Zanmato - 11th at UK Nationals 2016

LeonardQuirm 893

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So this is the nonsense I took to UK Nationals this year. In 7 rounds of Swiss, it lost one, ID'd one and won 5 (all kills), taking me (along with my Geist deck) to 15th place and a place in the Top 16!

The finals didn't go so well, starting with a Runner loss, followed by a Runner timed win. When I finally got to play this again, it was against Dave Hoyland, with the nemesis of this form of deck: Keyhole. Which he saw turn 1 due to an Inject, along with a Retrieval Run and an I've Had Worse.

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He quickly took me out and my Nationals journey was over.

Anyway, the deck.

As you may have guessed, this is a kill deck! (Did the 22 Jinteki cards with the phrase "net damage" present tip you off?) But rather than the more commonly successful Jinteki kill styles of 1000 cuts or draw lock, this is all about the one shot kill.

The aim is to build up a board state where you can kill the runner on your turn the moment they make a mistake.

That mistake may be "running the wrong server". It may be "running at all". It may even be "not running".

Some specific card choices:

Agenda

Chronos Project - mostly here in case of Geist repeated free draws with multiple runs of Spy Cameras. Saw neither that deck (not counting mine!) or this card for scoring on the day.

False Lead - Critically important. Score one and you're 40% of the way to winning. Score two and you're 80% there.

(I don't know what happens if you score 3).

Improved Protein Source - I wanted to give myself more flexibility for scoring out against well-defended runners, and a 4-3 is great for that. Money doesn't really matter either since runner's don't need to spend cash on this deck. In practice, first time I saw it was when Dave Hoyland looked at it in disbelief in the top 16 game on his first Keyhole run.

Philotic Entanglement - an agenda you can fast advance, or Mushin/False Lead/score, for instant damage based on the fact I'm dripping 1-pointers everywhere? Sign me up.

Assets

Bio-Ethics Association is great for this deck. Most important though: do not rez them until the kill! They'll get trashed and you've gained nothing. They should fire once only (twice in some False Lead based edge cases). But once is all they need.

Psychic Field is great for runners aggressively attacking your remotes. Even better if you Mushin one. With a False Lead scored, it's often a win in itself.

Ronin - getting one of these on the table is the key for most kills. Ready at 4 counters is ideal, but 3 can do if you're not expecting to use the ID as well.

Snare! is for aggressive central runners and aggressive remote runners and is always the best card.

Operations

Biotic Labor - obviously lets you use the ID and another thing. Also, fast advance a key agenda, or get an extra click for another operation. Always important, and the reason I haven't made this a 54 card Museum deck: I don't want my Biotic Labors harder to find.

Cerebral Static - good to counter Employee Strike, and against Geist (or Exile!). I didn't play any Geist, or Employee Strikes.

Mushin No Shin - economy, speed, tricks - everything you could want!

Neural EMP - spare damage for a click, sure.

Salem's Hospitality - Why hello I've Had Worse. This is the only reason it's in here (and the the Marked Accounts are only really here to meet the Alliance requirement for this) but it won me a game on the day, so completely worth it. To be fair, if you have an idea what's in their hand you can use it for a replacement Neural EMP that works if they haven't run, and it may even be more effective if they've got multiple copies of the card. However, I try and avoid guesswork like that if I can avoid it.

Targeted Marketing - Useful against Siphon, fun against many other decks, bonus current, and makes up the Alliance requirement. Nice card, but I don't think I saw it all day.

ICE

Turns out occasionally you want ICE. After months of playing this, I'm happy that this is the right amount for this deck. Did almost all of its work face-down - in fact, I'm not wholly convinced I actually rezzed a piece of ICE during the day.

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So yes, this is a silly jank deck that I've been playing and adapting for far too long - and did surprisingly well with in a big competition. I can offer some tips on how to play it if anyone cares, but I'm not imagining that many people are going to pick this up and play it for themselves. There are some key obvious weaknesses (Keyhole most of all) and my placing was at least in part down to luck in my pairings. I'll be posting a detailed breakdown of my games at some point in the near future if that's what you're after.

Is it the new meta? Absolutely not. Am I glad I took it to Nationals, rather than the same old same old NBN decks?

Yup.

7 comments
16 Aug 2016 kollapse

I just love decks like this. Will take it for a spin next game night, thanks for posting it!

16 Aug 2016 kollapse

Regarding Marked Accounts: I could see this being Daily Business Show, helping with getting the kill cards and providing a "must trash" ( = must run).

16 Aug 2016 rotage

Congrats on doing so well with this deck

You totally won the mind games when we played in the last round of swiss, I convinced myself that the mushined card was the winning agenda so I had to run it, I hadn't factored on it being a psychic field...

18 Sep 2016 Skullbotrock

I always love seeing a fresh deck style, especially in tournaments. I played it several times and had much more success with a few changes.

  1. With how rich runners are with Blood Money cards I felt like Pad Campaign and Marked Accounts got trashed before they did anything. I replaced those with Medical Fundraiser and Shipment from SanSan. Since this deck doesn't run much ICE or trashable cards the downside from Fundraiser is mitigated. Shipment from SanSan provides the alliance requirement lost from dropping Marked Accounts while helping with economy.
  2. I pulled a Lotus Field and added a Komaniu and 2 Chrysalis for more dangerous ICE and bit more spike in R&D.
  3. Runners weren't running my remotes much so I felt fairly safe adding Chairman Hiro. He's been critical in getting them down to 3 cards for that final kill. But I think i need more games with him before i come to a final decision. Any other ideas for this slot?
  4. I added another Psychic Field to discourage running remotes. I'm now above 49 cards so i reluctantly took out 2 Hostile Infrastructures and a Cerebral Static. Hostile Infrastructure never did much in my games and it's absence reduced the drain on my economy.

If anyone has feedback or suggestions I'd love to hear them!

1 Chronos Project 3 False Lead 3 Fetal AI 1 Global Food Initiative ●​ 2 House of Knives 1 Improved Protein Source 1 Philotic Entanglement Asset (15) 2 Bio-Ethics Association 1 Chairman Hiro 3 Jackson Howard ●​●​●​ 3 Psychic Field 3 Ronin 3 Snare! ICE (5) 2 Chrysalis 1 Cortex Lock 2 Komainu Operation (17) 2 Biotic Labor ●​●​●​●​●​●​●​●​ 3 Hedge Fund 2 Medical Research Fundraiser 3 Mushin No Shin 2 Neural EMP 2 Salem's Hospitality ●​●​●​●​●​●​●​●​ 2 Shipment from SanSan ●​●​ 1 Targeted Marketing ●​

19 Sep 2016 LeonardQuirm

@SkullbotrockSome nice changes there. With the financial boost offered by Blood Money, PAD and Marked Accounts are definitely more liable to being trashed, so swapping those out is smart call. Medical Fundraiser is a good choice (same logic as including the Improved Protein Source) and SfSS is definitely an interesting idea! It's a very minor economy boost but it's not bad given it's money for something you want to be doing, works from broke, and something is needed for the NBN Alliance. Another Biotech doing the rounds at the moment is based around Jeeves, which would be a fantastic add as well and would make SfSS even better - the problem is that it's not as good as Biotic Labor (given the high money runners mentioned) and with the Biotic Labors you can't make alliance for both NBN and HB :( Still, may be worth looking at that other deck and working more on taking the best from both! (the other deck is Very Dead, Sir - netrunnerdb.com)

ICE-wise, I'd be nervous about having nothing that either ends the run, or even really causes a pause for a runner with a single sentry breaker. Lotus Field is pricy, but against a lot of breakers it's really quite good, and it's nice to have something that doesn't get eaten by Parasite.

Hiro's interesting and I'd have liked to include him - but the addition of more points for the runner to grab, especially when they will usually have the money to get them, concerns me. That said, yes - he's a great way to push a surprised runner into a lock.

I had three Psychic Fields for a long time but eventually found that felt just a little bit too much, since they tend to be a "well, either they make me win instantly or they do nothing" card. If you find a third helps (which it may do especially if you're running Hiro!) then it's certainly a good card.

I don't like removing the Hostile Infrastructure - it provides the only counterplay this deck has to Keyhole, and while it's still not great in those games (the runner will divert a click or two to deal with it then return to plan) it can be the only chance you have of slowing them down enough to stand a chance. It also works with the economy assets, but if you're dropping those it's less critical. That said, I'd be more inclined to keep the Hostiles and drop the third Psychic Field maybe one piece of ICE or the Hiro.

Glad you're having fun and finding some success!

24 Sep 2016 Skullbotrock

Are you the guy who was on Run Last Click talking about this deck?

24 Sep 2016 LeonardQuirm

Yes, that was me!