Bag of Tricks v3 - 'Playing the High Stakes Game'

Elusive 1064

Deck Description:

This is the third iteration of Bag of Tricks, a PE deck solely concentrated on creating a kill threat large enough to finish them on your turn. It differs from Cambridge PE in that we do not value bleeding-type damage. Everything should be used as a kill-tool for that crucial turn. It has previously performed well (8-0 in Norwegian regionals and 6-0 in Nordic nationals). In addition a derived deck recently had some success at Worlds, which gives me additional confidence in its abilities.

I continue having success in tournaments with it, and it is still undefeated in official FFG tournaments. That said, it is not easy to pilot, since the strategy is very different from 'normal' corp decks. It is also not meant to be 'safe' or indeed consistent, you have to embrace risk and gambling to play it successfully. I love this style of play, and in the Store Championship season i hope for others to pick up and start learning it as well, hopefully resulting in interesting discussion and hopefully a couple of tournament wins!

Deck Objective

The kill turn. It is not on their turn they die, it is on your turn. The name Bag of Tricks comes from the multitude of threats and different ways the runner can die, and the inconsistency of the deck (singletons, doubles) is meant to enhance that unpredictability. However everything synergises toward the kill turn. This makes it very difficult to account for all possibilities, even when the opponent has your decklist in hand.

We also have an alternate out in that we can score out using Mushin if needed, against especially passive players this can be effective.

See writeup on strategy here:

http://stimhack.com/playing-the-high-stakes-game-with-personal-evolution/

Notable Card changes:

-1 Chronos, +1 Profiteering: As noted in V.2, profiteering is the only 1-pointer woth slotting in a deck like this. We go all in on the kill-threat on their turn, and chronos didn't do enough work.

-2 Pup, +1 Cortex: As a commenter noted, what does Pup do in a deck like this? Well, originally it supplemented Eli as mid-game R&D tax. However, Cortex is just better, especially early.

+1 Yagura: Simply a good card. Supplements Eli when you remove Pup, and allows some extra control over R&D.

-1 Lotus Field: You do not need this. Play the player, don't play the game.

+1 Excalibur: Probably the change i'm most proud of. This is a counter to one of the deck's sore weakpoints, single Medium-runs taking several 1-card accesses in one turn. A player in my meta figured this out, and this swings the game back beautifully. Now they will need to choose a single card, or a single run with lots of accesses, just like you want it.

-2 Hokusai Grid: We do not need these, they were intended as tax, but do not do enough, and good players play around the threat. We do not kill on their turn anyway.

+1 Subliminal: Together with Crisium Grid in the tech-slots. If we need tech-slots. Gives you some more econ, synergises with Celebrity Gift, and incentivices them to run, what is not to like?

+1 Psychic Field: My second-best change to the deck. This singleton makes your blank-installs all the more dangerous. This serves to protect Hiro until you use him, but also allows some extra tricks on its own. This deck is all about tricks.

-3 Eli 1.0, +3 Markus 1.0: This is my initial response to the MWL-rules. The power level of the taxing ice clearly rops from this, and the added facecheck-penalty is a small comfort. We will see how this performs after some time, as this change is quite recent.

Good luck playing, or should i say: happy hunting!

5 comments
16 Jan 2016 RubbishyUsername

I've had a lot of success with Wraparound instead of Eli in PE, especially in a Profiteering deck that can't be very taxing. Finding a barrier breaker can be extremely click intensive, and it deals with early siphons. By the time they have one, you have a scored profiteering and it doesn't matter.

16 Jan 2016 mrmoody

How do you do against siphon/keyhole spam? PE was my first corp love but I left it largely in light of those unpleasant matchups. Against Maxx or a headlock deck do you just hope to find Crisium and score a couple Profiteerings before they get set up? Looks formidable otherwise!

17 Jan 2016 Elusive

RU: Wrap is not a tax however, which is the purpose of Eli, and now Markus. It is meant to slow down the runner. This can be very important to maintain against poorer runners, and gear-checks do not help this deck much. You should NOT score profiteering unless you have to anyway.

Moody: I agree, that is a really hard matchup. You use Profiteering pre-emptively and suck in the siphons. I usually never recommend this (see above comment) but in this case that is what you have to do. You counter Keyhole by rushing out kill threats or agendas. it is hard, but it is what you have to do.

3 Feb 2016 PapaBear

If you want a tax more than a gear check, why not Rainbow?

15 Apr 2016 bobross

@mrmoody I've found the same thing. Maxx w/ Keyhole and Siphon can systematically dismantle this deck. I love it for most other match-ups.