Herbarts Hasty CI (2nd Place at SC Spieltraum, Osnabrück)

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This is the Hasty CI version I played at the Store Championship at Spieltraum in Osnabrück. It went undefeated on the day, going 6-0 (going up against Leela, Temüjin Whizzard and twice against each of Noise and Faust/SIFR-Geist), netting me third place in Swiss and second in the cut, only being let down by my Runner deck (or, much more, my Runner skills.). It is my take on the Hasty CI archetype.

Reasons to play the deck

  • It is strong

    Many strong players and guys much smarter than I am agree, that CI7 is stronger than Hasty. While that may be true (especially in a vacuum), Hasty CI is nothing to sneeze at. This kind of deck can regularly win around turn 8. Many runners are simply left in the dust and can't keep up with that pace.

  • It is resilient

    This deck is quite resistant to hate cards. I think this (besides the fact that is much, much simpler to play) is its main advantage over CI7, since everything that counters Hasty counters CI7 as well, but many CI7 counters don't do a thing against Hasty (even moreso when playing no Asstes and Upgrades, like this version). Yes, there are hate cards. Some are annoying, some are pretty bad for you and some are downright evil - but you can play around almost every single one of them.

  • It is fast

    I played six games on the day. Not a single one of them lasted more than ten minutes. In a tournament setting, where you do not want to go to time, this is really helpful.

Play Style

This deck wants to go fast. As fast as possible. Usually you spend the first two or three turns making money and drawing cards, until you find your combo pieces. The first Agenda you want to score is definitely Efficiency Committee, with the usual way to do that playing Hasty Relocation, putting two Shipment from SanSan and a third card of choice on top of your deck, installing the Committee (if the third is not Lateral Growth) and then playing Accelerated Diagnostics to score it. The best card for third slot is under normal circumstances Reclamation Order to get the Shipments back into your hand, but sometimes you need to use Cyberdex Trial to get rid of pesky Clots. If you don't have an Order and don't need the Trial, the most likely choices are Blue Level Clearances (to save the double-). If you also don't have those just use whatever seems most handy, be it Archived Memories, Hedge Fund, Lateral Growth or something else.

After (hopefully) scoring the first Efficiency Committee, things get a lot easier. Now you have three ways to score out. Either use another combo, if you can find all the pieces, use the Committee counters with Shipments or Biotic Labor out a 3/2 (which was possible before, but is not recommended for the first Agenda, since it costs quite a lot of money). Oftentimes, games follow the pattern of combo out the Committee, use the Extra- to SanSan a Global Food Initiative (don't forget to advance it once before gaining the ) and Biotic Labor for the win. Although this may seem like a very rigid plan, this deck has so much card draw (and Localized Product Line) that it is not too unsual to win games that way. But of course you have other options, for example replacing the GFI with two 3/2s, or double Biotic Labor another Efficiency Committee or something like that. Just remember: Get out the first Efficiency Committee as quickly as possible and then go on from there.

Counters to this deck

  • Account Siphon & Vamp - Siphons are really a matter of quantity. The first Siphon does pretty much nothing. The second one gets annyoing. Every Siphon after that hurts. A lot. Your best bet against Siphon Spams is just rushing to close out the game, because three Siphons in ~8 turns is not that easy to pull off for most runner decks (especially when considering you can normally double-ICE HQ in those matches). And in all my testing, I haven't faced a single Vamp yet. Normally with Hasty, you have more money than the runner, also they are mostly scrambling to find their breakers to even get into your HQ. And you also have the out of Reuse available in cases, where they do manage to take all your money.

  • CBI Raid - Hahaha. Really? On a more serious note: This isn't even too bad for Hasty CI. Since you can stack your R&D as you want, you don't even need the Relocation to arrange your combo as you want.

  • Clot - With your Cyberdex Trial and recursion you should get around this little bugger. It gets really problematic when he is backed up by Sacrificial Constructs. That combination is the only really hard counter to Hasty CI, because you can't score through that.

  • Employee Strike - This card is much less of a problem for Hasty than it may seem at first glance. Normally, Runners wait a turn or two, until you have an HQ of ten or more cards. When you have ten or more cards in hand, you can normally score an Agenda quite easily. In the beginning, I played one copy of Enforced Curfew to get rid of this, but I ultimately found it unnecessary.

  • Information Sifting - This card would also be bad - if anyone was playing it. Depending on the game state, either divide your Agendas between the piles (if you can afford to lose half of them), or put all of them into one and hope the Runner picks the other one.

  • The Turning Wheel - Runners run a lot on Centrals against you. They access few Agendas on these runs, which means the wheel can grow to obscene sizes and make their one money run in the end really count. Your best bet here is to be lucky and divide Agendas between HQ and R&D so that they can't win on one single server with their big run. Or just trash it.

Card choices

Agendas

Nothing fancy here, just the tried and true CI Agenda suite.

Assets & Upgrades

Not a single Upgrade or Asset in this deck. This leaves one of the most popular IDs in the game nearly blank (okay, he can trash Violet Level Clearances, saving one ), and also blanking lots of popular CI counters, like Councilman, Political Operative and Rumor Mill.

When I started playing the deck, I was playing Our Lord and Savior with the Power Shutdown combo, but after 10 games in which I didn't use it a single time, I swapped those out, saving 4 influence and deckslots. No regrets there, at least for me that was definitely the right decision.

For the Trial or CVS discussion, see below.

Operations

Most of the operations should be quite obvious, but I think a couple are worth discussing.

  • Cyberdex Trial

    That you need a card to purge pesky Clots should be clear. I like this card better than Cyberdex Virus Suite in this deck, since you can include it in your Accelerated Relocation, it doesn't cost money and it is much safer while in HQ or R&D. To be able to pull all this off with a CVS, you would have to include Interns. I much rather use that slot for something else. Also, this can't be removed by Salsette Slums. Reliability over flexibility (like stopping Medium digs on random access).

  • Foxfire

    I included this card mainly against three cards. Net Mercur is a massive tempo boost for Stealth runners, The Turning Wheel is a huge threat as discussed above and The Black File could really wreck you, should you ever encounter it. To combat these dangers, you have Foxfire. But make no mistake, The Turning Wheel is by far the most important card to counter here, the other ones are just nice bonuses.

  • Localized Product Line

    When I first saw this card, I was amazed by all the possibilities. Then my eyes wandered to the bottom left corner and I disregarded it as being far too expensive, influence-wise. But in CI, it really shines. You go through your deck blazingly fast, meaning you can find this with good regularity and it can substitute for all the pieces of your combo. Target number one are definitely the Shipments from SanSan since you need two of those, but in the six games yesterday I also searched for Efficiency Committees and Hasty Relocations. In combo decks like this one, you are sometimes unlucky and all three copies of an important card in the bottom ten of R&D. The Product Line makes these scenarios much less likely and adds a great deal of consistency to this deck.

  • Reuse

    Like Foxfire, this card also falls in the category of "rarely used, but really good when needed". This is the card that allows you to bounce back up after getting Siphoned or Vamped down (and can sometimes be included in the Hasty Diagnostics combo, if you need quick money and have some cards to spare. Be careful though, that you don't increase your HQ Agenda density too much).

  • Violet Level Clearance

    Of ourse nothing special in CI, I am just reinforcing once again how extremely good this card is. Three and four new cards is basically two whole turns of clicking for draw and money. This card may be rubbish in most other decks, but in CI it is absolutely brilliant.

ICE

I chose to exclude some of the more expensive ICE like Fairchild 3.0 and Ichi 1.0 which are commonly seen amongst Hasty lists. They can slow your opponent down, but they also cost quite a hefty sum of money to rez and since I was going for a deck that can score as quickly and, even more important, reliably as possible, I chose to go with an ICE suite that looks more like CI7.

The main point of ICE in this deck is delaying the runner while you score out as fast as possible. Many other lists go with Vanilla over Paper Wall, but the ICE is not here to tax your opponent, it should keep him out. So Vanilla's only upside in comparison to Paper Wall is unimportant here. On the other hand, Paper Wall's one point of strength keeps it alive against Parasites and renders Atman 0 less efficient. Also the pop-on-break effect is an upside for this deck, because it turns your Mother Goddesses back on. Another include I didn't see in other CI lists is Macrophage. As a one-of, this card is really great. Some podcast recently said (only slightly joking), that all Runner decks at the moment are basically just Medium-delivery-systems and I don't think they are too far off. Medium is just such an extremely strong finisher and multi-access tool, that you need something to combat it. And Macrophage does that job very well. At some point it will crumble too, most likely, but it will definitely buy you a turn or two - which is a massive advantage when your games normally end in the single digits.

Wrap-Up

This description got a lot longer than I intended at first, but here it is. Thank you for reading through all of it and give Hasty CI a spin. It is very strong and really fun to play.

Happy Netrunning!

4 comments
20 Feb 2017 Mirilu

Seems strong! I was lucky not having to face it :P

21 Feb 2017 triorph

I find your agenda suite here interesting. Without the threat of a power shutdown it seems unlikely you're going to be able to stop the runner from getting a lot of accesses.

I also disagree with your premise that hasty CI is more resilient than CI7. IMO that's the main reason that CI7 is a better overall deck, as it has more tools for combating all the hate (even if it does have to deal with hate that Hasty does not).

21 Feb 2017 Klopstock

@Mirilu It is! But congratalutions again, you really deseved to win the tournament, going undefeated (disregarding the timed loss, which you would have won, if you had five or ten minutes more to play) through the swiss and cut :)

@triorph That's right, the runner normally gets quite a few accesses. It is kind of a gamble, and sometimes you lose to lucky accesses, but normally the big hand size in combination with gearcheck ice takes care of that well enough. Also I don't think there is any alternative to this suite. The Efficiency Committee is a definite 3-of (I would play 5 or more, if I could). The Global Food Initiatives are not that hard to score and nice to close out the game. And I don't think I need to explain how good their effect is, removing 2 Agenda points from your deck and forcing the Runner to steal 4/9 Agendas to win the game. The rest are just 3/2s. Yes, over-advanced Vitruvii are nice in theory, but most of the time you just score them for the points.

And regarding resiliency: I can't really believe that. I know that CI7 can play around most of its counters (save maybe Clot plus multiple Sacrificial Constructs), but it gets harder and harder the more hate your opponent packs. And, just off the top of my head, hate cards that hit CI7, but can be ignored when playing Hasty CI: Councilman, Eden Shard, Hades Shard, Interdiction, Leela Patel: Trained Pragmatist, Noise: Hacker Extraordinaire with Street Peddler/Clone Chip, Political Operative & Rumor Mill. There may be even more that do not come to my mind immediately. CI7 has so many more hate cards against it, but what kind of hate exists, that hits Hasty but not CI7? Looking at my list from above, all of them hit CI7 as well. Some of them, most notably Employee Strike even harder, because you need a current yourself, since your plan is normally not to score Agendas before your big combo turn. Sure, it is possible, but for Hasty that should be much easier and less of a distraction.

Again, I am not saying this variant is stronger than CI7 (it probably isn't), just that it is harder to hate.

21 Feb 2017 Mirilu

Thaks! :)