[Startup] Stavka+Hafrún BAN THIS NOW

DDarkray 123

The game in a nutshell: alt text

Imagine the shock on the Runner's face when you pull out the evilest of all plans. It is the cruelest combo ever seen in Startup. It is the one where you do it once and you could say "GG" almost every time. Except, you're not that evil; you wouldn't say that out loud. But in your mind, you know the Runner is toast.

Welcome to Ob rigshooting deck

True, it never became a haymaker in Startup during the Midnight Sun era. It lacked much support to fuel its scrapping strategy. Plus, Retribution was one of the few ways to rigshoot your opponent but requires tagging them which is really annoying. And the Runner had an abundance of recursion tools such as Simulchip and Harmony AR Therapy; it's like they'll never run out of breakers! But with the release of Parhelion and the rotation of Ashes cycle, Ob became not only better; it became a monster and a horror to all Runners.

If you're the type of person who don't mind being called “horrible” and “monster”, this is the deck to try out.

The Combo

The first combo piece you need to know is called Hafrún. Yes, it's a Jinteki card so you'll have to spend some influence on it, but read its effect:

"When you rez this ice during a run against this server, you may trash 1 card from HQ. If you do, choose 1 installed Runner card. That cardʼs abilities cannot break subroutines for the remainder of that run."

Now normally, when you rez it, the Runner can just jack out and run again since it only stops a card for 1 run. That's pretty nifty on its own. But what if you can prevent the Runner from breaking one of your other piece of ice? What if you can disarm their killer while they engage with your sentries? Is that even possible?

That's where Ob's effect comes in. If you can manage to trash one of your rezzed 3-cost cards mid-run, you can use Ob to search for Hafrún (a 2-cost ice), install it in the same server, and disarm their killer, their Botulus, or their boat. Now your sentry ice is ready for a meal, and it'll be delicious. :)

The main way to do that is to rez Stavka. It is the second combo piece that lets you search and rigshoot at the same time, completing the package. It has a very devastating effect: trash 2 programs. (Yes, any 2 programs of your choosing, including icebreakers) As long as the Runner has no other means to break Stavka, the rigshooting is guaranteed.

Does the Runner have only a single Carmen to break sentries? Bye-bye, seeya!

Does the Runner also have a fracter or a decoder? Adiós amigo!

Drink their tears. Laugh maniacally. The Runner is toast. If they have backup breakers or a recursion card, just do it again. :)

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  • Or pitch the Stavka to ZATO for a triple kill.
  • Or pitch the Hafrún to ZATO for a guaranteed end the run (while searching for Ice Wall for another End the Run).
  • Or use Mavirus paid-ability to search for another copy of Hafrún and repeat the rigshooting cycle.
  • Or trash it using Extract and fetch for another card.

If the Runner is still alive and isn’t letting you have any more rigshooting fun, your Plan B is to create a monstrous glacial server so that it become impenetrable. With Ice Wall, Enigma, Magnet, and Envelopment, you have plenty of ways to force End the Run using ZATO City Grid. Keep scrapping your ice from other servers so that your remote server is so tall, even Earth Station would be jealous.

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Enough chatting, let's get rigshooting!

15 Dec 2022 Micoman111

Bravo well done! I like the combo you found keep it up fam thumbs up

15 Dec 2022 AnOddRadish

In your writeup, Hafrun links to Harmony AR Therapy, just an FYI

15 Dec 2022 DDarkray

@AnOddRadish Fixed. Thanks for letting me know!

9 Jan 2023 sekoku

Unfortunately Endurance absolutely bins the deck with later Parhelion cards. I don't know if this was anything beyond Jank before Parhelion released, but like everything "boat" is included in, it basically means all your ICE has to go into feeding Hafrún x2, which can't be de-rezed in the deck or gotten back quickly enough. This means that the initial combo of trying to Stavka is stuffed because Endurance and/or main breakers (if installed and credited up) can break. There is also the fact that unfortunately Anvil is "Runner choice." Which means if you combo Hafrún with it, the runner can protect Endurance/main breakers anyway even if you throw a bunch of cards at Anvil to try to stop them.

I don't necessarily know what the answer is for the format when Endurance is so warping/a must pick. You could maybe import more Hafrún, but then you're having to take other stuff out just to try to answer the question of "how can you shut down the main breakers/AI and Endurance if already set-up" and at that point you have to go "welp."

Cute jank and the idea is nice, I'd give a modified version that can answer Endurance + mains/Borealis' back-half cards introduction to the format just for the novelty.