Cerebral Hive of Giraffes (Chronos Bratislava First Place)

PeekaySK 7738

Took 1st with this at our Chronos yesterday, went 5-0 in a field of 19 players from 3 countries (Slovakia, Austria, Hungary). Great fun was had by all!

This deck is an evolution of my winning CI deck from the Vienna store champs (which should be listed under "derived from", unless I messed it up). If you're not familiar with how these decks work, check out that one's description first, I'll only cover the differences here. In general, the deck is pretty hard to stop unless you're both built with it in mind, and actually have a very good idea of how to stop it... and even then, you sort of need to have a bit of luck, because even the right moves can fail to pay out, and then you're just boned. In particular, once you have 4 points scored, even starting the turn at 0 credits, with a Source in play won't actually stop you from winning! That's pretty insane when you think about it.

Since the Vienna SC, Double Time came out and became legal, and two things happened that turn CI into complete beast mode: Reclamation Order and Hive.

Hive

Hive is the bigger thing, as it fits perfectly with the CI gameplan. It's an incredibly taxing piece of ICE for all of the game except for the last 3 turns. First one goes on HQ, second one goes on Archives if you suspect Sneakdoor, RnD otherwise. The third one usually isn't worth installing, but you still need to run 3 copies, because you want to see the second one soon enough.

Pretty much, unless your opponent is playing Morning Star, he's done going in on a regular basis. Losing a Hive to Parasite isn't such a huge deal, you just bring it right back. Femme is a non-issue due to the number of subs and Knight just cries bloody tears, plain and simple :P

Because of Hive, you need to change your preferred order of agendas a bit - you want to score the PriReq last, because if you score it second, you turn off your Hives completely, instead of just dialing them back to Walls of Static. For this reason, the preferred solution is now to double-biotic an Efficiency Committee, then SfSS a second EffComm (keeping one token on the original), then spend a turn Reclaiming the Shipments (more on that later), and then finish with a PriReq. The good news about this order is that should your opponent manage to get a Source or Chakana online in between your second and third agendas, it won't do him any good (because of the spare token).

To manage fitting in 3 copies of Hive, I had to cut the third Celebrity Gift and all Jacksons. There's a slight variation in ICE composition - Wotans had to go. Fortunately, they can all go now that Reclamation Order exists. Which brings me to...

Reclamation Order

This card becomes completely insane if you have the handsize to keep the three copies you're reclaiming. In this deck, it's essentially a better version of a Jackson, because it recurs the stuff you need (I'm looking at you, Biotic Labor) straight to your hand instead of into your deck, where you have to fish for it. That becomes supremely worth the extra click and credit, and freeing up influence is also very welcome.

Don't make the mistake of playing Reclamation Order and dropping Archived Memories for them, though - those two have very strong synergy. Reclaiming Archiveds is super-awesome for fixing any draw definiciencies you may be experiencing, and if you keep the third Archived as backup, you can use it to... reclaim the Reclamation Order :D One of the plays I kept making throughout the tournament was to just take turns of "Archived Memories for Celebrity Gift, play CG for 7 credits, go, which is basically an unstoppable version of having a Melange out. In a deck that just needs a huge bank to make all its plays, this is obviously very strong.

The other main uses of Reclamation Order are:

  • Grab back Biotics you used for the first score (thus allowing you to bypass that pesky Source dude)
  • Grab back Shipments from SanSan you used for the second score (thus allowing you to make the second score another EffComm, which is supremely useful)

Other than that, you can use them to take whichever econ card you happened to draw all three copies of early (Blue-Level Clearance is best for this, but both Restructure and Hedge Fund work very well too), and possibly even salvage some especially disastrous Noise mills :P

Green Level Clearance becomes Subliminal Messaging

This is the final touch, and in retrospect should have been pretty obvious beforehand, as well. Green level nets you 2 credits and a card. If you play Subliminal instead, you can spend the click you're not paying for the play drawing, and you're just one credit short. If the runner fails to make a run on even one of his turns, you're on par with GLC. Add to that the extra utility of padding your hand with multiple copies that bounced back (which you can actually hold over multiple turns, unlike other Corp identities) and the choice becomes clear.

(oh, and it enables the "score a 6-advance agenda from 0 credits" situation I mentioned in the first paragraph, that's how awesome Subliminal really is).

So yeah, there's my corp deck... enjoy it while you can, I have a strong feeling something in H&P will come out that will screw this over pretty hard :)

31 comments
13 Apr 2014 Crunchums

How did you get the "derived from" thing to work? I still don't understand how to make that happen.

13 Apr 2014 PeekaySK

It's a bit complicated, especially if you're deriving from your own deck :P

Basically, what you do is you go to a published deck, select "Copy" to get a copy of the decklist into your decks, then make all the changes, then publish that. If you make a copy of one of the decks you haven't published (by choose "Save as"), it will not work.

Maybe Alsciende can add an option to add to the "Derived From" field manually when publishing, right after he's done adding the option to edit comments (:P)?

13 Apr 2014 Murphydave

That looks good Peekay - I'm definitely gonna give it a try.

13 Apr 2014 hypomodern

Nice updates, and congrats on the Chronos Protocol win :)! These are exactly the changes I made to your original deck with Double Time, so there's another winning decklist NetrunnerDB won't let me publish ;).

13 Apr 2014 PeekaySK

These are exactly the changes I made to your original deck with Double Time

So you're saying "fools seldom differ", right? :P

13 Apr 2014 prozz

can u describe how u score 6 pointer from 0 credits?

with eff committee and 3 counters there all i can see is:

  • play subliminal, gain 1 and click
  • 1 click: install priority req
  • 2 click: advance it
  • 3 click: gain 2 clicks (2 remaining)
  • 4 click: gain 2 clicks (3 remaining)
  • 5 click: gain 2 clicks (4 remaining)
  • double SfSS

so its 5 advancements tokens total :(

13 Apr 2014 PeekaySK

The 6-advance version needs both of your scored 2-point agendas to be Efficiency Committees. Since the scoring of the second one only uses up 2 tokens off the first, you have 4 tokens available - that extra action lets you play the third Shipment from SanSan.

15 Apr 2014 kollapse

Speaking of the intricacies of nrdb: how the hell do you quote in comments and the description text? Sorry for hijacking a very interesting looking deck.

15 Apr 2014 PeekaySK

just prefix the line you're quoting with > . Make sure you have empty lines both before and after the quoted block though, otherwise it won't parse correctly.

(play around with it a bit, you'll figure it out - the preview box is your friend in this taxing endeavor :P )

np about the hijack, just gimme a like and we're square. Deal? :D

15 Apr 2014 stoppableforce

Since (in this deck's new win condition) you never actually score the Project Vitruviuses, have you considered replacing them with NAPD Contract with its built in protection?

15 Apr 2014 PeekaySK

I have considered it before the tournament, and on rounds 2 and 3, I was really, really glad I didn't. Thing is, Vitruvius can be used as semi-easy Source removal (well, it costs you two Biotics or two Efficiency Counters, but still), something that NAPD Contract doesn't handle.

I really don't want to get into a position where I need to have all three Biotics in order to get rid of The Source, if a window of vulnerability (i.e. no Fall Guy) presents itself. If you do that, sometimes you'll just lose - the Biotic will be the bottom card of your deck, and then you're just done.

Having a 2/3 around is useless for when things are going great, but it can totally save your behind when they aren't.

15 Apr 2014 stoppableforce

Makes sense to me. I'll keep it in mind if I ever take it to a tournament - The Source and Chakana are basically non-entities in my local meta, so I'm strongly considering the NAPDs just for casual play.

17 Apr 2014 lajcik

How would you react to 1st turn siphon, especially in a situation where you don't get hedge fund or celebrity gift in your opening hand?

17 Apr 2014 PeekaySK

How would you react to 1st turn siphon, especially in a situation where you don't get hedge fund or celebrity gift in your opening hand?

First ICE always goes on HQ. If you don't have any ICE and any econ, why exactly didn't you mulligan that hand? :D

It really doesn't matter which ICE you get (ok, Ichi is presumably not so stellar for a first piece of ICE), but you should always have your HQ ICEd at the end of turn one. If not for Siphon/Vamp, then for Imp/Nerve Agent.

18 Apr 2014 inactivemember

Have you considered running 1 Hudson 1.0 to combat multi-access and Demolition Run?

20 Apr 2014 PeekaySK

I have, but decided against it. A Demo Run fat enough to actually matter is both slow and expensive to set up, with my ICE suite.

If I were to run Hudson, he'd actually make it easier - it's a piece you don't need to break on "charging the Medium" runs, only on the actual Demo Run. Compare that to, say, Viktor 2.0 (which is a must-break, and is more taxing to run through with clicks).

21 Apr 2014 chill84

Peekay, great design I am still learning your deck, but I'm having a great time with it. I net-decked you and finished second at a tourney. My only loss was to an all-in yogasaurus paintbrush kit, and I made several mistakes that could have won me the game (namely, not installing new ice just so that it can't be paintbrushed.)

I really don't know what I would change, the datapike was good in it's slot. Every card felt clutch, I won a friendly game with the tourney winner later on the back of subliminal's, after scoring agenda #2, I was vamped to 0, that turn I subliminal'd and clicked to 4 credits, the last turn of the game I subliminal'd to 5 credits that I needed to biotic/sansan the final agenda.

Do you still like playing with 3 RO's? I never had to RO for RO or Archive memories, most games I just played the 1 the turn before I won.

Influence is perfectly spent, but I'd almost like a tollbooth instead of a 3rd hive. I'd have to think about it though, the hives are great as a 3-of. If I cut anything for influence it'd be a gift since I seemed to always have one in my opening hand.

Oh, Ichis too, I'll probably experiment with 2 ichis.

21 Apr 2014 PeekaySK

@chill84: Thanks!

Kit takes some practice playing against, ditto Paintbrush. Once you figure it out, though, it's not that much of a problem :D

I play three Retrieval Orders for a simple reason: knowing I need one of them for my endgame, I'll usually wait until the second copy shows up to reclaim the first econ card that already showed up in all three copies (out of Hedge, Restructure, BLC). It's a good kind of flexibility to have, and it can salvage some bad shuffles/poor draws. I think I'd rather have that than another piece of ICE (or what have you).

Hive vs. Tollbooth - the problem here is, there's not a single situation in this world where Tollbooth is a first-turn rez with this deck. That's what makes Hive so amazing here - it both stops the early accesses, and is extremely taxing to run through regularly. Also, Tollbooth is way more vulnerable both to Emergency Shutdown and Femme Fatale.

I don't think you can cut another CG, at least not until another neutral (or purple) economic operation comes out.

Ichis: actually, the deck needs more Ichis, not less :P

21 Apr 2014 chill84

ichi2 = mini tollbooth with that trace 3 stapled on, best of both worlds?

21 Apr 2014 lajcik

How would you react to 1st turn siphon, especially in a situation where you don't get hedge fund or celebrity gift in your opening hand?

First ICE always goes on HQ. If you don't have any ICE and any econ, why exactly didn't you mulligan that hand? :D

Ok. let's go with that, say you finish your first turn with a bunch of credits and an ice. Out of the 14 pieces of ICE in the deck only 5 are hard ETR (Hive, Datapike and Roto). The other 9 are rather weak for a first defense if the runner decides to call that bluff.

I'm just curious how you play against aggressive siphoning in general, since most of the CI decks I encounter roll more hard ETR.

21 Apr 2014 chill84

Ok. let's go with that, say you finish your first turn with a bunch of credits and an ice. Out of the 14 pieces of ICE in the deck only 5 are hard ETR (Hive, Datapike and Roto). The other 9 are rather weak for a first defense if the runner decides to call that bluff.

I'm just curious how you play against aggressive siphoning in general, since most of the CI decks I encounter roll more hard ETR.

This isn't most CI decks, I don't think you can ask PK to give you advice about how to play other peoples decks.

22 Apr 2014 PeekaySK

Chill84, it's fine - I've played both with and against other CI variants to have a general idea about how to answer the (very valid!) question :)

I'm just curious how you play against aggressive siphoning in general, since most of the CI decks I encounter roll more hard ETR.

You're right in stating that only 5 of the ICE pieces are actual, hard ETR. However, there's 6 more pieces that are a-ok for first turn HQ defense on turn 1: the Elis and the Viktors. Both of them either ETR or eat two clicks to get through, which is sufficient for my early defensive needs. One access per turn is fine, especially if it's delaying the runner's rig-building into an efficient setup that can pressure me on a regular basis. Now, onto the Siphon question.

Consider this - you don't break CI by Siphoning it to zero credits on turn one. You break it by making it dump its huge hand of combo pieces that it needs to be holding. On turn one, I'll have 3, maybe 4 cards. If you bring me to zero, and I have a piece of ICE rezzed on HQ, I'm still mostly fine. Worst case scenario, I click up to 3 and ditch a card. Given how much recursion I run, I'll still not really lose anything by ditching said card, I can always bring it back later with some combination of Reclamation Order and Archived Memories.

If that rezzed HQ ICE is reasonably taxing to get through, you won't really be able to keep me at zero all game - if you're spending your whole turn recurring Siphon and clicking through a Viktor 2 (for instance) to Siphon 3 credits, you're not really moving ahead in your game plan (let's be real here, you're making 4-6 credits in 3-4 click... woo hoo), and it's costing you a lot of cards you could have put to better use later.

(BTW, I must have mentioned it someplace, but - first rule of CI is "ice HQ over RnD". This goes for turn one, and goes just as well for the rest of the game - eventually, your RnD won't have enough points to lose you the game, that's a fact :P )

22 Apr 2014 lajcik

Thanks Peekay :)

28 Apr 2014 ellonellanfair

We've got Medical Research Fundraiser now Peekay. It fits perfectly to the CI playstyle (the 3 credits you give them wouldn't matter to your taxing ice ). Now we've got 3 more influence to spare?

29 Apr 2014 PeekaySK

Meh, not sure about Fundraiser. Think I'd try Sweeps Week as a replacement Economy card before going for Fundraisers. Given how often runners dig for crucial rig pieces vs CI, Sweeps are basically Hedge Funds with a better Vamp recovery potential here.

29 Apr 2014 ellonellanfair

I tried Sweeps, but there are times when you need money, and you can't use it because the runner has 1, 2 or 3 cards only. It's good to have early against Andy though. At least with Fundraiser, you gain the 5, no matter what. Caveit is that you give the runner 3. Perhaps that 3 creds is bad early game. Needs some testing though.

2 May 2014 ZiNOS

I really like this list and toying with something similar.

However, why the Datapike? Isn't Yog almost the staple Decoder in your area?

Even Gordian Blade makes Data Pike not so impressive.

3 May 2014 PeekaySK

Of course Yog is the staple Decoder in my area, and that's actually a very good reason for including a singleton Datapike!

All the other code gates (namely, the 3x Viktor 2.0) is pretty strong against Yog, always needing at least 1 sucker counter to get through. So much so, that decks also running other things (like, Parasite or Femme) will usually use those to handle Viktor 2.0. Hence, forcing a 5-credit install (plus a 2-credit first encounter, as the subroutines will run) is not a bad trade for a one-of 4-rez piece of ICE.

Also, I wanted to have at least one piece of non-conditional ETR ICE in each type, and Datapike was better for me than Enigma - if you don't run Yog, Enigma can sometimes just cost you one to break. Datapike is always 2 credit.

27 May 2014 Maaliwan

The 6-advance version needs both of your scored 2-point agendas to be Efficiency Committees. Since the scoring of the second one only uses up 2 tokens off the first, you have 4 tokens available - that extra action lets you play the third Shipment from SanSan.

That's still not enough to go from 0 credits to 6 pointer agenda. That extra token will inevitably leave you with 1 click, no money, and a SfSS that needs 2 clicks to be played. That extra EC token still leaves you 1 click short to pull that off. Unless I'm missing something, which is possible, but I can't figure out what.

Fun deck though. How does it fare against morning star?

27 May 2014 PeekaySK

That's still not enough to go from 0 credits to 6 pointer agenda.

How so? 3 regular actions + 4 EC tokens = 7 actions. One install, 6 Shipment actions.

Fun deck though. How does it fare against morning star?

Eli loses effectiveness, neither Ichi nor Viktors do, though. So, it could be worse (and if they have Morningstar, they probably won't have too much spare memory for stuff like Nerve Agent, Deus X, Chakana, Parasites and the like - so I'm totally fine with that tradeoff)

28 May 2014 Maaliwan

Of course ! Duh ! You had me confused with

(oh, and it enables the "score a 6-advance agenda from 0 credits" situation I mentioned in the first paragraph, that's how awesome Subliminal really is).

which doesn't really makes much sense, but it will allow you to score a 5adv. from 0 credits with 1 SfSS and 1 archived in hand at the start of your turn (which is also pretty insane, as it saves you that turn reclaiming SfSS, assuming you drew all 3 SfSS at some point). So you don't even need SM to score 6 from 0. Is that correct or am I still missing out on some of the math?