Turbo-Stealth ShadowKate (NAPD MW Legal) 1.1 (See "update")

Penance 481

Really, see the update at the end, it is important, even if you don't read the rest :)

I know that there exists a traditional Kate build, and similar traditional builds were my first runner decks for a long time, but ever since the second batch of Stealth cards were released, I always believed they were spot-on for Kate's ability.

Most cards that comprise the stealth model are cheap and the vast majority of this deck has cards that cost specifically 1 credit. When building our rig, if we take advantage of Kate's identity card, it will cost us almost 0 credits, especially if we time Modded right. Remember that Self-modifying Code can be used during our opponent's turn to further abuse Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker.

Being a card game player for more than 15 years now, having invested countless hours in studying probabilities and “card economy” I am a firm believer that the runner should spend as little time as possible to set up and draw cards to maximize the “click economy” of the game, which puts him/her in the control position of the match instead of aggro. So, after seeing numerous decks with many silver bullets and conditional cards, I take the exact opposite approach: maximize consistency. You don’t need a different rig each time, you don’t need to spend time to blindly draw cards, or set up a mechanism to gain cards and credits if each and every time, your deck consistently provides you with all the tools required to run efficiently without the slightest variation whatsoever. This is the reason you see that almost all the cards being in multiples of 3, and there are no “sideboard”, specific mechanic, “hate” cards present. If you are a good player and manage to win consistently with the generic tools in the deck, you will realise that “hate” cards clog and result in dead draws in all the wrong times. To achieve said consistency, you need to self-test your ability to build the rig you need in a specific amount of “clicks” which is the currency of the game. If I may be permitted an MMO analogy, think of the training the DPS player needs in order to achieve maximum consistency in his ability to deal “damage per second”.

Having said all that, let us analyze the composition of the deck. First of all, let us look at Icebreakers, which is the backbone of our arsenal: We are playing a runner, therefore we need to be able to run without having to worry that we can’t because we are lacking the means to do so. Yes, Stealth takes time to set up, and is probably the slowest rig to build compared to others, but if the quantities of cards are adequate, the time required will be reduced significantly. This is the reason all possible Icebreakers in the deck are a 3-of. Having so many of them, ensures we have them early at hand, and allows us to risk facechecking more, as we can simply install them again, should a destroyer, well... destroys them (they are cheap).

Unfortunately, we don’t have a Shaper Stealth Fracter available as of yet (and probably never will), so we compromise with BlacKat and since it costs a whopping 3 influence, we cannot afford to have two in the deck. Inti is there compensate for this, and since the other two are in maximum quantities, having 3 Self-modifying Codes is sufficient in order not to warrant an additional Fracter. I know many avoid the BlacKat in favour of the Corroder, but for what we want to do with this deck, BlacKat is better in the long run, and we have Inti for the situations we need something cheap, like going through a Wraparound.

(If you want to make a comparison for each ICE credit requirements with BlacKat and Corroder respectively, I urge you to simply count the credits needed for each ICE, multiply that by the average times you will need to pass through the same ICE in the same game, and now add all those numbers together. Adding the initial install cost for each program will show you the average total number of credits spent with each tool without using a Stealth chip for BlacKat. Now, write down the same if you have 1,2 or 3 Stealth-card credits available to use with BlacKat "discount" costs. You will see why BlacKat, on average, is better for a deck that aims to run each and every turn after a point in the game.)

For the same consistency reason, Stealth cards are at the maximum amount possible in the deck, requiring us to spend all remaining influence on them: The maximum amount of the hardware "Stealth Chips" possible (3 Lockpicks, 2 Silencers, 2 Dyson Fractal Generators) , 3 Ghost Runners and 3 Cloaks.

To make sure we always have enough memory for our rig, the most efficient memory hardware is included 3 times each, along with the cheapest console possible (Astrolabe) that, while limited thus resulting in a dead draw after the first one, usually nets us on average at least 2 cards per game, therefore covering for said loss. In the long run, it also covers for some of the draws of the multiple cards we won't install (icebreakers) more than once.

Since economy is so important in Netrunner, in addition to Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker, we include 3 Modded, to allow the expensive pieces to also be installed for free. Sure Gamble is a must 3-of in almost every runner deck, so I don’t need to explain anything about it being here (Note: apparently I do, there seem to be arguments against it in the comments section below, please take a look if you are interrested. Dirty Laundry in particular seems, for various reasons analysed below a good alternative. I personally don't prefer it, but there are valid arguments as to why it can be better in this particular deck), and to ensure we are always rich on demand, Magnum Opus is also included 3 times. I can’t stress enough how good this card is in this deck. I almost always mulligan to ensure that I have it installed during the first turn (or the opponents first truth though Self-Modifying Code) or at the most maximum during the second turn. Once this card hits the table, you never worry about economy and with the stealth rig out as fast as possible, I managed to get into 7-8 ICE servers with so little effort on my part it just killed the mood. Your first Modded in the deck should preferably be spent on Magnum Opus. (Note: See the comments for a more in-depth analysis of economy in this deck).

The only cards left to fill the 45 card limit are cards that replace themselves, and there is no better card than Diesel for this particular job (Note: again, see the comments). On average, if you train to pilot the deck properly, you should have your "important part" of the rig set up within the first three turns of the game, provided you are a good judge of opening hands, thus mulligan right and know what to fetch with your “tutors” and when. You should NEVER keep a hand without economy, and if the economy is not permanent and self-sufficient for what you require, Diesel should be in your opening hand as well. The exception to this is if you have half of your future rig already at hand, as this will minimize the need for extra draws.

Once the rig is set, we can get wherever we feel like. We have 3 R&D Interface to establish a lock as soon as possible and enough economy to spam runs almost each turn without requiring to draw any cards at all from this point onward.

Now what constitutes a complete rig: Not all corp decks require our full suite, at least not in the beginning. NBN, usually requires only the Fracter, (Inti is better here as NBN rarely uses expensive Barriers), and your next priority would be the Dagger. Jinteki mostly needs the Dagger and Refractor, while Weiland gives us enough time to build our rig complete, the BlacKat being the most important part. You will thank Magnum Opus a lot when facing a Blue Sun: Powering the Future deck. Haas needs everything but we need to evaluate what is needed first each time, so with almost every deck, even the “attrition” ones, we should face-check ICE in the beginning. Remember that each card equals a “click”, the currency of the game, and each credit also equals a “click”. Most damage-dealing ICE cost more credits than cards they damage, and since almost everything is in multiples of 3, we risk less than the corp wastes to hit us.

The exception to this rule (as it was rightly pointed out at the comments) is the "delicate" nature of BlacKat, being a 1-of with no recursion present in the deck (Note: see the comments for the reson behind this) it is bettet to think first before facechecking blindly against possible detroyers while having this card installed.

If we can set up our rig fast enough, we can risk an Agenda loss or two without bothering at all in order to have a full rig set and run safely. Even if the corp gains 2-4 points in the beginning, this does not constitute a win. On a side note, now that Architect and Eli 1.0 are not "getting the love" from FF (NAPD MW), we will see how much the metagame will change, but this deck really has no problem dealing with ICE.

What need to be said, is that since we are avoiding any “hate” cards, we need to know how to avoid certain threats. We can dodge "Butcher Shop" variants by having Magnum Opus installed ASAP and spam for credits, resulting in always having more than the corp, which prevents Traces from doing anything, thus forcing the corp to score the traditional way. We NEVER set up R&D Interface against Jinteki damage-dealing decks as this multiplies the chance of hitting Shock! and Snare!. We play around Punitive Counterstrike by paying attention to our credits, running safely when we can. These are small examples, but each time, we need to understand how the corp plays and outplay it since the corp knows that we WILL get in at some point and can’t defend against that. Always keep 3-4 cards at hand when playing against decks you estimate will have a mechanism to kill you.

Of course, if that makes you feel safer, you can substitute 2-3 filler cards (Diesel, R&D Interface and the third copy of Astrolabe) for specific “hate” cards like Plascrete Carapace, Net Shield and Film Critic (and many more, but I don’t have to mention them here), but NEVER remove anything from the core mechanism of the deck as you will cripple its consistency (that means cards like Clot, especially now that both Clot AND Clone Chip cost extra influence are a no-go). I wouldn’t do that, though, unless you are really sure that most of your opponents will play with decks that specific “hate” cards will be relevant each and every time.

All in all, try the deck for yourselves; see how surprisingly fast it can set itself up, witness yet again how broken Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker is in this game, no matter what she does. Thank you for reading.

Addendum! Many people suggested Technical Writer to be added to the deck. See below comments for a more in depth analysis and varying opinions regarding this card. Personally I haven't been, at least on paper, entirely convinced as of yet, since it requires 3 clicks to function (1 to draw, 1 to install, 1 to take credits from it) so it requires at least 3 cards to be installed after it to even its cost, however I do see valid reason for further testings to judge the card properly. I am currently in the process of doing so, having replaced the only non-engine cards in the deck: 2 Diesels and the third Astrolabe. Once I have more concrete results that I can share, I will.

Thank you for the overwhelming support you have shown to this deck so far. I am honored.

Update:

I have been toying with Atman lately, and they do complement this deck further: -1 Astrolabe, -1 Diesel, +2 Atman. It adds even more breakers and provides better consistency, while at the same time acting as a "proxy" breaker for whatever you are currently missing/need, or whatever ICE is more present on the board to elevate the pressure from Stealth resources. I really like Atman at "4", as it hits almost every "key" ICE out there: HB Glacier choices like Eli 1.0, NEXT Gold, Mother Goddess, Data Raven (although an odd choice for this ICE), Jinteki impornat ICE like Lotus Field, Cortex Lock, Ashigaru, Weiland "breaker dodgers" like Wendigo and Changeling... of course the number can change according to the situation (0 is a very good option also), but you get the picture. It complements the Steath Suite and provides a faster alternative for some situations. It allows headroom for Stealth to be used for more "heavy" ICE and really punishes "glacier" tactics.

Since we run Magnum Opus, paying for that extra Atman is not a problem considering what we "ruin" for the corp, as, especially for "4" you just thow out its most "taxing" plans, so you get that money back very soon.

Also, Maya is realy good in place of the Astrolabe as it gives you extra memory faster. I still prefer Astrolabe but I can see why Maya could get its place.

In a 24/7 NBN-heavy meta that the game is going currently, the two Plascrete Carapace could come in handy, but ONLY if you know for certain that this is the case, so in that case, cut 1 Refractor and leave only 1 Atman instead of two (with this latest update) to inlcude 2 Plascrete Carapace. If you are TOO desperate, you can also cut the 2nd Diesel for the 3rd Plascrete Carapace. All those, paired with Maya and Jesminder Sareen: Girl Behind the Curtain, might be the way to tackle the meta. I still prefer Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker, though, as it sets up with better economy for this deck. Try mixing and matching this formula to your avail. :)

45 comments
6 Jan 2016 rwknoll

I really appreciate your notes and description of why you put so many extra cards in your deck. You bring up some really great points that help me better understand your approach to deck building.

I recently bought Breaker Bay and have been trying to find a setup that works well with Hayley . I think you could swap her in for Kate and find that the deck works very well, especially where the extra click you usually gain per turn translates more like a 2-credit equivalent (given the use of Magnum Opus). I'd have to play test to see who does a better job overall, but I think Hayley could set up and put pressure on the Corp more aggressively.

In playing around with your card draw simulator, I'm wondering if it would fit my play style to squeeze in just a little more draw - maybe 1-2 Quality Time. Especially with 3x Modded, Hayley can easily play back down to 5 cards in hand. However, it slows down if you don't get Modded + MOpus out early. I'm also not sure how that approach fares in an actual game.

Thanks for the ideas and the decklist!

6 Jan 2016 Penance

I thank you very much for your feedback. I tried Hayley in the deck prior to switching to Kate, as I noticed that the 1 credit difference in costs when installing actually builds the deck faster in the end, as, on average, you have around 9-12 credit discount on your installs. That is slightly more than 2 turns.

The normal pattern each turn for the first 3-5 turns would usually be "draw, draw, draw, install" or "draw, draw, sure gambe, install" (you can safely discard multiples since you have multiples of almost everything) or if you have Magnum opus, it would be like "install Magnum Opus, get 6 credits" then repeat the above pattern until you are satisfied with your rig, where it usually changes to "6 credits, run", "4 credits, run, run" or something similar depending on what are you facing (and running last click is not always an option, some times it changes to "run, gain 6 credits").

If you happen to draw a Self-Modifying Code you squeeze it in as your second install after you install any other card that would get you the Kate discount, and crack it during your opponent's turn for the missing piece of your puzzle: usually a Magnum Opus if you can afford the 6 credits, which you will gain in the following turn right away, or a Blackcat as it is the only 1-off; unless you really are out of options and have to keep it in for safety when facechecking ICE.

With Hayley, this pattern would be disrupted many times, as you had to pause to gain credits almost each turn, so you drew less cards on average in the same turn. Most hardware you set up (7 chips, 6 memory pieces), the 3 Cloaks as well as Refractor and Inti installs for 0. R&D Interface, Blackcat and Dagger installs for 0 as well and Magnum Opus for 1 if Modded is part of your draws (that is why we draw aggresively in the beginning). The pattern is NEVER interrupted unles you deliberately stop yourself in order to run at a crucial server due to the deck you are facing. You will come to realise that your rig just installed itself for almost FREE, with no interruptions and the corp can't do anything about it, other than pressure you to run before you set your rig, which, unless you really need to, you shouldn't. Having said all that, unless the deck REALLY trolls you big time, you can be VERY consistent with your estimation on when will you have your rig set up, and then you have a "passepartout" for every server unless they have Caprice Nisey installed, which is a bit of a pain I must admit, but its influence costs warrants it won't be present in every situation. You have more money to win traces, and a key to every locked server, so only damage can kill you, which, you can avoid if you understand your opponent's play tactic.

Only rush/fast advance decks pressure you this much, and those you play by pressuring THEM to raise ICE in the biginning, BEFORE you set your rig down to drain credits without risking loosing crucial rig parts like Magnum Opus from a destroyer you facechecked without Dagger in play. Against those decks, you almost always leave one Self-Modifying code in play at all times, and you just rendere any ICE useless, as Stealth with Magnum Opus credits cannot possibly damage you with any ICE in play if you face check them properly.

Lastly, when facing the toughest matchup of this deck which is Astotrain, you only need Inti, and probably Dagger and almost no Stealth cards to gain access, so you usually just set up Magnum Opus and start spamming runs right away. This is a tempo game and cannot be analysed here because it really depends on how good your opponent is and his ability to outmatch you, so, let us just say, it is difficult, but not impossible to win, but you need to think your every move thoroughly befor making it.

I hope I did not tire you, or anyone else with my elongated explanations, I just want to be as thorough as possible when providing tactics and deck decisions for decks that do not follow the archetypical approach to deckbuilding like the usual winning tournament decks. Netrunner is not very deck-depentant as Magic. It is mostly HOW you play each deck that counts, and quite frankly, if you are good in this game, the deck is just a tool. Your actions are those that will provide you the win, not the deck.

If anyone is still reading this, thank you for your patience.

6 Jan 2016 rwknoll

I'll trust your judgment for now, as I haven't had time to test either version. You make some solid points, and Kate's economic advantage is proven when compared directly to so many other Shaper IDs.

In all honesty, I came upon your decklist because I had previously tried a Hayley stealth deck and found it didn't work the way I wanted it to, and my goal was to find alternative deck building ideas for her. Your analysis and approach to deck building challenged me to try some very different things with my Hayley deck, and so far it seems to be making a big difference. For that reason, I'm glad I read your list. :)

6 Jan 2016 Penance

To tell you the truth, the history of the deck started with Chaos Theory as the chosen ID for the 5 starting memory because the deck is a memory whore. However, after trying both her and Hayley I noticed tempo hits each and ever time, while Kate, if started with a proper hand, would not "stumble". I am playing this deck around 6 months now, I believe, so yeah, there are many man-hours spent tinkering it after so many different games played, and this is the most consistent build I have come up with so far. I am still hoping for an in-faction Stealth fracter at some point, as it would free up space for yet another Stealth chip and hopefully make it even more consistent, but it works as is just fine. :)

7 Jan 2016 x3r0h0ur

I'm grunching all the other reading here, but I would like to point out tech writer might be the nuts for a deck like this. While better in Hayley, I think installing for free and getting a credit later is too good to pass up.

7 Jan 2016 Penance

When I first saw this card, it seemed useful. "Technically", it costs "2"credits (1 click to draw, 1 to install) and gives them back rather quickly but isn't unique so it stacks. The problem is, the only card it can replace is Diesel, and I am not to keen on removing the "Ancestral Recall" of Netrunner. I was reluctant to try it, but you made me curious so I will and we'll see the results. I don't think money is an issue in this deck in particular, hence my reluctance, but I will see how it goes. Thanks.

7 Jan 2016 rwknoll

The advantage of Technical Writer isn't just to make money, but to add more click-less economy. That would be especially helpful if you're going to spend so many early turns installing 1-2 hardware or programs per turn. Gaining an extra free credit per turn would be really helpful, for all the same reasons that Kate's ability is already incredibly powerful.

I wouldn't cut Diesel. You're already light on multi-draw. I would suggest cutting 1x Sure Gamble and 1x Astrolabe. They're the least likely to have consistent detriments to your later control game, without sacrificing too much early pressure. Getting Technical Writer on turn 1 would be just as good, if not better, than turn 1 Sure Gamble in most match ups. You can still draw into 2x Astrolabe, and those extras are dead draws anyway.

If you really prefer doing a full 3x set, just drop Sure Gamble entirely. Other decks do that on occasion and it works out for them. An early Technical Writer will make you more than 4 credits later in the game.

7 Jan 2016 hi_impact

Very clean deck. I personally prefer Switchblade over Dagger, but that is almost an objectively wrong opinion among the more modern Stealth Shaper decks. I'd compulsively cut the Daggers and a Dyson, squeeze in a Switchblade, and throw in two Technical Writers, probably to poor effect. I just like Switchblade.

Cool writeup as well.

7 Jan 2016 Penance

Problem is, Sure gamble is always a good topdeck, no matter when you draw it. If you draw Technical Writer at, let's say turn 3 onwards, you essentially drew a dead card. Technical Writer gives you 1 credit after two turns have passed since you installed it, if you make 1-2 installs per turn. At the same time, Sure Gamble gives us 3 credits right away (4-1 for drawing it) no matter what.

Your average installs per game are around 9-12, but only half on average will occur with Technical Writer is in play, therefore for its entire lifespan it will net you around 2-4 credits in total ((9-12)/2=4-6 minus 2 for drawing and installing the card). This is the SAME value as 1 Sure Gamble, only spread in 4-6 turns instead of right away. Can you see where my reluctance comes from?

The second problem cutting Sure Gamble is that Magnum Opus is then more difficult to install, as you will have to rely more on Modded, or will be forced to click for credits. It nets you clickless money, yes it is cheap, but it is slow. We don't want slow, we want burst to start, then care, because Magnum Opus is broken anyway. So Sure Gamble I am a wee bit reluctant to cut. The 3rd Astrolabe is a good candidate, sure, as 7th money card in the deck.

7 Jan 2016 Penance

@hi_impact I tried Switchblade in my initial build. In fact, it was one of the reasons I started the deck. The problem is, if the corp knows how to handle Stealth decks, they start stacking same type of ICE one behind the other, and suddenly Switchblade start to suck big time as, on average, you will have 1 chip, 1 Cloak and 1 Ghost Runner. For that reason we put Magnum Opus in, as it makes Dagger much more reliable, and it also frees 2 influence from Switchblade, thus allowing an extra Stealth chip to fit in the deck.

7 Jan 2016 rwknoll

@Penance I'll be honest and say that I don't own Data & Destiny, so I haven't really tested Technical Writer (although I am very eager to). However, I want to point out that your math is missing a few critical points.

First, Sure Gamble isn't "always" a good draw. It has a 5-credit minimum cost unless using PPVP. That's a nitpicky complaint, as I agree that generally Sure Gamble is a great card to draw, but it's not a great card for tempo when you're sitting at 1-2 credits and need money.

Second, while Technical Writer's economic benefit is fixed as you described, I don't think you're taking into account that it's not unique. If you have 2 Technical Writers out and install 1 card, each Writer gains a credit. That means installing 9-12 programs/hardware could net you as much as 27-36 credits (minus 6 for drawing and installing 3 Technical Writers), not including the clicks to install those programs/hardware.

At the end of the day, I think finding room for Technical Writer is a smart decision for your deck.

7 Jan 2016 Penance

@rwknoll I need to explain a little how I calculate probabilities. Since cards are spread in a 45 card deck, on a even spread, if all cards were multiples of 3 in the deck, you have 15 different cards total. If you start with 5 cards and you can draw a maximum of 4 per turn, you need 2-3 turns approximately for each card to pass by your hand once. That is if you never click for any other action. If we include at least one action other than drawing per turn, you need on average 5+3+3+3+1 -> 3-4 turns, provided that cards are always evenly spread and never cling together during the process. Statistically this varies a lot, mostly towards the slower side.

While on paper you are right, if all 3 Technical Writers are installed, you should gain 21-30 credits for the 9-12 installs, however that would require a starting hand of 3 Technical Writers, which is probably improbable :) To evaluate the card's topdeck value, even if we follow the above simulation, provided we have 3 copies in the deck, we also install during the drawing process, correct? So, if the card is not in our starting hand, and we draw to find it, while simultaneously build our rig, we do install at least one card per turn (more if we calculate non-Kate-relevant cards like resources and SMCs). Therefore, even the first Technical Writer will miss on average at least 2-3 installs per game, and the second one, will probably see 1-3 cards max as we never draw our whole deck; the point of having everything 3-of is to have the rig set up with around at least a third of the deck remaining, again, provided cards are spread evenly. So there are chances that the second one will not warrant its "2 clicks" install cost at all.

So, realistically expecting, we will gain 7-9 cards from the first Technical Writer if it is in our opening hand, and around 0-2 from the second one, provided that we draw it within the first 5 turns of the game. That nets on average 7-11 credits, the exact average number being the credit gain from all 3 Sure Gambles together.

I do agree, that if you drop below 5, Sure Gamble is a bad topdeck, but if we play the deck right and follow the guidelines described above, we rarely drop below 5 while we are setting up our rig, precisely to avoid tempo hits ourselves, unless we do it to install Magnum Opus, which during the course of the next round will even itself out, which brings us to the staring 5 credits for the second Sure Gamble or any other piece of the rig missing.

No runner card can provide us with a similar burst economy: to start the game with 9 credits. We install Magnum Opus even without modded for 4. which takes us back to 5, and have another 2 click to spend - cards to draw the same turn. So, a starting hand that has both Sure Gamble and Magnum Opus will reset itself within the first turn, getting us 2 cards to replace both and setting our credits to the starting 5.

If we play Technical Writer instead, then we are forced to wait for modded to install Magnum Opus or Blackcat, as if we do it earlier, we tempo-hit ourselves and just made the rest of our Sure Gambles/expensive pieces dead draw cards, unless we waste clicks for credits. In short, Sure Gambles net us exactly the same value as Modded." 6" Modded total, 6 pieces to install with them: 3 R&D Interface, 1 Magnum Opus, 1 Blackcat, 1 Dagger. Trust me, I have calculated my math for every last piece in the deck :)

Diesel would probably be the only cadidate to fit Techical Writers 2 and 3, since, while it does provide us with 2 click advantage (which equals 2 credits), is not required as a 3 of not being part of any combo or mechanism of the deck (like the 6 Modded paradigm above); it is simply a "value" card. The problem is, during the crucial first turns, if you happen to stumble upon Diesel, you are gaining tempo with Diesel faster than Technical Writer, since as we stated during the setup mechanics of the deck, credits are not needed in the beginning unless we are forced to run. We prefer to set our rig 1 turn earlier instead of gaining credits to reach our plan's critical mass (i.e. start running). So the question is, do we want to "invest" for a better mid-game (Technical Writer), or gain tempo in our early-game(Diesel)? This I cannot answer without testing both ;)

Still, since all of this is only on paper on my part as well, I will most definitely try the card to see how much reality will deviate from theory before judging the card.

I do appreciate the feedback and advice and hope I provide constructive reasoning as I am not trying to defend anything, just analyse the deck itself.

Thanks.

8 Jan 2016 lolpaca

My only change would be -1 Astrolabe, +1 Film Critic. I get what you're saying about hate cards, but 3 x Astrolabe is that bit too much redundancy IMO and Film Critic is just so useful against a variety of Corps.

Nice deck, looking forward to trying it out!

8 Jan 2016 Penance

@lolpacaThank you!

I think that the general concensus is that the 3rd Astrolabe along with the 3 Diesels are the 4 flexible slots of the deck. So, those can be replaced with 4 meta-call cards. I do agree that if the expected meta is 75% compised of decks where specific hate cards are relevant, then those can be used in place of the "value" cards, since they end up providing more "value".

I just personally dislike scouting and meta-calls as this requires cutting man-hours of training your skill at playing the game and transfering them to getting to "know" people.

Hate cards are just lazy, bad design in general, a quick fix to abilites we deemed too powerful because we didn't invest enough time to balance them properly during development, and now seek "patches" to level the playing field. Rock-paper-scissors meta-shifts are a direct result of such design.

But this is me being subjective, so I don't expect this to be a view shared by many. :)

10 Jan 2016 Penance

Totally irrelevant question: I am trying to add card previews on the description like this: Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker. I can do it in comments, but when I edit the description and add "#" before any card name, nothing happens (#card name is all I see). Any suggestions? Thanks.

11 Jan 2016 BobAloVskI

If you look below the last comment for the Markdown syntax reference, it will help you. You put the text that you want to post up the top and then convert it. It will generate two more parts to the page. The first (that is, the middle textbox) is what you need to copy into the description for your deck. The second is what the description will (roughly) look like.

Not sure if this is the best way but what I do is have another window open where the #... (like you did for Kate) works. Get the card preview done for the card you want and then copy the whole thing into the top section of the Markdown syntax. You obviously have to do it for each card but it does not take that long when compared to writing a lengthy description like you did. Hope that helps.

Thanks for the write up on the deck, by the way!

11 Jan 2016 BobAloVskI

In a deck that uses Magnum Opus as a primary source of income, I would actually argue that Sure Gamble is not required. The reason being every click is now worth 2 rather than 1. So if you spend a click to draw Sure Gamble and then another to play it, it is the same benefit as clicking Magnum Opus twice. The difference is that you can do it with a 0 bank balance.

I would probably include Dirty Laundry instead as it provides better click efficiency. Early game you do get 1 less from it but that is offset by its lower cost. However, mid to late game when you have Magnum Opus out and are guaranteed to get into a server you were already going to run anyway, it is just an extra 3 for next turn.

Having not played the deck, I cannot say if Dirty Laundry is the best card for it but Sure Gamble is a wasted card slot if you already have Magnum Opus out anyway.

11 Jan 2016 BobAloVskI

Just me again, sorry. One more thing is I would like to see some recursion. If you lose your BlacKat to a Marcus Batty/destroyer combo, you could be shut out for the rest of the game. Now that Clone Chip costs influence, Test Run might be an option. Not ideal but better than relying on Inti for the whole game.

11 Jan 2016 Penance

@MrBobAloVskI First of all, thank you for the help, I will try to update the deck's information tonight.

I need to say that all the cards you suggested have been tested in previous builds and unfortunately they underperformed for the purposes of this deck. Don't misunderstand, they are great cards (hence me trying to include them) but they sideline from the deck's focus.

A disclaimer is required here: The unique nature of Netrunner is how the roles of the players change throughout a game. The runner plays an aggro early game, making threats to the corp, but the corp is the one who controls the game eventually in the mid game if the runner does not play an aggressive aggro build like this one. The runner's true goal, especially in a slow deck like Stealth, is to achieve inevitability, thus switching his/her role to control. We either control the game, achieve inevitability and win, or we gamble blindly, and unless we are lucky, we lose. This is the fundamental truth that governs this deck, and we need to adhere to it as much as possible.

To that end, every single card in the deck must bring us closer to this purpose. Magnum Opus is great once you have installed it, but before that, we need to be able to install it without hindering ourselves. While Dirty Laundry is a strictly better late game topdeck, it is strictly worse burst economy in the early game when we most need it. Sure Gamble is crucial as Modded 4-6 in the deck, as it allows us to install the expensive pieces without hindering ourselves. So, in the end, it is not how many credits the card provides that is important here, but WHEN does it give us said credits.

Regarding recursion, it need to be clear that this isn't a "toolbox" deck where everything is 1-of like PrePaid Kate. I tested various ways to include said cards, but in the end, they clogged the engine. We have multiples that take the slot of recursion cards like Clone Chip and both it and Test Run are more expensive and time consuming than simply keeping an extra copy in our hands in their place. We don't have Prepaid VoicePAD in this deck to lower the cost of Test Run and we don't have Scavenge to make the cards stick, so many clicks are wasted compared to simply paying more for Inti with Magnum Opus credits.

Time is something we cannot compromise for any reason, no matter how important it may seem, as in the the end, instead of a card, it will cost us the game. Yes, losing BlacKat is a problem, but we need to wonder, how many are the games that this will happen, compared to the games we would lose because we tempo-hit ourselves by having irrelevant cards in the deck to counter said corner cases. As it was stated in the beginning, consistency trumps everything else in engine decks, including fringe safety and precaution.

The benefit of a "passepartout" deck is that we have many ways to win when we complete our rig. Having the key to every door, it is up to us to choose the right one and that is what gives us the win, not trying all just because we can. If we have this in mind, we can, as much as possible, control which cases are going to be that we get our pieces destroyed and when, if it provides us the win. Netrunner is more like chess and less like Magic in its essence, therefore there are no topdecks that destroy our cards at the corp's will. So it is up to us to predict how to tackle servers with "attrition" and that is part of the training the deck requires from us.

Thank you for the support and suggestions.

11 Jan 2016 Penance

@MrBobAloVskI PS: Even if I personally don't agree on Dirty Laundry, I have included it as an alternative in the updated description (thanks for the tip about the second window by the way), as your arguments do have grounds for it. :)

14 Jan 2016 rattkin
  1. How many rounds on average you need to get the rig set up (3 functional breakers)?
  2. Don't you feel that the main weakness of this deck is the limited amount of breaker supporting cards? What if opponent stacks 2 code gates or sentries and you don't have the second hardware to draw the credit from? This deck is no surprise at all, once Corp,sees at least one card of the combo on the table, he already knows what to do. How do you handle that?
14 Jan 2016 Penance
  1. Depending on the situation you need to handle, you usually need 5-7 turns for a complete rig (3 breakers, 1 Magnum, 1 cloack, 2 memory pieces, 1 Ghost runner, 1-2 stealth hardware). However this greatly varies as in the mean time, depending the corp; how much you have to facecheck for pressure. If you are good a evaluating hands, you can have the rig set even by turn 4. Also, it is important to point out that you seldom need the whole rig. You need to prioritise depending on the corp, pressure so the corp installs more, then complete the rig as you go.

  2. Not at all. 1) you drop your breakers last, usually just before running, as this maintains more surprise factor. 2) Stacking ICE is indeed the proper way to handle stealth, however a) not all decks have that many ICE to begin with b) it doesn't mean all ICE of the same type are cheap to rez, or readily available at hand. Most of the times, it never happens as the corp wants to. Remeber, you NEED to learn corp micromanagement properly to outmach the corp. 3) You facecheck once and jack out. Next turn, you pressure more, to reach the next one, maybe again jack out. Depenting on what you want to achieve, the corp almost ALWAYS pays more than you. If you know how much each run costs, and have learned almost all ICE of the game by heart, you know the costs exactly, and can estimate the "dangers" ahead.

There are key ICE for each corp for each point of the game, as the corp is also limited by clicks and credits, so you need to calculate in your mind how to give you extra turns agains each different corp by knowing when to facecheck for pressure, or rush for installs.

Most ICE are not dangerous, just expensive to pass. Stealth negates that. The corp now has two options. Stop installing and letting you pass, rushing the game to win quickly, or keep installing more, paying credits up front, having you risk NOTHING to facecheck, as you pay and jack out one by one. Scoring is EXTREMELY difficult once you have your rig set, even for corporations like Weyland with expensive barriers. The thing is, Magnum Opus feeds you so much each turn, that the corp cannot outmatch.

To give you an example, I have a Haas NEXT/Grail ICE deck which is the most taxing deck out there in terms of using breakers. The deck can STILL outmatch it, even after having 6 NEXT ICE stacked one behind the other. And for the corp to stack all those, it takes time and credits as well, Much more than us gaining steady credits while the corp installs ICE. Not to mention, it is not easy to HAVE 6 NEXT ICE available at will to install whever we feel like.

The main weakness of the deck, since you asked, is before you have your rig set up, how much the corp is ahead of you. This is where the real game lies. Most tempo mistakes happen during the first 3 turns where you NEED to evaluate if you need to facecheck or rush, and how much, up to what point. To learn that, you need to practice keeping proper hands, presurring just as much as you need, no more, no less, and most importantly LEARN your opponents options. In other words, study corp decks time and again. You need to think ahead, not of your rig, but your opponents. ;)

14 Jan 2016 Penance

One last thing to add, it to understand that the corp has many servers, not just one and we need to pressure the weakest and most efficient for us to win. If the corp invested a lot to protect R&D, having stacked 3-4 Barriers for example, the corp has two problems now. 1) They are running out of barriers for the remaining servers, for example, so the scoring server starts to suck. Agendas begin to flood at hand and scoring is difficult, therefore we stop worring about R&D and start pressuring the hand and the scoring server. If the corp wastes ICE protecting HQ at the beginning, chances are, they won't be able to protect R&D that much, so we spam it. If the corp invests in its scoring server, we also spam R&D. Now, if the corp makes the mistake to underestimate Stealth by spreading ICE, then we enter wherever.

In other words, there are less efficient ICE than adequate to protect all three important servers. ;) If we need 5-7 turns for a complete rig (10 cards on average) how many turns the corp needs to stack 3 ICE before each important server AND score 1-2 Agendas before we reach inevitabilty, keeping in mind that they PAY upfront for each install as well, usually without Kate's ability (Haas-Bioroid: Engineering the Future).

14 Jan 2016 Cyberblues

Hey, I played a Chaostheory Stealthdeck for some time and like your 3-off approach. So I will give it a try and plan to bring it to a GNK. Thanks for your great writeup and the in-depth analysis. I still feel the urge to switch to 2 Corroder and kicking out the barrierstealthcards entirely, but wil go with your rig, as you obviously thought a lot about it.

Only one question remains. You say that you "drop your breakers last, usually just before running, as this maintains more surprise factor." I don't get this, because you also need some stealthcredits as well and should have played some Hardwarepieces/Cloaks before. Is the suprsefactor just the breakers you play (no Dagger and BlacKat instead of Switchblade an Corroder or do I miss something?

Thanks again!

14 Jan 2016 BobAloVskI

I think the stealth suite is pretty strong in the current meta.

With less Eli 1.0, BlacKat breaks most barriers for 1 per subroutine (it is very terrible against Curtain Wall though).

Refractor does well against central and remote Turings, Tollbooth (as good as you can expect anyway), Enigma. It can even turn a Little Engine into some good economy. It does struggle with Archangel though. That seems to be the only code gate with strength > 5 that is commonly played. Maybe Wormhole if Weyland comes back.

Sentries are not great as you will need 1 stealth credit for each. However, Archer will probably be the only one you would expect to see that will cost more than 1 stealth. Once you spend the 1 stealth, though, sentries are not expensive to break. The thing is, there is no great answer to sentries so I think Dagger is perfectly fine.

I am really loving having a stealth rig and getting into servers pretty cheaply.

14 Jan 2016 Penance

@Cyberblues When you start installing, say you have some memory chips and stealth hardware and/or a Ghost Runner. Unless you know what you are facing and plan to run right away, there is no reason to first install the breaker, then its supporting cards. What you do is drop the support down first (that way the corp does not know whether you have the right breaker at hand or not) and drop the breaker as your last install prior to running. either to intimidate the corp to drop more ICE next turn, or simply go through right after you install.

Nonetheless, surprise is not a tactic in this deck. So you use this tactic only against rush decks that require a "cat and mouse" approach. All the other decks are equally as slow as yours so you will have all 3 breakers down before you run anyway.

14 Jan 2016 Penance

@MrBobAloVskI Regarding problematic ICE like Archangel and Curtain Wall, you neet to evaluate how much is the cost for the corp compared to ours. Archangel is another reason we run Sure Gamble and Modded in the deck, to be able to re-install if needed, for free. Also, having Magnum Opus in play ensures that this trace, even if we can't pass it with Refractor, we will pass it with credits ;) Int needs to be said, however that usually Archangel is a 1-of in most decks, and it is easy to plan for it if needed. This is why we run so many stealth cards in the deck.

Curtain Wall in Blue Sun: Powering the Future is a problem, but it is also a problem for the corp to rez it as if we spam its other serves time and again, it will cost the corp a lot to do it, either in credits, or in clicks. Still, for its price, Curtain Wall is supposed to be expensive to pass through. But eventually we can (Magnum Opus).

Sentries bother us in two corps: NBN and Jinteki. Jinteki sentries are easily dealt with, even with Dagger as they are themselves expensive as well. NBN we just laugh at with Dagger. NBN also has less ICE than average, so there are not big stacks of ICE to face.

All in all, stealth is good, not broken. If we played a deck that was OP for the corp, one way or another, that would be dominant to the point of getting banhammered. As of today, Netrunner designers are very careful and calculating of the costs for ICE compared to the costs to pass it for each card, and that is a very good thing.

Stealth is very powerful, if you train and micromanage. It is meant for people loving to count beans during the match, and is not meant for spontaneous play, so reckless players will suffer playing this deck, compared to something like MaxX: Maximum Punk Rock for example.

14 Jan 2016 rwknoll

@Penance So you've put a lot of very passionate, thoughtful comments on here about your build. You have me sold on some of them, but I can't help but notice while running stealth builds that the assertions you make don't always end up being true.

I have two questions right now:

(1) Tell me more about the decks you've been struggling against with this build. How has your build been faring? Can you give me more stats or evidence of how it's been performing against strong decks? What's your win/loss ratio against kill decks (especially Haarpsichord), given that you don't run Plascrete Carapace or tag protection?

(2) I recently got smashed by a tag punishment deck that uses Gutenberg. One is enough to require 2 stealth credits from Dagger, and they put 2 on R&D. By turn 5-6 they had 2-3 ice over every server, most of which was rezzed, and 20+ credits. How can this deck handle that type of pressure?

14 Jan 2016 Penance

@rwknoll I completely agree with you regarding expectations/reality.

1) The only deck this one struggles with is NBN Butcher Shop variants. With or without Plascrete Carapace, if the corp knows how to play this deck, it is your worst matchup and that is something which is true for all shaper decks without Account Siphon and anarch suite cards. IF you are lucky with your starting hand, and IF you manage to be lucky not to allow the copr to score Breaking News, then you will most probably win, since you have more money and ways around most of its ICE and other shenanigans. Otherwise, you are probably sitting duck to 24/7 News Cycle. Before the release of this card, you would have a fair matchup. Now, the deck is broken, and only a Reina Roja: Freedom Fighter/MaxX: Maximum Punk Rock type of deck can tackle it consistently in my opinion. Check out my NBN variant of this deck and you will see what I mean. Now, if you cramp all cards against it in the main, you end up struggling with all the other decks, so unless your meta is filled with this variant, you don't do anything and hope to dodge it and win the corp game against it.

2) See above... My general playstyle is to only set up Magnum Opus ASAP and start spamming credits and run first and second click only. Once a I fear a sentry, I install Dagger and any stealth cards available and hit wherever I see most "holes" to the corp's plan. I can't describe here how you do it, but you need to manage to stay on top on credits at all times. Once you do that, half the archetype can't touch you. Then you pass through stacks of ICE by GETTING tags and removing them afterwards, paying attention WHEN can you get a free turn to do so without getting killed. It takes practice and patience, but two equally skilled opponents will end up with around 3/10-4/10 odds against you. There is no way currently to even the odds, not until they do something about 24/7 News Cycle. Plascrete Carapace/Film Critic helps a lot, elevating the odds to 5/10, but cripple your odds against all other decks.

To give you overall statistics which I keep track: The decks I have experience against using this deck (experience means more than 40 games against each with experienced opponents using said decks) are Haas FA/Next suite/Grail/Mandatory Upgrades (6/10-7/10 for you, you have TREMENDOUS advantage against glacier and rush decks like those), Weyland Blue Sun (8/10 if "vegan" (no meat damage), 7/10 if not), Jinteki RP and Genomics (7/10, both are slow decks. You usually lose if you are very unlucky with Caprice Nisei, but you can avoid that by choosing other servers to run each time), NBN FA (5-6/10 it really is very luck-dependant for the corp as well), NBN Butcher Shop (5/10 until 24/7 News Cycle, 3/10 after this card. It is BROKEN...). I have played with other decks with varying degrees of success, however not that many games were played to warrant solid statistics. I hope this helps you better understand its odds.

15 Jan 2016 rattkin

After playing a bit with this deck:

  • it really struggles for money. For the life of me, I don't understand how MO can give you money in this setup. First, you have to draw it. If you don't have it in first 2-3 rounds, it's pretty bad. If you have SMC you have to burn it for 6 for MO. Second, even if you have it, one click of your turn is install, second should be run to pressure, that leaves you 2 clicks, when usually you want to spend at least one drawing. I wonder if Kati would not be a better solution here. Or Technical Writer. Or just Armitage. You need initial money for install and thrashing, when your rig is set you don't need money anyway.

  • draw variance can really screw it over. I wonder if Test Run isn't actually better than Diesel. Diesel can get you cards you might want, TR gives you exactly what you need, way faster. This mitigates the slowness that is part of stealth deck

  • There's really no surprise, starting turn one. As soon as Corp sees first stealth card, he knows what it is and rushes like crazy. If you allow Corp to score 4p, it doesn't matter that you can enter everywhere - Caprice and Ash will probably cut you out from the last 3p anyway

  • I'm not sure if 3xModded is worth it if the only target is MO and Blackat. MO can easily pay for itself later. Maybe it's better to actually have more plain old money and install faster?

15 Jan 2016 Penance

@rattkin "Patience young grasshopper". Let me give you some tips :)

1) This cannot be true. This is actually one of the "richest"runner decks out there. Your starting hand needs either: 1 Magnum Opus, 1 Sure Gamble, 1 Self-modifying Code. These are 9 out of 45 cards. If your starting hand has 5 cards, chances are, even without a mulligan you will have one of those. Let's analyse:

If you have Magnum Opus but no Modded, you install a program/hardware that costs 1 (not a breaker) and/or facecheck the remaining turns. Repeat this process until you draw Sure Gamble or Modded and then install Magnum Opus with it. If you follow this example you now will have either 5 or 4 credits. Now you install your breakers one by one LASTLY after you install your supporting stealth cards. You need the breaker only when you need to pass, not facecheck. Until then, you will WASTE TIME if you run recklessly, or install faster than average if you don have Sure Gamble or Magnum Opus in.

The above remains the SAME if you start with Sure Gamble or Magnum Opus with Modded. If you start with Self-modifying Code, then you install it second, right after a 1-credit card and DON'T crack it until you NEED Magnum Opus or BlacKat. If, by that time you are ready, you keep it in as your "surprise" breaker.

In other words, at no part of he game whatsoever, money is ever an issue. You never drop below 5 if you play properly, and if you do, within a single turn you can go back to 6 no matter what. If at any point you can't, you made a mistake somewhere along the setup. If you have an issue with money, you overdo something, or you panic without a reason. The deck requires patience and calculation MANY turns ahead.

2) Draw variance is irrelevant since the setup process remains the SAME each time, only the pieces change. You have "toolbox" logic in your approach where instead you need to have "engine" approach.

3) Being an "engine" deck, you DON'T need surprise at all. You will have a rig at the same turn each time with ALL the relevant pieces in so you don't care about surprise, you care about patience and stability. The moment you start "panicking" about the corp, is the moment all tactic goes down the drain. The copr also has a specific clock and you need to learn that one first, so you know WHEN you need to start getting in. Caprice Nisei is always a problem, but not in our WHOLE plan, but a single server. You need to dance around and WIN through another server than waste time. There is ALWAYS another server ;) Ash 2X3ZB9CY, you deal with by just trashing at dead turns. It is never a problem.

4) Again, "engine" not"toolbox".

Try to "unlearn what you have learned" because from what you describe, you seem to try to play the deck like PrePaid, or Andy, instead of Stealth. :) Everything you mention is "PrePaid logic". This won't do in stealth at all.

I am not trying to insult your way of playing, nor judge you in any way, please don't misunderstand my statements and I apologise in advance if I sound offensive in any way. I only wish to provide a different way of thinking, as it is much required for this deck archetype. :)

16 Jan 2016 rattkin

There is somewhat condescending tone in your previous comments. You're trying to teach others how to play good ANR. While it's ok on it's own to give hints, I would generally advise you don't do that and focus just on the merit of the deck, even if you face annoying questions :). The hints you give should be pretty obvious to a reasonable player. Yet, they, I feel, don't magically make this deck better, if I cannot observe the same results you're describing.

I like this deck, but, with all due respect, I feel, like you're playing it more in your head, rather than in reality. What you describe involves a lot of empty turns. I don't know what your meta is, but good players will insta-detect this and rush agendas. They know early game it's their time against Stealth. Sure, you don't need all the breakers all at once, but even if it's barriers, you have to get Blackat or Inti, which in most of the games will be by SMCing them, rather than drawing. That puts you back money-wise. And of course, by then your stealth support isn't there yet, so you will lose even more money while breaking.

If you can only maintain 4-5c for early rounds, then you have no chance at beating any trace whatsoever. This means you're open for Midseaons, if you even want to steal anything at this point. You keep repeating that if you don't play this deck this and that, you waste time, but time (clicks) is actually the most precious currency in this game. If I have several rounds to wait to install MO cheaper than ususal, then I've already lost. I don't get the "engine" vs "toolbox" terms. I don't get the "prepaid logic" comments - would you be a lamb, and describe what you actually mean by them? I fail to see what prepaid has to do with it. Also, I don't think it's entirely correct to "unlearn" that, given the amount of success that archetype has/had.

Here's the flaw I'm noticing in your reasoning (reasoning, not the deck itself, or how you in fact play it) - what you seem to assume is that you will always have your rig by certain amount of time. My counterpoint is that what's relevant is the order you assemble you rig in, because otherwise you cannot pressure. What good is Dagger if I cannot draw to SMC or fracter against a server protected by Paper Wall? If I can't draw to second SMC or a breaker at a crucial point of time, I'm losing tempo. You seem to be suggesting that's not the point because of 3 x card etc. However, it doesn't always play "as planned" in my games. Call me unlucky.

I guess I'll just make some changes and see how it goes. I'm leaning more and more towards Test Run, because it also helps against random program loss. You cannot defend yourself 100%, just by not faceplanting into Sentries. There's Batty, there's Will o the Wisp, there's net/meat damage just to target your hand. I'm also not convinced to run Modded. Yes, it's brilliant if it's in opening hand with MO or R&D. It's less brilliant if you draw it in 10th round, where all the necessary tools are long installed. I'm too, not entirely convinced that Technical Writer is the answer. But Kati might be. It provides you that one-click burst you need in early game, and later on, you switch to MO, to get your burst within round. That's still me thinking out loud. Chances are, I'm dead wrong :)

16 Jan 2016 Penance

@rattkin First things first: As I pointed out in the end of my above comment, my tone is not supposed to be condescending. Therefore to point it out this way I believe is a little uncalled for. I am merely trying to convey things I already have faced in previous games with no way of describing situations lacking a "video example" which would help a lot not to make my explanations too lengthy. And I am not teaching anyone to do anything, I reply to questions asked. At the same time, it is most definitely condescending to assume I "play the deck more in my head rather than reality" as well as various other comments so, also with all due respect, let us avoid further escalating any personal arguments altogether.

Now, regarding the deck. The things you mention were in my mind about 1 year ago. Every card you mention, I have already tried explicitly because I agree with you that it proved better in other decks, like the famous PrePaid Kate, which I only mentioned as a famous archetype. I tried, with various degrees of success, Kati Jones, Test Run, Armitage Codebusting, etc. I tried to run this deck with Personal Workshop and The Toolbox. I tried 4 different IDs, hate cards like Clot, cards like HQ Interface and Paintbrush, recursion cards like Clone Chip and many other oddballs out there. All that, prior to settling for this build.

All the points you raise are true concerns and were mine as well, so I am stressing this as much as possible to make it clear that, as my hints, those are also pretty obvious things for a reasonable player to be concerned about.

As I mentioned many times already, the deck in netrunner is a tool which is less important than our style of play, so every different deck, almost always need to be fine-tuned to the player and not the other way around. And there is no way to judge how good a player is in a page we posts decks. That means I agree with you 100% that if you feel certain cards are not up to your playstyle you of course will substitute them for something that you are more comfortable with. Supposedly, when any of us posts a deck, that is the very point, to experiment, then make changes according to our playstyle/meta.

In my opinion, you give way too much credit to the corp. Every time you facecheck, the corp loses credits. Every time the corp is forced to install more, the corp loses click. The corp does not have an "infinite amount" of clicks and credits, nor does it have a "pick" step instead of a "draw" step so while everything you mention are valid points in some games, they are not automatic responses at will. This is the reason that when I mention statistics, I of course, include games I loose. Yes, it is pretty obvious that if you have a crappy opening hand, you draw irrelevant cards and the corp plays everything right you will lose. But if that is the case, then that is the case for EVERY other runner deck out there that has even less consistency, as most cards, especially breakers, are NOT in multiples and you use "tutors" in order to get them which you ALSO may be unlucky not to draw at the time you need them - that includes a deck full of 1-of as well... You don't make points which are not apparent in other Shaper decks, especially, since all those corp cards you mention have a similar effect to all other Shaper deck out there.

Since the point to post a deck is to post a deck and provide some hints, not to tutor how to play and explain each and every situation, I have provided guidelines and plays I have personally used to tackle all the situations you mentioned. For every point you make, there are explanation in the previous comments, where other people also asked similar questions. Repeating them again would be redundant, as I have no reason to argue whether they work or not effectively, especially according to everybody's different liking. The problems you mention, are the problems of Stealth IN GENERAL, therefore if you feel that those problems overshadow the effectiveness of the deck, maybe then this whole discussion is redundant and maybe Stealth is not your cup of tea anyway.

At any rate, if you don't like it, don't play it. If you don't like a card, don't use it. It is as simple as that. No one is forcing anyone to do anything. :) There are decks I enjoy, and decks I cannot comprehend or don't fit my playstyle in any way. That does not mean I question their effectiveness or urge their creator to "persuade" me to like them. You do have every right not to like the deck or its strategies. I also have every right not to need to defend the deck in any way, nor do I need to convince anyone of its effectiveness and what not.

18 Jan 2016 podoboyz99

When playing this deck, I often feel that I am clicking to draw excessively, and that I don't really have a way to get the things I need fast enough. Would something like Quality Time be worth looking at? With intimate money from Opus, it could get you that SMC/Breaker when you really need it.

18 Jan 2016 Penance

@podoboyz99 Depending on the situation, I have been toying with Quality Time but ultimately I chose to remove it because it clogs due to credit cost. It requires extra clicks for credits which you end up wasting in the end, so I prefered the normal click-for-credit approach.

I need to stress out that after EACH game, since stealth comes in multiples and you end up having cards stuck together, you need to shuffle THOROUGHLY, both riffle an pile, so that everything spreads evenly. When I was first playing this deck I had this problem in many matches, until I realised it was due to inefficient shuffling, and all of a sudden, once I started shuffling properly every time, "magically" things would work much better.

On a sidenote, that is the very reason everything is 3-of. ;)

21 Jan 2016 TKMaximus

I've played several games with this deck, I love the concept but I feel like there needs to be more card draw so I swapped out the Ghost Runner for 3 Quality Time to collect your rig pieces faster. The deck works well against other corps, but struggles against Jinteki (or ambush heavy NBN). Any tips/improvements I could make to target those matchups ?

21 Jan 2016 Penance

@TKMaximus Quality Time is a good card, however Ghost Runner is part of the engine of the deck. In fact, it is the most important part of it, as it pays for your early runs, it does not restrict itself for a specific type of breaker, and it pays for trash costs at times your credit pool is 0. If you want to remove anything, remove the 3rd Astrolabe and 1-2 Sure Gamble for the Quality Times.

Now, against Jinteki, you mostly need the sentry breaker out as fast as possible, and Magnum Opus to pay for its taxing ICE. You need most definitely a Ghost Runner and 1-2 stealth cards as well (Cloak, Silencer). You need to hit many servers in the same turn to force-dodge Caprice Nisei and you ALWAYS run when you have no precious cards in hand.

Against NBN, you need to spam its servers BUT with Magnum Opus your first install priority to avoid traces. After that, you facecheck and spam runs like hell, not allowing him/her to advance to much on ambush cards.

28 Jan 2016 153351

this deck, like many of the comments point out, is entirely too slow. you can't install a rig AND draw for cards AND click for mopus AND pressure a corp. the click economy just isn't there. i'd rather play a drip version. staying on top of a yellow deck (running ice on a yellow deck hardly makes them poor. their ice is cheap already) or RP in money is very, very difficult, unless you're clicking mopus half your turn.

28 Jan 2016 Stonar

What about Professional Contacts instead of Magnum Opus? You need to draw a LOT to get your rig out, and once you have all your stealth pieces online, you really don't need much other money. In fact, if you swapped Mopus for ProCo, you could drop the mem chips entirely, (1x of each breaker + 2 Cloaks at your full rig) which gives you another 3 slots to mess around with, which gives you room to add extra econ. (Sahasrara? Personal Workshop? Daily Casts?)

28 Jan 2016 rattkin

ProCo is way better (after many tests). In my opinion MO is really a detriment to this deck. It tries to combat various traces with money advantage, but the click to get the money isn't there. You can even slap Kati Jones for more money in early game, which I've found to be working well (helps regaining the tempo after ProCo install). Kate decks also beg for Film Critic, maybe Plascrete or maybe even NACH.

Technical Writer is performing worse than it sounds on paper (also tested). Modded is way better for the tempo.

29 Jan 2016 rwknoll

I have been running ProCo out of my stealth Kit deck, and it works beautifully for helping with increasing the deck tempo compared to MOpus. Kati supplements it well, along with Daily Casts if desired.

Personally, I'd drop the Silencers. Once you get Ghost Runner + Cloaks out, you don't really need them for consistently breaking sentries when you use Dagger (vs. Switchblade).

29 Jan 2016 Stonar

So, I've been testing this deck with a couple of swaps, and it's quite solid, I'm really liking how straightforward it is. However, I really do think the MU that Mopus takes up is too much, and there's not enough speed. So, the current list I'm running is this, with these changes:

-1 Kate, -3 Magnum Opus, -3 Akamatsu Mem Chip, -1 Lockpick, -1 Astrolabe +1 Hayley, +3 Personal Workshop, +3 Professional Contacts, +2 Kati Jones

I'm sold on Hayley, ProCo, and Kati. It really speeds the deck up to a point where it's crippling if the Corp doesn't get set up by turn 5 or so. I don't get a lot of use out of Personal Workshop, though, so I may consider swaps. Honestly, though, the swaps I'd do are probably silver bullet-y (Plascrete, Film Critic, maybe even Paricia.) Otherwise, probably Indexing and Daily Casts are the best uses for those slots.

3 Feb 2016 Penance

First of all, thank you everyone for the feedback (positive and negative). It is important to read both. :) I apologise for not being able to reply to everyone because I am currently having a severe case of migraines the past two weeks in a row, so I coulnd not concentrate enough to reply.

I want to say two things about some of the cards mentioned here as I have tested them before. First of all, Professional Contacts. In the initial build of the deck, I had 3 of them instead of the Magnum Opus as I, too, though, it would speed up the setting-up time. Boy, I was wrong. Allow me to explain:

In contrast to Magnum Opus, Professional Contacts does not get neither the Modded discount, nor the Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker discount. You HAVE to pay 7 credits for it (5+1 to draw+1 to install) no matter what. That means that it takes 7 clicks to give you back the money you would already have, had you not installed it in the first place. This is SLOW and does not provide any kind of benefit to our strategy, if only, it hinders it, as it does not allow us to spend money in between if we need it.

Magnum Opus costs 6 in this deck no matter what (5-1 Kate, +1 to draw, +1 to install) and can go as low as 3 with modded. That means that it can replace its cost in the SAME TURN it is installed, even without modded (install, +6 credits) AND it can be searched for with Self-modifying Code even during the opponen'ts turn (costing 8 with SMC's cost included; the draw-install cost transfers to SMC instead of Magnum Opus.) That means, even if it needs a turn to give us back the money spent without Modded (although I avoid installing it witout it, unless I know what I am doing), it is protected by the corp's actions. Professional Contacts is not. I can be trashed, and WILL be trashed a lot, and will most times end up LOSING us money instead of gaining. For all the above, it was deemed inferior.

Daily Casts and Kati Jones were also tested. While they provided benefits known to most players, they also clog this deck, as the former, again, does not get any discounts and costs a whopping 5 credits with the formula I provided above, and the latter is a long term investment that requires a click each round that we may or may not have the luxury to spend.

Lastly, Personal Workshop was tested in the first builds of the deck and suffered from speed issues as well. It is a good card, but with so many 1-credit cards, it just wastes time and efficiency. It is better suited in other IDs as well, since Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker has an inherent discount ability that does not synergise with this card. When running Personal Workshops, I prefer a different built with better and more expenisve consoles like The Toolbox, but this is another deck entirely so I will not analyse further.

Regarding Hayley Kaplan: Universal Scholar, I spent two months running with her instead of Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker and I liked her. There was much math involved in ultimately deciding not to use her as she was less consistent in what I was trying to achieve with this deck COMBINED with my playstyle and here is where I would like yo make an important disclaimer and stress a fundamental fact about Netrunner:

Netrunner, as stated in previous comments above, is much more like chess in the sense that early moves matter a lot for the outcome of the late ones, however, there is so much variance generated with different card combinations in each match, that paired with our decisions as welll as our opponent's decisions, remind me more of the game called "Go". Go is a game that is globally accepted that there can't be two same games played, ever, due to variance. This is very importat to be said: Netrunner, at times, can be like Go, beacuse there are some many forks in a gameplan and so many different playstyles to play the same cards that it is VERY DIFFICULT to evaluate which card combination suits each situation better. Half of the game, you play with clicks and not cards at all so the deck, well, plays a less important role that it may initially appear to do so.

While we can evaluate individual cards with simple math, due to playstyle variance that includes a psychological factor (Professional Contacts is so much psychology-dependent to be deemed "good" or "bad" for example) for BOTH players, I want to state that there is not so much as good or bad a deck, but how much potential each different deck has in the hands of its pilot.

For that reason, I believe that every deck posted, NEEDS to be adjusted and tweaked to the player and not the other way around. DO change anything you feel like, it might actualy make things better for YOU. Each one of us is differnt in his/her decisions and playstyle and may feel that certain cards will help him/her better or make things worse. So no matter how many data and opinions I may provide, and you as well, in the end, it is a matter of PERSONAL PREFERENCE. That reason alone is what makes the game magnificent in my opinion.

Contrary to games like Magic, Netrunner has no strictly "good" or "bad"plays, as card advantage matters a lot less, and the game is far more strategy than top-deck dependent as cards have less impact in the game on their own. That means that is extremely difficult to "explain" good plays in Netrunner and evaluate situations as each player will handle the same situation differently and may still gain advantage, whereas in Magic, cards have an inevitability factor of their own, so unless you play "correctly", cards will determine themselves the outcome of the game, in a sense.

This is the primary reason why I believe that, in contrast to Magic, "good" or "bad" decks are mostly falsely deemed so, as such titles are a product of "group mentality" rather than actual fact-based analysis of their potential, especially in a game where communities are small and opinions are easily "swayed" by their "ringleaders". While understandably controversial in many of his statemenst, I do agree with Damon Stone's comments regarding "cards and deck strategies not being tested enough by players" in the spirit of the above misconception. This, of course, applies to my own statements as well, regarding cards that I tested and feel good/ bad about. This is MY opinion, not absolute truth and canon, so if you feel differnt, my opinion has no value whatsoever. ;)

Al I hoped with posting this deck is to present a way for other peope to build their own, so go ahead, change whatever you feel like and if you like, post variants for people to see. Netdecking in Netrunner is not about copying a "winning" deck, but about understanding play tactics. Personal imput is always required in the end. Personal imput shared in comments helps shaping new decks and allows people to try different things, and that is the reason I feel gratefull for all of them.

Thank you all for the interest in this deck.

7 Feb 2016 SruSeNaid

I really like the pure deck. But in the current german meta you really need 1-2 plascretes. Because running isnt that problem. Even a 24/7 trafficaccident scorch combo can kill you with 2 breaking news scored. Or QPM behind a dataraven. So plascretes are not optional in my opinion.

8 Feb 2016 Penance

@SruSeNaid I agree completely that depending on the meta, 2 plascretes are very good. But only if you know they are not going to be dead cards. Curretnly, indeed, you may put them in. I have been toying with some updates myself this week that I will post soon :)