Vendetta (DLR Siphon Control for Worlds)

greyfield 3493

This is the 45 I would be taking as runner to Worlds if I'd managed to get a ticket.

I promised you this deck was a monster. Well, that was back in the beta version. The above is the full beast. It's the deck I use when I'm in a bad mood on OCTGN and need an easy win and self-esteem boost, because I'm still undefeated with it, and many of the victories have been sickeningly easy. (Hence the new deck name. When you're being a dick, go full dick.)

Let me be perfectly clear: Leela is the best ID for the DLR deck, hands down. Sure, Hayley is a bit faster, and Valencia has a bit more reach, and Andy is a bit more consistent, but Leela cripples the corp from the get-go by forcing them to either play around her ability or accept that they may just have to leave a server unprotected in order to score an agenda. Thus, the corp's gameplan is constantly defined by Account Siphon to their detriment - either they run straight into it, or they give you enough time to set up the thin breaker suite required to land it anyway, while still letting you freely set up a combo that promises to end the game entirely in half a dozen turns. The instant the corp lets their guard down, you take all their money and force them to try to stop you while beaten into the dirt.

But it's the other, less tangible advantages Leela offers that are almost as valuable and underappreciated. For example, any agendas Leela mills become an instant threat of tempo loss. Say the Corp tries going for a 5/3 in an impervious scoring server and leaves you free to combo off, trying to race. Well, if any agendas land in archives, suddenly the corp has lost an entire turn of tempo and money, along with a chunk of their deck. There have even been games where I've willfully trashed a Hades Shard early for just a single agenda (or single extra mill off DLR) knowing the odds were excellent for me to score an agenda and tip the table over on my opponent.

And while Leela doesn't have Joshua B, Criminal has a better card that also fills one of the deck's critical holes against certain strategies in Fisk Investment Seminar. Not only does Fisk speed up the milling of your opponent almost as much as a Josh will, while still netting you free cards to boot, Fisk lets you win the game through a scored Hades Fragment, where normal combo decks would otherwise be frozen out as the corp perpetually cycled one card back into their deck.

The two major breakthroughs from the previous version of the deck were the Honor and Profit central suite, which on top of Eater ensures you can set up the critical Siphons without wasting influence (and thus letting you play Diesel, which in turn lets you conserve critical early-game cash), and Mr. Li, who takes the deck into overdrive while also offering a critical ninth target for Career Fair. The amount of free effective clicks Mr. Li offers to combo decks like this, where much of the deck ultimately becomes chaff to be sifted out, is grotesque.

But the most important thing to take away from the deck is that, for all its combo pieces, it still has all the tools necessary to play a regular, albeit somewhat diminished, Criminal game. Steal money, steal tempo, pound centrals, access the agendas they can't score, steal more tempo, repeat until dead. That, I think, is what really separates the above list from other combo decks. For all the glint on the fine killing machine, what really sets this gun apart is the figurative bayonet at the end - because if all else fails, sometimes, you just gotta stab a guy (or, in this case, Siphon him to death and lock down R&D until he submits).

This is not a nice deck; this is not a deck I'd bring to a GNK. But I promise you, this is a deck that you should play at Worlds.

24 comments
28 Sep 2015 Dothanite

I've been looking at control decks for Worlds for a while, and this one does intrigue me. DLR Cheese is never fun, and with All Seeing I out there as an answer I believe others will be running tag punishment for real. I'm willing to try this out, though.

The central suite is tough, man. Faust helps too, but if they ever find a way to rez a Turing on a remote you're locked out (though, admittedly, that's not the point of this deck).

What do you feel is the toughest matchup for this deck? What was the closest you've come to losing in your playtesting?

28 Sep 2015 RubbishyUsername

@Dothanite I would guess that you'd never want to let them rez an ice on a remote anyway. Between Siphon, Leela bounces and triple pressure on R&D, Archives and HQ you'd never need to run a protected remote. I think Swordsman would be more of a problem, but again, you wouldn't want to run it anyway.

Otherwise, I just want to say that this deck is sickening.

29 Sep 2015 Dothanite

Just tried this build, and it really does has teeth. Definitely going to play around with this more.

29 Sep 2015 Badeesh

Like this. Looks like it could be just as fun (though probably slightly less effective) in Fisk himself. GFGF.

29 Sep 2015 Dydra

I've been playing a 60-70% same deck on Jinteki.net, but with Fisk and It's pretty strong. For obvious reasons the Mill is stronger with him. Leela's ability is definitely good, as you point out, but not sure I'd trade it for Fisk's.

That being said I've been struggling getting into certain places with my Fisk deck, if I don't hit my 4 breakers.

I'm going to try a version with Spoilers now, because I think this could compliment your "on score" punish with Leela as well.

29 Sep 2015 Dydra

Scratch that , just saw Spoilers is 3 influence. Will stick to my Trope which I recommend you try out as well. It's amazing because u can recur your Fisk Investment Seminar and broken Data Leak Reversal + Wireless Net Pavilion.

Also I'd recommend Astrolabe it does an immense job in helping find your cards. It punishes horizontal play (which is one of the ways to play around flooding hand).

29 Sep 2015 Badeesh

Astrolabe is a really interesting idea, quite like that.

30 Sep 2015 manveruppd

I'm curious about how this plays. Do normally float early siphon tags? Or do you try to stay untagged until you have the combo pieces down on the board? With all that draw, how come you didn't go for Faust over Eater for your AI breaker? And have you considered sticking a gang sign in there, for when you just can't stop the Corp from scoring no matter what you do? FIS means they'll quite often be holding more than 1 agenda in hand, and being siphoned down to 0 doesn't necessarily mean they can't score out: not with drip economy from assets, beanstalk royalties, and Shipment from SanSan (which I've only ever seen played twice: once in an Efficiency Committee/Power Shutdown combo deckdeck, and once last night on octgn when I was trying out a Siphon spam deck of my own)...

30 Sep 2015 Dothanite

@manveruppd, I can't answer for @greyfield but I'll give you my experience with this deck so far. I've been playing this deck exclusively in real life and on Jnet since I discovered it.

Siphon is a great way to grab tags if you don't have the Paparazzi in play yet - against HB this is a normal play for me. Against Weyland or NBN I definitely clear tags before I feel comfortable with the combo pieces I have in play.

I've though about Faust as well, however although there is plenty of card draw you are using this draw power digging for pieces. Every card I draw I want to play, and I always feel bad when I overdraw and have to discard down to hand size. I'd love to hear your experiences with it, though, since you can use that one influence for an Employee Strike.

Gang Sign sounds interesting since it is Leela. I've played around with the deck and fit in a legwork instead.

As an anecdote, I played this deck today and had the worst draws in my life. I really thought I was done for when he hit five points, but somehow I managed to mill him for the rest of his R&D before he could score out for the game.

1 Oct 2015 greyfield

@manveruppd I almost always float tags unless I suspect keeping the tags would be too dangerous. The goal is to not give the corp an opportunity to trash a WNP on the cheap if they can. This is part of the impetus for trying to Siphon them down to 0 - it makes it impossible to trash a single Net Pavillion their following turn. Pavillions are important enough that I will otherwise make sure to be dropping several at a time and/or have Fall Guys on the board ready to make trashing them impracticable. Since this deck has a more suitable means of getting tagged, 90% of the time I play Paparazzi it's against decks that seem to be threatening my life.

I prefer Deja Vu over Trope as my all-purpose recycling tool, since sometimes you just need something back immediately and it's never totally useless. If you're spending six turns waiting to get Trope charged, you've already probably ceded a dangerous amount of tempo, and if you win the game in spite of the Trope, the slot and the click weren't probably spent well. Furthermore, I can only think of one game where I had all my pieces destroyed, since the main point of Siphoning them down is to make breaking through the wall of Fall Guys and WNPs impossible. If they can afford to trash your stuff without their economy falling to pieces in the process, something has gone very wrong.

I'm anti-Astrolabe for a few reasons. For one, there aren't many decks that will lay enough remotes to justify it over Diesel, and I haven't had much difficulty with matchups like Turtlebacks and the like. In those matchups, as soon as you Siphon them, you start aggressively closing doors with their money. (This is one of those cases where this deck plays far more like a regular Criminal deck than a typical DLR deck.)

I haven't tested Employee Strike yet (as mentioned above, playing this deck on OCTGN feels dirty), but it seems great, especially against noted Siphon-lock-breakers ETF and Blue Sun. I like the pure free consistency that comes with Diesel, but one of the big upsides of the deck is that the influence is pretty fluid. I think the Eater is obligatory (for the reasons @Dothanite noted about Faust), and obviously you need 4 more for the DLRs and the Hades Shard, but the other 8 are really fluid. You could also choose to run a different economic engine than Career Fair Resource Drip, or try to squeeze in Dirty Laundry.

1 Oct 2015 roninbodhisattva

Played this on jinteki.net tonight and I am absolutely in love with it. I switched out one Mr. Li for 2 Gang Signs (taking the count to 46), and those were a nice addition. I found that the amount of card draw was always enough to find Mr. Li, and in many events I didn't even need him.

Taking out one of the diesels might be dangerous, but I wonder if something else could be slotted in there.

I only found that I need Deja Vu once to fetch a trashed hade's shard to hard install it.

1 Oct 2015 roninbodhisattva

I also had a lot of trouble against Haarpsichord packing Quantum Predictive Model, as I was floating tags and Haarpsichord punishes the one big turn scoring strategy.

1 Oct 2015 Dothanite

If it helps, my changes were:

I found the Quality time is tough to use in this, deck, but a good card draw solution when you need it. Both Employee and Legwork have won me games, and I only need one with SOTs. I do not miss the third SOT. I can see you switching out the legwork to a Gang Sign, though I've no clue what you'd take out for a second one.

2 Oct 2015 Gezz10

I'm a little new to competitive netrunner and I'm having real trouble piloting this deck:

Should I be trying to set up the DLR as soon as possible and milling 4 cards a turn?

How far out of my way should I go to siphon? Any help appreciated!

5 Oct 2015 greyfield

@Gezz10 It's situational. And in many matchups, what you want to do is not all that dissimilar from what you'd do against them without the combo. Doing that well requires knowing each corp's weakness, which takes experience. (E.g. Blue Sun can't always protect multiple servers; Butcher Shop is very dependent on you being too scared to take free agendas and/or checking for Breaking News; RP prefers to ice their centrals lightly if they can and really relies on Niseis; etc.)

But the core game plan from which you sometimes must deviate is: draw lots of cards and get some cheap cash, move combo pieces to the board if the corp doesn't make a strong move, and prepare a Siphon barrage with the corresponding breaker for the moment they let their guard down. As soon as you bankrupt the corp, start milling them aggressively until you decide you need to check archives (which could be for a variety of reasons - you think you've won, you think the Corp has a Jackson, you want to trigger Leela, etc.). But part of me suggests getting experience by first practicing the core mechanics with a regular Leela/other criminal and then feeling out how the tactics shift when you go with Vendetta.

20 Oct 2015 greyfield

For those of you who are suffering from The All-Seeing I and want an additional solution, I struck upon an interesting potential splash: Activist Support. If you can get your opponent down to zero credits, Activist Support with a Fall Guy backup will probably be enough to land a Bad Publicity for your protection. Now, of course, that tag means you might just die by other means, but hey, at least your combo is safe.

21 Oct 2015 fiveplus5is55

hey very powerful build. what are your thoughts on Vigil instead of diesel ? corp should be on max hand size all the time. I saw this being played also with gang signs, would that be any improvement over current build?

21 Oct 2015 fiveplus5is55

hey,one more thing. diesel, fisk and earthrise will draw you 36 cards, plus the 5 to begin with , its 41 cards. so mr li would be only accountable for 4 card draws, i really do love mr.li and i think he is underrated, but in this deck where we cycle thoruh the whole deck quite often, is selective drawing really that necessary anymore?

21 Oct 2015 Dothanite

Played this at a 15-player GNK and split top with it. It is a very powerful deck, for sure. Also still playing this exclusively on Jnet. I've lost with it, but it's still a very powerfull build. My (pre-dnd) changes involve cutting a Diesel and putting in a Film Critic and a Utopia Shard.

@greyfield I've considered Activist Support, but as @fiveplus5is55 mentioned there is a alot of card draw, and I feel like that's necessary here. If I were to take this to worlds I'm not sure what the right influence splash will be, but I definitely have had success with this deck as is. My heart yearns for a DDoS, though.

@fiveplus5is55, Vigil is an interesting include. I'll have to toy around with it some. Even though you are correct in the amount of draw power this deck has, I have still found myself needing Li from time to time as I'm digging for said draw power.

23 Oct 2015 greyfield

@fiveplus5is55Li is there more for consistency than raw card draw power (hence only 2 copies). You're right, in theory you should see almost all the deck without him; in practice, though, padding the numbers makes it easier for everything to come out right. Plus he gives the deck two more targets for Career Fair, which is actually rather important, also for consistency reasons. The way I see it, if I have a Career Fair without a Daily Casts or an Earthrise Hotel, being able to trade it in to upgrade my regular draw for free is a real perk.

27 Oct 2015 Hongkong Koma

I play a similar deck and found Vigil not so well performing. The extra draw is okay-ish, but I prefer the quality draw from Mr. Li - having an Account Siphon in hand when I need it is worth a lot.

3 Dec 2015 Horse85

Tried out a few games with this, and holy crap this deck is amazing. I was already a big fan of Leela, so she's what really drew me to it over the other DLR decks. I have two questions.

1- What does a good opening hand look like? I've pretty much been mulling anything that doesn't have draw power in it, even if it has Siphons or combo pieces.

2- When, if ever, is it best to stop playing other things and start going hard on spending 4 clicks to mill? I try to wait until I have a way into Archives, either through breakers or Hades. But sometimes the corp gets to like 5 points and I feel like I have to go hard on milling before they score out.

3 Dec 2015 Hongkong Koma

1 - I usually mulligan for a DLR so you can run at least archvies on your first turn and install it.

2 - That's the skill question. You've got to read the board to decide. Don't tilt or let yourself rush when your opponent is at 4 points. Have your mill combo out with at least 2 Fall Guys and 2 WNPs, then either put down that Paparazzi or attack with a Siphon. Check archives regularly but not too often, when you score some points, attack HQ with a legwork afterwards to make sure no Agendas sneak past your mill.

3 Dec 2015 Horse85

Not sure if I really want to play DLR on first turn, though. I mean that tells the corp my whole game plan, right?