Pancha-Trasha - or How To Make Runs and Generate a Profit

LeonardQuirm 968

Who likes invalidating ICE subtypes?

Well, OK, Faust. But that's dull. Who likes invalidating ICE subtypes and making a profit as they do so?

No, the answer wasn't "Faust imported into Criminal". Who wants to do it in a full-on Shaper BS way? Panchatantra, that's who!

Along with Panchatantra, the key to this deck is Tech Trader - between them, they turn the disposable Shaper breakers (Sharpshooter, Deus X) from useful one-off safety switches to an entire breaker suite.

When playing, your priorities are to get the Tech Traders up as fast as possible. Diesel and Astrolabe obviously help here by acting as your draw, with I've Had Worse added in for additional draw that (a) isn't as expensive as Quality Time - since until you've got your Tech Traders up and running, this is a very poor deck - and (b) can act as safety against damage decks - since Plascrete is tiresomely irrelevant in too many games.

With these going, everything in this deck becomes a profit generating machine. Clone Chip nets between 1 and 3 credits, depending on the program you install. Self-modifying Code gives you a credit towards your program install. Technical Writers store up ridiculous sums as you install the above, and then as you use them to install the targets, and then give you additional credits each when you trigger them. Political Operative restores some/all of the credits you get from trashing the card. DaVinci pops down the surprise emergency requirement mid-run install, generating extra credits as it goes. Same Old Thing lets you replay your most critical events for a profit (why, yes, I will spend two clicks to draw three cards and take three credits!) And of course, your breakers just trash themselves to let you through anything for rarely more than their install cost, generating money each time.

So how does the deck fair? Pretty well! Set-up can be a bit slow but if you can get rolling, it's very hard for the corp to keep you out - for a certain number of runs. The difficulty, of course, is that you have a finite number of times you can break per turn, and a finite number of breaks per game, out of Sharpshooter and Deus X. Hence the Cyber-Cypher and Inti - the latter primarily for the purposes of dealing with Wraparound, Ice Wall, and ridiculous Netrunner rules about not being able to trigger effects if they can't target anything (having a 0 cost program available in your stack/heap is often helpful!) I used to have a Mimic, but I never actually wanted to install it and the only time I would (grudgingly) do so was for the few people still running Architect or Caduceus.

I've been fiddling with and tweaking this deck for a few weeks now and I'm pretty happy with the point it's reached. I think the DaVinci might be a bit too much of a pet card and should be replaced by a third SMC to help set-up times, and I have no idea how this would face up against a BioEthics lock - if you're concerned about that, swapping the Clot for an Archives Interface may be reasonable. That said, it already can get a little easily outpaced by Fastro-trains, so that's not necessarily a great plan.

Can it eventually run out of steam, and stop being able to get into servers? Yes, although with the number of breakers, amount of recursion and a Levy AR Lab Access for a second trip through the deck, you may be surprised just how long it can go (I've certainly never needed a second Levy). Great big glaciers could be an issue too, with only two uses of Panchatantra per turn, although generally for decks like that a lot of the ICE will already have an AP or Destroyer subtype, so you can get away with it. Judicious use of the non-temporary breakers may also be important.

You may ask why no Gingerbread or Sadyojata? After all, they're the two long-lasting breakers that can make use of Panchatantra. Well: they're expensive to use, and they don't make money back from using them. Without other economy in the deck, you need to be churning your breakers continuously (not to mention, using breakers that cost next to nothing to break).

Upcoming cards: Sports Hopper would fit in nicely, giving more Technical Writer and Tech Trader credits while also providing card draw. I've Had Worse could be replaced by that to free up some influence. I can't think of much else from Mumbad that will help this deck though.

Anyway, this is my favourite runner deck is some time. It's a lot of fun, provides some bona fide new Shaper BS, and changes the rules of the game in a way that's a much more fun puzzle for both me and the corp than Faust (IMO, at least!)

I'll leave you with a real-life example of a play I made with this deck a couple of weeks ago:

Three-ICE remote server: unknown-Chum-Bastion Corp has just installed-advanced-advanced into it.

I have already installed: SMC, Panchatantra, Cyber-Cypher (pointing at this remote), 2 Clone Chips, 3 Tech Traders, Technical Writer. The second Panchatantra in the deck has been removed from the game due to an early Chronos Project.

Run. Outermost ICE is rezzed: it's a Susanoo-No-Mikato.

Encounter, use Panchatantra to give Susanoo type AP. Fire SMC to install Deus X (spend 2, gain 3, spend 2: net -1, 1 install), trashing Panchatantra. Use Deus X to break Susanoo (gain 3: net 2, with 1 install).

Continue; ignore the Chum. Bastion will be 6 strength.

Clone Chip the Panchatantra (spend 2, gain 3: net 3, 2 installs). Give the Bastion type AP. Clone Chip the Deus X (gain 3, spend 3: net 3, 3 installs). Fire Deus X to break (gain 3: net 6, 3 installs). Access and nab the agenda - 6 credits richer than when I started, and with 3 additional credits waiting for me on Technical Writer!

Shaper4Life

9 comments
27 Apr 2016 FrontierPsycho

That's absolutely disgusting. Kudos to you!

27 Apr 2016 Snake Eyes

I like Crescentus in this style of deck too - derez their most expensive ICE with instant speed!

27 Apr 2016 RubbishyUsername

Some suggestions that I have: Scheherazade: It's Tech Trader #4 you can tutor for. The Maker's Eye over R&D Interface: Something else to target with SoT that lends itself better to Levy's and not having R&D lock.

Also, I'm super skeptical about those I've Had Worse. 4 is a lot of influence and Shaper draw is just better than Anarch draw. Consider this: Cred/Cred/QT requires you start on 1 credit, takes 3 clicks and gives you 5 cards. Draw/Draw/IHW is exactly the same cost in clicks, credits, and gives you the same reward, but uses up almost a third of your influence.

27 Apr 2016 Shiiuga

When sports hopper drops, perhaps you could use the influence for a comedy Scheherazade include to make even more money off all these installs.

27 Apr 2016 LeonardQuirm

Scheherezade and Crescentus are both great ideas!

Makers Eye over RDI...it's a good consideration, especially in a deck that doesn't make vast numbers of runs. However, I tend to find I already have plenty of uses for SOT, and with Kate and just a single Writer when I install RDI it's the same cost as a single Makers Eye run. I'd also prefer the permanence of their install when I Levy, since I then get back to my breakers faster. That said, still worth testing.

I've Had Worse is a new add and possibly unnecessary. But it's definitely better than QT for this deck: while your analysis is interesting, if you're low on creds then clicking for money twice and drawing 5 on your third click is going to leave you with to much in hand. I'd rather spend those two clicks drawing when I need them. Plus the damage issue, of course. Is the amount better worth 4 inf? Maybe not, but I'd been struggling to find anything definitely better to use it on (given that replacing these with QT would mean that 4 inf needs to replace other cards). That said, I did start this comment by saying 3 ing worth of programs would be great adds...

Thanks for the comments!

27 Apr 2016 ANRguybrush

I've been testing something similar today.

Recent addition has been two lucky finds. I iniatally ran two scrubbers to deal with asset spam, but having raw money is more useful. Plus, same old lucky find is pretty good with same old thing.

Crescentus could be good, but I prefer to use the MU, deckspace and influence for clot. I also run Utopia shard and sacrificial construct because I'm a dick and hate NBN.

28 Apr 2016 lmm

It's the Fastrobiotics matchup that worries me, as always. Can this go fast enough to be competitive there?

28 Apr 2016 JohnnyMilton

Yeah, this is cool! Nice work @LeonardQuirm A worthy contribution.

29 Apr 2016 Johnny Polite

@lmm I don't think the fastro matchup is terrible. Clot, three clone chips, and councilman are all solid for slowing them down. It had the same issue most shaper decks have against Fastro, but not worse than average for shaper, I don't think.