Stealing ain't that hard (Vienna Store Champs First Place)

PeekaySK 7782

So, this is the decklist I took first place with at the Damage Unlimited Store Championship in Vienna (2014/03/22). I went 4-0 with the deck there.

I built the whole deck with one goal in mind: I wanted to be able to shutdown rush decks, with a particular emphasis on TWIY rush. NBN is definitely the strongest faction right now, and corp decks in general have sped up quite a bit in the last couple of data packs, to the point where runners have trouble keeping up.

So, how do you stop a hardcore rush deck? After thinking about it for a while, I came to the conclusion that you need to, in no particular order:

  • pressure HQ with Siphons
  • pressure RnD with Indexing (and multi-access)
  • be able to get into remotes quickly and reliably

Now, obviously, Criminal can do all of this with a little outsourcing, but I don't like Criminal... and I've always been partial to a certain little girl we all know and love :) So, Shaper it is. Also, being Shaper means I get several important things I wouldn't get otherwise:

  • Magnum Opus for Closed Accounts recovery, meaning I can float tags mostly with impunity
  • Program tutoring and recursion, as well as two awesome one-shot breakers
  • Tinkering for guaranteed Siphons/Indexings and remote runs into a server with ICE that is 2 pieces deep, with just a SMC and some money
  • A modicum of cheap card draw
  • Levy so I can go all night long with the siphoning and indexing if needed

The way to play this is pretty straightforward - pressure whenever you can, however you can. Siphon a couple of times so they go overboard on HQ protection, then switch to RnD assault with Indexing and Interfaces. Don't sit on large stacks of money unless you're certain they don't have Closed Accounts and/or you actually need the cash reserve for something. Use Indexing either to set up multi-steal runs, or to move cards you really don't want them to have further down (in one game I actually delayed a Closed Accounts by about 15 draws, which got me enough time to get all set with breakers and MO, then I let my opponent have it since it didn't matter any more).

What to mulligan for:

  • The best hands include both a Siphon and an Indexing... that way, unless the corp double-ices on their first turn, they're in for a world of hurt either way. And even if they do, you can usually do the Siphon, force the rez, and then either push through the indexing, or make them spend all their money stopping you.
  • Failing that, you're looking for either Sure Gamble or Dirty Laundry - they're not a whole lot of burst econ in here, so getting some at start is important
  • Failing that, it's ok to keep a hand of decent cards and none of the above, as long as there's a Diesel involved. You'll play it and probably get at least some of the parts you need.

Some comments on card choices:

One copy of Toolbox

I really can't describe how good CT's +1 memory is. Basically, it lets you do all sorts of nasty Clone Chip -> SMC hijinx even after you have a full set of breakers out. Having that flexibility means I can delay playing a console until I can afford the tempo hit... and Toolbox is awesome in here. Saves a bunch of money, gets me 3 memory (because Zu.13 suddenly costs 0), actually negates some ICE (I'm looking at you, Caduceus) and makes double-punitive plays more expensive to pull off. In the lategame, you can actually afford to have a spare SMC lying around for Power Shutdown protection, which is just awesome.

One copy of Magnum Opus

A.k.a. the money laundering machine. Pay it with stolen money and print some fresh credits on demand. Pull out with SMC as needed when you have 7 credits you don't immediately need. It becomes an awesome safety net and gives you a ton of flexibility.

Femme as the only Killer

This is the part where I rave about how insanely good Sharpshooter is. What he does is let me delay playing the Femme until I actually have a bypass-worthy target. Also, breaking Archer for 2 is always fun.

One copy of Atman

This was the latest addition to the deck (the slot was originally a third SMC), but it definitely paid off. It got slotted, because I found that handling stacked copies of the same ICE repeatedly had the potential to become quite taxing (Eli, Archer and Viktor 2.0, I'm looking at you). A well-set Atman handles this problem nicely, and it also helps with handling Chimeras and Rototurrets.

Zu.13 instead of Gordian Blade, especially in a deck with Tinkering

This is something I've mulled over, but in the end Zu turned out to be the right choice. It's much cheaper to get into play and eventually takes up 0 MU. The stacked code gate thing can become a problem, but these days if you encounter stacked code gates, they're usually copies of the same piece of ICE, so that will get covered by Atman.

Deus X

Because dying to Snares is for losers. Also, breaks expensive ICE cheaply. One of the funniest moments of the tournament for me were when one of my opponents rezzed a Flare... at first I thought I'm boned, then I noticed that Flare is AP... Deus X, break, on we go :)

2 copies of RnD Interface, especially with so many other critical cards in the deck being one-ofs

I did try with one, but getting an Interface out is super-important for Indexing plays - you get a bit more leeway in how you order the opponent's cards and aren't totally reliant on guessing correctly whether he'll draw extra cards and how many. Once you get both out, you're pretty much set for RnD lock and don't have to run it every turn, leaving you free to do other things (like Siphons and the like).

Finally, what I'd change after playing in the tournament:

It felt like three Tinkerings were mostly overkill, I underestimated the amount of ICE-handling flexibility I built in here. I'll be dropping the third copy for a Chakana - it's a further way of pressuring RnD and stopping Fast Advance decks, so that's definitely worth it. God knows I have the memory for it :P

UPDATE AFTER TESTING: the Chakana is brutal in this deck, definitely include it in place of the third Tinkering!

36 comments
23 Mar 2014 spags

Loving Siphon in CT. Well done. Like your toolbox versatility.

23 Mar 2014 DeMarko

Not only do I love this deck but I also

23 Mar 2014 DeMarko

*I also love your explanation for the deck choices.

23 Mar 2014 secretsecret

The only bad thing about it is that you didn't call it 'Chaos Thievery' :-(

23 Mar 2014 Watzlav

Recently, I have started trying variety of decks from this site in pursuit of better understanding of the game and along the way I came to bitter conclusion; I like running Andromeda. I like recklessly running over and over. What a shameful treachery.

But I'll always be a shaper through and through so I think this deck could really suit me. I only tried one game yet, which I eventually lost to SE. Problem I had was that I was hesitant to install Femme, because there were only Pop-ups, Shadows and Dracos on board. Is this when you use Tinkering? I replaced it, having no clue what it's purpose was.

I think I've seen a very similar deck in action, getting decked and flatlined by Jinteki, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r373wsmgIg4

23 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

@spags, DeMarko: Thanks!

The only bad thing about it is that you didn't call it 'Chaos Thievery' :-(

Damn that's a great pun! Why didn't I think of that? sadface The deck name actually comes me watching some games on youtube and thinking about why criminals are so good against rush decks. I remember coming to the conclusion that the 15-credit swing from stealing the corp's money is a big part of it, and thinking "Stealing ain't that hard, little girls can do that just as well". This deck came partially out of that initial thought, so the name was a fit in my mind.

I like recklessly running over and over. What a shameful treachery.

Shaper is much better for this, I feel. You get a whole lot of outs for when you run into dangerous stuff.

Problem I had was that I was hesitant to install Femme, because there were only Pop-ups, Shadows and Dracos on board. Is this when you use Tinkering? I replaced it, having no clue what it's purpose was.

First of all, the Tinkerings. They're there to make sure you get into a 2-deep server with just an SMC. If you don't Tinker the second ICE, you might end up not getting in (unless one of the pieces is a sentry and you pull out a Femme). This can be pretty game-deciding on a critical Indexing or Siphon run.

Another purpose is to delay the Femme install, yes. This is especially true for situations where RnD is guarded by a Rototurret that you either bounced off of initially, or broke through with Sharpshooter. If you have a Tinkering, you can get through with any breaker and don't have to have 11 credits ready for the Femme.

In the situation you're describing, however, I'd definitely pull out the Femme. You don't have to save the bypass for something truly nasty at the expense of losing tempo - just pick a Pop-up you'll be running through a lot (like, one on RnD) and bypass that. Worst case scenario is, you can always overwrite the Femme with an SMC or something, send it to the trash pile, then either Clone it, or Levy and SMC it to bypass whatever new ugliness showed up.

In computer programming terms, you want to be playing this deck with a greedy algorithm. Don't worry about the future, use the best solution right now. You've got enough flexibility to solve whatever shows up later :)

25 Mar 2014 spags

Seeing this thread, decided to rename my Siphon recursion CT deck: CaT Burglar

25 Mar 2014 Nushura

I think it is the first deck I see with Atmans and no Datasucker. No influence for it I guess?

25 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

I think it is the first deck I see with Atmans and no Datasucker. No influence for it I guess?

Dude, read the deck description ;) I pretty clearly said what the Atman is for - Datasucker isn't necessary for what I'm doing with it.

25 Mar 2014 Nushura

Maybe my comment was not well understood. I am not saying that Atman is not viable without DS, or that you should make space for it. Indeed, your atman is good against that particular pesky ice...but with the help of a DS you could even do a bit more, right? And this card is also good even if you don't get atman on table (say, to save money for corroder).

So my comment was NOT "noob, you forgot this key card in the deck!". My question was more of the form "Hei, why did you not squeeze a single DS in the deck? Because you are missing influence? Assuming you had spare influence ...would you add it? or put something else instead?"

26 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

My question was more of the form "Hei, why did you not squeeze a single DS in the deck? Because you are missing influence? Assuming you had spare influence ...would you add it? or put something else instead?"

Fair enough, why didn't you say so the first time around? :P

OK, a short essay on "Why I chose not to go the Datasucker route".

There are three kinds of opportunity cost at work when considering the Sucker inclusion here: influence, card slots and memory.

1) Influence:

This is the most immediately apparent one - squeezing in a Sucker means doing one of the following:

  • dropping a Siphon
    • This would be bad, because you have to build for 2 Siphons and recursion just as much as you have to for 3 Siphons and recursion, only it's 33% less reliable now)
  • dropping the Femme
    • Which would see me running either Pipeline as sentry breaker, or be reduced to one of the AIs. Add the loss of Tollbooth bypass to it and the fact that Femme is the breaker that benefits most from counters in my rig, and this becomes a non-option
  • Downgrading Corroder to a Snowball
    • At first look, this doesn't seem like a totally terrible option, because presumably Snowball has the potential to become somewhat awesome once the barriers start piling up... but the problem is the +3 credit cost on the first time in the game that you need to break something. Suddenly, you can't run just with SMC and 6 credits, because if it happens to be a Wall of Static, now you're 3 credits short. This could very well be the difference in connecting an early Siphon or Indexing, which is critical. Andromeda this ain't - I don't have enough burst econ to farm up to 10 before I start doing anything, and there's no way in hell I can fit in any more than I already have. So basically, the Snowball would delay the start of my assault by at least a turn or two. Sure, I'd get two suckers out of the deal (assuming I could find the slots), but is the added lategame efficiency worth the loss of early-game power? For this deck, I'm going to maintain that it isn't.

2) Card Slots

Assuming you had a 16th influence point, what would you drop to make space for a Datasucker? The only reasonable choices would be Tinkering (meh, two is the minimum I'd go with), RnD interface (which would effectively force you to run RnD often, possibly running into serious problems with a "very taxing ICE there" kind of situation) or the Chakana. Now, the Chakana seems like the best swap, as that simultaneously handles the memory issue I'll cover later, but when you compare the impact of Chakana and Datasucker on the game, I think it's a rather obvious choice. Sucker just saves me money, Chakana basically shuts down fast advance tricks. Both have the potential to force virus purges, Chakana's a bit better in that regard.

3) Memory

This is sort of tricky to explain if you haven't really played this deck, so bear with me.

To see why the Sucker would be a problem with how the deck flows and wants to play, you need to pretend that you only have 3 memory to play with. The reason for that is you want to have the option to Clone a SMC in order to pull out specific programs on demand. Usually you need to do this once, maybe twice, and after that you can afford to fill up that memory... but those two times are very important (the most frequent case would be Sharpshooting an Ichi so you don't lose your stuff). Datasucker needs to have accumulated a bunch of tokens to be worth it, which means playing it early. That basically means you couldn't play Magnum Opus and still have that recursion/tutoring sorcery available to you... which could be deadly in either an NBN matchup or anyone running taxing ICE and Closed Accounts (HB, Jinteki with Shadows, Weyland... you pick).

Once you're into the lategame and have Toolbox, you'd be fine... but again, the question becomes, is the lategame benefit worth the lost early game advantage? Again, I think in this deck the answer is "nope".

That's my rationale for not including, maybe I'm missing something though (so I'm hoping for some feedback here :P)

26 Mar 2014 Larro

I really like this deck, but the only thing I'm having trouble understanding is why not a 3rd SMC? It looks like an extremely vital cog in the attack.

26 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

why not a 3rd SMC?

Because you often don't need a specific breaker, you just need a breaker. You're event-driven, so you want to be drawing quite a bit. Also, SMC is a dead card after the Levy, and the second/third SMC is often dead on the first pass already, especially if you draw the Clone Chips.

Also, deck space (and no, going up to 41 isn't an option). CT in general doesn't need 3 SMCs in my experience, 2 is plenty - either one of them shows up, or the card you would normally SMC for shows up.

Originally I also thought the third SMC would be super-important, but the truth is, in testing I ended up discarding the second/third copy a lot. That led me to cut it when I was looking for space for the Atman, and in the tournament it definitely proved to be the right choice.

26 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

Oh, and - in testing I've played quite a few games where I ended up not drawing my SMCs at all (back when I was running three of them), and it didn't have nearly the negative impact I thought it would. That was a huge tipoff that the third one could be safely cut.

26 Mar 2014 vevicus

How would you begin crafting a corp deck to counter early aggression runners like this one or a criminal like Andy or Gabe? These sort of decks have always given me a headache.

26 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

How would you begin crafting a corp deck to counter early aggression runners like this one or a criminal like Andy or Gabe?

Start by being either Jinteki or Weyland. Add Snares and lots of ICE that punishes facechecking. Add Closed Accounts and a delivery method for tags (Data Ravens work great for Jinteki, SEA Source for Weyland). Snares are a must.

After that, there's lots of choices to be made :)

27 Mar 2014 jeremylarner

I really like the deck. I get the impression you play it a little differently from me though... How often do you find yourself SMCing for Opus? In roughly what proportion of your games do you actually play the LALA?

I found myself wanting more draw, and with several cards I wanted to cut. After a couple of iterations, I'm now at:

-1 Tinkering -1 Clone Chip -1 Plascrete -1 Same Old Thing +3 Quality Time +1 SMC

27 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

How often do you find yourself SMCing for Opus?

Basically, whenever I have 7+ credits, am tagged, and am reasonably certain I won't need more than {current_credits - 7 + 2*3) credits to shut down the Corp's next play. It's actually a similar tempo hit to getting your accounts closed, but it's happening on your terms, and basically lessens the impact of future CA plays by your opponent. If I can count your opponent's influence, and am like 150% certain they're not running CA, I'll consider not playing Opus at all... but frankly, this is a competitive deck and I'm playing it in a competitive environment, so I usually see a lot of CA.

In roughly what proportion of your games do you actually play the LALA?

Whenever I've played at least 2 Siphons, at least 2 Indexings, used at least 2 SOTs, am content with what I have set up (read: crap I want out of my deck for the second pass is out, crap I want in my deck for the second pass is in), and haven't won already. Sometimes it's a "draw back up to 5 quickly" kind of deal, especially against Weyland (but that's less often).

Not going to tell you an exact proportion, because a lot of games actually end too fast with a(n) (un)lucky Indexing, which would lead you to believe the Levy isn't as critical, but believe me, it is.

-1 Tinkering -1 Clone Chip -1 Plascrete -1 Same Old Thing +3 Quality Time +1 SMC

Hm. I'll admit, I wouldn't be comfortable playing this version - it seems to me like you aren't being aggressive enough. Here's why:

  • You basically traded a super-important 3rd copy (Clone Chip) for a 3rd copy of something that's important to get the first one of, but the third and subsequent ones are mostly dead draws. CC can be a SMC, but not the other way around. CC is useful once your stuff is set up, SMC isn't. After the Levy reset, SMC is totally dead.
  • By removing both a Plascrete and a Clone Chip, you just made Weyland a pretty bad matchup for yourself. You totally can't start siphoning before you see the first carapace, and you actually want to have two on the board. If they're running Punitives, two won't even be enough and sometimes you just need to have all three out. The Clone Chip will be sorely missed once you start running into Grims stacked with Archers, AggSecs, Shutdowns and the like.
  • The removed SOT means you have less consistency and flexibility. SOT can be both a Siphon and an Indexing, as needed. Also, it makes Levy super-resilient to getting nuked when doing the Jinteki matchup.
  • The Quality Times are slow for what you want to do. You usually don't want to sit on a large bank, which means you'll probably have trouble paying for both the QT and the cards you just overdrew.

One question - dropping the Tinkering left you at one or two copies? (i.e. are you doing the Chakana version or not?) One Tinkering is definitely too... "1-of", for lack of a better term :P

And if you have two after the change, it means you need to quickly go and fit a Chakana in, like I said in my original description - that thing is just plain amazing in here.

29 Mar 2014 travisrchance

Hi, first of all thanks for sharing. I saw this a few days ago, looked, thought it was interesting, then considered putting it together. Having done so, I can say I think there are a few issues--though I have only played a handful of games.

1.) QUANTITY OF BREAKERS: I understand SMC and Clone Chips role in this, but, since you literally have a single copy for each breaker, if you have one in hand, you basically HAVE to play it on a key run--unless you shore up with a Tinkering first. This is esp. problematic in the instance of needing Femme, when it is in hand. With events like Siphon and Indexing, you basically are forced to play said breakers for fear you with be stopped first.

Furthermore, having only a single copy AND only 2 SMC, if you do not hit one of these, you are in trouble. This is what I encountered routinely on openers: too many events, not enough programs. While I understand that SMC becomes useless as the game goes on, I think the same is true of other cards in the game. You may not use Carapace at all, but yet there are 3--when in truth you may only need to find one. You have to hit a SMC to make your early pressure matter on the majority of hands, unless you are just playing someone that is not particularly good-which you would prob beat anyway.

TYPES OF PROGRAMS: I see a few oddities here.

1.) Opus is a profoundly powerful card, much moreso than Sure Gamble. I understand that you lose some early momentum (like turns 1-2, at worst), but you gain THE best stable econ card in the game. Relying on breakers like Femme, I cannot see how Opus doesn't play a larger role in this deck. I can see not wanting multiples for dead draws later, but no passive turn in this game is as scary as 'take 8, go' for the corp to hear. So, in essence, I am saying, Opus could become your econ, freeing up slots. While I love Dirty Laundry, it feels a bit presumptuous in a deck with 6 other 'run' events, which is basically more than it has in ways to fulfill runs--breakers. I understand that Siphon functions as econ, but you have to get through to land the Siphon--Opus makes this possible better than running on archives with Laundry, or having to tick up to 5 credits with Gamble.

2.) Sharpshooter and Deus Ex are amazing tools. My issue here is you have almost as many edge case programs as practical ones. If you count Tinkering, you have 11 run dependent actions, with only 3 practical breakers (one of which is hella expensive to use). To me, this is like if you drafted a deck in Magic that had more enchantments to bolster your creatures than you had creatures.

Breakers make runs possible, not run events like the ones in this deck--at least not directly. So, in my opinion, the numbers here are a bit reversed. This is further exacerbated by the fact that the cards like Sharpshooter and Deus will not be readily available for reuse with Clone Chip if you have to use them to tutor out your suite with SMC (paying 2x on each program, no less).

3.) Femme and Atman. I can see the need to reset these as the game evolves, yet it seems there is little to no way to do this once you establish your suite, short of trashing during an install, using a Clone Chip, etc. Did you try Test Run, which makes your Femme an Inside Job? Scavenge? Seems like even a single copy would be a powerful tool as the corp adapts to breakers like these.

OTHER CARD QUANTITIES: I do not feel like 3 Indexing is correct at all. Yes, it is best early, but, the truth is the value of this card has diminished due to the popularity of Jackson. Any smart corp player that plays Jackson, will let you connect with Indexing, then make that investment the same as a blind run at the top of the deck. I have had many, many people disagree with me about this, and I have used Jackson to change their minds on each occasion. So you are aiming to beat NBN, but you are playing into a card you most certainly will see. I understand that Jackson has to be out, but, let's be honest, those odds are high.

So my issue here is you are playing 3 of a card that is best early, which is dead on, but that diminishes in value as the game goes on. This doubt is reinforced by the aforementioned lack of breaker quantity, meaning if you Diesel into one, you basically have to play it just in case. To this end, I see Indexing as a 2-of, since SOT is essentially additional copies where needed. I most certainly don't think this is AS powerful as RDI in the longhaul, which can mitigate accuracy by way of volume, and for less of an action investment.

Next, 3x Carapace. I don't think this is right at all. A good majority of competitive decks play 2, and do not have the draw power, the reshuffle, and the reduced deck size. Perhaps your meta is heavy SE, but this just seems like in the matches where Carapace matters, one and a full hand will keep you alive.

Again, thanks for sharing. I just see these are real issues with the deck. As the guy who built and piloted Exile to a big win during Plugged In, I understanding how and why decks like this are powerful. Exile is essentially ALL tutors. Anyway, hope this helps! I appreciate people sharing their thoughts and ideas in a forum like this.

30 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

Thanks for the analysis! My turn :P First, a general comment – after reading over the entirety of your points, I have a gut feeling you’re trying to play the deck differently than I am, which could easily lead to problems with some of its traits. Let's dive right in!

since you literally have a single copy for each breaker, if you have one in hand, you basically HAVE to play it on a key run--unless you shore up with a Tinkering first. This is esp. problematic in the instance of needing Femme, when it is in hand. With events like Siphon and Indexing, you basically are forced to play said breakers for fear you with be stopped first.

First of all - when I play this, I don’t mind having an Indexing or Siphon fail, if it comes at a relevant enough cost to the corp(***). That’s why there are three of each, and three SOTs, and a Levy. But more on that later.

Now, „needing Femme“. At this point in time, the game includes exactly one piece of ICE where I’d say it needs to be Femmed – that would be Tollbooth (simply because of how huge a difference there is between breaking and bypassing it, credit-wise. The only other thing that comes even close is Grim, but that’s more a result of Femme being my killer than anything else.

The „breaker in hand“ problem: the only ICE where I’d this consider a problem would be a Katana/Tsurugi (as if she connects, you’ll lose a lot of breakers right there) when I have all of Deus X, Femme and Atman in hand. If you have those three, just play the Deus and run. Another possible problem is Archer or other Destroyers with both Femme and Sharpshooter in hand, but then I just play the Sharpie for 1 and run.

Anything else I’m usually fine with bouncing off of, eating the effects if I fail (especially since I’ll presumably be stopped before spending too much on the run, we’re talking mostly early-game situations here). I’d rather bounce off of a Wall of Static, then play the Corroder and run than play it and have Wall of Static be an unknown factor that I’ll have to play around (hey, whaddya know, it could be an Archer).

In general, there’s at least least 2 breakers in the deck for every piece of ICE (Atman and the dedicated one), with 3 breakers for the ones that actually do something relevant (Destroyers and AP). Having all of them in hand and not wanting to play out one is not an actual thing that happens in games. Part of the reason why I’m playing Zu is his cost, just drop him when you have him, he gets through stuff and can be used to Tinker.

Furthermore, having only a single copy AND only 2 SMC, if you do not hit one of these, you are in trouble. This is what I encountered routinely on openers: too many events, not enough programs.

This is why knowing what to mulligan is important here. If you have too many events and no programs, use the events as FAO – that’s why there’s so many of them, with so much recursion. The intel will come in handy later, and it’s a form of pressure all by itself. A first turn of blind Siphon into ICE with no SMC followed by a blind Indexing into ICE is totally fine – if you rez two pieces of ICE (both of which actually stop me), I don’t mind losing those two events. Katana is about the only thing that’s scary in this situation, really. Even if you be smart and only rez the RnD ICE on the follow-up run after Indexing, I still got to see 10% of your deck, which is great news for me (and I could very easily see something you didn’t want me to see).

Also, you don’t need SMC for runs to connect... you need either it, or any breaker and a Tinkering. Add three Diesels to the list that will probably get you places, and suddenly we’re talking like 11 cards out of a 40-card deck.

You may not use Carapace at all, but yet there are 3--when in truth you may only need to find one.

I always use the Carapace. The only case when I wouldn’t use it is seeing 12 influence before the first Siphon comes through... and that’s a very rare situation, to say the least. Also, going tag-me means that you’ll eventually want 2 out, otherwise ending a turn at You have to hit a SMC to make your early pressure matter on the majority of hands, unless you are just playing someone that is not particularly good-which you would prob beat anyway.

I feel like this is just straight up untrue, but if you’d be interested, I’m all for exploring the validity of the claim. I’ll drop you my e-mail address on BGG, maybe we can arrange some OCTGN-powered testing?

Opus is a profoundly powerful card, much moreso than Sure Gamble. I understand that you lose some early momentum (like turns 1-2, at worst), but you gain THE best stable econ card in the game.

You lose a lot more than „some early momentum“. Two things in particular:

  • You’re much more vulnerable to both AggSec and Destroyers
  • You can’t do Clone-SMC hijinx so well

So – stable econ yes, but it needs to come at a point in the game where those two become less important. That’s why there’s only one – I don’t want to play it until after I’ve either drawn it, or can luxury-tutor for it anyway.

While I love Dirty Laundry, it feels a bit presumptuous in a deck with 6 other 'run' events, which is basically more than it has in ways to fulfill runs--breakers.

Dirty Laundry is Sure Gamble #4-6, to make more hands viable. It’s as simple as that. It’s rather rare that you don’t want to run on turn one, and if that is the case, it’s usually because you have something else you‘ prefer to do in hand.

Sharpshooter and Deus Ex are amazing tools. My issue here is you have almost as many edge case programs as practical ones. If you count Tinkering, you have 11 run dependent actions, with only 3 practical breakers (one of which is hella expensive to use). To me, this is like if you drafted a deck in Magic that had more enchantments to bolster your creatures than you had creatures.

This feels completely off, as far as analogies go. First of all, the run-dependent actions would be instants that wanted creatures to be on the table, not enchantments. Second of all, we both know that not all runs in Netrunner require icebreakers to actually succeed.

To be honest, if I could run a non-Femme sentry breaker as a primary that is in-faction and doesn’t suck balls, I would. But there isn’t one (Atman comes closest), so that’s how it is.

This is further exacerbated by the fact that the cards like Sharpshooter and Deus will not be readily available for reuse with Clone Chip if you have to use them to tutor out your suite with SMC (paying 2x on each program, no less).

Think of what cards you’ll be drawing. You’ll either be drawing the programs, the tutors or the flexible solutions. You can’t really seriously argue „but I’ll draw all my events before I draw any of the other stuff!“. I guess that could conceivably happen in 1% of the games or something, but even then – sitting on a hand of 3 Siphons isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

You don’t need to re-use the Sharpshooter / Deus X immediately, and by the time you do, you’ll have some of the other pieces you need. It’s very rare that spamming Sharpie/Deus is the best available solution to the problem. The closest this comes to being an actual problem is a program-trash focused Jinteki build with Archers, Grims and Power Shutdowns – but even then I found it to not be as big of a deal, if you are familiar with decks like that, know what they can do and run smart.

Did you try Test Run, which makes your Femme an Inside Job? Scavenge? Seems like even a single copy would be a powerful tool as the corp adapts to breakers like these.

Yes, I tried both.Test Run is outright bad, it’s too slow and conditional for what is needed here. Scavenge worked better, and if I knew what to cut, I’d fit in one copy, but all the cards that are currently in here are more important than it, I feel. After all, it’d be there exclusively for the Femme, scavenging an Atman saves me all of 3 credits... woo hoo.

I do not feel like 3 Indexing is correct at all. Yes, it is best early, but, the truth is the value of this card has diminished due to the popularity of Jackson. Any smart corp player that plays Jackson, will let you connect with Indexing, then make that investment the same as a blind run at the top of the deck.

Dude, you could not be more wrong in this whole section :D

First of all, Indexing is just brutal, and is the single most painful card for me to see as corp in all but the most edge of cases, even more so than Escher and Siphon. I need three, because I want to have it early, have it often, and not have to mind „wasting“ a copy to make people rez ICE when they’d rather not.

Jackson is a decent counter to one Indexing, but not to 6+ Indexings. You literally can’t Jackson more than three times per game, and that’s if you draw all three of them and don’t need to actually use them for other stuff. Is the Jackson rezzed? Run him first. Is he unrezzed? Cool, I saved an action checking him (and possibly breaking some ICE in the process) still got to see 5 cards of your deck and you possibly recurred some stuff you didn’t need all that much. Next turn, we can do the Same Old Indexing and see how it goes for ya. If I happen to have an Interface out, the deal just got way worse for you, too.

Also, how the hell does Indexing diminish in value late-game? That’s just a straight up wrong claim, I feel. You get to see what the corp will draw in the next 2 turns minimum (presumably 3 turns, unless they give you a time walk of sorts) a can re-order that in the most inopportune manner possible. There is a counter-play to every possibly Indexing setup, but you don’t know what it is – you don’t know what the 5 cards coming up are, I do. This, incidentally, is why RnD interface is so important in this deck,combined with Indexing it’s the way to handle super-taxing RnD setups – don’t put the agenda on top, put it deep down, give yourself time, and then grab it. Being able to delay a Closed Accounts nigh-infinitely, for instance, is just icing on the cake.

To summarise: Siphon loses corp games, but Indexing wins runner games.

I most certainly don't think this is AS powerful as RDI in the longhaul, which can mitigate accuracy by way of volume, and for less of an action investment.

Indexing and RDI have wonderful synergy, so it’s obvious you want both. They scale differently though. One RDI is better than one Indexing, that’s mostly obvious. But once you start adding multiples, more Indexings are better than more Interfaces – don’t forget just how hard Indexing butchers Shock, Snare, Fetal, TGTBT and NAPD Contract... all of which are played cards that can cramp your style very badly on an unfortunate access. RDI actually increases that threat, while Indexing decreases it.

Next, 3x Carapace. I don't think this is right at all. A good majority of competitive decks play 2, and do not have the draw power, the reshuffle, and the reduced deck size. Perhaps your meta is heavy SE, but this just seems like in the matches where Carapace matters, one and a full hand will keep you alive.

It’s funny how you gave the reason why I think 3 Carapace is needed in the same sentence you’re criticizing the decision :D Here’s my thought process:

Let’s assume I don’t feel like dying to double-Scorch (or Archived + Scorch). That means I need to make sure one of two things is happening at all times in the game, after I start piling up the tags:

  • I have one Carapace and 4+ cards at the end of my turn
  • The corp has 4 or less credits (3 or less now that Subliminal Messaging exists)

Please note that in certain matchups, most notably a Scorching NBN build and any kind of Weyland, scenario #2 needs to sound „0 credits“, because of Beanstalks, Sweeps Week and the like. Scenario #2 in general is a pretty unsustainable long-term plan these days, given the strength of corporate economies and how fast they can recover.

So that leaves „Carapace and 4+ cards“. For a run event-based deck, that’s a problem though.

If you don’t run John Masanori, it means you can’t play 2 cards in a turn and still do a run, unless you started the turn with 5 cards in hand and one of those cards was a run event. Surely you can see how that could be an issue in a deck that runs Tinkering, often wants turns of „Siphon, Indexing, follow-up run, {something else}, go“ or similar?

Seriously, I’m just not in the business of dying to variants of Martin Presley’s deck or random Scorches, that’s why the 3-of Carapace is a must. Also, splasing Scorches is viable for nearly all corp factions these days (this will literally become "all corps" once Cerebral Casts come out), so losing a game simply on the assumption they don’t have it is just inexcusably stupid in my opinion.

I need to make an Exile version of this deck, adding two Masanoris, two Scavenges and the third SMC – both John and Exile’s ability would allow better counter-play around this problem, though I suspect memory would become an issue.

Anyway, hope this helps! I appreciate people sharing their thoughts and ideas in a forum like this.

I love getting a good discussion going (as you can probably infer from the length of my posts :P). I’d love it if you could look at things from my perspective, think about what I’ve written here, and give me some feedback.

30 Mar 2014 travisrchance

Well, I just spent an hour replying to this, hit submit, and then it said 'you must be logged in to post comments' When I logged in, my reply was entirely gone... Wow. That sucks. I literally, line by line, replied.

30 Mar 2014 travisrchance

I wish I had the heart to go through this again in the original detail, but, alas--it is far too involved of an endeavor. Also, I wasn't a fan or your escalating downtalk as the thread progressed--esp after you closed so politely, and also reached out to me on BGG asking to test on OCTGN.

SUMMARY:

I am no slouch when it comes to this game. I have made day 2 of every big event here in the US except last Worlds (which I missed by less than 5 slots). I won an event with over 80 people, losing a single game out of 8. I placed 4th the next day at a diff Plugged In Tour, losing 3 games. I only say this so you know I am not some noob with no notion of how this game works.

I feel you are speaking in absolutes, when you are not being a tad sarcastic. A lot of your theorycrafting seems to be based on the corp either playing poorly, wrong, or not really at all. Sure, you can blank of run events (which is not aggression btw, it is inefficiency when it doesn't work), but why? It is still lost momentum in the instances in which it fails, and actually worse as you are losing cards AND actions. SoT doesn't balance this, it just means you spent 4 actions to do something you could have done the first time (when it doesn't work).

You went on about playstyle, but then are timid in the cases where Carapace is involved. As the dude who plays Exile, I have lost, no joke, two games to Scorch in well over 100. The first time the fella just had me tagged up, and scorch x2, which I lived through, and then used Jackson to reshuffle and, no joke, drew into two more on his next turn and repeated for the kill--I pretty much lose here no matter. The second time I ate a Snare on my 4th click of turn 1, not realizing he played Snare--this was a buddy, and he always plays the same deck, but switched things up. Scorch next turn, I died. My point is you are talking playstyle, but stating, once again in a vacuum, why you play this way, which happens to be the reverse of the rest of your seeming strategy about tempo, momentum, and playing some of the better events in the game as FOA, which is a pretty subpar card.

Breakers are a must in this game 9/10. You do not need 6 Indexing to win. You need 1, maybe 2. Why not play your game to that end instead of facechecking your best cards? Indexing isn't getting you into remotes when needed. Your statements seem to presume that game state will ALWAYS be the same, when in truth, two-three ice deep on their deck and you could be spending upwards of 20 credits to make the two runs with Indexing. You seem to always be winning, have somehow found your way to your three general breakers, or SMC (in some combination with Chip) in the right volume with the right econ to keep the train coming.

You won a 4 round event with this. Perhaps you have won an event with 1,000, I don't know. Maybe your meta is terrible, maybe not. Maybe you have won 500 games on OCTGN. I don't know. But what I do know is game theory, the law of averages, and how to play complex decks with variable decisions, and I think this deck has a single issue at its heart: proportion. It gets very off draws, and can have an issue drawing out of them at times. To give you an example, I just shuffled up and drew the following 4 hands (believe me or not):

SoT, SoT, Plascrete, Laundry, Indexing (def a mull)

Levy, Plascrete, Siphon, Sharpshooter, Opus (I will have to draw out of this, as this is my mull hand)

Siphon, Siphon, Gamble, Deus X, Diesel (I have to draw to get action here, not terrible)

Corroder, Indexing, RDI, SMC, Chakana (very, very slow)

This is what I experienced most games. I prayed for a Diesel so I could draw through to ways to find my programs reliably, which in turn makes me believe that access to programs only BOOSTS the volume of run events. It's like you have 1 full tank of gas with no car to put it in some of the time.

You have, with SoT, nearly twice as many run events as you do wants to accomplish runs, which should be reversed, or, at least, more even. No intelligent corp player will see CT and decide to not protect their hand and deck on turn 1, if possible. I would wager 80% of the first turns you see are ice, ice, econ. Even if you break their bank, you are gonna have to work to get through these ice with this limited suite.

In truth, I am not interested in your reply. I don't want to be called 'dude' or told 'it's funny how...' or that I am 'flat out wrong.' You were all buddy with me on BGG, but here you seem to be a bit defensive or showboating. I took the time to build, play, and comment on your deck. I spoke about just your deck, yet you seem to stray over into the realm of getting personal. I wanted you to point out a flaw in my opinion, but, objectively, I do not feel you accomplished this, esp. with the manner in which you spoke at me toward the end--you lost me at 'Dude.' You are saying you want a dialogue here, but it more seems you want accolades. I get it: you don;t like me saying the deck could be better when you feel it is peak.

Bottomline, I did not find your arguments compelling. I think this has the underpinnings of a great deck, but the proportions are wrong.

30 Mar 2014 Murphydave

Thanks Peekay - between this and Cerebral giraffes I won 6 out of 8 games at the tournament today - and to be honest the 2 loses were more due to my stupidity rather than flaws in the deck (playing against Noise and forgetting to use Jackson - duh!). Really great decks - thanks for the help!!

30 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

@travisrchance: Surprised at the tone of your reply a bit - wasn't my intention to offend you, sorry.

@Murphydave Glad you like it!

30 Mar 2014 travisrchance

I was careful to point out what was offensive: I don't think that this is a case of misinterpretation on my end.

1.) It’s funny how you gave the reason why I think 3 Carapace is needed in the same sentence you’re criticizing the decision :D Here’s my thought process (You're pointing out what you perceive is an inconsistency, but in a condescending manner--smile or not).

2.) You told me I was 'flat out wrong,' not exactly the most friendly way to make your point--one again, a hint of condescension.

3.) You literally shot down each and every point I made--in some instances in direct defiance to what I felt were sound points. I wanted to contribute to the conversation, not enter a virtual pissing contest. I guess it just more of the same to shift responsibility back to me and make it my issue rather than a response to you.

Lastly, I had your deck with me today, played some pickup games, and, no joke, the issues I mentioned were abundant in 2 of the 3 games I played. Very random draws, specificity working against game flow instead of with it, etc. I even tried your 'facecheck on your best events' strategy, and, in the end, I was discarding an amazing card to little or no effect 9/10. I did manage to pull of an Indexing for a 3 pointer, but at the price of a failed Siphon. This made me just more convinced that playing an actual suite of breakers is just better--then I could be capable of accomplishing both a little more consistently, rather than this or that.

Anyway, congrats on your win. I played in a Store Champs today, 19 ppl, and took down the prize with updated Exile and HB drain bramage. I considered playing a variant of your CT, but decided to go with what I knew.

30 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

Boy, I seem to step into everything there is, here. Again, sorry. The "surprised at the tone" bit wasn't me trying to shift responsibility:

I come home to find that a world-class player took the time to check out my deck (yes, I do know who you are - I might not be fortunate enough to live on the continent where the big events take place, but I still follow the competitive scene vigorously). Cool! I read through, reply, am pretty psyched. Don't mean anything negative, not in for a pissing match, none of the above. Some things in your stuff don't make sense to me (like, if Jackson negates Indexing, why not play as many Indexings as possible, since Jackson cannot possibly trigger more than thrice?), so I'm curious about your reply. Then I see it, and... well, a bucket of cold water is probably the best way to describe it.

Anyway, I'll try to be as tone-neutral as I can:

Extrapolating from your two posts, I created a version like you described (I think - sent you the changes on BGG, verification or correction would be great there) and tested it a bit today. Results so far:

It felt a bit more consistent, but at the same time definitely slower. Relying on an early Opus means it probably also needs a second Toolbox, in order to work around memory issues. I tested a version with one Scavenge, but it didn't feel good to me - I always ended up drawing it early, when it didn't help at all (no Femme out yet). Drawing multiples of Opus before much else was a common issue, as was getting multiple SOTs without having a good event to recur with them. The SOT problem I ran into before, the Opus one was new - before, they were Laundries and so were useful even in multiples.

Maybe I needed to rush a Femme out more, especially since that version had two of them and the Scavenge... the main problem I encountered was that getting up to Femme money meant either mulling for Sure Gamble (even if the hand was perfectly reasonable otherwise), or getting out Opus and farming for 2 turns straight. If I go the Test Run + Scavenge route, it's definitely a different deck at that point. Playing with 2 Carapaces also felt pretty risky, not once did it show up in time for the really opportune Siphon windows, and if any of my opponents were packing Scorch, I'd be most probably toast.

The thing that worries me with this version is that even though I didn't play against tier 1 corps (neither decks nor players, I feel), I was still too slow on my feet to stop a score occasionally. If it were NBN, the Astro train would probably have started rolling... and I probably couldn't have stopped it in time, from the board position I had.

The setup time seems to be increased too much now, how do I speed it back up a little?

30 Mar 2014 travisrchance

I appreciate you replying. I suppose I noticed the condescension a little more as your direct BGG message was so much more polite and humble, whereas here it was 'wrong, wrong, wrong, dude, wrong.' In the end, you may just know how to make this work. I feel the same way about Exile. I have literally replied to like 50+ messages from people saying they can't make it work, yet, for me, I have been winning with this for 6+ months at this point.

In terms of speed, I guess I am not understanding how you are powering through with no breakers in the early game--I am being sincere here. Are your opponents just leaving open their hand or deck, and you have the right run event? In 5 rounds today, a single opponent of mine did not open with ice, ice, econ. I would wager that, against a relatively experienced player, this would happen on their first 8/10 times. With so many corp decks playing cheaper ice these days--some of which are admittedly porous--this to me seems very inefficient.

Quick aside, in ALL of my time in Netrunner I have had a Siphon fail exactly once--and I played Gabe for eons, as well as jumped on the Reina train. I can tell you that:

1.) it felt terrible in this single instance, like I basically lost an action and one of my cards

2.) it illuminated the importance of timing in this game

To that end, I am pretty wholly against your suggested strategy of just blind running into what will often be a wall with Indexing/Siphon. A buddy of mine put it like this:

Breakers get you in. Cards like Indexing and Siphon do awesome things once you're in.

This is my entire platform: you have more cards that do things once in than cards that let you in. AND, more importantly, the breakers will be relevant throughout the game on average. The same cannot be said of events once ice starts hitting the table, esp. if the corp is experienced/savvy.

As far as my comment on Jackson, you have to suss these out/get them off the table. Like mentioned before, I think SO much of this game is understanding ebb and flow, when to strike and when to regroup. To say one of THE most played and versatile cards, one that played a very large role in making Noise understandably less played than prior, is not an issue for Indexing is to defy not only common sense, but, once more, the law of averages.

Today, I was Indexed, and, guess what: I forfeited a False Lead and blanked the runner. They spent their card, 8 credits, and it garnered them nothing. Sure, I went down 1 point, but, once again, I sat very unimpressed with the card in question. (I do think it is very powerful, don't get me wrong, but it is a slippery slope).

I found your description of how Indexing was playing for you a tad suspicious upon looking at your lean breaker selection and primarily burst econ. IF you Indexed me, and you didn't win, I would make it damn hard for you to pull it off again. It's like when Kat-man was popular, I beat that deck all day, all the time. It's as simple as layering remotes (including Archives) and a timely purge. Boom, runs stop being equitable--of course you can't be too far behind, but I honestly did not lose to Kat-man at Nationals OR Plugged In once (Andy was more of a pain then).

In terms of altering your deck based on my comments, I think the real issue is just increasing your breaker suite so you are playing at least 2 for sentries and barriers. Runners almost ALWAYS need Corroder, so why waste a search on this when you could just draw one? As far as redundant programs, we live in the age of Grim, Shutdown, and of course Archer. Yes, you have Chip, but my issue prior was that you seemed to be relying on SMC, search, Chip it back, search. This is expensive, kinda slow, and isn't giving you the full range of Chip. Let's be honest, this is not a game, like Magic, where you will play every card you draw. To that end, it's fine to hit a redundant breaker, esp. when it boils down to things you most certainly will encounter.

I would think, with a more stable breaker situation, you can pull off Siphon, which in turn helps you accomplish Indexing, which in turn will help you win. Going back to my original point: you can throw 6 Indexing at them and hope to win. OR, you can play stable breakers, ensure you get through, and win in a far more action efficient manner that ALSO gives you reliable and stable pressure for ALL game states. Opus allows you to free up deck space to accommodate more breakers, as well as the econ pressure to push through ice to make these events hit. I know a good many people take issue with Opus, but I swear by it. I lost a single game with Exile today, and at 6 points, and Opus was the linchpin to all of those wins. I had a game against Replicating Perfection where I had to systematically eliminate econ cards like Sundew and PAD, which was slow, but very possible thanks to Opus. This grind whittled down the corp's ability to protect their hand and deck. It was slow, but sometimes slow is what it takes to win the game. You can't always just pour petrol on your head, light a match, and run full sprint. This is a finesse game.

Perhaps Scavenge and Test Run aren't right, though Femme with Test run is filthy. It's basically Inside Job, right? It's another ambush tool up your sleeve (I stole a couple turn 1 and 2 agendas today with Test Run+Femme). This could be too slow perhaps.

I don't know if this makes much sense. I hope it helps. No hard feelings regarding the prior exchange, I just wanted to point it out.

31 Mar 2014 jeremylarner

So I played a slightly modified version of this in our Store Championship this weekend, and it performed really well. A friend played a very similar deck also (I don't know where he got his decklist from, but it seemed very close to this list). He came first in the Swiss, and I won the tournament. Some thoughts after playing it in a competitive environment:

Indexing is absolutely brutal, and won me almost all my games. It's definitely a 3-of for me.

The deck puts an incredible amount of pressure on centrals in the early game. I felt like I was putting the corp under more pressure than I would with Gabe, but with the knowledge that I had a Shaper late game to look forward to also.

I didn't play Toolbox or Levy all day. I'm not sure if it's just because I won all my games too early, and in the games I lost neither would really have helped (Toolbox seemed particularly culpable here, it clogged my hand up a lot).

Tinkering as a 2-of worked very well. It let me get in and pressured my opponent without clogging my hand.

I went to 3 SMC, and I don't think I would ever go back to 2. It's such a great draw early game, and I'm always super happy to see it.

The deck still seems very reliant on MO for economy. I like having a single copy to reduce dead draws, but I also found myself always planning around having it out. Other ways of getting it (maybe Test Run + Scavenge?) might be useful.

Consistently the biggest problem I had was lack of breakers, and my best games were those where I could play Corroder or Keymaster early. I'm not sure how you remedy it, but it does feel like you need either another breaker or more tutors.

Overall though, I really enjoyed playing the deck, and it performed very well in the tournament. Thanks for sharing!

31 Mar 2014 PeekaySK

@travisrchance: glad we put the mess (that I created :P) behind us! Lot of good stuff here that needs further discussion/analysis, will do that tonight after I've mulled it all over.

@jeremylarner: Thanks, and thanks! Here's some questions for you that would help me with further development:

Tinkering as a 2-of worked very well. It let me get in and pressured my opponent without clogging my hand.

If you'll remember, can you describe the situations where you played Tinkering and it was good? If they were Test Runs, would they have helped same/similarly? Were there situations where Tinkering was dead, but Test Run would have

I went to 3 SMC, and I don't think I would ever go back to 2.

Did you go to 41 cards for it? If not, what did you drop to fit it in?

Consistently the biggest problem I had was lack of breakers, and my best games were those where I could play Corroder or Keymaster early. I'm not sure how you remedy it, but it does feel like you need either another breaker or more tutors.

If that happens, I usually handle it with a combination of judicious mulligan and drawing up. Either I'll draw some of the pieces I need to make stuff happen, or I'll be drawing and setting up to sustain the assault later (this is the case where it'll play more big rig Shaper than aggro criminal, really).

More breakers is what I'm currently exploring, but the main problem is that I don't like dropping the third Siphon, and Snowball is just plain horrible for what I'm trying to do here.

If I were a real man, I'd possibly go down to 2 Siphons and change the anti-barrier part of the rig into an Inti, a Morningstar and two more Femmes. If Elis, Hives and super-taxing HB setups keep popping up everywhere, I might end up actually doing it.

31 Mar 2014 jeremylarner

Tinkering was used to hit with Indexing/Siphon (several times), and to get into double iced remotes in combination with SMC (only once that I remember). Test Run Femme would have done as well, but have been 3 credits more expensive (might also have caused memory issues, I don't remember whether I had MU or not). Test Run for something else might have worked, but more than half the time I was Tinkering blindly. On the other hand, one of the games I lost to tinkering the wrong piece of ice (I was pretty sure one of them was an Archer, but I picked the wrong one), and Test Run Sharpshooter would have got me out of that. A couple of times I was in the situation where I had no breakers but had tinkering, clearly Test Run is better there.

I think I posted the changes I ran from your deck above: -1 Plascrete -1 Same Old Thing -1 Clone Chip -1 Tinkering +3 Quality Time +1 SMC. I don't play Chakara.

I found that mulliganing well is really important with this deck. A bad starting hand can set you back massively (and a good one can put you in an extremely strong position). The game where I got stuck above was against Weyland, where I'd kept a mediocre starting hand because it had a Plascrete. That was a mistake.

I think the breaker problem is tricky to solve. I don't think you can do it without dropping a siphon (unless Test Runs solve it, I need to try that), and I'm really loathe to do that as it's a huge part of your early game power.

1 Apr 2014 PeekaySK

@travisrchance: After testing a variant with pretty much all the changes you suggested:

  • I definitely liked drawing the breakers more often, and the dead duplicates weren't such a big deal
  • I didn't like the reduced number of run events (this version had 2 of Indexing like you suggested, and I had to drop one Siphon to fit the second Corroder), it made early SOT much more of a dead draw (because I took longer to hit the first copy of both my primary events) - if I were to go down to 2 Indexing and 2 Siphon, I'd definitely recommend going down to 2 SOT as well
  • The 3 copies of Opus actually felt superfluous - drawing multiples early was a serious issue, and I felt like having Test Run + Scavenge in those slots would have achieved a similar play feel with better benefits. I'd go with just one Opus and two of each Test Run and Scavenge, to achieve the desired effect
  • I took out the Dirty Laundries, and they were definitely missed. Without them I was left in a position where I often couldn't properly utilize SMC, because I was too short on burst econ (often having to do MO with some farming before I could run properly). I'd definitely keep them in, they do help speed up the deck a bit and are useful even when drawn later

The experiment was definitely interesting - with the changes the deck played more like a traditional Shaper, to the point of even having to let people score their first agenda sometimes (which made me sad). I'm now experimenting with a version much closer to my original list - main changes include Test Runs instead of Tinkerings, and using Shaper fracters (I'm trying both Inti and Snowball) in duplicate in order to free up influence for a Femme and a Mimic. Unfortunately, that version is like 43 cards, which I'm sorta loathe to keep... but I don't know what to drop yet, for that I'll have to test a lot more.

Mostly though, my experiences were very close to Jeremy's - it does feel like dropping both the third Indexing and the third Siphon is giving up too much early pressure. But... why does Snowball have to cost 4 to install? :(

1 Apr 2014 evilgaz

As Jeremy suspects I saw this deck here and had my own mods to it. Its plays very "just in time" for me - in that I often felt I didn't have what I needed, but some hardcore draws (and often a lot of discards) more often than not got me the right card just in time.

I agree that MO is key. There's little economy here and so you need to get that out quick. I clone chipped for it more than once when it'd been banjoed by program destruction.

I played the third SMC too. If nothing else its a threat having them on the table and no real loss to ditch if the memory is needed, or just use for Corroder or Zu to make room for other programs fairly cheaply.

I've tried going down to two Account Siphons and it made me really frowny face - didn't work out at all.

I'm thinking of adding in a Torch as someone playing Tollbooths and Vipers can be a pain in the bum. I'm almost tempted by a Dagger or Pipeline, because there's plenty of Chimera, Rototurret and Fenris about, but a second Atman might well be the better option there... I just have this perverse joy at the idea of playing Pipeline in a deck!

Weyland seem really sparse on the tournament circuit in the UK compared to other factions, so I'm down to two plascretes too.

Not sure about Toolbox. Only had it out once or twice and it wasn't a massive help. I think I'd rather have the Torch, which should play well with Scavenge, Test Run and Femme.

I want to stay at 3 Clone Chips because I love them and I'm not a fan of Quality Time because I have trouble keeping hold of cash - although that does mean I spend some games drawing like a Mother Hubbard.

Chakra was no use to me in the tourney. Typically people ICE'd up R&D as the game progressed and multiple access were very expensive.

Overall a great deck concept. I'll probably try it again this weekend and report back on how I go.

2 Apr 2014 PeekaySK

@evilgaz: Thanks for the feedback!

Chakra was no use to me in the tourney. Typically people ICE'd up R&D as the game progressed and multiple access were very expensive.

From my experience, the difference with Chakana here over other deck where I've played them is that here, I just kinda want to play it out and then just forget about it - it's not worth it to go bankrupt trying to get it online, for instance. I just let it sit there and collect tokens at its own leisurely pace. Then, after a while, it becomes this huge problem for the corp, all on its own. If it takes 4-5 turns to make three runs on RnD, so be it.

Not having it out isn't gamebreaking, but having it out means the space of viable plays is bigger for me and smaller for the opponent. That to me is definitely worth a slot and 2 credits.

I will do dedicated testing against TWIY rush and a very Biotic-focus HB without it and see whether it could conceivably be cut, however.

2 Apr 2014 PeekaySK

Not sure about Toolbox. Only had it out once or twice and it wasn't a massive help. I think I'd rather have the Torch, which should play well with Scavenge, Test Run and Femme.

I'm positive if you have Torch instead of Toolbox, you'll run into memory issues. Remember, that's 3 MU we're talking about here, realistically. You will lose the ability to Deus/Sharpshooter once your full rig is out, and you will necessarily have to drop the Chakana.

2 Apr 2014 evilgaz

Hey PeekakSK - I hear what you're saying on the memory. I didn't really need Deus X - although I liked having it in the deck. Typically I found that Sharpshooter worked earlier, but later game Femme did a good job (either fuelled by Magnum, Bad Pub, or targeting an Archer).

By adding in some Test Run and Scavenge I've got the ability to switch programs about in emergencies - I guess I'll see how it plays out.

I'm tempted by a second Atman. Useful for Chimeras, but also a Str 5 Atman is 8 credits, which is what it costs for Zu to break Tollbooth (with tax).

I've not played any TWIY rush and that's been doing really well recently, so I'm a bit concerned about how that'll play out.