Always check your gear (undefeated, limited GNK 2015-11-07)

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Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
ETF first try
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emlun 476

Here's the corp deck I went undefeated with through 5 rounds of Swiss in a limited format GNK in Stockholm, Sweden on 2015-11-07. My runner deck went 3-2 and I got second place overall after tiebreakers. Stats and rankings are published here; the prose is in Swedish but the stats are in English.

Limited format

The tournament rules imposed a limited card pool; each player had at their disposal a single core set and their choice of 3 data packs xor 1 data pack and 1 deluxe expansion. This format was a lot of fun, and I highly recommend other communities to try it. It really turns the metagame on its head, and many cards that are currently overlooked get much more powerful since opponents simply cannot have perfect answers to everything. It makes you think differently about the game, and ultimately makes you a better player by forcing you to consider new (and old) ideas.

I immediately knew I wanted to play Chaos Theory as my runner, which made the choice of packs easy: Cyber Exodus and Creation and Control. Fortunately, these packs also include a lot of goodies for my favourite corp faction HB.

The deck

This is really a pretty standard EtF glacier deck, and it plays much like a modern one would. Since Eve Campaign is not available, it instead has a bit more ice than necessary in order to improve the odds of successful Accelerated Beta Tests.

One important difference from modern decks is that once you have a big scoring remote up - which can be done pretty quickly - you can often leave agendas in there for multiple turns. This means that although most agendas are 3-cost ones, never-advancing is often not the best play. Obviously, overscoring Project Vitruvius is extremely powerful with no Jackson Howard available, but the safe remote also allows for plays like IAAing ABT so that a trashed agenda can be picked up with Archived Memories and installed in the scoring remote. Or slow-advancing Priority Wreckuisition so you can install that juicy Archer before scoring it, or advancing it up to 3 to have a spare click for installing Hadrian's Wall on the same turn as scoring it. Yes, all of the above mentioned plays were made in the tournament.

One could argue that the plays described above are "win-more" plays, but one needs to remember that the corp should be winning in the mid-game. Plays like these let you extend the mid-game long enough to win before the game swings back into the runner's favor. For this same reason I aggressively fire ABTs, especially if I have a Vitruvius token or an Archived Memories in hand. Scoring blank agendas is a loss of tempo that may prevent you from closing out the game, and even only getting a free Viper on the scoring remote significantly improves the safety of your agendas.

Some comments on card choices:

  • Biotic Labor: This deck has them, but they're not meant as a primary course. They were meant, and indeed used, for closing out a game from 5 AP when the big rig Shaper has launched herself into late game a bit faster than you would have liked. I playtested Haas Arcology AI a bit as well, but simply found myself always wishing that they were Biotic Labor whenever I tried to use them.
  • Minelayer: Underrated central ice, in my opinion. Sure, it doesn't actually stop runs and you do need to have suitable ice in hand, but it's a 4 str code gate for 1 credit and the runner doesn't know whether or not you have evil ice to install.
  • Corporate Troubleshooter is extremely powerful when combined with destroyer ice. It's fallen out of favor in the modern meta due to rich runners and the existence of counters (Sharpshooter, D4v1d) and better alternatives (Ash, Caprice Nisei), but it's very powerful in this format. I would have two if I wasn't constrained to one core set.
  • Successful Demonstration lets you rez ice much more aggressively. Combined with the EtF credit, it lets you go down to 0c to keep the runner out of a central and then immediately threaten to score again on your turn.