The Modern Prometheus

Seamus 4670

"Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay To mould me man? Did I solicit thee From darkness to promote me?"

If we assume that a human reprogrammed Adam, to turn him from ambulatory chattel to compulsive hacker, we as a species have a responsibility for our creation. We have a responsibility for his actions but also a responsibility to respect who he is, as all parents do.

“I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel...”

A lot of the discussion of Adam up to this point has been focused on working around the drawbacks of his directives. Some decks have gone so far as to spend influence on Aesop's Pawnshop to turn them into modest economic gain. Let's think about that for a moment. We, the Netrunner Community as stand-in proxies for Adam's creators, would sell the fundamental building blocks of his sentience to some shady lunar scrap dealer as one would a burnt out console. And we call the megacorps heartless profiteers.

Who really deserves bad publicity?

After playing Adam for a just few days - so feel free to disregard all of this shallowly tested supposition - here's my guide to letting Adam be Adam and win doing it.

“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”

With the recent swing of the meta towards runners, one of the stronger corporation strategies has been to outpace the runner with swift early scoring. Always Be Running forces bohemian bioroid to exert pressure on the corporation, draining the resources they'd like to spend on scoring defending their central servers and, as a bonus, allows us to breeze past single ICEd servers in the early game.

25 influence may seem like a lot but, as many have found in building mini-faction decks, it really struggles to cover everything you need in terms of multi-access and breakers. While draw and economy can be, to an extent, covered by neutral events and resources, Adam has no R&D pressure or breakers in-faction.

The inclusion of E3 Feedback Implants turns Always Be Running's break ability into a solution for even the most fearsome ICE, meaning that the influence costing breaker suite is free to focus on lower strength ICE. Corroder is the most cost effective barrier solution available within influence limitations. Mimic and Yog.0 supported by Datasucker remain as strong as they ever were. Zu.13 is there in case of Lotus Fields. Multithreader is there to support the pumpable breakers. In combination with Datasuckers, runs can become very cost effective very quickly.

Finally, there’s a single Overmind for emergencies when you can’t find a breaker piece or only have the clicks to install a single breaker before running on a crucial server. With the support of Multithreader and E3 it does reasonable work.

We can only squeeze in one Special Order to find our breakers. Clearly less than ideal, but not as much of a problem as it might first appear. Always Be Running allow breaking when it’s really needed and the deck gets some pretty serious draw on the go. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Of course, it’s not all upside. Sometimes you won’t want to run on your first click, you’ll want to money up first. Sometimes you’ll want to install a breaker before you do or just not run at all this turn. When you get to this point in the game, Dr. Lovegood should be very much ready to cure what ails you.

It’s a small price to pay to break any ICE in the game for two clicks and a credit for each subroutine after the first.

“Thus strangely are our souls constructed, and by slight ligaments are we bound to prosperity and ruin.”

Neutralize All Threats compliments Always Be Running beautifully. The corporation is left unable to score out of a remote early and can't afford to leave HQ single-ICE'd without the agendas building up there being brutally pillaged. It also eases some of the pressure on influence as we don’t need to import additional HQ pressure.

While other runners dig for their Legwork or pay credits or MU for HQ Interface or Nerve Agent, Adam wields this threat from turn one and on every subsequent turn. The corporation’s hand is never safe.

When the corporation finally manages to secure both HQ and a reasonable remote, it’s time to drop the R&D Interfaces and punish them there instead.

But what of the downside? Trashing corporation cards is a good thing, but being forced to do so can be troublesome. Especially if it’s on the first turn and doing so prevents you playing that lovely Sure Gamble you were so pleased to have in your opening hand.

That’s why we have Dirty Laundry. This not only allows you to bounce back from low credits but also drops the number of credits you’re floating until after your access. Daily Casts and Kati also store credits where they can’t be touched by assets demanding to be trashed, and Career Fair and Armitage allow us to recover when expensive trashing is unavoidable.

Once again, Dr. Lovegood is there to support these more organic solutions.

“I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous.”

We come now to the directive that attracts the most criticism but is actually the reason to play Adam. MaxX is strong because she gets a free draw every turn (as well as additional value from heap recursion). One install, either Brainchip or a single Public Sympathy, turns this supposedly crippling weakness into a ready installed Drug Dealer who never troubles you for a fee.

Scoring an early agenda should be child’s play with the twin benefits of Always Be Running and Neutralize All Threats. With even two points scored, Brainchip becomes fantastically strong. If you get unlucky and don’t snag a couple of early points, Public Sympathy is there for you.

It’s not about making up for the limitation Safety First imposes upon you (although the added handsize is nice). It’s about unlocking its benefit. The cards in your deck should be good. That’s why you’ve included them. Safety First rewards you for playing these cards from your hand and gets more of them into your hand at the same time. Every turn.

Career Fair is there to help clear your hand so that sweet drip-draw can keep flowing and to install Earthrise Hotel to top up your hand once you’re up to a limit of ten or more cards.

“If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!”

Here’s why you should play Adam. He has the strongest early game potential of any runner. Very few pieces of early game ICE can stop him. With an E3 Feedback Implants installed no single piece of ICE can.

Scoring through a remote becomes difficult and HQ becomes a killing ground due to his in-built multi-access. All the while, his natural draw, supported by the low base-cost economy options selected, ensure that he maintains this crushing momentum right through the mid and late game.

Have FFG created a monster? An invincible amalgamation of separate strengths unstoppable in the face of even the strongest mob with their torches and pitchforks? No, not really.

I don’t think Adam is anywhere near a tier one runner (whatever that phrase even means). I’ve yet to see a build for any of the mini-factions that can compete with the strongest builds from the game’s main runner factions. This build certainly can’t. It’s pretty weak against fast advance and if there are no agendas to be seen early, all of his opening pressure is for nought.

However, I hope I’ve at least shown that we don’t have to strip Adam of his identity to explore his strengths.

In the monster’s own words: “Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.”

30 comments
1 Nov 2015 CobraBubbles

Yeah I've also been building Adam to play with his Directives, rather than fight against them. NAT and SF are nutty strong, and their downsides are less often a problem than I expected when I saw the spoilers. I went for a 'just good stuff' version. No e3, Corroder Mimic Zu and Crypsis, Suckers, Threaders, 3x Special Order, 3x Brain Chip, Maker's Eyes, Sneakdoor and much the same economy as you have. It's pretty strong, playing like a lot of the better mid-range criminal decks but with a better late game. Playing Adam is also a really good way to make yourself better at playing runner - I'm finding that having to work around his constraints is quickly improving my ability to make tough strategic decisions.

1 Nov 2015 Dis

Magniloquent as always Seamus - nice write up!

Do you want some same old things in there to a) get more value out of those special order and stimhacks and b) increase the number of 0-cost installs - I agree that leveraging safety first is one of Adam's key selling points and quickly putting cards on the board is one way to do that.

1 Nov 2015 Seamus

Hey buddy.

I'm definitely at the point where I'm finding it hard to cut things. The least good cards at the moment are either Multithreader or Armitage. Dropping Multithreader entirely is rough because the pumpable breakers are expensive and Armitage, while the weakest of the econ cards, still feels necessary to fund the deck.

I think I've only used the Special Order once so far. The draw between Safety First and Earthrise is pretty serious. I'm considering switching the Stimhack for a Femme too. With only two targets for Same Old Thing in the deck I think I'd rather add another Armitage.

I'm intending to try a build with The Maker's Eye instead of RDI in which case Same Old Thing would be a better call. I do like the consistent pressure of RDI though.

1 Nov 2015 Shielsy

I've been testing Inti with Datasucker, and I gotta say having that influence back and a lower install cost is a big deal. You can throw it down early to get your Safety First online, without losting pace on your creds, and the fact that it stays pumped makes barrier-rich servers quite tolerable. You still have e3 Feedback Implants for Eli 1.0 and Always Be Running for Fire Wall, so the only real loss of efficiency is on running where the only barrier is Wall of Static.

You're build looks good!

1 Nov 2015 Seamus

Interesting. I hadn't considered Inti, having bad memories of it in earlier versions of my Kit deck.

Whilst it's true you've got Always Be Running for larger barriers, that's already required a lot to get past large sentries, I'd be worried about relying on it for both.

Are you running three Datasucker? I have been looking to squeeze Net Ready Eyes in but I worry that the breaker suite starts requiring too many moving parts by going in that direction. Anarch gets away with it through Parasite, D4v1d and Faust support. I'm not sure Adam can.

1 Nov 2015 Shielsy

yeah 3 suckers and even security testings in some versions. the pressure from large sentries a big deal too though, i agree. is there some nice middle ground in Emergency Shutdown, or maybe a Demolition Run/Femme Fatale interaction? you can usually go to discard before brain chip get too large

1 Nov 2015 Seamus

I'm definitely tempted to swap the Stimhack for a Femme but testing has been inconclusive so far.

My worry about Emergency Shutdown is that some decks don't run good targets, some have so much cash that they can swallow the cost and that you're going to want to have multiple copies which is costly in influence. Relying on Same Old Thing to recur it is problematic as if you have to use Always Be Running to get into HQ then you only have a single click remaining.

If you come to any solutions in your testing I'd be glad to hear them.

1 Nov 2015 Ranamar

I don't necessarily know what I'm doing, given that I'm just getting into Netrunner, but I wonder if it might be worth swapping at least one copy of R&D Interface out for a Sneakdoor Beta. He's going to have the memory for it once he gets anywhere with Brain Chip, and it means that the corp will need to defend both HQ and Archives to keep you out of his hand... and it will allow you to keep getting that sweet, sweet expose-two-from-HQ effect.

1 Nov 2015 Seamus

You're right that Sneakdoor is a solid choice but I wouldn't drop an RDI for it. R&D pressure is really really important. With two, you're almost certain to see one with the draw the deck generates. With one you might not.

It's tricky to think what to drop. Maybe drop a Corroder and up the Overmind count. Stacked Wraparounds could be a problem then though.

1 Nov 2015 Ranamar

I also realized later that I misremembered the influence cost on Sneakdoor. I thought it was two, but it's three. As such, it's not a drop-in replacement anyway.

1 Nov 2015 moistloaf

For the same influence of Zul you can run NRE. Sympathy also seems silly when you can play Brain Cage. i reckon there's a semblance of an argument that sympathy can be used as meat protection, but I don't buy it. brain cage is just so efficient. also with only 6 good value targets for career fair i'd be loathe to run it, but that's just me. while fair may save you a click, Easy Mark will never clog up your hand and is never conditional

2 Nov 2015 Seamus

Ranamar - It's definitely still a card that should be experimented with in Adam. Given my infatuation with him I think I'll try a few builds. I'll see if I can fit a Sneakdoor in at least one.

Moistloaf - Indeed. As I mentioned in the comment above, I would like to fit NRE in but I'd want a second Yog.0 to go with it. That makes the influence a bit tighter to juggle. I don't think you can get away with having a single breaker of a type these days with Batty and Keegan going about, plus just the time it might take to find it.

I think the choice between Brain Cage and Public Sympathy is going to come down to personal taste. They give the same effect with Brain Cage saving you a credit at the cost of a damage and being unique. Should the worst happen and you either don't score early points or can't find the Brain Chip to exploit this then installing multiple Public Sympathy to keep the free draw going is great. You can even do so for free with a Career Fair, clearing your hand for the free draw to continue even longer, which brings me to -

While there are only six full-value targets for Career Fair, using on a two cost card gives you the same value as an Easy Mark (or more if you have the ability to click for more than one credit which this deck often does, either via Kati or Armitage). That means there are fourteen targets in the deck. It has the added benefit of clearing your hand more quickly to keep Safety First firing.

If you're curious I suggest you give it a spin. It should become apparent immediately that Career Fair is far better in this deck than Easy Mark would be.

2 Nov 2015 Badeesh

Bawbag! This looks real fun I'll give it a bash. Just good stuff in the right places. Curious how effective you are finding the Multi-threaders. Suckers are operating in a very similar space and probably better for the chosen suite. Both together may be superfluous.

2 Nov 2015 Badeesh

PS So incredibly tempting to drop the stimhack for a Bug

2 Nov 2015 Seamus

Hey Badeesh. You calling me a bawbag or Adam?

Yeah. It's definitely a "good stuff" approach to him. You're dead on about the Multithreaders. They were one of the weaker cards in the deck but I played a game last night during which I found the time to install both. I was running through two Eli and a Heimdall 2.0 for three clicks and three credits per turn. It was pretty tasty.

If I could switch the influence around a bit I'd definitely be looking for a third sucker and would be happy to drop a Multithreader to fit it in. I have been considering Inti as Shiesly suggested above but would really want NRE too to potentially support it which then eats the influence that would be saved. Tricky decisions.

I wish I was cool enough to run Bug instead of Stimhack.

2 Nov 2015 Badeesh

Both of you, clearly XD

All good suggestions totally worth testing. I might be that cool/stupid, but I think knowing when to push the issue on HQ as well as knowing each draw for free. Too much better in my mind than a single yolo/must access run. And then we can settle the Multithreader debate once and for all heh.

2 Nov 2015 Seamus

Haha. Can't argue with that I suppose!

Will Multithreader work with Bug? I don't know that it qualifies as using the program, does it? It just reads pay two rather than listing it as a cost to use like Self-Mod does. One for Lukas I guess.

2 Nov 2015 Badeesh

Must surely work. I can't use the program unless I pay 2, and multithreader gives creds to use it. Same with Self-Mod. I'd play it until Lukas rules otherwise tbh.

2 Nov 2015 unitled

That works fine, you can definitely use Multithreader for things like femme or tokens on Atman!

2 Nov 2015 Chewie

Similar to my build but i went for street peddlers instead of career fair and x2 drug dealer instead of special order

2 Nov 2015 AsteriskCGY

Say is Lovegood a must interact? I feel like times I want ABR I would have to turn something else off, no? Or do you just target itself?

2 Nov 2015 Seamus

You can just target the good Doctor himself so it's all good.

5 Nov 2015 CJFM

Bump for the Frankenstein quotes.

7 Nov 2015 PeterCapObvious

GGWP on decklist of the week! :D

7 Nov 2015 Seamus

Cheers!

To celebrate making Deck of the Week, here's the second version of the deck!

netrunnerdb.com

7 Nov 2015 Seamus

Cheers!

To celebrate making Deck of the Week, here's the second version of the deck:

netrunnerdb.com

9 Nov 2015 businessguy

This deck looks sweet, well done! I look forward to trying this one out.

11 Nov 2015 AdamFitzgerald

I played with this yesterday, great fun. All was going swimmingly until I got midseasoned and All Seeing I'd. Then I got triple scorched

11 Nov 2015 Dydra

Bleh, it's time people start shifting towards AGoT 2.0

22 Jan 2016 Foxtrott

Just made this Deck MWL compliant and won a GNK tournament with it :D Thanks!