Bag of Tricks v4 - Malmö SC Winner - [4-1]

Elusive 1064

This represents the deck's first real tournament loss in an official FFG tournament, losing turn 2 to Keyhole hitting 2 TFP and 1 profiteering ;)

EDIT: I should have known better than to ICE HQ, so i feel like i can attribute this somewhat to a play error.

Field of 22 people. Lots of Anarch's were had. As lunch.

Some updates to the deck, Eli is too good to lose. Komainu sees more use, rezzed it against a faust on the day (in the finals). Good times were had ;)

8 Feb 2016 NerdimusPrime

Same thing happened to me on Saturday, it just took a few more turns. 2 TFPs on the first Keyhole run. Other than that, I've been loving this deck. Nearly everyone's response upon seeing me pull out PE has been some variation of, "oh god, not PE!"

8 Feb 2016 Elusive

Haha yes, people are very untrained att dealing with this, especially at tournaments. And it is way easier to make good bluffs when people are literally trying to keep their hands from shaking. Glad you are enjoying the deck!

9 Feb 2016 kollapse

I have already said how much I love this deck design, so I won't rehash it here. Have you come up against any decks with Film Critic, and how have you dealt with them?

9 Feb 2016 NerdimusPrime

It's given me problems a couple of times, including once at a recent store championship. That time, I waited until the agenda was in his score area and killed him with Philotic.

Unfortunately, I've had my Philotic stolen a lot lately, so I've been relying on Snares, Ronins, etc., to make kills against Film Critic.

If @Elusive has a better way, I'd love to hear it too.

10 Feb 2016 kollapse

Since you don't need to use Punitive Counterstrike to kill I can see it being a none-issue in certain metas, but playing against people who consistantly have anti-Butcher Shop decks and instantly install Plascrete makes it a bit rough to play for the meat damage kill. Hiro helps of course, but I can certainly see how this decks requires more practice than most when you end up in situations like that.

10 Feb 2016 Elusive

@kollapse: always nice having you around ;)

On film critic: Definitely a bummer when it hits the table, see a little commentary in my article here:

Essentially, if you expect it, you know that the opponent will dig for it. This enables you to rush kill or rush score. It is harder to know this beforehand, but if a shaper is not running your R&D it is a good tipoff that they are searching for critic first. People love to find their counters, makes them feel safe.

As kollapse said, film-critic is similar to Plascrete in that it kind of disables your Punitive plan, which you should only count on having mid-game anyway. Just toss the Punitives, at this point you should ahve build up a boardstate of kill.

I explain the reasoning for Punitive in the article, it is not (like some PE players seem to think in their over-the-top deck descriptions) an endgame plan, it is the way you protect your R&D in the mid-game. Protecting R&D is the main problem of a PE kill-deck, and the cambridge varsion does not focus enough on this.

10 Feb 2016 NerdimusPrime

@Elusive, thanks for the advice. After a few games I saw what you meant about Punitive. I have made a 5-point kill with it, but mostly it just gives the runner one more thing to worry about when they hit R&D.

11 Feb 2016 Elusive

Yeah! Exactly. In the Mid-game we have too few deterrents to R&D runs, meaning the runner can run and snatch those agendas without a kill threat. punitive counters that, but after that stage it is not needed. One or two advanced kill-threats such as Profiteering or Ronin on your board should leave you very close to being able to kill them when they inevitably make a mistake. For the one's that don't, there is always Hiro and Philotic ;)

This is also a reason i advise not to run stuff like Shattered Remains, that card can be another kill-threat instead, and you should not waste valuable resources in sticking to a mid-game plan that the runner can play around IMO.

16 Feb 2016 Ehill


and intersting doubling down on the eli's i'm experimenting with tripple cerebral with baku to deal with kifed. Has dumble fork become an issue in your meta yet?.

16 Feb 2016 Elusive


Not sure what you are saying, what is the connection between 3 cerebrals and Himitsu-Bako?

Short answer to that: If people trash my ice, i usually let them. And add new ice. I also not use cheap ETR ice since the plan is to let them in, only on your terms.

16 Feb 2016 Ehill

@Elusive The only connection between bako and a 3rd cerebral is the inf required. I've been tinkering with that compositino to better interact with more hyper agressive/fearless runners in my meta, as a way to both more easily punish mushins and gear check or card tax certain remotes.

The main concern i have with eli is how easy it falls to knifed in the current meta, have you run into any issues in that regard?

16 Feb 2016 Elusive

.. but Bako is in faction?

Hyper-aggressive runners are dealt with by traps, or increasing the amount of traps i'd say, but you can also try Fetal -> Punitive. Largest part is always the Yomi, and usually i've found 2 Cereb and 1 Juneb enough for that, but if you have exceptionally cocky runners that are at the same time skilled enough to not just die, might want to go to 3 Cereb.

Well yeah, use excalibur to limit their runs instead of doing it by taxing their economy. Since i guess your problem is anarchs with medium? Also: Komainu vs faust. I think Eli is still good enough to rez if they are running knifed though.

16 Feb 2016 Ehill

@Elusive In this case it was (2 bako, 1 writer, and tech cards) vs (2 Markus and tech) vs (2 eli)

In my experience, the very few games i have lost to hyper agressive runners have been to not drawing overwriters. I knew they were rushing me, I Knew I could land brain but couldn't grab it fast enough to matter.

Currently the SoCal Meta is full of anach, and the issue isn't Medium/account siphon/keyhole/Apoc its IHW + Wyldside in the hands of smart players. The best way I've found to handle that is to increase the decks brain damage density, even more than having reliavle midgame barriers. but that being said I'm still tinkering with a way to better choke centrals against faust, as excaliber simply folds against it, and while Bako can be used as another layer of yomi to force facechecks and misplays, its a huge money sink. Right now I'm testing doulbe wraparound as a hard meta call.

Honestly though as two of the more dedicated Yomi Players we should get in touch and compare notes more directly sometime soon.

19 Feb 2016 Elusive

I see. That is a problem i rarely have, people commonly refuse to run my remotes. Interesting meta.

I would drop all non-taxing barriers for sure, like Bako. Wrap might be a good choice.

In my first version, if you go back a good bit, you'll see the House of Knives + Tori Hanzo combo, that worked well to reliably land Brain, but was expensive and somewhat inconsistent. However might be good against Faust as HoK means they always need a card more than usual. Might want to try that? Costs no Inf. A more extreme variant is to go full Batty+Viktor and change the deck around a bunch.

Yeah, we could do a few games on Jnet sometime. Send me a mail at

30 Mar 2016 Hallenbach

I took this deck to a small SC (13 participants) on 2016-03-20 in Uppsala, Sweden. It went 3-1 during the day, losing to a Adam deck with Brain Chip. After a few agenda points, he was way out of Ronin range. He also ran Infiltration, making most of my traps useless. But I think that was kind of a edge case and nothing I would consider regarding the general merits of this PE deck. It was a very fun deck to play!

30 Mar 2016 Elusive

Yes, the bane of T2 is that sometimes you have a really tough matchup. Fun to see you have success with it, i've noticed a couple of similar decks at various tournaments (lastly the GothCon SC). The word is spreading ;)