. :P Don't underestimate them! In a lot of cases they're actually better than PAD campagin, and they combo really well with the Cricks!

31 Aug 2015 TheBytemaster

Interesting! I'm fairly new to netrunner and I didn't know Scavenge could function like that. I'll have to try out Allele Repression some time. Knowing that, I'll have to try and make some recursion shenanigan decks.

Actually, I missed the Mental Health Clinics, :P I've always wanted to try Turtlebacks out, seemed like it'd make the horizontal Jinteki shellgame madness run smoother. And I suppose you could just recur whatever drip the runner manages to get rid of.

1 Sep 2015 HandsomeMonkey

How do you feel about Sundew as an econ option versus Turlebacks?

1 Sep 2015 Bwob

Tried sundews first, actually! They're not bad, and they give nice payouts. I had two main issues with them though.

First, they have a really low trash cost, so if the runner DOES run on archives, they can usually afford to go wreck several sundews one after another.

Second though, is just that they're less reliable. Turtlebacks are easier to plan around, since I generally know when I'll be making new servers. When I tried Sundews, they lost a lot of money to things like Dirty Laundry, Bank Job and Security Testing. Especially on turns where the runner knew I needed money.

Eventually I just tried replacing them with turtlebacks, and was amazed at how much better they seemed to fit. Every so often I do look longingly at Sundews, but in general, I've had better luck with the space-turtles.

2 Sep 2015 Dheraz

Have you ever killed a runner by forcing them to run on a Shock! filled archives twice?

2 Sep 2015 Bwob

I have not, but it's certainly something that could come up! If I've found all of my Shocks, but no space camps or cricks, I could see that as an alternate way to try to get the last point, if they don't have any way to block net damage.

3 Sep 2015 Hockmanm08

This deck is great. Being a giant promoter of IG I've been loving it. Keep up the good work and awesome IG love. Now to see how we can improve . . .

3 Sep 2015 turkishvancat

How do you deal with Eater running Archives and turning everything face up without accessing?

3 Sep 2015 Shevek

God I want to pull this off. Have you considered Marcus Batty to protect the combo in situations where the runner is able to break Crick?

3 Sep 2015 Bwob

@turkishvancat - I deal with Eater by simply not rezzing archives ice if they have an eater on the table. (And if they play eater after I rez ice, I frequently just install over it and refuse to rez.)

Alternately, if I can get both cricks installed on archives, I that's still a 10 credit tax to flip over cards with eater. I consider that a fair trade.

@Shevek - The problem with Markus is two-fold. First, my ice suite is all wrong - I don't have much besides crick and cortex lock that doesn't just end the run. (And if I'm using him to ETR I might as well just include an extra caprice.) Second though, I'm not sure he's really necessary. Even one Crick is EXPENSIVE to break, even if they have their full breaker suite on the table. Two are downright oppressive. The only time the runner can always break the cricks is usually when they are playing Stealth, or some such. I'm not sure Markus is worth the deck slot for such a narrow situation.

3 Sep 2015 Shevek

@Bwob Thanks for the response! Makes sense. Fairly new player, so forgive me if this question is also silly: I was just flipping through cards from The Universe of Tomorrow, and it seems like Genetics Pavilion could be brutal in this deck (though I could feel this way due to facing lots of card-draw-intensive decks lately). Not sure what could be cut for it, though—thoughts?

3 Sep 2015 Bwob

@Shevek - No worries, everyone was new once!

Re: Genetics Pavilion - it's a neat card, and it IS an asset, (which IG is generally pretty good at protecting) but it has one big problem: Its effect doesn't actually help the deck that much. I'm not applying enough pressure in the form of damage to really take advantage of it.

Genetics Pavilion shines best in situations where you're forcing the runner to draw a lot. That usually translates into decks that are applying a lot of damage. (I. e. the are likely to take damage mid-run, and then need to draw up so you don't kill them on your turn with some sort of follow up like Ronin or Scorched Earth)

Don't get me wrong, it can be situtationally useful if you're running into a lot of decks that depend on heavy card draw! (Anyone running Faust for example.) It's just that then it's a bit more specific I like. (Good against some decks, but a dead draw against others.) I prefer to stick with cards that are more general purpose.

A better use for it (I think) would be in an IG deck that focused on Ronin and Project Junebug/Cerebral Overwriter tricks. Hit them with net damage, and then prevent them from drawing back up to safety. I think there's probably a good deck there using a strategy like that, but it's not really this deck. (And this would require some major reworking to get there.)

6 Sep 2015 steveklabnik

I've been really enjoying this deck.

17 Sep 2015 Shevek

OK, now that I've played this deck a few times, I can say that I love it as much as I hoped I would, and I also have a few more annoying questions :) Do you find that your games go long? I would be hesitant to bring this deck to a tournament, only because all of my games so far have been looong. Might just be that I'm not very good at piloting it yet. Given the popularity of Film Critic, have you considered changing up the agenda suite to remove The Future Perfect? I have yet to score one; every time I see it, I don't really have the materials to set up a solid scoring server, and it's just so much easier to find/recur a Trick of Light to use some of the tokens the runner is always giving me from Space Camp.

17 Sep 2015 Bwob

I'm glad you're enjoying it! I've been playing it nearly nonstop since I published it, (and I still love it!) and I feel like I know it better now. So, a few answers:

  • Tournament Speed: I actually took it to our most recent local tournament, (17 people) and none of the games went to time. (It also won 3/5 games! Would have won 4/5, but lost a psi game the turn before I won. On the other hand I would have lost a different game if not for a psi game, so... easy come, easy go, I guess?)

  • Film Critic, Future Perfect: Film Critic can be a drag, but I'm not sure what else to put in there in its place. 3-cost agendas are the easiest to Trick of Light, and I've already got all of those. (Unless we want to dip into 3/1s, but that would bloat out the agenda density far too much, I think.) Ultimately, I feel like it's a fair tradeoff - I rarely score The Future Perfect, but it's also rarely stolen, and means I can get away with only 9 agendas in the deck total.

  • Scoring in general: Always remember - Caprice is in there for a reason. If you get desperate, you can always just slap down some moderately expensive ice (Fire Wall or Lotus Field) and Caprice, and score things out the old fashioned way. (One of my tournament wins in fact was just scoring out TFP behind a Lotus Field, without even using a Caprice - just rushed it out when he didn't have breakers.)

17 Sep 2015 Shevek

Fair enough. In the game I'm thinking of I had installed Caprice on HQ because I was up against Gabe rocking a Sneakdoor Beta and it was making my life pretty miserable. He managed to steal 6 points before I even got on the board—got there in the end, though, with a few recurred Offers :)

3 Nov 2015 Hammers

Been running a now slightly modified version this deck for a little while now and just thought I'd post as last night I finally managed to pull off "The Best Way" to score as described above. On 6 points, I got my final point by using An Offer You Can't Refuse to score The Future Perfect out of the archives. Such overkill and so much fun. Thanks for the deck!