Psycho Sun

amavric 1492

I've been piloting variations of this build for a long time now, and it's been doing well in the competitive scene. It recently came in 1st in Swiss rounds at a 2017 Store Championship, finishing in 3rd place (paired with an Angry Geist list).

This deck pilots very similarly to my previous Midseason Titan list, but with the modern more flexible Weyland card pool, and a lot more money.

Your primary goal is to make a lot of credits, and as fast as possible. You're relying on Midseason Replacements, so moneying up is the most important thing. Blue Sun allows for incredible economic flexibility, granting impressive burst economy through Oversight AI, as well as unparalleled liquidity, by returning rezzed ICE to HQ for full refunds. You also have to ensure that the runner does not make a lot of money themselves. With the ability to reposition beefy ICE, it's very easy to patch up servers marked with Temüjin Contract, or make Account Siphons less than profitable.

Once you have enough money, begin to rush out agendas. You want to force the runner into accessing an agenda while you can afford to land a hefty Midseason Replacements. Bury them in tags. This brings us to stage two.

Now you have two options:

1) KILL

This is the most straightforward plan. If the runner has more than 2 tags, BOOM! is an easy way to close the game. Search up your Boom! with Consulting Visit, and for the low cost of 6 credits, deal out a whopping 7 meat damage. Scorched Earth is another viable route, and Scorch into Consulting Visit for Scorch is another solid option.

If the runner is running meat damage protection, you have two choices. You can first employ Best Defense to trash their pesky protection, or simply blast through it with a Boom!, and return later for the kill.

Straightforward, unsurprising, but definitely efficient. However, we have something else up our sleeves.

2) FAST ADVANCE, AND OTHER TAG TRICKS

A lot of Blue Sun Midseason decks don't pack an alternate win condition beyond the kill, and I think Psychographics is an incredibly potent and low cost solution. I find many runners to be prepared to deal with meat damage in the current meta, as Boom! is present in numerous NBN decks. Psychographics, on the other hand, is much harder to deal with.

If the runner has multiple tags, it becomes trivial to use Psychographics to heavily over advance a Project Atlas, giving you access to tutor multiple cards from R&D. From here, your options greatly open up. Of course, you can bring together all your kill pieces, and sling fire until all signs of movement cease. However, an equally strong option is to Psychographics-chain Project Atlases. Instructions are as follows (pulled from my Titan list):

Click One:

Click Two:

Click Three:

In 2 turns, and for around 11 credits, you can score 5 agenda points, which is generally enough to close the game.

But there's more! To fully capitalize on all these tags, we have a single copy of Exchange of Information. As we are naturally running a mixture of 1-point and 3-point agendas, it's another very easy way to close a game. Tutor the Exchange up with Atlas counters, or a Consulting Visit, and serve.

Card Choices

Best Defense

Incredibly flexible. Pre-tags, this can be used to trash annoying 0-cost runner cards, such as Self-modifying Code, Same Old Thing, or Data Leak Reversal. Post-tags, this trashes just about any installed card. Great targets include any meat-damage protection, breakers, Obelus or Security Nexus.

Kill Package

I opted for a single Boom! and double Scorch. With only 3 clicks, you can't play double Boom! in a single turn, but you can play Boom! into Scorched. Also, double Scorched allows for Scorched into Consulting-Scorch, which is a fine option. I've seen a lot of Anarchs expect Boom!, and use their I've Had Worse for draw early on in the game, so Scorched Earth isn't that bad anymore. Also, Boom! can be trashed, and does make R&D more flimsy, as runners are prone to panicked Medium digs when the tags do land.

Consulting Visit

This card blows open this archetype. With many super important singleton operations, Consulting Visit allows you to find the cards you need when you need them. Early game, I am not afraid to Consult for an Oversight A.I., to get the credit differential going. Mid game they are largely for the Midseason, Scarcity of Resources, or Snatch and Grab, while late game you're going to want Best Defense, kill pieces, or Psychographics.

Scarcity of Resources

Employee Strike is one of the strongest counters to Blue Sun, destroying it's economic flexibility. For that reason, it's smart to keep a current in hand, to be able to get your workers back at their desks. You can also play this more proactively, which can greatly slow down a runners economy. We are running two Hostile Takeovers, which can be scored from hand, so just be mindful that you always have a way to end strikes.

Snatch and Grab

One of the only two counters to Midseason is Film Critic (besides Imping agendas). You need to trash Film Critic. Snatch and Grab is your tool for that.

! IMPORTANT !

Many runners believe that they are safe from Snatch and Grab if they have an installed New Angeles City Hall. This is not the case. A resource can be saved from Snatch and Grab by taking a tag. Taking a tag is the cost to save the resource, meaning that if they avoid the tag with NACH, they didn't pay the cost, and their resource gets trashed. This is a really big deal.

Elizabeth Mills

Getting rid of bad publicity, as to stop Blackmails, is not the most important, since we are hoping that the runner does in fact steal an agenda. It is nice when you do find it, as it will require Valenciato install some breakers, which helps with the credit differential. You can also remove the bad publicity from Hostile Takeovers.

Archer

This is a really good target for Oversight A.I. when playing against Anarch. A single D4v1d will not tear it down, and it's 12 credits to break with MKUltra. Throwing this up on R&D can stop heavy Medium digging as well.

Mother Goddess

A lot of Criminals, and stealth Shapers, don't have a way to deal with this. You'll have to bounce rezzed ICE, to ensure the Goddess has no subtypes, but it's a strong scoring ICE.

Errand Boy

I like this ICE a lot. Once you dump the majority of your money into a Midseason trace, you'll need ways to make money back. This card on R&D, if not broken, will allow you to make money, as well as draw into the combo cards you need. It's also really annoying to break with Faust.

Swordsman

Meta based flex slot. Targeted Marketing is also good in here, as is Lotus Field.

Orion

This should likely be a Bulwark. Orion isn't that hard to break with Paperclip. One of the Spiderwebs should also probably be a Changeling as well.

And that's the deck! It's a lot of fun to play, as the Psychographics does open an exciting amount of possibilities when closing the game. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Here's a video of it doing its thing. Enjoy

19 comments
6 Jan 2017 solknar

Hi !

I like a lot the path you took for this blue sun deck. I have a couple of questions:

  • Any reason why you chose errand boy and not mausoleus ?
  • Did you test bulwark (over Orion for instance, that I rarely rezz besides OAI in my experience) ? Especially with your 1 Mills ?
  • What is the pro of enigma over data pike (yoy can rush project atlas overadvance once behind both, and datapike is better for facecheck and late game ?)
  • I did not test scarcity of resources yet, but left housekeeping for paywall, following the argument that you sometimes want to play your current reactively, and you have no incentive of doing so for housekeeping. What are your thoughts on that ?
  • Did you like your 2 SE 1 boom! (opposite of "standard" versions) ?

Thanks for sharing anyway !

6 Jan 2017 amavric

@solknar I don't ever see myself spending the time or money to advance a Mauslous, so at best it's generating one credit per run, and dealing one net damage. If the runner is Midseasoned, the last subroutine doesn't matter. Errand Boy also gives us flexibility to draw cards, which in a combo deck, is a big deal.

I think Bulwark for Orion is definitely worth doing. I'm not that impressed with Orion anyways, as Paperclip breaks it for only 7. Mills helps a lot too.

Turn one, if you draw a Curtain Wall, Oversight A.I., and an Enigma, you can afford to OAI the Curtain Wall, and protect it with an Enigma. You can't do that with Datapike. That cost me a game at some point, and I've never looked back. Datapike is definitely better for late game, but we're hoping the runner doesn't have one of those.

Paywall Implementation discourages running, which is something you don't exactly want to do. Early game, you want the runner to run, instead of sitting back and generating economy. If you do play a Scarcity of Resources early game, the runner might be more tempted to get accesses, just to shut the current off. Scarcity also makes turn one Temujin Contract a lot worse, and really hurts resource heavy runners, like Andromeda, or slower Shapers. I think the single credit for Scarcity is affordable.

I currently think 2 Scorched Earth and a single Boom! is optimal. You can't play multiple Boom!s per turn, but you can play Boom! into Scorched. You also do have the option to Scorched, into Consulting-Scorched. Boom! is trashable, and makes central servers flimsier, which should be avoided, especially late game when the Anarchs go Medium nuts.

6 Jan 2017 harinezumi

played the deck a bit on jinteki today - I often found myself wanting agendas when I had none in hand.

what would you cut to make room for a fast track?

6 Jan 2017 amavric

It depends heavily on your meta. I think you could cut a Crisium or the Elizabeth Mills.

6 Jan 2017 amavric

@harinezumi It depends heavily on your meta. I think you could cut a Crisium Grid or the Elizabeth Mills.

7 Jan 2017 h0bb35

Have you thought of any line of play against Dyper decks, especially now with Interdiction in the card pool?

8 Jan 2017 amavric

@calvin This deck has one of the best match-ups against Dyper builds. You have Oversight AI, so you can rez ICE on R&D on your own terms. If you can Oversight two pieces of ICE on R&D, say one Curtain Wall, and then just about anything else, the runner will have to deal with your ICE as opposed to False Echoing. Atman at 10 is not very affordable. Just make sure you don't install any other ICE on any other servers, so Escher becomes useless.

That might be the best part, in fact. You don't need ICE to score your agendas. Once you have a credit differential, which shouldn't be difficult considering Dyper economy, you can score agendas in naked remote servers. If the runner steals them, it's time for Midseason Replacements, and the game is basically won.

You also have both Best Defense and Elizabeth Mills to deal with Artist Colony, which will greatly slow down their dig for singleton cards necessary for the combo.

Interdiction doesn't actually do anything against this deck, as we are not running defensive upgrades. Am I missing something?

9 Jan 2017 stoppableforce

@amavric I assume the Interdiction interaction he's referring to is that you can't rez Crisium or Jackson against Dyper during The Turn if they play Interdiction click 1. However, @calvin, it's not hard at all to play around Dyper with Interdiction: you have a paid ability window before their first click, same as they do - once the Hyperdrivers are removed from the game, rez Crisium and Jackson. Problem solved.

9 Jan 2017 h0bb35

@stoppableforce You're totally right about the window. I got destroyed recently by a Dyper deck with Interdiction and Escher and I still have no idea how to play against it. Except for Argus rush, maybe.

@amavric I hate to be the one that brings up Film Critic in the discussion, but I see it in many non-Anarch decks (because [NACH])(/en/card/02109)). Would you consider HHN instead?

9 Jan 2017 amavric

@calvin We're running Snatch and Grab to deal with Film Critic. I mentioned it in the up write-up, but New Angeles City Hall does not protect connections from Snatch and Grab. Taking the tag to avoid trashing a connection is an additional cost, and if the tag is avoided with NACH, the additional cost isn't paid and the connection is killed.

Hard-Hitting News is a terminal operation, making it only relevant if the runner can not clear the tags during their following turn. If we're trying to kill a tagged runner with BOOM!, they only need to clear two of those tags on their turn, which is far from a tall order. I don't see many situations in which a runner is running against a massively rich Blue Sun: Powering the Future with less than 4 credits. Furthermore, if they install a single piece of meat damage protection, they generally have 2 turns to clear the tags. HHN also doesn't work well with Psychographics. There could be an argument for the classic, and yet unexpected, SEA Source into double Scorched Earth turn, but that's a lot of cards in hand, and as you mentioned, NACH is pretty popular.

9 Jan 2017 solknar

@amavric : Thanks for your answers.

  • I agree that Snatch and grab deals with film critic, but with a runner a 10+ credits it's a huge trace that we have to pay twice, which is not so easy to do. But it's also true that film critic is the only way around midseason, and no deck has no weak points. How does this interact with freedom through equality by the way ?
  • I would do the change -1 spiderweb +1 changeling that you advocated (which is a huge pain for people relying on mimic), and would even consider the second archer, as I sometimes have trouble finding my singleton when I need it.
  • In which situation a tagged runner can't be killed? I ask this to see when psychographics shines. Plascrete does not save from boom SE, etc... And Janus is a fun card to play :).
9 Jan 2017 h0bb35

@calvin Thank you for being so thorough with your answers. I enjoy seeing Blue Sun decks still being relevant.

9 Jan 2017 h0bb35

I meant to thank @amavric of course. I'm so clumsy with Markdown.

10 Jan 2017 amavric

@solknar As Blue Sun, you shouldn't be sitting back and only making money, but also rushing out agendas. If the runner is simply generating credits, they're not installing programs or running, which means you can easily get to around 5 agenda points. So not only does the Shaper player have to find and install their Film Critic (which is usually a singleton), but they have to throw down their Paperclip, and break at least a single Curtain Wall. That's 13 credits, after which you bounce that Curtain Wall, and Snatch and Grab all you'd like. And even if the still have a good amount of cash, just keep plugging stuff into a server. They can't continually break our big ICE while still staying solvent.

"Freedom Through Equality" isn't that big of a deal. If you're worried about it, either score a Hostile Takeover, or more likely, Consulting Visit for Scarcity of Resources.

I think the Spiderwebs aren't that hot. Changeling sounds really good, as does another Mother Goddess (which is unique, but it's great to find early). A second Archer could also be solid, but you'll probably be spending most of your Oversight AIs on it, and you need the credits from Oversighting Curtain Wall. Worth testing.

In the clip I uploaded from my stream (link at the bottom of the writeup), I was playing against a Shaper with both Plascrete Carapace and Sports Hopper. The larger problem is getting all the cards you need in your HQ to land a kill; if you Consult for a BOOM!, that's your entire turn. Furthermore, if you're not doing lethal damage in a single turn, the runner will use as little of their Plascrete as possible, and won't peel out in their Hopper. Even if you don't fast advance your way to victory, Psychographicsing a single Project Atlas with multiple agenda counters sets you up to close the game in 1-2 turns, either through more fast advance, being able to tutor your entire kill/Best Defense package, or Exchange of Information. Compare that sort of flexibility, let alone an entire additional win condition, to adding more big ICE to a deck that already has big ICE.

@calvin My pleasure! A 45 card Blue Sun deck just won a Store Championship this past weekend. It's in a good spot in the meta.

10 Jan 2017 solknar

@amavric: thanks again for your answer.

I agree with you for snatch and grab.

For freedom, I was more wondering what happen with film and freedom, but I guess putting an agenda in the score zone with film does not trigger freedom.

I basically never use my AI for archer, but I have 6 10+ credit ices (bulwark janus2 curtain3) so this might explain that.

I saw the video that you uploaded. To kill through BOTH plascrete and hopper (a pretty uncommon situation :), is not that hard, is it ? Just start with boom ! They should trash their hand and prevent 2 (or prevent 4 and trash 3 but this is suboptimal given the following), and then hooper at the end of your second click because they have to respect SE. then some time later you "just" have to find your two SE (or a second boom ! for those who play 2 boom ! 1 SE). I understand your point on versatility, but doing one thing and doing it quite well is also a strong option (1 brain for the face check of janus adds a ton of options I have found).

But before arguing more, I will test slot for slot your list (A thing which I should have start with, sorry :).

10 Jan 2017 Conphas

I took this last night to a friendly kitchen table. Blew up Codemarvelous and his professor deck. Blew up Chaos Theory. Scored out the hard way against Geist. I enjoyed the deck a lot. Excellent design. I swapped Orion for Bulwark and a spiderweb for changeling as suggested. Changeling did some work. Bulwark never really came up.

10 Jan 2017 amavric

@solknar "Freedom Through Equality" and Film Critic are a non-bo, but the runner won't use Film Critic if they're stealing their final agenda, and winning the game, so Freedom still is poignant.

One of the big problems with Midseasoning a runner, is that they no longer fear your ICE. It's in their best interest to throw down the Medium and start spamming Legwork. With heavy central pressure, it's pretty hard to hold on to your BOOM!.

But imagine we were holding a perfect hand of BOOM!, Scorched Earth and a single Consulting Visit. Against our example Shaper opponent, we have to BOOM! and then Scorched. The BOOM! puts them down to no hand, a Plascrete with two counters, and a Sports Hopper, which they should now use. The following Scorched drops that down to no hand, and one Plascrete token. If they draw up on their turn, we'd need a second BOOM! to close the match (let's say we Consult it). This two turn combo requires trashable cards in hand, and costs a significant 13 credits. Let alone imagine we have an Anarch opponent, who has I've Had Worse, massive hand size with Obelus, or the ability to Déjà Vu back Plascretes?

I agree that doing one thing quite well is a strong option. However, this deck does the fast advance well, and has kill as the secondary option. An unprepared opponent is an easy kill with a single BOOM! Most everyone else, you play Consulting Visit for Psychographics on a Project Atlas, and you've basically won. With all those Atlas tokens, either keep fast advancing/exchanging information, or now you have ability to pull Best Defense and BOOM! into your hand and flatten the runner whenever you want.

@Conphas Congrats! Glad you're digging it. Those are very good match-ups, which are also pretty common in a lot of metas. Shapers still struggle to deal with Curtain Wall (let alone setting up a Baba Yaga with any sort of speed), as does Geist. I think a lot of players forget that they can just score out behind big ICE, which you seem to be doing just fine. Cheers!

24 Jan 2017 Fabtraption

@amavric I've been testing this the last few weeks and now that Quorum is out, I'm curious how you use this deck against Sifr and ice destruction. I'm thinking of bringing this to an SC this weekend and am expecting a lot of anarch bullshit.

15 Mar 2017 Skullbotrock

I love how flexible it is