The Sorcerer Supreme

CodeMarvelous 17153

Are you ready to open your mind? are you ready to embrace the power of the cosmos?

alt text

So this deck is my most recent obsession, in large part because I can't believe I have built a functioning The Professor: Keeper of Knowledge deck.

The title is because there are so many cards that reference magic in this deck including: Reaver, Rebirth, Baba Yaga, Faerie, Yog.0 which is a reference to the silver key, Imp, Medium, Progenitor, Sahasrara.

With all this magic the The Professor: Keeper of Knowledge must be the Sorcerer Supreme.

I have upgraded this deck from Tier 2 to Tier 1.5. A bold claim I know but bear with me here.

Every single turn with this deck is either a race or a puzzle. In most games my opponent will get to 4 or 5 points with me at 2 as I race to set up and then I lock them and there is no way for them to win. You need to trigger Reaver on both turns every turn if you can. Clickless draws are critical.

I say its a puzzle because you have to know what to pawn and how to advance your board state while maintaining pressure. It took me a while but with some tips from some top tier players I think I am a sorcerer now. In the late game its all about maintaining remote threat and RD pressure with Progenitor and Medium so agendas pile up in HQ where there will likely be 1-2 ice.

EVENTS

Diesel Gives you flames. Cast fireball.

Levy AR Lab Access Helps you reset the clock if you drew all your sweet one ofs in the wrong order. Also lets you drive home the misery when you have someone Clot locked and they finally purge through the Sacrificial Construct. Rarely used except against net damage and and aggressive purgers

Rebirth: This card is so strong in professor its crazy. Who to pick is not easy and largely dependent on a good read of the current board and where both boards are going. If I need to maintain money to beat traces and its early I pick Kate "Mac" McCaffrey: Digital Tinker, if its early and I need to set up fast to keep pace with a corp its Hayley Kaplan: Universal Scholar, If I am set up and they have multisub barriers on the outside I pick Rielle "Kit" Peddler: Transhuman, if its late and I have already levy'd then its Ele "Smoke" Scovak: Cynosure of the Net, If I lost any pawned memchips to Chronos or ark lockdown then its Chaos Theory: W√ľnderkind.

Scavenge was a suggestion from @spags which is such a lifesaver as a one of. It enables me to save my Clone Chip for setting up and then scavenge something to trigger Reaver to reinstall clot after the Sacrificial Construct go down. It also lets me put my breakers down early to contest remotes and then reinstall them to host on Baba Yaga.

HARDWARE

Akamatsu Mem Chip Goes down easy and pawns real smooth in a pinch for draw and money. That guy Aesop needs to work on his haggling.

Astrolabe helps you accelerate while giving easy memory. If people wanna play some FIHP bullshit you can let them go, all they are doing is helping you set up and lock them down.

Clone Chip Hey kids, the professor can't go below 1 influence so pack that deck with clones. Set up fast, activate Reaver on your opponents turn. Gotta go fast. SMC is the most common target, with Cache and Parasite in second/third.

CyberSolutions Mem Chip Was another @spags suggestion. It enables me to go full big rig against glacier and also frees me up to pawn the Akamatsu Mem Chip if I drew in good order and my daemons kept the MU count low.

RESOURCES

I love Aesop's Pawnshop, I really do. It has probably been my favorite resource since the core set because it suits the way I like to play. I like to include a lot of situation tools or temporary cards, Aesop's makes those cards better by giving you a return on their installs later. This concept is illustrated in the Hayley Pitchfork builds or the pre-MWL Noise builds. However, the fact that the Professor does not pay influence for Reaver increases the return on a toolbox deck from 3c to 3c AND clickless draw! Anyone who has played shaper knows that slow set ups is what costs you games. Even though shaper has the best tutors, you still need to draw them. Most of the draw cards you have are expensive (Professional Contacts. Quality Time). You start your turn + 3 creds and +1 card with a full compliment of clicks. ALWAYS HOLD AN EXTRA COPY, if you lose this its GG.

Beth Kilrain-Chang since you are letting corps try to race you early for most of the game this will be either a free card or a free click (which is a more flexible draw)

Film Critic Keeps New Angeles City Hall alive so you don't get your set up ruined by 24/7 or regular Breaking News BS. Also, I am terrible at PSI games and I hate taking fetal damage.

The answer to all questions about how this deck deals with X is Sacrificial Construct. How does this deck deal with Best Defense? Sac con. How does this deck deal with FA? Sac Con. How does this deck deal with Batty? Sac Con. How does this deck deal with applying pressure and being forced to use Faerie before its on Baba Yaga? Sac con. I had three and I might go back. The card does a tremendous amount of work in this build. However, the only thing I can cut is Harbinger.

Same Old Thing Makes it so you can recur Scavenge or Levy AR Lab Access. Its there to keep me safe from net damage trashing levy. If I don't need to use it I pawn it for 3c and a card. #value

Technical Writer is a doomsday clock ticking during your set up. Corps watch these quickly climb as you install your pieces for net of zero cost with Sahasrara and Scheherazade and know the lock is coming. What usually happens is when I am ready to flick the switch I install the last breaker or two on Baba and then use a tech writer to gain 15 + credits and immediately hit each server I can to force the corp to tear through all their cash.

SPELLS... I mean PROGRAMS

If you are a planes-walking sorcerer you need some magic using friends. Baba Yaga is a pretty terrifying friend to have. She gains the paid ability of everything you host but none of the card text. This is important because it means Baba does not have the central only restriction of Breach, the trash after use text of Faerie or the set strength of Yog.0. What she does get is the ability to spend 0 credits breaking all subs on codegates and sentries and the ability to either boost 2 for 4 STR with breach and to hit odd number STRs using the 1 for 1 STR of Faerie.

Baba Yaga becomes your lock. You can get anywhere incredibly cheap making no remote safe with Imp and using the combo of Progenitor and Medium to have a permanent RDI that can get to back to 5 accesses every turn. As an example, people are fond of the unique Fairchild right now, this rig breaks that ice for 4 credits. 2x 2c for 4 STR to get to 8 and then Yog.0 breaks all subs for zero. It also breaks the ubiquitous Fairchild 3.0 for 3c. It breaks DNA tracker for 4 instead of the 7 that it costs Gordian Blade and ichi 1.0 is 2C to break.

Breach gives the primary strength boost and the only source of inefficiency in the deck in the form of its 2 for 3 subs barrier break.

Faerie gets a lot better when it never trashes. This deck breaks Archer for 4 credits.

MKUltra is my emergency killer but also...my primary late game econ. In the late game I will pawn this every turn for three credits and a card. Run a server with a sentry, reinstall it for free with Sahasrara onto Scheherazade, gaining one. I will break it with the Baba rig and then repawn it the next turn. So if there is any sentry on a server you want to run you get 4 credits and a card each turn for zero clicks.

So Yog.0 is really expensive and it can't even break the most popular code gates anymore! unless you can use dark sorcery to make it any strength you need it be. Yog.0 is the primary source of efficiency in this deck. Most taxing ice in the current meta is codegates and this deck shreds them.

Cache Makes money and makes your Reaver draws off Clone Chip even more profitable.

Clot is you dark master in this deck, you protect this card with your life. You recur it at all costs. I have trashed breakers to get this back on the board. You can always get things back but agendas have to be in servers for you to steal them. It is crushing when you Rebirth into Hayley Kaplan: Universal Scholar and they forgot your ability and as they FA you Clone Chipa Cache and piggy back clot into play from your hand. 10/10 would summon again.

D4v1d is my Turing breaker. The rig is strong enough to break anything else but it can't break Turing.

Harbinger 7 (Scheherazade) credits and 2 draws for no cost. Seems good.

Imp is really good at trashing expensive things while setting up like SanSan grid or Crisium without taxing you any dollars. Also pawns well.

Medium is your pressure, its your Magic Missile, it always hits the target with your cheap rig and it makes people freak out.

Parasite is for resistors and wraparounds so I don't have to pay 2c for them. It also is my swordsman removal tool.

Progenitor Saves you MU for Medium or Imp and makes one counter purge proof which is really damn good. Cleansing can't affect our magic!

Reaver is the core of this deck. Anytime you trash a card you draw. Your card, corp card, any card. Fire it early and often. Mulligan for it.

Sahasrara was the jank card I had the hardest time getting used to. However, after I started treated it as my second priority after Reaver I found my games going a lot better. With Technical Writer and Scheherazade and most of my pieces being 2 or 3 c it makes everything you install a net profit on TW.

Scheherazade has been discussed a lot already, put stuff on it and get an effective price reduction.

Self-modifying Code will fly on and off the board as you grab your toolbox pieces. If you can try to fire them on your opponent's turn so you get a Reaver draw.

CONCLUSION

Try the deck, its not for everyone but its definitely not bad and its definitely the most fun I have had playing runner.

  • CodeMarvelous
45 comments
2 Jan 2017 bat1man

I would change the breach to a gs m1 for 2 it breaks all subs instead of 3 it more expensive but will pay off

2 Jan 2017 CodeMarvelous

@bat1man the GS only boosts 3 strength that is why I cut it from the earlier build. Breach gets me to the magic 4.

2 Jan 2017 FightingWalloon

What is card 46 here?

2 Jan 2017 ClubbingSealCub

Surprised by the lack of Sneakdoor Beta here. Wizards are all about portals after all.

2 Jan 2017 CodeMarvelous

@FightingWalloonits Harbinger.

@ClubbingSealCub no room. Also its a rig wrecker by the time it would be good.

2 Jan 2017 Arkitekt

@CodeMarvelous Hey, love the content, keep it coming. I was wondering if you could tell me how to capitalise subtitles/insert images on the netrunnerdb deck description platform. Big thanks.

2 Jan 2017 Kelfecil

You've done it again :O Defo gonna try this out!

2 Jan 2017 CodeMarvelous

@Arkitekt there is a markdown reference link below the comment box

3 Jan 2017 CodeMarvelous

Update: after a couple of weeks of Jnet success, professor won all four games at today's meetup.

3 Jan 2017 LeonardQuirm

So in playing this I came across a weird rules interaction.

Suppose firing Self-modifying Code is your first trash of the turn. Reaver draws you a card. This is great! Except if that card is the program you wanted to install with SMC, it is no longer a legal target and you have to install a different program instead, or "fail to find" and have wasted your two creds and SMC...

3 Jan 2017 Fabtraption

`@LeonardQuirm Don't you get to resolve in the order of your choosing, though? Can't I install the program with SMC first, then draw a card through Reaver?

3 Jan 2017 CodeMarvelous

@LeonardQuirm``@Fabtraption I believe this is any issue that exists because of the way Jnet has to be programmed but in person you can pop SM, tutor, then draw since you don't have declare what you are getting before popping like you do with special order.

3 Jan 2017 LeonardQuirm

@Fabtraptionnope - it's a stacked triggers rule. You pay costs, then trigger effects. Any conditional triggers hit by paying the cost are not simultaneous to the effect of the SMC paid ability - they have to resolve first. So you MUST draw before resolving the search and install of the SMC.

@CodeMarvelous - as above. What you can do, if you draw the card you actually wanted, is to choose a different card to install (because, as you say, the cost and triggered Reaver draw haven't declared your target yet), but you must draw before tutoring. So make sure you have a back-up in mind when SMCing at a point that will trigger Reaver!

3 Jan 2017 CodeMarvelous

That makes sense. so I guess if you hit want you wanted you get something else you needed or one of the zero costs.

3 Jan 2017 OneFabric

Marvelous, @CodeMarvelous. Really tight and cohesive deck.

3 Jan 2017 vor_lord

I played this today. Really a lot of fun to play. Reaver does so much work.

4 Jan 2017 CodeMarvelous

@OneFabric @vor_lord thank you both

4 Jan 2017 nbove

It seems like Equivocation might be a good fit in this deck. If you are concerned about a spiky R&D, Equivocation can help mitigate it. Helps you dig deeper along with your primary win condition of Medium. Installs for free with Sahasrara. What's not to love?

Also, Net-Ready Eyes seems like it may be worth considering. It can help against early FA/rush pressure and it can smoothly transition into assisting Baba Yaga once you get setup. Perhaps more importantly, unless I'm mistaken, this deck has no answer to an early game Lotus Field.

4 Jan 2017 Robotron5673

Good deck CM. Great presentation as well.

4 Jan 2017 magikot

You've gone mad, but I love it!

5 Jan 2017 Mechanoise

Once it is set up you have to respect how cheap it is to get through ICE, and watching Double Sac-Con with a Clone Chip and a Heaped Clot shut off fast advance is really impactful.

Reaver does a really nice job powering through to the components with Aesops, and I love watching the interactions with the cards. Late game with a full set-up dominates the board - if only there was a way you could slow the corp down to allow the set-up time. I don't know...I think you're 95% the way there with this deck; keep an eye on future cards and keep refining this, I'd love to see the Professor turn up more in games.

5 Jan 2017 ericbtool

Now you have data weigh the benefit of Battering Ram vs. Breach if you would. I acknowledge Ram's higher cost (cred+mu) but it does provide a permanent strength increase during a run to support Yaga's abyssmal strength of 0. How many runs until the 3 cred difference is a wash (i'm guessing 1 run on a 2 ICE deep server) and the amount of 1+ ICE server runs vs. 1 ICE.

5 Jan 2017 ericbtool

Also (just trying to further the cause):

  • why Progenitor over Djinn? I supoose we could also say Cyber over Djinn (that might be a better argument)
  • SNEAKDOOR! FIND A SLOT!
  • 2 astrolabe over 3 AkamattyMcMems? I understand the reasoning but trying with 1 labe is worth trying i think.
  • Has the Levy really panned out? setup has to be somewhat slow so unless you're dealing with a lot of damage this could be another draw or money card. If you were using QT's this makes more sense to me but you're not (which I agree with).
  • Is rebirth consistently giving you more value than the 9 creds a stimhack does?
5 Jan 2017 CodeMarvelous

@ericbtoolprogenitor goes down quicker and makes Medium a permanent RDI

Sneakdoor is not needed here by the time I would get people with it I have already made their ice irrelevant.

2 Astrolabe and 3 Akus are now the current build. I have cut the CYBER SOL

LEVY pans out every game

rebirth is better than a stimhack in most games.

6 Jan 2017 Zodoh

What about things that trash themselves when there is no more counter on it ? (Daily Cast for example).

Did you think about this mechanisms with Reaver ?

6 Jan 2017 ericbtool

@CodeMarvelous would you argue that cyber mem chip is better than djinn ( I guess 2nd labe at this point)? Tutors, half the cost, and sahasrara compatible.

It just seems a trap to hold on to a card because it does one thing for one program. The only circumstance I see that as perhaps being acceptable is if that one program is Yaga which is the lynchpin of the deck.

Cheers

6 Jan 2017 CodeMarvelous

@ericbtool Current list is 3x Akamatsu Mem Chip no CyberSolutions Mem Chip and I cut the tag avoidance package for 3x Daily Casts so yea I like self trash effects.

6 Jan 2017 vor_lord

So unfortunately this deck suffers due to Best Defense. Just like spy camera Hayley, over-reliance on Technical Writer is a killer. If I don't face that or Scarcity of Resources this deck is fun. But an early Scarcity of Resources is devastating, as the deck isn't set up to snip agendas early very well.

7 Jan 2017 Cristoflanga

The enthusiasm in this writeup is palpable. 10/10 would read again.

8 Jan 2017 chazpf

I love this deck! Took it to my first Store Championship today, here in Austin TX. I did better than I expected, going 1-1-1 on the runner side. The draw was due to time, but I was set up and ready to score. The loss was actually due to me not realizing I could Self-modifying Code for D4v1d to break Turing, giving away the game. I'm confident I could have won all my runner games given better and faster play. Maybe I was lucky not to play against CTM or Best Defense, but the deck feels smooth and powerful. Thanks CodeMarvelous, you've done it again!

8 Jan 2017 chazpf

Oh, and I was running the 3 Akamatsu, 3 Daily Casts version you mentioned in the comments. Seems like a great change.

8 Jan 2017 CodeMarvelous

@chazpfgreat work ! I am glad you enjoy it

9 Jan 2017 Mr_Console

Have you considered the dog breaker suite? Counters over cash to break subs is powerful, as we have seen with both Cerberus "Lady" H1 and D4v1d being on MWL.

We had a recent jank league and professor with the dogs was the dominant deck, in no small part to those breakers.

11 Jan 2017 BizTheDad

I think Sharpshooter is the most efficient strength booster. Have you considered including that over Breach?

12 Jan 2017 EnderA

Just wanted to pop in and mention that picking Jesminder Sareen: Girl Behind the Curtain with Rebirth is absolutely game breaking against SYNC: Everything, Everywhere. I was on the receiving end of it and it was brutal. Fast advance was shut down by Clot. I had a one turn window to Best Defense his stacked Scheherazade after Best Defensing the Sacrificial Construct. Didn't draw it, so gg.

13 Jan 2017 CommissarFeesh

I am desperate to cram a Monolith into this deck because... Reasons. Honestly though, this is a blast to play.

13 Jan 2017 CactusJack

@CodeMarvelous Pretty fun deck you've made! Real pleasure to play!

13 Jan 2017 D4KEN

@CodeMarvelous nice deck, how often you use Self-modifying Code for tutoring Reaver, or didn't you?

13 Jan 2017 CodeMarvelous

@Mr.ConsoleThe dog breakers could be an interesting experiment @BizTheDadI don't want any breaker that I can't use to break onces its on yaga. @EnderAits also great for argus @CommissarFeeshPlz no lol. Monolith so rough @CactusJackthanks for trying it @D4KENwhen I need to I will SMC for it. I hope to start with it or draw it.

13 Jan 2017 Your_Engineer

I read the whole thing (took like 5-10 minutes)

13 Jan 2017 CodeMarvelous

@Your_Engineer is that a positive or a negative?

13 Jan 2017 Your_Engineer

`@CodeMarvelous' You responded fast, i was glad you made it so thorough.

20 Feb 2017 presheaf

Have you considered Sports Hopper? It can do some work against kill and/or trace decks, but more importantly it's a 3 credit draw 3 + Corp turn Reaver trigger which also triggers your Tech Writers. Not at all sure what I'd cut for it, and I suspect the space just isn't there.

10 Mar 2017 Dloaf

I have no idea how anyone can win with this deck. I know that you're good. But I can have the corps deck themselves three times before I have any econ, cards, on the table.

I've had three grandchildren since trying to make this work.

10 Mar 2017 CodeMarvelous

@Dloaf the meta has moved to much faster decks just in the last few weeks. My updated list is here:

meteor.stimhack.com