Geist in the Shell, 1st BABW LCQ, 3rd BABW finals.

mendax 741

As I'd already qualified for the BABW finals from a previous event, I decided to take this deck to the Last Chance Qualifier despite not really having many games with it, and it being fairly untested because of that. Over the weekend it went 10 - 4, going 6 - 0 in the LCQ and 4 - 4 in the finals. The difference is partly because the standard was much higher in the finals (of course), and partly because the meta in the finals was different (much more Astrobiotics).

The idea is fairly obvious - using eater for cheap breaking you can derez the ice with Crescentus (drawing a card), and clone chip the crescentus back (drawing a card. This is most powerful against bioroid ice, as you can click through those to break the subroutines allowing the denial to start much earlier. On top of this, you also have Siphons to keep the corp down, and Same Old Thing to recur them, and Emergency Shutdown to hit rezzed ice elsewhere.

Muertos gang member is incredibly powerful in played right, especially in a deck like this that has a lot of support for it (notably fall guy for protection). More than one Tollbooth was derezzed from it, and its effect makes you practically unkillable also. Keyhole is a finishing piece more than an integral part - with eater you can often struggle for accesses but Keyhole can still give you something productive to do with your clicks

In terms of matchups, Astrobiotics is the worst. Being able to score out from 0 credits with an Astro token and Shipment from SanSan is a pain, as well as the fact that a lot of their ice is cheap (making derez less powerful) and awkward (such as wraparound). I would in future consider swapping breach for aurora, because it's main function is breaking wraparound and they're both equally inefficient at that. Not being able to access a wraparound remote cost me a game against an ETF rush deck.

Other troublsome ice are Swordsman and Turing. Swordsman at least dies to parasite, if you've found it yet, and otherwise can be derezzed via faerie & crescentus if nothing else. Turing on a central needs to be parasited really, though on R&D it can be left for a while if you can shut it down. Turing on a remote has to be shut down, and then the corp kept poor enough for rezzing it to be a problem. However, the fact that ETF often relies on Bioroid ice (which is very vulnerable to both siphon and Crescentus) and also rarely packs ice costing 2 or less means that this normally isn't too hard to achieve.

Kill decks, especially Butchershop, are completely trivial. Being able to draw on the corp's turn makes you nigh unkillable. and Crash Space is as good as plassy at keeping you alive out of Geist, as well as having other utility. Fall Guy makes it much harder for a corp to trash it post-midseasons also, so this is a fantastic matchup. Many Jinteki kill decks are light on econ, so they also fall over to corp-turn draw and econ denial.

Of the games that this deck lost, 3 were to Astrobiotics (weekend record was 2 - 3 vs Astrobiotics), though 2 of those were to Tim (2015 UK Nats runner up), who not only went on to win the event, but also had the advantage of playing against this whilst I was testing it locally. The other loss was to evilgaz, 2015 Nordics Nationals champion, who was playing an ETF with Wraparound splashed. Wins included games against the previously mentioned astrobiotics, ETF (both SanSan and Caprice versions), Biotech (both rush and kill) , and Butchershop.

There were games of this both on the livestream for the event, and also recorded, and if I remember (or people remind me to) I will post links to these in the comments.

21 Sep 2015 timfast

Just to add that Mendax failed to add in his modesty that I didn't just play this, I lost to this in testing and would have again if I didn't know in advance i)Eli is totally useless, ii)he's packing Hades Shard, and iii)dig for the wraparounds and keep on on R and D for Keyhole. Excellent and very unexpected deck.

21 Sep 2015 asteriskreaper

Sick Reference

21 Sep 2015 PaxCecilia

Do you ever trash Muertos for the 2 card draw, or does he just sit around being irrelevant beyond his de-rez effect? I suppose just if you're vulnerable to a flatline?

21 Sep 2015 dante77

Nice deck, And Legendary Title ;)

21 Sep 2015 mendax

@PaxCecilia - Usually it sits there looking pretty, but if I'm desperately digging for something I might trash it. It's a real last-gasp thing though, because it undoes a lot of work.

22 Sep 2015 SlayerCNV

Thank you. Really. The only thing is... Just 1 keyhole?

22 Sep 2015 Saan

From looking at it, the point of it isn't to Keyhole your opponent into oblivion. Keyhole is kind of a finisher. The deck reminds me quite a bit of Headlock Reina in terms of it's goal, and that deck also just ran 1 Keyhole IIRC, for the same reasons. Plus, at 3 inf, I don't know what the hell you'd want to take out to fit another. 1 seems reasonable.

22 Sep 2015 mendax

@SlayerCNV -@Saan`s right that the biggest problem with including more than 1 keyhole is the influence. Even with only 1 it's still possible (and common) to win without installing Keyhole, as you should get a lot of accesses before the corp can rez and keep ice on their centrals.

22 Sep 2015 SlayerCNV

Has some serious problems with blue sun with 6 agendas, it appears, no? I freaking love it in each case. I'll try it when I can.

22 Sep 2015 Brendan

The last thing Blue Sun wants to see is a deck with 3 Emergency Shutdown, 3 Crescentus, and 3 Muertos Gang Members. The latter is particularly hilarious. I don't think Blue Sun is a bad matchup here!

22 Sep 2015 timfast

Also remember its basically invulnerable, each Muertos is 2 cards, each crash space is as good as a plascrete, then lots of other cards that might provide the extra one card on the corp's turn if needed.

22 Sep 2015 SlayerCNV

If you don't find his agendas and he uses crisium (he will) you can have a trouble trouble.. But I agree with you. I changed it a bit because here blue sun is very popular and they likes high strength ices. So i cut parasite and hades for a passport and another keyhole. Then switched something just for my personal preference. Just a thing. Do u usually take ur tags?

22 Sep 2015 mendax

Most Blue Sun builds have cut Crisium, at least that I see, and that includes the 6 agenda builds. Even Crisium doesn't stop Crescentus and Muertos being problems, anyway - even derezzing a Crisium is irritating for a corp.

Regarding tags, it depends on the matchup, and my draws. If I've got Fall Guy down and I'm playing someone who doesn't have meat damage, I'll often keep the tags until crash space turns up to clear them for free. Once I have both Crash Space and Fall Guy I can often float a tag or two for a turn post siphon against basically anyone. In short, it's by no means a tag-me deck, but it can survive being tagged for a turn or two with nothing too bad happening.

23 Sep 2015 BobAloVskI

I have been trying to build this deck the oat few days: Armand "Geist" Walker: Tech Lord with econ denial through Account Siphons and derezzing. However I was caught up using the B&E breakers which meant I was not denying their credits as well as I could've been. But this deck seems to do it really well and still use the Armand "Geist" Walker: Tech Lord draw ability. Well done!

I have a question with Crash Space though. Do you draw a card after trashing it but before damage is done? That is, can you survive a Scorched Earth with 0 cards in hand?

23 Sep 2015 Larro

Yes. It's as good as a Scorch for Geist, assuming they don't just trash the Crash Space first if able.

23 Sep 2015 Larro

As good as a Plascrete***

23 Sep 2015 mendax

Fall Guy of course helps keep Crash Space around, and trashing a crash space takes up a click which can save you from SSSS, even if not so much from midseasons.

Additionally, you can crack clone chip or fall guy or Muertos between clicks to draw up if you're in danger of being killed.

23 Sep 2015 Brendan

The biggest danger is probably Midseasons. The corp would have to have quite a lead to Midseason's and then trash Fall Guys/Crash Spaces, but I suspect it comes down to how quick you can get SecTest/Bank Job online in this matchup.

24 Sep 2015 Saan

Thanks to Faust and DLR decks becoming more of a thing, enough of my meta has switched to Weyland rush decks that Quandary is actually kind of a problem for this deck to handle. I'm thinking I might switch out either a John or a Sec Test for a single Cerberus "Rex" H2. This would also help a bit with Turing issues. I'd imagine the 4 counters on it would be enough for the entire game in most situations, and in extreme cases it can always be recured with a clone chip.

24 Sep 2015 mendax

That seems a reasonable meta call - it's not been something that I've had issues with, but then I've also not played against Quandary for a long time. I would suspect that you're better off cutting John rather than Sec Testing.

27 Sep 2015 djsabor

Had a lot of fun trying out this deck last night. I was up against an HB deck - perfect - and was able to neutralize a nasty piece of just-rezzed Janus 1.0 - annoying my opponent, to be sure, using Muertos Gang Member. The various other tips and tricks as described in here worked to perfection and I pulled out a significant win. Fun!

27 Sep 2015 mendax

@djsabor - I'm glad you're having fun and good results with the deck, I am of course always happy to hear of people playing and enjoying it.

5 Oct 2015 linuxmaier

Hey @mendax, your list inspired me to play around with muertos. I used to think it was junk but after seeing it in your list and playing around with it, it's so good in a non-tagme deck.

Have you tried Street Peddler in this deck? Event density might be too high, but the peddler -> mgm combo is so good, especially when you're keeping things as derezzed as you are here.

5 Oct 2015 mendax

Muertos was a fairly late include for me, as it was a bit of a liability, but in the end i dropped some econ (dirty laundray + bank job) for the muertos, fall guy, and the 2nd crash space. I think that's a meta call - Muertos is great in some matchups, but vs NEH i think the extra econ would have done more. I don't think you can play Muertos without support, really.

Regarding Peddler, I'd love to have it, but with Eater/Keyhole/Hades I only really have 8 influence, and I consider 3x Clone Chip to be mandatory. I can cut the parasite to free up influence, and I'm really loathe to do that, but it may be worth testing.

I fully expect to want the parasite more though.

5 Oct 2015 linuxmaier

That's fair. I think Eater also makes the peddler/mgm combo less important because you can almost always land Siphon anyway with Eater. I was also running Off-Campus Apartment which raised the stock of Street Peddler, Muertos Gang Member and Fall Guy, which all work well together.

9 Oct 2015 linuxmaier

I've been playing this deck for a week or so now, and it's an utter beast. Well done, @mendax!

9 Oct 2015 mendax

@linuxmaier <3