The Cult: Apocalypse Now - Wellington Regionals 2nd

Pilgrim 189

"The Horror! Horror has a face, and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared."

This is the runner build I took to my first Netrunner tournament, NZ Wellington regionals. Made it to 2nd place out of 12 players.

With my failed attempts at running Andy I decided to make a friend of the horror that is Apex and just have fun on tournament day. I decided to run a similar build to umbralAeronaut's The Cult of Apex. After reading the fantastic write up which also serves an instructional I felt ready to trial Apex at the local regionals.

So what can Apex do for you in a tournament, how do you even get through some ice? The key to apex I believe is to run simple, run often with the impending Apocalypse. With an upcoming Apocalypse a space rig is best, testing ice with Heartbeat installed for safety, Chop Bot 3000 for card draw and getting you Exclusive (Apex worshiping) Parties or Out of the Ashes into your heap. Trying to get an Apocalypse turn 3-4 is the aim however due to Apex's poor card draw this isn't always possible. It's surprising how much ICE Apex can get through, Overmind and Gingerbread are hardly needed.

Changes from the The Cult of Apex. No turning wheel, in testing I found it to slow for Apex, plus you don't have a lot of money so 2 credits is expensive for something you will flip face down. I replaced this with plus one Overmind and another Out of the Ashes, helpful for the Apocalypse. No Hades Shard cuz I don't own it and minus a employee strike for 2 e3 Feedbacks. Gingerbread wasn't that helpful on the day except to be consumed by Apex.

In the future perhaps I would take out gingerbread for employee strike or better card draw. Game losses seemed to come down in part to not getting the cards you want, also my opponents were pretty great! So here is my tournament stats for Apex.

Swiss 1: Loss to HB EtF. Close game, early apocalypse however the game was lost on running a NAPD with only 2 credits.

Swiss 2: Win to Gagarin asset spam, I believe I apocalypse twice, the easy way to trash all the assets.

Swiss 3: Win to Planta Foods, they had poor ICE draw making the apocalypse easy to pull off early. Also had some great agenda pulls from HQ.

Swiss 4: Loss to NBN NEH, It may or may not have made a difference that I didn't draw an apocalypse as they were all in the last 1/3rd of my deck (post game deck inspection).

My CtM deck didn't drop a game in swiss landing me in first equal position for the cut to top four. Two of my top cut game were Apex and from my leasons learnt in Swiss I was better able to pilot Apex.

Game 1: NBN NEH rematch, this game I managed to draw and use apocalypse while scoring agendas. This slowed them down a lot and giving me good opportunities to snag agendas. I was making a final run on HQ to follow up with a second Apocalypse when I scored the final winning agenda.

Game 2: Planta Foods net damage deck, the aim was to deck me I understand. It to a while to get apocalypse in hand, however I managed to snag an installed Future Perfect and house of knives during this time. Then when they were well built up, in the final moments of the game I use apocalypse to destroy 11 ice and two servers. The next round I used the alien mind of Apex to win a psi game to get Future perfect out of archives, taking two attempts.

It was a super tourney and Apex was definitely the MVP in the top cut, my CtM build hit hard times versus a Whizz deck which scored me my two knockouts. If you wanna run something similar I would recommend checking out The Cult of Apex.

21 Aug 2016 umbralAeronaut

I am glad to hear that this deck did work for you. You independently arrived at a few changes I would also make, such as additional OoA/e3 and cutting Gingerbreads.

Hail Apex!

21 Aug 2016 Pilgrim

Thanks @umbralAeronaut I definitely will consider trashing gingerbread as they did nothing for me, adding back in Employee strike would be useful and I noted you have been using Rigged results which seems worthy of trying.

21 Aug 2016 MrBrown

Would this deck benefit from Levy? Does it really work that well without multiaccess?

21 Aug 2016 Pilgrim

@MrBrown Levy isn't a terrible opinion, you could replace two gingerbread with a Levy and Employee Strike. However in all my games I found it wasn't needed. If you play a lot of Jinteki which aims to deck you it could be a good include.

Regarding multi access in my tests when I had The Turning Wheel it was to slow for Apex's endless goal of cosmic destruction. I would say R&D and HQ interface are too expensive with the impending Apocalypse in mind. The only multi access that I could conceive of being useful is The Markers Eye and Legwork if you can spare the influence. However Apex does win games without multi access and it works well. The reason is Apocalypse. First while you test ice for the impending Apocalypse it's not uncommon to find an agenda or two. The key here is run often with Apex. Then Apocalypse often and early. This gives the corp an inability to set up probably meaning agendas are flooded in HQ or even in archives. Im addition testing ice before installing Endless Hunger can lead the corp into a false sense of security and often at least one agenda is scored from a remote.

21 Aug 2016 umbralAeronaut

@MrBrown As I see it Levy has two problems in Apex. The first is simple utility; Apex cannot install Same Old Thing. Having to babysit Levy in your hand all game until your deck is drained is a serious hit to the usability of the card.

More importantly though, it is a 3 influence splash (higher than the influence spent on any other single card in The Cult of Apex) that simply doesn't contribute to the plan. Apex is hungry for card draw and deck filtering, cheap event economy with a low price of entry, bonus clicks for Apoc turns, and additional icebreaker/bypass options like e3... even at 25 influence we already need to make compromises to fit these necessities. These are all things that allow you to Apocalypse, and every time you successfully Apocalypse you naturally shorten the clock of the game. If you play your deck efficiently without wasting cards and land all three Apocalypses, I promise that you will not need Levy. Plan your deck for success, not failure.

As for Multi-access, this is a tough question to answer and i think Pilgrim has already explained the nuances quite well. Having those options can potentially win games you might otherwise have lost, but much much less often then you might think. Single-access on centrals against a devastated corporation is already very strong.

21 Aug 2016 MrBrown

Ok, thanks for answering!

22 Aug 2016 Plazmos

I can see the use of Chop Bot, but between Endless Hunger and Heartbeat, do you really have extra installed cards to spare for it? I wonder how often did you use it?

22 Aug 2016 Linger

@Pilgrim what you think about Rumor Mill in this deck?

22 Aug 2016 Pilgrim

``@Plazmos` I also thought Chop Bot 3000 was risky as you chew through cards so quickly with apex. I didn't run it when I first messed around with Apex a few months back. However in testing I have found it invaluable and would consider a third. It's use is twofold. First you need an easy way to get Exclusive Party and Out of the Ashes into your heap, chop it. Second card draw is terrible in Apex and Chop certainly helps. Remember like all your cards it won't be installed for long as you aim to apocalypse often.

@LingerJust read up on the card. Could be really helpful for accessing archives following an apocalypse. I recall one game vs Planta Foods I R&D accessed a Jackson in my planned Apocalypse turn without credits to spare so he was installed the next round making my archives run the next round fruitless. Perhaps -2 gingerbread, +1 employee strike and +1 chop bot for 46 cards ;,,;

23 Aug 2016 krh372

What do you think about Unscheduled Maintenance to slow down the corp after an Apocalypse?

24 Aug 2016 Pilgrim

@krh372i have not seen that card before. There is a fear that Apex cannot get through some ICE however in my experience with a bit of patience and work around there seems to be few ICE that permanently stop Apex.

In short seems like a useful card but it probably won't change Apex's game plan to much. I like currents however as they don't get trashed following an Apocalypse.

For and extra influence I believe Ddos may be better.

26 Aug 2016 HatsuneMiku

Never meet a HB using Apex biggest enemy Turing?

26 Aug 2016 Pilgrim

Fortunately, ``@HatsuneMiku, I haven't had the honour. After reading@umbralAeronaut` brilliant The Cult of Apex I'm not so concerned, if it's on a central use prey to sort it after clicking through. On a remote? apocalypse. It will be a slight tempo hit on a central however if on a remote there is no change to your game plan. Also rigged results seems like it could be a good addition to bypass pesky ice like Turning.

29 Aug 2016 KidChemo

I've been having good pretty good luck with this deck lately. Been a lot of fun and your decklist was the base of mine. Out of the Ashes is the real deal for this one. I've been using rumor mill as a two of over gingerbread and I like it but I was also considering employee strike, legwork or something else. The thing with rumor mill is you can sometimes surprise a player and get their archives.

29 Aug 2016 Pilgrim

I'm glad you have been enjoying it @KidChemo! I agree out of the ashes is very awesome. Rumour mill does look good and gingerbread feels useless. Perhaps -2 ginger bread +1 rumour mill +2 employee strike. 46 cards however... Haven't been able to play since the tourney but hopefully I can play this deck a few more times as it seems solid with good practice. It would be nice to get a apex card which improves his draw however.

30 Aug 2016 krh372

@Pilgrim DDoS definitely has synergy with Apocalypse. Have you tried a variation where you've been able to fit it in influence-wise?

31 Aug 2016 Pilgrim

@krh372unfortunatly I haven't had the chance yet but I can imagine it would be a good include perhaps for -2ginger bread +DDos and +employee strike. Then again Rigged Results might be a good alternative although not as powerful less influence intensive.

4 Oct 2016 emajame

How about cache vs dirty laundry

5 Oct 2016 Pilgrim

@emajame it would have to replace something with influence. Not sure what I would change ATM. Dirty Laundry is solid with Apex especially on apoc turns.