Built to *not* (?) Takeover

callforjudgement 463

This is an altered version of @Pinsel's Government Takeover list that I've been experimenting with. @Pinsel has been crusading to get this sort of deck banned (something I agree with), and this deck list is my argument that the specific card that needs banning is probably Red Planet Couriers – being able to drop a massive load of counters onto a Project Atlas is broken even if you aren't trying to score out with a 6-point combo.

The biggest change I made to the deck was to remove the Government Takeover. (For takeover fans, I included a Hostile Takeover just so there's still some takeovering going on.) This vastly reduces the odds of losing to a lucky R&D snipe, and although it slows down the combo win, the combo gives you such a ridiculous amount of inevitability that the Runner effectively has no counterplay once you land it.

The basic idea behind this version is to put all the Weyland fast-advance combos into the same deck, together with lots of card filtering (notably Spin Doctor and Sprint) in order to help assemble them, and lots and lots of recursion effects so that we don't run out of copies of any particular combo piece we might need. There's also lots of " End the run." ICE that you can rush out agendas behind early-game – scoring an Atlas with a counter on turn 2 is very viable against most opponents and will automatically let you fill in the "other half" of any combo you might need.

The deck therefore has three ways to win (depending on the matchup and on which cards you happen to draw). One is to play as a rush deck (where Built to Last's ability will help you losing momentum as you score out agendas): score agendas before the opponent finds breakers. The second method is fast advance; you can pretend to be a Titan Transnational deck, using small fast advance combos to score out agendas as you draw them. You can also win with a combo similar to that in @Pinsel's version, using Biotic Labor into Project Atlas into Red Planet Couriers in order to give yourself a huge pile of agenda counters: once you have those, it will be almost impossible for the Runner to stop you fast-advancing your remaining agendas for the win a few turns down the line.

Here's a list of the fast advance combos available:

  1. Biotic Labor, IAAA a 3-point agenda. The classic, very boring, HB fast advance combo is present in the deck.
  2. Biotic Labor, install, Red Planet Couriers. This can score a Global Food Initiative from hand, or give you an insurmountable advantage with a pile of Atlas counters.
  3. Install a 2-pointer, advance, Audacity. This is normally the easiest way to score the last 2 points.
  4. IAA a Hostile Takeover. This is normally the easiest way to score the last 1 point.
  5. Reconstruction Contract, rez, Dedication Ceremony, install agenda, trash Dedication Ceremony to advance it. This requires a few specific cards, but is a very cheap fast-advance mechanism in terms of resources spent.
  6. Red Level Clearance (install Reconstruction Contract and gain ), rez, double Dedication Ceremony, and proceed as in the previous point. This gives you 6 advancement counters, letting you score Global Food Initiative for 3 points or giving you a Project Atlas with 3 agenda counters.

Once you do have a nice pile of Atlas counters, you generally win by re-advancing your ICE manually (gaining credits in the process with your ID ability), using Mass Commercialization a couple of times to become rich, then setting up a fast-advance combo for the appropriate number of points. If you're a long way off winning, you may want to Dedication Ceremony some ICE to make it harder to break (Dedication onto Oduduwa onto either Masvingo or Ice Wall can be used to make R&D almost unenterable very quickly); then just do Biotic Labor into Red Planet Couriers again to score a couple of agenda points and refresh your counters.

In terms of Runner-side counterplay: Political Operative and Councilman will counter some of the combos, but you can generally play around them (those cards are single-use so you can generally force the Runner to burn them early). Clot can be a problem, but you have Cyberdex Virus Suite to counter that (you can install it clicklessly off Red Level Clearance, and use it clicklessly just before scoring the agenda).

This version of the deck still isn't fully tuned (in particular, it wants 3 Sprints and has the influence for them, but it's unclear what to cut: maybe Hedge Fund?). But it's already winning way more than it should and creating quite a negative play experience (for both sides), and it's annoyingly fiddly to pilot.

Ban Red Planet Couriers.