This deck won 3 out of 3 games at a local 12 player GNK (paired with Calimsha's Syncbiotics iteration) and tied for 1st with 10 points total. It played against 2 HB decks, of which 2 of them were Foodcoats. Although it seems like jank, there is certainly a lot of game here; maybe not as much as the DLR decks, but certainly enough to be competitive.
This deck is a combo deck that is straightforward to set up (i.e. it is not mathy like the CT Bagbiter combo), and has a lot of leeway to do things when it actually fires off.
It is derived from 2 decks, neither of which gained much traction on NRDB when they were published at around the same time, so credits to those authors:
I played around with it and changed a number of cards around. Here is my write-up and impressions:
"First, you get a horde of zombies. Then you do whatever you want, 'cuz you have a horde of zombies." —Ji "Noise" Reilly
The gameplan revolves around the one big turn, where you get 13 (or more) clicks and then you do whatever you want, 'cuz you have a horde of clicks. "Whatever you want" here involved making as many Keyhole runs as you can for agendas, then running archives for the win during the same turn.
"What if this ice wants to be free?" —Rielle "Kit" Peddler
The interaction between DDoS and False Echo allows you to set up a state where if there is only one ice on a server, you can run it repeatedly during the same turn, as DDoS' effect lasts for the whole turn. So, for example, if there are 2 ICEs on RnD, DDoS will prevent the rezzing of the outermost ICE, and False Echo forces them to return it to HQ, and the innermost ICE now becomes the outermost ICE for the rest of the turn. If there are 3 ICEs, then you need 2 False Echos (or 1 and a Clone Chip).
With 13 clicks, you can essentially run any server if there is only 1 ICE on that server. If you have False Echos/Clone Chips to spare, then you could even contest other 2 ICE servers.
"I once saw someone running a seven-tier nested daemon tree. Not for any good reason, just to see if he could. Well, of course the root daemon crashed and he lost everything. I wonder what he's up to now?" —Kate "Mac" McCaffrey
The other things that need to be done, are performed in parts as you set up in the preceding turns and during the 13 click turn:
1) You need the required numbers of False Echos and/or Clone Chips (as described above) to get into RnD
2) You need to install Keyhole onto the 2nd Leprechaun together with the 3rd Hyperdriver
3) You need DDoS to be installed
You will also need to have enough money to trash Jackson Howards.
Ideally, you want to have as much of the pieces installed before the one big turn, but this is balanced out by how much you want to keep the surprise factor. Realistically, you will be pressured by a good corp that you will have to do some of the above things during the big turn.
Kate's ability saves you a lot of money as you set up. Remember to use her ability at the end of the corp's turn as well; using a Self-modifying Code for a Hyperdriver, then using a Clone Chip for the Self-modifying Code that you just used is just so good. Technical Writer gives a lot of value here. Sure Gambles and Daily Casts round out your economy suite.
Also remember not to run RND or HQ during your set up. You don't want them to rez the ice at any cost. You could try and run remotes though, but this is part of playing normal Netrunner and figuring out when you want to drain them of money, and maybe con the corp into thinking you are playing a normal Kate deck.
"It doesn't actually bend time. It just feels like it. That's relativity." —Hayley Kaplan
During your big turn, you use your first few clicks to perform the rest of the above things that you haven't done yet. All-nighter gives you more clicks to do these things. Once you've done the above, fire DDoS.
Then you go hunt any unadvanced remotes that could be Jacksons and trash them.
Once you've done this, use the remaining clicks to make Keyhole runs, and remember to save your last click to run archives. Note that 1 ICE on archives won't help as DDoS' effect is in place on all servers for this whole turn. If they have more than 1 ICE, then you need more False Echoes for this as well.
Technically correct: the best kind of correct.
The deck has a few known problems, and certain cards are in there to try and fix these problems:
1) Rezzed ICE on RND. Most commonly via Accelerated Beta Test firing in the current Foodcoats environment. Escher is included to deal with this. The problem here is that having a rezzed RND ICE buys the corp a lot of time, and this is when you might need to use your first or second DDoS to actually contest the scoring remote, while you work your way up to finding the Escher and having enough money to use it.
ABT fires are both a blessing and a disguise for this deck though. Any whiff and you running archives the next turn usually automatically gets rid of 1 Jackson.
2) Rezzed ICE on both RND and HQ. This version of the deck is stuffed. See flex slots below.
3) Haarpsichord Convenience Shop. I chose to play 2 Plascrete Carapaces and 1 Employee Strike for this matchup, however, I don't have enough practice with this matchup to say that this is definitely the best option. Certainly, I have won 1 game by putting a Plascrete down and going tag me very early by using Keyhole runs through a Gutenberg to race the Haarpsichord deck and won before the kill pieces were assembled, but I only did this because that version did not have Employee Strike in the deck.
4) The numerous versions of Astrobiotics and any form of rush. The litmus test for all runner decks is Astrobiotics, and the litmus test for all combo decks are rush decks. This deck does, surprisingly, not bad, against this. Rushing would essentially mean less pieces to protect RND, and thus less combo pieces to assemble before your fire your big turn. However, I have found myself in situations where I had to fire with only 2 Hyperdrivers as I couldn't afford them winning the next turn. But that's alright. 10 clicks is still a lot.
5) Upgrades on RND. Usually either Caprice Nisei, ASH, or Crisium Grid, in the current environment. Upgrades on RND mean you have to make a normal run onto RND and have enough money to trash the upgrade before you start the Keyhole frenzy. Crisium will only cost you a click and the credits required to trash it. For Caprice, you'll just have to spend your clicks (and money) to beat Caprice, but this is no different from any other deck; you just have a lot more clicks to contest it. Remember it is vitally important to make normal runs here; you don't want to Keyhole and win a Caprice psi game and then realise you can't access Caprice.
You'll realise that ASH 2X3ZB9CY doesn't actually do anything against Keyhole XD.
6) Jacksons (or potentially unrezzed Jacksons) in an impregnable server. You'll have to test his resolve by running archives even if there is only 1 agenda to see if the Jackson will be used. Judge the situation and act accordingly.
The server was quiet that night. I closed my eyes, the low-hum of the datastream lulling me into a trance. When I opened them, the construct stood before me in the shape of a man, clad in light of many colors. His stature was impressive, and his saccharine voice wormed its way into my very soul.
There are some flex slots to the deck that I can't settle on yet.
1) Employee Strike and Legwork gives you 3 influence to play around with. Employee Strike seems necessary against Haarpsichord (see point 3 under known problems). Legwork could be anything really. I put it in just in case Keyhole wasn't kind to me and I needed to snipe an agenda from HQ during any of the DDoS triggers throughout the game. Potentially 1 Lucky Find for more money for your big turn could be preferential.
2) Kate or Chaos Theory: Wünderkind. The CT version allows you to get to the big turn quicker, but is a lot less resilient and robust to the known issues above and also needs more money to set up, but could have 3 more influence to play with (see next point).
3) 2 or 3 DDoS? CT seems to be able to get away with only 2 DDoS due to her smaller deck size, but I think Kate needs all 3 or runs the risk of not actually getting it when you need it. Having 3 also allows you to contest other servers during turns other than the big one.
4) Could some or all of the All-nighters be anything else? Potentially. Professional Contacts, perhaps?
5) Does it need a breaker, and if so, which one? Mainly for situations with rezzed ICE on RND and HQ, but this is very rare. Faust and Eater are the prime candidates, but require influence. Other cards to consider are perhaps Femme Fatale or Atman.
You ever set something on fire just to watch it burn?
Here are some fun win-more and overkill cards to try.
1) Medium. As you can see in the initial link above, the Kate deck utilised Medium in place of the 3rd DDoS. Medium allows you to make a normal run on RnD to access 8+ cards in the click before you run archives. I feel that this is overkill, and makes you play sub-optimally as now you need 3 more credits and 1 more card to look for before you fire off your big turn.
2) Demolition Run. For more wow factor, in combination with Medium above. This might let you trash 8+ cards and access a further 9 more after that.
3) Showing Off. For even more wow factor, also in combination with Medium above. Imagine accessing the top 8 cards and then the bottom 9 cards.
You could potentially replace Keyhole with Medium in this deck, but this is not a good option with all the Cyberdex Virus Suites running around at the moment.
She at her P.A.D. I at my rig. Low lights. Smooth jazz. Love blooms.
Give this deck a go. It is extremely fun (although less so for the poor corp who will have to shuffle multiple times), and it is powerful enough that it might even be the next DLR combo deck.
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