Pancakes burning on the dance floor (1st Place, undefeated)

Chappers 508

Took me to first place after both Swiss and double-elimination at the Chesterfield, UK Store Championships, going undefeated all day. You heard it here first: Weyland is the new meta.

Yeah, maybe not - but Weyland is definitely stronger than most give it credit for, and it's especially effective against the currently-ubiquitous Anarchs running the currently-ubiquitous Wyldside/Adjusted Chronotype/Faust (hereafter the "I Have No Soul Rig").

Why Titan:

A few people have asked me, "Why Titan? Why not [insert identity here, usually Blue Sun]?. The answer is simply that (1) Atlas out of Titan is arguably the best agenda in the game; (2) Mark Yale in Titan makes all your agendas largely pay for themselves; and (3) the deck is designed to run fast, but Blue Sun loses a lot of its economic advantage with a low-cost ice-spread and is at its best with econ assets and higher-cost ice, neither of which have a home in this deck. The extra two influence in Titan is nice but not necessary.

Strategy:

The primary win condition is scoring out in a Caprice Nisei server. The secondary win condition is rushing out a win using some form of "Atlas-train". The tertiary win condition is killing your opponent with SEA Source-Scorch.

Of the three, the primary happens most often and wins the most games; however, what makes this deck so effective is that you are very capable of pulling off all three win types, depending on what your opponent does. If they go aggressive, go for the kill. If they go slow, rush out a win with Atlas. Otherwise, set up a taxing scoring server with Caprice and score out. Or do all three.

It's very hard for a runner to effectively counteract all three at once, and in many cases the runner's best strategies for dealing with each threat contradict one another: for instance, a Runner with an I Have No Soul Rig wants to run early to stop the Atlas-train (making it harder to set-up in the early game); needs to run against a taxing scoring server with Caprice (burning cards in order to do so); but also needs to play carefully and conserve cards in hand to guard against the Scorch kill. That's a tough combination to manage, and runners with the I Have No Soul Rig very rarely manage it.

Agenda Mix:

Global Food Initiative is included largely to keep agenda density down. This deck is very rarely willing to score a 5/3. I usually dump GFI in Archives as soon as I draw it. I think I've scored one once, but I've lost count of the number of games in which the runner has stolen GFI and I would have lost had it been any other 5/3. Very much worth the influence.

Hostile Takeover is an economy card and fuel for Archer. Generally you don't care too much about the bad publicity.

Oaktown Renovation is the best Weyland 4/2.

Project Atlas out of Titan is hands-down the best agenda in Netrunner.

The final agenda point is a meta call, and I've changed it in every tournament in which I've played this deck. I originally tried The Future Is Now, but I decided that I just didn't need the card tutoring given I had 3 copies of Project Atlas. I then moved on to Firmware Updates for the economic boost with Mark Yale, but after two tournaments decided that although the extra money was helpful, it wasn't necessary. I replaced it with Chronos Project before Chesterfield and it immediately paid off by winning me a game in the third-round of Swiss: against an I Have No Soul Rig, I had trashed two copies of Wyldside with Elizabeth Mills and then scored Chronos Project the turn before my opponent drew his Levy, removing almost his entire deck from play and putting an immediate timer on both his ability to break ice and his ability to survive a kill. In the current meta I would definitely stick with Chronos Project for this deck slot.

Ice:

The Barriers are fairly standard: Meru Mati for HQ; Changeling because 4-strength sentries are no fun for most runners to break; Ice Wall I'm not totally sure about; and Spiderweb is a meta call against the I Have No Soul Rig.

Weyland is rubbish for Code Gates. I included two Enigmas because (1) it's surprisingly taxing for Faust and (2) if the runner isn't using Faust, it's nice to force them to find and play a Decoder when there are hardly any Code Gates in the deck. I'm still not sure about Wormhole: it's included because I had a spare deckslot, wanted more ice, wanted another Code Gate and figured it's pretty taxing against Faust and expensive to break with most Decoders. It did good work at Chesterfield, so I'd hesitantly keep it in pending a better alternative.

Sentries are the most important part of the deck. Archer and Assassin on a scoring server containing Caprice becomes very expensive very quickly, especially if your opponent is running the I Have No Soul Rig: in the final at Chesterfield, my opponent was running against a scoring server of Archer and Wormhole, which meant burning through several copies of D4v1d at an alarming rate; burning through cards; periodically letting me gain 2 credits from Archer; and having to use Blackmail to stop me rezzing another Archer on the server.

Ichi 1.0 was a last-minute include (I'd previously tried a wide range of Ice, the best of which is probably Tollbooth). I went with Ichi 1.0 because it's 4-strength (so immune to D4v1d), a must-break (because, well, trash a program), taxes Faust for 4 cards, and offers a "Trash a Program" sub-routine for Wormhole. I'd stick with it, it was very good at Chesterfield.

Finally, Excalibur is a great combination with Caprice: two cards to break with Faust, a must-break if your opponent wants a second try at Caprice, and only 2 credits to rez.

Meta Calls:

Elizabeth Mills - She kills Wyldside. The I Have No Soul Rig is very, very sad if Wyldside is trashed, so trash it. And if your opponent installs another one, recur Elizabeth Mills with Interns and trash it again. If they install it again, tag them with SEA Source and then trash it again. Then laugh as your opponent has to spend entire turns clicking for cards just to be able to make a run. If by some miracle your opponent isn't running the I Have No Soul Rig, you can use Elizabeth Mills (1) to clear a bad pub if for some reason you want to; (2) teach a Noise player to stop playing boring mill decks by blowing up Aesops; and (3) otherwise, if your opponent is playing a Location it's likely that they want that Location to remain in play, so blow it up. I generally score a Hostile Takeover if at all possible before using Elizabeth Mills, to avoid taking an unnecessary extra bad publicity.

Snatch and Grab - Kill Aesops. Kill Kati Jones. Kill Film Critic. Kill John Masanori. Kill Professional Contacts. Kill. Kill. Kill. Also tag sometimes.

Cyberdex Virus Suite - Useful against Anarchs playing Medium. Also Clot, which you will on occasion want to trash if you really need to score a Hostile Takeover. It's also fun to bluff it as a Crisium Grid against Criminal.

Concluding Remarks:

Weylands of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your games!

23 comments
28 Feb 2016 shanodin

Nice write up, seems like a powerful deck very well tuned to this meta.

28 Feb 2016 enk

Digging the title. A lot. Grats!

28 Feb 2016 kwind

Cool deck. Nice job. Deck space is tight and I totally can understand only slotting two scorches as something you can set up with Atlas as another option. It's nice to have the threat and forces Faust users to keep their hand size up.

One thing I disagree with is even out of Titan, Atlas is still only the second-best agenda in the game after astro.

28 Feb 2016 ouroborosglyx

Cool deck. Fast and aggressive definitely seems the way to go at the moment, and this deck pulls it off! Lizzie really gives Weyland a huge boost in the current meta :)

I dispure that Atlas with a free counter is stronger than Astro, but probably fair to say that it's the second best agenda in the game ;)

I must admit I was surprised by double Caprice and no Biotic! Obviously they both have pros and cons. Did you test this deck with Biotic previously and find that the secure remote was just gave you more consistency than the occasional fast-advance?

29 Feb 2016 phette23

Astroscript out of Titan is the best agenda in the game.

29 Feb 2016 anr_marsellus

@phette23 Made my morning.

29 Feb 2016 Chappers

@ouroborosglyx I tested it with 2x SanSan City Grid first, then with one Caprice and one SanSan, then with 2x Caprice, and finally with 2x Biotic and Biotic/Caprice. What I discovered was that against the I Have No Soul Rig, it's more important that you're able to score out consistently (whilst taxing clicks and cards) than that you're able to score from hand.

If you're running SanSan, for instance, you can't keep your opponent out of the server (because the I Have No Soul Rig can get in anywhere) and your opponent is likely rich (because they hardly spend any money on breaking ice) so you most likely get to use the San San once before its trashed, and your opponent probably doesn't care about the expense of trashing.

The trouble with Biotic was that I actively want my opponent to run my scoring server, to drain my opponent of cards and D4v1d tokens (opening up a scoring window/a kill opportunity and/or hastening the time when my opponent runs out of cards!). Scoring via Biotic (1) drains me of credits that I need to rez ice and pay for Caprice; and (2) doesn't encourage my opponent to break him or herself on the scoring server ice.

2x Caprice ended up feeling like the optimal combination, although it's something I'll have to consider again once Political Operative comes out.

29 Feb 2016 Chappers

@phette23 oh god that would be so broken

29 Feb 2016 NuttyNewfie

The idea of swapping SanSan City Grid for Caprice Nisei occurred to me this morning on the way to work. I didn't know if it would be a good idea. I feel validated. :)

29 Feb 2016 beladee

I appreciate the shoutout to Karl Marx, but somehow I don't think he and Jack Weyland would be on the same page...

29 Feb 2016 Chappers

@beladee Jack Weyland is totally a secret radical - I still half-expect him to be introduced as an Anarch runner at some point ...

6 Mar 2016 jakodrako

This deck doesn't have a single way to "Atlastrain". Do you just go get the next Atlas on the next turn and wait a turn to score it? I'm curious as to the include of Cyberdex Virus Suite, is that just left over from the version with fast advance tools? Or are you seeing a lot of Medium in your meta? Last question: How do you find yourself dealing with all this bad pub? Gonna try out this deck this weekend.

6 Mar 2016 CJFM

I've only played a handful of games with it (all against Anarch Noise/Dumblefork), so I'm not as skilled with it as you are, but The deck feels like it's pulling in two different directions: scorch backup with score-out main plan. Consequently, there are a lot of anti-synergies in this deck.

  • it gives bad pub and uses Caprice (which makes it easier for the runner to bid against you,
  • it has Crisium + SEA Source (which don't work together and can become frustrating late game when Whizzard and Noise are running R&D hard, and all you want to do is trigger a SEA Source...)
  • it wants to scorch through IHW but has no way of actually accomplishing that. Waiting for the runner to player her IHW is not a viable plan.
  • It wants to "tax" Faust, but plays a handful of single-sub ice and only one Spiderweb/Caduceus...

Observations:

  • the deck has too many fetch priorities with Atlas and really requires you to over-advance it a few times to get value out of it
  • Excalibur is terrible against Faust, and unless it's in there for the Crime matchup, I'd just cut it for something better, like another Spiderweb (which are very good against Faust).
  • The ice suite is all over the place.
  • Wormhole is terrible against Anarch and is too much of a time investment when you're already investing in Archer.
  • The deck simply cannot out-money Noise or Whizzard, though Lizzie is good, in general.
  • I am on-board the Caprice bandwagon in Weyland, and I'm also a fan of Titan. I've been doing Caprice in Titan for a while, but I completely disagree with the Scorch backup plan. It's such a flimsy strategy and it requires more credits than the deck can make.
    • If you lose a single Psi game, the game is over. :(
9 Mar 2016 Killian

@CJFM I've played with modified version of this deck (mainly different ICE suite, as core is the same) on two store champs, bringing me to double 4th place. Excalibur is great vs Faust, as it's 2-cost rez, 2-card to break ICE. And as for money - In almost every game when I was not agenda flooded, I was on something like 20-40 credits. Most of the games were won by just scoring agendas, as runner had to keep up with cash game and "don't end turn without 4 cards and Plascrete Carapace on board".

However, I must agree that Wormhole is bad. I was trying to use it in Gagarin Deep Space: Expanding the Horizon and now in Titan Transnational: Investing In Your Future, but it's just too slow.

10 Mar 2016 zagzagal

Now with Mumbad Construction Co. coming out, do you think it would fit in as a non-influence sansan? As one of the weaknesses you talked about (not stopping entry to server) would be less of a factor?

17 Mar 2016 Chappers

@jakodrako - the deck doesn't really have any way to fast advance. Generally, the approach is: install Atlas, do something; let the Runner break him or herself on a taxing remote with Caprice; score; repeat. It's remarkably effective, enough that I haven't missed fast advance all that much. Cyberdex Virus Suite is really useful in my meta: there's a lot of Medium but also a lot of general virus-y annoyance. One-of Cyberdex is definitely worth it for me. As for bad publicity - against a Faust deck I don't care. Against any other Runner I'm more cautious with the bad pub from Hostile Takeover but I rarely find it to be too much of an issue.

17 Mar 2016 Chappers

@jakodrako - the deck doesn't really have any way to fast advance. Generally, the approach is: install Atlas, do something; let the Runner break him or herself on a taxing remote with Caprice; score; repeat. It's remarkably effective, enough that I haven't missed fast advance all that much. Cyberdex Virus Suite is really useful in my meta: there's a lot of Medium but also a lot of general virus-y annoyance. One-of Cyberdex is definitely worth it for me. As for bad publicity - against a Faust deck I don't care. Against any other Runner I'm more cautious with the bad pub from Hostile Takeover but I rarely find it to be too much of an issue.

17 Mar 2016 Chappers

@CJFM - I understand where you're coming from but I couldn't agree with you more!

Runners these days are generally either (1) pretty rich or (2) running Faust. If they're rich they're almost always going to have credits for Caprice; if they're running Faust they'll always have credits for Caprice because they're not spending money on icebreakers. Either way, bad publicity doesn't make all that much difference to the effectiveness of Caprice when she's in a taxing remote.

Crisium is situational: it's useful on R&D in some match-ups, it's useful on HQ in others. I have never felt that Crisium prevented me getting a Scorch kill - by the time Crisium is relevant the Runner is generally well-protected against a kill and I've already dumped the Scorches in Archives to make way for something useful in HQ.

In general on Scorch, a kill is never going to be your goal: there are three cards out of 49 that are intended to enable a kill (1x SEA Source, 2x Scorch). They have the effect of (1) forcing the Runner to play more cautiously than they might like in the early game; (2) forcing the Runner to play counters to a kill strategy that the deck otherwise doesn't care about; and (3) if the runner doesn't do the above, occasionally just win a game outright through luck (and even if it only happens in 5% of games, that's an additional 5% you win and a reduction in variance). I honestly think anyone who doesn't consider running at least a basic kill option in almost any Weyland deck is being plain daft.

I don't really understand what you mean by "the deck has too many fetch priorities with Atlas and really requires you to over-advance it a few times to get value out of it" - scoring an Atlas in Titan gives you an agenda counter, and as I'm not going for a combo or a kill I just pull whatever I happen to need in the moment. Atlas increases consistency rather than enabling a combo, so really when playing I don't have any fetch priority at all other than whatever I'm missing at a given time, whether it's an agenda or Caprice or ice.

I sort of agree with you on the ice, in that it's definitely the area I would most want to play around with and improve, but I don't agree with many of your specific objections:

You're right that there's a lot of single-sub ice, but that's not a problem: focusing too much on beating Faust makes you less effective when you're not playing Faust, for only marginal gains, and in any event it's not just multiple subroutines that's good against Faust. Spiderweb, for instance, is pretty good against Faust or Lady, but pretty terrible (for its cost) against Corroder. Similarly, Mimic is everywhere, including in Faust (in case of Swordsman) and Caduceus isn't great once it's out. Given that you're also going to be picking up bad publicity, the fact that both its subroutines rely on relatively low-strength traces means the Runner can potentially drain you of credits by forcing you to boost a trace (Assassin has a similar problem, but the Runner is less willing to let the subs fire because the consequences can be so much more nasty). I used to run 2x Caduceus but dropped to one because 2 just didn't work with the deck.

Excalibur isn't terrible against Faust: on a scoring server with Caprice, it's a 2-card tax for 2 rez-cost. that, if unbroken, prevents the Runner from trying the scoring server again. That's pretty good in my book. Spiderweb, on the other hand, is 4 rez-cost for an additional tax of 1 card, can be broken by corroder (which is likely in any given Anarch deck as a backup breaker) and doesn't have the advantage of preventing your opponent from having another go at the scoring server after being kicked out with Caprice.

I'm not sure about Wormhole: as I mentioned in the deck write-up, I added it at the last minute because I wanted another Code Gate and figured I'd see how it was. It ended up being pretty decent: I never advanced it to reduce the rez cost because the deck generally runs rich enough to rez it cold, it taxes D4v1d counters that your opponent would much rather use on something else, and it can be a nasty surprise to opponents who assume Weyland won't be running any Code Gates bigger than Enigma. As I say, I'm still not sold on it, but it's definitely playable. A future iteration of the deck would try something else, I'm just not sure at the moment what else.

As for "out-moneying Noise of Whizzard" - it's pretty rare there's a reason you want to. The deck doesn't plan on killing, it plans on scoring out on Caprice, and if your primary breaker is Faust and you're hitting a Caprice, you likely only have one opportunity a turn to steal an agenda regardless of how much money you have.

Finally, "if you lose the psi game the game is over" isn't true (play another Caprice and try again!) but it could also be said of everything from Foodcoats to Glacier RP that score out using Caprice or Ash in a taxing scoring server.

17 Mar 2016 Chappers

@CJFM - I understand where you're coming from but I couldn't disagree with you more!

Runners these days are generally either (1) pretty rich or (2) running Faust. If they're rich they're almost always going to have credits for Caprice; if they're running Faust they'll always have credits for Caprice because they're not spending money on icebreakers. Either way, bad publicity doesn't make all that much difference to the effectiveness of Caprice when she's in a taxing remote.

Crisium is situational: it's useful on R&D in some match-ups, it's useful on HQ in others. I have never felt that Crisium prevented me getting a Scorch kill - by the time Crisium is relevant the Runner is generally well-protected against a kill and I've already dumped the Scorches in Archives to make way for something useful in HQ.

In general on Scorch, a kill is never going to be your goal: there are three cards out of 49 that are intended to enable a kill (1x SEA Source, 2x Scorch). They have the effect of (1) forcing the Runner to play more cautiously than they might like in the early game; (2) forcing the Runner to play counters to a kill strategy that the deck otherwise doesn't care about; and (3) if the runner doesn't do the above, occasionally just win a game outright through luck (and even if it only happens in 5% of games, that's an additional 5% you win and a reduction in variance). I honestly think anyone who doesn't consider running at least a basic kill option in almost any Weyland deck is being plain daft.

I don't really understand what you mean by "the deck has too many fetch priorities with Atlas and really requires you to over-advance it a few times to get value out of it" - scoring an Atlas in Titan gives you an agenda counter, and as I'm not going for a combo or a kill I just pull whatever I happen to need in the moment. Atlas increases consistency rather than enabling a combo, so really when playing I don't have any fetch priority at all other than whatever I'm missing at a given time, whether it's an agenda or Caprice or ice.

I sort of agree with you on the ice, in that it's definitely the area I would most want to play around with and improve, but I don't agree with many of your specific objections:

You're right that there's a lot of single-sub ice, but that's not a problem: focusing too much on beating Faust makes you less effective when you're not playing Faust, for only marginal gains, and in any event it's not just multiple subroutines that's good against Faust. Spiderweb, for instance, is pretty good against Faust or Lady, but pretty terrible (for its cost) against Corroder. Similarly, Mimic is everywhere, including in Faust (in case of Swordsman) and Caduceus isn't great once it's out. Given that you're also going to be picking up bad publicity, the fact that both its subroutines rely on relatively low-strength traces means the Runner can potentially drain you of credits by forcing you to boost a trace (Assassin has a similar problem, but the Runner is less willing to let the subs fire because the consequences can be so much more nasty). I used to run 2x Caduceus but dropped to one because 2 just didn't work with the deck.

Excalibur isn't terrible against Faust: on a scoring server with Caprice, it's a 2-card tax for 2 rez-cost. that, if unbroken, prevents the Runner from trying the scoring server again. That's pretty good in my book. Spiderweb, on the other hand, is 4 rez-cost for an additional tax of 1 card, can be broken by corroder (which is likely in any given Anarch deck as a backup breaker) and doesn't have the advantage of preventing your opponent from having another go at the scoring server after being kicked out with Caprice.

I'm not sure about Wormhole: as I mentioned in the deck write-up, I added it at the last minute because I wanted another Code Gate and figured I'd see how it was. It ended up being pretty decent: I never advanced it to reduce the rez cost because the deck generally runs rich enough to rez it cold, it taxes D4v1d counters that your opponent would much rather use on something else, and it can be a nasty surprise to opponents who assume Weyland won't be running any Code Gates bigger than Enigma. As I say, I'm still not sold on it, but it's definitely playable. A future iteration of the deck would try something else, I'm just not sure at the moment what else.

As for "out-moneying Noise of Whizzard" - it's pretty rare there's a reason you want to. The deck doesn't plan on killing, it plans on scoring out on Caprice, and if your primary breaker is Faust and you're hitting a Caprice, you likely only have one opportunity a turn to steal an agenda regardless of how much money you have.

Finally, "if you lose the psi game the game is over" isn't true (play another Caprice and try again!) but it could also be said of everything from Foodcoats to Glacier RP that score out using Caprice or Ash in a taxing scoring server.

17 Mar 2016 Chappers

@Killian - I'm glad you've enjoyed the deck! What was your ice suite? As I've mentioned it's the part of the deck I'm least sure about and I'm very much interested in alternative ideas :)

As I mentioned in my comment above, I'm with you with Wormhole to some extent. That said, I never bother advancing it and if I draw it before I'm rich I tend to just discard it and use something else. It can be useful as a surprise for an overconfident and undercautious Runner, and that's pretty much how I use it.

17 Mar 2016 Chappers

@zagzagal - I'm definitely excited to try Mumbad Construction Co in Titan, although I don't think this deck would be the right home for it. I need to give it some thought, but I'm really excited to work on native Weyland fast-advance and am planning on running such a deck at my next Business First-legal Store Championship (a week on Saturday). If it works I'll post the decklist!

17 Mar 2016 CJFM

@Chappers You have more experience with the deck than I do, so take all of this with the hopes that we can make the deck more consistent.

First, I'd like to ask you about some of the points you've presented, some of which are really weird to me.

1) You state the deck shouldn't plan on killing. If the deck doesn't plan on killing, then why run the Scorch package at all? I have managed to land it exactly zero times in testing this deck. Why are people who are not playing Scorch in Weyland (which would include Bblum, myself, and all those Bootcamp Glacier players) daft, again?

2) You write, "Excalibur isn't terrible against Faust: on a scoring server with Caprice, it's a 2-card tax for 2 rez-cost. that, if unbroken, prevents the Runner from trying the scoring server again. That's pretty good in my book. Spiderweb, on the other hand, is 4 rez-cost for an additional tax of 1 card, can be broken by corroder (which is likely in any given Anarch deck as a backup breaker) and doesn't have the advantage of preventing your opponent from having another go at the scoring server after being kicked out with Caprice."

Mostly you're just stating what things cost. Let's look at the real problem with Excalibur: Parasite/sucker. The reason Dan D'Argenio stopped playing Excalibur in RP, and the reason most of the community stopped playing it in RP (except for diehards), is because it's terrible against Anarch/Faust/Parasite/everything-but-Criminal. It's not worth the value, and you end up playing the Psi game anyway. Titan doesn't have Nisei Mk II to fall back on, either.

3) don't need to out-money the runner The reason you have to "out-money" the runner is to land your SEA Source so you can Scorch which, as I've mentioned in #1, is pretty damn hard. I've mostly used SEA Source to trash resources in this deck.

4) Fetch Priorities: This is where I think you have a great advantage, having made the deck, and knowing what to look for. Frequently, while piloting PBotDF, I was around 10 credits, or thereabouts and forced to rez one of my few ice + defend with Caprice or force getting Remote Locked by Caprice. My options were either: 1) atlas for ice, and fortify remote or fortify a central so I don't get medium dug, 2) atlas for money, 3) wait and see if I lose my caprice so I can find another one.

5) losing the psi game - the reason other decks, like RP and HB ETF can deal with losing a psi game is because of internal consistency: HB: better ice, Ash as a backup, tons of money flowing in, chance to hit with Beta Test, can recur cards with Vitruvius overadvancements. RP: Nisei Mk II, lower agenda density, better ice, able to play 3x Caprice with Batty backup. Is rich. I've not found that PBotDF was as rich as either of these other IDs, and has serious problems rezzing a lot of ice. That said, there's variance to consider.

Here's where I'd go with future revisions, take or leave what you want:

Corporate Sales Team (just came out!) - would easily replace Oaktown here, and will help smooth out your turns.

Excalibur becomes second Spiderweb, Wormhole becomes third Spiderweb.

Archer #2 becomes second Caduceus.

Snatch & Grab becomes either another piece of ICE or a third Mark Yale.

17 Mar 2016 Killian

@Chappers my version is here: netrunnerdb.com <3 Spiderweb