Fifty-five km/s

Jashay 696

Time stays long enough for those that use it - Leonardo Da Vinci

'Run Fast, Run Often' was the first advice I was given as a Runner, and based on the thrill of those early days, I do keep veering back to trying aggro- or perhaps rush-runner decks.

A little while ago, CodeMarvelous came up with this fun deck: P.h.D. If you haven't tried it, do so. It's really good fun.

I loved the speed that it played at, and I loved the theme of ICE destruction in Shaper. However, I found certain aspects of it difficult. Earthrise Hotel seemed too big an up-front tempo hit. Cache works really, really well, but I didn't like how it seemed to chew through my Clone Chips getting myself enough money. I need those for the Parasites! And I'm not a huge fan of Daily Casts in these decks. It seems clunky.

But! It's a solid deck, I enjoyed playing it, and it's a damn sight better than any Shaper Aggro ICE destruction deck I've managed to date. Thus, I'm going to use it as a basis going forwards.

So, my first baby steps:

Changes

I have dropped 3 of each of Cache, Earthrise Hotel and Daily Casts, and replaced them with Drug Dealer. DaVinci, and Armitage Codebusting.

So why drop Cache? It's just about the best card in tandem with Aesop's Pawnshop, except perhaps the upcoming Harbinger. But I needed the influence for the Drug Dealers, and Cache was the only thing that seemed even a bit expendable if I was keeping to the ICE destruction aim.

Drug Dealer over Earthrise Hotel is pretty much entirely a costings analysis. If you trash the DD to the Pawnshop, you'll be in the same place ( and card-wise) after 6 turns as ERH put you in 3. But you can run multiple DDs simultaneously, you can sometimes dodge the tax, and the card is drawn at a more convenient point for both damage protection and off-turn ID triggers.

Armitage Codebusting over Daily Casts was simple. If I'm running as often as I can, I need money. I'd rather click twice to afford a run than have to wait 2 turns. Also, the lower cost is super helpful in the early game, and is also better when the Drug Dealer are nipping at your credits.

DaVinci is the bit that made me start thinking about this deck. It's freaking glorious. It does work in so many ways I'm going to give it it's own section:

The Renaissance Card

So DaVinci has nabbed that program slot from Cache, eh? Is it that good?

Yes.

Back in the original PhD deck, CodeMarvelous was asked if he'd considered Personal Workshop over the Ice Analyzers. His response was that IA cut down on costs, got programs out quicker, and helped Hayley with a lack of early pressure.

DaVinci doubles down on this, and then some. I've cut the costs of almost everything in the deck to bare-bones. Making a single successful run with this guy allows me to play up to 28 of the cards in this deck at paid-ability speed, for free. If I complete 4 runs, I can play any installable card in the deck. This, of course, can be used to trigger Hayley's ability.

It also completes the Shaper Trifecta: Between Clone Chip, DaVinci, and Self-modifying Code, I can play a program from anywhere at any time.

It really is good in a build like this. Early pressure, cost reductions, and instant-speed installs. Fantastic.

Where from here?

As it is, this deck is running pretty well, although it took me some time to get the hang of. So I intend to use this as a starting point to refine the deck. There are some cards I'd love to try out:

Film Critic: With so many ways of messing with a runner via agendas, I think this needs to be conisdered. The review of it outlines how many common triggers it avoids. It does, however, slow me down.

Scheherazade: Seems great! I feel that an early Shezzy could be +5-10, including an Aesop's Pawnshop. But influence and space are issues.

Technical Writer: A half-thought. If it was a connection, I would really consider running it along with Off-Campus Apartment.

John Masanori: Cheap, influence-free way of getting cards, but I really don't want the tags. Goes nicely with the theme of pressuring runs, but I really don't want the tags!

Crescentus: This one needs some solid consideration, I feel. It fits well with the theme of pressure, and is great at taxing bigger ICE.

Indexing and/or The Maker's Eye: Cheap, brutal R&D pressure.

Stimhack: Suddenly, money! Brilliant for runs out of nowhere, and can work well with the trifecta of instant plays.

Feedback Filter/Net Shield: Probably too expensive in the former case, but the latter could be a lifesaver. Again, space is the issue.

Plascrete Carapace: Do I need a second? I run very poor in the early game, making me vulnerable to suddenly exploding.

Tl;Dr: DaVinci is brilliant for Shaper Aggro, and I'm taking advantage of that with Hayley and a whole bunch of cheap things.

Thanks for reading! As ever, comments, critiques and suggestions are always welcome.

P.S. The title is a reference to the relative velocity of Halley's Comet at perhelion during its last pass. The aim is for this deck to be that fast! ;)

8 comments
3 Sep 2015 FarCryFromHuman

I'm really surprised that I haven't seen anyone playing DaVinci yet. The order of paid-ability shaper installers goes SMC > Clone Chip > DaVinci, so deck slots are tight, but it makes so much sense in Hayley. The only thing comparable was Savoir-faire, and it's expensive to use.

It's unnecessary here I think, but I've really been liking Order of Sol in Hayley. You dip to 0 pretty often with her, I find.

3 Sep 2015 Jashay

I did wonder about a similar thing... perhaps a small bit of anti-synergy with Kate, as you canot trigger her ID ability with DaVinci.

Yeah, econ is everything in Hayley. I dabbled with OoS, and it was great at offsetting the Drug Dealer credit loss. But it worked even better when I still ran Workshop in the deck, and since that went it felt a little lacklustre as a mini-econ engine.

3 Sep 2015 FarCryFromHuman

OoS is hands-down amazing with PW Hayley, it's an auto-include for me in that build. It's essentially Hard at Work for 3 and a a turn less, as long as you remember to trigger it on the corp's turn. However, you are right that it doesn't have the same level of synergy in this build. You don't have the partial discounts that you need to trigger it reliably.

3 Sep 2015 iherdn3rfz

My initial thought was that DaVinci would be amazing for other shapers but not Hayley because she can already install programs from hand mid-run with shaper tricks, but you sold me on it.

If you want an extra slot for those cards you wanted to find room for, you can probably go down to 1 Astrolabe. The second copy is a dead card, and you already have a lot of card draw and other mu cards in Akamatsu Mem Chip.

Technical Writer would be great here as you said as it is in Noise: Hacker Extraordinaire. It's basically a no influence Scheherazade that doesn't leave you vulnerable to Power Shutdown

One card I'm not sure about in this deck is Levy AR Lab Access. Do you find yourself needing it often?

4 Sep 2015 CodeMarvelous

This looks really fun. A couple of thoughts: you can probably get away with 2 aesops if you aren't running cache, with the amount of ice destruction i would run one Lady over snowball.

4 Sep 2015 Jashay

@iherdn3rfz: Yeah, I probably could go one Astrolabe. It's there as extra card draw more than extra memory, but it's unreliable. Such a good early drop against NEH though...

Not too sold on Technical Writer, though; if it wasn't trash-to-use I'd be all over it. My issue is the anti-synergy with Aesop's Pawnshop; I have to get 4 from it before it's worth more than simply feeding it to the Shop. Also, the logical drop for it is Ice Analyzer, which does a decent amount of work in these decks.

Levy AR Lab Access has its place. It represents up to 6 more bits of ICE I can parasite, and recursion of all the little things to feed to Aesop's Pawnshop. Not going to lie, it doesn't often see play, but it is so, so helpful when it does.

@CodeMarvelous: High praise, given that I stole your idea! I'm wary of dropping an Aesop's Pawnshop, but that might be my fear of getting drained by Drug Dealer talking... I'll give it a swing, see how it goes!

I tried Cerberus "Lady" H1 before I switched out the Cache, and there were just too many things that needed recurring... But yes, with one less thing to recur, that's worth another go.

For some reason it never occurred to me that I could just trash the barriers with Parasite if it became a problem! I feel like a complete lemon... :S

4 Sep 2015 Urbaknight

This looks like the right kind of deck to benefit from Street Peddler. It brings pseudo-draw and more instant-speed install to the table and you don't really run the risk of pulling events when you're only running four of them. Just a thought. I admit the influence looks a little tight so it might not be a real consideration.

5 Sep 2015 Jashay

Hit the nail on the head, there. Street Peddler is grand, but I just don't have the influence. I don't really miss it, though; I've got ways of playing most things at instant speed, and I hate wasting recursion on the things the Peddler trashes.