Pauper PE (Startup, (6-1) in the Ashes to Ashes Tournament)

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If you haven't read hollis's secret love affair with PE post, go do so now. They explain the basics better than I ever could. Written over NINE years ago, a lot of it still holds true today. Prana PE and Hyoubu might be rich enough to contest the runner in an economic game, but this deck can not. Instead, you will be poor as dirt. Embrace the poverty. You will earn credits slowly, but can bank them over time. The runner will earn credits quickly, but no matter how many credits they have, they still only have 4 clicks. Use that fact to your advantage.

The goal of this deck is not to play shell game or to try to kill the runner (barring some weird 3x ronin draws). You are a honest corporation, just trying to rush to match point, and close the game out as fast as possible. Most of your ice is there to be a gearcheck. If the runner is too cautious, you will score out. If the runner is too reckless, that is when your traps will do the most work and kill the runner. You will be fluidly switching between different plans depending on your current board position and the runner's capability.

Plan A: Rush Try to score out as quickly as possible. An ice wall and a magnet in a remote is pretty hard to get through until they have their breakers out. That gives you time to rush out as many agendas as fast as possible while they frantically search for solutions. Do not rez any gear check ice unless it stops the runner, it will tax you more than the runner. Once they have their breaker suite out, you need to switch plans immediately.

Plan B: Fast Advance If you manage to get a urtica out and full of counters, you can use that as a Trick of Light bank. Good runners will not allow that, so you have to use Ice Wall to hold your advancement counters. Use fast advance to score out, or kill the runner with a Sting!

Plan C: Poverty If you don't have any agendas in HQ, don't be in a rush to draw cards. Take your time to click for credits and install ICE. You want to build a healthy credit pool and hand size so that when it comes time to switch plans, you'll be ready. Often the runner will be rushing HQ and R&D, and hit a Sting! or Snare, which will give you the opportunity to pivot.

Plan D: Panic If the runner has R&D locked down and you don't have the tools to fast advance, time to start planning a flatline or just draw frantically into a score. Here's where shell game skill and nerves of steel come into play. Multi-install to pressure the runner. Use Anenome and Sting!/Snare in HQ to threaten flatline. Do not rez Anenome unless you have a good chance of killing the runner. If you're at match point, the runner is panicking too at this point, and will often make mistakes that you can capitalize on.


Spin Doctor: So versatile: prevents floods, baits runs, protects archives, stops R&D lock, the list goes on and on.
Predictive Planogram: One of your precious ways to earn money. Click for 3 credits 90% of the time. Drawing 3 cards is helpful if you're under R&D Lock.
Vulnerability Audit: Allows you to win by rushing. Scoring a 4/3 followed by 2 3/2s is much easier, faster and safer than trying to score 4 agendas. Also lowers agenda density, which is useful when you leave R&D undefended.
Magnet: Cheap gearcheck ice that stops Chisel and Botulus schenanigans. Forces them to get their breaker out (looking at you Hoshiko).
Ice Wall: 1 credit to rez and holds trick of light counters. What a bargain.

Helpful tips for playing against PE:

Don't get more money than you need, especially when playing cards from hand.
Check to see when the runner can afford Snare. If they can't, run recklessly. Jack out if you're at risk of dying.
Run everything installed.
Don't Run Last Click.
Always Keep a Full Hand Size.

Yes, some of these tips will contradict each other. Sometimes it is impossible to keep a full hand size while running everything installed. The more you play versus PE, the more you will know when to ignore these rules occasionally and take some risks. It is hard for PE to kill you when there is nothing on the board. If you let things build, that is when things start to get dangerous.