Barrier Bay

HopelessHeretic 766

Barrier Bay is program destruction taken to its logical extreme. Let’s trash their corroder (or AI breaker) Blacklist it and remove it from the game. We are going to attack the runner’s programs everywhere we can. We will use Shock!, Neural EMP, and House of Knives with Chronos Protocol: Selective Mind-mapping ability to snipe programs and program recursion from the runners hand before they have a chance to play them. We will use Power Shutdown, Will-o'-the-Wisp, and Marcus Batty to attack programs already installed. And we will use Blacklist to prevent them from coming back while we try to score a Chronos Project to remove them for good.

Let’s discuss the card choices I made while building Barrier Bay. Barrier Bay is looking to kill fracters specifically. I am sure you could build the deck to go after decoders, but the most popular fracters are cheaper than the most popular decoders and killers making Power Shutdown strongest against fracters, so we kill the fracters.

To make trashing fracters our win condition we are playing 8 cheap barriers Wall of Static, Bastion, and Himitsu-Bako. We are playing the cheapest barriers available to us because if all goes according to plan the runner will not have the breaker they need, but we are not playing Paper Wall because our barriers will get broken at some point. Wraparound would be a good splash here since it is cheap and strong vs AI, but we are influence starved. We also need some program trashing to get rid of the programs that the runner has put in play. Rototurret is the obvious choice. It’s only one influence cheap to rez at 4, but it has strength 0 so if playing against a deck with parasite especially mid run parasite becareful using it. The only other trashing ice I have included is a one of Archer. I have experimented with replacing this with a Wraparound and another Rototurret I find myself missing the Archer. Sometimes in game with this deck rezzing an Archer can just win the game; along with the 6 one point agendas makes it a really good fit. Swordsman does double duty trashing AI’s and triggering the decks ability. The fact that it is also a credit cheaper than Neural Katana is just a bonus. I’ve tried out Snoop but the influence is better spent on Archer and the ice is a huge money sink that the decks economy cannot support.

Barrier Bay’s Operations serve only 2 purposes to get money and to remove programs. 3 Neural EMP’s and 3 Power Shutdowns take care of the latter. The only strange choice here is that I am playing Medical Research Fundraiser over Celebrity Gift. The two reasons for this is that one I am trying to keep the program destruction strategy quiet during the early stages of the game, and two if the deck is functioning properly it doesn’t matter how much money the runner has if they don’t have a breaker to spend it on.

Both of the upgrades in the deck are tools to remove in play programs. Marcus Batty should be combined with Archer or Rototurret to trash a program. Remember that if the runner has clone chips installed they still get a chance to bring their programs back (unless you have a Blacklist). Will-o'-the-Wisp isn’t exactly program trashing, but for decks that don’t have a search card it might as well be.

The assets start off with 3 Jackson Howard because we are playing the Corp, but in all seriousness they are very important to the deck since you will be dumping cards in archives with Power Shutdown. We are playing 2 Blacklist because you can’t always score a Chronos Project when you need to, and laying down a Blacklist is a lot easier. We are playing Shock! over Snare! and Shi.Kyū because it works from archives and we will be dumping cards there with Power Shutdown and it doesn’t drain our credits. Our agenda selection is also somewhat out of the ordinary. We are playing 21 points when we could easily play 20 and leave ourselves less open to the runner stealing agendas. However Chronos Project and House of Knives are so important to the game plan of the deck I feel it is worth the risk. Playing 6 one point agendas is rough so we need to get that count down or we will end up with 16 agendas, so we are playing 3 copies of The Future Perfect (it’s a big agenda and it protects itself). The last six points were a tough choice. I had originally had NAPD Contract here but the issue is we don’t really tax the runner and in a lot of games they are just floating on a lot of worthless credits and will happily spend them for 2 points. I think Fetal AI is better since it still protects itself in the early game and it can trigger Chronos Protocol: Selective Mind-mapping’s ability.

OK so we have our game plan, but how does the deck actually play? The thing to keep in mind is that this is a control deck. The goal is to very specifically control where the runner can go to create scoring windows for our agendas.

One of the things about this deck that is not completely obvious is that you are aware of the cards in the runners hand for a large portion of game (so long as they are running.) This allows you to make plays that might seem risky but aren’t. For example you have a criminal player that you hit with net damage during their turn (from a House of Knives or a Swordsman) you see no barrier breaker and no inside job. It’s fairly safe to score behind a barrier this turn. It is also OK to give away an agenda if you can trade it for a program. Let’s say they have corroder in play could lay down a barrier Will-o'-the-Wisp and a one point agenda. This is a win win. If they run they score one point and the corroder goes to the bottom of the deck. If they don’t run you score one of your powerful one pointer agendas.

While I consider the deck to be very strong it does have weak points and bad matchups. First this is a control deck you need to be in control of the game at all times. If it starts to run away from you it will likely continue to do so. Mass recursion is a problem. If you can’t get a protected Blacklist up or score a well-timed Chronos Project against a Test Run Scavenge Shaper it is going to be a rough game. Economy attack can also give the deck fits. Specifically Vamp. Being repeatedly Account Siphoned is an issue for almost any crop, but Vamp is a serious problem since you don’t really tax the runner they can sit on large stacks of cash in the late game and easily vamp you down to nothing. And lastly big R&D digs off of Medium or multiple R&D Interfaces can be problematic. When the runner has their breakers installed you rely on Power Shutdown, Will-o'-the-Wisp, and Marcus Batty to bail you out. Marcus Batty and Will-o'-the-Wisp have a trash cost of 1, so they will almost always be trashed when accessed.

I welcome comments and critiques on the deck. I have a couple more decks that I can do the long form write up for and I look forward to being engaged in this community.

26 comments
8 Sep 2015 vor_lord

I've been working on an Undecodable version of this with Chronos Protocol. Hokusai Grid seems like almost as auto-include for the ID as Neural EMP.

Having played this archetype quite a bit, going -1 Power Shutdown to give some influence for Wraparound makes sense to me.

8 Sep 2015 UminWolf

Hi HopelessHeretic, first off, absolutely love the deck idea! I do have a couple of comments/critiques, but please don't take it as that I think the deck is trash or anything, cause I think it's super fun.

I personally like Grim in place of Rototurret; 2 reasons, I don't care about the bad pub really, because as you said, if they don't have a fracter, the extra money is pointless. Also, it's not vulnerable to Parasite or weak to Mimic like Rototurret, and that gives us two more influence for another Archer (house with Marcus Batty).

Adding the extra Archer, combined with Film Critic being so big, I don't like The Future Perfect, because it doesn't really protect itself anymore. That being said, if you can score a Priority Requisition instead, you can now rez Archer without needing to forfeit an agenda. The Future Perfect could still be a fine call because the runner would need a Film Critic available, so I can easily see not changing that, just a thought.

Also, because Medium digs and Parasite + Datasucker can really hurt, I would drop a Chronos Project for 20 points, and throw in a Cyberdex Virus Suite or two. And if Medium is what's really doing you in, I would use Snare! instead of Shi.Kyū <-- personal preference

I really like the idea of the deck and will definitely update on how my games go with changes and such.

8 Sep 2015 HopelessHeretic

@vor_lord I feel that undecodable needs the Power Shutdown less since it is harder to hit Gordian Blade or Yog.0 with it (still great against ZU.13 Key Master and Refractor.) Hokusai Grid was in one of the early drafts of the list, but I found Shock! and Neural EMP to be better versions of the same thing. Shock! activates even when not installed and costs no money while Neural EMP can't be trashed with credits. Its exclusion is a deck space issue.

@UminWolf Wow how did I miss Grim for sure a straight swap. I will probably swap the 2 bastions for Wraparound's. Film Critic still hasn't caught on in my meta only a handful of people are playing it so I feel that its still my best bet. I need to try Cyberdex Virus Suite. It's one of those cards I always put in the deck during the early stages that gets cut before I sleeve it up. As far as Snare! is concerned I really feel that it is too expensive. The deck only has 7 econ cards and triggering a snare is more expensive than most of the ice in the deck.

Thanks so much boys keep it coming!

8 Sep 2015 UminWolf

@HopelessHeretic: yeah, after going back over it, I also didn't include Snare!, just too expensive. I did personally cut a single Power Shutdown for 2 Beanstalk Royalties (influence wise) because I hate being poor, no matter what side I'm on. So I'm unfortunately not running Will-o'-the-Wisp because of card slots. That is definitely the issue I see with this deck, so many cards you want to include, but doing so would ruin the deck I feel; since you are looking for very specific things at specific times of the game.

Right now I'm struggling between 1 or 2 Cyberdex Virus Suites, it's so good against a lot of the anarch meta, and with Faust, that's pretty big. I want to cut 1 for something like Shock!, but I having only 1 when you need it is rough, cause once it's trashed, it feels criminal to waste a Jackson to shuffle it back in. Idk, maybe the goal at that point is to just trash as many fracters as possible and use a barrier to protect R&D. I guess you really only need to worry about early pressure from Medium, because hopefully mid to late game they won't have any more fracters. Sorry, just thinking as I type

8 Sep 2015 guy.brush

sniff...sob...this is...beautiful.

9 Sep 2015 gandrasch

Wow I didn't think this could work, but it actually does for me.

I play it with 54 cards and -1 Chronos -2 Future +2 Priority +1 Phiolitc, +2 Snare, +2 Hokusai Grid, +2 Blue Level Clearance, -3 Power Shutdown, +2 Wraparound +1 Archer +2 Grim -2 Bastion -2 Rototurrent.

I'm just not sold on Power Shutdown. They often can choose just to trash a hardware, which isnt as important as the breakers.

9 Sep 2015 Vapo

The framework of Chronos Protocol/Power Shutdown/Blacklist is definitely something that has potential, it seems a logical evolution from my Black Knight deck which did good work but is basically finished unless Weyland get some exciting new toys (yeah right...) but one thing about this deck jumps out as a serious issue - How are you getting around the Blacklist/Chronos Project nombo? CP does nothing while Blacklist is installed, if you install CP over blacklist it's a massive tell, and you have nothing to allow you to score it the same turn giving them a chance to fish out Lady/Corroder with Clone Chip or even Deja Vu. I always found the timing on CP too difficult to fire it reliably,

It also seems light on economy, without having Weyland's awesome economy agendas I'd have thought if you don't get the lock very quickly you're gonna run out of steam pretty often, especially with the horribly expensive Will'O making an appearance. It's worth considering Sundew, you might not get the guaranteed payout that RP does but you can use it to bait runs on trashing ice, pair it with a Hokusai (which should definitely make an appearance here!) or just stick it behind a barrier to waste the runner's time - if you're slowing them down it's not so bad having to click for creds!

9 Sep 2015 HopelessHeretic

@Vapo I never really considered the Blacklist/Chronos Project a nombo. Most games I don't see both or if I do one of them is trashed or stolen. I just consider them redundancy. In games where I do see both I am looking for a situation along the lines of kill a breaker, install blacklist is a safe-ish spot then move into a Chronos Project score in a separate server. The idea is to get the cards in the archives and hold them there with Blacklist until I can kill them for good with Chronos Project. Your are right the deck is incredibly low on economy. I click for credits quite a bit. But the most expensive play it has is Rototurret with a wisp behind it (I have replaced Rototurret with Grim btw) 8 (9 with Grim). All your econ cards allow this play to be made. I am thinking about adding more barriers since I lost 2 games yesterday where I had exiled all Corroders but still lost because i couldn't find enough barriers to cover my centrals. I might pull the lone Celebrity Gift or look at removing the Shock!'s.

@gandrasch Power Shutdown is a super match up dependent card. Does nothing vs Noise or some hardware heavy Shaper builds. But in games against early pressure decks and virtually any criminal it is really good. And the correct choice of what they should trash is not always clear. I had a situation the other night where the opponent didn't quite know what my deck did yet (we were still in the first few turns) he has a Desperado and a Mimic installed and had a desperado in archives. I played Power Shutdown for 3. The correct decision is very clearly to let Desperado die but conventional wisdom says you have another Mimic in the deck and you need the economy that the console brings.

Overall I feel like this deck is very high skill cap. When I lose and talk about the games afterwards they point out one or two mistakes that I made that would have likely resulted in me winning the game.

9 Sep 2015 Trypios

I would suggest to remove the Rototurret in exchange for Lancelot. Yes, no ETR but it's not insta-parasitable with the same influence. Of course, they can still destroy it with suckers or go for cheap with a Mimic, so maybe a couple of Grims, it only costs a credit more. Chronos Project is a MUST-have card, but I'd drop one for two reasons: 1) Agenda density, 2) You don't really want to see it early, so 2x is plenty. Get one more Celebrity Gift if you do. I love your idea in general!

9 Sep 2015 8shanrahan

Any thoughts of using spare influence on Targeted Marketing? since you know the contents of their hand, and since you have an idea of when you can lock them out, it might help get your econ rolling.

10 Sep 2015 gandrasch

Also "It's a Trap!" is pure gold in this deck.

10 Sep 2015 gandrasch

Nevermind, misread the card. Exposed not encountered. Still good.

10 Sep 2015 HopelessHeretic

I made a few changes to the deck and played 2 games with it on jinteki last night. I managed to lock out a prepaid Kate build with a Grim, Marcus Batty, Blacklist rez. I lost to a Hayley who was running one Corroder that I managed to tuck with Will-o'-the-Wisp, but i spent the rest of the game trying to kill the Self-modifying Codes and a Femme Fatale through 2 Sacrificial Constructs. I ended up losing due to R&D lock. Pretty close though. I still feel like I lose due to play mistakes more than anything.

Agenda (11) 2x Chronos Project 3x Fetal AI 3x House of Knives 3x The Future Perfect

Asset (7) 2x Blacklist •• 3x Jackson Howard ••• 2x Shock!

Upgrade (4) 2x Marcus Batty 2x Will-o'-the-Wisp

Operation (12) 3x Hedge Fund 3x Medical Research Fundraiser 3x Neural EMP 3x Power Shutdown ••••• •

Barrier (10) 2x Bastion 3x Himitsu-Bako 3x Wall of Static 2x Wraparound ••

Sentry (5) 1x Archer •• 2x Grim 2x Swordsman

@gandrasch I'm not wild about It's a Trap! If its ambush would trigger on access or its subroutine trashed programs I would be all in, but since neither of those are true I feel like their are better cards for the deck.

@8shanrahan I like the idea of Targeted Marketing especially when I get to see their hand. Not sure what I would cut for it. Probably the Wraparounds since they are mostly their for the cheap rez, but I really want to keep the ice count up. I also really like the mind games you can play with that card. Do things like lay an agenda out play Targeted Marketing and say Plascrete Carapace then pass turn.

12 Sep 2015 DGB123

I've been looking forward to Chronos Protocol for these reasons - it's the ultimate shutdown Jinteki ID and it's going to be monstrous. I like your deck Heretic but I have one question which is why not save some influence and use grim? Who cares if it gives bad pub when you're using binary ICE they lack the breaker for?

12 Sep 2015 DGB123

Also I'd consider swapping a future perfect for philotic entanglement as it's easy to score and is likely to fire Chronos's ID ability to snipe another card

13 Sep 2015 DGB123

Sorry, I posted without reading all the earlier comments; I was a little too enthusiastic I guess. 13 ICE seems too low to me so personally I would cut a power shutdown, a neural emp, and the blacklists to get more ICE in the deck. Power shutdown is either amazing or very weak, depending on the runner's deck so 3 seems overkill and with 3 chronos you're likely to wipe their archives without having to rely on blacklist. With 4 free slots for ICE maybe a couple of crick and a couple more barriers? Crick lets you recover your Batty's and wisps, protects archives single-handedly, and forces them to fish for a decoder for a super-cheap piece of ICE. Maybe switch out emp for hokusai if using crick - things to consider anyway. I will definitely be using Chronos when I get the next pack.

13 Sep 2015 titonosfe

I'll try this changing power shutdown for archived memories and reclamation order..

13 Sep 2015 Trypios

@titonosfe Power Shutdown is a great card for the experienced player. They run with SMC, don't rez and play the shut down for 0 cards to trash the SMC. Archived memories/rec order won't do much for this deck.

13 Sep 2015 titonosfe

If has SMC. Power shutdown has situtational use, and you don't chose the card trashed. And has the problem of bad auto millings. Instead Archived Memories allows you recover battys and other cards that are a fundamental for you game (emps, economy jacsons etc...), I Already played with the changes 3 archived memories and 1 reclamation order. And always had a batty in the key servers. And i was able of destroying the entire rig of the corp several times, until i cand finally wipe it and was a heavy hayley recursion deck. Also helps with noise.

13 Sep 2015 titonosfe

Also put lotus fields, is non parasitable an no depend only of barriers wipeout.

13 Sep 2015 Trypios

Lol, but that's the point AND even title of this deck. Snipe the barriers. Power shutdown a 2cr corroder or SMCs or even clone chips and parasites, even stealth hardware or Astrolabes or aaany other cheap but important prog/ware. If you want to exclude shutdowns and put Lotus Fields etc., you're changing the concept and better build a deck from scratch instead of trying to 'improve' this one. It's like trying to improve Kate by removing the PPvPs for stealth cards: It's going to be a different beast.

14 Sep 2015 HopelessHeretic

@titonosfe I really feel that Power Shutdown is a card that is going to stay. Yes there are some match ups where it is less then ideal. Noise being one of them. But at certain points of that game it can be really good like if they have nothing protecting a Clone Chip or a Trope (both only cost one,) and god help them if they are installing everything on a Scheherazade. I have looked good and hard at Lotus Field for this deck and there are a few reasons that I have not included it. First we are looking to snipe barrier breakers so its not really a win condition. Second the reason we are not killing code gate breakers is largely due to Himitsu-Bako being far superior to Lotus Field. Himitsu-Bako is un-Parasite-able just like Lotus Field, but Lotus Field can be killed by Spooned but Himitsu-Bako can't be killed by Knifed. (In both cases you just jump Himitsu-Bako back to your hand.)

@DGB123 I think that Crick makes Hokusai Grid a lot more interesting, but I'm not entirely convinced that it is better than just having 2 Shock!s. And if it is better its 4 cards taking the place of 2, so it would have to be a lot better. I don't agree that Blacklist is redundant with Chronos Project. A lot of times it can be tough to score the Chronos Project on the turn that it is ideal to due so (since it is in your hand and takes 2 turns to score.) But even if they are redundant it's essentially just 4 Chronos Projects 2 of which don't give the runner points. You are 100% right 13 ice is not enough. I have increased the ice count to 15.

18 Sep 2015 internet_potato

I tried out a similar deck last night: swapped out Rototurret for Grim , Celebrity Gift for restructure, and used the influence freed up by rototurret to convert some barriers to Wraparounds. It was a lot of fun. Managed to win on a flatline when the runner got a little greedy on a handful of fetals and I top-decked a neural EMP the next turn.

I didn't get much program destruction ice early on and the runner was pretty cautious with opening up to neurals and power shutdowns, so I had to use my Jacksons primarily to deal with keeping the agenda count in HQ at a manageable level. By the time that I really wanted to recur will-o-wisp's and batty's to reset their breakers, I was kind of out of luck.

Crick or Interns might be worth a look as a non-jackson way to get back your upgrades. I also like the looks of this deck in terms of increasing the level of breaker-killing ice.

18 Sep 2015 internet_potato

(sorry for the double) On the topic of Power Shutdown, I ran 2 copies and it was about right. Having an answer for Feedback Filter was clutch, otherwise the neural emp's are pretty well neutered.

27 Sep 2015 ZomB

I tried a variant of this in a GNK with Crick which was a waste of space, Architect, Hokusai Grid, and Wraparound all of which were strong, and Sagittarius instead of Archer which was unexpectedly very strong (just out of mimic range). Will probably try next with Yagura and possibly a second Sagittarius. Its a lot of fun to play though can be very long games for tournament play.

26 Oct 2015 urbanfractal

Have you considered Profiteering or Hades Fragment?