Siege Engine Geist v.1.1 (Store Champs 2016, 9-1)

infinitive 636

This deck has been updated a bit, because Abagnale is awesome. New list is here:

This is an update to my Gencon Geist build, much of which is detailed here:

A friend of mine and I took this build to a Store Championship in Detroit, and the only game either deck lost all day long was when my buddy got paired against me. It took down three different CTMs (one of which I played again in the finals, for four total CTM wins), a Silver Sun variant, a Gagarin museum, Hasty CI, traditional HB, Jinteki, and one last deck my buddy played which I've since forgotten.

In other words, Geist has game against the field, and a touch of Temujin seems to have been just enough to push him up to a solidly favorable matchup against CTM.

Much of what I've felt about Geist for some time remains to be true: he's a strong, tricky runner, and no other deck out there rewards clever play and careful forethought quite as much as Geist does right now. If you know your deck and have an idea of what your opponent wants to do, you can drop massive body plows to just about any corp deck in the meta. Since I've detailed most of my thoughts about each unusual card in the original siege engine writeup, I'll detail my changes here.

-2 Political Operative: Polop is a final way to shut the door on Caprice and Ash... neither of which see much play at all anymore. It's got utility elsewise, and enables tricky play, but it just isn't as critical as it once was. If you need both Temu and Polop in the deck, I'd cut a Spy Camera and a Same Old Thing

1- Spy Camera: A tough cut, but the deck is becoming pretty much drum-tight. You could probably swap a Crescentus out for this, but I really feel that's the wrong move.

+1 Same Old Thing: There are two reasons for this: Once in a while, you'll get levys and Same Old Things sniped out of your hand. In those situations, you probably lose. More commonly, though, a second Same Old Thing gives you the flex you need to recur Legwork more often, or double down on a Hostage if the Tech Traders just aren't coming.

+2 Temujin Contract: 3 is too many. You draw too fast, and they clog up in your hand. Also, there's nothing more satisfying in the world than, at the 4.2 window, popping out a Temujin from under a Street Peddler for free and drawing a card for the privilege. Temujin turning a 16 profit is fantastic. It turning a 20 profit is astonishing.

Seriously, though, you should probably give this guy a try sometime. It feels like playing lightning.

27 Nov 2016 thebriarfox

HB Glacier was the other one that it demolished.

He's right. This thing is a MACHINE. It's one you have to operate with experience and forethought, but the flexibility in lines of play this deck provides is bananas.

I went with -1 SOT +1 Spy Cam and while I think the Spy Cam is more generally useful, the SOT right now is more necessary, so I'd go with the 2x SOT as well. I was originally running a build that went with Siphon over Crescentus, but I don't recommend it. It is not the right time for this deck to run Siphon. The tempo hit to clear is to much, and Forger is too necessary for other things to waste being cute.

A lot of corps don't expect the second Levy, either. I had a guy bend over backwards to snipe a levy from my hand then hit it with Ark Lockdown even tho I had more then half of my B&E breakers in the heap....then I played the second levy.

Like the man said, and I will second, even tho this is a very fine tuned machine, it doesn't play itself. Generally speaking you get your Tech Traders up post haste, put early managed pressure on the corp and keep them on a reactionary footing with Temujin runs and B&E breakers backed by Crescentus hits, and aggressively build board state so you can make precise and profitable runs when you need to in order to close it out. But that's the trick. You need to know what your worse case encounter scenario is and you need to know its worth making the run. While plentiful, your resources are still finite, and every click or trash needs to count.

Nearly every card in this deck doubles as economy and fuel as well, and there are a lot of clever interactions to learn and tease out, such as playing a Forger and keeping one in a Street Peddler's back pocket so you can dodge both tags of a Breaking News and make a profit doing so. But again, you need to be able to anticipate getting hit with that jank in order to know to try and set the counter up.

Employee Strike wins games. It bricked San San combo CI and was instrumental in the Blue Sun match, as well as being a big help against Potential Unleashed.

The 1x Mongoose is probably your weak spot. If the corp gets wise and throws out a double Assassin or some other multi sentry nonsense, it can quickly become a giant PITA to get in, but again, it's on you to recognize windows and make that run count. And the fact that nearly every run you make leaves you at a net profit of cards and cash, the corp math changes DRAMATICALLY in a way that people just can't wrap their heads around.

This stack is the real deal. You need to stick with it and learn your meta before it will start really kicking ass, but your persistence will be rewarded, I guarantee it.

27 Nov 2016 ANtheguy.brush..

I play a very similar deck, but I initially dismissed employee strike which leads up to very dice games against ctm. Draw early temujin or lose.

I like paperclip too much in this deck to give it up, so I am thinking about turning Zul into Passport or Peregrine. Both options seem kinda wrong, but paperclip is kinda a big deal and having your Sherman or Corroder on Street Peddler kinda sucks if you want to install something else.

28 Nov 2016 dormio

Against CtM, do you leave up your Sports Hoppers for the link, or can you generate enough money that the link isn't even worth it?

28 Nov 2016 pspacekitten

I also run a Geist, and I've find Drive By a very useful tool when not running PolOps. It lets you destroy that SanSan or expose a tricky agenda and let's you run whenever you really need to run.

Also, I run 2xClonechip, that even knowing it's a handful of influence, it has made wonders for me!

May I ask why the mongoose if you are running gs sherman?

28 Nov 2016 infinitive

Dormio: Employee Strikes do the heavy lifting there, as well as Forgers. Mostly, Hoppers are played and cracked immediately as Super Diesels that have the option of sitting on the board and protecting you from damage decks.

Itsteatime: I get where you're coming from, but it's the wrong call, and it all has to do with click compression. Say you're hitting a Sansan: that saves you about $5 (depending on how you value the run itself). If you're doing Polop, you're saving $2 and gaining a card and a click, so basically you're behind $1 in that situation if you do nothing but click for cash. Not exactly optimal.

But let's back up a step. Say you're sitting on $5 and the corp has a Sansan protected by 1 unrezzed ice. You've got some breakers out, and maybe a Crescentus. Instead of Drive By, you run, and if the corp rezzes, they're paid money to let you make money (if you've got the Crescentus, you just turned a 6 credit and two card profit!), while they get sapped. You're up a click, several cards' worth of credit, and your opponent is down. Seems far better to me than Drive By--and that doesn't even touch the ani-synergy of events + Street Peddler, which is one of your very best cards.

Here's the thing with Geist: you've got to be trashing stuff. If your deck has anything in it that doesn't self-trash or profit therefrom, you'd better have a damn good reason for it.

29 Nov 2016 spags

Thank you for my next SC Runner.

29 Nov 2016 infinitive

Let me know how it does for you!

30 Nov 2016 hlynurd

Why not Account Siphon?

30 Nov 2016 infinitive

TooSharp: Because it's not good enough. I know, I know--heresy, right? Here's the math: Account Siphon plus two tag clears = +6 credits and -5 corp credits, for a net credit swing of 11 credits in 3 clicks, for a click efficiency of 3.66 credits per click.

I can beat that by installing and using 3 Spy Cameras, gaining 9 credits and 3 cards, which works out to 4 credits per click if we value a card at one credit. If we value it as 1.5 credits per card, as is the more typical evaluation, instead we're cruising at 4.5 credits per click, which is about 22% more efficient at making money than Account Siphon--and Spy Camera is the worst economy card in the deck. A single Fall Guy is +5 credits and +1 card for a single click, and Street Peddler is just off the charts (3 credits, a card, and a discount install which often sacks itself). Given that the deck likes to use Street Peddler pretty aggressively you want as few events as possible so you never whiff on an install.

If you're looking to hammer corp econ, Crescentus does it better here, and often to much the same economic degree.

Finally, the deck really, REALLY doesn't want to get tagged, since the entire econ package hinges on installed, persistent resources.

2 Dec 2016 LiteS

I've tried this out for a few games and made the following tweaks:

-1 Sherman -1 Forger -2 Temujin

+1 Saker +1 Spy Camera +1 Political Operative +1 The Source

Cutting Temujin means you're a bit poor vs Asset Spam, so PolOp seems neccessary to snipe mission critical assets before they get out of hand. It also still provides insurance against the rare Ash or Caprice. Sometimes you have to let Sensies fire, but it's not the end of the world since The Source means the corp will have a much harder time playing Never Advance, and it also offers you a bit of Breaking News protection. Snagging it on a Street Peddler can be game-ending, but just playing it is never bad, especially with Fall Guy support. Cutting a Forger seems a little dicey and makes using them to clear tags less of an option, but in many matches having the full 3 makes two of them dead. Saker over Sherman is natural, since you don't always want to pay 2 or trash a Spike every time you run through Vanilla. I'd hesitate to consider Peregrine over Zu.13, both because of the memory limitation and because Zu.13's low install cost means it's great just for boosting B&E strength.

2 Dec 2016 thebriarfox

@TooSharpI ran a Siphon build for a while. It just never seems to have the punishing effect you wish it would, plus a waste of time or Forgers clearing tags.

2 Dec 2016 thebriarfox

@LiteS Cutting Temujin is a mistake. If you really want, you might be able to add back in a Cam and go down to one, but it's way better than PolOp for a number of reasons. First and most importantly, it's never dead, where as PolOp would have been useless in 2 of my 4 match-ups. It is cute against the "If there are no ICE..." assets, but again, you can't rely on seeing that.

Beyond that, Temujin demands an answer. A 16-20 credit swing is no joke, and you can often leverage your server choice into pressure on the corp to commit resources somewhere they'd rather not.

My take on The Source is a hefty dose of "ehhh". Employee Strike does more lifting in that department.

2 Dec 2016 SavageOne316

In your last list, you mentioned that you chose the Sherman over corroder to help with the HB Matchup. Is that still the case or is Corroder worth it for the 1 less install cost and the 1 to break a subroutine. I feel like lots of HB players are on AOT where they're using bioroids instead of the next site. Your thoughts?

3 Dec 2016 infinitive

@SavageOne316: I think it's still worth it, but it does make plenty of sense to go with Corroder. Here's my logic on it:

Think about what you'll break and when with a permanent barrier breaker, regardless of which breaker it is.

Something big, like Hadrian's? Spike it. Something mid-sized, like Eli? Spike it. Something small, like Ice Wall? Permanent it. Basically, you want to spike anything that has a non-trivial break cost. Then again, there's the outside cases...

Hive. At full strength, you need two Spikes to break. With a Corroder, it's 6. Sherman does it for 4.

Curtain Wall. Too big for Spike. With Corroder, it's 11 to break. Sherman does it for 8.

NEXT Silver with 4 (or more) total rezzed NEXT ice. Awkward for Spike. 4 for Corroder. Sherman does it for 2.

Basically, all of the barriers that see play and which you don't want to Spike are miles cheaper to deal with using Sherman. It comes at a tax--some cheapo stuff like Vanilla costs you an extra buck--but that difference is tiny. If you see lots of tiny barriers locally, run Corroder. If you're facing a wider field or expect to see Blue Sun, stick with Sherman. Personally, I always expect BS, because it's a respectable deck that's fun to play.

3 Dec 2016 SavageOne316

Ok, that makes lots of sense. Thanks!

3 Dec 2016 stimmyrobbins

how does this deck deal with eoi?

5 Dec 2016 spags

Went 2-2 in a SC. Faced and lost to both Hasty CI there, one barely. ES had minimal impact, outside of forcing them to push a score they were going to do anyhow. I feel that maybe dropping a LARLA for a Medium could be solid. That, or some Turning Wheels.

5 Dec 2016 infinitive

That's really surprising to me, Spags. Briarfox played Hasty CI and ES was really decisive there. Multiaccess seems good to me though, and I think Turning Wheel is probably better than Medium in the deck. Given the volume of drawing, one's probably enough though.

7 Dec 2016 thebriarfox

@spagsThat was my toughest matchup by far, and even then I only really squeaked it out by sheer luck of the access. Early and recurring ES is clutch to keep the hand size small, since they're then forced to devote 80% of said hand to holding combo pieces. Keeping them poor helps, but is less effective since most Hasty CI can run pretty lean. Its all about disrupting the combo and sniping as much as you can.

7 Dec 2016 zeroshift

I feel like 3x Temujin and 6x Spy Camera are mandatory, other than that, I really like the list.

11 Dec 2016 x3r0h0ur

Took this to Chicago last weekend and crushed CtM and Sync MUs, dropped a game to HB, probably because I'm awful vs HB with anything. Went 3-1 on the day, felt insane and unstoppable vs yellow. Took it as is, I'm testing it with -1 levy +1 FTT, and it seems very good, its like spy cams on crack. Second levy never saw play in my few games, and I've not wanted it since switching. The draw back is not an issue. Great deck.

11 Dec 2016 thebriarfox

That's a nice little slice of left field. I like it. It's not like it's any surprise what you're going to be playing.

27 Dec 2016 Friff14

What changes would you make in a PU-heavy meta, and how would your playstyle change against PU?

27 Dec 2016 spags

@Friff14Def. run 2 LARLA (I've cut to 1), and play as much EStrike as possible.

27 Dec 2016 thebriarfox

@Friff14 E-Strike helps, and a second LARLA is a good choice for padding, but you honestly shouldn't have to do anything that much different. Out of the box this build is pretty well equipped for a PU match. The thing to remember about PU is that their ability going off (assuming it isn't Strike'd) is 100% dictated by you. Other than Bio-Ethics, there is nothing that does net damage without you having to do something first, so use that control to your advantage. Being that almost all of your cards, once played, double as MOAR CARDS (and at "instant" speed, no less), you're much more resilient to the attrition as well. Even then, you will likely get milled a few times, and it's just a fact of the game that sometimes you will lose stuff you need, but this deck is chock full of redundancy, so unless you get SUPER unlucky with the mills (comeuppance from the Ghost of Christmas "Yay, 7 points off the top of R&D on turn 1!"), it shouldn't be too big of a hit. Just keep chugging and try to keep the corp on more of a defensive footing. It's a fine line. You gotta move quickly, especially now that everyone's getting high with all their friends. The late game against agenda spam is not someplace you want to find yourself. but you can't be stupid about it or you straight die.

27 Dec 2016 thebriarfox

If you wanted, I suppose you could go -1 Zu, -1 EStrike, +1 Gordian Blade, +1 Interdiction if you want to shut down the surprise "at the end of your turn I rez..." stuff that the corp likes to do, but it feels like a downgrade.

27 Jan 2017 Plattlinje

I ran this deck yesterday. It was the most fun I've ever had as a runner and I'll definitely be grinding it for a while to get better at various matchups. Thanks for the inspiration!

20 Mar 2017 Friff14

@infinitive What changes would you make to this deck to make it current?

13 Apr 2017 infinitive

Heads up, folks: I've updated this list in the wake of MWL 1.2. The changes aren't huge, but the deck should be more competitive after the new MWL's changes, and especially so after Terminal Directive hits. New list is

13 Apr 2017 Friff14

@infinitive It looks like you haven't set your account to share private decks, so we can't see it from that link. Go to your user profile and click "share your decks" if you want us to see it. Thanks!