Vanilla Smoke - GNK Winner 10/5/16 - Comic Cellar - Memphis,

DarkMite2 328

Vanilla  Smoke

This ID / deck is stupidly efficient and pretty basic to assemble. 85% of the card pool took me less than 5 minutes to put together. This ID is going to change the Meta, especially as the rest of this cycle's packs come out and this ID gets even more ways to set-up and make runs for free.

This deck only had one loss on the day, but that was due to a dumb mistake on my game play and not the deck.

The deck play is so uncomplicated, a.k.a – “vanilla”, that even a new player should be able to scoop up these cards and effectively win games. There are no tricky combos or hard decisions – just make some early s / set up a rig / hammer R&D. If R&D becomes too difficult to get into, which is rare, the Corp will have dedicated so much ICE there that busting into a Remote or HQ is cake.

With Ele "Smoke" Scovak: Cynosure of the Net being a natural Stealth herself, 33% of your rig is pretty much set before you even start the game.

In case you haven't played with Net Mercur yet, IMHO, it is a completely broken card in this meta. Never use it for the card draw, just keep stacking s to be used for Stealth.

Card choices that make you go, “hmmm….”

2x Lucky Find and 1x Kati Jones – After a lot of Jnet testing, I found early game and late game econ would get very tight and would decide games. These burst economy cards fixed that issue.

2x Patron – In most testing games, I was drawing at least once or more per turn. This makes card draw a bit more efficient, especially with a well-timed Temüjin Contract. I tried Professional Contacts, but the 5 cost is too steep for me. Symmetrical Visage is fine, but a second card was usually far more valuable than 1. People, also, begin to ICE remotes against Patron thus diluting the ICE for R&D.

1x of each breaker – I had two of each in an earlier build. That worked fine and even gave me a comfort zone for program trashing, but I had to make cuts to fit in some of the cards mentioned previously.

2x Self-modifying Code instead of 3x – With a 40 card deck, I haven’t had many games where I was scrambling to find my breakers so a third was mostly useless when it was drawn in middle / late game. I generally just used these for early tutoring or to grab Clot to stop Fast Advance.

No AI Breaker – I would love to have an Atman and keep this deck to 40 cards, but I don’t see how. A couple of Mythic ICE held me off for a few turns until I either started slamming another server or forced a duplicate Mythic ICE to be rezzed.

No HQ Multi-Access – I tried both HQ Interface and The Turning Wheel in early versions. HQ Interface was a drain on my cred pool and The Turning Wheel only helped me once in testing. When your rig is set even a glacier remote won’t stop you so Corps tend to get HQ flooded. When you aren’t seeing Agendas in big R&D runs, pop over to HQ and on most single accesses you’ll probably find one.

Questions / Comments?

8 Nov 2016 whirrun

Have you considered Gauntlet over Mirror at all for HQ pressure?

8 Nov 2016 dawspawn

I tried something similar when this came out. Having both Lucky Find and Temujin is a huge benefit. You can play around tags, but this deck will get even better with Misdirection for in-faction tag avoidance.

8 Nov 2016 DarkMite2

@whirrun- Mirror is pretty much irreplaceable. To be able to make what is basically a "free" second or third run on R&D with this console combined with Net Mercur is insane. First, The Gauntlet costs 2 more and hard credits vs. stealth credits are sometimes going to be tight while setting-up your rig. You want to preserve those hard credits for breaking subs and use stealth creds to pump breakers. Second, like I mentioned, forcing Corps to over ICE R&D four + deep is your HQ pressure. You should be able to walk into any remote they establish leaving HQ flooded. They can’t shuffle Agendas back in R&D because you are usually seeing 2 – 3 cards there per run. Finally, You’d have to drop two influence to fit in The Gauntlet and the only way I see that happening is by losing Clot which I’d prefer not to do. being able to prevent FA scores while you are putting your rig together in more valuable.

@dawspawn - Yeah... I want to try out Encore as well, but not sue what I'd take out to keep it at 40 cards. I tried using Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker and Hayley Kaplan: Universal Scholar with Rebirth so I could add in more cards and not be slow setting up, but it just wasn't consistent.

9 Nov 2016 ShinMuteki

@DarkMite2 Love your deck! Was building an Ele Smoke deck but I got stuck little with the 40 cards limit. I am wondering if a Levy AR Access would not help you here, being able to bring back lots of good cards. Let's say a Levy against a Dirty Laundry or even include an Escher could be very good.

9 Nov 2016 DarkMite2

@ShinMutekiThanks! I really appreciate hearing that. I will try out an Levy AR Lab Access to see how it works. However, I’m not sure if my style of running would favor it. I say that because, to me, an Levy AR Lab Access is not a 1x card. You have to add Same Old Thing if you are going to play it, again IMHO.

If your opening hand or turn 3 hand contains Levy AR Lab Access and you don’t have a way to recurring then you are clogging up your hand for most of the game. Also, if you get damaged you can lose it and that’s a waste of a 1x card slot. On the other side, if it comes out late game, then you can really gain a advantage with all those burst economy events and Temüjin Contracts.

In my experience, by the time I’ve drawn out the deck I’m sitting on 5 – 6 points and just trying to snipe that last agenda. However, if you want to add one, the card(s) I would cut would be 1x Ghost Runner and/or 1x Cloak. I find that Ghost Runner tend to sit on the table as emergency “back-up” stealth and I rarely put out all three Cloaks. I’m not a fan of Escher, ever, but I’d consider an Indexing.

10 Nov 2016 ShinMuteki

@DarkMite2I'll try your deck tonight and see out it rolls and then I'll try a couple mods and see hoe they fair. But your deck is impressive for sure.

12 Nov 2016 Myriad

Has Ghost Runner been worth the slots with Net Mercur?

13 Nov 2016 DarkMite2

@MyriadI have found that you need at least 2x Ghost Runner in the deck. I did recently cut mine down - 1x and added a second Plascrete Carapace. Ghost Runner is another way to start quickly running as you set up your rig and helps when the game goes really long and you are busting through glaciers.

13 Nov 2016 onibaku06

I like it a lot.

Why Switchblade over Dagger though?

14 Nov 2016 DarkMite2

@onibaku06 - I use Switchblade because it is the most efficient Killer in this deck. With Ele "Smoke" Scovak: Cynosure of the Net and Net Mercur you don’t have to waste influence getting Silencer or other dedicated Killer stealth . For two stealth Switchblade rips through every Sentry, except Janus 1.0 and Orion. For those two ICE it only takes one more stealth . Examples – Dagger takes two stealth and 3 – 4 hard to break Archer. For Ichi 1.0 it takes one stealth and 2 - 3 hard to break and so forth. =)

17 Nov 2016 DarkMite2

@ShinMuteki- Sorry for the late reply. I've been busy getting ready for a Store Championship. I did test out Levy AR Lab Access and found, for me, it did exactly what I thought - clog up my hand. I almost used it once for to recur a trashed program, but decided to pressure a different server that I knew I could bust into, instead, and won that way. So, I'm pretty happy with the list as is. I consistently win with this list.. I hope you have been having success as well.

17 Nov 2016 DarkMite2

@ShinMuteki- Sorry for the late reply. I've been busy getting ready for a Store Championship. I did test out Levy AR Lab Access and found, for me, it did exactly what I thought - clog up my hand. I almost used it once to recur a trashed program, but instead decided to pressure a different server that I knew I could bust into and won that way. So, I'm pretty happy with the list as is. I consistently win with this list. I hope you have been having success as well.

17 Nov 2016 DarkMite2

If anyone is interested.. I have switched out 1x Cloak for 1x Plascrete Carapace, as my FLGS Meta is super BOOM! heavy right now and having Plascrete Carapace come out even faster has saved my skin a couple times! =P

18 Nov 2016 ShinMuteki

@DarkMite2I really like the deck. Won two games with it and lost one. The lost was a mistake on my part I made. I did switch one R&D for a Film Critic, did help me win one game. Still think it's one really good deck!

19 Nov 2016 onibaku06

I got to play it more this week, and I'm thinking of the following changes. Would you care to give me your thoughts on it:

-1 Clone Chip, -1 Blackstone; +1 Paper Clip, +1 SMC

-3 Dirty Laundry, +3 Modded


19 Nov 2016 DarkMite2

@onibaku06- @onibaku06 - First, let me say everyone’s Running style is different. Whenever I take a deck off NRDB I generally tweak it a bit to suit my style. I can see why you’ve made those changes and here are my thoughts.

Modded vs. Dirty Laundry – While Modded will help you set up, it can be a dead card while you wait for something to use it on or even useless late game if you are set. Dirty Laundry is always good.

No Clone Chip – Your Clot threat is basically gone and if either Refractor or Switchblade get trashed you’ve probably lost the game.

Blackstone vs. Paperclip – The difference here is deck design, running style and influence. For barriers of three strength or less the costs to break are usually identical. There are 33 barriers in the A:NR card pool that are three strength or less. Nine of them are, IMO, the most “commonly played” barriers for each Corp. For barriers four strength or more there are a total of 12 and only a few of these see play. On encounter with any of these larger ICE with Paper Wall you do pay less on that encounter, but with Blackstone you get to keep the strength for the remainder of the run.

I think this card choice is totally valid if you are ok with shifting your influence. It’s not my preference as I want to keep Clone Chip for the reasons I previously listed. I face a lot of Fast Advance online and in person games. Also, having that recursion “cushion” makes face checking ICE easier too.

My thoughts on only 2x Self-modifying Code are listed in the original description.

I’m really glad this deck has gotten some play. Thanks for the feedback and please feel free to look me up for online play.

11 Mar 2017 Seraphim515

I tried a variant of this at PAX East, and the 1x clone chip just wasn't enough for me - perhaps I was just running too aggressively at the start. Sapper ended up sniping one of my breakers more than once, since it's really tough to have enough stealth creds to break through a sentry or two and still have enough to break Sapper when you hit it on an R&D multi-access.

Asset spam was also really prevalent, so I think I'd likely replace Mirror with astrolabe both to get a faster start and to have a way to keep up.

Patron seems good in theory, but the 3 cred cost to install usually meant that by the time I would reap benefits card-wise I would be too far behind on cash

Any thoughts on Peace in Our Time? The stealth breakers are great at enabling you to get past beefy ice, so the extra corp advantage from the creds they get it less significant. It also works beautifully with Beth.

Thanks for a great blueprint to build from here.

12 Mar 2017 DarkMite2

@Seraphim515- Thanks for the compliment. I haven't posted an update to this deck, but I have made changes since the newest data packs. FIrst, I did change to Astrolabe. I dropped both Lucky Find and used the influence for 2x Peace in Our Time and I changed Blackstoneto a Corroder. There is also a case to be made for to change Peace in Our Time to Employee Strike with CI7 and other Tier 1 IDs.