Loki Ag (Lokipilled with minor changes)

AugustusCaesar 1033

Deck is Lokipilled. With -1 Enforcing Loyalty, +1 NGO Front. It went 2-1-1 at the Accelerated Meta Test May 20. (could have been 3-1 if not for the lag)

Tournament Report:

Round 1: Loss to Hoshiko. Stargate and Bankhar did a lot of work, and I did a poor job playing around them. I managed to get to 6 points, but it still never felt like I was in a good spot.

Round 2: Win against Nexus 419. Even a turn 1 Kiting into Nexus was not enough. Waved into an Anansi and runner never found their killer or their turtle. Won with 5 points to 0 after time (due to the lag Jnet was experiencing that day)

Round 3: Tie against Econ Smoke. Game 1 had taken up most of the round time. So after a turn 3 Send a Message steal, i had to race to score again rather than set up. Ended up with turns being called the exact turn I had an opening to play-double advance an obo safely, which did not give me enough time to break the 3 to 3 tie.

Round 4: Win against Grinder Loup. A foolish runner though they could out-grind the wombocombo with heartbeat+triple Labor Rights, it was not enough. A very important interaction here was that I could throw them into a Loki while they had no binbreakers pre-installed to force subroutines to fire without need of a Trieste (since Loki isn't any type of ice when on encounter abilities are being checked, they cant install them when encountering it).

Other Notes:

In my testing I found that Enforcing Loyalty was very unreliable at dealing with Nexus. By the time you get enough of an economy lead to enforce , they are likely to draw the second Nexus (it feels like trying to get two loyalties off with Spin Doctor recursion is way too slow, but I admittedly did not try). Instead, against Nexus decks you can just default to playing glacier, using Anansi to deter runs until they find their one killer. (this happened to work in round 2 of the tournament, though I dont think the deck is at all favoured in that matchup, if you are expecting a lot of Nexus in your meta, this is probably not the deck you want to bring)

If you are expecting people to pack Hunting Grounds, I think the play is to just avoid this deck rather than try to enforce loyalty it. Since unless you are in an open decklist tourney, I don't think you can reliably play around the possibility of Hunting Grounds. However, I dont believe that Hunting Grounds is a good choice for runners. If you really want to beat this deck, i think Hush, Nexus and Bankhar are way better choices, since those cards are also live in other match-ups. And note that for best effects, try to pair hush with an AI so you can break the type-less loki (shuffling your hand in is never anything but a desperation play since you can bet on there being an Anemone behind the Loki). This deck does have answers to all of those tech cards, but the tempo you generate by using them and forcing the deck to rebuild should be enough to put you in a good spot. For Bankhar, you will likely need 6 or 8 cards in hand to face check the Loki remote (because of Anemone's), you can't do that forever, since this deck has a lot of ways to recur the Trieste's, but it is a very good way to put enough pressure on the deck to steal the last 1 or 2 agendas you need.

It could be worth to test 2x Enforcing Loyalty, I discarded this idea into what I though would be a field of Esa's, which have no targets. Against Hoshiko the trace never feels great because of her economy, but it at least does something.

As of after the meta test, the current version of this deck has +1 NGO, -1 Bio Vault, but this change is not locked in yet. I found myself rarely using bio vaults, but that could be because this is the first biovault deck I've played.