Apoc Geist

phette23 2212

Took this to a GNK recently, it went just 2-2 while I was carried by my corp. The deck felt quite strong & I landed an Apocalypse in every game, which always feels like victory in & of itself. It's definitely a fun deck to play & a bit mentally taxing, as you strategize about when & how to land the Apoc. Feedback welcome, I'm certain this list is sub-optimal.

Playstyle

Dig, dig, dig for your pieces. Geist decks are in a weird spot in terms of draw; you need to draw to set up, but once you're set up you have tons of draw, cart comes before the horse. I auto-play Fall Guy every time I see it & use FIS whenever the corp has four or more cards in hand. FIS was great all day because it draws you into your pieces & also pressures the corp post-Apocalypse; I even won my second game by mill ever. Inside Job plus DDoS ensures central server access, while Express Delivery helps pull the one cloud breaker you need.

Once you have options such that it looks like you can access every central, the goal is a DDoS -> Siphon (clear one tag with Forger) -> Apocalypse turn. The nice part is you usually end up drawing 3-4 cards in the process, putting you in great shape for a power turn post-Apocalypse. In terms of timing, whenever the corp has over-invested in their board state is a good moment. In particular, waiting until your opponent is going for a score in a remote server leaves them a) less willing to expend credits rezzing central ICE, & b) not only losing board state but agenda points, too. Save the Crescentus for Architect in the appropriate match-ups, otherwise it's usually discarded.

You want to have a small & almost entirely disposable board state. At my best, I trashed 4 assets & 2 pieces of ICE while losing zero cards in one game, using up my last cloud breaker on the central runs. At my worst, I lost 4 cards including my only persistent decoder. Facedowns are lost permanently as there's no way to trash or gain value from them (& finding space for a way would be a mistake). Most importantly, try to save a single Clone Chip for the purpose of overwriting your entire rig with the least valuable program in your heap (likely Shiv). This allows everything to cycle back in when you Levy. I would never install Corroder if I wasn't able to prevent it from turning facedown.

Don't expect people to not know you're on Apocalypse. Almost all my opponents went "oh, so that's what you're doing" before I even played the card. Instead, rely on the fact that it's virtually impossible to lock down centrals against your deck. Furthermore—Jinteki Biotech aside—corps don't have access to Levy & all your breakers are disposable. You can give up large economic and board state advantages early but still be well-positioned for a comeback.

Kill decks are a tough match-up and I didn't play any on the day. I don't see the point in Plascrete Carapace because it'd just get trashed by Apoc, & if you're not playing Apoc you're better off with another deck. Oh well.

Card Notes

Easy Mark over Dirty Laundry because, without Desperado or any other successful run triggers, it's easier to play. I expected to be flooded with cards at different points & being able to play EM no matter what was valuable. It flat-out won me one game when I dumped all my credits to prevent an instant Midseasons win, then had just enough recovery to snipe an agenda from HQ before a Psycho-Beale play.

I pondered long & hard about Muertos Gang Member, which might be the most underrated card in the entire Criminal card pool right now. It's a skill intensive card whose downside can be eliminated in the window between your last central run & when you play Apocalypse; you get to draw 2 cards, the corp rezzes something that's about to be trashed anyways. In the end, I couldn't bring myself to cut Crescentus or Same Old Thing, which felt like the least valuable slots. SoT, to be fair, was absolutely essential in winning a Personal Evolution game where LARLA got net-damaged out my hand.

All your influence is tied up in precious few (6) cards. Levy, Apoc, & Corroder cannot be cut. Dropping DDoS for 3x Street Peddler might seem prudent, except the deck is a) very event heavy, & b) reliant on LARLA & Apocalypse. The risk that essential cards get stuck under a street urchin is simply too great. I'd love to find more slots for card draw or economy, though. Running less than 3 Clone Chip in Geist feels wrong.

Utopia Shard could help disguise the Apocalypse turn (by giving you an excuse to run Archives), or trash ICE from hand post-Apoc, or give you a glimmer of hope in the Butchershop match-up. I've just convinced myself it's worth a slot, probably -1 DDoS -1 Shiv +1 Clone Chip +1 Utopia Shard. Utopia out of Criminal isn't great because you already have so much HQ pressure, though.

Everybody slept on Express Delivery but I had multiple games where I played it & pulled exactly the card I was looking for. It's great for finding pieces. The 1x Special Order might as well read "search your stack for Corroder". I wouldn't play more SOs as they tend to be dead cards a lot of the time. This deck draws its breakers the old-school Anarch way. Bank Job is more disposable, one-shot econ & great in this meta, though I surprisingly found myself discarding it more than any other card. Geist doesn't need much money to operate, but Bank Job is another low-cost econ card perfect for rebounding from being broke.

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